I am owning my time, my body and my career

mom 2.0

Each year when I jet set off to Mom 2.0 Summit, (which has been three years in a row now), I seem to walk away with some kind of epiphany.

Year one it was figuring out how to monetize my blog, and how to go from having a fun hobby, to an actual business.

Year two was learning to stop doing what I hate, and do more of what I love. Although I wasn’t going to stop writing, I made the decision to go full speed ahead with video, and I haven’t looked back.

This year was interesting. I felt this incredible peace come over me. I found myself floating from session, to pool hang, to bed, to lunch, to party to, to bed. Okay, I was fighting a cold the whole time, hence the time spent in bed. But I didn’t feel any pressure to be somewhere, or someone other than where I wanted and me… just Joanna.

I knew what I was doing and I know what my goals are. I just took my time and didn’t allow myself to get sidetracked with some new information about a social media platform I probably should be dominating, or worrying about pitching to brands.

Instead I focused on reflecting, having fun and building relationships.

One thing I realized while away is that I feel really comfortable in my skin lately. Everything I put on, I just relaxed into. I even wore a bikini without constantly feeling embarrassed that I had to cover up. I credit hitting my mid-thirties with this new found confidence, (more on this soon).

Coming home, I purposely slowed right down and it has felt so good. I have organized and cleaned my house, created a calendar, did wonderfully mundane “mom stuff” and have also tried to kick this lingering cold.

So, what are my takeaways from Mom 2.0

1. I love what I do. Seriously. I love it. I love the work, the creativity, the conversations and the people. This is so my jam.

2. I love where I am in life. There is really something magical about being in your thirties. You just feel settled. There are not many other ways to put it. I feel good in my skin and I feel good with my decisions.

3. I am in control of my time. Slowing down just a touch has been really nice. This is definitely a pace I shouldn’t and truthfully couldn’t keep up with every single week, especially as I grow my business, but something has got to give. I think it is time I hire someone to help with Nesting Story, (more on this soon too).

Regardless of what takeaways I have each year, this I know for sure; stepping out of your life, especially if you are a mom is a game changer. You are able to gain a new perspective that you can’t get at home while you are in it. Whether it’s to a conference, or just a weekend away, I highly recommend you step away, just for a moment.

Just in case you missed out on my Orlando vlogs, here they are…

Don’t forget to subscribe so that you don’t miss a vlog!

Body Image And Toddler Life (Vlog 6)

body after twinsLast weekend was pretty typical, but fun. We are getting out again and feeling great. I also had lunch with a friend and I found our conversation kept moving to how we feel about our bodies after babies.

In this vlog I talk about how I feel about my body the further away I am from being pregnant, plus get a little glimpse of toddler life through Mia’s eyes.

What My Son Said That Made Me Love My Scar (video)

Thyroid scar

Last week I had a consultation with a cosmetic surgeon. I went in to see about getting my 14-year-old thyroidectomy scar revised, and also wanted to have a conversation about my body after having four kids.

Although I left a little deflated and confused about how I felt, my son Holden said something to me that has completely changed the way I look and my body and my imperfections…

Don’t forget to subscribe to Nesting Story on YouTube and LIKE Nesting Story on Facebook!

My Top 3 Post-Twin Pregnancy Abdominal Workout Moves

Losing the baby weight after twins

Having three pregnancies, (including one twin pregnancy), has pushed my body to the limit. What has been the biggest casualty? my midsection.

I am often asked what my daily workout consists of. Well, to be honest, not a whole lot. I keep it simple and effective. Because I don’t have a lot of time each day to set aside for working out, on top of work and raising four kids, I try to keep my workouts to under 20 minutes in length.

Almost all of my workouts consists of strength training, and I make sure I am targeting the areas that need to most work.

Although I am close, but have not yet reached my goal, especially with regaining strength and mobility after having my twins, I have to make sure I am always reminding myself how far I have come.

But I wanted to share with you my three favourite (and in my opinion, most effective) abdominal workout moves.

Side Crunch

If someone were to say that I could only do one exercise move for the rest of my life, and I could pick only one… it would be side crunches. This move by far produces the best results in the least amount of time. Any time I have taken a bit of time off from my workouts and jump back into side crunches, I see more definition in my waist in just a few days!

How to do a side crunch…

Lay facing up with your knees together and bent at a 90 degree angle. Then drop your knees to the left without moving your upper body.


Place your hands behind your head and raise your shoulders towards your hips, as if you were doing a sit-up.IMG_3266

Pause for one second and then lower your body to the ground. I typically do three sets of 15 reps on each side.


Elbow-to-Knee Crunch

I prefer this crunch over just a regular crunch because I find it works my lower abdominal muscles more, (which after twins, always need attention), and this move is also easy on my back.

How to do an elbow-to-knee crunch…

Lay facing up with your knees and hips bent at a 90 degree angle so that your calves are parallel to the floor. Place your hands behind your head, with your elbows pointed outward. Raise your shoulders off of the floor, (don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t get too far off the floor, your abs might be weak from your pregnancy… like mine are), and twist your body while you reach your right elbow to your left knee, while you are straightening your right leg.


Then return to the starting position and repeat with the other side.


I like to aim for about 30-40 reps of this move.

Weighted Russian Twist

I like this move because… well let’s be honest, it gets rid of my muffin top left over from four pregnancies. For a long time I couldn’t seem to find an exercise that would target that pesky spare tire I had hanging around… until I found the weighted Russian twist!

How to do a weighted Russian twist…

Start by sitting on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Hold a medicine ball (or a weight plate, or even just your hands together without a weight), straight in front of you. Angle your torso at a 45 degree position, which you will hold for the entire exercise. Rotate your torso to the right trying to hold your arms as straight as you can while keeping your feet flat on the floor.


Repeat the motion to your left, again keeping your torso at a 45 degree angle, your arms straight and your feet flat. IMG_3359

I like to do 20-30 reps of this move.

In the end, I know that my body will forever have a different shape since growing my precious four little humans, and I am really okay with that. It tells my story of where my body has been and who it has created!

Weightless after twins

Before starting any new workout routine, always consult your doctor first. You should not start exercising until at least after 6-8 weeks postpartum and until you have received your doctor’s consent.

Read more about my body’s journey here: What having four kids (including twins) has done to my body and my confidence.

Did you recently give birth? Before starting any new exercise routine, set yourself up for success with these tips: 10 Acts of kindness you should do for your postpartum body before starting a new exercise routine.

Don’t forget to follow Nesting Story on Facebook and Instagram for additional tips, articles and before and after photos!

I Don’t Want My Pre-baby Body Back

pre to post baby body

“Did you get your pre-baby body back?” “No.” I answered honestly to a nervous, first time, pregnant mom. The truth is, given the chance, I don’t think I’d want my old body back.

For as long as I can remember, and way before becoming a mother, I struggled with my weight. I was painfully self-conscious, and I missed out on a lot of life because of my insecurities. I was always comparing myself to everyone around me, and never feeling good enough to relax into my own skin.

Throughout my teens and early twenties, I was so hard on myself and focused on every flaw. The littlest comment, or ill-fitting outfit irrationally discouraged me.

Even when I had finally reached my goal weight before having kids, I always felt like I wasn’t thin enough, toned enough, or sculpted enough.honeymoon

Becoming pregnant and having children slowly changed me. During my pregnancies, I felt like my body had a purpose. I accepted my new curves and was able to wrap my mind around losing the baby weight after each pregnancy.

But it wasn’t until my twin pregnancy, when I fully appreciated the violent and miraculous journey my body had been on.

The hip pain, swollen ankles, sore breasts…

first pregnancy

Braxton hicks contractions, stretching…

second pregnancy

Contractions, rib pain and so much more.

Twin pregnancy

During and after birth, my body was stretched, sliced, stitched and pulled apart.

after giving birth

This journey of creating, birthing and caring for life is really wild and brutal when you think about it. But I wouldn’t give all of that torture up for one second. My body endured and withstood and healed from all of that pain.

It created these four perfect humans.four kids

So, do I want my old body back? No, I don’t. Although I am on a new fitness journey to regain strength lost. My body worked really hard for those soft, doughy spots, those wider hips, those stretch marks and those scars.

Today, I am more confident than ever. I see my body’s purpose and know it’s power. I know that the war my body has been through is it’s own and can’t be compared to other bodies.

I have no intentions of erasing my journey, just rehabilitating the body that brought my kids into this world.

With toddler on beach

Don’t forget to follow Nesting Story on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Photo of my four kids: Sarah Martin Photography