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Athleta at Siena Finds

Our local Athleta opened up recently and I've been tasked to partner with them to share my favorites. I did a fun try-on session yesterday at their store and I've highlighted all of that on my Instagram under highlights if you want to check it out! Since a lot of friends aren't local to Pittsburgh, here are my favorite finds online! If you do stop in to the location by Whole Foods, let them know I sent you, and be sure to share your scores with me on Instagram!

Molly Knorr
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Speech Therapy and All That Comes With It

When I asked for ideas for blog posts in January, I was all ears. A friend asked to share about Bodie's progress with speech therapy, and while I've talked a lot about that on Instagram, I haven't touched on it at all here. Bodie first started speech therapy shortly after he turned two years old. I felt he wasn't talking as much as maybe he should have been at that point, he was getting frustrated and into dangerous positions in the house trying to get what he wanted, and turns out, I was right. In hindsight, I wish I would have intervened sooner. It's so easy to talk to your pediatrician and get a referral to early intervention services, at least in the state of Pennsylvania.

Once you're referred, they send a therapist out who does a complete work-up: developmental, occupational, and speech. Bodie was granted therapies in both developmental and speech. He qualified for developmental by one point, but if he's qualifying, I'm not turning it away. In developmental, we spent a lot of time on completing tasks, staying in one spot, and basically learning to take turns and play nicely. With speech - his greatest need, we worked through just getting him to request what he wanted using WORDS. When he was 2, he'd rather move a barstool, climb on top of the island, find a cup, and fill it with water when he's thirsty, as opposed to just grabbing me and saying "Water?" We were very, very lucky with our therapists assigned to us through Early Intervention. They were wonderful. He made truly enormous strides thanks to the therapists we had and of course, hard work from Jeff and I at home. Constant puzzles, reading, working on his areas of concern. When you turn 3 in the state of Pennsylvania your services switch over to DART.

DART services take place in a classroom - either at daycare or at a preschool of your choice, or they're willing to come to your home if you don't attend either of those options. I had opted to sign Bodie up at a local, well-received preschool 2-year-old program, different from where I had sent Georgia - looking for a new approach, and it unfortunately ended up being a huge mistake. Bodie had an ear infection the first two weeks (surprise mom), was throwing temper tantrums, and before they even made it to the first two hour class (less than 5 days of preschool), they asked him to leave. I'm not making excuses for him, but kids throw temper tantrums when they're sick and this ear infection ended up requiring two rounds of antibiotics. I'm not sharing the name of the preschool because I'm sure they do great things there, but MAN, this was total and complete BS. He actually had therapists with him for over 50% of the 4 hours he would even be present at preschool. It was a huge disappointment and hit to me as a parent and the choices I was trying to make on behalf of our family.

Feeling left out to dry with nowhere to go, we were lucky to learn there is a local DART preschool option for children that are developmentally delayed or otherwise. Bodie attends school 3 times per week and sees a speech therapist at school once per week. It is staffed with 3 teachers plus additional visiting therapists and obviously has a smaller class size. I also send him to a local Children's Day In one day a week that he absolutely loves (and has never had any issues in.... despite going there frequently, before the other school decided he wasn't their material).

When Bodie was asked to leave the preschool, we obviously felt it was time to have him fully evaluated. Bodie has never had any trouble with real signs of autism other than the speech delay, he was perfect with his eye contact, never any sleep issues, no eating issues, etc. We didn't truly feel he was autistic, but when you're asked to leave a preschool so abruptly, obviously you feel like you should do your due diligence as a parent and get him the intervention services he may need. He visited a speech therapist first, who diagnosed him with an expressive speech delay - we then qualified for 2x a week speech services through our insurance. We are grateful for this additional intervention - they do important work, and it's paid off in spades for him. She also referred us to have  him evaluated for behavioral issues and it came back that he is "typical" for his age - while we would have of course loved him either way, this was a tremendous, tremendous relief to Jeff and I. We walked out of that appointment and honestly, I was so exhausted from being so worried about our child, I didn't even have it in me to cry until much later in the day. This isn't to say that couldn't change in the future- who knows. But right now, there's really no reason for him to need to be at a specific therapy preschool, if the preschool I had chosen for him had any empathy whatsoever. We are grateful he has a place to go and thrive. I should note we also sent him to an ear, nose and throat specialist - thinking perhaps his chronic ear infections were having something to do with his speech delay - this came back as false.

We've put in so much work for our boy, and thankfully, it really looks like everything will come together sooner or later. It's funny - I've had so many friends tell me, "Oh, I didn't talk until I was 5, my parents were so worried!" And other stories - "My husband didn't talk at all until he was 4 and he just published a book!" Of course, these make me feel better, and I know we've done everything in our power to ensure he's being taken care of the way he should to prepare him for success in the future. Do I wish there were days we were at the grocery store and I bump into someone and I say "Say Hi, Bodie!" and he'd actually respond to them? Yes. But at home, he talks non-stop. He gets his point across using his words, and we know if something is bothering him or if he wants something specific (trust me). He goes to the mudroom and grabs his shoes if I ask him to. Bodie fights with his sister and he behaves normally for a 3-year-old boy. He goes to swim lessons and listens to his instructor and absolutely hates floating. He goes and sees the turtles swimming there and says "Mommy that turtle is climbing!" Bodie goes out to dinner nicely and loves being my sidekick on meetings and shopping trips. He has good days and bad days (like all small children) and typically we know what type of events will trigger him - typically it involves other children he doesn't know not sharing, or a place that has nothing for him to do or a place we cannot get him comfortable and set up with a toy or book. With additional work, I know Bodie will go on to achieve all that's expected of a typical child.

I didn't know whether or not I wanted to share the complete story of how we got here with him. I don't want ANYONE to think less of him, pity my child, and I worry constantly that my sharing on the Internet is something that will harm him in the future, I really try to keep things light, bright, and happy on here, but if one parent decides to have their child evaluated for a speech delay and get the necessary, extra intervention necessary to allow their child to possibly express their needs in a more sound way, then it's worth it. In the grand scheme of things, he's a healthy, typical, awesome child, and we are so lucky to have him.

Photos by Rachel Rowland Photography who is really my partner in motherhood.
Molly Knorr
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Easy Weeknight Meal: Chicken Gyro Bowl

I stumbled on this recipe one afternoon and without dinner plans that evening I found myself obsessed with the idea and quickly ran to Trader Joe's to get all of the ingredients. We didn't have the time for the crockpot meal but Jeff uses the instant pot for cooking chicken pretty regularly these days, so we gave it a try and were obsessed with the results. I could have this every night I think. If you'd like to see the crockpot recipe, go ahead and check it out right here. If you're unsure about which instant pot to buy, this is the one we have, and we've loved it over the last year or so.

Chicken Gyro Bowl

Ingredients (serves 4 heartily, we had leftovers and it's great!)
For Chicken:
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast (we actually cooked 3 lbs. just fine!)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp red wine vinegar
For Garnish:
  • whole wheat pitas
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • cucumbers
  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • greens - we used the organic herb mix from Trader Joe's
  • additional extra virgin olive oil
  • Trader Joe's tzatziki dip
    1. Place all ingredients for the chicken into the Instant Pot. Set the instant Pot to Manual, High Pressure, for eighteen minutes.
    2. 10 minute natural release, then quick release.
    3. Shred with 2 forks in the liquid
    4. Once shredded, let it stay in the pot for 30 minutes on Warm.
    5. Place all of your garnish options into a bowl, place the Gyro Chicken into the bowl, and top with Trader Joe's tzatziki dip and/or extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!
    Molly Knorr
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    Beautycounter: Why I Love it SO Much

    I made the switch to safer beauty in October. When we were in Charleston in November, I had strangers asking me about my skincare routine at bars. That is truly bananas to me! This girl has never had nice skin - it's always been generally fine, mostly dull, a little dry. It's rare I break out in my 30s and I do feel lucky about the state of things after two children and being in my 30s - especially after all of the artificial tanning I did in high school and college. I was also on Accutane in high school to avoid scarring from acne, and everyone knows how horrible that is, so this getting complimented on my skin is still totally shocking to hear. If you would have told me I'd be comfortable posting a makeup-free photo on my blog (SEE ABOVE) 6 months ago, I wouldn't have believed you!

    You might know that Beautycounter is safe beauty. I don't feel like using these products puts me in a state of compromise whatsoever. They're clean, safe, and absolutely effective. The homework has been done for you. They feel, look, and perform at such a high level, it's frankly a bonus to me that they're safe. I do OKAY at trying to make safer choices for myself and my children, especially around the house, but my diet could use some work - this felt like an easy choice and an easy change to make. Beautycounter's goal is to change all makeup and skincare products, not just sell their makeup and get ahead.

    I signed on as a Beautycounter Consultant in November. I was on the fence for a loooong time, undecided if I wanted to start working in direct sales again after my Mac & Mia experience. Really, I thought, if I can make back what I spend on the products I love so much, then it's definitely worth it for me! So that's my plan - I don't know what will come of it, but what I really know is - I love these products and it feels like a very natural extension for me to share them with you. Since starting, I hosted a few pop-ups. I was honestly shocked at how many women had been wanting to try Beautycounter but didn't know where to start. I figured I'd put together a blog post explaining what I use and love, and also put together what I think is best to start with if you don't want to dive in head first.

    • Cleansing Balm: this honestly qualifies to me as a must-buy. It melts your makeup off and leaves your skin so hydrated and smooth. You can even use it as an overnight mask. I use this religiously, it's one of my absolute favorites. Its pricey, but it lasts, and it's so wonderful.
    • Countertime Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence: this contains retinatural - something OTHER than retinol, which is what makes it safe for use during pregnancy and helps fight wrinkles in a SAFE way. This is a part of my morning and evening routine and I love the balance it provides.
    • Counter+ Overnight Resurfacing Peel: there's no peeling happening, only serious hydration. I use this every other night between serums and moisturizers and it's just love. When I wake up, my skin is so hydrated and smooth - this has been a total game changer to me.
    • Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum: Used on the nights I don't use the overnight peel. This does a good job of softening lines and evening out your skin tone. 
    • Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream: a little goes a long way with this, it's going to last you! I love it as the last step before bedtime - it's thick and luxurious and awesome.
    • Countermatch Adaptive Moisturizing Lotion: I use this as my morning moisturizer and it's so light and easy to use under makeup.
    So you know, you can purchase the whole Countertime Collection at a discounted price when you buy the whole set!

    • The Flawless in Five is the way to go. Right now if you buy one you get a free retractable foundation brush which looks heavenly. This is provided to you at a discounted rate and has you ready to roll on those stressful mornings.
    • Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer: I wear this daily. It's lightweight and contains SPF so it's easy to throw on under bronzer for early mornings at preschool drop off or the gym. I wear the second shade.
    • Radiant All Over Bronzer: I've always been a little heavy handed with my bronzer but I love this one! I always get compliments on looking tan and frankly... I'm not. I wear the dune shade.
    • The Velvet Eye Shadow Palette is a great replacement of the Naked Palette (which isn't clean). It's so awesome and I wear this really any time I'm putting eye shadow on.
    • Kids Bath Collection: I genuinely love the smell of these products, they're sharp-looking, and don't you want to be absolutely positive there isn't anything bad in your kids' bath products? Easy peasy, plus a great gift.
    • Baby Bundle Collection: another great gift. I plan on giving this to any friends who give birth in the future - such an easy thing and again, you know it's safe. The guesswork is gone.
    • If you plan on buying a lot of Beautycounter products the Band of Beauty Membership is super worth it for you. For $29, you get a free gift (usually worth more than it costs to join! Currently it's the melting body butter which I put on my elbows and hands EVERY night during the winter!), and a year of free shipping on orders over $100, as well as 10% back in product credit. You will NOT be automatically charged or have recurring billing - this isn't that type of membership and there's no funny business.
    So that's that! I hope I did a good job of explaining what my absolutely critical products are and why I decided to hop on board with Beautycounter as a Consultant. Feel free to order through my link (make sure it says you're shopping with Molly Knorr!), and if you have any questions, email me or DM me on Instagram. I am so happy to help you!
    Molly Knorr
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    Rug Roundup

    Rugs are one of my favorite ways to add color to a home. I love that I can paint our walls white and then zhush everything up with a bold rug or something that really ties the furniture all together! I got a few requests to share rugs I'm loving right now, so I set out to find rugs at different price ranges and styles that caught my eye. Many of these are in our home, so I'll note those and can speak to the quality as well.

    You may recognize this from our Living Room. I absolutely love this rug - it's made of different denim shades and doesn't really shed. It's not the easiest to vacuum - you're supposed to use a lighter setting, but I've found I've had no problems getting any crumbs up doing that.

    My newest purchase and a definite budget steal! I scooped this for the office but I'm now feeling like it needs to go in Gerogia's room. I love the pop of color from our breakfast room though! We'll see what happens when I get to finishing up the office. It's nice and thick and does shed a little.

    This is under our kitchen table right now. It's definitely bright and fun and I get a lot of requests for links to it. Another budget-friendly buy, I love that there are many different colors to play off of. Since our barstools are black & white, my hope is to bring more black into the design of our kitchen and this goes well with that. Hunting for a black and white runner that meshes well with this rug!

    If I could fill the house with vintage rugs, I would. They're so pricey and generally, I feel like my kids would destroy them. Allegedly, they only get better with age and wear and tear. One of a kind! Maybe this is the year I take the plunge - this one is super awesome, from one of my favorite unique places to shop for home goods.

    Another budget buy, this would look awesome in a kitchen or master bath! I'm not huge on red in my home, but this is such a great bold color and design!

    This rug is perfect for a nursery or a calm bedroom. Love the easy colors and would be simple to match with greys and whites or other pops of a deeper navy.

    I honestly can't remember when I purchased this rug but we've had it for years. It's too small in our bedroom but I know I'll find a new home for it. The colors are so bold and great! Still getting messages about it after all these years and I'm happy to see Lulu & Georgia picked it up too.

    I have some variation of this rug in front of our front door. I grabbed it at HomeGoods but it's so fun and unique! The tassels really make it awesome and boho!

    Last but not least - this rug is in our dining room. I wanted to keep the dining room a little more simple in hopes of going bold in the wallpaper department. I'm still waiting to purchase that wallpaper (...... I need to finish this!), but this rug has been awesome. It doesn't vacuum all that easily but it's the perfect size and weight. Little to no shedding, and man - look at that price!
    Molly Knorr
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    Peloton Treadmill Review and a Quick Workout

    We purchased our former treadmill a few years ago off of Amazon. We didn't really know how much use it would get and it was really just at the beginning of our home gym adventure, obviously not knowing just how much time Jeff would spend down there and how much more we would add... eventually (kind of joking but kind of not) building a new home around this gym so the ceilings would be high enough to get his rig in the basement. SO, it was by no means a top of the line treadmill but it did the job! That treadmill got me through a lot of half marathon training sessions and a lot of HIIT runs! All that to say, we found ourselves trying to tighten it more often than not when we were ready to use it and it was time for a new one.

    We had been watching the Peloton ads and given the awesome financing it just seemed too good to pass up. The studio I work at has amazing Woodway treads that just feel amazing on your knees and we were hoping to get a treadmill with slats just like those. Generally speaking, this Peloton treadmill feels very similar to the treadmills at my studio. I am of course still partial to the in-person classes but I really love the Peloton programming so far, too. As studios get crowded in the early months of the year it will definitely come in handy and I've found myself squeezing in some of the shorter workouts when I don't have time to get into a full class. The stretching and yoga on Peloton has been a happy surprise. They encourage a warm-up before each run but there's always a little warm-up on the runs as well, and I love that once you finish, it typically prompts you with a quick 5-minute stretch or yoga cool down - as a person that loves my workout to be OVER and typically skips a stretch much to my muscles' chagrin, this is a huge win. I find myself doing them more often than not.

    Suffice it to say, we've had the treadmill about a month now, and we're loving it. It's super user friendly and looks like it will stand the test of time as well as any treadmill. There's a great warranty available and our set-up and delivery was perfect. I have a personal referral code here - you can save $100 on accessories like dumbbells or a pair of riding shoes if you're looking at the bike!

    I recently asked on Instagram what you're looking to see on the blog in 2020, and one of the requests was more 30-minute workouts! I pulled this tread work from Pinterest to be honest but it's a workout I would definitely program for myself. As always, please consult a doctor before working out or pushing yourself too far. I'm not a doctor. Do your due diligence please! Here's a 20 minute run paired with a 10 minute floor work - you'll only need a set of dumbbells. You can always use soup cans if you don't have dumbbells at home, but my biggest thing is just getting up to MOVE! I know my mental state suffers so much when I don't find time to sweat a little bit.

    Molly Knorr
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    My Favorite Things: 2019

    I feel like most bloggers probably put this together before the end of the year, but it literally just popped into my head the other day and I felt like I wanted to share it. That's the thing about me and blogging... I need to just share here and there and maybe someone will find something that brightens their day.

    Left to right, top to bottom, here are the things that made my 2019 a little better:

    I can't recall when I first got a pair of their trainers, but they are definitely my favorite cross-training shoe. The fun colors sell out near-immediately, but if you're on top of their releases you can get something fun. This year, I tried their runners and I absolutely love them too. For one of the workouts I coach, BodyLab, there's a ton of running with a ton of CrossFit style floorwork (minus the barbell), so a CrossFit running shoe really fits the mold perfectly. They run true to size and are generally awesome.

    Nothing revolutionary here but I loved the graphic tee trend this year. Chaser makes super soft and fun tees that rival the pricier BING tops and bonus: these are sold at Pure Barre Mt. Lebanon, so if you're local, you should check them out. I pair with a fun leopard skirt and the next denim jacket on our trip to Charleston and it was a hit.

    This is one of the things Jeff and I differ on. I can understand why he doesn't get why I'd want to wear a huge denim jacket but my goodness are these comfortable, great for layering, and perfect for airplane travel. So cozy and versatile.

    Great for the short-legged girl like me, I love these with a high heel and a tucked in top! So comfortable and slimming. These J.Crew options were a personal favorite through the year.

    I have another blog post planned about my entire Beautycounter past - but this year I rediscovered this line in particular and it blew my mind. My skin is definitely in a much, much better place than it was this time last year and I continue to be blown away, so much so, I started selling it. If you have questions, email me - I'd love to help you!

    I scooped this after grabbing an inexpensive bag from Target that was missing a strap and I genuinely get more compliments on this than I have any bag I spent actual money on (though I should probably invest in a nice bag soon).

    Sweatshirt and Sweatpant Sets | Top | Bottom
    I'm appreciative of the fact that loungewear sets really hit their stride this year. Again, Sundry brand is usually available at Pure Barre and they make the softest, most amazing sets. Aerie has some great ones too! 

    I really wish I could quit these and I didn't even add any new ones to my collection this year, but I wear my existing sneaks almost every day. If I was to add to my collection... this would be my next pair.

    Again, nothing monumental here, but I recently lost my black pair of these behind a drawer and it threw off my whole week. That's how you know you're addicted to a pair of black leggings. These allow you to get super sweaty and not feel super disgusting, so I'll take it!

    I love that you can toss on the most simple outfit and then throw one of these (super cheap) headbands in and you immediately look like you tried.

    I use this most days. If you have a kid or a dog, it's worth the investment. We actually installed an outlet in our front closet specifically for this bad boy.

    Again, nothing remarkable here. But I think these give me and Georgia a little extra leeway as it pertains to dirty hair. That way neither of us require nightly blowouts!

    I got it in my head like last week that I wanted a long sherpa jacket but given the trendiness of the item I really didn't want to break the bank. I checked on Amazon and found this and while I wouldn't call it heavy enough to be a coat, it's an awesome cardigan on more moderately cool days. The color is fun too.

    I bought a few of these over the course of the last year and they've easily become my favorite workout tank. They're lightweight and stretchy and great for those with a smaller chest. Perfect with a high-waisted legging. Tons of Beyond Yoga at Pure Barre Mt. Lebanon!

    Forever including paper goods in my lists. I love a to-do list. I tend to over list and then ultimately disappoint myself but this is a happy notepad that makes things fun! Rifle Paper Co will forever be one of my favorites.

    So there you have it, what's your #1 favorite item from 2019? I'm sure I'm forgetting a few!!
    Molly Knorr
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