Weekend Recap – Happy Birthday to Me

Hey guys! How was your weekend? Hope it was wonderful and your week is off to a great start. Despite a bit of a rocky start, the weekend was a great one over here.

Friday morning, it seemed that my dude’s cold was back. By the afternoon he seemed better, but his sister did not seem to be feeling her best. Fortunately, by Saturday we seemed to have all left the cold bugs behind and were able to get more back to normal. Fingers crossed everyone stays feeling good.

Saturday started with teaching class, followed by some hanging with the kiddos and trying to keep them entertained while the hubs tackled some house projects. I also snuck in a quick little at home workout of my own.

In the afternoon, my In-laws came over to hang out for a bit and help me kick off some birthday celebrations. They brought me this dreamy salad. It is one of my favorites from Beyond Bread.  It is packed with roasted turkey, blue cheese, cranberries and candied nuts, so good.

After hanging out for a bit, our kiddos went home with them to enjoy some grandparent time, while the hubs and I enjoyed some adult time. First up, we went to see Star Wars, which I was so excited to see! I have long been a big Star Wars nerd and really enjoyed the latest movie.

After the movie, we met up with some friends for drinks. I didn’t snag a single picture, but it was a great evening and I had a blast celebrating my birthday with such awesome people.

Sunday I slept in until the late hour of 6am (why can’t I ever sleep in) but did lounge in bed for an hour or so before actually getting up.

Sunday was my actual birthday, and I had requested a nice, relaxing day with my babies.

Turns out I got some extra relaxing in because the hubs gifted me a midday massage. It was glorious, I felt awesome afterward.

After my massage, we had a visit from my parents, Mexican food and of course, birthday desserts. The hubs had picked up a red velvet cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes (I love their frosting). My mom also made me a homemade lemon meringue pie. It was so, so good. I love a sweet/tart combo in desserts.

The rest of the day was spent watching movies and getting ready for the week. It was a great birthday weekend.

How was your weekend? Cake or pie (or both)?

Hope you have a great day!

Friday Favorites – 1st one of 2018!

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Happy Friday friends!  How has your week been?  It has had some highs and lows over here.  I felt great going into the New Year, and am super looking forward to this weekend.  But the back to the reality of this week was a little rough.  Work was crazy, we are still working on lots of stuff around the house.  Then the little guy got sick and shared his cooties with me.  I spent all of yesterday curled up and feeling sorry for myself.  Hopefully, that rest pays off and I am back to my normal self ASAP.

I am excited about the first Friday Favorites of the new year.  They are one of my favorite posts to put together and help me stay focused on the positives in life, rather than getting distracted by various stressors that pop up along the way.

The number one favorite for the week is that my little guy was feeling better quickly after his cold.  Being sick is never fun, and sick kiddos are the saddest.  So it is always ideal when the bugs move along quickly.

One thing that I enjoyed while resting up and trying to feel better myself was this Ginger Peach Sparkling water.  I picked this up at Target and it is definitely one of my new favorite sparkling water flavors.

I have also been loving these snackable chickpeas from Trader Joes.  They are the perfect snack when the craving for something crunchy and salty hits. If there is not a Trader Joe’s near you, Amazon also has them.

I have already mentioned it a couple times this week, but I am so into my new Instant Pot.  I have made oatmeal, beans, and chicken in it so far and am just amazed at how quick it is.  Also the clean up is easy peasy, win!  Though for whatever reason I can’t get it through my head that it is an “Instant” Pot, not an “Insta” Pot.  I have to correct myself every time I say it.

After seeing it mentioned in a comment on Ashley’s blog earlier this week, I went ahead and tried out unroll.me.  Guys, why didn’t I try it ages ago?!?  My email was completely out of control, but with unroll.me I was able to unsubscribe from literally dozens of email subscriptions that I did not need in like two minutes.  It was great, if your inbox also seems endless, you might want to check it out.

I really loved this post from Bucket List Tummy about weight gain, body image, and pregnancy.  I think this is such an important topic and I loved her take on things.

I am pretty excited to try out this detox soup from Running in a Skirt, it looks like such a comforting, nutrient-packed meal.

I learned about the Leave a Mark Auctions while visiting Shooting Stars Magazine.  It is an online auction of signed by the author or written in books where the proceeds are donated to a charity or person in need.  I think it is a great cause and as someone who has been known to fangirl out about a favorite book or author, a really cool auction where you might be able to score a new prized piece to add to your collection.

What are some of your favorites from the week?  Any big weekend plans?

Hope you have a great one!


Vegan Cherry Walnut Steel Cut Oats (Instant Pot Recipe)

This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure here.  Thank you for your support!

Hey!  Happy Friday eve.  How are you today?  I felt much more in my groove yesterday than I did on Tuesday, and the little guy seems to be feeling better.  Thank goodness for that!

So today, I wanted to share a quick recipe with you all.  As I mentioned, I got an Instant Pot for Christmas and am just loving it!  It streamlined my meal prep so much on Monday and I am having such a good time trying out new recipes with it.

I love steel cut oats, but they can take a minute to make on the stove.  They turn out great in the crockpot, but I am not always great about prepping and setting it the night before.  I had a hankering for oats the other day and whipped up this batch of deliciousness in a jif!  It cooked for exactly 3 minutes, and from prep start to finish was ready in about 10 minutes.


Vegan Cherry Walnut Steel Cut Oats

Makes 2 servings


Directions: Add all ingredients to Instant Pot.  Set for manual cook, 3 minutes.  Allow Instant Pot to do its thing.  Serve, top and enjoy.

Are you in an oatmeal fan?  Steel cut or Old Fashioned?  I like both, but prefer the chewy texture of steel cut.

Hope you have a great day!

Back to reality – What I Ate Wednesday

Hey, how are you today? Yesterday was my first day back to work since before Christmas and wowza, it was busy.  Towards the end of the day, my little guy also started feeling crummy.  It seems to be cold, so fingers crossed he is feeling better soon. Talk about getting back to reality.

On New Year’s Day, I did a ton of meal prep, so was pretty aware of my eats all day and remembered to take pictures of my food, so I thought a what I ate Wednesday was in order.

So this is what I ate on Monday, the very first day of 2018.

I started my day with a cup of coffee with collagen, ashwagandha and a splash of eggnog.

A short while later I had a bowl of black-eyed peas prepared with ham, onions and green peppers. Not the most traditional breakfast, but the hubs has gotten into the habit of making black-eyed peas for New Years Day. Eating them first thing is supposed to bring luck and prosperity in the new year, which I am all for! Also, they are delicious.

After a morning yoga class, and some park time with the family, it was time for lunch.  I had a black bean and cheese burrito with a little sour cream and a fair amount of hot sauce, leftover roasted broccoli and a side of pub mix.  I actually had to make a second burrito because I got about two bites into the one in the picture before the little miss claimed it as her own.  Apparently, she is a fan of hot sauce.

I needed a little break from cleaning and chores in the afternoon, so I made myself a quick smoothie with coffee, almond milk, half a banana, and chocolate protein powder.

While making dinner I snacked on some leftover rustic sourdough baguette from one of my favorite local places, Beyond Bread.

Dinner was a Cuban chicken bowl, which is one of the hubs favorite meals, and such super easy meal prep.  It includes jerk seasoned chicken, plantains, black beans, brown rice and mango salsa.  

I did not think to snap a picture, but I ended the day with a lovely cup of tea and some reading before bed.

Had any good eats recently?  Are you “back to reality” after the holidays yet?  It is always a kind of bumpy transition.  I am hoping today will be calmer and my little guy will be back to his usual, feeling good self soon.

Have a great day!

Happy New Year! Weekend Recap

Hey friends!  How was your New Year’s Eve and weekend?  Hope it was a great one and that your year is off to a wonderful start!  We had a pretty mellow one over here.  The weekend involved lots of family hang out time, cleaning, studying, and getting stuff done.  I love starting the new year with a clean house and a game plan.  I also tried out some recipes and new workouts, so expect to see some new ones on the blog soon.  Speaking of the blog, I am planning to move hosting sites this week.  I don’t think there will be any downtime or anything like that, but I thought I would mention it in case anything slows down or is a bit wonky for a moment.  This change will ideally allow me to do more here on the blog, and hopefully, have more fun stuff for you.

Since it was a pretty low-key weekend, there was not tons of photography that took place, but I have a few highlights to share.

Up first, lots of fitness classes! One of my goals with the extra holiday time off was to make it to more fitness classes.  Particularly the ones that I usually have a hard one squeezing in. From Friday to Monday, I got in a class a day, including an OTF class, two spin classes, and a yoga class, it was excellent.

On the home front, we did lots of cleaning, organizing and purging of old stuff. Including tons of shredding that I had been meaning to do for ages.  We also finally got around to boxing up and delivering some items we had wanted to donate. It felt so good to clear out some space and check some stuff off the old to-do list!

For New Year’s Eve we had an early sparkling cider toast with the cuties, then tucked them into bed at their normal bedtimes.   After they were asleep, the hubs and I enjoyed a surf and turf dinner and some champagne outside by the fire.

I was dozing on the couch by 10:15. While it was not the most eventful New Years Eve I have ever had, it was a perfectly cozy and happy evening with my loves.

New Year’s Day was super productive, which is always a win in my book. I took a great, sweaty yoga class at my favorite studio.

Then we spent the day as a family, playing at the park, and doing SO MANY chores. I also did tons of meal prep yesterday. I made stuff for jerk chicken bowls and roasted veggies for the week.  I also made some unpictured hard-boiled eggs and cherry walnut oatmeal (recipe coming soon) for breakfasts.

After all the indulgences of the holiday season I have found myself craving fruits, veggies and less rich foods so I am super excited to have healthy eats all ready to go for the week. I also feel like I could use a little break from all the sugary treats and drinks of the holidays, so for the month of January, I am planning to limit sweets and alcohol to once a week. I want to use this time to reset a little and focus on the healthy foods I love. But I like knowing I can have a goodie or a glass of wine if I really want it. Also, my birthday is this coming weekend, and what’s a birthday without cake!

So friends, how was your New Year’s Eve? Any resolutions or goals for the new year?

If you are looking for some workouts to get through the week, how about this treadmill workout or this burpee filled one.

Is becoming more of a morning person one of your New Year’s goals?   Check out my tips on becoming a morning person here.

Hope you have a great day!

Friday Favorites

Hey guys!  Can you believe we are entering the last weekend of 2017?!?  I can’t believe the year is already up.  2017 has been a year of a lot of personal growth for me and I am so, so grateful to you guys for being there with me.  Thank you for reading, commenting and mostly sharing life with me this year.  Hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and a beautiful start to 2018!

Now let’s talk favorites, in honor of it being the end of the year, I thought I would share the favorite posts on Pizza & Pull-Ups this year, as selected by the number of views.

The top Pizza & Pull-Ups posts this year were:

  1. Homemade Chocolate Coconut RX bars (these are tasty, but the pics are not great, I will try to reshoot this recipe soon).
  2. Stitch Fix Review
  3. From the yoga mat to brunch – New PrAna Gear

Thanks again for your support in 2017, if there is something you would like to see more of, please let me know!

In day-to-day life, I have been enjoying the following this week:

On Tuesday, I got to enjoy a zoo date with some of my favorite people. The babes and I met my mom and niece and enjoyed a beautiful day strolling and saying hi to the animals. We got to share the joys of giraffe feeding with my niece, and it seemed like all the animals were out and wanting to say hi.

I had an awesome friend date Wednesday night. We hit up a yoga class, and then she came over to catch up over wine and snacks. It was perfection.

I also got to enjoy a lunch date with my handsome hunk o’man, which is always such a nice treat. We met at Zinburger, which is a kind of fancy burger joint.  I had a veggie burger with guacamole and mozzarella, and he had a breakfast burger, which is topped with bacon, cheese, and a fried egg.

We also shared these green chile cheese fries, which are basically what spicy, gooey french fry dreams are made out of.  

Around the web:

I loved this post from Eating Bird Food on Becoming an Influencer.  I find it so inspiring to hear about how some of my favorite bloggers grew their blogs.

This list of top 2017 books has a little something for everyone, including a couple that I am looking forward to reading.

I had never heard of Fesenjan chicken, but this recipe looks amazing!

On the workout front I have been enjoying all the classes this week since I have been off work and able to make it to more. I have gotten in some awesome OTF classes, including a tornado style workout that kicked my booty. I took two yoga classes, including one with my all-time favorite instructor, and am planning to squeeze in a spin class this am.

What are some of your favorites from the past week?  From 2017?  Any big New Year plans?  I will be enjoying a cozy evening at home, but am planning to unplug a little for the holiday.  I will see you back on the blog on the 2nd.

Hope you have a great weekend and a Happy New Year!!!!!

Keeping your fitness motivation in 2018

Hey, hows it going? With the holidays and some time off this week, I feel like I keep losing track of the days.  I have about a million and one projects I am trying to get done while I am off of work and keep panicking thinking it is already Friday and I am not half as far as I thought I would be.  Needless to say, I was pleased to realize when I set down to write this post that it was only Wednesday night.   I am hoping today and tomorrow can be fun and productive days.

I have heard a few jokes around the gym recently about how crowded it will be for the month of January and it got me thinking about ongoing fitness motivation and making those resolutions stick.  I thought I would share a few things that help me keep my fitness motivation throughout the year.  While I definitely have areas I would like to improve on, overall I am a very goal-oriented person and am pretty good at sticking to goals.  Here are a few tips to help you stick to your fitness goals in the new year.

  1. Ease into it.  If you are not currently active, intense workouts six days a week is a recipe for burnout, or potentially an injury.  Start with more moderate exercise, about 3-5 days a week.  You can always add-on as your strength and endurance grows.img_3124
  2. Remember that everyone starts somewhere.  I was in a yoga class not too long ago, trying fruitlessly to kick myself up into an unassisted handstand and wondering how the lady next to me made it look so easy.  When the teacher read my mind and started talking about how those people with the effortless handstand got there by trying and trying and trying and growing in their practice.  Don’t give up, and don’t feel down if you can’t do what the lady next to you can, there was probably a time she couldn’t nail that handstand either.track
  3. Set measurable goals.  “I will workout more” is pretty subjective.  But I will workout 3 times a week, or I will run 12 miles a week are measurable goals.
  4. Don’t let a bad day, week, month derail you.  So work got busy and you missed a week of workouts, so what?  Just pick back up where you left off.  Life happens, but that doesn’t mean the work you have already put in doesn’t count and it doesn’t mean you have to give up on your goals.quote beyonce
  5. Pick activities you like.  I think about this at Orangetheory every time we are entering a higher intensity portion of the class and an instructor says something about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.  If you are doing something that pushes you, it can be uncomfortable.   If you hate the activity, to begin with, it’s going to be a tough sell to keep at it long-term, even if the results are good.  Pick an activity you like so the uncomfortable parts can be a fun challenge, rather than something that causes you to lose your motivation.
  6. Check-in with yourself.  When I set long-term goals, I will generally set check-in times to see how I am doing and reassess my approach.  For example, for my annual goals, I plan check-in points at 3 months, 6 months, and 9 months to see how I am doing.  I find that this helps me stay on track, or gives me an opportunity to re-motivate myself if I have gotten off course.  So for example, if you had planned to go running 3 times a week, but at 3 months you haven’t been in a month, it is time to reassess and/or re-motivate. Are you not really liking running?  If so, maybe try a new fitness activity, so that you are still getting the activity in with something you like.  Or if you love your runs, but have trouble getting motivated to go, maybe it is time to find a motivator.  Having a friend to workout with, a group or class that I have committed to, or even a podcast I am dying to listen to are all good motivators for me when I am having a hard time getting out the door for my workout.
  7. Reward yourself.  Acknowledge and reward the work you put into achieving your goals.  Maybe its a massage after sticking to your fitness routine for 3 months.  Or a cool new water bottle that fits perfectly in the bottle holder at spin class.  Maybe it’s a nice hot bath when you are feeling a little achy after a workout.  Maybe it’s acknowledging that your body needs a day of rest from time to time and letting yourself sleep in a little.  Choose a reward that you will look forward to and that fits your budget and lifestyle.img_3921

So friends, what are some of your fitness (or life) goals for next year?  How do you stay motivated?

Hope you have a great day!

2018 Bucket List

Hey guys, how are you today?  Do you make resolutions for the new year? Now that Christmas is over, my mind is focusing on the new year and what I want to it to look like.  I always write down goals for the new year, I used to call them resolutions but they are really more goals of things that I want to accomplish, maintain, etc. Instead of sharing the necessary but less exciting goals I set for work, finances, etc, I thought I’d focus on fun stuff for the year in this post.

I have had such a good time with my fall and holiday bucket lists this past year, that I decided to do one for the whole year as well.  I may still do seasonal ones, but I wanted one big one that encompasses things that I want to make happen over the course of the year.  I also got some family input, so that we could keep our family bucket list items in mind as well.

I love these lists because I feel like it keeps the idea in my head, so I am more likely to go do it.  Also, I really love crossing things off lists, so that might be part of it as well.

Personal bucket list items:

  1. Finish my personal trainer recertification (I am started on this, but I want to make sure I wrap it up well before my fall deadline).
  2. Attend a yoga retreat.  Whether it be an afternoon workshop or a full weekend retreat I want to spend some extended time on the mat.  I feel I get so much out of that extended practice and self-reflection.  hot yoga mess(I still eyeball this shirt every time I go into this particular studio, but haven’t gotten around to buying it yet).
  3. Speaking of yoga, I hope to get a lot more regular with both my yoga and meditation practice. I’d love to nail some new to me inversions in the next year and consistency is what is going to get me there. The meditation is just something I know helps to keep me calm and present, but I not great at sticking to it long-term.img_4482
  4. Another personal goal is to complete the Duolingo Spanish program.  I have been working my way through the Spanish Courses on Duolingo and am aiming to finish them in 2018. Then I’ll just need to build up the courage to start practicing my Spanish in real life.  The little miss kind of likes doing the lessons with me, so maybe this can also become more of a family thing.

Family bucket list items:

  1. “Bake cookies”  this one came from my little guy, who loved helping me with holiday baking and cookie decorating (and sneaking sprinkles).  I would expand this to more family baking in general, I love spending that time in the kitchen with my kiddos.img_2950
  2. Go to the beach.  Both the hubs and my little dude requested another beach excursion.  I am a pretty easy sell on visiting the beach so we will have to make that happen.img_3535
  3. For the hubs and I, go on more dates. Possibly a little just the two of us weekend getaway sometime this year as well if we can swing it.
  4. Speaking of dates, we are hoping to have more movie dates as a family. I love going to the movies (and eating movie theater popcorn) and the kids are starting to really enjoy movies (though I doubt we will luck into many more empty movie theaters).
  5. Step up our decorating game. Both in general and for the holidays. Decorating has never been my strong suit. I truly appreciate a well-decorated house, but just don’t put the time and energy into it. The kids love it though, so this year I want to focus on it more. I think we will all like it.
  6. Enjoy more arts and cultural experiences. We have taken the kids to a few musicals and they love them. I want to expose them more to the arts and cultural celebrations that happen in our area throughout the year.img_3348

Do you set goals or resolutions for the new year? What are you hoping to do in 2018? I would love to hear about your ideas!

Hope you have a great day!

Weekend/Christmas 2017 Recap

Hey! Nice to see you guys here today. How was your weekend and holiday? We had a great one that was pretty jam-packed with holiday-related activities. Instead of doing the usual full recap ( which would end up being quite the long post), I thought I would just share 5 highlights.

1. Catching up with an old friend. My friend Sarah has been in town for the holiday and I got to hang out with her both Friday and Saturday.  It was so nice to get to see her! There is nothing like spending quality time with a friend that has known you forever.

2. Winterhaven. On Friday evening we were fortunate enough to be able to have pizza with some friends from the kid’s school and then stroll Winterhaven. It was a lot of fun getting to know the other parents and the kids had a blast playing together. The actual strolling and looking at lights ended up being a little short-lived due to a tired little guy, but it was mostly great fun and there were some amazing light displays.

3. Cookie decorating. On Saturday we had some friends over to decorate cookies. It was a great time, and we ended up with plenty of cookies for Christmas festivities and to leave out for the big guy on Christmas Eve.   Also, frosted sugar cookies are one of my favorite holiday treats so I was more than happy to do a little taste testing.

4. Seeing Coco. On Christmas Eve, I got up early for a workout, then the hubs and I took the babies to see Coco. We went to the early bird showing at 8:50, and ended up being the only people there for the showing. It was amazing having the theater to ourselves.  I was especially grateful because I LOVED the movie but the kids got a little antsy towards the end. Since it was just us we were able to let them move around the theater a bit, but if there had been other people there we probably would have had to leave early.  I am super glad we were able to stay and watch the ending, that may or may not have made me cry.

5. All the Christmas celebrations! We spent Christmas Eve at my In-Laws and enjoyed dinner, presents and family time for most of the afternoon and early evening.   It was quite the feast of ham, ravioli, a beautiful salad and scalloped potatoes.  We then came home to leave cookies out for Santa and get the beans tucked into bed.

Christmas morning, we were up bright and early with the babies to see what Santa had brought and enjoyed some cinnamon rolls.


The babies were pretty pleased with their presents from Santa.  The little guy asked for a “big Lightning McQueen” that he could push around, and the little miss wanted a “snake and a candy cane.”  Santa delivered and we got to bask in the joy that was two very content little kiddos.

A little later in the morning, we had the grandparents (our parents) over for brunch.  We had tamales, more ham and lots of fruit, as well as a celebratory mimosa.  It as a nice leisurely morning of chatting, opening presents and watching the kids enjoy their new toys.

Later in the day, we went to my parent’s for dinner, then brought the babies home and got them tucked in nice and early.  They were pretty worn out from the all the festivities.

I was pretty spoiled by Santa as well!  I got a new Instant Pot, as well as some fun stuff and workout gear.   After the last few days of goodies galore, I am looking forward to making some healthy recipes in the Instant Pot and getting some good workouts in this week.

So friends, how was your holiday? What did you do to celebrate?  Or if you did not observe the holiday, how was your weekend?

If you have an Instant Pot, any recipes I should try?

Hope you have a great day!

Friday Favorites

This post contains affiliate and referral links, please see my disclosure here.  Thank you for your support!

Happy Fri-YAY! I cannot believe that Sunday is Christmas Eve! I feel like it totally snuck up on me this year. I will be doing lots of wrapping and preparing today!

How are you doing today? Are you all ready for Christmas?  I still have quite a few odds and ends to wrap up, but I have a plan and am feeling ready for the holiday.  It feels weird to still have stuff to do to get ready.  I am usually totally the type to finish shopping in November and be prepared in advance, but like I said, this year it snuck up on me.

While I am super excited about all of the holiday festivities coming up this weekend, let’s take a moment to reflect on what was great about this week before getting to the weekend.

First up, twinning with my best girl! We got matching PJs and I am soaking up all the dweeby fun before she is old enough to think it’s not cool to be twinning with Mom.

I also got my 2018 planner and am having a great time getting it started. I love setting up my new planner each year. I got this one, I love the layout but am a little worried about how it will hold up all year, usually I go with a spiral-bound style. Fingers crossed it holds up well.

I also had an awesome luncheon with my work team and got to enjoy this delicious meal at Pita Jungle. It is a spicy chicken wrap, with the actual wrap on the side. It cracked me up that they wrote out wrap on the side in hot sauce, also I like a lot of heat, so it was nice to have the extra hot sauce at the ready.

Now for favorites around the web:

As someone who can be pretty shy and awkward when meeting new people, this post on making small talk less awkward was just the little pep talk I needed.

This Thai soup from Confessions of a Mother Runner looks perfect for a cold, winter day.

I cannot wait to try these baked crab cake bites from Hungry Hobby.  I love crab cakes and these look perfect for a holiday appetizer.

Still have some baking to do?

How about my Healthier Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti, it makes a big batch, so perfect to have on hand for guests or friends stopping by for coffee.

These White chocolate peppermint cookies from Running in a Skirt look amazing.

As you may know, if you have been reading this blog for a minute, I love dabbling in homemade beauty products and gifts.  If you are looking for any last minute DIY gifts, check out some of these.

These DIY Gifts from Maureen Gets Real are so lovely and practical.

My Lavender lotion bars are easy peasy and make a portable and easy gift.

I regularly use Jojoba oil on my face, so this Jojoba Rosehip face oil sounds right up my alley.

What are you loving this week?  What are your holiday plans?  We have lots of festivities with friends and family the next few days and I am looking forward to enjoying the festivities.  The babies really get all the Christmas stuff this year and it is so fun to get to be part of their excitement.

Hope you have an absolutely wonderful weekend and Christmas!  I will be back to the blog on Tuesday, but will likely be popping in on Instagram before then.