Monday, March 30, 2015

Fitness Tips for Busy Moms

One of the goals I had for 2015 was to get in better shape. Doesn't everyone have that goal every year though? It seems that way. Anyway, it's practically April and I have managed to make fitness a bigger part of my lifestyle. 

I went from occasionally going to the gym to wanting and needing to workout. If I go more than two days without a workout I start to get that gym itch. Mentally, I have transformed into a person that desires to exercise. That little attitude shift has done wonders for me. 

If you're a busy Mom like me and are looking for ways to become more active here are some things that have worked for me...

fitness tips for moms

1. Get a good stroller - I personally love my BOB stroller but any stroller made for jogging/running will work. Going for a walk or run is always a nice outing for the baby and a great way for you to burn calories.

2. Make a playlist filled with your favorite music - Put all your faves on a playlist. Grab your headphones and go. Music makes me want to dance a bit harder, walk a little longer and run faster. I also listen to music while I'm cleaning to help boost my heart rate a little.

3. Spend some time at the playground - I know we all take our kids to the playground but when was the last time you actually ran and played with them? Let me tell you, that is a good workout. You all will be so exhausted afterwards.

4. Make lunch easy with meal planning - I eat a salad for lunch almost everyday. It's easy to make. Its fast and it's healthy. Play around with different salads until you find one you love. Make sure you always have those things on hand to make lunch quick and healthy. 

5. Workout DVDs - DVDs are great to have as a plan B. Rainy days, sick kiddos or scheduling mix ups don't have to ruin your workout plans. Pop a DVD in while your baby is napping and get in as many minutes as you can. 

6. Drink plenty of water - It is recommended that we drink half of our weight in ounces of water everyday. Being well hydrated will help you make it through those tough workouts.

7. Snack healthy - As Moms, we are always on the go, keep some 100 calorie packs, nuts or a banana in your purse. 

8. Join a new fitness class - I have tried everything from yoga to pole dance to barre classes. As you know, I love barre class. Find a class that agrees with your body and where you are on your fitness journey. There are so many benefits to group fitness. I love the fact that the classes are led by instructors who know what they are doing. Once you become a fan of a class you'll quickly become a fan of working out in general.

9. Rest well - Quality sleep is so important. Get as much rest as possible.

10. Sneakers & Sports Bras - Either one of these will ruin your workout if they aren't good enough. Take some time to find the right fit in both.

11. Fitness Apps - Download a couple fitness apps. I really love the Nike Running app to track my walks and runs. The Nike Training Club app is full of workouts for all fitness levels. You can do them at home with little to no equipment. I also have the Pure Barre app on my phone. I can look at the class schedule and reserve my spot in class right from my iPhone.

Nike Running App

12.  Get some workout buddies - I don't have any workout buddies (which is why I love group fitness) but I do belong to a fantastic group of motivating women via the internet. Operation Snap Back® is a movement that inspires women to reach their fitness goals. Our next fitness challenge starts April 1st. We'll be using the Nike Training Club app to push ourselves to get lean, get tone and get strong. Join us. You'll be glad you did!

Operation Snap Back

13. Yoga ball, Yoga mat, dumb bells and fitness tube - These items are all you need for a good workout at home. The yoga ball even came with an instruction manual to help guide you through several different exercises. 

fitness equipment for home gym

14. Pinterest - Pinterest is full of workouts. Just type what you're looking for in the search and lots of options will come up. You can literally find anything. And it's free!

15. Vitamins - A good multivitamin is always a nice addition to your fitness, beauty and wellness regimen. 

I hope my tips inspire you to take your fitness routine to the next level. You can do it! Don't forget to join me over at Operation Snap Back® for this month's challenge. It's going to be fun!

Leave your fitness tips, comments or questions below! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

#OurProject52: Photographer's Choice

I missed the last couple weeks of Our Project 52. I think I'll do a separate post to catch up on the two weeks I missed. I really want to see this photo challenge all the way to the end.

The weather here has been so nice. We've been outside soaking up the sun and the beautiful Spring temps. The kids and I have been loving it. 

Savannah is all about tutus and dresses right now. She wants to wear them all the time. Here she is riding the bike she got for Christmas. Learning to ride a bike has been an interesting thing to watch. I guess it's a big deal going from a tricycle to a bigger bike. She only knows two speeds, super fast and super slow.

I can't wait to watch her become more comfortable up there. 

Our Project 52 is hosted by Mimi at Lipgloss & Binky and LaShawn from Everyday Eyecandy.

Monday, March 23, 2015

31 Before 32: Ebook Progress - It's DONE!

Y'all I am so excited to share that I am finally done with the writing phase of the eBook. I cannot believe it. It feels so good to be that much closer to accomplishing a goal that I've had for a while. I'll spend this week reading through the book and making some edits. There are some interactive elements that I need to test as well. I'll be sending it off to be read and edited by some folks too. Just the thought of someone reading it makes me nervous but I want to get some extra eyes on it before I apply for the copyright.

I'll be doing some fun things around here as we approach the release of my first eBook. Please make sure that you are following me on social media so that you don't miss out on any of the fun! Until then, here is another one of my favorite quotes from the book that really jumped out at me last night while working...

If there is anything that you want to do please go for it. Don't let being a Mom keep you from achieving your dreams. Allow being a Mother to be your main source of motivation. I know sometimes as Mothers and women we want to feel that we have a big support system. We want other people to co-sign on our ideas to validate that they are good or worth pursuing. I am here to tell you right now that sometimes as a woman and especially as a Mother there will be times where you have to encourage yourself. You will have to push yourself and go for those big dreams even when it seems that no one else is rooting for you.

People may not be aware of how important your dreams are. Make sure you tell them and then show them with your actions. We can do anything that we have the ambition to work for. I am encouraging all of you to reach for your biggest and greatest dream. They say if your dream doesn't scare you then it's not big enough. Let's make 2015 a scary year.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

31 Before 32: Pixie Cut Plans

Yesterday I spent the entire day in the bed feeling a little under the weather with Little Mike. He's sick too. I spent the whole day watching HGTV and eating saltine crackers. Not fun.

One of the perks of being on the sick and shut in list is you have plenty of time to roam the land of Pinterest. I must've seen a million haircuts. Millions. Apparently there is a pixie style out there for all of us. I haven't had a short haircut since 2006 (other than when I did the big chop for going natural in 2010). I'm looking forward to the change though. Honestly, I really need to cut my hair off and start over with growing it out.

A week ago I got crochet braids done. They were pretty but I got them done with kanekelon hair because those Youtube gurus had me thinking I could manage all that. I couldn't manage it. I called my braider back and she's going to give me some box braids this weekend. I plan to wear those and get my haircut after that. Just in time for the Texas triple digit heat summer weather that's coming.

Here are some of the styles I am gravitating towards...

Follow The Chic Stay at Home Mom's board Coily Ringlets on Pinterest.

I don't know how realistic this will be but I would love a cut that I could wear straight and naturally curly. Does anyone have experience with this? Point me in the direction of an IG or Youtube account if so. I'm one of those people that researches everything before pulling the trigger...

My phone is full of IG screen shots to show the lady that will be cutting my hair. It took me months to find someone that had a decent IG portfolio. I'll still be looking around just to make sure I have found the absolute best person for the job.

In the meantime I'm looking forward to having box braids one more time before summer hits.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cake By The Pound: Pound Cake Recipe

Saturday Savannah and I wanted to bake something yummy. We decided to bake a cheesecake. After doing lots of searching online I learned that it's best to use a springform pan. I don't have a springform pan and the only pan that my Walmart carried had mixed reviews.

I ended up finding a highly recommended pan on Amazon. We'll be trying a cheesecake soon. I decided to that a pound cake would be just as fun to make. Savannah was just happy to be in the kitchen so she didn't mind changing the plan up a bit.

I had my reservations about this cake. After searching for what looked like an easy recipe for hours I decided on this one from the southern food queen herself, Paula Deen.

The prep for this cake was super easy. I have a hand mixer (I really want a KitchenAid Mixer but I also really want pretty clothes, bag and shoes. The mixer loses every time.) which made it take a bit longer than I think it should have. 

The next time I make this cake I'll add just a wee bit more vanilla. It really was perfect though. It's Tuesday morning and there's maybe four slices of cake left. I really wanted to show you all a pretty plated slice with fruit but I would start eating and forget to snap a pic each time.

Cooking and baking reminds me so much of how I grew up eating big dinners at my Grandmother's house. Our family dinners would be filled with so much food and even more cakes and pies. I really want to become that for my kids. My Grandma made it look so easy. Everything was always so tasty.

We lost my Grandma back in November but her legacy and the way she lived her life will always be something that I hold so close to my heart. Whenever I am cooking I think of her and my Mom. It's one of the ways I try to carry on family traditions while living so far away from family. 

If you're new to baking like me give this recipe a try. What family traditions are you hoping to carry on for your family?

Monday, March 16, 2015

31 Before 32: Ebook Progress

Happy Monday! 

I'm so excited to share that my eBook is almost done. I am currently in the process of reading over it again (for like the millionth time) and figuring out if I should add one more chapter to it. 

Here is another one of my favorite quotes from the book...

The writing process has been so fun! Just know that whenever you do not see a new post from here that I am working on my eBook. It has been challenging to work on both but I do see the light (and the summer) at the end of the tunnel.

If you would like to receive a copy of my eBook before it is available to download please sign up for my newsletter by going here or you can use the form below. I promise not to flood your inbox. :-)

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bible Study: Genesis 2:18

I started my Bible study devotional. The book that I am using breaks up the readings into a five day approach that allows you to look at the scripture from five different perspectives. Today my reading was a reflection on Genesis 2:18, when God creates a helper for Adam.

Today's focus was all about our ideas of what a woman and wife should be. How do we feel about the word helper as it describes a wife's place in her husband's life. I thought the excerpt below was so good and I wanted to share it. I know I'm not the only one that will get something from it.

excerpt from The Women's Devotional Guide to the Bible

Confirmation is a beautiful thing. When we know that our feelings are okay and that what we are being called to do is not out of the realm of what God has called us to do everything feels a lot better. Its like a dark cloud has moved away and the sun is starting to shine through. 

Remember last week when I shared my feeling of guilt? Well, reading this devotional this morning has confirmed for me that it is absolutely okay for me to have "things"going on. And it is also okay for me to look to my husband for help too. We are equals and I need to see him as such. He can give a bath and read a bedtime story just as well as I can. 

Does this excerpt speak to anyone else? Feel free to pin and share it with the women in your life.

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