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.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Thought Bubbles...

Keeping a journal has been so much fun...

For some reason I only want to write in red ink...

I have learned that my night time handwriting is completely different than my daytime handwriting...

Savannah had her first soccer game last weekend. It was very interesting to watch...

Notice that I didn't share our monthly menu this month? That's because I made a super lazy menu. No one needs lazy advice...

I'm on the hunt for sandals and black high top sneakers...

I actually found the sneakers. Just waiting to pull the trigger on that purchase...

My son is now shooting his basketball like a big boy. College may be paid for. One can only hope...

Last night I made a cabbage and shrimp Chinese dish that should've been a blog post...
My husband's fried chicken is better than mine...
The weather is finally changing for the better here. Sorry East Coast family...
Potty training is on the list of things I'm not looking forward to doing...
Going to the beach this summer is definitely on my list of things I am looking forward to...
Eating right is so hard. All I want in life is Chipotle w/ guac and french fries...
Exactly how many calories is a glass of wine...
A better question is how much do I have to workout to get rid of those calories...
My son is an expert climber....
I slept in the other morning and it looked like this...

We have a Spring and Summer full of family visits. I can't wait...

My husband is almost done with his grad school program. Practicum here we come!!!

That eBook I'm working on - It's almost ready to be sent to editing...

I wish I had discovered Barre classes a long time ago...

The other day it was raining when we pulled up to the house. I asked Savannah how she felt about walking in the rain. This is the look she gave me...

And yes, that is an old baby phat bubble coat from back when baby phat was a thing...

There are some things I just can't seem to get rid of...

I have also been loving the women's devotional I found...

A return to YouTube and BlogTalkRadio may be in order for the Summer...

Some of the best advice I get is found on Pinterest...

Share something with me in the comments!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Pure Barre: 10 Tips for Beginners & 5 Immediate Results

Okay. So as you might remember I attended my first Pure Barre class a few weeks ago. I instantly fell in love. Now that I've attended a good bit of classes I thought I'd share some tips for beginners and what results you can expect right away. (of course results will vary)

10 Pure Barre Tips for Beginners
1- Before attending your first class watch this video. I didn't find this gem until after my first class. My second class went so much better. When class is over ask questions about any movements you were unsure of. This will help you get the most out of your time in class.
2- Wear socks with sticky bottoms. Think of the socks they give out at the hospital. You want those. They'll have some available for purchase at the studio if you can't find them. Yoga pants/capris and tank tops seem to be the go-to look for class. Save your shorts for running.
3- Drink plenty of water before class. Being well hydrated will help with possible cramping in your arms, legs and core.
4- Remember that the smaller the movement the bigger the result. An inch is really an inch.
5- Embrace the shake (of your body) at the Barre.
6- Listen to your body. The instructor will give out modifications; use them if you need to.
7- Don't give up. Push yourself to stay with the workout.
8- Don't be late. Class starts on time and you don't want to miss the warm-up.
9- Bring a friend. Trying something new is always easier when you have familiar face with you.
10- Focus on yourself, your body and your fitness goals for 55 minutes. You'll be glad you did.

5 Immediate Results of Pure Barre (that I experienced)
1- After my first class I had an amazing mental shift. If you like the feeling of being challenged and pushed then you'll love Pure Barre. Like me, you will probably be addicted after your first class. Before Pure Barre I liked working out but now I must workout. I'm on a different level mentally than I was before with my fitness goals and workout regimen. 

2- It only took about three classes for me to start noticing that I was becoming more tone. My abs and "seat" are already feeling and looking so much better. My husband even mentioned that he could tell Pure Barre was agreeing with my body.

3- Becoming more flexible is another fitness goal of mine. During class you'll stretch yourself out a lot. My flexibility has improved since my first class. My nose is getting closer and closer to my knee.

4- I like to think that being apart of a class like this is a twofer. Not only do I get an amazing workout but I also get to have a sense of community that I can't say I had before. My schedule doesn't allow me to take the same class time every week but I do notice that many of the ladies know each other. I consider making new friends a huge benefit to taking this class or starting any new hobby.

5- My fit-esteem (a word I'm pretty that I just made up. so here's a definition. {fit * eh-steem} - the way one feels about his/her fitness goals. Ex. "My fit-esteem is so much better since starting my classes at Pure Barre. ) is so much better. Every time I make it through a class I feel so much better about myself and what I just accomplished. It's evidence that I am so much stronger (physically and mentally) than I ever gave myself credit for before. I have raised my own "Barre" and I know now that I am capable of doing so much more with my body.

pure barre student
my goal is to get on my highest tippy toe with that leg higher and straighter

I'm telling you if you haven't tried a class yet you're missing out. If you're in San Antonio the location here is super friendly. I've had several instructors and they have all been great. Is there a Pure Barre in your area? Have I convinced you to try a class yet?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

#OurProject52: In My Cup

Photographing food is hard. I had no idea until I tried to make last night's dinner look food blogger worthy. I kind of left our salmon in the oven a bit too long but it was still tasty. You wouldn't know it looking at this picture though.

I gave up soda and wine for Lent. I don't drink juice and I'm taking a bit of a break from tea so the only thing that's in my cup these days is good ole all natural h2O. 

salmon dinner with brussel sprouts

I can only drink water one way and that's ice cold. Lately I have been drinking about four or five twenty ounce bottles a day. I have noticed such a big difference in my body and my skin since upping my water intake. Soda and I may have finally broken up for good this time. 

The results I'm seeing have motivated me to keep knocking back bottle after bottle. Are you normally good about drinking water? What's your favorite thing to sip on these days?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Dreaming of Spring & Summer...

It's almost Spring. Thank goodness. Even though the winters here in Texas aren't that cold they are very rainy and dreary. I'm so ready for Spring and even the unbearably hot Summer that I know will be coming soon. 

I think my entire family is ready for a vacation. We're planning a trip back to the beach to kick our Summer off. I'm so ready. The pic below was taken when we went to the beach for Savannah's third birthday. We didn't exactly end up at the "right" beach but she was happy to see sand and water.

This time around we know exactly where to go. 

Another thing I love about the warmer weather months is all the cute clothes. I recently treated myself to some new Spring and Summer essentials. They haven't been delivered yet so I'll be stalking my mailman for the next few days. If you follow this blog it should come as no surprise that most of what I ordered was black or black/white. Maybe I'll share them in another post...

I do plan to get some colorful pieces too. I also need to find some flat black sandals that will be good for everyday. What are you most excited about doing this Spring and Summer?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mommy Guilt Wife Guilt

Lately I have been feeling super guilty about things and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I've been taking the time to pay attention to myself more than I did before. I've been going to new exercise classes, buying myself things and taking time during the day to focus on things that I want to do.

This has been tough and at times it has left me feeling a little guilty. Why do I feel bad about doing things for myself or taking a little time out to do things that I enjoy? It took me so long to get to a place where I actually feel okay doing things. It's been fun feeling like the old me again. I just didn't expect so much guilt to come along with it.

mom guilt

Now, this guilt hasn't kept me from doing anything that I want to do but carrying it around has been like a mosquito bite - annoying. Beating myself up for allowing myself to grow is a waste of emotion and it's draining. One night I was talking to my husband about wanting to take a 6am fitness class. I didn't want to go because that meant he would have to do the morning routine with the kids. I would be back to get Sav off to school but he would have to get her dressed, make breakfast and do her hair.

I actually considered not going to my fitness class because I didn't want him to have to do "all that". He told me to have fun at my class and not worry about them. He also made a point to tell me that I really need to start being okay with him being a bigger part of our routine.

His schedule with work and grad school keeps him so busy that it's just easier for me to have a routine that doesn't rely on his help. So whenever I do decide to let go of the reigns a little it doesn't come easy for me and I beat myself up about it...

I tell myself all the time, "He's been at work all day. I've been home. He shouldn't have to come home and...." My wifey guilt is real. I really do feel like he shouldn't have to clean, cook or get the kids ready for bed. When will he have a chance to decompress? I only mention this because I know if I  was working and he was a stay at home Dad I would feel like this. 

The unnecessary amount of pressure that I put on myself is ridiculous thou. I know many Moms can relate to this. I feel like I need to do it all. Even when I know I'm going to be away I try to do everything I can to make my husband's time with the kids easier. For some reason making sure they are squared away makes me feel better about leaving them. What I didn't realize is that doing this was making my husband feel like I didn't think he was up for the task. 

I let my guilt go too far. While I'm sure I won't be guilt-free overnight I think baby steps will help me rid myself of feeling this way. 

Do you ever have issues with Wifey guilt or Mommy guilt? How do you deal with it?