Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Easy Workout Plan for the busy holiday season

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CentrumFunFlavors #CollectiveBias

I’m a month out from completing my Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge and Whole30 eating plan and I’m noticing the lack of motivation, time and holiday social calendars are eating away at my healthy lifestyle! I’m on a mission to save myself from the holiday gains and get back on track! As a busy working mom, finding the time for workouts is normally after work and the ONLY way I make my workouts happen is having everything packed and being able to change at the gym. In order to meet my gym goal I pack a complete gym bag including my favorite essentials, post-workout snacks, and Centrum ® MultiGummies ®.

Here is what’s in my bag:

  1. Makeup – if I come from work the only thing I need to freshen up is my mascara and my lips, so red holiday lipstick and a good mascara is always in my bag
  2. Having the option for a shower – towel, cheap flip-flops, travel sized lotion, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deordorant, and make-up remover wipes
  3. Post workout snacks – as a holiday tip, never go to a party hungry…ever. Have options to fuel your body immediately after your workout even if you only get a 20 minute workout in, save the calories on something with clean protein than on those delicious looking holiday appetizers and desserts. I always carry a shaker bottle (I use this during my workout for water as well) with travel protein powder (budget saver is to not buy the packets, but to make a ziplock portion of your protein powder from home). I also carry raw almonds, Centrum ® MultiGummies ® and my favorite protein bars. 
  4. Hair – dry shampoo, brush, ponytail bands, holiday headband, bobby pins

Post-workout hair:
Rocking post-workout hair can be so on trend! Here are 4 stunning looks that are fast and super easy to do after a great sweat!

If I can’t find time for a full gym workout or time to get to the yoga studio, I complete a circuit at home or even at the playground if the weather is nice. My favorite no-equipment circuit workout you can do ANYWHERE and fit within the time constraints you have for the day. Do one round or five, this workout will be fun and energizing that will allow you to meet any holiday demand. Last night I did my full-body circuit along with my 12 days of Christmas ab sequence before I cuddled up and turned on the holiday music to decorate the Christmas tree. Here is my full-body and ab circuit:

Anywhere Full-Body Circuit:

  1. 5 minute run or jog-in-place
  2. 50 jump squats
  3. 50 crunches
  4. 50 push-ups (can modify to knees and incorporate diamond push-ups)
  5. 50 plyometric lunges
  6. 50 tricep dips (off a bench or you can do on ground with legs bent)
  7. 50 jumping jacks
  8. 50 donkey kicks (25 each leg)
  9. 50 standing knee to elbow (25 each side)
  10. 50 calf raises
  11. 50 (25 each side) leg side rasies
  12. 50 high knees
  13. 50 curtsy lunges (25 each side)
  14. 50 arm circles (25 front and 25 backwards)
  15. 1 minute plank

*Repeat as many times as you would like.


12 Days of Christmas Ab Sequence:
*So like the song you perform like a ladder – with one, then do two and one, then three, two and one, and keep building until you go all the way through the 12 movements.

  1. 1 15 second plank
  2. 2 super mans (lower back)
  3. 3 legs to ceiling
  4. 4 leg dips
  5. 5 knee-to-elbow crunches
  6. 6 cross crunches (knees bent and cross crunch 3 times to each side)
  7. 7 rollup full crunches
  8. 8 v-sit russian crunches (4 to each side)
  9. 9 reverse crunches
  10. 10 bicycle crunches (5 to each side)
  11. 11 straight leg crunches
  12. 12 regular crunches

Biggest tip is having fun and grabbing friends and family to motivate you during the holiday season. Put on a your favorite holiday movie and do your workout in front of the TV. Or plan a holiday meet-and-greet with your friends incorporating fitness…try a new dance class or yoga class and exchange gifts over a healthy post-meal or drink.

Lastly, if you can’t make a formal workout happen at all burn some calories on holiday adventures! You will burn some major calories speed walking the mall…so put on comfy shoes and get that holiday shopping tackled in just one trip! Walk your neighborhood at night and enjoy the beautiful lights and decorations that everyone has put up. Or take your time picking out the perfect tree, walk the aisles and make sure your find the best one. And my favorite, find a walking home or light tour. We just went to one last weekend and it got us right in the holiday spirit.

I found my Centrum ® MultiGummies ® at my local Walmat. Centrum ® MultiGummies ® contain three natural flavors: Berry, Cherry, and Orange. Centrum ® MultiGummies are gluten-free and have no artificial flavors or sweeteners. Oh and did I mention there is a fabulous coupon? Just follow this link to the coupons page and you are ready to go shopping. Centrum® MultiGummies® makes it easy for me to support my health while enjoying my busy lifestyle.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Budget Friendly Travel Essentials For A Toddler

Traveling with toddler? Hold on…it may be a bumpy ride, but these tips will surely help!

We have had two long trips the past five months. One
to Jamaica (long flight, long shuttle) and one to Tennessee and North Carolina
(extremely long car rides). Both trips were AMAZING and I thank it to
being prepped and able to entertain and feed our raging toddler. I was so excited
(and a little nervous) to go on these HUGE family adventures because the only real travel we had done before was when she younger and a 2 hour flight where we were staying with family who has
a similar aged child, so all the toys, diapers, snacks, accessories they had
readily available to us #lovepeoplewithbabies. But these trips,
we had to think of EVERYTHING! How do we keep her happy, us sane, and the
people around us happy??!!

After lots of blog reading I was ready to tackle
these packing excursions. So here it is, the best budget friendly way to
prepare for long travel with a toddler, but mainly it boils down to having lots
of toys, lots of food, and LOTS of patience.

Tip 1: Go to a Dollar Store, thrift store,
or discount market and get a bunch of small, new toys that your kid has never
seen before. You can also create some fabulous DIY toys that will keep them just
as entertained.

  • Here are some great examples of what I purchased
    at the Dollar Store:
    • Stickers
      (lots of them!) for the plane I also found gel stickers that could go on the window and tray table, which were so cool!! If your Dollar Store doesn’t have them, try these.
    • Crayons
      and coloring books
    • Little
      animal figurines
    • Matchbox
      cars
    • Play-Doh
      (not really car friendly, but this was great on plane tray table and at
      restaurants)
    • Slinky
    • Bouncy ball
    • Large
      lizard and mini pony that my daughter thought was amazing
  • I also found a couple of  interactive
    booksat HomeGoods that were lifesavers and showed her noises for
    transportation, so helped her understand.
  • Some DIY toys and engaging ideas that our little girl LOVES:
    • String
      and cheerios
    • Ice
      in a cup, totally free and weird, but this is the best (straw+cup+ice=toddler
      fascinated)
    • Take a old plastic container and make holes to be able to poke pipecleaners or pom-poms through
    • Peek-a-boo
      or iSpy with family or travel mates
    • Learn your nursery rhymes! Willie and I were a musicial choir on our car trips. Those songs are hidden in your memory somewhere…go ahead and tap into that brain!

Tip 2: My diaper bag included: diapers,
wipes, gallon sized Ziplocs (for toys or if a clothing accident occured), band aids, change of clothes, snacks and plastic
straws (more detail below), hand wipes/spray, toy/area wipes, waterproof bib,
sunscreen, and snacks (more below).

Tip 3: Pack sippy cups and plastic straws. I
carry plastic straws everywhere since I know she can have a drink anywhere I go without
the hassle of cleaning/finding my sippy cup.
Tip 4: Pack lots of different kinds of
snacks (familiar and new) in small zipper bags or containers. This saves you so much since you
don’t have to pay the upcharge within the airport or even at the hotels.
  • A nifty trick for plane entertainment, grab a daily pill boxfrom the Dollar Store and hide snacks inside. You can also do this trick with plastic Easter eggs.
  • For the car ride since we had more baggage
    ability, I bought lots of treats that she normally doesn’t get from
    the Dollar Store as a disraction and reward for good behavior. This bag of
    goodies on the long car ride was essential. What the magic of a Cheetos and
    M&Ms will do 🙂
  • For these longer trips I also brought a few easy
    meals in case of emergency.
    • Hartley
      loves granola bars and applesauce, have some in your diaper bag but also bring
      a box in your check-in for easy on-the-go meals.
    • These Annie’stravel pastas are wonderful to have for emergency meals. I put a few of
      these in our check-in bag to have at the hotel.

Tip 5: Make a plan with your partner and
family (if traveling together) about the expectations for the flight and daily
activities so everyone can enjoy the flight and vacation.

Tip 6: Take care of yourself or everyone
will be miserable. If you are hungry, thirsty, or unhappy, everything your
child does will be that much more annoying. I always pack snacks for us too. If
your husband is anything like mine, they get HANGRY real fast and there is
noooo turning back until they are satisfied. When I used to travel
internationally for work with long flight times, my favorite essentials were
protein bars, PB&J sandwiches, raw nuts, dried fruit, and a fresh banana or apple. I also always
have an empty water bottle to fill once I pass security so I don’t have to pay
the enormous upcharge for a water bottle at the airport stores.
Tip 7: If your child is soothed by a
pacifier, make sure you have it. Hartley would be devastated if her “B” didn’t
make the flight. We would be those parents running through the airport to find
one or borrow one I’m sure. For the chance of further discomfort from a cold or
earache, always pack a children’s pain/fever reducer.
Tip 8: Bring a baby carrier, wrap, or
backpack. We brought our Ergobaby and a stroller for the trip. Hartley prefers the
stroller, so that’s what we used most of the time and through the airport
(along with chasing her around to get some energy out).

Tip 9: For the Jamaica flight, we
checked our carseat at the boarding door, but if your child is small enough
just make sure your car seat is flight compliant. Checking a carseat is free on almost all airlines, so it really is just more of a necessary hassle than anything.

Tip 10: Bring the iPad if your other
distractions aren’t working. Hartley rarely watches TV but she is fascinated
with “Elmo” aka the iPad and will watch him for hours.

Tip 11: For our Jamaica destination we packed some
tropical essentials:
  • Bathing suits (a lot we’ve found at the thrift
    store for CHEAP)
  • Swim Shirt (these are bountiful at the
    thrift store)
  • Sun Hats and/or waterproof hat (again these are
    bountiful at the thrift store)
  • Puddle Jumper(found this at the thrift store,
    but we also saw at Costco for $15)
  • Sunscreen (Oxybenzone free) For Hartley we use
    The Honest Company Mineral Based Sunscreen and Arbonne’s sunscreen
  • Bug spray
Tip 12: The Jamaica hotel had a crib setup and most
have an option for play-n-pack, so just make sure you have that confirmed
before arrival (some may have applicable fees for this, so if you can carry a travel bed, that may be a good option). I also packed some crib stuffed animals, a nightlight, and her
sleep sheep just to make sure she was comfortable. Anything you can bring to
make sure they sleep on vacation is great!

Tip 13: We did not bring a travel highchair.
She does not care for the small fabric seats and just ate her meals on our laps
or next to the pool in a lounge chair (yes…already a diva). But if you are
going a lot of places that wouldn’t have a chair option or you prefer sitting
them in something, go ahead and pack it.

Tip 14: Find a way to exercise. When flying get to the airport a little early and find a non-crowded area to let your little one run and view the planes. Once safe in the air, you can also use the aisles to your advantage. As long as this isn’t a red eye flight and everyone is trying to sleep, everyone will get a smile out of your curious baby. For the car rides, take breaks. Stop and use the restroom, scenic spots, coffee, etc. These little stops can help extend their patience and also get a little energy out.

Tip 15: Smile, laugh and enjoy your vacation!!!

Do you have any great tips to share?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Our First Home

It’s a little bittersweet to say we have SOLD our first home.
I bought this home as a young 23 year old and never expected that 5 years later this would be the home that welcomed us home after an engagement, marriage, and our first child. This home was an effort of love and devotion that taught Willie and I so much about each other and I will always cherish the special moments we had living there. This home really craved the foundation of our marriage of building a beautiful home and family together and I hope it brings as much joy to the next family.
I’m so excited to start our next chapter and can’t wait to share some fabulous before and after photos from our new house, but for now, here are some of my favorite before/after shots of our amazing first home. Each picture I’ve made little comments of what we did to transform the space.
Entry:
paint, light fixture, banister stain, flooring
Kitchen:
wallpaper removal, paint, crown molding, light fixture, flooring,
appliances, grantie, stone backsplash
Kitchen/Breakfast Nook:
wallpaper removal, paint, crown molding, light fixture, flooring,
appliances, granite, stone backsplash

Dining Room:
paint, light fixture, flooring,
Dining Room (other view):
this is my beautiful chalk painted dining table

Guest Bath:
paint, light fixture, mirror, storage shelf, granite, new faucet, new vanity hardware

Main Floor Bath:
wallpaper removal, paint, crown molding, light fixture, mirror, granite,
new faucet, new vanity hardware, painted vanity, industrial pipe accents

Master Bathroom: 
paint, mirrors, granite, new faucet, new vanity hardware, painted vanity
Basement:
paint, recessed lighting, new carpet, theather equipment

Friday, September 18, 2015

OBX Faves!

YAY! Another successful trip to OBX complete!

As Hartley’s first beach trip, she was amazing! The toys and
bathtub we purchased from the thrift store were lifesavers. We set her up under
a big tent with towels underneath and either let her play there or in her bath
tub with some salt water (so she got the real beach experience J). We also got her to
take a nap every day, which was AWESOME! The little diva got to take her naps
with a little battery operated fan. Excited to see her next year running around
and splashing in the real waves.

Going down there always reminds me of the slower
paced life and the wonderful happy people who live down there. My favorite
spots that I ALWAYS have to visit are Front Porch Café, Outer Bean Juice and
Java and Déjà New. Front Porch Café has some amazing coffee and I’m always a
proud supporter of local coffee shops. Outer Bean Juice and Java and Déjà New
combine my two loves in just a few steps of one another…Outer Bean has great
coffee and amazing healthy food options while Déjà New has awesome reclaimed artistic
furniture. Outer Bean is possibly my favorite spot to have breakfast. We
visited multiple times on our recent trip, but my favorite morning was when
Willie and I strolled Hartley up and were able to get some coffee and enjoy the
morning breeze outside, then we went inside and ordered some breakfast. Willie
got a yummy smoked salmon bagel while I got their Healing smoothie. The Healing
smoothie is made with avocado, celery, ginger, banana, parsley, spinach, kale,
romaine, almond, walnuts flaxseed, hemp protein, chia seed with almond milk. It
is possibly the best and most healthy way to start off your day. Hartley loved
it too! I couldn’t even get a sip in because she wanted more and more. We also
always get a special treat…I mean we are on vacation…and split their delicious
homemade spiced apple cake….yummm! Go visit these amazing local OBX
businesses…you won’t be disappointed.