Too Busy to Work Out? Not Anymore…

Nowadays we are all so busy… am I right?? I don’t even know what I do all day and yet somehow it flies by. Inevitably I am left with a big pile of laundry to fold and dishes to clean, among a hundred other things still remaining on my to-do list by the time the day is over. How can we be so busy and still feel like we never get anything done?

Anywho, now that Miss A is crawling (oh yes, it’s true!) I am left with even less time. I can’t just put her in her rock n play with some toys and expect her to entertain herself anymore. We are entering a whole new stage where she is like a tiny little person, not just a baby doll. I love it but it makes for even crazier days! And when she starts walking – look out world! This curious, independent munchkin is going to get into everything!

All that to say, working out is getting more and more challenging. I joined a gym but the past few times I took Ainsley to the childcare room she got sick. We have so many travel plans coming up that baby girl must stay healthy. And then there’s running (a term I use loosely)… some days sure, it’s an option. But other days, like last week when we hit 97 degree temps, you couldn’t pay me to go outside for more than 10 minutes, let alone run. So sometimes it’s helpful to have another option. Because not working out is not one.

So I discovered this awesome website called Fitness Blender. Do you guys know about this yet? If it’s old news, I apologize, but this is brand new to me and I love it! This website has tons – I mean TONS – of free – yes FREE – full length workouts led by two personal trainers (they are married and adorable by the way). The workouts are smart, effective, they come in all different lengths and difficulty levels. You can search for a workout based on the body part you want to focus on, the amount of time you have, how difficult you want the workout to be, whether you want to use specific equipment and other various factors. Here is what I love about these videos:

  • If I only have 10 minutes to exercise, I can still get a challenging routine in.
  • If I don’t feel like pulling out my dumbbells, I can still do an effective body weight video.
  • I love the variety. You can go weeks without doing the same video twice.
  • There is a calorie counter on each video which provides a range of how many calories you are burning.
  • On the upper left corner of the screen there is a demonstration of the next exercise you will be doing so you are always prepared. The trainers also describe each exercise in detail along with proper technique for safety.
  • The trainers are really motivating. They are not over-the-top like those 80’s aerobics instructors. They are down to earth and really try to challenge you to get the best results possible.
  • Oh and did I mention it is FREE??

I could go on… I love these videos!

Okay, I will stop now. But you should really check them out. Seriously. They are awesome. And I am in no way associated with this site or these trainers. This is simply my own two cents, promise!

23 Helpful Diagrams for Moms-to-Be from Buzzfeed

As most of you know, I am clueless when it comes to pregnancy but even more so when it comes to be a mom. I am terrified to be home alone with this tiny person next fall and have no idea what to do with it! (Case in point – “it”)! I am trying to soak in as much knowledge as possible but, not gonna lie, it is a little overwhelming to think about what a major life change this is going to be!

My friend sent me this Buzzfeed article with 23 Incredibly Helpful Diagrams For Moms-To Be… they range from pregnancy to toddler-hood and are awesome because they are bite-sized chunks of info. I have this bookmarked and I encourage you to as well if you are as much of a nincompoop as I am when it comes to being a mom!

Here is an example: Swadling. Do check it out these diagrams for yourself!!
swaddle baby

In other news, Still Being Molly, one of my favorite blogs has teamed up with Lipgloss and Crayons for a Linkup today! Go check it out and join the party!!




Words to live by…

My good friend Tiffany Ashley, of Delightfully Chic, shared some words of wisdom on her blog today and I think it is a great reminder to us all!

Check it out!

Quote of the Week

The sad fact about New Year’s Resolutions and how to actually keep them this year

It’s 2013!!

Studies show that 50% of people abandon their New year’s Resolutions after only three months. It shows too. The gym is always way more crowded in January, have you noticed? Come February, there are a few less people, in March even fewer and by April or so, parking spots are easier to find and there is no line for the cardio machines.

According to, here are some of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions year after year:

  • Drink less alcohol
  • Eat healthy food
  • Get a better job
  • Save money
  • Take a trip
  • Manage debt
  • Manage Stress

Why do you think New Year’s Resolutions are so hard to keep? Here’s what I think tends to be the case:

  • They are not specific enough. Look at the above resolutions. When I read “eat healthy food” about a million questions scream out at me. What kind of healthy food? How much and how often? Are you still going to allow yourself cheat days? The list continues. Without clearly defined goals and a clearly defined time frame for accomplishing them, it is really easy to go through the motions and avoid committing.
  • They are not measurable. How do you know if you’ve accomplished stress-management? Is it based on physical symptoms such as no neck tension/headaches throughout the week? Is it based on your ability to fall asleep when your head hits the pillow at night, instead of tossing and turning for an hour? Do you commit to seeing a counselor for six weeks and reevaluate after that? How do you know if you are on the right track?
  • They are missing the end goal. Without a clear purpose, when the going gets tough, there will be no reason to keep going. It’s no secret I’m a fan of The Biggest Loser and (**Spoiler alert!) TC, the guy who left the show last Sunday was able to lose 40 pounds at home, after just one week at The Ranch. He accomplished this because he had a clear sense of purpose. Two years prior while driving with his son, they got rear-ended. TC’s seat broke, likely due to his weight, and crashed into his son who was sitting right behind him, causing multiple serious injuries. This reality check for TC propelled him toward a commitment to being a healthier, more active father and avoiding anything in the future where his weight could cause harm to someone he loves. You must have a compelling reason to commit to your New Year’s Resolutions or it will be easy to blow them off when times get tough.
  • There is no mention of accountability. Most of us simply don’t have the self-control to achieve difficult things on our own. We would rather quit than be uncomfortable.  Surround yourself with a trusted support system so that once the initial excitement of starting something new wears off, you have people around to remind you of your purpose and be your cheerleader!
Any goal, whether set on January 1st or not, is going to be challenging to meet. That is the nature of goals, especially when they have to do with accomplishing things we have been struggling with or putting off. So expect it to be hard. But, expect it to be worth it!!

Eating out with no regrets

Eating out is one of my biggest weaknesses. I love to cook but there is just something different about being at a restaurant. The variety on the menu, date nights with my hubby or a long, relaxing evening out with friends… it’s more of an experience than just a regular ol’ meal.

The problem though is, it’s not as beneficial for the waistline (or the pocketbook for that matter). How do we stick to our healthy diets while at the same time experiencing all of the fun elements of being “out”?

Rachel Beller is a Registered Dietician and Founder of the Beller Nutritional Institute in Beverly Hills, CA. (She is also the nutritional consultant on The Biggest Loser). Beller offers some awesome tips on her website so that we when we dine out we don’t negate all of the hard work we’re putting in to stay in shape.

Here are a few examples:

Don’t be lured by the bread-and-oil appetizers – two pieces of bread dipped in two tablespoons of oil adds almost 400 calories to your meal!

Okay so I figured the bread and oil appetizers weren’t the best but this surprised me…

Just a 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds on your salad can add the calories of a slice of pepperoni pizza.

She also says this about Italian dressing, which many of us use as a substitute for ranch:

If you thought you were safe with Italian dressing, think again. Two ladles contain enough fat and calories to fill in for a slice of pecan pie. Even balsamic vinaigrette can go horribly wrong. With all that oil, it can add 360 calories and 32 grams of fat to your salad – the same as an entire fried chicken breast.

Check out her 10 Healthy, Figure-Friendly Tips for Dining Out , Salad Shockers and Dining Around the Corner or Around the World.

Just because we’re trying to stay healthy doesn’t mean we have to stop having fun! Eat out, have fun and if you utilize some of Beller’s tips, you won’t regret it later!!


One last Christmas gift idea!

Earlier this week I mentioned that my favorite gifts are the ones that support a worthy cause while simultaneously being absolutely fabulous on their own. (For example: Delightfully Chic, the jewelry of 31Bits and Punjammies)! Well today I want to introduce my other favorite category of gifts which is the kind that feels unique and special to each person who receives it, because it was created especially for them.

So… introducing… Design-Her Gals!

I love Design-Her Gals because the products are personal, useful and so adorable.

Years ago in a previous job, I had a boss who really went all-out when it came to gift giving, and she came up with something especially fun. She had disovered a company called Design-Her Gals and made me a personalized Christmas gift off their website. (I think she had seen the site featured on one of Oprah’s Ultimate Favorite Things episodes, which is always a great place to get gift ideas by the way).

Here’s how Design-Her Gals works:

When you go on the site, click “Get Started” and you are taken to a dressing room. There you will see six different kinds of people – gals of varying body types, including one who is preggers, a kid and even a man. Choose the type that most closely matches the person you are making the gift for. Then you specifically choose each aspect of that friend or family member’s appearance, including such details as eye color, hair style, outfit and accessories.

After you have saved your guy or gal, start shopping and find the perfect product to place him/her on. Back when I first used the program, the only options were notepads and other types of stationary. I used the site to make bridal shower invitations and recipe cards for a good friend who was getting married. When I checked back in last month after having not been on the site for years, I discovered bunches of new products, from water bottles, to mugs, ornaments, bags and more!

Right now all stationary and paper products are 39% off too so if you’re going get something, now’s the time!

Here is an example of the notecards that I pulled off Oprah’s website from when she featured Design-Her Gals in the 2006 issue of O Magazine:

Go to Design-Her Gals and have fun creating personalized gifts for your loved ones!

Day 21 – BIG changes!

Today is the last day of small changes = BIG results! I hope you enjoyed it. Let’s review a few of the exercises and topics discussed throughout the series.

Do try these at home:

* Be silent for two minutes a day.
* Take breaks.
* Wake up an hour earlier to get more done.
*  Evaluate your level of satisfaction in 4 key areas: physical, spiritual, intellectual and relational.
* Read!

5 small tips to produce BIG change:

5. Be intentional! Sometimes inspiration just shows up. For my husband that happens a lot in nature. He’ll be outside, amongst the ocean or the trees and sense the presence of God. Other times, it doesn’t come so easy and we have to be intentional about it. What inspires you?

4. Start small, be consistent and build momentum. Work on one small habit until it becomes a part of your everyday life. Then build. Don’t stop. Soon you’ll find yourself in a spiral of improved habits that keep moving you forward toward your goals!

3. Prioritize and learn to say “no”. You can’t do it all. No one can. So stop trying. Don’t do all the good things that are presented to you; focus on the GREAT!

2. Begin to understand personality dynamics and how they relate to your relationships. Start with yourself. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What about youu spouse, coworkers, friends? How do the varying personality types interact with one another?

1. Be grateful.
“Be thankful for what you have and you will end up having more. But if you concentrate on what you don’t have, you’ll never, ever have enough.”

Oprah Winfrey
See you soon for the new series!

Day 20 – P Cubed

Today I’m going to focus on a three-part change: pray, plan, be patient. Together, these equal one BIG result.

I just started reading a book called “Visioneering” by Andy Stanley, the pastor of a huge church in Georgia called North Point Community Church. This book has been recommended to me a number of times by some friends who claim it is “amazing”, “inspiring” and their “favorite book.” These are some serious claims and as I’ve heard this now from more than one person I finally decided to check it out.

I love it when a book really speaks to where you are at the moment you are reading it. This happened yesterday and what’s especially fascinating is the fact that I have been putting off reading the book for so long; I am not sure if I what I read would have resonated this much had I read it at a different point in my life.

Stanley begins by explaining about how a vision initially starts… as a concern. We may recognize something is wrong and become passionate about fixing it. Or we may feel a burden about a particular issue but not know how we can make an impact; just that we must, somehow, some way!

Once that vision is birthed within us, there is a waiting period. This is the part that resonated with me the most. I tend to be impatient about most things. When I get an idea about something, my instinct is to act now! My mind starts actively spinning in circles trying to get a handle on whatever incredible epiphany I have just had! However, what inevitably happens is that the timing won’t be right for whatever reason and my idea ends up fading away as yet another thought that was merely fleeting and not worth actually pursuing… or is it?

According to Stanley, whenever a vision crops up in our minds there is almost always going to be a waiting period where things need to fall into place before the vision can become reality. This waiting period can be frustrating and often times we just want to give up and assume our vision is just not meant to happen. He recommends during this time that we do two things: Pray and Plan.

Pray – Prayer fosters in us an expectant heart. When we are actively praying for something all of our senses are in tune to opportunity.

Plan – I love this because Stanley gives permission to plan for our vision as though it is definitely going to happen. That way our waiting period is not wasted but rather put to good use! He explains how he even created a vision statement and outline for a church long before he started North Point. He just knew that he would lead a church one day and while all of the details were falling into place he might as well begin preparing.

Patience – I have so many ideas of things I want to do in my life! My Bucket List consists of very few travel extravaganzas or daring adventures (aside from being on “The Amazing Race” one day)! Instead it mostly has to do with random ideas that have popped into my head through the years but for whatever reason, the timing wasn’t right. That’s where the patience comes in. Rather than giving up on our dreams, we wait… and plan… and pray… and wait some more… until the timing is just right.

See you tomorrow for the last day of the series!

Day 19 – E/I Follow Up

I read a blog post that I thought was a great follow up to the E/I post I wrote earlier in the series regarding Introverts and Extroverts. This pertains specifically to marriage but I think it has great application for any kind of close relationship. Check it out here.
Also here’s the link again to the Myer’s-Brigg site online in case you’re interested in finding out your own personality profile! The link I’ve provided will take you to a specific page addressing personality and relationships but the whole site has some great info!

Day 18 – Self-Evaluation

A stepping-stone can be a stumbling block if we can’t see it until after we have tripped over it.
Cullen Hightower (American Writer)


As I mentioned yesterday I’d like to end this series on small changes = BIG results with some exercises. They won’t take long to complete but they will get you thinking. Consider it a bit of life coaching on yourself!

Yesterday I went over a brief exercise to determine how you describe yourself in four keys areas of life: physical, relational, intellectual and spiritual. Today, we’re going to build on that.

In each of the above areas rate your satisfaction on a scale of 1-10.

How satisfied are you in terms of the intellectual aspects of your life? (This may relate to your job, your overall awareness of what’s going on in the world, intellectual pursuits such as classes and reading etc.).

What about your physical health and well-being? (Do you exercise and maintain a healthy diet? Are you trying to lose weight? Are you struggling with any chronic conditions or medical illnesses, etc.)?

What about relationally? (Are you able to keep up with the demands of your marriage, friendships and family? Are you feeling isolated? Overwhelmed with too many social commitments? How easy or difficult is it for you to maintain boundaries in your social life? etc.).

And finally, spiritually? (Are you pursuing your heart’s passions? Are you utilizing your gifts to make a difference in the lives of others? Are you attempting to learn more about God every day? Are you participating in any activities or disciplines to facilitate spiritual growth in your life)?

After you indicate your overall satisfaction with where you are now, write down 2-3 things you would like to do to challenge yourself to grow in each of the above areas.

Finally, rank each of the four areas in order of importance right now in your life. They are all important areas or we wouldn’t be spending time addressing each of them. However your overall satisfaction is going to be higher in some than others. That is natural depending on what your life looks like in this particular season. So which area(s) do you feel dissatisfied with at the moment?

Once you’ve ranked them, focus on the most important thing only for the next week. You will become overwhelmed if you try to tackle all of the areas at once. While these activities are simple, developing new habits and creating long-lasting change takes time. So be patient with yourself.

See you tomorrow!

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