5 Ways to Be More Active During the Day

I have been very fitness focused as of the past year. I have been trying to workout more and watching what I eat. But I will admit, I go through phases and I get lazy. I slack a bit and then I feel like I’m starting over from scratch.

I am very fortunate to work people that are also health-conscious. Working with people that pay attention to what they are eating is a good motivator for me to do the same.

A few of my friends at work have been raving about Chobani; and a few have recently become obsessed with Chobani Simply 100 and Chobani Simply 100 Crunch.

ChobaniFree

About Chobani Simply 100

That’s why we created Chobani Simply 100®, a range of delicious, naturally sweetened Greek Yogurt products full of flavor and satisfaction for 100 calories. Made with only natural, non-GMO ingredients, Chobani Simply 100® is an ally in your weight management journey by empowering you to reach your goals in the right way.

I decided to pick up a few flavors of Chobani (with the help of the kids of course) and we have been really enjoying giving them a try.

We also decided to each add something to our daily routines to get a little bit healthier.

Simple things — like taking an extra 100 steps a day, eating 100 less calories, adding some or in the kids case — choosing to play outside for 100 extra minutes a week instead of watching TV.

I decided to include a quick workout or activity that would burn 100 extra calories each day.

chobani_100cal_old

The first few days were rough … but I’ve been liking adding in the quick workout in the mornings before I start my day.

I have also been trying to be more consciously active during the day. It’s not always easy, so I figured I’d share a few of the things I’ve been doing.

  1. Park a Little Bit Farther Away from the door. This is something that I always try to do, even in bad weather. I try to park in the back of the parking lot so that I can get some extra steps in on the way into and out of the store.
  2. Take the Stairs When it’s an Option! Always, always, always take the stairs. I know. It sucks taking the stairs when you are with kids or carrying packages. But the slight inconvenience is outweighed by the health benefits.
  3. Get up and Move. I know that this one seems pretty obvious, and I usually only need to remind myself of this on the weekend. But really, get up and move around. I know that I enjoy being lazy on Sunday just as much as the next gal, and mid Netflix binge is not really when I want to get up and do anything. BUT I also don’t want a butt the size of Texas, so I in between shows I get up and move. I pick up some dirty laundry, do the dishes, do some sets of squats, or even just pace around the room for 5-10 minutes. Just get moving!
  4. Buy a pedometer. This one is slightly different from the other tips as it includes a bit of an upfront cost, but it is worth it. Setting daily goals for your steps can help motivate you to move more each day. And it can help you track your activity so you know what times of day you need to be more mindful about what you are doing.
  5. Add in a Quick 100 Calorie Burning Workout. There are some super easy workout moves that you can do, that will only minutes, and will burn an extra 100 calories! Ready for it? Just do 50 jumping jacks, 40 crunches, 30 burpees, 20 squats, and 10 push ups.

Hopefully this inspires you to get moving and burn an extra 100 calories a day!

What do you do each day to be more active??? Tell me in the comments!

Starting Over

Starting over isn’t as easy as everyone makes it out to be. It’s actually really, really hard.

And I’ve been failing miserably at it for over a year now.

Sure, I have a new job. I’m a single mom with two kids doing the best that I can. I’ve been on a few dates, and I’ve tried to meet some new people. I’ve tried to forget the past and just focus on the future.

But I still live in a house that I shared with my husband. I still use the things that we purchased together on a daily basis. I walk through the rooms and I am bombarded with memories of both happy and sad times spent together here.

I suck at starting over because I suck at letting go.

I think that you have to be able to let go to start fresh. And I’m unable to do that for so many different reasons.

I can’t throw out all of my possessions and start over with new ones like I would like to. I just can’t afford it. And even if I could, I still live in a house that we shared and the memories of that wont go away unless I move — which I am not in a position to do right now.

See my dilemma?

And honestly — even if I could move and start over with all new things, my heart still holds on. There are so many things I still hope for, things that I know are impossible, but again — letting go is hard.

So what do you do? How do you just let go of things that you had your heart set on for so long?

I want to start over. I want 2016 to be a year where I really grow and where I’m really and truly happy.

I don’t want to be stuck like I was all last year.

I know what I need to really move on … I need real answers and real reasons and truthful conversations. I need closure that I just haven’t gotten yet.

So I guess that is where my head is at today….

A Better Way to Paint

My kids love to create. They are always drawing, coloring, building … and attempting to drag out any and every pot of paint we have in the house.

Now it’s not to say that I’m not okay with them painting, it’s just that I like to supervise the activity. Painting is so messy. Their clothes get dirty, the table turns into a mess, and whatever else they touch with paint on their hands ends up ruined by the time I find the paint spot.

Not any more.

When the opportunity arose to check out Kwik Stix, I was immediately interested.

kwik stix

A paint stick that dries in 90 seconds, doesn’t need water, and looks similar to a crayon so you don’t need paint brushes and the mess that comes along with them.

Count me in!!

When the paint sticks arrived, I couldn’t wait to open them.

They remind me of elementary school art class and drawing at my aunts house when I was little. Specifically of the cray-pas “crayons” that were available in both places. And these were my favorite things to draw with as a kid.

In short — these Kwik Stix are awesome. They are a very comfortable size for little hands to hold, and big hands just the same. The color goes on smoothly and I love that within a minute and half the picture is completely dry. The kids can hang up their work immediately or they can fold it up and mail it to a family member.

kiwkstix

The colors are bright and super vibrant. I really like that the tubes look like they will last for a long time. The kids have been drawing with them almost non stop since they arrived and we still have a lot left.

Storage is easy, and they are mess free enough that we can take them with us to use in the car or at gramma’s house.

All in all, the kids were super excited to get the okay to paint whenever they wanted, and I have been very happy with the severe decrease in mess.

Visit the Kwik Stix website to learn more!

Perfect Presents For Mother’s Day 2016

Mother’s Day is such an important celebration. It’s a handy reminder to appreciate Moms everywhere. Of course, they should be shown love and respect all year round! But it’s easy to forget how much your Mom has done for you and take her for granted. So many of us are guilty of that at some point in time or another. Not everyone is lucky enough to have their Mom around, and it’s something lots of people don’t think about until it’s too late. So spoil her. Show her how much you care. Make the whole day all about her, and make sure she knows how much you appreciate her this Mothering Sunday.

Screen Shot 2016-02-27 at 2.10.13 PM

Deciding what to buy as a gift for Mother’s day can be difficult. What do you buy the woman who has everything? Flowers and chocolates don’t show much thought or imagination, so how do you find the perfect present?

Get Creative

Instead of giving her a bouquet that will be consigned to the bin in a week, if she’s keen on flowers, why not take another approach? A floristry day course is ideal for the fans of flora and fauna. Let someone tell her what to do for a change! Learning new skills has so many benefits. She might even find she has a hidden talent.

Picture Perfect

Photos of your family are a lovely way to make lasting mementos of your memory. You can make some stunning arrangements without breaking the bank. Collages of your family are marvelous for remembering good times gone by. Snapfish has some excellent offers, and you can even get free prints! It’s not expensive to pick up pretty picture frames. Print off your favorite photographs of the kids and voila! ON a budget? This is still a thoughtful gift that doesn’t look cheap.

Gifts That Keep on Giving

Want to treat your Mom all year round? Why not buy her a subscription to something she loves? A pre-paid subscription for her favorite magazine will make sure she never misses an issue. Or perhaps she has a collection that she would love to add to. Atlas Editions specialize in a comprehensive series of collectible figures, ornaments and replica pieces. These delightful models are released on a month by month basis. They’re the gift that keeps on giving. Isn’t it always exciting to get a little treat in the post?

Time For Tea

If your Mom loves hot drinks like tea and coffee, why not buy her a personalized cup? You could even have her photo on it! Some Moms would hate that, so I think it’s best to stick to pictures of the Grandkids! A lot people hate having their photo taken and would hate to see their mug on a mug. There are some truly individual gift ideas at Simply Personalized. Personalized gifts are excellent, though, you can ensure that it is truly a unique gift for a special mother!

Give Her A Break
If there’s anything most Moms need, it’s a bit of time to themselves. Why not pamper your parent this year on Mother’s day? Cook her dinner, or take her out for a meal. Do the dishes. Run the hoover round. Do something that makes her life easier. She’s spent most of hers running around after you, so why not return the favor?

Falling in Love with My First Fix

I love fashion. I’m just not super fashion savvy. My wardrobe tends to be fairly boring.

Scrubs and tee shirts for work, yoga pants at home after work, and my version of dressing nicely on the weekends. This usually consists of my favorite skinny jeans, boots and a comfy dolman top. Nothing too fancy, but it works for me.

However, I want to expand my wardrobe a bit, and I want a few staples that can be dressed up a bit more than my comfy, soft shirts and oversized sweaters.

After searching around online a bit, and not really knowing what to pick out for myself, I decided to give Stitch Fix a try.

If you have never heard of Stitch Fix before, they are online personal shoppers. You fill out a style profile and your personal stylist picks out 5 items that she thinks you will love. They are delivered to your door with cards and tips telling you exactly how to style each piece and a pre-paid return envelope for anything you’re not crazy about.

You have three days to try everything on and figure out what you are keeping and what you want to return. If you decide to keep all 5 items, you get 25% off your purchase — which is a pretty sweet deal. There is a $20 styling fee that you put down when you schedule your fix, but that goes towards anything you buy.

I was a total cheater, and looked at what was coming in my fix as soon as I got the notification that it was on its way. I immediately fell in love with a few of the items just based on their pictures and it made me even more excited for them to arrive.

My fix showed up a day early, and as soon as I got home from work I tried everything on. Then I brought it all to my moms and made her take pictures of each outfit. She wasn’t super thrilled to take the pictures for me (she is not the greatest photographer) but she did really like each of the items and was just as excited as I was to check them out.

So — I got 5 items.  A pair of skinny jeans, an awesome denim jacket and 3 shirts.

dolman

I love, love, LOVE this exposed zipper dolman top. It looks super cute paired with the skinny jeans, and I have the perfect pair of booties to go with it. It’s just my style and I can picture myself wearing this top very frequently. This was the only item that didn’t have a picture in my preview online, so I was very pleasantly surprised by it.

cowl neck

I never wear cowl necks, and when I first saw the picture of this, I hated it. I figured that I would never in a million years like it, and I wondered if I would ever even try it on. It was the first thing I pulled out of the box and the subtle patter and fun texture immediately drew me in. It’s a super comfy top, and I think it would also look good with black leggings and a black tank under it (it’s a little bit see through).

jacket

This moto jacket is my new obsession. I’m literally obsessed with it. I just keep taking it out and looking at it. I LOVE it so much — it is going to be a constant staple in my wardrobe this spring. It can be dressed up or down, plus it’s super comfortable. I have some bright tops that are going to look perfect under this jacket. Did I mention I love it?!

stripe top

I loved this stripe top when I saw it online. I loved it when I first took it out of the box. Then I put it on and I hated it. However, the more I wore it, the more I liked it. I think I would like it better with gray jeans or with darker denim. It’s one that I’m honestly only getting because it ends up being “free” when I take the 25% discount into account. I do like it, but I really wanted to love it.

The jeans are the only other item that I am on the fence about. The style is perfect for me, and I love that the denim is soft and has a decent amount of stretch. I tend to be in between sizes, and they sent me the bigger size of the two. They fit okay, the length is perfect and I do really like how they fit in the thigh area, my only concern is how stretched out and big they would be in the waist after wearing them for a few hours.

All in all, I am beyond thrilled with this fix. I do plan on keeping everything as the $20 credit and 25% off really make it worth it.

I plan on scheduling another fix around my birthday next month, and I already can’t wait for it to arrive!

Have you tried Stitch Fix? What did you think? Tell me in the comments!

Potato Chips and Squats

It’s no secret that I have been in a bit of a personal funk for the last year or so. I used to find so much pleasure in writing my blog and I lost that last year. I was depressed, and didn’t want to bring everyone else down with me, so I just stopped writing.

But I found that I missed it more that I realized. I started journaling again — just for myself, as most if it was too private for anyone else to see. I will admit — some of those journal entries turned into blog posts, but they are still sitting in drafts. I’m not sure if I will ever really be ready to publish them or not.

In finding my voice again, I found that there was still a part of me that needed to grow and change. I’ve spent a lot of time stuck and holding on this past two years, and while it is a huge struggle to let go, I have slowing been working on doing that. On finding me. And listening to that tiny voice inside that always keeps pushing me.

Tonight, after a long day at work, a stressful weekend, and the overwhelming “joy” that comes with having traffic court in the morning, just as I grabbed the new bag of potato chips, that little voice decided to pipe up.

I have been making some really good choices lately. Doing things that I know are good for me because I want them for me and not for someone else. Don’t read the rest of the paragraph mom — but I quit smoking 5 and a half weeks ago (woo-hoo) and I have been *trying* to eat a bit healthier. Minus that bag of chips I mentioned earlier.

But what I really need to do is get off my butt and get back into working out regularly. I have been working out. I cannot lie — I love me some squats. I tend to do them while zoning out watching my shows or a movie. Quick and easy, you know, my kind of workout.

Yet I really feel like I need a sweat your ass off, ready to drop dead by the end of it workout.

Do you ever feel that way??

I never used to. It’s something completely new, and I am trying to embrace it.

Well, my healthy minded self is. My lazy self that just wants to eat potato chips puts up a pretty decent fight.

It’s usually a toss up as to who wins for the night.

Such is life I guess.

So for now, I am working on finding the balance between those delicious potato chips and doing more than just the squats that are keeping said potato chips from settling in my behind. 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day to You Husband

valentines-heart

To My Husband on Valentine’s Day,

Valentine’s Day brings up a lot of unresolved feelings for me. Yes, I know that we have been apart for a decent amount of time at this point. The fact that you didn’t live or stay here one day in 2015 can attest to that.

But the feelings? They never really left. Sure, the love I feel for you is tinged by disappointment, hurt, and sometimes hate. But it’s still there, just as strong as it has been since the beginning.

And those lingering feelings have allowed me to be hurt over and over again.

The hardest part for me? The reason that I can’t fully let go?

It’s you.

It’s the things you say to me when I am so close to moving on. To really letting go. To being okay with how things are.

It’s the fact that you cried just a few weeks ago when I told you I wanted a divorce and that I would pay for it. When I asked if you would sign the papers after telling me so many times that you wouldn’t. You said you thought you might have made the wrong choice when you left. That you wanted to focus on us right now and see where we could go.

Do you even have any idea what that does to me? It makes me second guess everything. It gives me hope. It encourages me to hold on instead of giving up.

But you never follow through. You break plans that you commit to. You blame me for your lies and inability to follow through. You claim you need more time.

Yet all of your actions contradict that. All of the bullshit with your “roommate”. You telling me you guys broke up and she moved out, yet you still publicly post Happy Valentine’s Day to her on Facebook for all the world to see. The dogs. The promises of movie nights and video games and cooked dinners that just never happen. The ignored messages. The lies.

You lie to me. All the time.

It’s like you just can’t help yourself.

And every time I start to let myself believe you, the lie comes out and I break all over again.

You have no idea how much it hurts me. Or maybe you do. Maybe it’s all part of your game.

I’m sick of crying because of you. I’m sick of hurting because of things that you did or said or didn’t do.

And the worst part of all of it is — you don’t care. I care so much, and you couldn’t care less. You pretend like you do when we are face to face, but the reality is that you don’t care about how you make me feel. You don’t really care about me at all. You show me that over and over again, yet I chose to believe the person that pretends when he’s in front of me instead of the one that is most honest when we aren’t face to face.

I need to let you go. I need to stop being such a fool for you. I need to finally stop loving you.

Today has reminded me of all that once again.

But the reality of it is, is that I do love you and I stupidly still want you in my life. I want us to be husband and wife in more than just name. I want the future that we were supposed to have. The one that I cling to when I want to give up.

Deep down, I know that we are never going to have that and I need to let that idea go.

Because I’m so tired. I’m so tired of living in limbo, of wishing for a life that is no longer possible, of hanging on to a person that I don’t even think exists anymore if he ever did in the first place.

Yet, in spite of all you have done, I love you still. But you knew that already.

So Happy Valentine’s Day to you my love.

XO

This is the story of a girl… that just wanted new internet service

Let me tell you a story about a girl….

One chilly Thursday in February, a girl called her local cable company. She was interested in setting up new internet service.

After talking to a “very nice” man for 30 minutes, she picked her service, set up a time to pick up her modem for her self install, and was overjoyed to find out that her service would be turned on at the pole by the following day, Friday, by 8 pm.

She ventured out into the very cold night Friday after work to pick up said modem, only to be told by the girl at the store that her service wasn’t scheduled to be turned on until Sunday.

She was shocked and angered by this news, and the sales person at the store offered to switch her work order date from Sunday to Saturday, and encouraged her to call the cable company back.

As she left the store, the girl called customer service and got a woman on the phone. Said woman told the girl that the salesperson was mistaken, and that she would, in fact, have her service turned on by 8pm Friday night. The woman even offered to call her back at 8 to confirm that service was on.

The girl was happy. Until 8:15 rolled around and she still had no service and no phone call back.

The girl called customer service back. This time, she got a man on the phone that apologized profusely for the mix up, told her that the last girl she spoke with gave her incorrect information as the field workers stop working at 7 (and the girl spoke to her at 7:20), and he guaranteed that service would be turned on by 7pm Saturday. He even gave her his personal extension number just in case there were any problems.

The girl is annoyed, but happy to have been helped so thoroughly and is satisfied with the guarantee that it will be on the following day.

It is now Saturday at 8 pm …. the girl still has no internet service.

She once again calls customer service. They tell her she is not scheduled to have service turned on until Sunday.

She asks to be transferred to the mans extension number from the night before, only to find out that he is not working Saturday night.

She is then transferred to a new rep in the same department.

He listens to her recount everything that has happened the past few days. He apologizes for the inconvenience, and once again gives her a guarantee that her service will be on by 7pm the following day, Sunday.

She tells him that she does not believe him.

He says that he understands that completely.

He contacts his supervisor to tell him what has been going on with the girls account. He offers the girl a credit on her next bill, and assures her that his supervisor is going to look into each note on her account and speak with the reps that she spoke with about the repeated incorrect information she was given.

He promises to call on Tuesday when he comes back from his days off if her service was no turned on by Sunday, but he is confident that his guarantee will come true.

She is still skeptical, and frustrated, but gets off the phone without the option of a better resolution.

So now it is midday Sunday. The girl called first thing this morning to confirm that there was actually a work order out for her residence today. She was assured that there was.

And now she waits.

For the sake of all involved, she sincerely hopes that her service is turned on by 7pm tonight, as she is very sick of using her cell phone as a hot spot for her computer.

 

**UPDATE**

It’s on!! The girls internet is finally on.

All is now right in her world 🙂

6 Mobile Phone Games to Pass the Time

I don’t know about you, but I rely on my phone way too much. In some ways, it’s my life line and without it I would be completely lost. Honestly — if it doesn’t make it into my iPhone calendar, I’m not remembering to do it. On the other hand, I have been known to spend way too much time staring at the screen.

Case in point — I love to play games on my phone. And so do my kids. We have been known to fight over whose turn it is… especially when we are some place boring, like a waiting room.

SO because I’m hoping that you guys are just like me and love phone games, I’m going to share a few of my favorites. You know — the ones that I am totally into but would normally deny playing at first, only to eventually confess my love for them and try to convince you to play them with me.

My first, and probably favorite game, is Frozen Free Fall. I know, I know. It’s a little weird that a 30 year old woman is totally into this game. And I seriously am. I LOVE this game. It is super addicting, and really, really fun. And they just keep adding more levels. *heaven*

If the kids and I are playing together, we usually play the Game of Life. It’s a classic, and having it on the go is really nice. It works for long car rides and any place the three of us are bored all together. Plus, the kids love any excuse to play games, and I really enjoy this one as well. (Even though V yells at me every time I don’t start out by going to college.)

mobile phone games

Every now and again I get the urge to play bingo. It reminds me of being a kid at my grandma’s house in the summer, playing super serious bingo games with my 4 cousins. We would be beads, special rocks and the last piece of chocolate, and it was so much fun. Mobile bingo at gonebingo is the grown up version of my childhood favorite, and I love that there is an app that is fun and brings back childhood memories.

Recently, I have been brushing up on my trivia skills with Trivia Crack. I can openly admit that I suck at the sports questions, but I love this game. What I really like is that I can connect it to Facebook and challenge my friends and family members to play against me.

One of my absolute favorite phone game is probably Bejeweled. It’s a game that I used to spend hours playing on the computer when I was younger, and I love that there is an iPhone app so I can play anytime, anywhere. My kids also really like this one, and we tend to compete to see who can get the better score.

This one I have to mention because I just recently found an app for it, and I was BEYOND thrilled. It’s a  classic throw back to the Nokia phones of the late 90s, early 2000s…. Snake. Show of hands please — who else *loved* this game as much as I did?! This is the ultimate mobile phone game, and the first one that I ever played. I was completely obsessed… then and now!

Leave me a comment and tell me what phone games I absolutely, cannot wait one more minute, have to download RIGHT NOW! Can’t wait to hear what your favorites are 🙂

 

Great Tips That Will Prevent The Bed Bugs From Biting

The last thing anyone wants when they go to bed is to share that bed with a four-legged visitor. The very idea of sleeping in a bed infested with bed bugs is enough to send shivers down your spine. But, that nightmare is a reality for some people. Bed bugs are hard to keep away because they can transfer from one location to another in the blink of an eye. Plus, they are small and hard to tell they are even there. Here are a few tips that will stop them from being a health hazard.
Inspect Your Hotel Room

Although you may not have them at home, you may come across them in another location. The most common is a hotel room. Hotels are places where strangers from around the world come to stay, so the odds are bringing something is high. The result is that they may leave a nasty little critter waiting for you on your hotel bed. All you have to do then is go home and, voila, your home is infected. To negate this, take a good look at the mattress before you lie down. You are looking for the bugs themselves or for brown spots as they are a tell-tale sign they are around.

 Don’t Bring Them Home

If you do wake up with bites on your body, you need to think carefully about your next move. The last thing you want to do is take them home with you, so you need a contingency plan. The best thing to do is to unpack your suitcase outside of your home when you arrive back. Bunch all of the clothes together and wash them at a high temperature. The heat is a brilliant way to kill off bugs because their bodies can’t stand the temperature. Finally, disinfect your suitcase to kill off any bugs that may still be around. For more information on bed bugs, follow the link.

Bed Bugs Or Mosquitoes?

Although you may think you have bed bugs, it could just as easily be mosquitos. After all, mosquitos feed on blood and leave bite marks. You don’t want to overreact and call in the exterminator if there is no need, but you also don’t want to miss the warning signs. To tell them apart, look for the subtle signs. Bed bugs, for example, tend to leave clusters of bites in the same area as there are more of them. Also, they tend to occur where the body is uncovered. Mosquitoes have long, sharp noses that can pierce clothing, so they don’t need to concentrate on the exposed areas.

When To Call The Pros?

There may come a point where you want to call the exterminator because you feel that is your only move. The question is not to call the exterminator, but when to call him? You want to be proactive and do it as soon as you seen the signs. Otherwise, it may be too late.

Hopefully, you don’t have to deal with bed bugs. If you do, these tips will come in handy