Weekly Update 12/2-12/8/17

This week has been a whirlwind with home and work.  The family was still working to clear the germs and we had a wedding to attend on Sunday.  The wedding was beautiful and the dessert table was impeccable.  It was hard. and I was unsuccessful, at limiting yourself with the vast array of goodies.  I have a hard time passing up homemade baklava, especially when it says grandma’s.

I was out of town for work a few days this week, which allowed me to get some much needed rest.  Sorry, mom and dad.  They were watching the kids since my husband works far away and we didn’t want to disrupt their sleep schedule too much.  However, my kids don’t sleep and my parents learned that first hand.  I’m sure they were excited to have a quiet house last night and get some sleep without having a child staring at them creepily in the middle of the night.

Now, down to the nitty gritty with the workouts.

Saturday: Treadmill run.  It was surprisingly nice for Northeast Ohio, but I’m still not prepared enough to get outside below certain temperatures.  My dedication hasn’t come back completely.

Sunday: Unintentional rest day.  Went grocery shopping, then church and then realized I had the wrong time for the wedding.  So, it was quite a day.

Monday: Treadmill run

Tuesday: Weight day.  I brought back the weight day and it felt pretty good!

Wednesday: Hit the road for work and then attended a training all day.  I could have worked out in the evening at the hotel, but I decided to just relax.  The training was on Ohio Healthy Programs which is working with child care providers to change they way they feed children.  Very interesting information and could make a big impact on how children eat in the future.  Promotes healthy eating and healthy body image.

Thursday: Treadmill run

Friday: Weight day

Overall, I am proud of myself for getting 5 workouts in this week.  That is an improvement.  I did indulge a few times this week with the wedding and then with traveling.  I’m excited to start trying some of the information I learned in my training with my own picky eater.  Although I want her to eat and not go to bed hungry, I want her to eat healthier.  I want my entire family to eat healthier.  I may actually have to learn to cook something that they will eat. #I’mahorriblecook  Any tips would be helpful!

My goal for this upcoming week is to continue to get at least 5 workouts in with 3 running days and 2 weight training days.  Incorporate healthier lunches

595748_orig into my work week.  It is also the holiday season, so there are lots of treats coming into work.

I am going to try to limit myself as much as possible.  As I was reminded in my training, we should not reward ourselves with food.  There are so many other options out there!  Until next time, be confident, be fit, be you!

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Norwex Review

norwex clothsA few weeks ago I did a review on JuJuBe, which since then I have added even more to my stash, and wanted to  continue that idea with another product review.  With the holidays around the corner with gift giving at an all time high, I’m hoping these reviews may sway a few people.  I understand cleaning products are generally frowned upon for gifts, but some people would really love and appreciate these items.  So, let’s get down and dirty with some of the Norwex products I have used and instantly fell in love.

norwex cloth 2The enviro cloth.  I have used a large amount of microfiber cloths over the years and they all fall apart or get this weird gritty feeling.  I’ve even used the e-cloth brand which is similar to Norwex but slightly lower quality.  The Norwex cloths feel amazing and everything gets trapped in the microfiber.  It takes no time at all and only water to clean my very messy 1 year old and the table surrounding him after spaghetti dinner.  I just rinse the cloth clean and use again with the next mess.  I can do that with the Norwex cloths because it contains silver which kills germs so I’m not spreading bacteria.  I’ve removed all of the other cloths from my cleaning supplies and only use Norwex enviro cloths for my house.  They come in a variety of colors so I’ve labeled specific colors for their intended use.  Although they have the bacteria killing ability, I am still not using a cloth on my toilet one day and then on my kitchen counter the next.  Labeling allows me to keep them very organized.

Next, I purchased the mop pads.  I completely understand the hesitation for not mop norwexpurchasing the mop system.  It is a steep price tag.  But, I already had the BONA mopping system and the cloths fit fairly well on that handle.  I can now quickly sweep my floors with one cloth and just brush the dirt into the trash.  For larger piles of dirt from dog hair, I use my Dyson to vacuum up before mopping.  The mopping pad uses just a little water and the same handle.  I love being able to clean my house with just water and know that I am collecting the germs that are lying around in the cloth.

Finally, I use the mattress cleaner.  I purchased this due to my daughters allergies.  It was recommended we get rid of the carpet and stuffed animals to cut down on the dust that collects.  However, the cost to remove carpet and replace with good quality flooring is a bit much at this time.  We will do this in the near future.  Plus, asking a 3 year old to give away her mountain of stuffed animals is a little tear-jerking.  So, I bought this spray.  I am able to spray all of her stuffed animals once a month as well as the mattress in her room and the little chair in the play area.  It deep cleans the items, leaving them free of body oils, dander and other contaminants.

Now, those are the products that I am currently using as well as hand towels in a few of my bathrooms.   My wishlist, on the other hand, is actually quite long for Norwex products.  The products save time and money, not to mention the amazing benefits for my family.  They have child sized products to allow the little ones in your life to assist in the cleaning.  I actually find myself cleaning more frequently because of the ease with the products.  I should also mention that I am not a seller for Norwex nor am I going to link any one seller to this post.  The reason, I want you to have your own gathering.  Invite one of the sellers in your area over to show you how amazing the products are in real life.  If you are going to invest in these cleaning products, you want to be able to touch them and use them in areas of your home prior to buying.  As for gifts for the cleaning and organizing person in your life, maybe a gift certificate in a stocking or one of the cleaning cloths just to get them introduced to one of the best products on the market.

Advent Activities for Children

The holiday season is upon us all and I’m sure we’re all feeling the hustle and bustle of getting things ready for the family.  Getting holiday gifts for loved ones, decorating the house and spending lots of time with family can be overwhelming.  Last year I spent some time developing an individualized advent calendar for my children.  I will link that here (Last years advent activities). The family advent activities were small things that we could do together as a family and get some special time with our children to slow down the hectic moments.  This year, I am pulling some of the same activities for my family and adding in a few new ones.

 

Dec 1: Decorate the family Christmas Tree

Dec 2: New Book: Look and Be Grateful by Tomie DePaola.  We are trying to teach our 3 year old how to be appreciative.

Dec 3: Read the story of the Birth of Jesus

Dec 4: Make and a paper chain to decorate the tree

Dec 5: Mess-Free Glitter Christmas Tree and Gingerbread house by Melissa and Doug

Dec 6: Hang the felt Christmas tree and ornaments

Dec 7: New Book: Kindness to share from A to Z

Dec 8: Have a dance party with Christmas Music

Dec 9: Local zoo light event

Dec 10: Make homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast

Dec 11: Winter Snow Dough- this was a huge hit last year so I have to repeat it!

Dec 12: Make Hot Chocolate

Dec 13: Decorate Christmas cards for the police and fire men and women

Dec 14: Donate 2 toys each to another child or organization

Dec 15: New Book: Llama Llama Holiday Drama

Dec 16: Bake Christmas cookies for friends

Dec 17: Go ice skating- I received skates last year and never got to use them. So, what better excuse than to take our 3 year old for the first time!

Dec 18: Paint with cookie cutters

Dec 19: New Book: Pete the Cat Save Christmas

Dec 20: Have holiday Sprinkles on our Waffles for dinner (Waffle Wednesday is a tradition at our house instead of Taco Tuesday)

Dec 21: Bake and cake for Jesus’ Birthday

Dec 22: Drive around and look at the lights

Dec 23: Watch a Christmas movie

Dec 24: Attend Christmas Eve Mass

Dec 25: Celebrate Christmas with our family!

I’m excited to bring out the Advent calendar again this year.  Our three year old is just starting to understand the holiday and I’m looking forward to showing her how to help others out during this season.  It is important to show children how they can be Christ like throughout the whole year, but especially during the celebration of the birth of Christ.

Do you do anything special with your family during this time of year?  What are some of your favorite traditions?  I hope this holiday season is filled with lots of special blessings for all of you!

JuJuBe Review

 

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Monarch Be Classy- This and my Nantucket Be Classy are used for work bags. They hold file folders and my laptop perfectly!

Todays post is all about an obsession of mine.  I even received a new one for my birthday this past week!  It started when I was seriously over my cheap diaper bag with my first child.  It barely lasted a year before it was falling apart and nothing was easy to find.  It was like digging through a bottomless bag and took way to long to get what you needed.  It was at my fed up point that I started asking for opinions on new diaper bags.  I heard good thing about a few brands and decided to watch some YouTube videos to get some reviews and really see what the bag can hold.  It was at that moment I fell in love with JuJuBe.  These bags were magical, or so the person made them seem.  They could hold a million and one items and everything would be super easy to locate.  They are machine washable, teflon treated, Agion® treatment, has a mommy pocket and memory foam change pad.  Then there came a sticker shock.  They weren’t cheap.

It took a lot of YouTube videos, talking with others, visiting a local BuyBuyBaby and joining the Pink Lady Chat Facebook group to push me over the edge and buy my first bag.  It was seriously love after that purchase.  There are so many bags and they can be used for more than just diaper bags.  So, when I look at the bag, I don’t see it being used for just a few years while my children are in diapers.  I use them for work bags, I used one for a pump bag (which spoiler alert JuJuBe now makes pump bags), I use them for organizing my bags, I use them for purses when I just need something quick, I have a BeSpendy (wallet), wet bag and fuel cell (small cooler bag).  Honestly, I have a good bit.  But, I almost always want more.  These bags are amazing and can seriously hold a large amount of items.  They were completely worth the price I paid and the awesome thing is they will hold the value.  Some of the more iconic or hard to find prints even sell 3x the original price used.  I personally don’t own those prints because they are insanely hard to come by and most of them are not for my taste.  I don’t have time to flip them and don’t feel it right when someone else truly loves the print.

5 Reasons I love these bags:

  • I can pack them for two kids- one in diapers and one that is struggling with potty training and the bag still feels pretty light with room to spare.
  • I can use the bag as luggage when taking a weekend trip or quick trip for work and it still looks fashionable.
  • I am able to organize the bag the same way every single day which makes it easier for anyone watching the little ones.
  • They are insanely durable.
  • There is a bag for everyone.
  • Not featured in these images: Classy in Nantucket, BRB in Admiral, Medium set piece in Rad Hearts, Small and medium set piece in Royal Envy, Royal Envy Fuel Cell, Be Organized set in Duchess, and Be Spendy in First Lady.  I told you I have quite the obsession.

Honestly, I would seriously recommend these bags to anyone looking for high quality.  They aren’t just for moms with children in diapers.  They have bags for every single person out there.  They even carry Super Toki prints and a recent collaboration with World of WarCraft.  I may even have convinced a few others to start their own obsession with JuJuBe bags *wink*.

 

Wedding, Beach and HOGWARTS!

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This past weekend I was able to spend some time with my girl friends from High School.  We graduated High School 12 years ago and these ladies are still such an important part of my life.  That’s the bond a small, all girls Catholic school can create.

The weekend started on Friday when we met in Lake Mary, FL.  We just had a nice casual dinner and spent time catching up, not via texting, at Sonny’s.  It was some really good BBQ and conversation.  Then on Saturday, my friend took us to her childhood home and showed us around New Smyrna.  We met her grandma and had some great conversation.  Then we walked to the beach.  It was gorgeous and I was truly appreciative of the moment because I had been checking into the weather back home and it was less than ideal.  We took a long walk down the beach.  Like 3 miles or so to the jetty where we saw a lighthouse and I picked up some large seashells for my kids! We also saw some tortoises on our way back to the car.

It was time to head back to get ready for our friends wedding.  It was an absolutely beautiful ceremony.  The bride and groom had all of the bridal party and immediate family hold their rings for each of them to say a quick blessing, quietly, and share their love.  When they came back around, the rings would hold the love of everyone who touched them.  It was a really nice moment.  The wedding and reception were beautiful.

The next day, we headed to HOGWARTS!!! I couldn’t come to Florida and not go to Universal studios if I was less than an hour away.  We started first thing in the morning when the park opened and left when the park closed.  Yes, we stayed at Hogwarts or Diagon Alley almost the entire day.  We rode the Hogwarts express between the parks!  The day started with the ride at Gringotts, which was really exciting.  Then my friend and I had to get wands from Ollivanders.  I originally wasn’t going to get one, but then we found out they were interactive and had a life-time warranty so I was sold.  We were just like the little kids doing spells to make things move, stop or spit water!  We ate at the 3 broomsticks and had butterbeer, of course.  It was truly a magical day. I was so thankful that I was able to spend this time with my friends whom I hadn’t seen in quite some time.

If you ever get the chance to go to Universal, I highly recommend getting a wand.  At least one for your group but kids definitely would enjoy all of the interaction.  Next weeks blog post on Wednesday will be an updated Advent list for families.  I’m going to modify and adjust based on my time availability and my kids interests.  Until next time, be confident, be fit, be you!

Spousal R&R

I am the first person to admit that I have extra mom guilt when it comes time for a date night with my husband.  We both work all week and barely see our kids during waking hours as it stands.  So, why would I want to find a sitter and spend more time away from them?  It is always a very challenging thing for me to do and therefore I don’t do it very frequently.  I completely understand the importance of time away with your significant other, it’s just easier to deal with that guilt.

Guilt aside, my husband and I took a trip to Fallingwater in Mill Run, PA for his birthday.  For those that may not know, Fallingwater is the house designed and implemented by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kauffman family in the late 1930s.  Added history lesson in this post!  My husband is really into architecture and studied Wright in high school years ago.  The house is pretty incredible to see and the tour guide we had was knowledgeable and personable.

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Our tour was early in the afternoon and we spent almost 3 hours there looking around the house and exploring the grounds surrounding the house.  We ventured to our hotel a short distance away in Uniontown, PA.  On our way we drove through Ohio Pyle and there was a huge festival going on so the town was hopping.  We passed the Laurel Caverns and a battle field that can be toured.  There are also two other houses by Wright in the area.  It was during our drive that we had wished our weekend away was a little longer.  There was so much to see in that small little portion of the map.

The next morning we woke up at 7am.  I know you are already thinking it so I’m going to say it, “What the heck were you doing up at 7am when you had the opportunity to sleep in?”  The answer to that question is, I have no idea.  The hotel was fairly new and so the accommodations were very nice.  But, we enjoyed a nice breakfast, filled up the car and headed home.

Although I experience guilt when leaving my children for fun times with my spouse, I understand the importance.  It allowed us to reconnect and enjoy time together.  We were able to talk without being interrupted.  We still thought about our kids a lot and talked about them a good bit.  But, it was our time.

I’d definitely recommend this as a weekend get away.  Young children are not allowed at Fallingwater, so it makes a perfect retreat for any couple that enjoys nature or history.

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Resolution Recap

The new year is upon us.  I decided to do a recap of my resolutions/ goals were for 2016 and see if I even came close.  Spoiler alert: I FAILED miserably.  But, I am not upset about that fact at all.  So, quickly, here is what was posted a year ago:

Therefore, my goals include the following:
1. Blog once a week (topics may vary depending on what I’m feeling)
2. Exercise a minimum of 5 days a week for at least 15 minutes
3. Create short (15 minute) workout videos to post to Youtube
4. Continue to work on my healthy eating habits

I clearly failed at writing a blog once a week.  The positive is that I branched out and wrote about a variety of topics and had good feedback on the posts involving “field trips” with my family. 

The exercise plan and the workout videos did not happen.  Right at the end of January 2016 I found out I was expecting our second child.  This little babe was taking all of my energy.  I literally was napping daily.  I was happy to workout 3 days a week.

Finally, the eating.  Welp, I was pregnant.  That is not an excuse but a reality.  With my first I craved fruits and ice cream.  However, with this little one I craved queso and chips.  I probably had that for dinner 4 nights a week for the entire second trimester.  The October hit, I had baby B and then began wedding and birthday festivities.  Of course cake was abundant during this time!  I have become addicted to sugar.

NOW…to make plans for 2017.  For this upcoming year I am going to improve what I’ve already started the last quarter of 2016.
1. Continue to increase number of workouts and intensity of workouts
2. Continue to use my planner to schedule dinners, cleaning and workouts- I found creating schedules really helped me feel less stressed about returning to work after baby B was born.
3. Attempt a technology detox while my kids are awake- this needs to happen so I can remember all of the fun things my kids do since I only get a few hours a day with them.

I will use these resolutions as guides for the year.  If I am feeling as if I have accomplished the goals, I will re-evaluate and write new goals. What are your plans for the upcoming year?  Did you accomplish what you wanted for 2016?