It's all about family and home right here.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

4-Minute Yoga: for Arms

Hi everyone!  Welcome back to my blog. Today's post will be about this new workout I've been doing to keep things entertaining. Before I show you what I've been doing I just wanted to say I've never taken Yoga in an instructor-to-student setting and I am pretty sure I barely know what I'm doing. I'm just a woman who sees these Pinterest posts and tries to do them at home. 

So, here are the poses I do:

I don't know the guiding principle of yoga like this, like if you're supposed to hold these poses for a certain number of breath counts or a certain number of seconds.  I use the Gymboss timer to tell me when it's time to change poses, otherwise I could hold all the poses except the 2nd one for minutes.  That 2nd pose is hard. I can only hold it for 10 seconds in the first round. Every round thereafter decreases by 2 seconds. 

This is how my Gymboss timer is set up for this yoga sequence:

I think I should increase this up to 30 rounds. That will take me up to 6 minutes, so not a bad thing. 

Since I know so little about yoga, I'd welcome any tips or instructions.  

That's it for this post. Have a great day y'all!

Friday, April 15, 2016

6-Minute Workout: Toning and Strengthening Arms

Losing weight and getting stronger is becoming increasingly important to me as Gummybear is learning to walk. In a few short weeks she'll be able to walk on her own and in another couple of weeks she'll be running. I plan on taking Jellybean and Gummybear out to the park much more frequently and I'm going to need to lose some weight, get stronger, and gain a little stamina so I can keep up with them. Cuz let's face it, kids are Energizer bunnies. They just keep going and going and going. 

Because I have almost no time in between working, taking care of the kids, and trying to do some household chores (I've already said I'm not a KIT mom), I can devote 10 minutes or less each day to working out. It's sad, but it's only temporary. For the past 3 weeks I've been doing 5-7 minute workouts, focusing on strengthening and toning my arms. Here's one set of them. 

Above: Arm Lifts

Above: Shoulder Presses (hip swinging optional)

Above: 90 Degree Rotations

Above: 180 Degree Rotations

Above: Dead Lifts and Extensions

Above: Tricep Lifts

Okay, okay, you caught me. I'm totally making up the exercise names but I think the pictures give you a clear idea of what the exercise is. I think my names are better that what the video calls these exercises: Dumb 1, Dumb 2, Dumb 3, etc.  And, by the way, the workouts are from Jung Dayeon's FigureRobics Figure Dumb workout video.

I use 8-pound dumbells and I picked the exercises I wanted to do. I don't follow her 4 sets of 8 reps as in the video. I use a Gymboss (free from the App Store) timer and do 28 seconds of each exercise AMRAP (as many reps as possible) style. 

So, the above is what the Gymboss timer looks like. I've got this set to 12 rounds. This way, I go through all 6 exercises and do it again before calling it.  Boom!  You just did a 6 minute workout! 

Within the first week of doing this I noticed a tiny bit of definition in my shoulders and by the third week I've noticed increased strength. I'm still 35 pounds overweight but I feel really really good knowing I'm that much stronger now than I was at the beginning. 

Have fun with your workouts!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Home Organizing Tips: Functionality is Key

I have been on a Spring Cleaning kick for a couple of weeks. But with 2 kids I have to break big projects into phases because it's just impossible to get everything done at once. Plus, I am spending way too much time on Pinterest and have decided to make some DIY organizers to keep costs down. 

TIP: Organize by Function

When I was in high school and college, I was very neat. I had a place for everything and everything had a place. Anything extraneous could be banished to a single junk drawer and I purged it every year.   

But now my husband and I are working parents and it's really hard to stay as organized as before. We found ourselves accumulating piles of stuff. As soon as we cleaned it off by putting it somewhere we'd accumulate a new pile of stuff. Same story with kid toys. We made a shelf for the toys so certain toys went in certain shelves. But it just ended up with toys getting stuffed into any shelf that had space. It was clearly working only 50%. 

So, right now I have 2 big projects: 1) build a family command center and 2) give the kids their own room. They are both coming along slowly, but at least I've started on both. 

For the family command center, the entire kitchen will eventually be it and I'm a little bit more ahead on that than Project #2. Here's what I have accomplished:

1.  A mail collection box. You can't see it but mail gets dropped through a slot in our door. My husband and I used to pile the mail in places all along the route to the kitchen as well as the kitchen counter. We'd have piles on a toy cabinet, the piano, the dining table, the breakfast bar, and finally the kitchen counter. Now, with this DIY mail box (cereal box, adhesive design paper, 3M Command strips) we have a consolidated place for mail that we can check every few days. Eventually, I will make a couple more boxes for the mail we get for my in-laws and parents. 

2.  A dedicated place for the shredder. My husband used to have to move the shredder out of a closet every time he wanted to use it. This was a contributing factor to the piles because it was such a chore to get it from the closet, make space for it, and clean it before returning it to the closet. Now that it's on our laundry counter (which is in the kitchen) it's really easy to plug in and it's right next to the recycling bin. Most importantly, it's out of reach of the kids. Shredding junk mail has never been easier and we've been successful at keeping piles of mail down. 

3. A landing spot for before and after school jackets and backpacks. I placed this against our laundry wall right next to the door where the girls and I go out and come in from the outside. Since my toddler is toilet training right now, this is the PERFECT place for her backpack. All her wet clothes can go straight into the wash after we get in. For my infant, this is the PERFECT place for her bag because I can get her formula, bottles and pacifier from the dishwasher 2 steps away and diapers and wipes from an under counter cabinet also 2 steps away. I attached the pegs to the wall with 3M Command strips, a godsend!

It's not perfect yet but we're getting there!  In all of this, it's been important for my husband and I to suffer - nay - pay homage to our lifestyle, our organization styles, the layout of our house, and our morning and evening routines to make our home as functional as possible.

I hope this little tip has helped some of you and stay tuned for more because this is definitely a work in progress. 

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

DIY: Weekly Menu Board Loosely Inspired by Pinterest

Are Pinterest crafts even for real?  It just seems like so much time and effort and materials and money go toward making a DIY project worthy of Pinterest. Here's the inspiration for my DIY menu board. It's so pretty and has planned out dinner items and a grocery list Post-It. 

I don't think I'm that creative with decorations and I really don't want to have to type and print menu items out into little strips, and I am probably too lazy to put in the effort. But I recognize the value of having tried and true recipes ready to go. 

That said, here's my version of a DIY menu board below: 

It is a DIY dry erase menu board magnetized to the fridge. I was telling the hubs the other day that eventually the entire kitchen will be my command center. So why not put the food related stuff on the fridge?  

The dry erase needs some elbow grease when erasing and having recipes on cards could help with head scratching moments when I'm trying to build the menu for the week. But this is better than what I had before (paper and pen) and looks cuter too. 

What I used to make this board:
1) adhesive magnet sheet
2) cardboard
3) adhesive design paper ($3 from Target)
4) clear contact paper. 

Based on the size and shape of the cardboard, cut everything to fit the cardboard with the magnet sheet on one side and the contact paper as the final layer on the other side. 

Our grocery list is from the $1 section at Target and works just fine. It would probably make my life easier if I did have some dinner items on a card or something so I don't have to think so much about what's for dinner. But we'll see. For now I'm pretty happy with this little board. 

Do you want to see what a Daddy's Pizza looks like?

Yummy!!!  Ok, that's it for now. Have a great dinner!