Tag Archives: Fitness

Monthly Must-Haves [January]

I wanted to start a new monthly series sharing some of my current favorite things. I love product recommendations because I can spend waaayy too long in the aisle or on Amazon trying to decide what to get. I would rather someone just tell me! So here are some things I am loving this month:

monthly must-haves january

Stress Away – Not sure if this makes me any less stressed or the kids any calmer, but I LOVE the smell of this. Find an oils lady! I have one I can refer you to if you don’t know anyone!


Thieves – We have been running this through the diffuser like crazy.  I am not convinced that it does much for preventing illnesses, but people say it works so I guess it can’t hurt?? Get with your oil lady, or I can give you the name of mine!


Diffuser – We have a diffuser in each bedroom and one in the main living room. I am not partial to any certain one that we have, but I do like these that have the lights for the girls’ rooms. I got all of these from Amazon, decently priced, and they all work the same!

diffuserdiffuser2    diffuser3

Osmo – This was a Christmas gift for the kids, and it has added an all new use for the ipad.  They are playing and learning without realizing how much work they’re actually doing.  It’s a great addition to inside winter activities. I will do another in-depth post on this soon!


3minutemiracle   3-Minute Miracle – Our kids’ hair is SO tangly and unmanageable. I saw this at Walmart and thought we’d give it a shot. They use it once a week and I can notice a difference! Jadyn and Breckyn have thin, wavy hair so it’s always frizzy and tangly, but this helps make it smooth.

growshampoo Hair Lengthening Shampoo – We just started using this because Jadyn and Breckyn’s hair never seems to grow.  I can’t say we’ve noticed any difference yet, but it may be too soon. I’ll report back later on this!

Meal Replacement Shake – Look, I can’t get up early during the winter to save my life because of the darkness.  I barely have time to get the kids and myself ready, let alone eat breakfast.  This is my go-to breakfast every weekday morning. I mix it up, stick it in the freezer, then drink it on the way to work. 16g of protein keeps me full until lunch AND it has load of vitamins.


Old Navy 7/8 Leggings – I ordered these online and crossed my fingers that they fit. Short girl problems means full-length workout leggings are scrunched at the bottom.  These fit perfectly!! They’re supposed to be a little shorter, above the ankle but for short girls, they work for full-length leggings! Also – I prefer the mid-rise in these…high rise are just too high!


lotionAveeno Lotion – As a teacher, I wash my hands or use sanitizer more times than I can count, leaving my hands dry and cracked. I keep this at school and put it on often.

lotion2Shower Lotion – I tried this because I received a sample from a Walmart Beauty box. At first, it’s kind of weird because you put the lotion on while you are still wet, but you get used to it and it definitely helps!

drops   Pink Eye Drops – This month, my whole family was sick for a week with influenza and then I ended up with pink eye somehow! We had been to the doctor so many times that I wasn’t about to go back. John picked this up and surprisingly, it cleared up my pink eye! My daughter got pink eye the next week, and after 3 doses of this, hers cleared up as well!

How to Create A Workout Space At Home

You don’t need a gym membership, a fancy workout room, or a ton of equipment to work out at home. I had a gym membership once at Snap Fitness before I had kids, and again at a women’s only gym for about 6 months last year. Working out at home is so much more convenient for me for obvious reasons.  Below you will find my setup and the equipment that I use.

We have an unfinished basement, which is my workout space. I picked one of the rooms in the back of the basement. It has some toys in it, and it’s next to the room the girls play “school” in. The one next to that has a bunch of big furniture boxes they make forts with. These things keep them occupied while I work out!

Here is my little corner with all of my supplies….

These weights are my favorite Amazon purchase! They are the newest, updated version of the weights I used to have. I ordered them after one of the plates slipped out and broke my toe. More on that another time.  (Also: my yoga mat. However, I don’t use it much because we have carpet and rugs downstairs.)

Next to my weights is a small shelf. On top I keep the baby monitor and my weight progress sheet. I write down the exercise and how much I’m lifting so I make sure I’m trying to progress to a heavier weight. I will be sharing a downloadable version of it soon!

The next shelf has workout guides that I have purchased and printed off.

Below that is my bucket of extras – attachments for resistance bands and my loop bands. I use the loops bands to add difficulty to squats, side steps, etc.

On the bottom, I keep 2 extra plates from the old weight set and my kettlebell. Right now, I only have an 8 pounder, but I may upgrade soon! This one is good for swings, but it’s too light for rows, extensions, upright rows, etc.

A must for working out at home is resistance bands. You can do so many more exercises that are normally gym-based moves if you have a set of resistance bands. I have an attachment that I can put through the door to hold it, but I just loop it around one of the boards.

As for cardio – we DO have a 9-year-old elliptical – that has been broken for 4 years, so that’s not helping much. What I do is walk/run whenever it’s nice enough out and I have John home with the girls. I also do a lot of HIIT training – jumping jacks, high knees, burpees, plank jacks, and so on.

There you have it!  All of this equipment together cost about $350 – a year gym membership costs much more than that! It’s so worth it to me because I don’t have to drive there and back, leave my house when it’s cold, work around a group class schedule, or pay extra for child care. I can work out with the baby napping or playing near me. I can use this equipment anywhere that the kids are – I’ve taken it upstairs, outside, and the garage.

Don’t let not having a gym membership be an excuse for not working out!

Creative Ways For Mom To Get Her Workout Done

So many moms want to workout, but the biggest obstacle is almost always the kids. They need our attention, our love, food, help wiping after going potty, for us to “Watch this!”, and more food. All during our workout.

I have been working out 4-6 times a week with 1-4 children for the last 8 years, and I have a few tips that will hopefully help you make a workout routine more consistent and enjoyable!

Use your 30-minute workout time to let your kids have 30 minutes of screen time. Whether that means a TV show or ipad for your children, they will be out of your way and entertained so you can get a good 30 minute sweat on.

Get up before they do in the morning. Yes, I know this is an unpopular one that you probably were thinking “please don’t say get up in the morning before they do.” To be completely honest, this is the hardest for me BUT the most enjoyable way for me to work out. I am alone, I can focus, and it’s already done for the day by 6:15am!

Do it after they go to bed. This is usually a last resort for me. I used to work out at 9pm in college, but by this time these days, I am beat!

Workout where they are.  I used to do a lot of my workouts in the playroom or outside. We started moving more toys and their arts/crafts downstairs (we have an unfinished basement), so now they can play and make messes while I lift weights.

Give them a fun activity to do. Save something fun for your workout time: play-doh, Magnetiles, Legos, cutting from a magazine (my kids love this one), etc.

Find a gym with childcare.  I was a member of a gym for a year, and I made sure it had childcare. I have nothing against a gym, but I realized I preferred working out at home.

Split it up. Sometimes the guide or challenge I am using to exercise has a long workout. Other times, I didn’t get up early enough or we have to go somewhere. Instead of NOT working out altogether, I just do half now and half later.

During nap/rest time. It’s easy to clean, cook, do laundry, etc. during nap time, but if you notice you are never getting a workout in, this may be the first place to start.

Plan your LISS day for when you know they’ll be with you and let them walk/bike/skate with you.

Save your rest days for days you know it’s not going to happen. There will be days when you oversleep, have a rough day at work, dinner ends up taking longer than normal to cook, and you still have to run your daughter to softball practice.  Working out should be enjoyable and a stress reliever, so don’t stress yourself out trying to get it in if it’s just not physically possible that day.

Let them workout with you.  Not only are you getting a workout in, you are modeling healthy habits for your kids.

Literally work out with them. When my 3rd child was a baby/toddler, I used her as weights when she got cranky. Forget trying to set a PR or stay consistent with weights, it’s more fun and your child will love it.

Expect interruptions. They’re going to need something. Or crawl on and under you. Just expect it and it won’t bother you as much when it happens.

Creating a Fitness Journal From a Happy Planner

I am girl who loves planners. I love the layout, the stickers, the color combinations. A monthly planner wasn’t enough. I needed a Fitness Planner.

At the end of my pregnancy, I was searching for a new type of fitness journal to use as I lost the baby weight. I had 4 in my Amazon cart, but wished I could combine them so it had everything I wanted.

“What did you want in a fitness journal?” you ask?

A place for measurements and weight tracking.

Meal journal: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Water intake tracking system.

A spot to plan daily workouts.

A checklist for supplements taken.

Somewhere to write goals and a reflection of the week.

As I was writing in my monthly planner, thinking to myself that I don’t really need to use my weekly layout during the summer it hit me! I could use my weekly layout for my fitness journal and include whatever I wanted. And I didn’t have to spend a dime!

So behold! My fitness journal made from my current Happy Planner! (Disregard the horrible handwriting. I promise I write neater when I’m teaching!)