Kid Craft Time, Matix and Marley style . Our craft of the week – customized apple-stamped lunch bags. They are so simple to make, and relatively mess-free (as long as Cash doesn’t participate). The best part is that in the end, the kiddos have a creative piece of their own artwork to proudly display as their lunch bags!
Literally, this took us about 10 minutes total, from start to finish. So if you have 10 minutes (an hour to dry), the supplies below, and a desire to connect with your kids in the very-little time we now get with them after the school bell rings, start apple stamping!
What you need:
Paper lunch sacks – either brown or white work.
Apples – one apple for every two colors you choose to use.
Paper plates – as many as colors you choose to use.
Washable paints – I emphasize washable…this is my kinda mess-free!
5 Easy Steps:
Cut each of your apples in half, from the top down.
Pour one color paint on each paper plate. I made about a 2” diameter circle/dollop.
Lay out as many paper lunch bags as you wish to decorate.
Dip the flat side of apples in paint. Wipe excess paint from the bottom of the apple using the edge of the plate, and start stamping bags!
After stamping away, set bags aside and allow to dry for at least an hour.
The result: Some adorable lunch bags that your kids will be excited to tote to school with them in the morning .
It’s kind of a fact of life these days. Between kids, jobs, spouses, parents (in some cases), houses, bills, kid activities, church, community activities—the list could go on and on—it’s really hard to find time to exercise. But just because we’re all busy, our workouts don’t have to become non-existent. And since we get such great physical and mental returns on any time invested in exercising, it’s so important that we make it a priority amongst all our other priorities.
Here are some ideas to help you cross “Exercise” off your daily to-do list:
• Prepare the night before. Set out your clothes, shoes, water bottle, or anything else you’ll need. If you’re going to the gym, make sure there’s gas in the car. Preparation alleviates a lot of potential “reasons” for not working out.
• Wear your workout clothes (except to work, of course). I put on my workout clothes first thing in the morning because it not only reminds me to exercise, but on those crazy busy days I’m ready to take advantage of every free minute to do a little something. Even a few minutes here and there throughout the day can add up to some great workout time: run up and down the stairs, do walking lunges, walk instead of drive, throw in a few pushups or burpees, do squats while you’re on the phone, do crunches while you tickle your baby’s toes…get creative!
• Don’t get stuck in a rut by doing the same thing over and over again—try something new. Variety results in not only stronger muscles (and more calories burned), but a more enjoyable workout too!
• Plan. Have a plan A. And a plan B. And some days you might even need a plan Z. Make a list of workouts so when you’re in a time crunch, you don’t have to think about what to do.
• Be flexible. Constant change is the name of the game at our house. In fact, often the only constant in our life is change. Do the best you can, when you can, and give yourself a pat on the back for doing so.
• Reward yourself. Hey, it works for kids, so why not for us too? Instead of a chore chart, make an exercise chart. You can even use some cute stickers. ☺ And make the reward so fabulous you’ll want to exercise regularly to earn it!
• Trade with a spouse or friend. Not only will you get your workout in, but you’ll be helping someone else do the same.
• Include the kids. Jump rope, play ball, run around the block, play hopscotch, teach them your favorite exercises, and have them do the same for you. For infants and toddlers, put them in the stroller and let them become part of your workout, or even extra weight to lift! Be an example of the importance of exercise.
When you make the time to exercise regularly, you’ll be happier—and more productive—in all the areas of your life.
Schedules can be such a blessing to you, your family and running your home. But sometimes, we need to forget the schedule, put down the to do list, and spend some good old fashioned family time together!
Today, call a friend, gather the kids and your significant other or even reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while and spend a few minutes simply enjoying each other’s company!
Three kids, a husband on the road, manager of the family business and the home, and Chris’ partner in crime in the transformation world….how do I do all of this and manage to stay fit , you ask?!? HOWEVER and whenever I can!
I’ll be completely honest, NO TWO DAYS are EVER the same. In fact, each day throws a new twist, turn, challenge or wrench into my spokes. It’s all a big juggling act. Here’s a little peek into my life at home with the kids when Chris is on the road
Time to wake up and get the kids ready for school! As Matix and Marley are showering and getting dressed, I decided to sneak in some wall calve-raises before I head out because I never know what my day will look like and when I’ll actually be able to sneak away for a full workout! And let’s face it – of all the muscles on my body, my calves are lacking and can use all the help they can get! I love how no matter what I’m doing, the kids join in! Go Cash!
I’m actually on time today to drive the kids to school – Yay for me! Load the family in the car with my breakfast on the go today. What is it you ask? A 100% whey protein shake (100 calories) and a couple HEART-y Blueberry Oatmeal muffins (75 calories each = 150 calories total). I made a bunch of these a couple days ago and keep them handy for easy breakfast and healthy snacking. Kids love them too! Ps – I usually start my day with a Powell Perfect shake, but I ran out early this month after I went on an experimental baking streak with the powder! Anxiously awaiting next weeks shipment!!!
Me time. After I drop the Matix and Marley off, I indulge in my daily guilty pleasure – Starbucks iced coffee with one pump of mocha (no sweetener). Life just wouldn’t be the same without this green straw…my daily ‘hug’.
It’s go time for me and Cash. My little buddy tags along as I knock out some errands and return calls. I’ll never feel caught up, but I use this as my time to chip away – right now? 37 unopened texts, 28 voicemails, and 38 emails to get to. Not bad…it’s been much worse. Cashy chills in the back with his steamed sweet potato. Such a trooper that sweet little man is .
Well, by the time we got home, Cash was one big mashed sweet potato. He had more smeared all over him and his carseat than made it in his mouth . After a second bath, it’s playtime with little man. Out to the back yard we go so he can play on the swing set while Mom lunges around him (again…getting it in when I can). Eventually, Cash joins me for some squats . He cracks me up – it’s so true though that the best way to teach is by example. KIDS WANT TO DO WHAT MOM AND DAD DO!! Next up – snack time! Berries and apples for Cash, and for Mama it’s berries and greek yogurt.
Cash is finally down for a nap and time to crank away at more of my ever-growing list of things to do and people to call. At about one o’clock, I FORCE myself away from the computer for a much needed structured workout in the garage. I only have 30 minutes before my next conference call, so I get to it!!
Whoops! My workout took me right up to the call time, so I didn’t get my post-workout meal in. After the call, I quickly gather some leftovers before I leave to pick up the kids from school. One the menu today: grilled chicken (thank you, Alicia, for making this for us!) with leftover homemade gluten-free, cheese-less, veggie pizza. MMMMmmmm…best gluten free crust ever!
Time to pick up the kids from school and run them to their after school activities. Today, it’s gymnastics for both - keeping our kids active!
Home from gymnastics and it’s dinnertime – tonight, we’re having brown rice pasta with extra lean ground beef and sautéed bell peppers. One of my favorites, and luckily the kids love it too! I’m sure to make plenty to last us the next couple days (gotta prep in advance with such busy lifestyle!).
Thank you to my wonderful friends and family, I get lots of help when I need it most. Uncle Denver stops by for some pasta and stays to tutor Matix while I help Marley with her homework and get Cash ready for bed. THANK YOU!!!!!
Yes!! Dad has an unexpected break in production, so we get to iChat with him! Most of the iChat time is spent watching Cash run circles, make messes and draw on the chalkboard while his brother and sister egg him on and laugh . Best family time we can get with Daddy 1000 miles away!
Cash goes to bed and Matix and Marley do ALL they can to push their bedtime . Marley tells me she wants to workout…how can I say no to that? We do a quick 4 minute family tabata workout with Mountain Climbers. They kill it and are so proud of their accomplishment – Mom is too!
4 minutes later…ON the DOT…not a minute after we finish Tabata, kids are (against their will) put to bed. What next? ME time….and no, this isn’t spent watching TV, reading magazines, or doing my nails (although I need a mani/pedi terribly). Nope, time to hop back on the computer and catch up on all of the work that I couldn’t get done throughout the day. PRAYING for a 10pm bedtime, but gosh…the texts, emails, and calls have all grown tremendously, as is my list of TO-DO’s. The inbox will never be empty, I’ve accepted that, but I’ll try to get as close as I can, one day at a time . One thing to sweeten the night? A coconut cashew Quest Bar! Mmmmm.
Bedtime for me – missing my man, but proud of him for his huge sacrifice to make this world a better place .
It’s no secret that Chris and I have ever-growing hectic schedules. With all the traveling, parenting, transforming, training, and book writing (just to name a few) keeping our schedules cram packed, it can be a challenge to find time to enjoy life and, more importantly, enjoy time with each other.
You know, I realized awhile back that if we didn’t create time to spend with each other and appreciate life, it’s just not going to happen. Sometimes you just have to take what life hands you and make it work. That’s exactly what we do.
How do we do it?
We make “work” time “family” time! For example – today Chris and I had a meeting at 8:30 am in Manhattan Beach. After our 10:30 am meeting ended and before our 2 pm meeting in Malibu started, we decided to make a pit stop at the beach to enjoy time with each other. We had a blast, enjoyed each other’s company, de-stressed, and got to write this blog together! In my eyes, there is nothing better than time with my man and my family…even if only for 10 minutes between two meetings.
Our topic of conversation at the beach today: the four emotions that can heal stress altogether. Yes, there are four, and you should give ‘em a try…they work! And can you see how discussing these four topics can bring us closer together and more aware of our own relationship?
1. Caring and compassion
3. Non-judgementalness (I think we made that word up) or unconditional acceptance and love
4. Appreciation and gratitude
Second, we plan ahead things we can do together when we’re apart. It’s not as complicated as it sounds. We simply plan meals and exercise routines that we’ll both enjoy even if we’re on two different sides of the continent. When we get some time late in the evening for a phone call we compare our workouts or our meals. If nothing else, it makes us feel closer together and like we’ve shared a part of our day with each other.
Third, we consciously practice the four emotions listed above. We incorporate each one into our daily lives and, like I said, they work!
Finally, we take time for ourselves. Although it’s important to make the time we have together count, we also recognize that we’ve got to keep our own souls happy and healthy. Whether it’s yoga, working out, meditation, cooking, writing, playing with the kids, or simply relaxing, we make sure that we take care of ourselves so we can take care of each other.
Moral of the story – make time to take time for you and what matters most. In that time, heal your stress by practicing the four emotions above.
Thanksgiving is a holiday focused on one of the most important meals of the entire year – celebrating our gratitude and giving thanks. Unfortunately, for many people it’s also an open invitation to overindulge. The average American will consume more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving Day alone, according to the Caloric Control Council. That’s 3 DAYS worth of calories in just one day!
How NOT to Gain Weight This Thanksgiving
Here’s the shocking part, though: Most of these calories come from the all-day snacking in front of the TV—not necessarily from the big meal itself.
To help keep these extra, unnecessary calories in check, use these smart snacking tips:
Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Your body may think it’s hungry when it is actually thirsty. If you need to drink something other than water, choose naturally sweetened beverages over sugary drinks and limit alcohol to just one glass.
Don’t “Save Room”
Make sure you start the day with breakfast, and eat smaller meals every 3 hours thereafter until Thanksgiving meal. Don’t skip meals trying to save room for later. This guarantees that you won’t be starving by the time the turkey rolls out, and you may not pile your plate as high as you would otherwise.
Get Up and Move
Enjoy your day by staying active with friends and family. Get off the couch and go for a brisk walk or participate in a Turkey Trot. It might not offset all the calories you eat, but it’ll help!
Make Smart Swaps
Use sugar substitutes instead of sugar when cooking (Stevia is our sweetener of choice). Choose non-fat milk or unsweetened almond milk over heavy cream, 2% or whole milk for Thanksgiving dishes.
With a little planning, you can create an ideal Thanksgiving surrounded by good friends, family and food that doesn’t leave you regretting it the next day. Make a plan and stick to it. As you can see, just a few simple tricks will help make this year healthy and enjoyable. Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy Thanksgiving.