Should I Eat Before An Early Morning Workout?

Downtown Chicago Hotel Room Workout

No excuses!

Hubby and I were away for our anniversary.

I like to eat.

I’m also in a routine.

I got up early and got some killer workouts in before he got up.

Perfect way to get my time in as well as enjoy the rest of the day with him!

Don’t make excuses for yourself. Get it on paper that you are going to do it, stick to it, and get it DONE!

5 Tips for Saving Money on a Vacation

We just returned from a week’s vacation downtown (Chicago).

I grew up in the city, and we live in the suburbs now.

We felt this was a good getaway for us while Anthony could stay with my parents in the city a few days, just minutes away.

Staying in a hotel COULD mean lots of money spent on activities and food.

Without having a place to house leftovers if you are in a standard room, what are you to do?

This is what we did:

1. Packed snacks for midmorning/midafternoon: baked chips, larabars, dried fruit, and raw almonds.

2. Brought our own breakfast. We both drink Shakeology, so simple to pack one box of almond milk, Magic Bullet, and the stash of shake powder in our bag. Ice at the hotel to blend with!

3. Eat one nice meal out each day. We chose to eat our bigger meal at lunch time most days so as to save on the dinner prices and portions.

4. Research where you are going! There are tons of free things to do all over the country! Get online and Google it! Museums, parks, movies in the parks, neighborhood festivals, free concerts, parades…you name it!

5. Set a budget. Decide what you will allow yourself to spend each day and stick to it. Don’t spend JUST to “spend” since you are on vacation.

My First Shakeology Share!

This was me a year ago. Liz and I are both still drinking Shakeology today, along with a whole bunch of family and friends.

It’s curbed our cravings, given us energy to LIVE life with our toddler boys, and tastes great.

Talk about an easy way to get all your veggies for the day in one serving!

There are tons of recipes and a new flavor was just introduced at our coach summit this week.

Liz looks even more amazing now then she did then.

Send me a note if you have any questions!

Happy Friday! (As I enjoy my chocolate-y all natural breakfast today…)

I’m a Believer…a Tomorrow Leader…and this is My Chance

Being away from my little Anthony for 4 days was enough for me.

I’m a mom…and I live and breathe for our son and my husband.

I have really looked inward this past year and realized the importance of writing goals and achieving them.

Prioritizing has been HUGE for me.

I don’t like to say no to people. I’m a giver. You ask, and I’ll do.

I’ve realized over the course of the last year that sometimes, that’s hurtful to the people closest to us.

Are you like that? A giver?

We give and give and give and give. What’s left for our family? Ourselves?

Seeing Anthony come into our room in the middle of the night and snuggle into my neck was the best feeling ever. He was so happy and content that crazy mommy was back….right where she belonged.

I learned a lot at my conference and am super glad my husband gave me the opportunity to go.

Priorities were to get home Saturday night so as to be with my two favorite people all day yesterday for Fathers Day.

Sure, I missed a few presentations, but I was with my family. Priority number 1.

If my actions are not in line with my priorities, I’m not happy.

Stomach aches and stress are really a thing of the past.

Living and loving life.

Own It…great song by the Black Eyed Peas. My friend Christine Dwyer played it at the conference this weekend. Check it out and take a listen to the lyrics.

Follow your heart!

I’ll be following mine. πŸ™‚

Cleaning Lady and a Babysitter

Stay at home mom/business owner/nanny.

That’s me in a nutshell.

But…I’m working on my personal trainer certifications and working my business every day?

How does one accomplish GOALS and be the best MOM to her child(ren)?

Well, it took me some time to realize this…but being the best mom meant DELEGATING some tasks.

Top two things I have done in the last 6 months that have made me be able to stay on top of everything:

1. Hire a cleaning lady

2. Hire a babysitter

I grew up with that mentality that you don’t hire anyone for something that you can do all by yourself. Well, there are only 24 hours in a day, and if I want to do what’s MOST important to me, then something has to give.

I have learned that the amount of work and quality of work that can be accomplished while you are paying someone to do the little things for you will be more than worth the $ you spend.

I have a high school girl that we know and trust come twice a week for 2 hours in the afternoon. She plays with Anthony while I go down the hall in a study room and study for my certifications and work on my business.

I just can’t do that with A around. IMPOSSIBLE

The time I have knowing that Kelly is coming every other week to clean is fabulous too. Instead of Anthony climbing on me while I get up to clean the high cabinets or trailing behind me begging to use the dustbuster vacuum, I can spend that time playing with him.

Take a look at your goals and priorities.

What can you delegate out so that you can be a better spouse/parent, etc?

If you are in the Chicagoland area and want a referral for a cleaning lady, let me know. She’s a friend of mine from college.

A Balancing Act

Writer’s block got the best of me last night. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to write about today.

My friend over on Twitter, @Techyturner suggested I write about balancing work, social media, personal hobbies, and family life to be the best person you can be.

How can you be the best _________________ (insert occupation) possible?

Biggest thing that’s helped me: write out a daily plan and stick to it.

Here are some tips of how this works for me:

1. Write down on paper the night before what you WILL accomplish the next day. Limit it to five things. The five most important things that will make you feel accomplished at the end of the day. Scratch them off as you complete them the next day.

2. Determine your priorities, and write them down on paper. What’s most important to you? Writing it down helps you stay committed to them.

3. Determine whether you are a morning person or a night owl. Now make the best of that. I value being a stay at home mom, and that is my number one priority. How can I get everything done then if I’m focused on the Anthony? I know I’m a morning person. I set the alarm for 5, and I get up. I work for an hour until he wakes up at 6. Uninterrupted. Make the most of nap times and after bedtime too.

4. One thing at a time. We all want to be known as great multitaskers, but the brain can’t function that way. Set a time limit for a certain project/task and give it all your attention. For example, going to be working on social media? Shut off your email, shut off the tv, put down the book, and set a timer (or keep your eyes on the clock). Work on social media for the hour, and then shut it off and begin the next task.

5. Never stop learning! All of us have more to learn! Constantly be a student of your area of expertise, but also read books that will help you in your personal development. Check out my post about great books to read.

How do you do it all?

What tips would you add to my list?

Positive Speaking Breeds Positive Results

Our brains understand the positive.

They block out the “negative” words such as don’t, can’t, stop.

So it’s important to speak to ourselves, and our children in positive words.

Try this:

“Don’t move your feet.”

What’s the first thing you thought of? Moving your feet, right? πŸ™‚

Check this out…see how it relates to little man Anthony, and all of us.

Stay at Home Mom: So Lucky to Do Nothing All Day….

Can you think of the Debbie Downer or Negative Nelly in your life? Ouch, maybe there’s even more than one.

How do you combat that?

Last summer I made a commitment to positive change, and what a difference a year makes. My life has changed for the better.

Allow me to share:

I had a few certain people in my life who were always reflecting on the negative sides of life. They could never see the good in anything.

Their lives were far worse than anyone else’s. “Woe is me” type attitude.

It was wearing on me…terribly.

I found the more I was around them and the more I was listening to that, the worse I felt.

One time back in January I was sharing with a friend some of the new things I’ve been dabbling in this year and how amazing I feel. I was just met with more negative thoughts on how it’s not going to work and…those words I can’t stand…

“You’re so lucky to be a stay at home mom. It must be so nice to sit at home all day and do nothing.”

Moms and dads that are stay at home parents, you know that they just don’t get it. No one knows what a full time job parenting is until you walk in the shoes 24/7.

Let alone trying to be a stay at home mom to a son with a ton of food allergies, teach my child, tutor on the side, take care of myself with fitness and nutrition, run my business, volunteer, and watch our friend’s child.

So, I made a decision.

I could have gone two ways. I could have agreed with her, and looked at my situation and said, “oh throw in the towel” and just sit on my butt and let Anthony run wild. Just be a bump on a log.

Often times when someone else challenges us, that seems to be the easy thing to do. Agree with them, and just give up.

Or, I could quietly move away, and choose to surround myself with positive people and continue to do everything I am enjoying doing.

I chose the second path. Boy am I happy.

A lot of the drama and negativity that was surrounding me is a cloud behind me.

I have positive friends and positive people around me!

Stress is minimal, stomach aches are a thing of the past, and tears are no longer shed over such unnecessary events.

I save those tears for when Anthony gives me a squeeze or just amazes me with another milestone.

See the good in life and take the high road!

Do you have a Negative Nelly in your life?

How do you combat that?

I’d love to hear your solutions!

Insanity, the Asylum: End of Day 8

As a former high school and college athlete, drills are familiar territory.

Shaun T in the Asylum takes drills to the next level.

This workout is not for the weary. If you are dedicated and have a solid mind set as an athlete in training, this is the workout for you.

If you are just starting out, looking for a workout that’s fun and going to give you weight loss results, check out Turbojams, Slim in 6, or Body Gospel.

Even though I did not do the Insanity workout, I have no problem doing Asylum. I have done Turbofire twice and I did one month of P90X. I had all intentions of finishing P90X, but it got really boring, and as a stay at home mom running a business, those workouts were too long and too much concentration was on strength for me. No prior knowledge of Insanity seems to be necessary, as long as you’ve done intense cardio before.

Asylum is a lot of cardio. Even the strength is cardio. Yesterday, I did the Strength workout for the second time. I used 10 pound dumbbells through the whole workout. I didn’t need the chin up bar. I was able to use the dumbbells when some of them were doing the chin up bar.

My favorite (haha) drill is the pyramid push ups. So you do one biceps curl, then one push up. Two biceps curls, then two push ups. Three biceps curls, then three push ups. You keep building until he calls time..I’d say about a minute.

The Vertical Plyo workout and the Speed and Agility workout both use the ladder that is included with the program.
The ladder drills are by far my favorite in those workouts.

He even has you do push ups while taking your hand and reaching the opposite shoulder while in the up position of the push up (plank) as you move through the ladder.

I’m telling you…no walk in the park, but I’ve noticed a change in my shoulders, and hubby noticed a difference in my obliques.

This was just what I needed to jump start my summer. I started May 1st, and will be done with this by May 31. Love it.

In the old days as a teacher, these were the days of finishing up work done all year to prepare for the final day of school. I look at Asylum as the final push to prepare for summer!

I’m ready to use this speed and agility to run around chasing Anthony! Love being a stay-at-home mom!

If you have any questions, please let me know! As always, I’m happy to help!

Have you done Asylum? What are your thoughts so far?

Have you done Insanity? What’s the toughest part?