Friday, May 27, 2016

5 steps to overcome a fear

How do you overcome a fear that is so intense that you feel it to your core?


I am going to share how I have slowly tried to overcome my fear of heights and hopefully, some of the things that worked for me will maybe work for you.

Some people say to show fear shows that you are weak. I think that is a harmful saying. A fear isn't always something you can control, but you can try to overcome it.






My fear of heights has been overwhelming in the past but there are things in my life I would like to accomplish so I need to work towards conquering it.

1. Identify the fear and where it stems from
Knowing the reason you have said fear will help you to examine why it has such a hold on you.

2. Come to terms with what gave you the fear
If you have identified that a fear stems from a traumatic incident in your past then really getting to the core of that and moving past it will give you the courage to try and let go of said fear.

3. Starting slow
I will use heights as an example. You shouldn't rush out and climb the biggest hill and look over the edge but maybe just find some stairs that seem more than you would usually climb and go as far as you can.

4. Set a GOAL
Goals are wonderful to have when working out a fear. It gives you perspective and accountability.
That goal doesn't have to be the top dog at first. Set little ones working up to what it is you really want. Remember that "Rome wasn't built in a day"

5. Continue to grow
As you set out to conquer your goals. Always take the time to look back at how you let go of the reason you had that fear. Be proud of yourself for how far you have come. Share with people and let them be supportive.







Having a positive attitude always helps to conquer fears. Once you get to that big goal you set for yourself you may have to pep talk your way through it and it is nice to have a support team also.

Once you have accomplished that goal, keep going! That fear may always be a small voice in the back of your mind but if you don't let it stop you then it won't win.



*What fear have you overcome? How did you accomplish it?

Friday, May 6, 2016

to Kettlebell or not to Kettlebell?

In the pursuit of a lean muscular body, are kettlebells the key? Or should you stick with the traditional weight bench with the barbell?

That is what I would like to know. Not wanting to jump on a trendy workout if it doesn't really give me the results I want I had to look into this kettlebell.







WHAT STUDIES SAY

menshealth.com has a good article about the differences between free weights and a kettlebell. They say that if you want to bulk you need to stick with the free weights because you can get more onto a barbell than you can out of a kettlebell, which makes sense.
But they also say that if it's not just bulk you want and if you want to burn fat than a kettlebell is they way to go.


kettlebellsworkouts.com has a very extensive beginners explanation of what a kettlebell is and how it should be used. They also say that it is NOT a trend and has been around for 100's of years. Good to know! There is a list of 13 reasons to use a kettlebell that is very convincing.
This article is so full of wonderful information that you must read it if you are thinking about using kettlebells.


popsugar.com says that they each have their good qualities but the kettlebell will burn more fat due to the cardio aspect of the workouts.


CONCLUSION

If you wanted to use a kettlebell than make sure you are doing it right to avoid injury and have at it. There are lots of suggested workouts out there to help burn fat.
Also, if you want to add muscle you can use free weights and just add some cardio moves in between sets.
Either way, it all boils down to preference. Some people might shy away from a kettlebell if they have never used it before or others might think they will add to much bulk if they use free weights.

I myself am going to add a kettlebell to my free weight routine and see how it goes.

*Do you use free weights or a kettlebell?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Creating a playlist to go hiking

My husband and I have had plans to hike Pikes Peak in May and we have been going out and getting practice hikes in when we can. One thing we have found is that it is wonderful to enjoy the quiet of the outdoors but when you are an hour into a really tough climb, MUSIC helps!

When you feel like there is no way you are going to make it up the hill like you are just going to stay right there until someone can come get you (which we now usually won't happen) sometimes that right song with the right tempo is what's going to get it done.

Cause everyone needs a little musical inspiration.


Like with anything I do I usually go to Pinterest to see if I can find inspiration. This time, it was a dud! I was only finding folksy music and nothing really with a faster tempo like I love to listen to until I came across this post and it gave me great advice.

Thoughts I had already, I just needed someone to say them first. You know how it is, it sounds good in your head but if someone else says it first then you don't feel crazy!

My playlist had to be something that didn't just inspire me to keep moving but it had to not annoy my husband. We don't exactly have the same taste in music. He loves it fast and heavy when I like mine fast and poppy. So my playlist had to be a good mix of both.

For my part, I just went through my workout playlists. If I listen to it to get through a long workout where I want to quit then it would work for a tough incline.

For hubby I had to go through stuff he listens to and make sure it wasn't laced with curse words and it was something I could get into. What I came up with will probably be turned down or not turned on if there are other people within earshot, which I know is good trail etiquette anyway.

This is what I finally came up with, warning! there are some explicit songs. I made this a YouTube playlist since I still can't figure out how to share my Amazon playlists.
Benders Hiking Playlist

*If you have any go to, favorite songs that get you through a hard workout or tough hike, please share.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Where are Abs REALLY made?

If you are anything like me, you workout till the cows come home but the stomach area stays put! The plan is to figure out why that is and how to correct it. I created a Pinterest board to help me get some pointers together and also a way to share with others who have the same problem. 






WHAT OTHERS SAY

Jen @thefithousewife.com talks about the same topic in this post. She has had 3 kids and shares how she was able to see her abs again. Clean eating is the way she suggests to go.


Keith @fitmole.org has a different opinion than Jen as you will see in this post. He feels that it is all about doing the right workouts to build those muscles.

Charlene Johnson shared this post about the 80/20 rule. She supports that abs are made in the kitchen. She recommends a way to track that you are not taking in more than you are burning.


DOES THIS MAKE SENSE?

This is where I am torn. I have done the clean eating and have had no change in my midsection. I also have been working out consistently for months and still look the same in the stomach. So where do we go from here?

Well, like Antranick says in his post, we be patient!! This weight didn't get put on overnight so why would it come off that fast.


PLAN OF ATTACK 

1. Install MyFitnessPal app to keep track of the calories going in.
2. Use Garmin/Fitbit to track calories burned.
3. No processed food.
4. Plenty of water/ no pop!
5. Continue workouts but don't stress if they don't work overnight.


* Do you have any suggestions or favorite trick to a six-pack?


Friday, April 29, 2016

In the war of the blogs, why I choose Blogger

As with most things in life you have competition. It is what makes us stronger, smarter, braver and better. It is what pushes us when we don't think we have it in us. Trying to come up with the next best thing, so of course you have multiple platforms in which to publish your blog.

Now you just need to figure out which is going to help your content seem better than the next guys. Make people want to come to your blog and learn what you have to say.




COST
Well of course the first and for most reason I choose blogger....PRICE=FREE! I didn't start my blog to make any money so I didn't want to spend any money either. Yes, there is a free option with Wordpress but most of my internet world is Google centered so why not go Blogger.


EASY SET-UP
Simplicity! It is so easy to figure out how to set up a blog and be publishing in a few hours. You don't need to have any previous computer savy to start a basic blog. There are many templates that you can choose from and with a little bit of knowledge you can edit those templates...or not. I haven't done anything very fancy with mine and I'm OK with that. I don't think it's ugly and hopefully if people thought it was, they would tell me! icanbuildablog.com doesn't recommend Wordpress for beginners.


OWNERSHIP
I hear all the time how it is that Google owns my information and that they could shut me down whenever they want and for no reason. Well, Yes that is true but I have tried not to let it bother me. I try to look at the positive and I guess if some day it happens, it happens. Then that would be my sign that it was time for something new. If this is something that bothers you than by all means go Wordpress and get your own domain.


SCHEDULING 
Yes, I am aware that Wordpress has wonderful plug-ins that help with almost everything you want to do. Blogger also has an option to schedule your blogs to post when you are not able to. It may just be the one time but that's OK. It gets it out into the world for me when I can't. honestlymodern.com talks about how she couldn't wait to switch to Wordpress to be able to use a scheduling plug-in.

Overall, what I learned through my research to figure if I wanted to switch from Blogger to Wordpress is that most people agree that Blogger is a good alternative to Wordpress and that was enough for me. I am committed now and am going to stick with it. I'm no fortune teller so who knows what my future holds. Maybe some day I will feel the need to make the switch (I know how if I need to) but why mess with a good thing.

*Which platform do you use and why?


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

4 basic ways to help your social media following

As someone who is new to the whole social media world, yes I use to have accounts to keep in touch with family members but I didn't really search what everyone in the world was doing...before my blog!

Now I want to know all the fun things other people are sharing, but I want to be genuine and be myself.
  
I see there are apps that can help you get followers and I installed one and it just seemed weird that I would be randomly picking people from a list that the app created for me.

I want to be in charge of my own social following so I have come up with these rules that I follow and SLOWLY it has been working.




DON'T BE A STALKER
It is OK to follow people of similar interests. Studies show that in the 5 people you follow, 1 will follow you back. Now that may not be true but it has kind of seemed the case with my Pinterest.


PUT YOUR BEST STUFF OUT THERE
If you are creating some great content than people will eventually find it and share it and like it. Wallha! Followers. You may not be able to create good content if you are trying to rush it. I know you think they will forget you if you don't post, but they won't.

BE THE EXTROVERT YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BE
Isn't it so nice when you get a friendly comment on a post you worked really hard on? It makes you feel like "hey, this person gets me!" Well than, that is what you should be doing. Strike up a conversation with someone who has a similar view point and you never know where things could go. You could find your new BFF!

SHARE, SHARE, SHARE
I try to make it a point every day to share at least 5 other posts on all the different social media sites. I just learned how it is you can regram on Instagram (man am I slow) So if you end up sharing stuff from someone you like then they may just like you back.

Very simple little things to do that will help bring in genuine followers instead of ones that someone picked for you.

*What is you favorite way to connect with a new follower?

Monday, April 25, 2016

I guarantee that you will find Blog Inc.useful

I kept seeing posts about blogging books that you should read and since I have kind of felt like I was in a rut I figured what could it hurt really. It never hurts to find out what others think. Why recreate the wheel per-say.



Ch.1 Introduction
Joy Cho, the author, talks about why you should blog and she gives 5 reasons.
*Passion
*Community
*Marketing
*Sharing talents
*Income
Usually your reason will fall into one of these categories. The she goes on to list the types of blogs there are, again she gives 5 examples.
*Personal
*Topical
*Talent
*Behind the scenes news
*Community/Collaboration
She points out, and I agree, you don't always fit into one of these categories. Most blogs and bloggers evolve over time.

Ch.2 Finding your niche
In this chapter she asks some questions that can help you figure out what you want your niche to be. Now I started my blog for one reason that I since don't have anymore, but I decided to keep blogging. So I am still without a niche.
Joy gives ideas on how to come up with a name. That was hard for me and sometimes I think that my name is to long.
Writing style and finding your voice is covered in this chapter. I like to think I'm witty but I don't want to sound fake so I am careful of how I use my voice.
She talks about content and this is one area I struggle with and it runs hand in hand with the knowing your niche. Some times I'm not sure of what content I want to share and then when I do come up with an idea, it has been done almost a dozen times already.
There are some suggestions that Joy shares on how to come up with content.
*using images
*sharing your life
*recurring topics
*creating your own layouts

Ch.3 Powering your blog
Joy talks about platforms, names and design in this chapter. What to post about and the importance of pictures. I agree wholeheartedly with the emphasis on pictures, being an Instagram addict myself. A great picture can draw in a reader. She also recommends creating a space for you to feel inspired.

Ch.4 Blogging etiquette 
In this chapter she talks about how you can create a community if you reach out to other bloggers and how it is important to be supportive of others. I am a very shy person so I do a horrible job at this. I try to make sure to interact a few times a week with other bloggers but I could do more.
Social media is another thing that she says to take advantage of. You should try to get your content out there in whatever way you feel works best for you. RESPOND TO COMMENTS!

Ch.5 Making it a business
Joy talks about some key essentials in this chapter. I am not planning on using this as a business so I skimmed this chapter but you should read it if you are. There are some useful tips.

Ch.6 Monetizing
Again this is not something that I plan on doing. I started my blog as a hobby and plan to keep it that way, but I skimmed this chapter also and there are very good tips that would be helpful to those that have no idea how to go about doing this.

Ch.7 The next stage
This chapter goes over some possibilities that your blog could face in the future. Ideas of updates that you may want to make. I love that she touches on bloggers block. It IS a thing and it sucks, but she gives you some ideass on how to get creative again.
*Change your environment
*Take a class
*Move around
*Interact with others
*Cut back
*Take a break


In this book Joy interviews 18 other bloggers. It is nice to be able to see the thought process of other people and what other niches go through that yours may not.
I highly recommend reading this book. It is great for those thinking about starting a blog or for those that are 6 months in and still feeling lost.
*If you have a book that you recommend for getting ideas, please share.  

Friday, April 22, 2016

5 fun Mother's Day gift ideas for little hands

My kids are all grow, but I love to see the fun things you can do with tiny little hands so I put a few of them together in one post.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0MizMfBDAhbMHMzY1NqR2Y4Njg/view?usp=sharing


1. "I love you this much" card:  Tutorial here

2. Butterfly card with poem:  Tutorial here

3. Hand-print flower bags:  Tutorial here

4. Hand-print flowers:  Tutorial here

5. Mother's Day Poem:  Tutorial here

I feel like Mother's Day is such a great day to give and receive wonderful homemade gifts. It means that you took the time to be creative with your own hands. 
YES, a piece of jewelry would be nice! but it doesn't come from the heart it comes from the store. 
I hope that you mothers out there have a wonderful day full of love! And when I say mothers I want to add that there are all sorts of ways to be a mother, it doesn't necessarily mean you gave birth to a human child :) I am a doggie mom. 




Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Should you be lifting weights everyday?

My new goal is to be tone! Not bulky, but tone and that meant that I needed a plan. I thought "well, I'll just be doing weights everyday and some cardio".

NOPE!

Well Yes, just not the same muscles. Apparently when you lift weights you tear your muscle a little...who knew! Some say that it's OK to continue to train like that and some say give it rest. That's why I chose a workout that is a different muscle group each day.

VIA: workouttips.net/the-8-rules-of-building-new-muscle   How to achieve results: You shouldn’t exceed training any body part for more than 2-3 times a week, with 3 being an exception. You shouldn’t hammer in any particular muscle group for more than six weeks, either. Your body needs its recovery time. It is recommended to include at least one full rest day per week. And do take a week off every two or three months.



KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

I first went on http://www.bodybuilding.com/ and took a test to even see what body type I had. There are 3. Knowing this can help you figure out how you should be training. I am a mix of 2 and it helped me to figure out why I can't seem to stick with being a runner :)

Once you kind of have an idea of the way you should be working out then you can come up with a plan of attack. http://www.bodybuilding.com/ does have lots of plans that you can follow.

There is so much information out there that it might seem overwhelming at first. This is a good article about why women should be doing weight training.


 WHAT WILL WORK 

We know that you shouldn't just jump in  with the heaviest weight you can lift and go till failure. That will for sure bring on an injury.  
Get your goals written down and a healthy menu planned out. Then you can start your plan and slowly work your way up to the body you want.

 I chose jim-stoppani-six-week-shortcut-to-shred- program. He sets it up very nice and after the first 3 weeks I can stop if I don't think it's working for me.






I had to share this funny Buzzfeed article about lifting. You will get a kick out of it if you are into lifting.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Why you should be keeping a fitness journal

A the beginning of the month I ordered a Garmin VivofitHR and started keeping a fitness journal. I ditched the FitBit because I want to focus on heart rate and toning. This is what I have learned so fr and why I think everyone on a fitness journey should keep a journal.




 Keeping track
"What workout did I do yesterday?" Have you ever asked yourself that? I HAVE! For someone with serious memory issues, keeping a journal is a must. I like to be switching up my workouts all the time so this way I know which ones I might want to go back to.


 Being accountable
There are so many ways that you can be accountable these days. So much social media you can put all your info on blast, but if you prefer to keep it private this is a good way. You can write motivational quotes, cut out fun, inspiration pictures and make it not feel like a chore.



Checking progress
This is kind of important when you are trying to bulk up. If you added weights one day, "Hey, how much weight did I add?" You can keep track of reps too. If you want to be upping your reps each week, this way you don't have to stress about keeping it in your brain, it's written down.


I'm glad I have started to fitness journal. It lets me see what I need to work on and gives me an idea of what I should just walk away from.



As far as my new Garmin, I'm not sure that I would recommend it to others.
I love that I can check my heart rate and steps anytime I want. It has a watch, which is convenient. Syncing to an app has been streamless and the app has great graphs. It does pretty much the same thing that a FitBit Charge HR does only you CAN wear it in the water.
I am constantly moving mine around because the band pinches my wrist. I guess that really is my only complaint, oh and it is 20$ more than the FitBit.


Friday, April 15, 2016

5 Inspiring Fitness Blogs to pump you up!

 I have been on the journey to a better me for almost a year now and half of that has been really using the internet to help me so I wanted to share some blogs that help give me ideas and get me moving.

Now if you are anything like me then you are very picky about what you will continue to do and what you will instantly give up on. I have countless fitness blog posts about all the workouts I have tried. This post is about the people not the workouts and about their stories.






1. jerseygirltalk.com First up on my list is someone I started following because of the name. I love all things Jersey and have ancestors from their so I feel like it's good to support. This blog was created by Adrienne and she has been at it for a while now. She posts videos for people to follow and a section on fashion. There are also recipes, which is always nice. I say give her a look if you are wanting a change in routine.


2. corinanielsen.com  This blog is my inspiration to start with the heavy weights and to not worry about cardio. I had still been trying to be a runner, which just wasn't working for me. She does such a good job of laying out a basic workout routine and like me she switches it up often. There is also a timeline showing that it doesn't happen overnight and I think that is what most people need to focus on. IT WILL COME!


3. niashanks.com I found this blog due to an article on Pinterest. Nia has great information to share and she writes some awesome tutorials that I would suggest if you are a beginner than you should print some of it out to be able to look at it often. She has a Podcast which is nice to have access to (for those that don't like reading) This would be a blog to save and follow if you were wanting to focus on hitting the weights.


4. greatist.com  Now this isn't really a blog per-say but I had to add it to the list because it is a great tool to use when it comes to finding inspiration to get moving and get that workout in when you feel like you'd rather be anywhere else.



5. fitgirlsdiary.com Monica started this blog five years ago as a way to get serious about her goals and through this blog she shares her experience with us. I love when people want to share! It is so inspiring to read other peoples trial and errors cause then I don't feel like I'm the only one. She share wonderful recipes and even has them broken down into meals for us, score! time saver. There are 3 different workout programs she has links to and also a fitness section with tips and inspiration. I like that she calls it a diary because that is how I feel my blog is sometimes, a diary.



Well I hope that these 5 fitness blogs have inspired you like they have inspired me . Get out there and get moving, lift a weight or cook a healthy meal.
* If you have a favorite fitness blog that you would like to share, please do so. We are all in this together.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

5 of my go to Craft Blogs

    Are you a big crafter? 
    Do you love to get dirty with the next fun project? 



I use to be a big crafter (is that even a word?) but I kind of let it not be as important. I use to search Pinterest for hours looking for then next project that I could do. Being creative is so good for your stress. I still follow crafters just in case the mood strikes.


1. abeautifulmess.com This blog was created and run by sisters. They are pretty busy women with creating apps and writing books. they also have a product line, so they know a thing or two about what they share on their blog. When it comes to crafts their isn't just one kind. There are a multitude of options to choose from so it can be used by many. I would recommend saving this blog to go back to frequently.


2. modpodgerocksblog.com Because who doesn't love Mod Podge! I have used this product on so many things and like to see what other ideas there are out there. It just takes that one fun craft to call to you and that you can be proud of that you accomplished.


3. listotic.com  I have followed Lilly @ Listotic for as long as I have had a Pinterest.  Now her blog isn't just craft ideas. There are tips and tricks about everyday things which is always useful. She also shares recipes and there is a Just For Fun section that is nice to see what other people think should be in the fun slot. I highly recommend shaving this blog and following it.


4. craftaholicsanonymous.net  Here I go again with loving and following a blog because I first think the name is awesome. Which usually if a person can create a fun and catchy name then their content can't be that bad...right! and I love how Linda calls herself  a craft addict. I know that I am and addict of so many things so I can relate. When you find things you love it is easy to become addicted. She has a Handmade Gift Exchange which is pretty neat and open to anyone.


5. sugarbeecrafts.com  Mandy @ SugarBee also has more than just crafts. There are printables and HELLO I love a good printable!  There is recipes. If you are into sewing there's that also. Lots of fun stuff to do with your kids. She has lots of fun contributors also.


Well I hope this post has got you in the mood to get messy and create a work of art! If you have a favorite crafter that inspires you, please share.





Monday, April 11, 2016

5 of my favorite Keto/LCHF blogs and why you should love them too

There is a lot more people in the world eating Low Carb High Fat and trying to be in Ketosis than there use to be. Just the thought of eating fat use to be taboo and everything was made low-fat.
I first learned about the removing carbs from my WOE (way of eating) 10 years ago when I happened upon an Atkins book at the Goodwill. It worked well for me for as long as I stuck to it, but I am a pizza lover! and it just got to be problematic.

So of course the weight came back on! About a year ago I found the Whole30 and cut out all processed food and sugars. It was great but it didn't really give me the results I wanted. Wait didn't I use to not eat carbs and lost a bunch of weight? So my thought was Atkins because I had yet to find the wonderful world of Keto.


I wanted to do this post because doing this kind of eating makes it hard to find alternatives for your favorite junk,sugar loaded foods and I have found that everyone is routing for you and the Keto community is wonderful. There are more than just these 5 but I had to not have a post the size of a e-book.

1. ketodietapp.com Martina is such a nice person. She has done such a wonderful job with making sure that we have new and fun recipes to try. She also has cookbooks you can buy and some free E-books she will share with you. There are challenges that really bring our little community together. She has created an app too. If you are thinking about doing this WOE than this should be a blog you follow.

2. peaceloveandlowcarb.com Now the name should have you wanting to read more! Kyndra drew me in and I love all the fun recipes and how she tries to make sure there are alternatives so everyone can enjoy. Her site also has workouts and meal plans, which I enjoy because sometimes it's nice to see what someone else is eating. It helps to mix it up when you are not using carb filled sides.

3. www.ruled.me Is one of the first sites I found when I started researching this WOE. This site should be in your follow list. It is very informative and there are lots of things you can print off to have on hand. I used it to help me create a food binder. There are also free E-books with lots of information in them.

4. wickedstuffed.com I found Amanda through other keto websites and just think she's great. She posts lots of great recipes which is why I follow her on all social media. I love pictures of food too. Amanda does a pretty good job of explaining what Keto is also, so if you were new she would help. She also has a good list of tips and tricks.

5. ibreatheimhungry.com Last but certainly NOT least! I found Melissa on Pinterest and she is another on that I follow on all social media because she is just fun. I mean come on, look at that name. She has a cookbook you can buy. Lots of great recipes! She also helps with the whole meal planning thing. The struggle is real with that. Sometimes you want a change.

So in closing I just have to say how awesome all these women are and what an inspiration they have been to me over the past few months trying to get use to this WOE. If you are curious or already now the ins and outs, either way give them a look.

* Who are some of your favorites to follow as far as food blogs go? please share

Friday, April 8, 2016

6 Fitness Fridays and what I have learned from them

Trying to look for inspiration for my workouts in April I noticed a trend in my archives. I like doing a Fitness Friday post so I thought I could put a bunch of them in one post to share for those who haven't seen them yet.




1. My first Fitness Friday was clear back in November of 2015. I know that's really not that long ago but it feels like it when you see all the workouts you have done since then. This is when I first got my punching bag, which I gave away after it took out a ceiling joist.

2. Next Fitness Friday was in December when I was suppose to be sharing something about myself for a 31 day challenge. I choose to share workouts instead. I had started doing Bender Fitness 4 week challenge but couldn't stick it out.

3. This Fitness Friday was when I started doing a lot of Jillian Micheals. She puts on a good workout video. I highly recommend if you are looking for a video to follow, her's should be on the list. You don't have to buy the DVD's you can find free ones on YouTube.

4. The New Year brought this Fitness Friday. I am still doing Jillian Micheals but have also started working towards my vacation goal.

5. Still in January,  this Fitness Friday I started looking for different videos. I stepped away from Jillian Micheals. I wasn't seeing a difference so I thought it was time to move on. I wasn't being patient.

6. The last time I used Fitness Friday as a post title. This one I went back to what I knew with Jillian Micheals but I mixed it up and created a 2 week plan. I was in the mindset that my workouts needed to be over 30 minutes to be beneficial. 



So, what did I learn?
I learned that it does take time to find a workout that you like and when you do you should stick with it and eventually you will see results.

I learned that you may not be seeing results because you are switching things up too much. Yes, it's good to confuse your muscles and not do exactly the same thing day in and day out but thinking you need to be doing every new workout doesn't help.

I also learned that it is good to get 30 minutes or 3 miles of workout done, it doesn't all have to be at the same time. If you can't find the time you can spread it out through out the day. Find what works for you and just be patient. 

*If you have any tips you use for finding and sticking with a workout, please share with us or leave a link to your favorite workout.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Happiness, is it something everyone can have?

Dealing with a touch of sadness gets a girl to open herself up to trying to find a way out of it. It's not an enjoyable feeling when you can't find your happy place.
 Now, my inner-voice says to knock it off and suck it up. There's no time for sadness. I use the word sadness because I don't think it's to the point of depression yet and I want to do something before it does.

                                     Nothing can bring you happiness but yourself
                                                      -Ralph Waldo Emerson


I have read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and The Art of Happiness with the Dahli Lama in order to get ideas to share for my blog. At the time I wasn't really unhappy so I don't think it really soaked in.







I wish it was just as easy as being happy to spite someone else. Sometimes it helps to think of how your happiness would make some else happy, but it really doesn't last long.

I did read an article in a magazine about how being spontaneous usually makes you happier. It's funny because I was trying to do a craft to make me happy when I found the article. I had a big stack of magazines to shred and there it was. 
It made sense to me. When I tend to jump into something I feel happier, but is that lasting happiness or just temporary? Wouldn't you think once the newness wore off you'd be looking for the next big thing? 

This article really spoke to me and maybe some of you can relate. The author is in a funk, like me and they share 5 things you can do to get out of it. I tried to listen to the book they recommend but the voice was hard to follow so I will actually have to read it.

The second point in the article talks about being in the here and now and I think that is a big problem of mine. I hate my house and where I am stuck living for awhile. The fact that I desperately want to be somewhere else is making it very hard for me to find happiness. 

So I agree with living in the NOW. No sense in wishing for what you can't have and missing what was. I think if you can wake up everyday with a different reason that your NOW is good, just for that day. Do that every day and hopefully the time will eventually come when you can get to where it is you really want to be.




I know that there are a lot of people who swear by starting to meditate. I say "Yay You" but I have tried and tried to make that habit stick and it always falls to the way side.

I was hoping this Blog would become my happy place. So far it has brought me more stress because I feel inadequate when I see low numbers. I know that I shouldn't care. I know that I am not in this to make money. I am in this just to have a place to get my ideas out of my head and maybe help one person along the way, but it's like being chosen last for volleyball.

This wonderful article talks about needing to love yourself and this goes along with the quote at the top of the post about you being responsible for your happiness. I am trying to do a better job of loving myself. I have come a long way from where I was. Working out helps with that and I think it could help others who are feeling a little sad. You don't have to go all hardcore, just walking for a half hour a day gets the blood flowing and creates some endorphin's.

In doing research for this post I have found some helpful tips that I will start to incorporate. One last article to share because there might be something in there that will speak to you. I found some of the tips to be common sense and others to be odd, but what works for some doesn't work for all.

I hope that this post helps you as much as it has me. I believe everyone can find some resemblance of happiness and we should not be to hard on ourselves if every once in awhile we need a reminder.

*If you have any go to things you do to get out of a funk, please share them with us.





Monday, April 4, 2016

Finding the running plan that's right for you

Well, here I go again!
I had tried to be a runner last year and worked months at it but got frustrated because I just couldn't get my breathing to work for me instead of against me, so I gave up and walked away....get it, walked haha.
But....here I am again thinking this is a goal I can accomplish I just need to figure out how.

So like always I jump on Pinterest and see what I can find.

First off the breath, how was I going to over come this? I started doing Yoga and that has really helped get me to focus on using my breath and also I lift weights and that also teaches you to use your breath for the benefit of getting one more rep in, so it shouldn't be to hard to use it to run that first mile...right!
I found this infographic on breathing that might help you understand why you need to breath properly.

freshworkouts gives 5 ways to help get you running. I don't really know about the calling and talking to someone if you don't have someone who can run with you, cause I can barely breath but I agree with the listening to music. I need that. They also suggest rewarding yourself. I did that before even beginning. I ordered a Garmin Vivofit.

There are lots of suggestions about how to start a running program and everyone will work for someone but I need to figure out which one will work for me. I found this 30 day program on victory-fitness.blogspot.com. She lays it out nicely and I think that if she didn't ask for sprints I would go with it. I have touchy knees and I'm not sure they would like sprints, not yet.

I really have to share this blogger, theothermarkimark.com and her blog about getting started. She has helped give me a little more desire to get running again and maybe she'll inspire you too.

This is what I finally came up with.

I will walk 5 minutes and run 1 minute for 30 minutes, the first week. The second week I'll walk 4 minutes and run 2. This is kind of how a friend of mine said I should start. Third week I'll go for walking 3 minutes and running 3 minutes. Week four, walking 2 minutes and running 4, then hopefully by the end of the month I can run a full 5 minutes and if I don't hate it I'll keep running.




If anyone has any advice or tips, please feel free to share them with me. I need all the help I can get.









Thursday, March 31, 2016

April Showers bring.....

Don't you just love when you are getting into bed, almost all comfortable and BAM! a great blog idea pops in your head. It happened with this one the other night so I had to get up and write it down so I wouldn't forget.

I think everyone knows the saying "April Showers bring May Flowers" but what else can April bring?

Well I thought it could bring nice comments to random people so that way it's like watering a flower, come May you may have a blooming relationship.

I created a fun PRINTABLE to remind you of  each day of the week and do them every week of April.



I am so excited to see the results of this. Please leave any fun experiences you have if you take this on, I would love to know how it goes! 



Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Online Safety, Are your passwords good enough?

I am writing this post because I went away for the weekend and left my daughter house sitting, no big deal you think and I agree but she told me that she had no problem getting into my computer because my password was old and predictable. YIKES! Now don't get me wrong, I don't care that she got into my computer it's the fact that she got in so easily and anyone who knows me could probably do the same.

My first thought was "I don't have the best memory, it's just easier to have the same password for everything!" then I was like OK how can I fix this.

This is what I learned.

about.tech says that your passwords should be a minimum of 14 characters. 14! WOW I don't have a single one that is that long. This post gives you an example of how they come up with passwords that seems hard for me so I will keep looking.

I just have to say that I thought I wasn't very bright, until doing research for this post. There is actually a site called "how secure is your password" and it asks for you to type in your password!! NOT

OK, back to topic. Making sure the password is difficult to guess. You are not suppose to use your animals name because that would be to easy to guess. I do have one of my dogs names in the middle of what I thought was an OK password. (gonna change it)

Connect safely recommends using a phrase as your password. That I think is a good idea, something I might be able to remember.

Cnet answers my remembering all these different passwords that I need to create problem. They are big supporters of a password manager. They have a few apps listed and I think that is what I would have to do. There is no way I can possibly remember over a couple different passwords and especially if they are long and have nothing to do with my animals.





Alright, so what have we learned?

* do NOT use the same password more than once
* make it more than 8 characters with different letters & numbers
* never share your passwords or give them out to unsecure sites
* do NOT make it obvious, nothing personal that's easy to guess

I hope every one is being safe with their online information and if you have any tips, please share.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Creating a way to save your family history

In my last post I shared how to start making a tree and this original post I start it with why you should be your family historian. I hope that I have sparked your interest in doing your family history. Now I want to share with you how I save all my information.
If you are like me then you want to have a hard copy of the information you found. Yes, it's nice to have it all handy on your computer but some times it's nice to take a big fat binder full of information along with you to say a family reunion. This way you don't have to worry about internet connections.



This is your standard pedigree layout for your information in your family. Most charts come this way but you can switch them around to what familysearch.org calls portrait or do a fan chart. This would just be a preference thing.


I myself do not print it off this way. I like the idea of each individual family having their own sheet of information.
I want to have LOTS of information to tell a persons story.




I have found so much information that each side of my family has their own binder full. I have even created a binder for my husbands family.




This is my fathers side of the family's binder and I have another one for my mothers side.
What is it that you might want to keep to put in your binder?
Well, I print off at least one census record.
What is a census record? It is a record of where that family lived and it usually has an address, ages, occupations and where they were born! So exciting all the information you can find from a census record, but they also can give you nothing at all. You can only search 1940's and back and the 1900's and back usually are not as detailed as the newer ones. Don't count them out though, search for them.

I also like to find proof of death. Cemetery records also can be full of information. I like to be able to go and see the headstone and get a rubbing of it. I know this may sound weird but that's just my preference. I am not saying it is something you have to do.

Pictures are nice to have but some times finding pictures online is hard. If I have access to the family then I will ask for a picture to go along with the person. Some times you will find that someone put one on findagrave.com to go along with the obituary. Searching newspapers is always an option but some are only available with paid subscription. Google is a wonderful resource. I Google everyone! You never know what you will find.




If you don't want to get all detailed about the information and creating a page for each individual then once you have entered all the information on the person you can just print off the page and keep that. I started to do that after a side of my family got to large to keep doing individual persons. The binder has gone through a thinning out process.

Some people will get a file folder totes and each family will have it's own file. That would confuse me. I have marked all my lines with certain colors and signs to know which person is coming from who, and I think if they each had their own file I would get confused.
But to each his own! Family history can be as easy or a complicated as you want it to be. I look at mine as like a scrap book.

If you have any fun ideas on ways that you save your family information please share. I am always looking for creative ideas.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How to go about creating a family tree?

My last post I talked about why you should do your family history and now I want to give you some pointers as to how to go about finding information and creating a family tree.
Now this doesn't have to be an expensive process. Yes, you do have to pay to use http://www.ancestry.com but you can find so much information that is free.

https://familysearch.org/register is the website I used to create a free tree.
You will have to create an account with some standard information. Once you get your email confirmed you will be able to start your tree.
You can also use Myheritage.com, it is free up to 250 people, which happens fast. It is also like familysearch.org where it will give you hints on who could be next in your line. It also has a program you can download to keep all the  information you find saved in your computer, offline. I have this but I don't use it as much as I did at first.

First you will need to enter in your parents information. Date of birth and place of birth. More than likely your parents are not old enough to have a bunch of records yet. Due to privacy laws, records have to be so many years old before you can view them.

You will hopefully be able to move on with information that you have for your grandparents. Place of birth and date. This is where the familysearch.org will start to fill in information for you and this is the point where you need to make sure that the information you are finding is accurate.

It will be tempting to just go with whatever pops up and think that it looks correct but you should always triple check. There should be a few record sources that can back up dates and places and that's how you will know that it's correct. If you can't find records than now is the time to start searching.

All of the information you find will automatically be saved in the familysearch.org site so you can come back to it whenever you want.
You can also be looking for information on family that has passed by using findagrave.com. This site has a been a wonderful tool. Some people make it there mission to create profiles for people in cemeteries around them, so if you are looking for proof that a person has passed I would search there. I have found so many relatives and been able to go to the sites to see for myself.





Once you get into creating a family tree you will learn so many little short cuts and find fantastic resources to expand your search.
I hope that I have helped get you ready to create your own family tree and if you have any questions feel free to ask and I will help to the best of my ability or if you have a wonderful trick you use please share.




Sunday, March 20, 2016

Why you should be your family historian

I am my family historian and I wanted to share why it is so important to become your family historian.

First: what is a family historian and how do we go about becoming one?
Well it's a pretty simple explanation of a family historian, you are the person in charge of collecting and keeping your family's history. All you need to do is start compiling information from your elders, asking questions. 
Some families will have it easier than others. There doesn't need to be just one family historian if it's a big family and certain people only want to focus on one branch and do all their information, that will give you some idea of information that needs to be recorded.



Second: It gives you a sense of belonging to know your family history.
From experience, I didn't really know much about my family history. It wasn't something that was talked about growing up and also my parents separated so I didn't get to know one side. So in doing my family history it has given me a sense of roots per-say. It makes me wish that I had heard these stories first hand but to find records online will just have to do .


Third: Giving the next generation the gift of knowledge.
I want to make sure that my children and grandchildren know what wonderful, rich history they come from. It is something that everyone should be proud of, even if your line isn't full of history makers and famous people, you should still be proud of the every day struggles that families went through just to survive and thrive.

I have been doing family history for about 3 years now and have binders full of information that I never knew would be possible. I read this article and it encouraged me to write this post to hopefully pass on the urge to look into your family history. It really isn't as daunting a task as some may think, it's actually quite fun!

Feel free to ask what steps you should take to become your family historian. I plan on writing more on this subject.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Easter printables!

Easter has many great things that go along with the holiday. We celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus and then we get to hunt for chocolate, I mean what's better.

I created a couple printables and wanted to share how my decorative eggs turned out.


You can download to print here.

I tried to make some string eggs to hang on a tree. I used embroidery string and wrapped it around little water balloons (which are hard to blow up) and I covered them with glue.
So I didn't make a tutorial for this because it turned out a MESS! and there are lots of good ones on Pinterest. I ended up having to just use my fingers and rubbing the glue all over because I just have that kind of luck when doing a craft haha.


You pop the balloons when it's dry and Wallah! I spray painted a branch I found in my yard.

I also created a religious printable you can download here.




What are some of your favorite traditions with the Easter holiday?

Friday, March 11, 2016

How and Why I created my Tabata Leg Workout

I created this leg workout because, well for one if you have read any of my workout posts, you know how I have issues finding a good video that keeps me interested and second, my Internet isn't always the most reliable, so getting into a video to have it stop in the middle of a set is very disturbing.
I thought  "Hey, you can create something simple to use offline"


With all the videos I have done over the last 6 months I have created a list of favorite moves that I don't dread doing. Those got made into a workout and I tend to like the Tabata form better than just doing a certain number of sets, plus it gets in your cardio in case you don't have time for that.

My Tabata timer was set for 10 rounds so I picked out my 10 favorite and then added the cardio bit on the rest and then just typed it up to print for my wall.
Total time is 30 secs shy of a half hour if you do it 3 times.





You can also download it here if you would like. I just made it plain this time. No Picmonkey creation, I used Word so since it's not an image I can't figure out how to post it. I took a picture of it though so you can see it before downloading it.
I printed it on neon orange paper so it stands out to me.







Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday Meditation

I have been trying to get in the habit of meditating every day. Mornings work for some people but I do it when I shut down for the day, before I read.
I have been using a couple different apps just to see what works best.
You should read this article on the benefits of meditation.

I know for me, I can't have someone talking to me. It just seems to distract me. That is what I have found with Calm for android. The link is to the desktop version of this app. The desktop is a very simple version of the android app, the app has different programs you can choose from. So far though on the app, the lady interrupts your meditation to talk. I would look for something that doesn't break into your meditation.


I have had this app on my Kindle forever and it is my go to...when I remember that it's there. It's called Meditate Free. There is no link to it because there is no desktop version of it. It is available on tablet and phone. I like it because it is customization. You can start a plan and set all the sounds and times. I like that you don't have any interruption from someone talking.


There are so many ideas and opinions floating around cyber space about Meditation. It has become more mainstream than it use to be. People use to just attribute it to monks and maybe peace loving hippies, but know everyone does it.

I found this cute graphic with 10 steps to mindful meditation. I agree with all of them. It really does help to focus on your breath, especially if you get distracted. I can't sit with my legs crossed because I have a hip problem so I have one leg straight out and the other pulled up. I find it hard for me to stay in the upright position because I have horrible posture, but this has helped with that.



So if you are feeling stressed and do not want to take drugs to calm down, try meditating. Try out different apps or music to see what works best for YOU, and then make a habit of it. Search Pinterest for ways to make it something you love to do.


Picture courtesy of NYPL digital collection 


How I decorated my mantel with a St. Patrick's Day Printable

I have never been one to celebrate St. Patrick's Day but I do enjoy decorating for it. I do have some ancestry from Ireland so that makes it mean something to me, even if I just found this out. 

I created this printable for my mantle. You can download it here if you like it. 

It's hard to get to fancy with St. Patrick's since weeks later you have Easter and you have all the fun stuff for that.
That's why I just do my mantel and table top. 
I hope you enjoy.




    This is what I ended up doing with my printable. I usually don't put up a picture over the mantle but I had this frame just laying around, wanting to be used.