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A Busy Mom’s Guide To Staying Fit: 7 Simple Steps

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Being a mom is tough, there’s no doubt about that. It’s the only 24/7 full-time job with no weekends, holiday breaks, or even sick leaves. Whether you’re a working mom or a stay at home mom, your day is probably always hectic.

From taking your kids to school and helping them with their homework, to doing chores around the household, you often find yourself overwhelmed with no spare time. Given this tight schedule, it’s almost impossible to find enough time to focus on your health and fitness.

Fortunately, there are ways to stay fit despite this crazy lifestyle. Here are our top 7 hacks:

Rise and Shine

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I know, you already dread waking up early every morning to drive your kids to school. But think about it, if you wake up just an hour earlier than usual you will have all this time to focus on yourself and your body with no distractions.

Start your day with an early morning run, jog, or a workout. After getting your body up and moving, indulge in a healthy and nutritious breakfast to keep you energized for the rest of the day.

Meal Prep, Meal Prep, and More Meal Prep

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While it’s very tempting and convenient to just pass by the drive-thru to get your lunch, it can have a devastating impact on your health.

Junk food is often packed with saturated fats and processed sugars which will increase your risk for a multitude of diseases as well as make you put on weight.

Other than that, you don’t want your kids to learn this “fast-food culture”. Take a couple of hours every week to prepare nutrient-rich meals that you can take to work.

Remember, your kids copy your behavior and it’s crucial to teach them the benefits of a well-balanced diet.

Workout at Home

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One common reason why a lot of busy moms give up on their fitness program is that the nearest gym is just too far. At first, you’re motivated and excited so you don’t care how long the drive is. A couple of weeks later though, you’re just tired of driving for an hour or two each day just to work out.

Recently, more and more online fitness programs are available each day. Some are expensive and supervised by top-notch celebrity trainers, others are more budget-friendly, so there’s a program for everyone.

You can also invest in equipment such as treadmills, Stairmasters, or dumbbells. These equipment are becoming increasingly compact and easy to store so they won’t be too much of a hassle.

Get the Kids on Board

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One of the hardest things about exercising as a mom, especially if you have toddlers, is controlling the kids. We all know that kids are always waiting for an opportunity to run into all kinds of trouble, and what better opportunity than when mom’s busy working out.

If you include your kids in your exercise routine though, they get to have some fun with you. You can even make it more appealing to them by adding challenges. For example, if they commit to the program for a whole week they get a day off from chores.

Unfortunately, some recent statistics show that one out of every five children is obese. So when you involve your kids in your fitness program and teach them healthy eating habits, you’re protecting their health as well as yours.

Sneak in Movement

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Even if you don’t have time to do a full workout, there are always things you can do to get moving. For example, stop using the elevator and take the stairs. Use your bike or walk as much as possible instead of driving or taking a cab.

These little changes are what’s needed to transition from a sedentary to an active lifestyle. At first, it will feel like a burden to make this extra effort every day, but later on, it will become a part of your daily routine.

Get Inspired

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Social media platforms are part of our daily life. To make good use of the time you spend browsing, you can follow moms who have already started their fitness journey.

Instead of starting from scratch, you can learn a lot from their experiences, and find out new hacks and tricks that they’ve discovered along the way.

Don’t fall into the trap of self-loathing though, just because you’re a bit behind doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Build your Own Support Group

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You might feel like you’re fighting this battle alone, but the truth is, you’re not. Most moms are constantly struggling to find a balance between their responsibilities towards their families and their fitness.

A great thing about women is that we build each other up. Gather your friends, family, or even other moms from your kids’ school and form a small fitness group.

Go for walks, sign up for yoga classes, or even commit to the same online training program together. You’ll find that working out with a group is more fun, and time goes by a lot faster than when you’re alone.

You can also set goals and hold each other accountable. Trust me, having support from others makes a lot of difference. This support group will often give you the push you need when you feel like falling off track.

Take home message

Staying fit is never easy, let alone staying fit while caring for your kids.  With some time management and a little creativity, you will get the fit body you want and inspire your kids to stay healthy.

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6 Designer Tips for Visible Organization and Shelving

April showers typically bring May spring cleaning. However, you might find yourself needing organization or giving a facelift to your current shelving setup.

Here we will break down how to get started with shelving, from determining where to shelf and what kind of shelving, to how to do it!

Where do you need shelving?

via GIPHY

Have you run out of storage space and need to work your way up. Perhaps you have prized possessions that you wish to display?

Determining your location’s demands is the first step in getting visually organized. This will also focus your type of shelving on being private or public, for function vs. design.

Some possible locations:

  • Closet
  • Garage
  • Bedroom/Living Room
  • Bar/Kitchen
  • Kids Room

What kind of shelving do you need?

Now is when you decide which shelving path you will take. A path that is strictly vertical and keeps everything hanging or one that serves as a piece of furniture that can serve multiple functions.

Bookcases are traditionally a piece of furniture that can ground a room and provide some height variation to your living space.

 

shelving ideas

 

Leaning Shelves are a modern take on bookcases, typically more casual and open.

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Etageres are a more open concept version of a bookcase that brings a great way to add mixed materials to your display, commonly a mix of metal and glass or metal and wood.

Etagere Shelves

 

Built-Ins are very popular for new construction or remodels, as they take the place of furniture and provide a clean way to organize and display. Built-ins also often increase the resale value of your home, showing architectural character!

built in bookshelf

Corner Shelves are a great way to maximize the use of all your square footage – no one ever has enough storage and corners can often become wasted space.

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Geometric and Cubic Shelves are super fun ways to show your personality, serving not only in a functional way but also as pieces of art!

circular wall shelf

To Buy or DIY?

This is where it gets personal…are you a DIY kind of guy or gal? If home improvement is something you’ve always wanted to try, there’s no better time than the present to give it a go!

However, if you’re needing your shelves to bring you instant organization to de-stress your environment, then save your time, as there are many different price point options to fit whatever your needs may be.

For the DIY’ers, here are some great links on How to Build Your Own Shelves:

What’s Your Style?

Are you looking for something more rustic farmhouse to update your shabby chic kitchen?

Or maybe you are wanting to add some glam to your cocktail hour. Determine what your personal style is and that will narrow down your search.

What to Display on Your Shelves?

Okay, so now you have your perfect shelves – but you can’t leave them hanging… what will you display on them?

crates mounted on wall

PSA Reminder: Display shelves in public areas should be just that … displaying items you are proud to have on display, so keep the clutter in the closet.

Items to Display:

  • Decorative Bowls
  • Vases
  • Decorative Boxes
  • Candles and Candleholders
  • Collected Objects
  • Picture Frames
  • Pieces of Art
  • Trays
  • Books
  • Botanicals
  • Small Items
  • Large Items
  • Pops of Color
  • Variety of Textures and Materials

Other Resources:

How to Display?

Display design might be the most important and final step in utilizing shelves. This is what sets visual display shelves apart from closets and cabinets. There is a reason you are using shelves and not hiding your items, so make sure they have the proper platform to shine!

Rule #1: There are no rules, this is your unique space and it should be uniquely you. These are just some guidelines and tips to get you started on creating your space!

Balance: You might like symmetry, or you might be more asymmetrical. This is all up to you. Whichever design direction you choose, remember that whether it’s symmetrical or asymmetrical it needs to be visually balanced.

Rule of Thirds: This is very helpful for balancing your shelves. Imagine that you have drawn 3 imaginary lines to equally separate your shelves into thirds. Each section should have the same amount of visual weight throughout the overall composition, so your eye isn’t drawn to one area that’s visually heavier than another.

Use Diagonal Lines: Try to not line everything up on your shelf like toy soldiers, use diagonals to draw your eye to different heights.

Larger Items: This is where less is more, if you have larger items, allow them to have their own space.

Rule of 3: Items of smaller or medium scale are great in groupings of 3.

Stack Vertically and Horizontally: Stacks of books or boxes break up straight lines and bring variety. Remember not to only stack vertically or only stack horizontally – mix up the two!

To wrap it up, we now know how to get started in conquering shelf displays: determining where we need to organize, what type of organization we want, how to get the shelves we want, what to display and where to display them.

Other Helpful Posts:

12 Not-So-Bad-For-You Baking Projects to Try While Self-Isolating

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So you’re stuck indoors, self-isolating with your family, doing your part to halt the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. All across your social media feeds, you see friends, family members and fellow moms showing off their baking chops. Bread, cookies, brownies, bars — they’re all fair game baking projects.

All of those baked goods can definitely make your mouth water, but at the same time, you don’t really want to come out of quarantine not being able to fit into your favorite pair of jeans.

The good news is, though, if you’ve been itching to join the quarantine baking craze, you can do so while still keeping to your diet goals (and ensuring you’re not loading your kids up with sugar — definitely a bad idea if they’re stuck inside, all day, every day).

Here are 12 not-so-bad-for-you baking projects to try while self-isolating.

Try Some Healthy Diet Staples

There’s no need to sacrifice your diet goals just to indulge your sweet tooth! Just take it from those moms who have been following paleo, keto, vegan or gluten-free diets for years. Whether or not you follow one of these specialty diets, you can still make good use of their staple baking recipes.

For example, this paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe produces thick, chewy and totally tempting paleo and gluten-free cookies (that can be adjusted for vegan and keto diets).

These paleo chocolate almond butter bars similarly pull double duty as being not only paleo, but also vegan and gluten-free.

paleo chocolate chip cookies

Don’t care for chocolate? Try these paleo sugar cookies, which are a fun family baking project to try during quarantine with the kids.

  1. Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
  2. Paleo Chocolate Almond Butter Bars
  3. Paleo Sugar Cookies

Make a Store-Bought or Restaurant Favorite at Home

If the baked good you’re craving is a store-bought or restaurant favorite, skip the extra trip to Wal-Mart or the drive-thru and instead stay safe at home and make a healthier version of whatever it is you’re craving.

Copy-cat recipes are everywhere these days and they make a very fun baking project for the entire family. You can even make several different copy-cat baking recipes and then judge which were most successful in terms of tasting like the real thing (sans all the calories).

  1. Krispy Kreme Gluten-Free Donuts
  2. Cinnabon Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns

baking projects donut

Turn a Tempting Treat Healthy

Found a mouthwatering baking project on Instagram? Make it healthy!

With a little ingenuity and some help from Google, you can make pretty much any baking project wholesome. For example, check out these options from popular (and oh-so-yummy) cooking blog Cookie and Kate, where the focus is vegetarian, fresh and wholesome foods.

blueberry muffin 12 not so bad for you baking projects

Get your hands on some fresh, spring strawberries and make a classic strawberry shortcake, updated for your health with whole wheat flour, natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup and coconut milk rather than cow’s milk. Or, eat your dessert for breakfast with one of these healthier muffin recipes.

  1. Strawberry Shortcake
  2. Blueberry Muffins
  3. Pumpkin Muffins

Use Up Those Pantry Staples

If you’re like most Americans, you probably stocked up on pantry staples during the beginning of the quarantine. However, as more and more states look to open back up in the coming weeks, how can you make sure you actually use up those pantry staples so that nothing goes to waste? (And if you think your items like flour and sugar are safe from going bad, think again — spring is pantry moth and ant season and you absolutely want to avoid any unwelcome visitors like these in your cabinets.)

Try one of these healthy(ish) baking projects that use pantry staples only!

  1. Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
  2. Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal Squares
  3. Coconut Granola with Almonds
  4. Flourless Black Bean Brownies

Take a Class

Want to learn something new with your baking project, or maybe not so confident in your baking skills?

Take a class! Lots of celebrated chefs and bakers are turning to Instagram Live during the quarantine to offer short little baking and cooking classes. These classes can be accessed right from your phone, free of charge.

You can also find free baking classes via platforms such as Bluprint and popular cooking and baking websites such as The Kitchn.

Ready to Get Baking?

You don’t need to bake a complicated recipe or something super-decadent and sugary to win your mom-of-the-year award. You can treat the kids (and yourself, of course!) to a delicious baked dessert while self-isolating, all with fewer calories and fewer worries of your waistline. Perhaps, you might even find that baking is a fun family hobby!

What To Wear In April: 9 Outfit Ideas

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When it comes to getting dressed for your day-to-day activities, it can definitely be tricky in the month of April. With the temperatures warming and the weather changing, it’s pretty challenging to decide on an outfit that is both stylish and functional to wear.

But one of the best things about April is that you can definitely bring back some of your closeted favorites – from cute dresses to sandals to wide-brimmed hats. Now is the time to dust them off and get them back in your wardrobe rotation!

Without further ado, here are some of our favorite What to Wear outfit ideas for the month of April.

Jumpsuits and Sneakers

what to wear in april 9 outfit ideas

One of our favorite springtime trends has always been the super comfy yet totally stylish jumpsuit. Try pairing a sleek Rose-Colored Jumpsuit with a pair of statement White Sneakers, a sleek Boyfriend Blazer and a cute Crossbody Bag for the perfect wear-anywhere look for April and beyond.

The Beach Beckons

what to wear in april 9 outfit ideas Are you ready to embrace the summer lifestyle and hit the beach? A Simple Tank Dress paired with a Bold Necklace, Matching Earrings and Cute Sandals is the perfect way to get you ready to go (and looking great, too!). And the best part? This outfit always works great as a beach or pool cover-up, too!

Vintage and Chic

what to wear in april 9 outfit ideas

Love a great vintage-inspired look but still want to be comfy for your day-to-day activities? Try a super chic pair of Cropped Jeans, add a Floral Top, slip on some Cute Slides and your favorite pair of Oversized Sunnies and you’ll be ready to go. To really take it up a notch or two, slip on some minimalist jewelry.

Not-Quite Casual Yet Not-Quite Formal

what to wear in april 9 outfit ideas

Feeling like dressing up for a not-quite casual yet not-quite formal event? Try slipping into a feminine Utility Dress, add a pair of comfortable Chunky Heeled Sandals, slip on a Classic Jean Jacket and grab a Modern Statement Bag for the perfect kicked-back yet totally dressed up look. For an added touch of style, coordinate your jewelry with your statement bag, too!

Date Night!

what to wear in april 9 outfit ideas

Ready to get really dressed up for date night? Go for something bold with simple coordinating accessories. Since it’s April, don’t be afraid to experiment with colors, patterns and textures – you can definitely have it all!

Try a flattering Wrap Dress with printed Strappy Heeled Sandals, gorgeous Minimalist Jewelry and a timeless straw Clutch Bag for a red-hot look that totally will leave them swooning.

No Umbrella? No Problem!

what to wear in april 9 outfit ideas

Are April showers becoming your true everyday reality? Never fear – you can still look totally chic even if you manage to forget your umbrella (again). Throw on a Classic Trench Coat, add a pair of modern Ankle-Length Pants, slip on your favorite Button-Up Shirt and a pair of Classic Rainboots for an easy wear-anywhere look that will keep you totally dry while still looking fabulous.

 

what to wear in april 9 outfit ideas

Trying to keep cozy while lounging in the great indoors but sick of your go-to pajamas or robe? Slip on a pair of totally flattering and comfortable High-Waist Leggings. Add a Cute Flowy Tee and slip into a Comfy Sweater.

Finally, add a Lightweight Printed Scarf for the perfect look that will have you lounging in no time at all. For an ultra-cozy feel, throw on a pair of thick socks or your favorite pair of slippers to keep your feet toasty warm, too!

Fit and Functional

what to wear in april 9 outfit ideas

Getting ready to take on your workout or just heading out for a quick walk and some much-needed alone time? Better be sure that you’re wearing has you prepped for whatever comes your way!

Slip-on a super supportive Sports Bra, add a breathable Mesh Tank and some airy Running Shorts. Make sure to wear Comfy Shoes and bring a Sweat-Proof Jacket, too, just in case the temperatures drop and you need to get home quickly!

Slimming and Comfy

what to wear in april 9 outfit ideas

Kicking back poolside and need something cute yet totally comfy to wear (just in case you need to chase any kids, pets and/or significant others)? Slip on a pair of slimming Mid-Rise Shorts, add a bold Pink V-Neck Linen Top with a super cute Lightweight Scarf and add a Wide Brim Hat and your favorite sunglasses for good measure. Done and done!

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Hush Weighted Blankets – An Honest Review

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I have heard my friends sharing how much they loved their weighted blankets. So I was very curious if these blankets were worth the hype. So I checked online and found a lot of information on a company called Hush Blankets. Since weighted blankets can be a bit of an investment, I wanted to research if they were actually worth the hype.  

Hush Blanket
Source: Hushblankets.com

I saw that Hush Blankets is a Canadian made brand. It immediately made me think of Canadian Gooses and the warmth of Canadian winter coats. They are listed as one of the top weighted blankets in Canada. That got my attention. Considering how cold it is in Canada I thought this might be a weighted blanket that really works.

So I checked out the website. It seems that they had something for everyone. There are blankets for kids, teens, hot sleepers, cold sleepers. That definitely caught my attention. 

My husband is a hot sleeper. Even in the winter time he ends up sleeping with a sheet. But the problem is he is also a light sleeper. He takes prescription sleeping medicine, plus Melatonin and has a heck of a time falling asleep. So I bought one of the Hush Iced blankets for him. I have to say that this awesome blanket relaxes him to sleep in a few minutes. And once he gets to sleep, he stays asleep. This weighted blanket relaxes and comforts him. No more tossing and turning.  Even when I wake him up with my snoring, he can quickly go back to sleep now. It brings me so much peace of mind knowing he is getting the sleep he needs for his job. He operates heavy machinery. So if he doesn’t get enough sleep and isn’t alert that could cause him an accident at work.  

Plus, my husband has terrible arthritis in his back, feet, and ankles from his job. The weight of the Hush Iced blanket really comforts him and takes his mind off his pain. Knowing that my husband can sleep and not be crippled by pain from his job is so comforting to me. 

Now me on the other hand, I have the opposite problem. I use like 3 blankets even in the summer. I can’t stay warm enough to stay asleep. I bought my own twin size weighted blanket.  It has the weight and warmth I have craved. I sleep with my dog on the bed just to stay warm enough and cuddle her to fall asleep. Now this weighted blanket gives me the warmth, comfort, and weight to allow me to achieve that deep sleep that leaves me really rested. 

I was thrilled to find out they have a Hush Throw size blanket. Cuddling on the sofa in the evening is a big deal in my house. My husband and I and the dogs all cuddle up under a throw blanket in the evenings. As soon as my dogs see me pull out my Hush Throw they can’t wait to come over and curl up to sleep with mom and dad as we watch tv. It’s the best way to spend the evening together as a family.

To me what makes the difference is how Hush Blankets are made. Instead of filling their inner layer with fabric, they have non-toxic sand glass, inside densely packed pockets. That helps the weight to be distributed evenly and consistently for the ultimate comfort.

There are some things that are an investment worth making. Your comfort is certainly one of those things. Hush Blanket is not an inexpensive blanket. But let me say that as soon as you experience it, you’ll appreciate the investment that you have made in your comfort. They are so well made and totally worth it.

I have anxiety that I take medication for. When life gets hectic, nothing feels better than to wrap up in my Hush Blanket and feel the comfort wash over me. It’s the most amazing hug that just eases all your troubles away.  

I truly love that this weighted blanket comes with a cover. I am allergic to dust, plus I sleep with my dog. So it’s really important for me to be able to wash my blankets. Removing the duvet cover is easy. It comes out of the wash fresh and clean. I love falling asleep knowing my cover is newly washed.  

I really appreciate that there is a weighted blanket for every need from children to adults. The blankets range from 10-25 lbs so there is just the perfect weight for everyone. For instance my husband needs the Hush Iced twin size and I get the Hush classic twin size. He likes it cold, I like it hot. So we both can have exactly the weight and size that works perfectly for us.

If you are looking for Hush Blankets, they are available on their website and on Amazon.com.  Plus their customer service is amazing if you have questions or issues that need addressed.  I love their interest free financing if you want to spread out the payments. It makes it very easy to afford and give as a gift. 

I love that they also have a guide on their website that helps you choose the perfect weight of blanket for you. 

Plus, it comes with a 100 Night Guarantee. If you try Hush Blankets and it’s not giving you the best night’s sleep ever, you can return it for a refund. How refreshing in this day and age that a brand stands by their promise. That gave me a lot of assurance. 

I actually did quite a bit of snooping on this brand online. They have actually achieved a lot of media coverage. I saw articles about them online in the Huffington Post, Bustle, and Mental Floss.  When I saw the articles about them it really helped me trust that this was a great brand to invest in for our sleep. 

The last thing that really made me feel great is the way Hush Blankets gives back to the community. 1 in every 10 of these blankets sold are donated to a person in need. That makes me feel really great about doing business with them.

If you want a great night’s sleep that feels cuddly, comforting and wonderful I highly recommend Hush Blankets. They work. They are amazing. They help us both sleep like babies at our own perfect temperature.

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