Friday Fitness: Let’s Get Summer Ready!

This workout will whip you into summer shape FAST. 😉

Well… maybe not exactly fast, but it will help you tone up those arms [for tank tops], core and legs [for short shorts!].

You can do this workout 2 times a week. Mix it into your current routine, add some cardio (30-45mins) and you’re good to go! 19437551_10103052791657910_4590634281699881523_n.jpgThis workout is safe to do while you are pregnant [as always, please contact your doctor first before starting any new workout regimen].

I wear THIS belly band for extra support (makes a huge difference, trust me).

You can always shoot me a message to learn more about my personalized coaching programs HERE!

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*Keep an eye on repetition counts for the exercises in each round. Rest for one minute between each round. Be sure to warm up and cool down!

Cheap [or Free] Summer Activities for Toddlers!

I’ve been looking to do A TON this summer with Sammy since it’s the last time we’ll be able to truly bond one on one 24/7.

Bonus points if you live in the northwest area of Massachusetts or Nashua/ Hollis area of New Hampshire, since some of these will be close to YOU!

Here are my top 10 summer activities for toddlers (starting highest price to free):

  1. Museum/ Zoo: VARIES; some zoos and museums have free admission Fridays this summer here in MA. But in case you can’t go, your local library may offer a museum pass! These passes are good for about half the price to the regular cost!20170528_153945Most places under 1-2 is free. For the Discovery Museum in Acton, Sammy and I were both only $6.25 (half the cost, but again total will vary depending on museum and how many people!).
  2. Water Table/ Mini Pool: Under $10; I got this little pool for only $5.00 at Toys R’ Us. You can use a big bucket too if you have one or find one at Walmart/ Target type stores. This is great to cool off when it’s way to hot outside to be in the sun (85 degrees plus for me). 20170704_140238
  3. Fruit Picking: Under $10; Some farms are pricier then others but if you have a few near by, call and check out their prices! Kimball Fruit Farm (which is about 10 minutes from us) does strawberry picking for $2.99/lb! 20170628_095823You don’t have to go big… ask for a small container and just have fun! We filled this up just enough to cover the bottom and it was all under $5.00! We got some Vitamin D and enjoy some family time.
  4. Beach/ Lake: FREE-$, now here’s another that will vary! If your beach has a parking/ person fee some do offer passes for the summer. One of the beaches/ splash pads near us offers a summer pass for $35 or $3.00 for parking. 20170519_174144If you think you’d go often, a pass is worth it. We have a beach that’s 30 minutes away and it’s completely free (and my favorite), so I usually do a Wholefoods lunch date with Sammy then head to the beach or vice versa.
  5. Nature Walks: FREE! Unless you go to a state park, you can find a nature trail and take a nice walk at no cost (we have one right in the back of our place). A good thing to do with your toddler is to point things out and see if they recognize them.Sometimes we even bring a ball and have Sammy [try to] catch it and toss it back every couple of minutes!unnamed (1)We like to point out trees, birds, stick, flowers, leaves, etc. with Sammy. Be sure to bring bug spray and check for ticks after!
  6. Neighborhood Park: FREE! We have a couple of parks that are within 10 minutes or less of our house. I like to take Sammy a little bit after breakfast and she can just burn off all her energy. Her naps are usually fantastic after 45mins to an hour at the park.20170601_153925
  7. Library: FREE! Check out your local library for summer happenings! My library had crafts and Lego play during the summer on certain days. 20170627_150512You can stay cool and pick up some books to pick up and create a summer reading list for your toddler! So far Sammy has “read” 5 new books. We are trying to get books that talk more about colors, shapes and numbers in different ways.
  8. Home Play/ Learning: FREE! Yes, you can stay in during those brutal 95 degree plus days. We like to read books, use flash cards (colors, shapes, objects), color, play bubbles and more! 19553913_10103057048003160_6943597026587570710_nI like to give Sammy some “relaxation time,” even they need a break from running around.

Honorable mentions: Macaroni Kid; a good chunk of states have a Macaroni Kid. This site shares free and cheap activities that you and your child can do daily.

You can also contact your local library as well to see if they know of a site for your area or check out your local Facebook Moms group!

Question: What are some of your favorite activities to do in the summer with your little ones?

Blue Apron Meals

A month ago I decided to try out Blue Apron.

With all my pregnancy cravings, meals have become tough and super indecisive on my end. I browsed through the upcoming weeks (you can skip weeks you don’t like) and found one that sparked my interest!20170627_122315I found a deal (there is always one on their site) and only paid $29.99 for my first week. Now some weeks had some delicious looking pizzas, but I didn’t want to spend the money on pizza – I wanted to get all the meat!20170627_122545If you don’t already know, Blue Apron is a meal delivery service that comes in meals for 2 or 4.

The base is 3 meals per week, but you can add more for an extra cost. They also have wine you can purchase and provide a suggestion on each meal card.

The first one I tried was the soy marinated chicken thighs. Chinese food has been a big craving this time around during pregnancy so this meal was perfect. Unfortunately veggies is no on my top list for dinner (only lunch, so I saved it). 20170627_163253We had this meal without the veggies (though I added some snap peaces for a crunch) and topped the chicken over Jasmine rice.

I was worried that it was going to have too much “spice,” but it was seriously delicious! Definitely not a combination of spices and such I would have thought of.19657047_10103063655446790_5126684735565972270_nThe second one, the honey glazed chicken breasts. Again this one I tweaked but oh my gosh it was the one of the best chicken breasts I’ve cooked. I didn’t know a little honey and vinegar would bring out so much flavor.19732334_10103063650516670_7261793852661452978_nI served this over a rice pilaf mixed that I had made the night before (saved the Blue Apron side for another day) and a small garden salad. Seriously hit the spot and I’ll definitely be making this again.19247588_10103063655751180_4091737962622397908_nThe honey mustard pork chops were pretty juicy (according to the hubs, he had both), but the flavor wasn’t all there. I definitely think this dish should have been pre-marinated as oppose to making a pan glaze.506477-blue-apronAll in all, I did enjoy trying out some new flavor/ spice combinations that I would have never tried. The portions are pretty small (and calorie dense in my opinion for the size). I sent my sister-in-law a Hello Fresh week, and the meals looked fantastic.

Blue Apron seems a little more upscale, so it you are someone who likes high-end quality food, this is something worth a try.

I find that it is pricey and not enough food for the regular price of $59.94 per week. Our groceries are about $60 per week (for the THREE of us), so this exceeds our budget for food. But it was still a fun experience; with a coupon deal of course. 😉

Question: Have you ever tried a meal delivery service before like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh?

Second Trimester!

We officially hit the second trimester almost a month ago!20170705_133905{15 Weeks}

Let me tell you… it gets better for 2-3 days then goes back to be horrible (like 10x’s worse) for a day or two. Since this pretty much is the pattern, I’ve begun to take advantage of those good days.

Weight: I’m back at my “pre-pregnancy weight” of 155lbs as I lost 3lbs during the 1st trimester. It’s coming back slowly.

Fitness: I am managing to get in 3-4 workouts a week! Whoohoo 😀19656920_10103063585252460_9171077219010165045_n{17 Weeks}

My goal is to do Barre 1-2 times a week [as I teach 3 Barre classes a week] and try to take 1 Pure Barre class, plus take an Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) if I can. Since I am a coach at OTF, I can browse the workouts before hand and see if it’s something I can do. I stick to the arm/ leg days and avoid any cardio or ab moves.

[Note: Everything is modifiable but since I am higher risk, I like to take that extra precaution for my own sake.]

Here’s what my current fitness routine looks like during the week:

  • Monday: Pure Barre
  • Tuesday: Rest Day
  • Wednesday: HIIT Workout
  • Thursday: Active Rest Day (usually go for walks with Sammy)
  • Friday: Strength Training
  • Saturday: Pure Barre (or Active Rest Day)
  • Sunday: Active Rest Day

I’ve been really trying to keep moving regardless if I don’t make it to a class or get to workout. I’m still trying to focus on eating as healthy as I can. I’ve been able to tolerate smoothies and yogurt now to get some nutrition and protein boost.19732046_10103063650880940_7632903007232961297_nFood: The past few weeks, I’ve been craving Chinese, fried chicken and cookies. It’s hard to avoid the “bad ones” especially when you don’t feel like cooking (not to mention we have a Chinese place across the street).

Coffee I can tolerate here and there, but I only do decaf as I still drink caffeine’d up water to get my fix in the morning. Right now I’m loving this one from Crystal Light’s Pure Energy line (has 120mg of caffeine per packet).19756436_10103063650736230_3156185344074923543_nI know, I know not the “best” thing to drink but it’s better then puking from a migraine or having to take tons of Tylenol all day. I pick my battles and poisons to survive; especially trying to survive a twin pregnancy… with a toddler!19875197_10103063651414870_8432401408185514942_nHere’s to surviving the rest of the summer heat!😀

Question: Any twin moms out there? What’s your best piece of advice?

[29th] Birthday Week!

Last Wednesday was my birthday and I turned a whole 29 years old! Can’t believe next year I’ll be 30 and have THREE kids.

If you would have told me even 10 years ago that I’d be married with kids and have twins before 30, I would have laughed in your face.

Funny how things change… 😉

We celebrated my birthday on a few different days since both the hubs and I are working a lot to make up for when I can’t work this winter.

We went to lunch last Monday and had a prenatal appointment. Babies are well and we’ll be getting the full scan (via a specialist due to being high risk) next month!

On Tuesday I went to run errands and took Sam to her favorite park. 20170620_111403We also stopped my Starbucks for a snack. I had a free drink or food for my birthday so we split this protein box! It’s definitely too pricey for what’s inside but I only get it if it’s free from a reward.20170620_120927Wednesday, the hubs took me to Odiorne Point in Rye, NH. It was a beach/ park area that also had a science center. 20170621_110002Sammy was in love with the fish. She can’t really say her “f” too well so it came out as “swish!” I guess we know what to get for her birthday.20170621_101557The hubs gave me my birthday present early after the beach. It was a “spa basket” filled with goodies since he says I should relax more (what mom relaxes, haha?!). I also am entitled to a massage, just haven’t booked it yet.20170624_081221On my actual birthday, I went shopping with Sammy and had lunch at Olive Garden. I got a new pair of rain boots and two shirts for about $25 from Sears. I love finding a good deal!20170622_155902I also found this starfish pearl necklace and a pearl bracelet both for $3.00 at a flea market a couple of weeks ago. Can’t beat that!

I did have to work later that night, so I wore my new goodies.

Saturday we went to a Fisher Cats game in New Hampshire. 19248124_10103046585774550_5830906205986275731_nThey are one of the minor league teams for the Toronto Blue Jays. Sammy actually had a blast. I was worried she was going to be hyper but she enjoyed watching the game and seeing the airplanes about (there is a airport near the stadium). 19400044_10103046585844410_231260556267918176_nSnap Pea Crisps to the rescue!

To end the awesome birthday week, I took Sammy to My Gym (we restarted it). 19400015_10103046585744610_6636750296739447548_nWe also had a birthday party to go to for my husbands aunt (cake please). It’s always nice to see family when you don’t often.

Well that recaps my birthday week with the family!

I had a blast and enjoyed doing a little something for it everyday. Hope your Monday is as marvelous as my birthday week was! 🙂

MIMM #14: I’ve Got Sunshine

“I’ve got sunshine… on a cloudy day.”18891832_10103011666348360_5397744839317562992_oThe marvelous sun has been teasing us these days; sometimes cloudy, sometimes sunny and of course rain. I am looking forward to some beach weather.

For now the park with the sandbox will do. 😉18768227_10103011996706320_7829397509739594156_oMarvelous is burgers! With twins, my iron levels have been pretty low. I’ve been trying to up my iron intake with the prenatal vitamin plus with food. 20170601_123608I had an angus beef burger with lettuce, tomatoes and a slice of Swiss cheese in a wrap. It was so good and hit the spot! I’ve been craving it every other week or so.

Marvelous is Bagels! Speaking of cravings, bagels is on my list this time around as it was when I was pregnant with Sammy. bagelI’ve been loving the new Sprouted Grain Vegan bagel from Starbucks. Hit’s the spot and actually fills me up better than other whole grain bagels.

Marvelous is sweater weather! Although I do want summer, I do enjoy a crisp “fall” breeze in the air here and there.20170530_160028How cute is that Hello Kitty sweater my mom got Sammy?

Marvelous is Hollar.com: Hollar is an online “dollar store.” Do It On A Dime featured them one of her videos. She rocks for cheap DIY and organizing tips!20170605_130222 There are plenty of items that are above $1 but you can find almost anything you can think of from snacks to household needs. I love online shopping, especially if I have some free time on my break at work. 20170605_130301We’ve been needing an HDMI cable and I got this one for only $5 (works perfect). I also got this corner rack to make space in our pots and pan cabinet.20170603_082546 It’s technically for plates but she used it for the pots and I loved it – less noise too. I got all of these items for under $35.00 and free shipping. I will definitely be ordering again from Hollar.

That’s it for this edition of Marvelous in My Monday!MIMMHope everyone is having a fabulous Monday. :-)

Resistance Band Workout [Tabata Style]

Nausea has taken the best of me like I mentioned last week.

If I’m home for the day, I am good to workout after 11:00am once my nausea has subsided. My daughter usually naps by noon, so it’s a perfect time to get a quick sweat sesh in!

I never really used the resistance band for an ENTIRE workout, but I wanted to do something different for my Tabata routine. I have it at home, so might as well use it!

I like to use “A HIIT Interval Timer” from the app store for timing.

Tabata is simply an interval training workout that has 20 seconds of “work” and 10 seconds of “rest” for 4 minutes each round. I like to do EIGHT rounds; totaling 32 minutes.

I use my stationary bike at home to warm-up for about FIVE minutes, then I get that timer going.  Click HERE and HERE to see some pictures of the moves I mention below with the resistance band.

Note: For the exercises with an * next to them, just take the band and wrap it around the top hinge of your door as is in the picture below.18881717_10103008813525440_3287958496224982322_nHere’s the resistance band routine that I just have to share with y’all:

Resistance Band Tabata [8 Rounds, 32** Minutes Total] 

  1. Sumo Squat*
  2. Jump Squat [hold on to the bands as pictured and jump]*
  3. Upright Row
  4. Bicep Curls
  5. Jumping Lunges [hold on to the bands and alternate each leg, option to just down alternating reverse lunges]*
  6. Sumo Squat w/ Overhead Press
  7. Sumo Squat w/ Low Row [as pictured]*
  8. Deadlift

**For more information on my fitness routine/ coaching click here.