How to Workout with Kids

For those of you who have kids and want to start a fitness journey, or for those of you who just wonder how moms juggle family, work, obligations, AND stay in shape, me too. I’m curious, too. Since I became a mom almost 9 years ago, I think I’ve tried to get back in shape more times than my 5 year old has asked me for gum this afternoon (that’s, like, a LOT of times). You wanna know how many times I’ve been successful? Um… once. But it didn’t last long.

Over Christmas this year I decided I was going to do it again. But for real this time. Each year my office closes between Christmas and New Year so it was the perfect time. I’d be home. I’d cleanse my diet. I’d restart my body. Trick it to think it doesn’t want that massive piece of chocolate cake from the grocery store, like I trick my kids to think that Chick-Fil-A doesn’t sell ice cream on the week days. It’d be so super easy. I even have everything I need at home in the form of workout DVDs. Bam.

Day one was AWE-SUM. It was great. My kids are obviously now old enough for me to reason with.

“Kids, I’m going to be in the basement for 20 minutes to workout. Everyone has snacks and drinks, everyone is good, right?”
“Yes, Mommy! We’re good!”
“OK! I’m going to close the door so that the dogs don’t come down but if you need me, you can come get me, OK?”
“OH KAAAAY!”
“But if you come downstairs, please don’t let the dogs down.”

Y’all, hand to Heaven I got 20 minutes with my Piyo DVD. It was so refreshing and I felt so alive. I was all,

“I got this. This time tomorrow I’ll be down to my fighting weight. Just to make sure I’ll have a smoothie for my after-snack snack.”

The next day was fairly similar.   Got ma fit-nass on (please read that as “own” for dramatic effect). BAM! But… It didn’t last long. Pretty soon, I was getting maaaybe 10 minutes in before Pandora opened her shatty box of cray-zee, Roman opened the basement door to demand I help him put on my gold pants (because he thinks they make him look like Slash), and our 50-lb lab, Georgia, came FLYYYYYYY-ing down the stairs and tackled me while I was attempting to perfect my push-ups which meant I was at the perfect height on the floor for my Chihuahua, Lola, to lick me up the nose. Yes, UP the nose. Her tongue is so long and slender that it actually fits UP MY NOSE.

Then Roman wanted to play the drums for me while I worked out. But I couldn’t hear the lovely Chalene Johnson! I asked him to play quietly but then he started crying because Guns n Roses doesn’t play the drums quietly! So that finished that day. Subsequent attempts were even worse… so I finally gave up. And by “finally” I mean by the third day.

“Oh, I know!” I naively thought to myself, “I’ll sign up for the special I saw on Facebook for the Krav Maga combat fitness classes! Three classes for $20. Done. I’m so gonna rock this. If I pay for it I’ll totally do it cuz I don’t wanna waste money!”

I took the first class on the last Wednesday before going back to work. Class started at 6. I had to wait for my hubs to get home from work to relieve me from my parenting duties so I was runnin’ a little late! Sue me! Weeeell, they very well may. Someone from the studio called me to make sure I was coming. I got there at 6:05. Intense. “Something tells me we’re not in LA Fitness anymore.”

I was the only person in the class who had never done it before. Everyone in the class… EVERYONE had on shirts and pants with the studio logo on it. I busted up in there in a hot pink sports bra, yoga shirt, and bright running tights. Like, have you ever gone to a costume party only to realize you need to stop at the store on the way so you’re walking through Target dressed like a giant poo emoji? Yeah. That was me.

And I was totally lost. Like a female pro bowler trying to be a Lakers Cheerleader. Lost like that. I loved it but felt totally lost. It was a great workout. But I knew that once work started back I wouldn’t be able to make those classes without, at best, being 10 minutes late. The schedule just didn’t match mine.

I realized something over the break. I’ve been going about this “all-or-nothing” for so long… it’s not fair. Not fair to me. So I’m going to do my best. Some days my best might mean I eat 1300 healthy calories and a refuse that break-room cupcake. Some days I may kill those 1300 calories by breakfast. Oops. But it’s about being more aware of my choices and creating realistic expectations for myself.

Do I want my abs to come back to me? Yes. Do I want to take care of myself? Yes. But I also know that with the kids’ schedules, my schedule, and my husband’s schedule, sometimes it’s all I can do to get them in bed before I fall asleep in the hallway on the way back to my room. Step by step, choice by choice, I’ll get where I need to be.

What do you do to take care of yourself?

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Save Hours on Your Hair Routine

You are your own brand. WE are our own brand.  What that means is that every time someone sees us, every time we are heard, every time someone reads something we write the recipients are left with an impression of us. A story of who we are and what we stand for. No, my story is not “Dumb and Dumber”. But I do accept that some people may have the impression that I should be incarcerated for being incredibly awesome and, thus, a threat to society, so…

Think about the brands of your favorite companies. The reputable ones… not the sketchy ones that have the entrance ‘round back with billboards up and down the interstate on the way to the beach. That’s weird. What feelings do they conjure for you just by hearing the company name? That’s their brand. What is your brand? What do people see when they look at you? Is it what you want? Oh, God, is it what I want???

As women, life gets busy and we either forget that people are paying attention to us or just stopped caring. Even if we aren’t paying attention to ourselves, I promise others are. Someone always is. Especially kids. “Mom, you have a strange shaped nose. Did you know that?”  Ugh, yes, I know that.

For example, in my mind I’m an effing glamorous rock star, complete with leather, stilettos, and appropriately worn smoky eye. In actuality today I wore a black sweatshirt I’ve had for 10 years, bright orange and pink running tights, no makeup, and dirty hair. Yes, I went out like that. Have I gone a few days without bathing? Maybe. Is it gross? Yes. Do I care? Meh. I didn’t care until I saw someone I know and she hugged me because she’s super nice. And here I am looking like a biatch because I’m embarrassed to be me.

So, while I want my brand to tell the world that I am edgy, feminine, and a badass protector of all things beautiful, today it says “I’m tired, overwhelmed, and ain’t got time for this shit. Feed me coffee and wine and if you judge me I’ll throat punch you.”

But there has to be a way for us to have both. There has to be a way for us to show the world (including our children) that we DO care about the way we present ourselves to the outside without spending an hour that we don’t have getting ready and all the while still feeling comfortable. Affordable, effortless, and practical beauty. Clothes and shoes that make me look like Mila Kunis but feel like Roseanne Bar. (You know what I mean, don’t you?!)

As the new year is getting underway, I am vowing to uncover tricks to still look fabulous even when I’m on the verge of narcolepsy and share them with you so that we can be fab together, even if your version of fab includes turtle neck dickies and doilies. To each her own. You’re pretty. And that’s all that matters, right? Twenty-minute beauty. I can do anything in twenty minutes (that’s what HE said!!!!)

For my first hack, I would like to share with you the joy of dry shampoo.  Lordy, gurl, it’s ah-mah-zing.  If you’ve lived as I lived washing my hair every morning and sometimes still have greasy hair by the end of the day, then let me give you a little hope: you don’t have to live that way.

Now I wash my hair at night and I blow it out.  A proper blow out.  I don’t just blow dry all “willy nilly” and call it a day.  For my hair type, I use a palmful of mousse and run it through my hair before I dry it.  To wash and properly dry my hair it takes about 30 minutes.  If I don’t have to go anywhere,  I don’t even have to dry it all the way.

Here’s where it gets awesome: the next day, if you notice your hair is greasy, use your dry shampoo.  Spray at the roots at the top of your hair and lift up your hair around your head.  Brush out or run your fingers through your hair and you’re good to go.  At this point I can go a good three or four days without washing my hair.  Ok, let’s be honest, I know I CAN go five.  Is it pretty?  No.  But that’s neither here nor there.

So there you have it.  My secret.  You can spread it if you want…  I don’t mind.

What beauty hacks do you have? Can we share?

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How to Survive Rogue One

My family and I did something a few days ago that we rarely do… we went to the movies! Usually my hubs and I wait until movies are available from the comfort of our own home and have the “lazy man’s movie night”. But we went all out for Rogue One. Given it’s been a bit since we’ve ventured out together like this, I forgot about a few nuances about the movie theater experience. In the event you are weighing the pros and cons of going to see a movie, I’d like to share with you what those nuances are.

  1. Cost – if you’re not in the top 1% of the top 1% of earners in the country, you may want to pawn that vase you had appraised on Antiques Roadshow before you purchase those tickets. And don’t get me started on the food. $4.99 USD for a SMALL BOTTLE OF WATER?????? I can get 32 bottles at Costco for that price! Just keep whispering, “It’s for the babies… it’s for the babies… it’s for the babies.” And hand over that $100 bill. To be fair, in exchange you’ll get a kid’s sized Icee, a small popcorn, and a box of Snowcaps. Did you get nachos? Want extra cheese? Well, that’ll be a kidney. Napkins? Those are free. You’re welcome.
  2. Time Management – Lines are inevitable even if you get your tickets online. Lines, lines everywhere. So be sure to plan for it. Concession lines to order your food and drinks, lines to get your food once you order it, lines to show the 13 year old your tickets, lines to use the bathroom. Lines again so that your 5 year old can use the bathroom for the 6th time in an hour. In my mind I’m famous and, as such, should not be subjected to lines.
  3. People – Ugh. I forget how much I hate being around people until I go to the movies. Remember that movie Crash? The one where Reese Witherspoon’s first husband played a cop? When I saw that movie so many years ago, something happened that caused me to forever lose faith in the classiness of the human race. A woman sat down rightbesideme (yes, that spacing is on purpose because that’s how I felt) in a not-so-crowded theater, reached into her oversized handbag, and pulled out of that Mary Poppins purse a paper bag from Churches Chicken. While the movie was just beginning (the actual movie, not the credits) she tore the bag down the side and rolled it down so that she could gain better access to her chicken wings. Then she- I moved. I have no idea what she did after that. In my mind she made love to those chicken wings without shame, no matter who was watching, and I wasn’t going to be a part of that. But, yeah, I hate being around groups of people. They’re stupid.
  4. My kids – I adore my kids. Seriously. I am in love with them. But I can’t handle going to the movies with them very often. When we order movies at home, they have full access to more than one bathroom. They can move around, they can talk, they can sit on their heads, they can cry because their socks feel funny. None of it matters because I didn’t spend $100 to watch it. I maybe spent $6 if I was feeling frisky and didn’t go with a free option. Today Roman spilled his popcorn, went to the bathroom 4 times, got his foot caught underneath himself and started bawling, sat in my lap, sat in my hubs’ lap, sat in his chair, sat in my lap, back to my husband, then back to me. He wanted my pizza, nope that’s gross, then drank an entire Icee. That’s right. He had to pee 4 times BEFORE he finished the Icee. Then there’s my 8-year-old baby girl. Bella is usually pretty good at the moves. Today, though, she wanted to know who everyone was in the movie, why they did what they did, point out how funny the robot was, impersonate the robot, crunch her chips, smack her chips, argue with me out loud when I told her quietly to stop smacking, and sit with her legs in what I can only describe as an open frog position.

Overall, even with the frustrations, we had a great time. Rogue One is a very entertaining, action-packed movie that the kids and the hubs loved. I love that a strong female character kicked ass. Bam, boys! It moves quickly and stands alone so you don’t have to be familiar with the whole franchise to get the story. So if you can get passed all the crazy out there and afford to sell your first born to whatever theater you prefer to visit, I highly recommend seeing Rogue One.

Maybe I’m impatient and frugal but it’s ok. At least I’m pretty. How do you prefer to watch movies?

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New Year, New Mariah, New You

It’s 2017. If you’re reading this, you made it! Congratulations. It probably means you aren’t a cracked out rock star, beloved screen actor, or Princess Leia. Maybe it means you’re Betty White! GO BETTY!

Anyway, with each new year comes a renewed effort to start anew and begin again… to become a better person and along with that many of us make goals and some lofty resolutions to keep ourselves on track.   Be our best in 2017. I want you to know that those goals, your goals are all within reach. No matter how lofty or big they are, you can make those goals your biatch.

The difference between goal setters and goal reachers is that goal reachers put one foot in front of the other, even when the fog is too thick to see the end. All it takes is that first step, then the next, then the next. Some people are mistaken by thinking that they have to perfect that first step before they take it. New Year’s Eve proved us wrong.

Did you see it? Mariah Carey’s performance? If not, hold EVERYTHING and Google it. Immediately. But be sure to come back. This shat’s about to make you feel a whole lot better about yourself. Even your 2016 self.

It was pretty crazy, right?

If New Year’s Eve with Mariah taught us anything, it’s that you just gotta get out there. Did she know the words? The words to her OWN SONGS? No. No, she did not. Did that stop her from getting out on that stage in front of millions? Nope. Not only that, she was confident. She stuck both of those legs in that sparkly, high-cut leotard and walked out on that stage like the diva she knows she is. And that, as “THEY” say, is the first step.

Was she there to sing? Yes. Did she? No. But she smiled and held that microphone like she was gonna love it. She owned her suckiness and gave us a show that none of us expected. And there we all were left with our mouths agape wondering what just happened to us.

I don’t know what your goals are. Maybe it’s to be more present. Maybe it’s to get in shape. Maybe it’s to pay off your debt so you can fulfill your dream of becoming a Bikram yoga instructor.   If MC taught us anything, it’s that life won’t stop so you can line everything up for perfection before you take that first step. Sometimes you have to get out on that stage unprepared “without a functioning earpiece” and make the best of it. But as long as you sparkle and own it, that stage is yours.  If you fail, put on your highest heels, slap some mascara on those lashes and get back out there.  At least you’re pretty.

So, what will you do? What’s your first step?

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