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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Weekend Workout - Crazy Cardio!

So everyone knows why making cardio apart of your weekly workouts is good for you (heart healthy, builds endurance, speed up metabolism, etc) but I always get bored halfway through my workout so I combined a few together to always keep you on your toes.

I mixed plain ol running, high intensity interval training (HIIT) and incline walking all in one. It's super easy and because it is always changing there is no time for boredom and it is done in 35 minutes!
So here's the breakdown in minutes:
0:00-1:00- walking at 4.0
1:00-7:00- running at a steady running pace (I am slow like a turtle and run about a 6.5-6.8) but run at a 1.0 incline
7:00-9:00- walk at 4.0 
9:00-10:00- run at a 6.5
10:00-12:00- walk at 4.0
12:00-13:00: run at 7.0
13:00-15:00- walk at 4.0
15:00-16:00- run at 7.5
16:00-18:00- walk at 4.0
18:00-19:00- run at 8.0
19:00-21:00- walk at 4.0
21:00-22:00- run at 7.5
22:00-24:00- walk at 4.0
24:00-25:00- run at 7.0
25:00-27:00- walk at 4.0
27:00-28:00- run at 6.6
28:00-31:00- walk at 4.0 at a 8.0 incline
31:00-35:00- walk at 4.0 at a 15.0 incline

These are the speeds that I use when I do this workout of course you can adjust higher or lower for your workout based on what is comfortable. But I can say that you will be exhausted when you are done! 

Happy Cardio!

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Negative Nancy No More!

I am so over being negative.


Seriously it is like a fire that continues to spread as more and more people around you are negative and then next thing you know it has consumed us all. 

Well I am putting a stop to it in my life.

I have noticed lately that I have been more negative lately. I am not sure it is because this deployment is taking a toll on me or if it is just me letting society in general attempt to take over my life. What I mean by that is if you read this news what do you read? Negativity. There are so many things people are critical of on social media or people who just spew absolute hatred on there as well. And then there are people at work who are negative or "Debby Downers" and their infectious attitudes take you over too before you know it. 

Besides why should I be so negative when I have so many positive things in my life. I have a perfect family, great friends, a job (while it takes me away from my family it most definitely provides for my family), and so many other positive things. So with all that being said I am officially calling September, the month of Positive. Every day I am going to find something to be that helps me be positive. Even when I am sure there are going to be days that will test my patience on this I know there will be something good that I can think of! 

So follow me on Instagram and Twitter and use the hashtag #positive4life

So if you're having a bad day let little Miss O cheer you up with her sweet smile!

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Weekend Workout

Since I have been deployed I have struggled with what to write about because I feel like there is only so much to say before it seems like every day is Groundhog's Day here. And then it dawned on me...
Why not write about fitness! I became a certified personal trainer in June of last year and I truly enjoy working out so why not share the knowledge with you guys!
One of my favorite things to do is work my core. It is one of the most important parts of your body to keep strong because you use your core more than you think you do; from proper posture to carrying kids around the house! So here are my top 5 core exercises.

1. Heel Touch

Keeping your legs as straight as possible lift your shoulders and your upper back off the ground to touch your heels. Do this for 30 seconds and try to get 15-20 reps.




2. Reach for the sky
Start lying flat on your back with your arms extended past your head. Then bringing your arms up start to come up and lift your shoulders up. Continue keeping your arms straight until you are fully upright. You can do this with or without a weight. Do this for 60 seconds and try for 30 reps. *Note I only have photos of the 2nd and 3rd steps as I couldn't zoom out enough in my room to get the first step in.



3. Boat
Extend your arms straight out and keep your legs out as well. It is important to keep your back straight and not slouch. Hold this position for 30-45 seconds. This works all the core as it is a good balancing exercise too.


4. Russian Twist
Assuming the position twist from side to side touching the ground as you do it and do this for 30-45 seconds. You can also use a weight instead of clasping your hands together.
 

5. Plank
Hold this position and it is very important not to let your back sag as that can cause some lower back pain. You can do this on your elbows as shown below or also on your hands will your arms fully extended. Hold this for 30 seconds. Alternate dropping one knee lightly to the ground for another 30 seconds if you want to kick it up a notch. This will also work your shoulders and triceps.


6. Side Plank
This can also be called a side bridge. Hold this position below for 30 seconds. Then alternate to the other side and hold for 30 more seconds. You can do this in conjunction with a regular plank. This works your side obliques and shoulders too.



These are just some of the many ab exercises out there but they are easy to do at home and don't take very long to do at all. And you can always increase your time or reps if you want to increase the intensity of the workout. 
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Sunday, July 21, 2013

How Time Flies!

It has been FOREVER since I have written on here! I totally thought coming here I would have ample amounts of time to blog to my heart's content...WRONG! I am so busy all the time and I swear I have more free time at home working full time and taking care of the kiddos than I do here kiddo free! But I will say that I have actually had a pretty good time so far on my deployment and I can't really complain because there are far worse places to be! So here is the run down of things I have gotten to experience since the last time I blogged.

1. Met the Secretary of State John Kerry



2. Experienced the culture off base



3. Got to work with the Singapore Air Force



4.My hubby came to visit!


Until next time folks! Which I promise won't be another month and a half :) Enjoy!
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Sunday, May 26, 2013

2 weeks down!

You know that song "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall"...yea that should be my theme song on this deployment. Maybe it will make the time go by faster. 

I feel like I should give you all an insight into my "deployment." It isn't really that hard...really the hardest part is being away from the family (a no brainer) and finding things to do to fill the time. 
I am at a pretty nice base with quite a bit of amenities such as a movie theater; which by the way we get new releases just as you guys do so that makes it nice. We also have an outdoor pool, a gym, and a bunch of restaurants in case the chow hall gets to be bland. And it does fairly quickly I might add. And there is free wifi...yes I can't really complain about where I am at considering there are worse places I could be. 

One of the perks of being where I am is that we can take a cultural tour off base. I can't wait to do one but I might add that I'm a little nervous because I hear that the drivers here literally have the world's worst road rage and accidents per capita. Yikes! But it will be an adventure non the less and I can't wait to see how other people in this world live so differently than us. 

So this is a picture of my small abode here. 
So this is small abode here. 

It is my part of the room as there is also a bathroom and two other bunk beds. I am just now getting a roommate so 2 weeks without one has been pretty nice. 

So I am adjusting fairly well to the time difference and to the heat...it has only been 108 so far!! It is strange because some people think that since I am a "weather girl" that I am used to this heat...umm negative. When I left Arkansas it was only high 70s!

Well as most of you are starting to wake it is actually bedtime for me so until we write again...see you soon!
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Monday, May 13, 2013

Potted Plants Project

Potted Plants Project...can you say that three times fast?!?! The easy DIY craft is not as hard as saying that is thankfully! If you're looking for something fun and easy to do with the kids this summer this is just for you!
All you need is ceramic pots from any store that sells lawn and garden stuff, some paint, a paintbrush and some paper towels cuz it could get messy!

You can have your kiddos do any design. I had my oldest use your hand prints because her hands and feet were too big to make a butterfly. My littlest one made a butterfly using her feet and it came out so cute! 






This is a super fun AND super cheap way to have a fun crafty afternoon with the kids!!

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Honest Company Discovery Kit

For the most part I dislike the sponsored posts that show up on your wall on Facebook. However that changed when the Honest Company post showed up. I had heard of the company and I knew it was started by Jessica Alba and that it didn't use all the chemicals that most companies use in their products. 

So I thought what the heck let's try this out. 
Best choice EVER. 


So in the Discovery Kit it contains a sample of their diapers in all their fun patterns. I mean who wouldn't doesn't like cute diapers! They also include a sample pack of their wipes. 
My favorite thing about the diapers besides being super cute is that if you order their diaper bundle every month you get all different designs AND it is shipped to your doorstep. How nice is it to not have to run to the store every week because you need diapers! This is also the only other diaper I have found that my little munchkin doesn't leak out of! Also my little one has to use sensitive wipes or she breaks out and their wipes are perfect and don't irritate her skin.

Modeling the new diapers!

They also send you a sample of their Family Essentials. It is a their laundry detergent, body wash, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, etc. I have to say that I haven't used it yet because I brought it with me  on my "trip over the pond." But I will say that I am so excited to use it and I'll be posting later on how it works!

In the words of Siskel and Ebert I give this company two thumbs up! I love baby products and it is even better that they are chemical free!
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Socially Yours: Invitation Review

I have had the privilege of reviewing invitations for Socially Yours. Socially Yours is an online invitation site that was among the first to sell their invitations online and before that have been in the business since 1994. What makes these invitations even more personal is that a few of the original 9 designs showcased her two young sons and are still some of the best selling invitations on the site!


One of my favorite invitations on the site is Yellow and White Floral Party Invitations. I am a fan of flowers and even more so flowers that have bright colors that stand out to viewers. It is perfect because you can use it for any type of spring or summer party. Whether it is a family get together, birthday party or bridal shower it works perfectly. 

I also loved the Precious Patriotic Baby Invitation! I am a sucker for babies and putting a baby on an invitation makes it an instant favorite for me! It is perfect for any type of patriotic party like 4th of July, Memorial Day, or Veterans Day. It also is the perfect baby announcement for a military family! LOVE LOVE LOVE babies!

Are you on the hunt for a bridal shower invitation? Look no further because this next one is perfect. The Satin White Wedding Gown and Colorful Floral Bouquet Bridal Invitation is just what you are looking for. Like I said earlier I am a huge fan of colorful flowers and the bouquet in this invitation is exactly that.  I love the detail in the wedding dress and flowers and it just makes it have that classic beauty feel. 

It was so hard to choose a favorite wedding invitation but I must say that I loved the Bride and Groom First Steps Wedding Invitation from the first moment I saw it. Everyone knows how important it is to find the perfect wedding dress BUT I think that having a good pair of heels for your dress is like the icing on the cake and the beautiful red heels in this invitation do just that. This card is perfect just like how any wedding should be! This invitation can be used as a wedding invitation or you could use it as thank you cards also. 

Last but certainly not least is birthday cards! Being that my littlest just celebrated her first birthday I enjoyed all the birthday invitations. Baby Girl in Flowerpot with Orange and Yellow Flowers is just the invitation for any spring or summer birthday party. The cute innocence of this darling baby staring at the flowers could put a smile on anyone's face! 

One of my favorite things about this site is the variety of all the invitations. Whether you are having a beach wedding or a rustic country one there are invitations for it all. This company has proven its quality, creativity, and customer service for the past 18 years so why not trust your needs to them! 

And for a limited time they are offering a code for 15% off your order! Just use the code Summer VIP! 

Enjoy! 


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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

When Duty Calls...

I've been in the military now for almost 12 years and I can say that for the majority of it I have loved it. It is a great job, great pay and benefits and I have lived in places I never would have had I not joined.

However the one downside to being in the military is the deployments. For the last 4 years I have been on the "single parent" side of it...meaning Justin has been the one deploying and I have been home by myself with the girls. Well that is all about to change.

Last week I got short noticed tasked for a deployment. It isn't a hard place to go to and it is one of the safest places to deploy to so I'm thankful for that BUT just when I thought I had made to the safe zone and wouldn't get tasked they snuck a secret play on me. Alas it's my job and I have to go so I'm learning to make the best of it.

I'll get more pay, start my masters, see a new country and I'll be the "boss" while I'm there so that will help my annual report.

So here in the next month I'll be "Reporting for Duty!"

In the meantime say a prayer for the hubby! He's only ever had the girls by himself for an evening when I've had to work the late shift so this will be an eye opening experience for him!

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Adding a Signature to Your Blog

Adding a signature to your blog is extremely easy and not only will it help personalize your blog but it will allows you to put some of your personality into each post even more!
There are many ways to design your signature but I am going to go over how to do it using a signature website.

One website that allows you to create your signature is MyLiveSignature. I'm not going to go over every step because the website is very self explanatory but from the main page click on "Start Now" to begin.

Once you have finished making your signature save it as a image on your computer.

Now you will need to upload the image onto an image hosting site such as Photobucket (it's a free site too). Then retrieve the image URL. On Photobucket the URL can be found by clicking the "share to other services" here:
Chose links at the top from the popup window and double click on the HTML code to copy it.

Now go to Blogger and select Template, click Edit HTML, and then check the box Expand Widgets Templates. Once there search for the code div class=’post-footer’ and use the first instance of this code. Insert the image URL in the line IMMEDIATELY above the code and select preview to make sure it posted properly. Then hit save. 

**It is important to make sure you use "<" and ">" when putting the image URL into the template.  

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Decorative Wooden Letter DIY

Ever see those decorative wooden letters on wreaths and wonder how you can get one? Well it is really easy to make AND it is cheap too!
You can get the supplies at any craft store and Walmart even carries it all too.
You will need:
Wooden letter
Glue Gun
Newspaper (to put under craft project for spills)
Decorative gems (used for potted plants, vases, etc)

Your supplies

Glue the gems onto the wooden letter. Be careful when placing the gems down as they will permanently stick immediately when you place them.



This project only takes about 10 minutes to complete and then you can hang with your beautiful wreath!


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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday

In honor of my sweet "Taterbug" turning 9 yesterday this post is dedicated to her!

It seems like just yesterday I was told I was going to have a baby in a few short hours. At almost 21 years old I hadn't a clue what I was getting into bit I was ready for the challenge nonetheless.


Now I have a smart beautiful and talented 9 year that has taught more about life than I thought was possible. I can only hope that when she is a "teenager" that we are still as close now and she still thinks cool!


P.S. Don't forget to enter the Magazine Giveaway for your daughter!! 
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Magazine Review: Be Your Own You and Subscription Giveaway





A few weeks ago I was approached to do a magazine review for a magazine called Be Your Own You.  I hadn't ever heard of it but from the email it described the magazine as "the premier provider of positive self-esteem messaging for “tween” girls, with the mission to empower them to become a positive force in tomorrow’s world. We have created the perfect balance of entertainment and education; teaching self-esteem in fun, yet powerful, ways that makes a long-lasting impact on a girl’s life. We feature stories and information on current topics and challenges girls face today (such as bullying, body image, and friendships), positive self-affirming messaging, and popular teen/tween celebrities who are positive role models and making a difference in the world." Well naturally that caught my attention because I have a daughter that is almost 9 (only a few weeks!) and she is entering those "tween" years. So I thought what could be better for her than to have a magazine like this that she can read.



I read through the magazine before I gave it to Taylor to read and I love this magazine so much I don't even where to start!!
First off this magazine isn't covered with girls trying to look older with lots of makeup on and talking about nothing but boys. I love how this magazine isn't forcing the girls to act older than what they are! This magazine inspires them to reach for goals, ways you can face your fears, DIY crafts and stories from women and girls that can inspire them. 
There was a story on how to start your own business and Taylor read it and next thing you know she is coming up to me asking to use the computer so she can write things to do for her own business! Love that!
They also have an apparel store that sells shirts that say Be Your Own You. I think that slogan is so important because nowadays girls have so much peer pressure on them to be like someone else or to act older or whatever the case may be but these clothes let them know that it is OK to be you!
Right away the first thing Taylor saw was the cover model and recognized her from a Disney tv show.  Her name is Olivia Holt and the interview with her was awesome. She discusses her charity work and how important it is, and most of all she seems very down to earth. She talks about the small town that she is from and how at one point she bullied by kids for pursuing her dreams of being an actress. She gives pointers for dealing with it since unfortunately it happens more in school now. 
Dec/Jan Issue I reviewed

The Feb/Mar issue

So what is better than this awesome review? Have a giveaway for you to see yourself how awesome this magazine is!!!
That's right one lucky winner will get a free year's subscription to the magazine. I know your daughter's  will love this magazine as much as mine does!

So here are the rules for the giveaway:

1. Follow the magazine on one of their social media sites:
‘Like’ us on Facebook! www.Facebook.com/BYOUmagazine
‘Follow’ us on Twitter! www.Twitter.com/BYOUmagazine
(I trust you all that you will do this!)


2. Share this post on one social media site and then comment below and attach the link of where you shared it to.

So easy!!!

*** You can also get a bonus entry for any person you send to this blog and they comment that you sent them!***


So go out and share this magazine with the world. Seriously...it's an awesome magazine and girls will love it!

Hurry the giveaway ends on April 1st! (It really does..not an April Fools joke!)




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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Little Girl Scout

This was my absolute favorite time of year for growing up when I was a Girl Scout. Cookie sales!!
This year was my daughter's first time to experience it and she has had a blast. She saw all the prizes available and immediately wanted to try to sell 500 boxes. We sat and talked about it and decided that 250 was probably a more realistic number since she had never sold before.
This is one of the many reasons why I love Girl Scouts especially in today's society where it seems like everywhere you turn there is something or someone that is trying to advertise for kids to grow up faster!
So needless to say Miss Taylor sold 179 (and then some more since then) and was absolutely proud of herself for selling that many. I LOVE how this teaches girls so many great skills!

So if you ever had any questions about Girl Scouts or how your money helps them you can find that here: Cookie Questions Answered

All the troop's cookies

Taylor and her cookies
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why Consigning is the Way To Go

Quick what is the one thing that you dislike the most about garage sales? Picking the date and hoping it doesn't rain? People haggling you to lower the prices? Or maybe having to sit outside all day for that one person that shows up two hours after everyone else has left. 
Well have no fear consigning is here! Seriously it is everywhere. 
There are a few consignment sales that come through Arkansas but my favorite by far is Rhea Lana's. It originated in Conway Arkansas in Rhea Lana Riner's own living room with a few of her friends. Since then it has grown to a national consignment sale company. 
The beauty of consignment sales is that you get so much more for your clothes than what you could imagine at a garage sale. The best part is that there isn't any haggling of prices, sitting around for hours or hoping it doesn't rain during your sale. 
This past weekend I sold 33 outfits and 2 small toys and made almost 72 bucks. That is pretty awesome for not having to do the selling myself and even with 30% of it going back to the company and a $9 participation fee I still averaged 2 bucks per item! Much better than any garage sale I've ever had!

Thank you Rhea Lana's!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Spice Up Your Valentine's Candy

There are so many ways to spice up your Valentine's candy and here is a quick and easy (and cheap!) one!

All you need is small round stickers! I found mine at Tuesday Morning but I am sure Michael's or any craft store would have them and stick them to the bottom of your Hershey kiss. So cute and the kids and wear the stickers after they have eaten the candy!



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Monday, February 11, 2013

Drumroll Please...


I won!! Gosh I left my acceptance speech at home and don't know what to say! (I kid I kid!) Anyways this is a wonderful award to pass around and meet new people in the blogging community. So here it goes:

The Liebster Award is given to bloggers who are fairly new to the blogging world with less than 200 followers. The award is then passed along to other bloggers of the same criterion.



The Liebster Award rules: 
Bloggers nominate other up and coming bloggers (with less than 200 followers) for the award.
If you receive the Liebster, you must:
Tell 11 random things about yourself.
Answer the 11 questions the nominator has asked you.
Nominate 11 other bloggers and make sure you notify them.

Random Facts about Me:
1. I love chocolate. I'm a woman...this shouldn't be surprising.
2. I love Dog the Bounty Hunter show...so much so that the hubby jokes he won't take me to Hawaii because I would stalk the them!
3. My name is April and I was born in April...yep my mom loved that name!
4. Coloring my hair is a must...I have been getting WHITE hair since I was 25...thanks genetics!
5. My dad and I went to the same college. It was Park College when he went and it is now Park University.
6. I can't stand coffee...I have tried...many times...
7. I am super excited to be turning 30 this year.
8. I was a movie extra when I lived in Utah.
9. I love living in the South where it is nice and warm but I so do miss the snow in the winter time!
10. When I was pregnant with my littlest I could have lived off of Mexican food and crab....weird right!

I didn't get questions to answer but none the less here are the 11 blogs YOU should go check out!


Now ladies here are your questions

1. What made you want to start a blog?
2. What is your one can't-live-without thing in your purse?
3. Trapped on a deserted island..what 4 things would you want with you?
4. All time favorite movie?
5. What are 3 words to describe you?
6. If you could have a different job what would it be?
7. What is one goal for this year?
8. Scared of anything?
9. What is something that most people don't know about you?
10. Where is your ideal place to live?
11. How do you spend your free time?


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Friday, February 8, 2013

February Photo a Day!

Ok anyone who knows anything about me knows that I am almost always late for anything! (Except work! The military frowns on that! Lol)
Well I always see the photo a day things and thought it would be fun to come up with one for my blog for February! So alas here it is! Have fun and follow me on Instagram so we can share our photos with others!

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Easy Cheesy Chicken and Rice Bake

I love a good recipe that has lots of flavor and is quick to cook. My hubby and I both work full time so there are many days that we have to rush for dinner. 
So here is the perfect recipe to use if you are in a bind too!

You will need:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of uncooked rice
1 1/2 cup of water
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
Shredded cheese

Combine the soups, uncooked rice, paprika and black pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Pour mixture into a 13x9 inch baking dish. Place the chicken on top of the mixture. Sprinkle the top of the chicken with additional paprika and black pepper. Bake covered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until chicken is done. When the chicken is done remove from oven and sprinkle the top of the chicken with cheese. Let it set for a few minutes to cool before serving.






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Monday, January 14, 2013

Upcycled Grocery Bag Carrier

So this was one of the very first things I saw on pinterest and thought that I had pinned it to a board but apparently in my novice Pinterest abilities I didn't. So I FINALLY got around to trying it out for myself! I like this idea because you can use it to store grocery bags at home or for the car. I will use them for both since I don't have a place to store them at home in my cabinets.

It is super easy and all you need is an empty disinfecting wipes container and some contact paper.


Measure the wipes container and cut out according to the measurements. The contact paper has a grid on the non decorative side that you can use to measure.

I also recommend you find the straight edge of the original paper on the container so that way you have a straight edge as your guide so your paper goes on straight.

And voila! Super easy and super cheap!

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