Archives for category: Reviews

Today it is pushing 90 degrees where I live. I am not complaining! After the terrible, long, brutal, 50 below 0 winter we had, I welcome the sunshine and warmth on my face! But being pregnant in summer is far different than being pregnant in winter. Jackson is a February baby. I was in the nitty gritty of pregnancy in much cooler weather with him. This time I get the joy of a summer pregnancy. Both have their perks I think and both have their challenges.

I wanted to share some summer (and not necessarily summer) pregnancy essentials that I am obsessed with.

1. I used this with my first pregnancy and I escaped stretch mark free! I swore by it, I swear by it, and I share it with most new preggos I know. Bella B Tummy Honey Butter.
photo 3 (1)It always soothes an itchy belly for me. I usually use it twice a day. It can be a bit greasy feeling initially but the way I see it is, it soothes the itching and I was stretch mark free. So far I am as well. Greasiness is a small price to pay for both of those! You can find it on their site or Amazon. I am a fiend for ordering it from there. This is my current tub and I have two or three more stored in a cabinet. Just watch the price on Amazon. I have sometimes noticed it to be priced higher than their retail price.

2. My Gap Maternity jean shorts. I have two pairs that I love. They are so comfortable. They are the same pair but different dyes of jean. Unfortunately it appears that the darker wash I own is no longer anywhere on their site!

photo 4I am wearing the lighter wash in this photo. I was 16 weeks here. I am a few days into 24 weeks now and I am comfortable wearing them today. They are still loose but comfy! I also like that they are a panel at the waist and not a full panel. I wore full panel shorts one hot day recently. We walked to the park. That was a mistake. I was so hot, sweaty, and itchy that as soon as I walked in the door off they came. Never again!

3. Three goes hand in hand with the above photo. I am obsessed with any kind of ribbed tank. The one above is also from Gap. One of their Essential Tanks. I also have the white one I linked to. I am again wearing this tank today at 24 weeks and it is still way comfy and fitting. I have ribbed tanks from A Pea in the Pod too.

IMG_5657This was Memorial Day. Also, note the shorts ;-) These kinds of tops are just so comfy and keep me cool. Plus they show off my shoulders and arms. They are fitted so I don’t feel overly billowy. Tank tops are just a must have summer pregnancy staple for me.

4. Be Maternity BeBand. I know I said I hate full panels, and that is true, unless I am running! I need the belly support. I have found that two of these or one with a full panel maternity running capri keep me supported enough to not have any ligament pain in my low abs during runs. I have 4 of these. Two white and two black. Not that colors matter for me because I wear them under a fitness top. I have tried another band, a more elaborate one but right now, at this stage, it was more cumbersome than helpful. Perhaps as I get bigger in the next 3 months I will be switching. But for now, these rock my running world.

5. Pacifica Kona Coffee Sugar Scrub. This stuff smells so good I could almost eat it in the shower! Ha! Just kidding but really it smells fantastic, if the smell of coffee doesn’t bother you. I find it amazing.photo 2 (2)

This product leaves my skin so fresh and smooth. It is the last thing I use in the shower. I go through it quickly because I use it all over my body. So, it can be a bit of a splurge. But it is so relaxing and refreshing to start my day with this. I initially found it at Ulta. I have also ordered it directly from Pacifica. I also have read that Target carries this brand. I keep forgetting to look for it when I am there, so I cannot confirm or deny if they have this specifically.  Like I said, it is a splurge that it is worth it for my pregnant self.

6. On the same brand note, I am loving their Coconut Crushed Pearl shimmer lotion.photo 4 (1)

It gives a nice sparkle to your skin. It is also very moisturizing. I was playing in the pool with my husband yesterday and he kept trying to grab my arms and legs. I was swimming away. Each time I was able to slip right from his hands. I bragged about how I can get away because of all my lotion! Ha! It leaves me glowing and moisturized. It smells lovely as well!

7. Ok, this is the last Pacifica product…..for now! Indian Coconut Nectar hand cream is a must for bedtime for me. I put it on every night.photo 1 (2)

I will also use it in the morning after getting ready and before I put on my rings. It keeps my hands soft and smelling lovely. I wash my hands so much between a 3 year old who is potty trained, but sometimes needs help, and the washing of the dishes or cleaning in general, that they get dry even in summer. I also have the Tuscan Blood Orange. It smells lovely too!

8. This is by far my favorite foot lotion, pregnant or not! I have been using it for years. It feels especially nice before bed after a long day. H2O Softening Mint Foot Rub.photo 5 (1)

It is cooling and moisturizing. I will usually sit with my feet up on a pillow in bed for a few moments after and the cooling feeling is so refreshing. That is especially important as a pregnant lady in the summer! I usually buy it at Ulta, but you can also order it directly from H2O or go to one of their stores.

9. A reusable water bottle of your choice. I am on the go so much with the little man. I have an assortment of water bottles I can fill and take with me. Especially if we are walking to the park. You have to stay hydrated while pregnant and even more so in the summer heat.

10. Pilates/yoga/birth ball. Ahhhh!! Again, one of your choice. I love to do pelvic tilts and circles on mine at the end of a workout. It is also a great way to stretch. I am planning a medication free labor/delivery and I will be bringing it to the hospital as a birth ball as well. It is so versatile. It is not just for pregnancy either. It can easily be used for anytime workouts! I have had mine for a few years. I love it.

11. A good swimsuit of your choice. I have played around with a one piece and several tankinis. I was so miserable in them! I always felt puffier than I am sure I appear to everyone else. I am just a bikini kind of gal. I love them for swimming. I feel so much more free in the water when I wear one. photo (6)

I actually found a non maternity top that fits me nicely. On the clearance rack at target. I am normally a small but I bought a medium for my much larger chest (two freakin cup sizes!) Those bottoms are maternity bottoms from Target as well. I happened to buy them to go with the aforementioned tankini tops. A bikini during pregnancy may not make you feel more comfortable, and that is fine! That is why you just need to find one that makes you feel sexy and beautiful. Getting in the pool while pregnant, any time of the year, is so wonderful. You feel weightless. You can float on your belly! You can get in a workout. You can cool off. It can even help with water retention. I usually have to pee a ton by the time I get out of our pool. So if you don’t have one, check your local Y or gym for a prenatal swim class. I did that with my first pregnancy. This one, we have an indoor pool so I lucked out. I just train myself in there.

Do you have any pregnancy essentials? Anything you could not live without during your maternity time? 

 

We are a technology family. My husband started his own company when he was 19. Email marketing is his world. Software, computers, technology of any sort is a huge part of his and our lives. So it is no surprise when I say our son has been using an iPad since before he was 1 & 1/2. He is a pro on the iPad and iPhone. He can swipe, scroll, click, and play games better than some adults out there. Some people feel that children shouldn’t be around technology too much. We don’t take that position. Seeing as how our very livelihood is because of technology and the internet, we support him learning about and through it at a young age. Jack is 2, a bit over 25 months to be exact. He speaks in sentences, says please and thank you, can count to 3 and is working on learning to count to 4, he knows many of his colors, he can do puzzles on the iPad, he is great with memory and matching games, and over all he is just bright. At the store the other day in the checkout line he pointed out that the box of his new angry bird toy was blue. He said “the box is blue.” The cashier was blown away and complimented me on how well he speaks. We get that a lot. I am not trying to brag here. I am trying to set up the argument that technology is not a bad thing for young children. We don’t feel that way. For us, the proof is in the pudding. I do spend time going over the apps and games with him to help teach him about each one. I also let him play on his own. We reinforce the themes he learns. We do spend time teaching him as well. The iPad and apps just help us along the way. They are tools. They are also a good way to have some time to get something done around the house or just take a little break yourself. Because in all honesty, sometimes you just need that. It is an all around winner in our book.

I want to share a couple of our favorite apps. When it comes to Jack it has to go without saying, Angry Birds are at the top of his list. He is obsessed with Angry Birds everything. However, those are not the toddler specific apps I am thinking about. They are fun though! We play them together.

mzl.udxltyix.320x480-75 Monkey Preschool Lunchbox 

This app has been on our iPad for about a year. It is overall fantastic. It covers colors, numbers, differences, matching, memory, letters, and fine motor skills. There is a reason why it is says it is the #1 preschool app. Jack loves this app. He gets so excited when he completes each task. He always tells me “did it self!” I started saying “Yay, I am proud of you” Now he will add “Prou of you” After he exclaims he did it himself. The reward stickers are very cute. After a couple rounds of successful games they are taken to a sticker board and get to pick a reward sticker. There are all sorts of different characters, animals, shapes, and items. The puzzle can take some time to learn, but it is great because it really fine tunes those fine motor skills. Sometimes even adults have a hard time getting the puzzle exactly lined up. So when a 2 year old does it, wow! That is skill! The monkey is very cute. He cheers them on each time the are successful at a task. The colors are bright and fun. It is a winner all around. I do not have even one bad thing to say about it. It is our favorite. Jack calls it The Monkey Game.

thmb3_l_trucks Trucks 

Trucks by Duck Duck Moose is another favorite. Jack loves cars and trucks. This app offers 5 different car/truck related activities. Toddlers can get cars dirty and then wash and dry them. They can pick sharp objects to pop a tire, then send the car to the shop to repair the car. There is a dump truck game. They can even sort out trash between compost, recyclables, or trash. There are extra little treats on each screen. You can touch the monkey near the mud pit and he will throw a mudball at the screen! You can touch the shark in the image to the left and he will rock out on the guitar. The instructions are clear and concise. The colors are bright and vibrant. One thing I think is nice is in the garbage truck game the correct can opens up when you hover over it. That is a nice feature because these toddlers are just learning the differences. It would be hard to decide cold turkey which piece belongs in which can. The fact that the only the correct can opens is  setting the toddler up for success in learning the differences correctly. There are multiple Duck Duck Moose apps that we love. I suggest checking all of them out.

p029_1_07  Baby Bubble School for Toddlers

This is a great flashcard type game. If you child loves real bubbles, this provides a nice incentive for learning. They get to pop all the interactive bubbles they want! Jack loves bubbles. We use them a lot. He thinks they are the bees knees. So when we are taking a real bubble break, he has the option to play with more bubbles on  his iPad. This app has 10 categories of items. Everything from toys to upper and lowercase letters! It is an app that can stick around for a while. Jack prefers the toys, fruits, vegetables, and animals right now. As he grows letters and numbers will be available too! There are 3 game modes, learn, play, and explore. It has continuous options. It is great that toddlers can grow with this app.

I am going to stick to these 3 for now. I can always do another post down the road. We have a ton of apps on the iPad. These seem to be the three favorites of Jack. Other than ALL the Angry Birds apps as well. Even Star Wars. He has never even seen the REAL Star Wars! Ha!

We are happy with the supplemental education our iPad provides our toddler. It is so exciting to watch him learn and grasp concepts. I love seeing his excitement when he knows he got it right. We really feel technology should be embraced. Our whole world revolves around technology. If you shelter your children from it too much or entirely, you are almost setting them up for struggles down the road when they are behind their peers on their exposure to it. I am not advocating letting them do whatever they want all the time on devices, but we don’t count minutes or hours he plays with these things. We don’t have strict rules about no more iPad time. If he is naughty that might be a privilege he loses for a little bit, but that is about not acting naughty not about an egg timer on his learning. It is about balance. We do play outside. We do run around. Jack loves soccer and can already dribble a soccer ball. April has been very cold where we live. Yesterday we played soccer in our living room! He wanted to go outside so bad but it was just way too cold. We made the best of it. He goes to gymnastics and swim classes. He would be in soccer but the place I found with 2 year old soccer had low enrollment. We will sign him up for soccer and hockey when he is 3. I teach Pilates, clearly physical movement and getting outside is also important to me. I just don’t count down how much he does of that or plays on his iPad. We don’t keep track of things like that in our home. We just do what is available to us at the moment.

I recently got some new toys! No, not just my fabulous new ankle boots. Ha! But some new Pilates toys. I was so anxious for them to arrive. They came Friday. I was able to briefly play with a few of them yesterday morning before class. I am not sure if I will do mat work today. We were on the Reformer for 3 hours yesterday! I was also out at the casino until after 1am last night. We went out with some great friends. None of us won even a dollar! It was a sad exit. But on to my new stuff.

I shopped at Balanced Body. That is the equipment we use at the studio I am training at. I figured I may as well work with things I am familiar with. I would like to buy my own Reformer, but I think Jason would have had something to say about that purchase! One day, after we move though, I will have one! I used to want a treadmill, but that is long gone, now my eyes are set on Pilates equipment.

From all the running I used to do I have rather right hip flexors. During mat training I learned that sitting on a cushion helps with positions like The Saw, Spine Stretch Forward, Spinal Twist, etc. I do those best with slight modification. If you need a perfect unmodified Rollover, Jackknife, or Boomerang I am your gal ;-) The large oval cushion pictured below is the one I purchased for this.

I also have a problem with my bones rubbing too much. Particularly in side-lying work and when I do things on my stomach. My pubic bone was recently sore. That really prompted me to order a baloney pad. That is the thin rectangular pad.

All my loot!

I love creating variations with the balls. It can really change up the move enough to make it seem entirely different. We do have to learn the variations as well so I want to start bringing that into my studying. Balls can also be used as modification. If someone has a hard time staying in table top, keeping knees or ankles together, etc balls can be used to help assist. I even did a little ab working using both yesterday. The larger ball is the TOGU Ball and the smaller ball is the Franklin Air Ball.

My next step is to find some videos on Pilates Anytime that incorporate these and start practicing. That way I can teach using them. Keeping your class fresh is so important! I love that site, by the way! It is great. It does cost money to join, but I don’t go to the gym. It is 18.00/month, which is less than any gym membership I have come across. I do a lot of the mat routines, plus I can watch any of the other videos, reformer etc to study and learn. I fully recommend it if you are looking for something to be able to do at home that is affordable.

I have a passion for clothing. I truly do . So naturally I ended up browsing that section of the store too.

This t-shirt is so comfy AND I have received compliments about it. This is the front, back was pictured in the group shot

cute cute cute. Also, I am always cold, so another comfy long sleeve top is nice

My favorite is the t-shirt. I wore it to school yesterday. It was a hit. Super comfy to workout in too. The hoodie is cute but maybe baby blue isn’t my hue. But it is good for keeping me warm around the house!

Tuesday a couple of us are getting together to work on Mat practice. I am going to bring all of my supplies, since we are meeting at the home of one of my classmates. It should be fun to experiment with the variations and modifications.

I have a few other things I want to order. A new mat and probably a neck pillow. My mom injured her neck this summer and I want to get the neck pillow to help modify her comfortably!

That was my Friday excitement. Jack has already taken it upon himself to use the balls as toys. I had to search for them when I got home from class yesterday. They were both in his room! Oh the joys of having a boy!!! (P.S. I wouldn’t change a thing!)

I made a rather tasty and healthy dessert yesterday. Jack was calling it cake cake cake after he had one! There was not an ounce of added sugar in it.If he calls something CAKE that means he thinks it is a deliciously sweet dessert.

My son has his priorities.

Car

Cat

Ball

Cake

HA!

I made Frozen Stuffed Banana Sandwiches!

The full recipe can be found at the link above the photo. But I only sort of followed it.

Essentially I just cut up two bananas and a few strawberries, sliced them.

Then I smeared a little all natural (nothing added whatsoever) peanut butter on the bottom banana. I use Krema peanut butter. Jack and I are huge fans of that peanut butter.

Then I placed a sliced strawberry on the peanut butter. I topped it with another banana slice. Then I poked a toothpick through.

On half of them I rolled them in plain Fage Greek yogurt.

I won’t add the Greek yogurt again. I didn’t try one of those but Jack had a plain one first and loved it. Squealing cake over and over. I ate the plain ones too. When he had one with the yogurt he wasn’t as into it. So plain for us it is!

HOW SIMPLE IS THIS DESSERT/SNACK?!?!?! It took me less than 10 minutes to make. Maybe around 5 minutes. And now that I know how simple it is I bet I can whip it up in under 5!

Jack had a hard time with the toothpick. I think I may use a larger stick for them next time for him. With a blunt edge and a little longer of a handle. He is only 16 1/2 months. But he did well. I was just worried about the sharp part poking him.

It is a great healthy summer snack. I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as ours does!

I am SORE. From head to thighs. I would say head to toe but nothing below just above my knees hurts. That is a positive, right?

Sunday we had my family over for Father’s Day. We went wake boarding. I went first to show everyone how it goes. Then both my brothers, my sister in law, and my brother’s friend tried. After that we started some tubing. My first time on the tube that day and I got whipped off pretty bad. I flipped in the air, a somersault of sorts. I landed on the water on the back of my neck! I felt it. I went under for longer than normal. My force must have pulled me down farther. I had my life jacket on but I took in a bunch of water and panicked for a slight second, thinking this is what it feels like to drown. I then collected myself and thought I just have to pop above the water and I will figure it out from there. I will be able to breathe then. Obviously I am fine. I am hurting though. I was done with water activities for the day. I didn’t have any rough wipe outs from the wake board, just stupid tubing. I have been tubing my entire life! Go figure.

I can move and function. I can pick up my toddler. So that is all that matters.

Our weekend before Sunday was pretty fun. We went “away” for our anniversary. By away I mean our condo in downtown Chicago. My mom watched Jackson for the weekend. We were kid and fancy free. I missed him like crazy but it was nice to feel like we were dating again!

Friday night

We went to dinner and then to see Aziz Ansari. He is hilarious. I highly recommend seeing him live. I literally laughed the entire show.

At the Museum

Saturday during the day we went to one of our old favorite pubs for lunch. Then headed down the street to the Art Institute. It was a lovely day. Then we headed home and I took a nap before we got ready for our big dinner at Les Nomades.

I was very excited about this dress. It is just gorgeous

<3

So we celebrated 4 years of marriage (nearly 7 years together!!!) We went to Les Nomades as I mentioned. We haven’t been there before. It is a top restaurant in Chicago. Jason spent a lot of time reading the reviews. The summation of them was “phenomenal food, awkward service” We couldn’t agree more. We could hear the waitstaff talking negatively about us. We sat down and as soon as we did we were inundated with questions about what wine we wanted. No wine list in front of us. I said I wanted water to start and Jason agreed. We were in no rush, we just sat down, we wanted to take our time. A few minutes later I heard one man say to another, “no that table just wanted water” As if we asked for mud in a glass. We ended up doing wine pairings with our courses. The waiter even commented to me at one point that I wasn’t drinking my wine fast enough! I had some collected because they brought one with each course. DO YOU SEE ME!!! I am not a big girl. I am NOT a drinker. I cannot keep up with my husband who is a foot taller than me. I am paying for the wine, what is it to you that I don’t chug it down??? I told him I am not a big drinker and I certainly cannot keep up with my husband. I should not have to explain myself to this man. Like I said, we are paying for this meal, what does it matter to this guy?

Incidents like this went on the entire time. The food was amazing. The chocolate souffle was to die for. I am not really complaining. This is just what occurred. Facts. We won’t go back there. We prefer Tru. Service was not awkward, very modern feel, phenomenal food. We had a lovely time over all but it is not a returnable dining option. As a matter of fact we had many great laughs over how obnoxious everything was with our families the next day! We told our stories over and over. We got a stand up routine out of the experience! It is nice to try things once!

It was a great anniversary. We had a lovely time. Last year we didn’t do anything because Jack was so little and I was exhausted. It felt nice to spend time as a couple and spoil one another. Maybe next year we can take a little vacation alone together.

I am a little obsessed with ballet and ballet conditioning. I did not dance my whole life. I did ballet for a short while when I was very young. I was the prima ballerina in one of our performances. I can still remember huddling in the box thing I emerged from. I was very little.

Then I did a course in college. For an art credit. It was so fun. We had a winter performance and everything. It was my last semester and I was kind of bummed I waited that long to take that class. I could have taken a few dance classes as electives.

I then found a ballet class through the park district and took that for a while. Until I got preggo. Then we were so swept up in moving etc that I just took my normal prenatal fitness classes.

After having Jack I bought a ballet conditioning DVD. Which I did blog about.

THEN I found a barre class shortly after Jack turned 1. Just down the street. I am hooked. It is one of my favorite days of the week. It burns so bad it feels good. I seriously love love love that class. I try to never miss. If I am busy on a Tuesday night I reschedule to go Saturday mornings.

So imagine my happiness while I was sitting here enjoying my coffee this morning when a news segment came on about how Natalie Portman’s trainer for Black Swan has come out with a workout program. They were discussing the book she released. BUT mentioned she also has DVDs! Much to my happiness. I prefer the videos. I DO save workouts online, so I could handle a book (check out my Pinterest fitness board!) I use those moves after an elliptical session or a run. I am good about doing them. But I truly find a DVD to keep me the most motivated. Or at least allow me to skip the machine or outside cardio. I will perform better with someone yelling at me :-)

I did go with the bundle, because when it comes to fitness I LOVE options. I hope this is a fun amazing DVD program. I am not going to stop my Barre class but I can maybe squeeze in a little extra ballet during the week. Once we buy a house I have been thinking about how I want to install a barre in my workout room. I think about that every Tuesday night when I am sweating like a piggy grabbing the barre at my spot. But I shouldn’t get ahead of myself.

It is scheduled to arrive on the 20th. I hope it is as great as I am hoping. Or at least a good workout.

Here is a sneak peak of some of the moves.

Well that is all I wanted to post about. I am a little caffeinated and over excited.  It is also my 4th wedding anniversary! Partly why I am over excited in general! Off to get in a quick workout before my brother gets here to babysit my little man. I have a day of beautification to attend.

 

New video! For me, it is always a reason to celebrate. I was starting to feel like my other ones were getting boring. Then Jack got his hands on my newer one. I tried to do it the other day and about 2 minutes in it froze and when I tried to skip past that part it skipped a lot. I gave up and tried a different workout on my BOSU dvd. I hated it. There are a few on there I love but the calorie combustion one was not for me. The name made it seem like I was going to be busting my arse. I felt there were too many jazz hands in it. I know dancing is a great workout. I take a ballet class every Tuesday. But it wasn’t what I thought or wanted. Ballet training is intense. I am always a mess when I leave. The moves on this DVD truly seemed lame to me.

I finished it and then set to looking for a new DVD to add to my collection. I didn’t want to spend too much. I have been running a lot lately so I don’t spend as much time as I used to with the DVDs.

I decided to get a Jillian Michaels DVD. A little secret about me. I LOVE her. I think she is great. I follow her on Pinterest and Facebook. Her posts are great. I have loved her since I used to watch the Biggest Loser years ago. I know some people think she is tough or mean. I don’t find her to be that way. When you train and you want results you have to be tough and mean. If you pay or ask someone to train you and they sugar coat things and baby you you are not going to get the results you want. It is easy to give up when it hurts or burns. So someone reminding you what you’re working for is a good thing in my book.I generally train myself, other than my ballet class. When it is just me I have tough things to say to myself in my head. I analyze myself in the mirror. If I didn’t I doubt results would be as great. You have to be tough, bottom line.

Which one did I purchase? Shed and Shred. I enjoyed it and I loved it. I actually didn’t find her to be as tough as I have heard people talk about. I thought she was lovely. Does that make me mean? If I found her to be pleasant? HA! I guess I just don’t mind people telling me to not give up.

I am sore today. The workout was hard and I was sweaty. I didn’t think it was going to kill me, but I am in pretty good shape and workout so often that I have the stamina. I am unsure if my soreness is from the workout or from carrying around a 25lb toddler all morning and into the afternoon at the Shedd Aquarium yesterday. I am guessing a bit of both. He can walk but it is still that drunk man walk and after lunch the place got swamped with field trips so I was uncomfortable letting him run totally free.I didn’t bring the stroller in.

Anyway this DVD is great. I loved it. I am SO happy to have added it to my collection. I will definitely be purchasing another one of her programs.

Yesterday marked the last day of the Skinny Ms. 7 Day Ab Challenge I decided to complete. I did every single day listed and every single move as describe, shown, and instructed. I included some of the info for the moves below. However I did not include everything. They have a full set of instructions along with videos to describe all of the moves. Please visit there for complete details on the actual challege.

My thoughts?

Overall I thought it was fun to challenge myself in some way. I do focus a lot on my core and abs in general but this was very structured.

SUNDAY- Complete 1 Circuit = 200 reps…move from one exercise to the next with little to no rest.
Bicycle Crunch – 50 reps (25 each side)
Reverse Crunch – 50 reps
Mason Twist – 50 reps (25 each side)
Leg Lifts – 25 reps
Push Through – 25 reps

Last Sunday was exciting, the first day. I was familiar with all of those moves so it seemed like a breeze.I also ran 3.2 miles prior to completing this day’s moves and I was able to get through it pretty easily.

MONDAY – 8 Minute ABS, Level One

Foot to Foot Crunch – 30 reps
Alternating Curls – 30 reps

Recovery – 30 seconds
Push Through – 30 reps
4 Time Abs – 30 reps

Recovery – 30 seconds
Arm Reaching Crunch – 30 reps
Leg Up Touch Crunch – 30 reps

Recovery – 30 seconds
Cross On Crunch – 30 reps
Double Crunch – 30 reps

Monday was slightly more challenging. I had to watch the video first to make sure I knew how to do all of the moves. My abs were sore at the end but they were not sore on Tuesday.

As a matter of fact the soreness did not carry over into any of the following days.

TUESDAY

Routine #1
Mountain Climbers – 20 seconds
Rest – 10 seconds
Sissors – 20 seconds
Rest – 10 seconds
Knees In and Out – 20 seconds
Rest – 10 seconds
V-Ups – 20 seconds
Rest – 1 minute

Routine #2
Toe Touch – 20 seconds
Rest – 10 seconds
Air Bike – 20 seconds
Rest – 10 seconds
4 Time Abs – 20 seconds
Rest – 10 seconds
Prone Plank – 20 seconds
Rest – 10 seconds

Tuesday was also fairly easy for me. I do most of those moves regularly. My v-ups were a little uncoordinated but I did them. I was tired by the end, but I wasn’t dead. I still worked out and did 30 minutes on the elliptical.

WEDNESDAY – Rest/Recovery Day

Wednesday I did rest my abs. I still did a workout I just did not do any specific core work.

THURSDAY…Complete 3 circuits – move from one exercise to the next with little to no rest.
Flutter Kicks – 30 reps (15 each side)
Side V-ups – 20 reps (10 each side)
Push Through – 30 reps

Thursday was very boring for me. By the 3rd push through I was so bored and wanting it to be over. A different set of moves for these 3 circuits would have better suited me. I don’t like push-throughs at all. I am not sure why, I just don’t.

FRIDAY
Foot to Foot Crunch – 30 reps
Alternating Curls – 30 reps

Recovery – 30 seconds
Push Through – 30 reps
4 Time Abs – 30 reps

Recovery – 30 seconds
Arm Reaching Crunch – 30 reps
Leg Up Touch Crunch – 30 reps

Recovery – 30 seconds
Cross On Crunch – 30 reps
Double Crunch – 30 reps

Friday was Monday all over again, 8 Minute Abs. It kept my attention a little better because I was following the video they provided.

SATURDAY
Side Plank – 20 (10 each side)
Rest – 10 seconds
Side Burpees – 10 reps (5 each side)
Rest – 30 seconds
Plank – Hold 1 minute
No rest
Mason Twist – 50 reps (25 each side)

Saturday was also rather easy. I thought for sure that my abs would be on fire by Saturday. They were not. I think that Saturday could have been more than one set of those. Perhaps 3 circuits again? With the Mason Twist I did use an 8lb weight for added challenge.

I have to attribute the lack of sore tired abs to the fact that I do so much core work regularly. This must have not been a challenge for them in general. I mean my abs do look nice. I was trying on some outfits yesterday and stopped to think that while standing in my bra and jeans. So I am not complaining. I don’t know if it is just how they look or if this made some difference. It was fun to challenge myself to follow through on completing each day, regardless of any boredom I felt. Sure there were times in this challenge that I was tired while doing the moves. 8 minute abs in particular. I was burning. The burn just did not follow me around once I was done working. This challenge may have been better suited for someone who doesn’t regularly do Pilates and other core work. I do, several times a week, almost daily.

I would say if you are not core obsessed and are looking for something to help improve your abs then give this a shot. And if you do a lot of core work already like me, what is the harm in doing this challenge too? That is how I feel. There was no harm done. I may not be burning but it did help to keep my abs toned. Bottom line, toning is toning. I could always do this again and up the work load.

I would and most likely will complete another challenge of theirs in the future. It was fun to make an effort to do this. They do have month long challenges. I wonder if I would have the stamina to complete one of those? They seem to be more about eating though. We will see if one ever piques my interests. If it does and I decide to give it a shot I will write about it, success or failure!

I included some of the info for the moves above, as you read. However, I did not include everything. They have a full set of instructions along with videos to describe all of the moves. Please visit there for complete details on the actual challenge.

I have been using the Daily Burn app for about a week now. I am really enjoying it. I have used the mapmyrun app previously. What I like about this app is that it’s focus is not mainly on running. This is the off season for running for me because it is too cold to drag the kid outside. Plus I just find running in weather that is TOO cold and it is miserable. I actually do better in extreme heat. I digress.

The daily burn tracks

  • Nutrition, if you want. They have a nice list of foods for you to choose from. You can also add foods if you would like. They even have brand name foods and you can search by that name. I was able to find my Lucerne Fat Free Cottage Cheese. (When I tried for about 10 hours to track my food. I don’t like tracking food. I find I tend to eat far too little when I do that and when you are nursing and don’t have a weight problem I don’t think that is really good!)
  • Track Exercises. Their list is rather long of different exercises you can track with calorie totals. Right up my alley. I may not focus on recording every calorie I take in but I do like to track the calories I burn! You can also add exercises online. You may submit them for personal use only, for public use, or both!
  • You can track your weight gain/loss. Depending on your goals.
  • You are able to set goals for yourself.
  • You can view your progress.

This is all with the FREE version. There are even a few free “programs” you can follow. Training plans. There are 3

  • Weight-loss training plan
  • Cardio Training Plan
  • Strength Training Plan

Then there are MANY plans you can follow if you upgrade to Pro. It is only a matter of time before I upgrade.

I have recently begun playing around with their website under my account. There is so much on there as well. I have been able to add some moves that I like to use that I didn’t find on the app. I appreciate that since I am always looking for fun new exercises in magazines and online. I like to keep my workouts fresh so that I avoid a plateau at all costs.

Basically I feel this app has a lot of offer, and I have only used the free version. I recommend it if you are looking for a way to track your fitness goals. Or even your nutrition goals.

You can have friends or as they call them motivators. Check out what they are up to and they can do the same for you. Currently just my hubby is one of my motivators. You can create a profile and there are forums. It is a social network for the fitness freak.

You can create or find challenges to set for yourself. This was an important factor for my hubby. He likes goals set for himself. It keeps him motivated for all things. He wanted something where he could set goals or challenges and then meet them. I don’t need that kind of incentive to stay motivated, it is just part of my life and routine at this point, but if you do feel you need that, it is here for you.

I haven’t found anything I dislike so far. Other than wanting to explore a few things that ended up being part of the pro account. I understand that. I am not bothered. They are a company and want to make a profit so they can feed their families. I get it. So I can wait until I decide to upgrade.

I highly recommend this app and site. I am obsessed and loving it.

I am always looking for fun new moves or techniques to incorporate into my routine. Sometimes the same old moves can get boring. And while I never get bored enough with working out to skip it, something new is always refreshing.

I discovered this one through the new app I am using, Daily Burn. I plan to do a review on it when I have used it for over a week. But I also found the move on Women’s Health when I decided to write this post.

The Spiderman Pushup.

Oh my it is fun! Change up the same old pushup with a little spice. As usual I included a photo and the instructions below. You can always click on the link above to check it out directly at the site though.

“Assume the standard pushup position. As you lower your body toward the floor, lift your right foot off the floor, swing your right leg out sideways, and try to touch your knee to your elbow. Reverse the movement, then push your body back to the starting position. Repeat, but on your next repetition, touch your left knee to your left elbow. Continue to alternate back and forth.”

I admit at first I was a little hesitant to try it. Not because I thought it was stupid, but I can be uncoordinated. I pictured a disaster of me falling because my balance didn’t hold up. I found it to be surprisingly easy to manage. Tough on the muscles but I was able to do it without face planting! That is always a plus. It is a move I will be using often in my routines. Fun and challenging. Two great things!

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