I love to ride my bicycle

It is so hard to resist salt and vinegar chips!

So I don’t! I really don’t deny myself anything. If I want it, I eat it. I usually will try to mind the portion but there are definitely times that I throw caution to the wind and just eat my way through a row of Oreo cookies. I have found though, that the more I concentrate on eating healthy, the more “slip ups” I have. Those Oreos are so much more tempting when I tell myself I absolutely cannot eat them.

What I try to do, is just keep a bunch of healthy options in the house and avoid buying that pack of Oreos in the first place. That makes it much more likely that I will reach for a couple cashews or an apple. I’ve also learned that the healthier I eat, the less my body can even handle the junk food. It throws off my whole digestive system, I feel sluggish and my face breaks out. That can happen after one day of eating junk for me. By junk I mean McDonalds, Pizza, Chinese food… Basically anything delicious! I love all that stuff but we are pretty strictly budgeted which doesn’t allow a whole lot of eating out. That helps! Do you know how much money you are spending a week on eating out? It’s probably more than you think! It was for us. So many extra dollars spent and calories collected than necessary. I have never once regretted making grilled chicken and vegetables rather than driving through for a happy meal.

The same goes for working out. I have never once regretted working out. The adrenalin rush I get after a good workout is so great. Being a stay at home Mom is a great gig but there are definitely times that are more challenging than others. We are going through a pretty tough stage right now. We have an almost 3 year old and a 5 1/2 year old. They are both SO emotional and irrational right now. It takes a lot of patience and inner strength to get through the day. Working out helps with that dramatically.  I am so much happier and patient after a work out!

With the warmer weather, we have been taking a lot of walks and going for bike rides. Let me tell you, pulling 70+ pounds in a bike trailer up hill is an insane workout and it’s such a great reward to be able to coast down the other side. It is so great to be enjoying the outdoors again! This is the time of year when Michigan really shines.

On that note… go play!

Mahalo!

 

Brrr! Let’s craft!

This winter has been awesome so far. Not only have the temperatures been tolerable but the snow has been great for sledding and the roads have been pretty dry and safe. That being said, my kids don’t like to stay outside for very long play sessions even on the warmest of days. Enter craft time.

Today we broke into something I purchased well before Christmas but never found the right time to play with it – Crayola Air Dry Clay (<– That’s an affiliate link. See my note about what that means on my “About Our Days” page). When I bought it, Amazon was running a sale so I actually got it for a little less than what it is listed for through that link. Shop around if you are interested in buying it.

I was so impressed with this clay! It is very similar to the clay I used in my art classes but this is designed to just air dry. So today I sat the kids at the island with a bucket of beads, some rubber stampers, a few lumps of clay and their imaginations. They both loved it! Hudson’s creation was a little more like a lump of clay with a bunch of stuff, including crumbs off the floor, stuck into it. Lucy, on the other hand, made some great little “clam shells” as she calls them. Now we wait for them to dry. Down side = It takes like three days to dry. BUT! In three days we will have another fun activity of painting our creations! Double whammy of fun activities with one very simple, easy to clean up, material. That to me is a serious winner!

IMG_2166

Lucy was also gifted some Sculpey clay for Christmas so she also made some things with that after her clam shells were done. She was on a clay sculpting roll today! That stuff is great because there are a million colors so the kids can create anything they imagine then once it’s baked and glazed, it lasts forever. Hudson did not do as well with that stuff though. This type of clay is best for the 4 and up crowd. The Air Dry clay is great for any age as long as your kid won’t eat it! If they do like to eat their molding material, ask me for my play dough recipe! It’s edible! 🙂 Perhaps I will share that on here someday too. What indoor activities have you all been up to this winter?

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Well, I guess its Christmas time now! My kids have already read and reread the Toys R Us and Target toy catalogs, circling everything they have ever wanted. They also circled a lot of stuff that they don’t even know what it is. They are 2 and 4. The struggle is real.

Mom! I need a pen! I HAVE to ask Santa for this!
Mom! I need a pen! I HAVE to ask Santa for this!

Kids are so funny with toys. It is always so much fun going down the toy isles with them at the store. They get SO excited about everything. You just can’t replicate that amount of joy. They seriously look like they are about to explode with all the possibilities that toy isle holds. Getting them to leave that toy isle is another story but let’s focus on the positives here…

Justin has done a lot of comparison shopping on the web and has found that so far, Target has the best overall pricing, especially with their coupons they released with the toy catalog. They have a “25% off Toys, Sporting Goods or Art/Craft Item” on the first page that expires TODAY. That was huge for us! We are about done. A few stocking items and pjs and we’re ready to bring ’em down the chimney. Target is also offering free shipping and free returns through 12/25. So go get your shopping on people!

I am hoping to finish ALL my gifts by Black Friday. I want to be able to relax and enjoy the holiday season without the stress of stupid shopping weighing on my shoulders. I want to get my kids fun stuff but I also want to give them a really fun holiday season with lots of fun and magical memories. They are both at an age where they can really appreciate the holiday and they are already so excited. I can’t wait!

Good luck shopping out there! The crowds get a bit aggressive this time year! Which brings to… BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER! Please.

Mahalo

 

Candy Candy Candy Candy Candy

Soup season is in full effect folks! With all the soup recipes floating around on Pinterest, you’d think I’d be able to find some good options. Is it possible to make a low sodium soup? While salt is delicious and makes things, such as soup, super yummy I am pretty sensitive to it and kind of enjoy my healthy heart and blood pressure… So I will throw this question out to you. What soups are EASY, cheap and low in sodium that actually taste good? Thank you in advance for your ideas!

Speaking of health- I am so excited for Halloween! We all have our costumes and fun hair sprays in a variety of colors to complete our fun family themed costumes. Stay tuned for what they actually are but if you know us, you probably already know. We have our plans set for halloween parties and after trick or treating festivities too. We are on it this year. I even have my cauldron full of candy, ready to pass out. Let’s just hope it lasts that long! Here I am concerned about salty soup yet I just shoveled a fun sized snickers bar in my mouth… #conflicted

Dori gets it
Dori gets it

The other day I was lucky enough to go for a walk with just my sweet Lucy girl. We walked around our sub looking at the changing leaves and all the fun Halloween decorations everyone has on their front porches and talked. I love having one on one time with her. It was something that we used to have so much of and now that Hudson is with us it is rare and precious. This is such a great time of year to step away from the social stuff that has kept us out and about and refocus on our family, our kids, our life… It’s nice to have a little time for lazy walks with my kiddo on a cool fall evening.

Me and my Lu
Me and my Lu

So again, please send me some ideas on the soups. Also, check out my “getting healthy” tab for the latest on my workout stuff. I’ve been keeping up with the calendar so far so I’m pretty pumped about that. It is definitely a challenge finding that time from day to day but it’s worth it. If you are interested in joining me just go to Blogilates.com for the free calendar and go on youtube for the free videos. There’s no “right time” so drop that fun sized Snickers bar and join in now! I’d love the company! 🙂

Last but not least…..

Mahalo

Day 9! So far so good!

It’s Day 9 of October and I have been following the October workout calendar from Blogilates.com.

It hurts but I love it!
It hurts but I love it!

So far, so good! It is definitely hard to finish the whole days worth of workouts. Not only is it physically difficult but it has been difficult keeping my kids off me for that long of a time period. I am still trying to figure that one out. They are usually really good about it. They like to workout with me which I love but then they hit a point where they don’t want to do that anymore and they just want me to play with them. Maybe spending some good quality play time with them afterward on a consistent basis will create more of a routine. Maybe that will get them to be a little more patient?? Time will tell!

Kid challenges aside, I am already feeling a difference in the workout I’m getting. I don’t want to say that I was getting lazy with my workouts because I was still working out. That definitely counts for something and is more than many people do so I’m still taking my win there. I did choose an easier route though. So I was cheating myself. If I’m going to put in the time, I should really commit. Cassey created these great workout calendars for a reason and any time I’ve followed it even a little bit, I’ve seen results. SO rather than participate in a monthly challenge that is put on by someone else, I am challenging myself to complete this October calendar in its entirety. It won’t be easy. I’ve already caught myself trying to psych myself out of it. Self doubt is a sneaky bitch and no matter what I do, she always rears her ugly little head. This is my month. I am going to do this for myself because…why not!? So expect lots of instagrams and occasional posts updating you on this adventure.

Anyone else trying this??

I murdered my abs today…

Side note- I don’t think I’ll share these workout posts every time as that would get annoying.. SO sign up for the emails using the spiffy little email thing to the right of your screen. At this point, I think it only works on my desktop site. So go there! It’s prettier than the mobile version anyway!

On with the post!

I’m really going to feel todays workout tomorrow! I’m not really sure why I’m straying from the Blogilates calendar so much right now. Cassey puts together really organized workout plans every month and I usually love them. For whatever reason, I’ve been into creating my own thing right now. If I do follow the calendar, I will just tell you that I did the calendar that day. It’s free on her website when you sign up for her newsletter. I don’t want to take away from my favorite site so just go sign up for it! There’s a beginners calendar too!

SO today I did:

Train Insane HIIT Workout – Blogilates

Hips, Butt ‘n Thighs Super Shaper Workout – Blogilates

1000 Abs Challenge – Blogilates ***This one is crazy hard. I probably did about 750/1000. Watch your neck! You MUST lift with your shoulders or you will be sore for all the wrong reasons! That’s my non professional advice right there but seriously.. careful.***

All in all, my watch informed me that I worked out for 50 minutes doing these 3. Some of that time was spent switching between videos and intro talking on the videos but it felt well rounded and I’m satisfied with that.

Today was all from Blogilates because I love it and Cassey is more fun than a lot of the other fitness instructors out there in YouTube land.

Please let me know if you try any of these workouts! You can private message me if you want or leave a comment. It’s fun to have a community. I really found that on Instagram and I would love to have that here as well!

PS- It’s called Pop Pilates and it doesn’t require any fancy pilates equipment. 🙂

 

A new addition to the blog! Join me!

So this “Gettin’ Healthy” category is new to my blog. I have briefly mentioned different workouts that I have been doing in previous posts. Blogilates has been mentioned a few times and I told you all that I was doing the Couch to 5k program a while back. I get a lot of questions about that stuff so I thought I’d make a little category here to share with you what I’m doing. That way, you can join me in my journey!

Let's do this!
Let’s do this!

Now to preface this… I’m not perfect and definitely get lazy sometimes and skip workouts. This is a no judgment zone! Also, maybe you have something that you do that you like better. If it’s free, I’ll try it! Please let me know! We are in this together!

Ok let’s dive right in! So today I got a little crazy on YouTube and made a fun playlist of some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. I love HIIT because it’s fast paced, gets my heart going and you don’t spend too much time on one move. So I started there then turned to my Pop Pilates from Blogilates then ended with some Yoga. I am a major beginner with yoga so I did a beginner video which worked out to be a nice cool down. Don’t forget to stretch!

Here’s the playlist – Click the titles to go right to the workout!

Belly Fat Burner HIIT – Fitness Blender

6 Minutes to a Sexy Little Waist – Blogilates

How to get Flat Abs in 3 Minutes – Blogilates

Yoga for Complete Beginners – Yoga with Adriene

I enjoyed this combination today. I got a little of everything. Most days I stick with just pilates but I am considering adding the HIIT everyday to get more cardio into my workouts. I also did about 30 bridges at the end there for my booty. They look ridiculous but they are effective. Here’s a dude doing them to show you how – BRIDGES –  You can giggle. It really does look stupid.

Follow Ourdaysinparadise on Instagram! I post a lot of photos of me and the kids working out. I also like to do a lot of photo challenges so it’s usually full of fun stuff!

It’s HOT! Cool down with these fun activities.

This week is supposed to continue to be hot hot hot! It’s probably going to be some of the last hot days we have left this year so I figure we should take advantage. I did some Pinteresting, and found some really great ideas to keep our kids busy and cool while they play outside. These are all activities that use items you most likely already have around the house. If not, the dollar store probably has whatever you need for cheap.

Freeze Dough – This is a great craft that uses shave cream and your very own freezer.

Lego Excavation – Super fun for the lego lover. They have to melt or chisel their way into the ice to save their favorite lego guys. Careful with the little babes during this craft. While I think Lucy could handle this with supervision, I’m not sure Hudson could…Even if I was standing right there. Stinker.

Fizzy Ice – I love this one because everything is “edible”. My little man puts everything in his mouth so with baking soda, ice, and vinegar as the main components to this activity, it seems like a winner to me.

Sharpie Mugs – This one is not so much an activity to keep cool as it is an activity to keep busy. My kids love to draw and paint on anything that feels forbidden. This feels like the perfect way to combine their rebellious natures with a productive craft. Productive because these would make great gifts for various holidays and would be nice to have on hand when the need arises.

Now it also seems that the remainder of this week calls for a bit of rain. The good news is that most of these things can be done indoors as well. So beat the heat. Do something crafty and fun to make some last minute summer memories!

Have fun!

 

My Husband is my Hero and here’s why..

A typical day in the Day house is never typical. It is always different, always challenging, always precious. Everyone (i.e. anyone over 50 who sees you shopping with your kids at Target struggling to get all your groceries and contain your toddler at the same time..) talks about soaking up your children’s youth while it’s here. As if we parents are so caught up in our lives that we don’t see it. We do. Trust me, we see how incredible our daughter is with her wild imagination and goofy sense of humor. We see how sweet and loving our little boy is. We appreciate and cherish every moment. Even the hard ones. Because during this time- this precious, fleeting, time- our babies are growing so fast we are in a panic trying to soak up every beautiful moment they give us.

Lucy choked yesterday. Like full on, mint stuck in her throat, gasping for air, choked. My heart stopped. Until my hero of a Husband grabbed her and preformed the Heimlich Maneuver on her, my heart did not beat. My life force, my air, my world, was in danger. I was completely frozen. I don’t think I have ever been that scared in my life. It was such a stupid thing to choke on too. It was one of those soft crappy mints that are at every event you’ve ever been to. They basically melt into goo the second they hit your tongue. Never did I ever think that would be the thing that my daughter would end up choking on. I am crazy about cutting up my kids food into bite sized pieces. I always think about choking. It’s been my #1 fear since I became a mother. I added extra milk to their rice cereal because I was afraid it was too thick and gloopy. A stupid gooey mint…  She threw them all in the garbage after the whole ordeal was over in an attempt to teach them a lesson. She has also proclaimed that we will never have those mints in her house again.

Parenting is hard shit. It is so stressful and scary and overwhelming like 99% of the time. If this were any other job, I’d quit! But I love it! I love it so freaking much. What I have learned so far in my whopping 4 1/2 years of parenthood.. (get ready, this is some serious veteran knowledge coming at you).. is that you have to learn to chill the F out and have a good sense of humor about things. Otherwise you will turn into a giant ball of stress. I don’t know what that looks like but I imagine it as a giant ball with like cat fur standing on end. Like in a comic when a cat gets scared or something, but it’s not a cat…it’s a ball.

WTF did I just say?

On that note… Kiss your babies, throw away your mints, and don’t turn into a cat like ball.

Mahalo

Our great adventure!

Oh my god! We’re a real family. Like a real, grown up, family. We do things like go on vacations to great up northy places and go sight seeing. When. Did. This. Happen….

S'mores! So. Many. S'mores!
S’mores! So. Many. S’mores!

Seriously, when did we turn into a real legit family?! Up until this point, we’ve been pretty focused on having babies and feeding, clothing, changing diapers of said babies. Now we’re doing stuff as a family. We have two kids who function in this world with enough competence for us to be able to go to a place like Tahquamenon Falls and a BEAR zoo without it being a stressful experience. So crazy. Just, so crazy.

I think I fit the whole house in the T&C.
I think I fit the whole house in the T&C.

We visited the Upper Peninsula of our great state of Michigan. Truth be told, there isn’t a whole lot going on up there, but that’s kind of the point. We had a cabin/house in what they would call a subdivision. We would call it BFE. It was right on Lake Michigan with “sweeping views of the Mackinac Bridge” as the ad would say. Truly it was a view of the tip of one of its peaks and the flat part. Still cool though. We packed that cabin full with two families of four and we couldn’t have been happier. We have great friends in our lives and are so lucky to have a family whom we love spending that much time with.

The greatest Vacationing group of all time!
The greatest Vacationing group of all time!

Reality hit me while we were waiting for a table at the Pink Pony on Mackinac Island. We were all standing around with a delicious Michigan beer in one hand and a sleeping/sleepy kid in the other just praying that our table would be ready soon. As we were standing there, I looked around and saw other families coming in with their sleepy kids doing the same thing we were. Suddenly, I was like: “Oh my god, we are a family!”. Not that I didn’t know we were a family in the technical sense, I just hadn’t realized or perhaps, noticed, that we were done growing and now just… are. We are this family. It will never change. We are only going to grow older and do cooler and cooler things. It was really exciting to actually notice this. Snap back to reality- we got our table and were seated on a balcony with a beautiful view of the lake and all the boats coming in and out of the island. If you’re up there, check that place out. The whitefish tacos were the bomb and the kids loved the pretzel appetizer.

My little goofball. Still rocking my Ergo.
My little goofball. Still rocking my Ergo.

Funny side note: While we were waiting for our table (which was a pretty long wait) me and my friend, Candi, wandered over to a fudge shop across the street by ourselves. The way we zoned into watching that man make his fudge.. loaf? that sounds bad.. roll? no no loaf makes more sense… his fudge loaf (I’m dying laughing over that…I’m such a child)…. You would think we were getting a massage. Watching him go around and around flipping it up over itself so perfectly was hypnotizing. Without kids! #momporn (don’t actually use that hashtag. It will probably pull up some weird stuff.)

Being on such a traditional, Michigan summer vacation gave me such nostalgia for when I was that sleepy kid on a vacation with my parents. I have so many great memories of our family vacations. I am thrilled to be able to give my kids those memories too. Whenever they finally start to retain them anyway.. Luckily we have this great technology now that allows us to take a billion photos and keep them perfectly preserved forever! Viva la iCloud!

Lucy got in touch with her "outdoorsy" side. As much as she wanted to anyway..
Lucy got in touch with her “outdoorsy” side. As much as she wanted to anyway..

We had such a great vacation. Just the right amount of relaxation and exploration. This summer has been epic. I hope yours is just as incredible!