Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Making and keeping resolutions

Once again this year, I put being active and getting fit as one of my top resolutions in making the time to take care of myself.  Yes, I know, I have been told by many that I am in shape, however, for me  getting fit is really more about a state of mind and how my body feels. For the past few years I have really felt like I am always one step behind and oh, so tired all of the time. I have also relied heavily on chocolate and caffeine to get me through my days. I am well aware that it is a vicious cycle of not having enough energy to work out and then continuing to feel lethargic because I am not working out.

So this year I decided to take action and make some real changes. To begin, I started making going to sleep at a decent time a priority and getting at least 7 hours sleep - which is a dramatic improvement from about 5 hours sleep. I also booked a personal trainer for several sessions to give me the motivation needed to get myself out of bed in the morning. It is too easy to fall into the trap of saying that I will work out later or that I should sleep that extra hour since Isla woke up during the night. I never end up working out later - at this time in my life there is never time during the day with the kids and I am exhausted by the end of the day and the gym is the last place that I want to be. And, truthfully, when I work out in the morning it gives me more of an energy boost than the extra hour of sleep or any caffeine or sugar rush would ever provide. And that is the push that I needed.

I now remember how amazing, healthy and self confident that I feel after a work out and I carry it with me throughout the day. I am more conscious of the food I am choosing to eat - fruit and veggies become much more appealing as opposed to craving muffins and chocolate (which don't get me wrong are still very appealing, but I feel better about eating those types of food since I have also had fruit or veggies along with them). I am also making an effort to be more active with my family - like choosing to go skating or get outside to build a snowman - things that before were just too much effort! I also like the example it sets for my children. It is very important to me that my children grow up to lead healthy, active lifestyles and the only way that will become engrained within them is to live it as they are growing up.

The personal trainer that I have to thank for providing the push that I needed is Katie Squires from Fit Mom in Barrhaven. Katie has an amazingly inspiring story of how she came to reach her present fitness goals. She is a certified trainer and runs multiple marathons a year - so a great resource if you are interested in training to run. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable when it comes to fitness training and I was really only looking for someone to get me out of bed, but Katie has done so much more. She has introduced me to new training tools to achieve the goals that I had - I now love the TRX and I am inspired to begin running again. She is so fun to train with and one hour feels like minutes. I now have a whole new training routine and so many new exercises to push myself to a whole new fitness level.

In order to try and keep up these changes I have tried to remain realistic. My goal is to train two days a week. Right now that is all the time that I am able to commit without feeling overwhelmed. So far, I have also been able to fit in a run once a week without feeling the stress of not enough time.

With spring feeling like it is around the corner, I am excited to get outside soon and begin running again. I have joined a team and I am now registered to take part in the Spartan run. I have never done a run before, so this is a little out of my comfort zone, but I think it will help keep me motivated and I am excited to try something new.

What inspires you to remain active? Or what fitness goals do have for this year?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Amazing kids clothes & a Drop In Play Fundraiser!

I do not often promote products unless I truly love them, and I have to say that I am very impressed with the Peekaboo Beans clothing line for children 6m-14yrs and the fact that the sales of the clothing (from this particular stylist) will in turn help raise funds for the Red Balloon Project is another added bonus.

A mom who has been a long time guest at A Gym Tale, one of the 'originals' from the old Gym Tale actually, brought both the Peek A Boo beans clothing line as well as her photo project to update the CHEO cardiology waiting room to my attention in January. After trying a few pieces with Ewan and Isla, we all fell in love with the line!

If you are a fan of Lulu Lemon clothing; it is no secret that the majority of my wardrobe is lulu wear, than you will absolutely love the Peekaboo Beans clothing for kids. It has many of the same qualities that make the lulu clothes so popular - style, comfort, easy to move and play in, amazing quality and thumb holes - really which kid wouldn't love thumb holes! The company promotes the benefits of play and imagination for children and creates quality clothing that kids can really move in and that will withstand even the hardest play. An added bonus is the ease with which kids can dress themselves. Without needing to worry about buttons or snaps and easy to pull on pants, they are ideal clothing pieces for preschoolers and children going to kindergarten. Likewise, children with sensory issues will love that the clothes have no tags and the fabric is super soft - even the pickiest kids will love them. 

A Gym Tale is proud to be hosting an evening of 1/2 price Drop In Play on Thursday, March 7th from 6 - 7:30pm, where the proceeds of the Drop In Play will go towards the Red Balloon Project AND you will have the opportunity to shop the new Spring / Summer line of the Peekaboo Beans collection while the kids play! Again, even if you are not interested in shopping, the Drop In play proceeds will still be going towards a great project. 

I absolutely love this photo of Ewan, thank you Elizabeth Fulton Photography!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

It has once again been a little while since I have written - even though there are so many things that I have been hoping to write about. I guess a teething baby can really consume a lot of time and limit what can be done while in your arms!

We have also been spending quite a bit of time preparing for Valentine's Day. Now that Ewan is really starting to anticipate events and holidays I try to work in more themed activities around the house leading up to the day. Many of the ideas are very simple and easy to work into even busy schedules. I am still very much trying to work in more memorable moments in our family life to add special little memories, not just rely on big events.

Some of the Valentines Day related activities included making some pink, peppermint scented, sparkly play dough. Play dough is always a huge hit with Ewan and all of the nursery school children as well. I have been loving adding pipe cleaners as well as baking tools when the play dough is out - the children really get into making more sculptures instead of just breaking the dough into a million little pieces! The peppermint scent and colour also helps to create an activity that incorporates all of the senses. My favourite recipe uses 2 cups of flour, 1 cup salt, 2 tbsp of oil, 4 tsp of cream of tartar, and 2 cups of water; mix over medium heat until it sticks together and then knead (that is also when I add the scent and sparkles).

Together Ewan and I also made Valentine's to give out to all of his friends at school. We came up with a few ideas, but our favourite was making crayons. These turned out really well and were very simple to make. A Gym Tale has an abundance of broken crayons so we capitalized on that and peeled them and continued to break them into little pieces. We then sorted them by colours and then put them into heart shaped moulds and baked them at 275 for 15 minutes and then let cool. Ewan and Isla have both been having a great time colouring with their set of hearts.

We have also been reading books about friends and Valentine's Day - curious George is once again the favourite book, but Love You Forever was also a close second.

Tomorrow morning we will be celebrating Valentine's Day with a pancake breakfast, red streamers decorating the kitchen and a little gift. I have tried to stay away from chocolate and candy treats, so instead I bought them each a new book. Isla has a rhyme book and Ewan the new Oliver Jeffers book - This Moose Belongs to Me. If you have not read any books by Oliver Jeffers, they really are fantastic books for preschoolers - Ewan loves his stories, the characters and pictures. 

If Alan and I are lucky we will get the kids to bed early and enjoy dinner for the two of us and a glass of wine.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's Day!