Monthly Archives: July 2014

Fit2B Pumping: Cardio Workouts


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Ok, so some of these cardio workouts include weights and some don’t, but my little pun about pumping was really meant to reference the heart. Cardio exercise is crucial to help keep our hearts strong as well as regulate our metabolisms. Now, I’ve never thought that cardio alone is a good exercise plan. I know some people will disagree with that. But it is an important element. Fit2B Studio provides a wide selection of cardio activities in various lengths. I do use the all year round, but it is especially handy during rainy and cold weather when getting outside to walk or run is difficult. In my case, it’s great because I can’t just leave my kids to go for a run whenever I like. So for the next two weeks I’ll be reviewing the Cardio Path on Fit2B Studio. Let me just give this disclaimer, these are not the only workouts on the website that qualify as cardio, just the ones Bethany chose to highlight in this path. In fact there are a couple of workouts that I love (such as Tabata Kick and Squat) that should really be on this list.

So pick up the pace this week and try a couple of these heart pumping workouts.

Basic Aerobics I & II

Basic Aerobics II is a favorite go-to cardio of mine. It won’t take the place of a run or a full dance class, but it is great to tack onto another workout when I want an extra cardio element. I like this one for my non-cardio focused days, just to kick things up a notch. I know that the sound is off but I still love the original Basic Aerobics that was filmed outside. I wish that Fit2B had more outside workouts. I can’t often get outside myself, so I enjoy the change of setting. Basic Aerobics II is also nice, and just as good a workout as the first but filmed indoors and a little longer.


Basic Aerobics III

Yeah! A fun new aerobics workout. Some new choreography and a new setting, but still a short, sweet and effective workout.  This is probably my favorite of the three and the one that I reach for most when I want some quick cardio.


Insane Upper Body
This is a great upper body workout. I mentioned that when I reviewed the Pathway to Amazing Arms. That being said, it doesn’t entirely succeed as a cardio routine. I don’t think I would use this alone and call it cardio. Yes, it does get you warm, but it didn’t get my heart rate up as much as I thought it should.


Insane II

So not insane but still pretty tough. I’m grateful it wasn’t longer. It made me feel how far I’ve come and yet how far I have to go. I really had concentrate on keeping my core engaged, whereas it comes more easily in the simpler workouts. I found myself doing the easier modification of almost everything, but I think I’m OK with that. Definitely a challenging workout. Don’t even consider it until you’ve gotten through Fit2 Beginning and most of Fit2B Advancing.


Functional Workout I

I know this workout was labeled as cardio, but to be honest, I didn’t find it all that cardio. As I’m preparing to consider training for another 5K or possibly a 10 K race, I find myself looking for cardio routines that will substitute for them when I can’t or don’t feel like running. This isn’t that workout. However, it is a decent, balanced workout. It incorporates weights similarly to Yoga and Pilates Loaded or Pilates in Pajamas II, so it ramps up the intensity without technically being an arm workout. Still a good workout, but in my opinion not really cardio.


Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of the Fit2B Cardio workouts.

Experts on Diastasis Recti Online Course

Bringing Back Fit2B: An Update

What Are the Foundational Five?

Kelly Dean on Fit2B: A Tummy Team Collaboration

Fit2B on Vacation: A Week of Relaxation

Fit2B Transitioning: The Tummysafe Pathway to Great Abs

Fit2B Training: The Tummysafe Path to Great Abs Part 1

 Fit2B Training: The Tummysafe Path to Great Abs Part 2

Fit2B Strengthening: Pathway to Amazing Arms


Don’t forget you can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership. That’s less than $7 a month.

Categories: Exercise, Fit2B Studio | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

The Curse – What We’re Up Against: 31 Days to Clean


Photo Credit: Dean Terry via Compfight cc
So I’m not sure this chapter was particularly encouraging but it is a good reminder. It’s just the law of nature that things tend toward disorder. Part of the tragedy of a fallen world. This is why so much of our work as moms and home managers seems so futile, it is all only temporary.

That being said, I appreciate that Sara highlights that work is not a curse. That’s right, work isn’t a bad and terrible thing. But the hard part about the imperfect world we live in is that much of our work is unproductive. That is the real curse. It also describes motherhood so perfectly.  Most of my time is spent doing things that will have to be redone again, sometimes in days other times in hours. The worst is when a task takes longer to complete than it actually stays done. (Cleaning the kitchen floor anyone?)

 Mary Challenge

Read Romans 8: 20-21 – What is the hope in the midst of the curse?

Well, I get that we have the future hope of heaven, but honestly hoping for death or the return of Christ is not particularly useful when you just want to get through the laundry. However, I think some of the hope within the curse is that we can pray for insight and still find peace. Sometimes we need the wisdom to recognize which tasks don’t really matter or learn to be at peace with leaving some things undone. This has been a huge struggle for me I the past. If I wait for the work to be done before I rest, it will never be done. So I need to practice regular rest, even if that means leaving tasks undone. But to do that successfully, I must have the ability to set aside my undone work and not obsess over it. No easy task.

Martha Challenge

Clean out and organize your pantry.

Ahh, my dreaded pantry. What our pantry really needs is a curtain because right now it is open to the kitchen, right behind the kitchen table. So my kids think it is a giant buffet. I need to get it better organized so that things don’t tumble down on me and perhaps keep the snacks a little more out of view.

Accepting that it will never all be finished and most of our work will need to be done again isn’t easy. But learning to do that may be the key to finding peace in the daily grind.


31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way

Why Clean?: 31 Days to Clean

Created to Give Life: 31 Days to Clean

10 Ways to Give Life to Your Home: 31 Days to Clean

A Place to Put Your Feet Up: 31 Days to Clean

Priorities: 30 Days to Clean

The 6 List: 31 Days to Clean


Categories: 31 Days to Clean, Organization | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

Simple Summer Homeschooling: How We Manage



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Summer is more than half over and my grand plans to start kindergarten instruction haven’t exactly flourished. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t been learning. We took a family trip to the beach and visited an aquarium. It was a small aquarium with several touch tanks, and we spent a long time working our way through several exhibits. Thea did a week of VBS and then two weeks of swim lessons. Formal school hasn’t gotten much attention. I’m still feeling torn about what curriculum I’m going to use in the fall. I’ve been waffling between Five in a Row and My Father’s World. Both have advantages and disadvantages. It may simply come down to which of the recommended books our library has more of. But until then we’ve decided to keep things simple. I finally dragged out our two “learn to read” books that I purchased earlier this year.

100 easy lessons

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons

Ordinary Parent's Guide

The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Your Child to Read

Neither was of any interest to my daughter and who can blame her, they are really boring to look at. But we started with an Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Your Child to Read because I thought the lessons seemed interesting and I like the poem used to help learn vowels. Plus, the premise of 100 Easy Lessons is to teach the child the sounds the letters make before the letters themselves. Well, silly me. We just spent the last two years learning letters. So I didn’t know how well that one would work for us anyway.

We’re only a few lessons in and while my daughter doesn’t love it, she will listen. My son will sit and listen to anything new for a least a little while, so he tries to learn the letter sounds which makes my competitive daughter more engaged.

Games for Math

Games for Math: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Learn Math, From Kindergarten to Third Grade

We’ve also been using Games for Math. I know that this isn’t a formal math curriculum, but it’s a way of trying to make math more fun. I honestly wish I could find a curriculum that focuses mostly on the practicality of math. I loved story problems when I was in school, because they made sense. They were based on real life. I think that if we made math as practical as possible kids would be more interested in it, but until it’s applied, it feels so abstract. (Fortunately my daughter is still too young for the “When will I need this anyway?” argument).

We’ve also been trying some new read aloud books. After we finished The Wind in the Willows I gave my daughter the choice of going back to the Little House on the Prairie Series, The Secret Garden, Heidi or All of a Kind Family. She chose All of a Kind Family.

All of a Kind Family

This book is an old favorite of mine. I’ve reread it and the others in the series more times than I can count. I vividly remembered when I was standing at the shelf of the Emmaus Library and I realized that this book, which my teacher had read to us in school, was one of a series. I was so excited and took out the other four books and was done with them in less than two weeks.

I love that through this book my daughter and I are exploring a different time in history and different culture. All of a Kind Family tells the story of working class Jewish Family living in New York City before World War I. It is filled with beautiful Jewish traditions and holidays and the fun filled and tender interactions of the family; mother, father and five daughters.

So that’s our simple homeschooling summer so far. I’d love to hear how you spend the summer with our kids, whether you homeschool or not.

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Find the Emotional Rest You Need: Mindset for Moms


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This topic was very appropriate this week. My stress levels have finally begun to lower a little bit after several weeks of functioning almost constantly in high gear.

Sometimes I feel so weary. It can be lack of sleep or a busy few days of constant running around. Travel and visiting with family are both wonderful, but for introverts like my husband and I, they are also draining. As moms, we are on call all the time. Even if you work a paid job outside the home, volunteer regularly or run your own business from home; the dynamic is often the same. Now, I realize that in many households this is changing. Shared care and shared household responsibilities are becoming more common. But if you look at the statistics, even when moms work full time outside the home, they are still responsible for more than 50% of the household management from childcare to food prep. This is not to criticize but to be aware of the load many of us carry. It’s OK to feel weary and like there is more to do than you have hours in the day. It’s not an illusion. There really is more work than we can finish, which is why much of our time is spend prioritizing and often multi-tasking, whether done well or not.

But we need rest. I’m not going to discuss the philosophy of taking care of yourself first. I realize that is a controversial one that I’m still trying to figure out myself. How do I serve my family without wearing myself to a frazzle or becoming bitter? I don’t have those answers yet. But what I am saying is that when you are tired, you need rest. Sometimes this will mean actual sleep. Sacrificing those lovely post bedtime hours by going to bed early. This is one that I hate and still struggle with. But I know in theory that I will feel better and be more efficient if I sleep well, so I’m working on it.

Emotional rest is a little more complicated. It often requires physical rest too. But sometimes it actually takes additional work. The cure for emotional weariness is to find our joy and purpose again. But it can be helped along the way with little decisions. I love Jamie’s first tip in this section.

“Take it one hour (or minute) at a time.”

Yes. This is how I survive most days. Otherwise I start going down the slippery slope of negativity. All I need is the strength to survive today, or sometimes just the next hour or minute. I have to believe I’ll have what I need for the rest of it when the time comes.

We talked last week about gratitude and it comes up again here. We need to look for the good and continually remind ourselves of it. This is part of the practice of thanksgiving. It’s also another coping strategy for when things get difficult. It isn’t easy. Easy is tuning your kids out through electronics (Guilty!) or having that extra dessert because you tell yourself you deserve it. (Been there too). Focusing on the positive is harder, but totally worth it because the end result is that soon it is easier to see the blessings in our lives.

Last, but certainly not least (actually it really should be first). We need to pray, constantly and without ceasing. I’m still trying to get a handle on how to do this. I am by no means an expert (though I believe it was Henry Nouwen who said we must except that we will only ever be beginners at prayer). But it occurs to me that every time I mutter complaints under my breath I could be praying for help. When I want to scream, I could sing instead. When I want to run, I could fall to my knees and ask the savior of the universe to save me once more from myself. Do I always do that? Nope. Do I want to? Desperately. Just like all of you, I’m only a beginner.


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29


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Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids: Mindset for Moms

Learn to Think Like Your Child: Mindset For Moms

Move! Mindset for Moms

It’s OK to be Down: Mindset for Moms

Get a Grasp on Gratitude: Mindset For Moms


Categories: Mindset for Moms, Stay at Home Mothering | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

He Finished It and I Can Rest: Five Minute Friday


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Today’s writing prompt is Finished.

Nothing in my life ever seems to be finished. Not the laundry, my the house chores, the myriad undone projects. Nothing is ever finished so I can’t really rest. I say I’m resting but my brain is always working. I can’t fully enjoy the things I should because I’m always distracted by all that I should be doing. This past Sunday our pastor preached a sermon on Sabbath. He talked about how we can experience God’s rest. It’s not just a nice idea, it’s a necessity.

But how do we experience the rest of God, how can we really have Sabbath? The answer my pastor provided surprised me. In order to experience rest we need to experience and acknowledge the completed work of Christ on the cross. It was simple, yet also incredibly complicated. In my busyness I have become self-sufficient, or at least behave like I am. Resting acknowledges that I know I am not in control and that He is. To quote my pastor “Sabbath is a symbol of God’s sufficiency.” Sabbath rest is supposed to be a time of freedom. How can we be free when there is so much undone work? First of all, rest can be part of that work. Some of it is in our attitudes. I know I am constantly going through my week feeling harried and at loose ends. I can’t always choose what happens to me, but I can choose how I respond. I can lean on him. I can remind myself of his ultimate sacrifice that was completed on the cross. That’s right, completed. I don’t have to work for it. My service is an honor and privilege. A thank you directed to my savior. But it can never match or add to his work, because guess what? It’s finished.

I also need to find moments of deliberate inactivity. When my pastor said this, I kind of wanted to laugh out loud. Inactivity? Has he been at my house recently, I have two small kids, there is no room for inactivity. But the truth is I can find moments of stillness in my crazy day. In the shower, after the kids are in bed, before they wake up. The issue is quieting my soul and mind enough to experience these moments. To enter into His rest. Because He has begun a good work in my life and I believe He will complete it. I need to stop living like it’s my job to make the world go round. He’s got it covered. He finished it, so I can rest. Now I need to lay down my oars and let him steer.


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Want to join us? Read more about Five Minute Friday here.



Categories: Faith, Five Minute Friday, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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