Motivation Monday- Home workouts that work!

Good Monday morning all!  I hope everyone had a wonderfully relaxing weekend! 

A little background about myself.  I am a mom of three very active boys, a wife, a middle school teacher and a coach.  Needless to say, I don't stop.  There were a few years that I spent all of my time taking care of my boys and put myself on the back burner.  It was a choice I made that I look back on and wish I would have taken a small amount of time taking care of myself not only physically, but mentally.  I think we all make excuses as to why we don't have time to workout or do the things that we love to do. 

Back in 2013, my husband and I worked out to Tony Horton's P90X3.  It is a 30 minute full body workout.  Once we put the kids to bed, we spent time together getting in the best shapes of our lives.  I used to think there was no way working out at home to a video would work, but it did, and not only did we look pretty good, we felt amazing. 

Jump ahead to present day.  I have tried other things in the past few years.  I've gone to Burn Bootcamp, spin classes at various places, gyms, and nothing quite has been the same.  I think that I have just not been in the right mindset to get back to the body that I love, or that feeling of I can do it, until about 3 weeks ago.  My sister called me and said, "ok, enough is enough you are going to join Beachbody as a Coach, and we are going to do this together.  You are going to be accountable for not only yourself but others too.  We've got this."  I love my sister!   I had been watching her transform her body though Beachbody and have been amazed at her transformation.  She has always been a tiny thing, but she is now packing visible muscle.

So here I am.  I started Liift 4, and three weeks later, I feel stronger.  I have upped my weights, I'm starting to see changes and I feel better.  I haven't quite talked my husband into joining me again yet, but it's coming, he just doesn't know it. (hehe) 

I want to challenge my readers that haven't tried Beachbody yet.  I would love for you to join me.  To stop making excuses like we all do, and to get into the best shape of our lives together.  You don't need to spend $70 a month at a gym to get fit.  You can workout in the comfort of your own home without feeling judged and at anytime of day that works for you. You just have to decide that you are ready and you would like to join me.   If you are interested or have questions, please feel free to email me here.


Motivation Monday

Monday, the day we start fresh from all the junk we eat over the weekend.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  We have a great week eating, working out and staying on track, then the weekend comes around and your out and about, off your schedule and BAM!  Bad food choices, no healthy snacks, and not enough water. 

I always start my Saturday out with a good breakfast, then it goes downhill from there.  I wouldn't say that I eat bad food, I think I just over eat the food I have.  For example, I get hungry and pop some nuts in my mouth, which in all honesty is a pretty good choice, until I go back and have another handful or two.  Or I have a little more than a bowl full of fruit.  Like I said, seemingly good choices, but the fat in the nuts or the sugar in the fruit becomes a bit to much.  I try to remember this saying.

Weekends are also a horrible time for myself to not get enough water in .  I pour myself water, and that cup lasts me half the day, where during the week my first cup of water is down by 10 am and I refill it throughout the day.  My husband made me the most amazing water bottle this weekend that I will be sharing soon.

With all of this being said I'm going to do better at keeping track this week.  I bought an adorable fitness tracker by Create 365, and I am going to stay on top of it.  When I lost my weight back in 2013 and was in the best shape of my life, I kept track of everything in a small fitness tracker.  I find that if I write it down I am more accountable with my food and exercise.  There are some nice apps out there, but I want to be able to flip back through my journal and see what I did right, and where I went wrong.  Also, if it's written down, I can go back in the future and remember what worked. 

With all of this being said.  I hope you have a great week.  Drink 1/2 your body weight in water a day, exercise daily, eat healthy, be happy and work hard.

Pics from Gymquotes.com and google


Childhood Cancer and how life changes

Where to begin?  Life has been crazy to say the least since the last time I wrote.  It only takes one moment to realize that life is short and can change in a blink of an eye.  On June 7th, 2015 our world stopped for a brief moment and has been forever changed.  Here is the story.

Casonʼs initial ear pair started in March of 2015. He would complain that if it got hit, it hurt. Of course, being that it only hurt when it got hit, we didnʼt think much about it. Heʼs a boys boy, and is always rough housing with his brothers.

In May, on his face next to his left ear, he began to show signs of swelling. I called the pediatrician, and he said that is typically an inner ear infection. After 7 days on an antibiotic and no change in the swelling, I called an ENT. I couldnʼt get him in on the Friday I called, so they called in a stronger antibiotic, and said theyʼd call back on Monday. When Monday rolled around, the swelling was worse, and was now closer to his eye. They got him in the next day to see what was going on.

The ENT at Nationwide Childrenʼs in Columbus ran test after test. They scoped his nose, checked his ears, and found nothing. They decided to do an ultrasound, they called the next day because they saw something, but werenʼt sure what. They scheduled a CT scan for Friday June, 5. The doctor said pack a bag for a couple of nights, itʼs probably a cyst that will need drained, and heʼd have to be monitored.

We went for his CT at 7am. They took us to the CT room where they had to put an IV in him while he was awake. He had to lay still while they ran the test, which he did pretty well considering! When the test was all done, we went straight up to the clinic for the results. When the ENT came in, it wasnʼt our usual doctor, he had called in sick. He then proceeded to ask if I had ever seen a CT, which I hadnʼt. As soon as he pulled up the first picture, my heart dropped to my stomach, and I felt like passing out. We have all seen enough pictures on hospital shows that we know what we are looking at. I looked at him and asked, “ is it.....?” knowing what I was talking about, he said we wonʼt know until we get in there and take it out. The pain he was having in his ear, was because the tumor had deteriorated the bone and was touching his dura. He explained that it was going to be a long day, and we can only do one step at a time. He wanted to admit him, do an MRI, then do the biopsy. He made phone calls to the head of Cardio, Neuro, Oncology and a friend at The James, which is an amazing cancer hospital in Columbus, so that they were all aware and were on standby if he needed them.

I knew I couldnʼt cry in front of Cason, I had to be strong. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. I walked into the hallway to make phone calls to my husband, and the most religious people I knew. If anything, I knew he would need all the prayers he could get. Everything else the doctor said that day was a blur! I did find out while waiting for the MRI, that his doctor was the chief ENT. It was like a blessing in disguise. After the biopsy, he told me that he had Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis. It would have to be confirmed by the pathologist, but he was 99.9% sure thatʼs what it was.

A few days later he called and confirmed it was LCH. He referred us to an Oncologist at Childrenʼs that specialized in the field. After days and days of research I was more confused than anything. Some doctors say itʼs cancer, where others say itʼs not.
Regardless, Cason was going to be treated as a cancer patient, and his disease is considered a rare disease that 4 out of a million get.

Once visiting the Oncologist, he told us that he wanted a port placed in his chest so that he didnʼt have to be stuck every time he came in, and that he would go through 12 months of treatment. While researching, I found that the leading hospital and doctors were in Texas, and the other in Cincinnati. We decided that a second opinion would be a good idea. While waiting to get in down in Cincinnati, the ENT called and was concerned that this tumor was rapidly growing, and we needed to take care of it now. We saw the doctor in Cincinnati and he confirmed everything the doctor in Columbus had said. Since Nationwide was closer, we decided to just stay there and have everything started. I called and they got him in the next day to have his port placed.

The doctor said the port would be placed in the center of his chest. I proceeded to tell Cason he was going to be the real Ironman. That seemed to settle his fears, and has ever since made him realize he is stronger than he thinks.

Chemo started one week later. He had to go every Tuesday for 6 weeks straight, and had to take 28 days of steroids. On the sixth week, they did an MRI to see if it was working, and amazingly it had shrunk significantly. He nows goes to chemo every 3 weeks, and has 5 days worth of steroids. Cason has changed from the medicines he has been getting. He has gained 15 pounds and has a temper I never saw before all of this. Most days, youʼll see he is a normal 5 year old. He has not let the tumor or this disease slow him down, not even for a second.

Cason now, 4 years later is Cancer free.  He has lost all of the weight from chemo, and is active as all kids his age.  We take him to get blood work every six months, and scans once a year to make sure the cancer hasn't returned. We hold our breaths and pray that everything is clear, but the fear of hearing those words again are still there.  You realize life is short.  Love and hug on your babies, go on adventures, and live every day to it's fullest because you never know what might happen tomorrow. 


Coming Soon...

Guess who's back, back again.  (I know you just sang it in your head)  Long time no see!! I've missed you all.  Things have changed so much since I last spoke with you.  I can't wait to share what all has been going on.  You'll be hearing about my middle man and his fight with cancer,
our camping adventures, and some teaching stories.  If you have anything in particular you'd like to hear about, please leave a comment or email me at datssocute@gmail.com.  I look forward to writing again, I've missed it!  See you soon!


Hiking and Camping must haves _Review

I had the amazing opportunity to get to try a few products from Mountain Warehouse.  Just a little back ground information about them, via their website. 

Mountain Warehouse has been offering quality outdoor clothing and equipment at the lowest prices since 1997. From hiking clothing and camping equipment to ski wear and running gear we stock everything you need for your outdoor activities.
Most of the products we sell are exclusive to Mountain Warehouse, unlike other outdoor clothing shops. By cutting out the middleman we can produce the best quality products at the best prices. We pride ourselves on providing great value outdoor gear and at Mountain Warehouse you can be sure to receive honest advice from our knowledgeable staff.

The products that I tried exceeded my expectations.  Each one being more than I thought it would be.  

This backpack is lightweight and so comfortable.  I like that even after hours of having it on, it still felt lightweight and didn't cause my shoulders or back to hurt.  It has a lot of room in it, and has a hole at the top for a water bladder if you want to add one.  I chose to bring bottled water on our hike to share, and it wasn't heavy at all!

The Bolt also has two straps to help distribute heavier loads, one of which goes across your chest and the other around your waist.  For our hike the waist strap was not needed and I liked where the chest strap laid.  Other backpacks lay too low, and make it very uncomfortable, where this one was just right. 

I have used this backpack on several occasions other than hiking.  It is great loaded with everything you might need for hiking, to adventures out with the kids.  There are no drawbacks to owning the Bolt 18L backpack it is amazing and will be used for several years to come.  

The next item we were privileged to try was a flint starter.  This is a handy, light weight item that provides piece of mind when hiking or camping.  It also makes an excellent addition to any survival kit and stores very nicely in the Bolt 18L backpack.   You don't have to worry about matches getting wet, or a lighter not working.   One thing I can say for sure is that this starter put out more sparks than any other starter I've ever seen.  Starting a fire is quick and easy as seen in the photos below.  Just gather some dry material together, make a little tinder bundle and while applying medium pressure, just slide the striker down the flint stick and watch the sparks fly. 

Lastly, my favorite new hoodie, the Kittwake Womens Hoodie.

It is so soft, and comfortable, that I would seriously wear it  everyday!  There is just something about how it fits and the softness of it, that my other sweatshirts don't compare! 
The sizing chart is different than a US chart, our sweatshirts are S,M,L, but they have made it easy with this chart.
UK UK6810121416182022
EU Euro343638404244464850
German German323436384042444648
Italian Italian384042444648505254
USA USA24681012141618
Australian Australian6810121416182022
cm / inchcm / inchcm / inchcm / inchcm / inchcm / inchcm / inchcm / inchcm / inch
Bust/Chest80 / 31.584 / 3388 / 34.593 / 36.598 / 38.5104 / 41110 / 43.5116 / 45.5123 / 48.5
Waist63 / 2568 / 26.571 / 2876 / 3081 / 3287 / 34.593 / 36.599 / 39106 / 41.5
Hips88 / 34.592 / 3696 / 38101 / 40106 / 41.5112 / 44118 / 46.5124 / 48.5131 / 51.5
Legs / Regular79 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 31
Legs / Short74 / 2974 / 2974 / 2974 / 2974 / 2974 / 2974 / 2974 / 2974 / 29
Legs / Ski79 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 3179 / 31

Womens Footwear

avg. insole length (cm)24.325.125.826.627.5

I want to apologize for taking so long to write this review.  I received these products right after returning from a camping and hiking trip and didn't get the opportunity until last weekend to use the products out in nature.  The items were given to me, but all opinions are honest and my own. 


The Fitness Games_Review

Thanks to Sweat Pink and The Fitness Games for giving me the opportunity to try out the new app, The Fitness Games.

This app gives you the opportunity to challenge your fitness friends, other fitness minded folks or even just yourself. There are four main challenge groups. Strength, Cardiovascular, Full Body and Cross Training.  I have figured out, if you don't have an extensive home gym or a gym membership, some of these are hard to do.

Over all, it's a pretty cool app, at least the idea of it is.  If you take sweaty selfies of yourself, you aren't the only one, and people aren't rolling their eyes at yours, because your other challengers/friends are doing it too.

I did get the Platinum version, so 16 more challenges than the basic.   They were really great workouts!  Well, the ones I tried.  

My biggest complaint about the app is challenging others.  I challenged a few people, and after weeks, either they don't know that I challenged them, or they just don't want to accept it.  So in all the workouts I've done, I have only won 1.  Not that I am that worried about winning or losing, but I think the point of the app is to make yourself better, and sometimes it's more fun to have the challenge of using your friends than challenging yourself.  

I would recommend this app, especially if you have several friends that like a little friendly competition.  It is available for iPhone and Android use. Thank you to Fit Approach and The Fitness Games!

This post was sponsored by The Fitness Games through my partnership with Fit Approach as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. I was not compensated monetarily, but was provided the Platinum Version of the application for review. As always, all opinions are my own.


Fleurty Bands- Review

I am so thankful to Jasmine Wood, the owner of Fleurty Bands for the opportunity to try and review the BEST headband I've ever used!  I'm not just saying that because I got to try it free, it really is hands down, the best one.  It didn't move, not even once!

(sorry for the sweaty selfie)

I have the worst time while working out keeping headbands on my head.  I thought maybe it was just my head.  I have bought different bands, made of different materials, but all of them slid out of place.  The worst is when you are running a race and you are continually having to fix it, or you lose it, because it falls out and you just don't have time for that nonsense!

Fleurty Bands are unique to any bands I've tried.  I don't know if it's the material she uses for the inside, but it stays where you put it.

Besides being handmade with love, they have beautiful craftsmanship,  you can pick from different colors and designs, and she has really cute ones!!  If you are looking for a headband that stays in place, and are adorable, head on over to her shop and grab one or a few!  Now that I'm a believer and know that they don't move, I'll be buying a few!

Thank you Jasmine and Fleurty Bands for being the Headband that doesn't move, so I can!