Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway - Hot (Sweaty) Mamas

I am so excited to host a giveaway for Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom. This book is a fabulous how-to manual for any mom who wants to begin a fitness program or for the mom who wants to improve her fitness level. I've been in the fitness industry for over sixteen years and I still learned some new tricks and ideas from this book. I would highly recommend it to new moms and those of us who have a child or two or seven. My favorite quote from the book: "All we have is this moment, the present. And it's that art of mindfulness that teaches you to turn your attention to the present moment, whether it's to gaze lovingly into your child's eyes or work up a sweat. Learning how to make the most of each moment, being a mindful mama, is one of the basic skills of all fit moms." I love that thought. It's something I struggle with in my multi-tasking mind. Hot (Sweaty) Mamas is full of not only pearls of wisdom for getting you to workout and making that workout effective but wisdom for life. I am giving away two copies of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas. Yes, that's two, just in time for those New Year's Resolutions! Here are the rules: Mandatory Entry: Follow my blog and leave a comment. Extra Entries: (+2) Follow me on Twitter or Facebook Share the contest on Twitter or Facebook (+4) Share the contest on your sidebar or as a blog post. Open to residents of U.S. and Canada Contest closes: January 4, 2012

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

The book is always better than the movie

I just finished watching, The Help. I laughed and cried and vowed to be a better mother, a better Christian, and a better person, but I have to admit that I still think the book is better than the movie. It's just not possible for a movie to give all the insights and depth that a book can give. I also love imagining the characters and scenes in my head. No television screen can match that. The only exception I would make is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I loved the book but I'm a romantic, I much prefer the way the movie ended with Edmund and Mercedes together. Plus James Caviezel as Edmund Dantes was an extremely good choice. Very nice-looking man. What do you think? Book or movie?
Monday, December 5, 2011

Guest Post - Hot Sweaty Mamas

On December 20th I'll be reviewing and giving away a copy of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas. Today co-author, Laurie, shares some fabulous tips for us. "Act Like Others Are Watching–Because They Are 10 Tactics for a Fit Family" by Laurie Lethert Kocanda It’s the last secret we mention in Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom (Andrews McMeel, 2011), but perhaps the most important of them all: Act Like Others Are Watching–Because They Are. We’re talking about mentoring here, both having a mentor and being a mentor. It’s about having another woman to look up to, one who seems to manage the messiness of life while still getting sweaty on a regular basis. It’s also about being that woman others look to for inspiration. But obviously the most important role you have as a mentor is providing a healthy and encouraging example for your children. Being a fit mom lets you demonstrate (actions speak louder than words) that fitness is a priority in your life. Dr. Todd Smith, a family practice physician in Cottage Grove, Minn., encourages parents to get out and get active with their children. “Kids see what their parents do and don’t do, so it’s important that parents take time to show their children the importance of physical activity.” Smith adds that genetics alone do not determine a child’s health; parent modeling and overall activity level are equally, if not more, important. Getting a little territorial? Maybe you like to think of your workouts as your much coveted “me time,” a chance to escape. Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to give up that solo time altogether. Keep your solo sweat, but consider adding in activities that let the whole family in on the fun. There are lots of ways to workout with your kids. Schedule time as a family to participate in fitness and outdoor pursuits, perhaps on a weekly basis. By spending family time together in an active setting, you are showing children the importance of family togetherness as well as health and fitness. Here are a few tactics to add to your fit family repertoire: 1. Let the kids help develop a list of potential activities. Create a list for each season so you’re never incapacitated by inclement weather. Head outside whenever possible, away from the TV and computer. 2. Focus on time, not intensity. Remind your kids that fitness is about endurance—a lifetime of activity. Enjoy the time and don’t worry about the caloric burn. 3. Invest in gear. Frisbees, bats and balls, even a water sprinkler can get the family moving. Just make sure there are lots of options. Investing in the (practical) essentials is worth your dollar, too. While positioned in a jogging stroller or bike trailer, kids get a similar adrenaline rush as you. The final blocks back to your home are the perfect place to let little legs work off energy. 5. Be creative. With the right attitude, simple tasks like washing the car, raking the yard, gardening, and snow shoveling can be fun family activities. Be creative with your time, too. If your children are taking swim lessons, think about jumping in an open lane yourself. Consider running around the soccer fields while your kids are at practice, or do some sit-ups and push-ups from the sidelines (who cares if other parents are looking… they probably want to join you!). 6. Look for local road races that offer opportunities for kids to compete too. When you run a race on your own, make arrangements so your kids can watch you cross the finish line (or cross the finish line with you). It’s important that they see you accomplish your goals and experience the rewards of hard work. 7. Hit the park, recreation center, or nature center. Just bringing your children to the playground on a regular basis encourages them to use their large motor skills and burn off energy. Look for nature paths, or paved park trails so kids can walk, run, or rollerblade with you in sight. 8. Let your children investigate sports alternatives in organized league play. Most community centers offer recreational leagues for soccer, basketball, and more. Call your local center to get a seasonal list of athletic offerings. Volunteer to coach if you can swing it and remember to focus on fun. 9. Encourage older kids to join you on runs, bike rides, or trips to the gym. Invite them to ride their bikes along with you as you run on local trails. Let them run with you at the track where they can go their own pace. 10. Emphasize fun. In order to build long-lasting behaviors, make sure kids are enjoying their physical activity. It is, after all, about building life-long habits and behaviors for the entire family. This guest post comes from Laurie Kocanda and Kara Douglass Thom, co-authors of Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom.
Saturday, December 3, 2011

Eccentric Son

My 5yo insists on reading Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott or Star Wars by George Lucas. I cannot imagine he can follow either one very well but he loves these books! He begs me to read them during the day, at storytime, at bedtime. Hilarious. How do I encourage him to read on his level without discouraging this obsession with some fabulous books?
Thursday, December 1, 2011

Book Giveaway - Cold River

I'm so excited to give away Cold River by Liz Adair. It would be a fabulous Christmas present for yourself or for that sister-in-law that you can't think of a good present for or better yet your child's teacher (think of the brownie points). To Enter: Mandatory Entry: Follow my blog and leave a comment. Extra Entries: (+1) Follow me on Twitter or Facebook (+2) Share the contest on Twitter or Facebook (+4) Share the contest on your sidebar or as a blog post. Open to residents of U.S. and Canada Contest closes: December 16, 2011 Thanks for stopping by!

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