Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Becky Wade's 'True to You' Author Facebook Chat Party

Raise your hand if you're ready for Becky Wade's new series! Celebrate the release of book one, True to You, with Becky and other readers on Facebook on May 4th during a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EDT (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Becky will be chatting about the book and answering your questions about the new series, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too!

Pre-order your copy of True to You so you're ready for a fun book discussion. Find out more about the book here.

Hope to see you on May 4 for Becky's True to You Facebook Party!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

POP Pilates, Barre, and Cardio Hip Hop

Well, I haven't lost a single pound and I found out that I can't fit into my shorts from years past, including the new ones I bought last year. THIS my friends is NOT good news. I'm still keeping on keeping on. I think there are two pieces that have to be worked on to actually see significant change.

First is my eating habits. I eat terrible! I've never eaten great, so that's not helpful. I've done the right thing by adding fitness to my life, but that's not making any changes. I guess at this point I'm maintaining where I'm at, which isn't where I want to be. In my head I want to make changes to my diet, I just haven't translated that into real life.

That being said, I also know I need to do more than Zumba. It's an amazing cardio workout, and I love it every single time I go! I'm guessing Amanda thinks I'm a total groupie. lol I've told her several times how much I appreciate her enthusiasm and energy!

I've tried several other classes now! A few weeks ago I went to the pilates class. I've actually gone a couple times. One of the things I like about it, is it comes right before Zumba! Hello bonus. I need to get a yoga mat and some good socks for that class. The mats they have there are nice and thick, but not necessarily made for tall people. When I do certain moves, my feet hang off and slide with my socks. I could get yoga socks and that would definitely help.

It's really a good workout. I didn't expect to sweat so much because I thought it was more core work, but there's some cardio involved, too. Let's just call it a warm up for Zumba. It totally works muscles I didn't even know I had. I actually really like it and the instructor is really lovely.

On Fridays there aren't many classes except earlier in the day. Totally a bummers since I work. It's the same on Sunday, but I guess that's a good thing or I'd probably be there on Sunday, too. HA! About a month ago, they started a barre class on Friday evenings. The first time I went, a gal I'd seen at Zumba was there. We shared a barre and chit chatted as we were dying together! I watched a couple of videos before going to this class, but holy mama, I was shaking like I tree by the time we were done. My legs aren't fans of that kind of workout. Of course that means I need to go back. I haven't been back, but I did like it! The instructor there was pretty great as well.

I went back to my regular Zumba classes, and the gal I'd worked out with at the barre class convinced me to try cardio hip hop. She said it was fun like Zumba. So off I went. It was definitely fun! There were a lot of moves I couldn't do, and she tried to get us as a class to try them, but they weren't very easy. lol She actually had to nix one of the songs because we were all over the place. hahahaha The instructor was very upbeat and was so smooth with her dancing. I'll never be her, but I will do her class when they fit my schedule.

Not sure if I've mentioned Zumba enough in this post so I figured I'd mention it once more before I finish this post. lol I'm really digging my classes and trying out new ones. There are a couple during the day I'm interested in, and I supposed if I want to try them I'll have to do them while we're a bit slow at work. I also need to muster up the gumption to get dressed and leave the house at 8am. Ish it's not ideal for me. Why can't aqua aerobics be later in the day? lol I'll aways stick with my Zumba. ;)

Do you prefer cardio or core workouts?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

ZeroWater For Healthy Drinking Water & Giveaway

I'm not a huge fan of water. I know, I know seems like a strange way to start off a review for a product that has me drinking the stuff. I have to add some clarity to my initial statement. I like water, but I'm particular about it. First it has to be ice cold, and second it has to taste good. When ZeroWater reached out to me, I jumped onboard and you'll understand my reasons why.

I've never really drank much water. Like I said above, it has to be ice cold for me to enjoy it. Since I started working out I've been drinking a bottle of water every day. Now that's something for me! We have well water at our house, but let's just say I'm not a fan. We can get water through our fridge, but our filter needs to be replaced. It's needed to be replaced for probably a year. Since my hubby is the only one who drinks that water now, he's not concerned. Needless to say, I'm not drinking the fridge water.

When I saw that I could test my water with the 12-cup Ready-Pour ZeroWater pitcher, I was thrilled. I've had some concerns about our well water and haven't known what to do about it. I knew that once the water went through the pitcher, I could test it to see if it was safe. We had well water at our house back in MN, too, and I wasn't impressed.

I've been drinking the water from my ZeroWater pitcher for a couple of weeks now, and I'll say it's been great! Of course since it sits in my fridge it's always cold, just like I like it. I grab a cup, take it upstairs to my treadmill, and I'm set for my walking time. It's also been nice that I can take my reusable water bottles with me to the gym again.

Like I said, not liking the well water, I've been using the bottled water for my workouts. Blech! I found it interesting when I put the water in a bottle I'd had for a while and it tasted really strange. I thought the bottle was clean as I hadn't used it in a while and it was just sitting in my cupboard. I was concerned it was the pitcher water. I ended up dumping out the water, yes it tasted that bad. I poured another glass into a different reusable water bottle and it tasted exactly like it should. I can't tell you how much that impressed me. I honestly didn't realize there could be that big of a difference or that it would be so noticeable.

So, how easy is it to use and test? You just fill up the water reservoir and let the water filter through. Once the water has gone through, you fill it again to let it filter through until body is filled with water. The test meter snaps into the lid, which is great for safe keeping! You take a clean glass to put the water into so it can be tested. You push the on button, it reads the water, and it gives you a number. At some point it will get up to 006 and you know it's time to change the filter.

I like that my ZeroWater pitcher also came with a map that shows me what I should expect, for the most part, from the filter. In Maryland, I should be able to get between 25-40 gallons of water! Not bad! Completely worth the cost of a filter. Also, as you can see above, the handle has the spout attached. That makes it easy to tuck it onto a shelf and not have to finagle it to easily dispense the water! It you want it quicker or more at once, you just pull it out and use the tip of the pitcher.

Now you have the opportunity to win the same pitcher as the one I have! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Homemade Household Cleaners

This has happened over and over again, but I just kept putting off making a change because...change. I'm not a fan. I'm also not a fan of not being able to breathe in the same room room I'm cleaning. I've used numerous household cleaners and most of them overwhelm me and I end up hacking and leaving the room.

Finally, I figured it was time to search out some good homemade household cleaners that everyone could use, including me! As I looked through some of these ideas, I was surprised at how many different home and personal DIYs it's possible to make! Things I actually wouldn't have considered.

Let's start with a disinfecting spray. Mama's Instinct has a DIY Natural All-Purpose Disinfecting Spray that's sure to get the job done! Looks like for homemade cleaning products I'll have to invest in some good glass bottles. I'm a fan of anything lemon so of course this one grabbed my attention!

Next we head over to Miss Information for a couple of ideas. My bestie has been making her own laundry detergent for years, but I've been too lazy to jump on that bandwagon, but I have taken dryer sheets 99% of the time out of our laundry routine with my dryer balls. Miss Information's other cleaner is a powdered cleanser to help get your home clean! Both have piqued my interest!

First let's start with the laundry detergent. This Homemade Laundry Detergent will also benefit my family because of my hubby's allergies.

Next is her All Natural DIY Powdered Cleanser. We can get some tough stains around here and I'm thinking this powder would come in very handy!

If you've got a Swiffer type mop at home, you'll love these reusable mop pads along with a homemade solution to get those floors clean. Aileen Cooks will help you with some great natural cleaning ideas! Start off with her Homemade Reuasble "Swiffer" Mop Pads.

With the grout I have in my bathroom, I've been needing a cleaner that didn't seem like it was going to kill me while I was using it by inhaling the fumes. I think a good place to start would be with Aileen Cooks' Homemade Grout Cleaner. You can see a visible difference pretty much right away!
How about a list of homemade cleaners all in one spot? Wondering what to have on hand to make them? Living Well Spending Less has exactly what you need for cleaning the entire house with her Green & Thrifty Cleaning Products. Man, she makes it all look so easy, and it is! I think those of us who haven't made the switch make it harder than it has to be.

Having been out in the garden over the past week + I've run into a ton of weeds. I should've been more vigilant during the winter since it was a mild one. As soon as I went to clean up my gardens, I realized I was fighting a battle against all kinds of weeds. Well, one homemade household cleaner I'm going to try for outside is Two Kids & A Coupon's Non-Toxic Weed Killer. I had no idea it could be so easy to make!

I don't know if I've ever smelled a worse chemical than oven cleaner. I mean, I don't want want the pets in the house let alone the people when we have to clean the oven. Gah! One of the worst tasks when cleaning the house. What's Up Fagans? has A Natural Solution for cleaning your oven you're going to want to give a try.

I'm going to be searching high and low for more DIY cleaning products, so if you've got one, please share it with me! I'm ready to toss all of the stuff that's under my sinks right now!

What is your favorite homemade cleaner?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Waking Up The Garden

The weather has been really nice off and on for the past few weeks. It wasn't until this past weekend that I decided it was time to wake up my flower gardens. I've been spending time outside getting things ready to uncover the dirt. Yes, I said dirt. I'm not a mulching kind of gal.

That being said, I had no idea when I went outside just to get rid of some clovers that I'd end up uncovering the gardens from their winter blanket (I use leaves) and transplanting other plants. The clovers are terrible this year. I think that Fred must've seeded with clover seed not grass seed. Once I got rid of the clovers one the side of the porch, I found out that my hostas were coming back. I hope they do better this year that last year. They pretty pitiful last year. Not at all like the big ones I had back home. I'm hoping the soil is starting to improve. The worms I've been finding are a great indication that it is!

What I need to do one of these days is map out my plants. I always start off with the best of intentions to remember what I've planted and where. Unfortunately, I've got so many these days I can't keep track in my head. Not only that, I move them around or plant new ones at various times throughout the year, I can't keep track of them any more.

I was bummed to uncover the small garden next to the garage to see that only one of my Monarda (bee balm) has come back. Hopefully I'll be able to split it and they'll do better through next year. I think the Liatris (gayfeather) will be pretty big this year. I'll probably have to move them around to the back of the garden if they get too big.

The one plant I can't wait to add to my perennials is a peony. I do have one, but it's not a great one. The one I had from Minnesota grew blooms that would be as big as my son's face. Somehow it didn't make it with the move to Maryland. So very sad. I hope I can find one to replace it this year. I'll be heading to the garden center in the next couple of weeks to find just the right one.

One of the lilacs I bought last year while we were in MN came back wonderfully this year. It's already got some good growth! It'll be quite a while before it reaches maturity, but I'm happy it's making progress! Little by little.

OH, and something I'm extremely excited about is my large lilacs are showing that they're going to be blooming! Those also came with me from Minnesota. I've had these plants for probably 15+ yrs. When they didn't bloom last year I was a little heartbroken. So far I see two green bulbs where there will soon be blooms! The little ones I got from my girlfriend last year have already bloomed. They're tiny, cute little lilacs! I'm not sure if they'll get bigger than what they are, but I love that they bloom so early!

By the end of my afternoon, my little gardens were looking good as new. They looked like they were happy that spring had arrived and were ready to get their bloom on. The one last thing I need to do this weekend is bunch my daffodils together. I planted the bulbs individually in both gardens and realized as I saw other ones at other homes, I like them better in a bunch. Now I just need to find the space!

Have your spring plants come to life yet?

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.