Valentine’s Day Books for Kids

I love traditions around holidays. Kristin and I grew up with many traditions, and now I am carrying on traditions in my own family, and making some new ones of my own.

One tradition that I love is reading themed books for holidays. It’s so fun to have a pile of different books to get you excited for whatever holiday is coming up.

Valentine’s Day is next week, and here is what’s on our list! Psst, ‘Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch’ is my favorite. Makes me cry in a good way ha! I suggest it even if you don’t have kids.

107A277B-176B-4177-ABEE-23389453260E

1. Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch- Eileen Spinelli, Paul Yalowitz

2. Plant a Kiss-Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Peter H. Reynolds

3. Love From the Crayons- Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers

4. If You’ll be my Valentine- Cynthia Rylant, Fumi Kosaka

5. Arthur’s Valentine- Marc Brown

6. A Hug is for Holding Me-Lisa Wheeler, Lisk Fang

Happy reading!

-Rachael

How to Find a Fitness Program or Gym That Works For You

FindingFitness-01

Fitness and health are super personal. We all have friends who swear by vegan/paleo/atkins/brightline/crossfit/yoga/running/weightlifting/*enter your preference here*. It can be overwhelming and confusing, but it is ok that people choose different ways to reach their health goals! It is ok that what works for one person is totally wrong for another. So, on the one hand, it’s confusing and overwhelming, but on the other…it’s awesome because you get to personalize what works for you from so many choices.

In general, I would make sure you study your choices and have some research or data behind it. It also helps to talk to your doctor or registered dietician or trainer or health guru or whoever you trust to give you solid advice. They can help you understand the “why” behind certain lifestyles, and give you tips to succeed.

As for us (and we are not your doctor OR your health gurus ; ), we prefer a balanced approach. Shocker! It just works for us to have moderation in all things, including with fitness and food. We’ve discussed food in previous months (paleo, Mediterranean, vegan), and continue to utilize each of those food styles in our own cooking styles.

This month is about fitness, and that ongoing journey we all are on. There is no “end”, as it is a continual thing we are striving for. That is why I don’t like “before” and “after” photos.

For some practical information:

  • Check with your insurance on gym membership discounts. Mine will give me and my husband up to $400 back a year on gym memberships. Nice! It won’t cover all the costs of the gym we chose, but it is a great chunk off.
  • Check with your employer on gym discounts. Mine gives discounts to gyms in the area, and combined with my insurance discount, it makes sense to join the gym! Look into combining several offers, and gyms can become affordable. I prefer a gym that doesn’t have a lot of “frills”, because I don’t want to pay $80-$150 a month for extras I’m not using. I am in and out of the gym, and just want to get my sweat on.
  • You don’t have to join a gym. Perhaps it doesn’t work financially, or perhaps timewise it doesn’t make sense to join a gym. Whatever your reason, home workouts are rapidly becoming more popular, and very effective. We all know there are companies out there who have their programs, and if you like that and have a friend who is a coach, by all means, go for it! They can be very helpful for people. But you don’t have to have a coach or join a program to be able to find great at home workouts. Here are some of our favorite resources for that:

Yoga with Adriene- We talked about Adriene in yoga month. She has been our favorite yogini for years, and still is.

Fitness Blender– Awesome husband and wife duo. Their workouts are effective, clear, minimal in the best way, and they have a lot of options to choose from.

Popsugar Fitness videos and workout posts–  Great for fun, “trendy” workouts. Who doesn’t want to train like a Victoria’s Secret Model sometimes 😉

Nike Training Club App– Workouts in the palm of your hand. Nike does a great job providing clear instructions, for whatever your goals are.

7 Minute Workout App– There are several versions of this basic app, this is just the one I use. It’s a great quick HIIT workout to get the blood going, and it’s really fun to notice how quickly the exercises get easier the more you do the workout (you are getting stronger!).

  • Take a hike. Seriously, it’s free, and awesome. (Walking in general is a great thing for your body).
  • Find a friend. Or don’t! Not everyone likes to workout with other people. And it’s totally ok to dig down and get your workout done alone. But if you thrive on company, and motivation from others, finding a buddy can really help.

 

Now then, who’s going to make some new goals this month? 🙂 Let us know what you like to do for exercise, and if you have any great ideas on how to make it more accessible or affordable.

StockSnap_3H89EH3WIJ.jpg