New Year, New You – The Real Cost of Fitness

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



New Year, New You - The Cost of Fitness

I am delighted to have a friend guest post today to talk about fitness.  Mindy Hadar is a personal trainer and health coach, and she’s here to dish about the real cost of fitness …..or the cost of NOT being fit.  🙂

When is the last time you went to the doctor? Did you leave thinking, “Oh, I just love it here, I don’t want to leave! I cannot wait to come back!” My guess is … No.  You might have been thinking, “I hope they bill my insurance correctly.”  Or Hmm, “I didn’t know my co-pay went up” Or ” I am so glad I only have to do THAT once a year!”… You get my point.

We all want to be healthy and strong and want the same for our beautiful babes! That being said, Did you know that MOST  illness can be avoided by being with in a healthy weight? Did you know : heart bypass costs an average of $117,094and heart valve replacement cost an average of $164,238? [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Sprouts Vitamin Sale and Body Care Extravaganza

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



I’m excited for the opportunity to have  Sprouts Farmers Market sponsor this post, in exchange for a form of compensation.  All opinions and tasteless jokes, however, remain mine.

With the new year, comes the opportunity to re-evaluate your health and fitness goals.  Most likely, you’re looking to up your game in the new year?  Right now, you can stock up on essential vitamins and other body care items at Sprouts Farmers Market.  They’re hosting a 25% off Vitamin and Body Care Extravaganza starting Wednesday, January 7 through Wednesday January 14, 2015.  (…and stay tuned: there’s a few ways YOU can win!!)

During the sale EVERY vitamin, supplement and body care product at Sprouts is 25% off. It’s the perfect opportunity to stock up on everything your body needs to stay healthy as well as natural soaps, lotions and other skin care products.

sprouts vitamin sale [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Sauteed Greens w/Corn & Mushrooms

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Sauteed Greens recipe

It may be pretty clear by now I love cooking with spinach, but almost a year ago, I discovered Kroger’s “power greens” mix of spinach, chard, kale, and mizuna.  It’s a great way to mix it up and still pack a powerful, nutritious punch.  And, well, you may recall I’m trying to clean up my act in the kitchen a bit.

So back in the spring, I saw this recipe on the inside of the Simple truth Organic power greens container, and have been wanting to try it -obviously- for a while now.  Recently I had the chance, and was amazed by its versatility.  More on that later.  First, the recipe – I made a few variations of my own, because, well that’s how I roll.

Sauteed Greens with Corn & Mushrooms

You’ll need:

  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil (“EVOO” if possible)
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic, finely minced  (I used extra, like 3-4 cloves)
  • 2 1/2 c fresh mushrooms (I minced mine, the original recipe calls for 1/4″ thick slices)
  • 2 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 c corn kernels (I use frozen, but leave it out at room temperature when I begin gathering ingredients)
  • 5 oz  power greens mix (I prefer finely chopped)
  • salt and pepper to taste

[Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Stick Figures, Hair Clips, & a Message From My Daughter

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A-Message-From-My-Daughter_banner

The other day, I took my daughter to the gym with me.  Not for any super-compelling reason, other than convenience and lack of child care. My daughter is five, going on fifteen, and isn’t interested in playing with the “little guys” in the kids zone, where her 2-year-old brother goes.  So, got the green light from my instructor ahead of time to let her come with me to one particular class I take, Les Mills Body Combat.

What happened in the 48 hours during and then following that class, and the lessons *I* would learn continue to surprise me, even as I type this out.

I prepared her for the class, letting her know that it would be similar to the gym class she got to try out at UFC Perimeter Gym, but with grown ups.  I assured her she was welcome to join in with us, and that it was ok if she didn’t know all the moves.  None of us did, really.  But I also comforted her with the iPad (don’t judge me!), a pad of paper, and her markers.  On the drive over there, I tried pumping her up, getting her excited about doing “mommy’s class”, without trying to push her too far.  She seemed on board.

However, once we got in the room, and other people started coming in, her shyness kicked in, and she only wanted to set up camp and draw and play on the iPad.  Fine.  Mommy needed to workout, so I went about my ways, while keeping an eye on her.  She occasionally came over to me, to ask random questions, really just needing reassurance that I hadn’t forgotten she was there, and giving her attention.  I came over to her in between each track, grabbing a sip of water, planting a kiss on her sweet little noggin, and showing interest in whatever she was working on at the moment.  I continued to lightly encourage her to get up and try the moves, if she wanted.

Long story short, she hopped up a handful of times to try to participate.  The moves were complicated, and intimidating at any age.  But she tried.  She ran a lap with us, and the instructor gave her a high-five as she passed, just as she did for everyone else in the class.  She ran in place, holding my hand.  She attempted to do lunges and other complex leg moves.  My heart grew full watching her.

She was doing what her mommy was doing.  She was imitating me.  I was her role model.

During and then after class, she showed me two pictures she drew.  Both were stick figures of me kicking and punching, like I did in class.

A-Message-From-My-Daughter_Stick-Figures

She was watching me, her mother, work hard.  She was watching me, her mother, keep going, even if I wasn’t perfect.  She was watching me, her mother, do something to improve my health and fitness.  She was watching me, her mother, and taking notes.  She was watching me, her mother.  Period.

The following evening, which happened to be July 4th, I gave the kids a bath, put them in their PJs, and we whisked them out to see the local fireworks.  They’re kids, and they need to make memories.  After she got her PJs on, she insisted on taking out my hair clip and using it in hers.  I instead offered her a smaller one that would fit better in her hair.

A-Message-From-My-Daughter_Hair-Clip.jpg

She wanted her hair clipped up in the same manner I had been doing this summer.

She was watching me, her mother.  Again.

After securing her hair in a smaller clip, she held her head up, chest out proud and said “now we’re twins, mommy.  HAIR TWINS!”

That’s when the emotions began to overwhelm me.  I am my daughter’s role model.  I am my daughter’s example of what a mother is, what a woman is, what a girl is.

I.  Am.  Her.  Example.

I honestly just assumed, since she is such a daddy’s girl, and seemingly only has eyes for her sweet daddy, that she wasn’t really paying much attention to me.  That she was more apt to imitate him, not me.  Boy was I wrong – this couldn’t be further from the truth.  I’m getting a message from my daughter, loud and clear: daddy may be her prince and hero and ideal of a perfect man in her eyes, as he should be.  But, just as I viewed my own mother through childhood’s eyes, I am her image of beautiful.  I am her image of all-knowing.  (Yes, she’s told me she thought mommies are supposed to know everything about everything.)  I am her image of perfection, period.  She doesn’t see my flaws as flaws, but just part of my perfect-in-her-eyes package.

A-Message-From-My-Daughter_profile.jpg

It is up to me to show her what’s important.  Our mantra for several months now has been “pretty isn’t important“.  But those words mean nothing if my actions and my example don’t mesh with that mantra.  I have this amazing, bring-me-to-my-knees humbling privilege of teaching this smart little girl to love herself, to love herself enough to take care of herself.

It’s my job to BE the good example.  To live my life in an exemplary manner.  My words need to match my manners.  So while I serve my children milk and water, while I sip on (WAAAAY) too much soda or sweet tea, she is seeing my actions.  Although she’s not interested in drinking either, she’s taken a sip here and there, almost as if she wants to like them, because she sees her mother drinking them.  Or worse, when I serve my children a balanced dinner, yet sit down with nothing in front of me -or with some quick crap I grabbed from the freezer- she is watching me.

By the same token, she also sees me with a stack full of books at my bedside table.  She sees me reading frequently, and sees the spark in my eyes when I do so.  She sees me get up in the morning, and put on my workout clothes.  She sees me scrutinize and compare at the grocery store, coupons in hand.  She sees my husband and I discuss our meals if we go out, searching for good coupons or Scoutmob deals.  She sees her parents say prayers before meals, attend Mass every week, and putting our strength and trust in God.

My daughter needs to see me mess up, and watch how I keep trying, how I don’t just quit.  My daughter needs to see me defend myself, and not get pushed down and cower in times of adversity.  My daughter needs to see me handle adversity with strength and grace, with poise and self-assurance – even if I’m secretly cowering in my proverbial boots.

She has asked already if she can come to class with me again.  I will make certain she can do so at least a few more times before school starts back.  I will hold my head up high, knowing my example during class is shaping a little girls’ mind, a little girl’s schema for persistence, hard work, and self-confidence.  And perhaps I will even set us up with matching hair clips.

You may also like:

Tangled Hair, Starting Kindergarten, and Doing-It-All
Starting Kindergarten

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Spinach pancakes {Picky Tot Pleasers}

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



This post originally appeared as a guest post on another site about two years ago, but that site is no longer around. :/ SO, I’m re-claiming it and adding it to my Picky-Tot Pleasers series.  Lemme know what’cha think!

Spinach pancakes

 

Call me Popeye.  What can I say?  I love to cook with spinach.  Up until recently, it’s been in just about any dish I made with chicken or ground turkey.  However, I crossed the line the other morning when I (deliberately) baked spinach in to my pancakes.  That’s right, my daughter and I made spinach pancakes.  On purpose. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Vitamix Applesauce with a Twist

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Vitamix Applesauce

So I’m really loving my Vitamix these days.  Juicing for breakfast, and sharing with my son.  (Say goodbye to his multivitamin!)  Warm Vitamix Chicken Tortilla soup on a cool evening.  And now, Vitamix Applesauce, with a twist.

As you may recall, my goofy kids enjoy applesauce and frozen peas.  I don’t know why, they just do.  I’m not complaining, since they don’t normally volunteer to eat anything green.  So, when I set out to make Vitamix appleasauce, I was determined to fuse other healthy foods in to the mix as well.

Here’s what I did:

I found a bunch of pre-sliced apples on clearance at Kroger, so that’s what I used.  You can use whatever kind of apples you have on hand, but I recommend you stick with the sweeter, rather than tart apples.  Also, I use all organic ingredients whenever possible.

First I made  a batch that was JUST apples, lemon juice, and cinnamon.  I used too much cinnamon, and my daughter was not a fan.  So I made another batch, using other ingredients to blend with the cinnamon-y batch, to tone it down.

Vitamix Applesauce and the cinnamon debacle

Remember my meatball debacle from a while back? Yeah, ^^^ this brings back fond memories.

Vitamix Applesauce with a Twist
 

You’ll need:

  • 2-3 sweet apples
  • a splash of lemon juice
  • a small handful of baby carrots (I have small hands, sooo, I’d approximate about 1/2 cup.)
  • ~ 2/3 c frozen strawberries
  • 1 spoonful of sugar or sweetener (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Blend all ingredients, starting with slowest speed, working your way up.  If you have a tamper*, use it to help push ingredients down.   If mixture seems too chunky or not “smooth” enough, add small doses of water, as needed.  I believe I ended up adding about 1/4 c water all together.  Blend to desire smoothness and enjoy!Vitamix applesauce with a twist!

One thing I want to try with my next batch is to freeze it in small containers, or fill an ice cube tray and freeze that way – then I’ll have applesauce handy, and can toss in kids’ lunch bag in the morning, and it’ll thaw by lunch time.  Also, I’m going to try adding a bit of spinach with this recipe.  I’d also like to try a batch with dates, or other nuts, as inspired by The Blender LadyWhat other ingredients would YOU add to Vitamix applesauce?

* I don’t have a tamper so I had to improvise.  (What can I say?  When you get a $9 Vitamix, you don’t always get all the cool accessories!)  When ingredients looked “stuck”, I’d turn off and open the top and push down with long plastic spoon.  Yeah, a tamper would be SOO much easier!

You may also like:

Vitamix for $299!

Vitamix for $299

Vitamix Chicken Tortilla Soup

Vitamix Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Peas and Sauce

Peas_Sauce

Sweet Bananas & Honey

bananas and honey

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

UFC Gym Perimeter – Kids Kick Some Butt! + Giveaway

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



This is a sponsored post with Mums the Word Network and UFC Gym Perimeter. All opinions, however, are completely my own.

UFC Gym Perimeter logo

Today, my daughter Carol and I worked together to kick some butt.  Well, sorta.  We were invited to attend a special session at UFC Gym Perimeter, to try out their new kids program.  She was elated by the experience.  Not only did we get to peruse through the equipment before class began, but she also got to test out a pair of boxing gloves and a super-cool tech-y punching bag.

At UFC Gym, boys and girls learn self-defense, self-confidence and discipline while having fun in a safe and entertaining group class format. It’s also a great way for them to burn energy and have fun!  Taught by a staff of rockstar, attentive professionals, UFC Gym Perimeter kids classes help your little one learn self-confidence, coordination, discipline and self-defense.  Plus, it’s fun!UFC Gym Perimeter Kids Class

The class began with the kids warming up  for 15 minutes, using fun stretching and cardio races to hold the interest of the wide age range of the kids attending.  The highlight for Carol, of course, was the whole class getting in to “The Cage” for more fun and games (and excerise, but don’t tell her that part!), including planks, squats, and fun-and-friendly boxing moves.  The class concluded with a cool down stretch and a game.  Seriously, Carol. had. a. blast.  In the week since, every time we drive in that direction, she asks if we’re going to “the fun gym” so she can “play games again”. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Vitamix for $299 + FREE Shipping

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Vitamix for $299

So you may already know the awesomeness that *is* Vitamix, right? You may also know they cost a pretty penny, but are absolutely worth it in the long run. Well, right now, thorugh Groupon Goods, you can get a Vitamix Variable Speed Certified Reconditioned Blender for just $299 (33% savings).  That’s right, a Vitamix for $299!  (I know, I know, it’s not nine bucks at Goodwill, but ….)

Here’s what you get:

  • Blender base
  • Blender container and lid
  • Tamper
  • Getting Started Plus cookbook and guide

Thanks to its powerful commercial-grade motor, there’s little this Vitamix blender can’t do: it can cream, chop, blend, grind, and churn almost any food it encounters into a smoothie, sorbet, sauce, or soup. (Vitamix Chicken Tortilla Soup, anyone?)  The stainless steel blades make quick work of the task at hand, while the spill-proof lid helps to keep messes at bay. Once done blending, the Vitamix is easily cleaned by running on high with a little dish soap and warm water.

Vitamix for $299

  • Certified reconditioned Vitamix blender with 5-year warranty
  • Eleven total speeds and powerful motor create a variety of textures and process tough whole-food ingredients
  • Laser-cut stainless steel blades
  • Blend smoothies, frozen drinks, hummus, and flavored butters
  • Friction heat helps create savory soups, gravy, fondues, and syrups
  • BPA-free Eastman Tritan copolyester container
  • Container capacity: 64 fl. oz.
  • Ergonomically designed handle
  • Spill-proof vented lid
  • Self-cleans with dish soap and warm water
  • Getting-started cook book and guide
  • Model number: White- 1812; Black- 1811; Red- 1813; Cobalt Blue- 1913
  • 8.8″ x 9″ x 20.25″


Check Groupon First

And, finally, the legal mumbo jumbo: Limit 3 per person, may buy 2 more as gifts. Free returns. Does not ship to AK/HI/Canada/Puerto Rico. Most orders are delivered within 7 business days from the purchase date. Does not ship to PO boxes. See return policy. Must pay applicable tax and provide name and shipping address at checkout, which will be shared to facilitate shipping. Goods sold by Groupon Goods.

Once you’ve gotten your Vitamix, check out my recipe for Vitamix Chicken Tortilla Soup, and Vitamix applesauce with a twist!

Vitamix Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe .          . Vitamix Applesauce

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Backyard Toys for Kids of All Ages

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Backyard Toys for Kids of All Ages

We all know the benefit of playing outside, for both children and adults. So why not make the most of your time, and space, with some fun ways to get moving and enjoy the fresh air. Slap on the ‘skeeter repellent and sunscreen and get out doors!

Franklin Sports Go Pro Youth Football Goal Post Set

Backyard Toys for Kids of All AgesTake your backyard football games to the next level with the Franklin Sports Future Champs Youth Football Goal Post Set. The easy-to-assemble goal post adjusts to between 4 and 6 feet tall and features a water-fill base to keep it steady. Use the included Micro Air Tech football, kicking tee, and distance markers to see who can boot the longest field goal.

Gymnic / Hop-66 26″ Hop Ball

Backyard Toys for Kids of All Ages - HopBallThis Hop Ball is the very best quality in hopping balls! Made in Italy from super strong yet soft latex-free vinyl for long lasting use and durability, this ball is a great product combining fun and exercise. Excellent for indoor use and on smooth, safe outdoor surfaces. Promotes body coordination, balance and lymph circulation while providing a fun workout. Special patented handgrip safety handle allows for the safest bouncing. Maximum sustainable weight of 300 pounds; for ages 9 years and older.

Diggin PopOut Ring Toss

Backyard Toys for Kids of All Ages - Rings

This soft and safe ring toss pops open for big fun! You can take it and play anywhere, outdoors or indoors. Play solo or with the whole family. To collapse, hold the mat at the corners and twist. Comes with six rings, PopOut target with posts and storage bag. Ages 3+.

Indoor/Outdoor Giant Inflatable Bowling Game

Backyard Toys for Kids of All Ages - Bowling

Bowl outdoors or indoors any time – BIG time – and enjoy immensely all the fun and activity of the sport of bowling without the trip to the alley. You can set up these giant inflatable pins almost anywhere and each time invent ingenious ways to throw, kick, or otherwise go about bowling them over. Ever-exciting for ages 4 and up. Size: Pins are approx. 29″ tall. Look also at our Dual-Action Foot Pump to make ball and pin inflation extra easy.

Little Tikes Gas ‘n Go Mower Toy

Backyard Toys for Kids of All Ages - MowerA lawn mower that looks like the real thing. This outdoor toy comes with everything you need to keep the yard around your playhouse looking sharp.

Multi-Color Volleyball Cage Ball, 40″ Diameter

Backyard Toys for Kids of All Ages - Volley

Perfect for large groups of children in any recreational activity. Cage balls have super tough bladders that are resistant to puncture and leakage. The bladder is covered by a heavy duty polyester cover that may be hand washed. Easily inflates with air compressor (not included). 40″ Diameter. Multi-Color Volleyball Cage Ball.

Little Tikes Get Out n’ Grill Kitchen Set

Backyard Toys for Kids of All Ages - Grill Little Tikes Role Play products inspire kids to connect with their world through dramatic, creative, and imaginary play, while promoting social interaction for everyday fun.

Boochie, A Whole New Ball Game

Backyard Toys for Kids of All Ages - Boochie

There’s a new name in indoor and outdoor games Boochie. Whether you’re hanging out in the back yard, or heading to the park or beach, we guarantee you’re going have a blast playing this game. There are so many things to love about Boochie: from the active-play element, to the unique 12-sided rolling target, to the amazing variety of throwing challenges packed inside. No two games will ever be the same. Take note that all of the wrist trackers have completely different sets of challenges so be sure to try them all. Get out and play.

Step2 Kickback Soccer Goal And Pitch Back

Backyard Toys for Kids of All Ages - Soccer GoalEnjoy a fun game of soccer and practice your pitching and catching all in one. Practice scoring goals, throwing and catching or hockey practice. Includes 1 soccer ball, 2 hockey sticks, 1 street hockey puck and 1 pitch back ball.

Little Tikes Garden Table

Backyard Toys for Kids of All Ages - Garden

Pretend gardening table for growing kids’ imaginations. 2 pots, 2 flowers, and 2 soil disks for planting. Includes real watering can and table basin with plug. Accessories can be stored inside under the purple tray. Includes tray, rake, shovel, watering can, sifter tray. Dimensions: 23L x 14W x 21H in.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out my fabulous resource guide on places and ideas on free and frugal ways to beat the heat around Atlanta.

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Fitness Confidential – $2.99 Kindle Version

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



As you may recall, I’m making great strides to clean out my pantry, and ramp up my fitness efforts these days.  (That two-year-old post-partum baby weight ain’t going to magically disappear overnight, much to my chagrin.) Some days are much more successful than others.  And some days, I just eat cake.  In any case, I’m always on the hunt for great health and fitness-related deals.

This one’s a scorcher: through May 4th, 2014, you can snag a copy of Fitness Confidential: Adventures in Weight Loss for only $2.99 (Kindle Version).  That’s 80% off!

Written by the fitness trainer for the stars, Vinnie Tortorich helps readers get in to fantastic shape, all while weaving the inside dirt on what really goes on in the fitness industry.  So, it’s like a fitness routine plus your favorite celebrity sleaze all rolled in to one!  😉  What’s the best piece of fitness equipment money can buy? What’s the fastest way to lose weight: diet or exercise? Why are health clubs worse than used car lots? Why has Tortorich been named “America’s Angriest trainer”?  Gotta snag the book to find out these secrets, and much more!


If you’re feeling further inspiration, check out these great workout DVDs – they deliver results, but are easy on the wallet.

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Atlanta's Frugal Mom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. In other words, if you click through to Amazon from some of the books or products I recommend and make a purchase, I get a small percentage in exchange for your purchase. It's a small way you can support AFM.