Get Fit With Jill; Everything You Need For A High Energy Home Workout

As most of you already know, exercise is my sanity.  It is the perfect stress reliever for me, and when I go a few days without getting a good sweat in, I become a total bear!  Like, woah! (sorry family.)  So many times in the past I’ve slacked on my exercise schedule because, well, life happened.  Like most of you, i’m crazy busy; everyone around here has  a ‘schedule’, even the toddler.  There are always a million things to do and getting to the gym seems impossible at times.  2017 has been a great year for me so far, and a huge part of that success can be attributed to the fact that momma’s been getting her workouts in!   Not only do I look better, but I feel better; on the inside and outside.  Exercise is not only good for you physically, but it’s also good for you mentally and emotionally.  I’m not going to lie though, it’s not been easy.  So many times I’ve thought about making excuses, but I’ve tried really hard to push myself and get in a good workout at least 3-4 times a week.  Here’s  the crazy thing – nearly all of these workouts have been in the privacy of my own home.  Don’t get me wrong,  I AM a gym person and I love group classes.  I’ve had a Y membership for as long as I can remember and CrossFit is one of my all time favorite workouts.  However, it’s not always easy to make it to a class.  Often times my workouts don’t even happen until the kids are in bed, sometimes that may be 9 p.m. or later.  So I’ve found that home workouts are best for me at this stage in life.  I incorporate a lot of Crossfit style moves (body movement workouts) into my regular routine along with some small mobile equipment.  Below is a review of my favorite moves and home equipment.

 

My Favorite Equipment:

1.  Jump Rope – I start nearly every workout with jumping rope.  It’s great cardio and gets your blood pumping quickly!  Within just a few minutes you’ll be sweating and breathless.  For beginners, I would suggest the normal technique for jumping rope (jumping with both feet at one time with your knees slightly flexed.)  I love to change up my jumping routine often.  Sometimes i’ll swivel my core and lower body from side-to-side, sometimes i’ll alternate jumping on only one foot, and sometimes i’ll do a jumping jack motion with my feet (feet going together then apart.)  This breaks up the monotony and makes it fun!  Here’s a tip – do NOT purchase a jump rope that is made of actual “rope.”  You’ll want a rope that is made of a plastic/rubber substance – one that is made for speed.

Rogue Fitness Jump Rope

 

2.  Kettlebell – The Kettlebell is a great full body workout.  The kettlebell swing, if done properly, can be felt in your back, core, shoulders, butt and thighs.  It can be used many ways: the traditional kettlebell swing, it can be lifted one handed, and you can also use it for weighted squats.  There are many sizes/weights of kettlebells available.  (If you’re new to using a kettlebell, I would suggest starting out light and working your way up – maybe start around 10-15 pounds.  The kettlebells I use are 20lbs and 35lbs.)  There are also many home workout videos that do a full kettlebell workout, and trust me, you’ll feel the burn.

Golds Gym Kettlebell

Iron Core Kettlebell Workout DVD

 

3. Dumbbells – I have several different sizes of dumbbells that I use daily.  I use lighter weight dumbbells for high-rep exercises – usually to accompany some type of cardio move.  You can also use them while taking a brisk walk.  Although 3 lbs sounds really light, I promise you’ll feel muscle fatigue if you continuously use them for an extended amount of time!  I save the heavier dumbbells for low-rep movements that are targeting a specific area.   I use 3 lb, 5 lb, 10lb, 15lb and 20lb dumbbells.  (For the men, and super strong ladies, you may want to go even heavier.)

Light Weight Dumbbells

Heavy Weight Dumbbells

 

4.  Stability Ball – The stability ball can be used in SO many ways.  Sit-ups, pushups, legwork, core work; you name it and the stability ball can probably aid with the movement.  The stability ball also relieves pressure while making most moves more challenging, yet comfortable.  Another favorite of mine is the medicine ball.  The medicine ball is a weighted ball that can be used for squats and the infamous “wall balls” exercise.  If you’re unfamiliar, google this movement.  It’s the ultimate squat workout; however, you’ll either need very high ceilings or you’ll have to take this exercise outside!

Stability Ball

Medicine Ball

 

5.  Neoprene Waist Trimmer – My neoprene “sweat band” (as I so lovingly call it) is one of my most prized possessions!  Like a lot of people, my mid section is always my problem area.  Two c-sections later and momma will never have abs again.  During a normal workout, I don’t feel like my core sweats that much.  But when I wear my neoprene waist trimmer, ohh my lanta!  It’s on like Donkey Kong.  It maximizes the intensity of the workout dramatically; I never exercise without it.  (I will note, this product will heat your body up quickly!  Make sure to stay hydrated and make sure that you are healthy enough to use this product.)  Now prepare for the water works!

Neoprene Waist Trimmer

 

6.  Insanity: Fast And The Furious DVD – When I’m short on time but need to get a really good workout in, my go-to is “Insanity Fast And The Furious” DVD.  This exercise video is only 20 minutes, including the warm up and cool down, but it will kick your booty!  You will be dripping the sweat when you get done.  And best of all, there is no equipment involved and you really don’t even need that much room!  I highly suggest this product, and anything else Shaun T puts out.  He’s a beast!

 

Insanity Fast And The Furious DVD

 

My Favorite At Home Exercises:

  1. Squats
  2. Burpees
  3. Push Ups
  4. Lunges
  5. Kettlebell Swings
  6. Jump Rope
  7. Mountain Climbers
  8. Yoga/PiYo
  9. Planks
  10. Tuck Jump

I hope this information was helpful and I hope it gets you moving!  I’d love to hear about your favorite workout routines.  Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have.

XOXO

Jill

(Affiliate links included.)

Disclaimer: These are strictly my opinions.  I am NOT a personal trainer or fitness instructor.  These are simply exercises that have worked well for me.  Before starting a new workout routine you should consult with your physician.

 

 

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Healthy Food Your Family Will Actually Eat – Korean Style Spinach

Spinach.  What a polarizing little vegetable. For those of you who love it, great! For those of you who add a little to your salad to be healthy, I hear ya.  In either case, I am about to change your life with a family recipe.

Here is a disclaimer: I’m not a great cook.  I am more of a baker.  I like the precise measurements and the predictability of baking.  However, when I got up the courage to attempt some of my favorite Korean recipes (with frequent Face Time calls with my mom), I couldn’t believe how easy they are! This spinach recipe is pretty easy and SO tasty that it has won over some of the most picky eaters I know. Delicious, healthy food with little effort? Um, check yes!

Here’s how to make it!

Prep time: 10 mins (or less) / Cook time: 10 minutes / Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of baby spinach (or 2 small bundles of fresh spinach)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic (or 1 to 2 clove(s) of garlic, finely chopped)
  • 1 bundle of green onions
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sesame seed
  • 1 pinch of sugar

Tip: If your spinach is looking too “wet” start adding less of each ingredient.  Taste it as you go (I hate doing this, but it’s the only way).

First, bring water to a boil.

 

 

Then, pour the spinach into the water.

 

 

Make sure and submerge all of the spinach and stir (bring the bottom to the top and vice versa). This should take about 30 seconds.  Immediately after, strain the spinach and run cold water over it, while gently tossing.

 

 

After, squeeze all of the liquid out of the spinach. This will take a minute or so, but getting as much excess water out as possible will make everything taste better.

 

 

Next, add the soy sauce, garlic, green onions, sesame oil, sesame seed, and sugar.

Don’t let the tablespoon fool ya, I only used half of it.

 

The purist method calls for actual garlic cloves. Who has time for that?? This minced garlic is a super easy substitute.

 

I used all of this, however, feel free to add as little or as much as you want.

 

It’s best to slice these pretty small (I could have gone even smaller…)

 

Sesame Oil gives me LIFE! You can find this in the “asian” section of any grocery store.  It generally comes in a much smaller bottle. (I inherited this industrial size from my mom.)

 

Toasting the sesame seed gives it a little extra oomph! However, you can use it without toasting.

Mix with YOUR HANDS! Apparently, if you don’t do this is will not be that awesome…something about 손맛, “son-mat” (Google it sometime).

 

 

Add this mixture to a plate, garnish with a little more sesame seed, refrigerate for about 30 mins (or eat it right away because it will smell so good that you can’t wait).

 

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

XOXO,

Lauren

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Warm Weather Vibes; How To Kick Off A Red Hot Sizzling Summer

Halleluiah!  I had my first official taste of summer today and, let me tell ya, just like McDonald’s – I’m LOVING it.  While visiting a gorgeous home on the golf course, that had already opened their pool for the season, I sat there daydreaming about all things summer.  Sundresses and sandals, tank tops and tan lines, bare feet and beach vacations;  I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready for sunshine and summertime!  I suddenly started creating a mental check list of everything I need to do in preparation for warmer weather.  (Note to self: get a tan and schedule a mani/pedi!)  Before long, I was thinking about BBQ’s, pool parties, and my FAVORITE holiday of the year – The Fourth of July!  Then it hit me, Memorial Day is right around the corner!   (Leg shaving season is officially upon us, ladies; whether we like it or not.  *insert eye roll*)  It’s time to start brainstorming about outfit inspiration for the official kick off of summer.  So, naturally, this seems like the perfect time to share our Red, White & Blue styles with you.

 

How stinkin’ adorable is Lauren in this striped shift dress.  This is the perfect day-to-night piece for summer!

Red striped t-shirt dress

 

The sleeve drama is at an all time high with this one ladies!  Total femininity and uber comfy.  That lace though.

Blue pinstriped shirt with lace sleeves

High rise jeggings

 

 

 

 

Other honorable mentions:

Blue & White vertical striped off-the-shoulder top

Red & White midi striped skirt

Blue & White striped off-the-shoulder dress

Striped boat neck top

XOXO

Jill & Lauren

(Affiliate links included.)

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Baby + Toddler – Five Things You Should Not Live Without

Nothing, literally nothing could have prepared me for the onslaught of *insert your choice of expletive here* stuff that comes with a baby.  Now, instead of a semblance of order, I look around and see pairs of shoes my toddler has cast off after I carefully showed him (innumerable times) how to put them on and take them off (independence isn’t that important, why did I teach him to do that so soon? *crying emoji*), numerous bibs and burp cloths scattered around the house (now which ones are clean?), Paw Patrol pups, in various sizes, complete with the Paw Patroller, train tracks, cars and of course the dreaded Legos (primed and ready for stepping on in the middle of the night). As crazy as it is, with the exhaustion, panic and fury – these are the days!

So, how do I deal with it all?? Coffee, a glass of wine, copious amounts of chocolate? Yes, yes and yes. Here are a few other things that I’ve gathered, that I have found helpful:

The baskets:

I picked these up at Marshalls. They are a great catch-all for the toys scattered around your living room. Throw everything in the baskets, slide them under the coffee table and voila, you have a tidy room. The ones we have are awesome, but should I find myself in the market for more, I will make sure they have more ridged sides for easier sliding. We keep these in the living room and kids’ rooms. They also double as basketball hoops and make clean-up more fun.

Basket Options: 

Navy Lattice Basket / StorageWorks Bamboo Basket / Jute Basket / Sea Team Large Basket

The Sit-Me-Up:

These are relatively new on the market; my three year old didn’t have the pleasure. My friend turned me on to these after complaints that my arm was numb from holding the baby for so long. This product is so smartly designed.  It folds down and fits under the couch/coffee table/bed, so it takes up little to no space when stored.  I started using it when baby girl was two months old and she still enjoys it now at eight months old.  The attached toys are chewable, which is a huge plus.  While the Bumbo is helpful for babies with good head control, the Sit-Me-Up seems more comfortable and the baby will sit in it longer. Also, my babies have/had extremely chunky thighs, so they basically outgrew the Bumbo at four to five months old.

Sit-Me-Up

The Sound Machine:

Both of my kids fall asleep to the sound of the ocean each night.  This has been helpful for sleep training, traveling (sleeping in different beds) and drowning out sounds going on outside of their room (e.g. Mom and Dad’s Netflix marathons: “The IT Crowd”, “Gilmore Girls – A Year in the Life”, “House of Cards”, “Goliath”, or “Stranger Things”). We also have a portable one, so when we travel, they hear the familiar ocean sounds and pass out. Our toddler has recently become “a little scared” about 100 times a night.  We’ve started cranking up the sound which lessens the number of creaks and sounds he hears inside and outside his room.

Green Sound Machine / ShusherPortable Sound Machine

 

The Amazon Kindle:

For the love.  If you don’t have one of these, drop what you are doing and buy one immediately. (I suppose if you have an iPad dedicated to the kid(s), that will suffice and you may resume your activities.) This has been an absolute lifesaver for us in the car, restaurants, church (shhh), airports, the mall and basically anytime we need some peace.  I cannot recommend this product more.

Kindle 7″ / Kindle 8″

Add ons:

Toddler-proof case: Green / Pink / Red / Blue

Headphones that won’t blow your kid’s ears out: Blue / Pink / Gray / Green

Apps: Two words – “Sago Mini”.  Any apps made by these people are amazing.

 

The Bath Whale:

I don’t know why I had to learn about these the hard way (bumps and bruises at bath time) but hopefully I can spare some of you the tears.  Not only is this thing cute, but it is so easy to slip on the bath spout (and difficult for your toddler/baby to get off) and has left the kids with bruise free foreheads and chins. Get one. It’s worth it.

I will be updating this list as items become “necessary” in our house. I’d love to hear what works for you and what you can’t live without.

XOXO

Lauren

(Affiliate links included)

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Sneak Peak Into Our Wild Easter Weekend

Here’s a sneak peak into our lives this Easter weekend.  We enjoyed delicious food, amazing family time, soccer games, tons of outdoor play and countless Easter egg hunts.  I mean, how many times can a person hide eggs??  And whose bright idea was it to give toddlers easy access to several open containers of food coloring?!  Hello!  Hot mess express!  (Lifehack – Do this outside! Thank you moms with older kids for the tip.) There were lots of laughs, a busted lip, and some tears, but we loved spending every minute with the ones dearest to us.  Besides Easter baskets and cute clothes, let’s not forget the reason for the season, am I right?!  We would love to hear how you spent your Easter weekend and what your favorite memory is.  Comment below!

 

XOXO,

Jill & Lauren

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5 Tips to Avoid #SelfieFail

Who doesn’t love a selfie?! This has become one of the easiest and most fun ways to document our lives. However, not all selfies are created equal.  If you are like me, you scroll through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and think, how does that person take such good selfies?! It’s not fair! Well, here to tell you how to up your selfie game is our friend, Tanner Shepherd.  This pre-vet college student has both brains and selfie swag. He has provided us with the following five tricks of the trade:

 

1. Go outside or find a window with some nice, natural lighting and face it.

 

 

2. Open your eyes!  If you feel like you’re being fake, you are doing it right.

 

 

3. Get some background music! A little Rihanna never hurt anybody.

 

 

4. Snap a ton of pics! You never know when that accidental candid will capture the perfect moment.

 

 

5. Be nice to yourself.  If the pics don’t turn out, I promise, it’s just bad lighting – not you!

 

 

He also notes that he and his friends’ selfie sessions would be nothing without these go-to items:

  • A new outfit that made my credit card break up with me 
  • A light up cell phone case: LuMee Case for iPhone 6  or iPhone 7 (Thanks Kourtney K) 
  • Chi Enviro 54 hairspray to resuscitate my hair from whatever the day did to it 
  • My go-to Inkwell Instagram filter when my skin isn’t cooperating
  • A full length mirror to show the whole outfit

We hope this advice entertained you as much as it did us! Thanks Tanner!

Happy selfie-ing!

 

XOXO

Jill & Lauren

 

(This post contains affiliate links)

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Surviving Dinner With Kids; Total Chaos

Remember when you were younger and spent weeks, or even MONTHS, planning for and anticipating your birthday? You obsessed over all the details – your outfit, your shoes, your hair and makeup. Who would be there to share it with you? Most importantly, what you would get?!? It’s funny how that all changes as you get older. Now that we are 30-somethings, birthdays seem a little less spectacular. This is probably due to the fact that we aren’t really focusing on ourselves that day. Birthdays are still fun and we get excited to have a little celebration, but now we have responsibilities and obligations. The carefree days of our 20’s are a thing of the past.

This weekend, we gathered with family and friends to celebrate John’s birthday (Lauren’s husband.) We had a great group of family and friends to dine with and many laughs were shared. John seemed to have a wonderful time; but, let’s face it, it was total chaos. Just imagine this scene: a restaurant with a cool, eclectic atmosphere (old school arcade upstairs) and gorgeous decor, add in a group of 20, throw four kids under 10 in the mix and a waitress who has never taken care of a group that big. Not to mention, the entire restaurant was severely understaffed, orders were misplaced, food was forgotten, drinks were spilled, and all of this was happening on a school night. This became an all-hands-on-deck situation. The kids were exhausted and Jill spent a significant amount of time in the restroom with her newly potty trained toddler!

Let’s be real, the madness actually started before we even left the house. There was a toddler who hated her outfit, another munchkin who didn’t want to get her hair fixed, and a frustrated husband who couldn’t find a parking spot. Just packing the diaper bag and making sure we had all of the “entertainment” for the kids was exhausting. Isn’t it funny how it always seems like the hardest part of going out is simply getting out the door? The night was a blur; a forever-long, baby feeding, toddler chasing, hunger induced, sunshiney blur. Did we even sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to him? (Yes, we did; but both of the toddlers thought it was about them and didn’t like the idea of celebrating someone else’s birthday – until one realized that it was his dad’s birthday.) Yes, things are crazy right now. No, we don’t get to have meaningful conversations very often or even FINISH a conversation. However, as we’re living this crazy thing called mom-life, the reality is, we are simply trying to cherish every moment before this precious time is gone.

XOXO

Jill & Lauren

P.S. – During our 3 hour “dining experience”, we had PLENTY of time to take selfies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spring Fashion Roundup – Your New Wish List

Spring has sprung! Baseball season is officially underway, tulips are in bloom, soccer mommas are carpooling kids all over town and the familiar aroma of fresh cut grass is in the air.  We seriously love EVERYTHING spring ’round here; pastels, pinstripes and peasant shirts, oh my!  It’s time to freshen up our closets and put away those sweats.  Ladies, we realize just.how.comfy those over-sized sweaters are, since we’ve basically lived in them ALL winter long.  However, spring brings warmer weather and that means new fashions. With ruffles, bell sleeves, distressed jeans, off-the-shoulder tops, slouchy tailored trousers and dare we say it, scrunchies?!?, it’s obvious that the 80’s are back, baby!

 

 

White off-the-shoulder lace up top

Pink distressed ankle length jeans

 

Bell sleeved blush top

Ankle length trousers

 

 

Unfortunately, the denim off-the-shoulder blouse has sold out.  But it is still available in other colors

Pink distressed ankle length jeans

 

Short sleeved crepe top

Jersey Jacket

Ankle length trousers

 

 

 

The kelly green/navy blue striped dress was purchased at Kohls.  The brand is SO and it’s from the Juniors Department.  Unfortunately, this dress was sold “in stores” only and was not available online.  However, it was purchased within the last two weeks; so if you absolutely love it, check out your local Kohls store.

 

Striped sweater with bow

Ankle length trousers

 

 

Linen utility jacket

Dark wash denim jegging

 

 

Lilly Pulitzer Dress (only in Navy Blue now)

Similar dress option in the same print featured in the video

White Jeans

 

Chambray shirt

Army green linen pants

 

Army green bomber jacket

Army green skinny jeans

 

xoxo,

Jill & Lauren

P.S. – You will notice a photo-bombing fur ball in some pictures.  We would like to take this time to introduce you to our productions assistant, Saxby.

 

 

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Side Hustle – Video Marketing Edition

The side hustle for women has been prevalent for decades. It started out as Tupperware, makeup, and cleaning product parties; which were in addition to a full/part time job or staying at home watching the kids  (major respect). Now, it has exploded to literally everything!!  When we run out of a product or need an outfit, we don’t have to make a special trip to the Mall or beauty store. We can just tell our girlfriend, and she will bring over exactly what we need. Everywhere we look on social media, we see our entrepreneurial sisters, moms, aunts and friends selling products that they believe in; but most importantly, they are putting a little cash in their pockets! I’m sure we all have friends selling buttery soft leggings, lipsticks that last forever, skin products that de-age in a matter of days, healing oils, jewelry, brightly colored kids’ clothes, unique books, hair-bows, etc. Part of this product explosion is due to Facebook video marketing. While we are so proud of our family and friends for their initiative (girl WERK), I think we can all admit that some are marketing better than others. Trust me, I know it takes guts to get up there in front of the camera and show off your goods.  However, we can always strive to do better.

After extensive viewing of Facebook marketing videos, I recently noticed one of my friends that uses Facebook videos to market her product really well. I asked her about the tips and tricks she uses in hopes to keep pass on this knowledge to some of you.  To those of you that aren’t making Facebook videos, you get a little behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make a really excellent amateur marketing video.

Here is a look into my chat with one of my besties, Melissa Moss:

1.What’s your product?

2. How many videos have you done so far? What kind of response have you found when you market with Facebook videos?

3. What makes you qualified to tell us about Facebook video marketing?

4. Why did you decide to use Facebook videos as a marketing tool?

5. What tips can you give us about shooting a Facebook video?

6. What products do you use?

Products used/recommended:

Smartphone Holder

iPhone Camera Tripod

Umbrella Lights

Peel and Stick Wallpaper

7. What are you wearing?

8. Facebook recorded video vs. Live Feed?

Melissa: “Live is good for great interaction.  I go live on Facebook so the customers can interact and ask questions as I go.  The downside to live is that your customers actually have to be online when you are.  Otherwise, it is just another video for them to view at their convenience. I’ve found that evenings or lunch time is ideal to catch your customers online; 2:00 p.m. is not ideal when people are working.  Live is also great to help build excitement over an announcement or if you want to just hop on to give a quick message that is better conveyed via live video rather than text or an image.  I believe that if you provide great and strong content via live video, folks will watch them.  If you are stumbling and mumbling about and only providing content that could be provided in a more efficient manner then you will lose his/her attention for that video and future videos.  Some tips: Rehearse quickly in a mirror before going live.  Attempt to minimize distractions (think ninja Momma on BBC…ha ha) and be confident in what you are saying.  Don’t apologize, just move forward with your message or demo.”

I hope this was helpful to you all.  I know it was for me!

If you are interested in taking a look at Melissa’s Facebook marketing videos, you can find them at her Facebook group: Melissa Moss ∼ Jewelry Lady. Anyone who joins her Facebook group will receive a $5.00 coupon for any item of jewelry.  Just mention the code: Glitter Jungle. You can also find her products at melissamoss.mypremierdesigns.com.

Let us know of any tips/trick or products that have made your lives easier when using Facebook video marketing! Keep up the hustle ladies!

xoxo,

Lauren

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