Sunday, June 22, 2014

Favorite At Home Workouts

If I were to create my own workout motivational commercial, it would go something like this:

An interviewer walks into a gym and begins asking various patrons the big question, "Why do you work out?"

A young man lifting weights responds, "To impress the ladies!"
The aerobics enthusiast expresses, "To get rid of the baby fat!"
An older gentleman showing maturity says, "To be healthy!"
Then they round a corner to me rockin' the elliptical and I declare, "To maintain my relationship with Ben and Jerry!"

Okay, so maybe it would make a better ice cream commercial, but that's about as true as it comes to my motivation for fitness!  When I was single, I used to say I exercised to maintain my relationship with my boyfriends Ben and Jerry, but I thought I'd better change that for my husband's sake! :)  I dumped them a long time ago and traded them in for a better guy!  Now that's what I call love!  Truth be told, I'm more of a ColdStone kind of girl anyways, but let's not tell Ben and Jerry that!

Anyways, I used to be a big gym-goer, but then we moved to a place where gyms are crazy expensive and far away...and then I became a mom...At that point the gym was more like a distant fantasy than anything that could really be a reality in my world.  So, although in the past I'd been a fickle friend to the at-home workout DVD's, we bonded once again, but at a whole new level!  Now I LOVE them and don't foresee a return to gym-junkie life any time soon!

What are my favorites?  I thought you'd never ask! :)  I actually get asked that all the time, which is why I thought it would be a good idea to share it with any of my readers out there that may benefit!

Disclaimer:  For those who know me well, you may wonder, "If these workouts are so great then why doesn't she have the six-pack they claim to develop?"  

Answer:  See previous commercial write-up!  I love my treats!  Truth be told, if I flex I can actually feel the six-pack (something I never could before)...unfortunately it's covered by a nice layer of the results of my favorite foods--dessert!  I truly believe if I followed the eating plans along with the workouts, I may actually have a six-pack that is viewable to the rest of the world (not really 'cuz I never show my belly--but if I did! :)  However, although I am an advocate of a nutritious diet, I am no fanatic in any way, shape, or form! ;)

Now, I've rambled long enough, so with no further adieu: 
MY favorite at home workouts!

Hard Core
Number 1:  TurboFire & Chalean Extreme (Hybrid)
If you've never done a workout with Chalean Johnson, you are missing out!  She is by far my favorite DVD trainer EVER!  She is so motivating and energetic (but not annoyingly peppy, if you know what I mean).  Her workouts have an option to turn the volume of the music up and her down, but I NEVER use it because even when I've done the workout a million times, listening to her still motivates me and keeps me going!

Turbo Fire is similar to Insanity (if you are familiar with that at all) except that it's less kill-and-drill and more dance-y/kickbox-y.  It's really fun and kicks your booty at the same time!  Don't worry if you're not terribly coordinated (I was always the one in aerobics class going the wrong way), she has a "new to class" feature to help you learn the routines that you can use as many times as you need!  Just make sure to follow the calendar and NEVER do two Hiit workouts in a row or you will end up injured for sure.  You will feel some serious soreness for the first month, but it starts to be less dramatic after that.  This workout helped me lose the baby fat, and then some!  (However, if you have knee or back problems, you may want to steer clear as there are a lot of plyometrics!)

Chalean Extreme is similar to P90X (if you're familiar with that workout) but more geared toward women (not that guys can't do this one and girls P90X, it's just my preference!).  I bought a pair of Adjustable Dumbbells that I use for this and absolutely love them for the most part.  They are worth their weight in gold so you can "turn up the results" as they say, without having a million pairs of weights lying around your house!  The Select Techs are way cheaper now though than they were then so I'd probably go with those if I were to buy them now.  

Number 2:  Insanity
If you were even in Junior High or High School Sports, (or college for you super talented people!) you remember those days of suicides, wall sits, and pushups til' you pass out.  The days when your coach would force your body WAY beyond the farthest limits you thought it could go.  If you recollect those "lovely" days, then you get a glimpse of what Insanity is all about.  Although in my opinion, Shawn T is much more gracious than most coaches (after all you can really pause it if you're going to die and he won't cuss you out or make you run laps! :).  Seriously though, they don't call it Insanity for nothin'!!!  It is the kill-and-drill type routine that will whip you in to shape...just don't forget your towel so you don't slip on your own monsoon of sweat!  He is motivating and encouraging, even if his cast can't always keep up! :)  The best part is that if you take your before and after pics, then you get a t-shirt that you can only get if you complete the program!  (It's all about the t-shirt really right?)  It says "I earned it" on the back.  I wear mine with pride...but only on days that I don't chow down on ice cream or I feel like a hypocrite! :)  And to think I used to not be able to do pushups on my toes!!!  No more girl pushups for me...well, unless it's toward the end of the workout and I've really got nothing left to give!

Number 3:  P90X
I'm not sure I'm qualified to rate this one as I never did the whole thing as a program.  I've done all the workouts, just not in the set scheduled 90 day program (more as supplemental when I didn't feel like doing my other workouts).  However, my husband has gone through the program a couple of times and I watched him do it when I was very pregnant and couldn't hardly get out of bed so I know it well!  I really like Tony Horton as I find him rather amusing to listen to.  He's fun and motivating and I don't get sick of hearing him talk like I do sometimes with DVD trainers.  Thus, the weight training workouts are pretty good.  I'm not a huge fan of his aerobics workouts though, and since that is what I enjoy the most, P90X falls a bit short in my book.  But, like I said, that's just a personal preference!

And if you've ever done or seen will LOVE this video clip.  Personally I think the modified version is the way to go...HILARIOUS!!!

Tough/But Doable

Hip Hop Abs
Billy Blanks BootCamp


These are just a few of my other favorites when I don't want to go seriously hardcore (as the above mentioned workouts surely are!).  They will still kick your trash, but not quite at the same level.  These are also lower impact if you have problems with your back or knees and can't do the plyometrics as much!

I'm no personal trainer or fitness pro, but I hope this is helpful to some of you out there!

© Leaflet Radiance 2014 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Schedule Task Cards for Toddlers and Kids!

If your children are like mine (and all that I taught over the years) they CRAVE schedules and structure.  There's something about knowing what is coming next (and having a say in it now and then) that helps to soothe their little minds and prevent extra behavior issues and tantrums. (This is especially good for children with various forms of autism!) Well, I like to change things up now and then, so I don't like to keep too strict of a schedule.  However, I have been noticing lately how much my little three-year-old was in desperate need of one that she could see.  I searched Pinterest and found a plethora of options, but none that fit what I was looking for, with pictures I liked.  So, here is my version! 

I keep it set up on a wall outside the bedrooms with all the routine cards always in the same place.  We really only have a couple of places that change on a daily basis and I try to involve my kids in choosing one or two activities every day so that they feel ownership.  We call them "The Task Cards" and they have been lifesavers for us!  Instead of having to say "It's time to get ready for bed" we just say "What's next on your task cards?" and it gets done without crying and whining!  I even have it set up so that our three-year-old gets up, uses the potty, says her prayers, makes her bed, and plays in her room until we get up! (It works most of the time at least! :))  Magical!!!

I bought my pocket chart from Amazon which turned out to be the perfect size for it!  It's more square than most you find, and cheaper, so I highly recommend ordering this one!  
If you'd rather do something smaller, you can always print the cards at 50% of their size and put them on magnets or something.  I'm just a stickler for things staying straight so I know that would drive me crazy! :)

I hope this is useful for some of you out there!
Please leave a comment if you use them.  I'd love to hear from you!  Feel free to send me suggestions of other cards you'd like to see added since it's always a work in progress!

Also, if you'd like the word version that you can alter or add to, then just leave a comment with your email and I will send you the Word file.


© 2014 LeafletRadiance All Rights Reserved

The Silly, The Sappy, and The Spiritual...A Tribute to DADS!

This post is of course dedicated to the two most amazing dads I've been blessed to know--My dad and my husband!!!  I love them both with all my heart and am so thankful for their love, examples, and sacrifice on a daily basis on my behalf and on the behalf of my children! 

Although I'm a little late for Father's Day (I was busy trying to get things ready for the dad in our house :))  I still thought it important to do a post dedicated to all those amazing dad's out there, and those yet to be!  After all, I think far too often the good men in this world are so overlooked!!!  Like Mother's Day, I know this is a day that brings a mix of emotions for many.  It can be a day of joy, celebration, and gratitude for the wonderful men in your life, but it can also be a day of great sadness for those who have experienced heartache and pain at the hands of those less than worthy to be called men.  Whatever your circumstance or feelings, please watch the first video in this post, if nothing else, and remember that EVERYONE has a FATHER above who loves them no matter what and who will be there for them through the good and the bad of life!

Enjoy this collection of some of my favorite videos about Fathers!

Happy (belated) Father's Day!

The Spiritual...

The Sappy...

The Silly...


Happy Father's Day!

© 2014 LeafletRadiance All Rights Reserved

Monday, June 2, 2014

Picket Fence Display Board

A while ago my friend asked me how I display visuals to teach my children who are visual learners, around the home.  It was a good question, that to be honest, I hadn’t thought a lot about previously.  As a teacher, I loved to study and apply different learning styles, so it made sense that I should do the same in my own home, I just hadn’t given it much thought since my kids are still little.  My oldest is a very auditory learner so it’s been easy there.  However, I can tell already that my younger daughter is going to be more of a visual learner, so it was a question that got the wheels churning in my head.  I always have visuals when I teach lessons whether they are academic, moral, or spiritual, but I never really thought about putting them up for review during the week or month.  
For birthdays in our family we always string up a ribbon with paper clips and hang pictures on it of that person over the years, so I thought I could do that to display visuals from lessons as well.  However, as I did, I decided I wanted something a little more.  Then I was out shopping at Real Deals where they were clearancing a bunch of their inventory.  I saw a white picket fence that was part of a display that caught my eye, and an idea was born!  I’m a sucker for symbolism in any way I can find it (I even had yellow flowers with red tips at my wedding to symbolize friendship growing into love!).  So, I thought ‘what if I used the concept of the white picket fence (sign of the American dream and “perfect” home) as my way to display visuals from my Family Home Evening, Mommy School, Joy School, and Church lessons?’  The more I thought about it, the more excited I got!

So, for Mother’s Day my husband got to work on creating my picket fence and I’m happy to say that it’s finally complete!  I told him once it was finally on the wall that we were now officially a happy family, since you have to have a white picket fence to become that right?!  I love it!  I will also be using it to do holiday displays and pictures of our family, and it will be our new birthday board to show off pictures of the birthday person!  My husband couldn’t help but laugh at how giddy I was about it! 
It cost less than $15 at Home Depot to do it all!!! Here's what you need if you want to make your own:
*7 fence posts 
        (We bought 9/16X3-3/8X41-1/2 in. cedar)
*2 back pieces (fence slats)
        (Buy one and cut it in half--54 in. long)
        (We bought 5/8"X5-1/2"X6')
*1 1/8" Phillips Bugle Head self drilling screws
        (Part #50254 at Home Depot)
*Screws to attach to your studs in the drywall or use anchors if not attaching to studs
*21 Clothespins (You can choose to space these however you like, I staggered mine but didn't really measure this part--just put them on the way I liked them!)
*Nail gun & small nails with wood glue to attach clothespins, or you can use a hot glue gun if you'd rather.
*Slightly off white paint (I did about three coats).  If you want to make it look a little more rustic you can paint it black or brown first and then white, then sand parts here and there to give it more of an antiqued look.  Or go for a fun different color like red or sage!  I debated but opted for the white not only for symbolism, but someday I want to paint the wall behind it a fun color so it really pops out!

To assemble the back pieces, measure 13 in. down from the top of your fence posts and 10 in. up from the bottom if you want your back slats spaced like mine.  The slats are spaced 5 in. apart.

Let me know if you have any questions about how we made it and please send me a note or even a picture if you make your own!  I'd love to see it!

© 2014 LeafletRadiance All Rights Reserved

There's No Place Like Home Primary Activity (Creating a temple of our homes!)

       Saturday was our ward Primary activity, at which we had the theme, “There’s No Place Like Home.”  We did a Wizard of Oz theme where each of the characters (Scarecrow, Lion, & Tinman) taught a rotation about how they gained what they were searching for (Brain, Courage, Heart) after they learned a lesson from a prophet of old that they met along the way.  The scarecrow learned how to gain knowledge by searching the scriptures from Joseph Smith, the Lion gained courage by learning from Nephi, and the Tinman learned to love by following the counsel of King Benjamin.  

After these rotations everyone came back together to learn from Dorothy about her quest to return to her “home” both earthly and Heavenly.  The “Emerald City” was the temple, which she had to get to in order to return home to her family, and the Wicked Witch was like Satan, trying to distract her from her goal.  Dorothy taught them about how she learned lessons from each of her friends about how to make her home a heaven on earth, because it was the only place on earth that could be as close to Heaven as the temple.  

After her lesson, the children made temple blocks with a picture of the Mesa temple that said, “I’m going there someday” to put up in their rooms at home.  The activity went really well thanks to so many who helped us out!  It was one of those activities that I felt the whole idea came from the guidance of the spirit, and we just got to implement!  So cool to be a part of!

Here are the PDF's for the activity 
if you'd like to do this with your own Primary!

The Invites
The Agenda
Character & Activity Explanations

If you want the blank invites to alter, please leave your email in a comment and I will send them to you. 
(Googledocs alters them otherwise I'd leave them here for you!)  
Please let me know how it went!

© 2014 LeafletRadiance All Rights Reserved

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Measurement Wall

Growing up I always remember having a wall in our home completely dedicated to pencil marks with names beside them.  Although we moved a few times in my childhood, each home would have a new measurement wall.  We all loved comparing ourselves to each other, and marking our own growth.  My brothers especially enjoyed comparing and trash talking about who really was the "big" brother in the family when my youngest brother outgrew the rest of them!

Naturally, I wanted something similar in my house, but I wanted something I could take with me when I moved, as well as incorporate pictures since I'm a picture taking addict!  So, a few ideas from Pinterist combined with a few of my own brought the birth of our measurement wall!

I used small canvases for the pictures, just painted them black and then Mod Podged the picture right on!  I did about three coats of Mod Podge on top after doing one coat underneath the picture. (Let it dry between coats.)  Don't freak out, it won't ruin your pictures!

The canvases are hung on the wall with small velcro strips that you buy from Walmart or Target, which I cut in half so they would be thick enough for the back of the canvas.

Let me know if you do your own!  I'd love to see it!

© 2014 LeafletRadiance All Rights Reserved