Everybody Jump Jump . . Oh Wait, Not YOU – Sky Zone Everett Review.

As a new mom to a tiny human under 2 years old, I rely pretty heavily on the word of mouth recommendations of my fellow moms.  Having owned a brick and mortar business in the area myself, I know just how sneaky Yelp can be with their reviews, so I’ve learned to take them with a grain of salt.  Although, I’m sure you can google this to find out what I’m talking about for yourself, but I’m just going to say that what you read is true.

Now, I will say this.  I am a pretty positive person and not a fan of negative reviews so you won’t see very many of them on my blog.  I tend to feel that everyone is different so what works for one person may not be someone else’s cup of tea.  But, being a new mom, I felt I wanted to share my experiences of Sky Zone Everett.

I love taking my tiny human to new places and finding fun activities for us to do, especially in the Winter to get out of the house here in Boston.  So when I saw there was a jump park not too far from our house, I figured why not give it a whirl.  They have toddler time hours twice a week – on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30 – 11am – when the entire place is closed down except for our littles ages 0 – 4.  This is when I first took Brodeman.

Initially, the place is pretty hard to find as it’s at the very back of an industrial park.  Honestly, if it wasn’t during the light of day, I would have had horror movies playing in my head.  But once you get there, they have ample parking and a massive facility with a concession, bathrooms and lockers / cubbies.  You’ll want to complete the liability waiver online before you go as it can get pretty busy on the weekends and you’ll need to purchase their special grippy bright orange socks for $2 each as this is not included in your fee.

Our first visit was during one of their Toddler Times.  Their were about half a dozen toddlers with their “chaperones”.  I was told to purchase the special grippy socks for myself as well so that I could go on and around the trampolines with my son during this time, which to me made sense.  He’s under a 1.5 years old and like me, isn’t always too keen on being adventurous but tends to open up after a bit with some guidance from mom and from watching older kids.  He jumped, ran about and just had a great time with the other kids.  Like me, the other parents / chaperones were enjoying this quality time WITH their kids as well.  Being able to play and have genuine, active fun away from televisions is key these days.

After having a great time with Brodie here the first time, we decided to go as a family on a Sunday afternoon.  Unfortunately, my experience was vastly different from the first time.  I did not book ahead online so we had to wait 30 minutes when we got there to be able to jump as we were told the toddler area was already booked up.  No worries at all.  We walked (ran) around with the little man only to find that the section they marked for his age group was about a third of the size as where they had us for the Toddler Time.  Once our time arrived, we were all so excited to have some fun on the trampolines but shouted at that we (the parents) could not actually go near the trampolines.  What?!  Are you serious?!  We had to stay on the blue carpet.  So, you won’t let me actually play with my little guy?!  I am all for safety but this was ridiculous. You can’t have one set of rules for his age group one day and something different another day.  You also can’t tell me that I can’t help my little man get used to a wobbly surface – he’s still getting used to standing and walking on those little legs.  When we tried to reason with the staff, they kept saying it was because the toddler area was fully booked and too busy so for everyones safety it’s just not allowed.  We even got shouted at for having our “feet on the trampoline”, which you can see in the video below.

Wah wah!  We’ll be checking out Launch Watertown as I’m told they’re all about family fun, being able to interact and play with your little ones.  And this mom wants to be able to enjoy life with my kiddo. There will be plenty of time when he’ll be wanting to get out there on his own but at 18 months, I think jumping on a trampoline is okay to do with his mom. (Below is actual video from our Sunday visit, note the maxed out capacity that prevented us from jumping with our son.)

Sky Zone Everett – Toddler Time – $16 + $2 for socks

Launch Watertown – Toddler Time – $12

What are your favorite Boston places to take your kids?

 

 

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Mommin: Firsts, Lasts and Everything In Between

It’s crazy and hard for me to believe that my little man will be 18 months this week. You get to this place where it’s hard to imagine what life before him was like.   Hitting up the movies on a snowy afternoon or grabbing a nice dinner at the spur of the moment, heck even flying solo.

Something truly awesome about motherhood is all the firsts you get to experience with your little bundle.  Naps, feedings, rolling over, movements, sounds, words, crawling, foods, walking, the list goes on and on.  But the flip side is that some of those don’t last long and if only you got a little heads up as to when it would happen for the last time, maybe I would snap a pic, whether in my mind or in reality to remember these moments better.  It tugs at the heartstrings not to remember the last time he was snuggled into the Ergo out on a walk with our fur baby Mr Bo Jangles and fell asleep.  I never received a memo – hey mom I won’t be breastfeeding anymore or this is probably the last time I’ll fall asleep and nap in your arms or remembering the last time I wore him all snuggled in.
In a day and age where it’s all social media – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat oh my.  You can get lost in all the apps on your phone.  It’s time to be present, live in the moment and simply enjoy every moment – the snuggles and laughs, learning, exploring, growing and crying – as I know it won’t last long and one day I will turn around and he will be yet another year older.
For now, I fear we’re moving into the “terrible twos” and I’m going to lean on my snuggles and workouts  . . . oh and wine and just take it all in.

Thursday Taste: Your New Favorite Chicken Recipe

When I say that I am turning into Martha Stewart it is in fact because, thanks to my sister, I am obsessed with her cookbook ONE POT.  This is where the below recipe for my new favorite chicken dish comes from.  The video you’ll see is of the recipe as is in the cookbook but I have amended the recipe below to beef up the veggies!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 pints Grape Tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup pitted Olives
  • 10 medium Shallots, halved
  • Garlic Salt
  • Mrs Dash No-Salt Seasoning

 

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • In medium bowl (or plastic container), combine tomatoes, shallots, chicken, olives, EVOO, salt (to taste) and Mrs Dash (to taste) and mix thoroughly
  • Transfer all ingredients to roasting pan in a single layer and place in oven
  • Roast in oven until chicken temp reaches 165 degrees, approximately 40 minutes
  • Serve and ENJOY!

 

 

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(21 Day Fix Containers: 4 servings – 1 Red, 1 Green)

Thursday Taste: Oven Roasted Veggies

Sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start.  With not being very well-versed in the kitchen, I always knew that if I was going to be cooking, then it had to be easy and bonus points for being less time consuming.   Especially being a mom, I value my time.  This recipe here is one I make up virtually weekly as part of my meal prep to have on hand for an easy heat- up for my lunch or to add to any dinner.

This is my “go to” side dish and way to make up my veggies. You can cook it up in large enough quantities to get you through the week.  I like cauliflower, brussel sprouts and asparagus but you could do this with almost any vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of Cauliflower
  • 17oz bag of Baby Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 lb Asparagus
  • 2tbsp Olive Oil
  • Sprinkling Mrs Dash No-Salt Seasoning
  • Sprinkling Garlic Salt

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Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven at 425 degrees
  • In a bowl or tupperware container mix up the brussel sprouts, chopped asparagus and cauliflower
  • Add in the olive oil, Mrs Dash seasoning and garlic salt
  • Mix thoroughly
  • Place seasoned vegetables on baking sheet
  • Place in the oven for about 40 – 50 minutes, stirring about halfway through
  • Serve and ENJOY!

Shining My Mommin Light On What I Do

There are so many jobs out there for people nowadays to be able to provide for their families.  It’s not solely the typical corporate 9 – 5 anymore.  But did you know that the percentage of people who actually are doing a job they went to school for is about 27%?  As of right now, I’ve had 3 jobs and none of them had anything to do with my schooling but I did them with passion, purpose, being teachable and hard work.

There are many stories out there about Beachbody and in a world that is social media driven, you can post, blog about anything you like and it’s out there in the universe.  Like that commercial goes, if it’s on the internet then it must be true.  So, I want to fill you in on my perspective.

I got into Beachbody after having my son.  I was depressed, I was in need of losing my baby weight and I needed an outlet that was for ME.  My coach, the accountability /challenge groups, the workouts and Shakeology helped me to get to the other side of that.  It helped me to get to a place where I finally felt truly happy, where I was able to get my confidence back, where I was finally eating healthier, where I stopped needing daily medications and pills for a stomach condition.  All I have wanted since that day was to be able to inspire other mothers or women who were like I was and for them to know that they are not alone.  That they can get to the other side too.

I am not a certified nutritionist but I will help you work your way through the nutrition program set out by our Beachbody nutritionists who have worked out a nutrition plan for each fitness program that is in line with the goals, weights, etc. of each program.  I will lead by example and share recipes and tips to help you crush your goals.  I will share with you what I have learned and what has helped me to get where I am today.

As a Beachbody Coach my goal is to help guide you through each fitness program that Beachbody has.  I want to make sure you start, finish and find success.  That is my ultimate goal in what I do everyday.  My goal is to help you be successful, to share value in my tips, recipes, motivation and more.  And to inspire you.  We are called coaches because that is what we do, we coach you, we instruct you, we guide you through fitness programs and nutrition guides.

Here’s the thing: I have been there.  I am going through / have gone through these programs too.  I am doing the same nutrition as my challengers and I am doing the fitness programs.  I am not telling them they should be doing something that I am not doing.  I am leading by example and doing it right alongside them.

Beachbody is not a “quick fix” and it doesn’t claim to be.  Beachbody wants to help you find a program, work through that program and find success.  We want you to know and always tell you that this is not a diet but a healthy lifestyle change, a change we want you to have for the REST OF YOUR LIFE.  But it also won’t be for everybody.  But working out for 30 – 45 minutes a day from home has worked for me for the past year and I’m not planning on quitting or stopping anytime soon.  When I share transformations, they aren’t “quick wins” but people (including myself) who have lost weight, inches and done so using Beachbody programs over a period of 9 – 12months.  I am definitely not about gimmicks or quick fixes as that won’t do you any good or help you in the long run.

Like so many other MLMs out there today, it allows me to work from home while being a stay at home mother to my son and fur-baby.  This allows me to be exactly the type of mother that I always wanted to be and still be able to contribute financially to my family.  Is it a pyramid scheme? NO.  My goal is not to simply build a team and do nothing.  In order to make money I have to help you be successful.  Both as my coaches and as my challengers.  I have to put in WERK.  I don’t make money simply by adding people to my team.  It just doesn’t work that way.  Not with Beachbody anyway.  Would you work for free in your job?  If your boss or customers weren’t happy with your work, would they be able to get a refund from you?!  If my customers aren’t happy with the programs, they can be returned for a full refund after 30 days.  I do not do what I do to sell, sell, sell . . .I want to inspire you, to make an impact, even if it’s just one person.

Now for that elephant in the room. . SHAKEOLOGY.  Here’s what I’m going to say about it.  I have been drinking it for over a year now.  It has helped me to lose weight and keep it off.  It has helped me combat my IBS.  I have not had to take any medications and have been symptom-free for over a year.  I have more energy without needing to drink coffee all day like I used to and I don’t get any of the caffeine jitters.  There’s so much processed, chemically altered and nutrient deficient foods nowadays that for me this is my one meal a day that I don’t have to worry about.  It’s loaded with antioxidants, proteins, probiotics and more.

In this day and age, it’s time to stop bringing other people down and being negative on how others are working to provide for their families.  Because I am simply a mom working hard to bring some hope to other moms out there like me.  So, I hope if anything you have gained a little more perspective into what I do.  But like all jobs, fitness programs, clothing styles, etc., Beachbody won’t be for everyone but maybe it could work for you.

Home or Away: My Top Tips For Staying Healthy While Traveling

Traveling is certain to take a toll on anyone for a number of reasons but especially if you’re working to make changes to a healthier lifestyle and a stronger, fitter you.  Would you believe me if I told you that I started my journey on January 2, 2016 and that I travelled a total of roughly 11 weeks during the year and still found myself down 30 pounds, countless inches and going strong on my journey to a healthier, stronger me by the end of 2016?!

Here are my tops tips from what I’ve learned.

  1. Keep Moving.  Don’t let being on vacation or away from home keep you from exercising.  Just because your environment is different it doesn’t mean that you need to stop moving completely.  Go for a walk, go for a hike, run on the beach or trek around the neighborhood but start your day with some form of activity.  With Beachbody on Demand, I am able to bring my workouts with me and do them anywhere I can bring my phone, laptop or plug in the Roku.  And I don’t need wifi as you can download up to 7 workouts to play anytime.
  2. Make healthy eating decisions.  I’m not saying you cannot enjoy or indulge in a little yummy goodness but just don’t let yourself go crazy at every meal.  Make a plan even if it’s in your head.  I’m going to have a drink (or two) with dinner so make sure your breakfast and lunch are healthier choices.  Choose lean meats, vegetable, fruits.  Still try to stay away from sugary options.
  3. Make a plan.  I like to plan ahead by bringing some healthy snack options with me like nuts, bananas, carrots, Shakeology, Rx Bars.  If you have the options with you already then it is a no-brainer when you’re stuck in a situation where there are no good choices for you.  It’s great to pack in your carry-on as well as we all know airport options can be pretty bleak at times.
  4. Drink lots of water.  Staying hydrated is key no matter where you are – home or away.    It will help with fatigue, flush out toxins and will help with digestion amongst other great benefits.
  5. Don’t stress.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your healthy lifestyle.  Focus on making small changes as they will in the end make a big impact.

Slow-Cooker Balsamic & Garlic Chicken Breast

Chicken is not just for your summer bbq anymore.  It’s slowly become my new go-to for easy winter crockpot dinners.  The beauty of a slow cooker is that you only need  a few ingredients and the dinner cooks itself!

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 16 oz bag of peeled Baby Carrots
  • 1 small chopped Onion
  • 1 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Drizzle the olive oil and 1 tbsp garlic on the bottom of the slow cooker
  2. Add in carrots to one side and peeled onion to the other sided
  3. Place the chicken breasts on top of the carrot and onion
  4. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar on top of the chicken with the other tbsp garlic
  5. Sprinkle the garlic salt on top with a dash of salt & pepper
  6. Cook on high for 6 hours

 

 

ENJOY!

 

Bake, bake SUGAR COOKIES (Gluten Free)!

When it comes to me in the kitchen, I have pretty much steered clear, that is until I began my journey to a healthier, stronger me last January.  This came in handy when we first found out that my son had a number of allergies as you never really know what is in your foods these days.

Over this past weekend, I got to thinking why not try my hand at baking.  I’ve dabbled here and there but only every so often and I wanted to have something fun and special that I could do with my tiny human around the holidays.  When I got to remembering the yummy goodness that my mom used to make for Christmas when I was a kid so much of it contained items that my little man just simply can’t have.  Whelp.  Here goes making them “tiny human friendly”

Now these aren’t coming at you in a healthy way as that will be another project!

First up . . . Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups Gluten Free Flour (you could also make this mixture yourself but this is easier.)
  • 1 cup Corn Starch
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2.5 tsp Xantham Gum
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Crisco
  • 1 Egg (or 1/4 cup Liquid Egg Substitute)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla

 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Place all ingredients in mixer and blend
  • Scoop out all dough; place on wax paper
  • Roll out your dough; use desired cookie cutter (or vase in my case) to cut out your cookies
  • Place cut cookies on cookie sheet
  • Decorate with fun sprinkles (or icing after baking)
  • Bake in oven for roughly 12 – 15 minutes
  • Cool and ENJOY!

 

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU CHALLENGE GROUP

⭐️ It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ⭐️
A time for gatherings, family, friends and wah wah weight gain.
It’s also the perfect time to make a commitment to YOU. To make a commitment to becomeing stronger, to fighting the fluff, to prioritizing ourselves and not letting ourselves go, if you know what I mean.
We all have done it. Let ourselves slip over the winter. Maybe it’s too cold to workout or those hot chocolates or hearty dinners are calling our name. Whatever has you FALLING prey to the Winter weight gain. I’m here to help you.
Decide it’s time to finally commit to YOU and make yourself a priority.
I want you to make a commitment to yourself and KEEP IT (yes you read that correctly, I want you to keep it) well passed the first 30 days of 2017.
Let me teach you –
✔️ Meal planning made easy
✔️ Simple, easy portion controlled nutrition
✔️ No counting calories, no counting points
✔️ Healthy swaps
✔️ 30 min / day workouts
✔️ Workouts you can do from ANYWHERE with wifi
✔️ How to eat out, travel and enjoy holiday parties without ruining any progress you have made
✔️ CRUSH YOUR GOALS!
What you’ll receive when you join me TODAY:
👉Your first 30 day supply of Shakeology—the superfood protein shake that helps give you energy, reduce cravings, accelerate your fitness results AND give you one meal a day that you don’t have to think about!
👉30 minute workouts because you don’t need to spend hours (and don’t have the hours) at a gym in order to get results
👉30 day access to Beachbody on Demand so you can workout from ANYWHERE with wifi
👉Access to my private Facebook group which is a community full of supportive, motivational people JUST LIKE YOU
👉Simple, easy portion controlled nutrition – no more counting calories, no more counting points
👉Meal planning made easy
👉Healthy swaps
👉How to eat out and travel without ruining any progress you have made
My goal is to teach you how to make a lifestyle change, not a crash diet!! I want to give you tools that will last a lifetime!!
💪Ready to get started??! Simply complete the Challenge Group Form here: http://bit.ly/29yhrRQ and let’s get started TODAY. 👊

12 DAYS OF FIT-MAS – FAVORITES TO HAVE UNDER YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE

12 DAYS OF FIT-MAS – FAVORITES TO HAVE UNDER YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE

I LOVE the holidays.  I love everything about it – the lights, the music, the smell of a Christmas tree, and more than all of that, the spirit of giving.  I am a momma and I am always looking for a good recommendation so I thought why not share some of my favorites with all of you.  Now, you will notice that it is heavy on health and fitness and for that I am (not) sorry.

 

I am big on shopping small and on companies that give back so I tried to have as many as I could on my list this year.  I hope you enjoy and maybe find a few new loves for you.  (Please note: They are in no particular order.  I am obsessed with them all equally.)

 

 

ON THE FIRST DAY OF FITMAS MY SWOLEMATE GAVE TO ME: K-DEER CAPRI IN FLEX

Their signature stripes give back, they have a super flattering, high-waist fit and the designs are so much fun.  They’re good for the ladies in your life, all ages, shapes and sizes.  I may have even purchased a pair for my fairy god-daughter for Christmas . . wink wink.

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ON THE SECOND DAY OF FITMAS MY SWOLEMATE GAVE TO ME: THE BE BRAND IN #GIRLBOSS TANK

#mombosses beware!  Their shirts are addicting, super comfy, perfect for a Target run or sweat session and the sayings are fun.

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ON THE THIRD DAY OF FITMAS MY SWOLEMATE GAVE TO ME: ALEX AND ANI PRINT OF LOVE CHARM BANGLE

These bracelets are fun, you can stack them and if you haven’t noticed this is the start of my favorites that can be dressed up or down!  As a mom, that is key to my wardrobe – versatility.

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ON THE FOURTH DAY OF FITMAS MY SWOLEMATE GAVE TO ME: KLARA KELLY ANCHOR MAKE-A-WISH HEADBAND SCARF

These headbands truly are no slip for my head as they tie in the back, are washable, have great prints and they even have certain prints that give back.

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ON THE FIFTH DAY OF FITMAS MY SWOLEMATE GAVE TO ME: FOOT FACIAL (with deluxe foot massage) FROM MINILUXE

They are health conscience, good to their employees and I always leave there feeling relaxed, and ready to tackle whatever may come in my day.

 

 

ON THE SIXTH DAY OF FITMAS MY SWOLEMATE GAVE TO ME: ATOMI PORTABLE CHARGER

I’ve tried a number of portable chargers and with a small child I never want my phone battery to die!  This one is slim, roughly $20, holds a charge and connects easily to my phone for a quick boost.

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ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF FITMAS MY SWOLEMATE GAVE TO ME: LIVING PROOF DRY SHAMPOO

As a mom, can we please talk about the importance of a great dry shampoo.  Since my tiny human became mobile, long showers are a thing of the past.  So this bad boy has been a serious lifesaver for keeping me looking fresh!

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ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF FITMAS MY SWOLEMATE GAVE TO ME: BLACK CRANE AND LION WRAP SWEATER

As a momma, a good wrap sweater is a necessity.  You can dress it up with jeans and heals or down with leggings and sneakers.  Plus, this one was the perfect cover for me while breastfeeding.

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ON THE NINTH DAY OF FITMAS MY SWOLEMATE GAVE TO ME: HAMILTON BEACH SLOW COOKER (CROCKPOT)

What can I say?!  Whether you’re a mom or not, my crockpot is a lifesaver.  Create a delicious, home cooked meal in only a fraction of the time by simply throwing in all your ingredients, set it and forget it.

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ON THE TENTH DAY OF FITMAS MY SWOLEMATE GAVE TO ME: HIGH COLLAR VEST BY CALIA

I am a sucker for a good vest.  Ask my husband, I have about 5 or 6 vests but this one is my go-to.  I wear it ALL the time.  It’s comfortable, classic design and can be matched well with virtually anything you wear.

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ON THE ELEVENTH DAY OF FITMAS MY SWOLEMATE GAVE TO ME: AMAZON ECHO

Running around the house with my tiny human means I am always looking for awesomeness that makes mommin more fun (didn’t think that was possible) and easier.  This fun toy fits that bill!  There are so many features that I uncover virtually daily but what I use it for most is checking the weather before bundling up my little guy to head out, adding items I may or may not have run out of to my shopping list and cranking some tunes.  All done hands-free!

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ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF FITMAS MY SWOLEMATE GAVE TO ME: EIGHT OPTICS SUNGLASSES IN VALENTINA

Every women needs a great pair of shades that make you feel sassy and sexy and look great no matter what you’re wearing.  Well, that is these sunglasses.  They come in a variety of colors which are certain to add a bit of sass to your next selfie.

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So close to making the list: