Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fit Triangle Mom- Understanding the Journey

I've been writing Fit Triangle Mom for nearly 2 years now, and sometimes I ask myself What do I want this blog to accomplish? What is the goal? Is it more followers? Yes, that would be nice. Is it more income? That would be great! Yet, I still wonder if Fit Triangle Mom could be more. I always come back to the name of the blog, Fit Triangle Mom. Three words, each with separate meanings, combined to create one extraordinary individual- A Mom who lives in the Triangle and pursues a Fit and healthy lifestyle.

Fit Triangle Mom might be the name of my blog, but anyone who fits the criteria above is a Fit Triangle Mom. It's not about going to the gym everyday; it's about finding balance between the challenges of being a mom and fitness. It's about activities or travel with the kids or family. It's about living in the Triangle- shopping, going out to eat, and the many wonderful events our area offers.

Fit Triangle Mom is a glimpse into my journey of fitness, family and faith. I'll share the books I'm reading, the scripture that touched my heart, the cute thing my kid said, or a new exercise I'm learning. I'm not an expert. I'm just a mom and writer, and I want to share my experiences with you.

Fit Triangle Mom supports local businesses especially those located in the Triangle and throughout NC. I enjoy reviewing places of business, shops, restaurants and hotels that cater to a Fit Triangle Mom. Occasionally, I will review national products that are beneficial as well, but the heart of this blog is North Carolina.

Fit Triangle Mom is about helping others. Each year, I have organized a team with the Susan G. Komen race. This past year, I partnered with Vend Raleigh. We had a team t-shirt, partnered with local businesses, and raised some money. It was a wonderful experience.

Finally, Fit Triangle Mom is about you. What concerns you as mom? What type of posts, products and reviews would you like to see? Motherhood is a journey that shouldn't be taken alone. Fit Triangle Mom wants to understand your journey. Please comment below.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mud Run Recap

Mud runs are not created equal. They are organized by different groups and companies. My husband, Seth and I ran the 5k Panda-Monium mud run created by Legend Race.

We arrived at the race early Saturday morning, it was foggy and slightly raining. It was off the beaten path and literally behind the Lowes Home Improvement store in Pittsboro. It was a mixture of woods, brush, trail and mud. Lots and lots of muddy puddles and ponds that we walked, swam and crawled through. Between running the trails were all sorts of obstacles. The race started with climbing over a wall, then balancing on a plank to climbing a one-sided rope ladder. We flipped tires, carried sand bags, crawled through mud under barbed wire, shot paintball guns, climbed over rocks, did burpees, pushups and then finally climbed one last wall, and slid into a muddy pool of water.

It was a mild day, but the running and obstacles made us plenty hot. The mud puddles were almost refreshing. When I talk about mud, I'm talking about the mud you find in the South- orange clay. When we crossed the finish line; we were covered in it.

I found the race challenging and exhilarating. I loved having my husband by my side to lend me a helping head over a wall or a mountain of mulch. I will definitely do it again, but there are some things I will do differently.

1. Wear swimmer's ear plugs. Unfortunately, I got an ear infection after the race. Most likely due to dirty water in my ear.

2. Take the afternoon to rest. After we got home from the race, it was back to work taking care of the kids and doing activities. I think a restful afternoon would have helped my body recoup faster.

I did do some things right to prepare for the race that I will remember to do again.

1. Wear tight fitting or dry wicking clothes and not my new running shoes.

2. Interval training. I would run a mile, lift weights and do several burpees and then run a few more miles.

3. Focus on upper body weight training. About a month before the race, I was practicing chin ups, hanging in a chin up position and other arm exercises.

4. Carb Loading- Enjoying a nice spaghetti dinner the night before the race.

Have you participated in a mud run? What would you do differently or the same?

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Budget-Friendly Boys Birthday

Birthdays are special days to celebrate especially with kids. My boys's birthdays fall within one week of each other, so for the past three years we have been doing joint parties. My boys- Aiden (6) and Liam (3) agreed on a Super Hero theme for their party. The goal was to make it fun, festive and budget friendly. We held the party at our house and told Aiden he could invite six friends since he was turning 6. Liam invited two friends. Once we had our location, guest list and party date and time; it was time to start planning.

1. Invitations- I used Evite invitations. It was easy to find a kids party invitations with a superhero theme. I selected a free one. I have the Evite app on my phone so I could easily manage the invites. The map/directions section helped friends easily find our house (something that a paper invite can't do). All the guests were instructed to wear a costume or t-shirt of their favorite Super Hero.

2. Games- I scheduled the party from 4-6 p.m. on a Saturday. After nap time to help avoid any melt downs and also after any sport activities. I imagined us playing carnival like games for an hour, but since this was a Super Hero party we turned the games into Super Hero Training. We had two sets of ages, so we had 2-winners per game. Winner's chose their prize from the Super Prize bag. I found prizes at the Dollar Tree and the One Spot section at Target.

We began with Captain America's Shield Throwing thru the hoop. Each guest had three turns to throw the Frisbee through the hoop.

Fire Balls Toss- Each guest had three turns to throw different size balls in the hole.

My favorite was Building Bowling. I took three large boxes and drew windows on them and then stacked them on top of each other. Each guest had three turns to roll an exercise ball at the building to knock it down. My kids enjoyed this game so much that they were playing it days after the party.

Water balloon toss was a must, especially on a 90-degree day. You have to be careful with this game because with a party of all boys it can quickly turn into a water balloon fight.

Game time ended with the much anticipated Pinata . I shopped around for a pinata, and they were all in the $20 price range which is crazy for something that will be destroyed in 10 minutes or less. I poked around on Pinterest and got the basics of how to make one. I am not particularly crafty, so I came up with a simple design- a rectangle. I cut the front, back, and sides from a box and taped it together with duct tape. I left a hole for the candy and fruit snacks. I decorated it with tissue paper, party streamers and a large Avengers themed gift bag. I think it turned out good, but most importantly the kids loved it.

3. Decorations. I found Spiderman decorations and Mylar balloons at the Dollar Tree. I had leftover streamers from a previous year that added to the festive decor.

4. Food- I wanted to keep the food simple. We served pizza and Capri-Sun, and then a cookie cake and ice cream. The kids were excited about the cookie cake rather then the traditional flour cake. I found plastic wear packets and Spiderman paper plates and napkins at the Dollar Tree. Spiderman is Aiden's favorite superhero, but since the party was open to all super heroes, I had more choices.

5. Favor Bags- No party is complete without favor bags, a special token or gifts to give your guests to thank them for coming to the party. I got a pack of 12 bags at A.C. Moore on sale for $3.99. I decorated the bags with stickers and markers. Our guests, a total of 7, received Super Sacks filled with little toys and games from the Dollar Tree and Target plus all the candy they got from the Pinata.

The 2-hour party went fast. I wish I took more pictures, but everyone had a good time, and we stayed within our budget.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#VitalityVoxBox Reviews...Health & Beauty Products for Moms

This is the third VoxBox that I have received from Influenster, and by far it's my favorite. Influenster sent me these products free in exchange for my honest review. The Vitality VoxBox as it is called was filled with beauty and health products that are quite useful for a busy fitness mom.

I stashed the SoftLips Cube in my purse, and applied every time I got in the car (very often). I loved how it made my lips feel silky soft. The vanilla scent smelled heavenly and even tasted great. It contains SPF 15 which is perfect for the thinnest skin on your body. Plus I loved the cube shape that made it easy to find in my cluttered purse.

Ahh, the refreshing taste of Pure Leaf's unsweetened tea. I chilled it in the fridge for a bit and enjoyed it with a healthy salad during lunch. Zero calories and a smidge of caffeine. It made for a great afternoon pick-me-up.

Luckily, I didn't get burned during this campaign, but if I did the First Degree burn cream would have been a lifesaver. It offers multiples uses like reducing scars, soothes pain and protects against infection.

It's important to have a tampon that holds up during a run or crossfit class. Playtex Sport held strong during my runs and lifting sessions, and the fresh scent was a nice addition.

I was a bit hesitant to try the Bikini Ready Energy Gummies, but I gave these gummies a try. They taste good, a little bit of an medicine-like after taste, but I'd rather chew these then take those horse-pill supplements. The added energy was noticeable and was extremely helpful. I was running in the morning, cleaning the house and playing with the kids in the afternoon and making dinner for the hubby in the evening. I didn't have a crash that can happen on other energy supplements and best of all it didn't upset my tummy.

Elizabeth Arden's Flawless Future Caplet Serum refreshed my skin and evened my tone. I used the product daily after my morning shower, and liked how it awakened my face. The product lasted two weeks, and I was able to see small changes.

I hope my review of these products has been helpful. I know as a busy mom that you might be reluctant to try something new, especially if it's a dud. Rest assured only winners here. Thank you for taking the time to read my reviews. Please let me know how these reviews helped you and be entered to win a coupon book prize pack.

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