Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Give TRX a Try!

I know I have professed my love for yoga many times, but I still love trying new workouts to keep the boredom at bay. Last week my gym offered trial sessions of TRX which is basically using your own body for resistance and strength building. Its sweeping the nation and people are loving it.

It was fun, it was different. Best of all, I was still sore three days after. A good kind of sore. Downside, there is a "more then it should be" cost involved if you take the class at my gym. This surprises me because I have never seen a workout with so few materials needed. There is just a suspension rope with handles. That's it. Even yoga and Pilates have more materials.

I am going to look at it a different way though. From a business or franchise stand point, this would be the thing to start. Little equipment needed, not much training involved to instruct. hmmm.....anyone looking to start a business?!

For the time being, I am thinking this will be thing that will fill this "urge" inside me...for now! ;-)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Breakfast is the Best!

A bowl of cheerios with milk just ain't going to cut it! Its my favorite meal to eat of the day and its the most important. Your body lies dormant all night. Eating in the morning revs up your metabolism so you are burning calories all day. If you don't eat, your body stays dormant. Its the simple, but so important.

My mom is now onboard. Even my kids could tell you why eating a complete breakfast is so important. Still working on my husband, but thats because Diet Mountain Dew isn't a food group yet. ;-)

Read more here about why stuffing yourself at breakfast is the way to go! So Fuel that body up!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Picaboo: Free Large Hardcover Photo Book through Aug 31st, 2010

Now that I have mastered Picaboo's photo tools and options, I really like their site. I have used a lot of online photo book making sites, but this is now the favorite. They do have an online tutorial that I mistakenly thought I didn't need. Turns out, I probably would have saved myself quite a bit of time if I would have just listened through it. ;-) Sigh, isn't that how it goes!

I really do love online photo books! You can still position the pictures, write captions and chose backgrounds and borders. All without all of the messy endless supply of scrapbooking tools and materials. This is definitely my way to go!

Here is how to get your free book through August! You still pay for shipping, but at $8.99 its still a great deal!

*Go to Picaboo and enter your email address.

*Design a 20-page Photo Book.

*Use coupon code FREEBK at checkout and it should take off the price of the photo book and only charge you $8.99 for shipping.

Foods That Can Fix You!

Stressed? Upset stomach? Sleepless? I love the idea of curing common ailments naturally and with food! Check out here a list of common readily available foods and what they can treat!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bring on the Borsch!

We have found with our Try New Foods Challenge that it is helpful to pick a time period or a country. The kids have enjoyed the research and menu planning and we have found that helps everyone's zest for trying something new. So far we have eaten our way through Pioneer times, the Colonial era, the Depression and Germany.

Next up was Megan's choice and we voyaged on to Russia. After a quick Internet search Megan chose Borshch and Russian Tea Cakes for dessert. Have you ever tried Borshch? Neither has this family. It provided a wealth of new food choices with cabbage and beets being just two of the ingredients.

It was similar to a goulash and the kids liked it ok but the heartiest eater was Dave whom readily proclaimed it as one of his new favorites. I think it was because it included beer brisket which we don't have all that often.

The Russian Tea Cakes were a definite hit with everyone. The recipe is so easy and delicious. It really is hard to stop munching them!

Megan's after dinner activity pick was soccer, which was a great Russian choice. Megan and I vs Dave and Lucy (with all time side-switching goal-keeper Max).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ignite Your Calorie Burn

If you are going to take the time to work out, get the most bang for your buck. I don't want to spend any more time then I have to at the gym so here are some ways to make the most of your time and torch those calories.

A few tips include varying time between high intensity and low intensity. Those kind of interval workouts can be just as effective in 2o minutes then running at the same pace for 45 minutes.

Check out other great tips and ideas here.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Urge is Back

It took two months off, but I am now feeling the desire to jump back in the saddle and begin training again. After the Hy-Vee Triathlon in June, I was ready for a break. There were a lot of components tied to that.

1. My body needed a break after following such a training schedule for five months.

2. The kids were home for the summer and I wanted to be able to run around with them and stay up late with smores and fireflies.

3. The teacher mentality in me just knows summer is more unstructured. I didn't want to have to set an alarm to get my work outs in. This didn't prevent me from still waking up at 5:30/6, but the point was, what if I did sleep in?! I wanted to be prepared!

4. By June was ready to take a break from swimming, biking and running. I had fun going to some fun classes at the gym and doing a bit more yoga, of course!

I indulged, I had my fill and I had my fun! What's next? Let me take some time to explore all of the possibilities and make some decisions. For the first time in two months, I want to do it and that feels good!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fall Back into Routine

Does the upcoming Fall weather make you crave getting back into a routine again? If you would have asked me one week ago, if I was ready for back to school for the kids and myself, it would have been a flat out no. I love summer. I love having the kids home and being on a different sort of time table. We had our Big Summer To Do and we were happy.

This week was a bit different at our house. I purposefully left it wide open. Wide Open to Possibilities. I didn't want to plan, schedule or really have to be anywhere at a certain time. A highlight was one day where we decided we were going to the beach. The kids spent hours building sand castles and playing in the water. I had packed snacks and they ate when they wanted to and basically had free reign over their time.

The week was just what we needed. Enough unstructured time for impromptu fun and creativity but enough openness to make us all crave a little routine. Routine is just four days away with the start of school...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Homemade Protein Bars

This is it! This is the one! Thanks to Money Saving Mom, I found a recipe I really like. I mean, I really love. Slight problem though. I made them yesterday and they are now gone. Just nibbling here and there leads to an empty pan. The kids did love them too, but I didn't really share that many....

Good news though, I usually have all these ingredients on hand AND they will be perfect for lunch boxes because they are peanut free, but have the protein, carbs, and healthy fat to sustain the kids all day at school.

Homemade Protein Bars

1 mashed banana
1 1/2 cups dry oatmeal
2 Tablespoons flax seed, ground
2-4 scoops protein powder
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup water
1 large chocolate bar (I used organic dark chocolate) or 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients but chocolate together well (mixture will be somewhat sticky). Line an 8×8-inch pan with foil and spread the mixture evenly in the pan. Melt chocolate on the stove or in the microwave. Drizzle or spread over the mixture in the pan.

Place the pan in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Cut into 10 -12 bars and wrap in plastic wrap and/or foil and store in the freezer.

Thaw slightly before serving.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Harry Potter Series is Finito!

Whew...It has been 15 months in the making, but we did it! The Weis family has completed all 7 Harry Potter books. Megan and Lucy have heard every word of the books, re read every paragraph on their own, re-listened to every book on CD in the car and re enacted pretty much every scene through their creative play and money making ideas.

It had become an Obsession with a major capital "O" with my daughters. Nothing got them to brush teeth and hop into bed faster then promising to read. Harry Potter was the first thing mentioned when they got up and the protests of "just one more chapter" were on their lips before bed.

I have to apologize to every grandparent that patiently sat through book synopsis, playdates that endured my daughter's one track magic minds and especially to Max. I don't know many 3 year olds that could name the majority of the characters and rattle off a dozen spells.

We should have been learning the names of construction equipment, Thomas the Train characters, or types of tools. (I promise, Max, your mommy will learn the different between a backhoe and a skid loader next now that Horcruxes and Patronuses out of my mind).

Whats next? I do admit I feel remorse and sadness about letting this go. It was something that united our family; a common goal. I do wait expectantly for what will capture their attention next, but I would say this Hogwarts Express has not finished with us yet. There are Harry Potter Halloween costumes to figure out and a Wizarding World to visit!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

10 Reasons to Try Yoga

Try it, you'll like it! (Sorry the Yo Gabba Gabba CD of Max's is running through my head), but its true! Megan and Lucy have gone a couple of times and proclaimed it "fun." Not the usual word to describe yoga, but they can't wait to go again. Dave has tried it and bestowed it...........

Its so much more then stretching. I rarely life weights anymore because I feel like my muscles get strenghtened and strong from yoga once a week. I love how there are so many levels with it, so it is adaptable to all fitness levels. I know somewhere down my pipeline of life, I want to learn more about it and see where I can go yoga, but for the time being I am quite content with my favorite 5 pm Sunday nite yoga class.

Check out 10 great reasons to try yoga here!

and by the way...check out Yo Gabba Gabba too. Talk about quirky catchy songs for kids! "Try it, you'll like it...!"

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Daughter Date Day

With a busy family of 5, it is hard to find a minute to yourself, let alone quality one on one time with each child. This is something I am continuing trying to work on. We have fun together, but usually its all of us together or separation with the girls and Max. With summer drawing to a close, I wanted each of the kids to pick a special activity that we did just the two of us.

As anticipated, Megan chose getting her first pedicure. Other girls in her class have been doing this for years with their moms, but I have held off for a couple of reasons.

#1 I am not a frequent pedicure getter. I love how they look, but don't ever see it as part of a monthly event. I am more of "getting ready for vacation" pedicure person.

#2 I don't think I had my first pedicure until right before my wedding. That seems kind of crazy now, but being from a small town--it just wasn't something we did.

Its what Megan wanted and with my Jamaica vacation right on the corner, I jumped on board with it.

We had a ball! Megan was too small for the massage chair so when it was turned on it kept bopping her in the head! It was too funny!Megan picked a fun turquoise color and got little white daisies painted on them. She got her nails done to match and was the smiliest girl in West Des Moines that day.

Winner of Free Iowa State Fair Tickets

Congratulations madrunr on your four free Iowa State Fair tickets. Please e-mail me at sara@sjdjweis.com with your address. Have fun!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Creating Qualtiy Time

As important as it is to have that family time, it is equally important to incorporate time with your children individually. Dave and I are masters of tag team parenting with our weekend errands. We both go where we need to go, but realize it isn’t necessary or efficient to take the brood along on these errands. Max enjoys going with Daddy to the "fix it all" stores and Megan would never pass up a trip to Target with me. When we actually do have them in that one on one situation, we try to make the most of it.

But there is time and need to spend that quality individual time beyond the errand running. What about letting your child choose what they would like to do with you most of all? Its fun and interesting to see what they come up with. My oldest, Megan, wants to get a pedicure and go shopping. Lucy wants to putter around the giant art store in our town. Max loves bowling. These things are all doable and manageable, but most importantly the kids feel like they have a say and helps build their independence and confidence.

More to come on our fun Daughter Date Days!

Click here to read more about building confidence with kids.

Free Iowa State Fair Tickets: Giveaway Ends Aug 11

Win a Family Four Pack of tickets to the Iowa State Fair. Details are here!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The People Have Spoken: Internet Solver Best of 2010

I am proud to announce that Internet Solver was chosen by our clients as the winner of four awards in the 2010 Business Record Best of Des Moines voting!

Best Telecommunication Equipment Dealer
Best Internet Service Provider
Best Computer Consulting Company
Best Computer Training Company

Way to go, Dave and staff! Thank you also to our great clients!

Read about last year's win here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Love That Sweet Corn!

Its August in Iowa and that can only mean one thing...sweet corn time! I know its been around now for a month, but there is just something about having sweet corn in August.

Maybe it stems from memories of growing up. My mom would shoo my sisters and I from our cool air conditioned "lazy summer afternoon" house and send us outside to shuck corn before supper.

It was always hot, always humid and the little corn strings always stuck to my legs. Yep, that is what I remember. I also remember only cooking it one way and that way involved a big boiling pot of water steaming up my cool retreat.

Fast forward several years into my early homemaking and that was still how I cooked my corn. Timing was always tricky as we forgot year to year how long to actually cook it. Its best with a little crunch and smooshy overcooked corn is the worst.

Several years ago we discovered the Dalai Lama way to cook it and now rarely go back to before. Read about it here! What is your favorite way to cook your Iowa Sweet Corn?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Free Iowa State Fair Tickets Giveaway with Lamb Chop!

I gave a little teaser yesterday...and now check out the picture!

I know you remember Lamp Chop and she wants to meet YOU and your kids!

This adorable puppet is right up there in the mix with Floppy, Kermit and Elmo. Mallory Lewis and Lamb Chop travel the world with their humorous family fun show and now they are coming to the Iowa State Fair!

Now is your chance to get your own
Free Family Four Pack of tickets to the Iowa State Fair and to see Lamb Chop Live . You also get your own personal meet and greet with them!
Mallory Lewis will play the Iowa State Fair August 12th - 22nd at 12:00pm,
2:00pm and 4:00pm.

I love all of the new and different things that the Iowa State Fair offers and now is your chance to get in on it!

Leave a comment stating the most famous person you've met by August 11, 2010. Sara Says will randomly select a winner for their Free Iowa State Fair Tickets.

So, who have you met? I am going with Shawn Johnson. Sure that's an easy one considering she resides here in my great city of West Des Moines, but she is
really famous! Good Luck!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Iowa State Fair & Great Giveaway Preview

Are you an Iowa State Fair fanatic fair goer? I love how some people go several days know all the ins and outs and the must see, do and eat. Our family loves the fair too and we often make a full day out of it. Check out some of our favorites here, here and here

This end of summer extravaganza will be held August 12-22 2010. Are you ready?! What are your fair favorites?

Sara Says has an exciting giveaway for this year's fair and here's a clue:

A popular and beloved children's puppet is coming to the Iowa State Fair! Check back tomorrow for your chance to win your family a four pack of tickets and a chance for a meet and greet after the show!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tired of store bought energy bars? Try these!

I love energy bars. They are so convenient and portable. After our Master Cleanse Detox, Dave is interested in eating healthier and at more regular times. Its harder for him because he is on the go a lot and it is too difficult for him to know exactly where he is going to be and when.

I am excited about these DIY energy bar recipes because you have the control over exactly what goes in. A lot of times the prepackaged energy bars are full of sugar and other not so desirable contents. Check it out! I am betting even the kids will love them!