Catching Up: July 4th

8 Jul

Happy Independence Day!

OK, OK. I’m a wee late. Give a girl a break. Things have been a wee out of whack for us in the normalcy area lately. But, then again, when are things ever normal for the Carters.

School ended. I found out that the camp I was going to register the kids for was overbooked. I got the kids an amazing summer sitter. They loved her. We had to get rid of her because she wanted a $30 a day raise. Yeah, no. I had to hire a new sitter. They roll with the punches those two, thank goodness. See, they look no worse for the wear.

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We had a house. We couldn’t move into the house. We had to find a new house. We’re finally moving into a new house! DOC is clearly focused on the important parts of the move:

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I went on a business trip. Business trips are great because no kids. I kid… a little. I mean, no kids means gym time which means I can get more time in at a free gym just by waking up at the time I normally do! No kids, short commute equals extra time in my day!   This trip I really went gung-ho because I wasn’t sure of when the next time I’d get into a gym. Me, my new Soxy Feet and my custom Race Ragz shirt went nuts! I love lifting and creating my own workouts and using a variety of equipment.  So much fun!

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Visit http://www.mysoxyfeet.com/and use code SOXYFRIENDS for a 10% discount!

 

Look – I dressed up for my meetings!  After my great gym crushing,  I put on a new favorite dress from Gwynnie Bee.  I love this service most in the summer time – so many fun dresses and colors!  Try it free for your first month and earn me some extra outfits this month.

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Seriously, when are you guys going to teach me take a selfie?

We listened to the USA World Cup game – man listening to soccer on the radio is challenging!  We also got stuck in traffic.  The boy got car sick in the back seat with my co-workers in the front seat.  Good times.

 

Here we are, rooting for the USA!  This is pre-puke.

Here we are, rooting for the USA! This is pre-puke.

Finally back home and ready for the 4th of July!  HOORAY!

We spent the holiday weekend with great friends and packing.  Eight years in one house and we are realizing maybe we could have purged before now. Yeah, those size 3T boy clothes and baby bedding sets, they aren’t doing us any good with a nine-year old boy and a five-year old girl. The kids rooms are pretty much done thanks to ME ALL ME, those kids are worthless at pitching out garbage!  Man, are our kids pack rats!  I de-hordered their rooms, got rid of much broken and missing pieced toys, got rid of all high water pants, too small shoes, and shirts that have magically become stomach baring tops over the past three months and got to work on our bedroom.   While the Carter kids are growing at a RAPID pace (seriously, the Boy’s football cleats from this past fall were a three and the shoes he bought with his birthday money in April are a five. WHAT?) , the adult Carters are having a different garbage bag needing issue.  You see, I am not the only shrinking Carter, DOC has lost two pants sizes and a shirt size in the past three months!  WAY TO GO, BABE! So, four bags FULL of fall and winter clothes went off to Goodwill courtesy of us two.

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So, headed back to the real world of work and babysitters yesterday, the kids and I dropped DOC off at work.  As he’s getting out of the car The Boy yells, “Have a great day, Dad, and remember to never abandon your dreams.”  I watched as my husband shook his head, said thanks bud through a stifled laugh, and proceeded to watch his shoulders shake in laughter all the way to the door.   I’ve always said that The Boy wants to be a great athlete, but he’s going to end up being a great comedian.  He may not write all of his own material but he has spectacular comedic timing.  Saturday Night Live, here he comes.

Besides being comedy genius, it was a perfect reminder about my goals for this year.

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So, now we’re into July.  One week until Us 4 Carters get a new home.  Six weeks until school starts again.  Let’s finish summer off strong.  Did the holiday weekend full of brews, BBQ and too many sweets get you off track? I know I can’t be just talking to myself here.  If you’re in need of some help focusing on your goals this summer join the 21 Day Evolution Group I started on Facebook.  You can do 21 days focused on your evolution to a healthier you, RIGHT? Join our group that is focused on 30 minutes of movement a day and portion control: https://m.facebook.com/events/726255620769207.  Once you join the event, I’ll add you to a private group where we can share our successes, challenges and even, if you’re comfortable with it, some progress pictures!

 

Never Abandon Your Dreams and Sparkle On!

 

Aimee

 

Like what you see?  I would love to hear from you on FacebookTwitter and  Instagram!

 

 

Disclaimer: This post contains some Affiliate links.  While I earn commission or rewards if you purchase something, the links do not affect the price you pay.  Thanks for supporting Us 4 Carters!

A New Fix for a Continuing Problem

25 Jun
For those of you who have just started following me, this post is one of the most real, open, honest things I’ve ever written.  A post where I admitted I’m scared for my daughter to start kindergarten because I don’t want her to have the fat mom. In that post I said I was going to stop worrying about it.  But the truth is, I have not stopped worrying about it.  I know I’m awesome – but five-year-olds are pretty harsh critics.  I’ve had more than one little kid point out to me that I’m fat.  The boy has had more than one kid tell him that his mom is fat.  Besides some better parenting to the rude kids on the playground, the only person that can change that, is ME.
Yesterday, as I sent her off to a day with their summer sitter, I realized that soon I will be putting her in the arms of her kindergarten teacher.  The Boy’s kindergarten teacher nearly ruined learning for him.  He was bored with school and cried almost every morning that he didn’t want to go to school.  (Luckily, his first grade teacher was a ROCKSTAR of a teacher and got him back on path. ) I don’t want a single thing to distract our daughter from one of the best years of her life.  Kindergarten is the single most important year, a good kindergarten experience can affect a child’s whole outlook on learning, on their future occupation, their future wealth…. It is the bedrock.  I know she’s in a great school, I know she’s going to love it, but I don’t want her to have to hear the words “why’s your mom so fat” to distract her from a life of learning.
Nearly eighty pounds lighter now than when I sent The Boy to school, but I still know I am larger than the other moms.  I don’t want the kids to have to defend me.  So, there.  I’ve said it again.  I don’t want to be the fat mom anymore.
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She starts kindergarten in less than 3 months.  I will not be the fittest mom.  Or the most slender.  But I will be healthier than I am now.  There is no magic bullet or fad diet in the world that will work. It will only be through portion control, healthy eating and sticking to a fitness plan.
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Which brings me to today.  I met with a friend yesterday who is turning 45 on Thursday (Happy Birthday, Nica!) and is in the absolute best shape of her life.  She credits her wellness and fitness to Beachbody.  Nica has been trying for about a year to get me to join her.  I tried the Shakeology shakes last fall when I was working out at Clay Fitness.  I have no idea if they worked or not, I just didn’t enjoy the taste.  I know people who swear by them for their fitness and wellness plans, I personally just don’t like them and would rather eat my eggs and spinach for breakfast.
A Beachbody program came out a couple of months ago called “21 Day Fix” and from being involved in Fit Approach and Girls Gone Sporty as an ambassador I’ve heard a lot of really great success stories from “The Fix”.   From the 21 Day Fix website:  “21 Day Fix takes all the guesswork out of weight loss. There’s no counting, no guessing, and no wondering. Just easy-to-follow portion control and one 30-minute workout per day. That’s all.”  Huh.  This is what I’ve been saying, it just takes eating better and moving more.  Portion Control.  Getting in a workout of at least 30 minutes.  This seems like a nice supplement to my training for my first 1/2 marathon, helping me to eat right and burn more calories and feel better when I run.  I let Nica know that this seemed like the program for me and that I’d try it out for her!
Nica explained to me that you can get the “21 Day Fix Package” which is the DVDs of eight workouts, plus the portion control for $60.  OR if you want to try the shakeology portion as well you can get a 21 Day Fix Challenge Pack for $160.   Most of the success I’ve  heard from this program is from people who have added this nutrition portion to their daily diet.  If you think the shakes would work for you, this is as inexpensive that you can get shakeology – in a package.
I’m going to try the 21 Day Fix out!  If you want to join me, I’ve started a 21 Day Evolution Group on Facebook.  I changed it to Evolution, because I know 21 days is not a “fix”.  It’s a part of our journey. I don’t believe anything is a quick fix, but you can choose to fix your life today to affect  your lifestyle tomorrow.  If you don’t want to purchase the 21 Day Fix, but want to commit to doing portion control and a 30 minute workout of your choice every day – JOIN US!  I’d love to see how everyone is doing, how every one of you is committing to get a little more awesome this summer.  So that everyone who wants to purchase the program will get it in time, I’ve started the “Challenge” for July 21st.  I do think the price is going to go up on July 1st, so you might want to order yours now.  Nica is a great coach and you can find her on Facebook and her blog if you have any questions!
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Better Reminder to Myself! With a view of Pittsburgh on my wallpaper. Eyes on the prize – Pittsburgh 1/2 Marathon

I hope you’ll join me.  We have a lot going on this summer.  DOC started a new job, the kids are busy with their sitters, we’re MOVING in July…. So, I’m going to need you all to help hold me accountable.  YES, OF COURSE, I need to hold myself accountable, but I’m hoping by starting this group and having you join me that we can all stick to the program.

 

Join me!

 

 

Friday Five: Happy Summer

6 Jun

Very rarely lately have I posted pictures of the family on this blog.  I’m trying to protect the kids privacy as they age.  However, big stuff happened in the Carter house yesterday.  Yes, we have a graduate. The Diva graduated from pre-k yesterday.

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A round of applause for me, as I did not cry.  Nope.  The look on my face in this picture is one of annoyance.  You think either child could look at the camera just once and smile?  NOPE. Twenty pictures on my camera and this one is the best we got.  I mean really people.

Anyways.  Now that the school year is over I guess it’s time to set some summer goals.  And WOULDN’T you know it?  Today’s Friday Five theme is “This Summer I Will…”

So, here we go:

THIS SUMMER I WILL

1.) Spend More Time With the Kids

For some reason I feel like this is the last summer of innocence.  The Diva enters elementary school in the fall and the Boy… oh the boy … he’s learning too much grown-up stuff a lot younger than I learned about grown-up stuff.  He’s a rising 4th grader and knows more of the words than I did heading into high school.  It terrifies me.  Even though I’m a full-time-work-outside-the-home mom, I am committed to spending as much time with them this summer in innocence as I possibly can.  We’re going to work hard and play hard this summer.

2.)  Move

Yes, our plan is to move this summer.  Fingers are crossed that everything falls together and this happens!  Just pray, ok, people?

3.) Move More

Now that I don’t have two drop offs every morning (OMG THE HAPPINESS!) I can really kick training to run a half-marathon into high gear because I can get an extra hour of sleep!  I have learned over the month of May that I really am a “I have to run in the morning or I don’t run” person.  I don’t like heat, I detest humidity, but I love being outdoors so I will run in the morning first thing.  Just an hour later than I have been! WOOT!

The kids and I also have some fitness goals for the summer.  Boy wants to be stronger.  Diva wants to do everything the Boy and I do, so we’re doing a Buns, Guns and Ab challenge now and we’re going to do a little mommy boot camp each day when I get home.

Two-A-Days, baby!  Run in the morning and boot camp at night?  Yeah, I’m going to crush some goals.

4.) Get Some Sun and Mosquito Bites

Bugs, they love me.  What do you expect?  I’m SO sweet they can’t get enough of me.  This summer, I want to not care so much.  We live in a beautiful area and now that the kids are older we really need to explore it more.  I hope on some weekends this summer that we can hike and float and wine taste and enjoy all that the area has to offer – especially because much of it isn’t really that expensive.  Get out there and explore, Carters!

5.) Eat Local

If you’ve never eaten a really fresh cantaloupe, or just picked strawberries, you are in for a treat.  Local fruit is such a treat and it’s almost time for my favorite time of year… tomato  season.  Gazpacho season.  Fresh tomatoes with zoodles – zucchini noodles.

I do, however, have a confession to make.  I do not like the Farmer’s Market. DON’T hurt me!   It is so crowded and seems to me is geared towards a see and be seen crowd.   Maybe it’s just the Saturday morning one, and there are plenty of others around, but I can never seem to make it to them in time.  I am, however, an advocate for the local food movement.

So we choose to use Relay Foods .  I’ve talked about my love for Relay before, a lot.  For busy people, it really is the best way to eat local without having to fight the Farmer’s Market crowd.  Here’s your chance to try Relay Foods:  You’ll earn $30 worth of FREE groceries.  FREE.  If you’re in the DC, Baltimore/Annapolis Maryland, in the Triangle of North Carolina, or Fredericksburg, Lynchburg, Williamsburg, Richmond, Culpeper, Harrisonburg or Charlottesville, Virginia areas and you haven’t had a chance to try Relay yet –  here’s what I would do:  Pick the “Local Bounty Share 1/2″ that is $25.00.  You’re going to get it FOR FREE if you use my link.

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This week for example you’ll receive  Kirby Farms Local Green Cabbage, Kirby Farms Local Red Beets, Organic Curly Winterbor Kale, Asparagus, Sugar Snap Peas, Local Cilantro, Spring Mix and Collard Greens.  Each week you’ll receive something different, obviously as it gets hotter we’ll see different produce.  You can either choose a pick-up location (free) or have it delivered to your home (extra charge). 

So, whether you eat local or not, love the farmers market scene or not know you’ll get $30.00 in free produce this week.  I don’t see you getting that deal any place else!

 

What are your plans for this summer?  What summer vegetable are you waiting for?

 

Don’t forget to check out The DC Trifecta of Mar, Courtney, Cynthia and the Friday Five Link up!

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Sparkle On!

Aimee

 

 

 

What Ya Listening To?

4 Jun

This week I’m linking up with some of my Fitness Media in Motion chicks Sarah and Lynda for their #wednesdaywonderfulz link up. Join Sarah at How My World Runs and Lynda at Fitness Mom in Wine Country.

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This week’s topic is music. I’ve heard a lot lately about safe running, running without music to be in tune with your body and breathing. No. Flipping. Way. NO. I’ll keep my tunes thank you very much. I need motivation and my pace cues from run keeper. Am I safe? Yes! I just run with one earbud in. Balance!

However, a couple of days ago, as you might remember, my sweet angel baby girl killed my phone. In the upgrade I got my music back but my list isn’t syncing with run keeper. (Anyone know how to fix this? ) so this morning I heard some not running pace songs, but that motivated me in different ways.

My new favorite Mom Power song? My I am doing this to be healthier for my kids and our future?

Kate Earl’s “Stronger”. Wow. The tears. I have no idea how this got on my phone. Probably a free Starbucks app download? Maybe? SO GOOD.

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Then a skipped a couple of slow ones and ended up with a favorite of mine.  “This is The Stuff”  by Francesca Battistelli.  I just love this song so much that when I’m in a funk I can put it on repeat.

In the middle of my little mess
I forget how big I’m blessed …
Might not be what I would choose 
But this the stuff You use

This song is always a great reminder to count my blessings and to quit stressing about the little annoyances in life.  (Yes, I’m talking to you people who come to a complete stop when making a right turn.  You are “The Stuff” the Lord puts in my way to remind me to slow down.)

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And finally I ROCKED at the end of my run. 4th Quarter. You’re down. You need motivation. Pull through. Rally. If you’re a Steeler Girl, you use Styx. Renegade. So random, I know. “OH MAMA I’m in fear for my life…” Rock out and wave the towel.

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So, I have to know, what random songs are on your play lists?  Do you have a song you’d be embarrassed for people to know is on your play list?

 

Just Like Riding a Bike

2 Jun

It took approximately 2920 days of his life (subtracting the days from birth to walking) for this to happen:

 

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Click for video

 

I could not be prouder.  Our boy finally learned how to ride a bike. He was so excited and I’m sure the entire neighborhood knew I was excited – I couldn’t stop cheering!  We have a nice big cul-de-sac that he must have circled 800 times on Sunday.  I let him go up the street a couple of times, but until he gets better at breaking and remembering to put his foot down, hills will need to wait.

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When he finally came inside he said he’d almost fallen asleep it was so relaxing to just ride.  I wonder what he thinks when he’s out there.  Peddling, pushing, exploring that first bit of freedom.  He really seems to have found a new passion and he’s already making plans to ride in the Tour de France! He may have gotten a wee bit ahead of himself! Instead, I’m looking to borrow a bike from a friend and take him on a long, flat, ride.

I blame myself that it took this long.  You see, I couldn’t run along side him to help him learn how to balance.  I couldn’t demonstrate for him how to pedal.  I was too embarrassed to ask for help.  Today, for the first time, I was able to run beside him, I was finally able to run and hold onto his seat as he pedaled.

Instead of being upset with myself, I’m very proud because , THIS is what I’ve been working towards, to be a healthier more fit mom for our kids. His accomplishment of learning to ride a bike is today’s non-scale victory.  I can’t wait to see what else I can start to do for them.

Friday Five: What’s In My Gym Bag

30 May

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Seriously, Friday.  I thought you’d NEVER get here.

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As I mentioned yesterday I have a big fitness girls night out planned for tonight.  I woke up READY for a fun girls night.  When the DC trifecta posted the theme for this week’s Friday Five, Five Things In Your Gym Bag, I knew that my gym bag would look a little different than most Fridays.   After I got it packed I realized that despite the football jersey, my bag pretty much looks like it always does!

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1.)  I have my Coach Mike London Women’s Football Camp football jersey.  Seriously.  Look at all the cool stuff they give us.  This is a jersey – meaning, you can see through it.  So, I’m also taking one of my favorite orange workout tops to go under.  We also got a water bottle and sun glasses.  Pretty great for $30, right?

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I have a huge list of inventions in my head, most revolve around making fitness better for women.  One of those inventions is a water bottle for smaller hands.  Yes, I have tiny baby stumpy fingers and hands.  Even my trainer last year made fun of them.  I hate running with a water bottle because holding it gets cumbersome.  This water bottle is pretty thin, but still, fairly bulky.  Anyone have a water bottle suggestion?

 

 

2.)  I have my MOST favorite Taffy essential capri pants.  Curvy girls, you NEED to be in Taffy.  The things these pants do for your booty.  My fastest mile ever was run in these pants last week.  I’m not saying these pants make me fast, I’m just saying, maybe they hold me in nice and tight so the jiggle of my booty is creating less of a force and making me more aerodynamic.  SCIENCE.

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(I am a Taffy Ambassador and received these pants for free.  Use the code AIMEE15 to tell Taffy I sent you!)

 

 

3.)   My Polar FT4 

I want to know how many calories we’re burning tonight, so I wear my polar.

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I love that my watch wishes me a happy birthday!

4.)  My Phone! I need pictures of the event so I always have my phone!  Dear sweet angel baby Diva dropped my old phone last week and it got the green screen of death.  I really didn’t want to upgrade from the iPhone 4 to the 5c, mostly because I loved my custom cover DOC got me two years ago for my birthday.  Verizon forced me into a new 5c and I went searching to replicate the phone cover.  I found a great site on etsy called Lily Reed and she got me a custom cover THAT IS GORGEOUS and she got it made and shipped and in my hands in five days and that includes a holiday weekend.  I can not recommend this site enough!

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5.) My Clip’n Band, the headband with clips that grip.  Of course, I picked out the sparkly one!  When I received mine in the mail and put it on and showed DOC I said “duh! Why didn’t I think of that?”

My whole life I haven’t been able to wear headbands, the plastic ones hurt behind my ears and the more sporty ones roll off of my head.  Apparently, I have an oddly shaped head that can not support headbands.  When Clip’n Band reached out to me and asked if I’d help them by testing out their product (she probably heard about the blogger with the oddly shaped head.  Maybe my oddly shaped head is famous) I agreed to help promote her kickstarter and share on social media, but frankly, I didn’t have much confidence that this product would work better than any others I’ve tried.  HOLY SMOKES IT DID!  I love working out with this band because it stays put, and it’s sparkly, and because it helps keep the sweat out of my face.  Humidity lately is brutal! Thank you Clip’n Band for taking a chance on a blogger with an oddly shaped head.

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Sorry for the really bad photography!

I will say that as much as I love everything IN the bag the actual gym bag  is one of the most favorite gifts I’ve received from DOC.  We researched a lot and finally found a bag that I’d really want to use daily.  The Gaiam Everything Fits Gym Bag.  This bag is perfect because it can hold all of my workout clothes, towel, STUFF and leaves that pocket at the bottom to put my sneakers post workout.  The bungee cords on the bottom are perfect for a yoga mat or a beach towel for the summer.

IMG_7280[1] We bought this bag ourselves and I liked it so much I’m working with Gaiam as an affiliate.  

So, what’s in your gym bag?  What item can you not go to the gym without?

See what other’s have in their gym bags in this week’s Friday Five Linkup hosted by MarCourtney & Cynthia.

DC_linkupHappy Friday!  Make it a great weekend!

~Aimee

 

Cause This Is Ladies Night

29 May

The last ten days have been amazing, awesome, and down right tiring.  I’m a special event fundraiser for a non-profit and I’ve put on five fundraising events in ten days.  In the middle of all of that I threw DOC a surprise birthday party for his 40th!  WHEW.  I’m insane and I’m ready for a break.

 

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Making 40 Look Good

 

Tomorrow night is Girls Night Out – Fitness and Fun edition! We’re going to Women’s Football Camp at the University of Virginia.

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2013 Women’s Camp

 

After the ten days I’ve had hitting some tackling dummies sounds like perfection!

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We had a BLAST last year and this year I’ve recruited a lot more friends to join us, last year we had three and this year I believe we have ten!   (Some of my girls MAY BE coming only because I have promised that we’ll get margaritas after, so it’s not all about the fitness and fun!)  This event is great because women of all fitness abilities can participate (we don’t really tackle or hit anybody, just run through drills), they have a college referee come and teach us about penalties and teach us how they call plays. Of course it helps many of the women better understand the rules of football… me, I’m just there for the fun, fitness and the hope that I have some chance of making the team!  I’m kidding.  Kind of.

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When you go out with girlfriends is it typically centered around food? Ever thought about a GNO with fitness?   I’d love to plan more events like this!  What would be fun girls nights I could plan with a fitness theme?

 

 

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