Finding fun activity games for a family of boys, that won’t cost a fortune, is easier than you might think! A little creativity can go a long way.
For only $1.50 for each block I was able to provide an entire evening of youthful downhill fun. Ice block racing is a little known activity that requires only a small towel, grassy hill, and block of ice. You can buy a block of ice at just about any service station or grocery store right next to the cubed ice you usually dump into your camping cooler.
Yesterday we got two blocks of ice and soon enough the boys were racing each other, riding on laps, and having a blast! Most of all it’s a great way to get some exercise for you and your children. The steeper the hill the faster you go!
So next time your kids are acting bored and you don’t want to drop major cash on a movie – take your kids outside for some summertime sledding!
Do you ever get that urge? You know the one where you feel trapped. That moment when you are changing a diaper, stuck behind a desk with hours left in the day, the Monday morning “I just want to jump out of a plane right now” kind of moment?
We all get that trapped feeling. It’s because humans weren’t meant to be trapped behind desks all day. We need to breathe the fresh air – and the air doesn’t get any more fresh than at 13,000 feet up!
I recently got the opportunity to go skydiving with some of my friends and I couldn’t pass it up. Mindy from Cute Girls Hairstyles is one of my best friends and I was excited that she was going to be there with me. We learned a lot during our adventure and I’d like to share some of those with you now:
1) Check credibility before signing up. Local isn’t always the best option. Just because a business is close to home or cheaper than the others doesn’t make it the best option. To make sure you are going with a reputable company check the listings at http://www.uspa.org/
2) Plan for the whole day. You might sign up for a 4:00pm jump but not even get in the air until two hours later. There is training and preparation you’ll be required to complete first so take a snack and plan your bathroom stops.
3) Wear good shoes. You’ll be doing practice jumps on the ground, climbing in and out of a plane, and then coming in for a fast landing. Having the right shoes on makes it all a lot easier and more enjoyable.
4) Wear comfortable pants. I chose to wear my Champion Fitness Capri for Women – you can purchase the exact same pair for a very affordable price at Outersports. They provide the flexibility you’ll want, moisture wicking design, are warm enough for the high altitude and cool enough for the summer heat. If you jump in the morning you may land on wet dew in the grass and you don’t want to walk around the rest of the day with wet pants. Most important of all they don’t bunch up on you when you are strapped in the harness so they look super cute!
5) Relax and enjoy the jump. If you pay close attention and visualize the instructions you’ve been given then you will enjoy the jump a lot more than if you are terrified and feel unprepared. Terminal velocity is 120 mph so even at high altitude the jump itself won’t last as long as you might think. Two hours of prep add up to about two minutes of skydiving. Open your eyes and look soak it all in!
6) Exit the plane smoothly. Do not try to reach out and grab the doorway. Do not try to sit down or crawl out. Follow the instructions you’ve been given as best you can. It’s for everyone’s safety and the amount of fun you have will be reflected on how safe you feel.
7) You may or may not have the build to go. Avoid embarrassment by checking the weight limits and being honest with your body type. Typically tandem skydiving has a 220 lb weight limit for the student. Even if you meet that weight limit if you have large hips or a round midsection and caboose they may not let you jump.
8) Leave the bling at home. They will make you take of your jewelry and rings when you get there so just leave them in the car or at home. Also, come up with a good plan to secure your hair if it’s longer than shoulder length. You don’t want your hair caught in a buckle or obstructing the view of the tandem trainer.
9) Capture the memories. Most credible skydiving businesses have an option to pay extra for them to film and take pictures of the jump. Typically they will edit this footage and put it on a DVD for you. Don’t hesitate to speak up and request the unedited footage and pictures as well as putting them on a USB drive. You never know if they will put music on the footage that you don’t like – so be picky and capture the memories just how you want them.
On Monday my husband and I got up early and drove to a spot a the base of the Grand Teton Mountains just outside of Driggs, Wyoming. There is a popular hiking trail called the Huckleberry trail that winds through the forest until it ascends to one of the most spectacular views of the Grand Teton peak. At the end of that trail you summit Table Mountain, or what locals lovingly call Table Rock.
When we arrived at the parking lot there were several eager hikers full of energy getting ready to embark on the long journey. The Huckleberry trail is a very gradual path that eventually comes to the base of steep switchbacks before you reach the base of Table Rock, but there is another path. A few rugged looking individuals were heading up another trail called The Face. We stopped one man to ask him about this trail and he explained that it was very difficult for even advanced hikers, but that it was two miles shorter than the more well traveled Huckleberry trail. He assured us that after the first mile of the climb that the trail would level out for the rest of the hike. We would soon pay the price for trusting that man!
After a short discussion with my husband we decided that tackling The Face was the better challenge. We also felt it would be better to get to the summit of Table Rock faster to allow more time for filming the scenery. We were dead wrong. The Face trail immediately began climbing so steep that it nearly required us to use our hands to help us climb upward. The trail was littered with large rocks and loose gravel. It quickly turned into a brutal physical challenge that more closely resembled going up a ladder than it did a staircase. Within one hundred yards of the parking lot our legs were already burning.
We pushed ourselves forward with the hope that after this first difficult mile we would reach the leveled ground at the top of the mountain – then we could walk the ridge toward Table Rock without any trouble. We conquered the first mile and reached a small clearing and thought we had made it. But after a short walk on a smooth trail the path again turned steeply up. Without mercy the trail battered us for over four miles of relentless rugged climbing.
It took us over five hours to ascend The Face trail until we finally reached the base of Table Rock. At 11,000 feet in elevation my husband was weary with signs of altitude sickness. He was dizzy and nauseous. He took our backpack and began the hike down the more comfortable but longer Huckleberry Trail. I didn’t feel like I had it in me, but the summit was just a few hundred yards away.
Once I finally reached the top I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment. The view was incredible!
During the hike out my knees became extremely inflamed. I was suffering to the point where my husband had to help me get down any steps or obstacles. Once we finally reached the parking lot we both felt like rejoicing and crying at the same time. We had grown so close on the journey. I had motivated him and helped him to reach the top and he held my hands and helped me finish in the end. We never once got frustrated or mad. It was a literal metaphor on life. Through each of our struggles we had lifted one another up and made it through to the end.
Everyone who reads this, from my heart, I want you to know that you can go farther. When you feel like giving up. When you want to sit down and cry and lose hope. When you feel trapped with no way out. You have the strength inside you to take the next step. In fact, you have the strength to walk the next mile and beyond. When you push beyond your limitations you will look back at other struggles and see how small they were. When you look ahead in your life you will see that anything is possible.
I want to personally thank the great people at Outersports.com for providing all my clothing and apparel. I chose them over many other options because of their high quality and low prices. They are a brand that I highly recommend for anyone active so do yourself a tremendous favor and stop buying a fancy label and start getting what you pay for!
If you are like most women you feel like the only thing you can count on in life is change. As much as you try to create a routine, that routine can either trap you in a world of boredom or feel like a piece of drift wood you desperately dig your nails into trying not to drown in the waves of life. Let’s face it, being happy takes a lot of work!
Most people try to escape the chaos by going to the gym, visiting a spa, going on vacation, or going shopping with friends. These area all great ideas except that they all come with a price tag. A trip to the tanning beds and a new nail job feels good for the moment but can have an ever looming cloud of wasted selfish spending.
I personally find my inner peace by taking time for myself in ways that don’t cost a thing. My favorite new thing is to go for short hikes by myself. I’m sure in your local area there are plenty of walking trails or scenic walkways. If not then a short drive out of the city once a week might be just what you need to get to one.
Don’t take your mp3 player! Unplug yourself and go by yourself. The first few times you go solo you’ll feel bored within the first few minutes, but rather than turn around and go home ask yourself why you are bored so easily when alone. Begin to ask yourself questions. The silence can be powerful. If the conversation in your head begins to drive you crazy just stop, sit down, close your eyes and try to meditate.
After a few times of going on a solo hike you’ll discover unique places that help you relieve your stress. You’ll find literal sanctuaries that you can physically go to reset your mind and emotions and mental sanctuaries you can look forward to while you’re stuck at work or washing dishes.
One thing I should mention as a disclaimer – Safety! If you are going hiking alone then you should follow some basic rules. Rather than list them out in detail here is a fantastic article that does just that:
As a hard working mom I find it difficult to find time for myself and the morning hours are often the first to get scrapped. It’s nice to imagine a stereotypical morning where I wake up, exercise, make breakfast for my kids, and then waltz into my luxurious day spa at home and try on various outfits in my massive walk in closet. The reality is that I hit snooze three times, shower and get dressed like a tornado, drink a glass of orange juice on my way to work only to realize I forgot deodorant under one arm. If you are like me then you’ll appreciate this article by USA Today entitled “Morning is prime time for self-improvement”! Click the quote below to read the full article!
Every so often I come across an article, story, or video that gets my heart pounding. Something that makes me want to break out of my shell and do something incredible. Life can be difficult. It can kick you down and keep you there if you let it. Don’t let anybody keep you down! Stand up, go outdoors and live your life to the fullest!
I went bike shopping today! Purchasing a bike is something I have looked forward to for a long time, so being sure of what I’m getting is really important to me.
After about 20 minutes of looking at EVERY bike at the DICK’S SPORTS, I narrowed it down to two. The first is above….a Diamondback Clarity 2 – sporty, out of my comfort zone, road bike! I want to complete a sprint triathlon this summer, so a road bike makes the most sense, but it’s like a salad…I know that’s what I should probably eat, but I’d rather eat some yummy fried chicken because it’s easy and comfy. I want to do triathlons and find myself being more extreme when it comes to sports.
THIS IS THE FRIED CHICKEN! I’ve always wanted a comfort bike, and when I got on this one it seriously felt just as awesome as an old pair of jeans! OMG!… A Diamondback Citi SereneI – I can’t even tell you how much I love this bike…except for one thing….
I hate that this choice is playing it safe. I need to make decisions that take me out of my comfort zone, and put me in a position that forces me to do what I’m working to accomplish.
I need your help! WHAT SHOULD I DO?!!?
Leave a comment to vote on which bike you think I should get! ….PLEASE….I NEED YOU!
Luke, my 6 year old son cleaned my bathroom, he wiped down the counter top, swept the floor, and cleaned the toilet and tub. Unfortunately, he dropped my toothbrush in the toilet, and spilled my makeup bag on the floor…cracking a few of my new eye shadows.
Initially, I wanted to tell him to focus on keeping his own space clean, organize his own closet, and sweep his own floor…but I caught myself.
In that instant, I somehow had a “mommy moment” where I was able to look pass everything that had gone wrong, and the fact that he has a room that can hardly be walked through, to tell him thank you.
I learned a lot about Luke that day. I learned that he gives and receives love much like I do, and that doing nice things for people his is way of showing love and kindness, and when gratitude is returned he feels awesome inside.
Knowing this about Luke is benefit for me. I believe people show love in the way they need to be loved. I now understand that Luke will recognize actions of service as caring and love, and that is the way I can show him how much I love him.
The most important thing about knowing this, is that if Luke understands love as service and giving if I use these actions as punishment it will cut him to the core. If I would have focused on the fact that he practically ruined $30 worth of makeup, it would have changed a wonderful moment to a hurtful situation where he felt frustrated and hurt.
Children’s experiences mold them into who they will be as adults, and most of us know this, but it’s easy to forget it when we’re in the heat of the moment. I want my boys to grow up knowing that my love is unconditional, and no amount of material possessions will come between me and them. I can easily buy $30 of makeup, but i can’t take back hurtful words or heal their broken heart.
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Before I got pregnant I was SOOO motivated to lose weight and start building muscle, and sadly not only have I lost that motivation, but I have completely gone backwards in my fitness.
My waist is fluffy, my thighs are jiggly, and my arms….well, lets just say the sweet vibrations after waving to someone lasts far to long. I know some of you are saying…”ahhh, jinger don’t be so hard on yourself!” and I say to you all HAVE YOU SEEN ME NAKED?! There is NO WAY I’m getting into a swimsuit this summer looking like this.
So, my question to you is…how do you find motivation? When you decide to start working out and getting into shape, what do you do pump yourself up? I really need to eat healthy, and exercise more because I want to live a very long, happy life.
Please share your secrets and motivational thoughts!
10. I eat ketchup with my ketchup…meaning I eat it with almost everything!
9. I love any food I don’t have to cook.
8. Most days I choose my outfit according to what I wish I was doing.
7. I hate spending time on my hair….hence, it is ALWAYS up in a “messy bun” which was created by my favorite person, whoever that is. Who knew lazy could be a “hairstyle”?!
6. I do not like my toenails or fingernails polished any color other than clear…who would EVER want to draw attention to those things?
5. Applying makeup is my nemesis! I LOVE how it looks…I hate how it feels! Sometimes when I put it on it feels like my face is in a cage. However, I do like to look pretty (occasionally) and that is why I wear it. I didn’t start wearing makeup on a regular basis until later in my college years, so I naturally look forward to the days (saturday & sunday) when I don’t feel like I have to wear it.
4. I always prefer to play outside. If I have a day off I want to be outside doing something fun and exciting. I refuse to let a sunny day go to waste.
3. I can watch a movie and three months later completely forget I’ve seen it, and sometimes I’ll watch it half way through before I remember I’ve seen it.
2. I am a morning person, which is slowly being changed by my man, who is very much a night person….I can now stay up till 10pm, which is two hours later than ten years ago!
1. AND the #1 thing you should know is……drum roll……..Fried chicken is my favorite food!…so long as I don’t have to make it!
SO….now you pretty much know me! Leave any questions in the comments…I am an open book!
Thanks for humoring me by reading my silly little posts!