I’m finally getting back into the swing of things. It’s slow and sometimes I’m not going to get to blogging, but I’m trying to get back to this as often as I possibly can! I really love writing and sharing all the wonderful information I learn each month along the way!

A few small tips to take your fitness routines to the next level:

  • If you’ve not checked out Yoga International’s website, you should. They do free week-long mini-immersions that might pique your interest.
  • Recent studies state that cross-training is vital to overall health and the prevention of muscular imbalances in the body. Whether you’re a mind-body enthusiast or CrossFit pro, consider doing something completely different from your norm.
  • I’m a huge proponent for barefoot running (I love my Vibrams!) but I also know that barefoot shoes are not for everyone. Consider researching forward- and mid-foot strikes to minimize the extreme forces placed upon your joints and lower back from heel-strike running patterns.

I’m chuckling to myself because apparently I forgot to keep recipes this month! There are two tasty breakfasts for you to try, but most of this edition of articles and recipes is dedicated to strength training!

Articles

8 Ways Strength Training Creates Change

Train This, Not That: Legs

Complex Training: Strength and Conditioning

Strength Training for a Cardio Fan

9 Exercises You Didn’t Know You Could Do with a Barbell

Plank Variations for Core Strength

Resistance Training for Endurance Athletes

Outdoor Functional Training Exercises

Total Body Battle Ropes Workout

Which Comes First: Strength or Cardio?

Alleviate Muscle and Joint Pain with Self-myofascial Release (Part 1)

Alleviate Muscle and Joint Pain with Stretching Techniques (Part 2)

Uniform Movement is Injurious, Cross-training is Essential

The Easiest Mistake to Make in Backbends

Releasing Tension in the Psoas

Yoga for School Teachers (video)

Yoga for Strengthening Your Back (video)

Progressive Muscle Relaxation for Pregnant Women

Mindfulness Meditation Restructures Brain’s Gray Matter

New Findings On Alzheimer’s Risk

5 Tips to Detox Your Body and Get Back on Track

Eating More Whole Grains/Bran Tied to Lower Mortality

How to Get to Sleep When You Have a Cold (EO’s)

Heliochrysum and Lavender EO’s for Bruises

Essential Oils for Teething?

All About Hydrosols

How to Melt Shea Butter/Natural Oils for Body Care

Recipes

Raspberry Coconut Creme Brulee Oatmeal

Pumpkin Macadamia Nut Pancakes (gluten-free)

I’ve been documenting my cloth diapering experience here because I think it’s important for moms to realize that it’s doable. And more than doable, it’s easy. With water usage becoming more of an issue, it is also environmentally friendly because cloth diapers use less water when washed than companies do when making their disposables.

Yes, there is an initial cost involved when considering cloth diapering your child, but that investment goes a long way toward subsequent children. For instance, for my first child I paid about $700 for my cloth stash (over the majority of my pregnancy, so $50-100 a month); add laundry detergent for a year and I’m probably looking at about $800 for the first year of diapering one child. That’s really not that bad for someone who wants to test all the diapers!

For my second, I probably spent around $500 for an initial stash, and a good bit of that went toward newborn and Size 1 diapers because I didn’t want to have to change her as often at night. (That was a rough learning experience with my first.) The great thing is that now that my first is getting closer to potty training and is using fewer diapers throughout the day, I have more that I can use between the two of them as my second grows into the originals I purchased for my first.

So, to calculate my expenses: for two in the first 20 months of cloth diapering, I’ve probably spent $1400 (this includes laundry detergent, bum butter, sprays, Snappis, reusable liners, and of course diapers). Not bad considering that the average costs for using disposables on one child in their diaper-wearing years is $1500-$2500. And, honestly, I think I’ll be spending less with each year to come!

There is some talk among cloth diapering mamas about stashes. Should you have a stash for each or share. My call: go by your budget. When it comes down to it, you really don’t need a stash for each. It’s just nice to know that you’ve got enough for each in case you run low.

The only thing I’ve noticed a change with two in cloth is how often I have to do the laundry. Once every two days. Honestly, though, it’s not that bad. My loads are smaller than they were and they’re getting cleaner since they don’t sit 3+ days anymore. Plus, hubby made me a clothes drying rack so I can take advantage of all the sunshine we get in the desert! It’s been superb to have sun-bleached diapers instead of stains. They are stiff when I take them in, but a quick tumble in the dryer helps with softening them up.

Other than that, I’ve not had any more stress when it comes to cloth diapering two under two. It’s rather amusing sometimes, actually. My first often makes yuck noises when I’m changing her sister! But thank goodness she knows when diapers are dirty. It means she’s getting closer to potty training–and that will be a fun experience of its own.

So I’ve been trying to get to this blog for a couple weeks and it just hasn’t happened. Why? Because I started selling Jamberry Nails at the beginning of the month, so in addition to two under two, I’ve been giving myself a crash course between online parties!

toxic fiveAs a rule, I don’t buy just anything. I”m not huge into selling because there’s so much cheap and toxic stuff out there, particularly in the beauty department. In fact, over the past few years, I’ve gotten away from store-bought beauty products altogether. I hardly ever wear makeup, and I never get to a nail salon anymore for pedicures. The two or three times I’ve gone in the past two years have been less than wonderful experiences; last time, the nail tech gouged the instep of my foot with a cheap, substandard callous file. The mark is almost healed.

About 7 years ago, I heard a news report about how the toxic chemicals in nail polish actually shortened the nail techs’ lives by something like 7 years. (Here’s a good article on the effects of inhalation of nail polish chemicals on their health.) This was before Jamberry had been founded, but it made me begin thinking about the terrible stuff that fills so many beauty products, be it nail polish or makeup. It’s been a long road of research (the Environmental Working Group is a great starting point for those interested in learning what’s in their beauty products), but I”m finally pulling it together. (I’ll talk more about how aromatherapy and essential oils play into this in a future post.)

what jamberry doesnt haveOne of the amazing twists in life is that good things often fall into your lap. I’d never heard of Jamberry until I was invited to a Facebook party last fall. It was instant love! Here was an answer to my concerns about the stink (I absolutely hate the smell of polish) and the chemicals, and I could do my own nails at home rather than try and find time in my hectic schedule to get to a salon without the constant nagging worries of what is going on with my children. (Queue heavenly music.) What mom doesn’t want a few less worries, and a few more minutes for herself?

Several facts made me decide to join as a consultant, was several facts: they’re budget-friendly, user-friendly (including kid-friendly), allergen-free (from what I can tell, anyway) and non-toxic, not to mention cruelty-free and made in the USA. The clencher actually was their salon-quality nail lacquers, which are five-free rather than the usual three-free. Their nail wraps are terrific, beautiful, and full of persoNAILity, but the attention to details like the reduction of chemical exposure is very important to me.

The toxins in our environment are one of, if not the biggest, risk factors for developing cancer. The more we can reduce the amount we’re exposed to, the better. What is so sad is that the beauty industry promotes a lot of products that make us look good but are full of nasty toxins. We plaster them on our skin, our biggest organ, which absorbs what is slathered onto it. If I can bring awareness to others in order to help them reduce exposure to toxins, in addition to stress reduction, I think I’ve done my job well.

***

Author note: I have linked up my website, and do receive commissions from any sales placed through it. If you have any questions about Jamberry’s products, or hosting or consultant opportunities, please feel free to email me at hothandsfabfeet@gmail.com. Please also note that I do not actively promote through my blog posts. Any mention of my business is directly linked to topics that are health and fitness related in an effort to create awareness and promote a better quality of life for others.