Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Spick and Span Workout Plan

This is what happened to me this weekend.
My husband was sick and he turned into a waa waa baby.
My girls were all over the place.  “Mom, can I go to the mall?”  “Mom, you forgot the birthday party at the pool!”  “Mom, I have that Girl Scout thing at the school, are you going to let me go?”
The laundry and housework was slowly but surely beginning to consume me to the point I couldn’t breathe.  (You know, if mamma doesn’t do it… one does it. Grrrrrr.)
My plans for the weekend included a long run, some one on one time with my Kindle, and a hilariously witty blog post.   Yeah.  Not so much.  After getting the kids where they needed to be, loving on the sick sick boy, and catching up on the laundry, I only had about an hour left to do something for myself……and the house was STILL a disaster.
I have really been getting good at my exercise routine, so I was most disappointed that I wasn’t going to get a little work-out in.  So, I improvised.  I worked out WHILE I cleaned and I have to say it turned out AWESOME! 
The Spick & Span Workout Plan
This is a workout anyone can do.  (Cheesy name, but don’t knock it until you try it.)  You don’t need much, some comfy shoes and some imagination.  Put on some good shoes……something you can jump around in.  Fill up a nice big glass or bottle with water and you are ready to go!
To begin I made a little “workout station” on my dining room table.  Here, I put a notebook to write my plan on, a pen, my glass of water, and some hand weights.  (The weights are optional….depending on what your plan is.)
With my notebook I quickly planned out 4 exercises to include cardio, arms, legs, and abs.   For my workout I did jumping jacks (cardio), bicep curls (arms), squats (legs), and sit-ups(abs).  You can do whatever exercises you want though. 
For the cleaning portion of the workout you will be dividing your cleaning area into small sections.  The object is to do a burst of cleaning, and then an exercise.  For example, when emptying the dishwasher, you may want to divide it into two sections…..the top rack, and then the bottom rack.  Keep each cleaning job short, so you can get in all your workouts! 
To begin, start with 20 jumping jacks.  This will get your heart and body warmed up.  Then, let the cleaning/workout begin!  For my example you will be cleaning the kitchen.  This list includes your first set of jumping jacks.  Just follow along, or change the jobs according to your own kitchen.
·        20 jumping jacks
·        Empty the top rack of the dishwasher
·        10 bicep curls
·        Empty the bottom rack of the dishwasher
·        10 squats
·        Fill the dishwasher
·        10 sit-ups
·        Fill the sink with warm soapy water
·        20 jumping jacks
·        Wash around the sink until it is all clean and shiny
·        10 bicep curls
·        Wash off any counter-top appliances (coffee-pot, Kitchen-Aid, etc.)
·        10 squats
·        Wipe down half of the countertop
·        10 sit-ups
·        Wipe down the other half of the countertop
·        20 jumping jacks
·        Wash off the stove-top
·        10 bicep curls
·        Wipe off the half of the front of your cupboards (outside)
·        10 squats
·        Wipe off the other half of the cupboards
·        10 sit-ups
·        Wipe down any handles on drawers and the front of the drawers
·        20 jumping jacks
·        Empty the sink of dirty water, and re-fill it with hot soapy water
·        10 bicep curls
·        Wipe off refrigerator doors and handles
·        10 squats
·        Throw away any old food in the refrigerator
·        10 sit-ups
·        Take out the trash
·        20 jumping jacks
·        Take out the recycling
·        10 bicep curls
·        Sweep the kitchen floor
·        10 squats
·        Mop half of the kitchen floor
·        10 sit ups
·        Mop the other half of the kitchen floor
·        End your workout with 50 jumping jacks!
Whew!!!  The Spick & Span Workout plan is complete! Following this plan, you will have done 50 bicep curls, 50 lunges, 50 sit ups, and 150 jumping jacks!  Total time for the clean AND workout was just one hour! Just imagine if you did this three or four times a week while cleaning other rooms of your house.  Do it with whatever room you need to clean!  I PROMISE, you will be sweating and needing a shower when it is all over but you will be proud that you worked out AND cleaned!
Have I gone totally crazy?

Linking Up over at

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Whoo Hoo! It's National Margarita Day!

Who knew???  It’s National Margarita Day today!  I have been waiting and waiting for a day like this to come along because I wanted to share a little tutorial on how to salt or sugar rim a glass.  Unfortunately, I can’t actually make a margarita for myself because I gave up alcohol for Lent as a part of my 101 Goals for 2012.  So, it’s up to you to rim the glasses and make a toast to me for my brilliant idea!

How To Salt/Sugar Rim a Glass
First off you are going to need two bowls.  Fill the bottom of a bowl with margarita salt or some sugar.  (For the pictures I used sugar….mmmmm daiquiris.)  Fill the bottom of a second bowl with light Karo syrup.

Next, take your glass and lightly dip it into the syrup and then into the salt or sugar.

That’s it! Easy huh?  After just a bit, the rims will be dry to the touch.

The sweet and salty is a perfect mix for any margarita and of course the sugared rims are great with other fruity mixed drinks.

Need some margarita recipes?  Here’s just a few I found via Pinterest!!
My favorite….the Beergarita! Via Rachel Ray Everyday
Frozen Cherry Margarita via Girlfriend Getaways
Lime Sorbet Margaritas via RealSimple

Grapefruit Margarita via Red O Restaurant
Happy National Margarita Day!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Winter Holiday

This past weekend we took a trip up to Shiga Kogen, a ski area near Nagano, Japan.  I really really really was NOT looking forward to it.  Packing up tons of gear for the kids, loading up on snacks (because you never know what kind of Japanese food the kids will eat), leaving at 3am, sitting on a bus for 5 hours, just to drive into freezing temperatures and snow.  Sounds fun for any mom, right?  Well, I wasn’t convinced, especially when we get off the bus and are greeted by this….
But the girlies were excited and so along with some great friends, and their three boys, everyone bundled up and was ready to hit the slopes.
Brian took Abbey and Allie up first.
Amber just wanted to play in the snow.  It was the most snow any of the girls had ever seen in their lives. 
She played and played.  And played.
When everyone was exhausted we came in for ramen and beer. Mmmmmmm.
We skipped any food that was labeled, “fish paste”.
We bought silly neck warmers before we took on the next couple of days.
And now the girls are practically Olympic caliber skiers. (This is where the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics were held.
And Amber is still a goofball.
So our family ski trip turned out to be much more pleasant than the catastrophe I thought it would be.  I am still looking forward to our trip to Hawaii in April, but on the long bus ride home, we talked about doing this trip again next year.  And heck, maybe it would even be fun for mommy to try and ski.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Raspberry Almond Chicken Salad

I am not very good at coming up with my own recipes.  Almost all of my recipes come from a hand-me down from a friend or an auntie, or I skip around the internet and find them on other blogs.  Something I can figure out though, is how to improve a recipe.  I just add some bacon or double the chocolate.
Another thing I have a hard time with is coming up with “healthier” versions of the things I love.  My Twitter profile says, “I run so I can eat pie for breakfast”, and I am totally not kidding.
So lately, I have been trying to come up with my own recipes and have also been trying to be a bit healthier.  It’s rare, but this is a recipe I came up with myself.   It’s no bacon and double chocolate celebration for your taste buds, but it’s pretty good and good for you too.
Raspberry Almond Chicken Salad

·        Shredded chicken (I use the chicken in a can)
·        ½ cup fresh raspberries
·        Toasted sliced almonds that are lightly salted
Concentrate here.  This is hard.  Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir it together.  Fill up a whole wheat pita pocket or serve on lettuce or whole grain bread.    

Yes, this is it and no I don’t really have any measurements for you.  If you force me, I will say use one small can of chicken (maybe one shredded chicken breast), eye the ½ cup raspberries, and maybe about a Tablespoonish of the toasted almonds.
Here is my toasted almond recipe which you should always have on hand for salads and snacks. Toasted Almonds
Lastly, if you want people to take a bite, and exclaim with joy, “OMG, you have to give me this recipe!”…..just add some mayo and serve it on flakey  croissant. 

Pan Roasted Almonds

A kitchen really isn’t a kitchen without a little plastic tub of these hanging around.  Pan Roasted Almonds.  Sprinkle them over a salad.   Mix them with your chicken salad.  Munch on them as a little snack.  And oh yeah…..a can of green beans and these!  Suddenly, you are a chef!  You made Green Beans Almondine!  And this also makes you an expert in French cooking……I think?

Let me warn you though.  There is a fine line between French chef and filling your entire home with your personal Yankee Candle scent…..Burning Almond.  DON’T go folding your laundry while you have these babies on the stove.  Okay?

Pan Roasted Almonds

  • Sliced almonds
  • Lawry’s seasoned salt (or any salt of your choice)
  • Olive oil…about 2 tsps

Put one or 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a pan.  Add almonds.  How much oil you use is up to you, but remember…you can always add more if you need to.  

Turn heat to medium low.  Stir almonds until almost all are browned.  Remove almonds from heat and cool.  Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.  (I HIGHLY doubt they will last that long.)

Here they are in my Raspberry Almond Chicken Salad.  Yummo!!!

Three Valentines 4 My Three Valentines

You know that half the mom’s in the elementary school this year will be sending their kids to school with fabulous creations they found via Pinterest.  I so badly wanted to come up with something fabulous of my own, but it is so hard when everyone already hogged up all the ideas!!!

Since the big day of love is almost here, I whipped these up with the girlies today.  Two new ideas and an old one with a little chocolate added to make it better.  Because showing up to the third grade with the same Valentines as someone else's is like going to the prom and someone has the same dress as you do.  Right?  
Okay, maybe not quite the same, but still.....
Allie’s favorite color is green(but I made them purple???) and her best friend loves frogs.  I found some froggy clip-art, had some pink curling ribbon lying around, and put my youngest to work cutting out hearts.

Add a little treat and we made these cute Hoppy Valentines! (Print one HERE!)

Abbey has gotten all teenager on us all, and doesn’t want to be so cute.   My slogan is a bit cheesy, but we bought some cola gummies and designed a cool topper from a free screensaver website. (Print one HERE!)

We put some gummies in cello bags and left others in their original packages.  Japanese cola gummies are delish!

Finally, we made it to Amber’s Valentines.  She had her heart set on the glow sticks from Family Fun.  We decided to make them extra special and add the chocolate heart. 

She’s  simply excited about getting her own glow bracelet.
So there you go.  I will probably not win any Pinterest Valentines 2012 awards but now my kiddos can go to school fairly confident that they won’t have Valentines like anyone else.   My mom job for this holiday is now complete. 

Ladybird Ln