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Health & Beauty

DIY Sewing, Health & Beauty

A Handmade Christmas: More DIY Gifts for Women

Are you joining me in A Handmade Christmas this year? I’m so excited to finally be done my crazy-busy last couple of weeks (due to WeeStock) and ready to get crafting for my family and friends! I love thinking up fun things to make for the special women in my life – and I’m so blessed to have a ton of them. Here are some of my favourite handmade Christmas gift ideas for women that I’ve found online this year. I love them all!Continue reading

How To Add Body to Long, Fine Hair - The DIY Mommy
Health & Beauty

How to Add Body to Long, Fine Hair (+ My Favourite Salon… With Childcare!)

I have a horrible, horrible confession to make. As much as I love fashion and beauty, I haven’t been to a hair salon in 20 months. 20 months! That wasn’t a typo.

Between chasing around two rambunctious kiddos and building a house, upkeep on my hair has been one of the last things on my mind. A couple of weeks ago I caught a glimpse of my bedraggled mane in the mirror and gasped (just a little). My hair was Split End City, and there were bits of silvery grey strands poking through at alarming intervals (yes, I’m 30 and I have grey hair… it’s a brunette’s curse).Continue reading

Health & Beauty

Healthy Mommy Challenge: 3 Month Check-In (I’m losing it… and I don’t mean the weight.)

Cue the violins.

In January, I committed to a Healthy Mommy Challenge for myself. My goal was to have 30 minutes of cardio activity each day, 3 days a week of strength training, and eat healthy “real” foods. Well, guess what? I’m failing with pretty much all of those simple goals.

For whatever reason, I thought that I would somehow be a superwoman through this entire house building process. You told me building a house was a massive job and it would be a strain on every aspect of my life and I laughed. To who – me? No way.

Here we are 34 weeks into the build and we’re headed to the final plate. While there have been a lot of amazingly exciting moments and it’s pushed my creativity to its limits, there have also been many stressful and exhausting moments. It’s hard on a mom – and on a family – to be putting all of your financial, physical and mental resources into building a house.Continue reading

Health & Beauty

HITTING THE SPOT – The Post Baby Bulge: 3 Facts You Need to Know

As part of my Healthy Mommy Challenge, I turned to one of the strongest, most inspirational women of fitness that I know: Andrea Page of FITMOM. Andrea is an expert at post-partum fitness, and she’s sharing some wonderful advice with us today on fitness after baby. Want to strive for a healthier 2013 with me? Visit this post, comment on it, and then chat with me on Twitter, Instagram (use #healthymommy) and Facebook about what you’re doing to be a fit mama. I also encourage you to visit Andrea’s website – I love her workout videos and she even has an online training program! – Christina

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These are awesome! 3 facts you need to know about postpartum fitness and 5 exercises for new moms for post baby buldge.

How should a woman expect to feel 6 weeks after the birth of her baby? It seems to be a common belief that a new mom should not expect to feel good about her body, 6 weeks or even 6 months after her baby arrives. I however, after having trained hundreds of expecting and new mothers over the last 10 years, have yet to meet a mom that doesn’t want to slip back into her skinny jeans and feel great, inside and out at the earliest possible opportunity.

It’s disturbing how many moms report feeling like they have aged 10 years,  just one year removed from the birth of their child. Although the most important question to this phenomenon is “why”, my focus today is to help you understand how to start getting back into those Parasucos as soon as possible.

As a new mother who strives to achieve a fit and healthy mind, body and soul, here are 3 simple facts you should know before you get started.

  1. Spot Training Won’t Lose your Baby Bulge
    Spot training (focusing on and fixing one specific area of your body) does not burn the baby fat around your belly. Sorry ladies, 50 sit-ups at the crack of dawn and again just before bed simply won’t cut it. The most effective way to burn that baby bulge is a combination of eating consistent and frequent small healthy meals, interval training and spot training.
  2. Abdominal Separation is a “CORE” concern
    Most people have heard of abdominal separation but very few address it properly prior to engaging in exercise. Get checked for abdominal separation by a trained professional and seek out a pre/postnatal fitness specialist who knows core restorative protocols.
  3. Don’t Forget to Watch Y & RR
    Yield to rest and recover. Like the soap opera, too many women experience feelings of guilt and drama about yielding to rest and recover, but in actual fact, we are betraying ourselves, just like Jack and Nicky. Resting is very specific. It means napping in the day and early to bed at night. Recovering can also be achieved through passive activity like meditation where your mind is quieted or reading. Although going out with the girls or watching the real Y & R is great for an escape, it does not constitute true rest and recovery. The fact is sleep deprivation has been proven to hinder weight loss.

The FITMOM 5: Five Must Do Exercises for New Moms

  1. Wall Sit
    How: Lean your back against a wall and lower yourself until you have your legs are bent at a 90 degree angle.
    Reps: 3 intervals of 30-60 seconds.
    Benefits: A great stabilizing exercise that targets your abdominals and lower large muscles with very low risk of injury.
  2. Side Plank
    How: Lie down on one side of your body with your bottom leg bent for beginner or straight for advanced. Lift your hip off the ground and hold for 30 -60 seconds.
    Reps: 3 intervals per side of 30-60 seconds.
    Benefits: Widely considered one of the most important core exercises for postpartum women. It engages all of the stabilizing core muscles including the pelvic floor.
  3. Flys
    How: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend the knees slightly and lean forward at the hips to 45 degrees, keeping core firmly engaged. Create length through your spine and extend your arms, holding 1–5 lbs weights outwards and parallel above your thighs. Extend your arms (elbows slightly bent) out to the side (like a cross) and focus on clinching your shoulder blades together.
    Reps: 2 sets of 20 repetitions
    Benefits: This exercise helps improve posture and strengthens large back muscles to combat middle and upper back strain from pregnancy posture, baby wearing and baby holding postpartum.
  4. Curtsy Lunges
    How: From a standing position, extend one leg back as far as you can with the knee slight bent in a lunge position. Then lower down similar to a traditional ladies curtsy.
    Reps: 2 sets of 20 repetitions for each side.
    Benefits: A great low impact exercise to strengthen and shape calves, quads and gluts. A much better option than a traditional lunge for women recovering from pubic symphysis.
  5. Speed Skater
    How: From a standing position, bend over at the hips to 45 degrees. Extend one leg as far as you can to the side. Squat with body weight centered over the stabilizing leg with knee slightly bent. As you elevate from the squatting position, also elevate the extended leg as high as you can off the floor.
    Reps: 2 sets of 20 repetitions for each side.
    Benefits: An exercise that both requires and helps restore balance. This assists the stabilizing hip muscles will support the realignment of your hips as we all know, it’s a common fact that women’s hips widen during pregnancy.

Adrea Page, FITMOMAndrea Page is founder of FITMOM (fitmomfitness.com) , fitness personality and expert , DVD producer and author.

Throughout her career, Andrea has been deemed an International expert on Prenatal and Postnatal fitness, been sought after by the media for expert knowledge, written hundreds of articles and developed alongside other experts the curriculum that is the “FITMOM” Coach Certification.

Within motherhood, business and the relationships of working with over 30,000 woman who are mothers Andrea has shared her insights in the great works of others like Mom Inc, Death By Rubber Ducky, Toxic Baby Documentary, The Mom Show, Entertainment Tonight, Chatelaine, Active Woman Magazine, CTVS Success Stories with Sandy Rinaldo.

You may have also seen Andrea as she MC’d the event that lobbied the government to ban bisphenol A, MC,ing for Health Minister Tony Clement as he launched a healthy pregnancy awareness campaign along side Dr Andre Lalond SOGC Executive Vice President.

Professional Services

Andrea provides:

  • Private and group training, consulting and online education.
  • Business Coaching
  • Mentorship
  • Writing contracts
  • Speaking engagements
  • Advocacy

 UPCOMING

  • Book in progress
  • Fitmom DVD series B
  • International Certification Model
  • Fitmom Signature Active Baby wearing carrier
Health & Beauty, Reviews & Giveaways

Healthy Mommy Challenge: How a crafty mama who hates exercise will get healthy this year

I’m not going to lie to you. I hate exercise.

I was the kid in 6th grade gym class that was picked last on the team.

I was the girl on the elementary softball team that was put in right field and was given an “oh well – good try!” every time I finished being up to bat.

I was never obese or even overweight, but I’ve always been “curvy”.

I was never scarred for life by my fitness failures – it’s honestly who I am. I’ve never been overly gung-ho about physical activity. I’ve always loved to craft and sing and write and read. That’s me!

Here’s the thing: now that I’ve had two babies and gained a generous amount of weight throughout both pregnancies (and now that I’m getting older), I am on the overweight mark. I’ve come to a pretty good place with body image here in my 30’s, so I’m not wanting to lose weight purely for vanity sake (though that would be a nice bonus). I would like to become a healthier me for the sake of my girls (I want to move more every day to set a good example for them and to be able to play physically with them longer) and for my physical health (arthritis runs in my family and there’s a possibility it has “come” for me already).

The DIY Mommy Healthy Mommy Challenge

I want to propose a challenge to myself based on one of my New Year’s resolutions for 2013. I’m not sure if there are any other mama’s like me out there, but if this challenge rings true with you, please comment on this post to let me know that you’re with  me! We can help each other out.

I’m making my goals simple and small so that I can actually do them. I’ve found in the past that if I make my goals to hard or time-consuming, I’ll give up after a few weeks. I need to make my goals reasonable and they need to be done around being a mom and living on a small budget (because we’re building a house this year)! I also am prone to an “all or nothing mentality” (if I’m not doing something perfectly in my mind I’ll just give it up), so I want to make sure I give myself a lot of grace and wiggle room if I make a mistake. Every day is a new day!

Here’s what I’ll commit to this year:

  1. A diet of real food – cutting down on processed sugars and white flour and eating more raw fruits and vegetables (I’ll use Weight Watchers and some apps for my Android phone that have helped me in the past)
  2. At-home strength training at least 3 times a week (through workout videos, online training or phone apps)
  3. Physical, aerobic activity (with or without my children) every day for at least 30 minutes (dancing with my girls, walking around my subdivision, skating, jumping jacks, playing in the park… whatever it takes!)

The DIY Mommy Healthy Mommy Challenge

I know these goals might seem simple and small to some, but for me they’re doable and I think they’ll get me on the right track. Who knows – maybe next year I can up the ante?

Stay tuned for some guest posts by some of my fit friends who I look up to very much to help us through this Healthy Mommy journey with their fitness and nutrition knowledge.

Do you want to commit to this simple challenge with me? Let me know via a comment below. I’d love some support. 🙂

Free Printables, Health & Beauty

I Will Choose Joy: My 2013 New Year Resolutions (and a free printable)

How was your Holiday week? Did you stuff your face with too many cookies like I did? Did you get to spend it with people you love?

Tomorrow is the first day of 2013. Not only is January 1st New Year’s Day, it is also my oldest daughter’s 4th birthday – it’s a very special day in our family. Little C was born at exactly 12:22 on New Year’s Day in 2009. She wasn’t the first baby born in 2009 in our area, but she was awfully close! That day – January st 2009 – changed my life forever.

Baby C - The DIY Mommy

Not only does the New Year make me think of what’s important (or what I need to make important) in my life, it now reminds me of one of my most important new(ish) roles: being a mommy.

I know that a gazillion New Year’s Resolutions are made on December 31st and they’re forgotten and not kept. I know that it’s cliche to make them. But, I am a girl who thrives on goals and lists and things to aspire to. January 1st is a special day and I think it’s fitting for me to make some resolutions and try my very best before God, before you and before my family to work towards keeping them.

Here are my New Year’s Resolutions for 2013:

  • Become physically healthier through exercise and healthy eating (yep – it’s cliche, but it needs to be done for the sake of my family and of myself)
    I thought it would be fun (and sooooo scary for me) to blog a little about this process with you and ask those of you that are interested to join me on this journey – I’m going to call it the “Healthy Mommy Challenge“. It’s not going to be anything strange – just simple exercise that mom’s like me can easily do around children and healthy eating (of real food). Stay tuned for more posts (and guest posts – because I do not claim to be a health & fitness expert of any kind) on this challenge!
  • Read my Bible more
    I used to be really good at digging up memorized Bible verses in my brain to apply to situations I am facing, but I’m finding that I’m not spending as much time as I should reading my Bible so that ability is fading. I need to make time for this!
  • Give more to people in need (without telling anyone)
    I want to be generous with what I have, even when I don’t feel like it. I want to give more to charity and to friends that are in need, and I don’t want to toot my horn about it. It can be secret and frequent and it won’t matter if anyone but God knows about it.
  • Choose joy (even in the morning)
    Even when I wake up in the morning, I want to choose to face the day with pure joy (if my hubby reads this, he will laugh out loud – I’m no happy princess in the A.M)! I want to be thankful for what I have, who I’m sharing my life with, and for everything God has blessed me with even if I’m not feeling particularly blessed that day. When I talk to people, I want to ooze joy. When I talk about people, I want to emulate joy.

These are my main resolutions for 2013. There might be a few others that pop up throughout the year, but these are the ones I’m choosing to write in stone blog about and keep myself accountable to.

Here’s a free printable for you if you want to share my last resolution (click here to get to the high-resolution version, right-click and save if you wish to keep it and print it as a reminder):

I will choose JOY - Free Printable by The DIY Mommy

Happy 2013 to all of you! Will you make any New Year’s resolutions this year?

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