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16 Minute At-Home Workout to get back into pre-pregnancy shape
Health & Beauty

A 16 Minute At-Home Workout to Get Back to Pre-Preganancy Shape

(Note: This post was originally published in January 2013 and has now been updated.)

A couple of summers ago, I attended some workout classes in my home town of Stony Plain, Alberta called “Workout in the Park”. They were absolutely fantastic because they were held outside near a park where my 3 year old could play while I got a quick but intense workout in. The genius behind this class was Jenna, and I’ve asked her to share some of her wisdom with us as part of my Healthy Mommy Challenge. She knows exactly what moms need to work around in order to get fit (kids! she has four!) and she’s graciously sharing a great at-home workout routine with us today.  I encourage you to visit Jenna’s Facebook Page – she’ll inspire you, and you can learn all of the details of her Workout In The Park classes starting THIS WEEK – June 23, 2015! – Christina

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16 Minute At-Home Workout to get back into pre-pregnancy shape

When I had my first baby I soon realized that my freedom to get to the gym was now hindered by naps, feedings and play dates.  My ability to get a workout in, or a morning Zumba class, was now a difficult and expensive task. Yet I had these extra pounds left over from nine months of ‘eating for two’.

There are great ‘Mommy-Baby’ classes at local fitness facilities that have childcare for older children. However it came at a cost and the effort and motivation to get out of the house was sometimes low. 
I needed to bring my old days of working out to my own home, my new schedule and new way of life. As I trainer I had the knowledge to build training sessions that would get the same workout as at the gym but without the hassle of packing diaper bags, strollers and snacks.

Within months, my at-home workouts, three to four days a week, paired with a healthy diet paid off – I was back to pre-pregnancy shape. During this time I also started my ‘Busy Mums, Little Bums’ program, helping other Mom’s lose the baby weight in the convenience of their own homes.

Now it’s your turn. Find some time when the kids are occupied, put on your workout clothes (pajama pants will do!) and have a water bottle on hand. Note: feel free to stop to wipe a nose, kiss a hurt knee or shush a baby back to sleep.

What you will need:

A timer of some sort (oven, iPhone, stopwatch will work)

What to do:

1. Start by warming up with 10 sets of stairs (up and down is one). Explode up the stairs at a jog or run and walk down holding on to the railing.

2. Start your timer and do 1 minute of each exercise WITH NO stopping. You may slow down, but keep moving! Remember, when it starts getting uncomfortable, those are the reps that count the most. Take a short 15-30 second break between each exercise. Break for 1-2 minutes for water after each set of four exercises.

Lateral Burpees – Okay this is a tough one, but let’s do it first and get it over with. Start with feet shoulder width apart. Squat down like a frog touching the ground on either side of your hands. Jump your feet out to one side and back into the middle. Stand up with a jump, reaching for the ceiling. Repeat on the other side. An easier alternative is burpees, either jump or step your feet out towards the back instead of the side.

Pushups – I know you’re saying, yeah right! But yes, YOU CAN do a pushup. Although a pushup on the ground may not be feasible just yet, try one with your hands raised on a higher surface – the counter, a coffee table, or a stair. Keep these principles in mind – the higher your hands, the easier the pushup and always maintain a straight body from shoulders to heels. Start high and work your way down; in no time you’ll be doing pushups on the ground, with little ones climbing on your back.

Jump Squats – Start with feet a little more than shoulder width apart. Squat down as if sitting in a chair. Explode upwards, jumping as you extend your legs. Land with bent knees going right into your next squat. For an easier alternative, eliminate the jump. When doing squats be sure your knees are always behind your toes, not in front.

Reverse Lunge with Front Kick – Start with feet shoulder width apart. Take a large step backwards, bending both knees into a lunge. Back knee should be an inch above the ground, front knee at ninety degrees, not over your front toes. Bring your back foot forward kicking the air in front and lower down. Repeat on the other leg. Remember to use your arms for balance.

Repeat this four times for a total of 16 minutes of exercise.

3. Cool down with abdominal exercises and/or light stretching.

In order to be successful with working out at home remember to: set goals, write them down and review frequently, record your workouts in a journal to track progress, set time aside and plan your workouts (otherwise there never will be time) and pair exercise with a healthy diet.

Workout in the Park Stony Plain

Jenna of Effectual FitnessAttention DIY Mommy fans in the Stony Plain, Alberta area: I will be offering my annual 10 Week Workout in the Park this June 2015 – a painful, but quick, full body toning, 45 minute workout. The best part is you can bring your little ones with you so no hassle finding childcare.

For more information about at home workouts, in home personal training, or any questions you may have, please contact me via email at effectualfitness(at)live.ca or on Facebook: Effectual Fitness.

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

Jenna Hobbs, BPE

effectualfitness(at)live.ca

Photo credit:Hobbs Photography

9 Favourite DIY Mother's Day Gifts - Rosette Pillow, Tea Bag Wrapper, Paper Flowers, Bow Sandals, Handbag, Jewelry Holder, Rosette Necklace, Anthropologie Inspired Apron, Free Printable and Gift
DIY Crafts, DIY Parties & Holidays, DIY Sewing

9 Favourite DIY Mother’s Day Gifts

My mother means a lot to me. Lately, she’s been a huge part of our day-to-day life – she’s been helping me watch my girlies on her days off work as I work on Our DIY House. She’s also the reason why I’m such a DIYer. She’s the original crafty woman in our family! She’s taught me everything I know. I love and respect my mom and I hope that I can be as good of a mom to my babies as she is to me and my siblings (there are five of us!).Continue reading

Winter 2012/2013 Fashion on Instagram - Petite Curvy Mom Style by The DIY Mommy
DIY Sewing, Fashion, Life

Winter 2012 / 2013 Fashion on Instagram – Petite Curvy Mom Style

It’s been a cold winter up here in Alberta, Canada… and a busy one for us too!

We’re building a house on our acreage, and life with two kiddos is busy as it it is.

If you really want to know, my uniform of choice these days is a big sweater or cardigan, a stretchy tank and leggings (or super-stretchy skinny jeans). When I’m busy (and cold), I tend to go for “easy” and “comfy” with my outfits.

I haven’t had a chance to take any decent photos of my style choices this winter, but here are some of my favourite “selfies” I’ve posted on Instagram when I have managed to put together a look that I’ve been proud of.

Winter 2012/2013 Fashion on Instagram - Petite Curvy Mom Style by The DIY Mommy

As you can see, I still love to wear either a belt or an empire-waisted dress to highlight one of my smaller parts (a great trick if you’re wide in the hips) except for on comfy home or casual playdate days (when the big cape sweater comes into play like the lower left picture).

Scarves are an essential in the winter for practical reasons, and they’re a fun way to make an outfit special. I’ve been wearing them a lot lately!

My favourite colours this chilly winter season? They’re red, grey, emerald, coral and mint. Yes, I believe you can wear pastels in the winter!

Favourite pieces:

What’s been your go-to outfit this winter?

 

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?

DIY Sewing, Life

Sew the 15 Minute Infinity Scarf in 3 More Ways: Striped, Woven Plaid & Lace Overlay

Sew a 15 Minute Infinity Scarf in 3 More Ways: Striped Sweater Knit, Woven Plaid & Lace Overlay

Can you believe Christmas is in just over a week? I certainly can’t, and I’ve been busily finishing up some last minute handmade Christmas gifts for my family and friends.

Something I’m making this year are piles and piles of infinity scarves (remember the tutorial I posted in September?). They don’t take very long, they’re so pretty and practical, and you can personalize them with fabric choice to suit the recipient.

I’ve made three more variations of the classic knit jersey style I had originally made, and I really think they’re all pretty!

Sparkly Striped Sweater Knit Infinity Scarf

For a festive and sparkly look (like the first picture above), I made an infinity scarf with a glittery striped sweater knit. I made this one extra wide (the raw fabric measured about 40″ wide before it was folded and sewn).

Woven Burgundy & Chocolate Plaid Infinity Scarf

Plaid is trendy in a big way this year, and I made a second version of the infinity scarf with a plaid woven fabric with a slight stretch to it. This one was also extra wide (at about 44″ before it was folded and sewn). I’m really liking the look of adding quite a bit of extra width to the scarves, giving them a dramatic full look.

Sew a 15 Minute Infinity Scarf in 3 More Ways: Striped Sweater Knit, Woven Plaid & Lace Overlay

Cream Lace Overlay Infinity Scarf

Finally, I made a third version of the infinity scarf by laying a piece of stretch lace over a piece of stretchy jersey (both were about 15″ wide) right sides together. I sewed them together along the length of each side, and then completed the rest of the scarf as I did in my original tutorial. You could use a different colour of knit jersey for a more contrasting look. It’s such a romantic version of the infinity scarf!

Sew a 15 Minute Infinity Scarf in 3 More Ways: Striped Sweater Knit, Woven Plaid & Lace Overlay

Have you tried making an infinity scarf yet? Please share below if you have with a link to your finished project! Or, if you’re planning on making one for yourself or as a Christmas gift – what would be your favourite fabric choice?

DIY Parties & Holidays, DIY Sewing, Life

Sew a Ruffled Apron with a Heart Applique

DIY Ruffle and Heart Apron by The DIY Mommy

One of my friends needed an apron for a costume this month. It had to be red gingham with a white ruffle and heart applique, so I set to designing it from scratch. I absolutely loved the result and I think this feminine little apron would make an adorable Christmas gift for a friend (or make a smaller version for a toddler’s dress-up collection)!

This is a simple project, and a great one for beginner seamstresses. It requires little fabric and can be whipped up in about an hour.

Materials:

  • 2 yards gingham fabric (I used red & white gingham – you could order only a yard, but then you will have to cut the apron tie in two pieces and stitch them together making a visible seam)
  • 1/2 yard white eyelet fabric
  • applique adhesive paper

I purchased my fabric for this project from fabric.com:

Orders of $35 & up Ships Free.

Directions:

DIY Ruffle and Heart Apron by The DIY Mommy

Cut 3 strips from the white eyelet fabric that are 3 inches wide and 44″ long (or whatever the width of your fabric is – mine was 44″) for the ruffle. Cut a 5″ square out of the white eyelet fabric and the applique adhesive paper, fuse them together (according to the directions on the applique paper’s packaging), and then cut out a heart shape (I free-handed mine, but you could also print out a 5″ wide heart and use that as a pattern). Cut a piece of the gingham fabric that is 4″ wide by 70″ long (for the apron tie – use the full length of the 2 yards for this so that it is one continuous piece) and one that is 16″ long by 35″ wide (for the main apron piece).

DIY Ruffle and Heart Apron by The DIY Mommy

The ruffle: Sew the three ruffle strips together, and then fold the entire strip in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together. Gather the raw edge (I use a serger and adjust the tension, but you could also use a regular machine basting stitch and pull the threads to gather).

DIY Ruffle and Heart Apron by The DIY Mommy

Round the two bottom corners of the main apron piece (I use an ice cream pail lid as a guide) and then pin the ruffle to the sides and bottom of the main apron piece, raw edges together. Stitch together, fold the ruffle down and then top-stitch about 1/4″ away from the seam as shown above. This helps the ruffle stay flat!

DIY Ruffle and Heart Apron by The DIY Mommy

Apply the heart applique to the lower right corner of the apron (about 3 or 4 inches from the edge) and satin stitch it to the apron.

DIY Ruffle and Heart Apron by The DIY Mommy

Gather the top of the apron so that it measures approximately 17″ wide.

DIY Ruffle and Heart Apron by The DIY Mommy

Find the center of the apron and the center of the apron tie piece (by folding each in half). Pin them together, right sides together and raw edges aligned, with the centers matching. Sew together using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

DIY Ruffle and Heart Apron by The DIY Mommy

Fold the apron tie in half lengthwise, right sides together, and pin. Sew the ends together using a 1/2″ seam. Then, sew the strap together on either side of the main apron piece, ending the seam about 1/2″ from the apron (as shown above).

DIY Ruffle and Heart Apron by The DIY Mommy

Finally, fold the remaining raw edge of the tie under 1/2″, pin it to the apron, and sew it about 1/4″ from the folded edge to the apron.

DIY Ruffle and Heart Apron by The DIY Mommy

Your pretty little ruffled apron is done! Now, go bake some cinnamon buns or give the apron to your bestie as a cute Christmas gift.

Commit to A Handmade Christmas This Year with The DIY MommyThis post is part of The DIY Mommy’s “A Handmade Christmas” series. Would you like to commit to giving handmade gifts (made by you or someone else) for Christmas this year? Join me by entering here!


 

DIY Crafts, Free Printables

This home runs on… – Free Printable Artwork

by Christina Dennis

Wow, it’s been one of “those” weeks. Er, couple of weeks. I have a baby that is an angel-girl by day and Frankenbaby by night. There have been some things that have happened to close friends and family recently that have been very heartbreaking to see.

Sometimes a mommy has to slip into “survival mode” and do the best she can amidst lack of sleep and difficult circumstances.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I rely on three things when I have days like these: God’s grace, love for my family, and coffee. Good, strong coffee. If you’re like me, you might enjoy this free printable artwork that I am going to hang in my kitchen.

"This home runs on the grace of God, love, and strong cups of coffee." - Free printable by The DIY Mommy

Download this free printable artwork PDF (for personal use): The DIY Mommy – “This Home Runs On…” Free Printable Artwork

What do you rely on when you’re going through a tough time in mommyhood?

Fashion, Life

Wear a Summer Dress with Tights & Boots for Fall – Petite Curvy Mom Style

by Christina Dennis

Wear a Summer Dress with TIghts and Boots - Petite Curvy Mom Style by The DIY Mommy

Summer has come to a close and as of yesterday I am now 30 years old. I’ve been considering doing posts on my style for a little while now, and with your email & comment encouragement and with my “I’m 30 now, so what do I need to feel self conscious for” attitude as of late, I present to you my very first one!

I am rather short at 5’3″ and I wear about a size 10 to 12 in clothing at the moment (that number has been anywhere from size 6 to size 16 since marriage and two pregnancies). I’m not euphorically happy with the shape of my body at present, but I remind myself that it has carried two babes and that my goal is to be healthy rather than some shape that is unrealistic in the near future.

Wear a Summer Dress with TIghts and Boots - Petite Curvy Mom Style by The DIY Mommy

I really enjoy fashion and fashion blogs. I see a lot of images of tall, willowy and gorgeous women in the latest trends and I thought it would be fun (and hopefully helpful to some other women with a body shape like mine) to show you how I put together some of my favourite outfits and what I do to highlight my favourite and not-so-favourite features of my petite and curvy mommy self.

I also love to DIY (of course) and find things on a tight budget, so I’ll incorporate those things into my style posts which for now I’m going to commit to once monthly. It’s darn hard to take pictures of oneself while one’s baby is sitting on the lawn and there’s a toddler that may (or may not!) be napping in the house!

Wear a Summer Dress with TIghts and Boots - Petite Curvy Mom Style by The DIY Mommy

Here, I’m wearing a turquoise boho dress in a gorgeous silk/cotton with pretty lace detailing. I’ve cinched it at the waist with a belt to define one of my smaller parts, added chocolate brown tights for a more fall-ish look, and I’m wearing boots with a hidden 1″ heel to add a little lift to my short self. It’s a simple outfit, but I really love it and it’s comfy enough for doing errands with a baby and a toddler in tow. There actually is a DIY element to this outfit – underneath the dress is a simple slip that I made lat minute because of the sheerness of the dress. I’ll post a tutorial on that soon!

Dress: Anthropologie (the sale rack!) $40
Belt: Old $10
Tights: Joe Fresh $6
Boots: Leatherette strappy boot from GoJane.com $27.50

Thanks for sticking with me through my first style post and encouraging me to do it!

What is your favourite outfit to wear during the first part of fall?

DIY Family Food, DIY Recipes

9 Favourite DIY Make-at-Home Hot Drinks

by Christina Dennis

I love me my coffee. And my hot chocolate. And my apple cider. I enjoy pretty much any type of warm drink when the weather cools and the autumn leaves begin to fall! I’m one of those moms that needs my coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate) for my “get up and go” some days. When you live a little off of the beaten path like I do, it’s nice to have some DIY recipes on hand to make your own yummy, hot drinks if you can’t zip to the coffee shop. Here are my 9 most favourite DIY make-at-home hot drinks (I’d like one of each right now, actually!):

9 Favourite DIY Hot Drinks by The DIY Mommy - Mochas, Lattes, Hot Chocolates, Cider

  1. London Fog from Just Bella: This luxurious combo of Earl Grey tea and vanilla syrup is definitely a tasty treat.
  2. Homemade Gingerbread Latte from Mom Advice: What a festive, spicy drink (and you’ve got to love the little sprinkles)!
  3. Chai Latte from Fitness Chicks: Here’s another spicy drink that’s such a classic. FYI: the site’s in Dutch, so here are the English ingredients:
    1/2 tsp ginger
    1/2 tsp cardamom
    1 clove
    1 tsp cinnamon
    2 bags of black tea
    1 tbsp sugar
    500 ml water
    500 ml milk
    … and the pictures are easy to follow!
  4. Pumpkin Spice Latte from Pastry Affair: Who doesn’t like one of these at Thanksgiving? Pumpkin + spices + a latte? Nothing better.
  5. Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from Savory Sweet Life: This would be glorious at the end of a fall/winter day when coffee just won’t do.
  6. Copycat Starbucks Caramel Apple Hot Cider from Favorite Family Recipes: Here’s another great drink for an evening curled up in front of a fire – and it’s so simple!
  7. Salted Caramel Mocha Latte from Mom Advice: Here’s the coffee version of a salted caramel hot chocolate – the savory + sweet combo is delish.
  8. Red Velvet Hot Chocolate by Une Deux Senses: What a unique idea! A rich combo of cream cheese, chocolate and whipped cream make this drink sound absolutely heavenly.
  9. Homemade Peppermint Mocha by Mom Advice: This just screams “holidays” to me. Chocolate and peppermint always go so well together.

Enjoy DIYing your own hot drinks!

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