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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

Sew an Infnity Dress with a Built-In Tube Top by The DIY Mommy
DIY Sewing, Fashion, Life

Sew an Infinity Dress with a Built-In Tube Top

Once upon a time, we weren’t building a house and I had one baby instead of two. I had time to sew things for other people and sell them.

One of my most popular creations was what I called “The Venus Dress” – a knit jersey dress with two long straps that could be tied around the body in numerous ways for tons of completely different looks. This style of dress is often called an infinity dress or convertible wrap dress.

Continue reading

DIY Family Food, DIY Parties & Holidays, Free Printables

Reflections on Baking, Motherhood and Perfection

Valentine's Day Cupcakes by The DIY Mommy

For Valentine’s Day this week, Little C and I did some baking together. We made some pretty cupcakes (the easy way – with a mix),  iced them with buttercream icing (here’s my simple tip on how to ice them rosette style), and finished them with a little heart gummy candy perched on top.

Valentine's Day Baking by The DIY Mommy

And how could we forget heart cookies? Using my favourite sugar cookie recipe, we made heart cut-out cookies and iced them with buttercream.

Valentine's Day Cupcakes by The DIY Mommy

While I thought the cupcakes were festively pretty and the cookies were uber-cute, here was my favourite cupcake:

Valentine's Day Cupcakes by The DIY Mommy

Little C smudged the icing on it gingerly, grasping a spoon ever-so-carefully. “It’s for Daddy“, she said as she worked, “because he doesn’t like all of dis sugary icing.It’s a cupcake made with true love from a four year old to her daddy.

My favourite cookie? This one:

Valentine's Day Cookies by The DIY Mommy

There’s a couple of wee fingerprints on the bottom of this cookie, the icing is haphazardly spread and there’s a gummy heart in the most random position one could think of… but it’s a work of art.

As a mom with perfectionist tendencies, I do put a lot of pressure on myself to make pretty things, have well-behaved children and look put-together.

But that’s not the goal, is it?

While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to make my home beautiful and enjoy creating things for and with my babies, none of that matters without LOVE (there’s a Bible verse about that).

When my children grow to adults, will they think of me as a busy, impossible-to-please mom who’s too tired to devote some time in the day for a cuddle or a story? Gosh, I hope not.

I want them to know that they are loved unconditionally by their mother. I want them to know that I am not perfect and that they don’t have to strive for perfection either.

Like this fingerprinted, lopsided little heart cookie I’m a bit of a mess some days. But, somehow God uses messed-up moms to shine His love through too.

The Goal is Love - Free Printable by The DIY Mommy

When it comes to motherhood, I am still learning that the goal is NOT perfection, it’s LOVE.

(Click here to download a free printable version of this reminder.)

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?

 

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
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?

Life

Wear Plaid (and More Plaid) This Winter – Petite Curvy Mom Style

It’s officially freezing cold here, and it does get really cold up here in the “frozen north” (which is what I’m endearingly calling  my country home west of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada).

We had a huge dump of snow again this week, and it’s time to layer clothing and wear big boots. It’s time to pull out all of the comfy, flannely, heavy things I can find and put them on.

I’ve always had a love for plaid prints, and this year I’m seeing plaid trending in a big way. Plaid reminds me of winter and Christmas and coziness. I had a bought of strep throat last week and then my family had a bad cold this week, so nothing seems more joyous to me today than wrapping myself up in layers of sweaters and scarfs and soft plaids and sipping some coffee (coffee!!!) after playing outside with my girlie (for only as long as we can bear)!

Wear Plaid (and More Plaid!) this Winter by The DIY Mommy

Today I wore something that I thought I never would – a plaid jacket with a plaid scarf… and they did not match! It freaked me out a little, but I’m really digging the mismatched look lately, and there are golds and browns in this DIY infinity scarf that coordinate with this gorgeous jacket from Ruche. It’s a fun, country cozy look that I thought was cute! The sash on the jacket cinches my petite & curvy self at the right spot, and I’m wearing my favourite boots (which are buried in the snow).

Scarf: DIY with this tutorial
Coat: New Bedford Plaid Coat from Ruche.com $52.99
Jeans: Joe Fresh $29
Boots: Leatherette strappy boot from GoJane.com $27.50

Underneath this jacket is one of my current favourite sweaters. It’s just so easy to wear, hides my mom-tum and it’s really warm:

Wear Plaid (and more plaid!) this Winter by The DIY Mommy

It’s a cute poncho cape from ModCloth and I think I snagged the last one, but you can Shop ModCloth here for similar styles! They have adorable sweaters and coats this season.

Here’s hoping that the rest of our December is sickness-free and that we can enjoy Christmas without constant nose-wiping and coughing attacks.

What do you like to bundle up in when the weather’s cold?

(Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase products via these links, a small percentage of the sale will be given to me at no extra cost to you. It’s a win-win – thanks for helping support thediymommy.com!)

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