Have a Very Merry UnBirthday with an Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter Tea Party Birthday!

Have a Very Merry UnBirthday with an Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter Tea Party Birthday!I have always loved Alice in Wonderland, both the books and the classic Disney movie. My daughter and I decided it would be a lot of fun to host a Mad Hatter Tea Party for her birthday. It is a lot of fun to create a party from a theme that is not "in" or "popular" or "new." Parties like these make me stretch my creative muscles and I won't [more]

Try Delicious New Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches!

Try Delicious New Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches!New from my favorite yogurt brand are the Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches for the family! Delicious, convenient, and organic goodness for on the go, mess free eating. Stonyfield Yogurt Pouches are available in nine flavors for your YoBaby, YoToddler, and YoKids! No worries, you don't have to be a kid to enjoy these but we will get to that later.   My kids love pouches, it's like space man food meets crazy kids [more]

Butternut Squash Soup with Organic Squash from Hometown Harvest

Butternut Squash Soup with Organic Squash from Hometown HarvestButternut Squash Soup is something I really enjoy eating. It is not a dish I have ever tried making. When I got my Hometown Harvest bag I found a nice sized organic squash tucked inside. Originally I thought, I will chop this up and sauté it with some olive oil and zucchini. My friend however challenged me to step outside my cooking comfort zone and make a soup using my [more]

Host an Eggcellent Easter Party with Oriental Trading!

Host an Eggcellent Easter Party with Oriental Trading!Easter is almost here! Flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and families are gathering for some good ol' fashioned Easter fun! Make your Easter the best yet with these excellent eggcellent party decorations and crafts from Oriental Trading!  What I love about Oriental Trading is that I can put a party together easily without spending a ton of money.  I hung up the Light Blue and Lilac Paper Lanterns to add a pop [more]

Captain America The Winter Soldier: A Must See! #CaptainAmerica

Captain America The Winter Soldier: A Must See! #CaptainAmerica   Captain America The Winter Soldier is the number 1 movie in the nation and the film with the largest April box office! And for good reason too. From start to finish Captain America is packed with action, drama, and a little comedic relief.  Chris Evans, Samuel L Jackson, and Scarlett Johansson are exactly what you would expect- awesome. I will admit I wasn't always team Black Widow, especially as a kid, [more]

Our Disney World Vacation: Making Memories

Our Disney World Vacation: Making Memories After sharing with you all How to Make the Most of Your Disney World Vacation I wanted to follow that up with a more personal post. Again it took me awhile to sort through the pictures I wanted to use remember I took over 1500 and also to put into words how amazing our trip was. I still don't feel like this post can do it justice, the magic of Disney [more]

Tag Archives: fitness

Reforming Healthy Fitness Habits

#fitfluential healthy living and encouragment for all moms


This time last year I was the healthy, working out queen. I was in the gym 2-3 days a week, running 3 days a week, and my eating habits were stellar. Then I ran my first 5k and afterwards the running slacked off. I made the rookie mistake of not signing up for more races. Since I’m not prone to be a runner, it was something I had to be motivated to do. I was down to only 2 days a week in the gym without any running. But I pushed through and was still eating right. The came October and our trip to Disney World. We ate healthy and walked a lot, once we were back though I slacked off from the gym. I thought it was recovering from the magic but it was laziness. Pair all that with snow days and holidays and being “busy” and my workout queen status slipped to court jester. 

Enough is enough.

Reforming healthy fitness habits is not easy. A few weeks ago I committed to myself and to you that all that was going to change. We had more snow days and my husband was traveling so that delayed my start. Last week I finally got off my butt, put the excuses to the side, and did what I was determined to do: Two gym classes attended and three days of running with weights. Despite going out of town this week for my birthday celebration, I will get my 2 classes and 3 runs in ( or no celebratory wine!). Healthy habits can take a few weeks to form but once you push through the mental roadblocks, it will become easier and easier to keep yourself on track.

I had forgotten how great you feel after working out consistently. My mood was good, it helped me manage crazy stress levels, and I didn’t hate clothes shopping. That endorphin release is one of my favorite things about being active aside form the toning up and losing weight! When I feel like this after working out it makes me wonder why I ever stopped. Someone promise to remind me of this if I start complaining I don’t have time to workout again!

Next goal: get back to drinking more water!

What is your favorite side effect of working out?

Spring has Sprung, 5 Ways to Freshen Up Your Workout

Spring cleaning is usually associated with purging your house of extra clutter and scrubbing it down to rid yourself of all the germs. 

I want to suggest that while you are reorganizing closets and freshening up, take time to look at your workout. Like any routine in our lives it can become stale, boring, or ineffective. I know for me when my fitness routine gets boring I more inclined to find something else to do than workout. To help you and me keep on track this year here are 5 ways to freshen up your workout.

5 Ways to Freshen Up Your Workout #fitfluential



  1. Pinterest is a great resource for fitness ideas, a lot of which you can do at home. These are especially helpful when winter doesn’t want to let go of it’s icy reins, it’s raining, or any other of the million things that can happen to prevent you from working out!
  2. If you’re a runner like me you hate the treadmill (necessary evil I know) and even your favorite outdoor path gets lame after awhile. Go Off Road, not only will the change of scenery be nice but the terrain will work your muscles in a new way. Another tip for the runners: Get Social run with your friends or search for a running group in your area. 
  3. Add Weights. If you’re already using weights, try bigger ones. I switch up using weights before and after my cardio. Be sure to target each muscle group with more than one weighted movement. I recommend 3-4 different exercises per focused muscle. It’s a myth that if women use heavy weights they will end up looking like a man. Unless you are taking crazy supplements it’s not going to happen. 
  4. Change Up Your Cardio. I use to do Zumba 3 days a week, religiously, it was my only cardio. Although I still enjoy it, it stopped being as effective as it was the first few months. Now I do Zumba once and a body works class each week along with running 3 days. Cardio is great but it is definitely one of those exercises that gets stale quick. Try a different class, a different teacher, location, anything. Cardio is important so don’t drop it completely, just make it work for you!
  5. Sometimes you mean well but you really have no idea if what you are doing is working or you slack off because you aren’t accountable to anyone. In that case get a Trainer or use the Buddy System. Personal Trainers can be a great tool to work specific areas of your body, also paying someone extra money on top of your gym membership forces you to go. Do your research though, and make sure your trainer isn’t just an overgrown jock with a piece of paper. If your issue is not consistently making it to the gym, get a group of your friends together and invoke the Buddy System. People are more likely to not miss a workout if they have someone that is encouraging them to go. 

 Not only can your routine get tired but so can your clothes. Since you’re probably going through your drawers and closest anyway, take a look at your workout gear. 

Check the tread on your shoes, if the stench of your workouts aren’t coming out of your clothes toss ‘em, and go get yourself at least one new piece of clothing. I always feel better when I have something new to rock!

What do you do to change up your workout? 

Working Out No Matter What

#MightyMom healthy living and encouragment for all moms

I know I know, it’s been FOREVER since I updated you about how my healthy journey is going. Ok maybe not forever but it has been a few weeks. If you are a regular reader, and I hope you are, you have seen all the work I have been up to on the blog. And although I have written about everything but working out I have been staying active and eating right. 

The title is working out no matter what because I have had to push myself this past month. Between crazy deadlines, prepping for not one but two parties (Disney Side and my girl’s birthday), being sick, and the polar vortex, gym time has been hard to come by.

Despite all that I squeezed in a few runs, zumba, and even tried out a body works class. When the gym was not going to happen, I worked out at home. Using my huge exercise ball and my wii fit help me stay determined to be active no matter what my day brought. When I find time to workout when it seems like it is impossible, I want someone to stand behind me blasting an awesome theme song. Why can’t life me like the movies?

For all my fellow busy moms and dads, try out my tips for Fitting in Fitness

Mamavation Monday


Removing toxins from your life is the topic tonight on Mamavation TV. I encourage you to join in and learn from the experts! My favorite toxin-free tips are avoiding chemical based lotions, sunscreens, body washes, etc. If you have sensitive skin like I do it is crucial. But even if you don’t, your skin is your largest organ so take care what you put on it. What you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body! 

What is your favorite toxin-free tip? 

Making and Keeping Goals in 2014 with ZonePerfect

When the clock strikes midnight and you’re yelling Happy New Year with your drink of choice in hand you feel like you can take on anything and anyone. But after you sleep it off and life begins again are you really following through? Now that we are coming to the end of our first month in 2014 I have to ask that annoying question: How are you doing with the goals you set? 

I’m not just asking you I’m directing the question at myself too. I refuse to make resolutions but I do have healthy living goals. In order to maintain my goals and yours, we all need a plan of attack. Words are just words without actions behind them. Are you lacking a game plan for your 2014 self? No worries ZonePerfect and I are here to help.

ZonePerfect Blog Forward Challenge

It can seem daunting to do a 180 in your life and make drastic changes. Some people can do that and are successful, I like to call them aliens. For those of us from planet normal, all that does is set ourselves up to fail. Deny yourself chocolate and the first chance you get to go face down in it you will. It’s not pretty. 

That’s why I am all about the small steps, small changes that over time lead to big results. Once you get use them, bigger changes can be made and you won’t feel overwhelmed. We all have to start somewhere and remember doing something means you are far ahead of anyone still parked on the couch. I know you can do it and we will make ourselves better together!

So let’s get started with these fitness tips from ZonePerfect including my 2 cents:

  1. Swap a snack: prepare ahead of time some high protein, simple snacks. Trail mix, carrots and hummus, I really like apples with peanut butter. But if you need something quick, grab a ZonePerfect bar and be ready for whatever your day throws at you. 
  2. Move Move Move: I am an avid gym rat but I am a mom, wife, and woman first and realistically I cannot get to the gym every time I want to. The goal here is to get moving. Active video games can be a fun way for everyone to work in fitness. Park farther away from the store and get extra steps in. You can even jog up and down the stairs, the point is just do something.
  3. Listen to Your Mother: Or in this case your blogger. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. By eating a balance breakfast full of proteins, vitamins, and nutrients you are starting your day off right and you won’t be starving by lunchtime. 
  4. F is for Fruit. V is for Veggie: Try to add one to every meal. Mix smoothies with both for a yummy and on the go friendly snack. Add berries to your yogurt, veggies to your sandwich
  5. Scouts Honor: It happens to us all, we aren’t hungry and then bam all of a sudden we are starving and could eat a horse. The only options are usually nothing healthy for you. How can you avoid the sudden onset of I’m sooooo hungry? One way is to keep a ZonePerfect bar in your car, purse, gym bag, diaper bag etc. 
  6. The Forgotten Lunch: We all get busy and forget to eat. Keep some nonperishable single serve items at work like tuna, nuts, dried fruit, peanut butter, crackers, and ZonePerfect bars.
  7. Get in Your Zzzzzzone: Sleep is important, we all know it. So get some!
  8. Fad = Bad: There is no simple, easy, quick weight loss that actually works. Unless you count photoshop. Eat better, exercise more, and make a doable plan that fits your lifestyle. 
  9. Water you Drinking: Water keeps you hydrated, helps keep headaches away, and it also helps you feel full longer. I always drink a glass of water before I eat. To jazz it up add lemon or lime wedges for a little something extra.
  10. Vitamin B-Healthy: Most people are deficient in some way. Talk with your doctor about which vitamins you are lacking and make a food plan or grab a supplement that will help you get what you need. 

ZonePerfect Protein Bars

ZonePerfect Protein Bars

On the go running errands or heading to the gym, ZonePerfect helps me to stay fueled for my day and on track with my health goals.

ZonePerfect Protein Bars

To end this post of inspiration, I will write a letter to my future self (feel free to steal for yourself)

Dear Ashley,

I know it was hard and sucked running so much and going to the gym a lot. You were tired, sore, and sometimes just plain stubborn. But look at you. No seriously, stop reading and look in the mirror. Hard work pays off. You wanted to tone up, you wanted to train for a half marathon and you did it. You persevered and stayed on track almost all the time. Hey we all fall off somedays. The important thing is you never gave up. Now that you’ve conquered this mountain it’s time to find another one. I know we can do it! 


Me/You however you’re suppose to end something like this….

 What are your plans for this year? Do you have a plan to make them happen? Share below and help encourage others with your awesomeness! 

Disclosure: I am a blogger for the Blog Forward challenge with ZonePerfect. Although I was provided with free product for the purpose of this post, my opinions as always are my own.

Mamavation Monday Week 2 Let’s Go

Mamavation Monday


Week 2 is starting off pretty rough. My plan today had been to come home, work a bit, hit the gym for a run then do mom stuff before Zumba tonight. Well that is not happening. Our truck decided to start acting funky, making me not want to drive it anymore. There goes my gym plans, not to mention other errands I really needed to run! Silver lining in all of this: I should still be able to make Zumba tonight, things around the house I have been neglecting I can work on, and best of all my best friend is coming to my rescue so we get to hangout.

Last week I was good about my running. I’m slowly getting back into stride (pun intended) but I am not pushing myself too hard. Even though I feel like I could totally run longer than the app is saying I know from experience that I will probably end up hurting myself.

Saturday I started the Skinny Limits 3 day cleanse. The juices are made with real produce and freshly pressed before being shipped to you. I have to say, it’s tough for me because I am not a fan of liquid veggies. My husband however loves it and that taste. For me, it’s definitely an acquired thing. All in all though a cleanse hasn’t been so bad. I think I will start doing one every few months. Have you ever tried a cleanse? What did you think?

Join in on the Mamavation Twitter Party for tips about health, fitness, and win some prizes too! http://www.mamavation.com/2014/01/mamavation-detox-weight-loss-boot-camp-18-twitter-launch-party.html


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