Have you tried Canva?

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As I become a little more experienced in the blogging world (still have a long way to go) I am learning more about graphics, how to include them, and most of all how to create my own. There are SO many sites out there for helping you, some free and some paid, that it can get overwhelming. At least it started to get a little overwhelming for me. I searched around for free sites first (duh) because I’m a frugal kind of person. This is when I found Canva.

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There are so many options. You can also upload your own photos to use as backgrounds as well. Some advanced options and images have a charge, but the only charge I have ever seen was $1.00 each. I love the easiness of using this site, the options, and downloading the graphic so much better than any of the other (free) sites I attempted to use.

Here are a few of my “creations” thus farπŸ˜‰ :

To all of Our New Followers!-1

 

July 4th

 

Things to Do Thursday

 

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ALWB_Instagram2

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ALWB - July photo challenge

 

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I know some of them are not completely fabulous, but hey, I’m still figuring it all out. Have you ever used Canva? Do you have another website to make graphics that I might have overlooked?

Share them with me!!

Whole Body Vibrations (WHAT?!)

Things to Do Thursday

 

Β So I recently found out about this machine called the ProVibe. Have you ever heard of it? I first tried it at a local health food store, Gloria’s Good Health. Check out their page about the machine here. Then watch this video:

An excerpt from Gloria’s Good Health website:

“Movements performed on a Whole Body Vibration (WBV) oscillating platform have been shown to be four times more effective than equivalent exercises performed on a stationary surface.

Because the amplitude and intensity of the vibration can be controlled, WBV is intended for users of all types and all fitness levels.WBV activates an average of 97% of all muscle groups and produces up to 30 involuntary reflexes per second, all of which results in the burning of fat and the building of muscle.

There is no stress on the joints, ligaments or tendons compared to other resistance training. The result is more benefit in less time.”

I know that the response from many people is: “it is an excuse that you don’t have time to go to the gym.” But maybe that was your excuse in your lifestyle and priorities. I know me and my family life, and you know your own. That is pretty much the extent of how much anyone knows about another person’s “excuses”. For anyone curious enough, however, I don’t mind letting you in on how my days usually go:

Monday through Friday, I leave my house in the morning at 7:30 and once I am off work and pick up my daughter, we usually are not home until 6 p.m. That is on a night that we do not stop by the grocery store, visit with anyone, get gas or anything. Once we are home, we cook supper and spend time cleaning up and playing together with our daughter. A few nights a week we also do “preschool at home” type things. Then she needs a bath, teeth brushed, and bedtime story books. It is between 9:30-10 p.m. on a FLAWLESS night before she is finally asleep and snoring. Considering I am in grad school with homework; we mow our own lawn; and we occasionally like to have a social life and invite friends/family over for just an hour or two… It can be later than that before Trevor and I can sit down. Most nights I don’t even start my homework until 10 p.m. I’m also at the age and have enough demands on my life, that I sort of need a little bit of sleep. Otherwise mama begins to crash. So, yes, I have changed the way we eat (which is a major hurdle in fitness and weight loss), but my priorities and time are different than other peoples. I prefer time with my 3 year old over an hour in the gym. If that defines me as “making excuses”, I totally can respect your opinion; therefore, respect my opinion.πŸ™‚

My point is, when I found out about Pro Vibe, and that 10 minutes on the machine is equivalent to an hour on the treadmill in the gym.. I was interested enough to check it out! It is a few miles from where I work, so I just drive over on my lunch hour.

I really enjoyed it! Not going to lie… it is weird and awkward at first, but now I just get on it without thinking twice! The second day I was on it, I used the straps you can pull tight to help tone your arms, and by the time I left work that evening my arms were sore! The soreness that you usually feel the next day after upper body workout in the gym.

Some stats from different days after my time on the machine:

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313 Calories burned. Equivalent of running 6.26 Miles In Ten Minutes.

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322 Calories burned. Equivalent of running 6.44 Miles. In Ten Minutes. (Distance/Calories vary because I vary my speeds)

There are so many benefits to using the machine. Here are a few of the benefits:

  • improved bloodflow
  • improved circulation
  • increased flexibility
  • reduces lower back pain
  • improves bone density
  • increases metabolism
  • accelerates weight loss
  • tones and strengthens muscles
  • massages and relaxes muscles

 

 

I’ve noticed a difference in the firmness of my skin. I feel more energetic, too. Who wouldn’t be happy about that and want to share the excitement with everyone??! Do you have a local health food store? Call around and find a store that has this machine and just check it out!

You will not regret it.πŸ™‚

 

Summer Goal: Learn to Spell Our Name

Untitled design-4With my daughter being 3 1/2 years old when she returns to preschool this fall, I would really like for her to learn how to spell her name. Not necessarily WRITE it, but spell it out loud. Plus, it will definitely help her with letter recognition. (Which I learned is a 3 year old skill.)Β  She can recognize her name when she sees it written out, but she doesn’t know how to tell me to spell it. Her name is Khloe, and before we started working on it she knew “K – uh I don’t know – o – Mama what’s that one.”πŸ˜‰

I bought a writing tablet from Dollar General that has the wide lines and dotted center line. Every few days I will write her name out in dotted lines and she will “write” them, a.k.a. trace them. As she writes them I point to the letter and she has to tell me what it is. Then when she is finished with each one we have a huge celebration.πŸ˜€

After she has written out her name three times (we go with three times each time we do it, because that is about what our attention span can handle at this point), we go over the letters one last time. She has actually progressed to knowing everything except the “h”!! I am so proud of her! Of course, at times she gets in a hurry or is not real focused and misnames a letter after just saying it correctly. I’m patient, though. Mama understands that she’s three and sometimes learning just is not as fun as it was yesterday.

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She loves her little desk, too.

 

Khloe writing 2

We also swap out working on number recognition as well. All of my workbooks I have bought at Dollar General or Wal-Mart.

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Look at that first cute little 3 written by herself.πŸ˜‰ Love it!

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Obviously I helped with the first independent 10, but the last one was all her!❀

Do you teach preschool at home?? I may work full-time outside of the home, but we try to dedicate a few nights a week to focusing on learning with mom and dad. I would love to hear some ideas you have! Leave them in the comments below!!

 

Free Photo Book from Wedding Wire & Shutterfly

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When we first got engaged I signed up over at WeddingWire so that I could have a little assistance with a checklist and little things to remember. It is actually a great site for the checklist and budget tool! I used a lot of personal vendors and a lot less national and big name vendors; therefore, I didn’t actually use it for vendor shopping. I did use it for hairstyle ideas and centerpiece ideas! So overall, I think it is a great website! Plus you can also create a custom wedding website for all of your guests to have access to if you would like. You can check ours out here.

I later was offered a free gift if I would review my vendors, even if I needed to add vendors to their list. I did, and ended up receiving a FREE PHOTO BOOK from Shutterfly. I already had an account and previous experience with Shutterfly and was excited! I recently ordered our free photo book using our engagement pictures so that we can have it on display on the guestbook table at the reception.

I definitely suggest checking out WeddingWire if you are in the process of wedding planning! Who knows what freebies you might be able to score!πŸ˜‰

You can also view a digital version of the photo book we were given below:

Click here to view this photo book larger

Shutterfly offers exclusive photobook layouts so you can make your book just the way you want.

10 Summer Bucket List-Worthy Activities

Things to Do Thursday

About a week ago I stumbled across Project Light to Life and her post 10 Summer Bucket List-Worthy Activities. It is an amazing list of things to do for an enjoyable and memorable summer! A few of the activities I have already done previously or do often (like horseback riding, geocaching, hiking, and para-sailing), but this is a great place to start and it suggests some awesome ideas that I would have never thought of doing!

A few of the ones that I definitely want to do before the end of summer:

  1. fruit picking
  2. explore caves
  3. start a “nice things jar”
  4. wine tasting

I wouldn’t mind finding an indoor trampoline park to do sometime as well. How awesome would that be??

Do you have a summer activities bucket list??

Share some of those ideas with me!!

Fried Green Tomatoes (in the oven!)

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We love fried green tomatoes at our house! I hear so many people say they’ve never tried them and I am just shocked. Ha! It must be a southern thing, but I just thought everyone had the opportunity to try them growing up. Either way, I think everyone should try them!

NEED:

3 medium green tomatoes, sliced. (I always find mine at our local farmer’s market.)

Cooking spray (we use olive oil spray)

Olive oil

Cornmeal

1 cup of milk

1 egg (large, small, brown, whatever. We get ours from my mom so they’re pretty farm fresh and luck of the drawπŸ˜‰ )

Salt/pepper to taste if you prefer. Sometimes I do not add anything extra.

Baking sheet

**TIP: Slice your tomatoes thick. If sliced too thin, they’ll cook like a green tomato chip because they’ll completely dry out faster.

DIRECTIONS:

Lightly spray your baking sheet and preheat your oven to 350.

Set that aside.

In a small bowl beat egg and milk together.

In a container with a lid or ziploc bag, add your cornmeal and any seasonings to taste.

Place each slice into the milk/egg mixture, then place it into your cornmeal container.

Once you have about 5 or 6 pieces in the cornmeal, close the lid and shake. Shake it a lot to make sure the pieces are truly covered. You can check and make sure, and manually turn them over if needed. (Unless you peeled the skin from each slice, there more than likely will not be flour on the edges. They will turn out fine.)

Then place each slice on the baking sheet. You can space them closer together if you have more slices.

Repeat until all of your slices are on the baking sheet.

Take your olive oil and drizzle across all of the slices. (Add salt and pepper here if you want to.)

Bake for 15 minutes in the oven.

Take a fork and turn every slice over, drizzle olive oil on the slices, and bake again for another 20 minutes.

Let them cool before serving.

DELICIOUSNESS!

This is such a perfect recipe to stick in the oven and be able to continue preparing the rest of your meal.

***You can also use squash and the same recipe to get oven fried squash!πŸ™‚

Fried Green Tomatoes

As you can tell, one was snatched off of the tray a little early.πŸ˜‰