December 8, 2010

Ladies Goodreads: Christmas Jars

Jason F. Wright
Goodreads rating: 3.86 of 5
We decided to read this book for Christmas because it's fairly short and has a good focus for which to keep our thoughts during this Christmas season.

Sypnopsis of the Book
Where had it come from? Whose money was it? Was I to spend it? Save it? Pass it on to someone more needy? Above all else, why was I chosen? Certainly there were others, countless others, more needy than me...

Her reporter's intuition insisted that a remarkable story was on the verge of the front page.

Newspaper reporter Hope Jensen uncovers the remarkable secret behind the "Christmas Jars", glass jars filled with coins and bills anonymously left for people in need. But along the way, Hope discovers much more than the origin of the jars. When some unexpected news sets off a chain reaction of kindness, Hope's greatest Christmas Eve wish comes true.

Feel free to comment on things about this book when you've read it, like...
What was your favorite Christmas Jar story?
Do you feel that good deeds come full circle?
What are your thoughts and feelings about this book?

December 3, 2010

Why exercise???

Having trouble wanting to go workout? Sometimes we need to be reminded what the benefits of exercise are:

1. Brain power Booster- exercise increases a hormone called Seritonin in the brain, which improves mental clarity. Sadly, forgetfulness is improved , but not cured:)

2. Reduced Stress- Mood levels are improved when you exercise away your stress, allowing for your body to fall deeper in relaxation. It is the perfect distraction. Scientists have claimed everyone needs at least 30 minutes of relaxation each day.

3. Multitasking with exercise- you can always incorporate exercise in your time schedule. Summer is easy, biking or walking with family to destinations, but as winter is here try finding the stairs, not elevators wherever you go. Get a good exercise video for Christmas, there is something for everyone. You can still park farther from stores to burn more calories. And for those ready to brave the outdoors, skating, "snow walking" (finding trails and walking in your winter boots is actually very tiring, but can still be very pretty) and x-country skiing are always very active things. FEEL FREE TO POST OTHER IDEAS OF WINTER ACTIVITIES!!

4. Energy Booster- Endorphins are released very quickly into the blood, those are the "happy hormones" that help make you feel good, the rest of the day.

5. Builds Relationships- Find someone to workout with. When you have that added social support, you feel more motivated and accountable to your routine, friend or spouse you will also feel closer to that individual.

6. Prevent Disease- I don't have to tell you that the heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, etc, are less likely for those who lead a more active life. Research states that workout should be AT LEAST 30 minutes for 3 days a week, but recommended as much as 5-6 days for 30 to 45 minutes of activity.

7. Exercise allows rule breaking- Muscle burns calories more than fat, so for those that want to eat that cookie or bowl of ice cream, go ahead. That means that even after all the calories you burned working out muscle will keep burning calories while you sit at home and enjoy that cookie. Fat won't be so generous.

The first step to starting an active lifestyle is making a goal, start simple, maybe the video I posted, and then add a little more. You will see the benefits over a couple weeks, and should see a change in mood, activity, and life. START TODAY!!!

Abds done at home in 20 minutes.

I know many of us are less motivated to go the gym or wanna try to find a good workout video to help with our abdominal muscles. Here I have found a good link to a 15 minute workout to start you off. Pace yourself and add more repetitions each time. If you are still not sweating, proceed to my favorite, the plank series:

For those able to advance to the prone or side plank I have made available this link to show you correct posture. These moves can be done to strengthen your obliques, after working on your "six pack" muscles. I even like to hold a correct pushup position - the prone plank, and hold that for upto one minute, the last exhauster before stretching. ENJOY.

December 2, 2010

An Example of a Homemade Detergent

Thanks Dorinda Turner for your simple homemade detergent recipe you use.

4 cup water
1 bar of your favorite soap (we use Irish Springs)
1 cup of Washing Soda (we use Baking Soda)
1/2 cup of Borax (you can find it in the laundry detergent aisle)

Grated the bar of soap and add to the 4 cups of water and stir until soap is melted. You can keep on low heat until soap is melted (about an hour or 2). While soap is melting put a large kettle on another burrner and pour about 4 gallons of water in. get this water hot while working on the soap mixture.

Take soapy mixture off burner and allow to cool slightly

Add Borax and Soda, put back on heat for a few more minuted until everything is melted.
Pour the the soap mixture into the hot water in kettle. Stir until well mixed.

You can either pour in a 5 gallon bucket with a lid or I fill up gallon juice jugs that I have saved and rinsed out. use about 1/4 cup for a regular load or 1/2 cup for a large. the mixture will gel up so i shake my container before using or if using the large bucket just stir real well.

*Keep in mind that this uses Borax, which still is under debate on whether it's eco-friendly or not. (While borax is naturally occuring, it is toxic in large amounts and kills insects. Children should not ingest it. You'll need to figure out for yourself if you want to add this to your green-cleaning list. It sure can be economical though. Judge for yourself.