Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Biggest Beauty Tip of All: Skincare (Vegan Skincare Products Included)

Disclaimer: I am not a Posh consultant and I am not getting paid by any of the following brands to mention their products.

Beauty tips are everywhere you turn. Whether it's how to contour, highlight, or get the most effortlessly chic hair, we've all read them hoping for something to make our beauty routine easier. But the biggest beauty tip I have? After years of being a beauty blogger, testing products, and trying new trends? Take care of your skin.

Taking care of your skin solves a whole lot of beauty problems at once. You won't have to figure out how to flawlessly cover blemishes, sunspots, or uneven skin tone if you've taken steps to prevent all of those things. Now, even with steps taken, you most likely will still have some of the above. But, there will definitely be much more to "cover up" if your skincare routine is lacking.

I get it. Not everyone is ok with spending a ton of time and money on their skin. But, it doesn't have to take much of either of those things! Granted, my skincare routine is pretty involved. I grew up having difficult, acne prone skin. So I'm used to having many steps in my routine. But for those who aren't, no worries! You can pick and choose what works best for you.

Here are my skincare steps AND products that I've used and loved.

(Vegan Options Included)


Face Wash + Foreo Luna Mini

In the morning I use my Luna Mini, so I need a non-scrubby face wash so I don't tear the silicone on my LM. I've been talking about the Luna Mini for YEARS. And it's still a main staple in my skincare routine. The washes may be switched out every now and then, but the Luna Mini has remained.

Now, here is an example of how skincare doesn't have to cost a fortune. What's my go-to face wash? A generic (Publix) version of Neutrogena's oil free acne face wash. I think it's about $3 or $4. It leaves my skin feeling clean while preventing breakouts.

I also really like Biore's Charcoal Acne Clearing Cleanser. This cleanser works with my combination-oily skin, but would also be great for someone with drier skin. It's a tad moisturizing without being greasy or giving up that freshly clean feeling.

Vegan Option:

Perfectly Posh Gender Bender Chunk

Moisturizer with SPF

In my teens and early 20's, I was one to never use a face moisturizer. My skin was an oil slick. Don't get me wrong, I still had the step of putting a medicated acne lotion on my face after cleansing. But straight-up moisturizer was not happening.

But as I got older, I started realizing I needed the acne lotion less and less. And I needed the moisture in my face to be replenished. I also needed some SPF. (Yes, this Florida girl did not wear SPF on her face daily until her late 20's). Sunspots find my forehead if there isn't sunscreen in my moisturizer, however, I have one problem. I have a sensitivity to sunscreen. So, for me, all SPF facial moisturizers are not created equally.

I used Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer SPF 15 For Sensitive Skin and Olay Age Defying Classic Protective Renewal Lotion with Sunscreen SPF 15 for longer than I've used any other moisturizers. I've never developed a sensitivity to the SPF or lotion. The Olay Complete is much more of a basic (but affordable) moisturizer, whereas the Age Defying one gave me some results in seeing smoother skin (It's still pretty affordable.)

I started needing more SPF (the sunspots! The SUNSPOTS!!!!) so I moved on to Neutrogena's Visibly Even Daily Moisturizer SPF 30. There was a noticeable improvement in my skin's texture and tone after a few days of use. (Fair warning- there is a silicone-y feel.) But after daily use for several months, I developed a sensitivity to it and switched to Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Sun Damage Daily Moisturizer SPF 30. (Which I am still using as I write this.) Between the two, I prefer Garnier's. I still have a noticeable improvement in tone and texture with Garnier. But I don't get that silicone vibe and, instead, have a more luminous complexion.

Vegan Options:

Perfectly Posh Moisturize 911 Caffeinated Face Crème

Perfectly Posh Throwing Shade Facial Sunscreen SPF 30

Perfectly Posh Night & Day Face Moisturizer


Face Scrub

Before bed, I like to wash my face with a scrub. Using the Luna Mini twice in one day is too much for my skin. And I feel like a scrub does a better job of removing makeup from my skin. The two scrubs I've been using recently are both by Biore. One is the Biore Baking Soda Acne Scrub and the other is the Biore Charcoal Acne Scrub. I personally prefer the baking soda scrub. It seems a little gentler and creates more of a foamy lather. It also leaves my skin a little smoother than the charcoal scrub. But both are great scrubs.

Vegan Option:

Perfectly Posh BFF: Best Face Forever Exfoliating Face Wash (Highly Recommend!)

Perfectly Posh Complexion Perfection Exfoliating Face Wash (Highly Recommend!)


I've been using an anti-aging cream at night since my late 20's. Once I no longer needed to cover my entire face with acne medicine each night, I started using an anti-aging cream. (And, yes, I was aggressively fending off acne into my late 20's.) I really like Olay's Pro-X Wrinkle Smoothing Cream, however, it is costly in-store and you now need to have Amazon Prime to be able to buy it at a much lower price on Amazon. So I moved on to Garnier's Ultra-Lift Miracle Sleeping Cream. And, honestly, I see more results (and faster results) with this guy. It's also about $20-$25 cheaper than the Olay Wrinkle Smoothing Cream. (Garnier's ranges from $12-$16 in price depending on where you shop. ) Neither breaks me out. Neither is greasy.

Vegan Options:

Perfectly Posh Never Grow Up Serum Anti-Aging Fine Line Fixer

Perfectly Posh Never Grow Up Face Crème Anti-Aging Deep Moisturizer


Face Masks

Ok. Honestly, It's probably more like 3 times a week. But I LOVE face masks. To me, these are a huge part of a skincare routine. Not just because they are fun, but because they also can help keep your skin healthy.

Three of my favorite face masks at the moment also happen to be vegan (and listed below.) Anyone who knows me IRL has most likely heard me rave about and recommend the Perfectly Posh Envy This Face Mask. It is amazing! After one use my skin tone is improved and my skin is GLOWING.

My current favorite detoxing mask is the Perfectly Posh Cackle Spackle. It's also vegan and contains a ton of skin-loving ingredients including, glycolic acid, kaolin, charcoal, and aloe vera. It smells like spearmint gum to me (which I enjoy) and deep cleans without drying the skin.

My favorite mask for getting a breakout under control is the Perfectly Posh Smashing Good Pumpkin. It's vegan and contains so many acne fighting ingredients. You'll find witch hazel, salicylic acid, kaolin, and tea tree oil in this mask. It also contains aloe vera, coffee extract, and pumpkin powder. You'd think this mask would be harsh if it's taking on my breakouts. But you'd be wrong. It's much gentler than it sounds and helps zap those zits without leaving my skin dry.

Other masks I use are Caolion's Where is Pore? Pore Cleansing Blackhead Steam Pack (really great for blackheads. Not a pull mask.) and the 7th Heaven Orange & Black Lava Smooth & Soften Exfoliator & Mask (another affordable skincare option. $1-$3 per mask depending on where you buy.)


Vegan Options:

Perfectly Posh Envy This Face Mask

Perfectly Posh Cackle Spackle

Perfectly Posh Go West Detoxing, Exfoliating Face Mask

 Perfectly Posh Smashing Good Pumpkin

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Ultimate Fish Cake Recipe

Written by a contributing writer

Link here

Do you buy fish cakes when you visit the supermarket each week for your family? Then you’re probably missing a trick. The frozen products you purchase are nowhere near as good for your health as the ones you could create at home. With that in mind, I wanted to share a recipe so that you could make fish cakes at home. I hope this information inspires you to leave those Mr. Birdseye items on the shelves for the time being. As with many other things, you will get better and more personalized results if you take the DIY approach. So, follow the information on this page and put it to use the next time you're craving a fish cake.


Any leftover fish (prawns, cod, haddock, crab, etc)

450g (3 cups) of floury potato cut into chunks

A smidgen of tomato sauce (to taste)

1 tablespoon of English mustard

Some chopped parsley (to taste)

1 beaten egg

100g (2/3 cup) of dried breadcrumbs

4 tablespoons of sunflower oil


First, heat your grill so that it is ready to go. Add your potatoes to a pan and let them boil for about fifteen minutes. When they are soft, mash the potatoes. Then place your leftover fish on the grill to cook. Professionals at say you should leave it for around seven minutes. Make sure to season the fish at this stage using parsley or anything else you enjoy. Allow the fish to cool for five minutes before breaking it into small chunks.

Now it’s time to mix your mashed potato with your tomato sauce. You can also throw the mustard in at this stage. Add anything else you like to the mix, and then place your fish in the bowl. Mix it all together using your hands and fashion the concoction into small fish cake shapes.

Next up, you’ll want to put your eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs into three separate dishes. Take each of your fish cakes and dip them in the flour. Then roll them in the egg before dipping them in the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process a couple of times until you’ve covered the entire fish cake in breadcrumbs. You don’t want to leave any gaps. If you’re planning on making an impressive dessert, now would be the perfect time to make a start. With a bit of luck, it would be finished just after the fish cakes.

Link here

Once you’ve done all that, it’s time to fry your fish cakes on a medium heat for around five minutes each until they are golden brown. Just keep checking them every couple of minutes until you’re satisfied. You can use a thermometer to check they are fully cooked if you have any concerns. However, pre-cooking your fish should eliminate that issue.

Link here


Remember, you can add anything you like to this fish cake recipe. So, make sure you think outside of the box and try something new. I sometimes use bacon as that seems to work well. You can also produce these in bulk and freeze them after adding the breadcrumbs. I hope you use this recipe soon, and that you love eating it with your family.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Picture This: How To Save Perfect Family Memories

Written by a contributing writer

Making memories is something that a lot of families spend a great deal of time focusing on. We like to throw big parties for our kids’ birthdays so we have something incredible to look back on, we go on vacations to far-flung places and to Disneyland so that we have stories to tell in later years. But the question is: how exactly do we make sure that we keep those memories safe? Here are some tips to help you out...

Keep A Journal

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A lot of people are dissuaded from keeping journals because they think they’ll take up a lot of time and  they don’t particularly want to have to reveal their innermost secrets - but the truth is that writing a journal can be exactly what you want it to be. If you want, your journal could simply be a place to detail what you had for dinner and funny things that your kids said that day. It’s the minutiae of everyday life that you’ll end up forgetting in the future, so it’s important to make sure that you try to save as much of it as you can.

Take Photographs

Image source

Of course, because we all have smartphones, we end up taking a lot of photographs and videos and preserving them on social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But you should also save them for yourself by printing them out and keeping them safe. It’s both easy and cheap to get photographs printed and delivered to you, especially if you do it in bulk. You don’t have to make beautiful scrapbooks or stick them all into albums - just keeping the photographs is enough and will give you a lot to look back on in the future. Make sure to document everyday events as well as bigger days like birthdays and Christmas. Try to take photos of your older relatives as well as your kids - you’ll be grateful for them in the future.

Ask Friends And Family For Help

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If you spend a lot of time with your friends and your family, you could ask them for their help in saving memories - you don’t have to take all the photographs yourself. Because let’s face it - that way you’ll never be in them. When you have your kids, make sure you check out newborn photography workshops so that you can get the best possible images of their gorgeous baby faces. At parties, give your friends and family disposable cameras so that they can take some great action shots. And get them to upload all their digital photos to a shared drive so that you can all check them out.

Keep Your Kids’ Projects

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Finally, make sure that you save a few of your kids’ projects. Be judicious about which ones you keep - those with more memories attached are more important, of course, and if you let them, then your kids’ art projects will end up taking over the house. Put a couple of paintings per year into a folder to keep along with any schoolwork like short stories that they’re particularly proud of.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Vacations At Home: US States Most Americans Overlook

Written by a contributing writer

Are you thinking about your summer vacation at the moment? Are you worried that you won’t manage to afford anything nice for your family? Then stop looking at other countries and spend your free time in the US. Most Americans take the time to visit places like Orlando and Las Vegas during their lives. However, there are lots of other states with great attractions that families tend to overlook. With that in mind, I wanted to release a post that points you in the right direction. Every state in the US has something to offer if you know where to begin your search. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to focus on places I’ve visited in the past. So, you can trust this advice.


Pennsylvania is a state unlike any other. It’s famous for being home to the largest community of Amish people in the US today. However, there is more to that location than most people realize. Apart from excellent museums and natural beauty, there are performing arts centers and theaters you won’t want to miss. You could visit any part of the state that tickles your fancy. Even so, there are lots of things to do that would keep your family entertained. Who knows? You might come home with some original Amish handcrafts for all your friends. Also, you’re guaranteed to take some amazing photographs.

Credit here

Sometimes you have to head north if you want to experience something spectacular. Montana, as the name suggests, is a mountainous region of the US. The state borders Canada and is home to the Rocky Mountains. It’s quite cold there during the winter months, but you can expect some fantastic weather in the summer. It’s the perfect location for outdoor camping in the wild. You can head off into the mountains with your RV or tents and spend time with mother nature. That should keep your kids away from their games consoles for a couple of weeks. Best of all? You’ll probably struggle to get a mobile phone signal once you reach the wilderness.

New Mexico

If you fancy something different, why not head as far south as possible? New Mexico is an often overlooked state that’s beautiful in its own way. The location is the last stop between the US and Mexico, and the culture reflects that. You’ll find lots of Spanish restaurants and music on every street. Just make sure you take lots of sunscreen if you plan to visit at the height of the summer. Temperatures there can exceed those in Nevada and other surrounding areas. There are also national monuments to visit and lots of amazing desert scenery. Your eyes won’t get bored if you spend time in New Mexico this summer.

Now you know about some great states most people ignore, I hope you will make choose the vacation destination that is right for you, your family, and your budget. At the end of the day, you’re going to save a fortune compared to taking your vacation abroad. Internal flights are pretty cheap, but you can always drive if you fancy a road trip. Enjoy!

Fast Fitness: Fact Or Fiction?

Written by a contributing writer


Picture Credit

We all want fast results from our fitness attempts.  And not everyone embraces the idea of exercise and healthy eating with open arms. So, it makes sense that we want to see results as soon as possible. We all want a payoff for all of our hard work! And that includes fitness. Yet, as with anything in the fitness world, there are conflicting opinions about whether fast results are possible. Some people swear by quick fitness solutions, while others insist there’s no such thing. As is often the case when trying to decide the best route, it can be hard to separate the fact from the fiction. For the most part, people are set in their ways and refuse to concede their points. That’s why we’re here to set a few things straight on the fast fitness record.

‘It takes a long time to see results from exercise'

Fiction. It’s completely possible to see fast results from exercise. Of course, it all depends on what exercise you’re doing and what condition your body was in to start with. Some options are a better route to fast results than others. But, that shouldn’t be your priority when deciding which workout is right for you. Bodybuilding may be a sure way to see quick effects, but it may not be what you’re after if weight loss is your aim. Note, too, that people with more weight to lose, or worse general fitness, will likely see results faster. If your weight isn’t a big concern and you’ve kept yourself fit, you may have a longer wait on your hands. It’s also important to note that you need to keep realistic expectations. When people speak about ‘fast fitness,' we often take it a little too literally. Even if you do start reaping the rewards early on, they may not be as drastic as you were hoping.

‘Supplements don’t work’

Fiction. Supplements, though often frowned upon in fitness, can work for fast results. But, it’s important you use them in the right way. If you take them and don’t do anything else, any results you do see won’t last long. Realistically, you can’t take supplements for an extended period. So, you’ll see a quick reversal the moment you stop taking them. But, used alongside a fitness regime, they could be the right way to give boost yourself at the start of your journey. Do your research and find out about the best fat burner for women. Make sure you’re searching on reputable sites, though. There are a lot of underground supplements that would do you more damage than good.

‘The speed of results depends on the work you put in’

Fact. The only real way to see fast results is to work hard. If you exercise for half an hour, once a week, it’s going to be a while before you see any positive changes. But, if you commit to a practice once each day, you’ll speed the process in a big way. It’s also important to get your heart racing and your body moving. Lackluster exercises will most likely not be the way to achieve drastic or quick fitness results.

*This post is not meant to give medical advice. Please consult a medical professional before starting any diet/fitness routine.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Say Bye Bye To Your Baby Weight

Written by a contributing writer


When pregnant, our bodies change to cater to the baby's every need. And gaining weight is a given. But a lot of women find it tricky to lose that baby weight afterward, which can really start to get you down and may even affect your self-esteem. But there are a few things you can do to change that. Here are the easiest ways to whip that body back into shape.

Stop eating bad fatty foods

If you haven't already, you should cut out junk food such as burgers, chips, and soda. Instead, fill your diet with things your body needs, like dairy, protein, and vitamins. Fruit and vegetables will never let you down, so pack your fridge full of these. Not only will they get you back on the right track, but they also help fight off nasty diseases, ensuring your body stays as strong as it can be. Don't see this as going on a diet - your body doesn't need to do that.  See it as being as healthy and as strong as you can be for you and your little one.

Get up and move

It's very easy to forget about exercising, as you most likely feeling very tired, and the idea of working out is the last thing you want to do. But if exercise is an important factor in staying healthy and feeling re-energized. You don't need to go to the gym for this; you can get a decent workout from the privacy of your own home. Put on some music and dance! When was the last time you got to let your hair down a little? This isn't just cardio - this is therapy! You can even do this your baby; it's a great way to bond, and you'll be having fun.

Sometimes diet and exercise don't get rid of every pocket of fat. No matter how much weight some lose, they still have those areas that just refuse to budge. If you find this to be the issue, weight loss surgery can be considered as a way to tackle this, by removing the fat once and for all.

Take naps

Exercising is great, but if you don't have the energy to do it - it's just not going to work. So catch up on them z’s whenever possible. If that means napping through the day at any given chance - go for it! You're a mother now, and that can really take its toll on you, mentally and physically. So don't neglect yourself - listen to what your body is telling you it needs. The chances are, it'll just be a good night's sleep.

The biggest thing to remember is staying healthy and keeping your body safe and looked after. Always make sure you speak to your doctor about your thoughts and feelings, as they will be the best people to advise you what is right for you.

*This post is not meant to give medical advice.  Please consult a medical professional before starting a new diet/exercise program.

Do You Really Need Those Kitchen Gadgets?

Written by a contributing writer 

With all of the wonderful and wacky kitchen gadgets you can buy, it should be no surprise that many home kitchens are being filled to the brim with them. Whether it’s a contraption to cut eggs, grate cheese or chop onions, there are all kinds of devices that let you speed up certain tasks and promise to take the effort out of cooking and prep. However, do you really need all those devices, or are they just taking up space in your cupboards and drawers? Let’s go through some basic kitchen advice that will convince you that you don’t need a plastic contraption for everything.

Source: Pexels

Does it actually save time?

There are plenty of ways to save time in the kitchen. A popular way to shave precious hours each week on cooking is to simply prepare your meals on the weekend and freeze them. But do you really need special contraptions or boxes designed for it? Absolutely not! All you need are some basic tupperware containers to store your food and presto, you have cheap, healthy and delicious ready-made meals that are miles above anything you could get from a supermarket.

Let’s also take a look at graters, cutters, and the other types of kitchen gear that apparently help you with kitchen prep. The first thing you need to ask is: does using this contraption actually save time? You also need to consider if washing them adds to the overall time you spend cooking. There are many complex gadgets that let you do fun things and they can sometimes be helpful, but washing them can be a pain and it ends up wasting more of your time than before.

There are, of course, some essential gadgets that every kitchen needs in order to make you more productive. For example, using a can opener is infinitely more efficient than trying to poke holes into the top of a can with a knife. If you visit Ucsb RHA, you’ll see there are plenty of cheap can openers that do what they say and nothing more. They don’t need to be complicated, they just need to open a can!

Learn to use a knife

It feels like many of the gadgets you can buy from online stores and infomercials tackle cutting in some shape or form. It could be a simple cutter that promises to chop up onion, it could be a device that makes cutting bread easy, or it might be something that helps you peel vegetables. Unfortunately, most of these take a lot of cleaning up and take up a lot of space in your kitchen cabinets, making them fairly inefficient to use.

Instead, why not just learn to use a knife? Knife skills are applicable everywhere in the kitchen and if you’re proficient and confident with one, you can cut and chop just about anything. There’s a reason you don’t see celebrity chefs on TV using the funky contraptions that you do—they’re comfortable just using a knife. There’s less to clean up, it doesn’t take much effort to learn, and you don’t need to spend money on additional gadgets in your kitchen.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cut Your Time in the Kitchen

Written by a contributing writer

Image source

If you’re anything like me, you know how important it is to cook nutritious meals for your family. However, like me, you probably find that you have less time than you would like to be able to create healthy meals due to all of the tasks a busy mom has to keep up with. Luckily, there are some tricks we can all use to cut our time in the kitchen and create hearty meals for the whole family. Here are some of my favorites:

Plan Every Meal

The first thing you should do if you want to save time in the kitchen is plan your meals. Every Sunday (or whichever day is most convenient for you), sit down and write a list of every meal you’ll be cooking at home and the ingredients you’ll need to create it. Shop for the required groceries once a week, and then you just have to check your food plan every day and get cooking –there’ll be no more running to the grocery store for forgotten ingredients or pre-packaged meals.

Buy Pre-Cut Veggies

They can be a few cents more expensive when fresh, so if you’re on a tight budget, you might want to skip this step or buy pre-cut frozen versions, but investing in pre-cut fruits and veggies is one of the best ways to ensure that you spend less time in the kitchen. They’ll shave several minutes off the prep time for each meal, giving you more time to spend with your family.

Invest in Timesaving Gadgets

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There are a number of kitchen gadgets, including high-speed blenders, dicers, and crock pots that can reduce the amount of physical time you have to spend in the kitchen by completing tasks more efficiently. Investing in these might cost you some cash, but you’ll get more of your time back.

Cover Boiling Water

Waiting for water to boil on the stove so that you can cook pasta or soup can be annoying, not to mention time-consuming, but if you put the lid on your pot, the water will heat up much more quickly, and you can get out of the kitchen a little bit sooner.

Batch Cook
If you have a family to feed, it makes sense to buy your produce in bulk and cook it in large batches. It takes pretty much the same amount of time to cook two meals worth of soup as it does to cook one, so you’ll save time and have a nutritious meal that just needs to be heated up before serving on one of your busier days.

Thinly Slice Meat

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If you want to get in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible, and you’re cooking a meat dish, instead of cooking it in a big hunk, cut it so that it is about half an inch thick, and you’ll only have to cook it for a couple of minutes on each side in a hot pan.

What are your top tricks for spending less time in the kitchen?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mommy and Me Stroller Workout Tips and Tricks

Written by Shana with Baby Boot Camp

Are you a mom that is looking for ways to get a few workouts in while spending time with your babies?

Stroller workouts are a great way to workout with your baby, strengthen your muscles, and bond with your baby. 


After my daughter was born my whole world turned upside down. I needed an outlet. During high school and college, I was an athlete, so I had a burning desire to get back into fitness. I was nervous about putting my newborn in a fitness day care center. So, as a stay-at-home mom, if I wanted to work out, I had to do it with my kids.

One of the best workouts I found is a stroller workout. Here are a few tips and tricks I've compiled.

1) Be sure to power walk with your stroller as a warm-up. It works as a cool down, and it is a great exercise to do in between circuits. Make sure that your arms are at 90-degree angles when you're pushing the stroller so that you can get the most out of it.

2) Make the stroller a tool for your exercises. Consider walking lunges and squats. You can also do planks. Just put your feet up on the front of the stroller and you're ready to go.

3) While exercising, you can entertain your children by singing along with them. This is also a great way to keep time with your workout progress. I'll do six versus of Itsy-bitsy Spider while doing a particular circuit of wall sits. It takes my mind off the burning in my legs and it entertains my daughters at the same time.

4) Another great distraction for the children is tickling. Of course, tickling is one of the best distractions that there is. I'll pick a spot spring back and forth to when I get to the stroller I simply tickle the kids make them laugh hysterically and go and sprint back to my destination only to repeat this fun game with them.

I live in New York so I'm not able to take the girls out in the stroller every single day of the year. My advice is to make it work when you can and wherever you can. I belong to a local rec center and they have an indoor track that we can sometimes use. I've also been able to use my stroller workouts while at the local mall. When it's nice, I will always head outside to the park.

There are days where I just didn't accomplish much of anything but that will happen is a stay-at-home mom. But just making time for even the shortest workout is a big deal. Be proud of yourself. When you work out with your children you are doing something good for you, and you're also doing something good for them as you provide them with a healthy role model.