4 Week Work Out Program

Exercising is like marriage...
You've got to spice things up to maintain the passion.

I've been diligently working on a new 4 week work out program as part of the 52 Weeks of Balance Project. You can add these pages into your Wanna Be Balanced Planner.

This program is all about mixing things up to prevent boredom and to keep your body guessing which is ideal for maximum results.

Are you at the point where you feel like nothing's working for you? No matter what you do, that muffin top remains. I hear ya girl friends. It's called, LIFE AFTER KIDS.

Don't give up hope though, there is a way. I'm going to share exactly what I do to keep my weight in check. Although I won't exactly be joining in now that I'm with child. I'll be there cheering you on while stuffing my face with carbs on top of carbs, yum :) Now's my chance to eat what I want right?  I'm trying not to go over board because I tend to think I'm literally eating for two. We like to say that don't we, but we all know it only takes an extra 300 calories to keep that baby growing healthy and strong.

Let's just pretend we didn't hear that okay?

I'm eating for two and I don't care what you say!!!

These four week's we'll be incorporating MIND BODY and SOUL to keep us feeling energized and balanced as we get our bodies back to where they were meant to be.

It's no secret that diet plays  a major role in getting the kinds of results you're looking for. So for the next 4 weeks, try replacing breakfast with an Isagenix meal replacement shake, for lunch, you should eat a 400-600 calorie meal (use google for ideas), and for dinner have a small portion of what ever you're making for the family. I don't think it's necessary to eat perfectly ALL day. Enjoy a nice yummy meal with your family, just don't over do it. Try using a smaller plate to trick your mind into thinking you've got a full plate.

Here's week one!

                                        Click HERE to print.

Just so you know, I'm fully qualified to give you fitness advice. Seriously, I used to be an aerobics instructor ya know...

Well, not legally, but I was.

Let me just tell you that story real quick.

I was about 20 years old, living in Hawaii with my mom. We were living in a small town called Hilo, population- 40,000. Fitness has always been a major priority in my life. I'm not one to work out more than 30-40 min. on average, but I do make it a part of my daily routine. So anyway, I found the nearest gym and first thing I thought was, I wonder if I could get a job here and get a free membership.
So I asked the person at the front desk (which just so happened to be the owner) if they were hiring. It went a little like this...

Owner:  Well yes we are, but we need an aerobics instructor, can you teach aerobics?

Me:  Um yah... I mean, I'm not certified or anything, but I've been to enough aerobics classes to know how to teach one.

Owner:  Okay, come in tomorrow and show us your routine.

Me:  Uh, okay... ya... um, sure sure I can do that. Great, thanks... see you tomorrow.

I walked away thinking, WHAT THE HECK DID I JUST DO?

I was excited but felt major pressure to come up with a good routine. I worked all night on it, wrote it down and practiced it over and over.

I came back the next day for the "audition" I guess you'd call it. Did my routine in front of all the other instructors and was totally embarrassed because I really had know idea what I was doing.

Well, I got the job and taught my class 3 times a week for 4 months (then I left on my mission). Is there anything better than getting paid to work out?

Um no...

Someday I'll tell you about when I was an aerobics instructor on my MISSION. Yes, I'm being serious, but I'll have to save that story for another day.

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My New Camera

For my birthday Sean got me the camera I've been coveting for a while. The new Canon EOS Rebel T3i.  I'm so very excited about it because it captures HD video as well and has a flip LCD screen.

I've only just begun my journey in figuring out how this thing works. I've played around with the video and absolutely LOVE how it allows me to use more creativity when filming. As you all know I love putting together videos and making them fun, so this is going to bring my video making skills to a whole new level.

Are there any photographers or photographer wannabe's out there? I'd like to put together photography posts once every other week combining tips from all of you along with pictures you've taken.

Today's question is:

What is your favorite lens, and why?
You can answer this question in the comments section of this post or if you'd like to share your tip in a post on my blog (giving you the opportunity to elaborate and share pictures), then email it to me at crystal@escoweb.net.

I recently bought the 35mm f/2 Wide Angle lens on Amazon for $320. I called Pictureline and they were the exact same price there too. So I think I got a pretty good deal.

Here is an example of the kind of difference this lens makes.

This picture was taken with the standard kit lens 18-55mm on auto.

As you can see the 35mm lens makes a huge difference. It brings in more light and even captures a little more of the room. This picture was also taken on auto but I don't recommend using the automatic mode. You can get much better pictures once you learn how all the settings work. I'm still learning, but feel like I'm definitely making progress.
Here are a few of my recent favorite pics.

 This was taken at the Butterfly Museum in Florida.

 Now let me explain. I'm not in any way trying to make fun of this man, I just felt like it was an opportunity to capture what life is really like for some people. Truly brakes my heart.

This one was actually an accident. Lily moved her hand right when I snapped it. I just thought it looked cool, you know how some people claim they have pictures of ghosts? Well, now I can say I have one too :)

Aw, this one just makes me proud. My two little cuties. Oliver with his cousin Ronin.

I do have one tip to leave with you as far as photography goes.


I felt so dumb when I asked one of my photographer friends what I should do first to learn how to better use my camera. She bluntly said, "Read your manual".

Well needless to say I started reading that dang thing.

I never knew reading the directions could be so helpful.

Oh and last but not least. THANK YOU everyone who have left comments on yesterdays post about sharing your talents. I REALLY enjoyed reading all about your wonderful talents. So much fun!!!!

And the winner of the $96 gift card to Hapari Swimwear is Cambria Parker. Congratulations!!!!

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Exciting News!!!

Well everyone, the day has finally come...


I know the first test looks a little questionable, so that's why I took a second one this morning.  Actually I woke up at 5am this morning to take it :) 

I'm a little compulsive that way. 

I've already got my first doctor's appointment scheduled, a name picked out (because it's going to be a girl), and plans to get Oliver potty trained within the next 6 months. 

I'm very very excited for this baby and feel incredibly blessed. 

Couldn't be happier!!!!!

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Conversations With a 5 Year Old

Do you ever have those days where you feel like you're on a debate team? Except you're not really on a team, you're on a desolate island left to fend for yourself with a vicious 5 year old as your opponent.

5 year old DAUGHTER might I add.

Lately everything I say to my daughter turns into a two hour argument which in the end leaves me throwing fits and saying things like:

"Uh huh"

"No I'm not"

"Ya huh... I think I know what I'm talking about... I AM a mom ya know"

"I'm telling daddy"

"SEEAAAAANNNNN, Lily's not listening to me"

Once I run out of all my ingenious rebuttals, I tastefully complete the dispute by sticking out my tongue.

Then she say's things like:

"MOM!!! You have to be nice to your childrenS   or Santa won't bring you ANY toys"

"If you don't let me watch a movie then I'm not EVER going to brush my teeth again!!!"

Then Sean say's:

"GIRLS!  Stop fighting right now or you're both going to time out!!!"


I think I DO need a time out.

Okay, now you HAVE to watch this video.  I'm serious!  No no, I'm REALLY serious!!! Watch it okay.

Hapari Swimwear Giveaway!!!

I've blogged about Hapari before because they have the cutest and best fitting swimwear around, and since I now have a 30 year old mom body, tankinis are the way I roll :)

"Hapari Swimwear enhances the curves you love and hides the curves you don't. We make modest swimwear and tankinis that are stylish and comfortable for all body types. With Hapari's new line of tankini swimwear we've improved upon the things women have traditionally disliked about modest swimsuits. Using our special style tabs, every tankini can be worn 3 different ways; halter, tank and criss cross. Women's swimwear is our specialty. Shop figure flattering tankinis, one piece swimsuits, bikinis, and bottoms. We have the perfect swimwear for you!"

Today I get the opportunity to host a giveaway for them.
The prize is a $96 gift card!!!!!

Let me just show you how cute these babies are. Here are the ones I already have.
 I just love the skirts but my favorite are the tummy tuck bottoms.  The Tummy Tuk” band helps keep your figure and provides extra coverage for your midsection.

And here are the ones I want.

Now for your chance to win one of these!!!


To enter the giveaway, just share one of these links below. You can post it on your facebook wall, tweet it or blog it.  Then come back here and comment on this post with the URL where the link to Hapari can be found. Once this is done you have entered into the giveaway!



You can leave additional comments for each thing you do from the list below.

* Share my blog with your friends on Facebook. Copy and paste this link:

* Follow or subscribe to this blog either through google friend connect, networked blogs, or email.

* "Like" Hapari on Facebook.

* "Like" Balanced Moms on Facebook.

* Enter my other giveaway I have going on right now.

Giveaway ends March 29th. The winner will be chosen using random.org. I will contact the winner via email so be sure to leave your email address with your comment so I have a way of contacting you.

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Spring Fashion

Lots of fun new things I want to share with you today, and since I'm 30 now I thought it very necessary to start dressing like I'm 30.

Okay I'm kidding. There's really no difference in how I'm dressing,  just thought I'd find an excuse for yet another shopping spree :)

First I'm going to show you a few things I got from the Vintage Inspired Modest Women's Clothing by Impel.  They've got a great sale going on TODAY ONLY too, so hurry over and buy what you want.

You all know how much I love the Lace tops. Those are actually regular price, but all of the Basic Tee's are only $7 (usually $26), so I bought like every color.  Pink, Green, Blue, White. You can never go wrong with the basic tee's, they go with everything.
Cap Sleeve Laying T-Shirt Clearance

I also got this cute  short sleeve side button sweater
For $26

Oh my gosh, and don't you just LOVE these Jeans !!!!! They've got a bunch of the stretchy fabric ones.
I mean who wears regular denim fabric anymore. Stretchy is a MUST :) Gotta be able to fit in your jeans EVEN when you're bloated right :) The best part about these jeans is they are only $47!!!! That is incredible!!!!!

Belted boyfriend cardigan 
This is another sale item, only $10!!!!!

They've got some really cute jewelry too. This Black glass pendant with bow
is my favorite. Isn't it gorgeous!!!!

This shirt I actually got for my birthday from my BFF :) She got it from my favorite store at the Fashion Place Mall in Salt Lake City Utah called Bohm!!! Thank you Brenda, I LOVE it!!!! They also have some really cute jewelry right now. Here is a necklace and some earrings I got.

Now these shoes are my favorite part of it all!!!!! I'm in LOVE!!!!
They were actually a little pricey, but hey, it was my birthday so it's all good :)
Sam Edelman Nalo Sandal $149
Don't mind my freakishly long toes. I was trying really hard to scrunch them in for the picture.

And I would love these too, but I think I spend enough for one day.
                                                           Betsey Johnson Tammiee Flat

I got these shoes from Target. I really LOVE the color and they are such a fun new style.

My new shoes will go great with my new Cortez cuff bracelet I got. It's on sale for $47 (normally $118)

Okay I'm done shopping for now :) Now it's your turn.

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With age comes beauty...

Oh wait

That's not right is it...
With age comes WISDOM.

Or so they say.

Doesn't seem to be that way in my case. More like, with age comes memory loss, saggy skin, fine lines and little black hairs on my chin.

I know there are many positive ways of looking at the aging process and I'm TRYING to see them :)

I do feel grateful for what I've accomplished up until now, but I guess I just want to be young and vibrant forever. I want to be able to have the energy and stamina to do many more things in my life. I've been actively working on my bucket list and actually feel like this last year I've grown tremendously. Turning 30 is a huge milestone in ones life.  At this point we all hope to have collected a certain amount of triumphs. Nobody wants to live with the "coulda  woulda  shoulda" thoughts.

Most of you know of my monthly "Life list" goals. Each month I choose one thing from my bucket list to focus on, like public speaking, photography, writing a song, ect.

This month is my month to learn how to write better. I really suck at this whole writing thing, but I'm determined to enhance my skills and get better. Turning 30 has really made me focus more on what I want to accomplish in my NEXT 30 years.

Lately I've been thinking about a bigger more lofty goal.

To write a book by the time I'm 35.

There I said it.

It's out there, I'm committed, I'm gonna make it happen.

I find it kind of scary sharing such a goal. Perhaps it's fear. Fear that I'm not good enough, smart enough, talented enough. Fear of what people will think?

Will they laugh? Will they believe in me? Will they support me?

Fear of FAILURE.

By sharing your goals with others, it holds you more accountable. It pushes you to work harder because failing in front of others is much worse than failing at something only you knew about.

It's an absolute fact, that by SHARING your goals with others, you are more likely to achieve them.
Although I may not be the most talented writer in the world, I do believe I have a special story to tell. As most of us do. It's all a matter of putting forth the effort to get the story told.

This month I'm reading a book called One Year to a Writing Life: Twelve Lessons to Deepen Every Writer's Art and Craft.

For those of you who may have the same goal, or simply want to improve your creative writing skills, then this would be a great book for you. Here are a couple tips to start out.

Journaling is the best way to start because it establishes a habit of writing. Make it part of your routine. Record the significant events in your life. Describe how you're feeling, what you're feeling and why. Write about your dreams and aspirations. Write about love. Love for God, love for your spouse, love for your children. Write about your disappointments, trials, and most importantly lessons learned.

Incorporate regular timed writing. Start with just 10 minutes a day. Write what ever comes to mind and don't stop writing for 10 minutes straight. Notice your surroundings and write about them in detail.

I'm really excited to dive into this new goal of mine and I hope you will all stick with me over the next 5 years to see it come to fruition.

So with all the fuss I've been putting up about turning 30, I guess it's really not that bad. I'll sure miss my twenties, but I'm excited about the story these next few decades will write.

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