3 more sleeps`til Christmas!!!!!!

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wp-1450792758755.jpegChristmas can be such a fun, happy, loving, relaxing time, that can also be stressful and tiring.  I think it is important to reduce that stress by trying to relax, be as organized as you can, and keeping somewhat active.

There can be a lot going on over the holidays, but keep it all in perspective,  and remind yourself that you are surrounded by those you love and take time to enjoy being together.

If you want to make yourself feel better about all the wonderful food you are going to indulge in, try to squeeze in a few exercise sessions, even if it is just a walk after dinner.  I definitely indulge over the Christmas season, and love every minute of it!  But, I make sure (just like I do during Halloween) that I also up the ante on my workouts!  There are so many great offerings at Christmas time and surely you don`t want to miss out!  If you don`t think you can fit in more workouts, just make the ones you do more intense.

Another thing I always tell people is to indulge if you really want to, but just don`t overdo it!  Or, if you have a tendency to overdo it, indulge in the treats and dishes, just do so in moderation.

To all of my friends, family, and followers, please enjoy a very Merry Christmas, and may it be filled with love and happiness!!!!!!  

 

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Piles of Paper…..Part 2

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THE DREADED PAPER WORK, PART 2

 

Deal with mail now.  Most mail these days is either junk-mail, the odd bill, card, or invitation.  Deal with these as they arrive.

Bills – First of all, everyone should register to receive and pay their bills on-line.  I say this for many reasons:

  • It reduces the dreaded “paper pile –up”!
  • It is environmentally friendly.
  • It could save you money – some companies are now charging for bills to be mailed out.
  • It is WAY easier to sit at home and log in and receive/pay the bill rather than the time, energy, and money you put into mailing them, or going out to pay your bills.

It is very easy to set reminders on your phone, computer, and tablet to make sure these are dealt with on time.

Ads/flyers(mail ads…not to be confused with newspaper flyers) – Go through as you get them.  Don’t put them in a pile to deal with later, because you won’t!  It is easier to look now and get them over-with.  It shouldn’t take longer than a minute! When you receive those neighbourhood mailings of all the coupons and services available in your area, review right away and BE REALISTIC…if there is a coupon you will use save it in your **coupon clip or file it.  Otherwise recycle these.

**coupon clip-I keep a magnetic clip on the side of my fridge of local restaurant coupons and deals.  As new ones come in, or as the month passes and they expire, I get rid of them.  If I notice I am saving the same ones and never using them, I no longer save them.  You could also keep a file of local restaurant take-out menus so that you have these on file if you order in a lot.  (it is easier and produces less clutter if you just do it all on-line though!)

Cards or invitations – Make a note of the date and any important details on a calendar (online, digital, or physical), then dispose of the invitation.  No sense keeping a piece of paper just for a date! Christmas cards – fold the back in half and hang over your pictures in the living room or display wherever.  Birthday cards – I usually leave out on display for 2 weeks, then discard.

School paperwork – Go through school papers that day; make notes of dates on a calendar, then file.  I keep a small file holder in my kitchen where I have a colour coded file for each child for trips, or classroom information.  Review these files monthly or whenever the trip has happened then get rid of the form.

It’s all about the butt, ’bout the butt, no jiggles!

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Squats and Lunges are both your butt’s enemy and best friend!! They hurt (in a good way) a lot the day after (if you’re doing them right), but they keep that butt toned and taught!!  One very important tip to always keep in mind when you are doing squats is to do them slowly and controlled, and think about sticking your butt straight out while keeping your back straight, keeping your knees over your toes, and putting all of your weight on your heels (not your toes!).  Very important!

The squat

20141208_182947There are many different types of squats that target different parts of your legs, and butt so I’ll start with the wide-legged one.  Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and slowly lower down to a sitting position making sure to stick your butt out.  Make sure that you never extend your knees over your toes.  This is very important so you don’t hurt your knees.  Hold each squat for 3 counts at the bottom then stand up pushing down on your heels and squeeze your butt cheeks together.  Do 2-3 sets with 10-15 repetitions in each.

 

20141208_183012Another way to vary the squat is to stand with your feet spread fairly widely apart, and your toes pointed out (the plie squat). Lower down as far as you can and either hold it steady for as long as you can, then stand up and squeeze your butt cheeks together,  or lower for 3 counts then up and squeeze for 3 counts, doing 10-15 reps. Do 3 sets of these. Take a one minute break between sets.

 

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The last type is to do the wide legged squat, then as you are standing up, lift one leg off the ground and bring your knee to about your arm-pit height.  Do 10-15 of these on each leg.

 

 

 

 

The lunge

20141208_183049Again, there are different varieties of lunges, but I am going to start with a basic lunge.  Step back with one leg, then slowly lower your body (hands on hips or out to balance) until your front knee is bent about 90 degrees.  Here again you need to make sure your knee is over your ankle and not going over your toe!  Slowly lift your back leg forward to the starting position, then repeat.  Do 10-15 repetitions then switch legs.  Do 2-3 sets on each leg.

 

20141208_183145Another variety is to step forward the same way (keeping the knee over the ankle at a 90 degree angle!) then push yourself back up to standing.  Alternate legs here when you are stepping forward.   Do 10-15 reps (on each leg).

The easiest one I find is to take your step forward, or back, and rather than going back to starting position, just keep your stance and raise and lower for 10-15 reps, then repeat on the other leg.

With any of the above exercises feel free to add weights.  I like to hold a weight under my chin.

Trust me, these exercises are soooooo worth it to keep that butt tight as we gracefully age!!!

 

Making weekly tasks attainable

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Set weekly (attainable) goals for yourself when it comes to keeping your house clean

Instead of leaving all of your cleaning/chores for the weekend, break tasks up so they are less overwhelming.  Create a list of what you want cleaned weekly or biweekly, and schedule a little bit on a few different days. For example, if you have 3 bathrooms, the kitchen, and floors as your main cleaning priorities to do weekly or biweekly, pick 3-4 different days to do these, rather than your whole weekend. Writing it in your planner also helps you to actually get the job done. Cleaning and chores are way less overwhelming when you break them up rather than tackling them all at one time.

I personally love to make lists!  Sometimes just writing stuff down makes it more of a priority and then I will actually do it!  I love to cross stuff off of lists, so by writing it down, I’ll get it done just so I can cross it off my list!  Sad but true!! 🙂

A very important tip I always tell people is maintenance is key. By doing weekly chores, the total cleaning time will be less than if you were to do it once a month.  Each week when I clean, it is mostly just wiping/dusting and disinfecting surfaces.  I don’t have to scrub hard and use major “elbow grease” as it doesn’t get that dirty in a week.  (Well, at least it shouldn’t! 🙂 )

The other chores you can plan on doing less frequently, depending on your family (eg. Dusting…or as I call it “shifting the dust” 1-2x per month, window cleaning, or wiping baseboards…side note….I was once told that you can tell the cleanliness of someone’s house based upon the state of their baseboards!……not sure if I fully believe this, but I have to say, since I heard this I give them a quick wipe once in a while!!)

 Comments, or questions are welcome! Thanks so much to those of you who have taken the time to do so, it is much appreciated!!