Prancercise

Prancercise

Not quite sure why I was thinking about Prancercise this morning. Perhaps it was my own giddy gate as I “pranced” around the kitchen making coffee that shook the memory loose. Mornings are my absolute FAV time of day. I’ll get up at least an hour before the rest of the family just to soak in the aloneness that’s all mine. I’ll even forfeit sleep to have these moments of quiet. It’s.the.best. I get AM adrenaline surges that literally make me go “eeeee” and make my hair stand on end. My husband, aka “the corpse”, is my exact opposite. Our kids seem to (thankfully) be a happy middle ground between our extremes.

Let’s face it… I “prance”. Esp in the mornings. Or to 80’s pop music. Or to fantastic summer breezes blowing in my windows. Basically whenever everything is right with the world and I’m overcome with energy and happiness. I “get” this Prancercising lady.

Do I prance in public? Uh… no. I guess that’s why I kinda envy the boldness of Joanna Rohrback. She’s so genuine, so true, so… herself. Looks like she could give a flying flip about what anyone else thinks. She gets to walking. She gets to listening to some music. She gets to jamming. And then she just lets herself get lost in the moment to the music. Does her movement look like everyone else’s? Not at all. But that’s ok. That’s how SHE rolls. And I TOTALLY appreciate that. I LOVE that. She is who she is and she does what she does regardless of what other people say and think of her. She put herself out there and shared from her heart, probably in hopes of encouraging others to free themselves from the shackles of what others think and to embrace their own inner beat. To get fit while having fun.

But boy, she’s been made fun of for doing so. Lots of parodies and jokes and whatnot out there bashing her for being so weird/strange.

Anytime anyone puts themselves out there, they risk the chance of being made fun of. Actually, it’s a guarantee… they WILL be made fun of or ridiculed or bashed, etc.

It’s a shame really. And with social media, people can hide behind their anonymity. They say things online that they’d NEVER say to someone’s face.

There’s def an art to learning how to let crap like that roll off your back and not let it affect your heart. I liken it to bullying. The very mental flow of a bully is this: 1) the bully feels like crap inside (for whatever reason), 2) they see someone else that’s “better” than them (or that has something good going on), 3) the bully feels even yuckier (& prob threatened), 4) so they say or do something mean in hopes of tearing that “better” person down to their level (or lower), 5) their wounded ego (temporarily) gets stroked, and 6) they (temporarily) feel better. It’s primal and requires very little thinking. But that feeling of ok-ness only lasts a for a little while. Then they have to repeat the process again in order to re-feel better about themselves. The only thing that will REALLY heal a bully is for they themselves to work on/through their issues. Bashing other people is not a permanent fix.

But anyways, back to Prancing. Joanna Rohrback is prob a truly happy person. An energetic person (obviously). And this prancing… it’s from the heart. And if I had to bet, there’s prob a LOT of other people out there that, if stripped from the cares of what others may say, they too would prance in public. Even on a fitness level, that added movement incorporated with regular walking probably does indeed burn more calories!

Though I may not “prance” in public for my exercise routine, I do genuinely appreciate Joanna’s staying true to who she is. That’s a technique we should all be learning to do in our own lives– a lofty goal we should all be attempting to achieve. It’s taking that risk and putting ourselves out there. It’s sharing our life, thoughts, experiences, successes & failures… to help others, touch other people’s lives, encourage them, and to better someone else (even if it’s just 1 person). It’s standing tall regardless of the ridicule.

For more on Prancercise, Joanna has a YouTube channel. You can also read up more about it on Wikipedia.

In closing, I hope you my reader are learning to care less about what other people are thinking about you. I hope you’re taking that risk and putting yourself out there to reach and touch other people’s lives. I hope you are learning to listen to constructive criticism but to let hurtful criticism roll off your back (and to have the wisdom to know the difference between the two). In your life, do your own form of “prancing”– be & do what you were created to be & do.

prancercise

 

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How to Wash a Pack-n-Play

We have (2) Pack-n-Plays over here… one, we’ve had since 2003 and the other is slightly newer, just over 3 years old. Our *old* PnP stays stored in the basement for travel and guests. The *newer* PnP was being used by our youngest child for FAR too long. Yeah, we actually JUST recently purchased her a toddler bed and we’ve discovered she LOVES to sprawl! Poor thing. Can’t believe we never thought to get her a big-girl bed all this time. With Baby I being due in 4 weeks, we needed that PnP from her. It’s all good. We got the newer PnP all ready for Baby… and Miss Pebbles got her big girl bed. Everyone’s happy.

Well before I went and got the bassinet and everything attached to the *newer* PnP, I decided I better clean the thing first. I found online a loooooong time ago a recipe and instructions for just how to do such a project. I think I originally found it here at Mommy and the Minister.

Before I went and washed my newer PnP, I decided to experiment with my older one from the basement first, ya know… just in case I ruined it. LOL. If it got ruined, I’d be upset, but not devastated. If I ruined my newer one, now THAT would be upsetting.

So here’s the recipe:

Pack-n-Play Cleaner
1 scoop Dreft (or comparable brand gentle detergent)
splash of white vingar
1/4 C baking soda
Fill a bathtub with the hottest water possible from the tap. Once filled at least half way, add the Cleaner ingredients. No need to stir. Place PnP pieces in the tub. If it’s not completely submerged, keep adding water. Leave for 30 min. Flip pieces. Leave for another 30 min. Take outside to rinse well with a hose. Allow to stand outside to completely air dry.

Now… I believe *all* GRACO Brand PnP’s have a particle board type filler in the mattress to make it hard. Other brands may be made with plastic. Of course I have GRACO’s so I was *not* able to submerge my mattresses. GRRRR. That was the part I REALLY wanted to clean super good. I even called to company to confirm the materials in the mattress. Yep… particle board. So frustrating. If you have a different brand of PnP, it could very well be made of plastic– if so, you are in grand luck. CHECK YOUR OWNERS MANUAL or the TAGS on your product JUST TO BE SURE before you submerge. If you submerge particle board, you will totally warp the mattress material and it’ll be ruined.

What I did was make up a smaller batch of the Cleaner and put it in the sink. I then used a wash cloth to spot scrub the mattresses. It still worked well… but man alive, if only I could have dunked it, it’d probably have had an even better cleaning success.

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Old PnP- dirty

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Old PnP- dirty

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Old PnP- dirty

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Old PnP- dirty

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Old PnP- dirty

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Cleaner ingredients

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Going in

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After 30 min soak

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Made a smaller batch of Cleaner in the sink for spot washing the mattresses.

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Spot washing the old mattress.

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Getting ready to spot wash the newer mattress.

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After 1 hour soak.

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Pulled it out and laid it on some towels to carry it downstairs without it dripping on the floor.

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The water after the soak. YUCK.

 

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Newer PnP going in for a soak.

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Close up of grime.

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Old PnP after being hosed down. Air drying.

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Both mattresses, post hose down, drying outside. They look SO much better.

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The water after 1 hr with newer PnP. Not nearly as bad as the old one.

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Old mattress, after cleaning.

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After cleaning.

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After cleaning.

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After cleaning.

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Bassinet pieces of newer PnP after cleaning.

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The stain on the warning label came right off.

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Newer PnP all cleaned and dried and almost ready for baby.

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The mattress, after cleaning & drying.

Since I wasn’t able to submerge my mattresses and get a super deep clean, I will be sure and buy some mattress sheets. Probably would be a good idea anyway, what with spit up and diaper leaks that will for sure occur.

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This cleaning process worked SO well. I am QUITE impressed.

So impressed, in fact, that I decided to use this same recipe on some cloth folding chairs we owned.

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Filling up the tub.

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30 min soak.

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After 1 hr. Truly nasty!

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Out to air dry after a good hose-down!

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They look SO MUCH better!!!

I think I may do another soak on these chairs as there are still a few lingering spots. This time, though, instead of leaving to “soak” I will actually try scrubbing them.

If you try your hand at washing your Pack-n-Play using this method, be sure and let me know how it turns out. Hope you have as much success as we did!!!

Staying Motivated to Work Out During Pregnancy

I follow several fitness pages & people on Facebook. Here are my FAVS (in no particular preferential order):
Roller Derby Athletics
Derby Fit San DiegoHeath, Wellness, and Roller Derby
Treble Maker909
Fit Pregnancy
Knocked-Up Fitness
Diary of a Fit Mommy
Yoga With Kassandra
Yogadevotion
Yoga With Adriene
Holy Yoga
Spartan Race Training
Spartan Race
Natalie Hodson

In one of the pregnancy fitness pages, a young lady was asking for motivation to work out. If I remember right, she was about 6 months along.

The first thing that popped into MY mind was: find a goal!
There’s something about having a goal or an image or an aspiration to cling to. It REALLY helps get you off the couch and moving.

An upcoming vacation? A sport you want to try? A race you’d like to run? A class at the Y you’d like to try out? An old swim suit or pair of jeans that you’d LOVE to get back into? Getting off medications for blood pressure or diabetes? Just want to be able to play and keep up with your kids or grandkids? etc.

For me, I have several motivations:
1) I want labor & delivery *and* post-partum recovery to run smoothly and quickly and easily.
2) I have a gnarly varicose vein on my right leg that I *know* will flare up if I eat poorly or gain too much weight. Personally, I want that bad boy managed. I do NOT want to be miserable the rest of this pregnancy. Or worse yet, be couch-bound because I have to keep it elevated all the time.
3) I want and *need* the energy to keep up with my soon-to-be (7) children, homeschool, house duties, and whatever else I’m involved in with hubby/friends/family/church/& community. I do NOT want to always be tired or to have to say “no” to things cuz I can’t keep up.
4) I’m in a fitness & clean eating Facebook group where we have to report in daily with what we did exercise/food-wise. ❤❤ my ladies!!! ❤❤ the accountability!!!
5) I use a social media app called YouFood that connects me with people across the world. In this app I post my daily food intake and exercise… I can also share my food/fitness journey, post my groceries, share tips, or start a discussion. It’s SO useful. People can “like” what I post and also make comments. It’s a great tool, esp if you’re like me and can’t stand calorie counting. And I can get food/exercise ideas and inspiration from others. Both iPhones & Androids can use it.
6) I want to join roller derby after this baby is born. And that is a highly demanding physical activity. One in which I do NOT want to be starting out with cold turkey. If I can maintain fitness throughout my pregnancy, that will help drastically in getting in shape post-partum for derby.

Having these goals at the forefront of my mind really, truly helps me get off my hiney and onto my exercise mat each day!

So what motivates YOU? What gets you moving even if you don’t “feel” like it?

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Homemade Laundry Detergent

Made a huge 5 gallon batch of homemade liquid laundry detergent the other day and I ❤❤❤ it! Thought I’d share it here with you my readers!

The recipe:

4 C hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar1 C Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1/2 C Borax
5 gallon bucket
water

*Grate bar of Fel-Naptha soap and add to sauce pan with 4 C of water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
*Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. *Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover, and let set overnight to thicken.*Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of the way with water. Shake before each use. (Will gel)
*Optional: you can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

 

 

Yield:
*Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

Usage:
*Top load machine: 5/8 C per load (approx 180 loads)
*Front load machine: 1/4 C per load (approx 640 loads)

 

If you make this, please let me know what you think!!!  😁

 

Homemade Dryer Sheet Ideas (Part II)

Ok… so the aluminum ball idea was a fail. Well, it worked at first… but after about 3-4 loads, I noticed that bits of aluminum were starting to fall off. Not cool.

So… back to the drawing board.

On my Facebook page, a reader of mine commented that she uses bits of cloth soaked in a vinegar and essential oil solution.

Well, that’s the path I’m headed toward next!

 

 

I found a great recipe for homemade dryer sheets on Wellness Mama’s website.

Homemade Dryer Sheets:
1 C white vinegar
25+ drops of Essential Oil (I used lavender)bits of cloth (like flannel or cotton)
glass container

Basically, you mix the vinegar-EO solution and place in a glass container, preferable one with a wide opening/lid. Add your bits of cloth. Go ahead and leave them in there to soak. When you get your clothes ready in the dryer, grab a dryer sheet and lightly squeeze it (so it’s wet but not dripping). Add to the dryer. The vinegar smell will evaporate but the EO smell will lightly stay on the clothing. The vinegar not only softens the clothing, but it also gets rid of static cling.

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At Walmart today, I was able to purchase this large container of white vinegar for $2.84. This fleece blanket, which I plan to cut down into strips of cloth, cost me $1.38 at Goodwill. This blanket will probably make a TON of cloth strips (beyond what I’ll be needing for “dryer sheets”)… so I’m actually considering using the extra material for natural/homemade wet wipes. But that’s a project for later.

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I got a tad impatient and decided to cut up some old dish cloths we had that were super ratty and use them first. In fact, I used one of these dryer sheets on the fleece blanket I got from Goodwill (after I washed it).

My personal opinion: I LOVE it!
-our clothes were soft
-the static cling was quite minimal (esp considering I washed a fleece blanket with a comforter– a great formula for static)
-our laundry smelled great– just a nice, light scent of lavender– even approved by my hubby (it didn’t smell “girly”)

We will definitely stick to this!

Just thought I’d share and encourage others to maybe try this!

If this is how you launder, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

Aluminum Foil Dryer Balls?

So I’m getting low on dryer sheets and instead of running to the store to replenish, I figured I’d research online some dryer sheet alternatives.

Everyone seems to be talking about the  many dangers of dryer sheets… they apparently contain high degrees of garbage that are especially dangerous to the health of children.

And then there’s my youngest son, Master Bam-Bam. He has several allergies and there’s always been a nagging thing in the back of my head that perhaps some of his skin issues may stem from what chemicals I launder with. Hmmmm.

So I wanted to try a healthy alternative. Of course there’s wool balls. But I just don’t have any of those handy. 😉 There’s tennis balls… but I don’t have any of those just lying around the house either.

What to use? What to use?

That’s when I came across a most interesting article: 

You can use WHAT?! instead of dryer sheets?

There, it was suggested to use aluminum foil! Most intriguing. I just have to give it a try! I def have aluminum foil on hand.

So here’s my mini homemaking adventure today. I sure had LOTS of laundry to do, as (3) of our kids were up puking last night. Whew.

It was suggested though, that in order to soften your clothes naturally, to add 1/4 Cup of either baking soda or white vinegar to the wash… then finish it off with the aluminum ball in the dryer.

First load is in as I type. We’ll see how it goes!!

 

*Has anyone else ever used aluminum foil balls in your dryer? How did it work?

*If you don’t use traditional dryer sheets, what do you use?

*Has anyone had a child that has had skin issues due to chemicals that you washed with?