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Healing through Art

Today is a lazy October Saturday at our house, way out in a little town in Texas, USA.

I am about to start going through a book with the kids, that is a world renown tool of many art teachers, to develop artistic abilities.

 

You read a few pages, then do a simple exercise.

 

It’s been around since the late 70’s, and is called “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” (you can buy a gently used copy online for around 3 bucks.)

For approximately 10 dollars you can get a sketch pad, and a package of drawing pencils at Walmart (the pencils come in different graphite/lead hardness, that then has different look/effect when used)

So for around $15 bucks total, you get hours of fun, enlightening, quality time with your children, that blossoms into memories and skills they enjoy for a lifetime.

abstract painting called “Lazarus”

I believe that as parents we should spend as much bonding time with our kids as we can, because they grow up in the blink of an eye, and quickly become “too cool” to hang out with old people, like us.

 

I know from personal experience that art can have a healing effect on the soul (mind, will and emotions) and as we activate the same area of the brain where we process emotions, it actually helps the mind develop. So IF you or your children have experienced some kind of loss/trauma/pain, I encourage you to give drawing/painting a try.

Here is a link to a great article that discusses exactly how the arts benefit the development of young minds…

“How the Arts Develop the Young Brain”

You can (with the help of the book I mentioned above) move into charcoal, and color.

You would be AMAZED at how a young person will let down their walls and talk to you, when you spend time drawing/painting/listening to music/cooking with them. These types of creative activities activate the same side of the brain where we process emotions, so the time spent doing these things with your child opens a door, allowing you to step into their world.

So whether it’s painting, drawing, or sidewalk chalk, get into your creative, sensitive, childlike state with your kids… CONNECT with them.

“Childhood means simplicity. Look at the world with a child’s eye— it’s very beautiful.”

~Kailash Satyarthi

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Featured

Parenting 101

I LOVE being a mom!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a tough job, but the rewards are astounding.

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Unfortunately, when I was a child, my father passed away;

I was left with a mother who was young, and just really struggled financially and emotionally being a single mom.

But God is SO GOOD! He brought me through it with an amazing testimony to share. 

If I have one bit of advice to all parents, it is this…learn to laugh, because with this job… a sense of humor is a MUST!

There will be days when you are sleep deprived, worried about money, starved for affection, (that is to say hugs, kisses, and words of affirmation, that are NOT immediately followed by a request for a cookie) NOT feeling attractive, and overwhelmed with everything that needs to be accomplished in a single day!

However when you have a sense of humor, it tends to take the edge off, and make it not only easier to bare, but a deep and beautiful experience.

One time my youngest child hurt her eye, and she had to wear a patch over it for a week. She looked so sad with her injured eye covered, that my heart went out to her, every time I saw that little face.

Walking out of the hospital she asked me, “Mommy, do I look like a PIRATE?”

Confused, and feeling much like a deer caught in the headlights of an on coming truck, I ventured out and cautiously responded with “Do you WANT to look like a pirate?”

As I held my breath awaiting her answer, she looked up at me with a HUGE smile on her face, one big blue eye gazing into mine, then said “SHIVER ME TIMBERS!!!”

She wasn’t suppose to be playing with her brother’s Nerf gun, btw.

LOL!

Immediately all the fear for her little feelings vanished as I realized that the whole ordeal had upset me, far more than it had her.

I said “YES baby girl, you look like the prettiest pirate on the high seas!”

THIS girl is high energy, brave, resilient, and kind, with a sense of humor that shines light into the darkest corners of my heart, and brings joy to even the most hectic moments of life.

No one can really teach you to be a parent, because every child, every situation is different. What it means, or what it’s like, is difficult to convey to someone who hasn’t lived it.

It’s AMAZING, unbelievably difficult, exhilarating, hilarious, and tragic.

It will break your heart, yet cause you to smile through the tears.

When my first child was born more than 20 years ago, my mind raced with all the things I would teach him, but in reality it has been my children who have taught me.

Taught me about unconditional love, perseverance, sacrifice, how to find humor in serious situations, keen negotiation skills, and how to rely on God in everything.

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Thanx so much for reading!

Share with us, something funny that your child has said.

Something that TOTALLY cracked you up?!?

Pls post your story in the comments, because we’d love to laugh with you. 

Talk soon 😉

 

 

“Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word, movement and action has an effect. No other person or outside force has a greater influence on a child than the parent.”

~Bob Keeshan

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Jaybird X4 Wireless Sport Headphone REVIEW

Today I’m giving you guys a REVIEW of the Jaybird X4 Wireless Sport Headphones:

PROS

  • I have small ears and when I jog I SWEAT, so it has been a long treacherous road to find some wireless earbuds/headphones that I really liked, and these I do REALLY LIKE.
  • Jaybird X4 comes with several different attachments to give you a snug custom INSIDE the ear fit, that stays in throughout my run, and strength training without falling out even when I get very sweaty.
  • They are water resistant/sweat proof so they don’t give me any trouble LIKE SHORTING OUT, or acting weird… no matter how drenched they get.
  • They have an 8 hour battery life, so they last throughout the workout…and for whatever I do just before or after…so I can listen to music, take calls..tune out my child for some ME time; whatever..it’s all good.
  • Great website and customer service; very professional.

CONS

  • They are a little pricey…coming in at around $130 bucks, it’s an investment. Don’t lose them!
  • The sound is NOT great. And I’m a MUSIC person…so I like to ROCK OUT. (Jaybird does however offer an app that you can download onto your phone that allows you to adjust the sound, and that makes it a lot better,) but it’s still not $130 dollar amazing, okay. Just one mom’s opinion…

Asking Mom gives the Jaybird X4 Wireless Sport Headphones a 4 out of 5 star REVIEW!

I am also going to share with another brand that I bought and tested out called the Tevina Wireless Sport Headphones. They are pretty awesome and come in at only around $10 bucks!!! Can’t beat the price, but the design wasn’t as good as the Jaybird so for me…I stuck with the X4’s but the price is BOMB and the sound is very good. However they are selling out quickly all over the internet so if you want to try them, you should do it soon. Here are some comparison photo’s I took for you guys!

Have a great day and

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AskingMom.Org

WEIGH IN & MEASURE

Today marks EXACTLY one month into the “2019 Weight Loss Challenge” here on my ONLINE FITNESS JOURNAL.

I’ve mentioned before how MUCH I advocate using the tape measure to asses your progress, and TODAY is a perfect example of why

My goal was to lose 10 lbs a month across 12 weeks for this challenge, and I really thought I was going to make it, but this morning the scale showed that I only lost 6.8 lbs this whole month!

It was a huge let down UNTIL I got to the tape measure.

The tape measure showed that I actually lost 15″ inches! Take a look…

March 4, 2019

  • WEIGHT 157 lbs
  • WAIST 35″ at belly button
  • HIPS 45″ at pubic bone
  • TORSO at bottom of ribs 31″
  • UPPER THIGH 25.5″
  • LOWER THIGH 21″
  • CALVES 15″
  • CHEST 36″
  • UPPER ARMS 12.5″

April 4, 2019

  • WEIGHT 150.8 lbs
  • WAIST 31″ at belly button
  • HIPS 42″ at pubic bone
  • TORSO at bottom of ribs 29″
  • UPPER THIGH 23.5″
  • LOWER THIGH 20″
  • CALVES 14.5″
  • CHEST 34″
  • UPPER ARMS 12″

WEIGHT LOSS

LOSS OF INCHES ASSESSED BY MEASURING TAPE

TOTAL INCHES LOST = 15″ INCHES

I’m keeping to a 1200 calorie Paleo type eating plan and drinking one gallon of water a day. I’m also getting 30-45 min of cardio approx 5 days a week along with toning exercises, alternating LOWER BODY; UPPER BODY or MIDSECTION using (for the most part) my body’s own weight as resistance. I also drink a quality protein shake within one hour of my cardio, and to shorten my recovery time I take L-Carnitine & Fucoidan.

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me here on AskingMom.Org!

DAY 25 “Online Fitness Journal”

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Today is DAY 25 of the “Online Fitness Journal Weight Loss Challenge” and I’m excited to share with you that this past week I’ve experienced a HUGE breakthrough in my cardio workouts! 

One thing changed, that changed EVERYTHING…

STAYING POSITIVE is essential to the success of any endeavor. Since I’ve become aware of how much a difference it makes to surround myself with people who lift me up, I’m making much more progress.

Here are my weight and measurements for this week…I’ll weigh in again on the 4th of April, then every two weeks after that.

  • 151.4 lbs
  • 33″ waist at belly button
  • 29.5″ bottom of ribs
  • 43″ hips at pubic bone
  • 24″ upper thigh
  • 20″ lower thigh
  • 14.5″ calf
  • 35″ chest
  • 12″ arms

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY TODAY!

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DAY 12 Online Fitness Journal

First thing I want to share with you today is that depriving myself from food, has never been successful. It’s lead to a slower metabolism and binge eating.

I eat what I want…just in moderation. For the most part I stay on a Paleo type meal plan, but I do incorporate in some “fun foods.”

Back in the day I would be VERY strict with myself for weeks or months and then binge..I labeled these binges a “cheat day.”

A cheat day would usually consist of a 5,000 calorie day, with no working out, followed by falling off my program completely for several more days, and a pathetic bout of depression.

 

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In recent years however, I’ve found that when I’m craving something I consider to be a splurge or fun food, that it’s best to incorporate that particular food in early in the day (say before 3pm) and then modifying the meals/snacks before and after that splurge, to accommodate the caloric/fat difference, leads to a successful and steady weight loss.

I use a FREE program/app on my phone called My Fitness Pal to help me log everything in, (IT’S TOTALLY EASY) and keep track, so I’m still coming in under my caloric intake for the day. (for me that’s 1200 calories) 

It usually goes something like this;

  • a WICKED craving for SPICY CHICKEN STRIPS AND GRAVY hits me…so RESPONSIBLY I plan on having it at the next reasonable opportunity...so like if the craving hits at 10pm, (I DON’T EAT IT THEN) if I’m really that hungry late at night I drink some cold water, and eat some baby carrots…THEN I plan on having the SPICY CHICKEN STRIPS the very next day at 3pm.
  • I wake up and have a lighter than normal breakfast…say half a grapefruit. 
  • workout
  • have my after workout shake, without any high calorie additions like almond butter, or bananas…
  • have a low calorie lunch.
  • then have a low calorie salad JUST BEFORE I head out to get the chicken strips.
  • pack a Monk Fruit Extract bottle in my purse.
  • Order the spicy chicken strip snack pack INSTEAD of the meal (this includes two strips, mashed potatoes, gravy and roll)
  • Order un-sweet tea & add some drops of Monk Fruit to taste, instead of soda (EVEN DIET SODA MAKES IT HARDER TO LOSE WEIGHT BECAUSE IT POLLUTES THE BLOODSTREAM)

 

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I then walk out FEELING like a million bucks! 

I log the splurge meal into My Fitness Pal and the app tells me EXACTLY how many calories I can have for the rest of the day…and happily I keep to it..knowing that I didn’t blow my program in the least..

WEIGHT LOSS is still in progress!

 

 

 

DAY 11 Online Fitness Journal

Today I weighed in and have lost almost three pounds in 11 days…I know that doesn’t seem like a lot, but I also measured today and was excited to see that I’ve lost inches!!!

Weight 154.2

Measurements

Waist at the belly button 34″

Waist at the bottom of ribs 30″

Hips at pubic bone 44″

Arms 12.5″

Upper thigh 24.5″

Lower thigh 20″

Chest 35″

Calves 15″

I feel that this is a VICTORY!!!

I don’t know about YOU but I AM PUMPED about the next two weeks…My jeans already fit better and my workouts have become easier.

I’ve been doing 45 min of cardio 4 days a week, and then muscle toning exercises, rotating lower body, upper body, and mid-section. (I’ll be posting video’s showing you the routines.)

If you would like to join the Fitness Challenge and get fit in 2019 just message me on Facebook Messenger or email me from AskingMom.Org’s CONTACT page!!! At the end of the challenge, IF you’d like to submit your testimony and before & after photo’s, I’ll mail you a FREE GIFT for participating!

THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY TODAY!

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DAY 3 of “2019 Online Fitness Journal”

Here we are on day three of the fitness challenge, and I’m excited to announce that I’m already getting emails from some of you, that are ready to jump in!!! If you haven’t yet, but would like to…just send me an email, or a message on messenger…and I’ll add you to the list.

The first thing I do when I set out to drop some unwanted pounds, is to weigh and measure…sometimes the numbers are worse than I thought, but it is just where I am today.

I am certain of one thing: the ONLY inevitable in life is change…By this time next year, I will either be MORE fit and healthy, looking better than I do today…OR I will have gained more weight and be more unhappy with the way I look and feel. The choice is mine, and today I CHOOSE LIFE. I choose to embark on a path to become the best version of myself.

So on “DAY 1” of this fitness challenge, my weight and measurements read as follows:

  • 157 lbs
  • chest 36″
  • arms around largest part of bicep 12.5″
  • waist at bottom of ribs 31″
  • waist at belly button 35″
  • hips at pubic bone 45″
  • upper thigh 25.5″
  • lower thigh 21″
  • calves 15″

I find that at this stage, the most important thing is to face the truth of where I am today, and get moving…

Just start with some small positive changes…take a walk. Incorporate some healthy meals and snacks into each day. If I feel like I really can’t give up something that I know isn’t good for me, I have it earlier in the day, and try to eat lighter after 3 pm, then I stop eating anything around 4 hours before bedtime.

You CAN DO THIS!!! I believe in you.

 

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2019 “Online Fitness Journal”

Welcome to my 2019 “Online Fitness Journal.”

Tomorrow I’m embarking on a 12 week journey in an attempt to lose 30 lbs before summer. I had actually planned on getting started on February 18th, but life (as it sometimes will) got in the way, and caused a slight delay.

No worries though, I still have plenty of time to shed those winter pounds and look FABULOUS by June….Twelve weeks from tomorrow will put me right at the May 27th mark.

Disclaimer: I have lost a significant amount of weight without diet pills or surgery, and this section of Asking Mom is dedicated to encouraging other parents to get healthy with limited time and resources.

I’m not a physician, certified dietitian or personal trainer, and this is not in anyway intended to be medical advice.

This is my personal testimony of how I’ve lost 180 lbs and been able to keep it off (other than a 20-30 lb fluctuation) for the last 15 years.

Please consult a doctor before beginning any workout regiment, and familiarize yourself with nutrition facts, to help you with reaching your goals.  

Are you ready to get started?

BEFORE WE BEGIN: These are some things that like have before I get started. For any job, the right tools are essential.

STARTER KIT

Here are 10 things that help me get started, keeping me motivated and on track.

1. MEASURING TAPE

   I personally take measurements before I get started because the scale can be misleading. Muscle weighs more than fat, and when you first start working out, your body will attempt to super hydrate it’s self, so periodically it will show on the scale that you have not really lost anything, or that you have GAINED, when in actuality you have lost inches. Measuring right from the beginning can keep your motivation going, when the scale tells you a BIG FAT LIE.

2. QUALITY PROTEIN SHAKE

After a 30-45 minute cardio workout, a quality protein shake will help your body go into it’s reserves (continue to burn stored fat) so weight loss is expedited significantly by drinking a protein shake within an hour of working out. If money is tight there are a couple different shakes available at Costco for around a dollar a serving; they have one I like by a company called Orgain.  However, if eating healthy is a real struggle for you, you might want to try the one put out by I.D. LIFE as it really is miles above the rest, but is also a little more expensive.

3. RUNNING SHOES

Comfortable shoes are a must!!! I usually go down to the outlet mall and grab a pair of mid-range shoes for around $50 dollars. Nike/Sketcher athletic shoes are usually pretty good, but if you have problems with your back and/or feet Brooks brand shoes are recommended by many doctors. They are a little more expensive, but in my opinion worth the extra money if you have it to spend.

4. EXERCISE CLOTHING

Comfortable clothes are an important part of getting through a tough workout, not to mention that it can offer a little more motivation to have something that you’re looking forward to putting on (this MAY be a girl thing) however if I have to choose…I would get the measuring tape, protein shake and shoes…then worry about the clothes and scale at a later date.

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5. SCALE

Although I try not to weigh myself everyday, it is beneficial to check the scale on occasion. They are usually around $15 bucks or so at Walmart…I’ll be recording my weight once a week, and this is most definitely when the tape measure is of vital importance. Because when I’ve worked hard and yet the scale doesn’t reflect much success, the tape measure can save the day, giving me a more accurate assessment of the changes in the size and shape of my body. 

6. WORKOUT MAT

I really like to have a workout mat, although it’s not a necessity. A folded up blanket on the floor will suffice when money is tight. However, if you are able to spend the $30 bucks, I prefer the really thick mats at Walmart. They are just more comfortable when doing the floor exercises for strength training.

7. CARDIO MACHINE

I prefer to use an Elliptical Machine for my cardio, but again it’s not essential. A brisk walk, or a jog in the park or around the block, will be just as effective (weather permitting) or another option is to go to the mall and do a fast pace walk, during the hour before the shops open.

8. HEALTHY MENU OPTIONS

I’ll be going into more depth on recipes, clean eating, and why I feel that doing food prep is a great way to ensure weight loss success.

9. WATER BOTTLE

I prefer to use a Glass Water Bottle with nylon sleeve. Again, this is not a necessity but it IS a great tool for effective weight loss. Drinking a gallon of plain, unflavored water not only helps shed those unwanted pounds, it makes your hair grow faster and skin look younger. When losing a significant amount of weight, it’s one of the things that helps the skin keep it’s elasticity.

10. FOOD PREP CONTAINERS

This is another thing that can wait if money is tight, however I believe it is key to getting fit and healthy without spending a fortune. Buying good healthy food and doing food prep keeps me out of the drive through, and over a months time saves a substantial amount of money. There are some H.E.B.  brand reusable containers that I order online, and they are really good quality, for a great price.

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Thank you for stopping by today; I don’t know about you, but I am PUMPED! I’ll be posting my before and after photo’s in June, and if you would like to join me on this journey I’d love to hear from you…feel free to email me, and if you’d like we can post your success story and before & after shots. 

I’ll be offering a free gift to anyone who does!

I believe that we should lift each other up, encouraging one another to get healthy–BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT. 

 

THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY TODAY!

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