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Welcome to Mom’s Zen

Family Travel Packing List

On an earlier post, I mentioned I had a packing list I used when we went home for the weekend.  This vacation packing list works for everything from family vacations to quick weekend trips.  When the kids were much smaller, we had gone home for the weekend and I forgot numerous things on this particular trip!  Even my father-in-law said, “Geez, Kelly you never forget things!”

This list was developed to help me stop forgetting diapers and wipes when the kids were little, all the way to more recently forgetting toothbrushes, socks and pajamas.  I have tweaked it along the way adding items as needed.  Many of you have sent me messages asking for a copy of my checklist, so here it is!  MomsZen Travel Packing Checklist Use it in good health!

I didn’t want to forget anything, so there are some seasonal items listed.  Tweak it for your family as you see fit.  If you so care to, let us know what your can’t live without items are.  Hope this helps you stay organized while traveling on vacation or just a quick weekend trip.

Video: How to plant Morning Glories in a hanging basket on a deck

This is my first video.

May is National Pilates Month

May is National Pilates Month

Strengthen your core and increase flexibility with Pilates

May is National Pilates Month. I began practicing Pilates nine years ago after a friend recommended it to me. I was trying to tone up and had been exercising regularly, but I was still flabby – especially in my abdominal region. I started doing Pilates and I was hooked! These exercises energized me and made me stronger and leaner. Even my stubborn stomach started to get toned!

This said, I admit I have fallen away from both my Pilates and yoga practices, which prior to this, I had always enjoyed and practiced regularly. So what better time to start up my practice again, or try something new, right? Beginning this National Pilates Month of May, I find myself excited to pull out my mat and tackle the One Hundred and the Teaser, yet again!

If you’ve been looking for something new to add to your exercise regimen or have just been curious about Pilates, now is a great time to try this gentle, yet extremely effective series of exercises named after its creator Joseph Pilates (pi-lah-teez.) There is a fun, informative video on YouTube that gives the roots and history of Pilates. Check it out… History of Pilates on YouTube

So..Are you curious? Intrigued? I thought you would be! Some of the key features and advantages of Pilates are that it is whole-body focussed fitness, improving posture and body awareness thru regular practice. It strengthens the core and increases flexibility, both in your body and in your practice. Because you can perform these exercises with a simple mat or on apparatus, you can customize your practice to fit your needs and fitness level.

If you plan on trying Pilates, I recommend doing your homework first. The Pilates Body by Brooke Siler gives extremely detailed directions on the proper form and method of Pilates. I highly recommended this easy-to-follow, quick read to prevent injury and to learn the best form for your practice, which is of vital importance. I appreciate the explanations and theories of each exercise, which I still find myself referring back to even after years of practice.

Once you’ve read the book, I suggest you check out some DVDs. I love Gaiam’s Ana Caban for her direction, pace and alignment in her DVDs. She is down to earth and not in your face like some fitness instructors. That’s a definite plus in my book! She also gives you instruction based on your individualized fitness level. I recommend starting with her Pilates Beginning Mat Workout. Once that is mastered, challenge yourself to her Pilates Intermediate Mat Workout. I have LOTS of Pilates and yoga DVDs and equipment, most of which came from Gaiam. They offer a huge variety of DVDs, naturalistic products and workout gear. I recommend exploring their site if you want a new workout challenge or maybe you just need a yoga mat. This is a trusted affiliate  and I receive a small percentage of the sale. The link below gives you free shipping if you order from them.
Save $20 Off Any Purchase of $100 Or More & $50 Off Any Purchase of $200 Or More Now At + GET FREE SHIPPING! Use Code: AFMAYSAVINGS At Checkout! Click Here!

In summary, Pilates gives you an effective, quick workout that will leave you energized, stronger and leaner in only 30 minutes. With my lack of spare time, this short time commitment appeals to me. I have personally seen results from these workouts. If you do these workouts regularly, you’ll see and feel the results also.

I am not a doctor by any means, so make up your own mind and give it a try. Any thoughts? Were you intrigued enough to try Pilates for yourself? Happy May and Zen on, Peeps!




Hunger Games Exclusive Teaser Trailer – Mom vs. Hungry Kids! – Pretty Darn Funny

OMG! Funny! I can’t be the only mom who feels this way, am I? What is your go-to meal for your adorable little bottomless pits?

Parody video sponsored by LDS Living: Buy the Pretty Darn Funny album here (it’s Pretty Darn Catchy!) : Gracie, a busy mom, volunteers to enter the Hungry Games, a grueling challenge between harried parent and hungry child.

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Margarita Recipes

What is your favorite margarita? On the Rocks=share; Frozen=comment. Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone! Check out these recipes. You are sure to find one to suit your taste…

Discover delicious and refreshing margarita recipes from the cocktail experts at Food Network.

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My thoughts and prayers go out to the Boston victims today

In light of this horrible tragedy, I realize that our kids’ innocence is ripped from them by the news. Each report of tragedies and senseless acts of terror takes one more piece of our children’s sense of wonder and innocence. How do we shield them from this, yet still help them to make sense of what they hear on the news?

I think Fred Rogers, aka Mister Rogers stated it best in this famous quote, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

Acknowledge what happened. Answer questions, affirm fears and give plenty of hugs, kisses and encouragement. Give them a sense of normalcy in this scary, uncertain time. By looking for the helpers and teaching your children that there are helpers in these events, you teach courage and purpose. You acknowledge their fears but show them that the world is still compassionate, caring and loving.

Hug your children tight tonight. Peace.