How Exercise Completely Changed My Pregnancy! | Pregnancy

I just want to gush for a minute about one of my passions. Exercise has made my life so much better with baby number 3. When I found out we were pregnant again, I was slightly depressed at leaving my fitness routine behind, but I have found that maintaining my habits through out pregnancy have made all the difference about how I feel. Even if you are a couch potato go out and walk! Do some prenatal yoga! I swear your body and brain will thank you!

I will admit I am not your average mom when it comes to exercise. I’m a little bit obsessed with gym time so adjusting has been a planned effort. I am writing this to share with you, how much physical activity has improved my prenatal experience. During each trimester I have made changes as needed to my program to keep myself safe and healthy. I did this by talking to my doctor, researching safe prenatal exercise, and most of all listening to my body. Now at 32 weeks I can report that I am still Spinning three times a week, although a little less intense than before. It’s worth it ladies! Plus, post work out cookies are definitely a thing. I made them a thing. Here is what I have learned:

pregnancy exercise There are major physical and mental benefits:

  • Less nausea during my first trimester. Something about those endorphins really helped me keep it together. Honestly, it was the only part of the day I didn’t feel like death warmed over!
  • Less hip and back aches. Actually almost none. I was plagued with pain during my first and second pregnancy, but now I have very little. Maintaining activity has kept me feeling way less achy even now at 32 weeks. This has been a revelation for me! I am sad I didn’t discover how much less my strong body hurts during my other pregnancies.
  • Mental and physical release. Sometimes pregnancy can feel overwhelming and never ending. When I am getting it in at the gym, as they say, I feel like I am in control of myself for that time. That makes a huge difference for me and baby. We are both happier when momma is taking time for herself.
  • More regularity. That’s right people. I am at 32 weeks and I’m not constipated. That is a miracle in and of itself. No need to explain! Sorry for the tmi, but it’s a bid deal.

Things you need to know:pregnancy exercise 2

  • You will overheat more easily. Don’t push it when the weather is hot. I found my body had a lot less tolerance for heat even in the first trimester, so any time I wasn’t in the cool gym, I gave myself extra rest and time to cool off.
  • Your muscles will take longer to recover. I have found lifting weights more challenging for that reason. I would be sore for at least a day longer because all of my nutritional resources go to baby and not my muscles. I made the decision to back off of weight training for that reason after 20 weeks, but I know lots of mommas who keep it up all the way to then end. In the end you have to decide what your goals are and how much energy you have to expend, and for me sticking with cardio was more important during this time.
  • You will need a good support belt. Especially if this is your second or third pregnancy. It is hard to move when the bump isn’t secured properly. I used this one.
  • You will need extra time to rest on work out days. If I know it is gym day I plan down time because I am tired. I don’t over schedule and I plan an easy dinner for the family. It can be tough on a busy schedule, but the benefits far out weigh the extra planning.
  • If it doesn’t feel right don’t do it! This goes for everyone no matter what fitness level. If I feel like I need extra rest, I stayed home; if I feel like I am pushing too hard I back off; if I need to pee I pee! Haha! All jokes aside. Listen to your body. It’s important!

I want to this this blog by saying that you should always follow your doctor’s recommendation for exercise during pregnancy. There are several circumstances where physical activity should be limited during pregnancy for the safety of you and your baby. I’ve included a couple links at the bottom for more information on exercise during pregnancy.

http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/exercise-during-pregnancy#1
http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/exercise-during-pregnancy/

Continue Reading

Shiny, Sparkling Diamonds! | How To

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend until they get dirty.  Dirty, dingy diamonds not only look icky but can also cause irritation. Gross, I know…

A year after my husband & I got married my diamonds started giving me a strange rash.  Anytime that I would use a lot of lotion, wash my hands frequently, etc…  After some research I figured out that it was a mix between never taking my rings off and build up from products irritating my sensitive skin.  I set out to find the perfect way to clean my rings and remove all the build up that was irritating my skin.

My first stop was to try the cleaning solutions you purchase in store.  They made my ring sparkle but I could still see my diamonds were “foggy” when I looked at the underside of my channel set band.  I moved on to DIY solutions that I found on *gasps!* Pinterest.

After a few concoctions involving everything from baking soda, vinegar, boiling water and in-between, I was removing my contacts at night and it dawned on me… I put my contacts in peroxide solution so the bubbles clean them!  What would happen if I used peroxide on my rings?  A little Google searching assured me that my rings shouldn’t turn weird colors.  I decided to give my little experiment a try.  Years later I still stand by this method of cleaning my rings!  I haven’t had any irritation on my finger since I started to use this method and my rings are so shiny and sparkly.

So, let’s dive into the process!  It’s so simple that a toddler could do it.  I don’t advise that though since, well, peroxide.

diamond cleaning how to

Step 1: Gather your supplies.  The list is comprised of items you most likely have in your house.  A shot glass, peroxide and toothpicks.

Step 2: Fill shot glass with peroxide.

Step 3: Put rings on toothpicks and lay across top of shot glass.

Step 4: Watch & wait.  Be prepared that you most likely will see some rather gross chunks coming out of the depths of your rings.  Don’t fret.  After an hour if you’re still seeing some gunk be sure to shake your rings a little.  It will help some of the loose gunk float to the top.

Step 5: Rinse.

diamond cleaning how to

A few note worthy of mentioning.  I’ve done this with my rings for years and never had any adverse reaction but, like all things on the internet, proceed with caution.  I’m not responsible if your ring does something funky.  I’ve only tested this on my white gold and diamond rings.   And finally, I do this every couple weeks to month.  You’ll be amazed at all the build up you acquire in just a month!

Continue Reading

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos | Tasty Tuesday | Recipes

I love quick and easy recipes I can throw in the slow cooker on my lunch break. Chicken tacos are a staple in my house so I thought I’d share my favorite recipe on this Tasty Tuesday! My husband and I LOVE this meal because we can eat on it for two days. Any other leftover lovers out there?? 😉 Let’s get down to business!

Slow cooker chicken tacos
(Sorry for the crappy Instagram photo, it was all I had. Doesn’t that taco meat look delicious though???)

Here’s what you’ll need:
4 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 can of Rotel tomatoes
1 package of taco seasoning

1. Place your chicken breast in the bottom of your slow cooker.
2. Pour the package of taco seasoning over your chicken breast.
3. Pour the can of Rotel on top of the chicken breast + taco seasoning.
4. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
5. Serve with whatever toppings you like!

-If you haven’t tried slow cooker liners, you are missing out. These make cleanup SO easy!!!
-You can use fresh or frozen chicken breast. I prefer fresh but have used frozen before too. When using frozen, I’d cook for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low!

I always serve these with sour cream, Mission Extra Fluffy Fajita Flour Tortillas and Quesadilla Cheese (all of which I purchase at our local Kroger.) You can also top with salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, etc! I also make a pot of Knorr Rice Sides Spanish Rice and a pot of refried beans to go along with our tacos! If you feel like putting in an little extra effort, fry up some white corn tortillas to serve your tacos on. In the words of Dora the Explorer, delicioso!

This is a quick, easy and cheap recipe that kids love!! I hope you guys enjoy!

Continue Reading

Make Money Shopping Online with Ebates! | How To

Hello! My name is Heidi, I’m a mommy to a very special medically fragile child and I am all about coupons and discounts! Because of our beautiful daughter Riley, our family now relies on the income my husband brings home and when I can occasionally substitute teach.  I consider it my job to make sure we are saving as much money as possible. In this guest blog, I’m going to share with you an incredibly easy way to get cash back for doing your normal online shopping!

There is a FREE, easy way to earn money by online shopping? Seriously! It’s so easy! I joined EBATES in September 2015 and have received $268.59 in cash back!

Ebates Tutorial

How do you get started? You need to sign up! Please use my link! You’ll get $10 after your first qualifying purchase which is any purchase over $25 and I’ll get $5! Click the link below to sign up.

https://www.ebates.com/r/TEAMSU23?eeid=28187

After signing up it’s so easy!  When you’re ready to do any type of online shopping, go to www.ebates.com, log in to your account and search for the store you want to shop! Some of my favorite are Kohl’s, Lowes, Target, Groupon, Diapers.com and Ebay! Ebates even sometimes has exclusive discount coupons for retailers so make sure to check that out first! I’ll give you step by step photo directions!

  1. Sign up for Ebates
    https://www.ebates.com/r/TEAMSU23?eeid=28187
  2. When you’re ready to do any sort of shopping, search for it! example, the other day Kohl’s went from 3% to 6% cash back!
    Ebates Tutorial
  3. Let’s use Target as an example because… who doesn’t love target? So I’ll search for “Target”. They’re offering 2% cash back right now pre-tax. Click on that Red “Shop Now” button and it will take you directly to the Target website. It’s important to shop through the Ebates provided Target link or you will not receive cash back on your purchase.
    Ebates Tutorial
  4. Once you’ve clicked on the “Shop Now” button, you’ll be directed to the site and a popup will notify you how much cash back you’ll earn.  You’ll soon be on the Target site and you can do all your shopping as usual. Check out and pay the same as you normally do! You can choose to pay via store branded card or a debit card.  Ebates will track the shopping trip and you’ll earn cash back!
    Ebates Tutorial
  5. Usually around 48 hours after you’ve made your purchase and it’s been processed, you’ll get an email from EBATES letting you know that you’ve earned cash back! The example I’m showing you is from my most recent small target order but every penny adds up!
    Ebates Tutorial
  6. If you log into your EBATES account, you’ll be able to view all your recent shopping trips and the cash back earned. Here’s another example!
    Ebates Tutorial
  7. Finally, and most importantly, when do you get your money? Ebates pays out quarterly. It’s important to make sure that your mailing address is up to date. You can also choose to have your ebates balance electronically deposited into your paypal account which is what I do! It’s quicker and the check won’t get mixed up in the mail!
    Ebates Tutorial

Once you’re set up with EBATES, it’s really simple to make their page your “home” internet screen. EBATES doesn’t affect any retailer coupons or promotions. There is also an app you can download for your phone which I find very easy to navigate.

I’ll leave you with one last tip! We have been shopping at Lowes quite a bit lately. Lowes offers 1.5% cash back for online orders. I ordered our washer dryer set online for in-store pickup. I paid online with my Lowes credit card which automatically got me 5% off and I used the EBATES link so I was able to get 1.5% cash back! It’s not a lot, but it adds up! I save my EBATES and use them for our daughters birthday and Christmas gifts! Free gifts sound good to me! Thank you so much for reading. If you have any questions or need help, please feel free to email me at teamsuperriley@gmail.com.

Until next time!
Heidi

 

Continue Reading

Instant Pot Vegetable Beef Soup | Tasty Tuesday | Recipes

14316952_983635789576_7970614294515865023_n

Hi all! Autumn here 🙂 As some of you know, I am currently pregnant with twins and have a 4 year old. On top of my duties as a mom, I also work two full-time jobs so I need quick and easy recipes when it comes to supper!

I am a crock pot junkie and use my trusty old crock pot at least 3 times a week. I joke with my husband that if we’re not cooking in the crock pot or on the grill, the only thing I know how to fix is Manwich! (There is a lot of truth to that statement, though.) Seriously, I make basically everything in my crock pot. It’s so easy to dump everything in on my lunch break and by the time I’m home my main course is done! I try to go to the gym a few days a week on my lunch break though which doesn’t always leave time to run home and throw dinner in the crock pot.

Enter… THE INSTANT POT!!!

A friend of mine has been trying to get me to purchase an Instant Pot since I became obsessed with my crock pot. She told me I’d love it and that anything I cook in the crockpot, I could probably cook in the Instant Pot in less time. I was blinded by the crock pot and frankly, a little intimidated at the thought of using a pressure cooker. Fast forward to Amazon Prime Day a few months ago. The Instant Pots went on sale at a great price, I decided to splurge and buy one. If I didn’t like it, I could always return it!

When it arrived I waited a week or so before I actually opened it up. I told you guys, I was intimidated! The following week I tried it with one of my tried and true crock pot faves, chicken tacos.  I fell in LOVE. So quick, so easy and tasted just like I’d cooked it in a crock pot all day! Instant Pot, you won me over! And sorry to my friend Erin for ever doubting you! 😉

Fast forward to this past Sunday. It was a dreary and cool day here in WV. I woke up from my Sunday afternoon nap craving some vegetable beef soup. I looked at my clock and saw it was already 4:30 PM. Noooooo! There’s no way I’d have enough time to go to the grocery store, grab what I needed and get it on the stove in time for dinner.  Then I remembered I had the Instant Pot! Could I do it?!? I ran to the store, picked up ingredients and in a little over an hour had the most delicious vegetable soup I have ever tasted!!! The vegetables were cooked perfectly and the meat was CRAZY tender! This soup was cheap, easy to make and FAST! Great for busy moms like me!

Okay, enough rambling and on to the recipe!!!

14316952_983635789576_7970614294515865023_n

(Doesn’t that look delicious?!? Thanks to my friend Erin for the details on how to cook everything and my momma for the ingredients, she makes the best vegetable soup EVER!)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 lbs of beef stew meat
  • 1 package of McCormick’s Beef Stew Seasoning
  • 2 cans of beef broth
  • 2 cups of V8
  • 1 bag of frozen, mixed veggies (carrots, green beans, corn and peas)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 potatoes peeled and cut up into cubes
  1. Place your beef, seasoning and 1 can of broth + 1 cup of V8 into the Instant Pot. (It’s very important to cover the beef. You can always add a little water or a little more broth to cover the meat.)
  2. Close the lid to your Instant Pot, lock into place and set the timer 30 minutes on manual mode. (This will take about 45 minutes total as it takes the Instant Pot about 10 minutes to come to pressure.)
  3. When the meat is finished cooking, do a quick release and open the valve so the steam and pressure can escape the cooker. (Be very careful when doing this as the steam can burn. I use a wooden spoon to open the valve so my hands are out of the way of the steam!)
  4. Once your pressure is fully released, the float valve will drop and the lid will unlock so that you can open it. Open the pot (once again be careful as there will be some steam) and check to make sure your meat is cooked.
  5. Add your veggies and the rest of your broth + V8.
  6. Close and lock the lid and set the timer for 5 minutes on manual mode. (Again, this will take around 15-20 minutes as the pot will need to build pressure again.)
  7. After your veggies have cooked, do a quick release again and wait until the float valve has dropped. Unlock and open your Instant Pot.
  8. Voila!! Vegetable Beef Soup in a little over an hour!

Just a couple notes:

  • When cooking in the Instant Pot, make sure you do not go over the max fill line!!!
  • You can add whatever veggies you like, canned or frozen. I threw an extra can of corn and an extra can of carrots into my soup!
  • This soup in this recipe is very tomatoey! (Yeah, I know that isn’t a word.) If you like for your soup to be more beefy, just sub the V8 for beef broth!
  • If cooking in a crock pot, just cook your beef (I usually boil in beef broth) and throw everything in the crock pot. Set to low and cook for 6-8 hours!

Sorry for the book, just wanted to give a little background info on the Instant Pot! I promise my next recipe won’t be as long!! 😉

For more information on the Instant Pot, check out their website!!  http://instantpot.com/

Continue Reading

5 Awkward Moments of a Very Pregnant Intern | Pregnancy

Alicia here. You’re probably all wondering, who would take on a new career at 7 months pregnant. Let’s just say I like to make my life as complicated or as simple as possible depending on the day. Let me explain.

My husband is in the United States Army. So unlike most communities, many spouses in our community stay home for several reasons. The biggest reason being this: it is really hard to find a decent job when you move every 3 years or more! Like really hard. The last interview I went to was awkward to say the least.

The last interview I went to was awkward to say the least.

My interviewer actually asked if my husband was okay with me going back to work. (wait, I was supposed to ask? Oops. Failed that wife test) I was over qualified for the receptionist position. I did not get a call back.

Fast forward to now. I am in the last semester of a paralegal certification in hopes that I will be more attractive on the job market even though I am the dreaded military spouse that will leave your company as soon as her husband’s career comes a calling! I am only being half way sarcastic. I’m a great employee, unless my hubs gets orders and we have to move. Then I’m gone because I go where he goes!

Let’s be honest! I really want my own career and to get out of this house! I love spending time with my children but I also love working. Always have! Plus, it’s good to have your own thing when dear hubby is on the other side of the world fighting bad guys and you are thousands of miles away from family in who knows what tiny town.

The fun thing about finishing your paralegal certification is the internship you must complete to graduate. Fun right?! Let’s get hands on with this!

Well guess who got knocked up with a due date before the internship is over. Yours truly…my timing is impeccable guys. What can I say?

So without further delay, here are 5 awkward and awesome things about being the new and very pregnant intern in court:

Working While Pregnant
1) What shoes am I supposed to wear?! Seriously. I have a million pairs and none of them are close toed business shoes made for the ever expanding swollen foot of a pregnant paralegal in a court room setting. I went with size 11 Versace knock offs from Payless. My feet are already big, so when you have to size up for pregnant bloat, you make lemons in to lemonade ok?

2) This is the comfiest business attire I have ever worn! I mean no one expects the prego chick to show up in a blazer and slacks, so I just get creative and keep it polished.

working while pregnant
3) You will be very concerned about packing snacks to make it through the day. Then you will realize your seat is next to the judge’s bench with a microphone and you stare at said snacks for the next two or three hours. Would it be weird if I ate cheese stick in the bathroom? Asking for a friend…

Would it be weird if I ate cheese stick in the bathroom? Asking for a friend…

4) Everyone will offer you a chair. You will take that chair because you know this won’t last forever.

5) People will constantly ask you your due date. Then act shocked when you tell them it’s less than three months away. You just get used to it and move on.

 Then act shocked when you tell them it’s less than three months away.

Guess what? Pregnancy goes by faster when you are busy, and anything that will make time pass at this point is worth my while. This is baby number three for us, so I know the drill. Your back hurts just as bad when you are at home as it does at work. Until next time loves!

Continue Reading

Cowboy Salsa | Tasty Tuesday | Crockpot Recipes

I, Autumn, absolutely LOVE snack and party food. I was first introduced to cowboy salsa in high school and was instantly addicted. Cowboy salsa is easy to make, takes just a few ingredients and is absolutely delicious. It’s a great snack to take to a party or just munch on while watching TV! (Ignore the fact that these are Instagram shots and the cans are opened, I’d already poured everything in my bowl when I decided to blog this!)

Yum…. Doesn’t this look delicious?Cowboy salsa crockpot recipe

Okay, so ingredients you’ll need are…

  • 2 Cans of White Shoepeg Corn
  • 2 Cans of Black Beans
  • 2 Cans of Rotel Tomatos
  • Italian Dressing (I like Wishbone brand the best)
  • Fresh Chopped Cilantro (optional)

Cowboy salsa crockpot recipe

Are you ready for directions? I don’t think you are…

  1. Rinse and drain your black beans, pour into a bowl.
  2. Rinse and drain your shoepeg corn, pour into the bowl. (Don’t get regular corn. Splurge on the shoepeg. It really tastes better than plain old corn!)
  3. Drain your Rotel, pour into the bowl.
  4. Add your italian dressing. I generally do half a bottle but it’s really up to you!
  5. Mix it all up.
  6. Top with cilantro. (Totally optional. I always forget to buy cilantro!)

That’s it!! Finally, let it chill in the fridge for an hour and then serve with tortilla chips! The longer you let it set, the better it gets! The recipe makes a pretty good portion but you can always cut the recipe in half for a single serving. Enjoy!!

Continue Reading

Welcome to the Party!

Hi there!  Welcome to our party.

A few years ago we (Autumn & Kelly) had the oh-so-fabulous idea to start a blog featuring the things and people we love called Musings from Momtogs.  We quickly learned that setting up a successful blog took a little more work than we could bite off at that time.  Fast forward to 2016 and we’re ready to rock the blogging world with a whole lot more to say.  We’ve recruited some amazing new bloggers to join the team and Hopefully the Kids Survive” was born.  Hopefully this time the blog survives. ;o)

We have recruited two amazing “subject matter experts” (i.e. mommas with lots of knowledge to share!) along with the two of us to blog.

Alicia:  A military wife with two kids and another on the way who is a gym rat, furniture painter, foodie, & professional bath taker.

Jenn: The greatest lover of Pinterest quite possible ever.  She’s a mommy who loves leggings, DIY craft projects & fast food.

Then, of course, there is the two of us… Autumn: Mommy to a beautiful daughter with twin boys on the way who loves photography, beauty products & crock pot recipes.

And finally, Kelly: Mommy to a wild & crazy ginger toddler that has many addictions in her free time including big sunglasses, makeup (a’la Sephora), good books, Netflix & iced tea.

The four of us together will share our exploits in crafting, cooking, beauty & product reviews.  If fate is on our side, we’ll hopefully share the successful adventures of our wild & crazy children.  If we are a success we’ll be here in 18 years telling you THE KIDS SURVIVED our parenting!  (I wonder if blogging will even exist in 18 years.  Hm… things to ponder when you’re changing that next stinky diaper.)

Continue Reading