Friday, October 31, 2014

Fitness Simplified: Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Heavy Bag - My New Daily Workout

When my boys were babies, and I spent the majority of my days picking them up, carrying them around, loading a stroller in to/out of my SUV, etc., my upper body strength was good, and I had a lot of definition in my arms. Over the past 5 years (after getting rid of all strollers), I have been able to keep the tone and strength at a decent level by doing water aerobics (when I had a pool), push-ups, Tae-bo videos, and a bit of weight-training.

However, as I mentioned in this post at the beginning of the month, I can tell that my body shape and metabolism are changing the older that I get, and even though I do not feel as if I have added on any pounds, many of the clothes that fit me two years ago do not fit the same way now. My arms have started to soften up, and the tone they once had has been decreasing, along with my upper body strength.

I knew I wanted to change up my workout routine to incorporate more upper body training, so a couple months ago, I purchased the Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Heavy Bag to add to our home gym. I started out using the bag for 10 minutes after my walk/run on the treadmill, and continued to increase that length of time little by little. Now I have been using it solely as my daily workout routine, and have really been enjoying the workouts. Not only does using the bag help to create muscle definition quickly, but it gives me a really good cardiovascular workout, as well.

The online description reads:

"The Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Heavy Bag is a specially designed boxing accessory that can be set up anywhere without the chains and ropes associated with traditional heavy bag installation. This piece of exercise equipment is ideal for both beginners and professionals and can help them out during their cardiovascular and anaerobic workout sessions. The Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Heavy Bag has a compact base that allows for increased accessibility. This product can fit in even smaller workout rooms and is great for home use, even in apartments. This item features a tri-disc foam structure that provides you with maximum energy dispersion, and power transfer ring collars (PTR) offer superior impact absorption and recoil. Feel free to punch with power; this free standing boxing bag has PowerCore steel plate technology that improves its overall strength for durability. Get the Everlast PowerCore Free Standing Heavy Bag and get started with kicking and hitting for a great workout.

Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Heavy Bag:

Tri-disc foam structure provides maximum energy dispersion
PowerCore steel plate technology improves overall strength
the PTR (Power Transfer Ring) collars offers superior impact absorption and recoil
Compact base allows for increased accessibility
Will give you a great workout
Does not need chains or wires like traditional heavy bags
Great for home use
Use for cardiovascular and anaerobic workouts
Can be set up and used in small spaces
Made with Nevatear Technology, a layered mix of synthetic leather and webbed latex for superior durability"

Upon arrival, the heavy bag does need to be assembled, and the base of the bag needs to be filled with either water or sand to hold it into place when it's being used. We chose sand to fill ours with, and it has worked out really well. The base of the bag does move ever so slightly at times when it's punched or kicked extra hard, but overall it stays put, and allows for a really intense workout routine.

Along with the heavy bag, I also purchased the Century® Boxing Glove With Diamond Tech for myself...

*Athleta Runaway Top - Similar

The Everlast 8oz Pro Style Training Gloves for my three youngest boys...

And the Everlast 16oz Pro Style Training Gloves for my eldest son...

The boys enjoy using the bag as much as I do, if not more, and they really like having their own boxing gloves, too. :)

Overall I have been really pleased with the quality and performance of the Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Heavy Bag, as well as all the gloves that I purchased. I can already tell a big difference in the muscle-tone of my arms, and even my abs have begun to tighten up a I really look forward to my daily workouts now, which is definitely an added bonus!

If you are looking for a way to change up your workout routine, increase your upper body strength and muscle-tone, as well as get a good cardiovascular workout, then I would highly recommend giving the Everlast PowerCore Freestanding Heavy Bag a try. :)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Life Simplified...Thankful Thursday

Life can be difficult or stressful no matter your circumstance...where you live and work, whether you're married or single, have a child, lots of children, or no children at all. I believe that in these times it is extra important to think of all the good things in your life, no matter how small, as it really does help to put your focus on the positive. Instead of being caught up in all the 'bad stuff' happening in your life, it can help to change your attitude into one of gratitude, making your present life and circumstances much more enjoyable.

Today I am sharing another 10 Things on my list that I am Thankful for on this Thursday...

1. God's Provision.

2. The incredible imagination that my little boys all have.

3. That my sons are respectful to their elders.

4. 'Falling Back' instead of 'Springing Forward' this coming weekend.

5. Fresh baked bread.

6. Wool socks.

7. Little boy hugs...and big boy hugs, too!

8. A hot shower.

9. Coconut date rolls.

10. Fresh peaches.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

You Look Very Familiar...Have I Seen You Some Place Before?

Hello Everyone! It's time for another edition of *You Look Very Familiar...Have I Seen You Some Place Before*?

This is an ongoing series of posts in which I share less expensive 'look-a-like' alternatives to pricier clothing items from J.Crew, Madewell, and high-end designers/retailers, allowing you to get their look for less...let's get started, shall we? :)

*Similarly is the Swing coat

Madewell Field parka

*Similarly is the Brushed plaid vest

***If you have a 'Familiar Find' you would like to share, please feel free to email it to me:

That's it for this week's edition...I hope you've enjoyed it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Love This...

Understated. Effortless. Casual Chic.

Get the Look...

The Sky's the Limit:

On a Budget:

*Blazer in camel
*Shirt in midtone chambray
*Tee in white
*Sandals in british tan

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Outfit Post: What I Wore...

Hello everyone! I hope you are having a lovely weekend so far! I have been sharing pics of what I've been wearing each day on my Instagram page again this past week, so I thought I'd also share them here on my blog. A sort of 'Outfit Post Recap', if you will, for those who want the details of each look, who do not follow me on Instagram, or possibly do not even use it at all.

On Monday-Friday of every week, my days look something like this...I get up extra early so that I can work for several hours (I work from home) before the rest of the family gets up. Then I fix breakfast for everyone, teach school lessons to my four boys, followed by taking my eldest son Jake to and from Biology class, running any errands that need to be done, taking Wyatt to physical therapy on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as taking Garrett to speech therapy on Thursday.

My afternoons are spent finishing any work projects that did not get completed, catching up on domestic chores, and then fixing dinner for the family. Wednesday evenings the boys all go to their children's and youth groups at church, so my hubby and I drop them off, enjoy some quality time together, and then pick them up later that evening.

Here are the outfits I wore this past week...

10.19.14 - Temps in the lower 60's...hubby and I went to the market for groceries.

Outfit Details:

*J.Crew Selvedge Chambray Shirt from 2010 - Similar here and here

10.20.14 - Temps in the upper 60's...dropped off/picked up Jake from Biology class and ran a couple of errands.

Outfit Details:

*J.Crew Merino Vest - Similar here, here, and here
*Baggallini Crossbody Bag - Similar

10.21.14 - Rainy with temps in the lower 40's...picked up Jake from Biology class and took Wyatt to physical therapy.

Outfit Details:

*Gap Military Parka - see my review of the jacket here - Similar here and here
*Banana Republic Silk-Cashmere Turtleneck in black - Similar
*J.Crew Vintage Slim Jeans in rustic wash - Similar here and here
*Sorel Winter Fancy™ Boot - Sorel is selling the Winter Fancy™ II Boot this year, which appears to be the same boot except it does not have the flowers imprinted on it. The boot is also sold at Nordstrom, Amazon, and Anthropologie.

10.22.14 - temps in the lower 50's...dropped off/picked up Jake from Biology. In the evening my hubby and I dropped off all 4 boys at church for their children/youth groups then went to Murdoch's and Walmart.

Outfit Details:

10.23.14 - Temps in the upper 50's...picked up Jake from Biology, took Wyatt to physical therapy and Garrett to speech therapy.

Outfit Details:

*J.Crew Vintage slim jeans in rustic wash - Similar here and here

10.24.14 - Temps in the low 50's and rainy...dropped off/picked up Jake from Biology. Hubby and I went to the market to pick up a few supplies so we didn't have to do it on the weekend..

Outfit Details:

*Gap Military Parka - see my review of the jacket here - Similar here and here
*J.Crew Vintage slim jeans in rustic wash - Similar here and here

10.25.14 - Temps in the 50's...had to run a quick errand in town, but spent most of the day at home working. I also made a big pot of homemade soup, and relaxed by the fire later in the evening.

Outfit Details:

That's it for today...I hope you all have a beautiful and relaxing Sunday!

P.S. To see my previous 'What I Wore' Outfit Posts click here, here, and here.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pick Your Plum

Hello everyone! I hope you're having a lovely weekend so far! I wanted to take a quick minute to share a really cute site I learned about recently called Pick Your Plum. They are a daily deal site that focuses on things like crafting, fashion, baking, and home decorating. They specialize in selling unique items at low prices, and offer new deals everyday at 7am MDT.

I first heard about Pick Your Plum from Karin over at The Style Sisters who has been shopping the site for quite awhile now. She had purchased an adorable 3-tiered serve-ware stand from them a little while ago and has been using it to decorate with this fall. Well, I fell in love with it and have been watching for one to come back in stock ever since.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I checked the site this morning to discover a similar Rustic Wooden Tiered Tray being offered for only $19.99. Of course I ordered right away because their items sell out quickly, and once they're gone, they're gone.

As for the tiered tray...I cannot wait to get it! I'll be using mine for holiday decorating, entertaining, and any other ideas I might come up with.

Now I'm sure I may be quite late in the game on my discovery of Pick Your Plum,
but as the saying goes..."Better Late Than Never". :)

Do you shop Pick Your Plum, or is this your first time hearing about them? Have you ordered anything recently? Please do share!

Have a lovely day! :)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Product Review: Sorel Winter Fancy™ Boot

The Sorel Winter Fancy™ Boot comes in two colors - Grizzly Bear/Black (pictured above) and Black/City Grey.

The Details from the Sorel and Nordstrom websites read:

Short and sweet, just the way you like it; these waterproof, full-grain leather winter boots are insulated for storm-defying warmth and feature full-length fleece throughout to amp up the cozy factor. A closer look at the classic vulcanized rubber shell reveals a subtle, feminine flower imprint. Blending our best winter weather protection with a low-profile, classic PAC boot silhouette, the Winter Fancy will keep you warm, dry and protected all winter long.

An updated duck boot cut from stamped rubber and waterproof full-grain leather features a cozy fleece lining for warmth when the temperature drops. Zigzag treads provide traction on snow and ice, and the molded EVA footbed offers comfortable arch support to keep you tromping merrily through the winter.

1 1/2" heel (size 8.5).
5 1/2" shaft.
Removable insole.
100g insulation.
Leather and rubber upper/synthetic faux-fur lining/synthetic sole.

I purchased my boots in February of this year when we moved out here to Montana. From the moment I pulled them out of the box and slipped them on it was immediate love. They are not only super adorable, but also incredibly comfortable and warm. So much so that I wore them on an almost daily basis until it started warming up at the end of May.

The boots do an excellent job at keeping my feet dry, and have great traction so that I do not go slipping around in wet and/or icy conditions. I find them to run slightly large. I normally wear a 9.5 but ordered a 10 based on online reviews, as well as knowing that I would be wearing thick wool socks with them. I have extra room in the size 10 even with thick socks and could have worn the 9.5. However, even with the added space in the boots, they are still very wearable and do not fall off of my feet at all, but if I were to order them again, I would get the 9.5's.

Earlier this week I took them out to wear again for the first time this fall season. We had lots of rain and temps in the lower 40's, but my feet were dry and toasty warm .

Here's my OOTD pic for that day from my Instagram page...

Outfit Details:

*Gap Military Parka - see my review of the jacket here - Similar here and here
*Banana Republic Silk-Cashmere Turtleneck in black - Similar
*J.Crew Vintage Slim Jeans in rustic wash - Similar here and here
*Sorel Winter Fancy™ Boot - Sorel is selling the Winter Fancy™ II Boot this year, which appears to be the same boot except it does not have the flowers imprinted on it. The boot is also sold at Nordstrom, Amazon, and Anthropologie.

What are your thoughts on the Sorel Winter Fancy™ Boot? Is it something you would consider giving a try? Do you already own it? Please do share!

Have a lovely day! :)