Color War Party

Active Family Fun:  Color War Birthday Party

I hope everyone had an amazing weekend.  It has been a bit busy the past few weekends.  Both my daughters have Birthdays within 5 days of each other.  The month of April is party central at my house.  This year my youngest daughter wanted to do a color war themed party.  It turned out to be a huge success!  She said it was the best party she has ever had.  I thought I would share the details since I had a lot of parents asking me about it.  

First I like to keep my parties simple especially since I have two that I have to plan within 5 days!  Most of the kids at this party are on my daughters basketball and volleyball team so I try to keep my parties active and moving!  It also helped that my hubby could pull out his old PE teacher skills to help plan it. 

So here is how the party went:

Kids arrived and I just let them hang out and have fun.  Fortunately we had good weather except for some winds so they could play basketball and just run around before everyone arrived.  

Sidewalk Chalk Pictionary  

Before the party we asked the Birthday girl some “how well do you know me” questions and had her write them down on colored construction paper.  Then we basically played Pictionary in the driveway in teams using her answers.  It was super fun.  I have to confess, my hubby came up with this one.  Nice job!  Kids loved it.

Hair Spraying Stations

Another idea from the hubby!  We allowed the girls that wanted to spray their hair colorful get some temporary hair color spray in their hair before the color war.  That was a hit.  I suggest having an adult spray the hair.  

Cake and Gifts

I decided to do the cake and gifts first since I knew we were going to be very colorful at the end of the party and I wanted to avoid kids getting color powder on the furniture and carpet.  As an added bonus they burned off all the sugar too by doing the cake first. 

Color War

After the cake and gifts we headed down to the park in our subdivision.  I would suggest a large open area for this part of the party.  I split up the Holi Colors into individual cups in order to avoid kids throwing all the powder at once.  It also required them to come back to the table when they ran out to get more.  This helped the color powder last longer.  I had my mom and hubby helping refill the color powder so I could partake in the festivities.  Basically we just let the kids run wild and throw color on each other.  Almost like tag with colors.  It was a lot of fun.  We did give them the basic rules of not throwing it in each others faces.  The only issue we faced was it was pretty windy so the color did blow in the wind.  Had it not been windy it would have landed on them nicely and they would have been even more colorful.  I did run out of color so I would suggest getting two packages to have even more fun and more color!  I had 10 younger girls, 4 older girls and myself so we could have used 2 packs.  The color came out of our hair and off of our faces really easily and I also noticed that it faded out of clothes pretty fast.  We did ask all partygoers to wear old white clothing just in case.  This is the powder I used.  It was vibrant and worked awesome!

 

Games & More

I like to keep my parties active and kids moving.  So we set up a game of capture the flag.  This was another hit!  The kids were having a blast.  Even the teenagers were having fun.  We played this for about 45 minutes and everyone seemed to be having a great time.  After that we only had about 30 minutes left of the party so we let the kids just play at the park.  There is a play set, basketball hoop and large open areas.  We were going to set up a volleyball net as well but it was too windy. 

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The Aftermath

Clean up was super easy.  The color powder came off of faces, hands and out of hair.  It washes out nicely.  If you are having your party at a location not at your house I would suggest bringing wipes or wet rags to wash off hands.  Also if you are worried about it getting in the kids eyes pick up some cheap sunglasses or goggles and have the kiddos wear them.  We did not have an issue with this at all and it was windy.  

If you have active kiddos like I do this is an awesome party idea.  My 9 year old daughter loved it and even her teenage sister and friends said it was super fun.  We are planning to do this again this summer with my older daughters youth group.  

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.  Have an amazing week.  

 

Friday I’m In Love: Things I am Into Lately

Things I am loving Lately

I hope you are all having an amazing week.   People always ask me about my favorite snacks, recipes, workouts, and products.  So I thought I would share the things I have been into lately.  

This Book

Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

This book is awesome.  I just finished up a women’s group and we studied this book.  It really spoke to me.  It was a great reminder to stay present.  Leave behind all the busyness and franticness.  If you get a chance read it!  It will change the way you think and act!  

Collagen Peptides by Sports Research

I ran out of these and kept forgetting to order them.  It had been about a month of not taking them and I could tell a difference in both my skin and my digestion.  I will definitely be keeping this as one of my supplements. I like to mix it in my morning coffee before I hit the gym.  You cannot even taste it.   You can read more about the benefits of Collagen here

 

Tulsi Tea

A friend of me got me into drinking this tea in the evening.  She suggested I try it to help with stress, anxiety and combat sleep issues.  According to the package, some of the benefits are stress relief, aids digestion, anti-aging and boosts the immune system.  I am currently drinking the Organic India Lemon Ginger flavor.  It does have a bit of a ginger bite to it, but I like that!  I have noticed that it does provide a calming effect after a stressful day and can help me relax prior to bed.  I do drink it a few hours before bedtime to avoid nighttime potty breaks.  

 

Spartan Workouts

Since I did the Spartan last summer I still get emails with the workouts and some of them are awesome.  I haven’t done this workout in a while and it is a killer.  If you are preparing for a Spartan Race I highly recommend it.  I am still sore!!!

RX Bars

Have you guys tried these?  These bars are so good and so clean!  I personally love the peanut butter flavor the best.  I like to eat these as dessert or as a pre-run snack with my coffee.  

 

New Vegan Shakeology Flavors

I love Shakeology!  Now they have added 2 new vegan flavors.  Vanilla and Cafe Latte!  I love the Chocolate flavor.  I am so glad that I have two new flavors to add to my daily Shakeology habit.  If you have never tried Shakeology you have to try it.  It has made a huge difference in my overall health and well being.  I am a Beachbody Coach so feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the products. 

http://www.shakeology.com/4livingthewrightway

Have an amazing weekend! 

*Disclaimer I am an Amazon associate and do get paid by Amazon for some advertising.  The money earned goes directly back to supporting my blog.  I only recommend the products I love!

 

Last Week’s Workouts and My Favorite Post Workout Breakfast Recipe

Hi guys, as promised here are my workouts for the past week including my strength training plan.  I wasn’t able to fit in a 3rd day in addition to my classes I teach and OT this week but I am planning to get back on track this week.  It was a bit crazy around my house with Easter, family in town and my oldest daughters Birthday.   To top it off I am feeling a cold coming on!  UGH!!!  I also included my favorite post workout breakfast recipe. 

Monday:  Strength and Conditioning

Warm Up:  Jog, Bike or Row 5 Minutes

Deadlift:  Just like last week I worked on finding my 1 Rep Max.  After a warmup of lighter weights I gradually increased until I found a challenging weight.  Don’t forget to write down your weight for future workouts.  

Circuit 1

  • Glute Hamstring Curls (use a ball or machine) 15 Reps
  • 400 Meter Row (time each one and try to beat your time on the next round)
  • Weighted Step Ups (20 Total, 10 Each Leg)

Repeat 3x

Circuit 2

  • Hanging Leg Raises (this  one was tough for me) 10 Reps
  • Run .25 Miles (keep track of your time for this and try to beat it on the next round)

Repeat 3-4x

Tuesday:  Taught a new class Step 360x and Chisel

Wednesday:  Orange Theory Workout

Thursday:  Taught a new HIIT cardio class and yoga class.

Friday:   Cycle Bar Class

Saturday:  Strength and Cardio Conditioning

Warm Up Jog 5 Minutes

Bench Press (80% of max from last week) 3 Sets of 8

Circuit 1

  • Single Arm Rows (12 reps each side)
  • Weighted Side Bends or Windmill (10 Reps Each Side)   
  • 10  Burpees
  • 10 Pull Ups (use assistance if needed)

Repeat 3 x

Circuit 2

  • Squat Press (10 Reps)
  • Dumbbell Pullovers (12-15 Reps)
  • KettleBell Swing (10 Reps)
  • Run .25 Miles (push your pace here)

Repeat 3x

Core

  • Weighted Russian Twist (20 Total)
  • Lying Leg Raise (10 Total)

Repeat 3x

Cool Down and Stretch

Sunday:  Easy 4 Mile Sunrise Easter Run

My favorite post workout Breakfast

This week I was on one of my oatmeal kicks again.  I love to add egg whites into my oatmeal to add extra volume and protein.  Have you guys ever tried it?  If not you have to give it a try.  The key is to cook it slowly and stir often so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs in your oatmeal.  

Here is how I make it:

  • ½ Cup Rolled Oats
  • ½ Ripe Mashed Banana
  • ½ Cup Egg Whites (I use the liquid in a carton)
  • ½ Cup Almond Milk (you could use water or another milk)

Combine all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 2 minutes stirring every 20-30 seconds.  When finished top with 1 tablespoon of nut butter and some stevia (optional).   

This is my favorite breakfast and it always fills me up.  Give it a try!  I hope you guys have a great week! 

Spring It On!!!! May health and Fitness Challenge

As many of you may know I am a Beachbody coach.  I fell in love with the workouts a long time ago when P90x first came out and I am totally in love with Chalene Johnson.  I used to teach turbo kick way back in the day!  I was hesitant to try Shakeology and I bit the bullet and tried it.  I fell in love with that too!  It has made such a difference in my energy level, digestion and totally helps control my cravings!!!! You can read my full review here

I am gearing up to coach another challenge group starting in May and Beachbody has an amazing deal right now! 

There is new promotion going on right now that is too good to pass up. The On Demand Challenge pack is on SALE!!!!!   They dropped the price by $40.  If you aren’t familiar with Beachbody’s unlimited On Demand Program here are the details:

  • You get 12 months of unlimited streaming of all the workout programs (21 Day Fix, Insanity, P90x, Country Heat and a ton more).  
  • 30 Day Supply of Shakeology.  If you have been waiting to try it now is the time.  I am in LOVE with Shakeology and they have 2 new vegan flavors.  Cafe Latte and Vanilla.  I cannot wait to try them.  
  • Meal Planning and Prep
  • Personal coaching from  yours truly!  
  • Access to my online challenge group where you will get motivation, tips, workouts and tons of support from others.  Comment below if you want in my May Challenge Group or are interested in this amazing deal!  
  • Even better if you don’t love Shakeology you can get your money fully refunded even if the bag is empty!!!! 

This offer is only available for a short amount of time so don’t wait!  Let’s SPRING IT ON!!!!!  Who’s in????? 

Email me at 4livingthewrightway@gmail.com for more details! 

Orange Theory Inspired HIIT Workout

Hi Guys, I hope everyone had a great weekend.  I am starting a new teaching schedule at the gym this week and I am pretty excited.  I will be teaching a few new class formats that I have never taught.   I think this will help me and my class participants to mix things up for the spring.  Unfortunately I had to put my Orange Theory membership on hold because I added in more classes and I am trying to stick to my 6 week strength training plan as well.  I do still plan to incorporate my OT workouts into my training plan, I will just have to do them on my own for now. 

If you have not been to an Orange Theory workout they are awesome!  It is a 60 minute group workout based on interval heart rate training.  According to their website “the heart rate monitored training is designed to maintain a target heart rate zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy.  They call it  the after burn.  You can burn anywhere from 500 to 1000 calories per class.”  I typically burn 500 calories per class.  I really do love the workouts, the energy the people at the studio bring and the workouts are never the same.  It is pretty expensive so it may not be affordable for everyone.  They do offer a free trial class for new people on their website. 

If you cannot make it to an OT class or it’s just not in your budget you can do these workouts at home or at the gym.  It won’t be exactly the same but you can still push yourself or maybe grab a few friends and make your own group workout.  We did the workout below last week.  I made a few modifications, but I loved the part where you had to find your fastest mile and rowing time.  That gave me a little extra motivation to push myself a bit harder.  I wrote down my times after class so I can monitor my progress. 

If you need help with paces check out the pace guide I wrote about in another post on OT workouts.   

Give this workout a try and let me know how it goes!  Have an awesome week! 

If you have not yet subscribed to my blog I would love to have you join me for new workouts, recipes and health and fitness ideas. 

Confessions of a Cardio Junkie

Have you ever found yourself saying things like, “I can’t lift heavy weights” or “I don’t want to bulk up” and “I don’t feel like lifting weights is a good workout.”  GUILTY!!!!  Before I left for our cruise a few weeks ago I made the decision to start a new strength training plan when I returned.  The last few weeks my workouts were getting monotonous and I was still feeling a little soft in the tummy area even though I increased my cardio and added in extra miles.  So after talking with the hubby and doing a little research I found that I need to bump up my strength routine a bit.  I decided to do a 6 week program and see how I feel and look at the end of it  This week I started a new program.  I got most of the workout ideas from Body Building.com, from my previous workouts and from my husband.  I wanted to try to focus on 3-4 strength days per week.  These workouts include some running and core which is optional.  If you are not a runner you could always incline walk, row, bike or use the elliptical just be sure to push yourself.  Be sure to increase your weight size.  You should have trouble completing the final set.

 I plan to share my workouts with you guys on the blog.  I hope to inspire you to change up your current routine and lift some heavy weights.  In case your are still not convinced here are some of the benefits to adding in a strength routine to your workouts.

Benefits of Strength Training

  • Increased Metabolism and After Burn
  • Reduce Body Fat
  • You will get stronger and fitter!
  • Bone Health
  • Helps keep any weight off!

Here is what my week of workouts looked like with more detailed instructions below.  I will be posting these at the end of each week so if you want to join me on this plan you will have them for your upcoming week. 

For the majority of these workouts you will want to find your 1 rep max.  Which is something I have never done before.  For safety you need a partner to spot you while finding your 1 rep max.  The reasons for finding your 1RM is a lot of workouts your weights will be based off of a percentage of that 1RM.  If you can’t find a 1 rep. max, then you can still do the workouts just make sure you are using challenging weight.

Day 1

strength and conditioning workout

Continue reading “Confessions of a Cardio Junkie”

Cruise Recap:  Food, Fitness and Fun!

Cruise Tips Hi guys, I hope you all had an awesome Spring Break.  I am so lucky as a teacher I get a week off for Spring Break.  This year we decided to take a cruise.  The hubby and I had only been on one cruise before about 15 years ago, so I was ready for the adventure. A lot of people have been asking how it was and if we would go again, so I thought I would share a little post vacay recap and some helpful tips if you think you may want to plan a cruise.   

We chose Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Sea.  It is a new ship that has only been cruising for about a year.  The ship is HUGE!  I cannot even begin to describe it.  It had water slides, regular slides, zip lines, a rock wall, pools, bars, ice skating and so much more!  We didn’t even have time to do everything.  

Plan Ahead

My first tip is to plan in advance.  We booked our cruise about a year in advance.  This gave us plenty of time to save money for our excursions and to plan the activities we wanted to do.  Plus this ship books up fast.  We also had time to research each port and plan our excursions.  One suggestions I would make is to explore the ship more on the first day.  We jam packed our first day and I think we should have explored more.  Also if you have an opportunity to talk to people as they are getting off the ship do it.  While we were waiting to board I talked to a few ladies who were coming off the ship and they gave me a lot of good suggestions and tips.  Also make your show reservations early because they do book up pretty fast.  

What To Wear

Formal Night

I totally over packed like I always do!  I like to have a lot of options for what to wear.  On this cruise we had 2 formal nights and the rest were casual.  It was fun to get dressed up and fancy for the formal nights.  Most people were dressed in something you would wear for a wedding, but I did see some people in elegant evening gowns and tuxedos.  I stuck to simple dresses.  The one thing that was hard was dressing my girls for these formal nights.  We don’t have a lot of formal events we go  to and my older daughter hates wearing dresses so that was difficult.  For the formal nights she chose to wear a simple black dress and changed up her jewelry and shoes each night.  No one ever questioned what we were wearing in the dining room on any night.  For the rest of the cruise we were in our bathing suits, shorts and tank tops, sun dresses and cover ups.  I did pack workout clothing for each day and I ended up running out of shorts to wear.  I also packed a small amount of laundry detergent so I ended up hand washing my shorts in the sink.  

Silk Dining Room
Jogging Track

Workouts
Yes you can workout on a cruise!  I worked out probably 5 out of the 7 days, plus before we left we made a pact that we would never take the elevator.  We climbed a lot of stairs.  We only took the elevator 2-3 times.  On average we walked about 6-9 miles a day between walking the ship and taking the stairs.  As for workouts I pretty much did simple quick workouts because I didn’t want to spend all morning in the gym.  Our ship had a running track and some classes.  Most of the classes like the spinning, yoga and TRX you had to pay extra and I didn’t want to pay.  Most of my workouts were about 30-40 minutes.  Here is a glimpse of what I  did:

  • Day 1:  Off
  • Day 2:  2.5 Mile Run Intervals (around the outdoor track) and weights
  • Day 3:  2 Mile Run with Body Weight Strength Training (on the track)
  • Day 4:  Bike 15 Minutes and I took an Ab Class
  • Day 5:  Run 2 Miles and I took a Stretch Class
  • Day 6:  Off
  • Day  7:  Run 3 Miles and Upper Body Weights

The gym was pretty nice and not super packed, but I was up really early like usual.  It was well equipped and I really liked the jogging track.  You got to see the sunrise as you jogged if you timed it just right.  The only complaint I had about the gym was that it smelled like cigarette smoke.  It was right above the casino and boy could you smell it.  That was not the greatest.  

Food

I realize that a lot of people go on cruises for the food.  I would say that I am not that type of a person. I don’t really care about eating a ton of food and drinking a lot of alcohol.  We opted to not purchase a drink package  and brought our own wine on the ship.  You could  bring 2 bottles per stateroom.  We took our wine to dinner with us on the formal nights.  The food in the dining room was excellent.  There were plenty of options and they did have vegetarian, gluten free and lactose free  selections available.  I really enjoyed the dining room.  There were a lot of other places to grab quick bites to eat like pizza places, sandwich shops and snack bars.  For the most part we ate our lunches and breakfast at the Solarium Bistro  which was always less crowded and had a lot of healthy options.  The main buffet had a lot of options but I really did not like it.  It was super crowded and to me it seemed like a food frenzy.  Not only were the plates heaped with food but a lot of it was left behind.   The first time we went to the buffet I had to tell my daughters to take one serving because you could always go back for more.  It is very easy to overeat at a buffet.  We only went there twice and it was not my favorite place.  I did my best to eat healthy during the day and at dinner enjoyed wine, appetizers and dessert.  

Tips:  

Here are a few bonus tips that I feel were helpful and some things I would do differently as well.  

  • Book your excursion with the cruise line.  They did a great job of getting us on and off the ship in a timely manner and all of our excursions were amazing.  We especially loved the Jamaica River Float and Zip Line excursion with Chukka.  The people were amazing!
  • Pack a cheap floating mat, I wished I had one on our beach day in Haiti.  They charged $18 to rent one.  No thanks!
  • Pack clothespins to hang up all your wet clothes in the bathroom because there are not a lot of towel racks and they can help hang up clothes too.  
  • Pack a water bottle.  I filled my water bottle on the ship most of the time and did not have to purchase water.  I only had to buy bottled water 2-3 times mostly off the ship.
  • Pack a highlighter.  If you are a planner like me you will need this.  They give you a ship itinerary for each day and I liked to highlight the activities I wanted to do.  
  • Pack small bills.  I had to change out my money a few times and this took some time so I would pack 5’s and 1’s.
  • Pack your own wine to save money.  Our ship allowed us to pack it and did not even charge a corkage fee.  We also bought another bottle of wine on the last cruising day when it was 60% off.  
  • Pack bug spray.  Our cruise line notified us that we would be traveling in areas with the Zika virus so we brought bug spray.  In Jamaica we got a ton of bug bites even with the bug spray.  
  • You won’t need a power strip.  We had plenty of plug ins and we didn’t even use the power strip we brought.
  • We packed walkie talkies but did not even use them.  
  • Pack sticky notes to leave notes for your family, stateroom attendant or reminders to yourself.  
  • I thought I wanted a balcony in our room, but it was pretty spendy so we opted not to get one.  I am glad.  We were rarely in our room.  We maybe spent 2 hours of the 7 days in our room besides sleeping and getting ready.  
  • The kids area was great.  My younger daughter loved it.  My older daughter didn’t really love the teen area.  There were a lot of teen activities but they were not very well planned out.  She missed the meet and greet night so that was tough.  Be sure your teen hits the meet and greet I am sure it will help  them meet new people.  
  • There were not a lot of dairy free options at the buffet or coffee places.  I even asked and they said no at the coffee shop.  This was a bit annoying.  At the buffet the waitress said they could get me some soy milk.  
  • If you can use the spa do it.  I purchased a simple thermal suite package where I could use the infrared sauna and the steam room as well as relax on a hot stone loungers.  Plus I had access to the locker room and showers.  I pretty much used it every day and it helped to shower in there rather than my room.  I felt it was worth it.
  • Take the stairs everywhere!  Not only will you rack up some miles and get a good leg workout but you will also save a lot of time.  The elevators were packed!

Have an awesome week.  If you have any tips you would like to share please leave them in the comments.  It’s nice to gather tips from all you fellow cruisers out there.