Gonna Make You Sweat

Well, I'm not but I'm hoping this post inspires you to get up and sweat a little bit.

I don't know about you but the amount of time I have available for a workout has gradually increased over the last couple weeks.  Living this quarantine life has me yearning to get a workout in, because I've realized my body feels SO MUCH BETTER afterwards {especially under these circumstances}.  My goal during this time is to MOVE daily and I'm not just talking from the couch to the refrigerator.  ;) 

My pre-quarantine life fitness routine has changed a bit over the last ten-ish years so to catch you up...

*When my kids were all younger our morning visits to the gym were usually our social outing of the day.  We'd go to the gym two to four times a week, the kids would play with friends in childcare while I got a workout in, and then I'd shower.  We were usually at the gym for two-ish hours, we'd follow it up with a park date with friends, and then back home in the afternoon while I worked.  

*My kids started preschool and the days gradually changed.  I was going to the gym two to three times a week, working more had me shortening my time away, and I didn't want to waste any time with kids at school being spent at the gym.

*My big kids started elementary school and things shifted even more.  I found my groove going to the gym twice a week and spending almost any other free time working.  I didn't have as much time to make it such a social event and really could only spend my workout time at the gym.

*Just last year Shay and I decided we'd try the early morning classes in order to get those workouts finished and out of the way leaving more Mix and Match Travel time while the kids are at school.  A habit SLOWLY developed and I've come to love having my workout checked off my to-do list by 6:30 a.m.  Needless to say, I'm MISSING the gym.  Who ever thought I'd say that?

Over the years, I've learned fitness routines will often shift and change a lot and this social distancing has me working on a new plan in the mean time.

These are a list of my favorite at-home workouts:
*YouTube-some of my favorites are FitnessBlender, Blogilates, and Pop Sugar Fitness.
*Jillian Michaels DVD-yes, this one is pretty old school.  
*Pinterest-has a TON of workouts.

My newest at-home obsession is the PELOTON APP!  Now if you saw my post last week, we just got a Peloton bike about two weeks ago, but you don't have to have a bike in order to benefit from all the workouts.  There are tons of strength and yoga workouts available.  If you have a Peloton, check out the comments from my post last week because lots of readers shared their favorite instructor or workouts.  You might get a new idea!

In honor of encouraging us all to sweat this week, this is what my plan is for my workouts this week-
Monday-20 minute 90's Hip Hop Ride with Alex + 10 minute Arm Toning with Denis
Tuesday-30 minute Tabata Ride with Robin + 10 minute Core Strength with Andy
Wednesday-20 minute Classic Rock Ride with Olivia + 10 minute Arm Toning with Leanne
Thursday-30 minute Hip Hop Ride with Tunde
Friday-30 minute Full Body Strength with Oliver
Sunday-30 minute Sundays with Love Ride with Ally

It's a lot of cycling right now because it's new, still really fun, and I'm trying to find my favorite instructors so I'm wanting to try them all!  Also-a newbie so 20-30 minutes on the bike is my goal.  I would also like to add during a normal week, I'm not doing something active everyday.  This is the goal right now because being active really helps me stay more positive.

What about YOU?  What are you doing today to sweat?  Hope you found a little inspiration!  You've GOT this!

Slaughter Updates

Hey, Hey Everyone!

I hope your weekend was a good one or maybe I should say-as good as can be expected under these conditions.  I managed to find chicken at my grocery store over the weekend so I felt like I was #winning.  

It's the simple things these days.  Am I right?

Ending the weekend with that #iheartradioconcert last night was just what I needed.  I had all the thoughts while I was watching...super impressed with the artists singing and sounding AMAZING from their living rooms or backyards, overcome with pride for our country and how America stands together during such trying times, and so inspired to do more for my local health care workers {especially the ones I know battling daily}.  Did you watch?  What did you think?

Sharing a little about our my crew is doing these days.  Are you ready for an update?
Britt Bradford happens to be living her best life under these quarantine conditions.  She has her favorite people surrounding her 24/7.  I've noticed her speech sounds better and it must be because this girl has all the words and is using them ALL DAY LONG.  Last week when I gave the big kids work she worked too.  Her school work ranges from playing Memory, doing puzzles, reading books, and playing ABC Mouse on her I-Pad.

Bowen Hency is hands-down my most social kid.  He was blessed with a great group of boys in his kindergarten class last year.  They've stuck together as close friends since then, refer to each other as "their crew", and have had one Zoom call since this quarantine began.  He is definitely missing his friends {Ashby included} and is the first of my kids to vocalize how bummed he is.  Now on the flip side, he is the biggest peace maker in our family and will play or hang with everyone with the best attitude.

I think I've mentioned this before but typically when Nixon Talbot is at home he's either outside playing sports of some kind with neighborhood friends or he's parked in front of the television watching whatever sports are happening and right now neither of those are an option.  He's been a trooper by playing lots of volleyball with Ebby Lee.  I'm pretty sure he's watched every Dude Perfect video they've made and we've been diving deep into anything Pearl Harbor related after our visit.  

Ebby Lee has the best attitude.  While she misses her fifth grade friends and is so sad to be missing all those special things the fifth graders get to do at school, she's managed to get creative with her free time.  She's created an art table out of our dining room table and has a wide variety of craft supplies neatly organized to keep the activities going.  I've jokingly referred to her as our cruise director during this quarantine.  

Tab and I are trying our best to be thankful for all the extra family time we're getting.  He started working in the XFL just a few weeks after the college football season ended along with traveling some for his nine-to-five job so we're not taking all the family dinners and game nights for granted.  I'm still working out all the kinks of working-from-home while kids are working-from-home and what I've learned so far is everyday might look different, which is absolutely okay!  Today starts the beginning of online learning organized by their elementary school, so I'm really not sure what to expect.  I have a feeling the Slaughter kiddos' teacher will be handing out extra helpings of grace on this Monday and chances are, she'll need a little extra herself.

I just want to let everyone in the Jonesboro area know the Slaughter family is praying for you.  Tab and I both graduated from Arkansas State University located in Jonesboro, Arkansas, so that part of the state will always hold a special place in our hearts.  You are in our prayers!

Thanks for reading today, friends!


Friday Favorites-3.27.20

Happy Friday!  Out of my week so far, two days have been great and two have been less than stellar.  Just keeping it real!  So if your're on the struggle bus also with your new normal, please know YOU.  ARE.  NOT.  ALONE!  It's gonna take some getting used to.

I'm joining forces with Andrea and Narci again for Friday Favorites.  

I saw this quote and it was definitely a FAVORITE...we'll always remember this time and it'll forever change us.  #amiright

I think I forgot to share the big news from my FAVORITE ten-year-old...do you notice any differences?

Do you see that pretty smile?  Bless her heart.  Her phase one braces took way longer than we were expecting, but they're finally off!  She couldn't be happier!

I shared our FAVORITE family-friendly movies a few weeks ago and decided now is the perfect time to share it again.  I asked for your recommendations on Insta Stories and got so many great ideas!  I'll be sharing those over on my Insta Story today and hopefully saving them to my highlights!  {If I can figure out how to do that.}

I showed you what my plan was for our parent-led learning this past week and to be honest-we rocked it on Monday. The rest of the week it went downhill.  I learned my kids need to change it up so the same schedule everyday was too boring at home.  I changed it up on Thursday and the day went SO MUCH BETTER.  Just wanted to share in case the same was happening for you!  On Thursday, I added in "Game Time", and a few fun things as well. 

FAVORITES this week?  Zoom calls with our classes!  Ebby Lee had one, Nixon had two, and...

Bowen had two.  {One with his class and one with some of his little guy friends.}

Pantry organization happened finally!!  The end product is my FAVORITE!!  I snapped this to let you know I apparently am a peanut butter hoarder and didn't even realize it.  What's up next?  Our bedroom/closet...sigh.

Don't mind the wrinkles.  The quarantine life doesn't include an iron or my usual Tom and Sheri's.  This top is something I grabbed for our Spring Break vacation and never had a chance to wear it, but it's perfect for spring {or at this point in my life-just wearing around the house.}  I got lots of messages about those earrings.  I got them from Social Threads too, but they're MIA.

Can you believe my kids' teacher showed up to work like this?  Please note the class notes and coffee in hand.  Tie-dye is all the rage right now and I'm here for it!  I found the perfect lounge wear, my new FAVORITE, from Target...top and shorts.  {I sized up to a large in the sweatshirt and kept my shorts true to size for a small.}

Our FAVORITE outing of the week...we had a birthday drive by for one of Bowen's besties.  We {along with two other moms/kids} made signs, had streamers, and let our boys poke out the sunroofs as we drove by their bestie's house on his birthday.  We honked our horn, blared, "Birthday" by The Beatles, sang our own version of "Happy Birthday", and then the boys threw the football for just a bit before we drove home {all safely buckled in the car}.

Please note that big smile on the birthday boy's face.  #totallyworthit

Praying you stay safe, friends!
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Winter Book Reads 2020

Thank you for all the help with the Peloton on Tuesday!  I can't wait to try out all your favorite instructors and classes!  I'll be set for days-thanks to you!

Since most of us find ourselves at home right now with a little extra time on our hands, let's talk BOOKS!  Typically, by the time my head hits the pillow at night I'm almost asleep.  Yes, I'm one of those, but lately that hasn't been the case.  Knowing I don't have to get up as early as I normally do has helped my nightly reading game.  Big Time!

The Slaughter kids are having independent reading time and I'm doing my best to fit some of that in for myself as well.  Self-care, right?

In case you're looking for a good book, I linked up some past book review lists and have my latest Winter Reads at the bottom {just keep scrolling, just keep scrolling...}

My mom informed me Kindle Unlimited is offering two months free right now and then the renewal fee begins.  I haven't tried it, but it sounds like it's a great time to give it a shot if you've been thinking about it. 

This was the very first {and only-so far} book I've ever listened to the full audio version.  Jessica, herself, is reading, which was great.  You can truly feel her emotions through her telling of her story.  She gets excited at times and even emotional during others.  I'm saying all that to say-I've heard reading it was a tad difficult for some people because she's not a writer.  She's just a girl wanting to tell a story.  Maybe keep that in mind.

Other than that, I LOVED it!  I grew up watching Nick and Jessica, America's sweetheart couple {at the time}, and couldn't get enough of her insider information.  I remember hearing she'd wanted to be a christian singer versus pop but just kind of evolved and through the book hearing her refer back to Christ or her spiritual walk was very encouraging.  This book made me like Jessica Simpson even more.  She's had lots of tough times...many very recent but is doing her best as a mom/wife.  I think many can relate.  Again, it's not written like an award winning book but if you grew up as a Jessica fan then I think you'll find it very interesting.

Please realize my little blurb about this book will not do it justice.  For 102 Minutes, the authors interviewed numerous people in order to piece together what were most likely the real events occurring on September 11th in the World Trade Center Towers.  They highlight what floors people were on, what announcements were made in each building at what times, and who was calling loved ones.  This book was probably the first I've ever read where my heart was beating out of my chest and I was panicked but could not put it down.  

In the beginning, it was a bit difficult for me to get into because of all the names mentioned.  I kept trying to remember each thinking we'd circle back to them.  Some we did circle back to and others were never mentioned again.  Halfway through, I'm telling you-I could not put it down.  When I finished, I so appreciated the beginning when the authors had named each and every person.  They were such a part of this event and they deserved that recognition.  The authors highlight many things that caused the delay in people getting out of the buildings I'd never heard of before {and I've been to the 9/11 museum twice}.  For nonfiction and fiction readers, I'd highly recommend this one!  I couldn't put it down and don't think you'll be able to either.

Chick-lit at it's finest.  A guy and a girl  both looking to save some money on rent end up sharing a flat and only living there during opposite times of the day.  Well, one thing leads to another and...

Taking place in Dallas, Texas, this thriller revolves around a suicide in a corporate office and how the whispers of four women band together to stop sexual harassment. You guys know thrillers are my favorite type of book and this one was just okay.  I thought it was a tad too predictable in the outcome.

Marisol Ferrera decides to take a trip to Havana after her grandmother's death to learn more about her Cuban heritage and she unearths some family secrets on her journey.  I enjoyed this book-definitely more "meaty" than chick-lit but just a good story.

Raise your hand if you're a fan of Laurie Gelman?
I'm so glad she wrote a sequel to her first book, Class Mom.  Once again Gelman had me laughing from beginning to end as Jen Dixon tackles yet another year of "room-momming" for her son's class. Her sassy attitude and telling it like it is attitude {which is sometimes what we're ALL thinking} brings the perfect entertainment to all of us who have found ourselves in the same, "You've Been Volunteered" spot.  READ THIS ONE!

This book was GOOD!  Daisy Jones and the Six covers the forming of a chart-topping band in the 70's.  We see the rise to fame and discover what became the fall.  It's written all in "interview style", and kind of gave off some of the same vibes as A Star is Born {if you've seen that movie}.  Very different, I should add but just a similar vibe.  I'd heard about this one over and over and really have no clue why I didn't read it sooner!  SO GOOD!

To be honest-WHOA!  I don't even know where to begin on this recap with all the twists, turns, and thrills.  This book is VERY rated "R" and is one of the most disturbing I've read.  There was a lot of sexual content that was absolutely unnecessary, in my opinion.  I'd keep that in mind when deciding if this is the book for you.  And then I'd suggest you head to Amazon to read the review.  I have no words.  Literally.

In A Woman is No Man, we follow three generations to take a look at the inside life of these Palenstinian-American women.  It was EYE-OPENING for me and a book I highly suggest you read!  What I read will stick with me for YEARS!

Now for Award Time {in no particular order}...

Best Light Hearted Read-You've Been Volunteered

Best "Will Stay With Me For a Long Time"-A Woman is No Man 

Best Overall Book-Daisy Jones and the Six

Reading now...
The Most Fun We Ever Had...I'll keep you posted.  :)

Have you read any good books I need to add to my Kindle STAT?  Please send any recs my way!  


What's Up Wednesday-3.25.20 Edition

I'm linking up today with Sheaffer and Shay for What's Up Wednesday.  

What We're Eating This Week...
You know this meme-
That pretty much sums me up at the grocery store lately.  Anyone else?

Monday-We had a pasta I threw random things in to make one complete meal.  Tab himself said it best when he asked, "Is this a recipe?".  I'm not exactly sure how he meant that to be taken, but I'm gonna go with he asked because it didn't exactly taste like something that made sense.  But it worked.  #kindof
Tuesday-I happened to grab a roast from the grocery store so I'm throwing veggies in the slow cooker.  Easy peasy!
Wednesday-We are having fish, rice, and veggies.  5/6 are usually fans of this meal so I should be #winninginthekitchen.
Thursday-Salmon is on the menu.
Friday-We'll probably round out the week with sloppy joe's because we're fancy like that.

What I'm Reminiscing About...
I've been reminiscing about normal birthdays my big kids had last year.  I keep thinking our family will definitely not be taking anything for granted after this quarantine.

Birthdays are for sure included.  :)

What I'm Loving...
ALL THE EXTRA TIME...trying to stay positive and it's definitely something to be thankful for.

What We've Been Up To...
Organizing and cleaning...

At-home Peloton bike rides, 

Some structured time {or not so structured depending on the day}, 

and Zoom calls with our classes from school.

What I'm Dreading...
I'm a little bit dreading Birthday Week for them if things are still going at the current pace.  We didn't have any grand plans to celebrate this year but their plans definitely included friends.  I'll be sad for them if that doesn't get to happen.  BUT-we'll celebrate as much as we can at home.

What I'm Working On...
This new balanced life I'm living...working from home, keeping everything picked up/clean, and online learning have become even more than a full-time job.  I'm working out all the kinks.  In a perfect world, we'd have the same schedule everyday but we're only on day three and that hasn't worked.  Monday was GREAT!  Tuesday was all off.  You win some you lose some.  Right?  I'm still working out all the kinks!

What I'm Excited About...
I'm so excited about our next podcast, The Bestie Breakdown!  Shay and I are anxiously awaiting the next time we get to record. 

What I'm Watching/Reading...
I've got a Book Review post coming at you tomorrow!  Be sure to come back to check it!  I'll be sharing all the books I read over the winter.  This is the one I'm currently reading, The Most Fun We Ever Had.  It's very "Family Stone-ish" so far...a family with four daughters and each daughter is navigating life's ups and downs.  I'm only about thirty percent in, but I'll keep you posted.

What I'm Listening To...
I've been listening to a worship music playlist on Spotify on REPEAT.  I keep it playing on our Alexa in the kitchen ALL DAY LONG.

What I'm Wearing...
Here are a few things that have arrived lately.  From left to right...

What I'm Doing This Weekend...
The same thing I'm doing today and probably again tomorrow.  :)

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month...
April is BIRTHDAY MONTH for Ebby Lee and Nixon.  I have high hopes we'll be able to celebrate in big ways.  Also, we're looking forward to Easter and celebrating our Risen Savior.

Thanks for reading today!