Promise or Pay: Achieve Your Goals

I know that sometimes we all need a little extra motivation to reach our goals, so I'm excited to have Jay from Promise or Pay with us on the blog today.  I asked Jay to share with us some of his best tips to help you reach your fitness goals. Check out his great advice then head on over to Promise or Pay to check out the fantastic website.

You know that exercise is good for you.  The problem is that getting fit and committing to a regular exercise schedule is tough.  Despite nearly two-thirds of adults setting fitness as part of their New Year’s goals, 73 percent give up before crossing the metaphorical (and literal) finish line[1].  No wonder kicking off and sticking to an exercise routine can be intimidating.  But every achievement starts with a decision to try so don’t lose hope!  Here are 4 awesome goal-setting tips that can help you spice-up your fitness journey.

1. Take baby steps

Keep in mind to start slowly.  As you get used to following a particular fitness regimen, your body will adjust.  It’s similar to preparing for a marathon race where you have to go slowly at first to get your body acquainted to running for long distances.  If you start out too fast your body might not be able to keep up, which can be very frustrating!  Remember that slow progress is still progress.  So start with small steps and as you get used to your fitness regimen, begin to add in more time and effort.

2. Make a promise

When it comes to achieving personal goals, research shows that chance of success increases by 33% if it is shared with others and by up to 72% if money is put on the line.  Promise or Pay is an online social motivation platform that helps you stick to your goals by donating money to charity if you don’t follow through, and encouraging others to donate if you succeed.

What makes this awesome is that regardless of the outcome money is donated to charity!
 Keep your promise and your Supporters donate.  Break your promise and you donate.  It’s win-win!

Promise or Pay motivates you to achieve your fitness goals, while creating a more engaging, personal and empowering way to donate to charities that make a better world.  One promise can make a huge difference.  What will yours be?

3. Workout with a partner

If you work towards your fitness goals with a partner or a team of people, you'll have more reasons to stay committed.  If you try to do it alone you might naturally get bored and become unaccountable. The only special tip for choosing a reliable partner is that he or she needs to needs to have goals that resemble yours.  With someone to remind you when you get off task and provide encouragement and support, you’ll be more likely not to fall off the fitness wagon.

4. Find the time to workout

Finding the time to exercise can sometime be the hardest part.  In fact, 36 percent of those who give up on their fitness goals say it is hard to find the time to exercise.  If you are one of those people who are time poor, then it’s a good idea to go back to the drawing board.  Sit down and review how you spend your free time.  See if you are wasting time in certain areas.  Plan your time wisely and make sure to create some segments for exercise throughout your week.  If you’re often busy at the office and in traffic here are some tips for you:

· Park your car a distance from the office so you can get a short walk in

· Use stairs instead of the elevator

· Take a 1 hour break during work to take a walk or hit the gym

· Carry a packed, healthy lunch to work to avoid the temptation to eat junk or fast food

Make good use of the little time available and slowly but surely, you’ll see the results.

Making positive lifestyle changes like getting in-shape is really difficult and unfortunately there is no miracle fix. Use these tips to overcome distractions and amplify your motivation to work out and achieve your health and fitness goals.

[1] http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/2013-100k-transformation-contest-press-release.html
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Camping With Kids: South West Rocks

South West Rocks SUP

Hey everyone, I hope you all had a fantastic Easter.  I spent the weekend at Nationals (update coming soon), but for now I just wanted to catch you up on our camping trip a few weekends ago.  About three weeks ago we set out on our first camping adventure with our kiddos and some extended family.  We have travelled a fair bit with our munchkins but have never actually camped with them so we were all excited to give it a try.

Unfortunately the weather forecast didn't look brilliant (rain, rain and more rain), but we stayed optimistic and decided to go anyway.  I figured, at the very least, it was going to be a challenge and I was up for it - if we could camp with the kids in the rain then every other trip after that would hopefully be easier.

The forecast was right and we did spend most of the first two days sheltering under a big communal tarp.  We somehow managed to keep 8 children under 6 years old happy and entertained - thank goodness for a few breaks in the rain here and there that we could get them out on their bikes and expend some energy.  We battled a hungry big daddy kangaroo that kept trying to break into our campsite on the first night and wasn't keen to take no for an answer, we survived strong winds and torrential downpours and we were still smiling (for the most part).

In amongst all of that, I have to say we did have an amazing time.  The sun did out come out for the last two days for us, just in time.   It was so wonderful to spend some quality time with family that live far away.  South West Rocks is an amazing spot for the kids.  We stayed at the Trial Bay Gaol campground in the Arakoon National Park.  It is ideal for families -  quiet campground & calm water.  The kids absolutely loved the beach there.  We have been there once before, you might remember I tried a SUP for the first time and ended up being involved in the dramatic rescue of a runaway beach ball ;)

If you are after a few tips for camping in the wet weather, here is a few things I found worked well:

1.  Pack lots of clothing

I usually like to pack light when we travel, but this time around I packed plenty of changes of clothing and we definitely needed them.  Puddles and mud are always huge magnets for kids.

2.  Small soaking tub

I took a small plastic tub with a lid and some nappy soaker so I could still soak any clothing that got desperately muddy or soiled.  I was very happy to have it there and saved me some hard stain-removal work when we got home.

3.  Plastic bags

You will need plenty of plastic bags for wet clothing and also to keep things dry.

4.  Car heater

If worse comes to worse and you have no clean/dry clothing left, go for a drive and turn your car heater on, strategically placing items near the vents.  This isn't the most economical option but is a great option if you're desperate.

5.  Extra kids tent

We didn't have this option but I was talking to another mum from school recently that always takes a small extra tent when she camps with the kids.  It becomes a kids retreat and kids can play in there which saves the other tents for grown ups and sleeping.

South West Rocks




South West Rocks

camping with kids


South West Rocks is also home to the historic Trial Bay Gaol which my Mr 5 was all over as he absolutely LOVES anything to do with the Police, or robbers, or jails etc.  It was a great educational experience for all the kids and adults alike..

Trial Bay Gaol

Trial Bay Gaol

Trial Bay Gaol

Trial Bay Gaol

South West Rocks Campground

Trial Bay Gaol Campground


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5 (unexpected) Beauty Must-Haves

5 Beauty Must-Haves
Hey guys! Earlier in the week I posted some practical beauty tips to remind you busy mamas of some easy ways that you can look after not only your appearance, but your wellbeing too.  Today I thought I'd share some of my very favourite beauty products with you but keep reading because they might not be what you expect ;)

As you know I love to use natural products where possible, although I find it's not always practical or easy to find natural replacements for everything in my bathroom cupboards.  I know beauty products are highly personal and different things suit different people/skin types, but this is a fun little list of outside-the-square products that I just love:

1.  Coconut Oil

This is my absolute fave and I love to use it as an intensive moisturiser ideally once per week to stop my skin from getting too dry (especially if I've been doing a lot of surfing).  I also rub a little on my hands nearly daily (whenever I cook with it) and it has been amazing at helping prevent the dermatitis that I used to suffer with on my hands.  As a body moisturiser it works wonderfully but can be a little messy (especially in summer when the oil is naturally liquid) so it probably isn't practical for every day use.   For every day use I simply try to use a regular store-bought natural or lower-chemical creme body moisturiser. I know some people prefer the practicality and convenience of products like spray moisturiser and moisturisers that contain sunscreens but I am a little wary of the chemicals.

2.  Baby Wipes

Okay most mums may already know this one, but baby wipes are seriously worth their weight in gold.  When I am too tired to wash my face I have used them as a make up remover.  I have a pack in my athletics bag for those desperate times that I feel too sweaty or yuck after training - I just give myself a quick wipe over and it's instant freshness.  Well nearly - it keeps me going until I can grab a shower anyway.  I also have a pack in my handbag and it's come in handy for countless things such as cleaning the kids hands/faces, cleaning up their spills (especially in public places), cleaning the dashboard, interior and leather of my car, and most recently, cleaning red wine off my creme lounge.  Yep, you read that right.

Red Wine 0 vs Baby Wipes 1

I can't believe it worked either, but after some red wine was spilt on our lounge, my darling dad suggested that I grab a baby wipe and try it before using anything else and it absolutely worked like a charm.  Put a pack in your handbag right now.  #you'rewelcome ;)

3.  Baby Powder

This beaut little product is amazing for getting sand off the kids and yourself at the beach.  No matter how long we stand under the beach fresh-water showers after playing in the sand, the kids always manage to still have sand stuck somewhere.  I give them a quick spray with the baby powder and the sand just brushes off.  Baby powder can also be a great way to soak up the oil in your hair for those days-that-you-probably-should-have-washed-your-hair-but-didn't.  Just flip you're head over and apply a very small amounts to the roots.  Oil/greasy hair gone.  Now I will just say that I am a blonde, and I don't know how effective this trick would be for people with very dark hair as you may be able to see a powder residue, but if you want to give it a try and let me know, go for it!

4.  Leave-in Conditioner Spray

I love throwing some of this in our beach bag or swimming bag.  If you apply it prior to swimming it will protect your hair and after swimming it works as a great detangler.  I also use it to help get knots out of my daughters hair.

5.  Witch-Hazel Toner

This can be a good skin toner for after cleansing (depending on your skin type), but I like to put some on a make up remover pad or tissue and use it to give my skin a quick cleanse for those times that I don't have time to wash my face properly.  It's obviously not as good as a proper cleanser so I wouldn't make a regular habit out of it but it's great for occasional use as it does leave your skin feeling fresher and cleaner.


So there you have 5 of my favourite (unexpected) beauty must-haves.  I'd love to hear if you have any out-of-the-box products that you find great for beauty or otherwise! Tell me in the comments below..
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Paleo Raisin Loaf

Paleo Raisin Loaf
The below muffin/loaf recipe has become my absolute go-to recipe for pretty much any flavour of Paleo fruit muffins these days and last night I adapted it (and by adapted I mean added sultanas, or raisins for my american friends) to make Raisin Loaf.

Before becoming Paleo and having to go Gluten-Free, I used to LOVE me a good slice of thick-cut raisin toast.  It's probably one of the very few foods that I smell now and miss eating.   And as Easter is approaching and the hot cross buns have hit the grocery market shelves, I decided it would be a good time to try to make my own version of raisin toast/hot cross buns.

I am pleased to say that it worked really well (and even passed the kids taste-test).  Serve it with a nice generous serve of grass-fed butter and you won't be disappointed.

If you look closely you will see that it is the same recipe I used to make my Pear & Raspberry Muffins but I'll share it again here as this time I'm using a loaf tin so the method is the slightest bit varied.

Ingredients

1 cup almond meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon bicarb soda (or baking soda)
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (melted)
3 eggs
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
Generous serve of raisins (or sultanas)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C
2. Mix the dry ingredients together
3. Add eggs, oil & syrup/honey, mixing well between each one.
4. Stir sultanas through gently.
5. Line a small loaf tin or rectangular cake tin with baking paper and pour mixture in
6. Bake for approx 25 mins, checking regularly.

Enjoy!
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Practical Beauty Tips for Busy Mothers

beauty tips for mothers
One of my concerns about Hunter starting school was being out the door, early and on time, every weekday.  Historically, punctuality hasn't been my strong point so I had a legitimate reason to be concerned, and since the kids were born, I have really been enjoying only working part-time and having a few days every week where we weren't rushed to be somewhere.  But as of this year, that has all changed, and I have been determined to rise to the challenge.

It has meant that I have had to fine-tune not only my organisational skills, but also my morning beauty routine so I thought I'd share 5 great time-saving tricks that help me leave the house in the morning feeling comfortable rather than rushed and dishevelled.

1. Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep definitely makes a big difference to not only the way you feel, but it also improves the way you look and helps reduce puffiness and dark circles under your eyes.

2. Eat well

To improve the appearance of your skin it is important to nourish from the inside out.  Eating a diet rich in nutrients, vegetables and natural, unprocessed foods can help improve your complexion.  I used to have very sensitive skin and was prone to horrible dermatitis, but since changing my diet and becoming Paleo, this has improved remarkably.

3.  Drink plenty of water

Water can also help improve the appearance of your skin as well as having other health benefits.  Make sure you are drinking enough water on a a daily basis.  Eating well and drinking enough water can help improve your complexion which can reduce the need for concealers and foundations, saving you time during your make-up routine.

3. Shower early

I set my alarm for half an hour before the kids wake up so that I can get up and have shower. On the days I wash my hair this gives my hair time to dry naturally.  I can then give it a quick finish-off blow dry or style.  This saves the overall drying time and is also much healthier for your hair.  If you can shower and wash your hair the night before, that may even work better, I just like a shower to start my day.

4.  Overnight styling

When you have second-day hair, a great time-saving tip is to set it to style while you sleep.  I love the no-heat curl method for quick, effortless curls.  When all else fails with your hair style, or your hair is greasy and you don't have time to wash it, grab a cute hat, pretend it was an intentional part of your outfit and nobody will know any different.

5.  Prioritise your make up

Now, if you are the type of person that doesn't wear makeup, I think that's fantastic and just ignore this tip.  But if you're like me and you enjoy wearing make up, or feel a little more comfortable with it on, then a great way to save time is to prioritise your favourite items.  Feeling like you have to put a full face of make up on everyday can be overwhelming and can sometimes just take too long.  There is probably one or two items that you like to wear that will make you feel more 'put-together'.   For me, it is mascara, followed by a little bronzer for my cheeks and eyeliner if I have the time.  I really enjoy make up and would probably love to wear a little more but I just don't always have the time on a daily basis.  As long as I have my mascara  and bronzer on though, I feel as if I look presentable ;)

These tips definitely sound like common-sense, but I'm sure you know how easy it is for us busy mothers to neglect ourselves and so many women often skip the first three.  And those first three are incredibly important not only to enhance your natural beauty, but your overall wellbeing too!
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IWD and State Champs

International Womens Day

Hey guys, my apologies for being a little AWOL lately! I've been quite busy firstly training for State Championships, (and now Nationals), the kids sports and working on a new blog design (still not quite finished)!

Before we get started I just wanted to wish all you fabulous women out there a very happy International Women's Day!  You are all incredible in your very own special way and I hope that you take some time on this day to tell yourself that you are doing a fantastic job, in whatever job/stage of life that you are in :)

As some of you already know, I started back at athletics training in Sep/Oct last year. Track & Field was a huge part of my life when I was a child, I briefly went back for about a year when I was 18, but Uni and work got in the way. Late last year I decided I really wanted to go back and start running again. I got in touch with some coaches at a local club and went along to give it a try. Never for a moment did I dream that I would be actually be competitive again though!

I have been under the guidance of some amazing coaches and have met and am training with a fantastic group of people and saying that I'm enjoying being back on the track again is a massive understatement. I decided to start competing again at the local friendly competition, but that quickly escalated to bigger competitions with some encouragement from other athletes at my club. A few weeks ago I headed down to Sydney Olympic Park to compete at the Athletics NSW Masters State Champs and I was absolutely thrilled to come away with three gold and three silver!!! I couldn't believe it! The gold in the 100m Hurdles was my absolute favourite moment because I had been working and training so hard to be able to run the hurdles again (hurdles had always been my favourite event when I was younger, but I gave it away when my age moved to the 100 hurdles as I had found it too difficult. Prior to the 100H at state, I hadn't ever actually finished one before. I had been working really hard and believed I could do it but it was a huge confidence boost and such a wonderful relief to find out that I actually could! It was such a special feeling, to know that at 33, after two children and with the same time-constraints that most mothers/families face, I could achieve something that I have always been dreaming of - gold in the hurdles at state level. 

 

I ended up also coming away with gold in high jump and long jump, and silver in the 100m, 200m and 400m!! 

I know I say this a lot, but I really encourage you women/mama's out there to not be afraid to give that sport you want to do a try or go back to doing something that you once loved.  You really are never too old or too unfit.  You have to start somewhere and it is totally worth it.  There are people in their 70's still down at the track running (and even competing) and they absolutely love it.  They are totally inspiring and their smiles say it all.

Have a fantastic IWD everyone!!
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