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Our Corner

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We see bloggers and chefs often talking about what’s in season and we see our favorite high end restaurants changing their menus seasonally… but does seasonal produce really matter?

It turns out that the answer is yes! Let us tell you why.

It’s cheaper!

When fruits and vegetables are in season, there is more supply available, resulting in lower prices. Conversely, when food is out of season it must be imported from other areas of the world. The further that food travels, the more expensive it becomes for you. It’s estimated that around one-third of the vegetables and more than half of the fruit purchased in the United States are imported from other countries. The further that food travels, the more expensive it becomes for you.

Even if it’s not being transported across the continent, out-of-season foods grown more locally in greenhouses require greater energy consumption and thus, increased costs for the grower which are inevitably passed on to you. Buying seasonal produce locally from a farmers’ market or through a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program can help our carbon footprint and the dent in our wallets!

It’s more nutritious!

It turns out that the season produce is grown in can also contribute to its nutrient composition. A study conducted by the National Institute of Health found that broccoli grown in-season during the fall had twice as much vitamin C as broccoli that was grown out of season in the spring. Further, fruits and vegetables that are stored for long periods of time due to transportation have a reduction in phyto-nutrient content. Large grocers may buy out-of-season produce that has been gassed, irradiated (a burst of radiation to kill germs) and preserved in wax in order to extend shelf life.

It just tastes better!

If you want incredibly flavorful food, you should start with produce that’s in season and not kept frozen as it travels across continents or hemispheres. Produce that will be transported must be harvested early and refrigerated so that it won’t spoil during transportation. When produce is harvested early it does not reach it’d full flavor potential. Further, the chilling of produce in refrigerator cars during transportation can also reduce the flavor. Finally, when the produce finally gets to its destination it then may need to be heated in a hot house to artificially complete the ripening process. This artificial ripening can greatly reduce the flavor, change the texture and the taste.

So what’s in season now? Check (and print) out this handy wheel from our friends at Reader’s Digest and try building next week’s meal plan around only seasonal produce!

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New Fire Summer Mini 2021

The sun, the chlorine, the salt water... all that summer fun has done a number on our skin. So before that harsh transition to the bitter cold, now is the best time to show our skin a little love.

Here are our top 5 fave skin treatments to rejuvenate that summer skin.

  1. HydraFacial. A non invasive skin treatment using patented technology to cleanse, extract and hydrate your skin. Upon completion of this treatment expect soothed, smoothed and glowing skin. No down time will be needed!

  2. Chemical Peel. A cosmetic treatment involving the use of acids to exfoliate the skin. A peel is intended to remove the outermost layers of skin (damaged skin cells) to improve and smooth texture. Recovery time is dependent upon the type of peel performed. In general, treated areas take anywhere from a few days to two weeks to heal but redness can appear for months after.

  3. Microdermabrasion. A treatment performed using a minimally abrasive instrument to gently remove the uneven outer layer of skin. This treatment is best known to treat sun spots, light scarring, discoloration and stretch marks as it helps to thicken collagen (the most abundant protein in human bodies). There is typically no downtime associated with this facial allowing you to carry on with the day to day!

  4. Vampire Facial. The Vampire facial, also known as a platelet-rich plasma facial (PRP) in the medical field has been around for years but continues to be on trend! It is a cosmetic procedure which uses a patient's blood to reinvigorate the skin. Dr. Sal, a Los Angeles housecall cosmetic physician explains the facial as "drawing up a couple vials of the patient's own blood, spinning the blood in a centrifuge to separate each cellular component, removing the platelet component from the plasma, and then re-injecting the platelets back into the face.".* From acne to acne scarring, fine lines, wrinkles and more this procedure almost covers it all. It is advised to keep the PRP on your skin for 12-24 hours to help skin heal. In most cases you can recover to normal activity the very next day!

  5. A customized facial. The beauty of a customized facial is that it can be tailored to meet the needs and desires of your individual skin. Book a consultation with an experienced esthetician to design a custom facial to best suit your skin and deliver the most beneficial treatment for you!

When choosing a service provider for any type of facial, be sure to do some homework. Read reviews, ask friends and family for referrals, don’t be afraid to ask questions and we even recommend booking a consult. This step is just as important as the final result!

**https://www.thelist.com/85340/untold-truth-vampire-facials/

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New Fire Summer Mini 2021

Recovery is imperative to any exercise or training routine. Recovery tools can help fight off muscle soreness, can help reduce risk of potential injury, improve performance, prepare the body for the next training and so much more! Before pushing through another workout feeling stiff or uncomfortable, try one (or more) of our favorite tools to help you recover. Remember that recovery is different for everyone and what works for your bestie might not necessarily work for you! Try a few of these tools and discover which ones are best for your unique body.

  1. Theragun - Effortlessly hold on to this device and customize the speed you need to feel relief.

  2. Roller Stick - Traditional foam rollers are great for rolling your back, glutes, hips, etc while laying down- but if you have ever tried to roll the front of your body you know it’s a little more difficult. We love the roller stick for rolling out our thighs, calves and especially our tired or achy feet! Reduce pain, tightening and stiffness with the help of this extremely affordable stick.

  3. Pure Epsom Salt - Pure ingredients to safely soak muscle soreness and inflammation away without the added unknowns.

  4. Ice Roller Ball - Roll away pain and reduce inflammation with your choice of hot or cold therapy for muscles of all sizes.

  5. TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller - A foam roller that won’t break down and is designed to help channel blood and oxygen to repair muscles as you roll. We have been using this roller for years and haven’t found anything better!

  6. Powerdot - Take the power of electronic stimulation with you just about anywhere thanks to Powerdot. The on-the-go muscle stimulation system is connected to your smartphone via an app that allows your muscles to loosen and recover with no foam rolling required.

  7. CBD Releaf Balm - Cannabidiol (CBD), the cannabis compound that’s been touted for its healing effects without getting you “high,” has gotten attention for alleviating aches and inflammation. Some athletes have even said it’s a part of their health routine for enhancing performance, particularly when they’re experiencing pain. Whether you have a tension headache or discomfort from an aching muscle, this balm should help you feel better.

  8. Recovery Sandals - Ok, these are hideous- we know. But ask around F4MLOU, and you’ll quickly hear about how amazing they are! Perfect support and cushion for those tired legs and feet. Ask any friend who has tried them and she will let you know that they are well worth the embarrassing look. Just don’t wear them out of the house. ;)

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New Fire Summer Mini 2021

It's that time of year again... BACK TO SCHOOL! Here is a list of all the fun things we are eyeing for the 2021-2022 school year!

  1. Iron on Patches - Because it’s cool to be uniquely you.

  2. Private Stock Labs Neon Masks - Non-toxic colors following scientific health standards.

  3. Key Chain - For your littles first key or used as a backpack accessory!

  4. Stamps - Gift these to your teacher and win some extra brownie points.

  5. Fidgets - For the busy little bees to help keep their mind at ease.

  6. Positive Pencils - Sometimes a positive reminder is all we need.

  7. First Day of School Sign - From the first day of preschool to 12th grade. These are a one time buy!

  8. Cord Labels - These will keep everyone in the family happy!

  9. Name Labels - Because staying organized is key.

  10. Colorful keyboard - Colorful fun for schoolwork done at home.

  11. Eon Sanitizing Mist - Spray germs away during anytime of day.

  12. Waxed Canvas Lunch Bag - Eco friendly and great for on the go.

  13. Dry erase pockets - For the at home teacher or prek parent!

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New Fire Summer Mini 2021

The power of a deep breath is well known but you may be surprised by the newest wellness craze that incorporates simple breaths of air. From group classes to private sessions to apps you can download on your phone, it seems that everywhere we turn we are hearing about the power of breathwork.

So what exactly is this new trend and how can it help you? Let’s start from the beginning (like, the way beginning).

Breathwork has roots in Eastern practices like yoga, Tai Chi, and Buddhism but most of the therapy used today got its start in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Breathwork refers to any type of breathing exercises or techniques. Richie Bostock, one of the leading breathwork specialists in the UK describes it as “the science and art of becoming aware of your breathing and using it for a physical, mental or emotional benefit”. Breathwork exercises focus on your conscious awareness when breathing and the breaths that are taken during a specific amount of time.

Breathing is more than just what keeps us alive. It is a bridge between mind and body and can have a direct effect on our emotions and overall health. The exercise of Breathwork is practiced for many reasons but overall it is believed to be beneficial to one's emotional health. Professed benefits include:

  • Decreased stress and anxiety

  • Increased awareness

  • Deepened focus

  • Feelings of joy and happiness

  • A release of negative thoughts

  • Improved relationships

  • Increased self confidence

Breathwork is also known to help people experiencing conditions like,

  • Chronic pain

  • Depression

  • Anger

  • Trauma

  • Grief and loss

With a little time and research to find what speaks to you, you’re bound to find a style that can help calm and ease your mind. Begin by deciding if you would like to try exercises on your own or lead by an instructor in a group setting. The popularity of breathwork is on the rise so class options are popping up everywhere nationwide. Another great resource is right at your fingertips. There are plenty of apps you may download and explore to guide you through some simple breathwork exercises. Take your time to discover what is most beneficial for you, close your eyes and give it a try!

Breathing is more than just what keeps us alive. It is a bridge between mind and body and can have a direct effect on our emotions and overall health.

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New Fire Summer Mini 2021

It may be August, but summer ain't over yet! There’s still time to soak in those long days and warm nights with your friends and family. Here are a few of our ideas for making some late summer memories.

  1. Sunset - Grab a bottle of wine and a blanket and catch the sunset with your boo or your besties. Need some inspo? Check out this list of the best places to watch the sunset in the Ville!

  2. Outdoor Movie - What’s more fun when you’re a kid than an outdoor movie? To be honest, it’s pretty fun when you’re an adult too! Need all the gadgets? This projector and this screen are just a few clicks away!

  3. Ice Cream - Nothing says sweet summertime like a trip for ice cream after dinner. Especially this time of year when temps are sky high. Check out our local faves Louisville Cream or Comfy Cow in the Bluegrass.

  4. Local Farmers Markets - One of our most cherished summer weekend activities is taking the fam to select fresh produce and check out the goods of our local farmers markets. Besides having much more flavorful fruits and veggies than the grocery store, Farmers Markets can be a great learning experience for our little ones. Try discussing which items are in season and why and talk to the farmers about their produce. Plan to take your time, try all the samples and turn that boring grocery trip into a fun and educational experience for the whole family! Not sure where to start? Douglass Loop, St. Matt’s and Eastwood Village are a few of our favorite Farmer’s Markets!

  5. Go on a Picnic - You can’t let summer end without going on at least one family picnic! Don’t stress over packing up all those meals- make it easy and support local restaurants by picking up takeout for your picnic. Check out Louisville Family Fun for so many great ideas for picnic spots with amazing takeout nearby!

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New Fire Summer Mini 2021

Cardio and HIIT get all the hype, but there are plenty of reasons to love Strength workouts too. Some people see more change in their bodies and feel better overall when incorporating more of a strength heavy regime and pulling back on the cardio.

Need more motivation to set that alarm for tomorrow’s strength session? We’ve got ten more for ya.

  1. Increased flexibility and balance. Strength exercises force your joints and muscles to work harder than usual. This allows muscle fibers to elongate which increases the size of the muscle resulting in more flexibility. Another perk to building muscle during training is that it assists with balance and may reduce the risk of falls.

  2. Strong Bones. Calcium rich foods aren’t the only thing to help keep your bones strong. Strength training can also play an important role! This type of training can assist in slowing down bone loss and even building bone too. Exercises that put stress on bones call bone-forming cells into action resulting in stronger bones all around!*

  3. Age more gracefully with increased muscle mass. As we age, lean muscle mass naturally decreases. Whomp whomp. But adding strength training into your exercise routine can help preserve and enhance muscle mass at any age!

  4. Reduces risk of injury. Most exercises performed during strength training are smooth movements that don’t involve a lot of impact. A perk to this is that it helps promote an aligned body and reduces the risk of injury.

  5. Enhances Mood. Any exercise (including strength training) can do wonders for mental health. During exercise your body releases endorphins which are chemicals produced by the body to release stress and pain. Endorphins are known to boost your mood and can help fight depression too. One of our favorite reasons why exercising is a must do!

  6. Your body continues to work even when training is through. Similarly to how your body continues to work and burn calories after HIIT the same goes after completion of strength training. The rate that calories are burned after exercise is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Because of EPOC, your body can burn more calories throughout the day! During the New Fire with Suze we are calling this, the after-burn of F4MLOU!

  7. Better sleep quality. Regular exercise provides three important sleep benefits: it helps you to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper and awaken less throughout the night. Since strength training is exercise, you’re covered. Enjoy those zzz’s tonight!

  8. Can improve heart health. Strength training is more important to the heart than you may have thought. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends strength training at least twice a week. This type of exercise gives your cardiovascular system places to send blood being pumped. The result? Less pressure on your arteries, helping to reduce the chances of heart-related problems.

  9. Can boost endurance. Strength and endurance go hand in hand. Strength training increases the amount of force that muscle fibers can produce. Therefore, stronger force means greater force production allowing you to be the fastest and quickest you can be!

  10. Improve quality of life. Building muscle allows you to get more out of life. Everyday activities such as lifting pets and children, moving heavy objects and even bending over to pick up a shoe are all things that without strong muscles, can be difficult to do. Continuing to move and build muscle enables you to be the best version of you!

*https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/strength-training-builds-more-than-muscles

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Well Between 2021

Understanding how to use spices can level up your cooking game in a big way. The same meal with different spices can completely transform your taste experience. Most importantly, many spices also carry remarkable health benefits. Figure out which spices your family loves and how you can use them in different ways.

Let’s take a look at five of our faves, the health benefits, and some ways to use them.

  1. Cinnamon

Did you know cinnamon can impact your blood sugar levels? Cinnamon can lower blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon’s compounds also have antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer, and antifungal activities and there is even some preliminary evidence that cinnamon may help lower total cholesterol and triglycerides.

Where to use: Cinnamon isn’t just for baking! Try adding it to coffee, smoothies, yogurt, fruit, hot cereal, use it in stews and chilis or as a spice rub.

  1. Rosemary

The active ingredient in rosemary is called rosmarinic acid which has been shown to suppress allergic responses and nasal congestion. Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. Rosemary is also thought to be a cognitive stimulant and can help memory performance, boost alertness, and improve focus.

Where to use: Rosemary is used as a seasoning in a variety of dishes, such as soups, casseroles, salads, and stews. Rosemary can also be infused in olive oil, added to butter or salt, baked into bread, included in a lemon sorbet or dessert pie, even muddled into a cocktail or water.

  1. Ginger

Ginger has long been known to treat stomach upset, diarrhea and nausea. But it also contains an active compound called gingerol, which contains phytonutrients that acts as an antioxidant along with antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties.

Where to use: This spice is often found in stir-fry dishes, homemade salad dressings and baked goods. We recommend adding it in soups, smoothies and trying that trendy ginger tea you've been hearing so much about.

  1. Cayenne

Cayenne peppers contain a substance called capsaicin. It’s what makes them spicy and also what can provide pain relief. Capsaicin reduces the number of pain signals sent to your brain resulting in less discomfort. Capsaicin has also been shown to reduce appetite and increase fat burning in some studies.

Where to use: Use this spice anytime you want to add heat to your food. It’s great in chili, soups, stews and on meat. Prefer to sip? Add a sprinkle to hot chocolate or a mug of hot tea to get that congestion cleared out!

  1. Garlic

Garlic is well known for combatting sickness, especially the common cold. But did you know that eating garlic may protect your heart from changes that lead to heart disease? For those with high cholesterol, garlic supplementation appears to reduce total and/or LDL cholesterol by about 10-15%. Studies have also found garlic supplementation to cause significant reductions in blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.

Where to use: Pair fresh or powdered garlic with olive oil and pepper to flavor vegetables or use it with rosemary to make a tasty meat rub. You can sprinkle it in soups and salad dressings, too.

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Well Between 2021

With more and more talk about global warming, the energy crisis and limiting our carbon footprints, we are all feeling the pressure to look at the way we live our lives a little closer. As Moms we often find ourselves on the front lines working to make this a better place for the next generation. Most of us have already made small changes like using glass instead of plastic in our kitchens, encouraging our families to walk instead of drive and bringing our own bags to the grocery store… but should we be considering the impact of what we eat on the earth as well?

We took a look at some of the best and worst foods for the environment and guess what?… Some of the best and worst foods for you are also the best and the worst foods for the planet.

Let’s Start with the Worst

Beef - With the rise of Beyond Meat and the other faux meats of the world, it probably isn’t a surprise to you that beef ranks at the top of the list when it comes to the highest carbon footprint and detrimental effects on the environment. Producing a kilogram of beef emits 60 kilograms of greenhouse gases and requires over 900 gallons of water.

Pork- Pork may not have as large of an environmental impact as beef, but it’s impact is still significant. Eating just a 4-ounce serving of pork can be equivalent to the same carbon footprint of driving your car for 3 miles.

Sugar - According to a study by the World Wildlife Foundation, sugar is among the crops most harmful to the planet. By replacing habitats rich in animal, plant and insect life, sugar plantations destroy the most biodiversity in the world. In addition to its intensive use of water and pesticides, the cultivation of sugarcane and sugar beet also causes erosion, such that Papua New Guinea, whose soil used to grow sugar cane, has lost 40% of its organic carbon content, carbon which is now in the atmosphere and contributing to global warming.

Chocolate- Yes! Don't hate us, but chocolate too! The Theobroma cacao tree is a very complicated plant that grows only in certain areas around equatorial forests. It requires a lot of water (2,400 liters of water to make 100 g of chocolate) as well. As a result, cacao cultivation puts a lot of strain on natural ecosystems.

Coffee - Ekkk… another #MomLife essential is on this list! Coffee production emits 17 kilograms of CO2-equivalents per kilogram of product. These emissions are caused by farming, packaging, and effects on the land. Seeing as 7 in 10 Americans consume coffee at least once a week, our nation’s demand for coffee continues to grow and the impacts on the environment have followed suit.

So What are the Best?

Beans - Beans and other pulses (chickpeas, lentils, and dry peas) are able to convert nitrogen from the air and "fix" it into a form that can be readily used by plants. Pulses also use mostly “green water,” which refers to water from precipitation that is stored in the root zone of the soil and evaporated, transpired, or incorporated by plants- making them less reliant on additional water sources.

Leafy Greens - Leafy greens are considered one of the top eco-friendly and sustainable foods on the market. They require minimal resources to produce large quantities, they are just as good for the environment as they are for you.

Nut milks instead of cow’s milk! All non-dairy milks, whether they're made from nuts, beans, or seeds, produce less emissions than cow's milk. There are a few milks that are generally easier on the environment. According to Inhabitat, coconut milk, hemp milk, pea protein milk, and oat milk are generally low-impact, because they either require less water to grow or produce less emissions than other plant milks.

Mushrooms- A 2017 report by the Mushroom Council assessed the environmental impacts of growing mushrooms over two years and found that production of a pound of mushrooms requires far less water and energy than most other agricultural crops, with an extremely low CO2 emissions rate to boot. One pound of button mushrooms requires just 2 gallons of water to produce, which is far less than the average of 50 gallons of water per pound other fresh produce items demand.

Tomatoes- Tomatoes (when sourced locally) are another environmentally friendly food with combined emissions amounting to only 1.1 kg of CO2 equivalent per kg consumed. Tomatoes are also fairly easy to grow so start your summer garden with this vine!

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Summer Well Between 2021

Warm and toasty.

1. No warming drawer, no problem! Some ovens come with a warming drawer which will automatically set the temperature anywhere from 170 - 200 degrees fahrenheit. If an oven doesn’t have that option you’re still in luck! Just manually set it to bake at 200 - 250 degrees fahrenheit. Pro tip: Cover the baking dish or cookie sheet with aluminum foil to assist with keeping warmth and moisture in and to prevent food from drying out.

2. Warm plates for serving. But first, always make sure your plates are oven or microwave safe. To warm plates in an oven, set the temperature to its lowest setting (roughly 150 - 200 degrees fahrenheit), stack the plates and then set them inside the oven for 15 minutes. If you’re in a time crunch you can always stack plates in a microwave instead for approximately two minutes. When using either method, don’t forget to use oven mitts!

3. Invest in a chafing dish. Choose from a single time use or one to reuse. When it comes to chafing dishes you get to choose! Regardless of what best suits you, friends and family will appreciate knowing their food is safe to consume.

4. Purchase hot packs. Keep a few of these on hand for when you travel with your insulated casserole carrier on the go. They’re super easy and pack some heat!

*The FDA suggests keeping food warm at an internal temperature of 140 degrees fahrenheit or more.

Cool as a cucumber.

1. Start with smaller portions. Just because it’s been prepped doesn’t mean it needs to be added to the table just yet. Keep the large bowl of guac and homemade salsa in the refrigerator while plating a smaller portion into another bowl first. Then, once you see that it’s running low, fill it up by grabbing from the large refrigerated bowl that is cold and ready to go!

2. Grab a cooler mat. Whether you're comfortable at home or enjoying a picnic at the park, a cooler mat is where it’s at! Simply freeze, unroll and you’re ready to go. No wet and soggy mess!

3. Make an ice tray or bowl. Keep foods like shrimp, pasta salads and sliced cheese cool by serving them on a chilled dish placed over a slightly larger tray or bowl lined with ice! If you’re looking to add color to a spread, try placing leaves of lettuce over the ice for a elegant presentation.

*The FDA suggests keeping cold foods cool at a temperature of 40 degrees fahrenheit or cooler.

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Summer Well Between 2021

Summer is here and that means plenty of outdoor cookouts and get-togethers. After the last year of social distancing and zoom happy hours- we know you are ready for some actual in person fun. But that doesn’t mean your health and your habits need to take a back seat!

We have a simple strategy that we always follow when attending any party:

  1. Bring a dish that you can eat and feel good about.

  2. If there aren’t other healthy options there, fill most of your plate with what you brought.

  3. Even if you add a few other things to your plate, eat what you brought FIRST.

So sure, you can still have one of your Grandma’s famous cookies or a small helping of that insanely creamy mac and cheese your best friend always makes. After all, this will be one of your Well Between moments for the week! But if you fill yourself up with healthy choices first, you are less likely to go overboard with the other stuff.

Protip: Don't worry about bringing something “too healthy” to the party. There will be plenty of sweet and savory goodies there for everyone. Your dish doesn't need to be the favorite for everyone. But we bet there will be at least a couple other people there who will be relieved to see a good option among all the comfort food!

Here are some fun ideas for things to bring that won’t completely derail your progress.

When you're asked to bring an app:

Hummus is so great for you but honestly, even we get bored with it. Switch up your regular hummus with these colorful and tasty variations. Serve with fresh veggies for a super nutrient dense app!

Shrimp cocktail is a simple party classic that makes even a backyard bbq feel a little fancy! Check out our tips below for keeping shrimp cool in the heat of summer.

When you’re asked to bring a side:

Our all time favorite side to bring to a cookout has been and will ALWAYS be the Roasted Veggie Quinoa on pg _ of the recipe book. It works perfectly as a side but also gives us what we need for a main dish if there isn't anything else there that we want to eat!

This Tomato Peach Flatbread screams summer.

When you’re asked to bring a salad:

Don’t be like a regular salad, be a cool salad! This cool as a Cucumber Honeydew Salad is sure to be a crowd fave!

Or try a super refreshing twist on a regular caprese salad with this Watermelon Caprese!

When you're asked to bring a main:

Hopefully you aren’t expected to bring an actual main, but if you are hosting these Pineapple Coconut Kebabs are so festive and fun your guests will feel like they’ve escaped to a tropical island!

Or you can literally never go wrong with classic Baked Chicken Wings. Pick up (or prepare) a couple of clean dipping sauces and let party guests choose their own flavor additions.

When you're asked to bring a dessert:

Any Louisville themed dessert is sure to be a hit, right? And if we do say so ourselves, these Well Between Derby Pie Balls are quite delicious.

And don’t sleep on fruit as the ultimate summer dessert! These Grilled Fruit Skewers are so delicious everyone will forget that they are making a healthy choice.

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Spring Break 2021

Are you foregoing vacation during spring break this year and opting for a staycation instead? Then we have the best lineup to look forward to. Take a look at our list of ideas for ways to keep your family close to home but still experience some new adventures together!

  1. Progress Park Glamping- The perfect compromise for mother nature lovers and for those of us who like to pretend we are outdoorsy. This 12 acre hidden gem of nature is within city limits just 10 miles from Churchill Downs. Leave your tent at home (if you choose) and select a more luxurious option instead. Airstreams and cabins are available to rent or if you’re looking for more space there is even a house on a lake!

  2. Hotel Distil. Great for parents night (or weekend) away, this swanky hotel is one of Louisville’s hottest spots. Try the historic bourbon tasting experience nearby at Evan Williams and don’t forget to book a reservation at Repeal for an incredible meal.

  3. Stay in an actual Tree House like THIS ONE or become one with nature and enjoy the views in this ROUND HOUSE.

  4. Visit Shaker Village. So much to do in this adorable town. From restaurants with traditional straight-from-the-farm Kentucky foods and lot’s of fun daily activities to choose from, this is a family must do for summer 2021! Don’t forget to book a stay at the gorgeous Shaker Village Inn.

  5. Wilstem Wildlife Park. Set off for an adventure that is only a short drive away in the heart of southern Indiana! View over 40 species from the comfort of your own vehicle through a drive-thru safari or choose a guided wagon tour instead. Featured as one of the top 10 places to see and interact with large animals by USA Today, Wilstem is an engaging activity for the entire family!

  6. Kentucky Horse Park. Set on a picturesque working horse farm just outside Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is a must-see attraction for horse lovers of all ages. No other place on earth celebrates the special relationship between humans and horses like this 1,200-acre park; here, visitors have unparalleled opportunities to get up close and personal with many breeds of horse, through barn tours, horseback riding, youth camps, three outstanding museums, a daily Parade of Breeds show, and more. Several retired celebrity horses make their home at Kentucky Horse Park, much to the delight of adoring fans.

  7. Houseboat. Grab your floaties… Houseboats are available to rent from numerous marinas on lakes across the state making Kentucky known as “Houseboat Capital of the World”*! Houseboats offer the comforts of home while allowing you to take a deep breath and destress right on the water. Invite a group of friends or gather the family, regardless of how many heads there are vessels to accommodate any number of bodies! **https://www.kentuckytourism.com/trip-planning/places-to-stay/houseboats

  8. Yurt Life. Circular in shape and surrounded by decking yurts are a once in a lifetime must to experience! While there are many types and styles the Red River Gorge has them available to rent. Yurts include an insulated structure and the ones we are suggesting come equipped with a kitchen, fireplace, heat and air conditioner, plumbing and more to make time away from home feel a bit more comfortable. While enjoying your stay take a day to explore nearby waterfalls, hike trails, walk across the Natural Bridge or simply take in the magical scenery with each turn of your head.

  9. Mammoth Cave. Rolling hills, deep river valleys, and the world's longest known cave system. Lead your family on a self guided tour or hang with the pros for ranger-lead. Either way you will be left with breathtaking sights unable to forget!

  10. Lost River. It is the shortest, but deepest river in the world… And it’s right here in Kentucky! Located in Bowling Green with crystal clear and blue hued water this is a must experience two-part tour. The most exciting part? An underground adventure via boat! All aboard!

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Spring Break 2021

  1. Don’t Overwash Your Face + Skin. Washing your skin too much can strip away essential oils leaving your skin even more dehydrated than when you began. It’s encouraged to keep your skin clean but no need to overdo it. Then, post cleanse always be sure to replace any moisture that was lost by using a trusted moisturizer.

  2. Watermelon. Keep slices on hand or add into a smoothie to blend! Made up of 92% water, this wonderful fruit is sure to give you an added boost of both hydration and nutrition.

  3. Soup! Obviously, since soup contains liquid it contributes to your body as a source of hydration. But want to know a little secret? Eating soups made with bone broth post workout can help replenish your body with the electrolytes you lost. A much better option rather than sugar filled sport drinks!

  4. Iceberg Lettuce. Although not much nutritional value, reaching for a head of lettuce is a simple way to boost daily hydration. Use it in place of bread or chop it up for a delicious salad instead!

  5. Cucumbers. Coming in at 95% water these beneficial rounds can make sneaking hydration throughout the day an easy task! Add them to sips or drinks or wherever you can.

  6. Celery. This crunchy green is fibrous and gives off quite the hydrating punch! Slice a few stalks and then use later for snacking!

  7. Avoid Salty Foods. Skip the salty fries and tortilla chips! Our bodies usually only need a small dose of salt which we can receive naturally in foods like fruits and veggies.

  8. Have a Cup of Tea. Flavored with herbs yet 100% water! Opt for herbal blends which tend to include the cleanest ingredients. Go ahead, steep and repeat!

  9. Coconut water. Think of it as the gatorade that isn’t toxic! Haha. Research has showed that coconut water restores hydration better than water and equal to high-electrolyte sports beverages. Nutrient dense, hydrating and delicious. Yes, please! Protip: check labels for added sugar!

  10. Drink a Smoothie. Choose fruits high in water content and use a base such as ice cubes, water or coconut water instead of sugary juices. The blend will create a win, win! Body Well Grads: Have you tried the Hydrating Smoothie yet? Find it on page 48 in the Repeater Recipe Guide!

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Well Between 2021

Gut health. Probiotics. Fermented foods. These words appear across the covers of magazines in the grocery aisle and in our instagram feed all the time. But what do they mean and what do we need to know? Your Well Between girls are here breaking down key takeaways so you don’t have to do the research.

First, the nerdy deets. The gastrointestinal system, gastrointestinal tract, digestive system or digestive tract are all names for our gut. Our gut is a group of organs that includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon, and rectum. Each person’s gut contains trillions of bacteria, fungi and other microbes known as your microbiome. The microbiome plays a very important role in your health by helping control digestion, regulating your immune system, protecting against disease and creating essential vitamins.

The importance of a healthy gut. You’ve probably heard your Body Well Coach say it, but a healthy gut really is an extremely important part of overall health.

Did you know that your gut is home to more than 100 trillion bacteria?! Most of the time when we hear the word bacteria we think of the “bad” bacteria that makes us sick. But there’s also good bacteria. The bacteria play a variety of key roles such as supporting your immune system, detoxification, hormone balance, skin and mental health, energy production, nourishment and even waste elimination.

Another important reason to have a healthy gut is because the gut is what some refer to as our “second brain.” Our brain and gut are connected by a network of neurons, chemicals and hormones. A healthy gut sends messages to the brain and the brain sends messages back! These messages transmit information about hunger or feeling full, or about the presence of dangerous microbes. This communication helps maintain general health and well being.

Because our gut plays such an important role in our health it is important that we keep it functioning properly.

How probiotics help. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that help keep your digestive system healthy. The main job of probiotics is to maintain a healthy balance in your body by patrolling your intestines to make sure everything is running smoothly. As we already know, not all bacteria is good bacteria. For example; when you are sick, bad bacteria enters your body and increases in number. So to get rid of the harmful bacteria we need to add more beneficial bacteria to fight off the bad. When there is an imbalance of bacteria it can lead to sickness or disease. This is where probiotics come into play. A probiotic can help keep your body healthy and working its best. Think of it as your own personal stomach watch-dog!

Probiotics In Fermented Foods and Drinks

Fermented Foods - Fermented foods are “foods produced through controlled microbial growth, and the conversion of food components through enzymatic action.”* Fermented foods are mainly known to contain the healthy bacteria, Lactobacilli. Keep in mind that not all foods contain live probiotics as in some cases, the live bacteria have been killed during processing. Read your labels and try to choose foods with active or live cultures. Here are a few fermented foods you can easily add into your diet.

Yogurt- Perhaps one of the most popular and widely consumed probiotic rich foods. Yogurt is a fermented milk product that contains the characteristic bacterial cultures Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Yogurt can treat symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and is also a popular choice to snack on when taking antibiotics. Since antibiotics diminish healthy bacteria in your gut while you are on them, yogurt is a great choice of replenishment!

Raw Cheese - Some cheeses are a great source of probiotics. Soft fermented options such as cheddar, feta and gouda contain probiotics as they are made from lactic acid culture and milk. From there, they are left to ferment for weeks at a time!

Olives - We never would have guessed that olives are actually fermented! Reach for green olives to reap probiotic benefits! They contain two strains of Lactobacillus, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus pentosus. This type of bacteria is known to reduce bloating and help with symptoms of IBS.

Miso - A Japanese staple made from soybeans and sometimes mixed with barley, rice or ry and is fermented with a starter called koji. It is most common in miso soup and main dishes. Miso provides many essential nutrients, including B-complex vitamins, vitamin K, copper and manganese. Miso has been shown to fight cancer and lower heart rate.

Dark Chocolate - Yes dark chocolate is also fermented! Dark chocolate is known for being rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants and providing gut healthy probiotics. Just be sure to choose a chocolate with 70% or more cacao!

Fermented Drinks

Kombucha - Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been around for years which contains probiotics. It also contains antioxidants and can help kill harmful bacteria. However, only drink unpasteurized kombucha as pasteurization can kill gut healthy probiotics. Kombucha comes in many flavors but it is important to read labels as some are known to contain high levels of sugar.

Kefir - While Kefir is another probiotic rich dairy product, unlike yogurt, many people who are lactose intolerant are able to drink this product with no problem. Kefir is known to improve bone health, digestive health and fight infection.

You can also increase the amount of probiotics in your body by taking a dietary supplement.* Here are a few tips of what to look for to get started...

Probiotic Supplements

  • Make sure a product contains both live and active bacterial cultures. Those details should be indicated on its packaging. Also check the expiration date to be sure it has not expired.

  • Bargain supplements typically don’t equal quality. So go ahead, invest in your gut!

  • There is mixed information regarding if refrigerated or shelved products are best. When in doubt, research before you buy!

  • Choose a brand with at least 1 billion colony forming units and be sure they contain Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium or Saccharomyces boulardii as they are some of the most researched probiotics. **Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the most common probiotics found in stores while Saccharomyces boulardii is another commonly found probiotic made of good yeast.

  • When looking to help vaginal health, diarrhea, acne, inflammation or brain function it is said that the Lactobacillus strand can be your friend. Whereas the Bifidobacterium strand may be more beneficial to help things such as immunity, anti aging and constipation. Based on what your body needs look for a higher amount of each strand in the brand you choose.

  • If you don’t notice any benefits from one product after a few weeks, try a different one with a different strain of bacteria.

  • Just because one probiotic works for a friend doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Pay attention to your body to decide if the one you’ve chosen is a good fit for you.

*https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723656/

**Probiotics are generally recognized as safe, but always ask a physician if probiotics are right for you.

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Spring Break 2021

Fun in the sun is finally coming, Kentucky! Spring break, beach vacays and summer days at the pool are all within sight. So if you don’t already have a favorite swimsuit picked out to wear this year it’s time to start shopping! We’ve always wished for a simple guide before beginning our own search, so we thought we’d come up with one for you. Here is a concise breakdown of how to find a suit that gives you the two essentials: comfort and confidence.

But before diving in here is a heads up that we will be using words and terms that women actually use to describe their bodies, instead of old school body shape categories. We won’t be referring to your body as an apple, pear or oval because every body is uniquely made. If you’re comfortable with the words tatas and booty get ready for more as this is not your Mom’s bathing suit guide! Our hope is that we lend a helpful hand in directing you to finding the suit that makes you feel your best!

“Body confidence does not come from trying to achieve the perfect body, it comes from embracing the one you have.” - unknown

Smaller Chest. Lucky you! Because you have a smaller chest you can rock almost any style without needing to worry about your tatas slipping, sliding, or popping out of places they aren’t supposed to! If you’re looking to enhance your chest then ruffles, textured options, bold colors, prints and embellishments are all great options for creating the illusion of larger breasts. There’s also underwire (for an added lift), light padding or the option of a deep V neckline that can help too. Or how about a bandeau top? Because smaller breasts don’t require as much support, you could even opt for strapless!

Larger Bust. For the ladies with a larger bust we recommend honing in on tops labelled with a cup size and including underwire to help keep the girls in place and looking their best! Most bathing suit tops that come in a size S, M or L usually lack structure and may not leave you feeling very supported or comfortable. Set your sights on a halter, scoop neck, criss-cross wrap or lined with a peek-a-boo top that will give you adjustable support and shape! What we love most about criss crossed wraps is that they allow for a personalized fit so we can create as much support as we need.

Broad Shoulders. First of all... Rock those strong shoulders tall and proud! To compliment your strength while appearing balanced and confident try experimenting with color, color blocks and prints! Opt for a solid colored suit in a lighter shaded hue or an asymmetrical top with a linear pattern or print. Wearing a linear print can give the illusion of length! The key to sizing what is right for your shoulders is by playing with a top that has an adjustable back and neck. This style will allow you to customize your suit however feels best!

Flat Booty. How about a non surgical lift?! A smaller cut bottom may sound intimidating at first but can actually provide the appearance of a larger butt. Try a cheeky boy short, brazilian cut or a bottom with ties on the sides. Ties on the side will take attention off of the rear and more onto what’s happening on the sides. And for those droopy booties... Find a high waisted style which can elongate and lift! Whatever style you choose, look for bright colors or loud prints to give that booty a bold look. Our advice? Your body is amazing! Go ahead and show a little cheek!

Big Booty. So you have an ample butt. No need to hide it, rock it! You’ll want to find a suit with enough fabric so you aren’t feeling uncomfortable or constantly tugging. No one wants to be picking her wedgie at the baby pool. So skip those smaller cuts (unless those are what make you feel your best!) and opt for ones with more coverage, an adjustable bottom or even pair a solid bottom with a printed top. Never be afraid to mix and match, there are no rules! Discover what feels best on your booty and go for it!

Athletic Bod. The goal here will be to give the appearance of curves. You’ll want to stay away from straight lined bandeaus, solid colors and boy cut shorts. This can easily be done by going for details like a twisted or gathered top, girlie prints and even adding some bright colors! For the top, opt for triangle and halter tops to assist in giving the illusion of curves.

Short Torso. Choose a bikini bottom to elongate the torso and pair it with a top to lift your bust line. If you’re searching for a two piece, look for one with a low-rise bottom and a halter top with straps to draw attention towards your neck. One piece suits can also be a surprisingly great choice for adding length. Elongate your body by choosing a print with vertical stripes! Another great option is a feminine one-shouldered suit that will draw the eye up and over to create a longer look. Any of these options are sophisticated and sleek!

Full Thighs. Let’s talk fabric. Most suits are made from quick-drying synthetic fabrics (like nylon or polyester) and elastic materials (like spandex). But for those with larger thighs comfort will be more easily achieved by choosing a suit made with a higher percentage of stretchable elastic fabrics (such as spandex or elastane), rather than those that squeeze. In addition, consider a high-cut leg in a bathing suit. This type of style will be less restrictive and allow for more leg room. Another feature to look for is adjustable lace ups so you are able to personalize your fit. This will enable you to tighten what you please yet release any squeeze.

Tummy Control. Whether you prefer full coverage or to accentuate sexy curves there are many options of suits to choose from. If it’s a one piece you're after, look for choices with ruching, mesh panels, vertical stripes or even add some sass with a plunging neckline to show off your assets up top! You can even find suits with tummy control built in (both in one-pieces or two) and there are some that come with the option of adjustable zip-fronts. If your goal is to show a little skin but still prefer added control at the same time, opt for a high-waisted bikini bottom. Alternatively, there are also some really cute tankini tops to choose from too!

Regardless of style or print we want to encourage you to take the time to find at least one swimsuit this year that feels comfortable to wear and brings out confidence from within. You’ve worked so hard, your body has done amazing things and you deserve to feel your best! So for our last tip we suggest carving out a day to go bathing suit shopping with a friend. Sometimes your bestie is the reminder you need that you are beautiful and perfect exactly the way you are.

So go ahead! Accentuate your best features and make a big splash this summer!

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Spring Break 2021

  1. A Good Mask - If you are using public transportation for your next trip, the CDC requires that a proper face mask be worn - Not just any mask will do! Here is the guidance for which facemasks will pass the test. To be safe, a medical mask or kn95 are the best bets!

  2. Phone Soap - Forget about cleaning wipes and sanitize your entire phone while on the go with the first UV-C sanitizer and charger all in one.

  3. No Touch Door Opener + Key Fab - No more worrying how to open the door, use a public touch screen or enter your pin number. Keep those hands and fingertips clean with this handy tool!

  4. Hand Sanitizer Attachment - Easy to reach when running through airports or even for everyday use!

  5. Seat cover - Great for families, couples and round trips! Put your mind at ease by creating a safe barrier between you and your seat.

  6. Portable urinal - Avoid germ filled public restrooms on your long spring break road trip! It may sound gross but we are still in a pandemic!

  7. A Pen - Avoid shared used pens and sign your name like a boss.

  8. Resealable Zip Compostable Bags - Make an immediate impact towards eliminating toxic plastic waste while also staying safe and organized. Prevent cross contamination of masks or separate wet suits from dry. Whatever your need we know you’ll find a use!

  9. Fabric, Surface + Hand Disinfectant - Keep hands, surfaces and seats clean with this effective, all natural lavender aroma spray.

Air Sanitizing Spray- Have to use that public restroom or want to reduce airborne bacteria air of your rental house when you arrive? This air sanitizing spray is perfect for on the go protection!

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Well Between How To Guide

Spring 2021

It’s pretty evident that a refrigerator is known best for keeping food, drinks and condiments cool. But there’s actually more to them than just a box with shelves and bins. From storage techniques to accurate temperature settings, there are a few key things to know when housing your family’s food. Here are the tips you’ll want to take note of for keeping food fresh, nutrient dense and safe!

Start here. A basic map of the refrigerator. A typical refrigerator has several compartments. Understanding how each area regulates temperature will help you to better choose where to store food. The FDA recommends keeping a refrigerator temperature at or below 40 degrees fahrenheit to ensure food safety. Most refrigerators come with a built in thermometer but if you don’t see one or are feeling unsure they can be found almost anywhere. Check out this one from Target!

Okay, back to the compartments. Let’s break it down into four simple units...

1. Upper Shelves

Temperature- Most consistent

What to Store- Leftovers, ready to eat meals, deli meat, butter, soft cheeses and drinks

2. Lower Shelves

Temperature- The coolest

What to Store- Meat, fish, poultry, dairy and eggs.

3. Sealed Drawers

Temperature- Constant and in some newer models can even be regulated

What to Store- Meat, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetables and herbs. **Whether you store meat on a lower shelf or in a sealed drawer be sure to keep it separate from fruits and vegetables to avoid cross contamination.

4. Doors

Temperature- Warmest and most susceptible to temperature fluctuations

What to Store- Non perishable items such as condiments, jams and dressings.

Organization is key. A well organized refrigerator is a vital piece to preventing bacteria from infiltrating your food. Organizing food after a grocery haul at times may be easier said than done. However, it’s an important habit to get into as there is the potential to make you and your family ill if not (eh-um… raw meat juices. eew). Here are a few storage tips for some of the most popular refrigerated food categories.

Leftovers

  • Always place cooked and ready to eat items on the top shelf. And if not on your highest shelf, always place cooked items higher than raw food to avoid potential drippings and contamination.

  • Leftovers should be stored in airtight containers as much as possible. This is important as it can prevent odors from getting into the rest of the fridge and contaminating other foods.

  • If storing more than one leftover item at a time, break them up into smaller containers rather than storing them together in one. While most bacteria are killed during the cooking process, some may still remain. By breaking things down it will help to cool the food more quickly lessening the potential for bacteria to grow.

  • Leave space between storing leftovers. This will allow them to cool down properly and maintain proper airflow throughout the refrigerator. Always place prepared foods into the fridge ASAP. A good rule of thumb to follow is to never leave food items on the counter for longer than two hours.

Meat, Fish and Poultry

  • When not stored properly, raw meat, fish and poultry are known to cause some of the greatest hazards to one’s health. If meat isn’t used within a few days it needs to be placed in a freezer bag with as much air removed as possible, and placed in the freezer provided a temperature below 40 degrees fahrenheit. If you’re tired of using freezer bags we suggest a vacuum sealer for something new!

  • Store raw meat, poultry and fish in the following top-to-bottom order: whole fish, whole cuts of beef and pork, ground meats and whole and ground poultry. Before storing, food needs to be wrapped and sealed properly. If food must be removed from its original package, put it in a clean, sanitized container and cover. Always label the container with the name of the food and the original use-by or expiration date.

  • Store meat in a designated space in your refrigerator separate from prepared and ready to eat food. If items cannot be stored separately, store them below prepared ready to eat food. It can also be helpful to store meat with a plate underneath - especially when dethawing!

  • Always trust your senses and pay close attention to “sell by” or “use by” dates to make sure you are using the meat when fresh. Keep in mind the meat color. It should have a pleasing bright color (not gray) and should feel moist to the touch (not tacky or dry). Lastly, trust your nose… oftentimes when meat is spoiling it will have a strong odor. So go ahead, give it a sniff!

Dairy + Eggs

  • Keep dairy products such as milk, cottage, cheese and yogurt inside their original wrappings when unpacking groceries. No need to remove them from their original packaging. However, once an item has been opened or removed from its packaging, do not return it to the fridge. Use plastic wrap or an airtight container to seal it back up instead!

  • When storing hard cheeses keep them in their original packaging until ready to use. Once the cheese has been opened it is best to store in wax paper, loose plastic or foil. Cheese needs to breathe so don’t worry about wrapping too tightly!

  • A popular place to store milk is in the refrigerator door but this is the wrong place for it. By storing milk in the door it will be more susceptible to warm air and temperature changes. Instead, store milk at the back of a shelf in the lower portion of the fridge.

  • Keep eggs in their original carton in the middle section of your refrigerator. The temperature will be just right... not too hot and not too cool! Keeping your eggs in a carton will prevent them from absorbing strong odors and flavors and the “best before date” will always be visible which will guarantee food safeness.

  • So what about hard boiled eggs? Store HBE’s in a sealed container. If the eggs have already been peeled, keep them moist by covering the bottom and top of your container with a damp paper towel for up to seven days.

** For more information about eggs check out a fun and easy to read site that we like, here!

Fruit, Veggies and Herbs

  • It is best to store fruit, veggies and herbs in an enclosed drawer. Mixing fruits and veggies in the same drawer is okay but be aware as some are known to give off a gas called ethylene*. Because of the natural occurring process caused by ethylene gas it is best to keep similar foods together to prevent premature spoilage. For example, don’t mix broccoli with oranges or apples with carrots. For a more specific rundown of the most ethylene producing foods check out this list.

  • Use breathable bags to store fruits and veggies like these. This will allow them to breathe and prolong the lifespan until you’re ready to eat!

  • Although it’s tempting, avoid washing produce before storing since moisture is the death of vegetables. It can even be helpful to place a paper towel around the food itself or laid on the bottom of a drawer to capture any excess moisture.

  • If you choose to forego a drawer, always place herbs towards the front of a shelf as there is potential for them to freeze in the back. The temperature at the very back tends to be cooler.

  • Sliced fruits and vegetables are great to have on hand and are an especially favorite snack for kids! Most fruits will last up to 5 days. Just be sure to store them in an airtight container and always refrigerate cut produce.

  • Onions. When slicing and dicing ahead store them sealed and far away from other foods in your fridge. The smell and flavor of raw onions can easily permeate throughout your fridge so seal those fragrant smellies up tight!

** Learn more about ethylene at Gardening Know How, here!

Bread and Pasta. It is not necessary to refrigerate bread so here are a few storage tips instead!

  • A fresh loaf is best when eaten in two to three days.

  • Always store bread in a paper bag instead of plastic. A plastic bag will encourage mold growth resulting in the bread to go bad sooner.

  • If your desire is to preserve a loaf of bread or buns, it is best to freeze over refrigerating.

  • Never place bread on the top of your refrigerator. The heat from the fridge will cause paper bagged bread to dry out and plastic bagged bread to mold faster.

  • If you make fresh pasta, it should be refrigerated. However, when storing dried pasta it is not necessary. It can be placed in an airtight container in the pantry.

  • Like dried pasta, most breads don’t need to be refrigerated but the cooler environment can help prevent them from developing mold. Always be sure to check packaging for specific storing directions.

Wine and Beer

  • Too warm or too cool temps are a sure way to spoil wine so it is recommended to store wine in a wine fridge and not a regular fridge. But, if you don’t have one just yet the ideal location to store your wine would be in the middle of the fridge. A good rule of thumb is that regardless of wine label or type, wine should never be kept below 25 degrees fahrenheit.

  • Like we mentioned above, it is not recommended to store wine for any length of time in standard refrigerators - even white and sparkling wines. Instead, look for a location in your home that has the best conditions available such as no direct sunlight, a cool and stable temperature when possible and a low vibration (such as on top of a refrigerator).

  • An opened bottle of wine can last 3-5 days in a refrigerator. The key to extending the shelf life of an opened bottle is to re-cork it promptly and tightly! Or, try a wine vacuum pump. This enables you to suck air out of an open bottle which creates a nearly airtight seal. We like the Le Creuset Champagne Stopper from Williams Sonoma.

  • Time to talk beer… And we have good news! Your refrigerator is the best place to avoid natural light and stash your beer! Avoiding natural light is beneficial to prevent skunking. A beer becomes “skunked” when it has been exposed to light for a period of time. And while it’s not dangerous, it’s pretty disgusting to both smell and taste. The best way to avoid skunking is to buy beer in cans which can shield light entirely. But, if you prefer sipping out of a bottle just make sure it’s in a brown glass.

  • The cooler your beer, the longer it will stay fresh. The best spot to store your beer will be on the top shelf as it can stand temperature swings and will be accessible for quick grabbing!

When in doubt, check it out. Here is a credible source for food recalls, food safety charts and more!

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Well Between Spring 2021

“Anti-inflammatory” is probably a buzz term you’ve been hearing more and more over the last few years. But what does it actually mean? What kind of foods are anti anti-inflammatory and how can we add more into our diet without having to try too hard? We’ve got all those answers and more!

First some good news! Inflammatory foods are probably ones you’ve already said goodbye to as part of your Body Well lifestyle. These include foods that are highly refined or processed and contain a high amount of saturated fats. Processed meats like hot dogs and lunch meats. Refined carbs and simple sugars like white bread, candy, pastries, soda, sugar, honey, and high fructose corn syrup cause blood sugar spikes that trigger inflammation. And yes, over consumption of alcohol is also known to cause inflammation.

So why should we care so much about inflammation? Inflammation in your body can cause you to just not feel well. Fatigue, stiffness, soreness and body pain can all be signs of inflammation. Inflammation can last for a few hours or a few days, but when it lingers longer than that it is referred to as chronic inflammation.

When you have chronic inflammation, your body’s inflammatory response can eventually start damaging healthy cells, tissues, and organs. Over time, this can lead to DNA damage, tissue death, and internal scarring. All of these are linked to the development of several diseases, including: cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, asthma, neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.*

But the foods we eat can make a difference! Adding anti inflammatory foods or sticking to an anti inflammatory diet can make you feel better in just a couple of weeks. While medication and other treatments might be important if you have an underlying condition that causes inflammation, an anti-inflammatory diet could also lessen the number of flare-ups you have, or it might help take your pain down a few notches.** Regardless, anti-inflammatory foods are widely regarded as healthy. Even if they don’t help with your underlying condition, they most definitely will help lower your chances of having other problems. Sounds like a win to us!

Here are some of our favorite anti-inflammatory foods and how we add them to our diets.

Green Leafy Veggies:

Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli and asparagus are filled with Vitamin E; an antioxidant which has been shown to reduce inflammation.

Places to add it to your diet: Salads aren’t the only way to get your leafy greens - although they are a great way! Try adding spinach or kale to your smoothie, roast broccoli, brussels sprouts or asparagus for a simple nutrient dense side, use collard greens as a wrap instead of a pita or tortilla or add any leafy green to your soups during the last couple minutes of cooking.

Berries:

Berries are rich in anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. They also contain chemicals that help regulate your immune system, which can reduce chronic inflammation.

Places to add to your diet: Smoothies are our go to for adding berries in our daily life. You can also top your overnight oats, granola or yogurt with a handful or add to your salads for a colorful kick! Also, the perfect dessert for a hot summer night?: Frozen berries!

Turmeric:

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.

Places to add to your diet: Try adding turmeric to soups, salad dressings, roasted veggies (have you tried our cauliflower popcorn on pg. 51 of the Repeater Recipes?) or make your own golden milk!

Ginger: Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds that function in the same way as COX-2 inhibitors (drugs used to treat pain and inflammation). Because of this, ginger has become a popular alternative to pill for pain associated with arthritis.

Places to add to your diet: You can add a few tablespoons to your diet by grating ginger over a salad or into a stir fry. Or you could grate one to two teaspoons and simmer it in a pot with hot water for five minutes to make a soothing tea. Ready for something bold?: Make your own ginger shots at home with this easy recipe.

Omega 3s:

Omega-3s have been found to interfere with immune cells called leukocytes and enzymes known as cytokines, which are both key players in the body’s inflammatory response.

Places to add to your diet: Spring is the perfect time to add some extra seafood dishes to the mix. Dishes with salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines will give you the most Omega 3 bang for your buck. Have you tried the insanely delicious Avocado Topped Salmon from pg. 33 of the Repeater guide? Also try adding some extra nuts and seeds (such as flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts) to your smoothies for that omega-3 boost!

A diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats may help manage inflammation and help you to feel your best!

*Healthline.com: Understanding and Managing Chronic Inflammation

**If you have a chronic health condition that involves inflammation you should ask a healthcare professional about the best dietary options available.

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Spring 2021

F4mlou Faves: Fave Sunscreens (& why we love them)

  1. Tinted sunscreen - When you haven't quite developed your full summer tan yet, Beautycounter has you covered with that perfect tinted glow.

  2. Sunbetter by Skinbetter Science - This award winning sunscreen has been recommended by the Skincancer Foundation as an effective broad spectrum sunscreen for active Mamas. Know any of those? ;)

  3. Beautycounter Face Stick - This clean sunscreen is our fave for the kiddos’ faces. Easy to apply, no scary chemicals and it smells like candy!

  4. Neon Sunscreen and/or unicorn snot. Does your little one LOATHE sunscreen? If so, you’re not alone. So why not make it fun with a little colorful zinc or sparkly unicorn snot?!

  5. Colorscience - We love this for outdoor daytime events. It’s super lightweight, goes on like makeup and even gives you a little summertime shimmer.

  6. Cetaphil - The best for sensitive skin. This daily moisturizer contains SPF 50, is non-comedogenic, non irritating, fragrance free and priced at a bargain!

  7. Sun Bum - Sunscreen with a heart. This environment focused sunscreen is safe for the reef fish and safe for your little fish too! Our favorite part?: That coconut beachy smell!

  8. Skinmedica - Great moisturizing SPF for everyday use and includes bonus anti aging properties. This formula protects skin from harmful infrared rays, reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles and improves the appearance of sun damaged skin!

  9. EltaMD - Year after year, a dermatologist fave for the best overall protection.

  10. Supergoop- This setting spray with SPF is perfect to go over your makeup for that all day hold. But we really love it as a refreshing pick me up when you're laying poolside or at the beach! Add this to your arsenal, you won’t regret it!

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2021

It’s officially been a full year. A full year of cancelled events, drive by birthday parties, zoom happy hours and distanced socialization. It’s been hard on all of us. And as the infection numbers start to drop, the vaccinations start to rise and the weather begins to warm, we are all feeling that itch to get together with friends and family again. But how do we do it safely? We’ve rounded up a few tips and a little advice to minimize the risk at your small outdoor gathering.

First, we always recommend visiting the CDC website for guidance. They note that virtual get-togethers carry the lowest risk, with “more risk” associated with “smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear cloth face coverings, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).” Know the risks and also your risk level tolerance before inviting anyone over.

The Invite

Limit your group size. Seriously, keep it small. It’s totally reasonable to want to get together with family and friends but remember, the fewer the people the lower the risk.

Set expectations. We know, we know... It feels so uncomfortable imagining having to have “the talk” with guests before they arrive. But setting expectations ahead of time will lessen those awkward lean-ins for hugs if you’re not ready for them or the unknown questions of what to bring and whether masks will be required. It also helps to remind people that your event will have a zero symptom policy.

Be ready for rejection. While you might be ready to mingle, your neighbor might not be there quite yet. Be gracious and understanding if one of your invited guests declines your invitation. Everyone is doing the best they can for themselves and their families.

The Set Up

A fire pit. The warm glow of a fire is always perfect for adding additional ambiance and glimmer to your summer night. But during a pandemic, a fire pit can also serve as a natural barrier to help keep your guests from sitting too close together.

BYOB (bring your own blanket). Asking guests to bring their own blanket will ensure everyone feels safe and comfortable within their own space! Like a fire pit, blankets also serve as a natural barrier, creating a “home base” or safe space where each family can gather closely without invading another family's personal area. Blankets can also make for less “path crossing” keeping the atmosphere extra safe!

Sanitary station. You know you’re living through the Covid-19 pandemic when…. (haha) Yep! But really, if it allows us to see family and friends, we’re in! So whether you’re able to set up a hand washing station outside or provide antibacterial options instead, keeping your guests at ease will ensure your gathering runs smooth and Covid chic!

The Food

First things first! If you are prepping food, make sure you wear a mask and gloves as you prep, even if you aren’t requiring masks at the party.

Utensils. Wash your hands and grab a pair of gloves and then get going to create individual utensil sets for guests to grab! Try something simple like this or if you’re not up for making your own, try these instead.

Individually packaged is best. Experts agree that it is currently best to limit contact with shared items. So instead of serving a side from a community dish which encourages guests to serve themselves using one tool amongst them all, we suggest pre portioning ahead or grab individual bags! Check out these for food items like sweet potato fries or fruit salad in a bag. Another idea is to purchase pre portioned items such as chips and guac. Things like these tend to be a hit with the kids!

No shame in takeout. There is certainly no shame in foregoing the kitchen to order ahead instead. In fact, now may be the best time yet! During the pandemic small businesses and restaurants have gotten really creative with ways in which they can continue offering what their customer would like. So the options available are endless! For instance, when hosting a relaxed night with neighborhood friends check out Board and You for beautifully crafted charcuterie boards. Then, place an order at The Popcorn Station for individually wrapped gourmet popcorn for a fun snack for the kids. Whatever you choose is literally only a call away!

Grilling. Ahh… The smell and the sizzle. Grilling is a staple at most backyard gatherings. And this year we’re even counting on it to be a large part of maintaining sanity! If you’re planning to provide the meat (or maybe veggies too) you might find it helpful to designate one person titled as, “The Grill Master”! Ask this person to wear a mask when cooking and prepping whatever you have planned. The grill also provides a high heat environment where the virus can’t thrive, so your guests will have additional peace of mind that the food they are about to eat will be sterile.

Condiments and dips. Instead of sharing bottles among your guests consider preparing a variety of pre portioned cups with lids to set out ahead. Prefer to reuse? Try these dip bowls instead! In addition to keeping everyone safe, either of these thoughtful extras will inadvertently add a splash of color to the table spread too! And the best part? No need to wipe down bottles in between each shared use. Less cleaning equals more time for laughs and visiting!

Desserts. Opt for treats that are easy to serve and quick to grab... and with a little bit of sprinkle to add some pizazz! Most popsicles and ice cream sandwiches come pre wrapped which make them an ideal choice. Our favorites are found locally at Steel City Pops! Most bakers will now ask if you’d like for your items (especially cookies) to be single wrapped, so save yourself some time and request just that! Contact our favorite bakers, KK’s Bakes or 1little2littleCookies to make your first get together an extra special experience!

The Toilette Room. The bathroom is probably least exciting to think about but also quite necessary. If your guests must go inside consider attaching a small note onto the bathroom door with your personalized pandemic guidelines. Provide antibacterial soap for handwashing and opt for throw away towels instead of cloth hand towels. We also suggest leaving antibacterial wipes out and instructing everyone to wipe down the faucet handles and door knob on their way. Lysol Disinfectant spray is also an option if you prefer guests leave the air germ free. Last thing: make sure to set out and to set a non touch garbage can near the door for easy throw away on the way out!

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Spring Break 2021

F4mlou Faves: Spring Wish List

  1. Lu and Elle Tote - Pairs well for a girls weekend or long- distance travel. Plus, it’s classic design is well made and looks great with every color!

  2. Soulvation headbands - Keep your ears warm during an early morning spring run and then meet your bestie for coffee while keeping those flyaways at bay!

  3. Dpue ACV shampoo - The only shampoo that gets our hair feeling REALLY clean! Perfect for all hair colors and hair types! Gently wash impurities away without upsetting your colorist by stripping hair color away. Add this rinse to your weekly routine for softness and shine with no vinegar scent left behind.

  4. Bala weights - Level up your workout! Add these bangles to your wrists or ankles for added resistance during any of your workouts of choice!

  5. Trek Blanket - Lightweight, handmade and a natural vibe whether you’re on the go or designing at home.

  6. Folding Rattan Beach chair - This chair has it all! A unique blend of comfort, style, portability and you can take it with you just about anywhere! Both on land and sand.

  7. Megababe Sunny Pits Daily Deodorant - Safe ingredients to help you to stay smelling clean throughout sweat and play.

  8. Lumasol - Say goodbye to sticky and pore clogging hands. Meet Lumasol… A waterproof, transparent and ultrafine facial mist that can go over makeup (YES, you heard that right) or straight onto bare skin.

  9. Alice + Olivia Wide Legs - High waisted and wide legged (since tick tok told us skinnies are out). Make a statement in this gorgeous and bold bottom!

  10. Away Suitcase - Affordable, durable and lightweight! Serial overpacker? Its interior compression system and hidden laundry bag make it easy to pack all of your essentials!

  11. Cotton Candy Worthy Threads Joggers - The only jogger that anyone really needs and the ones all the celebs are wearing! Treat yourself!

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Spring 2021

We are living in times in which we have access to whatever we desire with the click of a button. Whether we’re intentionally looking for something online or not, advertisements and pop up ads follow our every move, and often seem to mysteriously know exactly what we are seeking. And yes, that even includes health and fitness. Everywhere we turn there’s a new shiny piece of equipment, a magic shake promising flat tummies or a program that appears to include everything you’ve ever dreamt of. But one staple in the fitness industry that has remained constant and on trend is High Intensity Interval Training… and it’s a workout we will never get enough of! Let us tell you why....

First things first: What is HIIT?

High Intensity Interval Training (aka. HIIT) is widely favored among many fitness enthusiasts including our very own Boost clients. It is known to provide the best workout in the least amount of time. HIIT generally combines bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest or lower intensity exercise. It is known to improve muscle tone and cardio health while also enabling your body to gain strength and endurance. But what might be our favorite benefit is known as the afterburn effect. The afterburn effect results from a major metabolic boost where calories are still being burnt long after your workout has ended. Basically turning your body into a fat burning machine! This is because of excess post-oxygen consumption (*EPOC) that takes place during your sweat. Not just that, but the endorphin and cortisol rush that you can feel after class leaves you feeling pretty euphoric!

** Learn more about EPOC by visiting acefitness.org.

Next up: Why we love it!

What’s not to love? You know those workouts where you walk away feeling like you’ve just conquered the world? The design of HIIT workouts are a big part of why you get that feeling. Especially when you meet your F4MLOU village in person or on screen! Here are our top reasons for why we are in love with HIIT!

  1. Never bored. There is literally an unlimited amount of ideas, formats, equipment, exercises and more that HIIT instructors can choose from to create unique classes every time you show up for class. No workout will ever be the same. And thank goodness for that because monotony just doesn’t give us the motivation we need to keep coming back for more.

  2. Class is portable. No pricey equipment. While living through the current pandemic we’ve all learned what the true meaning of pivoting is. So during those times when workouts cannot be in person, HIIT can be done anywhere! No pricey or stationary equipment necessary! We can still sweat wherever we are. And yes… That includes work, our in-laws house, a park or a hotel room.

  3. You burn more calories during HIIT than you do from cardio (both during and after exercise). Remember that afterburn thing we were talking about? Umm, yeah. Calories burning even after we’re done exercising… We’re IN!

  4. Let’s not forget about endurance. HIIT will give you the essentials needed for building strength and agility within both your muscles and cardiovascular system. Endurance activity is what keeps our heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy and improves overall fitness. You can go hard with cardio, but your body needs strength built in too to keep your endurance high!

  5. There’s nothing like the sheer energy that comes from a HIIT (or BOOST) workout. When in person the inspo that comes from the woman next to you is electric. Having community within the same space as you while pushing your limits has a way of giving you that extra push and energy to go a little harder. Knowing that if the woman next to you can do it, you can too. The same goes for virtual classes too! When you look on the screen and see in real time your instructors and friends moving, sweating and showing up for themselves... that energy is not only contagious but will hold you accountable too.

Anyone else in the mood for a workout? ;)

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February 2021

Let’s just go ahead and start by saying that we wish we had given Laundry Care a try months ago!

But here’s the honest truth. The thought of sending my family’s belongings to be laundered with a business I hadn’t heard of much before left me feeling a bit uneasy. However, knowing deep down that a little extra help could ease some stress, I went for it!

For our first wash with Laundry Care we sent away bath towels and our California king comforter because I can never seem to get it fully dry and fluffed in our dryer at home. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to leave it up to the pros!

The entire experience was a quick and easy process all around. First, I went to the Laundry Care website, created an account, filled in our address, selected a day for pickup/dropoff and answered a few multiple choice questions. Next, I placed our items in a 13 gallon sized bag and set it outside.* Voila! Starting a load of laundry had never felt so easy.

The typical pickup/drop off dates appear to be anywhere from 1-2 days. So for items that you may have plenty of (such as t shirts, underwear or socks) this wouldn’t be problematic. But for other items such as your child’s jersey for a game the next morning or your favorite pair of pants that you plan to wear that evening, you’ll want to be sure to plan ahead prior to sending away to be washed.

Two days later I received a text letting me know that our things were on the way. I wasn’t home when they arrived but our items were neatly stacked, securely wrapped and waterproofed too. Excitedly, I opened the bags to see how things looked. Not only did they smell fresh (and not full of chemicals) but they were tightly folded and our towels were the most fluffy I had ever seen them. Hooray for Laundry Care!

There you have it, Mamas. No more starting a load of laundry, forgetting about it and then needing to rewash it because of the awful mildew smell. No more leaving clothes in the dryer so long that everything comes out more wrinkled than your Grandma. With affordable prices, an easy process and friendly staff to work with there is no doubt that we would highly recommend Laundry Care to our Village. Head over to their website now and let them know FIT4MOM Lou sent you!

*Recurring Laundry Care clients will be provided with a reusable nylon bag for a small fee.

This is a post sponsored by Laundry Care but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Holiday 2020

Shipping delays keeping that perfect gift just out of reach? Or is there someone you just plain forgot? We’ve rounded up the best last minute gift ideas to save the day!

  1. Craft Gift: An easy craft like this one can be the most sentimental gift from your kiddos!

  2. Subscription Box: Subscription boxes are the gifts that keep on giving and there’s literally one for every person these days! Check out these awesome subscription boxes that cost less than $25.

  3. Experience Gift: Check out this curated list of all the best experience gifts in Louisville.

  4. Unique Local Gift: One of our favorite local gift shops, Work The Metal, has put most of its inventory online and is offering curbside pick up!

  5. Microwaveable Slippers : This Prime-applicable, last-minute gift idea is Oprah-approved. These cute, microwavable slippers will keep their tootsies nice and toasty on the coldest nights.

  6. Custom Gift: Don't risk giving a lackluster last-minute gift because you ran out of time to go shopping. Greetabl lets you select, package, and send your present from one easy online location. Choose a custom design for the outside of the box and fill it with your choice of sweet little gifts, from candles to jewelry. Then select your favorite photos of you and your recipient to have printed on the inside of the box, which will fold out into a collage (and personal note) for them to keep.

  7. Charitable Gift: Did you struggle to shop for someone because they don't want any gifts? Do you want to give them something anyway? Consider a charitable donation made in their name or honor. There are thousands of charities out there, so it shouldn't be too hard to find a cause close to your recipient's heart. CharityWatch and Charity Navigator are good resources for finding charities that use donations efficiently.

  8. Spa Experience: Spas might not be an option during a pandemic, but that doesn't mean that you can’t give your girl a relaxing Spa Experience. Fill a cute bag with your fave candle, some aromatic bath salts, a good facial mask and some luxurious body lotion - everything she’ll need for a night of pampering!

  9. Master Class: Celebs and CEO’s are touting this as the best gift of the year! Give a gift that helps your loved one grow with online classes taught by the world's best.

  10. Board Lessons: Charcuterie Boards will still be poppin when we can finally have parties again. Grab this book via prime for your foodie friend and wrap it with a few charcuterie staples!

  11. The BEST gift!: Fit4Mom Louisville Gift Card! (Yes, we have those!)

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Holiday 2020

  1. Spin Brightz - Because accessories are life.

  2. Swing - We’ll take two! One for the kids and another for mom and dad (are there drink holders on there?)

  3. Drone - Let their imaginations fly high.

  4. Laser X Blaster - Indoor or outdoors they can choose! These fun light up blasters will keep them busy for more than just a few.

  5. Arrow Backpack - Impeccable quality and the perfect size to use as a day pack or for travel. There are so many pockets and dividers to keep everything organized! No more spilling out all over the place every time you open their backpack!

  6. Fat Brain Toyz Squigz Starter Set - These fun little suckers encourage creativity and sensory stimulation at the same time!

  7. Ladybug Garden - Not as warm and fuzzy as a four legged friend but still lots of fun to be had!

  8. Rockets of Awesome Subscription - We like to think of this as a personal shopper for the kids.

  9. Writing Tablet - Seems so simple but our kids literally fight over this little tablet! Bonus: No more disappearing printer paper for you!

  10. Wooden Marble Run - Let those inquisitive minds flow.

  11. 101 Awesome Women Who Changed Our World - To remind them that they too can change the world.

  12. Jellyfish Lamp - Bring the majestic wonders of the ocean into their room!

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Holiday 2020

2020. The year we never expected. The year our kids weren’t only going to be missing two weeks of school. The year of gut wrenching anxiety and financial insecurity. The year of quarantine and added responsibilities.

This year has been filled with unexpected challenges, hard decisions and constant pivoting. And while many of us may have feelings of dismay, we think it’s important to remember and share a few good things that have happened in 2020:

Life has been reset. Although every day hasn’t brought sunshine and roses, it has allowed us the time that we might not have taken otherwise to slow down, adjust and reset. By not having a choice but to press pause on what had become a robotic daily hustle and grind, we’ve learned that it’s ok to say no and to slow down. That our to do list and everything else that comes along with it can oftentimes wait until the next day. Our minds have been rewired and our daily routines have been reset so that now we are reminded of how to enjoy the day to day. And with that, much beauty and stillness has been found.

Good-heartedness has been reignited. We’ve heard them before but are hearing more and more… The stories of a neighbor dropping off essentials to an at-risk elderly couple. Groups of volunteers working together near and far to collect donations to be shared with first responders, letting them know we care. Friends dropping off a bottle of wine and an encouraging note to their overwhelmed bestie leading NTI and working full time from home. A stranger paying another's bill. Standing ovations for health care workers outside of hospitals as they change shifts. Simple acts of human kindness that brought us all to tears this year. In some ways, humanity seems to have softened.

Perfectionism has been put into check. It’s taken some time to realize and we may have a way to go, but one thing we’ve learned is that perfectionistic pressures need to go. That we are still beautiful even if we don’t get to the nail salon as much as we used to. That our mother in law won’t judge us for not sending that thank you note like we usually do (and if she does, we don’t care anymore!). That our friends will still love us even when they stop by and the house is a wreck. That our friends will still love us even when they stop by and WE are a wreck. And that our husband still finds us cute with grown out roots, unmanicured nails and the same sweatpants we’ve been wearing for a week? Month? Who knows. Living through a pandemic has taught us that it’s okay to prefer for things to be in place, but at the end of the day if something doesn’t go our way, it really will be okay!

We have learned to manage our expectations. Some days it feels like we don’t actually know what is going to happen next. This year has been a wild ride! And while riding the waves of uncertainty and crushed expectations hasn’t been fun, we have grown from it. By experiencing a long list of disappointments that have already taken place we have learned to manage realistic expectations. We’ve learned to not be as frustrated when things don’t go as planned. And by doing so, it has had a funny way of almost forcing us to see the good that is still shining through this year, one day at a time.

A newfound confidence of inner strength. If any of us stop long enough to think about what in the actual f*** we have been living through this past year, it can feel like a dream. Each of our stories are different but what we do have in common is overcoming challenges that none of us ever thought we’d be facing in our lifetime. The stressful days, teary nights, moments of anger… we are still here and stronger than ever! We can handle what is next and we are hopeful and excited for upcoming days ahead. It is the confidence and inner strength from within that has gotten you here. So be proud. Continue setting your eyes ahead and know that what we are experiencing is temporary. Better days are ahead!

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Holiday 2020

  1. Little Unicorn Swaddles- Functional yet comfortable and chic.

  2. Zutano Cozie Fleece Baby Booties- Keep those tootsies warm without repeatedly needing to put them back on.

  3. Felted wall animals- C’mon… Give the barnyard animals a little time inside.

  4. The East Pine Beanies- Go ahead, we won’t tell. Grab one for each outfit.

  5. Bonds Baby Wondersuit- These have been known to quickly become a Mama favorite for her littles. You don’t know how much you need this two way zip feature in your life!

  6. Skip Hop Double Play Reversible Playmat- Cushioned play for wherever you may!

  7. Lucy Darling Teethers- Allowing babies to chew responsibly.

  8. Kidzone DIY Number 6V Kids Toy Electric Ride On Bumper Car Vehicle Remote Control- Can we put in a request for adult sizes too?

  9. KY State Wooden Rattle- Keeping the peace between Kentucky and Louisville fans alike!

  10. Baby Bum Brush- The grandparents are going to be jelly that they didn’t have one of these.

  11. K’tan Active Baby Wraps- Keep baby breathable and cool so you can stay on the move!

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Holiday 2020

  1. Big Green Egg - For the master griller who likes options.

  2. J Hook Anchoring Strap- Doesn’t every guy need one of these?

  3. Handsome Fellows Barber Shop- A gift certificate to this local favorite will keep your guy looking good and that “Dad swagger” on point!

  4. Bug a Salt- Get rid of those pesky bugs with wings while creating a few family laughs along the way. Are fly swatters still a thing anyway?

  5. Gladiator Garage Systems- For the “do it yourselfer” who needs a place to store all of his toys (AKA - tools).

  6. Rumpl- The blanket he didn’t know he needed and we can’t wait to “borrow.” Great for indoor use or a night under the stars. We can’t even put into words how perfect this thing is.

  7. Dewalt Impact Driver- It doesn’t matter how big or small the project, this will quickly become a hubby favorite.

  8. Titleist Golf Balls- Because a golfer can never have enough balls. Fore!!!

  9. Herschel bag- Function meets masculine style. This bag is the perfect size for a weekend getaway with you and dressy enough for him to take on his quick business trip.

  10. Dad I Wrote a Book About You- Because even Dads enjoy a sentimental gesture every now and then.

  11. Solo Stove- Mesmerizing view, portable size and easy to use. Imagine the fun nights of s’mores and more!

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Holiday 2020

What's more romantic than the holiday season? Grab your guy and get out for one of these pandemic friendly date nights.

  1. Car picnic under the stars. Grab a blanket, a charcuterie board (you can make your own, or pick one up from Board and You) and a bottle of your favorite champs for a car date with some je ne sais quoi. Best part? No sitter needed. You don’t even need to leave the driveway!

  2. Drive in movie. It’s true. Drive-ins aren’t just a thing of the past. They’re BACK and we are lucky enough to have one nearby. Buy your Sauerbeck Family Drive In tickets online and then load up the car with a few cozy essentials. Don’t forget this great Pendelton thermos and bring along the hot or cold beverage of your choice!

  3. Taco Tuesday in an Igloo. Reserve your personal outdoor igloo at Limon y Sal for a night of dinner and drinks, OLE-! Prefer a quiet night inside? Keep them in mind for take out too. Margaritas to go! Que bueno!

  4. Art Walk at Barn8. Wine + dine, then walk alongside a magical creek at sunset while intricate projections illuminate the surrounding landscape of Barn8. There is over 1,500 feet of beautiful and immersive art that will fill the air with a romantic atmosphere.

  5. Visit Dometown. Canopy Crew has built a village suspended in trees with beautiful domes to feel at ease. Reconnect with your love while enjoying a unique experience that you’ll have to hold onto for years to come.

  6. Luxury camping. Even if camping isn’t for you checking into Camp Bespoke is something you must do! Choose from a tipi, cottage or cabin without missing the essentials. Wi-fi, HVAC, movie nights and more will help you feel right at home! Bonus: this business is women owned too!

  7. Murder Mystery Dinner at the KY Castle. Dine like royalty at the KY Castle while simultaneously uncovering the thrilling mystery of who killed Santa!

  8. Hike to a waterfall. “There are waterfalls in Kentucky?”... That’s what we said too! But in all seriousness, pick a day and go watch the display! There is something quite soothing, wondrous and beautiful when arriving upon a waterfall. Be sure to pack a lunch and stay to enjoy the view.

  9. Go for a Walk. But not just any walk… A Winter Illumination walk! Grab hot chocolate to go and cuddle up next to your love while walking the magical grounds of The Parklands with sights and lights galore.

  10. Leave it to the Pros. Really want to make date night happen but both of you are just too exhausted to plan a fun experience? Happily has you covered! These specially curated home date night experiences are delivered right to your doorstep!

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Holiday 2020

  1. Frasier Fir Pine Needle Candle - A warm glow with a touch of elegance. Find this locally at Lulubelles in Norton Commons!

  2. Wave Wand- Get those sexy beach waves or create a boho vibe with this easy to use wand.

  3. Teva Ember Moc Slipper- Slipper or sneaker? You choose.

  4. MFK Baccarat- Luminous and sophisticated, Baccarat Rouge 540 lays on the skin like an amber, floral and woody breeze. Find this highly sought after scent at Rodeo Drive, a local shopping fave!

  5. Luxe Milk Jersey Piped Pajama Set by Barefoot Dreams- If you have a Barefoot Dreams blanket, you know how amazing this brand is. Slip on a set of these pj’s and you’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time.

  6. Charlotte Tilbury Bronze and Glow Contour Duo- User friendly and beautiful on all skin tones, this duo is a must have for the holidays.

  7. Foxy Sherpa Jacket- Cozy and adorable. Just go ahead. You need it.

  8. HAMANA Grow Kit- Because we all need to eat more greens. This is your easy answer!

  9. Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask- Literally the softest lips you’ve ever felt. We have no doubt that this will quickly become a favorite in your nightly routine.

  10. Athleta Made to Move Masks- F4MLou’s unanimous fave mask for working out! Easy to breathe, comfortable and looks pretty cute too!

  11. Ring Light- Zoom meetings aren’t going away anytime soon. Look your best on every call with one of these magic lights!

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Holiday Mini 2020

Remember last holiday season when we thought we were stressed? hahahaha. That was so cute. This time in 2019 we had no idea that in 12 short months we'd be homeschooling our kids, working between NTI breaks, wearing masks everywhere we went, and concerned for the state of the world on top of all the "normal" holiday stress. But, here we are.

Thinking about the next few months makes us uneasy. We're worried about our health and the health of the ones we love. We're worried about our kids and how we can make this holiday season just as special for them as the rest. We're worried about finances and what next year will hold. And we don't have all the answers... but we do have a plan. We have a plan to help us cope with the stress that the upcoming weeks will bring. 5 simple steps we plan to take daily to make our lives feel just a little bit lighter.

Write down 3 goals for the day. Max three -- no more. If your list is too long, you’ll feel overwhelmed. These are things that are the most important that you get done today. Note: we approach decision-fatigue as the day progresses so try to get them done before 3pm.

Turn off notifications on your phone. Set all alerts to OFF (text dings, email inbox, social media notifications). This includes on your watch as well! If it’s urgent, you’ll get a phone call.

Meditate. Yes, we know; you either meditate regularly or you have tried and can’t get into it. Whichever category you are in, we have an app for you to try this week. This award winning app is customized just for you and we are totally obsessed with it. It’s called Ten Percent Happier and it’s users boast better sleep, more mindfulness, improved relationships, and yes, becoming just about ten percent happier. Included within the app are guided meditations, videos, brief talks, and sleep content will help you build (or boost) your meditation practice, and stick with it.

Streamline daily housework. Breaking up daunting chores into short bursts can make them feel more manageable. Set a timer and spend 15 minutes picking up the house (run enough stairs and you can count it as your bonus cardio for the day). Set another timer and spend 15 minutes prepping lunches and snacks for the next day. Run the dishwasher every night before you head to bed, and empty it every morning. If you have a robot vacuum, make sure to set it to run each day or give your main living area floors a quick sweep using a microfiber broom. A few minutes of housework a day can help declutter your home and also your mind!

Laugh. It’s hard to feel anxious when you’re laughing. It relieves your stress response and relieves tension by relaxing your muscles. In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.

Try watching a funny TV show, text a friend who always makes you laugh or find an instagram account you can visit that cracks you up. Some of our faves?: Betches, No Chaser, and The Tinder Blog are sure to deliver an immediate grin.

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Summer 2020

1. Justin's Classic Almond Butter Singles - Portion control and taste together as one.

2. OH SNAP! Carrot Cuties - For the days you need a little help with prep.

3. EO Coconut and Lemon Hand Sanitizer Spray - It doesn't appear that sanitizer will be going anywhere anytime soon, so why not feel safe applying it to your skin multiple times a day while smelling good too!

4. Shell and Turtle Travel Utensils - Stylish while reducing and reusing.

5. Stasher Bags - Not only will you be saving the planet but you'll love how easy they are to use!

6. Good & Gather Cashew Single Packs - Best for when things get a little nutty and you need a little grab n' go assistance!

7. Hydro Flask Water Bottle - Who says these are just for teens. Mom's still cool too!

8. Single Serve Chunky Guac - Clean ingredients, no mess.

9. Business and Pleasure Cooling Bag - Flexible, cute and large enough for the fam if needed!

10. Slim Ice Packs - Leaving you with more room for the good stuff and less bulkiness for the cooling.

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As moms we know the safety of your family is of utmost priority. Rest assured that the same is true for Defy. They want you to have a blast in an environment where your well being is safe guarded. In line with guidance provided by the health authorities, DEFY has upped their cleanliness measures in light of Coronavirus. Read on to see the steps they are taking to protect your family.

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Send Some Mother's Day Love.

Whether you've been "meeting up" for workouts or keeping each other sane sharing quarantine memes, we've all been getting by with a little help from our friends. While we can't love on our motherhood sisterhood in person quite yet, we CAN send them a little reminder of how lucky we feel to know them.

There's one more Spring retail item we've had up our sleeves and its all about spreading the Mama love! Send this mug to a friend and post the image below on her Facebook page so others in Our Village know you've got her covered.

Please fill out THIS form to gift a mama! Then, post the image below onto your friends Facebook page so others in Our Village know you've got her covered.

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Many of our beloved local businesses have been forced to close their doors amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. We too, here at Fit4Mom Lou, have had to reinvent the way we do business during this time. While we love seeing you all virtually, we so miss seeing all of your beautiful faces in person at our regular class locations like DEFY! They too are closed until further notice in order to protect the health and well being of not only their guests but in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Like many stuck at home during this uncertain time, you may be wondering what you can do to help support business such as these.

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2020

Our Fave Mama Breaks

Now, more than ever, it’s important to engage in self care. Those little things that we used to write off as “not a priority” or that we told ourselves we didn’t have time for... those are the things that need to happen now.

Here are our fave ways for you to give yourself those much needed Mama Breaks during quarantine. Commit to at least 3 per day to help you stay grounded during this challenging time.

Stretch

We’ve repeatedly been told how important stretching is, but do you believe it? If not you should! From improved posture, stress relief, boosts of energy and flexibility (think Susan flexible), there’s no reason not to. When you find that patients are running thin, take a few minutes to reset with a stretch. Here are a few oldies but goodies to get you started!

Breathe

Close the office door or set the kids up with something to do so you can literally, just breathe. Meditative breathing is known to provide calmness, stillness, patience, self control and much more. Take the time you need and when you’re ready, press on with the day. If you’d like some guidance, check out Headspace. It is an app offering free meditations during the COVID-19 crisis.

Aromatherapy

A favored and holistic way of using natural plant extracts while promoting health and well-being, most popularly used through sense of smell and skin absorption. There are many ways to use it and aromas to choose from but we encourage you to explore what types work best for you. Not sure where to begin? Stop by Omagi Salon in The Paddock for an array of aromatic choices including one of our favorites, Stress Fix. During the COVID-19 crisis they are offering curbside pickup Thursday through Saturday, noon to 8:00PM. Give them a call and they'll have your products ready for you!

Get Outside

Just because we need to stay home right now doesn’t mean that we are locked in. When you’re feeling blue, the kids are fighting or you can’t seem to make anyone in your house happy, step outside. Aside from getting a dose of Vitamin D, there’s something therapeutic about being in the outdoors. Not only that but we hear it’s actually an immunity booster, too! If you are able to go on a walk and have an interest in tracking your route and viewing stats such as pace, speed and more, upload Map My Walk before you go.

Make a Healthy Snack

What you choose to put in your body affects how you feel and how you feel plays an important role in your mood! When you fuel up with healthy eats you’ll not only keep your metabolism in check but you’ll walk away feeling in control and guilt free, too. Check out FIT4MOM’s blog for fresh spring snack ideas!

Practice Gratitude

While this takes a bit of consistency to form into a habit it’ll soon become one of your favorite daily routines. Each morning list three things you are grateful for. Keep them posted where you will see them often, such as your kitchen or on the wall of your office. When you find yourself having a tough moment, having simple reminders of gratitude can help put things into perspective. Gift yourself with a new sticky pad, here!

Take a Shower

Yep. We said it. You don’t even have to smell. And since most of us are working from home and/or are homeschooling these days (thanks to COVID-19) we will most likely find ourselves stressing at one time or another. Whatever amount of time you have, give it a try. Warm showers can ease tense muscles while cooler showers can help increase circulation and speed up muscle recovery… which is much needed from all of those virtual classes! Pretend you’re at the spa by adding a few drops of lavender or citrus oil for an aromatic experience.

Treat Your Skin

Stress can leave our skin feeling inflamed and prone to flare ups which isn’t exactly that fresh and dewy look we had in mind. After a long day of conference calls and fulfilling requests made by the littles try one of these DIY oatmeal masks to calm your nerves. Zen vibes, revived skin and a little time for yourself, too.

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Spring 2020

These are new and challenging times for all of us, Mama. None of us knows quite what we are doing. But we did some quick research for you and rounded up some essentials to help you navigate this crisis.

Homeschooling is hard.

We didn’t sign up for this. But here are some useful tools we think will help to make this daunting task a little easier.

Visual Timer- Most kids don't have a clear concept of time like we do, so setting boundaries for how long they have to do something eases their restlessness and helps them to be more willing to do something. A visual timer is great for quick school work breaks, quiet play time, math skills practice, or any time you need them to do something independently (while you get something done!).

Headphones- Like these for you (so your kiddos don’t hear your co-workers cussing on conference calls. And ones like these for them (so they don’t get distracted with the chaos of your house while working on their online lessons).

Dry erase board w/ markers - Every homeschooling website we visited suggested picking up a dry erase board like this one for help providing visual explanations of your kiddos lessons.

Too Exhausted to Cook? Us Too.

Mom + Employee + Teacher. Who has time to be a Chef too? Here are some easy Crockpot Meals to make your day a little easier.

This Minestrone Soup is warm and cozy but still has those Springtime vibes.

And these Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos are AH-MAZING. Usually we’d cut down on the honey but...it’s a pandemic.

This 5 Ingredient White Chicken Chili is easy to make and not as heavy as a typical chili.

Take a Mid Day Break.

Well, not a break, but keep them occupied so you can make lunch in peace with one of these cute activities.

Pete the Cat Stories - James Dean, author and illustrator of the "Pete the Cat" series, is reading and drawing every weekday on his Instagram account at 12 p.m. EST. He's dubbed the sessions the "Pete the Cat Club."

Lunch Doodles with Mo- Celebrated children's book author and illustrator Mo Willems recently announced he'll be hosting free virtual "Lunch Doodle" sessions for children every day at 1 p.m. ET on the Kennedy Center's YouTube channel.

Stay Social(ly distant) with Family & Friends.

The internet is a wonderful thing. Stay connected with your loved ones using some of these apps!

House party is an app that allows you to chat and play games with up to 8 friends.

Netflix Party Google Chrome extension allows a group of friends to tune into Netflix together, synchronizing play and allowing users to chat together.

Airtime, from Napster’s Sean Parker, allows users to do the same with YouTube videos and a number of television series, just with a video-chat functionality added in.

There’s No Shame in Our Drinking Game.

The only silver lining to this crisis? Delivery booze in Kentucky. Here’s a list of a few local spots still delivering alcohol.

Liquor Barn - Download the app and order straight to your door.

Village Anchor - Support this LOCAL favorite. Order here for curbside food & booze pick up.

Le Moo - Treat yo self to beer, wine and a mouth watering meal delivered straight to your door.

Don’t forget about you.

Schedule breaks throughout the day so you know you’ll have time to check in with yourself. A Fit4Mom Lou Virtual Workout, quiet time for them, an earlier bedtime wouldn't hurt either (they won't even notice after a couple of days). You need to do what you can to get through this. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Remember that none of us have done this before. Remember that you are not their teacher. Remember that you are not expected to do it all. Remember that we are all just doing the best we can. Remember that you are enough.

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Spring 2020

Finding the Good: Our Favorite Kids Companies Offering Free Services during the Corona Crisis.

1. Make - An art studio in Padukah, KY is offering 2 weeks of free online art lessons that begin this week! Lessons will be held weekdays at 1PM.

2. Other Goose - An all-inclusive classroom that values play, freedom, and structure is offering three weeks of free access. We've heard AMAZING things about this one!

3. Story Line Online - A free, award winning Children’s Literacy Program where famous actors read books virtually online to keep our childrens’ imaginations exploring.

4. Beanstalk - Experience LIVE & on demand interactive classes on a variety of fun subject matters for children ages 1.5 - 6 years old. Free during the COVID-19 threat.

5. Scholastic - With Scholastic, every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own or with their families. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin! Free for 20 days.

6. PBS.org - PBS KIDS is offering a variety of free resources to support families during the corona crisis:

-The PBS KIDS 24/7 channel offers anytime access to trusted educational series for kids ages 2-8 (check local listings).

-The PBS KIDS Video app is available on mobile, tablet, and connected TV devices and offers on-demand educational videos, and a live stream of the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel. No subscription required.

-The PBS KIDS Games app has nearly 200 educational games, which can be downloaded for offline play anytime, anywhere. Learn more about these and PBS KIDS' other apps HERE.

-PBS KIDS for Parents offers information, activities, and tips for parents, including this resource on "How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus."

7. DreamBox - Help your child’s math confidence with 2,000+ DreamBox Learning® Math lessons, designed by teachers, available for grades K-8. Enjoy a 90 day free trial to help keep education fun for kids in grades K-8 at home! Sign up by April 30th.

8. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden - Enjoy learning about new animals each day while watching them play during an at Home Safari that will take place live, every weekday day at 3pm EST. A fun post lunch break for the entire fam!

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2020

It’s been a long, hard winter and we know you’re getting your home & wardrobe ready for Spring...but don’t forget about your Skincare routine! Here are our favorite tips for transitioning your skin from Winter to Spring.

Spring clean your makeup. Throw out anything over six months old since older products can host a buildup of bacteria, leading to clogged pores and dull skin. Makeup brushes especially can store unwanted germs and viruses. Now is the perfect time to wash brushes with regular hand soap and dry them with a blow-dryer. Don’t forget to clean those beauty blenders too with a simple cleaning kit like this one.

Switch your facial cleanser. Reach for a facial cleanser that will draw out impurities that have built up over the winter and leave you with a clean, clear complexion as you head into the new season. We love a cleanser with Micellar Water. Micelles (tiny oil molecules) sop up dirt, makeup, sebum and oil and leave you with clean skin. Here’s a list of a few of the best.

Exfoliate. This is the perfect time to start exfoliating as part of your weekly cleansing routine. Slough off dead skin and unblock pores with a gentle exfoliating cleanser rather than with harsh scrubs (a formula with a small amount of glycolic acid will do the trick). Or try our newest obsession, the Knojac Cleansing sponge, a root-based vegetable that calms and exfoliates delicate skin.

Extra dull skin? Try adding in a product with Lactic Acid, the sensitive skin hero that works to slough away dead skin and eliminate discolouration, minus the irritation. We love this one from Sunday Riley.

Switch to a Lightweight Moisturizer. We know you’ve been slathering that aquaphor on your face all winter, but spring is here and it’s time to switch to a lightweight moisturizer. Try a hyaluronic acid or water-based formula when the weather warms up.

Protip: a tinted moisturizer makes a perfect substitute for a heavy foundation.

Protect yo Self. Sunscreen should be a go-to all year around, but especially now when you’ll be enjoying that sunshine much more often. Follow your moisturizer with a broad spectrum SPF. We love this one from SkinMedica, which not only protects skin from harmful rays but also reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles and improves the appearance of sun damaged skin.

Add a Mask into Your Routine. Want to take your skincare game a step further? Reach for a mask 1-3 times per week. The charcoal mask by Beautycounter is a tried and true favorite that is perfect for Spring. This nutrient-rich kaolin clay mask with activated charcoal purifies and balances, absorbing excess oil and drawing out impurities. Salicylic and lactic acids aid in a gentle exfoliation, giving skin a smooth, polished look with a minimized appearance of pores.

Water is Always the Answer. Another way to ensure great springtime skin is by drinking plenty of water, as well as getting hydration through fruits and vegetables. An excellent way to make sure your immune system is in good shape and ensure you’re hydrated is to start the day with a glass of lukewarm water with some lemon squeezed into it. You will quench your thirst after a good night’s sleep and also up your Vitamin C intake!

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2020

Spring Cleaning Tips. The natural way.

The welcoming of spring oftentimes includes a revitalizing cleanse of your home. But did you know that most store-bought cleaners can cause harm to your family's health? The American Lung Association states,

"While cleaning is essential to our health, cleaning products often include harmful chemicals that can irritate the eyes or throat, cause headaches and other health problems, including cancer. Some products release dangerous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Other harmful ingredients include ammonia and bleach." {learn more here}

The internet can be a helpful resource when looking to gain knowledge about healthy cleaning alternatives, but can also become an overwhelming and timely task. But don’t worry, mama. If you’re looking to make small changes to get started right away, we've come to the rescue! Check out our tips below for cleaning options to get your home sparkly clean while keeping your family's health in mind, too!

Tip 1 - Make your own products.

All-Purpose Cleaner and Degreaser - Head to your nearest dollar store and pick up an oversized spray bottle. Grab a sharpie and label it so the hubby doesn't think it's the kids' newest hair detangler.

Ingredients:

1/4c vinegar

1/4c Dawn

1c water

Directions: Add the above to a spray bottle. Attach the lid, shake and spray to the soiled area. → Psssst... We hear this is Danielle Fertig's (a F4MLou Body Back and Boost mama) #1 all-around fave cleaner.

Streak-Free Window and Glass Cleanser - While you're at the dollar store grabbing a spray bottle for the all-purpose cleanser, grab an extra one for your DIY glass cleaner, too!

Ingredients:

1/4c rubbing alcohol

1/4c white vinegar

1 tbsp cornstarch

1c water

Directions: Add the above to a spray bottle. Attach the lid, shake and spray onto the glass surface. → For more pointers, click here.

Tip 2 - There's no shame in buying.

Not looking to experiment with cleaning recipes? No judgment here. You can still make healthier buying selections that will create positive changes for the air your family is breathing, too! Here are a few of our go-to brands.

All-Purpose Cleaner and Degreaser - Thieves Household Cleaner will not only make your home smell amazing but every room will be feeling, so fresh and so clean clean (ya like what we did there? ha).

Window Cleaner - Check out ATTITUDE's Hypoallergenic Window and Mirror cleaner for a great option that will have you spraying with confidence.

Tip 3 - Don't forget about the air.

Purchase a Snake Plant - This plant provides many air-purifying benefits such as absorbing pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, xylen, and toluene. What we love most is that it's low maintenance and add a touch of color to any room!

Find this plant locally at Home Depot or online with many other air purifying options at aerifyplants.com.

Buy a HEPA Air Purifier - Not ready to take the plunge of caring for a plant? Purchase a HEPA Air Purifier like this one, to count on getting the job done. These bad boys are known for helping with allergens, pet dander, germs and odor - just to name a few.

Skip the Plugins & Opt for Simmering Potpourri*- Plug-in air fresheners release toxins into the air which can cause a wide range of health problems. Instead, create a custom aroma by whipping up a quick pot of Simmering Potpourri. Try one of the recipes below to help you get started!

Eucalyptus & Lemon Simmering Potpourri - Eucalyptus cleans the air and is great for seasonal allergies, while lemon leaves a fresh and clean smell.

Orange and Ginger - Chemical-free, springy vibes!

Lime, Rosemary and Vanilla - A great choice for hosting a play date kind of morning.

*HINT HINT... throw some Simmering Potpourri in a cute mason jar for a fun gift idea.

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2020

What says "Spring" better than a bold arrangement of fresh flowers? Flowers have a natural way of bringing warmth and beauty into any space. Want to brighten up your rooms but not spend a fortune on the perfect arrangement? Time to channel those modern day Martha Stewart vibes! We're going to help you build an arrangement that will give your guests Spring Fever the moment they step in the door!

Start here.

Begin by knowing what flowers are in season. Choosing in-season flowers will cost you less money and make your arrangement more seasonally appropriate. The most popular flowers for springtime include daffodils, peonies, tulips, sweet pea, narcissus, hyacinths, anemones, ranunculus, lilacs, delphiniums and boronia.

Finding your flowers.

If You're Short On Time - When you need to be in and out but still want quality, we can always count on Trader Joe's. Not only do they have a beautiful assortment that is always in season but they're budget friendly, too. And, we love that the kids leave happy with their infamous TJ stickers in hand - so it's a win win for all!

If You're Looking for an Experience - Have you visited Louisville's original flower truck, Fleur & Frond yet?! Their truck is the absolute cutest and you can tell that they put a lot of thought into hand selecting their flowers because they are the most unique around town.

If You Need Inspiration - Whatever you're imagining, Mahonia Studio either already has it or can get what you need. Visit their beautiful space and we promise you'll leave feeling inspired and ready to create what you've been dreaming of. From live plants to fresh cut flowers, they have it all. While you're there don't forget to stop by their Build Your Own Terrarium Bar for some added fun as well!

Choosing a vase.

The vase that you choose will depend on the style you are wanting to create. Almost any type of container can be used for a flower arrangement, as long as it's suitable for the height, weight and look of the flowers being used.

Glass - Elegant and timeless. Will work in any room.

Crystal - For that luxurious and elegant vibe. Can make any room look fancy.

Mason Jars - Cost-effective and pair well with rustic or farmhouse decor. Great for backyard dinner parties.

Cylinder Shape - Simple, yet beautiful. Single flowers look beautiful in this shape.

Ceramic - Vary in size, shape, texture, color, and style. Great for outdoor areas.

Square or Cube - Make great centerpieces. Pair next to books or large candles for calming and relaxed vibes.

Ready to create.

Step 1: Remove any leaves that will be below the water level. Leaves can be a source of bacteria and will rapidly decay in water. It's okay to leave some foliage, but remember that you'll also have greenery to fill in any extra space.

Step 2: Measure the flowers against your vase of choice and cut to size. Be sure to cut the stems at a diagonal. This will allow the flowers soak up more water and help them stay alive longer. Recut the stems every third day to keep them fresh.

Step 3: Arrange your flowers in the vase. Begin with the largest, most bold flower and work others in from there.

Tip - Keep floral tape on hand. Floral tape helps hold flower stems in place without damaging them and allows the stems to sit in a vase's water, which promotes the flowers' longevity.

Step 4: Step back to view your masterpiece. Love what you see but notice a few empty spaces? Grab some leafage to fill them in! Keep it playful and simple, yet oh so YOU.

Step 5: Hydrate. Fill your vase with warm water to about ¾ of its height. This will help the flower's absorb nutrients.

Tip - If you're feeling like a pro, add two tablespoons of cider vinegar to help kill bacteria and mold that may begin brewing below.

Step 6: Enjoy! Place your custom arrangement where it will thrive. With a little sunlight and love, you'll enjoy it for days to come!

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2020

1. Someday we want to be as cool as Chrissy Tiegan in these killer Quays.

2. Practice sun safety and being the cutest MILF at the pool in this adorable Wyeth Hat.

3. According to Vogue, Cosmo & Harper’s Bazaar, oversized hoops like these are hot for Spring 2020. We couldn’t agree more.

4. Say goodbye to your dull, winter skin with this all-in-one AHA treatment, powered by lactic acid, that clarifies, smooths, and retexturizes the appearance of skin.

5. Perfect at the beach or the pool, you and your bestie NEED these silicone wine glasses.

6. Want to touch up your tan in between Tina visits? These face drops mix with your moisturizer and will give you that perfect golden glow!

7. We’re in desperate need of an updated lip for Spring and this is the color we’ve been dreaming of.

8. Summer living is about to get way more organized with this oversized beach tote from our girls at CM Designs. Contact them for color & monogram options!

9. You’ll need this oversized beach towel to go with your oversized hoops & oversized beach tote.

10. You don’t know how great you can feel in jeans until you’ve slipped into a pair of Good Americans. Stop by Rodeo Drive for a full selection of Good American Jeans. While you're there, ask them about this pair of dark, distressed jeans. We love how they can be dressed up or down!

11. Make em all jealous with these comfortable & chic Tkees cheetah print flip flops.

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Did you know that DEFY offers multiple membership options for Flight Club? DEFY knows every family is different! To that end, they've created different levels of memberships to fit YOUR needs. Check them out below!

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Are you loving your Winter Pass from DEFY? Well we have news for you!

IT. JUST. GOT. BETTER!

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2019

Holiday To Do's in Lou: Whether you're looking to create new traditions or try something new, check out our list of the top seven Holiday To Do's, in Lou!

1. Lights Under Lou - Dress the kids in their jammies and warm up some hot cocoa for the ride! You NEED to head to the Mega Cavern to experience one of Louisville's most highly saught after Holiday traditions, Lights Under Louisville! Enjoy a 30 minute ride through part of the caverns 17 miles of underground passageways that feature over 850 lit characters with over 3,000,000 points of light. This will quickly become one of the most memorable car rides you'll have, year after year!

2. igLouisville at 8UP: Elevated Drinkery and Kitchen - Just when you think you've experienced all that Louisville has to offer, you find out there's more! If heated igloos, roof top views, cocktails and glam entice you, go check out one of downtown Lou's favorite hot spots, 8UP. They've created a magical experience called, igLouisville that is available to you on their rooftop bar! Whether you need a girls night or a date night, don't forget to call in advance to reserve your igLou. They've become the talk of the town and are booking up fast!

3. Carriage Rides at The Paddock - Looking for a fun alternative to long lines at crowded malls to see Santa this year? Head to the Shoppes at The Paddock where you and your family will be taken on a FREE horse and carriage ride with some one on one time with Santa. But wait, it gets even better! There is also FREE face painting, Holiday Carolers AND you're able to bring your very own camera, too! Check out The Paddock website for more detailed information.

4. Work the Metal - A planned event is NOT needed when going to this favorite local shop but while you're there you will undoubtedly find yourself feeling festive and in the giving spirit. Work the Metal is a Louisville gem that has a gift for everyone on your list. Not only is it one of the BEST spots for creative and personnal gifts but you'll ALWAYS find a little something for yourself, too! Get those lists together and GET THERE!

5. ELFPALOOZA at the Galt House - While helping a child in need by bringing a new toy as your admission, your littles will be talking about this event for days! Set aside a Friday or Saturday in December to experience a winter wonderland inside the Galt House. The elves will have preparred plenty of snacks such as popcorn, cookies, and hot chocolate and mom and dad may even be able enjoy “adult” beverages to sip on, too! Not only that, but the kids will be able to take a ride on the kiddie train called, Peppermint Express!

6. Lou Ballet’s Nutcracker - Enjoy a night of whimsical magic while viewing a holiday favorite, The Nutcracker. With limited engagement of only nine show times to choose from you'll want to be sure to grab your tickets to see the Sugar Plum Fairy and her friends before their gone!

7. Fête De Noël ("Festival of Christmas") - Looking to add some new flavor to your list of holiday traditions this year? Then make plans to attend Louisville's only outdoor ice skating rink that takes place in the heart of Louisville's newest up and coming hot spot, Paristown! Lace up to skate then enjoy shopping, eating, and drinking while you're there, too. As amazing as this sounds to do as a family, we're thinking about making it a festive date night instead!

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2019

Do you have someone on your list who "has it all"? Skip the gift and give them an experience they won't forget.

1. Sauerbeck Family Drive In -Drive-ins aren’t just a thing of the past. They’re BACK and we are lucky enough to have one nearby. With both date night and family night vouchers available to buy online, give the gift of memories and time.

2. Flame Run - Turn up the heat for the creative soul in the family with an artistic experience held in the largest privately owned glassblowing studio in the midwest! They'll get to blow their own glass while working alongside an artist guiding them every step of the way. A gift for a lesson at Flame Run will be the talk of the night!

3. Art Walk at Barn8 - Set the tone for an upcoming romantic date to view illuminated and immersive art on the grounds of Barn8! But that's not all... make plans to wine + dine or schedule a garden tour while you're there too. Book the sitter in advance and send a virtual gift card to your love for a night that will be sure to swoon!

4. Maddox & Rose Marketplace - Wine, sexy zen vibes and intoxicating aromas waiting to be chosen and poured into a beautiful and unique candle. An experience like this is just what that special girl friend, mom, aunt or sister NEEDS. Not only is it the first place of it's kind in Louisville, but it's a gift that keeps on giving. Every time that special lady lights her personalized candle she'll not only be taken back to a relaxing experience, but she'll be reminded of you!

5. Chateu Bourbon Luxury B&B - This one is for you and the hubs, mama. Specializing in comfort with a splash of bourbon in the heart of Norton Commons, this is a relaxing getaway you can enjoy without even having to travel! Ask Grandma and Grandpa for a gift of time away and to watch the kids so you can savor a relaxing weekend in true down-home southern charm style. You'll head back home feeling energized and ready to take on the world!

6. Spa Day at Mokara- Mokara Salon & Spa at Omni Louisville Hotel offers services to treat your loved one from head to toe. Choose from an array of soothing facials, body treatments, salon services, manicures and pedicures for your special someone to enjoy in a beautiful and relaxing enviornment.

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2019

As Moms, we know better than anyone how hectic the holiday season is once you have kids. But this year, we are vowing to slow down and bring back some of that holiday magic we felt when we were little. If you want to savor the specialness of the season, go ahead and join us! Tape this holiday bucket list to your fridge and try to complete all of the items before it's time to ring in 2020.

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Holiday Guide 2019

1. Animal socks. How cute will your kiddos chubby little legs be in these?

2. L.O.L. Fashion Crunch Surprise. The LOL craze isn’t over yet. But we can’t wait until it is!

3. Build a Snowman Kit. Make snow days even more memorable with this adorable kit for your kiddo’s first snowman!

4. Stackable Crayons. Remember how fun these were when we were little?!

5. Bath Crayons. Bring the creativity to bathtime with these awesome washable bath crayons.

6. Kids Play Animals. Because we can’t resist wooden toys.

7. Weird But True. 300 Fun Christmas facts for the whole family to enjoy!

8. Kinetic Sand. Keep your kids busy for hours with this fun sand that is SO easy to clean up!

9. Mess Free Scented Stampers and Markers. You had us at “mess free.”

10. Decorate Your Own Car. We love Melissa & Doug and we know your little ones will love this fun painting craft!

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Holiday Mini 2018

Part of our mission here at Fit4Mom Lou is to ensure that every woman will know what empowerment feels like. To know that they can conquor anything that the day is going to throw at them. Whether it be a huge presentation at work, asking for a raise or handling those terrible 2's, we want our Moms to be a little bit stronger and a little bit more confident.

And because of you, F4M Louisville is helping women to feel just that. The feeling of empowerment comes from each of you, the Village. Cheering each other on during classes, building one another up when someone is going through something tough and simply just making one another feel welcomed at Every. Single. Class. We see Our Village empowering one another each and every single day, in one way or another. That is part of what makes loving this Village so easy to do!

Each of you has the power inside to not only BE empowered, but to EMPOWER someone else. Don't ever doubt that. Here is what some of your fellow mamas have to say about being empowered...

"I recently used this word to describe to my girls how it feels post Body Back when you no longer crave those foods you used to love- like ice cream and candy, etc... It's empowering to turn down those foods and truly not want them!" - Carla Walker

"Empowered means to me using the tools you have to not only support your fellow mama but to uplift them, as well. Showing strength through kindness." - Carlee Kern

"Empowerment means you now have the courage to make the best decision for you and your family, you don’t have to let someone else’s idea of your life define you!" - Natalie Robertson

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Holiday Mini 2018

Celebrating Victories: Our Top 3 Reasons Why Victories Must be Celebrated

Celebrating victories will not only make you feel good but it can provide so much more! Here are our top 3 reasons why celebrating victories, both big and small, are an important part of your journey.

1. It makes you feel #allthefeels. There's no denying it. When you hit a victory that you've been working towards, it just feels good! And who doesn't want to just FEEL GOOD about something? Knowing that you set your mind to something and followed through with it is only going to make you feel proud.

2. It gives you confidence to keep going. We've all been there. We've wanted something so badly but have doubted our ability to get there. But once you've silenced the "I cants" and the "I'll nevers," that is when you actually get it done. And when you do, you will discover the motivation needed to keep going. In our book, that's worth celebrating!

3. Because you deserve it. You wear a million and one different hats and do so much for everyone else around you. You are important and what you accomplish deserves to be celebrated. Don't let anyone ever tell you differently. You. Are. Amazing.

Don't forget to celebrate all things big and small, ladies. You are worth it!

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Holiday Mini 2018

Setting an intention is a great way to ensure that your life is moving in the direction you want it to. Your intentions have the power to make any idea or dream a reality! Follow this step by step guide for setting intentions during the holidays.

1. Choose something you'd like to see change take place. It can be anything as simple as wanting to be more present with your family at the dinner table or meeting up with an old friend. Or, it could be something that feels unreachable and that may even scare you. Like getting that lifelong dream you've had about a new business idea up and running. Choose ONE thing you want to see change take place.

2. Write it down! We say it all the time in our F4M Louisville Body Back sessions. There's something powerful that happens when you put pen to paper. So go ahead, mama. Write it down!

A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere. -Joyce Meyer

3. List 3 actions to begin immediately. If your intention is to be more present at the dinner table, perhaps number one on the list can be to leave all electronics on their chargers during the dinner hour. If it's to meet with an old friend, the first action could be to call her up by lunch, today! Whatever the steps are, WRITE THEM DOWN too.

4. Set a date to make your intention a reality. An intention written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action (see # 3) makes an intention a reality!

5. Hang it up. Place that sucker somewhere so you are reminded of it daily! You are much more likely to achieve your goals if you are forced to look at them every day.

6. Take Action. Now that you know what your intention is and how to get there, the rest is up to you. Get going and make it happen!

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Holiday Mini 2018

What does it mean to feel grounded? It means to be present in your life TODAY. Do not worry about the past or the future. It means having control - being ready to face daily challenges with your head held high. With children, this is sometimes easier said than done-especially during the holidays!

Here are 5 ways to help stay grounded. Try and find time this week to accomplish them all. Feel free to share in our closed Facebook group to help inspire others.

  1. Remember the reason for the season. It's all happening. The madness of the holiday season is in full swing. And along with the excitement and fun can also come a lot of stress (mostly brought on ourselves). When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed this week with that long list of to-dos and the growing gift lists, remember the reason for the season. Giving thanks, spirituality, spending time with friends and family- these are the important parts of the holidays. Actively choose to enjoy the magic happening all around you.
  1. Exercise. We've got this covered! Try to make it to all 4 classes this week to start the session off right!
  2. Meditation. It could be yoga. Or maybe it is through prayer. Or maybe its in the form of a solo quiet meditation. Take 5 minutes each day by yourself. ALL BY YOURSELF (and no, the restroom does not count)!
  3. Sit in hot water. Take a hot shower or bath. Throw in some Epsom salts. Grab a glass of wine. Rinse away whatever needs to be rinsed away.
  4. Just sit. Find a minute and go outside. Sit, watch, listen. Do not think about what is for dinner. Do not go through your list of things to do in your mind. Just sit. Listen to nature. Watch the trees. Appreciate the abundance of nature.

As Moms, we are all too familiar with the fearlessness and sense of invincibility that accompanies childhood. Our kids think they can do anything and continually experiment with limits. If only there was a place that let you push limits... safely!

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The House of Boom space we know and love is staying the same, but an exciting change IS coming! Soon our favorite source of indoor fun will be called DEFY.

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Moms of all types, during every stage of motherhood, are straight up BUSY. But one thing is for sure, we LOVE a professional family photo sesh and make time for it when we can! As moms ourselves, we know how daunting those first steps can feel when not only deciding on a photographer, but actually securing a date to take those perfect shots we’ve been imagining.

The days leading up to a photo session are stressful. What is everyone going to wear? Will my kids cooperate? Will the weather be ok? The list of worries is endless. However, hiring the right person to take those pictures can make all the difference. With so many talented photographers in our area, how do you choose who will be the right fit for you and your family?! We can’t make that decision for you but we CAN tell you about the awesome experience we had with Amy Barber of Bluegrass Bebe Photography.

Team FIT4MOM Lou didn’t snap classic family photos with Bluegrass Bebe (although we DO consider ourselves a big family) but we were blown away by what a great experience we had from beginning to end. From the moment we booked our photoshoot with Amy we got a sense of how much she wanted to capture images that WE were looking for. She created an image board for us to use before our shoot so that we would not only be able to begin exploring ideas for the type of vibe we had hoped to create, but so that she would be on the same page, too. And to us, that was everything.

The morning of our session included 26 of our team members. With every photo that was taken, the personality of each team member was captured beautifully. Forget about awkward poses or uncomfortable smiles, Amy has a way of making you feel at ease in front of the camera so that your true self shines through. From the perfect lighting she always seems to find, to her eye for the natural beauty that is captured within each image, Bluegrass Bebe nails it every time. Her work is stunning and we cannot recommend her enough for your next photo sesh!

Thanks again, Bluegrass Bebe! We will cherish these photos for an eternity.

To view more of Amy's work or to book your session, visit https://bluegrassbebe.com/.

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There's no party like a House of Boom party. Save yourself the trouble of running all over town to gather perfectly themed party goods and let high-flying fun be the focus.

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We are loving the membership options at DEFY Extreme Airports! Are you in the club?

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It's summer time and we know lots of you Mamas are looking for ways to keep the kids entertained while school is out. There are so many great things to do in Louisville but its no secret that getting our bounce on is a Fit4Mom Lou fave. We spend enough time there to know that there is really no better place to spend a few hours than House of Boom Extreme Air Sports. Trust us! It's a fun space for kids and adults alike.

Added Bonus = It'll provide a bit of relief from the summer heat! As Moms, we're all for outdoor play but there's no shame in mixing things up.

Whether you're challenging your kids to a face-off at the Ninja Obstacle Course, watching those little daredevils show off all their moves in the foam pits, or judging a "who can bounce higher contest" - there are plenty of ways to keep them smiling (and probably wear them out) at House of Boom.

Need we say more? You can book a flight pass NOW by hitting up their website here.

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Another Saturday, another birthday party! Don’t fret. As Moms, we know the struggle of picking out the right gift for all the littles. Experience gifts are all the rage. Let’s face it, all those little ones really want to do is run and be on the move anyway. And, you certainly won’t hear any complaints about that here! So, when you find yourself trying to avoid the toy aisle on the hunt for that next gift, head over to House of Boom. They have just the thing!

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If you want to chat with a Mama that knows all about what Fit4Mom Lou has to offer, hit up our girl Joya. This amazing go-getter has been checking off her goals right and left with the help of a variety of #F4MLOU classes. Most recently, Joya participated in our Spring session of Run Club and capped it off with an absolutely stunning performance at the Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon. Below she shares her journey to the finish line with us and even throws it back to her initial transformation story thanks to Body Back that started it all!

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If you’ve yet to hear about the newest member of the FIT4MOM family, we’re excited to introduce you to MamaWell!

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Spring Break 2019

We know you're busy handling #allthethings before your vacation, Mama. So here is a list of a few reminders of things that may slip your mind!

1. Stop the mail.

Not only will it trick the bad guys into thinking you are home but it's a super quick and easy to do task! With a few quick clicks, your mail will be held until you say go!

2. Unplug.

We're talking about anything with a plug! Think small electronics, modems/ routers, appliances of all sizes and small clocks with an LED light that are in the "off" position. Even those use a small amount of energy when connected. Unplugging will not only help you save on your bill but could help protect your Wi-Fi from being hacked into, too!

3. Set alarms.

Punch in those codes or ask Siri to do it! It's that easy.

4. Empty the trash.

Coming home to what smells like a dumpster is LESS than ideal. While you're wrapping up some last minute packing, ask the hubby to take a lap around the house to empty all of the trash cans. He'll thank you later.

5. Turn down the temp.

Unless your fur babies will be staying home while you're away, there's no need for the AC to be on blast. Turn up the temp and enjoy some electric bill savings!

6. Empty the washing machine.

Remember that one time you had full intentions of doing #allthelaundry but the craziness of the day took over and you forgot to move that one load from the washer to dryer? Yeah. Us too! And we also remember the lovely mildewed aroma that went with it! Empty those washing machines before you leave!

7. Put the water heater on vacation mode.

The last thing you want to come home to is an unexpected lake in the basement. Setting your water heater to "vacation mode" before leaving can limit damage in the event of a leak from the tank. Once you return with that beautiful glowing tan, give it about an hour to heat up and you'll be back in business!

8. Leave a light on.

Burglars are less likely to tamper with a home that appears to have humans inside. Connect a Smart Plug that will allow you to turn on and off a light while you're in vacay mode or, just leave one on!

9. Book a pet sitter.

We recommend reaching out to a neighbor or local pet sitter that you trust 4- 6 weeks before your trip. This way you aren't scrambling last minute to make sure your #1 love is in good hands while you are away.

10. Check all prescriptions.

The last thing you want to do while on vacation is run around looking for a 24 hour pharmacy. Check all of those daily meds before zipping up your luggage to make sure you won't be left in a panic!

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Spring Break 2019

Tips for unplugging and maximizing time on your Vacay:

1. Disable Email notifications and set specific hours to check in with work.

We get it. No matter your profession, these days we are expected to be working 24-7. But few things can put a damper on your vacation like hearing someone needs you at work. Eliminate these distractions by disabling your email notifications or deleting your email app entirely. They WILL survive without you for a few days.

If you can’t afford to completely turn off your work emails, establish a specific time — and time limit — for checking email each day. Then only address the highest priority items and delegate the rest. Doing this will help you stick to your plan and maintain consistent expectations for yourself and your team.

2. Save Social Media for after bedtime.

We know you'll be DYING to post all the adorable pics of your kiddos and all the fun you're having, but try waiting until after bedtime to hop on your insta story! You never know what you may miss out on with your head buried in your phone!

3. Schedule ahead.

If you're the kind of person who wants to experience as much as possible while on vacay, get an itinerary together and do as much prep as you can in advance.

Plan on visiting a water or amusement park while you're away? Avoid long lines by purchasing your tickets ahead of time online. Want to visit a museum or zoo? Do a little research and see if there are dual passes available for out of towners. Is there a special restaurant you've been dying to go to? Get your reservations before you leave town! Organization is key for maximizing your family fun!

4. Follow Your Child's Lead

Planning is great, but don't let it rule the day. One of the biggest mistakes parents make on vacation is trying to push through activities and plans as planned rather than following the lead of their children. If your children seem tired, hungry or like they've had enough of a particular activity, call it quits, and take care of the issue. When traveling with children, it is important to remember that no matter how much you may want to finish a particular activity, they may not be able to handle more stimulation, or simply need to refuel. Happy kids equal happy parents on vacation. By keeping this in mind, you will be able to make the most out of your precious family vacation.

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Spring Break 2019

1. Doodle Pad- For getting all of your doodles out!

2. Water Wow- Mess free? This is for me.

3. CozyPhones- Finally! Headphones that actually stay ON your little.

4. Babyganic Wipes- Go ahead and just order two.

5. Swell Bottle- Someone may have told us that these will fit an entire bottle of wine. Just sayin’.

6. Trash Bag- Because we know what the back of every Mom’s car looks like.

7. CamelBak Kids Water Bottle- So there are no spills when they get thrown on the ground.

8. YETI Cooler- Treat yourself and get your fancy on!

9. IPAD Mini- Supervised of course... but a little screen time won't hurt!

10. Travel Activity Kit - So we can at least TRY to stay organized.

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Spring Break 2019

1. FIT4MOM Tote- Fold it or load it!

2. Surface SPF 40 Face Stick- Just say NO to wrinkles. Protect your skin with a tint!

3. YETI Colster- Sip in style.

4. Rainbow Sandals- Bring out your inner surfer chick. These are a must for any beach vacay.

5. Beautycounter Rose Water Spray - Cooling, refreshing & moisturizing! This spray is exactly what your skin needs for a mid day beach pick me up!

6. MPow Waterproof Case- Because we know you’ll be taking #alltheselfies.

7. UE Boom Speaker - Music makes everything more fun.

8. Beach Tent - Perfect for giving your itty bitty ones a place to nap, snack, play games or just escape the sun.

9. Kids Beach Chair- We love these chair for eating lunch at the beach and we even bring them along to soccer games back at home to give our kiddos a break from the sun.

10. Collapsible Beach Wagon - We know you've got plenty to haul - this beach wagon will give the hubs back a break. ;)

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Whether you're racing toward a 5K finish line or you're training to cross that marathon off your bucket list, we've compiled a list of our favorite items that will help any runner achieve their goals!

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Ready to get going? Here are a few of our easiest tips for kick starting your Spring Fitness goals.

1. Fitness in the Kitchen. It's true what they say, abs are made in the kitchen. The best way to jump start your fitness is to ditch the junk. Eat only real, whole foods and be careful of your portion size. Forget calorie counting. Instead just focus on fueling your body and giving it what it needs. Track what you eat! We are all busy Mamas, it's easy to lose track of what you are eating. But any Body Back grad will tell you the importance of food journaling. You will be shocked at how much more you are eating than you think you are once you start tracking. Download My Fitness Pal for an easy app to use on the go. It only takes a second to log and it is SO worth it.

2. Set realistic expectations. Realistic tweaks to your routine are the first step to a lasting habit. Don’t overwhelm yourself by taking on too many ambitious goals at once; instead, stick to the basics. And remember: Being healthy should be fun, feel good and be something you look forward to every day.

3. Sleep. We know...who has time for it? But proper sleep is SO important for your overall wellness. Not only does that precious shut eye give your body a chance to repair itself before your next workout, but tiredness can result in feeling hungry and lead to over eating. Ever have days where you feel like no matter what you eat you are still starving? More than likely it's because you havent had a proper night's sleep!

4. Step up that H20 game. Proper hydration aids digestion, refuels our bodies for upcoming workouts, boosts energy, nourishes the skin… the list of benefits goes on and on. Keep a water bottle with you at ALL TIMES as a constant reminder to drink more. *Remember that the water you drink during or immediately after a workout does not count toward your daily goal.*

5. Use the Buddy System. Pick a Body Back buddy or two and check in with one another often! Make sure you both are coming to class, check each other's weekly meal plans, get together for workouts on off days. You are much more likely to follow through if you know someone else is counting on you and will hold you accountable.

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The pool, the beach- you're on vacay, we get it. You need a drink (or 12). So do we. Here are our recommendations for what to choose and what to skip to keep that waistline in check.

What to Drink. A large margarita, sex on the beach, or pina colada often contains more than 400 calories! Instead, opt for a vodka and soda water with lime, wine spritzer, champagne or light beer. Club soda has zero calories, zero fat and zero sugar. Love wine? Try cutting it with sparkling water to make it last a little longer and reduce your calorie intake. The average flute of bubbly has only 80 calories and no fat, and a bottle of light beer has just over 100 calories and no fat!

Pour Slowly, Sip Slowly. After all, you've got all day!

Drink Plenty of Water. A simple but important rule: Drink a glass of water for every cocktail you have. This will help fill you up so you aren't drinking alcohol to quench your thirst. Water will also keep you hydrated and minimize the effects of your hangover.

Eat Wisely. Don't forget to eat before you start drinking. After a drink or two, your likelihood of choosing wisely is severly diminished. Skip that snack bar and pack your own snacks instead. Nuts, fresh fruit, raw veggies and hummus, kale chips, a whole grain english muffin with a tablespoon of nut butter, edamame, or a clean beef jerky like this one all make great pool/beach snacks!

Get a morning workout in (because we know you won't after you start drinking). Not just for the calorie burn, but if you've made the investment to workout in the morning you're much more likely to make healthier choices when it comes to eating and drinking throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be crazy early! You are on vacation. Sleep in and then once you wake up, hang with your fam and have coffee. Make your workout the first thing on your agenda post coffee or breakfast.

CHEERS to a happy, healthy and slightly buzzed vacation!

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The annual pilgrimage from Louisville to Florida is upon us. And we don't want you to ruin all your hard work and progress over these three weeks with fast food and gas station snacks on the way down. Here are our tips for a staying healthy on that long road trip!

It's like we always say, you cannot succeed without a plan! Think ahead of time: What will you eat? What will your kids eat? When will you eat? Where? Save money, time and calories by opting for a picnic instead of stopping at a crappy restaurant.

Traveling lunch or dinner ideas: Bring a small cooler and pack up any of these for a convenient meal.

-Body Back Tomato Basil Pasta Salad or this one.

-Body Back Chicken Salad served on a bed of lettuce or this one.

-Body Back Turkey Pesto Wrap or this one.

-Body Back Mediterranean Chicken Pasta or this one.

-Body Back Roasted Vegetable & Quinoa Bowl or this one.

Traveling snack ideas:

-Fresh Fruit. A simple apple travels well or you could prepare a small fruit salad to share with the kiddos. Who can resist fresh fruit on a warm spring day?

-Body Back Chickpea Nuts or these.

-We are loving these fruit and nut packs from Archer Farms! They are healthy, convenient, and the perfect size for snacking on the go!

-Air popped popcorn or these handy snack bags from skinny pop!

-Ok, they are our corporate sponsor...but we still LOVE Kind Bars. These are only 100 calories and even though they are under 3g of sugar, they will still satisfy your sweet tooth. WIN!

Happy trails, Mamas! xoxo

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We can always rely on House of Boom to pull through with an amazing deal that will make even the most frugal of mamas smile from ear to ear! They are back at it with their Winter Deal. Haven't heard about it yet? Don't worry - we're here to give you the scoop.

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Here at Fit4Mom Lou, we love the awesome facility King Louie's provides for our Stroller Strides and 360 classes. It's spacious. It's clean. It's the perfect hosting site for all kinds of sports activities. But, did you know they are also the area’s premier sporting complex for Lacrosse? King Louie’s is home to L4 Lacrosse and King’s Select Lacrosse!

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1. SONOS - THE. BEST. SPEAKER out there. If your hubs loves music, he needs this.

2. WHOVEN subscription - Does your man live in T- Shirts? Of course he does. We’ve got just the thing for him! A subscription box for cool monthly T’s you both will love!

3. Wintersmiths Clear Ice Ball Maker - The PERFECT clear ice balls keeps drinks colder, longer, and with less dilution!

4. Bourbon glasses - Because every Kentucky gentleman needs a nice set of Bourbon glasses!

5. Rocketbook - For your tech guy. He will love this reusable notebook that sends notes right to his laptop!

6. Monogrammed Sunglass Strap from Clayton & Crume- A southern staple from this Louisville based handcrafted leather goods company. We are in love with everything here!

7. Vuori Shorts - Whether he’s hiking, hitting the courts, or lounging around the house, he will beg you for multiple pairs of these. Made for comfort with build in boxers, these are sure to be his new FAVE.

8. Indoor Putting Green - Since he can’t hit the links EVERY day, this indoor putting green will at least help his short game.

9. NIXON Watch - What’s hotter than a man in a nice watch?

10. Jerky Snob - Jerky Snob is a subscription-based service that sends healthy and delicious monthly shipments of great jerky that is made by independent and small batch producers. Hubs will love it!

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1. Pottery Barn Baby Bath Wraps- Warm and cuddly, oh my!

2. Cool Beans Stretchy Baby Car Seat Canopy & Nursing Cover- Stylish yet functional.

3. MIU Waterproof Outdoor Foldable Blanket- A Stroller Strides staple that EVERY mom needs.

4. Kids Bath Collection by Beauty Counter- Safe suds for your little nugget.

5. Little Giraffe Chenille Blanket- Threads so soft it’ll make those sweet cuddles even cozier.

6. Baby Shoosher- Let the “shooshes” save the day.

7. Parker Baby Diaper Backpack- Totally stylin’ AND functioning.

8. Cuddle and Kind Hand Knit Dolls- With every purchase you will be helping to feed a child in need. Why not give back a lil’ while giving this season.

9. Heartland Music Classes- A F4M Lou Mom approved class and favorite!

10. Kickee Pants- #allthemoms are obsessing over these! Every little needs a pair.

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1. Plasma Car- Inside or outside, this Plasma car is a blast! We mayyyy even get on it some nights after a couple glasses of wine and take it for a spin around the house. It's that fun!

2. Pogo Stick- Sturdy enough for adults? Because we want one too!

3. Magnetic Building Blocks- These will keep your littles occupied long enough for you to actually prep dinner… without distractions!

4. Worthy Threads-We all love Cat & Jack, but sometimes it's nice to dress your babe in something that NOT every other kid is wearing. This Mom owned company designs prints for girls and boys that you will fall in love with.

5. Pottery Barn Sleeping Bags- Whether they’re pretending to be at a sleepover or heading to Grandma’s house, these are a cozy fave!

6. Little Hippo Alarm Clock- KEEP YOUR KID IN BED LONGER AND GET MORE SLEEP ? Yes please! MELLA uses colors and facial expressions to teach your kids when it's time for bed and time to wake up.

7. Best Workout Buddy Shirt- A F4M little must have!

8. Kiwi Crate- Forget the IPAD, these STEM projects will keep your kiddos busy for hours. And no Mom guilt!

9. Candy Land Game- Nostalgic? Yes. Necessary for your child? Also yes.

10. VTECH Smartwatch- Because we know your little ones want to be just like you, smart watch and all!

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Snow Day? … Take them to House of Boom

Need to entertain your kids during winter break? … Take them to House of Boom

Guests in town for the holidays? … Take them to House of Boom

Sensing a theme here? Us too! :)

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King Louie's Sports Center is a Strides favorite for many of you but there are SO many more activities that go on in this amazing space. Let us fill you in on what you might be missing out on!

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We may be all about that mom life but we sure love the amazing dads that support the women that make our community so special! This week, we are putting a new spin on our Transformation Tuesday with a little input from the spouse of one of our recent Run Club and Body Back grads, Ashley Gonzalez.

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Don't Forget About Yourself, Mama!

De-stress. The holidays can be a stressful time. We all feel the stress of managing our usual duties along with additional commitments to our friends and family. You may feel the financial stress of gifts and the interpersonal stress of conflicts. Try to anticipate sources of stress and develop a plan to manage them. This may involve committing to fewer get-togethers or setting a tighter budget. Don’t feel guilty... always remember what we say in Body Back: you have to take care of yourself before you can take of others.

Treat yourself. The holiday spirit is about helping others around you, but you also have to make time to take care of yourself. So treat yourself with something over the holidays. It may be something as simple as sleep. Wake up late and enjoy a day of rest; you need it. How about reading that book you’ve been meaning to for a long time, or getting a manicure or massage? Take the time to do the things that make you happy. Don't feel like you have the time to set aside for yourself right now? Plan a day in the New Year just for you and give it as a gift to yourself. Put it on your calendar, tell your spouse, block that time just for you!

Unschedule. We know that planner is booked solid. But are there things you can really say no to? Make room for holiday magic to unfold and cancel some of your planned activities.

Help others. Depression can increase during the holidays. Watch for signs of depression among your friends and family. Take an active role to support those in need. Invite those colleagues or friends who are alone over the holidays to spend them with you. Feeling down yourself? Volunteer and give to those less fortunate. Sometimes the best way to feel better ourselves is to give a little to those who need it most.

Be Grateful. Directing more of our attention towards gratitude for the things that make our lives wonderful is scientifically proven to make us healthier, more energetic, less stressed and anxious, and help us get better sleep. There is so much to be grateful for. Soak in the gratitude!

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The craziness of the holiday season is upon us. The check lists, the shopping, the wrapping, the rushing, the STRESS. Your health is probably the last thing on your mind. But follow a couple of these easy tips and you're sure to save yourself from at least a few bad choices!

1. Eat Before You Shop! A starving mama can only pass that Cinnabon stand so many times before she convinces herself it's an ok option. Save yourself by not going to the mall hungry.

2. Track what you eat! The holidays are so busy, its easy to lose track of what you are eating. But any Body Back grad will tell you the importance of food journaling. Download My Fitness Pal for an easy app to use on the go. It only takes a second to log and it is SO worth it.

3. Weigh yourself daily. Usually we discourage you from weighing yourself every single day since so many factors can influence your weight. However, this month may be a good time to keep an eye on that scale. It can get away from you quickly!

4. Keep healthy snacks at work. Workplaces are usually the WORST culprits when it comes to overdoing the unhealthy holiday foods. Stash healthy foods in your desk at work so you’re not as tempted by the treats piling up at the office.

5. Get in a good sweat. You are more likely to make good food choices on the days you've worked out. So don't miss class! You are too busy to get it in later in the day, so get that butt kicking done with us at 5:30am!

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At those holiday get-togethers it can be hard to know which is the healthiest choice to make. Here's our recommendations for what to choose and what to skip to keep that waistline in check.

Starters:

Research suggests that you’ll consume the largest quantity of the foods you eat first, so set yourself up for success by starting with something low-calorie.

Eat this: Veggies and hummus. Veggies are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and hummus is low cal but will also leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Not that: Chips and Dip. Chips are usually fried and have tons of salt which will leave you feeling bloated the next day. Dips like ranch can deliver a devastating 150 calories and 16 grams of fat per two tablespoons. You can easily consume 750 calories of dressing alone without realizing it.

Meats, Seafood & Small Bites:

Eat this: Shrimp cocktail, meatballs or deli meats. These are high in protein and low in fat. For example, 10 shrimps with cocktail sauce pack just 120 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.

Not that: Pigs in a Blanket or Buffalo Chicken Bites. Just one tiny Pig in a Banket can have over 100 calories and the breading and frying of those Buffalo Chicken Bites make them a dangerous choice.

Desserts:

Usually we opt to skip dessert... but it IS the holidays...

Eat this: Opt for fresh fruit! Believe it or not, it will ease your sugar craving. However, if you HAVE to have a little traditional dessert, don't overdo it. Scout the spread beforehand and choose one or two desserts you feel you just must try. If they're larger than bite-size portions, take half or split with a friend.

Not that: Pecan Pie, Frosted Sugar Cookies & Peppermint Bark. A single slice of this pie packs 500 calories and more than 30 g of sugar. Adorable frosted sugar cookies pack up to 166 calories and 15 g of sugar a pop and a small square of candy cane-topped peppermint bark can have nearly 180 calories with 10g of sugar.

Cocktails:

Pour slowly, sip slowly.

Drink This: Champagne, light beer or vodka soda. The average flute of bubbly has 80 calories and no fat, and a bottle of light beer has just over 100 calories and no fat. Club soda has zero calories, zero fat and zero sugar.

Not That: Eggnog, creamy martinis or Gin & Tonic. Eggnog has an average of 344 calories and 19 grams of fat per glass! Dessert cocktails like chocolate martinis pack around 400 calories and 20 grams of fat. And tonic water can actually have as many calories as a regular cola!

Eat, drink & be merry! But do it carefully.

xo.

*adapted from cancercenter.com*

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Tips for Safely Navigating those Holiday Parties

The holidays are upon us and that means lots of parties with lots of food choices that you may usually steer clear of. But just because you are a health conscious Mama doesn't mean you have to miss out on all the fun. Here are a few of our tips for keeping your party game stepped up without overdoing it.

1. Bring a Dish! There’s no better way to control what you eat than to bring your own healthy dish! If you're a Body Back alum, the Roasted Veggie Quinoa salad or Tomato Basil Pasta salads are both great options to bring to a party. If you haven't been through the 8 Week Transformation yet, try decorating a wooden appetizer board with a variety of healthy nuts, hummus, olives, raw veggies, and crackers for dipping.

2. Indulge Wisely. Go ahead! Have your favorite holiday treat or drink this season. Just be smart about it. There's no need to over do it when research shows that the first couple bites of something are actually the most satisfying. Go to the healthiest options first if you are feeling especially hungry. Take small bites and chew well. By doing so we can mitigate the negative effects that hard-to-digest foods or a combination of foods can have on our system. Both carbohydrate and fat digestion begin in the mouth with our salivary glands and our tongue’s enzyme secretion, so do your stomach a favor and chew, chew, chew!

3. Learn to say "No." Some of us feel like not eating something will offend the host or other guests. In reality, that’s rarely the case and others are usually unaware of what you are or are not eating. Also, with so many dietary restrictions today and an ever-growing population of people who are gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and/or vegetarians, there is probably someone else at the event who’s watching their intake as well.

4. Use the Buddy System. Chances are there will be another health conscious friend at the party you are attending. Plan ahead to keep each other in check. Make sure you are seated near one another if it is a seated dinner. You are much less likely to over indulge or make bad choices if you know there is someone else watching!

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Just when we think that House of Boom couldn't possibly get more exciting, they announce their awesome summer camp!

(Oh who are we kidding... we're never surprised by all the fun offered at House of Boom!)

Are you looking for something extra special for your kids to do this summer? Look no further than House of Boom this June & July. We've provided all the details below:

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Have you heard about the latest and greatest of deals offered by our friends at House of Boom? Scroll on down to read all about the After School Pass!

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We can't imagine a more epic party venue than the premier trampoline park in Louisville. If you want to blow your birthday girl or boy's mind, let House of Boom host!

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One of our favorite things about House of Boom is their commitment to providing a safe environment for our kids! Another thing we love about them is the broad collection of activities they offer. From the new Ninja Obstacle Course to the Extreme Dodgeball arena, they have something for everyone to enjoy. Today, we are especially loving the foam pits!

Do your kids love practicing tricks at House of Boom? The foam pits are the perfect place to practice aerial tricks and enjoy the freedom of flying through the air! The soft cushion of the foam cubes provides a safe landing space for all of the creative moves your kids can dream up! As moms, that's something we really appreciate.

If they are looking for some new inspo, show them some of these moves! The article provides pictures and step by step instruction for each trampoline trick. Some of these moves can benefit you too, Mama! The trampolines are a great place to work on your balance, core, and strength!

Next time you're at House of Boom, show your kids how they can use the foam pits to practice their skills. They will have a blast and you can rest easy knowing they'll land safe and sound!

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Until August 15, you can head over to House of Boom and get a Wild Card for ONLY $10 when you purchase your flight ticket.

What is a Wild Card, you ask?

Only a 30 day pass for just $10.

TEN DOLLARS!!

The Wild Card gets you a 1-hour admission into the park for the next 30 days. That makes your cost only $0.33 per day for one hour each.

So, here’s how you can get your Wild Card:

  1. Buy a flight pass (1 hour, 2 hours, online or in-park)
  2. Ask for the Wild Card upgrade ($10 per person)
  3. Rock out for the next 30 days

The Wild Card price beats their normal one hour flight pass fee AND you get to use it for a whole month. That’s a crazy good deal, Mamas. Head over to House of Boom to get your Wild Card today!

You can find more details here!

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We waited all winter for these warm summer days and boy have they arrived. The Kentucky summer heat and humidity is no joke! When you are loading up those kiddos to get to Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre this month, be sure to pack extra water and sunscreen. Portable stroller fans, water misters, and frozen/refrigerated wet wash clothes are other great ways to entertain your little ones while keeping them cool during class.

Of course, another great option to cool off after class is to head over to House of Boom and enjoy their massive air conditioned facility full of fun! You can get your workout of the day in and then let your kids get that pent up energy out from waiting patiently in those strollers during class! There are so many fun activities to enjoy at House of Boom; they’ve recently added a ninja obstacle course, zip line, and stunt fall attraction! Don’t worry - your tried and true favorites like the foam pits, dodgeball arena, and plenty of trampolines are still there!

If you’ve never been to House of Boom, it’s the perfect time to check it out now that all the new additions are complete! And if you’re like us and tend to be regulars, you now have a new excuse to go back (like you needed an excuse)!

We know your kids are going to LOVE the new and improved House of Boom.

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Have you heard about House of Boom’s charitable efforts through Jump4Jump? Find out how you can help support this cause below!

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If you want to chat with a client that can tell you ALL about #F4MLou, Brittany Littles is your girl. This amazing mama has taken on every program in our FIT4MOM repertoire and rocked every single one! Her most recent involvement has been with Stroller Strides, Run Club, and Fit4Baby. That’s right.... she’s expecting her second child any day now and has truly inspired Our Village with how active she’s been throughout her pregnancy. These are just a few words our team used to describe this determined mama:

“Brittany has a heart of pure gold! Her spirit is infectious and her determination is immeasurable. She’s an amazing mama, wife, teacher and runner. I’m blessed to have such an amazing friend!” - Terri (Run Club Coach)

“Brittany has an unshakable spirit, always so positive, no matter what. She is motivated, determined, and such an amazing role model. I’m so grateful to have had her in my class!” - Carla (Fit4Baby instructor)

Don’t mistake kindness for weakness” - She may very well be one of the nicest people but she is a beast! - Susan (BOOST instructor)

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If you've yet to try out Stroller Strides, this list might just change your mind. Fit4Mom Louisville has so much to offer moms through our Strides classes. We provide fitness for mom and fun for baby (and big kids too)!

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If you've been to House of Boom with your children, we bet you're familiar with the dread the kiddos feel when its time to leave! How excited do you think they would be if they found out they didn't have to?!

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Being stuck inside in the cold winter months can be tough for anyone. The winter blues are a REAL thing! It can be especially difficult to entertain little ones this time of year. So, what is a mom to do?!

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It's February.... the month of Loooove! While we typically keep things all about the #momlife here, we know you wear lots of other hats. So, this month we're going to focus on your grown up relationships! :)

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It's no surprise that Our Village had a blast at our play date last month at House of Boom! We host play dates pretty frequently but the ones at House of Boom are extra fun. Play dates are a great way to get out of the house, make new friends, and experience some of the awesome activities offered by the city of Louisville!

It's no secret that one of our favorite Fit4Mom Lou hot spots is House of Boom. They offer 23,000 square feet of fun to explore. It is packed with a variety of activities guaranteed to put a smile on everyones' face. AND... once those flight passes expire and it's time to go home, your kiddos should be prepped and ready for nap time!

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Whether you're there 100% to get your sweat on, you come for some mama socialization time, or you fall somewhere in the middle, these tips will help you maximize your time with us during Stroller Strides.

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This month we are sharing the story of two of our Run Club and Body Back mamas that just crushed their goal of running in the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon! Kirsten Murphy and Lauren Rager have been part of Our Village for over a year and their transformation since has been so inspiring! Thank you to Kirsten for being a guest contributor on the blog this week so we could share your experiences!

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We KNOW how tough it is to stay on track at those Super Bowl parties, Mama! Try bringing something healthy to share so you can fuel up but stay on track with those FIT MOMMY GOALS as well! You can view the full recipe on www.skinnytaste.com!

Servings: 13

Ingredients:

  • 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 9 oz cooked corn, fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 – 2 limes, juice of
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh minced cilantro (or more to taste)
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 1 medium hass avocado, diced
  • 1 diced jalapeno (optional)

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine beans, corn, tomato, onion, scallion, cilantro, salt and pepper. Squeeze fresh lime juice to taste and stir in olive oil. Marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes. Add avocado just before serving.

After you try it, let us know what you think by emailing Cass and Jess at louisville@fit4mom.com!

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Planning my daughter’s birthday parties has always been a struggle. Having your kid’s birthday two days before Christmas means that almost of all your friends hate you for making them bring their child to yet ANOTHER event during the busiest time of year. So I always try to give the parents a little added incentive to come. This year’s bribe: Bring your kids to House of Boom for Addie’s birthday. They will be EXHAUSTED afterwards. In the invitation I literally planted the visualization of an early bedtime and a quiet house. It worked. Everyone came.

The day of the party I was predictably stressed and overwhelmed and ready to snap at anyone in my way. I arrived at House of Boom early to set up, already worried that I wouldn’t possibly have enough time to get everything ready. I saw a sign that said “Party Checkin” and was relieved that I didn’t have to wait behind every kid in town who was out of school for winter break. As soon as I gave my name a series of things started to happen. I heard various people telling other people that the “Party Mom” had arrived and I was promptly introduced to my “Party Hostess.” (Huh? My what? I’m sure there was something about this in the form I filled out online but when you plan your kids birthday party at 1am you tend to overlook the details.) Anyway, my “Party Hostess” was AH-MAZING. She didn’t just show me to my room and then let me know when the pizza was there. She stuffed confetti into balloons, she rearranged tables and arranged them back when I changed my mind, she tied ribbons, hung decorations, filled ice tubs, set tables and even finished the final preparations while I frantically ran home to pick up the birthday girl. Best of all… she cleaned up when we were finished. She actually insisted that we not help her. You guys, I need a Party Hostess for my life.

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Our January Recipe of the month comes from fedandfit.com! We love that it uses husband approved flavors. Try this on a Sunday, paired with some football and you’ve just made your baby daddy the happiest man EVER!

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes

  • 2 heaping cups shredded chicken (crockpot* or rotisserie)

  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion

  • 1/2 cup diced celery (about 1 large stalk)

  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots (about 1 large)

  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon chipotle mayo, divided

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon buffalo sauce, divided (I used Frank’s)

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon drilled dill

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • optional toppings: cubed avocado, fresh parsley, hot sauce

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse sweet potatoes and poke with a fork. Place in oven on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until soft.
  • While the sweet potato bake, heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add coconut oil and let it get hot, about 30 seconds. Add celery and onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots and cook for another 5 minutes. Pour into a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  • When sweet potatoes are cooked, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out most of the inside flesh, except leaving a thin layer so they can maintain their shape. Add the insides into the bowl with the celery mixture.
  • In the bowl, add shredded chicken, 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 hot sauce, and spices. Mash and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Scoop mixture back into shells evenly distributing. Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon mayo and 1 tablespoon hot sauce into a small bowl. Evenly distribute over chicken mixture on sweet potatoes.
  • Turn down oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20 more minutes. Top with toppings of choice or eat as is.
  • Enjoy!

Let us know what you think! Email us at louisville@fit4mom.com!

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We all love (dread) planning our kids birthday parties, right? You know, the hours of time put into brainstorming themes, organizing games and cleaning your house so that 20 messy toddlers can promptly destroy it? Well stress no more, Mama. King Louie’s has the answer to these problems and more.

Last year, after Addison suddenly became more obsessed with Soccer than Princesses, we decided to have her 3rd birthday party at King Louie’s in Middletown. This clean, fun venue is the PERFECT place for a busy Mama to host her kiddo’s big day.

The facility has an upper level with pub seating, flat screen TVs and a balcony which overlooks the field. This is where we ate, opened presents, and hosted the adults.

The kiddos played below with 20 soccer balls we purchased at 5 below ($5 each!) The balls also served as the kid’s party favors which they took home with them! Our guests LOVED the balls and it saved me the time of picking out, purchasing, and stuffing goodie bags. Win-win!

The Management was friendly, easy to work with and willing to accommodate whatever I needed to make my #1 girl’s birthday a success!

Most importantly….she had the best day EVER!

Check out King Louie’s for your little one’s next birthday! Visit their website or contact Stacie Jones (stacie.jones@kinglouiesports.com) for more information.

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If you live in Kentucky, then you know how HUGE college football is! And you also know the EXCITEMENT that comes along with the highly anticipated UofL/ UK game! With the big game quickly approaching it’s time to start shopping for some HOT GAME DAY GEAR!

That’s where LUCY BELLS comes in… They have a variety of T’s to choose from that can be dressed UP or DOWN! These beauties are made straight out of Lawrenceburg, KY which is awesome for us because shipping time will be a breeze!!

You can find them on ETSY at LucyBells2009. Go check them out Mamas!

Disclaimer: The content of this post is for informational purposes only. FIT4MOM Louisville does not make representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog. FIT4MOM Louisville is not being paid or compensated in any way for this promotion.

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If you know anything about me, you know I am OBSESSED with drybar! When we moved to Louisville from San Diego about a year and a half ago and I discovered there was no drybar in town, I literally asked my Husband how he expected me to survive. Finally my prayers were answered and drybar arrived here earlier this Spring. Needless to say I have been there countless times since the opening and believe me, the Louisville bar does not disappoint! Not your typical hair salon, drybar focuses on one thing and does it to perfection: Blowouts. You have to try it to really understand how amazing your hair can look! #Protip: You can bring wine or champagne with you which they will pour to complete the perfect pampering session!

Lucky for you, we are raffling off a complimentary blowout at our FREE STROLLER BARRE PREVIEW on Wednesday, October 5th! *Enroll in class ahead of time to be entered to win.*

Disclaimer: The content of this post is for informational purposes and expresses only the opinion of FIT4MOM Louisville. FIT4MOM Louisville does not make representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog. FIT4MOM Louisville is not being paid or compensated in any way for this promotion.

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We've run through the gauntlet of sports bras for you and we've FINALLY found a winner. The Fiona by Moving Comfort.

You guys...it has everything a Mama needs. Comfort, breathability, enough support even for tatas full of milk, a reasonable price tag and, yes.....velcro straps for breastfeeding Mamas (Can I get an AMEN?!) This sports bra blends comfort and support in a fit that works for nearly any body type. Head to your nearest Dick's, running store or their website today and check one out for yourself.

Disclaimer: The content of this post is for informational purposes only. FIT4MOM Louisville does not make representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog. FIT4MOM Louisville is not being paid or compensated in any way for this promotion.

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Stroller Striding Littles FAVE THINGS- August

If you haven’t already been to STEEL CITY POPS this summer, IT’S A MUST!

Why WE love them- Besides being UBER tasty, these POPS are made with all- natural or certified ingredients. They are even locally- harvested when possible and they are only sweetened with raw, organic cane sugar. Steel City Pops never uses artificial flavors, colors or preservatives! All POPS are gluten- free and vegetarian which is an added bonus! Looking for a new affordable HOT spot for the whole fam in The Ville? THIS is it!

Why our LITTLES love them- What little doesn’t like a tasty treat?! With such great ingredients, Mommy may even let you have two! The littles even get to enjoy watching STEEL CITY POPS being made while they eat inside the beautifully designed shop!

Where YOU can find them- Our nearest location is right here in Louisville but you can also find them in Alabama and Texas! Get in your car or bike and head there NOW!

You can find them at 1021 Bardstown Rd., Louisville, KY 40204.

Check out their website at www.steelcitypops.com for their menu and more! With options such as Cantaloupe, Champagne White Tea, Strawberry Shortcake and Coffee... you and the littles can’t NOT find something you’ll both love!

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Gettin Hot in Herrr.

Its that time of year again when the temps are WAY up. Follow these tips to keep your kiddos safe and cool at Stroller Strides.

  • Magic Cooling Towel: The Magic Cool is a personal cooling cloth designed to be used when personal cooling is needed. Simply wet the cloth with water, wring it out, and wave it in the air. The Magic Cool will cool down rapidly and stay cool as long as fabric is moist. Can be found at Cabelas!
  • Hot and Cold Gel packs: A frozen gel pack wrapped in a dish towel makes a wonderful climate control backrest for your little one. It’s squishy so it is not uncomfortable to lean against and because it is frozen it will keep baby nice and cool without being too cold.
  • Frozen water bottle: Fill a water bottle 3⁄4 of the way and then freeze it while it is partially on its side. Make sure it is on an angle and that the cap end is not totally covered with water. Right before class, fill the remaining space with cold tap water. Your water will remain cold for the duration of class.
  • Ice Towels: Wet a washcloth or dish towel, fold it and place it in the freezer. Before class, fill a ziplock with ice cubes and place your frozen towel inside. During class you can reach for your frozen towel as needed for a cool down, then simply place it back in the ziplock to keep it cold.
  • Clip on fan: You can find a reasonably priced clip on fan to provide a breeze for your little one. They can be found at Wal-Mart for as little as $5.00 or online for around $15.00.
  • Misting Fan: Look for a hand-held misting fan to provide your baby with an occasional spritz of cool water. These can be found at Wal-Mart and Sports Authority.

Stay cool, Mamas. xoxo.

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Our Stroller Striding Littles FAVE thing this month will totally keep you lookin' stylish this summer!

Check out the original MILK SNOB cover!

Why WE love them- They are totally stylish and have lots of fab prints to choose from! Not only do they work as a car seat cover but it can also be used as a nursing combo! They also help shield those pesky summer time bugs! Listen to what Christine (a Stroller Striding Mama) has to say about them!

"I love that the cover goes completely around so nothing shows- when I had Addison the only covers on the market were draped down the front of you, leaving chances for side boob exposure! They also offer cute prints and free shipping."

Why our LITTLES love them- I mean, who doesn't like a little shade from the sun?! We also know the Littles have to love how soft the fabric is on their skin while they are nursing or being bottle fed!

Where YOU can find them- Go to www.milksnob.com to fine these and other amazing stylish products. They are such a great deal at only $36.00 each! We love looking stylish on a budget!

Disclaimer- FIT4MOM Louisville is in no way being paid or compensated for the review or recommendation of these products.

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FIT4MOM LOUISVILLE Presents Our Stroller Striding Littles FAVE THINGS for JUNE!

STROLLER FANS!

Why we love them- Summer has arrived in Louisville, KY and we are feeling the HEAT & HUMIDITY! These fans help keep our littles cooled off during class which makes Mama HAPPY!

Where you can find them- Whether you prefer shopping online or getting out of the house and shopping locally, you’ll have no problem finding these awesome fans! You’re Little will be HAPPY you did so!

Here are our TOP 3 places to find them...

What our FIT4MOM LOUISVILLE MOMS are saying about them-

“We love our fan because it makes me feel at ease knowing my 3 month old is getting some air flow while sitting in her stroller!”

“Couldn’t make it through a summer without one!”

“Love that they make them with soft blades so I know that my little man won’t get hurt if he happens to touch the fan”

Disclaimer- FIT4MOM Louisville is in no way being paid or compensated for the review or recommendation of these products.

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HEY all of you HOT Mama’s… YES YOU! YOU are a HOT MOM!

We know that being a MOM means that we are on FULL TIME DUTY. Some days (let’s be honest- MOST DAYS) we rock dirty hair from the day(s) before and t-shirts stained with go-gurt. You know... the ones that our kiddos absolutely love to eat but then squeeze the rest out onto anything it can touch! BUT... we still want you to feel like a HOT MAMA while you’re ROCKING it on MOM duty!

That’s why we want to start sharing some of our fave products with you each month! You definitely don’t have to LOOK like you have it all together and you sure as heck don’t have to apply a full face of makeup every morning to BE a HOT MOM... but let’s be REAL… sometimes using a new product can make you feel renewed, confident and remind you that YES YOU, are in fact a HOT MOM!

Our June Product of the Month comes from Belle & Rose. A line of products made from 100% all natural ingredients and hand blended in Louisville, Kentucky!

Do you ever feel like your complexion starts to look dull, feel rough or that it just needs a pick me up during the summer months?! We do!!! Which is exactly why we want to share this Raw Honey Face Scrub! One of the ingredients is SEA SALT which is just the right texture to lift and remove those old dead skin cells and reveal that healthy, radiant skin that is hiding underneath! It’s one of those products you will use and walk away from really feeling like your skin just benefited. It also has an amazing LAVENDER aroma which has a calming effect. So make sure those littles are good to go for a few minutes, close that bathroom door and give yourself a few minutes of relaxation with this amazing product. You deserve it Mama...

Disclaimer: We are not Dermatologists but have heard it is best not to exfoliate more than 1-2x a week as you want to give your skin time to renew itself after exfoliation before exfoliating again! FIT4MOM Louisville is not being paid or compensated in any way for this promotion. These are simply products that we love and want to share!

You can purchase this product HERE and if you’re in the Louisville area, use coupon code LOCAL for free local delivery or call (502) 930-2290!

CHEERS to us HOT Mama’s! Have a great rest of the month!