Unique and Green Christmas Gifts for Kids

by Tiffany in Green Holidays

There are lots and lots of green toys on the market. I have posted about hundreds of options over the years and I have a constantly updated Green Christmas Gift Guide that highlights many of them. I like green toys from small family owned businesses and I like to support the larger companies who happen to make sustainable toys. More and more though I look for things that are unique and not likely to be found on any bestseller list on Amazon. Here are some of the gems I found this year at one of my favorite stores…Magic Cabin.

Ice Cap Game – Kids love games and this is one is especially cute but I like it because it may just be a great primer to teaching even the littlest ones about climate change. Players must balance some polar cuties (whales, bears, seals) on a precarious glacier, being careful not to upset the stack. Made of eco-friendly beechwood!

Gingerbread Baking Kit – Made of felt and oh so cute…much better than the crap plastic toys from Walmart that get squished and tossed in a month or cause kids to lose interest because they are so fake looking.

Cloth Baby Dolls – These are of Swedish design and made of cloth. I love that they are weighted to make them more realistic, like holding an actual baby. They are just flippin adorable too. I love their clothing and the fact that they can suck their thumbs. These are classic.

And if you need a bottle for them…

Toadstool Solitaire – Maybe I am just big on games. I love this unique and whimsical take on a classic game! This Mouse and Cheese solitaire is equally awesome.

Pan Drum – Okay so this has a special place in my heart because I played the pans in a orchestra once upon a time. This pint sized steel drum would be perfect for little music lovers.

Build Your Own Magnetic Vehicles – We love magnetic blocks in this house and build your own wooden cars. This concept kind of combines the two. So simple and yet so fun.

Paint Your Own Russian Dolls – My little girl is getting a bit big for dolls for these she would totally love! You get a nifty suitcase, paints, and three ceramic dolls.

Hope this post gives you some fresh gift ideas for the holidays!!


Go Green Get Fit – Week Four

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

I’m one of 30 bloggers participating in the 12-week Go Green, Get Fit Challenge as part of the EcoMom Alliance Sustain YourSelf™ Program presented by PlanetShoes.com. This is my week four update, you can read about week three here.

The temperature outside reached scorching last week and that impacted my workouts. I also took time off for the 4th and don’t regret a minute of it. In fact, I had so much fun I am repeating it this week. Also a factor is the fact that my local CrossFit box has fewer available classes because we have a member who qualified to compete in the 2012 CrossFit Games. Woot! Many of the coaches and members are traveling with him to LA to cheer him on and that will effect this week’s schedule and some of next week. I plan to kick back and watch the games on TV.

On Monday the warm up was 2 rounds down and back for each with 5 pushups and ten situps between each exercise… Samson lunges, bear crawl, spidey lunges, plank walks. Skill was 3×3 dips on the bar. Strength was 5 rounds tempo dips and 6 DB bent over row (40 lbs). WOD was 21-15-9 dips, air squats, and DB bent over row.

On Tuesday my hubby went golfing so no gym time for me.

On Wednesday we all drove up to my parent’s house for the holiday. I also had no desire to do any of the insane “Freedom” workouts that many boxes were hosting. I actually saw one that lasted 4 hours! I like exercise but I have no desire to fry myself.

Thursday and Friday were spent sleeping in, taking my son fishing, going out to eat, seeing movies with my folks (Spiderman, Magic Mike), and going to garage sales.

Saturday I returned home but not in time for the Olympic Lifting class so I did a workout at home using Power Body: Kettlebell Bootcamp with Angie Miller. This time I used the 15 pound Kettlebell that the DVD recommends. I sweat up a storm even though I was in the A/C.

Sunday I did a Kettlebell workout using the Body Sculpting with Kettlebells for Women book. I have mentioned before how much I love this book so I think it is time to stop borrowing it from the library and actually buy it. I did two sets of the Gold Program, Week 1, Day 1. Warmup, rack squats, Push Press, Double Arm Overhead Swings, Backward Lunges w/Pass, Bent Over Row, Pushups, and Russian Twists.

I had a question from a Facebook friend when I posted one of my workouts via Daily Mile. She asked what weight kettlebells I use when I workout. Well, it depends on the moves and reps actually. If I am doing two handed exercises with few reps I go for a 25-35 pounder. Two handed with lots of reps I go for a 20 pounder. So if the workout calls for 50 reps then I will go heavy. If I will end up doing 100 reps or more then I go lighter. For workouts where the moves are kind of complex (aka one legged poses and figure eights) and for those that focus on one arm, I will go lighter… say 15-20 pounds and I may have one in each hand.

How did your workouts go this week?


Go Green Get Fit – Week Two

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

I’m one of 30 bloggers participating in the 12-week Go Green, Get Fit Challenge as part of the EcoMom Alliance Sustain YourSelf™ Program presented by PlanetShoes.com. This is my week two update, you can read about week one here.

Last week I managed to get to CrossFit class three times. I was all set to go four times but on the eve of the fourth class my husband emailed me to let me know he had a meeting at work so I had to stay home with our kids. On Friday morning I got a flat tire and missed my swimming class. Ugh, sometimes the universe throws me some curve balls.

At any rate I went over Monday’s workout in my previous post but here are the rest:

Tuesday: Warmup was 8 rounds EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) – situps, pushups, planks. Skill was 5 rounds of dumbbell push press (I used 20 lb DBs) and ring rows. Our daily test was 3×2 minute calorie rows. I got a 23-24-22. The WOD was 10-1 ring rows and dumbbell push press followed by a half mile run. 10-1 basically means that the first set you 10 and 10, then the second set you do 9 and 9 until you get down to 1. I knew the WOD in advance so I brought my iPod for the running which made it fly by.

Wednesday: Warmup was 2 rounds 100m run, squats, 100m row, spidey lunges, supermen, pushups, and ring rows. The daily test was 2 rounds timed shuttle/suicide runs. The WOD was 8 rounds Tabata for each exercise: Rowing, mountain climbers, medball slam, and jumping lunges.

Friday: The flat tire incident spurred me to do a workout at home. I bought Power Body: Kettlebell Bootcamp with Angie Miller on Amazon Instant Video and then streamed it to the Roku in my bedroom. It’s an awesome workout DVD! I used a 20lb Kettlebell that I bought this week and it was very challenging at that weight. I can see why the instructor recommended a 15 pound Kettlebell or lighter. It has many moves I had never seen before and it was nice to change it up plus I was absolutely drenched in sweat by the end of the workout!

I also plan to add a medicine ball to my at home equipment. Jackie Lee at Mom Strong recently shared a link on Facebook to this medicine ball interval workout on the Pumps & Iron blog and it has me excited to give it a whirl. So far I have only been able to find a 6 pound ball locally and I want at least a 12 pounder so I guess I need to order it.

This week might be a lazy one. I did get to CrossFit this morning but I am off to Detroit tomorrow morning for three days courtesy of Ford Motor Company. I am attending their Further with Ford event and I will get to meet up with some bloggy friends while I am there. I may or may not hit up the gym at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn. Their web site says they have free weights so I think I will print up some dumbbell workouts and take them just in case but it depends on how late the nights are because the mornings are pretty darn early as it is, without squeezing a workout in.

Anyway, I leave you with the workout song of the day. Have a fantastically fit week!


Herb Scissors – A Super Helpful Kitchen Gadget

by Tiffany in Healthy Eating

A few weeks back I finally got a pair of the herb scissors that were calling to me on Amazon. They are only $10 and I use them quite often for cutting herbs quickly and with less chance of hacking my fingers off. Since I cook at home every night, anything that shaves some time off the process while still allowing me to cook good, healthy meals is welcome in my kitchen. I think need to update my Real Foods Kitchen post and add these nifty scissors in fact.

They make it easy to cut, chop, or mince most herbs into nice small strips and then you can easily add cilantro to your tacos, green onions to your sweet and sour soup, and fresh rosemary to that baked chicken. They are made of stainless steel and can go in the dishwasher afterwards. Easy peasy!

Also pictured: Core Bamboo Over-The-Sink 2-in-1 Cutting Board


Creating a Relaxing, Healthy Spa Experience at Home

by Tiffany in Beauty

Creating a Relaxing, Healthy Spa Experience at HomeI was playing around with my Polyvore account tonight and decided I wanted to go upstairs after a grueling day and relax in the tub. Then I thought it would be nice if I had a whole spa experience at home while I was at it. Alas it is not to be with kids under foot but I can plan for when hubby is home and I can make my escape for an hour uninterrupted right? I think so. I clipped these items with Polyvore and made a quick collage.

Soi Candle – Rosemary Lavender – A totally yummy, eco friendly, soy based candle that smells divine!

Pure Fiber Organic Knit Bathrobe – Or maybe I just need to grab one of those hotel bathrobes. They are always so wonderful!

Green Apple Age Defying Gift Bag – Organic beauty products fit for a spa.

Ancient Minerals Magnesium Bath Fakes – Soak in all important magnesium and relax those sore muscles.

Organic Fiji Coconut Oil Soap – Coconut soap is soothing and gentle.

Yogi Tea – Rest & Relax – I am not much of a tea drinker but I like Yogi teas and they work!

Deep Forest: Spa Music: MP3 Download – Gotta have mood music…

Hitachi Magic Wand – Generally considered to be the best personal massager out there.

Orange Blossom Water – Renowned for its soothing, softening and refreshing properties.

What is on your spa at home wishlist??