Why I love….

purple crocusThis year, I wanted to add  a few new weekly posts in. I already have Meal Plan Monday, and I try and post freebies on Fridays.  This year, I’ll be adding in Why I Love… on Tuesdays. Each post will have a Talk Back question. I’d love to hear from you to help make my blog more about what you want to learn about and be a part of.

I’ll be sharing products, services, books, whatever I am into at the time. Starting off, I’ll be sharing my love of… The YMCA.

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 11.41.46 AM.pngWe joined our local YMCA two years ago when Bitty Bird was about 6 months old. What drew me to our local Y was all of the incredible options it held:

  • Child care for 2 hours a day while I exercised, took classes, swam, or just went and took a shower.  There is child watch for kids 5 and under, and kids club for bigger kids. Each area has toys, games, and books, as well as a staff that interacts and plays games with the kids. When the weather is nice, the bigger kids go outside to play field games. When it’s cold or wet outside (or crazy hot- come on, this is a desert), the kids get to go into the gymnasium and play games, do obstacle courses. Both kids love to go. I try to go at least 5 times a week.
  • Great fitness classes included in our membership fee.
  • A great pool with an area just for kids.
  • Our membership includes access to all of the YMCA locations in San Diego, and access to YMCA locations across the country if we go on vacation.
  • Guest passes to bring friends.
  • Free classes and events for kids and the family (Our local Y does a free movie night once a month or so).
  • Free local community days- Usually on holidays, our local Y offers the community free access. It’s a great way to bring friends and neighbors to see what the Y is all about.
  • Free guest passes- I can bring friends whenever I want!
  • Low cost personal training and speciality classes. They offer personal training, TRX, and other specialty classes for a low rate. It’s a great way to get a “boost” to my fitness goals and stay on budget. There are also classes for kids: Gymnastics, karate, tumbling, art-pretty much anything they could want!
  • Scholarships and discounts. If you have an EBT card, receive WIC, SSI, or other social services, or you are active duty or retired military, you can qualify for a scholarship (a discount on your monthly dues), or a military discount.

Screen Shot 2018-01-01 at 11.42.45 AM.pngRight now, most YMCA locations are offering deals for the new year.

Join the Y anytime in January and get up to $50 towards any program of your choice! From personal training & swim lessons to summer camps, at the YMCA, there is something for everyone!

For more information and details, contact your local YMCA.

And if you join a San Diego area YMCA, please give my name as a referral: Abby Hewes. I can earn discounts or a free month for referring new members (and once you are a member, you can too!).

I can’t wait to share more about what’s going on in our lives and what we are into.

Talk Back: If you are a member of the YMCA, what is your favorite part?

 

Staying Smooth: Moisturizing & Exfoliating Body Scrub!

Recently I posted a photo on Instagram of some of the body scrub I whipped up. I love making body scrubs, balms, and lotions. Anything I can make at home with all natural ingredients is a plus in my book.

I dislike commercially available scrubs, so often they contain silica or other “micro-beads”. They are often times not biodegradable, and they end up in oceans and streams, harming wildlife.

Screen Shot 2017-08-21 at 9.05.43 PM.pngI got quite a few DM’s asking for the recipe, so I thought I would share it.

All of this stuff I had in my house already, so you may have to go out and grab some ingredients, or just make a few substitutions, depending on what you have on-hand.

I’ve linked to some of the ingredients on Amazon (prices may change, and if you buy something from one of my links, I *might* get a small commission). Then you don’t have to leave home to shop!

This recipe makes A LOT, so, be prepared with a large container with a lid (I used a plastic coffee canister that I sterilized).

 

Moisturizing & Exfoliating Body Scrub

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the liquid ingredients together in a bowl, set aside.
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a second bowl, set aside.
  3. Add wet to dry ingredients slowly, stirring well.
  4. Store in a container with a lid, scoop out with a clean hand (or spoon) into another cup/container as needed.

If mixture feels too wet, add up to an additional 1/2 cup of salt (your choice: sea or table).

If mixture is too dry, add up to 1/2 cup coconut oil.

 

 

Recipe: Oatmeal Mix

file0001801761525.jpg

We love Oatmeal, but most instant oatmeal is full of sugar and isn’t really good for you (no fiber, lots of sugar, mystery ingredients).

Determined to save money and get us to eat better, I set out to concoct a batch of oatmeal mix.  After months of trial and error, here is the final result:

Oatmeal Mix

Makes 40 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients

  • 15 cups old fashioned oats (that’s 1 large canister)
  • 3 2/3 cups nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 cup flax seeds, milled
  • 1 cup Hemp Seeds (I like these)

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the ingredients.
  2. Store in a large air tight container for up to 6 months.

Directions for cooking the mix:

1/2 cup mix to 1 cup water, cook on the stove together until the oats are cooked (2-3 minutes). Or mix together and cook in the microwave for 2 minutes and let stand for a few minutes.

 

Add dried fruit, powdered sweetener, spices/herbs, what have you to make it your own!

New Year’s Resolution #9: Quit Smoking

file000267804564

#9 is a resolution that I don’t really have a lot of into to share, but I figured that I’d try to help!  Some people need help quitting smoking.

I won’t rag on you about how cigarettes are bad for you, so instead I’ll appeal to your monetary side.  Here is a calculator that will let you know how much money you are wasting.

If you want to try the patch or gum, there should be coupons in the Sunday Inserts in January.

And finally, the CDC has some tips here.

Former smokers, how did you kick the habit?

New Year’s Resolution #5 & #6 Exercise & Lose Weight

file000267804564

Throughout December, I’m going to be posting about New Year’s Resolutions. Each post will have tips and tricks to help you navigate through your resolutions to become more successful at all of your frugal endeavors!
The Number 5 & 6 New Year’s Resolutions on most top ten lists are: Exercise and Lose weight.  I decided to tackle both of these at the same times since they can go hand in hand.

I am not a doctor or dietician.  I will share with you what works for my family, but YMMV, and remember to go to the doctor and get the OK before starting to exercise or diet. Seriously.

#5: Exercise without breaking the bank:  Starting in probably 2 weeks, even before January 1st, there will be ads in the paper, magazines, on the internet and of course commercials on TV advertising free 7-day trial passes for every gym on earth.  Take advantage.  If you haven’t worked at a gym in a long time, or are thinking about joining one, Check out a bunch of different gyms and see which one is a good fit for your goals.  BTW, when those free deals go live, you know I’ll be posting them.

If you aren’t a gym person, check out your local parks. Lots of parks in our local area have special walking loops and even fitness stations (Mast Park in Santee has both!). Other parks in San Diego with fitness/exercise stations include: Mission Bay Park,  Embarcadero Parks North & South, Tidelands Park near the base of the Coronado Bridge as you arrive in Coronado, Hilton Head Park in Rancho San Diego, Chollas Lake Park, and Morley Field (near Balboa Park). If your local park doesn’t have a fitness course, play on the jungle gym or go for a walk!

Luckily in So. Cal. we are blessed with pretty good weather, so outdoor exercise is almost always an option. On those extremely rare days where the weather sucks, try indoor mall walking.  I know, it makes me sound like an old lady, but when it’s cold or rainy, I strap the kiddo in the stroller and we walk a few laps over at Parkway Plaza. A few laps around the mall and I’ve gotten almost 4 miles under my belt! There is also a play area where the kiddo can let his energy out while mama recuperates.

Everything seems to go better with a partner in crime- enlist the help of a friend or family member.  Exercise with a buddy.  Go for a walk, look at holiday lights.  Keep each other accountable!

#6: Lose Weight without losing your shirt.  Losing weight doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  Here are some tips, tricks and deals you can use to save while you lose.

Sign up for free websites that can help you be accountable: Spark People is a great site that can help you track your calories and exercise. I also like Map My Run.  It helps you log activities and gives you a rough idea of how many calories you burn when you are active. And you can use it to log all kinds of physical activity, not just running! I also use Achievement– It syncs with your fitness device and you earn points for being active, logging water and food in your device. Points are redeemed for money via paypal.

If you are changing your eating habits, your doctor may recommend that you take vitamins.  And they can be expensive.  Keep your eyes open for sales at the drugstores in January and there will be coupons too!

There will be tons of sales and coupon available in January for healthy foods and supplements!

What are your frugal  tips and tricks for exercise and losing weight?  I’d love to hear from you!