Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

I got some pretty neat news last week:  I've been nominated for a Liebster award!  How cool is that?!

What is a Liebster award?  You might be wondering...

The word liebster is a taken from the German word meaning boyfriend, dearest or beloved and applied to a blog or blogs that another blogger likes. (How many time can I use a variation of the word blog in a sentence?)

Someone likes me?!  Mileage Mama likes me!  Thank you for the nomination!

There are a few rules that come with this nomination:
  • Add the award icon onto your blog
  • link your nominator and say thank you
  • post 11 random things about yourself
  • answer 11 questions from the person who nominated you
  • nominate 11 bloggers (and let them know)
  • post 11 new questions to the bloggers you nominate
Liebster has a thing with the number eleven, huh?

11 random things about me:
  1. I clip and use coupons religiously.
  2. My third dog was an accident.  The dog rescue organization we got our first two from asked me to foster a puppy.  I thought I could do it.  It turns out that I suck at fostering, but I'm really good at adopting.
  3. I hate having useless crap hanging around the house.  My husband collects useless crap.
  4. It really pisses me off when I find a need for my husband's useless crap.
  5. Speaking of husbands, I started dating mine in 1995.  We've been together for more than half of our lives.
  6. I have a birthmark in the shape of Africa on my left foot.
  7. I'll be getting my fifth tattoo in the next couple of months.  I can never be in the CIA because I have too many distinguishable features.
  8. I can't parallel park.
  9. I love my in-laws.
  10. Before my oldest kiddo was born, I would vomit if I saw, heard or smelled vomit.  Over the last 6 years, I've developed a stomach of steel.  Only a parent can clean vomit off the kitchen table, wash their hands and finish eating dinner.  Yes, that happened.  More than once.
  11. In my entire life, I have never been happier than I am right now.

11 questions from Mileage Mama:

Where do you live?  Columbus, Ohio

What do you do for a living?  My husband hates it when I say I'm retired, so I'll say I'm a stay at home mom; CEO of the house.  In my former life, I was a kindergarten and first grade teacher.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?  I'm happy right here.  I have a warm house, great friends and my husband has a good job.  That being said, if there were a place where the temp was 40-70 degrees every day of the year with no humidity and the trees still changed colors in the fall, I'd seriously consider relocating.

Who is your favorite author?  Sandra Boynton.  If you don't have kids or you're not a teacher, you probably have never heard of her.  She's brilliant.  Take my word for it.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?  I had no idea so I had to count.  I have a pile next to my bed with the shoes I wear the most often.  There are 12 pairs in that pile.  Eight of those 12 are running shoes.  After I counted all of the shoes in my closet, I came up with 28 pairs.

If you could live in any historical time period, which would you choose?  I thought about this one for a long time and decided that there isn't a time period I'd choose to live in other than now.  I'm a big fan of modern medicine and technology and heated seats.

How many cups of coffee do you drink on an average day?  I might end up with a lot of unfollows after this: zero.  I love the smell of coffee, but don't care for the taste.  Besides, I'm naturally caffeinated.

What is your biggest pet peeve?  Helplessness.  We all need help every now and then.  The idea is to receive help and learn to do things on our own.  Some people miss that part.

Brussels sprouts: delicious or disgusting?  Delicious when they're raw.  I've never actually tasted them cooked.  I can't get past the smell, so I'll have to say disgusting when they're cooked.

What is your favorite beer?  Or, if you don't drink beer, why not?  I don't like beer.  Again, the smell.  I much prefer martinis.

What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Spinach smoothie with yogurt, frozen cherries, frozen blueberries and chocolate protein powder.

My 11 nominees (in no particular order):
  1. I Can Walk as Fast as You Run
  2. Mommy Run Fast
  3. Running for Dummies
  4. The Unnatural Mother
  5. Run with Jess
  6. One Miles To Go
  7. Happy Fit Mama
  8. Eat, Run, Sail
  9. From Couch to Iron Woman
  10. My (mostly) Healthy Life
  11. Mom Running on Empty

11 questions for my nominees:
  1. What's your favorite reality TV show?
  2. Do you play an instrument?
  3. Have you ever broken a bone?
  4. Are you scared of bugs?
  5. What's your favorite movie?
  6. Do you enjoy cooking?
  7. Do you have any pets?  If yes, how many and what kind?
  8. What is your favorite job?
  9. Are you afraid of the dark?
  10. Have you ever traveled to another country?
  11. If you run, do you enjoy running in the rain?
To my 11 nominees, leave a comment with your answers, or write your own post.  Let me know when it's published.  I want to learn more about you! (If you've already written a Liebster post, send me the link!)

To everyone else, I want to learn more about you too!  Leave me a comment with your answers, or even just a few answers if you don't have time to answer all of the questions.

I look forward to reading about everyone else!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Let the training begin!

Woohoo!  My first half marathon of the year is in six weeks!  It's about time to start training, you think?

It's not as bad as it sounds.  For the past 6 months, I've been running between 20 and 30ish miles a week with my long runs being between 8 and 13 miles.  I'm in good shape.  My "training plan" is pretty much maintenance with speed work.

Speaking of training plan...I don't have one.  Not an official one, anyway.  I searched for training plans online and I couldn't find anything that met my needs.  I don't need a plan that builds from zero, so the ready-made plans from Hal Higdon's website weren't going to work for me and when I put my information into Runner's World's Smart Coach, the plan it spit out involved running 13 miles every weekend for 10 weeks.  What?!  That just didn't sound like a smart thing to do.

I'm left to my own devices, I suppose. (Please note: I am not a running coach.  I am not certified to create training plans.  The only "expertise" I have is knowing what has worked and what has not worked for me in the past.  I am not suggesting to y'all that you should go make up your own training plan.)  I wrote a "plan" that started in January, not because I started training for my half marathon in January, but because I tend to do better when I have a plan and I'm not just winging it every day.  When I go to bed at night, I like to know what I'm doing in the morning.  That's my Type A coming out.  Randy calls me anal retentive.  I call myself prepared.  That's my story...

Since I spent my whole 2012 summer injured, I'm being extremely careful to not cause another sucky injury that will keep me from doing the things I love.  After my hip healed last summer, I've been sure to follow these rules to avoid another injury:
  • I run fast once a week.  Every other day I run at a conversational pace.
  • Every fourth week, I recover.  No speed and I shorten all runs.
  • My long run does not exceed the number of miles I run throughout the week.
  • I have at least one run in the middle of the week that is at least half the distance of my weekend long run.
I got all of these ideas from past training plans and all of the reading I've done on marathon training.  So far, it's worked.  Knocking on wood.

Today marks day 1 of ORRRC half marathon training....aaaaand there is no running on day 1.  Mondays are strength/cross training days.   I'll be sure to kick butt on day 2.

Are you training for anything right now?
Where do you find your training plans?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Heart Disease Awareness Month

Did you know that February is heart disease awareness month?  You did?

Did you also know that heart disease is the number one killer of women?  Yup.  Heart disease kills more women than cancer.  Don't believe me?  Check out the American Heart Association's website.

Told you.

Now, I want to tell you something else...

Two years ago, this month, my sweet little Ellie was in a 3 year old preschool class.  Her teacher, we'll call her Mrs., was amazing and all of the children adored her.  One February morning, I was volunteering at the preschool, it was time to start the day and Mrs. hadn't arrived yet. 

The staff was getting worried as this was completely out of the ordinary for Mrs.  I told the director of the school that I drive past Mrs.' house to get to school and there were no traffic issues that could be holding her up. 

Since I'm on the preschool's substitute teacher list and already in the building, I was asked to sub in Ellie's classroom until Mrs. got there.

Mrs. never made it to school.  One of the people (or maybe it was more than one person) in charge of the preschool went to Mrs.' house and an emergency medical team found Mrs. still in her bed.  She had passed away sometime that morning.

I found out after preschool was over and the kids had all been picked up.  That weekend, I had to talk to my three year old about death.  I'll spare you the details; it was awful.

From what I understand, Mrs. died from arrhythmia, a change in the normal beat of the heart.  When the heart beat changes, the heart doesn't circulate blood efficiently and other major organs suffer and shut down.

There are risk factors for some types of arrhythmias and I believe Mrs. had some, but arrhythmia can occur without warning.

You can read all about arrhythmias here.

Take care of your hearts, friends.  Think of who you'd be leaving behind.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordy Wednesday: Love

Yep, Valentine's Day was last week.  It's old news.  The little ladies had fun parties at school and other than that, it was a normal day.  I received no gifts from my husband.  Not even a card.

It's all good, he received nothing from me, either. 

Not even a card. 

Junior Prom
I think we did the whole "Valentine's Day" thing the first year we were dating and haven't since.  That first Valentine's Day, he had flowers delivered to me at school.  High school.  (Yep, we go way back.)  I was sitting in my eleventh grade anthropology class and in walks a huge box of long stemmed red roses for Jamie.  It was really sweet.  And really embarrassing.

High School Graduation
I'm OK with not celebrating this Hallmark holiday.  I don't want him to buy me nice things and show me that he appreciates me one day a year.  I want it every day!

Love is not one day a year.

Love is every day.

Love is...

...rushing out of work on Thursdays so I can get to my running group on time.

...having dinner ready when he gets home because he's tired and hangry. (Is hangry a real word yet?  It should be)

...laying on my side of the bed at night to warm up the sheets for me.

...turning his clean t-shirts right-side-out before I fold them.

...holding hands.

...getting up with the kids in the middle of the night because he knows how exhausted I am.

...getting up with the kids in the middle of the night because I know how exhausted he is.

...scheduling his night out with the guys to start after the kids' bath time.

...saying "I love you" before hanging up the phone.

...bringing me fresh flowers from the farmer's market every week in the summer.

...every day of the year.

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day?
What does love look like to you?
Anyone else out there a high school sweetheart?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Coconut Oil and Hair Care

I've told you all how much I love coconut oil on my skin.  Several of you even contacted me to tell me that you made some of your own!  Yay! 

I've been testing out coconut oil in my hair, hoping that I could ditch my pricey anti-frizz product.  As I've mentioned before, my hair is curly.  It's very curly and seems to be getting curlier in my old age; some strands are even kinky.  Yes, there's a difference between curly and kinky.  If you asked that question, you obviously don't have curly hair.

If you've met me in person (most of you who read this blog have), you'll know that my hair looks to be a few inches past my shoulders. It might surprise you to hear that my hair is actually a few inches above my waist when I stretch the curls.  Yep.  My curls are about 7 inches longer than they appear, and if I were to let them dry without using any anti-frizz product, they go crazy.  Seriously.  I wouldn't post a picture of that mess.

From what I've read on the great Internet, many people use coconut oil as a hot oil treatment for their hair.  I've read that for best results, treat your hair for 30 minutes three times a week. (Find that information here.)  Smear the coconut oil on your hair and wrap your head in a hot towel.  Leave it on, rewarming the towel as needed for 30 minutes, then wash your hair and style as usual.

I don't know about you, but I don't have an extra 30 minutes three times a week plus time to shower afterward.  Maybe I'll have the time when both kids are in school all day, but for now, I just don't have that kind of time to commit.  As it is, I get up at 4:30am to exercise.  I'm not getting up any earlier to sit with oil on my head for 30 minutes, even if one of my New Year's goals is to focus on my appearance.  There has got to be a better way!

I also found a post on Naturally Curly where a commenter said they smear some coconut oil on their hair after washing and style as normal.  Hmmm....

So I started experimenting.

Day one of applying coconut oil to wet hair and styling as usual led to awesome hair!  I told my husband that I'm never buying expensive hair product again!

Day 2 led to very fluffy, greasy hair.  Not so awesome.

Day 3, more grease.

Time for something new.  I applied the coconut oil after I washed my hair, then rinsed it out a little before towel drying and combing with a detangler.  (I don't use brushes.  Ever.)

Day 1: awesome hair.  GREAT!

Day 2: grease.  Crap.

It appears that there is a such thing as too much of a good thing.

Since then, I've been applying a small amount of the coconut oil and rinsing afterward twice a week as well as using my regular product, but I'm finding that I'm using a lot less of my regular product and my hair looks healthier, all shiny and soft with no frizz.  (I'm pretty sure that was a run-on sentence, but we'll just go with it.)

I was really hoping to ditch the expensive product altogether but, so far, I'm still finding it necessary.  The good news is that I used to use a lot more product and my hair was still on the frizzy side.  I will keep experimenting and if I ever find the perfect technique and can ditch the product altogether, I'll be sure to let you all know.

Anyone else out there with wild curls?
Have you experimented with coconut oil for your hair?  Any tips?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

My little sweeties dropped by to say
Happy Valentine's Day!

We hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Parenting.  It's a loaded topic.

There are times--lots of times--when I'm just not sure if I'm doing this right.  Should I spend more time coddling?  Give them more independence and alone time?  Read more?  Play more?  Less structure?  More structure?

And of course there are plenty of people out there ready to tell me how I should be doing it.

There are the times that if I hear "Mommy" or "why?" or "I'm done pooping!" one more freaking time, I think my head will explode.

Just a few minutes ago, I sent this text massage to my friend Kate:
"Do you ever feel like you say the same f*cking thing over and over and over and over and over..."
To which she replied, "Oh, yes."

Well, thank God I'm not alone.

Then I scrolled through Facebook to see what was happening in the world and I came across a link to this blog post: Toddlers and Teenagers and In Betweens from the blog Katrina Anne Willis.  This is a must-read for parents with small kids.  Katrina is beyond the toddler-and-little-kid-wipe-my-butt stage of parenting and she made it through to the other side with much wisdom.

Go.  Read it.  I'll wait....

Oh my gosh, I think she's talking to me (and you probably think she's talking to you).  It was exactly what I needed to read exactly when I needed to read it.
"Shit survives." 
This one quote made me feel like a better mother than I was 5 minutes before.  There have been lots of days when I haven't been perfect; I lose my patience.  There will be many more.  There have been lots of days when my kids have eaten too much sugar and not enough veggies, there will be many more.  Shit survives.

The second best quote:
"Hang in there. Sleep when you can. Drink when you must."
Drink when you must.  That's what I'm talkin' about!  This crazy life of parenting isn't all rainbows and unicorns.  Most days it's fun, or there are at least a few fun parts of most days.  Some days it sucks.  It's hard.  It's work.  It's messy.  It's loud.  It's constant.

And I love every awful, messy, awesome minute.
Haw can you not love Rambo headbands and piggie pajamas?
Occasionally, there are tiny snippets--slivers of time--that I'd like to bottle. "Mommy, thank you so much for the pizza."  "No, thanks.  I don't want the Eggos.  I like your waffles better."  "You're the best mommy ever."

I must be doing something right...right?

So are you.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Checking in on 2013 Goals

We're into the second week of February; about time to reflect on my 2013 goals and how they're going.  On January 1st, I published this post about the changes I planned to make this year.  I listed both fitness and non-fitness goals and I'm happy to say that I'm off to a good start!

For my fitness goals:
  • definition in my arms ~ I'm well on my way!  The kettlebell challenge gave me a jump start on this.  I will continue to swing the 'bell and increase the weight.
  • less jiggle in the belly ~ The #lovemyabs and the Plank challenges are helping me firm things up in my midsection.  I'm also keeping the sugar consumption "reasonable"...ish.
  • wear my heart rate monitor for one run a week to make sure I keep my effort easy ~  I'm totally rocking this one. Tuesday is my "heart rate" day.  I wear my heart rate monitor for my Tuesday morning runs and I keep my heart rate below 70% of maximum.  It usually ends up being around 64%.  I only forgot to wear the heart rate monitor one time so far but I made sure to keep the run easy that day and I'm sure, had I been wearing the monitor, it would have shown that my heart rate was below 70%.
After my original New Year's Day post, I added another goal: I'm going to be brave and try new things in 2013 (this can apply to the fitness world as well at the rest of my life).  I became an ambassador and registered for the Pretty Muddy Women's Run.  The Columbus event will take place on September 14.  Anne and I formed a team, Powerful in Pink. If anyone would like to run with us, register for the 9am wave.

I also gave trail running another shot.  It was snowy and slippery and cold and so much fun!  I can't wait to do it again.  See what happens when I get brave?  Although I do suspect my bravery will come to a temporary hault when the bugs come out in the spring.  Ew.

Now, my non-fitness goals:
  • play more games ~ I'm on it!  The girls and I play games 5 or 6 days a week.  They've learned to play Connect Four, Sorry, Dominoes and Uno.  Aleena is good at Uno and beats me every time we play. 
  • make an effort with my appearance ~ this one is slow-going.  I do wear a necklace most days, I put on "real" pants (not yoga pants) almost every day and I wore make up at least 5 times in January.  Better than the 3 times I wore makeup (each month) in 2012.
    • learn to accessorize ~  I'm working on it.  My friend, Andrea, who is very fashionable, came with me to an accessory store, but I was still very overwhelmed with the amount of stuff in the store.  Plus, when we went, it was close to dinner time and really, who can concentrate on accessories when there is food to be eaten?! 
    • show my eyebrows some love ~ I have plucked my brows 4 times since January 1st.  Go me!
    • buy shoes that are not sneakers or running shoes ~ I haven't gotten to this yet.  I've tried, really, I have, but didn't find anything.  I will keep looking.  I promise.

I think this year is off to a pretty good start.  Thanks to all of YOU for holding me accountable.  I can't ditch my goals when I have an audience. ;-)

Let's discuss:
How is your 2013 going?  Are you on your way to making your goals?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Swing in the New Year: Recap

Aww, the kettlebell challenge is over now, but the results are staying!

For the entire month of January, I used my kettlebell for at least 30 minutes, usually it was 40 minutes, three times a week.  I used the Swing Yourself Fit DVD that came with my kettlebell most of the time.  I liked that I wasn't standing still performing repetitions of the same moves every workout.  The DVD incorporates cardio, some dance, both upper and lower body moves and lots of badassery.

If you already have kettlebells, you can purchase the DVD that I've been using here.  Gin Miller is a great trainer.  She starts each set with beginner moves and adds on for a more advanced workout.  She cracks jokes and makes fun sound effects to keep the workout interesting.  Also, Gin looks like a "normal" woman.  She has hips and boobs.  She's not a twiggy telling all of us fattys how to get her body.  I also love that she's very fit but wears a full length shirt.  I don't know about you, but I don't need rock hard abs in my face to remind me of what I don't have...yet.  Thank you, Gin.  I can't say enough good things about Gin, her DVD or the kettlebell.

Why do I love the kettlebell?
It's fun! Plus, swinging heavy weights around is pretty badass.  I'm not a "sit still" type person (no kidding?) and I love all of the moving around I can do with the kettlebell that I can't do with my weight machine or even hand weights.  I really, really love that the 12 pound bell is getting to be too light for some exercises.

Changes I've noticed
First of all, my arms have more definition and my shoulders are firmer.  Gallons of milk (the heaviest thing I lift) at the grocery store feel lighter than they did in December.  Through the month of January, my arm measurement went up half of an inch and my waist measurement went down an inch and a half.  SCORE!

I am definitely keeping up with the kettlebell.  It will be part of my weekly training plan from now on.

If you look above this post, you'll see a Kettlebell Exercises tab.  I posted all of the kettlebell exercises that I've shared throughout the month and I'll continue adding to the list anytime I encounter awesome new moves so keep checking back.  Also, if you know of an awesome kettlebell exercise that I'm not doing yet, please fill me in!

Happy swingin'!

Let's discuss:
Do you love the kettlebell?  Why?
What are your favorite kettlebell exercises?
If you haven't tried using a kettlebell yet, what are you waiting for?!
I was not asked to review Gin Miller's Swing Yourself Fit DVD, nor was I compensated in any way.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Coconut Oil Body Butter

Several weeks ago, I came across a pin on Pinterest for homemade coconut oil body butter.  I followed the link and it led me to The Nourished Life blog.  I've been hearing a lot about coconut oil and was very interested in this post and several others that she has written about the benefits of using coconut oil for skin care.

I have several dry, itchy, eczema-like patches of skin on the backs of my legs and on my buns.  I constantly apply lotion, but after an hour or so, I'm itchy again.  Randy makes fun of me because I'm constantly scratching my butt cheeks.  It was getting to be a serious problem. (I know, total, TMI, but when I mentioned my issue to one of my friends, she said she has the same issue!  Maybe one of you out there has it too?)  I was curious whether or not coconut oil would help me.

Elizabeth from The Nourished Life was kind enough to post a tutorial of how to make coconut oil body butter.

The things you'll need:
  • stand or hand mixer
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
  • essential oil for fragrance (I didn't use any added fragrance)
Elizabeth's tip: don't use a blender or food processor.  The motor heats the oil too much and it won't whip.

I cut this recipe in half.  I didn't know if I would like it, so I didn't want to make too much and be stuck with it.  I dropped the coconut oil and vitamin E into my stand mixer and let it whip for a few minutes.
Some strange things I noticed: coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, but it melts very easily at body temperature.  As I scooped the coconut oil out of the jar and it melted on my hands, my skin felt greasy. This was mildly alarming as I don't want greasy skin, but after a few minutes, it was completely absorbed and there was absolutely no greasy feel.  None.
I applied the coconut oil body butter for the first time as soon as it finished whipping.  Right there in the kitchen, I pulled my pants down and lathered myself up.
It. Was. Heavenly.
I wasn't itchy anymore.  The scaly, dry patches were gone.  I was left with smooth skin.  When I told Randy my exciting news, he replied, "Smooth butt-skin?!  That's great!"  Smartass.
A few days later, I ran out of my usual face moisturizer (that costs me $20).  Hmm, I wonder....
I took a little self-convincing, but I tried the coconut oil body butter on my face.  I figured I'd give it a day or so, if the skin on my face completely freaked out, I'd go back to buying the expensive stuff.
My face loves this stuff!  My skin is clearer and smoother than it was while using the expensive stuff and it only has two ingredients--both of which I can pronounce!  I can't say that about the $20 stuff.
Folks, we have a winner.
The nourished Life also has a post about using coconut oil on your face.  Read it here.  She did research, I'm just winging it.
As I read more about using coconut oil, I'm coming up with more ideas for it.  For instance, I have very curly hair.  Some strands are coarse and kinky, some strands are soft ringlets.  All of it tends to frizz.  Yep, I was blessed with all kinds of hair issues!  I'm currently in "test mode" with coconut oil in my hair.  I haven't found the right application strategy just yet, but I'm getting closer.  Stay tuned...
Let's discuss:
Have you ever tried coconut oil?  On your face?  In your hair? 
If yes, do you love it?
If not, will you?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Pad Thai (and Other February News)

Who loves pad Thai?  I do, I do!

This is not a recipe I made up.  I stumbled upon it when I searched for recipes with chicken and bean sprouts at and it was so good that I didn't have (or want) to tweak it in any way.

First, I want to talk about fish sauce.  The recipe calls for 6 tablespoons, which sounds like a lot.  I had people gagging on Facebook with my talk of fish sauce.  When I opened the fish sauce, I took a whiff...and gagged.  I thought to myself, "Crap.  This is going to suck.  Maybe I should put less in?"  I'm glad I stuck to the recipe.  When I mixed all of the sauce ingredients together, there was absolutely no disgusting fishy smell.  The end product tasted nothing like fish.  It only tasted delicious.

Friends, don't be afraid to try new things, and don't be afraid to try recipes with ingredients that you already know you don't like.  Had I completely dismissed the fish sauce, I would have missed out on the fantastic flavor of this dish.

You're not a cook?  Me either.  At least, I wasn't.  One year ago, this month, my husband got a promotion that changed his work hours so he couldn't do any of the cooking for dinner.  I totally freaked.  I hated cooking.  It was hard and I sucked at it and it was the least enjoyable part of my day.  Less enjoyable that potty training the kiddo!  I'd rather wipe butts than cook.  There.  I said it.

Now, cooking is more enjoyable.  I've gotten better, I'm faster and I've gotten brave enough to put my own spin on some recipes.  So all of you non-cooks out there: give it a try!  Practice makes better.

Here you go: you have got to make Joe's Fusion Chicken Pad Thai.

What have YOU been cooking up lately?  I've made this twice now, once with chicken and once without.  It's just awesome.


Happy February!  I'm participating in lots of February Challenges.  I want to share the fitness challenges with you.

I already told you about Anne's Fit February Challenge, but here's a reminder if you haven't joined yet.

Who loves planks?  Not me, which is why I joined Kim's Plank a Day Challenge.  I will plank for at least one minute every day.

Yesterday, I was invited to join Denise's Love My Abs Challenge.  We did this last year for Valentine's month and she brought it back this year.  I've been focusing a lot on working my abs, especially with the kettlebell, I'm totally in for this one.  If you join, be sure to tweet with the hashtag #lovemyabs.

I find that monthly challenges keep me honest and the other challengers hold me accountable.  I've also been introduced to lots of great new exercises in past challenges.  I'm all about trying new things!

Do you like monthly challenges?
Will you join any of these February Challenges?