Keeping Your Family Fit and Fabulous While Vacationing

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Hello Night Owls! Long time, No see! Anywho, for those who didn’t know, January is Fit Families Lifestyle month! We here at LoaNO were lucky enough to catch the eye of the talented and beautiful Kendra Thornton, Travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3 (per her Twitter :-) ) She was kind enough to send us a wonderful piece to share with you all!! Be sure to check her out on Twitter and tell her that Life of a Night Owl sent you!!Image

Also remember to life our Facebook for a chance to be entered in our giveaway at 250 fans!

Keeping Your Family Fit and Fabulous While Vacationing

I’m lucky enough to be the mom of three, incredible children. Their energy levels keep me on my toes and it’s important for me to be able to keep up with them. As a result, I work really hard to stay fit and strong enough to never fall behind, which suits my daily mantra of “Feel good–look great.” Even throughout vacations, I never allow my exercise routine to slack. In honor of this month’s theme of Fit Family Lifestyles, I would like to impart advice regarding how I stay active while on vacation.

Pre-compensation:

Easily the most crucial aspect that is associated with staying fit even while on vacation is planning. Vacations are a time when people tend to spoil themselves by eating foods that they would usually not indulge in. This is totally okay. Not indulging in such treats tends to leave people feeling grumpy and deprived, so to avoid this, just exercise more and eat less before you go on vacation. This will pre-compensate for any extra calories consumed while travelling.

Avoid Over-snacking:

Another important factor to consider while on vacation is the amount of food consumed via snacking. It’s normal to get hungry during the day, but when you’re travelling, there aren’t a lot of healthy options that don’t contain an excess of empty calories. Plan ahead and figure out exactly when you’re going to be hungry and pack accordingly. Pack healthy snacks that don’t have a lot of calories.

Sneakers Forever!

Regardless of where you’re going, it’s important to bring a comfortable pair of shoes that will allow navigating the area that is being visited with utmost comfort while on foot. This will also allow a traveler to get in a good workout while walking. If the vacation seems to involve a great deal of sitting, having your sneakers will take away any excuse you have to not go for a run.

Make Sure Everyone is Well-Rested

One of the best ways for an entire family to stay healthy while vacationing is to make sure that everyone gets enough sleep. This can easily be achieved by sticking to a normal bedtime schedule for the little ones, as well as bringing items from home, such as blankets and stuffed animals, that will make the new bed feel like home and therefore make it much easier to sleep.

Put Fitness in Your Vacation

The easiest way to stay active while on vacation is to simply schedule activities that involve physical activity, such as hiking, swimming, biking, or canoeing. These activities will be enjoyable for all members of the family. It takes minimal planning to keep the entire family fit and fabulous while travelling. I sincerely hope that you find these tips helpful and would love to hear about any other ideas that you come up with!

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Thanks for reading guys! Be sure to check out http://www.gogobot.com/, an awesome travel site, and Kendra’s inspiration for Fit Family Lifestyles!!

Much Love

~Ashley<3

Hello Sweet Internet!!

Hey guys!!! So sorry for the hiatus! My internet was down for a bit there!

As most of you know I started a cleanse on the first. The next day my internet went down in turn making my daily posts a little difficult :-( But on a positive note, I have lost 10lbs since then and have also discovered that I am possibly gluten intolerant. Yay me >.< lol

Anywho, I will be posting an overall review of my 30 day cleanse at the end as I have already missed two weeks :-/ I will however, post recipes that I really enjoyed and some of my fitness routines! Much love and if anyone would like more info on the cleanse or would like to join in on the healthy wagon check out the website here!!

~Ashley<3

Transform 30 Day 1

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Hello all!!! Sorry for the absence. Things have been pretty crazy on my end! Got a job, lost said job, and with the holidays it’s been quite a mad house! Anywho! For those who have been following for a while, you may have seen my previous post regarding Juice Plus, a whole food nutrition supplement. While the capsules themselves have amazing health benefits, Juice Plus has just launched a new program called Transform 30. It is a 30 day challenge designed to greatly improve your overall health, including helping with weight loss. It has had so much success over the last several months all over the world including the UK and Canada. The program is quite simple to follow as well. You begin each day by taking your Juice Plus Trio capsules or gummies. You then replace breakfast and lunch with a Juice Plus Complete shake (You can also have a salad with lunch) and for dinner you eat as normal, with a few exceptions. During the 30 day program, you will eliminate wheat and dairy from your diet as well as limiting your sugar intake. You also want to try to limit yourself to plant protein vs animal protein. Upon joining the program, a packet is emailed to you outlining the do’s and don’t’s as well as several recipes. If you or someone you know has a resolution to lose weight or just improve their overall health, feel free to contact me for more info!

I just finished day one :-) I will be updating daily, or at least trying to! haha as well as, upon completion I will be posting my before and after pictures and measurements. 

 

So with out any further adieu! 

Here is my day one!

For breakfast I had a delicious shake that consisted of one scoop (about 1/3 cup, each order of complete comes with a scoop) of vanilla shake mix, a spoonful of flax seeds, 1/4 of an avocado, about 1C kale, 1 banana, a ninja blender boost packet (called NBB from now on!), 1/2C Rice Milk, and ice. It was pretty good, but I think I need more liquid next time as it was a little grainy. 

Lunch was a bowl of steamed and sauteed veggies with garlic and a shake with one scoop of the chocolate shake mix (OMG it smells like hot cocoa powder!!!), 1 banana, 1C Rice Milk, and ice. This was amazing!!! I think I may add one more banana next time to balance out the flavor a little bit more. I also had a cup of green tea with lemon. 

Dinner was AMAZING!!!! I made three bean chili from the T30 packet. It has garbanzo, red kidney, and black beans. It was fantastic! I tweaked the recipe a little. It called for green bell peppers, but I added jalapenos instead (just a lot less than called for!) as well as added some corn :-) 

look upon the amazingness!! <3

look upon the amazingness!! <3

Be sure to bookmark this page for when they invent Smell-O-Puters, ’cause this smells HEAVENLY! 

Looking forward to my shake tomorrow! :-)

I hope everyone had a safe and fun New Years and I look forward to sharing my journey with you all!!

Much Love

~Ashley<3

Long time no see, you guys!

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Hey guys, sorry for the long absence. Life got in the way.

I started a new job back in September as a demonstrator at Costco. You know, when you go to Costco you see those lovely people giving out samples? Yeah, that’s me! So happy to be working, even if it is only part-time.

Unfortunately, I busted my foot so I can’t work now. About 3 weeks ago I went out walking so I could do some errands while my boyfriend was at work (sucks not having a license, even if I did, we only have one vehicle so it wouldn’t have mattered at the time). On this walk, I managed to pull (possibly tear, I don’t know, I have an appointment Wednesday to find out more) some tendons and/or muscles in my left foot. So now I’m in a walking boot and it’s not seeming to get better, hence the appointment on Wednesday. I’ll update when I can about how it’s going.

On top of being injured, I got super sick. Ended up in the emergency room a little over a week ago with dehydration, mild ileus (my G.I. tract slowed way down causing my stomach to not empty as fast as it should, meaning vomiting when ever I ate), and gastritis. Top it off, I ended up getting an ear and sinus infection, that of which I didn’t realize I had until it was too late, which ended up causing a ruptured ear drum in my left ear, so now I’m partly deaf until it goes away with antibiotics. Hopefully they help, I don’t want to have to see another doctor.

While all of this is happening, I can’t work. 2 months at my new job, and I can’t work. It’s very frustrating. At least I have a loving and caring boyfriend who is doing everything he can to make sure I get better, keep our home clean, and working. I can’t express how much I love him for everything he’s done for me, and for us, the last couple of weeks. Also, I have an amazing group of friends. Many of them stop by to see if I need anything, to check up on me, or just to hang out because I can’t really go anywhere at the moment. At least not on my own, so I’m stuck at home all day.

Since I’m home all day for god knows how long, I’m trying to teach myself French. There’s a story behind why, but that will come in time. With many more updates for that and why I’m learning French in the next couple of months, hopefully. So we’ll see how that goes.

Enough about me, I have a question for you guys.

How would an author (famous or not) describe you? The way you talk? Your mannerisms? The way you dress? How would an author describe you as a character in a book? This doesn’t necessarily mean how you look. Think of who you are as a person. Would you be the protagonist, or the antagonist of the book? Would you be popular, or would you be a background character?
Leave your answers in the comments! Or for more fun, write a brief (say, no more than 600 words) introduction of your “character” and send it to us. I’ll post them as I get them (assuming they are appropriate for all ages). I would love to hear what you guys come up with, and I’ll even (with some careful thought) post my story introduction for you guys to read.

And thank you guys so much for just reading our stuff. Knowing we’re not just posting to a non-existent audience is awesome. Knowing we actually connect with people outside of our small group of friends and family is even better! You guys rock!

Sylvia

Homemade Salsa From Scratch!!!

YAY!!! Finally another healthy post! xD It’s been a while since I’ve had any good from scratch recipes that are…*a-hem* (large finger quotes) “good-for-you” (end large finger quotes)

So I decided to make some salsa from scratch. Why salsa? Because salsa is amazing and apparently it’s A LOT cheaper to make your own!! I spent a whole $2.48 and made about XXoz of salsa! Plus it’s way easy and I for one love being able to know for sure what’s in my food :-) (P.S. Any of our WA state followers, be sure to vote YES on 522!!)

Anywho, All you need is

Homemade Salsa

2 large tomatoes, 1 small white onion (I used half a large onion), 1 jalapeno, juice from a whole lime, 1 or 2 garlic cloves, cilantro (i used probably about 1/4 cup) and seasoning to taste.

Homemade Salsa

Add everything to the blender

Homemade salsa

And blend to your desired consistency :-) (not the most appetizing pic now that I see it blown up….)

It was really quite satisfying :-)

 

I would love to know if any of you try it!!

 

Much Love!!

~Ashley<3

No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars!

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Hey all!!! Sorry For the long delay in posts. For those who don’t know, I have recently relocated (once again) to Washington State from Florida. It’s been quite a full load!! Got a little (ok a lot) lax with my workouts, but am planning on starting up a couple new challenges once I get moved in to my own place! In the mean time I’ve been trying to at least do a few push-ups, squats, and crunches in the meantime as to not get rusty :-) I also found a great kettle-bell workout! It’s killer on the arms, legs, and core!

500-rep-kettle-bell-workout

Hope you enjoy! Be sure to check out Pumps and Iron for some more fun stuff!!

But onto the main event!!

No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars!

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So Good! So Easy! And sooooo for a cheat day or party!! haha but seriously it’s fantastic and easy. It’s a great recipe to cook with kids due to its simplicity!

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Just start with 1 cup of melted butter

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Add 2 cups of crushed graham crackers (or crumbs)

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Then add 2 cups of powdered sugar

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And finally 1 1/2 cups of creamy peanut butter

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Give them a nice mix (you can also use a food processor to achieve a smoother texture. I liked that the graham crackers were still a little crunchy)

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Then smooth the mixture into a lightly buttered 9×13 (This is what I used, but I think a smaller dish such as a 9×9 would work for a thicker bar)

For the topping

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Use 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter

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and about 10oz of chocolate (crushed, crumbled, chips, or otherwise broken up)

I missed this step so here's a cute pic of my dog sleeping :-)

I missed this step so here’s a cute pic of my dog sleeping :-)

Melt it in the microwave for about 1 min (continue to heat in 10 sec increments if it needs more time)

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Spread it as evenly as possible on top of the peanut butter mixture.

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Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, cut, and enjoy!!

 

I hope you all like it and would love to know if you give it a try!

 

~Ashley<3

 

Crockpot Apple Butter!

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Our readers from the south most likely know exactly what I’m talking about! (And maybe our readers up north! haha) But for those who are looking at the title and scratching their heads, Apple butter is a highly concentrated form of apple sauce, produced by long, slow cooking of apples with cider or water to a point where the sugar in the apples caramelizes, turning the apple butter a deep brown. The concentration of sugar gives apple butter a much longer shelf life as a preserve than apple sauce. It’s great on fresh biscuits, toast, pancakes, waffles, saltines/crackers, and really just about anything you want. And the kicker?

It’s so easy!!

Start with about 5-15 apples, any type

I used Red Delicious because that's what I happened to have, but playing with your varieties can give you different flavors!

I used Red Delicious because that’s what I happened to have, but playing with your varieties can give you different flavors!

Then peel,

I prefer to use my pampered chef Apple-Peeler-Corer-Slicer, but it is in a box in the garage! lol

I prefer to use my pampered chef Apple-Peeler-Corer-Slicer, but it is in a box in the garage! lol

But the potato peeler is awesome too

But the potato peeler is awesome too

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Core and chop

They look like potatoes!

They look like potatoes!

Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and honey (or your choice of sweetener)

I used probably about 3-5 tbsp of cinnamon (add more or less per your preference) a few sprinkles of each nutmeg and cloves, and maybe 3 tbsp of honey. Flavor to your liking!

I used probably about 3-5 tbsp of cinnamon (add more or less per your preference) a few sprinkles of each nutmeg and cloves, and maybe 3 tbsp of honey. Flavor to your liking!

Then put on low for at least 5 hours.

I forgot to get a pic of this step so here's my brother's Bearded Dragon, Gamera :-)

I forgot to get a pic of this step so here’s my brother’s Bearded Dragon, Gamera :-)

Then blend to your chosen consistency

Here's where an immersion blender comes in handy!!

Here’s where an immersion blender comes in handy!!

Let cool and enjoy!!

 

I absolutely love this recipe and in a mason jar, makes a great gift for the holidays!

I hope you all enjoyed! If you try it, let me know how it turns out!!!

Foozy caterpillar ish foozy

Foozy caterpillar ish foozy. As my dad found out the hard way, DON’T PICK THESE ONES UP!!! 

Good Night and Much Love!

~Ashley<3

Inside-Out Caramel Apples!

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Hello all! Sorry for the hiatus, I’ve been super busy going through my stuff in storage! Also been spending some time with a good friend of mine who just had twins!!

Avory (left) and Kaylie (right) only a few minutes old!

Avory (left) and Kaylie (right) only a few minutes old!

Miss Kaylie at two weeks :-)

Miss Kaylie at two weeks :-)

Miss Avory at two weeks

Miss Avory at two weeks

They are growing up fast already ^_^ I also had the pleasure of going to 98Rock’s Big Night Out in St. Pete with my dad. That was a lot of fun…except we got rained out and didn’t get to see the last two bands lol but I got to meet Alien Ant Farm, so it was a pretty successful day I’d say!

Big Night Out 2013

Big Night Out 2013

My self with Alien Ant Farm

My self with Alien Ant Farm

With a human advert for the band SnapM

With a human advert for the band SnapM

 

It was a lot of fun actually!! haha A quick update, I’m down to only 60lbs from my goal weight and back in a 14/16 pant size. I got really lax with my eating and exercising and gained about 15 pounds, so I’m really excited that I’ve taken it back off.

I feel sexiest after a workout!

I feel sexiest after a workout!

Princess Lucy!

Princess Lucy!

Leeloo likes to rub her face in the grass...this is what happens!

Leeloo likes to rub her face in the grass…this is what happens!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love being able to walk the dogs, because it forces me to get out and move, and I’ve started running again to train for my first 5k! Lucy is loving gong running with mama! hehe

Anywho!! I thought I’d post a super delicious recipe that I found on pinterest and decided to give it a shot a couple weeks ago! Inside Out Caramel Apples!!!

Start with:

Two Apples (I'd recommend a tarter apple such as a fuji, gala, or granny smith)

Two Apples (I’d recommend a tarter apple such as a fuji, gala, or granny smith)

One bag of Kraft Caramels (14 or 16oz I believe)

One bag of Kraft Caramels (14 or 16oz I believe)

Any flavor granola, I used this one because I happened to have it on hand

Any flavor granola, I used this one because I happened to have it on hand

Then,

Put all of the caramels into a pot and add 1 tbsp of water then turn to med heat, stirring constantly

Put all of the caramels into a pot and add 1 tbsp of water then turn to med heat, stirring constantly

Once that gets going,

Cut the apples in half and scoop out the insides, brush with lemon/lime juice to prevent browning (I didn't brush them quick enough hehe)

Cut the apples in half and scoop out the insides, brush with lemon/lime juice to prevent browning (I didn’t brush them quick enough hehe)

I used a strawberry huller to scoop the insides, it worked really well actually

I used a strawberry huller to scoop the insides, it worked really well actually

Be sure to keep and eye on the caramels too!

Take your granola,

Crush the crap outta them!! The slap chop thing-a-majig worked perfectly

Crush the crap outta them!! The slap chop thing-a-majig worked perfectly

This is a perfect crunched-up-ness

This is a perfect crunched-up-ness

Once the caramels are melted,

Perfect consistency

Perfect consistency

Pour it slowly and evenly into the apple halves

Pour it slowly and evenly into the apple halves

VERY carefully!!

VERY carefully!!

Poy-Fect!

Poy-Fect!

Then top,

Add as much or as little as you want!

Add as much or as little as you want!

Yum!

Yum!

And Enjoy!!

They're pretty messy!

Inside Out Caramel Apple!

I will definitely be making these again!!

Anyways! I hope you all enjoyed! Let me know if you make it and how it turns out! These are super easy and guaranteed to please even the pickiest eater!

:-)

:-)

Goodnight and Much Love my fellow Night Owls!!!

~Ashley<3

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