Its BIG and its Coming!

Well OK two big things...

The first being the launch of my long overdue design studio. Here is my shameless plug for my new baby Chara Studios! I love photography and pretty much all things design so Chara (which is the greek word for "joy") will bring to the world both! I am working on the website right now so it is not live yet, but be thinking of those great blog or website designs you want, or a custom handstamped pendant...or pretty print designs like stationary and mommy cards...or (and this is still a maybe, but most likely) beautiful camera straps, yes camera straps, and last but certainly not least awesome photography!

OK that is it for Chara...for now ;)

The next BIG thing is an idea the size of a grain of sand, but has potential become a huge! Because of that, well I am not going to tell you what it is! I don't want to announce this thing and then it not happen, but with some careful and diligent planning, it definitely could...maybe!

I know! I know! I hate it too when people do that! I had to get in some form of writing so I can't weenie out of it! Just know that it is big and it is coming!

My Favorite Fit Mamas!

This weekend the other three Houston area Stroller Strides owners and I participated in the 1st Annual Mom's Night Mixer. It was a lot of fun and we met so many other small business moms and even ran into a few old friends!

The best part (for me, the eater anyway) was the GIANT dessert bar complete with chocolate fountain and Starbucks coffee!

They ran out of goodie bags before I could get one, but I was totally satisfied with my free fish tacos cards from Berryhill...mmm Berryhill!

Ami Almquist (Stroller Strides NW Houston), Elizabeth Kelley (Stroller Strides Pearland), Christina Tatavak (Stroller Strides The Woodlands), and me!

I am so lucky to have some of the best Stroller Strides mamas to work with in Houston! They are awesome!


Ecostore USA Winner

And the winner is...

Sandra Vaughn! Congratulations Sandra! Your gift certificate is coming soon!



Houston's Mom's Night Mixer


For every mom who has needed some "mommy time" this event has got your name on it! Houston's Mom's Night Mixer is an event where all moms can go out and enjoy a night of socializing, meeting new friends, and getting a glimpse of the many resources here in Houston for everything from schools to mom tailored shopping! Plus live music, cocktails, and some great gift bags for all attendees! To find out more about what Houston's Mom's Night Mixer is about and the fun to be had visit the event website.

The event will be held here:
Westin Galleria Hotel
5060 W. Alabama
Houston, TX 77056

Mixer tickets can be purchased online via the mixer website for $25. Please note that no tickets will be sold at the door so once they are gone, they're gone!

You can save $10 on your tickets by entering the code STRIDES during checkout or if you would like to donate to the Breast Cancer Fund you can enter STROLLERSTRIDES and you will still pay $25 but $10 will be donated. You win either way!

Stroller Strides (all Houston and greater Houston locations) will be there and we hope to see you too!

New Stroller Strides Location at Cullen Park Grand Opening!

Stroller Strides is coming to Cullen Park and is great for moms who live in or near Katy! Go and enjoy a fun free class, light refreshments, raffle prizes, and sign up specials!

When is this grand event you ask!

Here are the details:

When: Tuesday, June 23rd at 9 am
Where: Cullen Park
(19008 Saums Rd: Located off of Barker Cypress/ Saums Rd. just north of 1-10.
We’ll meet in the main parking lot, by the splash pad. Sign in will begin at 8:30 a.m.)

What to bring: Your kiddo(s), sturdy stroller (no umbrellas please), water, sunscreen, and blanket, mat, or towel for ground exercises!

Have questions?
Contact Ami Almquist at amialmquist[at]strollerstrides[dot]net
or visit

Have fun and stay fit this summer with the nation's leading mommy fitness program!

Ecostore USA Review and Gift Card Giveaway!

Ecostore USA is an extension of a New Zealand based company that makes plant based, non-toxic products that include personal and baby care use and household cleaning. I had the privilege of trying two of their products, the Vanilla Shampoo and the Baby Aromatherapy Moisturizer!

The shampoo has been great! I have very fine hair and most shampoos leave it feeling weighed down and it gets "oily" if not washed frequently...nice picture I know. Pretty much high maintenance hair which is why you usually see me in a hat! The Vanilla Shampoo leaves my hair feeling clean and does not weigh it down at all! I felt the difference instantly and that was while I was still in the shower! It is not as aromatic as most shampoos but I am OK with that! I have used it on all three of my kids and they all have soft shiny hair! It is nice to know that the shampoo is not loaded with sulfates or phalates...or worse! As Ecostore USA states on their website "No Nasty Chemicals!"

The baby moisturizer is awesome. It is almost a baby oil and moisturizer in one...but doesn't leave you feeling greasy. It smells awesome and is very soothing! My toddler loves it and keeps asking for more every time she sees the bottle! Once again, it is great to have something that works and is not loaded with harmful chemicals!

I highly recommend their products! They offer free shipping on all orders over $25. Go check them out!

Ecostore USA has donated a $25 gift card for their store to given to one lucky blog reader! To enter check out their website and write in the comments which product(s) you would most like to try! You can gain additional entries by tweeting this post (leave your twitter name), posting in Facebook, subscribing to feed, and adding the Moms Living Fit button to your blog or website!

This giveaway is open to all US residents!

The winner will be announced on Saturday, June 28th! Good luck!


Thank you, Thank you for this article!

Having spent several years doing research for metabolic disorders I feel blessed to have had a "behind the scenes" look into diseases such as diabetes and obesity. I get so annoyed by information people give that is not only incorrect and misleading, but sometimes downright dangerous.

I heard a radio show the other day on my favorite Christian radio station where they had an "expert" in "holy health" and this woman started spouting some of the most ridiculous "facts" about sugars and fat. I've out of the research field for two years now, so I'll admit my information is not as sharp as it used to be, but my instant reaction to what this chic was saying was "What!". Luckily my hubby is also a researcher of metabolic disorders and was in the car with me. His response was the same! She had all of her data mixed up and was broadcasting it to live radio. Yikes! Please, please, please with a cherry on top do your homework and do some research! Don't read some fad diet book and then take it as medical truth. Most of the time it is crap!

So, on to the article!

I found this on the FitnessMagazine.com website (lots of good stuff there) and was so happy to find it! The article is called 9 Shocking Sugar Facts and does just that! The sad part is that the facts are shocking. They shouldn't be. They should be common knowledge. Here is an excerpt,

#1: It Doesn't Make You Fat

It only seems like those Girl Scout Cookies go straight to your thighs. Sugar doesn't automatically change into fat in your body, says Tara Gidus, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (ADA). In fact, too many calories cause weight gain -- whether they come from cookies or carrots. But when was the last time you OD'd on carrots? Sugary foods tend to be high-calorie and easy to overeat. They cause a spike in blood sugar, followed by a sudden drop that can leave you feeling depleted and hungry.

The Sweet Truth: Limit added sugars to less than 10 percent of your daily calories. If you eat 1,800 calories, that's 180 calories from sugar -- or 11 1/4 teaspoons.

Read the article, and get the facts straight! Bottom line, your body NEEDS sugar, as well as fat (and fat from various sources). That is how our bodies are designed. Taking in too much sugar and fat is what causes problems. You don't have to cut them completely out to lose weight or maintain health. Instead, regulate your intake.

OK, lecture over! On to the rest of Saturday!


2nd to last post for Mommy Madness

So that's what I look like on the road!

*A post from mommymadnesshouston.com

I can't believe it has been 8 weeks! EIGHT WEEKS! It has flown by faster than I could have ever imagined! Tomorrow morning the family and I will be taking the long drive to Pearland to give back the Traverse :( and the even longer drive home without it. We strongly considered keeping it and still have not thrown that idea completely out the window, but truth be told we just were not and still are not in the market for a new car. We love the Traverse. We are a very active family and have so many memories from all of our trips big and small in it. Earlier this week, I drove my regular car (the minivan) for two days. I literally had driven my car only once in the past 8 weeks and I didn't want to go through the "cold turkey" shock of no Traverse once we handed it back. I have seen so many new Traverses out on the road (even 2 new ones for people I know at my church) and I can't help but feel a little bit envious.

I hope that all of you reading took advantage of the free massage being given away to every person who test drives the Traverse. Believe me the test drive and the massage are worth it! If you haven't, time is ticking and your window of opportunity is quickly closing! Go do a test drive! You won't be disappointed!

Now for my Thank You speech, part 1! *Part 2 will pretty much say the exact same thing, but be posted tomorrow with pics! ;)

I want to give a very BIG Thank You to GM and Strickland Chevrolet for entrusting me with one of your Traverses for 8 weeks...to what I wanted with...except of course leave the country! I want to commend GM for the purposeful (is that a word) thought put into the design and construction of the Traverse. It has been said before and I will say it again here, it is a well thought vehicle from the outer design to the many great interior features. Clearly a vehicle with the family in mind!

Need a re-cap, here ya go...

Top 10 features of the Traverse:

10. It fits in the garage!...well, not mine or Christine's, but for everyone else it does!

9. 4 overhead air vents in the 2nd and 3rd rows...in Houston, this is important!

8. Rear view cam w/beeping sound if you back up too close to something!

7. Blind spot mirrors

6. Fold flat 2nd and 3rd row seats...and it is so easy!

5. Sliding second row seats

4. Great gas economy

3. OnStar

2. 10 cup holders

1. It's not a minivan!

Plus, great gas economy, lots of storage space, and big tires giving it a higher ground clearance! OK so that is more than 10, but really the list goes on! Go see for yourself!

I also want to give a BIG thank you to CBS Radio! I cannot express how honored I feel to have been selected out of hundreds of mommy bloggers in Houston. My head is still spinning on that one! Thank you for putting this whole thing together. It is in a word brilliant! Mommy bloggers have become such an amazing voice in the world and I thank you for one "getting it" , and two for offering us this opportunity!

Thank you to the CBS Radio DJ's for continuing to support us over the radio...and thank you for putting me on the radio! That was so much fun!

Thank you the many readers and supporters we've had over the past 8 weeks and for the many comments and questions that assured us we were not talking to space! Thank you also to everyone who voted, and an even bigger thank you to those for voted for me!

Angie, Christine, Larami, and Stephanie it has been a blast sharing this experience with you! Thank you for your creative posts! You are all so inspiring and I am thankful that the world has moms like you in it! Thank you to the Dallas and Kansas City Moms Squads for your continued support! It has been so much fun reading your posts and antics! Great job ladies!

Lastly, I want to give thanks to my wonderfully tolerant and patient family who day in and day out dealt with me and my arsenal of digital cameras and video recorders! We took A LOT of pictures and video and spent countless hours editing and uploading them. Everyone was a good sport about the pictures and video and the kids were pretty good during editing hours...they didn't destroy the house too much! I am so proud of them and so thankful for them!

Tomorrow is the final post (for me anyway) and I invite anyone who has not taken a test drive yet to do so. Also if you have any remaining questions, send em' along!


Donate to the OCRF at Val's Lemonade Stand

This summer anyone and everyone can help raise funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF)!

I received this in an email...

Kelly Ripa, one of our favorite celebrity moms, is teaming up with Electrolux to kick off a virtual lemonade stand campaign to help support the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, a cause close to Kelly and to women everywhere. This summer, exclusively at electroluxappliances.com, you can design and open your own virtual lemonade stands and even pick the flavors of lemonade you want to feature. For every lemonade stand opened at www.electroluxappliances.com, Electrolux will donate $1 to OCRF. In addition, you can help the cause even more by selling virtual glasses of lemonade to your friends and family; 100 percent of the proceeds will go to OCRF. And to help spread the word, Electrolux is giving away an elegant new French Door Refrigerator with Perfect Temp™ Drawer

I went to the Electrolux website, drooled over their appliances (I love their turquoise sky washer and dryer...mine are plain white and over ten years old...but I digress), and set up my lemonade stand! Please head over to donate towards greatly needed research for ovarian cancer and have a virtual lemonade!
Get Cool For A Cause With Kelly

The Skinny on Fat

I have this ongoing list of FAQ's in my head that people ask me often in regards to health and fitness. It is my goal this summer to post on all of them so here is #1:

Let's get into the biology (and chemistry) of Saturated Fat vs Unsaturated Fat
Did I mention I was a science nerd too?!

Lets start with saturated fat! Saturated fat is solid ("s" for solid) at room temperature (most of the time) and includes things like lard, butter, and cheese and is found mainly in meats such as beef and pork and animal products. It is for the most part supposed to be consumed in small amounts only. Saturated fats raise low density cholesterol levels (LDL, aka bad cholesterol) and get stored as fat in the body and can cause harmful plaque in the arteries. Saturated fat intake should account for less than 7% of your total daily calories. Nutrition labels will have the total grams of saturated fat per serving on them. Please be sure to read your nutrition labels and pay attention to serving size!

Unsaturated fats are fats that are liquid at room temperature such as olive oil, and can also be found in fish, nuts, and seeds. There are two types of unsaturated fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Both increase high density lipid (HDL, aka good cholesterol) levels. The difference between LDL and HDL is this. LDL is sticky cholesterol that sticks to the lining of your arteries forming plaques. These plaques can build up and eventually block blood flow leading to heart attacks. HDL is sticky cholesterol that sticks to LDL. It binds with LDL and carries away to the kidneys for filtration into waste product.

The moral of the story, while you should keep your total fat intake between 20 and 30 percent of your total daily calories, you want most of those fats to be unsaturated. Try to avoid trans-fats at all costs. For one they raise LDL levels AND lower HDL levels AND there is little regulation out there on how much can be used in restaurants. In January 2006, legislation was passed to require trans-fat amounts in nutrition labels, but if it is less than 1 gram per serving, it can be listed at 0. Your max intake of trans-fat should never go past 2 grams per day. That's how bad they are!

For me its nuts and avocados! Love them! A sneaky problem though is serving size. Read the label to find out how much is too much. For me it is almost always too much! Sorry I just can't stop at 12 walnuts or half an avocado! I'm working on that though!

A great place to find a lot of useful information and tools is at the American Heart Association website.

Take your health seriously and take the time (aka make time) to stay active and plan meals. I know it is easier said than done, but I for one do not plan on being a statistic or a sad story for my kids to tell. What I consider worse is not setting the example for my kids and seeing them suffer in their own health later. No thank you. I am a mom and my kids deserve for me step up in our family's health. I hope you will join me in this. I want your family to be healthy too!

Source for some of the information on fats found at the American Heart Association.


Great Giveaway at 5MFM!

5 Minutes for Mom is doing another great giveaway...an $800 swag bag designed for celeb moms!

Check it out here!


I'm a Guest Blogger!

I was recently asked to do my first guest blog spot for a great website, DietsInReview.com! You can read my article "Creating Lasting Healthy Habits for Kids this Summer" in their blog section as part of their Healthy Kids Summer Series.

Head on over there and check it out along with the other great posts in the series!

This morning we put those words into practice! Me and all three kids headed up to the park for class. No one showed up! Come on people, the weather is not that bad! Still, I decided to do our class anyway. My 7 year old did tricep dip/push up combos with me and all three of us did some running! I wish I had brought my camera (I did, it but it was in the car)!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!