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Kathy Murdock works as a full time writer and web designer. Recently planted in the middle of the deep south from the busy streets of Los Angeles, when she's not coding Wordpress websites or writing about women in business and thrifty motherhood, Kathy spends time photographing alligators, playing with her family, and running.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by Kathy Murdock
I know that many moms and dads don’t have a choice about the answer to this question. Many parents work the jobs they do because there are bills to pay and mouths to feed. And whether that work is part or full time probably depends upon the family’s needs in terms of pay, childcare, and other things.
That said, a recent survey from Pew Research showed:
37% of working mothers now feel full-time work would be ideal, up from 21% just six years ago.
Overall, most working mothers feel part-time work seems most appealing (50%), but there has been an increase in the number of already working mothers who see full-time schedules as ideal.
Monday, May 20, 2013 by Kathy Murdock
Many of the moms I know are celebrating the arrival of summer while worrying about a big issue all working parents face: childcare.
During the school year this doesn’t present as much of a problem once the kiddos are old enough to attend school. When school is out though, most of my friends that work spend a lot of time finding places for their children to go and things for them to do over the summer months.
The following are just a few options that might be available to working parents who are in need of childcare for the summer. Most of my friends use a combination of these three.
Friday, May 17, 2013 by Kathy Murdock
Pregnancy will likely change your body not only during the nine months you carry junior but for months –or possibly years – after. And since everyone carries weight differently, it’s impossible to prescribe a one-size-fits-all training plan for new moms.
Cardio, of course, is a must. If you are carrying excess weight, regardless of where it is located, you need to burn calories to get it off. At some point, though, you’ll want to tone and strengthen problem areas.
Many women find the excess weight post-pregnancy tends to gather in one of three ‘problem’ areas: hips, butt, and/or abs. The following exercises target these three areas. Pair them with a healthy dose of thirty minutes of cardio most days of the week to get your body to a place you want it to be. Remember, though, it may never be what it was pre-pregnancy, and that’s okay: You made a human being! You’re a rock star! Your body should change a little!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 by Kathy Murdock
My mom, always one to take a step back from technology, has learned to embrace it so much that in the past few months she’s made a huge change:
She’s ditched her newspaper subscription an opted for an e-edition version instead.
This change surprised me. At one time, she said she wouldn’t email unless it came out of her toaster! These days she clicks on her computer to read the morning paper.
Me, I’m still using the old-fashioned version. However, I have noticed lately that by the time I get to reading the newspaper, which is often late afternoon or early evening, the news inside is ‘old’ news. In fact, at this point there is only one reason I get the ‘regular’ newspaper – to find out what is happening around town, so we can make plans with the kids.
Friday I received my renewal notice for the delivered, old fashioned, printed on paper newspaper and this morning I’m considering opting out of receiving that and moving into an e-edition altogether.
Monday, May 13, 2013 by Kathy Murdock
If you are working out regularly but still not seeing results, it may be that you’re unintentionally sabotaging your efforts through a vice you don’t realize you have. Or maybe you CAN name your vice, as I bet most of us can if we think about it enough, and instead you choose to do nothing about it. The latter is my situation. After all, every time I make myself a bowl of ice cream I tally up the calories in my head, meaning I realize what I’m doing; then I go ahead and eat the bowl, plus a few more spoonfuls while standing at the freezer and peering over my shoulder to make sure I don’t get caught!
Then I think, I’ll just run another half mile tomorrow, (though I rarely do).
Diet vices wreak havoc on our best fitness intentions when we let them. This is particularly true if it is something we do regularly or without thought. For instance, a handful of almonds is a great snack, right? We feel like we are making a good effort at snacking because nuts are chock full of protein AND good for the body. Of course, that’s when we eat a handful, not five handfuls before lunch and then another five after dinner.
My mom’s weight loss recently stalled. To see why, she kept a food diary. She said she was very surprised to discover how much snacking here and there she did. When she tallied up those handful of nuts and pieces of cheese, she realized snacking, even on healthy foods, had become her diet vice, sabotaging her fitness efforts. She’d have to walk the pool another hour a day, she said, to burn off those extra calories.
These three common diet vices can bust up our best laid fitness intentions:
Monday, May 13, 2013 by Kathy Murdock
I shop the same grocery store for my produce as I do for my regular groceries, as I find it offers the freshest options around. (That is, when I can’t make it downtown to the farmer’s market or to my mom’s house for her very super awesome daily farmer’s market that boasts fruits and veggies I’ve never even heard of!)
Therefore, this article about Walmart’s declining produce in some stores caught my interest. It’s something that could happen to any store that didn’t keep enough help on board to stock the shelves as often as necessary.
The problem with produce, of course, is its short shelf life. Unlike, say, a can of beans, fresh fruits and vegetables won’t last for years or, even weeks. If produce gets shipped to a store but then not stocked, its lifespan decreases even faster, which means once it DOES hit the bins it may not be as fresh as it should be – or as we would want it to be if we were shopping.
Thursday, May 09, 2013 by Kathy Murdock
In an effort to save more money and to get my daughters to eat a quality dinner, we have cut back on snacking. Yes, this did cause some crying in our home, (mine and theirs), but getting them involved in the process helped alleviate that.
I try to include both protein and carbs with all meals, and snacks are no exception. Proteins keep them full longer, which means we can get from homework to dinner hour without the need for extra food. Unless of course one of the kids is going through a growth spurt, which then changes things up a bit.
Here are three healthy snack ideas the girls and I have come up with over the course of the last few months that satisfy their hunger and their need for something tasty:
Monday, May 06, 2013 by Kathy Murdock
Oftentimes I open up my email and spend half an hour going through deleting junk mail. I get offers to win a bazillion dollars if I help someone from another country; offers to purchase cars at rock bottom prices; offers to try out a new iPad just by clicking this button.
Delete, delete, delete.
Saturday, May 04, 2013 by Kathy Murdock
I have a friend whose idea of fun isn’t sitting in a spa getting her nails and hair done but hopping on her bike and pumping out 20 miles by pedaling, even in high winds. (Sometimes, I believe, especially DURING high winds!) She also teaches workout courses, runs and swims, and lifts weights on a regular basis.
I have another friend who has confessed she’d rather go to the dentist than get up and walk or jog in the morning. Her interest in exercise: less than nil. Which, she states, is exactly why she starts one program, drops it after a few weeks (or, in some cases, days) and then, a bit later, starts another. She’s done a variety of things to stay fit, from Curves to Zumba to Jazzercise. Each she has dropped after a few weeks.
These two friends have totally opposite ideas about exercise. One loves it, the other hates it. For my first friend, physical endeavors come easily. Even her past times, which include jumping at a trampoline place nearby, are physical feats.
My other friend, though, would never exercise if it didn’t have a positive impact on her health.
I feel I fall somewhere between my two friends. While I love to exercise, especially to run, some mornings I really wish I could be doing something else, like sleeping in or drinking more coffee while watching the news. I find if I don’t get it done in the morning, I can more easily think of excuses later in the day to avoid it altogether. If I say I’ll do yoga in the evening, I don’t do yoga in the evening because by then I’m too tired. I love to run; I just need to do it on my own terms (early, in other words!).
The fact that running comes easily to me is likely the reason I’ve kept it up for all of these years, and this is likely the case for many runners. I believe the key is to play to our strengths when it comes to fitness. Figure out what works for you and do it. So with that in mind, here are 5 tips to get you moving in the right direction:
Friday, May 03, 2013 by Kathy Murdock
Sum-sum-summertime. Flip flops, beach days and dreams of vacations.
Hubby and I have decided not to take a vacation this summer, so instead I have been dreaming about what it is I would do if we were going (mountains, see #3!) and listening to what others will be doing. Our staycation will consist of a pass to the local water park and then frequent trips to the zoo, park, and library, and I’m excited about those things but it’s still fun to dream!
Here are the top three I continue to hear: