27 July 2015

Idaho Family Trip 2015

We got home from Idaho several weeks ago, and I'm just not sifting through all of my images and getting around to recapping our trip!! I'm tellin' ya, I'm finding it harder and harder to keep up with my blog these days. Life is just, life. And it's busy and all-consuming. But I'm tryin' y'all! ;-)

Every Summer, we drive 800+ miles from Seattle down to Southeast Idaho to visit my Husband's family. (Here is last year's trip!). The drive is long and feels like it will never end, but it's always worth it. The kids really look forward to going to stay with Grammy and Papa, and seeing all of their Aunts, Uncle's and Cousins. Plus, the wide open space and laid back life style really suits my boys, especially Bennett. He is happiest when he can just roam free, and explore. I've said it a million times, but if we didn't have so many attachments here, I would definitely move down to Idaho to be closer to Philip's side of the family.

Our days in Idaho are mostly spent just lounging and being care-free. The kids roam around, chase the cat & the dog around, ride the donkey, run through the sprinkler, play with cousins, and get tractor rides. Speaking of tractors, my FIL got this old tractor (built in 1946!!) this year and my kids (mostly Bennett) was smitten! He looked adorable with his whole cowboy ensemble! Papa even let him drive the tractor, that was most definitely a highlight for Bennett.

Easton wasn't as impressed with the "farm life" as Bennett was, but he still made himself right at home. He really enjoyed playing with Philip's old toys and legos! It's cool to see our boys playing with the same things that their Dad did when he was younger.

We were there over the 4th of July, too, which was awesome!! We went over to my SIL house and barbecued, the kids played in the pool, and then finished off the night with a few little fireworks. It was actually perfect.

We are always really sad to leave, but we are actually hoping to make a trip down over Christmas this year! So I'm crossing my fingers that it pans out! Until next time....!


23 July 2015

Making Time For Outside Play & Nutritious Snacks

Have I mentioned I love Summer?! I love the warmer months, being able to take the kids outside. Truth is, at 3 & 5 Years Old, my boys get super super cooped up if we stay inside for long periods of time. They start wreaking havoc around the house and before I know it, there is crayon all over the walls and milk all over the floor. So needless to say, I try to keep them busy, and if at all possible... out of the house ;-) Unfortunately, living in Seattle, our warm months are limited. So I feel like I try to cram all of the fun outdoor activities between June-September.

Things have been crazy busy the past few weeks with vacations and small trips to the coast. And of course my most recent trip to Los Angeles. I am really slacking about getting all of this up on the blog lately. Ahhh! But anyway, between all of the craziness, we haven't really had a chance to see some of our favorite people. So the other day, I met up with my best friend and her kiddos for a play date at the park. We went to a new park that I had never been to, and it was fabulous! Lots of fun stuff for the boys to do and climb on. 

*This post was sponsored on behalf of CLIF Kid via One2One Network. All opinions stated are my own.

I just think it's so important to make time to get outside. Whether it's to the beach, or taking a little hike somewhere, playing at a new (or old) park, hitting up your local water park or splash pad... etc. Kids really thrive when they are outdoors exploring. The freedom to be able to run around and be crazy, it's so good for their little minds and bodies!

But!! Don't forget to bring water to keep the kiddos hydrated, and of course, snacks. Something yummy that will give them nutrition and energy. For us, that has been CLIF Bars lately. Specifically the Zbar's. My kids devour those things. No joke. Easton is like "quit taking pictures mom, and give me a Zbar!" lol.

Easton literally ate 3 of these while we were at the park. I mean, it wasn't exactly what I had in mind for lunch, but hey, it's fine with me. The CLIF  Zbar's are an organic baked whole grain snack. They are packed full of nutrients, like complex carbohydrates, fiber, and protein. And they contain no high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, or synthetic preservatives. Perfect for an active kids.

Other CLIF Kid snacks are Zbar Protien, Zfruit, and ZFruit + Veggie. All very yummy, nutritious snacks!

And in fact, CLIF Kid strongly urges children & families to be active and get outdoors to play. They've created an online hub that provides tips & tools to encourage and promote play for kids of all ages! Check it out here.

See, I told you, this child will inhale these things. ;-)

 What are your favorite places to go play outdoors? And what are you favorite snacks to bring to keep your children energized!?

15 July 2015

Representing Rizzmic at the IDEA World Fitness Convention!

Some of you may know this, but 2 1/2 years ago, I was introduced to Rizzmic. Rizzmic is a dance fitness format that features every genre of American music you could think of (i.e. jazz, country, jive, east coast swing, disco, hip hop, 80's, even hula!!... etc). You don't have to be a dancer to enjoy it, you just have to love to dance. It's the perfect blend of high intensity dance cardio + toning & fat burning -- I generally burn between 500-700 calories in a 55 minute class, which is pretty amazing.

This topic is so near and dear to my heart, yet I have just barely scratched the surface with it on my blog. I tend to keep things really special to me, to myself. Which doesn't really make a lot of sense, I know. Part of me wants to talk about Rizzmic 24/7, because that's how much I love it. And the other part of me feels like I've found something so special and so amazing, that I want to sort of hoard it and bottle it up for myself. Does that make any sense at all? I realize that it's selfish, though, because everyone should have the opportunity to be exposed to Rizzmic.

But not many people have experienced it yet, because it's so new. And so far, there are only classes available here in Western Washington. But the people taking classes here at home, they've really struck gold with this format, because I promise, it's the most fun you'll ever have while exercising.

Look, I'm not the kind of person that can step on a machine or run on a treadmill and be satisfied, because for me personally, it's not captivating and engaging enough for me to stay motivated. But Rizzmic??? It's fun, energetic, dynamic, fierce, addictive, and most importantly, it will get your tushy in shape. It's the literal best. And beyond the actual exercise, Rizzmic has brought me close to some pretty fantastic people. The community is supportive, and uplifting. I have always left class, or any Rizzmic event for that matter, feeling giddy & on top of the world.

And these are all of the reasons why I became a Rizzmic Instructor (I even have my own bio on the Rizzmic website! Yeehaw!). I want to share the joy and confidence that is has given me, with other people.

My Wednesday morning Rizzmic class! 

Recently, Rizzmic has been given the opportunity to go to the IDEA World Fitness Convention in Los Angeles. So along side creators of Rizzmic -- myself & some other awesome instructors have volunteered to go and work at the convention to help out, to be spokes people of sorts (and there will be lots & lots of dancing going on as well!) ;-). But I feel so honored that I get to represent this format that has not only helped me get back into shape physically, but gave me back a sense of self that I didn't even realize was missing. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous. There will be so. many. people at this convention. But I'm mostly just excited to be able to expose people to something that I am so passionate about. This convention is huge for Rizzmic, because we will get to showcase this fabulously addictive format to 12,000+ other fitness professionals.

In fact, I leave today, my flight takes off at 4pm. Eeeeek! I literally have butterflies in my stomach!

I will post a little bit on my personal Instagram account (@mandychiappini), but will be posting a LOT on my fitness account (@rizzmic_mandy) while I'm there!! So if you're interested in getting a peek into my experience at IDEA, please do follow along!

Wish us luck!! :-)

10 July 2015

Living Room Makeover - REVEAL!

You guys, I have been working on my living room for like....ever. Literally, it's taken me YEARS to decide what I wanted to do in there. When we first bought our house, we came from an apartment, and didn't really have anything but a mish mash of random furniture. I decided I would tackle one room at a time, and make my way through the house. And in 3 years, I've completed only the living room and family room. Ha ha. But hey, I'm getting there.. slowly but surely! But things cost money, and take a lot of time.

I was on a budget with this room, so that's part of the reason why it took so long to finish. I was trying to make sure I could find what I was looking for, without spending a fortune.

So... here is what my living room looks like now! (before/after photo at the bottom of this post!)
Grey sofa's: Overstock.com
Blue accent chairs: Target
Coffee & end table's: Fred Meyer (4 years ago)
8x10' Rug: Rugs USA
White curtains: Ikea
White storage cabinet: Target
White floating shelves: Ikea
American flag: DIY
Antlers: Fred Meyer
Picture frames: Home Goods
Yarn wall hanging: Paige & Roy
Pillow covers: Jane.com
White, yellow & striped throw blankets: Target
Navy blue throw blanket: Home Goods
Sunburst mirror: Target
3 small decorative mirrors: Target
Lamp: Target

Paint color: The color is Chinchilla by Martha Stewart. However, Home Depot doesn't carry MS paints anymore, so they looked it up online and mixed the exact color for me in Behr paint. I love how it turned out! 

So the only things I kept from my previous living room decor, was the coffee and end table's. Truth is, I probably would have replaced those, too, but I was already over my budget by a little bit... so I had to make the sacrifice. I think they look okay in there for now. But my goal is to get a larger square coffee table sometime next year. We'll see, though! But for now, I'm happy with these I guess ;-)

 And here is the before & after!! Crazy what a difference it is, right?!? Looking at what the room looked like before, it was NOT my style whatsoever. So happy to have it much lighter, brighter and airier in there now!

I think the two things I did that made the biggest difference were 1) paint the walls, and 2) raise the curtain rods up a lot higher. Both of those things make the room look more spacious and inviting.