Why Millennial Moms Should Learn About Cub Scouts

My oldest will be five years old next month, and as we start to enter this exciting season of life when he has the chance to explore so many different activities and opportunities, I feel a little clueless. It’s that same feeling I had when I started high school and I was the awkward kid carrying her lunch tray nervously across the cafeteria as I passed tables of upperclassmen. It’s uncharted territory, and a little overwhelming feeling like you have the learn a new set of ropes as your kids grow up!

Let me start by saying I knew NOTHING about the Boy Scouts before a few weeks ago. There were a few kids I knew in grade school who did it and I had a cousin who was an Eagle Scout, but my exposure was very limited.

They invited me to check out their booth at the Minnesota State Fair, which you can check out here.

Live from the Minnesota State Fair with Boy Scouts of America! #heroesstarthere

Posted by Mommy’s Me Time on Saturday, August 27, 2016

 

After seeing what they were all about, I wanted to learn more, and here’s why. Lately I’ve been a little overwhelmed by how much technology my kids are exposed to. I’ve felt like my kids have had too much screen time, and I feel a little guilty about it. I try my best to take them outside and keep them busy in other ways, but the fact remains that my kids will spend so much more time staring at a screen than I ever did. I’m not saying it’s all bad, because heck, I RUN an online business and I love technology for so many reasons, but I’m just saying I want to be intentional to expose my kids to IN PERSON activities that focus on building relationships and skills that extend beyond virtual reality.

I also want to encourage my kids to learn how to develop leadership skills and be people with integrity and strong character, which is the mission of Boy Scouts.

In fact, some of the key values, missions and goals are these:

-Scouting builds character, leadership, and life skills through experience and service

-Scouting creates community for youth of all backgrounds and abilities

-Scouting is fun and rewarding

-Key areas of focus: adventure, leadership, learning, service

In my pursuit to learn more about the Boy Scouts of America, I was invited to tour something called Base Camp, which is a camp IN THE CITY of St. Paul. It’s located on the campus of Ft. Snelling, and I was truly blown away by my experience there.

A while back, the Northern Star Council, BSA wanted a way to reach not only people in Boy Scouts, but the ENTIRE community. They purchased an old calvary drill hall and brought it back to life. Base Camp is now open to the public to serve all youth through field trips, lock-ins, retreats, summer camps, private parties, and community group activities. The activities range from a space simulator to a high ropes course, to archery, to team building activities, to a rock climbing wall and more!

Many K – 12 schools will go there for field trips, and it’s extremely affordable. There are even scholarship programs available so they are able to serve anyone in the community.

I was particularly interested in the adult programs they offer as well. Corporations will go there for a high ropes course and team building retreats. I had a chance to climb the rock wall a couple of times and it was a BLAST! I’m already planning to take my team there for a team building exercise next month!


The theme for this year is Heroes Start Here, and THIS WEEK is registration! This coming Thursday, September 22nd, you can show up to ANY elementary school in Minnesota between 6 – 7pm and register! Find information here: http://www.heroscouts.org

A little more about Cub Scouts: 

As a Cub Scout, you’ll be part of your own pack.

The pack is divided into smaller groups called dens. Each den has about six to eight boys. All of the Cub Scouts in your den are in the same grade and may even go to the same school.

The Cub Scout pack belongs to a church, a school, or some other group of people in your community or neighborhood. This group makes sure your pack has good adult leaders, a place to meet, and exciting things to do. The group gets help from the Boy Scouts of America.

Have you been to the local police station and talked to the policemen on duty? Or visited the fire station and sat in the driver’s seat of the pumper truck? Or visited the local TV station and sat in the news anchor’s chair? These are some of the places you might go with your den or pack.

You might also build a pinewood derby car and race it on the track, build a sailboat or trimaran and race it in the raingutter regatta, or build a spaceship and race it to the stars in the pack space derby.

Each time you complete an accomplishment or learn a new skill, your child will be rewarded. Sometimes the reward is a loop for your belt, a pin, or a patch.

Baylen starts kindergarten next year, and I’m SO excited to sign him up for this. In the meantime, we’ll be going to the Pre-K days at Base Camp!

To celebrate their kick-off, the Northern Star Council is giving away an awesome adventure pack! Be sure to enter below. You must have a U.S. shipping address.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

xo,

Amber

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), and Snapchat: amberkuiper.

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

This is a sponsored post by the Northern Star Council through the Amplify Influencer Network. I was compensated for my work. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Share Button

Gorgeous Momma Giveaway

Happy Tuesday! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Did you catch my LIVE video on Facebook on Friday? If not, I wanted to share it here again so you can check out the Mommy Must Have products I’m sharing about!

I’m giving away items from LeTote, Bamboobies, and MomSense!

Check out these Mommy Must Haves!

Posted by Mommy’s Me Time on Friday, September 16, 2016

Be sure to enter the giveaway for these products as well! Available to U.S. mailing addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

xo,
Amber

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), and Snapchat: amberkuiper.

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

This is a sponsored post through the Amplify Influencer Network. I was compensated for my work. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Share Button

I Thought I Was Too Good For Sunscreen. Then I Was Diagnosed With Melanoma.

IMG_9032

I’ve lived in the midwest all my life. By the time summer comes each year, and the weather finally gets warm enough to go outside without layers upon layers, I’m SO ready to soak in the sun.

I was born and raised on a farm, and was outside constantly. I’ve always tanned easily, and loved the challenge of trying to get as tan as possible. When I was in high school, I worked as a lifeguard. I rarely wore sunscreen even though I was teaching swimming lessons and lifeguarding 10 – 12 hours a day.

I’d see other people put sunscreen on, but frankly I thought most of the time it was lame. I didn’t need sunscreen.

I went to college in Minnesota, and come winter I’d go to the tanning bed to warm up and get a little color. I hated how I looked when I got to be pasty white!

After college Jake and I enjoyed a few years of kid-free married life. We took so many vacations when I never applied a DROP of sunscreen.

IMG_4465

When I started having kids, I started to think about sunscreen. I made sure to apply it on them when they were out in the sun, but still didn’t bother to put it on myself. In fact, if I got it on my hands, I might even wash it off.

During each of my pregnancies, I developed more and more moles. I’ve always been a moley person, but pregnancy gave me 20 times MORE! I had a few that I was worried about, so in June I went for a mole check. The dermatologist gave me a full body scan, and none of the mole I was worried about were concerning to him. The only thing he was concerned about was a tiny mole on my foot. I NEVER would have gone in to the dermatologist to get it checked. It was so little and not raised at all.

He removed it to be biopsied, and a few days later I got a call. It was him calling and not one of his nurses, so I knew it was probably serious. Sure enough, he told me the mole came back with a diagnosis of melanoma. Thankfully, it was still in the early stages, so they did a surgery on my foot to take out a large chunk of skin, and after a couple weeks, I was back to normal.

It all happened so fast, that it almost seemed like it didn’t happen at all. But it’s wild to think about what could have happened had they not caught it early. He said once melanoma gets into the bloodstream, there’s pretty much nothing they can do. He has several melanoma patients who he monitors regularly for a few months or years, knowing that there isn’t a cure, and that it will only be a matter of time until they stop coming to see him.

I’m 30 years old. I have so much life ahead of me. I have four beautiful kids. I have a wonderful husband. I have a career that I love. It’s crazy to think just how much I could have missed out on. I’ve always been insecure about my moles, but now I’m grateful because if I hadn’t gotten all the bigger moles, I would have probably waited a while to go in for a check. Within the next months and years, I’ll be getting several more moles removed as a precautionary step. He said we’ll remove ANYTHING that’s questionable.

I thought I was too good for sunscreen. That all changed the day I was diagnosed with melanoma. This summer has looked very different than most. I don’t leave the house without sunscreen. I’m white as white can be, and I’m okay with it!

My sweet sister-in-law, Madison, made this really easy for me. The minute she heard about everything she sent me a bottle of her amazing sunscreen and tinted moisturizer with SPF 20. She’s a Beautycounter consultant, and ever since this scare I’ve become much more open-eared to everything she’s got in her back pocket. All her products are natural and beautiful and I’ve loved every one I’ve tried so far.

IMG_2455

This week, I asked if she’d open up an online party for all of you. I’d like to give away the Beautycounter products I earn from this social back to you. I don’t care about making money or getting free stuff. I really just want YOU to have quality products, and truthfully, my sister-in-law does an amazing job taking care of her clients. She’ll be able to help you find exactly what you need.

If you think you’re too good for sunscreen, you aren’t. At the very least get yourself some of this Dew Skin moisturizer so you can put it on in the morning and not have to worry when you step outside. Did you know you should be wearing sunscreen EVEN when you walk to your mailbox and back? Yep. I learned that one from my dermatologist. While you’re shopping, grab some sunscreen. It isn’t greasy, which means even my husband will wear it. 🙂

Our party will only be open for a few days (through July 23rd) because I want you to get your products ASAP! You can check out all the awesome products here: Mommy’s Me Time Online Beautycounter Social.

Let’s take care of our skin. It’s just as important as every other part of our bodies!

xo,

Amber

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), Periscope (@AmberMKuiper), and Snapchat: amberkuiper

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

To join my mentorship community and learn how to grow on social media, you can go to amberkuiper.com and follow me at Amber Kuiper Inc. on Facebook and @amberkuiperinc on Instagram!

Share Button

We’re Out Of The Baby Stage, And It’s Pretty Awesome + FLYJOY Giveaway

At the end of August our fourth baby will be two years old. TWO! How in the world did that happen?! Honestly, there are days and nights when I just long to go back to the days when I could hold each of my babies in the rocking chair again.

IMG_1023

BUT, I have to tell you, there’s something pretty special about the stage we’re in right now. My oldest is four, the girls are three, and my youngest is almost two. They’re busy, running a million miles a minute no matter what they’re doing, the best of friends, and worst of enemies. 😉

The last few summers have been tough, because I always had at least one or two who were in that awkward crawling/almost walking stage which made it difficult to enjoy parks, pools, splash pads, ect. We’d usually end up leaving because I just got too frustrated trying to keep everybody happy and not eating rocks or wood chips.

But this summer, life is pretty awesome. All the kids are walking, talking, and they LOVE to go on adventures. While their favorite spot to go is still Target (can you blame them?) we’ve been making a point to take them somewhere fun each weekend that’s focused on something they’d enjoy.

A few weeks back we took them to Valley Fair. It’s funny, because for so long leaving the house with all of them made me break out in a cold sweat, and I find that it’s still my default reaction when I think about going somewhere. But usually I’m pleasantly surprised by how much easier it’s gotten.

They were so excited to go on rides at Valley Fair. They were limited by their height on a lot of them, but it only took a few for them to feel like they got the full experience.

IMG_1032

We ended up spending the majority of the afternoon at the water park and it was perfect.

IMG_1040

IMG_1053

IMG_1051

When it comes to our adventures, I’ve learned that the most important thing is to just be prepared with a few snacks and some juice boxes, because you never know when hunger’s gonna strike, and it’s best if you have something on hand that you KNOW they’ll like. It’s nice now, because I also don’t have to worry about bringing along baby food. Everybody can eat and drink the SAME thing!!!

I’ve mentioned our love for FLYJOY bars before, and they continue to be a big hit. When they arrive at our house I literally have to hide them and take them directly to the pantry or the kids will eat them ALL immediately. 🙂

FullSizeRender-17

One thing I love about FLYJOY bars is that they travel extremely well, and specifically in the summertime, I like that I don’t have to worry about them melting in the heat. I’m all about products that make life simple, and along with FLYJOY I’ve really enjoyed this Kammok bag and this Sup insulated water bottle as well! The bag is super lightweight, and cleans easily!

The other day I had one of my friends reach out to me who orders FLYJOY regularly asking for a coupon code, and the very next day I received an email from FLYJOY telling me they want to give away a couple boxes to some lucky MMT readers!

If you aren’t familiar with FLYJOY bars, they are superfood energy bars made with Quinoa, oats, flax, and chia. They’re made with all natural ingredients AND my kids love them. A win-win for sure.

Enter for a chance to win a box of FLYJOY bars below! U.S. mailing addresses are eligible only, and I’ll pick a winner on Friday, July 8th!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

xo,

Amber

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), Periscope (@AmberMKuiper), and Snapchat: amberkuiper

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

For business tips, you can follow me at Amber Kuiper Inc. on Facebook and @amberkuiperinc on Instagram!

This post is sponsored by FLYJOY but all opinions are my own.”

Share Button

5 Things I Love About My Bugaboo Runner

IMG_9032

A year ago, I couldn’t go anywhere without my huge triple stroller! It was a necessity to keep everybody contained. Now, I really don’t need a stroller most places we go for anyone except my 21-month-old. He is the biggest wiggle worm EVER, and cannot be trusted to walk anywhere on his own. He’s also a TANK, which means I can’t carry him for long distances. Problem is, I got rid of all of our single strollers as soon as we had the twins! I didn’t think about the fact that I might need one again someday!

As we’ve been enjoying the warm weather here in Minnesota, I’m realizing just how necessary it is to have a single stroller again. The older kids want to ride their bikes and scooters, but my little Case can’t quite keep up yet. And truth be told, I’m not ready for him to be on a big boy bike. I’ll keep him in the stroller for as long as I can!

IMG_1589

When I heard about the new Bugaboo Runner, I immediately requested for more information. I’ve had several friends who’ve had Bugaboos in the past and have been in LOVE. By the way, if you do already have a Bugaboo, you can actually purchase the runner as an extension to your existing stroller without having to purchase the whole thing! Since I love to run, this option seemed perfect because it would allow me to push Case while keeping up with the other kids on their bikes!

FullSizeRender-15

You guys, I have to tell you, after using it for the past several months, this is the BEST jogger I’ve ever driven. If you’re in the market for a HIGH quality and well made stroller, don’t overlook this option. It would be a great item to put on a baby registry, or a great gift to give to an expecting mom. My parents gifted us with a stroller when we had the twins, and it was such a blessing to know we were going to have a safe and high quality way to cart them around.

FullSizeRender-16

If you’re considering the Bugaboo Runner, I’m excited to share with you my top 5 reasons (there are SOOOO many more!) that I love it!

1. This has got to be the smoothest ride on the market. I’ve had jogging strollers in the past that made running with a baby feel like a major chore, but the ease at which I can push Case (don’t get me wrong, it’s STILL a killer workout) makes me EXCITED to break a sweat with him in tow.

2. The reversible and reclinable seat. This feature is amazing because my babies have all gone through stages where either they really like being in a stroller because they can see the world, or they really like being in a stroller because they can see Mommy. It takes about 30 seconds to switch the positioning of the season, AND if baby is about the snooze you can recline the seat so their little neck doesn’t get uncomfortable!

3. I wasn’t sure about was the fact that it had a front fixed wheel. However, it’s actually kind of nice. It’s one less step to worry about before taking off from the garage, and we all know that when kids want to get outside they want to get outside NOW. It also makes the ride that much smoother, plus my kids aren’t constantly messing around with the settings. To turn a corner, I simply lift up the front wheel (which Case thinks is SO fun) and turn with the back wheels.

4. The height adjustable handlebar makes it easy for Jake, myself or our nanny to drive with ease. Sometimes I’ll even put it low enough so that big brother can push little brother. It’s the CUTEST thing.

5. The option to have a SUPER compact fold. For quick storage you can simply fold it up with the wheels in tact, but if say you’re going on a trip and need to conserve some space, you can very quickly take off the wheels and fit the stroller almost anywhere in the car. We’ve opted to not take a stroller along on trips so many times simply because we didn’t have space, and I love that we no longer have that issue!

Here’s a quick video to give you an idea of how smooth it operates!

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/yoYe22CClY4″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

If you have a Bugaboo or are interested in one, what are/would be your favorite features of the Bugaboo Runner?

Share below for a chance to win a Bugaboo Wool Blanket ($110 value!)

XOXO,

Amber

 

Bugaboo provided me with free product for this post. All opinions are my own.

 

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), Periscope (@AmberMKuiper), and Snapchat: amberkuiper

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

For business tips, you can follow me at Amber Kuiper Inc. on Facebook and @amberkuiperinc on Instagram!

Share Button

Come Over For A Play Date!

 

IMG_1412

Over the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many amazing mommas online. We share the beautiful messy aspects of our lives, keep it real, and share honest encouragement with one another to remind ourselves of life’s blessings despite the chaos.

As much as I love this online community, I also love the chance to get to know other mommas in person, whether it’s when you stop me at Target, when our kids are in activities together, or when we’re swinging them at the park.

Ever since we moved into our house, something that’s been on my heart is to use it to host play dates with local moms. When I became a mom, I realized how important it is to prioritize community, yet I’ve also realized just how easy it is for me to get so busy with life.

IMG_4240

When my friend Kim reached out to me a while back and asked if I’d like to host a Stella & Dot trunk show while she’s in town, I knew it was the perfect opportunity for me to finally step up to the plate and practice hospitality. Immediately my mind started thinking about ways I could host a play date for the kiddos while mommas got to know each other and focus a few minutes learning from some experts about how to style our mom bods.

I reached out to my friend Michelle who’s a Lularoe consultant, and asked if she’d co-host this shopping event with Kim! And so, without further ado, I’m hosting a play-date pop-up boutique THIS Friday at my house in Woodbury! There will be an entire store’s worth of items set up on my main floor!

My nanny will be around to help with the kids, so we can focus on shopping and drinking mimosas. 😉

I’m not doing this to make any sort of money. In fact, I’m giving away all of the hostess rewards I’ll earn to the people who shop at the event! I truly want to create a morning for moms to have a reason to get out of the house and mingle with other moms who they can relate with, because God knows we need to be reminded that we aren’t alone!

We’re in for a treat, because both Michelle and Kim are top producers in their companies and know how to bring extreme value to their customers! If you aren’t familiar, let’s chat for a minute about what these ladies will be bringing!

Stella & Dot

Stella & Dot sells boutique style jewelry and accessories that are available only at in home trunk shows and online! If you aren’t local, but you’d like to shop online, you can do so here, and for every $50 you spend you’ll be eligible to win the hostess prizes! Amber’s Online Trunk Show

Their DOT Dollars promotion is going on right now as well, which is their best sale of the year, meaning that for every $50 you spend you get $25. (This is valid online too, through Friday June 17th.)

You can follow Kim on Instagram at: @kimjensenstyle – I check her account DAILY to get fashion inspiration! She styles all her outfits with Stella & Dot! I have my eye on several things she’s been wearing lately! Her style is me to a T, or at least how I WANT to look. 😉

FullSizeRender-12

LuLaRoe

LuLaRoe sells women’s dresses, maxi skirts, pencil skirts, a-line skirts, the most comfortable leggings in the world, and they even have an entire children’s line, starting with clothes that kids 18 months old can fit into! I took my girls to a LuLaRoe pop-up boutique a couple months ago and the leggings are truly the most comfortable pair I own. I also bought some baseball tees, and am tempted to wear mine every day because it’s so comfortable. The biggest piece of feedback I’ve heard from moms who purchase LuLaRoe for their children is that its the most durable stuff in the closet. They can play in the dirt all day, and it washes up like new!

Michelle has an online boutique as well, over on Facebook (although she’s saving most of her inventory for my play-date!) You can check it out here: LuLaRoe Michelle Johnson Online Boutique!

FullSizeRender-13

I’m so excited for you to meet these amazing ladies! Together, they are going to have us looking like HOT MOMMAS!

There will also be treats for the kiddos!

If you’d like an invitation, please email me at amber@mommysmetime.com. Grab a friend if you’d like and come on over! The play-date will be on Friday morning, June 17th from 9:30 – 11:30am at my house!

xo,

Amber

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@mommysmetimeblog), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), Periscope (@AmberMKuiper), and Snapchat: amberkuiper

For more business tips, you can follow me at Amber Kuiper Inc. on Facebook and @amberkuiperinc on Instagram!

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

Share Button

Discounted Tickets For The Crayola Experience At The Mall Of America

IMG_0817

We were invited for a fun day at the new Crayola Experience at the Mall of America! We got there around 10:30am this morning, with some VERY excited kiddos.

The Crayola Experience is a family attraction that has 25 hands on activities that involve color. My kids are 4, 3, 3, and almost 2, and I felt like they were great ages. Any younger, and I would DEFINITELY recommend a stroller or baby carrier to keep them corralled! I’ll be bringing a stroller for Case next time!

It’s located in the 3rd level. The best place to park is in the East parking garage off of 24th Street. There is direct access to Crayola Experience from Parking Level P4 (green). We went during a weekday and the mall wasn’t busy which is always a plus!

Here’s a sneak peek into what our morning looked like!

Upon entering, we got to make our OWN crayons! The kids thought it was so cool to see their names on the labels!

FullSizeRender

Then we headed into a room where we got to dance with some colors to help wake them up! There were also several other virtual interaction things in this room! IMG_0855

Next we headed to a GIANT coloring table where the kids got to pick out some pages to color! SO many crayons to choose from! IMG_0816

There was even a huge play area to check out! We started in the toddler area, and made our way to the big area. So thankful our nanny Bre came along to help me!

IMG_0851

Emersyn loved the play area!

IMG_0822

The kids all got to select sea life to color on their own screens, and then their creations showed up on the big screen for everybody to see!

IMG_0852

The kiddos loved playing with the different colored pegs in here!

IMG_0821

We got to watch a presentation to find out how crayons are made! They made real crayons right in front of the kids, which they thought was pretty cool.

IMG_0764

We took a break for lunch, complete with souvenir cups and lunch boxes.

IMG_0774

The kids LOVED getting to see the crayons melt and do all kinds of fun things with the wax! During this, they got to control how fast or slow the paper spun to create a one of a kind masterpiece!

IMG_0823

This is how they turned out and what they’re most excited to give Daddy when he gets home!

IMG_0874

This was at the Crayon Meltdown, where they got to paint with wax! Case LOVED it. Even though he’s pretty little, I liked that there were still plenty of things for him to be able to do!

IMG_0853

This was a rainbow fall where we could see ourselves on the screen, and watch the colors rain over us!

IMG_0819

We were there for about 4 hours total, and didn’t even get through it all! We could have easily stayed all day. In fact, the kids were NOT ready to go home! They’d probably live there if I’d let them!

I was so excited about our trip there today, that I asked about getting discount to share with you guys, and I’m now partnered with them to offer you the lowest pricing you can get anywhere.

All you need to do is go to this link: Mommy’s Me Time Tickets, and enter the password MMT. Tickets are regularly $24.99, but you can get them through my link at $18.99, at any point when you want to go!

xo,

Amber

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@ambermkuiper), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), Periscope (@AmberMKuiper), and Snapchat: amberkuiper

For more business tips, you can follow me at Amber Kuiper Inc. on Facebook and @amberkuiperinc on Instagram!

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

Share Button

Cinco De Mayo The Skinny Way

We’re back from wine country, and settled back into normal life. I’ll be sharing a recap of our entire trip soon!

In the meantime, I’m excited to celebrate Cinco De Mayo! Since becoming a mom, I’ve learned that celebrating holidays like this is a great way to break up the week and add a little something special to look forward to.

Preschool Express has some really cute Cinco De Mayo crafts for the kiddos!

I thought I’d share a few tips about how we plan to celebrate Cinco De Mayo this year by keeping it on the “skinny” side.

Our favorite Mexican food to make at home are fajitas. They’re pretty healthy, and our local grocery store (Jerry’s Foods) actually has fajita flavored meat and peppers ready to go in the meat department, so we just pick it up, throw it on the grill, and into our fajitas. Top with pico de gallo, lettuce, a little cheese, and some plain greek yogurt (to replace sour cream), and we’ve got a delicious meal.

The kids aren’t into fajitas, so I throw together some quick chicken and cheese quesadillas for them. In order to refrain from snacking on half a bag of tortilla chips while I do so, I usually try to have a healthier snack while prepping. Per usual, FLYJOY is a go to.

IMG_9593

IMG_9595

Cinco de Mayo isn’t complete without a good margarita, but I’m going to try to keep it skinny with this recipe from my FIXATE cookbook!

(photo c/o Making It With Danielle)

Skinny Margarita

Skinny Margarita

Ingredients: 2 – 3 fresh lime wedges, 2 – 3 fresh orange wedges, 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1/2 tsp. honey, 1 cup ice, 1 oz. 100% agave tequila, 1 splash sweet & sour mixer

Instructions: Place lime wedges, orange wedges, lime juice, and honey in the bottom of a serving glass; muddle until well mixed. Top with ice, tequila, and mixer. Stir to mix. Garnish with a  lime slice.

I’m guessing I may need more than one of these little guys, but it’s definitely a healthier alternative! 🙂

Adios!

xo,

Amber

*This post is brought to you by FLYJOY, who produces amazing quinoa energy bars, and also has a heart for others, giving back and making a difference in the world we live in. A portion of the proceeds of each bar goes to HOPE International to fund small business loans and business training to help break the cycle of poverty and empower others in developing countries. You can find out more about the countries where HOPE works HERE.

Visit FLYJOY.com for 20% off your first order! 

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@ambermkuiper), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), Periscope (@AmberMKuiper), and Snapchat: amberkuiper

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

Share Button

5 Reasons I’m Glad I Traded My Gym Membership For A Home Gym

IMG_7534

UPDATE: The winner of the Power Block adjustable weights ($379 value) is Brynn Becker! Congratulations, Brynn! Check your inbox for an email from me on how to claim your prize! 🙂 Thank you to everybody who entered! If you purchase equipment from 2nd Wind, be sure to use the coupon code at the bottom of this post!

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve likely seen pictures of me carting my four little ones to the gym. During my first four years as a stay-at-home mom, it served me well. Even though it was a lot of work to get them all dressed and ready to go, as soon as I got there it was always worth it. At that point I was at home with them all day long and it was a welcomed and needed break.

After my blog took off, I found myself at a point last fall when I wasn’t able to squeeze it all in during nap time or after bed time, so I started working part-time during the day. By the time I finished working, I didn’t really feel like being away from my kids for another couple hours, so I transitioned to working out at home. I would still take them to the gym on the weekends, but we started to feel like paying for a membership wasn’t the wisest investment amongst all the other expenses we had with little kids. At the same time, I wasn’t ready to give it up! I liked having a security blanket of sorts, I LOVED the ladies who took care of the kids at the childcare center, and I liked having a treadmill available for running.

Jake and I got to talking and crunching numbers, and decided we were going to start exploring what it would look like to have a home gym for me. We shopped all over. One of the biggest things we wanted to prioritize was the quality of the equipment. We knew that if it didn’t feel like the equipment at the gym, it would likely sit in a corner of our basement and collect dust. After shopping at every store under the sun and being fairly disappointed by the lack of quality, we ended up at 2nd Wind Exercise.

If you aren’t familiar with 2nd Wind, they have the top name brands of exercise equipment from entry level price points to full commercial gear. They have new, used, and refurbished equipment, making it possible to find just about anything you’re looking for at an affordable price point.

We stopped in at the Woodbury, MN store and I have to give them major props for putting up with our walking circus of a family. Matvin and Bob did a great job helping us entertain the kids while we checked out the equipment. After checking out a bunch of options, we decided to go with this treadmill, bench, free weights, and weight rack. I do mostly at home workout videos along with some cardio, so this stuff is exactly what I needed.

IMG_6835

IMG_6832

Like most of the staff at 2nd Wind, Martin is a certified personal trainer who worked in a commercial gym for years. He knew the equipment inside and out and was able to make the recommendations that were exactly what we were looking for. If you’re local, be sure to ask for Martin when you stop by!IMG_6840

Three days later, the 2nd Wind truck pulled into our driveway and it felt like Christmas! The guys were promptly on time, set everything up, and tested it all to make sure it worked. They answered any and all question I had, and were excellent to work with.

IMG_6978

After having my equipment for a few weeks now, I’m wondering why I didn’t do this sooner. For any of you who are wanting to prioritize your health with a busy lifestyle, this is an awesome way to go. Here are my top 5 reasons I’m glad I have a home gym!

5 Reasons I’m Glad I Traded In My Gym Membership For A Home Gym

1. I’m saving a lot of time. I don’t have get the kids dressed, load them up in the car, buckle them in, drive to the gym, unbuckle them, bring them to the childcare center, pick them up from the childcare center, and repeat the process on the way home.

2. I can work out whenever I want. Ideally (although it doesn’t always happen this way), I get my workout in early in the morning when they are sleeping or during nap time. This is huge because since my husband travels a lot, it’s not easy for me to get outside for a run. Knowing that I have a treadmill and weights in my basement is extremely motivating for me and gets rid of any excuses I try to have.

3. I’m setting a good example for my kids. There are many days when we’re all hanging out in the home gym together. They’re my little cheerleaders! It took a little while for them to get use to me working out, but I’m able to explain to them that Mommy needs to take care of herself so that I can be the best Mommy I can be! As of late, they’ve become my accountability partners. “Mommy, you need to go work out!!!” 🙂

4. We got rid of a monthly payment. I was spending well over $100 a month to go to the gym with the kids, and now we don’t have to worry about that. Instead, we’ve invested in high quality equipment that we’ll have for years to come!

5. I don’t have to choose between working out and time with my kids. The biggest thing I hear from friends and readers on here is that they wish they could work out, but they simply don’t have the time. I love that I’ve found a solution that allows me to work out for 30 – 45 minutes a day. I’m in better shape now than when I was in high school, and it’s all because I’ve found a way to do it at home.

If you’re considering a home gym, I asked 2nd Wind to provide some key things to look for. Eric Waklee, who is the store manager and certified personal trainer at the Chanhassen store offered some extremely helpful advice!

I asked him what the main differences are in buying equipment from Wal-Mart, Sears, ect, versus 2nd Wind. I told him that I had noticed the quality was better. He said this,

“Yes, quality is a big indicator. However, it wont be just one component that gets better but it is a combination of components. Example: bearings in the rollers, thickness of the top coating on the running deck, thickness and longevity of the belt, quality of the motor (not just the horsepower), sturdiness of the frame, better cushioning, etc. A lot of times it’s more than just the specifications you see on paper. The better brands will make sure all the parts are made with higher quality components.
Also, it is the service behind the products. These are mechanical products and they will break down at some point. When that happens does the company have the service behind the product? Do you have to call a 1-800 number and sit on hold and then wait weeks for your product to be fixed? Or can you call a local store and talk to a real person that will get your machine up and running quickly?
We have been in business a long time and we are picky on the brands we choose to carry. We want to make sure the products we carry will match our reputation.
On top of that we provide free fitness advise to our customers. It can be frustrating when someone gets into a workout routine and they don’t see results. If that ever happens call or stop in our stores. Depending on what their goals are, and what they are currently doing, we can provide advise to help kick start their results again.”

If you’re looking for a treadmill specifically, here are the most popular options in the various price points!

Under $1000: Horizon T101
Under $2,000: Lifespan 4000i or Horizon T7 Elite
Under $3,000: Vision Fitness T40 Classic
Under $4,000: Life Fitness T5 Track

If you visit 2nd Wind, be sure to bring this discount code along, which 2nd Wind has provided exclusively for Mommy’s Me Time readers! Most of their stores are in the midwest (and Arizona), but right now they have a FREE SHIPPING sale going on online to celebrate their 24th Anniversary!

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 9.36.18 AM

Last but not least, 2nd Wind is giving away a pair of these PowerBlocks adjustable weights! These are awesome because they save space and can be adjusted from 5 pounds to 50 pounds. This is $379 value! You must have a U.S. shipping address to enter. The giveaway will be open through Friday March 18th. I’ll update this post on Saturday announcing the winner!

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 10.22.56 AM

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@ambermkuiper), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), and Periscope (@AmberMKuiper).

You can also follow my healthy living journey on Instagram: (@amberkuiperfitness) or on Facebook (Amber Kuiper Fitness).

Share Button

EASY Homemade Valentines For the Non-Pinteresty Mom

This is my first year with a kid in school. Well, he’s actually only in preschool. BUT they celebrate all the holidays! I am admittedly not great about planning for holidays. Usually, it’s the night before and I think to myself, “Oh no! Baylen has a party at school tomorrow!” And so we end up picking up treats and whatnot on the way the next morning.

That definitely happened yesterday. But you know what? It’s okay. We got Spiderman cards on the way, and he didn’t even know we were scrambling. Hopefully I’ll have my stuff together a little bit more by the time he’s in grade school.

When we got home though, I took it as a good reminder to make Valentine’s Day cards for the grandparents. Of course I didn’t have much in the house, so we got creative! Sometimes I think I put this pressure on myself to do an intense craft, but simple is WAY better. Plus, their attention spans last for about 4 seconds anyway, so this was perfect!

I grabbed a cup of coffee and snacks and set them up with some paint.

IMG_6485

 

I cut out hearts and taped them on top of the card, then instructed them to use the pencil erasers as paint brushes and they dotted their cards.

IMG_6486

 

Mckinley was more into her snack than the painting, leaving Emmy to finish both of the cards.

IMG_6496

 

IMG_6498

 

We took off the taped hearts, and they were excited to see their empty hearts underneath! Then Mckinley proudly held the card and took all the credit.

IMG_6506

 

We’re excited to send these out to Nana and Papa!

IMG_6535

 

I’m NOT a Pinteresty mom. The furthest thing from it, probably. Google’s more my thing. 😉 BUT, I need to remember that I can still provide fun and creative opportunities for my kiddos by keeping it simple!

It takes all kinds of moms to make the world go round!

It also takes all kind of snacks, amen?

The snacks we ate here are called FLYJOY bars and I’m excited to take a minute and tell you about them! They are quinoa energy bars that are made with natural ingredients and are sustainably sourced! Our whole family absolutely LOVES them. I love that I can feel good about the clean and healthy energy they give my kids.

They have all these flavors to choose from and I actually like all of them! We keep them in our pantry, in our cars, in our diaper bag, in our gym bags, ect. When we get them in the mail my kids literally want to eat ALL of them at once. I’ve learned to cut them in half to make them go a little further for them! 🙂

IMG_6541

Cashew Cookie Dough (our family’s VERY favorite!)

Blueberry Almond

Cherry Coconut Macaroon

Peanut Butter & Jelly

Cranberry Nut

Coconut Macaroon (my second favorite!)

Peanut Butter Cacao

A portion of the profit from each FLYJOY bar goes directly to HOPE International, a nonprofit that provides business training and microloans to the world’s poorest families!

If you’re an on the go kind of family (or maybe even a last minute planner) like I am, you will definitely want to try them. I had a super busy day yesterday and ate three in one day – haha! I have a discount code that’s exclusively for you too! Simply visit FLYJOY.com and enter ART25 for 25% off your purchase! They are also sold on Amazon! (Discount code is good at the FLYJOY website only.)

Happy Valentine’s Day, EVERYBODY!

XOXO,

Amber

I share many more “real life” mom moments on Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope. I’d love for you to follow along on our crazy, not perfect, incredible journey. Follow me on Instagram: (@ambermkuiper), Facebook (Mommy’s Me Time), and Periscope (@AmberMKuiper).

This post was sponsored by FLYJOY. All opinions are my own.

Share Button