Mar 25, 2013

Motivation Monday - got legs?

Since my legs are a bit uh larger, I love it when 
I see lean and long muscular legs
{notice I did not say "skinny" legs
even though I have against thinner legs lol}
that are most definitely toned and fit. 
I most definitely have "athletic" legs
and I'm okay with that.
I just want to tone my legs and make
them look like above!!
Since I've been consistently doing Pilates,
Yoga, and other cardio classes while I'm in 
CA I've definitely seen a difference in how my legs
look, even though I need to lose some weight.
Actually, when I saw less cellulite on the back of my
legs over a week ago I thought to myself maybe I'm
not such a lost cause! Seeing that little
improvement on the back of my legs made me
encouraged to keep up with my leg workouts.
I think cardio focused classes like "Cardio Blast"
and similar named classes are definitely a great
way to get those dream legs. 

If you're on the go a lot like me then leg exercises
that you can do almost anywhere should
be helpful and keep you motivated. 
In fact - check out these exercises below
that I found thanks to my friend Pinterest.
 It's time to leg exercise away!

P.S. Don't plank leg lifts kill?!
{via Pinterest}

It's time to say "I have those legs!"


Mar 24, 2013

renovating your living room - guest post by Amber

The living room is the most inhabited space in a house or apartment. You are used to it and sometimes you don't even know how you got there to begin with after you walk inside the door to your home and living room area. Here is the TV and the most comfortable coach you have, so it is easy to understand why every member of the family is fighting for a place in the living room.

Sometimes even though you like this comfy place, you feel like it needs something more and realize that it should be renovated. Whether it will be revamped with a painting on the wall, new carpet, or new rearrangements, it will be good for the space and will add a fresh look to the room.When you want to do something you should do it now, because now is the time when you are free from work and you can pay some extra attention to your home. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

In case you are brave person, who is not afraid of big changes you can start with creating more space. Usually the living room is in between the kitchen and the other parts of the house or apartment. If you have too many things in your living room that you feel it is hard to breathe, you can knock down one wall and make the living room a brand new space. Though this is hard and is also a dirty job, it will make the space look different and probably will give you more options to use some of the spaces that were left unused before. Logically this will also let you bring in new more comfortable furniture, which will allow the whole family to sit together in front of the TV, without the constant arguing about who will be sitting at the best spot.

If you are determined to go in the direction with a room enlargement, you can use the power of the colors to your advantage as well. It is a well known fact that cooler and lighter paints can make the room look larger. The primary colors are excellent when you are raising children in the house and green colors can also be very calming, in case you need to create a special atmosphere that will help you relax after coming home from a crazy day at work.

Whatever you choose to do to renovate your living room, do not only decorate in the middle of the space. Use the space well and make the room more energy-efficient, as you mount special equipment that will make the room cool or warm by using less electricity and other resources. Pay attention to the windows and doors and change them out with new ones that will protect the place better and add charm to your home as well.

Bio: Amber Collins is a professional freelance writer and fun-loving mother. She is a fitness junkie and always try to be creative in implementing different exercises in her daily activities as a stay at home mom. She loves redecorating and remodeling her Hornsey home and is solely focused on decorating her new home. Her story of following her passions in home making and writing about it will inspire you. Her present article is dedicated on a few ideas that will spruce up your living space.

Mar 18, 2013

for the love of wanderlust - traveling the world

Hi Ocean Dreamers! 
I hope you had a wonderful weekend.
I'm still in AZ doggie sitting but soon I'll be back in UT for a time.
I'll be blogging more consistently soon. :)

It's been a while since BK and I have gone on vacation and lately I've found myself thinking of all of the fun destinations we'd like to visit! From Italy to Ireland, I would love to go hiking and enjoy the nature at both of these locations. I would also love to visit the castles and think of all that took place there centuries before. Since the world is ours to discover, wouldn't it be nice to go wherever we'd like to go?

Here are some sites I'm dying to see:

Tuscany, Italy 

Italy is known for its gorgeous scenery. It has a magnificent landscape which is combined with beautiful rolling hills, ancient villas, mountains, rivers, and even islands! I know for a fact that Tuscany villa rentals are the way to go when traveling to Italy. It's a perfect way to enjoy the intimacy of the land while staying in a beautiful villa. I would love waking up and seeing nature straight out my window - I wouldn't be able to wait to head outside to greet nature and all there is to discover.

Blarney Castle, Ireland 

I love castles and from what I've glimpse on Pinterest and on the internet of Ireland, there are several castles that I would love to visit and see. Blarney Castle is one castle that looks absolutely stunning. It was build nearly six hundred years ago and is one of Ireland's greatest treasures. There is the Stone of Eleoquence which is found at the top of the Tower. You're supposed to kiss it! ;)

Here's a little bit of info behind that kiss at the Barney Castle:

"For over 200 years, world statesmen, literary giants, and legends of the silver screen have joined the millions of pilgrims climbing the steps to kiss the Blarney Stone and gain the gift of eloquence. Its powers are unquestioned but its story still creates debate.

Once upon a time, visitors had to be held by the ankles and lowered head first over the battlements. Today, we are rather more cautious of the safety of our visitors. The Stone itself is still set in the wall below the battlements. To kiss it, one has to lean backwards (holding on to an iron railing) from the parapet walk. The prize is a real one as once kissed the stone bestows the gift of eloquence." - via
St John, Caribbean 
My BK has been to St John in the Caribbean and he always talks about taking me there. In all honesty there is nothing I'd rather do than enjoy the sunshine and ocean dreams with him all day long. If you pull up pictures of St John you'll see crystal blue seas and sailboats everywhere. One day I hope to go sailing there and just enjoy the sights - they absolutely look beautiful! 
Are there any romantic destinations that you'd love 
to go with your hubby, boyfriend, or significant other?
Oh for the love of wanderlust!

Mar 14, 2013

safety tips for working out outdoors - guest post by Amber

Hi Ocean Dreamers,

I love this post because I've been working out outside a lot and it's so important to be careful and protect your skin, among taking other safety precautions when you're outdoors. Enjoy the spring time wherever you are and stay safe! xoxo.

March is already here and winter's fading away, giving way to the long anticipated spring. Which means you can leave the crowded gym for a change and take you training outdoors. However, the great outdoors differs from the cozy and climate-controlled gym. It can expose you to airborne pollutants, UV radiation, etc. So if you would like to stay safe while under the sun, take into consideration the following tips for training outdoors.

1.Plain water is great for a relatively short workout, but if you plan on training for a longer period, make sure you take one or two sports drinks with you in order to replenish your electrolytes and carbohydrates.

2.Eat plenty of complex carbohydrates the day prior to a hot-weather workout outdoors. The sugar in these foods will transform into glycogen and that will aid your body hold its water supply.

3.Do not rely on clothes to keep the radiation of the sun off your body. Polyester fabrics tend to provide a lot more protection than cotton ones. Dyed clothes, on the other hand are better than white. However, all of these options will also crank up the heat. Rather invest in safe and cool sportswear that has extra tight knitting and is made of sunscreen-treated  fabrics.

4.Wear a hat. Sun can be healthy and dangerous at the same time, as it can be the cause of skin cancer. It develops more easily on the top of one's head, causing the hair to thin.

5.Take antioxidants. According to a recent study, taking 2gr. of vitamin C as well as 1,000 IU vitamin E will provide you the sun damage protection you need.

6.When you are used to training at a room temperature, in the beginning it may be a bit difficult to adapt to working out outdoors. Not only the temperature, but the difference in the lighting can also be crucial. Sometimes it can take up to one or two weeks for a person to acclimate to taking the workouts outdoors. Start off with lighter workouts and build yourself up. If you feel that the bright sun has a somehow negative effect on you, train earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon.

7.Pick appropriate shoes. Some types of training shoes may be ideal for indoor training, but not so good if you decide to hit the rocky pathways and dirt trails. In this case, trail-runners will definitely be more appropriate. If you will be running on concrete sidewalks or streets, be sure that their outsoles have enough padding.

8.Consider allergies. Spring is usually the season when an allergy boom is observed. For some, the bloom of plants is what has an irritating effect, while for others it is the sun. If there is a chance of having an allergy breakout, do not risk working out outdoors until it is safer for you.

9.Supplements and medications could make one more sensitive to the outdoor conditions and that is why you will need to consult your pharmacist or doctor. The so called “Fat-Burning” supplements contain diuretics that lead to dehydration so be prepared with a bottle of water if you take such supplements.

Bio: Amber Collins is a professional freelance writer and fun-loving mother. She is a fitness junkie and always try to be creative in implementing different exercises in her daily activities as a stay at home mom. She just moved to Notting Hill and is solely focused on decorating her new home. Her story of following her passions in home making and writing about it will inspire you. Her present article is dedicated on different safety tips when you decide to work out outdoors.

Mar 7, 2013

best nutrition and fitness apps for your iPhone - guest post by Amber

Hi Ocean Dreamers! I'm in AZ and I plan on blogging again soon. It's been a crazy start to the year with trips and family events. 

Quick note: I don't have an iPhone, I have a Droid! However, these fitness apps look great and I hope they are helpful for those of you who have iPhones. ;) Thanks Amber for a great guest post! 


Male or female, young or old, seems like nowadays almost everybody loves hitting the gym and leading a healthy lifestyle in terms of nutrition. At the same time, the number of people owning an iPhone is constantly increasing. But what do both facts have in common? Quite simple. The numerous apps that can be very helpful in your strife for a healthy and good looking body. There are dozens of such apps, but here is a list of the most widely used ones.

Lose It
Price: Free

This will help you consolidate your food diary and workout journal into one. There is a food library that includes all types of food, including name brands. You get the proper estimation of each food product, all the values: fat, fiber, carb, calorie, protein. Add your daily workout as well as the food you have consumed and you will receive a calculation of how much you have ate and how much you have burned.

Price: Free

This one is ideal for the people who are constantly on the road or
moving from a place to place on a regular base. Your location is tracked by a GPS and, based on your location, the app recommends you healthy food options. It targets grocery stores, convenience stores and casual dining restaurants near you. Once you've made your decision, let the map guide you.

Price: Free

This one can provide you with valuable nutrition tips, as the name of the app suggests. Do you know that oysters contain iron, calcium and protein? Or that cut melon must be thrown out after three hours? Or that the beef that is considered leanest include roasts and round steaks? The app has facts like these, plus over 500 more. Just shake the device for a new one.



Price: $2.99

The name of this app stands for “Couch to Five Kilometers”. It is designed for those new to the running 'business'. It is a nine week regimen that guides you through a 30 to 40 minute workout, three times a week, in order to help you boost up your endurance. Each week you are expected to increase your running achievement by setting your personal bar higher and higher. Each workout is a combination of walking, running as well as a warmup and cool down. There is an audio prompter that tells you when it is time to switch from walking to running and vice versa.

Price: $1.99

Whenever you are too busy to go to the gym, this app comes in handy. Just turn it on and it will track down your distance, steps and average speed. Unlike other
pedometers, this one can work even while in your pocket. The counter will automatically pause whenever you stop and resume when you start walking again.


GymGoal ABC
Price: Free

Designed to teach you the ABC of weight lifting, this app has over 250 exercises along with written instructions and animations, over 50 routines (grouped into four different levels) plus the ability to add images of your own. There are the calculators for estimating your body fat percentage, BMR and BMI.

Price: $9.99

You might find the price a bit high, but this one is the most widely used app and considered the best of them all. Not only is it packed with over two thousand images AND videos but it also has more than 200 workouts, tracking compatibilities, five fitness timers, loads of different calculators and you are even able to ask an exercise professional a question that bothers you. And for a $4.99 monthly, you can double the amount of workouts, photos and videos.

Bio: Amber Collins is a professional freelance writer and fun-loving mother. She is a fitness junkie and always try to be creative in implementing different exercises in her daily activities as a stay at home mom, such as maintaning and organizing the living space. Her story of following her passions in home making and writing about it will inspire you. Her present article is dedicated on the best nutritious and fitness iphone apps.

Mar 5, 2013

switch up your routine - spring forward with new activities

Spring will be here before you know it, and it’s time to get creative. If you find that you get in a rut every time spring time rolls around because you do the same thing every season, then perhaps it’s time to think of new activities. Coming up with a new schedule that allows for new and exciting activities will not only keep you healthy, but it will also help you enjoy spring time more as well. Think outside the box and think of activities you wouldn't normally do. Examples include going on a hike, taking your kids to a nature center, playing at a nearby park, or for an adult only activity, heading to a wine club.

Begin by Making a List of New Activities
Can’t think of new ideas for this upcoming spring? Gather your family together and make a list. Ask each family member what he or she would like to do and agree to do one new activity each weekend until every family member has tried something new. If you can’t think of new ideas make a list of what type of outdoor areas and other potential activities are near your home. You may have forgotten about that nearby nature center that has excellent hiking trails or an indoor surfing center that helps you learn how to surf indoors! By allowing your children to be a part of the organization of new activities they won’t feel left out and at the same time you can complete a list on your own for adult only activities. You don’t want to forget about a romantic date with your spouse or visiting the wine club to get away from it all!

Set Goals so that New Activities Get Completed

When the sun warms everything up outside and school picks up, your kids suddenly might become very busy with school activities, such as soccer and Girl Scout’s activities. In order to fit in your family time be sure to mark an activity on the calendar once a week so that you won’t forget about your new fun list when things get crazy. Setting goals so that the kids will accomplish new educational and healthy activities is great too – it will give them something to look forward to while educating them on the go. What’s more, carving out time to have a date night with your husband or wife will also only take place if you schedule it in, or at least have a goal to try something new to spark some new romance. Whatever you and your kids end up doing make goals so that the new activities will take place!

Remember Which Activities You Love the Most

After you’ve finally tried all of the activities on your new list this coming spring, don’t forget to continuously try new activities while sticking with the ones you love the most. Instead of getting stuck in a rut, plan activities that call for creativity and that will create new memories. Not only will new spring time activities strengthen the relationships you have with your family members, but it will give you something to look forward to. Look forward to switching up your routine, enjoying the sunny weather, and trying something new and social!

About the Author: Corinne is trying to switch up her routine in time for spring to arrive and she can't wait to implement some new changes soon.

storm chasing holiday - guest post by Emily

Storm chasing holidays are one of the newest types of holiday that are available on the market today, becoming more popular due to television series in which professionals chase storms and tornadoes in hope of getting close to them and getting some good pictures.

This type of holiday works in a completely different way to any other holiday that you are likely to book, therefore it is important that you familiarize yourself with what is involved before you rush into booking up anything, remember that as with most holidays, a deposit for a storm chasing holiday is required, this is likely to be up to $1000 and is often non-refundable under any circumstances. 

With a storm chasing holiday, you need to go to where to storms are, not where you want to go. This will most likely mean that you are limited to places like America, that are notorious for their extreme and frequent storms. Consider all of the countries offering a storm chasing holiday and decide which of those places you would most like to see.  Remember that the price of the storm chasing holiday does not usually include travel costs from the UK, if you are from there. So for example if you go to America, you will need to pay for all flights and transfer and must also pay to get yourself to the location within America were you have pre-agreed to meet, this can add hundreds if not thousands onto the cost of the storm chasing holiday. On the other hand, if you are located in USA, it will be way easier for you to chase the storms and travel to the certain places where they are expected to be.

The way a storm chasing holiday usually works is that you will book it and then receive details about where to meet, you will meet on the day and in the place specified and will be introduced to your storm chasing leader.  Then you are usually taken for a 5 to 7 day tour around the country to various different hot spots of weather fronts and weather related activities, in hope of seeing something good. Each evening you will stay in a hotel, which most likely won’t be 5 or 4 star top quality accommodation, but is likely to have everything you need and be clean and comfortable. Once the 5 to 7 day tour is over, you will be dropped off at a pre-agreed place (typically where you were picked up from) and can then make your own way home from there.

One of the disadvantages to booking a storm chasing holiday is that the weather is completely unpredictable, this means that you could book it and there could be no storms at all during your holiday which  would be very disappointing. To help this disadvantage, people offering storm chasing holidays typically only have them on offer between April and June, because this is a very short period the places on these storm chasing holidays usually get full very quickly.

Some companies to offer a guarantee for if you are unlucky enough to not see a storm whilst on holiday, the way this guarantee usually works is they will say if you don’t see at least two storms while you are on holiday, we will give you some money off the next storm chasing holiday you book with us. 

If you never plan on going on a storm chasing holiday again, this guarantee won’t be much comfort to you and so you may not want to take it too much into consideration.  If you intend to go storm chasing at least once more, however, this money off voucher will greatly reduce the amount you end up paying next time.  Storm chasing holidays are usually quite expensive, costing thousands just for the storm chasing part.

Bio: Emily Miller is a professional freelance writer and blogger, social media junkie and chocolate lover. Traveling all over the world and telling all about it is what drives her at most. She is constantly seeking for newer and more exciting destinations and experiences. Her readiness to share all about these amazing travel adventures is the reason why we are delighted to have her present article on here.