Chasing Davies

February 23, 2017

Staying Active with Kids!

As you know from this post, I've been doing the Jenny Craig program (I've stuck to it - a few bumps, mainly due to work travel, but I'm making progress). Part of this program - and life - is working in exercise into my life.  I've always loved to workout and I grew up playing sports, but since becoming a mother with my career only getting busier, I have had a hard time finding the time.

I've also begun to think more about how to instill healthy habits in my children. In the summer, it's easy to keep them active - and stay active with them - with a mix of sports in the backyard and lots of outdoor activities, like family walks.

Children's Mercy shares 10 tips to keep kids active in the Winter here, and I'm finding that these are great tips for how I can also stay active WITH my kids - and get the wild energy out of them by bedtime ;). I still strive to get to the gym for a "real" workout a couple of times a week, but if I can blend my mom time with a workout, plus set a good example to an active lifestyle with my kids, that'll ease a lot of my own stress (about my own schedule, being with my kids enough and their wellbeing). 

Some of our favorite ways to stay active together in the cooler months:

1. The most fun - dancing! We play music videos via Vevo's YouTube channel, or my favorite, dance to choreographed videos via The Fitness Marshall - and get an amazing workout in by dancing. We laugh and move, and it's just all around fun. I even do these dance workouts alone during naptime - it's truly a great workout!  You can even make a YouTube playlist of all your favorite dance videos so you don't have to search each time. Check out mine, here!

2. Bundle up and head to the park.  Well, at least on the days that it's not toooooooo cold, especially when I can tell the kids need some fresh air and have lots of wiggles, we bundle up and go to the park. Bonus! We usually have the park to ourselves... Liam loves to play tag, so that gets me sprinting (he is surprisingly fast!) along with them.

3. Doing Yoga. For real! Kids are actually naturals when it comes to yoga. I think as we grow older, we teach ourselves out of the ability - slowly developing weaker cores, poor postures and tighter range of movement. I want to keep my kids doing yoga, so they retain those strengths, and it's something you can easily do at home (once you know the basics and have pretty good form) with YouTube videos or sequence printouts.  You can also try this DVD for kids specifically.

4. Play 'Simon Says' - One of Liam's new favorite games!  This is a great way to get them to be active, and then let them turn the tables onto you!  I especially like having them hop on one leg, crawl towards me, shake their booties and skip around the house! ;)

5. Indoor Bouncing - If your space allows, get a trampoline (that we also move to the backyard during the summer months) for your basement/play space, or even a blow up bounce house if you have a lot of space (you can also then deflate and put away!).  My kids love to bounce, and it's a great - and quick - way to expend some energy.  More for them, less for me, though!

 Do you have any tips for keeping active in the winter months or with your kids?

Make sure to sign up for Children's Mercy emails for more parenting tips and follow @ChildrensMercy on Twitter or Facebook!  You can follow me + other area KC moms via #CMHMoms.

This post is in partnership with Children's Mercy Hospital of Kansas City
All opinions are my own!

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February 22, 2017

Mamas & Minis Collective: 6 Toddler Books on Real-Life Heroes


A few weekends ago I saw Hidden Figures with my friend and her 8 year old daughter (my Goddaughter!), and I was so inspired. I practically cried the entire time! Those women are my heroes! I cannot wait until my kids - both Liam and Nora - are old enough to see that movie (and learn from it)!  And since they aren't right now, it got me thinking about other things I could be doing to teach them and show them real-life heroes worth learning about and learning from. I want them to know all kinds of inspiring stories from those that have paved the way of so many others, but more importantly, show them that no matter their ideas, they can give them a voice.

I want to instill creativity and perseverance, and show them they don't have to follow stereotypes on what they should/shouldn't do, but rather go after their dreams whether that's becoming a scientist or a teacher.  I also was looking for books that had real ways to inspire and problem solve!

Shop my favorites here:

So, I did a bunch of searching and Amazon shopping, and picked up a bundle of great books! Then two-days later when I got them, I couldn't wait to to start reading them to my kids.  We've been enjoying them ever since - and my very favorite is when my kids ask me questions about these real life superheros after we're done reading the book, and we have a great discussion. My kids are only 3 and 5, but it's never too early to start talking about going after your dreams!

Do you have any favorite books??
For National Reading Month, you can check out other book recommendations from these mama bloggers:
Laura is sharing toddler books for difficult situations.
Sandy is sharing kid book subscriptions to keep them flowing in easily!
Carly is sharing atypical fairy tale books.

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February 13, 2017

Off the Beaten Path: Hammerhand Coffee


I love playing a tourist in my own city. Often times on the weekends (when the weather and attitudes are right), we have ourselves little family adventures, exploring new parts of our home town (see our last adventure here).  But, I also love finding new and interesting coffee cafes, restaurants and local shops to meet friends or for a date. 

I'm someone that will go the extra mile(s) for the good coffee that is in a unique environment.  And sometimes, the look of a restaurant trumps the best food. I mean, the food has to be good, but it's the whole package.  So, every now and again, I'll try to share some of those unique places that has good food/coffee/shopping, but a unique ambiance - like Hammerhand Coffee in Liberty, MO.

The coffee and food offerings at Hammerhand Coffee were great, right on and worth the extra miles but the sweet turquoise tile detail on the wall and counter and chairs coupled with the lovely table in the sunny bay windows, made this coffee shop worth heading to Liberty for!  It's also in the historic downtown part of the city of Liberty, surrounded by other cute little shops, restaurants and tree lined sidewalks.  It's definitely worth the trip outside the KCMO metro area for that good cup of coffee, snack and time in a new area.

Any other unique places I must check out??

{Outfit Details: Long Sweater Cardigan - last year's Loft (similar herehere and here), Jeans, Tank (another options here), Sneakers (this version is on super sale!), Necklace c/o Tulip, Ring, Lips}

Photos by the talented Elizabeth of Elizabeth Ladean Photography.  
She shoots portraits, engagements/weddings and lifestyle sessions all around Kansas City.  You can follow here on Facebook here and on Instagram here to see more of her work!
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