June 22, 2010

Make the time for yourself! Exercise!

If there was anything I was missing out on in the last couple of years ... it was making the time for myself. Taking a timeout from being "Mom" and really finding out what helps me be a better Mom.

I'm not sure how many of you readers will relate, but if I've done anything so far via networking ... it seems that I have helped motivate some of you to get up and workout!


It's time for YOU! This is where we get to focus on just "me" and nobody else. It's 1 hour out of the 24 that we get to be Mom, Wife/Partner, Sister, Brother, Daughter, Friend, Employer/ee, etc ...

No More Excuses.

It's only ONE hour out of your day to help you release those endorphins and feel good about yourself. It has truly made me a better Mommy and Wife! I have so much more energy for my son and more energy to get things done around the house! 
More than making me a better Mommy, it's changed my life ... it's just made me a better ME! 

In this post, I will give you simple workouts I have tried, followed, dedicated myself to and worked hard at for the last couple of months. These workouts are all easy ways for EACH AND EVERY ONE of you to try and stick to! There will be no excuses after reading this because each workout is different with all types of excuse-free classes and ways to work it out!

I promised Before & After Pictures and a promise is a promise. I swear, I am getting more brave by the day with this site ... holding my breath ... here goes! 

The REAL Before: This is how I was at about 6 weeks pregnant: (tiny)

 About 2 weeks before I gave birth ... I had already looked like THIS! 

 And the day before birth like this! And yes, I only had 1 baby inside of that belly! (isn't my Mom beautiful?)

So, needless to say, my body has been forever changed! After 2 years, I finally got my act together and started shedding the flab!

I have recently looked like this (PIC LEFT) and have ended up looking like this (PIC RIGHT): 9 lbs lighter & down 2 dress sizes!
(PLEASE try not to focus on my horrific tan I had gotten in the before pic, more keep in mind that the tan should have made me look skinnier! It's not doctored, I just pushed auto correct color to make it brighter)

How did it happen? 
I watch what I eat! I do not eat anything after 7:00p! I do not eat desserts after 5:00p! I try to eat as little amounts of processed foods and anything full of white sugar as possible! I do eat Gluten and Dairy Free ... so that does make it easier to lose weight when you do not consume flour! However, many of those Gluten Free foods are processed with a ton of sugar to help make up for taste! So, I have to be very careful! I do not suggest anyone to try the Gluten Free/Dairy Free lifestyle unless they know they are sensitive or allergic to it - Please consult a Doctor. My advice: Just try to consume more veggies, fruits and proteins! Eat Healthy!

I also got up every morning and worked out (5-6 days per week)! 
If you want to lose inches, weight and flab you MUST workout! 

Here are the workouts I did and still do: 
  • Stroller Fit with Melissa Thomas at The Westfield Topanga Mall  (Mon. - Fri.) from 9:10a - 10:10a

  • Pilates with Sherry Abdi at Firm & Fit Pilates in Woodland Hills (Mon. + Wed.) from 11:15a - 12:15p

  • Bar Method with multiple instructors at Bar Method Agoura (Tues. + Thurs.) from 4:15p - 5:15p

Let me elaborate on these INCREDIBLE trainers who have gotten me where I am today .. in bathing suit shape!

Melissa Thomas is an incredible instructor who can really help ease the most out of shape women into shape! When I first started at Stroller Fit, I could barely breathe when we would run from one tree to another. I was always last and would constantly complain of some sort of cramping! I constantly laughed at myself and thought how difficult this process would be, that I would rather be at home laying on the couch or just hanging with my son ... but I started to meet other Moms that were in the same boat and it kept me coming back! It becomes like a family and we would all say "I'll see you tomorrow?" Not to mention, Melissa made me feel comfortable enough to want to keep coming back. After about a week I got the hang of getting up, getting Dylan ready to go and getting out the door to class! By the second week, I felt like a different person, mentally. I found myself having more energy and craving the workout! I haven't been the same since! I am addicted to working out because of Stroller Fit!
This class starts with a warm up, side shuffles to a serious muscle toning workout with elastic and resistance handle bands, skips on to a sprinting or fast paced jog competing with other Moms alike and moves on to the most dreaded ... but best part ... The Stairs!!! We run stairs! It's hard, but it's so good!!! After the stairs we head back into the mall where we all gather in a pack and do arms, stomach, etc ... more toning and fun and interactive with all the other Moms. This is where we usually let the little ones come out to roam on the carpet with us, my son's favorite part! This is a great workout for any Mom. Whether you are pregnant, just had a baby (and have the ok from your Dr. to workout again), out of shape or in shape ... THIS IS A GREAT CLASS FOR YOU! No excuse perk - no child care necessary! AND there are always easy payment plans and great deals each month!

I decided to interview one of my Valley Mom Team Members (my workout inspiration) and ask her why Stroller Fit was the right fit for her ... here is what she had to say!
VM: What is the one thing that comes to mind of why you love SF so much?
Lisa: That I can go workout and not have to hire and pay a babysitter. I have the freedom to just get up and go workout! No need to plan everything, make meals, get babysitter, pay a kids club; I JUST GO!

VM: Have you lost weight and gained muscle tone from it?
Lisa: YES, YES and I've even gained endurance from it!

VM: What kind of person would you refer to Stroller Fit?
Lisa: ALL KINDS! Pregnant, After baby, in shape, out of shape ... ANY MOM! They have workout bands for all strengths and you can go at your own pace! Every Mom!!! (And Dads too)

VM: How do you feel about Melissa?
Lisa: I LOVE HER! She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. Just a great person in general. Very personable. She's motivating! If you need more of a push .... she'll give it to you. If you need her to lay off because you are pregnant or just getting back into shape ... she will ease up. Stroller Fit would not be the same if Melissa was not the instructor ... she is the one who makes Stroller Fit what it is and why I go!

VM: Any perk or bonus you would want to share with other Moms?
Lisa: My 2 years old, Tyler, has learned Spanish, Days of the week, the Months and how to workout just like Mommy! Plus she loves going! I also met a lot of new friends there ... more Mom's I would have never known if I didn't join! I wish I would have known about SF right after I had my first daughter. Just getting out of the house and needing to get back in shape...  you feel gross, hormonal, in need of other Mom's, etc ... this class gives you all that and more! It's like a Mommy and Me that helps Mommy tremendously and Baby gets to hang with Mommy, play with other babies and learns things too! It's a Win-Win!

If you mention The Valley Mom you will get a free "Mommy Muscle" T-shirt this month and your first class is FREE!!!!

You can contact Melissa Thomas at Stroller Fit by Clicking Here for the details on her website or call her at (818) 631-1257 or you may email her at melissa.thomas@strollerfit.com

Sherry Abdi is one of those women you look at and say to yourself  "How can I get a body like that"? Well, she has the answer! Pilates! She is an amazing instructor who knows so much about Pilates. She knows so many variations of toning, stretching and moving that you feel like it's a new workout every time you step foot in her incredibly zen and peaceful studio. I didn't know what to expect when I first tried Pilates. I thought it was just going to be these really confusing and difficult machines that I would make a fool out of myself with. NOT THE CASE AT ALL! The reformers are so simple, so comfortable and make so much sense! Sherry walks you through every movement ... always making sure you are doing it correctly and getting the most out of your workout. If you want to tone up your body and focus on your core all while gaining muscle strength in your arms, legs, back, obliques, etc ... this is the workout for you! Cardio will always help you shed the pounds and lose the flab BUT you need to tighten all of it up! You need to make sure to find those muscles, heal those joints and regain your flexibility!Sherry promotes you doing cardio as well as Pilates!
Per Firm & Fit Pilates this is a bit more on what Pilates is:
"Pilates is more than exercise, it is a mind and body experience! Developed over 80 years ago by Joseph H. Pilates, the repertoire can be performed on various pieces of apparatus including the Cadillac, Step Barrel, Reformer, Wunda Chair and Ped-O-Pul or simply on a mat. The emphasis of the work starts with a strong, balanced and stable core. The core is an intricate unit of muscles that work synergistically and create a more efficient foundation from which our movement originates. Often, we overuse or underuse muscles of the core and in turn our whole body, creating imbalances that can eventually lead to poor posture, tension, injury and limited mobility.

Pilates is dedicated to restoring muscular balance, increasing functional strength and flexibility, lubricating and mobilizing joints, improving body alignment and posture, and heightening body control and awareness.

Pilates is unique because it can enhance everyone’s life activities. The results can be profound no matter what your current age or condition holds. Remember, everyone has his or her own challenges because no two bodies or minds are the same. Pilates is for everybody- young, old, injured, man, woman, child, ill, fit, overweight, athletic, strong…We welcome you to try for yourself."

I truly rave about Firm & Fit Pilates because I didn't really gain any muscle tone whatsoever in he last 5 years until I started there! Sherry is so flexible and accommodating with times. Whether you want a private training session, semi-private or group classes, you will find exactly what you are looking for.

Before I found Sherry my stomach flab was awful. I had a HUGE pooch and thought that only tummy tuck would be the answer! Sherry proved me wrong! She helped me get rid of the worst part on my body, my horrific stretched out tummy. It's the focusing on the core that helps so much! Trust me! The three women I know who have become true workout fanatics ALL do Pilates and say it changed their life. I feel the same exact way!Now I know why they became so addicted.

This is a great workout for those of you who can get away from your little ones for a while. While my son is in school, I go to Pilates! And guess what ... Sherry is offering all you readers the deal of a lifetime! You can't find this kind of a Pilates deal anywhere! Just mention The Valley Mom to get the following:
- First trial class is FREE!
- $20 off for every time you refer a friend that signs up too!
- $100 off the group class price for the 11:00a & 12:00p classes

If you have been wanting to try Pilates ... this is the place, now is the time and here is your chance! CALL! Every friend I have referred absolutely loves Sherry, loves the studio and loves their new body! And please know you obviously do not have to be a Mom or a woman to enjoy Pilates or this special offer!

To contact Sherry at Firm & Fit Pilates go to www.FirmAndFitPilates.com or call (818) 331-4070 or email Sherry at SherryAbdi@aol.com
Firm & Fit Pilates is located at: 4881 Topanga Cyn. Blvd., #215, Woodland Hills, CA 91364
You can also find Sherry's Firm & Fit Pilates on Facebook - CLICK HERE


Let me just say these words for you: Shaking, Sweating and Serious Stamina! Bar Method is one of those workouts that makes you want to cry during it and smile when it's over! It's this sense of major accomplishment it gives you to know you made it through. They want you to shake and sweat until you can't possibly take it anymore. When I first walked in and started the workout ... I have to admit, I was so thankful that I had already gotten in shape by this time. The workout is so intense and the muscle tone that you can acheive is beyond any other "bar" class I have taken. These girls really know what they are doing and exactly where we all need the push. Tushies tucked, tummies in, chest out, shoulders back and tighten! If I can tell you one thing that has changed more drastically than any other part ... it would be my booty! And boy to I owe that to Bar Method! I get the best booty workout considering it's tightened through about 80% of the class! Like Pilates, they focus on the core, stregthen & lengthen and promote flexibility! Put it this way: my 3rd class of Bar Method, I was doing the splits on both my right and left sides again! It has been over 5 years since I could do that! This class consists of warm up with light weights, holding on a ballet bar to do a major tush/thigh workout (harder and more intense than any other) flexiblility training, push ups, ab muscle workout while also getting legs in at the same time - using the bar and mats, and then they top it off with what they call "back dancing" ... I like to call it the Tuck, Tuck, Tuck! All I have to say is GOODBYE CELLULITE! 

Amazing workout and so worth the trial! You will fall in love if you are serious about getting in shape or finding something new! You do not have to be in shape to do this class nor do you have to be a dancer. This class is for people who are serious about changing their body into an incredible looking shape that you have probably never seen it do before! For a FULL EXPLANATION with multiple pictures of what this workout consists of - CLICK HERE.

Take advantage of their serious special for all NEW clients: $100 for 30 days of unlimited use!!!! I did it ... now you have to do it! You will thank me, I promise! 

No excuse perk- they have child care in the morning classes Modays - Saturdays and it's only $6!!! My son LOVED the day care at Bar Method!

To contact the Agoura Bar Method Studio please visit their site by Clicking Here (prices  + schedules are posted) or you may call the Agoura studio at (818) 735-5415 or email them at AgouraHills@barmethod.com
They are located at Whizin Market Square (near The Canyon Club) 28878 Roadside Drive, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
You may also find them on Facebook - Click Here

I truly have lost a ton of flab, cellulite, unnecessary weight (9 lbs.) and two dress sizes! Everyone can do this! I want to personally thank Melissa @ Stroller Fit; Sherry @ Firm & Fit Pilates and all my AMAZING instructors at Bar Method - You have seriously changed my life forever! Because of all of you, I am a happier person, more energetic person, better Mom and so much healthier! I love all of you so much!

Please know that you do not have to become insane and take 2 classes per day like I did. If you can somehow make time for 1 hour of cardio at least 3 times per week and 1 hour of intense muscle tone/core classes 3 times per week then you can get into the summer shape you have been wanting to be in! Or if it's a lifestyle change ... just start now! Who cares how many hours or how many days just get up, go take a walk and realize how much better you feel when you add a little exercise in your life!

Please let me know if you have any questions! I am happy to answer anything!

Please make sure to email me to let me know if you have been inspired to workout, how your prgress is and if you would be interested in being interviewed on your progress! 

Good Luck and Get Movin'!

More Motivation? Here goes more bravery, holding breath, closing eyes, attempting to send this to all of you ... ughhhhhhhh ...
See here:

June 18, 2010

Win a FREE Spray Tan with my fave - Megan!!!

We've picked our WINNER!!!
Congratulations to ...


How do you win?
Simply email: TheValleyMom@gmail.com
Subject: I want to win a spray tan!
In the email you must answer this question: 
Who is The Best Spray Tanning lady according to The Valley Mom?
(The Valley Mom will pick a number out of a hat 1 - 25 and whatever number is picked will be matched to the person's email delivery number! Hurry up and email now so you can make the top 25!)

The dish on Megan:
She's my amazing spray tanning lady. I have officially tried over 20 spray tanners and I would list all of their names ... but there is just no way I would refer half of them. This one has fabulous colors, fantastic product, takes care of her products and has been in the tanning business for over 12 years, people! I use her on a regular basis as well as for every special occasion.

  • Name: Megan Goebel
  • Phone #: (805) 338-2282
  • Email: allbronze.noburn@gmail.com
  • Her studio is in Thousand Oaks - can travel to you for additional fees uoon request
  • She runs special deals on a regular basis - see her 4th of July deal below!
  • Prices do vary: $50 for a spray if you go to her and $65+  for travel prices although they can change upon location. Call or email for a quote!!! *Best deal in town for a personal sprayer!!!
  • Become a Fan on Facebook: All-Bronze-No-Burn-Airbrush-Tanning-and-Make-Up
I honestly get more questions on who I use for my spray tan than anything else beauty wise! I am constantly handing out her information as people love my color! It is so natural! You can ask Megan ANYTHING about tanning and she will have an answer for you. She knows which colors will be best suited for you depending on season and occasion. I have referred her many, many customers and anyone who has tanned with her becomes a repeat client. That's almost impossible in the tanning world. She knows how to make your feet a perfect natural look while getting every part of your body even with color. I have NEVER turned orange from her color! She also powders you when she is done so that the color dries and stays for longer. Another perk. She's amazing and I love her! You will not have any streaks or alien looking hands or feet, I promise!

* Try to book your appointment well in advance. Weekends and Weeknights are best for her.But she is happy to accommodate to the best of her ability!

Megan's 4th of July Specials
Take advantage while you can ... 

2 sessions - $80
5 sessions - $150
10 sessions - $250

Refer a friend!
For each client you refer, you will receive $5 towards your next session, package or you can use it towards retail products that will help maintain your tan days longer!
Call or email today to make your appointment
*Individual sessions are $50 each – travel to your location will incur an additional fee*
Offers good now through July 10, 2010

Lead Found in Baby Foods & Juices!

Lead Found in Popular Baby Food and Juice Products

17 June 2010
Lead, a highly toxic chemical for children, was found in the following food and drink products for children and babies. The specific food categories included apple juice, grape juice, packaged pears and peaches and fruit cocktail.
  •  Beech Nut 100% Apple Juice
  • Del Monte 100% Juice Fruit Cocktail
  • Del Monte Freestone Peach Slices in 100 % Juice
  • Del Monte Sliced Yellow Cling Peaches in 100 % Juice
  • Dole Mixed Fruit in Light Syrup
  • Earth’s Best Organics Apple Juice
  • Gerber 100% Juice – White Grape Juice
  • Gerber 100% Juice Apple Juice
  • Gerber 3rd Foods Peaches
  • Gerber 3rd Foods Pears
  • Hansen’s Natural Apple Juice
  • Langers Apple Juice 100% Juice
  • Minute Maid Juice Apple – 100% Apple Juice
  • Motts 100% Apple Juice
  • O Organics Organic Unfiltered Apple Juice Not From Concentrate
  • Old Orchard 100% Apple Juice
  • R.W. Knudsen Just Concord Grape Juice
  • S&W Natural Style Fruit Cocktail in Lightly Sweetened Juice
  • Safeway 100% Juice Apple Cider
  • Safeway Organic Grape Juice
  • Santa Cruz Organic Concord Grape Juice
  • Trader Joe’s Certified Organic Apple Juice, pasteurized
  • Trader Joe’s Pear Halves in white grape juice
  • Tree Top 100% Juice Apple Cider
  • Tree Top 100% Juice, Grape
  • Walgreens Apple Juice from concentrate 100% juice
  • Welch’s 100% Grape Juice (from Welch’s Concord Grapes)
  • Welch’s 100% Red Grape Juice from Concentrate
  • and many other brands and products
If not detected early, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can develop damage to the brain and nervous systems, behavior and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems and headaches.
While many foods were tested, many were not. It may be a smart idea to stick to homemade baby food - especially when it comes to apples, pears and peaches - and avoid the contaminated brands until the companies repair the situation.

This is so scary ... my son drinks White Grape juice with his water everyday! That's enough to cause harm if there was actually lead found in the product we buy! Luckily the one he drinks did not have lead found in it!  I will admit, there are 2 items on that list I just threw out of my fridge! Make sure you do the same!!!

June 16, 2010


So, of course all you beautiful ladies out there still ask me all the time which self tanner I love and who spray tans me ... and I am finally giving you the dish on THE BEST SELF TANNING LOTION around! Hands down, there is no other lotion like this. I swear, I have personally bought over 5 in the last month, 20 in the last 6 months and you can probably estimate what the number is of self tanners I have purchased over the course of the last 15 years of self tanning! ;)

NO OTHER SELF TANNER COMPARES TO THIS ONE! And by now, I think you all know that the "Tanning Mom" knows her product! I've personally had 3 other "Valley Moms" test out the product and they all agree: WE ARE ADDICTED! Quoted from my fellow Valley Mom Team member, Lisa B "I LOVE IT! The color is so much more brown than other self tanners, lasts so much longer than all the others I use and the smell is my favorite compared to the others. Only negative - I want a bigger bottle! 6 oz jut doesn't cut it!" Bring on the Beautisol! (formerly known as Antidote)

First, when you place your latex-free gloves on and you gently rub this silky smooth product all over your body, you immediately get to see the insane color that you are ever so deliciously turning into! And you know how I love when a lotion is pre-bronzed, as you can make sure to see any spots you may have missed or any potential streaking! The color out of the bottle is a dark blackish, redish, brownish tint and that somehow turns you into an EXTREMELY natural brown color! There is absolutely NO tint of orange whatsoever! I promise! The color is the most natural I have ever seen or had in all my self tanning lifetime! It's truly INCREDIBLE! And a perk - the smell is delicious! They have a "No Smell Technology" that was developed in Europe that we are ever so lucky to have been blessed to use here! Here's a tid bit on this incredible technology:
"We utilize a cutting-edge fragrance technology, SMELL RIGHT, to neutralize and encapsulate the unpleasant processing smell or odors typically associated with self-tanning. This breakthrough solution reduces the offensive malodors by up to 80% through the balance of technology and fragrance molecules.
How did SMELL RIGHT come to be?
This technology had a very interesting start that many of us can relate to! A lead chemist at a well-known fragrance house could not stand the way his wife smelled after she applied self-tanner, so he began his extensive search to figure out precisely which fragrances neutralized the malodors and which fragrances could be used directly with DHA and not cause any interactions or to changes to the self-tanning formula. After years of testing he was finally able to seal smelly self-tanner’s fate forever! Beautisol™ is proud to introduce SMELL RIGHT technology to the U.S. market. Self-tanner users may now breathe a sigh of relief!"

If you are looking for a self tanner ... this is the one you want! This product is paraben-free and packed with powerful antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients that help nourish and hydrate the skin. I can assure you, you won't be upset you ordered it! Go to their website www.beautisol.com and order today! If you try it out and love it, become a ClubSol member where you get $5 off the retail price, FREE shipping and updates and invites to all their products and events! 
The price of a 6oz. bottle of Beautisol is $39 (that bottle lasts a tan-a-holic like me up to 10 tans which is just under 3 months for me, on average).

Buy it today and CLICK HERE to be redirected to BEAUTISOL! 

Or just click below and you can choose from both their products: Summer Glow (instantly dark) or All Season's Glow which is a more gradual glow.


xo, Happy Self Tanning!

The Month of June has a ton of Family Fun Events!

Please CLICK HERE to check out all of the Fun that's going on in the Valley! 
(or you can just click on the "Weekly Events" tab above)

Plenty of things to do! Most of them are FREE!!!

This one looks like it will be a ton of fun ... and yummy too! 

June 14, 2010

The Daily Dinner Planner ... lifejust got easier!

This little 5 minute menu preparation can make your life easier by 5 hours!
Do it!

If you can sit down each week on a Sunday evening or Monday morning and plan out your meals ... it can seriously save you plenty of preparation time during the week! 

Just buy a magnetic Dry Eraser board and make columns for Monday through Sunday with a small column for extra shopping items you know you may need or items you need to pick up later for freshness in the week.  All you ever have to erase and re-write are the dinners. Or you can keep them up and keep rotating those dinners if you know your family loves them! For instance, Taco Tuesday is always an easy day to remember for me! Or make Thursdays Turkey Dog night! You can look at my current board that is pictured above and get an idea of what I am talking about.

I look at the dinner plan each morning, look in my fridge/pantry and know whether I have the ingredients or not. This way, at 4:00p I have started preparation and I have extra time to spend with my son, work and workout! 

I promise, if you ever want a quick idea to help you out ... just buy a Dry Erase board - CLICK HERE for a good magnetic one with a few Dry Erase Markers - CLICK HERE for those and call it a day! You can set it up on your kitchen counter if your fridge is not magnetic. Such a great idea that I truly utilize every day to alleviate the headache and stress of what to make for dinner! 

Hope this helps and makes your dinner and shopping a much easier thing to do!

The Valley Mom: An Exclusive Look at Demitasse Jewelry

The Valley Mom: An Exclusive Look at Demitasse Jewelry

June 03, 2010

Love a Good Deal?

Some of you might already be a member to this site ... and some may not!
Either way, as a Valley Mom ... I love it!
You have to check it out!
Click Below:

(there are other cities available too)

You get one great new deal emailed to you everyday!

This last week you could have bought:
 Bar Method Classes for $50 for unlimited classes for one month (usually $100)
A Margarita Pedicure at The Painted Nail for $25 (usually $50)
A Brazilian Bikini Wax for $25 (usually $50)
Follow Your Heart Cafe - $30 value gift card for only $15!!!

Make sure you sign up! Love it!

The Valley Mom