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A Midwest Life Posts

Valentine’s Day survey

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!  I hope everyone had a wonderful day and was also able to partake a bit in a few President’s day sales 🙂 .  I certainly made a dent at Gymboree and Carters…

Since I haven’t been around here for awhile I thought it would be fun to do a quick Valentine’s Day survey!

valentines day

1. What is your favorite Valentines Day treat? Maybe a brownie?  Or blondie, those are probably my favorite!

2. Sweethearts or chocolate covered strawberries?
Chocolate covered strawberries, I am fairly certain sweethearts are not even real food.

3. What was your favorite Valentines day memory?
I’m not sure, Valentines day isn’t really a very memorable holiday for me since it is so close to my birthday.  David’s and my first Valentine’s day involved a date with my brother and his new girlfriend (now wife!) so it was fun.

4. What movie would you rather watch on Valentine’s Day: Pretty Woman or You’ve Got Mail?
I haven’t seen either one, I would probably let David pick and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t choose either 🙂 .

5. What celeb would you not mind having as your Valentine?
No clue, can I have a celebrity chef come and cook for me?  That would be amazing.

6. What would you do on your perfect Valentine’s date?
 David and I love going out and just walking around the mall and doing a bit of shopping, going out to eat, and then catching a late movie.  This doesn’t happen too often since we have a strong hour drive each way and that takes up quite a bit of time when scheduling a babysitter.

7. Red or pink lips on Valentines Day?
It depends on my outfit, this year it was more of a pink color.  

8. What is your ideal Valentine’s Day date outfit? 
It depends on what we are doing.  It we are at home, yoga pants.  If we are going out, probably a dress unless it is super cold and snowy like this year, then jeans 🙂 .

9. Homemade or store-bought gifts? 
Either, we don’t usually do gifts but I also don’t ever complain about receiving a little blue box 🙂 

10. Would you wear your hair up or hair down for a date night? 
Unless a messy bun counts as hair up I usually wear it down.

Have a wonderful day!

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TKO Running Belt Review

I was provided the TKO belt in return of a honest review.

Happy Friday!  My favorite day of the work week 🙂 .  It seems as though the day always goes faster than the rest, Max, Asher, and I have a few things to do each Friday that keep us busy and David rarely works late on Fridays which is great!

Today I have a fun review for you.  A couple of weeks ago I was sent a TKO running belt to try out.  Of course I was excited to try out a new piece of running gear!

TKO running beltsource

In the past I have typically used a Flip Belt so the TKO belt felt quite a bit different for me at first.  I wasn’t so sure I would like it but it is actually very comfortable.  It adjustable as well as stretchy to ensure a tight, but not too tight, fit around your waist.

running belt

It also has to very stretchy pockets.  One large pocket and one smaller pocket, both with zippers.  I was surprised at how big the pockets were when I first tried it!  I was able to fit my IPhone 6s plus in the big pocket!  It was a (very) tight fit but it is also a huge phone and I was not expecting it to fit at all so it was a huge bonus!  I definitely would not be able to take the phone in and out of the pocket while running since the fit was so tight but it is nice to know that it at least fits.

The belt also has reflective bands and is water resistant!  Important for those sweaty summer runs 🙂 .  The zippers are also pretty easy to open and close, although, when running I did find that I slowed down a bit to do so.  I haven’t done any long enough runs with the belt to need fuel however my fuel fits pretty well in the small pocket if I were also wanting to bring my phone.

You can check out the TKO running belt and get your own here.  At only $12.99 the price is fantastic and it comes in four colors!

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Take control of social media

Happy February!  We enjoyed quite a warm weekend here in Minnesota.  Although it looks as though it will be short lived as tomorrow we are expected to get around 5 inches of snow.  I’m still hoping the forecast will change but it doesn’t look like it will happen.

Last weekend I heard about a town where cell phones and Wi-Fi are banned due to a high tec. telescope and being a part of the the National Radio quite zone.  While the residents seem to think it is no big deal I think most would agree that giving up their cell phone would drastically change their day.  However, there are also a lot of stories about people doing a “social media cleanse” or giving up their cell phones for a period of time due to the excessive amount of time they spend on social media.

tdy-greenbank-nocell-tease-150129_c049f9bfb10db9c6b083040076511f9eimage from Today

While I agree most people probably spend a little too much time mindlessly scrolling through their phones I don’t think it is practical to give it up completely either.  Finding a balance is key and here are a few tips in reaching that balance.

  1. Log out of your accounts each time you close them.  This will automatically turn off any notifications and deter you from mindlessly opening the app since you have to take the time to log in each time.
  2. Set a specific “social media” time.  Just like you may allow your kids 1/2 an hour of TV per day or schedule 45 minutes a day for a workout schedule in your social media time as well and only use that time to be on social media.
  3. Guard your personal life.  Only share what you are comfortable sharing knowing that you may be judged.  Sharing a smaller portion of your life will leave social media out of the majority of your life leaving you with less of a need to include it so much.
  4. Have something else you are going to do when you have a few minutes.  When you are waiting in line, sitting in a waiting room, or any other time you would typically pull out your phone and scroll through some form of social media have something else in mind to do instead.  This could be reading a book, learning something, or anything else that you enjoy and can take with you.  Perhaps even have a conversation with the person you are with at that time!
  5. Download apps conservatively.  Do you really need to be active on every single social media platform?  Probably not, choose just a couple that you really love and focus on interacting on only those as a way to cut back yet still enjoy interacting on social media.

I think completely giving up your cell phone seems a bit unpractical for most people.  While it is true that everyone got by just fine before cell phones but we no longer have phone booths, people don’t stop to help others on the road, and, whether we like it or not, cell phones play a huge role in our daily life.  I also don’t think that cell phones are as much the problem as how we use our cell phones.  They don’t even come with social media apps downloaded!  It is up to us on how much we let them interfere with our day.

Have a wonderful day!

Would you ever give up your cell phone?

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Improving my sleep in 2016

Hello everyone!  It’s the last week of January already!  This means a couple of things for me.  First, it’s almost my birthday!  My birthday happens to always fall either on or around the Super Bowl so I make my family celebrate the Super Bowl and my birthday all in one.  This makes for quite the birthday party every year 🙂 .  Second, it means that we have had a month to either work on our New Year’s resolutions or to procrastinate or avoid them all together.

Each year I typically choose one area to focus on in my life.  Last year I focused on enjoying doing what I wanted and simply being myself.  After two close pregnancies I felt as though I had been pregnant non-stop since 2012 and it was fun to be able to do things I love again.

This year, now that Max and Asher are both on a semi-predictable schedule and sleeping through the night my goal is to improve my overall sleep quality.  There are countless reasons to working on improving your overall sleep and simply try to get more sleep.  This graphic from Casper helps explain common sleep issues and how to correct them.


How do I work to improve my sleep quality?

  1. I go to bed at the same (very early time) pretty much every night.
  2. I use lavender essential oil or a blend that is intended to help with relaxing.
  3. Ensure the temperature is comfortable.  This isn’t much of a problem in the winter but not having air conditioning can make it a little uncomfortable in the summer.  Last year we put in a small window unit that was surprisingly quiet and worked pretty well!
  4. Clean sheets!  I am pretty strict about this one 🙂 .  It may just be a placebo effect but i always sleep better the night I wash the sheets.
  5. I have also gotten a lot more strict on night time eating.  I almost always have a snack before bed simply because we eat dinner pretty early but I am more aware of the timing.
  6. I also don’t let any animals on the bed.  I know it doesn’t bother a lot of people but between the hair and simply them taking up space it affects my sleep quality.

A few other ways that really help with quality sleep is a good mattress and pillow.  We bought a new mattress when I was 9 months pregnant and it was the best thing ever 🙂 .

How are you going to improve your sleep in 2016?

Also be sure to check out the Casper Mattress Twitter page!

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Five thoughts from the week

Hello!  Happy Friday 🙂 .  David and I have the rare opportunity to go out tonight alone!  It has not been easy finding a babysitter and especially one that is available during the school year so we are excited for a nice quiet dinner tonight.

I can’t believe it is almost February we have pretty much gotten back into our regular routine since the holidays although next week marks the beginning of Max and Asher’s early childhood classes.  For some reason they started way later than everything else but we have been enjoying the extra time at home with all of their new toys 🙂 .


I wish this picture wasn’t blurry but most are with these two, I found them hanging out like this while David and I were working in the kitchen 🙂 .

Five thoughts from the week.

I had to get my driver’s license renewed this past week.  This is significant because first, the last time I did this was when I was pregnant with Max (although I didn’t know it yet)!  I can’t believe it has almost been 4 years?  Also, this meant I was reminded once again that I need to plan a beach vacation before I get my picture taken so I have at least a little color in my face 🙂 .  On a positive note David was able to come home during the day so I could re-new my license without taking Max and Asher and without taking up valuable daycare time to do it.  I like to save daycare hours for work 🙂 .

I did end up taking Max and Asher to the post office which is always an adventure.  This time they actually unscrewed a huge sign that was hanging up and once we put the sign back up they started hitting each other with rolls of bubble wrap.  Thank you David for teaching them to sword fight…  They are actually pretty good, just very active 🙂 .

Marathon training starts in just a couple of weeks and I still don’t have a treadmill!  While I don’t mind running outside in the cold the ice has become a bit of a problem and it has been way too cold most days that past couple of weeks.  We ordered a new one but it was damaged during shipping so the company had to send a new one.

Although, it was still only in the teens a couple of days this week and I saw people walking around without coats on because it seemed so nice out.  You know you live in Minnesota when…

And last, I think we are finally going to start taking down the wallpaper in Max and Asher’s room this weekend!  Each month  I pick one house project to complete and painting their room is on the list for January.  Since we only have two weekends left we need to get on it!  Also, the doll themed wallpaper they currently have really clashes with their superhero stuff 🙂 .

Have a wonderful weekend!  I will be sure to share pictures if we actually get around to working on our house, David and I are not handy in even the smallest way so it should be interesting 🙂 .

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