No Couch Potatoes Allowed! Easy Ways to Stay Active with the Kids this Winter.

Exercise with your kids!  This doesn’t have to be stressful – or work – make it fun!  Or, I’ll just let ya’ll borrow Baby J for a day.  That should take care of your exercise for a week.  How do you think I lost my baby-weight?  Chasing around my whirling dervish who leaves a horrific path of destruction in her wake…

Don't let the angel costume fool you...

But I digress…

The weather has been unusally warm in Oklahoma – but we all know that it won’t last.  So here are some handy dandy ideas for keeping active with your kids this Winter! 

 Baby J and I chat with our dear friend Michelle Linn on Fox23Daybreak this morning about how to do just that…

  1.  Lead by example – if you don’t ever exercise or if you complain about exercising – chances are your kids aren’t going to want to do it either…(so Marnie, quit your bellyaching…)

Studies show there are just as many benefits for kids as adults –

                   i.     Healthy weight

                  ii.     Less likely to get sick

                 iii.     Increased sleep quality

                  iv.    Improved mood (umm – YES please.)

                  v.     Helps develop fine motor skills

                   vi.     Decreases risk of ADD

  1. Start with something familiar: It is good to start with activities that both you and your child know how to do. Participating in activities your child is comfortable with will build their love for being active and give them confidence so they will want to continue.
  2. Keep it competitive: This challenges everyone to give the activity their all. If you are swimming – for example – see who can do the most laps in a certain amount of time. Be sure to keep the competitions friendly and positive. Negative words and actions can turn a child off very quickly. Winning isn’t the goal – having fun as a family and getting exercise is our goal.
  3. Variety: Kids also get bored easily, so doing a variety of activities throughout the summer will alleviate that and keep the kids (and you) interested in staying active.
  4. Try something new: Trying a new activity as a family strengthens the bond because everyone is experiencing something together as a family. Everyone is in the same boat.

 Ideas for Indoor Activities:

  1. Designate a place where kids can roll,  jump, move around  – I would not suggest the formal dining room with Grandma’s antique china….
  2. Twister
  3. It's all fun and games until you fall on your private parts....

  4. Dance contests
  5. "Drop it like it's hot"....

  6.  Build an indoor obstacle course
  7. Scavenger hunts – (tip:  Just don’t hide something like raw eggs and then forget about them…it doesn’t really smell very good after a few weeks.  Trust.)
  8. Old fashioned games such as Ring around the Rosie/London Bridges/ Simon Says/Follow the Leader (Baby J’s fav – Ring Around the Rosie.  It can really get your heart rate up when you have to do it like 500 times in a row…)
  9. Video games like Wii Fitness
  10. Baby J loves to help with our workouts....

  11. “Circus Acts” – put on a family circus with jump roping, hula hoops, juggling (Shane could do a one-man circus show with all his stupid-human-tricks…)
  12. Charades
  13. Family Talent Show
  14. keeping active with kids

    Or you could just do a family Luchador Wrestling night....

  15. Make a game of cleaning house – yes people – it can be done.  As long as you aren’t too picky about the term “cleanliness”…
  16. Go to Rock Climbing Gym.

So there you go.  No excuses to sit on your hiney when the weather is cold and frightful.   Because being active with your family can be delightful….(yes, I know, that was bad).   Happy exercising!

Eating Out with the Kids. Or I’d Rather Get a Root Canal. (And a giveaway for Mi Cocina!)

And I’m sure anyone else with a toddler would agree with me.  Dining out with Baby J and company – it’s not as fun as it looks, folks.

eating out,
Now, wouldn’t ya’ll like to have dinner with this face?
HOwever, there are some places in town that actually welcome a face like this…
One of our newest restaurants on the Tulsa Dining Scene – is one of them.  Mi Cocina.  (And guess what?  I’ve got a $50 gift card for one of you lucky ducks.  So keep reading 🙂 ). 
I was SO excited when I heard they were coming to T-town.  Having lived in Fort Worth for eight years – Mi Cocina and their Mambo Taxi’s were a staple of my pre-kids diet.  (For those of you who have not had the privilege of having this delicious frozen concoction of homemade sangria and margarita goodness swirled together – well, people, you are just missing out). 
Anyway – I digress.
They opened late last year on Cherry Street – and they’ve been packed ever since. 
Mi Cocina started 21 years ago as a tiny restaurant in Dallas.  Their focus was simple Tex-Mex with high quality ingredients.  And it obviously worked.  They now have several restaurants in Texas – and Tulsa is their first restaurant outside of the Lone Star State (yeah us!). 
So I decided to brave the Baby J factor and take the family there for dinner.  It had been way too long since Mama had a Mambo Taxi. 
eating out with kids

The Holy Grail of all drinks...may I present the Mambo Taxi.

First of all – the restaurant itself is totally hip.  My architect husband is not impressed by much – and he loved what they had done to the build out.  It exudes coziness and warmth, while at the same time being modern and chic.  And I was also shocked to see how family friendly it was (thank goodness).  It is nice to see family friendly restaurants that don’t involve a play-yard or involve the words “Chucky” in their title. 

Eating out with kids
The Tulsa location. Love it!
Completely uncharacteristic of her dining out manners, Baby J was very well-behaved (must have been the Mambo Taxi I slipped in her sippy cup….).  The service was amazing – and they were super friendly – especially to the kiddos, even though we left a mess.  Sorry guys. 
The food is very simple – and quite tasty.  I had the Rico Salad – which is one of their best sellers.  Fresh veggies, juicy fajita chicken all chopped up and served with your choice of any of their yummy homemade dressings.  My hubby had the fish tacos that were also pretty darn good.  Nachos for the kids (I may have eaten a few too…) and homemade pecan prailines (SINFUL) for dessert.  Our tummies were full – and the prices were very reasonable for families. 

The Beef Rico Salad. Hungry yet?

(Confession:  I did have to go back WITHOUT the kiddos and introduce my girlfriends to this wonderful place.  Several Mambo Taxis later….well, that’s a whole other blog post. :).
So back to my giveaway.  Just leave a comment on my blog – and I’ll draw a winner on Friday, Jan 20 for a $50 gift card to Mi Cocina!  Perfect for a family (or girls) night out! 

Not Cut Out For Coupons. (Tulsa Kids Magazine)

Happy New Year!  I’ve finally emerged from my hiding place at Camp Tough Love.  I must be part bear – because I have basically hibernated for the past two weeks.  So – Nancy and friends – I still haven’t written about our epic ice -skating disaster. (As Cam on Modern Family would say – :”Let it scab, Nancy, let it scab…”) But don’t you worry – it’s coming.  Along with video and photos to boot.

In the meantime – I thought I would share with you my latest article for the January issue of Tulsa Kids Magazine about saving moolah at the grocery store.  Without cutting coupons.  Thanks to all my readers that helped contribute to the article!  Now if I could just get ya’ll to do my shopping for me…


I do NOT recommend taking four kids to the grocery store.  No matter how darn cute they are. 

Read and enjoy!