Thursday, October 24, 2013

TABATA Workout

Yesterday, I had the honor of joining the Fit Mom Diet team on the FOX 10 News Morning Show to help demonstrate a TABATA style workout. TABATA is fun and you can do it in less than 5 minutes at home with or without equipment! 

Here is a blog post written by Fit Mom Diet and posted on their page, check it out! They even posted a workout to get you going! 

Fit Mom TABATA Workout

Tabata is a popular workout phenomenon right now.  It is high intensity exercises for 4 minutes at a time, 20 seconds intense work, followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds.  Studies show that tabata style workouts have been linked to increased fat loss and improved endurance. It gives you both aerobic and anaerobic benefits, just like you would get from a both cardio and strength workouts.
These time saving tabata sessions work your entire body in less than 40 minutes. For those who have more limited time to workout, consider breaking the tabata workout up by doing rounds one through four.
Tabata workouts can be incorporated into your routine easily as there is no equipment necessary to perform them.
Below is a tabata style workout you can do in the comfort of your own home. Make sure you warm up properly before you begin.  Marching or jogging in place is an easy way to warm-up Pre-workout. Finally, after you’re done do a cool down and stretch.  Because this style workout exhausts your muscles depletes your energy, its important to fuel your body with proper nutrition post workout. Within thirty minutes of working out make sure you eat a snack comprised on protein and complex carbohydrates. Examples include a high quality protein shake such as Isagenix IsaLean, Greek yogurt with a banana, or tuna on Ezekiel bread. Remember to also drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Any exercise can be incorporated into the Tabata training. However the basic outline of the Tabata training method are as follows:
•     4 minutes long (whole Tabata Session)
•     20 seconds of intense training
•     10 seconds of rest
•     Total of 8 sessions or rounds
Check out the Fit Mom Diet Team on Fox 10 Arizona Morning show demonstrating a TABATA style workout:

I had so much fun with the Fit Mom girls and have loved surrounding myself with like-minded women. It really is good for the soul!

Stay Healthy,

Excerpt taken from an article on, you can read the full article here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Workouts just weren't working out (haha) for me anymore. Either I wasn't able to take my dear little one to the gym daycare because he had picked up another cold from, they gym daycare, or I had too many things going on during the day and just couldn't get myself there regularly. 

Change was necessary. 

I used to go to bootcamp from 5am-6am and friends thought I was crazy. But really it's not that crazy at all. Since my workouts weren't happening as much as I liked I figured instead of complaining about it, or making excuses, I'd set my alarm for 4:35am and get to the gym at 5. 

Today was two days in a row and I feel amazing. I took control, made a change and am already noticing a difference in my mood just from having that hour of "me" time before the rest of the family starts their day. It's nice because, I get home at the time I would normally wake up, groggily, and make my dear husband and my older son's lunches for the day. Not my teenager just gives me a crazy look when I come bouncing in the house at 6am as he's just rolling out of bed. 

I am happy with this change and happy I am dedicating myself to health and working on being a happier person. Make a change, it seems hard, but if you don't try, you'll never know what good it could bring... 

And just for fun... since I'm on a "cleanse" day (which I'll explain more about later) I did a little easier workout today. Lighter weights, enough to spark my muscles but not enough to make myself too fatigued. Here's what my workout consisted of: 

Wide Grip Bench Press with Barbell 

Cable Cross Over
Planks on a stability Ball 

Side to Side Push-ups

Incline Bench Press with Barbell 

Toe Touch/ Crunch Combo 

Make it a great day!!! And check out today's Deal of the Day from Tinyprints! It's about that time to start ordering Holiday cards!! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

{Wordless Wednesday}

Ok... so this post may not be so {Wordless Wednesday} after all... 

For the past two years I've been trying to get my body back. When I was pregnant I gained 72 pounds. Yes, I just said that out loud, 72 pounds. I don't think I ever told anyone just how much I had gained... I guess I carried and hid it well to the outside eye. 

On my journey of finding myself over the past couple of years, I've also been on a journey to fall in love with my body. Friends who are close to me know that I am overly critical of myself and a little bit too hard on myself at times. Ok, pretty much all of the time. For me, it isn't about the size I wear, or how much I weigh {I don't weigh myself unless I have to} it's about what I see when I look in the mirror, how I feel and being comfortable in the clothes that are in my closet. 

I am proud to say that I do love my body. Yes, I complain to myself or my husband about my stomach, or my booty but in life there is always room for improvement. Just because I still want to work on certain areas doesn't mean I can't love my body. Even when I had gained 72 pounds carrying my second son, I still loved my body. {pictured}

Where-ever you are in your life, you must love yourself first. You must wake up with a positive outlook and know that you are the best possible version of yourself that you can be. Knowing this, deep inside will open up doors and potential that you didn't know existed. So try it, make sure you always, always, always Love Your Body first and just see what happens. You will be amazed. 

Stay Healthy,

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Teething, What Works for You?

My youngest son is 28 months old, yes I had to count that on my fingers because normally I just say "two". 

Exactly two years ago he and I traveled home to see my family in Northern California and his stubborn little self decided it was time to cut his first teeth at just 4 months old. While I was excited that he was "cutting his first tooth" it also made for a very stressful, un-fun trip. Ever since then, we've been teething. Drooling, meltdowns, mood-swings, cranky pants, you name it. I feel like his perfect little teeth are taking forever to come in but I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Just this morning I spotted his first of four two-year molars through the gums. Finally! He's been saying his teeth hurt and has had swollen gums for months! It has been a long two years, but I've come to realize and accept that this is part of life and EVERY ONE goes through it {some kiddos and parents just handle it a little better}.

My son hasn't been the easiest teether at all. Aside from what works for us and soothing our cranky baby, I have also learned a lot about myself and patience along the way. It's helped me understand that life is about growth, constantly. I've also learned what works and what doesn't in our house as far as teething goes so I thought I'd share in case you too are in need of something to soothe that poor baby's gums!

What hasn't worked... 
Tylenol, Ibuprofen, frozen bananas or any other cold fruit or ice in a mesh feeder, and distraction. When his teeth are bothering him there is NO distracting him...

What HAS worked...
  • Frozen washcloth to chew on always helped, especially when he was a baby. I'd get half of it wet, throw it in the freezer for at least thirty minutes and give it to him to gnaw away! He loved it and it always seemed to calm him down a bit.
  • Chilled teething toys were, and still are, a huge hit. Even now, he will ask for his little Sophie teething ring from the freezer and when she's thawed out, he'll ask for a different one.
  • A spoon. Yes, I said a spoon! When he was younger, I would plop him in his high chair and give him his little metal baby spoon that has the soft tip and he would chew on that for a good while. He still loves to chew on a spoon now!
  • Baby Orajel Naturals on occasion. We mostly only used this at night when he was screaming in horrible pain, I think when he was getting those painful canine teeth. After I'd rub a little on his gums he'd always calm down, so I knew it was working. I used this one because I felt safe since it is free of benzocaine, alcohol, and dyes.
  • Staying calm and realizing that this is all part of growth and there isn't anything I or my husband can do about it. Staying positive and patient while he screams in pain is beneficial for us and for him.
What are some things that you have used to help soothe your teething baby or toddler? What worked and what didn't? I'm still looking for suggestions on how to get through these last molars that are taking their sweet time to come in!

***Originally posted on East Valley Moms Blog as a contributor post***

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Giving a Gold Star

Yes, I will admit, I am one of those.

I didn't really realize until reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin that I am a person who is achievement based. I know that I have a very strong type-A personality and I know that I am a perfectionist but I didn't know that on top of that I needed to have a pat on the back for work well done.

After a lot of the self reflection I have been doing lately, I decided to start GIVING gold stars instead of  wanting them. I have found that when I am always wanting them I feel empty and discouraged. Just giving gold stars, or even compliments to complete strangers has filled my cup and helped me release that feeling of needing them myself. It has taken my focus off of waiting for them and replaced it with a new focus of helping others get their gold stars.

You never know what someone else may be feeling, what they are thinking and you can't ever judge a book by it's cover. Giving someone a compliment or even just saying "hello" to a stranger could really be the highlight of their day and be that gold star they might be waiting for.

Do it. Make a change and give a gold star. You never know... giving one or two may actually be just what your day needed too.

Stay Healthy,

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy: 12 Things Happy People do Differently

I have been doing a lot of soul searching as of late; reading, meditating more, making goals and committing to them, etc... I am creating my own happiness and am always looking for more words of wisdom to help me a long the way. 

I saw this article on Huffington Post {via a friend share on Facebook} and immediately fell in love with it. It describes so much of what I feel, think and believe. I have been practicing most of these in my own life but now moving forward I want to REALLY practice them. Make them part of my daily disciplines. 

  1. Express gratitude. -- When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value. Kinda cool right? So basically, being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness. And that's without having to go out and buy anything. It makes sense. We're gonna have a hard time ever being happy if we aren't thankful for what we already have.
  2. Cultivate optimism. -- Winners have the ability to manufacture their own optimism. No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it. She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life. People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times [3].
  3. Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. -- Comparing yourself to someone else can be poisonous. If we're somehow "better" than the person that we're comparing ourselves to, it gives us an unhealthy sense of superiority. Our ego inflates -- KABOOM -- our inner Kanye West comes out! If we're "worse" than the person that we're comparing ourselves to, we usually discredit the hard work that we've done and dismiss all the progress that we've made. What I've found is that the majority of the time this type of social comparison doesn't stem from a healthy place. If you feel called to compare yourself to something, compare yourself to an earlier version of yourself.
  4. Practice acts of kindness. -- Performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain. (Serotonin is a substance that has TREMENDOUS health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.) Selflessly helping someone is a super powerful way to feel good inside. What's even cooler about this kindness kick is that not only will you feel better, but so will people watching the act of kindness. How extraordinary is that? A side note is that the job of most anti-depressants is to release more serotonin. Move over Pfizer, kindness is kicking ass and taking names.
  5. Nurture social relationships. -- The happiest people on the planet are the ones who have deep, meaningful relationships. Did you know studies show that people's mortality rates are DOUBLED when they're lonely? WHOA! There's a warm fuzzy feeling that comes from having an active circle of good friends who you can share your experiences with. We feel connected and a part of something more meaningful than our lonesome existence.
  6. Develop strategies for coping. -- How you respond to the "craptastic" moments is what shapes your character. Sometimes crap happens -- it's inevitable. Forrest Gump knows the deal. It can be hard to come up with creative solutions in the moment when manure is making its way up toward the fan. It helps to have healthy strategies for coping pre-rehearsed, on-call, and in your arsenal at your disposal.
  7. Learn to forgive. -- Harboring feelings of hatred is horrible for your well-being.You see, your mind doesn't know the difference between past and present emotion. When you "hate" someone, and you're continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are toxic for your well-being. You put yourself in a state of suckerism (technical term) and it stays with you throughout your day.
  8. Increase flow experiences. -- Flow is a state in which it feels like time stands still. It's when you're so focused on what you're doing that you become one with the task. Action and awareness are merged. You're not hungry, sleepy, or emotional. You're just completely engaged in the activity that you're doing. Nothing is distracting you or competing for your focus.
  9. Savor life's joys. -- Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy. It's easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life's enjoyable experiences. When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic. It's the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them.
  10. Commit to your goals. -- Being wholeheartedly dedicated to doing something comes fully-equipped with an ineffable force. Magical things start happening when we commit ourselves to doing whatever it takes to get somewhere. When you're fully committed to doing something, you have no choice but to do that thing. Counter-intuitively, having no option -- where you can't change your mind -- subconsciously makes humans happier because they know part of their purpose.
  11. Practice spirituality. -- When we practice spirituality or religion, we recognize that life is bigger than us. We surrender the silly idea that we are the mightiest thing ever. It enables us to connect to the source of all creation and embrace a connectedness with everything that exists. Some of the most accomplished people I know feel that they're here doing work they're "called to do."
  12. Take care of your body. -- Taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be. If you don't have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected [4]. Did you know that studies conducted on people who were clinically depressed showed that consistent exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft? Not only that, but here's the double whammy... Six months later, the people who participated in exercise were less likely to relapse because they had a higher sense of self-accomplishment and self-worth.

Excerpt taken from an article on, you can read the full article here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Start a Local Moms Blog in Your City!!

I hope you’ve noticed how much I have loved being a writer for East Valley Moms Blog. It has been such a great opportunity to develop my writing, play a part in connecting moms in our city, and to get to know the other women on our fabulous team. 

East Valley Moms Blog is an amazing resource for moms in the East Valley area and we are passionate about what we do! I’m proud to be part of something that is making a positive influence on both our beautiful city here AND on a national level! Did you know East Valley Moms Blog has over 30 Sister Sites around the country? 

These 30+ Sister Sites make up City Moms Blog Network. Each site is written and run by local moms, for local moms. They provide parenting information unique to their community, and to make things even more fun, they each throw fabulous events to get moms in their cities out on the town. 

This network of locally focused moms blogs has empowered women all over the country to start their own businesses. When someone joins City Moms Blog Network as a Sister Site owner, they are joining a family that is eager to encourage and support one another. Sister Sites are provided with assistance in the startup phase, ongoing education and resources for continued support, and a community of fellow site owners eager to share best practices.

With the help of City Moms Blog Network, these Sister Site owners are able to become entrepreneurs (mompreneurs) and local influencers, all while doing something they love and are passionate about. I have loved watching the founders of East Valley Moms Blog grow it into what it is today, and I am thankful and proud of the part I am playing in that!

Is there a City Moms Blog Network Sister Site in your area? City Moms Blog Network is currently looking for Sister Site owners in 25 specific cities in
California, Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington. If you or someone you know might be interested in impacting moms in your community like East Valley Moms Blog is, jump at this opportunity to join CMBN with your own Sister Site. These ladies are passionate about what they do and would love to partner with YOU to do the same! 


Friday, September 13, 2013

Loving Yourself, Realization, and Taking Responsibility

**This is somewhat of a rant, vent, blur of words...don't judge**

My goals for the month of September shifted. Dramatically. The more I started reading again and running {which is another topic} I started to self reflect more. I went back to my counselor a couple of weeks ago after not seeing her for almost a year and a half. During that hour talking with her, I came to a lot of realizations, without even knowing it. 

Self reflection is important, almost as important as meditation. Who we are and who we see ourselves as is what keeps us going, gets us through happy moments and sad. The more I dove into myself, I was finding that I've gotten a little lost over the past two years, since tiny human was born. I've been taking time for myself, but was I loving myself? Am I able to get up in the morning, as happy as I may be and say, "I love who I am and who I am growing to be"? 

No, I could not. 

I realized that at some point I had gotten wrapped up in materialistic things again and wasn't focusing on the more important virtues. Yes, I eat healthy and I exercise but I also splurge and sometimes over-exercise {which really does NO good whatsoever}. I was worried about what we had planned for the upcoming weekend, what my hair looked like and if my outfit was cute enough

I realized that I don't know people as well as I thought I did. 

I realized that I am surrounded by a lot of negative people who don't love themselves enough to live a healthy lifestyle. They are so wrapped up in cosmetic and materialistic properties that their health isn't even a priority. With this realization, I have learned that I don't really want to be surrounded by people who don't treat their health as a priority. I want to be around people who are going to be dancing with me when I'm eighty years old, and traveling to Maui when we're 85. 

I realized I have a huge love for kale {random} and that making it a daily discipline to eat it at least once a day isn't that hard. 

Each day in September I am loving myself more and more. I am feeling free and happy and more in love with my husband than ever. I like to blame the fact that I am taking responsibility for my actions, thoughts, priorities and am moving forward instead of standing still. Despite my small hip injury {i hate that word} I am still getting exercise. I am changing my diet and I have new daily practices. I'm hoping that once I get everything more organized I can start blogging about it in a better fashion. 

I am remembering every day that health is wealth and you can't be healthy until you start with loving yourself and taking the responsibility that only YOU are capable of. 

Stay Healthy, 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Must have iPhone Apps for Moms

By now, I’m sure you all know that I think very highly of my iPhone. Last week I shared some Cool iPhone Apps For Kids that I absolutely love and approve of my kids playing with on occasion. While our kids are important and all, what about us? We need a break too sometimes, or something to help us stay organized, edit photos, track health and fitness, and once in a while, some mindless entertainment. There are thousands of apps available for free and to purchase, and these are at the top of my list on my phone.

Instagram & A Beautiful Mess, Free/ $0.99 

I love taking photos with my iPhone, and fellow contributor Erin would agree that Taking Great Photos with your Smartphone is the way to go. I always use the camera app that comes standard on my phone, since it takes really great photos but my favorite app for sharing them is definitely Instagram. You can customize photos, and now videos, with several different filter effects and share them with your friends and family right from the app, post to Facebook, Twitter or even email the finished product. If you wanted to get even more creative, you could use another favorite of mine, A Beautiful Mess to decorate the photos with text or doodles before uploading to Instagram.  Don’t forget you can follow EVMB on Instagram-just look for us under eastvalleymomsblog!

Cozi Family Organizer, Free
Have you ever made plans with your friends only to find out your husband has also made plans with his friends on the same day? This was a frequent problem in my house until I found Cozi Family Organizer. A calendar, shopping and to-do lists are just a few of the great features this app has to offer. Each family member can download the app and since it is shared everyone uses the same log in. You can add or edit appointments and grocery lists and everyone in the family can see it! I still love to have my calendar hanging on the wall, but this is a sure way that I know my husband will see my appointments and weekend plans. Now, if it’s not entered in the app? It’s not happening! Calorie Tracker, $2.99
Looking to shed weight? Track what you are eating or track your daily exercise? I have downloaded several health and fitness apps over the past few years and while My Fitness Pal used to be my favorite, – Calorie Tracker has taken over the #1 spot on my iPhone. I love the ease of being able to track my water intake each day and keep my food journal up-to-date right on my phone. It’s always fun to get little daily reminders to help keep me on track too. While I usually don’t like to spend money on apps, keeping a food and water journal is important to me so spending the $2.99 to get this app didn’t bother me.

Lift, Free
My most recent app find is this amazing little personal trainer called Lift. Several of us use sticker charts for our kids to keep them doing their chores and developing habits, right? So, how about a sticker chart for your iPhone? For YOU to maintain consistency and help keep accountability for activities you might often ignore. You can add habits like brushing your teeth or set reminders to stop and enjoy life for a few minutes. I have been using this app for a couple of weeks and I’ve already noticed more of a consistency with things such as flossing my teeth and reading more. I like having to “check-in” and jot down a little note each time I complete a goal I’ve set and it’s always fun getting “props” from other users when you have marked something off for the day.
Those are the top five apps on my list. Of course I love the Notes app that comes standard on the phone, FacebookNike+ Running to track my runs and set challenges with friends,Pandora, and of course ESPN Fantasy Football to watch the scoreboard each week to see how I’m doing in the East Valley Moms Blog Fantasy Football League. What are YOURfavorite apps to stay organized and take a break from mommyhood?

***Originally Posted on East Valley Moms Blog as a contributor post***

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Cool iPhone Apps For Kids

Entertaining our children today has become so different from just ten years ago. It’s no question that some two-year olds can maneuver their way through an iPhone much better than an adult and I have often found myself turning to my fourteen year old for help with changing a setting on my iPad. Smartphones can be a helpful tool for parents when we just need those few minutes to fold some laundry or mop the floors. Little eyes are so mesmerized by videos of their favorite cartoon characters, learning apps that can teach them letters, or even just scrolling through a photo album of family members. My iPhone has come in handy more than once while strolling the aisles at Target or doing my weekly grocery shopping and I want to share some of my favorite children’s iPhone apps with you, because yes, I am THAT mom.

Endless Alphabet, $5.99 
This one is my absolute favorite for toddlers. Children can interact at their own pace, there is no score or level to complete. It helps with vocabulary and learning the ABC’s while engaging the child with interactive puzzles of moving the letters to their missing places. It’s so simple for little fingers to use and the animations are fun and exciting for them! It’s definitely worth the $$ for this one! Endless Alphabet is available from the iOS App Store.

Angry Birds, $0.99 (or there is also a FREE version)
Any time that I have had a conversation about kids and iPhones with another parent, the mention of Angry Birds almost always comes up. It has been one of the top apps since 2009 and with more and more levels always being added, kids will never get bored! While this app is geared more toward older pre-school and school aged children, there are plenty of teenagers and parents playing as well! Angry Birds is available from iOS App Store andGoogle Play Store.

Color Drops, FREE 
Of course children love to color with markers, pens, crayons and paint but this is a mess free way for them to create beautiful artwork! My favorite animated coloring book with so many different categories of drawing fun. Toddlers and older children can create artwork starting with a blank page or choose a coloring page such as princesses, dinosaurs, numbers and letters. The sound effects are super fun for the little ones but might be get a little annoying for the older kids. While the app is free it only includes one coloring page for each category, additional pages are available for purchase in the app. Color Drops is available from iOS App Store and Google Play Store.

Toy Story Read-Along, FREE
Everyone loves the Toy Story crew, right? This app is an interactive reading experience that my son just absolutely loves! You have the choice of listening to the story being read or you can cuddle up with your child and read it to them. There are also games, a few pages that you can draw and color, and a music feature that plays everyone’s favorite “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”.  The app is rated for four and up, but my son is two and absolutely loves this one. Toy Story Read-Along is available from iOS App Store.

Some other great children’s apps are Toddler StampsMy PlayHomeDora’s Dress-Up AdventuresNick Jr Draw & PlayWATCH Disney Junior, and a great app for all ages,Candy Crush Saga. There are SO many great apps out there and more are always being added. I feel that smartphone use should be limited and parents should always monitor usage and apps, so make sure you are consistently checking that they are age appropriate. What are YOUR favorite children’s apps?

***Originally Posted on East Valley Moms Blog as a contributor post***

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

{Wordless Wednesday}

"Train yourself to listen to that small voice that tells us what's important and what's not." -Sue Grafton

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

{Wordless Wednesday}

Ok... so I know I am not supposed to "say" anything on Wordless Wednesday but I just have to on this first post... 

This will be Week 1, sometimes I'll post one photo, sometimes more. No caption, no words, no description, you get the point. I'd love to hear YOUR captions for my Wordless Wednesday posts though! Please leave them in the comments!! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ahhh, A-Rod, We Meet Again

As I posted earlier {via my blog post on East Valley Moms Blog} I mentioned that it's that time... Time for Fantasy Football! This will be my fourth year playing and I think I am MOST excited about this year. I am participating in two leagues, one with other moms from EVMB and the other along side my husband and some of our friends.

I have done fairly well in past years, always getting either first or second place. Last year, I was quite proud of my first place ranking and owe all of my thanks to Mr. Aaron Rodgers. {Yes! I drafted him AGAIN!}

Don't get my excitement for drafting him confused with being a Greenbay fan, because that I am NOT. No way, definitely NOT. 

Our EVMB league used an auto-draft because of our busy mom lives. We couldn't all coordinate a day to sit down and do a draft, let alone the fact that a few moms have no idea ANYTHING about football.  I am pretty pleased with my draft, with the exception of my TE, Rob Gronkowski. GREAT player, yes and ordinarily I'd be quite happy with him as my TE pick, but since he's injured and will be out for a little while longer while healing (from back and forearm surgery) I am a bit bummed. 

The rest of my team is as follows:

QB: Aaron Rodgers, GB
RB: Stevan Ridley, NE
RB: Frank Gore, SF
RB/WR: Cecil Shorts, Jac WR
WR: Wes Welker, Den
WR: Eric Decker, Den
TE: Jared Cook, StL
Flex: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cin RB
D/ST: Seahawks
K: Blair Walsh, Min

On my bench: 
Rob Gronkowski, NE TE
Daryl Richardson, StL RB
Mike Williams, TB WR
Joe Flacco, Bal QB
Rams D/ST
Dan Bailey, Dal K
Golden Tate, Sea WR
Fred Jackson, Buf RB

Not a bad team if you ask me... They are all strong players and what has helped me in the past is consistency and starting my studs; such as A-Rod. Last year I considered benching him after his HORRIBLE first few weeks and am glad I didn't as he ended up getting me quite a bit of points! Since my team of choice is the San Francisco 49ers, I am SO happy that I drafted Frank Gore!! Now I can actually cheer for a fantasy player while I'm cheering for my team. Was hoping to get their Defense but the Seahawks are great too. 

My tips to myself for this year's league: 

1} Start my studs, always even when I doubt them.
2} Keep track of BYES week after week. 
3} Check my line-up throughout the week, watching for injuries and suspensions 
4} Don't judge the season by the first few games
5} Talk smack to my fellow leaguers 

This will be an exciting season, and I can't wait to root for my 49ers again!! 

Who are YOU rooting for? 

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em! Why Fantasy Football Can Be Fun

It’s that time of year again. NFL team jerseys get pulled out of the closets, husbands start getting amped up from pre-season football games and many of them go MIA for the next five months. Wives start rolling their eyes and complaining about the amount of time the sport pulls their husband away from them, and their honey-dos, while others are excited because this just means more time to go shopping on Sunday afternoons. What many wives don’t understand is that football can be fun, and so can signing up for a fantasy football league.
Growing up, the only football I ever saw was the occasional 49er game on at my grandparent’s house on a Sunday afternoon or Thanksgiving Day games played while we feasted on turkey and mashed potatoes. The only knowledge I had of football was that my grandma really liked Joe Montana and that everyone got excited when there was a “touchdown”. Until I met my husband, I was one of the women that rolled their eyes at the mere mention of football. I hated that he would spend hours with his buddies having their fantasy football draft and then he’d spend even more time watching the games, week after week, yelling at the TV.  I am a very competitive person and what I started to realize was that, “hey, maybe I can beat him AND we can spend more time together.”
This will be my fourth season playing fantasy football and I’ve learned a little bit more each year. There are so many different platforms that offer fantasy football, such as Yahoo! SportsESPNNFL, and Fox Sports, just to name a few. The platform that I love is the free ESPN one and with today’s technology, having an app right on my iPhone is so convenient! I had no clue about football when I joined my first fantasy football league and the only thing I regret about signing up was that I didn’t do it sooner!
With that said, here are my top five reasons that I feel wives would benefit from joining a fantasy football league; whether you like football or not!! You never know, it may grow on you as it did me!
1. Socializing
Really. Who doesn’t like to socialize? Whether the kids and husband are in tow, everyone needs to be around friends while sipping on their beverage of choice, eating finger foods and shouting at the TV because they feel the referee made a bad call. Thousands of people gather on Thursday nights, Sundays, and Monday nights to watch America’s pastime sport, football.  If you aren’t into the sport, instead of staying home and missing a good football gathering, joining a league gives you something to talk about with others when everyone is getting together to “watch the game”. Next time you are out to eat and the whole restaurant starts cheering at the TV, you’ll know why and you can cheer right along with them. Plus, it’s a good excuse to invite friends over on Sunday afternoon.
2. Breaks the Language Barrier
Touchdown, holding, pass interference, what? Do you hear your husband using these words and you have no idea what they are? I had no idea what any of it meant, (well, except for a touchdown of course) and after four years, I still hear the referee make calls that I have to ask my husband about. Being a part of a fantasy football league has helped me to understand the positions, calls being made and who does what on the field. I think my husband and I actually talk MORE now because I can speak his football language.
3. Bragging Rights
Everyone likes to talk a little smack every now and then, right? If you have any sort of competitive nature in you, you will love fantasy football. When your Quarterback throws a touchdown pass or your running back runs 60 yards, you are going to want to brag about it and who better than to those that you are playing against and beating for the week. Part of the fun for me is bragging to my husband, and the rest of the teams, how awesome my team is.
4. Possibility of Earning Money
All of the leagues that I have participated in over the past couple of years have been “For Bragging Rights” and there was no money involved. However, friends of ours and past leagues my husband has played in had a pot that everyone put money into and at the end of the season, the winner gets it all! Sounds great, if you win!
5. Shared Hobby
Not only do I now speak and understand my husband’s football language, there is a lot less resentment between the two of us, having this shared hobby. Instead of being upset that he’s gone out to watch a game or that he wants to watch football on Sunday, I am happy and can talk to him about it. Since we have different teams in fantasy football and we play against each-other, it’s fun to brag to one another about how well our players are doing that particular week or day. We have so many different interests between the two of us that it makes it really nice to share this hobby. I also enjoy discussing with him how my players have been doing while checking my weekly lineup.
Joining a fantasy football league may or may not be your thing, but my suggestion is to at least give it a chance and try it before you knock it! I am so excited for this new season of football to start and really excited that I am a part of not one, but two leagues this year. One of them being our very own East Valley Moms Blog league, which I am REALLYlooking forward to!

***Originally Posted on East Valley Moms Blog as a contributor post***