Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Devote 94 mins to 127 Hours

127 Hours (R, 94mins)

This movie is based on the true story of Aron Ralston (and his book Between a Rock and a Hard Place) and his amazing experience being trapped in a canyon for 127 hours.

The story itself is captivating. Aron is an extraordinary explorer with skills and sanity that just blows you away. James Franco, who portrays Aron, is fantastic in this film...he better be, he IS the film. He is engaging and just captivates the audience.

Danny Boyle directs this challenging story with a nice balance of comedy, drama, and emotion. By using flashbacks and fantasy, he breaks up the tragedy of this experience. It was surprisingly moving (lots of weeping at the end, and not just for the hormonal pregnant woman). The music, by ARR Rahman (a Boyle favorite) is fantastic yet again (please check out his music, its amazing). The scenery is breathtaking.

Overall, I recommend this film on the big screen. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the film. There are some graphic moments that might not be appropriate for kids under 13.

December! Always so busy!

In being a mom for so long, I have finally decided that December is just one of the busiest months of the year (holiday concerts, parades, extra shopping and baking, parties, class parties, work events, and Christmas, of course!) I might as well prepare for it and try to reduce the stress of the month. This is where I probably drive my husband and co-workers nuts with planning so far in advance, but I think it pays off.

Not that we didn't have our extra challenges this year....a big fall on the ice for me, at least one case of strep, putting in new flooring in the kitchen, horrible weather, and being very pregnant....

What I did this year.....
I did most of the Christmas shopping in end of November and first week of December. This year I did a lot of online shopping. I watched the ads and came in with a great budget. However, I have to remember where everything is hidden before the 23rd when we leave for the family visits.

I did most of my preschool gifty/end-of-semester work the first two weeks of the month so I could enjoy the students (and my family) this last week.

I stopped to enjoy the kids, hubby, and take some time to myself. Sleep, read a trashy novel, breathe.

We are trying to get up North a bit earlier so we don't have to run to more than 2 places per day.

Can I say crockpot! Thank you crockpot for feeding us this month.

I baked cookies/candies for the school cookie grab early and froze them.

Thank you for the Snow Day for some extra time to get everything done!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Fitness Friday!!!

Let's talk shoes and clothes.

There are lots of new toning shoes on the market. And now Reebok has a line of toning clothing.

I will start by saying that I have not actually purchased either of these products, however, I still find them ridiculous.

Let's start with the shoes. I actually think that walking in these shoes may help tone and sculpt your lower body and core. But simply having them on your feet, will do nothing. Your butt will not look like the girls in the commercials. You have to walk or run in them, and in significant amounts. Such amounts of activity might help you loose weight and tone muscle regardless of your shoes. If you don't already walk for fitness, I would recommend purchasing a good walking shoe first. If you enjoy walking and would like to make it a regular part of your fitness routine, you might consider these type of shoes. However, at $100 per pair, I would recommend a set of squats and heel raises at the end of your walk instead for free.

Now, the clothing. Just as the shoes, the clothing itself will not help you loose weight or tone your muscles. Regular cardio and strength exercises combined with a reasonable diet are the only ways to truly achieve this goal. (Remember, you should aim to exercise for 30mins at least 3-5 times per week) Simply wearing tight clothing all day, will do nothing. Again, I haven't tried this product personally. As with the shoes, if you are already in good shape, these might help you continue to progress in your fitness goals. Price-wise is it comparable to other specialty fitness appeal ($55-80 per item).

There is no easy fix to getting in shape. You have to put in the work, time, and effort. Instead of purchasing specialty clothing, invest in a gym membership (great deals are around in December and January), a great pair of cross-training shoes and sports bra, and even a couple sessions with a personal trainer.

For affordable fitness apparel, I like Target and Kohls. I do have a several things from Fit Couture, that I LOVE as well.