4 Kickass Workout DVD’s

dumbells for exercise

multicolored dumbells

Do you work out at home?  If so what do you look for in an effective workout DVD?  Do you have a few that you consistently go to or do you have videos to cover your  range of moods?  For me, it’s the latter.  Since I’ve been steadily adding to my growing collection since 2006, I have accumulated over 50 videos ranging in difficulty levels and styles like: yoga, pilates, cardio, weight training, ballet, cardio, kickboxing, kettlebell….  you get the picture.  Talk about an investment…

It was about this time last year that I posted an article on my top 5 cardio dvd’s.  Did you get a chance to try any of them out?   I will admit looking back, those are still some of my all time favorite workouts (yes out of the 50).  However as another year has gone by and my goals are different with wedding day just around the corner, I have expanded my collection into a new realm.  Below you will find 2013’s list which I labeled as “killer workout” since you are left running on empty by the end of these DVD’s….  but it’s so worth it!  Check it out:

1. Jeanette Jenkins: Bikini Boot Camp – Also known as The Hollywood Trainer, I LOVE her.  She’s well-known past her original Crunch Fitness days as whipping celebrities in shape before they strut their killer bodies on the red carpet.   I rediscovered her videos in about March of this year and seriously can not get enough.  This particular video is close to an hour and 20 if you do it from start to finish.  There’s a cardio camp, strength camp, abs camp, and stretch camp all built-in.  She also has kickboxing dvd’s and a power yoga dvd I’m eager to try.  As a foreword, her dvd’s can be a little pricey ($40 on Amazon instead of $15-$20 that most are) but they are absolutely worth the money.

2. Tracy Mallet: F.I.T. (Functional Intensity Training) – Tracy is known for her pilates and cardio barre type workouts but this one incorporates some of those moves, packed in with cardio bursts, weight training and those tricky lesser known exercises that leave your glutes feeling it for days!

3. Shawn T: Insanity –  Now don’t let this one scare you.  Yes you will be gargling for your breath the whole time, but it’s only 30-40 minutes and it’s so worth the time.  Don’t let the “program” fool you.  You don’t have to do the workouts as they recommend to get great benefits.  I treat these as separate workouts and I add one workout into my week if i feel I need an extra boost. They are highly effective when you need a quick butt kicking cardio workout.

4. Jillian Michaels: Ripped in 30 : Like most of Jillian’s dvd’s this one contains several levels of workouts.  This dvd in particular comes packed with 4 short 24 minute workouts.  Surviving one is great, managing to get through two might cause your legs to seize between bear crawls and duck walks it sure packs a punch.  One of my favorite lines is when she says during a glottal exercises “I want to bounce a quarter off your butt!”

These are just a few of my recommendations sure to get you in the best shape of your life whether, like me you have a wedding or special event, or just because you want to look and feel your best.  I encourage you to give at least one of these a try and let me know what you think.

Written by Kimberly Evans

Summer Gardening and its Challenges

English: Bright Lights Swiss Chard with red an...

Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love summer. It brings about one of my favorite activities, which is gardening, more specifically vegetable gardening! What more cost-effective way of growing organic fruits and vegetables is there? Buy a small sprout or plant for under $3 and provided it survives will harvest 3x if not more that amount.

I’m still a newbie to this pastime but have had a lot of fun testing different plants around the garden to see what grows well and what does not. This year so far I have peppers, brussel sprouts, kale, swiss chard, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes and squash. I also have a herb box on my deck an arm’s length away from my door.

My biggest challenge has always been squash plants. I have tried now for three years in a row to grow them in the garden to no avail!  The first year they grew big and fluffy overtaking my poor innocent basil plant.  As soon as they started producing some ugly squash vine borer infested them rotting them from the inside out.   I was pissed!  Literally those bugs are nothing but a pest.  They burrow inside the stems of your plants where they lay their eggs and hatch right inside killing your plant and produce from the inside out!

So to prepare, the next year I relocated them to a different area in my yard in hopes that those insects would not follow.  I even found an organic grain bug deterrent from my local Ace.  Just as they were starting to grow one night a big, fat raccoon climbed into my yard and ate the whole damn plant!  All that was left was a few bite marks and soppy goop from the raccoon’s saliva.  Gross.

So this year I am trying again.  Third time’s the charm right?  Can you tell I’m determined to master this?   I have put the plants again in a new spot, added the natural bug deterrent and put chicken wire around the vegetable plot to try to keep out raccoon, bunnies or whatever other invader might try to poke his way through.  So far so good, I will keep you posted with the outcome of this  year’s attempt.

Whats growing in your vegetable garden? Any advice for pesky invaders? Please share below we can all learn from each other new best practices in  gardening.

Written by Kimberly Evans