Top 12 Diet Weight Loss or Fitness Valentines Day Gifts Ideas

Tomorrow is

Valentines Day! Wheeeee!

I just finished shopping for my husband and it was truly delightful – our 14 years of marriage has given us a great sense of comfortableness and enjoyment, not to mention a healthy appreciation of each’s other’s, ahem, sensual potential. I can’t post what I got him yet, as he reads my blog, but suffice it to say, it will look really sexy on him. :)

So! Onto the top 12 Valentine’s Diet and Weight Loss ideas!

12.) An Amazon gift certificate. Now now, don’t look at me that way – Amazon has thousands of great diet/weightloss exercise goodies at super discounts and bargains! If you give this, your recipient can pick and choose to his or her’s hearts content and you know the final present will be just what was wanted.

11.) Sweetleaf No Calorie/No Carb Sweetener. Clocking in at luxurious tastes, this power-packed drop gives intense flavor to coffee, water, oatmeal, yogurt, etc. It comes in chocolate raspberry, apricot, cinnamon, vanilla creme and many more!

10.) Richard Simmons Workouts. Don’t believe me? RS has highly overweight people who are featured in his workout videos like Sweatin’ to the Oldies III, and you’re left thinking, gosh, if they can do it, I can do it too! Highly recommended.

9.) P90x. The ultimate in extreme home fitness, it compels you to work different muscle groups on different days and actually delivers on its promises. I’m currently on Day 45 of it myself! eBay has it at great discounts too.

8.) Spa Gift Cards. Every person wants to relax…and a great spa day or relaxation hour is a perfect way to tell your lover how much you care.

7.) Love Coupons! Why not print out a free love coupon that you can give to your Valentine, redeemable for a night of unforgettable delights, an hour of wondrous massage, or heck, breakfast in bed or one load of laundry done?

6.) Ekornes Stressless Chair. Okay, true, these cost over a grand, so it would certainly make a statement! But I have to tell you, it’s the most comfortable chair on this planet and really takes off the pressure on your lumber spine. I have one currently as my office chair, and it’s pure heaven.

5.) Tiger Balm. This ointment is perfect for rubbing on sore muscles after fatiguing workouts and is cost-conscious to boot!

4.) iPod/MP4. Not only can your Valentine listen to music while working out, he or she can also download free exercise/fitness apps for it to keep track of workouts too! And you don’t have to buy brand-name – the generics work just as well and are centuries cheaper. I wrote a long how-to about this topic here.

3.) Dance Dance Revolution DDR. Omigosh, I cannot begin to rhapsodize about how many calories you’ll burn nor how much fun you’ll have doing this particular game! You stand on a dance mat, listen to music and try to move your feet in the right spot at the right time. You can even battle each other! It’s tops in my household here.

2.) Childhood comforts. What causes your Valentine to think back on a childhood comfort? For me, for example, it’s my LL Bean houserobe that my mom got me, oh, hmmmm….lesseee, 15 years ago. I refuse to give it up and even got my kids ones that are similar. Do you know what translates into ‘comfort/safety/warm fuzzies’? If so, get thee hence to eBay and look for it – chances are, you’ll uncover it and be able to offer one truly unique gift.

And the Number 1 idea for a great diet weight loss or fitness Valentine’s Day gift is:

1.) Let your Valentine See Into Your Heart. Write a poem, or a story, or simply why you utterly adore your Valentine…put some signature scent into the paper, roll it up and tie it with something beautiful, and hand it to him or her on Valentine’s Day. I guarantee…it will make the most incredible impression…..ever. (need a poem idea? Check out this one about which I blogged awhile ago).



ps – and of course, you can always go with:

Owlbert Gadget Tech Guru Has Returned!

Morning everyone,

It’s been awhile, I know….but two days ago I was seized with an insane desire to bring Owlbert out of retirement!

Known as the Commander of Clarity, Owlbert’s site will be dedicated to identifying trends before the rest of the world does, thus giving readers the edge over their friends and colleagues.  He’s written several great blog posts already – go check him out, follow him on Twitter and enjoy!




“How does she manage to do that with her kids?”


Today as I dropped off my kid at the gym’s child watch, I heard something that made my heart smile.

My kid had forgotten to bring in his toy car in with him, and realized that after we entered the child watch place. Now, it was about a bazillion degrees below zero outside, so when said kid asked me to go back and retrieve the car, I say, alas, no, it’s too cold, but you can have it when we leave the gym.

The instant response was, no no no, I want it now! I listened for 13 seconds, and then simply held out my hand and said,


That’s a cue that Mommy has started counting, and life will be most unpleasant if she reaches “3.” My kid looked at me, sighed, and went off to play.

But the cool thing was, the teacher who was watching said to her colleague, how on earth does she DO that? Every single time he listens when his parents say


It’s called

Setting Expectations!

My children know what’s expected, and they also know what constitutes good behavior. 2 minutes after this, my kid was happily playing with everyone else, his anger forgotten.

Raise your children with boundaries, and they will respond!



ps – want some good child-rearing guides? Consider:

Old software downloads, Hampster Dance, Classic Cows…oh my!


Who among us doesn’t remember the joys of configuring Windows for Workgroups 3.11? Or perhaps Microsoft Windows 95? Want to take a trip down memory lane?

But don’t let the joy stop there – there’s also

And of course, class Internet humor:

Ah, memories…. :)



ps – Too bad the top ones can’t be played with:

Say NO to Chatspeak – Creative writing for kids, great resources


Are you fed up, like me, with kids who can only speak or write in chatspeak?

Kids whose grammar consists of 99% “like you know” and 1 percent…actual intelligent conversation?

I know I am! Chatspeak is utterly banned in my household. In many cases, today’s generation writes on a level that wouldn’t be accepted in the Kindergarten of my youth, let alone grown-up adult conversation. :(

I’m not the only parent who hates chatspeak – other discussions about it include:

Personally, I think chatspeak by itself encourages your brain cells to die. Why should they be active if they’re only used to communicate on a level that would make a fossilized clam laugh? You can see chatspeak examples for yourself at:

Utterly dismal it is.

Anywhos, let’s get to the topic of this post – if you want your children to learn creative writing that actually is capable of influencing one’s emotions, here are some great sites:

The ability to communicate clearly and coherently is a skill that will be valuable long past your child has graduated! Do your kids a favor and ban chatspeak – it will only drag them down into the gutter where they truly DON’T belong.



ps – some neat creative writing goodies are:

I Am Mama Bear, Hear Me Roar!

Omigosh, what a day.

With the exception of my beloved p90x, I worked straight for hours and hours. I’m currently building a community site that’s written in PHP (I know nothing about PHP) and I had to integrate PHP modules in specific formats.

In other words, I had to:

  • Configure the site
  • Figure out what needed to be done
  • Research how to do it
  • Research how to program the how-to-do-it
  • Implement the idea
  • Research why it didn’t work

The above steps were rinsed and repeated for…. gosh, I have not a clue, how many times.

BUT! I didn’t give up!

I found forums where experts resided, asked for help, received it, tried it, DIDN’T GIVE UP, tried other things, DIDN’T GIVE UP, and finally….right before beginners karate arrived, I solved the problem.

Drained I was, utterly drained. So much so I didn’t have the energy to do my beloved adult self-defense either. Wah.

But! I’m rather humbled by the fact…no matter what life hands me, I don’t give up. I choose to succeed and when I do fail, I learn from it….and use that as a stepping stone to the future success.

My gosh, I have to teach this to the kids.

When things don’t work out, don’t wait for others to rescue you – make it happen yourself.

I think I will call it a night now, I’ve earned it.

Night night,

Mama Bear

ps – want some great Mama Bear goodies?

Life, friends and family are truly wonderful blessings – the true secret to happiness

It’s always ‘way smart

when one listens to their bodies…and takes it easy to the xtreme.

Okay, true, I did get my P90x workout in, but besides that, I gave myself permission to take a nap in the morning, nix going to the gym, and enjoy some nice calm work online.

But the thing that really made an impression on me today was at karate. I normally do not take beginners anymore, as I’m ‘way past that, but my daughter’s friend participated so I joined in again. And I was able to watch my kids practice, and then see my husband arrive with the other kids, and watch how content they were….and I realized that now, in my 40s, life is really darned good.

I think that the true secret to happiness is appreciating the good times, loving your family, laughing with your friends, realizing the bad times – they do indeed pass, and witnessing how your actions can give joy to the lives of those important to you.

Work – it’s transient.

Shallow friendships – they’re beyond transient.

Angsting over the small stuff – a waste of time beyond belief.

Teaching the above to your kids and letting them internalize what’s really important to them – now that’s an incredible gift to give.

So! If you have folks you love and people you cherish and family members who mean the world to you – take the time and let them know how special they are. I did today, and it really made their day. So often, we just don’t take the time to let people know their importance in our lives.

I am one lucky woman indeed, I am.

Time to call it a night,


ps – Valentine’s day is coming up!

How to make super-relaxing aromatherapy massage oil

One of the nicest things

you can give your spouse/family/friends/etc. is a great massage. And it’s even better if you can make your own signature massage oil to use with it!

I was reminded of this…because I just ran out of my latest batch this morning. So I had to whip up another batch, which prompted me to share my expertise.

I always like using a mixture of aquaflor and olive oil. I generally use the ratio:

1 to 3

Aquaflor to olive oil

and then heat that until it all liquifies. Into that, I’ll put essential oils of:

  • rose
  • sandalwood
  • cinnamon (must be very careful with that, it can burn)
  • wintergreen
  • lavender
  • clove

When it cools down to room temperature, it’s a solid once again…and works dandy for massages.

I also have coconut oil but haven’t yet tried that in my mixtures.

In any case, the final product is great for when you do skin-on-skin contact. However, it’s not edible, so get that idea out of your head now. :) Stick with veggie oils if that’s of interest to you.



ps – some already-made massage oils are:

Listening to your body – the most important thing you can do


Today I awakened

and realized, my gosh, I feel like I’ve been run over by a herd of elephants followed by 17 steamrollers followed by a horde of toddlers who spied the FREE ICE CREAM! sign at their local preschool followed by….

So I made myself a huge breakfast, sat down, and took stock of my condition. Undeniable facts:

I’m only one person

I’m the only one who can build what’s needed

I need time for myself as well

I have to pace myself

I need to be on mom-duty in the evenings

and here are my wants

I want to have my projects finished yesterday

I want to always be available for my kids and husband

I want to spar in the adult class

I want to be able to survive on 6 hours of sleep

Applying the “needs” to the “wants”….and it looks like I have to cut down on my work load. Nobody ever whispered to their loved ones while on their death bed

“If only I had spent more time on the computer!”

So moderation is the theme for me today. I’ll give my body a break from the workout I normally do (or perhaps just do it later today)… and go into non-frantic, calm, methodical work mode. No time limits; we’ll see how that mental readjustment works out. I’ve put on my houserobe and fuzzy socks and will just….try to take it easy.

So! My wisdom for today – listen to your body and turn on a dime whenever needed. You’ll be much better off for it.



ps – Here are some nice relaxing thingees:

Decisions, decisions – karate sparring.

Boy, I really miss sparring.

At karate today, I saw some sparring going on, and wow oh wow, did I want to participate.

Thing is, though…after 8pm I’m generally comatose, and adult sparring is from 8:15pm to 9:15pm.

No sparring during the day.

With my work schedule, it would require a change of my sleeping/working out/etc. time to carve out time to be awake after 8pm.

Thing is part II, however…. with the insane hours I put in, being able to dive into physical sport is really quite energizing as well.


There should be 36 hours in a day.

Must consider wisely,


ps – some neat karate sparring gear includes: