Tag Archives: Olympics

{GIVEAWAY!!!} Give me your health & fitness ideas!

Anyone else getting inspired — or maybe shamed — by these amazing Olympic athletes? I just watched Rebecca Soni break her own world record in the 200M breaststroke. I, for one, could definitely learn a thing or two about dedication & healthy living from any one of these competitors.

While my cousins all competed in swimming & water polo, going to the Junior Olympics & getting college scholarships in the process, I…. was in the band. So athleticism is not something that I’ve exactly done all my life. And after kid number two my body’s not exactly bouncing back like it probably should be. So how can I get started when I’ve never really had a diet program or fitness routine?

That’s where SlimKicker comes in. It’s a calorie counter & game (similar to CalorieKing, for those of you who are more experienced with the whole healthy lifestyle thing than I am) that turns your diet & fitness goals into a level-up game. Earn points by tracking your healthy calories & completing mini health challenges like giving up chocolate for a week. Then snap & upload a photo of a cheat food — Magnolia cupcake, anyone? — or that killer pair of shoes you’ve been coveting, & when you reach the designated number of points for being good, SlimKicker reminds you to reward yourself! They also have forums & support groups with other like-minded people to help you reach your health & fitness goals.

Sounds pretty nifty, right?

What would be even niftier? This fantastic Pyle HR monitor & calorie counter!

leave a comment below with a fun, creative fitness or diet challenge you’d like to use in your SlimKicker regimen. They’ll choose their favorite, & the winner will get this fantastic to help you with your goals! Comments will be accepted until 9pm Eastern next Wednesday, the 8th.

I look forward to seeing your ideas & hopefully using some for myself! Good luck!



Filed under Healthy living

Olympic Torch Popcorn Balls.

Who watched the Opening Ceremonies last night? I would have to say my favorite part was either Rowan Atkinson with the London Symphony, or seeing how even a superstar like Paul McCartney can get choked up at the sight of thousands of athletes coming together for the Olympics.

The Munchkin (& even Mini-Munchkin, who wouldn’t turn away from the TV long enough to nurse, let alone fall asleep, for some time) loved staying up late to watch. It got her as excited about the Games as I hoped it would.

Our special treat for our Olympic watching party? These popcorn ball “torches.”

This recipe has only a few ingredients, but getting the caramel to the right consistency (not too hard, not too soft) can be tricky. This makes enough for 8, 3- to 4-inch balls.

  • 2 bags microwave popcorn, popped (I love kettle corn)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 small bags M&Ms in Olympic colors (let your Munchkin help you remove the orange ones; dark brown counts as black)
  • colored cardstock or scrapbook paper, formed into a narrow cone & taped
  1. Combine sugar, corn syrup, & cream. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  2. Boil 3 minutes, until “soft ball” stage. (This will happen quicker than you think.)
  3. Place popcorn in a large bowl, then pour caramel over the top. Stir to coat. Sprinkle M&Ms throughout & carefully stir. Some may melt a little.
  4. When mixture has cooled slightly, form into balls. (This will take longer than you think; do it too soon & you WILL get second-degree burns. Not that I know from personal experience…)
  5. When fully cooled, place atop cones (or just hold in your hands) & enjoy!


Filed under Recipes

Getting into the Olympic spirit.

I love the Olympics.

I love the athleticism, competition, the drama, & how for 2 weeks every 2 years (we’re thinking winter too) everyone becomes an expert. I love watching people from all over the world come together in the spirit of sportsmanship. And I love that this year I get to pass it on to The Munchkin.

Why are the Olympics so important? Why bother giving Olympic Fever to the rising generation? My friend Kalani wrote a fantastic essay answering that question. There are so many important lessons that athletic competition can teach kids: patriotism, the importance of working hard, how to be a good sport, & — perhaps most importantly in this age of rising childhood obesity — that moving is fun.

So I encourage you to let your Munchkins watch a competition or two with you this year to help them catch The Fever. Here’s how we’re starting with ours.

We’ve decided to let her stay up late to watch some of the Opening Ceremonies Friday, & have started getting her into the spirit by introducing her to the logo & the colors this week by decorating the apartment a little at Munchkin height. We made our own Olympic Rings into a paper chain, with The Munchkin telling me which color strip came next. After just one sheet of construction paper of each color, she had those colors down!

Next she drew her own Olympic Rings. Not a bad first attempt!

Finally, to help her learn a little more about the sports & the competition, I made up a quick medal count chart using clip art to illustrate each category. I had no idea there were so many! If you want one of your own, download it here. Get the medals here — you may need to add extra paper on the side for the swimming category, if it’s anything like 2008 was!

We have a couple other ideas too that I’ll be posting soon. How are you introducing your kids to the Olympics?


Filed under Activities, Crafts, Healthy living