Fitness Friday: The Sports Bra

As I have begun a running adventure this year, I have realized the necessity of certain quality essentials, like shoes and most importantly a good sports bra! I am not small chested. The ‘girls’, as I call them, could easily poke out an eye as I go bouncing around on a treadmill. I searched, read reviews and purchased a couple of different sports bras. I couldn’t believe the different styles, for different types of exercise and I really didn’t want to have to wear 2, like some reviewers mentioned. I hate laundry and that would just give me more to do. I settled on a bra called ‘Moving Comfort Juno Bra.

Picture from Nordstrom.com - click to purchase

Picture from Nordstrom.com – click to purchase

One of the major selling points for me is the adjustable shoulder straps. Every time I get a bra to fit around the chest region, the shoulder straps are too long. It can be a pain to have a shorter stature. Technically, I am petite in height, just on the edge at 5’4″. It makes it hard to find clothes that fit, because I am also round. But, the roundness is a work in progress.

This bra is amazing! When I first put it on, I felt like I needed to be an acrobat. But, I soon figured out a system that worked, and the adjustable velcro shoulder straps are sooo comfy! And, no matter what exercise I do, the girls just don’t move. I’ve done aerobics, I’ve run, I’ve played with my kids after the gym, nothing. Ive been using this bra now for about 5 months and it has retained its shape and continues to perform well. At this point, it might outlast my shoes, which is good because the bra retails for about $56 at Nordstrom. I was tired of buying sports bras online for a cheaper price only to have to return them when they didn’t fit. So, I went to the bra fit specialists at Nordstrom. Between the bra specialist and the fitness wear expert, I was fitted and working out comfortably in no time!

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Private or Public Schools – My story

I love my boys. They are bright, inquisitive and quite the handful. I knew they were smart, they did take after me a little bit. But, I am a HUGE supporter of education. In my opinion education is the great equalizer. It offers people so many opportunities to become great. Education doesn’t always mean reading books, education for me is learning anything. Learning can be done in a classroom or through the school of hard knocks too.

Boys are more likely to be identified as ‘troubled’ or ADHD, when they may not actually have that challenge. In a prior post, I wrote how I thought the typical education system pendulum has swung so far to favor girls, the system is leaving out boys. In our mad dash effort to equalize education across the sexes, we have left boys behind. This is one of the main reasons we chose to put my twins in private school.

ArchieClassMy boys are active, no doubt about it. They drive me nuts half the time with the level of energy I just WISH I had. They are smart and have such a unique way of looking at things. I want to treasure that uniqueness, people who come up with ground breaking ideas are rarely the crowd followers are they? Personally, as someone who has had personal experiences with understanding and learning things a bit differently from my peers, I knew they would thrive in a smaller environment. I also knew I couldn’t quit my job to stay at home and home school. Bless you parents who are able to, but I lose my patience with adults too easily to have the patience to teach my kids. It was better for all involved if I sought out the professionals.

It is a sacrifice to put the kids in a private school. Don’t think it’s all roses and butterflies my friends. There is payment for one thing. Good gracious, what I could do with that money! Retire in comfort most likely. But again, I have said and firmly believe education is best way to give my kids a leg up. Finding a school and program that inspires them to learn, apply what they learn and question what they see is invaluable. There is also a bit of a social inequality I feel. I have never seen so many medical professionals in one room outside a hospital than when attending a school function. When a kid in my sons classroom says “See mom, I wrote about our dinner at the country club.” and I think, “Well, I showered before I showed up after running 2 miles.” just shows a different social background. This is good for my kids too, gives them experience in all sorts of things and teaches them people can come from different places and still get together.

Ultimately the reason we chose the private school option was the curriculum. The public schools just couldn’t keep up. When I saw what was required for Kindergartners to begin school, I was shocked. My kids knew this stuff at 3 years old. Know your primary colors, count to 10, know the letters of the alphabet, I could go on. Makes me wonder why public schools don’t start teaching highly capable kids from kindergarten on.

Bored boys with lots of energy are not good classmates. My bored boys who are not challenged will cease to push forward, preferring instead to float along with whatever happens. Know your child and know your options. There may be scholarships available and other ways the school lets you fundraise. Don’t put your child somewhere just because you have no other option. Make sure the fit is right, give them the best start!

Catching back up

Haydens Heart 5KLife has certainly been busy the last month or so. Tax season for a CPA like myself is always crunch time. A few injuries kept me sidelined on my running schedule, but I am easing back into things. Im really trying to focus on my form. I injured my knee by trying to run too fast. After my 5k, (yep, I completed one), I realized running on a treadmill is a LOT easier! The road already moves under your feet, you just sort of bounce along it. So, now I am trying to be more deliberate with my stride and focus on how I land as well as how I move my foot. I have this weird pain on the ball of my foot, right behind my big toe if I run a certain way.

Got the husband back to work, the kids are back to school after spring break, so it is now time to get back on this horse. Tax season, too much wine, my mom’s cooking has made my clothes start to shrink, so watch out world, it is time to hit the re-start button!

Tax questions answered

30SecondMomIts another Helpful tip Tuesday.

If you are on twitter, follow me @TacomaLynette and the #30SecondMom chat on Wednesday the 5thof March for a great twitter chat about taxes.

A couple of weeks ago I posted a tip about 10 Tips for Tax Time. Well, now is your chance to speak interactively and learn even more about taxes. If you haven’t filed your taxes yet, or if you are just curious about taxes, join the chat. 8pm CT/6pm PT  RSVP for prizes: ow.ly/jcOXt

I love the 30 Second Mom group. I am honored to be a contributor, but even more so to interact with these fine ladies. What I love about this group is there are a bunch of great, kind ladies out there who have the knowledge to help one another. They do it, with tips that take just 30 seconds to read on their smart phone app. Super easy and super helpful. Its a group of ladies who help without judging and a group that has some great ideas too!

Join the chat, register for prizes, download the app. Then, you can have tips ALL day EVERY day for whatever life throws at you.

10 Tips for Tax Time

ReBlogging for Tax Time

Okay, it’s tax time. <<THE HORROR!>> Just kidding.

During my day job, I am a CPA. That required learning about taxes to pass the test. I took a class and was hooked. I decided not to do taxes for work. Now, I do taxes for fun. (Yeah, most of you think I’m weird or sick in the head). I really enjoy looking at all the numbers and different ways things can be worked to determine the best outcome for my clients.

After doing taxes for businesses and individuals for more than 10 years, here is some advice. Bookmark this list. I see this stuff come through all the time, save yourself some time by eating that elephant in the room, one bite at a time.

  1. Keep a brightly colored tax folder where you stick all your mail. If it says “Tax Document” or you think it relates, stick it in there!
  2. Add a notebook to the tax folder. Use this notebook to document questions you have throughout the year.
  3. Monthly/Quarterly (More frequently than your 1 visit to the the tax office), clean out the folder from step 1. Get rid of outdated information, e.g. statements from March can usually be replaced by April statements etc.
  4. At the end of the year, organize your folder. Put all your pay information and W2s together. Don’t mix your business expenses in with your personal interest statements. You don’t want to pay me for the time it takes to organize your things.
  5. Keep at least 1 ticket from the Goodwill or other donation box. Attach this ticket to the notebook tucked into the tax folder. Keep a running list of all things donated and the date: 12 bags of clothes on Feb 12th.
  6. Review your pay-stub during the year. Work with your tax adviser to make sure you are withholding enough, especially if you have had any job changes or raises.
  7. Review your W2. Look at the amount you got paid (box 1)- shocking how much we lose to bills isn’t it? Look at the funny codes in boxes 12 and 14. Make sure they make sense.
  8. Bring your tax adviser last years’ taxes, especially if you are using someone new.
  9. Ask questions, lots and lots of questions. Your tax adviser should have answers or offer to look up your questions for you. Don’t trust your taxes to someone who doesn’t ever need to ‘look things up’. Laws change every year, its best to verify anything that might not be totally clear.
  10. Talk. Talk to your tax adviser about all the things that went on in your life over the course of the year. Kid graduate and go to college – you might still be able to claim that kid and an education credit to boot! You never know what nugget of information will bring you more money at tax time.