6 Bizarre but Effective Ways to Workout with a Rowing Machine

Rowing Machines have become one of the most known equipment in today’s world which offer you a lot of benefits and advantages. But there are some not so common moves which you could perform with the help of your row machine and still get the desired result. You don’t need to row for these workouts but you can still utilize your rowing machine, sounds incredible right?

Here are a few workouts which you can perform with the help of your row machine without actually rowing on it:

Planks

Keep the seat near the machine end and lie on your stomach parallel to the machine rail. Keep your palms on the floor and at a shoulders-width distance. Put your toes on the seat and assume the plank position. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Toe Drop

Move your machine set to one corner so that it doesn’t interfere with your workout. Now, get two 1-3 pound dumbbells and hold them close to your chest. Place your right toe on the rail facing towards the machine and bend your knee such that it follows the sight of your toes. Now bend forward your body from waist up towards the direction of your toes.

Once you have assumed this position, move your left toe to the left side of the rail and then without changing your position, take your left toe above the rail and touch the right side of the rail. Do 8-10 reps of this and then switch the legs and repeat this for the other leg too.

Planks

Sitting Diagonal Twists

Sit on the seat and strap your feet in. Grab the middle of the bars with an underhand and keep your right hand on your right hip. Now, lean back by 45 degrees and stretch out your left arm. Now turn your left palm towards your body on the left side while trying to elbow the space behind you.

The moment bar reaches your left side, turn your body left and hold this position. Then release and turn back towards the machine and release your hold on the bar too. Complete 10 reps of this and then switch sides.

Biceps pull

Make yourself comfortable on the seat of the machine and strap in your feet. Now push your seat backward and extend your arms forward. Grab the ends of the bar in an underhand grip and pull it towards your chest. Make sure that your shoulders are away from your ears and then lean back from waist up at a 45-degree angle. You can check the benefits of biceps pull.

Now, do one rep by bending your elbows and bringing the bar towards your shoulder, this will ensure that your biceps are kept occupied. Keep the bar near your shoulder for a few seconds and then release it back to its original position.

Biceps pull

Plank Knee Push

Place the seat to the front of the machine and keep your upper body faced towards the tail end. Place your palms on the ground near the rail end and keep your hands at a shoulder-width apart. Now place your toes on the seat and place your body in a straight line parallel to the machine rail.

Make sure that you keep your shoulders away from the ears and then slide the seat forward with the help of your legs. Ensure that your knees come near your chest in each forward seat movement. Hold this position for a few seconds and then release.

Cleaved Squats

Keep the rower seat near the tail end side. Now grab a 1 – 3-pound dumbbells in both the hands and hold them at your sides with the palms facing each other. Stand with your back to the seat, your toes facing in the direction of the machine’s back and on the right side of the rail.

Keep your hips straight while facing forward and then place your right toe on the seat behind you with heel up. Your right knee should be behind your right toes and slowly lower your body till your right thigh is parallel to the ground.

Hold this position then use your left heels to push up and go back to the original standing position. This would constitute as one rep. Do 10 more of these and then switch the sides.

Cleaved Squats

Best Bathroom Scales – Top Picks for 2017

Looking for a new Bathroom scale for yourself? Then, you would love our list of best bathroom scales which not only provide an accurate reading but also offer you additional features to maintain your body.

Weight Gurus – 0375

Price: $60

The best Bathroom scale which displays the most accurate weight and fat-percentage readings. It uses Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis and gives you a consistent fat reading every time. This is the ideal bathroom scale for anyone who is looking to reduce some fat and keep a track of their progress. This scale gives the most accurate weight reading after repeated weigh-ins and is off by only 0.17-1 % which is manageable. You can also upload your data to your phone and apps like FitBit, Google Fit, etc. and displays the data on the scale screen until your phone is connected via Bluetooth again.

EatSmart – ESBS – 01

Price: $19.95

One of the most inexpensive Bathroom scales which gives you a decent accuracy in both weight tests and body weight tests. This bathroom scale costs less than $20 and comes with a huge display which makes it easy to read the weight. The measurement is displayed for 9 seconds on a blue backlit screen and it measures your weight quickly too. It also comes with a free body tape measure which is easy to use and self-measure yourself.

EatSmart – ESBS – 01

Greater Goods – 0390

Price: $16

Another standard bathroom scale which costs less than $20 and gives you a consistent and accurate weight reading. This scale comes with a 3.3-inch display screen which has a blue backlighting and shows your weight for 5 seconds after you get down from the scale. One drawback of this scale is that it doesn’t have good-quality non-slip pads at the bottom and it uses CR2032 batteries but if you can ignore these two shortcomings, this is a great bathroom scale to invest in.

Kinzi DBS – 1000

Price: $60

One of the most accurate and consistent weight reading scales in today’s market is the Kinzi DBS – 1000 which comes with a 3.3-inch display screen and runs on two CR2032 batteries. This scale is lightweight with its 400-pound weight but its black backlighting makes it difficult to read the measurements. However, since this scale displays the measurements for 11 seconds, one can easily focus and figure out their weight reading. Another drawback of this bathroom scale is that its non-slip pad isn’t that effective but apart from this, it is a pretty good deal for anyone who is looking for an accurate bathroom scale.

INEVIFIT

Price: $45

Another great smart scale which is a top performer in measuring weights, INEVIFIT is one of those smart scales which doesn’t come with an app feature. It is also decent in recording fat readings and can store up to 10 users details at a time. It is also good at detecting different users so there is no need for you to select yourself every time. Overall, this is a decent scale for anyone who doesn’t want an app to track their progress.

INEVIFIT

Dip Dyed T Shirt

I love the look of a dip-dyed shirt.  This is one of my favorites that I found on Etsy.

I know that this wouldn’t look the same on me. . . mostly because I don’t have that figure.  I decided to make myself a t-shirt using the same concept.

Be impressed.  It’s very hard to take a photo of yourself in the mirror when you are sucking it in as hard as you can.

This project cost me less than $5.  I bought a package of Rit Dye for $1.99 and a clearance man’s white T for $2.49.

I mostly followed the directions on the box but tweaked it a bit to get the look I was wanting.

Clean out your sink and add about two gallons of hot water.  Pour half the dye packet into the water.

Hang onto the top of the t-shirt and dip your WET t-shirt into the dye up to the armpits.  Swish it a bit while keeping it in the water for a couple of minutes.  Don’t over swish or you will get wave marks in the t-shirt.  See my mistake!

Add half of the dye that is left in the packet to your water and dips about halfway down.

Keep in the water, swishing a bit, for a few minutes.  Add the last of the packet and dunk just the end into the water.  Swishing will keep the dye from making a solid line.

At this point, I realized I didn’t quite care for the white-white with the teal so I filled up the sink almost to the top with water to really dilute the dye.  I dunked the entire shirt for about a minute and then pulled out.  Ring it out and put in a garbage bag on your counter to dry out for a few hours.

It will still be very damp but that’s okay.  You will start to rinse the shirt in hot water, gradually adding cold until the water is cold and is running clear from your shirt.

Toss into the washer with a load of something you don’t care about (towels, in my case) and wash with laundry soap.  It will fade. . . a lot.  I believe that leaving it the dye longer will make the color darker but I wasn’t looking for anything too dramatic.


If I do it again:

1.  I’d be more careful when dying it so that I didn’t wish too much.  There’s a weird spot right around the boobs where it splashed up.
2.  I would probably leave the shirt in the dye a little longer.  I wanted something sort of muted with this color because teal can get very bright very fast.  I would love to do a denim blue color that fades to white.

Eight Week Challege

8 Week Challenge

The school is getting ready to start in four days (FOUR DAYS!!) and I have to admit I’m a little sad.  Probably the biggest reason is that I’ve been enjoying sleeping until 8:30 every morning and not having to worry about when I go to bed.  I’m going to miss that.

One of the things I was going to do this summer was to clean up and clean out.  I tend to hang on to things far longer than I should and I also collect weird things to use in my crafting.  Since my daughter has started crafting, our house could probably qualify for an episode of “Hoarders in the Making” or “How It All Starts.”  Not really what I’m wanting.Of course, I waited until much too late to do my cleaning up and cleaning out.  This is my way of telling you I didn’t do it.  At all.  I barely did laundry each week.  I enjoyed my summer.  A whole lot.

Of course, now that I’m ready to buckle down, I have to go back to work and the kids are back in school.  I need a way to do this that’s somewhat painless.  I decided to put my family through an eight-week challenge.

Like the graphics?? Here’s how it’s going down in our house.

Each and every week for the next eight weeks, we are going to fill two GINORMOUS trash bags.  One will be filled with things to donate.  The other will be filled with trash, the things I’ve been hanging on to “just in case” but can’t be donated: things like broken crockery I was saving for mosaics and the holey shirts I was saving for the fabric.  Obviously, if it can be recycled, we will do that (three dozen sour cream containers, anyone?).  We have to do this EVERY WEEK for eight weeks.

I am hoping this helps put things into perspective for me.  I have a tendency to hang on to things that I really shouldn’t.  For example, I always buy two pairs of snow boots every year at garage sales for my kids.  Do they need two pairs?  Sometimes.  Realistically, it’s two days every winter when school is canceled for two days in a row and they spend the entire day outside.  But, with a bit of pre-planning and a bit of organization, I can DONATE that second pair of boots and the kids can set their boots out to dry when they take them off, instead of kicking them into the corner.  There are lots of kids that could use that second pair.  We don’t need to.

I’ve already filled half a bag full of clothing that we don’t wear often enough to warrant keeping.  I’m hoping this helps keep me accountable and purging.

Good luck to me!

Picture Frame Memo Board

I’ve been busy getting my classroom together for back to school.  I took my new step stool in, and it looks fantastic!  I also LOVE the orange fabric that was used on the seat part, so I decided to use it to make a memo board. I found an old photo frame and spray painted it with the leftover green from the stool.  I happen to love the green, too!

While it dried, I took the glass and added a layer of glue. I SHOULD have spread it around, but I didn’t.  Next time I will spread it around so there’s a layer of the whole glass.  Smooth your fabric over the glass.

Now add the glue to the top of the fabric and paint it on.  We’re trying to make it really stiff and somewhat waterproof.

Let it dry.  When it dries, it will be stiff, like cardstock.  You can trim it at this point to the edge of the glass, or if you are lazy like me, fold it under.  Put it into your frame and put on the back.

I was pretty lucky.  The back of this frame had loops to hang it so I just threaded some ribbon through.

You are done!  Hang and enjoy!

I wanted to be able to showcase different quotes and change them out weekly.  I thought about adding a clip to the fabric but I decided to just go old fashioned and use tape, instead.  I have some fun washi tape that I will tape a quote inside weekly.

It’s not as convenient as a clip, but it’s easier!

Picture Frame Memo Board 2

I promised an awesome project and I am delivering that RIGHT NOW!!!  This is a project I did with my daughter this weekend and it was under ten bucks.

Here it is:

This one was super fun and super easy. We found the stool at a garage sale for a dollar.  It was covered with paint and rust and actually had a smell.  We started by taking it apart.  Lots of it was riveted on and I didn’t know how to take it apart without ruining it so we rethought our color scheme. . . I didn’t want to have to tape anything. We ripped off the rubber cover on the bottom step.  It was icky and smelled. I took the ripped vinyl seat off.  It actually hammered in with little button thingies. The fabric is a piece of printed duck fabric.  It’s thick and will handle being stepped on.  I recovered it using my staple gun.  I also used a piece of an old mattress cover I saved to use as a liner when I needed one. We spray painted with two and three coats. I promised an awesome project and I am delivering that RIGHT NOW!!!  This is a project I did with my daughter this weekend and it was under ten bucks. Here it is:

This one was super fun and super easy. We found the stool at a garage sale for a dollar.  It was covered with paint and rust and actually had a smell.  We started by taking it apart.  Lots of it was riveted on and I didn’t know how to take it apart without ruining it so we rethought our color scheme. . . I didn’t want to have to tape anything. We ripped off the rubber cover on the bottom step.  It was icky and smelled. I took the ripped vinyl seat off.  It actually hammered in with little button thingies. The fabric is a piece of printed duck fabric.  It’s thick and will handle being stepped on.  I recovered it using my staple gun.  I also used a piece of an old mattress cover I saved to use as a liner when I needed one. We spray painted with two and three coats. Spray Paint was on sale at ACE Hardware for three dollars a can.  Yeah! I couldn’t find an old rubber mat to cut to fit into the place where I pulled off the sticky rubber.  I used a placemat I bought at the dollar store and cut to fit.  I glued the pretty side down and left the nonskid side up.  I also gave it a quick squirt of the gray spray paint we covered the chrome with. I love the result!  I plan on taking this to my class.  It will be a good tool for the front of the room and a great thing to have when I need to reach something higher than I can reach.

Spray Paint was on sale at ACE Hardware for three dollars a can.  Yeah!I couldn’t find an old rubber mat to cut to fit into the place where I pulled off the sticky rubber.  I used a placemat I bought at the dollar store and cut to fit.  I glued the pretty side down and left the nonskid side up.  I also gave it a quick squirt of the gray spray paint we covered the chrome with.

I couldn’t find an old rubber mat to cut to fit into the place where I pulled off the sticky rubber.  I used a placemat I bought at the dollar store and cut to fit.  I glued the pretty side down and left the nonskid side up.  I also gave it a quick squirt of the gray spray paint we covered the chrome with.I love the result!  I plan on taking this to my class.  It will be a good tool for the front of the room and a great thing to have when I need to reach something higher than I can reach.

I love the result!  I plan on taking this to my class.  It will be a good tool for the front of the room and a great thing to have when I need to reach something higher than I can reach.

T-Shirt Refashion: Dyed and Cut

Remember how I said that I got out the sewing machine?  I got it out because I had a t-shirt that I really wanted to take in.  I bought it online through JC Penney and it was too big.  It made me look dumpy.  Since I’m six foot tall and wear a size fourteen, I usually look dumpy and I don’t need any additional help.  I had intended on returning it.

Four months later, I pulled it out from beside my nightstand where I had placed it to take to the store the next time I was going.  I hadn’t gone.  At all.  (The last time I was at the mall was 2012.)  It was too late to send it back so I really had nothing to lose if the altering didn’t work.

I was dying a t-shirt of my daughter’s that had some bleach stains on it, so I decided to toss this in with it.  I wasn’t a fan of the gray.  It looked a lot better on the store model than it looked on me.  This is what I started with:

After I dyed it, I washed it and dried it to set the color.

I flipped it inside out and then laid a t-shirt that fit me well (and gave me some shape) over the top, lining up the neckline.
Here’s where I should have pinned.  But, because I’m lazy, I didn’t.  I used a sharpie to draw the outline of my good shirt onto my dumpy shirt.

I then sewed the line. Use a loose stitch because if you have to unpick it, it will take FOREVER if you do a nice, tight stitch. If it fits, sew the line again, this time with a zig-zag.  I do this so that it has a bit of stretch to it since it’s a t-shirt. Trim the excess fabric and you have a better fitting t-shirt!

I am actually thinking I can wear this with a pair of khakis for work.  We shall see. . . I am going to show it to my daughter (who has a LOT more fashion sense than I do) and see what she thinks!

Easy Sew, No Pin Sofa Pillow

I got out the sewing machine to do a few projects this evening.  You all know how I feel about sewing.

The thing is, I really do have the best of intentions.  I look at fabric and see so many possibilities.  For a moment, I forget that I hate to sew and that I do a very, very bad job of it.  Before I know it, the fabric is cut an in my cart and there’s no turning back.


I’ve been pretty good lately but I recently saw a remnant that was the perfect addition to my sofa.  Not as is, of course, but after it was made into a cushy sofa pillow. Start with a hunk of fabric.  When it’s folded in half, it should be a tad larger than the size of pillow you want to make.

Fold right sides (the good sides) together. Stitch three and a half sides together.  I like to leave my opening in the middle of a side.  It makes it easier to do the corners. Cut off the corners, but don’t cut over the line you sewed.

Flip it inside out and poke out those corners until they look right.  Stuff it with cotton batting.  Or, if you’re like me, stuff it with fake snow.  I bought bags and bags of it when it was on clearance at Michaels after Christmas.  I paid twenty-five cents a bag and it’s just like batting, except with a little bit of sparkle.

Take your opening and fold in your fabric and pinch it closed.  Start sewing it closed with your sewing machine.  Or, if you’re not as lazy as I am and you want it to look nicer, hand sew it with a hidden stitch.  You will have to Google hidden stitches because I stink at those.

Huzzah!  You have a pillow!

Add it to your couch where you have painstakingly placed other pillows.  Know that it will look like this for less than thirty seconds before a kid or a husband will come along and rearrange it so that they can lay on them.

Food Tote for the Car

Miss me?

This month has been crazy busy and I haven’t done much in the way of crafting, cooking, processing or relaxing.  I plan to start all that at the end of next week.  I’d do it sooner but the state of my house has slipped past “cluttered” and into “crappy”.  I plan on cleaning out all of my “just in case” stuff, reorganizing and deep cleaning.  I’d call it spring cleaning but we’re way past that.

I do have a super tip for all those great road trips you are planning on taking this summer!  As I’m typing this I am vaguely remembering sharing this tip with you already. . . Perhaps last summer. . . or maybe I intended on doing so and didn’t???  If this is a recycled tip, my apologies.

When we go on a road trip, we start driving in the morning.  When we stop for gas, everyone gets out and uses the bathroom.  We hit a drive-thru for lunch and get back on the road right away.  We use these:

At the dollar store, they cost a buck (imagine that!).  They hold a drink upright, keep food in one place and catch spills and messes.  Each kid has two.  They use the other for their electronic stuff.  (DS games are TINY!!)  The food tote can be rinsed out in the hotel’s sink every night so the stickiness can start anew each day.  They’re sturdy, don’t fall over and can be moved to the floor fairly easily without things spilling out.  We love them and can’t imagine a road trip without.

Stay safe this summer!  I will check in sometime next week!

Homemade Shower Soothers

Remember Shower Soothers?  They were made by SudaCare and were these little hockey puck things you tossed on the floor of your shower when you had a cough or cold.  The hot water would hit them and turn your shower into a humidifier box with eucalyptus oils and menthol steam cleaning out your sinuses.  I haven’t seen them around for a long time and this allergy season is a doozie so I checked online.  Sure enough, you can make them!

Here are mine, all ready to go!  This is my third attempt.  There’s quite a bit of info online as to the best ways to make these but the third time was the charm.  I ended up combining a few blogs’ directions together to get my results but I got the best info from the most awesome and funny blog. . . Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity.   Here’s the process that finally worked for me:

You need:

Baking Soda (two pounds)
1 cup water
Eucalyptus Essential Oils

If your grocery store has a “natural” section you will probably be able to find your eucalyptus oil there.

Mix your baking soda with your water.  It will be thick and chunky.


Press together with a handful and either put onto parchment paper or press into a silicone mold.  I used some muffin liners.

Put into a 350-degree oven.  Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the oven off.  Leave in the oven until the oven cools and pull out.  Remove from molds and put on a cooling rack.

Drop ten to fifteen drops of Eucalyptus oils onto the top of each cake.  Flip over and drop ten more drops on the bottom.  Place in a jar for use.

To use, put one cake on the floor of your shower and turn on.  The heat and water from the shower will start to slowly melt the cake and the eucalyptus steam will help clear your sinuses.  It’ll start to disintegrate in the water slowly but by the end of your shower, it will probably be gone.  Being baking soda, it’s safe for your pipes.  The more eucalyptus oil you use on the cakes, the stronger the steam will be.

If I do it again:

I am on the lookout for a cheap toaster oven at a garage sale that I can use for this project (and a few others).  I would like to mix the oils into the baking soda/water mix and then bake the entire thing but I don’t want the oven to smell like eucalyptus.  It’s such a strong smell, I feel like it would transfer to my baked goods the next few times I used it.