Thanksgiving is just around the corner and with that, the biggest shopping season of the year. We have so many wonderful small businesses in Raleigh, and we can’t think of a better time to support them and shop local. If you’re not sure where to start, we reached out to some of our favorite shops and businesses to get the inside scoop on their Black Friday deals...
You are on the FIT4MOM Midtown Raleigh blog after all so we would be remiss not to mention our own deal. December is a crazy time and self-care can be hard to come by. So give yourself a little accountability and join us at any of your favorite classes. Buy a 3-Class Pass for only $45!
Treat yourself or buy a pass for a friend!
And get your first 2 weeks of FIT4MOM On Demand for free and get an annual subscription for just $99. The app allows you to try different kinds of FIT4MOM workouts including prenatal classes, yoga, strength & core and more! It's a lifesaver for staying fit while traveling or when life gets hectic and you can't make it to a live class.
Little Doodles Play Cafe provides families in Raleigh & the greater Triangle Area with a safe space for creative play, fun events, and birthday parties. They have a kid-friendly art studio, an indoor play space with tons of imaginative play toys and stations, and a wifi enabled cafe area with seating for parents, nannies, and other caretakers
What’s the deal?
Free pastry or coffee with admission
$25 off yearly memberships
$5 off monthly memberships
$25 off birthday booking
When? November 26th
Our favorite spot for clean beauty products and spa, Trellis Beauty will be celebrating Pink Wednesday on November 24th at both their locations (Lafayette Village and Boxyard RTP in Durham) as well as online.
Stores will be open from 9-6 PM. Online Store from 12 AM-11:59 PM
Any guest who comes in and mentions FIT4MOM at checkout will receive 10% off entire sale (or uses code FIT4MOM online)
Free shipping and free in-store pickup
First 25 online orders will receive a deluxe swag bag (filled with deluxe sizes of our top-selling products)
First 25 guests in-store receive a FREE 20-minute facial (Must be redeemed before 1/1/22. Client responsible for 20% gratuity, $9, at completion of service)
First 25 guests in-store to spend over $125 receive a shopping tote with deluxe size products ($125 value)
Spend More, Steam More - In-Store Only (Steams expire Oct. 31, 2022)
$50-$100 purchase = two free beauty steams
$100-$150 = four free beauty steams
$150 or more = six free beauty steams
Buy Gift Cards, Receive Spa Bucks:
For every $100 gift card purchase, receive FOUR $25 Spa Bucks (Essentially $25 off your Spa visit)
*Expires Oct. 31, 2022. Valid on total ticket price, not per service.
BOGO Gift card Sale - In-Store Only *Cannot be redeemed on Facial Packages, Memberships,
Buy $100 gift card, receive $20 gift card
Buy $200 gift card, receive $50 gift card
Buy $300 gift card, receive $75 gift card
Buy $400 gift card, receive $100 gift card
Buy $500 gift card, receive $175 gift card
Lastly, for Black Friday and Shop Small Saturday we are hosting HALF OFF Beauty Steam Parties! Groups of four or more will receive their service for $15/person instead of $30. *Note: $6 gratuity added at completion of service equaling $21/per person total
Founded by two long-time FIT4MOM Instructors, HER Health Collective is offering $50 off of an annual membership to HER Circle for anyone on the waitlist.
HER Circle is a supportive and inclusive community for moms. Enrollment only opens four times per year and there are limited spaces per opening because fostering connection and authentic friendships is paramount to their mission, vision, and values.
Swagger Boutique is a must visit for trendy clothing, unique gifts, and friendly staff that will treat you like family! Swagger on in…you’ll be glad you did!
They are offering 20% off all clothes, jewelry & shoes from Black Friday – Cyber Monday both in store and online!
Raising tiny humans is one of the hardest and most rewarding things we will ever do. All too often, self-care gets shoved aside in the name of sacrifice. One of the hardest lessons a new mom can learn is that the best way to take care of your baby is to take care of yourself. Enter: Stroller Workouts.
What is a Stroller Workout?
Like it sounds, a Stroller Workout is an opportunity for you to exercise while your little one hangs out in the stroller. Whether your little one is 6 weeks, 6 months, or 6 years, a wonderful community is ready to welcome you.
What does a Stroller Workout look like?
FIT4MOM offers 3 different Stroller Workouts to get your blood pumping.
Stroller Strides - a total fitness program that moms can do with their babies. It includes power walking or jogging and intervals of strength and body toning exercises using exercise tubing, the stroller and the environment.
Stroller Barre - Stroller Barre is a 60 minute cardio and strength interval class focused on vertical core work designed to improve posture, stability and mobility simultaneously. This workout brings together moves inspired by barre, ballet, Pilates, fitness and yoga.
Strides360 - Strides360 is for mom alone or with her little ones in the stroller. 360 promises a heart-pumping workout designed to increase your endurance while also developing speed, agility and quickness to help you sprint through mom life.
What if my baby gets fussy?
We’re all moms. We’ve all been there and we get it. Do whatever it is you need to do. Our talented Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre instructors do take your littles into consideration when planning your workout. You’ll be in a squat while your little one is enjoying an entertaining rendition of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”. My big kids still sing the songs they learned while joining me at Stroller Strides.
The Many Benefits of Stroller Workouts
Building a community of moms that understand all the joys and challenges that come with raising tiny humans.
Building a community for your littles. While you’re making friends, so are your kiddos.
Teaching your children by example that it’s okay to put yourself first sometimes.
Exercise is known to reduce risks of heart disease, manage blood sugar and insulin levels, and improve mental health and mood.
Where can I find a Stroller Workout?
Mommy & Me Stroller Strides Workouts
Saturdays and Thursdays at 9:30am at the North Carolina Museum of Art Park
Wednesday at 9:30am at Green Hills County Park
Mommy & Me Stroller Barre Workouts
Monday at 9am at North Hills Mall
Tuesday at 9:30am at the North Carolina Museum of Art Park
Strides 360 Workouts
Wednesday at 5:30am at North Hills Mall
How can I join?
Your first class is always FREE! This allows you to see first hand if a class is a good fit for you (and your little one)! If you sign up here, your first FREE class is automatically gifted to your account and you can come try us out!
When my baby was a year old, I was invited to join Body Boost. Intimidated doesn’t begin to describe the way I felt about this invitation. I exercised regularly but I wasn’t one of those bad A mamas that ran for fun and dominated every workout.
It turns out, all that intimidation was only in my head. I faced my fears and signed up for a class. What I was greeted with was a welcoming group of mom cheerleaders - there to push me, encourage me, and help me be the best version of myself.
The Workout Just For Mom
Unlike other FIT4MOM offerings, Body Boost is for mom and mom only. It is so much more than just another HIIT workout! It is a community of moms where you will find support, encouragement, camaraderie, and lifelong friendships. Through education, we help you create a healthier home and a more active lifestyle for your family.
We believe moms should be empowered and encouraged to push past their perceived limits and find inner strength while building physical strength. We strive to build you up and put you first to create your BEST YOU.
All Body Boost workouts take place outdoors with social distancing measures in place. This is a safe space for you to resume your workouts and connect with other moms!
What does a Body Boost class look like?
Classes offer a combination of cardio, strength, and core exercises that are designed to build endurance, strength, and self-confidence. Every class ends with a cool-down and meditation. It’s one full hour just for you.
Body Well Virtual Coaching
Add on Body Well Virtual Coaching to your Membership for nutrition guidance and accountability if you're ready to get really serious about reaching your goals!
Where can I find a Body Boost Class?
Mondays and Fridays at 5:30am at North Hills Mall
Tuesdays at 7:15pm at Lifepointe Church
Saturdays at 8am at the North Carolina Museum of Art Park
Interested? Try your first class on us! Request your free class pass.
Gone are the days when pregnant women are supposed to stay home and do nothing for the health of the baby. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
That number may feel a bit daunting when your ankles are swelling and your lower back aches. However, there are a couple of things to consider.
This activity should be spread throughout the week.
As you progress in your pregnancy, the intensity levels of exercise change.
What does that mean, exactly? You may succeed in going for a 20-minute run every day in your first trimester, but by week 35, it may just be a walk around the block, or up the stairs for that matter. What’s key here is that you keep moving. Research has connected exercise to easier pregnancies, deliveries, and recoveries. As a mom of 3 that did little to no exercise pre-kids, I can attest to this. I had gestational diabetes with #1 but the healthier habits I adapted with the help of FIT4MOM Midtown Raleigh allowed me to ward off that particular headache with babies 2 and 3.
What are the benefits of prenatal exercise?
Reduced backaches, constipation, bloating, and swelling
Can help prevent or treat gestational diabetes
Promotes muscle tone, strength, and endurance (childbirth is the ultimate marathon!)
Promotes better sleep
Community: A shortcut to building your village
There’s one other major benefit when exercising specifically with FIT4MOM Midtown Raleigh in the 6-week Fit4Baby program. Community. Being pregnant is both physically and mentally exhausting. The Prenatal FIT4BABY Exercise Program is so wonderful because it brings you together with other moms who have “been there done that” and others going through it for the first time. It is a safe place to talk about your aches and pains, fears and anxieties, a necessary community on this crazy journey called motherhood.
What Do the Workouts Look Like?
Each 60-minute workout includes cardio, strength, balance, and flexibility training and ends with a relaxing meditation to connect you and your baby.
Where can I find Fit4Baby Classes?
Thursday evenings, 6:30-7:30 pm at Wake Med North Hospital, 10000 Falls of Neuse Rd, Raleigh, NC 27614
Saturday mornings, 9:15-10:15 am at the North Carolina Museum of Art Park (NCMA), 2110 Blue Ridge Rd, Raleigh, NC 27607
All classes are capped to allow for social distancing and masks are required for indoor classes (per host venue rules), and recommended for before/after class socializing or anytime that social distancing cannot be maintained. In the event of severe weather, outdoor classes will revert to our Virtual Studio (via Zoom).
How do I sign up?
School is officially back in session. I’m thrilled to send my daughter off to school (with a mask of course) but the next logistical challenge is already upon us. We have all of two weeks before the first teacher work-day and it’s time to line up our track-out and day camp options. I’ve listed some of our favorite track-out options. Did we miss anything? Let us know!
Locations in Raleigh, Cary, and Wake Forest
Full and half-day options
Activities: Ice skating, hockey, arts and crafts, STEM, Team-building activities
Activities: Driving skills, basketball, arts and crafts, games and team-building, weekly inflatables and wall-climbing, fields trips to swimming, bowling, ice-skating and more
Activities: Math, physics, chemistry, engineering, technology, coding, and more
Activities: Swimming, games, sports, arts and crafts
Full and half-day options
Activities: skill-building lessons, confidence- and team-building games, and more
Activities: hands-on, play-based learning enrichment in activity rooms, play in the museum, and join in active outdoor play
Half and full-day options
Activities: Gymnastics, Legos, Arts and Crafts
Activities: Games, team-building, ninja warrior skill-building
Sensory bins, aside from just being good fun, come with a whole host of benefits for our kiddos. By engaging all the senses in play, sensory bins encourage cognitive development, enhance memory, build vocabulary, and strengthen fine and gross motor skills. Additionally, it introduces the concept of cause and effect and provides ample opportunities for experimental play, problem-solving, and logical thinking.
What’s better than all these wonderful benefits?! The kids love a good sensory bin and it’s a great way to keep them busy during the dog days of summer. So grab your bins and take advantage of these simple ideas. We highly recommend you enjoy these bins outside so that you can fully enjoy the fun your kids are having and not stress about the mess. Just me?
Work Site - Fill a bin with dirt and construction vehicles.
Car Wash - Once the kids have played with their worksite sensory bin, fill a second bin with soapy water and sponges.
Ice Table - Ice and a bit of water. My kids enjoy bringing out the paint and paintbrushes for this one too.
Science Table - Fill a bin with baking soda and give the kids droppers and little cups of vinegar.
Bubble Foam - 2:1 ratio of water to bubble bath. Mix on high with a blender and fill your bins.
Under the Sea - Fill a bin with water, plastic fish, and glitter just for fun. Give the kids nets or even just a strainer from the kitchen.
Edible Sand - ½ C. Corn Meal, ½ C. Flour, 1 Tbsp Oil, 1 Tbsp corn syrup, small sand toys. Find the recipe here.
Shaving Cream Marbleizing - Shaving cream and food coloring. Give the kids a toothpick or wooden skewer and let them make shapes and designs in the shaving cream.
Watermelon - Give the kids a half a watermelon and a melon baller. Have a bowl on the side for their little melon balls. A snack and an activity all in one.
The possibilities with sensory bins are endless. Let us know what your favorites are.
Keywords: sensory bin, toddler activities, fine motor skills, sensory play, cognitive development, water table
When I stay on top of meal planning, it significantly reduces stress and my mental load. So with that being said, I’ve compiled a list of Meal Planning Apps and websites that will hopefully ease some of your mental load. But first, a couple of things to note when choosing the right meal planning tool for you:
Make sure they cater to the right diet (quick and healthy, kid-friendly, vegan, gluten free etc.)
Some apps and websites are free, or offer a free trial
Solid menu and recipe variety (my kids definitely protest repeated meals so I’m all for the quick and easy solutions)
Automatically generated shopping lists
Without further ado:
Our Favorite Meal Planning Tools For Your Busy Family
An add-on to the Cozi Family Organizer, we like this app for the ability to import recipes from the web. If you already use the family planner, you can easily add recipes, make a shopping list and add everything to your weekly calendar. Another wonderful feature is “cooking mode” which will keep your phone or tablet awake so you don’t have to track down your recipe with raw chicken on your hands!
We like Mealime for the ability to personalize your meal plans. They can accommodate tons of different dietary preferences and even note allergies. Even better, you can tell the app which foods you don’t like. An unpopular opinion, I can’t stand bananas and any recipe that features bananas immediately gets chucked. It’s nice that the app does the pre-screen so you don’t have to. You can also choose serving size and how many meals you intend on cooking each week.
This free service has an extensive recipe collection and caters to many different dietary restrictions and food preferences. Yummly has partnered with Instacart so when you plug in your zip code, they autogenerate a shopping list broken down by store isle. Even if you’re not using Instacart to deliver your groceries, your shopping trip is insanely efficient. No more doubling back because you forgot to pick up that one item from the other side of the produce section!
Like others, Pepper Plate allows you to import and sort recipes and auto generates your grocery list. What’s special about this app is their “Cook Now” feature. This tool lets you set up multiple timers to keep track of everything you're making. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find your head spinning from the 4 different timers, not remembering why Alexa is yelling at you.
This free service focuses on healthy eating and unlike other apps, also offers breakfast and lunch options. What sets this tool aside is the focus not just on dietary preferences, but customizing meals for conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, digestive health and more.
With both free and paid options, there are two features I love about Big Oven. First, you can take a pic of your family recipes and can upload it into your recipe collection. Second, leftovers! Big Oven has a feature in which you select up to three leftover ingredients and they will make recipe suggestions based on what’s hanging out unused in your fridge. So cool.
I signed up for my first Body Well session (back then it was Body Back) when my oldest was a year old. Hands down the best habit I got from it, aside from a new-found love for exercise, is meal planning. Last week my plans changed suddenly and I found myself without a plan for dinner one day. My stress levels were infinitely higher than normal that day and I wish that were an exaggeration.
Every family meal plans differently and what matters most is finding a routine that works for you. Every Sunday morning, I sit down with my coffee and a whiteboard that lives on my fridge. I scroll through Pinterest (I’m a little crazy when it comes to organizing my boards) or favorite cookbooks (loving SkinnyTaste right now) and decide what to serve each day. Only on weekdays because heck, someone else can worry about dinner on the weekend. I personally aim for one or two days with chicken, one with beef, and 2 vegetarian days. Taco Tuesdays (Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas) are a big hit as is build your own flatbread pizza night. With a menu set, I can create my shopping list and then use the online shopping services provided by Sam’s Club and Harris Teeter. I schedule pickups for Monday and we’re set for the week.
This routine works for my family and it’s so beneficial to find something that works for you. My method is admittedly low-tech. It’s a white board menu and then paper and pen to write out my shopping list. Without fail, I will forget necessary items without the list. It also prevents me from impulse purchases which the bank account likes.
What does your meal planning routine look like? Stay tuned for the next post in which I share some of my favorite meal planning apps and tools!
Ok, real talk mamas. I’ve got 3 kids and figuring out tricks to keep the toddler busy while tethered to a nursing baby is no easy feat. Yes, I have walked around the house nursing the baby while opening an apple sauce or disconnecting stubborn lego blocks. I can say with absolute certainty that it is neither graceful nor effective as inevitably both the toddler and the infant will feel slighted.
So I share with you, in my infinite wisdom, some tricks I’ve picked up along the way to keep older children happy while still bonding with and keeping the tiny human paperweight alive.
Tricks to Entertain Your Toddler While Nursing
If you’ve got a toddler at home with you, mindlessly scrolling through your phone or catching up on Netflix are not options. But there is a way to bond with both kiddos at once.
Keep a basket of favorite books next to your nursing chair. Enjoy some quiet story time together. My kids love to help by holding the books and turning the pages while my hands are full. Fair warning - you may get a little dizzy following the words in a book held by a toddler.
Ask the toddler to help you. Intentionally leave the water bottle on the other side of the room and ask them to go get it for you. It can be their job to keep you hydrated. Hydration is so important while nursing so if this doesn’t work with your kiddo, pick a different object to try it with or just skip this suggestion.
Have toddler accessible snacks on a low shelf. My kids were always somehow starving the minute I sat down to nurse. The apple sauce and fruit are always kept within reach. This has had the added bonus of me not having to get up even if I’m not tethered down by a baby.
Play games like “I Spy” or “Silly ABCs”.
Have other activities ready to go nearby. My daughter loves to color so I make sure that the crayons and coloring page are right there so she can entertain herself and still have me to talk to.
Encourage nurturing play. Have dolls or toys and little tea towels that your big kid can “put to bed” or nurse while you’re taking care of baby.
Have a special box of quiet toys that you pull out only when nursing. Felt books, soft blocks or even Magnatiles. Sensory bins are great too. If the weather is nice, consider a bucket of ice in the backyard while you nurse in the shade. Another fun outdoors one is giving the kiddos a spray bottle of water and a towel to clean.
Practice meditation and deep breathing with your little one. My daughter’s favorite is to breathe in the scent of a flower and blow out a candle. Helps both of us relax!
At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you can maintain the quiet so baby can get a good meal. I found that the quiet enabled some wonderful bonding with my older kids that may not have happened otherwise.
Are there any tips that have worked for you to entertain your big kid while nursing? Let us know!
Also - if you’re looking for ideas to get out of the house with your toddler and newborn, consider these great indoor play spaces to keep the big one entertained and contained and come see us for Stroller Strides & Stroller Barre!
Keywords: breastfeeding, nursing, newborn, Parenting, Simple Parenting Tricks , toddler, toddler activities, motherhood
Summer is most definitely here and I can’t think of a better way to entertain the kids than a trip to the sprayground. The Triangle has some amazing splash pads in every corner so grab their swimsuits, snacks, and sunscreen and look forward to some solid naps!
Note that pricing for city pools is pretty consistent. Raleigh residents can expect to pay:
$2 - children 12 and under
$4 - ages 13-54
$3 - ages 55+
Located in South Park, this splash pad is well worth the 2$ admission - free for under 2 and FV residents.
One of our absolute favorites, the kids love this splash pad. And if a morning of waterplay wasn’t enough, this park also features 2 playgrounds, a climbing boulder, cute sheep sculptures the kids can climb on and access to a greenway trail.
Located in Wake Forest, this park has a water feature for every age, a playground, and even grills for a barbecue.
Featuring both a lap and recreation pool, a baby pool with a shower tower, and, obviously, a sprayground. Well worth the cost of admission. City pricing.
Home to what might be the largest baby pool I’ve ever seen, our kids love running back and forth between the sprayground and the wading pool. City pricing.
The best part about this spot is that the sprayground and wading pool are right next to each other and not separated by a fence so the kiddos can freely move from one to the other.
A large pool with diving boards, 2 big water slides, and an impressive sprayground, my kids ask for this pool by name. I never hesitate to dish out the admission for this spot. There are also plenty of spots to sit in sun or shade depending on your preference.
Indeed the sprayground is wonderful. I recommend Hill Ridge for the many other family activities and attractions - train rides, a maze, jumping pillows, and animals. On the pricier end but easily a full day that the kids will love.