Friday, 21 October 2016

What does it mean to be a part of the Homeschool Review Crew ?

When I joined the Homeschool Review Crew back in 2013 I had no idea what was in store for me.  I joined on a whim after seeing a friend of mine had been reviewing for them and I'm a curriculum junkie!  I'm still using products in my homeschool from back then.  I love my year on the crew so much I applied to be on their team ever since. Today I am joining in with the team as we share what it means to be on the Homeschool Review Crew.

What being on the Crew means ...

My passion is supporting home school families to successfully home educate.  One of the biggest blessings of the Crew is getting to know about the wide range of new and updated curriculum on the market.  This in turn helps me help my new and veteran home school friends find what they are needing to home school successfully.  Having the product means I am able to show these families what I am talking about. 

At the beginning of the 2016 Crew year I was promoted to the leadership and now have some official responsibilities helping Debra Brinkman look after the 200+ bloggers who are a part of the Homeschool Review Crew.

The Crew Gave ME
Joining the Crew has opened so many opportunities for me as a blogger.
  • The Crew introduced me to a mentor who helped me through the process of my first three reviews.  They were the go to person if I needed anything.  
  • The leadership were approachable and super helpful and supportive.  
  • I had access to a special forum which contained all the information that I needed.  
  • The crew host fortnightly round up posts that I can submit links to which are shared on their blog. 
  • I have the opportunity to guest post on their blog (They have 5,000+ subscribers) with links back to my blog.
  • They have social media mentors who helped me learn to use my platforms better.
  • They have up to 75 different homeschool curriculum opportunities for me to choose to use.  I am not given things I can not use and my reviews are 100 % my own thoughts.  I am not required to write positive reviews only honest ones.
  • They host two annual blog hops which are a lot of fun.  Here are a couple of  hops I've participated in: 5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials5 Days of Curriculum Choices and 5 Days of Teaching Creatively.
  • The best part of the experience are all the new blogging friends I make each year. 
Some of my favourite resources this year have been:
Who the Crew are we looking for 
The Homeschool Review Crew is growing. They are currently looking for bloggers from all over the world to join their team.
  • You need to have a blog.
  • Currently home educating at least one child. Your child/ren can be anywhere from Pre-K to 12th Grade.
  • You need to be active on social media of your own choosing (Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram)
  • Love curriculum, homeschool products and books.
You can read more about the requirements to join the team here:  2017 Crew Applications Now Open.
How can you apply? 
After making sure you meet all of the requirements, if you believe you would to an asset to our Crew and wish to join us, please fill out their application. Click here to fill out the 2017 Schoolhouse Review Crew Application!


Thursday, 20 October 2016

German Nutcracker Drawings {Virtual Fridge}

This Week
Nathaniel and my Nutcracker.

This week we tackled another ArtAchieve Lesson. This weeks lesson is Level II-Art Lesson 6: The German Nutcracker.
Laura, Belinda and Ethan's Nutcrackers

This weeks Feature

This weeks feature is a tutorial  Oil Pastel Resist Leaves from over at Our Unschooling Journey.
Your Turn

I invite you to take some photo's of your children's artistic pursuits put them in a post and link up with me I would love to come over and see the wonderful art your children have enjoyed doing.
Virtual Fridge Link Up


Connect with me
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Your hosts are


Please NOTE by adding your links to the Virtual Fridge link up YOU are giving the hosts of the Virtual Fridge link up permission to use a photograph from your blog to feature 
your ART along with a link to your art/tutorial.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Tummy Team - Core Foundations {Review}

Today I would like to share a more personal journey with you. It's something that affects more than 80% of our population and for most of us we chalk it all up to age and "That's just life". To begin with I was under the impression that this struggle was unique to woman but I now understand this issue is something that many people struggle with and are unaware that there is a solution to their pain and that solution is now available to people all over the world thanks to the work of Kelly Dean and The Tummy Team in the form of their online Core Foundations Program.

Core Foundations is an eight week Core Rehab Specialist program designed to be done at home.  It is a program which is presented to you by a qualified Core Rehab Specialist program who specializes in neuromuscular rehabilitation and home health .

I have taken the program to my personal Doctor who confirmed to me that all the information is 100% accurate and is now referring her clients to The Tummy Team.  I was pleasantly surprised at my own personal progress and in an incredibly short space of time. My waist measurement decreased by two inches within the first month and my active sitting time lengthened from around 5 seconds to over a minute.

I learned that the repair surgeries I have had were actually not necessary.  My Doctor confirmed to me that the medical profession in general are unaware that Diastasis Recti, general back ache and hernia's are symptoms of the deeper issue of a weak functional core.  I was surprised to learn what a weak core and diastasis looks like and it's something I've had since high school.

I have been empowered with knowledge, I am very excited about Core Foundations and the enormous difference it is making in my own personal life and my husbands.  My functional core strength was very low and it took me a whole month to recover from disconnection before I could progress. I have chosen to begin at the beginning and do the complete program over and document my journey and share it with you here on the blog on Mondays along with photographs and tips and insights I learn from my journey to being #Strong4Life.

How I found The Tummy Team
I was surfing Instagram one day when I came across a rather intriguing graphic of  a before core rehab pregnancy and after core rehab pregnancy.    I went to the account  to find out more.  There were the most amazing before and after photographs of what Core Foundations could accomplish.  I was rather surprised at the info graphics explaining that PlankingCrunches and Cross-Over Crunches are really bad exercises for your core and your tummy and actually do not accomplish what we think they should. I was drawn to find out more about their program because Paul had been regularly exercising including doing planking exercises to strengthen his core but was still having pain issues and regular flare ups with his back.

Symptoms of Functional Core Weakness

  • Low back pain - "Back pain is one of the most common symptoms of a weakened core. It is the result of other muscles trying to compensate when your transverse abdominis muscle lacks the strength to hold you up."
  • Pelvic floor weakness
  • Stress incontinence
  • Diastasis Recti - a separation of the abdominal muscles
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Upper and/or Mid back pain
  • Abdominal hernia's "Abdominal hernias typically appear in areas of weak or damaged connective tissue which results in portions of the organs bulging out of the abdominal wall. When this weakened area of connective tissue tears, portions of the intestinal track are at risk of strangulation requiring urgent medical attention and often surgical repair."
  • Sciatica
  • Prolapse
  • Prostrate issues
  • Tired back at the end of the day
  • 'Preggy Belly' or Belly Bulge
  • Incontinence
  • Digestive issues - "Chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, recurring hemorrhoids, painful bloating and acid reflux are all common symptoms of a weakened core. Several vital organs, including the intestines, rely on a strong internal core for support. Without that support, the digestive system fails to work efficiently."
  • Pelvis instability
  • Menstrual issues
  • Pain tolerance
How Online Core Foundations Works
After choosing and purchasing the right Online Core Training Program for you, you will receive a invoice/payment receipt via email. This will be followed by a welcome letter explaining to you how to access your program and an email address where you can reach the team.

You do not receive access to the full program in week one.  On the first day of each new week the new week's program will become unlocked.  You will still have access to the previous weeks video's so you can watch them as often as you like.  The reason is to encourage structure and accountability.  Each week builds on the preceding week.  Knowing I had limited access meant that I had to set aside regular time to watch the instructional video's it kept me motivated to come back.

  • When you log in you will be taken to your online program.  Navigation is super easy and you will be able to see at a glance each separate week on the left.  On the right you will either see: Available Now or Not Available. 
  • In week one you are only given access to Core Foundations and Week 1.  
  • After that each subsequent lesson is released weekly.  When a new week becomes available the team will email you a short note as soon as you have access to the next class it will also have a note at the bottom detailing how many weeks access you have left.
  • Each lesson is equivalent to a one on one consultation with Kelly.  

After selecting the week you are working on you will open a new page. At the top there is a Focus of the Week section. This is a concise summary of what you will be working on.

Below this text box you will see the Week number and the Video Instruction box along with a note on how many video's there are to watch. To the right of the video is the title of the video along with a note.
Kelly is a very articulate instructor. She takes time to explain your anatomy, the process and more importantly the why behind every step of your core rehabilitation instructions. There is currently a blind lady doing the course and Kelly's instructions are so clear that this lady is successfully completing her journey to wellness.

Kelly's focus is on empowering you with knowledge to help equip you with the tools you need to become strong for life.  She is a Core Rehab Specialist who specialises in neuromuscular rehabilitation and home health. Kelly is passionate about to fully understanding the neuromuscular, postural, and alignment issues that contribute to core weakness and abdominal separation. Her combination of multiple approaches specifically treats these conditions for long-lasting changes.

The thing I appreciate about learning from Kelly is that she is speaking from personal experience.  She was facing major hernia repair surgery with a large Diastasis Recti and other health issues.  As I watched her personal testimony I could identify with many aspects of her personal journey to being strong for life and reclaiming health. Kelly recognizes that each of us have our own story and it is these very things that influence how our bodies are going to heal.

Active Sitting (Source)

The best part of the program is the simplicity. Above is a sample of the first exercise you learn to do:

Below the video section is a helpful box containing your downloadable handouts and a section of what to expect as you follow your core rehabilitation program for the week.  I have been very surprised at the accuracy of the list of what to expect.  I love the handouts because I have written instructions I can refer to anytime I need to refresh myself on what I have learned and I can go back and re-do the week anytime I want.  The charts are helpful for keeping myself accountable.

What does each week cover?
  • Week 1
    • Initial Measurements
    • Understanding Your Transverse
    • Rehabilitation of your Core
    • Functional Integration of the Core
    • Why We Splint
  • Week 2
    • Potty Posture
    • The Transverse, the Lumbar Multifidis & Lower Back Pain
    • Abdominal Massage
    • Preparing Your Environment
  • Week 3
    • Progression of Transverse Exercises
    • More Functional Integration
    • Neutral Pelvis Training
    • Modifications
  • Week 4
    • The Transverse and Pelvic Floor for Women
    • The Transverse and the Prostate for Men
    • Pelvic Floor Strengthening
    • Initial Fitness Choices
    • Neutral Pelvis Training
  • Week 5
    • Neutral Rib Cage & Upper Back Activation
    • Weaning from Your Splint
  • Week 6
    • Core Integration with Functional Activities
    • Safe Core Stretches
  • Week 7
    • Rehabilitation versus Lifestyle versus Fitness
    • Transition to
    • Core Integration into Fitness -
    • Love Handles Lost -
    • The PMS Routine
  • Week 8
    • Core Strong Lifestyle
    • Final Diastasis Check and Personal Plan
    • Core Strong Workout
    • Full-Body Tummy Team Workout
    • Thank You from Kelly

Some Nuggets to Protect your Core
What do you get with the program
  • Eight weeks of personal Core Rehab Specialist  instruction. This are presented by a Core Rehab Specialist  in pre-recorded video sessions you can access in the comfort of your own home. 
  • A set of instructional online video's added each week.
  • Each week there are pdf sheets containing a summary of  the weeks lesson.  Where appropriate a exercise tracking sheet and online support handout.  These are the same handouts are a written summary of the key elements of your program for the week.
  • Access to a private client forum on Facebook. On this forum you can ask any question and one of the Tummy Team Core Rehab Specialists will answer you.  Most questions are answered within a couple of hours. 
  • Tools to help you become strong at life 
  • Ten weeks of online access which begins immediately after purchase
Please note there are two purchase options for each program
  1. BUY NOW, START NOW - means your ten week access starts immediately upon payment of your program.
  2. BUY NOW, START LATER - means you get a voucher that you use when you are ready to start your program.  
Learn More
Connect on Social Media
I would like to thank Kelly Dean and the Tummy Team for sponsoring me with Core Foundations.  It is revolutionizing my life and I look forward to sharing my journey and progress here on the Blog. Next week I will be sharing my experience with Gillian Sukachevin, MPT and our Skype Session.


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