Frugal Fitness: Hiking, Nature’s Best Workout! My 3 Favorite Oregon Trails

favorite oregon hikes

I have been on a mission to be healthy.  My mission started just about a year ago and since then I have lost about 30 pounds and I feel great!  I am now more focused on a healthy life rather than the numbers on the scale.  I also want to share this healthy lifestyle with my children so that it is ingrained into them to love living healthy, rather than dreading exercise.  I have no desire to leave my children at a daycare or sitter while I hit the gym, I want them to be a part of it.

One way we have found to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into our family is by hiking.  We take family hikes often (we try for 2 weekends per month).  This is a mostly free and awesome way to get a great workout, experience new places and have fun with the entire family!  We love to pack a healthy lunch (nuts, apples and PB, sandwiches for the kids) and head out for the day.

We live in Oregon and have what I was surprised to find to be an endless supply of hiking trails near us.  We are making an attempt to try them all.  Here are my favorite three so far:

Drift Creek Falls

drift creek2

I absolutely loved this Drift Creek Falls hike.  There were some moderately difficult parts of this trail, but it was still easy enough for our children to go on the full hike with us.  They are 6 and 10.  This hike was about 3 miles and took us about 2.5 hours in and back (that was counting the time we took to stop and have lunch) and was absolutely worth the views!  These falls were amazing and I just fell in love with the suspension bridge that you have to cross.

Silver Creek Falls

silver creek falls

Silver Falls State Park offers 25+ miles of hiking and if you are a waterfall enthusiast, you will not be disappointed.  There are 10 falls along the complete trail.  There are many routes you can take to make this hike as long or as short as you want.   We went to Silver Falls twice last summer doing separate trails each time and we will definitely be going back this year!

There is even a great swimming hole for the kiddos (or adults) to cool off in at the end of the hike!

silver falls swimming hole

(our kids cooling off after a long hike at Silver Creek Falls)

Peavy Arboretum


(Our kiddos posing at just one of the neat sights at Peavy Arboretum)

No grand waterfalls here, just lots and lots of trails featuring beautiful plants, trees and more!  We just finished our third hike at Peavy Arboretum this last weekend and we still have so many new trails to hit!  It is gorgeous and perfect for all levels of hikers.  Some of the trails are finished and maintained forest roads, while others are more obscure and difficult.

To make things even better this trail happens to be less than a 30 minute drive from my house, which I love!


This year’s hiking trips have just recently started for us, but at the end of last summer my legs were in great shape and I was in pretty good shape.  I know that hiking had a lot to do with that.   The calories burned during hiking is higher than your typical workout too.  A 150 pound person who hikes with a backpack for 90 minutes will burn over 750 calories!

Another awesome benefit to hiking is the low cost!  Besides the cost of gas and snacks we had to pay only $5 to park at two of the trails (Silver Creek Falls and Drift Creek Falls)!  Compare that to the cost of a gym membership and besides the lower cost, you will likely get a better workout and a much better experience!

He Says, She Says: The Best Cardio Workout Playlists

As I have mentioned before, we, as a family, have been working hard to become healthier.  Together as a couple, we have lost over 100 pounds in the last couple of years.  Diet, exercise and overall lifestyle changes have helped with our success.  (I have had a baby this last year though…so I have some work to do again)

We workout a lot, both cardio and weights and we both LOVE listening to music during our workout.  It should also be noted that we do not have  gym membership, we use at home equipment and we love to hit the road walking and running and hit the trails hiking.

These are our favorite cardio playlists:

She Says:

He Says:

You can either buy these songs separately or, you can sign up for Amazon Unlimited and have virtually endless music options to listen to!


Do you have any favorites that you would add to these lists?



Giveaway: “Dogs are Family” Print

Do you have a dog at home that you consider part of your family?  We have two dogs here that we love love love!  Both of our canine kids are Staffordshire Terriers (also known as the “Nanny Dog”) and they love our children beyond we could have ever imagined.  Because of our family connection to our pups, this Dogs are Family print from Charlie’s Mercantile really caught my attention and I knew we needed it in our home!  Because I love it so much, I decided to offer one to one lucky ready as well!

Oh…and p.s. if you love dogs and you love personalized gifts, go follow Charlie’s Mercantile on Facebook!! You are going to love her creations!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A little bit about the creator:

Amy Atkins from Charlie’s Mercantile “Charlie’s Mercantile wants to inspire you to add some color to your home decor. Each print is inspired by the love of colors and simple shapes and designed in Durham, North Carolina. Charlie’s Mercantile story is a positive one. In 2013, I moved across the country, lost my brother to cancer, and got a new puppy within a 2 week period. My new puppy, Fonda, really saved me in my new life. She reminded me to live outdoors and take time to play. Soon I became a dog sitter and I began to process my grief creativity and started enjoying the brighter side of life again. Dogs are truly a wonderful gift. My journey on Etsy started with a shop called ‘Siblings Matter’ in 2013 and has evolved into Charlie’s Mercantile. My other dog, Charlie, was Mrs. Charlie at the rescue. Charlie is also my brother’s middle name. Seems like you don’t have to look too far to find a Charlie somewhere:) Charlie’s Mercantile offers personalized gifts for your home, dog prints, and house warming gifts. We all deserve a personalized gift in our home. Let me know what I can create for you. “

My 30 Day Burpee Challenge – Want to Join?

Burpee Challenge

So, almost a year after having a baby, I am finally ready to get my butt back in shape!  My dreamy husband being the rockstar personal trainer and health coach that he is, is helping me and I am already making progress (7 pounds down!!).

I’ve decided to add in some dreaded burpees to my regular workout, but since I haven’t done them in forever I am taking it in slowly.  Does anyone want to join me in my 30 Day Burpee Challenge?  Check out the graphic above to easily follow along.

Let me know how it’s going!!

11 Fun, DIY Backyard Projects that You Can Do This Year!

Do you want to spruce up your yard and/or patio for the nice weather this year? Are you wanting to try out some new DIY projects? Check out this cute and (mostly) easy DIY Backyard projects! I think I might try a couple of these out with my kids.

1. DIY Outdoor Cinder Block Bench

2. DIY Pallet Planter Box

3. Terracotta Pot Table

4. DIY Garden Markers

5. Patio Bench Refinishing Project

6. Fairy Garden

7. Easy, DIY Splash Pad

8. Backyard Obstacle Course

9. DIY Pool Noodle Games

10. DIY Rope Swing

11. DIY Container Garden

An Easy Trick to Talking to Your Daughter about her Period.

Let me just be clear and say that I am not writing a sponsored post, I am not being paid to say these things at all.  I am just reviewing a product that I bought for my daughter that really opened up our conversation about her body and all that comes with it.

When I was young, my mother told me absolutely nothing about my period.  Not One Thing.  When I started my period I was terrified and kept it a secret for almost 4 months because I didn’t know what to say.  Thanks to school, I knew what a period was, but I was too embarrassed to talk about it with my mom or anyone in my family.  Since I became a mother, I knew that I was not going to allow that to happen to my daughter.

I never hid what my tampons or pads were and always answered honestly when she had questions about them as a little girl, but never went into great detail.  For that I waited.  I have been talking to my daughter about her period since she was probably 6 or 7.  I figured that this was too early for her to start her period, but late enough for her to start understanding. We talked about what happens and why and we talked about what she could expect.  Then, we she was 10 I ordered The Dot Girl Period Kit and we check it out together.  It has a fantastic little book of questions and answers and it even comes with supplies.  A reusable heat pack, some pads, some little trash bags as well as a period journal (so she can start keeping track of the dates of her cycle) and it even comes in a cute case!  The case does not announce that it is for your period so my daughter was comfortable putting the pack in her backpack to hold her stuff in case she were to start her period at school.

She is now almost a teenager and she still uses her kit to keep her supplies with her and we still talk often about our bodies and what she can continue to expect.


*LOCAL DEAL* Brad Paisley, Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant & More Just $25!

Do any of my local readers happen to be country music fans? Check out this awesome Groupon deal that is available right now!

Brad Paisley with Dustin Lynch, Chase Bryant, and Lindsay Ell just $25!!

  • $20 for one early-discount G-Pass for general-admission lawn (up to $41.35 value) [Limited tickets available at this special price]

20 Sweet Easter Desserts

easter dessert photo

Don’t you just love all of the sweet treats that come along with the holidays?  If you are looking for some new dessert recipes to try out this Easter, look no further than this awesome list of 20 Sweet Easter Desserts!

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Easter Eggs
  2. Easter Cookie Pops
  3. Spring Butterfly Cupcakes Recipe
  4. Carrot Cake Pops
  5. Jellybean Fudge
  6. Easter Candy Macadamia Bark Recipe
  7. Easter Rice Krispies Treat Cookies
  8. No-Bake Easter Nests
  9. Easter Gooey Butter
  10. Easter Candy Cupcakes
  11. Bird Nest Dirt Cake Cups
  12. DIY Candy Buttons
  13. Easy Coconut Macaroon Birds Nest Cookies
  14. Carrot Patch Brownie Bowls
  15. Copycat Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs
  16. Springtime Filled Cake Cookies Recipe
  17. Cookie Butter Eggs
  18. Milano Cookie Easter Eggs
  19. Homemade Cadbury Eggs
  20. Easter Krispie Bars

10 Things You Should Expect to Hear if You are Over 35 and Pregnant

My husband and I have been married for almost 19 years.  We had our first child 5 years into the marriage with the second child coming 3 years later.  I won’t go into too much detail, but neither were very easy deliveries and it kind of slowed our decision to have baby number 3.  We never took the discussion off the table though and about 2 years ago we started talking very seriously about it.  I mean, I was in my mid 30s, I wasn’t getting any younger and if we were going to have a baby, it was now or never.  So…after the world’s longest “should we have another baby” discussion, we got pregnant!  I was 36 years old and so excited!  I was a very active 36 year old and I felt young so no worries, right?

Well, the pregnancy itself was relatively smooth other than I puked for 5 months straight and I couldn’t stay awake at all, but baby and I were healthy!  There was one pretty strong negative though and that was some of the things that I heard over and over.

I feel obligated to share with you what that was in case you are trying to decide if you want to get pregnant in your later 30s:

  1.  You are an “older mom.”  Really?  Why can’t we just be Moms?
  2.  You are of “Advanced Maternal Age.”  For real.  I heard this at every single doctor’s appointment.
  3.  “What were you thinking?”  You wouldn’t believe how many people have asked us this.
  4.  “You are older now, you know what causes this”  Yep, I literally had several people say this to me during my pregnancy.
  5.  “Aren’t you afraid someone will think you are the grandma?” hahahaha well, now I am.
  6.  Because of your “special pregnancy circumstances” you have to have lots of extra tests.
  7.  “It’s so risky though.”  Even though this myth has been debunked, we heard it over and over again.
  8.  “Did you wait this long because you now have built in babysitters?”  WTF?!  Seriously?
  9.  “Was it hard for you to conceive at this age?”  Well, that’s not really your business, but nope.  I was pregnant within a month of starting to try.
  10. “Are you going to have the energy to chase after the baby?”  Okay, honestly I am still pretty tired, but I do just fine, thanks for checking. 🙂


Are you an over 35 mom?  What kind of things have you dealt with?