Go Team!!!!

Spain’s team of Rhythmic Gymnasts

With the Olympics happening right now, how can you not be inspired! There is so much talent in this world and it’s so exciting to see it all in one place. I could say that I am completely all about Team USA, but with all of the hard work that all of these athletes have put in, I believe everyone deserves a huge round of applause and recognition. So, GO TEAM!!!!!

Scroll down to see amazing photos of some of the Olympics great women athletes, courtesy of Yahoo.com.

Dana Vollmer

Aly Raisman

Brittney Reese

Eleni Andriola

 

 

Missy Franklin

Gabrielle Douglas

Hope Solo

Allyson Felix

Djamila Rakhmatova

Lolo Jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Firing LIne

Self protection or for recreation, The Firing Line is a great new gun range to learn how to shoot a gun.

They offer one-on-one training as well as numerous group classes. There is an option for daily use or yearly memberships. Corporate memberships are available as well. (Great deal for employees!!)

“The Firing Line was founded in 2011 and opened in March of 2012, providing the first 25yd indoor pistol and pistol-caliber rifle shooting range available in California’s central valley. We provide the public with a place to learn proper firearms safety and handling in a relaxed yet disciplined and professional environment at affordable prices. The Firing Line is staffed by experienced professionals and designed for both recreational and training purposes. At The Firing Line, we believe everyone with access to a firearm should be knowledgeable, comfortable, confident, and safe. We are dedicated to promoting responsible ownership by providing a safe, clean family friendly environment. “-The Firing Line’s website

Last Sunday I went and had one-on-one training with Natalie. She was very informative. Talks to you about gun safety and teaches you the proper way to hold a gun before entering the actual range. I would recommend it to any one who wants to learn how to shoot a gun. I’m hoping to book another session with her soon and move on to a more powerful gun. They have plenty there to rent or you can bring your own.

Check out there website for location and more information. The Firing Line

Whatever You Do…DON’T SIT DOWN!!!

GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!

 

I sit down A LOT. Working on the computer is what I do! How can I help it if my job requires me to sit all day? My answer was to ask my fabulous Dad to build a desk that I could use standing up! The results are fabulous and when you get to the end of this post, you can see how it turned out!! My advice and other advice I have read….do whatever you can to stand up, walk around or dance…just don’t sit too long. Lately I have been hearing alarming facts about the health of people who sit for long periods of time. Here’s a scary statistic for you…so much so I have been thinking up ways to sleep standing up:
“According to a study in the March 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers discovered that people who sat for 11 hours a day or more were 40 percent more likely to die – from any cause. The researchers also found the odds of dying were 15 percent higher for those who sit between eight to 11 hours a day compared to those who sit less than four hours a day.” – CBSNews.com, Michelle Castillo

Women’s Health Magazine had a great article on this unfortunate killer and I highly suggest you read through it!

You might not want to take the following stat sitting down: According to a poll of nearly 6,300 people by the Institute for Medicine and Public Health, it’s likely that you spend a stunning 56 hours a week planted like a geranium—staring at your computer screen, working the steering wheel, or collapsed in a heap in front of your high-def TV. And it turns out women may be more sedentary than men, since they tend to play fewer sports and hold less active jobs.

Even if you think you are energetic, sitting all day at work is common for most of us. And it’s killing us—literally—by way of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. All this downtime is so unhealthy that it’s given birth to a new area of medical study called inactivity physiology, which explores the effects of our increasingly butt-bound, tech-driven lives, as well as a deadly new epidemic researchers have dubbed “sitting disease.”

The Modern-Day Desk Sentence
“Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to do one thing: move,” says James Levine,M.D., Ph.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and author of Move a Little, Lose a Lot. “As human beings, we evolved to stand upright. For thousands of generations, our environment demanded nearly constant physical activity.”

But thanks to technological advances, the Internet, and an increasingly longer work week, that environment has disappeared. “Electronic living has all but sapped every flicker of activity from our daily lives,” Levine says. You can shop, pay bills, make a living, and with Twitter and Facebook, even catch up with friends without so much as standing up. And the consequences of all that easy living are profound.

When you sit for an extended period of time, your body starts to shut down at the metabolic level, says Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri. When muscles—especially the big ones meant for movement, like those in your legs—are immobile, your circulation slows and you burn fewer calories. Key flab-burning enzymes responsible for breaking down triglycerides (a type of fat) simply start switching off. Sit for a full day and those fat burners plummet by 50 percent, Levine says.

That’s not all. The less you move, the less blood sugar your body uses; research shows that for every two hours spent on your backside per day, your chance of contracting diabetes goes up by 7 percent. Your risk for heart disease goes up, too, because enzymes that keep blood fats in check are inactive. You’re also more prone to depression: With less blood flow, fewer feel-good hormones are circulating to your brain.

Sitting too much is also hell on your posture and spine health, says Douglas Lentz, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and the director of fitness and wellness for Summit Health in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. “When you sit all day, your hip flexors and hamstrings shorten and tighten, while the muscles that support your spine become weak and stiff,” he says. It’s no wonder that the incidence of chronic lower-back pain among women has increased threefold since the early 1990s.

And even if you exercise, you’re not immune. Consider this: We’ve become so sedentary that 30 minutes a day at the gym may not do enough to counteract the detrimental effects of eight, nine, or 10 hours of sitting, says Genevieve Healy, Ph.D., a research fellow at the Cancer Prevention Research Centre of the University of Queensland in Australia. That’s one big reason so many women still struggle with weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol woes despite keeping consistent workout routines.

In a recent study, Healy and her colleagues found that regardless of how much moderate to vigorous exercise participants did, those who took more breaks from sitting throughout the day had slimmer waists, lower BMIs (body mass indexes), and healthier blood fat and blood sugar levels than those who sat the most. In an extensive study of 17,000 people, Canadian researchers drew an even more succinct conclusion: The longer you spend sitting each day, the more likely you are to die an early death—no matter how fit you are.

Desk Success!!!

 

Cut offs

Cut offs are once again very popular this summer. It’s a huge DIY trend to not only make your own cut offs but to embellish them as well. Studs, ombre dyed, adding lace, decorative pockets, etc. Here’s a really cute idea of ombre bleaching the top part of the jeans and using fabric paints to make an awesome design:

Although I am not a big fan of the fit, vintage Levi 501’s and a crop top seems to be the big hit this summer. There are tons already embellished and ready for you to wear available on Etsy as well as local boutiques. Or just it up the local thrift store and pick up some old jeans and pull out the scissors, bleach, paint, and studs. Here’s a style I’ve seen numerous times. Just cut along the outer edge of the back pockets and add large studs:

Or just add studs to the entire back pocket:

Here’s a pair that I made at work using Tulip One Step Dye in Coral, Tulip Iron on Studs, and Tulip Soft paints:

And don’t forget to run to forever 21 to choose from their hundreds of crop tops to go with those new cut offs!

Things to do Thursday: Start a budget! $$$

I’ve been receiving paychecks for 10 years now and I have never sat down and put together a budget until this month. My main goal is to limit my spending on dining out and clothes in hopes to pay off my car loan ASAP. It’s quite simple to plan out your budget, it’s actually trying to follow this budget that get’s hard. I used the the budget worksheet from about.com. You can always copy and paste this into Excel and edit it to fit your needs.

First you need to fill in all of your income and then deduct the taxes that are taken out of your checks. Next fill out what expenses and investments you are expecting to pay for the month. Add them up at the bottom, subtract them from your income subtotal to see if you’ll have a surplus or a shortage of money for the month. (Be sure to place that surplus into your savings account!) Now for the next month, keep track of all your expenses and jot them down into the “Monthly Actual Amount”. Once the month is over be sure to compare what you budgeted for and what you actually spent. You of course want to stay within the budget you set and this can give you a sense of what you may need to work on to keep within the budget. Using cash as much as possible can really help you keep within your budget. There’s just something too easy about overspending by just sliding a credit card without really thinking about how much you’re actually spending.

Here is some “Budgeting Basics” from about.com to help you out even more.

What is a Budget?

A budget is nothing more than a breakdown and plan of how much money you have coming in and where it goes. Could you imagine a business becoming successful if it didn’t keep track of its income and expenses? The same holds true when it comes to your personal finances. If you don’t know how much money you have coming in and where it goes, your road to financial success will be a difficult one.

The biggest fear that most people have when creating a budget is that they will need to suddenly cut back on all of the fun spending — things like the occasional coffee or dinner out, movie night, or even the trip to grandma’s for the holidays. While you may find that you do need to cut some spending after putting together a budget, without actually sitting down and creating one, it is impossible to know what expenses need to be cut, if any.

Tracking Income

The first step in creating a budget is to determine how much income you have. This is quite easy and typically only requires you to take a look at your pay stub. Of course, if you’re married, be sure to include your spouse’s income as well. In addition to your regular pay, you’ll want to also include any other sources of income you may have, such as dividends, interest, a side business, and so on.

Tracking Expenses

Now that you know how much income you have coming in, it’s time to take a look at your monthly expenses. Start with the regular and fixed payments you have, such as your mortgage or rent, car payments, insurance, debt and taxes. For most people, these are going to be relatively fixed, meaning you can’t easily change the amount that is due each month.

After you’ve listed your fixed monthly expenses, it is time to dig deeper to find out where the rest of your money goes. Take out your checkbook or pull your latest bank statement to help you with this step. Jot down how much you spend on things like utilities, groceries, entertainment, subscriptions, and so on. This handy worksheet can help you with keeping track of expenses.

The Bottom Line

You should now have all of the information needed to help you create your budget. So, go ahead and total up your monthly income and all of your monthly expenses. Subtract your expense total from your income total and you’ll have either a positive or negative number. If you have a positive number, congratulations, you are spending less than you earn. Don’t worry if you have a negative number. The whole reason for creating a budget is to identify deficiencies and find out how to address them.

Now that you can visually see how much you fall short, you can adjust your spending or saving in certain areas to improve the situation. Oftentimes you’ll realize that by just making a few small adjustments to your spending habits, you can significantly improve your situation. Maybe this means cutting back on one of your magazine subscriptions, eating out one time less a month, or even just hitting the matinee instead of the prime time movie. Typically, just saving a few dollars here and there can be enough to not only make sure you spend less than you earn, but also apply a few extra dollars to things like high-interest credit card debt or your retirement savings.

Good Health IS a Laughing Matter!

The other day I was laughing so hard at some stupid joke my co-worker made, I had tears running down my cheeks and I was kneeling on the floor. I could barely catch my breath and could not utter a word, yet I felt awesome! How is it that laughter has similarities to being in pain but it feels so good? This had me doing some research to see if there was even such a thing as benefits of laughing. I mean, yeah, it makes you smile, but is there more to it? Guess what? There is a heck of a lot more to it!!!! I checked out the Mayo Clinic’s website and they seemed to have the most realistic knowledge of the benefits of laughter…

Stress relief from laughter

A good sense of humor can’t cure all ailments, but data are mounting about the positive things laughter can do.

Short-term benefits
A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:

  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response and increases your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
  • Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.

Long-term effects
Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long haul. Laughter may:

  • Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can impact your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. In contrast, positive thoughts actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
  • Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. Laughter may also break the pain-spasm cycle common to some muscle disorders.
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.

How to improve — or gain — a sense of humor

Are you afraid you have an underdeveloped — or nonexistent — funny bone? No problem. Humor can be learned. In fact, developing or refining your sense of humor may be easier than you think.

  • Put humor on your horizon. Find a few simple items, such as photos or comic strips that make you chuckle. Then hang them up at home or in your office. Keep funny movies or comedy albums on hand for when you need an added humor boost.
  • Laugh and the world laughs with you. Find a way to laugh about your own situations and watch your stress begin to fade away. Even if it feels forced at first, practice laughing. It does your body good.
  • Share a laugh. Make it a habit to spend time with friends who make you laugh. And then return the favor by sharing funny stories or jokes with those around you.
  • Knock-knock. Browse through your local bookstore or library’s selection of joke books and get a few rib ticklers in your repertoire that you can share with friends.
  • Know what isn’t funny. Don’t laugh at the expense of others. Some forms of humor aren’t appropriate. Use your best judgment to discern a good joke from a bad, or hurtful, one.

To help everyone jump start their laughing, I decided to get some jokes collected for you. They may not be side splitting, but I will guess that at least one side of your mouth will curl up in a smile!

How do you make a tissue dance?     Put a little boogie in it!

Two cannibals are eating a clown.    One says to the other: “Does this taste funny to you?”

What do you get when you play country music backwards?    “You get your house back, you get your car back, you get your wife back, you get your dog back…”

What do you call a cow with no legs?    Gound beef.

Tell Polka Dot Tango your favorite corny joke!!!

 

Rose and glitter skull shirt

This cute shirt is super simple to make, all you need are:

Black Shirt
Floral Fabric (i purchased mine from Hancock Fabrics)
Aleene’s Fabric Fusion
Tulip Shimmer Sheets
Skull pattern (I just pulled on off the internet)
Freezer paper (optional)

After printing out a skull pattern (which I altered to make heart shaped eyes), use an exacto knife to cut the pattern out of the shimmer sheet. Next, remove protective plastic from the shimmer sheet and iron onto the floral fabric. Then cut the fabric around it to give the skull a small border. Cut out a few of the actual flowers from the fabric itself to be later attached to the front of the shirt. You can’t tell in the images but the cross bones are actually cut out of the shirt and the fabric was then glued on the inside of the shirt. You can do this or just cut out the cross bones from the fabric and glue on top of the shirt. If you are going to be cutting out the bones into the shirt, I recommend tracing the crossbones onto a pieces of freezer paper and ironing it onto the shirt and then cutting out the pattern. This will help you get nice straight clean cuts. Next use the Fabric Fusion glue to glue on the fabric crossbones, skull, and cut our flowers. Once dry, I cut out the collar on the shirt to make it an off the shoulder shirt.

New Week, New Outlook!

Poster by Jay Graham

Hello all and welcome to Monday! How was the weekend and how do you think your week is going to go? Lately my weeks have been blending in with my weekends, creating a sort of dream-like (or nightmare-like) state. Working countless hours on the computer and countless hours on renovating a house can feel so overwhelming and leaves me exhausted, but in the end, I know that all of this work will result in something to smile at. Everyone knows that infamous quote, the one that I often roll my eyes at. Something about the journey, not the destination? Anyhow, I am on quite a journey as of lately and there better be some mai tai’s when I get to my destination! 😉

If you have any quotes, images, or motivational tips, let Polka Dot Tango know! We love those kinds of things!

Are YOU Kelly Kapowski?

Kelly’s got the look!

The 90’s are back and in full bloom! Floral prints are everywhere, from jeans to tops to maxi dresses and more. The last time I saw this trend was on Fresh Prince of Bel Aire, the original 90210, Friends, and of course Saved by the Bell. Kelly Kapowski was always the fashion icon for me and I dreamed that by the time I got to high school I would be as cool as her. Well, I never turned out to be a “Kelly Kapowski” in my school but I think now is my time! Polkadot Tango has put together three different outfits following this bouquet of 90’s trend and we hope that you can grab some inspiration and put your very own spin on it! Let us know what you think of this fashion style and if you dare to go back a bit and take it on!

Walk Among The Flowers
Earth Angel

Clean Out Your Closet!

This Things to Do Thursday, we are all about cleaning out our closets! This task can be stressful, but it can also help relieve stress in more ways than one! Firstly, any kind of organization is a sort of cleansing of the soul and secondly, you can sleep in ten extra minutes cause you know where your stuff is! Here’s one very truthful statement  ZenHabits.net had to say about clutter:

“Clutter is holding onto the past, or fear of the future”

I would highly recommend visiting this site to read the rest of the article…it is very eye opening! Now on to the rest of our article! Below is a little list to help you get started in cleaning out your closet. Don’t make it a chore, relax and go with it. Yes, there will be those items that may bring you to tears but honestly, what has it done for you lately?

• If you have any stacked clothes, take a look at what’s on the bottom of these piles. Most likely they are clothes you almost never wear.

• Put all clothing that you have worn in the last year in one pile.

• Pile up clothes that you have not worn in the last year.

• Of course there is a “maybe” pile! At the end of your closet clean try those clothes on.

• Any clothes that have a special meaning? I have my wedding dress, lettermen’s jackets, the top I was wearing when my husband proposed…anything like that? Bag it and put it somewhere safe, in the attic or in the corner of the closet.

• Can’t decide if you want to get rid of something? Ask yourself these questions:
1. How many times have I questioned myself about this item?
2. How old was I when I last wore this?
3. Is it still in good condition?

• When going through your shoes, check to see if a cobbler can fix them if they are an absolute must keep.

If you are at a happy and healthy weight, do not keep those pants that are five sizes too big. Congratulate yourself for being happy and healthy and replace them with a new pair!

• When all else fails, grab a friend and ask for their opinion. A friend that will unfortunately tell you the truth.

• When you have finally finished the cleansing of the closet, you have several choices of what you can do with the ones you no longer want:
1. Gather some friends and do a clothing exchange.
2. Sell your clothes to a store that will re-sell them.
3. Sell them at a garage sale.
4. Donate them.

• Keep in mind that if you decide to do this all in one day, relax, turn on the music, and remind yourself that you will ultimately feel better in the end. If doing this in one day seems like a daunting task then break it up into several days or into chunks of minutes!

Good luck and let Polkadot Tango know what you do to de-clutter! Here’s some inspirational closets to get your de-clutter vibes going!

We can all dream!