How To Create A Home Gym On A Budget

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Sharing tips on how to create a home gym on a budget and what equipment you really need.

Hi friends! Hope you’re enjoying the day so far and that all of my dad friends had a happy Father’s Day!

For this post, I wanted to chat about how to set up a home gym and what equipment you need, especially since many of us are still working out at home, or you might be considering creating a home gym on a budget.

Home gyms are getting even more popular since the pandemic started and there are SO MANY benefits to having your own gym at home. One of my favorite parts is that there’s zero commute time, and if the kids are home, I can just get in a workout while they play or watch a show.

Creating a home gym can be a bit challenging if you have a limited budget (some gym technology and gear is pricey!) but there are ways you can create a home gym that works for your needs without breaking the bank. You can also customize it based on what you like to do and what products you think you really need.

Before I get started, I just want to emphasize the fact that you don’t need fancy or expensive equipment to get in a great workout. All you need to get an awesome workout is a plan, sneakers that fit you, and motivation. Anything else is just a bonus.

How To Create A Home Gym On A Budget:

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Take advantage of what you already have and create a wish list for future items

Create a list or spreadsheet with the items you currently have and prioritize the ones you have your eye on.

Create a budget and estimate expenses

Determine a total spending budget and after doing some searching online, you can estimate how much your total gym set-up will cost.

Invest in multi-tasking tools at first

An example of this is if you’re looking for strength training equipment, find something that you can use for multiple things (like dumbbells) and is versatile, before expanding into different products in the same theme (like barbells, kettlebells, etc.)

Create a dedicated workout space

This can be a full room in your house, a garage, an office corner, whatever you have the room to use. If you don’t have a dedicated space, you could even store your workout items in a closet in a large bin. If space is an issue, focus on the items that don’t take up a ton of room (like resistance bands, jump rope, small Pilates ball, etc.)

Buy secondhand equipment

I usually get lucky on Facebook marketplace, or when you hear about gyms closing or relocating, they’re often looking to sell their equipment (if they didn’t lease it).

Choose equipment you will actually use!

This one seems obvious but don’t purchase anything you won’t be excited to use in your routine. 🙂 A spin bike makes a lovely clothing rack but would be a waste of money.

Here are some of my top home gym essentials!

Home Gym Essentials

How To Make Ice Cream Without A Machine

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The most popular question I’ve ever received on this website is whether you can make ice cream without a machine.

The answer is YES. You can make ice cream without a machine.

How To Make Ice Cream Without A Machine

Homemade Ice Cream Without A Machine

With 70+ ice cream recipes to choose from, that question comes up a few times a week, if not daily through the warmer months.

While I’ve described this method repeatedly in comments and emails through the years, it was past time to shoot some step-by-step photos and explain in detail in one post that can be easily referred back to.

Homemade Ice Cream Made Without An Ice Cream Maker

Besides, who would ever turn down the chance to make some more ice cream, right?

There are a LOT of photos provided here to illustrate what the ice cream should look like at each step of the process.

If you aren’t here for the full tutorial, make use of that handy “Jump To Recipe” button at the top of the page.

How To Make Ice Cream Without An Ice Cream Maker

Stir together your ice cream mixture and chill it if it isn’t cold already. Pour it into an 8-10 inch square baking dish.

I typically use this metal pan (because it freezes so quickly) however a glass pan will also work.

First freeze - ice cream without a machineRead more

4 compassionate steps to take on the really bad days when your mental health is at its lowest

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For those times, when even the simple things feel impossible, try this

4 compassionate steps to take on the really bad days when your mental health is at its lowest

Good and bad mental health days are something many of us will cycle through at some point in our lives, and, usually, we have strategies in place to keep on going about our daily routines. But, when things get really bad, those usual strategies can feel out of reach, and the thought of doing anything can feel overwhelming.

When that happens, show yourself compassion, and try these four, basic steps for taking care of yourself.

1. Take time off work

In the UK, there is no legal difference between taking a sick day for a mental health problem, and taking a day off for a physical problem – and the process of arranging a mental health day is just the same; you simply need to follow your workplace’s usual sick day policy.

Legally, you don’t have to tell your workplace why you’re off sick, and a doctor’s note will usually not include any sensitive information. However, if you are comfortable speaking to your manager or HR about what you’re going through, it may help them understand how they can better support you on your return to work.

2. Basic hygiene

Letting personal hygiene fall by the wayside is a very common side-effect of mental illnesses like depression, PTSD, and sensory processing disorders. Even among those without a specific condition, habits and routines that might normally be second nature can slip down the priority list.

Of course, feeling better is never as simple as just taking a shower and washing it all away – but taking care of yourself on the outside can make a difference to how you’re feeling on the inside. Think about all the things you would usually do when you’re feeling better (i.e. taking a shower, putting on deodorant, washing your face, brushing your teeth). If that feels overwhelming, or if the thought of having to do all of it puts you off altogether, try to just do one thing, and see how you go from there.

3. Stay hydrated

When we’re dehydrated, our bodies start to shut down – and when you consider how mental health problems are caused by brain activity, and dehydration causes our brain functions to slow down, it’s easy to see how the two are linked.

The best way to get into habits is to remove all barriers to achieving them, so try to make sure that you have a bottle of water near you that you can take sips from throughout the day. Alternatively, suck on ice cubes, have some fruit juice or herbal or green tea, or set regular reminders on your phone to pour yourself a glass of water if you’re prone to forgetting.

4. Get some fresh air

Fresh air and exercise’ is a common recommendation for good physical health, and mental health is just the same. Numerous studies have linked spending time in nature to an improvement in wellbeing, and breathing in oxygen-rich air is invariably going to support our brain function.

Of course, on the really bad days, when energy is a finite resource, setting off on a 5K hike probably isn’t realistic. But if you can get outside, give it a go. If not, airing out your home by opening some windo

Asian Steak Marinade

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Asian Steak Marinade

We love our steak fajitas marinade recipe but I couldn’t stop thinking about putting an Asian twist on it, and thus, our Asian steak marinade was born!

We have a little secret with the steak too, so keep reading to get all the dets.

a photo of thin slices of asian marinated flank steaks stopped with chopped scallions with a side of cucumber salad.


The Secret is in the Steak

I couldn’t find plain skirt or flank steak at the store, so I bought carne asada instead. Just the store brand raw meat but it was already flavored. Worked amazing!!! So if you’re short on time, definitely go with this option. If you want to go totally homemade, I’ll include our own spice rub recipe in the recipe card below. You’ll apply the rub before putting the steak in the marinade.

Ingredients for Asian Steak Marinade

This dry rub and marinade is so easy! All you do is combine everything together and rub it on the steak and then pour the marinade on the steak in a plastic bag.

  • Skirt or Flank Steak – either one will work, and look for a pre-seasoned one for extra easy cooking

For the Rub

For the Marinade

  • Rice Vinegar – adds acidity
  • Pineapple Juice – adds a little sweetness and tang
  • Soy Sauce – low sodium, great for tenderizing the meat because it breaks down the tough proteins
  • Garlic – freshly minced
  • Ginger – adds that signature Asian flavor
  • Light Brown Sugar – adds sweetness and richness
  • Red Chili Flakes – adds a little heat, feel free to add more if you like it spicy
  • Scallions – for garnish

The full recipe with the measurements and complete instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Journaling: learn how to embrace the joy of text and harness its powerful benefits

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They say the pen is mightier than the sword, and for good reason. Seeing our innermost thoughts and feelings on the page can be a hugely beneficial thing, allowing us to express ourselves in a safe space, and process our experiences. Here, psychotherapist Bhavna explores the powerful practice of journaling, and how you can harness it, too

Journaling: learn how to embrace the joy of text and harness its powerful benefits

While it’s not a recent phenomenon, journaling has become a fast-growing staple of those curious to explore their inner lives. As a psychotherapist, one of the most powerful techniques I offer clients is an invitation to journal. Many people can be apprehensive of writing at first – some may have had traumatic experiences connected with writing, for example people with dyslexia, or those from an older generation who were severely punished for being left-handed.

Apprehension is absolutely understandable, however, the incredible power of using the written word to travel into the inner sanctum of your being is worth it. And, if it doesn’t work for you, you have lost nothing. But, if it does work, you have access to one of the most powerful self-help techniques created, for free! Writing as a form of therapy has transformed the lives of many hundreds of my clients, and myself.

A page is like a wise and non-judgemental companion, a witness to your most scared and private thoughts. Let’s look at why the act of writing (with a real pen or pencil, not a keyboard) can produce what feel like miraculous results.

Our memories are stored in our brain and body as chemical signatures. As you write, an incredible chemical reaction takes place in your brain. Those memories, made up of thoughts and feelings, are transformed in real time into words. Words that express, process, and translate what you are feeling and thinking. Sentences that describe, explore, challenge, accept, wonder, and question what is going on in your head. Words connect us to our soul, enabling us to communicate our joy, sadness, disappointments, triumphs, needs, dreams, and desires. Everything is made up of words!

Now, imagine taking control of this powerful organ, the brain, and beginning to understand how it works in your life. Learning its secrets through the written word, and seeing it come alive on the page before you; that is the magic of journaling.

Journaling: learn how to embrace the joy of text and harness its powerful benefits

My clients are offered many different forms of writing as part of our work. Writing for a few minutes daily allows us to connect with ourselves. Write whatever is coming to your mind: are you worried, angry, sad, happy, or excited? Write it down. As you do this, you will begin to see patterns emerge in relation to your thinking style. Are you generally positive, glass half full? You can then take the patterns – for example feeling anxious – and write about that, asking yourself questions such as: Why do I feel anxious? Where does it come from? When did it start? Why is it present in my life? Is it your ‘stuff’? If not, whose is it, and what keeps it there