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Friday, May 29, 2015

Running for Beginners



Recently, I shared on Instagram that I am trying to get back into Jogging/Running.  Well, to be honest I was never "in" to Jogging or Running, LOL.  I use to do it on occasion and never was a great runner.  In fact, I dread even walking for long distances because it's tasking on my body especially now that I'm overweight (for my height).  I don't know why I never thought to Google a Start-Up Running Plan to properly work my body into Running over time.  Normally, I begin by walking for a bit, jog for a bit, walk for a bit and usually don't return to jogging.  My habits are erratic and therefore my body doesn't ever become accustom to the activity.  Today, while at work, a light bulb went off and I googled a Running Plan for Beginners.  Low and behold, I found a very detailed Plan with Training Tips included.  I don't know why but now I'm super excited to see how this helps.  Most of the Runners who commented below the article stated that they were surprised at how well the Plan worked for them.  Sharing is Caring so I've included the Plan below as well as the site link if you want more information.  I plan to go home tonight, cook dinner for the family and then hit the pavement to put this Plan into action.  I really hope I can call myself a true "Runner" pretty soon.  Good luck to you girls as well!! XOXOMCS

UPDATE:  So, I started Day 1 earlier this week and it is much harder than I expected.  Doing this on a treadmill (because it was raining outside) required A LOT of coordination and after the first 15 minutes my legs were done with the running.  I finished out the remaining 15 minutes walking at 3.0 instead of just giving up.  The plan is go outside after work and try this routine on the pavement instead.  I will let you know how that goes!

WEEK 1
Wk
Mon
Tues
Weds
Thurs
Fri
Sat
Sun
1
 
Run & Walk
Run 1 min
Walk 2 min
Repeat 10X
Walk
Walk easy 30 min
Run & Walk
Run 1 min
Walk 2 min
Repeat 10X
Walk
Walk easy 30 min
Run & Walk
Run 1 min
Walk 2 min
Repeat 10X
Run & Walk
Run 1 min
Walk 2 min
Repeat 10X
Rest
Training tip: To fuel up for your workout, have a piece of fruit or an energy bar about 2 hours before you lace up your shoes. An hour later, drink 8 ounces of a sports drink. The drink will ensure that you are fully hydrated, and also that you have sufficient sodium and potassium for a healthy workout. 
WEEK 2
Wk
Mon
Tues
Weds
Thurs
Fri
Sat
Sun
2
 
Run & Walk
Run 2 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 10X
Walk
Walk easy 30 min
Run & Walk
Run 3 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 7X
Run 2 min
Walk
Walk easy 30 min
Run & Walk
Run 4 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 6X
Run & Walk
Run 4 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 6X
Rest
Training tip: Always walk 2 to 3 minutes for a warm up before you begin your workout, and walk another 2 to 3 minutes as a cool down afterward. Don't stretch before running. Save it for after your workout or in the evening while you're watching TV.
WEEK 3
Wk
Mon
Tues
Weds
Thurs
Fri
Sat
Sun
3
 
Run & Walk
Run 5 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 5X
Walk
Walk easy 30 min
Run & Walk
Run 5 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 5X
Walk
Walk easy 30 min
Run & Walk
Run6 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 4X
Run 2 min
Run & Walk
Run 6 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 4X
Run 2 min
Rest
 
Training tip: Hold your arms comfortably at your sides while running, aiming for maximum relaxation. Bend them 90 degrees at the elbows, and move them forward and back at your waist. Bend your fingers into a relaxed grasp, and don't let your hands sway back and forth across the middle of your torso.
WEEK 4
Wk
Mon
Tues
Weds
Thurs
Fri
Sat
Sun
4
 
Run & Walk
Run 8 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 3X
Run 3 min
Walk
Walk easy 30 min
Run & Walk
Run 9 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 3X
Walk
Walk easy 30 min
Run & Walk
Run 10 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 2X
Run 8 min
Run & Walk
Run 11 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 2X
Run 6 min
Rest
 
Training tip: In hot, sunny weather, wear sunscreen, sunglasses (to relax your facial muscles), and a visor or cap to keep the sun off your face. Expect to run slower in particularly hot, humid weather, and take more walking breaks as necessary. Run in the early morning or late evening if you can.
WEEK 5
Wk
Mon
Tues
Weds
Thurs
Fri
Sat
Sun
5
 
Run & Walk
Run 12 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 2X
Run 4 min
Walk
Walk easy 30 min
Run & Walk
Run 13 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 2X
Run 2 min
Walk
Walk easy 30 min
Run & Walk
Run 14 min
Walk 1 min
Repeat 2X
Run & Walk
Run 15 min
Walk 1 min
Run 14 min
Rest
 
Training tip: On occasion, skip your running and walking workout and do a cross-training workout instead. Bike for 30 to 40 minutes, try the elliptical trainer in a gym, or join a circuit weight-training class. The break from running will refresh you, and you'll learn new skills while developing new muscles
WEEK 6
Wk
Mon
Tues
Weds
Thurs
Fri
Sat
Sun
6
 
Run & Walk
Run 16 min
Walk 1 min
Run 13 min
Walk
Walk easy 30 min
Run & Walk
Run 17 min
Walk 1 min
Run 12 min
Walk
Walk easy 30 min
Run & Walk
Run 18 min
Walk 1 min
Run 11 min
Run & Walk
Run 19 min
Walk 1 min
Run 10 min
Rest
 
WEEK 7
Wk
Mon
Tues
Weds
Thurs
Fri
Sat
Sun
7
 
Run & Walk
Run 20 min
Walk 1 min
Run 9 min
Run & Walk
Run 20 min
Walk 1 min
Run 9 min
Run & Walk
Run 22 min
Walk 1 min
Run 7 min
Walk
Walk easy 30 min
Run & Walk
Run 24 min
Walk 1 min
Run 5 min
Run & Walk
Run 26 min
Walk 1 min
Run 3 min
Rest
 
Training tip: Beginning runners often develop shin splints or sore knees. These pains should pass quickly if you treat them immediately with ice packs after your workouts. Put a bag of frozen peas on your shins or knees for 15 minutes. If the pain persists, take several days off before beginning your training program again.
WEEK 8
Wk
Mon
Tues
Weds
Thurs
Fri
Sat
Sun
8
 
Run & Walk
Run 27 min
Walk 1 min
Run 2 min
Walk
Run 20 min
Walk 1 min
Run 9 min
Run & Walk
Run 28 min
Walk 1 min
Run 1 min
Walk
Walk easy 30 min
Run & Walk
Run 29 min
Walk 1 min
Run & Walk
Run 30 min
Rest
 

 http://www.runnersworld.com/getting-started/the-8-week-beginners-program

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Carol's Daughter: Almond Cookie Body Line





I will be the first to admit that I am not all that great at remembering to moisturize my body daily.  To be honest, I probably moisturize once a week.  Oh, no shame here!  I just don't have the time to do it everyday and even when I do, I would rather do something else with that time.  So, when I buy body products that says A LOT.  In order for me to purchase products for my body (oils, butters, lotions, etc...) two things must occur.  They must smell amazing AND they must be on sale.  These products aren't essential to my lifestyle and they won't get used daily so why spend a fortune on them, right?

A couple of months ago, Carol's Daughter lured me in by posting to IG about their Almond Cookie Line being available at Walgreens.  Come on, the words Almond Cookie just sound YUM so I was immediately drawn in.  I kept imagining that I would smell like my body was dipped in Almond Cookie batter LOL.  So, I ran out to my nearest Walgreens and sure enough, they were fully stocked with the Carol's Daughter Almond Cookie Body Line!  Unfortunately, I was hit with some very stiff prices.


Do you see those prices?!  $13.99-$16.49 per item is not in my body care budget.  Many might say the prices aren't that expensive and this is cheap.  Well, not to me!  We all have different things we choose to really splurge on or spend our hard earned money on and this isn't one for me.  But, after I opened that Lotion bottle to get a whiff, I was SOLD!  I snatched up the Frappe Lotion, Shea Souffle and Dry  Body Oil totaling over $50 with tax.  After I got back to my desk at work, I looked the products up on the Carol's Daughter website (backwards I know) and to my flipping utter surprise they had all these package deals and coupons that were a fraction of what I had just paid.  Girl, don't you know I placed my order quick, fast and in a hurry paying only $25 (inclusive of shipping) for the same 3 products I had previously purchased PLUS a free full size Marula Oil!  I grabbed my receipt and returned those products to Walgreens immediately after work.  If you're a girl who needs immediate satisfaction then Walgreens might be the best way to go BUT I will say that the shipping from Carol's Daughter was actually super fast.

Now about those products.  The scent of the Almond Cookie Line almost reminds me of  the Jergens Original Almond scent Lotion.  Biggest difference is the Carol's Daughter Almond Cookie line has a deeper (less sweet) and more mature scent that's heavier and longer lasting.  Think of it as buying your daughter the Jergens version and Momma getting the upgrade.  When I say the scent lingers, it truly lasts just about all day.  At the end of the day it may not be as strong as when you initially applied but when you put your nose to your skin, you will surely still smell it there.  It's delicious!  The Frappe Lotion is lightweight as to be expected.  I like to use the Lotion on my upper body as it takes very little time to be absorbed.  The Shea Souffle (basically a whipped Body Butter) is heavier (again, as to be expected) and I find that it takes longer to be absorbed as most Body Butters do.  I recommend applying the Shea Souffle to damp skin so that it settles in as your skin completely dries.  It will leave your body so freaking soft and yummy smelling.  The Dry Body Oil is my favorite as it's the easiest to apply in the mornings.  It absorbs quickly and leaves your body soft and moisturized just about all day.  This is another product that I HIGHLY recommend applying just out of the shower while your body is still damp.  It is now in my Top 3 Dry Body Oils and would likely be #1 if the bottle was larger.


If you're in the market for some new luxe body goodies, give these a try.  Where to purchase is up to you but finding the products should be easy peasy.  If you've tried this line already, tell me what you think below!!  Until next time peeps  XOXOMCS










Friday, May 22, 2015

Return of the Curls Natural Hair Weekend || I'm Attending!


Who plans a getaway weekend to attend a Natural Hair Weekend Event? Me!  I will be bringing my curls to Hampton, VA to attend the Return of the Curls Natural Hair Weekend from July 10-12, 2015.  This will be one of very few times that I am away from my entire family so yes, I will miss them, but I plan to CUT UP.  LOL.  Amber Janielle and I have been planning this weekend for months now.  Not only am I looking forward to her being a Blogger Panel Guest but we are planning to attend just about every event (if not EVERY event) happening that weekend.  If you're lucky we'll even vlog.  I have not confirmed this with Amber yet so she may cut me.  I'm considering even setting up a SnapChat account just to bring you guys along on our shenanigans.

Are any of you attending as well?  It's a fantastic opportunity to network with fellow Curlies and just have an all around great time.  I'm attempting to lose a little weight so I can be ON POINT hunty!!  I can't be meeting and greeting everyone on the same angles that I take my selfies so a little weight loss is necessary.  LMBO.  (I wish I could literally laugh some of my butt off LOL)  I hope to see/meet some of you IRL there!!  XOXOMCS
Monday, May 18, 2015

So You Want a Tapered Cut || 5 Things You Should Know



The Tapered Cut has quickly become the "It" style of 2015.  The majority of the Natural Community has either done the Tapered Cut in the past or just recently cut their hair.  I see lots of "oooh and ahhhs" over this cut and I definitely see the hype.  I fell for the hype myself obviously!!  LOL... But before you go running to your local stylist there are a couple of things I think you should know first.

1.  Find a Stylist who is not only experienced in executing this style but can show you pictures/proof.

I say this because many stylists roll their eyes obnoxiously when you ask them about this cut saying that it's super easy.  Yet, I keep seeing one dimensional cuts all over the Gram.  The hair should NOT be cut one length all over the sides and back with the top portion being just one length as well.  The style should be a gradual (or TAPERED) cut.  I am seeing one too many Kid and Play high top cuts labeled as Tapered.  Honestly, my original cut was one dimensional and I wasn't 100% happy with having to "fix" it over time.   The woman who cut my hair assured me she had done this so many times before yet my hair did not turn out the way it should have.  Now, some people are actually looking for more a one dimensional cut, not a gradual fade which is perfectly fine.  This post is addressing those women who do NOT want that type of a cut.  A good rule of thumb is to ask someone who has the exact cut you want who their stylist is.  This is actually the best idea if you know/see someone locally with the Tapered Cut you want.

First Day of my "Tapered Cut" (hid my unhappiness)

Examples of how a "Tapered Cut" should gradually be cut

2.  Keep in mind the LACK of styles you will be able to achieve.  

Yes, the Tapered Cut is all fabulous and fly but that's IT for this cut.  There will be no High Puffs or Buns for quite some time.  This is not a style for the lazy AT ALL as your hair actually needs to be styled in order for you to look presentable.  Your creativity will definitely be challenged which isn't a bad thing.  Personally, I became bored pretty quick and started having regrets soon after.  I am not the type to "want" to style my hair almost daily and it really felt like a hassle.

3.  If you thought the grow out phase when you Big Chopped was hard, get ready for a REAL battle.

I'm not sure if the top of my head stopped communicating with the sides or back but my hair began growing at an uneven pace.  The sides and back seemed to not grow nearly as fast as the top did.  At first, it was easy to pin and coil the curls in order to achieve the shape I wanted.  After a while, I had no choice but to start trimming the top little by little so that there wasn't such a vast difference in length.  This problem was also the side effect of receiving a poor cut initially.  I never thought I would appreciate, and even prefer, the Awkward Grow Out Stage of my initial Big Chop but this Tapered Cut had my Big Chop beat.  When the Tapered Style is cut right, your hair should grow out evenly and into a heart-like shape such as the girls below.




4.  Ask around!

Most Naturalistas who Taper their hair LOVE the style initially but I would say the majority are over it pretty quick.  A few have actually expressed their frustrations but there are a ton who hide the truth so you have to pay attention to the clues.  What are these clues?  Glad you asked!  One clue is when you see a person go from rocking their cute Tapered style all the time and now suddenly they are in Protective Styles 90% of the time.  Don't get me wrong, ain't nothing wrong with a new do'.  AT.  ALL.  But, if you're rocking new hair styles until basically your Tapered Cut has grown out, then you're over it.  Just be honest!  It's okay to admit that a style you once LOVED you can't stand anymore.  Another clue would be a person stating that they would NEVER do it again.  I've said this myself and know about a handful people personally who say the same thing.  I would cut all my hair off before I did a Tapered Cut again.  REAL TALK.

5.  Think about trying the Tapered Cut style soon after you Big Chop as opposed to waiting years later.  

While the cut may give you a nice change from the normal, it is a high maintenance style that can be frustrating to maintain if you're used to doing buns, crown braids and such.  Another really good time to try the Tapered Cut is if you're planning on Big Chopping anyways!  If you're heading towards cutting all your hair off, why  not have some fun on the way there.

Hopefully, you aren't reading this post after having an unhappy Tapered Cut experience.  If you are, just know that I've been there and just have patience.  For the rest of you, do your due diligence.  Everyone is all "It's just hair it'll grow back" until they get a bad cut so don't let that be you.  Take your time, find the right stylist and be sure you're ready for the lifestyle change that comes with the cut.  If you have questions, I'm here!  XOXOMCS
Friday, May 15, 2015

#DearNaturalista Brand Rep!!



I am so happy to announce that I am now a Brand Rep for one of my favorite go-to Shops, Dear Naturalista! Ahhhhhh. They reached out last month and of course I was beyond thrilled.  LOL. I already own a few products from them and look forward to introducing you guys to even more of what they have to offer.  They have some of the whitiest statement tees, mugs and totes that are right up our alley.  Yes, "our" alley because my crew and I have pretty similar taste I've come to learn.  So, keep your eye out because I will certainly be rocking some new products very soon.  In the meantime, feel free to go check their site out now.

Also, Dear Naturalista is currently looking for Brand Reps via IG.  Visit their page (here) for all the deets and you could be the next Brand Rep!  Good luck boos.  XOXOMCS
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dr. Miracles Miracle Repair 3 Step System




I received the all new Miracle Repair 3 Step System from Dr. Miracles* about a month ago to try out.  Unfortunately, I already had some testing lined up and could not get to reviewing the product immediately.  I am so not the type to just wash and style my hair immediately just to try a product out.  In fact, I believe "they" classify me as a lazy Natural.  So, here we are now about two weeks after I straightened my hair for a wedding and I thought this would be the perfect time to test this bad boy.  My  hair didn't seem damaged from straightening but anytime you apply heat, you should always give your hair a little extra TLC before and after.  I didn't skip any steps or substitute any products when testing this system as I felt it was important to use as directed since its a complete system.

Step 1: No Lather Conditioning Shampoo

Given the name of this product, I assumed this would be similar to a Cleansing Cowash.  Although, there was no lather this definitely felt more like a shampoo.  It cleansed my hair thoroughly and left it manageable but not nearly as soft as a Cowash would.  The product doesn't claim that it will soften the hair and in fact, it claims that it will "strengthen" your hair while cleansing and conditioning.  It did live up to that and although I didn't like the way my hair felt, I moved forward with the next step in the hopes that all would end well.

Step 2: DuoCare Reconstructor

If you are familiar with using Protein Treatments or "Reconstructors" then you know the product's purpose is to make your hair stronger.  Again, using this after applying heat to your curls is the perfect time!  After minimally finger detangling, I applied this cream to my hair thoroughly.  I massaged it from root to tip, concentrating lots of product on the ends and edges of my hair.  I left the product in my hair for 20 minutes without applying any heat as heat is not required for this system.  My hair didn't feel as rough as it did after Step 1 but again, it was not in a state where it could be easily detangled either.  After rinsing the product out, my hair definitely felt stronger.  In fact, it didn't feel like my hair normally does at all.  Usually this is the moment I throw in the towel and retreat to my go-to products but I was determined to "follow directions"! LOL

Step 3: Intensive Moisturizing Masque

This step is SUPER important as you NEED to add moisture back into your hair after the protein treatment.  Girl, I slapped that Masque into my hair quick fast and in a hurry.  I am not a fan of how my hair feels after protein treatments so I wasted no time adding that moisture back in.  Immediately, my hair felt much softer!!  I couldn't tell you how happy and relieved I was.  Although, my strands felt more manageable there was definitely a huge difference.  The curls felt "stronger".  Each curl had a ton of pop and shrinkage was on 100.  For my texture, this is a HUGE sign of curl health.  After about 10 minutes, I detangled using a Denman brush with the Masque still in my hair and rinsed the product out after.

Minimal hair loss after detangling. (last wash was 2 weeks ago)

Overall Opinion:

I will definitely reach for this product as a Protein Treatment option again in the future.  Having all the steps together made it easy and took the guess work out of which products I should use to ensure a smooth process.  I was not a fan of the smell which I normally do not care about at all usually.  But I found myself turning my nose up a few times during the process.  If I could change anything, I wish the process didn't take so long.  There are options out there for quick 2-5 minute protein treatments that work better (time wise) for busy Moms like me.  Mind you, I started this process at 9PM on a Monday night so I really had not set myself up well.  All-in-all, this is a great option!  At the price point of $5.99 for all the products needed for a successful protein treatment, this here is a no brainer.

*product(s) received complimentary
Monday, May 11, 2015

Journey to Blogging Full Time


I hope all the Mommies that follow/read my Blog out there had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday.  My day was quite relaxing and surrounded by my family (quietly) as I like it, LOL.  As I spent the day with my family, I realized that I really miss staying home with them.  If you remember, it was this time last year that I resigned from my Corporate job and ended up being a Stay at Home Mom for several months.  I can't lie, those months were some of the happiest yet challenging due to my lack of income.  Sitting home with them yesterday, it dawned on me... I have a Blog, a Brand, a side hustle that could really provide me with the income to stay home with them again.  I've never Blogged with the sole intention to make money... I don't think I ever will.  I blog because it genuinely makes me happy.  It's a relief in a way, something like a passionate hobby.  I wish I could find better words to describe.  With Blogging then came carving out a little space for myself in the Social Media world.  Here is where I have had the most success thus far.  Why?  Because I'm consistent when it comes to Social Media.  I post daily which is far from what I can say about my Blog, shameful.  But, if I truly want to make some coins ||that's what the hip kids say and I'm hip|| then I need to be consistent across the board.  Blogging does take more time than posting to IG but anything that's worth it takes a little work, sometimes a lot of work.

After sitting down with my husband, we decided on a monthly amount that I need to be making in order to successfully Blog Full Time and quit my current job.  That number is HUGE but realistic in comparison to my current salary.  It's HUGE because I currently barely make a $1 from Blogging.  Sure, I receive tons of products to review and thats a great start.  I'm willing to do my time and work my way up but at some point it's time to take the next steps.  One of the first steps I took was to invest in myself.  I took some older items that I owned and sold them to purchase a much better camera to take pictures and make videos.  Finally, the Sony Alpha A5000 is mine and I am obsessed with that baby.  I hope you guys recognize and appreciate the upgrade in photo/video quality coming soon.

Well, I just wanted to share my upcoming plans with you all.  If you have any advice or tips please share them below in the comments.  I love the job I currently have and I love the people I work with... but let's be honest, I love my family even more.  My children aren't getting any younger and I'm tired of pushing this goal to the back burner.  I couldn't be more excited and anxious but I know God has my back if this is His will.  XOXOMCS

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