Showing posts with label busy life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label busy life. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Walking into Your Purpose

Walking into your purpose is no easy task. At least it wasn't for me... Looking back at my twenties, it was a time defined by my search for my purpose in life. Finding a career. Finding love. Becoming a mother. Becoming a real  adult, and defining what that means for me. My thirties -- on the other hand -- are about me walking into my purpose.  Connecting the dots.  And understanding their alignment.

I want to touch lives. I want to inspire. In fact, I want to life life inspired. Teach my daughters how to truly live and enjoy the little moments. [They are, in fact, the  big moments.] I want to dream so big that it scares me. I want to turn every cliche quote on it's head. Like I said. I want to walk into my purpose.

So I'm going to speak it into existence...

In my twenties, I battled with my definition of success.  And I think , I've finally come to terms with it all. I'm a "Nurture Shock" child. [Read the book by P.O. Bronson. I promise it is a good read.]  I was used to titles and accolades. High grades and awards. It didn't take long before I started standing in my own way.  Growing my career with Ph.D at the end of my name -- I admit, it still sounds nice, and Vice President preceding it. Or continuing with ventures even when they took my life out  of balance. That was me. Defining my life by titles and accolades.

I'll stop speaking in abstract and give it you straight. I don't want to grow my career in the traditional sense as a Preseident (or even President) of a university. I'm not even sure if I want to spend another 4 to 7 years to earn a Ph.D. I've finally come to terms with that. It doesn't mean that I don't dream big. It's just not MY dream.

I want to expand by career by leading workshops for students and my peers. ( I work in higher education, if you haven't read my bio.)  I want to be an author. Hence, why I started blogging. And I'm finally at a place where I can see very noticeable improvement in both my public speaking and writing.  The dots are connecting. I'm leading more workshops at work. I'm presenting at a regional conference -- by myself.  I'm writing professionally for Black Hair Media.  I walked way from event planning, because it couldn't coincide with my job and family. [Oh yeah. And I HATE event planning. It wasn't in line with my purpose. ]

Now, I'm essentially building the skills that are in line with my purpose. 

The  dots are connecting.

I'm walking into my purpose.

I'm doing the things I love.

I live life inspired.

I read. I write. I speak. (All things that I love.)

I spend quality time wth my family. (I really love them.)

I have balance.

I am happy.

I'm living my life with purpose.

Are you?

How are YOU walking into your purpose?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Busy Mom Hair Regimen

I'm the first person to admit. My hair regimen is not perfect. Far from it. But I have to do what works for me and my lifestyle. Even if it is not the most optimal routine. It works for me. And as you can see, my hair is pretty healthy. And my sanity is intact. Here are my tips for maintaining healthy hair, while juggling a busy life:

  • K.I.S.S.  - No really. Keep it simple.  The more you complicate things, the more time it takes. Above are pictures on the day of my youngest daughter's baptism. In the past, I would still be fighting with my hair the day of the event. I would try to have freshly washed hair. Or try to do a roller set  -- and it wouldn't dry. This time around, I twisted my hair a few days prior. I wore twists all week that were very easy to maintain.When my husband asked with a scowl, "How long is your hair going to take?". I smiled and said, "All I have to do is untwist!"  It took 10 minutes. Tops.
  • Don't let your hair get tangled. The biggest time warp for natural hair is detangling. For me, wash and go's are an absolute no-no. I'm being more adamant about not letting my hair shrink (and tangle),because the long detanglng sessions are just not worth it.  For the remainder of winter, I'm doing the twists  - twistout -updo rotation.  Boring, but it works.
  • Trim your ends. I know. There is a lot of debate on this. Some people say every 8 weeks, some say twice a year, others say not at all.  I say... whenever they need to be trimmed. How do I know? I see split ends and/or knots. Or my hair gets tangled at the ends. (Of course, if you don't want to trim often then take extra care of your ends.) But for me, fresh ends cut down on my styling time. And since I don't have lofty hair length goals, I pull out the scissor without giving it a second thought. #dontjudgeme
  • Find a wash regimen that works for you, your hair's needs, and your lifestyle. Some swear by co-washing, while others swear by shampoo or even clay washes. Some wash every week, while others wash every two weeks. Do what works for you!  I wash every other week. I co-wash and/or ACV rinse as needed in-between. If I don't see product buildup, I'm not washing my hair just because someone TOLD me I'm supposed to. It saves me from a major headache.  Because I don't wash as often, I'm weary of using products that cause a lot of buildup.  Listen to your hair and figure out a wash routine that works for you.
  • Come up with your own tricks! It's easy to get caught up on what the web gurus or hairdressers say, but take the time to become the expert on YOUR hair. You are the person who takes care of your hair on a daily basis. Take the time to learn your hair. You'd be surprised by how much you already know.
What are your tips and tricks to save time on your hair?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Before Meets After: Mommy Transformation

You see that AFTER? I worked HARD for that. REALLY HARD.

As a mom, it takes serious effort to look good. And I swear, I will NEVER have the details down like I did before kids.  But I'm OKwith that. As long as I don't take the easy road and bum it out.  I remember when I was a new mom on a trip to Babiesrus. One of the workers was surprised that I looked so good. I had on an easy, figure-flattering summer dress. Some of the other moms didn't...  Being a mom is hard. But I refuse to dress in a way that announces it to the world. 

With that said, let's discuss how hard it was to get to after....

This is me. The morning of the event.  You see... the night before I started my hair at 9 p.m. after my hubby and I put the kids to bed. I detangled, wash and deep conditioned, and then realized that the shampoo re-tangled my hair a bit. I was over it. Beyond over it. So, instead of fighting with my hair, I banded it so that it would not dry shrunken.  It took less than 5 minutes and I saved my hair from me ripping it out. I then painted my nails and went to bed.  (Mind you, I never paint my nails because I'm always scared they will get chipped.)

The next morning, we got the kids up and went through our morning routine. I then braided my oldest daughter's hair in case my hubby wanted to take the girls out. Remember those nails that I never paint, because I'm scared they will chip? They chipped. 

Once the girls were all set. I removed my nail polish and got to work on my hair. I pulled out the blow dryer to get my hair 80% dry. I pulled my hair back into puff and rolled it forward. I twisted the front to give it some texture.  

After a minor freak out about what to wear, I decided to stop at the mall to pick up a tank for my sheer top. (All the others were stained or stretched. I'm a mom, remember?)  While at the mall, I also picked up concealer. (I obviously can't make it to the mall often. I need start using mail order. ) I met my mom and my sis at my mom's house. I finished getting dressed, released and pinned my twists, and put on my makeup.  

Phew! I'm tired just recapping this story. It was a struggle, but I made it. And I felt good about how great I looked. (Great confidence builder, I tell ya...)

Jenell (another mom) of
at New Hair Resolutions 2013

How do you look fabulous despite your busy schedule?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

So you want to go to grad school... (Dispelling myths)

Source: Google Images

As an academic advisor (one of my many titles), I often advise students on grad school preparation.  A major part of my discussion is centered on dispelling myths and misconceptions of graduate school. Since I recall having those same misconceptions and I know many in the blogging world are interested in graduate school, I figured I'd pass on my knowledge...

1.  Grad school is NOT  a place to find yourself. That is the purpose of college.  I know it is very tempting to hideout in a grad school and ride out the recession, but if you are still unfocused...grad school is not for you. While in college, you should fully utilize your experience. Get involved.  Do research.  Do internships. Find yourself.  Conduct as much of your trial and error, while you are in college when you have no responsibilities and no bills.  (This is important whether you plan on attending graduate school or entering the working world.)  If you still haven't found yourself after graduation, consider short-term internship programs, Americorps, Peace Corps, Teach for America, or similar programs.  Quite a few of these programs, provide scholarships to pay loans or to apply toward graduate study.

2. When you apply to graduate school, you should have a defined area of study.  Graduate programs are very specific. When you apply to graduate school, you focus on your specific graduate program and the faculty's research area.  Even if you have a 4.0 GPA, if you write in your personal statement that you are interested in social policy and there is no faculty in that research area... you will not be accepted.  Do your research. Know the faculty.

3. You shouldn't pay for graduate school.  Unless you are going to grad school part-time or  pursuing a professional degree (M.D., J.D., M.B.A.), your education should be free.  Graduate students generally receive graduate assistantships, where you work for 20 hours a week and receive tuition and a living stipend.  They are harder to receive due to budget cuts, but they are they key to research in the sciences.   Another option is a Hall Directorship.  To attain this position, you should get experience as a Resident Assistant during your undergraduate years. 

Does anyone else have any advice?  Anything I should expound upon? In my next post, I can touch upon my personal journey....

So you want to go to grad school.... (Part 2)

In my prior post, I dispelled three myths that people often have about graduate study. Today, I'll let you know how I learned these lessons.

1. Grad school is NOT a place to find yourself. That is the purpose of college.

In college, I learned a lot about myself.  Like a true West Indian [as my friends describe], I often had 3 jobs at a time.  (They all had flexible schedules, where I could work as much or as little as I wanted.) 
Let's do the job/internship role call: Summer Camp Counselor; On-call Macy's Sales Associate; Kohl's Store Management Intern; Blue Hen Ambassador (tour guide); Coke Campus Manager (marketing and athletic event promotion); and Human Resources Intern.

Through trial and error, I learned what aspects of jobs/careers I liked ...and what I didn't like.  Although, I worked at Macy's for two years, it wasn't until I worked at Kohl's that I realized that I couldn't do retail/fashion for 40 hrs/wk. Nor could I do corporate. I just didn't like clothes that much.  I met a recruiter there and thanks to my Labor Relations and Human Resources classes, I became interested in that area.  My senior year, I applied and was accepted to grad school for Human Resources.  A Human Resources internship showed me that HR was mostly mind numbing paperwork.  I kindly turned down my acceptance.

2. When you apply to graduate school, you should have a defined area of study.

When I first graduated college,  I still wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do.  Working for two years as a Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment, helped me to define my interests. Working with underprivileged populations made me want to focus on education policy.  I wanted to either work for government, a non-profit, or higher education to improve access to higher education. 

3. You shouldn't pay for graduate school.

In graduate school, I had a graduate assistantship which paid my tuition and provided a living stipend. In return, I worked 20 hours/week on education policy issues. I conducted research and developed reports that were used to attain federal funding and to improve education in our state. I also helped to plan workshops for teachers and administrators.  It was very fulfilling work.  It augmented what I learned in the classroom, AND  it paid.  No, you won't be rich. But with student tax adjustments, my take-home pay was only about $300 less than my meagre salary as an Admission Counselor.

Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Re-Authoring Your Story

Last spring, in my "Theories of Counseling" course,  I was introduced to Adlerian Theory. In his theory, progress in  therapy was marked by changes in early childhood recollections.  I understood the theory-- enough to do well on the test.  But it wasn't until my "Student Affairs" course --which borrows from psychology and sociology -- this fall that I truly got it.  In one of my readings, we learned about "re-authoring your story".  According to this, a student reached maturity when they learned how to "re-author their story". It was then that I truly got it.  Here is my interpretation...

What does it mean to "re-author your story"?  Does the plot change?  Does the outcome of the villain change? Are chapters of the story wiped out? If only it were that easy...

When you re-author your story, you change the one aspect of the story that you can control. YOU.  When you read a novel, the author's voice sets the tone of the story.  The inflections of voice and reflections on occurrences, change how the story is told and how it is perceived to readers.  In life, the same holds true. Although you may not be able to rewrite your story, you do have the ability to re-author it.

I have learned that in life it is easy to play the role of the victim.  It is easy to focus on how life isn't fair and dwell on the hand you've been dealt.  But sadly, playing the victim doesn't get you anywhere in life. Why?  Because when you perceive yourself as being the victim of your circumstances, you relinquish all of your power.  Think about it. In every story you have read, when has the victim overcome their circumstances?  When they stopped wallowing in self-pity, and decided to do something.  They did what was hard.  They stopped being the victim.

It's easier said than done. I know.  Some have been dealt the hand of broken homes, great betrayal, abuse, and other horror stories.  But what are your choices?  Play the victim and subject yourself to further abuse.  (You've seen such stories on TV on shows like Intervention and in real life --your neighbors, your families, and in the reflection in  your mirror.) Or you can move forward with your life...

Too many times we seek healing in an apology that many times may never come.  The closure you seek is within yourself.  When I understood this, I finally got the saying, "You have to forgive others, not for them, but for yourself."  When you forgive, you take back that power that they once held over you.  When you forgive, you allow yourelf to move forward in life. Otherwise, you remain stuck. Because while you've been fixated on the pain that person inflicted, they moved on a long time ago. Probably the second after the occurrence.  While you remained stuck, their life went on.  Thus, you've given them power, far beyond the hurt they inflicted upon you.  When you forgive them, you take back that power. 

Re-authoring your story doesn't happen overnight.  It may take weeks, months, and in some cases ... years.  You will never forget the pain. But you can choose to stop inflicting pain upon yourself. You can stop using it as your excuse for your poor choices.  You can move on.  Otherwise, you will remain stuck.  I learned that lesson many years ago.  And I haven't looked back since.... (Maybe, every once in a while I'll take a glance. But, I've learned to not let it hold me back.)

Let's Discuss.

Guest Post: Resume Writing Tips

I am pleased to present today's guest post by Zakia Johnson. We attended high school and college together. So when she announced that she will be offering resume writing consultations ( ), I asked her to do a guest post. Here she shares her own experience and provides great resume writing tips!

Zakia Johnson is a counselor and adjunct faculty member at Howard Community College. Prior to joining the Howard Community College staff, she was employed at the University of Maryland Baltimore County as an academic advisor and program coordinator for the Erickson School where she assisted students in their academic, internship, and career development. She discovered her passion in student advocacy through her experiences as a student and staff member at the University of Delaware where she received her B.A in Criminal Justice/Sociology and her M.Ed. in College Counseling. Currently, she is actively pursuing her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration. She also is an active member of the Maryland and Delaware communities through her work as a mentor for My Sister’s Circle (in Baltimore, MD), Chair of the Board of Directors for Teens In Perspective, Inc. (serving the entire state of Delaware), and an active alum serving on the University of Delaware Black Alumni Organization's Homecoming Committee. Zakia lives in Randallstown, MD with her husband and daughter. She is ecstatic to encourage, empower, and educate students, colleagues, and peers to be active and contributing citizens!
As we all know, the job market is suffering and the people of the United States are struggling even more. The unemployment rate is at an all time low (as of June 2011, 9.2% Ref. ). I personally experienced the devastating impact of being laid off. In May of 2009, I was laid off from my former employer due to budget cuts from the company funding our department. Many of us in education often assume that we will ALWAYS have a job. As an active and successful higher education administrator, I never thought in a million years that I would be without a job. Boy was I up for a rude awakening! I took the 9 months I was laid off to reflect on my personal and career goals, became an active volunteer for two non-profit organizations, and revamped my resume. I literally sent out over 100 resumes and cover letters to different higher education institutions for varying positions. I was perplexed as to why I only received a few phone interviews, a handful of on-campus interviews, and several rejection letters. Clearly I was well qualified and capable of being a successful employee for most if not all the positions I applied for. So, I decided to review my resume again and identify what I needed to allow my resume to stand out from the hundreds of resumes recruiters see on a daily basis.
Below are some of the tips/tricks I used to make myself marketable and I believe they can be useful for anyone currently job searching:
1. Use design that grabs attention
The design of your resume must highlight the most important information about your work experience, skills and education. At first glance this information forms the image that employers have of your skills and abilities.

2. Create content that sells
Resume design should get attention but it's really the content of your resume, the descriptions you include of your skills and abilities, that determine how many interviews you generate--as well as the level of salary offers you receive.

3. Tweak & target your resumes & cover letters
You will generate many more interviews by tweaking your resume and cover letter so that they address the specific skills each employer requests.

4. Spell Check & Proofread Grammar
I have been told by many recruiters and employers that they've passed on resumes that have grammar and spelling errors throughout the resume/cover letter. I strongly encourage you not only to use the spell check program in Word, but also go through your cover letters/resumes with a fine tooth comb to ensure there are no errors in either document--it could be the determining factor of whether you get an interview or not!
5. Consider a bulleted style to make your resume reader-friendly.
6. Don't stress yourself out by adhering to the one-page resume rule.
It's good to keep your resume to one page, if possible. But if you have a lot of experience, two pages may be more appropriate. If your resume spills beyond one page, but you have less than a half a page of material for the second page, it may be best to condense to one page.
7. Do NOT lie on your resume--the truth shall set you free!
8. Make sure that each page of your resume has your name on it.
Sometimes recruiters/employers/search committees can lose pages. I would recommend making your first and last name the header of each page after the first (since the first page should already have your name and contact info on it).
9. Do consider a section such as "Summary of Qualifications," or "Profile," which can also help sharpen your focus. Here is an example from my own resume:
Professional Profile
· Resourceful, creative problem-solver with proven aptitude to analyze and translate student development theories into practice.
· Proficient educator who has designed and implemented innovative approaches to student learning in traditional and non-traditional educational settings.
· Organized administrator with effective oral and written communication skills.
· Dynamic leader with the ability to articulate the varying approaches/models for multicultural education.
· Visionary professional with proven aptitude to develop and implement departmental short and long range goals.
· Collaborative team player with demonstrated ability to interact well with a diverse group of people at a local, national, or global level
· Efficient in Microsoft Program Use: PowerPoint, Word, and Excel
10. Be mindful of how you display professionalism in your resume--your first impression is often your last! 
Using your email address from college or high school (e.g. or the ) is not displaying the best first impression. 
Remember, your resume is not the only tool to get you the job, but it will definitely assist in getting your foot in the door for the first interview...the rest is up to you and how you market yourself! 
If you are interested in having your resume and/or cover letter created/reviewed/revamped by Zakia Johnson, please send an email to

Zakia Johnson, M.Ed.

Guest Post: 5 Tips for Successful Menu Planning

Today, as part of Blog Love Friday, we have a guest post from TiAnna from"The Fab Life For...Free" .

For me, there’s nothing worse than coming home to an emaciated husband and child searching for dinner, only to find that there’s nothing thawed out and the food that we have in our house won’t make a complete meal. Then there’s the grueling follow-up questions of: “What should we do?” and “Where should we go to get something to eat”. I admit, my men are spoiled, but they depend on me for nourishment, and I don’t mind that because I know how to cook a balanced meal at the cheapest price, and they on the other hand have a long way to go in learning how to do that. Everyone is drained of energy and time zapped these days. Between an hour commute to work, overtime, soccer games, and dance practice, that leaves dinner some where between a McDonald’s drive thru and Hamburger Helper. Which, I’m not bashing either option, but obviously you can’t live healthily on those choices alone.

Menu planning has helped me to save an average of $280/ month, I don’t throw as much food away, my family definitely eats better and we stay within a reasonable daily calorie count, and I have more time to do the things that I want to do, like exercise.

Here are five tips to help you get started.

1. Plan ahead in reasonable increments. For instance, I menu plan for two weeks at a time, because I do my household budget in two week increments, and I know I probably won’t make it to the store any more frequent than that.

2. Choose your meals wisely and give yourself grace. So, you saw a stuffed porkchop with pear sauce and asparagus and garlic mashed potato recipe that you’d like to try, but you’ve never made it. It’s always great to try new things, however, don’t plan to make this meal on the day you have Zumba class at 6:30 pm, you get off work at 5 pm, and have to get your kids from daycare at 5:30 pm. That is not a realistic goal, and you will only discourage yourself. Plan to make a meal like this when you have more time, possibly a Sunday dinner.

3. Build your plan with insurance. Build in leftover days, date nights, and “fun” food nights. I enjoy cooking, however, the meals that I prepare can be time consuming. Therefore, I build my men-plan to accommodate 3-4 cooking days and 3-4 leftover days, which works beautifully for my schedule. Depending on my evening commitments during any given season, I tend to cook Friday thru Monday and have leftovers Tuesday thru Thursday. Also, if you know you only have a small window of time to prepare dinner, then make sure you schedule that day as a leftover day, eating out day, or even better…frozen food day. I really enjoy Stouffer’s Lasagna’s and Bertolli pasta. These meals are quick , not too bad for you, and don’t require much prep work or clean up. Although, if you have a large family, these options may not work for you.

4. Build your plan with sales, holidays, and parties in mind. If you know you’re having a huge family Thanksgiving dinner party and there will be a ton of leftovers, make sure to have as many leftover days as your family can stand, then freeze the rest, and bring it back out in a month or so. We all know that it costs to put on a dinner party, and let’s not mention all the prep work; capitalize on all the time and money spent by giving yourself a break through leftover days. Also, if you are an avid couponer or really search through the sale ads, then plan your meals around the reduced cost items that you find. For instance, leading up to Memorial Day you can find meats, corn on the cob, barbeque sauce, and paper towels for a lot cheaper than they normally are, and that is the time to stock up on those items and put them into your plan

5. If you fall off the wagon…GET BACK ON AGAIN!!!

Here is my menu plan from January of this year. Please notice the scratch outs and write-overs; that’s called…GRACE! If something happens and your plan changes, don’t be so rigid that you can’t modify the plan. Wow…pizza 3 NIGHTS in a row!!! I can’t remember, but I must’ve been VERY busy at that time. Also, notice how there’s plenty of leftover days, and we also planned to have a meal out on certain days. This schedule is posted on my refrigerator for all to see; so it takes a lot of the uncertainty away for the hubsters and TrentMan.

Do you menu plan? What tips could you share that would be helpful in regards to menu-planning?

Vintage Post: Love Thyself

An important lesson I've learned in life is to love God, love myself... then love everyone else.  Too many times we don't love the skin we're in and we search for solace in clothes, men (women, for you guys out there), hair, makeup, [insert your vice here].

Often, we start the journey of self-love from the outside in.  That's the premise of "What Not To Wear" on TLC. The fashion victims didn't feel they were worthy enough, thin enough, or pretty enough for nice clothing.  So they matched their self-loathing with frumpy clothes.  With a catharsis of their wardrobe, and a renewal of makeup, hair, and clothing...the journey just begins.

But although the journey can start there, we have to be weary of being stuck there.  Using the guise of makeup and hair, to feign self-love doesn't fool anyone. (Cue Heidi Montag. 10 procedures, one day.)

Let's be honest. Self-loathing is self-destructive.  It is a magnet for people who will undervalue and take advantage of you. Trust me. I know.  I spent my entire life being the scrawny nerd, who could clean up well every once in a while.  By my freshman year in college, I finally figured out how to fix the outside.  But working on the underlying layers took a lot longer.  I attracted the type of guys that I mentioned before. They saw my vulnerability and like vultures they  pounced on their prey.

I pass on this lesson, not because I'm bitter.  I'm not.  I've grown immensely because of my life experiences.  I wouldn't erase even the dark times, if it will get me to the point where I am today.  I say this because, before you make any resolution... you need to tackle this one first.  You can't be loved the way you want to, or love the way you want to...until you love yourself

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Health and Fitness

My most recent pregnancy was high risk.  Not only was I at risk for early labor, but I was also diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  Diabetes doesn't run in my family and I am in pretty good health, yet there I was pricking myself everyday to check my glucose.  (That placenta. I tell ya.   It can interfere with insulin. In my case, it gave me diabetes.)  If you know anything about gestational diabetes, you probably know that it puts you at a higher risk to develop Type II diabetes later on in life.  And although I don't have any other risk factors, I am forever scared straight.  Juice? No thanks. Candy? In moderation. Carbs? Brown please.  That is my life now, because diabetes is just not for me.

In addition to healthy eating, it is also important to exercise to reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes.  Remember, when I said I was at risk for early labor? Well, I was banned from exercise to keep my bun in the oven.  My last pregnancy, I exercised throughout my pregnancy.  This time. Nada. Zilch. Nothing.  So although this time around I gained 20 pounds instead of 30 pounds, my journey to my fit self seems a little bit harder.
I[f you wait for perfect conditions picture]

As many women trying to get back to optimum health, I have excuses. Although as the mom of newborn and a toddler, they are pretty valid.  Lack of sleep. Long days.  Crying babies.  Valid, right?  But at the same time, there is the saying that if you wait for the optimal conditions... it may never happen. So I don't beat myself up, but I try to do what I can until my youngest child is a little more predictable and my body feels a little bit more normal. (It took about 6 months for me to feel normal again when I had my first child.)

Here is what I do, to make it though:
  • Make it a habit. Period.  If being unhealthy is your current habit, then make being healthy your new habit. It takes 28 days to start a new habit. Start today. 
  • I eat well.. for the most part.  If I put good in, then I'm not adding on more pounds. I view food as fuel.  
  • Eat protein snacks throughout the day.  Eating protein helps you keep full, and fights the cravings for unhealthy snacks.  It also helps your metabolism to eat every 2-3 hours.
  • I drink water.  Sodas and soft drinks are easy ways to add calories to your diet.  Cut them out and give your body what it needs... water.
  • I do high intensity workouts in short intervals to maximize my workout.  If you are short on time, then the key is to work multiple body parts, with fewer breaks. I'm currently doing the Jillian Michaels, "Ripped in 30".  She urges you to give it all you have for that 25 minutes.  You will thank yourself later.
  • Ask yourself if it is worth it. Before I eat junk food, I ask myself if I'm going to kick myself later and say that it wasn't worth the calories. Is my mouth watering just thinking about it, I eat it. If not, then I find a healthier option to satiate my appetite.
I have a lot at stake. My health.  Aesthetically, I have to lose about 5 pounds with some toning and shaping. But I have so much more to gain by following a healthier lifestyle.

What tips do you have for fitting in healthier habits into your busy day?

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Vintage Post: Wash 'N Go

I can thank motherhood for reaquainting me with the wash and go.  On Sunday, I pre-pooed (water, coconut oil and baggied) my hair to prep for a wash.  But Mariah, kept me so busy that I couldn't wash and twist my hair.  Before I knew it, it was time for us to take Mariah to my mom's house so the hubby and I could see Transformers for date night.

So to avoid walking around with greasy hair and smelling like a coconut, I had to improvise. 

Wash 'N Go
I washed with Shea Moisture- Moisture Retention Shampoo and conditioned  with Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner.  I then put in Giovanni Direct-Leave -in and sealed with African Royale Hot Six Oil. I then added Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie to small sections, detangled, braided, and sealed the ends with shea butter. I then blotted with a t-shirt and blow dried a bit, focusing on the roots, and sealed with jojoba oil. I dressed, pulled into a puff, and put on a headwrap to slick down the front. I took it off before I got out the car at the movies.  And voila!

Co-Wash 'N Go
On Wednesday, I co-washed with Suave Humectants (cheapie conditioner). I finger detangled a bit. I then added Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie.  I did mini pineapples with scrunchies and  dressed.  I used the aforementioned puff method.

Refresh 'N Go
To refresh for second day hair (points above), I spritzed with water and sealed with jojoba oil.  I used the same puff method.

This definitely won't be my go to style since my hair dries out too quickly with a wash 'n go. But when I'm pinched for time, it is comforting to know that I have this as an option.

What are your time saving hair tricks?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Vintage Post: New Mom Beauty Routine

You're looking at it!

Hair, dry as the sahara desert...check
Pizza face...check
Dreadful eyebrows...check
Spit-up adorned clothes...check
Baby fat...check

At least I can laugh about it. And I promise I put myself together when I go in public.  But honestly, I find pockets of me time whenever I can.  Yesterday, I did a bentonite clay treatment on my face. I exercise at least 20 minutes a day.  When daddy gets home, I'm taking a long shower and washing this hair of mine.  And on Friday, these eyebrows are getting threaded. (Your days are numbered.)

Tomorrow, I'll let you know the results of my fitness assessment. I'm basically fit and recovering well from my pregnancy a.k.a.  I need to get a grip and be patient.   

Now back to baby.  She is suffering from hold me syndrome.  If you have a cure, please let me know.  Le sigh. How do you find time to take care of YOU?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Misikko Hana Flat Iron Review (Part 2)

August 2011

As promised in part 1, here is part 2 of my Hana flat iron review. I have to say that I was pretty pleased with the flat iron results. (Please note that I used a creamy leave-in to help with detangling since I was wearing wash 'n gos the week prior so my hair was a bit fluffier than usual.) To sum up the difference
between my old flat iron and the Hana Flat iron, it: (1) had a lot of movement (2) did not make me worry that my hair wouldn't revert. I'm going to have to follow up with results when I use an appropriate leave-in for straightening...but so far so good.

January 2011

February 2011

May 2011

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