Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Release Tuesday

You know you're doin' a little dance....it's cool....I'm doin' one too.... :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Warm Fuzzy!!

I feel like it's only fair to warn you that this post is going to be me going on & on about how awesome my kid is. It is going to be touchy feely and might make you slightly ill. Consider yourself warned :)

Back in December, The Princess came to me and told me she wanted to cut her hair. My first thought was "oh hell naw" but I pretended to be deaf & stupid when I said, "I'm sorry, Sweetie. I didn't hear what you just said." She cooly replied, "Mom! You heard me! I want to cut my hair....short!" Now, I love the beautiful curls on her head and couldn't understand why she wanted to cut her hair.

I thought back to 2011 when I took her to trim her hair and while sitting in the chair, she proclaimed that she wanted bangs. I immediately told her she would have to wait until she was older for bangs but my mom was with us that day and you can guess what happened next.

I looked at my beautiful girl and realized she is growing up so fast. The days of me telling her "no" and her accepting that answer without question or discussion are pretty much over. With that in mind, I decided that I wanted to talk to her about why she decided she wanted a new 'do. When I asked her why she wanted to cut her hair, the words that came out of her mouth were not what I was expecting. She looked at me and said, "I read an article in the newspaper about a girl who was sick. She lost all of her hair and she was waiting to get a wig from Locks of Love." I nodded and encouraged her to continue. She then proceeded to tell me what she learned about Locks of Love from the article and with such love in her voice she said, "I have more than enough hair, Mom. There are kids who need it and so I want to cut it and donate it."

Now tell me, how could I continue to say no? I was so proud of my kiddo for wanting to help those less fortunate than her and she had come to this decision all on her own.

My very cute but very bald baby!

For a brief moment, I flashed back to the time when she had no hair because we had to shave her head after a brain surgery (another story for another time). I knew my baby girl was more than a head of hair but I would be a liar if I said I wasn't worried about her hair never growing back. I remember being scared for my child and wishing for her to be healthy no matter the cost even if that meant she would be bald forever. In this moment, I realized that the child that needed my daughter's hair must have parents that were feeling the same way I did and The Princess was helping not only their child but them as well.

Heading to the hair salon
My baby's curls...wahhh!! :)
Last Saturday, the big chop took place. My friend Becky cut 11 inches of The Princess' curls. I was such a proud momma as my daughter explained to Becky why she was getting her hair cut and the look of pride when The Princess held up the ponytail that would be sent to Locks of Love was priceless.

I love that my daughter cares about her fellow man, even if she doesn't know them. I love that she is confident enough to change her appearance without caring about what others think. I love that she knows she is more than the hair on her head.

Plain and simple, I love her.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Release Tuesday

One of my facebook friends posted this last week and it was love at first listen. I absolutely adore Emeli Sande. Her voice is like butta'! I have Labrinth's song "Earthquake" on my workout playlist but this completely different than that song.

Stop what you're doing and listen to this beautiful song - I mean really listen to it. I think you'll fall in love with it just like I did.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Puttin' It Down at the 99 Cent Store!

If you would have told me 3 years ago that I would be shopping at the 99 Cent Store more frequently than the MAC store, I would have given you the stank eye. Me? The 99 Cent Store? Ain't no one got time for that! ;)

The truth is, I do! The 99 Cent store is just one of the resources I use to help me save money. I figure if I save money on food items, hygiene products, & cleaning supplies, then that's more money I have to spend on MAC products books shoes necessities!!

Tom & I decided to take you along with us on today's field trip to the 99 Cent only store. Warning - I'm a complete dork & no, it's not because I'm being filmed! lol!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

FRS Gives My Off-Season A Boost!

Off-season is in full swing up in here & I'm lovin' it! I think what I love the most (besides being able to lift HEAVY! Holla!!") is the variety in my diet. Now, I did talk about The Boss telling me to "Reel It In" but that doesn't mean I don't get to have some fun with my food & beverage selections. This is why I was ridiculously excited about the opportunity to review some of the products from FRS Healthy Performance!

From the FRS website:

"FRS was originally developed by health scientists to provide sustained energy for chemotherapy patients. Today it is used by elite athletes, wellness experts and anyone who wants to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.

All FRS products feature quercetin, a powerful all-natural antioxidant found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. It has been shown in multiple clinical trials to provide sustained energy, increased endurance, immune system support along with many other health benefits."

FRS products are fueled by quercetin which is a powerful antioxidant found in foods like blueberries, red apples and grapes. Quercetin helps your body produce more real energy. In a University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health study conducted by researchers, after taking quercetin for only seven day study participants had a 13.2 percent increase in endurance and a 3.9 percent increase in VO2max. According to Dr. Mark Davis, “These were statistically significant effects that indicate an important improvement in endurance capacity in a very short time." If you as an athlete or someone living a healthy lifestyle are not intrigued by this, that makes me go "hhhmmmm" ;)

These products should be tried over a period of time and in some cases, multiple times in a given day so remember this! You will experience a slight "pick me up" after your first serving but you will want to consume it daily (if possible) to experience the full benefits!

FRS Healthy Protein

FRS Healthy Protein bottles are ideal for travel or grabbing on your way out the door to run errands (which is what I did!). Each bottle is 190 calories, contains 25g of premium whey protein and 7g of fiber. I practically guzzled the Orange Cream bottle that I tried...I'm not kidding. I literally had to tell myself to slow down and drink slowly! The number of carbs in each bottle (11g) is higher than I would like but since I have a bit more wiggle room now (versus during prep), it was perfect for an on-the-go meal choice.

FRS Soft/Hard Chews

FRS soft chews are individually wrapped and ideal for throwing in your gym bag or purse so you have them wherever you need a boost of energy. Each 30 count bag provides 15 servings (2 soft chews = 1 serving)

For me, the soft chews won in the battle of soft chew versus hard-shell chew.  I was a little worried about the pomegranate blueberry combination but I was worried for nothing! The two flavors worked well together and I chewed my energy boosts like they were Starburst :) I really like that they are individually packaged because this made it easy for me to throw them into one of the small pockets of my gym bag when I was getting ready to leave. I do have to warn you that the smell can take some getting used to (you guys know how I am about smells!) - it was very "vitaminy" (yes, I made up a word!) but ignore it & pop that soft chew in your mouth!

The orange flavored hard chews tasted very similar to orange flavored Tic-Tacs and let's just say I'm not a fan.  I know the package said that it was a hard chew but I didn't expect it to be as hard as it was. It took a couple of really hard bites for me to break the shell. I would have liked the shell to be closer to a Mentos candy or something along those lines.

The FRS Healthy Slim bottles would be a great option for me while prepping for a show. Healthy Slim bottles contain Slendesta®, which is a clinically-proven vegetable protein that helps people lose weight by managing appetite and hunger. The macros (those of who compete will recognize that word...lol!) or nutritional information for this is almost perfect for a prep diet or meal plan for someone trying to lose/maintain weight. Each bottle has 20 calories, 4 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of sugar. I poured this bottle into my NutriBullet and added a scoop of whey protein (because it does lack a protein punch). I thoroughly enjoyed it along with my grapefruit and the advance reader's copy of "The Slow Fix" I am currently reading!

FRS Healthy Energy Powder

I like soda, don't get me wrong. I've been known to guzzle a Mountain Dew or two but I cannot drink carbonated sugary drinks day after day. I am a member of Jug Nation as most of you know so I usually have plain o' water every day. It's nice to switch things up occasionally and this is where the FRS Healthy Energy powdered drink mix comes in. Each box contains 14 individual packets and each packet is 10 calories with 200% (that's right...200!!) of your daily value of vitamin C. I have a tendency of not following instructions when it comes to mixing powders to water but I made it a point to do so with this drink mix. I mixed one packet with 10 oz of cold water while working the Reference Desk. I was a bit thrown by the color (it was SUPER bright orange) but shrugged and took a sip. It was delicious! I really liked it and brought the rest of the box with me to work the next day.

I really enjoyed the FRS products I was able to sample and would recommend them to anyone of you. Don't believe me?? Monday, I went to my Dollar Store and in the drink aisle were bottles of FRS Healthy Defense. I started screaming like I was on Oprah's Favorite Things show gave a small cheer and proceeded to put 10 bottles in my basket - bamo!

If you're interested in trying out some of these products, head over to the FRS website and sign up for their free trial. You pay $3.95 for shipping & handling and you will receive a sample box of hard chews, soft chews, low calorie powder, and a coupon for a free can or bottle!

I was provided with the FRS products, free of charge through their partnership with FitFluential. 
I was not compensated this review and simply exchanged my time for product. 
All opinions expressed are my own!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Release Tuesday

Let me start this post by saying that back in the day, I loved myself some Destiny's Child. Say My Name, Bug A Boo, and Jumpin' Jumpin' are some of my favorite jams. So y'all know I was excited when I found out that the band would be releasing a new album this year and their new single "Nuclear" was available to listen to.

Then I heard the song & my excitement died....plain & simple.

"After all of this time and this is the first single they release?!?!" is what I asked myself.

Maybe my expectations were too high, maybe the song isn't so bad, maybe I should give it a second chance....

You can hear the single on Huffington Post's website, just click --> here

After you listen to it, tell me what you think! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

You Got #PROOF?!?!?

I received a email from a reader last week asking about some Tweets and Instagram photos I had posted. The question about what the tweet said or the pictures posted but the hash tag I used. The question was, "When you use #PROOF, what does that mean?"

The folks at Fitfluential started the idea of using this particular hash tag in March of last year. On their blog they stated,

"To a photographer, that word refers to an unedited copy waiting for approval before printing, 
but we think it can mean more: 
PROOF of a challenge taken and conquered, 
PROOF of endurance and inner strength, 
PROOF that we came, we saw, we ran our own race."

*to read more of FitFluential's blog post, click here

Using "#PROOF" is my way of showing how I smashed my workout, how I'm living a healthy lifestyle, how I'm achieving the goals I've set for myself, etc. It is my documentation, my evidence, my accountability.

FitFluential: Motivation Monday

So, how are you bringing it? How are you kickin' in doors and takin' names? If you're not using the hash tag #PROOF, you should start!

Let's motivate each other and keep one another accountable! Leave your twitter handle and/or instagram user name in the comments section so I can follow you if I'm not already! :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Kitchen Gear Love

Let me be honest, I'm not a woman who spends a large amount of time in the kitchen whipping up amazing meals. Aluminium foil on baking sheets, a Crock Pot, a George Foreman grill, and a Vitamix are the staples of my kitchen gear. They help me prep my boring usual staples especially when I'm prepping.

In an attempt to "reel it in" per the instructions I was given by The Boss #1 (if you missed that post, you can read it here), I've been consistently using one of the Christmas gifts I received from my very generous mother-in-law.

Look at my new toy!!

That's right....my NutriBullet, baby!!! Almost every morning for the past two weeks, I have been making a fruit & veggie shake for either meal #1 or #2.

My first shake was fairly basic since I was feeling a bit tentative and I didn't want to "overdo" it. I combined water, two handfuls of organic baby kale, 1 scoop of vanilla whey isolate protein powder, 1/2 cup of blackberries, 1 banana, and a little less than 1/4 cup of flax seeds. I wasn't sure that the NutriBullet would be able to blend all of these ingredients as well as my Vitamix did when I made similar type shakes but guess what, it did!!

An added bonus --> it was quieter than the Vitamix so I didn't have to take it out to the garage to make my shake like I've had to do in the past! The end result was a tasty shake that was such a pretty color, I told myself I would love to have a nail polish of the same color :)

During my weekend trip to the Dollar Store, I found pineapples and green apples. In an attempt to be adventurous (because I am NOT a fruit person), I bought both to use in my shake concoctions. I crossed my fingers that the purchase was a good idea and not a waste of money that I could have used on Fiddle Faddle!

This shake was made with two handfuls of organic baby kale, 1 green apple, 1/2 cup of pineapple, 1 scoop of vanilla whey isolate protein powder, and 1/4 cup of flax seeds.

It survived the car & elevator ride!

Since this shake was going to be meal #2 and it wasn't time to eat yet, I used one of the lids that came with the NutriBullet to transport my shake from home to work safely and mess-free! I love that all I have to do is put my shake ingredients in the cup, blend it, slap a lid on it, and walk out of the house. If that's not winning, I'm not sure what is!

Healthy drinking and driving :)

One last thing I absolutely L-O-V-E is the handle that can be used with the cups. I worked a later schedule on Monday so when I left for work, I was ready for my next meal. I made my shake, twisted on the handle, gathered my stuff, and sipped yumminess as I drove to work!

So far I've used bananas, kale, spinach, apples, pineapples, tangerines, blackberries, blueberries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds. Any recommendations for recipes or other ingredients I should try? My mother-in-law shared this recipe that I'm equal parts scared and intrigued about.

Someone mentioned that there may be leakage issues with this particular product - has anyone who has a NutriBullet experienced this?

I am in no way affiliated with NutriBullet or Magic Bullet. 
All opinions expressed in this post were my own.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Release Tuesday

Did anyone else realize that Christina had new music out besides the "My Body" song?? I didn't but discovered this song thanks to Pamela over at Thrive Personal Fitness!

Check out the song and tell me what you think....

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Three Words --> Reel It In!!

Hey everybody!! Welcome to 2013! How is this year treating you thus far?!? I have been fighting cooties since a little after Christmas but other than that, I have no complaints!

I have been really enjoying my off-season...in fact, I might be enjoying it more than I should...lol!! Here are a few pictures of what my life is consisting of these days (and I can tell you it's not the gym, veggies, or cardio equipment!)

Because every librarian should wear reindeer ears at the Reference Desk
Apple fritters from my favorite bakery, Le Cave's
Kissing my nephew as much as possible! 
Dark chocolate pomegranate bites, vitamins, and my favorite magazine :)

Lulu's Shake Shoppe is only a 5 minute walk from my library! Woo hoo!!
The tater tots that accompanied my Nutella Reese's Peanut Butter Cup shake!

In enjoying my off-season and purposely forgetting the goal of "Operation Lean Mean Machine", I have put on about 10 pounds in the last few weeks. I am being completely honest when I say that I am squishy and happy...lol! I love not eating from a set plan, being "confined" to certain foods, and skipping workouts. But I also love seeing my abs, shoulder veins, and not feeling like my belly is oozing over the tops of my pants. 

When I checked in with The Boss #1 over the weekend and told her what my weight was, I received a three word text back from her. The text read "Reel it in" and nothing more. 


I thought, "Damn it! I'm in so much trouble!!" but after a few more texts, it was clear that I wasn't in trouble but she was putting me on notice. Yes, I could still enjoy tater tots, apple fritters, and Mexican Hot Chocolates but I was not allowed to skip workouts. My soft ass needs to be in the gym at least 3 times a week and there definitely needs to be some cardio in there!

So, meals were prepped today...thank God for the Dollar Store by my house where I scored asparagus, spinach, brussel sprouts, and lentils...but I digress....and Tom (aka The Boss #2) & I will be hitting up the gym for 5 am workouts Monday & Tuesday morning.

You might be thinking to yourself, "It's your off-season. What's the big deal?" The answer to that is -->

Yep, it's the Excellent Adventure is going to be a huge deal. No, I'm not telling you what it is quite yet...be patient! :)