Fit and Fabulous

Fit And Fabulous

Lets talk about working out for a moment. This is not an area that is in my comfort zone. Even with wanting to be fit, firm and healthy; I am not a “work out” person. The idea of going to the gym stresses me out. There are all of those tiny people with no body fat. Plus I have no idea how to actually use any machines. The idea of being the soft, squishy woman there, looking lost and confused is not doing it for me. Then lets not even mention the yoga classes, with the women who are ridiculously limber. What adult person is really suppose to bend like that? Yes I realize that this is sounds very judgmental. That is not really my point, I am not actually judging them. I am more jealous then anything.

But instead of doing anything about it, I will just sit here and make excuses. Here they are:

  1. I can’t go to the gym, because I have no time. Between the kids, schooling, house work, laundry, dishes, cooking, etc; there is just not enough time to spend 60-90 minutes a day at the gym.
  2. It is to expensive. With the gym membership, childcare, plus paying for a training to show me how to use all that equipment; it is just to high every month.
  3. It is okay to be a little soft, I have three kids. There is no need to go back to zero body fat.
  4. My doc said to take things easy because of my chronic back pain. Therefore I can’t exercise.
  5. We travel to much to stick with a workout program. So why start to have it all derailed every time we leave town.

Did I miss any? Those seem to be my Top 5 Reasons Why I Don’t WorkOut. What are yours?

Well, it seems to have taken a toll on me. Now I look in the mirror and am a bit heavier then I want to be, a bit more squishy, and the straw on the camels back, my favorite pair of jeans don’t fit. Something has to be done, I am no longer happy with me. But again, I am not going to be going to the gym. All of those reasons have not magically disappeared.

Lucky for me, in the mail just last week I got this awesome book “Fit and Fabulous In 15 Minutes”. Woo Hoo!! 15 minutes I can do. Shoot the girls can do 15 minutes with me everyday and we can call it PE. Plus reading it, it claims (page 10):

  • It can be done anywhere- even on the road when you’re traveling
  • You only need four square feet of space to do it
  • There is no need to join a gym
  • You don’t have to invest in a single piece of equipment- not even a stretchy band or hand weights

Well these seem to be promises that I can live with. Do it at home, within 15 minutes and you don’t have to figure out how to use all that stuff. To be honest it has a bit of 80’s workout vibe to it. But it seems pretty straight forward and I am willing to give it a go.

So here are the starting stats (don’t laugh at me)-

  • Weight- 130 (even though she says not to focus on weight. Since muscle weighs more then fat, it is possible to gain weight on this program while losing fat.)
  • Bust- 35 inches
  • Waist- 29 inches
  • Hips- 38 inches
  • Upper Arms- 11 inches
  • Size- 6

Be sure to check back in two weeks and see if I have lost the inches and clothing sizes that she promises.

Big Little Lies.. September BirchBoxBookClub

Big Little Lies

This book was an amazing read. All the little twists and turns lead up to one that you will never see coming. I can normally predict the ending of a book, and this one had me completely blind sided.

The back of the book states:

“Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads. Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She is funny, biting, and passionate; she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest. (How is that possible?) And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?)

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twins? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.”

Big Little Lies starts a bit slow, I won’t lie (big or little). She does a wonderful job laying out each character; how they relate to each other; how they relate to their families, how the allies come around. You truly love all the characters, you care about each of them for all different reasons. You can relate to them; you are them or one of your best friends are them.

Once you get to the meat of the story you want the main characters to come out, alive and innocent, at the end of the book. The books speed never really picks up, however, you are so invested in the people in the story that you just can’t put it down. There is this need that develops, that you have to find out what happens next.

Then the ending hits you like a truck load of bricks. I promise that you won’t see it coming. It completely blind sides you. This was one of those rare books that was able to surprise me. Then I was actually sad to say goodbye to these women that I grew to truly care about.

If you are going to be reading one book this month, I would highly recommend this one. Click below for more information:

Big Little Lies

LOTW- Fall TV Is Back

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Okay so not really a LOTW, but I do get a lot of inspiration from watching some of my favorite TV. And fall TV has way more dramas, which leads to way more dramatic makeup looks to draw on. See it does tie in; if we stretch a bit.

This is my tv line up. Well, this is my ideal line up, if I didn’t have three kids, animals, a hubby and a house to take care of. Most of the time I don’t get to watch most of this, and if I am going to be really really honest I only really watch two shows a week, and never when they are actually on. But it makes for a great date night in, when both the hubby and I have a free night. We pop popcorn, pop a bottle wine, snuggle, and catchup on all the TV that we are not watching.

  • Monday Night-
    • Black List
    • Big Bang Theory
    • Gotham
    • The Originals
  • Tuesday Night-
    • Hmmmm.. I actually don’t have anything recording on Tuesday nights any more.
  • Wednesday Night-
    • SVU
    • Nashville
  • Thursday Night (Don’t laugh, but this is my guilty pleasure night)
    • Vampire Diaries
    • Parenthood
    • Bones
  • Friday Night-
    • Girl Meets World (New spin on the old Boy Meets World show)- We love snuggling up with our girls at the end of the week, having a TV date night with them.
  • Saturday Night-
    • We don’t actually have any shows here, normally this is our TV date night night. Catching up on a few shows during the week.
  • Sunday Night-
    • Once Upon A Time
    • Revenge

Did I get them all? What shows do you watch that are not on my list? What are you most looking forward to watching this fall?

Benefit WingWomen Party!

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I don’t normally do a Saturday post, but this was just to awesome not to chat about! Plus it is national Benefit WingWomen Party weekend. Amazing WingWomen all over the nation are having their parties this weekend! What is a wingwoman? She is the person that you go to to have your back. She is the one that is always there for you. She is the one that you call first for everything. We all have at least one, and if we are really lucky we have a few. This party is to celebrate them, our WingWomen.

BirchBox and Benefit Cosmetics teamed up to gift 500 lucky girls a box full everything that they need to through the ultimate wing party for five of their besties! I am going to be the hostest with the mostest for a while.

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What came in the box:

  • Minis of They’re Real Mascara plus one full size
  • Minis of They’re Real Push Up Liner plus one full size
  • Minis of The Porefessional
  • Minis of Lollitint
  • Full Size Gimme Brow- One in light/med and one in med/dark
  • Full Size Hoola Bronzer- Only One
  • Then all the extras a good party needs: gift bags, balloons, fun coasters

When my guests arrived, they were surprised to say the least. See I like surprise parties, so I didn’t tell anyone that (1) they were going to a party or (2) that THEY were the ones getting presents. We had all the traditional party foods ready to go. Pizza, cupcakes, more soda then anyone should ever drink. All of the gift bags were prepped and sitting out with everyone’s names on their bags. Being the mama that I am, I made everyone eat lunch and socialize before they could have their cake. Then we had cake while chatting some more. All while staring at these pretty bags with their names on them. It was so fun watching my girlfriends (and daughter), giggle and guess as to what was going on. They acted like teenage girls again, wanting their presents. White bags, pink paper and name tags were the downfall of my group.

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When I finally announced that it was present time, they literally dropped everything. Food went straight to the trash, conversations halted mid-sentence, bouncing and giggling ensured. I LOVED handing out their gifts, and they LOVED what they were filled with. Each guest received: a mascara, a gel eyeliner, a porefessional, a lollitint, and a bit of chocolate. And in true toddler fashion, the packaging was all ripped away and out came the makeup. Within minutes, we were applying makeup to each other. Doing makeovers like little girls; laughing, giggling, trying out new products.

It was without a doubt, the best afternoon in a long time. With the day to day stuff that needs to get done, I forget how fun an afternoon at home with my girls can be.

Best Young Adult Book In A Long Time

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*The author gifted me a copy of her amazing book
for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own
as always*

This book has all the things that a great book should be. It has romance, lies, suspense, throw in a supernatural twist and you have an amazing plot.

Anna follows 17 year old Anna Stuart. She has all the same issues as any other high school senior: should she go off to college, should she stay home to help the family, does the boy she likes like her back. All very normal problems, for the very normal Anna. Or at least that is what she thought.

Then the hallucinations begin. At first just at night, similar to nightmares. Haunting her nights. When a strange shadow man begins to haunt her, she is ready to seek out the truth. She hunt the very hunter that is haunting her. All while trying to keep up a semi-normal life of a high school student.

I found the characters not only enjoyable to read and relatable. I found my self perplexed by Steve at different points in the book. I was irritated with Heather for most of the book to be honest, but I loved that about her. Both of them becoming some of my favorite characters in the book. I truly came to care about what happened with Anna and the shadow man.

To be completely honest, the first few chapters, I found it hard to get into. It was teenage-high-school-drama life, but once the “meat” of the story started to come together, I could not put it down. I ended up staying up all night just to finish it, then was disappointed that it was over. Sitting on pins and needles waiting for the next one to come out.

To see more information about this book you can check Meghan Riley’s website here: http://mmriley.com/. Please check out her blog, and you will be able to get the inside track on Anna and what is coming up next.

CrossFit: Pros and Cons

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I know that this does not fit into my normal beauty/fashion posts. And that most of you who read me, read this blog for the tips and tricks to make us look a little better. But, wait for it, true beauty is more then just the clothes that we put on or how we wear our makeup. And if we are going to truly be concerned with how we look then we should incorporate a healthy lifestyle. That would include a better diet and an exercise routine. (See I can make it fit in to my normal blog. hehe)

It seems like CrossFit gyms are popping up everywhere lately.  Everyone is jumping on the CrossFit bandwagon. The reviews are either raving about how life changing it is or how horrible it is. So what is the truth? After much research, here is what I am finding about the pros and the cons:

Pros-

  • Lets be real, any exercise is better then no exercise.
  • It is a full body workout, and will work all your muscles.
  • It is relatively quick. Most days you can be done in about 45 minutes.
  • There is a huge community feeling. No boring running by yourself on a treadmill every day.
  • Each day the work out is different, so you don’t get bored doing the same thing over and over.

Cons-

  • While circuit training works all the muscles, you are not going to be able to target a specific area.
  • Working in groups, while more enjoyable, you won’t get much one-on-one training. This can leave you doing parts incorrectly, and making it easier to get injured.
  • It encourages you to push yourself hard, sometimes harder then you should. Our bodies can only go so far.
  •  It is designed to do a certain amount of work, as fast as you can. While this has benefits, it is argued that it is not set up for long term health.
  • Pushing your body to the point of exhaustion every single day, is not needed for weight loss.

After seeing so many people dramatically change their appearance with this routine, I have been intrigued. After doing a bunch of reading, there seems to be only two sides, you love it or you hate it. There is no middle ground. Until a close friend of my, and fellow blogger, posted an amazing article about her personal experience with CrossFit.

She has always been a beautiful person, inside and out. But I have to say that since she has started this journey, she has made huge strides. Going from beautiful to a truly uniquely gorgeous woman. Her confidence, once non-existent, now thrives. Her body, once soft/round, now is solid and muscular. Her eating habits, once loving junk food, is now health conscious. Take a moment to check out her amazing blog, for her personal thoughts on CrossFit and how it changed her life.

To Be A Lion, You Must Train With Lions
CrossFit Doesn’t Suck, But Your Attitude Does 

What are your thoughts? Anyone else involved with this? Is it something that you are interested in?

Do You Feel Pretty?

Do You Feel Pretty

This may seem pretty superficial, and maybe it is. But how different is your day, on the days where you feel pretty?

I know for me, on the days where I feel like I am looking my best I have an extra bounce in my step; a bit more confidence to my stride; my head just a tiny bit higher. On those days, I can tackle anything. So why does something as trivial as how we look, make such a huge difference?

Bottom line, looks are important to us as a community. We live in a society, where looks matter. Everywhere we look, we see beautiful people selling something. Everything from movies, to makeup, to kids toys are sold with ads featuring good looking people. Our TV shows are casted with good looking people. This is what we have to compare ourselves to, a photoshopped arsenal. We then strive to be that; be the thin, be made up, be the perfect version we see about everyone else. There is so much pressure to look a certain way, and such a stigma associated with it when you don’t. How can anyone live up to that?

As a mother to three daughters, I worry about how this will affect them. Will they be able to believe that they are just as good as the tall skinny blonde? Will they have one of the many eating disorders to make their bodies be overly thin? Will they not leave the house until they look “perfect”? I worry about the society that we live in, that has an unwritten code that girls are pretty things to look at. Not that we are powerful or intelligent, but that we are sexy and pretty. Now before all the feathers get ruffled, yes we have come a long way. But it doesn’t change the fact that to be worth much in our society we have to be good to look at.

While of coarse I tell my daughters that they are beautiful; I make a point to tell them more often that they are smart, that they are sweet, that they are important. I wonder if it will be enough. So here is my question to all of you…..

Do you feel pretty?

Today Is About YOU!!

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Good Morning!! Today I have a question for you. Yes that’s right for YOU. No long post, No update on what is going on, No thoughts from me. Today is all about you. So here it goes:

What do you like reading about the most???

If you have followed me for a while you will notice that I write mostly about makeup and beauty. But there is a splash of fashion, with a pinch of features about different businesses, and a hint of family/mommy/crafty type posts. Today I am asking my readers what they like reading most. Leave a comment and let me know. Please and Thank You!!

Baby Sign and Benefits of ASL

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When all of my girls were babies, I introduced them to baby sign. All of my family thought that I was crazy. I heard everything from we were going to confuse them, that we would delay her speech, that they will communicate when they are ready and nothing that I could do would speed that up. When my oldest was six months, we were out to dinner with the whole family, she made her first sign. Actually she signed multiple words, eat more. Silence fell over our table, the family was stunned. They were honestly shocked.  I was proud of my daughter, I was thrilled that she would be able to tell me what she needed and that she would have a way to talk to me. I was also proud of myself, I was proud that I didn’t listen to them and that I did what I thought was best.

She learned new signs rapidly. Before we knew it, she was signing full sentences and had over a hundred signs. Even with all the success of this, I still had many people telling me that I was delaying her speech. Why would she learn to speak, if she could communicate the “lazy” way? That I was some how hurting her, that I was confusing her by making her learn both sign and english. For the record, she was an early speaker, and way above her level in language. She speaks to groups of adults, at their level on everything from science to politics. Today, we are told how amazingly articulate she is. So did this hurt her, no I think not. But once she started speaking, the sign slowly fell away.

When I had with Belle, we did it all again. I once again had everyone telling me not to do this, that I was hindering her. Belle was a late speaker, it fueled the fire. But we kept on. In fact, Belle learned sign mostly from Tink. She relearned (or remembered) most of what she had known as a baby. The two of them would go back and forth. It was very cute to watch. But once Belle started speaking, she has yet to stop. Full sentences right from the beginning. Again though, once she started speaking, the signing started to fall away.

When I found out that we were pregnant with Baby. They both were so excited, to use sign again. They started brushing up and once Baby was here they wasted no time. And would sign right along as they were speaking to her. Again we saw the same results. She started to communicate early, and once she was speaking she was well above were she should be. This time though, once Baby was speaking they didn’t stop learning. The three of them learned together, they enjoy learning this together.

After studying more the benefits of learning ASL, I am so happy that I choose to do it. The studies have shown that babies that are exposed to sign communicate earlier, they speak earlier and are more articulate then those who don’t use sign. The ability to communicate earlier and express what they need at a younger age, might help boost self esteem and confidence later in life.

Learning ASL, takes practice, but was easier then one might think. I read all the books that I could get my hands on. One of the best books that I have read is: Easy Guide to Baby Sign Language. It is so easy to follow, and quite engaging. He makes learning this language so easy that anyone can follow along. The diagrams are easy to see what the descriptions mean.

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 This book skips a lot of the basics: there is no alphabet, no numbers. Before you get upset that you need to know the basics, what baby says the alphabet at six months anyways. From the author himself: “Easy Guide to Baby Sign Language” was written to help you communicate and bond with your baby before she has the ability to speak.  It was also designed so information is easy to find, understand and use.  There are clear and engaging illustrations, “quick-find” indexes, and even activity ideas to help you on your way.  There are many benefits to using baby sign language.  Whether you want to minimize tantrums, increase your baby’s confidence, or simply have fun, you’ve come to the right place.

He gets down to business, right from the start. I love how straight forward this book is, how fast it gets into the meat of it. Really quick read, then once you are ready to start using the information its layout makes it easy to quickly find what you are needing. If you are looking for a starting point, this is where you should start.
How about you guys, did anyone else use sign when their littles one were still little? What resources did you use to learn it?

What Is Mardi Gras??

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Maybe I am the only one, but I honestly have no idea what Mardi Gras is or why we celebrate it. Other then girls pulling up their tops for cheap beads, I got nothing. Thank goodness there is this wonderful new thing called Google. I am on a mission to find out what in the world this crazy holiday is about.

As it turns out this is based on a Catholic tradition of “Fat Tuesday”. Who knew?? The idea behind it is to eat huge amounts of rich, fatty foods before Ash Wednesday and the start of the fasting period of Lent. The celebration does allow for questionable behavior, since most people confess their sins on Ash Wednesday. With it being the following day, the chances of dying before you were able to confess and cleanse your soul, were low. This seemed to be a perfect time for a big crazy party.

In the US, New Orleans is the home of our Mardi Gras Carnival. New Orleans was founded in 1718 and by 1730 the celebration was celebrated with high society balls. (Which are still thrown every year by the who’s-who’s of the city) In 1756 six business men got together to form a secret society, with one main goal. To hold a large celebration complete with floats and throws for Mardi Gras. This party was to be open to everyone, and it was to be held in the streets right in front of where the balls were to be held. It was to be “The Best Free Show Ever”. To this day, our celebrations are much like those, and still has the same tag line.

In 1872 Rex the nominated and elected King of the Carnival; chose the Gold, Purple, and Green as the official colors of Mardi Gras. These colors stood for: purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. These are still the colors that most people, here in the US, associate with Mardi Gras.

After reading a brief history of this crazy party, has it changed any of your thoughts? Do you view it differently? I have to say that I do. Reading about it, made this holiday even more interesting to me. To think that this is all spurred from a religious holiday, struck as ironic to me. By the way, the whole having to flash the crowd for throws is not actually part of the main stream celebration. It is a very small group, only in the Bourbon Street area of the French Quarter. This particular area, does not have any of the floats or parades that go through it. So while it is all that people think about, when they think about Mardi Gras in New Orleans, it is not even around where the main celebrations are taking place.