Happy Planksgiving Ab Workout && Then Some

Happy happy happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Just making a quick stop in today while I relax with family before the big feast {and because I actually have free hour in the day to post a lil somethin’ somethin’}.  I hope I am finding you all happy, healthy, and full of love on this holiday and you’re able to be with the ones you love.

The Lavery’s decided to keep a little tradition going this year and participate in our second annual Turkey Trot, adults completing the 5K and kids {that’s Ryan and me} completing the 8K.  This year we chose one in Durham, the Renaissance Center Turkey Trot, and although it was a cold and rainy race we still had fun.

As bizarre as this sounds, and Ryan will agree with me, the course was pretty much out and back, but it felt like the entire thing was uphill both ways.

Little did my dad and I know, but we were in the presence of greatness.  Both my brother and mom finished THIRD in their age groups {holla if you a balla}.  I finished the 8K pretty much at an even 50 min.  Not where I want to be, but it’s a good base to work from in terms of improvement.  I’m just thankful I’m still able to take off and comfortably run 5 miles, even with little preparation.  Not feeling well the past few weeks really threw me off.  What I’m even more thankful for is that the four of us were able to participate in another Turkey Trot together!!

I’ve been seeing a lot of people posting about “happy planksgiving” and then somehow incorporating planking into turkey day.  That being said, I decided to come up with my own plank-inspired workout and I LOVE it.  I will probably end up doing this one regularly, as it is a great total ab workout.

If you’re wondering what some of these moves are, click the links below:

Spidermans

Plank Hip Dips

Downward Dog to Leg Tuck

Now that we’ve covered that, I’m off to spend some quality time with my family and on to my third workout of the day….

source

Again, I hope everyone is well and enjoying their time off, there’s lots to be thankful for.  I’m certainly thankful for you guys!

See ya tomorrow!

Happy Thanksgiving all!  Did you do any Turkey Trotting this morning?

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Must Love Pomegranates

After work on Monday, I was lucky enough to get to go to the Hornets/Clippers game with my brother and his friends!

It was my first time at the TWC Arena, and our seats were actually pretty awesome, even though you can’t exactly tell from the picture.

Since then it’s been go-go-go trying to get everything done before heading home for turkey break.

I wanted to stop in and share a quick blurb about my annual winter obsession- the pomegranate.  Known for a variety of health benefits {which we will get into later}, the pomegranate is one of my favorite fall/winter snacks.  You’ll find them available at any grocery store between September and February.  However, you can purchase pomegranate juice year round, the most popular brand arguably being POM Wonderful.

So why are pomegranates so great?  Not only are they rich in that buzzword, antioxidants {one of the highest of all fruits}, it also is shown to aid in heart and joint health.  They are extremely high in vitamin C, K, and B5, among a list of others to help to support things like your immunity, bone health, and metabolism…pretty nifty, right?  They’re also extremely high in fiber.

One benefit that surprised me while researching, somewhat ties in with the Beauty Brief Wednesday: Teeth Whitening Tips//Mouth Health.  Apparently, pomegranates can also keep your teeth clean {but no, I’m not saying ditch the toothbrush}.  Pomegranates are packed with polyphenolic flavonoids {say that five times fast}, which contain anitbacterial properties.  It has been shown that pomegranate juice can clear the mouth of the bacteria, plaque, and gingivitis that can cause cavities and other dental issues.

Crazy, huh?

That pom, pom-pom-pom-pom {okay, maybe I’m not Sisqo}.

So, sweet…it’s super healthy….but how do you break into it?  I sliced it in half to show the inside of the pom for the picture above, but basically just cut off the crown and cut the pomegranate into wedges to start peeling away the skin, pulling the pomegranate seeds away from the center.

AND THEN YOU’LL END UP WITH THIS

A container full of juicy, sweet, and nutrient packed pomegranate seeds…the best winter time snack out there.  They also work as a great winter time salad topper…just a little tip.

Have you guys ever eaten any pomegranates before?  Why do you like them?

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Tone It Up Sunday // Make Ahead Meals // Home Improvement

With yesterday being my only day off this weekend, it was quite a busy one.  After spending the first part of my morning posting #FiveThings and watching copious amounts of Jimmy Kimmel, “Celebrities Read Mean Tweets” videos, I headed out to brunch with my brother, roommate Andrew, and some other friends.  Have you ever seen any of those Jimmy Kimmel videos?  If you haven’t, YouTube it right now.  I was crying laughing.  The NBA video’s and the most recent one {#8} are by far my favorite.

After running a few errands, I came home and FINALLY stained the headboard that Ali brought down over Halloween weekend.  Now just waiting for that puppy to dry so I can set it up and take more creative pictures to show you guys.

There’s a little sneak peek…

In terms of exercise, I was hoping to fit in a nice, long, and leisurely outdoor run, but the weather had other plans.  It rained, nay…poured…all dang day.  So I squeezed in a quick two mile treadmill run, and completed this KettleToning workout from Tone It Up.  I love those beach babes, Karena and Katrina.  It’s also nice to pretend like you’re working out with them on the beach in sunny CA, where most of their workout videos take place.

Earlier in the day, I also prepared some of their Pumpkin Crockpot Soup, to have for dinner last night and a few meals this week.  I also sauteed some brussels sprouts, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and chicken sausage to have on the side.  It was quite tasty.

Notice the fall decor…also, I have no pretty bowls, so for the sake of the picture, let’s use a cool mug.

On top of the original recipe, I also included 3 Bay Leaves to enhance the flavor!  I think you can see one peeking out of the soup there.

Rounded out the night by catching up on The Walking Dead and making a batch of egg muffins that I’ll eat for breakfast throughout the week.  This was my first time making egg muffins, and I followed The Primal Palate’s recipe, here.

These things a perfect to chow down on while I’m running out of the door in the morning {they even taste good cold…yes, it’s true!}.

Finally got a second to post this baby on my lunch break, so now it’s back to work for me!

How was your Sunday?  Prepare any make-ahead meals or get stuff done around your home?

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#FiveThings {Nov. 23}

Happy Sunday morn everyone…wanted to stop in and drop off my #FiveThings for the week before heading out to a little brunchie brunch.  Even though the weather is Charlotte right now is blah, I still plan on having an awesome Sunday off.  Let’s jump in-

My Health

At the beginning of the week at had a little bit of a health scare {reasoning for the lack of posts}, and one that I’m still experiencing some pain from even today.  Good news is, it wasn’t exactly what we thought it was and I’m almost back to 100%.  I work really hard to stay healthy and fit, I also feel as though I do a great job listening to my body, and I think this is why I rarely suffer from “the common cold”.  That being said, if I ever get sick…I get SICK.  Really crazy, one-off types of illnesses that I would be more than happy to tell you about, but it would take forever.  The beginning of the week was more than terrifying because I thought that something bizarre and scary that I previously had was resurfacing.  Still have to do some more digging as to what it was, but the whole experience makes me thankful for my overall day to day health.  It’s something that I think can get sidelined every now and then, we just assume we’re supposed to be healthy so we take it for granted sometimes.  It deserves a lot more recognition, it’s the foundation of a lot of the things we’re able to accomplish in life.  This week I have been reminded to be even more thankful for my health than I normally am.

Family and Jimmy

Can’t follow that little blurb up with anything but mentioning how awesome my family and Jimmy were this week.  Even though we had to take a last minute day trip to Durham to see some doc’s {shout out to Dad for working that out}, Jimmy was along for the ride.  And of course, mom’s are awesome because they’re mom’s.  I am always thankful for them {Ryan too}, but they all really came through this week.

Duke Basketball is back, baby

Do you hear what I hear?  No, not ringing sleigh bells or singing angels…but the dribbling of basketballs.  Being from Durham, I can’t remember not being a Duke Basketball fan.  Say what you want, but I love everything about Duke Basketball and I’m so glad the season has started back up again.  Maybe I was solo with a glass of wine and the Stanford/Duke game last night…and maybe that was the only thing I wanted to be doing at that moment.

Did I ever mention that I bonded with Coach K when I was in the 5th grade?  I was one of five kids who’s artwork was chosen to be published for the Duke Children’s Hospital holiday cards, something they do every year.  A huge ceremony was held at the Duke Children’s Hospital for the five of us.  I wish I had a picture of my card, but basically it was a picture of a dog looking out of a snowy window, looking at Santa flying through the sky {sooo Christmas}.  Coach K said that my card was his favorite because it reminded him of his own dog(s), Cameron and Defense {very fitting names}, and told me I was terrific.  I even have proof.

And that, ladies and gents, is the moment in life where I peaked.  This is photographic evidence, not many can say that they have actual photographic evidence of when they peaked.

Crushed It

Now you can hear the angels singing.  This week the sky opened up and The Lord spreadeth a plentiful gift upon us mere mortals…the Pitch Perfect 2 trailer.  I know you have had to have seen it by now.  I’m speechless and can’t wait until it comes out in May.  I still remember seeing Pitch Perfect with my friend Jess, kind of on a whim.  We were like, “yea we love Glee, we’ll probably like this, let’s go”…and leaving the theater FAH-REAKING out about how aca-awesome the whole thing was {Skylar Astin, heyyyy}.  Can’t wait to get “pitch-slapped”.

Source

PTO

So this is more of a “things I’m excited about next week” kind of thing {besides Thanksgiving, that’s a given}, but it got me through this week and having to work on Saturday {had to make up some work for missing earlier}.  I’m typing at you today, staring a three day work week and a four day holiday break right in the face.  I haven’t had time off like this since moving to Charlotte, I can’t wait…can I get a ‘gobble, gobble’!!

What are your #FiveThings for the week?

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Marshall Trip Recap

Finally getting a chance to recap this past, last minute friend weekend in Huntington, WV.  Even though the trip came together extremely last minute, I was incredibly excited to be able to see my friends and be back at my Alma Mater.  Getting to see The Herd clinch another W and remain one of the only two college football teams still undefeated wasn’t so bad either {We Are…}.

One of my first stops when I got into town was to visit with some of my old Rec co-workers and boss at lunch!  It was so nice to see all of them and catch up.  However, I didn’t grab any food at the time because I promised another set of coworkers that I would check out their new deli.  I know I’ve referenced to them in the past, but I also used to work at family owned, La Famiglia, and these people are truly like a second family to me.  They have recently opened up a deli on 4th Ave {in the old Aqua Massage place, for all you Huntingtonians}.

Isn’t it adorable?  Having worked for them for around 2 years, I know how delectable their food is, so of course I wanted to taste everything on the menu {guess I’ll just have to come back}.  I decided on the Carne Sandwich, stacked high with a variety of Italian meats, arugula, tomato, cheese, pickled onions and peppers, and a homemade citrus aioli…it was unreal.  Not to mention that all sandwiches are made with their homemade focaccia bread…in true La Fam fashion, they did not disappoint.

I’m still having dreams about this sandwich.  If you’re in Huntington at lunch time all you need to know is- GO TO MULBERRY STREET MEATBALL COMPANY AND DELI.

I then spent the rest of the night hanging out with old friends, and eventually taking it easy, knowing there was a full day of tailgating ahead…but first, let me go to Quarters.

Quarters is a specific time every Friday in Huntington {it actually starts at 4pm real world time}, where everyone gathers at one of the most popular Huntington bars, The Union, to hang out for Happy Hour.  But this is no “drinks half off” HH…this is a, “here is beer in a cup and it only costs you a quarter” type of HH.  Lots of things have happened at Quarters- things you’ll always remember, things you can’t remember, and some things you wish you couldn’t remember {aka the definition of college}.  Here I am with my friends, Erika and Molly.

The next day, before the game, Molly and I walked over to campus to check out the bookstore and walk down memory lane.  As I mentioned last Friday, 11.14.2014 marked the anniversary of the horrific plane crash that killed 75 Marshall football players, coaches, staff, and fans.  The story is brought back to life via Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox in the blockbuster, We Are Marshall.  I might be biased, but it’s a must watch.  Every year a fountain ceremony is held where they remember those that lost their lives and shut the water off to the fountain for the season.  I didn’t get to town in time for the ceremony, but the empty fountain and flowers are what remains from the previous day’s gathering.

What better way to honor those individuals than to watch Marshall bring home another win? {“One day, we’re going to be like every other team, where winning is everything and nothing else matters”…movie reference, if you’ve seen it you’d get it}.

So proud to be a daughter of Marshall…but don’t let the picture fool you, it was FREEZING outside that day.

But tailgating makes things fun.

Later that night we, and what seemed like the rest of Huntington went out.

Of course, it was a great time…and remember how I said it was freezing?  I experienced my first snow of the season that night!  I added a filter to better show the shnow.

Winter is coming…and there’s nothing we can do about it.

Sunday came rearing it’s ugly head, and after a tasty brunch at Prime on 4th {it’s a newly opened spot, and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice everything was}.  Their “checkbooks” are copies of old books that you can write in and leave notes.  When I saw that my “checkbook” was The Great Gatsby”, I knew I loved the place.

“I was within and without. Simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.” 

or I was also thinking of using…

“Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!” 

Idk, I love The Great Gatsby {book and movie}…picking one quote is too hard.  I eventually moseyed on out of Huntington with a tear in my eye.  Leaving Huntington, my friends, and Marshall is always so hard.  I couldn’t imagine living there again, but I have such an emotional tie and bond with the place, that being back there with my friends always feels just right.  Want to know how I really felt about my time at Marshall and the Rec?  Click here {it’s much more eloquent and heartfelt, my farewell post from the Marshall Campus Rec blog}.

So maybe when I got back to Charlotte, I watched We Are Marshall and cried my eyes out {self-inflicting wounds here}.  I love my school and take pride in the fact that I went there.  All in all it was another great weekend, and I can’t wait to revisit.

Where did you guys go to school?  Do you have the same nostalgic feeling that I do with MU?

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Beauty Brief Wednesday {Skin Savers}

Hello all!  The past few days have been rather hectic and unexpected, for which I have been unprepared for {I will get into that later}.  However, I wanted to make sure that I still stopped in to keep my Wednesday tradition going.  To recap what’s been going on the past two Wednesdays:

BBW:  {Teeth Whitening Tips/Mouth Health}

BBW:  {Unexpected Hair Care}

We covered the mouth, the teeth, the hair…now it’s time to cover the largest organ of your body…your skin!  To help organize today’s post, I decided to numerically correlate pictures with descriptions {what a novel idea}.

#1 Shave Your Face

Yes, I talked about this in September {click the link to see the full post}, but I still stand by it today.  Running your face and neck through a weekly shaving regime is a great way to exfoliate, smooth, and reawaken the skin.  Plus, your make-up even goes on better.  Nobody likes hair legs, girls, and nobody likes a hairy face.  The few friends that I have convinced to start doing this can’t get enough.

#2 Dry Brushing

Ever heard of it?  It is exactly what it sounds like…brush your skin with a dry brush.  It should be a smaller brush, made with stiff {but not overly stiff} bristles, and preferably made with natural materials {but not necessary}.  I try to dry brush every time before I take a shower…but let’s be real, sometimes we’re rushing to get in and out of the shower.  My rule of thumb?  Make sure I’m doing this at least 4 times a week {if I can hit all days that end in “Y”, great!}.

So what’s the big deal and how do you do it?  Easy.  Before you hop in the shower, simply brush your skin, starting at the ankles in sweeping motions upwards {towards your heart}.  When you get to your arms, start at your wrists, and continue to move towards your heart {make sense?}.  Brush what you can- neck, chest, arms, tummy, tushie {is that how you spell that?}, legs, of course don’t brush EVERYTHING {wink, wink} but get dang near close.  Then, shower and make sure you moisturize afterwards.  You just woke up and brushed off dead skin cells, don’t want to be ashy do you?

Aside from brushing away dead skin cells, Dry Brushing is great for a variety of other reasons.  Numero uno, it wakes up your Lymphatic System, allows your body to release toxins, and is an overall amazingly simple detoxification.  It also improves circulation, can reduce the appearance of cellulite, relieves stress, and can improve overall digestion and kidney functions.  Too good to be true?  It’s not.  I’ve seen great results from maintaining DB-ing  Want more literature?  Check out the links below-

The Dirt on Dry Brushing

Step by Step Guide to Dry Brushing

Dry Brushing Techniques

#3 Clarisonic Mia 2

Jimmy originally purchased the Clarisonic Mia 2 for my birthday in June {per my request…thought I should mention that only because I did ask for it.  It’s not like my bf said “Hey!  Happy Birthday, your skin sucks..love you!”}.  I have struggled with acne and scarring from such pesky pimples for my entire life.  In addition to basically completely cutting dairy out of my diet, and regularly oil pulling, the Clarisonic has absolutely helped.  Now, let me be clear, it hasn’t solved everything, and at 25 I still embarrassingly struggle with this issue.  I also found that when I initially started using the Clarisonic, I felt like I broke out more.  Not sure if it was just waking my skin, and everything in it up, but once that settled down, I saw drastic improvements in the clarity of my skin and pores.  To order the Mia 2, or at least see it online, click here.

However, like I said, I still struggle with acne and pimples from time to time…so if you guys have any tips or tricks, I’m all ears.  Some people that I know are swearing by the Rodan and Fields Skincare system.  I’m just super hesitant because it is quite pricey, and I’ve been burned by so many acne products that claim they will help me in the past.  What do you guys think?

How do you guys take care of your skin?  Any tips or tricks that you swear by?

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#FiveThings

Hello all and Happy Friday! Hope it’s finding you well…I’m certainly doing just fine today as I am blogging at ya from Huntington, WV!  That’s right, another friend weekend is coming up {which I will get into in a sec}…so, let’s dive into another edition of #FiveThings…

I’m Rick James, B!@$%

Okay, might be kind of an abrupt way to start off a Five Things, but I can’t help myself.

Monday night, Dave Chappelle was in Charlotte and my roomies/frat bros and I didn’t get to go…we were sad.  Late Monday night, I noticed that The Fillmore insta-ed that Dave Chappelle was sticking around for another round of shows the following night!  Without hesitation we snagged some tix and made the best plans anyone could have made for a Tuesday.

Not allowed to take pictures during the show {I follow the rules, people}, but this was the view from our seats.  Not to shabby.  It was also my first time in The Fillmore…def need to pay more attention to their performance schedules because I love the place, not a bad seat in the house.

As seen on insta {but filters make everything better}, me and my frat bros.  Jimmy on the left {the ball and chain} and Andrew.

Do you really need me to recap the show?  Absolutely not, wouldn’t do it justice.  It was Dave Chappelle.  Enough said.  May have almost peed my pants a few times.  Although, he did say he hated bloggers…I’m going to assume that he’s referring to the hateful/narssistic types that troll the Internet looking for something to tear apart.  You know, the ones that think they’re right about everything and aren’t spreading any love {because there are those out there}…I’m also 1,000% positive Dave Chappelle will never read this, so we’ll just leave it at that.

{as I sit, rocking in the fetal position} everything is okay, Dave Chappelle doesn’t hate me…Dave Chappelle doesn’t hate me…

1989

The year I was born, the year the Berlin Wall {started} to fall, and the title of Taylor Swift’s new album..all very important things.

And yes, that means I bought it.  While I don’t consider myself to be a “Swiftie” {or whatever they’re called}, I’ve loved her since before she started crying on her guitar about Tim McGraw.  She keeps doin’ her thing and doin’ her thing, so I’m gonna continue to stick by my girl.

PTO, you PYT

Remember the last time I was in Huntington?  Well, long story short, I worked four 10 hour shifts to get that Friday off for travel.  Somehow, my PTO got messed up so to make up for it, I was given a free day to use any time I wanted {this is something that NEVER happens at work…it’s virtually unheard of}.  Knowing some friends were wanting to get together this weekend, I said “uhhh this Friday please?!”, and off to Huntington I went.

Also, want to take a second to recognize what today means for Marshall University.  As some of you may know, on this day in 1970, the Marshall University football team, staff, and fans died in a horrific plane crash on the way home from a game versus ECU.  On this day every year, there is a fountain ceremony where many from the school and the community gather to honor those that passed, shutting off the water from the iconic fountain until the spring.  While I didn’t get in town in time for the ceremony, as a daughter of Marshall, this day was certainly in my heart.

My New Scarf

Originally spotted this scarf on fellow Charlotte blogger, Court in Session‘s site.  Click the link to go to her page…love it!  I had been searching for an amazing blanket scarf for fall, and I found it on her Nine Blanket Scarves You Need for Fall, post.  I ordered #7 off of DailyLook.com.

I’m obsessed…this thing is HUGE.

Click, Click- Boom

I am currently camera shopping.  Yea, yea, camera phones are great but I’m talking about the Mac Daddy, King Mackerel of cameras.  It’s a lifelong {or at least long term} decision.  One of my bosses has a Canon 60D and he brought it to work yesterday so I could check it out…it’s pretty sweet.  I’ve been asking around, mostly getting rave reviews from Canon users.  I’ve also been looking at Sony and Nikon…on top of actual research, I think I’m going to have to block off a night to hang out at Best Buy and just play with all of the cameras….I’m open to any and all suggestions here-  got a sweet camera?  What is it and why do you like it?

What are your #FiveThings for the week?

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Back Fat Workout

One of my major quams with my life this very moment {besides the fact that I can’t put a dang Taylor Swift song on my Spotify playlists anymore} is that I sit all day.  I try to stand when I can, and do what I can to stay conscious of my posture, but with my job I HAVE to sit and stay plugged into my computer all day. Gravity is starting to rear it’s ugly head and I do not like what I see.

I might be slightly paranoid, because I do consistently workout, all of my clothes still fit fine, and I haven’t noticed any difference on the scale…but I feel like things are getting a little flabby around here.  I recently came up with a mid section/oblique workout that focuses on keeping that area tight.

Run through this workout three times and you’re golden!

Any other chronic sitters out there?  What do you like to do to counter the fact that you’re chained to your desk?

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Beauty Brief Wednesday {Unexpected Hair Care}

Alright, back for another Beauty Brief Wednesday, this time the topic is hair care.  I know there are a lot of obvious ways to take care of your hair, but there are two rituals that I refuse to go without when it comes to my goldie locks.  Just to recap, last week, we talked about two different ways to naturally and safely whiten your teeth- Oil Pulling and Charcoal Brushing.  To see that post again, click here.

Before we get started, lets cover a few bases.  I have moderately thick hair with a lot of volume, and it has a mind of it’s own.  It doesn’t get oily very easily and is fairly manageable, so these tips {or maybe just one of them} might not work for all hair types.  However, I would also like to note that I go through all of the basic motions with my hair- shampoo, condition {Herbal Essences Naked line, heyyy}, blow dry, curl/straighten, and on occasion air dry {when it’s lucky}.  I constantly struggle with dry hair, split ends, the whole nine yards.  Yet, I still want to care for my hair without constantly loading my scalp with chemicals.  Enter, t-shirts and coconut oil.

Coconut Oil Hair Mask

The first ritual I go through once every one to two weeks {match it up with Charcoal Brushing}, includes none other than the usual suspect…Coconut Oil.  You know how the Earth is made of 70% water?  I’m positive I’m made of 70% coconut oil…I’ve found that I use it in virtually every aspect of my life {I cook, I clean my teeth, nourish my hair…uhh…coco for coconut oil much?}

Just to measure, I always add a Tbsp or two of coconut oil in a shot glass and then zap it in the microwave for 30 seconds.  After that, I apply it to my hair from root to tip the same way you would add any hair treatment, and let it sit for 30 minutes.

That’s right, walk around, do your thing, and smell like a macaroon for 30 minutes.  I always pull it up into a high bun while it absorbs because ain’t nobody like an oily head walkin around the apt.

Then hop in the shower and wash it out {depending on how much oil you put in your hair, you might have to shampoo twice}.

Every time I dry my hair after the coconut oil mask, it feels amazing between my fingers, looks more shiny, and is less frizzy.  While I don’t have any “before and after hair strand comparison images”, the last time I went to get my hair done, the stylist complimented me on how healthy my hair looked {even though I had waited a looooong time to get it cut}.  I credit coconut oil..oh…and t-shirts {effortless segway…}

T-Shirt Dry Your Hair

Ditch the towel ladies {and guys with long hair}.  My mom originally tipped me off to this idea about two months ago.  She told me how she kept seeing these articles that claimed it was better to wrap your wet hair in a cotton tee rather than a towel.  The cotton material on the t-shirt has less friction than the material in the towel, creating a “smoother” environment for your gorgeous hair.  So I looked in to it and decided to give it a try for myself.  For more info, click here, here, and here.

The only thing you need is an old cotton t-shirt and a clip.  The t-shirt size needed would obviously depend on how big your head is {five head over here} and length of hair….I use an XL.  To spruce things up for this post, let’s throw in an old Marshall t-shirt.

All you need to do is wrap the shirt around your head the same way you would a towel.  I start by wrapping one of the “pits” around the back of my head, and pinning the sleeve to the shirt portion that I wrap around my head {I’m not sure if that makes sense}.  Then wrap it around and tuck it under in the back.

Viola!

Might look a little funny, but it stays in place really well.  Since adding this to my “out of the shower routine”, the softness and smoothness of my hair has improved drastically after only a month or two, and I didn’t even have to buy any product to make that happen!

Battling frizzy, dry hair?  Add these two tricks to your routine and you’ll be sure to see almost instant results.

Do any of you use either of these techniques to improve the quality of your hair?  What are some of your hair care routines?

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Learning to Run Again

I have a confession to make-  I recently realized that I have a slight problem, and it’s with running.

It’s about seven months in the making…and at first I didn’t even realize that it was my problem, I’ve been in denial for a very long time.  Over the past year, I’ve completed three Half Marathons.  First, the MU Half in November ’13, then the Emerald Isle Half in March ’14, and the Rock n’ Roll Raleigh in April  ’14 {the last two were about two weeks apart}.  I used to love running, and I actually enjoyed training, the “runner’s high”, the whole nine yards.

After the MU Half with some of my cheerleaders, Jimmy, Molly, and Jess

However, since I’ve run in the two Half’s {Halves?} back to back at the beginning of the year, I’ve found it almost impossible to make myself run more than 4-5 miles at a time…literally, impossible.  On top of that, I haven’t wanted to do it more than twice {maybe three} times a week if I’m lucky, which is incredibly uncharacteristic of me.  I didn’t get it, I couldn’t wrap my head around it.  I wasn’t “out of shape”, and running those distances is normally a breeze.  Knowing how mental distance running is, I knew that aspect of it was part of what was standing in my way, but I didn’t understand why.  Then it hit me.

I had fallen out of love with running.  Our relationship hadn’t been handled properly, it freaked me out, I was rebelling- I changed my mind, I didn’t want it anymore.

After a VERY rainy Emerald Isle Half

Now, let me back up a bit and set the stage, because running two half’s in three weeks is TOTALLY doable.  When I ran in the Marshall Half in November, I loved it and I wanted to do it again.  I had yet to complete a Rock n’ Roll series race and I had heard great things about them.  When I found out that Raleigh was hosting an inaugural RNR, I jumped at the chance to complete one in my home state.  A few weeks later, my best friend from high school, Ali, and her sister were going to run in the Emerald Isle Half two weeks before the Raleigh RNR {we spent our summer’s on Emerald Isle growing up, and we thought it would be the perfect race to run together}.  So, I said “sure, why not? I’ll already be training anyway…no big deal”, and I signed up for both.

Then, the Polar Vortex of 2014 happened…anyone remember that crazy ish??  I know I’m a baby when it comes to cold weather, never living below the Mason Dixon line, but those couple of weeks did not play.  It was bone chilling cold in WV, as some of you may remember.  It’s not an excuse, but it really threw me off in terms of my training, and then I let it get away from me…it’s my own fault, I take full responsibility.  The problem is that I still ran in the two half’s, and I didn’t love it the way I did the first time because I was unprepared…it burned me out.  I ran the whole time and crossed both finish lines, all while coming up with every explicative imaginable in my head.  I didn’t realize it at the time but I had fallen out of love with running.  Like when you have that relationship that is nothing but exhausting, and even if you don’t instantly leave it, you mentally check out.

With friend and former co-worker, Amanda, who also ran in the RNR Raleigh Half

I initially came up with the analogy that I had subconsciously “broken-up” with running.  While that is partly true, I also mistreated the process, I disrespected it, almost.  I took for granted the fact that I can run, and that being able to run in distance races like a half or a full marathon isn’t something I can just “have” whenever I want.  You have to train for it, you have to earn it…and within that process you will enjoy it.  I think I somehow forgot that along the way, and the fact that I knew I could push myself through the 13.1 miles no matter what, tricked me into thinking I could slack off when I didn’t have “perfect training conditions”.  {Is any of this making sense to anyone or am I just rambling at this point?}

Except, when it comes to running, I’m like a crazy ex-girlfriend.  After admitting that I took it for granted and hated it for awhile, blah, blah, blah… I’m ready to give it another try.

My finish line?  While not as long as my past races, the Durham Renaissance Center Turkey Trot 8K.

When I was at home in Durham this weekend, my family and I decided to sign up for another Turkey Trot on Turkey Day {we completed one in Raleigh last year, and we loved it so we decided to do it again, this time in D-Town}.  I know that an 8K isn’t the longest distance ever.  I could walk out of my front door right now and crank out an 8K if I needed to, but the thing is, I want to be good at it {aka fast}.  I’ve decided to just use this as a way of sticking my toes in the shallow end when it comes to training and running.  While I have a ballpark idea of how to workout/what to do to get ready, it’s nice to just have a goal to work towards again.

I’m hoping this will help get me reacquainted with my long lost lover, and from there, who knows what the future will hold for running and me. 🙂

Has anyone ever had a similar experience?  What did you do to overcome your running slump? {Or keep it from happening in the first place?}

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