Friday, May 01, 2015

5 Ways To Get Re-Motivated To Workout | #FitnessFriday

I spent the last 6 months completely focused on training for my half-marathon. Now that it's over, I just feel lost! I was still throwing myself a pity party over the way that the entire debacle ended. I had to force myself to run and when I did, I couldn't convince myself to go long distances. Then my hubby deployed and transitioning has been stressful. Honestly, I feel like I should be able to count being a glorified single mother as exercise.

I'm getting bored of being trapped in my exercise rut and complaining won't change anything, so here are 5 ways that I'm trying to get back into the swing of things:
  1. Forgive Yourself- I felt really awful for completely neglecting my workouts. I felt lazy. I had a lot of negative self-talk floating around in my head. Then I thought about it from another perspective. What would I say to another woman who'd stalled on her fitness journey? Would I be mean? Would I doubt her? Would I constantly berate her with reminders of failure? OF COURSE NOT! I would encourage her. Tell her that tomorrow is a new day; But today was the day to start again. Once I realized this, I literally looked in the mirror and said "I forgive you. Let's start again." If I can extend Grace and positivity to others, why not myself?!? We all mess up. We're human!
  2. Start small- I don't have the time or resources (ie a babysitter for the minions) to go off running for hours since my hubby deployed and after almost a month of not focusing on fitness, I knew that I needed to start small. Both of my kiddos love biking, so I started escorting them on rides around our neighborhood. We started small with 1/2 mile rides and we've worked our way up to 3 mile rides! The best part: I still get a good workout in---running behind them and they all their energy out #winwin. Because it's so much fun, they beg me to go out every day after dinner. And honestly, I don't mind taking them!
  3. Get A Good Influence- When I don't have something or someone holding me accountable to my daily workouts its super easy to just say forget about it when I'm not self-motivated. Thanks to the FitBit Workweek Hustle Challenge that my friends invited me to, I finally got a reason to recommit to getting my steps on. The goal of the challenge is to get as many steps as you can in a workweek---Monday-Friday. For the first challenge week, I focused on just getting 10K steps a day---and I made it into 3rd place. For the second challenge, I focused on getting 15K steps and I'm actually in the lead---for now. Ha-ha! I'm sure that someone is going to have a crazy amount of steps today and lock me off the throne!
  4. Schedule a regular workout time- My schedule is crazy hectic and something is always coming up, so I've scheduled two blocks of time in my day to workout: early morning and late at night. During both blocks of time, my kids should be asleep, my house should be quiet, and I should be able to focus. If I don't wake up at the butt crack of dawn---I have flexibility and I won't have to beat myself up about it because I get another opportunity later in the day. I like to think of it as built in Grace! I'll be shaking my hips to Zumba and rotating myJillian Michaels' DVD collection to keep things fresh.
  5. Try something new- I loved trying different group fitness classes at my old gym. While is was a lot of fun, gym memberships are expensive and the class schedules would require me to take away time from either work or my minions. So I'm focusing on building up my in home gym. I plan to take my yearly gym membership and invest it in either a treadmill, elliptical, or spin bike. I'm sooo stoked!
Glad to be back on my #FitnessFriday grind! I missed you guys!


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fluffy Curls Using Perm Rods | #WashDayExperience

I loved the long bob that I was left with after my initial big chop at the end of 2014. But it left me with about 2-3 inches of texlaxed hair on my bangs. My curl pattern in the front of my hair is much looser than the back, so in the beginning it was nearly possible to see the difference between the processed hair and my roots.

Then last week, I'm getting ready to rinse out my Joico K-Pak pre-shampoo and I just grab my shears (you know the ones that I said that I was gonna hide...but I didn't!) and start snipping at my bangs. Now I have a curly fro!

Here's how the rest of my #washdayexperience went: 

Pre-Shampoo: Joico K-Pak
Shampoo: Jessicurl Cleansing Cream
Clay Mask: Aztec Healing Clay (+ Apple Cider Vinegar & Aloe Vera Juice)
Deep Condition: Jessicurl Deep Treatment
Leave ins: Jessicurl Too Shea Conditioner + DIY Hair Butter

The Results:

I've used Aztec Healing Clay (Bentonite Clay) in my facial regimen for about a year. After reading a million and one bloggers rave about hair clay masks, I figured that I would give it a try. Using an applicator bottle, I added approximately 3oz of bentonite clay + 4oz aloe vera juice + 1 oz of apple cider vinegar. I gave it a good long shake to  mix it well then applied it to my hair after shampooing with Jessicurl Cleansing Cream. The mix has the viscosity of a conditioner so as I applied it in sections, I detangled my hair paying close attention to my ends.I covered with a plastic cap and let it sit for about 20 minutes.

As I washed the clay out---I literally felt like a had a head of new hair! Curls galore y'all! I was so impressed by the definition that my curls were left with. I had no problem seeing where I need to trim a little more and it actually elongated my tight curls. This mask has definitely made it into my new regimen! I deep conditioned afterwards with Jessicurl Deep Treatment and used my usual leave-ins before banding my hair to stretch it.

We had our family pictures scheduled for that weekend and I really wanted a special look. I grabbed two packs of tan perm rods (orange rods are too big for my short hair now) and installed them in my hair using a touch of Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie on the ends. I let the curls air dry for about 5 hours.

Talk about fantastic fluffy curls?!? Honestly---I wasn't expecting my hair to turn out so nice! The humidity killed the curl definition in some parts and I want to experiment with this curly fro look using different sized perm rods. You can expect to see this style again and again this summer!

This will probably be our only family portrait in 2015 since my hubby is deployed now so I'm tremendously grateful for how wonderful these pictures turned out!

I can't wait to share more about my mini chop with you guys! Oh---and I really hid my shears this time y'all. I think I'm done cutting for a while!

How was your #washdayexperience?


Monday, April 27, 2015

OMG KLP! Where have you been?

Life is crazy hard right now. And I've been trying not to completely abandon y'all. But I've totally been failing over the last few weeks.

As most of you know, I'm a proud military wife. My super hero hubby is amazing. I adore his commitment. I love his courage. He is incredibly brave. He deployed last week and it sucks.

We've survived a handful of deployments and moved state to state all while raising two of the cutest minions ever.

And although this definitely isn't our first military separation----it's going to be our longest and could be the toughest to date. You see, our minions are at an age when they can actually understand where Daddy is---and that's not at home. At the end of the day, no matter how hard things get for them, I'm immensely proud that I have the opportunity to teach them what sacrifice and honor means and I'm even prouder that their father is the embodiment of this lesson.

In a few weeks, once the newness of the situation wears off, I think that things will be easier. For now---my focus is on making our transition has smooth as possible.

For SavingOurStrands, all this means is that when I can pop in---I will. I'll share all the details of my fabulous mini chop (OMG---I'm soooooo in llllloooovvvveeeee with it!), my new hair regimen and of course, I'll read all of your #washdayexperiences (they're my faves!).

You guys are the world's most fabulous readers, I'm amazed by your Grace and your support is always crazy overwhelming.Thanks for being awesome!

Un mil besitos!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Mini Chop + It's My Birthday! | #WashDayExperience

This week's #washdayexperience was super simple because #1--I didn't have a lot of time and #2 I knew that we were going to be traveling to celebrate my birthday! It all started with a:

Overnight Deep Condition- Matrix Biolage Hydrasource Conditioner + Almond Oil (Wondering why I deep condition overnight? Click here)
Leave ins: Jessicurl Too Shea + My DIY Hair Butter

Per the usual, I banded my hair then pulled it up into a top knot to finish drying. Once it was dry, I tossed in a couple small Caruso steam rollers, let them sit for about an hour, and then removed the rollers. To my surprise, my curls looked and felt FANTASTIC! I new that it was going to be super windy so, I sprayed the curls with a little Chi Enviro Flex Hold Hair Spray. for a light hold. I love love love this spray because it doesn't leave a residue or that crunchy hold that typical hair spray is famous for. Plus a little goes a lllloonnnggg way.

I actually wore my hair down! I've worn my hair down probably 3 times since I straightened it then chopped. It felt great to have carefree hair. Especially since the hubster had a great birthday weekend planned for me.

We started the weekend by taking the minions to the circus. It was their first time and I'll never forget the look on my daughter's face once the show began.  #priceless

Then we went to the Cherry Blossom Beer and Wine festival (without the kiddos obviously...). MOST. FUN. EVER. Yeah...I was kinda in love with my hair....This had to have been selfie #87926303! Haha!

Because I literally passed out the night before, the next day I pulled my hair up into a high bun and left the few curls that made it though down to frame my face. I didn't think much of the style until I got weave checked by our server at breakfast! She was super sweet and obviously just curious so I wasn't offended or anything like that at all. After we left, my hubby told me that my hair was just too unbeliweavable to be real. He's such a dork! Ha-ha!

The weekend was a blast and it reminded me of how much I love my curls. As I started to pre-shampoo my hair last night...I randomly grabbed my scissors and snipped off the last bits of texlaxed hair on my bangs! My sister-in-law has threatened to hide my scissors because obviously I'm addicted!

I'll share all the dets of my mini chop in a few days. But so far---I LOVE IT! Since today is my actual birthday, I'm celebrating with a pedi spa day with the girl minion then dinner with the family. Yay for another year of love and laughs!

How was your #washdayexperience?


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Swirled Crown Braid | The #WashDayExperience

I feel like my hair care regimen is on auto pilot. I condition, stretch my hair, wear some sort of updo, braid, or bun for 3---maybe 4 days then do the process all over again. I've all but abandoned tea rinsing---I don't shed like a dog anymore. I haven't used heat---I don't even think that I've used direct or indirect heat on my hair since December. My hair is crazy moisturized and relatively tangle free.

My focus for the last couple of months has been to clean out my ridiculously crazy overstuffed product stash. So for today's #WashDayExperience, I took all of my conditioners with just a few tablespoons of product left in them, mixed it all together, and slapped it in my hair. And BOOM just like that I cleared out 8 products in my stash. #dontjudgeme well...#judgemealittle! Omg---why did I have this many almost empty bottles of conditioners any-friggin-way! SMH.

Here's how my #washdayexperience went:

Overnight Deep Condition- with about 1-2 tablespoons each of Mizani Moisturfusion Silk Cream Conditioner, Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Moisturizing Hair Smoothie, OGX Coconut Milk Conditioner, Jessicurl Deep Treatment, Herbal Essence Hello Hydration, TRESemme Naturals Conditioner, Pura Body Naturals Chocolate Hair Smoothie, and Aussie 3 Minute Moist  + Almond oil  (Why I deep condition overnight)
Leave ins: Jessicurl Too Shea + My DIY Hair Butter

First let me start by saying that all of these conditioners are fantastic on their own! The only conditioner that I wouldn't repurchase is Pura Body Naturals Chocolate Hair Smoothie. I really didn't care for that one when my hair was texlaxed but I didn't have enough of it to judge if my curls would have enjoyed it. You definitely don't have to use this many conditioners in order for your hair to feel and look great. After using up all that product, I can actually see the bottom of the conditioner drawer in my stash! *Fist pump for soft manageable hair* **Double fist pump for spring cleaning!*

After rinsing my hair, I applied 3-4 drops of almond oil to my soaking wet hair then wrapped it up in a cotton t-shirt for a few minutes to absorb the water. I've been using almond oil a lot lately. I wish that I could give you some intricate soulful healthy hair reason. But #realtalk, where I live at now, my favorite coconut oil is more than double the price that it was before. I'm in LOVE with the coco, but see...the way my bank account is setup...Hahaha!

I applied a bit of Jessicurl Too Shea to moisturize and my DIY Hair Butter to seal then pulled my hair into a top knot to finish drying. The hubby and I had a movie date night planned so once my hair was dry, I pulled it down and started braiding with the intent of creating a halo braid---but I came up with this swirled crown braid instead.

  1. Create a deep side part on stretched hair. (I stretched my curls pulling my wet hair into a top knot and allowing it to dry.)
  2. Begin your dutch braid at your side part following your hair line. Just as you would a crown or halo braid.
  3. About an inch from your ear, start to curve the braid towards the opposite direction. Keep your turn tight so that your edges stay neat.
  4. Make another 180 curve in the opposite direction again. Each curve makes your braid look like a giant swirling "S".
  5. Repeat making as many swirls as you'd like. I did 3 turns on each side.
  6. Finish by braiding across your nape. Secure the ends with a regular braid.
  7. Then tuck the braided end at your nape with a hair pin.
  8. Fluff your braid by plucking apart the sides for a fuller look. 
Optional: Mist your hair with a little hair spray for hold and cover with a satin scarf for a few minutes to tame flyways. My favorite non-residue leaving hair spray is Chi Enviro Flex Hold Hair Spray. I dabbed a bit of Chi Twisted Fabric on my edges and smoothed it in with my fingers for a sleeker look.

Y'all can expect to see this style a billion times this summer because I'm in LOVE! It's a little messy and is far from perfect but it takes a few minutes to install, doesn't require heat or any other special tools, and it keeps my hair out of my face.

How was your #washdayexperience?


Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Caruso Steam Rollers on Natural Hair | #WashDayExperience

I felt all kinds of defeated after I failed my half-marathon last week. Then, of course, I got sick, but I was determined to have at least one good hair day!  So I grabbed my Caruso Steam Rollers. They take about 15 minutes to install and set my hair in 20 minutes (10 minutes or less if I use a dryer set on cool).

Selfie from 2 weeks ago...

I've been kinda doing the same style for a few days now.... Hey--if it ain't broke don't fix it right?!

Here's how my #WashDayExperience went:

And here's a quick recap of the products that I used:

Pre-shampoo: Herbal Essence Hello Hydration
Shampoo: Joico K-Pak
Overnight Strengthening Treatment: Joico K-Pak Conditioner + Almond oil to seal (Find out Why I Deep Condition My Hair Overnight)
Leave ins: Jessicurl Too Shea + My DIY Hair Butter

I banded my hair then pulled it up into a top knot to finish drying. Once it was dry, I haphazardly threw in a couple small Caruso steam rollers, let them sit for about 20 minutes, removed the rollers, and then fluffed the curls. Using a few bobby pins and a stretched out hair tie, I pulled the curls in the back into a pony and left a few curls down to frame my face.

My hair was incredibly moisturized, soft and springy. So far, the curls last for about 2 days (I workout daily tho...) I can see myself sporting this look well into the summer! I love how this look screams no effort but it's still cute.

How was your #washdayexperience? 


Friday, March 27, 2015

How I Totally Failed My Half-Marathon | #FitnessFriday

I really don't know how to begin this post. 

So, I'm just gonna be 100 with you guys.

Y'all know that I've been training for that half-marathon right? Well it was last Sunday. And I didn't run in it. 

Disappointed doesn't even BEGIN to describe how I feel.

My in-laws came in town Friday night to watch my minions and cheer me on. Saturday, I prepped with a 5 mile walk. I took them shopping. We had a BBQ. It was a fantastically wicked good time. They are fun and ridiculously supportive. I just love them to pieces.

As I started to lay out all of my stuff for the race that night, I realized---I FORGOT TO PICK UP MY RACING PACKET.

*heavy sigh*

If you've never run in a race, you probably have no idea what that means. Or how big of a deal it is NOT to have it. Long explanation short: without your racing packet (and your racing bib) you can't participate in the race. NO EXCEPTIONS

You see how many times they have NO EXCEPTIONS written in the FAQs? In ALL CAPS? That was obviously written for forgetful idiots like me.

My hubby and I drove to the pickup site hoping, praying, that someone was still there. 

But there was no one in sight.

I cried all the way home. 

And all night.

When I had to tell my mother in law, father in law, grandmother in law, and sister in law--all who had all traveled hours just for this occasion, that I couldn't race---my heart broke. They have been cheering me on---supporting me for over 6 months while I trained. My father in law walked miles and miles with me. My mother in law helped me find the race gear that I needed. My sister in law watched my kids so that I could go and run. They've been there for in a 100 ways. And I let them down.

I know that my memory is pretty much garbage. But I knew what I was supposed to do. I had a reminder programed in my phone. I'd read all of the requirements and FAQs ahead of time. I made a race day list and had it stored in my notes. I thought that I was prepared.

I don't even have a good excuse y'all.

I just forgot.

Race day morning, my father in law encouraged me to still go out and run. Not at the race---but along my training course. I didn't really want to. But I didn't want to just sit there either.

So I ran.

It was so hard. And I cried for the first 5 miles. I went over and over in my head all of the ways and people that I failed. I was angry. I was sad. I was disappointed. I was mad. I was really a hot mess.

My negative thoughts were all consuming and had complete control of me.

Then...I heard my RunKeeper app say that I was on mile 8.

What the whaty? How did I run 8 straight miles without stopping? Without needing my inhaler? Without struggle?

Never had that happened when I was training.

So, I stopped pouting, stalking, and complaining to concentrate on my running.

My legs and hips hurt but I refused to stop.

Before I knew it---I was done.

13.1 miles complete.

I wish that there had been a finish line to cross. My family cheering me on. Maybe a little rainbow colored confetti. Oh...and a shiny half-marathon medal around my neck.

*le sigh* I really wanted that medal y'all. 

But---I still did EXACTLY what I'd set out to do. Run 13.1 miles without stopping in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Will I train for another half-marathon any time soon? Man---idk--I still really want that medal but the wounds are still too fresh.

I just want to thank y'all for all of your support. and I promise to do better next time. "Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely."