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."


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Best Flexi-Rod, Curlformer, Perm Rod, & Braid Out Curls EVER | #WashDayExperience


There are so many facets about the #WashDayExperience that I simply adore. I love reading the different tips and hacks that you guys share each week. I love the positivity. And I LOVE how you guys give me the hair-style inspiration! I'm celebrating the #WashDayExperience first anniversary by sharing few of my favorite blogger flexi-rod, curlformer, and perm rod curls from the past year.

Jen from "JustGrowAlready"

With a beautiful spirit, a gentle heart, and GOOD GOD GORGEOUS hair, Jeni has perfected the flexi-rod set. Her 5 keys to success are:
  1. Start with damp or wet hair
  2. Use tension
  3. Skip heavy or oily products
  4. Moisture, moisture moisture
  5. Start each section with a two strand twist

Read more about Jen's Essentials For Great Flexi-Rod Sets and be ready to PIN your heart out!

Yalanda from "Laugh Anyway"

It's been over a year since Yalanda's last relaxer but you can't tell because of the way that curlformers blend her curly roots and straighter ends. She makes curlformers look idiot proof and proves that you don't have to invest your savings into buying a trillion rods.

Get the scoop on how Yalanda sets her curlformers here

Britt from "The Pinnacle Project"

I never knew that I could love perm rods the way that I do until Britt opened my eyes to the light. Yes, honey---it's that serious! Britt's key to a bouncy perm rod set:
  1. Dry hair
  2. Orange perm rods
  3. A holding product  (although I don't think that since this post, she's ditched this---a testimony to her hair's friggin awesomeness...)
  4. Air dry for about 3 hours

*swoons* After I read about her #washdayexperience here, I went and bought all of the perm rods that I could find. It's all your fault Britt!

Harlem from "With Love From Harlem"

A self-proclaimed broke college grad on the mission to getting healthy hair, Harlem has an incredibly simple formula to get your best braid out: Freshly cleansed and conditioned hair + 2 dutch braids. Let it dry then fluff it out. freakin fabulous is that!?!

Check out the #washdayexperience that produced Harlem's beach vibe effortlessness!

Which style would you steal?


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Birthday to The #WashDayExperience Linkup!

The #WashDayExperience is a year old!

Wow. That feels amazing to say. The #WashDayExperience is a year old....

I'm not gonna front. The #WashDayExperience is my baby. It's my favorite post of the week. (Sometimes it's my only post of the week..haha #bloggerproblems) I appreciate how you encourage me each week.

And I simply adore reading how you encourage each other every week. It's fun, y'all are sassy, incredibly knowledgeable. I wouldn't trade you for the world.

After all, without you, the #WashDayExperience is nothing.

Nothing.At.All. Like seriously. I'd be talking to myself if y'all weren't here!

What started as collaboration linkup party that joined fabulous beauty bloggers/vloggers, with hair textures varying from relaxed to natural and even locs, to share how they pamper their hair each wee--Has turned into an  awe inspiring, positive pixie dust spreading, inclusive healthy hair movement. EVERYONE IS WELCOME.

There's no #teamrelaxed nor #teamnatural around these parts. The #WashDayExperience is #teamloveyourhair. Your hair is beautiful. You are beautiful. 

Oh and did I mention that: EVERYONE IS WELCOME!

Rock yo rizos, transition, straighten, loc it up, curl it around, set it down, pin it up. Do what you want to do to your hair. Just love on your hair. You won't get no judgey-looks from me girl!

I can't thank you enough for your support! You guys friggin ROCK!

*tear drop*

*heavy happy sigh*

Hmm...wait. I feel like I'm forgetting something! Oh yeahhhhh... MY #WashDayExperience this week! Oops!

Cleanse: Jessicurl Cleansing Cream (Review on the way)
Overnight Deep Condition: Jessicurl Deep Treatment + Almond Oil
Style: Banding to stretch my hair then small Caruso Steam Rollers to give it some oomph!


Friday, March 13, 2015

My Favorite FREE Fitness Apps | #FitnessFriday

If you're anything like me, you're always looking for ways to make tracking your fitness journey more streamlined, interesting and fun. Thanks to a few amazeball FREE fitness apps, I've been able to do just that. Here's the inside scoop. But shhhh! don't tell anyone else. Ha-ha!


I know, I know. You're not in the least shocked that FitBit made my favorite free fitness app list are you? I love ERRYTHING FitBit. I can log my food, fitness activities, weight, water intake and compete with my FitBit buddies all in one place! I love that they've added GPS so that I can record my runs too. Best part? You don't even need a FitBit tracker to use the app. 


I adore RunKeeper's training programs and the half-marathon training plan is legit! The plan slowly advances both my volume and pace so I can reach race day ready to finish with a time of sub 2:15 without getting hurt in the training process. I was able to run using GPS when I was outside or in stopwatch mode on the treadmill. My favorite part of RunKeeper is that they have a live broadcast mode. Which is the perfect way for my family to track my progress during my half-marathon race next weekend.


The Zipongo tag line is eating well made simple and it's totally true. I love Zipongo because they offer tons of healthy recipes, coupons for REAL food---not all that processed mess, and even a meal planner that syncs seamlessly. No guessing and lots of simplicity. Did I mention that it's totally FREE?

All of the apps are available for iPhone and Android. What are your can't-live-without fitness apps?

Happy #FtinessFriday chicas!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

[Tutorial] Top Knot For Natural Hair | The #WashDayExperience

I'm celebrating the #WashDayExperience first anniversary by sharing the number one most requested pictorial ever. Well, maybe I'm exaggerating a little here. See...what had happened was that I do this style alll the time and every time that I do, y'all ask me for a pictorial...soo...yeah...what was I saying---most requested blah blah yada yada... I'm finally showing you guys step by step how I pull off my fluffy top knot.

What you'll need:
Moisturizer: (My favorite is Jessicurl Too Shea)
Hair Ties (Karina Elastic Ties are great)
Hair Pins: (You can never have enough Conair Black Bobby Pins)
Hair Brush (I use my hubby's...don't tell him!)

  1. Detangle and moisturize hair then gather hair at the top of your head securing with a hair tie making a giant puff. (Sometimes, I have to secure the hair tie with a hair pin on each side.)
  2. Divide the puff into 6 equal parts.
  3. Using only the two front sections, cross them forming an X, then wrap around the base of your puff. Secure ends with a hair pain or tuck under the hair tie.
  4. Using only the two middle sessions, cross them forming an X, then wrap across the top of your puff. Secure ends with a hair pin (once again, if your hair is longer, tuck your ends under the hair tie.
  5. Using the remaining back two sections, cross them forming an X, then wrap across the around the base of your puff. 
  6. Fluff your top knot until it's the right size for you.

This style outlasts spin class, long distance running, rain, summer humidity, and snow. And I know because I've lived in this top knot at least once a week for the last year. It was a perfect way to blend my roots and my relaxed ends while I was in my relaxer-stretch-turned-transitioning.

So there you have it! The most requested #WashDayExperience style on SavingOurStrands! Let me know if you re-create it!

How was your #WashDayExperience chica? Share the dets below!

Saturday, March 07, 2015

[Hairstyle] Wedding Hair Inspiration

Hola Chicas! 

I am in the midst of planning a wedding! Ahhhh... It is getting quite real! :P I wanted to share a few of my bridal hair ideas and see if you all had any more ideas for inspiration. 

Here is a little information about wedding! It will be rustic and elegant. I am having a late August wedding with a outdoor ceremony/cocktail hour and our reception within a lodge that looks like a "log house" with a GORGEOUS fire place. A lot of things are DIY so this summer will be quite busy! hehe 

My fiancĂ© Mark was born and raised in Hawaii, so I will be wearing a traditional Haku Lei (flower crown) over my head and he will be wearing a Ti Leaf lei. These are meant to ward off bad spirits and to further bring happiness in our marriage! :) And they look gorge! So, naturally, I have some ideas... Check them out! 

1. Braided Crown with Flowers -- I think this style is gorge! I think it would definitely fit my face and my dress. The Haku Lei would also fit perfectly atop my head in this style or it can even be worked through my hair. 

2. Long Side Loose Braid  -- This would also be quite lovely. However, I am worried about my hair making me hot if it is on my neck the entire time. But it has a nice flow to it! 

3. Knotted Side Swept Up-Do - Again, the Haku Lei would fit perfectly atop this style. I think it goes lovely with my dress and envisioned jewelry. I also think that it will not make me hot with this and actually help keep me cool. 

These are my top inspirations and ideas for my wedding day! If you have some, let me know! Here is my dress so you get an idea of my style... :D CAN NOT WAIT FOR MY FITTING!  

Let me know your thoughts and ideas! 


Friday, March 06, 2015

The Best Foam Roller Routines on YouTube | #FtinessFriday

My half-marathon training is back in full swing. I've been running somewhere between 30-40 miles a week and O to the M to the G am I sore! I finally caved and picked up the foam roller that was on my half-marathon lust list from my local sporting goods store last week. As I walked gingerly into my house, I went straight to YouTube for guidance. And here are the best foam roller routines that I found:

Tone It Up: Frisky Fall Foam Roller Routine!

I love the ladies at Tone It Up. Karina's Foam Roller Routine is intense and thorough. What I love about this routine is that it works the upper body, lower body and you even get some core work in thereh too. Foam rollers aren't fun---but I feel GREAT after these stretches.

Full-Body Rolling Out Routine | Perfect Form With Ashley Borden

Ashely Borden is an amazing fitness instructor and I adore her foam roller routine. She offers great tips and tricks for newbies while also explaining how to make your foam roller routine more intense as your body gets used to pressure. She goes rather quickly through the different moves---so if you didn't catch it all or you need a written reference, check out her website for her FREE rolling out guide.

Dr. Sarah Solomon- Foam Rolling, Stretching, Postural Correction & Ergonomics

Sarah is a fitness beast--model, instructor, coach---all that jazz. I love her foam rolling routine because she stresses the importance of stretching for injury prevention and treatment---both things that I need! Her video is in real time and super easy to follow. Once I get used to foam rolling (aka it doesn't hurt like heck anymore!) I'm definitely going to upgrade to the advanced rumble roller that she uses.

My goal is to get into the habit of foam rolling every day! Fingers crossed that I can make it!

What's your favorite foam rolling stretch?


Wednesday, March 04, 2015

[Hairstyle] 7 Days 7 Ways | The #WashDayExperience

Have you ever gotten into a hair rut? Same style day in and day out? I realized that I was becoming obsessively addicted to my lazy low bun. So, I decided to challenge myself to a week of no repeats. Plus give you guys an inside look into what I do with my hair between wash days!

DAY 1: Deep Condition + Perm rods
Curly Upsweep

Starting with last week's #washdayexperience, here's my curly upsweep. I adored this look. It was so simple but still really classy. Truth be told--I didn't plan on getting this look, when I pulled down my perm rods, the curls were super defined and really tight. I didn't want to fluff them to death and possibly ruin a chance at a good next day style so I pulled them up into this do.

Then, I went beast mode in cardio kickboxing. Poor poor curls didn't stand a chance. I get asked a lot how long my perm rod curls last. Honestly, I really don't know. I workout 5-6 days a week and the purpose of a perm rod set to me is to stretch my hair and make styling easier in the days after. I'm so sorry guys!
That night, I took what reminded of my curls and flat twisted them in 6 sections. I secured the ends with white perm rods and went to bed. Surprisingly, it only took me 15 minutes to set my hair. #winning.

DAY 2: Low Manipulation Style
Flat Twist Out and Curl

This was one of my favorite styles of the week! I wasn't really expecting much from my flat twist and curl. After suffering from years and years (I'm NOT exaggerating here y'all. My twist outs have served epic hair fail after epic hair fail) of really bad twist outs, I've learned to lower my expectations. So when this style actually looked presentable, I twirled y'all! That night, I bantu knotted my hair in 6 sections and went to bed.

Both of my successful twist outs have been done on stretched hair---I think that I might be ready for a more defined wet set! Fingers crossed that it doesn't look all jacked up!

DAY 3: Protective Style
Head Band Tuck x2

I must have bantu knotted my hair in the dark--with one hand tied behind my back---because my curls were really wonky.  Whenever I don't know what to do with my hair, my go to style is the Head band tuck.

After looking at the pictures, I really hated my first take. So I took it down, shook my head around to loosen up the curls more then tried again. For the second take, I skipped the jeweled headband, let a few curls frame my face and made the tuck tighter on the sides. Much much much better!

DAY 4: Co-wash + Protective Style
Banana Clip French Tuck

I deep condition or co-wash my hair every 3-4 days. This isn't really new, but since my big chop it is definitely easier to commit to because my hair doesn't tangle in the wash! I applied Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Moisturizing hair smoothie to my dry tangle free hair, massaged a little extra virgin coconut oil on top, then covered with a plastic cap and let it sit for a while without heat. I used this conditioner last summer (You can check it out here) but it didn't wow me. This time, I was intrigued by how soft and fluffy my hair was when I rinsed it all out. In fact, my hair was so moisturized that I didn't use a leave in conditioner after wards! I just added a little more extra virgin coconut oil then pulled my hair into this french tuck using a banana clip and 3 large bobby pins.

I really struggle with styling my wet hair. Right now, I'm all about stretched hair so I don't usually allow my hair to dry without being stretched. Luckily, this style is a 1-2 combo. It stretched my roots and kept my ends moisturized. That night, I removed one side of the banana clip to loosen it up then covered with my scarf.

DAY 5: Protective Style
Top Knot

My roots were beautifully stretched from my previous style so it made it super easy to pull my hair up into this top knot. I just pull my hair into a high puff, twist it into 4-6 sections then wrap them around to form a bun. Okay...that explanation was terrible. I owe y'all a tutorial! 

That night, I covered with a scarf and went to bed.

DAY 6: Protective Style
Knotted Updo

I'm perfectly obsessed with knotted hair styles right now! I revisited my knotted updo from a few weeks ago. But I kinda forgot to take pictures---so y'all get stuck with the one from the tutorial.

I didn't need to band my hair this time---it was already stretched from the previous day's styles. before knotting, I moisturized with Jessicurl Too Shea Conditioner---my favorite leave in of allll time---and sealed with a little hair butter. 

Day 7: Protective Style
Goddess Braids

With my half-marathon training back into full swing, I dawned a set of Goddess Braids for my long training session. 7+ sweaty miles later, every single hair was still in place. Even though my hair still felt really moisturized, it's time to wash and start the process all over again!

So now you know my terrible dirty little secrets. I don't moisturize and seal daily. I wash my hair frequently. I live in protective styles. I hope you still like me! Ha-ha!

Would you take the 7 days 7 ways challenge?

How was your #washdayexperience?