October 30, 2014

How Halloween Has Changed Over the Years

One more day.  One more day.  I am really looking forward to Friday this week has been rough.  Anyways moving along.  This will be the second year in a row where Mark and I will hanging with my sister and her kiddos for Halloween.  All you parents out there I had no idea all the fun that went on behind the scenes.  My sister and all her parent friends get "wagons" I use that term with quotes because it's not to haul kids around in but they stock it with beer and wine then proceed to drag that around the neighborhood while the kiddos get all the various chocolate goodness for the parents to scarf down on when the kids go to bed. I kind of like being on this side better.  Oh and now I finally get it when your parents had to "inspect" all your candy to make sure it was "safe" to eat.  Basically they were taking inventory and mentally dividing up the goods amongst themselves.


Am I getting warm?


As I've gotten older and wiser, my approach to Halloween has certainly changed.  I was never much of a planner when it came to costumes...I usually would go with whatever was in my closet and "make it work".  When I look back at my costumes throughout the years I seriously cringe....I cannot believe I let myself out of the house like that.  I mean I can't even post the pictures on here because I think my stomach is showing in 75% of them.  At what point did that flip switch where Halloween went from fun kid activity with getting candy to full out lingerie with wings and oh I get it she's a fairy!



I have only bought one Halloween costume in my entire life and it was an Alice and Wonderland dress because my one girlfriend was having a Mad Hatter Tea party and I was picked for Alice (not because I was special or anything I think I was the only blonde). Nothing in my closet was remotely going to work for it so of course at the last minute I had to run to all the party stores and find that dress.  One place had it...Spencer's gifts did you know that store still existed?  I thought it went out of business the same time as Coed Naked shirts.  Do you remember those????  My mother wouldn't let any of us wear them no matter how cool there were.


Since I waited till the last minute all they had was a size X-Small....it was short.


that poor rabbit.....



Mean Girls nailed it completely about how Halloween is an excuse for girls to dress up let's call it.....inappropriately and how companies take all the childhood fairy tales and make them into adult costumes.



Case in Point.  "Grownup" version of Cinderella.

How about Little Red Riding Hood.  Or as they are now calling it "Racy Red".


My niece is going to be a ladybug this year....certainly not with a costume like this.
Okay this one is just hilarious.  I didn't know a raccoon could be sexy.  I just thought they were dirty mean animals who rummaged through garbage cans.  However apparently you can sex up any Halloween Costume with a short skirt, mask and tail.


Okay so this is the grand finale where I pull all the random musings together..... at least I hope I can.  The last time I was home I was looking through some old pictures my parents had and started cracking up when I found some stellar pictures that I would like to share with you to really illustrate my point.  Amanda circa 1987...wasn't I so happy looking in this picture?


Clearly I wasn't having a good day.  First hands on the hips...now crossed against my chest.  Probably had something to do with that hat I was wearing.



Flash to Amanda 2010 when my one girlfriend orchestrated the Alice in Wonderland themed Halloween party.



See how it all comes full circle?  As you thankfully cannot see in this picture is the length of this dress but it probably had less fabric than my dress from 1987.  I was thinking about trying to sell it on ebay but naturally I never got my act together but I had it hanging in my closet for the past two weeks.  



Mark finally asked me the other day what my plans were for that "french maids costume".  I asked him when did french maids start abiding by the pastel color wheel.  He clearly doesn't get my humor.


I thought I would share my history repeating itself 20 years later with the before and afters.  Have you dressed up as an "adult" version of a childhood character?  What are your thoughts on how Halloween costumes are pretty much the most degrading things to females and professions for that matter.  I mean honestly what cop do you know wears thigh highs and carries plastic cuffs?  I'm so glad my Halloween costume this year will be a black Northface fleece with black cat ears.  I also plan on stealing all of my nieces and nephews Reese's Fast Breaks (oh those are so good) and Peanut M&Ms.  What are your Halloween plans???  xoxoxoxo






October 29, 2014

7 Days of At Home Total Body Workouts

No secret around these parts I try to get a lot done in one day.  Therefore driving to the gym, battling for a parking spot, taking a class and driving home......yeah nobody has time for that.  I also remember when it gets cold up north.....yeah traveling out of the warmth to workout.  Nope.  I actually don't even have a gym membership anymore.  There are so many amazing workout videos with a quick youtube search why bother paying that monthly fee right?  I bought an apple tv which is probably the cheapest thing apple makes and all my workouts stream effortlessly onto my tv.  It's pretty genius.


Here is my guide to a full 7 day workout. Now everyone is at different fitness levels etc.  All of these videos usually have the beginner, middle and expert versions so choose accordingly.  I gave you a few options under each one to choose from.


Monday - Total Body Cardio

40 Minute Bikini Body Workout 






Tuesday - Upper Body with Abs



Arms & Abs with Karena



Needs to be done on a wood floor or something you can slide your feet on.




Wednesday - Lower Body with Abs

I totally dig this trainer she's a little crazy and combines a lot of moves for a bang for your buck.



This lower body Barre workout is a burner!



This is my favorite lower body booty workout.



Abs with Karena




Thursday - Barre Workout

So many bad Barre workouts on youtube.  Even these ones have too much movements with all the pulses.  Remember only move an inch.  Tiny movements.  The more you swing and have large range of motion the more you take it out of your working zone.  Think how small can you pulse, guarantee it will burn more.  After searching for literally hours I think I really need to get my act together and finish my Barre workout video.  Perhaps with all my upcoming time off I can recruit someone......any takers to be my fellow fitness/barre models?


This one isn't fabulous she moves way too much but at least it's a start.




This gal isn't super peppy by any means but the ones video I found where she actually pulses correctly and has great form.



Friday - Total Body Strength training.  (Choose One)

This is one of the newest Tone it Up Videos.  It's with kettlebells I ordered mine through Amazon.  Great workout to bring you into the weekend.



This one you only need weights and it's a total body workout.  40 Minute Metabolism Boosting Workout



Full Body Strength Workout



Saturday - HITT Workout

Choose one + Abs



10 minute HIIT workout



Abs with Karena



Sunday - Yoga/Pilates

Stretch Yoga Workout with Karena



30 minute pilates video



Bonus Video

9 Steps to Doing Splits



Alright y'all there is your weekly workout round ups!  Have you tried any of these before?  Which workouts do you love the most? What workouts do you want me to feature more?  I hope you have a great day and tell me what your plans are for Halloween!! xoxoxo


October 28, 2014

Top 10 Products & Tips To Grow Long Locks

Alright moving right along into this work week.  Did y'all survive Monday?  That was a long one.  Anyways as promised my thoughts on how to grow long and strong hair.  I get asked on a pretty frequent basis how I manage to get my hair to grow so long.  Now it's more in an inquisitive way instead of the back in the day random strangers at the bar who use to grab my hair because they "just wanted to make sure it wasn't a weave".


I wish I was joking.


Clearly people with some adult bevs on board forget about personal space.  That happened quite frequently.  Yes it is normal for a female to  have long hair without it being a weave.  I know we have lots of trickery nowadays with our eyelash extensions (still want) and spanxx but like no it's my real hair and I would appreciate if you wouldn't rake your wet drinks hands through it.


Okay moving along....I understand everyone has different hair types that grow at different rates but the majority of these tips are good maintenance if nothing else.  I have pretty thin hair but a lot of it.  My hairdresser Jesse has promised me she will let know when it's time to take off some length but definitely not before the wedding!  So these are my tips for growing long hair.



1. Don't Wash It Everyday

I had to lay the groundwork with Mark pretty early on about this.  Sorry buddy I promise I'll shower daily but the locks won't be washed daily.  Shampooing every day strips your hair of it's natural oils and makes it dry.  Dry hair = unhappy hair = breakage which then does not equal long locks.  Find a good dry shampoo.  I love this Redken one and for the more affordable I like this Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo that I picked up at Target.  Occasionally I'll also hit my ends with a dry conditioner.  This Oribe one is pricey but a little goes a long way, mine has lasted forever and it makes your ends so silky.  While we are talking about hair care products this leads me to my next point.




2. Use Shampoos and Conditioner Without Sulfates or Harsh Chemicals

Sulfates are not good for your hair.  I swear my hair started really growing when I switched over to Pureology.  It is different getting use to the fact it doesn't suds up as much so you think you need to use more than you really do.  I use a quarter size for my whole head and try to avoid the ends.  I know initially it seems pricey but if you adhere to #1 you won't be washing it as often and those bottles should really last you!  I also alternate with this Abba Shampoo & Conditioner line and love it.



3.  Use a Protein Mask

My hairdresser Jesse swears by this and I couldn't agree more.  I put it on my ends and do all the other tedious shower activities i.e. shaving.  Rinse out and you're good to go.  I do that about 2-3 times a week.  Sometimes I'll alternate between that and this product which makes your hair so unbelievably soft.




4.  Get a Good Brush

I swear I still have no idea how this Wet Brush works.  I feel like it is a little magician.  It works through my hair and detangles it with ease.  Therefore you're not fighting with your brush to get tangles out of your hair that potentially could lead to breaks and big hair pulls.



5.  Use a Protectant on Your Ends

I'm not down with most hair oils but Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil really lives up to it's name.  It doesn't leave a greasy layer on your hands and makes your hair incredibly soft and shiny.  Also 12 Benefits has a cult following for a reason.  Whenever it comes off backorder on Birchbox I always order it.



6.  Avoid Heat At All Costs

True story.  I probably only blow dry my hair 1-2 times a month.  Otherwise I let it air dry as much as I can.  If I need to have some kind of style I'll blow dry it right at the end with a flat brush to pull it together but heat is so damaging which I'm sure we all already knew that one.  I try to use my dryer on the middle heat setting.  When I do have to use my flat iron I make sure to spray it with a heat protectant spray.  This Kenra Hot Spray one is my go to.

Letting it go natural whenever possible.





7.  Use Prenatal Vitamins

I got suckered into the expensive hair and nail vitamins from Sephora once.  They did not work.  My sister who is a mommy of 3 told me to do the following.  Go to Target.  Avoid all the other aisles (easier said than done).  Go to the vitamins and get the Target Brand Prenatals.  It is white with pink letters.  It is also the cheapest one there.  Then take them everyday.  Wait 2-3 months and marvel in the results.  They seriously make your hair and nails so strong and long.  My nails were ruined from a bad salon experience with a gel manicure and my nails were paper thin, I was desperate for something to help.  Now after taking the prenatals they are strong again.  To answer your question that everyone is thinking.  No they will not make you more likely to get pregnant.  They are "prenatal" vitamins because they contain the correct amount of Folic Acid you should be taking if you are to become pregnant.  Really all women of childbearing age should take this but that is my healthcare soapbox.  Basically it is a daily vitamin with more folic acid.  No increased chance of pregnancy by taking the vitamin but I cannot be responsible what you do with your spare time.  Just saying.....



8.  Drink Lots of Water

You should be doing this anyways but when you are hydrated your skin, nails and hair respond accordingly.  Get that pretty water bottle and start chugging.  Drink one right when you wake up.  One done.




9.  Take/Eat Omega 3's

Omega 3 Fatty Acids help combat dry hair by nourishing hair follicles and increasing hair elasticity (less breakage).  You can either take the supplements......I don't love this option because they are big pills that are usually encapsulated in some kind of unnatural gel form and I often forget to take them.  I try to pick foods that are high in Omega 3's such as salmon and my favorite flies under the radar and doesn't get the recognition that it should but chia seeds.  Overnight oats (recipe halfway down the page) is a great way to incorporate chia seeds into your diet and it keeps you full!  Also avocados are an excellent healthy fat that is good for healthy hair.  Omega 3 Fish Oils are still a supplement and if you have any questions ask your provider.


10.  Upgrade Your Pillowcase

Now is the time to get that silk pillowcase.  Your hair won't get tangled when you sleep if it slides over a silk pillowcase.  If that is not in the budget get a hairband like this that won't damage your hair and put your hair in a high and loose ponytail when you go to sleep that should help prevent gnarly knots from forming when you toss and turn at night.



Alright those are some of my tips for growing hair long!  I wanted to share the ones I stick to on a daily basis and there are only so many times you can read "make sure to get regular trims" okay cool got it.  Heard that one before.  What are your tips for growing your hair out?  Have you tried any of these?  I'm always down in learning about new ideas!  Hope you have a great day check back tomorrow for my at home workout picks!  xoxoxo

October 27, 2014

Weekending - The Most Gorgeous Weekend Ever

Welcome back to Monday.  This weekend was so unbelievably gorgeous down here.  Bright blue skies, warm sun and temp in the 70's.  No way to be in anything but a good mood when you step outside.  Linking up with Biana and Meghan!



Friday I had a "day off" I use loosely because I still did work in the morning but then headed out to get my hair done.  I love my hair girl she said told me she has been envisioning my hair and what she wants to do for the Wedding.  Since she's thinking of pulling it over slightly to the side she wanted to start applying an ombre with blonde to the tips on my underneath layers.  I am obsessed with the change.  I came back, graded papers and then Mark and I headed to Capital Grille for date night.

Dress old similar here///Obsessed with the lace sleeves details here///
Dig the mesh inserts on this one


I had the filet with lobster and it was worth every calorie.



Apparently Mark told them it was a special night, we were celebrating having everything nailed down for the wedding.  They interpreted that as our Anniversary......sounds good to me.



Saturday I slept in till a time I embarrassed to even admit but it was amazing.  I think the permanent dark circles under my eyes are vastly improved due to that one sleep in session.  I tried on my new jumpsuit.  I finally took the plunge and I'm obsessed.  I think the key is wearing with heels and having a tapered leg.  First time order from Lulu's I was impressed.  Fast shipping and free on both ends.
Jumpsuit in Navy///Love this sleeved version///Lust version here

How fabulous would this gold one be for New Years???


Then we did our grocery shopping around the world......the usual subjects, Trader Joe's, Fresh Market and Publix.  Finally settled in on some dinner and catching up on the DVR.  Did you know that Brussels Sprouts grew on a stalk like this???  



I made Biana's recipe and it was delicious.  I added peppers, over whole wheat couscous and used goat cheese and feta (both on hand).  It was so good side note was shrimp always so dang expensive?



Sunday I made it up with the land of the living appropriate hours and headed over to Barre.  After, I sat on the balcony, blogged and soaked up the gorgeous Florida weather.  At night we headed to our rehearsal dinner space to finalize all the plans and caught this quick stunner right as the sun was going down.  Florida is so beautiful.



Sunday night I curled up with this.....literally.  Since I am a peppermint ice cream connoisseur (self proclaimed). I give this one a B.  I dig the addition of the white chocolate chips but it wasn't minty enough and didn't have enough peppermint pieces.



How was your weekend?  What brand is your favorite peppermint ice cream?  Nothing compares to Kimball's growing up......have one for me Christina.  Check back tomorrow I have my top 10 tips for growing long and strong hair and on Wednesday I'll have my workout roundup!  xoxoxo


October 24, 2014

Friday Favorites - October Needs To Be Longer

Happy Friday y'all.  I am off today because apparently I never take vacation and I have a lot of days I need to use before the end of the year or I lose them.  So guess who is never working another Monday or Friday till January?  I wish but I'm definitely taking some mental health days over the next few months.  I clearly need to take more vacations over the year.  I am also nursing a very scary looking middle toe right now.  I dropped a 2 lb weight on it during my barre class this week.  I never knew how much 2 lbs could hurt until it lands straight down on your toe.  I have know dubbed it my Halloween toe.  It's pretty sad looking.  Thank goodness I did that now before I had to put it in my Wedding shoes!  Anyways let's get into these Favorites from the week!



Favorite Song

I am so obsessed with this song.  It has such a strong beat.  Guaranteed to get you pumped up for whatever activity you are doing from running to you know getting ready for Happy Hour.  David Guetta & Showtek - Bad ft Vassy.



Favorite Recipe

Lightened up Bang Bang shrimp full recipe here.  Yes please.




Favorite Workout

5 Barre different workouts.  Check next week I'll have my workout post ready to roll I promise!



Favorite Purchase

It's still in the 80's but I couldn't resist it's adorable on and I hate when my ears are cold.  It will come in handy for our trips up north!



Favorite Funnies

What I tell Mark on a daily basis.



Story of my life....



The clock in my car is 6 minutes fast.....not that it helps or anything



Some days my car alarms at me for my passenger to put on it's seatbelt....oh no that's just my 30 lb purse.




Doing at home dance workout videos....pretty much.



When Mark comes home and tells me all the latest gossip about the happenings of his softball team



Too much?  Is this bad that it made me laugh when I first saw it because it reminded me of road rage thoughts.


When I think I'm eating peppermint ice cream and it's really vanilla ice cream with peppermint pieces



Finally....you thought you were having a bad day?  This girl getting caught in the chimney of the guys house she was trying to break into.......oh yeah that's worse.  I'm sorry I couldn't stop laughing even when the news anchor was trying to tell the story he looked like he was about to lose it at any second.

Your turn tell me your favorites from the week!  What are your plans this weekend?  xoxoxo