Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's Done

Last night, I turned in my very last research paper for to complete my master’s degree. My very last assignment. I am so excited. I have never felt less interested in school as I do now. I have been going to school since 2006 so I guess I am kind of burned out. It took everything in me to sit down and write that paper. In between paragraphs, I was on the internet looking at clothes and shoes, on YouTube watching videos, on the phone, lol. I was doing everything but writing that paper, I even feel asleep towards the end. I eventually buckled down and got it done but I am just exhaling right now because I am done! If I could shout, I would. That is how excited I am.

I am thankful to God, too, because I remember back when my now seven year old daughter was around one year old. Back in 2006, four years after I graduated from high school. I was 22 years old. I remember all my peers graduating from college with their bachelor’s degree. During that same time, I was only a few classes into my bachelor’s. I felt so behind. I remember confiding in someone telling them that I felt almost as if I was a failure because I should have my degree by now, too. I have always been a high performer academically with my usual report card being straight A’s from first grade through high school. Out of high school I went into the Army, so I had a year worth of training to attend, including basic training and my job training (AIT). Then since I was in the Army Reserves and not a full-time soldier, I went back home to Alabama after that year of training to start college only to get deployed (stateside) a couple of months later. Another year was spent doing Army stuff. Then pregnancy came. Then I had to find a real job to help support my new family because the one weekend a month with the Army was not paying the bills. Finally, once my daughter was a few months old I felt like I was in a good place to start back taking classes and working towards my degree. I looked up and four years had passed me by. I thought I would never complete my bachelor’s, let alone my master’s.

Obviously, over the years more children came. I now have three children and a wonderful step-daughter. I kept getting promoted into new positions at work with increasing responsibility. Even with more responsibility at home and at work, I still continued to pursue my education. It was not always easy. But as I am finding out with most things that are worthwhile --- parenting, relationships, educations, weight loss; none of those things are easy and I am better person because I’ve had to learn how to push through uncomfortable situations, push through uncertainty and doubt. All the while, God is granting his mercy upon me. God is keeping me and providing and making a way when there was no way. I don’t take the credit for any accomplishments in my life. I just know I am blessed to now be able to say that I have finished an MBA. Praise God!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pushing Through Fear

Fear can be a crippling emotion, keeping you from doing the things that you are perfectly capable of doing. Fear whispers negative thoughts into your head, feeding your insecurities and affirming your doubts. It makes you second guess yourself. It encourages mediocrity for the sake of being comfortable. Honestly speaking, what kind of personal growth will you have if you do not challenge yourself? If you do not push through your fears and silence the voice of fear.

Any situation that I can think of where fear was present, I can truly say I survived. I made it through. Most oftentimes, I had to push myself beyond what I felt was possible and I felt sooo good afterwards at what I accomplished. There have been situations where I’ve felt really afraid to a point where my stomach is feeling uneasy, my hands are shaking, and if I were to open my mouth and speak, the sound that would come out would be an unstable nervous mess. In situations like that I silently repeat to myself over and over again, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I just repeat it again and again until I feel myself become less afraid. It works, but it only works if you truly believe you can do all things through Christ.

So what have you been feeling fear or anxiety about lately?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bee Mine Products

I got my products in from the Valentine's Day sale they had last week :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bang, Bang, Bang!

Don't you love Michelle Obama's recent hairstyle change? Particularly the lovely bang she has been rocking? I LOVE it! I actually wore a bang from about fifth grade all the way until my early 20s when I went natural. For me, my bang really made simple hairstyles like a bun or a ponytail look a little glam...especially when it is swooped to the side.

I decided to cut a bang again approximately two years ago. I immediately regretted it. My hair was not trained to lay against my forehead the way it used to do so I was always struggling with trying to get my bang to look the way I wanted it to look. So I grew it back out and right now it is pretty much the same length as the rest of my hair. I get my bang "fix" by wearing wigs that have a bang but probably won't cut a bang again anytime soon. I will just admire the ladies who can rock it and make it look so beautiful like the first lady.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Inches Equal Progress Too

I really have been working hard at the gym lately. I finally found out how high the resistance on the elliptical machine goes.....up to a level 20. And yes, I have been cranking it up to a level 20 for the pat two weeks. Just think, a few months ago I was putting the resistance level anywhere between 4-6 and felt like I was getting a decent workout. Now I feel like I am breezing through and hour on the elliptical machine at a level 20.

The weight is coming off slowly. I mentioned my frustration about this to you all in an earlier post. I am just going to have to be patient. I actually went to GNC to get a particular fat burner that I researched and decided on purchasing, but it was not in stock, so I just took that as a sign that I should continue this weight loss journey naturally.

I took my measurements back on September 25th, approximately five months ago. They were as follows:

Bust - 39 inches
Waist - 33 inches
Hips - 40 inches
Thigh - 24 inches
Calf - 16 inches

I took them again today and here are the results:

Bust - 37.5 inches (down 1.5 inches)
Waist - 31.25 inches (down 1.75 inches)
Hips - 39.25 inches (down a 3/4 of an inch)
Thigh - 23 inches (down 1 inch)
Calf - 15.25 inches (down 3/4 of a inch)

Yes, I have a 15 inch calf....what can I say, I am a girl with big legs, lol. So definitely progress as far as inches. I can tell a difference when I try on clothes. I feel like I look better. I have lost a little more weight since my last weight loss update so I will be doing a weight loss update video very soon and posting it on my YT channel. Thank goodness for every pound lost, thank goodness for every inch lost, and thank goodness for the patience to keep on this journey.

Monday, February 18, 2013

MAC's Diva Lipstick for the Perfect Matte Red Lip

All the talk on YouTube about MAC’s Ruby Woo lipstick says that is the perfect red, that is looks good on every skin tone, and that you cannot find a more perfect matte red lipstick.

I beg to differ, lol. I went to the MAC store last week and picked up MAC’s Diva lipstick. Oh my goodness! Now for me this is ten times better than Ruby Woo. And yes, I own and have worn Ruby Woo.  Diva is a deeper red and to me it is more flattering on medium to deep brown skin. Of course, I am not in the majority with my opinion on this one but if you have tried Ruby Woo and just felt like it was “okay,” try Diva.

I am going to be doing a makeup haul on my YouTube channel very soon where I will feature this lipstick. Look out for that video :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hair Styling - The Twisted Side Bun

Here is a cute and chic updo for those special occasions where you don't feel like wearing your hair down.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Taking It For Granted?

I’ve noticed lately how easily it can be to take things for granted. Things that you prayed for and so desperately wanted, once given, you forget how valuable these things once were to you. For instance, the job I currently have, when I was in the interview stage I prayed fervently for God to give me this job. I was blessed and have been working for this company since 2006. Yet it is so easy for me to complain how I don’t feel like going to work, or how I need a day off, or when given extra assignments at work I complain under my breath how this is just too much. All the while, I am forgetting that this is a job I PRAYED for. This is a job I wanted so badly and now that I have it, I take it for granted.

The same thing can apply in relationships and marriages. You were so excited when you met the person and you saw nothing but the great qualities about this person. Then as time passes, you begin to notice the little things that bother you. Things so insignificant in the grand scheme of things. You start taking this person for granted --- someone who has loved you, supported you, encouraged you and respected you. And why? Because that person leaves crumbs on the countertop or doesn’t put away the laundry or any of the million other little things that people complain about. Because you’ve taken that person for granted, you don’t express your love anymore. You don’t do the thoughtful things you used to do. You don’t take an interest in the things going on in that person’s life. Yet you prayed for this husband/wife and God answered your prayer and you don’t appreciate them anymore?

Makes you think right? I could go on and on. But those are my thoughts right now. I am guilty of taking things for granted and having a heart that is less than appreciative of the immense blessings I have been given. The first step to changing it is recognizing it, right?

Take care and God bless!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hair Styling | The Braid Out

If you missed it, check out my latest video!

Bee Mine Sale!

I missed the New Year's sale I told you all about so I am going to be sure to get some goodies for this Valentine's Day Sale. The info is below if you are interested.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Weight Loss Supplements?

In the quest to make it past what seems to be a weight loss plateau, I have been doing my research about fat burners. I don’t know how I really feel about them at this point. I rarely take medicine when I am sick and I don’t trust too many foreign chemicals in my body. The main reason why is because we think they are safe to take, then months later you see a TV commercial saying if you took such and such product/drug and experienced one of a list of horrible side effects please call this or that lawyer. A product can end up be harmful and you trusted it enough to take it. Scary! 

With that being said, I am not opposed to weight loss supplements. With a good amount of research about the good and the bad, if I find one I am comfortable with, I will try it. I weighed in today at 158.6. Today is Feb 7. On Jan 28, I weighed in at 158.8. Two weeks of hard work and nothing! I only have 20 more pounds to go. If my hard work is not going to get me there, then I need to get a little boost from somewhere. So if I decide to try a fat burner, I will let you guys know.

While researching, one guy said the only fat burner you need is to exercise more and eat less! Ha, ain’t that the truth but is it really that easy?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weight Loss Plateau

I have reached a weight loss plateau. It is so frustrating!!! The Monday before last I weighed in at 158.8. I was very excited…the scale was moving in the right direction. This gave me the motivation to move full speed ahead. This past Monday, Feb 4th I weighed in at 159.4.  Yes, a slight gain but pretty much the same. Last week I exercised hard, even twice a day on a couple of days that week. I stuck to my allotted calories. I did not cheat. I did not eat anything bad. I was expecting to have a great weigh-in on Monday, at least dropping three pounds because I even felt lighter and my clothes seem to fit better. Come to find out, I did not lose not a single thing.

I weighed myself in the same spot in my bathroom, same scale, same everything, just to make sure I am not skewing the numbers one way or another. So I cannot explain why if I had an excellent week, the numbers on the scale did not drop. I am sure I am not building muscle because all I am doing is cardio. I have not incorporated any weightlifting or resistance training. I just don’t know and it is super frustrating cause I feel like why am I working so hard if I am not getting results. Why am I eating what I feel is equivalent to bird food if I am not going to lose weight. I can just eat my pizza, hamburgers and pasta if I am not going to lose weight cutting back calories and leave the bird food for the birds.

With that being said, I am frustrated but I am not giving up. I will continue with what I am doing. If I weigh-in next Monday and still am not showing weight loss, I might have to rethink some things as far as exercise and diet because I must not be doing something right. Maybe not eating enough? I am not sure. I don't even know if this can be considered a true weight loss plateau because I have been around the same weight the past two weeks. I am thinking plateau because I need to see results each and every week.

Talk to you all again soon…