How I’m Getting Active

Something I have been really fixated on lately is how I look and feel physically; it really sucks when you feel gross or hate looking into a mirror. When you look on TV, on social media, in magazines and see these gorgeous models with perfect skin, hair and bodies it’s hard not to let it get to you. I have always been plus size, and someone who actively supports body positivity and that plus size individuals can still be happy and healthy. So when it’s me feeling this way it becomes disheartening. It’s not just about looks for me, I have horrible eating habits and I’m not very active lately. I needed a change!

One way I am changing that is by starting to work out again with the help of a phone app called 7M Women (short for 7 minute) because they offer a 7 minute workout. The app is easy to follow and designed with videos to show how to do the different moves, a counter and audible directions. They also will track your workouts on a calendar and you can even track your weight progress. My favorite option is that I can set a reminder that will go off in the morning telling me it’s time to workout!

My friend told me about this app and is really supporting me on this journey I am taking. He helped me with the ideas to create a physical calendar (that I keep on my fridge) to cross off each day after I work out, I put a reminder in my phone (as a backup) to go off to remind me, and I text my friend after each workout for accountability. So far I am 10 days in and haven’t skipped once!

7M Women offers several other workouts ranging in times and intensities, my second favorite I’ve been doing is the Booty Shaper (I’m going to have the best butt ever!). I’m starting some other things to help kick off my health journey that I might share down the road, it’s just very personal to me currently. And I promise, I won’t bore you with an everyday check in on what I’m doing or how I’m feeling with working out. Not my style.

To anyone else feeling this way: you are not alone! I wish everyone could have their perfect body image and just be happy all the time with looking in the mirror. It’s a difficult journey and I used to think I had a handle on it, but when you realize you aren’t happy the only thing to do is to change, however you see fit.

 

*Side Note: I know 7 minutes is not a traditional workout, I’m using this more to just get back into the habit of being active, though I am feeling my body get sore and change. The app even tells you that physicians recommend at least 20 minutes a day of activity, but I have to start somewhere.

In my Makeup Bag: Epic Mascara

I am a full fledged makeup junkie, I have been most of my life. Once I was old enough in my parents’ eyes to wear makeup I started collecting it and trying it out and wearing it (poorly). I have loved the idea of makeup and how it can transform me into many people, but I’ve never really been good at it. I could put mascara on, and lipstick… I knew the concept of putting on foundation but never liked it, and don’t even ask me about concealer or contouring.

But now, NOW I have started to see the light and am transforming into a makeup enthusiast, not a junkie! A friend of mine recently invited me to her Facebook party for Younique Makeup; honestly I wasn’t super excited because I like to go to a counter and talk to a real makeup artist to figure out the best products (or so I thought). Once I started watching the live feeds though from the presenter on Facebook and started asking question and looking into the products, total 180. I picked up a few basics I thought would be a good place to start and am now hooked on Younique Makeup.

Lashes without mascara.

I could go into detail about every single product I’ve tried but the one I want to share is their Epic Mascara. Mascara has been my life force since I learned to put it on myself. Since I wear glasses I have to really play up my eyes so that they shine through behind my frames. It’s not always the easiest thing. I have tried numerous mascaras, eyelash curlers and even a lash lift and tint (that smelled horrible) and some of these things gave me results, normally not exactly what I was going for or not for long enough. Then I tried the Epic Mascara.

Left: Epic Mascara Right: No Mascara

The formula actually curls and lifts my lashes, spreads them out and has this deep black color. I feel so sexy when I use it! You can also build layers upon layers without it getting goopy or flaking  off later on. Honestly this mascara lasts all day, everyday and sometimes into the next (if I conveniently sleep in it). Just look at the difference in my photos!

What is that one product you can’t live without? Do you have a favorite makeup brand?

 

My Nail Obsession

I posted my nails here once before when I started getting them done. It has turned into the one thing that I do to pamper myself lately and make me feel good. It is also incredibly fun since my nail artist is literally that, an artist! She is incredible and we’ve tried several looks since the first time.

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, you should!) you’ve probably seen pictures of my manicures because I’m obsessed (as the title states) and I post them all the time. One manicure we tried out a chrome/mixed media look and it turned out so rad! The only bad thing was the fact the chrome powder she used didn’t bond very well with my nails and ended up pulling up off the base polish several days later.

I fell in love with sparkles with another manicure that used different colors as well as a full sparkly nail. That one might be one of my favorites, unfortunately I chose beige polish for one color and, with the maintenance of red hair, tinted them a tad.

This last one is my small salute to Valentine’s Day because my next appointment isn’t until the 15th, haha. I love how black looks (and it matches my soul), and just the hint of hot pink sparkles gives it that romantic edge.

Not really sure what I’m going to do next, I’ve been scouring Pinterest for wonderful manis to bring in as inspiration. There are some seriously talented nail artists out there!

*All photos are from my Instagram account using my old iPhone 6.

Special Symbols To Me: The Hamsa

I cannot specifically remember when this symbol first attracted me, I want to say around the time I took my first trip to Seattle which was about three years ago. I’ve always been interested in other cultures and spiritualities and symbolism. It was something to read and explore that kept my attention.

The Hamsa to me symbolizes protection, the way I’ve learned about it is that it protects against the Evil Eye (evil spirits). That can mean almost anything to numerous people. Normally ‘evil spirits’ translates to bad feelings or bad vibes I get from situations and people. Sometimes when I don’t feel confident enough I wear one of my hamsas to protect myself. I’m sure you’ve had that day you just knew something wasn’t right and wished something/someone would look out for you? Those are the days I tend to wear my hamsa.

I have several of them in jewelry form: two necklaces and a brand new bracelet. The bracelet is actually a recent purchase, and my first, from Alex & Ani. I’ll tell you that I went in there for a Christmas present for a cousin and ended up finding this piece as well. It was interesting to read what the company called it and how they described what the symbol meant. I’m always curious to know if people actually understand the symbols they wear on clothes or jewelry (and am disappointed when the majority of them have no clue what it is).

The hamsa goes by several names, including The Hand of Fatima. If you’re interested in learning more Wikipedia gives a brief overview.

I have a couple other symbols that I’ll switch between or look for when I’m in a certain mood, but that’s another blog post for another day. What symbols attract you and why?

Red Bombshell Hair

One of the few things I really treat myself to is getting my hair done by a professional. I’ve gone through the years of not cutting it & coloring it at all (college years = no time  & money) and the attempts to color it myself (or have a more talented friend dye it) but I’ve fallen in love with my friend’s salon now. Her daughter and her opened up a little over a year ago in the Pittsburgh area and I’m so glad they did. They’re both incredibly talented with all types of hair colors (natural and fantasy), their salon is cozy and chic, and they make you feel SO comfortable.

That’s a huge part of going to a salon for me, the atmosphere, the experience. If I’m not having fun, if you aren’t talking to me and engaging in some way and show that you care about me, then why am I there? I’ve salon hopped a lot since I moved to Pittsburgh for college and rarely have gone to the same place twice. I tried two high end salons downtown which were nice, but so over priced and over stylized it wasn’t worth it. I did the trendy, instagram heavy salon that does amazing work – but they didn’t engage me at all, didn’t listen to what I wanted and didn’t really show their creativity to me. When Vibe Beauty Lounge opened it was an instant match.

I’ve been going there for almost a year already and the last two times switched things up and went RED. Yes, I am a red bombshell now. Today we took it a little darker for winter and I cannot tell you how excited and in love with it I am. They are incredible there!

I’ll be honest, it’s not super cheep, but it’s worth it and better priced than a lot of other salons with less talent. Also, my hair is super long and thick as you can see and I’m in there for about five hours but I don’t feel bored or anything. They have drinks and Netflix and the conversation is always flowing. This makes the perfect day off for me and I always leave excited and ecstatic!

What is your favorite hair color or style? What makes you relax on a day off?