Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Parable of the 14 Minute Mile

I remember in elementary school when we would participate in the "President's Fitness Challenge" at school. You know the drill- push ups, pull ups, sit ups, sit and reach and the dreaded one mile run. I don't think in all those years I ever ran below a 10 minute mile, even in the best shape of my life.

So as I've started this journey to live a healthier lifestyle, I decided to run the same types of tests monthly. Instead of being stuck in the diet drama by continuing to weigh myself all the time, I decided to look for "non-scale victories." And a faster mile run would be a non-scale victory to me!

But I had to start somewhere. I kept putting it off, but one day I decided to do it. I was at the gym next to my husband running my heart out and gasping for breath. Every inch of my body hurt and was shaky. My husband lapped me. I kept going. I was out of breath but I kept running. And at 14:06 the treadmill showed the one mile mark. 

I spent the rest of the evening being sad about it, I was upset I ran such a crappy mile. Couldn't I have pushed myself harder? I should've ran until I passed out. Or not gone so long without running a mile. The negative thoughts kept coming and coming. 

The next morning I realized something, I was PROUD of myself. I ran a whole mile as fast as I could! My leg muscles were sore where I didn't know there were muscles. What a great thing! I had pushed my body hard. And best of all, I ran this mile as a starting point. A beginning of a journey to a faster mile. 

I realized that sometimes the journey is hard. But it has to start somewhere. There has to be a time where you say, "I know I"m not where I want to be, but at least I'm on the right path." Start your journey today. A 14 minute mile is better than never running one. 

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Book of Mormon

When I was 14 I truly grew to love the Book of Mormon. It became my friend in times of need and strengthened me in times of sorrow. I learned about how to serve and love my family from that book and how to stay positive when life was hard. It taught me even more about my savior Jesus Christ, and what he really was like. 

The Book of Mormon has changed my life because knowing it is true has led me to my most important decisions in life. Knowing it is true means that Joseph Smith saw God, and that there are prophets today. It meant that I needed to do whatever it took to get to the temple, and raise a family. Knowing The Book of Mormon is true meant I lived before I came here, and that I would live again after I die. It meant that I would have eternal family relationships. The knowledge I have gained from my study of The Book of Mormon helps me make daily decisions and inspires me to be a better person. 

And guess what? You can get a FREE COPY of The Book of Mormon because I believe everyone is entitled to the knowledge and peace I have found through it. If you want to learn more click HERE to learn more about what The Book of Mormon is and where it came from!

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

5 Reasons to Try Yoga

I've found a new obsession. Yoga. I try to do a little bit every day, but I schedule at least two days a week to practice yoga for at least a full 30 minutes. I love the way yoga makes me feel, but maybe me telling you that isn't enough, so here's 5 reasons to try yoga.

1. You Can Do It At home!
I love me a good yoga class at a facility, but at around $10+ a class around here, it's hard for me to justify the money. I recently purchased The Yoga Deck from Barnes and Noble and have loved pulling a few random cards and getting some quick yoga when I have a few minutes. You can also search for "yoga" on YouTube and find hundreds of free videos!

2. Lowers the Risk of Injury
Constant strenuous exercise is hard on your body. Yoga can help rebalance your body as well as create more flexibility which is key to preventing future injuries. It keeps your muscles in balance and helps improve posture.

3. It Can Help You Lose Weight
If you don't know much about hormones, that's okay, but google Cortisol, and say hello to the little guy that makes you carry extra weight due to stress. Stress! Isn't it annoying that just being overwhelmed can cause you to have a larger midsection? Yoga is proven to reduce stress levels, especially if you are doing a form of yoga that involved meditation. Reduced stress levels mean less Cortisol which means less muffin top. #winning

4. It is Simple Cross-Training
I picture crazy sweaty lunks doing cross fit, but yoga is like cross fit for dummies! You get flexibility, strength and stamina all at once when you practice yoga. It's an easy way to work lots of different muscles at the same time.

5. Improves Mood and Boosts Confidence
Yoga has been shown to significantly help those who have anxiety or depression, even severe depression. Yoga can quiet mind-chatter and and help you feel more relaxed. Yoga also helps send more oxygen to the brain which leaves you happier and more content with where you are.

So tell me, are a you a practicing yogi?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Beauty Grew All Around

Do you have a hairstylist you absolutely love? Or maybe a friend who taught you how to do the PERFECT cat eye? Or maybe your mother taught you the importance of spreading your beauty all around. However you've seen beauty shared, I'm sure it's inspired you.

If you haven't seen this video, don't go any further before you push play or CLICK THIS LINK. 

I dropped out of college last September, and am almost done with the 1600 hour Cosmetology program. I didn't do it right out of high school because I felt like it wasn't as "good" as college. Little did I know I'd find my place as hairstylist and learn SO much by going to beauty school. I love the video "Beauty Grew All Around" because it reminds me of the power that people truly have to make others feel beautiful. I've had the chance to do a few bride's hair as well as some teenagers before their Senior Photos, and nothing is better than seeing them light up and see how truly beautiful they are. 

Please share THIS VIDEO with someone you know who makes the world a more beautiful place! Post it to their facebook or tag them on Twitter, whatever you do, let them know they make a difference. 

Regency Beauty Institute is hosting a  #ShareBeautyContest along with Refinery29. Learn more about the contest by going to the campaign landing page! You'll want to, because the winner gets a $2,000 beauty treatment from Regency Beauty Institute and Refinery29.

Keep the beauty alive my lovelies! How you ask? By using the #ShareBeauty any time you post about beauty on social media. Let's help the Beauty Grow All Around!

(This article is sponsored by Regency Beauty Institute)

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Leave A Love Note Every Day For a Week

I've been focusing a lot on living a healthier lifestyle these past 2 months, just ask anyone who follows my Instagram! The truth is, I've wanted to change for a long time, and I'm just FINALLY getting around to making simple sustainable lifestyle changes. In fact, I have another blog post coming this week about it!

But, I also realized that with all the exciting changes that are happening with my health, I need balance. So I decided to spend a week of my July Happiness Project devoted to rekindling the flame of my marriage. So I decided to leave my husband a love note every day for a whole week!

I started today with a note saying how much I love his kisses, and planting a lipstick print next to my name and taping the note to the mirror. I'm turning to my post of 30 Quick Love Note Ideas to help me out this week. 

Do you leave love notes for your honey? 

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

3 Books to Help You Start Living Healthier

I've recently been on a healthy-living book reading kick. I just can't stop buying books about taking better care of our bodies. It's all so fascinating and unusual in a world of diet after diet after diet to read about making lasting changes. So I've reviewed these 3 books so you too can get started on your own life-long healthy living journey. Let me know if you buy one and also if you have a favorite health book not listed here, I'm always looking for a new book to read!

My rating: 4.5/5
I'll admit, I was skeptical too. A skinny, gorgeous celebrity telling us how to live healthy, doubt it. But after reading the reviews I decided it was worth a shot. It turned out to be WAY better than I imagined. It starts out talking about nutrition and what hunger means and what our body does when we feed it good food and bad food. Then she talks about movement and exercise. I found myself learning so much and making lots of "try this!" notes to myself. I didn't give it a full 5 because some of the nutrition is just a little bit cray cray. I didn't major in nutrition so lots of it went over my head. But majority of the book was great! It encourages you to make lasting simple changes instead of jumping on the next diet band wagon.

My rating: 3.5/5

My doctor suggested this book to me when we were chatting during my last yearly gynecologist appointment. It helps you think about how we would've lived if we were hunter-gatherers. We would've eaten berries, salad and lean meats. We would've carried heavy loads, and make sudden sprints to chase after our food. It gave me a new perspective. I mean, never in history has weight been an issue until pretty dang recently. So obviously the way humans used to live works. My biggest issue with this book was it didn't seem really "liveable". I imagined myself doing the program for a few weeks and getting burnt out. I just can't eat fresh organic foods 100% of the time. Do you turn down birthday cake? Or not going out to Applebee's for your parent's anniversary? I just couldn't see myself following the program to a T. But it DID inspire me to eat more naturally, I even checked out Whole Foods for the first time a week ago! I would recommend this book for knowledge, but not for the actual program.

My rating: 5/5

By far my favorite health book I've ever read. I bought it for some pleasure reading over the long weekend and couldn't put it down! This book seems like a conversation with your BFF. It has simple changes you can make that will help you long-term. It also talks about the 80-20 rule, eating right 80% of the time and leaving 20% for cheats. For birthday cake, for soda at the movie theater, for a big huge pasta meal from Olive Garden when you have no intention of running a marathon with all those carbs. I've started doing one of the 10 minute fixes each day. I love that some of them really push you, like trying a new workout class and that some make you think, like writing down why you deserve to be healthy. There are 10 minute fixes for self-esteem, making friendships, and sharing what you've learned. I seriously highlighted so much in this book. If you're looking for a book to help you get started on healthy living and dumping the diet drama (heaven knows I needed to), this is the book for you!

(This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links. AKA If you purchase through any of the links in this post I receive a portion for pointing you in their direction.)

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

4 Things First Timers Should Know About Their Trip To Disneyland

We went on our honeymoon to Disneyland. My husband hadn't been since he was so little he couldn't remember, so it was basically like he was a first-timer all over again. I on the other hand have been every year since I was born. Which makes for right around 25 times. Somewhere along the way I lost count.

We had the time of our lives on our honeymoon! It was truly a magical vacation for us both. However, I noticed that it was a little rougher on my husband because let's be honest, Disneyland can be a culture shock! So I've put together a list of 4 things first timers should know about their trip to Disneyland to hopefully ease some of the stress that comes with a first time park visit.

1. Everything Costs More Than You Think
Plan to pack in snacks or lunches to cut costs, but remember to WAY overbudget for food and snacks. It sucks that everything is so expensive, but complaining about it won't change it. Preparation might save you the annoyance. 

2. You can book some restaurants up to 60 days in advance. DO IT.
And on that note, I scheduled our lunch at Blue Bayou for 3:00. Is that a random time? Yes. And it was on purpose. Right around noon most of those in the park get hungry, so therefore they are busy eating and not on rides. It's a perfect time to hit up a busier right. Same goes with about 6:00 for dinner. Or if you prefer to eat at the normal eating times, you'll definitely want to book asap so you can get the time you want! More here.

3. FastPasses Are Your Best Friend
Simply put, a FastPass reduces your wait time by figuratively "Holding your place in line" while you ride other rides. These 3 Must-Do Rides for Thrill Seekers have the FastPass system for them. I don't know what I would do without this system. Learn more about it here.

4. Tired? There Are Fun Things You Can Do!
I recently wrote a post about what to do when you're dog tired at Disney, because it's basically inevitable. There are 7 ideas to help you cope when you have tired legs or your children need a break from going going going. Go check out that post here!

Are you a Disneyland expert? What would you add to the list?

And if you're new to Disneyland, what other questions do you have??

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