Meet me at the barre

BarreHey Lovers,

As you know from some of my “recent” posts, I’ve really been into fitness lately which is never a phrase I pictured myself saying even 2 years ago. You can check out some of my older fitness related posts here and here.
I’ve tried a ton of classes. I’ve tried, bikram yoga, vinyasa yoga, hot vinyasa, pilates, Hot HIIT pilates, barre, sculpting, cardio, circuit, etc. By far barre is my favorite workout. It’s my favorite for a few reasons. First, you can’t look at a person’s size and tell whether or not they’ll be good. I’ve seen thick girls bust splits and thin girls give up. It’s also very effective for women’s bodies. Barre makes the body leaner and more toned without creating bulk. I saw the quickest results after joining a barre studio. Keep reading for a few thoughts on the barre studios I’ve visited. 

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My 2016 Planner

Hey Lovers, DSC00250

I don’t know how but a couple months ago I came across the #PlannerAddict #PlannerCommunity #PlanWithMe hashtags and videos on Youtube and Instagram. Those pictures and videos hit the OCD spot of my soul. Throughout most of school and 2015 I used At A Glance planners. Cute planner with monthly and weekly spreads. What else could I need, right? Wrong! Those #PlannerWithMe videos opened my eyes to a whole new OCD planning world. In the “planner community” the Erin Condren Life Planner is the most popular by a mile. 

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Review: This is How You Lose Her

 

From Amazon

From Amazon

Hey Lovers,

I’ve been good about reading consistently but I haven’t been good about reviewing. My apologies. I just finished the book “This Is How You Lose Her” by Junot Diaz. This is the first time I’ve read a book by Junot Diaz, though I had listened to one of his stories on the New Yorker’s fiction podcast. According to Amazon, this is a fictional book but given the information we know about Diaz, I suspect that all or most of the major aspects (locations, main characters, etc) of the stories are at least based on events that really happened.

The book is composed of nine short stories. Five of them are named after women. Each story could stand on its own however I loved the way they read as a collection.

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Sephora Haul

Sephora VIB Rouge August

Hey Lovers, 

Tis the season for Sephora discounts! Recently Sephora just had the VIB Rouge 20% off sale and a couple of weeks before they had their Friends & Family event where you received 20% off if a Sephora employee emailed you their code. Since I’m already Rouge for 2016 (praise God) I decided to keep it lowkey with purchases, until next year. Check out my picks!

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What’s in my gym bag

#GymSelfie

#GymSelfie

Hey Lovers, 

If you’re like me, you look to the Internet, blogs specifically, for most of the answers you need. A couple of months ago I joined a gym. I’ve never worked out at real a gym on a consistent basis so this was a big change for me. I got the membership through my job and I’m locked in. When I decided to join I was nervous. What am I supposed to bring? Will I be the only thick girl at the gym? What about my edges? Most of my angst was gym clothes, I must admit. I tried to find a “what’s in my gym bag?” post but none of them 100% applied to me so I had to piece together what I needed. Below are a few pictures of what I keep in my gym bag and some of my favorites. 

I got my water bottle from  Amazon and I love it. It keeps the water cold and it looks different from most other water bottles so the chances of it getting mixed up with someone else’s are low. I got a colored lock for the same reason.

I don’t shower at the gym because I’m weird like that. If you’re not going to shower, you need feminine wipes because excess moisture can cause yeast infections and ain’t nobody got time for that. 

I have 2 pairs of sneakers. I use the Reebok Crossfit sneakers for studio classes that require a lot of jumping. The toe box is flat and wide. I use the Nike Free run sneakers for the treadmill (and for anything that doesn’t match the Reeboks).

Moisture in your nether-regions can cause a yeast infection. Sweat and makeup remnants on your face can cause breakouts. I carry Purity cleanser in a travel bottle purchased from Duane Reade, astringent, and a moisturizer. I like the tea tree oil moisturizer from the Body Shop since it’s designed to minimize oil and blemishes.

I quickly learned that all sports bras are not created equal after a day of headlights during pilates. My favorite sports bra is the Knockout by Victoria’s Secret. It’s described as a bra within a bra. My favorite feature is the front zip; easy on, easy off. They’re pricey but definitely worth it. Not only will you be fully supported, the material wicks away moisture so you’ll stay comfortable. If you’re concerned about your coins like me, just keep an eye on the sale & clearance section. While these sports bras retail for $59-62, I’ve bought them on clearance for as low as $30. 

Since I go to the gym right after work, I don’t want to put my blazers on after working out without showering. Sometimes I do an outdoor bootcamp also. I got a VSX jacket that’s warm, washable and designed for sports.  

My favorite tops are from Under Armour. Check their outlet section online. I’ve found tops for as low as $20-30. I love that they’re cute and fit like regular tees. Some even have a slightly see through back. I like to add strappy back sports bras for visual interest. My particular gym bag is no longer available but you can find something similar here. As Black women we are constantly battling our hair. I got some moisture wicking headbands. At first I was skeptical but they actually work. My favorites are from Victoria’s Secret (no longer available) but Under Armour makes some similar ones. I put my hair (read weave) in a bun for the workout and make sure to cover my edges with the headband. 

Do you keep anything surprising in your gym bag? Comment below and let me know. 

My cold weather skin regimen

 

Seriously, do not call PETA

Hey Lovers, 

The temperature here in NYC is dropping; quickly. It feels like Fall plans on being a Winter perpetrator. As someone who still suffers from occasional acne, my hot weather regimen is important.  As someone who also suffers from eczema, my cold weather regimen is even more important because my skin tends to flake and get really itchy. Below are my cold weather skin staples because we all need to be in tiptop shape for ‘cuffin season. 

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#BBWLA Season Finale

From Gossiponthis.com

From Gossiponthis.com

Hey Lovers,

My DVR got possessed so I wasn’t able to watch the Basketball Wives LA season finale. Let’s discuss!

Allow me to begin by saying that I loved this episode. It was a great finale and left enough on the table to make the reunion good. Speaking of the reunion, why do they keep getting John tired ass Salley to host? He’s annoying. He reminds me of the guy who likes to be around a lot of women so people will think he’s having sex with at least one of them. Aside from that, he’s just not a good host. I need someone to get the real tea and all the shade. John Salley is like an awkward fan. They need to get Wendy Williams or Mo’Nique. I’m sure Mo’Nique is available given that whole Oscar Curse thing. OK, I’m not sure if the Oscar Curse is real but I am sure we haven’t seen nor heard much from Mo’Nique lately.

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