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    5 Must-See Movies This Summer #DataAndAMovie

    What's on your "must-see" list for movies this summer? I've got a mix of throwbacks from my childhood and some of my current faves! Check it out!
    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #DataAndAMovie #CollectiveBias

    One of my favorite things about summer is being able to watch movies outside. It’s THE best–unless it’s blazing Hip Hop and R&B outside (to be read as incredibly hot). When we aren’t watching movies on the green, we’re building forts and watching them on the living room floor. One of the things I love most is introducing my girls to some of my favorite movies from my childhood.
    What's on your "must-see" list for movies this summer? I've got a mix of throwbacks from my childhood and some of my current faves! Check it out!

    Even though some of these movies are from ahem 15-20 years ago ahem, they are still some of the best movies for the summer:
    What's on your "must-see" list for movies this summer? I've got a mix of throwbacks from my childhood and some of my current faves! Check it out!

    1. The Land Before Time (1988)

    This was one of the first movies I saw in the theater. I still remember sitting next to my big brother crying over one of the many tragedies of this movie. Sure, there were lots of sad moments but I love how the focus was on family–the ones we are born into and the ones we create.

    2. Harriet The Spy (1996)

    Mini is already in love with this one. I was obsessed with Nancy Drew growing up and remember when this movie debuted on Nickelodeon. As a writer, I love how it nurtures writing, observing your surroundings and deductive reasoning–even if it’s wrong.

    3. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

    This movie is my all-time favorite Disney movie. Belle was a reader and saw the good in people. This was also the very first movie I took mini to see in the theaters when it came back out!

    4. Zootopia (2016)

    I’m not going to lie, I stalked VUDU for when this was going to be released. I could NOT wait to be able to giggle with my girls when this came out. Abc is too young and active for the theaters so I still don’t take her.

    5. Lilo and Stitch (2002)

    I can watch this movie over and over and over again. I love the life lessons it offers and the fact that every time it ends, I always end up wanting an alien as a pet! But this movie set in Hawaii is perfect as we get ready to take the kids to the beach or pool!
    What's on your "must-see" list for movies this summer? I've got a mix of throwbacks from my childhood and some of my current faves! Check it out!

    Walmart For The Win

    With the Walmart Family Mobile PLUS Plan, you get all this for $49.88 per line/month:

    -Unlimited Talk, Text & Data

    -10GB 4G LTE

    -1 free movie rental on VUDU ($7 value)

    What's on your "must-see" list for movies this summer? I've got a mix of throwbacks from my childhood and some of my current faves! Check it out!

    When I found this out, I was so excited! We have a nice, big screen that we love streaming through our XBOX 360 on and this is such an added incentive. The 10GB of data makes eating out with the girls easy. We’re able to download games and learning apps and not have to worry about them going over our data plan. Even better is when we road trip, we can stream music instead of searching for stations as we enter different states! WINNING! What's on your "must-see" list for movies this summer? I've got a mix of throwbacks from my childhood and some of my current faves! Check it out!

    The best part is that my out of pocket expenses to get this started was waaaaay lower than with any other plan. It’s $19.88 for the Nano Starter Kit plus the cost of the phone. I have the LG-K7 I snagged for $89.88 that has some really great features since I’m a professional selfie taker ha! Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to http://cbi.as/3edbv or your local Walmart for current pricing.

    Whether it’s snuggling up for a movie as we cool down from the heat or streaming some awesome tunes as we become professionally non-professional road trippers, Walmart Family Mobile Plus Plan has us covered!

    Tell me, what would you do with the extra data?

    What's on your "must-see" list for movies this summer? I've got a mix of throwbacks from my childhood and some of my current faves! Check it out!

    I never leave home without this phone!

    9 Must-Read Books for Raising Little Girls

    Children don't come with a guide but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try and educate yourself through some of these must-read books listed here.

    Raising little girls is hard. There’s so much more into making sure that we don’t damage them permanently that it can be confusing as a parent. While no child comes with a guide, I’ve found a lot of these books incredibly helpful to me in my own journey parenting.

    1. The Body Book by Nancy Rue

    Teaching little girls about their bodies can be hard if you aren’t the most comfortable doing so. This book outlines all the changes that their little bodies go through in a conversational manner. After they’re done reading it, you guys can discuss creating an open dialogue that’s somewhat guided.

    2. What I Told My Daughter by Nina Tassler

    Entertainment executive Nina Tassler combines stories from women that are top in their field to offer sound parenting advice that they’ve learned through experience to their daughters. This is a great read that offers many lessons to other mothers as well.

    3. Raising Black Girls by Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu

    Raising black girls in America can be really tough. Dealing with body image issues, not feeling beautiful and more can get even the best moms down. This book gives 50 tips on successfully supporting our daughters through their transition from childhood to adulthood.

    4. I Like Myself by Leah Beaumont

    This is one of my favorite books that we have. I got this for mini when she was about 3 and this has gotten us through the rougher times as she’s dealt with wanting hair like Elsa or having friends that don’t want to play with her because of her skin color (I use the word “friends” very loosely). This is a fave of mine for teaching self-love and acceptance.

    5. GIST: The Essence of Raising Life-Ready Kids by M.W. Anderson and T.D. Johansen

    While this book isn’t geared toward raising girls only, it’s goal is to raise life-ready kids which is incredibly important. A psychologist and pediatrician teamed up to write this book and challenge parents to change their thinking about raising their kids.

    6. Father to Daughter by Harry H. Harrison, Jr

    This was more of a feel good book with sweet lessons that are between a father and daughter. While this bond is really important and balances out the relationship with moms, it’s also a great book showing father’s the value that they have with their daughters.

    7. Brave Girls: Beautiful You: A 90-Day Devotional by Jennifer Gerelds

    This is 90-day devotional book that is obviously faith based and talks about God’s design for each of us. I love this for mini because she’s very much so into her relationship with God and this reinforces that! There’s multiple books in this series that focuses on different issues of little girls.

    8. Consent Based Parenting: How to Raise Children In Charge of Their Own Bodies by Abby Norman

    In the midst of the rape society that we live in, this may be the most important read on this list. Teaching children that they are in charge of their own bodies and in this short but impactful read, Norman shares how to make these lessons an everyday thing with your own kids. MUST READ!

    9. Brave Girls: Raising Young Women with Passion and Purpose to Become Powerful Leaders by Stacey Radin

    I reviewed this book earlier this year and loved it. Click the link to check out my thoughts on the book and how to apply it to parenting.

    Again, there is no guide in this parenting game but equipping yourself with some quality knowledge doesn’t hurt either. All kids are different and little girls are like onions with all these layers. Take time to get to know them and teach them.

    What books would you add to this list? 

    **Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.**

    Raising Little Girls in this Beautifully Dangerous World

    Raising little girls in this world where a rapists dreams and goals are taken into consideration over a woman's a la Brock Turner is a scary reality.

    Little girls.

    They are so cute and fun to accessorize. Their hair in bows, pony tails, and headbands bigger than their little faces with matching dresses. Little girls–our precious little baby dolls come to life. They embody innocence and the beauty of life. Their giggles light up rooms. Their smiles turn frowns upside down. Their hugs cure.

    But raising them in today’s world is a scary thing. Our little girls are growing up so fast. From them emulating grown women in their clothing to their behaviors, keeping little girls little seems like it’s damn near impossible. Especially since both society and the law has deemed their lives not as important as that of a boy’s life.

    The Worst Thing In Life Is Not Death, It’s Living Through Tragedy

    And then making it through that tragedy only to be told that your pain is not really bad enough for someone to be punished appropriately for causing it. I’ve known for some time that we live in a rapist society. A society where the questions of “What were you wearing?” are asked more frequently than “What made you think it was ok to force yourself on her?” As a mother of 2 little girls who’s a survivor of sexual assault, my fear for them is not that they’re lives are taken but that their choices are.

    The Brock Turner’s of The World Make Raising Little Girls Scary

    This man raped and sodomized another person and then got off with 6 months because he wanted to go to the Olympics as a swimmer. The judge thought his dreams shouldn’t be deferred so he let him off with a tap on the wrist and a “Don’t do it again” with a sly smile. His parents had his back. The woman’s life was left in shambles. And there are people still supporting this. This is so problematic on so many levels:

    1. How is it that a convicted rapist is thought to be a good representation for our country in the Olympics? Is this what America stands for? I mean, we’re already a joke to other countries but this? Thankfully the he’s no longer allowed to qualify for the Olympics but the fact that the judge didn’t want to kill his dreams–the dreams of a rapist–is so confusing to me.

    2. His parents need to do better in this parenting thing. I try not to judge because we don’t know the story and we don’t know how we would handle certain situations but if my child was convicted in violating a person in the most intimate way, as a mother and parent I would be so ashamed of the job I did as a parent. There would be no public statement of support outside of “Pray for this child of mine.”

    3. The woman who was raped read a letter that is so hard to stomach because of the emotion and the rawness of it AND THIS MAN IS STILL GETTING OFF! The judge has basically said that her life doesn’t matter. Never mind the fact that he stuck a branch inside her may sterilize her or make it difficult for her to start a family physically, mentally and emotionally. She doesn’t matter. But she does. People love her and her health and well-being DO matter.

    Raising Little Girls

    I Want To Keep My Girls Safe

    How do you teach a little girl to not be raped? While I don’t think this is something that I should have to teach I can’t help but want to protect my babies in the only way that I know how to. I want to keep them in my house at all times–away from the boys and men that have no values or ethics, away from the law that has said their lives aren’t important, away from the people who want to traffic them. But I can’t. My job as a parent isn’t to coddle them, it’s to prepare and teach them how to protect themselves in this beautifully dangerous world.

    Again, I don’t think I should have to teach them how not to be violated–rather parents of boys should be teaching not to touch things that aren’t theirs, no means no, and not to violate another person’s body (hell, everyone should honestly)–but here are some of the things I will be helping them learn:

    -Buddy System: I remember in camp we always had a buddy and we did the buddy checks to make sure everyone was accounted for. This is a concept that both my girls will learn and keep when out. We’re starting this now already.

    -Don’t Leave My Side: Atlanta is a hub for sex-trafficking and both my girls are the prime age for abductions. Mini has a habit of running off but I’ve had to be honest about what could happen to her. She now knows not to leave my side.

    -Honesty: Somethings they’re too young to know the entire truth about but I don’t lie to my girls about what could happen to them.

    -Self-Defense: Mini started taking karate last year and picked up some really great tactics. And her mom is crazy so naturally we’ve gone over the areas to hit first, scream and run.

    -Know Your Surroundings: Kids are always looking around for what they can get into but I’m teaching them to observe their surroundings. Who is there? Is someone looking at you funny? Do you know where the exits are? Who looks like they would be able to help you?

    -Consistent Reminders: We talk about the good vs bad touches, who is allowed to touch private areas and how to handle it if someone does. This is a conversation that we have weekly at random times.

    While I can’t stop rapists from raping, I can make sure my girls aren’t sitting ducks for someone to take advantage with some common safety tips. I can’t keep them in a glass house and watch over them for forever but I will protect them as best as I can.

    Has the Brock Turner case affected your parenting? 

    10 Practical Tips To Achieve Fitness Goals Now

    Keeping your fitness goals can be difficult if you've had some hiccups along the way. Here are 10 tips to getting back and staying on track with them.

    Every year the masses set these really awesome and pretty realistic fitness goals that include losing weight or changing their lifestyle to one that’s more healthy than what they have now. And then the middle of the year comes and the gyms aren’t as busy or you just aren’t as motivated. It happens to most of us–myself included. The middle of the year is literally around the corner and it’s a perfect time to reassess where you are now and where you want to be so that you can develop a plan to bridge that gap.

    fitKeeping your fitness goals can be difficult if you've had some hiccups along the way. Here are 10 tips to getting back and staying on track with them.

    10 Tips to Keeping Your Fitness Goals

    1. Schedule out a week of workouts on Sunday

    Make sure that you decide whether you’re working out in the morning, midday, evening and check the weather. All these will determine what workout gear you’ll need.

    2. Pick out your clothes the night before

    If you’re working out in the morning, put your clothes on the nightstand or in the bathroom so that’s one less thing you have to do when you wake up. If you’re not stopping home prior to your sparkle session, make sure everything you need is packed in your gym bag and you put it in the car.

    3. Meal plan and grocery shop

    This is huge. I know I’m no the only one thinking of my next meal–especially when I workout consistently. Keep those healthy snacks readily accessible so you don’t grab something that will derail you.

    4. Plan out your water intake

    It’s ok to have preferences. Do you like drinking from the huge gallon jug? Are straws your thing? Ice water? Doesn’t matter. Make sure that you know how you like to get your water in and plan for it.

    5. Plan your workouts

    One of my favorite things about Life Time is that they have apps for this. If you want to stay home and workout, you can follow one of their videos. If you want to take a class, it syncs with your calendar. And it helps you track your workouts completed too so you know which muscles need some time to relax.

    Keeping your fitness goals can be difficult if you've had some hiccups along the way. Here are 10 tips to getting back and staying on track with them.

    6. Have a workout buddy

    Whether this person goes to the gym with you or not, have someone that you share your workouts with that’s going to hold you accountable to them and your goals.

    7. Plan to relax

    Yes, that’s right. Relax. Rest. This time is crucial for muscle recovery and development. So often we hear about everyone in “Beast Mode”. Well, if you don’t relax and repair those muscles won’t be ready for the zombie apocalypse. My favorite way to recover is in the sauna and steam room. At Life Time, our steam room smells like eucalyptus and when you leave, you feel like you’ve had spa treatment!

    8. Mix it up

    Are you training for a marathon? Snag a spin class or go for a swim. Training for a fitness competition? Get some yoga in there. People get burnt out when things aren’t fun or interesting. Be sure to have more than 2 things you do!

    9. Join a group

    One of my favorite tools is my FitBit. The app has great competitions which has really helped me up my activity level and they have a couple of different apps that you can earn money by hitting your steps goals too!

    10. Get help when needed

    Not losing weight like you want to? Arms still not strong? Ask for help. I’m an ex-jock and having 2 babies has really made my body crazy. When I wasn’t losing weight, I got help from my personal trainer Cedric who told me about the assessments that Life Time offers. I learned a lot about the relationship of heart rate and weight loss that has helped me drop some poundage! But don’t get discouraged–get help!


    60-Day Challenge Update

    The Good… The Bad… The Ugly…

    Ok, so I haven’t weighed-in yet. Womp. Womp. I know. But I’m finishing up the DTOX program and here’s what I have to say about it: It works. So I shared on Facebook  when I drank my first shake which was pretty gross. I think chia seeds made for a yucky taste. The day I started the DTOX my body went through a shock. Like I was in the bed and couldn’t move or anything. I felt horrible! But since then, I’ve had waaaaaay more energy and have stopped making the shakes with the chia seeds lol.

    My consistency at the gym isn’t where I would like it to be though last week I did work out 5 days which I was pretty stoked about though I didn’t hit 10k steps on any of those days which tells me that though it’s great I’m working out, I need to be more active period.

    Week 3

    This begins the third week of the challenge. While it’s too late to join me in it, I’ll still be sharing what’s going on with it! We’re focusing on cardio and how to burn fat–just what I need! So naturally my focus is on getting some more cardio training in. Check out the recipes of the week and great workouts too. 

    Girls Trip: Three States In One Weekend

    What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend!

    This summer is one fun road trip after another and this past weekend I had a much needed girls trip with a good friend of mine. Both moms and wives needing a break, we decided to keep it relatively close to home and head to Chattanooga, TN. It’s about an hour from where I live and there are so many different things to do there.

    We Stayed in an Airbnb

    I’m not going to lie, I had little to do with planning this trip. I just knew I needed the getaway and was basically down for whatever she wanted to do too. After doing some research, we decided on a beautiful home in Lafayette, GA. It was a 3-bedroom home so we decided to invite another friend along with us. It was my first time meeting her but you wouldn’t know by the easy chemistry we all had.

    The Need For A Girls Trip

    Despite the hesitancy that we all felt at leaving our loved ones to actually take a weekend for us, it was so needed and that became evident immediately. There’s nothing like being surrounded by women who are in a similar spot in life as you to just let your hair down around. We talked about everything from parenting to marriage to the need to be ourselves in the midst of our roles. And then we had fun.

    Sunset Cruise In Chattanooga

    The first thing that we did was take a beautiful riverboat ride around Chattanooga. Beautiful is an understatement. I normally get motion sick but felt none of that as we enjoyed the beautiful views.

    What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! 20160610_185937What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! 20160610_195948What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! After leaving the cruise, we grabbed some grub at a local restaurant. It was soooooo good and I was even able to stay within the confines of my DTOX program without feeling like I was missing out on the fun! I had an Asian burger with lettuce “buns” and a side of collard greens. Now I’m pretty picky about my greens but these? My goodness. We had to call the manager over to get the recipe–which I’ve forgotten. What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend! What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend!20160610_204705

     

    Fun In Little River Canyon

    I’ve lived in the South for 15 years and there are a lot of states that I haven’t been to down here–Alabama being one of them. We got up not so early the next morning and headed out to the Canyon. I sported some shorts that I made just for the occasion since I knew we would be swimming. After hiking over to the waterfall area in the insane heat, we were rewarded with water that was of the perfect temperature.

    What happens when 3 ladies take time for themselves? A super fun girls trip where we hit up not 1, not 2, but THREE states in one weekend!
    20160611_133430 20160611_133429 20160611_133349 20160611_131438

    Apparently everyone was relaxing this weekend and it was great to see so many people out just experiencing the beauty of nature. We met up with some really cool women that lived in Alabama and were in the canyons for a family reunion. We floated around the water for hours before finally realizing that we needed to get back to our Airbnb.

    #Momlife Forever

    We were all ready to tackle another night out on the town before our bodies realized that we were really just moms and there was no need to fight our nature so we Netflixed and chilled. We binge watched “Grace and Frankie” while laughing about who knows what. It was incredible. And relaxing.