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    3 Real-Life Tips to Finding a Personal Trainer

    Using a personal trainer is one of the many tools to use to attain your fitness and weight loss goals but not all trainers are made equal! Read on...

    I’ve been working with personal trainers off and on for about 13 years now. Honestly speaking, sometimes I need them, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I’m so motivated and so driven that no one but me can even handle the desire for challenge that comes along with it. And then there’s times in my life like now where I’m just too lazy to come up with a workout that will challenge me and leave me sore for 3 weeks.

    I’ve been paired up with my choice of trainer for the 60 day challenge I’m on. I had previously trained with him and knew that he would be the perfect fit to help me achieve my goals.

    How did I know this? Because I follow my own awesome advice!


    Using a personal trainer is one of the many tools to use to attain your fitness and weight loss goals but not all trainers are made equal! Read on...

    3 Real-Life Tips to Finding Your Personal Trainer

    1. Know What Motivates You

    It’s not the same for all of us and it’s not always simple. I’m results driven. Once I see that something is working, I’m 100% committed and that’s all I need. My trainer Cedric is also results driven so he pushes me so that we both see the results that drive us. Ask yourself what makes you continue to show up to the gym. Or what is driving you to get healthy. What is your “Why?” Your trainer should be able to compliment this.

    2. Know What DOESN’T Motivate You

    There’s nothing worse than being pushed towards a goal in a way that pisses you off. I had a trainer that did a lot of talking about looking great for the opposite sex–as if I wasn’t already attractive. This did nothing but piss me off and make me not want to show up for appointments. Then I also had a trainer that hit on me when I was married (the first time). It was so sleazy and disgusting and not motivating to me. What is your anti-“Why”? Make sure your trainer doesn’t do this and respects the boundaries.

    3. Personality Style

    I’m a clown and I like to laugh a lot. I crack jokes and do so when I’m in high stress situations–like working out. Cedric is also playful and we’re able to joke together as he pushes me. While we do joke, he’s also serious when I need him to be so that I stay on task. He’s hard on me when necessary (all of the time basically) and congratulates me minimally which honestly works for me. Because of my personality type, I aim to please so when he’s happy with something that I’ve done, it pushes me to continue–even if it leaves me without the use of my upper body for half a week. And no, I did not die. While you don’t have to be BFF’s with your trainer, you should have an easy relationship. One where you feel as though they’re invested in your goals and here to see you succeed–not like you’re just another client.

    An Introduction to My Trainer, Cedric Hatchett aka Ceddy Da Supertrainer

    And yes, he really goes by his alias ha! 

    Using a personal trainer is one of the many tools to use to attain your fitness and weight loss goals but not all trainers are made equal! Read on...
    Cedric has been in the business of training people for 16 years. He hails from Chi-town originally and is no stranger to hard work and setbacks. He’s currently recovering from a surgery in his knee that hasn’t stopped him from becoming stronger. This is one of my main reasons for choosing Ceddy as my trainer. I’m ALWAYS injured and need someone who understands this like him.

    Using a personal trainer is one of the many tools to use to attain your fitness and weight loss goals but not all trainers are made equal! Read on...
    Life Time normally has 90 day challenges and in the past 2 challenges, the people that he’s coached through the programs have all had top spots in the gym. This is really something to be proud of. Check out these credentials:

    *Certified Personal Trainer (National Council for Strength and Fitness) NCSF.

    *Certified Personal Trainer (National Academy for Sports Medicine) NASM currently enrolled.

    *PTA Global Bridging Course Certified

    *Certified Personal Trainer (National Academy for Health and Fitness) NAHF

    * Additional certifications granted for: Cardiovascular Trainer, Medical Exer- Therapist.

    *Continuing education certs: Special Populations, Weight Loss Specialist

    Fitness for Women and Advanced Nutrition

    *Power Plate Certified

    *C.P.R., First-aid, AED certified (American Red Cross)

    His motto? “I’M NOT THE TRAINER YOU WANT, I’ AM THE TRAINER YOU NEED!” And I couldn’t agree with this more. If you’re in the GA area, you need to train with him.

    What do you look for in a trainer?


    60-Day Challenge Update

    Using a personal trainer is one of the many tools to use to attain your fitness and weight loss goals but not all trainers are made equal! Read on...

    Photo source: CreatHerStock Images

    The Good… The Bad… The Ugly…

    The Good: I’m dropping weight and it’s all fat!! I’m down 4lbs and have knocked 4% off my BMI soooo that means that the sweating I’m doing REALLY IS fat crying!!!

    The Bad: This week I don’t really have bad. I’ve been eating more and it’s been paying off positively.

    The Ugly: With July 4th around the corner BBQ’s and booze are on the horizon but I need to keep myself in check. I have 4 more weeks to get my goals together and NOTHING is going to stop me.

     

    5 Best Sippy Cups for Your Toddler

    After bottles, it's time to give your babe sippy cups but these babies aren't all made equally. Check out which 5 made the cut and why.

    Just when you thought things were getting easier as your baby was finally ready to get off the boob or bottle, they get more complicated. Every brand has three thousand and one that say they’re the best. While they all might be pretty awesome, as moms who don’t own stock in all these companies, we need the best sippy cups that are the most cost-efficient.

    What To Look For

    No Detachable Flow Control Piece

    I don’t even know if this is the right term but it’s a silicone thing that makes it so all the liquid doesn’t come flowing out making a huge mess on your baby. So these are really functional and do a great job but they can get lost and it’s a tiny piece that has to be cleaned. Moment of truth: None of my sippy cups that have these are being used AND I don’t have any clue as of where those attachments are.

    Easy To Clean

    Have you ever seen those posts about how a mom somehow missed cleaning the underside of a sippy cup and it’s now overgrown with mold and they’re confused. Don’t let this be you. Seriously. Make sure that your sippy cup isn’t complicated with all these flips and such making it more difficult to clean.

    After bottles, it's time to give your babe sippy cups but these babies aren't all made equally. Check out which 5 made the cut and why.

    5 Best Sippy Cups On The Market

    1. NUK Sippy Cups

    These are all pretty awesome honestly. Easy to clean, don’t cost an arm and a leg, and don’t have that valve.

    2. Nuby Super Easy Grip Cup

    3. Munchkin Miracle 360 Cup

    This is one of abc’s all-time favorites.

    4. Munchkin Click Lock Bite Proof Sippy Cup

    5. First Years Take & Toss Spill-Proof Cups

    These are under $3 and I love them. Easy to clean, cheap, and if you lose or mess them up, it’s not a big loss.

    **Pro-Tip: Try to wash out the cups immediately. Once some juice or milk is left in there, it’s super gross!

    You’ll probably notice that I haven’t included anything with straws here. Straws can be a hassle to keep clean and keep track of.

    What’s your favorite sippy cup? Did I miss anything?

    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?