Thursday, March 19, 2015

Swimsuit Season...eeek!!!

Summer is quickly approaching here in Texas, which means one thing...the "S" words are upon us!  Sun, shorts, sandals, and eeeeek...swimsuits!  For some, that's not scary.  I may or may not want to be friends with you.  For others, it's dreadful.  My mailbox has a VS Swimsuit catalog in it almost daily.  STOP!!! I GET IT, VICTORIA'S SECRET!!  But seriously, stop.  My face when checking my mailbox these days looks a lot like poor little Ariana Grande, pictured here getting smacked in the head with one of those VS Angel wings.--->

Last year, I was coming off comp season and eating like I'd never had a bite of cake in my life.  I wasn't the shape I wanted to be by the end of summer.  My motivation wasn't what it had been for the 4 months prior.  That's not saying I'd completely lost hope, just enjoyed more carbs that I should.  This year, I'm pretty determined to rock one of the cute high-waisted bikinis that I've seen in all the magazines.  My trouble spot is my tummy.  Always has been.  I know what I need to do and I'm going to divulge my not-so-top-secret plan.  It'll work for almost anyone, not just the six-pack impaired.  

Food: I've long been a proponent of carbs, just in moderation...and really only certain ones.  I'm cutting them out at about 3p, so dinner will have veggies as my carb.  (vegetables are carbs, just good ones!)  My protein will go back up to 1.25g/lb bodyweight.  Some people do better with a little more, some a little less.  1-2g/lb is pretty normal.  Remember The Zone Diet craze? (see pie chart)  Well, it wasn't so crazy.  I've played around with the percentages and my happy place is with a little more carbs and almost equal protein and fat.  To LOSE fat, I'm sticking to 45% carbs, 30% protein, and 25% fat.  The fat will help keep me satisfied and the carbs will help fuel my 3x/week workouts.  My overall calories will fluctuate a little as I build muscle and as summer gets closer, I'll be flipping my ratios around to lean out even more.  We'll see how it goes!

Exercise:  I love to lift.  Do I want to go back to 6x/week?  Not's not as realistic for me right now.  Maybe again someday, but for now, I'm doing what I can.  So, Tues/Thurs/Sun will be my lift days.  I'll be doing all sorts of combos, but making sure to hit legs a little each time.  They're the biggest muscles, therefore help burn fat!  Have you ever tried Danceton??  It's super fun if you're someone who loves music and shakin' your booty.  You don't have to be coordinated, the dances repeat quite a bit throughout the songs and even week to week.  Just move!  

What things do you do to get your body ready for summer?  I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Oh brushes, how I adore thee

Does this look like too much?
I remember when I very first started wearing makeup.  It was such an exciting event for me...I'll never forget it.  My mom wasn't too pumped, it took A LOT of convincing for her to let me get a compact of powder and some lipgloss.  "You don't NEED it", I remember her saying.  I was in 6th grade, in my mind I absolutely needed it.  I had shine on my nose by the end of the day and desperately wanted to keep up with the girls in my class that had already moved onto the "I love eyeliner phase" that also closely resembled a judgement, I think every girl goes through that phase at some point.  It might not be with eyeliner, maybe blush or lipstick in a horrid shade.  Anyway, I was excited.  I ripped open that compact as soon as we got in the car and swiped some across my "shiny" nose.  My best friend at the time, Noelle, was with us.  I turned and said, "can't you see the difference?!" to which she shrugged and said, "eh, not really".  Oh, but I could totally tell.  

That might have been a defining moment in adolescence for me, but my journey with makeup had just begun.  I studied (and still do) magazines, since blogs weren't really a "thing", yet.  Anything that I could get my hands on that showed me how to create the best look for me, I devoured.  I discovered I was a "deep winter" at a woman's expo and what color coordinated best with my skin...are you old enough to remember the seasons?  (the principles are still around, check out The Chic Fashionista for your coloring)

Fast forward about 9 years.  I had graduated from that little compact and was in full-blown makeup mode.  I had mastered eyeliner and blush and the smoky eye was slowly becoming something that wasn't just for prostitutes ladies that weren't very respectable.  I visited the MAC counter on a regular basis, just to look.  So many pretty colors.  So many options...and WAIT, so. many. brushes.  Brushes?  I had't even really thought about that.  I had a few from the drugstore and, of course, the little cheap brushes and applicators that came with some drugstore makeup.  After having my makeup done with the soft little brushes from heaven (another way I learned tricks), I knew they would be my game changer.  Boy, were they ever.  I asked for brushes for Christmas that year.  My mom delivered.  I now had the basics, but I craved more.  Needless to say, over the years, I've found my tried and true faves.  The blush brush I bought about 10 years ago is still kickin'...I may be replacing it soon for a fluffy, uber soft option...not because it's busted- I'll still hang onto it in case of emergency.

How do I still have a blush brush that's 10 years old? Actually, it's closer to 11 or 12, but doesn't really look a day over 2.  The answer is two part.  First, I invested in a quality brush.  The MAC 116 blush brush is a $35 brush.  I want to say, it was $28 when I bought it.  Why I remember that, I don't know.  Ask me what I had for breakfast yesterday...I can't tell ya.  Second part is I take care of my brushes.  They have their own place in my travel makeup bag and their own place on my sink in a cute mason jar.  They also get a bath at LEAST once a month.  This isn't as often as it should happen, but it happens and that's the important part.  

I used to use baby shampoo on them, but have since moved onto using castille soap.  I use castille soap for everything (homemade foaming hand soap).  Dr. Bonner's is my favorite, but there are a few emerging brands that might be just as great.  I don't like to soak them in a glass like you may see on some blogs.  I prefer to use my hands and work the soap into the brush and lather it up like a tiny little person.  Warm water works best for me and I rinse till the water is clear.  Typically, I make a whole ritual of it and lay out a nice clean hand towel for them to air dry on.  I washed my new IT foundation brush today and "shook" it out in the shower after I washed it, to try and get as much water off of it as possible.  It's now ready for tomorrow and I know that it'll work even better now that it's clean again.  

One way I know that I need to clean my brushes is if I start to get little breakouts that have no explained reason.  Brushes can harbor bacteria and then you're just spreading that all over your face!  Ew.  Keep 'em clean ladies!  Thank you for humoring me as I rambled on about makeup brushes.  Do you have a favorite brush?  Have you cleaned it lately?? hehehe...I bet you will now!