Ma’am, You’re Overreacting — Please Don’t Feed The Fears


I have “in the gutter with my baby” syndrome.

Never heard of it? Well, I’ll explain it to you.

When I was young, my mom had a special way of scaring the pants off me when it came to trying anything that wasn’t on the up-and-up. She would say that something would be “the worst decision of your life” or “just wrong” or she’d simply outline possible ways it leads to self-destruction.

In my young mind, every non-goody-two-shoes {where does that term come from, anyway?!} decision could ONLY lead to the worst possible outcome.

Having sex in high school, for example, would lead to me getting pregnant on the first shot, then having to drop out of school to take care of the child. Eventually, due to the rising price of day care, I wouldn’t be able to afford rent. At which time, I’d resort to selling my body for baby wipes, and then possibly develop a nasty drug habit, which would lead to me losing my home and ultimately having to live in the gutter with my baby.

Trying marijuana {which I was often told was a gateway drug} would lead to me wanting stronger, more persistent highs, so then I’d eventually get hooked on heroine. Sprinkle in a nasty run of prostitution and unplanned pregnancy and eventually, again, I’d end up homeless, living in the gutter with my baby.

Living in the gutter with my baby was a fear that kept me on the straight and narrow for a long time, but much like defense mechanisms that expire, my irrational reasoning for good behavior has since morphed firmly into extreme the-sky-is-falling overreaction. Which happens to be a fertile breeding ground for fear.

In Tony Robbins’ new book “Money: Master the Game,” the following line spoke to me as it relates to my fears:

”You have to see things as they really are but not worse than they are — that view of life only gives you the excuse to do nothing.”

I realized my over-dramatization of life’s situations often causes me to live in a state of paralyzing fear.

If all roads lead to the gutter {and don’t forget the baby} what could I really do about it?

The answer is that focusing on the gutter only got me closer to it. Constantly worrying about the gutter was a sick way of worshipping it, because it, instead of a positive outcome, consumed my thinking.

If I’m approaching a new or difficult situation, I should pause for a moment, step away from the overreaction, take a true inventory of the situation and trust that a higher power is in control.

As Gabrielle Bernstein put it:

”Fear is a sign that you’re relying on your own strength.”

Don’t feed the fears, folks.



Forget the Gym! Three Products for Working Out Effectively At Home


It was 41 degrees yesterday in Durham and all I wanted to do was stay wrapped up in my ratty high school cheerleading hoodie.

Grumpy and I went for a walk yesterday and he was literally shaking despite his extra layers of autumn fur {read: he needs a hair cut}. For some reason, the idea that winter is coming sure seems a lot cooler {pun unintended} in Game of Thrones.

The colder weather has caused my workout activity to hard stop. While running was my primary form of exercise during the warmer months of this year, I don’t feel motivated to go outside at all, much less for a run around the block. I don’t even have the nerve to walk over to my complex’s clubhouse to hit their gym. That requires me stepping outside the comfort of my well-insulated home. No dice.

So what’s a girl to do if she wants to keep in shape and keep warm during the colder months of the year?

I prefer at home body weight exercises. Seriously, folks. If you have a body, you can workout effectively at home, but here are a few tools I use to get a good workout at home.

Forget the Gym! Three Products for Working Out Effectively At Home

1. An Interval Timer

Seconds Pro Interval Timer

Seconds Pro Interval Timer

My interval timer is my best friend for at-home workouts, because I like to work out for 15-20 minutes and then be done with it. I LOVE breaking a sweat, but I don’t want to have to wait an hour to get there.

I use my Seconds Pro app {iTunes link} on my iPhone to program interval workouts that have me sweating and getting trim in no time.

How it works: I alternate high intensity intervals with rest intervals. For example: 20 seconds of high intensity then 10 seconds of rest, repeat that for 4-8 times per exercise and do several different exercises per session.

Using Seconds Pro {iTunes link} keeps my workouts focused, fast and effective.

2. Five-Pound Free Weights

While most of my workouts are done with just my body weight, sometimes I like to add a little extra weight to certain exercises. Squats, for example, are one exercise that I like to enhance with free weights.

I purchased my current 5-pound free weights from Target and I’ve had them for years. I’m also thinking about purchasing a kettle bell soon for extra weight.

3. A Guide

ZGym from Zuzana Light. Join for $1 before November 30th!

ZGym from Zuzana Light.
Join for $1 before November 30th!

I mentioned Zuzana Light in my Seven Things post last week, but I’m bringing her back again, because she’s a great resource for working out effectively at home.

Please note: While Zuzana is very cute and petite with an adorable Czech accent and her pictures and videos have an inherent sexiness to them, the woman is a fitness beast. I regularly followed her workout regime 2-3 years ago and was in amazing shape and I just joined her ZGym and am looking forward to using her existing workouts as a guide for when I need a little help.

One problem with working out at home is that sometimes I’ll convince myself that I don’t know which exercises to do, so I’ll end up not doing any {am I the only person who falls for this mental trap?}. With my ZGym membership, I’ll always have workouts I can do, so I won’t have any excuses.

If you sign up for ZGym before November 30, 2014, with the code NEWZGYM30 you can get your first month for $1. Try it out and see how you like it. If you join, let me know. I’d love to encourage you.

Learn more about ZGym on

Watch a sample workout from Zuzana. And if you watch it, DO IT! Note: if you don’t yet have dumbbells, use a can of beans or something.

Here’s to swimsuit season year round, folks!



{Photo credits: Lead photo is “[108/365] Ill-advised” by Pascal; Second Pro image by Runloop Ltd; ZGym promo image by}

Kitchen Beautician: Edible Beauty Products


I’m no beauty product savant, but over the years I have discovered a few beauty staples that work well for me.

While some of them are pre-made from successful beauty brands — I just can’t do without my Shea Moisture Body & Massage Oil — others have more humble beginnings.

Sometimes the products that work best for my beauty regimen are the ones that come from the kitchen. Here are a few I use, but I’m always interested to discover new items other people have used successfully.

Kitchen Beautician: My Top Three Edible Beauty Products

1. Coconut Oil

As shared in my Gel Manicure Post, I use coconut oil to massage into my nails, but I also use it as a deep conditioner for my hair.

I coat my hair with it and finger comb it through my mane before a wash.

I’ve also used it in the past as a skin moisturizer and to treat my ezcema — which, by the way, has completely cleared up since I’ve started eating healthier. WebMD suggests coconut oil can be used to treat psoriasis, head lice, Irritable bowel syndrome and more.

Coconut oil is the truth, y’all.

2. Honey

Honey is the one non-vegan staple in my current diet, but I also find it useful from a beauty perspective.

I often mix warmed honey with my coconut oil for hair deep conditioning, but according to Dr. Oz, honey’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it a great aid in healing minor cuts and scraps.

Supposedly applying a thin layer of honey to a minor scratch can help it heal more smoothly.

That’s pretty dope.

3. Pure Lemon Juice

I’ve had a LOT of trouble with acne scarring lately, mostly due to binge eating Fruit Roll-ups then obsessively picking at my face. {Too much sugar is BAD for your skin, y’all!} Using lemon juice on my face every day for the past week however has helped my scars fade faster.

According to Women’s Health Magazine, lemon juice can help whiten teeth, fade dark spots, lighten elbows and knees and strengthen nails.

Wow. Who knew?

I know I’m not the only one who uses kitchen products for beauty. What are some home remedies and go-to natural products you use to enhance your beauty regimen?