Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Very Berry Salad

You can do this with any fruit of your choice (I do not suggest using bananas and apples as they brown quickly) but I did this with strawberries, black berries, raspberries, and cherries (which really isn't a berry but it rhymes!). This is so simple and easy and you can make enough to last you throughout the week (planning your meals for the week is great for weight loss).

Clean all the fruit. Pit the cherries. Cut off the tops of the strawberries and cut into fours. Throw all of them in a bowl mix up and refrigerate. That is it!!!!

The juice that is left at the end of the week is sooooo good and can be used as sweetener in a cup of tea or fresh lemonade.

Until next time loves!!!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Weight Loss Journey: Week 2

I did not loose or gain this week.

I did not exercise much this week. I have to get better at forcing myself to make time to exercise. Matter of fact, I need to make it something that I just do and if I don't do it, I feel like my day is off. I did eat more fresh fruits and veggies this week. I am still walking to work but with no errands to run this week (actually I could have gone to the store but I didn't really HAVE to), I didn't do any additional walking. I did do the stairs once at work. Went from the basement to the fourth floor. I was sooooo winded after that.

I was craving some bread bad. I am a carb junkie. I came to that realization some month ago and I have yet to figure out how to get that under control. I don't have a major sweet tooth, but being a carb junkie, some of my favorite snacks are bready (i.e. honey buns, swiss rolls, brownies, toast, cookies, cakes, etc.). Before I re-started my weight loss journey, I would go through almost two loaves of bread per week. If there is only one loaf of bread in my freezer, I equate that to there not being any food in my kitchen the fridge, freezer, and cabinets have plenty of food in them. I am just crazy in that way and I am not sure how to deal with that. If you have any suggestions on how to help with that, I am more than open to hear them.

That is all for now. Until next time loves!!!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

New Items From This Week

There were three new items added to the shop this week!!! Check them out and the rest of the shop and let me know what you think!!!

This is a fall flower hair clip. Great colors for fall weddings!

Until next time loves!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Great No Equipment Workout

I got this from one of my favorite blogs www.heyfranhey.com. I have been doing this workout for over a week (twice per day) and I love it. Because your body gets used to workouts (and I get bored easily), I am going to switch up my cardio workout every week or two. This is great because it has both strength training and cardio, both of which are crucial for weight loss and even maintaining a HEALTHY weight. So put on some pumping music, give this a try for about a week and let me know what you think!

You guys were loving that workout circuit I posted yesterday. Here’s another one with a little more intensity, since it combines cardio and strength training! (Cardio burns fat. Strength training builds muscle) Remember that 3 rounds means 3 times back to back, with 30 second breaks in between each.
P.S. If you don’t know the exercise, type the name into YouTube and you’ll see tons of videos showing you the proper form!


Until next time loves!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Natural in Corporate America

Recently I was on YouTube having what my cousin Cris and I call "natural hair church" and I noticed a couple of videos that were about styles that are suitable for "conservative corporate America". I somewhat understand why there is a need but in watching the videos I became very conflicted. The reason being is because in 2012, those of us that chose to be natural feel the need to still "tame" our hair by tucking, pinning, and whatever else as to not offend anyone or make them uncomfortable.

This is very disheartening to me. More and more women are choosing to become natural, all for various reasons and I can just about guarantee that "what others may think or feel" had very little to do with that decision. I love my hair just the way that it is (which was a process that you can read about here), wild, carefree, healthy, and most importantly, me! Natural hair doesn't make a woman unprofessional. It doesn't make her any less efficient at doing her job. It doesn't mean that in the middle of a meeting she is going to jump on top of a table and start yelling, "Black Power" with her fist in the air (which I know a couple of people at my job is afraid I am going to do). It doesn't even make her "afro-centric", whatever the hell that is suppose to mean (I am going to scream if someone else says that to me). Most often, it simply means that she is comfortable in her own skin and hair.

There is one lady that I know who is uncomfortable with my natural hair and feels that it should be slicked back or straight. She has never said that to me personally but it is all over her face and fake smile when she says hi. The only time that she says more than hi to me and comes to my desk for a chat, is when I get a sew-in and the hair is either straight or wavy. If it is big and curly, she sticks with her hi and fake smile. I don't understand how natural hair can offend anyone, or even make them nervous and uncomfortable. To me, that person is simple minded and needs to get out in the world more. It is not like there is a large middle finger shaved or braided into the back of my head. I do nothing to make her or anyone else feel like their hair is wrong. Yet, society as a whole feels that natural hair is wrong.

This is a time when the work place is suppose to be embracing diversity. I guess some people think that doesn't cover how one wears their hair. It took to long for me to embrace my hair to apologize to someone else for my hair being the way that it is. I saw this one Facebook a few weeks ago (posted by Black Women with Real Hair) and it is exactly how I feel (p.s. I would love for my fro to get this big):

Photo: Please Share!

Until next time loves!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

One Day At A Time

For a lot of people, losing weight is a big thing. Sometimes it can seem very daunting. Okay, a lot of times it can seem very daunting. Between feeling like you are eating grass, repetitive workout routines, feeling hungry all of the time, muscles that seem to always be sore, the cravings (and any mood swings that may come along with them), and the never ending temptation, it is hard for people to complete a full month of regular exercise and dieting. Hell, in the past, it has been hard for me to get past two weeks!

Part of what set me up for the downfall in the past (and I am sure for many others) is that you have this end goal in mind with a big weight loss and you can picture yourself with your new healthy body and really living life, then you hop on the scale a week or two after you get started and the scale has moved by 5 lbs. And if in your mind you gave the last week or so your all as far as working out and you didn't cheat on your diet too much, you feel that the amount of pounds lost should be much bigger than that. You instantly feel defeated and that all of your hard work was for nothing.

But those little 5 lbs do mean something! They mean a lot actually!!! Five pounds of fat is bigger than five pounds of lean muscle. That is five lbs of less stress on your heart, back, knees, and ankles. Those five pounds are the first of many small steps to get you to the end goal that you have in your head. You have to take those small steps. Unless you are working out 6 or more hours per day, 6 days per week, AND eat nothing but fruits, veggies, and lean meat, you are not going to see those Biggest Loser Week 1 Results. I kept loosing sight of that before. It was like one of those things that you know, but you can't seem to wrap your mind around it enough to keep pushing through.

So celebrate those 3 or 5 lbs weight loss weeks! Be proud of yourself and know that if you did that, you can keep going to continue to loose more.

Until next time loves!!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weight Loss Summary: Week 1

It has been one week since my I restarted my weight loss journey. This past week, I have been more dedicated that I have ever been before. I think that is in part because I want to report good news back to you all. And there is good news!!!

I have lost 2.4 pounds this week. YAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!!!!

In addition to my normal one mile walks to and from work, I walked 14 miles. I alternated between circuit workouts (posted later this week) and the  Mike Tyson Squats workout everyday. I LOVE the squat workout. My heart rate goes up and my thighs, legs, and butt get good and sore. I did one of the routines from the Insanity program. It is just too hard on my bad ankle. I want to give it another go when I get down to about 200!!!!

Here is a tip that I believe has helped me through out this past week:

Drink plenty of water! Yes, you will go to the bathroom a lot but water aids in flushing out your system. And if you drink enough of it, it can help you stay full in between meals and snacks.

Your workouts do not have to be for and hour or more per day to loose weight. Those extra miles that I walked I did all of them Friday - Sunday.

If you have to go to the store to pick up a few things and it is within three miles of your home, walk. That is up to 6 miles that you can get in within any given day. That is how I got those extra walking miles in. Cell phone bill needed to be paid so I walked the two miles to the store to pay it and then two miles back. Needed somethings from the Dollar Store that is three miles away from my house, I walked there and back. Needed some groceries, I walked the two miles to the store and back.

There are so many ways to sneak a workout in every day. Marching in place while watching an hour long show or jogging in place during commercial breaks are a great way to get in some extra calorie burning.

Now, 2.4 pounds may not seem like a whole lot of progress when looking at the overall picture, but it is progress in the right direction.

Feel free to tell me about your progress either via email or a comment below. If you find any interesting articles or have a success story that you would like me to share here, email them to me please. I would love to hear about it.

Well, until next time loves!!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Healthy Spaghetti Recipe

One of my favorite food is spaghetti. This is how I make mine. It has plenty of protein and whole grains plus some veggies! This is simple, quick, and easy. This will be my lunch at work for the rest of the week.

What you need:

1 package of Jennie O Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage
A box of Whole Grain Spaghetti (brand doesn't matter)
1 Jar of spaghetti sauce (I use Ragu's Chunky Garden Vegetables)
Half of one medium size onion, chopped
Black pepper and garlic powder to taste
Optional: Half bag of frozen fully cooked small shrimp, thawed

The package of sausage looks like this (the sausage was already in the pan with I thought of taking pictures):

The sausage if very flavorful and smells great when it is cooking. You can find this at just about any grocery store

Remove the sausage from the package and cut open the skin casings. Put them in a pan on med-high heat. Throw in the chopped onions. Brown the sausage, just as you would with any type of ground meat. I use a potato masher to break the meat up while it is cooking. It is just easier for me that way (I learned that from Rachel Ray).

While you have the sausage and onions going, bring a pot of water to boil. Once boiling, throw in your whole wheat pasta. I use about three health pinches of pasta and break it in half. Use whatever amount of pasta you would use when making spaghetti with one pound of meat. Once the pasta is done to your liking, drain off water, put back in the pot your were boiling in (I have a designated spaghetti pot! lol). Add the sausage and onions and the jar of spaghetti sauce.

Fill the spaghetti jar to a little less than half way with water, swirl it around to get the rest of the sauce and pour it into the pot.

If you are adding shrimp, you would toss those in at this point.

Let everything marry together for a couple of minutes (about 7 minutes if you are using shrimp), stirring frequently. Then season with black pepper and garlic powder to taste & you are done!!!!

Let me know what you think!

Until next time loves!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

Christmas In July Sale Ends July 31st!!!

The Down Fall of T.V. Equals The Down Fall of Women

I just watched the last two episodes of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. I have seen a couple of episodes of Basketball Wives, Housewives of O.C., NJ, & Atlanta each. I have not seen and have no intentions of seeing Bad Girls Club and Jersey Shore. We all are well aware that reality shows have taken over television because it is one (1) cheaper for networks to produce and (2) there is a serious lack of true and creative writers in Hollywood and New York.

This is my problem: none of the shows mentioned above (and there are other) show women (no matter the race) in a positive light. I am quick to vouch that not all of us act the way that hose women act on those shows but they are not helping at all. During the women civil rights movement, many women fought the equal rights of women. Granted that we are not always seen as equals in society but we are more than our bodies. We are more than loud mouths spewing out dumb crap. There are some of us, that actually are educated ladies who want to make it on our own dime and actually support our significant other. I don't know these women, so I can't say that they did or didn't support their hubby or boyfriend during their relationship.

What I can say is that they obviously do not support each other. Yes, females can be catty. Yes, the editors of the shows do not show everything, only what they think will please viewers and cause them to watch again. But for there to not be any coming together, support, and maturity is insane to me. And these are all suppose to be grown women!

I have never wanted to join a sorority. There is nothing wrong with sororities, they just weren't for me. One thing that I can say about sororities, is that the women that are involved come together for a common good. There is no common good with any of those shows. For the most part they only attend each others events for the purpose of the show and to be seen.

I really wish the women on these shows and other would put on the hat of a lady and show what a force women can be when working together and they are doing something positive to better this world instead of being good at looking good at dinner parties and drinking wine.

Until later my loves!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Finally Accepting My Hair Just The Way That It Is & Loving It

I have been natural for about 5 years. It wasn't until little over a year ago that I accepted and fell in love with my hair the way that it is. The first four years of being natural, I kept a wig or weave in my head. I had stopped getting relaxers because my hair never really took to them so there was no sense in me continuing to waste the money. It would grow out some and then break off. There was no way that I was going to ever go out my house with my natural 4C hair the way that it was. It didn't curl. It didn't wave. It didn't move in the wind. It wasn't soft and silky. It wasn't any of the things that society has basically told me (and everyone else) my hair should be. Even today, commercial that have Black women in them with natural hair have the gorgeous tight curls and coils. Their hair is manageable. Mine was not. I was ashamed of my hair.

Around the time that I went natural and was wearing wigs on a regular basis, I met a guy.We dated for a few months. One day when we were hanging out, he asked "Is that your real hair?" Of course, I told him the truth. He wanted me to take my wig off. I refused. He asked several more time. I said "no". He looked me in my eyes and told me to take off my wig. My heart dropped. In my mind, I saw him finding a reason for our date to end and him taking me home immediately and never hearing from him again. On the verge of tears, I take several deep breaths and I took of my wig. I wouldn't look him in the eye. I was scared, uncomfortable, and ashamed. He kissed my forehead and told me that I was beautiful. Much to my surprise, he thought that I was prettier with MY hair just the way that it was. So whenever it was just me and him away from the public, he would tell me to take my wig off and I would. Him doing that helped me get to the point of finally loving my hair, even though that came years later.

Let's fast forward to April 2011. I had been wearing wigs and sew-ins for years. I was tired of spending money on that. I was tired of running to go put on a wig every time my doorbell rang. I was fed up. I went to go see my aunt who is a licensed cosmetologist. I wanted her to put a texturizer in my hair. So I made the major step being ready to let go of the wigs and weaves but I still wasn't ready to wear my hair the way it was. I wanted those cute curls and waves. Now up until this point, my mother had been telling me to wear my own hair. To me, that was very easy for her to say, since her hair was naturally curly and she could pull it up into a nice ponytail. I don't remember the last time that I had a ponytail in my head. But back to seeing my aunt. She put a texturizer in my hair and guess what???? No pretty curls. No pretty waves. Just my hair a little softer and easier to comb through. I was so upset and my aunt knew that. She encouraged me not to give up on my hair.

We tried the texturizer again a month later and the same results. My aunt and I came to the conclusion that it just wasn't going to take. As my aunt put it, "My hair was fighting me like that Tums commercial where the chicken wing was fighting that lady".  Lol. Gotta love my aunt!

I took in what she said and decided that this was no longer going to be a fight because my hair was going to either win the fight by not doing what I am trying to force it to do or just fall out. So I stopped trying to force it. As time when on I started to LIKE my hair but I still wasn't in LOVE with it. It wasn't until January of this year when I discovered Shea Moisture products one day in Walgreens when I started to love my hair. I purchased all of what I could of the Organic Coconut and Hibiscus line and was sold. Using those products made my hair soft and manageable. My scalp felt healthy. My hair was happy and so was I!

My hair still doesn't curl or wave and it never will. My hair regimen has some since then (posts about hair care will come later) but it is healthy. I get a sew-in no more than twice per year as a protective style. I have cut my hair down twice since I started wearing my hair due to uneven growth but I have decided that other than trimming my ends, I am going to let my hair do its own thing. My hair is one of the biggest inspirations behind my creations for Deon and Dion Fashions.


Until next time loves!

Monday, July 16, 2012

The New Start to My Weight Loss Journey

As of this morning, I weigh 259. I am setting a goal to loose at least 5 lbs per month. That sounds manageable, right? I am 5'2" and I want to get down to about 140-150 lbs.

I HAVE to do something about my weight. I haven't been to the doctor in years, but I know that I am not healthy. I am to the point now where I feel that if I don't do something, I am not going to live much longer or if I do, it will be full of taking medication every day, diabetes, heart problems, and many of the other problems that come along with being overweight. I have seen enough family members who had some of those issues to know that living like that, is not truly living.

I am 29  and honestly, I have not even began to live my life. I want to travel, get married, and have kids. I know that my weight is holding me back from a lot of that. The last time that I got on a plan (which was about 4 or 5 years ago), I barely got the seat belt on. I almost had to ask for an extender. I think that the only reason that I got the damn thing on was because I was so determined to not feel the embarrassment of having to ask for an extender! Two years ago I went to Cedar Pointe with my family and the one ride that I wanted to get on the most, I couldn't because the seat belt wouldn't fit. At first, I blamed the seat belt for not being long enough, then I blamed Cedar Pointe for being discriminatory towards "fluffy" people. But really (and I mean really, really), the fault is mine and mine alone.

There are dozens, even hundreds, of overweight people that feel like this. But you know what realization I came to, WE HAVE CONTROL OF OUR BODY, OUR MIND, OUR HEALTH (outside of genetics and being overweight is not genetic, families just have the tendency to do it together), WHAT WE EAT, AND HOW WE THINK OF OUR SELVES.

I say that we do this together!!!

First, I am going to tell you the problems that I have identified in myself:

  1. I snack, snack, snack, snack, snack, snack!!! There wouldn't be anything wrong with that if I snacked on fresh fruits and veggies but, obviously, that has not been the case!!!
  2. I don't like to cook for myself, so I eat more processed foods that are quick and easy. Cooking (and laundry) would be much more pleasant for me if I had people to cook for!!!!
  3. I LOVE bread. On average, I go through about 1.5 loaves of bread per week eating sandwiches because they are quick and easy.
  4. After two weeks of exercise, I lack motivation to keep going even though the number on the scale has gotten smaller. I honestly don't know what that is all about because you would think that having proof in numbers that the workout is working would be motivation for me to keep going, but for some reason it is not.
  5. Once I get home from work,  I don't want to do anything but watch General Hospital and Netflix.
What I do have going for me:

  1. I walk to and from work. That is two miles 5 days per week.
  2. I work on the 4th floor of my building and I am not so obesed that doing the stairs is not an option for me.
  3. I know that I prefer to workout at home instead of going to the gym (that place is just intimidating to me) and I have a stationary bike and workout DVDs.

This is my plan:

  1. Cardio (starting this morning) at least 5x per week outside of walking to work. I have the Insanity workout set so I will go back to using that.
  2. Strength training at least 3x per week.
  3. Eat less processed foods.
  4. Eggs for breakfast most mornings (in other attempts to loose weight, I learned that I need to have eggs with whatever else I am eating to stay full until lunch. This reduces my need to snack (which is one of my biggest problems)).
  5. Take the stairs at least once per day at work.

Now it is your turn to share. I want to hear about your problems and your plans. Lets build a community to motivate and support each other.

I will make weekly updates about my progress and any pitfall. I will also post a "then and now" pic at least once every three months. I encourage you to do the same. Below is my "now" pic (soon to be my "then" pic).

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Why I started DeonandDionFashions

Deon and Dion Fashions is my baby. I have always wanted to have my own business just as bad as I want to be a mother and a wife. I don't have any kids or a husband yet, but when I do, I would like to be a stay at home wife/mother. I wanted a business that would allow me be home to take care of it and the kids. It has been a journey getting to what Deon and Dion is now and I have plan for it to expand and be much better than what it is now.

When I started trying to find my "niche" for a business. I started with wedding planning. The didn't go so well, so I went to wedding decorating. It was find but there isn't much of a market for it in Michigan, especially outside of Metro Detroit. So I went back to the drawing board. I dug deeper into the things that I loved, which was decorating and accessories. Plus, going through struggle with my hair and not really liking it, I felt the need to dress it up. So I combined the three into making hair accessories!!!

I later included handmade corsages as a suggestion from a fellow Estian. I am still trying to get that going.

Further down the line, I would like to include fine women's clothing that would be custom to each customers measurement. I have always had a passion for design clothes but I didn't feel that move would have been greatly supported by my family so I caved on that one, but it is never too late. The clothing would be my own designs and things that I would wear (once I get down to size to look good in them).

One day, I would like to be featured in Etsy "Quit Your Day Job" blog. Other than a hubby and kids, there isn't anything that I want more.

Below is a picture of the very first item that I made and listed on Etsy. It is a pink rose barrette.

I am running a sale right now that will give you 20% off with coupon code: CHRISTMASINJULY


Until next time loves!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th Sillies

I wasn't going to post anything today but I just had to share this with you. I did the silliest and stupidest thing this morning. Now I live one mile from my day job, so I walk to work. I was about half way to work this morning, looked down at the sidewalk waiting for traffic to clear for me to cross the street and I had on two different pair of sneakers!!! I had to laugh at myself!!!

The horrible part is that they were two different colors, so I couldn't even attempt to get away with it. Now normally, I have a pair of flats in the bag that I carry to work. So I thought that I would just continue to work and change my shoes once I got outside of my building. Looked in there and no flats to be found. So I turned around and went back home and then did my best attempt of a power walk to get to work. I was only 30 minutes late to work!!! SMH!!!

Not only were the shoes two different colors, they were two different brands that have two completely different fits. The black on was a Sketcher Toner and the white one was a New Balance walking shoe. How I didn't tell the difference is beyond me!! And no, I did not get dressed in the dark!!!! And yes, I am overweight, but I can see my feet and get to them just fine!!! I don't know what happened this morning!!!

I am still laughing at myself!! I hope you got a laugh out of this too. Feel free to share your sillies of today!!

Until next time loves!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Greetings and Introductions

Hello World!!!

This is officially my first post. I am writing this while watching TLC's SisterWives on Netflix. Very interesting show.

So what this blog is going to be about is first, my Etsy Shop, DeonandDionFashions (www.deonanddionfashions.etsy.com). I make hair accessories for women, teens, and little girls. I will let you know what is going on, about products that are coming, sales, and etc. Secondly, it will be about my natural hair journey, as well as my weight loss journey. I am hoping that this blog will help me to stay on my workouts and watching what I eat, as I will be reporting my successes and failure (more successes than failures I hope). I need to loose about 100 lbs to get to a healthy weight for my height. I will also occasionally do some features of other Etsy shops and other random things.

I want this blog to not only be kind of a vent or another creative expression of myself but also an inspiration (maybe even a laugh or two) for others. I want to create an extended family of support and encouragement.

I have not figured out how often I will be posting yet. Definitely at least once per week. But let's see how this goes.

Until later my loves!