Sugar Rush 5K

       Less than two months after having Scarlett, I participated in my first 5k since I was 6 months pregnant. I found the race the night before and decided to sign up last minute. It was the Sugar Rush hosted by my university and its goal was to raise funds for diabetes research. My sister has had Type I diabetes since she was eight years old so I figured this was something I should do.

       This race was a very emotional experience for me. Probably because my hormones still hadn’t returned to normal. But either way, the thoughts running through my mind while running this race were triggered by my music playlist. This race acted as a big reflection on my life and at some points was pretty symbolic of my journey through life right now.

“Ten Thousand Hours” by Macklemore

       I started my run with this song because it's just that great. I tell ya, if you're ever down in the dumps this is the song to listen to. “Ten Thousand Hours” has meant a lot to me these past few months as I've dedicated a lot of “blood, sweat, and tears” to figure out what I want to do with my life. I've taken on a lot of things and I am definitely overwhelmed and I am far beyond stressed. But just like I was determined to run this race only seven weeks after having a baby, I am determined to accomplish all the things I've got on my plate.

“I stand here in front of you today all because of an idea. I could be who I wanted if I could see my potential.”

“The Fighter” Gym Class Heroes

       The first mile and a half or so of the run was up a massive hill. And I remember being so frustrated with myself because this hill was so hard. The doubts started to fly and I couldn't believe I felt like quitting on the first mile. And then I thought of my sister and who I was running this for. The purpose of this race was to raise funds to help her fight a disease she'll have for life. I thought of how strong she is and how she couldn't quite. So I kept going up that darn hill.

“Every time you fall it's only making your chin strong. And I be in the corner like mick, baby, til the end.”

“Not Afraid” by Eminem

       This is another great song to listen to when you need a pep talk. By now I have finally overcome that beast of a hill and am coming down on my second mile of the race strong. I keep thinking about Scarlett and how I'm working so hard to build a life for her and to be an example of a strong woman that I want her to be. As a mom I feel like everything you do is wrong and someone always has an opinion of how you could Mom better. This song always reminds me that I don't need to care what other people think and I can be confident in my decisions for myself and my family.

“I'ma be what I set out to be, without a doubt undoubtedly. And all those who look down on me I'm tearing down your balcony.”

“So I solemnly swear to always treat this roof, like my daughters
And raise it, you couldn't lift a single shingle on it!.”

“Lighters” by Bad Meets Evil ft. Bruno Mars

       This one made me tear up. I'm running on a flat road now and I just got my picture taken by the action shot photographer. So I'm obviously feeling pretty good. But this song makes me immediately think of my husband, Alexis. There hasn't been anyone who has been as supportive and motivating as Alexis. He has believed in me even when I didn't. Right now our lives are crazier than ever before as we are both super busy chasing after our dreams. Alexis doesn't always come home to a clean house, a home cooked meal, and a happy wife but he still supports me in everything that I'm doing. And that means the world to me.  

“This one's for you and me, living out our dreams. We're all right where we should be.”

“Heart of the Champion” by Nelly

       The race is almost over. I have less than a mile left to go. Now I start thinking about all the people in my life who have helped to shape me into the person I am today. I think of my biology teacher, Mr. Douglass, who constantly told me how smart I was and never let me settle for anything less that what I could achieve. Next, I think of my calculus teacher, Mrs. Mays, and how she taught me that I don’t have to do it all 100% and how health (whether mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual) comes first. Then I think of my english teacher, Ms. Ceccacci, who taught me about forgiveness and how to be understanding of other’s mistakes. I think of my family and friends and everyone who has been there for me.

“I got that can't stop, won't stop, in my veins. That's why they can't stop, won't stop, screaming the name.”

“All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled

I can now see the finish line. And what better song to boost your confidence than this one. Alexis is there watching and I finish strong. It’s the greatest feeling seeing people you love waiting for you at the end of a tough race.

This was definitely the hardest race I’ve ever run and it was by far the most emotional. This is one of the reasons why I love running so much. It’s just so therapeutic.

“All I do is win win win no matter what.”

F.A.Q. About My Curly Hair

These are all real questions I have been asked about my curly hair on more than one occasion.

Is that natural?

Yes.

Do you ever straighten it?

No.

What product do you use?

The Garnier Fructis Style line. Read about my hair care process here.

How do you brush it?

I don’t. We curly girlies comb our hair.

Can I straighten it?

I mean, if you have four hours to spare.

Where did you get your curly hair from? None of your parents have curly hair.

Actually, they both have really curly hair. You should see their wedding photo. Their hair has just gotten straighter over the years.

Are you half black?

Nope. I am very white. My daughter is half Mexican, though. Not that that has any effect on my hair. I just think it’s pretty cool.

Can I touch it?

Only if I get to touch yours.

Why don’t you get it permanently straightened?

For starters, I like my curly hair. It’s tough to manage and definitely takes a lot of care but I still like it. Also, I have met people who have permanently straightened their hair and it hasn’t worked out all that great. Plus, I personally don’t think straight hair looks all that great on me.

Hair Care for Curly Girlies

       Let me get one thing straight (haha): you don’t style curly hair. You tame it. Every head of curly hair is different, but here are my die-hard, live-by tips that I feel every curly girly needs to know.

Forego the Cheap Stuff

Curly hair requires a little more cha-ching to really take care of it. For starters, you need high quality shampoo and conditioner. Personally, I prefer Pantene shampoo and conditioner. Ever since I have switched from cheap to chic, I have really been able to tell a difference. My hair is healthier and definitely less frizzy.

Brushing is Off Limits

As most curly girlies probably already know, you can’t brush curly hair. Not unless you’re going for the cavegirl or humid hair look. In order to keep the knots and tangles at bay, I use a wide-tooth comb. I also comb my hair while I’m in the shower. First while there is shampoo in my hair and second while there is conditioner. This helps untangle my hair and avoid the frizz that usually comes with brushing.

Use a Variety of Products

Yes, again this requires more money, but at the end of the day if I’m happy with my hair it’s worth it. For after-shower hair care, I prefer the Garnier Fructis product line. I begin with their spray gel and then massage in their hair mousse. On days I’m running late and don’t have time to wash my hair, I pin back my frizziest pieces (which tend to be my “bangs” if I had any) and spray my hair with Garnier’s hair spray. This usually tones down any stray or crazy hairs.

Avoid a Hair Dryer

Just how brushing your hair makes it frizzy, so does using a hair dryer. I’ve had experiences where hair stylists have told me “Oh no, I have a diffuser and it won’t make your hair frizzy” only for them to find out that yeah, it still does. So I tend to let my hair towel-dry or air-dry. On occasion, because I live in a place where, unfortunately, it snows, I use a hair dryer on my roots for less than five minutes so I don’t freeze when I leave the house with wet hair. To avoid this situation completely, I usually wash my hair at night during the winter.

Sleep In A Bun

By sleeping with my hair up, it doesn’t get frizzy and tangly while I snooze. This let’s me get in an extra day or two before I need to wash my hair again. Cause let’s face it, washing long, curly hair is a serious time commitment. Also, my hair let’s me do this cool twisty-knotty thing where I literally tie my hair in a knot. Now I avoid getting any hair ties stuck in my hair. But, if you can’t do that a traditional bun will work too (preferably a top-knot so you aren’t sleeping on your hair).

Keep it Moisturized

Every so often I start to notice that my hair is dry. With dry, curly hair, your individual curls start to “spread apart” and you have more stray and frizzy hairs. When this happens I go through my normal washing/combing process in the shower. Then, instead of using my Garnier Fructis products, I use a deep conditioner/hair masque. I love Kiehl’s Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak. This stuff really works. After my shower I massage it into my hair (from my roots to my tips) and put my hair in my twisty-knotty thingy (or, in your case, a traditional bun). I usually leave the product in my hair for the rest of the day and wash it out that night.

So there you have it! Everything you need to know to tame your fantastically curly hair! Share this with a curly girly you know, whether she’s old, young or in between.

What tips do you have for curly girlies? I'd love to hear your advice in the comments below!

Feel free to ask me any questions. I’d love to help!

How to Mom

It’s a common question when you have a kid: how do I do this? But being a mom is a piece of cake. Don’t believe me? Well, I’m here to tell you exactly what it takes to be an amazing mom.

Burn the Family Dinner

This is best done at the end of a long day when everyone is really hungry. Bonus points if it was someone’s favorite dish and the fire alarm went off.

Stain Your Shirt

How you stain it doesn’t really matter. But, I do suggest baby spit-up or spaghetti sauce. They have a long-lasting effect and can be pretty obvious on you new cashmere sweater.

Be Late to Everything

Aim to be at least 15 minutes late (at a minimum) for everything. Begin getting ready for your scheduled engagement an hour early so as to give the illusion that you may actually be on time.

Take Awful Photos

No matter how many times you tell your kids to sit still, take the photo just as they move. This creates a nice blurry effect that not even your fancy blogger friends could replicate.

Forget Your Kid

This can either be in a crowded place like a grocery store or a lonely venue such as a park after soccer practice. Either way, the key is to make it as emotionally scarring as possible.

Give Sticky Kisses

The best kisses are sticky, slobbery, and at the end of a hard, mom-filled day. They help you remember why your house is messy and the dinner is burned. These are best paired with squeaky giggles and tight hugs. Bonus points if you get an “I love you.”