5 Yoga Poses To Start Your Day Off Right!

Starting your day off with a good positive vibe can change the entire trajectory of your day. Having a clear mind and a positive outlook will allow you to make better more informed decisions. Even when faced with difficult tasks, your reaction will be different , because you see things from a place of possibility and not defeat.

There are many stretches that will help you start the day and make you feel better. It is best to modify stretches until you are capable of performing each stretch without straining. I do each of these stretches for 30 seconds to a minute, and add in other stretches to get a full ten minutes of stretching.

1. Child’s pose:
This stretch helps relieve tension in the shoulders, back, and chest. It is noted that doing this stretch will help with lower back pain and is recommended for dealing with dizziness and/or fatigue.

Day 8 of the #blossomingyogichallenge hosted by @annnnnamaste aka @annnnnamou. Tapas, austerity, or discipline is the theme today, the pose #balasana aka child's pose. I am a go-go-go-er. Have been since childhood. I remember when I was 20sh and was working 2 jobs and I was taking 21 units in college, sleeping only 3-4 hours a night my mother said to me "Thea you're not wonder woman, and you don't have to be." I responded "You don't know I could be." Of course this was before Patty Jenkins version of Wonder Woman. My mother was right I wasn't an Amazonian nor a demigod. At that time I had a goal and I was working hard toward the goal which required me to play catchup in school so I could advance, I wound up really sick. l had pushed myself too far. I had no choice but to slow down. In American society we honor being busy, stopping, resting and just being is looked down upon. My tendency to go makes me a great #yogapreneur, but my hard learned ability to slow down makes me a better human. Also, a human that has vitality and quality of life. If I push to hard, I burn out. It takes work. Slowing down for me is discipline. I know for some others getting going, and follow through is where their discipline lies. It can be hard being a human. Join the challenge by taking a photo and tag @amandapomerantz @annnnnamaste. Use hashtags #blossomingyogichallenge #seatoftheteacher #embodyyogateachertraining . #tapas #passion #love #childpose #sitbackandrelax #keepitgoing #justbreathe #niyamas #yogafun #yogagram #yogaeverydamnday #yogaeverywhere #feelgoodunderyourownskin #wonderwoman #agni #selfdiscipline #yogaforall #yogaheals #amazonian #wonderwoman #chilllady #demigod #greekphilosophy

A post shared by Thea (@theapueschelofficial) on

2. The Cat-Cow pose:
This stretch duo is known to improve posture, balance, coordination. They stretch the back, neck, hips, and abdomen. Some suggest it creates emotional balance as well as relieve stress.

3. Corpse pose:
This is more of a mental stretch. By lying still with your body slightly stretched out you are lowering your blood pressure by relaxing the body. In this position your brain is calm and this is known to help combat fatigue, headaches, and insomnia.

06/19/17 – Bliss. #yoga #yogaeverydamnday #corpsepose #savasana #om #namaste #curvyyoga #curvyyogi

A post shared by laura (@tonguesintrees) on

4. Extended Triangle Pose:
This is a good hamstring stretch, especially before doing any strength exercising, or intense walking and/or jogging. This stretch also helps stretch the hips, groins, and chest. Doing this daily can help with lower back pain and sluggish digestion.

Thanks again to all who showed up at the @plannedparenthood fundraiser yesterday! It was great to connect and share individual experiences of the help that PP has offered us throughout our growing experiences. Even though there might be controversial issues, there is still way more positive and help that this organization provides for those of limited or no health insurance. I've morally supported them throughout my life even though I hadn't stepped foot into and actual building till this past December. I felt way more comfortable there than in any doctors office, quick and easy with no judgement. I hope they will continue to persevere through this administration in the coming years. Also congrats to Zuky R. on winning the @liforme giveaway mat! I will contact you with the email provided through eventbrite! Thank you to those who entered the giveaway! Top by @rainbeaucurves Leggings by @k.deer Mat by @liforme

A post shared by Valerie Sagun (@biggalyoga) on

5. Legs up the wall pose:
This may be my favorite way to relieve stress. This stretches your legs, lower back, and pelvic floor. Doing this stretch will help increase circulation because your heart does not work as hard. This will also soothe swollen feet, ankles, and cramped legs.

There is no medical fact that states stretching will keep depression or stress away, but stretching will help you feel better physically and mentally, if done properly. Just like going to the bathroom in the morning, you have to make this part of you life. You can even do these before you get out of the bed! You know me, easy peezy! 😍 Give yourself 10 minutes of mental health time. Believe me it will pay off big!

Have you ever tried yoga? Let me know what’s your favorite stretches?

As always, Peace & Love

The Fit Phatty

Fit Phatty: 5 Tips To A Healthier You

We have all heard that being healthy has nothing to do with your weight. Even though the societal view is that fatter woman are undesirable and unhealthy. It’s all about the narrative that you allow to replay in your head…but I digress. I’ll save that conversation for another time. However some of us have to fight our fat on a daily basis. Between genetics, medical conditions, and lifestyle, it’s just not easy to be ” thin” or a healthy weight ( whatever that is for you) with out working at it. Try not to worry so much about having a flat tummy as having a healthy life. Aside from getting a surgery, or taking a prescription medicine, I will always have to employ tools to help me stay on track.

There will be set backs and fall offs, but always remember with health, every effort is a good effort! I’ve been on a weight yo-yo for majority of my life, (but I wish I was as fat as I was when I thought I was too fat!). It has not been easy to maintain the best healthy lifestyle. It’ so easy to fall into a pattern of not counting calories or exercising.  My biggest challenge of all is of course not eating bad. But my body tells me she’s wants a clean detox.  So I get back at it.

Here are my 5 ways that I get back in the fight with this fat!

1. Count those calories!
I use My Fitness Pal. It is really simple to set up an account with My Fitness Pal if you haven’t already done so! There is no pressure with the app, it’s all self-discipline. I get to keep track of my current weight and goal weight. By going day by day tracking my food and exercise practice (and the lack of exercise) My Fitness Pal then gives me an estimated number that I can weigh in a certain number of weeks if I maintain my day (good or bad). It’s good motivation.

2. Measure your food!
This is important to be able to keep track of your calories easily. If you don’t have a scale for food, buy one. I also use my measuring cup to measure food!
3. Don’t starve!

If you feel hungry, eat! There are good carbs out there! Instead of an unhealthy snack grab some nuts, a fruit, or even a baked sweet potato! Whatever you enjoy, keep track in your food diary.

 

4. Get moving! The more you move, the more calories you burn. Aim for at least 30 mins a day of cardio and strength training, and aim to walk around more. If you don’t join a gym you can exercise right at home using www.pinterest.com for work out ideas.

#Mood for the week! 🙌🏽Let's go!!!! #rp @abraham_mcdonald

A post shared by niecynash1 (@niecynash1) on

5. Invest in health!
Living a healthy lifestyle takes effort, but it is worth it. Purchase some hand weights and a few different exercise equipment for home such as a jump rope, resistance bands, ankle weights, kettlebell, etc. (even if you are a gym rat, keep equipment in the house.) You can even purchase bigger equipment such as a stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, etc., on www.craigslist.org if you rather get it at a cheaper price!

Remember don’t  let the media or scale define you. You must love yourself at every stage of your life. Loving yourself means do not be so hard or yourself. There is a difference between discipline and punishment. And keeping a healthy body is the ultimate form of love.
Most importantly remember to rest. You burn calories in your sleep, but most importantly, you cannot run on fumes. Living a healthy lifestyle requires all of you, mentally, emotionally, and physically. It will be frustrating some days, and stagnant too. But keeping that body healthy is the main goal.

You rarely see bodies in this position, let alone a body that looks like mine. We're conditioned to think about how we look ALL the time, especially when taking photos. Truth is, our bodies fluctuate through the day & we'll look different in different lighting and different angles. It's SO draining trying to slim down a double chin, suck in your stomach or position your arms so they look smoother and slimmer. Photos are supposed to capture & to create a memory. They aren't supposed to be perfect and curated all the time. When I look back at this photo I'll remember feeling confident and worthy and loved. I'll remember feeling emotionally strong but vulnerable enough to allow my insecurities to fuel me. I'll also remember a body that has been able to carry me through the good times and the bad times, through the trauma & through therapy. A body that has protected me from others, but that has also protected me from myself. A body thats maybe "too much" or "too large" but a body that houses courage, kindness and love. And maybe all of those things are so strong and powerful that a bigger vessel is needed to carry them 💗 #iamenough

A post shared by graciefrancesca.com (@gracefvictory) on

Remember grab that water and cheers to health!

101 Natural Hair Tips: 71-80 Tips For Healthy Protective Styling

    71-80 Ten protective style tips

Hey Ladies, I started the 101 Natural Hair Tips series at the beginning of the year. I quickly churned out, Natural Hair Care Basics, Natural Hair Basics and then Wash Day Basics .  It was Winter, which is the harshest season on your tresses, so I gave you  Winter Hair Care Tips .

The Series was going well and the next three installments were reader requests to address specific issues. First we had Transitioning Tips, then How To Avoid Becoming A Product Junkie, and finally Tips For Color Treated Hair . After that I took a little break an did a few fashion posts. Fast Forward to the present, I’m back to finish up the series.

Spring is now upon us, and this is the perfect time to wear protective styles. In most cases your hair grows the best, and you retain more length in the warmer weather. That being said, here are a few tips to maximize your hair growth while wearing protective styles. When I wrote this post, I was thinking of Braids and Weaves, but there are quite a few ways to do protective styles. These tips apply to them all.

1. Make Sure Your Scalp Is Clean & Healthy before Install. – This should kind of be a no brainer. None the less, if you have bumps, redness, soars, are anything like this, wait until your scalp is healed. Likewise always start with clean dry hair (trimmed if needed) to get the best results.

2. Deep Condition & Moisturize Your Natural Hair. – If You are going to keep this style in for a few weeks, you want to make sure you are taking care of your natural hair so it doesn’t break off during this time.

3. Avoid Excessive Pulling And Or Tugging. This is so important! Your hair is not permanently attached to your head. Too much pulling and tugging will cause your hair to rip out right at the root. It could even cause you to lose sections of hair. If it hurts bad, take it out!

Hair tip: avoid excessive pulling

4. Massage Your Scalp Daily- This is to keep circulation going, and promote a healthy scalp. I use my favorite oil, but it works even if you just use your finger tips. This is part of my nighttime routine any way. But I just do it a little longer when I have a protective style.

5. Keep Your Hair & Scalp Moisturized and Free From Build Up. – It’s important to maintain a clean scalp at all times but especially when wearing protective styles. This will help you prolong your style, and avoid itching. There are several ways to keep your scalp build up free, even if you suffer from flaky scalp. The easiest way is to take a wash cloth with warm water,and a little shampoo if you prefer and simply wipe between the twists or braids freeing and removing  debris from your scalp. You could also do this same technique with baby wipes. Or for a deeper clean you can mix some Apple Cider Vinegar with some water, put it in a nozzle bottle and apply it in the parts of your hair. This does require rinsing. I usually put the hair in 2-4 buns so it doesn’t get all wet, and when I rinse I try to only let the water rinse my scalp.  Also there are lots of brands that make products for what they call “under care” it means your hair under your protective style.

Undercare products by Cantu

6. Cover Your Head When Sleeping- Simple and plain. This helps to preserve your style, as well as protect your natural hair while you sleep. After all, that is the point of protective styling right!

Hair Tip Wrap your hair up when you sleep

7. Put Your Hair In A Bun Whenever Possible- this helps to reduce the tress on your natural hair. The more you keep it up, the less weight you have pulling on your tresses. And of course the obvious, it looks so cute!

Bun Life

8. Clean Your Hair & Scalp Regularly- I mean actually wash your hair. I’ve detailed and ACV rinse for your scalp above, that can also be used on your hair about once a month. I usually was mine about every 2 weeks. I take the shampoo ( right now I’m loving Eden Body Works Peppermint Shampoo) and massage it directly on my scalp. Then I put my hair in 2 buns and rinse it out when I get in the shower. You can let it air dry or you can sit under a hooded dryer.

9. After 6-7 Weeks A Protective Style Can Cause Damage. Now I know some people women who leave their weaves and braids in for up to 12 weeks or maybe even longer. However this is a very dangerous practice. After 6-8 weeks the hair begins to week and damage and breakage begins to occur for most people.

10. Carefully Remove & Detangle When Uninstalling- After one week two weeks are even 12 weeks, your hair has been shedding, (about 100 hairs a day) but the hairs have stayed in place because you haven’t manipulated it. Now the dead or shed hair can and will break loose when you remove the protective style. The hair shaft itself is in a weakened state so you want to be careful not to break off any more hair than has to. I normally remove my hair in sections, detangle and apply a prepoo all in one step. This helps me get ready to wash and deep condition shortly after I takedown my protective style.

Any questions? Lol, just remember wearing a protective style is all about maximizing your hair growth periods. In the past women wore them specifically for that reason. Now sometimes it’s about style, sometimes it’s about ease of lifestyle, or just plain laziness. What every your reason, these tips will help you make the most of it.

 

Wear It Wednesday: How To Rock Gingham

Hey ladies! So we are fresh off the Memorial Day weekend, and heading fast into warmer days. As usually we always look to add some new trends with our wardrobe staples to make our closet complete. One of the hottest trends this summer is Gingham. I know what you are thinking, the picnic tablecloth fabric? Yup that’s it. But don’t get it twisted. This is not your grandma’s Gingham. This print is seen on shoes, swim suits, and even shoulder less tops.

The fresh feel of this print just screams easy breezy summer! And yes, the plus sized fashion divas are not left out! Here are some of the styles we’ve found floating through our feed!

1. One Shoulder Top

@stylishcurves has that flawless thing down with this look we sent her way. #ThisBody

A post shared by Lane Bryant (@lanebryant) on

2. Gingham Pants and Shoes

3. Cold Shoulder Top from Fashion To Figure

 

Long weekend vibes. 🍹☀️😎🍊 (Tap the bio link to #GetTheLook)

A post shared by Fashion to Figure (@ftfsnaps) on

 

4. Romper from Target

 

 

5. Gingham Dress

@mustangsallytwo getting her gingham style on c/o the dress we sent her way.

A post shared by Lane Bryant (@lanebryant) on

and because I loved this look here’s another dress from Shein Official

Can't seem to get over how cute this OTS gingham dress is and under $20, let's talk winning.

A post shared by Fashion Blogger ✨Yolanda Renee (@curlypetiterenee) on

So don’t get caught up on the old vision of this print! It’s really one of the only new trends this summer. You can use it as an accent or as the main event! Remember it’s not your grandmas Gingham.

5 Stylish Summer 17 Hairstyles For Natural Hair : Easy Crochet Styles

Well it’s officially the Summer 17 season. As we begin to slow down and get into the easy breezy summer feel, nothing says summer style like a great protective hair style.

I love protective styles, but I hate how long they take to install. Until now, the crochet technique is back on the scene, and I’m oh so happy!

The crochet technique is an old trend that’s become new again. I used to wear crochet braids back in the late 90’s ( Yeah I know some of ya’ll  were just babes).  But today’s styles and techniques are so much more advanced. The whole idea of the crochet braids is it allows you to achieve a great looking protective style in a fraction of the time.  There are so many styles and techniques out there today, but it’s just like us lazy naturals to find a short cut, to the short cut, lol.  We’ve gathered 5 of the most popular styles and found them in a crochet technique which not only slices the installation time, it also makes it easy for any and everybody to be able to do it.

1. Now this one is for the beginner ! It only requires that you can plat your hair.

Easy 6 plat crochet 

2. This one is similar to number one but it takes a little more skill.

No Cornrow Crochet 

 

3. How about box braids? I know, what a time saver!

Box Braid Crochet

4. This one is not so easy, but it’s easier and takes less skill than other techniques that I’ve seen. This is my favorite look of all five.

Goddess LOCs

 

 

5. This is a style that I was shocked to see in a crochet technique, but after I watched the videos I couldn’t wait to try it.

Feed Braids

 

I will be doing some version of number 5 very soon. I love the feed braids because the are easy in and easy out! I’ll more than likely get 3 or 4 at some point during Summer ’17. What is your favorite protective styles? Hit us up on Facebook Facebook.com/mrsphatandnaptural and let us know what you’d like to see next.

Wear It Wednesday: FLOTUS STYLE

Wear It Wednesday: FLOTUS STYLE

As if being the former First Lady of the free world wasn’t dope enough. Aunty Chelly continues to take us higher dropping body goals, life goals and most recently vacation goals.

As the rest of us are just trying to make it through the day, Uncle Bam and Aunty Chelly have been on a most epic world tour. From golfing in Cali, to yachting it up with Richard Branson, chilling in Tahiti, and the latest traipsing through Tuscany!

Doing her usual and customary Fashion Slayage our forever Flotus set the internet a blaze with her choice of wears for the Italian leg of their Vacay. So far this Club Monico, BCBG ensemble is my most favorite. Although this look is uber casual, and seems effortlessly chic, the BCBG pants alone are $178. That being said, I give you the Wear It Wednesday, Flotus edition for under $135.00.

Shirt– I found at RiverIsland.com for $52. The sizes run from 14-24.

Wear It Wednesday: FLOTUS STYLE

Pants – Boohoo.com size 12-20

Wear It Wednesday: FLOTUS STYLE

 

 

Sandals– Target.com they go up to a size 11

Wear It Wednesday: FLOTUS STYLE

and of course the tiny topper  Shades, necklace, ring.

Even though We haven’t arrived at the point in life where we can go meandering through Montalcino on a Monday, at least we can look First Lady fly!

 

Spaghetti Straps & Ballet Flats: The Weekender

 

 

The Weekender

I don’t know about you but I’m always trying to balance comfort and style on the weekends. Usually you have to sacrifice one or the other. But I think I nailed it this time! My black spaghetti strapped sheath dress is ultra comfortable. However, it might look a little weird throwing it on to run to the grocery store or to do errands. But when you throw it on with the ultimate comfort gear, a  ” white tee” and some ballet flats, it screams ” casual glam”. This day was a little chilly, so I put my cropped denim jacket on top. To free up my hands while shopping, writing checks, or just to have somewhere to keep my keys & wallet, I grabbed this clutch sized fringe purse. Channeling my inner B-girl, I wore my gold hoops with my dookie rope chain.

This is the perfect Saturday style to run errands, or go shopping, but still be able to go meet a friend for lunch. The flats are good and comfy so you don’t have to worry about hurting dogs when you’re done!

Shopping Tip: The tip is, this look costed me nothing! I shopped my closet. The LBD is just a wardrobe staple that I have on deck, and now the I’ve learned how to dress it down its official a AP ( All purpose) LBD ( Little black dress). The denim Jack is the same one that I embellished ( here) . The ballet flats are from Asos in a wide width of course. The fringe bag is from a last year from Fashion To Figure.

The Weekender

The Weekender

The Weekender

The Weekender

Werk Your Work Clothes: Cubicle Cute


5 Ways To Werk Your Work Clothes

Sometimes I see my coworkers push the limits of our dress code in ther desire to get cubicle cute. I’ve seen skirts and dresses too short, heels too high, and inappropriate tops. On one casual Friday,  I’ve even seen a coworker wear sweatpants.

Or the equally as bad other end of the spectrum, when people just dress like a granny, in an effort to look conservative. Just bad! Although I am a grandmother, there’s no granny dressing here!

Here’s how I got cubicle cute. To add some flavor I went with these “everything” pink pants from Ashley Stewart. When I say everything, I mean they are every- thang! They wear like slacks, and are comfortable like leggings! The blush color is great for spring, yet they are warm enough to hold up to the Artic Blast tempeture of my office!  Instead of a regular cami, I went with this white faux leather cut out cami from Lane Bryant. My classic black blazer from Lane Bryant, nude heels from Nine West, and white faux pearls from Walmart anchor the look.

Werk Your Work Clothes

Werk Your Work Clothes

Werk Your Work Clothes

Blazer, simular pants, Top sold out, Wide Nude Heels

This blazer is one on of my favorite items in my wardrobe right now. Its just the right touch to keep my jeans office appropriate on casual Friday, and it still looks great with slacks, or over a skirt or dress. Now keep it cubicle cute, but stay out of HR lol!

 

 

SPRING-SPIRATION – Embelished Denim Jacket & Circle Skirt

Denim Jacket Circle Skirt

SPRING-SPIRATION - Denim Jacket Circle Skirt

SPRING-SPIRATION - Denim Jacket Circle Skirt


 Here in the Northeast,  the trees have yet to bloom, and the weather is slow to warm. Yet it is Spring! I love to call it the happy season! The colors we wear get bright to match blossoming flowers, and the pure site of the beautiful bright colors and light air clothing adds levity to my mood!

This look is more of a transitional  look, than a full on spring look. So I call it my Spring-spiration. It’s inspired by the idea of spring. The bright color of the skirt and the light denim are just perfect for early Spring. They will keep you warm enough to be comfy through to the evening when the temps get a little cooler. Yet the the colors are bright and fun like Spring.

SPRING-SPIRATION - Denim Jacket Circle Skirt

SPRING-SPIRATION - Denim Jacket Circle Skirt

My denim jacket is from Lane Bryant, I picked it up in the fall. Unfortunately you won’t be able to find it as shown because #psimadethat. I just took some of my vintage earring collection and used them to embellish it. I was inspired by those Gucci Denim jackets with the embroidery, and an article I saw on Buzzfeed.  I used the earrings so I could always go back and remove them and I could have a more traditional look.

SPRING-SPIRATION - Denim Jacket Circle Skirt

SPRING-SPIRATION - Denim Jacket Circle Skirt

My skirt is from Fashion to Figure from last year. Its made of  scuba fabric, so it lays very nice! I actually think this is one of my favorite articles of clothing! When I wear it, I always feel like I know what the 1950’s divas felt like in the poodle skirt! In fact don’t be surprised if you see her again later in the season walking the dogs 😍.

As an apple shape woman, the circle midi skirt is a perfect fit for my shape. It covers where it needs to cover, and drapes at the right spots.

SPRING-SPIRATION - Denim Jacket Circle Skirt

This look is a casual comfy style. I could have easily have worn this with heels, but instead I kept it casual with my favorite ballerina flat in nude.

As with most of my closet, these pieces are, what I call trendy classics. Even though none of them are recent purchases, I’ve added a little funk to these classic pieces and kept them on trend.

Do you DIY any of your pieces? I promise I will be doing more pieces this season. I have a lot of ideas so stay tuned for more #springspiration.