Diva’s Guide to Getting Fit and Healthy| Review

Diva's Guide to Getting Fit and Healthy Review| Earl-Leigh Designs #fitness #health

While I was provided with a copy of the Diva’s Guide to Getting Fit and Healthy to review, all opinions are my own. 

I met Patricia through one of the blog communities I’m involved with. When she announced that she had a fitness and health guide in need of review…I was all “me, me me. pick me”. And she did!

If you’re like me, your immediate thought is something to the effect of “but I’m not a diva’. The way Patricia defines being a diva is quite unlike what you and I may assume

According to the Diva’s Guide, a diva is:

“a purposeful woman who knows what she wants and make changes in her life in order to fulfill her God given destiny. She creates plans and set goals for herself, so she could live the life she wants. As women, we are always transitioning into different roles life gives us: mother, daughter, sister, wife etc. In essence, we are Divas in transition; transitioning into the women we were meant to be.”

This is not your typical, grab a shake and lift some weights type of guide. Patricia really focuses on helping you to heal and improve from the inside out. Which I find important because we need a health relationship with ourselves to make a lifestyle change stick and we have to know our purpose.

Fitness- she breaks down the benefit of each exercise and how to execute them correctly so true beginners know what they’re supposed to be doing. Form is important, people. After her explanation of how you complete an exercise with proper form, she has four weeks of workouts laid out for you. If you’re like me, the one thing you don’t want to do or know how to do effectively is put together a plan.

Nutrition- snack ideas and a “clean eating” food list are provided to make your life simpler. Happy dance!

Final Thoughts- The Diva’s Guide to Getting Fit and Healthy is a great way for beginners to learn the basics of how to get started. For someone who is reshaping their life, this book is a valuable tool. If you are already in a routine or have been working out for a while, you may not get as much from this guide. However, the Divas in Transition website has a wealth of information that anyone could benefit from…like recipes. Y’all know that I love food!

You can learn more about the Diva’s Guide on Amazon (non-affiliate link), Facebook and on Diva’s In Transition.

What books or guides are you reading? 

This post was fueled by tea…with espresso…because I have a problem!

eShatki Review and Coupon Code

eShatki Review and Coupon Code

Disclaimer: I was provided an item from eShakti in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

I’ve received a lot of compliments from friends and family when I’ve worn this dress. Love it. Usually when companies contact me about reviews, I politely decline unless it’s something I would have  purchased with my own money anyway. I’m here to keep it real with y’all and not burn bridges. When eShatki contacted me about possibly reviewing something from their site, I was excited to say the least. Customizations! I’m a dress wearer but sometimes finding one to fit my needs can be difficult.

I’m 5’2″, have a large chest and broad shoulders. With eShatki’s ordering system, I was able to supply them with all of my measurements. What I received in the mail a few days later, thanks to DHL delivery, was a perfectly fitted dress I could wear to a casual wedding or an outing with my family. I’m a lazy dresser so I like my wardrobe to be dual-performing!

eShatki Review and Coupon Code

You can’t see it here but my favorite customization was adding pockets. I love, love, love dresses with pockets. eShatki is actually having a sale right now and I’m in need of some new school clothes so I have a little wishlist and pockets will be added:

eShatki Back to School Wishlist| Earl-Leigh Designs #BacktoSchool #fashion #eShatki

The wonderful people over at eShatki were generous enough to send a 10% off coupon code (earlleighdesigns) to use on their site for non sale items. The code is valid from 07/27/2015 – 08/27/2015. 

Code has to be entered in the ‘promotional code’ box.   It is not case-sensitive.  

Code can be used any number of times until the validity period. 

It can be clubbed with any other promotional offer, gift coupon or gift card in the same order unless explicitly specified otherwise in the offer conditions.

This discount code is not applicable on clearance, gift cards & overstock categories.

Not applicable on previous purchases.

Have you ordered anything from eShatki before?
Is it hard for you to find clothing that fits well?

This post was fueled by coffee, Sublime and fumes.

Working with Older, Black Populations: Nutrition

One of my favorite people ever at work decided she wanted to live a healthier lifestyle and came to me for advice. Woo hoo! I’m not a personal trainer, nor am I a dietitian…let’s just get that out of the way…but I would never hold back my solicited opinions upon request. Especially when dealing with this coworker in particular as she has grown to be a mother-like figure for me. We’ll call her Mrs. Green.

Working with older Black populations: Nutrition| Earl-Leigh Designs #nutrition #wellness

Mrs. Green was diagnosed with diabetes roughly a year ago and started making some changes to her life after speaking with a dietitian. Awesome, right? Well after speaking with Mama Green, I realized what the problem was quickly. She wasn’t eating nearly enough most days and when she did eat…it was all of components of what I call the “typical Southern Black grandma diet”. High in sodium, trans fat and carbs aplenty. Delicious. Haha! I get it. I was raised in that type of family where the meat was fried and the greens were cooked with a ham hock or two. Culturally, that’s just what we (meaning my Southern Black family) did. Those recipes were handed down and there was no other way of cooking.

While she did have several meetings with the dietitian, her main takeaway was to reduce her daily caloric intake and everything should even out. Nope. I went through my bookshelf and gave her some resources I found helpful and we’ve been working on finding new ways to cook her favorite meals. She has no desire to acquire a taste for quinoa and that’s okay. I think with some of our older folks, they get frustrated because they think they HAVE to eat kale and beets because it was suggested. Finding out that she can still eat meals that have a homey feel took some of the pressure off of her. It’s so fun to see how much she’s enjoying her new lifestyle! She walks four miles a day and comes to work armed with balanced meals and snacks. She’s lost ten pounds and her numbers are improving. Take that, diabetes! Gone are the days where she would eat a sausage and piece of white bread for breakfast just for the sake of eating. #PraiseHim

Am I pretending to be some sort of expert? Not in the least. I want the best for everyone and will help how I can. Let’s have some open discussions on how we can all contribute to the well being of our communities together.

For my RD’s out there or anyone who works with older peeps (retirement age and up), have you run into any issues working with populations who come from different socioeconomic or racial backgrounds? 
Are any of you trying to change your lifestyle after years of “mama’s cooking”?

If you’re working with a client like Mrs. Green and are having difficulties getting through to them but don’t want to leave a comment…shoot me an email and we can brainstorm. You can reach me at earl leigh designs at gmail dot com.

This post was fueled by coffee, Blink 182 and a berry medley.

 

Soda City Market: Mercer House Estate Winery

My crew (Harper and Mike) and I picked up my nieces on Saturday morning so that we could go to Soda City Market. We ended up getting there about an hour or so later than we normally would because it’s summer and my nieces are teens…let them sleep in a bit. Luckily, Harper’s Only Child Syndrome means that she fancies herself to be an adult when her cousins are around. This meant we could go out at what would have been her nap time without the threat of a melt down.

The first mission was finding mommy/auntie (depending on who you asked) a cup of coffee. Because, I needed it! I tried drinking tea instead my morning java and that was just a cup of nope.

While I enjoyed an iced coffee in the ninety plus degree heat, the girls decided they wanted to get lemonade. Because they are baby foodies, they bypassed the regular lemonade that your granny would make and got cups made from meyer lemons, blueberries and herbs. Why not?! It was pretty amazing so Mike and Harper got some too.

Soda City Market| Earl-Leigh Designs

Soda City Market| Earl-Leigh Designs

After hydrating, we decided to take MoMo and Yeye (Harper can’t pronounce their full names yet) around once so they could see what food options they had as it was their first time at the market. In true Michael fashion, we ran into some people he knew. My husband cannot go anywhere without running into someone. This time, it happened to be some local artists who had a booth out so they went into full artist mode. Which meant we had to hang around for 45 minutes while they discussed art shows,conventions and techniques. Well, I actually hung around for half of that time because the Vine To-Go truck was out there. With the girls keeping Harper entertained, I finally had the opportunity to check out a local winery I’ve heard wonderful reviews for.

After sampling four of Mercer House Estate’s wines, I decided to buy a bottle of the the Farmer’s Wife before we left. The wine is dry, crisp and has a wonderful citrus taste. Oh and it’s about 14% alcohol. Yes, that matters to me.

Soda City Market| Earl-Leigh Designs

As far as food goes, we didn’t get anything too out of our norm. Mike got bbq and I had some waffle pudding from the waffle truck. It was good but a little richer than I expected. After dropping the girls off home and Harper’s nap, we had to pack a bag because she was going to Papa’s house. Mike wanted to go watch the UFC match at a sports bar so I decided to have a glass of wine before leaving. Good thing! A couple of those matches were pretty intense.

What is your favorite nonfood item to get from the market?
Do you drink local?

This post was fueled by a Starbucks Refresher and Little White Lie.

GIF 1/2

 

Incase Review, Weekend Recap and A Camel

Weekend Recap and Incase Review| Earl-Leigh Designs #incase #review

I was given the opportunity to review an item from Incase in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Now that the legal stuff has been handled, let’s talk about www.goincase.com. Honestly, until one of their awesome representatives reached out to me, I had never heard of them. Whaaat?! Why?! I’m a reformed bag addict. I have purchased maybe four handbags since having Harper. I take a gym bag to work because I go workout right after leaving the office and I can’t be bothered with a bag and purse. When I’m out with the family, I usually have a diaper bag. Remember how I mentioned we have an 80% potty-trained toddler? I can now downsize to smaller bags because I don’t need to have an entire changing station in my bag. Here comes Incase in all of it’s wonder. Pockets galore.

I chose their Reform Shoulder Bag after much deliberation. The color is beautiful, the bag is the perfect size, it’s easily adjustable, the design is gender neutral so Mike and I can easily switch off. We’re not big into “gendered items” but my favorite color is pink and well…he doesn’t want to carry a pink diaper bag. It was a gift. Haha! I was able to organize my makeup (very important), wallet, iPad, two Pull-ups and a spare outfit for Harper with room left over between sections. You never know what you’ll need! I love that Incase keeps your tech products protected with cushioned pockets. There are even some hidden pockets on the back!

Weekend Recap and Incase Review| Earl-Leigh Designs #incase #review

Weekend Recap and Incase Review| Earl-Leigh Designs #incase #review

Look at that front pleat! I love a good pleat.

Weekend Recap and Incase Review| Earl-Leigh Designs #incase #review

Weekend Recap and Incase Review| Earl-Leigh Designs #incase #review

Overall, we were both pleased with the shoulder bag and I’m thinking about purchasing their EO Duffel Bag for travel.

Please note that we’re moving into a phase of super sassy photos. I asked Harper if she would take a photo with her dad and this is the pose she popped into! I’m not ready.

When we got to the Fourth of July Peach Festival (I love Southern living), Harper was tired so she insisted on taking her stroller out. That worked for me because I planned on stashing my leftovers in the bottom of her whip anyway. I wanted to dive right into a bowl of peach cobbler but Mike decided we should eat some bbq to offset the sugar I was about to inhale. I have no pictures of food because none of the food lasted long enough for a photo shoot.

A rundown of what the Family Sudduth ate:
Two Pulled pork plates with hash and rice
One Peach cobbler for me and one peach cobbler with ice cream for the mister (Harper hated the cobbler)
One peach slush for Mike
One peach ice cream in a waffle cone for Harper and mommy

I regret nothing. We are usually really conscious of what we eat so indulging occasionally doesn’t send me into a frenzy of regret and panic anymore. After eating all of the peaches and bbq at the Peach Festival for the Fourth of July, we decided to walk around the “kid friendly area”.

Weekend Recap and Incase Review| Earl-Leigh Designs #incase #review

But then quickly decided to let her get in some jumps at the bouncy house, with one of us ready to dive in at a moment’s notice. I did appreciate the honest signage posted on the rides.

IMG_3935

They also had camels stationed beside the bouncy house. I get it. South Carolina, peaches and camels. Totally makes sense.

After all of that fun in the sun, we went home with our bellies full and napped before Harper went out with her grandma. Because she got to out, Mike and I went to a friend’s cookout.

Weekend Recap and Incase Review| Earl-Leigh Designs #incase #review

Where I rocked some booty shorts, a crop top and flag scarf because ‘Merica!

What are you doing this weekend? Still recovering from too much holiday?
Had you ever heard of Incase?
Do you go for bright bags or keep it simple?

This post was fueled by pumpkin spice tea, Etta James and the dread of Hip Hop Abs.

Hip Hop Abs Mini Review

With all of my bachelorette weekend, wedding and birthday celebration fun over the last month, I have been drinking more than usual. Sorry mom but champagne.

Hip Hop Abs Mini Review| Earl-Leigh Designs #fitness #beachbody #review

The one thing I hate more than cardio is any type of ab specific training. Hate. It. This is due in large part to the fact that I haven’t repaired my diastasis recti completely. I started working on it last year but stopped after my inconsistent training failed leave me with a six pack. Duh girl! I was hoping that things would magically fix themselves as I trained other parts of my body. While the separation has improved, I have to kick it into gear. 🙁

I love infomercials. I could spend an entire Saturday morning watching them, if we still had cable. On one of our trips to Conway, Mike and I were up super early with Harper and an infomercial for Hip Hop Abs came on. Shaun T and his crew looked so happy to be on set. He kept calling it a dance party and said that there was no floor work. At that point, I was aware of diastasis recti so I thought “hell…I can do that”. I wrote the program down on my list of fitness routines to try because I like to switch things up with my cardio. Beachbody recently had a sale so I bought the dvds because it was too cheap to pass up. For those of you who don’t know, Mike and I completed Insanity right before I got pregnant with Harper. I should have known what devilment was waiting for me when Michelle dropped off the dvds and weighted gloves. I didn’t remember the gloves or optional weights from the infomercial. Just sayin’.

I looked at the dvds (still in plastic) for a couple days before summoning the strength to work on my abs “yoooooo”. Shaun T loves the word “yo”. As I panted and sweated in my living room, I had flashbacks of the happy people from the infomercial. Everyone in the dvd is all bouncing around and adding stank or whatever to the moves. Meanwhile, I was dying.

I’ll give my full review after a month of consistent program use. For now:
Pros-
Cardio and abs rolled into one
I was able to alter some of the moves that were not ab separation friendly
You will sweat

Cons-
Cardio
Totally not like any dance party I have ever been to in life

Have you ever tried Hip Hop Abs or any other Shaun T foolery?
What is your least favorite body part to train?
Who else loves a good infomercial?

This post was fueled by pineapples, water and Ella Fitzgerald.

Toddler Fitness Antics and Competition Update

I don’t have a towel rack in my bathroom anymore. Well, I have one. It’s in four pieces right now with the majority of them being on the floor.

I’m going to set the scene:
I haven’t mentioned it yet but we an (80%) potty-trained toddler. #PraiseHim
Y’all know that Harper works out with me some days.

Last night after a successful potty trip Harper washed her hands and them dried them. Ya know? The normal stuff. No big deal. Out of nowhere girlfriend grabs ahold of the towel rack and proceeds to crank out three pull-ups before the bar and all of it’s pieces fly off the wall. I’m flabbergasted and pointing at the wall. She’s standing there with the bar still in her hands with the “oh shit” face. All I could do was ask her “why”. Her response, “I don’t know”. I guess she felt like bro-ing it out.

I will say that I was proud of the ease in which she popped those pull-ups out. Especially since I can only do three! Haha! I’ve always struggled with pull-ups.

Competition Update:

After emailing with my wonderful trainer, Susie, last week and consulting with a friend who competes, we’ve decided to focus on figure for next year. My body is naturally muscular so I’m starting to look more like a figure competitor. This is not to say that bikini competitors aren’t developed. It’s just that they are expected to be a little softer than figure girls.

The game plan now is to put on size. I can’t wait!
Toddler Fitness and Competition Updates| Earl-Leigh Designs #fitness #competitor

Toddler Fitness and Competition Updates| Earl-Leigh Designs  #fitness #competitor

What is the most random thing to happen to you lately? 

This post was fueled by coffee, eggs and Barenaked Ladies.

Finding Beauty in SC

Thank you for the support on yesterday’s post! It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while and it feels good to come clean.

At this point in time, people are probably thinking that we have all lost our damn minds in South Carolina. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just Google some SC news. It should be easy to find these days. My personal preference is to not address these news stories on social media because there is no way I could eloquently state my feelings. Just know that my heart is with anyone who has been affected by any of these recent events. With that being said, I want to show you some of the beauty we have coming out this state I’m still proud to call home.

If you remember, Harper’s Godparents got married a couple weekends ago and Mike and I were honored to be in the wedding. Here are just a few shots of the wonderful weekend! I was having too much fun to be bothered with photographing memories! Sorry #BadBlogger

Finding Beaty in SC

Is that a pink frosted animal cracker atop that cupcake? Yes, it is. God bless bridal brunches.

Finding Beaty in SC

We had our own little private bowling alley for the rehearsal dinner. Good times. I think I bowled better that night than I ever have in life. Like all of the other times bowling combined didn’t add up to the “streak” I was on. Don’t be impressed. Ha! I still sucked.

IMG_3627

The beautiful bride, in white, and her maids rocking some kick ass socks.

Finding Beaty in SC

The photographer laid out this shot so I obviously had to snap a few photos too. Stephanie, one of the other bridesmaids, made custom hangers for all us! Sorry again for the long name, Steph!

Finding Beaty in SC

While the wedding itself took place in North Carolina, we’re all South Carolina girls so yeah it still counts. Ha!

Where are you finding beauty these days?

This post was fueled by coffee, a Luna bar (not my favorite) and Ace of Base.

When to Let Your Blog Go or Grow

I wish that I could say that it’s been a busy life that has kept me so quiet but it’s more so a challenge of direction. I love what we have built here but it’s not entirely what I want.

When your blog is ready to grow up| Earl-Leigh Designs #blogging #growth #branding

The challenge I was facing was whether I wanted to start completely anew with a fresh blog or if I wanted to make this blog what I envisioned it to be. I was ready to close shop and move, honey! The practical part of me was thinking about the money I’ve already put into ELD. Did I want to consider the possibility of running two blogs to keep Earl-Leigh Designs the same? After much mulling, I’ve decided to let the blog evolve and hope that it remains a place where everyone feels welcome.

The content will be similar with lifestyle and fitness posts but I’ve always wanted to take it a step up. Y’all know that I love modern and glam! I’m going to start incorporating some beauty posts because there are so many products I want to brag about but those posts don’t seem to “fit” right now. I think that part of the reason I kept tinkering with my old blog before finally making the switch to WordPress is that desire to build onto the framework.

I’ve started a fresh blog plan (thanks to byRegina.com) and feel excited for the first time in months!

Have you felt the need to completely revamp a part of your life?
What is the most difficult part about change for you?

This post was fueled by coffee and Tom Petty.

From Bedpans to Diapers Pt 2

In my last post, I told you guys about how Mike had to deal with having a crazy wife and a new tiny baby in the NICU.

Once she was here (7 weeks early), Mike remembered the fact that he had never done so much as change a diaper. He was freaking out…it was hilarious…but he learned. He gave Harper her first bath and did the first round of kangaroo care. It was simply awesome to see a glimpse of what was coming!

From Bed Rest to Diapers via Earl-Leigh Designs

From Bed Rest to Diapers via Earl-Leigh Designs

When they let her out after two weeks, just a few days before Christmas, we were able to start our lives in our new home. Mike had all of the furniture assembled and bedding laundered.

The last couple years have been filled with so many memorable moments as I watch the two of them bond. Although his journey into fatherhood may not have been his ideal, he never missed a beat. (Not sayin’ he’s perfect but he was exactly who we needed him to be)

He’ll be working a convention this weekend so he won’t be here for Father’s Day. Although I’m not one for really emotional displays of affections, I like to let him know that he’s the “real MVP” on occasion.

This post was fueled by coffee, Gin Blossoms and the dread of walking to the gym in 104 degree weather.