Tag Archives: Lifestyle

Weight loss 101: Why Rest Days Are A Must!

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Fitness junkies everywhere may look at this post as if it’s the devil. However, rest days are crucial to training and it’s ok to skip your workout (really it’s not the end of your life). While you are scrolling on IG looking at your favorite fitness accounts and feel as if you’re slacking for taking a day off, your body and mind really needs this time to recover and grow.

Think about how you may feel after working a 40 hour work week. By Friday, you’re fatigued and ready for the weekend. Overworking causes mood shifts, stress, and exhaustion (is that a word, lol) all the time which leads to burn out (quitting).

Think about your body in the same way. Over training is not a way to get faster results it’s quite the opposite. You become more susceptible to injury and plateaus. Never taking a day off actually makes you weaker. Ironic, huh!

You should rest every third day. You do not have to be completely inactive on your rest days. I workout Monday and Tuesday and take a break on Wednesday, and I’m not sitting at home thinking about the gym or Zumba either. I use this time to relax my mind and body by stretching or yoga.

Remember it’s not your workouts that make you stronger its rest, because the rest allow your muscles to heal and recover. Plus, your rest day prepares you to kill your next workout.

So recap: Why should you take a rest day?

  1. Rest/Build Muscles
  2. Avoid Plateaus
  3. Avoid Mood Swings
  4. Avoid Quitting (Burnout)
  5. Relax Your Mind

Listen to your body,

 

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Police or Race Soldiers #BlackLivesMatter

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Headlines are sweeping the nation with images of unarmed black men being killed by white police officers, and last night I went to sleep with the murder of Alton Sterling on my mind (praying for his children and family), and woke up to another traffic stop gone bad claiming the life of Philando Castile. Innocent blood being shed and simply for being black. But Why? Citizens executed in the streets of America by those who have took an oath to protect and serve.

It’s not you Black Men. It’s nothing that you have done. You can be the best driver, comply with all instructions, have empty hands, and you will still lose your life. A child was in the car. The police fired a shot while a child was in the car. It’s hard to articulate the burden that my heart feels today. And the biggest burden is to look in the eyes of my 2 boys (9 and 2) and tell my boys that they will not be given a fair chance and no matter what they accomplish in this life they are looked upon as scary.

Who will police the police? These police officers should be held accountable and until they are stopped nothing will change. No one should be given paid leave after he shoots an innocent man! If there are no consequences, Black Citizens in America will never be safe.

Let this soak in…  There was no conviction with Trayvon Martin, no conviction with Sandra Bland, no conviction with Eric Garner, no conviction with Mike Brown, no conviction with Freddie Gray, and the list goes on and on…

The battle is the Lord’s but the responsibility is ours. So what will we do to change this.. Money matters if our lives don’t! Remember the Montgomery Bus Boycott demonstrated nonviolent mass protest and successfully changed the Civil Rights Movement. Let’s take Action and stop this nonsense. #BlackLivesMatter #myboysmatter #myhusbandmatter

 

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Signed as a woman who loves her men…

My Humbling Journey to Sri Lanka

 

Every year my husband travels to do ministry in Sri Lanka with Latter Rain International Ministries, MY

Latter Rain International Ministries is a 501c3 Christian organization dedicated to serving others. The main focus of LRIM is to spread the Gospel and provide basic necessities to those in need. (I linked the website if you would like to know more about LRIM).

I was honored that God allowed me to be a part of this year’s team as praise and worship leader. The Lord inspired me so much with this opportunity that I had to share it with you guys…

For me to leave my boys behind was extremely uncomfortable and the first time I had ever stepped foot in an airplane I was flying over 20 hours. Extremely uncomfortable. I could tell by the way I was feeling that it was time to step up.  It’s all or nothing. God often test our hearts by asking us to serve in ways that makes us uncomfortable in order to make another persons life better. The service can be far more than anything you could ever imagine.

I was inspired by the women in Sri Lanka. These women are one of a kind.. humble, hard-working, and so beautiful. The culture of Sri Lanka is one of a village, everyone work together to help. The women are not looking to be promoted but to be honored and the way these women show honor is by serving. Unselfishness and virtue is what these women demonstrate daily.

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This is Maria. She is Pastor Isreal’s wife. Most services she was home cooking for all of the guest. She made sure we all had fresh food immediately after service.

The food is so pure and natural, nothing is tampered with. Meaning if you are eating chicken, it is pure ol’ farm raised chicken.

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curry chicken, rice, green beans, carrots… We also had homemade flat bread and fried chicken with this meal that is not pictured..

The churches are made of mud with little to no electricity. Some churches with no building assemble outside (similar to a tent revival) with no tent. Church here is definitely not a fashion show. It’s not where you come to be seen or flaunt your newest hairstyle. Do to the small minority of Christian churches in Sri Lanka, most of the churches do not have baptism pools, so baptisms are usually done in rivers, creeks, or in the Indian Ocean. Upon entering the building you must take your shoes off and sit on the floor reverencing God and the holy ground that you are standing on. After service you must stay to eat fresh bananas, biscuits, and have hot tea. It’s their custom to always be hospitable and to make sure that you are refreshed before leaving their presence.

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Pastor Isreal and Pastor Marqcus baptized 14 believers in the Indian Ocean.

Pastor Isreal and Pastor Marqcus baptized 14 believers in the Indian Ocean.

 

After every service the people would bring us hot tea, bananas, and cookies..

After every service the people would bring us hot tea, bananas, and biscuits..

This trip was for me to see first hand what it is to have a true servant’s heart. God calls us to have a servant’s heart. So whether you are ushering, washing feet, behind the scenes, or singing praise and worship God sees it all as a big task. There is no limit on what God will do for you, if you use what he has given you to help others. Are you willing to serve?

Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Mark 10:43 (MSG)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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Snapchat Picture/ Follow me on Snap #sweatinmascara

This is the quickest, most kid friendly (even though I didn’t share it with the boys lol), gluten free, and low carb spin for taco night. These amazing taco stuffed zucchini boats are stuffed with ground beef (or ground turkey), seasoned with cumin, taco seasoning, pico de gallo, and finished off with mexican shredded cheese for an amazing taste that will have your taste buds grateful.

I actually got the inspiration from my sorority sister (Darcelle) whose IG I am always stalking. I love trying new ideas and placing my own unique spin on different dishes. Add salsa and a little sour cream as a topper and you are ready to eat. I know for a fact I will eat a lot of this yummy goodness this summer.

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats 

4-5 medium zucchini cut in half length wise

Your favorite taco seasoning packet

1 pound of ground beef or ground turkey beef

1 tsp of cumin

Pico de gallo blend (hack i buy it blended Kroger or Walmart)

1/2 cup of Mexican blend shredded cheese

 

Directions

Using a small spoon hallow out the center of the zucchini halves img_3337

Brown ground beef or turkey beef in a big skillet when the beef no longer pink add spices, pico de gallo, and mix well. Stir and simmer on low for about 15 minutes

Place hallowed zucchini halves into a Pyrex dish lined with foil

Using a spoon fill in the hallowed zucchini halves dividing the taco meat equally

Top each with about 1 Tablespoon of cheese

Cover with foil and place in the oven on 350 degrees for about 25 minutes

Top with sour cream and serve with a side of salsa

Enjoy!!

 

 

Shirt Dress Style with Nicke Street Boutique

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Seriously, who doesn’t want to look fashionable and stylish in one piece. No struggle!

One classic staple that every woman should have in her closet is a classic shirt dress. A great shirt dress is a wardrobe butterfly and can easily be transformed from casual office comfort to weekend slay. Maxi length shirt dresses are everywhere this spring and it’s one of the easiest styles to pull off. Long length, loose, sheer, and minimal effort in the switch from day to night. I picked up this shirt dress from the online boutique Nicke Street. Nicke Street is a classy and chic boutique with unique vintage pieces and accessories for the sophisticated lady.

Today, I’m showing you how I styled my shirt dress from a weekend stroll downtown to date night with my photographer (that’s hubby).

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I felt at ease and super stylish by adding Sam & Libby silver metallic sandals from last year (similar shoes here) to give this dress life in a very casual type of way.

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I added Cato’s nude shooties (similar shoes here) to give this shirt dress a little street style for Saturday night.

Other styling options for this shirt dress: mixing it up with a cross-body bag, belting it to showcase the curves a little, or even using it as a cover up on the beach with your favorite swim suit..

How would you style it? I would love to know in the comment section below..

Why I switched back to my Polar after gaining 20 pounds with the Fitbit!

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Before we go anywhere let me say this really quickly, Setbacks are real, but sometimes your setback may be a setup. That’s what I thought anyways. Lol.  In the last few months I have had a lot going on with my body that has had me on the “sick and shut in” list. Just to go ahead and give you the scoop, I had knee surgery last year in October and varicose vein treatments in both legs in March. So for approximately 3 months I was out of commission, but not really. My Fitbit game was strong, but hold up. I have a confession. In all of this I gained about 22 pounds.

My Fitbit (glorified pedometer) had become my new companion and I was clocking 10k (sometimes 15k) every day. So how was I gaining weight?  I had major fitness watch frustration going on. While my steps were accurate Fitbit was wildly generous when it came to my calories burned and this is how I packed on extra pounds. I honestly thought I was burning more so I ate slightly more to refuel my body.

This year Fitbit is facing lawsuits over accuracy of its fitness monitors. Here’s the link for those who want to check it out (Taking the pulse of Fitbit’s Contested Heart Monitors). And to prove that the readings are far fetched I wore both my Fitbit and my Polar FT7 Watch yesterday as I took a brisk walk giving a legit example and showing the inconsistencies in the Fitbit alone.

I walked for 52 minutes. Fitbit recorded that I burned 589 calories walking when my Polar only recorded 332 calories. That is an extra 257 calories that just magically appeared. That’s far from the truth and think about if a person thought that they burned an extra 257 calories 5 days a week. That equals 1285 calories given to you by mistake. Not cool Fitbit! So I had to go back to the only thing I knew long before Fitbit was ever mentioned… and that was the Polar Watch.

I started my health journey about 4 years ago and the first fitness watch I invested in was the Polar FT4 Watch.  At that time it was the most accurate training device. It includes a chest strap that measures accurate heart rate. 6 weeks ago, I went back to my Polar because it gave me continuous workout guidance with no hiccups. Today, I only use my Fitbit for steps calculated and daily activity because I love that it converts my steps into miles. The Polar Watch is my cardio accessory for vigorous workouts. 

I wanted to be transparent and share this with my readers who possibly have been thinking about investing in a fitness watch. Everything is not for everybody. Choose your fitness watch specific to your health journey and that only. 

Do you think the Fitbit is as fit as people think? Do you own a Fitbit? If not, Which fitness watch do you use and why? Comment Below…

 

3 Reasons Why God Allows Trials and Tribulations

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In my life I did question God a bit. I wondered why things were a certain way. I thought, Does God care about me? Why is this happening to me? I am doing everything right. Why am I being placed in such hard times if God loves me? We all have thoughts like this no one is exempt.

The closer I got to God the more temptation, persecution, and feeling of loneliness I suffered. The more I was trying to do right, the harder it was to do right (deep sigh)…  I compared it to this analogy.. The more weight you lose the harder it is to lose weight, but you don’t quit right? You train harder, work more, and you become a winner. It’s the same way with God, my trials were training and instead of me looking at them with a hopeless attitude I was compelled to pick myself up through adversity and move forward.

Here’s 3 reasons why God allows trials and tribulations..

1. Sometimes we suffer because of our OWN MISTAKES.. Let’s go ahead and nip this in the bud (country grammar). In my life a lot of things I could have avoided if I had of listen to the right voice in the first place. Let us stop blaming God for our mistakes and take responsibility that we were wrong about some things that got us into some bad situations and thank God that he covered and protected us in all of shenanigans, Right… 

A person’s own folly leads to their ruin yet their heart rages against the Lord. Proverbs 19:3

2. PRIDE is a terrible thing. Pride brings self-destruction. When we think we have it all together. Life spins out of control. Things get chaotic.. God brings tribulation to make us more HUMBLE. 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

3. God wants to develop our CHARACTER. I know this may sound odd. How does going through a trial develop ones character. The key is in this scripture below… 

 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.    Romans 5:3-5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

You can not win unless you play the game. The game requires work, pain, and struggle. You can not come out victorious unless you fight the battle. The battle is hard, frustrating, and painful. The development of your character requires suffering. We must allow our trials to transform our mindset. The pupa (a caterpillar inside the cocoon) is in a dark place. It is isolated. When this transformation is taking place the pupa is not in a comfortable situation, however when it comes out its transformed into a beautiful butterfly. Allow your trials to transform you into something beautiful. 

This is a note to myself to stay encouraged through it all. Building a ministry with my husband is not the easiest thing I have ever done in my life, but I know that this is God’s will for my life and instead of kicking against the prick I’m finally embracing the calling that he has upon my life.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Smile God loves you,

Chasi

My Mother’s Day wishlist 2016

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Mother’s Day is almost here and I wanted to put together a little gift inspiration for my husband… Lol!! I’m joking! Maybe.. Maybe not!! I see wishlist all year around for the holidays and I wanted to give it a try to show you guys some of the things I am intrigued by or that I love, and possibly to give you some gift ideas. I am a firm believer of treating yourself for your hard work and being a mommy is not an easy job, but the rewards are countless. One of my biggest priorities in life is to be a great mom. And while all the gifts in the world are lovely, the truth of the matter is, I’m really happy with being Tristan and Tylan’s mom. Even with the meltdowns, anxiety, tantrums, and endless cleaning I couldn’t ask for anything more than my 2 boys.

Mother’s Day Wishlist 2016 Items…

1. Viktor & Rolf ‘Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum Spray’  (Every woman needs a signature fragrance. I love the smell of flowers and dousing myself in this scent makes me feel happy and confident.)

2. Quilted Faux Leather Crossbody (These bags are so chic and great for spring. I love the black and white it’s so minimal and goes with just about anything. The perfect size not too big or small. The perfect fix for a small bag and so stylish. Did I say perfect?)

3. Asics Women’s GT-1000 3 Wide Width Running Sneakers from Finish Line ( I have wide flat feet. I love Asics because they run in wide sizes. Most training shoes run narrow. These shoes are perfect and feel amazing. 

4. Mum Coffee Mug (What Mom does not run off of coffee? I love coffee (hot and cold) and I have a slick addiction to coffee mugs. I love this one. Mum is so Motherland to me. I love all things African.)

5. Roses.. From anywhere  (I love flowers because they are beautiful so simple.)

What has given you the most joy as a mother? Comment below…

Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing mothers..

xoxo,

Chasi

Created by God/Hacked by the Enemy

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When we look around, we are aware of criminals lurking to take from us for financial or personal gain. We are always proactive about identity theft. We create passwords, shred information, and we are always on guard for our privacy. We do not want to become victims of identity theft, but what about spiritual identity theft…Whether you believe it or not everyday our identities, that were given to us by Our Creator, are under attack by our spiritual enemy who will use any strategy to make us slip and lose passion in our walk with God. The enemy wants to steal our desire for God, because he know that if he can take that away the rest is history. Satan has a strategy to destroy you! #FACTS

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (Be focused and serious because the enemy is sneaky and wants to destroy you.) 1 Peter 5:8

A while back the enemy was about to destroy me.. My identity had been snatched, I had become so consumed by life that I did not have time to glorify God. I constantly made excuses for not having enough time for God, before long my life had become toxic and drained by hanging out with people who did not value me. I had become addicted to hurt and I kept running back to relationships that were causing me so much pain. It did not take long before my thirst for God had become dry, and I had let the enemy creep in and steal my identity! I felt worthless and I had been robbed of my self-worth, purity, self-esteem, freedom, and that’s just to name a few. He had taken control of my thoughts and actions and I allowed it. I allowed it so no need for sympathy… I allowed it and it was my job to take my authority back!

Do you find yourself in the words that you are reading? Do you feel as if the enemy has taken your identity and you want to be identified with Christ again. I just want to let you know that you’re not alone in this journey. Can I tell you something? You have the authority to take back everything that the devil has stolen from you through our Savior. I don’t know what he has stolen from you. I know at one time in my life the enemy stole my peace and self-esteem, but once I surrendered my life to Christ, the new struggle began with the unfailing love and forgiveness covering my relationship with God. Stop being ashamed of your past, the failures, mistakes, & toxic people you allowed in your life.  Your Spirit is suffering and this is the reason you feel drained and like life has no meaning. However, you are the only one who can solve it. Surrender right now to God. You can be free today. You can look in the mirror and love yourself again. Regardless of your size, color, hair texture.. You’re beautiful. God made you to be a Queen. This is why you can not have any and everything.. You are chosen and you deserve the very best!! The struggle is real but losing your identity is death to your Spirit. Take it back by force…  You are FAR too precious, beautiful, intelligent, and courageous for that. God desires your everything.

The only true freedom is in Christ alone.. Everything else is a counterfeit!

xoxo, Chasi

Vacation and Facts of Life

Life is a Beach

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Spring Break is here and I am thoroughly enjoying this time. If you did not know I am an educator and I have 2 boys. Spring Break is the time that the entire family is off for vacation.

My fave place to unwind is the beach. I love the weather and the view is just amazing within itself. Creole food is definitely my favorite and I feel as if I’m in my natural habitat when I’m anywhere on The Gulf Coast (Mobile, New Orleans, Gulfport, or Biloxi).

The hubby captured a few shots of me on the beach in my aztec tunic from a couple of summers ago. A good tunic is a closet must-have. I picked it up at Southern Roots, a local boutique in Tupelo.  It’s one of my most comfortable pieces that i enjoy during the summer/spring. On cooler days I add skinnies and booties.

To add some interest to this look I accessorized with a headband, bangles, and oversized hoop earrings. I love mixing prints so I also added a leopard scarf.

All of my accessories are from last summer except my headband and earrings. The headband I picked up from It’s Fashion Metro. The earrings are from Forever 21.

So much fun in these pictures.. How are you enjoying Spring Break?

Xoxo, Chasi