Friday, June 29, 2012

Exercise Without Breaking A Sweat!

Hello my lovelies!!
Today I am sharing some great ways you can exercise and burn lots of calories without even breaking a sweat!
With Summer here, being at the gym has not been fun.
Who wants to go work out real hard, break a sweat, then head out into the heat to sweat some more?
Ummm, hello.. not me!
Alas I have been a good girl, rocking my weight loss journey and sticking to the gym like a trooper!
*applause please*
HOWEVER, a couple days of the week I have been getting my work-out on, in the pool!
Not only is swimming enjoyable but it is also a good work out.
 Water is a great fitness tool, it provides resistance, which strengthens muscles and boosts cardio intensity. And because it supports your weight, it makes workouts easier on joints and reduces injury.
Plus its good to switch up your workout routine,
because when muscles get used to a routine they dont work as hard!
So, lets look at some other facts/benefits there are to swimming:

Now I am no fitness expert or anything but this is what I do for my pool exercises!
Some things I have found online (and will link to) other things I just incorporated from my regular "on land" workout, because they seemed to still give me get that workout burn in the water.

So, before you get your work-out on, be sure to just swim around gently for 5-10 minutes.
Get used to the water temperature and get your muscles warmed up and ready.

Ok so first here is one that I came up with, inspired by one of the ab workouts I do.

 Pool Flutter Kicks
If you are not familiar with regular flutter kicks, see the photo below.

  • Start at one end of the pool
  • Lay on your back in the water
  • Floating with your head above the water, pointing to the opposite end of the pool.
  • Keep hands to side or holding on to your tush
  • Start "flutter kicking" until you reach the other end of the pool.
Be sure not to let your lay your head back,
keeping your head up and above the water helps keep your abs tight.
Because of that and the resistance of the water on your legs, you should feel the burn in your abs and thighs.
I usually alternate pool flutter kicks with another exercise I dont really have a name for.
So I will do flutter kicks all the way across the pool, and then I switch over to swim back on my stomach.
When I swim back on my stomach I try to keep my body as straight & flat as possible,
also keeping my head above the water, and ONLY use my hands/arms to swim!
That way I am working my abs and legs on one trip, then my abs and arms on the next.

Wave Maker
  • Hold on to edge of pool deck with left hand and place right palm, fingers pointing down, against wall just below water line for stability.
  • Extend legs behind you at water level with both feet and knees together.
  • Kick like a dolphin, causing a “wave”.
  • Squeeze abs to stabilize your stomach and hips while kicking.
  • Kick as hard and as fast as you can for 30 seconds – 1 minute.
  •  If you can't make waves for a full 30 seconds, don't stop! Separate your legs and do flutter kicks.
Waist Trimmer
  • With your back against the pool, place arms along the edge for support.
  • Draw your knees to your chest then extend them straight ahead.
  • Swing your legs to your left, to the right, then back to the center.
  • Place your legs back down.
  • Repeat 10 times with your back pressed against the wall the entire motion.

Otter Roll

  • Hugging beach ball to chest, float on back, legs extended, feet together. 
  • Roll toward left and over top of ball (like an otter spinning in the water), using entire body -- shoulders, back, core, legs -- to make a full revolution, returning to start. Take a breath. (Beginners can rock from side to side with head above water throughout.)
  • Continue for 30 seconds, alternating direction of roll.
Tip: Really drive your leading shoulder and hip into the water to get rolling.

  • Stand in the water at the side of the pool, stabilize your upper body by sweeping your hands back and forth.
  • Run your legs up the side of the pool and then back down to the floor. 
  • Do four Spiderman exercises, alternating the leading leg each time you reach the end of one jogging circuit.
Pool Plank

Ok I have mentioned my struggle with planks before! They are SO hard and a big challenge for me on land. But all of that changes in a pool. Pool planks can boost your endurance and “the water pushing and pulling on you increases the challenge to your core,” a water expert explains.

How to do it: 
  • Stand on the pool floor. Hold a noodle vertically in both hands. 
  • Press it straight down into the water and lean forward until your body is on an even incline. (Your head stays out of the water.) 
  • Try to keep yourself stable for 1-2 minutes. 

Be sure to also end your pool exercise with some carefree floating or light swimming, so you can "cool off".

I have been loving this fun and sweat free way to burn calories!
 So if you are trying to lose weight, or even just keep toned give these exercises a try. :)
SOOOO much better than breaking a sweat in the gym, right?!?

Much Love & Hugs,
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Children Portraits| Audrina Sneak Peek | Red Bluff Photography

You have meet Audrina before.
You may not recognize her though, because last time you saw her (7 months ago)
was during her {Newborn Portraits}!
She has done a lot of growing since then, but she is JUST as adorable now, if not more so! ♥
This is Audrina Faith at 7 months old.
 Look at those eyes!
 Audrina is wearing a custom made Agape Love Designs Headband!
 Too precious for words! ♥
 The fun thing about doing photo shoots with children is that
one minute they are perfectly fine, then the next minute they are breaking down in tears! haha
 Momma managed to save the day though!
Here she is smiling up at her mommy. ♥
 Cant you just feel the love! :)
Sweet little thing. :)
I hope you had as much fun looking at these photos as I had taking them!

Much Love & Hugs,
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Head Wear

Headband: Much Love Illy, Necklace: Agape Love Boutique
Like my makeup? Get the look here: Subtle Rainbow Eye Shadow Tutorial

 Have I mentioned my love of Much Love Illy Headbands before??
Maybe, but today I just had to show off how I wear Much Love Illy!
I adore these headbands because of the great versatility of them.
Love that I can wear them with my hair up in a bun, and with my hair down.
Also because the elastic band is nice and thin, I can roll my hair half up in it.
Or have a totally cute up-do by rolling all of my hair up in it!
 I love how it looks either way, and even The Hubs made some flirtatious comments about me in this headband!
Gotta love when even The Hubs takes notice your new headband & hair style! :)
Ahhh yeah! ♥

Also, I just wanted to make another mention that my shop is closing in THREE days!
SO I am having a BIG GINORMOUS sale!
60% OFF everything with coupon code "CLOSING" at checkout!!!

Much Love & Hugs,
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Subtle Rainbow Eye Shadow Tutorial

 I love color.

According to "the experts" people with certain eye colors should only wear certain eyeshadow colors.
And while this is mostly true... some people/eye colors can pull off colors better than others,
I still dont like to always follow the rules.
For example, I dont think I KNOW I dont really look that great in blue eye shadow.
However sometimes I just get the urge to wear blue! I like the color and I think its fun.
I like to have fun with makeup. And again, I LOVE color.

Because of that, I sometimes get the urge to go all out with my makeup.
Nothing clownish or anything, just something fun.
Like using more than one color, or bright colors like pink.
I know most people dont feel comfortable playing with and wearing eye shadows arent natural looking. For me, though, makeup is the one area that I always felt confident in.

I would love to encourage others to step out of their makeup comfort zones and be color confident.
I do hope to write up more posts about what colors look best on what eyes.
If anyone would like that, please let me know!
But for now, I wanted to start off with something a unique and FUN.
Something that might even seem scary to some!
How about rainbow eyes??

Ok, calm down... not full on rainbow here.
Just a subtle rainbow, with mostly neutrals to help ease you in. ;)
What do you think??
Ok then, to start  you can use any shadows from your own collection.
You will need a brown and a gold color for your neutrals
and then you can choose what ever 3 rainbow colors you like together. 

These are the colors I used from my NYX Pearl collection.
Nude Pearl & Mocha Pearl (I mixed those two for a lighter brown)
Golden Yellow Pearl, Purple Pearl, Ocean Blue Pearl,
and then I mixed Jade Pearl & Lime Pearl for a more subtle green.

Now just follow the easy pictures//instructions:

I took several photos of my entire face so you could really get a look see of how it looks in whole.
So many times I see a beautiful eyeshadow'd eye and wonder if the look actually looks as pretty as whole on the face as it does as just the eye. Know what I mean??
Or is that just me?
Anywho... so this is what it looks like as a whole.
Not too scary, right??
I feel like the mostly neutral top lid evens out the little bit of extra color on the bottom lashes.

Do you think you could try a fun look like this?
Are you outgoing with your makeup or more of a natural girl?
 Love to hear from you!
And if you try this look, please share some photos with me,
either in a blog post or on my fb page wall! ♥

Much Love & Hugs,
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

$75 Barn Owl Primitives Giveaway!!

Whoa, am I thrilled to present to you today's fantastic giveaway! :)
You all are in for a treat, because the oh so generous Kristi of Barn Owl Primitives 
is giveaway a HUGE $75 shop credit to one lucky winner!!! :)
Excited? You definitely SHOULD be!
Places to find Barn Owl Primitives:
Kristi is the amazingly talented created behind Barn Owl Primitives!
Here is a little about Kristi: I’m a day dreamer with a LONG list of projects yet to be completed. I’m a lover of coffee, breakfast for dinner, flip flops and all things vintage. And I’m the artist behind Barn Owl Primitives.  I personally design and hand paint all of the items that you'll find in my shop.  My hope is that you'll find a piece of art in the Barn that speaks to you.  I love helping people feather their nests.

Enter the giveaway on the rafflecopter widget!
 If you can't see it, click read more!
Good luck everyone!

Much Love & Hugs,
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sponsor Call & Discount!

Agape Love Designs IS A FULL CIRCLE Blog
Meaning... the money earned from your sponsorships goes right back into advertisement of my blog on other bigger blogs. Which will also get YOU more exposure. 

Ive been seen on Just Lovely Things, Eisy Morgan, Wonder Forest, Vintage Wanna Been,
Casey Weigand, Much Love Illy, The Shine Project.

Most ads are currently booked (until July 1st)
But you can purchase to reserve your spot, now!
Use coupon code "FIVEOFF" to recieve $5 OFF any ad spot, 
Good until July 1st!

Much Love & Hugs,
This post sponsored by:
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

DIY Sea Shell Hair Clips

 I am so loving the fact that summer is here.
My fam has been out in the pool a lot lately,
which leave me with this whole sun bathed, curly haired "beachy" look.
It made me think about creating some fun beachy hair accessories!
I came up with these SUPER cute, and fun sea shell clips.
I just LOVE how they look in my hair.
 Yes I went a little photo crazy,
taking pics of the different looks and combinations of them in my hair.
 No I am not wearing makeup. And Yes I do realize how messy my eyebrows look!
I had JUST come in from swimming and sunbathing before taking these photos.
I figured I should completely capture the beach look with these beachy accessories. ;)
 Ok, so here is the SUPER easy How To:
All my supplies I had on hand.
~Nail polish
~E-6000 glue
~Sea Shells
(bought from the dollar tree a while ago)
~Bobby Pins with a glue pad
I purchased mine here
 Step One:
Pick your polishes and paint your shells!
As you can see I used a bigger shell to test the colors on.
 Step Two:
Add glue to the bobby pins then stick to the back of your shells!
Then let dry for about an hour.
And that is it!
Super easy, super cute and totally fun to wear!
Then just admire your total beach babe-ness in these mermaid-esque hair clips!!
 Dont you just LOVE them!?
I totally do.
If you use my tutorial to make your own, please take some photos and share them with me!! ;)
Oh and I must admit....
Writing this post makes me think of that tongue twister:
She sells seas shells by the sea shore!!
 Cant get it out of my head now.

Much Love & Hugs,
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Stick A Sock In It

 Lace Shrug: Deb, Tube Top: Walmart, Wide Leg Trousers: Old Navy (old), Necklace: Agape Love Boutique, Shoes: Payless (old), Bracelet: Premier Designs


 loving // The sock bun! Totally easy peasy. Perfect for messy unwashed hair. But looks very sophisticated. 
PLUS +++ When you take it out it gives you KILLLERRRR gorgeous curls. Next time I wear my hair like this will be at night, so that I can have amazing curls the next day. If you dont know how to create the sock bun look, 
I used {this} video tutorial, to figure it out.

 reading // Really Bad Girls Of The Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs. Ive read the first book "Bad Girls of the Bible" and loved it. The author re-tells the stories of some of the bible's "bad girls" in a new modern way. She uses them to speak to the bad girl in all of us. Showing how God used them as examples, or changed them and how we can learn from them. Its a great book if you want to experience God's grace in a unique way.

watching // I dont normally watch TV. If I do its because its on in the background while the kids or The Hubs is watching one of their shows. But since I had been sick and bed ridden for 3 days straight last week I decided to find a show on Netflix to watch. I found and started watching Drop Dead Diva. And I LOVE, LOVE it! 
The plot: A vapid aspiring model killed in a car crash gets brought back to life as an intelligent, overweight lawyer, hoping to find the meaning of inner beauty. 
Ive always sort of wanted to be a lawyer, and since being a "heavy" girl myself//on my weight loss journey this show totally appeals to me.

anticipating  // Like a little kid I am actually anticipating my birthday. I will be 28 on August 8th. I dont have any exciting plans... though the Big Mexican Fiesta themed party I was unable to throw myself last year would be awesome to do this year. haha

laughing about //Every time I happen to catch this state farm commercial I laugh. EVERY.FREAKIN.TIME. Talk about hilar, its one of the funniest commercials ever!
"She sounds HIDEOUS"... "Well, She's a Guy, soo..."

listening to //Shadowfeet By Brooke Fraser, Alive by Natalie Grant, and What Love Really Means by J.J. Heller. These are 3 songs that I listen to daily. First I love each one of them and they each mean something special to me. Their lyrics really speak to me and even bring me to tears at times. They are also songs that I am practicing to do as song specials in church & for our family CD.

eating //Ive been on a big fruit kick lately. 
I found nectarines back in the grocery store this week and was so excited!!!

working on //Surprisingly even though I am closing my shop this month, I have still been working on some new headband & jewelry designs. If I decide to re-open I want some fresh looks in there...Things have been weird for me though. So I am still unsure what I am going to do with my shop at this point.

wishing // To get out of this weird funk I have been in. Also wishing my weight loss wasn't so much hard work! And that I can be at my goal weight already.

 inspired by // Much Love, Illy. Yes because I totally got this fun post idea from her, and as it turns out she was actually inspired by Sometimes Sweet's "Currently" post. :)

Whats up with you currently?

Much Love & Hugs,
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Shop Announcement

 I know Ive already made the announcement that I am closing up my shop.
But I just wanted to let you know I have added an even bigger coupon discount code for you.
I REALLY  really want to get everything sold before I close down in 12 days.
So I encourage you all to take advantage of this big close out sale.
I am giving you all 60% off everything in my shop... and believe me it sort of breaks my heart to let all my hard work go at SUCH  low prices... but I would rather it get bought than go to waste.
So PLEASE take a look and shop around Agape Love Boutique... and take advantage of this big sale!

I was hoping originally that I would just take the summer off from my shop,
but the way I have been feeling lately, I just don't know.
Its hard to explain and it might be a lot to explain... and I'm getting emotional now just thinking about it.
But maybe I will take some time to do a separate blog post about it,
because I feel like I have more to say about it and like I should explain.
Right now is just not the time.

ANYWAYS... I just wanted to tell you all there are still lots of beautiful items that need a home.
And I would love for my amazing readers/fans/friends to be the ones to give them a home! :)

So please enjoy a whooping 60% OFF with code


Much Love & Hugs,
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