Friday, May 30, 2014

I Went For A Walk And Found A Hidden Lake

I went to a park to go for a walk/hike workout for my birthday. Everyday I try to get out of the house and have an adventure discovering something new. The last time I went to that park was several years ago. Yes it had lots of trees, a couple of playgrounds, tennis courts, and a softball field. I vaguely remember all of those things But where in the world did the HUGE beautiful lake come from? 

Honestly, I never saw this lake before in the past or ever heard anyone say "hey we're going to the lake in that park to hang out on the dock, go boating or fishing." It's incredible that I could have been visiting this amazing place all this time. I am so mad. Grrrrrrrrr  LOL!

Looking through the newspaper, doing research on new places to go for a walk or a hike is what gave me the idea to go to this nature park. Instead of going to park the car where I remembered parking last time I was there, I drove in a different direction. Got out walked a very short distance and just off the walking trail there was a large body of water - a lake. 

The last time I was on a deck like this was at Barefoot Landing at Myrtle Beach, SC. I was in heaven. The water was sparkling in the sunlight. Geese were honking at each other. A couple of people were fishing off the dock. Fishing is serious business. There was lots of concentration going on. I didn't see anyone catch anything. I am secretly happy for the fishes.

There is no doubt I will be visiting this lake several times a week. The paved walking trail is not very long in distance but it has some good hills that will be a great leg and butt workout. The nature trails are going to be awesome for quick but challenging workout hikes.

There was a guy walking the trail with an acoustic guitar. That gentle music he was strumming and looking at the trees and gentle waves of the lake made this birthday the BEST birthday I have ever had.  Loved it!

Later in the day, I watched a group of people playing tennis and some young girls having their tennis lessons. I have never watched a tennis game in real life before. Suddenly, I am really interested in learning how to play. One of the ladies was wearing a dark navy tennis tank top and tennis skirt. I want that outfit so bad! Goal: to get that outfit and look good in it. More motivation to exercise.

I am so excited to find this hidden jewel in my city. Being outside walking and hiking is a lot more fun than going to a gym. It's easy to stay motivated when I am surrounded by the beauty and peacefulness of the great outdoors.

Get outside and explore your surroundings. You never know what treasure you might find. Please enjoy my photos of the lake. Tell me what you think.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Today Is My Birthday. Another Year To Be Thankful

Myrtle Beach - Sand and Waves

Another year and another birthday. I am so blessed. As I get older, the years seem to past by faster and faster. I have so much to be thankful for. I am in better health than I have been in a very long time.This past year has been a full year of eating cleaner and exercising more often. The results have amazed me.

Staying healthy is not easy. Staying healthy is work. I realized quickly that if I want to be in good health, I have to make good choices (food and exercise) every single day for the rest of my life. Every day adds up to a lifetime. I am humbled when I look back at all of the horrible eating habits I once had. Lessons learned the hard way.

What advice would I get to my past self? I would tell my 20 something self to stop worrying so much, everything will work out for the best. Also, I would say to my much thinner 20 year old Thomasina, "Take care of your body, it is precious."

Excellent mental and physical health are the most precious things we all as humans have. Without either of these two priceless things, we have nothing. Time has taught me materials things come and go but you have to live with yourself and your decisions. 

I am thankful that I can say I am happy. Especially since I truly know what it is like to be very unhappy. Taking better care of myself has helped me to bounce back quicker from life's disappointments and negativity. Pushing forward towards my positive goals has brought me so much inspiration and joy in my life.

Learning to love and accept myself has been another huge positive breakthrough in my life. Be the best Thomasina I can be and stop worrying what others think. Get out in the world and live a full positive, meaningful life. 

Every day is precious. You can never get back any time that is gone. The past is the past. Live in the present completely. Love who you are :)

Thank you so much for reading! Happy birthday to you too.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fitness and Nature Walk - It Is Closer Than You Think

I decided to go for a walk and realized a nature walking trail that seemed very far away is actually within close walking distance of my house.

 This is a complete shock to me. Maybe I decided to not let myself think it was close enough for me to reach on foot. Or maybe my fitness level has improved enough that I am able to walk to the location.. I'm sad to think of all the excuses I made that prevented me from getting out of the house and exercising.

A wooden bridge is the walkway over the wetlands. 

It is about a 25 minute walk to reach the trail from my home, so it isn't close but it isn't very far away either My goal is to walk the trail at least 2 times a week.

A view from the wooden bridge. Lots of lush green plants in the forest.

I a lucky shot of "God rays" shining down into the trees. Breathtaking!

Big fluffy white clouds and blue skies.

A perfect day for a walk. When I walk in beautiful surroundings like this, I don't feel like I'm actually exercising. My mind feels so peaceful and inspired. I clear my head of life's problems and am rewarded with inspiration and better health.

A serious sidenote: Please be aware of your surroundings when you are outside exercising. Know who is around you and notice who is watching you. Safety first. Protect yourself. Don't have music so loud in your earbuds you can't hear people coming up or driving up behind you.
Always carry your phone. Have emergency numbers listed. I made a copy of my drivers license and listed the numbers on that paper.

Thank you so much for reading!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Four Movie Marathon - A Few Thoughts

 I had heard this was a confusing movie. 

There was way too many storylines to try to keep up with at one time. My favorite story was the one set in the future and it wanted it to be the entire movie. I didn't know until the ending credits, the brother (and now) sister who made The Matrix were involved in this movie. This explained the strange bad copy of  Keanu like character in the sci fi story. The makeup and wigs were terrible. I am so glad I saw it for free. Thank you public library.

 I watched this movie in reverse. It was supposed to be amazing and won a lot of awards.

 A guy in a boat with a tiger? Hmmmm I decided I wanted to see how this movie ended to decide if I would take the time to watch the entire film. Verdict? Yes this was a very good movie. Seeing it from the end then rewinding  it a bit then some more then all the way to the beginning was the only way it made sense to me. Best part of the movie? The visual effects. Very creative and awe inspiring. 

This is a story about how to survive tragedy mentally and physically. I was pleasantly surprised at how funny it was at times. But to be honest, I would not have had the patience to see this at the movies. Seeing the visual effects on the big screen would have been very cool but I would not want to pay to see this movie.

 I have a thing about bad wigs and makeup in movies. 

If I see a picture of a character in an upcoming movie and the wig looks terrible (Halle Berry in a past X Men movie and that horrible Cat Woman movie) I will not want to see the movie. When Salt came out a couple of years ago, I remember looking at the trailer thinking those are terrible wigs on such a beautiful woman. The plot is interesting with lots of twists and turns. I love a good spy movie. 

There is a scene with fantastic special effects makeup (I will not give it away) that is absolutely the best character transformation makeup I have ever seen done. Overall this is a very good action movie.

Bad Lieutenant is the best movie out of the four films I watched.

 Nicolas Cage is such an amazing character actor. I love it when an actor completely disappears into the character they are playing. This movie is about when bad circumstances in life can lead you to making bad decision after bad decision. Watching this movie was an adventure into the head space of a drug user.

 It didn't go overboard with the unique visual touches but it was just enough to make you think and to scare you. This film is about the drug business and drug addiction. Both of these things can ruin your life, your career and your family's life. I think this might be my favorite of all Cage's films.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Natural Hair Product Review - Cantu Shea Butter

Cantu Shea Butter is a very popular holy grail hair care product in the natural afro hair community. I have been using it in my natural hair routine for years. It is definitely my favorite leave in conditioner. After trying several other leave in conditioners, I always come back to Cantu Shea Butter.

I apply the product right after I have deep conditioned and washed my hair.  Depending if it is the warmer or cooler months, I usually apply Cantu Shea Butter, olive oil and coconut oil then braid my hair and let it air dry.

Since I have very coarse dry hair, I have to use a lot of deep condtioners and oils to keep it moisturized. In fact my hair just absorbs the products like a sponge, so I'm in a state of constantly fighting to keep my hair from becoming dry and brittle.

Some people have said in reviews they experienced a white build up when they have used the product. I have never had this problem. Another way I use Cantu Shea Butter is with my actual shea butter mix I make myself. I use a lot more shea butter mix in the cold months when my hair is a lot drier. A future blog post will have details of the ingredients I put into my shea butter mix.

Cantu Shea Butter Leave In Conditioner does seem a little bit "wet" when applied to dry hair. As a result my hair's curls become a bit more defined. I love the product because it helps to retain a lot of moisture in my hair. There is a slight scent to the product but it is not strong and I've never smelled after I applied the product to my hair. It has a medium thickness creamy texture. The sixteen fluid ounces container lasts a very long time although I use it every time I wash my hair.

It is very inexpensive and this is another reason I love this product. I try to keep my natural afro hair routine very simple and quick. When I find a product that works, I am very loyal to that product. Over the many years I have been natural, I have repurchase this several times. 

Have you used this product before?

Thank you for reading!

Friday, May 23, 2014

My Bike Has Changed My Life For The Better

My blue bicycle. It's not fancy but it gets me where I need to go and it doesn't cost me a dime. This my two wheel "second car". When I brought this bike last year, I NEVER ever thought it would become so important in my life.

At first, I bought the bike solely to ride around the streets in my neighborhood for exercise. I really had to practice riding the bike at first because it had been so long since I ridden one. During the weekend, when a nearby large parking lot was empty, I could be seen riding around and around in circles in a wobbly fashion relearning how to ride a bike.

Contrary to belief, biking is not as easy as it looks. Biking is about balance. You can really hurt yourself with a fall from a bike. I have a horrible looking huge helmet that I make sure I always wear.  Bike riding also requires a LOT of leg strength. I realized very quickly that I live in an area that has more inclines or small hills than I realized. Biking up hills has definitely helped me lose weight. 

The other great benefit to riding a bike is saving gas. Gas is very expensive and I happen to have a big older car from the late 90s. How much it is to fill up that tank is a crazy amount of money compared with the smaller car I had previously. To combat this pain to my wallet, I decided to bike everywhere I need to go that is within a short distance from my house.
Riding my bike, I have seen up close places in my city that I did not know existed. Beautiful trees and fields, buildings I never noticed while driving by and other things you miss while paying attention to the road driving in a car.

 I also have met a lot more people who were just walking along and I stopped to have conversations with them. Today I was riding under a bridge that I have driven under many times and I noticed it is where  homeless people lived. Also noticed a tent in the woods where a homeless person lived. Very sad.

When I bought my bike at a used bike store that is also a charity that gives bikes to children, I took a lot of time making sure the bike was right for my body. I even returned a bike that had no gears that made it impossible to bike up hills. I would have never ridden my bike as much as I do now if I had not made sure I was comfortable with how the bike fit my body. A soft seat is extremely helpful too.

My bike is such a huge blessing in my life. I can't wait to have more biking adventures in the future.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fragrance Of The Day - Love's Baby Soft Body Mist

 Love's Baby Soft is a classic girly fragrance I've worn non stop since high school. It has a very powdery soft flowery scent, wood and "animal" ( LOL!) notes. It actually reminds me a bit of a bubble bath smell. I love love love this happy light fun fragrance. Just spray it on and go have a great day. 

It reminds me of good times in the 80s and the 90s. Everyone has heard of this popular fragrance.  There are other baby soft scents now but I haven't tried them. They honestly didn't seem to be as appealing to me the original.

Even the blush pink color of the liquid fragrance and the pink top cap is very sweet and feminine.  The only downside is that the scent is so lightweight it doesn't last very long. I have never really minded reapplying it during the day. 

Warm weather is my favorite time to reach for this scent but wear it in the winter too. I wear my fragrances to suit my mood not the seasons or fashion rules.

Love's Baby Soft is like an old friend that has always been around. I will always repurchase this inexpensive fragrance. We have a lot of history together and I can't wait to see where we both go in the future.

Here is my post about Jovan Island Gardenia fragrance.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Josh Thompson - More Pictures - Dogwood Festival Photos

As promised there are a LOT more Josh Thompson Band pictures. They played in Fayetteville NC on May 16,2014. The opening band was the Erin Nenni Band.

I was able to get a front row exact center of the stage directly in front of Josh sitting position. Very lucky! I took as many pictures as I could with my not the greatest but it will do for now camera.

The members of the band are: Josh Thompson, Tucker is the drummer, Steve plays steel guitar, Ben plays bass guitar and Jeff is the lead guitarist.

A big Thank You to @TailingThompson (Josh Thompson Fans)  for tweeting me the names of the band members. 

Enjoy the pictures. Comment down below and tell me what you think. Thanks!

The stage set up before the concert.

Erin Nenni

The bassist and the guitarist.  

Erin Nenni and her band  

She was really inspiring because you could really tell she loved what she was doing.

Jeff tuning up before the show.

This is before the show. I thought they were the crew not the band. LOL!

This picture shows how my camera hated the bright white light just above Josh. It was so hard to get a good picture of him because the light was washing him out.

This is the first time I ever saw this instrument in person. Loved watching Steve play it.

Tuning inbetween songs. I love moments like this. The small details that make a show happen.

Ben playing the bass.

He was so much fun to watch. What a character.

Love this beautiful guitar. The words "Mossy Oak" were on the mic stand.

Josh Thompson

Tucker on the drums.
I didn't know what to expect when I went to this concert, but I am so glad I was lucky enough to be able to attend the show. The guys are so talented. I'm more of a hard rock kinda girl (I saw Alice In Chains earlier this month) but I really loved listening to this music and watching the Josh Thompson Band perform. The audience has a good time and the band has a good time.

Here is my previous post with pictures of the Josh Thompson Band.

Thanks for reading!