Sunday, May 11, 2014

Check out this Blog from a special Guest Blogger!

Tips for Entering the Music Business - For Vocalists and Musicians

Musicians have entertained others throughout nearly all of recorded human history. Bards and troubadours once traveled from town to town to play for anyone who would listen. In contemporary society, these entertainers contribute to the economy as recording artists, session players, and commercial musicians. Some instrument players and vocalists tour the world playing tunes like bards of yesteryear.

Since there are so many ways to pursue a musical career, artists often find it challenging to select a niche and begin attaining the necessary contacts to get gigs. However, this is a crucial first step; a musician must discover his or her own unique path to artistic expression.

Choose Your Field of Discipline

Initially, vocalists and musicians are set apart by their chosen spheres of specialization. For example, vocalists must learn different skills than guitar players. By choosing to specialize in a particular instrument and style of music, you can also start identifying the social contacts that will be crucial for getting gigs.

After you have attained proficiency and specialization in your chosen instrument, you are free to focus on building a unique voice. The best musicians have styles that match their personalities.
Additionally, your skills will need to be applied to a specific area of the music business. Do you want to help songwriter’s record demos? Do you want to be known as a recording artist? Are you comfortable with touring? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself before building a portfolio.

Demonstrate Your Skills

Once you've identified your goals, it is important to demonstrate your skills to other musicians. For example, many free social networking sites allow you to upload pictures, a biography, and music samples. You should use these services as a type of press kit to present your skills to other musicians. Watch the classified ads in the local newspaper to identify like-minded tune smiths. You also may have success finding people to work with on online services like Craigslist.
For your pictures, it would be wise to present a combination of professionally filmed photos and live performance or studio shots. If you don't have great writing skills, look to friends to find help putting together a biography. You should provide recorded samples of your work as well as a live video. By including both formats, you will be letting potential colleagues know what you sound like on record and how well you can play live.

Stand Your Ground

Don't let detractors talk you out of your decision. Once you have chosen your niche in the music industry, the primary objective is to cultivate contacts and build name awareness. Both of these objective can be accomplished by promoting social media profiles online and by attending lots of local shows. Every contact helps when you are first starting your career.

Although the music industry has been undergoing a fairly serious market correction, the internet actually makes it very easy for a new musician to get his or her name out there to the public. The internet significantly improves the ease with which one can find colleagues in the music industry.

Author Bio

William Okoli, a music producer turned journalist, now spends his days helping others reach success through music. Not everyone can pack a stadium of ten thousand fans, but if you have a passion for music, you have a career ahead of you. Visit to learn more.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

LeVel Thrive 8 Week Experience!

Welcome to my website and the Thrive Experience! I was introduced to Thrive by a close friend and fell in love with it. I was so energized, that I wanted to do the laundry, vacuum and clean the house, play outside with my kids, and run all my errands. I felt the energy within less than an hour of taking the supplements (which you only have to take once a day, first thing in the morning! SO EASY!), and the 24-hour patch (my personal favorite product) is a constant release of everything you'd need for a successful weight loss program. 

Sure, this all sounds like another hoax, I'm sure, but i've tried tons of different diet fads, and this is the first stuff to make me actually feel like it's doing something. I haven't been on it long enough to see major results, but I already FEEL them, and that's the most important thing! I've never believed in a product enough to promote it, but I'm telling you that this could change your lives and the way you feel about yourself. 

The supplements are made for the separate needs of men and women--they even have couple packs! And if you sign up for auto-ship, you receive a discount on the products.  You can purchase the products in packs that come with all of your weight loss, healthy living needs!  If you want to try it out or have any questions, please contact me.  

I would never try to sell something I didn't believe in, but I'd been in a little bit of a workout hiatus--just doing Yoga and slacking on the cardio, but now I have the energy to do both!  And the product literally makes me feel like I have more time in the day. (Maybe it's just because I'm getting things done quicker!)

So go here or click the link above to check out the website.  Watch the videos, read about the products, and feel free to contact me (even though I may be a complete stranger, I love customer service and helping people, so I'm here for you!)   

e-mail me at and I will respond to all your e-mails ASAP

Monday, April 7, 2014

Broken Toe...OUCH!

So, I thought that I would be able to get back into Hip-Hop Abs within a week of my breaking my two baby toes, but it hurts a little more than I expected; low-impact Yogalaties is all I've been able to handle.

I'm really upset because I only had one week left of Hip-Hop Abs, but in a couple weeks when my toes are completely healed, I'll start Month 2 over!  I was starting to see awesome results, and I wanted to see where the end would take me, so I'm not giving up!

However, I'm not posting the calorie burn results of week 3: my maximum heart rate and my weight on the heart rate monitor were off, and thus my calorie burn was off; since I didn't finish it anyways, I figure the first 2 weeks' results is a good help for those of you wanting to try it out!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hip Hop Abs: Month 2 Week 2

So here are my weekly burn results!

Fat Burning Cardio 2 = 527 calories and 1 min of fat burn
Ab Sculpt 2 & Hips, Buns and Thighs = 574 calories and 8 min of fat burn
Total Body Burn 2 = 506 calories and 4 min of fat burn
Fat Burning Cardio 2 = 527 calories and 1 min of fat burn
Ab Sculpt 2 = 343 calories and 2.5 min of fat burn
Total Body Burn 2 = 542 calories and 1.3 min of fat burn

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hip-Hop Abs Month 2/ Week 1

I finally received my Hip-Hop Abs in the mail so that I could get started on month 2.  Here are my results for the first week of Level 2. (My advice is to definitely start with level 1 because level 2 gets pretty intense--i think it skipped from beginner to super advanced!)

Fat Burning Cardio 2 = 518 calories and 1 minute of fat burn
Ab Sculpt 2 = 351 calories and 4 minutes of fat burn
Total Body Burn (level 1) = 524 calories and 3 minutes of fat burn
Fat Burning Cardio 2 = 540 calories and 4 minutes of fat burn
Fat Burning Cardio 2 = 558 calories and 2 minutes of fat burn (my max HR got to 201!)
Ab Sculpt 2 = 330 calories and 2.5 minutes of fat burn

I started out at 130.5 lbs and ended the week at 129!     KEEP PUSHING!!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Waist Trimmer

Check out @BeFitMotivation's Tweet:


I finally got my Hip-Hop Abs in the mail and yesterday, I started Month 2.

First off, I want to say that a couple days ago, I thought I'd go to the gym (I usually don't like gyms, but I get a free membership where I work, so I thought, why not?) and compare the results of my heart rate monitor to the results the machine gives you.  Well, it was crazy accurate on my heart rate, but the elliptical machine told me I burned 30 more calories than what my heart rate monitor said! That's enough of a difference to matter to me.  So, I wanted to let you all know to not be fooled by what those machines at the gym are telling you.  You all know by now, that I've lost all my weight working out at home, so you don't need some expensive machine or expensive gym membership or expensive personal training session to get the results you want--all you need is MOTIVATION!  SO GET TO IT!!!  WOO!!!

Now on to emphasizing my point of no-gym-necessary weight loss: yesterday, I did Hip Hop Abs Fat Burning Cardio Level 2 and I burned 200 more calories in those 42 minutes than I did during my 40 minutes at the gym!  Way to go Shaun T!  (However, level 2 should really be more like level 5--it's intense! So don't go into it without doing month 1 first!)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hip-Hop Abs Delay

So as much as I support Beachbody, I don't buy workout DVDs for full price when I know that I can get it cheaper on Ebay, meaning that I ordered my Hip-Hop Abs on Ebay....from China.  So now there is a kind of long delay on my Level 2 DVDs, so I won't be posting the calories burned any time soon.

BUT this doesn't mean I'm not working out.  I've gone back to my Jillian Michael's roots with Killer Buns and Thighs and oh, boy, did I forget how tough her workouts are!  But hopefully I'll have an extra nice booty to start off working on my abs.  :)

Level 1 is a 40 minute workout; I burned 430 calories with just a minute and a half of fat burn.


In other news, I've been trying to do as much "clean" eating as I can.  Smoothies with protein powder for breakfast, baby greens with shredded carrots, tuna, and vinaigrette dressing.  Some bananas, oranges, strawberries; fish and chicken breast with fresh broccoli or green beans for dinner.  Mostly, I'm just trying to AVOID CANDY (artificial sugar), as much as I can stand to, and I actually really enjoy the way I feel eating healthy.  I FEEL GOOD!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hip-Hop Abs Week 4 Calorie Burn (Month 1 = DONE!)

Day 22: Total Body Burn = 440 calories and 3 min of fat burn
Day 23: Fat Burning Cardio + Ab Sculpt = 548 calories and 7 min of fat burn
Day 24: Fat Burning Cardio + Hips, Buns & Thighs = 516 calories and 10 min of fat burn!!!!!
Day 25: Total Body Burn = 392 calories and 7.5 min of fat burn
Day 26: Fat Burning Cardio + Ab Sculpt = 516 calories and 13 freaking min of fat burn!!!!!
Day 27: Fat Burning Cardio + Hips, Buns & Thighs = 548 min and 11 min of fat burn!!!!!
Day 28: REST

So my calories burned has gone down, but as I emphasized above, the amount of time I spend in a fat burning zone has really started to increase! I'm still spending 3/4 of the time in a fitness zone to help my body build lean muscle and continue burning fat all day long, but the other 1/4 of the time I'm just burning off the fat right then and there!

I also have before and after pictures.  I decided not to take measurements because I can get really discouraged, so going by how I feel and my before and after pictures will have to do.  I have lost 3.5 pounds during this first month; not life-changing results like the infomercials show, but I also don't follow the diet plans.

A little story:
When I was 13 years old, I was already bigger than the other girls in my class and very uncomfortable, so (with a doctors permission) I started going to L.A. Weightloss and seeing a dietitian.  My dietitian wasn't much inspiration considering she was incredibly overweight herself, and my "coach" at L.A. Weightloss yelled at me for eating a single Starburst, thus scarring me for life when it comes to diets.  I've been to personal trainers, done every fad diet, taken every diet pill and have been watching everything I eat for half of my life.  I've learned how to do a lifestyle change, and so I'd rather loose weight very slowly then quickly through strict dieting.  Dieting also makes me feel stressed and I start gaining instead of loosing (plus, I have a picky palate that makes following diet plans that come with workout programs difficult on my tastebuds). 

So with that said, here are my before and after photos.  

I did recently learn that the lack of feeling between my belly button and my c-section scar has lead to a loss of elasticity in that area, making it difficult for me to loose that c-section "shelf" some moms end up with.  (Only a tummy tuck will fix that, and I'm not sure I want to go that far.)  So I still have that little pooch below my belly button and I need to work on my love-handles, but I feel myself getting stronger and hopefully Month 2 will show some more dramatic results.  (I'm giving up ALL candy for the next 4 weeks--no cheat days!)  

At least my booty looks a little raised with some squinting!!! haha

Some Motivation for Today

I found this on @BeFitMotivation Twitter page and wanted to share it.  #10 is very important. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A little daily motivation...

I don't know about you, but whenever I can't decide whether or not I want to work out (often while I'm watching TV), I think about how all these actors and actresses in the TV shows and movies I watch have so much discipline.  You can think or say whatever you want about them having their own chefs and personal trainers, but do you really think that if they wanted a hamburger and a milkshake they couldn't get it!?

Then I remember Thirty Seconds to Mars' music video for "Hurricane" and I think--If I ever meet Jared Leto, I wanna be able to flash him my tattoos and not be afraid of what my abs look like, since he usually looks like this:


Monday, February 17, 2014

What program should I do after Hip-Hop Abs?

I posted a poll; please check out the infomercial links below and answer my poll--help me, help you!

Brazil Butt Lift


21-Day Fix

Zumba Incredible Results System


Hip-Hop Abs Week 3 Calorie Burn!!

So I just completed week 3 of Hip-Hop Abs and, man, is it becoming a good booty workout!

Here are the weeks calorie burn results:
Day 15: Fat Burning Cardio + Ab Sculpt = 561 calories and 9 min of fat burn!
Day 16: Total Body Burn = 421 calories and 4 min of fat burn
Day 17: Fat Burning Cardio + Hips, Buns, & Thighs = 574 calories and 6 min of fat burn
Day 18: Fat Burning Cardio + Ab Sculpt = 528 calories and 9 min of fat burn!
Day 19: Total Body Burn = 421 calories and 3 min of fat burn
Day 20: Ab Sculpt = 259 calories and 1 min of fat burn
Day 21: Rest

Today starts the last week of Month 1!!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Supernatural Humor

A good friend of mine and I are obsessed with Supernatural and we love working out, so this was our motivation one day; I wanted to share it with the rest of my fellow Dean & Sam lovers...Crowley, too!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A short update

Just to let everyone know, I've been losing a pound a week with Hip-Hop Abs. No dieting, just cutting back portion sizes, eating a healthy breakfast (Fiber One cereal w/ protein right now), and no late night snacking! I'm impressed so far!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Just for kicks and giggles!

My friend posted this the other day and I about died laughing.  It's so true!

Hip-Hop Abs: Week 2

So I just finished week 2 of Shaun T's Hip-Hop Abs.  I don't remember if I mentioned before that Ab Sculpt is either done with weighted gloves for parts 1 & 2, weights for part 2, or no weights for complete beginners. I used 1.5 pound weighted gloves for the whole workout for the first 2 weeks; for weeks 3 and 4 I will be adding a 3 pound weight.
(I bought the gloves for $10 at Walmart.) 

As promised, here are this weeks calorie burning results! (Remember, these are based on me being 5'4" and 132 lbs.)

Day 8: Fat Burning Cardio= 338 calories and only 1.5 minutes of fat burn
Day 9: Fat Burning Cardio + Ab Sculpt= 618 calories with 3 minutes of fat burn
Day 10: Fat Burning Cardio + Ab Sculpt= 589 calories with 5.5 minutes of fat burn
Day 11: Ab Sculpt= 224 calories with 7.5 minutes of fat burn(!!!!)
Day 12: Fat Burning Cardio + Ab Sculpt= 671 calories (!!) ...only 2 minutes of fat burn
Day 13: supposed to be Fat Burning Cardio + Ab Sculpt, but let's just say it was a very long, not-so-good day and thus, I did not get in my workout; so, I used this as my rest day and picked up with week 3 yesterday.  Now my weeks start on Mondays instead of Tuesdays.

No more missing days!  I'm doing my best to keep that promise to you and to myself!    

(Next week's post will start with Day 15.) 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Denise Austin Yoga Buns

So, I know I'm doing Hip-Hop Abs right now, but for relaxation or on my rest days, I've decided to add in Denise Austin's Yoga Buns, which she suggests doing at least 3 times a week.  And I really enjoy it.  I'm not worried so much about my upper-body, and the one thing I sometimes don't like about Yoga is when it has too much upper-body strengthening moves.

This particular Yoga DVD burns about 350 calories for a 30 minute routine, and it does involve some upper-body and of course shoulder strengthening, (if you've done Yoga then you understand the shoulder strength you need for all the Warrior poses), but it focuses much more on the lower body and particularly the booty.  I want to look sexy from behind in my bathing suit next summer.  I've done a lot of different work outs and this one is relaxing, challenging, and will give you the soreness the next day that makes you feel like you really accomplished something.

You can check it out for free on YouTube here, but I suggest buying it if you really like it!

Randomness: Hip-Hop Abs, Insomnia, All-natural Supplements, and Needing Advice

Let's start off with a copy of this month's calendar of fun:

As you can see, week 2 of Hip-Hop Abs is when it's time to start combining exercises.  Since this is my second time around with the first 3 weeks, I'm a little bored but I'm giving it my all anyways. I do feel like I have the tilt, tuck, tighten method down much better this go-around, and my breathing is more focused which is the upside to my boredom--you can always find something to improve on!

The last time I did Hip-Hop Abs I gave up because I gained 5 lbs my first few weeks.  Well, I'm only down 1 lb. that I know of right now and I'm not checking my inches until the end of the month, but I've added all-natural green coffee bean and raspberry ketones to my daily supplements and I believe they have been a big help in making me not want to eat an elephant after an hour-long workout.

On a different note, sleep is not coming easy for me right now (as you can tell by the time of this post).  Insomnia has officially taken over (and sleeping pills make me pass out for like 12 hours, which I don't have time for).

I've tried a number of things:

  1. Having my husband open the blinds when he leaves at work at 6 a.m. so the sun shines in my eyes (I just throw the covers over my head)
  2. Setting my alarm for 15 minutes earlier than my normal waking time--supposedly this helps if you progress slowly over several weeks (but I sleep very well through it)
  3. Drinking a bottle of water before bed so I have to relieve myself in the morning (unfortunately, I'm not stranger of waking up in the middle of the night to go to the restroom...especially after having a baby sit on my bladder for 8 months)
  4. Adjusting the temperature in the house so that it's a little too warm for me in the mornings (I love my house freezing so I can snuggle up in my covers)  Now, this actually worked today/yesterday, but I still fought it for about 15 minutes before I finally decided to literally force my booty out of bed and STAY out of bed
So my problem isn't getting out of bed, it's staying out of bed!  This time....I NEED ADVICE! So please leave comments below...I'm open to any suggestions.

I also wanted to share this with everyone today: 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Popular Foods You Should Never Eat

I found this article from Health Magazine titled "25 Fattening Foods You Should Never Eat". None of these were a real shocker to me, but I was saddened by a few of them since I now know exactly why I shouldn't be eating them (instead of trying to convince myself there is something healthy about it).  I'll be avoiding these items from now on!

Check out the article here.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hip-Hop Abs (again...)

I know, I know, it's been awhile!  But I took a couple months of a hiatus with very little working out, however, I plunged head first back into it this past week with the decision to give Beachbody's Hip-Hop Abs a legitimate try this time.

And this time, I'm a little more motivated.  My heart rate monitor lets me know how many calories I've burned, so the goal is to burn a little more each time!  (I've also decided to go back to wearing my FreezeAwayFat shorts...I did lose almost 7 total inches the last time I combined wearing them with a workout program.)

So today's entry is about 2 things: helping you find the motivation you need to get back into exercising if you've recently lost the willpower, and promote ShaunT and his Hip-Hop abs program as a really good ab workout.

With Hip-Hop abs, it is very important to watch and practice with the Secret to Flat Abs dvd, because that's where you'll learn how to do all the moves while doing the total engagement: tilt, tuck, tighten!  It's a lot to think about at first so practice will make perfect, and if you don't keep those abs engaged throughout the workout, it won't work!  (You can also get a added leg workout if you jump and slide and do the higher impact moves instead of sticking with the beginner stuff.)

This is the amount of calories burned and the length of time I spent in a fat burning zone during the first week.

Day 1: Fat Burning Cardio = 336 calories burnt w/ 1.5 minutes of fat burn
Day 2: Fat Burning Cardio = 339 calories burnt w/ 2 minutes of fat burn
Day 3: Ab Sculpt = 201 calories burnt w/ 7 minutes of fat burn!
Day 4: Fat Burning Cardio = 327 calories burnt w/ 4 minutes of fat burn
Day 5: Fat Burning Cardio = 384 calories burnt w/ no fat burning :(
Day 6: Ab Sculpt = 247 calories burnt w/ 4 minutes of fat burn
Day 7: Rest Day...consisted of me doing a low impact, lower body-focused yoga routine (I will post my review of that workout tomorrow.)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Jillian Michaels Yoga Inferno Level 2 Calorie Burn

So I really wanted this Polar heart rate monitor so that I could learn more about my heart beat...and I have!  I'm discovering that a majority of the fat you burn throughout the day comes from an increased heart rate AFTER exercise.  For example, I was at work the other day for 6 hours and burned about 1600 calories; 5 hours of that was in my heart rate was in the fat burning zone.  Today I did Jillian Michaels' Yoga Inferno Level 2 and noticed that the 6 minutes of rest after my workout was all fat burn, while during the workout I only had 8 seconds of fat burn!

I did some research and you can check out mine and calculate your own heart rates and exercise zones here.  Your fat burning zone is lower than the other zones (mine is between 140 and 151 BPM).  It may not exactly make sense to me, but it is what it is!

Yoga Inferno Level 2 (mostly beginner modification) Calorie Burn

  • 34 minutes long
  • 413 calories burned
  • minimum heart rate 185 BPM (thus the only 8 sec. of fat burning!)
  • maximum hear rate 205 BPM
I'll keep trying to figure out how to keep myself in that fat burning zone DURING a workout, but mostly I'm finding that my body burns the fat after workouts and while I'm at work (but I do work on my feet).