Monday, October 20, 2014

Aviva Advanced Hair Nutrition Review

I was chosen through the lovely folks over at Bulu, to participate in a great review of a product that was made to help with hair nutrition.  It was exactly what I needed.  There I was sitting there with this dried out, boring hair that could really use some intervention. 

Aviva Advanced Hair Nutrition is said to help with the following:
            * Boosts Length
            * Builds Strength
            * Improves Texture
            * Increases Shine
            * Balances Hair Health
            * Reduces Shedding

Now, of all of those benefits, the ones that I really was interested in or needed the most help with were: strength, shine and reduced shedding.  I always had a lot of breakage, dull hair and major shedding.  I was like a German Shepherd during the spring when they shed all their undercoat! 
Take one capsule, twice a day with food.
 After taking two capsules a day for 30 days, I have noticed a major difference!!  First, the reduced shedding is amazing.  My family is no longer finding my hair all over the house and the shower drain is thanking me and Aviva for the clear flow it can now experience! 

My hair is definitely stronger and shinier as well.  I am so happy with how my hair is breaking less and I feel like if I continue with this regimen, it will continue to gain strength.  I do see more of a shine to my hair as well, however, I feel like I need to allow more time for that. 

Another thing that I really appreciate about Aviva is the science and explanation behind it.  I am the type of person that wants as much information as possible.  They include an informational packet in the box that explains their products and how they work.  It also lays out the timeline/phases of hair growth and strengthening.  

Aviva has been seen in many media outlets, such as: Elle Magazine, Lucky Magazine, Essence, Bazaar, Self, The Huffington Post, Fox News, and has had special features in Brides Magazine and NBC. 

There are many success stories online about Aviva and what it has done for others.  You can check them out here.

Overall, I am happy with my results so far with Aviva Advanced Hair Nutrition.  I would recommend it to anyone looking for stronger, healthier hair.  I may even try out some of their other products to further help my hair. 

Disclaimer: I was not paid monetarily for this review.  I was provided a supply of Aviva Advanced Hair Nutrition in exchange for my honest opinion and review of the product.  All opinions are mine and I was not scripted for this review. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yikes! Where Was I?!

I took a short break from the blog over the last few weeks as I was super busy and life just has a way of getting in the way, you know?!

I've been continuing with my running and working out to prepare for my upcoming half marathon which is now only 3 days away!! I am starting to get anxious and nervous about it.  I mean, I know I can do it but I am afraid of being a wimp about it.  I don't want to get out there and struggle.  I feel like I am training well and getting in my long runs that I didn't do properly last year so I should do better this year. I just don't want to disappoint myself, I guess.

Here are a few things I have been doing:

Chuck and I ran the Pittsburgh Great Race 10k. The weather was great, although it started to get warm by the time we were finishing.  The course is beautiful and I've never run a race with that many people before.  I mean I ran the Pittsburgh Marathon Relay but people were more spread out at that point.  This race, we found it hard to navigate around people that were slower that we needed to pass up.  All in all, it was great and we both said we would do it again next year.  I love having my husband by my side as I run.  He is such a great supporter and partner. 
The view as we were coming out of Oakland to see the view of the city! An awesome sight!

Me after the race.

I was trying to capture a picture of the mass of people running. Didn't work so well ha!

We've also been trying to spend more time with the kids. It's not that we've been doing a ton of fun stuff but we are spending time together which is very important when your kids are any age, let alone teenagers.  A few pictures when we were spending some time in the city.

Pittsburgh has a really cool water feature and walkway beside the convention center. I love it!
We've also been busy with Chuckie's football season.  He's doing really well this year but plays mostly defense.  He is good at it but we have been so used to years of him running the ball that it has been an adjustment for all of us.  He is having fun and the season will come to an end next week which is always a sad time for me. I love watching him and his team play.

Jada went to Homecoming which was great for her. Seeing our daughter looking so grown up was hard for us ha! She looked great and had a ton of fun with her friends. No boys, yet!

Lincoln is sailing through school this year, so far.  It is so great to see him enjoying school and not struggling like last year.  The decision we made to have him repeat first grade is quite possibly the best decision we've ever made in our lives.  No more tears and fighting.  We are seeing excitement about all subjects and more smiles along the way. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Be The Change

I often hear those words when people are talking about health, life, world problems....."be the change you want to see."  Yesterday I signed up to run for a charity in the 2015 Pittsburgh Half Marathon next May. 

Last year, I ran the Marathon Relay and I loved it but I had wondered if I should have run the half marathon and after I ran it, I decided that I was going to sign up for the half for next year.  I could have simply signed up, paid my fee and been done with the registration.  I didn't. 

I have a strong philosophy in life.  Help others when you can, how you can.  We are trying to instill this in our kids in hopes that one day, they can make a difference in the lives of others.  The marathon has a program called Run for Charity where you sign on to be a part of a fundraising team for a charity of your choosing, in exchange for a free race registration. 

I chose to run for Genre's Kids.  Here is some background on their organization:

Genre's Kids with Cancer Fund is an all-volunteer organization that helps every child diagnosed with cancer at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. We provide financial assistance and support to their families through our various outreach programs. 
Genre (like Henry with a “J”) was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on Memorial Day, 2009.  He was 8 yrs. old.  Since that day, so much generosity and love has been shown to this family not only by friends and relatives but by complete strangers as well.  It is the hope of the Baker family to give back by assisting families dealing with childhood cancers.
This is how your money makes a difference:
$15  will pay for an iTunes gift card, so kids can download an app or song, to entertain them when they are in the hospital for days.
$20 will purchase a video game, providing hours of distraction for a kid in the hospital receiving chemotherapy or lengthy treatments.
$50 will buy a gas gift card, for oncology families who travel long distances, so their child can get medical care at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Each month we give $500 in gas cards to the Oncology social workers to give to families who travel long distances or visit the oncology clinic 2-3 times per week in order for their child to receive chemotherapy, transfusions, and other treatments.
$50 will pay for all of the items to complete a "Go Bag" we give to every oncology family when their child is admitted, and they hear the words "your child has cancer".
$120 will pay for a handheld gaming system or music player, we give to every child newly diagnosed with cancer at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, if they don't already own one. These are priceless to the children during long treatments or when they are hospitalized for weeks at a time.
Any amount will support our financial assistance program. We are raising money to help pediatric oncology families in need.
Prior to the Christmas season, the pediatric oncology social worker selects  the neediest oncology families and passes their names along to us. We provide groceries, basic necessities, clothes, toys, gifts, and a Christmas meal for each family, as well as any other support we can offer.

What a special organization that they have!  I love that they have items specified for every donation amount instead of just putting it in a fund and figuring it out later. 

I would love to raise enough to make 10 "go bags" for families that are just starting the heartbreaking journey they are on with their child.  

We have been blessed with three healthy kids and have not had to endure the agony of going through the diagnosis, testing, treatment and mental endurance that these families do.  So, I want to give, I want to help them to help others.  These children are fighting for their lives and the families are fighting for normalcy and calm.  

If you would like to help raise funds for Genre's Kids, please visit my donation site here:

Every dollar helps. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Join Me!

I have been enjoying my Beachbody experience with the Focus T25 program so far!  The workouts are tough but they are short, only 25 minutes long and only five days a week.  The plan is very doable and I enjoy the challenge of the workouts.  I am liking the changes I am seeing in my body strength. I haven't really been doing measurements yet because I want to wait to see at the 30 day mark, what the changes are.

I have a new challenge group starting on October 6th.  I encourage anyone to join in and we can find a program that works well with what your goals are, what your lifestyle is, how much time and commitment you have. There are options for everyone whether you enjoy cardio, need something low impact or want to learn how to eat clean.

It is so easy to put ourselves last and push our goals and commitments aside.  I am so guilty of this. I am learning (and have been learning for quite some time) how to balance it all and allow myself to put myself first and not feel guilty.  I want to help others realize that it is okay to put themselves first.  We need to improve our health so that we can be everything we want to be.

Let me know if you want to join me! You can head to my coach page and sign up for a free account to see what all the programs are about!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Raising Awareness and Raising Hope: Mesothelioma Awareness Day

September 26th is known as Mesothelioma Awareness Day.  If you are unaware of just what Mesothelioma is, here is a quick definition:  "Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer affection the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen."

Read more:

I was contacted by Heather St. Von James about helping to spread the word about Mesothelioma as she knows firsthand about it and wants to help others become aware of this rare cancer and hopefully encourage others that may be going through treatment or have been diagnosed.

Heather St Von James with daugther, Lily.

 From Heather:

 "My name is Heather Von St. James and I am a mesothelioma cancer survivor- a rare cancer caused only by asbestos exposure. I was diagnosed with this deadly disease at age 36 and given 15 months to live just shortly after giving birth to my only daughter, Lily. After undergoing a life saving surgery, which required the removal of my left lung, I beat the odds and I'm still here eight years later. Now, I am thriving more than ever!"

The main cause of this type of cancer is exposure to asbestos, however, there are other risk factors that can contribute to the cause of mesothelioma. You can read about them here.

Diagnosis is one of the most important things about mesothelioma as early detection is the best way to begin the fight early. The symptoms are often overlooked and pushed aside as common ailments. 

If you would like more information about asbestos exposure that could be in your own home, please take a look at this:

Asbestos is also found in other areas, take a look and be aware of the dangers that could be around you:
The best defense we have sometimes is knowledge and by being aware of what is around us and what could possibly harm us or what could have already harmed us.  

Be sure to check out the Mesothelioma website for the most up-to-date information on the disease and be sure to check with your doctor is you suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos or the other risk factors. Talk to your doctor about early screening and help spread the word to others that you know that may have been exposed.  

Please join me in helping raise awareness about this aggressive type of cancer by posting your own blog post about it and sharing it with your readers. Together we can spread the word and maybe even help others as they learn about it. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday To-Do's

Here we are at Tuesday, staring into the face of the rest of the week, feeling determined to fit in all the craziness that it entails.

This week feels far less crazy than last week and I am so happy about that.  I feel like as the school year settles in, there seems to be less extra evening stuff to do like orientations, curriculum nights, etc.  We are almost through all of them.  I am thankful that each of the kids' things were spread out during different weeks.

Here is today's to-do list:

  • Run 4 miles for half marathon training
  • get kids off to school
  • get ready for work
  • head off to work and get as much done as I can to sail through the rest of the week
  • come home to get Lincoln off the bus
  • start dinner
  • pick Chuckie up from football
  • finish making dinner
  • do T25 Speed 1.0 workout
  • eat dinner
  • relax with the hubby for the evening
The list includes much less running around than I have been doing which is so appreciated!  

What's on your list today?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Realizing What I Need To Do

I've been slacking off lately.  I mean, really slacking off.  I ran on Tuesday for the first time in two weeks due to a weird pain that was happening in my leg and then another weird symptom that kept me off my feet.

I got stuck in a rut and really laid very low for awhile. I also started eating not-so-healthy stuff.  Lots of it.  It is amazing how quickly you can notice a difference in your body when you slack off and pick up bad habits.

I'm not proud of myself and to be honest, I feel pretty ashamed of myself.  I know, I shouldn't get too down on myself because these things happen to everyone at some point but I have gotten so far in my fitness and health journey and to fall down and go backward, well, it sucks.

This is my day to stand up, dust myself off and start again.  Tomorrow is a new day that is full of hope and determination. It's time to move forward, full force.

I can do this.  I will do this.