Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fitness Friday [GIVEAWAY]

Happy Friday!

I'm so glad it's finally Friday and I'm super excited about what I'm posting today. A few weeks ago, I was approached with an opportunity to review a pair of compression socks. If you've been around these parts before, you know I love running and I LOVE compression socks. Naturally, I quickly accepted the offer.

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Introducing Tiux

"Premium compression socks without the traditional retail markups."

Tiux is a completely online based company. No retail stores, distributors, middle men.. Nadda. They bring a different approach to compression socks. They don't endorse athletes but believe the customers are the ambassadors. Honestly, I'm really digging the socks.

Compression socks are amazing for runners but also benefit a lot of other athletes and exercises. They are also different in the sense that they are graduated compression; meaning they have a higher compression at the ankle that gradually decreases towards the calf. It enhances circulation and increases the level of oxygenated blood to your legs, while pumping deoxygenated blood back to your heart. Ultimately it helps to stimulate the blood flow, which in turn will improve athletic performance, reduce muscle fatigue, and help recover faster. 

Benefits of compression:
  • Muscle and Joint Stabilization (Reduces the risk of injuries and muscle tears by minimizing muscle oscillation.)
  • Enhanced Proprioception (Improves agility with heightened sense of muscle awareness)
  • Increased Arterial Inflow (Improves performance with greater blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles.)
  • Increased Venous Return (Accelerates the rate of blood flow back to the heart to help alleviate swollen and achy legs)
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It's been raining cats and dogs here the past few weeks but we were able to get a spot of sunshine long enough for me to do a circuit of stair runs, which obviously I decided to test my socks during. I have to say I'm highly impressed. (1) The material is so nice. It's tight, yet breathable, and the purple part that runs along the sole of your foot is padded a little more to give you a soft cushion for the high impact from running. (2) I usually always feel soreness in my calves after running stairs and much to my surprise I experienced minimum if not, NO soreness. (3) Recovery. If anything, I really love these socks for recovery. I've been talking for weeks now how I've been lifting heavy and my calves have been feeling the burn. Wearing these socks at night just while lounging has actually helped with the aching.

In conclusion, I will definitely be wearing these socks again, and I would HIGHLY recommend them to my runner/athlete friends. They are a great price, great quality, and a really great heart behind the company. (They've partnered with Mines Advisory Group [MAG] and donate 1% of their revenue to help save lives and protect communities from landmines, unexploded ordnance (UXO) and other weapons remaining after conflict.) How amazing!

One more thing...

Tiux has offered to GIVE a pair of their compression socks to one of my lovely readers! Trust me, you don't want to miss out. Who doesn't love winning free stuff?

Contest Rules:

  • Like this picture on Instagram and post a comment telling us your favorite way of stay fit
  • Follow Tarole via Instagram
  • Follow Tiux via Instagram

Loved these socks, thanks so much Tiux for letting me review this awesome product. Good luck entering! You have one week :)


It's Aloha Friday Blog Hop Time! Come link up and enter our $200 Gift Card/Paypal + free ad space giveaway ending June 30th!


What Jean Likes

Learn more about becoming a sponsor {here}


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

50 Reasons to Exercise

Boy, am I busy! I've been working a lot more lately with teaching classes and working at the studio (plus getting ready for my own spin audition to finally get put on the schedule!). Big news... I will soon have my own training clients! Everything has seriously fallen into place these last few months. I'm so hopeful and grateful at the same time. As Daniel said today, "Idle hands are the Devil's play things".

I'm basically making this short and sweet today, I really should be perfecting my Sculpt sequence and playlist for tonight, but I'm here instead :)

I found a great list while browsing through Pinterest today. 50 Reasons to Exercise.

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If one of these doesn't strike a motivation nerve.. we really have some work to do! Exercising is so good for you, not only for your body, but mind and soul as well.

This week has already been a tough one in regards to working out, for me. Monday was heavy leg day (which we are doing twice a week now) and I ended up going 165 lbs for 10 reps, after doing 90 reps of various weight ranging from 95-165 lbs. And that was only the second exercise in our list for that day.

Taken by Eryn

I'm beginning to like leg day and I'm starting to feel how strong I'm getting and noticing a difference looks wise. Woooohooo!

Question: I've been debating whether or not to try online training. I come up with a developed exercise plan and nutrition suggestions for a specific amount of time. Think yes or no?

Follow me on my journey in hopes of becoming Miss Arkansas USA!

Happy Tuesday! #PLL tonight :)
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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

Just a simple, quick note to wish all those papas a Happy Father's Day. I have probably the best dad in the world, but I may be a little bias. All of the fathers in my family are in town for once and I couldn't be happier! Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Happy Father's Day Dad!!

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday Fitness

Happy Friday, y'all!

I just want to go ahead and say, WOW! I have received SO much positive feed back from my post about competing for Miss Arkansas USA this fall. I can't tell you how humbled I am already from this experience, and it's just begun!

Today I'm talking fasted exercising. I can't even count how many times I've heard the question, 

"Is it better for me to work out on an empty stomach?"

You either get a yes, or a no. For trainers who say, yes, it is because when one wakes up in the morning, glycogen and blood sugar levels are naturally low, forcing your body to burn fat for energy, resulting in weight loss. And for the trainers who say, no, the reason is that while the body may turn to body fat for energy, should glycogen and fat stores be insufficient to sustain your activity level, the body will then break down muscle protein to pick up the slack.  

So what's the correct answer?!

Well... both. But let me tell you why. A recent study was published by the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition showing the changes in fat mass and fat-free mass of 20 participants who were assigned identical training regimens: 1 hour of steady-state aerobic exercise performed 3 days a week for 4 weeks

The participants were split into two groups..
  1. Group A (Fasted): performed the routine following an overnight fast
  2. Group B (Fed): followed the same routine after consuming a meal
Both groups were also provided with dietary plans designed to induce calorie insufficiency, as well as nutritional counseling. 
The study revealed..

Body composition changes that are associated with aerobic exercise + hypocaloric diet (one in which caloric intake is decreased overall) are similar regardless of whether the subject was fasted or fed prior to training. 

All in all, it is completely up to personal preference whether or not to eat before exercising, as long as they are following the proper calorie intake recommendations. BAM!

How is that for answering one of the most asked questions in the fitness/health world. It's always good to seek info from professionals to receive optimum results.

Original Article by Cameron Baker of ISSA

I'm so happy it's Friday! Time to enjoy this nice weekend ahead of us. Hope everyone has an awesome day! Don't forget to enter the giveaway below for some serious cash!


Aloha Friday Blog Hop Time! Come link up and enter our $200 Gift Card/Paypal + free ad space giveaway ending June 30th!


What Jean Likes

If you're interested in co-hosting future month's Aloha Friday Blog Hop, please email for more info.

Learn more about becoming a sponsor {here}


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Cat is Out of the Bag...

I've made a decision.

I never thought I'd be in a position to make this decision but here I am saying, "Why not?!". I've decided to compete in the Miss Arkansas USA pageant this fall. I have one more shot before I age out, and I'd really like to end my pageant "career" with a bang, in my home state.

If you've been around these parts (and if you haven't well now you will know) you know how much I love pageants. I've blogged several times about the Miss USA and Miss America pageants, and even about some of my own experiences competing. Pageants will always hold a special place in my heart. As silly as that may sound to a lot of you, I owe a lot to my time and experiences being a "pageant girl". Confidence, stage presence, charisma, public speaking, and health and beauty tips are just to name a few... Not to mention the lifelong friends I've gained.

Miss Arkansas USA is a state pageant, where the winner goes on to represent the state of Arkansas at the Miss USA pageant. I have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. I feel like I'm in the best position I have ever been in to compete in a pageant and am taking this journey on full force. It'll be nice to be on stage again.

One thing I love about the opportunity to win a pageant, is the opportunity to use your voice. Everyone has one, but not always do they get heard. It's easier to stand out with a crown on your head, as cliche as that sounds, and it's easier to get people to listen to you. I'm very passionate when it comes to helping others and as beauty queens, in the public eye, you have numerous opportunities to do so. Miss Arkansas USA works very closely with an organization called Warriors for Ross. They help spread awareness and fund-raise for children with cancer.

With entering a prestigious state pageant, comes the cost. There is a very high sponsorship fee included in my acceptance as a contestant. These fees cover the cost of entering, numerous activities throughout the three day event, a hotel room and transportation, an opening number outfit (complete with shoes and accessories) and many other things, but most importantly, it works as advertisement for you and/or your company. All for the chance to represent my state at the Miss USA pageant. I've set up an account on Go Fund Me in hopes to raise some of the money to get me there. Anything helps, whether its $1, $5, whatever, and EVERY sponsor will be published via program book, my social media, etc... So all in all it can be used for a tax write off.

If you'd like to be a part of my journey to Miss Arkansas USA, you can donate by clicking the link above. Anything helps and will be greatly appreciated. It's going to be a long road, but it'll be worth every step, win or lose. I will be posting updates on my prep along the way so stay tuned and follow along with me :)

Also, have you entered this giveaway yet?

Happy Hump Day!

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday Fitness {GIVEAWAY} + AFBH

It's finally Friday!

Who am I kidding, this week flew by! Probably because I spent a lot of it in an airport... BOOO! I will go more into detail about that next week. Right now it's time to focus on that healthy, fit lifestyle I know all of you are aiming to live :)

Today I'm tapping back into proper form. I went over a little bit of lower body in this post, several weeks ago. Naturally, I'm moving on to a little bit of upper body.

Bicep Curls with Dumbbells

The most commonly known arm work out - the bicep curl. You'd be surprised how often the form is incorrect when performing this exercise. The best part about dumbbell curls is you can perform them essentially anywhere!

Targeted Muscle Groups
  • Biceps
  • Strengthens bicep muscles
  • Standing with your body stabilized, hold the dumbbells down at your sides, palms forward.
  • Keep your chest up, shoulders back, and elbows against your sides at all times.
  • Bend your elbows and pull the dumbbells up toward the shoulders until your elbows can't bend any more.
  • Return slowly to the starting position.
  • Letting elbows move forward, in front of the torso.
  • Leaning back excessively.
  • Swinging the movements instead of slowly controlling.

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Bent Over Row with Dumbbells

There are several variations of all of these workouts but one I find very effective is the bent over row. Rowing is great in general and targets multiple muscle groups.

Targeted Muscle Groups
  • Back
  • Biceps
  • Shoulders
  • Strengthens muscles (biceps, rear deltoid, upper back, and Latissimus dorsi - "wing" muscle)
  • Holding the dumbbells in your hands, hinge forward while shifting the hips back.
  • Keep your back straight and your chest up at all time.
  • With your elbows leading, lift the dumbbells toward your ribcage.
  • Slowly return to starting position.
  • Not bent over enough
  • Rounding the back
  • Cocking the head (keep spine and neck neutral) 

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Standing Shoulder Press with Dumbbells

Arm workouts are my favorite simply because they are so versatile and you can really see the results when they start to show. Plus, my arms are puny so it's nice to work them out and notice the muscle getting stronger.

Targeted Muscle Groups
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Chest
  • Strengthens muscles (deltoids, triceps, upper chest)
  • While standing, hold the dumbbells in your hands at shoulder level, palms forward.
  • Keep your back straight and your chest up at all time.
  • Press the dumbbells straight up until your arms are straight and the elbows are in line with your ears.
  • Lower the dumbbells back to shoulder level.
  • Excessive arching of the back
  • Pressing the dumbbells too far in front of the head, instead of directly overhead
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These are just a few basic upper body exercises, I'll go into more variations in the weeks to come. Always remember proper form when working out for optimum results and to avoid injury. If you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to shoot me an email!

Below is week two of the Aloha Friday Blog Hop I'm co-hosting! There's an awesome giveaway at the bottom so don't skip out, you could easily win! Hope everyone has an awesome weekend, I'm just so glad to be home!


It's Aloha Friday Blog Hop Time! Come link up and enter our $200 Gift Card/Paypal + free ad space giveaway ending June 30th!


What Jean Likes

If you're interested in co-hosting future month's Aloha Friday Blog Hop, please email for more info.

Learn more about becoming a sponsor {here}


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Catching Up

What. A. Week.

I can't even really go into detail, I'm so exhausted from this past weekend trip to Miami. I know I have been absent for almost a week now, but I'm finally back home and will be getting back to the regular posting once again.

Something I've come across since the Aloha Friday Blog Hop has started back up and I'd like to discuss it for a moment. One, thank you for everyone who took the time to check my blog out! Two, all of you new readers of mine that commented on a post over the weekend are 'no-reply bloggers' meaning I can't respond to your comments via email, which is how I like to interact with you. Check out this post to learn how to fix that so we can get to chatting :)

All in all, I will soon be sharing my adventures in Miami with Daniel, the horrible flight travel on the way home, and also a product review on a fun pair of compression socks. Stay tuned!

Enjoying the Miami Skyline from The Rusty Pelican Restaurant.

Random question.. I'm considering competing in Miss Arkansas USA this fall for my last hoorah of pageantry before I age out. What are your thoughts?

Happy Hump Day!

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