I was born and raised in the Bay Area; a quaint little suburb called Marin County. As a kid I explored but venturing the city as a child vs an adult is totally different. There are so many amazing memories I have as well as new and interesting things I’ve discovered as I’ve gotten older. If you’re going to be in the Bay Area for 4th of July weekend (or if you just live here and want to staycation) here are some fun things you can do!

Wine Country

Sonoma County

The locals like to call this area wine country because just about every good winery in the bay is located here. My personal favorite is V-sattui. It’s a winery but on Saturdays they have BBQ! People bring their kids, dogs and set up a picnic on the winery grounds. After your done eating, you can grab some fresh gelato or head into the actual winery to do some tastings. It’s a really casual and easy going vibe. This is the first place my boyfriend and I ever went wine tasting, and we chose it for its relaxed feel. Neither one of us wanted to be bother with pomp and circumstance or having to hold the glass a certain way so you looked like you knew what the heck you were doing. I highly recommend it for a family day time event, or if you’re just looking for some tasty BBQ it’s definitely worth the visit!

marin county

Marin County

My beautiful hometown. I can go on and on about the endless things you can do here but since its 4th of July weekend I’ll stick to the main event; the county fair. Every year we have a fair that comes into town for the entire 4th of July weekend. They have rides, food (love my kettle corn) and they play fireworks for 4th of July. This is a really big occasion for locals because fireworks are illegal in Marin County; everyone crowds the event to watch the fireworks so be sure to get tickets and a seat early! If you’re looking to stay clear of the crowds I would suggest going during the day time on the 3rd or the 5th. Night time is usually filled with high school kids and majority for the time people have already been drinking all day, so it’s not the most kid-friendly, but if you stay by the lake where the fireworks show is you should be fine!

sf

San Francisco

It should be illegal to come to SF and NOT hit up at least one good restaurant. There are so many options in the city that it’s hard to narrow down which ones to go to first but OFF THE GRID is a great opportunity to get a taste of everything. Food trucks and other local business come out from 11-2pm at fort mason which is a beautiful location in itself. I’ve never been to the food trucks in SF but they have the exact same event in Marin (larkspur) so if you don’t want to make the commute to the city this would be a good option!

Whelp that about wraps up my list. Of course, there are plenty of other things to do but I tried to keep this list kid/family friendly since most people enjoy the holiday as a group. If you have any other suggestions feel free to leave them below!

kierra again

 

Follow:

fruit infused water, lemon, strawberry water, water recipe

Legs & Cardio

It is officially one month of BBG!!! For those of you just tuning in I did two weeks of Pre-training, and now I’m in week 2 of the regular exercises. If you’ve read my post about week one you will know that I highly recommend the pre-training. Resistance training is a very different style of exercising and it isn’t necessarily for everybody. The pre-training really helped me mentally prepare and get adjusted to what my workouts would be like. I’m also a big fan of the LISS (low intensity training). It helps build endurance and overall loosens your muscles for the next workout. I like doing mine on the weekend because it’s relaxing and I can usually bring the dogs with me.

I changed my schedule to mo-wed-friday. Initially, I was on a different workout schedule where I was doing the full body exercises on Saturday but I don’t like working out on the weekends. Work is work Mo-friday and my weekends will be reserved for fun. I hated having to incorporate a workout into my busy schedule on the weekends, most of which I spend blogging for you guys!.

Anyways let’s get into legs and cardio shall we!

As I’ve mentioned several times before I hate this day. The burpees are torture. I will say it used to be tough for me to do two (yes two) and now I can push myself to 6 before I tire out. It’s a small improvement but an improvement nonetheless.

Kayla also loves to jump. Jump squats, jump lunges, jump rope…..girlllll can’t get enough of her jumpin. It’s a great way to work your calves, but it’s also the quickest way to tire you out. If it wasn’t for water I wouldn’t make it. Ps: what do you guys think of my infused water picture up above? It’s my favorite way to drink water now!

As always I tell you guys some things that are changing and one of the biggest ones is my core is much stronger. When I was doing the full body exercises last Saturday I powered through my ab bikes, which are normally hard for me to do. I’m also getting stronger with those knee ups! If I can control my breathing I’m good to go! I also made some minor changes to BBG a little bit. Kayla instructs that you time yourself for 7 minutes and if you finish before then, then you repeat the exercises until time runs out. Instead of doing that I’ve been using that extra time for isolation exercises. Since I carry all my weight in my back, I make a conscious effort to work out my Lats and lower back muscles to help get rid of those rolls!. BBG inadvertently works out your back but nothing targets it specifically so I made my own circuit of back exercises and I do the full circuit with whatever time I have left over. I’m all for following the program but I also think no one knows your body the way you do. If you want to see faster results for some of your heavier areas then I would suggest incorporating your own exercises into the program. I also do this when I don’t have the materials or space I need to do the exercises. Sometimes I don’t always have the weights with me so I will swap that exercise for something back related.

Another note is I don’t eat before my workouts. It’s called a fasted workout as my boyfriend recently told me. I didn’t know I was doing (I just hate eating breakfast) but it turns out there are a lot of benefits to not eating before your workout. You build more lean mass and overall burn fat faster. Of course for every study that proves this a good idea there is another proving it wrong but personally it works for me. If you’re used to eating in the mornings then I wouldn’t suggest switching over, but if you’re like me and breakfast isn’t a necessity then I would highly recommend trying it.

For those of you who want to know what I’m eating:  Post workout I usually eat two slices of whole wheat bread and 3 pieces of turkey bacon. For a snack I eat grapes, blueberries or cherries. Lunch is usually a free for all and same for dinner. I have been making an effort to eat more of the healthy stuff I already like. For example I like brown rice which is healthier than white rice, and I genuinely enjoy salad so I will load up a salad with a lot of vegetables that I normally wouldn’t eat on their own.  Sometimes I don’t eat dinner because I get home so late  (terrible I know) but I will usually whip up something quick in the microwave if we have left over food. I also drink 20 ounces of water a day, 40 on days I’m working out (20 during my workout, and 20 throughout the day). It’s not nearly as much as it should be but it’s an improvement for someone who used to live off Pepsi and orange juice (I still do but only on the weekends…A for effort right?)

Other than that the program is working great! I can really start to see some small physical changes and overall I feel better about myself.

Arms & Abs

I did things a little different today. I edited the workout to fit my needs and I didn’t time myself. Don’t get me wrong I kept the momentum going but I didn’t do the workouts exactly as she had suggested. I like the BB guide but it targets a lot of areas that to be quite frank I could care less about. I really don’t care about my shoulders nor working out my chest and I’m all for having toned arms but I don’t want to be buff. I want to start spending more time targeting my bad areas which is my stomach and back. So today I focused on abs/core/oblique’s and my back. I actually did more than what was in her workout and I used the weights more. My weakest point was the Commandoes and Jack Knives. I had to make adjustments to those but everything else was fine. Instead of taking a one minute break I used that time to do Russian twists with an 8lb weight to work out my oblique’s. My goal is to wear a crop top to Vegas so I’m on a mission to tighten my abs and get rid of that muffin top. I’m also realizing that I enjoy the full body exercises more than the other days. I like being able to switch workouts and giving my other muscles a rest.

I also didn’t warm up this morning. Normally I take a walk around the track before I start my workout and this time I decided to just jump right into it. Not sure how that affected my workout but I’m going to try it again with legs and cardio and then let you know!

Overall I walked away feeling great. I didn’t do everything exactly as instructed but I still pushed myself and my body so I’m not going to overanalyze it. I’m seeing results and for it only being week 2 (of the regular workout) I’m pretty happy with my progress!.

Follow my progress →→→ Day One| Day Two| Day Three| Day Four|Week Two Pt 1|Week Two Pt 2|Week Three

kierra again

Follow:

Hey, guys! As you may have seen on our Instagram I recently visited my old stomping grounds LA. I was initially supposed to go to Tahoe with Amanda but at the last minute decided to bust a mission to LA with my bestie, Rebecca. Normally I have no interest in being in that city. When I lived there I was dying to get back to the bay…LA stifled me. However visiting was totally different! Way more fun than I anticipated. I don’t know if this is just me but have any of you ever visited a place you once lived in and it felt so nostalgic to you? I drove past my old apartment and had a weird feeling because I didn’t have the key. My fellow sorority sister was gracious enough to let me stay with her, but the whole thing felt a little off. Ya kno?

donut

Nonetheless, I had an amazing time. I started the trip with a donut and getting my nails done (perfect combo right?) Amanda usually gets the style coffin tip, so I figured I would give it a go. It didn’t turn out the way it looked on the Pinterest picture (does anything ever looks as good as Pinterest?) but it was better than what I had before. I still am adjusting to having long nails, but so far I’m doing good. No broken nails yet!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

When we got to LA the first place I wanted to hit up was Pizza Rev. I don’t know why the Bay has been sleepin’ on this restaurant but it’s the best thing ever for all my pizza lovers. Basically it’s Subway or Chipotle but with pizza. You can create your own pizza, by picking your sauce and unlimited toppings all for a whopping 8 bucks. My boyfriend is a meat lover and he goes crazy for the Italian sausage and pepperoni. I personally stick to a classic pizza, but I load mine with fresh tomatoes and garlic (the next day the garlic marinates and its bomb.com!).

IMG_7281Saturday was another day filled with hitting up all my favorite spots. I am a diehard cupcake lover. I will choose cupcakes over pie, cake, and any other desert you can think of, so it was only fitting that I hit up Sprinkles. I got a red velvet and a vanilla cupcake for the road (I even ordered a mini red velvet so I could have a taste right away….addicted..I know). We also hit up the infamous Lemonade. Another restaurant that the bay is sleepin’ on (although I did see it in the SFO airport once). It’s all country home style food which I’m normally not a fan of but their chili and macaroni was GODSEND. If you’re not a fan of this type of food, the actual lemonade is reason alone to go. I got Pineapple lemonade and it was perfect. I’m a tart kinda gal so I dig anything that tastes a hint sour, but if you’re a sweets kinda person (like my bf) he loves the guava lemonade. All their options are to die for.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

IMG_7068We ended the day at universal studios since my other sorority sister hooked me up with tickets. We went on the studio tour where they show you where certain movies were filmed. It was pretty cool to see a set real and in person, especially since so many movies have been done there since the last time I went. Now every time I watch a movie I can start to tell if its set or not. I was watching an episode of pretty little liars, and saw that they were at the bates motel portion of the set! My favorite ride everrrr was the minions ride from Despicable Me. They didn’t finish the ride until after I had moved to the bay so I was super excited to get on it. I personally love Gru and the girls (not a big fan of the minions) so I was glad to see that the ride included all the characters despite the name ” the minion ride”. I looked like a kid in a candy store taking pictures of everything and squealing on the ride.

IMG_7277

All in all, it was a good trip however I realized I do not miss that city at all. It’s such an amazing feeling to go back and look at what your life was, and then see where you are now and how much you have grown. Being in the Bay Area has helped me grow into a different person and I’m exactly where I want to be. I love my life up here, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

kierra again

Follow:

Sometimes I feel like switichin up my look. Beyonce has Sasha Fierce. Nicki Minaj has Roman Zolanski so it makes sense that we take on an alternate personality too.  I’ve always considered myself someone that doesn’t really fit into a specific type of style. I like to wear what I want when I want and not be confined. One day you might get glam Amanda, another day you may get boyfriend Amanda, sometimes wanna be gangsta Amanda comes out (emphasis on the wannabe cause anyone that knows me knows I have a little swag.)

Here are some of my secrets on how I switch up my look from time to time.

Wearing my clip ins, mac velvet teddy and some fun glasses!

  1. Change up your hair: I have never dyed my hair and I think that’s most people’s go to when they want to switch up their look is to go for the dye. Well, I’m here to tell you that there are some other ways to change things without using chemicals. One of my favorite ways is to add some extensions to my hair. Check out my review on the current hair that I wear. Secondly, I like to change up my part. If you usually wear a middle part, try a side part and vice versa. You’ll be surprised at how many people ask you if you did something different to your hair. Lastly, try a different style. If you always wear your hair straight try some loose curls or if you have naturally curly hair (don’t worry I’m not going to say straighten, not trying to get cussed out over the computer), but I will say try and change your curl pattern by adding to your natural curls. Use a wand to possibly straighten out really tight coils and add some looser waves or wash, comb, and braid your hair up to change to some sexy beach waves.
  2. My all time favorite way to switch up my look is to use some personality glasses. You can find some really affordable glasses at Forever 21 or Target that look like prescription but aren’t. They immediately add some dimension to your look and there is a ton of options you can choose from. I use them all time.
  3. Do NOT underestimate the power of a great lip. If you love lipstick but don’t know how; I have a few tips outlined in my how to line your lips post. Some of my favorite lipsticks right now are NYX shocking pink matte lipstick, NYX lip creams (check out my previous review), and MAC Velvet Teddy as an everyday nude. Lipstick is something that will immediately draw attention to your face and depending on the color you wear it can either be a statement piece or understated elegance.

Hopefully, some of these things help re-inspire a boring wardrobe or unblock some thoughts on how to freshen up your look. I would love to hear about any additional things you guys do to change things up from time to time. Comment below with some tips!

 

amanda again

Follow:

Arms and Abs

I finally started the regular week of training!! I know in my previous post I said that I was going to continue doing the pre-training but this week I really wanted to push myself so I decided to just go for it! Take a leap of faith I said,..you can do it I said.

Well, I did do it but it was definitely a push. I still can’t do full on pushups, but I’m realizing that my chest was something I’ve never worked out before. In all these years, I’ve never done any chest exercises. Back yes but nothing to actually focus on that particular area; which explains why it’s my weakest point. Something I’m just going to have to keep working on.

I took progress pictures the other day and although I’m not ready to post them yet I can tell a difference. My back rolls are starting to roll away and my stomach isn’t talking to me anymore. So in my book those are major improvements! My butt has also lifted! I never thought I had a booty, but now I’m started to fill out my jeans in ways I never did before. I stood in the mirror and shocked myself!

Now that I’m done with the pre-training I can definitely say it was necessary. The workouts are roughly the same intensity as week 1 and week 2 of the regular workout, but the pre-training really helps build your foundation. You’re not as weak and mentally you’re better prepared. Even if you have a basic level of fitness I would still recommend not diving into the regular weeks until you’ve done pre-training. Especially for my yoga and marathon runners. Yes, you may excel in the cardio exercises but resistance training is very different than doing a downward dog. Yoga, spinning classes, jogging those help tone and shed weight but Kayla’s BBG guide is all about the lifting. It would be best to do pre-training to see if you even like this style of exercising.

When I initially started BBG I couldn’t get through one circuit of regular week 1 and now I can not only get through them but do it twice and sometimes under 7 minutes. Even though I’m not seeing the biggest physical changes I can tell my body is stronger and I feel encouraged to keep going!

Legs and Cardio

I have one word for you today: Burpees! I curse the person who even made up this exercise! Who thinks of something like that!!?? Anyways those are hell for me. Thank God this week I only had to do 10 but need to try harder because I did them haphazardly. It’s the only exercise in the circuit that exercises your legs, core and requires endurance. It was so hard to do!. This week we also introduced weights! I actually enjoy using weights. For me, I feel like I’m doing a real workout instead of just using my body weight for resistance. The weights really came in handy when I was doing the lunges. It makes you get deep in your lunges and it actually helped me stay balanced. I had to use weights for the knee ups and those were hardddddddd. I was carrying 16 pounds with me and trying to step up which was really difficult.

These squats are really starting to pay off. My jeans fit better and my butt has lifted. I feel great about how that’s turning out, but I still have a lot of weights to drop around my waist and back. I’m actually starting to get discouraged because I haven’t noticed any major changes in my body yet. At least not the ones I want. I’m considering taking my diet more seriously. I don’t want to be a crazy calorie counter, but I definitely want to manage my intake more. I’ve made a commitment to only drink water during the week and do start incorporating smoothies instead of coffee into my daily routine. I would like to reserve Sundays for meal prep so that I can minimize all the things I need to do in the mornings. Since technically I’m only in week one of BBG I know I’m not supposed to see crazy results. I spent the last two weeks building my foundation and preparing for these workouts. Physically I feel strong but emotionally I’m frustrated. I wanted to see more results right now and I just don’t.

I promise that I will stick it out though. I got Vegas on my mind and I want to look right!
Ps: I decided to go blonde also! If you can’t change your body change your hair right? Follow us on Instagram to see pictures!

kierra again

Follow: