Happy New Year!

in , by FroBunni, Wednesday, December 31, 2014

In only a few more hours, we will be in 2015. 2014 feels like such a blur, and a lot has happened since this time last year. I am happy and excited for the New Year especially for the FroBunni. I expanded to a Twitter, YouTube page, and Facebook page, and the sky is the limit! I have a bunch of stuff planned for next year, so get excited!

Natural Hair Beginner's Series: A natural hair beginner's guide for new naturals, transitioners, and naturals who haven't quite got the hang of it yet. 
Bikini Ready: I'm counting down til the first day of summer to get tightened, toned and sexy for bikini season.
Monthly Challenges: There will be a challenge for each month this year and will include reading, writing, walking/running, green smoothies and drinking water, just to name a few.
Weekly Round Up: A list of articles that I found interesting that pertains to natural hair, beauty, fitness, health, fashion, and a few of my own personal interests (namely, MMA and music). 
Outfit of the Week: I can't do an outfit of the day, just doesn't work out that way, lol. But I will be doing my favorite outfit that I wore during the week. 
Yoga Pose of the Month: You already got a snippet of what's to come, but there will a yoga pose for each month this year.
Pins of the Week: Bringing this back and having it stay! I will be posting my favorite Pinterest pins of the week!

Oh, and before I go, I just want to thank all of my readers, viewers, family, and friends that have supported me. And with that, have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Dear FroBunni: What Should I Do With Single Strand Knots

in , by FroBunni, Wednesday, December 31, 2014
single strand knots
Dear FroBunni, I am getting these little knots on the end of my hair. Whenever I see one, I cut it off, but I am getting so many that I am worried about retaining length. Is there a way to get rid of them without cutting my hair. 

What you have is the case of single strand knots, also known as fairy knots. Not to worry though, they are common for women with black natural hair (the hair curls upon itself causing it to knot) and even some women with straight hair. The most common way to handle them is to do exactly what you are doing, cutting them off. For most women, this is actually the best option. Single strand knots can actually cause more knots, along with tangles and potentially breakage, so removing prevents any possible damage to your hair.

Single strand knots, in and of themselves, are not harmful though. I have them and to be honest, I don't really pay much attention to them. The only time I pay them any mind is when I trim my hair, which is every 3-4 months. For the most part, they do not cause tangles or more knots, but when they start to get a bit out of hand and begin to cause damage, that is when I trim. To prevent or limit single strand knots, the best thing to do is keep your hair moisturized and stretched, using styles like roller sets, blowouts, or protective hairstyles.

So long as they don't cause damage, cutting or keeping them is really up to preference. Some naturals prefer not to have them, and others, like myself, don't care as much. It really is up to you.

(There is another way to remove them that I purposely left out, and that is by using a tiny pin (like a sewing needle) to undo the knot. In my opinion, this method is a lot of work, and if you have a lot then it just seems exhaustive to me. Also, constantly poking at the hair to get in the middle of the knot is really damaging. Again though, it is up to you, and I want to make sure my readers are aware of all methods).

FroBunni's 2015 Monthly Yoga Pose Challenge

in , , , by FroBunni, Monday, December 29, 2014

Along with having a few New Year's Resolutions, this year I also want to do monthly yoga challenges. I haven't been doing yoga as much as I like, but this year I want to get back into it because 1) I love yoga and 2) I eventually want to be certified to teach yoga (yup, already thinking ahead, first will be the certified personal trainer, next it's yoga). This challenge will begin the first of each month, and I must do the pose daily. I will also take weekly progression pics. The end goal is to have the pose almost mastered. I will also really make the effort to do, at least, a 20 minute yoga session 5 times a week. By the end of the year, I should be fully ready to become a certified yoga teacher!

Feel free to join me on my challenges! Yoga is a great way to get healthy and reduce stress. If you aren't comfortable with the pose or aren't familiar with yoga, I will also have a beginner's pose to correspond with the more challenging ones. So what to do you say, are you in?

Natural Through the Years

in , by FroBunni, Monday, December 29, 2014

Every so often, I look through my old pictures to see where I was and how far I've come. Looking at my hair from when I was relaxed to now is just amazing. When I first went natural, it was definitely hard. I had to learn about my texture, find the products that worked for me, and get used to having short hair. Each day, it became a little easier and my hair became a little bit longer. I'm almost at my 5.5 year natural hair anniversary, and I am definitely happy that I went natural!

So, remember when it gets hard or you feel you can't continue, it gets easier. It may take awhile, but stay determined and continue to push through. It will all be worth it in the end!

New Year's Resolutions

in , by FroBunni, Sunday, December 28, 2014
A sunrise seems appropriate for a New Year's Resolution post, lol

I rarely make New Year's Resolution, and if I do, it's no more than a couple. I don't like making promises to myself. But this year, I actually have 5 New Year's Resolutions. I'm really excited for all of them and I can't wait for the New Year to begin!

1. Volunteer Once a Month - I used to volunteer a lot and when I first came to DC, but it stopped when I graduated from grad school. I would like to do this again because it meant a lot to me knowing that I was making a difference in someone's life. I will probably volunteer at a library since I know libraries struggle with staffing, and I will put my very much unused Master's degree to good use (I have a Master's in Library Science...don't recommend anyone do that, lol).
2. Get an Instagram - This seems pretty trivial, but given the fact that it took so long to get a blog, followed by a Twitter, followed by a Youtube Channel, followed by a Facebook page (today, I finally made a Facebook page), getting an Instagram will actually be a challenge.
3. Become a Certified Personal Trainer - The best gift I got this year was from my mom; she paid for an NCCPT Certified Personal Trainer course so that I can get certified this year. I'm really excited because I can actually start working at gyms, which has been a goal of mine for the last 6 years.
4. Meditate Daily - Meditation changes me. I am more calm, patient, and gentle. When I don't meditate, I become a bit more stressed and my life feels hectic. I know my days don't change when I meditate, but I feel more mentally prepared when I meditate. I feel happier and my life is just more joyful. I want to meditate everyday this year so that I can feel as happy and joyful as possible. 
5. Get More Social - I'm pretty open about it, I was in bullied in high school and in college (yup, it happens). Because of it, I have difficulty meeting new people for fear of not liking me. I have been trying to overcome this for a good part of my young adult life, and I want to finally conquer this (the blog was actually part of overcoming this). I have a goal of meeting new people at least twice a month, if not weekly (it can get pretty busy at work, so I know going out weekly isn't possible all the time).

So that's it. I have a few challenges scatter here and there to accomplish more mini goals for myself like reading more and writing poetry again, but those are the five main goals I have. What are your New Year's Resolutions?

8 Reasons to Big Chop

in , by FroBunni, Tuesday, December 16, 2014
frobunni long natural hair
One of my favorite things about big chopping is that you can track your process!

Last week, I put out a post called 9 Reasons Not to Big Chop. I shared the post on Facebook and was challenged to put out a different post, but this time, it was for big chopping. While I do acknowledge my own issues with the big chop, I also want to highlight that big chopping can also be a good thing. Many women find their beauty and strength after they cut away their chemically processed hair to start anew and see themselves as they really are. So here it is, 8 Reasons to Big Chop!

1.  You're Ready Now. You've put in the research, you're 100% sure that natural hair is for you. There's no reason to wait, big chop now so that you can begin your natural hair journey.
2. No turning back. If you have decided to go natural, but are worried that you are going to give up and relax, big chopping will make it easier for you to stay natural. You won't have to worry about taking care of two textures. Instead, you can gradually get used to your hair and texture as it gradually gets longer.
3. Save Time. Save Money. There's no doubt about this, big chopping will cut down on the time you spend on your hair, as well as money on products. Your wash day routine will go from 2 hours to 2 minutes.
4. Naptural Hair Anniversary. Big chopping gives your natural hair journey an official start date. You won't have to wonder when you first decided to go natural because your hair will have a specified anniversary date (and yes, celebrate this naptural hair anniversary with cake and a deep conditioner, lol).
5. You can enjoy it. The nice thing about big chopping and short hair...you can actual enjoy this time instead of worrying about styling your hair and wash day, lol.
6. You're a hair chameleon. If you change your hairstyle, cut or color all the time, big chop. You'll be able to enjoy your hair, and you'll have a ton of options when you're ready for a new style (long weave, poetic justice braids, tapered honey blond cut, the options are endless).
7. Time to experiment. I never did this but I really should've taken the chance. If you've ever wanted to add color or get a unique hair cut, now is the time! (I wanted to shave the side of my hair and dye it light pink. At this point, I'm too scared to do a color rinse and have a job where a unnatural colors are not considered appropriate, lol).
8. It's one of the best experiences. My big chop, while frustrating and stressful, was one of the best experiences of my life. It taught me that I am more than my hair. That I am more than what I see in the mirror. My hair didn't help me graduate college with honors or get into graduate school. It was all me. You learn about yourself when you big chop, you learn who you are and how beautiful you are. Even though transitioning would've allowed me to keep the long hair, I would've missed out on becoming a better person.

9 Reasons Not to Big Chop

in , by FroBunni, Tuesday, December 09, 2014
frobunni short natural hair
Two months after my big chop. I went from 8 inches of hair to 1/2 inch of hair, lol

I have only one regret about going natural...I big chopped. It was the worst decision for me, especially since I loved having longer hair (it was only armpit length at its longest, and I don't consider that long...it's not up for debate, lol*). My reasoning for big chopping, as opposed to transitioning, was that if I found transitioning difficult, I may relax my hair again, while if I was all natural, I wouldn't even consider relaxing my hair. While this held true, I still think I should've transitioned because until I got to bra strap length, I wasn't really happy with the length of my hair. So if you're on the fence about big chopping, here are 9 reasons to hold off.

1. You don't like your hair short. This one is the most obvious, but if you don't like short hair, don't big chop.
2. You're not sure if you can grow your hair long.** If you want to go natural to see if your hair can grow long hair, do not big chop. Big chopping will only make this process longer, and you're going to have to learn how to take care of your natural hair and retain length. Instead, make a short term length goal (so if you're shoulder length, work up to armpit length) and incorporate healthy hair practices into your regimen. This will ensure you that your hair can grow and you're getting a jump start into learning how to care for your hair.
3. You're undecided about going natural. If you haven't made an official decision about going natural, don't just jump in the deep end. Wait it out while doing research on natural hair to help you decide.
4. You think it's the only way to go natural. Transitioning is an option.
5. You think it won't take long for your hair to grow back. I thought this too, and trust me, it takes awhile. You will not go from a low fade to waist length in a year, so if you think your hair will grow back fast, don't big chop. You will be disappointed.
6. You don't like drastic changes. Another self-explanatory one, but going from some hair to no hair is pretty drastic. Just transition.
7. Your friends and/or family are pressuring you. You need to big chop when you're ready. If you do it any sooner, you may regret your decision. If you are getting outside pressure from friends and/or family, explain to them why you have made the decision not to big chop and that this is the best decision for you.
8. You haven't done any research on natural hair. Regardless of if you big chop or transition, do your research so that you can be prepared.
9. You plan on relaxing again. Unless you're a chameleon and you change your hairstyle all the time, don't big chop if you plan to go back to relaxers. There's no point in starting over (unless your hair is that damaged). Assess your hair, cut away the damaged ends, incorporate healthy hair practices into your regimen, and start stretching your relaxers to 10-12 weeks to prevent over processing your hair.

*I often get challenged for thinking that shoulder length hair is short. To me, it's short and long is, at least, bra strap length. There is nothing that will convince me otherwise.  
**Everyone can grow long hair (with long being 12 inches worth of hair, which, for the average person, is about 2 years worth of hair growth), it's just a matter of being able to retain length. If you have never had hair longer than shoulder length, trust me, your regimen is the problem, not your genes. 

Comparing NCCA Certified Personal Trainer Certifications

in , , by FroBunni, Monday, December 08, 2014
I have a few New Year's Resolutions already prepared for 2015, but one of my biggest is to become a Certified Personal Trainer and get my foot in the industry. If you know anything about me, I have a ton of fitness DVDs and books, and I have used them to train a few family members and friends, as well as myself. I really want to start getting outside of this realm and start working at a gym.

So, I'm sure you're wondering, what does it take to be a Certified Personal Trainer. Well, that's easy, you have to take a test and pass. Of course, you will want to study first to increase your chances of passing, but at the very least you have to take a test and pass. Now for the even bigger question...how much does all this cost? And here is the exact reason why I've been putting this off. There's a lot of personal trainer certifications out there, but really only a handful matter and those are the ones accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). So of course, I started comparing each one, and to be honest, almost all of them were the same with slight variations in training materials and in-person workshops, but that was about all.

Now, I'm sure you're wondering why these all have such varying prices that range from "pretty cheap" to "holy crap, I don't have that much money!" Well, it's pretty simple, some of these are not-for-profit and some are for profit. Some of them offer less training materials, while others offer more training materials. And for some, you’re getting a network of like-minded fitness professionals to call upon at any time.

So what really matters in all of this? Two things: cost and your own self-study prowess. Cost is apparent. Either you can afford the most expensive option and you're willing to pay for it, or you don't have as much money and the cheapest option is all you're willing to pay for. The latter is really the most important. Ask yourself this:
  1. Can I study adequately on my own, which will require me to study a little bit each day, prepare with a practice exam, and do all of this in a way that will ensure that I will pass?
  2. Or do I need a teacher to guide me through courses, outline the amount of study time each day, and help me prepare for the exam?
Depending on which question you answer yes to will determine which association you will want to go through to get certified.

NCCA Personal Trainer Certification Comparison

ACTION $50 Free option, but the $50 allows you to get testing material, flash cards, practice exams, etc. Also, taking the test requires a $60 examination fee.
American College of Sports Medicine ACSM $350
Cooper Institute. $300
National Academy of Sports Medicine NASM $700 $2000 was the highest option
National Council for Certified Personal Trainers. NCCPT $495
National Council on Strength and Fitness NCSF $250
National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association NESTA $449
National Exercise Trainers Association NETA $349
National Federation of Professional Trainers NFPT $479
National Strength and Conditioning Association NSCA $370
PTA Global
$700 Optional workshop for an additional $99
American Council on Exercise ACE $600
The cost includes the price of training materials, and I chose from the most basic option. Most offered more expensive options that included more training materials such as flash cards, workshops, and practice exams. There's also the option to just take the test. I wouldn't recommend this for anyone without a collegiate degree in Fitness Science or other similar degree. The exam also must be taken at a proctored site.

As you can see, most of these are going to cost me a pretty penny, and the only reasonably priced CPT program is ACTION, which will cost me, at max, $110. That's $140 less than the second cheapest option. But ACTION is newly NCCA certified and not as well known or prestigious. The two most well-known and prestigious options are ACE and ACSM, which will cost me $300 and $600, respectively.

So, which one do I take? I'll answer it this way. Lately, I've been bingeing on Shark Tank, a show where people pitch their invention/business to well-known, self-made entrepreneurs and businessmen and women for them to invest. Well Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner, is one of the well-known, self-made businessmen, and I found out he went to Indiana University in Bloomington, Pennsylvania, a fairly unknown public university (I only know of it because I lived in PA). He only went because it had the cheapest tuition. This made me think. Having an ACE Personal Trainer Certification is great, but it isn’t necessary to being a great personal trainer. All I need to do to get in the industry is get properly certified. The rest of it - ambition, determination, drive, perseverance - is up to me.

*I left the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) and Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association (CSCCA) off my list. The CSCCA is specifically for coaches and there was no CPT program. The PMA has a horrible website with miserable usability. I couldn't navigate it and each link opens up a new page, which was beyond frustrating. So I couldn't find their CPT program, and hence, couldn't compare it with the others.

**The one downside to ACTION is that most of the other associations offer other fitness certification programs like group fitness, cycling, nutrition, etc. I wasn't comparing all of that, but more so for an FYI.

Pin of the Day: Butt Workout Routine

in , , by FroBunni, Tuesday, December 02, 2014
butt workout routine

Trust this won't be a new thing, but I just love this pin! I finished the workout and I am exhausted. Of course, per my rules yesterday, most of this was HIT based (I turned the squats and lunges into jump squats and lunges). But, my butt muscles are sore, and I know that I will be sore later today and tomorrow. Plus my workout isn't even done. I've got upper body to do courtesy of Jackie Warner's Power Circuit DVD. So here it, the pin of the day. And seriously, try this, your butt will thank you!

5 Bloat Busting Recipes

in , , , by FroBunni, Tuesday, December 02, 2014
Yesterday, I was bloated, sluggish, and my workout was pretty hard to get through. As much as I love Thanksgiving food, all of that butter, dairy, and salt is a recipe for bloating and indigestion. As a big smoothie fan, I knew that I would find some relief there and made myself my usual apple pie smoothie. It taste like apple pie minus the sugar and fat. Plus, cinnamon, apple, and nutmeg are really great natural remedies for bloat. I skipped the yogurt that is normally found in the recipe, and I am currently drinking almond milk (my lactose intolerance is getting pretty bad, so I'm not even drinking Lactaid milk). This week for breakfast, I will be eating foods that alleviate bloating, so of course, I am sharing them with you! Here are 5 great recipes to stop bloating!

Antioxidant Power: Chia Berry Smoothie
Fiber from the berries and chia seeds, this antioxidant rich smoothie will not only help with bloating, but also prevent wrinkles and give you a glowing complexion.
Photo Source: www.popsugar.com

Chia Pudding
Another chia seed rich recipe, the honey will double to help alleviate indigestion and heart burn.
Photo Source: www.popsugar.com

Sweet Hydration: Chocolate Coconut Water Smoothie
Bloating due to your period? Both the chocolate and banana will double to alleviate bloating and menstrual cramps.
Photo Source: www.popsugar.com

Pineapple Kale Blue Berry Smoothie
Potassium from pineapples, and fiber from Kale, this smoothie is a great remedy for bloat, and a good way to get your veggies for the day.
Photo Source: www.popsugar.com

Overnight Oats
Overnight are super easy to make and great for breakfast. Even better, the oats will help to prevent bloating throughout the day.
Photo Source: www.popsugar.com
frobunni natural hair
Before and now of my hair after a month of washing with a cleansing conditioner

I was looking back at old pictures yesterday and noticed that my hair is a lot shiner and less frizzy than when I was washing with baking soda. I never thought I would say it, but I think washing with a cleansing conditioner is really the best option for me. This is a testament that you definitely have to try a few products before one works because the L'oreal EverCreme Cleansing Conditioner was an abysmal failure for me. From that experience, I assumed cleansing conditioners weren't ever going to be a part of my natural hair regimen. But I tried again with Herbal Essence Naked Cleansing Conditioner and wow, I'm impressed! 

My hair has been doing so much better, and even though caring for my natural hair was easy before, using the cleansing conditioner has made it significantly easier to take care of now. Wash day is down to 1.5 hours instead of 2 hours because the cleansing conditioner makes detangling my hair a breeze. I am also retaining more moisture. I haven't noticed any build up yet, but if I do get it, I think I will revisit clay washing. I haven't actually done a clay mask before, but I really don't want to return to shampoo OR baking soda. Since my products are more on the natural side and water soluble, it should hopefully work. So, here's to cleansing conditioners and better hair days!

Benefits of a Cleansing Conditioner
  • Less frizzy hair
  • Shinier hair
  • Retains more moisture
  • Faster wash day
  • Easier to detangle
  • Less tangles and knots overall
  • More cooperative
  • Retains more length
  • Enhances and clumps curls