Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Mike Chang's Insane Home Fat Loss Workout Review and 4-Week Results

The summer is around the corner and so is my impending trip to Vegas. As thoughts of donning a two-piece haunt me like a nightmare, I quickly think to myself that maybe it's time to stop fat-kidding all over town and to get serious about toning my trouble spots. Right when I was thinking that maybe I'll head back to the gym, I received a lovely delivery in my inbox of personal trainer Mike Chang's (pictured below) Insane Home Fat Loss Workout. I'll admit, I tend to think that all of these Youtube or "As Seen On TV" workouts are gimmicks, but man was I wrong about this one.

Personal Trainer Mike Chang


Here's the real deal. As an entrepreneur, I work -- a lot. I rarely have time to do the normal things on a day to day basis, and on top of that try to stay fit and active. My meals are delivered via Home Chef now because my grocery shopping and cooking time is limited, and the thought of actually packing up a bag, getting in my car, going to the gym, etc. just seems like more trouble than it is worth. BUT -- seeing as how I'm in the oh-so-glamorous fashion industry, working out and watching what I eat is an unfortunate must.

So I pop in Mike Chang's Insane Home Fat Loss Workout which can be viewed from your smart phone, iPad or other smart device. (I'm usually watching from my iPad.) Seemed pretty simple enough. It's 9 days of varied workouts targeting your core, legs, back, arms, and more. The workouts average at 20 minutes a piece and the routine varies in a circuit-training type system to alleviate boredom. Even after all of this, I still wasn't a believer. Hasn't it been drilled into our heads during our lifetime that we have to put in HOURS at the gym to truly see drastic results? Well Mike Chang will prove it all wrong. (Apologizing in advance for photos in the bathroom but you get the idea.)


Mike Change Insane Home Fat Loss Workout

Mike Change Insane Home Fat Loss Workout
Two Weeks

Above are my two weeks results. A few key things to note. I did not change my diet much. As I said before, I have a hectic schedule so eating out is on the menu for the majority of the time. I do however, drink a lot of water constantly throughout the day. As you can see -- a slimmer mid section and definitely a slimmer butt. The muffin top around the waist was definitely disappearing.

Mike Change Insane Home Fat Loss Workout

Mike Change Insane Home Fat Loss Workout
4 Weeks


I decided to restart the workouts again after the 9-days were up and here are my 4-week results above. The stomach became more toned and instead of my butt actually slimming down more, I noticed that it was definitely more rounded and raised. I'm still getting used to this because my pants fit differently but I've had a TON of compliments on how flat my stomach looks from people who see me on a day-to-day basis.

Mike Change Insane Home Fat Loss Workout


And...here's the money shot above. Me really proving that there are some abs under all of that Whataburger and Sugary Sweets I feast on. And the booty is definitely raised!

So here's the takeaway on the positives of this workout plan. This is the perfect workout for someone who wants to:
  1. Work Out At Home - I do all of these exercises in my living room comfortably in a sports bra and shorts.
  2. No Weights - It's low maintenance because no weights are required and all you need is a towel for some of the toning exercises.
  3. Time Efficient - All you have to do is commit an average of 20 minutes per workout. For the girl-on-the-go like myself, I definitely had 20 minutes to give.
I'm going to continue this journey and see how sculpted my abs can get, and I'm going to gradually work in eating healthier for even more drastic results. Here are some other people who have seen great results. Teresa Tullos (second pic below) achieved maximum results just after 10 weeks.

Insane Home Fat Loss Workout Mike Chang

Teresa Tullos Insane Home Fat Loss Workout


For more on Mike Chang's Insane Home Fat Loss Workout, click here. If you choose to accept the challenge (as some of my friends already have after seeing my results), please contact me and keep me updated. We're in this together!

xoxo - Leah

Monday, May 25, 2015

Your Divine Voice: A Healing Source of Inspiration

Have you ever heard of the phrase "divine voice" and truly wondered what it meant? I think at times I've struggled with this terminology myself. When I hear of someone "using their divine voice," I think of this supernatural bodily takeover where the Holy Spirit does a complete 100% takeover of your body, mind, and spirit -- takes over your tongue, says what the Lord wants you to say to the listener, and then goes back into hibernation. I know...slightly dramatic, but these are the visions I get in my head. I've always told myself that I'm not necessarily sure that I have a divine voice but once again, God proved me wrong.


Divine Voice



Several days ago, I ventured out to a low-key coffee shop here in town to conduct an interview for my online magazine. It started off as just another interview -- prepped a little before by reading the bio of the individual, other write-ups she's received, etc. I was ready...or was I?


Ascension Coffee Dallas



I get to the coffee shop, chat it up with my favorite server, and order my soy cappuccino. The time was just around 8PM. As she approaches, I'm still under the impression that this will be just another monotonous interview. She sits...a tad nervous...but after a "Hey girl!" here and a "What's up?" there by me, she slinks back in her chair knowing that I'm human just like her. She's now comfortable.


Ascension Coffee Dallas



We get through the first set of introductions and I turn my recorder on. It all starts off as super cliche and all of the basic journalist questions. It then begins to rain and we move inside the coffee shop. We started talking about her inspirations for her craft and she begins to reveal some basic insecurities. As a creative artist driven by her passion but financially tied to a job that will "provide," her inner struggle of passion and purpose begin to surface. As an entrepreneur who recently took a deep dive into "crazy-land" to fully pursue my passion, I immediately began to minister...unknowingly.

~Proverbs 18:21 - The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat of its fruit. ~

Out of nowhere, I began to speak to her situation by telling her my story, where I came from, how God wants her to use her gifts and how she will never really experience the fullness of what He has for her until she steps off of faith, dives off the cliff into "crazy-land," and has the utmost faith that He will provide. Seeing her eyes well with tears, I turn off the recorder and continued to fill her with all of the things God was telling me to tell her. It was probably one of the most powerful moments I've ever experienced.

I sat there for probably an hour with my interview subject ministering to her and she gratefully accepted. She went on to say that she knew our meeting was one bathed in divinity -- that everything I had to say spoke to her situation and was exactly what she needed at that moment. As if awoken from a dream, I re-emerge...only to remember bits of pieces of what was spoken, but alive enough to know that God was there, He spoke, and she was refreshed.




I don't know what the future will hold for this talented artist, but in that moment she was inspired and she felt hope. I now know what it means to speak in my "divine voice." Have you recognized yours? Your divine voice is never for you.  It's when God uses you to share his vision with others based on their need. You won't have to think long and hard about what to say, because it will flow like a river. In what ways has your divine voice healed others? Have you truly allowed God to use you? Just some things to think about as you move forward.

XOXO - Leah

Monday, May 11, 2015

Scent of Triumph by Jan Moran Book Review

Our resident book and novel expert, Ashleigh Ray, received an advance copy of Jan Moran's latest book, Scent of Triumph, which was released on March 31. After reading the book from cover to cover, find out the scoop on whether Ashleigh thinks this book from Moran's collection is worth the read.


Overall Assessment: Overall, Scent of Triumph is an enjoyable book despite a few style preferences and choices made purposefully by the author. Moran created a story that captivates the reader. However underneath a more skeptical eye, the novel’s flaws will appear. 3 out of 5 stars to anyone who enjoys dramatic romance and historical fiction.  
 
The plot of Scent of Triumph is engaging within the first few pages, drawing the reader in with the hint of romance in the midst of war. The events of the story take place during World War II after the Nazis invaded Poland -- strategically placing this novel under the label of historical fiction. While not usually the one to read historical fiction -- as it usually buries the reader beneath facts and dates that they could care less about, this story made us reconsider our stance against the genre. Moran made us interested in the lives of her characters. She had us rooting for their safety and for their happiness. Within the first few pages, we were ready to commit ourselves to the romance and drama of Danielle Bretancourt’s life.  



Despite much praise, beware as the style of this book may catch you off guard. 

The first line alone gave such an air of pretension that we had to put it down -- only to pick it back up to re-engage in more pretentious tones given off by the narrator. For the reader, this pretension may be derived from the overly dramatized tone and longer-than-necessary descriptions. This tone evens out as the story goes on, but the author still tends to over-describe the settings in her stories. Sometimes brevity is best. Some readers appreciate a nice balance between what the writer tells them and what they are allowed to imagine for themselves. Unfortunately, Moran dissolves the fun, leaving little to the imagination. However, we understand that this is only a matter of personal taste.

Another slight but looming issue comes from the main character. Despite Danielle’s virtues and talents, she seemed almost too perfect. She is the ideal woman living a charmed life. This is reinforced by the fact that she never really has to deal with the difficult situations in her life; instead, something convenient occurs to draw her away from the difficulty.  This is a common theme with writers. 

Whenever the author finds his or herself in a difficult plot line, he/she writes themselves out of it, rather than riding out the tension and seeing what comes of it. I think that Danielle would have been a much stronger character had she been given the chance to grow in these situations.

Other than these minor flaws, this book comes just in time for the summer -- heading the warmer weather with an enjoyable romance laced with historical fiction. We rate this novel 3 out of 5. 

 
 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Keepin' It Soxy with Dallas Sock Brand Dead Soxy

I'm a girl who loves her socks. No really. I love my socks. From my younger days donning Easter socks in lace to my basketball knee-high striped Nike socks -- let's just say I truly adore the many ways I can express myself through this ultimate wardrobe staple.

Roberts Wesleyan College Senior Basketball Banquet
No socks here but you get the point. Roberts Wesleyan College Senior b-ball banquet 2004. Yes, fashion girl in flip-flops...gag. But..I was comfortable. ;-)
I met the owners of Dallas-based brand Dead Soxy over coffee at Ascension (of course) following a panel of mine they attended for Dallas Start-Up Week. After some sips of cappuccino and small talk, I learned that co-owners Jason Simmons and Mike Romine were both in corporate America with Mike being a chiropractor. As an entrepreneur, Jason left his corporate gig to pursue development of the Dead Soxy label full-time. After learning of their story, and being both a fashion editor and fellow entrepreneur...I was all in.

Dead Soxy Jason Simmons Mike Romine


After receipt of my Dead Soxy socks "for her", I really wanted to channel what this brand personally meant to me. Mike or Dr. Mike as he is referred to, cleverly came up with the name Dead Soxy and its corresponding hashtag for social media #StaySoxy. So naturally as I thought of socks for women, what would make them sexy? As my brain toyed with the concept and the development of a specialized photo-shoot, I thought, "I wanna have fun. Maybe a Tom Cruise Risky Business-inspired, dance in my socks, girls just wanna have fun type shoot."

Dead Soxy Leah Frazier


Well, after I actually got in the studio with my go-to Dallas photographer, Thomas Garza, the whole concept for me changed. As I draped myself in an over-sized men's business shirt, delicately put on undergarments to match the Dead Soxy grey/pink socks, I began to channel my inner sexy. But...going a step further I ditched the Risky Business concept a minute before the first camera click. It occurred to me. The light bulb goes on. 

Dead Soxy Leah Frazier


Nothing is more sexy to a man, than when his girl wears one of his shirts, sports it au naturale, with no make-up, hair tassled, with no effort. So that's what I did. Baring close to all for the sake of fashion, but keeping it classy, here are some shots of how I #StaySoxy. Be sure to check the detail of the socks -- such as how the upper flipped portion reads "Dead Soxy" and on the back of the socks reads "Her". I LOVE IT!

Dead Soxy Leah Frazier


Dead Soxy Leah Frazier

All images are copyrighted and may not be used without seeking permission of the owner. Credit: Thomas Garza Photography.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wearable Tech: Verizon Dishes the Hottest in Apps, Devices & Tech for Spring

The wearable accessory and tech industry is booming bigger than ever and warming up as the hottest for consumer purchases this spring. From apps to handheld devices to the more fashion savvy items in tech, the industry is channeling full speed ahead with new products and demos debuting almost weekly.

To keep us up on what's hot and new for Spring 2015, Verizon has issued its top wearable tech, accessories and must-have devices for the tech-savvy consumer. As we continue to spring forward into 2015, here's a breakdown of products that might just make your gotta-have-it list for spring.



Verizon iPlanet Bluetooth Selfie Stick


A selfie here, a selfie there...selfies everywhere! The trend isn't predicted to die down soon, so you better hop on board. Capturing those special moments with friends or solo has never been easier than with an extendable selfie stick.
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Swarovski "Blinged Out" Phone Cases

Verizon Swarovski Phone Case


Face it..we're in Texas and bling is what we do. Swarovski introduces a new collection of crystal-encrusted phone cases to make sure you get some shine all spring and summer long.


Tory Burch Designs for FitBit

Verizon Tory Burch FitBit

Keeping healthy and fit has never been more haute, than with a fashion-forward Tory Burch designed FitBit. Ditch the ordinary and mundane devices and get savvy-chic with these newest in "fashion meets fitness" accessories.

These are just a few items that Verizon offers to keep its customers up to date on all of the latest in technology trends. For other iPhone accessory case #inspo (such as the Kate Spade collection) or other fitbit accessories, check out the link here.

For more on what's hot for spring, visit www.verizonwireless.com.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Step It Up: Warby Parker Introduces New Basso Eyewear Collection

Looking at things through a fresh set of lenses is the key to versatility -- which is why popular eye-wear brand Warby Parker continues to stay ahead of the trend. Introducing a unique twist to three of its already favored frames, the socially conscious brand released its new Basso Collection  on February 24th ultimately setting the trend for a more overlaid frame appeal in fashion.

Warby Parker Basso Collection


Inspired by low-relief sculptures, (hence the Italian phrase basso-relievo), the new Warby Parker Basso Collection features an elevated step design that results in a weightier appearance, yet still constructed with the brand's high quality standards. 

Warby Parker Basso Collection


While the process of developing these new frames can seem quite complex, the Basso Collection remains simple in overall function and is constructed specifically to "accentuate the shape of the individual frame." Available for three of Warby Parker's existing prescription frames: Duckworth, Percey, and Winston, each frame will have one of four custom color combinations from a palette of oceanic hues. Easily dressed up or down, the Basso Collection is one that will pair well with all tastes and lifestyles.

Warby Parker Basso Collection


Stay on top of your evolving eye-wear game by visiting the Dallas location of Warby Parker on Henderson to check out the Basso Collection. Trust me, there's layers to this.

As always, for every pair sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need. All images used courtesy of Warby Parker. Warby Parker in Dallas is located at 2008 N. Henderson Avenue.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Blessing Jar: Stop Putting God In a Box

Right before the start of 2015 while people were creating vision boards and getting revitalized for the New Year, a friend of mine in the blogger circuit Vanna Collins, suggested to make a Blessing Jar. The premise of the Blessing Jar is that for every blessing that God gives you throughout the year, you write it down and place it in the jar. At any point during the year, should you feel down, discouraged, or hopeless -- open the jar and receive a spiritual push by reading all of the ways that God has blessed you up until that point. At the conclusion of the year, you can also go through and read all of the ways that God has blessed you throughout the year.

Mark 5:19 ~ ..."Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."~

I was completely head over heels in love with this idea and immediately went to Hobby Lobby to get supplies. I called up my sister for an impromptu girl's night of dinner, wine, and decorating our 2015 Blessing Jars!


Blessing Jar


As we got done laughing and totally acting like we were in grade school hot glue gunning our jars, we were totally ready to see what God was going to do. As 2015 kicked into full gear and I was putting in blessing after blessing into the jar -- I took note that while on days where there may not have been something relevant for me to put something in the jar, there were days where I was putting in 3 or 4 separate pieces of paper.

After a month of putting my blessings into the jar, I realized that there was an even greater lesson to learn in all of this -- and frankly I was a bit embarrassed. When I first started this project and I was looking for jars, I went for the medium sized Mason Jar, truly thinking that this was going to be big enough to have all of my blessings for 2015 fill it to the brim.

Blessing Jar
Me and my sister's completed 2015 Blessing Jars

Little did I know, was that by Mid-February, my blessing jar was more than halfway full. The lesson to be learned is that often we internally humanize God -- we put him in a box. We don't often give Him credit and we surely can't grasp the magnitude of who He is. After seeing and having a tangible way of visualizing His presence in my life, I realize that I probably should have decorated a trash can, rather than a jar, because my God is capable of filling up so much more than a jar.


Blessing Jar
Blessing Jar as of February 15, 2015

Now that little revelation, was truly a blessing.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Play the Print Game: ShoeDazzle Pops with Bold 2015 Collection

This upcoming spring and summer will be all about prints -- and how well you are able to master mixing and matching them is entirely up to you. If you fare on the side of the conservative, then maybe your shoes will be the only prints donned in your wardrobe. However, if you're like many of the daring and trendy darlings, then not only will your shoes pop with prints, but your accessories and apparel will as well. (Click here to read my article on 2015 spring trends)

For a little "mix me, match me" #inspo, check out the latest in ShoeDazzle's 2015 collection. From reptile prints to splashes of floral to chevron waves, one thing is clear -- everyone's "going to print." Here are some of my favorites that I can't wait to pair:

ShoeDazzle 2015 Collection
Zelda by Scene VIP Price $39.95

ShoeDazzle 2015 Collection
Keely by Madison VIP Price $39.95

ShoeDazzle 2015 Collection
Estelle by Paper Fox VIP Price $49.95


I really suggest checking out Shoedazzle when you can. I've mentioned it to you guys before, but it really is one of my go-to sources for not just shoes that are on trend and of quality, but also available at an affordable price. Headed up by chief stylist and my ultimate style icon Rachel Zoe, "Shoedazzle brings you a personal stylist experience by curating major trends, in shoes and more, and showing you what works for your style..." Check it out today and get a fix for your shoe addiction at www.shoedazzle.com.


Images provided courtesy of Shoedazzle.