Friday, February 21, 2014

10k Training for Dummies


I am a race training dummy. AKA I have no idea what the heck I'm doing. I see all of these training plans online and they seem very complicated to me.

I even talked to my friend Rennay (the pro) and what she told me to do was complicated. Even after she dummed it down for me, I'm confused. I'm overwhelmed.

I tend to follow instructions very closely, so when they get complicated or the there are too many steps, I would rather avoid it altogether.

Apparently there is a difference in a short, hard run and a long, easy one? Intervals? Cross training? Conversational pace? 20 minute shake-off run?

WHAT THE??????


I just go outside and run. I typically run the same pace (10 min/ mile) all the time, regardless of the distance. "Conversational pace" means nothing to me because I feel like I run pretty slow and I still can't talk during it.

I couldn't go "hard" for 2 miles because I wouldn't make it that far. I would be passed out in the grass on the side of the road.

Interval training... how can I keep track of what I'm doing each minute??

Cross training... so I have to do something other than run? Can I just run?

Look at what come up when you Google "10k training plan"....



See my problem?

I realize I need to come up with some type of structured plan so I know what I'm doing and don't just wing it. I need to be prepared for the race. But I'm not trying to break records (other than my own) or win any medals. I just want to run the whole thing and finish.

Is this the panic phase of goal setting? I feel as if I'm beginning to freak out about all of this...

I guess I don't have a point to this post because I don't have a solution. My plan for the next couple weeks is easy runs, then a long run trying to beat my previous distance/amount of time running, followed by other easy runs, rest days, and maybe some interval training of hard mile, rest, hard mile, etc.

After a couple weeks I'll see if I need to mix in other things or get on a specific schedule. But that 10k is going to be here before I know it!

So... all you runners out there.. do you stick to a specific race training program? Do you cross train? Do you mix up your runs? Feel free to share your advice for this training dummy!

(And this post was just a huge ramble about nothing. Sorry, guys. More direct, purposeful writing next time. Although I can't make any promises.)



UPDATE: You know how I was bragging the other day how I ran the furthest I've ever run? I was on such a high from it and ready to kill my runs all week. Well, aparently I sustained an injury. My outside/bottom on my foot is in pain and hurts to walk on. I've been icing and such but I'm pretty much not running until it feels better.

Talk about buzz kill. I knew I pushed it too hard running 4.5 miles after being off for a week. I should've eased back into it. So now I'm really frustrated I can't run and my February goals are out the window. UGH. I'm just HOPING it's a bruise and will heal in a few days.







Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Get Fit Update #4 ~ 10k


So I missed the #GetFit link up Sunday for reasons most of you know about, so I thought I would catch up this week. These posts are helpful to me because I can track my progress, and talk about the good runs and the bad. But hopefully it also keeps all of us motivated, knowing that we are in this together!

I heard on the radio this morning that this is the time when New Years Resolutions start to fall to the wayside and people jump back into their old bad habits. Well, not us ladies! It's nearing the end of February and I'm still dead set on these running goals! I hope you are still going strong with yours as well!

Remember how we were feeling that first week of January? It was a new year, a clean slate, and we were feeling energetic and motivated. Well, let's take those feelings and keep them going. It may not be a new year, but it's a new month, a new day, a new hour. These are all chances to better ourselves. Let's not forget it!


Here is a reminder of my February goals.  For those who haven't been following along, I'm setting montly running (and strength training) goals to make my overall goal (running as a lifestyle) more achievable.

Full disclosure, I pretty behind on February. I got off to a slow start and then, as most of you know, I had to make a last minute trip to New York last week for 5 days. With spending family time and 2+ feet of snow, I didn't get any runs in. Before I knew it, it was February 17 and I only had 3/11 runs completed. 

So I have to kick it into high gear for the rest of this month! Not sure if I'll reach my goal, but I'm going to try. 

My friend Amanda (remember your resident SPD guest poster and my good friend who moved to SC??) has jumped on board this running train and is doing the challenge with me! Even though she's not here to physically run with me, it's nice to know someone else is out there shooting for the same goal as me now!

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Remember this photo I have on my desk at work? The post-it that was taunting me for a month to make a decision about trying a 10K this year?



Well I took the plunge and signed up for the Cincinnati Flying Pig 10K on May 3. EEK! And by running a 10k I mean actually running it. Not run/walking. My goal is to run the entire thing without stopping.



I'm totally freaked out about it, and completely doubting myself. But, aren't the best goals the ones that make you pee your pants? (I'm sure some famous person said something like that at some point...). My good friend Rennay (Vegetarian in the Ville) has also agreed to run it with me! Which I am so grateful for! I won't be alone for my first big one and she's a running pro so she'll be able to give me tips along the way!

I don't have an official training plan yet, but just trying to increase my distance/time right now. Before this post, the furthest I have ever run is 4 miles on an indoor track.

Yesterday, I went out (it's finally warming up!!) with a goal to run at least 40 minutes and see where that got me. Because the most daunting part of the 10k is that I will be running non-stop for over an hour, I need to get use to running for these long periods and build up my endurance.

Here are the results from my run yesterday:


I'm pretty proud of myself! I ran straight for 47 minutes and felt pretty good. I set a new personal record for distance at 4.5 miles! And I did it after not running for an entire week. Once I got home my legs felt like jello and I'm a bit sore today, but I'm over the moon with my progress!

If my legs are functioning after work I plan to do an easy 2 miles today, maybe 3 Thursday, rest Friday, and try another long run Saturday. Maybe try to get up to 50 minutes. 

Of course, I will keep you updated! For now, I'm just going to bask in my 4.5 miles of bliss :)






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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

do widzenia


Hey guys - you probably didn't notice since last week was full of posts for KK Week, but I've been M.I.A. from the blog world for about a week.

I don't want to make a whole post of it, but just to update you...

Last Monday my grandfather unexpectedly passed away so it was a last-minute trip to upstate New York and lots of snow that consumed the past several days.

My grandpa was full of life, had a passion for music and Polish food, and was very close to his family. He will be deeply missed.


Even though it was not under the best of circumstances, it was great to see all of my family from the north that I very rarely get to see. All of our cousins are so close and any time together is precious.

I'm finally back home and trying to catch up on everything. So, it'll take me a few days to get any new posts up.

So.. we should be back to your regularly scheduled Kaliwood programming later in the week.


Friday, February 14, 2014

50 Shades Of Grey Area: Valentine's Day For The Unofficial Couple


Hi darlings! I'm Mason from "Mason...Like The Jar," and I'm so excited and honored to be "kontributing" today over here on the lovely Kali's blog! I'm even more excited to have been gifted Valentine's Day for this little guest post of mine!

I happen to be in a fabulous relationship with an even more fabulous guy (barf, right?), but dating and relationships aren't always candy hearts and butterflies and Frank Sinatra crooning in the background while a tall, dark, and handsome man recites love poems to you. It's just not. And believe you me, I've had my fair share of crash-and-burn dating disasters.

I mean, let's face it: dating is effing weird.

You go to bars, the gym, the grocery store, church, Starbucks...and you meet someone. Or multiple someones. And they're all like, "Hey I just met you and this is crazay but here's my number so...call me maybe?" And you're all like, "Nah. I'm set. Your palms are sweaty and you look like Eugene Levy." And then they get sad, and you tell your girlfriends about the troll who hit on you while you were just trying to buy your family size Nutella in peace.

But sometimes you go to these normal everyday places and you meet someone. Or multiple someones. And they look like Ryan Reynolds or Jake Gyllenhaal or someone equally yummy, and they treat you like a gosh darn lady. So you're like, "yes please!" And then you go on a fabulously romantic date and have perfect conversations and you make each other laugh.

Then you go on another date.

And then Valentine's Day creeps up on you when you're only two dates in. What happens then? 

Valentine's Day is when two camps of people are celebrated: it's all about the people in relationships, but the single people are also celebrated with tons of articles, tv shows, movies, etc. glorifying the single girl. Which is fabulous, but herein lies the issue...

What about everyone else? Typically, only the outer extremities are acknowledged. Where's the cream filling?!

So many people reach Valentine's Day while in a grey area...fifty shades of grey area, if you will. They've only gone on a handful of dates with a guy and are just casually dating. What do you do if you fall into this category? Do you ignore Valentine's Day completely? Do you pretend you're in a relationship with the guy and force an awkward romantic evening? Do you exchange gifts? 

Here's the sitch:

What if you go on a date for Valentine's Day, and it's still really early on, and you get him a present. Sure, on one hand maybe he got you something too and will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Or it could be a disaster. I illustrated a possible scenario:


Poor girl got dressed in her fanciest triangle dress and got rejected by a guy with spiky hair. Unacceptable. She's better than that. 

And then he'll probably send this text to his bros:


Sure, maybe little angelface creeped him out by showering him with v-day paraphernalia after only knowing him for two weeks. Fine, maybe she came across as a stage 5 clinger. Then again, he's overlooked the fact that she might not even go out with him again once she sees his flip phone circa 2004.

So maybe don't get him anything. But then what if he gets you something and you don't have anything for him? Then you'll feel like the unthoughtful turd.

I've been in this position before and it's uncomfortable. The only thing I can think to do if Valentine's Day rolls around and you're just casually dating a guy is to wait for him to ask you out, and if he doesn't, just hang out with the girls! If he asks you out for a fancy Valentine's Day date, take him a little something like homemade cookies or a tacky drugstore Valentine's Day trinket to make him laugh. Just a little treat to acknowledge the day since he's already acknowledged it by asking you out. Nothing major though...we don't want him leaving this date thinking you're on the verge of picking out china patterns and naming the 2.5 children you'll have together.

If he asks you to "hang out" and then asks you to pick what to do, suggest something that isn't girly. Suggest ordering a pizza, drinking beer, and watching an action movie. He'll like that you're not getting all mushy and ridiculous and making him listen to "The Way You Look Tonight" on repeat while eating heart-shaped quiche sitting on glittery pink pillows on the floor.

Unless of course you really don't like him that much and want to pull a How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days move. In that case, have at it, dollface. Buy the man a love fern.






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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Genetic Counseling - Ever Heard of It?

I'm so glad to have my good friend Justine today to share a bit about her career. Genetics has always been so interesting to me ever since learning about it in high school! And Justine has made a career of it! Check out her unique job and how they provide some great resources for women! Take it away, Justine!  

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I’m excited to share a little bit about my profession with all of you Kaliwood folks today! Most people have never heard of my job and usually the following dialogue happens shortly after meeting someone new:


New person: “So, what do you do?”
Me: “I’m a genetic counselor.”
New person: “Oh cool. (Pause). Soooo, what’s a genetic counselor?”


Well, folks...today I will answer that question for you!


According to the National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) definition, a genetic counselor is someone who helps people understand and adapt to the medical, psychological, and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. We do this by interpreting family and medical histories to assess the chance of disease, educating about inheritance, testing, management, prevention, resources, and research, and by counseling to promote informed choices and adaptation to the disease.


Genetic counselors have a Master of Science degree in Genetic Counseling (yes, a very specific degree!) and can work in a variety of specialties including prenatal, pediatrics, cancer, cardiac, and neurology. I do a little bit of everything in my current position, but the majority of patients I work with have a personal or family history of cancer, so I’ll focus on cancer genetics for today.


In my job as a genetic counselor, I see people who have had cancer at a young age (under 50 years old) or who have a family history of certain cancers to discuss the chance that the cancer is hereditary. We also discuss the option of genetic testing (if appropriate) and what information that can give them, as well as other family members. I provide risk-assessments to patients to help determine their lifetime chance for developing a particular cancer based on their personal and/or family history information. I can then give them the information that they need to make an informed decision about management options (including screening, surgery, medications). Knowledge is power, people!


I’m sure most of you heard about Angelina Jolie having her breasts removed last year because of her family history and a particular gene called BRCA. 




She didn’t have cancer, but chose to have her breasts removed as a preventative option. Well, Ms. Jolie went to see a genetic counselor (like me!) prior to doing the testing so that she could discuss the risks associated, as well as what her options would be if she was found to have a BRCA mutation.


Okay, let’s take a step back to high school biology for those of you who don’t deal with genetics stuff on the reg. 



What the eff is a “gene?” Well, our genes are basically the blueprints for our bodies: they tell us how to grow and develop, what color our eyes are, what color our hair is (before we dump dye on it), etc. We also have genes that help protect us against certain cancers. One example is the BRCA genes. Everyone has these genes (yes, even men!) and they are there to help protect us against breast and ovarian cancer. If there is a change (or what we call a “mutation”) in one of those genes, they can’t do their job like they should and can’t protect us against breast and ovarian cancer like they should, so we see higher risks for those cancers if someone has a BRCA mutation. In general, hereditary cancers are not very common (only 5-10% of all cancers are hereditary), but for those with a hereditary cancer or a strong family history of a particular cancer, they may have much higher risks for certain cancers than the average person.


So why would someone want to know if they have a higher chance of developing cancer? Wouldn’t that freak them out?! You can’t change your genes, right? Well, if someone is found to have a mutation that puts them at a higher cancer risk, we can’t change their genes, but there are different screenings and surgical options available to them to help reduce cancer or to find it at the earliest stage possible. As a genetic counselor, I review all of the available options with patients and help them pick the best option for them. Not everyone chooses to take the route and have bilateral mastectomies like Angelina Jolie did, but I’ve had many patients who do choose that route.


Some people think my job must be sad or depressing dealing with cancer patients all the time, but on most days it’s not. I’m giving patients information that they can use to feel empowered and in control of their health! If they haven’t had cancer but have a strong family history of it, I’m giving them the tools and information they need to reduce their chances of developing cancer. If they have already had a cancer diagnosis, I’m giving them information about reducing the risk of another cancer diagnosis as well as ways that they can help family members reduce their cancer risks as well. Cancer can be a scary thing, but knowing what your risks are and what steps you can take to reduce those risks can be a very powerful thing!


So, who should see a cancer genetic counselor? Anyone with any of the following:
-A personal or family history of breast cancer, colon cancer, or uterine cancer diagnosed before age 50
-A personal or family history of ovarian cancer at any age
-Multiple relatives on the same side of the family with the same or related cancers
-A personal or family history of an individual with multiple primary cancer diagnoses
-A personal or family history of male breast cancer
-A known hereditary cancer syndrome in the family


For more information on genetic counseling or to find a genetic counselor in your area, feel free to visit www.nsgc.org.




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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Music Festival Drama: Helene Tries to Get Tickets

On this 3rd day of KK Week (it's going so fast!), I'm so happy to have my girl, Helene, in Kaliwood to share her love of music, music festivals, and the adrenaline rush that is attempting to get tickets. Stop by Helene in Between when you get a chance. You're in for a grand ole time where you'll experience everyday life through rose colored glasses. (And you'll burn some serious laugh calories.) Get it, Helene!


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I might not be the biggest music expert in the world, but I sure do love it. I started my blog, Helene in Between, with the intention of writing about everything going on I found interesting. But, I couldn't help blogging about my one true love: music. I've always been a passionate music lover. From Nsync to Britney Spears to Beyonce and now my deep affection for electronic dance music.

One thing that I love the most about music are music festivals. 100s of thousands of sweaty people cramming their way up to the main stage? Sign me up. For some reason I love the thrill of it. The masses of people. The overall feel of excitement in the crowd. The artists feel electrified through the sheer number of people. A music festival is my ultimate happy place.

But there's one problem- getting the tickets. Most popular festivals sell out in mere seconds which can make it virtually impossible for non-scalpers like us to score tickets. Whether you're trying to go to Belgium for the largest electronic dance music festival in the world or trying to go to a local show that's highly anticipated, you know there's going to be some competition when trying to get your tickets.

Here's what it's like when you're trying to get Tickets to a Music festival:

The Weeks Before:
Oh, I can't wait for {insert music festival name}! It's going to be the best time of my life. I am going to have so much fun. I better start working on a flower crown (or concert tee, whatever).

Ticket Sale Announcement:
Ok, I need to text everyone and make sure they have their computer so we can get online at the exact moment tickets go on sale. WHEW!

Day of Ticket Sale:
OMG. I'm so nervous. I hope we can get tickets. If not, I'm gonna hurt someone. It will be fine: BREATHE.

If you don't get tickets:
My life is over. This is so unfair. I hate scalpers. What do I have to look forward to anymore?

If you do get tickets:
I am basically the best thing that ever happened and I am the luckiest person on earth. I now must spread the news on every social media channel there ever was, ever.

Looking to buy from Scalpers:
This is risky but I need it.

Day of the festival, no tickets:
Pretending like it doesn't matter.

Day of the festival If I have tickets:
I am invincible.

Do you ever have a hard time getting tickets? Or maybe that's just me! Either way, come say hi!
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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone... And Take a Chance!

I'm so excited to kick off Kaliwood Kontributors Week from this post by Kait, from CommuniKait. If you haven't already been following Kait, make sure to stop over and visit! You'll love following along during her engagement journey and seeing all of the gorgeous paradise pictures! As you'll see in today's post, Kait is courageous and not afraid to take a leap a faith. My favorite line from her is "It's not the life plan I had written out for myself...it's so much better." I think that speaks volumes about how we should just let go and start living life to the fullest! So without further adieu... here is KAIT!


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Hello everyone! My name is Kait and I’m the blogger behind CommuniKait, a lifestyle blog where you can usually find me writing about my life in Hawaii, my girl crushes on Chrissy Teigen & Kate Middleton and my upcoming wedding. Before I lived in Hawaii, I was in a 5,500 mile long distance relationship. Read on to see how I bridged that gap..and please, stop by sometime! 

Over a year ago when I got engaged, my fiancé and I were fostering a 5,500 mile long distance relationship. He was enjoying the #HiLife and I was living back at home in Pennsylvania. We saw each other about 2-3 times per year and really tried to make every minute count.

Once Dane and I got engaged, I knew it was time to fish or cut bait -- this distance just wasn't going to work for us in the long run and I knew that it was I who had a decision to make, because the Army wasn't going to move him back to the East Coast anytime soon.



I had a successful job, a steady affiliation with local groups and clubs and was surrounded by all my friends and family -- but I didn't feel whole being so far from Dane. So I did what any rational, normal person would do -- I quit my job and moved to Hawaii.

People thought I was crazy, rash and ruining my life; I think on the plane ride there I shared some of these thoughts. As I approach the one-year anniversary of my move, I can say, whole-heartedly, that this decision was the best one of my life.

Physically, mentally and emotionally, I am a better person than I was a year ago. It's easy to say, "Oh, well of course she's happy now -- she lives with her fiancé in paradise!"

Except it's not that straightforward. Moving so far and making such a big life decision has brought it's own set of trials and tribulations.


First and foremost, it pushed me outside my comfort zone. It was easy to live at home and work in the surroundings I had grown up around and was familiar with. I now found myself in an unfamiliar area with no friends, except my fiancé.

Alongside this realization, I was now relying on freelance work instead of a steady paycheck to pay my bills. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have quite a few "WHAT THE HECK AM I DOING?!" moments.

Growing and changing are two of the constants in life. Admittedly, I've never been good with the change part, but I think that as we develop and mature, sometimes what some may view as "bad change", can truly be some of the best experiences of our lives. Had I listened to what others were saying to me and not taken a chance on Hawaii, who knows where I would be now. 

I've found that the best part of change is the growth that it brings. Living in a new place, while sometimes aggravating, forced me to learn to pay attention to road signs (I was so used to knowing exactly where to go!), branch out and meet new people at community events and learn to love and appreciate my surroundings. My freelance work led me to some of the best people I've ever met -- both on the island and the mainland -- and allowed me to grow professionally in ways I never imagined possible. Namely, believing in myself and the work that I am capable of producing.


I think the most important personal growth is the one I've gained mentally. 



When I was a senior in college, I don't think the life I lead now would have been in my five-year plan. Truth be told, it probably wouldn't have even been in my ten-year plan either. If nothing else, I've learned that the best plan is none at all and I am finally at a point where that is okay.


I took a chance on Hawaii and I'd do it all over again in a minute.


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Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine’s Day Wardrobe: How to Get it Right

Welcome, Kaliwood residents! I'm so excited to start this KK Week off right with my girl, April, from The Striped Flamingo. After you read her Vday fashion post below, stop over and give her a visit. She had me hooked at "statement necklace" and I keep coming back for her engagement updates and always-on-point fashion advice! Take it away, April!


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Happy Monday, blog friends! I’m April and I blog over at The Striped Flamingo. I’m so excited to be a part of the awesomeness that is Kaliwood Kontributors Week and am honored to be able to start y’all all off on the right…um…pump.

Every year on Valentine’s Day, I always struggle with what to wear. What should I wear to work? Or, if not working, what do I wear for a casual date/lunch? And then, if I have evening plans, what do I wear for that? Now, I love to be festive and dress for whatever holiday or occasion…but there is a very fine line between looking festive and…looking ridiculous.

For Valentine’s Day we will see lots of red, pink and hearts. But just because this is typical Valentine’s Day fare, doesn’t mean you have to incorporate it all into your V-Day attire. Let’s use a punny acronym, “K.I.S.S” and Keep It Simple Stupid Silly. Anybody can slap a red top on some pink pants and try to rock a heart print bag. But, let’s face it…we are all (mostly) adults, right? So, instead pick one color and incorporate it with neutrals. If you want to wear some heart jewelry or a heart sweater, keep it subtle with regards to the rest of your outfit.


For a casual day, lunch date or other occasion where jeans are appropriate, you can manage to look fun and festive with something like this. A red wrap sweater and jeans paired with a neutral belt, bag and shoes. (Yes, animal print, especially leopard/cheetah, IS a neutral.) Subtle heart stud earrings are the perfect way to finish off this outfit. See? You look well put-together AND Valentinesy. (I made that word up just now. Copyright. The end.)



If you use my basic work formula, then it shouldn't be too difficult to come up with something Valentinesy, yet still work-appropriate. A black pencil skirt (or pants) with a printed top/shell is complimented perfectly with a magenta cardigan. Of course, I’d take it a step further and add some hot pink pumps and a statement necklace but I realize my accessorizing ways are not for everyone. Swap out the pink cardigan for a red one or even a purple one. (Purple is sort of Valentinesy….right?) Or switch out the polka dot top for another print or solid and you’re set! If you’re V-Day work look resembles this, congratulations! You've managed to pull off a fun look that doesn't resemble a candygram.



For those of you with evening or fancy plans, you might try something like the above. Obviously an LBD is my initial go-to because of its versatility with accessories, but you could reverse everything in the picture and it would work too. (So, maybe a red dress, with black accessories. If you pair pink or heart accessories with a red dress…you've gone too far.) Except don’t reverse the killer shoes. Those are a necessity. The key here is to not look like a walking Valentine card. You’re giving the “hint of holiday” without overdoing it.
Interested in learning about dressing for other holidays? Read my posts about the 4th of July and a few other holidays.

Thanks to Kali for having me on the blog today! And Happy Valentine’s Day!



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Friday, February 7, 2014

Five on Friday



This past Monday marked two years that Tim and I have been dating. It's crazy it's already been that long! Time flies when you're having fun! 



I signed up for the Cincinnati Flying Pig 10K in May! I'll talk more about this on one of my Sunday #GetFit posts, but I'm already freaking out! I've got a long way to go and it's a pretty daunting goal at this point!



Tim and I are currently entranced in the trashy drama TV that is "Are You The One?", "Real World: Explosion", and "Vanderpump Rules." All I need is for "Total Divas" to come back and it will become a real problem.



This week one of the people who went to my grade school posted a video on Facebook of her C-Section. Like seriously... that happened?? Someone commented "WHY?" and she responded that it was beautiful and she only posted a minute because the whole thing would be inappropriate. UH??? #IsThisRealLife

Now, I'm not here to bash on anyone or bash on baby-having. I think it is truly amazing and props to all you current mothers out there who have gone through what I assume to be the most pain anyone can possibly go through. But people are sharing too much on Facebook. And your C-section birth is one of them.



I can't wait for Kaliwood Kontributors Week to start on Monday! We have some great posts lined up for you and I'm so excited to share them! Plan a trip to Kaliwood everyday next week so you don't miss a thing!



Linked up for 5 on Friday and FFF and #BackThatAzzUp. TGIF! Have a great weekend!



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