Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Bulking Season!

The nip in the air tells me it is officially bulking season! I love bulking season because it means fewer work outs, more food and rewarding results. 

It is a commonly held myth that bulking season is only for men, but it is great for women too. Ladies, this is your chance to get stronger and let your body bulk up with out worrying how you look in a bikini - it is amazingly freeing.

My boyfriend and I schedule out two or three “bulking” workouts each week. These workouts consist of a whole body, heavy weight movements. An example workout for this would be 5x5 squats, 5x5 bench-press, 5x5 barbell rows, and then a super set of 2x8 pull-ups/pull downs, 2x8 lateral raises and 2x8 sit ups.

Then between the bulking days we do light running, yoga or a light target day (swimming would also be great if you have access to an indoor pool).

For diet, we eat similarly to ketosis but we include more carbs. Our day to day meals look usually look something like this: breakfast - greek yogurt (all fat and low sugar) or protein shake; lunch - chicken, full fat ground beef or turkey, or bacon and eggs; and for dinner - pasta with meat balls/meat sauce, and lots of cheese, or crock pot beef stew. 

We also eat plenty of the snacks throughout the day like rice cakes, apples, baby carrots, dried figs, etc. The key to bulking season eating is higher protein and carbs, but still maintaining a balanced diet with fruits and veggies.

Carmyn is an opinionated keyboard pecker, graphic designer, part time model and bikini enthusiast.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Kianna Martinez - Singer/Songwriter

-Kianna Martinez-

"Singing is my life and I love it more than anything!"

At the age of seven Kianna Martinez found a love for music after watching the movie Selena. That same year Kianna stepped on to her first stage to sing an acapella version of "I Will Survive" and the rest was history.

As the years went on Kianna's passion for singing continued to grow with every performance and her dreams of becoming a singer became reality.

Kianna Martinez has opened for The Charlie Daniels Band at Dodge Theater and opened for Dustin Lynch at one of her favorite venues, The Pepsi Amphitheater. She has also shared the stage with Chase Bryant, Chris Janson and Rodney Atkins just to name a few.

Kianna's music has given her the opportunity to travel all over the US for performances. One of those performances being at CMA Fest in Nashville.

However after several years of traveling back and forth to Nashville Kianna made a huge decision.

The year was 2016 when Kianna loaded up all of her things and headed east. The road trip was a total of  1,427 miles from Gilbert, Arizona her home town to Nashville, Tennessee her new home. Kianna didn't have to make the long journey alone as her always supportive momma was by her side. Kianna had this to stay about the move a year ago.

"Can't believe how fast time has flown by! It has been such an incredible year! I still miss my family every single day, but I also still absolutely love living in Nashville!" [Source: Facebook - Kianna Martinez]

As an Arizona native Kianna still loves being involved with her home state and travels back to perform shows regularly. 

Kianna has performed at professional sporting events that include the Phoenix Suns, Mercury and Coyotes. She also has performed at professional rodeos such as the Parada Del Sol, Gilbert Days and Payson Rodeo. 

This year made the third year in a row performing at the Tempe Town Lake 4th of July Celebration in front of an audience of estimated 55,000 people. In 2015 Kianna was honored to be one of the three local bands selected to play Super Bowl XLIX (Februray 1, 2015) for "The Super Music Series at The Westgate Entertainment District. " 

Kianna doesn't stop there. She also has performed at the following charity events. AZ Elk Society, Wounded Warriors Project and 100 Club Arizona along with Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Since moving to Nashville Kianna has continued her work as a singer and songwriter. She has been featured on Balcony TV more than once. Her latest was in March of this year and can be seen below. Listen to Kianna sing "Used to Be" a song she co-wrote.

Along with Balcony TV Kianna has been featured on local News and Radio stations.

The passion and energy she pours into every performance allows her to connect with her audience on a personal level and keeps them coming back for more. Kianna can be seen playing around town at one of Nashville's many music venues. Some of those venues include The Stage, Second Fiddle and Frisky Frog.

Although she doesn't have any shows booked for Nashville in the near future make sure you check out her official webpage, SHOWS tab, for upcoming tour dates. Kianna can be seen performing at the below event.
  • Saturday November 4, 2017 - Phoenix  Arizona  - Welcome Home Classic Golf Tournament 
Kianna's album titled Kianna Martinez contains five songs and can be purchased from her STORE located on Kianna's official website.

Kianna Martinez

"I Can Do It Better"
"The Girl I Was"
"Feel That Way"
"Used To Be"

Below is all the links you will need to stay up to date and informed of Kianna's work, upcoming shows and releases.  
Kianna is on the following Social Media sites. Give her a follow on one or all.
Check out Kianna's videos to see her passion for the music she writes and sings.

Written by: Joseph Clay

[You can connect with Joseph on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. You can check out Joseph’s book trailer videos on his YouTube Channel.]

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Benifits of Yoga!

Yoga is unique from most kinds of exercise because it requires the participant to slow down and focus on themselves. In almost no other form of exercise is your breathing pattern so crucial.

The structure of yoga, the breathing, deliberate flow of motions and the the introspection that occur during practice are both healing and strengthening. Yoga is great for anyone who feels overwhelmed or just needs a little "me time". It has always been a crucial pracrice for me before a big project is due. Yoga gives me peace to unwind.

Growing up, one of my aunts was a yoga instructor so I have been able to witness the benefits first hand. It is a fairly user friendly activity - my aunt had a steel rod in her back and she was still as capable as any other instructor I have ever had.

Also, yoga fosters endurance and strength. In the world of growing popularity of lifting heavy weight, the benefit of body weight exercises are often forgotten. However, yoga defines muscles by using your own body as resistance while at the same time increasing flexibility.

You can also ramp up yoga's intensity by going to hot yoga (my personal favorite). Hot yoga is practiced in a studio heated from about 90°F to 104°F - so don't forget to drink plenty of water before hand. Hot yoga is awesome for detox and weight loss.

So next time you are feeling stressed or maybe just need to focus on you. I definitely recommend giving yoga a try.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Mean Mary and the Contrarys

-Mean Mary and the Contrarys-

Mean Mary and the Contrarys are a high energy Americana/Rock/Blues trio fronted by Mean Mary. The band is quickly building a worldwide following with their startling harmonies and dynamic arrangements.

That tells us one simple truth about Mean Mary and the Contrarys.

Contrary to their name, the Nashville based trio are all in one accord when it comes to creating music that infuses the earthiness of rock and blues with the raw innocence of Americana.

Head on over to Mean Mary and the Contrarys Facebook and Reverbnation pages. Show some love and give them a like and listen to their music. 

Mean Mary is also a solo artist and can be booked as that through her website. This article focuses on the many talents of Mean Mary. First we will answer the question, who is Mean Mary?

-Mean Mary-

 “The voice of a ragged angel combined with the banjo playing of the devil ... you will want to run away with her.”  

Photo credit: Johnny Giles

Mean Mary (Mary James), is a Florida native who is now based in Nashville, Tennessee. She began life as a musical prodigy—could read music before she could read words and co-wrote songs at age five. By age seven she was proficient on the guitar, banjo, & violin, and entertained audiences across the US with her vocal and instrumental skills. Her life has been one long road show interspersed with TV, radio, and film.

Mean Mary has evolved from a child prodigy who played for tips on the streets of Nashville to a seasoned performer and headliner of over 4000 festivals and concerts. She has toured the US, Canada and Europe as an Americana/Bluegrass artist.

As an adult Mean Mary has mastered 8 other instruments besides the guitar, banjo, & violin and is known internationally for her lightning-fast fingers. Those fingers caught the attention of Deering Banjo’s who named her their Goodtime Ambassador. Janet Deering describes her banjo playing as giving her “chills.”

Mean Mary is also a songwriter who chooses unusual subject matter that ranges from ghost pirates to demon guitars.

Mean Mary is a high-energy performer that thrives on variety. You combine that with her banjo playing and haunting vocals, along with her intricate story songs and you get a hell of a show.

[Bloggers Note: Mean Mary has an extensive bio on her web page that is interesting reading. The bio covers everything from her parents nomadic lifestyle to the great set back, plus a video of Mary performing as a child. Click HERE to read all about Mean Mary!]

Mean Mary's album Year of the Sparrow contains 10 tracks. The single "Iron Horse" won the 2014 IMA Vox Populi award for Best Americana Song. Watch the video below and check out her YouTube channel for more great music such as "Sweet Jezebel" from the same album.

Mean Mary's newest album Sweet contains 14 amazing songs. Both albums can be purchased from all major streaming outlets and her website under the STORE tab along with other great products.

Photo credit: Johnny Giles

Mean Mary is out on the road packing venues and giving her audiences a show they will not forget. Below are some of her up coming dates.
  • Saturday November 18, 2017 at 2pm - White Horse Black Mountain - Black Mountain, North Carolina - Mean Mary's Blazing Tour (pre-release party).
  • Saturday November 18, 2017 at 7pm - The Classic Wineseller - Waynesville, North Carolina - Mean Mary's Blazing Tour (pre-release party).
  • Sunday November 19, 2017 at 6pm - Muddy Creek Music Hall - Winston-Salem, North Carolina - Mean Mary's Blazing Tour (pre-release party). Details for this show are to be announced.
To keep up with where and when Mean Mary will be in your area she has a TOUR tab in the menu of her website. There you will also find ticket prices, address to the venues, and more.

To stay informed and up to date with Mean Mary, listen, watch and purchase her music, along with following her on social media use the links to below.

Written by: Joseph Clay

[You can connect with Joseph on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. You can check out Joseph’s book trailer videos on his YouTube Channel.]

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Ketogenic Diet

With Halloween candy, Thanksgiving meals and Christmas dinners just on the horizon, eating healthy and dieting seems to be a growing topic of conversation. In our house we like to prepare ourselves for the holiday season by cycling on and off of Ketogenic eating.

The Ketogenic diet consists of high fats and low to no carb intake - think 8-20 grams of carbs a day. When participating in the “Keto lifestyle” you have certain trade offs. You can have as much butter and cheese (and other fats) as you want, but sadly you have to strictly monitor your carbohydrates.

The biggest complaint I have heard about this style of eating is that “I like my fats on my carbs” like butter on popcorn or parmesan on spaghetti. So for me this means trying to find tradeoffs. 

Instead of pasta we eat spaghetti squash with a low carb marinara sauce, butter and as much cheese as we please. You can also make taco shells out of cheese, bread chicken with coconut flour and even make a veto friendly cheese cake.

For me the trick to successful Keto is meal prep. You have to make sure you eat often enough, because your body will be burning through the fats much faster that it would normally, and that you are keeping track of your carbs. 
So if this sounds like your cup of tea, hit up Pinterest and get to exploring the wonderful world of Ketogenic eating! You can even check out my board “KETO LIFE” on my Pinterest page,

Carmyn is an opinionated keyboard pecker, graphic designer, part time model and bikini enthusiast.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Chelsea Mazur - Don't Call It a Dream, call it a plan.

-Chelsea Mazur-

“Don’t call it a dream. Call it a plan.”

Chelsea Mazur lives by the above quote. Chelsea has arrived in Nashville not with a dream but with a plan. That plan is a simple one, she intends to further her music career here and won't stop until she gets where she wants to be.

Chelsea Mazur was raised in Jackson, Michigan and fell in love with music at a very young age. She began writing songs at age seven, she allowed the music to take her away getting her through any hard times. At age fourteen, Chelsea started entering singing competitions, and routinely finishing in the top three. She has performed at many venues and has sang the National Anthem at numerous sporting events.

The talent doesn’t stop with music. Chelsea has studied dance all of her life and got very competitive with it. Being a studio trained dancer paid off in 2015. That is the year she graduated from high school and her dance studio. Chelsea auditioned with 148 other dancers and became one of the nine new members of the international hip-hop crew called "2XS" in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Her dance choreography was performed in Chicago and numerous places in Michigan.

Chelsea remaind with the crew for a year before deciding to pack her bags, move to Nashville, and focus all of her energy on her music and music only.

Chelsea has released two singles. The first titled “Home” was released in September 2016. Her second single “Hopeless Romantic” could not have been released on a better date than February 14, 2017.

Purchase “Home” from iTunes

Purchase “Hopeless Romantic” from iTunes.

Both singles can also be found on Spotify and several other music sharing websites.

This past year Chelsea has been writing, co-writing, and networking every day while working on her first album with the help of her producer, Gary Garris. I asked Chelsea how that was going.

“I have tons of new music in the works. I've written too many songs to count since “Home” and “Hopeless Romantic” came out.

Then she let me in on a surprise she has in store for her fans.

“I am releasing two demos on my SoundCloud really - really soon so stay tuned. ;)

Since Chelsea is focusing on co-writing and recording right now she doesn’t have any shows or tours scheduled at this time. However she hopes in the near future she will be out and about playing around town.

Along with her music Chelsea has started dancing once again working for the dance company “Hall of Fame Dance Challenge”. Chelsea is excited about touring the United States with the show. Her next tour will start in January 2018 and end in July 2018.

I asked Chelsea with her busy schedule did she ever get any down time and if she did what did she like to do?

“On my down time in Nashville I like to go to the Farmers Market and buy fresh vegetables and take advantage of the free samples, 'cause of struggling musician probs. ;) I also like to hang out with my friends and go on walks in East Nash and get burgers at Dino's. (They’re the best)”

The next question I tossed at Chelsea; are you a dog or cat person?

“Well I love both cats and dogs but overall I am a cat lady. In Nashville I don't have any animals because I'm too busy to have them. Back home in Michigan I have two dogs: a Jack Russel named Mercy and an Australian Shepherd/Elkhound mix named Lacy. I also have 6 cats (yes, I know, I'm the crazy cat lady) and their names are Ellie, Clemintine, Peaches, Monkey, Arie, and Cow. (My 10 year old sisters named most of them so don't judge me...)”

Since we are transitioning from summer to fall I wanted to know if Chelsea was a beach or mountain type of person. Then I asked her what her favorite season was.

“This question is so hard for me to answer because I love nature and the outdoors so much. I love both. Honestly California may just have to be my home one day. I love every season also...I'm from Michigan so we definitely have them all. But if I had to pick just one I would have to say fall.”

I inquired what Chelsea did to relax and unwind after a stressful day.

“I'm very big into yoga and meditation. When I'm feeling stressed or just need to relax I will spend my time at Hot Yoga East Nashville. Or just watch That 70s' Show on Netflix, which works too.”

We all have to eat to survive so I asked Chelsea what her favorite food was and where in Nashville did she love to dine.

“Ugh the hardest question of them all!! Hahaha. I love literally all food except for shellfish (because if I ate it I would probs die #allergic) but if I had to pick one kind of food I would have to say Mexican. I think I have just about tried every place in Nashville. I love me some Bar Taco, Taco Mamacita, and Rose Pepper.”

As you can tell by some of Chelsea’s answers she has a great sense of humor and loves life along with being filled with talent. Make sure you follow her on one of the below social media sites as not to miss the two upcoming demos and to see when she begins to book shows.

Written by: Joseph Clay

[Joseph Clay is a Georgia native who now resides in East Nashville, Tennessee with his family. After twenty plus years in the engineering field Joseph decided to hang up his hard hat and retire to focus on his true passion, writing.
Joseph is a full time author and consultant for ThunderHorse Publishing, and is currently working on his next novel. His latest release Witch’s Dilemma is on sale now in paperback and eBook format. For more information on Joseph and his books visit his Official Website.
As a blogger Joseph not only contributes to Live Laugh Love Nashville - Music Monday Feature and other blogs, he has two of his own. Joe Coming Unglued and Joseph Clay - Author the Official Blog.
You can connect with Joseph on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. You can check out Joseph’s book trailer videos on his YouTube Channel.]

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

How to Take Care of Yourself While Working From Home

How to Take Care of Yourself While Working From Home

It seems that as technology improves, more and more people are getting to work from home. From a wellness perspective I have found this to be both a blessing, and a curse. Ideally, I should have the time to meal prep delicious and healthy meals, hit the gym, and have a perfect ergonomic set up.

However, these goals are easier said than done. Because trust me, it is easy to stay in your pjs, eat mac n cheese for lunch every day and work from your bed or couch.

To combat falling into this lazy cycle I have found it best to set your own rhythm and stick to it. 

Get up and start your day with a light breakfast (think fruit, yoghurt or protein shake/bar) and go work out. And lets be real, workout clothes are almost as comfortable as pjs so it won’t be that rude of an awakening.

Or if you don’t feel like hitting the gym or going for a run I like to plan a light body weight circuit to space out my day that I can jump into every two or three hours. For me that means crunches, push ups, planks, air squats etc. Do a little research and find a circuit that works for you - I recommend Pinterest or, both are simple to use and have a million ideas for circuit workouts. Another benefit of circuit workouts at home is that way you are not sitting too long. Sitting and staring at a screen for too long can cause muscle cramps and eye fatigue so I try to do all I can to combat those.

Next, to force myself to eat healthy I do crock pot meals on Sundays and keep healthy snacks on hand. By making food in the crock pot all I have to do is heat up small portions when it is meal time, making eating as easy as possible. As far as snacks go I try to have trail mix, cheese sticks and other high protein options to keep me full.

Lastly, an ergonomic desk and chair would be ideal. However, if you are like me and saving up to that set up, then you need a different solution. Do you best to elevate your screen so you are not over extending your neck. By having a raised screen it also gives you the option to stand. Stand whenever you can to improve posture and blood flow.

I hope these tips help!

Instagram @carmynisabella, Freelance page