My 2018 Recap and Wishes for 2019!

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! 2018 flew by and I can’t believe its over. I’m blown away by everything that happened. Life takes you by surprise and often times, it’s completely wonderful. And then there are other times that bring you back down to Earth and remind you that you’re human.

I won’t spend too long going over my year but the year started with me in a terrible job and then finding a different, better one in March. Literally a day after I started my job, David and I got our first niece and she’s darling! In May, David asked me to marry him (BIGGEST MOMENT EVER!) and the day after, my mom was diagnosed with leukemia. Like I said, life is filled with ups and downs. The rest of the year has been spent wedding planning, dreaming for the future, and more wedding planning. So for 2019….

Big Changes Coming

Last New Year’s I tried to change me. But I wasn’t ready. So this New Year’s I really hope I am. I want to change how I think, how I eat, how I think about eating, and how I think about myself. This is the year I get married and there are so many changes coming my way! I couldn’t be more excited and nervous! So what am I doing to get ready? Creating NEW habits. And I’m praying with every fiber of my being that my habits stick!

gratitude journal and tea

The first thing I knew I needed to change in 2019 was my gratitude. I spend so much of my time wondering why I don’t have this or that and virtually none of my time being thankful for the things I dreamed I would have when I was 20. I’m so lucky in life and I don’t even know it! So I bought a gratitude journal! Here’s the exact one I got. Everyday you write down things and people you’re grateful for and why. Its a nice 5-minute exercise to start your day!
noom app

I also started a free trial of the Noom app. I had seen commercials and what not for this weight loss program and had always been curious. I started a free trial of it and am excited to see how it can help. It doesn’t just tell you how to lose weight, it address the harder part of weight loss- understanding your relationship with food.

I put food on a pedestal. If I’m not eating it, I’m thinking about it. It’s a reward for me. I need to change that! Noom gives you a counselor that helps you change how you view food and yourself. I will definitely be updating you guys in a few weeks to share my thoughts on the app!

Please share your goals with me! I love to hear what other people are striving for!

How to Enjoy Exercising Again 

fun exercise ideas

Hey readers! Hopefully you had a great weekend and did something fun! Every Sunday, David and I usually get brunch somewhere together but lately we’ve been spending our Saturdays checking out new places to hike or take a nice walk. We both try to stay healthy and in shape, so we wanted something fun and active to do on the weekends together. Exercising is not my favorite thing to do but I’m determined to find ways to enjoy it and so should you. Here’s a few tips on how to enjoy exercising!

hiking near dallas

Remember your budget

David and I are pretty budget conscious and like to find things to do that won’t break the bank. Most weekends we tend to eat our weight in fried food, so we decided to try a few hiking trails near Dallas to offset any weight gain. Mind you, I’m not a real hiker. I have no lung capacity and I’m not a big nature girl, but going on these hikes with David has turned me on to exercising options that go beyond an expensive yoga class.

cedar grove nature preserve

Exercise goes beyond a gym

Going to the gym is a love-hate relationship for me. I like to walk at an incline on the treadmill and lift free weights but I absolutely hate the process of going to the gym. Finding an activity that’s fun as well as beneficial for your body is the key to achieving your fitness goals. No one wants to do something on a regular basis that makes them miserable. Search beyond traditional gyms and classes for a physical activity that you’ll genuinely look forward to! For some people it might be long boarding at a park, but for me it’s a hike with my boyfriend!

Buy cute work out clothes

Any time I need a little push to get back into my fitness routine, I head to Target and find something cute to add to my workout wardrobe. Since I’m a style blogger, everything I wear has to be at least somewhat cute even if I’m not taking photos for a blog post. When I workout, my gym clothes need to be flattering, fun, and functional. Treat yourself to a new sports bra or running shorts to get motivated again!

texas style blogger

Workout with your best friend

David and I are each other’s best friend and favorite person to spend time with! We can be silly together (see embarrassing photo above) and laugh at the same dumb things. Doing something that you both genuinely love to do makes the physical fitness part much easier! Working out shouldn’t be a chore and it certainly should be done with other people.

Get motivated and get active! Go enjoy your week and find a new activity to get you going! Just a reminder- I’m currently taking on newbie or wannabe bloggers for my free consulting service! See this page for details!

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5 Steps to a Healthier You

life changing health tips

For the last few months, I’ve been super down on myself for many reasons. Some of them are silly and others are justified. We’ve all had those days where we sulk and want to give up, but for me those days turned into months. As a fashion blogger, I feel like it’s part of my job to create an illusion for people following me that I have it all together. News flash: I don’t. Not even close. But during the first week of the New Year, I decided to do something about how I was feeling inside and outside. I changed my habits and how I lived to become a healthier, happier me! I’m sharing with you the steps I took to change my lifestyle!

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

When I was little, my grandmother swore by a few things for her health and apple cider vinegar was one of them. My boyfriend, David, and I have started drinking a tablespoon of it every day. The health benefits are amazing! It helps lower blood sugar, fight diabetes, and even aids in weight loss by making you feel full quicker. I was skeptical about the weight loss aspect, but I have to admit that I feel fuller faster than before!

Get in the Gym

I’ve also added 30 minutes of gym time to my week days. Last year I gained a few pounds and trust me when I say I complained about it all the time. In the last month, I’ve been working my butt off to lose that weight and get back in shape for the summer!

Take Your Vitamins

Whenever I scroll through my Instagram feed, there are so many pretty girls with long hair and gorgeous manicured nails. I started looking around for a vitamin that would promote hair and nail growth and health. I came across biotin and have implemented that into my daily vitamin pack.

Develop a Skin Care Routine

For better skin, I adapted an actual skin care routine! Before, I just washed my face at night to get off my makeup. Now, I use a great cleanser and toner (link to my favorite here) eye makeup remover (link here). Every few days I also do a mud mask to get rid of toxins and other gross stuff sitting on my skin. A brighter complexion makes your skin appear hydrated and cared for!

Think Happy Thoughts

Finally, for my emotional and spiritual health I’ve started doing two things: thinking positively and doing a daily devotional. Being a positive person has never ever been in my nature. My mom sometimes calls me “negative Nancy” because I tend to be a bit of a pessimist. Negative thoughts can really hurt your mental health though. With the help of David’s older sister, Marsha, I’ve been trying to adapt a more positive, happy outlook on life. She’s a really inspiring person to be around and nothing ever seems to get her down!

There are so many great things you can do for your health this year! I try not to overwhelm myself with too many changes because let’s be real, it’s hard to get into a habit and not break it. Becoming a better me is my goal for this year. There’s no reason you and I can’t be the people we want to be! It just takes some work and a lot of dedication! Leave me a comment with your goals for this year!

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My Favorite (simple) Home-Based Exercises

gym_selfieIt’s Thursday and I’m happy (and so is my body)! I’ve been hitting the gym hard the last few days and every muscle aches. Staying in shape is not easy and it’s taken me a few years to learn how to do exercises properly and a few months to really get into a routine. I joined a local gym back in April to motivate myself to workout more. Believe it or not, it worked! I go 5 days a week for about an hour each day.

Honestly, you don’t have to join a gym to get in a great workout. There are quite a few of us that simply don’t have the extra time or money to get a gym membership and that’s fine! Many of the exercises that I do at my gym can be done pretty much anywhere. If you can’t join a gym right now, here are a few exercises I love to do that you can do at home (and it’s free).

  • Lunges- I do about 40 of them (20 on each leg) back and forth across the floor. For an added challenge I hold weights in each hand to make my abs and arms work a little harder.
  • Standing push-up- I can’t get on the floor and do a legitimate push-up so I like to lean against a counter top or even a wall and do about 20 of them that way. It’s much less stress on my back!
  • Donkey kicks- Get on all fours and push your left leg back as if you’re kicking something behind you. Switch to the opposite leg. I do this about 20 times for each leg and it really helps to tone your butt and the back of the leg.
  • Hyperextensions- Using a weight (can be anything from a dumb bell to a jug of milk) spread your feet shoulder-width apart, keep your shoulders back, and slowly bend forward at the hips until you are at a 90 degree angle. Then, come back up to a standing position. This works your abs and your back!

As always, doing 20 minutes of cardio really helps to take off those calories. I like to walk at an incline if I can to work the back of my legs and get my heart pumping faster. People who like to run might consider doing it on something softer like sand or even grass because pavement can be bad to run on for your knees.

If you have any suggestions for exercises that don’t require being at the gym to do, leave me a comment!

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Fruit-Infused Water

fruit_infused_water

As the temperatures start to warm up, I’m relearning the value ice-cold water has in my life. I adore the refreshing feeling it gives my body when I’ve been outside for a few hours in the sun. More than anything, I love to “dress” my water in something visually appealing!

I first had fruit-infused water at a spa in Disney World. They had a pitcher of cucumber melon water chilling by the snack bar for guests to enjoy. I never thought I could really enjoy and be satisfied by water alone but I was proven wrong! Adding fruit to something basic really makes it better.

This spring and summer I’ll be drinking a lot of this! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Water pitcher (or a large water bottle if you need it on the go)
  • Cute drinking straws (for a festive look)
  • Cucumber
  • Lemon
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries

These four fruits are the easiest to combine if the need arises. I also suggest when hosting a party creating a “water bar” for healthier guests. Before the party starts, chill glasses in the freezer to give them a frosted look and then take them out when your guests arrive. Garnish with an orange wedge.

Enjoy your water!

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Top 5 Exercises for Muscle Transformation

workout_inspiration Here’s a little gym/fitness update for those who need inspiring on this lovely Tuesday! Since I’ve started going to the gym regularly, I’ve had a lot more energy and I’ve noticed an increased sense of satisfaction with my life. I go for about 90 minutes 4 days a week and really try to work my arms, legs, and stomach the hardest. I’ve lost about 5lbs. since the first time I weighed in. I increasingly see toning and definition in my body that wasn’t there before. On top of this, I’ve met some really great people in my gym that make it worth going to.

I try to switch up my routine fairly often to give my body a challenge but there are 5 exercises I always do that have really helped me tone my muscles!

  1. Seated Row– My arms are always killing me by the end of this. I do about 3 sets of 25 reps.
  2. Hip Abduction- Some people love this and others think it doesn’t do much for you. Personally, I love it. My thighs are always burning for about a day after the initial exercise. I do 3 sets of 30 reps.
  3. Hamstring Curl– This exercise is so great for the muscle the runs from the back of your knees up to the area right underneath of your butt. I’ve noticed that it’s helping lift my butt (or lack thereof) and making it look firmer. I do about 2 sets of 20 reps.
  4. Bench Press- It’s pretty basic but there’s a reason it works! I don’t bench much trust me, but the little bit I do has really firmed my upper arms and chest area. I do 2 sets of 10 reps.
  5. Incline Walking- I’m not a great runner so I’ve found that jumping on the treadmill and turning up the incline is a great compromise to all the running people do around me. I do a fast-paced walk at an incline for about 20 minutes to get my blood pumping for the rest of my workout.

Enjoy your time in the gym. I know this is easier said than done. I figure the time I spend suffering now will be well worth the great beach body I have later!

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Gym Lust List

Exciting news! I’m back in the gym after a 4 month hiatus! As my graduation gift, my parents bought me a membership to the gym for a few months. I couldn’t be happier about this as I really needed an outlet to release my stress in. What better place than the gym? Not only do you get a great workout, you’re also entertained! Watching a bunch of muscular guys lift weights totally distracts from the pain you feel doing squats. I really don’t know why women hate the gym!

Seriously though, after going a few times and getting the feel for things, I’ve come up with a list of gym gear I want. For my own reassurance, I went into Dick’s Sporting Goods to make sure everything I like comes in a pretty color. It does! That store always makes me want to be the sporty girl that I’m not!

Even when I workout I stay true to myself and my style! I love pink and wouldn’t dream of exercising in boring colors. The gym should be a place where I feel the best about myself because I’m doing something really great for my body. I’m one of those girls who does where make up to the gym (no foundation because it clogs your pores when your skin is trying to sweat). I want to feel pretty and confident!

My gym lust list right now consists of a North Face jacket, hand grips, tank top, supportive bra, and compression pants. I’ve always wanted a North Face fleece jacket and it can be really nice to have when you first get in the gym and haven’t warmed up. I’m finding that the gloves are necessary if you’re going to do any weight lifting. I blistered my hands lifting the other day.

As far as that tank top goes, I just love the saying on the front. “Fear less, sweat more” is half of what you need to do in the gym! The Addidas sports bra on my lust list will allow you to do it without fear of coming out of your bra because it’s a lot more supportive than others I’ve seen.

My final lust list item are those great Under Armor compression pants. I’ve seen so many girls wearing them and I’m about to get on board the bandwagon. Before I jump completely on though, I’d like to firm my thighs a bit. No jiggling allowed!

Let me know what products you love for the gym in a comment below!

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