Thursday, March 31, 2016

Goodbye, March.



One of my favorite bloggers, Chelsea, over at The Girl Who Loved to Write, makes a post at the end of every month about what she's "saying goodbye" to in the old month, and "saying hello" to in the new. I love the idea of starting fresh with a clean slate every month, and I am feeling especially unoriginal this afternoon, so I thought I'd create a little list of my own. I also recommend checking out her blog if you're in the market for a new read!

March has been...kind of weird? A little depressing, a little eye opening. I'm hoping April holds good news, and some sense of direction. 

So with that...

Goodbye, March.

Goodbye, grad school rejections. Well, goodbye to two of them. 

Goodbye, post grad school rejection hangovers. 

Goodbye, spring break. You were fun while you lasted.

Goodbye, "cold" Florida weather. I have a feeling I won't be seeing you again until January.

Goodbye, little booties and cozy sweaters. 

Hello, April.


Hello, to my last three grad school decisions.

Hello, to actually knowing where we're going to live come August. Stay in Tampa? Move to Orlando or Jacksonville? Kinda ready to know. Like, now.

Hello, to the dreaded studying for finals.

Hello, to sunscreen and swim suits and summer scented candles.

Hello, to planning our trip to Asheville in May!


XOXO

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Currently: March.

Welp, is tomorrow really the last day of March? Somehow we've already made it through the first quarter of 2016. Here's a little bit of what I've been up to lately! You can also check out my Instagram for a closer look. See ya there!


Watching...

I'm absolutely loving Girls (HBO) lately. The writing is especially excellent this season, and every episode is more captivating than the last. If you don't have HBO, I recommend trying out HBO Now (free for one month, $14.99/monthly for all their TV shows and movies). Seriously cannot get enough of this show. Ryan and I are also almost finished with Bloodline on Netflix. Such a strangely eerie show...I'm really looking forward to the season finale.

Listening...

To a lot of reggae rock. Rebelution, Iration, Hours Eastly, and Dirty Heads to be exact. I blame it on the warmer weather. Which brings me to...

Loving...

This weather! True to her nature, Florida skipped spring and jumped right to summer. It's been super sunny with a side of afternoon thunderstorms. Just what the doctor ordered, if you ask me.

Reading...

The Lovely Bones. I know, I know - I'm late in the game. I finally finished You Are A Badass (loved!), and since I'm trying not to spend frivolously, I picked a book from my shelf that I've always been meaning to get around to. I've never even let myself watch the movie because I've been so set on eventually reading the book. Up next: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

Waiting...

For grad school decisions. Back here, I mentioned that March was going to be a month of decisions. Well, to some extent, it was. I was rejected from two schools, and wait listed to my number one choice. Have I ever mentioned how hard it is to get into speech-language pathology programs? Yes, well...it is. I'm still waiting on two more programs + my wait list, so I'm not losing hope yet!

Working on...

Myself. I had a "come to Jesus moment" (as my mother would call it) earlier this weekend where all the traits I don't like about myself were brought to the surface, and I just felt ugly. Not physically, but internally. I didn't like who I was in that moment, or maybe who I've been for awhile. Or forever. Who really knows. Onward and upward, though, right?


What have you been up to lately? Any good reads? New shows? Let me know!








Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Finding the Motivation to Work Out.

It's been just about six years since I found out about calories. Six years ago, I "cut the crap," so to speak, and made a consistently conscious effort to eat healthier and work out regularly. Refusing bad foods became a reflex, and getting my ass to the gym was a routine I had down pat. By the end of 2010, I'd lost 25 pounds. Boom...byeeeee.

Since the beginning of my "fitness journey," a lot has changed: boyfriends, apartments, class schedules, full time work, getting a dog (now having two). It's always been really easy for me to find an excuse not to work out, because I've always had a lot going on. Doesn't everyone? Thankfully, I've always kept up with my health enough to maintain my lost weight, give or take a few pounds.

Over the last year, my motivation to eat well and work out regularly dwindled. The treadmill just wasn't doing it for me anymore, and if I found a workout I liked on Pinterest, I'd find a reason to quit halfway through. I didn't challenge myself, and in turn, I felt frustrated when I wasn't seeing results anymore. Sigh.

Flash forward to now, and I'm working out 5-6 days a week. I stopped making excuses for myself and just started going, and I've continued to keep going. I've found my motivation, and that motivation is results. Because if you work hard and often, the results will come.

While most of said motivation has been "from within" and all that, it helps to have a reason to get there. For me, this is what's been working as of late:


A fun, doable program

A friend of mine sent over Kayla Itsine's BBG workouts around this time last year, and I didn't do a damn thing with them until November. Kayla's programs include 12 weeks of three 28 minute high intensity resistance work outs per week, plus the incorporation of Low Intensity Steady State training & High Intensity Interval Training. Her workouts require no or minimal equipment, which is great for me considering my apartment complex's gym only has so much. Her program works for me because I know exactly what I need to complete and how long it's going to take me to do it, and I don't leave the gym until it's finished. Baddabing. I use her eBooks, but you can pay weekly (or monthly) for her iPhone app which includes weekly workout challenges as well!

Pre-workout

Pre-workout is a game changer for me. On days when I have quite literally zero desire to even look in the gym's general direction, it kicks my butt into high gear and I'm ready to take on the day. I try to only use it 3 days a week, as I don't want my body to get too used to it. I use it on my resistance/circuit training days, because 28 minutes high intensity training can get exhausting pretty quickly. Right now, I love Cellucor C4 Pre-Workout Explosive Energy in strawberry margarita. I'm almost out of this particular flavor, and will probably give icy blue razz a shot next.

Cute workout clothes

You hear this all the time, but it's so true. Looking good = feeling good, which means a better workout. An old, scratchy t-shirt and ratty shorts just doesn't do it for me. I recently raided Tampa's new premium outlets and found a bunch of great deals. It also helps to have workout clothes that not only look good, but actually fit well. No one likes pulling up their leggings every other burpee. I got these leggings for free during one of Victoria's Secret's sales (buy a sports bra, get a sports pant free), and I'm obsessed. I'm constantly checking to see if they're on sale, because they don't budge and hug me in all the right places.

Instagram inspiration

Whenever I'm feeling lazy or uninspired, I scroll through some of my favorite fitness related accounts for a little extra pep in my step. Since I do the Kayla Itsine's workouts, I'll search #BBG, #KaylasArmy, or #BBGcommunity on Instagram to find inspiring transformations, recipe ideas, and overall motivation. Just a few minutes of scroll time is enough to get me going!

What's your go-to strategy?




Friday, March 18, 2016

My Thoughts on The Bachelor.


The Bachelor's 20th season was the first season I have ever watched. Maybe it's because I actually did watch it, but I also feel like it was the most talked about season ever. Ben Higgins has more than 1.2 million followers and (spoiler alert?!) the soon-to-be Mrs. Higgins, Lauren Bushnell, is almost up to 850 thousand herself.

I randomly decided to watch this season a few weeks after it started. I watched the first episode and witnessed a whole lotta "OMG BEN WILL BE MY HUSBAND," "BEN IS JUST THE MOST PERFECT HUMAN BEING." I'm sitting here thinking, "this is really a thing? Does this get any better? Who are these bitches and why are they so obsessed with someone they've spent quite literally two minutes with?"

Next thing I know, I'm six episodes deep and I'm all, "that Olivia is a firecracker and that mouth, good lawwwd...I can't tell if I love these twins or hate them...okay, I love them...why is Amanda's voice so squeaky? But wait, no, I like her...ugh, Lauren B has perfect hair. WHY WON'T CAILA STOP SMILING?!"

It was like a 10 week disease. 

All fun and games aside, what irks me about this show is its inaccurate depiction of love. Being in love shouldn't leave you in a perpetual state of heightened emotion. That's just the adrenaline rush from competing with 20+ other women for one guy. Adrenaline doesn't always align with fiery passion; in fact, it rarely does. Fighting and frustration and an emotional roller coaster doesn't mean you're falling in love. Also, if your boyfriend is in love with another woman at the same time, that's probably a good sign, either.

I guess this all makes for good reality TV, and what American doesn't love that? Will I watch The Bachelor again? Probably. Or I'll at least watch Jojo on The Bachelorette. But I just want you guys to know that I know that watching this show may have actually caused me lose brain cells. Or just precious time. But good god, it's so terribly addicting.

Did you watch The Bachelor this season? What did you think?






Wednesday, March 16, 2016

When Plans Change.



Just like that, we're halfway through March. More importantly, we're halfway through my spring break. Who decided that just one week was enough time to recuperate and reset from the last eight weeks of spring semester hell? Probably the same person who made "minus grades" a thing.

A few weeks back, I mentioned that "flexibility" is my word for 2016. Well, my dedication to the word was certainly put to the test this past Saturday when Ryan & I began our road trip to Jacksonville to visit one of the grad schools I applied to. We woke up a little late (my fault), grabbed some Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A breakfast, and gas before embarking on our 3.5 hour road trip.

A whopping five minutes into the trip, we hit traffic. After wading through said traffic, we hit even more. Suddenly, our ETA jumped an extra 30 minutes, and we were already scheduled to be late. Because I have no "chill," I started crying. It was all my fault, if I'd just gotten us up earlier, if I didn't insist on Starbucks, if we'd just left at 6 a.m. this morning, this wouldn't be happening.

As we continued to sit in traffic, I begrudgingly pulled out my phone to see what part of the tour we would be missing. Financial aid Q&A? A panel of parents? Residential life tour?

...erm, what?

It turns out that the open house my program admissions committee had been pushing wasn't related to their speech-language pathology department at all. It was for the entire school, undergrad and all. Which my mother had actually pointed out the other day when I sent her the schedule, and I told her "no, mom, it's definitely just for my program. Why would they send that to me if it wasn't?"

Because they're life ruiners. They ruin people's lives.

So 45 minutes into our road trip, we opted to turn around. I've never been more thankful for traffic, because I would have never double checked the schedule and realized my mistake. We suddenly had an entire, unplanned Saturday ahead of us and what did we do? We scoured Tampa's new premium outlets, of course. While I felt like a complete idiot, I didn't let it ruin my day. I was flexible about the drastic change in plans, and I even found myself laughing about it just a few minutes later. That's a first for me.




Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Spring Refresh | New Makeup Review!


It's beginning to look a lot like spriiing tiiiiime.

Which means new routines, namely for me, a new makeup routine!

I got a Sephora gift card for Christmas, and as much as I love that store, it truly overwhelms me. After multiple conversations with my beauty guru friends and one-sided consultations with my favorite beauty vloggers Jaclyn Hill & Casey Holmes, I finally narrowed it down to a few items that I feel have definitely been worth the money, so I thought I'd share!

The photo of me (right) with my friend Stephanie has been completely untouched/filtered, which is a big step for me! I'll be completely open and say that I love Face Tune and using filters. My skin has been especially awful lately, so for me to leave a photo 100% untouched is a rarity. Sorry not sorry!



Below is every one of the new products I'm wearing, and while pretty much all of these are out of my college girl price range, I'm confident that these will last me quite awhile, which makes them worth the splurge:

  1. Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer ($28) - I never put too much thought into which concealer to use, but based off the number of compliments I've received using it, I'll never make that mistake again. It goes on so smoothly, immediately shrinks the look of my pores, and brightens my undereye area while giving me a great, non-cake like coverage. 
  2. Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($38) - I swear by this stuff. I use my kabuki brush and dab just a little bit of powder on my T-zone, cheeks, and chin, wait 30 seconds, and blend in a circular motion. My foundation and concealer stay in place all day. Make sure to use just a little, as too much of the product will lighten up your skin tone.
  3. Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer ($30) - Absolute favorite bronzer I've ever used. A little goes a long way here, and I have to say that the right brush totally affects how this is applied. This is the brush I originally tried with it, and one day I'll go back for it!...When I have another gift card.
  4. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 in Honey ($24) - Beautiful color for a tinted lip balm. Warm and neutral with a hint of soft pink. If it wasn't such a splurge for a balm, I'd go back and get a few more colors, like, yesterday. Having said that, you might be able to find a cheaper alternative with the same effect. Let me know if you have a tinted lip balm you love!


What beauty products do you swear by?


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March Madness.



Not exactly what you're thinking.

Even though I used to be a "basketball cheerleader" in high school, professional basketball just isn't my jam.

March is the month that Florida turns into summer once again and the beach becomes a regular weekend spot. March is also the month I start finding out about graduate school. Acceptances, rejections, wait lists...you name it, I'll probably find out about it within the next couple of weeks. March also marks one year since I put in my two weeks at the Tampa Bay Business Journal in pursuit of this now not-so-new journey.

"The time will pass anyway; you can either spend it creating the life you want, or spend it living the life you don't want. The choice is yours." 

I saw this quote around this time last year and even now, it still rings true. I knew leaving my job and going back to school would flip my world upside down. Back to working nights, back to studying for exams, back to being a broke college student. But the truth is, I wasn't happy with where I was or with what I was doing, and so I decided to make that change.

Sometimes I wonder where I would have been if I didn't take that first leap. Would I still be miserable? Would I have gotten better at sales? Would I have just found another job? Would I have enough money in my savings to actually buy a house this year? Who knows?

Maybe it's something about the start of spring, but I'm feeling positive. Cheers to March madness and hopefully hearing some good news. I'm ready for it!
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