Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Day in the Life: February 2015

As much as I would like to do one of these posts every month it can sometimes be hard for me to find time. My last "Day in the Life" was posted back in December. I had planned on doing one in January since I had a lot going on but I never got the chance.

So this month was somewhat crazy! I went back to school toward the end of January and ever since then I have been quite busy. I normally find myself spending way to much time in the library and meeting with professors. Since it is the second semester of my Junior year, I have been working so hard to get my GPA really high as well as setting up my portfolio for this Summer when I take on an internship. Last semester was one of the best semesters I've had (All A's and B's) so I plan on making this semester just as good if not better! I would love to talk more about what a normal day in college looks like for me, so if you would like me to talk about it in a separate blog post I will!

Also, can we take a minute to discuss how adorable this mug is! "Born Free Now I'm Expensive", sounds like me..... :) I found this mug at T.J. Maxx and when I saw it I knew I had to have it! It is a huge mug which is nice because I am addicted to coffee! I drink at least 2 cups a day! And of course, you gotta have your classic oatmeal with strawberries, my go-to breakfast. 

When I'm making breakfast in the morning, sometimes I get sidetracked. On this particular morning I opened up my koozie drawer and realized it was a disaster so I fixed it up and made it a bit more organized. You can never have too many koozies! 

When I got home after a long day of classes I walked into my room to find a little present waiting for me on my bed. My wonderful boyfriend (Shawn) bought me the Lilly Pulitzer scarf that I have been wanting for the longest time. It was kind of a late birthday present since he never got the chance to get me one on my birthday because of the awful weather here! When I saw this scarf I just about died. It is the Florida state scarf from Lilly Pulitzer and if you all don't already know. I grew up in Florida so I consider it my home. I miss it every single day, I wanted to go and visit this Summer but it's a little too expensive. Florida is where  all my happiest memories lie. I plan on moving back once I graduate! (Fingers crossed I make it happen!)

Later that evening, Shawn and I went to Target to pick up a few things for our upcoming trip to South Carolina. We are heading to Myrtle Beach for Spring Break this year and I could not be more excited since I have never been there before! As you can see he bought a new suitcase and I managed to slip in some Valentine's Day goodies. :)

After our little shopping trip we came back to my place and I made some dinner for Shawn and Chelsea. One of our favorite dishes ever! I found this recipe on Taralynn McNitt's blog a couple months ago and ever since then I have been addicted to it. 

I plan on posting a couple more blog posts this week so keep a look out for those! I really enjoy blogging, it keeps me busy. If you have something exciting to share from January or February leave it as a comment down below!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

My Weight Loss Journey

Why I am the Happiest and Healthiest I have ever been.

 Let me start off by saying that I've never struggled with my weight. I've always been very healthy and very active. I enjoy eating healthy and exercising regularly but sometimes things change. People change. And life happens. Here is my journey from past to present. I hope you find it inspiring. One thing I have learned from this experience is to never give up on yourself, even when others do. 

So my story begins at the end of my senior year of high school going into my freshman year of college. I was dealing with a lot of personal issues my senior year that were effecting me both emotionally and physically. I felt like I had no one to talk to or confide in. I lost touch with the majority of my friends when I moved from Florida to Pennsylvania, my senior year of high school and my family wasn't much help either. I felt extremely alone and useless. I began putting on weight here and there the Summer before my freshman year of college. Once I started college it was a downward spiral from then on.

August of 2012 right before I left for college, I was weighing in at around 125 pounds, this didn't bother me too much since I had been this weight for quite sometime but I knew the weight was slowly creeping up on me. Being in college I lost track of a lot of things that made me happy. I was dealing with financial issues at the time and of course I was in the process of finding myself. I never in a million years would have thought that college would be such a balancing act. 

Summer of 2013 I noticed a big change not only in my weight but in myself. I had lost so much confidence in everything I did and in everything I was. At this point, I was weighing in at around 140 pounds. This wasn't the "Freshman 15" I was dealing with anymore this was an emotional and physical battle with myself. I couldn't fit into anything anymore, all my old clothes were way to small and I was ultimately in denial. When my Sophomore year of college rolled around I was eating just about anything and everything. I kept saying to myself "I'll never lose the weight and I'll never be a size 0, so why even bother trying." I had ultimately given up on myself. 

April of 2014 I was weighing in at my highest ever—148 pounds. This was completely unacceptable for someone like me who was so petite and small (I am only 5'1) to begin with. My body was basically shutting down at this point. I knew at this point something needed to change. 

May of 2014 is when I stumbled upon Taralynn McNitt's blog. My absolute inspiration.
One night I was watching "The Batchorlette" and browsing "Pinterest" for some new recipes. I found a chicken salad recipe that looked amazing. I clicked on it and it led me to Taralynn's blog. I began reading all about her and her journey. I began trying her recipes out and following some of her weight loss tips. 

Toward the end of July 2014 I was weighing in at 135 pounds. I couldn't believe it. It's amazing what a little healthy eating and exercise can do. From this point forward I was gaining my confidence back. I was eating healthy and working out almost everyday. I felt amazing and my body was happy too.

August of 2014 I was weighing in at my goal weight which at the time was 125 pounds. I could finally fit back into some of my old clothes again. At this point in time I was really starting to feel good about my body but I knew I could do better. 

The weight really started coming off in September, October and November of 2014. Before I knew it I was down to 115 pounds by the time December rolled around. My busy schedule and my workout routine plus eating healthy really helped me lose the weight quickly. I think it's important to stay busy and yet make time for yourself. It is so important to FIND YOUR BALANCE. 
Sure, you can workout everyday and eat healthy but you don't have to do anything you don't want to do. If you don't like running on the treadmill or lifting weights, don't do it! Find something else to do. If you don't like celery and lentils, don't eat it! You don't have to do or eat any of those things if you don't want to. I seriously cannot stress that enough. 

When I decided to start losing weight I went through my refrigerator and my cabinets, getting rid of any unhealthy foods. But there were some things I refused to part with because I loved them way to much and let's face it, life is way to short to live off of carrots and celery. Anyways, I think it is important to give a little and take a little. For example, I love cheese so I knew right away that I was not getting rid of it but that meant I needed to get rid of something else in that same food category. So I made the decision to get rid of butter all together. 

The same thing goes for exercise! If you don't like the gym. Don't go to the gym! The gym isn't the only place in the world where you can go to lose weight! I hate the gym. So I opted for the outdoors! There is a park right near my apartment with an amazing trail. I ran/jogged/walked 6 miles everyday on this trail (sometimes every other day) and it was the most relaxing thing in the world. I never felt like I was working out or losing weight, I just felt refreshed! 

 Today, I am 109 pounds and a size 0. I feel amazing in my skin. I could not be happier with my accomplishments. Currently, I am working on building some muscle and toning up before Summer. It has been 2 years since I've put on a bikini and I am so excited to slip one on this Spring when I'm in South Carolina. I am continuing to eat healthy but also enjoy myself! I don't plan on losing anymore weight because I am so satisfied with where I am at now. I hope you all enjoyed my journey so far, if you would like to know more about my healthy habits leave some requests in the comment section down below! And of course if you have a story you would like to share, please do! I love hearing about people's weight loss journeys! 

What's in my Purse?

Well, long time, no talk! Life has been so hectic for me lately. I have been putting most of my time into my school work, my personal life and organizing my Summer plans (Hoping for an internship this Summer, fingers crossed!) But anyways I thought it would be nice to do a blog post on my purse and what exactly I carry in it on a day to day basis! 

I feel like what a girl keeps in her purse says a lot about their personality. I usually clean out my purse once a week or sometimes once every other week, it just depends on how busy I am. I normally am a very organized and clean person. There is truly nothing I hate more than clutter and junk taking up space in my life.

So for this blog post I will show you exactly what I keep in my purse and how I manage to keep everything organized and clutter free!

So let me start off my saying I am not a professional organizer in any way but I do enjoy organizing my life as much as I can. So I hope you take my tips and tricks with a grain of salt and put your own little twist on them!

The purse I carry around with me on a day to day basis is my Longchamp "Les Pliage" Large Tote in the color Beige. I've had this bag for a few years and I absolutely love it! It's a great multifunctional bag. During the school year I use it to keep my books and things in. Then during the Summer months I use it as a beach tote! 

The tote retails for $178 at the Longchamp store and on their website. I bought mine at the actual Longchamp store in the King of Prussia Mall (Great customer service!) for the full asking price. I somewhat regret paying that much for this bag since all it really is is a rubbery plastic material on the inside but the bag is made really well. Since then I have purchased a few more in all sorts of colors. I have one in red, navy blue, and black! They are also all the large size but for these I did not pay full price I bought them at a local upscale consignment shop near my house. 

As for what's inside....

1. Keys and My Student ID-- I have my keys and my student ID on a Vera Bradley lanyard I bought a few years ago. As for the key chains on it... one is from Lilly Pulitzer, the little boot is from L.L. Bean and the key fob is from an Etsy shop! (it's in the You Gotta Regatta Print!)

2.  Cell Phone and Apple Headphones-- I have the iPhone 6 in the Gold version and I love it! My case is from Lilly Pulitzer and it' in the "Let's Cha Cha" print.

3. Wallet-- I bought this wallet at Target about a year ago after my other wallet broke. But I love this wallet! It zips around and the color is so pretty I couldn't pass it up.

4. Hand Food by Soap and Glory-- I love this hand cream! It smells like marshmallows and keeps my hands so soft without feeling greasy or heavy! You can buy it at Sephora for $5!

5. Lip Products!-- I have one MAC lipstick in my purse and it is in my favorite lip color of all time (Creme Cup). I am near to obsessed with it and I am due for a new one! As for the other lip products, I have two NYX glosses, one is in "Tiramisu" (Butter Gloss) and the other is in "Beige" (Mega Shine Gloss). I also have a Smashbox lip gloss duo in "Peepshow" and a Burt's Bees lip balm in Dark Chocolate and Blueberry!  

6. Polar T4 Watch-- This watch is my life. I work out almost everyday so this watch is my best friend. It tells me my heart-rate, calories burned, my pace, etc. It is a great little gadget! It's super lightweight and it comes in all sorts of colors. I bought mine on Amazon for around $50!

7. iPhone 6 Armband-- The day I bought my iPhone 6, I also placed an order on Amazon for a new armband. I always use armbands when I workout because I love listening to music! It gets me motivated and I don't focus on working out. I love this armband! Not only was it affordable but it is also fits my arm really nicely.  

8. Lilly Pulitzer Koozie-- I always carry a koozie with me! I normally use koozies for water bottles or canned beverages. I usually keep one in my backpack when I'm at school too, just in case I buy a water bottle when I'm on campus and don't want water to get on my schoolwork.

9. Eyeglasses-- I love my eyeglasses! Mine are from Kate Spade and they are adorable! She has so many designs to choose from and the case is so pretty.

10. Lilly Pulitzer Wristlet-- Everyone needs a wristlet. I keep one in my purse just in case I don't feel like carry my purse into a store with me. I just throw my driver license and my credit card in it and I'm ready to go!

11. Kashi Bar-- I plan on doing a healthy snacks blog post at some point in time because I have a lot of healthy recipes and tips to share with you all. But I always keep a Kashi Bar on me at all times. They have so many different flavors to choose from and they always keep me full for a long period time.

12. Sweetarts-- What can I say?...... They are delicious! :)

13. Gum-- Trident White. Best. Gum. Hands down! 

14. Makeup Bag-- Everyone needs a small cosmetic bag to keep in their purse filled with their essentials. I keep a bunch of random things in mine! Powder compact, floss sticks, tampons, band-aids, tissues, etc. 

15. Sunglasses and Croakies-- My sunglasses are from T.J. Maxx which is where I buy most of my sunglasses and my croakies are from Lilly Pulitzer! They are great if you don't feel like keeping your glasses on your head!