December 30, 2016

Ready, Set, Goal | 2017

2016 was my year to take on the theme of faithfulness in my life. This is something that I will always be striving to understand better, but I can confidently say that 2016 gave me many opportunities to practice faithfulness. I learned to choose faithfulness when it came to my friendships, faith walk, goals, dreams and biggest of all I learned what faithfulness to myself meant. I learned that if I was faithful in my daily duties and current vocation, then I could be entrusted with bigger dreams and opportunities to bring about change.

I learned this year that if I am faithful to my identity, of who I really am with all my gifts, talents, as well as short-comings, then things will just work out. (to put it plainly) The beginning of this year I found myself creating a 19-year old self & future that I didn't recognize. This new person wasn't bad, but I knew it wasn't me and I most definitely knew where I was taking this young adventure seeking girl wasn't the right path for me. Once I realized what future I was creating for myself and how that included no peace, joy and authenticity; a choice needed to be made. I didn't know what would be in store for the future but I did know that since I was faithful in that one small test, I knew the Lord would be faithful in his promise. And let me tell you He did not disappoint! I couldn't have imagined after deciding to give something up that I always thought would get me to where I wanted in life, and what would have brought success, recognition, and even move me to a dream location geographically, would actually surpass ALL of that in a way I could never have planned or imagined. 

 * * *
2015 theme was "walk on the water", 2016 was faithfulness and 2017 is going to be NOW
2017 will be a year of committing to NOW...
Now because as Amy Poehler stated, "great people do things before they're ready."
Now because there's never a convenient time to chase your dreams. 
Now because it's time to create a masterpiece of life. 
Now because it's a lot more rewarding living your own dreams instead of living others. 
Now because women need a role model, and you're it. 
Now because you don't want to look back with regret on what could have been. 
Now because that "one day" girl is that NOW girl. 
Now because it creates a first-rate version of yourself instead of the common second-rate. 
Now because January 2018 will be here before we know it. 
Now because it means I don't settle.
Now because why not now.

I am grateful for the foundation 2016 set for every aspect of my life. Now time to see how they will be built in 2017.

November 22, 2016

Airport Etiquette + My Favorite Travel Apps

With two of the busiest flying/traveling holidays coming up, I thought I'd try to tackle some important traveling etiquette as you navigate busy terminals & security lines. 

Be one step ahead of where you are at and move quickly.
Stay ahead of the game. TSA & your fellow travelers will thank you. Be aware of where you're at and what they are expecting of you and keep the line moving. So remove that laptop, take off your shoes, belt, jackets. Remember NO liquids!! I forgot this little rule and left my dry shampoo in my purse and it got taken :(

Respect your surroundings. 
Everyone just wants to get to their destination, and avoid the whole traveling experience all together, so just do your part to make it enjoyable for those around you. Act accordingly to your surroundings. If you are flying super early or late at night, respect the time and be quite for those sleeping. Also, don't talk about fellow passengers, their crying baby or their huge bag load. Step outside of yourself during your traveling and think what would make it more enjoyable for those traveling with you.

Be the traveler you would want to meet at the airport. 
Traveling during the holidays may not be on the top of your list, but you can create the best out of it and choose to enjoy the experience. Take this opportunity to meet and talk with other travelers, where are they headed and what are their holiday plans. Greet everyone, from the barista serving your holiday spice flat white to the TSA agent, to the mother traveling alone with 2 kids & a stroller. You were meant to learn something from these travelers and they were meant to encounter you for a reason this holiday season.

|| ALSO, here are my favorite apps to utilize during travel. ||

1. FlightView - this is my favorite flight tracking app EVER! This gives you accurate real time info, from what gate you leave and arrive at, to cancellations, delays or last minute flight changes. Go download it now!!

2. Kindle - I use this everytime I fly because you just have to pack your iPad or other tablet instead of adding more weight to your bag with one or two books.

3. Podcasts - again I feel like this is just a necessity. Pre-download your favorite inspirational or entrepreneurial podcast and use your flight as a time to get your goals together for the new year. Or maybe try some mystery shows. Here are some of my fav podcasts to plug-into.

Where are you headed either for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Any fav traveling tips or apps?

November 21, 2016

Gift Guide: Fashionista

Happy Monday friends! I am super excited about this gift guide and there will be plenty of more coming to a screen near you! ;) Everyone has that friend in their group, the one that always looks put together & just has fun with fashion! It's always hard to buy for these friends because most of the time they have definite styles and you just NEVER know what to get them! I say, that you can never go wrong with the style staples above. They are just fun items that any fashionista would love!!

November 18, 2016

Gift Guide: Hostest with the Mostest

Gift Guide: Hostest

book | blanket | plates | succulents | cards | lollipops | place cards | wine tote 
| book | napkins | ornaments | mugs | coaster | candles

 Welcome to my first gift guide!!
The holiday season is about to be in full swing, which of course means party after party (not complaining)... Here are a few suggestions that I think would make the perfect little "thank you" to the party host for a Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas gathering and even a New Years Eve celebration. Make it fun and personal!

November 12, 2016

The Stylist: Thanksgiving Looks

Black Plaid || Thanksgiving Style Guide

Lace-Up || Thanksgiving Style Guide

Leather Cheetah || Thanksgiving Style Guide

Chic Sleek || Thanksgiving Style Guide

Pom-Pom Time|| Thanksgiving Style Guide

Thanksgiving means I can finally get into the holiday mood (not that I wasn't already ;). It's only a couple weeks away so you need to start planning your outfit. It of course needs to be stylish but also comfy because you want to be comfortable for a long day relaxing and eating with family and friends.  I'm obsessed with the above looks and just realized I have a gray trend going on! ;) They are perfect holiday looks that combine both causal & chic. I wish I could wear all of these looks!!

What do you wear on Thanksgiving?
September 7, 2016

The Everyday Girl's Guide To Getting Fit

Carry a water bottle everywhere
I found that when I carried a water bottle with me to class, studying, and had it with me in my room, I hydrated so much more. Make it apart of your mental checklist to grab your water bottle before heading out for the day.
Here are some of my favorite water bottles:
Swell bottle
Camelbak Eddy Insulated bottle
Glass bottle 
Kor One
Nalgene Everyday Wide Mouth
Lifefactory glass bottle 

Morning stretches  
Getting a 15 minute stretch session in right as you wake up, is a great way to start your day. This workout below will definitely wake you up!

Take a gym class
Not only will it be a lot more fun than the boring old tread-mill, but most colleges give credit for taking a class or being on a team. This will definitely give you the needed motivation because you will be working for an attendance grade. It will be a love-hate relationship. I took a ZUMBA class my first semester and it was so much fun! Since it was a class I had to be there so I knew three days a week I would be getting a workout in. Definitely check out what's available at your school!
Incorporate exercise into your daily life

Find a motivating location 
Utilize whatever you have around you whether that's a fancy studio or the great outdoors. 
  • Dorm room - Sometimes you just don't feel like working out in public or you are on a tight schedule so you don't have time to walk to the gym and exercise and walk back. Just search on Pinterest for cardio or ab workouts that you can do on a mat or even with weights.  YouTube is also an awesome option if you don't have a ton of room. Here are my three favorite workouts by Blogilates for body, arms, & legs.
  • Campus gym - Most colleges offer free membership to students to use the gym and other exercise facilities. Often college gyms are the best place to find your go-to workout or favorite exercise class. Since they're free take advantage of it and try everything out! 

Dress to impress. 
I can't be the only one that feels a lot better about myself and a lot more motivated when I'm wearing a cute workout look. There are SOO many adorable looks out there, I would totally be up for a workout clothes shopping spree. :) Old Navy has some adorable active wear tops & bottoms

Find a workout you love.
Working out doesn't have to be a chore. There are some really fun exercises besides running and lifting weights, such as Zumba/dance, cycling, hiking, swimming, & Pilates.

Treat yourself  to a smoothie or acai bowl afterwards 
Reward yourself with a refreshing treat that won't ruin all the work you just did. This looks so good!

Follow some fitness accounts for inspiration
Sometimes you just need that extra motivation and inspiration from people that have seen results, so check out these fitness Instagrammers, Lorna Jane, Tone It Up, Tanya Poppett

Bring a friend
Having that motivator by your side makes it a lot more fun as well as keep you accountable to give it all you got. Make it a friendly competition to challenge each other to do more squats or finish the run strong.

Create an upbeat playlist
Music is a game-changer when it comes to working out. I love running to some upbeat songs that keep me wanting to go the extra mile.  Here's my power hour playlist and the Nike women on the go

What are you going to loose by just starting?
Once you make the choice to just take one day at a time it will get easier because it becomes a habit. Just go for it because the only result will lead to a healthier life, more fit body and overall more self-confidence. Those reasons alone sound pretty great to me.

I'd love to hear what your favorite workout is! Do you have some go-to workout tunes?