Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Free People Thermal

Happy Wednesday, friends! I'm having a hard time believing that we are already in the last few days of November! Things are getting crazier and crazier over here for us as we approach the four week countdown to our wedding! Eek! 

Anyway, today I want to talk about this outfit, because let's be honest - this thermal is too good to pass up! I'm known to be a sucker for thermals, and after last years (see this post), I didn't think I could find one I loved more. But, I was wrong. Free People actually killed it with their entire collection this year, and this was one of their updated versions of last years thermal. I love the ruffle detail they added to the back of it. It's feminine and flirty and can be worn under vests or for layering purposes perfectly! It also comes in a ton of color options here and here (I personally own this top in 4 colors). My jeans are a "go-to" in my closet. I believe every girl needs to own a pair of quality black jeans and the fit of these is my favorite (high-rise and stretchy)! Side note, make sure you don't wash them in hot water - lots of them fade tremendously due to the heat! This outfit is so simple, which I love, but I chose to add the statement belt to make it a little more interesting. It's a dupe for the popular Gucci one you see on other bloggers, and in my opinion - the quality is just as good. 

That's all for today fam, I've got my favorite flourless pumpkin bites brewing up in the oven (see this post for recipe) and a few wedding related tasks to tackle before my head hits the pillow tonight so I wish you all a fabulous evening, xoxo. 


Monday, November 27, 2017

2017 Cyber Monday Deals

There are some killer Cyber Monday deals this year! I actually held out on buying a few things this weekend in the hopes that discounts would be deeper today, and it has proven worth it! Some of my all time favorite items that never go on sale, are 20-50% off today! I rounded up my eight favorite picks in the picture above but you'll find a complete round up of all sales worth taking a look at below. Happy shopping, friends!

H&M // 30% off everything - no exclusions!

Express // 50% off everything online + free shipping!

Kate Spade // 30% off full price items + 40% off sale items with code "MOREJOY"!

Kendra Scott // 20% off everything (even home, which never happens) 

T3 // 25% off with code "MONDAY17"

Anthropologie // 20% off full price items + free shipping on orders of $100+

Pottery Barn // Daily Deals up to 70% off and free shipping with code "FREESHIP"

Crate and Barrel // 15% off full price items with code "SAVE15" plus free shipping

Ily Couture // 30% off sitewide with code "FRIDAY"

Ann Taylor // 50% off everything with code "BESTMONDAY" + free shipping 

For additional sale finds check this post!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Personal Training + My Playlist

I can't think of a more appropriate outfit to talk about post Thanksgiving! If you follow me regularly, then you probably know that working out is apart of my daily life. While exercising for most people is considered a chore, I truly enjoy it. Sure I have days that I don't feel like it, or every movement feels like a struggle, but I try to never let it stop me from going. I work out for me. Mentally it helps me stay level, physically it helps me feel good, and internally it keeps me healthy. There are so many benefits to working out, some of which I'm sure you're familiar with - but I wanted to touch on something that I've gotten a lot of recent questions about: personal training.

I work out with a personal trainer three times a week (four times a week in the month of December). During each session, we post video clips of different exercises to my Instagram Stories. The feedback is always overwhelmingly positive, but everyone always wants to know how much it costs. Valid question. However, when I loop people in on the cost - the reaction is always the same. "Oh gosh! Groceries, or personal training?!" While I understand the initial sticker shock behind what it costs (believe me I once felt the same way), I wanted to elaborate on what you actually get out of personal training. 

I initially started working out with a personal trainer (his name is Ro), because I was fresh out of school, started a new job which had me sitting at my desk for eight hours a day, I ate unhealthy because I was broke, and my physical/mental health just wasn't what it used to be. While I have always been a gym goer, I just wasn't maximizing my time in the gym and what I was doing was being cancelled out by the food I was eating. I decided it was time to make a change, for me. Yes, it was expensive. Yes, it was a tough decision to make - and yes, I too was wondering how I was going to make it work. But at the end of the day, you only have one body and it is your empire, so you have to take care of it. 

I worked out with Ro three times a week for a year and a half. The benefits were beyond explainable. I lost 13 lbs (I'm not a big person so this was a lot for me), I shrunk in inches, the cellulite on my legs was almost gone, my arms were super toned, and I felt amazing. I invested in myself. Personal training isn't something meant to be done for forever. It's an investment towards a goal that you can hopefully learn to maintain once you've obtained that goal. Think about it this way, what would you normally spend on clothes in a month? Or going out to eat? Or entertainment? Or all of the above. What if you cut back on that and replaced what you would've spent in those areas, with an investment in yourself? I can't explain to you guys how worth it is. 

Thankfully, I've been able to maintain (not 100%, but close) the condition of my body by doing BBG and HSM after I stopped PT. However, at the end of October I made another decision to go back to Ro for two months before the wedding. I want to look and feel better than I've ever felt in my life on my wedding day, and that gratification alone is worth the investment. I look forward to each session (even though I feel like I'm dying during them), he holds me accountable for how I eat, provides a meal prep service that makes it easy to stay on track, and he has my best interest in mind even when I'm not looking out for myself like I should (he's not scared to tell you your arms don't look any smaller than they did two weeks ago - aka are you cheating?). 

I think another big misconception with personal training, is that people think that once you've learned the moves in PT, you can continue to do them yourself at the gym. Don't worry, I thought this too and to an extent it's true. However, are you really going to put the extra weight on the squat bar? When you feel tired are you going to punch out another 20 reps without someone telling you to do it? When no ones watching, are you really going to do that exercise you hate so much but works so well? No, no and no. I know this from experience. I hate the stair master. Ro makes me run at level 20 for a minute straight, three whopping times during our sessions! When I stopped going to him, did I get on the StairMaster once? Nope. Because no one was telling me to do it. I knew how to do it, but the accountability wasn't there. I got on the squat rack and thew a couple ten pound plates on each side and called it a workout. There's something to be said for having someone there to push me further than you would push yourself. 

Here's some food for thought. If the engine light on your car is lit up, you take it to the shop to get whatever needs to be fixed, fixed - right? No matter what the parts and labor costs, the car has to be fixed because you need it - so you pay the bill for the reassurance that you won't be stranded on the side of the road later on. Your body is just like a car, or a machine. It needs maintenance and upkeep to keep it running without shutting down on you. What you put into it, is what you get out of it. If you put cheap gas into a car that only takes premium, you're going to pay for it later. If you put cheap food into a body that needs clean food, you're going to pay for it later (IE weight gain, clogged arteries, high cholesterol etc.). If you never service your vehicle, it will eventually break down on you. If you never workout or stimulate your heart rate, it's going to shut down on you. Way too many people want to see a material item for money spent (I'm guilty of this too sometimes), and they overlook the overall benefits of what taking care of yourself does for you in the long run. Moral of the story, you only get one body. Once it gives up on you, you don't get to trade it in for another. So why not invest in yourself like you would a material item?

Cheers to all who are still reading! Now that I've rambled and gotten off my virtual soapbox - let's talk about the outfit for a minute. How fun are these leggings?! I have them in a bunch of solid colors, but thought these were so cool! This is random, but they keep reminding me of Bill Nye the Science Guy - LOL. I have two of the solid black ones because they also double as my leggings with oversized sweaters, thermals, and puffer vests and I like that they are reasonably priced. I sized up in this top for a baggier fit so I could knot the bottom of it, so I'm wearing a medium. Even if you aren't planning on wearing it to the gym, it makes a cute athleisure outfit with a zip up jacket thrown over it! 

Okay, last but not least (I swear I'm almost done), you guys have been asking for my playlist nonstop and I'm finally getting around to posting it! As I mentioned above, I've been posting video clips of my workouts to Instagram Stories and you all are curious about the songs that are playing in the background of those videos. Some of the songs are old, some are new but it's a great playlist for music while you workout or if you're just looking for that extra little pep in your step! 


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Black Friday Sales + My Christmas Home Decor

Hello, Black Friday! We meet again. One of the most anticipated days of the year is upon us, and per usual - the deals are worth the wait. Today I'm sharing all things Black Friday. I'm talking about discounts, my favorite items from each sale, strategizing, and what I actually purchased from the sales myself. I will be updating this page throughout the day, as well as through the weekend - so keep checking back for additional details!

Personally, I like to strategize for Black Friday. I make a list of all the things I need, my family needs, my fiance needs, or items I have been waiting to purchase in the hopes it will go on sale. I list out categories of who wants what, and on the morning of - I start at the top of the list and work my way down. If the item is on sale, I purchase it. If it isn't, I'll usually wait to see if it goes on sale closer to Christmas (this happens often). This helps tremendously in ensuring sizes are still available, and working diligently without getting lost in the sea of items on sale. I also tend to spend less when I take this approach. I'm a roamer, and get side tracked easily so I need a plan in place to keep me focused on what the end all goal is - saving money on holiday gifts for friends and family.

Red Dress Boutique: 30% off site wide
Dates: 11/24-11/26
Benefits: Free shipping

Ann Taylor: 50% off everything
Dates: Ends 11/22- 11/24 
Benefits: Free shipping on $125 order

Express: 50% off everything
Code: No code necessary
Benefits: Free shipping

J.Crew: 40% off everything
 Dates: 11/21-11/26
Benefits: Free shipping

Kendra Scott: 20% off everything
Code: YELLOW20
Dates: 11/22 - 11/27
Benefits: Free shipping & returns

Urban Outfitters: Buy one get one 50% off everything
Code: No code necessary
Benefits: Free shipping on orders over $50

T3 Micro: 25% off luxe hair tools 
Code: FRIDAY17 
Dates: 11/21-11/26
Benefits: Free US shipping with $50 purchase
Tory Burch: Take 30% off $250 purchase
Dates: 11/21-11/27
Benefits: Free shipping & returns

DIFF Eyewear: 30% off one pair of sunglasses, 40% off two pairs, 50% off three pairs
Dates: 11/24-11/27
Benefits: Free Shipping on order $75+

H&M: 20% off everything
Code: 1662
Dates: Now - 11/25
Benefits: Free Shipping

ASOS: 30% off everything
 Code: EPIC30 
Dates: 11/22-11/28

20% off everything
 Code: WIN20 
Dates: 11/23-11/30

Anthropologie: 30% off everything
Code: No code needed

BB Dakota: 50% off 
Dates: Black Friday - 11/24
Benefits: Free shipping & returns 

Bobbi Brown: 25% off exclusive palettes and sets on (11/28)
Spend 50+ and pick 5 free minis!
Benefits: Free shipping

Franco Sarto: Take 25% off 
Dates: 11/23-11/27
Benefits: Free shipping

Madewell: 25% off everything 
Dates: 11/21-11/26
Benefits: Free shipping & free returns for Madewell Insiders 

Revolve: up to 50% off sale styles
Dates: Starting 11/23
Benefits: Free 2 day shipping and returns

Sam Edelman: 30% off sitewide
Dates: 11/21-11/23

Shopbop: Get 20% off orders of $200+, 25% off orders of $500+, 30% off orders of $800 or more Code: MORE17
Dates: 11/21-11/26
 Benefits: Free 3-day shipping and free returns


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