July 2018 Favorites!

Hello everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a favorites post! I have a lot of beauty and fashion bits and bobs I’ve been loving so far this summer, so I thought I would share them with you!

BEAUTY
Carmex Classic Medicated lip balm

I got this at Walmart for like a dollar and I swear I love it even more than the Glossier Balm Dot Com. Seriously, you can use it for everything, even on your cuticles. It feels so nice and hydrating on my lips, especially when they’re cracked (which is all the time).

Thayers witch hazel rose petal toner

This is honestly the best toner I have ever used. My skin can’t handle anything super harsh, so when it comes to toner I would typically stay away before. But since this formula has aloe vera and is alcohol-free, it is so gentle that it even feels refreshing when I use it after I cleanse my skin. The rose petal scent is also incredible and soothing, but not overly fragrant.

Neuma neuMoisture Instant Fix

I got a trial size of this in my Ipsy bag, and I fell in love with it instantly. It is natural and cruelty-free, and has done wonders for my hair. Every time I pop a little bit in my hair, it really does condition my hair! Sometimes products (even my long-time favorite Moroccan Oil!) can make me a little frizzy if I use it in the morning, b9ut that never happens with this product. This has been a lifesaver since I cut my hair, especially during the summer (aka prime frizz season). I’ve been using the 1.0 oz trial size for a month now, and it looks like I’ve only used a quarter of it! Gotta love that staying power.

Fashion
Bandana headbands

I have acquired quite a collection of bandanas and handkerchiefs, primarily from Target. They are so easy to pair with a simple t-shirt and pair of jeans when I want to add a pop of color. They’re super cute, and they keep my hair out of my eyes! Here is one of the ones I could find online.

Tiny drop earrings

Unfortunately, I can’t link these exact earrings because I got them at the shore at a little local boutique, but I’ve been wearing these cute little guys constantly. They’re super cute and simple, and that’s been so me this summer. Not too fussy, just stylishly simple.

Forever 21 Camo T-shirt dress

The t-shirt dress is one of my all-time favorite things to wear because they are so easy to throw on, but they are always cute and stylish. This camo dress is no exception! At first I wasn’t sure about the camo print…it’s not my usual style, but I couldn’t pass up the price. Once I wore it for the first time, I was hooked! It is so comfy and soft, and easy to pair with a denim jacket, sandals, or converse. Easily the cutest and easiest outfit of the summer. My only piece of advice is to size up in this dress, so that it’s long and baggy enough for you!

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What beauty products and pieces of clothing have you guys been loving this summer? Let me know in the comments, and

XOXO

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Summer Beach Reads!

Hello everyone!

There was a little bit of confusion last week when this post went up when I had scheduled to write and post it for the next week. WordPress gliched and posted this without any text (eep!), but here I am! Back again! I’m sorry about that, everyone!

My goal every summer is to find the best, quickest beach read. As a literature major, I spend all school year reading classic novels and poetry. So, when I’m on vacation, I want a breezy read I can chomp through in one day on the beach. I’ve found a few titles I’ve been loving, so I thought I would share them with you!

The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks

This was the first book I picked up for the summer. A sequel to The Notebook, it is narrated by Allie and Noah’s son in law,Wilson. The book chronicles Wilson’s efforts to romance his wife, Jane, again after forgetting his 29th anniversary. I thought it was a sweet read. In my opinion, it was exactly what you would expect a Sparks novel to be: sappy, dramatic, with a happy ending. Overall? I thought it was a delightful story for the plane ride to California.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

This book was fascinating. I picked this up at the beach after all the ladies on The Sassy Club’s Facebook page were raving about it. They were so right. I couldn’t put this book down. The main character, Alice, suffers from amnesia, and loses ten years of memory. She goes from being a married 29 year old pregnant woman to a soon-to-be-divorced 39 year old mom of three. As she discovers the realities of the past ten years, I was completely sucked into her story. I feel like everyone has been raving about Liane Moriarty lately, but there is good reason for the buzz. Her writing style is completely engrossing. I think I’m going to pick up Big Little Lies next!

Any book by Elin Hilderbrand 

I found her book Beautiful Day for free at a public library when I visited California, and read most of it on the plane back home. I’ve since picked up a couple more of her books at the library near my house, and I’ve enjoyed each one I’ve read so far. She has written so many novels, and with no end in sight, she always has a new release you can pick up and read.

A Cat in the Stacks mystery series by Miranda James

I started the first novel, Murder Past Due, and though I’m not too far, I think that the story so far is gripping! The main character is a librarian, and so of course, as the daughter of two librarians, this is an interesting pick. Both of my parents have actually been reading this series this summer, and introduced me to the books. I know they have been enjoying these books, so they’re librarian recommended as well haha 🙂 If you like a good mystery to read on the beach, as opposed to a romance, I would recommend this series!

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These are three of my recommendations, but I have been posting on Instagram a lot of my picks, as well! I try to take bi-weekly trips to my public library, and I’ve been finding lots of good stuff there as well. As the daughter of librarians, I feel I must also say… Remember, save your money and visit your local library for your next beach read!

XOXO

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How do you start working out?

Have you been wanting to start your fitness journey, but don’t know where to start? I give you my best tips that helped me stick to a healthy lifestyle!

Hello everyone!

If you’ve never really exercised much before and you want to start, I know from personal experience how daunting it may seem. I’ve written before about my weight loss journey (read more about how I lost 70 pounds), but I don’t think I’ve ever posted about how to start your fitness journey. Here are some of my tips and recommendations on how to just jump into your fitness journey, no matter your fitness level!

Starting off…

It’s a good idea to start slow. Something manageable that you can easily fit into your day and can even enjoy. For me, it was yoga videos on YouTube. Just something to get your blood moving, and to start building a habit. I heard it takes 21 days to break a habit, so try going for 21 days exercising either every other day, or even aim for three times a week. You don’t need to train like an Olympian to start a healthy lifestyle, just take it easy. One step at a time.

So tomorrow?

Wake up, and pick a YouTube video that is 10-20 minutes long. Here are a couple of my favorites, but feel free to use anything on YouTube you want to try!

Tone It Up

When I first lost the weight, TIU was what I used every day. They had (and still have!) a daily schedule that I would follow, but you don’t have to do that if you don’t want to. Go at your own pace and take everything with a grain of salt. However, I liked having someone else create a schedule that I could follow when I didn’t know what I was doing. If you do use their “Daily Schedule,” right now TIU has an app called “Studio TIU” that they advertise on there for. Whatever workout they say to use Studio TIU for, look up on YouTube. They have SO MANY fantastic workout videos on YouTube, that you will never need to pay for their app. Here’s the link to their Daily Schedule if that’s a resource you would be interested in: https://my.toneitup.com/pages/daily-workout-1 The web page updates every day, and I have it saved on the hope screen on my phone to refer to, because I still do their workouts every day.

Blogilates

This is a great YT channel because most of the workouts are a good balance between easier exercises and harder ones. That, and they’re always pretty short and easy to fit into your day. Cassey, the founder of Blogilates and who leads most of the workouts, has a wonderful energy and makes the workouts fun, which is what you want! Make the workouts fun, and you’ll start enjoying exercising before you know it.

These are just two of my favorite channels, but there are so many great videos online that you can use as a resource! Just click around and find one you like, and do it. And the next day, repeat. If you liked yesterday’s video, do it again! If you hated it, pick something else that looks intriguing.

Of course, YouTube is just one option! Go for a walk, take a class at a local fitness studio or gym, research how to get into running, go for a hike. Do anything that sounds good to you, and figure out what works best for your personality and body!

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Do you have any tips and tricks of your own? I would love to hear your fitness hacks if you have any! And if you’re just starting your fitness journey? You can do this! I hope this post helped you 🙂

XOXO

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My Streaming Watch List

Need Netflix, Hulu, or Prime recommendations? I got you!

Hello everyone!

Everybody loves a good watch list, right? I got a free trial for Hulu recently, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share what I’ve been streaming so far this summer. There is always plenty to enjoy, but here are some of the picks I’m looking forward to watching the most for the rest of the summer!

Hulu
Love Island

All of the British vloggers I follow are obsessed with this show, and almost an entire “Keeping it Candid” podcast episode was dedicated to this show. After I listened to that recent episode on a long drive, I figured I had to see what all the fuss was about. I’ve only watched a couple episodes of the recent season, but it seems like the British equivalent to “Bachelor in Paradise.”

Full House

Almost everyone in my generation grew up watching Full House reruns. My family never got the channels that aired Full House, so I only saw a couple episodes here and there during my childhood. I’m taking full advantage of the opportunity to catch up on a missed opportunity during my childhood!

Netflix
Nailed It

This show was recommended to my fiancé and me by my cousin, and it is so so much fun to watch on a lazy day together!! The whole concept of the show is regular people try to bake those crazy cakes you see going viral on Facebook, and they almost always completely fail in the most hilarious ways. Honestly, they’re so relatable, because baking isn’t my strong suit either!

Moana

Everyone has been so wild for this movie, and I still haven’t seen it yet! One of these nights Tanner and I have to just sit down and watch this together just so I can experience the music and understand the references!

Amazon Prime
The Marvelous Mrs. Mazel

I’ve already finished this amazing series, and I can’t recommend it more! If you haven’t heard of this series yet, it was created by the amazing Amy Sherman-Palladino (aka the creator of Gilmore Girls). Just because of that, you know it has to be amazing. Mrs. Maisel is such a fun character, so strong, so hilarious. She is so much fun to watch, and I keep crossing my fingers for season 2 to come out!

Monk

This is an old old family favorite, but because of its availability on Prime, I get to watch it with my fiancé as well. It is one of the funniest murder mystery shows out there… in my humble opinion!

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So much to watch, so little time! What have you guys been watching this summer? Let me know what your favorites are down in the comments!

XOXO

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Feast Your Eyes & Ears #3

Hello everyone!

It’s that time again! So much has been going on this summer as I’ve been traveling, that I’ve been finding more media to love/watch/listen to. Since it’s been a minute since I’ve shared my faves, I wanted to share my new finds with you!

Influencer I Want to be Friends With: Lydia Elise Millen

I found Lydia’s vlogs recently, and I love how she always posts long videos. They’re perfect to work out to on the elliptical when I’m wanting to just watch one video but I’m not necessarily in the mood for Netflix. Plus I think she’s super personable, and gorgeous, of course! She has the sweetest personality, and it’s nice to see that someone who has gotten as much exposure has managed to stay grounded and positive.

Podcast I Listen to When I Drive: Girls’ Night with Stephanie May Wilson

I wanted to find a Christian themed podcast, and I couldn’t have found a more perfect fit in Girls Night! The host, Stephanie May Wilson, is so super sweet, and in addition to being hosting this podcast, is a writer and a public speaker. She has friends or colleagues over to talk about any girly subject from owning your own business to depression and anxiety. The episodes are always engrossing and perfect for a long drive, and it really is like chatting with some girlfriends.

Tunes I Can’t Wait to Get Ahold Of: Ariana Grande’s “Sweetener”

I have been so obsessed with Ariana’s music for years, but I don’t think I have ever been so hype for one of her albums to drop. As I’ve been anticipating “Sweetener” to be released on the 20th, I’ve been listening to “the light is coming” and “no tears left to cry” over and over. In the meantime, I’ll just keep listening to “Dangerous Woman” over again.

Concert I can’t wait to attend: Taylor Swift’s Reputation Stadium Tour!

Tomorrow I am going to the Reputation Stadium Tour with one of my best friends, and I can’t wait to see what Taylor has in store for us! When we went to the 1989 tour three years ago we had a blast, and of course, the show was incredible. Of course, I’ll be chronicling our adventures, so make sure you’re following the TGI insta @thegingerintrovert. As for seeing Taylor in concert again? I’m totally “ready for it” 😉

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What have been some of your favorites online this summer? Leave any podcasts, Instagram accounts, YouTubers, or music in the comments, I would love to see them!

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Favorites

Hello everyone!

Today’s off-schedule post is brought to us by the Nordstrom Anniversary sale! In other words, it’s basically the Fashion Blogger… Olympics? Super Bowl? Whatever… You get the point, it’s a big deal.

Early access to the sales started early early early this morning, and all the bloggers I follow on Instagram are going bananas. So, ‘why not join in?’ is my logic! Since “Early Access” is only available for Nordstrom card holders and ya girl is a broke college kid, I have to wait for the sale to start on July 20th like the rest of us plebs. However, I did page through the catalog online, and I thought I would share my favorites with you guys!

CLOTHES

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I love how this dress is a halter style. It reminded me of a dress I loved from Sammy Robinson’s line with Princess Polly, but only shorter (and therefore, more suited to a 5 foot 3 lady like myself).

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The colors on this striped sweater are gorgeous and perfect for fall. The neck and the way it’s cropped are so cool as well! I’m also pretty sure I see some sort of detailing on the shoulders, which you don’t see all the time. However, this is way out of my price range (maybe that goes without saying?). I’m pretty confident if I was given a day or two in Goodwill I could find a comparable dupe, but I digress.

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This is actually one of the few pieces I can definitely see myself picking up on the 20th. The sleeves, the ribbing, the detailing, and the price are all perfect.

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This looks like the coziest sweater I have ever laid eyes on! I love the cable knit and the color (although it seems there are multiple different colors). It is $50, which isn’t too terrible for a sweater in a department store like Nordstrom.

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Last winter and fall, I was super into the whole patterned pants trend. I’m glad to see that it is predicted to be no different this coming fall! These are super cute, but with the $50 price tag, I think I’ll stick with the couple of pairs I’ve gotten at the thrift store. H&M has some cute ones in now too, I hear!

This sweater is another possibility that I might not be able to resist. These color combinations are so cute I’m not sure which I would pick. This sweater looks so cozy, I can just picture myself wearing this to class in the fall on a chillier day.

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I love a sweet and simple t-shirt. The stripes on this tee are adorable, and the two color combinations they have are very tempting for the fall. Again, I could definitely see myself wearing this with a jean jacket to class.

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I’m alllll for sweaters like this with the “varsity” style stripes. I would feel like a 1950s cheerleader wearing this, and I wouldn’t hate it. Also, yet another cozy sweater option.

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I already have a shirt just like this that I bought from H&M forever ago, and I wear it all the time every year. For those of you who just want a simple turtleneck to wear literally anywhere anytime, this is it. And you can’t beat the price.

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I love the stripes down the sides of these leggings, and they look super comfortable. Perfect for class and studying.

I’m obsessed with Adidas activewear, and given how expensive Adidas usually is, I don’t think you can beat these deals. I’m seriously considering those leggings, not gonna lie!

JEANS

I found sooo many pairs of jeans I loved while paging through the catalogue, so I thought they deserved their own section. I’ll arrange them in pairs, just so you guys can see…

Can you tell I have a jean type? I love how they seem to have lots of cropped jeans for the fall. They’re all giving me serious Carolyn Besette Kennedy vibes, for some reason.

SHOES

This is probably the most dangerous section for me. Everyone who knows me knows I have a slight shoe addiction problem… So I need to practice some serious self-control around shoe sales. However. There are some adorable shoes I think the public needs to be made aware of.

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I’m kind of dying over these. This is honestly the kind of heel I was thinking I would want to wear on my wedding day— they’re the perfect height, and the strap is necessary to make sure I’m not falling all over the place when I’m walking down the aisle. The pattern is adorable, too.

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I’m loving both slides and snakeskin right now. These are very Taylor Swift-Reputation tour, and I’m here for it. Also, Steve Madden is a fabulous brand that I like to support when I can afford it.

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I wear my white Converse nearly every day during the school year. When I bought them a year or two ago I think I spent around $60 in store, so if I were looking to replace them (which… mine have gone from ‘white’ to ‘cream’ to ‘just dirty’) I would consider taking advantage of this sale.

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For the last couple of fall/winter seasons, I have been wearing black ankle boots nearly every single day with a pair of jeans and a sweater. I usually thrift mine, but last year that habit bit me in the butt when nearly every pair I owned fell apart. It might be worth it for me to consider investing in a better quality (and therefore longer lasting) ankle boot for the fall. These are a super cute option!

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I hope you guys enjoyed this post as I shared my favorite picks from the Anniversary sale catalog. On a slightly different but related note, I would like to also say that a lot of these things, especially sweaters and striped tees, can be easily found in thrift shops literally everywhere. However, if you really want something particular, go for it. Huge sales like this are the perfect occasion to splurge a little bit! Happy shopping (and reading!) 🙂

XOXO

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No technology before bed?

Has the phone been controlling your bedtime lately? Join me in a challenge to avoid using technology before bed, and do one of these calming activities instead to help wind down!

Hello everyone!

I struggle so much with unplugging before I got to bed. But I know when I do pry my eyes away from a screen beforehand, I definitely sleep better. It is so incredibly hard for me to do this, it’s almost like an addiction. I know I’m not the only one. Scrolling through Insta right before I fall asleep does not help me sleep. In fact, it is so easy to waste an hour or two of prime sleepy time on social media.

I find it gives other people too much power over the beginnings and endings of my day. When I take the wheel and fill that time with things that I enjoy and aren’t pixelized, I feel more positive. And in this case, more well rested. So here are some of the tech-less alternatives I’ve come up with to help me wind down and get ready for sleep.

First thing’s first.

Set your morning alarms and plug the phone into the charger across the room. That way, you’re not even tempted to scroll. I’m the laziest person ever, so if the phone is far away, I won’t get up out of bed to go get it unless I seriously need it.

Stretch out.

I’ve recently enjoyed doing a little bit of yoga before bed to shake out the day’s frustrations. While I admit, I do sometimes use my phone to listen to instructional YouTube videos to guide me through a flow, I have been trying to do the moves on my own. Concentrating on breathing and clearing my mind puts me in the perfect mindset for sleep.

Read a book or a magazine.

I feel like this one’s a given, but reading is the best way for me to forget about the events from my day and put my thoughts onto something else. Read a set number of chapters/pages/articles, and then put yourself to bed after you’re finished. Or until you feel tired enough to sleep.

Do something to nourish your soul.

For me, it is doing a devotional and reading my Bible. For others, it might be meditating or journaling. Or even completing a page in a coloring book. Whatever it is, as long as its relaxing and enjoyable for you.

Write out your goals for the day to follow.

When I write out my goals and read them in the morning, I find that I go throughout my day more mindfully and intentionally. Also, crushing that to-do list and rereading my completed goals and intentions makes me feel super accomplished and relaxed before I head to bed.

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I’ve found that when I do any number of these things before I sleep instead of using technology, I’ll feel so much better and sleep so much easier. However, a habit isn’t built overnight. I would like to challenge any of my readers who would like to join me in a 21-day bedtime technology detox. Starting tonight, put the phone aside with me. Let me know if you’re joining me in the comments!

XOXO

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Summer 2018 Workout Routine

I share what exercises I’ve been doing daily in order to keep up with a healthy lifestyle.

Hello everyone!

So far this summer I’ve succeeded in keeping up a healthy lifestyle. However, I’ve tried multiple different exercise regimens, such as BBG and the Rebecca-Louise Burn app, but I haven’t really enjoyed either enough to stick to them consistently. Mostly, I like doing my own thing and making up routines for myself. I just do what feels best for my body. If I feel like a 30-minute kettlebell workout, I’ll do it. If I only have time for a 20-minute yoga routine, I’ll do that. I’ve found that I stick to a healthy lifestyle much better when I’m enjoying what I’m doing, rather than forcing myself through something that I hate every second of.

Normally, I’ll start with some cardio.

I’ll do 30-40 minutes of cardio to start my workout off every day. Due to the beautiful summer weather (when it’s not ghastly hot and humid outside), I enjoy going outside to go running around in the sunshine. I’ll go around the neighborhood or to the track near my house, or even do sprints up and down the bleachers at the football stadium at my old high school. If the weather is too ugly for this, I have an elliptical I can use in my garage. Sometimes, I just feel in the mood to do that and watch YouTube videos until my 30-40 minutes is over. It all depends on my mood.

Next, I try to do something “toning.”

I usually do a Tone It Up video, but sometimes I like switching it up. I’ll do HIIT (high intensity interval training) or even an old-school aerobics video. I also try to incorporate an ab routine into my workout as well. I’ve been exercising so long, I usually just stick to the ab moves that I know and love. Here is a routine that I put together for you guys I’ve been loving, too!

 

Short ab exercise routine graphic. 60 second plank, 25 bicycles, 15 single leg raises per side, 20 butterflies, 20 v-sits, 15 hip raises, 25 side crunches, 60 second forearm plank, and ten burpees to finish. Then repeat.

Before ending the workout…

It’s sooo important to stretch. To prevent feeling too sore (because we all know it happens anyway) I’ll stretch and use a foam roller on my leg and back muscles.

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All in all, I try to keep my workout time to an hour to an hour and a half. Sometimes it’s not even that much. As long as I fit in even 30 minutes, I’m happy. A shorter workout is better than nothing, and as long as I’m feeling good and healthy, I know I’m doing what I can.

What have you guys been doing so far this summer? Leave your adventures and workout routines in the comments, I would love to see them!

XOXO

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