Friday, September 21, 2018

Currently Loving



Happy Friday! I hope you've had a great week! Today, I'm sharing my weekly roundup of what I'm currently loving. All of this week's picks are super budget friendly finds and I already own most of them! Summer is holding on tight in North Carolina but I can't wait to put some of my fall pieces to good use once it cools down around here. 

Which of this week's picks is your favorite?!

1. T I E  F R O N T  T O P | I owned a similar top to this last year but this one is in a much more affordable price range. I had to order the gray one! So cute for days when you want to look put together yet comfortable at the same time.


2. E A R R I N G S | I've shared this exact pair of earrings in a currently loving roundup before but they are worth sharing again! They are lightweight and comfortable to wear. One of my very favorite pairs to wear on a daily basis!


3. D R E S S | This dress is the perfect transitional dress to take you from summer to fall. I absolutely love the flattering, swing style! I can't wait for this to come in the mail.


4. L I P  T R E A T M E N T | I usually get dry lips during the winter from the cold weather but my lips have been so dry lately so I started searching for a lip treatment to get some relief. I found tons of expensive options that had great reviews but I wasn't paying crazy amounts of money for a lip product. I found this lip treatment for under $10 and it's fantastic! It also comes in a smaller container at Target for around $3! It goes on like a lip balm but lasts so much longer and leaves my lips super soft. Yay for a budget friendly find!


5. B O O T S | I always get a new pair of ankle boots this fall and my search for a new pair led me to this affordable pair. I love the neutral color, the stacked heel, and the overall design!


6.  J A C K E T | Every woman needs a great denim jacket in their wardrobe. It's a closet staple! I already own a super similar one and I always love the quality (and fit) of Old Navy's denim jackets.


7. T O T E | Can you believe this adorable leopard tote is only eight dollars?! It's such great quality and so perfect for toting your things. I got mine to use a reusable bag for shopping. Also, sign up for J. Crew's reward program (it's free) to get free shipping on all of your orders!


8. S H I R T | I always love a raglan tee and I love the colors of this one! I think it would look so cute styled with shorts now and under overalls later.


Thanks so much for visiting! I hope you have a great weekend!

S H O P  T H E  P O S T:

Thursday, September 20, 2018

My First Six Weeks of Intermittent Fasting

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Hey y'all! Today is all about my first six weeks of intermittent fasting. I'm going to explain what it is, how I do it, when and what I eat, and answer your questions that you asked over on Instagram.
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Before I begin this post, I wanted to remind you to always check with your doctor before you start any sort of new diet program. Also, be sure to do your own research as well. This is simply my own experience and journey so yours may look different.

W H A T  I S  I N T E R M I T T E N T  F A S T I N G?
I heard another blogger mention intermittent fasting and I had no clue what it was. I had never even heard of it so I immediately looked it up. I stumbled upon this article that was published literally a day before I first heard of IF. It does any excellent job of simply explaining what it is...

"Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating."

Super simple, right?! There are many ways to go about fasting but the most common methods are fasting for 24 hours, twice a week or the method I chose, fasting for 16 hours, everyday, How this works for me is, I stop eating at 9pm and then I break my fast at 1pm the next day. So basically, I fast while I'm sleeping and in the morning. This method worked best for me because I wasn't a big breakfast eater anyways. I rarely ate much before 11am prior to IF.

Also, you don't have to dive right into trying to fast for 16 hours. You can do it gradually. My husband is actually doing intermittent fasting with me and this is how he started out. 

W H A T  A R E  T H E  B E N E F I T S?
The personal benefits that I have noticed the most are increased energy and concentration. I was completely surprised by both of these because I assumed I would struggled with them both since I wasn't eating. But, the opposite happened! The first two weeks this wasn't the case but after I got past the those first fourteen days, I felt so much better and my body had adapted to it's new way of eating.

Other benefits are: weight loss, improved fat burning, reduces inflammation, and lowers your risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. 

C A N  Y O U  H A V E  C O F F E E  I N  T H E  M O R N I N G?
Yes! I would actually 100% recommend coffee in the morning. I feel like it definitely helps curb your hunger and gives you a boost of energy. During my 16 hour fast, I don't go completely calorie free. I do add protein to my coffee, as well as a packet of stevia. My coffee cup is 75% black coffee and 25% protein. I personally love Premier Protein (the caramel flavor is so good in coffee). I like mine as an iced coffee and it's delicious! Even with just the little bit of protein in my coffee, it keeps my hunger under control in the morning.



W H A T  D O  Y O U  E A T  W H E N  Y O U'R E  N O T  F A S T I N G?
Since I'm only eating eight hours out of a 24 hour period, I have to be strategic about getting in my calories and making sure that I am eating the right kind of foods. Back in July, I gave up pretty much all bread and pasta. I do eat corn tortillas, all potatoes, cookies (of course), ice cream (but Yasso is a great substitution plus it gives you a serving of protein) and I never say no to a slice of cake. But, everything in moderation. My normal meals also consist of a lot of protein and I feel like this especially important because of my exercise regimen but it also helps give me energy. So, this is a sample meal plan for the week:

Lunch is pretty much whatever I can grab on the go. I eat a lot of cheese, yogurt, nuts, salads, eggs, fruits, and raw veggies at lunch time since it's quick. I also make sure to eat at least one snack between my lunch at 1pm and my dinner around 7pm. I usually eat a high protein snack around 3pm and I usually have another healthy snack (or Yasso frozen yogurt bar) around 9pm to finish the day.

Dinner is more planned out since I buy our groceries according to what we are having for dinner that week. 

Monday: Salad Night 
I buy a bag of chopped salad mix then add chicken, eggs, and avocado.

Tuesday: Taco Night
Ground beef with taco seasoning served with black beans, avocado, salsa, shredded cheese, and sour cream. I usually serve this in a bowl with tortilla chips.

Wednesday: Italian Night
Ground Italian sausage served with lentil pasta (my kids don't notice the difference), marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and ricotta cheese.

Thursday: Stir Fry Night
Shrimp and chicken cooked in extra virgin olive oil (seasoned depending on my mood that day) with mixed vegetables and cauliflower rice.

Friday-Sunday
We typically dine out with the exception of one meal that is always breakfast for lunch or dinner (I always make bacon, eggs, and Kodiak protein cakes). Chipotle is also one of our go-tos because it's easy to get a quick, low carb meal. I get salads a lot when dining out and always skip the bread and opt for lettuce when ordering a sandwich or a burger. I do splurge on pizza occasionally but only for really good pizza, lol.

It's super important that you don't over indulge during eating hours. It can be so tempting to say since I have to fast the next 16 hours, I'm going to eat whatever I want but that's just not a good idea. You should always be mindful of fat, sugar, and calories. 

W H A T  D O  Y O U  D O  W H E N  Y O U  G E T  
H U N G R Y  D U R I N G  Y O U R  F A S T?
The first couple of weeks, I honestly didn't think I was going to be able to do this. I definitely thought about quitting a lot during those first two weeks because it was rough even for someone like me who wasn't a breakfast eater before. However, once I got past those first two weeks, it was so much easier. I focused more on what I was eating during my eight hours and realized the first two weeks that I wasn't eating enough. Getting in enough calories and protein during your eating hours is essential. 

I pretty much always feel some hunger around 11am every single day. It's like clockwork. When I get hungry, I either drink a bottle of water (because a lot of times you when you think are hungry, you are actually just thirsty) or I pray. I have used this time of fasting as a spiritual reminder that I need Jesus so I talk to Him instead of focusing on my own desire for food. It always work for me. Sometimes I get to 1pm and forget that I can eat.

C A N  Y O U  E X E R C I S E  W H I L E  F A S T I N G?
Yes! If I don't get my workout in before 11am then I will never get my workout in because of my schedule. Working out at night just doesn't work for me. I was a little nervous to workout while fasting because I had always had at least a cup of yogurt before working out. But, I was totally fine! Be sure to drink water before, during, and after your workout to make sure you are hydrated. Also, the adding protein to your coffee really helps you sustain your energy through exercise. This is also why I eat a lot of protein packed snacks during my eating hours.

H A V E  Y O U  L O S T  W E I G H T?
This was by far the most asked question! And the answer is YES! When I started this journey, it wasn't just about losing weight, it was about health but losing weight is definitely an added bonus. I rarely step on a scale because who likes doing that but for the purposes of IF, I did weigh myself at the beginning and again after six weeks. I lost a total of eight pounds! Most of this weight was belly fat that I was just holding onto after babies and bread, lol. However, I don't recommend anyone standing a scale. Pretty much ever. I usually judge my overall health and weight on whether or not I can fit into my favorite jeans, you know the ones that just make you feel good when you put them on. 
Your worth is never found in the number on a scale.

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!

S H O P  T H E  P O S T:


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Instagram Roundup

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Happy Wednesday! I hope your week is off to a great start! My kids finally went back to school today after being out since early Thursday afternoon. Our area endured so much rain and a lot of flooding during Hurricane Florence. My thoughts and prayers are still with everyone affected by the storm! I was so happy to finally see some sunshine after so many cloudy, rainy days. You forget how important sunny days really are until it's gloomy for way too long!

Today, I'm sharing my weekly Instagram Roundup. Denim and neutrals continue to be the theme of my wardrobe because they are staples! I love being able to mix and match pieces in my closet easily. I have also had fun incorporating some prints and patterns into my outfits. I am currently loving stripes, polka dots, and of course, leopard!

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I just got these new Adidas kicks and they are taking my mom uniform up a notch! They are super comfortable and perfect for the woman on the go. I sized down a half size for the best fit.


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Black is my go-to when I don't know what to wear. It's just easy! Throw on a black top with denim and you are good to go. I love how the scarf tied on my bag brings this look together.


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I wore this outfit on Saturday to get out of the house. I wanted to look cute but I always had to gear up for the massive amounts of rain we were getting. A comfy dress was the perfect solution! I threw on my rain jacket and boots to stay dry.


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There's just nothing like fresh flowers in the house. I rescued this pretty hydrangea before the store started on Friday. Flowers make me happy!


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Freshly washed hair always equals a happy hair day but I do not enjoy washing my hair. Read yesterday's post "How I Go Four or More Days Without Washing My Hair" for my tips and tricks for going as long as possible without washing your hair!


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This little lace trim cami was a great Target find! I love the fabric and fit (runs true to size with adjustable straps). It will be a great layering piece for fall and it's under $15!


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My girls did their first Target try on session while we were there this past weekend. They were too cute in their videos! In case you missed them, you can check them out here!


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Stripes and camo are one of my favorite pattern mix combinations. I used to be all about crazy pattern mix combos! I would literally mix two to three patterns in any given outfit but I'm more about simplicity now. Less is more but I do still love a good pattern mix every now and then but I just keep the rest of the look simple.


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When the temperatures are officially feeling like fall, this is going to be my outfits! These pieces are my fall staples and I can't wait to put them to use. Mules, leopard, stripes, denim, tortoise, and my favorite black leather tote!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How I Go Four or More Days Without Washing My Hair

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T H I S  I S  M Y  H A I R  A F T E R  F I V E  D A Y S  W I T H O U T  W A S H I N G.
Happy Tuesday, y'all! Today is all about hair! I feel like I have had this conversation with so many people in real life so I thought it would be great to share about how I go at least four days or more without washing my hair here on the blog. I shared lots of tips for this back in January but nine months later, I have more tips and tricks to go longer without washing! Before continuing, it's also important to note the texture of my hair. My hair is thick and a naturally a little wavy. So, if you have straight or wavy hair, I think these tips will definitely be helpful to you.

When I tell people that I go this long without washing my hair, they are usually surprised and they almost always say that they couldn't go that long without washing their hair but you can. It's just takes some tricks and some time to train your hair!

In high school and college, I literally washed my hair every single night. It was just apart of my nightly routine and I also thought I had to wash my hair everyday. I also didn't drink coffee and dry shampoo wasn't really a thing back then (I mean, I could never be a mom now without dry shampoo). I guess I had plenty of time to wash my hair and I wasn't as tired. My how times have changed! Every woman, especially moms, needs a great hair care routine that works for them and makes life easier, while still taking care of yourself. I am a big advocate for women, especially moms, taking care of themselves! You are important, too. 

Okay, back to hair: washing your hair too often can:

 1. Make your scalp dry

2. Can fade your color much faster.

3. Causes product build up.

4. Makes you more prove to split ends.

5. Strips your hair of natural oils that make your hair look healthy.

When your scalp is dry, your body actually produces more oil to compensate for the dryness so finding ways to cut down on how often you wash your hair is definitely a must for healthy hair so these are my tips for washing your hair less often:

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P R O P E R L Y  W A S H  Y O U R  H A I R
I know that sounds kind of simple but so often we are in a hurry in the shower and we don't thoroughly wash our locks. Start by using a shampoo that is formulated for your hair type. I am currently using this shampoo for color treated hair! I wash my hair twice during my hair washing session. I also flip my hair over to make sure I am getting my scalp extra clean. After rinsing my hair, I apply conditioner only to the ends of my hair and let it stay on for at least 4-5 minutes before rinsing it out.




B L O W  D R Y 
I also try to take the time to properly blow dry my hair when I have time. I use a blow dry cream (or leave in conditioner) and a heat protection spray then I let my hair air dry as much as possible. I blow dry (with no brush) on medium heat at the fastest speed. After my hair is at least 80% dry, I use my brush to smooth my hair out. Always blow dry from the root to tip of your hair for best results. Having a good, smooth foundation, will also help you go longer without washing your hair. Since I only blow dry every five days or more, my hair doesn't suffer as much damage as it would if I were blow drying on a daily basis, like I used to do. I don't use a fancy blow dryer; just a $30 one from Walmart.




D R Y  S H A M P O O  I S  Y O U R  F R I E N D
 I wouldn't be able to go without washing my hair for so long without my secret weapon, dry shampoo. I always apply my dry shampoo before bed because it gives the dry shampoo a chance to really absorb the oil in your hair and you wake up with fresher looking hair. I apply the dry shampoo to my roots in at least three different sections and I only use it at my roots. I have tried so many dry shampoos. Budget friendly and expensive. I love the more expensive ones but I found that this dry shampoo works really well for my hair and it's a great price (around $5)! I also use this hair brush to brush the dry shampoo through my hair. I also really love this hair brush for wet hair (and it's a great brush to use on anyone who has a sensitive scalp). Also, try to go as long as possible before using dry shampoo. I try not to use it until I have gone at least 36-48 hours without washing my hair. This wasn't necessarily possible when I first started this journey of not washing my hair as often but you will get there in a couple of months.




M E S S Y  B U N
After I have brushed my dry shampoo through my hair, I always throw my hair up in a messy bun or top knot before bed. When your hair is down, you are more likely to touch it and add more oil to it. I use these hair ties that I have shared before to pull my hair back. They are literally the best! They don't pull your hair out or leave a crease in your hair when you take your hair down. If they get stretched out, you can just put them in a cup of warm water to regain their original shape. These are a definitely a game changer and come in lots of colors to match your hair!




S T O P  T O U C H I N G  Y O U R  H A I R
Like I mentioned above, the more you touch your hair, the more oily it gets. So, hands off! I try to style my hair so that it would continually fall in my face because if it falls in my face, I'm definitely going to move it. I like pulling it half way back (like the photo at the top of this post) or I'll put it in a bun if I need to keep it out of my face. But also, try not to run your fingers through your hair. I do this out of nervous habit sometimes but I try not to do it because well, I don't want to wash my hair.

S A T I N  P I L L O W C A S E
You may have seen those crazy expensive silk pillowcases on the market that are good for your hair and skin. Well, I was too cheap to buy it but I was interested in the benefits so i found that satin pillowcases are a great budget friendly, similar option. As far as hair goes, it helps get your hair smooth. My bed head isn't quite so unruly now that I've been using my satin pillowcase for a few months. Hair that is less unruly means less work in the morning! Also, you won't have the need to wash your hair if you barely need to touch it up the next morning.




E X E R C I S E
Lastly, the question I get asked most often is how do you go without washing your hair when you have exercised?! I always pull my hair back to workout because I just can't exercise with hair falling in face. After I shower, I take my hair down and touch up with dry shampoo on my roots as necessary. I try to not over do it on the dry shampoo if I don't have to, just enough to freshen my hair up if I sweated a lot during my workout. Next, I just touch up my hair with my straightener or curling iron and I am good to go! I also try to avoid using a lot of hair styling products if I don't absolutely have to have it because it just causes so much build up on my hair and makes me hair look less clean. Also, refreshing your hair with your blow dryer after applying a little dry shampoo also helps dry up sweat, too.

I hope this post was helpful! Thank you so much for stopping by! Have a great day!

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Friday, September 14, 2018

Currently Loving



Happy Friday! I hope you've had a great week! My week has been busy with training at work and hurricane tracking. I live in central North Carolina and earlier in the week we thought it was coming straight for us but it seems to be tracking further south now. But who knows?! We are prepared with snacks, extra batteries, candles, and bottled water just in case we need it. I'm praying for everyone's safety during this storm!

Today, I'm sharing my weekly picks of what I'm currently loving. It's been a couple of weeks since I shared my favorites so this week it was hard to narrow it down to just eight. I found so many cute things so I'm adding in a bonus item at the end!

Which of this week's picks is your favorite?!

1. S H O E S | I just recently got these shoes and they are so comfy! Black and white is such a classic combo so I know I'll get so much use out of them. I sized down a half size for the best fit.


2. B A G | This bag isn't cheap but it is beautiful! I'm adding it to my wish list and hoping for a really great sale soon because it's everything I want in a leopard bag.


3. B O D Y  S U I T | I don't currently own any body suits but I have been wanting one to wear with high waisted denim and overalls. This one has great reviews!


4. S T R I P E D  T O P | I absolutely love the colors in this top! They just scream fall, don't they?! I also love the mock neck style and the retro stripes.


5. J E A N S | I already own five different pairs of these super affordable jeans but I don't have this pair. I feel like I'm collecting these jeans, lol. But, they are so good, especially for the price! For me, they fit true to size.


6. W H I T E  T O P | Who else wears white year round?! Is not wearing white after Labor Day still a thing?! Well, it definitely isn't for me. I love the pretty details on this top!


7. R I N G | If you are looking for a simple ring that still makes a statement then this is it. I have this ring in gold but now it also comes in silver and rose gold. Plus it's under $20!


8. C A M I | I shared this cami in my stories last weekend and it was a big hit because it's only $15! It's such a great piece for wearing on it's own while it's still warm and later with a cardigan or denim jacket. The fabric is so soft and not sheer at all plus the neckline is modest. I found the fit to be true to size without being too tight or too loose. I scooped it up in the pretty blush pink shade!



B O N U S  P I C K | This everyday leopard tote is my bonus pick because it's super cute and super functional plus it's only eight dollars! If you sign up for their free rewards program, you'll also get free shipping on every order. How awesome is that?!



Thanks so much for visiting! I hope you have a great day!

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