Friday, November 9, 2018

Currently Loving



Happy Friday! I hope you've had a great week! My week has been productive and busy but it's been a good one. I am looking forward to starting my birthday celebrations this week (because when your birthday is on a Wednesday you can definitely celebrate the weekend before AND the weekend after)! I just love any reason to celebrate!

Today, I'm sharing my weekly roundup of what I'm currently loving.
Which of this week's picks is your favorite?!

1. J E A N S | I am loving the style of these jeans! I love Madewell denim so I'm planning to invest in this pair as a birthday gift to myself, lol. The run big so size down one to two sizes.


2. H E E L S | Have y'all seen Old Navy's shoe selection lately?! They have had so many great pairs and I really feel like they have also stepped up the quality of their shoes. I love this velvet pair and they would be super cute for the holidays!


3. J A C K E T | How cozy is this jacket?! I love that it's lined with sherpa!


4. S C A R F | I think this will be another birthday gift for myself! I absolutely love this color (my favorite) and it looks like the perfect scarf for fall and winter.


5. F R A G R A N C E | I was super hesitant to try this fragrance because I had never smelled it before. But, it's amazing! I've been wearing it for about six weeks now and I literally get a compliment on how good I smell every single day. So many people have stopped by to ask me what it is. It's not an overwhelming scent, it just smells clean and comforting if that makes sense! It also smells differently person to person based on your chemical makeup. It's my favorite!


6. B A N D A N A | I have had this little bandana tied on my tote bag for the past two weeks and I love the how it dresses up my bag. This leopard dot print is too cute!


7. B O O T S | These boots were a super impulsive purchase! On our way to Blowing Rock last Saturday, I just didn't feel like I had the right shoes on with my outfit. I couldn't find anything in my closet that morning that I felt looks right. Well, I pulled up the Target website and found the perfect pair! I realized we were five minutes from Target and they had my size in stock so I had my husband leave the route and make a detour to Target so I could grab these boots. They are better than I thought they would be because they are cute and so incredibly comfortable! I sized down a half size and I love the fit. I walked around all day in Blowing Rock in them and my feet stayed warm and comfortable the whole time!


8. T E E | Every season, I refresh my striped tee collection and this is the black and white long sleeve tee that I picked for my closet this season. I always love the fit and style of these $19 tees!


Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

S H O P  T H E  P O S T:

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Instagram Roundup

fall fashion, style on a budget, north carolina blogger, casual style, what to wear for fall, fall outfits
Happy Wednesday! In case you missed it earlier this week, I shared all about my first 90 days of intermittent fasting as well as a recap of our day trip to Blowing Rock. This has been kind of a weird week because I was off work yesterday due to most of the school systems in our area being closed for a teacher workday due to Election Day. But, I did a very productive day of volunteering for a few hours at the girls' school, getting my drivers license renewed, and voting, of course!

Today, I'm sharing my weekly roundup of outfits and photos from Instagram. This past week I stuck with my theme of neutrals with pops of leopard, my currently favorite kind of outfit!

fall fashion, style on a budget, north carolina blogger, casual style, what to wear for fall, fall outfits

I love cream and black paired together! Cream is a little softer to wear than white, which I really like. I completed the look with gold accessories, super comfy mules, and one of my fav bags!
Cardigan c/o BohoBlu

fall fashion, style on a budget, north carolina blogger, casual style, what to wear for fall, fall outfits

I love making an old bag feel brand new by adding a scarf or bandana. I recently got this $12 bandana and I love how it dresses my go-to tote.

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This is my mom on the go kind of outfit. Jeans, a comft tee, sneakers, and a cozy cardigan! 

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Black overalls make overalls chic. I love how this look turned out by adding a touch of leopard and a casually put together sweater blazer! 

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This plaid shirt was one of my favorite purchases last month and I am still loving it! You just can't go wrong with black and white plaid plus this shirt is super budget friendly. I stuck with my normal size for the best fit. This shirt is also tunic length so it works with leggings, too!

fall fashion, style on a budget, north carolina blogger, casual style, what to wear for fall, fall outfits

This candle from Antique Candle Works smells amazing! The peppermint scent is a good mix of minty and sweet. This is my first and definitely not my last from this candle company. The mini sample of Clean Cotton also smells so good! I'm a fan!

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

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Blowing Rock Day Trip

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Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is off to a great start! Today, I'm going to be sharing about our day trip to Blowing Rock, North Carolina. This trip was totally spontaneous! I literally woke up on Saturday morning, rolled over, and told my husband that we were going to Blowing Rock for the day. Luckily I am married to someone who is always up for adventure so he immediately jumped out of bed and said, let's go! We got ready quickly and hit the road by 8 AM!

T H E  B L O W I N G  R O C K
We started our day off by stopping at a lookout on Blue Ridge Parkway. The views were incredible! But, the first thing we noticed when we stepped out of the car was how cold it was! We should have brought gloves and hats because it was so cold. Our first official stop was The Blowing Rock, which is North Carolina's oldest travel attraction. This was actually our second time visiting The Blowing Rock. We brought our girls here about three years ago when we came for my 30th birthday. It's a great tourist spot if you want to see some great views without doing a lot of hiking. You do have to pay a fee to visit but it was less than $20 for all of us. This is a short visit kind of stop. We were there for about 45 minutes, which was plenty of time for us (especially with kids).

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north carolina blogger, blowing rock, north carolina mountains, fall trip, nc day trip

north carolina blogger, blowing rock, north carolina mountains, fall trip, nc day trip

north carolina blogger, blowing rock, north carolina mountains, fall trip, nc day trip

north carolina blogger, blowing rock, north carolina mountains, fall trip, nc day trip

B L O W I N G  R O C K, N O R T H  C A R O L I N A
Our next stop was to the town of Blowing Rock. This is one of my very favorite towns in North Carolina to visit! There's so much charm and character. There's a park downtown that my kids love to play at, lots of unique shops, and great dining. We ate at Mellow Mushroom for lunch and Blowing Rock Brewing Company for dinner, both of which I would highly recommend. This was our first time going to Blowing Rock Brewing Company and it was amazing. It's actually a brewery, restaurant, and inn. The beer was great and the food was incredible! I also found the pricing to be very reasonable for the quality of food. For dessert, we grabbed ice cream cookie sandwiches from Blue Deer Cookies. They were so good! This past weekend was their last one open for this season but they will be reopening in the spring.

north carolina blogger, blowing rock, north carolina mountains, fall trip, nc day trip

north carolina blogger, blowing rock, north carolina mountains, fall trip, nc day trip

Monday, November 5, 2018

My First 90 Days of Intermittent Fasting

intermittent fasting, north carolina blogger, health, fitness, nutrition

Hey y'all! Today is all about my first 90 days of intermittent fasting. I shared about my first six weeks of IF back in September but today, I wanted to give a 90 day update since as of November 1, I have officially been intermittent fasting for three full months.

intermittent fasting, north carolina blogger, health, fitness, nutrition
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. Again, I am not a health or nutrition expert, what I'm sharing below is all based on my own personal experience.

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 struggle 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.

After 90 days in, the biggest benefit for me has been discipline. Before doing IF, I wouldn't think twice about what I was eating. I would grab a piece of candy here or a cookie there anytime of day. But now, I don't snack out of boredom. Besides being more disciplined about my eating, I feel like I have become more disciplined overall. Since my concentration has improved, I feel like I am better able to complete tasks. I have been able to be more intentional about devotionals, exercise, errands, and other everyday tasks. I am also more hydrated, which definitely improves how I feel overall!

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. I start my morning with one cup of black coffee or a plain Americano. I literally don't feel hungry at all after a cup of either.

During my 16 hour fast, I don't go completely calorie free but I always stay under 50. I do add protein to my coffee, as well as a packet of stevia when I start to feel hungry.. 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 also love Skinny Cow) 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 much more planned out since I meal plan and 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, avocado, and other raw veggies.

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. We usually have a side salad as well.

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 typically breakfast for lunch or dinner (I always make bacon, eggs, and Kodiak protein cakes). 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 overindulge 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 drink my protein coffee 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 works for me. Sometimes I even 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, 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.

W H A T  I S  Y O U R  E X E R C I S E  R O U T I N E?
I exercise three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On these days, I take a one hour Les Mills Body Pump class at my local YMCA. I have been doing this workout for about a year and I absolutely love it! You can read more about what it is here but basically it is a barbell workout that use high reps and lightweight. It's a motivating workout that gets your heart rate up while lifting and toning. I personally cannot run. I have uneven hips and running is just painful for me so that's really why I fell I love in love with this program. It's such a great workout!

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 improving my overall 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, after six weeks, and again after 90 days. I have lost over ten 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! Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

S H O P  T H E  P O S T:

Friday, November 2, 2018

Currently Loving



Happy Friday! I hope you've had a great week! It's been a good week but I'm not sure if I've been this tired in a long time. The week of Halloween is always so fun... but equally tiring. I'm really looking forward to some downtime, rest, and fun this weekend!

Today, I'm sharing my weekly roundup of what I'm currently loving. I already own and love a few of this week's items. Which of this week's picks is your favorite?!

1. S C A R F | This gorgeous scarf is under $17 and it's beautiful! I just got it in the mail this week and it's even better in person. I love it!


2. L I P  C O L O R | This has been one of my favorite lip color's for over a year. My favorite shade is called "pink tea" and it's a great mauve pink shade. It also lasts all day!


3. S H I R T | My favorite kind of plaid is always black and white. It's a timeless, closet staple! I love the pullover style and the boyfriend fit.


4. S N E A K E R S | Nike Free sneakers are my absolute favorite. They are honestly the most comfortable sneaker I have ever worn! I've had mine for several years and I'm planning to upgrade them this season with this pair. The fit is true to size.


5. B A G | I actually don't own that many bags but this is one that I do own and love. The leather seriously gets better over time! I've had this one for over a year and I carry it often. I love that it can also be worn as a crossbody bag.


6. T E E | I have been looking for an affordable leopard tee for layering and this is a great under $10 option. I'm planning to add this to my cart asap!


7. E A R R I N G S | I have been a big Nickel & Suede fan for awhile! They have the most beautiful, lightweight leather earrings. This pair was just released yesterday and I love this design!


8. D E N I M | I purchased this same pair of denim in the dark blue color last month and they have become my absolute favorite pair of jeans. I love the high rise, the quality, and the fit. I am also planning to add this black pair to my closet. I found the fit to be true to size.


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

S H O P  T H E  P O S T:

Thursday, November 1, 2018

My Favorite October Purchases

fall fashion, style on a budget, north carolina blogger, mom style, best purchases, casual style

Hey y'all! I hope you had a great Halloween and if you're a parent, I hope you took an appropriate candy tax on your child's haul and that you found all of your favorite candy in their pumpkin bucket... I know I did! Haha! The joys of being a parent! 

In other news, I just recently started listening to podcasts and the one I am currently listening to has been so incredibly encouraging. If you are into podcasts or are looking for one to try out, I would highly recommend Christy Nockel's podcast called The Glorious in the Mundane. It's so good!

Today, I'm sharing my monthly roundup of my favorite purchases. Like I've mentioned before, having a life and style blog means that I definitely purchase more clothing and accessories that I would if I wasn't running a blog part-time. But, I love finding pieces for y'all that make you feel good and that are practical for your every day life. I like being able to find pieces that are available for you to buy right now so that means that I shop often. But, I have also been focusing on investing in classic items that can stand the long haul in my closet. Sometimes (actually quite often and this applies to more than clothes), quality is much more important than quantity.

1. L E O P A R D  P R I N T  C A R D I G A N | This cardigan has been so much fun to style! I've worn it with a white t-shirt, black cami, and gray tee. It's so versatile and makes an outfit much more interesting and cozy! I sized up one size for an oversized fit. You can see more ways to style this leopard print cardigan in this post!

style on a budget, fall fashion, mom style, what to buy for fall, october style, north carolina blogger, style blogger


2. L E G G I N G S | I have been living in these leggings! I have the gray ones that I wear more for athleisure and mom uniforms and I live in these mauve ones at home. Lounging and sleeping! They are so comfortable. The perfect mix of a legging and jogger! They are true to size.

style on a budget, fall fashion, mom style, what to buy for fall, october style, north carolina blogger, style blogger


3. B O D Y S U I T | This piece was my most surprising item of the month. I wasn't planning on being a fan of it but I loved this body suit! There's so many ways to wear it and it's the perfect layering piece for fall and winter. I shared seven ways to wear a body suit in this blog post!

style on a budget, fall fashion, mom style, what to buy for fall, october style, north carolina blogger, style blogger


4. P L A I D  S H I R T | I am actually wearing this shirt today! This budget friendly plaid shirt is a must have for fall. The length is leggings friendly and I love the fit! I have worn it open over overalls or a tee but it also looks great buttoned up with skinny jeans. This shirt fits true to size.

style on a budget, fall fashion, mom style, what to buy for fall, october style, north carolina blogger, style blogger


5. P L A I D  B L A Z E R | A plaid blazer was something I was actually hesitate to buy because I wasn't really sure how much use I would get out of it. But, I have already had so much fun styling it! I've worn it over a little black t-shirt dress for shirt and with a tee and jeans for volunteering at my girls' school. My exact blazer is pretty much sold out so I linked a super similar, budget friendly option that I also really love!

style on a budget, fall fashion, mom style, what to buy for fall, october style, north carolina blogger, style blogger


6. B L A C K  O V E R A L L S  A N D  S W E A T E R  B L A Z E R | I just shared this look in Monday's post and I am really loving these two pieces. These skinny overalls in black are so chic and I have loved styling them. The overalls are true to size but they are a true denim so they require some breaking in but the black makes them so slimming. The sweater blazer is true to size as well but I would size down one if you are looking for a more fitted look. The sweater blazer also comes in tons of colors. Both of these items are investment pieces. They aren't cheap but they will hang around in your closet for many seasons. I have been trying to avoid buying too many "one season" items and instead, I have been spending just a little more to get items that have lasting power.

style on a budget, fall fashion, mom style, what to buy for fall, october style, north carolina blogger, style blogger


Thank you so much for reading today's post! I hope you have a great day!

S H O P  T H E  P O S T:

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