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  1. Stuck in a Rut: Why I Haven’t Been Working Out

    March 3, 2015 by Kayla

    3648491782_30c71258bc_zI’m not one for making excuses. In fact, I get really annoyed with people who are constantly making excuses. But I haven’t been the most motivated when it comes to my workout routine lately.

    I stated off this year with great intentions. I was already used to working out 3 times/week consistently. But as my online side hustles have continued to grow and take up more and more time in the evenings, I decided I had to switch to morning workouts to free up more evening time for writing and working online.

    In all honesty though, I absolutely hate working out in the mornings. It’s not working for me at all. I haven’t been very consistent with my workouts in 2015 and it’s starting to show in my clothes and in my health. I’m stuck in a rut of not wanting to work out.

    I feel better when I workout consistently. I have more energy throughout the day and I’m more motivated in the evenings. So why do I hate morning workouts?

    I Don’t Have Accountability

    I’ve never had good self-accountability, and I don’t have anyone in my morning workout class to help keep me going when workouts are tough, or even just to get to the workout consistently.

    I Miss My Old Trainer

    The trainer in the morning classes is different from the trainer in the evening classes. Both of them are excellent trainers and very knowledgable, but they have different styles. Personally, I mesh better with the trainer in the evenings. She knows just how much to push me and when I need a little extra encouragement to keep going. The morning trainer doesn’t have that figured out, and our personalities just don’t mesh as well together.

    The Community Aspect

    In addition to not having anyone in the morning class to help me stay accountable, my evening classmates feel like a family. We all talk together before and after the workouts. We work together during strength exercises and we are all closer to the same ability level. In the morning class, everyone is very quiet and doesn’t spend time chatting and getting to know each other (it is 5:30 a.m., so I get it!). I am also nowhere near at the same level of fitness as the rest of the morning class, which makes it especially hard on partner workouts and exercises.

    So, what am I going to do about it?

    I’m going to switch back to evening workouts. Yes, this takes away evening time I need for my side hustle, so I’m either going to have to stay up a little later, or get up earlier (at around 6:00) to get some more work done.

    One thing’s for sure, I’m counting down the days until I can quit my full-time job and have more flexibility!

    What would you do if you were me? Have you ever been stuck in a work out rut?

    Photo courtesy of: Dain Sandoval


  2. Closet Clean Out Part Two: Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

    February 28, 2015 by Kayla

    You can read part one here.

    I know I’m a little late with this update, but it’s been a pretty hectic few days over here lately. While I do want, and need, to clean out my closet, it definitely hasn’t been at the tip-top of my priority list.

    Despite being super busy, I have managed to go through my shoes.

    Shoes have always been a problem area for me, but it really exploded when I got to college. After I got to college I no longer had my parents watching my spending and seeing all the new shoes and clothes coming in the house.

    When I went through my shoes last year, I went from about 88 pairs of shoes down to about 66 pairs of shoes. Since then, I did have a little shoe creep as I bought 3 pairs of shoes since then (I think).

    Here’s what my shoes looked like before I removed any shoes this time around:

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    After looking over my shoes, I got rid of 9 pairs of shoes and 13 pairs of sandals/flip-flops. Here’s what I am getting rid of (just the shoes, I’m keeping the dog). :)

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    It filled up an entire 13 gallon trash sack! Don’t worry, I won’t be throwing these perfectly good shoes in the trash. I’ll be holding on to them for what has, somewhat unfortunately, become my annual yard sale.

    I don’t know if you’ll be able to see much of a difference, but here’s what my shoes looked like after I was done putting them all away.

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    I re-arranged them a little bit so all the boots are together, all the tennis shoes are together, etc. I was also able to empty out the basket that used to contain my sandals. Now there’s room for my sandal in the closet with the rest of my shoes.

    This will make it easier for me to see what all sandals I own so I can get to them and wear them more easily this summer.

    By my math, I’m down to only about 50 pairs of shoes now. That’s still a lot, and I might continue to get rid of some more as I work on cleaning out my closet, but for now I’m happy with my progress.

    Up next: Tackling my clothes. Yikes!

    Is your clothes closet in need of a clean out?


  3. The Beauty of a Belt

    February 24, 2015 by Kayla

    Before reading a guest post on Audrey’s blog, Putting Me Together, I was always hesitant to belt anything as I thought I couldn’t pull off an outfit with a belt since I’m exactly the smallest of girls. But ever since then I’ve experimented with belting different shirts and sweaters, especially if they are pretty loose or if I am wearing a slouchy cardigan that I wish I could close over my midsection.

    Audrey’s style challenge for this week was to belt something and as soon as I read that and saw the weather forecast, I knew this was the perfect opportunity for me to wear my new-to-me Aztec cardigan.

    As you all know by now I’m pretty much obsessed with Aztec these days, and I was just waiting for weather cold enough to warrant me wearing this huge, slouchy, and extremely warm cardigan. It’s a cream and black cardigan, which makes it a little more difficult to style as you can’t really pair cream with white (in my opinion).

    Instead I went for black boots, black pants, a black shirt, and my cardigan. Yes that’s a lot of black! When I first got dressed, I was really starting to question my outfit decision.

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    As I said, the cardigan is pretty shapeless and the outfit is all drab with no pops of color. But then I added some accessories that made my outfit more fun and added some shape.

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    I added a bright 2 strand necklace that has beads of every size, shape, and color, some teal earrings, and a skinny black belt to hold my cardigan shut and give me some shape and a defined waist.

    It’s amazing how much difference a couple of small accessories can make!

     


  4. Pinterest Project: Aztec Pedicure

    February 22, 2015 by Kayla

    The other night, my friend who is currently in cosmetology school, asked me if my toenails needed painted because she needs to build a “portfolio” showing different people’s nails and hair that she’s done using what she’s learned in school. I’m always up for a little free pampering (talk about frugal!) and it gave her some good experience too. Plus I’m kind of a freak about having my toenails painted at all times, year round. (Toenails just look gross without polish in my opinion, haha.)

    She asked what type of design I wanted and I fell in love with this Aztec design from Pinterest.

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    But, we decided to only do one of the two designs so my big toes would match each other.

    Here’s how they turned out.

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    Pretty darn good for her first time doing an Aztec design. :)

    Have you gotten a pedicure lately? What types of nail designs do you like?


  5. It’s Time for a Closet Clean Out! Part One: Recognizing the Problem

    February 18, 2015 by Kayla

    image (1)It’s officially been just over a year since my last closet clean out. I started my closet clean out last year with my shoes and then a couple of months later, I purged a few articles of clothing too.

    Since then, I’ve tried to pay better attention to what shoes and clothes I wear on a regular basis, and which ones I groan about when they come up in my clothing rotation. Yes, I have a clothing rotation. Instead of using the hanger trick where you flip all the hanger backwards to see which articles of clothing you have and haven’t worn at the end of a year, I keep a rotating cycle of all of my clothes (well, my shirts anyhow).

    I only own a limited number of bottoms:

    Skirts – 9

    Dress Capris – 6

    Dress Pants – 10

    Jeans – 7

    Yoga and Workout Pants/Leggings – 5

    Workout Capris – 7

    Total – 44 (this does not include pajama pants)

    Yikes! That’s more than I thought, but I still own FAR FEWER pants than tops. (I know. That’s scary! I’m not going to count all of my shirts because I have way too many to count.)

    Anyhow, in order to make sure I wear all of my shirts and that I’m not wearing the same 5 shirts each week to work, I rotate my shirts by hanging them at the back of the section when they come out of the wash and I wear them from the front of the section.

    After a while, I started to notice that I was skipping over the very first few shirts again and again because I didn’t want to wear them. This alerted me to the fact that it’s time for me to do a closet clean out again.

    After getting rid of about 20 pairs of shoes last year.

    After getting rid of about 20 pairs of shoes last year.

    Also since I got rid of about 20-ish pairs of shoes last year I’ve done a pretty good job of exercising the 1 in 1 out rule with my shoes. Plus I just didn’t buy nearly as many in 2014 as I did in years past (because I’m living on a strict budget to pay off my debt). Even so, I know there are several pairs that I haven’t worn since I did my purge last January.

    With these things in mind, I decided to split my closet clean out into a couple of different parts so I can take my time and make good decisions rather than rushing through everything all at once. I also prepared by taking “before” pictures of my closet and shoes.

    I haven’t gotten rid of anything yet, but I hope that when I do you’ll be able to see some difference in the photos, haha.

    I’ll be tackling my the first part of my closet clean out project this weekend, so stay tuned to see the results next week!

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    Do you need to do a closet clean out? How will you be tackling your project?


  6. Five Tips to Save Money on Your Wedding

    February 11, 2015 by Kayla

    3650406671_340012bd18_zDid you know that the average cost of a wedding is about $30,000? When many couples think of such an expensive price tag, they immediately start considering which friends and family members they should cross off the guest list. However, there are some ways you can save money on your wedding so you can still invite all of your friends and family out to celebrate. Check out these five tips to save money on your wedding.

    Plan the Date for an Off-Peak Time

    Every bride wants a picture perfect wedding, and that may include getting married on or around several popular and “romantic” holidays, like Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve. If this is the case, you can be sure you’re not the only couple interested in these dates. Venues will charge as much as possible for events on these dates and during the traditional “wedding season” of May-September since lots of brides-to-be will pay top dollar to have their preferred day.

    As mentioned, the summer is a popular season since most wedding parties enjoy taking photos and hosting outdoor receptions. To get your venue for less, choose an off-peak time such as during the cooler months of January through March. You’ll save so much money as you will have bargaining power since there aren’t many couples trying to reserve during this time.

    Credit is the Best Option

    It may be odd to hear, but you should consider using your credit cards while paying for your wedding. Then if you have the cash on hand, you can pay the card off instantly. The thought process behind using your credit cards is to help you rack up reward points for travel and cash back incentives. Sometimes these can come in handy for your honeymoon travels.

    Choose a Venue That Has What You Need

    When selecting your venue, compare those that have great features and services available within their package. For instance, a venue that hosts outdoor gatherings may be perfect if it’s beautiful weather and atmosphere as well. An outdoor garden venue is ideal as there are already fresh flowers around. The most you may need to do is add your own place settings and linen. This can help you cut down on costs. But keep in mind not all outdoor venues make weddings cheaper as some don’t include all the fixings, which will require you to rent more items for your wedding and reception.

    Check Out Student Services

    Remember, all the greats have had to start somewhere, including chefs, photographers, and designers. If you are located in a fairly large city, check out a few of the colleges and universities in the area to see if you can make arrangements for free or discounted services, like:

    • A cooking program could offer their cake making/designing services
    • A music department could have their students play selections during your reception
    • A digital/traditional photography department could send a student photographer and videographer or do your engagement photos

    Just talk to the head of each department and see who their top students are. Sometimes these projects are done as a part of their internship or graduation requirements. If nothing else, you can hire them and pay them at a significant discount when compared to an experience professional. Most serious students have all the professional equipment you’d need for a fabulous wedding.

    Sometimes brides-to-be hesitate to use an unproven student for their wedding photos since they mean so much. Instead you could do a search in your local area to find out who has the most reasonable prices, like local Rancho Cucamonga Wedding PhotographersThere is no need to get a fancy photography from a big city when your local guy will be much less expensive and can cover all your bases.

    Host a Sale When It’s All Over

    After your wedding and reception, you’re going to have plenty of photos to enjoy your memories of your wedding day. So there really is no need to keep everything packed in storage. Your best bet to pay off any remaining credit card bills or put extra money back in your pocket is to sell anything left over. Everything from your wedding dress, bridesmaid’s dresses, table linens, custom paper flower arrangements, and anything else in good condition, can be sold. Here are a few places to consider putting an ad up on:

    • Facebook groups
    • EventLeftovers.com
    • NearlyNewlyWed.com
    • Tradesy.com
    • OnceWed.com
    • Ebay.com

    These are also great places to start off looking for items for your wedding as well. You will run across many unique pieces inspiring themes for your wedding.

    The above five tips are sure fire ways to save plenty before you hit the altar. You’ll still be able to have the fabulous attire and money ready for your honeymoon.

    What other ways can you think of to help save on wedding costs?

    Photo courtesy of: Ryan G. Smith


  7. Why You Need More Sleep

    February 10, 2015 by Kayla

    7787096102_77a1dbc6cf_zBetween keeping up at my full-time job, working at my part-time job, running my home business, freelancing online, socializing, and working out, I have a pretty crazy schedule these days. But even with all that going on, or maybe because of all of that going on, I know how important it is to get enough sleep.

    Getting enough sleep can have huge benefits for your health and your overall quality of life. Here are just a few benefits of getting enough sleep.

    Better Mood

    Have you ever noticed that you are more likely to be annoyed at people for silly things like driving slowly in front of you or walking down the middle of the aisle at Walmart when you are sleep deprived? I sure have! Research shows part of this could be from lack of sleep. When you are sleep deprived you have less control over your emotions and reactions.

    Weight Loss

    When I’m overly tired I’m more likely to grab unhealthy food or go out to eat, which can lead to weight gain over time. The reality is that these choices actually make the problem worse. When you are already tired it’s important to make an effort to eat healthily to help counter-act your sleep deprived state.

    Mental Clarity

    After a few short nights and long work days, I was eating with my family at a restaurant. When it was my turn to order I had to ask the waiter to repeat himself several times. It sounded like he was speaking a different language, but in reality my brain was just so tired I was having trouble understanding what he was saying. I felt pretty pathetic about it too, haha.

    How to Get Better (and More) Sleep

    • Turn off your electronics earlier. Don’t watch TV in bed to relax. If you must do something in bed to help you relax try reading a book or magazine next to a soft light source, like a lamp. Using the full overhead light might keep you up longer since it’s so bright. Ditto with the light from a TV or computer.
    • Don’t drink caffeine after lunch. Avoiding pop, coffee, and tea in the afternoon and evening will help you sleep better at night.
    • Avoid alcohol. We all know (and love) the fact that red wine can actually be healthy for you in moderation. But you should avoid having too much alcohol. Yes, it will make you feel tired at first but most people will wake up in the middle of the night unable to sleep after drinking more than 1-2 drink of alcohol.
    • Don’t work in your bedroom. Try to set up a home office space that is not in your bedroom. You should also try to keep your bedroom picked up and clutter free. By keeping the space calm and clean you’re less likely to spend time awake at night thinking of all the things on your to-do list.
    • Go to bed earlier. The bottom line is most of don’t go to bed early enough. You should aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. This does not include the time you spend winding down before going to bed.

    Do you feel better when you get more sleep? What tricks do you use to get a better night’s sleep?

    Photo courtesy of: Moyan Brenn


  8. Trend Alert: Aztec Inspired Clothing and Accessories

    February 6, 2015 by Kayla

    If you haven’t heard about the hugely popular trend of wearing Aztec and ethnic/tribal inspired clothing and accessories, you must have been living under a rock! I kid, but seriously it’s a huge trend right now.

    Personally, it took me a little bit to get on board with this one as I just didn’t like it at first. But now that Aztec printed clothing and accessories are coming in more and more colors and styles, I’ve finally been convinced.

    In fact, I just bought my first Aztec printed cardigan and I’m seriously in love with the thing. It’s cute, cozy, and best of all, mine’s reversable! What’s not to love about that?

    Anyhow, I was browsing the internet to find my next Aztec inspired item, because I can’t stop at just one piece now that I’m on-board with the trend, and I found some awesome pieces at really great prices.

    Here’s a few that I found that I’m loving the look of:

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    Find the pieces: Cardigan Sweater, Pullover Sweater, Tank Top, Scarf

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    Find the pieces: Leggings, Skirt, Flats

    What do you think of the Aztec trend? Which featured piece do you love best?


  9. Update on Switching to Morning Work Outs

    February 3, 2015 by Kayla

    Crossfit to FightOne of my goals for 2015 was to switch my workout time from the evenings to the mornings. In case you missed it, I attend a Crossfit gym in my community and I’ve been going there since July 2013. I still love my gym and going on regular basis makes me feel better and relieves a lot of stress from my life. But switching to morning workouts has been a bigger challenge than I originally thought.

    I set my alarm to go off every morning at 5:15 a.m. This gives me about 15 minutes to get up, change into my workout clothes, put in my contacts, brush my hair, and guzzle a little water before I leave for my workout. Technically, my workout doesn’t start until 5:45 a.m., but I like to get there a few minutes early so I can warm up and wake up before it’s time to start.

    This sounds great in theory, but I’m still struggling a little bit with getting out of bed to go workout three times each week on a consistent basis. I’m still not a morning person so I’d much rather shut off my alarm and go back to sleep for an hour and a half instead. But I know how much working out in the morning helps my health, stress level, and the flow of my day, so I’ve done a few things to make it a little easier on myself when I have to get up that early.

    Lay Out My Gear

    Each evening before my workout days, I lay out my sports bra, workout shirt, capris/tights, socks, and shoes so it’ll be easier for me to get dressed the next morning. I still like to match when I work out (fashionista prob), so by picking out my clothes the night before I can make sure my still-asleep brain doesn’t dress me in horrible choices.

    Some people I work out with say they sleep in their workout clothes so they can just roll out of bed and put on shoes before leaving the house, but that doesn’t work for me. I tried to sleep in my workout clothes, but I was uncomfortable and spent the whole night tossing and turning instead of sleeping.

    Have a Work Out Buddy

    My co-worker that I used to workout with decided to switch gyms, so I no longer have her meeting me there to work out each day. But she and I still try to motivate each other to work out. She also switched to morning workouts for 2015 and just knowing that she’ll ask me each day at work if I worked out this morning is a good motivator when I don’t feel like going.

    Don’t Eat a Crappy Bedtime Snack

    I’ve found that eating a horrible supper and/or bedtime snack the night before my morning workouts really affects me. Not only does it make my performance worse, I also feel more sluggish and full of morning “crud” in my throat if I consume sugar, dairy, or wheat products after about 3 p.m. the day before. Now I try to eat a healthy supper and maybe have a piece of fruit for “dessert” before bed. Drinking a lot of water the afternoon and evening before my workout helps me stay hydrated better for my morning workouts too.

    The bottom line is that I just need to go when my alarm goes off. The days that I turn off my alarm and don’t go are usually the days I don’t feel as alert and end up being late for work. I seem to always be early to work if I just get up and workout.

    What tips do you have to make it easier to work out in the morning?

    Photo courtesy of: Arctic Warrior

     


  10. The Hottest Boots This Season

    January 27, 2015 by Kayla

    Everywhere you go these days, all the girls have on one kind of boot or another. From riding boots to combat boots, and even ankle boots; there are boots for every kind of weather, every season of the year, and every occasion. Here are just a few pairs of boots I found online that I am loving this season!

    Aqua Pillar

    This shoe site has some awesome boot choices, and they are all at great prices. Here are a couple I found on there that I like, and one that’s very umm…unique!

    motoboots

    I’m not sure that I can pull off these tough-girl moto boots, but I’d love to try! I especially like the black ones. In my head, I imagine them with some black leather leggings and a red leather jacket. Hot!

    FOLDOVER BOOTS

    These fold-over boots are totally in-style right now. The best part about this pair is the fabric on the inside has a bit of an Aztec feel to it, and we all know how popular Aztec print has become in the past few months!

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    I also found these wildly unique chevron boots. Yes, most of the boot is, in fact, clear. Again, I’m not sure they’re my style, but I do kind of love them.

    Target

    I might be a little bit addicted to the shoe section at Target. They usually have some of the latest trends at good prices.

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    This pair of riding boots is awesome because it has both brown and black on it, so you can easily pair it with everything in your closet! They also give you the freedom to wear black accessories, brown accessories, or both in your outfit.

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    These cute black ankle booties would make a great closet staple if you don’t already own a pair of black ankle booties. They could easily be dressed up or down depending on what you pair them with.

    Things to Look For When Buying Boots

    1. Quality – Of course, you want your boots to last you through a couple of winters if at all possible, but you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on them either. When buying boots on a budget, try to go middle of the road on price if possible so you can have the best of both worlds.
    2. Color – I do recommend having a couple of different colors of boots. I like brown and gray, but some people like cognac or black. I prefer gray over black because it’s not as harsh a neutral and it shows up better if you are wearing them with black leggings or jeans. It’s a personal preference, but I suggest you get two pairs in different neutral colors.
    3. Style – Again, having a well-rounded selection is a good idea. I try to pick boots than I can dress up for work and nights out, but that will also be comfortable and practical in casual situations. Yes, that’s a lot to ask for from one pair of boots, so it might make sense to have more than one pair to cover all occasions that you face in your life.

    What styles of boots are you loving this season? What do you look for when you are buying boots?