Monday, January 26, 2015

How to Stay Healthy During the School Year

Hello lovelies,

We've all been there. Those crazy moments where you're trying to juggle school, sports, activities, work, family, and a social life! Let's face it- during the school year a lot of us just go into survival mode, and don't return to our normal selves until the first day of summer break. Am I right?

As a health & fitness enthusiast, I definitely struggle during the school year to keep everything in balance and lead the healthy lifestyle that I want. Because the truth is there is no time to workout, and the stress of life makes you want to toss every good food out the window, and just enjoy some junk food with your friends.

While it's still a balancing act for me, I do have some tips on how to make it all a little easier:

1) You have to make time to workout. I treat my workouts like an appointment. I actually pencil them in on my planner! When I have my workout nailed down- what time and what I'm going to do, I'm more likely to follow through.
There's no "right time" to workout. You have to do what works for you. All that said, I personally find it is much better to workout first thing in the morning, that way I'll have my workout done for the day, and be full of energy. Of course this also means getting up earlier. My morning workout is like some people's morning cup of coffee. I need it to wake me up and start the day off right. A few tips for making it easier-
Set your alarm (and no snooze button!).
Lay out gym clothes the night before OR you can just sleep in them.
Go to bed earlier. You still need to be aiming for eight hours of sleep, so if you're getting up earlier, then go to bed earlier!
Plan your workout before hand. I follow the Tone It Up weekly calendar, so every Sunday I write down all my workouts in my planner. The night before I will look at my workout for the next morning, and grab anything I need (i.e.. put running shoes by the treadmill, get laptop set up with dumbbells next to it, etc.)

2) Let's talk nutrition. As important as my workout is to me, the real part of living a healthy lifestyle comes down to what you do in the kitchen. Did you know that the way you look is 80% nutrition and 20% workout? 80%?! That's a big number!
The truth is, when it comes down to diet, it can be really confusing! There is simply way too much information out there! Don't make things complicated though. In my experience, different things work for different people, so not everybody's diet is going to look the same. For me I focus on fruits, veggies, protein (meat, beans, or nuts) and a few grains (oats, quinoa, or rice). I try my best to avoid dairy, gluten, sugar, and processed food. I  use the Lose It app on my phone, and absolutely love it! Calorie counting isn't for everybody, but it works for me.

A typical day for me is:

5:45- workout (usually 30 minutes of cardio, and 20 minutes of toning)

6:45- breakfast time! I love smoothies, 2 eggs with veggies, or oatmeal with fruit and sometimes nut butter.

11:00- lunch time! Usually it's leftovers, soup, garbanzo bean salad, tuna salad, or a wrap.

3:00- I don't always have a snack, but if I do, I love apples, larabars, smoothies, baby carrots or pepper sticks with hummus, bananas, homemade trail mix, or mixed nuts.

5:30- dinner time! Whatever my family is having. Our dinners are always from scratch, and are healthy. I make sure to have protein + veggies. If rice, quinoa, or potatoes are on the side, I will have some, but I skip any form of gluten or dairy, that they might be having.

8:30- I try not to eat before bed, but sometimes I need a little something. It's usually a big mug of tea with a piece of fruit (sometimes with nut butter).

While that all looks good, just know that I'm not perfect. We all have days where we skip our workouts, give into cravings, or eat a lot of chocolate. Don't beat yourself up over it, because it's okay! I don't strive for perfection- just progress.

It's a lifestyle, a journey, so enjoy the ride!

xoxo, em

For more healthy tips & tricks follow my fitness Instagram @em_tonedup!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

What's In My Makeup Bag?

To say that I love makeup, would be a small understatement. Ever since I first started wearing makeup in junior high, I've been hooked. But as much as I love makeup, there's honestly something refreshing, about not wearing much makeup at all. My girly girl side loves nothing more than a good smokey eye, and a red lip, but my realistic side says that less is more. Lately I've been trying to simplify my makeup routine. It's not so much about how many products I'm wearing, but about how much makeup I look like I'm wearing. I've made it my goal to get back to the basics for the beginning of 2015. So here's what's in my makeup bag:
Maybelline Dream Fresh BB cream My favorite BB cream ever! Gives a little coverage, but still looks natural, plus it feels so good on your skin!
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Translucent This has been one of my holy grail products for the past three years. It's insanely cheap, and gives you the matte skin you're looking for.
Maybelline Perfect Fit Concealer I discovered this concealer a few months ago, and have been obsessed ever since.
Anastasia Brow Wiz in Ash Blond Makes your brows look a m a z i n g, and reallys helps to pull your whole look together.
Rimmel Kohl Liner in Panama My favorite eyeliner for the past two years! I always come back to it!
Tarte Cheekstain in Fearless A beautiful, glowy, natural cheekstain.
Maybelline Mega Plush Mascara My favorite, favorite mascara!!
Smith's Rosebud Lip Salve A lifesaver for chapped lips!

Of course, there are still those moments when I'm feelin fancy, and want to put in a little extra effort. Whether I'm meeting up with friends or going to an event, sometimes we all like to feel a little glamorous. So here's what's in "my extras bag":

Naked Eye Palette My essential, favorite palette of all time. A little pricey, but it lasts forever!!
Covergirl lipgloss I'm not typically a lipgloss girl, but this one comes in such gorgeous colors, and isn't sticky at all!
MAC blush in Peachtwist This color looks good on pretty much every skin tone! Such a unique, fun color!
Aveda Dual Cover Foundation Delivers great, natural coverage, without feeling cakey.
VS Pro Radiant FX Illuminator Another one of those products that seems to last forever! Gives your face such a radiant, healthy glow.
MAC lipstick in Snob Gorgeous baby doll pink shade.
Maybelline Lumi Concealer Delivers coverage, while also illuminating, and giving your skin a glow.

What's your makeup essential right now??

xoxo, em

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Spread The Love- To Your Family

Hey there! I am so excited to be starting off this new series of mine! :) As most of you know, I announced my new series #SpreadTheLove, in a post last week.

One of the biggest lessons we can learn when it comes to loving well, is how to love our family. I know, I know, we do love them, but sometimes they just drive us crazy!

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

How to love your family well-

PRAY. Pray for each one of them. Pray for their needs, things they are struggling with, and your relationships with them. Pray that the Lord will give you patience with them and show you how to love each one of them.

TALK. Those lines of communication have to be open! For me this means showing my love through words. Asking simple things, "How was your day?"or, "How are you really?" You could ask how you could pray for them. Take the time to have good, quality conversations with your family. This means putting the phone down, turning off the tv, or whatever is distracting you, and really talking!

LISTEN. Sometimes all people need is to know that someone cares about them. You can love well, by listening well.

ACTIONS. Love your family through your actions. Cook dinner. Wash all the dishes. Leave sweet notes. Send encouraging texts or Bible verses of the day. Play with your little siblings. Help a sibling with homework.

Sometimes it's the smallest things that make the biggest impact. I'm thankful for each and every day, because honestly, we never know when it will be our last. That's why I make it a point to always say, "I love you! Good night." to all of my family members. Sometimes it's what we can't say with our words. There's nothing like giving my Mom a good hug. :) Sometimes we have to show that we care. My little brother always appreciates a homemade snack or someone to play checkers with. As life gets busier, it gets harder and harder for me to make time for things like that, but I do it when I can, because I know how much it means to him. I actually just stopped writing this a few minutes ago, so that we could play a game of battleship!

This winter break has reminded me just how much I love my funny, predictable, sweet family. Yes, there are times they frustrate me, but at the end of the day they are MY family, and I couldn't love them more. I'm a senior in high school, and before long life will be getting busy for me, at some point I'll move out on my own, and hopefully someday, I'll have a little family of my own. My point is, while I will always have my family, this is certainly a time to cherish.

xoxo, em

Friday, January 9, 2015

My Tone It Up Journey

"Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try."

The Beginning:

It was early spring of 2012, shortly before my 15th birthday, and I was perusing Pinterest when I came across a pin titled, "11 Week Bikini Boot Camp Challenge". For some reason it sparked my interest, and before I knew it I had hit the link and was doing the first workout. The first workout was great, so the next week I came back for workout number two. This second workout was a bikini body strength training routine guessed it, Tone It Up! I remember seeing these two amazing, fit, happy women come onto the screen. I enjoyed every minute of that workout and for the first time in a long time, I felt like I had found something that I loved. I followed the link below the workout video to a website called Tone It Up. I had no idea at this point that this would be the beginning of a new journey for me. TIU overwhelmed me and introduced me to a whole new world. My journey was a slow one, full of learning, trying new things, and pushing myself. It started with just the workouts, then eventually I bought the TIU nutrition program, started participating in challenges, and then, last February I started my TIU instagram.

At the time that I started with TIU, I hadn't been in a sport or physical activity in a while, and was very out of shape. I would get winded running up the stairs, and always seemed to get tired when I played group sports. I was tired of being slow and unhealthy, so I decided to do something about it. I've never worked out to lose a bunch of weight or be skinny, but because I strongly believe in being your healthiest YOU.

What is Tone It Up?

Tone It Up is a fitness and lifestyle program founded by Cali-girls, Karena + Katrina. TIU is a community of women, of all ages, inspiring and supporting one another to live the life of their dreams. You will never find two more friendly, charming, or fit women, than Karena + Katrina! I literally can't say enough good things about them! K + K are some of the top trainers in the industry and are very open about sharing their own journeys to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle. They have a huge following on Instagram & Twitter, lovingly dubbed the #TIUteam.

Where I'm at Today:

Now that I've brought you up to speed on my journey, let's talk about where I'm at today. I'm now more a part of TIU than ever! I'm so proud to call myself a TIU team member. I'm very active on my Fitstagram, and am currently participating in the Love Your Body challenge. LYB is an annual challenge that runs Jan 1st through Feb 14th. It's 6 weeks of workouts, inspiration, recipes, and support. There is no better way for me to start off 2015 than by doing this challenge!

Fitness & nutrition isn't just an interest, or some hobby for me, it's a lifestyle. TIU has 100% changed my life, and I'm so happy I found them three years ago. The thing is, is that this is a journey. It's not a one and done thing. Am I where I want to be fitness wise? No. Do I eat clean all the time? No. I'm only human. I still have times where I stumble, give into sugar cravings, skip a workout, or don't like what I see in the mirror. I aim to eat a balanced diet and lead an active lifestyle everyday though. It's a journey, and I'm enjoying the ride.

"It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end."

Follow me on Instagram @em_tonedup. I share my workouts, meals, recipes, and inspiration!

Want to see more posts about my workouts, diet, recipes, or TIU? Comment below!

xoxo, em

Monday, January 5, 2015

#SpreadtheLove- A Blogging Series

Over the past few months I've continually felt God's whisper in my ears and on my heart. Again and again it was one single phrase- Spread the love.
At first I was confused. I didn't know what he wanted me to do... but I knew he had a plan. Whether I was writing blog posts, tweeting daily verses, talking to friends, or going through a difficult situation- that phrase continued to pop up in my mind and in my life. I couldn't escape it, and I feel that God has a reason for it all. And I think I may have found the answer. In the past few weeks God has put it on my heart to really think about my blogging. Why I do it and what I'm doing it for. After much contemplating I have decided to do a blog series, a devotional, inspiring, thought provoking series of sorts, all titled- #spreadthelove. I was hesitant at first. This is something I've wanted to do, but I was also unsure. Would I really find something to write about each week... and would people even care enough to read? I'm taking a leap of faith on this one, but I trust God to guide me and lead me.
I feel like this is just the beginning. I don't know what God has planned for me, but I do know that he has a plan.
What is this series? It's going to be a weekly series, so one new post a week. I haven't picked a day yet, so stay tuned! Each week will have a different topic. There will be verses, stories, lessons, and so on. I'll be discussing things like how to say no to negative thinking, how to love difficult people, and how to be a light in a dark world. This series has been inspired by my high school years, my life so far, and my journey in faith and the person I am becoming. In everything I have been through in life, love has been the answer.

with love,

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Little Black Dress: Three Ways

All hail the classic and versatile Little Black Dress (otherwise known as the LBD). I received the perfect LBD for Christmas and since then I haven't wanted to take it off! The right LBD can make a wardrobe. It can carry you from day to night, 365 days a year, and the only downside is that you have to take it off to wash it.
This post is all about how to style your LBD! Honestly, the options are endless! I was just a little overwhelmed when I realized how many different ways I could style this one dress. How have I been going through life without an LBD?! It's the quintessential dress!
 Anyways, onto the looks!
Look #1
Classic & Dressy
Purse//Francescas (similar one here)

Look #2
Denim Jacket//Forever 21 (similar one here)
Necklace//Forever 21
Earrings//Francescas (similar earrings here)

Look #3
Comfy & Casual
Flats//Target (similar one here)

xoxo, em



Thursday, December 18, 2014

December Thoughts

Sitting here with my mug of tea and reflecting on this beautiful, crazy month called December. I've been on winter break for over a week, but life has still certainly been busy. Cherishing every last moment of this year, along with this wonderful holiday season.

lots and lots of tea- Celestial Tea's are my favorite, especially Sugar Cookie Land, and Country Peach Passion.
plumb's music- this, and this.
Christmas movies galore- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Christmas with the Kranks, and the Nativity Story.
I wear my reese puffer jacket nonstop. It's so soft!

Thankful For:
quiet days with family, good books, mugs of tea, and cozy slippers
the Klove Christmas tour (it was all things amazing!)
lunch dates with one of my besties- Mexican food and good conversations
drives by myself- time to think, sing quite loudly (and off key), and talk out loud to the Lord

Looking Forward To:
C H R I S T M A S- It's the most wonderful time of the year!
2 0 1 5- A fresh new year filled with big things
Enjoying the rest of winter break!

xoxo, em