Thursday, April 28, 2011

Reading For Fun?!?!

When I graduated at the end of March, having "free" time until graduate school starts in mid-May made me feel like I had FOREVER to relax and enjoy not having the stress of assignments and exams in my mind 24-7. I convinced myself I would go to the library and get books that I wanted to read for fun, and that I would probably be hooked on a series or author by now. 

However, like most of my plans, this too has been altered by the busyness of scheduling for classes, taking out loans (aka: crying over how much my master's degree is going to cost :]), looking for a new job, looking for a new apartment, signing a lease, packing, re-packing, moving, working, and simply existing. 

I am proud to say I have read one book though. I really like the author as well, and I plan to read more of her books. (I'm just not sure when.) Her name is Nora Ephron, and the book I read is called " I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections". The style of the writing in this book is perfect for a short read. Each chapter is a different story from her life told in a super funny manner. I chose the book because I too, seem to remember nothing and that could be why this book struck home for me, but I really think it's funny and worth the time to read! 

Recommend other books/authors/series? Leave it as a comment!

Monday, April 25, 2011

What I'm Liking! ((Summer 2011))

                Summer is approaching and although the weather in Ohio has been anything other than warm, I have had my eye on some items/trends that I can't wait to shop for!

I stopped wearing watches several years ago because I used my cell phone for the time. However, this watch is so cute I would consider it more of an accessory. You can find it for under $50 on It's called the "Gossip Luxury Multi-Function Pave' Case Bracelet Watch"

I might be a "plain-jane", but these khaki shorts from American Eagle are cute and classy and dress up an outfit much better than jean shorts. Not to mention, my outfits tend to end up looking nautical anyways and these always match. :]

I really like this tank from Aerie, especially with a grey tank layered underneath or a grey or navy open-front sweater on top. 

This necklace from Forever21 is so cute! I feel like most of the jewelry from Forever is typically silver, gold, or black and really "match-y". This little thing just looks fun and I really want it! 

This Fox Racing dress from PacSun is comfortable and casual and would look cute with a black zip up hoodie and black accent jewelry when I'm feeling like wearing darker colors.

This sequined, slouchy top from Victoria's Secret looks great with white jeans like the model is wearing or even dark jeans. It would also look cute with the watch I posted above!

Re-post what you're liking!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Staying Healthy! My weight loss story!

In high school, I never stopped moving... I lived a good 10-15 minute drive from any fast food... and between cheerleading and track, I never really had time to gain any significant weight. I basically ate whatever I wanted, my mom cooked me healthy dinners, and throughout the entire 4 years of high school, my weight was a steady 110-115. I felt super healthy!

Then college happened. My freshman year, the food at my university was an amazing buffet. If I wasn't there, I was eating at Taco Bell super late at night as a 4th meal...I lived close to everything (Burger King was beside my dorm), and I made excuses not to work out because my schedule was insane and I didn't want to go to class sweaty. Not to mention, when I did workout, I didn't push myself to run hard because I simply didn't have to. If I got tired and wanted to walk after 30 seconds of running, that's exactly what I did. I was a sprinter in high school, so when my friends at college would ask me to run distance workouts with them, I made myself believe that I couldn't do it because I never ran distance in the past. I saw "normal" people (ones who didn't play sports) who looked healthy and skinny and I figured the occasional workout must have been what they were doing, but I didn't think I would have to do much to stay in shape. By the time the holidays came around, I saw my weight get up over 120, and never looked at the scale again for a LONG TIME. I guess I was thinking, "If I don't see it, it's not there." :)

Second semester I added on drinking and more food, my weight continued to raise and I started getting sick frequently, and then I got mono and slept all that time... That summer I worked at Culver and actually made some healthy changes, my friend and I were biking 10 miles several times a week and swimming and walking all over the place, and I started looking and feeling a little better.

By the time I moved to Columbus to go to OSU, I starting drinking and eating everything and continued to not work out. That year at OSU I was sick basically for 10 months straight. I got everything from strep to pink eye and always wanted to sleep. Academically I was stressed out, and that just added to the weight gain. By the end of that year I was 140 pounds. On a 5'2 frame, gaining 25-30 pounds seems like 60. I felt super bad about myself. The summer after that I tried to run the workouts that I would run in high school at my house, but they just weren't hard enough. Junior year I tried to get back into the swing of things and I ran/walked a 5k, but I still wasn't trying very hard and my weight stayed around 135-140. Fail.

Nothing changed until this past June. I had summer classes, and I sat beside a girl who was on a diet that restricted carbs. I figured since I consumed so many carbs on a daily basis that this might work for me.(Bagel for breakfast, sub for lunch, pasta for dinner) I think that was the moment I decided I was going to actually do something about myself and stop being so unhealthy. I started cutting back on carbs significantly.

For about 3 weeks or a month I tried limiting my carbs as best as I could. I also started writing down EVERYTHING I was eating. Once I had about a week of food listed, I realized I was stupid for not realizing how much I was eating before. It got to the point where I wouldn't eat so much because I was too lazy to go write that I ate 5 more unnecessary chips haha! I got down to about 130 and once I saw that change on the scale I knew I could make progress that seemed so far away before. Seeing that number is super motivating! I think that original carb break really jump started the entire process. Also, waking up early for class really helped too, because it got me up and active. ( I was no longer sleeping until noon)

I was working at Lifetime Fitness at the time and I joined the 90 day challenge. It was $25 so I decided that I had to work really hard or I was wasting my money, and letting myself down. I also knew if I didn't do it now, I was never going to do it, and I would struggle with it forever. That is when I started adding workouts in to my schedule as much as possible.

I really paid attention to what I was eating and I made my workout happen. If I had to get up and walk across campus at 7am,  I did it. If it was too cold outside, I ran the stairs in my building. If I absolutely had no time to workout that day, I would really watch what I ate. I went to classy sweaty looking gross as hell.

I got down to 125 pounds where I'm currently stuck. I'm still at a healthy weight for my height 5'2. However, since my more natural weight was a little lower, I'm still in the process of losing those last 5-10 pounds. I still feel better than ever, I'm much more cautious about my health and have been making small lifestyle changes for almost a year now.

Don't get me wrong, I still LOVE food. I still feel like I get to eat a lot. I have bad days and weeks with it. For example, somedays I'll wake up just super hungry and eat a bagel for breakfast, chipotle & a mountain dew & reese's cups at lunch, and pasta at dinner. I try to think of everyday as a new chance to be healthy and then I try to get back on track with things. With diabetes in my family, the thought of letting my weight go up again really scares me. I keep that, along with the thought of heart issues in my head. I also try to really think about what I'm eating. What is it, really?  Where did it come from? Do I really need to eat a bunch of processed foods and sodium?

The main thing that I do now is replace a meal with fruits & vegetables and minimal carbs. I try to eat smaller portions and only get more if I need energy after a workout. I have learned to love organic green tea and it usually cures my candy cravings. I also really try limiting chips because I used to eat them basically everyday. I try not to drink a lot of pop, except sometimes I get on my diet coke obsession and I still don't know how I feel about aspartame, but whatever. I make sure that the time I spend working out it worth it, and I sweat! Instead of running at one pace for a long distance like I used to, I run intervals. There isn't a secret to weight loss. I really believe that weight loss has to become a lifestyle. I'm still working on it.

I know a lot of people struggle with weight throughout college and I hope that my story is something you can relate to! I also hope that what works for me can work for you or at least give you ideas because everyone is different! Repost your weight story!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Favorite Drug Store Conditioners

Typically I shop cheap when it comes to hair products. (Well, I guess when it comes to any products haha) There are several higher-end conditioners that I am looking forward to trying but these work amazing for me! I have fine, thin hair and these help detangle and make my hair very soft! They also smell good :) Especially the Loreal conditioner, it smells like Aveda's rosemary mint shampoo and conditioner! I usually find these for around $5 :) At that price, they are worth trying!
Aussie 3 Minute Miracle 

John Frieda Root Awakening

Herbal Essences Hello Hydration

Loreal EverStrong Sulfate Free Rosemary Mint

Friday, April 8, 2011

10 Things To Do In San Francisco

I recently took my first trip to California and visited San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Monterey! I went with my parents and we spent most of our time in San Francisco. It is such a unique city and if you are ever there, here are my recommendations on where to go :)

#1: Not to be cliche, but the Golden Gate Bridge is truly something you cannot miss. With the options to drive, walk, or bike across, you must find time to do this!

#2: Take a ride on a trolley car! You can purchase a Muni pass while your there and it will give you access to all public transportation such as streetcars, buses, trolleys, and cable cars.

#3: Go on a bus-guided tour! This really gave me a bigger perspective of San Francisco and also gave me ideas of places I'd like to visit there, so I recommend doing this in the beginning of your visit. Our bus left from Fisherman's Wharf, and since we got there early we had really great seats and an amazing view from the second floor of the bus! (and I have no idea who that guy is, he was just standing there when I was getting a quick shot of the bus :] )

#4: Alcatraz Island! We took a tour of Alcatraz and it was really historic and well led. Not to mention the view was amazing. We took our tour in the evening and the ferry ride back at dark was a good opportunity to see the city all lit up! This picture was taken right before the tour ended at sunset!

#5: Eat! San Francisco is the perfect place for a foodie! There were so many restaurants! I had the best breakfast of my life at Beach Street Grill close to Fisherman's Wharf! All of the food there is homemade and it was absolutely to die for! The owner, Christine Anderson is coming out with a cookbook that I cannot wait to buy to try to duplicate her food. Look for that when it comes out. We had dinner at Bocce Cafe, which is an italian restaurant and it was amazing as well. I had the best pizza and spaghetti ever. Both of these places were inexpensive, which made the experience even better.

#6: Muir Woods is a beautiful state park that showcases the tall redwood trees, as well as the other wilderness aspects of California! It is perfect for a day of hiking! The trees were so tall, this picture really doesn't even do them justice.

#7: Walk around! San Francisco is the most densely-populated city in California, and there is so much to do just within a few steps of wherever you are. The scenery will make any walk memorable.

#8: Fisherman's Wharf is a great place to go if you are looking for a touristy water-side area. The Ghirardelli chocolate company is also close by, along with food, shoppes, piers and an aquarium. There are really interesting people that come there to entertain the tourists. Below is a picture of a guy that scares people by popping out from behind a bush haha!

#9: Buy some LEVI jeans! I know that you can get these several places, however LEVI's were founded in San Fran, and at the LEVI's store, I was measured and found my perfect jeans. LEVI's now has what they call Curve ID, where you do not buy jeans just based on your size, but your curve as well. One of my favorite youtube guru's Carly posted a video explaining in better detail. Click Here For Carly's Video :) 

#10: Drive Highway 1! If you have access to a car, driving highway 1 would be a really scenic way to explore other parts of California. That is what we did and the towns of Santa Cruz and Monterey were really beautiful. With farms on one side of the road and the ocean on the other, it is one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen. We also stopped at an organic berry farm and got chocolate-covered strawberries!

Wishing you safe travels :)