My Favorite Things in 2018

Does that title rhyme slightly? Just me? Great.

I wanted to do this wrap up of the stuff I really loved this year that I didn’t talk about and/or barely talked about. Sort of like a giant Sunday Summary, A.K.A that thing I don’t do anymore (but can still be viewed if you’re into that).

Best Hair Product of 2018:

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The Tragic Before

Technically, this isn’t a product. HOWEVER, I discovered this dry shampoo blow drier trick and it is a game changer. Had bun hair all day and then someone wanted to hangout (and i did not want to have bun hair) so I tried this trick. Here’s the post I did and how it ended up going for me, but spoiler alert, it works.

Best Book in 2018:

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If you need to know anything about me, it’s that I love to read. I’ve been slacking slightly with how much, but I’ve been picking up major speed with it lately. I’ve read roughly 20-ish books this year, which is kind of a lot. Trying to narrow it down to the best was hard, but some of the books I read just sort of ran together. Really thinking about doing a monthly post about the books I read the month before (mostly just to push myself to read more). OKAY on to my actual pick: You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I know what you’re thinking “Self-help book? That’s for sad weirdos.” Here’s the thing: You’re right! BUT, I’d argue that everyone is kind of a sad weirdo sometimes! I read this when I really needed something to give me things to do after I quit my job and when I needed a distraction from going down the “what if I have to move home because I can’t find a job” hole. I would honestly read it again, that’s how much I liked it. If you’re stuck in place in your life where you have no idea what you’re doing, read this. If you wanna make a crazy change, read this. It’s 2019, the year of making goals and gettin’ bread—as the memes say, so read it!

Best Makeup Product of 2018:

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Okay I almost put something else for this that was expensive and to be fair, very good. I feel that I should instead pay homage to a brand who had my back when I was too broke to go to Sephora and get new stuff. That’s right I’m talking about ELF. You wouldn’t think with $1 brow pencils and $3 concealer would be worth putting on your face. I’m here to tell you, your assumptions are wrong. My brows are perfectly filled and my pores CONCEALED! Was actually not a fan of the bronzer cause it was too glittery for my tastes but that doesn’t mean it’s not quality! Okay done with my spiel.

Best Skincare Product of 2018:

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Spoiler alert it’s like 2 dollars. Spoiler alert again, it’s lemon juice. I started using it and it felt like a miracle. Then I stopped for a few weeks recently, because I’m skeptical person and sometimes I don’t feel like buying lemons ya know. Started using them again and wow I forgot how good they are. My skin just has so much less redness and blackheads! It’s so great and so cheap.

Best Movie of 2018:

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I know you all want me to say A Star is Born, but I’m sorry I can’t. The music is amazing, yes. Bradley Cooper is hot, yes. I absolutely knew what was gonna happen at the end and so I didn’t like it as much. Maybe if there was a world with no spoilers and people wouldn’t have talked about how amazing it was and subsequently ruining it. I also really don’t watch movies in theaters that much. I’ve seen maybe 3 movies this entire year, so I fell like I can’t say what the best movie this year is. I can say what the best movie saw this year. It’s not new, it’s just new to me. Okay, it’s Steel Magnolias. This is a weird pick for me, since every time anyone would bring this up I’d immediately think “How can that be good? It sounds so corny.” It was on Netflix a few months back and it was a rainy Saturday, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s set in a small town in Louisiana—hence the name. The thing about movies centered around the South is they’re always over exaggerated. Every other word is “crawfish” or “gumbo” or “pea-can pie!” I get it, its a movie, but that why I never really like them. This one doesn’t do that. Overall, its pretty reflective of life in smaller southern town and I loved it. I cried, I laughed and now I know why it wont so many awards. It’s not on Netflix anymore, but find it somewhere because it’s so good.

Best Show of 2018:

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Okay this is so hard because I’ve seen so many good shows this year, but there’s only one that filled me with the most joy every time I turned it on: The Great British Baking Show. Am I late to this game? I really don’t know but this show is so good. I really loved watching to the point of watching two seasons in a about a week. I did it in a weird way where I watched seasons 5 & 6 first and in my humble opinion, those are the best seasons. After that, they change the hosts and Prue isn’t one of the judges and I need her color coordination in my life. I love the accents, the stuff they come up with and  Paul Hollywood is a cutie, I’m just gonna throw it out there. Really into shows that make me laugh and aren’t super dramatic lately and this one definitely fill that for me. I even watched it twice, so if you haven’t yet, here’s your notification.

Best Clothing Purchase of 2018:

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This was the year I bought so many clothes, it’s obnoxious. Trying to “re-vamp” my wardrobe and also buying things for a 9-5 job was tough. I think the best purchase and the thing I got the most use out of were my Lululemon leggings. As you know, I’m more of a quantity over quality gal. Trends come and go a lot for me to be buying something that I may not wear in a few years that costs an arm and a leg. Also let’s keep it real, I’m still washing my clothes in a laundry mat for god’s sake. I’m in no place to be buying anything over 50 bucks. I completely believe in a good splurge for things that may be expensive, but you’ve been lusting after for a while. Hence, my purchase of these leggings. I really wanted to see if they are so different from the $20 Forever 21 leggings and I’m here to say yes they are. They fit like a glove, the length is always perfect (aka no bunching at the bottom) and they stay in place when I’m running. I still only have one pair so far, but 2019 I’ll be getting some more and really coming into my basic white girl form.

Best Workout of 2018:

 

So, I’m splitting this up by home workout and workout class, okay great:

Best home workout is always Tabata with Raneir Pollard hands down. He’s so fun and at the same time, the workout is always intense. It’s always my Monday go to for a good strong beginning to my week. Also, they just uploaded a new one!

Best workout class I’ve been to in the city is Yoga sculpt at Corepower yoga. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, If I were a richer woman, I’d be doing yoga twice a week at minimum. This particular class is not only yoga, but a little bit of cardio to satisfy my needs. They have them all over, so check them out if they’re near you!

 

Cheers to 2019! Can’t wait to make many more posts and let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see more of on the blog 🙂

Week 4: The Finale

Oh. My. God

This last month has been the toughest shit ever. Yes, I am a health freak for the most part, but ya girl loves junk on a occasion. I have never gone this far without eating any thing I would consider “bad.” That horrible, dumb quote from Kate Moss that’s like “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” is a giant, awful lie that she tells herself because she hates her body and herself. Guess what? I love myself and I’m gonna eat fries when I’m hungover on a Sunday and that’s FINE. I like my body enough to where I’m gonna do what I want. It aint perfect, but if I have to suffer like this to look like her, then nah.

As a human who interacts with other humans on a daily basis, I am BOMBARDED with sugar every single day. It’s in the office, it’s on the subway and it’s even on my Instagram. There is no point where I “forget” about sugar, it’s everywhere, all the time. Because I am also a human of 23 years, I know what sugar tastes like and my brain is like “oh yeah that shit is good please get back to eating that” so of course I also think about it all the time.

I will say this week wasn’t as bad since I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m kind of nervous I’ll get back into some of my bad habits, but I’m determined to keep this up for the most part. I’m definitely not gonna eat sugar just for the sake of eating it, but will be giving in when I wanna claw my arm off for some chocolate (i’m human).

The 2 reasons I’ve made it through this horrible month:

  1. Other millions and billions of people have done it, and if I didn’t do it, I’d feel like a failure. I’m super competitive and I gotta at least be on par with other people when it comes to health.
  2. I said I would on this blog. I could have just lied and said I did while I ate my cupcakes, but I would feel bad for lying. Not sure why, cause who cares, but I wanna be authentic on here. I also verbally told people, so again, I’d feel guilty.

Body Feels

My body does look pretty great I will say that. I lost the little bit of “pudge” or whatever you wanna call it and I’m back to my “normal.” Don’t have abs now or anything crazy, but that its what has gotten me through parts of this whole thing is the fact that I look damn good again. I never weigh myself, so I always go by what I look like in clothes (it’s weird but it works). “I “feel” overall pretty good too. Not like “wow night and day totally different person” good, but pretty good. Waking up in the morning is noticeably easy and I have a good amount of energy like all day. The exception is when I eat almond butter, I feel like shit but I think that’s just a me thing. My body rejects all things nut related, I have figured out(or am I allergic??? scary thought).

The Face

My face didn’t change at all really. I’ve pumped my body with enough meds (acutane thank you) to where I just don’t really breakout anymore, so not having a breakout is kinda normal (although even the occasional breakout didn’t happen). I kinda just look the same. I thought maybe my dark circles would get better, but nope. Those babies just occur no matter what, I suppose.

Foods I will Be Keeping Around in my Diet:

Cinnamon

Kinda dumb, but this has made things taste sooooooo much better without adding sugar to it. I used to not like cinnamon very much (cinnamon buns are still really not my thing, no I’m not dead inside), but I’ve found it to be so useful lately when it comes to a sweeter breakfast/snack.

Apple Cider Vinegar 

Okay I’m gonna be really real, I have no idea what this has actually done for me because I’ve added so many things to my diet. HOWEVER, for the simple fact that I still have some left and have gotten used to it, I’m gonna keep it up. I feel like its really good for digestion, but that could be all in my head.

Clementines

Or mandarin oranges, I’m not picky. I absolutely love them and I bought them on a whim. It’s replaced my sugary dessert after dinner and it’s almost as good.

Foods I’ll Probably Never Touch Again

Tahini

Okay this stuff is pretty good, but I got sick of it pretty quick. Might still put it on veggies, but as far as salad dressing and having to buy it all the time, nah. I liked it, but not in love with it.

Almond Butter, Peanut Butter and all the stupid nutt butters

I love this stuff, which means I eat a lot of it. That also means I feel HORRIBLE after eating this stuff. It’s not like “oh wow I’m full whew I gotta chill” it’s more like “please let me go home in the middle of work to sit in the fetal position and fart myself into oblivion.” TMI , but I can’t have this in my home anymore it’s detrimental to my health and happiness.

Chia Pudding

This stuff just takes wayy too much to be good and even then, isn’t great. I’m sure its very healthy, but just not for me. I’ll be sicking to GF overnight oats from now on.

Cacao Nibs

I don’t need to say much more on these, but I really wanna know how health people are eating this. They are literally so bitter. I just can’t. So awful. I spent 20 bucks on a bag of them, please hold me.

 

Overall, I felt the most amazing at week 1 and some of week 2(besides the hormonal thing). Past that, it’s kinda made me hangry and super annoyed. I’m thinking about how badly I want a cookie and it annoys me that I’m not eating it, basically. I love myself and treat myself often, so this has just not been great. I definitely think this is something that’s easier with someone doing it with you. I have no one who wanted to do this horrible thing with me, so there’s no one to suffer with. Misery loves company.

I do feel like this was worth it. I will not be going back to putting pounds of sugar in my coffee, or eating a cookie every night. I’m NOT a diet person, its either a full lifestyle change or nothing for me(and its let me stick to a healthy life way easier). I needed this just to break some dumb sugar habits and now that I have, I’m sticking to it(just not gonna go a straight month without sugar again).

 

I proved I could do it and I’m sure my body loves me not trashing it with all the sugar. By tomorrow, I will be celebrating my victory with a cookie coma!!!!

 

Fitting NYC in One Weekend

As promised, here is the definitive list of everything me and Lauren did while she was visiting for the weekend and if it was worth them coins.

Friday:

First was Murray’s Cheese bar: I had some really good Sangria and the sweetest red wine ever. Lauren had two glasses of said red. We shared some cheese I can’t pronounce and the best mac and cheese to ever grace my tongue. Do I really need to say how I felt about this one? 1000/10

 

Next, we ventured to the Garrett: This is one of those bars you have to go through a weird fast food place to get to, which is like a trend here and really makes me uncomfortable. The space is really cool and hip but the drinks are like everything you don’t want to taste in a drink all mixed together. Honestly should have known it would be bad since the bar shares the same name as the nut-case clinger I went out with for .5 seconds in college. 0/10 would not go again!

 

Then it was off to this cutie place with the pink couches I was dying to sit on called While We’re Young: Unfortunately, the couches were taken so we sat at the bar. Loved the cozy vibes of this place and the drinks were A++. I got the “One Night Stand” because of my obsession with Tequila, although after the last drink I had I was scared to try anything other than a water. 8/10 (only cause I didn’t get to feel those pink cushions under my cheeks).

Saturday:

 

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Boozy Brunch at Cafe Cortadito was the late start to our Saturday. Thought there would be a wait since there almost always is for brunch, but we got seated right away! I went with bottomless margaritas since mimosas aren’t really my fave. The food came super quick, I got something with eggs and also ate some of Lauren’s rice because drinking works up my appetite. The drinks and food were all really good; however, I felt as if we were being rushed out of there and didn’t even get our last drink which sucked. 6/10 I’ve had better bottomless to be honest and will not be going back cause I need the full 1.5 hours of drinks.

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Next we went to Goodnight Sonny and I had some sort of very light beer. It was pretty good. The atmosphere was kinda blah, but it was also like 2:30 pm and we were kinda getting tired to be real. 5/10 but I’d probably go back when it was more popping.

Next I got my tattoo at Fun City Tattoo on a whim (I hope my dad doesn’t read this hah insert sweaty emoji). I looked them up on Instagram first just to be sure they did good work and was like let’s do it I’m bored (also had been thinking about this tattoo for two years). My experience was brief because it took 3 seconds to do it, but they were all very nice and didn’t make me feel like a preppy loser with my zero tattoos. He even said “badass” when I said this was my first one so ha! I’m cool!

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We made our way literally down the street to Please Don’t Tell. I’ve wanted to go here since I heard about it two summers ago and finally got my chance. It’s got a speakeasy vibe because you have to go through a hotdog place to get to it. We had to wait in a line that somehow had formed in the time it took us to get cheese fries, so we figured it must be good right? Wrong-o. This place has all these really stupid “elitist” rules (they even post them up in the bathroom) for example: you’re not allowed to get up and talk to people…..like at all. This lil cutie came and talked to us at one point and the hostess made him sit down. Like we were in class or something. They’re trying to be better than every other bar cause they got rules like “no talking to people” and “no fun.” Made me think of this gif that makes me laugh constantly:

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Also their drinks suck and have a bunch of stuff I don’t even know in them so there. 0/10 catch me in there again I’ve been body snatched by an old boring fart.

Finally, we ended our night with good ole Pianos. If this place had Free Drink Fridays like Fred’s in BR I think I’d never go anywhere else. I’ve only been here a few times, but it’s totally becoming my go-to for a fun night of dancing my butt off and meeting new people. If you get there before 10 pm you don’t have to pay to go up stairs and lemme just say, you wanna go upstairs. By about 11 pm, the music gets good so you’ll wanna pay, but beat the system and go earlier (even like 9:55 I’ve done it). I love a good bar with good rap jams and doesn’t hurt my ears with the EDM remixes (looking at you NYC overrated clubs). 10/10 will go there again probably next week.

Sunday:

Woke up again, way too late but like when hungover right? First stop: The Russian Tea Room. I’ve been meaning to find an excuse to go and what’s better than someone coming in from out of town? This place is sooooooooooooooooooooo fancy. I really wanted to be in leggings and look ugly all day but this forced me to be fancy on a Sunday afternoon. The atmosphere was great, the staff was nice and….that’s it. The food was very meh, especially for what I was paying for it. I didn’t get Champagne, but I had some of Lauren’s and I couldn’t taste any difference between that and the Barefoot brand for 10 bucks at Target. Also, caviar? Horrible. I’m sorry but they tasted just like fish smells and ya’ll rich people can keep that. 5/10 because I loved just being there, but probably won’t go again.

And right about here is where Lauren died on me!! (not literally but she decided she needed a two hour nap in the middle of the day *eye roll*). So that is basically where our journey ended. I hope she had fun cause I certainly did, although my bank account did not thank me for it.

My Workout Routine

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about my fitness journey/routine. As you all are aware, I am one of those weirdos who workout a lot. This sounds crazy, but I try to do six days a week. I know it’s obnoxious!!!!!!!!!! But I’m not lifting weights doing beach body challenge or whatever the heck that new craze is called.

My body has kind of always been a struggle for me and probably will be for a ll of my life. I started working out one day when I was a sophomore in high school because I decided i wasn’t happy with the way I looked and wanted to change it. By the time I was a senior until I was probably a Sophomore in college, I was limiting my self to only a few specific foods during the week and binging on everything in sight on the weekends. For me, eating the right foods and not eating a crap ton on the weekends has always been a struggle and probably always will be. Working out is usually the easy part be cause it less than an hour a day and barely even think about it anymore. One thing that I can’t stress enough is that the eating part is probably the hardest, but the most important. I can’t say I’ve ever been fat a day in my life but I have definitely struggle with self-image for a very long time (hence the binge eating I struggle with). The level of confidence I have now is only after years of pushing and working on finding a way to be happy with how I look.

Anyway, now that I’ve bared my soul, here’s what a regular workout week looks like for me:

MONDAY:

  • This is the start of the week, so I always like to make this the hardest day to sort of get it out of the way.
  • I do either an Insanity video or this 45 minute Tabata
  • I try to keep this simple and get it over with quick, because being real this is me dreading it, which is why I only choose between the two of them.
  • This workout is full-body and I probably burn about 300 calories give or take

TUESDAY:

  • I try to squeeze in a quick run every other day. I LOATHE  running while I’m doing it because I feel like it always lasts forever and I’m really just not the best at it.
  • I do a mile of running straight and then a little 5 minute walk afterward (mostly to get back to my apartment). It takes about 15 minutes.
  • Next, I go home and pick an ab workout of some kind. Sometimes it’s Insanity Cardio abs, sometimes its this video that I love.
  • I try to keep this one a little more chill not too crazy wild after my Monday craziness.
  • The ab workout is usually at least 15 minutes, this means I do 30 in total.
  • I try to burn about 200 calories in total as well.

WEDNESDAY:

  • This is my arm day. I try to do both toning and weight lifting with a little cardio thrown in. I do a bit of PITT for 15 minutes focused on arms. PITT, for those who don’t know, is like HITT, but with pilates thrown in. It’s sort of how I warm up and bast out some calories quickly. I like this video and this video for that.
  • Next I try to pick something more for just toning and is kinda low-key. Usually this focuses more on push-ups and arm circles and its not very cardio-centric. This is also about 15 minutes. My favorite videos for this are this and this and they hurt like heck.
  • Finally, I have a set of 10 pound weights and I focus on utilizing those for another 15 minutes. I do 12 for each exercise and try to squeeze in three sets.
  • Overall, this is another 45 minute workout day so I’m hoping to burn over 200 calories and closer to 300.

THURSDAY:

  • This is another running day so I basically do the same thing as Tuesday

FRIDAY:

  • This is dreaded leg day. I keep the same basic routine as Wednesday, but focused on legs.
  • For my 15 minutes of cardio I like this video and this video.
  • I then do a toning workout and I like this video and this video.
  • Also the other day I did this video for a crazy challenge and its amazingly hard.
  • Then I use my weights for 15 minutes doing squats and lunges etc.

SATURDAY:

  • This day is kind of a free for all. Some days I run if i’m feeling it, or I just do a quick 15 minute video or 20 minute video. Basically I just hope for the best and try to do something and move my body when my brain just wants to do absolutely nothing.

SUNDAY:

  • This is mostly a do nothing day and by that I mean walking and yoga. I hate yoga because its slow and sometimes it hurts like a bitch. BUT its been proven to be good for you so I gotta do it. I can only stand 15 minutes of it so this video is my fave (cause it kinda feels good I’ll admit).