Thursday, July 28, 2016

BLOGGING SCHEDULE

Sticking to a blogging schedule has never been easy for me. I try to plan my posts ahead of time, but often fall short of my personal expectations. I usually pre-plan all my posts a couple weeks ahead of a new month, but when the time comes to write them, sometimes I do not feel the motivation I previously felt.

Some things I do to create a blog schedule:

1.)    Sit down and think about any holidays, themes, or specific posts that need to be done in that month. For example, in August and September I often focus a lot of posts around Back to School.

2.)   I follow this up with posts I do nearly monthly, such as Outside the Huddle, Look for Less, and any reviews I have.

3.)    I then think about posts that I want to write or have missed in previous monthly schedules that I have been wanting to do and schedule those in.

4.)   When the time comes to write my posts, I try to get them all done for the week in one sitting. I go through the schedule for the week and rank them 1-7 in how badly or important I want to write them.

I am still trying to work this all out and perfect it, but life happens and I struggle. I am hoping to get more set into a schedule with my new school year and the football season beginning because life is about to get REAL CRAY CRAY!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

SUNRIVER OREGON

Sunriver, Oregon is a resort community I grew up visiting in the summers with my family. Thinking about it stirs up nostalgia about summer nights, bike riding, and days on the water. It is a beautiful part of central Oregon and I recommend it to anyone of all ages. Some of the best things in town include:

1.        Goody’s Ice Cream Parlor – Just typing the name of it out fills my body with the memory of the smell of their delicious treats. There is nothing better than a day on the water or riding bikes than ending it with a waffle cone and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

2.        Benham Falls Bike Ride – This 6.6 mile trail is a part of Deschutes National Forest. The trail can also be hiked. It is mostly shady and follows a beautiful waterfall.

3.        Bend Farmer’s Market – Every Wednesday afternoon in Downtown Bend, locals and tourists can enjoy the taste of locally grown fruits, vegetables, and meats.

4.        Fort Funnigan – I remember spending time here as a little one. It is a great, safe place to drop off your children for a date night. There are themed activities for the kids with crafts, games, songs, and more. There are explorer camps available for the children throughout the week as well.

5.        Glow in the Dark Mini Golf – Sunriver Resort’s golf course offers this fun family activity several nights per week. The 9-hole course has neon holes and glow in the dark golf balls. It is one of my fondest memories as a child visiting Sunriver.

6.       The Village at Sunriver  Shopping and walking are two of my favorite pastimes. The Village has adorable boutiques, delicious eats, and great people watching. It is a place where you can rent bikes, chat with friends, and enjoy a cold brew.

7.        Bend Factory Outlets  About a twenty minute drive out of town, these outlets include some of my favorite shops at a discounted price. It also happens to be the place I got my ears pierced at age 7 at Claires! ;)

8.        Walking or biking around the river  The workouts in Sunriver are great. I love to be outdoors sweating, so this is a beautiful site to enjoy your workout. 

9.       Kayaking, canoeing or rafting on the river  See above, but be warned that the water is an ice box!

10.   Deschutes Brewery  Located in Bend, this brewery has craft beers, a brewery tour, and also travels the States for street pubs.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

GOAL SETTING

Setting goals is the most important way for me to determine my success. Teaching my students how to set goals is an important part of my job. Helping them learn what they want and how to go get it is far more beneficial than teaching them linear equations and sonnets.

When setting goals I like to look long term and break it into smaller groups. For example, if I want to lose 20 pounds in 6 months, I will break that into 3.5 pounds per week and then set goals to reach the mini goal. For example, hitting 10k steps per day, following my Tone It Up meal plan, and working out 5-6 days per week. Goals being set should follow the SMART goal method: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

For example: Lose 10 pounds by September 23.

This is specific because I know what I want to accomplish and have a time frame to achieve it in. It is measurable because I know the necessary progress and target date to reach my goal. It is attainable because it is important to me and I have the necessary skills and attitude to reach it. It is realistic because that calls for me to lose about 1.5 pounds per week...totally doable. It is timely because I know when I want to lose the weight by and it is not too far off to lose sight.

What are your current goals? What are you doing to reach them?

Monday, July 25, 2016

WEEKEND WRAP UP & GIVEAWAY

This weekend was something else. I headed up north for vacation and have loved every minute so far (minus getting my hand slammed in the car trunk and having half my toe nail ripped off.) In just two days I have been to two concerts (Blake Shelton & Tim McGraw), spent time with friends, and enjoyed quality time with my boyfriend.

I am looking forward to a week of relaxation and am going to kick it off with a giveaway to keep the good vibes coming!

This week I am giving away a $25 Starbucks gift card.

To enter -
Comment below with a post idea for August/September.
For an extra entry, share on social media.

Giveaway closes on Friday, July 29 at 12pm PST. Winner will be announced in July Faves blog post that day.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS....ZZZQUIL

What keeps you up at night? For me, I struggle to turn my brain off. However, developing a proper night time routine has helped me get my sleep schedule back on track. Some things I do to help wind down--

1.) Make a to do list for the next day. This will allow you to clear your brain of everything that needs to get done.

2.) Shut down. No cell phones, electronics, or bright lights prior to bed time. Instead of watching YouTube prior to falling asleep, I have been listening to books on audio.

3.) Drink tea. Sleepy time tea is helpful in winding you down. The chamomile and lemongrass are calming, reduce anxiety, and help fight illness.

4.) When all else fails, take ZzzQuil. This nighttime sleep aid has diphenhydramine which produces sleepiness. It is non-habit forming and not used for flu or cold.


FTC Disclosure: ZzzQuil was sent to me courtesy of Inflluenster in exchange for review. All opinions listed are honest and my own. I have not been financially compensated for this post.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

BACHELORETTE FINAL THOUGHTS

The end of The Bachelorette is just around the corner. My opinions of the men have changed greatly since my first impression post. See where I stand with them now...

1             Luke—He is my kind of guy and I hope the rumors about him becoming the next Bachelor are true. I think Luke is a true class act, a gentleman, and someone who deserves the best. (+12) 

2             Chase—I was a fan of him from the beginning, but felt that he did not come out of the gate strong enough for JoJo. I had a feeling he was going home when he had his 2-on-1 with Derek, but am glad he finally opened up to JoJo so that I could watch him more this season. (+1) 

3             Christian—I am disappointed with how early in the season he left, but am hoping that he will be on Bachelor in Paradise this upcoming season. I think he is a sweet guy and I liked his story. (+13)

4             James Taylor—What a goober! So sweet, but I knew him and JoJo were not going to be a match. I was actually shocked he made it as far as he did. (+7)

5             Alex—I liked Alex up until the episode he got eliminated. His date with JoJo was uncomfortable. Alex had a serious Napoleon complex, but I felt like he was coming from a place of love in caring for JoJo and her wellbeing with the other guys. (-3) 

6             Wells—I thought he was really sweet, but just not the guy for JoJo. He did not get much screen time. I could see him being on Bachelor in Paradise. (stayed the same as pre-season)

7             Peter—He was really cute, but his time got cut short.

8             Derek—I felt like he was a bozo. Meant well, but kind of lame. (-4) 

9             Nick B—The St. Nick thing was funny! He was really sweet and I wish he had stuck around longer. (-4) 

10           Jordan—He had me fooled in episode one. I ranked him #1 and I can’t believe I gave him that much credit. I believe Jordan is on this show for the fame. I really want to know what happened with his brother. (-9) 

11           Robby- I think he has totally lied to JoJo about his past relationship. Plus having heard about how he has been trying to pay previous Bachelor stars to promote him on Instagram leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. (-1)

12 - 23          Ali, Nick S, Will, Grant, Jake, Coley, James F, Sal, Vinny, Jonathan, James S, Brandon—I can’t really put these guys in order because I did not really have opinions of them.

24           Evan—His job though. His need for a shirt though. LOLOLOLOL though. (+2)

25           Daniel—Chad’s side kick. Must go one before Chad. THE CANADIAN! (-1) 

26           Chad—This needs no explanation. I am afraid of THE CHAD (-11)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

MOM'S BIRTHDAY PLAYLIST


Today is my Mom's birthday! Back before she had a Bluetooth system in her car, I would make her a cd for her birthday with songs that she loved. Here is a playlist made with songs she loves in honor of her birthday! I love you Mom!

  • Bubbly by Colbie Caillat
  • Shut Up & Dance by Walk the Moon
  • Fast Car by Boyce Avenue
  • Take The World by Johnny Swim
  • Maggie May by Rod Stewart
  • Think of You by Chris Young and Cassadee Pope
  • Humble & Kind by Tim McGraw
  • Hey There Delilah by Plain White T's
  • Viva La Vida by Coldplay
  • Hey Soul Sister by Train
  • Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars

Monday, July 18, 2016

WISH LIST & WINNER

Things I'm loving and wanting lately:
+new True Religion jeans...my coveted pair are too big now (I guess that's a good problem to have!)
+new yoga pants....my favorite pair have several rips but I can't bring myself to toss them
+these sandals from Steve Madden that I have wanted for two years...saw them at Nordstrom Rack the other day, but they were still too expensive for me
+Barnes & Noble gift card so I can buy more books
+more stickers from Etsy for my Erin Condren Life Planner...it's an addiction
+football season to be here
+brown Tory Burch sandals...I have them in blue but also love this brown, but overly expensive, pair
+coffee, pizza, & Gilmore Girls...ALWAYS

Congratulations to the winner of the Paper Works giveaway Colette Ford.
Please shoot me an e-mail with all your information so I can get in touch with Paper Works and get the gift card headed your way! :)

Another giveaway is coming next week. Stay tuned! 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY #HALOTOP

Today is National Ice Cream Day! A perfect holiday to celebrate on this hot July day. As I type this it is 9am and already nearing 80. And while I want to celebrate this great holiday, I also do not want to throw away my great run I had this morning.

Halo Top has become my go to for a sweet treat in the past couple months as I continue on my health and fitness journey. Halo Top is a healthier ice cream that is low calorie and high protein. It is made with all natural ingredients. And while all of the above makes it sound like Halo Top probably tastes like iced dirt, it tastes just as good as regular ice cream. Depending on the flavor (my favorite is Mint Chip) a pint runs between 240 and 280 calories, with 24 grams of protein.

Visit Halo Top's site to figure out where you can get it in a store near you!

*Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. I just love Halo Top that much and had to share this health hack with you!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

GET READY WITH ME!

I love exploring with makeup and trying new products. However, it can get expensive! 

So Choix is a company that brings the beauty counter to your bedroom. So Choix allows fans to sample high end beauty products at a cost of $5/sample or $15/5 samples. The best part about So Choix is that it is not a surprise what comes in your box. You will not receive products that you are not interested in trying. They will all be products that you want to try.

I love this because I need to sample beauty products for a couple days before I shell out the money to buy them. I have sensitive, acne-prone skin and like to make sure I won't break out before I purchase a product.



Makeup used to achieve this look:

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water
Maybelline Pure BB
Clinique Acne Solutions Liquid Makeup
Benefit Posietint Cheek Stain *
Hourglass Lip Gloss HG Canvas *
Smashbox O-Plump Intuitive Lip Plumper *
Nars Dual Intensity Blush *
Urban Decay Naked Palette: Buzz, Trick, Factory, Darkside
Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara *
Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Gloss *
Smashbox O Plump Intuitive Lip Plumper *

*products from So Choix


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

GREETINGS FROM UTOPIA PARK

What do you believe in? Is it what you truly believe? Or is it the beliefs of those who raised you and the community you grew up in?

For Claire Hoffman, it was a combination of all of the above.



Greetings from Utopia Park: Surviving a Transcendent Childhood is a memoir from Hoffman about growing up in a meditation community with her Mom and brother after her father walked out on them. Originally agreeing with the Maharishi philosophies, Hoffman began to withdraw and headed west for California.

Although she left the isolated community in Iowa, Hoffman recounts for the effect it had on the rest of her life. She discusses what utopia really is and gives reader a shot at looking through faith through another set of lenses. Hoffman focuses on searching for your own truth in a world where everyone else is telling you what the truth is.

Claire Hoffman is a journalist. She has written for Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times, New Yorker, and many more periodicals. Hoffman holds the byline for the most viewing article on the Los Angeles Times website, exposing Joe Francis, founder of Girls Gone Wild.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

KATE HUDSON LOOK FOR LESS

I have always liked Kate Hudson. Maybe it's because we share a name or maybe it's her role in Almost Famous, but I think she's a genuine, beautiful soul. I recently picked up her book Pretty Happy, and I realize my assumptions of her are true. She is a gem. Her free-spirit style is something I admire. Here is a look of hers, for under $160. 

 
Total: $154.94

Monday, July 11, 2016

WEEKEND WRAP UP

What a weekend. It’s so nice not having to worry about school and being able to do whatever I feel like doing.

Friday after work I went to the library and got some new books. I love that I have the freedom for the next 6 weeks to read freely without worrying about how I should be nose deep in a textbook or peer-reviewed article. I picked up three new books and have already started reading Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave. I wanted to read it last summer but never did. So far it is good. After that I grabbed some dinner with my parents, visited my grandmother, and then headed to visit a neighbor and have movie night. We watched Eddie the Eagle. It was a light movie, touching story line, and reminded me of Cool Runnings. I recommend turning on subtitles.

On Saturday I slept in until 9:30! What! It was so refreshing. I followed that up with some Pokemon Go and lunch with my parents. Later I went down to Pasadena with a friend for some shopping and Street Food Cinema. The food was phenomenal but I definitely felt like I gained eight pounds just that night. We watched 500 Days of Summer in Victory Park and heard the director and screenwriter share their thoughts on the movie prior to the screening.

Sunday morning I got up and headed to Santa Monica with some Tone It Up Girls for beach workouts and acai bowls. It was a fun morning and refreshing to spend time with positive, goal-oriented women. I then headed out to catch some Pokemon around my alma mater’s campus, which was a great place to hunt. Some Gilmore Girls bingeing and an episode of Big Brother followed.

It was a refreshing, relaxing weekend and it has helped me feel ready to tackle the week. I do not have much on my plate, but plan on getting some solid workouts and Gilmore Girls action going. The Bachelorette returns tonight. One week off one week too many.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

BALANCING LIFE & PAPER WORKS GIVEAWAY!

I often hear people saying that they have a difficult time balancing everything. This is something I have struggled with too. However, now that I have a system down, I have no problem tackling whatever is on my plate. (As long as I stick to the system and stop watching so much Gilmore Girls!) The best way for me to balance life is to keep lists, calendars, and notes about what needs to get done. It helps me see everything big picture and not overbook myself...something that I would do a lot a couple years ago when I was babysitting for multiple families at the same time. While I use an Erin Condren planner to keep tabs on most of my life, the daily pages are small and I often need an extra list or two for the day to keep everything in check.

Recently I stumbled across Paper Works, a design shop that creates calendars, menu charts, and other printables to help you stay organized and inspired. Each month they put out new printables to help you stay organized. They also include monthly extras, such as valentines in February and place cards in November.

I use this July monthly calendar, daily planner, and house duties to do list to stay organized and on top of everything that needs to get done!

Paper Works  is offering a $100 gift card to their shop, which would allow one lucky reader to access their monthly printables and their shop! This gift card will get you access to the calendars, meal planners, scripture cards, art prints, and more that grace their website!

To enter:
Comment below with your summer plans!

Giveaway ends on Thursday July 14, 2016 at 9pm PST. Winner will be announced the following day.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

QUOTE IT.

I love quotes. I have many hanging around my room and follow many quote accounts on Instagram and Twitter. I love the motivation and inspiration they provide me for whatever extra push I need. Recently I found a journal full of quotes that I had compiled in 2012. Here are some of the favorites I found!

"That was how you knew love. My mother had told me that. All you had to do was imagine your life without the other person and if the thought alone made you shiver then you knew." -Alice Hoffman

"For every time you have been unjustly punished there has been another time when you unjustly went unpunished."

"The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes their way."

"Don't fear failure so much you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains could have, might have, should have."

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." -Reinhold Niebuhr

"I never understood the point of being sad when I could choose to be happy." -Megan McCafferty


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

MASTERING YOUR MEAN GIRL


Tone It Up has opened my eyes to a beautiful community of strong, independent women. It has taught me proper nutrition, self-love, and has taken away the stress of working out. I have also joined a book club with other Tone It Up sisters. This month we are reading “Mastering Your Mean Girl” by Melissa Ambrosini. This book promotes self-love and helps you tackle the “I can’t” and replace it with “I can, I will, and no one will stop me.”

Ambrosini has opened my eyes to what situations I put myself down in and how I sabotage my own success. Ambrosini uses her personal experiences to help the reader relate and realize you can overcome your fears. Focusing on love can drive personal health, wealth, and happiness. This book, as well as the women in the club, are encouraging me to dig deeper, self-reflect, and mediate on my goals. Ambrosini inspires me to be the best version of me and to live a life of love.

To start taking your inner mean girl down, visit Melissa’s website and check out the book as well as her positive posts.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

FEELING MINTY

I'm in a love affair with mint green at the moment. It's a perfect accent color and I am loving it in my jewelry and nail polish. Mint green is fresh and relaxing. It is naturally a stress relieving color and promotes tranquility and a reconnection with nature. Mint green pairs well with lavender, coral, yellow, and blue.

Friday, July 1, 2016

HELLO JULY & JUNE FAVORITES

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit! July is here and is historically one of my favorite months every year. 

In June I was focusing on my health and I feel like I am finally getting back into my proper routines for working out, eating right, and practicing self care. I am doing a better job of planning and preparing meals and scheduling my workouts intentionally. 

My goal for July is to continue to strive for physical, spiritual, and mental rest. As I wrap up summer school and then vacation at the end of the month, I look forward to the opportunity to wind down, relax, and enjoy what each day brings.

As far as my favorite things in June...

Beauty Product -- Lush Oatifix Mask
Drink -- Starbucks Refreshers (in the can, not made fresh in store)
TV Show -- Big Brother 18
Thing I Did -- graduation for my students :)
Song -- Come & See Me by Party Next Door feat. Drake