Sorry that I’ve been MIA these past couple of weeks, but Z and I found a beautiful little apartment and have been busy bees trying to get all we need for it. We have also been making lots of plans that have needed some serious sit-down time, scheduling and financial talk. But more about that in another post.
Today I was looking at what to post about and I realized that I’ve been trying a couple of new things, and loving lots of old ones. So I thought I would put it together in a little “Friday Favourites” or as I’m going to call it “Friday Fives” post. I’m going to try and keep this series up (unlike past ones :S Oops… Sorry!), also because I truly have been trying to get out of my comfort zone and read new things, try new make up and even shop for clothes more regularly…
So with no further ado, here are this week’s Friday favourites:
These boxes are seriously adorable. The color and the size are perfect for any table or book shelf you have in your home office, living room or bedroom. Z and I are definitely beach people so these colors fit right in with our “theme” (Z doesn’t even know we have a theme for our home’s colors, but that’s OK…). I love keeping every room in the house organized and looking as neat as possible (I’m not OCD at all…) so these boxes are great to have all our books, magazines, important papers and files in one spot.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking (“Seriously…? Walmart shoes…?) But Yes!! These sneakers are super comfy, cost you only $6 and look super cute in a T-shirt dress, jeans or shorts. There are so versatile and comfortable, I’ve been wearing them non-stop. I have the black ones that I use weekly to run errands and take Shelby on our morning and afternoon walk, and the white ones for dressier days. Like this past 4th of July when I wore them with super cute H&M navy high-waisted shorts and a white shirt.
These pens have not left my purse ever since I got them from Amazon. They’re less than $10 (about $6 I think.. win!). They write extremely nicely, so smooth and with incredibly vibrant colours which is sometimes hard to find. My favourite part is that they don’t smear when you write with them. They just make your notebooks and agendas look incredibly neat, colourful and girly. Thanks to Emily Ley for testing them out!!
Plums have been on our permanent shopping list for the past two weeks. They’re in season, they’re yummy and they make the perfect summer snack while at the pool (especially if you keep them in the fridge and they’re nice and cool…). They’re benefits are also amazing: eating them will help you maintain a healthy digestion, help iron absorption, they’re rich in antioxidants, help protect your eyes and they have anti-aging properties… In a nutshell: you should eat them! (P.S.: no, I’m not a nutritionist and I just got this information from my doctor. If you don’t like them, don’t eat them!)
Next to plums, these are the second item that is on our permanent shopping list (if you have questions about this list I keep talking about, just let me know in the comments below and I will write a post in it 🙂 ). Small, yummy, cool… It’s just the perfect summer desert next to fruit. I’m not a big ice cream person, but these small treats sure do get addictive. Z likes the red bean flavour, so we keep one of each in the freezer. We get ours at the Asian market, but I’m sure you can also find it at your regular grocery store.
And that’s it for my Friday Fives of this week. Let me know in the comments below if there is something you have been loving this week 🙂 Until next time!
If you’ve read any of my Moving Series posts, you will know that Z and I were planning to move to Florida in the next year.
After giving it some thought and talking extensively about it, we’ve decided to put moving plans on hold for now. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll still move south, we just don’t know when.
There are a couple things going on in our lives that are making us realize we need some more time before taking that step. One of the main reasons being our job situation. My current full-time job is going great, there is so much growth and learning opportunities and I believe it would be wasted if we decided to leave in a year. I’m also very blessed that Z agrees with and supports me in this matter.
We have also decided to move into a new apartment, closer to a train station so we can more easily get to work and university. And this is one of the most exciting parts for me. Z and I don’t “own” a lot of things; some kitchen ware, clothes and a couple more things. Which means that this apartment is a completely white canvas that we get to personalize and adapt to what we want it to be. And I couldn’t tell you how excited I am about this. New decor, Pinterest ideas galore… (P.S.: you should follow me on Pinterest to see all the ideas I have for the new apartment!).
If you know me, you know I love Ikea. And since we’re still young and relatively broke (that sounds kind of bad but I just recently graduated Uni so you can imagine that money doesn’t fall off our ears over here…), it’s the best place to get started [no worries though, one day I’ll have my Pottery Barn/ Williams Sonoma/ Z- Gallery home!].
So I was thinking that since plans have changed, I would put our moving series to the side for now and start a new one (can you tell I don’t have this blogging and “being consistent” thing down yet?): our New Apartment. I thought I’d take you guys with me through the shopping, decorating and inspirational process. It’s going to be on a tight budget and for a relatively small apartment, so it should be interesting to see how we achieve that.
What do you guys think? Is that something you guys would like to read about? Let me know in the comments below!
I have debated long and hard about whether I should write this post or not. “Should I make it a series?” “Will people even like this?” “Is this something I should even talk about…)” etc.
But recently, I came across someone who clearly didn’t know anything about people like me: international students. Living in the U.S., and particularly in Denver, a lot of people live side by side with this huge current issue of immigration. Considering all the political and media focus this topic has had, I was surprised by how little this person knew about the difference of me and an illegal immigrant. And before I continue writing, let me make a huge disclaimer:
I am in no shape or form against anybody moving to a different country to improve their life and/or the life of their children and family. I am in no way judging the manner in which people do it. This is simply a blog post to explain MY personal situation and how it differs from other people’s.
Now that this is clear (I hope), let me give you an insight into what it is to be an international student. Technically we’re not considered immigrants (we are: “temporary/ non-immigrant aliens) but I feel like not too many people are aware of that.
For starters, getting to where I am now has neither been easy nor cheap. Coming to the United States with a Student Visa is a very long, intimidating and tedious process. When you decide you want to come and study in this country, you have to apply to the U.S. Embassy in your country for a student visa. And it is not as easy as it sounds. To try and keep this process explanation short, there are 5 things you need to provide BEFORE you apply for this Visa:
You need to provide them with a very long list of documents about yourself and your family, demonstrating “strong ties” back to your home country (meaning: that you intend on going back once you’re done with university);
You need to prove foreign residence, your and your families;
You need to demonstrate/ adhere to the rules that you will only study in an academic environment once you get to the U.S. (and not work unless it is in a campus location with very limited and supervised hours);
You need to prove that you have sufficient financial support and ability to not only study but also to live in the U.S.;
And finally you must show prove that you have been accepted by the university: which requires that you travel to the city you intend to move to, apply for the university/universities, show prove of sufficient funds to them and that you can support yourself, and show prove of a very good health insurance with coverage requirements that include travel back to your country if needed…
In case you didn’t catch it, these are requirements you MUST meet prior to applying to attempt to get your visa. So all this time, you are not guaranteed to be approved to come to the U.S., but the trip, the applications to universities, bank documents that need to be translated, health insurance coverage that also needs translation… they all cost money. And before you go and think that money comes out of my ears: no, I am not rich. Neither is my family. But we saved up for quite a while before even starting this process.
So lets say that you do get approved by one of the universities you applied to (because if you didn’t, then there is obviously no point to the next step), then comes the application for the student visa, also known as F-1 Visa. Keep in mind that every single form, document and photo you send to the embassy requires payment as well. So yes, saving money is almost a requirement for all of this so: PLAN AHEAD!
To start this application you need to submit an application fee (this changes every year so check the USCIS website for updates on that), Form DS-160, which comes with all the same required paperwork that you previously accumulated, valid copies of your passport and passport-style photos (I believe at least 2). Submitting all of this does NOT guarantee that you will get approved. Now, you have to wait to see if you’re granted an interview with the U.S. Official at the Embassy.
Once you receive notice that you have, you will have to choose a date and go to the U.S. embassy that is closest to you (mine was the one in Madrid because it’s the only one in Spain), and go through that. After being through the whole process I am glad people ask me for advice because I believe the only reason why my interview was fairly short (almost 3.5 hours) is because I kept a huge binder with copies of every single thing I had send them. They couldn’t find one of my papers, but luckily I not only had a copy for myself but also one for them to keep (Score!).
And it is at this interview that they tell you whether or not you are approved for a student visa. If and when that’s the case, they will charge you an issuance fee, take your fingerprints and your passport will be taken by them in order to get your visa (which is glued/ stapled into your passport). Then you can either pick it up or have it mailed to you if you don’t live by the embassy. It is advised to you on every official website, and by me too, not to make travel plans prior to this last step, because as mentioned there is no guarantee.
So as you can see, this is no quick trip to the embassy or short application to fill out online. It takes a long time (mine was close to 8 months), quite some money and a lot of commitment. And once you’re in the U.S. you are closely monitored and have to keep in constant contact with USCIS and SEVIS (both of which monitor your every move in the country) to make sure everything you’re doing is legal and allowed.
After four years in Denver and finishing my university degree, I got approved for OPT, which is a program that allows for international students to work during one year in the field they studied (I did Journalism and PR so now I work at a PR firm).
If you’re wondering if I want to stay, I do. But it’s going to take a very long process to switch visas (from student F1 to work H1B) and I could write a whole other blog post on that. Like I said, I’m just trying to explain the process to those who don’t know about it and maybe even help somebody out who is trying to do the same.
If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below. I’d love to hear what you think about this, if you knew about the process or even help you if you have any more questions.
It’s the second day of June and I thought I would give you a quick round-up of my May favourites. I know many bloggers and Youtubers do this, but I do like seeing what people love, have been using constantly and what works for them.
So with no further ado, here are my May Favourites:
“Grace Not Perfection” by Emily Ley – I’ve devoured this book in less than 7 days, reading on the train, in the bathtub and late into the night. I believe every woman, whether you’re a mom or just starting your career or university, should read this. It’s not just a book about someone’s experience, but Emily has a way of bringing God and his message closer to you and opening up a whole new way of life. MUST-READ !!
“Earl Grey” Tea by Twinings– as mentioned previously on the blog, Z and I love love love tea. It really has become our little morning and evening tradition. And this one from Twinings has definitely been the top contender. It’s smooth and strong, but won’t keep you up at night so it’s perfect to enjoy with a couple of biscuits. Z likes to add a little milk sometimes to soften the flavour.
“Mimosa & Cardamom Cologne” by Jo Malone – if you know me, you’ll know I’m an all-time Wood Sage and Sea Salt lover (it’s never missing in my house), but the other day I stopped by the Jo Malone section in Nordstrom and fell in love with THIS scent. It’s perfect for the summer. I only took home a tester, but I’m going back this weekend to get the full sized bottle.
“Naked Skin” by Urban Decay – this concealer has been my best friend these last couple of weeks and I had totally forgotten how good it was. Keeping up with two jobs and a crazy puppy, you can imagine how sleep hasn’t been my best friend lately. It completely covers my under-eye circles and helps make me look fresh and awake, even when my brain can’t say the same.
Last but not least, the first and only lipstick that has made me want to get a lipstick collection: Slow Burn 246 by Marc Jacobs. It gives my lips just the tiniest bit of extra color making them look plump and healthy. It has such a creamy and soft texture that I sometimes forget I’m even wearing it. I truly am not a lipstick girl in general, but I have been wearing this non-stop lately.
Let me know what some of your May favourites were. Anything I din’t mention that you guys can’t live without? Comment in the section below!
It feels weird starting this post. Even more to be thinking about things this way. But it’s true.
I’m not Wonder-Woman. And that’s OK.
Today I was looking over my agenda and my notebook (post about these coming soon), all the things I had to do, the things I wanted to do, prioritizing and all while staying sane. I’m going to be very honest that even though I love writing and keeping this blog, sometimes I just don’t have the energy to write.
Worse thing is that I know there are plenty women out there, that do it and do it well. Emily Ley, Jillian Harris, Emily Ann Gemma, Alexandrea Garza, Courtney Shields Albright… These are just some of the few that inspire me and are constantly on my browser when I need inspiration, advice or maybe just something good to read or watch. These women inspire and encourage me every day, in an indirect and genuine way, to become a better version of myself.
And so in this post I wanted to share with you a couple of things that have been going on in my life, how I’m trying to overcome them and what has helped me so far.
My daily dose of inspiration
Almost every day, during lunch or when I’m on the train heading home from work or right before going to bed, I go onto one of these ladies’ websites/ blogs/ YouTube channels and take a look at what they’re writing about, what they’re doing or things they’re reviewing. A lot of times I love just browsing their websites just to find small or big things that have helped them get through tough or new situations. And I LOVE IT. I love watching how they get through these new life events and figure it out just like I’m doing now with my life.
To give you a little background on what has been going on in my life, let me tell you how my last year has been:
I graduated at the end of last August from university. One of the best feelings I have ever had and yet, one of the worst transitions onto what now? Since then I have had an internship, two jobs and a confrontation with a company that was less than legitimate. It has been a true roller-coaster. Now I have two jobs, one full-time during the week and another one part-time on nights and weekends, to keep me going until I figure out how long I will be at this full-time job. Yes, it’s madness. And no, I don’t know how I do it. Sometimes I cannot tell apart if it is the weekend or the week, if I’m supposed to be up or sleeping or if it is one of those rare days I have “off”. What I tell myself to keep going and stay positive is that we all go through tough and unknown moments in our lives. Just because they’re difficult, it doesn’t mean they’re impossible. And I am lucky enough to have the love and support of my boyfriend on every decision I make.
With all of that being said, and as I’ve mentioned, I have been looking at ways to improve my life schedule, routine and balance of those. That’s how I found my new and currently favourite blogger, business owner and mom-goal: Emily Ley (also current fave: Simplicity and Grace! Thanks Emily!!). She really has influenced and shaped the way I think about life, simplifying everything and being happy. So I am very happy because I have just ordered my first Simple Planner and cannot wait to get started. She also sends the sweetest weekly emails with advice, tips and tricks on how to simplify your life, home, work schedule, etc. I love reading her emails on the train on my way to work. It truly is relieving when you see that someone else went through these struggles and had to figure it out. But now, they’re there to help you resolve those.
Trying to keep things Simple and give yourself Grace
Whether you’re religious or not, Grace Not Perfection is a book I will from now on recommend to every woman I know to read! It is incredibly eye-opening and gives you a sense of relief and love for things like I haven’t felt in a long time.
Just as I said at the beginning of this blog, I thought I had to do it all, and do it perfectly. Post on the blog several days a week, excel at my work and be a good girlfriend to Zach. As much as I continue to attempt to do as best I can in all of that, I truly am not perfect. And sometimes, it’s OK to give in and pat yourself on the back for what you have accomplished. The other night Zach and I had pizza for dinner on the couch at 22 o’clock (10 p.m.). It was so much fun and so relaxing. Sometimes I forget how understanding, loving and non-judgmental he is, how he is fine with eating pizza late at night and doesn’t need a fancy dish to be ready before 19 o’clock (7 p.m.).
That day I had also been at both my jobs and had worked solo the last couple hours at my second one. Everything that needed to be done was accomplished and I smiled at how proud I was for that and how I deserved those slices of pizza.
I don’t want to spoil the book for anybody, but I truly encourage you to read it and reflect on the small, precious and beautiful things in your life that deserve more your attention than being perfect and busy. You’ll thank me later 😉
Team Work makes the Dream Work
I am beyond blessed and lucky to have Zach by my side. He is such an incredible, hard-working, smart and understanding man, and sometimes I cannot believe I forget. But being with his has been the biggest blessing of my life.
He is always supportive, encourages me to go further and reach my goals but holds me back when it’s enough. After reading Grace Not Perfection, I also realized that he was always there to take part of the load from me and helps so much to keep me sane.
We have now purchased a dry-erase board and match our schedules and responsibilities there, taking such a huge load from having to remember every single little thing that needs to be done and therefore having more time to spend and enjoy with each other. I really cannot complain since he most definitely cooks better than me and isn’t scared to venture and try new recipes none of us has done. But the fact that I know he is there to do things with me, is the reason I can keep going.
I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with him and make memories, traditions and grow old together.
Last but not least, is having grace with yourself and your loved ones. This is going to be a quote I live by now. This misconception that us women have to do everything and excel at everything and keep everything together is never going to stop following us until we decide to cut it off. And that’s exactly what I am doing.
I have the greatest partner God could have send me and I know I don’t need to be perfect. I just need to do the best I can with the means I have. And that is all OK. Forgive yourself and understand that life and things and tough situations happen. You can let them take over your life or you can take control and not let them overwhelm you. There is so much beauty in this world and so many small things that make it worth shutting off the TV. Like when we let Shelby (our puppy) out of her kennel in the morning and she just runs like a maniac and wants to kiss and jump onto everybody. We have now started waking up 15 minutes earlier just so we can all lay in bed and enjoy some time together while sipping on some morning tea and coffee.
It’s small things like those that I now want to cherish and remember. So from now on, I’ll let the chaos and crazy jumping and playing take control, so that I can smile with Zach and enjoy the fact that she’s still a puppy and full of energy and love.
I know this hasn’t been the regular type of post, but I hope that whoever reads this gets some inspiration and encouragement from this. You are not alone, you are loved and you have one life to enjoy to it’s limit. Take advantage of it !!
Gifting is one of my favourite things to do. I love making my gifts personal, and special, while trying not to break the bank (if you know what I mean). But I do try to put as much effort into it as I can. Because growing up, I was lucky enough to have parents and friends who showed me how special it was to get a gift that wasn’t the norm or on every other shelf in town.
Once I moved to the US I discovered Etsy, and fell in love. For those of you who don’t know what Etsy is:
“Etsy is a global creative commerce platform. We build markets, services and economic opportunity for creative entrepreneurs.” It’s a website/store where creators, artist and anybody who has a product that is different, any entrepreneur, can go and sell their items, and people like me who love unique and handmade things can go and shop like crazy.
Since graduation is around the corner (literally!) whether you, a family member or a friend is graduating, there is always the questions of what to gift. There is so much out there and honestly, this is probably one of the “easiest” celebrations to get gift for. I thought I would put together a couple of options from Etsy to give you ideas and inspiration for your own gift.
“The Tassel was worth the Hassle” GlassI’m Spanish and extremely lucky that my friends here are either Spaniards or wine lovers too. So this gift just seemed more than appropriate. If you know your guest of honor enjoys a glass from time to time, this will be a fun and useful little gift.
Personalized Candle This one is my personal favourite. It’s the cutest little detail to gift someone. They offer many scents, you can include the name and even a quote for the person. The best thing is that once they’re done burning it, they can clean it out and continue to use the glass it comes in. Here is another option that is also very cute.
Personalized make up pouch This pouch doesn’t have to be for make up. I have a similar one where I just put everything that has to be in my purse at all times and it is so convenient and cute to have this little pouch. It can also be used as a clutch to go out and is a very sweet reminder of their accomplishments.
Personalized passport holder This gift is great for a man or woman because who doesn’t love a simple passport holder where they can store all the important documents they need? It’s sleek, holds a passport, cards and your boarding pass, and comes in four different colors. Plus, you can add the initials of the person in the back and have a special quote on the front.
Year Planner Just like all the items on my list, this planner can be personalized with a name or date. What I love about these is how useful and necessary they are, especially for somebody who is graduating and starting a new job or job search. They keep you organized and on track of everything. Plus, this again is uni-sex and can be for a man or woman.
And last but not least, a graduation card! These are, out of all the gift options, my very favourite. And that’s because you can really personal and write that person straight from your heart. What’s best about these is that they are small and can be kept in a small box or on the wall or fridge forever. I keep every single one of the cards that my friends and family have written to me, because the thought, effort and time to do it means the world to me. Hallmark has also tons of options, but if you want it to be unique, check Etsy!
What types of gift do you guys like to receive? Is anybody else obsessed with personalizing as I am? Let me know in the comments below!
This post might start off a little weird or confusing. Yes, we’re moving. No, not anytime soon.
We’re actually planning on moving this time, Spring, of next year. Both my boyfriend, Zach, and I have always known that Colorado was a “one-stop-shop” for both of us. A place to spend some time, but not to settle. We both love the beach and warm weather, so Florida seemed like the perfect place to move to and settle down in.
I have only visited Orlando and Miami but Zach has lived on the Gulf coast of Florida for three years and we both agreed that it would be a much better place both for our minds and other things like work and raising a family. It’s just way too cold in Colorado during the autumn, winter and even spring (it snowed this past Friday night through Saturday night non-stop…)! I also grew up in Barcelona, where the beach and sea food and warm summer days are something I’ve missed for a very long time since I moved to Denver for university.
Now that I’ve graduated and Zach is about to as well, we thought we would start planning early and make sure everything is set for when we decide to move. And in the midst of thinking about what we need now and what we’ll need coming next Spring, I thought it would be nice to include you all in this planning phase and everything that needs to happen before you can move from the center of America to the southmost end.
Here are a couple things that we’ve already put on our list:
Shipping/ driving our cars
Both Zach and I have cars and what we were thinking of doing it shipping one of the cars (most likely mine because it’s smaller and wouldn’t fit much stuff anyways) and then hook the other car to our moving truck. We don’t have a lot of things, so a small U-Haul should suffice for both our things. Everything else should fit in the car we’d be hauling.
How we’ll transport our pets
This might seem silly, but we own a dog (Shelby), a parakeet (Pearl, but I call her Perlita) and our Beta fish Hank. Shelby should do just fine with us on the passenger seat, but trying to keep Perlita calm in a car is going to be challenging, as well as making sure that Hank doesn’t end up without any water from the car movements.
Finding and renting a place
Once we move we won’t have jobs, which is crucial to sign a lease and secure a place. So what we’ll do is save for six months worth of rent and just stay somewhere cheap until we have a steady income and can upgrade to a more comfortable and bigger place.
Finding jobs / quick work we can do
Since we are moving from so far, it’s going to be challenging to find and interview for jobs while we’re in Denver. So we’re thinking about starting our search when it’s about December and being ready for interviews when we’re there at the beginning of spring. We’re thinking that any type of work, an entry level administrative assistant or clerical job, should keep us going until we are settled and we can apply for jobs in our fields.
How we’ll get there
As mentioned in the beginning, we’ll have to rent a moving truck to get our things there. But just so we can be a bit more comfortable, we think that I’ll probably fly down first, find us and rent a place. The reason why we’re thinking about doing this is because it will be much easier and cheaper to do this than if we both go together and have to spend money in hotels while we’re looking and visiting places. Plus, it will be much easier if we have a place by the time the pets come down. The trip is stressful enough for them and this way they can arrive straight to their new home.
So those are my biggest priorities and planning to-does for now. I have to admit, Pinterest have been my BEST FRIEND in this. They have the simplest, most helpful boards and pins about moving and lists, but especially how to make it easy and as painless as possible. Here is my current favourite board: http://pin.it/bUTaqC2
Follow my pinterest for more ideas and tips on how to move, as well as my fashion inspiration, pet DIYs and more (yaraws) ! I’ve included a couple screenshots down below of my favourite boards or pins from my Pinterest that you can find here, here, here, hereandhere
Comment below if you have moved across the country before; what was your experience? What are tips you suggest to make it as smooth as possible? Any tips for planning this far out?
Spring is here and that means that summer is right around the corner. If you’re anything like me, then the New Years resolutions have lasted about a month after setting them and now you’re worried to catch up with the gym and a healthier diet so that you can look your best for the summer months.
And believe me, I have honestly stopped worrying about New Years resolutions and focused more on keeping my lifestyle healthy throughout the year.
So today I thought I would share my little tips and tricks on how to get ready and stay ready for the summer. Plus, hopefully these are easy enough that you can keep doing them even after the summer and through autumn and winter.
5 Easy Things I Do to Get Ready for the Summer:
1. Feeling good is looking good
To me, looking good doesn’t just happen on the outside with make up or a cute outfit, but also from the inside. What I love the most about summer are the long days and warm nights where you get to enjoy every little piece of your day. With the hot days, comes the thirst, and if you live in a dry-aired place like me then water should be the number one item in your purse, car, office and home. I cannot leave the house without my water bottle anymore. I freaking love it. I have the S’well Bottle in silver (ummm… used to be my boyfriends but he doesn’t use it so…) and it is the best bottle I have ever owned. When the day starts, I’ll pour my tea in there (currently loving the Twining’s Lady Grey tea) and it will keep it hot ALL DAY LONG. Yes, that’s right. All day. I obviously finish it in the first couple hours at the office, but I do love the fact that you don’t have to rush drinking the tea just because of the fear of it getting cold. And after that, I will refill the bottle with water and constantly drink throughout the day. Water is so important for our bodies and we really don’t give it enough credit.
2. Exercising tailored to you!
Nowadays, there are a lot of health channels and blogs and trainers who offer great ideas and routines on how to stay in shape. I’m definitely one that loved going on Instagram or Pinterest and look at all the exercise routines people did to get into shape. But now, as much as I continue looking for ideas, I have found that keeping my routine simple and old school is what works best for me. I have to admit that having a Marine boyfriend is probably what helps me stay consistent the most, but we usually just go to the gym, I’ll do cardio two to three times a week and after that I will join him and just work on one muscle (sometimes muscle group like shoulders and back or gluteus and legs) a day. Of course I miss the gym sometimes but on those days I just try to go outside and walk our puppy an extra half hour at a higher pace. Exercising doesn’t have to happen at a gym, you can also customize and do it all at home or outside if the weather allows you to. My biggest advice is that no matter what you do, you enjoy it. Because then, you’ll be excited to get to do it every day.
3. Summer food ❤️
Summer meals are hands down (after Nutella and other sweets of course) my absolute favourite. All the fruits that are in season during summer make me want to move to a tropical place because I could eat those ALL DAY LONG! I love making huge salad bowls to snack on all day, eating tons and tons of fruit, making juices and enjoying some fruity ice cream. I don’t know about you, but my appetite definitely changes in the summer. I crave cooler, lighter meals like salads with chicken breast or tacos or even yogurt bowls with lots of granola and fruit. On Sunday’s my boyfriend and I will usually go to the store and get food for the week. And if they’re ready, I’ll buy a pineapple and a watermelon and will cut them up so that we can snack on them whenever we want and they’ll be ready.
4. Looking tan without damaging your skin
I’m from a coastal city, so tanning and sunbathing is definitely something I have done for a very long time. The more time passes, however, one realizes that hurting your skin and risk having things like skin cancer are not something worth looking tan for. Now, we all know that there is a solution for this all: Self Tanners !!
And thank the Lord for fake tanners! I love being tanned all year around but that’s hard to do when you live in a state like Colorado where 4 months out of the year it’s cold enough outside where you could turn yourself into an icicle. Plus, there are so may self-tanning products out there that are super affordable, so I have no excuse. My favorite is This One from Jergens. I get it at Target for about $10 and it’s so good! It goes on just like a lotion and I like to do it at night so it can really develop and be dark in the morning. Then you take a quick shower to wash off the excess and Voila! I want to upgrade to the Loving Tan tanners, but they’re a bit too pricey for me to keep buying them right now.
5. Summer outfits
Who doesn’t love all the summer outfits? Cute shorts and skirts and dresses, not having to wear 100 layers of jackets, scarves, sweaters, gloves and socks… I definitely do! But if we try to keep up with fashion trends, we might end up broke (at least me, cause I’m not rich by any means). So I always love having 3-4 staples in my wardrobe that I can mix and match with items I already own or that are affordable, and this way you can always look cute and not break the bank.
One item that will never be missing in my closet is skirts. Long ones and shorter ones, I love skirts! I think they just look good on everyone and with almost everything. You can dress them up with some heels and silkier shirts or dress them down with flats.
There are also so many affordable stores that have a huge variety of cute tops and shirts, so I love to just wear simple white or denim jeans and pair them with a nice shirt. ShowPo,H&M, J Crew Factory and many other stores have super affordable options for everyone.
So there are my five little suggestions on how to get summer ready. I hope these are helpful, but if you guys have questions or more suggestions, write them in the comments below. I’d love to know how you guys get ready.
I hope you’re all having a happy and blessed Monday. Even though today is Monday, I noticed that yesterday was already looking at what I have to do to be ready for today, like what clothes I wanted to wear, what had to be ready for work, this week and so on… And the more I thought about it, the more I realized how excited I was to get up today and start with my routine.
I’m definitely a morning person. I just love waking up at 5:30 or 6 and getting on, with plenty of time, about my day while being able to get everything done that I need to. And the more I’ve gotten used to starting my day a little bit earlier, the more I’ve learned to enjoy the small things that I love doing.
So with no further do, here is how I get ready on a work day.
Like I mentioned, I’ve always been a morning person. Ever since I was young, I always loved waking up early with my dad and getting ready with enough time to have a good breakfast. And not much has changed.
I usually wake up at around 5:45 am during the week and head over to the bathroom to brush my teeth and freshen up. I’ll put on my work out clothes and head to the living room area. Our puppy Shelby sleeps in a little play-pen, so I go over there to see her brightly-awake little face and let her out for a quick wee.
Luckily, there is a little grass patch right in front of the place where we live. So I can take her on a quick stroll around the block so she can go to the bathroom and let some energy out.
Then it’s time for my work out. I try to be at the gym by 6:10 at the latest, so I have time to shower and get ready later. Thankfully, it’s only 5 minutes from our place.
I usually try to combine some type of cardio, whether it is running or doing the elliptical, and some strength workout too. I’m lucky that my boyfriend has been working out much longer than me, so after a 30 minute elliptical session I join him and work on whatever muscle group he is working on.
Once we’re done at around 7 o’clock, we’ll head back home to get ready for work. I’ll usually shower first because it does take me slightly longer than him to get ready. I change up my shampoo every time I run out of one, but currently I am loving the TRESemmé’s Healthy Volume that gives you lots of volume and body. I have a lot but very fine hair that will just stick to my face, so I appreciate any product that helps me get that beautiful and natural volume. The best thing is that it also lasts forever, so you don’t have to worry about washing your hair every day.
On days when I don’t wash my hair, I will use these next items and them only. The Batiste Dry Shampoo in blush of tropical and the Leyla Milani Big Hair Don’t Care volumizinng powder. These products are a serious life saver considering that I have very oily hair with no volume. And these are the perfect fix!! First I use the Batiste dry shampoo to remove all the oil from my scalp and then I use the volumizing powder to give my hair volume and texture. I’m serisouly obsessed with these two and can honestly say that I couldn’t live without them.
Once the shower is done, I quickly do my make up [you can see my detailed make up routine here] it’s time for clothes. I do set out my clothes the night before because I can really not be bothered to worry about that the day of. It is so much easier and less time consuming, that no matter what time it is the night before, I will still make it a point to choose my outfit.
Then comes my FAVOURITE time of the day: breakfast. I love breakfast and I love making sure that neither my boyfriend or I leave the house hungry.
Since we did go to the gym, we both normally take our protein shakes first. Mine is by Pure Protein, which I get at Target, and I never thought I’d enjoy taking a protein shake as much as I do thanks to Pure Protein’s Natural Whey Vanilla Powder. I picked the flavour vanilla and just add a banana or two (depending on how small they are), sometimes a big table spoon of honey, some almond or regular milk, two or three ice cubes and finally a scoop of the powder.
This tastes so good and it only has 130 total calories with 29g of protein. It is the morning, so taking in good calories and plenty proteins is very important to be able to get on with your day and keep your energy levels up.
For breakfast that day I made some toast with butter and a bowl of granola with yogurt for myself. This obviously changes daily depending on what we’re in the mood for.
– I thought I might also add that I did drink a cup of water before the gym, but I do like my morning coffee –
My boyfriend and I are tea lovers, but I do need my morning caffeine to get on with the day, so I’ll make myself a coffee.
By now it will be around 8:20 o’clock in the morning, and time for me to start putting on my shoes to head out the door and go to work.