5 Ways To Kick-Start Exercising

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I’m writing this post mainly because this is something I’m really struggling with right now. I’m in a rut. My life has been so busy and (real talk) I’ve gained 5 pounds in the process. I’m not overweight per-say, but my physical fitness has declined.

My job is taxing. It’s exhausting, and during busy season, I barely have enough energy to make dinner for myself after work. To be blunt, getting a good night’s sleep is more important to me than waking up early to go to an exercise class. I’ve never stayed committed to a gym, so it’s hard to to find an exercise routine that I actually keep up.

When I need to start exercising again, I need to make it fresh or I’ll give up before I even finish lacing up my tennis shoes. So today I’m sharing 5 of my go-to way to start a new exercise routine.

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Soul Cycle.

Real talk, I fucking love SoulCycle. It’s a company and a fitness organization that I wholeheartedly believe in. My first class was a beginner “learn the basics” class (they used to offer those) and I was 1000% sure I wasn’t going to make it through alive about halfway through. It was tough. It challenged muscles that hadn’t been used in a long time, maybe ever. But I loved it. And I still love it.

Sign up for a running race

When you have nothing to work towards, it’s easy to give up. Running is an amazing exercise because it’s free and you can do it anywhere. Sign up for a race, set a training plan for yourself (or find one online!), and get running.

Workout DVDs

Did anybody else used to watch The Biggest Loser and cry over the contestants’ body transformations? Just me? That show was everything. And if you’ve never purchased a Bob Harper workout DVD and had Bob yell at you through an entire workout, you have not lived. This one is my favorite.

Try exercises you’ve never tried before

Before I tried a spin class, I thought I would hate it. But it turned out to be my favorite kind of exercise class. I want to start swimming again soon, which is something that I used to do growing up.

YouTube Workouts

If you’ve never been exposed to the vast world of YouTubers and the YouTube community, I can change all of that. I used to work at a YouTube management network, actually. I can give a TED Talk about YouTubers. Anyways, there’s a lot of great fitness YouTubers who post free workouts on their YouTube pages. Some popular ones are Tone It Up, Blogilates, and Love Sweat Fitness.

What are some way you kick start your exercising? Are you in a rut right now?

Find Your Happy

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I want you to do something for me right now. Think about your life. Think about it as it stands right now in this very second. Who means the most to you? Do they know? Do you show it? What or where makes you happy? Do you do those things or go to those places often? Why or why not?

Hawaii is my happy place. It’s where my anxieties and struggles disappears as soon as I step off the airplane into the humid air. My eczema apparates to an alternate universe where that skin condition stresses me out. I’ve been coming here since I was a little girl and I’ve grown to adore this island paradise. I just got back from a week in Kauai and it was exactly the refresh I needed.

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WHAT I’M WEARING:

Madewell Skinny Overalls | White Shirt (Old) | Steve Madden Dina Sandal

I always take things back with me when I travel. The Nespresso machine sitting in my kitchen reminds me of Austraila. When I got home from Hawaii, I ordered the coffee maker that was in my family and I’s condo. It sounds weird, but having things like those around me bring me peace and calm in a world of chaos.

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When you’re outside of the hustle and the bustle, you see clearer. You’re not stressed out about that big project or your upcoming performance review. You remember the things you love and the people you love. A reset in your life every now and then is so important, and it’s cruel that so many people don’t have the luxury of having one.

With that being said, I want to challenge you in something. Take a step back. Look at your life. What’s in it? Is there anything unhealthy or that brings you unhappiness? Once you identify that thing (if any), is there anything you can do to change it?

You are never the victim once you recognize the road block. Once you see the ROUGH ROAD AHEAD sign, you can change your course. You’re not destined to be tied to something that makes you miserable, and you don’t owe it to anybody to keep yourself in a situation that’s not healthy for you. This is your one life. You’re never going to live this day ever again. How are you going to spend it? And what can you do today that will give you brighter days ahead?

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What’s your happy place?

Summer Bucket List

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Summer is my favorite season because it means that I can dig the rompers out of my closet and pretty much forget about pants until Fall comes around. It’s when backyard barbecues become a way of life and it’s when you know that corn dogs at the state fair are in your immediate future. Makeup doesn’t really exist because it’s going to melt off anyways, and you’re guaranteed to jump in the ocean (…if you live in California…) at least seven times. ISN’T IT THE BEST?!?!

I’m already so excited about Summer that I should probably join a support group and make t-shirts. (If you would like one, please let me know your t-shirt size and I will plan accordingly).

Today I’m sharing my bucket list, and I’d love to know what yours is! 

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1) Read the paper every Saturday: I get the Wall Street Journal delivered to my house every Saturday but they literally just stack up in my entry way because I never read them. The coffee shop I routinely went to read the paper closed down and honestly I’m still recovering from the heartbreak it caused. I mean, how could they? Did they not understand that that was the only place I could catch up on the news? And that a paper combined with a coffee in one hand and a blueberry muffin in the other hand is the only truly beautiful combination?

2) Go fishing: My coworker Melissa brought in some pocket fishing rods to the office yesterday and I got way to excited and started fake fishing in everyone’s offices. I’ve already asked my boss what a good weekend would be for me to take a three day weekend in July to go fishing. I am c-o-m-m-i-t-t-e-d.

3) Weekend in Big Bear: If you’re not from Southern California, you probably haven’t heard of Big Bear. No, it’s not a life-size Yogi Bear statue. (Nice guess tho!) It’s a lake-side town East of Los Angeles where city folk hoard to in the summers to get away from the wretched temperatures and grimy sidewalks. And do you know what Big Bear has? Fishing.

4) Camping in Yosemite: As a Northern California native, I can never forget about my one true love Yosemite. It’s the most accessible national park you’ll encounter and I’ve spent so many summer days hiking and camping in the valley.

5) Host backyard parties: Something I have come to realize this year is that I LOVE hosting people. I love planning appetizer menus and making name cards and setting up party games. It’s exhilarating to me. My backyard is a pretty good size, and I bought a barbecue on Amazon last month so basically I have everything I need to host Summer shin-digs.

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6) Travel to another state: Southwest Airlines is my best friend. Their flights are cheap, their flight attendants are the sweetest, and their in-flight magazine is better than most regular grocery story magazines. I really want to do a weekend trip to Texas this Summer. I hear Austin is amazing (hot, but amazing) and I really want to visit.

7) Complete an ocean swim: I’m just putting this on the list for the meek chance that it actually happens. My ex’s best friend did one a couple of years ago and before then I really had no idea they existed in Southern California.

8) Scuba dive in Southern California: I finally went scuba diving again after three years in Hawaii. Now that I am confident that I remember how to dive, I want to join a dive club or something of the sort. But first I gotta get my own equipment….

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WHAT I’M WEARING:

Madewell Skinny Overalls | White Shirt (Old) | Steve Madden Dina Sandal

What are your plans this Summer? Let me know!

My Current Reading List

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There was a point in my life when I wanted to write a book. A fiction (young adult) novel about a girl who moved to New York. I started writing it and got about one page in. And that was the end of my aspirations to become an author. I think books are so fascinating and authors are gifted with the incredible ability to connect with people all over the world in different ways. If you want to be a great writer, you have to know how to tap into emotions that can’t be said out loud.

My reading list lately has consisted of the Netflix home page, where I scroll to the ‘Continue Watching’ section and select Friends or Chef’s Table, which I’ve seen every episode of at least three times already.

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I’m going to do my best to be intentional about reading the following list of books in the coming months. I really need some sort of book intervention where all of my friends come over and force me to sit in a room and have uninterrupted reading time. Ya know?

  1. Little Fires Everywhere: I’ve heard so much about this book. It’s based in Ohio, which is where my brother lives. One of my favorite food bloggers did a book club about it as well. Buy it here
  2. The Great Alone: This book is based in Alaska, which is what draws me to it. If you’ve read it, please let me know what you thought! Buy it here
  3. Drums Of Autumn: This is by the same author as Outlander, so it’s basically pre-approved. Buy it here
  4. We Are Never Meeting In Real Life: David Sedaris is one of my favorite authors. His way of writing about his own life both thrills and engrosses you, and he has made personal essays one of my favorite types of books. Now that I’ve talked up his skills, I should probably let you know that this collection of essays isn’t by David, but it’s by an author named Samantha Irby. But regardless, I’m excited to read it. Buy it here
  5. By Gaslight: Victorian London is one of my favorite eras to read about, mainly because I love London so much that any book or movie or television show set there is immediately on my “must read” list. By Gaslight is a historical fiction mystery novel set in Victorian London that I can’t wait to get my hands on. Buy it here

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What book(s) are you reading right now?

My Goals For The Year

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It finally feels like the year is slowing down and I couldn’t be more excited about it. It also feels like summer-time here in California and I also couldn’t be more excited about it. The first three months of this year sped so fast that I couldn’t even drink enough coffee for me to remember anything that happened. Which is why I’m four months late sharing my goals for the year. I never really make specific New Year’s Resolutions like going to the gym every day or cutting out all sugar, because I know those are 100% not going to be kept. (I’m probably the only person in America who actually cancelled their gym membership in January.) Like I said, my life (aka my job) was super busy starting out the year and I really didn’t have time to workout.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Anthropologie Striped Eyelet Romper | Sam Edelman Sandals (old): Similar here & here | Milk Blur Liquid Matte Foundation (Shade Light) | LUSH Honey Trap Lip Balm

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So without further ado, here’s my goals for the year:

  1. Use My Scuba Diving Certification – I got scuba certified right after I graduated high school, and I have used it about four times since then. I really want to start putting it to practice more, since scuba diving is one of my favorite things in the whole world. When you’re underwater, literally nothing else matters but you and the fish!
  2. Travel On The Weekends – Traveling is always on my list, but I specifically want to travel more on weekends this year because I can’t always take a week off of work when it gets busy. There’s so many cute towns that are driving distance from Los Angeles that I want to explore!
  3. Read More – Anybody else have this on their list every single year and then never do it? I just found a new podcast called Young Adulting by the blogger over at The Stripe, and she and the cohost Becca have so many great book recommendations that I’ve added to my list!
  4. Learn To Cook Better – I only learned to cook two or three years ago, so I’m still a newbie! I love it and I love how there’s is always something new to learn about cooking. I really want to take classes (either online or in person) this year.
  5. Relax – RELAX. I JUST WANT TO RELAX MORE. Hold me to that, okay?

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What were your goals for the year? Have you been keeping up with them?

How To Host A Wine-Tasting Party

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My co-worker Melissa and I share an office. And a birthday. And a mutual love for pouring a glass of wine after work and slumping deep into the couch cushions to watch Netflix. We were destined to be birthday twins, truly.

We also have a lot of the same friends because we’ve worked at two of the same companies together now and have formed relationships with a lot of the same people. So when we were sitting there one Wednesday afternoon in our office trying to decide what each of us should do for our birthdays, we came to the conclusion to decide that we would host a joint birthday party together. A wine-tasting party. And after successfully hosting the party, I am now sharing the best tips to perfectly plan one for yourself.

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Set A Schedule: It’s a well-known fact that if you start a party at 7PM, nobody will arrive until 7:30 or 7:45 (at the earliest). And that’s being generous. Send out a tasting schedule beforehand to ensure everyone arrives on time; nobody will want to miss a second! We did hour-long tastings for each wine category, and it worked great. Once the hour was up, we brought out the next type of wine! However, I did morph into Cruella De Ville because my friend wanted to open a bottle of red wine at 5:30PM, and I told him that we were still in Rosé hour. The rules are strict, folks!

Have Everyone Bring A Bottle Of Wine To Share: Wine is not cheap, especially if you’re catering for 20 or more people! You’re already providing all of the food and appetizers and it might run you bankrupt to buy 15+ bottles of wine on top of that. Have your guests bring their favorite bottle of wine, and when they arrive they can fill out a card sharing what they love about it (tasting notes, how they discovered it, what it pairs well with, etc!)

Provide An Activity For The Guests: One thing I’ve learned after attending enough parties over the years is that if there’s no activity for guests to do, they will make one. And for a crowd in their mid-twenties, it will usually involve alcohol games. Melissa and I wanted to ensure that our guests would be properly entertained throughout the night. Conveniently, our party was the same night as the Golden Globes, so we streamed that during the party and everyone was glued to the screen and sipping away!

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Cheese Board: Truly, there are few things I love more than I love cheese boards. My family and I were in Italy this past Summer in a tiny town called Panicale, and we had a cheese board with literally every meal. It was glorious. Have a cheese board out for the whole night; each wine pairs well with different items on the board! Tip: Don’t put all the fixin’s out at once – leave a stash in your fridge so that you can refresh the board as the night goes on.

Have Appetizers As Well: A glass a wine in itself doesn’t have a ton of alcohol in it, but if your guests are refilling their glasses all night.. it adds up. Make sure you have real food in addition to your cheese plate so that your guests have some protein; a cheese board can only do so much! Melissa and I had Pigs In A Blanket, Flatbread, and a couple other appetizers that we got at Trader Joe’s.

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We had so much fun and it truly was a the best way to celebrate our birthdays with all of our friends around us. Here’s to full glasses, full lives, and lots of wine! Have you ever had a themed birthday party? Let me know in the comments!

 

Goals For 2018

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Yearly goals are kind of like flossing. For a while, you’re killing it, you’re in your groove, your gums are shining brighter than when you lie in bed at night scrolling Instagram on your phone, and you are feeling great. But then, out of the blue, without any iPhone notifications or calendar invites, you stop. Your life gets busy, you don’t wake up early enough to make a cup of coffee AND floss your teeth, and your floss routine slides further back into your memory than that one time you accidentally said “you too” after your barista told you to enjoy your coffee. Your gums bleed and your dentist is basically already drafting his “be a better person” speech to you while you will sit there in shame.

Now that we’ve gotten our daily dentist reference out of the way, and now that you’ve decided to never read this blog again, I’m going to tell you my goals for 2018.

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  1. Host more parties. I’m pretty sure I was built for party hosting, and I have a house that is basically the perfect size for having people over. Planning an appetizer menu is my idea of euphoria. “OH, LET THEM EAT CAKE!!!!!” – me, in 2018.
  2. Cook more. I looooooove cooking. Give me a glass of wine and a recipe and lock me in the kitchen for hours, and I will be overwhelmingly happy. I want to cook more this year, which isn’t really a change from this year, but it’s just something that I really enjoy doing that I’d like to continue this year.
  3. Blog more. I used to do this a lot. Like, a lot. Raise your hand if you were here for the failed outfit post and makeup reviews and life advice posts. I want to get back to blogging more, because it’s a great creative outlet and a hobby that makes me really happy.
  4. Spend more time with friends. Working a full time job can be exhausting, and sometimes I forgot to actually spend time with my friends. Friends are so important, and especially living in a city away from my family, my friends are basically like my extended family. One of my favorite quotes is “Invest in the people who invest in you.”
  5. Travel. My parents took my siblings and I on a lot of trips growing up, so I’ve pretty much had the travel bug since I could walk. There’s so many places I want to go to, and I have no idea where I’m going to end up this year. 2019? Already have that planned (Hi, London.) 2018? Not so much. Stay tuned!

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What are your goals for 2018? Do you like flossing? Let me know in the comments.