How To Look Like You Have You’re Life Together (Even When You’re A Hot Mess)

My number one pet peeve is when I look a hot mess. I mean, it’s one thing to feel like a mess but its a whole other thing to look it. Just because I’m having a bad day and am feeling frazzled, doesn’t mean I want everyone to know about it simply by looking at me. So throughout this past year, I have especially focused on getting my appearance more put together, even if my life isn’t quite there. I have just always admired women who look so fashionable, polished, and put together. I feel like I’m getting pretty close to the look I want so I thought I’d share with you guys some of the things I’ve learned. Here are the top 6 things I have learned:

  1. Hair- I can’t believe that for the longest time I was walking around with my frizzy, undone hair. It’s embarrassing really. It actually wasn’t until about 6 months ago that I started using hot tools for my hair (like a straightener or curling iron). I was just always worried about heat damage so I avoided those tools by any means possible. But I’ve realized that it’s not worth it if you’re just looking a mess in the mean time. Please don’t be like my former self and go around looking crazy. You’ll be surprised at how much more polished you’ll look simply by straightening your hair or curling it. The key is to keep your hair healthy by using heat protecting creams and giving your hair some deep conditioning treatments. (I can get more into specific products I use in another article.) You want to make sure too that you’re hair is combed through and that you’re not walking around with a bird’s nest on your head. This is something I’ve unfortunately have experienced far too many times so I carry a mini brush in my purse now.
  2. Skin- It took me years before I finally realized that you just cannot hide bad skin. It doesn’t matter how much makeup you layer on your face, if you have bad skin, people will know it. Makeup may be able to hide discoloration but it cannot hide bumpy skin or acne. I could not believe the difference in my skin’s appearance once I took steps to improve its texture. My face looked so smooth and my makeup stayed on better. The major game changers for me were: witch hazel, rose hip oil, and a face brush. The witch hazel helped shrink my pores. The rose hip oil helped lighten my scars. And the face brush helped to smooth out my skin’s texture and get rid of any scars that remained.
  3. Wardrobe- It is so important that you have a wardrobe made up of pieces that coordinate well with each other. If you have a specific color scheme for your clothes, then they will all be able to mix and match. So you can have little clothing but if they work together, then you’ll have so many variations of outfits. You want to make sure you’re wearing colors that compliment your skin tone too. For so long I wore colors that just did not look well on me. Wearing the wrong color for your tone can either wash you out, making you look pale or it can really bring out the red undertones in your skin making your face look cherry red. You should also aim to wear clothes that flatter your body shape too. All body shapes can look stylish, it all depends on what you wear.
  4. Nails- Now, you don’t have to be a girly girl and have your nails painted at all times. Just make sure your nails are well groomed and manicured. They don’t need to have paint on them but they do need to be clean and not jagged or crooked. But if you do paint your nails, just make sure you keep up with them so that the paint is not all chipped. It ends up looking trashy when they’re half painted. It can take less than 15 minutes to touch them up too if you use the quick dry top coat.
  5. Hygiene- It’s simple and I’m sure you all know these but we’ll just do a quick recap. Just make sure you shower frequently, perhaps everyday. Wear a good coverage deodorant and maybe even carry a little travel size one if yours tends to wear off later in the day. Perfume is always a nice touch too. Just try not to wear anything that’s too over bearing. You don’t have to wear perfume if that’s not your thing either. The bottom line is: just please don’t be stinky.
  6. Makeup- During my teenage years, I looked a mess with all my crazy makeup. I would fill my eyebrows in too thick or too dark, I’d use an orange shade of foundation, or wear a super bright pink lipstick. It looked so bad that I cringe when I look back at old pictures! Take some time to try and learn some tips and it’ll go a long way. Simple techniques really improved my makeup look so much. Things like using a sponge to apply my makeup, dabbing my makeup on instead of smearing it on, and using primer and finishing spray so it can last all day. You don’t have to spend hours watching makeup tutorials. Just watching a few videos here and there have helped me to learn so many tips that really changed my whole look. I’ve also learned that less is more when it comes to makeup. So that’s something you may want to keep in mind too.

I hope these tips have been able to help so that even if you’re a mess inside, you can at least look like you have your life together on the outside. These are things that I’ve taken years to sort of master (if I can even say that..lol) so I hope I’ve been able to give you a bit of a shortcut so you can save your time and look fabulous even now. Please leave a comment down below so I can know how you liked it and I hope to see you around here for my next post.

Till then,

Paula

Our Rental Nightmare: (Part 2)

In part one of this series, we left off talking about all the glorious plumbing problems of our rental home. And if you thought that long list of issues was enough, just wait! There are more and it only gets worse from here!

The next thing I noticed (after all the house’s problems mentioned in part 1) was when I was washing dishes and I saw that the floor was all wet. So I look down and notice that it was the dishwasher that had been leaking water. I open it up and it is filled with rotting water that had the worst smell possible. So now we have to call the plumber again for this new problem. (Keep in mind, we still have problems with that second bathroom that 2 weeks into living here, are still not resolved. It just feels like a new issue keeps popping up everyday.) The plumber does a quick fix on the dishwasher and the water goes down. It seems as if it’s all fixed…but it’s not.

First let’s get back to the bathroom plumbing. The plumber tries to fix it without having to dig through the backyard but it’s not working. He soon sees that he’s going to have to dig deep in the yard and he’ll possibly have to break through the concrete. What gets me mad about all this is that while this is going on and the plumber is asking the landlord basic stuff about the house that he should already know like: where is the crawl space? Is there an attic? Where is your clean out? our landlord has no idea. He doesn’t know ANYTHING about the house. These are all simple things you should know about your house as a landlord.

So now the plumber has to dig through our backyard. My daughter and I can’t go back there while all this is taking place and the plumber has no idea how long it’s gonna take. Before any of this happened, my daughter and I would go outside everyday so it breaks my heart when she asks to go outside now because we can’t. Our backyard is a health hazard.

Before the plumber does any digging, he calls a bigger plumbing company to get a second opinion. Turns out that that bigger company actually knows about this house! It has a bad rep for all it’s plumbing issues and they actually say that they would never come back to work on this house! That right there is enough to turn my stomach. I just start to think that this house must have a lot more problems than we even know. That bigger plumbing company wasn’t even able to fix these issues. So how on earth is this plumber who’s not even licensed and just does this work on the side, supposed to fix it? And that’s another thing too, our landlord kept sending out people who had no idea what they were doing and who didn’t even have licenses for this work. That’s why it would take forever just to get one job done.

On the day that they’re supposed to start digging up the backyard, a new guy comes out. And one of the very first things he asked me was where was he supposed to start digging. That just shows how unprofessional these guys are! How am I supposed to know? I would’ve thought that the first plumber would have told him. He eventually figures it out and starts digging. About half an hour into it, he then realizes that he’s been digging in the wrong spot all this time! What?! Keep in mind, I am having to mold my schedule around these plumbers. I have to change my plans on an almost daily basis just to make sure I’m home for them just for them to make mistakes like this, stay for less than an hour, and not get anything resolved. It’s so frustrating. He then digs the hole in the right place and then leaves. That’s it! He literally just came to dig a hole and leave.

Eventually the backyard is dug up, they finally find the spot, and tell my landlord the problem. To fix it, the plumbers recommended that our landlord get the whole line replaced. They say it’s old and if he doesn’t’ do this now, then he’ll soon have these problems come up again. But our landlord being the cheap guy that he is chose to only do a temporary fix that they likened to only putting a band-aid on it. So that issue is (temporarily fixed) but now the whole backyard smells like sewage because they dug up all those pipes that are connected right to the bathroom. Now I don’t feel safe going in the backyard because it just all smells like poop and I just know it can’t be healthy breathing all that in. If you thought that was bad enough, there’s even more.

In the kitchen, above the stove, there is always a vent so that all the smoke and hot air from cooking can air out through there. Well not in this place folks. It turns out that they made the cutout for the vent but they never actually finished making it. So from day 1 of living here, our fire alarms constantly go off when I’m cooking dinner and it happens multiple times. The only way to try and prevent it is by turning on the exhaust that’s above the oven but even then that doesn’t always work.

Just yesterday the fire alarm went off at least 10 times while I was cooking, that’s no exaggeration. And all the while my daughter was taking her nap. She is currently going through a sleep regression. For those of you who have never had kids, it basically means she is fighting her naps like crazy lately and some days wont take a nap at all. So that means a super fussy and cranky baby for the rest of the day. Well on this day I had finally gotten her to take a nap and that is when the fire alarm decides to go off a dozen times in a row! I was so stressed out trying to cook our dinner and at the same time franticallyย  fanning the fire alarm just trying to get it to stop. And because there is no ventilation when I’m cooking, the house gets so hot! At times it’ll be 80 degrees or higher and it won’t cool down till hours after I’m done.

Oh and about the dishwasher, it’s still currently clogged and it makes the kitchen smell like rotting food. So that’s fun.

And on top of everything else, here’s the icing on the cake: this place comes with roaches! Trust me, they did not come from us. In our last rental that we lived in for a little over 3 years, we never not once saw a roach. But upon moving into this mess, we found a whole bunch of baby roaches from the very first week.

Oh and you’ll never guess what the neighbors told us: while this house was vacant for over a year there were squatters living here! That’s right. People who just decided to break in and live here and who probably don’t care enough about the place to keep it clean. And the rugs were never replaced from the time those squatters were living here either. So there’s probably a whole bunch of germs (and roaches) in these carpets.

And just as a bonus, our neighbors let their dogs poop on our lawn so it always smells like poop.

During all this time, I am having plumbers over nearly everyday as I’ve mentioned. There was actually one week when they were coming over everyday so my little girl and I were housebound. As a stay at home mom, I like to always get out out of the house everyday. It helps me to not get down. But during this time I got very depressed. Not just because I couldn’t leave the house but because of everything else that was involved too. There were just so many problems with the house and new ones coming up everyday. It felt like we would always have people coming over to fix our things because at this point it had already been three weeks in a row with still the same problems even though the plumbers were at our house everyday! I had so much stress during this time too. More than I’ve gone through in a really long time. There was one night that I cried so hard that I literally thought I was going to puke. I was feeling so homesick too at the time (for Massachusetts) and with the cost of this place, it didn’t look like we’d be able to visit back home for a long time and that just stressed me out even more. And the thought of having to go through this for a whole year until our lease was up? That just made me so much more depressed. Just this one month alone had caused so much stress on my marriage, made me so depressed that I didn’t even want to get out of the house (which is so not like me), the place was such a mess too but I just couldn’t even bring myself to clean it. I had absolutely no energy. I could sleep for 10 hours at night and still need to take a nap the next day. It was a scary time for me. I didn’t feel like myself at all and I didn’t know when I would feel happy again. But fortunately, things soon turned around.

We were desperate to get out of our lease and after all of this, I’m sure you could understand why. We begged our landlord to let us out of it. We explained to him in detail everything that was going on and pleaded with him to let us out. We were paying way too much for this place to be dealing with all of this stress. He offered to lower the rent for us but it just wasn’t worth it. This place had so many problems, many of which were still not resolved, it was unhygienic, and probably was going to need to be bug bombed because of the roach infestation. We just wanted to be done with this place. So our landlord finally allowed us to be free from our lease. In about a week we’ll be moving into an apartment. It is not nearly as cute but honestly I could care less at this point. It really is a nice apartment, it’s just not fancy or anything. But it is cheap, utilities paid, and it has an awesome management team so hopefully it’ll be little to no stress living there. Its the financial part of it that I love the most though. We’re saving up for something big and exciting and I can’t wait to share with you all what that is! I’ll reveal what that is in my next post.

This was honestly one of the toughest things I’ve had to go through. I’m just so so glad that we are able to get out of it early. I couldn’t imagine living a whole year like this! This has really been a learning experience for me. Next time I will listen to my husband’s gut. I will force myself to listen to those warning signs and not ignore them. I will try to think with my head and not with my heart. There are so many lessons to be learned here. But that’s life. Sometimes you make bad choices but you learn from them and hopefully don’t repeat the same mistakes. That’s what we’re all about here on the ever blooming, growing. We don’t beat ourselves up over our past mistakes. We learn from them and move on. Hopefully this article has helped you in one way or another and hopefully it helps you to avoid all the problems we faced.

Our Rental Nightmare: Why We Lived In A House For Just 1 Month (Part 1)

Hey guys! I just want to start off by saying, I’m so sorry that I’ve been absent from my blog for a month. Hopefully this post will kind of help explain why. But I’m just sorry because I know there were some of you who were checking this site almost daily to see if anything new had been posted. I think this story will be worth the wait though.

It all started as many of you know when we first got a notice from our apartment complex telling us that we needed to be moved out in 2 months time since the building was going to be renovated. So right away we started looking online daily for any new rentals that were being posted. We stressed so much during that time because we were getting closer to our deadline and still were not finding a place. All the ones we wanted were quickly taken and all the other available rentals were either too expensive or in bad neighborhoods. So finally, about 2 weeks before we had to move out, we found this rental. It was a nice neighborhood, a price within our budget, and it was newly renovated. It seemed perfect. We called the landlord, filled out our application, and made sure to make it for the open house. But here’s where things get weird.

I will admit that there were some warning signs that I should’ve seen right from the start. But hindsight is always 50/50. Am I right? One of the major warning signs is that we had to actually convince the landlord to let us rent out the place. It was almost to the point that we were arguing with him. I don’t know about you but normally when I rent a place, I never have to haggle with the owner about letting me rent it out. Usually if the prospective tenants pass the background check and meet the income requirements to afford the place, its there’s. The main concern of our landlord was whether or not we’d be able to afford it. He just looked at how much we were paying for our one bedroom apartment and because it was significantly lower than the price for renting his four bedroom home, he was concerned. Naturally a small apartment is going to be a lot cheaper than renting a big home. I cannot tell you how much this irritated me. He didn’t care that our income was more than enough to afford his place. He just focused so hard on what we were paying for the apartment. I couldn’t believe that we actually had to go back and forth on this issue and over more than one phone call. I tried telling him that we were already planning on moving out. I don’t think you should have to convince someone to let you rent their place. They either want you as a tenant or they don’t. That was red flag number one.

The second thing was that he had literally just bought the house and immediately put it up for rent. Honestly, this wasn’t something I had a problem with before but that’s because I didn’t have experience with this type of situation. Often times, houses need to have work done to them, at least some maintenance and basic wear and tear repairs. Especially if it had been up on the market for quite some time. This one had been up for over a year. He didn’t even take the time to look into the house and see if anything needed repairs, and that’s where all our problems with this house come into play.

On the day that we met up to sign the lease, we did the walk through and my husband immediately noticed that there were many issues.(He told me right from the start that he had a bad feeling about this place and unfortunately I pushed for it anyways. Next time I am totally listening to his gut instincts. But we make mistakes and we learn.) For starters the rugs in the bedrooms were gross, they weren’t even shampooed for us. On top of that the AC wasn’t working and this was during a week of 100 degree temps here in California. The blinds were broken. One of the bedrooms had blue wax stains in the carpet. And the place was pretty dirty with dead bugs in the window, really dirty floors (like your feet turned black just walking on it). What got me so mad though was that the landlord was so oblivious to all of it! Something as simple as the AC not working, he didn’t know about it. That’s something that is so simple that you would think would have been checked before you even bother moving anyone in. But boy does it get worse from here.

So I know what you’re thinking: with all these things happening, why on earth would you sign the lease?! Well even before we signed it, he agreed to get an AC repairman out here and someone to shampoo the carpets. That made us feel better and like he would be on top of things as a landlord. Plus I think we were just desperate to find a place since it was so close to our deadline to move out. And on top of that, I thought the place was gorgeous so I think I was really trying to overlook any problems we had because I really wanted to live there. But back to our story.

It wasn’t long into living in our new home that more problems started arising, one after another. I believe the first thing to go was our washer and dryer. There wasn’t anything wrong with the machines, it was the plumbing. We have a sink right beside them and one day while I was doing laundry, I noticed that it was all wet on the floor. I looked around trying to see what was the cause and when I looked up at the sink, I saw that there was water filled all the way up to the brim. We found out that the sink would over flow like that whenever we would use the washer and dryer so we were told not to use it for now.ย  So for two weeks I had to do our laundry at my in-laws place. I know that in itself is not a big deal, but wait…there’s more.

Our next problem was with our master bathroom. It was connected to the same plumbing line of the overflowing sink so our toilet started to not work. It wouldn’t flush really at all. It had the weakest flush and would only go down once in a while. Fortunately this place came with two bathrooms so we just started to use the second one. But it wasn’t long before we were told that we couldn’t use that one either.

The plumber came out (for about the third time) to check out that second bathroom. He ended up going under the house to see what the problem was and what he found down there was truly horrifying. He said that it was all covered in poop, the whole foundation of the house. The plumbing had backed up and just emptied itself in the base of the house. So now because that second bathroom was directly above all the poop and was the most exposed to it, we weren’t allowed in there because it was now a health hazard. Keep in mind, that was the bathroom where I had been giving my one year old baths. It infuriated me that she was being exposed to all of that. So now we wash her in the kitchen sink. I’m just glad she’s still small enough to fit there because there is no way I’d be able to bathe her in the shower. But our story does not end there. Oh no. Unfortunately there is a lot more to it.

If you want to hear the rest of this story which is filled with squatters, bug infestation, and a sewage backyard, then stay tuned for part two of this series. But for now I’ll stop the story right here because this would be the longest blog post ever if I didn’t. And hopefully when you finish reading part two, you’ll have learned a few things so you can avoid going through the same things that I did.

About Me

Hey everyone and welcome to my blog! My name is Paula and I am the creator of “The Ever Blooming”. I thought you might like to get to know me a little bit so I thought I’d start this “About Me” page.

I currently live in CA but I grew up in MA. I ended up here in Cali because I got married and my husband already lived here. I got married young and then had my first and only daughter soon after. I don’t regret that decision though, it’s just one that worked for me and my personality.

I am a very artistic person who also loves math, which I hear is usually an odd combination. I love to read and write so much that I always dreamed of being an author when I was little. I also love animals and was pretty certain for years that I was going to be a vet (until I learned I would have to perform surgery!)

I tend to be very mellow and laid back. Kids in high school would even jokingly say “do you ever get mad?” The answer is yes, yes I do๐Ÿ˜ I’m more of a quiet person, but not shy. I love to be around people and listen to them speak, but I just don’t like it when I’m expected to carry most of the conversation.

That’s a little bit about me. I could share a lot more but I just don’t know if you’d be interested in hearing all that…lol. But if you guys have anything else you’d like to know, just let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to answer them. ๐Ÿ˜Š Hope you enjoyed!

House Hunting Is So Stressful!

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For those of you who have been following the blog, you know that we were given two months to move out of our apartment. Those two months have now turned into three weeks and we still haven’t found anything yet! It is so stressful and we are definitely feeling the pressure with the little bit of time that we have left. I’m stressed out even now just thinking about it. The whole house hunting process has been so exhausting too.

There were so many times where we’ve seen houses and became so hopeful, thinking that this one was it. But there would soon be something that came up that just crushed that dream. It’s usually either not what we were expecting or the landlord decides to go with someone else. But it’s just so exhausting going through the whole process of calling, scheduling, touring, getting hopeful, filling out applications (that are about $30 each time), then being let down, and having to do the whole process all over again.

Just today we toured another home. The pictures online were so beautiful! It was a newly remodeled home, with lots of natural lighting (a huge plus for me), and a big backyard. But when we saw it in person today, it wasn’t nearly as impressive. It was so much smaller than the pictures showed. The lawn was completely dead and there wereย  random blue stains in the carpet. Based of the pictures online, we were really hoping this place was the one. It looked so beautiful and for a reasonable price too. I talked to the landlord about the stains and some other concerns we had and it seems like he’s willing to fix those things so we’ll see whether or not we end up taking it. I still think it looks nice, it’s just the size that would be the main drawback for me. But I feel like I can still make it work. Of course it’s not the ideal size but it’s still doable.

What I hate the most is the amount of money we are being asked to pay for these homes because they are just so not worth it! It makes me so mad because I know that if we lived anywhere else, our money would be able to stretch so much farther and get us a really nice place. But here in California, everything is just so expensive. I really would move out of state but we have family here. They’re pretty much the only reason why we stay.

My husband and I are just so frustrated with the whole process. After coming home from that disappointing tour, we looked online to find some other potential homes. It was so discouraging! The homes that were available didn’t look at all as I would’ve liked them too. Even the more expensive ones were not very impressive. But trust me when I say, it’s not me, it’s just the area we live. It’s not at all that I’m being picky or am looking for anything fancy…because I’m not.

The main things I’m asking for is: hardwood floors, lots of natural lighting, backyard with grass, good neighborhood, no orange wood (please! I hate it) and just overall nothing too hideous if possible. And when I say hideous I mean anything like: pink tiling in the bathroom, crooked kitchen cabinets, appliances of all different colors all in the same room, wood paneled walls (from the 70s), yellow and green flower wallpapered kitchen, or a house with random light fixtures in each and every room. All these things I have seen in our house search! Do you see what I’m dealing with?! I’m not asking for anything fancy.

Both my husband and I come from humble beginnings. I grew up in affordable housing my whole life and didn’t even realize how little we had till I moved out and then visited home again. When my husband and I first got married, we lived in a little studio apartment. Soon after we moved into the one bedroom apartment that we’re currently staying in. All these places I never had a problem with. I didn’t even mind living in a one bedroom apartment even when we had our baby. She just stayed in our room when it came time to sleep. It was never a problem living in this apartment till now, now that my baby is not so little anymore and is now a toddler. Now it’s getting really cramped here with all of us. And I want my little girl to have space where she can roam around free, a backyard for her to run and play. I don’t think I ask for too much at all when it comes to our new home. That’s why it’s so frustrating that we’re not finding anything we like. I almost feel like I’m just going to have to settle for one of the ugly places. (And for those of you wondering, I wouldn’t mind moving into an ugly home too much if it was ours to keep and do all the renovations to. But since we’re looking to rent this next place, I won’t be able to renovate. It’ll pretty much be as is.)

So that is how our house hunting is going so far. I know eventually if we don’t find something we really like, we’re just going to have to settle because we only have three weeks left and I’m not trying to be homeless. I’m sorry this post isn’t a positive one. I try to write uplifting and inspiring articles for you guys. So I’m sorry this one’s such a downer. But that’ just how life is. You have your good days and your bad days. At least those bad days help us to appreciate the good times so much more. Hey, at least that was a positive spin to things ๐Ÿ™‚ And hopefully the next time I write you, it’ll be about us finding/moving into our new place.

Till next time,

Paula ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Why I Am Ending My Weight Loss Journey Early

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For those of you who have been following the blog for a while, you know that I’ve been trying to lose weight now for a few months. I’ve been successful with it too…until now. This is tough to admit but I think I’m gonna call it quits on my weight loss journey. It has nothing to do with not being strong willed enough or not having enough self control to stick with it. The honest truth is that I really feel my body is telling me to stop.

I started my weight loss endeavors this pass May (so it’s been about 2 1/2 months now). In total I’ve lost 10 pounds. Let me just start off by saying that that was the slowest I’ve ever lost weight. I’ve written before how I’ve lost 40 pounds in the past when I was at my heaviest. And I was able to lose that so quickly, like it was nobody’s business. But when it came to these 10 pounds, it took forever. Let me tell you why I think that is.

In doing some research, I came across a theory that I agree with. It is called the “set point theory”. It basically states that all of us have a certain set point for our weight, a certain weight that our bodies feel is healthy for us and will fight to maintain. Just like we are all predisposed to having a certain height (thanks to our genetics) the same can be said for our weight. So if your family (like mine) tends to be on the curvier side, chances are you will too and vice versa if your family is on the thinner side. Now it is possible to still lose the weight but you may have to go to drastic measures to do so and to then maintain that weight loss.

I have been the same weight now for years. I eat healthy, workout each and every week, and my body has always been happy at this same weight.ย  It has always been easy to maintain. When I started my weight loss journey in May, I was 10 pounds heavier. So when I started eating less and counting calories, it didn’t feel hard at all. My body didn’t struggle with it. But now that I’ve reached my set point weight again, my body is suddenly acting as if it’s starving. I constantly feel hungry everyday. Even though I’m eating the same amount, suddenly my body is demanding that I feed it more.

I am a strong believer in listening to your body. I feel that our body’s know what’s best and will try to alert you when something’s not right. So when my body started sending me these constant hunger signals, I was conflicted. I really wanted to listen to my body but I also wanted to continue losing weight. Ultimately, I decided though that I needed to listen to my body. Our bodies don’t care whether or not we look like an Instagram model or like a certain celebrity’s bikini body. Our bodies are concerned about our health and well being. I just thought to myself too that sure, I could fight my body to lose this weight but at what cost? Developing an eating disorder? And I’m not saying that for anyone trying to lose weight, it’ll just end up in an eating disorder. No, not at all. I’m just saying for myself personally, it was so clear that my body was fighting me on losing this weight. It was going to do what was necessary to keep me at what it felt was already a healthy weight.

I have lost some more weight in the past too. But immediately my body gained it all back even though I was eating healthy and doing everything as I should have. And maybe I could’ve kept it off if I had been tracking my calories, but I’m sorry I don’t want to focus on calories for the rest of my life. I don’t want everything I do to be dictated by calories. I don’t want to constantly worry about whether or not I’m “allowed” to eat something every time I sit down for a meal. And I don’t want to have to worry about trying to maintain this “perfect” weight. Life is just worth so much more than being a certain size or weight. I want to enjoy life and time with friends and family and not stress about food. And ultimately that’s what my decision came down to. I didn’t want to allow food, dieting, and weight loss to control my life. I was meant for bigger things than that.

I hope my experience has helped you in some way. This was not easy to admit to millions of people since I know some will judge harshly. But it’s honestly what I felt was best for my body. I am going to love my body as it is, nourish it, and care for it with love. It’s done nothing but amazing things for me, including giving birth to my beautiful baby girl. Hopefully this has helped you to see that your life is worth so much more than attaining a certain body. I am all for losing weight for health reasons but when it comes to just vanity weight loss, it’s just not worth it in my opinion. I hope you give your body the love it deserves.

How To Get Over Intimidation At The Gym (Gymidation)

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Intimidation at the gym: it is something that is so common now that there is actually a word for it- “Gymidation”. You see all these really fit and attractive people working out around you at the gym, they go in so focused and determined, they know exactly what they’re doing. While you feel frumpy and a mess and wander around, not really knowing where to get started. Like most people, I felt that way too. But let me tell you, you don’t have to feel like that. It does get better. If you feel gymidation whenever you try to workout, then read on to see how to let go of that intimidation and become confident in the gym.

I’ve been going to the gym regularly for 3 months now and at first I definitely felt intimidated. I thought that maybe people were judging me and thinking to themselves that I was doing everything wrong. I felt like I looked ridiculous at times with what I wore or with my gut all obvious and clear for people to see. I felt like a mess. But I accepted that. I knew that I looked like a hot mess. That’s exactly why I was going to the gym in the first place, to improve my appearance and to work on the things that I was self conscious about.

At times I did feel embarrassed but I just pressed on. And ultimately, that is my advice for you too. Keep going to the gym and keep working out hard even if you feel like a mess because you know what? That’s the only way you’ll see any results. That way of thinking is exactly what helped me to continue. I knew that I might look silly right now but in time I’d soon feel better about myself.

Change is not going to happen by you staying in your comfort zone, curled up at home under a blanket, eating ice cream (which is one of my favorite things to do). You need to push pass your little bubble of comfort because doing the same thing is only going to give you the same results. But if you’re serious about making a change and seeing a difference, then you’re going to have to try some new things (like going to the gym). And it doesn’t have to be hard at all. You don’t have to hit the gym 6+ times a week. I only go to the gym 3 times a week and I have seen amazing results just in the short time that I’ve been going.

Don’t worry about other people at the gym. Focus on you, your workout, and why you’re there in the first place. Keep clear in mind your goals and where you’d like to see yourself a few months down the road. It’s only by sticking to the process that you’ll see the results you want. Don’t cheat yourself from reaching your goals just because you’re scared of what other people may be thinking. Whether they are thinking negatively about you or not doesn’t really matter. They can think what they want but it won’t affect you. And if they are, then just let that be added motivation to prove to them, and to yourself, that you can do anything you set your mind to.

I really hope this article has helped you guys. For so long, I wasn’t reaching the goals that I wanted for myself because of fear. I don’t want you guys to be like that though. I am so happy that I am finally taking control of my life and putting in the action that’s necessary to reach my goals. I don’t want fear to hold you back from being the happiest person that you can be. Now that I’m going to the gym regularly, I feel so good both inside and out. Working out is so therapeutic for me, especially if I’ve had a rough day. And those endorphins make you feel so good and bursting with energy for hours afterwards. Plus, I’m gaining confidence with the more I sculpt my body. I want you guys to be able to enjoy those benefits too.

So may you be fearless on your fitness endeavors and keep pressing forward ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Goals For July 2018

background-image-ballpen-black-843227.jpgI think it’s so important that we are always improving and growing in our lives. That’s why I like to constantly set new goals for myself so I always have something to work towards and become better in. With this new month upon us, I thought it’d be a perfect opportunity to set some new goals. I wanted to share them so they can hopefully help inspire you all with your own goals. So, here they are:

  1. Stay on track with my weight loss journey. I won’t lie, at times it has been a struggle to continue. Even though I have found a way that works for me and is relatively easy, sometimes I just don’t want to have to track my calories or try to stay within a certain calorie budget. I sometimes just want to be able to eat whatever I want and not have to think about it. But I know that I need to continue. I’ve been so happy with my results already and I just know that I won’t be satisfied if I just stop right now. If I did, I would just continue to have the same insecurities that I’ve had for so long. So I want to push on and stick with the process. I’m almost done so it’ll just be a little while longer.
  2. Find a new place to live. As you guys may know by now, we are moving. We’ve been looking for a new home for 2 weeks now and it has been exhausting! Between constantly searching for homes, making calls, taking tours, getting my hopes up, and then being let down, I am tired of the whole process. So I’d like to find a home and start moving into it this month too, if possible.
  3. If we do move this month, then I’d like to get our home simplified and organized. I’m kind of tired of having our place so disordered. Honestly, when the house is a mess it makes me feel very overwhelmed and stressed. I don’t want to feel like that. So I want to get rid of a whole lot of things and simplify our house even more. I’ll be sharing with you guys how I’m organizing our place too along with some before and after photos, so stay tuned for that. ๐Ÿ™‚

Those are my main goals so far for this month. I know it’s not as much as last time but every month will be different like that. I hope you guys enjoyed this post. Give this a “like” if you enjoy these kind of articles so I’ll know to write more like them. Please share any goals you’re working on at the moment. I would love to get some new ideas for my own personal growth ๐Ÿ™‚

Weight Loss Journey Update: How I’m Eating To Lose The Weight

*Disclaimer: I just want to start off by saying that I am not a doctor. This is just my personal experience and what has worked for me. The information I share with you is what I have learned through trial and error and my own research. But of course, if you have any questions about any of this, please make sure to discuss it with your doctor first.*

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, then you’ll know that in May of 2018 I decided to start my fitness journey. I wanted to update you guys because I know articles like this can help encourage and motivate others who are on a similar path.

Today is now July 1st of 2018 and I am happy to say that I am still on my fitness journey. This would be my 7th week of working out at the gym and eating portion controlled meals. I am so proud of myself though for really sticking with it this time. It’s funny how you can have so many times that you tell yourself, “This is it. I’m finally going to lose the weight!” But then you just end up quitting. Honestly you guys, I had been saying for about 6 years now that I was going to lose this weight. I would try so many different things that ended up just not working or I didn’t like it so I’d quit. So I find it so crazy that this time around I am sticking with it. I am serious about losing the weight this time and there is nothing that’s going to stop me. I am just that motivated and determined. But I feel like the reason why this way of losing weight is working is because it’s not hard to me or dreadful at all. I don’t feel starved or deprived or anything like that.

For the first month of my weight loss journey I just focused on portion control and it worked, but only during that time. After a while I noticed that my weight had plateaued. I tried to wait it out to see if it’d work itself out. But after 3 weeks of being the same weight, I decided I’d try calorie counting. I just didn’t want to be wasting my time doing something that was no longer working. And I felt like 3 weeks was long enough to wait. So I went online and tried a few different calorie calculators to see how much I should be eating for weight loss. I tried about 3 or 4 different ones. They all tend to give you a different number so I just took the average of all of them. I ended up with about 1600 calories. I think that is the perfect number for me. I still nurse my toddler 4 times a day, I tend to be moderately active, and I workout at the gym 3-4 times a week for an hour each session. I also have a good amount of muscle mass on my body. So all that needs to be taken into consideration when determining your calories. One calculator tried saying that I needed to eat just 1300 calories which I already felt was very low for me but I thought I’d give it a try. When I did, I was very hungry all day, felt light headed, exhausted, and irritable. So I knew that I needed to eat more. The crazy thing too is that before I thought all those symptoms were normal to feel when losing weight. But let me tell you, they’re not! That was a big reason why I never stuck to losing weight before: because I didn’t want to feel like that for months while trying to lose weight. So if you find yourself feeling miserable at all when trying to eat less for weight loss, try increasing your calories by a few hundred, Most likely you’re body just needs to eat a little more.

A really simple tool I’m using for calorie counting that I’m sure you heard of is the “My Fitness Pal” app. It’s free to download and so easy to use. I’m not getting paid or endorsed by them at all. This has just really helped me and I think it”ll help you as well. I have always hated counting calories. HATED! But this app is seriously so quick and easy to use. It even has a bar code scanner so if you have the package of the food you’re eating, you can just scan the bar code with your phone and it’ll upload all the nutrition information for you and then you’re done. If you tend to eat the same meals (like I do. I eat the same breakfast everyday.) you can log all the ingredients for it on your phone and then save it on the app. So next time when you’re eating that meal again, you don’t have to log each and every little thing again, you can just click on the saved “meals” button and it”ll have it all ready to go for you right there. If you’re going to a restaurant, it’ll already have the menu and calories on your phone so you can literally just click on what you ordered instead of having to log it all in yourself. I honestly love this app (especially the bar code feature ๐Ÿ™‚ ). So even if you’re someone like me who has tried tracking your calories before but hated it, try giving this app a try. You might just like it ๐Ÿ™‚

I also don’t restrict myself when it comes to cravings. If I really want to eat something, I’ll let myself have it. I just make sure to keep it within my calorie intake for the day. I feel it’s best to eat what you want in moderation now, than to restrict and deprive yourself for so long until you can’t take it anymore and you end up binge eating hard. Also, eating in a balanced way like this will help you in sticking to your weight loss plan long term since there are no rules as to what you can and cannot have.

And I just wanted to touch on something that was very hard for me losing weight this time around, since I know other people may be experiencing the same thing. I have lost 40 pounds in the past when I was at my heaviest but back then I was able to drop the weight so quickly. There were times where I’d lose 7 pounds in a week and it wasn’t even like I was trying to. But now I lose 1 pound a week. It was very frustrating at first to see how slow the weight was coming off. Especially since now is the time that I’m working my hardest at the gym and eating less, and yet I’m losing the weight much slower than when I was heavier and wasn’t trying nearly as hard. I had to remind myself though of how my body is going to try and hang onto these vanity pounds so it is going to take longer. I also reminded myself that progress is progress. That has basically been my motto throughout this fitness journey. Even if you are losing the weight so incredibly slow, just be happy that you’re going in the right direction. You’re still losing weight, even if it is slow, and that’s bringing you one step closer to your goal. It’s that mindset that has helped me to keep going even when I become impatient and wish that I could drop the weight faster. Before I would be so upset that my progress was so slow that I would just quit. But how is that helping the situation? ย At least before you were making progress. If you quit, then you’re not getting any closer to your goals.

To sum this all up for you: track your calories (but don’t go tooย low), eat what you’d like but just in moderation, and keep in mind that progress is progress. I hope this article has helped you guys. I just really don’t want you to waste your time like me doing all the wrong things when you can just get it right the first time and finally reach your goals. Please give this a “like” if you enjoyed it and comment down below a weight loss hack that has worked for you. We could all use each other’s help.

 

Cupshe High Waisted Bikini Review: My Experience

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been hearing a lot about Cupshe swimsuits for a while now. Whether it be on Pinterest or Youtube, I tend to see Cupshe ads a lot. After watching one of my favorite Youtubers rave about their swimsuits, I thought I’d give them a try.

The first thing I noticed when I looked at their website was just how cute their swimsuits are. I personally think that they’re very unique and not something you’d see shopping at regular stores. They have a lot of styles to choose from. For me, I chose a highwaisted bikini. I did highwaisted just because I think it looks more flattering. Highwaisted anything tends to highlight a womens curves so that they’re more noticeable. It compliments your curves ๐Ÿ˜Š It also can hide any parts that maybe you’re a bit self conscious about like a lower belly pooch or lower back fat.

Buying this swimsuit was so important to me because I have never bought a swimsuit that was just my style and that I felt cute and attractive in. All my life I pretty much always wore a shirt and shorts when going in the water because I was too self conscious. Then just recently I finally wore a one piece and with no cover up. The only thing was, it wasn’t my style so I didn’t feel 100% confident. But it was much better than my shirt and shorts days. So I very much wanted to buy a swimsuit that flattered my body and made me feel my best. And I’m so glad I bought this one.

It was only $30.99 which I didn’t think was bad at all. At a recent store I went to, they wanted to charge $30 EACH for a bikini top and bottom. I do not want to spend $60 on a swimsuit. So I was happy with the price.

The swimsuit ended up taking about 10 days to get to me. When it came, it was folded into the little bag that you see in the first picture. It was very cute. The coloring was exactly what I thought: peach top with black and white striped bottoms. The bra is actually padded which is an added bonus. I didn’t know it came like that. So at least I don’t have to worry about anything being seen through. Overall, I felt that it was good quality and nicely made. The only only thing I’d say about it is I think they made a mistake with just one of the stiches. It looks like maybe they skipped a stitch or something. But I honestly don’t think its something anyone would notice so I’m not too upset about it. Its just one of those things that I’m always going to see and know its out of place but nobody else will.

I really like the fit. I ended up ordering a medium. I couldn’t decide between getting a small or medium but since they were out of stock with the small, I just took a chance and ordered the medium. It ended up fitting perfectly so I’m glad I did. I’m normally a small on top and a medium on the bottom (so a 4/6). Since I’m on the shorter side (5’3) the top ended up being able to stretch and cover my lovehandles which I was really happy about. I’m currently working on them at the gym but I’m not there yet. They’re smaller but still there. So just the fact that I’ll be able to cover them up while I’m still in the process of losing them is reassuring to me.

My takeaway: if I’m ever in need of a swimsuit, I would definitely buy from them again. Their swimsuits are cute, affordable, and very flattering. I’m glad I tried them out (I never buy clothes online) and I can’t wait to buy from them again ๐Ÿ˜Š

I hope you guys liked this post. If you’re into clothing reviews like this, make sure to give this a thumbs up so I can continue to write similar articles.

Have you guys ever ordered from Cupshe? If you did, how was your experience? I’d love to hear from you.