I cannot start this post without expressing my tremendous gratitude for your comments, feedback and support in my last 30-day sugar challenge post. Those personal posts can sometimes be difficult to write because I’m really putting my feelings out there — but in the blogging/Instagram world, a dose of reality is very much needed. I always want this place to be positive, uplifting and a source of inspiration, but I know that you, my readers, cannot relate to a place where everything is sunshine and rainbows all the time. When I read blogs, I often wish to have a deeper connection with that blogger and get to know a little more about their day-to-day lives, and yes, their struggles too. I want to be inspired by someone’s outfits and pretty photos, but I also want to be inspired by their personality and learn from how they cope with challenges and overcome fears.
Thank you for sharing you own stories with me or for simply offering words of encouragement. I was blown away by the fact that so many of us are struggling with worry and anxiety as women and mothers. I have some posts coming up where I’m collaborating with a fellow blogger/psychologist to provide some tips on how to cope with worry and anxiety as I can see that content would resonate with many of us. Sometimes making just a few small changes in your routine or how you relax can make a tremendous impact and I’m excited to share that content soon.
O N E
It took me so long to put together my Rewardstyle conference post this week that I totally skipped the 30-day sugar challenge post that I normally publish on Wednesday. Heather, Laura and I did a Facebook Live video (here) on Monday summarizing the last 22 days of the challenge, so check it out if you’d like to hear our chat. I was a little bit concerned that going on this trip would mean abandoning my sugar challenge but that was not the case at all. I was surprised to find myself not really craving the things I used to anymore. I got gummy bears, cookies, brownies and all kinds of sweets during the conference and I didn’t have even one of them. Not because I had to begrudgingly restrain myself, but because I just didn’t really feel like it. That was a really unfamiliar feeling for me. I did have a few mimosas during my time at the conference, so the orange juice and alcohol was definitely a “cheat” but it didn’t make me crave sweets afterwards.
I think what I’m noticing most as this challenge continues is that it’s becoming easier for me to not see sugar as a constant, everyday need. I’m also finding myself feeling more satisfied after eating my meals because instead of eating a ton of sugar after every meal, I’m actually letting my stomach tell my brain it’s full and digesting my food.
I have also lost about 4 lbs. Now, keep in mind I have not been working out for 10 days since I was gone for the conference and am sick with a bad cough right now, but I can’t help but wonder if all of those empty calories I was consuming really made a difference. I had not intended to lose weight while doing this challenge since I am so focused on building muscle, but it seems my body is responding to the dietary changes.
One thing I know I need to do is to eat more protein. I am definitely not consuming the recommended daily amount of protein for my weight and workouts, so it’s goal of mine to up that ASAP.
Overall, once I took the pressure off of myself for this challenge (like I blogged about last week), it became enjoyable versus just another stressful thing on my plate.
T W O
I have to preface this by saying that this is in no way sponsored— but I got the best spray tan of my life and if you’re in Houston, I feel compelled to share this with you. My next door neighbor and friend told me about Beautifully Bronzed, so I booked an appointment on Tuesday in preparation for the RS conference. I was given two options — a spray tan that you don’t wash off for 24 hours and one that you wash off after a maximum of three hours. I couldn’t even compute that second concept and asked a lot of questions — how the heck would my skin be bronzed if I washed my self-tanner off after just three hours?! The tech reassured me that I would in fact be very tan and even warned me NOT to keep it on for longer than three hours because I would “turn orange and splotchy.” I decided to go with the wash-off formula because I had to shower before work as not to get bronzer all over my clothes. I got the tan at 5:30 and washed it off around 8. How long you keep it on depends on the level of intensity you want, with three hours being the darkest result.
Imagine my amazement after watching all of the bronzer come off in the shower, when I looked in the mirror afterwards, my skin was perfectly even and bronzed. Y’all, this spray tan has lasted me the longest of any tan I’ve ever had and is so even and natural looking. I’m stunned by the results! It is pricey – I paid $65 plus tip, but it’s very much worth it for a special occasion. In fact, I’m going to get another one before we go to Toronto so I can have nicely bronzed skin for the week.
This is my skin FIVE days after my spray tan and the color was still going strong (and I didn’t use any lotions, moisturizers or extenders).
T H R E E
Speaking of the pic above, I’m obsessed with these sandals and have to give them their own shout-out in this post. They’re so flattering, the perfect color and you can wear them with anything. They fit TTS and they’re comfortable to walk around in.
While we’re on the topic of shoes/clothing, here’s what I ordered this week:
These heeled sandals with studs and the coolest cork heel.
| sandals |
If you loved my blue dress I wore to the RS conference, here is a similar one!
| blue lace dress |
I am also sneaking in the T3 curling wand trio that is giving my hair life these days because it’s 10% off right now. I have a curling tutorial with this wand coming up, so stay tuned.
F O U R
Framebridge & CB2 recently collaborated on a framed art collection and I picked a piece by Daily Overview. I think I’m going to start our living room gallery wall with this piece. It will add a great dose of color to our neutral space!
F I V E
Lastly, I’m currently working with a new designer to give my blog an updated look. Y’all know I get the itch every year to update my blog template but this year I really wanted to take it back to basics. I actually learned at the Rewardstyle conference that people dislike/are annoyed by slider images and moving images on blogs and that simple is best.
The template I was going to use had a slider image bar at the top and image categories below the slider, so I nixe’d all of those and decided to keep it simple — just like it was in the good ol’ blogger.com days. My new design will consist of a header, menu bar (categories with which you can navigate my site) and the posts will begin immediately, no scrolling needed. It’s not majorly different than it is now, but we are designing with ease of navigation in mind. The posts will also appear one after another as you scroll like they used to instead of being in little boxes. One change I’m also implementing is including a “view the post” button for those of you who would like to see more images of the outfit and read my comments about sizing, etc. Or, if you simply want to shop the post, it will be there ready to shop with images that you can click to shop each item in the outfit. I’m hoping this will streamline my content so that y’all can see more of the looks you want and skip over any you don’t. I’m moving to an even cleaner white template, too!
I can’t wait for y’all to see it next week! This weekend I’m going to focus on trying to rid myself of this horrible cough I’ve had all week. I’ve been drinking tea with honey like a mad woman (probably not OK on the sugar challenge but my doctor recommended it) and taking Robitussin DM, but it’s not really helping. I also tried diffusing and applying R.C. young living oil topically. If y’all have any tips, I’m all ears. My coughing fits have become so intense that I pulled a muscle and now my rib hurts. Boo! Let me know if you have any suggestions.