Workout Wardrobe Wishlist

If you haven't read my May Health & Fitness Update, I've been using the Sweat App since mid March and have lost about 20 lbs. Thankfully most of my clothes still fit (they just fit a little better) but I've been eyeing some new workout apparel to splurge on to celebrate hitting the end of my first 12 week cycle. 

Who is your fitness fashion inspiration? Is there anything you've been eyeing lately? The high waisted white leggings from alo are the highest on my list! 

xoxo

AME

Creating an Instagram Aesthetic

One of the most requested posts I've gotten is about how I create my Instagram aesthetic. It makes my heart warm that you guys love my Instagram, but rather than teach you how to get mine, I'm going to show you how I edit my photos and how you can develop your own aesthetic. 

DEVELOPING YOUR AESTHETIC

The worst mistake people make when they try to make a cohesive instagram is they look at someone else's account and decide they want theirs to look like that. It's great to follow accounts for inspiration, and have a specific style you love or even people you love, but you cannot go into building your instagram with the mindset that it's going to look like someone elses. 

Everybody lives different lives and sees the world differently. Your aesthetic should reflect your life, what surrounds it, and how you percieve it. 

The best accounts [in my opinion] are those where you really get to know the person you're following. Let people get to know the real you, both in how you take your photos, what you take them of, and how you edit them. In other words, develop your own style, you're own stamp. 

HOW I EDIT MY PHOTOS

I describe the style of my photos as cluttered minimalism. Certain parts of my life are very type A, while the rest of it is incrediby disorganized, and I feel like my photos represent that. I take 99% of my photos using my iPhone 7 (purchased in Dec. 2016 for reference) and the other 1% are taken using my DSLR. 

I start editing every photo in Facetune. I use facetune to take out unecessary yellow tones in my photo using the 'whitening' tool and I literally rub it over every pixel in the photo, unless there's coffee or anything that would call for it. Then I move the photo into VSCO Cam. 

I use VSCO to both plan out my feed and edit. I use the A6 filter as well as aditional edits. I almost always use the maximum for the filter, then once its applied I will go in and up the brightness, up the contrast, up the saturation and reduce the temperature or warmth of the photo. Once I feel like it fits in with my feed I will usually post it right away, but sometimes I'll have a few ready at once and I'll wait. 

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BEFORE

AFTER

I personally like my photos a little overexposed, and later on I look back and realize that sometimes I may have upped the brightness too much or not enough on a photo, but thats what's helpful about using VSCO to plan first. 

My biggest piece of advice for building your instagram is take photos that inspire you. You'll never be bored of your feed, and you'll gain relevant, active followers that truly identify with you!

Leave links to your accounts below! I'd love to check them out!

xoxo

AME

Why I Don't Have an Internship this Summer

Every summer since I started college I've held a part-time internship. As a marketing major, I've been dreaming of the internship of my dreams the summer after my junior year (AKA right now). If you asked me in February what my plans were this year I would've said that I was on my way to the perfect internship. 

At the time I was 3 interviews deep for the ideal, paid, full-time brand strategy internship in NYC, and had applications out for a few others with interviews pending. After what felt like 30 interviews I got the emails no one expects or want to get: "After careful consideration we've decided to go with another candidate. Thank you for your time." 

I started scrambling and freaking out. This was THE summer for internships! I was convinced that if I didn't have an internship I was a failure.

I decided to apply for an unpaid PR internship in Boston for a company that I had always followed on social media. I always preached to people never to take an unpaid position becuase their work is valuable, but I convinced myself that the experience would be great and even though PR wasn't something I wanted to do, I could use that knowledge in brand development.. somehow. The internship was descriped in my first interview as being upwards of 45 hours a week, and sometimes requiring travel without being given a stipend. They sad I could take the internship for college credit, but that would cost me an additional $4,000.00 minimum to convert the credits.

I started calculating the costs of the internship: $300 a month for travel into the city, plus food while I'm there, travel expense for any PR events, and because it was a 45 hour a week min I wouldn't be able to hold a job outside of it. I emailed the recruiter after my first interview asking if they would consider reduced hours before I came in for a second interview, I was given the answer that I'd have to committ before they'd consider it. 

Ultimately I decided that it wasn't worth it. I could take the time I was dedicating to this company and dedicate it to my blog, while working. So I applied to a few retail jobs and started creating a content calendar for June. As much as having an internship experience during THIS summer is seen as necessary, I know that I would rather be getting expereince in retil and working on my blog and learning about branding through my own expereinces than dedicating 50+ hours a week to a PR internship that was not relevant to anything other than time management. 

I'm excited getting my blog back to where it belongs, making some money, and taking the summer for me. As amazing as it would have been to have that perfect paid internship in NYC, I'm completely happy with the decisions I've made and know that not having an internship this summer is not the end of the world.

Something people don't talk about enough is what to do when the perfect scenario doesn't happen. What do you do when everything you planned doesn't work out? Should you take any internship just to say you have one? This summer I'm choosing to spend the summer doing something I love, and taking time to learn skills I'll need (take e-courses in adobe software I haven't used yet, video editing software, etc.) and spend my last summer before adulthood enjoying myself. Opportunities to take time for self discovery do not come very often, so if you ever find yourself in a position where the perfect scenario isn't working out, look at it for an opportunity to discover yourself. 

How are you spending your summer? Have you ever wondered what you would do if you didn't get the perfect internship?

xoxo

AME

May Health & Fitness Update

If you know me personally you know that me and health/fitness have never been friends. I love food and I'm far too lazy to have ever cared anough to really get into a health or fitness routine, but I have consistantly attempted to try several things (see post 1, 2, 3, etc.)

BBG 2 month update

HOW I GOT HERE 

While I've always been confident in who I am, this semester I reached a point where I started to avoid mirrors and would avoid being in photos because I was so uncomfortable with where I was. I don't want to share my exact weight to avoid making anyone feel uncomfotable, but I am 5'2 and I had gained 40 lbs since my freshman year of college. For someone so short, that's and incredibly uncomfortable amount of weight to gain in only 3 years.  

When I started my most recent fitness journey, it was about a month after a very emotional breakup from my almost 4 year relationship. I began setting a lot of personal goals and doing a lot of self-reflecting. The first thing I did was look back at each of the previous times I had started the same program or similar ones and looked at why I stopped, why did I not make it a lifestyle change. What I noticed was that I never began the journey for me. 

Each time in the past, I had started the journeys unintentionally trying to get healthy or in shape for my ex, who was a known gym rat. And each time I failed because it wasn't something I was doing for myself. I wasn't motivated. This time was different. I was doing it to get healthy for me, not look better for someone else.

THE PROGRAM I CHOSE

When I decided to start Kayla Itsines, BBG, again I convinced a friend to do it with me (she's currently kicking my butt), and I planned to start over my spring break. I took about 2 weeks before I officially started the program to get in the habit of going to the gym, and starting to devlop my meal plan. I stayed on campus for spring break, and starting the program while I was there (alone on campus with an entire gym to myself) was super beneficial! 

I decided to journal throughout the process and about two weeks in I noticed another reason that I had stopped these programs in the past: whenever I didn't do them absolutely perfect, I wanted to quit. During my second week I skipped one day of LISS so I repeated the entire week and during that week I only half did one of my resistance workouts because of a time constraint and I started to get so discouraged. I ended up skipping a bunch of days and my BBG buddy would send me snaps of her workouts and meals and I felt so annoyed with myself for giving up. 

I did more self reflecting and realized, it's ok to not do it perfectly, as long as I'm still puting everything I can into it. If I have to miss and LISS for a day, or if I can only do half a resistance workout because of time, thats OK, but it's NOT ok to give up. 

MAY PROGRESS

As of Monday, May 29, I am beginning my 8th week using the Sweat App, and my 2nd week on the Body and Mind program (switching after 6 weeks of BBG) and I have officially lost 19 lbs. Going into this program I am not as concerned with losing a certain amount of weight or getting to a goal weight, especially knowing muscle weighs more than fat, but since starting the program in Late March, I've gotten in the habit of weighing myself at the start of every new week on a Monday when I begin the next week on the program. I also try to take progress photos in the app when I remember on these Monday's.  

What I am concerned about is feeling good in my own skin again and feeling like my body is healthy. I've had some stomach issues and struggled with chronic migraine and getting into a fitness regimine has been shown to help with chronic migrane and regulating my diet has been helping my stomach. 

I haven't seen a ton of progress in my arms and chest yet (honestly I was kinda hoping my boobs were gonna shrink) but I've felt significantly less bloated and puffy! Plus my skin has never been better! I don't think I've ever felt more comfortable and confident leaving the house without makeup on. 

DIET AND MEAL PLAN

As for the meal plan, Kayla provides you with an extensive meal plan for each day of the program. Unfortunately, this plan is not made for a students budget and is not the easiest to prepare on a busy schedule. So instead, I read all of the handy educational sections of the app that included food and macro and micro nutrients. Then I created a meal plan based around making sure I ate a balanced diet of protien, carbs, and healthy fats/sugars. (if you'd like to see a post of what I eat in a day or some general recipies let me know!)

Now, I'm going to be honest, there were cheat meals, and if you follow her program exactly as it's layed out the progress would probably be amazing! But I decided that I'll only be young once, and you only have one life. I want to love myself, love my body, and take care of my body, but I also want to enjoy life. I don't want to ever be that person who will say no to a slice of pizza or some wings to avoid gaining 0.02 lbs. I'm living this lifestyle with an 80/20 mindset. If you live a relatively healthy lifestyle 80% of the time, don't be afraid to let yourself enjoy things you enjoy the other 20%. 


Have you used the Sweat App? Have a favorite fun and healthy recipe? I'd love to hear what you guys think or any advice you have!!

xoxo 

AME

Keep Moving Forward

Everyone needs a break sometimes. It's been three months since I last blogged, and the break was needed. I never thought I would take three days off bloging let alone three months, but I was drowning. My course work was getting to me, the annual conference I plan was becoming more time consuming, I stared working full-time over winter break, and blogging began to feel like a chore. 

When I got back to campus for second semester I knew I needed to focus on school, the conference, and myself. I didn't give myself a date or a timeline of when I'd return to blogging, I just gave myself time, time to love it again. 

συνέχισε μπροστά: keep moving forward. I got this tattoo as a reminder that unexpected things happen. Relationships fall apart, friendships end; and sometimes you have no control and soemtimes you may not know why. 

There are things in life that Type A people like me can't plan for. My Day Designer doesn't have a section for dealing with the loss of a friend or relationship. But I can keep moving forward. 

Taking this break from blogging, and taking this time to focus on myself has helped me discover who I am. Keep moving forward, συνέχισε μπροστά, take a break, give yourself what you need for you. 


I'm excited to finally be back to blogging and to be excited about it! I'm also excited and nervous about this new chapter of my life.

How has your new year been?! Do you have a new motto? 

xoxo

AME

Mid-Year Day Designer Launch

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Mid-Year Day Designer Launch time!! Have you guys seen the new covers that Day Designer has released for this year's launch? I'M OBSESSED! 

The launch is this Wednesday: March 22. So mark your calendars! 

I can't decide which cover I'm going to choose this year! I was dead set on the Palm initially, but the new White Marble that was just released is g o r g e o u s! 

Buying a Day Designer isn't just like buying any other planner. When you get a Day Designer you've gained access to Whitney English's knowledge of living a well-organized life. If you can't already tell, I'm in love with every Day Designer I've ever owned, and the next one I purchase won't be any different. 

To get you off on the right foot with your new Day Designer, here are 10 essential ways to planning a successful day from Day Designer themselves. 

Which Mid-Year Day Designer do you have your eyes on?

xoxo

AME

5 Ways to Prepare for a New Semester

It's a new year and a new semester is upon us! Back-to-school season has always been my favorite time of the year. I've always been that nerd who loves preparing for school. There's something about getting to stat fresh that motivates the crap out of me. 

Everyone has different ways of getting themselves ready, or little preparing by buying certain things, but there are a few things I think we all could do before starting a new semester. 

Purge

Last semester you collected a lot of things. Notebooks, post-its, random reciepts, none of which are important anymore. And, unfortuantely, during finals we're all so concerned with finsihing our exams and leaving that we don't take the time to go through our space. 

If you have the luxury, spend the day before classes start, or an afternoon during syllabus week, going through your dorm or bedroom and decluttering all of last semesters junk. 

Get New Supplies

MY FAVORITE PART. I love getting new colored pens, highlighters, and my three different kinds of black pens. (clearly I have a problem) After purging from last semester you'll know what you need to replenish and you can take a trip to Target [heaven] and stock up. 

Add Important Dates to Your Planner

I prefer to do this before classes start, but some professors don't release their syllabi until their first class. Whenever you get access start adding your assignments to your planner and shoot to have it finished by the end of sylllabus week. 

Also add in any exersize classes you know you'll be attending or any conferences or networking events you know you want to go to this semester. 

Clean Up Your Computer

You know how at the end of every semester it feels like your laptop is dying a slow painful death? It's because you've downloaded/uploaded/used on a soft surface/used for too many consecutive hours/etc. etc. etc. 

Take an hour and delete any documents you don't need. Transfer anything you want into an external harddrive, or dropbox, and go through your downloads and see if anything can be deleted. Also be sure to go through your applications; I noticed I had downloaded a bunch of apps onto my computer years ago that I don't even use anymore that have just been slowing it down. 

Go Snack Shopping

Stock up on some healthy grab-n-go snacks that you can bring with you to class. I always feel more prepared for the day when I know I have a seltzer and an Odwalla bar in my bag just incase so I don't have to buy something on campus.  

How are you preparing for next semester?

xoxo

AME

2017 Fitness Goals

If you've been keeping up with my blog for a while you'd know I've gone through several fitness adventures, and every single time I never achieve what I hoped to out of them. But this year I've decided that rather than set a goal for a specific number on the scale or a pant size, I've set a new kind of goal. 

In 2017 I want to learn how to love exercise. I want to be one of those people who looks forward to going on a run, or meeting their friend at a fitness class. 

How Do I Plan to Learn to LOVE Exercise?!

Well, back in October I made the decision to give up soda. Aside from general health reasons, I gave up soda mostly to help my chronic migraine. I had attempted to give up soda probably 400x in the past and failed, but I've actually been successful this time. As someone who use to drink 3 or four sodas a day, I quit cold turkey and haven't had more than one sip of soda since. 

I did this by following the mentality that it takes 21 days to break or make a habit. So that's how I'm going to start with exercise. 

| STEP 1: Making the Habit | 

I move back to campus on January 21st, and I will spend the next 21 days incorporating a form of exercise into my daily life. (That's only 3 weeks of daily exercise, I can do this!) After doing the Kayla Itsines Beach Body Guide, and really liking the weekly set up, I'm going to follow a similar schedule and do 2 or 3 days of just cardio and 2 or 3 days of strength training with 2 rest/restore days that I will fill with yoga or pilates. 

| STEP 2: Finding What I Love |

 As much as I love yoga and I tolerate the elliptical, those aren't really super motivating things. There are no great [free] yoga studios near my school, and my campus gym offers a very limiting number of yoga classes. BUT, they do offer a ton of other classes that I've always been to scared to try. SO, I'm taking a piece of advice from Shonda Rhimes book, Year of Yes, and I will be saying 'yes' more to new things this semester. 

| STEP 3: Loving Exercise | 

This is the part I'm excited for! I can't wait to start doing things with friends, and going to fitness classes and just having fun! I've always secretly wanted to be one of those girls and her friends who go shopping after they've been to a barre class. (ok, I'm a little weird.) And as a reward to myself for finding what I love I will invest in either a new Fitbit or and Apple Watch at the end of the semester if I can successfully accomplish this goal and know that I anticipate keeping up the habit. 


Have you set any new fitness goals for 2017? And if you have any recommendations for fitness classes or fitness apps please let me know!! 

xoxo

AME

J.Crew Factory Basics Haul

I love going shopping in the new year (I mean come on, THE SALES!) But normally when I shop after the new year I end up buying a lot of random trendy things that I end up barely wearing and eventually donating. This year I've been planning to buy some much needed essentials. 

| Black Toothpick Jeans - $49.50

I've been in desperate need for a good pair of black skinny jeans, and I've been eyeing these ones. The ones I currently own Im pretty sure are leggings from American Eagle 5 years ago, so it's safe to say I was in need to an upgrade. These jeans retail for between $110-$125 but they fit amazingly, so finding them for under $50 made me know I HAD to get them. 

| Black Schoolboy Blazer - $110

As a business student, having a black blazer is kind of essential. I'm going into my second semester as a junior and I still didn't have a black blazer, let alone a decent blazer of any kind. This one is a classic and I can wear it with jeans or dress it up when I need to. Being a marketing major I won't need to have a ton of suiting apparel, but a fun blazer will be necessary. 

| Denim Jacket - $34

Every denim jacket I've ever owned either had a bunch of holes in it, had sweatshirts for sleeves, or didn't fit properly. All I've wanted was a good denim jacket that I could wear with anything and keep as a staple in my closet. I love this one because it has some stretch in it and it's just a classic colored denim. 

| Crystal Necklace - $24.50

I can never leave the J.Crew Factory store without buying a necklace! I love all of the simple statement necklaces and this one is no different. For only $25 I couldn't say no. 


Overall I left feeling like I had bought basics that I will actually use so often and that will last me a long time! If you want to shop what I'm currently wearing check out my new "Shop My Closet" page. I'll be updating this page as often as my wardrobe changes! 

Find any great basics lately?

xoxo

AME

January Reading List

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"The Name Therapist" - Duana Taha

Every time I take a trip to the bookstore I always get one book solely based off of the cover. Clearly this book drew me [coffee addict], but when I picked it up it seemed like a genuinely interesting book. It's a combination of an autobiography and a self-help book about discovering who you are. 

"Year of Yes" - Shonda Rhimes

I have been DYING for this book. Shonda is a goddess, and I know this book is going to be my 2017 inspiration book! 

"Bones are Forever" - Kathy Reichs

I have been obsessed with the show Bones since my junior year of high school. Whenever I'm anxious, or starting to feel like I'm slipping up in school I rematch the show on Netflix and wait for new episodes to come up on Hulu. I had no idea the show was based on this book (let alone a series of following books) and happened to see it in the bookstore the day that Season 12 premiered! It was obviously destiny. 

"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" - Marie Kondo

Over the summer I had read a few articles and blog posts on this book and got so inspired, but I was in the process of moving and didn't want to order it, and I couldn't find it at any of my local bookstores. Coincidentally my bookstore had received a shipment of them the day that I was picking up a few books. Again, destiny. This book is all about decluttering your life to live more joyfully! And if you watched the Gilmore Girls Revival, Emily Gilmore even took a crack at it for a second. 


What's on your Reading list this month?

xoxo

AME