Friday, October 2, 2015

Friday's Letters...The Brows, The Disappearance and The 16 Oz. Spill

Shannon and I at Notre Dame 8 years ago. Fun Fact - I've never been to a Notre Dame game that wasn't pouring rain or pouring snow. #tradition?

Dear Clemson (vomit)....Shannon and I are coming for you this weekend. And by that I mean we will be rolling in blasting the Notre Dame fight song and donned in blue and gold. Dear Clemson Weather...In true Clemson fashion, you suck and are forecasting a bazillion gallons of rain and wintry winds for Saturday. My pre-planned outfit is a tank top, not a poncho. I'm going to need you to pull it together. I'm not one of those girls who can pull off wet hair. 

Dear Iced Coffee....As soon as I walked into work I spilled all 16 ounces of you all over myself and my desk. Not really the wake up effect I was hoping you'd give me. Dear The Gym Boy....You've disappeared and my gym world is a little sadder these days. It's also going to be a lot more impossible for us to fall in love if you're not there. #youthinkimkidding #gloriaclearystyle  Dear the 10th Day of rain...the TENTH. Do you know how many days it's been since I've had a good hair day. TEN. Are you picking up what I'm laying down here?

Dear Woman in the Elevator that bonded with me over bold eyebrows....I legit wish our elevator ride was longer than 25 floors. I feel like we had lots more to discuss about the awesomeness of a thick brow. 


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

6 Ways You May be Sabotaging Your Workout

Typically fitness becomes a big topic towards the end of the year (i.e. December 31st) when you start thinking about New Year's resolutions. But why not get a jump on things and really rev up your fitness game now? Below are a few things to avoid when you're getting your pump on. 

#1 You Don't Have a Plan

For years I used to wonder around the gym and hop onto any machine that perked my interest that day. And while something is always better than nothing, lately I've been tracking my workouts. I tend to stay at the gym for less time than I used to and I leave a sweaty mess with sore muscles the next day....granted its not nearly as cute as my prior exits but I have to remember what I'm there for! 

#2 Not Having a Playlist

My current favs for the gym

I can't count how many times I've done into the gym, pull up itunes and hit shuffle. I'm getting my fitness on, knocking out some burpies when all of a sudden.....Ed Sheeran's photograph comes on. Womp Womp. No offense Ed - amazing song - but, nothing is worse than right when you're in the middle of tackling an amazing cardio workout to a great beat and something slow and melancholy brings you right down into a cool down phase of mind.  

#3 Checking That Text Message
I am SO guilty of this. I'll be clipping along on a run and think "Oh I'll just check it out" and before I know my pace and heart rate has dropped as I try to quickly respond while still running.  
I've recently put a new workout rule in place - NO phone. If you have an iphone you can put it on silent and still hear your music. That way you can't hear when a text or call comes through. Those juicy texts will still be there ready to answer in 30 to 45 minutes. Make your fitness time YOUR time. No interruptions. 

#4 Hydration 
| | via Tumblr
One of the biggest things I learned when I was training for my half marathons was not only the importance of hydration but also timing. Hydration during workouts is important but being hydrated BEFORE a workout is even more crucial. 

#5 Switching It Up 
20-Minute Total Body HIIT Circuit | Fitness Republic
Another lesson from running I learned is that one sole form of exercise, isn't going to cut it. While I had the endurance of a Prairie Wagon Mule in my running days, I wasn't toned. Running is amazing cardio and cardio is key to your fitness regiment. But I've also found that resistance training and other forms really round everything out. I now incorporate four different types of exercise into my week

HIIT - High-Intensity-Interval-Training. This is my least favorite type of exercise. Think sprints. But, they're also the shortest. Just 10-15 minutes and you're out.

LISS - Low Intensity Steady State. This form of exercise is meant for to last for a longer period of time (hence it's name.) Typical LISS exercises would be a run or a long walk, bike ride or a yoga or Pure Barre class. 

Totally bias but one of the best LISS workouts ever #barresohard 

Circuit or Resistance Training - These are similar to a HIIT workout but done on repeat. Circuits are any group of exercises that you repeat 1-2 times in a set period. Rest and repeat. 

Stretching - Yes, stretching actually counts as a form of exercise! It's critical to stretch those muscles out after all the work they've done. Switch up your stretches and hold them for a good 10-20 seconds. 
Sincerely, V | via Tumblr

#6 Oversnacking
While it is smart to re-fuel your body after an intense workout, you need to check yourself. Does a LISS workout of a walk down the road really require a full protein bar or smoothie after? Probably not. Save those for your more intense sessions and maybe grab a banana in it's place. I'm not a big fan of counting calories but you want to make sure that you don't undo all the work you just completed by over-consuming post-workout. A lot of times we view food as a reward instead of thinking about what resources our body's need replaced. 

What's your key to a great workout?! 

XO, A 

Friday, September 25, 2015

I am the Cleanest Person in Atlanta

I interrupt the regular scheduled Friday's Letters programming to bring you a very important PSA.

As we all know, crafts are not my thing. Pinterest projects are an utter loss on me. But Beauty How-To's, I'm admittedly pretty good at those. I'm a self-taught-contour-er after all.

So when I kept reading RAVE reviews about the Coconut Oil Hair Mask, I figured it was about time I try it. I'm an extensive researcher so it only took me about 57 articles before I finally broke down and bought this little jar of miracle cream.

I mean, you can eat it, brush your teeth with it, wash your face with it, put it in your hair....basically a miracle product as I kept reading. 

So on a Tuesday night, I could be found in my bathroom, slathering coconut oil in my hair and letting it set for the recommended 25 minutes. As a rule-follower, I was in the shower and ready to rinse at minute 24:59. When I got out of the shower, I noticed something wasn't hair felt super thick and I couldn't drag a finger through it.

"Coconut Oil Hair Treatment. Pinner says: I just did this today, and my hair is super soft and shiny! It also smells amazing." pin now, try later @ The Beauty ThesisThe Beauty Thesis:

I must not have rinsed thoroughly.  I thought.

Back in to the shower I went to wash my hair again.

It was after emerging from the shower the second time and realizing nothing had changed that mini panic began to set in. I washed my hair two times again that night - changing up shampoos as recommended. I dumped an unimaginable amount of baby powder and dry shampoo in my hair before calling it a night hoping that they would soak up the remaining oils.

When I awoke to get ready for the gym the next morning I ran to the bathroom, excited to see my amazing miraculous beautiful hair that everyone gets using the Coconut Oil Mask. Instead I saw this

Que panic!

I washed my hair for a fifth time before heading into work for a meeting I had to attend. I share the following picture with you just because I think it really drives home the point of how wrong my coconut oil hair mask went. This is after five washes...FIVE!

After someone told me I looked unbathed and another told me I looked like I'd just finished a really intense workout, I decided to work from home for the rest of the afternoon on the clause of not wanting to look like a greasy gremlin for the rest of the day. 

Long story short....and by long story I mean...8 showers, 2 egg white masks and 2 vinegar 30 hours, the oil finally came out. I am also the cleanest person that ever lived. 

So should you find yourself wanting to try this miracle mask, I will share with you information that none of these how-to's tell you. And that is to use this stuff sparingly....and by sparingly I mean you probably should just skip it altogether. 

Happy Friday...and you're welcome :)


Monday, September 21, 2015

Tiny Treasures

In what was possibly the world's most boring, solo, depressing weekend in which I did nothing but housework and get my tan on (you feel me?) I am this morning trying to take account of all the little happy moments. Which I have dubbed tiny treasures because...alliteration 

Ryan Adams 1989
I could honestly write an entire post on this but seriously Ryan Adam's rendition of Taylor Swift's 1989 album has just made my whole week. I'm a big fan of some broody melancholy music. I Wish You Would, Blank Space and How You Get the Girl are my favorites....I mean if I HAD to choose. These are songs you need in your itunes. #yourewelcome 

I really get why people move back home now. I mean when you're younger it's all about getting out and exploring the world. And then you realize that your family are your like your best friends, and why wouldn't you want to live near them. That being said..I'm going to need for Beaufort to get a sports team and a skyscraper or two (can be read: a mall.) 

Pure Barre
I've heard quite a few clients say that pure barre saved their lives and, while that may seem a little dramatic, I get it. Because I feel the same way. Even if I'm having a crap-tastic day, there's something about going in, putting on that mic and taking a group of women through an intense workout - that may be the only time they have to themselves that day or may take their mind off whatever's going on in their they walk out with a lifted booty. I win. 

PenPals Friends
This is Marc (and his girlfriend Silvia!) I met Marc in college and we've kept up via Facebook message ever since. His job takes him all over the world (he just got a new passport after adding pages to his THREE times...I mean, unreal) and his stories about all the places he's been to and all the things he and Silvia are doing always make my day. Marc is a photographer as a hobby, he cooks, he speaks three (four?) languages and once grew these humongous watermelons in the middle of the desert...Like Yo God can I get just one talent over here #livingontunafish # doselfiescount

Office Bets and White Mani's

Despite not knowing much about the game of football (I find it quite convincing if you occasionally just yell out "punt!") I can be quite the trash-talker when it comes to my team. Such trash-talking led me in to an office bet of a bottle of wine. But even though we got destroyed lost, my office-mate-Dawg-lover was such a gracious winner that I showed up today to this little bottle on my desk. This means I have to be humble for the whole next year - thanks Spurrier.  

Also, white manicures....requires touchups as often as a newborn's feeding but...worth it. 

What are your tiny treasures this Monday? 


Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday's Letters....The One with the Non-Cooking-Cooking, the Spin Seats and the Office Bet

Dear Friday's Letters...It's been a minute! 

But seeing that you are my reader's most favorite features (can be read...there's like 2 people that really adore you) I say, we recommence yes?!

So Dear Spin Class....I typically abhor you however this past Tuesday I went dragging and screaming (ok, not really) to a spin class on a rooftop. And I'm not sure if it was the picturesque views or the fact that these particular spin bikes had no RPM meters on them but....I think you and I could be friends....with the exception of your seats. Who are those made for? 3 year olds?!

Dear Random Night Out with Jessica....You were filled with really creepy and way-too-drunk old men but, you gave me a chance to put on something besides workout plans so I count you a solid success. 

Dear Healthy Peach Cobbler...You are kind of making my life right now. My sweet tooth forever loves you. #noncooking-cooking
To Make: Berry granola...look for one with lower sugar, plan Fage Greek Yogurt, fresh peaches and a drizzle of honey or agave.

Dear This Song....You've bee my workout jam this whole week!

Dear New Workout...I'm hesitant to share you just yet but I am LOVING you. I mean when I finish working out I love you....during the workout, I'm cursing your name! #sweateveryday 


Dear Gamecocks....For the love man, please beat Georgia tomorrow. I have somehow found myself in an office bet and I hate to lose!

Dear Friends - Happiest of


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

When Indiana Met Georgia

Occasionally in life you find a really great friend. One who is so similar to you from your likes to your struggles and everything in between. And sometimes, that person lives 600 miles away. 

I got to know Katie four years ago through this little blog....the birthplace of some of my best friendships. We began emailing and eventually texting and four years later basically know everything there is to know about each other. 

So when she was deciding on plans for her birthday, I was so excited she chose to spend it with me in Atlanta! It was a whirlwind trip but we fit so much in.

Friday night dinner! Took Katie to my favorite Mexican spot with way-too-loud music. But seriously, if you haven't had tacos with fried pickles and blue cheese, you haven't lived. 

Saturday we shopped and coffee'd and lunched and talked our faces off. Saturday night we celebrated her birthday...three days premature but when in Rome right? 

Katie and I at Buckhead Pizza....a new spot for me but a fun little Italian joint!


then we did something that I have been wanting to do for years! 

And that would be visiting the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM. living people

We dubbed this picture #manhands...a glorious trait I inherited from my dad! haha

Another reason Katie and I are soul sisters is her favorite food is also chocolate milk....I think that counts as a food group right? So Saturday night ended like this. 
I mean...we can't be tamed!  

Such a super fun night!


Celebrating birthdays and New Years! 

It monsooned in Atlanta on Sunday so after a failed attempt to walk the beltline, we found ourselves holed up in a fancy little coffee shop (our literal 5th attempt at finding a coffee shop with parking!) Then spent hours chatting in my living room before her fight back to Indiana.  

So Katie....selfie-pro, should-be-DJ, lover of lipstick and dresses and stories and hilarious auto-corrects and one of the most gorgeous and genuine-hearted people I have ever known, thanks so much for sharing your birthday with me! Can't wait til this crazy life brings us to the same city again! 


Wednesday, September 9, 2015


A big thank you to all my sweet friends who commented and emailed and texted on my last post. I'm so thankful to have such a beautiful group of caring friends. 

 #Squadgoals what? #bloggoals is where it's at.

This past holiday weekend I met up with a group of my girlfriends and we made our way out to a resort on Lake Lanier to celebrate Whitey's bachelorette! I met Whitney the second week I moved to Atlanta and we've been friends ever since. I've been there for all the dates - good ones, bad ones, realllly bad ones and then the one with Nate -the first of many and forever. So exciting to see one of your best friends fall in love and have her final "fling before the ring." 

The Whole Group (Minus Shannon) 

My pretty friends! 

Me and Jess. This girl is so much fun! 

The Bride's Tribe! Whitney went to Florida State so naturally when we saw this little 'ole Seminole on the side of the road, we had to take a picture with him.

Car Shenanigans! Shannon came all the way from Kansas City. Miss that girl so much - she makes me laugh!

The Whole Group - Florida Girls and Atlanta Girls unite! 

 My travel roomie for life!

What's a bachelorette party without a little lingerie, am I right?! 

But out of all the lingerie, Whitney was most excited about the Cat pajamas. haha One of the reasons I love Whit.....her crazy love of cats and fearlessness over being a "cat lady."

Me and Whit headed out to wine cruise! 

Me and Katie....we may look happy but deep inside we're both seasick and about to vomit! Good times on the high seas. #godblessdramamine  


Back on solid ground!

Such a fun and much needed weekend with this group of friends. I haven't laughed that much in  a long time. So thankful for this group of girls. 

How was your Labor Day weekend?!

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