New Year, New Me. Sticking to your Fitness and Diet resolutions.

Hey now! It’s Ally. New Year New Me, isn’t that what we all say? Many of us want to start fresh every new year to reach our fitness goals. However, usually many commit for as little as a month or less before surrendering to the powers of couch surfing and Netflix . We’ve all been there. This year could be different though if you follow some of my tips for sticking to your fitness resolutions. Why listen to me you might ask? Well, I have a BS in Exercise Science from William Paterson University so this is my expertise. I also lost 20 lbs from January to June in 2014. Though 6 months may seem like a slow process I did have some bumps along the way. Realistically speaking if you could lose 20 lbs in 6 months you would still do it right? Exactly.

First, have a realistic goal. What do you want to achieve in the short and long term? Don’t forget it has to be realistic! If you want to lose 10 lbs in a month that is realistic… if you plan on drastically changing your diet and exercise habits. Can you do that? Sure, but will you do that? It’s up to you. If you can burn 1500 calories a week , meaning 3 work outs a week that burn 500 cals or 5 weekly work outs that burn 250 calories, then that is a pretty good start. They can be any type of aerobic exercise such as walking, running, swimming, or cardio like dancing, jumping roping ,etc. If you are lucky and have a Fitbit or a similar product this can be easy to determine. You can also go by what the the cardio machine displays if you enter your accurate weight before the workout. These are all very realistic things you can do without getting more specific. In general aim for a 1500 calorie burn a week. If you can also cut 215 calories from your current daily diet you could lose 1-2 lbs a week which is safe and effective. That is a potential weight loss of approximately 8-10 lbs in a month IF you are consistent.

Second thing,  make time for exercise. If you schedule a specific time for your workout then you will have no excuses. For example, planning to   have 3 cardio sessions at 7 pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday that burns 500 calories a session each week is feasible. Also try to have a plan B. If you have a date, meeting, party, study session, class, etc at that time make alternate plans. If you can’t complete one of the work outs try to add in 2 other workouts that burn 250 calories that week to make up for it. I suggest to do what is best for you and fit it into your schedule so you do not make excuses. If you miss a session make up the session you missed.

Third, have constant motivation and envision success. This is easy. Something or someone motivated you to get into shape in the first place whether it was you favorite celebrity, athletes, Pinterest, Instagram, or just improving your health and fitness level. Whatever keeps you motivated make sure you can see it everyday, especially before and after a workout. Try making a special pin board for your fitness inspirations, or follow a specific person that motivates you. You can even have a picture of that person on your mirror or as your background on your phone. if you want to keep it simple create a vision board with good old paper and glue. Always having a vision even when it gets tough will help you to push and perceive. You are as strong as you think you are so believe that you can do it and stay motivated.

Fourth, enlist a friend to come along for the ride. Having a friend or gym partner has a higher success rate of consistency. A lot of my personal success in 2014 was because of the motivation from my gym partner. Not only will you push each other but you will stay accountable to someone that you do not want to disappoint. Plus you guys can share recipes and do partner exercises together. Not to mention all the awesome posts you will tag each other in on Instagram.

Fifth, Consistency is key.  You can’t workout for a month and expect to see results instantly. It takes 20 consistent days to develop a habit so give it at least 3 weeks to start to notice changes.If you lose the weigh and then go back to old habits expect to gain the weigh back. Also if you workout but don;t change your diet for the better you may not see the results you want. We have unlimited calorie stores so any excess calories you take in and don’t utilize will be store as fat. Cough, cough, my mistake. If you cheat yourself you will not see results and will take steps backwards.

Sixth, be accountable and keep a record. Write down what exercises you do and when. This will keep you consistent with tracking and you can look back and see when you got stronger and adapted to exercises. After 3 weeks you should change your workouts to different ones, longer ones, or at a higher resistance. Remember, the body adapts so do your research and look for new workouts that will challenge your muscles to change. There are tons of resources online.

Lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone is different. What may work for one person may not work for someone else. I remember how frustrated I was for the first 3 months. I wasn’t losing any weight. I then gave up on weighing myself for lent. Almost 3 months later I realized I had lost 20 lbs. Don’t give up. Some changes don’t happen overnight. Keep track of how you feel, your progress, how your clothes fit, and measurements. Weight loss is not easy but it you stick with it you can change.

Even for myself, I am restarting again this year. I hope to surpass my progress from 2 years ago and stay more consistent. I will be using these tips to stay on track. If you guys have any questions please feel free to ask. I will be posting my TOP 5s later this week. Good luck and thanks for reading.

 

Make Up Mistakes Reflecting Back On the Past

Hey now friends! Ally here. So I wanted to eventually make a Youtube video about some make up mistakes that I have done in the past. Some of these mistakes were at the start of my make up journey and others not so long ago. I mentioned some of these stories at dinner last night with some of my girlfriends. I wanted to share them not only because they are highly entertaining but also to save you guys from these embarrassing moments that could have been prevented had I been advised about these extreme make up faux pas.

The first tale and probably my BIGGEST make up mistake was terribly wrong and embarrassing. I actually though I looked cute. So when I was a senior in high school I had only been wearing black eyeliner as all angsty teens do. It was winter time and I was looking extremely pale to the point that people would ask if I was ill. I noticed that one of my friend always had a year round tan and pink glowing cheeks so I asked what her secret was. She advised me to purchase this bronzer/blush duo that was rather expensive but I purchased it anyways. Unfortunately, I had no prior knowledge on how to use this type of product or any guidance when it came to make up at all. I ended up using  bronzer all over my face as if it was a powder foundation. I also put tons of the blush on my cheeks like a doll. I went to school the next day and everyone was checking me out or so I thought. Reflecting back on it now I realize it was probably because I was unknowingly blackface. I actually though I looked good too. So tragic.

My second biggest make up mistakes was unfortunately not too long ago. It occurred in the last 3 years. This faux pas began during the drawn eyebrows craze. Prior to investing in the proper brow products and learning how to use them correctly, I used black eye shadow as brow powder. I KNOW! I’m so embarrassed to even admit it but it’s true and I have the old selfies to prove it. Ladies and gentleman (some men wear makeup too), please do not be a walking make up “DON’T” like me and EVER use black eye shadow as an everyday eyebrow powder. If you do it for performances, when under bright lights, or something along those lines I can understand. However, for an everyday look, HELL NO. Use a taupe, light brown, or whatever color is appropriate to your look. If you are not sure what to use i suggest seeking a professional at your local Sephora or local make up counter because they will help you to avoid this disastrous mistake.

Make up horror number three is just as bad as number one. This involves using a BB cream that is either too light for your face, making you look like a ghost, or using one that is too dark hence the Oompa Loompa look. Just, NO.

The last makeup mistake for this post involves primer. I never really used a primer until about a 2 years ago. One time while getting ready for a performance I placed a silicone based face primer on my lids. When I attempted to apply my eye shadows it was a mess! The shadows balled up and my makeup looked as good as the Joker’s. If you are going to use primer on your eyelids please use an eye shadow primer. This product is especially made to enhance your eye shadows. It should not break your confidence of ever adequate at eye shadow application. Literally, shaking my head at this very moment.

I hoped you have enjoyed these enlightening and tragic tales. I also hope that you can learn from my mistakes if you are just starting out with make up or have never really used products before. Luckily, we have Youtube and google to help us out with these issues but you can still learn from personal experience. Good luck on your make up journeys. Look out for  future posts. I am planning to post my TOP 5s later this week and hopefully one more post about how to commit to those NEW YEAR, NEW ME resolutions. Follow me on wordpress to stay up to date on my latest posts.

 

 

Merry Xmas and Top 5s

Hey Everyone and a very Merry belated Christmas to you all. I’m a bit late on the Top 5s this week due to the holidays. However, I’m here now to get caught up on what I was loving this week.

1. Christmas– Obviously, Jesus’s birthday had to be one of my Top 5s this week. Besides it giving us a reason for a day off it also reminds us of our blessings and what a joyous time of the year it is. It also reminds us that New Year’s is just around the corner so the last few days of the year to reflect, make sure to tie up any loose ends you may have, and start brainstorming  of all the new things and fresh starts you want to have for 2016.

2. Little Caesars – Of course food is always in my Top 5s. Recently, I have been loving LC’s hot and ready pizza for 5 bucks. Not only is it affordable but totally delicious. This is the perfect party food or edibles for binge watching your favorite shows. Just don’t indulge too much. Gotta look sexy for New Years and get ready for those New Year, New Me resolutions.

3. Vinegar– Another food item? Not quite. Last week, I was loving home remedies for seasonal scalp issues. I can say that since I have been using diluted vinegar on my scalp before every wash my scalp has never felt so clean. Granted, I still have a little itch but the vinegar has controlled the dandruff issue. Besides vinegar being a great scalp cleanser I also use it to clean the bathroom and shine mirrors. It is a fabulous disinfectant and a great Windex substitute.

4. White Christmas– Didn’t we already mention this? The White Christmas I am referring to is an 8 episode mini series Kdrama thriller. It involves 7 student and faculty member who end up spending  Christmas and 8 days at their elite and secluded high school in the mountains. The students all receive a chilling threat letter prior to their stay and try to figure out who sent the letter before a supposed murder will occur during their stay. Each episode has you guessing who is the murderer but you never are quite sure of your answer. If you enjoy Kdramas with mystery and an interesting back story this one is for you.

5. Boots– I’ve always been a huge boot fanatic. My staple boots are classic black long boots and short black combat boot. This Christmas did not disappoint as I have added 3 new pairs of boots to my collection. I received these darling pair of short black ankle boots that go great with dresses, leggings, and skinny jeans. Not to mention they are quite comfortable. I also received a pair of grayish/brownish combat boots that add a little extra edge to any outfit. Lastly, I received a lovely pair of camel/brown high length Fuggs. You read right , FUGGS meaning fake uggs. I’m not one to be super into labels. Comfort, functionality, and appeal are priorities to me. These boots are super warm and perfect for the winter to come. Who doesn’t love boots?

So those were the Top 5s of the week. I have sadly already started taking down the Christmas Tree and decorating for New Year’s. I absolutely adore New Year’s so don’t be too surprised if it ends up on my Top 5s next week. Until then, I hope you guys got everything you wanted this holiday and if not go get it for yourself! You deserve it. Have a great weekend everyone!

Resolutions for 2016

In my previous post I had mentioned that I would be posting a separate blog post with my 2016 resolutions. I think a lot of them will be very typical and similar to other people’s resolutions but others may be more tailored specifically to my goals for the next year.Lets’s get the typical resolutions out of the way first.

  1. Lose Weight– I feel as if this may be the number one most made resolution every year besides my number 2 resolution. Two years ago I lost about 20 lbs and quite a bit of body fat. At this point I gained most of the weight back and definitely increase in body fat. This year I want to surpass my previous progress by losing 30 to 40lbs in the next year ,sustaining a healthy body fat percentage, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I did it before so I know I can do it again.
  2. Save Money– I think this is another very common New Year’s Resolution. This past year I did not save up any money. If anything I spent more money than I should have but made some unforgettable memories which kinda makes it worth it. This year I do want to save up at least $1,000 in savings so I can have it in case of emergencies or for any last minute event or opportunity that may arise.
  3. Read More– I am not a big reader but in the last year I have found great joy in writing. I want to read more to broaden my vocabulary and learn about other types of writing styles. I also believe reading will spark creativity and help me learn more about different topics. The first book I plan on reading is a short book filled with poems and tales written in Spanish. I think reading books in another language will also help reinforce my bilingual abilities.
  4. Learn a New Language– This goes hand in hand with reading. Currently I am slowly learning Korean. I watch a lot of K dramas so why not learn the language. I have picked up some words and phrases here and there by listening to K dramas and K pop but I am also learning to read the language as well. I hope to make some progress in 2016.
  5. Start a Career– Currently, I have been at my job for 3 and a half years. I really want to start a career though in my respective field. I am actively seeking positions in health care related to Exercise Science, Physical Therapy, and Cardiac Rehabilitation. I hope I will be successful in the New Year.
  6. Meet New People – This past year I had made this resolution and I full-filled it successfully. I am making the same resolution this year in hopes that I will have the same amazing experience that I did this past year and meet some incredible new people.
  7. Improve my Writing Skills– So far I think that in creating this blog I have already been improving my writing skills since I am practicing more and able to review my writing style/technique. I hope that in  reading more and continuing my blog I will improve my writing skills this next year.
  8. Not to be Afraid of Excellence– This one may sound a bit strange but I have found that I am afraid to stand out. I subconsciously want to be good at things but not the best. This mindset prevents me from reaching my full potential and excelling beyond my comfort level. This year I want to not be shy and not feel that being good at something is something to be embarrassed about. I will try to be the best I can to bring out my full potential and inspire others, as well as myself.
  9. Take More Pride in my Appearance– This next year I am planning to change a bit in the appearance department. I will try to put more effort in my appearance to others so I can be more confident in myself. I want to start wearing contacts and not always hide behind my glasses. I want to wear make up and feel good about myself. I also want to restart my wardrobe and wear pieces that are classy and flattering. I do not want to settle for being comfortable. I want to show people that I put in effort and care about about myself.
  10. Lastly, I want to show those I care about how much I truly appreciate them. Sometimes I can be in my own world and shut people out. This year I want to make time for those I care about and let them know how much they mean to me. I want to let them know how much I love having them in my life. I also want to create a better bond with family and have unforgettable experiences with friends. To me this means expressing to them more often how much I love and treasure them.

TOP 5s and 2015 Resolutions

Another week means another blog about my Top 5s of the week. Before I share what I’m loving this week I also wanted to mentioned something that happened this past week. As I was cleaning up I found two old notebooks, (if you can’t tell already I love writing things down) and one of them happen to have a page filled with my 2015 resolutions. Last week I wrote about the resolutions I had a few years ago but now I can assess my accomplishments for the past year.

Reflecting back I unknowingly accomplished almost all the resolutions I set for myself. My first resolution was to graduate and I accomplished that with honors. My second resolution was to move out and have my own place. While I technically did not “move out” of my home, I have my own studio apartment down stairs and so much more privacy and independence. I also pay rent that comes along with that independence while still remaining close to my family which is nice.

I also wrote down that I wanted to go on new adventures and meet new people this year which I absolutely did. I met a whole new group of friends who are accepting of everything and experienced so many memories like my Playa Del Fuego venture. I also mentioned how I was going to try to be more positive and happy this year. Though I had many ups and downs, overall my mental health is better than it was last year thanks to the help of psychiatry, counseling, friends, family, and my perseverance to not  succumb and letting myself stay at a low point.

Lastly, I made a resolution to be myself with no apologies. I am still working on this one and may be forever trying to be comfortable in my own skin, but I definitely have made some headway. This year I never apologized for who I am rather tried to be myself without having the need of validation. I may have lost touch with people in the process but that’s part of soul searching and figuring out what is right for yourself.

I am so excited for what resolutions I will have for 20016 but that will probably come with another blog. Moving on here are the Top 5s of the week.

  1. Flannel– This week I had purchased my new favorite flannel shirt from TJmaxx. It’s green with long sleeves and is super long like a tunic. I don’t usually do button up shirts due to boob gap ( ladies know what I’m talking about), but this one is not too bad. It’s super comfortable, casual, and makes me feel sexy without trying.
  2. Ramen– Oh Ramen. Friend or Foe? I don’t quite know. Earlier this week I found myself eating way too much Ramen for my own good. Though I do not drink the broth without some things added to it such as an egg or roasted seaweed it’s still addicting. I even had it this week raw which was surprisingly crunchy and delicious like a tortilla chip. I learned that Ramen is not technically raw since it is fried before its’s packaged so it cooks faster. Even though ramen is super delicious it is recommended to limit it’s consumption to at the very most once a week. I think I went a little overboard this week but I am aware and will try to limit how much I eat of this delicious treat.
  3. Home remedies– Does anyone else’s scalp acts up when the season’s change? In between season’s my scalp suddenly has a terrible build up of dandruff. Last season I was using a medicated shampoo and though it worked it really killed my locks. This season I have been trying some home remedies such as aloe gel and apple cider vinegar. Though it has not completely cured my dandruff it really helps and makes my hair feel amazing. The apple cider vinegar not only prevents the build up of dandruff but also leaves your hair feeling clean and with a healthy shine. Twice a week I apply apple cider vinegar to my scalp with a little spray bottle, let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse it out. Another remedy I have tried is Aloe Gel. I apply the product to my scalp and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. It soothes the itchy scalp and moisturizes your hair. I do this about once a week. Give it a try if you are having the same issue.
  4. Skin Care– In the last 2 or 3 years skincare has become a top priority in my health and beauty routine. I tend to wash my face once a day depending on if I am wearing make up or not. I also have severely dry skin and try to moisturize without over moisturizing my skin to prevent breakouts. I usually use First Aid beauty skin cleanser followed by an anti aging oil and a moisturizer. This last week however my skincare has been adjusted and for the better. While X-mas shopping I picked a mini skincare set from The Body Shop. It came with a cream cleanser, a moisturizing toner, and a day and separate night cream. I can not express into words how amazing these products are. The cream cleaner is not my favorite but it does moisturize my skin. The toner is like magic. It removes any left over makeup that the cleanser did not get and preps my skin for the moisturizer. I tend to wash my face at night so I mostly use the night cream which is thick and moisturizing without being greasy. When I do wash my face in the morning or need a little extra hydration for my face the day cream works just as well with a lighter application. My skin is loving these products and I would recommend them to anyone who has very dry skin like myself.
  5. Star Wars The Force Awakens– I know….I KNOW! The hype going around this movie right now is huge and to some unbearable. But to those who love Star Wars its’s a big deal. This movie did not disappoint. It was funny, action packed, and lined up perfectly with the other previous films. It was truly a surprising sequel  that was progressive and innovative using a female lead and a African American co-star in a white male dominated industry. I would highly advise those to watch this movie. It’s pretty epic.

I am concluding this blog letting you know to expect two new blogs this week…maybe even three..but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If you like reading my posts make sure to follow me to stay up to date or check in regularly. I will be posting again soon. Thanks again for reading.

 

 

Youtube and Top 5s

A couple of weeks ago I was organizing my things when I found an old note book. In the book were my New Year’s Resolutions of 2013. One of them was starting a Youtube channel. This has always been on my mind for years now and I think I will finally have the courage and drive to start it for 2016.

Something that I’ve always wanted to share in my videos were my Top 5s of the week. It seems like every week I fall in love with  different things and obsess about them until the next thing that tickles my fancy. This can range from music, movies, shows, products, food, books, Youtube, blogs, and trends. Ironically, Mimi Ikonn one of my favorite Youtubers had expressed that she would be doing something like this on her blog in her latest video. This reminded me that great minds think alike and that I should make moves to make this a reality. Until then I will be sharing my Top 5s each week on this blog before the start of the New year when I will hopefully have created my Youtube channel and put out weekly Top 5s videos.

So to start this all of here are my TOP 5s of this week of 12/6.

  1. PEPPERMINT TEA– I picked up some Peppermint Tea this week from Big Lots and I’m obsessed. I usually drink Green Tea daily at work but I have also been drinking Peppermint Tea in the morning with breakfast or in the evenings after dinner. This tea smells amazing and so perfect for this time of year. It also helps curb those late night cravings. I highly recommend trying it out.
  2. EXO– Exo is a very popular Boy band from South Korea and China. If you know anything about me you know I love my Kdramas. I am now slowly  progressing into the Kpop scene. This band is currently made up of 9 guys with the voices of angels. Besides having amazing music they are fantastic dancers and really know how to put on a performance. I’m really excited to hopefully see them in concert during their North American tour this coming February. Definitely give them a listen.
  3. Cuticle Oil– Every now and then I sample different beauty products and provide feedback for some extra cash. This week I am testing out some Cuticle oil. I have never used Cuticle Oil before and I can not believe I have gone this long without it. With just one drop on each nail and a little nail massage, my nails and cuticle have totally been transformed. This product hydrates and revitalizes your nail/cuticles instantly. I encourage all of you to test it and see it for yourself. It really makes a difference.
  4. LED Push lights– Now this might sound a bit silly but this product has really been a life saver . I rent a small studio apartment that has limited lighting. Even just unlocking my door at night can be a struggle. Luckily, I have purchased some LED push lights from the dollar store and they are awesome. I have one at the entrance of my home, the shower, the little living room closet that is deep and hard to see inside, as well as inside my wardrobe. They were super inexpensive and so handy. This could ever become useful in case of a power outage. Not to mention they come in fun color and designs. Home decor anyone?
  5. Breakfast-Lastly, Breakfast. I know what you are thinking.”Really? Breakfast is one of your top 5s? Who doesn’t like breakfast?” Exactly.  I love breakfast as most people do but I have recently been taking the time to make breakfast my most enjoyable meal of the day. I have personally found such comfort and joy getting up in the morning and making a quality breakfast that is visibly pleasing, nutritious, and delicious. Nowadays, people are so busy  rushing to get to work or school in the morning that the easy thing to do is have a quick fix or only coffee, or even no breakfast at all. Since I have made breakfast a priority I have notice how much more relaxed and energized I am for the rest of my day. When I do not rush my breakfast I really enjoy it so much more. This past week I have been mostly eating fruit like bananas, oranges, and apples with peanut butter in the morning. Today, I had an egg in a basket toast with an orange and peppermint tea. It was so delicious and really energized me for the day. It was so visually pleasing that I even took a picture. It’s truly the little things that can make you happy. Breakfast is very important so make sure to have the time to enjoy it everyday.

So there you have it. This is my week’s Top 5s. I hope you will try some of these things out. Until next week for my next top 5s or my next personal blog post I hope you guys have a wonderful holiday whichever that may be. Take care guys.