Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring Into A Healthier Lifestyle

As the weather starts to warm up (well, hopefully anyways, it's still cold here) and we move into spring, I feel it's time to start setting a few new goals for myself, and also revisit some of the ones I've made before but have never really worked much towards. Perhaps even revisit some of the New Year's Resolutions that I pushed to the wayside. Spring is a time for new beginnings and fresh starts, and a perfect time to start working towards your goals. One of my biggest goals this spring is to start living a healthier lifestyle and get fit for summer. Not only to look better, but to feel better and live a healthier life as well. I admittedly eat primarily junk food, and a lot of it, on top of not getting much exercise. I'll eat because I'm bored or upset, and for other reasons other then actual hunger. I go for the packaged snacks and sweet treats because they are the most convenient, just because I'm to lazy to actually cook something. This is certainly not at all a healthy way of eating, and it needs to change. But I know that I need to have a good plan and motivation if I plan on going about this and actually sticking to it.

The first step is to think of your motivation. Why do you want to start eating healthier and exercise more? If you are only doing it to lose weight, you are much more likely to slip back into your old habits. When all you want is to look better, it can be very discouraging when the weight doesn't come off the way you thought it would... Or if you gain a  few pounds. Trust me, I've been there before, and I went right back into my old habits because I didn't even think of doing it for anything other then weight loss. Certainly losing some weight can be a part of or your motivation, but it shouldn't be your only motivation. Improving and preserving your health, living longer, and feeling better should be the real motivation to changing your eating and exercise habits. It's a known fact that better nutrition can help to reduce your risk of developing serious health problems down the road, it can even help to improve some existing medical conditions.

Once you have the proper motivation in place, it's time to start thinking of the actual plan. This is another area that you need to be careful with, as it's very easy to set something really unrealistic and hard to stick to. It's always best to start small and take baby steps. Certainly there should be a little bit of a challenge to it, but it shouldn't be nearly impossible to stick to. Take baby steps to the lifestyle you want, and once you get there, don't forget to keep at it, no matter what, keep the healthy lifestyle going. But if you are anything like me, it would be highly unrealistic to say that you're going to get an hour of vigorous exercises a day and cut out all junk food right away. I know I wouldn't be able to stick to this and I would slip out of it rather quickly. I will share with you my own plan to start living healthier to give you a few ideas. But remember, everyone is different and has different habits, so you should adjust based on whats best for you. 

My Plan To Start A Healthier Lifestyle

-Watch when and why I'm eating. I tend to eat when I'm bored, when I'm in a bad mood, or because someone mentions food to me. Not always just because I'm hungry. I often find myself venturing into the kitchen late into the night to grab a snack simply because I'm just bored or maybe feel a little hungry... even if I should be going to bed soon. I need to pay more attention to whether I'm actually hungry or if I'm just bored before I go get something to eat.

-Drink more water rather then eating. Often times when we confuse hunger with thirst. So if I start to feel a bit hungry (or bored), I'm going to go for a glass of water rather then going for a snack. Not only will water often settle the hungry feeling, but there are also many health and beauty benefits to drinking water as well. Drinking water helps to flush toxins out of your body and keeps you from getting dehydrated. Drinking water can even help your skin! 

-Watch what I eat and how much I eat. Because there is generally nobody home to cook dinner after school, I'll eat anything, primarily sweets and snacks for dinner. I know I could never cut out these yummy treats completely, but I need to eat less of them. For now I plan to cut down my sweets intake to one or two things a day. I also plan on actually cooking something for dinner at least twice a week, and watching my portion sizes when I cook. I need to pay attention to serving sizes rather then eating until I'm full. 

-Go for healthier options at school. My school serves some pretty awesome tasting lunches sometimes. And while they aren't the worst thing for you, they aren't the best either. A school lunch can have over 1000 calories in it, that's half a day's calories in one meal. My school does however, have healthier options rather then the regular lunch. I tend to go for their salad tray when I don't like the lunch they are serving. Which is rarely... Even though some lunches aren't my favorite, I still kind of like them so I get them anyways. I now plan on getting the salad tray a lot more often, almost daily. I know there's some lunches I can't give up, and I will still buy the regular lunch on those days, and on days when salad trays aren't available. 

-Start doing some short, moderate workouts. I am not very active at all, and I know I can't jump right into doing daily long, vigorous workouts. While I do plan on eventually getting to the point where I'm doing longer and harder workouts, for now I'm going to start small. To start off I'm going to try to get in a 10 minute workout everyday, and just do some things to get moving such as dancing like a weirdo to my favorite songs, or going for a walk or maybe even a jog when then weather gets a little nicer. Even simply walking the dog a bit is a great work out. I want to make my workouts fun and enjoyable. Play music while you get active, it makes it a lot more fun! Play songs that make you happy, or pump you up and get you moving. When I feel that I'm ready for it, I'll increase my exercise time in 5 minute increments.

What are some of the ways you stay healthy and stay in shape?

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a dietitian. This will not replace any professional or medical advice. This is only my plan to work towards a healthier lifestyle, and may not work for everyone. My ideas have come from prior knowledge as well as things I have learned in a class or have researched. 

*WARNING: If you have or suspect you may have any current medical conditions, see a doctor before starting any exercise or dieting regimen. If you start to feel sick or start feeling pain stop what you are doing. If it persists seek medical attention. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Yummy Treats: Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

I've heard of no bake pies, but not no bake cookies. I kind of thought all cookies had to be baked, LOL. So I was amazed today when we made chocolate peanut butter no bake cookies in Food and Nutrition. The recipe we were given made a lot of cookies, and it came out tasting so yummy! And best of all we didn't need to use the oven, LOL!

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies
What you will need:
-2 cups sugar
-4 tablespoons cocoa
-1 stick butter
-1/2 cup milk
-1 cup peanut butter
-1 tablespoon vanilla
-3 cups oatmeal
-Wax paper

In a heavy saucepan bring sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla, and oatmeal. (Remove from heat so you don't burn the oatmeal.) Drop mixture onto wax paper into even amounts. Let cool until hardened.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Super Quick Update: Follow My Blog With Bloglovin

If you haven't already heard, Google will be shutting down Google Reader on July 1, 2013. This means if you wish to follow this, or any other blog, you will need to do so using Bloglovin. I have already added a button to my blog so that you can follow me using Bloglovin if you wish. When you create a Bloglovin account you can import all of the blogs you follow in one click. You can also add a Bloglovin button to your browser so you can easily access your subscriptions. You can also keep track of your own blog using Bloglovin. Thank you and have a FANTASTIC day! :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

No Plans For Spring Break?

Over the last couple weeks, it seems like all I've heard people talking about were their big plans for spring break. So many people are going on a big vacation, going out of state, and doing awesome fun thing. But me? I'm stuck in my tiny home town for spring break, as I have always been. Surely it's not the most exciting thing in the world, but then again it doesn't have to be the worst thing in the world either. I mean it is a full week without the stresses of school! Surely a week of doing nothing is better than waking up early and sitting in class, LOL! I'll most likely use my spring break to catch up on my blog posts, and play The Sims 3: University Life, and maybe go for a walk, weather permitting. And of course there's always going to be something within a couple of miles to do outside the house. 

If you don't want to spend your whole spring break cooped up in your room behind your computer, and you should try to get outside at least once or twice during spring break if the weather stays nice, you can always go for a little walk or jog around the neighborhood. Perhaps you can even walk to a local park, bring some friends and chat and have a picnic, or maybe even get active and shoot some hoops or play some soccer. If your friends are away on vacation, you can always go alone and bring a good book to read while getting some fresh air. If you aren't up for going for a walk, or don't live in an area with many sidewalks, you can enjoy the fresh air by simply stepping into the backyard. Get a nice cold drink, yummy snack, a good book, and get out a lawn chair. You can even sit outside and browse the web from your phone, or laptop if your WiFi reaches outside. Just get outside, don't stay indoors the whole time. :)

If you have a little cash, and a way to get there, go do something fun in the nearby area. Even if it's an everyday typical kind of activity, it's always more fun then sitting at home. Grab a bite to eat, or even go to the mall and look around. Maybe even check out a local shop you never thought to check go to, you never know what you might find! Grab some friends and go see that movie you've been wanting to see. Go to your favorite restaurant   or even try out a new one. If you have any beaches nearby, go spend some time there, or you could spend time at your local recreation center. Many recreation centers have many swimming pools, gyms, and workout equipment to keep you entertained and active for a while for a low price. It may not be a trip to Disney World or to the Bahamas, but it's still something fun to do.

Here's My Spring Break Right  Here :P
If you don't really have any money, or a car to get to the mall or anywhere else, or if you aren't much of an outdoors person... or if the weather stinks (and judging by this week, I'm a bit nervous for next week, as I was writing this my school called a two-hour delay, LOL!), there's always some things you can do indoors. I'm personally a gamer, and I love to spend my days off playing The Sims 3, with all of my expansion packs. If you have a Wii or Xbox, there are a ton of games you can play to get active as well. Just Dance is a fun and amazing way to get some exercise. It's fun to play alone or with friends! I also like to spend my breaks browsing the web and reading blog posts... Stuff I typically would do everyday, but I love it so much! :) You could also find a couple movies and spend a whole day watching movies. Mix in some childhood favorites with movies you enjoy now. If you feel the need to be productive you can also do a little bit of spring cleaning

Whether you are going on vacation, or staying home, spring break is always great. Perhaps you have a job and this a great time to get in some extra hours and make a little more money. Or it's just a great time to unwind and relax without worrying about school. It's a week to stay up late and sleep in. Just be careful not to mess up your sleep schedule to much, it's only one week. And it's easier to get out of good sleeping habits then it is to get back into them, and you only have a week. Plus you don't wanna sleep away your whole spring break! Do some thing you wouldn't normally have the time for, or spend more time doing them. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy your spring break. It's the last big break until summer vacation. For me, it's the last break at all until graduation. But after spring break, there's only 1 more quarter left and we're done. :)

What are you doing for spring break this year? :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Get Organized For Spring

Let's face it, we could all do something to get a little, or a lot more organized. Whether it be for school, or cleaning up your room. I'm someone that could use a lot of reorganization in both, LOL. It's a proven fact that more organization makes your like easier and more efficient as you don't need to scramble to find things when everything has a place, and everything is in it's place. However, it can be really easy to get unorganized, even to the point where everything becomes a mixed up, jumbled up mess, and mess often equals stress. And with spring break coming up shortly, I wanna try my best to eliminate this stress now rather then dealing with it over spring break. 

So let's start with what I see as the big thing, cleaning up your room. The room where, if you are anything like me, we spend most of our time. Our room should be a serene little get away from stress, a place to relax. It should also be a place where you can find everything you need, and run through things smoothly. These things are nearly impossible when you need to dig through jumbled up piles of stuff and mixed up bins to find something, just to find it isn't where you thought it was. And it's certainly not relaxing to look at piles of clothes on the floor, and a mixed up pile of jewelry and make-up, and in extreme cases not even being able to walk. Surely it's not always that extreme, and maybe you just have a couple of things out of order. Or maybe your current system of organization isn't doing you as well as it could. There's always at least a little something you could do. 

The most important thing to remember when it comes to cleaning your room is to take baby steps, especially if your room is a total disaster, and only work on one area at a time. What I like to do is to have a large area (such as my bed) to organize everything into categories on. Whatever you choose to organize with is up to you. I'll clear all of the pillows and blankets off my bed so I have a nice surface to work with, then I'll start working on my room one area at a time. If you have a messy floor, I'd suggest cleaning this up first so that you have more room to walk around as you work on everything else. Start in a corner and work your way across the room, putting things into their category as you go.

After you have your floor cleaned up you can then begin working on clearing up and organizing the things on the shelves into categories. I would clear everything off completely, so that you can dust the surface off. Dust can make it really hard to feel comfortable in a room, especially if you have any allergies or other breathing problems such a asthma. I like to dust each surface off as I work, and then take the items that I want from each catagory and place it back on that surface so I can get it where I want it quicker, you can place them and organize them further later on after you have all of your shelves cleaned off. As I work I like to place items I had misplaced in other parts on the room in the area where they belong, rather than in a pile. Once you have everything cleaned off and categorised into the right part of the room, you can start setting things up and "fine tuning" a bit. And don't forget to do any laundry you may have and wash your bedding just to freshen things up a bit. :)

I actually find the fine tuning and organizing part of cleaning to be rather enjoyable. I love to arrange things in an appealing way on my shelves. Arrange things in a way that looks good, and works best for you. Keep things that you use often within easy reach. It wouldn't make sense to put your favorite mascara at the bottom of your make-up drawer, or to put your daily essentials on a hard to reach shelf. I personally like to keep all of these things up front or in an easy to reach basket. I like to keep all of the beauty products and make-up brushes I use often in a little basket so that I can easily bring them to the bathroom with me in the morning, and not have to pull the products out of my drawers and put them back everyday. As for the rest of my make-up I like to organize it by type, and by area of the face it goes. I also kind of organize by packaging. There are so many ways to organize make-up whether it be by type, packaging, brand, color, or even frequency of use. Whatever helps you out and keeps you organize, or whatever you want to try, go for it.

As you work through reorganizing your room, you may want to grab your school things and straighten them up a bit as well. You can also do this in a study hall when you have nothing else to do. Reorganize things to the way you had them at the beginning of the year. I recently got a bit careless and started cramming papers wherever i could. My pshycology book has become my folder for every class, and it's really hard to find the papers I need. Surely I may not need to look over any old papers for final exams (seniors in my school don't take finals), but it's always good to stay in practice for college, and to just be able to find the right papers to study for a chapter test, or the homework I need to turn in. You may also want to use some pretty colored duck tape to tape up any damaged folders or binders to help them last until the end of the year without getting shabbier. Remember, there is still at least a quarter left of school, and you still want to get the best grades possible.

After you are all organized and you have everything how you want it, think of how nice it feels to be organized. Knowing you can find everything you need when you need it. Sitting in a fresh clean, organized room feels so much better then sitting in an unorganized mess. And always keep at your organization methods. It doesn't take much time to place things where they belong. Avoid throwing something something in the wrong spot and saying you'll take care of it later. One careless throwing of something in the wrong spot can lead to another careless placement, gradually building back into a mess. And if you start getting frustrated or stressed out when your cleaning, remember, it's okay to take breaks. Get some fresh air, grab a quick snack, or even watch a little TV. Just get back to work as soon as you clear your mind a little bit. Don't feel like you need to rush, take your time and take baby steps.

Are you always organized, or do you tend to get a huge mess sometimes? How do you like to stay organized? How do you like going about your spring cleaning? 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Quick Update: Spring Is Almost Upon Us!

I am certainly not a winter person, at all. Nasty cold weather just seems to bring me down, making me feel run down and tired. Perhaps that may be an explanation to my lethargy and my bleh mood over the last month or so. You can only imagine how excited I am for the beautiful days and colors of spring. And yesterday's gorgeous weather was a sign that those days aren't far away. It was actually nice enough to go for a nice walk around town. Children were playing at every park, people were riding bikes, walking their dog, and enjoying the nice day. While this may still be a rare occurrence, and there will still be cold icky days, within a few weeks it'll be like this all the time. Spring break is two weeks away for me. My favorite time of year, and graduation are coming up fast <3 

It's time to start thinking of spring cleaning your life, and ways to enjoy this lovely weather. From cleaning up your room to getting on track with your personal fitness, and spending more and more time outside, spring is a time for fresh starts. I'm so excited to tell you that over the next few weeks I'll be blogging some ways to make the most with this amazing time of year, and I have so many great ideas for spring related posts! Feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments section of this post and I'll do my best to get to it. Over the next 3 months I'll also make a couple personal posts related to the end of my senior year. Until then enjoy the nice days as they come and go outside and get some fresh air! :) 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Product Review: Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo Cream Eye Shadow

Ever since my favorite YouTuber, MacBarbie07, showed the Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eye Shadows in one of her videos, I just had to try it! I loved the idea of an eye shadow that you don't need to use a base with, and one that can be applied easily with your finger. It took me a while to purchase them, because as I have mentioned in other blog posts, I'm very cheap when it comes to spending my money, and these eye shadows were about $5.00 each. But last summer, I decided to just spend the extra money and pick up the color Bad To The Bronze, which was the color MacBarbie07 had shown in her video. I am so glad that I did! After I've been using it for a while, I loved it so much that I bought 5 more colors. 

The color payoff of these eye shadows alone is amazing. They give off an amazing vibrant color without the use of an eye primer, and they can actually be used as a base for other eye shadows. I love layering other colors with these eye shadows to create unique looks quickly, but I also love wearing them all on their own. These have been a real time saver in the morning, and have been a life saver with recent severe case of senioritis, LOL! I can apply them in less then 3 minutes and have my make-up done in no time, and still have a nice look that lasts all day.  I never see any signs of fading with this product, so there is no need to reapply! Easy application makes things go by so much faster! Although I personally prefer to use a brush because it's easier to control, these eye shadows can be applied with your finger. However, I would only apply more natural colors such as Bad To The Bronze with my finger, and apply darker colors and brighter colors with a brush just to get a cleaner look.

If you are like me and $5.00 for one eye shadow sounds like a lot to you, I would recommend starting off by just getting one color to see if you like it. Trust me, these eye shadows are worth it. A little bit goes a long way with this product, so it will last you a long time. I haven't even used half of my Bad To The Bronze yet! Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eye Shadows are an essential part of my make-up collection. They are perfect for lazy days when you still want to have a nice make-up look, and they make a great base color. There are so many great colors available, so your sure to find one that you like, they even have metallic colors. These eye shadows are definitely worth the $5.00 in my opinion. :)

Have you tried the Maybelline 24 Hour Color Tattoo Cream Eye Shadows?  What do you think of them?

*FTC Disclaimer: I purchased this product with my own money, I did not this this product for free. I am not being paid for this review. All opinions are 100% honest,and are my own.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Prom Series: Accessorize and Glamorize

Of course the dress you wear to prom is the most important part of the outfit, but you can't forget the right accessories to pull the whole look together. With that said, your shoes and accessories should compliment your dress, not try to compete with it, as with any other outfit. So as you start looking for the accessories to go with your dress, keep in mind my few basic tips. 

First of all you want to have your dress first, this goes without saying. You can't accessorize a dress without knowing what it looks like, LOL. Never try to pick out a dress from the accessories you get. After you have your dress the next thing to look for is the shoes. If you have a long dress, shoes won't play a huge part in your outfit. They should at least be a color that compliments your dress and be in a nice style, but they don't have to be extremely fancy. If you have a short dress, your shoes will play a bigger role, and you may want to consider getting slightly fancier looking shoes. And please, if you are like me and don't walk well in heals, don't feel the need to get heals. You'll want to be able to walk and dance comfortably and confidently... without the fear of falling into the punch bowl! LOL! There are plenty of pretty flats, and even shorter heals that you can pair with your dress. 

When it comes to everything else, which accessories you should pick will depend on the style of your dress. If you're dress has a lot of studs or decorations throughout it, you may want to tone down the accessories and use something more subtle. If your dress has a high neckline, you may want to skip out on a necklace completely. Accessories should also not clash with one another, on any day, not just for prom. If you choose to go with any statement accessories, you'll want to tone everything else down. Don't try to wear huge earrings with a huge necklace, it only looks bulky. Wear smaller earrings with a statement, or vice-versa. Remember to choose your accessories in colors that compliment your dress. If you can get a little bit of the dress color in them as well then that's amazing! 

You shouldn't overpay for your accessories, and the budget for your accessories should not exceed the budget of your dress (unless you get your dress for a VERY low price, which is possible as I'll put in a future post). I would say a good budget for prom accessories would be about $50-80 including shoes. You can adjust this number however you'd like based on what you can afford. You may want to consider getting your accessories at the same store you get your dress so you can compare them all right there, but it's only an option. My favorite store when it comes to accessories is Claire's, they have so many pretty accessories for a very reasonable price. Most of their accessories are under $20. You can get all of your accessories, minus the shoes here. You can even pick up a tiara if you are like me and daring enough to wear one! :) 

What are some of your basic tips when it comes to shopping for prom accessories? 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Prom Series: Shopping For THE Dress

Without a doubt, the dress you wear to prom is the most important part of your outfit, everything else just helps to pull the look together. With so many choices on prom dresses out there, it can be really hard to choose the perfect one! Do you want a long or short dress? Puffy or more slender? What color do you want? There are so many choices! So many pretty dresses to consider, so many places to shop. You may also have a budget to consider when choosing your prom dress. So where do you start?!

Before you begin shopping, you should set a budget to avoid over paying for your dress. You don't need to break the bank to find the perfect dress. Set it high enough that you can find a nice dress, but low enough that you'll be able to afford it. Do keep in mind that most likely you'll only wear this dress one time, unless you have another formal event to go to and decide to wear the same dress again. So as a good rule of thumb, I would say a budget of $200-300 would be good for a prom dress, but this all depends on your preferences and what you can afford. 

After you set a budget it's time to start shopping! Always feel free to check out a variety of stores. Different stores offer different dresses, so if you can't find the perfect dress at one store, don't just settle for any dress, check out another store! My personal favorite store when it comes to dress shopping is Deb, they have so many pretty dresses for less then $200, and they also carry a great range of dress sizes. If you have a Deb shop near you check it out! Feel free to check out both large department stores as well as smaller specialty shops. With smaller specialty shops you also have less risk of someone else purchasing the same dress. Checking out a variety of stores allows you to see many different options, and allows you to price compare.

When it comes to looking for the dress, have an idea of what you want, but keep your options and your mind open. If you see a dress that interests you at all, try it on. Even if it's not what you originally planned on getting, it may turn out to be the perfect dress! Please, try on more then one dress, even if you LOVE the first one you try on, another one may be even better. You may even want to consider trying on the same dress in a different color, sometimes color can make a huge difference! Try things you may not have considered before. You may have always thought your dream prom dress was a long puffy dress, but maybe your perfect dress is a slim shorter dress. You never know until you try! :) 

Remember, dress shopping should be FUN and not at all stressful, and you certainly shouldn't do it all on your own. Go dress shopping with a group of friends or female family members, they can help you out a lot! They can give comments and judge on how the dress looks on you. Plus you can help out your friends, and have some laughs while your at it. Try on something ridiculous just for fun and to see how they react. Make dress shopping a big day of fun. Go out for lunch, check out different stores, and have some great conversation. Make it a day to remember!

What are some of your tips when it comes to shopping for a prom dress? Did you already buy your dress? What is your favorite store for dress shopping? I would love to see some of your suggestions in the comments section! :)