25 Weight Loss Tips To Start Now

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As most of you know, I have been going through a weightloss journey since January. So far I am down around 48 pounds! I have about 20 more to lose (or maybe a bit less). Keep in mind I’m repurposing these photos! I took them back in July, and have lost quite a bit since then!

Before I decided to finally take charge of my health, I had no self confidence whatsoever. I would always wear baggy clothes to cover myself up, and would eat junk food because that’s what would make me happy. I had an unhealthy relationship with food. One day I went into Target and tried on dresses for an event I had coming up, and nothing would fit me. I had enough and decided it was time to change. I started after New Years and made it my resolution to finally get my body confidence back up, and I never looked back. My New Years resolution turned into a lifestyle that I don’t plan on giving up. My confidence is coming back, I have more energy, and my time of the month is actually normal again. I made eating healthy and working out a habit, not something I dread every day.

Because I have been doing so well with my weightloss, I wanted to add more fitness posts to the blog and Instagram to motivate you to love your body again. I not only want to lose weight, but I want to be toned and have muscle as well. Which is why I don’t exactly have a goal weight. After the 10 months I have been doing this, I’ve learned quickly what works and doesn’t work, so I’m going to share some tips that will help you with your journey! Please keep in mind that everyone is different and some of these tips might not work for you! This is just what is currently working for me :).

  1. Throw out the scale. It lies. I weigh myself maybe once every two weeks. It’s best to measure yourself, because the scale can reflect everything from not using the restroom, or that time of the month.
  2. Lift weights! No you won’t get bulky, and it will help you lose inches faster!
  3. Keep workout equipment at home. This way you won’t have an excuse to not workout. (I only do workouts at home. Maybe someday I will join a gym again. I’ll share all my at home workout equipment in a future post.)
  4. Don’t beat yourself up after a bad meal. Just move on with your day like it never happened. DO NOT say you will start over tomorrow. Start over right away.
  5. Replace a meal or snack with a protein shake. I do this in the morning and mix it with my coffee to drink on the way to work, since I’m not usually hungry for a few hours after I wake up. (Here’s my recipe: 6 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 8 oz of coffee, or the large cup option on a Keurig. I make my coffee the night before so it’s cold in the morning.)
  6. Don’t deprive yourself. One cookie will not break your weight loss. But having multiple cookies multiple times a week will.
  7. Don’t keep unhealthy foods in the house. If your significant other insists, just have them hide it from you!
  8. Have a fitness planner. That way you can plan out your meals and workouts for the week and keep track of what you are eating.
  9. Join a community. This helped me the most! I’m in one on Facebook, and the support is what kept me going.
  10. Join or start a weightloss challenge online or with friends and coworkers.
  11. Watch a good show or listen to music while working out. I love watching Gossip Girl while I workout, haha!
  12. Set goals for EVERYTHING each week, like working out, drinking water, food, steps, ect.
  13. Reward yourself for hitting your weightloss goals (pounds or inches lost). I like rewarding myself with a new pair of shoes or a mani/pedi! Create a list of rewards to each goal and keep it on your fridge.
  14. Fitbit challenges! I join one every week with my coworkers. I also have a challenge for myself to get 250 steps every hour at work. This makes me get up and move around.
  15. Take supplements like probiotics and vitamins. I’ll share more in a future post about which ones I use and recommend.
  16. If you are having cravings after a meal, brush your teeth! It will help fight those pesky cravings.
  17. If you are starting to get hungry between meals, chew a piece of gum. I always have two packs of gum in my purse at a time! Haha.
  18. Workout 6 days a week. 5 days I lift weights and workout a certain part of my body, then do 30 minutes of cardio. On the 6th day I just do cardio and sometimes abs. I try to make sure and workout my abs 3 days a week and will just add it on to my workout. I’ll share more about my workout schedule in a future post! I’ll also start sharing my workouts for the day on Insta Stories, so make sure to check that daily.
  19. Walk to the farthest bathroom while at work (or do squats if you are at home).
  20. Prep all your food for the week. I usually pick Sunday or Monday. I’ll share more about this in a future post.
  21. Wash your face before and after you workout. I learned this the hard way after breaking out horribly once I started working out hard.
  22. Keep dark chocolate chips (at least 70%) on hand for chocolate cravings. This will help deter you away from a candy bar! Also, a little bit of dark chocolate a day is apparently good for your heart.
  23. Have cute workout clothes! It will help motivate you to workout. I’ll share some of my favorite places to find cute gear in a future post!
  24. Get plenty of sleep! I’m sure you have heard this multiple times, but it’s true.
  25. Follow fitness accounts on social media to keep you motivated.

I have so many more weight loss/fitness posts planned out for you that I can’t wait to share! If you have anything you would like to see, let me know! I’m always looking for ideas.

Do you have any tips for fitness/weightloss? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Valerie

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9 Fall Wardrobe Staples You Need In Your Closet

CollageCardigan  //  Skirt (sold out, similar one linked below)  //  Jeans (similar)  //  Boots  //  Beanie (similar)Fall Closet Staples

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With the weather finally starting to feel like fall (we went from 90 degrees to 40 degrees in 2 days last week), I’m sharing my top 9 wardrobe staples that you need to add to your closet now! I have items very similar (if not exact) currently in my closet.

Before I get started, I wanted to update you guys on what has been going on with Styled Muse behind the scenes! I know I have been MIA, but this is mostly because I have been working on revamping the website! In the past, I focused heavily on fashion and beauty. Now, I’m going to focus on building self confidence. I’m currently trying to build up my own, and I’m going to bring you guys along for the ride and help you build up your own self confidence! This will range from fitness and health, to fashion and beauty. Right now, I have posts scheduled for twice a week with one being fitness or health related, and the other being fashion or beauty related. If there is something specific within each category you would like to see posts about, please let me know! You can comment on here, send me an email, or DM me on Instagram!

Not only will I be changing the website, but I’m also going to do social media a little different. I’ll be sharing more about myself, including things I love that might not seem “Instagram perfect”. For example, the type of music I like (this may surprise you) and my nerdy side. I’m hoping this will help me get to know you guys more, too!

Now, on to fall wardrobes! Fall has and always will be my favorite season. Not just because I love my fall wardrobe more than anything else, but I love the chilly weather, bonfires, and pumpkin flavored anything. You maybe call me “basic”, but I call it a lifestyle, haha!

This fall I have been obsessing over mini skirts with over the knee boots, cozy cardigans, and western style ankle boots. Normally I’m not into the whole “western look” (wow, that made me think of The Hills!), but for some reason I really love these black ones I just got! These tan ones are super cute as well, and I had a hard time deciding which pair to get. I also love jeans that are distressed at the bottom. I’m 5’4″ and a lot of jeans end up long on me, but since the end is somewhat cut off, they fit me perfectly and are great to wear with ankle boots since you don’t have to cuff the bottoms.

Beanies have become a staple with almost every fall outfit so far. I currently have 4, and I’m sure I will have a few more by the end of winter, haha! I have two white and one gray that are similar to this one, and I have a leopard one similar to this one, but without the poof on top.

What staples do you have in your closet for the fall? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Valerie

End Of Summer Romper

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Shop The Look

Romper: Similar More options HERE// Bag: Similar More options HERE// Shoes: Similar // Necklace: Baublebar

Happy Tuesday! I feel like I haven’t posted anything in a long time. I guess life just gets in the way sometimes. I have so much to catch up with you guys on!:

  1. The PSL will be coming out on August 28th!!! I really hope they have an early release date for Gold Card holders. Need one ASAP.
  2. Did you watch the VMAs last night? The Hills is coming back!!!!!! I seriously cannot wait. I know it won’t be the same without LC, but at least Whitney will be in it!
  3. I already bought some Halloween/Fall decor and put it up. #sorrynotsorry Fall is so close!
  4. I’ll be in Beloit, WI next week for work! Any recommendations?
  5. Did I mention it’s almost Fall? It’s seriously my favorite season.

To celebrate the end of summer, this week and next week I’ll be sharing outfits that will transition you from summer to fall. This week I’m sharing one of my favorite rompers! I’m sure you’re asking yourself “how can I make this a fall outfit?”. Easy! Just take away the wedges, and add booties and a jean jacket! You can even add a leather jacket for cooler nights.

I bought these pieces over a month ago, so most of them are sold out. I tagged similar options above. If you want more romper options, just click here to see my favorites! If you want more clutch options, I rounded up the best ones here! All items are under $50.

Are you as excited for fall as I am? Let me know in the comments your favorite fall activity!

Thanks for reading!

Valerie

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2018

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The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is HERE! Early access started on July 12th for card holders, but starts on July 20th for the public. I have already placed 2 orders on the 2nd day the sale started for card holders. I was hoping to have the items before the sale started for the public tomorrow so I could take photos of each item, but Nordstrom is overwhelmed with orders right now, and my items haven’t shipped yet. So when you do order, make sure you keep in mind that normal shipping times are a bit longer.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is one of the biggest sales of the year! You can find brand new designer items for fall that are up to 40% off. I went through every page of the sale (yeah, it took awhile haha!) and rounded up my favorite items that I thought were the best deal! I have them in categories for accessories, beauty, clothing, and fitness. Many items have already sold out, so make sure you act fast on items you love!

Accessories

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  1. Brixton Fiddler Corduroy Baker Boy Hat (I purchased this in my 2nd order, and I can’t wait to style it in the fall!)
  2. Nordstrom Genuine Calf Hair Leopard Print Clutch
  3. Sole Society Fluri Faux Leather Backpack (This backpack was in my first order, but I got it in a gray color. The gray is sold out, but the black is still available!)
  4. J.Crew Bead & Raffia Earrings
  5. Madewell Colorblock Blanket Scarf
  6. Halogen Violet Genuine Calf Hair Mule
  7. Steve Madden Trace Studded Mule
  8. Steve Madden Carter Slingback Platform Sandal

Clothing

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  1. Caslon Peplum Top
  2. Billabong Meadow Swing Stripe Shirt
  3. BP. Ruffle Sleeve Print Shirt
  4. Leith Tie Front Skort (Purchased this, and probably my favorite item so far!)
  5. Love, Fire Button Front Skirt (also got this, I have a thing for skirts this year!)
  6. Billabong Love and War Ruffle Trim Minidress
  7. Taylor Shift Dress
  8. Caslon Plaid Shirt
  9. Leith Tie Front Pant
  10. Kensie Faux Fur Jacket
  11. STS Blue Emma Raw Hem Ankle Skinny Jeans
  12. Halogen Lace Detail Jacket
  13. Caslon Asymmetrical Drape Collar Terry Jacket
  14. Dreamers by Debut Nubby Cardigan (I really needed a cozy cardigan, so I purchased this one!)
  15. Zeza B by Hue Ripped Knee Denim Crop Leggings

Fitness

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  1. Adidas Made to Move Tank
  2. Zella Madison Tank
  3. Adidas Originals Trefoil Tank
  4. Zella Loop Back Tank
  5. Adidas 6-Pack Trefoil Superlite No-Show Socks (I purchased these, I couldn’t pass up the $12 price tag, and the colors are super cute!)
  6. Adidas Stadium Hoodie
  7. Hum Nutrition The Essential Collection Dietary Supplement Duo (I ran out of my Hair vitamins and probiotic supplements, so I decided to give these a try! I’ve used Hum Nutrition Supplements before and I love them!)
  8. Zella Sun Salutation High Waist Leggings 
  9. Zella Sheer Drama Crop Leggings
  10. Zella Street Style High Waist Leggings (I LOVE the detail on these!)

Beauty

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  1. Serene House Cool Mist Cosmos Scentilizer Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser (perfect to place on your vanity!)
  2. Too Faced Sex, Gold and Chocolate Set (the palette by itself is normally $49, but you get a mascara and primer with it as well!)
  3. Impressions Vanity Co. Touch Trifold XL Dimmable LED Makeup Mirror
  4. Beautyblender Set
  5. NARS Hot Escape Eye & Cheek Palette
  6. Stila Good to Glow Liquid Eyeshadow Set (I have one of these at home, and use it all the time!)
  7. Diptyque Candle Set

I also purchased a pair of Platform Converse Sneakers (color: white) that I received in the mail yesterday, and I’m so excited to wear them! Unfortunately they are sold out. I’m hoping they will restock more items once the sale opens to the public tomorrow, because I also have my eye on this BP. White Lace Cami, It’s $22 and a staple item! It sold out in my size on the first day of the sale before I was able to add it to my cart!

Tips to shop the sale:
-Go through the sale and put everything you might want on your wishlist, so when the sale goes live, you can just add the items to your cart.
-Shop the sale as early as you can (I heard someone say that it goes live at 2am CT, but don’t quote me on that!)
-Even if you are unsure about an item, purchase it anyways! If you receive it and don’t love it, you can always send it back! Items sell out super fast, and you don’t want to miss out on an item!

What items are you planning on purchasing during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading, and happy shopping! ❤

Valerie

How To Prep For A Spray Tan

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To me, Memorial Day officially means the start of summer. I’m SO ready for lake days and pools days. But with summer JUST starting, I don’t have a tan yet. Not. Even. Close. My legs are SO pale. I love getting spray tans before heading to the beach or shooting blog photos. Spray tans are a lot safer than tanning in a tanning bed (no skin cancer for me!). Spray tans obviously don’t last as long as an actual tan, but there are steps you can take to make it last a tad longer. Here are the steps I follow for preparing for a spray tan:

The Night Before:

  1. Before jumping in the shower, I use the EcoTools Body Brush to exfoliate away the dry, dead skin cells. I brush in an upward motion starting with my feet and ending with my arms.
  2. I shower like normal, and make sure to use an exfoliating loofah and moisturizing body wash. I love this body wash by Dove.
  3. I shave my legs. It’s best to shave the night before, and not right before you go. Otherwise, the spray can get in your pores and leave them discolored.
  4. I apply body lotion on my legs, arms, and feet (the parts of my body that get the most dry). I use a body lotion I found at Bath and Body Works, but any brand should work!

Right Before:

  1. I shower like normal using an exfoliating loofah and moisturizing body wash.
  2. I use a sugar scrub on my feet, legs, and arms. I use one from Bath and Body Works, but any brand will do!
  3. I apply body lotion to my hands, feet, ankles, elbows, and knees. These tend to look patchy after my spray tan from dry skin, so I try to moisturize them a lot!
  4. I put on loose clothing like shorts, a baggy t-shirt, and flip flops. I also do not apply makeup the rest of the night. I make sure this is the last thing I do for the day, so the closer I get my spray tan to bed time, the better!

During your spray tan, make sure to follow all the instructions the tanning salon gives you. I usually get the Versa Spa, level 2, clear, and add the moisturizing spray at the end. I apply the blending lotion to my hands, elbows, knees, ankles, and feet.

After Your Spray Tan:

  1. The first thing I do when I get out of the booth is wipe off the bottoms of my feet, hands, and my toenails and fingernails with the towel the salon provides. Otherwise, they tend to turn orange!
  2. I keep on baggy clothes for at least 12 hours.
  3. I also don’t shower for 12 hours.
  4. I apply lotion every morning and night.
  5. I apply Jergens self tanner on my legs after I shower to keep my tan looking fresh. My spray tan tends to fade on the bottom of my legs faster.

I know it seems like a lot of steps, but it really does make your tan look better and last longer. If you don’t have dry skin like me, then you might not have to exfoliate the night before, and just do everything right before you go. Do you have any spray tan tips? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Valerie

How To Dress Out Of Your Comfort Zone

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Shop The Look

Top: Soft Surroundings // Shorts: Target // Bag: Target // Shoes: Similar //
Necklace: Similar 

With warmer weather starting to arrive, I decided to start posting summer looks. Soft Surroundings just released their summer collection, and I’m in love! SO many bright colors. The mixed prints and beaded detail are what caught my eye on this top, and knew I had to add it to my summer collection. It’s also perfect for transitioning from spring to summer. I styled it here with jean shorts and wedges, but you can style it with any pair of jeans or white pants.

What I love about this shirt, is you can wear it buttoned up, unbuttoned, tucked in (like I did here) or tie it together in the front. The back is a bit longer, so you can also wear it with leggings.

The top is a lot brighter than some of the outfits I usually wear, and the jean shorts are way shorter than what I’m used to, but I’m really trying to dress out of my comfort zone this year. I always tend to dress by what people may think about me (kind of what I’ve done my whole life). This year, one of my goals was to live my life the way I want, be my own person, and be happy in my own skin. Do what makes ME happy. So that’s exactly what I plan to do! WEAR WHAT YOU WANT! JUST BE YOU! The only person that can make you happy is yourself!

Here are a few tips to dress out of your comfort zone:
1. STOP caring what other people think! (obviously, the main one)
2. Wear bright colors! (or dark colors if you always wear bright ones).
3. Afraid to wear that 2 piece swim suit? GET IT! Love your body!
4. Wear tighter fitting clothes! (baggy shirts aren’t always flattering anyways 😉 )
5. Don’t put yourself down!
6. BE YOU.

I hope this helps you buy that tight dress you’ve always wanted, or that cute two piece swimsuit at Target. Have other tips? Leave them in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

Valerie

This post was in collaboration with Soft Surroundings. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Styled Muse possible! ❤ 

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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We are officially halfway through the week! A little life update (2 things): First, As some of you may know, I work at the National Personnel Records Center as an Archives Technician. We basically send military records to veterans that request them. I’m currently on the burial team, and Friday is my last day. I’m officially going back up to the preservation department where I first started at the records center! I’m so excited to be working with my old coworkers again, and will somewhat be using the degree I am paying for each month, haha!

Last: This week my Aunt and Uncle from Georgia are visiting! I plan on spending all weekend with them. Saturday we will be spending the day at the lake BBQing and Fishing. The weather is supposed to be SO nice, so it will be perfect. Lake season has officially started, and I could not be more excited for warmer weather!

On to today’s post! Did anyone realize how close Mother’s Day is? Only two and a half weeks away! Usually I wait until the last minute to find something, but this year I’m trying to have a game plan. I did a quick round up of my favorite items that would be perfect for your mom listed above! I’m posting it ahead of time so you have plenty of time for shipping.

You can’t go wrong with Kendra Scott Jewelry, or anything coffee related! You can even throw in there a gift card to her favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or salon/spa! Don’t forget flowers ;). One of my favorite things to get my mom each year is a vase full of her favorite flowers or a plant she can put out in the yard.

I love bright colored scarves for spring and summer. You can add them to your bag, or tie around your neck for a cute statement piece. Of course I had to add a beach bag, since I have summer on the brain!

Do you have Mother’s Day gift ideas for your mom? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Valerie