The Best Fitness Planner For 2019

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When it comes to my planner, I’m totally old school. I love actually sitting down and writing things in my planner more than just scheduling things into a calendar on my phone or computer. I’m also really picky with planners. I start searching for one in November, because I know it will take awhile to find the perfect one. Last year I had the Fit Planner from Blogilates, but they changed the design and didn’t include space for your everyday activities (something that I need in a planner), so I had to go with a different one this year. I wanted one that would help me reach my fitness goals, while also having room for my appointments.

After a month of searching. I ended up with the Healthy Hero Happy Planner from Michael’s. When I bought it, they were having a sale for 40% off all planners and accessories, on top of 20% off your entire purchase including sale items. It was around Black Friday, so of course I had to jump on it before they were all gone.

When you first open the planner, it has space to put your name, like most do. The cover is kinda hard and laminated. I’m not a fan of the design, but it can easily be changed out with one from Etsy or Michael’s (even though they didn’t have very many in store). That is one thing I love about this planner, you can customize everything from the cover, the middle expander discs, and you can even add pages within the planner.

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My favorite thing about this planner is you can set goals at the beginning of each month, and not just fitness related ones. This section is located before the monthly and weekly calendar views.

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When you open to the weekly view, the first section is for everyday items like appointments or to do lists. The next section is called “Focus” but I changed it to be my Blog planning section. Then it goes into your fitness related sections starting with meal planning then exercises. On the left hand side, it has your goals for the week, an empty section for whatever you want to put (I use it to track my weekly steps, calories and active minutes), and then an area to track your water intake (I love this section!).

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The rest of the planner includes different sections for goal setting and reflecting on each month. I think I’m going to start this 30 day self-care challenge next month, who wants to join!? Just save the photo below!

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Since I decided to go with a Happy Planner this year, I had to get all the stickers to go with it. I bought the Healthy Hero sticker pack from Michael’s, and I also found stickers in the dollar section at Target, and received a few packs from family members around Christmas.

I planned on posting this at the beginning of January, but I ended up getting sick, and then of course I had computer issues and wasn’t able to edit my photos! So sorry this is a bit late. I plan on posting more this year, especially in the next week or two. As some of you know, I have a full time job working for the federal government. Unfortunately, I’m one of the workers that has been furloughed. It really sucks considering I already live paycheck to paycheck as it is, but it’s out of my hands at this point.

But I hope everyone had a great Holiday and New Years! I started to have a fitness challenge with a giveaway during December, but not very many people were participating, so I’m going to move it to February instead! That way everyone will keep going with their New Year’s Resolutions. I’ll have more details towards the end of January.

What type of planner are you using this year? Let me know in the comments!

Valerie

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25 Weight Loss Tips To Start Now

25 Weight Loss Tips

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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

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

2018 Goals

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I’m baaaack! I’m sure most of you noticed I took a bit of a hiatus over the holiday season. Well, that hiatus was longer than expected. The flu unfortunately hit our household. I had it, and now my boyfriend has had it for over a week now. This meant I had to push off some of my 2018 blog goals. I was able to start my fitness goals right away, and I’m still going strong! Here are a few of my goals for the new year:

  1. Lose at least 50 pounds (give or take, because I want muscle as well!)
  2. Become a consistent blogger
  3. Pay off debt
  4. Have a savings account
  5. Travel

I know everyone’s goal is to lose weight. I say this every year (and last year I lost 15 pounds!). I’m just never consistent with it. Well, I’m going into my 4th week and I have been working out 6 days a week and eating healthy and enjoying 1 cheat meal a week! I can’t wait to see how I feel in a couple months.

I love blogging, but sometimes life gets in the way. I really want to be more consistent and post 3 times a week. I have so much content planned out for the rest of this month and most of next month, and I’m so excited to share! My favorite post coming up in a couple weeks is how to host the perfect Galentine’s Day party. So keep an eye out for that post!

Paying off debt and having a savings account are huge for me. I have a couple credit cards I want to get paid off as well as student loans. Once I get that taken care of, I really want to build up my savings account, something I haven’t had much of the past few years. Hello, working overtime!

It has been 3 years since I took a vacation. This includes traveling, and even taking a week off of work. This year I have at least 2 trips I want to go on! The first one is in April to the Style Collective blogger conference in Raleigh, North Carolina! I can’t wait to meet all my other blogger sisters. I also want to go to New York Fashion Week this year. I know it’s a huge goal, and a pretty expensive one, but a girl can dream, right?

So how do I plan on achieving my goals? Well, obviously with losing weight I plan on working out 6 days a week and eating healthy. I plan out all my meals and workouts a week in advance using my Blogilates 2018 planner (it’s sold out, unfortunately). It’s a fitness planner that also has an hourly appointment view so you can use it as a regular planner as well. It’s a 2 in 1! This will also help me plan out time for the blog. I plan on shooting photos on the weekends and trying to get posts completed ahead of time. That way there are no excuses for something not being posted. Sometimes I find myself getting lazy and not wanting to leave my house, and I really want to change that this year.

Quote I’m going to live by this year: “Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.

What are your 2018 goals? Let’s help keep each other accountable, and post them in the comments!

Have a great week, and thanks for reading!

Valerie

Gift Guide: The Guy In Your Life

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Did everyone have a great Thanksgiving? What about Black Friday Shopping? I got a few things (including that super soft faux fur throw from Target I mentioned HERE), but I still have a long way to go to have my Christmas shopping done! I have gone back and forth on a few things to get my boyfriend for Christmas. One thing I know for sure I’m getting him are these Marc Anthony button down shirts. Everytime we go to Kohl’s he eyes these, but he never wants to spend the money on himself. Luckily they are on sale for under $30, so I’m going to pick a few up for him.

These are ideas you can get for any guy in your life: your boyfriend, dad, grandpa, etc. My boyfriend’s dad loves this Polo cologne. Also, how awesome is this Self Stirring Mug!? My boss at work has this and he absolutely loves it! And it actually works!

Of course, another idea everyone always loves getting are gift cards. Uber gift cards are the perfect Christmas gift. You can literally use them for any occasion, like a ride home from the airport or a night out. Go HERE to order an Uber gift card for your loved ones!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

Valerie

This post was sponsored by Uber. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Styled Muse possible!

Gym Essentials For Men & Women

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Since the weather is getting nice, and summer is approaching, now is the time to step up your workout game. I’m going to show you some of my favorite products to keep in your gym bag for men and women!

Women:

1. C9 Sports Bra from Target: Since I am bigger in the chest area, a sports bra is key for me to have during a workout. When I received this bra from Influenster for testing purposes, I was skeptical because a lot of them don’t seem to work out for me. But after trying this one I fell in love. It was the perfect amount of support that I needed. It does run a tad small, so make sure you size up one size.

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IMG_23922. Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo: this stuff is perfect if you are trying to get a quick workout in before work, or have errands to run afterwards. Just spray it on your roots, and your hair looks like it was just washed! I use this on the days I don’t wash my hair.

3. Olay Makeup Remover Wipes: I love to use these to get the sweat off my face after a good workout. The travel size is perfect to throw in my gym bag or purse for on the go!

4. Water Bottle: Right now I’m loving infused water. I found this water bottle from Amazon! My favorite things to throw in there are lemons, cucumbers and mint leaves! So refreshing!

5. Headphones: I love my purple Beats by Dre! Music helps me get through a tough workout. What are some of your favorite songs to listen to while working out?

6. Workout Planner: I got this planner from Blogilates (sadly they are sold out). It helps me track my food consumption and my workouts!

7. Deodorant: I always use the Dove Refresh, and it keeps me dry all day and even during my workouts!

Men (from the viewpoint of my boyfriend 🙂 ):

1. Headphones: My boyfriend loves his Green Beats by Dre!

2. Shoes: Nike’s. They give the support you need for cardio and heavy lifting.

3. Deodorant: We received the Dove Men + Care Extra Fresh deodorant complimentary thanks to Influenster! If anyone knows my boyfriend, you know how picky he is with everything.  He likes the brands he uses, and never strays away from them. So when I asked him to test this, he was skeptical. I made sure he put it on before going to work (he moves around a lot at his job). He told me that the smell of the deodorant was very refreshing (I smelled it for myself, and loved it!). He also said that it kept him dry all day, and he would use it again!

What other things to do you like to keep in your gym bag? Let me know in the comments!

Valerie

C9 Sports Bra and Dove Men + Care Extra Fresh deodorant received complimentary for testing purposes thanks to Influenster. All opinions are my own.