My Style: A Little Bit of Lace

April 29, 2016

Spring outfit, summer outfit, lace top, Target lace top, cream lace top, bucket bag, tan bucket bag, Target bag, boyfriend jeans, Nordstrom jeans, Target sandals, navy wedges, Target wedges

TOP: Target [similar] // JEANS: Nordstrom [similar] // WEDGES: Target //  
BAG: Old Navy [similar] // NECKLACE: Forever 21 [similar here and here] //
SUNNIES: LOFT [similar] *on sale! //

You know Nike's famous tagline: just do it? (Silly question, I know.) I've been thinking a lot about those 3 little words lately, in terms of the ups and downs life throws our way.

This week has been tough and I'm reminded just how precious life and our loved ones are. It's so easy to get caught up in the daily grind, and unintentionally take our blessings for granted. Life can change in an instant, so let's make the most of the one we've been given, shall we?

Want to cross skydiving off your bucket list? Just do it.
Want to leave a toxic job for a completely different path that sets your soul on fire? Just do it.
Want to start making your health a priority? Just do it.
Want to finally color your hair because you're tired of the greys? Just do it.

Happy Friday, friends! xo

Spring outfit, summer outfit, lace top, Target lace top, cream lace top, bucket bag, tan bucket bag, Target bag, boyfriend jeans, Nordstrom jeans, Target sandals, navy wedges, Target wedges

Spring outfit, summer outfit, lace top, Target lace top, cream lace top, bucket bag, tan bucket bag, Target bag, boyfriend jeans, Nordstrom jeans, Target sandals, navy wedges, Target wedges

Spring outfit, summer outfit, lace top, Target lace top, cream lace top, bucket bag, tan bucket bag, Target bag, boyfriend jeans, Nordstrom jeans, Target sandals, navy wedges, Target wedges

Spring outfit, summer outfit, lace top, Target lace top, cream lace top, bucket bag, tan bucket bag, Target bag, boyfriend jeans, Nordstrom jeans, Target sandals, navy wedges, Target wedges

Spring outfit, summer outfit, lace top, Target lace top, cream lace top, bucket bag, tan bucket bag, Target bag, boyfriend jeans, Nordstrom jeans, Target sandals, navy wedges, Target wedges

Spring outfit, summer outfit, lace top, Target lace top, cream lace top, bucket bag, tan bucket bag, Target bag, boyfriend jeans, Nordstrom jeans, Target sandals, navy wedges, Target wedges

Spring outfit, summer outfit, lace top, Target lace top, cream lace top, bucket bag, tan bucket bag, Target bag, boyfriend jeans, Nordstrom jeans, Target sandals, navy wedges, Target wedges


SHOP THE LOOK:



My 2016 Goals Update

April 27, 2016

I have been doing a terrible job at keeping you guys informed of how I'm coming along with my goals for 2016. Oops! I'm trying to get better at that, starting with today's post.

First of all, getting a Passion Planner has been a game changer. In a good way. It has forced me to plan out each week's focus and to-do list (and lay out the steps to get there) and the end of month reflection pages are amazing. Looking back on each months triumphs, listing what and who I'm thankful for and what I need to change has helped me more than I ever thought.

My 2016 Goals, My 2016 Goals Update, yoga, plank pose, namaste, yogi, yoga pose, strong

So, let's get into my actual goals for this year and where I stand on each. Gulp!

My 2016 Goals, My 2016 Goals Update, yoga, plank pose, namaste, yogi, yoga pose, strong, Back day, Gold's Gym, monday motivation, flex friday

Goal #1: Sign up for a fitness competition


This is the one goal I haven't done much anything with, to be honest. Mainly because I feel like I'm not totally ready. (But are you every really ready?) And how ridiculously dark is that spray tan!

Goal #2: Get back to doing research


I have been getting back to researching things I don't know, such as new exercises, safe supplements and healthy meals so I don't get stuck in a rut. I'm always emailing articles to myself (I made an entire folder for all of 'em... there's a lot), saving tweets during work to read later and watching YouTube exercises. Learning never stops - there's so much to know!

Goal #3: 4 sets, no rest


I've been mixing it up on this one: going the 4 sets/no rest route as well as 3 sets/no rest and adding push ups and other body weight workouts in between sets to get my heart rate up even more. Holy heart rate increase! I've also have a new thing for flipping tires, and I'm working on adding more cardio which has been challenging! It's been a while since I've ran, so doing sprints across a field certainly makes my body (and mind) work harder.

My 2016 Goals, My 2016 Goals Update, yoga, plank pose, namaste, yogi, yoga pose, strong, Back day, Gold's Gym, monday motivation, flex friday, Incline chest press

Goal #4: Conquer a handstand


Due to a slight concussion a month ago, I've been taking some time off of practicing yoga - mainly being upside down - so I'm not quite at a handstand level, yet. However, I am still killin' it with my headstands and learned a new way to start to learn handstands. I love practicing!

Goal #5: Be able to do 15-20 pull ups


So when it comes to anything, I like instant gratification, especially when it comes to gains and workouts. But realistically, 99% of the time, that just isn't going to happen, so while I'm not quite to 15 pull ups (more like 3 solid, full range ones) I have been working on first strengthening my back muscles because if they're too weak - it'll take super powers to muster 20 pull ups. I'm also working on pull ups and chin ups several times a week. I'm already seeing an improvement (even in my push ups)!

Goal #6: Learn how to count macros


I've read several articles on IIFYM (if it fits your macros), and I still can't understand it, ha! Totally need lots of help on this still - partly because some math is involved which I would rather substitute for burpees. Never thought I'd say that, but totally true.

Goal #7: Read my magazines

My pile of magazines is growing fast and I haven't gotten to any of them. Eeek! However, I bought 3 books on Amazon (more on that soon) so I've started reading them, as well as continuing to enjoy my favorite podcasts.

Bonus:


As you may (or may not) know, I keep a journal where I write down my PR's by date, pounds and how many reps I did. It's already several pages long, but here are some of my latest:

April 20th - I hit 175lbs on dead lifts, 3 reps (my first ever dead lift weight was 115lbs!)
April 18th - I hit 95lbs on the incline bench press, 6 reps and flat bench press, 8 reps
April 4th - I hit 150lbs on shoulder shrugs, 10 reps
April 1st - I hit 95lbs on hip thrusters, 10 reps

I am so glad I started a weightlifting journal to keep track of my PR's. I highly recommend you do the same - whether you're weightlifting, running 5k's and beyond, a journal is great way to keep track of every goal you hit, plus it helps me see the minimum weight that I need to be doing for each exercise.

I'm always sharing my workouts over on Snapchat so feel free to follow me over there! My username is kelllybelllly :)

My Style: Splurge

April 22, 2016

Purple midi skirt, purple skirt, J.Crew skirt, J.Crew purple midi skirt, lace top, Target lace top, faux leather jacket, spring outfit, flowy skirt

JACKET: BB Dakota [similar] // TOP: Target [similar *on sale!] //  
SKIRT: J.Crew [love this one] *last seen here and here //  
PUMPS: Shoemint [love these & these] //

Truth be told: I (VERY) rarely invest in clothes. Even if there's a dress that makes my jaw drop, or pumps that I adore, the price always stops me. Then before I know it: sold out.

I remember falling so hard for this J.Crew skirt. I stalked it every day online, scared it would be sold out and my dreams crushed. Then, I finally decided I had nothing to lose because I loved everything about it: the length, fabric and my favorite color all rolled into one insanely flowy skirt.

About 3-4 years later, it's still one of my go-to pieces and I've come to realize it's more versatile than I thought. In cooler weather, it's great with a turtleneck, and in the warmer months it can also be worn with a light tee or crop top.

Stay tuned next week when I'll be sharing casual way to style this Target lace top!

What pieces do you splurge on?

Purple midi skirt, purple skirt, J.Crew skirt, J.Crew purple midi skirt, lace top, Target lace top, faux leather jacket, spring outfit, flowy skirt

Purple midi skirt, purple skirt, J.Crew skirt, J.Crew purple midi skirt, lace top, Target lace top, faux leather jacket, spring outfit, flowy skirt

Purple midi skirt, purple skirt, J.Crew skirt, J.Crew purple midi skirt, lace top, Target lace top, faux leather jacket, spring outfit, flowy skirt

Purple midi skirt, purple skirt, J.Crew skirt, J.Crew purple midi skirt, lace top, Target lace top, faux leather jacket, spring outfit, flowy skirt

Purple midi skirt, purple skirt, J.Crew skirt, J.Crew purple midi skirt, lace top, Target lace top, faux leather jacket, spring outfit, flowy skirt

Purple midi skirt, purple skirt, J.Crew skirt, J.Crew purple midi skirt, lace top, Target lace top, faux leather jacket, spring outfit, flowy skirt

SHOP MORE MIDI SKIRTS:



Why BCAAs Are Beneficial

April 20, 2016

I briefly talked about BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) in this Instagram post, but I thought it'd be helpful to cover it here as well. A lot of people think BCAA's are bad for you, but it's actually quite the opposite: we need BCAA's. Keep reading for why these guys are incredibly beneficial.

BCAAs, Branched Chain Amino Acids, weightlifting, supplements, SLAP nutrition, we slap

What Are BCAA's?


Naturally, BCAA's make up 35% of our muscle mass. In addition to building cells and repairing tissue, they are part of our enzyme & hormonal systems and form antibodies, build RNA and DNA and carry oxygen throughout the body.

More than 20 amino acids are needed to build muscle, red blood cells, and hundreds of other molecules that sustain life. Our bodies can produce all but 8-10 amino acids, so the rest need to be obtained through a BCAA supplement.

The Function of BCAA's


BCAA's combine simpler amino acids to form a complex whole muscle tissue. In this action, BCAA's stimulate production of insulin, the main function of which is to allow circulating blood sugar to be taken up by the muscle cells and used as a source of energy. Especially during intense weight training, amino acid content is being rapidly depleted.

When and How Much To Take


Generally, you should take 4-8 grams before and after your workouts. I use flavorless BCAA's from Slap Nutrition which are great! Pre workout, I mix them with 8 ounces of water and a shot (or 2) of flavored water enhancers (I like Crystal Light). Then, post workout, I mix another scoop in with my SLAP protein powder and 8 ounces of water. Taking them after a workout with a meal or recovery drink will help speed up the replacement of BCAA's in the muscles, and make your muscles recover faster.

BCAA's are the building blocks of muscle. They're already found in our bodies and will only help supplement workouts. I hope this helps clear up some myths about BCAA's. If you have any questions, feel free to tweet me, or send an email!

4 Workout Excuses and How To Fight Them

April 18, 2016

I started my fitness journey nearly 2 years ago and have come a long way since then. Time flies when you're having fun! Since then, I've talked to a lot of people asking for workout advice and (while I LOVE helping people) there are so many excuses I hear that just bug me. So, in perfect #mondaymotivation, let's squash those excuses!

Up Vibe, workout wear, Up Vibe capris, mesh leggings, mesh capris, 4 Workout Excuses and How To Fight Them, monday motivation, Up Vibe sports bra, strappy sports bra, outdoor workouts
See the original post here

Excuse 1: I don't have the time


This is the number 1 excuse I hear, and I get it: between work, kids/family, school, events... it can all be overwhelming and leave you feeling like there's not enough time in a day. However, you can squeeze in a workout! I know it sounds crazy, and it may force you to sit down and plan out your day, but it's possible. Take baby steps... start with a half an hour workout then move up from there once you get into a good groove.

Excuse 2: I'm too tired


Who knows me best? Me, myself and I. So I know I am incapable of waking up super early to get a gym session in before work. That's why I pack my gym bag the night before and drive directly to the gym from my office. It works so much better for me and it's a great way to relieve stress at the end of a long day. Find a time that works for you and stick with it. Put it on your calendar, in your phone, put on those cute clothes and get to work! You won't regret it.

Excuse 3: I don't know where to start


I didn't know where to start either, which can be incredibly overwhelming. So, I started with Google and researched different types of workouts, developed a weekly schedule and watched how to do specific exercises as I was moving through my workout. If you know someone who can help (ie a friend that's a trainer, etc).... pick their brain!

Excuse 4: I can't afford it


Expenses add up and unforeseen expenses are really good at creeping up too, so how could you add on a monthly gym membership? Surprisingly, gyms offer discounts pretty often, but if you can't afford a membership, it's ok! Log into YouTube and search workouts or take your workouts outside and use steps, bleachers, parks and anything else you can find. If your budget allows, I suggest scooping up some dumbbells to take with you for extra resistance. Even better, kettlebells are the perfect total-body toner. Either way, your muscles will feel it!

We all have to start somewhere, in beginning a workout routine and beyond, but don't let the excuses stop you. Anything worth having takes time and dedication but I promise it'll be worth it! If you have any questions in pushing those excuses aside and getting started in a workout routine, feel free to email me (alissakelly1 at gmail dot com). I'd love to help you!

My Style: Athleisure

April 15, 2016

 Athleisure, Joe Fresh dress, sweatshirt dress, Joe Fresh Sweatshirt dress, gray dress, Converse, Chuck Taylor's, white converse, women's converse

DRESS: Joe Fresh // SHOES: Converse //  
BAG: Old Navy [similar] *last seen here and here // SUNNIES: LOFT [similar] //

A few things I can't embrace: overalls, wedge sneakers, neck scarves. A few things I am totally embracing for spring and beyond (and in some cases, still embracing): athleisure, bucket bags and my trusty Converse.

While I would never wear this Joe Fresh sweatshirt dress to the gym, I feel like this could totally be considered "athleisure". It's such a comfortable, easy, sporty look that could be worn several ways simply by switching your shoes. I knew immediately I wanted to wear my chucks with it - plus when these photos were taken it was cold so yeah, there's that. This week has been so warm so who knows when I'll break out this dress again, but it's an affordable and great piece to have!

What do you think about the athleisure trend? Yay or nay?


Athleisure, Joe Fresh dress, sweatshirt dress, Joe Fresh Sweatshirt dress, gray dress, Converse, Chuck Taylor's, white converse, women's converse

Athleisure, Joe Fresh dress, sweatshirt dress, Joe Fresh Sweatshirt dress, gray dress, Converse, Chuck Taylor's, white converse, women's converse

Athleisure, Joe Fresh dress, sweatshirt dress, Joe Fresh Sweatshirt dress, gray dress, Converse, Chuck Taylor's, white converse, women's converse

Athleisure, Joe Fresh dress, sweatshirt dress, Joe Fresh Sweatshirt dress, gray dress, Converse, Chuck Taylor's, white converse, women's converse

Athleisure, Joe Fresh dress, sweatshirt dress, Joe Fresh Sweatshirt dress, gray dress, Converse, Chuck Taylor's, white converse, women's converse

Athleisure, Joe Fresh dress, sweatshirt dress, Joe Fresh Sweatshirt dress, gray dress, Converse, Chuck Taylor's, white converse, women's converse

Athleisure, Joe Fresh dress, sweatshirt dress, Joe Fresh Sweatshirt dress, gray dress, Converse, Chuck Taylor's, white converse, women's converse

SHOP THE LOOK:



SHOP MORE BUCKET BAGS:


5 Basic Yoga Poses for Beginners

April 11, 2016

When I first started practicing yoga, I never stepped foot on a yoga mat. Heck, I didn't even own a yoga mat, I just wanted to work on my strength and yeah, the poses seemed fun, too.

While yoga has grown to be so much more than that for me (see this post), I know it can be intimidating when you finally decide you want to try it. Trust me, I've been there! You see photos of seasoned yogis twisted every which way, and think you aren't capable of that but our bodies (and minds) are capable of a lot.

Yoga, Tree Pose, namaste, 5 Basic Yoga Poses for Beginners, Chrissy's Knee Socks, Fabletics

I've put together 5 basic yoga poses that will get you started. I learned these in every class I took right away - they're a great foundation for growing your yoga practice and strength!

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)


Yoga, Tree Pose, namaste, 5 Basic Yoga Poses for Beginners, Chrissy's Knee Socks, Fabletics

How to: Standing in Mountain Pose, shift your weight slightly onto the left foot. Keeping your inner foot firm to the floor, reach down with your right hand and grab your right ankle. Draw your right foot up and place the sole against your inner left thigh. Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh while lengthening your tailbone toward the floor.

Modified: You can rest your foot against your calf instead, or the ankle of your standing leg with your toes on the ground. Never place your foot directly on the side of your knee joint!

Transition to: Warrior III.

Cat (Marjaryasana) / Cow (Bitilasana)


Yoga, Tree Pose, namaste, 5 Basic Yoga Poses for Beginners, Cat Cow pose, Chrissy's Knee Socks, Fabletics

How to: For cat: start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, making sure to keep your shoulders and knees in position. Release your head toward the floor, but don’t force your chin to your chest. Inhale, coming back to neutral tabletop position on your hands and knees.

For cow: Start in the same tabletop position and, as you inhale, lift your chest toward the ceiling, allowing your stomach to sink toward the floor. Lift your head to look straight forward. Exhale, coming back to neutral tabletop position.

Transition to: Plank.
 

Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)


Yoga, Tree Pose, namaste, 5 Basic Yoga Poses for Beginners, Upward Facing Dog, Chrissy's Knee Socks, Fabletics

How to: Begin by lying face-down on the floor with your legs extended behind you, spread a few inches apart. Place your hands on the floor alongside your body, next to your lower ribs. Point your fingers to the top of the mat and hug your elbows in close to your ribcage. Inhale as you press through your hands firmly into the floor. Straighten your arms, lifting your torso and legs a few inches off the floor. Keep your elbows pressed alongside your body. Drop your shoulders away from your ears and lift your chest toward the ceiling.

Modified: Cobra (Bhujangasana)

Transition to: Plank, Wild Thing.
 

Triangle Pose ( Utthita Trikonasana)


Yoga, Tree Pose, namaste, 5 Basic Yoga Poses for Beginners, Triangle Pose, Chrissy's Knee Socks, Fabletics

How to: Step your feet wide apart, about 4 to 5 feet. Check to ensure that your heels are aligned with each other. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees so your toes are pointing to the top of the mat. The center of your right knee cap should be aligned with the center of your right ankle. Pivot your left foot slightly inwards. Your back toes should be at a 45-degree angle. Raise your arms to the side to shoulder-height, so they’re parallel to the floor. Your arms should be aligned directly over your legs. With your palms facing down, reach actively from fingertip to fingertip.

On an exhalation, reach through your right hand in the same direction as your right foot is pointed. Shift your left hip back so your tailbone and pelvis tilt toward the wall or space behind your left foot. Fold at your right hip. Keep your right ear, shoulder, and knee on the same plane — do not let your torso drop forward. Turn your left palm forward, with your fingertips reaching toward the sky. Rest your right hand on your outer shin or ankle. If you are more flexible, place your right fingertips or palm on the floor to the outside of your right shin. Align your shoulders so your left shoulder is directly above your right shoulder. Gently turn your head to gaze at your right thumb. Draw down through the outer edge of your back foot. Extend equally through both sides of your waist. Lengthen your tailbone toward your back heel. Keep your left arm in line with your shoulders.

Modified: Place a yoga block on the floor to support the lower hand.

Transition to: Five Pointed Star, Warrior II, Revolved Triangle or High Lunge.

Plank Pose (Kumbhakasana)


Yoga, Tree Pose, namaste, 5 Basic Yoga Poses for Beginners, Plank, Chrissy's Knee Socks, Fabletics

How to: Begin on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders. Spread your fingers and press down through your forearms and hands. (Do not let your chest collapse.) Gaze down between your hands, lengthening the back of your neck and drawing your abdominal muscles toward your spine. Tuck your toes and step back with your feet, bringing your body and head into one straight line. Keep your thighs lifted and take care not to let your hips sink too low. Keep your head in line with your spine. Draw down through the bases of your index fingers — do not let your hands roll open toward the pinkie fingers. Press your quadriceps up toward the ceiling while lengthening your tailbone toward your heels.

Modified: Lower your knees to the floor (Half Plank Pose) while keeping your head and spine in a straight line. You can also lower your forearms to the floor.

Transition to: Downward Dog, Runner's Lunge, High Lunge.

If you're ready to take your yoga to a class setting, check out all the upcoming yoga events in the DC area here!

OUTFIT DETAILS:


Use code ALISSA at checkout for 5% off your order!

Namaste!

My Style: Spring Shopping Guide Under $100

April 8, 2016

Mother nature isn't entirely with the program yet, but spring is here and before you know it our calendars will be filling up. Next month, I have a bridal shower for my future sister in law, soon after that a bachelorette party and then in July 2 weddings. It's all going to be such a blast, but cue the panic attack that I have nothing in my closet to wear. Naturally.

I recently shared my spring workout wear guide, but also wanted to include a post about my favorite (affordable) items to wear outside of the gym.

Spring picks, spring picks under $100, ASOS jumpsuit, pastels, lace, eyelet, spring trends, shop the post, Spring Shopping Guide, pink, espadrilles

I wanted to keep my spring shopping guide under $50, but once I started "shopping" I found so many items beyond that price range - that I would totally buy - so I decided to expand my roundup to products up to $100.

Winter had me reaching for a lot of black (who am I?!) but spring makes me feel so rejuvenated and I just want to wear all the color, off the shoulder tops, feminine lace details - and culottes are welcome, too.

I've also had my eyes on this ASOS cut out jumpsuit. How perfect would this be for a bridal shower?

The best part about these items: they're affordable, so worth the money and will definitely take you into summer, too!

What items are you loving for spring?

SHOP THE POST!

My Style: The Classics

April 1, 2016

Classic, the Classics, striped sweater, Who What Wear x Target, Target sweater, Black dress pants, Black heels, Zara heels, Old Navy tote, black tote

SWEATER: Who What Wear x Target // PANTS: Who What Wear x Target //  
PUMPS: Zara [similar] // TOTE: Old Navy //
NECKLACE: JewelMint [similar] *last seen here // SUNNIES: LOFT [similar] //

I've been on a mission to build my wardrobe with pieces that will not only last, but ones that can also transition from my 8-5 to happy hour and everywhere in between, but especially work.

The Who What Wear x Target collection is THE perfect line to find classic pieces, hands down. Let's not talk about the fact that I need to stop buying anything striped, but I just couldn't pass up this sweater: when paired with classic black pants like I did here, it is the easiest work outfit to throw on. I think the sweater would look great tucked into a midi skirt, too!

I was incredibly skeptical about these pants, but you can't have too many black dress pants (right?!) so I ended up trying them on, then didn't even think twice about buying them. The material is a teeny bit stretchy, doesn't collect lint and they're super flattering aka they fit my tush and thighs. Hallelujah! I just wish I would've snagged them in the olive color.

P.S. I've listed tons of items over on my Poshmark closet - go check it out and help me get rid of stuff! ;)

What classic pieces do you rely on?

Classic, the Classics, striped sweater, Who What Wear x Target, Target sweater, Black dress pants, Black heels, Zara heels, Old Navy tote, black tote

Classic, the Classics, striped sweater, Who What Wear x Target, Target sweater, Black dress pants, Black heels, Zara heels, Old Navy tote, black tote

Classic, the Classics, striped sweater, Who What Wear x Target, Target sweater, Black dress pants, Black heels, Zara heels, Old Navy tote, black tote

Classic, the Classics, striped sweater, Who What Wear x Target, Target sweater, Black dress pants, Black heels, Zara heels, Old Navy tote, black tote

Classic, the Classics, striped sweater, Who What Wear x Target, Target sweater, Black dress pants, Black heels, Zara heels, Old Navy tote, black tote


SHOP MY OTHER FAVORITES FROM THE COLLECTION: