My Style: Little White Dress

May 20, 2016

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DRESS: H&M // HEELS: ShoeMint [love these] // BAG: Target [identical] //  
ARROW RING: Alex & Ani // TURQUOISE RING: Express, old //
EAR JACKETS: JewelMint [similar] // SUNNIES: LOFT [similar] //

Yesterday's warm, sunny weather has me hoping it's finally time to break out the LWD (little white dress). It's definitely a spring must-have because they're incredibly versatile: from work to cookouts, and even for soon-to-be brides, there's a LWD for everyone. I'm currently loving them paired with blush and a few bright accessories, but have my eyes on these floral heels for more of a flirty look.

How do you rock a LWD? Keep reading for a roundup of my favorites!

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MORE LITTLE WHITE DRESSES TO LOVE:



My First Facial With The Center for Plastic Surgery

May 18, 2016

At 30 years old, I decided it's time to really take care of my skin. Hey, better late than never, right?

I have never had much of an issue with acne growing up. I'd use whatever face wash was on sale when I needed a refill. Masks? I have several Target ones sitting in my bathroom. Spot treatment? Tried a Neutrogena product a while ago and gave up.

Within the past 3 years, my skin has gotten significantly worse: bumps, extreme dryness/cracking (which turned out to be eczema and prompted a prescription gel from a dermatologist), redness, acne and even cysts. Cysts are no joke. They're painful and tough to get rid of because they're under the surface. Even after I tried a special (read: expensive) serum, they wouldn't go away.

All of that on 1 person's face... talk about embarrassing.

Why are all these issues popping up now?! (Pun, intended.) I highly doubt it's my eating, but I still can't figure it out, so I was incredibly excited when I had an opportunity to work with The Center for Plastic Surgery.

The Center for Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Facial, Fire & Ice Facial, Skincare, Skin Issues, Naturally Me
I went into the appointment expecting to get a facial, but my aesthetician, Martha, could tell immediately that, with all my skin issues, I wasn't ready for a facial. We talked about my current skincare routine (which didn't take long) and she explained that having the treatment would only make my skin worse. Instead, she applied a few products and we compared before and after pictures (above).

Within a few minutes, a lot of the redness was gone. I was shocked and excited! She sent me home with more sample products and made me promise to use them consistently for 3 weeks in hopes to be able to get a facial on my next visit.

I started using the products that night and kept daily notes for those 3 weeks on how my skin felt and looked. Within a few days, I saw major improvements: the little weird bumps on my forehead disappeared, my skin was much less dry and very smooth. I couldn't believe the difference! Each week got better than the last.

Last week, I went back for my facial and my skin has never been more healthy. I received the Fire and Ice facial which smooths and softens the skin using ingredients like aloe and vitamins. It felt incredible and my skin has never looked and felt better. Not to mention it was a very relaxing process!

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What I loved about The Center for Plastic Surgery - and Martha - was how they customized a skin treatment plan just for me. Not everyone has the same issues, so you can't treat each person's skin with the exact same process. Who knew my skin wasn't ready for a facial? Not me! I'm so glad Martha took the time to evaluate my skin, talk to me about each issue and then decide on a treatment.

It only took me 30 years, but this was the best decision I could've made to start to get my skin looking and feeling better. I am still using the products and my skin continues to improve. Yay! Also, I may look like Mrs. Doubtfire - but I can't wait to get another facial! #worthit

If you're in the area, The Center for Plastic Surgery has 2 locations - in Annandale, VA and Chevy Chase, MD. If you visit the Chevy Chase location, see Martha!


I was gifted a complimentary facial and sample products from CPS, however all opinions are my own. 

The first photo of me via CPS.

How To Meal Prep, Part 2

May 16, 2016

Meal prep has, without a doubt, helped me begin to reach goals in my fitness journey that I wouldn't otherwise be seeing if I didn't track what I eat. You can spend all day in the gym, but if you're not watching what you eat, you won't see results.

In this post, I covered the basics of how I meal prep (which I still use), but now that I've been doing it a lot longer, my routine has become much more efficient before I even start making food.

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Before you start meal prep:


Take note of your eating habits - This is absolutely THE most important step you can take not only to avoid wasting food you spent your money on, but to also see where your daily eating habits need to change for the better (hello future blog post idea??).

For example: I'm not a huge fan of oranges, but (because I like to switch up my daily fruits) I'll buy them every once in a while. I used to buy several at a time, then I realized I can't eat them fast enough yet I LOVE bananas and have at least 2 per day, so when I'm grocery shopping, I only buy 2 oranges and focus more on fruits I love more.

Schedule a meal prep day/time - Fail to plan, plan to fail. I know our schedules can get crazy, but reserving a time to meal prep will make things so much easier. Saturday is my meal prep day but it doesn't have to be a weekend. Whatever fits your schedule on a weekly basis, add it to your calendar and stick with it. If you're out of town on a meal prep day, adjust accordingly for that week.

Shop around - I'm lucky enough to live around several grocery stores so I don't just grocery shop at one. I take notes and look at flyers so I know what items to buy at each store for the most affordable price. Why pay more when you don't have to? Pay attention to weekly sales & even regular prices on food - especially items you buy every week.

Use coupons - In my opinion, why not save as much money as possible - even if it's $.25 here and there? Totally worth it in the end.

Frozen is your friend - Frozen fruit and vegetables are picked at the peak of freshness, then frozen and sent to your local grocery store. You can use frozen bags of fruit to put in smoothies (that way you don't need to add as much ice) as well as saute or steam vegetables to throw in stir fry, wraps, salads and more. 

Know when to pay a little more - I certainly don't make a habit of this (#frugal) but sometimes you have to pay more for better quality items. The Aldi store I go to doesn't ever have good quality produce so I usually stay away from buying most produce there.

Instead, I go to the much bigger grocery store with a giant produce section - most of which is from local farms (bonus!). If you're still not finding quality produce, do some research and see if a produce delivery service is near you like Hometown Harvest. It's a great way to get fresh produce and support local farmers!

Stock up the freezer - No time to cook all the turkey burgers after you mix them up? Divide the meat equally, form into patties and individually wrap them up and stick them in the freezer. I usually leave 1 or 2 in the refrigerator to make for the next day or so but the rest stay in the freezer and I take them out as needed.

Double duty items - I bought a bag of lemons a while back then realized (as I was trying to use them up) that they're perfect for detox water, to flavor chicken/fish and fresh squeezed lemon juice makes a light and refreshing salad dressing. Think of different way to use items and you'll never get bored!

Take help from the store - I make a lot of egg whites each week but don't want to waste the egg yolks, so I buy a carton of egg whites each time I get groceries. (I started buying the smaller ounce carton but that wasn't enough so I buy the larger one now.) Each week I meal prep, I make about half of the carton which is enough to last me 5 days for breakfast, then make the rest later in the week.


During meal prep:


Multitask in the kitchen - We do only have 2 hands which sometimes makes multitasking hard but not when it comes to cooking! The reason is this: you have multiple burners on a stove, an oven, a microwave so use it all! Maybe not everything at once but think about the food you're making and have a plan to get it all done in a shorter amount of time by using several appliances at once.

How I do it: If I'm making roasted veggies (or sweet potatoes, etc) then I'll prepare those and pop them in the oven. Then I turn to making stove top items (hard boiled eggs, egg whites, quinoa, etc) while the oven is doin' it's thang. Make sure to set a timer though! That way you won't forget about any food that may be cooking.

So now that you're ready to meal prep, what whole/clean foods should you eat to fuel your body properly? Download my clean eating grocery list here.


Still have questions? Leave a comment or shoot me an email (alissakelly1 at gmail dot com) and I'll be happy to answer them!

My Style: Pretty In Pink

May 13, 2016

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DRESS: Old Navy [love this one] // SANDALS: Shoemint [similar] //
EARRINGS: Jewelmint [similar] // SUNNIES: LOFT [similar] *on sale! //

I thought April showers bring May flowers, but mother nature has it backwards lately. I don't know about you, but it's been challenging to dress for this rainy and chilly weather. As a result, I've been paying little attention to the forecast and wearing dresses - including this pink striped dress - while also freezing my buns off.

I've always had a thing for stripes (evidence here, here, here and here for starters) and that's not going away anytime soon. It's still a classic print and the pink stripes just scream spring. (I do love a good stripes & floral combo though!)

Cheers to Friday and (hopefully) a sunny and dry weekend! Keep reading for my other favorite (and affordable) striped dresses!

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SHOP MORE STRIPED DRESSES:



Aim True

May 9, 2016

A couple weekends ago, I attended Kathryn Budig's #AimTrue workshop in DC. In case you don't know, Kathryn is a well known yoga teacher, author and inspirational speaker. She's also the first yogi I followed when I began my practice. As soon as I saw she was coming to DC, I knew I couldn't miss this opportunity to hear her message, experience a yoga class led by her and be inspired.

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The purpose of the tour is centered around her new book, Aim True. It is 310 pages of yoga flows, healthy recipes as well as how Aim True came to be.

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I had no idea how life-changing this workshop would be and how the timing of it would align with so many thoughts and issues going on in my life. Aim True can have an abundance of different meanings to everyone, which is the beauty of the message.

Since then, I've been contemplating what Aim True means to me and I immediately thought of an arrow. It knows the destination and doesn't let anything get in the way to reach it. Much like an arrow, I need to focus on MY path and not let anything (or anyone) derail me.

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A big example of this that I keep coming back to is to stop comparing myself to other people. Bloggers, yogis, weightlifters, coworkers, the person in front of me in the Target checkout line. The world's judgmental mentality is all too easy to pick up and it's toxic. After all, we don't know what the person has been, or is, going through. Comparing yourself to others will just make you feel bad about yourself. Ain't nobody got time for that!

Some days I also feel lost on how to keep inspiring people via social media and grow a larger, authentic audience. I always try to share helpful workouts, meals, etc... anything that helps me on my journey. However, I feel like I don't have as much reach because I'm not posting selfies, photos of coffee, or weekly flower trips to Whole Foods. The truth is: I very rarely feel comfortable posting selfies, I don't like coffee and I'd rather spend my money on healthy food, not flowers that die in a week.

That's who I am.

I'm on my own path, instead I'm letting negative thoughts and other people's actions derail me from staying true to myself. Kathryn spoke a lot about being worried what others will say, how they'll respond to your decisions, posts, etc. Unfortunately, people will always try to bring you down or disagree with you, but as long as you stay true to yourself, it's okay!

I get way too caught up in what others may think, what whitty caption can I write, or am I wearing the latest and greatest work out wear. It's mentally exhausting and, as a result, sometimes I end up posting nothing. That is not healthy and definitely won't help me on my journey. It's time I stop caring about petty things, start enjoying life and pouring my efforts into the more important things. At the end of the day, if a person really wants to follow my posts, they will.

In my journal from the workshop, I wrote down: wake up everyday knowing your passion, not worrying about others, and you'll always hit your mark. That sums up what Aim True means to me pretty darn well, actually.

Here are a few other notes I wrote down during Kathryn's talk that really hit me:

As soon as we wake up in the morning, we are flooded with negative thoughts. We see ourselves in the mirror and we start critiquing, but that's not how we should start our day. Loving ourselves, flaws and all, will help you start your Aim True journey.

Pull the power back into your hands! No one can make you feel better about the circumstances but YOU.

Every choice you make in life comes from 2 places: fear and love. (Fear isn't always bad!)

Don't be embarrassed about who you are.

Find your tribe members - those who will resonate with you.

Flip your perspective and see the unknown as something good and positive.

What does Aim True mean to you?


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