So Long, Summer

August 31, 2016

Summer isn't fully over yet, but looking back on the last few months.... it's been a fun one.

Boyfriend and I got in some beach time and went horseback riding, then I finally tried paddle boarding, sat poolside, and celebrated the marriage of my brother and sister-in-law. It has been one for the books and reliving all the memories makes my heart happy.

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Unfortunately, summer doesn't last forever around these parts. But year after year, I find myself even more excited about the change from summer to fall. Even though I don't want summer to go, I'm eager for crisp mornings and pumpkin spice anything..... except lattes. (I just totally contradicted myself, I know, ha!) Am I the only one that feels this way?

"Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower."
Albert Camus

I still can't quite put my finger on why I welcome the change in season, but it makes me feel like I am sort of starting new. Brightly colored trees, sidewalks covered in leaves that crunch beneath your feet, and a change in wardrobe. Give me all the boyfriend jeans, striped long-sleeve shirts, light jackets and flats. Oh and dark nail polish. (I probably won't be saying this for very long.)

With fall just 3 weeks away, I can't wait to see what these next few months bring! There's already apple-picking in my near future, that's for sure.

I am also excited to bring new outfits to the blog but, in the meantime, here are some of my favorite past fall outfit posts:

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Naturally Me, Fall, Fall Outfit, Fall Outfit Idea, Crocheted Top, Skinny Jeans, Forever 21 Jeans
 

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Naturally Me, Fall Outfit, Fall Outfit Idea, DKNY Dress, Faux Leather Dress, Olive Green Dress

These past months have also seen some firsts: my first facial, bikini wax and meditation class. All 3 were great experiences! I'm hoping to add my first skydiving class onto that list very soon, too.

Are you looking forward to fall? What's your favorite thing about the change in season?

My First Meditation Experience

August 24, 2016

You might've seen over on Snapchat (kelllybelllly) or Instagram that I went to the Yoga Expo in DC this past Saturday. Guys, I don't even know where to begin.... it was a blast!

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Nearly a week before the yoga expo, I printed out the class schedule and knew this would be the perfect time to try different types of yoga. (I usually do vinyasa.) There were so many options. So many good options.

I also knew I wanted to finally try a meditation class. I'm intrigued by meditation (I recently downloaded the Headspace app) and feel like it could add positive vibes and mindfulness to my daily life the way yoga continues to do.

So, there I was. Finally in a meditation class and so ready to experience it for myself. The class began with some light yoga and then we moved into several breathing exercises. Toward the end of the class, the room was quiet and we were left to meditate on our own for a few minutes. (That was pretty challenging - sometimes I couldn't help but think about how cold the room was and other nonsense.)

I had no idea something that our teacher would say would impact me more than the practice and nearly make me tear up.

She explained that there are different forms of meditation. Meditation can be described as a state of consciousness, when the mind is free of scattered thoughts and various patterns. Contrary to popular belief (me included), meditation doesn't have to be in class form, led by someone who has mastered the art.

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Meditation also comes in the form of stopping to (literally) smell the flowers on your walk to work. Or admiring the cotton candy sky as you drive home at night. Or sitting on the beach and witnessing the most beautiful sunrise with your significant other. Listening to a thunderstorm. Or enjoying your lunch break at the park and listening to birds chirping.

In those moments, you're slowing down, taking in what's around you and appreciating things we normally don't notice.... letting all your daily thoughts about work and your to-do list fade. Lately, I've been in awe of the sunset, the bright blue sky and much more in tune with my surroundings. I don't know if I'm trying to savor the last days of summer, but I want this feeling to continue for years and years.

Who knew that, in a way, I have been meditating and I didn't even know it! I am really happy I took a class though, and I don't plan on stopping there.

I should probably mention that I had even more fun than I thought I would at the Yoga Expo DC, if that's possible! My friend and I explored the vendor area and learned about some great companies, got some goodies and sampled food. (There was a man who makes his own yoga mats with the coolest designs and hidden words - I wish I grabbed his card!)

It was a full 6 hours of yoga but I left more energized than ever! Hashtag Namaslay! ;)


Have you ever tried meditation? What was your experience like? 


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Upcoming Yoga Events You Can't Miss

August 17, 2016

I am so excited that the DC area is hosting some amazing yoga events so I figured I'd round them all up for you in one place. (If I missed any, let me know!) Whether you've been practicing yoga for a while now, or are new to the mat - these events are perfect for you. So throw on some cute active wear, fill your water bottle, unroll that mat and come get your om on!

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Image via Fleet Feet


The Yoga Expo 

Saturday, August 20 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center


Now this is my kind of expo! From 10:30am to almost 6:30pm, the Yoga Expo is a great event to experience mindful living. There is an entire schedule of yoga and meditation classes as well as a yoga marketplace, local food and live music. My friend and I grabbed tickets months ago and I have been SO excited to go ever since!

Be sure to follow along on Snapchat (kelllybelllly)!


Yoga on the Mall 

Sunday, September 25 on the National Mall

I couldn't make it to this event last year, so I'm extra excited to experience yoga in the middle of our Nation's capital. How cool does that sound?? The event starts at 10am with an Acro Yoga demonstration, then yogis of all levels will have a warm-up session, a full (all level) class and a meditation session after. (There's even kids yoga!) Make sure you RSVP!


Wanderlust DC 

Sunday, October 2 at RFK Stadium


I have been dying to attend Wanderlust and it's finally come to DC! It's described as "a field day for your mind, body and soul." The event starts at 7:30am and has a jam-packed schedule all day including a 5k, yoga flows complete with a DJ and guided meditation. (See the full schedule here!)


ARTOGA

Friday, November 27 at Honest Soul Yoga (Alexandria, VA) 

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You guys, I can't get enough of ARTOGA and there are some classes coming up! If you haven't heard of it, it's a yoga class that involves painting. I've already taken 3 classes (read about my experience here) and I'm itching to take another one. They're SO much fun! And no, you don't need painting (or yoga) experience to attend. Sign up for the event here.

Namaste, friends! 

Why I Started Counting Macros

August 15, 2016

So, I've realized I don't share much of my fitness "happenings" on here for you all to see and perhaps learn from. Oops. #Life..... but let's change that! You may remember that one of my 2016 goals is to learn how to count macros.

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Well, I've read and bookmarked several reads on IIFYM (if it fits your macros) that claim to be all you need to start a macros plan. Not the case, in my opinion. I was as confused as ever and felt like my head was about to explode, ya know?

There is SO much information out there and it's freaking overwhelming! So, I decided to get help from Lily of Le Fit Plan. She has been tracking her macros for a while and really knows the process.

What are Macros?


For those who are like 'Uh, what the heck is counting macros?!', the easiest way to explain it is instead of counting daily calories, you count the total amount of protein/fat/carbs (aka macros or macronutrients) each day.

It's a very flexible way to eat, and you can switch up your daily foods by substituting something that has the same amount of protein, fats or carbs in order to meet your goal. Even oreos, if it fits!

Why do I want to count Macros?


A few reasons:

As I get deeper into the fitness lifestyle, I'm obsessed with learning more about how the human body works. Something so simple (yet, also complex) as what we eat can really help reach specific goals. Sometimes it can even speed up the process.

I also still have a lot to learn about my body. Everyone's body is unique and responds differently to an eating plan. (i.e. The 21 Day Fix may work great for you to lose weight, but that's not my goal so I'm exploring options.) It's all about finding an eating plan that aligns with your goals but also makes every workout more effective.

Not going to lie: I like the idea of being able to eat Oreos, chocolate... heck even Poptarts if they fit in my plan. *Cue heart-eyed emoji. That's how flexible the macros lifestyle is!

What I'm learning


In preparation, I used this calculator to figure out how much of everything I need based on factors like my weight, lifestyle and how many meals I want to eat in a day.

Using that calculation, Lily came up with a daily meal plan which even includes dark chocolate and red wine. Currently, I'm trying to hit my goal of 123g protein/182g carbs/43g fat each day.

The first day I started, I took notes and I'm SO glad I did. I've been keeping a journal of literally everything: from questions to ask Lily, to how I feel (physically and mentally) and certain foods that I always need to keep on hand - especially to hit my vegetable goal each day.

Below are some important points I learned right away when I started counting my macros. Hopefully they'll help anyone who is thinking about joining the macros fun, or those in the beginning stages like me:

- If you don't have My Fitness Pal, download it. Now. (I use the free version.) It is the easiest way to record each meal and see your macros & calorie breakdown each day. I also love that you can save the food you eat a lot under 'My Foods' and easily add them to a meal. (You can also copy an entire meal to another day.) There's also a function where you can record daily exercise and the amount of water you drink.

- You will go through a lot of food. Just to give you an idea: 200grams of blueberries doesn't sound like a lot. But HOLY COW, it's nearly the entire small plastic container you find at the grocery store. And that is only 1 serving for me. (My breakfast also includes 1/4 cup of blueberries.) So needless to say: you'll be buying more food, and probably going back to the grocery store like me to restock more than once a week.

- Get ready to measure everything... down to the gram or ounce. A food scale is your BFF and I'm so glad I invested in one a long time ago. (I use this one.) Since counting macros means measuring every single piece of food down to the smallest bit, the meal prep process does take a bit longer to do. I measure everything, bag it or put it in storage containers then mark down the specific measurement and what meal it is.

- Two words: volume eating. My plan includes 6 meals with lunch and dinner being the biggest volume-wise. The first day, I barely ate all my lunch because it was such a high volume of veggies and chicken. I didn't even want to eat dinner because I still felt full. Luckily, since then I'm able to eat every meal no problem. It does take me a bit longer to eat, but at least I finish everything! (I'm also working on eating slower instead of going all cave man on my meal.)


Hopefully this helps you guys at least a little bit to see why I started counting macros, and what I've learned already.

I'm still in the very early stages (aka still feeling pretty scatter brained), so there will definitely be a follow up post down the road on how things are going since I plan to stick with it and see how my body responds.

You can always follow along on my journey via Snapchat (kelllybelllly)!


Have any macro advice, or other posts you'd like to see on Naturally Me? I'd love to hear - leave a comment or Tweet me!

My Style: Summertime Swing

August 5, 2016

Shop Tobi, Tobi, swing dress, black dress, denim vest, Target denim vest, orange crossbody bag, J.Crew crossbody bag, Converse Chuck Taylor shoes, white converse, Naturally Me

DRESS: c/o Tobi // DENIM VEST: Target [similar] // BAG: J.Crew [similar] //  
SHOES: Converse // SUNNIES: Michael Kors //  BRACELETS: Alex & Ani //
RING: Express //

Finally, my search for a swing dress is over! I've been living in this one from Tobi all summer and it's not going anywhere for a long time. It has just enough bounce and tons of comfort which makes it perfect for a Saturday stroll along the lake.

Happy Friday!

New to Tobi? First-time customers receive 50% off their first order!

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