2016 Review + Looking Ahead

December 30, 2016

Workout wear, running, a girl running, Old Navy workout tanktop, Fabletics leggings, black leggings

Anyone else feel like this month has made 2016 feel super long? I'm so ready for a fresh start, but before we hang up our new calendars, let's take a look back at 2016, shall we? It was a year full of fun times and lots of learning experiences. Here's a mini recap of some of my favorite times + a preview of what's coming in 2017.

2016 Highlights 


1. One of my major blog highlights this year was working with Rosa Loves DC to capture my outfit photos. She is a rockstar photographer and makes me feel so comfortable in front of the camera. (Another big accomplishment this year!)

For all of my outfit posts, check out the My Style page of the blog!

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2. My first facial.... and bikini wax

4. Meeting yogi Kathryn Budig

5. Spending a weekend in Ohiopyle State Park with my family (and surprise.. poison ivy!)

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I've also had some amazing experiences not documented on the blog including: my brother getting married, taking my first paddle boarding class, spending Valentine's Day in NYC with my love, and so much more. Ah, the wonderful memories!

Looking Ahead


I'm writing a full post on all my goals (not resolutions) for 2017 which will be coming soon, but wanted to share some today, plus fill you guys in on what's coming to the blog soon! (Hint: exciting stuff!)

2017 Goals


1. Prep for a fitness competition

2. Read more books

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3. Go skydiving

4. Get my personal trainer's certification

Upcoming Posts


1. One more day to go in the December Liftmas challenge I'm doing (!) so there will be a second recap post coming on how it went and how I feel

2. Why yoga isn't about fitness anymore for me

3. Increasing your productivity for 2017

4. Watch out for another giveaway, too! ;) But in the meantime, don't forget to enter my NeoCell giveaway!

I'm also working on new content for Naturally Me and, while I have so many ideas already, I want to hear from you! Are there any blog posts/topics you want me to cover? I'd love it if you filled out my quick blog survey so I can bring you guys even better content in 2017!!


Thank you all so much for reading!!

What are your favorite memories of 2016?

Healthy Hair, Skin, and Joints with NeoCell

December 28, 2016

I take so many daily vitamins I had to get a bigger container to keep them all in. I'm planning to write a full post in the near future about everything I take... but in the meantime, I wanted to share a new addition to my daily lineup which might surprise you.

Collagen.

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You may think I'm crazy - but when leading collagen company, NeoCell, reached out to me to try some of the company's products, I was interested to know more about collagen - and why we should take it - yet also a bit skeptical. When I think of collagen, I imagine some sort of crazy beauty cream that makes your face stiff like Botox. (Anyone else think this, too??)

Turns out, collagen is a protein that's naturally found almost everywhere in our bodies - and is a major part of our bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and much more. I also read that collagen helps reduce injury to ligaments and tendons, promotes joint health, and reduces body fat. Who knew?! Those benefits alone are very appealing to me since I work out every day and want to avoid injury.

If that alone isn't convincing enough, I came across an article on tips to boost your collagen intake and definitely have it bookmarked. Collagen must be important if we need to replenish it, right?

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After all my research, I decided to try some products for myself. NeoCell graciously sent me Beauty Bursts Soft Chews and Collagen Capsules to try, as well as Biotin Bursts which are antioxidant chews with B vitamins that promotes hair and skin health.

It's been over a month since I've made NeoCell part of my vitamin routine and I can honestly say that these products will continue to be part of my daily lineup. My nails are stronger than ever and haven't been breaking as much, and my hair seems a lot less dry which is always a plus during winter.

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My skin has responded to the collagen really well, too. I haven't had as many issues with breakouts and if any do happen, they disappear quickly. Something I've never noticed until now.

Also, let's be honest: if I'm taking a daily vitamin that requires chewing, it needs to taste good. I'm happy to report both kinds of chews I received pass my taste test. (The acai berry Biotin Bursts are my favorite!)

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One more interesting note: the founder of NeoCell, after suffering a heart attack and going through triple-bypass surgery, began to research holistic therapies where he discovered the benefits of collagen. He started to take it himself and experienced so many benefits that he started NeoCell in 1998.

If you want to try NeoCell products for yourself, I'm giving away all three items mentioned above to one lucky reader just by entering below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 NeoCell also has tons of other products as well, including liquid and powder collagen, joint health chews, and Keratin Hair Volumizer!

Get $5 off your first order with code CIP001!


All items are c/o NeoCell however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Naturally Me!

Holiday Link Love

December 23, 2016

I don't do link love posts very often because I think they're boring and I like photos, but here I am... rounding up some favorite reads as we go into Christmas. (Santa comes in two days eeeeek!) Don't worry, I'm keepin' it short and sweet.

Hear me out: I've mentioned before about how it's tough to stick to a healthy lifestyle especially during the holidays. Well, I've found a lot of great resources for you guys (and me!) to keep in mind as we're surrounded by family, friends, and lots of food. Dun dun dun.

EAT


- Want to indulge in all the sweets? Keep these 8 healthy holiday tips in mind when eating

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- Once you've finished a sweat session, here are 5 things you should never do after a workout
- Not a coffee drinker? 6 teas to drink for seriously radiant skin
- Got the holiday baking bug? 10 must-try healthy recipes

 

SWEAT


- Tight on time? Read my 8 tips for an effective (short) workout

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- Or you can try this 12 minute HIIT workout
- Your ideal workout, according to your astrological sign
- Serious #goals right here... 6 wellness rules supermodel Karlie Kloss swears by


It is possible to stay on track during the holidays while still enjoying time with family! Remember: take it one day at a time, stay hydrated, try to get a workout in (or even a walk) and most importantly enjoy your time with loved ones!

I'm heading home after work today to spend a few days with the family in PA so I'll see you all back here next week with all new posts (and maybe a giveaway)!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!
Thanks for reading Naturally Me!

My Christmas Wishlist

December 21, 2016

Since starting my fitness journey, it's pretty interesting to see how my Christmas list has changed over the years. It used to be jewelry, clothes, and makeup I'd never use but now each year I ask for more workout accessories, yoga props and (duh) activewear. Basically I'm starting to build a mini gym with accessories and I don't hate it.

Last year was quite the Merry Fitmas and let's hope this Christmas is no different!! I started making a list of what I wanted several months ago, so here's hoping Santa received it! ;)


6 Pack Fitness Innovator Meal Prep Bag


I have been stalking these bags for SO long, but never pulled the trigger. They're the perfect way to keep all my meals, shakes, and supplements in one organized place - especially during a busy work week. Right now, my reusable shopping bags aren't cutting it, haha!

Bosu Ball




I mentioned this before, but did you know you can now customize your Bosu Ball?! How cool is that! I use these at the gym all the time and you can get so many good workouts with them (from pushups to squats) as well as working on your balance.

Squat Sponge




Not sure how most gyms are, but my gym has squat sponges for people to use - but I'd much rather have my own. It's always better that way, right? I use one all the time to keep the bar from digging into my back when I squat so I highly recommend! (Plus, I found a pink one.)

Ab Roller




If you follow me on Snapchat (kelllybelllly), you know I have a love/hate relationship with the ab roller. Yet I want my own. Here's why: I love it because I really feel the burn in my abs after I use it - yet it's hard to do (at least for me) which I hate! Luckily, I've been using it more since it's part of the December Liftmas Challenge I'm currently doing, but it's not getting much easier. I love a good challenge though! Another reason I want my own? Because my gym only has 2 and they're always so hard to get a hold of.

If I do get all these gym goodies... I think I'm going to need a bigger gym bag! ;)


What's on your Christmas list?

My Style: Long Cardigan

December 16, 2016

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CARDIGAN: c/o Zaful // TURTLENECK: Target //  
JEANS: Old Navy [similar] *on sale! // 
BOOTIES: Express *on sale! // BAG: c/o Zaful // 

Now that the weather is turning frigid (only 5 days until winter officially begins), I just want to stay warm all day, everyday. I'm loving layers - particularly long cozy cardigans - to keep me from freezing especially since there's snow in the forecast tonight! They're the perfect layer that you can add over a turtleneck, long sleeve tee, or even a more dressy shirt for work. Now that I think about it, why not throw this one over top of my pajamas, too? (It also comes in khaki!) I think binge watching some more Hallmark Christmas movies will be on my weekend agenda.

What's everyone else up to this weekend? In addition to a last-minute movie marathon, my friend and I are going to an essential oils class tomorrow and we get to make our own! I've been wanting to learn about them so I'm really excited!

PS: I mentioned it yesterday on Instagram, BUT these booties are currently 40% off -- which makes them less than $40 plus they come in 4 colors. Go ahead - #treatyoself!




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Photos by Rosa

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December Liftmas Challenge

December 14, 2016

December is usually a time where our health and fitness gets moved to the back burner. Between hosting and attending holiday parties, traveling to see family, and other holiday happenings, it can get pretty hard to keep up with our calendars, let alone workouts and meal prep.

This year, I wanted that to be different for me. Since I'm still trying to find out what type of training + nutrition program works for the goals I want to reach, I decided to jump into a month-long challenge with a local athlete training/nutrition company, Skullz and Barbells.

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I've been following the company on social media all year and I love their drive, dedication to clients, and knowledge. They have a whole group of athletes that compete in shows and that is motivation for me since it's a goal of mine to do the same. I signed up for a week-long challenge not too long ago, but moving made it tough to stick to, so while I was at home for Thanksgiving I decided to sign up for their December Liftmas Challenge. (Another Black Friday gift to myself ;)

It's now day 14 of the challenge and it has been... challenging, but in a really motivating way. Since I want to keep you all updated on my fitness journey, I wanted to share some more about this challenge and how I feel so far.

Nutrition


The nutrition part is broken down into foods we can eat - and foods we can't. The "can't" category is huge (I miss you fruit, protein bars, and greek yogurt!) but it sure makes meal prep easier because there is a very tight category of foods I'm allowed to eat. Thankfully, avocados, peanut butter, and almond butter are still allowed!

Also, my GOSH it's been so wonderful to be back to meal prep again! Seriously, I love having a routine and knowing what I need to eat (and when) so I can get my 6 meals a day. Instead of counting macros, we have an A day and B day broken down meal-by-meal. (B days I don't eat any carbs.) I can't tell you how much easier that is than counting macros. Just the first day of the challenge I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off me!

I'm now in Phase 2 of the challenge which is 2 back-to-back days of no carbs, followed by 2 back-to-back days with carbs. (Sidenote: the second phase started Monday and of course when I can't have carbs, I walk into work and the lunchroom smells like bagels. Ugh!) If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (kelllybelllly) you know that on days I get carbs I eat a pop tart post-workout. That's pretty much my favorite part of the nutrition plan. ;) More on that soon, too!

Even though the challenge is all of December, Christmas Eve and Christmas day we have the freedom to eat anything - no restrictions! On one hand, I'm excited to indulge but at the same time I'm afraid I'll consume ALL THE THINGS. Especially eggnog. (I'm planning to do a follow-up post, so I'll let you know how that goes.)

Training


Before this challenge, I switched up my weekly training but was so ready to start completely new and go by a training program actually built in with nutrition.

During each of the four phases, we have different workouts to rotate through. Every other day we do the same workout and let me tell you, the first 3 days I was sooo sore! My body was definitely adjusting to the new workouts. Now that I'm in phase 2, we are doing different PLYOS as well as a push pull day. I'm loving the different workouts!

Also, this phase means I have 30 minutes of cardio a day. This whole regular cardio thing is new to me but I'm actually enjoying it... is that crazy? I do my cardio right after each workout and it's nice to just wind down and listen to music or a podcast while I walk on the treadmill or sweat up the stair master.

Thoughts


All. The. Carbs.

But seriously though, the no carb thing really hasn't been too difficult until I'm in a lunch meeting with rolls and pasta galore. It just means that I look forward to the days I do get carbs even more (like today) - especially since our bodies still need them.

All in all, the challenge is going so incredibly well! I'm tracking my weight once a week as usual, and have already noticed more muscle definition. Kind of crazy since I haven't been using much weight except my own body weight.


In sum, I think it's really important (especially around the holidays) to keep in mind that your health is still a priority. Maybe a month-long challenge isn't for you (and that's okay!) but I promise you'll never regret fitting in a quick workout, or eating more mindfully with a few indulgences here and there. It's never too late to start!

Happy Holidays, everyone!


This is not a sponsored post.

My Style: Burgundy Velvet Bomber Jacket

December 9, 2016

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JACKET: c/o Romwe // JEANS: Old Navy // TEE: Target //
SNEAKERS: Adidas // BACKPACK: Forever 21 [similar] // 

As a person who is very indecisive (I think.. maybe..... just sometimes) it's very rare that, when searching through a website or store full of clothes, I find something I feel like I 100% need. This burgundy velvet bomber jacket, however, made me the quickest decision-maker on the planet for a minute or so. I've been looking for a bomber jacket, love anything burgundy, and have been wanting to experiment with the velvet trend so this jacket couldn't be any more perfect.

Another bonus: it can be dressed down like I wore it here - or become totally work appropriate with black dress pants and this black cami underneath. I also saw a very similar bomber jacket on one of the characters on The Flash and she wore it with a cream cami underneath. Oh the possibilities!

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Photos by Rosa


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Shop: Holiday Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide Under $15

December 5, 2016

One of the things I look forward to on Christmas morning is seeing what tiny sized goodies Mom Santa puts in our stockings, so I thought it'd be fun to put together a gift guide of the perfect stocking stuffers.

These items won't break the bank and are great for staying warm, feeling festive, and more!

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A few things we can never have too much of: holiday candles, socks, and scarf/hat sets.. am I right? This candle smells like spiced cider (my favorite!) and the gold container could be reused as a trinket jar once the candle is gone. It also comes in several other scents!

Of course, nothing says happy holidays like mini sets of makeup. I saw several at Ulta on Black Friday and they were all so cute! This festive Burt's Bees shimmer set is gift-ready and perfect for adding a little shimmer to your everyday makeup routine. Has anyone tried the shimmer colors?

You know I am always on the hunt for anything yoga-related, and I fell in love with these yoga cookie cutters right away. Aren't they just the cutest?!

What are your favorite stocking stuffers?

PS... If you missed my other gift guides, check them out here:

Gift Guide for the Yogi

Gift Guide for the Fitness Lover

SHOP STOCKING STUFFERS:


My Style: Holiday Plaid

December 2, 2016

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COAT: c/o SheIn // SNOOD: Old Navy [similar] // CAMI: Nordstrom //  
PANTS: Joe Fresh [similar here and here] // BOOTIES: Aldo [similar] //  
BAG: Express [similar] //

Holy cow - it's December already!

I don't know about you but as soon as Thanksgiving passes I'm in Christmas mode. I've added some new Christmas albums to my iTunes library, already bought gifts, currently searching for festive pajamas and cozy socks, and trying not to drink all the eggnog. (Sidenote: I won't be having eggnog until Christmas Day since I just started a new training & nutrition plan. What timing.)

Anywho, even though this coat is black and white - the plaid pattern just screams holiday and I couldn't wait to pair it with a bold red scarf. I feel like this is the perfect "grown up" holiday look in a way. I've kind of gotten away from the Christmas tree sweaters and things that scream SANTA! but I'm okay with that. This look can be worn way past the holidays with a chunky sweater or turtleneck - and I'll still love it just as much!




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Photos by Rosa


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