Fall Fashion: Thanksgiving Outfits #2 + #3


Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I’m so excited to see my family and eat some delicious food. In preparation for the holiday, I wanted to share two more last minute outfit ideas with you. Hope you all feel inspired!

Thanksgiving Outfit Inspiration #2: Fringe Top

Like I said in my last post, I try to wear flowy and comfortable clothes for holiday dinners. Aren’t holidays all about being comfortable and happy? But that doesn’t mean style gets thrown completely out the window.

Tops with fringe on them are bohemian-chic, and usually very flowy. Even with an empire waist, like this one from Pink Ice, there is still plenty of room for food beneath that top. The knit and fringe details add visual appeal to your outfit. I would pair this shirt with a pair of basic black leggings, both for contrast and for the stretchy waistband. Throw on a pair of over the knee boots on top for a bit of polish and edge. I love a cognac-colored boot with a lace back detail to play off the more natural color of the knit top. I would also add a scarf and purse with similar blue hues to add a pop of color and detail to an otherwise bland outfit.

fringe-top

Fringe Top: Fringe Dance Knit Top, $29.99 at Pink Ice

LeggingsLong Leggings in Black, $6.99 at Old Navy

BootsMark Fisher Lencon Over the Knee Boot in Cognac, $99.95 at DSW

ScarfFringed Geo-Pattern Scarf, $12.90 at Forever 21

PurseMerona Women’s Vertical Buckles Crossbody Faux Leather Handbag in Blue Foil, $29.99 at Target

Thanksgiving Outfit Inspiration #2: Sweater Dress

One last option I’d like to share with you all is a sweater dress. They’re cozy and comfy, and something with a fit and flare silhouette is perfect for Thanksgiving. To keep your outfit from being just another dress look, add a collared shirt. This adds some polish and interest to the ensemble. For something with short sleeves, use a collared tank top. If your dress has longer sleeves, use a long sleeve collared shirt and roll up the cuffs. To keep this look fun, but still comfortable, finish off the outfit with a pair of chunky heels, a metallic cuff bracelet, and a quirky purse.

sweater-dress

DressMax Studio Short Sleeve Sweater Dress in Black, $39.99 at TJ Maxx

TopDenim Tunic Top with High-Low Hem, $11.99 at Rainbow

ShoesReport Libbie in Black, $59.00 at Zappos

CuffGet What You Give Cuff Bracelet in Silver, $23.00 at Lulu’s

PurseSaturn Cross Body Bag, $37.20 at UrbanOG

I hope these Thanksgiving outfit inspirations gave you some ideas on how to amp up your style game for this holiday! Wishing all of my American friends a happy Thanksgiving as well. Just a reminder to you all that I am so grateful you are on this journey with me.

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

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Fall Fashion: Favorite Looks + Thanksgiving Outfit #1


I love autumn. The colors, the weather, the beginning of the holiday season, the clothes. I can finally layer my clothes and bundle up in some of my fave clothes.

Even though we’re already more than halfway through November and almost on to winter already, I thought now would be a good time to share some of my favorite fall looks with you. Stay tuned for some Thanksgiving outfit inspiration after!

Scarves + Caps

Scarves have been some of my favorite fall and winter accessories for a few years now. When the temperature starts to drop, they’re the first thing I reach for. I also got into baseball caps a couple of months ago, probably in springtime. I wore them all summer, both at camp when I wanted to keep my hair under control and the sun out of my eyes, and at school when I wanted to go for a trendy street-style look. This fall, however, I’ve realized how much I love the pair together. They’re the epitome of street-style chic. They’re cozy and comfy but totally on trend. I think the pairing reminds me very much of a celebrity just trying to go about their life while hiding from the paparazzi. This look is perfect for class, running errands, or an afternoon out.

scarves-and-caps

Outfit: (left) via @sincerelyjules on Instagram, (right) via Jonnamaista on Bloglovin’

Scarf: Merona Women’s Plaid Scarf in Gray and Cream Stripe, $19.99 at Target

Cap: American Needle X UO Tonal Strap-Back Hat in Slate, $29.00 at Urban Outfitters

Stand-Out Coats

A stand-out coat is always a winner, and this month especially I’ve been hardore ogling some bright and eye-catching coats that are perfect for this season and next. They’re cozy as anything and make your outfit stand out. Extra credit if your coat has fancy buttons!

coats

Outfits: (left) Solange Knowles via Glamour, (right) via Harper’s Bazaar

Blue Coat (left): Anne Klein Royal Blue Double-Breated Wool Peacoat, $79.99 at Century 21 Department Stores

Camel Coat (right): Flap Pocket Coat, $44.90 at Forever 21

Big Sweaters

I used to be all about form-fitting silhouettes, but the last few months, I have realized the appeal of big sweaters that pool around you. They’re great for snuggling into when you’re a little cold, convenient for pairing with leggings and boots when you’re running late, and perfect for so many situations. I have so many different styles now, like a regular long-line sweater and a cold-shoulder drapey sweater, and I could just live in them. Find one in a color and style you love and rock it all fall and winter!

big-sweaters

Outfits: (left) via yoins.com, (right) via stylishwife.com

Brown Sweater (left): Sweater in Rib With Cold Shoulder, $34.00 at ASOS 

Green Sweater (right): Oversized Drop Shoulder Sweater, $20.29 at Charlotte Russe

Turtlenecks

For years, I refused to wear turtlenecks, even though my mother always begged me, but at the start of the semester, I got really into them. I had gotten one last fall at Target, but I had only worn it a handful of times, and then I bought another one in September. They’re classy and cool, not to mention super trendy. I love pairing them with high-waisted jeans or skirts and long necklaces. I tend to stick to solid colors because I find them more slimming, but if you love the look of a patterned turtleneck, go for it!

turtlenecks

Outfits: (left) via luvv.it, (right) via blog.styleestate.com

Pink Sweater (left): AEO Ahh-mazingly Soft Turtleneck Sweater in Pink, $54.95 at American Eagle Outfitters

Gray Sweater (right): Split Second Laced Turtleneck Sweater, $20.61 at GoJane

Now, onto the promised bit of inspiration…

Thanksgiving Outfit Inspiration #1: Flowy Pants

I love sharing outfit ideas with you guys because I have so so many and I can’t always wear them all myself.

I firmly believe that the only way to get through the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, is to wear comfy, stretchy clothes that you can breathe in. There’s so much food and drink that it can be hard to stay in restrictive skinny jeans or a tight miniskirt throughout the many courses of the Thanksgiving meal. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up looking cute as can be!

For this particular outfit, I’m loving a pair of stretchy, flowy pants that let you eat as much as you want without ruining your outfit. Many of you may see flowy pants as a spring- or summertime piece, but when you choose something that looks a bit more structured, like a denim-esque pair, you can pull them off in the fall, too. This pair from Pink Ice is like the jegging version of flowy pants: looks like denim, but in real life, they’re 100% tencel, which is a super comfy and stretchy material. Pair these high-waisted beauties with a simple crop top and a flowy poncho, cardigan or kimono that you can cuddle (or hide!) in once the food coma hits. Bonus points if they color coordinate! I think these pants just scream for a heeled bootie, so I picked a pair with a cool lacing detail. I also think this outfit is calling for a trendy choker, so I picked a velvet choker with a leaf charm that matches the black booties and the whole outfit’s boho flair. Last but not least, finish it off with a cool patterned tote that boasts some contrasting colors. This will add some spark and extra detail to your outfit. Now, all you have to focus on is eating!

flowy pants.png

Pants: Vintage High Waist Wide Leg Pants, $47.99 at Pink Ice

TopI’m Yours Sweater Crop Top in Wine, $23.00 at Tobi

PonchoGentle Fawn Loretto Ivory Print Poncho, $49.00 at Lulu’s

BootiesAldo Abrialle Bootie in Black, $79.95 at DSW

Choker: Velvet Silver Leaf Choker Necklace, $7.99 at Icing

BagSteven by Steve Madden Myles Tapestry Tote in Wine, $49.99 at 6pm

I hope that my Fall Faves and this Thanksgiving outfit inspiration gave you some ideas on how to amp up your style game this autumn! Wishing all of my American friends a happy Thanksgiving as well. Just a reminder to you all that I am so grateful you are on this journey with me.

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

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Fall Fashion: Last Minute Halloween DIYs


Halloween is literally right around the corner (and if you’re in college, Halloweekend starts tonight), and even though I’m pretty sure I have no plans for Halloweekend whatsoever, I can’t stop perusing Pinterest, looking for the cutest (and easiest) costume DIYs.

DIY costumes are great because they’re unique and work double time as a conversation starter. A few years ago, I made myself a cupcake costume out of cardboard and I totally loved it. Granted, I think I was in the eighth grade and have not done anything nearly as creative for Halloween in the years since, but I can still dream.

 

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Here’s a throwback to my favorite DIY Halloween costume, featuring my mom (left) and my Aunt Niki (right). All I did to make my costume was cut two cupcake shapes out of cardboard (there’s one behind me, too), cover the bottom with tin foil where the cupcake liner would be and paint on pink frosting with leftover paint I found in my garage. Then, I cut out little cardboard sprinkles and two cherries and colored them with markers, attaching them to the cardboard with velcro (though, in retrospect, I should’ve used hot glue). I used twine to attack the two cupcake sides and put it over my shoulders.

 

For those of you who have also procrastinated your costume making, take a look at some of my favorite cheap and easy DIYs!

Wednesday Addams

This costume is not only super simple to make, but also totally cool to portray. The look is really all in the makeup and hair: sullen face, dark lips, black braids. Check out this awesome makeup tutorial by YouTube user Madeyewlook Twice, and browse her channel for even more Halloween inspo! The outfit is also simple enough that you probably have all your necessities (black dress or shirt/skirt combo and black shoes) right in your closet. Just pick up some black tights and a white collar and you’re good to go! Honestly, I think the DIY options I’ve seen online are much cuter than the store-bought ones.

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Makeup: one of my fave Wednesday looks via Pinterest

Dress: Black Peter Pan Collar Short Sleeve Shift Dress – $20.99 at SheIn

Flats: Women’s Gigi Point Flats in Black by Christian Siriano for Payless -$24.99 at Payless

Tights: Pack of Two 50 Denier Tights – $10.00 at Topshop

Gumball Machine

I am totally obsessed with this idea. I saw this in a couple of places online and it’s so fun and colorful. Basically, you attach a bunch of different colored pom poms to a tank top and pair it with a red skirt. Then, make a construction paper sign that says 25 cents and a little coin slot and voila! Super simple. Keep your makeup sweet and colorful just like your ensemble! Check out this awesome Youtube tutorial by MissRemiAshton to see how to do this (starting at 1:40) and 14 other adorable and easy costumes!

gumball-machine-board

Outfit: via Pinterest

Tank: St. John’s Bay Essential Tank Top in White – $5.99 at J.C. Penney

Skirt: Plus Size Structured Maxi Tulle Skirt in Red – $39.50 at Soho Girl

Pom Poms: Bright Multicolored Craft Pop Poms in Multi (Pack of 100) – $4.99 at Factory Direct Craft

Sneakers: Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Core Hi in Red – $54.99 at Zappos

Emoji:

Show off your personality by dressing up as your fave emoji! Even if you don’t have a shirt with heart eyes on it, you can easily get a yellow tee and use fabric markers to draw a face on it. Pair it with a yellow tutu (just like LaurDIY in this video) and you’ve got a fun and flirty outfit! Keep the look casual and simple with comfy white sneakers and easy makeup.

emoji-board

Outfit: via Pinterest and YouTube

Tee: Next Level 330L Ladies’ Perfect Tee in Vibrant Yellow – $4.29 at Shirt Space

Fabric Markers: Fine Line Fabric Markers, 10 Count – $4.99 at Crayola

Sneakers: Adidas NEO Advantage Clean VS Sneaker – Womens – $54.95 at DSW

Tutu: Adult’s Yellow Tulle Tutu – $14.97 at Oriental Trading Co.

Popcorn

Here’s another look I’m totally obsessed with. I love that it’s quirky and fun, but also classy and sort of old fashioned. All you really need is a red and white skirt/dress (or a red or white skirt you can paint the opposite color on), some computer paper, a yellow marker and a hot glue gun. Take a look at Studio DIY’s cool and easy step-by-step tutorial for this costume, and don’t forget to rock a classic red lip!

popcorn-board

Outfit: via Delish and Studio DIY

Crop Top: Express One Eleven Abbreviated V-Neck Halter – $5.99 at Express

Flats: Candy Color Patent Leather Pointed Toe Slip On Flat Ballet Shoe in Yellow – $8.43 at New Chic

Glue Gun: Craft Smart Mini Glue Gun, High Temp – $2.99 at Michael’s

Dress: Modern Twirl Dress – $34.99 at Modcloth

I hope that these DIY ideas have inspired you to make your own last minute costume this weekend! Let me know if you test out one of the ideas, and Tweet me pictures of your costumes! Have a happy and safe Halloweekend, everyone!

xx,

Toni

Email: tantalizinglytasteful@gmail.com

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Building Your Support System: What You Need to Know About Bras


 

Yeah, you read that right. Last week, we may have celebrated National No Bra Day in the United States and the United Kingdom, but as a big-chested gal, I can personally say that going braless can be dangerous. Though No Bra Day is totally important because it helps raise awareness for breast cancer, it is also crucial to know what to look for in a supportive bra and what to avoid.

  1. Shape Trumps All: Yes, pretty bras are in fact pretty, but they’re not at all worth it  if they don’t give you the right shape. TMI moment: I was looking at some old pictures from 2013 yesterday morning and realized with disappointment that my boobs looked like they were a mile apart from each other. The problem? I spent my early high school years shopping for cute bras with polka dots in bows instead of focusing on the shape and support they gave me. I’ve learned my lesson, though. All my bras are now super supportive and keep my ladies looking shapely and in place. But they can still be super cute! Most of mine are lacey and classy, but I also have some pink ones and one floral and polka dot one. The moral of the story is make sure that if you are going to opt for a patterned or cutesy bra, make sure it all gives your girls good shape.

    bras-3
    I love my bras because they’re cute and totally supportive!
  2. Strapped In: The type of straps that you have on your bra are oh-so important. For starters, a thicker strap will keep you in place better. But the style of strap is also crucial. Of course, you’ve got the regular strap bra for everyday affairs, but sometimes you may need a racerback bra, or a halter bra, or even a one-shoulder bra. You can totally invest in bras for all of these occasions (I for one have several crisscross back bras that I love), or you can simply buy a bra that has adjustable straps. These bras are great because they can be worn any way, even strapless. There’s even this awesome hack for strapless bras with attachable straps!

    bra-graphic
    Just a few bra options, via looksgud.comlooksgud.comlooksgud.comlooksgud.com
  3. The Good Stuff: Picking a bra that’s made with durable, but flexible and comfortable material is key. If you choose a bra that’s flimsy, not only will it wear out quickly, but it will also fail to support you. Also, some materials can be itchy or too tight or too stretchy. If you invest in a good quality bra, you won’t find yourself constantly needing to replace them.
  4. Color Matters: Color does indeed matter, but only based on what you’re wearing it with. You don’t always want your bra to show through your clothes, so having a nude bra you can wear under whites is essential. Otherwise, I find that there are no official rules about bra colors and clothing. Test things out to see what color bra looks best with what you’re wearing.
  5. Get Felt Up: Please don’t be afraid of the ladies walking around the store. If you don’t know your bust size, ask them to measure you! They are very helpful with giving you a starting place. They can save you from buying bras that don’t actually fit you, and their measurements can be a lot more accurate than your friends’ eyes.
  6. Try. It. On.: Nothing is for sure unless you try the damn bra on. Just because a bra looks fabulous on your friend does not mean it’s going to hold up your knockers in the same way. Do yourself the favor of trying them on beforehand to make sure the hold your boobs correctly, the straps are comfortable, and the back is just right. Nothing is worse that buying a bra you think you love only to go home and find out it doesn’t really fit.
  7. Repeat Offender: Well, not really. If you love a certain bra style or company or store, trust them. Of course, your body and style can change over time, but if you really love your bra, stick to your guns. You’re more likely to be content if you go with something you’re pretty confident you like. My friends have repeatedly recommend Aerie, but their bras just don’t work well with my chest. I have tried corsetiere after corsetiere but my favorite place to buy bras is still Victoria’s Secret. I have found that their bras support me the best and make my ladies look fierce. They’re comfortable and durable, and ultimately affordable, especially when they have their sales! They come in so many colors and styles and I have for sure been the happiest there. You can take a look at one of my favorite Victoria’s Secret bras here.

    bras-1
    Most of my bras… all of which are from Vitori
  8. Be a Good Bra Mom: This is one of the most important tips out there. If you want your bras to last and make your ladies look phenom, make sure you’re taking great care of your over the shoulder boulder holders. I’ll never forget the first time I walked into Victoria’s Secret, I tried to buy a push-up bra (long story). I was only 12 or so, embarrassed to be shopping for “grown-up” bras, and at the mall with my best friend, Torie. I was trying to hide the bra from other shoppers, so I put the two cups inside of each other and tucked it under my arm. When I went to the register, the sales lady, who, in retrospect, was also probably a little crazy, scolded me for trying to ruin the bra cups. To this day, I still make sure my bra cups maintain their shape when I put them in my drawer, simply for fear of ruining one of the most important pieces of clothing I own. So make sure you take the best care of your bras by being gentle and delicate with them, and hand-washing them when they get dirty. Basically, make sure you love and support them, because they’re loving and supporting you.
    support-bras-comic
    That bra love though

     

     

Hope you all learned a thing or two about bras and can use them in your own lives! Please let me know if you try any of these tips or bras out or if you have any questions!!

 

xx,

Toni

Email: tantalizinglytasteful@gmail.com

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Fall Fashion: September Haul


As some of you may know, I am going to Washington, D.C. in November for Pan-Hellenism Weekend, which is basically just a giant convention of Greeks. I’m super pumped, not only because I’m going to see friends from camp and go to a new place, but also because I had to get some new clothes for the occasion!

I am a self-proclaimed shopaholic. Once I start, it’s very, very hard to get me to stop. I recently bought a decent amount of clothes from Target, Century 21 and Forever 21, so I figured I’d share them with you Tasters. Everything is styled with NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Vintage (here). Also, a major shout out to my mom for buying most of these clothes and my brother Nicholas who came shopping with us and spent two hours taking pictures of me. Hope you all enjoy!

Target

Gold Mossimo Sweater: 

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I love the long length and the color of this sweater. Plus, it’s super comfy!!

Sweater: Mossimo {Similar here}

Jeans: Old Navy {Similar here}

Booties: Lucky Brand {Similar here}

Necklace: From a friend {Similar here}

Headband: Forever 21 {Similar here}

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Neutral colors like this gold are great for pairing with gemstone necklaces. They let the natural colors of the stones take center stage.

Charcoal Mossimo Sweater Dress: 

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I think the hemline of this dress is so unique and fun, perfect for my wardrobe!

Dress: Mossimo

Booties: Rampage {Similar here}

Necklace: From my aunt {Similar here}

september-haul-10
I love that this dress is a neutral color because even though it’s got some cool details, it’s still effortlessly cool and not overly demanding.

Black and White Sweatshirt and Gray Beanie

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Lately, I’ve been wearing casual outfits a lot more frequently, and this sweatshirt was definitely the perfect addition to my closet! It’s so cozy and I totally adore the asymmetrical neckline and the thumb holes.

Sweatshirt: Mossimo Supply Co.

Pants: Old Navy Active {Similar here}

Sneakers: Nike {Similar here}

Beanie: Accesory Depot {Similar here}

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I love beanies for the fall and winter, and gray is a perfect neutral to match with most of my wardrobe!

Gray Turtleneck

september-haul-7
My mom has been begging me to wear turtlenecks for ages, but I always refused, so I think she was floored when I asked her to buy me one! I love this color so so much and the silhouette is really versatile.

Turtleneck: Mossimo Supply Co.

Skirt: Mossimo {Similar here}

Necklace: Full Tilt {Similar here}

Shoes: Steve Madden {Similar here}

september-haul-8
The beauty of buying plain shirts is that I can easily pair them with eye-grabbing printed bottoms.

Maroon Button-Front Skirt

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Button-front skirts have been super trendy right now, so I had to get one in one of my absolute fave colors!

Skirt: Mossimo Supply Co.

Tank: Target

Jacket: Xhilaration {Similar here}

Booties: GC Shoes

september-haul-18
I love wearing graphic tees and tanks because they let you show your personality. Star Wars is one of my favorite movie franchises, and I grew up watching those films.

Plaid Blanket Scarf

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I love the colors of this scarf, they’re perfect for fall!

Tunic: Notations Woman (thrifted) {Similar here}

Leggings: Old Navy {Similar here}

Scarf: Accesory Depot {Similar here}

Booties: GC Shoes

september-haul-6
My scarf obsession is definitely showing! I love that this scarf can be worn in so many ways and can be used as a blanket. Cute and practical!

Century 21

Square Neck Mixed Media Sheath Dress

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The high-contrast colors on this dress make it eye-catching, but the silhouette is still classy and sleek. Pefect for my upcoming trip to DC!

Dress: JAX

Pumps: Fioni {Simiar here}

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You caught me! Way too in love with my shoes… Love that these pumps go with basically everything in my closet.

JAX Side Lace Scuba Dress

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I’m totally obsessed with the color of this dress. Pretty sure my hair used to match it almost perfectly…

Dress: JAX

Pumps: Fioni {Simiar here}

september-haul-13
This dress is so sleek and sophisticated, but the color and lace still help it to stand out.

Forever 21

Contemporary Grid Print Dress

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The graphic print of this dress it totally eye-catching. Plus, it’s super comfy and flowy, not restricting at all!

Dress: Forever 21

Booties: Steve Madden {Similar here}

september-haul-16
Love that little keyhole detail in the back of the dress, and the fact that I finally get to break my fave shoes out of retirement for this ensemble! It’s the little things in life…

Hope you all saw some pieces that you like or picked up some style tips. Don’t forget to let me know what you thinks!

xx,

Toni

Email: tantalizinglytasteful@gmail.com

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#OOTD October 7, 2016


Welcome back to Tantalizingly Tasteful! It’s been a while since I posted an outfit of the day post, so I figured I’d post the outfit that I wore last night to a Greek club dinner. Enjoy!

#OOTD

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Jacket: Xhiliration; Top: Ellen Tracy; Jeans: American Eagle; Booties: GC Shoes ; Cross: from a festival
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I love fall because I finally get to break out the jackets and the booties! Layering is just the best. Featuring NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick in Vintage (here).

Details

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Ripped jeans are just the coolest ever. No argument necessary.
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Obsessed with the stitching on my (fake) leather jacket. It’s the little things, guys. Featuring Revlon Nail Enamel in Urban (here) and a sky blue prayer bracelet I bought at a Greek festival.

Where You Can Get It

10-8-16-where-you-can-get-it

Jacket: Cole Haan Solid Faux Leather Jacket in Black – $69.99 at Century 21 Department Stores

Jeans: Blue Asphalt Slit-Knee & Frayed Hem Skinny Jeans in Black – $29.95 at Wet Seal

Booties: GC Shoes Corinne Bootie – $39.94 at DSW

Necklace: Rhinestone Cross Necklace – $5.90 at Forever 21

Shirt: Vintage Wash Sueded V-Neck Tee in Garden – $24.95 at Gap

I hope you all enjoyed getting a little bit of a glimpse into my daily life and that this gives you some outfit inspiration! Let me know what you all think!

xx,

Toni

Email: tantalizinglytasteful@gmail.com

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Why I Love Working Out with Friends + Yummy Salads with LP


Today’s post should’ve been about my weekend in Connecticut for an Orthodox Christian retreat, but unfortunately, that plan fell through. So instead, I’m here to tell you all about why working out with friends makes exercising fun, easy and motivational, at least from my perspective.

 

 

lauren-and-salads-7
Clearly, my friend Lauren and I are both Nike girls! Our sneaks are pictures with my beloved Zumba shake weights (the green ones, which are 1 lb., came with the Zumba Exhilarate DVD set, and the purple ones, which are 2.5 lbs., came with the Zumba Tone Up DVD set) and my BPA-free fruit infuser water bottle, which you can get here.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love working out on my own. It’s this weird power trip: nothing goes straight to my head more than a half hour of beast mode at the gym. But there’s also some great benefits to working out with your friends, and not just physical ones. And it doesn’t even have to be in a class, it can be at home or in your neighborhood. I’ve done both, and they can both be equally fun and inspirational.

  1. Accountability: There’s no bailing out on exercising when you’ve made plans to hit the gym or pound the pavement. Your friends will make sure you show up, on time, and put all your energy into your workout.
  2. Motivation: When you feel like there’s no going on and you’ve exhausted every last bit of energy you had, your friends are there to cheer you on and keep you going. It’s a lot harder to do that all on your own, just saying.
  3. Positivity: How many times a day do we tell ourselves that we’re not good enough, not performing well enough or just not up to par with everyone else? Friends and workout buddies are there to nip any negativity right in the bud and raise you up again.
  4. Catching Up: Sometimes, a workout sesh can be just what you need to catch up with your pals. In between push-ups or during laps around the track, you can be gabbing about what’s going on in your life. Not only is the conversation great, but it also makes the workout go by quicker. The perfect way to multitask!
  5. Trying New Things: Friends are the perfect people to drag along when you want to try out a new workout. Whether it’s a class like Zumba or SoulCycle, or even just a new routine, having a friend to try it out with you can make the activity less daunting and more fun. Last summer, when I wanted to give running a try, I went on walks/runs with my best friend Lauren who also wanted to try something new. Having her with me made me less scared to try and more excited for something new.
  6. Answering Questions: I can’t even begin to explain to you the number of questions I have had about different workout machines at the gym. I was always too scared to use them because I didn’t know, but whenever I go to the gym with my friend Alyssa, who is definitely more athletic than I am, she can answer my questions and tell me what to do. It’s definitely reassuring to have someone who has my back explain what each machine in easy, plain terms so I can understand it.

Since I didn’t get to go to the retreat this weekend, I got to spend Saturday morning and afternoon with my best friend Lauren, who has been one of my best and constant workout partners for a while now. From our Zumba sessions with our other besties Torie, Dani, and Emily, to our morning summer runs on our local trails, Lauren is always there to keep me positive and motivated. She came over in the morning to do Zumba, specifically the DVDs from the Zumba Tone Up System (get the 5 DVD set here.) We did about 35 minutes, with 15 of it doing the Amazing Abs, and the rest working out biceps and triceps. After a week of not working out because I was sick, it was so energizing to get back into the groove. Plus, I hadn’t seen Lauren in a few weeks, so it was a great chance to catch up and gossip while working out our abs.

 

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Our post-workout meal!

 

After our workout, Lauren and I went to this super awesome salad place called Chopt, and I totally loved it! It’s like the Chipotle of salads- pick from a variety of toppings to create your own salad or order a salad off the menu. I got a Santa Fe salad, which had romaine lettuce, corn, avocado, pepper jack cheese, grape tomatoes, (delicious) homemade fried onions, and sweet and smoky chipotle vinaigrette. I also added steak, which was totally yummy. Though my salad was a little spicy, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was so filling and super delish.

 

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My delish Chopt salad!!

 

Lauren ordered the Mexican Caesar salad, which comes with romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, cotija cheese, jalapeno peppers (which Lauren subbed for cucumbers), tortilla chips, and Mexican Caesar dressing. She said hers was spicy too, but it smelled really good and I know she totally loved it!

 

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Doesn’t Lauren’s order look yummy, too?

 

My favorite part of working out with Lauren is getting to catch up and having her there to motivate me, but the tasty food we sometimes get afterwards doesn’t hurt either!! And it’s good to know that the feeling is mutual. I asked Lauren what she likes about working out with a buddy, she agreed with me and said, “Ok so working out with friends is more fun because you not only work out but you can catch up. The time passes quicker and you can share new techniques with each other. It’s great to motivate each other.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. Best friends think alike, I think!

 

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Lauren trying out her salad post-workout.

 

Lauren and I went back to her house after we got our Chopt salads so we could eat and watch HGTV, which is one of our post-workout routines. Nothing is more rewarding to me after working out than a laid-back afternoon with my bestie! Let me know what keeps you motivated to work out, what your healthy post-workout routine is or if you’ve given fitness with friends a try! Keep on working, Tasters, you’ve got this!

xx,

Toni

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