Fire Island 2017


Welcome back to Tantalizingly Tasteful!

Vacations can be hard to take, especially when you’re a young college student who’s summer job hasn’t started yet. Planning a vacation around everyone else’s schedules makes things even harder. Enter the staycation, a term we’ve all become familiar with by now. Vacationing in your own local vicinity. It’s (more) affordable and easy to plan, and a decent substitute when jetting off somewhere just isn’t possible.

It’s hard to believe that a week ago, I was sitting on the beach in Fire Island. All there was to worry about was tanning evenly and listening to good music. No cars, no parents, no responsibilities, no worries.  The ultimate staycation.

Here’s a little look into last week’s staycation on Fire Island!

Wednesday, May 31

The four of us gathered at Torie’s house so we could drive to the ferry, a quick half-hour trip. It was Torie, Dani, Lauren and I. We shoved duffle bags and coolers into the trunk and drove off to catch our early evening ferry.

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Of course the trip started with us packed into a car! From left to right: Torie, me, Lauren and Dani

I used to get boat sick when I was younger, but thankfully, that’s no longer the case. The ferry has become one of the best parts of the trip to Fire Island. I love the view of the ocean, the smell of the salt water, the feel of the breeze. It’s so relaxing and really gets you in the mood to relax on the beach. Plus, it’s the perfect place for the first photoshoot of the getaway!

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A shot of Dani and I on the ferry

We finally set foot on Fire Island around 6:30 or so, so we had missed out on the beach for the day. It can get pretty cold at night, so we went to the house (borrowed from a family friend of Dani’s who only goes on the weekends), unpacked, and ate dinner on the deck. We had a fantastic view of the sunset.

We finished off our night with a walk around the neighborhood. We usually walk into town, but this time around, we walked the opposite direction, choosing our turns randomly. We ended up at the beach for a late-night chat. When we were tired, we went back to the house and cuddled up for the night.

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My outfit of the day! Top: Mossimo; Jeans: Old Navy; Jacket: 1st Kiss; Sandals: Steve Madden; Headband: Target

Thursday, June 1

Dani is an early riser. I, on the other hand, am not. But, she insisted we get up early and take a walk, so Torie, Lauren and I obliged. We walked through town to discover yet another part of the neighborhood. On our walk, we found a school that we didn’t know existed. This gave us a new task: find a Fire Island local. We had so many questions about their lives in the off-seasons, but we couldn’t seem to find any answers. We asked every store employee we ran into if they were a year-rounder or not, and even though none of them were, we were able to answer some of our questions.

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Naturally our walk included a photoshoot! From left to right: Torie, Lauren and I

We found this great market, The Pantry, that we had never been to before, and were thrilled to get our hands on some iced coffee. We continued walking through town, this time stopping to enjoy some local art and scenery.

 

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Torie and I loving life… and our iced coffee! Yes, that says “life,” Torie’s just covering the l.

 

Then, it was finally time for the beach. We changed into our bathing suits, packed our beach bags, and walked the short walk to the beach. Before long, I was laying under the sun, listening to the waves crash. The sun was strong and the water was cold, so it was the perfect balance. Before long, we were met by Dani’s friend, Rachel, who joined us for sunbathing and photoshoots.

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Love my friends and this picture! From left to right: Lauren, Dani, Torie and I
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The cold water couldn’t keep me away! Bathing suit: Clean Water; Top: American Eagle; Sunglasses: Tilly’s; Hat: Powerfect
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A peek at the back of my suit while cuddling Dani

After the beach, we went back to the house to clean up for our one fancy dinner out. We all wanted to look trendy and fashionable, like one should when on vacation with their fabulous friends. We walked through town, trying to find a place to eat and to learn more about the locals. And, of course, we stopped for more photos.

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A shot of the five of us captured by a lovely lady who stopped for us. From left to right: Rachel, me, Dani, Torie and Lauren
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My outfit for the night. Romper: Xhilaration; Jacket: 1st Kiss; Sandals: Steve Madden; Wristlet: Kenneth Cole Reaction; Sunglasses: Tilly’s
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Had to stop for a (fabulous) snapshot of Lauren and I!

We ultimately decided on a restaurant called the Island Mermaid, where we met the owner and were challenged to find a grammar mistake in his writing. (Please, do not get me started on this, because I found so many that Torie confiscated the articles from me). We sat outside, which meant an awesome view, and just enjoyed each other’s company. Oh, and the food! It was such a great night, if you ask me.

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The sunset view from our table was stunning!
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The only thing that could beat our sunset view was my view! From left to right: Torie, Rachel, Dani and Lauren
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My delicious meal, called the Gourmet Burger (no bun!), which was served with a mixed green salad and garlic mashed potatoes

After dinner, we walked further into town to go into my usual Fire Island ice cream shop, Scoops. Once we were all served, we headed back to the house, where we played some games (how many Target departments can you name without repeats?) and talked until it was time for bed.

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LOVE Scoop’s Birthday Cake ice cream!

Friday, June 2

We woke up early on our last morning so we could enjoy it as much as possible. We tidied up the house so it would be ready for the owners that afternoon, and then got to the beach to repeat the previous day’s routine.

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Dani and I wearing “The Bathing Suit,” as we refer to it.
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Seriously, keeping me out of the water is a difficult feat.
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Dani couldn’t resist a selfie of her two worlds colliding! From left to right: (front) Dani; (back) Lauren, Rachel, Torie and I

When we got back to the house, we packed our stuff and finally got to meet the incredible woman who lets us borrow her house when she’s not there. Dani and Rachel were staying an extra night, so Torie, Lauren and I grabbed our bags, said our goodbyes, and headed for the ferry… where we waited an hour and a half because we misread the schedule.

Grey storm clouds hung over us as we boarded the ferry. We were leaving our vacation behind. It had been relaxing, fun and memorable, with lots of laughs and new catchphrases (right, “LAAAADIES?”). But, of course, I couldn’t miss out on one last photoshoot opportunity.

 

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Torie took this after much convincing. Bathing suit: Merona; Top: American Eagle; Pants: H&M; Jacket: 1st Kiss; Sandals: Steve Madden; Sunglasses: Tilly’s

 

It’s only been a week and I’m already ready to go back. I miss the sun and the sand and the sea… and it doesn’t help that the weather these days has been iffy. But until I go back, I’ve got some other things to plan for, like Camp St. Paul in just two weeks! Well, I guess I’ll see you next summer, Fire Island.

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

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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.

 

 

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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

Email: tantalizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

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Tuesday Tunes: Workout Jams


Working out just isn’t the same without killer tunes. I can’t work my hardest unless there’s music pumping into my ears. It keeps me energized and motivated when I need it the most, and can sometimes transport me away from the mundane.

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Wish I could be running by that view right now… but sometimes music alone can take you away. Image via Google

And this isn’t even just a me thing… Studies have shown that while music not only elevates your mood, it also helps you keep your pace while exercising and helps you focus on the task at hand. Music is just enjoyable, and can make you feel great.

What’s great about music is that everyone’s taste in music is different, which means there’s no one “official” playlist. Sometimes, the music you listen to while working out is dependent on the type of exercise and the setting. For example, you definitely wouldn’t hear the same type of music in a meditation yoga class as you would in a high-intensity kickboxing class (highly recommend checking iLoveKickboxing out here by the way!) Plus, you’re not always in the same mood when you’re working out. So, does that mean you need to have multiple playlists ready for your different workouts? Maybe… or you can just rely on someone else’s. I, for one, generally like making my own, so I’m here to share some of my favorites tracks and playlist ideas with you! I even started a new Spotify account just to share them with you. Make sure you follow TTasteful on Spotify to see my full range of playlists!

STRENGTH

The way I see it, this playlist is just about pure energy and strength. These songs make me feel strong, powerful and in control of my life and self. When I hear these songs, I feel raw strength and drive. I’m not sure I’m doing it justice honestly. I just feel like I can tackle anything with this soundtrack. Some songs include Power by Kanye West, Thunderstruck by AC/DC and Don’t Let Me Down by The Chainsmokers.

BOY BYE

I admit it, a lot of times when I work out, I channel my emotions into it. Doesn’t everyone? That’s exactly why I have this playlist, which is a playlist that not only gets my blood flowing and heart pumping, but also reminds me that I deserve better than whatever crap I’m dealing with. One of my favorite songs on this mix is Too Good by Drake, and some others include 7/11 by Beyoncé, Roar by Katy Perry, and We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister.

Girl Power

One pre-made Spotify playlist that I love is the Girl Power playlist. With artists like Lady Gaga, the Spice Girls and Selena Gomez, this mix is perfect for when I need a little bit of reminding of how strong and kick-butt women can be. Nothing brightens my day like inspiring songs like Confident by Demi Lovato and Kill Em With Kindness by Selena Gomez.

GREECE SUMMER

Something that I do love to listen to while working out, even though it’s not on Spotify, is any Greek summer mix. I’m half Greek (and darn proud of it), and listening to this music while working out can just take me away from the New York dreariness sometimes. It provides a much-needed escape and pick-me-up. This one by DJ Golden Feta is my personal favorite right about now and almost makes me feel like I’m back in the Mediterranean.

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This music makes me want to go back to the motherland so badly…

Naturally, this is just the beginning. I’m always looking for new music (shout out to my best friend Grant for always sending me links) and am always adding onto the playlist. Please let me know what you listen to while working out or if you have any suggestions for me! Good luck on your own playlists, and don’t forget to follow TTasteful on Spotify for inspiration!

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

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Friday Finds: Pinterest + New Fitness Plan!!


No day is better than Friday. I don’t have classes on Fridays (ha!), so I usually spend my time sleeping late, going to the gym, and browsing social media. So, why not  peruse social media AND be productive by blogging about it?

Welcome to the first of (hopefully) many Friday Finds~

Basically, I’m just going to list a few cool things I found on the social media of my choice that I think you guys would enjoy. Please don’t forget to tell me what you think and share your Friday Finds with me!

OH and make sure to stick around till the end so you can take a peek at my new fitness plan 🙂

FRIDAY FINDS: Pinterest!

Pinterest is my source for information, motivation, inspiration and creation. I am highly addicted and love trying out the new ideas I find on there. Here are five pins that I’m loving this week:

1. Morning Yoga in Bed: Let’s be real, I am definitely a lazy girl. So if I can spend just a few more minutes in bed AND stretch at the same time, you can count me in! This awesome graphic, originally from Fit Girl’s Diary, demonstrates some easy yoga poses we can do to stretch and energize our bodies before even rolling out of bed. What’s not to love about that?

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Wish my bed looked this neat… Make sure to follow Fit Girl’s Diary on Pinterest, @fitgirlsdiary14!

2. Rainbow Smoothie: Yeah, this is pretty darn cool. Not only are these multi-color smoothies totally Insta-worthy, they’re also naturally good for you! Complete with fruits and veggies like bananas, mango, beets and spinach, this smoothie by The First Year will give you plenty of essential nutrients. Can’t wait to give this one a try!

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If you try this super cool smoothie, make sure to let me know what you think! Check out more of The First Year’s recipes on Pinterest, @thefirstyear!

3. Work, Work, Work: This week has been a little rougher for me than others. I was so ready to jump right into my new plan and work to achieve some goals, but come Monday morning, I was feeling under the weather and dealing with some unwelcome drama. This little quote right here kept me going through the week. I didn’t miss a single gym day and kept eating well instead of giving in and saying, “Oh, I’m sick, I’ll just start over next week.” It’s all about mindset, and honestly, this image kept me in the right one all week. Thanks to skinny-healthyme.tumblr.com (now http://www.nutrifitblr.com/)  for the original post!

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Had this up on my computer all week… just saying. Repinned from @standouthealth

4. Dutch Sister Braid: I am always looking for new ways to wear my hair to the gym instead of resorting the the same old ponytail, especially since I go to the gym after/in between classes now. This super cute braid and pony combo from MakeupWearables is trendy and chic, but more importantly, practical. So excited to test this look out!

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How can a hairstyle be so pretty, easy and practical all at the same time? Make sure to follow them on Pinterest, @makeupwearables!

5. SCARVES: Just because I’m adding some new content doesn’t mean I’m not still going to post about fashion! Yesterday was the first day of autumn, and I am so excited about the change in fashion that comes with the change in seasons. The layering, the boots, THE SCARVES!! Yes, I have a slightly unhealthy love of scarves. What I love about this look found on Wachabuy is that I can totally imagine myself wearing it and still being totally comfortable and practical. Most of my gym times these days are scheduled after or in between classes, so outfits like this that can transition from the classroom to the Arc Trainer are perfect for me. And a scarf makes it even better! Just gotta trade the Starbucks for my water bottle and the tote for my backpack…

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Lovin’ this outfit inspiration… Check out @wachabuy on Pinterest for more ideas!

 

If you all love Pinterest as much as I do, make sure to follow me and let me know what you’ve been loving and pinning!

And onto the next bit, here’s…

MY FALL 2016 FITNESS PLAN!!

So, after a lot of research and thought, I finally put together a plan for myself to follow on my journey to a healthier lifestyle. I compiled some (more) Pins I found and took my own schedule into account to decide how I should work out and when.

So without further adieu, here it is! (I color-coded it just for you guys:))

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My cardio usually consists of the Arc Trainer, which I set to “Women’s Weight Loss” mode. It gives me the option of “Hill Climb” and “Speed Bump” (I think), and I generally alternate between the two. Sometimes, I use the bicycle machine or go on a run instead,  but the Arc Trainer is my preferred method of exercise.

As far as my other workouts, basically all I did was pull ideas from the following three pins and combine them based on what I thought I could handle physically and what my schedule allowed.

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This pin that I repinned from @POPSUGAR served as the basis for how much time and what body parts I exercise each day.
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This graphic from cocolifestyle.tumblr.com is the framework for what exercises I use to work out each body part. I ended up changing some of them a little bit based on what I can handle physically and what I can actually do in my dorm room (like I don’t have weights so I can’t do tricep extensions), but it’s definitely a good place to start.
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I love challenges with particular outcomes in mind, so I definitely wanted to add this 30 day challenge from Fitness Republic so I could consistently work my problem areas.

So far, I’m really loving my new plan. I do my cardio at the campus rec center during the day, either after or in between classes, and then do my strength exercises when I get back to my room. I’ll go through one circuit, then do my sit-ups, then another circuit and crunches, then the last circuit and squats, and then I’ll end with the killer one minute plank. (Yes, I am weak and shake the entire time, but I’m working on it!) I won’t lie, it is pretty exhausting, but it’s totally worth it and my body already feels better. I also make sure to record everything I eat and every exercise I do in the MyFitnessPal app. It helps me keep track of my progress and everything I’m doing.

I hope that one of these pins or my new plan inspires you to try something new in your life, whether it be directly from something you see online or something you have to manipulate to fit your lifestyle better. Remember, we’re not cookie-cutter people, so not everything is going to work exactly the same for everyone. Don’t forget to let me know what you thought about these pins and what you’re working on at home! Until next time…

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

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Rebranding Me: Beginning A Journey of Self-Discovery


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“Above all, remember to love yourself.”

My hair used to be brown, then it was brassy red, then the color of red wine, then a dark brown that really looked like black, and now it’s a combination of the four. It occurred to me around the time that I started dyeing my hair that I wasn’t really sure who I was. Sure, I had a vague idea of what I liked and disliked, but I began to realize that many of my “opinions” were actually just the regurgitated words and thoughts of friends and family. I had never consciously sat down and decided exactly what it was that Toni thought, admired or despised, I just repeated what I heard everyone else around me say.

The problem with me not knowing was that if I didn’t know who I was, no one else did either. I have friends that are so completely sure of who they are that you can describe them in a nutshell just minutes after meeting them. I, however, was not one of those people. I blurred the lines of fashion styles, personality, sense of humor. And so I decided, it was about time I defined myself.

I’ve struggled with self-esteem issues since my early teenage years. I was never pretty enough, never funny enough, never well-liked enough, etc. Throughout high school, I compared myself to my friends and classmates, and drove myself insane. I started college out pretty much the same way, until I got tired of that same old routine. I soon realized that the reason I was always so unhappy was that I was comparing myself to other individuals, each of whom was unique and beautiful in their own way. The issue with that is that I was not seeing any of those people in their own context, or even myself in my own context. In other words, I was failing to realize that what may work for one person in their life does not necessarily work for me in mine, and I was making myself unhappy.

That’s when I decided it was time to make a change. I didn’t want to feel lost or discouraged anymore. I wanted to find out who the real Toni was, imperfections and all. And this blog is the (ongoing) story of how I took my first real steps towards rebranding myself.

I’d like to give a shout-out to my mom. A few months ago, I decided I wanted to focus on my health– emotional, physical and mental. She suggested that, in order to keep myself motivated and accountable, I do what I do best and write about my journey. I’m really ready now to tackle this challenge head on. So here I am. Thanks, Mom, here’s to you.

This is just a little bit of background information to explain my blog’s new look and focus. My hope is to update the blog every few days with inspiration, ideas and plans. I hope that these posts will not only help me stay accountable and motivated, but that it will also help other people get out of their ruts and find out who they are.

 

Just a little motivation I found on Tumblr

 

To anyone reading this: We’re in this together. If there’s something you want to read or see from me, or something you want to share, let me know. I’ll leave my contact info below so you can reach me. If you put the work in, and you continue to love yourself, this journey will be worth your while. Best of luck to you. Looking forward to seeing your progress and mine.

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

Twitter: @TTasteful

Instagram: @tantalizinglytasteful

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College Life: My Tips for Starting College


Hey there, Tasters!! It’s official, I’m a college student! I moved in on Friday and started class yesterday, so I’m just starting to get situated, but I’ve already learned so much about how to meet new people, get along with roommates and suite mates, be prepared for classes and so much more, so I figured I’d share them with you guys. Take a look!

  1. Introduce Yourself to Everyone: Literally, everyone you talk to. Whether you just introduce yourself to a random person sitting next to you, or throw in a random “By the way, my name is” after asking someone a question or making small talk. All freshmen are looking to meet some new people, and everyone is having the same internal debate you are. Just man up and take the leap, you won’t regret it.
  2. Set Up a Suite or Room Meeting: Whether you and your suite or roommates are already meshing or not, it totally helps to set up a time for you all to sit down and talk things out, preferably before classes officially start. All seven of us from my suite sat in our common room the other night to exchange phone numbers, discuss bathroom and bedroom boundaries, plan our weeks out and just get to know each other. The people in your rooms and suites will (most likely) be constants for you this school year, no matter who your friends are, so try to make time to hang out with them. My suite mates and I are planning to have a weekly meal together just so we can all keep each other up to date, and we also agreed on being totally honest with each other if something is bothering us. I think that deciding these things as a group will help us prevent arguments and keep us as close as possible.
  3. Definitely Decorate: Guys, this one’s a no brainer. If your room isn’t decorated, you’ll feel less at home and more uncomfortable. I highly recommend posters, pictures and banners, as well as colored bed spreads and throw pillows. Just make sure you follow your building or school’s guidelines!

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    A picture of my bed in my dorm room!!
  4. Check Your School Email: Most professors, school and building administrators, and even apps send reminders through your school email, so make sure you check it at least once a day so you don’t miss any announcements, assignments or opportunities.
  5. Check the Weather: Realistically, you’re going to be out of your dorm most of the day walking from class to class. Make sure you check the weather the night before so you know if it’g going to be super muggy or rainy the next day so you can plan accordingly. It’s never fun getting stuck in a rainstorm without an umbrella, especially when your dorm is fifteen minutes away from your last class!
  6. Bring a Sweater With You: While it may be sweltering during the day, a lot of professors crank up the air conditioning in their classrooms to make up for it. If you’re likely to get cold, pack a sweatshirt or jacket. You definitely don’t want to be uncomfortable for a whole class.
  7. Keep Your ID and Key On You: At least at my school, Stony Brook University, my ID is my access to absolutely everything. Without it, I can’t get food or books, get into my building or go work out. I keep both my ID and my key on a lanyard that I wear every day everywhere I go, especially to the bathroom and shower just in case one of my roommates leaves and accidentally locks me out of my room.
  8. Have a Reusable Water Bottle: You definitely do not want to get dehydrated, and buying a ton of water bottles can totally add up. I have a reusable Camelbak insulated water bottle and a reusable coffee cup that I can fill up time after time free of charge. Just yesterday, I filled my coffee cup up four times, and my water bottle up three times, which equates to a total of fourteen cups of water!  I bring either of those with me wherever I go in case I get thirsty (it’s still super hot out!) and so I don’t have to buy another drink when I go to grab lunch or dinner (although I am still guilty of buying a Dunkin iced latte or two!) Another plus? The coffee cup is perfect for practically any drink (I use it for tea!) and the Camelbak bottle is perfect for the gym!
  9. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone: Honestly, try new things! I know it sounds so corny but it’s absolutely true. You won’t make friends, impress your professors or get to take any new opportunities unless you put yourself out there. And who knows? You could find a brand new passion or talent, or at the very least make some new friends!
  10. …But Don’t Compromise Your Values: You are who you are, and that’s great. If your friends are doing something that you’re not comfortable, don’t join them. I don’t necessarily mean that you don’t have to be friends with them anymore, but if they’re drinking, for example, and you are completely against drinking, don’t force yourself to drink to impress them. You should always feel comfortable with your decisions.
  11. Don’t Spend All Your Time with Your Roommates: It’s absolutely great to be close with your roommates or suite mates, but the more time you spend with them, the more likely you are to step on their toes and pick up on slight idiosyncrasies that drive you positively nuts. Try to make some friends in your classes and major so you have another group of people you can chill with when you’re not hanging with your roomies.
  12. Go to the Gym: Going to the gym won’t just keep you healthy and looking fierce, it’ll also give you something to bond over with your friends, plus it’s a ton of fun. Even if you and your crew split up to go on different machines, you’re still going to have a great time. And if you go alone? It gives you a reason to introduce yourself to someone with a common interest. New gym buddy alert! And if no one’s around or you don’t feel like talking, just turn up your tunes and get to it. Studies show that exercising can help you manage your stress, sleep better and improve concentration, making you feel fit, look phenomenal and become a better student!

    gym
    Getting busy (snapchatting!) at Stony Brook’s Rec Center! From left to right: (bottom) Nicole and Kayla; (middle) me; (top) Random person and Arianna
  13. Always Look (At Least Somewhat) Presentable: You never know who you might run into: a new crush (college is full of possibilities!), a professor you’d like to impress or even a future employer! Looking like you care about how you look is half the battle, because it makes you look neat and organized. But while you should worry about your own presentation…
  14. Don’t Judge People By Their Appearances: Just don’t do it. Sure, you can totally admire someone’s outfit or hair and think to yourself, “Jeez, I’d love to be friends with that person!” but definitely don’t rule out introducing yourself to someone simply because of their appearance. By doing that, you can keep yourself from meeting some of the nicest people on campus, and steer yourself towards the wrong people.
  15. Be Proactive and Take Action: If you’re interested in something, don’t wait to make it happen. Find something you’re passionate about and reach out to someone in charge to get more information about the cause or organization. If you’re falling behind on work or not understanding your lectures, talk to your professors or ask a friend or acquaintance for help before it’s way too late. The sooner you have something done (with the maximum amount of effort possible), the more comfortable and happy you will be.
  16. Be Memorable: Introduce yourself to your professors and show interest in their work and lectures. They have so many students, and it’s super easy to fade into the background. Don’t let that happen. Shine your brightest and just be yourself.
  17. Keep Your Door Open: If you’re not busy and just hanging out in your common room or dorm room, keep your door open. People will walk by and stop to say hello, potentially adding to your list of friends and acquaintances. It’s never a bad thing to meet more people!
  18. Be Respectful: No one is going to like you if you correct your professor or judge them for what level classes they’re taking. Professors deserve incredible amounts of respect, so if you’re going to correct them or ask a question, do so tactfully and modestly. Believe it or not, you do not know more than them, and they are indeed experts in their fields. Professors love to answer your questions and debate topics, but not if you’re incredibly rude, pushy or demanding about it. Also, make sure you respect your roomie’s boundaries and schedule. If they need some alone time to study or FaceTime in the room, extend them that courtesy, because you would want them to do the same for you. work hard
  19. Be Your Own First Priority: One of the most important things to me is making my college experience about me. Everything is my decision, my call and my life. I’m an adult now and I have to prepare myself for the world that lies ahead. I can’t compare myself to others anymore, and I have to worry about how I’m feeling emotionally, mentally and physically, not necessarily how my friends are feeling. You’re not going to feel comfortable at school if you’re worrying too much about other people’s lives. Do what you have to do to achieve your goals and focus on what’s going on in your own life.
  20. Take Power Naps: Naps make me groggy and nauseous, not to mention that they’re super hard to wake up from, but 15-20 minute power naps have been doing the trick for me. They’re just long enough that I wake up feeling refreshed and energized, but short enough that I’m not totally out of it when I wake up.

Now I’d like your feedback! I hope this post gave to a little bit of a peek into my college life and gave you some ideas about how you can rock your first year of college! What did you think of my tips? Do you have any ideas about more tips or questions you’d life to ask me? Would you like to see more posts like this in the future? Talk to me in the comments below, or send an email to tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com! You can also follow my brand new Facebook page, Tantalizingly Tasteful! Don’t forget to follow my Tumblr,tantalizingly-tasteful.tumblr.com, my Pinterest @TTasteful, my Lookbook account,http://lookbook.nu/tonirose08 and my Instagram, @tantalizinglytasteful! Love you guys, thanks for reading!!

My Big Fat Fabulous Life: #NoBodyShameCampaign + PCOS


Hey, guys! Hope everyone’s been enjoying their holiday season so far! Today I’d like to take a little bit of a different route and talk to you guys about something that’s very close to my heart: PCOS.

My Big Fat Fabulous Life

My Big Fat Fabulous Life is a new reality show premiering on TLC on January 13. The show follows a woman named Whitney Thore as she works to overcome the affects of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), which caused her to gain 200 pounds. Whitney, who was a thin dancer as a child and teenager, began to rapidly gain weight in college. She eventually quit dance, saying that she just couldn’t stand to look at herself in the mirrors.  Whitney, now almost 30 years old and about 360 pounds, has begun dancing again, having become more comfortable in her body. She recently posted a series of videos of her dancing, entitled A Fat Girl Dancing, which led to increased popularity and her #NoBodyShameCampaign. The idea behind this campaign is that no one should shame another person’s body, no matter what it looks like. Whitney’s new show will follow her as she tries to regain control of her life and body. She says, “I may be fat, but I’m still fabulous. I have one life to live, and it damn sure better count.” You can check out trailers for her upcoming show here.

What Is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, known as PCOS for short, is a disorder that causes a woman’s hormones to be out of whack, which can cause irregular periods and difficulties getting pregnant. PCOS has a tendency to cause rapid weight gain, hair growth on the chin, sideburns,chest and stomach, and acne, as well as an inability to lose weight, because ovaries affected by PCOS make more male sex hormones than they should. Most women that have this have small cysts, or small fluid-filled bubble, on their ovaries. PCOS can also cause the body to become insulin resistant, which could lead to diabetes.

The trouble with PCOS is that there are a lot of unknowns. No one really knows what causes PCOS or how to diagnose it. Also, about 70% of women with PCOS do not show any symptoms. Many doctors believe that PCOS is passed down through a family line, but they still can’t be sure.

While there is no known cure for PCOS, many doctors recommend treating the disease with exercise, a balanced diet and not smoking in order to decrease its affects. But for some, that is just not enough. When someone’s body just does not respond to these methods, a doctor may prescribe medication such as metformin, clomiphene, or spironolactone in conjunction with hormonal birth control. The hope is that these medications will regulate one’s ovulation and sex hormone levels.

Recognize Yourself?

Do you see yourself in this description? Talk to your primary care doctor and they can tell you what your best bet is. Many doctors recommend going to see a gynecologist or endocrinologist, but always consult your doctor first, especially if your symptoms are severe.

PCOS and I

PCOS is close to my heart because I was diagnosed with it when I was only 12 or 13. I have a family history of the disease: my grandmother and aunt both have it. I have an irregular menstrual cycle, uncontrollable facial hair and a very easy time gaining weight but an incredibly hard one losing it. I also get cramps every day. It’s something I’ve been struggling with for as long as I can remember. I have seen doctor after doctor, but nothing seems to have helped. I’ve been on metformin and spironolactone, but neither worked. The next step for me would be hormonal birth control, but I have yet to decide if that’s the path I want to take. In the meantime, I’m trying to improve my diet and exercise routine. I stopped being a vegetarian nearly a year ago, so I’ve added more proteins into my diet and tried to cut out carbs, which just help testosterone multiply in my body. I’ve also started doing Zumba and the results have been awesome so far! My advice to anyone who sees themselves in this description is to definitely talk to your doctor, but also try to do a little by yourself: Improve the way you’re eating and exercise! I’m definitely not an expert, but I can tell you from experience that I always feel better when I’m trying to improve those two aspects of my life. Get your friends involved, too, and the whole thing becomes way more fun. I had some friends over to do Zumba last week, and I not only worked out, I got some great laughs in the process!

Thanks for reading, guys! If you want any more info on PCOS or want to help with the cause, check out the PCOS foundation’s website! Also, if you guys have any questions for me about how I’ve been dealing with PCOS or what doctors I’ve seen, I’d be more than happy to help. Also, let me know if you’d like to see more health and body-related posts on my blog! Talk to me in the comments below, or send an email to tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com! Also don’t forget to follow my Tumblr, tantalizingly-tasteful.tumblr.com, my Pinterest @TTasteful, my Lookbook account, http://lookbook.nu/tonirose08 and my Instagram, @tonirose08! Love you guys xx