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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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

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My Love-Hate Relationship with Packing: Washington, D.C. Edition


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Decisions are hard, to say the least. I’m definitely not great at making decisions, even though I have somehow become the go-to decision maker for my friend group at school.

Style decisions, at least for me, are some of the hardest to make. I’m heading to Washington, D.C. for Panhellenic Weekend 2016, held by D.C. Greeks, and since I’m traveling by train and bus, I want to pack light. The thing is, this event is basically a giant party, including one event that is “cocktail attire optional,” so the type of clothing that I’m packing this time around is incredibly different than the type of clothing I packed for my (unsuccessful) trip to Connecticut.

Like I said in my September Haul, I recently purchased a bunch of new clothes specifically for this trip, but honestly, I might have bought too much. I mean, I’ll definitely wear all of it, but I might not actually need it all for this specific trip. Following the tips I outlined in the Connecticut post, I tried to make my decision by mixing and matching and knowing my itinerary. That actually was pretty easy, considering that I already had a preference for some outfits over others, so as far as clothing goes, I ended up packing:

The hardest fashion decision I had to make was picking which dresses I wanted to bring. I had purchased three for the occasion, but in all honestly, I may only need one. I decided that I should bring two out of the three with me, just in case I do need a second one.

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I had to pick from these three dresses: (from left to  right) JAX Side Lace Scuba Dress, Forever 21 Contemporary Grid Print Dress, and JAX Square Neck Mixed Media Sheath Dress

I already knew that I was obsessed with the grid-patterned dress from Forever 21, so that immediately stayed in the running. Now, I had to eliminate one more dress. This was a little harder because the dresses are the same brand and kind of similar, so I followed my tips from Connecticut and tried to make my decision. I ended up making my choice based on the concept of mixing and matching. I’m very weird and particular about mixing metals, and honestly, I have a preference for silver over gold. The Mixed Media dress prominently features gold, but the bag I was planning on bringing to the events features silver accents. I’m just not comfortable with the way that would look together, and I didn’t want to pack an extra purse, so I decided to eliminate the Mixed Media dress.

 

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Both of these dresses match well with my bag (similar here), so mixing and matching is easy!

 

 

That rest of my packing was actually pretty easy, so as far as clothing goes, I ended up packing:

  • two fancy dresses
  • one casual dress
  • one jumpsuit
  • Spanx (hey, sometimes a girl needs her shape wear!)
  • one corduroy skirt
  • three sweaters
  • three pairs of heels
  • one pair of jeans
  • one pair of leggings
  • one strapless bra

I found that the real struggle, however, was in choosing what makeup I wanted to bring with me.

 

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Some of my fave beauty necessities, such as Garnier’s Micellar Water, elf’s Poreless Face Primer, and EcoTools’s Bamboo Finishing Kabuki Brush. Also, peep my super cute and colorful makeup bag (similar here)!

 

Since I was supposed to go to Connecticut for a church retreat, I packed very minimal makeup. But since I need to get completely dolled up for this shindig, my makeup decisions are much more imperative. Here are some tips for how I made my decisions.

  1. Get a good makeup bag: This is essential. I’ve had the same makeup bag for a few years now, but I love it because it’s sturdy and has plenty of compartments for me to stow my products. It even folds into a smaller package to easily fit in my luggage. Look to something with zipper or snap compartments so you can pack a lot in there but still make sure your precious makeup is safe and secure.
  2. Don’t skip steps: Don’t sacrifice priming or finishing products just to pack light. Especially for an event like Panhellenic Weekend, where I’m going to be dancing all night long, it is imperative for me to make sure I prep my face well before applying makeup so it doesn’t budge while I’m on the dancefloor. Also, finishing products like a setting spray or finishing powder make your makeup picture perfect, so don’t skip this if you know you’re gonna be snapping a ton of selfies!
  3. Pick your faves: I have a handful of beauty products that I save for very special events, either because they were too expensive for me to use on a daily basis, or because it’ll look silly if I wear them to class. This is one of those weekends where I bring those special products out to play. Not only will they make your makeup look extra special, but you’ll finally get the chance to use your products. At the same time, don’t skip out on the everyday products that you absolutely love! Your favorite eyeliner, foundation or lip gloss should still have its place in your routine.

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    These three products by one of my favorite makeup brands, NYX, are my special event go-tos. The Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator is just a touch too shiny for my everyday routine, but perfect for a night out. The NYX Wonder Stick for highlighting and contouring is a little too drastic for my school-day look, so I save it for when I know I’m going to be taking a ton of pictures. The Highlight & Contour Pro Palette gets reserved for incredibly special occasions because it is the most expensive piece of makeup I’ve ever purchased (I’m a drugstore beauty queen, what can I say?), but I love being able to finally use it!
  4. Mix and match: Just like with clothes, try to mix and match your makeup looks while traveling. You can stick to the same basics, like eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara, to save space and pack lightly, but pick ones that work for multiple outfits. For example, you can pick  one eyeshadow palette that can match anything you wear while away instead of bringing multiple palettes with you.
  5. Splurge: But at the same time, I understand that sometimes choosing is hard. You don’t want to limit yourself on the way you look, so choose one item that you’re going to allow yourself to pack multiple of. I am a lipstick addict, so I packed several different colors. Plus, since my outfits are going to have all different shades of purples and reds, I don’t have any one color that will really match perfectly with all my outfits. I couldn’t just limit myself to one.

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    I own more lipsticks than I care to admit, mostly by NYX, but also with some colors from elf and Revlon.
  6. Skip Supersizing: I know they say bigger is better, but that isn’t always the case when traveling. Yeah, it can be tempting to bring a big container of some beauty product on a trip with you, but only bring what you need. I use Vaseline on my lips a lot, so I keep a giant pot of it right next to my bed. But when I travel, I only need a tiny pot, because there’s no way I’m even going through that in three days. Same goes for toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo and conditioner, makeup wipes and face wash. By using the travel sized options, you’re leaving yourself room for larger must-haves that don’t come in smaller sizes, like leave-in conditioner or other hair products.
  7. Don’t Forget Removal: Just because you’re going away for a few days doesn’t mean you get to skip taking care of your skin. Make sure after your night on the town you remove all your makeup and wash your face to prevent build-up. The last thing you want is to come home and have to deal with breakouts!

I’m really excited to head to D.C., catch up with some friends and dance the night away! Hopefully, I’ll get to share some details with you when I return. I hope you guys have some awesome trips coming up and can use these packing tricks to make your experience a little less stressful! Let me know about any cool adventures you’re taking and any packing stories, mishaps or tips you may have. Happy and safe travels, Tasters!

xx,

Toni

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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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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}

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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

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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}

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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

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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

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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}

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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}

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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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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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My Love-Hate Relationship with Packing: Connecticut Edition


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I have always been a girl who loves too much. I love people too much, I love food too much, I love shoes and clothes way too much. Which makes packing for anything a challenge from the get-go. I always pack (you guessed it) too much, and then I have to schlep a gazillion heavy bags to wherever I’m headed. Not. Fun.

But the contradiction lies in the fact that I love packing. There’s something about it that makes me feel so productive and grown-up. Maybe I associate packing with adventure and journeys so I get all excited when I pack. All I know is that packing makes me feel official and gives me purpose.

That’s not to say it’s easy. It definitely isn’t, due very much to my original problem of over-packing. Even when my mom used to pack for me, I would somehow find a way to sneak more and more things into my luggage. My mom hasn’t packed a suitcase for me in close to a decade, so the blame is falling more and more on me, and now that I live in a dorm room and not at home, it is much more imperative for me to pack light for my own convenience and sanity.

I spent five weeks as a counselor at a sleep-away camp called Camp Saint Paul this summer, and even though I was only supposed to stay for four weeks, I somehow managed to pack my suitcase with enough clothing to last me months, even though I had convinced myself that I packed light this year. How in the world could I have been so wrong?

So now, I’m limiting myself.

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I’m spending the weekend in Connecticut at an Orthodox Christian Fellowship retreat (more details to come soon!), and I am traveling by train, so it was incredibly important that I pack in a smart and efficient manner. I knew exactly what I needed, so I packed no more and no less. I packed:

  • two T-shirts
  • one pair of jeans
  • one pair of joggers
  • one dress
  • one pair of ballet flats
  • one rain jacket
  • one set of pajamas
  • four underwear
  • toiletries: BB cream, mascara, eyeliner, makeup wipes, toothpaste, toothbrush, perfume, deodorant, pads, a razor
  • a pillow
  • a blanket
  • a sleeping bag
  • a journal
  • my planner
  • my Kindle
  • my camera
  • notes to study (I have a media law midterm next week)

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That’s enough for an outfit on Saturday, an outfit for liturgy on Sunday, and a travel outfit for when I leave the church on Sunday. I’m honestly really proud of myself for the surprisingly light and efficient packing that I did, so here are some of my tips and tricks on how to pack smart!

  1. Make a list: Making a list of what you need to pack without a doubt makes your life easier. It lets you check things off as you go so you can be certain you have everything you need. When I was packing my suitcase for Connecticut, I nearly forgot pajamas. Like, my suitcase was packed and zipped and ready to go, all without pajamas. Thankfully, I consulted my list again and realized my mistake.

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    I would be no where in life without the Notes app on my iPhone. This checklist option makes my life so much easier.
  2. Mix and match: Mixing and matching the pieces of your outfit can make packing a million times easier. The less items you need to pack the better, right? Now, I’m not saying pack one underwear or shirt and wear it for the entire duration of your trip, but planning your outfits around re-wearable accessories like shoes will make your packing lighter. I packed one pair of shoes that I need for liturgy on Sunday, and the rest of the time I will be wearing the shoes I’m traveling in, which is my maroon Vans.
  3. Know your itinerary: Knowing what activities you might be preparing in will help you know exactly what you need to pack. Since I knew I’d be attending a church service, for example, I knew I needed to pack a dress and nice shoes. This ensures that I won’t feel out of place or be uncomfortable in any situation presented to me while I’m away.
  4. Early preparation: Getting your packing done earlier instead of waiting till the last minute helps you ensure that you don’t forget anything while getting your things together. Like my issue with the pajamas, I would’ve been much more likely to forget them if I had packed after all of my classes instead of the night before.
  5. Check the weather: Checking the weather of your intended destination will help you pack clothes that you’ll be comfortable in. I knew the forecast for Connecticut this weekend predicted rain, so I made sure to pack my fave raincoat. Even if I’m not outside that much, I’d rather be over-prepared than under-prepared.
  6.  Layer: On the topic of climate, you may not know how it will be inside your destination. Sometimes it’s freezing cold, other times the heat is blasting. By planning out outfits that you can layer with, like a T-shirt and a sweatshirt or sweater, you make sure that you’re prepared for anything.
  7. Solve the puzzle: This might be both the hardest and funnest part. Packing is indeed a puzzle. You need to make the most of the space you have so you can pack as much as possible. The key to this is finding a way to condense your belongings as much as possible and then fit them together almost like Tetris. I tried to accomplish this for this particular trip by stuffing my pillow at the bottom of my suitcase and then packing everything on top of it. I rolled almost all of my clothes so that they would take up the least amount of space possible and could be stacked. Anything that I didn’t fold got placed on top of what was already there. My toiletries sat in any empty spaces. Don’t forget to take advantage of any zipped compartments your suitcase may have!

    packing-1
    A successfully solved puzzle… I think. The clothes I’m going to wear first are on top to make my life a little easier, too!

I’m super glad I got to have this experience with packing because I’m heading on a trip to Washington, D.C. in early November, and even though I’ll need to pack totally different items, this really taught me how to pack more efficiently. I hope you guys have some awesome trips coming up and can use these packing tricks to make your experience a little less stressful! Let me know about any cool adventures you’re taking and any packing stories, mishaps or tips you may have. Happy and safe travels, Tasters!

xx,

Toni

Email: tantilizinglytasteful@gmail.com

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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.

exercise-circuit-schedule
This pin that I repinned from @POPSUGAR served as the basis for how much time and what body parts I exercise each day.
weekly workout circuit plan.jpg
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.
30-day-abs-and-squats-challenge
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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