Beyond What’s On the Scale

Hello Lovelies!

As you are aware, I am on a quest to reclaim my fitness. The truth is, there is no “magic trick” to losing weight. It’s hard work and watching what you eat, plain and simple. However, there’s a lot more to the story than numbers on a scale. I thought I’d share with you all what I’ve gained (and lost!) during these past 30 days:

  1. Eating REAL food makes a big difference! I didn’t realize just how much processed food I was eating until I began paying attention to my diet. I’ve dumped a lot of canned and frozen veggies from my diet and added in a bunch of fresh veggies and fruit. Watching the kind of starchy carbs (and how much I eat) has made a difference in my calorie intake. I feel a lot less sluggish and have more energy.
  2. Fitness Apps keep me on track. What did we do before smartphones? A lot of math and calorie burning guesswork! There’s a number of fitness apps out there, but the ones I use every day is My Fitness Pal and FitBit. What I really love about My Fitness Pal is that I put in my goal weight and it automatically figures out how many calories I need a day based on my activity level. It also can get all the nutrition info on any food with a barcode! I’ve also found it has the food info on LOTS of dishes served in restaurant chains. FitBit keeps me motivated and tracks my steps/exercise, and that info is linked to My Fitness Pal, which figures out how many calories I’ve burned! Yay!
  3. No Excuses. I decided that exercise MUST come first with me before doing anything else. To reach my goals, I do at least 30 minutes of heart pumping exercise 4-5 times a week, switching between cardio and strength training. I’ve rediscovered my inner athlete, regained flexibility and strength, and my endurance is so much better!
    A good sweat is good for the soul!

    A good sweat is good for the soul!

    I am a BEAST!

    I am a BEAST!

     

  4. Planning ahead is EVERYTHING! One of the bad habits I had was letting myself get too hungry, then I’d reach for the quickest food possible (and it was usually something processed or fast food). Now I make sure to eat 4-5 small meals a day to keep my blood sugar up and the food is low calorie and nutritious.
  5. Giving Myself a Break. I love food. I love celebrating good times with friends. To keep my sanity and stay on course, I allow myself one “cheat” meal a week. For example, last Saturday I enjoyed an 8 oz steak and mashed potatoes with friends. That is my indulgence until next Saturday. I also let my body rest the day after a harder workout.
  6. Rewards are Necessary. When I lost my first five lbs., I treated myself to a pair of pretty sandals. Then, when I realized I’d lost 8″ off my body last week, I got some “new to me” things from the local Airman’s Attic. When I meet a goal, I am sure to give myself a reward to stay motivated!
"New" wrap top, purse and earrings!

“New” wrap top, purse and earrings!

Purple earring

Can't believe this was FREE!

Can’t believe this was FREE!

Most of all…I am happier. Feeling lighter and having more energy has made all the difference with my depression issues. I hope to be 30 lbs. lighter by September, but I’m looking at this experience as a marathon, not a sprint, and to live my life this way for good.

Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie.

 

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Blogger on a Budget: Fabulous Fringe!

Blk floral fringe1

Hello lovelies!

As you know, I love a bargain, and with a lot of ’70s influence in this season’s looks, I hit Macy’s to find something to rock.

Blk floral fringe side

Macy’s never fails me. I can always find something chic that fits me beautifully for an awesome price. This adorable black floral coverall with sassy fringe from American Rag was marked down to $12! I can wear it with shorts, a jumpsuit, a dress, a skirt!

FREE thrift find!

I paired it with my fantastic thrift find – an Old Navy cotton dress that fits me great! My waist is defined, giving me more of an hourglass. I got this for FREE!!

Of course, I have to trick out my look with a few accessories, so I went gold with this chain necklace and gold cuff from Claire’s Accessories, and lengthened my legs with these beige wedges from Charlotte Russe. Love it!

Blk Floral fringe2

You might notice I’ve got a black bracelet on. I’ve been working on developing a healthier lifestyle, so I got a Fit Bit! So, I’m tracking steps, exercise, food, and water. Having this definitely makes me more accountable to myself!

However, as you know, I’m not about being a certain size. We all should find beauty in ourselves, regardless of size. My Fit Bit makes me make better decisions about how I treat my body. So, if I end up losing weight, my back would definitely be better for it, plus I want more energy! Who wouldn’t want more energy?

I hope your November is off to a great start! Until next time!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xo, Melanie.

 

 

 

 

 

Blogger on a Budget: Chasing the Fall Blues

Hello Lovelies!

Are you enjoying autumn? Pulling out my fall/winter wardrobe was always something I enjoyed doing, as it was like a mini-Christmas! Hello sweaters, hello leggings, hello boots!

But here in Guam, it is like a endless summer! I can feel slight changes in the temperature with less humidity, so I guess this is fall! Since I’m not going to get any new clothes for the season, I have to get creative…so after visiting the Airman’s Attic,  I found some GREAT pieces for free!

Old Navy Dress 2

I found this adorable Old Navy cotton dress (love the polka dots!) which looks great with my Charlotte Russe duster! Add my cage sandals from JustFab, and I’ve got a great day look.

Old Navy dress1

But that’s not all, folks! I picked up these awesome bangles for free as well! I’m especially nuts about the “rocker” one. Wearing these with this outfit keeps it from looking too sweet.

Bangle CU

Bangles

What else is fun and free? Going through makeup bags and rediscovering lip and eye colors!

Old Navy CU

I’ve had a subscription to Ipsy for almost two years, so you can imagine I’ve collected quite a few beauty products! I decided to rock this warm pink lip from NYX. Originally I thought the color was “too pink” for me, but after adding some lip crayon in Spicy Berry from Ulta,  I really love it!

I admit, it’s a little sad to not shop for the new fall styles. However, it doesn’t mean I can’t switch up my looks! Plus it doesn’t mean I need to spend a fortune (which the Hubby appreciates!).

What is your favorite fall find so far? Please share! 

Love, laughter, and shoes-

xo, Melanie.

 

Resurrecting My You Tube Channel!

 

Hey lovelies!

How has your week been? It’s been a bit up and down for me, as I ended up having to get a molar pulled this morning (yuck!). So, I’m all drugged up with nothing to do on a Friday night – except I can devote some time to you!

Anyway, I have a You Tube channel that I recently brought back from the dead by making a new video! Now, I don’t have a fancy pants camera or special lighting, but I do my best to be entertaining. Here I reveal some tricks on looking younger and taking care of the skin!

I review the fantastic Younique magic lashes, Josie Maran Argan Oil, and Acure Moisturizer.  Please check it out and let me know what you think!

Here’s a look I rocked a few days ago – a new dress from my London shopping at Primark! Five pounds for this dress! Oh yeah.

Working it with a Forever 21 cardigan.

Working it with a Forever 21 cardigan.

Primark leopard 2

 

My FIFTY CENT clutch from a thrift market!

My FIFTY CENT clutch from a thrift market!

Hubby is really getting good at pics!

Hubby is really getting good at pics!

What are YOU rockin’ this weekend? Let me know!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

Thankful for Travel, Thrift Finds, and Beer!

Hello lovelies!

Back home, it’s Thanksgiving and a time for being thankful for all the blessings we have. I am very thankful to have the opportunity to travel while here in Europe, and since it’s our last Thanksgiving in Germany, we decided to head to one of our favorite places to stay, the Edelweiss Resort in Bavaria.

It's like a storybook location!

It’s like a storybook location!

You know the “Sound of Music?” This area is where Julie Andrews was spinning around and singing about the hills being alive! Though there wasn’t any snow (which is a bit unusual this time of year), the view is still gorgeous.

The town of Garmisch is adorable with many unique shops and cozy cafes. Though it’s mainly a U.S. tradition, Germany has jumped on the Black Friday train (though they are more sane about it – no 4 a.m. openings here!). However, I discovered a thrift store on an army base and got this comfy and stylish sweatshirt dress for just $5!

My $5 find!

My $5 find!

Shirtdress pocket

Check out the cool little details on the pocket! The shoulders have faux leather patches. Looks great with my H&M skirt and Just Fab boots!

shirtdress selfie

Shirtdress boots

What else do I love? German beer! Especially when I can go on a brewery tour and taste many different kinds! The hubby and I got to sample all kinds of beer, even one with a chocolate base (Don’t worry; we had someone drive us)! Wolfgang, the brew master, presented us with honorary Brew Master diplomas!

shirtdress wolfgang

Why sure, I'll try another kind...

Why sure, I’ll try another kind…

On a more serious note, I am incredibly thankful for all the love and blessings in my life. Life can be very tough at times (and I have had my share of those moments), so when life is peaceful, I enjoy every bit of those moments.

I am also very thankful to all of YOU for reading my blog! I really appreciate the “likes,” comments, and sharing. Here’s to all of the blessings we enjoy!

Cheers!

Cheers!

 

Blogger on a Budget: Transitioning Looks for Fall

Hi all!

If you’re a fashion addict on a budget (like I am!), you’re probably on the lookout for pieces to wear for more than one season.

I’ll be showing ways to transition summer favorites for cooler days in my next couple posts!

Budget Blogger Tip: Buy summer looks at the end of season to save cash, then layer cardigans, sweaters, or add leggings!

One of my favorite pieces I got this summer is this tribal jumpsuit from Deb Shops. Jumpsuits are great for dressing up or down, and as I’ve discovered, easy to layer for colder weather!

On a warmer day (like today was), I can rock the jumpsuit with just a belt and sandals:

Deb jump 2

Yep...Mama got back!

Yep…Mama got back!

I found this belt for just $5!

I found this belt for just $5!

F21 sandals

Then, on a cooler day, I threw on this cute open arm sweater I found in a thrift store! Later, I’ll add booties and a sweater dress. Presto! Year round outfit:)

Deb jump sweater

And guess what? I’ve got a new giveaway prize to announce in the next post! So stay tuned!

Love, laughter, and shoes –

xx Melanie.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Tribal jumpsuit – DEB SHOPS

Belt – AMAZON.COM

Thong sandals – FOREVER 21

Sweater- a thrift find!

When you have a bad hair day…

Ah, summer. It’s a time of lightweight tees, floaty maxi dresses, sandals, and shorts! With all these wonderful things we love to wear, it’s also a time for humidity, which means…BAD HAIR DAYS!

As you can see, I keep my hair short in a hybrid of Halle Berry and mid 1980s Sheena Easton. Most times, it looks like this:

Floral skt CU

But since my hair is thick and naturally curly, on those especially sticky days, there’s no amount of product that can tame my curly top!

So during our trip to Italy, I took a cue from Jennifer Lopez and worked a mini turban with a scarf!

Ready to take on Florence!

Ready to take on Florence!

Have I mentioned how gorgeous Florence, Italy is? On “Turban Day,” we checked out this beautiful Basilica.

Turban 2

Cardigan, Charlotte Russe. Skater dress, Forever 21 Plus Gladiator sandals, Graceland. Accessories, thrift shop finds!

Turban 3

When I have “manageable” frizz, these are my favorite go to products:

john-frieda-collection-frizz-ease-straight-fixation-smoothing-cr

John Frieda Frizz Ease Straight Fixation works wonders on bushy curls and unruly bangs!

41XPZmJ-njL__SY300_

My new favorite hairspray is L’Oreal’s Elnett Satin. Yes, it is a bit pricey (usually around $16), but TOTALLY worth it.

I’ve never had a hairspray that allowed a good hold AND I could still run my fingers through!

What’s YOUR favorite hair tricks and products for summer?

BY THE WAY…CONGRATULATIONS to my Parisian Giveaway winner, Cheryl from fatandfabulousme!

Be sure to check out her blog, it’s pretty awesome!

Thanks to everyone who entered! Don’t worry, I will be starting a ONCE A MONTH GIVEAWAY, so stay tuned for August!

Love, laugher and shoes…

xx Melanie.