My Favorite (simple) Home-Based Exercises

gym_selfieIt’s Thursday and I’m happy (and so is my body)! I’ve been hitting the gym hard the last few days and every muscle aches. Staying in shape is not easy and it’s taken me a few years to learn how to do exercises properly and a few months to really get into a routine. I joined a local gym back in April to motivate myself to workout more. Believe it or not, it worked! I go 5 days a week for about an hour each day.

Honestly, you don’t have to join a gym to get in a great workout. There are quite a few of us that simply don’t have the extra time or money to get a gym membership and that’s fine! Many of the exercises that I do at my gym can be done pretty much anywhere. If you can’t join a gym right now, here are a few exercises I love to do that you can do at home (and it’s free).

  • Lunges- I do about 40 of them (20 on each leg) back and forth across the floor. For an added challenge I hold weights in each hand to make my abs and arms work a little harder.
  • Standing push-up- I can’t get on the floor and do a legitimate push-up so I like to lean against a counter top or even a wall and do about 20 of them that way. It’s much less stress on my back!
  • Donkey kicks- Get on all fours and push your left leg back as if you’re kicking something behind you. Switch to the opposite leg. I do this about 20 times for each leg and it really helps to tone your butt and the back of the leg.
  • Hyperextensions- Using a weight (can be anything from a dumb bell to a jug of milk) spread your feet shoulder-width apart, keep your shoulders back, and slowly bend forward at the hips until you are at a 90 degree angle. Then, come back up to a standing position. This works your abs and your back!

As always, doing 20 minutes of cardio really helps to take off those calories. I like to walk at an incline if I can to work the back of my legs and get my heart pumping faster. People who like to run might consider doing it on something softer like sand or even grass because pavement can be bad to run on for your knees.

If you have any suggestions for exercises that don’t require being at the gym to do, leave me a comment!

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How I Destroyed My Bedding (and what I bought to replace it!)

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m no Martha Stewart. I’m not even close. I burn popcorn in the microwave, I leave my clothes in the dryer for days, I always forget about the pasta boiling on the stove, and my mom still has to remind me to take my vitamins. Yesterday, I hit a new low- I ruined my bedspread in the washing machine.

Earlier in the day I noticed that my pristine white comforter wasn’t so white anymore. I poured some laundry detergent in the washing machine, stuffed the comforter inside, closed the lid, and turned it on. About an hour later I returned to take my comforter out of the washer. I looked inside and not only was my comforter still covered in soap, part of it had gotten caught on something and ripped. Upon further inspection, it also had burn marks in several places. Doing what any young, 20-something would do, I called my mom. Apparently, it’s hard to fit feather-filled comforters in a standard sized washer. Good one, Liz.

I went to Marshall’s that afternoon to pick up a new comforter and I find a really cute one! It was on sale for $49.99! The designer is Cynthia Rowley. I absolutely love the coral and aqua blue colors that were chosen. It absolutely lights up my room and gives it more color.

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coral_bedspread

My walls are white, and while I love the look of cleanliness white creates, sometimes things get white-washed. I wanted to avoid that when choosing a new comforter. I think it turned out well!

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Something else I avoid in a bedroom is having a boring nightstand! I don’t want it to be cluttered but I like to stack coffee table books and a decorative piece or two for some visual interest. Tell me what’s inspiring you in your bedroom with a comment below!

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Peak Into my Bedroom

As I’ve slowly turned this bare-wall apartment into my unique space, I’ve taken some pretty pictures to document my success. I want to share with you a few things that are sitting around my room right now. Normally, I’d share with you my entire space but, contrary to what other life and style bloggers would like you to think, my room and my life are quite messy at times. As much as I adore pretty things like peonies, Kate Spade, Lilly Pulitzer, and macarons, I can promise you that my life isn’t always a “pretty thing.” This is just a little look I can offer you into my life!

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Time to Think and Reflect

Do you ever feel like you just need some time to think and reflect on life? So much has been changing in my life so incredibly fast and I feel utterly unprepared for what lies ahead. As I mentioned in a previous post, I just graduated and in other big news I’m getting my own apartment with one of my friends. It’s a lot to take in! Being the overwhelmed girl I am at the moment, I’m taking some time to chill out and think and write about all of this. Time to Think
It seems like just when one problem is solved, another one comes up. I guess that’s the thing about life, nothing will ever be perfect but you have to learn to cope with it and keep smiling. I really see value in taking time to process new things in life. I do this in several ways.
  • Meditate- whether it be on a yoga mat or in the shower, having solitude to think about life is a really important part of my processing it.
  • Lift weights- Not only do you focus your energy on that particular activity, it allows you to exhort pent up negative energy that you often harbor.
  • Rest- I like to sometimes just get in bed and lay there. I rarely take naps but sometimes they do so much clear your mind when life has thrown you for a loop.
  • Drink Tea- For whatever reason, tea or cocoa seem to solve all of the world’s problems when you need them to. Sitting with a warm beverage in my hand instantly calms me.

Life keeps throwing things at me and I’m hoping I’ll be able to handle them as they come. There’s never a dull moment.

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Gift Guide for Mother’s Day

for mom

Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful mama! She’s the biggest encouragement to me and she’s worked so hard to make me into the girl I am today. I absolutely adore her and consider her one of my best friends. I really lucked out when I was born to her and my dad. Some people didn’t get half as lucky as I did!

For her Mother’s Day gift, I found some cute Sperry’s on sale. I got her hooked on those a few years ago. If I were a millionaire, I would have taken her to Paris but seeing as how I’m not I new shoes would be almost as good.

I’m writing this post predominantly for the gentlemen who may have come across it that’s panicking because he forgot today was Mother’s Day. Guys, click on the image above for details on each of the items I included in my Mother’s Day gift guide. Perfume, flowers, jewelry, candles, and stationary are some of my favorite gifts to give! Good luck gents!

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