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BLOG POST #14 These Are A Few of My Favorite Things + MAJOR Giveaway!

🎶 Cue in Julie Andrews🎶

I’m excited to share 3 items I use almost daily!

It is important that you know I’m the type of person who uses products completely and buys them again to be sure I truly love it.

Drumroll…

#1 My favorite fragrance: Tom Ford Black Orchid  
#2 My favorite candle : Firewood by Henri Bendel 
#3 My favorite Body Creme: Nzuri Body Essentials Body Soufflé's  
#4 My ideal first date: Just kidding!

This is beginning to look like I’m filling out a Myspace or dating app profile. 😂

#1 Tom Ford Black Orchid Fragrance  

This fragrance makes you smell like a rich B%^&h.

It also makes others make the face above when they catch a whiff of you.

I love wearing this fragrance when I’m headed to an evening event or going out for a fun night out on the town.
The image above is a clickable affiliate link.

#2 Henri Bendel (R.I.P) Firewood Candle 

This candle makes you want to pitch a tent, fly fish and roast some marshmallows all at the same time.

Camping reality!
Lighting a candle elevates your bubble bath experience. (Trust me!)

The image above is a clickable affiliate link.
If you want this candle, you have to buy on Amazon.
Henri Bendel is sadly closing all stores!

#3 Nzuri Body Essentials Soufflés

This soufflé will have your skin softer than a pair of Ugg slippers. You will smell so good, that people will ask you all day long what you are wearing.


I use this after my morning bath.
I don’t even need to wear a fragrance in the morning, it smells that good.
https://www.nzuribodyessentials.com/shop (Not a affiliate link!)

The face I make when some ask to use some of my Nzuri body soufflé.
(Inside I’m screaming,”Mine!”)

💵 GIVEAWAY RULES 💵

Contest Runs – 2/5/2019 -2/10/2019

You + a friend can win all the products I listed and a $50 gift card to your favorite beauty/glam/lifestyle store.

  1. BLOG – Comment below 1 beauty or lifestyle item you love and use almost daily.
  2. IG- Tag 1 friend who you like to trade beauty/glam/lifestyle tips with. (Insider tip: Have your friend complete the same steps to increase your chances!)*
  3. IG- Comment 1 place you like to buy beauty/glam/lifestyle products. *

(Insider tip: Have your friend complete the same steps to increase your chances!)

*IG comment and tag should be under this photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/BtgxL9tnkq5/

BLOG POST #13 A Few Tips for Choosing Workout Apparel + [2] Affordable Workout Apparel Recommendations + MAJOR Giveaway!

Choosing workout apparel is no small feat. It can be comparable to buying denim. 😐

I decided to type up this quick little guide to help you shop. I will also tell you about my two favorite affordable athletic clothing brands of the moment. (They are both comparable to Lululemon! 😮)

I hope that you will use these tips the next time you shop for athletic apparel and give the two companies I mentioned a try!

🏃‍♀️Running vs Yoga 🧘

🧘🏾 A yogis fabric friend is, cotton or cotton blend material.

WHY: Cotton is soft, so as you work your way from downward dog to chaturanga you can do so with extreme comfort. Cotton material doesn’t get as stinky as polyester during a workout. Your yoga mat partner will enjoy being next to you.

🏃🏿‍♀️ Runners fabric friends should be those that compress and wick moisture. Some examples are spandex (Lycra), nylon polyester. Pssst…In the winter, look for fabric labels that list wool or a wool blend.

WHY: If you wear cotton running you will feel like you just jumped in a swimming pool with a full denim outfit on. Also, when it is the dead of winter, you don’t want to wear cotton garments since they attract moisture to your body. 🥶 Instead look for Lyrca fabric for running, because it is a light material and flexible. You can also look for Nylon! Similar to lycra, nylon has a low fabric weight and has high tear strength. So no worries about it not keeping up with your multi-mile run. Polyester is another great material to look for. Similar to Nylon, polyester is SUPER wear and tear resistant. It is important to know that polyester blends should be washed often because it traps odors. (So don’t be that guy or gal who leaves days old clothes in their gym bag at the office. Your coworkers will appreciate you!)

🏋️‍♀️ Weightlifting vs Hot Yoga 🧘

🏋🏿‍♀️ Weightlifters and Hot Yogis fabric friends are similar to that of runners, the best fabrics are those that compress and wick moisture. Some examples are spandex (Lycra), nylon, and polyester.

WHY: When you are hustling around the gym or moving through a 105-degree flow, the last thing you want to be is uncomfortable or look disheveled. Spandex (Lycra) is extremely flexible and offers terrific stretch. Which will make squatting, deadlifting and getting into the crow pose easy. Nylon is exceptionally durable, so you can expect your garments that have it to hold up to tough workouts. Polyester is a material I always search for, because it is incredibly durable, fairly wrinkle resistant, and keeps me warm when I’m in a cold gym.

Important📝:On a tight budget? Stick to buying weightlifting styles, as they can work for yoga. I would not recommend that you use yoga pants for running or use for weight training. When picking a running style to use for yoga, I wouldn't recommend any running style that has zippers, as it will make some yoga poses quite uncomfortable! 😣 

🏋️‍♀️ Weightlifting vs Running

Though weightlifting garments and running garments typically have similar materials, they have a few key differences! Most brands have labels on their items indicating that clothing is meant for training. If they don't keep an eye for the following:

🏋️‍♀️ Check for the materials I listed above in the weight training section and see if the material is slightly thick. Thicker materials are best for lifting weights because you don’t have to worry about getting snags. Thicker material also means you don’t have to worry about your pants being see-through when you perform an exercise like a deadlift or hip thrust.

🏃 Check for the materials I listed in the running section and see if it feel like a light material. When you are running you want light garments, so you don’t feel weighed down.

🏋️‍♀️ You will typically see few zippers on weight training clothes. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for brands to include some pockets.

🏃You will see way more zippers as well as storage pockets on runners clothes, which makes sense, it is no fun holding your phone or keys while running.

AFFORDABLE FITNESS APPAREL COMPANY #1 

All videos shot by: Gerardo Marrufo

https://www.instagram.com/gerardomarrufo_photography/

[90 Degree by Reflex]

90 Degree by Reflex Jacket and Pants from Yaa on Vimeo.

If you are interested in buying 90 Degree by Reflex Jacket, click the image below. It is an affiliate link!



90 Degree By Reflex Shorts and Tank (1) from Yaa on Vimeo.

If you are interested in buying 90 Degree by Reflex tank top, click the image below. It is an affiliate link!

If you are interested in buying 90 Degree by Reflex yoga shorts, click the image below. It is an affiliate link!

If you are interested in buying 90 Degree by Reflex running/weight training leggings, click the image below. It is an affiliate link!

AFFORDABLE FITNESS APPAREL COMPANY #2

 [Core 10]

Core 10 Leggings and Sports Bra from Yaa on Vimeo.

If you are interested in buying Core 10 Medium Support Scoop Bra, click the image below. It is an affiliate link!

If you are interested in buying Core 10 Moto Leggings, click the image below. It is an affiliate link!

💵 GIVEAWAY 💵

 💥 GIVEAWAY CLOSED 💥

CONTEST RUNS 1/29/2019 – 2/3/2019

PRIZE- Gift Card to Buy a New Fitness Outfit & Nike Vapor Max for You + 1

BLOG POST #12 MY TOP [5] 2019 FASHION & FITNESS RESOLUTIONS + GIVEAWAY

“Umm girl, the month is almost over.”

Yes, it is 1/22/2019! YES, I’m finally publishing my resolutions. I didn’t stress myself out about releasing my resolutions the first day of the year or even the first week of this year.

WHY…

I know you have heard some version of this before, “There is never a perfect or ideal time to start, so with that in mind just start now.”

Which is why I’m a firm believer that you don’t need to start on January 1st. You don’t even need to wait for XYZ to finish before you start.

“On 1 January no check, no pause, no planetary escapement in the celestial clockwork will take place as our planet spins relentlessly around its sun. Its only importance is for the human mind.”

Chris McManus


Let’s face it guys + gals every year we get endless opportunities to restart, because every NEW YEAR is filled with mountains of excuses, bridges of doubt, rivers or fear and much more. So what if you have an awkward start or less than perfect start, KEEP GOING! Restart, when necessary.

No journey is perfect. So here is some advice …

MAKE SURE______

You aren’t one of those folks with only the intention of checking off resolutions, instead be the person with intentions and action plans.

You pull up the directions when traveling to an unknown place, you research before you buy something and this should be no different.

Do your due diligence and research what you need to do.

You need to make sure when you write your list, that results and benefits of accomplishing the resolutions on that list are STRONG enough motivators!

WHY? Well honestly, you probably won’t stick to them if you don’t. If you don’t DEEPLY believe in the end result or feel that the benefit of reaching your goal will help you in the long run, you should seriously reevaluate your list. Don’t waste your time focusing on goals that don’t make sense. Don’t do what is popular. Do what is right for you. Your goals are just that, YOURS.

“Intentions are anticipations of the future, and people differ in the perceived costs, benefits, and consequences of possible actions.”

Chris McManus

If you are one of those people, who knows that it is vital for you to accomplish your resolution, yet still struggle, keep reading.

DON’T BE AFRAID_____ 

Don’t be afraid to outsource if you have no clue where to start or you struggle to adhere.

EXAMPLES: 

If you struggle with diet ➡️ Hire a meal prep company.
If you want to get a new job ➡️ Work with a resume writer and a recruiter.
If you want to save for retirement ➡️ Meet with a financial advisor.
If you want to run a marathon ➡️ Hire a running coach.

You get the drift!

🥁 Drumroll 🥁

👗 FASHION RESOLUTIONS👗

💪 FITNESS RESOLUTIONS 💪

💵 GIVEAWAY 💵

💥 GIVEAWAY CLOSED 💥


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BLOG POST #11 Cosmopolitan Reported |24| 70s Fashion Trends For Spring 2019 and I Tried |7| of Them

I’ve been reading Cosmopolitan for as long as I have been flying, 17 years!

Read Mia Farrow GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

It has been a source of style inspiration for me just as long. Even though I couldn’t afford the brands when I was thirteen, let alone pronounce them, I still read any issue I could find. As a young girl I didn’t mind one iota if I wasted a few hours and gaining a few paper cuts flipping through the glossy pages to look at the fantastic avant-garde content. I always keep plenty of band-aids handy.

The irony of this post, is that spring fashion is my least favorite fashion season. I never find myself falling deeply in love with any of the Spring looks, so this year I made a promise to challenge myself to dress sharp for Spring. The first step entailed me doing some research.

Since the modern age is here and kicking, I jumped onto Cosmopolitan's website. Which means no more paper cuts. 😁 

I’ve mentioned before that I like looking up images for style inspiration when getting dressed or going shopping, so I looked for articles that discussed the trends and showed trends for Spring 2019. I found this article…..

Here is the thing guys and gals. The website very much like the magazine makes the trends look dramatic and a typical consumer may not be super convinced to try the trends. What I’ve learned over the years is to really take a look at the images and take away the elements that I like. You don’t have to write off an entire trend because you don’t like the way it is styled. So in this blog post I’m going to show you my take on 7 out of the 24 trends listed in this Cosmopolitan article. Ready…Set…Ok! Let’s dive in!

Psst….My photos were taken by 📷 Gerardo Marrufo 📷

Photographer: https://www.instagram.com/gerardomarrufo_photography/

BELL-BOTTOMS 

BELL-SLEEVES 
LONG SATIN SLIP 
OUTDOOR PAJAMAS 
OVERALLS
TROUSER SUITS 
WESTERN DETAILS

BLOG POST #10 I Tried to Swim With Sharks…(Gymsharks) 😂

It took me a long time to come up with this headline. 

Those of you who follow me know that I’m in love clothing! I love dressy clothes, gym clothes and everything else in between. One of my fashion resolutions for 2019 was to cut down my Lululemon spending by finding lower priced gym clothing. On my quest, I stumbled upon a famous Instagrammer / Youtuber talking about the new Gymshark camouflage collection. She was pretty convincing, so I ended up ordering every color.

Sadly, I will not be swimming with sharks again anytime soon. I was not a fan of the collection. Watch my try-on video below.

PSSST. I’m giving away all 3 camouflage Gymshark outfits you saw in the video above. Everything is an extra small. I never wore them outside of this try-on haul.

GYMSHARK GIVEAWAY RULES:
  1. Follow me on IG @layeredlady👉https://bit.ly/2FkMnry
  2. Subscribe to LAYERED LADY blog!
  3. Subscribe to my Youtube👉 https://bit.ly/2AzR3q7
  4. SEE CAPTION OF PHOTO!
Tag someone under this photo on my IG!
I will use Miniwebtool.com to randomly pick 3 winners!
The choice of color will be given to the first 2 people who win! 
Starts: 1/8/2019 Ends:1/16/2019 
You must complete all 4 STEPS TO BE ELIGIBLE!
Winner will be contacted via Instagram DM!

BLOG POST #9 How I’m Using Technology to Get & Stay Fit in 2019! (You Should Too!)

So it’s 2019! Maybe you reached your fitness goals in 2018, maybe you didn’t or you are somewhere in between. No matter where you are on your journey, the advice I will provide you today will help you.

🎧 Be sure to listen to my Soundcloud at the end of this post! 

Some of you reading this may be thinking about running three days a week, you may be considering going to Orange Theory twice a week or may be thinking about going to hot yoga four days a week. No matter what you decide 👉 please be clear about your PLAN and your INTENTION.



If don’t have a plan, we will work on that TODAY! Keep reading!

STEP 1:

If your goal is to maintain an active lifestyle, lose weight, get stronger and so on how do you know if you are actually doing what you set out to do? You really and truly need a S.M.A.R.T goal!

Fitness and health professionals often work with clients to create a S.M.A.R.T goal before starting a plan! This is a vital part of the process!

S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Time-Based.

I like to refer to it as PLAN + INTENTION + MEASURE!

The PLAN: I plan on going to _______ / for_______ minutes over the course of ________ weeks.

Example: I plan on going to the gym to lift weights 6 days a week for 90 minutes over the course of 12 weeks. (Literally this is my plan!)

BE SUPER DUPER SPECIFIC!

STEP 2:

Your INTENTION: By doing so I will be able to reach my goal of _______ and ______(if applicable).

BE SUPER DUPER SPECIFIC!

Example: By doing so I will be able to reach my goal of losing 10 pounds of fat.

Now 👉 combine the 2! I plan on going to the gym to lift weights 6 days a week for 90 minutes over the course of 12 weeks. By doing so I will be able to reach my goal of losing 10 pounds of fat.

NOTE: Look at how specific I was! I didn’t say I wanted to go to the gym. I said I wanted to lift weights. Notice I didn’t just say I wanted lose weight or lose 10 pounds 👉 I wrote lose 10 pounds of fat. You get the gist!

LAST REMINDER FOR GOOD MEASURE: BE SUPER DUPER SPECIFIC!

ASSIGNMENT #1:
Complete your PLAN+INTENTION!

Now there is one piece of the puzzle that I’ve left out, MEASURING, and that is where technology comes in. Our success, or lack thereof, will be determine by the results we get. So why not control as much as you can to get your desired outcome? This why technology is so kickass because it can help you measure your progress. Using helpful technology can lead to an increase in your determination and self-efficacy!

Measuring helps increase your determination and self-effciacy when measurements are looked at correctly. If you don’t get the desired result you learn from it. It is not a failure! The more you know the better you can plan. Don’t be so hard on yourself boys and girls!

I REPEAT YOU ALWAYS LEARN 👉 YOU NEVER FAIL!

Having a PLAN and a INTENTION will get you started 👉 BUT 👉 it won’t keep you going. Ultimately, how well you can maintain your DETERMINATION and SELF-EFFICACY is what will keep you going.

The reality is the MEASUREMENTS can help BIG TIME!

This is why I ❤️ using technology to measure what is working and not working so I don’t end up running around frustrated.

So let’s DIG IN!

TIP 1: Track how you LOOK! 

App/s for this tip: The CAMERA app on your phone and the STREAKS app. 

What to do: Decide on day and time you will commit to taking a video of how you look at the moment. I suggest you find a plain wall in your home that has good lightning. Place a X on the floor with tape or place pushpin on the wall so you know where to stand every time for accuracy. Input a reminder in the STREAKS app. (See Tip 3!)

TIP 2: Track what you EAT AND DRINK

App/s: I recommend you download right now MyFitnessPal (MFP) app, Calorie King app and How You Dish app!

What to do: For beginners who don’t have access to the data I use to determine my calorie intake**, follow the questionnaire on MFP to determine your starting intake. Track everything you eat and drink!

Be sure to track your water and other fluid intake!

If you find yourself eating out a lot, you will find the app CalorieKing most helpful. I find this app to be a bit more accurate than MFP for finding calories for many popular restaurants. If you are planning a work lunch or want to eat a bit smarter the app How YouDish you can find diet friendly dishes at restaurants near you.

**See www.elitebodydata.com to learn about all the tracking I do to reach nutrition goals. I’m available to travel nationwide to any gym if you are interested in having these test done for a more accurate calorie amount.

TIP 3: Track your workout EFFORT! 

App/s: If you lift weights I highly recommenced you download right now the STACKED app. If you are a cardio fan download Motion Traxx app. No matter what you should download the STREAKS app. The STACKED app allows you to type in your workout plan, the weight you use as well as the reps you complete each set. 

Each week you can try to increase you weight to maximize results. No more randomly grabbing different weights every week. Commit to getting better  getting stronger👉 which will lead to you getting the results you want! If you are a cardio lover, I suggest MotionTraxx. This app plays songs with the perfect BPM to match your workout intensity. Additionally, they have workouts for elliptical, spin bikes, treadmills and more so you will never feel bored again! 🙏 Streaks is super easy to use goal reminder app. Input your goals and how often you want the app to remind you of your goals. Every time you complete an action you tap the applicable icon!

TIP 4: Track how you SLEEP!

App/s: I recommenced you download right now Sleep Better: Sleep Cycle App.

What to do: Use this app to determine how much sleep you are getting a night. If you are taking on a fitness regiment, you want to be sure to get 6-8 hours of good sleep a night. This app will provide you valuable insight so that you can have a good night of sleep. 😴

ASSIGNMENT #2:
Download the apps!
Create a folder for the apps on your phone!
Label it 👉 MY FITNESS etc! 

STEP 3:

I will track using _______ , _______ as well as _____ and review the data every_______

Example: I will track using Video, MFP as well as Stacked and I will review the data every 14 days.

Combine the 2 previous statements: I plan on going to the gym to lift weights 6 days a week for 90 minutes over the course of 12 weeks. By doing so I will be able to reach my goal of losing 10 pounds of fat. I will track using Video, MFP as well as Stacked and I will review the data every 14 days.

ASSIGNMENT #3:
Take your 3 sentences and put them around your house!
You can place on your fridge, on your night stand and so on!

🎧 Be sure to listen to my Soundcloud at the end of this post! 
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BLOG POST #8 How to Spend 48 Hours in London

TIPS FOR PLANNING YOUR STAY: 

DO 👉 Use OpenTable to pre-book restaurants you’d like to dine at. I highly recommend you do so because, it can be a real challenge, if not near impossible to walk into favorite restaurants the day you want to eat there.

DO 👉 Pick a combination of 4 to 8 key restaurants, shows, landmarks and shops you’d like to see. It is physically and mentally hard to do more than what I recommend in 48 hours. I was fighting jet lag, my feet killed from all the walking I did, I was experiencing sensory overload walking to my chosen restaurants, shows, landmarks and shops.

DO 👉 Devote at least 2-3 hours of time to spend at your restaurants/ shows/landmarks/shops of choice. The dining experiences in London were long. The show entrance lines were crowded, disorderly and it took time to get in as well as settled. The landmarks had tons of tourist and it was tough to get a good spot to take pictures. Additionally, most shops were packed with people trying on clothes, shoppers asking associates questions and had long check out lines. So don’t expect to get in and out of shops quickly. With this in mind, you really should think about the REALLY want to experience.

DO 👉 Bring shoes that you are incredibly comfortable walking in. The streets in London are not 100% flat. In fact, Google Maps will even tell you how flat the road is in London! 😂 You will find yourself walking on flat land, randomly uphill or suddenly walking on a cobblestone path.

DON’T 👉 Go to shops you can shops or restaurants you can go to in your hometown, with two exceptions! I challenge you to visit some of the shops and restaurants that are unique to London. You don’t need to go to H&M and Five Guys in London. Exception #1: I did shop at the Kooples shop which is available in Chicago in Bloomingdales; but, the selection of the Kooples in Chicago is sparse. The Kooples is a legendary Parisian brand that has a significant retail presence in London, so I decided to put it on my list. Exception #2: If you are big on collecting souvenirs from your favorite food spot, by all means, do so. For example, my sister loves collecting Hard Rock glasses, so I did stop in the Hard Rock to buy her one.

DON’T 👉 Be afraid to ask for directions. Londoners are quite friendly and helpful. The few times I got lost, I got help from strangers who had no qualms about making sure I was going the correct way.

DON’T 👉 Attempt to book show tickets for yourself. I strongly suggest you minimize your travel stress as much as you can by having the hotel find tickets for you. Almost every hotel concierge works with a booking agent that has connections to the hottest stage shows, concerts, and operas in London.

HOW I PACKED FOR MY LONDON TRIP: 
HOW TO GET TO LONDON IN STYLE : 

I flew on Norwegian Airlines in the premium class and I highly recommend this airline. I got an email to place a bid for premium seats, which is their version of First Class and decided to place a bid. In the end, I found that I could buy an upgrade for a “reasonable” fee and canceled my bid. I will say that my trip to London was not 💯 percent rainbows and glitter bombs as I didn’t care for their poor bag handling during my arrival to London. My suitcase was utterly destroyed, and my clothes were literally oozing out of my suitcase upon the collection of my bag at Gastrow Airport. Luckily, the service aboard the amazing Boeing 787 Dreamliner more than made up for the poor bag handling. The flight attendants were extremely attentive the whole time. There was not a single moment of trying to flag someone down for anything.

WHERE TO LAY YOUR HEAD AT NIGHT: 

My big tip is to stay somewhere that is near the places you want to see, shop or eat at. You can save yourself a ton of taxi money and time. Though London is tricky to navigate if you stay within .5-2 miles of your desired plans, you will be fine. If you are not keen on navigating on your own, you aren’t alone! I asked one of my taxi drivers how long it would take for someone moving to London to be able to navigate the city and he said, “Three years for most people to learn. Though it is not uncommon for people to spend five years learning how to navigate London.” With that in mind I’m super glad that I stayed at the Mayfair Hotel because it was very close to the world famous shopping on Bond Street, luxury shopping store Harrods and famous landmark Buckingham Palace. All the aforementioned places were on my list to visit.

WHERE TO EXPERIENCE A MAGNIFICENT HIGH TEA: 

There are just too many things I loved at my stay at the Mayfair Hotel and the high tea at the Mayfair is most certainly one of the experiences I loved. I researched high tea options in London and got quite lucky that I happened to be staying at a location with a highly regarded tea time. The platter of finger sandwiches, scones and desserts were worth an encore.

WHERE TO AVOID HAVING HIGH TEA: 

You can say that I was really serious about experiencing tea time in London as I booked two team times the same day. Sadly, my second tea time at St. James Hotel was horrendous. This was quite shocking because, during my research, I found out that people suggest the prestigious St, James Hotel tea-time. It was one of the worst culinary experiences in my life thus far. The service was sub-par, and the server was not that attentive during tea time.Furthermore, the finger sandwiches were quite salty and the sweets insanely sweet. There was nothing to write home about! Avoid at all cost.

WHERE TO HAVE AN AMAZING DINER: 

The Wolseley gets many check marks from me. ✅ Beautiful interior! ✅ Outstanding table service! ✅ Food was divine! ✅ Deserts were magnificent! Whether you are a fish lover or red meat lover, you will surely find something to suit your palate.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: 

I definitely had a great time people watching on Bond Street and in Harrods. I would grab a coffee and saunter to take in the street fashion trends of the moment. I took notes in my phone of outfits I want to try. For example, I noticed a lot of women in London would throw on a real or faux fur on top of hoodies, I saw tons of fedoras worm with unique hat belts and tons of amazing unique tights with shimmer, pearls and a vast array of other adornments. There was no shortage of fashion of statements and inspiration. I was there living for it.

LONDON TRIP RECAP: 

Correction: The Wolseley*

LONDON SHOPPING HAUL

CLICK THE LINK: 👉 http:// https://youtu.be/iT_acsLCtaU

WHAT I WORE: 

12/16/2018

12/17/2018

12/18/2018

12/19/2018

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BLOG POST #7 When is the last time you said, “I FELT amazing!” ???

For me it was a just last week. I fell in love again with FELT! I’m not talking about the material, I’m talking about the female owned and operated boutique located in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. FELT has a special place in my heart because it was the first high-end boutique that I felt at ease. (Cute, no? )

This video was shot and edited by Cortland G.
You can reach him via his instagram: @hightech_corto
You can reach him via his email: hightechcorto@gmail.com

Anticipate drinking one glass of champagne, having a few laughs, looking at Catherine aka Cat (co-owner) or Paige (lead-stylist) like they are crazy when they tell you to try on something on that you wouldn’t usually try on and being introduced to fellow shoppers who quickly become your impromptu shopping buddies for a few hours.

Remember the first time you….

…FELT your heart pitter patter after you learned how to master walking in heels.

…FELT heard and listened to by a significant other.

…FELT your heart burst with joy when you got a compliment on your outfit.

…FELT like you could rule the world when you found a pair of jeans that fit you.

These are the feelings that you feel not just the first time, but every time you shop at FELT. If you haven’t experienced these firsts that I’ve listed, then you need to make your way to FELT to experience a metamorphosis. You may not think you are sequin girl, snake print girl but the beauty about all things in life is that when you feel confident and surround yourself with people rooting for you, you in turn starting living your bravest life.

Blazer purchased from FELT:
Veronica Beard
Bodysuit purchased from FELT:
Good American

FELT is not just a place I buy clothes, rather a place that I buy the confidence and spark so I can shine my brightest.

What we wear shouldn’t be a display of how much money we have or career we have. What we wear is an opportunity to show our personality, our energy and our mindset for the day to the world. What we wear, also provides us with an opportunity to spark conversations with others. Most importantly, what we wear should bring joy to you and those who see you. When you wear joy, you provide an encouraging ray of light to others who will hopefully, in turn, go on to live their brightest life.

❤️ FELT TRY ON HAUL ❤️

Shot and edited by ME

📝 HAUL NOTES 📝

Veronica Beard denim dickey that you can add any dickey style blazer.
Good American Bodysuit: 0(xs)-5(2xl)
When you get chance make your way over to FELT to meet Cat and Paige!

👇They are located at 👇

2317 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
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BLOG POST #6 MY FAVORITE TRAVEL HANDBAG OF THE MOMENT + MAJOR Giveaway!

If you are looking for a travel handbag 👜 👜 👜  for your upcoming holiday vacation, work trip or for your everyday life → I HIGHLY RECOMMENDED the Sherri bag created by Tumi.

The features I love 💕 :

  • 3 zipper compartments 
  • Built-in ID holder 
  • Built-in coin pouch 
  • Built-in key chain 

Pros: 

  • The amount of pockets and compartments to help keep you organized.
  • You have the ability to use the Sherri as a handbag or as a crossbody bag. 
  • The leather is really soft and the bag doesn’t require being broken in. 
  • It’s a super sleek looking bag that can go with almost any outfit!
  • This is a secure purse! I didn’t feel like I was at risk of losing anything or that anyone could easily reach in my purse. 
  • Tumi products are high quality so you know you are getting the most bang for your buck💰 because they put their products through 30 unique tests such as: oil resistance, clean ability, drop test and tear strength. 
  • Tumi’s customer service is unparralled and if you have any issue they will try to find a solution.

“When you purchase a TUMI, you also purchase a promise that if something goes wrong, we’ll fix it. If it breaks, we’ll repair it. If it’s lost, we’ll help you track it down.” 

Tumi

Cons: 

  • You can’t fit your janitor keys. 😂 
  • You can’t fit odd sized items. 
  • You can’t fit items bigger than a cellphone. 

The PROS outweigh the CONS for me. I like that this bag forces me to think about what I need and helps me organize those items with ease.h


💰YSL + TUMI GIVEAWAY RULES💰

💥 MANY BONUS ENTRIES💥

⭐️ RUNS 2/12/2019-2/28/2019 ⭐️

YSL + TUMI BAG GIVEAWAY ($3000+ VALUE)
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BLOG POST #5 FOREVER 21 HAUL + 21 TIPS

I know you read the headline and immediately felt a bit overwhelmed. 

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If you want to navigate the massive amounts of clothing racks in Forever 21 stores and the 100+ pages of items on their website ➡️  you need a P-L-A-N. 

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It’s clear that Forever 21 knows how to maximize space-➡️ they put items on top of tables, under tables, on racks, in bins and so on.

If you have a plan, you can avoid spending hours in store and online shopping! 

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NOTE:  I do realize that fast fashion retailers are contributing to the rising issue of environmental waste! When I shop, I do my best to not buy fast fashion if I can help it. I do think it is super duper important that we all do our part to protect the earth. The reality is many of us can’t afford to buy cashmere, silk and other premiums materials often. 

I have Forever 21 items in my closet that have lasted me years and others not so long. When you know how to shop at Forever 21 you can keep items in your closet longer.  That is why I’ve decided to share my tips so that you can find and keep Forever 21 pieces a bit longer. 

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Tip 1 (online / in-store): Ask yourself-> “What am I shopping for?” (A skirt for a weekend brunch, a holiday sweater, shorts for the beach or so on.) 

Tip 2 (online / in-store): Write down the item you are looking for and take note of any special considerations. (Does it need to be a certain color? Does it need to be dressy? Does it need to be casual?)  

Tip 3 (online / in-store): Make a folder on your phone with inspiration photos! If you have no idea what you are looking for, see what your favorite celebrities are wearing or search the #style tag on Instagram. If you have some inspiration pictures when you walk in / shop online you can narrow your search. If your inspiration photos include lots of shimmer or animal print you’d want to look for shimmer or animal print in store. When shopping online you’d type in search bar shimmer or animal print. 

MY MOST RECENT F21 SHOPPING TRIP INSPIRATION PHOTOS:


Tip 4 (in-store): If you can shop when they first open during the week! I promise it will be clean and there are usually very few people who shop early during the weekday!

Tip 5 (in-store): BYOM! Bring your own music. The music they play in store can be annoying as heck ➡️ so I make a shopping playlist and listen to it while shopping. 

Tip 6: (in-store): If you are afraid of spending way toooo much 💴 . Give yourself an allowance! Decide before you go how much you want to bring and don’t bring your card! 

Tip 7 (in-store): Ask for a tour of the store! Find any employee and ask them to explain the sections of the store. Examples of sections include: athletic section, kids and contemporary.

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Tip 8 (online) : Touch the items does it feel cheap or luxurious? I always try items that feel nice to the touch

Tip 9 ( in-store): Can you wear the item 3-5 different ways? Imagine how you’d wear it with items in your closet! 

Tip 10 (online / in-store): Check the fabric tag! I look for cotton and polyester. I especially like polyester because it maintains shape. 

Tip 11 (online / in-store): If you struggle with step 10. Check the price tag. The “nicer” clothing items will usually cost more than $20 dollars. I find myself buying items 24.90 +!

Tip 12 (online / in-store): If you are over 18 you should ALWAYS check the premium/contemporary section for the higher quality materials, mature styles and adult sizing. 

Tip 13 (online / in-store): Know that this store is mostly for teens so items like dresses are short in most sections. So don’t be afraid to size up 1-2 sizes to get the extra length. 

Tip 14 (online / in-store): When you find an item grab two different sizes if you are unsure. It can be a challenge to get an associate to go grab another size especially if it is busy.  It is easier to bring two sizes with you.  Same goes for online order two different sizes. Remember->you can easily return online items in-store as long as it is not an online only item!

Tip 15 (online / in-store): If you like something and the material is decent don’t be afraid to alter it. I have purchased items in premium section that I get tailored for a better fit. 

Tip 16 (online / in-store): Don’t take the shopping bag they offer! You will fill up the basket and your wallet will drain. 😢  Only try on what you can bear to carry. 

Tip 17 (online / in-store):  If you are not sure if you like an item or the lighting in fitting room is poor ➡️  buy the item and try it on at home. (If you don’t like it you can return items for your MONEY back! I ❤️ that they made this change.  Please be sure you have receipt and the tags are still attached to the item. NOTE: Undergarments, swimsuits and jewelry can’t be returned!) 

Tip 18 (online / in-store): Check the seams to see if they bubble when you put the item on. You want seams on sweaters, skirts, dresses and so on to be flat when you have them on.

Tip 19 (online / in-store): Check the armpits and other areas for holes, rips, or loose threads before you take the tags off. 

Tip 20 (online / in-store): Hand 🖐 wash and lay items flat to dry. You can also put items in the washer and lay flat to dry. (You can stretch the life of the garment this way!)

Tip 21 (online / in-store): Sign-up for Forever 21 emails to receive online discount codes and in-store promotion info! Save that 💵 honey!!! 

RESULTS OF MY F21 HAUL: 

ORANGE SKIRT from Yaa on Vimeo.

FULL HAUL VIDEO: 

“I apologize for the random blurry parts in the video above!”

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BLOG POST #4 #LazyChefLayeredLady Tip

Here is the thing I’m really impatient when it comes to all things food. I really hate waiting. 😭 This is particularly true after I finish a tough workout. What am I even typing right now->I’M LIKE THIS WITH EVERYTHING. Every time I purchase items from Amazon I hope they appear in a matter of minutes. 

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“Where is it?!!!”

So when it comes to eating a meal or snack I’m the type of person that wants items in my kitchen that make eating easy and healthy. This week I stumbled across a product in Target that matched this criteria. I say stumbled because I just went in for 2 things. 😭 

 You know how it goes, you go to Target to buy 2 things and of course you ended up with 20! 

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“I only need 2 things!”

I came across THRIVE pre-made smoothie mix.

“[THRIVE] was founded in the Los Angeles home of entrepreneur Oliver Bogner. At 24 years old, Oliver was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer. Oliver wanted a healthy option that would give him the boost he needed to fuel his on-the-go lifestyle, even while receiving treatment. He found the solution in the home-made fruit smoothies he made in his kitchen. Oliver has been cancer free for one full year, and now he wants to empower others to live their healthiest lives.”

https://readytothrive.com/pages/about

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PRODUCT:

  1. NO ADDED SUGAR!
  2. 50 cals for 1/2 the container (8 oz)
  3. 100 cals for the whole container (16 oz)
  4. 1/2 container less than 13g of carbs
  5. Whole container less than 26g of carbs! 

The smoothie blend options: Glow, Energy, Green, Defend and Rise! 

https://www.target.com/s?searchTerm=thrive+ready+to+blend+smoothie
(I don’t make any commission if you click this link) 

Here comes the part that might make you cringe -> The price = $5 dollars. 

Let me justify this! 

  1. Here is the thing for $5 dollars it comes with a variety of REAL fruits and REAL veggies-> so for me it is worth it. I know I could easily spend more than that at Starbucks or Jamba. 
  2. The variety allows me to choose what smoothie I’m in the mood for. 
  3. If I struggle to reach my protein goal, I make 1-2 of these smoothies a day that include my protein of choice. (😋)
  4. They keep me super full! (👋BYE CRAVINGS) 
  5. If I blend with ice it turns out like a sorbet! (😀HEALTHY DESSERT)

This week I’ve been obsessing my latest smoothie creation! Using my Nutribullet I mixed the THRIVE Green Smoothie contents with my ISOPURE Citrus Lemonade protein powder .

PSSST->  The ISOPURE Lemonade Protein Powder has 20 grams of protein per scoop! So if I have 2 scoops a day (40 grams) that covers a third of my protein intake! 

Now I know you are like that doesn’t sound tasty. Let me tell you it made me feel like I was sitting in a beach chair in the Bahamas submerging my toes in the sand. It turned out to be a great tropical smoothie! 

“I need 120 grams of protein a day! Smoothies help me reach my goal!”

CLICK PLAY BUTTON ABOVE! 

If you are interested in learning new tasty healthy meals I suggest you check out my friends IG: @kellifiercefitness She has given me great suggestions over the years! 

This is Ashley! If you are looking for a trainer or nutrition coach
 I #HIGHLYRECOMMEND HER! 
http://www.kellifiercefitness.com

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BLOG POST #3 MMMMMKKKAAAYY Michael Kors Vibes 💯

Usually when one thinks about Michael Kors one thinks about logo heavy totes or the higher end pieces that celebs werqqq on the red carpet. Well I’m here with a big cup of coffee to wake you up to the awesomeness that is Michael Kors Lifestyle clothing. YASSSS clothing! The price points and style are ON POINT. 

“Insider tip: Not all lifestyle stores are created equal. If you go to the more high-end malls that have a Michael Kors lifestyle store you will see amazing offerings! “

 Just when I thought the Dad shoe trend was about the fall off and die. Michael Kors came through with CPR/AED to revive my interests. They are super comfortable! 
OBSESSSSSEEEDDD #sorrynotsorry that my inner teeny bopper is coming through! 
Chunky Trainer:
https://www.michaelkors.com/olympia-leather-mixed-media-trainer/_/R-US_43R9OLFS1A
Bag: 
https://www.michaelkors.com/whitney-large-quilted-tri-color-leather-convertible-shoulder-bag/_/R-US_30H8GWHL7K?color=2342
Flat Trainer:
https://www.michaelkors.com/whitney-tri-color-leather-sneaker/_/R-US_43R9WHFS3L?color=1663

(The above links are not affiliate links! I make no commission if you clink.) 

Talk about living that coordination life! This bag is great by itself and so are the shoes. BUT TOGETHER?!! Yes, together 💯 % AMAZING. If you aren’t about the coordinated life, it’s totally okay! What I appreciate is that you can easily wear these items solo with either burgundy, pink, cream, grey or taupe. 

CLICK PLAY BUTTON ABOVE

“DID YOU BUY THEM?”

I didn’t end up buying them because they didn’t have my shoe size in this colorway. I did end up getting the black ones!

CLICK PLAY BUTTON ABOVE
https://www.michaelkors.com/olympia-leather-mixed-media-trainer/_/R-US_43R9OLFS1A
(Not an affiliate link! I make no commission if you clink.) 

++PLUS++ I found something that made me admit that I got a furrrreal problem with buying faux fur. I tripped over my tongue and my heart was racing when I tried on this beautiful red faux fur jacket.  I had to get it! 

Other voice in my head-> “Girl the whole dang store is 25% OFF!” 

One voice in my head -> “Girl! You need to stop buying!” 

Well we know which voice won out. 

CLICK PLAY BUTTON ABOVE
https://www.michaelkors.com/faux-fur-jacket/_/R-US_MF82HSA51U?color=2326
(Not an affiliate link! I make no commission if you clink.) 

I would have never purchased this red coat full priced.                

Especially since the jacket is: 

  1. Cropped!
  2. Bright Red!
  3. I would wear 1-2x a month during winter!
  4. Cost per wear would be toooo high for me.  

 I mentioned in a previous post that when I’m deciding if I will buy an item I like to think of how many ways I can wear the garment. That helps me understand if I will get a good price per wear. So if I buy a coat for $100 bucks and wear it ten times the price per wear is $10. If I wear it one time, I wouldn’t feel good at all. ❤️ 

“Maybe I’m so obsessed with Michael Kors because we share the same birthday month?”  #leo

WATCH FULL HAUL VIDEO ABOVE! 

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BLOG POST#2 Don’t fur-get-about-it!

This Akira faux fur coat is LIFE! It is purple, dramatic and I love it. 😍     Have you ever tried something on because you think it is utterly crazy and end up liking it?

MEEEEE TOOOO! All the time. That is how this wonderful coat and white cowboy boots from Akira Chicago ended up moving into my closet. I hope for a long time! 🙏 

“Do I look like Barney?”

https://www.shopakira.com/clothing/jackets-coats/baby-its-getting-cold-fur-coat
(Not an affiliate link! I make no commission if you clink.) 
https://www.shopakira.com/clothing/jackets-coats/baby-its-getting-cold-fur-coat
(Not an affiliate link! I make no commission if you clink.) 

The first 6 thoughts in my head: 

  1. “Puh-lease girl where are you going to wear this?” 
  2.  “Is this toooo over the top?”
  3. “Is that woman over there judging me?” 
  4. “Should I wait for it to go on sale?” 
  5. “Do I look like a Barney?” 
  6. “How many times will I wear this?” 

I took it off and put in on about 5x’s and I noticed every time I put it on I smiled.

 “WHO doesn’t like to smile?” 

 By the time I made the decision the rampant questions in my head ceased. I loved the cheesy smile I had.  WHO doesn’t like to smile? 

I mean ok! Smiling is not everyones thing. It is my thing. 😃 

“Fashion is about suspense and surprise and fantasy. It’s not about rules.” –Wolfgang Joop


Sometimes you just have to buy it and not be too concerned about other people or the voice inside your head.  Clothing is meant to spark joy, laughter, help strike up a conversation, show your personality, creativity and more. 

https://www.shopakira.com/clothing/jackets-coats/baby-its-getting-cold-fur-coat
(Not an affiliate link! I make no commission if you clink.) 

I challenge you to wear something in your closet this week that makes you a bit 😱 . (Comment below what the item was and how you felt.) Channel your inner five-year old when you get you don’t know what to wear. He or she will give you a nod of approval and tell you that the sparkly socks, fun blazer, velvet blue pants, fun flat are A-OK 👌 to wear!