What’s In My Bag?

I’m a pretty simple person when it comes to what I need to constantly carry with me in my day-to-day life, especially when I’m just out running errands.

I use a black Kate Spade saddle bag, that I bought in 2016. I love my Kate Spade purses because they are such high quality and last forever when taken care of correctly. It’s the perfect size to hold all my necessities.

As for what I actually carry, my most important item is my Kate Spade keychain wallet. When I keep my essential wallet items attached to my car and house keys, it makes it impossible for me to leave anything important at home (drivers license, credit cards, etc.) especially since I don’t take my purse with me every day. On school days especially, I just grab my backpack and my keys, and I’m out the door.

I also like to carry sunglasses with me. I don’t need to drive with sunglasses on sunny days, but it never hurts (and adds a lot to my aesthetic most of the time.) I got the pair I’m using currently from Target, and I think they are so cute!

I don’t carry a makeup bag or anything like that with me when I go out, but I do typically have my two most important touch-up makeup items: concealer and lipgloss. Right now, I’m using Clinique powder concealer (I have normal-to-oily skin) and Victoria’s Secret lip gloss.

My final item I like to keep in my bag is a handful of mints. I hate the feeling of having bad breath, and much prefer mints to gum. Despite being so sugary, they’re relatively low-calorie, so I don’t feel guilty eating one to two (or sometimes three…)

And that’s all I usually keep on me for day-to-day errands! I adjust what I’m carrying based on if I’m traveling, going out with friends, etc., but these items are usually the staple.

I hope you enjoyed reading about what’s in my bag, and check back soon for new lifestyle posts from me!


A Leopard Can’t Change Its Spots

As per usual, I completely misread the weather forecast and dressed totally wrong for what the day would have in store. This morning started out as 50 degrees, so I figured a short sleeve shirt would be fine, as long as it continued to warm up throughout the day. But by the time I got out of my 10:30 class, it was 40 degrees, and still dropping. I really regretted not wearing a black sweater instead, but it was such a cute outfit that really it was all okay!

I got these leopard pants while out shopping with my mom last Thursday. They’re meant to be dress pants for work, but I thought they were playful enough that I could wear them day-to-day if I rolled up the hem and cropped them a bit.


Bandana: Black Bandana – Hobby Lobby
Shirt: Women’s Fitted Short Sleeve Crew T-Shirt – Target
Necklace: Scorpio Pendant Necklace – J. Crew
Pants: Leopard Skinny Ankle Pants – Target
Shoes: Advantage Sneaker – Adidas

Despite completely misjudging the weather, I loved this outfit and will definitely be keeping it in my rotation! Check back soon for my next #OOTD.


Pre-K Days

Some days, I look back and appreciate the cute outfits my mom put me in when I was younger. I see what I was wearing then, and realize that it’s actually not that different from what I would wear today. And that got me thinking… what if I took some of my favorite outfits from when I was younger, and recreated them with an adult twist?

Today’s #OOTD is a recreation of my Pre-K school photo. I actually didn’t have to do any shopping for this one- I already had the shirt and overall dress in my closet. I borrowed the blue scrunchie from my roomie in place of the classic blue bow.

I had so much fun recreating this iconic look from my past, and I can’t wait to recreate more in the future! Keep checking back to see more then-and-now outfit modernizations!


Lazy Saturday

I don’t have class on Friday this semester, so it’s basically like I get 2 Saturdays back-to-back. I try to do a lot of my work on Friday when I’m still in a “school week” mindset, and that mindset in turn provides me with a weekend day that I can pretty much spend doing whatever I want.

I tend to keep my Saturdays pretty casual. I sleep in until 9 (yes, I consider that sleeping in) and then spend my morning catching up on social media, watching the newest “Say Yes to the Dress” episode while eating my breakfast, and getting in an at-home workout. Being active early in the day is imperative for my Saturdays because it keeps me from feeling like I didn’t accomplish anything during the rest of my day.

While my mornings are pretty uniform, my afternoons are super varied. This is my day to spend entirely doing what I want, so it changes week-to-week. Sometimes, I make the trek to the Target shopping center and do some clothes shopping. Other days, I stay at home and binge watch some Netflix (probably Gossip Girl, if we’re being honest.) And if I’m feeling social, sometimes I’ll make the afternoon an adventure and go out with friends.

But no matter what I’m doing, I always make an effort to get dressed in an outfit I like that makes me feel good. Something I’ve learned is that when I stay in pajamas all day, I feel worse about myself than when I intentionally take time to pick out what I’m going to wear that day.

I appreciate my extra “me-day” so much. It really allows me to unwind and mentally prepare for the week ahead. What day do you dedicate to your “me time”?


It’s Always Sunny

Yesterday was literally such a good day! My mom came into town to watch my concert band concert and we were able to spend the afternoon together beforehand. I don’t get to go home much in the spring so I am so thankful when my parents take time out of their day to come to me.

I knew we would be doing some clothes shopping so I wanted to wear something that would be easy to get on and off as we went to different stores. The weather also got up to 50 degrees for the first time in a few days, so I wanted to give my legs a breather and not confine them to jeans for a day. This shirt is kinda short so I wasn’t sure how well it would stay tucked in my skirt, but it did really well and I ended up loving how this look turned out!


Sunglasses: Cateye Sunglasses – Target
Earrings: Smooth Metal C Hoop Earrings – Target
Turleneck: Yellow Turtleneck (similar)
Skirt: Lace-Up Skirt (similar)
Shoes: Advantage Sneaker – Adidas

I hope everyone has a great day, and keep checking in to see my next #OOTD!


Overall, A Good Day

Today is shaping up to be a pretty good day. Even though we didn’t get another day off from school due to the ice storm, it is supposed to be a little warmer today, which is always welcome. Tonight is Bachelor Night for me and my friends (if you’ve already seen week 7, no spoilers please!) and that alone makes Wednesday one of my favorite days of the week. No matter how my day is going, there is nothing that boxed wine and Colton Underwood can’t fix.

I got these overalls for Christmas and I’m obsessed with them. I love them paired with a sweater or turtleneck, but I’m excited for consistently warmer weather so I can try them out with some t-shirts as well.


Sweater: Seafoam Green Sweater (similar)
Overalls: Skinny Denim Overalls – Macy’s
Shoes: Advantage Sneaker – Adidas

I hope everyone has a good day, like mine looks like it will be!


Wintry Mix

In the cruelest twist of fate, OU cancelled class because of severe weather after I was already done for the day. Despite having to go to class when I was hoping for a full day of school closure, I did get to try out this cute outfit, so it wasn’t all bad.

I’m a big fan of berets and French style in general, and I thought this was a good combination for a potentially snowy day. (Once school was cancelled, I promptly drove home and traded it for pajamas, though. I’m human.)


Hat: Black Beret (similar)
Sweater: Black Sweater (similar)
Scarf: Plaid Scarf (similar)
Jeans: Rockstar 24/7 Jeggings – Old Navy
Boots: Ellie Waterproof Knee High Riding Boot – BLONDO

Stay warm, and check back soon for my next #OOTD!


Counting Calories and Achieving Your Health/Fitness Goals

While restricting daily calories to extremely low numbers is definitely unhealthy, regularly monitoring your calorie intake isn’t. In fact, in my experience it’s one of the only ways I can consistently reach my health and fitness goals!

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, so please don’t take this as if I’m giving you personalized diet advice, because I promise I’m in no way qualified to do that. This is just what’s worked for me personally in the past and the themes I’ve consistently seen through research on the subject. I recommend going to see a nutritionist or talking to your doctor before making any major change in your diet, and of course what works for me may not always be what works for you.

First of all, I’m going to start by saying that eating in a calorie deficit is the only way to lose weight, as long as you don’t have any medical conditions which either enhance or obstruct weight loss, which is why tracking your calories is so important. I have always used an app called MyFitnessPal. You can’t counteract a bad diet with exercise, so you need to have an idea of what you’re putting in your body to achieve a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit is whenever you eat less calories than you naturally burn off in a day. You can find an estimation of your daily expenditure here. Once you know your average of what your body burns in a typical day, subtract 500 calories from that, and that’s around where you should be eating if you want to see weight loss at a healthy rate. (Just make sure you don’t eat less than 1200 a day, because that can harm your health in the long term.)

Personally, I stick to around 1300 a day if I’m trying to lose weight. Some days my average is more, and some days I my average is less, especially if I got a workout in that morning. But for me, 1300 is the number I stick to. It’s all about balance! It’s the long-term average that matters.

As you can see, both weeks had days where I was over my 1300 calorie goal. But the average daily calorie intake throughout the two weeks is 1314, which is right around where I want to be.

Before consistently counting calories, I was the victim of the yo-yo diet, which is when you lose weight super super quickly through extreme diet restriction, only to gain it back just as quickly because of a period of binge eating. It sounds counterintuitive, but consistently counting calories (but not restricting too much) helped me overcome that. 1300 calories is a level that is sustainable for me when my goal is to lose some weight. By filling my day with healthy, filling foods I never feel overly hungry or tired.

Despite seeing substantial weight loss through the past 8 months, (something I’ll touch on more in a later blog post) it was at a slow enough rate that it was sustainable for me. Yes, I lost 35 pounds, but it was over the course of about 32 weeks, which puts me at just over a pound a week. (For reference, a healthy rate to lose weight is 1-2 pounds a week.) I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m getting there. And once I get to my goal weight, I’ll increase my calorie intake to a level that helps me sustain that, and takes me out of the calorie deficit range.

Calorie counting isn’t bad. It’s the only thing that helps me be consistent.

I have terrible self-awareness when it comes to what I eat, so tracking it is the only way for me to keep an accurate estimate in my mind of how much I’m actually consuming. I’m the type of person where if I’m not tracking what I’m eating, I’m probably gaining weight because I tend to overeat. So that’s why I choose to monitor my intake, even if what I eat isn’t always perfect.

Monitoring and budgeting my calories is what helps me live a life I enjoy while also being able to meet my weight-loss goals. I can still go out to eat- I regularly enjoy a Whataburger dinner with my littles or a Torchy’s date with my best friend. I can eat what I want, in moderation, and still advance myself towards the body and health that I want.

Calorie counting, when done right, is not unhealthy. And counting everything I consume doesn’t make it an obsession. It’s just a tool I use to help me shape my body into the way I want it to be. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking something is unhealthy just because it takes some self-discipline and time to get used to it.

If you have more questions on this topic, I am probably not the right person to answer them. However, I would love to help direct you to a source that can answer any questions you may have. Just let me know.


P.S. If you don’t want to count calories, this isn’t me saying you absolutely should. I advocate for self love and body positivity for everyone. I just know for me personally, I feel more confident when I’m at a weight I like. And if you’re like that too, I wanted to share some tips on how the routine that works for me.

My Fitness Routine: February 2019

Fitness has become a huge part of my life recently. I aim to work out 4-5 times a week, simply because it makes me happy and feel great about myself for the rest of the day.

For the month of February, it’s been so cold that even the 60 second run down to my apartment gym sounds miserable. So instead, I’ve taken to doing all of my workouts in my bedroom!

A specific genre of workouts that I’ve fallen in love with recently are dance workouts. I find all my workouts on YouTube, and the channel I’ve found with the best dance workout videos is Dance Fitness with Jessica. She has tons of songs from all different genres, so it wasn’t hard for me to compile my own playlist full of songs I like. I’m not a great dancer, but in the comfort of my own bedroom it’s fun and gets me active.

If Dance Fitness with Jessica isn’t your style, then I recommend looking up Just Dance playlists on YouTube- seriously. I added a few of my favorite #throwbacks from Just Dance 2/3 to my workout playlist and cycle through them occasionally. They’re super easy to follow along and achievable for people of any skill level! I have very little coordination, but can still pull them off pretty well.

My favorite throwbacks from the Just Dance era that I enjoy incorporating into my workout routine are:

Dance fitness has become such a fun way to get my body moving without it feeling like typical cardio! And there’s way more resources out there than the ones I mentioned, so if dance fitness interests you, there’s more out there than just these options.

If you give this workout style a try, be sure to let me know what you think!


Tino’s Italian Eats and Sweets

One of my favorite places to eat in Norman is a restaurant called Tino’s Italian Eats and Sweets. Run by two brothers, Tino’s is a Philidelphia-inspired deli that offers a wide range of food options, from Philly cheesesteaks to Italian ice.

Personally, my go-to order is a soft pretzel and french fries, and the difference maker is the “white whiz”, the cheese dip that comes with it. It’s so good, I could drink it- and once, on a dare, I actually did.

But beyond the food, I love Tino’s because of its atmosphere. There’s always 80s music playing (my favorite), and the workers really make an effort to get to know their regular customers. I love being greeted by Valentino Pistilli, one of the owners, every time I come in. He never fails to greet me when I come in, check on me as I eat, and say goodbye as I’m heading out the door.

I rarely go to Tino’s by myself. Even for a “small,” the french fry portions are huge and I prefer to split them with someone. It’s also a great place to come and work on a project or paper with a friend; they have free Wifi and the casual atmosphere makes it a great place to study.

If you live in the Norman area, I highly recommend stopping by Tino’s on Main Street and giving it a try. And if you get the chance to go, make sure you let me know what you think!