Friday, October 14, 2016

Running Hacks for Beginners

Happy Fri-YAY, y'all! Has this just been the craziest week ever or is it just me? I definitely planned to have this post up earlier in the week, but then you know we had a hurricane and news on top of our news and some how today is Friday. Anyways, with all that being said I am so excited to be sharing my experiences and some of my running hacks today that made getting into running 20 times easier! However please take my hacks as they come from my experience so they may vary, and of course please consult your doctor prior to exercising if you have questions or concerns - your health comes first. Without further ado, lets get right in. 

And if you have any tips to add - please leave them in the comments below! :)

Make a goal // Set a goal - y'all know I am all about some goal planning! The best way to start a new habit is to set your intentions and stick to them. Do you want to participate in a race? Be able to reach a certain milestone? For me, I went from sitting on a couch to signing up for a half marathon mostly because I really wanted to go back to Disney World. When you set a goal for running I highly recommend signing up for a 5k to start with, they're very casual events (with a lot of walkers depending on your mood that day) plus nine times out of ten you'll at least walk away with a tee shirt and free breakfast. 

Have a great playlist // Seriously guys this helps so much! When you have a great playlist it'll wake you up and make you more energized during your run. My taste seem to change just about every day but lately it's been a lot of Chainsmokers, Hamilton, and Disney music. I will say though if you're looking for a great playlist to run to this soul cycle playlist from Hallie at Corals & Cognacs is my all time favorite! (I've got it set up down below for you to listen) I am so wanting to take a trip to Chicago just so I can participate in one of her classes, from her snaps they always seem amazing.

Find an app that works for you // With my goal in mind, I started looking for apps that would (A) teach me how to run a half marathon and (B) record my runs because you know, when you see you ran X amount of miles that given day or time it's pretty darn cool! After doing some research, I decided to start the couch to 5k program which takes you from quite literally sitting on the couch to running a 5k. Let me tell you guys, it whipped me into shape before I knew what was happening. I would highly recommend giving it a try if you're serious about getting into running more often given its a nine week program. 

While I purchased the bundle they offered to get you from couch to half marathon, there are a lot of decent dupes and print outs out there you can find for free. Some other great apps out there to help track your runs and your progress include MapMyRun, Runkeeper, and Nike Run Club.

Lets be friends on NRC! You can find me at

Alternate running and walking // This little tip is a big one I learned from Couch to 5k and that's to take breaks between running and walking. Start out small and work your way up, run for thirty seconds then walk for a minute and a half. Before you know it you'll go from struggling in those thirty seconds to being able to run a straight mile. Because running is such an intense cardio workout, you need to make a point to know your body and know your limits - and when you can and can't push them. Don't rush and don't worry if you can't run a continuous mile that first week - it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Invest in active wear // While I'm a sucker for all kinds of active wear, if you're just trying to get into being more active you really only need to invest in two key pieces for your runs - sports bras and shoes. You heard me ladies, you can skimp on just about anything else but without these two you can't set yourself up for success. Good quality athletic sneakers not only help with your stride, but a proper fit and good support can help you avoid injuries and enjoy your runs. Sports bras are self explanatory regardless of your size, some days you just need some max support ladies! I've linked my favorite picks below for you to shop -
Hydrate // If you've ever wondered what role water has in your body's day-to-day functions you should google it right now because it's downright amazing. Keeping yourself hydrated has a million benefits, one of which helping your body to perform and regulate during workouts. You can read more about that here, and having apps to monitor what your taking in can be a big help in understanding what your body needs. 

Find your #fitspiration // Last but not the least, having a good influence and surrounding yourself with others achieving similar goals can have a huge impact on how you choose to treat your body and exercise. My BFF's and I routinely work out together and having them there not only encourages me to get out and run, but makes me more accountable to days when I'm cheating myself. Instagram and Snapchat are also great for this, and I love seeing a community of women get out there  and make an effort to improve their lifestyle through exercise. Pinterest is also a great resource if you're ever needing fitspiration to get out and go. And lets be real here for a minute y'all, if I can get up and do it trust me you can too - it's starts with one step!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Varsity Vibes

I may or may not be listening to the High School Musical soundtrack while writing this post. 

Jacket (similar) // Dress (similar) // Shoes // Watch // Bangles // Fitbit
Today I am beyond excited to share with y'all this quick back to school look! With fall fast approaching the temps here in North Carolina have been somewhere between shorts and a tank top and a light sweater. While during the day time it's usually way too warm to be wearing the jacket, but I find having something to throw over when I'm indoors is perfect as I'm just about always freezing.

It was seriously so much fun shooting this look. If you follow along on Snapchat (@pickyourbeau) you might remember I went back to my old high school with my best friend of ten years for these photos, talk about a serious blast from the past! There's a whole new parking lot, and new stadium signs, but other than that walking through the stadium definitely felt like yesterday (it's only been four years, that's not that long right?).

I picked up this dress just before my birthday and it's just an easy thing to throw on and go, and I'm hoping it'll come in as super versatile this fall with some boots and a cozy cardigan! I unfortunately wasn't able to find the exact dress, but I found a similar style with the same brand so that you can recreate the look. This jean jacket has been a big staple in my closet lately and I think I'll be able to use it year round. 

I am so excited to finally be in the fall season, I've already got a busy month planned ahead with two trips and lots of fun content planned! What are you looking forward to this season? Let me know!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Work Wednesday 9/21

Happy Humpday! Today on the blog I am so excited to present a new series which I'm calling "Work Wednesday" which I'll be sharing what I'm working on / what/who is inspiring me, as well as what's on my radar for this week. If you end up liking the idea for this series, please comment and let me know what you think - I'm so excited to be back in the blogging game this month! 

This week I've been working on an outfit post I shot a few weeks ago and am planning to have up probably Friday. It was SO much fun to shoot because I ended up shooting it with my BFF from high school and we shot it at my old high school - with the High School Musical soundtrack playing in the background (#noregrets). It was seriously such a blast to the past though, like I know I graduated from high school in 2012 but I'm still in disbelief that my little brother now goes there and is in his Sophomore year. 

Have you guys seen this new marketing campaign from Cinga? I'm a sucker for good marketing and still getting over McDreamy's death on Grey's so I just about jumped out of my seat when I saw this commercial. Also, Scrubs and MASH just saying.

A few weeks ago I mentioned on Snapchat (if we're not friends we should be! @pickyourbeau) that the month of September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month when Kendra Scott did a proceeds sale benefitting childhood cancer research at MD Anderson. What I didn't mention is why that's such a near and dear cause to me, and that's because in May my little brother was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and has been continuing his treatment since. In the spirt of the month, St. Jude's is hosting a 5k run this weekend in Raleigh benefiting childhood cancer research and all of the wonderful work they do at St. Jude's. I am so excited to be participating in it with my mom and supporting a cause so close to home! You can see the rest of their run schedule here if you're interested in signing up for one or donating to the cause yourself. 

I'm a true believer that there is no better sign of fall than when you get the notification that the Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice latte is back. I'm so happy it's pumpkin season again y'all! I've already had a PSL of course, bought pumpkin spice creamer, had hot apple cider, and found my new favorite cereal with the pumpkin spice flavor of Frosted Mini Wheats! (Big thanks to Carly at TCP for the recommendation) My only complaint is that I seem to only be able to find them at Target. If you know of any other fall favorites I should try please let me know. 

Lately I've been doing a lot of driving lately so I've been listing to a mixture of Podcast and Audiobooks. Hands down favorite one is Sophia Amoruso's Girlboss Radio - each week she interviews a different girl boss and I swear after every podcast I am so inspired by all the incredible women from varying industries she interviews. Each episode is between thirty to forty five minutes trust me by the end of it you'll be feeling like SUCH a #girlboss! 

Last week Helene from Helene in Between hosted a free webinar all about Turbocharging your Traffic which was absolutely fabulous - but even better it turned me onto a blogging community she contributes to called Blog Boss Babe. I'm really, really trying to up my blog game and so I'm trying to take advantage of all of the great resources in the group - I'll keep y'all posted with updates! 

This is my last week of couch to 5k and I could not be more excited! I'm almost a third of the way there towards my half marathon goal - don't worry, I'll be sharing updates as well as some of the tips I've learned over the past two months soon on the blog. 

What have you been working on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

2016 Planners & 3 Tips for Achieving Your Goals

Happy Tuesday! Long time no chat. The past few weeks have been absolutely crazy and completely unexpected/unplanned. As much as you think you can plan and prepare for the unexpected I've learned recently just how much (or little) to say the least that you can. For starters the move to Charlotte is officially off and at least for the time being, I will be staying in my home town. But that's another story.

With the spirit of the new school year quickly approaching, today I wanted to share with you my planner picks for this year as well as my top tips for achieving your goals. If you've been following along for a while you might remember last year I had the Day Designer by Whitney English and Blue Sky. They've collaborated again this year (and are gorgeous, might I add) and you can pick it up at Target for under $20. This time around I treated myself to the classic Day Designer by Whitney English and while I definitely spent more on it (#guilty) but let me just say a week into using it I would gladly pay double. While I was a big fan of the Blue Sky collaboration, I live out of my planner and truly needed the entire page for my daily to-dos!

I'm also a big fan of the Lilly Pulitzer agenda collection (I've burned through two now), as well as the designs Band.o has released this year and I've linked a few of my favorites to shop through below.

If you asked me what the biggest thing I learned in school was I would 100% have to say it was not financial accounting, but how to set goals and execute them efficiently and effectively.

S.M.A.R.T Goals // I know I've mentioned these before somewhere, but this is critical to effective goal setting. S.M.A.R.T stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time sensitive. When setting a goal out for myself I always ask these questions:

Is my goal specific or general? Do I want to go to the gym three times a week and focus on a healthier diet including fruits and vegetables? Or do I want to be more active and try to eat better? It's important to set a specific standard for a clear expectation of what you are trying to achieve.

Is my goal measurable? I tend to base this a lot on progress and how I can understand the value of where I am at in my goal. The easiest example of this would be losing weight, have you lost five pounds or have you lost ten pounds? In this example the goal of losing weight would be measured by how many pounds you've made towards achieving your goal.

Is my goal attainable? Can I actually achieve this goal? Of course a goal is a goal, not a a mere normality or expectation but when setting a goal it's important to stop and think about if you should really invest your time and energy into a goal if that goal is unattainable.

Is my goal realistic? For me, this relates back to attainability. Am I really going to become a mermaid one day? Of course not (though it is definitely wishful thinking!) and so it makes no sense to set a goal of becoming a mermaid and waste my time on something completely unrealistic.

Is my goal time sensitive? When do I hope to accomplish this goal? Do I want to be done in one day, one month, or one year? The time frame is totally up to the goal you set out for yourself and the expectation you are holding yourself to with that goal in mind.

Write down and visualize your goals your goals // Has anyone seen the new Post-it commercial where the girl jumps up and places a post it saying she'll jump even higher tomorrow? It's well known that when you write down your goals you're more likely to achieve them because you're able to visualize and commit. There are tons of ways to do this between a post-it, notes on your phone, or my favorite by keeping my goals tightly bound in my planner.

Prioritize your goals // Needs versus wants. Needs versus wants. I always try to keep this as a mantra when planning out my goals for the week. What do I need to do and what do I want to do? From there I make a point to promise myself not to do the things I want to do until I have already completed the things I need to do. This way I'm not wasting time on task that aren't mandatory and missing big deadlines.

Last but not least, it's up to you to make it happen - so get out there and get goal setting! If you have any tips and/or planner recommendations for this year please let me know in the comments below. Have a great day y'all!

Friday, July 1, 2016

5 Necessities for Long and Strong Hair

Happy Friday! Today on the blog I am so excited to be sharing a collaboration with Kenra Professional all about the five things you absolutely NEED to get long & strong hair! Literally since I was seven years old I have struggled to get my hair to grow out and it seemed to always stop right at about my collar bone no matter what I did. Like it would just stop (please tell me I'm not the only one this happened to). I tried just about everything on Pinterest before I finally figured out the best thing you could do for your hair - stop washing it.

I know, I know it sounds gross and crazy and why would you ever not want to wash your hair. Seriously try it though, you're going to be amazed. 

By stop washing it, I mean stop washing it daily. Without bringing too much science into it, your hair naturally produces healthy oils and when you're washing out those oils every day it causes your hair to become weak and brittle. By washing it every few days you're allowing the oils to nourish your hair aka healthy hair = long and strong hair! I do however realize how gross day two and three hair can be however - and these five necessities will make sure you have that healthy hair before you know it.
  1. Dry Shampoo // Hands down number one thing on this list. I couldn't imagine trying to go a few days without washes not using dry shampoo. Some of my favorites include Dove and Baptiste, let me know if you have a go-to I should give a try!
  2. Shower Cap // There is something to be said for a good shower cap. Prior to getting serious about not washing every day I never gave any thought to investing in a shower cap. Now I can't imagine my life (or my shower) without one. I would check your local TJ Maxx or Target for a more affordable option if you're a first time shower cap user - you can find decent quality at a great price. I recently picked up a terry cloth version from Drybar and am super excited to use it.
  3. Pinch-less hair ties // You know those trendy hair ties without the actual elastic in them? That's what I mean. While I don't find them to be super practical with my hair when I'm trying to actually wear it, these are a major key for me when I'm throwing my hair up running errands or washing my face at night. The strain of an overly tight elastic can not only hurt you with that pinching feeling we all girls know too well, but it can cause serious damage to your hair causing it to break. 
  4. Wet Brush // Back to that key word - damage. Do you ever just look at your hair brush and wonder how that much hair came off of you and onto your brush? I used to be constantly at this point and still sometimes am shocked by just how much hair you loose naturally every day. Ever since I switched over from a paddle brush to a wet brush my hair has been significantly stronger and fuller. While it's designed to be used for wet hair (i.e. detangling when you get out of the shower) I use it daily and swear by it. I was always weary when people recommended it to me, I mean how much can a brush make a difference? Trust me y'all - it's worth the hype. 
  5. Kendra Platinum Revive System //  I was so excited at the chance to review this line as I was already a huge fan of the Kenra Blow Dry Spray (it literally dries your hair in half the time = less damage!) I've been using this system for about two months now and my hair has never been stronger. Impressed would be an understatement. It's a five piece system consisting of a shampoo, conditioner, oil, strengthening treatment, and leave in fortifier. I tend to wash my hair twice a week, once using just shampoo, then using the shampoo and conditioner - typically using the treatment once a month on a paper day. I've also found using the leave in fortifier helps to detangle any knots in my hair on days where I only shampoo, and the oil is perfect for any split ends I come across. 
You can find the Kenra system here as well as on their social media outlets: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Have you tried the Kenra Revive system? Anything I should add to my list? Let me know!

*Thank you to Kenra Professional for sponsoring this post through Brandbacker. I received samples for my review, yet any opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Monday, June 13, 2016

BIG NEWS - I'm Moving!

This time last year I packed my bags and moved off to Disney World. Prior to that experience I thought I would never want to live outside of my hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina - let alone the state itself. I applied for the internship thinking no way would I actually be accepted, said yes and on a leap of faith moved twelve hours away from home with not the slightest idea of a mailing address. (Seriously, with the Disney College Program you find out where you live the day you get there - it's terrifying).

Saying yes was the best decision I've ever made. 

I learned more about myself during those seven months than I ever expected to and if you asked me to do it all over again I'd jump at the opportunity. You can ask any of my friends, I'm absolutely dying to get back down to Disney!

This time around I've got some equally big news - I'm moving to Charlotte, North Carolina this coming August to start my dream job. It is definitely a big and totally unplanned/unexpected change but I could not be more excited for this new experience living in the Queen City!

That being said if you are from the Charlotte area and have any recommendations on places to live please let me know! I've heard great things about the south end area and am looking for a studio style.  Thanks in advance!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Summer Pool Floats

Happy Friday! Today I am excited to be sharing some of my favorite pool floats out this year. Though I haven't been able to make it to the pool much yet, I am definitely planning on it once life settles down - brb dreaming of floating around on the pizza float preferably with an actual piece of pizza.

Which one is your favorite? I'm also eying the swan and I'm pretty sure it's giving me #instenvy given that Taylor Swift has it and all - have a great weekend everyone!