Monday, October 26, 2015

FitGirl 28 Day Jumpstart!

I came across the FitGirl brand on Instagram. I found this account that posts videos of workouts. I had read that they were advertising a group challenge called a 28 Day Jumpstart. My initial opinion of it (without ever looking into it) was that it would be full of expensive healthy food and ridiculous workouts that no can do. I brushed it off without really giving it a second thought.

A few days later (maybe a week) I was reading Let's All Be Brave by Annie F. Downs (go read!!). In the chapter I was on, she talks about having PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and I immediately knew the Lord was like "Ashley you really need to listen to this part." I love Annie. I feel like we're friends. She's single, I'm single, we both have PCOS (great reason to be friends, right?). But she said something that really struck me. PCOS can cause infertility. I knew this. But I'm single and not sleeping with anyone nor am I trying to procreate any time soon. But Annie goes on to tell a story about her friend who changed her eating habits to help her multiple sclerosis...and it helped! Her symptoms subsided just by eating healthier. I knew where this was going. I've known that changing my eating habits would help. But I'm not trying to make a baby right now, so I can eat carbs and ice cream, right? Then Annie said something that hit me like a ton of bricks:

I had a God-given moment of clarity when the scales fell from my eyes and I realized all the yeses I was saying to unhealthy food were inadvertently saying noes to the thing I wanted more in my life - like a healthy future.

(Brb while I pick my jaw up off the floor.)

Y'all I swear I heard the Lord say "Ashley, you need to change. I gave you this body to take care of and you need honor me through this." That healthy future for me is babies. So I quickly put the book down and made my way back to the info link about this 28 Day Jumpstart. In this guide, it contains grocery lists, workouts, recipes, and all the info you'll need to make it through 28 days of fit living. I couldn't get my debit card out fast enough! I started reading the 200 page guide (no joke, it's exactly 200 pages) and fell in love with it. It was so funny and incredibly encouraging! The best parts are that everything on the grocery lists is stuff I know I can afford because I buy most of it to begin with. The recipes include things like tacos and pizza. I'm down. And the workouts are ones you do at home for 30 minutes a day with no equipment necessary.

Here's the breakdown of what my next four weeks will look like:
1. Go to the grocery every Sunday armed with a grocery list from the guide. Remember how I said I could afford it? That's such a relief for this poor grad student.
2. Meal prep as much as I can on Sunday for ultimate laziness throughout the week. The guide encourages meal prep and I'm all about that life.
3. Eat what they tell me to. Okay that sounds a little cult-ish but really it's great. I'm not very creative in the kitchen so if someone wants to tell me exactly what to cook, I'm totally down.
4. Do the workouts every day. This is where I get nervous when it comes to the weekends. I'm usually good during the week, but I usually get too busy or forget to workout when it comes to my weekends. But they're only 30 minutes each and can be done at home. No excuses.
5. Keep all of you updated on my progress!


Here's a couple things I want to share with you:
Annie's website. Check her out! I highly suggest her book Let's All Be Brave. It's so good!
Fit Girl's website. You can still join the 28 day challenge! The only difference is the price bumped back up to $30. I would love to have company throughout this next month!

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Friday, October 16, 2015

October Birchbox: Unboxed

Hey y'all! Before I dive in, I loved the response from my September Unboxed post. I love that some of you now get to be pampered once a month through this service!

I seriously feel like a little kid on Christmas morning every time I get my Birchbox in the mail. It's so wonderful! Here's a recap of what came in my box this month:

Since it's October and breast cancer awareness month, the box was naturally pink!

Eeeek!!! I love seeing what's inside!!

Here's my review of the five items I received this month:

1. BioRepublic Cucumber Breeze Soothing Mask ($14.50) // I felt so silly with this on. It's a fiber face mask (so not a lotion-y consistency that you smear on). I absolutely loved this stuff! If I could use one of these once I week I would be so happy. My pores looked smaller and my skin felt so much better after I took it off!

2. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($22-$42) // I've heard rave reviews about this stuff. It's like a dry shampoo and dry gel at the same time. It soaks up oil but add texture to keep volume. My initial impression is that it smells amazing (also like my friend Alyssa...sorry if that's weird). I used it yesterday and was kinda disappointed. It didn't really get rid of as much oil as my amika dry shampoo but it was fabulous and giving my roots volume!

3. Avene Thermal Spring Water ($12.50-$18) // This stuff is interesting. It's water for your face, but it's cooling. I would have loved this in the summer for sure. It's supposed to help with dryness so hopefully it'll be helpful as the weather dries out.

4. Manna Kadar Cosmetics Lip Locked - Lucky ($24) // This little lip gloss packed quite a punch! It's not goopy (my least favorite thing about lip gloss) and it lasted a long time (even through dinner last night). I love the color I got (Lucky) because it's a perfect nude. Seriously. It looks so great with my skin. I'm not sure if I could fork over 24 bucks for it, but I will use all of this sample!

5. stila huge extreme lash mascara ($24) // You can bet than any time you see me I have mascara on. Even if I'm running super late, I'll take my mascara with me and put it on in the car. That being said I don't tend to stray from brands very well. I'm not sure if it's due to my loyalty to Loreal's Double Extend mascara or what, but I wasn't a huge fan. This stuff was really thick so my lashed looks thicker for sure, but I got hardly any length from it. I'll probably keep this handy for days I'm late, but I think I'll stick with my favorite mascara.

Side note: I'm still using everything from my September box, especially the eyeshadow and brow filler. And I'll probably use everything in this box as well. If you want to subscribe to Birchbox, let me know!! You can go to to sign up, or let me know and I'll shoot you an e-mail with a personalized invitation.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Current Obsessions

Hey y'all! Lately I've come across a few things that I'm obsessing over. Here they are:
Matrix Turbo Dryer // If there's one thing you should know about me it's that I have an insane amount of hair. There's a ton of hair on my head. Not only is there a lot, but it's also really fine. It takes me at least 15 minutes to dry my hair on a good day. After using this it took me, no joke, 5 MINUTES! If you have a lot of hair, I suggest spending the money on this stuff. I spent $18 on the bottle at Ulta (line here) and I have zero regrets.

May Designs // My friend Kelli introduced me to them because she had the cutest weekly planner on her desk (actually she has the pink and white one on the left - I had no clue I ordered the same one until I saw hers a second time). These notebooks are eco-friendly and handmade in Memphis, TN. They have more than notebooks though - they have stationary, photo books, agendas, and more. Check them out here and if you order from their breast cancer awareness collection, they donate 15% to the Susan G. Komen of Austin. 

I ordered two notebook because they were on sale. The one on the left is a weekly agenda and the one on the right is a blank notebook (perfect for quiet time). Also who doesn't love monograms??

This is the inside of the weekly agenda. I love the simplicity of it.
Sunrises // I've always loved sunrises but lately I've been getting to school right as the sun is coming up and it's so beautiful. Sunrises are a perfect reminder of the newness of the day. It's also so quiet on campus that early in the morning and quiet has been just what my life needs.

There were three of us taking a picture of this sunrise right outside Hughes.
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