Thursday, September 24, 2020

MY THOUGHTS ON THE PILATES STRONG CHALLANGE...


 
I can’t believe it has been about a week since I’ve completed and shared the Pilates Five Day challenge with everyone. These past couple of months, I’ve been sharing my new journey into incorporating more workouts and active activites and it was fun to do the challenge together. 

What I’ve learned from the Pilates Strong Challenge is how important working on posture and flexibility are. It’s not something I’ve personally focused on, but I will now because I feel that having a better posture is really important and helps long term. 

 

If you’re not familiar with The Balance Life, The Balance Life is a member only app that offers 100+ on demand guided Pilates workouts. It’s a community of women that are supportive and encouraging. What’s really amazing about The Balance Life is that the workouts are attainable and you’re able to do them all at home. 

 

Keeping a well balance life and workout routine at home is important and it might seem difficult from time to time but with The Balance Life, helps make it easy. They offer 15-minute lessons that you can do at 8am or 8pm. As a mom, wife, and full-time business owner, my workouts are done pretty late at night and I love that I can find an interactive Pilates workout for me. 

 

With the holiday season approaching and life gets a bit busier but 15 minutes a day is 100% do able! Enrollment is open now and you can join the sisterhood hood. 

 

Thank you so much for reading! 

 

Xo,

Annie 

Monday, September 21, 2020

REMODEL YOUR FRONT DOOR UNDER $100...

                                                                                BEFORE

BEHR PAINT // BRUSH SET // WREATH // DOOR MAT // CHECKERED MAT 

I'm so excited to share our front door reveal today! I've been wanting to do something about our front door for over a year and I finally got the time to do it. With all of our other house purchases, keeping the budget below $100 was important. All our entry way needed was a little painting and fall touches. I've always been a fan of blue colored doors because it feels inviting. It's an easy color that last year round so if you're decorating for spring or Christmas, it ties in really well. When it comes to painting, I'm a beginner and with this project, it's so easy that anyone can do it! I wanted to share all the tools I used and steps. 

TOOLS
BEHR WHITE PAINT: 1 QT PAINT & PRIMER IN 1 DOLPHIN BLUE
BEHR BLUE PAINT: 1 QT PAINT & PRIMER IN 1

HOW TO PAINT YOUR FRONT DOOR

STEP 1: Clean off the areas that you're going to paint with a damp cloth 
STEP 2: Put the painters tap along the borders or any areas that you are afraid the brush might brush over
STEP 3: Pour your desired paint into the paint tray and use a long paint roller to paint your door. I started in sections and made my way up. Be sure it's not too thick and that your paint isn't dripping
STEP 4: After painting, use a small brush to get any hard corners and touch up on areas that you may have  missed.
STEP 5: Let your door dry with it being open for at least 2 hours before closing the door

DOOR TRIM
For the door trim, you're going to repeat the steps but make sure its 24 hours after you painted the door to ensure that the paint is dry when you close the door. 

This entire project took me less than 2 days and made the world of a difference for our entry way! 

Thank you so much for reading! 

xx, 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

HOW I LOST 10 POUNDS DURING QUARANTINE...

 TOP: Lululemon // BIKER SHORTS: Lululemon // SHOES: Adidas // BAG: Senreve

WOW! What an accomplishment it is for me to finally be able to share this post with everyone. It has been a long journey to get back to feeling like my best self. When I started sharing about how I gained the quarantine 15 (gained about 12 pounds), there were so many of y'all that could relate and have been so supportive as I worked on losing that extra weight/quarantine roll. First off, I do want to acknowledge that it isn't about losing "x" number of pounds. I acknowledge that someone similar to my size that has more muscle mass and lookmore fit can weight much more than me on a scale. It's not about a number but feeling your best self. Personally, being around 118-122 is my normal weight number so that's what I'm going off of. 

 A little quick summary! About 4 1/2 months ago, I hoped on a scale and saw that I had gained 12 pounds. I'm sure the weight gained started in February but really escalated during the first few months of quarantine. I had gotten into a bad habit of binge watching shows, staying up late, and snacking! Everyone in my family noticed and that's when it started to really become aware that I had gained a lot of unwanted weight. These are what I incorporated into my new daily routine to knock off the extra pounds. 

BEFORE CHANGING MY LIFESTYLE: 
Workout Routine: None, lol. I took my kids on neighborhood bike rides and that was about it. 

Diet: I personally feel that my meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner are healthy on average. I eat a lot of Vietnamese food which consist of poultry, soups, rice, and veggies. It was the dessert and late night snacks that killed me. I would stay up until 3am watching shows while eating a bowl of Ramon and other snacks every night. That also caused for a horrible sleep routine too. 

MONTH 1: 
Workout Routine: We all start somewhere. Whether I was running or walking, I did at least 2 miles 5x a week. For the first two weeks, I could only run .5 miles. As the weeks went by, I would slowly increase my running distance and go to a 1 mile run (without stopping). I also incorporated other active activities like volleyball, tennis, biking and sports that I really enjoyed doing 2-5x a week. 

Diet: I started to be conscious of the late night snacks and cut it down by about 50%-75%. I started to sleep a bit earlier which made it easier to stop the late night snack too. I also cut out sweet by 90%. 

Weight: I dropped about 2.5 lbs the first month. 

MONTH 2: 
Workout Routine: Now that I worked up a better endurance, I started running at least 2 miles per day 5-7 days a week and added about 3 hours of other physical activities as well (volleyball mostly). Working out can be really fun but when you find a sport or activities you really love, it makes it 10x easier to be active. 

Diet: My diet stayed pretty much the same as month 1 except I started to cut down on my dinner portion sizes and cut out all snacks and desserts. I would treat myself maybe once a week to ice-cream or chick fil a but that was pretty much it. 

Weight: I dropped another 2-3 lbs the second month. 

MONTH 3: 
Workout Routine: I started to notice that I wasn't losing weight as fast as the first 5lbs because my body was getting use to what I was already doing. I really turn it up a notch month 3. I started to add in daily ab work outs and 20-30 minute hit workout. I tried out Chloe Ting's 2 week shred and I've never seen such fast results on my stomach area. Out of the 30 days, I would say that I did the workout 25 of the 30 days. It became a habit really fast. I also tried out several of her HIT workout videos and really loved them all. She makes it seem easy, quick, and pushes you to do it. I also tried adding in 3000 jump ropes per week (1000 per day). I added these all into my routine 5-7x a week and was running 2-4 miles 5-7x a week as well. 

Diet: For my diet, I started to incorporate more greens and less rice into my diet. If you get a good salad, it is just as tasty as a regular meal. I love salads from Panera, the "Fuji apple chicken salad" is my favorite. I wouldn't say that I'm on a "healthy" living diet but more of asking myself if this choice of dish is healthy? What other dish could I eat that would fill me up and be a better choice? 

Weight: I could see more muscle and toning come into play and lost about 3 more pounds.

MONTH 4 TO CURRENT: 
Workout: My workout routine now consist of 50% weight lifting and 50% cardio. I know a lot of us may not have access to a squat rack and all of your typical gym equipment. I'm very fortunate to have my brother and Tommy who are very serious about working out start getting in items for their home gym. You do not need tons of different weights to do the workouts I'm currently doing. Target and Amazon offer very affordable dumbbells and kettlebells that you can easily incorporate for weight workouts. I think you can easily get away with a 8lb and 12 lb dumb bell 

How did I learn the proper form to some of the workouts? 
I'm still working on perfecting my form but I would say that Tommy was the one that helped me understand form years ago. I've also watched videos on certain workout and studied how they look and if the correct muscle part was doing the work. 

Which workout do I do?
I personally love referencing to Chloe Ting, Whitney Simmons, , and Sweat. If you're new to working out, I highly recommend The Balance Life and Sweat  They give you wonderful workouts and share great instructions. 

Diet: My diet during month 4 is the same as month 3 but now it's different. Because of school starting back up, I'm starting to eat out in restaurants more and I kinda want to cut back on that for sure. 


Weight: I'm officially down 10lbs and am working to get maybe 2/3 more pounds off and then building up  muscle weight. 

ADVICE! My biggest advice would be to start and be consistent. It doesn't matter if you're only walking half a mile a day, as long as you're consistent. Give yourself realistic goals and build up as time goes by. My family has really helped keep me going so if you know someone in your family that has similar active goals, support each other. You can do it virtually as well! 

I wanted to share some images of my progress. Unfortunately when I started changing my lifestyle 4 months ago, I didn't take a before picture. I did want to share a picture I shared with everyone in January because I had a very similar lifestyle and eating habit during the beginning of the year as well. 

LATE JANUARY 2020

EARLY AUGUST 2020

TODAY SEPTEMBER 2020

Monday, September 14, 2020

MY FAVORITE FALL DRESS THAT YOU CAN WEAR NOW...

DRESS: Red Dress // SHOES: Marc Fisher // BRACELETS: Victoria Emerson 

Fall is approaching rapidly and if you live in a state that has weather like Texas, fall weather won't approach you until late October/early November. Fall is always exciting because it involves change. With everyone going on this past summer, I think we could all use a bit of change and have something to look forward to. Fall is going to be different this year but it doesn't mean we can't dress up for those social distance friendly fall activities like visiting the pumpkin patch, shopping for costumes, decorating our home. etc. 

I shared this dress with yall last week and it's probably the most popular outfit I've ever shared! The best part about this dress is that you can wear it NOW. No one wants to buy a new outfit and wait weeks to wear it out. The color and ruffles on this dress caught my attention immediately and I love that it can be worn casually or for a fun date night. It runs true to size and with the band being super stretchy, the length can be adjustable. 

What are some changes that you're looking forward to this fall season? 

xo,
Annie

*Photos by Banavenue 

Monday, September 7, 2020

EASY AND SIMPLE FALL TOUCHES TO ADD TO YOUR LIVING ROOM...

Fall has officially approached the Mescall household and I'm all for it. Decorating for fall is unlike other seasons because it typically involves more warmer colors and pumpkins! During fall, you'll always find our favorite "marshmallow fireside" candle lit and all the pumpkin flavored desserts. 

The pressure to feel the need to decorate every holiday or changing season is real and honestly, it's not realistic to flip your home every few months. Our home has had the more neutral and butterscotch tones for over a year now. The great thing about having a neutral colored home is that you can easily incorporate new colors. During the summer you can add light blue hues and more greenery, during fall you can add the pretty orange and burgundy hues, and winter you can add all the fun Christmas colors. 

To get your home ready for fall, add in 2 or 3 dark toned throw pillows, add small and large pumpkins around your home, and light up a fall scent candle. It's that easy! I love this fringe pillow because it has the subtle orange hues and simple pattern. It also comes in Navy and is only $20! I also picked up this throw blanket to give more of the orange tones. It's also reversible. 

PUMPKINS! What is fall without pumpkins? I absolutely love Target's faux pumpkin selection this year. The colors and material of the pumpkins are super neutral. I personally love off white and wooden pumpkins. I set them on majority of my tables; side, coffee, entry, etc. 

I shared these frames on Instagram before and there the real deal. There only $13 and make a beautiful gallery wall. I updated the photos in black and white for a more moody tone. 

I chose this rug from Loloi Rugs and it ties our living room together SOO well. The gray tones and pops of orange hues helps everything blend together. I love that you can also chose any color scheme and the rug will compliment it. 

Our home has never felt more like home. It's warm and cozy and I rarely ever want to leave. These simple touches really brought it to life and I know these simple touches can add that fall coziness to your home too.

xo,

Annie  

 

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