Saturday, August 23, 2014

First Week of School


Hello Lovelies!

It has been a while since I have sat down and taken time out of my day to focus on something I love.  Honestly, it is really easy to take down time for granted during the summer.  I have learned that (a) sleep is very important, (b) I have stress and anxiety issues I need to work out, and (c) although I have stress and anxiety issues, I work a lot better when I am on a time crunch.

If you were not aware I recently went back to school.  A lot of people dread this moment in time, but for me, it is a fresh start with new classes, new people, and a new me.  I quite enjoy "Back to School", but it has been a lot to handle.

The biggest dilemma I seem to have is just time management.  As my priorities shift it has gotten difficult to focus on several things at once because everything in my life kind of continues to happen and I get thrown several curve balls.  I have school starting {already a big change}, Sunday school begins again tomorrow, SATs are coming up, my blog is still important to me, exercise and diet is something I watch as well, did I mention my family has a new puppy, and of course I have a personal life as well.  I have never been really good at handling several things at once, but this year is the year that I get myself together and pick myself up.

So that's what is going on....

School is never as bad as we imagine it will be.  I really like my classes, which is a good thing.  I am trying to surround myself with positive people and a positive light, but again that's not one of strengths.

One of the things that I have been struggling with is my "image."  I always wished that I could walk in confidently in really cute clothes, minimal makeup, messy-but-cute hair and yet every year I seem to always be too frazzled in the morning to do anything!

At this point I just want to change myself to the person I was before, which is hard to do if you have so many habits that are implanted into you and are part of you.  For example I want to manage stress better, enjoy the morning again, focus on my goals and not be distracted by unimportant things, and I just want to live a life that makes me happy.

Anyway, {this seems to be turning into one of my journal entries} I will not desert you guys! I promise, 100%.  My blog is super important to me and I love writing for you guys, whether anyone reads or not.  I am just trying to better my manage my time and get my priorities straight, so it may take me time to get back into my regular posting schedule.

Have a super, wonderful, spectacular day!

xoxo, Ana

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fitness: Best Ab Exercises

Hello Lovelies!

I have yet another fitness post for you all!  Today I want to talk about basically my favorite part of my body to train. ABS!  I know lots of people hate ab day, but I love it because it gets me pumped up to eat healthier and strive for healthier me.  BIG DISCLAIMER: Training your abdominal muscles will not guarantee success.  You also have to eat a well balanced diet as well not neglect the muscles behind the abs you actually see. Please see my Best Leg Exercises post for my other disclaimer.

With that said, my favorite ab exercises are..

~ 1 ~
Crunches
What?  How could these horribly, pain inflicting, deadly monsters be number one? Well I think they are the most effective, in my opinion.  I personally am not the number one fan of average crunches because they hurt my neck and back, but there are many variations of this simple exercise.  I love using an exercise, doing toe crunches, and adding weights.

~ 2 ~ 
Plank
I have always loved planks because I, personally, am really good at them.  Something about the challenge of holding such a difficult position for longer increments of time excites me and is almost a competition against myself.  Make sure when you attempt a plank you keep a straight line from your head to ankles, keep your elbows/hands under your shoulder, don't move your booty up/down, and don't let your ankles slip and slide.

~ 3 ~
Bicycles
This is one of the exercises that kills me concerning abs.  For some reason they tire me out super quick.  But that is more of a reason to love this awesome exercise.  There is not much to it, but they are still extremely hard on your abs.  I think they work your abs more than mountain climbers.

~ 4 ~
Leg Lifts
These killer yet simple little lifts can be absolute killer to your abdominal muscles.  The worst part is that in my school the JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) instructors will use them when the class is misbehaving.  Remember with any exercise on the floor in which you are using your abs ensure your back lays flat on the floor.

~ 5 ~ 
Oblique Crunches
This move is portrayed in several different ways.  Honestly, they all work about equally.  They tighten your waist and make you look slimmer, plus your obliques {the side of your tummy} will work super hard during this.  Even just holding a plank on the side makes them work to keep you stable and help you balance yourself.

~ Bonus ~
Russian Twist
I just had to add this because I really love ab exercises and this is one of my favorites {hence why it is on this list}.  I typically do these with my legs up and a weight of seven pounds.  They are super awesome and you definitely feel these rotations the next day.  As you get better you can slowly start lifting your legs up, then adding weight, and then doing both.

I hope you all try these exercises out.  Let me know in the comments what your favorite part to exercise is!

xoxo, Ana

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fashion: My Personal Style and Fashion Story


Hey Lovelies!

For half a year now I have been sharing my fashion loves, beauty loves, and overall life loves.  But I never really shared with you guys why I like certain things and how I really got into fashion and beauty.  I am someone who has never used makeup and fashion as a way to cover myself up, or hide myself.  For me, fashion and beauty has always been about self-expression and has always been something that is part of me and my personality.

With that being said, I, for a long time, have disguised my love for fashion and beauty from the real world.  Shocking, I know!  But it is really hard to be different in a world where people enjoy judging and criticizing others.  For a long time I was bullied because of several different aspects about myself including my height, my weight, my ability to learn, and my way of being.  I have always been someone who enjoys overdressing and wearing makeup and being creative with my look. But not everyone is as accepting.

My own family does not always understand me and will tell me that I sound ridiculous because I like fancy China sets and I like makeup and I like clothing.

When I was younger I really enjoyed playing with fake makeup.  Somewhere out there is picture of me on the floor with bright blue eye shadow and red lips.  You could say I have always loved beauty products.  My parents were always quite lenient and allowed me to wear makeup since I can remember but I still chose not to wear it on a daily basis.

As I have grown up I realize that I shouldn't hide myself from others and be afraid of what other people think.  I still don't wear makeup on a daily basis because I feel comfortable in my own skin and I still am in a stage of my life where wearing makeup is not when I am most comfortable.  But I don't mind as much when I am told that wearing makeup looks bad on me {just because that person doesn't like change}.

Clothing wise, I have not yet completely fixed up my closet to the point where I can stop wearing T-shirts so often.  Fun Fact: I despise T-Shirts and have sent back a T-Shirt {although really cute} because I have a full drawer of them and don't want anymore!!!  Anyway, I have a very girly, chic style.  {Check my Pinterest for an in depth look into my style}  I enjoy things that flatter a petite figure, but don't make me look like a child.  Sometimes, actually often times, I shop at the children's section because the clothes fit me best, but I can wear XS from juniors and women.  Nowadays the children's section has clothing that mimics older people clothes {I don't really agree with little girls wearing them} but that is a bonus for shorter ladies.

So I do wear a lot of T-Shirts because my mother buys them for me all the time.  I am not talking about a plain white T, not I mean the shirts that say Best Texter and Live Love Hope and Super Ca-Ute on them.  Most of my T-Shirts I have retired and only wear them inside the house now.  Don't get me wrong I really love cute, simple Ts that you can use when layering, but they just aren't my style for every single day.

Lastly for shoes I have always been that person that wears one to two shoes the entire school year and doesn't like spending money on shoes.  That is really odd because I actually really like shoes.  But I have always felt that similarly with clothes I wear shoes until they can no longer be worn.  So I don't buy very expensive shoes.  The most expensive pair of shoes I have are my running shoes which are Sketchers Memory Foam shoes {absolutely love them!!!}.  Fun Fact: I had a pair of shoes that were $5 that I wore for a really long time until they were too smelly to wear... yeah.  It's just my personal opinion that it is quite vain to have an excessive number of shoes.

Just to give you a look into my shoes I two heels, a nude pair and silver pair for special occasions.  I have black ballet flats and gold gladiator flats from almost four years ago {yes they still fit} for church or semi-formal occasions.  Finally I have two really old running shoes that I should probably donate {they stilll work really well, I just have an emotional attatchment}, my current running shoes, and my silver-super-glittery Bobs.  Oh and $1 flip flops from Old Navy.

So that is my persoanl style, cute, girly, chic and just a bit conservative.  I hope you guys are not bored by super long posts, but I feel it necessary to share a bit about myself.

Have a great day!

xoxo, Ana

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sewing: Macaron Pillow

Hey Lovelies!

So I have been wanting to create a macaron pillow since I last saw one on a YouTube video.  These awesome pillows are sold in stores, particularly Forever21.  I found a tutorial online and decided to make my own pillow.

This is the link to the tutorial: http://www.camelotfabricsblog.com/?p=2875

Disclaimer: I am not making a tutorial, that is in the link above, I just wanted to show you guys what I did to make my pillow.  Please note this pillow is 22 inches in diameter {it's really big} and it took me about half an hour to complete, but I had to buy two extra bags of stuffing {which is why it took me so long}.

First thing is first is to gather your supplies {this is the only step I did wrong} as well as print and prepare you pattern from Camelot Fabrics.



Then I cut out all of my pieces and began to sew the long white strip of fabric to the long pink strip of fabric, making sure to top-stitch correctly.



Afterwards I put right sides together and began to sew either side of the long pink strip with the white strip to the two circles.  This allowed for a small hole where the two ends meet where you can insert the stuffing.



Finally, after several bags of shredded foam I finally hand stitched the hole on the side of the massive pillow and introduced my new friend to my other stuffies!



I hope you guys enjoy seeing these little sewing tidbits!

xoxo, Ana

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What's In My Bag?


Hello Lovelies!

Today I have a post that is one of my favorites because it's cool to know what is in another person's purse.  Because I had to clean out my purse, I decided to just show you all what is inside of it!

My purse is from Target.  This is my first "purse" I did not want to buy something too expensive.  This is by Merona and it has been very nice and has functioned well for me.

The first thing on my purse is a small hand sanitizer from Bath and Body Works in Fresh Picked Strawberries and a brown hair clip.


The inside of my purse looks as so... It has two pockets on one side and a zipper pocket on the other.


 The two pockets usually contain my current lip products and a mirror/sewing kit.  This time I also had a pencil and an eraser because I needed them for my shopping list.


 The zipper pocket always contains feminine necessities because not only do you get you TOTM unexpectedly, but you never know if someone around you has an emergency.


Inside of my bag I have a few things that are roaming free including my keys.  They have a super awesome air force lanyard and a few of my keychains.    My key chains are currently an Air Force bracalet, a foam smiley face, my house key, a regal crown club card, a brown leather heart, a tiny angel zipper pal, my library card key chain, and a tiny nail clipper.  Fun Fact: I have a key chain collection and often change them out.




Then of course I have my phone and earphones.  The case I have on it is from otter box and yes I use the clip because it is a great stand for watching videos and multitasking.


Another loose item in my purse are my sunglasses.  I don't always keep these in my bag, they get really bulky sometimes.  The cover is made by me and has an embroidered A for Ana.


 The last loose things in my bag are my tissues with a reusable cover made by my grandmother, lint sheets, an umbrella, and a ticket for the fabric cutting line at my local fabric store.  I also have an extra mirror from Forever21, a mini hair brush, hand lotion from Avon, and Tums for upset tummies.



 The last few items are inside little pouches/tins.  I have a mini first aid kit, an I need that kit, and my wallet.  The I need that kit has a pouch from either Walmart or Target and is several years old.  Inside of it I included several pens, an extra lip balm, eye drops, a nail file, bobby pins and an extra pair of earrings, q-tips, and a full set of teeth brushing products.


 Inside of my first aid kit {I keep it inside of an old Altoids tin} I have band-aids, ointment for cuts, hand sanitizing wiped, another nail file, eyelid cleanser, and some body sprays.


Finally, my wallet.  This is a faux lace black wallet from a store in Puerto Rico.  The inside just has your typical items such as debit card, library card, insurance card, two forms of identification, and an extra band aid. 


Let me know if you have anything interesting in your purse!  I think mine has quite the average contents.  

Have a wonderful, awesome day!

xoxo, Ana

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Where is Ana?!?!

Hello Lovelies!

For the past few days I took a break because of some personal things.  I put up some of my previously made posts, but I have not sat down and written for almost a week now.I mentioned that I did not want to tell you guys in detail what had occurred and I still don't feel it is in my place to explain why I have been gone. I hope you all understand and are not upset.

So school is about to start!!! I am actually really excited, other than a few things, I think this school year is going to be a lot better than last year.  I definitely feel more comfortable being a sophomore and having a basic set of people that I feel comfortable around.

I actually start school next Monday, so this week is preparation week.  I have been working on Summer Reading Assignments {yes, I procrastinated} and tomorrow I will get my textbooks and my schedule, so I am just hoping my friends are in my classes!  But that will be taking up a good portion of my time, so please don't expect too many posts during the month of August.

One thing I have to tell you guys about is that I have been working out a lot lately and have been really well as following my goal of one day running and the other day cross training/strength training.  My running is getting better and have been progressively increasing the length of my runs.  I am really seeing a change in my physical appearance {which is not my goal, but it's a plus} and have been noting an increase in my strength.  It feels super awesome to tell you guys that!

As for my diet... I don't follow a "diet" as per say, but I try to eat as good of nutrients as I can, but these past two weeks I just dropped all that about clean eating and ate whatever I wanted.  My main problem is not fast food, like most people, but I have a hard time with controlling my intake of sugary foods and sweets as well as processed foods.  I am someone who struggles with emotional eating and I have noticed that it really has affected my body and I have felt really sluggish and tired.

That is all that I have for my update!  I hope you have a super amazing day.

xoxo, Ana

Friday, August 8, 2014

Classy and Sassy: Lazy Days or Weeks


Hey Lovelies.

So we all have lazy days... or weeks. I am one who once I get on a streak of being lazy it takes a while to get out of my "funk".  But we all need to get up, put on our pretty faces, and get the work that needs to be done done.

Although I don't particularly feel qualified to make this post, I want to give you guys some motivation and advice on how to pump yourself up and get you going!  {I also need some motivation as well.}  It is difficult to get up and go straight away, but I know that if I can do it, so can you.  Just thinking about it, this post could also correlate to going back to school {the dreaded moment} and getting excited for the new year.

Step #1 
Take One Step At A Time
The hardest part of anything is starting.  So start slowly and work your way to harder, more difficult tasks.  For example, I have to do two summer reading assignments and outline two chapters by the end of summer.  To begin I started by just picking a book.  Then reading  a couple chpaters, after I read I made sure to journal, then tonight I will read some more.  So just take it slow, and don't overwhelm yourself.

Step #2 
Get Pretty
You probably think that the best way to start not being lazy and actually do something is to get in comfy clothes, in bed, and then begin... Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is not the best idea because you will be compelled to stay in comfy clothes all day, sit in bed, watch Netflix, flip through social media, etc. By simply picking out a cute but still comfortable outfit and splashing water on your face you will feel refreshed and a bit more motivated.

Step #3 
Eliminate Distractions
The main reason we get "lazy" for long periods of time is that we have disturbances that take up time we should be using on more important matters.  Put that phone away, turn the internet off, set up a blocking system, put that romance book down, and get to work.

Step #4
Exercise and Eat Healthy
I know that when I am feeling lazy, I basically fail to acknowledge all parts of my life including health.  For the past two days I have not done any running or workouts, which is a long time for me.  Plus it is proven that exercise actually boosts energy levels as well as gives you endorphins.  {Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't shoot their husbands, they just don't. - If you know where that is from you are my new favorite person!}

Step #5
The World Is Not Going To End
A lot of times people, including myself, overwhelm themselves juts thinking about all the work that has to be completed by a certain date.  I, personally, have struggled dealing with stress and used to feel very overcome by heavy workloads {sometimes I still do}.  But in the end, it always turns out okay and it was just my mind going ahead of itself.  So relax for a second, think about a game plan, and just start working.

I really hope this post was helpful to some of you guys.  I will be doing a similar post later, more about motivation rather than actually overcoming a lazy day or weeks {hehe}.

Have a super amazing day!

xoxo, Ana

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Work it Wednesday: Coral Garden


Hello Lovelies.

This week I decided to actually do my nails this week!  {what?} Yep.  I used to do a lot of nail art and got really good at it, but I did not have as much time to really properly "do" my nails.  For a while I did my nails just a plain color.. but I was getting bored.  

Painting your nails is the perfect way to really wind down after a stressful couple of days.  A new puppy basically equals a stressful couple of days. 

Either way I did my nails using an inspiration from Pinerest.  The coral/peach color on four of my fingers is Peachy Cheeks by Forever 21 Nail Color.  

The teal on my accent finger is Aqua by Bettina Nail Enamel.  Over the teal I did hot pink/baby pink roses in the colors Pink Bikini by Bettina Nail Enamel and Pastel Pink by Klean Color.  Lastly the leaves on the roses are in the color Mojito by Bettina Nail Enamel.  {I use Bettina a lot because I like their formulation and they are always on sale for 5 for $5.}

I did my toes with the same "pattern" and colors just my big toe in teal with roses and my other toes in the coral/peach color.  

Hope you guys like my manicure.  What's on your nails at the moment?

xoxo, Ana

Monday, August 4, 2014

Inspirational


Hey Lovelies!

So I was just taking a break from my summer assignments for school when I cam across the many inspiring stories on Pinterest.  Simple things like people giving a ride to old men who are walking far away to a man giving a home to a homeless lady he knew in his youth.

Honestly things like this bring a tear to my eyes.  Just thinking about the many people that give what little they have to others makes me feel like an inconsiderate, greedy teenage girl.  But the reason I was so astonished and gave a lot of thought to these stories is because of something I was told yesterday.

I am Catholic and practice my religion, so please no rude comments, I would like you all to respect my personal life because I am sharing it with you all.  So I was in church yesterday and a very special guest was at my church, he actually works with the Pope in Rome {how awesome is that?!?!}.  He gave the sermon, I guess, and was talking about three words that the Pope says often that we should live by as Catholics: Compassion, Sharing, and the Eucharist.

Of course the last one is specific to the Catholic religion, but he told a story whilst talking about the previous two words that really spoke to me.  He said that we must give what little have because God will multiply what we give to others.  {I am sorry if it is a rough translation, this was in Spanish.}

Wow!!! Honestly I have never thought about it that way.  For a good part of my life I did not understand why some people had more than others.  I could not wrap my heads around the fact that there were children in other countries, in my own country, starving, homeless, orphans, depressed, etc.  Sometimes I wondered why no matter how hard I worked I did not have as much as my richer friends/colleagues.  It honestly has puzzled me for a long time.

I do not think my question has been fully answered yet, but I will tell you this, part of my curiosity has been satisfied.

So why do we feel so happy when others do good? Why do we feel so excited inside when helping someone else, whether they have less or more?

Because we know that one way or another we will be re-payed for our good graces.  We realize that the happiness others feel is reciprocated onto ourselves, and that is enough for us {or it should be}.  I would always be upset when my mother would not give me an allowance and would say that it is my responsibility to clean my room, my bathroom, my dishes, to help her around the house, etc.  But I was especially upset when she would say that God will re-pay me.

This is getting a bit personal, but I feel it's something that I need to share.  For a really, really long time I felt that I was never going to be re-payed, that no matter what I did things would never go my way.  So I did a little worse in school this past semester, I got three Bs on my report card on purpose.  This way not seem bad to some people, but I cried that night, not because my parents were upset {they were actually quite okay} but because I was mad at myself for not trying my hardest.

Yesterday I realized that I am so lucky to be the person that I am today.  I am lucky to have the opportunity to help others and serve others.  That is the greatest gift of all!  We should be content with what we have and the fact that we can share what we have with others.  Whether it be your creativity, your knowledge, your physical wealth, or even just five breads and two fish.

I hope that I have inspired even just one person to do something worthwhile today.  To live a life worth living!  To help others! To be the greatest version of themselves they can be!

Life is not always going to be a ray of sunshine, but remember that a rainbow only forms after the storm.  We all feel relative poverty at some point, but deciding what to do with those unhealthy feelings is a choice we all have.

xoxo, Ana

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Quick Update

Lovelies...

This is not a very happy post.  I told you all that my posting schedule was for four times a week at least, and I was gone for a few days.  My plan was to not post one day and post the following two days.

I am not one to make excuses, but something deeply personal occurred Thursday and Friday {which I would rather not disclose}.  When I feel ready to blog about what happened, I will tell you guys, but for now I would rather not.

Hopefully you guys understand.  I have some really awesome posts coming up for you guys that I have worked hard on, so look out.

Thank you for your patience!

xoxo, Ana