My Wedding Diet & Fitness Regimen--4 Weeks to Go!

Happy Friday guys! I'm just going to jump right into today's post because I think it's going to be a long one. To be honest, I was a little nervous to even do this post (especially with "progress" pictures) because obviously talking about our weight is something probably most of us are insecure about. But, some of my most popular posts are when I talk about my fitness routine so that shows that it's kind of helpful/interesting for y'all! Today, I just wanted to talk a little bit about my diet and fitness routine leading up to the wedding. The last six months I've been very strict with my fitness routine but a little less strict with my diet. As of two or three weeks ago though, I've started a very "clean" diet leading up to the wedding. I just wanted to share what I'm doing/will be doing these last few weeks to really push progress for the wedding!

As far as toning up goes, I actually feel like I've pretty much reached my goal over the last few months as far as getting more muscle definition in my arms, legs and abs. My goal this last month is really to just further lean out and lose a few more pounds. I feel like if I lose 4-5 pounds between now and then, the muscle definition will be way more apparent and will make my dress look even more fab! Honestly, I would be pretty happy though if I ended up just maintaining my current weight. This is the happiest I've been with my physique probably ever! I may not be at my lightest weight but I definitely feel like I look the healthiest and most fit I ever have.

I mentioned a few months ago that I might try the Whole 30 again the month leading up to my wedding but I've decided to forego that plan. The Whole 30 just doesn't agree with me and honestly, the second I eat cracker, all the weight comes right back! I just don't think it's a great diet if your goal is sustainable weight-loss. The diet that actually has worked really well for me in the past (especially while my fitness game is on point) is IIFYM. I feel like I don't even want to label it a diet because it's more just a lifestyle and eating a good balance of macronutrients. Essentially I just try to eat a high amount of proteins and lower carbs/lower fats plus I try to stay below a certain number of calories per day.

A typical day in this diet would be starting off with egg whites and turkey bacon or if I'm at work I'll bring a hardboiled egg to eat with the turkey sausage or just a Greek yogurt then I'll snack on apples or banana and lower fat peanut butter.

For lunch, I'll usually eat grilled chicken or lean ground beef and veggies or chicken and brown rice. I have been trying to meal prep on Sundays for lunch all week! Typically when I meal prep chicken I do it in the crockpot instead of the grill or oven. So easy and I think it tastes better! After lunch around 1 or 2pm, I'll typically have a protein-bar--I really like Power Crunch protein bars because they taste like wafer cookies and not a protein bar haha. I go to the gym right after work so it's great to get a lot of protein in an hour or so beforehand.

For dinner, we're still doing Blue Apron but I'm just very conscious of my portions and also I make sure we pick meals that are higher in protein and lower in carbs. For the month of April, we're going to stop Blue Apron for the time being so I can really buckle down and stick to a lean protein for dinner and veggies on the side.

For something sweet after dinner, I'll usually allow myself either one scoop of Halotop ice-cream (if you haven't had it before you NEED to try it) or I'll buy those Weight Watchers little pastries they sell (I really like the lemon ones) and I'll have that. Starting next week, I'll probably cut down even more and just do grapes or a smoothie as my "sweet treat."

I'm still sticking to 4 days a week for exercise because honestly, with my schedule between work, blogging and wedding planning/festivities, it's actually not even possible for me to go more than that! I'm a very regimented person so I always stick to a routine and pretty similar work-outs every week. The only thing I've been changing is the weight itself (ex.) over the course of 5 or 6 months, I started off using only 10 Ib dumbbells for arm work-outs but now I'm up to 20 Ibs and for leg presses I've gone from 70 Ibs to 150 Ibs). Below is my standard schedule. As you can see, I do abs for at least 15 minutes every single day! Since my dress is fitted especially around my torso, that has been a huge focus!
Monday--30 mins very steep incline fast paced walking on treadmill, biceps, back, abs
Tuesday--20 mins HIIT on stairmaster, legs, abs
Wednesday--30 mins very steep incline fast paced walking on treadmill, triceps, shoulders, abs
Thursday--either I go to spin class or I'll do 40 mins of cardio and 20 mins of abs

Hope y'all enjoyed this post! I honestly love reading about other blogger's work-out routines and diets. It's just fun for me and always great to get more fitspo!

Spring Statements + Fashion Frenzy Link-Up!

Sweater: Urban Outfitters, Tank: Topshop, Jeans: Topshop, Necklace: Panacea, Mules: DV for Target, Bag: Marc Jacobs, Sunnies: Karen Walker
Happy Hump Day lovelies! Hope you're having a great week so far. I have felt like a zombie since Monday! This weekend was so fun but it was just so busy and spending 16 hours in the car is just exhausting. Today is officially 30 days out from the wedding so I think that is just adding to the overall exhaustion. Even when I'm not actually doing any wedding planning, just having it in the back of my mind is enough to make me feel constantly stressed! Any advice for the 1 month out mark would be appreciated!

This turquoise necklace has been on repeat ever since I brought out my spring wardrobe! Something about turquoise jewelry and spring/summertime go hand in hand for me. Though a statement piece like this may seem sort of intimidating, it's really SO easy to style and pair with any of your basics. I got it last spring so I was super excited that Nordstrom was still selling it this year!


#WIW on Instagram!

Dress: Endless Rose (I think this is my new fave brand y'all!)
Top: Socialite, Jeans: Topshop, Heels: J. Crew (old), Choker: Baublebar
Palette, Blush, Lipstick, Lipgloss, Perfume
Full outfit post linked here
Duster: Old (similar here), Tank: Topshop, Jeans: Hudson, Necklace: Panacea
Mules: DV for Target
OTS Top: Nordstrom Rack (similar here), Jeans: H&M, Heels: Sam Edelman
Happy Monday guys! Hope you had a fabulous weekend. Linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston for today's post! I'm pretty exhausted from traveling for the bridal shower but it was such a blast! Also I just have to share that one of my bridesmaids went into labor on Saturday night and had her precious son on my birthday which was yesterday. I just thought that was too cool!! Hoping I'll be able to get pictures of the shower up for y'all next week! I'll recap the shower a little more in Wednesday's post because I'm still trying to get caught up this morning. Here's one little snippet below:

I was only able to get one more outfit shoot in before I went away this weekend so that will be up Wednesday. Since I've been doing so many OOTD posts on Instagram lately (if you're not following, my IG name is kkalink), I thought it would be fun to do Instagram round-up posts once in a while. 

Hope y'all enjoy!

The Cutest Black Peplum + Fashion Frenzy Link-Up!

Top: Endless Rose, Jeans: BlankNYC, Booties: Aldo, Bag: Vince Camuto (back in stock in blush and camel!!), Earrings: J. Crew, Sunnies: Karen Walker
Happy Wednesday! Hope you're having a great week so far. Tomorrow is technically my Friday because first thing Friday morning, I'll be driving up to upstate NY with my MOH for my third and final bridal shower! The shower is going to be held at a banquet hall where my aunt is actually the Banquet Manager and my cousin got married there last summer. It's seriously gorgeous so I can't wait to see how the shower turns out! This one is mainly for my family because most of my aunts and uncles live up that way. I can't wait to see everyone!

I purchased this top during the Shopbop sale and I'm so glad I did. It's SO cute and I love how easy it is to style. I think it would also look adorable with white jeans and some fun colored sandals or heels when the weather gets warmer!

Since I'll be driving us up to NY, I won't be able to get a post up for this Friday but I'll be back to my regular posting schedule next week. Hope you have a fabulous rest of your week and weekend!!
[Also linking up with The Blended Blog, Trend Spin, Fashion Elite]


The Staple Dress You NEED [In Every Color]

Dress: Leith, Jacket: BlankNYC, Scarf: Free People (similar here), Mules: Dolce Vita for Target, Bag: Marc Jacobs, Sunnies: Ray-Ban
Happy Monday loves! Hope you had a fabulous weekend. Let's just say that mine proved that I'm forever 5 years old. I saw Beauty and the Beast not once--but twice this weekend! The obsession every since my mom took me to see it in theaters when I was 2 years old has never faded and as soon as I heard they were coming out with a live-action version I have been counting down the days! It was everything I hoped it would be and more! Y'all definitely have to see it regardless of whether you're a big Disney fan. The new original songs were SO beautiful. It was just awesome!

This dress has quickly become a new wardrobe favorite and I really do want it in every single color. I think I'm going to also get it in Burgundy Rose and Olive! I can see myself wearing them all through spring and summer and in so many different ways. It's also not super super tight which I love. It's definitely fitted but doesn't look like a super body-con dress. Also--if y'all haven't been to Target lately, you need to make a trip to check out their shoe collection! I haven't purchased shoes from Target in probably 6 or 7 years (no joke) but these are not only AWESOME quality but they're SO cute!! So trendy for such a great price! Also--it was driving me CRAZY as I was editing pictures that the tag is showing on my scarf. Sorry if it's annoying for you to look at because it's bugging me so much haha!

My Bridal Shower #2

Dress: Soprano, Earrings: Kendra Scott
That's my mom y'all! I don't think I've ever posted a picture of her on my blog before!
Maxine, my Matron of Honor!
My Maid of Honor Kate totally orchestrated the whole shower! She is seriously AMAZING! 

Happy Friday y'all! Today's post was SO much fun to write because it just brought me back to last weekend and how incredible my shower was. As I've mentioned before, I have 3 showers total so this one was number 2 and was pretty much just for the bridesmaids and a few of my local friends and family! Though it was small and more laidback, the amount of effort and thought and creativity that went into making it special was INCREDIBLE!

The shower was held at my house so the girls sent me off to get a manicure while they set up. My manicure finished a little early so my mom blindfolded me and took me upstairs to wait until everything was ready. When I came down the stairs and saw all the adorable decorations I was just blown away! As you can see, there were adorable banners and vases of gorgeous flowers all around the house. My cousin Sofia (last picture bottom left) is only 16 years old and an incredible baker so she made those adorable pink cupcakes and the girls made a super yummy Rosé punch called Rosé Outlook! How adorable is that?! My bridesmaid Nicole and her husband made that super cute white flower frame so we could take cute photos and Instas! Kate (my MOH) made the cutest jeopardy board which was so fun and she made such a cute little bingo game where everyone was able to win fun prizes. 

After the games, we opened gifts then made flower crowns which I honestly sucked at but it was still so fun and they all turned out so adorable for pictures! After that mostly everyone left except for 4 of my bridesmaids who spent the night. We just sat around and talked and drank wine and watched the new Amy Schumer stand-up. Perfect way to end the night!

I just truly feel so blessed. As the wedding approaches, it has just made me that much more appreciative to have such amazing women in my life, standing by me during this incredibly special time!

PS-my early birthday gift is that Steven is taking me to see Beauty and the Beast tonight!! I idolized that movie when I was little (and seriously still do)--in fact, it's going to be incorporated into my wedding in a few different ways that I'll share after!! Are any of y'all planning to see it this weekend?!

Cutest Choker Blouse + Fashion Frenzy Link-Up

Top: Wayf, Jeans: BlankNYC, Sandals: Sam Edelman, Sunnies: Karen Walker, Bag: Tory Burch
Happy Hump Day! Hope y'all are having some better weather than we are here in the DC metro. The snowstorm was definitely not as bad as they anticipated thank GOODNESS. I want to go just one year of living here without getting a massive blizzard! Every time it snows, I remind Steven that when he graduates his PhD program later this year, he can only apply for jobs in Florida or California haha! All you lucky ducks that get to live in those warm climates year round--I'm incredibly jealous.

One trend that came out this past season is the choker top and I absolutely love it. I feel like the choker detail really transforms just a plain basic sweater or plain basic blouse. I'm all about basics with a fun twist as y'all know!


Perfect Spring Cardi/Free People Dupe (Less than $20!!)

Cardigan: Forever 21, Cami: Silence + Noise, Jeans: Topshop, Heels: Sam Edelman, Bag: BP, Necklace: Baublebar
Happy Monday loves! Hope you had a fabulous weekend. Mine was an absolute blast! If you read my post on Friday or follow me on IG, you saw that my bridesmaids hosted a bridal shower at my house and it was just incredible. They sent me to get a manicure while they got everything set up and I was just blown away by how much thought and effort went into it! So much appreciation for all of them but especially my MOH, Kate who really just organized everything and went above and beyond!! I was so touched. On Friday, I'm going to do a full recap with pictures!

Y'all have probably seen almost every blogger rocking this cardigan from Free People and as gorgeous as it is, it's a little pricey! When I saw this cardigan from F21 it REALLY reminded me of the Free People one. I actually like the color of the F21 one more because it's in between blush and mauve and so gorgeous for spring. It has the same billowy sleeves and is the same length! Definitely check it out if you've been eyeing the FP cardigan!

Tips for Repairing Dry, Damaged Hair

Happy Friday ladies! Hope you had a great week and have some fun weekend plans ahead. This Saturday, my bridesmaids are throwing me a small shower (#2 of 3)  at my house and I'm so excited! They're sending me off to get a manicure while they get everything ready at the house and I know they have all put SO much effort into everything they have planned. I seriously have the BEST bridesmaids and feel so blessed. I'll definitely be taking a BUNCH of pictures to share on the blog next week!

I want to preface this post by stating that I definitely don't have perfect hair (not even close) and I'm not claiming to! However, I have seen dramatic improvements in my hair over the last 2 or 3 years and I just wanted to share some tips for those of you that might be struggling with very dry, damaged hair. 

1.) Lock up your straightener and throw away the! Two years ago I started using this Nume curling wand on my hair and it has been a game changer! I only have to do it twice per week (after washing my hair) and the curls hold for up to 3 days afterwards. This wand gives such an effortless, wavy look. Also linking the tutorial I filmed a few months ago on how I curl my hair here!
2.) Limit washing hair to 3x per week...or less. I'll be honest that I only wash my hair 2 times a week maximum. I know that sounds gross to some but it seriously has transformed my hair. Because I'm limiting washes it allows for more oil production and now I am only using heat on my hair twice per week. 
3.) Let your hair air dry as long as possible before using heat. The nights that I do wash my hair, I typically wait two to three hours before actually using a blowdryer on my hair. At that point my hair is almost completely dry but going in with the blowdryer and a round brush at the very end gives my hair a little more life and volume!
4.) Coconut oil is your friend! I was sort of skeptical about using hair masks but once I tried this Kopari Coconut Melt once every week or every two weeks it really made a big difference in my hair. I also use a conditioner that has coconut water in it and I think that also really adds more hydration.
5.) Splurge on a good shampoo. I know that people say all the time that certain drugstore shampoos can totally live up to higher-end shampoos but honestly, I feel like I have tried SO many drugstore shampoos and none of them compare to the high-end stuff. My favorite shampoo is the Biolage for color-treated hair. Not only does it keep my hair super hydrated but it also really protects and extends the life of my color.
6.) Use a heat-protectant!!! Probably the most important tip from this post in my opinion because once I started guarding my hair from any heat that I was applying, it really made a big difference. I can't believe I used to straighten and blowdry my hair almost EVERY DAY and never used any kind of heat-protectant. My all-time favorite is this one from Bumble & Bumble.
7.) Consider a going short for a few months! This tip I'm sure most people won't be on board with but as y'all probably have seen if you've followed me for the last two years, I change my hair ALL the time. I get so bored with having my hair the same color or the same length. I think going back and forth between having long hair and then cutting it pretty short has made a difference. I feel like when I go short I'm literally chopping off every last inch of dead hair (different from just getting a trim) and that allows fresh less damaged hair to grown in it's place.

Hope you enjoyed this post and have a fabulous weekend!