Thursday, April 28, 2016

Eyelet



Pants: H&M found here. Top: Marshalls. Shoes: Old- Steve Madden via Belk. Bag: Tory Burch via Nordstrom Rack.












One of the things I look forward to about each week is casual Friday. I love waking up on Friday knowing it's the weekend and knowing I don't have to give my outfit any extra thought because it's usually just dark denim and a cute top. But then there's Thursday, you know...Friday eve! By Wednesday, my fancy schmancy workwear is all tapped out, and all I want is to be comfortable but cute. These H&M printed slim fit pants are everything!! They are comfortable, cute and the pattern is unique and playful. Not to mention, the price I got them for is *emoji praise hands* - they were only $15. I mean, how could I not buy these in every color/pattern! The ones I'm wearing are sold out, but I've linked the same pant in different patterns up top. They are lightweight and definitely corporate friendly. I paired them with this gorgeous eyelet white top from...you guessed it! Marshalls. I love how crisp, and summer fresh it is and that I'll be able to pair it with a number of skirts and shorts during the upcoming summer season. 

xoxo,

Shauntel

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Whole 30 Results

Top Left: Grilled Chicken Tenders drizzle with Franks Hot Sauce, Homemade cut fries, and a vinaigrette slaw. Top Right: Capicola slices, Terra Sweet Potato Chips and Snap Peas. Bottom Left: Steak, Eggs over easy, avocado, and diced potatoes. Bottom Right: Prosciutto and turkey lettuce wraps with tomato and purple onion with Terra Sweet Potato chips.
Top Left: Spaghetti Squash topped with Turkey Italian Sausage, Shrimp, Tomato and fresh Basil sprinkled with red pepper chili flakes. Top Right: Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Cooked Chicken, green peppers and purple onions. I shredded the chicken and added Franks Hot Sauce and viola!  Super easy! with a side of Terra Sweet Potato chips ( I love crunchy snacks, so these chips were perfect in moderation. Bottom Left: Pulled pork, a baked potato and snap peas. Bottom Right: Build your Own Salad from Hickory Tavern with Romaine Lettuce, Kalamata Olives, avocado, almond slithers, purple onion and a medium well burger. 


If you're reading this- I think it's safe to say I'm somewhere eating a chocolate chip cookie, a doughnut, or all the above because I've completed the Whole 30 program as of yesterday!! Starting out, I quite honestly never thought this day would get here! Although the program was a bit of a challenge on the weekends, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the journey. I lost a total of 7 lbs, and feel more energized than ever! I thought it would be easiest to do a Q & A of all of the questions I've been asked while on the program. I'll also provide the links to the Whole 30 grocery list I used, as well as a day by day tracker of how you're body is supposed to be feeling as you go. If you're interested in doing the program then these resources and having support from your family and friends will be extremely helpful and will set you up for success!


Q: "Have you had sugar cravings while doing Whole 30?"

A: "Yes and no! The biggest reason for me doing the program was to see how my body responds to certain foods, and to reset my metabolism. I realized very early on how much sugar I intake on a day to day basis and it really made me more aware. If I did crave sugar, I would treat myself to Larabar (make sure that they are Whole 30 complaint, I thought all Larabars were Whole 3o compliant and accidentally made the mistake of eating one that wasn't but I didn't know until after-technically you're supposed to start over but it was like Day 9 and there was no way I was starting over plus I only had 1 bar, and it wasn't like I purposefully ate something I wasn't supposed to. Whoops! I just made sure that I paid very close attention to the labels going forward.)"

Q: "How do you feel? Have you noticed a difference?"

A: "I've definitely noticed a difference in the overall way my body and stomach felt. I didn't feel lethargic after eating meals. I felt light and full but not too full. It was like I was giving my body exactly what it needed to satisfy the hunger. I noticed during the first week and a half that my tummy was flatter than normal! I did slack on my workouts the first couple of weeks from being a tad bit tired than normal. I think the idea of working out after work, and then having to think about what to eat was tiring in itself. I would definitely suggest to plan out your meals as much as possible."

Q: "What's been the hardest part of the program?"

A: "I mentioned in my first post that I was already eating pretty healthy on the weekdays before I started Whole 30 so cutting out more things wasn't too too hard. I was able to find other ways to give my body what it needed minus all the bad stuff. I definitely would say that the hardest part was the weekends. I felt like I couldn't be social without feeling like I was missing out! That doesn't mean I wasn't social, but I just had to have ten times the self-control when going out with friends. It sucks, but you feel so good when you stick to what you say you're going to do and you pick the healthier option."

Q: "What are you going to change going forward?"

A: "I decided that I'm going to limit my sugar intake, by not putting 3 spoonfuls of sugar in my coffee every morning and just doing one spoonful. I'm going to keep using the unsweetened Califia Farms Almond Creamer I've been using because it taste great and using sweetened creamer just isn't necessary. I'm going to try and limit how much grains I eat during the week days. With my healthy meals, I was doing a lot of brown rice but I'm going to limit that intake to once a week, and substituting with quinoa as much as possible. Overall, I'm really going to try to stick to the Whole 30 or Paleo diet during the week and let myself have a cheat meal...or 2 :) on the weekends. Also, I'm going to makes sure that I eat breakfast every day now! I've always been told it's the most important meal of the deal but didn't really care to give my body the fuel it needs in the morning. I am definitely not skipping a breakfast ever again!"

Q: "Would you do the Whole 30 program again?"

A: "I would 100% do the program again! I enjoyed the foods that I ate, and I never was really hungry. I think a lot of times we mistake our hunger for being bored or thirsty. I was lucky enough to do the program with a couple of coworkers from work, who joined me when I was one week in. It helped being able to talk to them when I was frustrated, or just to have conversations about what foods they were eating and loving. I would suggest to have as much support as possible because it's hard going it alone!"

Please don't hesitate to email me if you guys should have any additional questions!!

Whole 30 Grocery List: Found here.
Whole 30 Day by Day: Found here.

xoxo,

Shauntel

Friday, April 22, 2016

Chambray + Aztec



Chambray Shift Dress: Old Navy. Earrings: H&M. Shoes: Marc Fisher via Belk found here. Bag: Tory Burch via Nordstrom Rack. Watch:  Guess. Bangles: Old Navy.




Much like classic black and white style (if you missed Wednesday's post check it out here) I don't think chambray is anywhere close to leaving the runways this Spring or going out of style any time soon. Chambray, a lighter version of denim with the same type of look is a great piece to have whether it be a button down top, a romper, or a shift dress like the one I scooped up from Old Navy a couple of weeks ago. Not to mention that I got it for a major steal...try $9. Yep, pretty much makes my life when I'm willing to take on the jungle of clothes that blew up in the clearance section of Old Navy and find pieces like this . It's worth it ladies I'm telling you! It just takes a little bit of patience and the will to walk out of the store with a great deal! There is nothing quite like the feeling of knowing you saved tons of money on a piece you'll be sure to wear over and over again for the next couple of months to a year. 

xoxo,
Shauntel

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Classic




Top: Marshalls. White Denim: Marshalls. Bag: Marshalls. Earrings: H&M.



There is nothing quite like a classic, crisp pair of white denim or finding an outfit for under $50. Marshalls you just get me. Always have and always will! I love that white denim in my opinion, surpasses all season rules and can be worn in summer, spring, fall and winter. I definitely plan on getting my fair wear out of them, so don't act surprised if they make another appearance on the blog. The fit is absolutely perfect, and I love the distressed effect which gives them a little edge- easily allowing you to take these to a night on the town look. I paired my white denim with this black and white top- I absolutely love the delicate, embroidered detailing. I always feel like tops like these are so unique, and hard to come so it's always an easy yes! 

xoxo,
Shauntel

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cold Shoulder






Denim Midi Skirt: Free People via Belk similar found here. Off the Shoulder Top: Everly via Belk found here. Lace Up Shoes: Marc Fischer via Belk found here. Bag: Tory Burch via Nordstrom Rack. Sunnies: Target. Tassel Earrings: H&M similar found here.

I've never minded being on the shorter side (if anyone was wondering I'm around 5'1ish) I mean everything cute comes in smaller packages ;) am I right or am I right? Although I've never been self-conscious about being on the shorter, more petite side...finding the perfect pair of jeans and skirts can sometimes be a bit of struggle. If you're short like me, we can hop on board the struggle bus together!
 I'm usually drawn toward fitted midi skirts, and I'm not gonna lie picking up this Free People skirt on the hanger I didn't think it would do anything for my figure. I was sure that it would swallow me, but I was pleasantly surprised. Side Note: One thing I've learned while shopping and styling is to never judge a piece of clothing on the hanger...you'd be surprised what gems you find when you actually give them a try. I'm also not opposed to spending that extra few minutes the fitting room. I love the way this skirt hugs the right places but billows out at the bottom. It's the perfect fit and flare and gives me the seventies vibe which is all the rage this season. I paired my denim midi with this lightweight off the shoulder top- which OMG, give me all the off the shoulder tops and tassel earrings! Seriously...I'm obsessed. These are by far my favorite pair of statement earrings that I own. They are so much fun and easily go with most of my spring/summer wardrobe! I love that tassels are here to stay for a while and I'll definitely be adding more flirty, delicate off the shoulder tops to my wardrobe. 

xoxo,

Shauntel

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Whole 30 Week 1 Recap

Top Left: Proscuitto Egg Cups, Diced Potatoes and Strawberries. Top Right: Turkey Burger, Diced Potatoes, and Proscuitto Wrapped Asparagus. Bottom Left: Turkey Burger topped with Avocado Spread and Red Chili Flakes, Mushrooms and Sweet Potatoes. Bottom Right: Shredded Chicken, Spinach, and Onions stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Diced Tomatoes.
As of today I'm officially on Day 11 of Whole 30! I feel like this is huge because its literally felt like it's been weeks since I've been able to eat a piece of chocolate or drink my coffee with cream and loads of sugar butt it's only been 11 days. The struggle is too real for this sugar junkie. The only thing that has me holding on is how good/proud I'll feel after I've completed the entire 30 days. If you haven't heard of Whole 30 or aren't familiar with what it is...it's essentially committing to going 30 days without any of the below:

No Alcohol
No Legumes
No Diary
No Grains
No Added Sugar or Honey
No Baked Goods
No MSG, sulfites, carrageenan

You are, however allowed to have all of the meats, fruits and vegetables that your little heart desires. I did lots of research on this program before committing. I heard lots about it and thought anyone would be crazy to go that long without having all of those things- AND that includes quinoa?!! CRAY. The foods that you are supposed to stay away from for the 30 days have been said to be linked to inflammatory issues (stomach problems), digestion, and skin issues. Going through the program is also supposed to reset your metabolism and change your mentality toward food and eating. I'm mainly doing it for the sole reason of resetting my metabolism and being more cognizant of what I put in my body on a day to day basis. 

I'm already pretty petite, but don't think I remember ever having a flat tummy. Not since that one time I comfortably wore a bikini at ummm 7 years old LOL. So, I'm interested to see if any of the above foods are connected to bloating in my tummy area. Before starting the program,I already had a pretty healthy diet on the week days. I usually would try to make healthy meals for lunch and dinner but have never been good about eating breakfast. I usually would have a cup of coffee loaded with cream and sugar and call that breakfast on a good day which isn't good for your body at all. Even though I would mostly be good on the weekdays, the weekends were always my time to indulge  in "cheat meals" which normally included anything on the menu I like (because I was good all week, duh) with lots and lots of wine! 

On Whole 30, there is absolutely no cheating! *insert heavy sigh*

So far, I've been feeling pretty good! Last weekend was my first weekend on the program and I'll admit it was SUPER hard. I don't think it was hard so much in not being able to eat the foods that I want, but more of feeling like I'm missing out. I went to dinner with a friend on Friday night to a local Mexican restaurant here in Charlotte and ordered a yummy salad. 

I am now even more so aware of how much of a social aspect eating is, and how everything social we do with friends is centered around getting dinner and drinks. If you are doing the Whole 30 program, I would highly suggest looking at the menu before going out to determine what you will order, and while your other friends are drinking glasses of wine...order some sparkling water with a lime slice to make you feel like you're have a treat. It worked for me :) If you aren't that strong then just avoid those situations at all cost until you have completed your 30 days.

I'm slowly getting used to drinking my coffee with a splash of  unsweetened  almond milk, and no sugar. I read the labels on everything now. Just because a package reads 0 grams of sugar doesn't mean there isn't sugar added. There are a plethora of items that brands sneak sugar into so be careful! I've been trying a lot of different recipes so that I don't get tired of eating the same things and that I don't wear myself out on foods that I love. Whole 30 does require a lot of meal prep so be ready to put in the work! Has anyone else done the Whole 30? Please share some recipes with me down in the comments section below!