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Five Things To Do This Valentine’s Day!

Hello Fam! I have to take a moment and say, “OMG, it’s been forever”! It’s honestly been way too long since I’ve last posted. Can’t wait to dive right in and continue this blogging journey again with a cute blog post that I put together for you all. 

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I wanted to list 5 things you and your significant other can do this Thursday! Let’s do this:

  • Ice Skating: Don’t you remember the days when you were a kid and enjoyed ice-skating with friends or that special someone? This is probably the cutest thing you can do this Thursday! Get into your cozy clothes and head over to your nearby ice-skating rink. Let loose and enjoy being a kid for a day!

  • Scavenger Hunt: By far the most thoughtful idea yet. Quick story: Matt did this for me like four years ago. He left little notes all over the house and places where he and I would hang out. I still have all the notes and the photo album he gave me that Valentine’s Day. There are plenty of ideas you can get online or on Pinterest! Check out the link for more ideas:

https://www.google.com/search?q=valentine%27s+day+scavenger+hunt+ideas&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjDg52B07bgAhUT7Z8KHSQRDREQsAR6BAgAEAE&biw=1441&bih=798

  • Dinner and Movie Night @ Home: Let’s face it, going out on Valentine’s Day is a NIGHTMARE! Instead, enjoy a nice homemade dinner while watching a romantic comedy to set the tone. Oh, and you can’t forget the candles and wine 😉

Movie ideas:


13 GOING ON 30

CHOCOLAT

PRETTY WOMAN

MUSIC AND LYRICS

10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU

THE WEDDING SINGER

  • Cooking Class: People bond over food, am I right?! I know Groupon, LivingSocial and other local places offer couples/ group cooking classes. Why not bond over delicious food and share this experience with that special someone!
  • Breakfast In Bed: With technology at our fingertips, it’s easy to swipe through UberEats to find the perfect Valentine’s Day breakfast — if you’re into that kinda stuff. If you’re more of the “make it home” type of person than Pinterest and the FoodNetwork have great breakfast ideas. Whip something up in the kitchen and bring it to bed….now, doesn’t that sound amazing. Here are some recipe ideas:

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aarti-sequeira/chocolate-chip-date-french-toast-recipe-2042260

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/breakfast-burrito-recipe-1953146h

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/heart-shaped-whole-wheat-pancakes-with-strawberry-sauce-recipe0-1945456

There you have it! Five things you can do this Valentine’s Day. Easy to plan and it doesn’t require a lot of money. Often times, thoughtful surprises, are the BEST gifts ❤

The Secret is Out | My South Beach Journey

The secret is out, and it feels so good to finally open up and share my weight-loss story with you all!!!

About a year ago a long time friend of mine mentioned a great opportunity that might be of interest to me. The agency she was working for was looking for candidates for an upcoming weight-loss program. She recommended that I submit my story and photos to the agency as soon as possible due to the amount of interest these types weight loss programs generate. I quickly gathered some pictures and composed the letter that would change my life forever! 

Five days after submitting my story, I received an email from Paige (agent) telling me that I had been pre-selected for the program- YAY! She then scheduled an interview – more like an audition – where the agent asked a number of questions while being recorded on camera- yikes! I’d be lying if I said, I wasn’t nervous.

When the day to interview finally arrived, I remembered being excited yet nervous while on the drive. I kept saying to myself, ” just be yourself and remember to smile!” After all, how bad could it possibly be, right? I mean, I blog and make Youtube videos all the time – haha. You got this, Dawn.

I left the room feeling confident and relieved that I survived the interview. Now that the tough part was out of the way all I needed to do was play the waiting game, for the call back. A few weeks went by, and I FINALLY got the CALL from the agent telling me I WAS IN!! Can you imagine my excitement!? Not only was I going to be apart of great experience but I finally had the opportunity of a lifetime.

Pre-South Beach

Before the South Beach Diet, I had tried every trend of diet that people were talking about, Atkins, the Yoplait, Master Cleanse, diet pills, you name it, I tried it! By this point, I was done and over every diet that claimed would work. I had lost all hope and motivation…..until South Beach came along.

February 20, 2017, was the official start date of this long and exciting journey. The waiting period between September and February felt like a lifetime, not to mention all the holidays that come around at the end of the year only made me more anxious to start. I was excited to start this new chapter in my life and lucky for me, I had all the support I needed. I tackled this journey with other candidates whom quickly became like family. It was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one going through it alone. 

The First Month:

For starters, it’s true what they say; the first month is the hardest. I’ll never forget how I felt and how badly I wanted to give up that first month. However, the support of my family, boyfriend, friends and my South Beach family kept me going. I went through each day focused and used affirmations as a way to keep me motivated.

I had all the tools I needed to be successful. South Beach gave me the necessary fuel. I received a booklet where I was able to track my food intake; I made sure to hydrate myself, my weight training was ready to rock and everything else in between. It takes 21 days to build a new habit, and I was prepared to start breaking my old ones.

Every inch of my body craved everything! Even foods I usually didn’t eat. Having my daily planner kept me on track because I saw how far I had gotten in just a few weeks. I didn’t budge and ate the food that was recommended in the booklet while incorporating the food that was sent out to me by South Beach. It was a huge learning curve but as time went on it got easier. 

Third/Fourth Month:

During my last few months on my diet, I was determined to lose as much weight as I could. However, my body hit a plateau which made it harder. It was discouraged, but I decided to push through it anyway. By this time everyone had already noticed my transformation. I felt like a million bucks and over summer I rocked my very first bikini. Can you believe it? I sure couldn’t! The response I received from everyone was overwhelming. I had finally reached a happy place in my life where I felt confident about myself.

End of Program:

After my program had come to an end, it was bitter-sweet. I was happy to be done and back to prepping my meals. Being apart of such a selective few made me realize the importance of dieting and living a healthier lifestyle. I feel happier than ever, and although there’s still a long journey ahead, The South Beach Diet made it possible for me to reach my goals and sustain a healthier lifestyle. Cheers to 16 pounds off!!!!! Thank you South Beach for this incredible experience.

P.S They also put me in their commercial !!!! Keep your eyes out for that ❤

What’s Inside My BirchBox ! |Review

Who on here is a BirchBox user? This is my second #BirchBox and my very first review on their service. I’m super excited to share my thoughts on this subscription box because I know so many of you are curious about it.

I had seen BirchBox’s advertisement on T.V for months and then finally one day, I said to myself, ” I need a subscription box! That way I can try new products out before buying them and see if I like them or not.” I immediately thought of BirchBox and that same night I went online and signed up.

Can you believe that for just $10 a month you can score name brand products – small but still – and test them out! As a blogger, this helps eliminate a lot of the guessing game. Will I like this product? Is it worth the investment? As I’m sure you know already, buying makeup, hair and skin products can get expensive very quickly. With BirchBox, I was able to customize my product preferences and based on that; they send me products that suit my needs. This is why this subscription service is a keeper. So with that being said, let’s take a look at my #February Box.

1. Briogeo :

ROSARY MILK by Briogeo is by far one of my favorite products in this months box. This leave-in conditioner is perfect for dry, damaged and brittle hair. Wish I would have discovered this product a long time ago when my hair was damaged because I know it would have worked wonders. This leave-in conditioner smells so good. Plus my hair instantly feels healthier once I apply it! WINNER!!!!!

2. Daily Concepts:

YOUR FACIAL by Daily Concepts is such a great facial micro scrubber. I hope by now you guys know that I love all things skincare. This product leaves my face feeling silky smooth and it eliminates all the gunk from my makeup. Highly recommend giving this a try.

3. Benefits Cosmetics:

BADgal BANG! by Benefits Cosmetics is such a great mascara. I’m currently obsessed with my Two Face Better Than Sex Mascara but the BADgal BANG is quickly becoming a favorite. Love the volume it gives me. This sample size is the perfect size to travel with….just saying.

4. CLEAN:

Reserve Amber Saffron by CLEAN for some reason reminds me of Paris! It’s the perfect balance of fresh and fruity and I’ve been using it nonstop. With Spring just around the corner, this will be my go-to perfume this season.

5. Avène

Hydrance by Avène is great at hydrating my skin. With the season changing my skin needs the extra love and protection. I’ve been applying this product as a foundation to my face before applying my makeup. It’s gentle on my skin and the smell reminds me of baby powder – ah!!!

Well there you have it ladies, my first BirchBox review. So far, I’m loving the service and find it super useful. Let me know what you guys think and if you’re interested in trying it out.

Cheers !

Dawn

Men’s Watches – A Unique Valentine’s Day Gift

When you’ve been in a committed relationship for the past six years like Matthew, and I have been, finding the perfect gift can get a little tricky. We’re the type of couple that loves surprising one another and going all out for special occasions. I wouldn’t exactly call ourselves the adventurous type, but we do enjoy a good surprise. Whether it’s a surprised cooked meal, mini road trips to San Francisco, Friday date nights or cute scavenger hunt at the park; we are all about showing our love for one another.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I knew I wanted to give Matthew a personalized gift that was thoughtful, yet giving him something he could wear and use every day. When JORD Wood Watches reached out to me about their Valentine’s Day Campaign, I knew I had to get on board.

JORD offers a variety of stylish wooden watches for both men and women. With their custom wood watch engraving, you can make any occasion memorable for years to come. I chose the Frankie- Zebrawood & Navy watch and engraved “Time stands still when I’m with you.”. This is one sweet surprise I know Matthew will love and cherish always.

JORD and I wanted to make your Valentine’s Day special, too. We are hosting a #giveaway and giving my readers a chance to win a $100 gift code to use on the JORD site! There will only be one lucky winner, BUT JORD is offering everyone a consolation code worth 10% off once the contest is over. Click here to enter and remember, close date is: 02/18/2018. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!!

Wishing you, and your loved one the Sweetest Valentine’s Day!

-Dawn

3 ways to Kick your New Year’s Resolutions into High Gear!

It’s the New Year which means new goals, hopes, and dreams. I hope that by this time you’ve already been working some of them.! If not there’s no need to panic there’s still plenty of time to get back on track. Today, I wanted to share three easy ways to help kick your New Year’s Resolutions into high gear. Let’s get started.

1. Set goals that are simple and realistic!

How many times have we set high expectations and goals for ourselves and fail to follow through or lose motivation? The answer is probably….. always ! It’s great to have high expectations but take each goal one step at a time.

For example, one of my personal goals this year is to read one book per month. I set a ” realistic ” goal because I knew if I said I wanted to read two books each month, it probably wouldn’t happen.. and this is just me being honest with myself. Instead, I set a goal (aka, a simple goal) that I knew I could follow and not feel like giving up in the long run.

2. Making our goals fun and NOT a chore!

Often time we set goals that seem fun, but in the long run, they start to feel like a chore! Can anyone say, boring !? Let’s say your resolution was to work out more in 2018. However, working out has always been a drag or unappealing to you. If you’ve committed yourself to exercising more this New Year, then you have to find ways to have fun with it.

Don’t stick to the same workout regimen each week. Instead, go on a hike, work out with a friend or try different forms of exercise.

Advice –

My advice to you is not to commit to a gym right off the bat. Test out a few gyms and see what you enjoy doing. Take it from a girl that committed to a gym membership, hated it, and tried to get out of it. It wasn’t fun, and it ended up costing more money to bail myself out of it. DON’T DO IT!!!!!!!! Take your time and see what you like.

3. Affirmations

If there’s anything I’ve learned in life is that being positive and using daily affirmations is key to success. There’s no better way than to kick your New Year’s Resolutions into high gear than to firmly believe in what you are doing. Write daily, weekly or monthly affirmations to help inspire you and keep you motivated in 2018.

Affirmations:

  • ” You can accomplish all your goals this year. Work hard, and it will pay off “
  • ” You are beautiful and strong “
  • ” You hold the key to your success “
  • ” Don’t give up this is just a bump on the road “

There you have it three tips to help you along the way. Hope you guys found this post useful!!! This is your year to shine. Dawn

The Dynamic Trio

You may or may not know, but I’m obsessed with Honey Girl Organics! In fact, Honey Girl is my go-to brand for all things skincare. A few month ago, they sent me their stick trio, and I instantly fell in love. Their stick trio have been a real game-changer for me, and I just love how it makes my skin feel ❤

The set of three are the perfect travel sized pieces for any girl on the go. It’s one of the reasons why I took it on my trip to Thailand. Whether you’re going on a mini road trip or planning a two-week vacation, the trio sticks will keep your skin looking flawless.

What exactly are the trio sticks?

The stick trio are meant to nourish and protect your skin from everyday harm while giving you the love and care your skin needs. The trio sticks aim to protect, hydrate and provide a good primer for daily use.

When do you use your trio sticks?

In the morning, I’ll start by applying the H2GO for hydration (my skin is dry, so I need it), then I add a layer of their ‘protect stick’ to help protect me from the sun and finally the primer before applying my foundation. My face feels clean, smoother and glowy. Check out my full skincare routine here: MY SKIN CARE ROUTINE

Why I love Honey Girl

It’s crazy to say this out loud, but it’s as if Honey Girl tailored their skincare products to fit my needs and skin type. I’ve never had a problem with any of their products! If fact, their products are gentle on my skin which is a huge plus for me. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I found myself hating a product because it made my skin feel dry. There were even times when a product would make my skin red and even made it burn-ouch! I threw those products and never looked back.

The trio set has quickly become a favorite, and I enjoy being able to take it with me no matter where I go. Not to mention, it’s the perfect holiday gift for any girlfriend!

-Dawn


My 2017 Recap

Can you believe that 2018 is only 25 days away!? I can’t help but feel eternally grateful for all the beautiful memories I’ve made this year. I feel so blessed to have been able to share my journey with my online fam, so thank you for following along.

Let’s rewind and revisit some of the highlights of 2017…. let’s do this!

HIGHLIGHTS:

1. My Very First Tattoo

I’ll never forget the day when I decided to get my very first tattoo. I started to research for meaningful phrases and words that spoke to me. I came across the word Bonheur -meaning happiness in French-and instantly fell in love. Every day I look it and remind myself to be happy even when things aren’t necessarily going my way.

When the day finally arrived, I kept asking M, “Should I go through with this?” I was so afraid of what the pain would feel like and remember asking everyone to explain it to me. Sadly enough no one could describe the sensation or feeling to me – haha. I had to just go through with it and feel it for myself, obviously! In the end, I found out that it wasn’t that bad, OY!

2. I Moved Out !

Another highlight was moving out with my loved one, M. It’s been such a great experience being able to roommate with my best friend. We love hosting, staying up late, playing video games, cooking together and being able to decorate our home to our liking! FREEDOM NEVER FELT SO GOOD. Sorry, Mom, I am not coming home anytime soon- lol.

3. I Graduated with my B.S in Business

Perhaps the proudest moment of my life!! 2017 was the year that I finally graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Business. It has been the most rewarding experience, and I’m glad I was able to share it with the people I love most. Mama, I did it!!!

4. My First “Blogger” Photoshoot – Say Cheese!

In 2017, I got out of my comfort zone and got serious about my #ootd pictures. I started sharing a little more of my style on my blog & Instagram and the response was overwhelming. My “Fourth of July Outfit” was a huge hit, which made me want to post more for you guys. You’ll be seeing more ootd come 2018. I promise!

5. My Weight-Loss Journey With South Beach Diet

Probably the BEST moment yet…, losing weight on the South Beach Diet. I lost a total of 16 pounds on the program, and it has changed my life for the best. I’ll have a full blog post dedicated towards my journey with The South Beach Diet. Stay tuned, more exciting news coming your way.

6. Traveling to Thailand

M and I traveled to Thailand this year, and it was seriously out of this world, FUN!!! I cherish all the memories M, and I make together during our trips to different places. I encourage people of all ages to pack their suitcase and travel the world. Where should I go next?

Hope you guys enjoyed my mini 2017 recap! Please share with me your favorite highlights of this year.

-Dawn


How to Pack for a 2 Week Trip | Travel Guide

Hello Fam!

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I leave to Thailand in 3 days!!!!! I’m still trying to let it all sink in because M and I planned this trip six months ago and I just can’t believe it’s finally here. For those that don’t know, I’ve had a flying phobia ever since I could remember. I don’t know why it started, but I always get nervous before a big trip. If you guys have any recommendations or remedies on how to calm the nerves, leave them in the comments down below. Anything helps.

With so many people flying out for vacation and the holidays, I wanted to put together a guide on how to pack for a two-week trip. After four big trips and many mini getaways, I think I’ve mastered the art of packing– no joke. Last year I bought an Ebag –which I’ll link down below–, and it made traveling so much easier for me and faster to get in and out of the airport.

I’m not going to lie, at first, this Ebag thing didn’t seem realistic because I was like ” How the heck am I going to fit everything in one Ebag!” To my surprise, it was very spacious and comfortable to carry around for a two-week vacation. Although I am somewhat sad I won’t be taking those infamous Instagram pictures with my cute oversized luggage at the airport–ahh.

Packing ONLY the Essentials:

1. Makeup/Skin Care: Duh, I can’t anywhere without my makeup and skincare products. Throughout the years, I’ve accumulated countless of mini travel products. I’m taking two eyeshadow palettes, NARS concealer, BeautyCounter Rose Water & Rejuvenating Eye Cream, Koparibeauty Lip Balm, Ouai Dry Shampoo, a Bold Lip Color, a Nude Lip Color by M.A.C., my favorite Two-Face Foundation, Mascara, mini hair brush, lots of sunscreen and other miscellaneous items. Less is more, remember that.

To protect myself from the weather, I couldn’t forget about my favorite skincare products. Honey Girl Organics recently launched their new stick trio, which is perfect for traveling. Now, I can take them anywhere I go, and I can gladly say that my skin will be in good hands even when I travel.

NOTE: When traveling, think about the items you can not live without and which ones can you leave behind! Make sure to take items that can be used for both day and night time looks. Think about what you’ll be doing and plan accordingly.

2. Jeans/Shorts: I’m taking two pairs of jeans, two shorts, and one dress!!! Sometimes a girl has to make a few scarifies to pack light. To compensate, I am taking a variety of shirts and accessories to switch it up a bit!

NOTE: Your wardrobe will obviously depend on the type of trip you are taking. If you’re doing more sightseeing activities, take more outdoorsy items. If you’re planning a trip to Paris or New York, take a few statement pieces that are classy, trendy and reusable so that you can mix and match them with different items. If you have a good pair of jeans that go with just about anything, I’d say you’re GOLDEN!

3. Swim Wear: You can’t go to Thailand and NOT take your favorite bathing suits. Ever since losing weight, I’ve gotten more comfortable wearing bathing suits. I don’t have much to chose from, so I’m only taking two bottoms, a one piece and one bathing suit top–that’s it. Plus, you can’t forget about a good pair of sunnies, a book, and a cute hat to pass the time.

4. Shoes: The tricky part of me was figuring out the type of shoes I was going to take. To play it safe, I’m packing my Nike shoes (to explore and feel comfortable in), two scandals and a pair of heels in case we decide to hit the club ;D

NOTE: Pick shoes that could be used with other pieces in your wardrobe. It will make it easier to style; giving you endless amount of options to choose from.

Bags: When it came to bags, I knew I only wanted to take 3. One for going out, one for sightseeing and a cute everyday bag. That’s all you need.

Hair Essentials: For this trip, I’m taking my curling iron, a set of hair ties and a good hair texture paste to give my hair some volume and style.

Last but not least, my money (duh), a camera, laptop, undies (hehe), pjs and other little items that won’t take up too much space. For those traveling abroad, DON’T FORGET YOUR INTERNATIONAL ADAPTOR !!!

Hope you guys enjoy this post and I can’t wait to share my Thailand trip with you guys. Stay tuned!

-Dawn


My Journey with the University of Phoenix

2014 was the year where I set a lot of things into motion for my career, my traveling, and my educational journey with The University of Phoenix. It was definitely a good year and one that I’ll cherish forever.

In this blog post, I’m going to break it down into sections and answer questions that many of my friends, followers and family members have always ask me about UOF. Let’s do this!!!

Enrollment:

Enrolling at the University of Phoenix was pretty simple. I would say all counselors were very helpful and knowledgeable. They made it super easy and took me step-by-step on the entire process. I did a lot of research and asked a lot– can’t stress enough how many questions I asked. It was crucial for me to know that my decision to commit to this college was the best option for my lifestyle and work life.

Note: I would recommend getting your general classes out of the way at a community college. Also, double check that the courses you are taking elsewhere will transfer to UOF or any school for that matter.

Why The University of Phoenix?:

At the time, I was working full-time and trying to figure out what my calling was. I didn’t have the time to commit to a traditional school setting and started to weight out my options. I knew I wanted to get my bachelors degree; I just didn’t know how I was going to make time to do it. My brother-in-law recommended UOF to me after he completed his Bachelors with them. Attending UOF allowed him to work full time, spend time with family and work at his own pace. That’s exactly what I needed.

Skeptical? :

Yes, I was a little afraid and skeptical that I was about to invest money and my time to an “untraditional college.” I was most skeptical because I had read some bad reviews and it got me thinking whether I should do it or not. I quickly learned that I shouldn’t let what others have to say affect my decision. Reality is, many colleges have good/bad reviews, and everyone’s experience and views are different.

Another “scare” I had was whether or not UOF would be viewed as a ” good college” when applying for jobs. Many people say they don’t care where people get their degree from, just as long as they have it. Other’s believe that having your degree from a prestigious college is necessary to land a great job. It took me one full year to decide whether or not I would attend The University of Phoenix. In the end, after a full year of debate, I made my decision and applied. When you invest in something big like this, it’s okay to take your time and weigh out the pros and cons.

Tip: Always do your homework. Never take someone else’s experience and think it will be the same for you because it won’t. Also, ask around; other people might be able to give you better insight or give you recommendations different options.

What was your major? :

I majored in Business and got a Marketing certificate.

What kept me motivated? :

This is an excellent question because whether someone takes classes on campus or online, it is easy to get discouraged or lazy. This is true, especially for students that are committing to an online college. From the very beginning, I knew exactly when I wanted to graduate. I hardly took any breaks in between and if I did, I would double up on classes to speed up the process.

Note, that UOF isn’t like a traditional class; if someone wants to double up on classes, people have to come out of pocket for the full amount. Courses at UOF aren’t cheap. Failing a class or receiving a bad grade was NOT a risk I wanted to take. Failing meant having to retake the class and paying for the course out of pocket. No Thanks!!!!

Knowing all of this kept me motivated every single day, even when I felt like giving up. For those in schools, remember that many sacrifices need to be made to succeed. I had to give up a lot of my free time and spent that time studying, reading, WRITING, all while trying to live out a normal life.

Having the support of my family and boyfriend made it easier for me to follow through with my education! Support is very important.

Resources:

I’d say that UOF was up to date with all the necessary resources students need in order to do well in their studies. They have math and writing labs, tutors, a writing center, a plagiarism checker, guidelines for writing, reference and citation generator, a university library and much more.

They even have a programs tab for students to check their current GPA and their current and upcoming courses.

How long are each course and the quality of education? :

Each class is about five weeks long. Which requires a lot of focus and dedication because there is so much information to be learned. A student can expect a lot of online participation and discussions. The instructors are pretty on it when it comes to grading, answering back to messages and assuring that all students are successful. I got pretty lucky to have great instructors that helped me along the way.

The quality of the education at UOF was pretty good. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t too challenging, either; I’d say it right in the middle. They do require a lot of writing from their students which could get overwhelming at times. However, I feel many students can get by, by doing the bare minimum. Since it was an online class, it’s easy to come by answers for test and essays on the web. However, this could be said about any college. I wanted the MOST out of my education, so cheating was NOT something I would even consider. This is something all students should think about when pursing an education.

Did the material covered in class help you out in the workplace?

What I love about UOF is that it caters towards the working people. I like that their curriculum was based on real-life experiences and topics that students could relate to in their current profession. While I was working at the bank, a lot of what I was learning applied to my position, which was very helpful.

Paying back the loan:

Unfortunately, I do have a loan to pay back–sucks right? However, UOF gives students a 6 months grace period after graduation to start paying back the loan. If any of you are currently enrolled with UOF, I’d suggest reaching out to them and start planning out the repayment process, this way you won’t have to worry about it once you graduate.

Life After UOF? :

My life after the UOF has been great and stress-free– THANK GOD. I’m currently a social media consultant for a few businesses, and I’m going through the process of becoming an LLC. I’m hoping to grow my clientele list and launching my blogging career into something much bigger. Who knows, Dawn’s Marketing LLC could be a thing one day!!!

I hope many of you found this helpful and if you have further questions, please leave them down below!

Thanks

-Dawn

My Health & Fitness Journey | Health

Ever since losing 16 pounds, many people have been asking me “How Did You Do It?” My journey started back in 2016 after coming back from my trip to Spain. During my time there, we spent a lot of time at the beach, walking around, eating and taking lots of pictures. Had I know I would have been in a bathing suit the whole time and snapping cute #ootd pictures for my blog, I probably would have tried to lose a couple of pounds! I was disappointed in myself because I didn’t look or feel my best. I even felt beaten inside because I had let myself get to this point and there wasn’t anyone else to blame but myself.

My actual wake up call happened, after seeing my best friend lose 20 pounds on The Nutrisystem Diet. Her success triggered something inside of me, and at that point in my life, I knew it was finally time to do something about it! I had great results on the program but stopped after two months because a better opportunity presented itself- a secret that I won’t be able to share with you at this moment. (Stay tuned).

My whole life – well, after graduating high school- all I wanted to achieve was a slimmer body! However, I never took the proper steps to make it happen. I’d go from one diet to another, lose weight and go back to eating badly. The problem was that I wasn’t eating enough through out the day, wasn’t drinking enough water, didn’t have the motivation or the accountability. Sixteen pounds later, I finally learned the amount of hard work and dedication needed to be successful. Never in a million years did I think I would be feeling confident in my own skin.

My lifestyle change was a commitment that I made to myself and something I desperately wanted. I think everyone, at some point, realizes that sacrifices need to be made to be successful. Deciding to lose weight wasn’t an easy choice, but I knew it was crucial and beneficial to my health.

Before we get started, think about how you see yourself in 1, 2, 3 or 10 months from now.

Whether it’s losing weight, going back to school or finally committing to your fitness journey; how do you expect to get there? What do you need to give up to fully succeed?

Below, I’m going to break down what helped me lose the weight in just 3 months!

Tips on how to lose weight:

1. Water – I never knew the importance of drinking water until I changed my eating habits. I would say that increasing my water helped me A LOT during the weight-loss process. I still drink 64oz of water per day, and during hot days and days when I work out, I increase up my intake. There are also, many beauty benefits from drinking water. My skin started to feel and look healthier. Check out this article from Cosmopolitan, “10 Benefits of Drinking Water” :

2. Vegetables – I love veggies, so this part wasn’t hard for me at all. Every time I’d feel hungry, I’d eat veggies to fill in the gaps. Eat an unlimited amount of non-starchy vegetables; helps keep your metabolism running and feeds your body the nutrients it needs.

3. Eating 6 x a day – Eating in the morning, afternoon and evening is important for the weight-loss process. Also, adding three snacks in between your morning, afternoon and evening meals are vital! This will help keep your metabolism running all day and give you the BEST results.

4. Vitamins – I never took into consideration the importance of vitamins until I went through a scary health experience on Memorial Day Weekend. I picked out vitamins that were geared and made for women. Fish oil is another great choice for your joints, hair growth and other beauty related benefits. For those wondering, I went with Vitafusion Women’s Vitamins.

5. Fitness – I started off doing Crossfit about three years ago and then transitioned into cycling. I love my cycling classes, and I always have a blast whenever I go! I think it’s important to love whatever sport you chose for your fitness routine. If not, you’ll dread it every time you go in. It will be a waste of money, a waste of time and you’ll never get the results you want. Pick a sport that will challenge you but that you’ll enjoy attending every day.

During your first two weeks of changing your diet, I wouldn’t recommend working out too much. If you do, keep it light, take it easy and drink water! I personally work out three times a week and find it to be more than enough. Working out definitely sped up the process.

DON’T GIVE UP YOUR FAVORITE FOOD!

Just like all things in life, everything should be used or consumed in moderations. Whether it’s alcohol, burgers, fries, candy, whatever it may be, just have a little of it. Give yourself cheat days and enjoy it!! However, I highly encourage that during the first few months of dieting to focus and commit to eating clean through this time. Within the first quarter that’s when you’ll see the best results. Yes, I know it’s hard, but it’s doable. If I can do it, so can you!

Alternatives:

Vegan cuisine is healthy and not to mention, DELICIOUS! They have great alternatives for burgers, chicken, chinese food AND majority of the food is filled with veggies, good sources of fiber and other added health benefits. Check out “The Best L.A Guide” blog post for Vegan Restaurants in L.A.

Pinterest is a great source to look up yummy and healthy recipes. You can make a pizza crust out of cauliflower, you can make zucchini spaghetti, chips out of sweet potatoes and so much more! The possibilities are endless, so eating healthy doesn’t need to be boring. Follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration and recipe ideas!

My life has completely changed for the best! Looking back at these pictures and remembering how I felt in that moment in time, is something I never want to experience again. My journey doesn’t end here, in fact, it’s only just begun! Please share with me down below, personal struggles and success stories!!