Your BEST Bikini Series Yet!

It’s finally here, the most motivating time of the year-the Bikini Series! Read below for my top 5 tips for making the next 8 weeks COUNT! I started to implement these just 2 months ago and below are my results! I’ve stayed the same exact weight, but seen enormous changes in my body. I plan to continue on with you to make this summer one of unforgettable adventures and confidence! I’ve already seen some amazing energy from this community and you inspire me to get my butt moving every day-so thanks!

Bikini Series 2016 Before

#1 Don’t QUIT! Do something EVERY DAY (with an active rest day)  Here’s one of my favorite words- DISCIPLINE. It takes 21-30 days to see changes in ourselves, and can sometimes take longer if you’re half-assing it. Cut that crap out-you are waiting your time! You won’t change anything by keeping it in your comfort zone. During EACH of your workouts, I want you to focus on your form, your power, and your strength. (Keep your butt down during planks, do those pushups on your knees if you can’t fully extend your arms, keep your back flat not rounded during deadlifts!) Don’t save your energy for later in the workout. I promise you will still have some power left and then you’ll be wondering ‘why didn’t I push myself harder?!’ If you feel pain-STOP, if you are burning- KEEP GOING! If you are BRAND new to working out, your goal is going to be finishing your workout while pacing yourself. Need to take breaks? Need to miss some reps? That’s a part of starting out-take those breaks! Just keep going and promise me you will try your best to get to the end. Yes, you will be sore for the first few weeks, but when you push PAST this point there is some magic that happens and you will feel AMAZING! Don’t quit on me, I’m right here with you!

#2 Do NOT spend hours on Instagram looking at other girls bodies-its not yours! This is beyond emotionally damaging and also degrading to yourself. You do not deserve to view yourself as anything but beautiful, and if you’re unhappy then only YOU can make a change. Don’t compare your life or circumstances. If you find yourself in this pattern, put the phone down and go for a walk (even if it’s just around the office or the block).

#3 Don’t try to do everything at once- meal prepping can be extremely overwhelming. If you’re following the 8 week plan, I suggest trying out 1 or 2 recipes for lunch and dinner PER WEEK. Don’t buy all the ingredients or you will let them go to waste (your $$ too). I promise you will not be in the mood for something one day. Instead, keep the standards at hand so you can whip up some quick chicken or turkey and broccoli at night- there’s NOTHING wrong with routine or repetition. Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed. Personally I prep my proteins and veggies at the beginning of the week and store them in containers that are easy to reach. Some days I want apples or bananas, and some days I want tacos-just being honest. I will be trying my best to avoid processed food for the next 6 weeks (until my wedding!) but I allow myself wiggle room since I need to reach 1800 calories per day and my days are very active. Don’t make it a habit, but don’t beat yourself up!

#4 It’s going to take hard work-I don’t have to remind you we are all created differently but this fact holds true for any woman-changing your body is HARD! There’s a reason studios and fitness corporations have been coming out with more challenging and even grueling workouts over the past 5 years. For numerous reasons (American’s have horrible diets) and we are extremely sedentary, it takes some extra umph to get rid of those stubborn lbs. When you feel discouraged remember you are doing this to be the healthiest you, and yes passing on that night out of drinking will bring you closer to your goals-celebrate with a like-minded girlfriend.

#5 WATER! Eating 6 meals a day requires you to be hydrated (plus those workouts) wow, that’s a lot to digest! My current goal is 100 oz (that’s about 6-7 of my 16oz plastic cups). Buy a new water bottle or a cup to stay motivated to drink. I keep track by writing on the top with a dry-erase marker-water works right? I can’t stress this last point enough. It will do wonders for your skin, and the rest of your body! Drink up ladies. 

Happy Bikini Series!

xoxo, Ari

 

 

#OnceUponATravelstead: Engagement Session with M&K

Happy Magic Monday y’all! I am so glad you’ve stopped by! It’s wedding season isn’t it? Love is in the air

I am so excited to be writing this! It finally feels real. Only 300 and some-odd days until our wedding next June, and we have been extremely blessed by the help of so many people. Our family, our friends. Everyone is offering their help with our planning. Sure, sometimes there are difficult conversations. But so far, our wedding planning has been peaceful. Our long engagement has allowed us to grow further in our relationship and is preparing us for marriage, in a world that can be hasty and idealistic. Every small detail we have had the pleasure of working through, we’ve celebrated. Big or small, we are not letting any good thing go uncelebrated. Life is too short!

A few months ago, we entered a photographer’s free engagement photoshoot contest while we were at an open house at the Chapel at Anna Villa in The Colony, TX. To our surprise we WON a free engagement photo session with M & K Productions! Check out their Facebook page in the link above to see ALL of the sneak peak photos from our session. I’ve posted quite a few here for those without Facebook.

Welcome to our fairy tale. I have yet to release our proposal story because I am still trying to write a short version that you will actually read. There are so many fun moments in our story and I plan to release it soon, along with SO many photos!  Long story short…I moved to Texas to be closer to my sweetheart a year and a half ago. From NJ to Dallas, I have made Texas my home. Life has a sweet vibe here. A praise-worthy air about the country-side. So it only made sense for us to take our photos in our home! We chose to take them at our wedding venue, Vaquero. Seated in the hills of Westlake, just beyond Southlake, this sprawling Fazio golf course is where we are so extremely blessed to spend many weekends. We cannot wait to turn it into an Enchanted Garden with an outdoor ceremony and reception next year. With all of the rain Texas got this year, June held on to a late bloom of lush green grasses, and beautifully overgrown trees!

I have already said this…but i’m blessed by my friends. My bridesmaid, Kaytie Gaus, is very talented in so many ways. She spent the afternoon with me doing my hair and makeup. Her and her husband actually spent the entire shoot with us making us feel a little bit more comfortable. It’s not so easy to pose in the right way when you’re not sure what your face looks like! Practice practice practice. Without her, I would not have felt so stunning on this day! Thank you Kaytie and Ethan for making us laugh!

The overgrown arbor shown below is going to be a really special spot at our wedding. Wait until you see how we stage it!

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After an outfit change (who doesn’t love dressing up?!) we headed to Southlake Town Square, a few miles down the road. There are so many cute spots for photos here. Here are a few of my favorites. We also had to stop for ice cream…perfect for a 100 degree day and a white dress….not! It was worth it, I know when we get all the pictures back there will be some great memories to keep.

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Hunter and I LOVE fairy tales. We simply can’t get enough of them. It was obvious that our wedding hashtag should be #OnceUponATravelstead, and we chose some fun pastels for the last location back at Vaquero. After debating between a number of props, we decided to bring some huge balloons with us for the shoot.

And what’s a shoot without a little mishap? We inflated 6 oversized 36″ balloons. You can get them at Party City. Lucky for us we have a helium tank at the clubhouse, however transporting these things is almost impossible! Note to self. TIE them tighter! Lol, how many engineers does it take to tie balloons? (answer: one that will read directions). As we drove over to Fish Camp for the last of our sunset shots, 4 out of 6 balloons flew away in the sky. Bye bye balloons! That’s ok we still got some amazing dreamy shots and had so much fun!!! I imagine they went to a better place and made someone happy =)

Always Believe Something Wonderful is About to Happen

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I guess I’m stuck with you babe! Thanks for hooking me. What would our session be without a ‘dad joke’

Timing it perfectly, Mark and Kristin were extremely sweet to spend so much time with us. We were extremely grateful and I cannot wait to see the rest of our photos in a couple of months! We ended the night with some champagne and the most beautiful sunset. Enjoy our sweet moments. Thank you for sharing in our love story!

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Turks and Caicos: Trip Teaser!

Well let me start by saying this is going to be very difficult to contain my excitement. So much to write! But this past week Hunter and I had the amazing opportunity to return to where we first met in Turks and Caicos 2 years ago. I never thought I would even see him again! But Grace Bay brought us back to a resort that I can highly recommend going for a honeymoon or anniversary trip! Seven Stars Resort in Providenciales. I wanted to post a few photos before you guys thought I forgot about you. You know I love to travel! So here are a few highlights! I cannot wait to share the story of how he asked me to marry him on the beach! We are beyond excited to go through all of our photos and to keep celebrating this happy time. Thanks for all the love and stop by soon for more photos and a few stories!

 

Hunter was pretty elaborate in his quest for my hand…I might have him post the story some time in the future! It’s sure to make you cry. These bottles were brought from Texas to participate in the proposal. I couldn’t believe he planned so much in so little time!

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Some of our favorite frozen drinks….the Panda Freeze and the Rock Lobster!

H&A Turks

If you think you know what a sunset looks like, every night will change your mind. ❤

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No, you do not get tired of looking at the water!

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Only my second dive into SCUBA and I’m excited to swim with sharks: more on this later!

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We had fireworks in the sky on the night of our engagement.
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I was so surprised! It’s hard to describe this evening as anything but magical.
H&A Engaged