Sequin Gowns & Mermaid Crowns : June 2016

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Bahamas Cruise Recap!

I am soooo excited to tell you all about my first cruise EVER that I've just returned from!  We took the Carnival Elation out of Jacksonville, FL for a 4 day trip. So on the first day we were at sea, day two was in Freeport, day three was in Nassau, and day for was a full day at sea!  I was hesitant at first, but I wound up having an amazing time! I would definitely want to take another cruise sometime and absolutely will be going back to visit the Bahamas!  I plan on making another post or two to give you guys my first timer cruise tips and maybe some outfit ideas; but for now, here are a few of my favorite photos from the trip!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Reverse Your Routine with TRESemme!

In recent times I've been struggling with my hair.  I've always had a little bit of frizz, but being a curly girl I came to accept that.  However, my hair has become just unruly and barely tamable; I'm talking frizz, dryness, and knots galore.  Just when I'd thought I'd run out of things to try, my "hairygodmother" (haha see what I did there? I mean a fairy godmother of hair, not like that she's hairy...) came to my rescue.  Influenster notified me that I was chosen to try out the new TRESemme Beauty-Full Volume Reverse System shampoo and conditioner! Woohoo!

Now this is not your average haircare line.  For this set you condition first and then shampoo!  It seemed really weird at first, but the results were actually a lot more wonderful than I expected. You use them just as you would normal shampoo and conditioner, just in a different order. TREsemme says that you condition first to give your hair moisture and hydration and then shampoo to "wash the weight away."  The system is formulated to give you soft, healthy hair with lots of volume, and I can vouch for that.

Even after the first time I saw a noticable difference.  My hair was not at all as frizzy and it seemed lighter and bouncier.  After a couple more uses, my hair is back to its normal state of crazy (I've named it Miley because it can't be tamed lol...I need to stop....).  Honestly, I'm not sure if it's the reverese aspect of the system or just the formula, but whatever it is it definitely worked for me.  Also, it smells really good, which you know I'm all about.  Another thing that I appreciated is that I don't need nearly as much conditioner for some reason.  I only need about 3-4 pumps to nicely coat my ridiculous amount of hair, which is a lot less than I normally need of other conditioners.  If I had to estimate I'd say it's about the size of a golf ball compared to a tennis ball.

My "reverse" picture! A LOT less frizz.

Overall, this system is great and I will absolutely buy it again.  Also, I should mention that all of the photos show my hair without any additional product.  Definitely would recommend it to anyone looking for a weightless feeling and a nice amount of volume.  Great innovation TRESemme!
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Friday, June 17, 2016

An Open Letter to the Man I Thought I'd Marry

If anyone had asked me a week ago how I felt about you, I would have gone on and on about how wonderful you were, how I knew the moment I met you that you were going to be special, and that if you'd ask, I'd marry you in a heartbeat.  Even after 6 months, I found myself staring at your handsome face wondering how I got so lucky to have you.  I was totally and completely in love with you.  I thought about you first thing in the moring and before I went to bed.  Some of my happiest memories were waking up next to you.  You were the sun and the moon and you put all of the stars in the sky.  I never would have thought that in the blink of an eye you'd be gone, like a flash of lighting.

I don't agree with how you handled things; I know in my heart there was a better way to end things. But I do know that to you, that was the easiest way.  I still think you took the cowardly route, since I know that you simply couldn't bare to face the pain you had caused me.  But that also humbles me, because although your decision was selfish, I know that you truly do care for me.  Some people might think I am crazy and not understand how I'm not blind with rage and wishing you the worst, but that is just not the kind of person I am.  I may get easily angered by stupid drivers who don't use their turn signals, but when it comes to the people I love, I have an unreal and strangley calm level of understanding. The most pain I wish you is to feel the same level of hurt that you inflicted upon me.  I get why you did what you did, I do.  Do I agree with you? No.  Is that what I would have wanted?  Absolutely not.  But hindsight is 100% and as much as I love you, I can see that I am destined for more.

I do not doubt that you loved me fully; not at all.  However, I loved you with every single ounce of my being: 110%.  You loved me 100% for you, which I will always keep in my heart.  But 100% on your scale was only about 75% on my scale, and even though at the time that amount was heaven, in the long run it would not have been enough.  I truly do believe that you tried your hardest and loved me as much as you were capable of, but I can't help but go back to the saying that wisely states: You cannot fully love another until you fully love yourself.  It is now my feeling that you really didn't know who you were, or what you really wanted out of life.  I saw the internal battle in our time together and after everything you had been through I can see how you would benefit from some time alone to find yourself.  I, personally, have already done this.  I have a lot of confidence and not a lot of insecurity, which is why I can love so completely.

I also believe that we are placed in people's lives to teach each other lessons.  At first I was angry and wondered why something that made me so happy would be taken from me so suddenly.  I looked for the lesson and struggled to find one. But then I realized: maybe I was placed in your life to teach you something.  I'm not sure what that is either, but it seems as though I've done my job.  I did gain a lot from you: You told me I was beautiful when I felt the need to hide, you pushed me to be a better version of myself, and you left me with a lot of wonderful memories that I'll look back on one day with fondness and not sadness. I hope that I was able to teach you things and make you realize that you deserve better than you think.

As heartbroken as I am that you are no longer in my life, and as long as it is going to take for me to get over constantly missing you, I push myself to keep thinking "don't be sad that it's over, be happy that it happened."  I don't regret anything with you and I will always have a place in my heart for the love you gave me.  I don't want to look back on our relationship and go right to the pain of how you betrayed my trust and totally blindsided me.  You made a bad and rash decision, but you're intention was not to hurt me.  So I hope that in some time I will be able to come across the photos and momentos from our time and remember the happiness you brought me when I really needed it.  Even though I was wrong, and that we weren't meant to spend our lives together, I know fate brought us together for a reason.  We helped each other get through some rough times that may have been a lot harder to face alone.  So even though our time together was cut short, I am grateful that I got to have you for the short time that I did and I hope that if our paths cross again my heart will remember the love and not the pain.  I wish you all of the love and happiness that the world has to offer you. Although I don't think you will ever find someone that will love you as much as I did, if you are lucky enough to find that again then by that time you will deserve it.  I will always love you, and thank you for pushing me to realize the level of love I deserve.
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Thursday, June 9, 2016

7 Tips for Getting Into a Workout Routine

In recent days, I have slowly become the person I've always strived to be but never was motivated enough to get there.  My name is Briana, and I am a gym rat.  ("Hi Briana...") You get it.  Anyway, I finally kicked it into full gear and I now find myself at the gym at least 5 days a week.  If you'd asked me a year ago if that would ever happen (hell, even a month ago) I probably would have laughed right in your face as I shoved a slice of pepperoni pizza in my mouth.  I haven't gone as far as to give up pizza (now that really will never happen) but I've really committed myself to a healthy lifestyle.  I've only been at it for a couple of weeks, but I feel sooo much better already!  So if you're working on your "summer bod" or whatever, here are my top tips for getting yourself into a regular workout routine!

#1 Get a Workout Buddy

For me there is honestly nothing more excruciatingly boring than working out alone.  Do yourself a favor and get a buddy!  Not only does it make the painful course of your workout more bearable, but it can actually be a lot of fun!  It's also great motivation because you will push each other.  Your buddy also comes in handy for machine swapping, spotting, watching your form, and are also your own personal cheerleader: "You can do that last rep! YOU GOT THIS!!"

#2  Have a Plan

I mean this in two different ways: First, have a plan of when you are going to the gym.  My boyfriend, Brandon, and I go every morning Monday through Thursday from 6:30-9 (Yes, we may be certifiably insane, however this does include showers) and sometimes Friday and Saturday if our work schedules permit.  It's a lot easier to go when it becomes a regular part of your routine (ie. Gym, Work, Home, Dead...I mean Bed). Second, have a plan for your workout.  We have a routine for upper body day and lower body day that we normally follow, unless Brandon tries to kill me by adding something new -_- but I digress.  If you have a little routine going, you'll always have an idea of how long you'll take and it saves you time and thinking power.

#3  Switch it Up

This may seem contradictory to my last tip, but hear me out.  It is good to have a routine, but don't let it go stale.  You don't want to be just going through the motions, or you're going to get bored and want to quit.  I like to switch up my cardio on occasion or swap out an ab exercise.  Also, adding weight and pushing yourself will keep you motivated too!

#4  Be Prepared

If you're planning on showering at the gym or you have somewhere to be right after make sure you have everything you need.  I go to work right after, so I look like a legit bag lady ALL THE TIME.  I have my gym bag that has all of my normal things (wallet, keys...) and also keeps all of my shower things (soap, change of clothes, towel, makeup...) Basically, I need a bigger bag.  Then I also have a lunch box since I eat breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout my long ass day.  Brandon and I make our post-workout protein shakes in the parking lot.  It's a good time.  You may spot me walking to my car casually shaking my blender bottle bartender style.  Basically, just make sure you have everything you need to keep your day going smoothly.  There is nothing worse than forgetting your underwear and having to go commando with your jeans all day (although I cannot attest to this, I imagine that would be a pretty rough day).

#5  Set Some Goals

Goals are a major part of staying motivated.  Whether it's a specific weight, something you want to tone up, or a big event to prepare for, whatever it is that you want to take away from your gym going experience: that is your goal.  Also, make sure they are realistic and not harmful to your health. You're not going to have the perfect bikini bod in one week, so don't set yourself up for disappointment.  For example, my current goal is to get as much done as I can in time for my cruise at the end of the moth.  It's not super specific because I'm not really sure what I am capable of.  I could be down 10 lbs. by then, or only 3.  I don't have much to base it on, so for this particular event I went for something general.  Also, setting several goals is extremely beneficial.  I like to have an ultimate/lifetime goal, a long term goal and a short term goal.  So right now my ultimate goal is my best body: I want to be healthy (of course), be about a size 8 or 10 so I can buy any clothes I want, and be toned up.  I am not about the flab on my arms and the not so flat stomach.  My longterm goal would be to work on pieces of that main goal like tighten up my arms, get rid of that cellulite, or build a bigger booty.  And my short term wold be my cruise goal.  It is also important that you set a new goal for each one you achieve!

#6  Challenge Yourself

This applies to going to the gym in general and in your workout.  If you're a night person but your schedule only gives you time to go in the morning, DO IT!  You don't know until you try and it's never going to be easy, but it gets better!  Once you know what you are capable of, you can find your balance!  Also, push yourself to keep stepping up.  Don't do the same amount of weight every day or even every set.  If it feels too easy, it is!  Add 5-10 lbs. each time and see how much you can do, but still always be careful.  If you're in pain, and I mean more than just the push of your muscles working, then it is too much.  Or, for another example, if you got up to an 8.00 incline on the treadmill yesterday, go for the 10.00 today!  Your workouts should be challenging in order for you to make progress, but they will vary from day to day!

#7  Don't Get Discouraged

EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.  I cannot stress that enough.  I'll be honest, I was super uncomfortable the first couple of times I was in the "weight room" since I was usually the only girl amongst a bunch of beefed up guys.  Mind you, I am by no means tiny, but I felt like a little peanut next to these guys and I felt like I didn't really belong there.  Thankfully, Brandon encouraged me and now I hardly even notice them, unless I'm picking out the ones with horrible form; which I feel bad not saying anything, but chances are slim that they'd take advice from a little squirt like me LOL. Also, don't compare yourself to your partner, especially if they are the opposite gender. On most things Brandon does a lot more than me, but he's a guy.  He's a lot bigger than me and he's been working out regularly for a good while before we started going together.  But then there are things that we do the same on.  It really depends on the person.  A 50 lb. dead lift for them might be the equivalent of a 15 lb. one for you.  As long as you are making progress, the numbers don't matter! It's how you feel that counts!

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Instagram Roundup!

Hello! Sorry I've kind of been out of commission for the past month or so.  I recently started a new job and a new routine and have been getting back into the swing of things!  So now that I've finally got my ducks in a row, I can get back to my regularly scheduled posts!

So to get back into my rhythm, I've decided on an Instagram roundup!  I'm just going to highlight some of my favorite posts from people I follow!

I keep seeing these floppy hats with cute sayings on them and I'm pretty much in love!! I'm going on a cruise at the end of the month and I will feel incomplete without this one in my suitcase!

A photo posted by Bethany // B SOUP (@b_soup) on

Another trend I've noticed is these cold shoulder tops. Again, I am on a never ending hunt for one of these or even a dress with that same cut! It's soo cute, flirty, and I particularly like the style for my body type. We'be also got a great post up at Flora Girl with a great roundup of these tops! Check it out here!

A photo posted by Henri Bendel (@henribendel) on

I will take one of everything in this picture please. How cute are those puppies?! And that bag isn't bad either ;)

A photo posted by Foam Magazine (@foammag) on

This places looks super magical. If I could poof myself there right now I would. I think it would be the perfect place to sit down and have a few drinks and have a really damn good time. #PARADISE

A photo posted by Kailey Flyte (@mermaidens) on

The longer I am not the owner of this jacket, the sadder I will get. How cute is this?! The jacket is by Valfre, maker of many wonderful mermaid things. And the cool chick who is donning it is pretty cool too ;)

I'm actually addicted to this IG account. Heather Chapman is a freakin' hair GENIUS! Like I can only hope that one day I might be able to make my hair slightly resemble the things that she comes up with. I've watched this particular video a shameful amount of times trying to figure it out!! Soooo rad.

Just by looking at the date on this one, you can tell that I frequently stalk Diamond Head Beach House and it's sister store Rebecca Beach. They are based in Hawaii and I may have liked almost every picture they have both posted. They carry really awesome brands and always put together outfits that I later try to recreate with what is in my closet, usually to no avail. It is my dream to be able to just buy every outfit they come up with and wear them forever. Aloha Beaches.
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