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Whenever I need a quick fix or feel like I've fallen off path, I always turn to Insanity. It's a max interval training video with going hard for 3 minute intervals and then you have 30 second breaks. 1 video a day, 6 days on, 1 day off, 38-42 minute workouts depending on day (about 15 minutes of that is stretching aka it's really not that bad!) The 2nd month the sessions are a bit longer ranging from 47-59 minutes. They say you can burn up to 1000 calories an hour and the best thing is it requires NO equipment. The first time I ever tried it was in 2011 and I did 8 weeks of it (6 days on, 1 day off) until Thanksgiving hit on the 9th week. Sorry but I got lazy :) But for the first time, someone asked me how I got my calves to look so great... but that wasn't the only thing. My entire body toned up and I lost body fat and ate so much better. While doing Insanity you have to start eating 5, 300 calorie meals because you're constantly hungry which means your metabolism is working a ton. I stayed in shape while studying abroad in Italy as well, its so easy when you have it on your computer and you can essentially do it anywhere. Most recently, I had really fallen off the beaten path and needed to lose some weight. It was a year after dating my boyfriend that I realized I had gained some weight from eating out a lot. He lived in NY the first year we dated and would visit every 2 weeks and I would eat dinner that Friday night but then also when I picked him up from the airport at 10 PM, I couldn't say no to Umami Burger. Bad habits that needed to be changed. My 5 foot frame body also doesn't hide any weight gain.So April 2016 came and from April 1st, I told myself I would finish up the entire 9 week program. And I did. Now.... I did NOT lose 30 pounds in 9 weeks. It really took me until November 2016 to lose all of that but I kept up with Insanity again, and started the 9 week program after eachother after about a week off. Now sometimes I was not able to finish it in 9 weeks straight, there was a vacation in the middle of that that I needed to take a week break, and that's ok. As long as you try to not eat a ton on vaca and maybe try going on the elyptical at the hotel gym. I just started doing it again this year and am on my 4th week now and remember how much I love it and I feel like I can start seeing abs now that I'm thinner and am doing it mainly to tone up for our Punta Cana trip in June. Hope this inspires someone to get healthy- it really does give you so much energy and confidence. You can check out insanity here (the shorts in my after pic literally used to be tight on me)

SOME ITEMS YOU MAY NEED FOR IT



I was so excited when I found out that my best friend was going to have her engagement party in Phoenix. I've never been and knowing that there's usually sun almost 90% of the year was great. Living in Chicago, I am very fond of getting away in the winters or when it's still chilly here so 100 degree weather in May is amazing to me. She had the party at her fiance's parents house which ended up being exactly how I picture my dream home to look. We flew in on Friday night (late) and were leaving Sunday afternoon. Saturday we spent the day at the pool at Westin Kierland where her dad was staying and afterwords got In & Out, because of course if you know me, you know I'm obsessed with it. We got ready for the party and headed over. The details were to die for, all down to the napkins in the bathroom monogrammed 'Lindsey and Brandon.' Filled with a band, catering, a bar, Garrett's Popcorn, and incredible sweets, it was an absolutely amazing weekend with my best friends and we found out we'll be bridesmaids as well. The next day we didn't have much time left so we layed out a bit and headed to the airport only to ask our Uber driver to stop at In & Out again. Insanity today is needed. Let the wedding festivities begin! (more pics on my instagram)

Outfit secrets:

My printed swim suit is actually a knock off of a Mara Hoffman suit that retails for $128. I got it for $18.99 from Amazon. I actually came across it from watching this youtube video. More outfit details below.

CLICK THE PICTURES BELOW TO BUY

Similar shorts (mine are from Zara)

OTHER FUN KEY PIECES FOR A WARM CITY




My parents being from Poland has impacted my life in many ways. Many great and some not so great. Subject: hoarding. My parents (and I think other immigrants as well) are so proud of what they accomplished in the states and also ... what they purchased. Therefore, they don't ever want to throw anything out because they worked SO hard to get it. That describes my parents in a nut shell. That being said, I've had to slowly start remodeling my parents home to get with the times and the fact that I still currently live there, I want to be comfortable sitting on the couch and not sit on the 20 year old couches that came with the house they bought. I knew I wanted to get a big L couch because we have a big family and I just picture holidays all sitting together. We also had to paint all the walls white because the yellow design on the left wall has also been there since we moved in 20 years ago. Next I wanted to make it still feel homey, not too modern, but also bright and airy. The couch came with all those pillows but I purchased pillow covers from Bed Bath and Beyond to go along with the aesthetic and a couple new pillows from Ashley Furniture. I had to take down the blinds that the house also came with and we finally threw out that 700 pound Sony TV. Just kidding it was probably 350 pounds. The pink carpet is also something we will eventually get rid of but I had to work with it for now. I made a little gallery wall behind the TV because it was so bare without it, I will add some more photos one day since it still looks a bit bare. I purchased different black and white frames for it from Michaels and blew up some pictures I've taken and also blew up the Tatry Mountains in Poland for my dad so he would enjoy sitting there too. :) Below is what I came up with and I've linked all the purchases at the end as well. The 'before' picture is all the way at the bottom. What do you think!?

Couch- Ashley Furniture

Coffee Table- Wayfair

End Tables- Wayfair

Lamp: Homegoods (sorry no link)

Grey and white pillows- Ashley Furniture

Grey fur pillow- Ashley Furniture

Silver Curtains- Bed Bath & Beyond

Silver Double Rod- Bed Bath & Beyond

BEFORE!!

CLICK THE PICTURES BELOW

TO BUY

Similar tray

Similar couch

Similar pillow

I bought my lantern and coasters from Marshalls but here are also similar items for the coffee table.



ABOUT

Hi, I'm Ela! I started this blog to share all my knowledge of fashion, home decor, travel and more. I previously worked as a men's model agent (see that post here) and now I work in advertising. Majoring in Fashion Business, I've always had a love towards fashion and love sharing about it. I get so excited getting pieces for a steal (my Polish background does that to me,) I love to travel anywhere and everywhere, and I love interior decor and turning something old into something beautiful and new.

 

From traveling, fashion, home decor, happiness and health, follow here to see more.

 

CLICK FOR MORE FACTS ABOUT ME

PLACES I LIKE TO SHOP

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MY RECENT YOUTUBE VIDEOS

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