WorkoutGear

My Top Four Workout Essentials + VOORAY Giveaway

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If you've been keeping up with my latest Instastories, you'll know that I've been on the grind when it comes to hitting the gym several times per week! Ultimately, my fitness goal is to gain more muscle mass all the while shredding off unnecessary body fat. Since joining the luxurious Lifetime approximately 1.5 months ago, I've been experiencing good progress, but still have many ways to go and I can't stop here!

Since I have become a bit of a fitness enthusiast as of lately, I wanted to share with you guys my top FOUR workout essentials of all time. At the end of this blog post, I'll be hosting a sweet little giveaway to gift one lucky winner their very own WORKOUT TOTE - and that's my gift to you if you promise me that you'll train hard on reaching your fitness goals as well ;)


1. A trustworthy, durable gym bag.

You can laugh at me - I'm one of those people who carried around a beat-up, ol' drawstring bag that you get for free at your local conventions. For years, I've always wanted the ideal duffel bag, but I never found one that that never had the three features I was looking for - COMFORTABLE STRAP, SPACIOUS, and CUTE AF. The gym bags that slightly caught my interest...I couldn't justify the price because I just wasn't entirely sold on its features. For me, I can't spend a lot on an item that I'm not entirely convinced on.

HOWEVER, as soon as I discovered the brand VOORAY, I knew I had to have one of their bags! Just last month, I disposed of my embarrassing drawstring bag and welcomed home my new baby - the Aria Tote from VOORAY. I am obsessed with EVERYTHING about this tote - from the adorable and feminine cherry blossoms pattern to the roomy space I can utilize to store extra clothes and shoes inside of the tote. Also, I have to say that $60.00 is relatively inexpensive for such a functional gym tote - usually I've seen way pricier bags that offered less features and I was like no thanks! The Aria Tote comes in a variety of colors - please share with me in the comments section which color is your favorite, I'd love to know! :)

Whether you're hitting the gym, cardio class, or yoga class, I would highly recommend VOORAY's Aria Tote over any overhyped duffel bag or drawstring bag that you see on the market. Not only have I been sold on all of the Aria Tote's exceptional features, but this is a tote that I can imagine using for years to come.


2. An enviromentally friendly, reusable, & refillable water bottle.

Similarly to the situation above, I never discovered a reusable and refillable water bottle brand that I LOVED until I discovered Contigo. Every other water bottle brand that I used was either too heavy, too ugly, too inconvenient to wash, or made the water taste like metal - bleah!

Months ago, I've partnered up with Contigo on a video collaboration and fell in love with this water bottle brand upon first use. Unfortunately, I did lose my first Contigo water bottle recently, so I purchased a new one - and yes, it had to be teal ;) Although I currently own the Contigo AUTOSPOUT Straw Ashland Glass Water Bottle in Scuba (20 oz.), I honestly recommend the first water bottle I owned - the Contigo AUTOSPOUT Straw Ashland Infuser Water Bottle (26 oz). Not only is the infuser bottle more lightweight and can hold more water, but you can also add chopped fruits in the infuser if you prefer to add a kick to your average taste of water! Regardless, Contigo makes me a happy camper and I will be carrying this bottle conmigo everywhere ;)


3. Comfortable and cute AF workout clothes.

I noticed that the more often I wear cute workout clothes, the more motivated I happen to feel towards that particular day's workout. Does the same thing happen to you?

For example, if I dressed like a bum while walking the dogs, it's been statistically proven (through undergoing multiple personal experiences and observations) that I walk them for a shorter amount of time as opposed to when I'm all dressed up in the latest workout gear.

Personally, I find that fashionable and comfortable workout clothes allow one to feel more confident both inside and out, which almost always leads to a more pumped up workout!

Currently, my favorite workout apparel brand is Marika Clothing & Ellie Activewear. Not only do they have the trendiest pieces with the cutest cut-outs (I LOVE CUTOUTS!), but they are super comfortable and breathable to get me through my workout without feeling like I'm going to faint from exhaustion. Definitely check these two brands out if you're looking to shop for new workout apparel!


4. Athletic footwear that is supportive, comfortable, and on trend.

When I was younger, the only athletic kicks that I swore I'd wear were Nikes. Chic and trendy - what's not to love about Nike? Although Nike remains one of my favorite athletic footwear brands, I decided to open up my knowledge by trying out other footwear brands - this includes Adidas, Ryka, and ASICS.

All of the aforementioned athletic footwear brands, I love and support wholeheartedly. However, I will say that every footwear made by the brand fits and looks different on each individual, so when shoe shopping, you have the find the right fit for YOU.

I wanted to share TWO specific athletic shoes that I've been loving as of recently. One is called the adidas Pureboost Xpose and I love how this style made me feel like I was running on a fluffy cloud! Not only did they offer a lot of support for jumping and running, but I felt a lightweight spring in my step every time that I took off in these.

Since my Adidas pair has gone through some wear and tear, I recently received a new pair for my birthday that I am infatuated with called the HyperGEL-KENZEN by ASICS. By pure luck and chance, I discovered this specific style through an Instagram advertisement by SIX:02 and yes, I fell for an advertisement once again, LOL. Additionally, the website advises going half a size up if you were to order this pair. Since I am typically a Size 7.5 US in Women's Shoes, I ordered a Size 8 US in Begonia Pink/Seashell and it fits perfectly! Upon trying them out for the first time, the shoes will feel a bit snug/tight, but this feeling is accurate due to the fact that you need a tight fit when your athletic shoes don't come with laces. Honestly, I opted for this pair more for the girly AF pinkstagram + polka dot design, but I am thankful that these are super comfortable and supportive. From my friends, I've heard of a lot of good reviews on ASICS shoes so I'm glad that I get to try this brand out for the very first time! In fact, my best friend, Marisa, fell in love with my new shoes upon first glance so she might end up getting them as well ;)


And now it's time for a giveaway! Because I have top four workout essentials that keep me on my fitness game, I wanted to help y'all out by gifting you one out of four of these essentials - your very own ARIA Tote bag from VOORAY! Be sure to follow ALL of the rules below in order for your entry to qualify and good luck! :)



VOORAY GIVEAWAY RULES:

1. Follow @vooray on Instagram and @missmisschelle on Instagram.
2. Like my last three Instagram photos on @missmisschelle.
3. Tag 3 friends on my Instagram post here who would also like to enter the giveaway! 
4. Comment on this blog post WHY you need a new workout tote (or specifically, the Aria Tote by VOORAY) in your life! Don't forget to include your FULL NAME, INSTAGRAM HANDLE, and EMAIL ADDRESS.

[For 5 extra entries] Like Michelle's Facebook page here.
[For 5 extra entries] Follow my photography Instagram page, @michellesunphotography.
[For 5 extra entries] Like Michelle Sun Photography's Facebook page here.


And that's all the rules to enter this awesome giveaway! I cannot wait to see your entries and the reasons behind why you want to win the ARIA Tote - tbh, I love mine so much and can't wait for one of you to own the very same bag ;)


Outfit Details:

Workout Tote: VOORAY
Tank: Ellie Activewear
Sports Bra: Ellie Activewear
Leggings: NdulgeNLife
Shoes: ASICS x SIX:02


Photography By:

Sharon Litz (@sharonlitz)

www.sharinaone.com


Steppin' It Up A Notch

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So this is one of the blog posts that I've written quite a while back, revisited, and rewrote because so much has changed within the last couple of weeks in just JANUARY! As much as you could call this a late "New Years Resolutions" post, I prefer to use the phrase "2018 plans" instead, as it packs a more powerful punch and sounds a lot more ambitious than "NYE resolutions".

To be honest, 2017 was a year of finding myself. Personally, I reflect back on 2017 and am thankful for everything that's happened, but I will be honest when I say that it wasn't my best year. My health deteriorated from poor diet choices, my work stresses got the better of me, and I felt completely lost and unmotivated with my social media platforms for several months.

However, I've started 2018 with a BANG and a new mindset to change everything. This year, I'm ready to eliminate all of the negativity and stresses holding me back and am now embracing this year with an open mind and a determined checklist of goals to tackle.

In this post, I wanted to share with you guys a few plans that I aim to commit to for the long haul and I hope that you guys can follow me along on this journey to a happier life!


Outfit Details:

Workout Top, Sports Bra, & Workout Leggings:
Ellie Activewear
*Similar styles - Tank #1 and Tank #2

Shoes: Ryka


Photography By:

Sharon Litz (@sharonlitz)
www.sharinaone.com


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1. Waking up earlier.

For those who know me closely, you know that your girl never wanted to get out of bed past 10AM. Since January 2nd, I've been setting up my alarm and getting up exactly at 8:10AM. The first morning I did this felt like absolute hell, but I will admit that each and every early morning after Day One becomes easier. Nowadays, I feel pumped that I'm getting so much shit done before noon. If I really have to lay down longer, I casually browse through my emails or Instagram feed for a good 10-15 minutes before getting up, but I don't ever let my eyes close after that alarm or else...mission unaccomplished.

A quick tip for my snoozers out there - Cosmopolitan magazine states that hitting the snooze button is pointless because you're getting an inefficient and interrupted amount of sleep, so you might as well get your ass up and do something productive! Ever since I read that tip, I've successfully gotten out of bed without hitting the snooze button and I couldn't be happier.


2. Sleeping earlier.

This second point pretty much goes hand-in-hand with point one, but I thought that this was also an important topic to address. As a previous night owl, I was always guilty of staying up late (which is why I woke up late) and I realized that a lot of the things I did from midnight to 2:00AM were absolutely unproductive and useless. I didn't like being the last person to go to bed in my family and wasn't happy with the fact that I didn't use this time wisely. Since I wake up at 8:10AM nowadays, I make it a plan to sleep between 10:00PM - 11:30PM. Whoever says sleep is for the weak is wrong in my opinion because I believe that you can be your most efficient and productive self when you are well-rested.


3. Losing weight and being healthier.

Now this is a personal topic that I'm not as comfortable talking about, but I want my platforms to be about accepting your flaws, loving yourself and your body, and brainstorming solutions on what you can do to improve your situation if you aren't happy. I'm never somebody who wants to settle or accept things for the way they are, and always strive to change for the better.

So let's begin with the long-story-short version. Ever since the beginning of freshman year of college to now, I've gained 30 lbs in total. Thirty. Fucking. Pounds. When I went to my doctor's appointment recently, I was shocked at just how quickly undisciplined eating and lack of exercise could sneak up on you and take a negative toll on your body.

Now it's time for honesty hour. As much as I love the feeling of working out, I never pushed my body past its limits. Ever since I retired from my hip hop team (and thus retired from exhausting AF dance practices) and developed a burning discomfort that shot through my wrist called tendonitis, I always exercised casually and made excuses that I couldn't work out too "hard" because my wrist hurt. Little did I know that this laziness bit me in the ass several years later.

With family and the wrong crowd of "friends" (who are no longer my friends for obvious reasons), I've always been made fun of how much I eat. I was told that I ate too much, that I never stopped eating, and that I was fat. To be honest, I knew that they were right that I ate an unhealthy amount for an individual with my body size and height, but that doesn't disregard the fact that hearing each negative statement about my body stung.

However, with a New Year comes a new change. Several years ago, I went on a strict diet and had a consistent exercise regimen that helped me drop 10 lbs easily. If I did it once, I know that I can do it again. Honestly, I'm not so focused on the number on the scale as I am about how I feel/look physically and emotionally. Thus, my first goal is to drop 10 lbs first. From there, I will make another realistic goal until I reach a weight that I am happy with. After all, it's all about the baby steps and making realistic goals that you know you can stick to :)

I wanted to thank a LOT of you guys for giving me positive feedback on a type of "diet" that I plan to implement into my everyday lifestyle called Intermittent Fasting. With Intermittent Fasting, I essentially eat a healthy diet within an 8-hour time window and fast for 16-hours. To put it simply, the excess fat and weight that you have will be burned effectively if you stay dedicated to this disciplined routine.

It's currently Day 2 and the hunger is totally real (and torturous), but I'm motivated enough to keep going because I know just how rewarding it is to feel healthy in your own body. Not only does staying healthy keep my mind focused and stress levels lowered, but it definitely makes me feel like I'm more in control of my life and I end up making better choices when I treat my body right. I'll definitely write a blog post on my Intermittent Fasting progress and will keep you guys in the loop if you have any questions, so be sure to stay tuned on Instagram stories if you want daily updates ;)

P.S. For those who are trying to lose weight as well, the mobile app MyFitnessPal is literally a gamechanger! This app counts calories for me so I didn't have to, but don't forget to get your daily nutritional needs as well ;)


4. Improving my time management skills and achieving work-life balance.

I will be honest when I say that I personally felt that my time management skills sucked, even when I was a crazy planner lady using five planners at once. With time and learning more about the lifestyle of being a freelance creative in the social media industry, I learned that you need to be able to work hard, but also enjoy your life outside of work.

As an entrepreneur, I have to work more than the average 9-5 and same with a lot of other freelancers. After all, the hustle never stops when you're building your own empire. However, I should never be at the point where I drown myself at work and refuse to hangout with anybody because that kind of lifestyle isn't good for you either. I learned that making myself work over 12 hours per day just led to a lack of productivity, constant daydreaming, and inevitable procrastination. This is also why I'm not a huge fan of the 9-5 cubicle lifestyle - I just can't imagine myself chained to a desk for eight hours per day. I value days where I balance commuting for photoshoots and events or just blogging at my desk, but I will admit that this lifestyle can be very mentally and physically exhausting if you're not ready for the challenge.

To achieve work-life balance, I have to literally force myself to take a short break from work. One of my best friends knows too well that I refuse or hate taking breaks, but they are necessary if you want to refresh your mind. Also, if I need a break from my desk, I also use this time to exercise at the gym, then jump right back into work after a quick shower and meal.

So if you're a workaholic like me, my one piece of advice to you is to work hard, but remember to take necessary breaks. You'll find yourself a lot more productive in the end than working non-stop hours.


Which of these 2018 plans resonated with you most? Let me know in the comments below, and I'll talk to you guys soon!

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Much Love,

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Birthday Gift Guide For The Average Fashionista, Travelista, Foodie, & Healthy Living

Birthday Gift Guide For The Average Fashionista, Travelista, Foodie, & Healthy Living

One of my favorite things to do during my birthday month is to write down a wishlist of items that I'd love to own, even if I don't necessarily receive these products or splurge on these items myself. The act of writing out this list gives me a sense of excitement and thrill, like brainstorming what furniture you want your dream home to have or what decorations you want your wedding to include. After all, it doesn't hurt for a girl to dream, am I right? ;) However, the aim of my blog and Instagram is to help others as much as possible through tips, advice, and useful guides. Thus, in early celebration of my 25th birthday, I've created a gift guide based on the different types of personas that Missmisschelle resembles. If you ever find yourself stuck on what item to gift a loved one, I hope that this gift guide comes to your rescue when it comes to shopping for your typical fashionista, travelista, foodie, and healthy individual! Below, I've either linked my favorite items or named top brands that I have owned or have heard great things about.

Working Out With Albion Fit

Working Out With Albion Fit

One of the looks that I will never get tired of adding to my wardrobe is a cute workout outfit. Whenever I am walking around a clothing store, my eyes automatically become drawn towards the workout gear section. There’s just something about owning flattering fitness gear that makes me feel and look good whenever I’m about to work out. With Albion Fit, I feel so much more confident knowing that I am wearing quality workout gear that is both fashionable and functional.