Neely Lately

NeelyLately

 

Hey friends! Popping it to say hi and to catch you guys up on the happenings of life. A Neely Lately was long overdue.

First of all SO MANY PEOPLE I love have had exciting things to share lately. My childhood best friend Laura(she was a bridesmaid in our wedding) is pregnant with a baby girl due in September and we could not be more excited for them! My other best friend Ally got engaged just a few weeks ago and so did the girl used to nanny for. I keep saying “little girl” but she’s 24. She has been dating her now fiancee since they were freshmen in college and I am so excited! Lastly this past weekend my brother in law(Andrews older brother) got engaged to his girlfriend. We can’t wait to celebrate with them and we are so pumped they are coming to visit this summer! Also all 3 of these engagements I knew about for months before and good lord keeping those secrets was tough! So glad to finally talk about it!

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(Us with Andrews brother and his NOW fiancee at our rehearsal dinner)

We are heading to Houston for the long weekend to visit Andrews family and celebrate his brothers engagement. Hopefully I will get some time to see a few of my friends that live there as well.

We have been doing tons of projects on the house and hopefully I can share progress soon. Andrew is super handy and it’s great because he’s been able to do almost everything himself.

I saw Pitch Perfect 2 twice last week! OOOOPS! On Tuesday I had press passes to see a preview so my friend Liz came with me. We had a fun girls night out. Then Friday my friend, Britta and I went to iPic to see it again! I loved it so much and I have been listening to the soundtrack NON STOP!

I have become OBSESSED with some basic t-shirts I got at Cotton On. They are so comfy. I wear them to workout, to sleep, with shorts, with skirts etc. They are so perfect and hands down the softest t-shirts I have ever owned.

Pure barre is going awesome! Im still sticking to 4-5 classes a week for the most part. I love my studio and the teachers and I love that I get to see Ally so much!

I hope you guys have a good rest of your week and fun long weekend coming up!

10 Inexpensive Date Ideas

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With summer coming up fast I always think of fun date ideas for Andrew and I. Something about summer makes me want to get out of the house and find new things for us to do. I wanted to share 10 inexpensive date ideas with you that work in almost every city.

1. Picnics: There are a TON of places around us to have picnics. Parks, the arboretum, Klyde Warren Park(which is a big area that has food trucks, mini golf, games etc) even our own backyard! I love having picnics and I am fortunate that I can meet Andrew for lunch during the week. Picnics are a favorite of ours.

2. New coffee shops: I love finding new coffee shops where we can sit, have coffee and talk about whats going on in life. Or we can sit together and read, surf the net, etc. It’s so relaxing to leisurely have coffee with the person you love.

3. Movie Under the Stars: On the outskirts of Dallas we have a drive in movie and I have always wanted to go. We also have during the summer something called ‘Til midnight at the Nasher. The Nasher Sculpture Center is a museum in Dallas and there are movies one Friday a month at night. They also have music, before, wine, snacks etc. You bring a blanket and they usually show older movies. Sometimes they have movies that came out just last year too.

4. Restaurant Week: I know most big cities have restaurant week. Ours falls at the end of the summer. For around $35 a person you can go to many 4 and 5 star restaurants and eat off a prefix menu. We try to do at least one or two a year. I would for sure check in your area to see when you have restaurant week and if you are in Dallas let me know your favorite restaurants to try!

5. $1 movie: I love going to the dollar theater and seeing a movie or two I missed when they were in the regular theater. Movies are SO expensive now that we do not go as much as we used to. Also the quality of movies just isn’t that great all the time. So rather than spend $15 a ticket plus food, drinks etc to see a movie go spend just a few dollars and even if it isn’t that great you aren’t disappointed.

6. Yogurt/Sno Cones: One of our favorite things to do is go get desert after dinner. Since we cook at home nearly every night going out to get yogurt or sno cones is pretty inexpensive. I am a sucker for the cookie dough toppings and Andrew really loves to try new flavors. We went twice last week!

7. Trail Walks/Hiking: We love to go for long walks together. Most weekends this is what you will find us doing in the mornings. Our nighborhood has tons of great trails that go through the golf course and the lake so we love going out and getting lost for a while. Plus it’s good exercise. It never feels like we are exercising though because we talk, explore and love to see all the animals(ducks, turtles, bunnies, etc). Even when we lived downtown we would go to the Katy Trail which was a trail through uptown and downtown. If you don’t have a trail just walk around your neighborhood!

8. Game Night: We love to play board games and have friends over for game nights. This is a great way to spend time with friends and each other without spending a ton of money! Our favorites are Cards against humanity, Apples to Apples and Scategories. I love Scene it but I tend to win so Andrew won’t play :) Order some pizza, buy drinks at the liquor store or grocery store and you can spend very little money and have a great time.

9. Window Shop: I love to shop but sometimes it’s not in the budget so something that I find fun is going to shopping centers and just walking in and out of shops looking around. We also love to go look in furniture stores too. That way we can get an idea of things we may want to buy down the road. Make it extra fun by grabbing a Starbucks or a drink from sonic and enjoying the outdoors while you people watch and window shop.

10. Fishing, Swimming, Lakes: Andrew loves to fish! We both love lakes and swimming too. This can be a really great inexpensive date together. Our neighborhood has fishing ponds, pools etc so we don’t have to go far. We also have friends/family with boats so lake adventures are never too far off. If you already have the fishing equipment this can cost nearly nothing!

 

What are your favorite inexpensive date ideas?

Things Everyone Else Likes (But I do not)

I have done a few of these posts in the past but not for a long time. There are a lot of things in the world(food, movies, music etc) that everyone else likes and I just don’t get. Or I’ve tried them and just don’t get the fuss. Remember this is a light hearted fun post. Nothing that should be taken seriously or insulted by.

1. Chipotle: This is probably the biggest one. I am most likely one of the only people who doesn’t care for chipotle. I tried it in high school and then again with Andrew a few times. I have tried a few different bowls and it just wasn’t for me.

2. Game of Thrones: I have never seen an episode but I can tell you when it’s on TV because my entire Facebook newsfeed is discussing it. Im sure if Andrew had any desire to watch it I would try it but when you live with someone you kind of have to like most of the same shows. Otherwise you have the face I have when Andrew puts on Impractical Jokers.

3. Mind F*** movies: Andrew likes movies that mess with your mind. The one that ruined those for me was The Strangers. I saw it on a date about 7 years ago and it freaked me out beyond belief. Since then I have steered clear of movies that purposely mess with my mind. I do not get the appeal of being scared. When I was younger I loved scary movies but mostly the ones like Scream, I know what you did last summer etc that were not really scary. These new ones even the trailers freak me out!

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4. Any TV show that involves a singing or dancing competition: I love reality TV do not get me wrong but good god I hate these shows. My mom loves Dancing with the stars so every now and then I will watch one but I do not find them entertaining.

5. High waisted ANYTHING: Unless they are high waisted yoga pants I do not get the appeal. This is how I know I am getting old. I see teenagers wearing high waisted shorts and crop tops and I think “who dressed you!?” Not my fav.

 

What about you? Are there things everyone else likes and you just don’t?

Pure Barre Tips and Tricks

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I have talked many times on the blog about my love for Pure Barre. Recently I have also shared my favorite Pure Barre necessities.  It is just something I can’t get enough of. I go to class almost daily( I take a rest day sometime during the week) and not only that but I truly enjoy being in the studio. I wanted to share a few of my favorite Pure Barre tips and tricks for you today. If you have never tried Pure Barre YOU SHOULD. If you live in DFW let me know and we can meet up for a class! Even if you live outside DFW your city most likely has barre classes and I can’t recommend them enough.

1. Get there early your first time. The instructor will give you some tips before class and help you set up your equipment. You can also scope out the best spot in the studio(I always like to be in front) and you can chat with the instructor about any concerns you have.

2. Wear proper attire. This means crops or pants, a tank top or shirt and sticky socks. You can wear regular socks but if you plan to go more than once I would spend the $15 and get a pair sticky socks so you don’t lose your balance during class. Plank especially is when those socks come in handy! Also bring water! You will get thirsty and sweat a lot so you need to stay hydrated.

3. Listen. I can’t stress this enough. Don’t assume you know what you are doing. I have been doing this nearly five years and I still am learning in every single class. The moves change up every time you go and they also bring back moves from previous years every now and then. So you may not know what is going on. The instructors are AMAZING at explaining things so just listen.

4. Be friendly. I love making friends with other girls in class and the girls that work at the studio. The studio owner at my studio has become one of my close friends and I love taking her classes. It’s also fun to know the other instructors and the girls that work at the desk. When class is over and you have questions about a part you didn’t understand or maybe something didn’t feel right or you don’t think you were giving it your all they will help you.

5. Have fun. I am pretty sure this goes without saying but in case it doesn’t JUST HAVE FUN! You should enjoy a workout and this workout is hard but also fun. It has great music and everyone in class is nice so just enjoy yourself. That’s what will keep you coming back!

Have you tried any barre classes before?

Blogging Lessons

I started blogging almost 5 and a half years ago. In that time there have been many blogging lessons I have learned and that have been thrust upon me even when I didn’t want to learn them. I have shared things that blogging has taught me before so I thought today would be a good time to share more!

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1. Never compare: I have talked about comparison many times on my blog. Comparing yourself to other bloggers is never a good idea. If you feel like another blogger is getting really great opportunities instead of comparing yourself to them and letting it get you down. Ask them for advice. I love when other bloggers email me with questions and I have no problem emailing bloggers for questions as well. I know there are areas of my blog and social media I can improve and asking for advice/help is OK!

2. Keep records: When I work with brands I keep really good records. I do this because it makes following up and sending reports back to the brands and also good when I work on my finances and my taxes. I learned the hard way the first year I started working with brands that NOT keeping records will come back to haunt you.

3. BE NICE: Tearing down other bloggers and other people in general is not going to make you a better blogger. It’s not going to help you grow your blog faster. It’s not going to make you happier. It will however hurt their feelings, ruin their day and make you look like a mean person.

4. Brands are ALWAYS watching: Do you complain about companies a lot on twitter? Do you talk badly about bloggers, complain about that dinner you ate last night? Brands are watching you! Behave online the way you would behave in front of the CEO of your favorite company.

5. Always be willing to learn: I have been VERY lucky to have the head of two of my favorite blogging groups sit down with me through skype calls or in person and talk about my blog and my brand. They have said many great things and also given me some constructive criticism. Always be willing to learn and grow. If someone wants to help you and you know you are at a standstill don’t take things too personally. They are trying to help you be better! Who doesn’t want to always be better?

These are just a few of the blogging lessons I have learned over the past five and a half years. These are things that have helped me grow and become better. I hope some of them resonate with you too!

What are some of your favorite blogging lessons? 

Currently Loving

Happy Friday beautiful friends! I hope your week was just as wonderful as mine. This was a very busy but accomplishing week in my house. Andrew and I did a lot together, got a lot accomplished at the house and work was awesome!

I wanted to share things I am currently loving with you today!

Jon Acuff: I mean to be fair I am always loving Jon Acuff but Andrew and I got to go see him speak this week for his book, Do Over. I first met Jon at Blissdom and I find him very motivating and up-lifting. His books are amazing and you should for sure see if he is coming to your city!

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Eggs: I am not usually an egg person. Sounds weird but they have just never been my thing. All of the sudden I got the craving for eggs and now I eat them almost daily. Usually for lunch I make scrambled egg-whites with light cheese and salt and pepper. I mix in some spinach and put it on a piece of oat-nut bread with 2 slices of turkey bacon. IT IS SO GOOD! Very filling too! I usually enjoy it with a large glass of Naked green juice. Really hits the mid day spot. Also bonus super healthy!

Covergirl The Super Sizer mascara. This is a new to me Mascara that covergirl sent me to try along with some other goodies and OMG it is now one of my top 3 mascaras. Clump Crusher by covergirl will always be a favorite but this brand new mascara is a close second. It is not too wet and elongates my lashes so much. LOVE.

Bear Naked Granola: I love making no bake granola bars and I have recently been loving this bear naked granola. My favorite kind is V’nilla Almond Fit. SOOO GOOD! I love putting it on yogurt, eating it by itself or mixing it in with oatmeal for a more filling meal.

kicproductimage-118254Brunch: OK that is an always love but still. I have been brunching with friends a lot more. Ally and I met up for brunch yesterday before doing some SERIOUS shopping. By serious I mean we shopped for her WEDDING DRESS!!! Her friend Soleil was with us too :)  Andrew and I have a list of new brunch places we are excite to try. Yolk my favorite Chicago brunch spot opened in Dallas recently and I can’t wait to try it out.

What are you currently loving?

 

Mixing it Up

This post is sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support A Complete Waste of Makeup. 

 

A few weeks ago I talked about the amazing Target Beauty Box I received. I wanted to tell you guys today how easy it is when you receive a box like this or when you buy new beauty products to integrate them into your daily beauty routine. I am a complete creature of habit. Once I find things I like it’s so hard for me to branch out. Mixing it up can be a huge challenge for me.

When I received the Target Beauty Box I knew this was a great chance for me to try a few new things. One of my favorite things to try was my SheaM0isture 10 in 1 renewal shampoo. With hair products I am very picky! This shampoo might as well be called magic in a bottle. I have used it about 4 times and I can see a HUGE difference in how soft and different my hair feels. Especially with the product I use in it during the week it’s nice to have something that completely refreshes it!

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Another product from the box I have loved mixing into my routine is the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream. I use Neutrogena face wash so I figured this wouldn’t be a huge stress. Even though I suffer from crazy dry skin and moisturizer is a big deal for me. This stuff is amazing. I actually use it with my moisturizer for an extra added boost to my face. I have noticed a big difference. Smaller pores, fresher skin and softer skin are major bonuses!

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I have used the other products in the box as well and the setting spray is for sure not your average setting spray. The lip gloss has been a permanent daily fixture in my routine as well.

Don’t ever be afraid of mixing it up and to add a few easy products into your routine. You never know what kind of treasures you could find if you step outside your beauty routine.

Find your style @Targetstyle

This post is sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support A Complete Waste of Makeup. 

 

5 Ways to be Active

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I have always been an active person. I grew up playing sports, dancing, ballet, cheerleading, etc. So as an adult when you aren’t active all the time it can be a challenge. I wanted to share 5 ways to be active that will ensure it becomes a daily part of your life. Being active can be fun even though I know some people look at it as a chore.

1. Use a fitbit or fitness app. I had a fitbit and hated it. Mostly because I didn’t think anything other than the steps were very accurate. However I love the free apps that I can use on my phone and track my steps. Once you start tracking your steps something about it becomes almost a competition in your mind and you want to hit those 10,000 steps a day! It makes you so aware of how active you are and will motivate you to make choices daily that align with maintaining that goal.

2. Join a new studio. I love Pure Barre and thats no secret. Im not sure if I’ve ever talked about what got me into it in the first place. Nearly 5 years ago a ton of my blogger friends were talking about barre workouts and I loved the idea of a new challenging workout. I quickly found a studio near me and signed up. I quickly became hooked on this new challenging and fun workout. I loved that each class was different and how much I clicked with others in the class. I was working out muscles I didn’t know existed and having the best time. I was also seeing a noticeable difference in my body. I have since joined a different studio and I LOVE THE STUDIO! I love the teachers, other girls in the class everyone. It’s still my favorite workout and I truly miss it if I miss a day. Find a workout or two that you love and try different classes. You can also sign up for things like Class Pass or Studio Hop to settle on a workout you love.

3. Have a buddy. I love going for walks/runs with friends and I am so glad I found a new neighbor/friend to go for walks with. It is always fun to add a second workout of the day in and go for a long walk or a run. Having a friend to do this with will keep you motivated and accountable. Plus the added bonus of spending time with a good friend and having time to chat doesn’t hurt!

4. Make longterm goals. Is your long-term goal to lose weight? Be healthier? Have a more active life? Whatever the goal is make it reasonable, attainable and doable. Don’t say you want to lose 20 pounds in a month but rather maybe 5 pounds and eating healthier. Goals are great but they have to be realistic. I know for me my big goal is 5 workouts a week. Nothing crazy just a good 5 workouts.

5. Find workouts to do at home. I love pinterest for a lot of reasons and one is the sheer amount of workouts you can find. Easy, at home workouts that don’t involve much equipment are my favs because I can do them while watching TV or listening to music and not have to drive anywhere. It’s easy to stay active knowing there are things you can do at home, on a lunch break etc. Check out my pinterest workout board for TONS of great at home workouts.

 

I hope this motivates you to be more active just like these things motivate me daily!

What are 5 ways to be active that you have found to help?