A Day At The Apple Orchard

This past weekend we decided to make a visit to our local apple orchard. Michael and I visited A&M Farms in Midland, OH, a few years ago and absolutely loved it. So, we decided to take some of our family along this year! My sister, Brooklyn and her husband William along with their kiddos Emma and Winston went with us! Also, my best friend (my cousin) Julianna Mast and her husband Andrew who happened to be in town visiting for the weekend came along as well! We had such a good time together and the apple picking was great! We found tons of trees loaded with Jonagold apples. They are officially our new favorite apples for eating and baking! Also, if you want to see what we made with the apples, I included a fun little video of our apple butter day below! Outfit details are listed at the bottom of the post. 

I'm linking all my outfit details for you ladies below. The fringe hem cardigan is sold out in misses sizing, but it's still available in plus sizes from Old Navy! I linked three super similar cardigans that are all under $40. Also, I linked my exact sneakers. They are true to size and the cutest white leather sneakers with gold accents! I have been wearing them almost non-stop since I bought them a few weeks ago! The dress was a gift from a boutique. You can shop it HERE. I'm wearing the olive color. For length reference, I'm 5'6" and it hits just below the knee. Happy Monday! 


Top Knot Tutorial

 I held a poll on my Instagram last week about what you ladies would like to see on my blog next.... My top knot tutorial very obviously won the poll! You also voted that you wanted to see it in video form... So, at your request, here is my top knot tutorial in the video below! Outfit details are also linked below! Have a wonderful Thursday!

I've linked my exact outfit below. Use the code YAY50 on the cardigan to get 50% off! It's available in six colors and I'm wearing the S/M.... My exact tee is only $10! It is so comfy and soft and it's perfect for layering for Fall! It runs true to size! If you use the code YAY50 the exact knit skirt I'm wearing is only $4.50! It comes in tons of colors. I have 3 of the colors. They are a true midi length so I had a few inches hemmed on them, but they are great staples! Also, they run about two sizes too small. I normally wear a 6 and have a 10 in mine...   You cant see the sneakers I was wearing with this outfit, but I linked them for you as well.


Healthy Habits For A Busy Lifestyle

Recently I have received a lot of questions about what I do to stay healthy when I am constantly traveling. I'll just go ahead and be straight up honest with you... I am not a total health freak when it comes to my diet. If you have followed me on social media for any amount of time, then you have probably seen how I love my caramel iced coffee, and I obviously enjoy trying different foods from different parts of the country. Since we are on the road almost 15 days out of every month, it is needless to say that we eat out a lot.

Although I am not an overly strict person when it comes to food, and I'm by no means any type of health expert... I do have several tricks and health habits I try to stick with on the road to keep the pounds from piling up. Since I received several questions just this week, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some of my healthy habits for a busy lifestyle! Outfit details will be linked at the bottom of the post.

1. Try not to eat late at night more than twice a week

I'm just going to admit it... I love to eat late at night! I never crave salad or healthy foods for a midnight snack... Most of the time I want a burger and fries... and of course a milkshake too! For some reason when I eat late at night I have a whole lot less self control. Ha! It might be fun at the time, but when I wake up the next morning it always leaves me feeling a little "blah" and sluggish. So, when I'm on the road for a week, I try to limit myself to only eating at night once or twice. This can be tough if it is the same day as a concert because we usually have dinner around 4 p.m.... If I am absolutely starving then I will listen to my body and have a small sandwich... or lately I've been loving a honeycrisp apple for a healthy option if I can't make it into bed without eating.

2. Walk, walk, jog a little, then walk some more!

I do stick to a pretty good walking schedule. When I'm not on the road I don't like to spend time exercising very often since I don't get to spend much time relaxing at home. So, I've made traveling my designated workout time. Usually when we arrive at a concert venue (around noonish) I will throw my exercise clothes on and get in about 3 miles of walking/jogging with my sisters. This week we had five concerts, and I have logged about 15 miles of walking and jogging. Most of the time I just walk, but here and there I will throw in a mile or two of jogging. I'm not a super fast runner, but anything is better than sitting on the couch. I prefer to exercise outside... I use the MapMyRun app to keep track of my mileage... In the winter I usually switch to treadmill walking at a hotel or at home unless we are in an area with a warmer climate. I have logged about 300 miles per year for the last 3 or 4 years. It averages out to somewhere around 6 miles a week since I don't exercise as much at home.

3. Don't eat seconds

I like to eat hearty meals! Some favorites of mine are pork roast, mashed potatoes, corn, and rolls...I also love Mexican food (any Chipotle lovers out there?!) and PASTA! Try to be moderate in your portion sizes so that you won't be starving later, but don't allow yourself seconds. Once it becomes a habit, then it is much easier! I try to eat what is on the plate in front of me and then I'm done. I do make exceptions for special occasions... like Sunday dinner at my mom's house or holidays! 😉

4. Pass on dessert if you're not hungry

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you aren't hungry after dinner try to pass on dessert. I do this most of the time on the road just because I know I'll be singing just a few hours after dinner, and there's nothing worse than singing with a full stomach!

5. Choose grilled over fried

I try to get grilled chicken sandwiches over crispy if we are doing fast food. I still love cheese sticks and french fries occasionally, but over all I try to choose grilled items instead.

6. Try not to let yourself get more than 3 pounds above your ideal/healthy weight

This is a trick I learned from my mom! If I gain a few pounds from eating badly I try to reign it in and watch what I eat a little closer for a few days. It's pretty easy to lose 2 or 3 pounds quickly, but it is much harder to lose 20 or 30 or more. I was overweight as a child and lost about 30-40 pounds when I was a pre-teen, and I don't want to have to do that hard work ever again! Keeping my weight within a small window makes it much easier than losing large amounts of weight.

7. Don't have an unrealistic weight goal

After losing a lot of weight as a young pre-teen I had unrealistic expectations of what my healthy weight was. This "perfect number" in my head left me eating much less than what was healthy for my 5'6"/medium frame body. After a few years of trial and error in my teen years I finally found a weight that is decently easy for me to maintain in my 20's while still being able to eat a good amount of food. I think the best way to find out a healthy weight for you is to read a doctor's weight chart for your height, gender, and frame size. Everyone is different so try not to compare yourself to other ladies (easier said than done!).

8. Find unique ways to keep moving

If we have a day off on the road I love to go biking, hiking, walking, or whatever is available in the city we're in. I have biked around Mackinac Island in Michigan, across the Golden Gate in San Francisco, biked from the Santa Monica Pier to Venice Beach in California, hiked in the Smokey Mountains, Grand Canyon, and Rocky Mountains, and walked many miles in lots of different U.S. cities. One of my favorite things to do is walk to a coffee shop with my sisters when we are in small towns for a concert. Use any free time as an opportunity to keep moving even if it's just in your hometown! Little bits here and there really can add up and make a big difference in your fitness level.

9. Find a workout partner

I almost always have someone with me when I'm working out. It makes the time pass much quicker, and it's just far more pleasant over all. Whether it's one of my sisters or my husband I enjoy working out so much more with a partner!

10. Moderation is key!

Another valuable lesson I learned from my momma! Moderation is key! Just face it... You're going to eat desserts, you're going to eat late at night sometimes, and you're going to miss days of exercising... Just try to make sure you're not doing these things the majority of the time. Also, try not to restrict yourself too much or you'll end up just giving up. In the end, if you eat and exercise in moderation (once again, easier said than done!), you will find it is much more attainable to keep healthy habits even if you have a busy lifestyle!

Photos taken in Santa Monica, California.

I've linked the exact running shoes and tee I'm wearing above, as well as the same brand of zip hoodie I'm wearing in a similar style. The skirted leggings I'm wearing are from Snoga Athletics. You can shop my exact pair HERE. I sized down to an XS for a more fitted look, but could have easily worn the Small as well. I feel like they are pretty true to size. They are definitely worth investing in for the coming Fall and Winter months! I'm 5'6" and they hit right at the knee.

Thanks for reading my Healthy Habits for a Busy Lifestyle! Everyone is different, and I know the same thing doesn't work for every woman, but I hope these tips inspire you to make healthy lifestyle choices and to go outside and get moving!


10 Tips For Healthy Hair

Today I'm excited to share my most requested blog post! It seems like the most common theme of the DM's I receive on Instagram is always about my hair... What shampoo and products do you use? How often do you wash it? How do you keep your hair from looking burned when you have to use hot tools so much for concerts? etc... So, I thought, I would dedicate an entire blog post to my 10 Tips for Healthy Hair... All of the hair products I use and outfit details will be linked at the bottom of the post.

1. I color my hair as little as possible

Last year I got my hair dyed for the first time ever. I'm 26 and finally made the plunge. In my 20's, my hair has darkened up significantly and I had really been missing the vibrant blonde color I always had through my teenage years... Since I don't get a chance to just bask in the sun very often anymore (ain't nobody got time for that!) I decided to get balayage highlights. My sweet hairdresser friend, Carmen Wagner, did it for me (Nashville ladies you can check her out HERE). I got it done in October of last year and just got it done again in August (almost a year later). Balayage is much less damaging to your hair than using foils! Since they don't use heat to lighten your hair color, the result is much less damaging for your hair, and the color is beautiful since it is just going to lighten your natural hair color. What I love most about balayage is since it is hand painted on your hair you can let it grow out completely and it doesn't leave a harsh line. It's a very natural way to brighten up your hair without a drastic change, and you don't have to get it done very often (or ever again) if you don't want to. Once or twice a year is plenty if you want to keep up the lighter look without over-processing your hair.

2. I use color vibrancy shampoo and conditioner 

I use Loreal Paris' (red bottle) Color Vibrancy Shampoo and Conditioner to keep the color vibrant as long as possible. It always helps to use shampoo for colored hair if your hair has been colored. If you don't have colored hair then I highly recommend THIS SHAMPOO and THIS CONDITIONER instead... I used it before I started coloring my hair. The best part is it's only around $10 for the shampoo AND conditioner!

3. I wash my hair 4-5 times a week

Now, I know everyone is on the "only wash your hair once or twice a week" kick since it's healthier for your hair... but I prefer to wash more often to keep my hair looking bouncy. When I am on the road I wash my hair every day (usually a few hours before our concert). At home I usually go every other day or MAX 3 days (and I'm usually wearing a top knot (tutorial coming soon) or hat on day 3! HA). I also wash my hair in a very specific way to give my hair shine and bounce...

4. I let the conditioner sit in my hair for my entire shower

When I get in the shower I immediately shampoo my hair, focusing mostly on the roots. I use whatever product is left and lightly run it over my ponytail, then rinse thoroughly. I then use a large handful of conditioner and rub it into both hands. I use one hand to smooth conditioner on the top my hair. Don't scrub it into your roots, you don't want it to weigh it down, but using conditioner on the surface of  the top of your hair will give it lots of shine! (I have super thick hair, but if you have thinner hair then don't use the entire handful). Then, I use the other hand and saturate my entire ponytail in conditioner. Now, here's the key.... DON'T RINSE IT YET! While you are finishing up your shower let the conditioner sit in your hair for 5-7 mins (or until you are finished with your shower). At the end of your shower thoroughly rinse the conditioner out of your hair. Your hair should feel extremely soft at this point! 

5. I always use a Wet Brush on my hair to prevent breakage after showering

After you get out of the shower, rough dry your hair with a towel. Be careful, towels can be damaging on your hair. If my hair is wet, I always brush my hair out with a Wet Brush! I really love THIS ONE that folds for travel. It is my absolute favorite brush for wet hair! Do yourself a favor and run to the store and buy one! Make sure you never use it while you are blow drying though. The bristles are made of plastic and can melt into your hair! This is only to be used for wet hair without heat. 

6. Wash your hair at night and let it air dry when possible

If I don't have an event to be at for a few days and I'm just spending time at home, I like to wash my hair at night before bed. I usually brush it out, put it into a low bun, and let it air dry while I sleep. My hair is super thick, so my bun is usually still wet when I get up. I usually will put it in a ponytail in the morning to allow it to dry more. You can never go wrong with not using heat. I do this on days I don't have to go anywhere important since it's definitely not as sleek looking as blow drying.

7. I always use heat protector spray

I use Loreal Paris Sleek It Heat Protector Spray immediately after I brush out my wet hair to protect it if I'm going to blow dry after my shower. I spray it pretty liberally throughout my hair and then brush it out to distribute the product.

8. I let my hair air dry for at least a half hour before blow drying

I usually let my hair air dry while I'm brushing my teeth, getting dressed, or washing my face, then I will blow dry. My hair is usually about half dry by the time I blow dry it. This helps keep your hair much healthier since you only have to blow dry half as long. I also have a pretty specific way of blow drying my hair. I always use my favorite LONG HAIR REVLON BRUSH... Since it's made for long hair it keeps your hair from tangling and breaking while blow drying. I also use THIS BLOW DRYER with the styling tip. I always blow dry the front first. I brush my hair the entire time I'm blow drying. I blow dry it straight down to keep it from frizzing (and looking like a lion's mane). I then flip my head upside down after the front is dry, and repeat the brushing and drying. Brushing while you dry helps your hair to be much more sleek when you are finished...

9. Use that heat protector TWICE!

After I have finished blow drying I always lightly spray my hair with the Loreal Paris Sleek It Heat Protector Spray again to make sure my hair is protected from heat styling. It dries super quickly so don't worry about it making your hair wet after you just dried it. I run the brush through my hair to evenly distribute the product. I usually go on to either straighten or curl my hair, so I want to make sure my hair is double protected. You'll notice that this protector spray keeps your hair super shiny, but not greasy!

10. Only use heat tools ONCE on each piece of hair!

In my teenage years I never used protector spray and if a piece of hair was frizzy or wavy I would go over the piece of hair multiple times with a straightener until it was perfectly straight. It left my hair much thinner in the front and lots of broken and damaged ends. I started noticing it was taking a toll on my hair and made a rule for myself to only straighten or curl each piece of hair ONE time. It has made a drastic difference in my hair. It is much thicker, shinier, and bouncy! Heat tools make your hair look "better" for the time being unless you abuse them. Try the "only once" rule and you will see a big difference in the health of your hair!

I've linked all of my exact hair products and tools above. They're all super affordable!    

Unfortunately, my entire outfit is sold out ,but I found an almost exact duplicate of each item and I've linked them above. Use the code STYLE on the top or denim skirt and receive an additional 20% off! If you purchase them together you'll also get free shipping!

I hope you enjoyed my 10 tips for healthy hair! Let me know if you have any comments or questions about my hair routine or any other hair tutorials you'd like to see!