I’m moving blogs!

I finally transitioned to a self-hosted blog and would love for you to follow me over there!

http://www.acrushonlife.com

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Cool bits and pieces

The sun is slowly starting to show its face more and more frequently, and with that come little shopping trips where you get things that aren’t (necessarily) necessities, but they make you smile. Today I’m writing to you from my balcony, as I soak up the sun on a gorgeous weekend in Brussels.

Yesterday I discovered a store called “& other stories”. There were a lot of gorgeous pieces of clothing, although a bit on the pricier side (but nothing too extravagant). What really caught my eye was their sleek and minimalist skincare collection. I left the store with one skincare item, one accessory, and all the willpower in me to not spend all of my money in there.

First off, I got these really cool sunglasses! They have clear frames, they’re mirrored, and I feel like they fit my face perfectly. I was in desperate need for sunglasses, but I kept passing up buying any because they didn’t feel right. These, on the other hand – they’re beautiful, and edgy and I’m in love. Also, they were 15 euros which is a total steal.

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I couldn’t find the exact ones on their site, but you can have a look around at the other models they have:
http://www.stories.com/be/Accessories/Sunglasses

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Next, skincare. I wanted to try everything they had in the store but I convinced myself that I needed to try the formulas first before committing to buying everything that looked magical (which was everything, to be honest with you). I opted for the Moroccan Tea Body Soufflé and I couldn’t be happier that I did. It smells like mint, and tea, and cinnamon. The scent is clean, soothing, calming, and it has insane staying power. I applied it all over my body after a bath last night, and I woke up smelling amazing. I’m certain that the contents of this pot are going to vanish quickly. It’s 12 euros, which again, not exactly the cheapest, but we’re definitely not talking high end.

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You can get it here:
http://www.stories.com/be/Beauty/All_beauty/Moroccan_Tea_Body_Souffle/590775-562080.1

And last, but not least – let’s talk clothing. I’m a curvy girl, and lately – my body has gone through a lot of changes. I’m happier, I’m healthier, and I feel way more comfortable in my body. I even got a top that I was always told wasn’t for curvy girls. Oh yes, the dreaded horizontal stripes. They might not be the most flattering, but I don’t need to look the thinnest version of myself in order to be the happiest version of myself. I love the fit, the crazy sleeves, and I think the stripes are cute!

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I picked it up from Pull&Bear:
http://www.pullandbear.com/be/en/irregular-crepe-frilled-t-shirt-c0p100149515.html

Cool, I think that’s all I’ve got for you today. Remember to do little things for yourself because you’re worth it, damn it.

Yep, that’s definitely all of it.

-PositivelyCurvy

How to [stick to and get through] Ideal Protein

I know you might be thinking, what makes this girl so qualified to talk about low carb diets? Has she lost 100+ lbs? Is she some huge success story? And you know what? I’m here to tell you that no, I have not lost copious amounts of weight, and I’m actually still on the diet itself. I’m making my way through my journey, day by day, bite by bite. What I do have though, is experience – and if you’re looking to start a diet such as Ideal Protein, Axodiet, Eurodiet, Protekal, etc (depending on where in the world you are), or if you’re simply in a rut – I’m here to share my experiences with you.

I learned about Ideal Protein while I was living in the US, and I had met a few people that had amazing results from it. I’ve never ever (ever) been a fan of diets, so as exciting as Ideal Protein seemed, I was also dreading it from the start. To clear this up, my eating habits are generally fairly healthy. The problem I have is that my body creates (or used to create) nine times the amount of insulin it needs. This is scary for many reasons, but mostly because once your insulin runs out, it’s out – and that’s it. The other reason my insulin spikes were unfortunate was because whenever I would manage to lose weight by diet and exercise, I would always regain it back almost immediately. These were the moments that I would lose all hope and give up, stuff my face with junk food for a period of time, and walk away from the experience both unhappy and disappointed.

I decided to give Ideal Protein a go in July of 2015. I was determined and pushed through two months of the program, losing about 25 lbs in the process. At that point in time I was living with my boyfriend, and temptation was everywhere but I was sure that this would be the last diet I would ever be on. Fast forward to September, things happened (quickly) and I was on my way from Wisconsin to Brussels, Belgium. I abruptly stopped the Ideal Protein diet (I didn’t phase out – bad idea), and went on to indulge in everything Belgium has to offer: Waffles, Fries, Chocolate and Beer (all capitalized for their holiness). In about two months, I gained back 15 of the 25 lbs I had lost and I was miserable. All of the determination I had built up beforehand got lost along the way, and if you know me, you know that I’m not a quitter. I researched and researched, and found an identical diet here called Axodiet. I started this diet on January 5th, 2016, a month and a week ago. I am currently down 20 lbs from that mark (so technically 35lbs down from the summer, and nearly 55 lbs down from my heaviest). This results are coming along twice as fast now, and I will happily share what I’m doing differently.

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Let’s talk about the first few days on these diets, because they’re truly horrible. The night before I started my diet I had my parting meal, which consisted of a piece of baguette and Nutella. Don’t ask why, I wouldn’t know how to answer. I started my new life the next morning, and while the first few hours were fine, at around 1pm I found myself in bed with the worst migraine of my life. Going from Nutella to absolutely no sugar was a huge shock to my body. The migraines lasted about 48 hours, and they were accompanied by emotional breakdowns. Something I later learned was the fact that there are hormones in your fat cells and during the process of entering ketosis, your body releases them and goes absolutely nuts. I cried a lot and said that I was going to quit this diet – but I never did. Once these few days are over, you drop a large amount of weight (mainly water and some fat), but oh my goodness does it feel amazing. This is the moment you get hooked and decide that it’s worth it. Try to keep this feeling around as much as you can because you will doubt yourself in the process.

 

Things that make have made me more successful (this time around): 

  1. The weight loss starts out crazy fast, and then it slows down and you have to remember that that’s normal. The thought that in this diet you literally pee out fat is still so cool to me, that I find myself drinking a lot (and I mean a lot) of water. 
  2. I’m not putting my life on pause for this diet. I’m treating it as if it’s a completely normal thing to be doing, and I actually go to restaurants and out for tea (that’s me with a burger salad, completely fine with the fact that my friend was eating an actual burger).
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  3. I’ve replaced my daily milk intake with sugar free soy milk (in my coffee) and it’s saving me so many carbs.
  4. I weigh myself every day. I know that coaches usually advise against this but it’s a good way for me to keep track of what bloats me and what works well. I’m never strict with myself if I’ve gained, because little gains are absolutely normal and temporary.
  5. I cook real, flavorful food. Like, actually cook. I also make sure to never have the same protein two nights in a row because that leads to boredom and discouragement.
  6. I exercise! I was advised not to do it for the first three weeks, but now I try to get four days of 30-minute at home workouts. Youtube is your friend.
  7. I take progress photos (I started this recently, because we all know how much it sucks to take photos of your body when you really dislike it).
  8. I took up a hobby which is probably the thing that helps me most. I’m guilty of eating when I’m bored, and now I’m learning to play the ukulele instead. I seriously get so much practice in, just so I don’t end up snacking – it’s great.
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  9. I reward myself with new clothes, and especially workout clothes – motivating and cute!
  10. Last, but not least, I set a timer on my phone and make sure to take all of my supplements which makes a huge difference (because I would often forget to do that in US).

I've been playing the ukulele for about 4-5 days and I love it. #me #singing #ukulele #cover #uke

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Yoga: Making time for yourself

Hi friends!

I officially have my computer back, and will now be working hard to get back to a regular posting schedule. Not having a computer for a week and a half, along with not much else to do, left me with a lot of free time. I’ve always wanted to get into yoga, but haven’t had much luck when it comes to classes. The classes I’ve attended were all either too intense or too fast-paced, so I knew I wanted to find something that would work better for me. I stumbled upon the most amazing yoga YouTube channel, and I thought I would share it with you guys!

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The YouTube channel is called “Yoga with Adriene” and it has so many videos, that vary in both intensity and length. I’ve been sticking to the videos that are for absolute beginners, but there are quite a bit of videos for yoga aficionados as well! Adriene is very easy-going, positive, and relaxed – and this is something that has been pulling me back to her videos just about every day. Whether I can only afford to do 20 minutes in the morning, or if I can dedicate 40 minutes or even an hour – her videos have me covered.

If you’ve been tense, stressed, or even if you just want a few minutes of the day that you can dedicate to yourself – give the beginners video a shot. It might not be for you, but it also might be just the ritual that you’re missing from your busy (or not so busy in my case) day.

I will talk to you all very soon!

-PositivelyCurvy

Autumn: Things to appreciate

Rather than a structured post, today I’m coming to you with a ramble. I intended to write three posts a week, and this week’s accomplishments will be no different. But as always, life happens and I am now left with a shattered MacBook screen. There’s no real point in crying over it, so instead I made a list of things that I appreciate this time of year.
1. Big, comfy, cozy sweaters

2. Dark muted lipsticks (Rimmel Kate 107, Mac Velvet Teddy)

   

  3. Hot coffee in the morning, hot tea in the afternoon

   
4. The smell of sugar, apples, and cinnamon cooking in the oven

5. Coloring books 

  
6. The flicker of candles in my bedroom

7. Americana, folk, and music that wraps my soul in a big hug

8. Yoga and deep relaxation while it rains outside

9. Curling up with a good book

  
10. Hand-writing letters to good friends

11. The smell of frosty woods

12. Dipping ham&cheese toasties in vegetable cream soup

13. Having a good lonely cry

14. Cute texts to wake up to every morning

15. Moisturizing face masks

16. Lush baths

17. Hearty breakfast bowls (and instagramming them)

  
Till next time,

Positively Curvy

Creativity & Calmness

Hi friends!

Today I’m coming to you with a blog post that’s a bit different from the usual, but it’s something that has really helped me in terms on mental health, and that’s painting. Now, don’t back away immediately with the thought “Nope, I’m not an artist, this isn’t going to happen”, because I am so so far from an artist myself. I actually suffer from anxiety (more severely as of recently) and I’m always on the lookout of things to do that will keep my mind from racing. Recently I’ve discovered an easy way to calm my thoughts, get away from electronics from a bit and generally spend some quality time with myself – and that’s through coloring books!
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I haven’t had a coloring book since I was very small, but it really is a no-brainer when it comes to being creative with minimal amounts of talent. Another gem I’ve re-discovered? Water colors. They’re so easy and clean and fun to work with, I’m obsessed.

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I haven’t dabbled in the world of coloring books too much, but the one that I immediately fell in love with is called “Fantastic Cities” by Steve McDonald, and if you’re a travel junkie like myself – you will absolutely love this.

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Do you have a favorite way to destress?

-PositivelyCurvy

Big changes coming (y)our way!

Hello dearest blogger friends,

I am back, and I am back for good. Before I jump in with regular blog posts, I would love to update you on my life so we can all be on the same page on what you will be seeing if you come to this site!

First off, location.

After spending a couple of months working and living in New York City (which was absolutely amazing, and I will follow up with a whole blog post about this), I attended my graduation (woohooo!) and went off to do a little west-coast trip with my parents. We covered Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco (wait for a blog post about this one also). Once our trip was up, I moved into a small studio apartment with my boyfriend in  Madison, Wisconsin. My summer in Madison was a good time! I made wonderful new friends, got my first taste of working in retail, had a job I thoroughly enjoyed, and a job that was just okay (that only lasted a month). All was well, but I wasn’t making enough money to be able to afford rent, and I wasn’t in the right mental state to start actively writing again. With our short lease coming to an end, I made the crazy decision to move to Brussels, Belgium where my parents happen to be living at the moment. This unfortunately meant that I would be in a long-distance relationship yet again, but life is like this sometimes and I have kind of learned to deal with it and work toward what I want. But alas, I AM IN BRUSSELS!!! Not only that, but I feel like I am finally in the ideal state to really focus on writing again. This past week has been filled with exploring, adventures, and not too many other distractions (and lots of coffee). Not just that, I also find that the apartment I am living in is very bright and that in itself is pure motivation for productivity.

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Anyway. now that I am here, here’s what you should expect:

  1. Exploring Brussels / Belgium / Europe. Okay, I am admittedly NOT a travel blogger, but I really enjoy experiencing new cities, and I particularly enjoy doing it through coffee shops. Expect blog posts filled with beautiful places to sit down, grab a latte, perhaps a nice meal and write/read/enjoy your day.
  2. Food and Health. Right, going from coffee shops to food and health seems kind of weird, but food has become a very important part of my day-to-day life. This is the year that I have decided to get healthy no matter what it takes, and while living in Madison I was following the Ideal Protein Protocol (diet, if you must). I am currently not on any program, but I am researching similar diet plans in Brussels. If you know of anything to recommend, help a girl out. I will also be exploring yoga, meditation, and ways to promote mental health.
  3. Beauty and Fashion. I mean come on, what would Positively Curvy be without my huge love for beauty products and (here and there) clothing discoveries? I will be posting product reviews as well as body-loving, body-positive, body-celebrating posts. And probably outfits of the day because you can never go wrong with those.
  4. Home decor. This is a new one for me, but I am currently in the process of redecorating my new room and making it the perfect creative /productive / calming space. Expect homeware hauls and favorites, and if you would like to help me along the way, please don’t hesitate to send me links to things that look cool. I would love that.

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So here we are! Starting Monday (and maybe this weekend if I’m feeling super antsy to post something) come back three times a week for (hopefully) something fresh and different. I hope to make friends here, so please do reach out and say hi in the comments!

Looking forward to an exciting start,
-PositivelyCurvy

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Review

Holy moly that title is a mouthful.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago (in the midst of cramming for midterms) I decided that I needed to treat myself for all the hard work I’ve been doing. Mind you, Sephora is my Ben & Jerry’s, so my wallet tends to suffer during midterms and finals (and break ups).
This baked powder (highlighter) has been on my wish list for the longest time, and I decided to splurge and order it. And oh. my. gahhhhd.

I could rave about this forever. It’s not as strong as a shimmer brick, the sheen is actually a lot more subtle – which I love. My skin looks the healthiest it has ever looked, and it’s all thanks to this highlighter. It goes for $38 which is pricy when you’re in college, but still a great investment.

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It feels luxurious, it’s matte (so it doesn’t make you look like a disco ball), and it really makes your face look alive. It catches light and gives you a sort of “flawless” look when applied properly. Here’s my face – I hope you can catch how subtly pretty is! 🙂
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What’s your favorite highlighter?
Lemme know in the comments!

Srna