Abs 12/17/16

Monday, December 19, 2016

20 x 3 Ball sit ups
15 x 3 Crunches (weighted machine)
Superset with
15 X 3 Oblique twists (machine)

Superset the following 3 times
12 - Roman chair side bends both sides weighted
12 - Roman chair backside on pads sit ups
12- hanging leg raises ( If you don't have the machine, do laying leg raises)

Cardio - Steady state stairmaster for 15 minutes
followed with steady state bicycle for 15 minutes and moderate resistance

Top - Under Armor | Bottoms - Nux | Shoes - Nike || Similar items under Shop Instagram

It's like getting reunited with an old bestie. Abs and I use to be pretty tight, it actually was my favorite thing to train in and out of the gym. One day I was forced to break up with abs due to getting too defined for the bikini division but now and days it's all about doing what makes me happy.

Physique Update:  I woke up Saturday morning at my goal weight I have had for a while. I looked my leanest and pretty proud of getting there without any focus on tracking what I ate or forcing/ increasing workouts. I've enjoyed sharing my workouts here which makes me feel accountable and committed to getting to the gym and getting creative with my lifts. I did get a little help with favorite fat burner that Kyle had ordered a while ago and was forgotten about. When I found it in the cabinet cleaning, it was in the month of expiration so I couldn't let it go to waste. It helped significantly with my energy and mood but also nudged my progress in the right direction. We got a little dusting of snow and ice which caused my plans to finish the week strong for the first early Sunday morning  gym hours to get postponed. Kyle and I played it safe staying warm inside by the fireplace and football. We are pretty excited for the Buccaneers to have a decent season. 

Leg Day 12/13/16

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Warm up: 20-30 leg extensions

Superset 4 rounds
15 - Cable squats
15 - Pop squats

Superset 3 rounds
12 - Single leg extensions (each leg)
12- Wide stance squat pulse holding 30lb dumbbell
12 - Single leg deadlift with dumbbell

Superset 4 rounds
12 - Using the row machine facing away single leg lunges (with out without holding weights)
15 - Laying on ground with feet on seat of row machine - hamstring curls

Superset 3 rounds
12 - Single to one side leg press (glute focus) each side
12 - Hamstring curls (regular machine)
15 - Assisted pull up machine single leg push downs

Steady state stair master for 15 minutes

Leg day won the Instagram story vote, if you don't follow I can be found as @stephanie_aynne! Yes, I just shared my quad workout as my last routine but I desperately need to avoid my upper body for a few more days. I slept really funky the other night (probably snuggling my dogs) and it hurts to raise my arms just to dress myself. I do have a shoulder routine saved from last week I never got around to posting so that is being saved while I may be out of a gym when I am on vacation. Stay tuned!

In other news, I have recently stocked up on warm gear from Lululemon and I am now addicted to the swiftly tech long sleeve tops. I recommend sizing up.

Healthy High Protein Lean Chili Recipe

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Chili season is here! With the help of the holy grail condiments, hot sauce and mustard for my fellow struggle (plain) chicken fit friends and my husband stirring the pot, we put together a healthy chili dinner that could turn into a winter meal prep idea!

Servings: 6

1 package of Lean Ground Turkey (2.5 lbs) but you can get a smaller package for less protein
1 can of Magic Chili Starter Texas Medium
1 can of Diced Tomatoes (I use the chili style by Great Value or Ro-Tel)
1 cup Franks Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
1 can Corn
3 tbsp French's Yellow Mustard (they make a spicy if you want to kick it up a notch)

In a big pot dump all the ingredients except for the lean ground turkey. Cook the lean ground turkey with optional season for taste with galic powder, salt, cumin, and ground pepper. Once fully cooked add to the pot and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Shortcut** If you are lazy over cleaning a million dishes cook the ground turkey in the big pot first then dump everything and let simmer for 20 minutes.

Garnish is optional with mexican cheese and sour cream.

Macros: Calories: 394   Carbs:19g   Fat: 14g   Protein: 40g  Sugar: 5g

Quad focus 12/5/16

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Warmup: 20 light leg extensions

3 rounds superset
with 30 second rest between each round
10 - narrow stance squat jumps
12 - leg extensions
10 -15  one legged jumps

3 rounds sames as above
using the row machine stand facing away
place foot on seat and lunge
15 - row lunge each leg
10- switch lunge each leg

15 minutes HIIT on treadmill

1 minute walk
1 minute sprint
30 second skip on each side

I haven't felt this sore in my quads in a while, so it's safe to say this got me out of plateau. I also blame it on Lululemon retail therapy fueling my workout. I don't typically do plyos that often so I kept this short and sweet as I anticipated the aftermath to be somewhat brutal.

Shoulders & Triceps 12/1/16

Friday, December 2, 2016

Three times each superset
12 - Lateral raise
12- Front dumbbell raise

Three times each superset
10 - Arnold press
10 - Rear lateral raise
10 - Rear pulses

Three times each superset
10 - Barbell front raise
10 - Rope eye level  bulls

Three times superset
12 - Rope tricep extensions
12 - Bench dips
10 - Single arm cable extension

15 minutes steady state stair stepper

Over the years since I have shifted away from the fitness world social media, I had forgotten about CT Fletcher. Recently I rediscovered him on Netflix. It instantly took me back to my early mornings waking up listening to him while I did my 5am cardio before school and work. Through my shoulder workout I played a mix of different YouTube videos of him shouting affirmations. It was like a switch just went off and I wasn't too sore to lift or even feel my shoulder upset with me. I just cranked out this workout and wanted to keep going for another hour if my husband didn't drive. I've found myself the rest of the week playing CT in the background at my desk while I work. His style isn't for everyone but it makes me hungry for motivation and the need to better myself.

Back & Biceps 11.28.16

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Warm Up - 20 light wide cable pull downs

Superset 5 times
10 Wide cable pull downs
10 Reverse close grip pull down
10 Standing push down w/ straight arms

4 x 10 Rear lateral raise

Superset 4 times
10 Single arm dumbbell row
10 One arm pull down or use hammer strength

Superset 4 times
10 Incline dumbbell curls
10 Wide grip barbell curls
10 Close grip barbell curls

Superset 3 times
15 Hyper extensions ( the first I use no weight then do drop sets)
15 Kettle bell pull through / swing ( control movement squeeze glutes when momentum is forward)

15 minutes HIIT stair stepper (the little sister to the step master)


I've been playing around with the number of sets I do. If you are uncomfortable starting out try for three and you can try more next time. I had a lot of energy going into this workout, and there are days I have zero but going into the workout my goal is three and I can try for four or five.

Leg Day 11.26.16

Saturday, November 26, 2016

I've decided I want to begin to share my workouts for accountability reasons and sharing my fitness side more frequent. Workout routines used to be some secret that could not be mentioned but now and days I'd love to share what I do in the gym. When I first started to get serious in the gym I kept a log and wrote down everything I did that day. I'll be doing something similar but I will not disclose the weights I am lifting unless I hit an epic personal record (aka PR). I do my best to attend the gym 3-5 times a week.  I'm not a personal trainer, CPR certified, power lifter, or prepping for a competition. I'd love feedback or suggestions for future fitness and workout related posts! 

Disclaimer: These are to be done at your own level, use your best judgment. If you are new to working out start light and reduce the amount of repetitions or sets until you get used to a regular regimen. Allow your body to adapt and increase the intensity as you get comfortable. 

Warm up: 5 minutes of stair master

Superset the following 
With band, squat skips to the side 15-20 each side x 4
Assisted pull up machine push downs 15 each leg x 4

Superset the following
Row machine laying on ground hamstring curls 12 x 4
Lunges using row machine free leg on seat sliding back in lungs 12 each leg x 4 
Hyperextensions 10 x 4

Superset the following 
Good mornings 10 x 4 
Pop squats with band 10 x 4 
Glute kick back 10 each leg x 4

15 minutes HIIT of treadmill. 

 Top: Under Armour Cold Gear similar | Pants: Align Pants 

Starting A New Gym

Thursday, June 23, 2016

So I've bit the bullet, canceled my current gym membership at the worst gym I have have joined, and started a new chapter at the new and awesome gym in town. I feel like I can breathe again (I mean no contract suffocation) and actually do cardio on a stair master. I couldn't wait another month to cancel my membership considering the high price to pay to break a contract but boy does it feel great to escape. They say a good relationship takes work and patience. This is not my excuse for why I haven't been blogging but I have been directing my focus lately on getting in to the gym routine, experimenting with classes, and playing in the kitchen with recipe ideas. I wanted to start with a clean slate and open mind to trying everything my gym has to offer. More blog posts to come on this!

  When you set off into a gym to achieve a healthier state or improve health, you should feel welcomed, comfortable stepping on the gym floor, and looking forward to your own personal "me" time. For the first time in two years I'm getting that feeling again. My old gym never gave that vibe. It was an odd crowd, the staff was very nosy, the gym was dark, hot, smelly, and lacked maintenance and updated equipment. Since I embarked on my fitness journey over 7 years ago, many gyms later, I had never encountered a gym that put off that feeling until now. I rarely went to the gym, found reasons why I didn't have the energy, or effort to make the out of the way drive worth it. If you are in a gym that gives these vibes, simply leave. Don't let gym staff tell you, that you cannot cancel. There is fine print, and fees to cancel ahead of contract but if finances allow and you cannot stand one more day in this bad environment there is no reason to make an unhealthy relationship with your health and fitness.

 Which leads me to this topic.. Opening a new gym door should be exciting, fun, refreshing, and maybe nerve wracking until you locate the machines or learn the class schedule. While you are beginning a new chapter in your book of health make it a positive one. You are more than welcome to be observant and take mental notes of the negatives you may encounter. Things like the person who doesn't wear deodorant, the really friendly social butterfly, or going to the gym during high volume hours. But do your very best not to spend too much attention to the bad. I recommend avoiding these negative thoughts because it could ultimately lead you into the road of excuses and avoidance. You are here to have a fresh start whether it be your first day or you've been living a fit life for decades.

  Do set goals or milestones you want to accomplish in the new gym. My gym has hoist machines which I swear are heavier than stated. I struggle with only one plate 20lbs, a similar machine in any other gym I could manage 40lbs without breaking a sweat. This is a mental challenge for me to let go of the past and ego. Maybe I will get to the claimed 40lb plate in a couple months. The other goal I set for myself is that I wanted to try all the classes that caught my eye and made me want to join sooner than later (this says a lot from a girl who use to refuse classes). I vowed I would even do some cardio here and there. Thanks to my husband liking the treadmill (one's that actually aren't broken like the old gym), I started holding pretend races in my head which has lead me to enjoy running a little more. I encourage you to pretend race the closest person on any cardio machine.

Make a game plan for every week. On Sundays, or Monday (my preferred rest day to avoid the big Monday crowd) I formulate a plan of attack for the week in the gym. I pick the group fitness classes that I want to take and then work a lifting/ cardio plan around that. I pick the classes first because, taking a barre class after you trained shoulder two days prior and legs yesterday is no fun. Spin or a dance class isn't a blast after leg day either. I also consider what social events, meetings, or tasks at work that may take first priority. Once I have a plan I write in my agenda, and if I successfully meet that goal I will highlight it and record the highlight of the workout, if I met a personal record, if I did cardio, etc.

 You may have a bad day in the gym here in there, which is normal. You may walk in to what you thought would be a hip hop class to only find out 2 dances in that the hip hop is never going to happen and you are taking a urbanized zumba class, keep going (true story) this is only just the beginning.

Let me know if you would like to see work outs, lifting schedules, or highlights on new fit things I am trying out.

Memorial Weekend Sales

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hi there friend! There are so many great sales that are bound to be taken advantage over this weekend! I have compiled a list of the best sales that I have found I can’t help but share with you! We are predicted to get more nasty weather so shopping will be on the agenda! What sales are you checking out?! Share in the comments! I'd love the hear about more.

Ann Taylor - Take 50% off regular priced items with SUMMER50. 

Anthropologie - Take an extra 30% off sale items

ASOS - 20% off with HISUMMER

Bath & Body Works - Buy 1 get 1 3 wick candle + 20% off coupon

Crate & Barrel - 15% off with SAVE15

J. Crew - Take 30% off your purchase

Kate Spade – Extra 25% off Sale with Code SPEECHLESS

Luisaviaroma - Take 50% off order with code PLUS

Nasty Gal - Take an extra 40% off markdowns

Neiman Marcus - Up to 40% off designers

Nordstrom - Half Yearly Sale! Up to 40% off!

Nordstrom Rack - Up to 75% off clearance

Urban Outfitters - Take 25% off select apparel

Williams-Sonoma - Up to 60% off clearance + an extra 20% off! with code EXTRA (my top pick here)

Huge Office Wear Sale

Sunday, May 22, 2016

I got so excited when I caught wind of the 60% off sale at one of my favorite professional wear stores! This is a flash sale and ending at 3 am EST on May 24th. I'm sharing items I have purchased or items in my cart I am debating on. Use PROMO CODE: MAY60 to get 60% at checkout!

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Home Workout for Legs & Glutes

Monday, May 16, 2016

Last week I got ready for the gym, chugged preworkout, and as I was pulling out of the garage I noticed the sky looking rather ticked off. I live very close to Tornado Alley, and had a gut feeling to stay home for safety. Which left me all hyped up on pre-workout and a clean house with the need to work out.

I have recently purchased these resistance bands off Amazon for under $15, and have been dying to share some workouts that I have been experimenting with at the gym. These are a few ideas that you can do in the comfort of your own home, hotel room, or even in between sets in the gym. I like the bands because I am able to activate my muscles in a foreign approach to keep them confused but feel a burn.

This video is to provide you several ideas for workouts your can do with resistance bands. I personally like to mix up the sequence and perform about 20-40 repetitions back to back with a 30 second rest. I would do this sequence for 3 to 5 rounds. You are more than welcome to adjust this to your level of fitness or find challenges to throw into the workout. I will be posting more routines in future fitness posts!

Fitted Tee Dress

Thursday, May 12, 2016

 Dress (+ an extra 30% off!) | Sandals (also extra 30% off at checkout!) | Hobo Bag | Sunglasses

Hey friend, I know I've been MIA for a few days. I took a trip to Dallas to see the Beyonce concert. It was my first time in Dallas, and boy did I love it. The shopping is phenomenal, every woman had voluminous hair, and the margaritas were super tasty. It was my first time seeing Beyonce, and I surely hope it wasn't my last. She is such a talented and beautiful performer. My best friend and I wanted so badly to call our husbands to inform them we are now going to follow her around the country and become substitute backup dancers. The only thing I don't miss right now is the humidity and heat in Dallas. Now two years living out of Florida, I do not miss the humid weather. 

Speaking of heat, I am sharing a simple and easy dress for the warmer weather. With Memorial day approaching soon, I couldn't think of a better dress to snag up when I saw it in the store. I love this style of dress because I can wear it with Tom's or Converse but it can also be styled with sandals like these in photos or Jack Rogers. For patriotic holidays, pair it with a red bandanna, or necklace!  I suggest going up a size so it fits just right. If I went with my normal size, the dress would be less comfortable and would have it riding up. It is currently on sale, and no promo code needed!

Laser Cut Skirt & Chambray

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Top | Skirt, similar here & here | Sandals | Tote, affordable version here

I almost forgot I had this skirt until I had been flipping through a magazine and seen this style appear a few times and became motivated to search for it. Ultimately this turned into a much larger project, and I reorganized my entire closet (my poor husband dealing with me and my three day project). Atlas, reunited with this gem of a skirt, which now fits much better than when I first purchased it a few years ago. This skirt is a suede type material so it can be worn with a basic top for a casual look, or a crop/ body suit for sleek evening look.

I am hesitant to get rid of my fun pieces in my closet because, you never quite know if it will make a trend list in  the future. Laser cut has been seen all over the place with finding new fabrics and techniques. This topic was popular during E!'s cover segment of the Met Gala. Who else watched it and feels like silver is on the verge of because an it color?

Blush Rose Dress

Monday, May 2, 2016

Dress - Forever 21 currently sold out online but is available in store (crop top in the same print) | Denim Jacket - here | Handbag - Prada, affordable style here & here | Shoes | Sunglasses

The IT color for 2016, Rose is making it's appearance on Barbelles & Curls. I found this gem of a dress at Forever 21. At first sight I fell in love with the color, yellow roses, and the length. I'm a big fan on knee length dresses not only because it could be work friendly (I haven't debuted the dress in the office) but short dresses with my gym routine don't get alone. I cannot stand a tight fitting dress that constantly rides up. I also knew it was a must buy when it matched the cameo color of my handbag.

Go-To Pink Business Dress

Thursday, April 28, 2016

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When I find myself in a fashion meltdown for work or have customer meetings I always find myself throwing on a structured dress. It is graduation season (congrats!) and when I first graduated two years ago I found myself loving work wear dresses but had the challenge of making it work with my budget. I love the shape of these dresses because they are flattering with many body types without being too tight as a distraction, forgiving when I had too much tex-mex for lunch, and the appropriate length. My first structured dress I actually found at Goodwill and it was a Rebecca Taylor, I found another at Forever 21, and then I found myself in department stores once I got a feel for what others wore in the office. I am known to overdress, but that is because I dress for the job I want, not the job I have. My coworkers joke around that I'm going to interviews when I walk in wearing my dresses. My goal is to one day splurge on some girl boss pieces, so I thought I'd share different price points for the same look depending on your business level. 

Girl Boss

Career Woman


I am always looking for new designers to check out for work wear. What are your favorites?

The Perfect Dresses For Brides: Engagement Party, Bridal Shower, or Rehearsal Dinner

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dress - Gianni Bini at Dillards, Similar & Similar | Heels less expensive option here | Handbag, similar affordable option here & here (only $36!) | Sweater for the office or church - here

Wedding season is upon us, and I have rallied up my favorite dresses for brides to wear from engagement parties, to bridal showers, or rehearsal dinners. The best part is they are functional for after your bridal events you can wear them again. You don't have to be a bride to wear a white lace dress for Spring or Summer.

Occasion Dresses Under $250

Occasion Dresses Under $100

DIY Bridal Bouquet On A Budget

Friday, April 22, 2016

I am so glad I can stand proud that I was a hands on bride. I was heavily involved in planning my wedding in every little detail. I also work in project management, so handling a project like such is what I do best.  Reminiscing back 6 months later I am so proud of how I accomplished my vision.

After receiving quotes back from the most desired trendy florists in the area, then reassembled my jaw back in place, I had the mission of doing my own flowers on my mind (okay, and saving a boat load of money). I like flowers but not enough to drop the equivalence of a Chanel bag. Let alone, a bride's bouquet is the price of a Kate Spade bag. I am going to break this topic up in to two posts because I feel it is too much to cover in just one post. This is my take on the bouquets.

I spent hours scouring the internet for tips and tricks to get the look I insisted on. Pinterest then a few Youtube videos later I felt confident in the job I was taking on. I consoled in my bridal party, mothers, and some friends that had done their own wedding flowers before I started shopping around and then broke the news to the florist I would have hired. Depending on where you live, the price may be the same as having a florist. Compare both before making a final decision!

* If you are having a destination wedding this task can be a challenge. Approach this at ease unless you have friends and family in the area that can provide buckets, scissors, and other supplies you typically wouldn't travel with. 

1. Collect photos of your desired looks. You will need this before getting quotes from florists or shopping around so they/ you know your style you want and can give a more accurate quote.
These two were my inspiration. I wanted bright pops of color and loose flowing silver dollar eucalyptus. 

2. Know what is in season and compromise! If you want peonies out of season you are going to need a healthy budget. However, you can improvise with a garden rose which isn't as expensive. I made another compromise and went with regular roses through trial learned when they are more open and mimic a small garden rose. I also wanted dahlia's, so I replaced them with mum's (October wedding).

3. Money talks. Quote flowers from wholesale flower shops, Sam's Club online, Costco, Online wholesalers, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, or ordering through a florist.  I went with Sam's Club for a majority of my flowers then got a variety of flowers for bouquets from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. 

4. Supplies. If you have enough time to plan you can get your supplies when Michael's Craft Store, Joann Fabrics, or Hobby Lobby has a sale on their floral department to get supplies. I did get ribbon 50% off at Michael's ( Buy extra and return any leftovers after the wedding!).  Also try to get extra flower food from your local grocery store.

5. Plan and order. Plan how many flowers you will need depending on how many bridesmaid you have, if doing centerpieces (will discuss topic in a separate post) , and compile it into a spreadsheet or make your own graph to plan out how many for each bouquet/ centerpiece. This will guide you to know the total of flowers you will need. If ordering from Sam's Club I recommend ordering 4 weeks out! This allows proper processing and the flowers to arrive 2 days prior to your wedding. I highly suggest arrival 2 days out.. which leads me to the next topic

6. When your flowers arrive / Go shopping for flowers.  I had my flowers arrive on Thursday morning. They were at my doorstep at 9 AM. * I did get the time of delivery confirmed by FedEx for my neighborhood to ensure I would be home to sign and wouldn't get ruined by the Florida heat.  As soon as you can, get the flowers out of the boxes and into water.

Now on to the fun stuff!

 Steps of Assembly:

1. Mix flower food in buckets of water. *Pick up extra packets from your grocery store for bouquets

2. Free the flowers from the boxes. You will want to remove any thorns and cut an inch off the ends. The major key is to remove any foliage/ leaves that would be submerged into water. This invites bacteria to grow in the water. Then place in buckets of water. 

3. Go run more wedding errands while you let the flowers hydrate.

The flowers I had ordered from Sam's Club were packaged great and had little bags of water tightly fastened on the end of the stems. I let them settle for 3 hours while I went to get accent flowers for the bouquets. When I returned the hydrangeas were much fuller.

 I would have only gotten eucalyptus if i did it over again. The bottom photo, filler was hardly used.

4. Start with the biggest flower, for me is the hydrangea which works as a filler and helped place flowers in the bouquet. Then work in threes. As in adding in 3 similar flowers even placed. I did get mums to add more size to the bouquet.

5. Add the filler! I then surrounded the bouquet with filler. I use mostly eucalyptus not only for the calming scent but the whimsical appearance it added to the bouquets. ( I am not a perfect symmetrical bouquet fan.)

6. Once happy with the appearance, I'd recommend having someone photograph you holding the bouquet or have a bridesmaid hold it so you can decide if you are happy with the look. If you are happy, then proceed with wrapping the bouquet with floral tape to keep everything in place. Cut the stems. Then finish with a ribbon. I'd recommend adding the ribbon the day of so they do not get wet.

7. Lastly put in water and store bouquets in the fridge if possible. Check with your location of ceremony, as I later found out there was a fridge just for flowers in the bridal suite. I could have stored the flowers over night and never had to hassle with it in the morning, meaning more time to relax the day of.

Here is the final result!

Photos by Cat Pennenga Photography

This project can be overwhelming depending on the bride. I had plenty of people around to help but once I got started I used the extra hands to cut, tape, and model. I enjoyed the company the most since I don't get to see everyone all in the same place. Enjoy the process!


As Seen On Insta

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Happy Hump Day! I've rounded up the looks I have shared on Instagram lately and included where everything is from in case you missed it or don't use the Shop Style app! I use Shop Style to make it simple to find out where my items are from and it even directs you directly to the item. There are times an item is sold out but I do my best to find an identical item. I love this innovation to the world of fashion and I also love to share a good sale with fellow fashionistas!

Jacket (now 30% off) | Shirt |  Pants | Shoulder Bag | Sunglasses | Shoes (now 30% off)

Dress from Target is sold out online - similar here | Wedges | Sunglasses | Purse

Top (huge extra 50% sale!)| Jacket | Pants (on major sale) HandbagSimilar | Watch | Shoes

Top (on sale!) | Pantssimilar for less | Handbag | Watch | Sunglasses

Sports Bra | Shorts (some colors on sale!)

Blouse (huge 50% sale going on now!), similar | Similar skirts, 1 2 3 | Heelsaffordable option | Handbag | Sunglasses

Jean Jacket | Top (take an extra 30% off) | Jeggings | Necklace | Rainboots | 

Dress (mines from Target and on sale in store - sold out online) | Sunglasses | Handbag

Jacket (take an extra 30% off) | Shirt | Jeans | Necklacesimilar on sale | Rainboots | Cross-body


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