My Pre-Wedding Workout Routine

I’ve been talking and posting on Instagram about my workout routine a lot more lately, reason being that I now have a workout routine. Since I’ve gotten a few questions about it, I thought I would share it today, along with the tools and equipment that have been most helpful!

I do want to emphasize, first of all, that this isn’t about hitting a certain number on the scale or a dress size. My biggest “why” when it comes to finally getting my act together food and exercise-wise is that I very deeply don’t want to have any regrets about our wedding. I want to know that I did my best to look and feel amazing on that day, and to keep it up afterwards. I want to look at my wedding pictures and only see the joy and love, not the body parts I’m insecure about. All in all, being intentional about healthy eating and exercise is one of the ways I’m trying to focus on what matters on that day, and I think that the sense of confidence that comes from a healthy lifestyle would be an amazing gift to myself on my wedding day!

Pre-Wedding Workout Routine

Running: I have wanted to be a runner for as long as I can remember (thanks to my marathon-running dad), but gracious alive, it does not come easily to me! What has finally worked for me though, is the Couch to 5k app–yesterday, I hit a big milestone and ran two miles without stopping! That felt SO good. Also helpful have been good playlists for when I run alone or on a treadmill (I like to listen to mine and Dave’s reception playlist and imagine dancing in my dress!), easy access to a gym (the gym at my apartment complex was a great selling point–their treadmills are super high tech), a go-to outdoor loop to run, and cute, weather-appropriate running gear. A few of my favorites are below–Asics sneakers, Krass & Co. shorts (they have the best patterns–I’ve gifted them to at least four people!), leggings from Academy, running socks, and my new Nike headband from my future in-laws. I write down all of my runs (the date and mileage) in my appropriately-named Make It Happen sketchbook, which is also where I keep track of my measurements and any in-depth meal plans.

Running essentials

Tone It Up: I feel like a broken record, but I really do love Tone It Up! I bought their Nutrition Plan a few months ago, but their blog and all of their workout videos are free online. I use their weekly workout schedules to plan my strengthening and toning workouts and love their follow-along videos–my favorites are Love Your Body Arms and Abs, Love Your Body with Kettlebells, and Bikini Body 2. I’d say you could do 95% of their videos with just a yoga mat, a pair of weights (I started with 3 lbs and have increased to 5 lbs for most routines), and a kettlebell (I use 10 lbs).

Tone It Up essentials

And that’s it! I am still super new to all of this, but I’m really happy with how it has kept my interest and improved my health over the last few months. Do you have any favorite fitness tips or tricks, or ways to stay motivated? I would love to hear!

Winter Pairings

I love fashion, but when it comes to my everyday wardrobe, I tend to stick to the basics–neutral colors, classic patterns, and simple silhouettes. I’ve often used that same principle for accessorizing, but lately, I’ve been gravitating toward pieces that make a little more of a statement. I’m not sure if it’s the winter weather that makes me want to shake things up or the fact that I spent two weeks over the holidays with my sister, who rocks bold jewelry better than anyone I know, but it is definitely making my cold weather wardrobe a little more interesting, and I love that! Here are a few of my current favorite combinations.

navy gingham shirtNavy gingham and a gold vine-like bracelet

windowpane sleeve sweaterA windowpane print sleeve sweater and a polka dot bow bracelet

cheers sweaterA “Cheers” sweater and cotton pearl charm bracelet

pearl tassel necklaceA classic gray Tippi sweater and a pearl tassel necklace

Next up on my jewelry wish list, I’m eyeing a gorgeous Loren Hope small Sarra cuff–what about you? :)

Married Home Inspiration

Before getting to work on our registries, Dave and I started talking about the look of our future home, and one thing became apparent very, very quickly: our styles are drastically different. I love all things white, bright, and feminine, and he wouldn’t be able to stand living in a home that was “too girly.” Y’all, my middle name may as well be “Girly,” so I was baffled by how to meet in the middle and decide on a look that would make us both happy. Finally, we sat down and talked through some of my favorite home inspiration images on Pinterest–what did I like about them? What was “too girly” about them for Dave? What specific features did we agree on?  After doing this little exercise, we compiled the images we both loved on a secret board, and were pleasantly surprised by how quickly an aesthetic and color scheme emerged! Here’s a peek at some of the inspiration we ended up with, for a bright, light-filled, cozy home, filled with classic pieces in white and gray, some wood, pops of navy blue, and a handful of stripes.

Blue and white kitchen detailsWhite and wood kitchenBlue and white foyerGallery wallWhite bedroomWindow officeHouse Beautiful, A Cup of Jo, Unknown, Unknown, Studio McGeeDomino

A quick tip for any other engaged couples: I definitely recommend coming to an agreement on a look and feel for your future home before starting your registries–it has made a huge difference in guiding our decisions and keeping us on the same page. Best of all? It was a great exercise for two admittedly stubborn, design-minded people, and proof to ourselves that we could “compromise,” but still end up with a result we both love–a lesson I hope we’ll take into marriage with us. :)

January Inspirations

As much as I love soft pastels and punchy colors, I’m definitely a neutrals girl at heart. Especially since January started, I’ve been craving all things simple and clean, from the colors in my closet to what I’m cooking, so it was extra easy to pull together a few of my favorites for this post. Cheers to a new year and a clean slate!

January inspirations

Wear: I will forever have a weakness for a pop of buffalo check, and this look perfectly sums up how I want my outfits to feel this month: cozy and warm, but still polished and chic. (Photo via With Love From Kat)

Eat: I am so proud of how well Dave and I have been eating since we got back from Texas, and I’m anxious to add new, healthy recipes to our repertoire. This Blueberry Banana Pie Vegan Overnight Oats from Oh She Glows is at the top of my list!

Live: White, bright, and overlooking the city–this just might be my dream home office nook. (Photo via Closet Full of Nothing)

Decorate: I finally convinced Dave that gallery walls can look stylish and mature, thanks to this exact photo, so naturally, it’s serving as inspiration for the gallery wall going up in my room. I love the shape and the super tight color scheme! (Source unknown–let me know if you know it!)

Celebrate: We rang in the New Year with champagne at my parents’ house–plus a little bit of shrieking about how it’s our wedding year :) (Photo by Pasha Belman via Southern Weddings)

Shop: I might be cheating on this one a little bit because it’s something I already bought, but I am in love with this J. Crew Sequin-Trim Sweatshirt! It is so thick and comfy, but the sequin trim definitely dresses it up and makes it special. I bought it in gray, but it also comes in navy and blush, and is currently on sale for $42!

Your turn! What are you wearing, eating, decorating with, celebrating, or shopping for this month?

2015 + January Goals

I think more than any past year, I hope that 2015 will be my best year ever. I know that’s a bit of a catch phrase and maybe a tall order, but in a lot of ways, I’ve been waiting for this year for as long as I can remember, and now that it’s finally here, I want to make the best of every single day. Being engaged and planning our wedding has been so much fun, and I hope that will only continue as the big day gets closer, but I want being married to be better. And I truly believe that with the right preparation and mindset for both of us, it will be. Dave and I talked a lot about the upcoming year over the holidays, and as a result, both of our individual goals this year are centered around this vision: in 2015, we want to enter into marriage on the steadiest footing possible—close to God, close to each other, close to our families, close to our friends, healthy and confident, and in a position to be financially successful.

Lisa Olson and Dave KirkOne of our engagement pictures, by Ryan Ray

2015 Goals

1. I want to find a prayer “system” that really works for me and helps me to be more consistent in my prayer life, and to grow in my relationship with God as a result, both individually and as a couple with Dave.

2. I want to have a truly wonderful marriage with Dave, on every level, and to gracefully navigate the transition to living together and being married. I will do this by praying with and for him, communicating kindly and openly, and making him feel loved at every opportunity I can.

3. I want to grow healthier, stronger, and more confident in time for our wedding, and to keep up that lifestyle afterwards as well. I will do this by expanding my healthy recipe repertoire, completing the Love Your Body Series and Bikini Series on Tone It Up (let me know if you’re doing either of those so we can encourage each other!), and running in at least three 5K races this year.

4. I want to find a community of girlfriends in NC, and make time with friends a regular part of my life. I also want to foster my long distance friendships through regular letters and phone calls.

5. I want to understand my finances better and be more intentional about setting myself up for financial success. I want to learn more about the married budget Dave has created for us and take an active role in keeping to it.

January Goals

- Start prayer journaling
- Clean out my closet and donate/sell items I no longer wear
- Complete the first 4 weeks of the Tone It Up Love Your Body series
- Plan a fun weekend (that doesn’t center around unhealthy eating at restaurants) with one of my sisters and two of my bridesmaids, who are visiting in a few weeks!