an ode to monday workouts

Monday workouts are a bear. It’s too easy to slip into pajamas or sweats after school or work and pass out with Netflix and a La Croix. I’ve been there, and I probably still will be there in a few Mondays, especially after a weekend of traveling.

But when I’m home, I’ve made it a point to work out on Mondays. I feel on top of the fucking world when I squeeze in a workout on a Monday. It sets my week off on the right tone and makes me feel way less guilty come Thirsty Thursday.

I’ve touched on the importance of the Sunday workout too, but I’m now also #TeamMondayWorkout. And sometimes Sundays are too nice to spend in a gym, no?

Mondays are a popular day, at least at my gym. I think people want to sweat out the weekend’s sins and start off the week on the right foot. I like to get in and out, so here’s my routine for a forty or so minute circuit:

  • 25 mins cardio: I prefer the StairMaster or an elliptical. Classics. Usually I burn about 300 calories, but it depends on intensity too.
  • 25 donkey kicks (2x): Pictured above, these are easy and require no weights and minimal space. They also don’t destroy my knees.
  • 40, and 60 second planks (2x each): Self explanatory, but I can’t emphasize the results I’ve seen from core work. Love it.
  • 25 cherry pickers (2x): Again, core is key. I feel like these are a quick way to a tiny waist and they’re adjustable because of the various weight sizes you can use while also not having to wait for a machine.

I probably could take less time if I wanted to, but between water breaks and general fucking around it takes me about forty-five minutes or so to finish this. I know I’m your fitspo, you don’t have to leave it in the comments. Thanks.






This month, instantblonde reached 50 followers!!!

I genuinely never thought I’d one day be able to type that I have fifty whole followers reading my thrice weekly ramblings. It means so much to have an audience for something I love to do so much, and I hope my content and the general state of shambles my life is always in makes you laugh.

Blogging for an entire year and making it to two hundred posts were big moments too. I frequently thank my stars that what started out and, well, still is me aimlessly pouring out my feelings and happenings to the world gives me so much fulfillment and satisfaction.

I’m so grateful for all of you for following along, even if you just pop in once a month to catch up. Each and every one of you motivate me, arguably more than a cheat meal or a glass of bubbly. Thank you for being the best audience in the world! (And thanks for making me feel as famous as Martha fucking perfect Hunt in the pic below.)



it’s all for you

I know you’re excited because I’m back with a midweek post, which is kind of unlike me, but there’s a caveat. I’m not writing about shoes, makeup, or boys today, but rather something a lot heavier. If you’re interested, I’m sorry if it gets too personal and I hope you get something out of it. And if you’re not, I get that too.

If you know me, you know that my mother and I are not close. In fact, we’re polar opposites. For as long as I can remember, we’ve butted heads on everything from my outfits to my college applications to my eating habits. We are known to have frequent fights via text, phone, and email. Screaming matches have occurred more than I’d care to admit. I think that she is absolutely fucking insane and I know that she thinks I’m naive, manipulative, and shallow. I could go on for hours, but I try to keep our differences off of instantblonde because they leave me feeling so negative and troubled and, truthfully, I don’t know if it’s something I’m even ready to share.

Tonight, he sat me down and asked that we talk, something he almost never does. “Of course,” I said, my mind immediately imagining bad news like illness, disease, or the like. Thankfully, it was none of those. My father, who is quite possibly my biggest inspiration- see here and here– in this world, had to ask me to stop fighting with my mother because it was taking a toll on him and his marriage.

If I’m being brutally honest, I am heartbroken. I would do anything for him because he’s done the same for me, and seeing him in pain because of my antics frankly sucks. Knowing that I’m hurting him and putting him in between two people he cares about is sickening. I’m disgusted with myself that I let it get so bad that he had to sit me down and beg me to stop.

I think the fact that I’m only agreeing to stop adding flames to the fire because of an outside opinion is a reflection of how fucked up mine and my mother’s relationship truly is, but that’s another post for another day. For now, Dad, I’m doing this for you. It’s all for you. I’m sorry that I’ve let things get this horrible and I’m sorry I’ve put you in such a precarious position.

Let this post be my unofficial vow to try to make things better, not for her satisfaction or my pettiness but for his well-being.

If you’ve made it this far, you deserve a hot shower, a drink, or a cheat meal. Thanks for reading.

But above all, try something.

-Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Looking Forward



what to wear: cutout crops

Looks like my busy fall has already started. Yikes. I’m knee deep in to-do lists, essays, and responses that I’m trying to get done before I go away twice in October and what feels like a million other times.

With being busy comes having less time to curate my wardrobe as much as I’d like. Hence, we’re wearing a lot of athleisure, and, to be honest, I don’t hate it. It’s that nice time of year when leggings are too warm but shorts might be a touch cool, so cropped leggings it is.

Enter the crop with cutouts. They’re the perfect feature: somehow less bold than neon accents and more put together than a straight hem, they offer a balance I’m liking a lot.

[via shop.]
Seeing these Zella ‘Midnight’ crops online piqued my interest. Not only are they $59, but they also remind me of some Lululemon and designer activewear options. I have a few items of this brand and can vouch for the quality, which is exceptional.

If you’re a fan of mesh, these Fast as Light crops from Lululemon will do the trick. I’d probably scoop up either these $98 options, their $88 Rush Hour 21″, or the similar Sun Runner crop if I didn’t have a similar pair. I think mine are called the Var-City crop, but they’re no longer available. (I wrote about them and the general quality of Lulu items here.)

[via shop.]
These Urban Without Walls crops, on the site in a Large for $39, are sweet. I love the fact that they avoid the lace-up trend that’s almost overdone now with a simple, linear design. And you can’t beat $40. I’ve never bought workout wear from Urban- I stick to going out tops, sweaters, and bralettes, basically- so I can’t vouch for quality or sizing, unfortunately. I might have to go give these a try, though, in which case I’ll report back. Also, doesn’t the model look a little like Malia Obama?

Three cheers to athleisure that makes your butt look good and your aesthetic even better.







a busy fall

Saying I have a packed fall this year would be an understatement. Between now and the end of November, I will be away for three weekends and five weekdays. I also have nine deadlines, three exams, two visitations, two family birthdays, and an open house weekend to work. Add the day to day responsibilities and tasks and we have one busy blonde over here.

That being said, I’m sorry if I’m a little absent here in the next two months. I try my hardest to schedule posts and be organized but I often get too caught up organizing my real life to do that here too.

Here’s what I’m doing to survive this crazy season:

  • Taking care of myself: As much as the upcoming travel will bring airport food, hungover brunches, and parent-expensed dinners (no shame), while I’m home, I try to eat relatively healthily. I feel better about splurging when I’m away, and my body adjusts better when I’m eating better and drinking water.
  • Planning outfits ahead: I’ll be at two SEC games this year, one in October and one in November, so a gameday outfit is a key part of my suitcase for those trips. I’m already looking for a dress, romper, or similar. It’ll feel so good when you look into your closet to pack the night before the trip and see 17238 piles and not one single option.
  • Writing it all down: Whether it’s on a huge Google calendar or on paper, like I do, I’d highly recommend writing each key event and trip down on a master calendar. This way, you have a visual of when you’re gone and you don’t have to search your emails for itineraries or reference a sticky note at the bottom of your purse.
  • Stocking up on travel sizes: This only applies if you’re traveling by air, but the next time you’re at Target, just stop in the toiletry aisle and load up on miniature toothpastes, mouthwashes, and empty containers, like my favorites for under $2, for all your hair and face needs.

Thanks to me, you won’t be lugging this much stuff around. You won’t look as hot as Kate Moss, either, but that’s another post for another day.



never forget

Today, we remember. We remember the 2,976 Americans who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. We remember the countless first responders, firemen, police offers, and citizens who gave tremendously to help in any way.

It seems surreal that this devastating national tragedy was fifteen years ago. It came to shape so many of the coming years. It defined what it means to be proud to be an American in the twenty-first century. If you haven’t seen this video, which was taken from NYU dorms eight blocks away, I recommend watching it. Although very disturbing, it is more raw than any news coverage you could ever see.

We will never forget.



early fall wishlist

Right now, all the fall merchandise is on display and I just want in. It’s too hot here to wear any of it, but I’m in too deep with online shopping to not know all the latest releases and sales.

Eventually, maybe a few of these things will go on my Christmas list, but, for now, I’m just looking.

Fun fact: I love magazines and catalogs. I never order anything from it, but I enjoy perusing the ones that come through the mail when I get around to sorting it. The Patagonia Los Gatos vest caught my eye, and it’s on their website for $99. Might have to cop in the grey.

Cousin J has been using this mask since July and has had nothing but good things to say about it, so I’m curious to try. I think $45 is a touch steep for a mask, but it is a bigger bottle and I want to shoot my aunt, who just became a Beautycounter rep, some business. Also, I’ve been itching to try anything Beautycounter, so it seems right to start with one of their most lauded products.

I’m a big believer in sticking with brands that you trust and that work for you. Sometimes old favorites trump whatever every YouTuber is shilling. I’ve had this Clinique Pore Refining Solutions mask in a sample size from a Sephora haul, which I reviewed too, before and loved it. Sephora sells it for only $25.50 for a larger size, and it’s won the Best of Beauty Allure award too.

I actually giggled when I came across this soap dispenser randomly on Etsy from this cute shop called “All Bottled Up in Indy”. Captain Morgan has led me into a plethora of questionable decisions and has been a staple of my liquid diet. I would never display this, but it’s hilarious. I’m not saying I want it, but I don’t not want it either. It’s $19.99 in case you need a gag gift anytime soon.

Silver is my preferred metal of choice, and I am a sucker for bangles, so, naturally, I really like most of Lagos’ jewelry. Their dainty ‘caviar’ bangle is pretty without being flashy or overstated, and it would go with a lot of stacks on top of looking good alone. Maybe I should get into gambling so I can snag this $15o beauty for fun.

Happy Sunday. Hopefully you take a glorious nap and eat some good food today.