This is something that’s hard for me to put into words, but I’m going to try. I love new makeup, and a good pair of shoes, and my fancy KitchenAid mixer, but I think we’ve all started taking these things for granted and started giving too little.

More and more, as I slather on my tinted sunscreen and mascara before work in the mornings, I realize how lucky I am to do this, and to live this life. 

Just today I spent $30 at Walmart on beauty and skincare items. It hit me while I was checking out, couldn’t someone use this $30 more than I do? Couldn’t someone use this money for something more— like food, or water, or a blanket— than the new L’Oreal eye shadow palette I bought?

L'Oreal, Flower Beauty, makeup, beauty

(We’ll talk more about that later)

I think about this kind of thing a lot lately. Sometimes I fall into this thought that since I’m not a millionaire, I can’t give or make a difference. But then I remember the little things I try to do, like donate clothes I don’t wear, give cash to someone who needs it, feed the neighborhood strays, and listen to someone who needs to talk. While I can’t give $10,000 to charity, I like to think that these little things I do can make a difference in someone’s (or an animal’s) life.

On a slightly separate but related note, I think what you do with your words and actions is equally important. Last weekend, my fiancé and I went to Waffle House down the street from our house. We walked in and sat down and just then, a server approached a man at a nearby table. In a completely unnecessary, degrading tone, she told the man that he couldn’t sit there because he didn’t order food and he needed to leave the restaurant. The man, who had a WH to go cup in his hand, politely explained that he had ordered and was waiting on his food. Obviously surprised, she tucked her tail and walked off… while the clearly embarrassed man got up and walked to stand by the door. Turns out, the people next to us had bought the man a meal, and he was waiting to get it.

My amazing fiancé (who will kill me if he reads this) looked at me and said, “I know you’re hungry baby, but I can’t eat here with someone who acts like that.” Neither could I.

We got up, left, and ate somewhere that welcomes everyone for breakfast.

I’m not saying this to brag, but because it reminded me that goodness and giving doesn’t have to be measured by dollar signs. It’s measured by kindness.

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Hey y’all! Sorry for my absence lately, I’ve been slammed at my day job with some big court news. Keep up with me on Twitter if you’re interested in that!

But, I wanted to pop in and talk to you about one of my favorite activities— shopping! Y’all know I’m on a budget, and I think most of you are too. And, even if you’re not, why spend more money if you don’t have to?

Here are some of my favorite places to shop and some of my best tips per store.

Southern Style Diaries, Ivana Hrynkiw, clothes, shopping, budget

Happy shopping!

TJ Maxx: TJs is my goldmine and I could talk about it for days. But I’ll keep it short and sweet- check out every department, including the beauty and jewelry, for items up to half off store prices! You will find brands you never expected to be there, and save your wallet some pain.

H&M: My favorite leggings are from H&M. It’s one of the only places I can find leggings that are long enough and don’t shrink up past my ankles! Again, don’t forget their beauty aisle! Their makeup products are surprisingly high quality.

Old Navy: This is a great place for comfy basics like cardigans and workout clothes, and they also have an awesome selection of jeans. They have a huge variety of sizes, and their pants come in petite and tall. The Rockstar 24/7 jeans are my favorite!

Forever 21: I love keeping up with current trends, but I don’t want to spend a lot of money on something I’ll probably only wear for a year. Forever has the trendiest clothes, with a huge selection, and you don’t have to shell out money that you’d rather spend on a year-round item. Also, they have some amazing sandals for summer!

Belk: If you don’t have one, Belk is a southern department store that carries brands like Free People, Ralph Lauren, Sam Edelman, Jessica Simpson, French Connection and more. They sell shoes, makeup, accessories, and home goods. The best part— like most department stores— is they’re always having sales and giving our coupons.

Target: I have a love/ hate relationship with Target’s clothes. I always feel like they look so cute on the rack, but not so much on my body. Lately though I’ve really been loving their new brands A New Day and Universal Threads. I got two great work dresses from AND for just $7 and $13 a piece on the clearance rack! I also have two great button down shirts from UT that are so light and comfortable for summertime.

SheIn: I have a lot of thoughts on SheIn, but read more about that here. Overall, I think they *can* be a great source of cheap, cute clothes, especially for summer!

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.
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One thing my wedding registry— and my house— is full of is rugs.

Lots of colorful, interesting rugs always makes a house feel like a home to me. My parents’ house is absolutely packed with Turkish and Persian rugs. I grew up going to flea markets and antique stores with my mom, hunting for the best deal on an authentic piece.

While our budget isn’t exactly friendly to the authentic Turkish rugs right now, I am all about stocking up on ones that are identical to them without the hefty price tag! I think these rugs can totally transform a room with little effort, and also helps protect your floors from muddy paws and coffee spills (guilty!).

Our floors also could use refinishing, but that’s definitely more of an investment than we’re planning to make at this point. Until then, some strategically placed rugs is more than perfect!

Also what I love is when you get tired of it in one spot, you can move it across the house to totally change another room. It’s like a home redo without the money.

rugs, Ivana Hrynkiw, Southern Style Diaries

Lucky for me, my Arabic fiance is ALL about a good rug and actually enjoys hunting for them! One of my favorite memories is being with my mom and Mitri at a flea market in New York when my mom found an amazing Oushak rug, and Mit had to carry it all the way back to our hotel in Midtown. I don’t think he’s as fond of this memory though…

Where to buy

Some of my favorite places to shop for affordable rugs are HomeGoods and TJ Maxx, flea markets, and off-the-beaten path antique stores. I’ve also found some great sites recently I love to keep my eyes on—  jossandmain.com, luluandgeorgia.com, and appleandoaknash.com.

I’m linking some of my favorites below so you can check them out, and maybe you’ll become obsessed too!

Tan and pink rug: Great for the dining room!

Purple and red runner: I would use this going from our dining room into a little side room. We usually close that area off, but I wouldn’t with a runner like this!

Pink and orange rug: If you have a large bathroom, this would be amazing. It wouldn’t fit in mine, but I could use it in my office/makeup room where I usually get ready.

Multicolor red rug: To me, this is kind of a standard Turkish-lookalike rug. Great for the living room or bedroom! And, this is from the Joanna Gaines line at BBB, which my registry is full of.

Gold and pink rug: This beauty would be amazing in a front entry room, or mudroom as the kids call it these days. I have a front table I would love to use this underneath. The light colors are so welcoming!

White and yellow rug: I have nothing like this white and yellow rug, and I am obsessed with it. It would look great in a bedroom or in a room that doesn’t get enough natural light… those light colors would fool everyone into thinking you had tons of windows.

Blue area rug: This guy is huge, making it a great piece for the den or living room. It would be awesome if you had a neutral-toned couch and a glass coffee table, because the rug would be the star of the show.

Pink and yellow rug: I would use this smaller rug at the top of the stairs, leading into the kitchen, or in the space before our bathroom door. Rugs like this are so versatile, and when you get tired of it somewhere you can just move it!

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I know I don’t usually talk about my health on my blog, but I think it’s important and I wanted to tell you about my health and fitness journey, and how happy I’ve become with my body and overall health over the past year.

I’ve always liked exercising, but struggled to find a consistent workout routine that I didn’t get bored of or dread. In high school and at the beginning of college, I opted for the treadmill/ elliptical for sometimes two hours just to feel like I was burning “enough calories” to lose a few pounds. I was also at a really rough part in my life in the first semester of college, so I compensated by exercising for hours to feel like I was in control of something.

Fast forward to the middle of college, I tried (and failed) to get into trial/outside running. I was also eating horribly, but I didn’t try to change that because I wasn’t gaining any weight. Because I looked okay, I thought what I was putting into my body didn’t matter. I felt so tired all the time, probably because I was consuming so much sugar and empty calories.

But last year, I did a total health 180. I found a workout program that is perfect for me, and one I actually look forward to going to! I got on a steady schedule, which I need to be consistent, and I hardly ever miss a class. When I do, I am never happy about it and I find myself working harder at my next class to make up for it. I couldn’t love my trainers more and they push me to be my best, without ever making me feel embarrassed or not good enough.

Ivana Hrynkiw, Southern Style Diaries, kickboxing, Gauntlet

If you’re like me, you never thought you needed a trainer. You are wrong! I think having such great trainers has pushed me to want to do better and want to stay on track. You don’t have to have a bootcamp type trainer– I hate that– but you need to have someone to encourage and support you, no matter what kind of exercising you do.

After nearly a year of being at my gym, I got my level 1 kickboxing certification! It may be silly, but I was so proud of myself and my body, and I can’t wait to keep testing for the next level.

Food

Aside from fitness, last year I totally changed the way I ate. I started paying more attention to what I was putting in my body, but without being obsessive. Now I eat healthy, prepped meals most days for lunch and dinners during the week, so I know exactly the nutrition I’m putting into my body and I can keep track of what I am not getting enough of. And, I don’t feel bad about scarfing down nachos on Saturdays and having a few drinks!

It makes so much sense, but I never thought about how the things I was putting in my body were affecting me negatively. Now, let’s get this straight. I still have to have at least one ice cream per week, and I still can knock out a whole pizza and a bowl of cheese dip in one sitting… but, I don’t feel so bad about it. It’s all about balance!

I’m so proud of myself because I made this change for me. I wasn’t necessarily trying to lose weight (although I did), but I wanted to tone up (which I also did) and feel more confident in my body. I am so happy with my health these days, and it breaks my heart to see girls who are not. I hope my story can inspire someone to change their lifestyle and get in shape for THEMSELVES. Not to fit in a dress, and not to look good for bikini season. Do it for you and you only! Your health and fitness is crucial to YOU.

Xoxo-

Ivana

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I’ve recently picked up some new makeup, both from Walgreens and Ulta, that I am absolutely loving for summer! Here are some of my top new (and just new to me) makeup picks for the season.

Southern Style Diaries, Ivana Hrynkiw

1. L’Oreal True Match Lumi foundation

No lie, I bought this because of the royal wedding. After that beautiful day, I went on the hunt for what makeup products Meghan Markle uses. I found out that she really likes the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation— but let’s be real, your girl doesn’t have $60 to drop on a foundation! But, I’m about to rock your world. Armani, YSL, and L’Oreal makeup products are made in the same factory. Yes, the high-end, expensive products are made side-by-side with the drugstore versions, because L’Oreal owns Armani. After a little research, I learned that the Loreal True Match Lumi foundation and the Armani Luminous Silk are super similar in ingredients.

I had to try this, and after a little swatch work, I picked shade W1-2 (the lightest I could find, but maybe still a little dark for fair-skinned girls). I’ve been loving this! I’ve been applying this with a wet sponge— EcoTools right now is my favorite— and it gives the perfect coverage without covering my freckles… which is another tip I got from Princess Meghan. And, it has SPF! Perfect for summer date nights or outdoor weddings.

2. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream

I’m picky about BB/CC creams, and I initially was on the fence about this one. I actually meant to buy the new IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation, but I didn’t realize until after I first used it that I had actually bought the CC cream on accident. This stuff has SPF 50 which is amazing for people like me who constantly burn in the summer. I love that this CC Cream is good for your skin, but gives you just enough coverage to hide blemishes without being cake or heavy. This also blends great with the brand’s Bye Bye Under Eye concealer that I swear by! Warning, it does have a citrus like scent when you first pump it out of the tube.

3 & 6. Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder in “Precious Petals” and ColorIcon Baked Blush in “Don’t Flutter Yourself”

I bought these new WnW products at CVS and I haven’t seen them anywhere else yet. They’re part of the line’s new summer product launch. And the colors are all very sparkly and bright. “Precious Petals” is a light, bronzey gold highlight that really reminds me of the highlight in Chrissy Tiger’s Becca palette! But, 10x less expensive and I think it actually applies smoother. To be honest, it’s probably not the best shade for me… but I still love it! “Don’t Flutter Yourself” is a very light, glittery pink color that I actually like to use as a topper over my more peachy blushes, like Milani Luminoso. If you like the way light pinks look on you though (I do not) I think you will die over this! And at just $5, you should.

4. NYX Bright Idea Illuminating Stick in “Maui Suntan”

I know these are technically highlighting sticks, but I’ve been using mine as a cream bronzer. Hear me out— I’m not usually a big cream product person, but I saw @theblondemeatball post a picture talking about this product and it looked absolutely stunning on her. I was intrigued, and had to pick it up at ULTA! I use it by drawing a 3 on each side of my face— along the sides of my forehead, in the hollow of my cheek, and under my jaw— and blend out either using a wet makeup sponge or a small stippling brush. The Maui Suntan illuminating stick looks so beautiful and glowy for summertime! It also looks so natural and like you just got home from a beach vacation (without harming your skin!)

5. L’Oreal Studio Secrets Magic Lumi Highlighter

This was another one of my royal wedding makeup impulse purchases, but I’m pretty sure I had this at some point years and years ago. I bought this thinking it had a little more coverage like a concealer, but the “coverage” is actually really minimal. It’s more like a brightener and it gives a really beautiful, lit-from-within glow instead of being a chunky, glittery highlighter. I think on no-makeup days, this Magic Lumi Highlighter will be gorgeous with my tinted moisturizer under my eyes and on the high points of my face!

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Ivana Hrynkiw, Southern Style DiariesI realized recently that a lot of ya’ll who are new to SSD don’t know me, so I wanted to take a minute to tell you about me, my job, and why I started this blog.

My name’s Ivana, and I work for AL.com— the biggest online news source in Alabama. We produce three papers across the state, and typically I’m writing several stories a day.

The thing is, I don’t write about entertainment, or style, or food. I cover homicides, fatal fires, fatal car crashes, etc. for half of my day. The other half I spend in courtrooms covering the trials for those responsible for those crimes. I know, ya’ll weren’t expecting that from me.

I always say, I meet people on the worst days of their lives. I’ll never get used to parents finding out their child is dead, or a child being killed in a horrible way. I’ll never be okay with a wife sobbing in court because her husband was murdered from a stray bullet, which was fired from a drug deal across the street. It’s hard, and it doesn’t get easier.

With that being said, I have to believe this job has made me realize that you have to appreciate the small things in life. For me, that’s a good pair of jeans and red lipstick. You have to appreciate your family, like when I have dinner with my fiancé or go shopping with my mama. These are the things that keep me going and motivated to tell the stories of those who can’t.

I’ve had several blogs over the years, but I created SSD in 2016 when I was at a turning point in my career and needed a place to channel my love of all these things, and share what my tips and tricks to being a woman in the south with some dang good style. It’s not been an easy journey to handle this blog AND a full-time job, but it’s totally worth it. I get to do both things I love in the same way: Telling stories.

So, that’s me in a nutshell. Questions about my day job or the Southern Style Diaries? Leave them in the comments because I would love to share! Also, if you ever have requests for posts on this blog, please let me know and I would be happy to do it. 

xoxo

Ivana

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I realized I haven’t updated ya’ll recently on my full face makeup routine!

If you don’t know, I love makeup. I don’t wear makeup every day, and most days to work I wear a CC cream instead of foundation. I love that the CC cream is lighter and gives me SPF for summer days, too!

But, I wanted to show you my full face look that I constantly go to for dinner dates, or going out on the town with my friends. I’m going to give you a step-by-step list of how I do my full face makeup, and show you a complete product lineup, too!

I was inspired to show you all the products together in one picture by one of my favorite bloggers, Glitter & Gingham. She did a similar post that made me want to pull out my products and show them off, too! If you don’t follow her, you definitely should.

Let’s get started!

Foundation & Concealer

1) Foundation! Again, I don’t reach for a full coverage foundation during the week, but if I’m trying to have my full face on then I always go for a good medium coverage, buildable, liquid foundation. My tried and true favorite is the Covergirl 3-in-1 foundation, but lately I have been trying out the Maybelline Super Stay foundation and I’ve been loving it! 

Southern Style Diaries, Ivana Hrynkiw, makeup, foundation

I always mix in a little of my Maybelline Infallible Pro Glow on the back of my hand— the Pro Glow is lighter and more hydrating, so it thins out the other one a little. Actually, I do that with almost all my more full-coverage foundations! 

I go back and forth between a beauty sponge and a brush. My favorite sponge right now is the Eco Tools one that has a flat edge; my favorite brush is the flat top kabuki from Makeup Geek.

2) After I blend out my foundation, its time for brightener and concealer. I put these two in one step, because depending on the day I might do one or the other, or both. This day my zombie under eye circles were in full force, so I used both. First I put a little dab of this Maybelline Eraser in the brightener shade underneath my eyes in the dark spots. I do this pretty haphazardly, so don’t freak out about being messy. Then, I put my It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye on top and blend it out towards my cheekbones with a tapered kabuki brush from Makeup Geek. You can use a sponge too!

Just looking at this picture against the previous one, it’s insane how much concealer can transform your face as apposed to just foundation by itself!

3) Next, I like to brighten the high points of my face with a little more concealer. If I use Tarte Shape Tape under my eyes, I just use that for this step. When I use Bye Bye Undereye, I like to swap it out for the Maybelline Fit Me concealer for the rest of my face. I put a little on my chin, down my nose, and on my forehead just above the spot between my eyebrows. I use the same brush from the last step, or sponge, to blend that out.

4) Set it all down! You don’t have to do this step if you have dry skin, but I have pretty normal skin that sometimes gets shiny in the t-zone. I use the Coty Airspun powder to set the products under my eye and where I put concealer throughout my face. You can set your whole face if you feel like you need it! As I have gotten older, my skin’s gotten a lot less oily and I don’t always set my entire face.

Bronzer & Blush

5) Now the fun stuff comes. I didn’t contour with this look— but to be honest, I don’t contour very often. If I’m going to a black-tie event or a wedding, sure. But to go to Buffalo Wild Wings with my fiance? Nah. That’s why I use a really neutral bronzer like the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer to bronze my face in the same areas you would contour. 

I follow the 3 rule, and bronze the sides of my forehead, the hollows of my cheek, and down onto my jaw (it looks like you’re moving your brush in a 3). Sometimes I take a little down my nose to give a sun kissed effect.

6) Blush is one of my favorite products, and I often feel like I overdo it. I don’t hate that look, though… Anyways, one of my longtime holy grail blushes is the Wet & Wild Ombre Blush in the Princess Daiquiris. It’s the best color for summer because it has both a light pink and a peachy tone, with subtle glitter. It’s pigmented, but it’s not like you’re going to do one brush stroke and put too much on. 

7) Highlighter is what makes us all feel Kardashian on the inside. The Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighters is a current favorite, but I also love the elf Illuminating palette, too. I use a small, Sonia Kashuk brush to buff a little bit on my cheekbones, above the arch of my eyebrow, and lightly down the bridge of my nose and on the tip. You can use it wet if you want a more vibrant look, but I like this subtle look for everyday wear.

Eyes & Brows

8) Time to look alive with a little mascara! I’m a firm believer in drugstore mascara, because I don’t think you need to spend big bucks for something that is essentially the same formula for half the price (or less). I always always start with Maybelline The Rocket mascara on top and bottom, because it has been my ride or die for a million years. It never lets me down! Sometimes I stop there, but sometimes I’ll add another coat or two of L’oreal Lash Paradise or Essence Lash Princess.

9) Brows are final! (other than lipstick, which I forgot to include in this tutorial so…) One of my favorite brow products is the Benefit Goof Proof pencil. I use the angled pencil to fill in my brows and underneath the arches, because I have some really noticeable bald spots. Then, I use the spoolie on the other side of the pencil and brush them through. If I’m feeling extra sassy, I’ll go in with the Soap And Glory Archery brow gel on top to make them look a little more fluffy.

10) And, for every day of my life, I end with some tinted chapstick. This is the pomegranate flavor from Burt’s Bees, and it has just a hint of color so your lips don’t look white. I usually don’t put on my lipstick until I get to where I’m going, so I don’t get it all over my water bottle or coffee cup… so I completely forgot to include that here. But, some days, the chapstick is all I wear.

Here are my favorite products at the moment that I mentioned, and you can tell they are are very well loved! 

I hope ya’ll enjoyed this tutorial! Let me know if you want to see more like it. Make sure to comment if you follow my routine and if it works for you!

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.

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Mother’s Day is upon us, and it can be downright daunting to have to pick the perfect gift for mama.

First of all, I have to say I am truly blessed to have such strong women in my life. I have a mother I absolutely couldn’t live without, as well as an aunt and cousins that are like sisters. My future mother-in-law is amazing, which I am so excited about. My grandmother was also a huge influence on me, and I’m lucky to have had her for the 16 years I did. There’s no gift that could embody how much I adore these women.

But, I always try to show how much I appreciate my mom. I have definitely given some gifts over the years that I regret, because she probably didn’t use them as much as I envisioned. That’s why this year, I’m really trying to only give gifts for any occasion that I think the recipient will love and use– and not something that just takes up space. We all have too much stuff to just get more!

If you’re looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift for your mom, or a strong woman in your life, look no further. Here’s my top gifts for this holiday!

Mother's Day, Ivana Hrynkiw, Southern Style Diaries, gift guide

La Mer creme

Supposedly the best moisturizer on the planet, this stuff is pretty much at the top of every woman’s wish list. While it’s expensive, there are travel size and smaller options for us on a budget!

Jewelry organizer

If your mama is like mine, she’s got a lot of jewelry! A jewelry organizer is always a good idea, because it’s so easy to misplace earrings or make a total mess of your countertop. I love this one because its got three bars for necklaces, and you can put your longer ones on top without them tangling with your shorter necklaces. There is also a tray on the bottom for rings or stud earrings. My mom wears a lot of clip earrings too, and that’s a perfect place for them.

Southern Living magazine subscription

It’s hard to beat a good magazine subscription. My mom doesn’t get Southern Living, but she does get Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. I will say though, what southern woman wouldn’t enjoy SL? It’s got great gardening tips, recipes, and home decor ideas. The publisher also makes special edition issues, so there’s a good chance there’s one she’ll find interesting.

Peacock pearl triple strand necklace

This is one of my jewelry companies, and I might be biased because the owner is my good friend! But, she’s amazing. She makes necklaces, earrings, and bracelets and takes custom orders for just about anything. I love her long necklaces that can be wrapped several times, and also her statement earrings. My mom has a huge pearl obsession, and Knotty Designs has so many options!

Silk floral scarf

To be totally honest, I think this scarf would be more for me anyway… but I know mom would love it too. It’s big enough to tie around a handbag for some color, and also small enough to wear as a neckerchief (that’s the hip word, right?) This one is from Urban Outfitters but I know Target has a very similar option!

Revision Skincare serum

I’ve never used this line, but my mom does and she loves it! They sell this line at a lot of med-spas and I know several bloggers that use it and swear by Revision. Again they can be pricey, but Amazon has some great deals and you can often find it through third-party seller for a little cheaper.

What are you getting your mama (or aunt, or mother-in-law) for Mother’s Day?

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One of my favorite fashion “things” is easily a good pair of statement earrings.

Big, eye-catching earrings are literally the easiest way to change up an outfit you wear often, or to jazz up an otherwise simple jeans and white tee combo. While I wear them year round, my favorite time of the year to stock up on new statement earrings is the spring and summer! I just love the way they look with sleeveless summer tops or breezy sun dresses.

Some of my favorite places to buy statement earrings are places where I normally shop for other accessories, like Target or Lucky Brand. I also found some amazing pairs (like this and this) at the online boutique Red Dress! I recently found their site, and I am totally obsessed! How did I go 24 years without this place?

All earrings are linked at the bottom of this post. Also, these pics came on a no foundation day, so ya’ll can see that its not always airbrushed skin and full lashes for me! 🙂

Scroll down for some of my favorite statement earrings for the season!

I also love buying things from local shops in Birmingham. My amazing friend owns Knotty Designs jewelry, and ya’ll… her stuff is AMAZING. I highly recommend her! Check out her site here.

Disclaimer: I love these feather earrings, but do not wear lip gloss when you have them on. Trust me on this one

Lucky Brand pink fan earrings : On sale for $12!!

Target Sugarfix fringe earrings: Comes in several colors, only $12.99

Red Dress white beaded earrings: $18 and comes in five colors

Knotty Designs tiered earrings: $30 and several color combos!

Knotty Designs beaded dangle earrings: Custom-made

Feather earrings: $16.99 and unavailable online, but they had tons at my store. Similar ones linked here!

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They say you can’t do it all, but with a little time management and a whole lot of hustle, I think you can.

I work full-time, go to the gym 3-4 times a week, and run the Southern Style Diaries… all while trying to maintain a (very) small social life and hang out with my fiancé and family. Did I mention I’m also planning a wedding?

It can be really overwhelming sometimes when I look at my to-do list. But, I’ve found a way to mostly manage my schedule and balance all my activities so that I don’t lose a lot of sleep, and I don’t take away time with my loved ones.

I know this isn’t a unique problem. People tell me constantly how stressed they are with managing their time, and I always say I get it— because I do, and I used to be that person. I still am occasionally, but not nearly as much!

Today I’m going to share several tips of mine on how to balance work, home, fitness, your side hustle, and whatever else you have going on!

I hope this helps you when you feel overwhelmed, and please leave me tips in the comment section about how you manage your time!

Have a bed time

I know, we’re not 8 anymore. But, when I started scheduling myself to go to bed every night around a certain time, everything changed. I have more energy to get things done during the day, and I sleep without tossing and turning through the night and waking up exhausted. Its all about your body clock and getting that regulated. If you are going to bed at midnight one day and 8 p.m. the next, your body gets so out of whack it doesn’t know when to be tired and when to be alert. Get yourself on a schedule where you’re getting between 6-8 hours a sleep every night, and stick with it. You’ll get so much more done during the day, and when bedtime comes you’ll sleep like a baby.

Eat, but eat well!

If I skip meals or don’t eat, I get incredibly cranky. Not only that, but I get killer headaches and feel lightheaded… meaning, I usually have to lay down and totally waste the rest of the day. I hate not feeling well and missing out on a perfectly good time to finish a blog post or to have dinner with my family! That’s why I make sure I’m eating something small every few hours, and I don’t miss meals. I buy prepped meals for my lunches and dinners during the week (I’m planning to do a post on that soon!) so they are portioned out based on calories, carbs, protein, and veggies. Getting all those nutrients in my system makes me feel so satisfied, and I get energy that I wouldn’t get from shoving McDonalds in my face (which I sometimes still do). I firmly believe if you put good things in your body, it’ll do good things for you!

Write everything down

This is another necessity for me! Every single thing gets written in my planner, and I mean everything. My gym schedule, work deadlines, when to fill out my time card, when bills are due… My planner looks like a ball point pen exploded, but that’s ok! If I write something down, I’m more likely to remember it. Also, I need to be able to look at my week (or month) and see what needs to get done and when. If you’re not a planner person, try using Post-It notes or a legal pad. Or, get a desk calendar and use the daily boxes to plan your week ahead.

Stick to a gym schedule

Lots of folks don’t want to hear this, but schedules are key to consistency with anything. To ensure that I don’t  get “too busy” for the gym, I have a hard schedule that I almost never break. Knowing what days and times I workout lets me plan around it, and I also exercise harder because I’m not thinking about the 17 things I have to do when I get home. That’s an hour where I just focus on me and my body, and it’s such a stress reliever! I can go into the gym worried about 90 things, and leave feeling like I can conquer them all and more. I need that for my physical AND mental health.

Have a plan, but don’t freak out when it goes up in flames

No matter how much you plan and schedule, sometimes things just go to hell. And that’s okay! It’s inevitable. You’ll have car trouble, or be sick, or your friend is in town and you really want to have a drink with her. It’s okay to step back for a minute and remember, you are human and things happen. Give yourself permission to take a day or an afternoon off, and take a break. If you don’t, you’re going to burn out… and that’s one thing I know for sure. It’s all about balance— and of course, having a little fun too 🙂

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