The Reality of Working Out in an Instagram World

Everything hurts, I can’t tell if this is sweat or tears, and I just really want Chick-fil-a.

One of my new year’s resolutions is to be honest and unapologetically me. I owe it to myself and I owe it to the wonderful people who have been following my journey.  Sadly, that doesn’t always look so pretty. It is so incredibly easy to hide behind Instagram filters and act like working out is something glamorous and that I look like a Victorias Secret Sport commercial at all times. I wish that was the reality. I think a lot of women wish that was.  Sadly, with social media, working out always looks so perfect. Every time I open the app there’s a beautiful picture of someone in a perfect workout outfit, barely breaking a sweat, lifting more than I weigh. I know where my security is in life, but still, those pictures can make anyone feel inadequate.  I’m here to tell you that you are not alone. Working out is not pretty and you definitely do not have to like it.

Truth is, I HATE working out. With a passion. I mean, look at my shirt. It literally says, “I hate running”. I require a partner to do anything other than cardio, I complain through out the entirety of the workout, and at the end I try to convince them to get McDonalds with me. Working out is NOT for me. It doesn’t look glamorous at all. In fact, my friends laugh at my incompetence when it comes to figuring out the machines. In fact, the other day, my best friend Meg turned around for two minutes to put something away and somehow I flew off of the machine onto the ground. Still not sure how that one happened…

With Instagram though, I could definitely fool you. While I’m not incredibly strong, I’m an active person and do a good amount of cardio. I could convince you that I love working out, that my outfit is always on point, and I’m not huffing and puffing after five minutes. But that would be wrong.

I want you all to know that what you see on Instagram isn’t reality. Working out is hard. I do it because I want to be the healthiest me I can be. Doesn’t mean I have to like it though. I struggle to go to the gym. I struggle to not compare myself to the fitness pages on Instagram. I struggle to remind myself that what I see on Instagram is a false reality. I want you all to know that you are not aloneFitness journeys are a struggle, especially when you love food as much as I do. Remember to not compare yourself to what you see on Instagram or any social media. You are a unique and beautiful individual. Focus on yourself and trying to be the healthiest, best you regardless of what the Instagram standard might be at the moment.

With Love,

Madeline

 

 

6 Things They Don’t Tell You About Graduating

6 Things They Don’t Tell You About Graduating

I recently graduated from college. Recently meaning a few short weeks ago. I was so unbelievably excited to be graduating (for obvious reasons), however I wish someone had given me a heads up about what was about to come next. I was overwhelmed with emotions. Some good, but a lot that were not so good. Everyone always talks about how wonderful graduation is, but no one prepared me for what really was going to happen after the graduation magic wore off.

1. You will not know what to do with yourself.

You have just spent four or more years of your life in school, studying, cramming, eating ramen, and wondering if the $50,000 you’re paying every year is worth it. If you’re anything like me, you are absolutely dying to get out! I can not explain to you the feeling of sweet relief when you walk across that stage to get your diploma. Knowing that you did it. Knowing that you never have to take another test again or write another 20 page research paper. You will feel like a kid in a candy store for a good few weeks. Sadly, though, that overwhelming joy is going to slowly wear off.  Your friends will move back home and start new jobs.  Some will go on to travel. Some will continue their education. Suddenly, you’re not going to know what to do with yourself. You will wonder if that job was the right choice, if you should’ve traveled instead, and whether you want to pursue higher education or not. You will also, at times, be extremely bored. I didn’t understand how much time school took up. Now that I’m not studying on the nights and weekends, I’m not quite sure how to spend my time. I’ve binge watched Netflix, re-organized my entire room and closet, cooked and baked more than ever, gone out with friends almost every day, started reading a few new books, and still I have time! I’m definitely not complaining, but I do wish that someone had warned me about this excess of time I was about to have so that I could at least plan some ways to occupy myself.

2. You’re going to constantly be bombarded with questions.

Everyone and their mother saw on social media that you graduated. Here comes the questions. “Did you like your school?” “What was your degree in again?” “Did you graduate with honors?” “Where are you working now?” “How does your job fit with your degree?” “Do you like your job?” “What do you plan on doing in the next few years?”

Basically everyone wants to hear how well you did in school and what your five year plan is. I wish I had printed out cards to hand out to people instead of telling the same 10 minute story every single time. I thought after a week or two the questions would die down, but I was definitely wrong. Be prepared for LOTS of questions, especially if you graduate around the holidays like I did. You thought everyone asking about your love life and career was bad before? Graduate. They will be so much worse.

Don’t let their questions wear you down. Trust me, I know how exhausting they can be. To help with this, I created a simple 2 minute run through of what I’m doing, or what I plan on doing, and then try to steer the conversation in another direction. As annoying as all the questions are, just remember that they’re asking because they want to know and their intentions are good.

3. You’re probably going to be just as broke as you were before.

If someone had told me this beforehand, I definitely would have saved a bit more.  Unless you were blessed and had your education paid for, you’re going to have to start paying off those student loans.  All of that extra money you thought you had and could spend on clothes, traveling, and expensive restaurants? Yea… it is going towards your loans now.

My advice – get a cheap bottle of wine from Trader Joes prior to logging on the student loan website. It makes it just a tad less overwhelming.

4. You’re going to reinvent yourself.

You won’t see it coming, but you’re going to start a “new year, new me” phase in the middle of May. You’re going to adjust to post-grad life and start adulting. With that comes a lot of freedom, a lot of change, and a really good time to work on yourself as an individual.  I personally chopped off a good chunk of my hair and got a new wardrobe. Never saw that one coming, but hey it is a new phase of life so might as well embrace it!

5. You’re going to miss your friends ALOT!

You just got through years of cramming, awful tests, bad professors, and crappy cafeteria food. You also just got through years of 2am McDonalds runs, late night dance parties, Sunday brunches with your girlfriends, and honestly some of the best nights of your life. Your friends got you through a lot. They were there to save you from every awful first date and held you during the break up you never saw coming. During the past four years, your friends became your family and now you have to learn how to love them from afar. If you’re like me and my best friends, there will be a lot of facetiming, snap chatting, heart emojis, and tears as we learn how to be long distance best friends.

6. You’re going to be okay.

While you’re hating what you thought your dream job was or loving the job you thought you were going to hate, remember that what’s meant to be will be. These are the days you’re going to look back on and laugh about. These are the stories you’re going to tell your kids when they’re going through the exact same thing. So don’t freak out. Go live life. Take risks. Go on adventures. You will be okay. You graduated college so you’re obviously a smart individual. Live in the moment and live for yourself, not the crazy relatives around the dinner table.

Hope this advice helped some of y’all prep for graduation and what life is going to look like for you.

With Love,

Madeline

 

Winter Inspired Business Casual Look

I absolutely love playing around with new looks. Recently, I was in need of a business casual look for a marketing event. Normally, I would reach for one of my many cute dresses, however, it was a chilling 7 degrees outside. The only way I was going to put on a dress was if I had 3 pairs of tights on underneath…

For me, during the winter, it is all about the layering. I personally love taking simple, warm, tops, and pairing them with cute jackets that can easily go underneath my winter coat. Using a cute jacket is a really easy way to dress up an outfit and stay warm!

For this look, I paired a simple grey turtleneck with a black suede jacket and high waisted jeans. I tied the look together with a black belt and grey and black heels. I stayed warm and still looked fashion forward! Outfit details below.

Comment your favorite winter business casual go to outfit below or what outfit you would love to see next.

With Love,

Madeline


Grey Turtleneck – H&M

Black Suede Jacket – Jessica Simpson

Jeans – Just Black Denim

Belt – Target

Shoes – BCBGeneration

 

Redefining Beauty

fullsizerender_4Growing up, I always wanted to look exactly like the models in the magazines I read. Little did I know that those women didn’t even look like that. However, even though I would realize the unrealistic beauty standards set before me, I would still feel the need to try to reach them. Our perception of beauty has been skewed in media and altered with the power of photoshop.

Beauty has became a layer of makeup, perfect selfie lighting, and retouching an already flawless body. Let me tell you, I’m all about putting on some makeup and a cute dress for a night out… but when did it become unacceptable for women to bare their faces as is? When did beauty turn from all natural to anything but? If a woman wants to wear makeup, I fully support it, but why is it unacceptable if you don’t want to? My point is, our beauty standards need to be redefined, especially for young girls.

Ladies, embrace your natural, God given beauty. Don’t hide those freckles or those dimples. Enjoy being your unique and beautiful self. God only made one you. Don’t try to mask it in order to fit in. Choose makeups that highlight your natural features and don’t feel the need to follow every trend.

Based on what I have seen in the media, I believe we need to #redefinebeauty and it has to start somewhere. Beauty isn’t always just red carpet photos and being all dolled up. It can be a smile through a rough day. In an effort to encourage young women, I am posting this selfie to try to redefine our beauty standards. This was a Monday. It was a crazy day, second day hair, and I only had time for mascara. Despite all of that, I felt beautiful. Not because my makeup was “on fleek” but because I was simply and unapologetically me. I want that feeling for every young girl and woman out there. I encourage y’all to voice your opinions on redefining beauty as well.

With Love,

Madeline

Just a Jersey Girl Living in a Nashville World!

Just a Jersey Girl Living in a Nashville World!

I figured I might as well start this blog with a little background about me. If you couldn’t tell from my social media postsor exploring my website, I was born and raised in New Jersey. Yes… I know… It isn’t the state of choice to be from if you are a country singer, however being from Jersey has had its advantages.
For one, being from Jersey differentiates me from a bunch of other country artists out there. People get extremely curious and wonder what a girl like me could know about country music. The truth is, I have some pretty country roots. One whole side of my family is all in Louisiana (and pretty country if you ask me). Aside from growing up on Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, I spent holidays and time during the summer down south doing what I thought was normal – going tothe hunting camp, fishing, eating good ole southern cooking, and sitting around a bonfire in the evenings. It was only when I got older that I realized that wasn’t “normal” for folks from New Jersey (unless you live in south Jersey, in which case it totally is!) Either way, it made me who I am today.
Growing up in New Jersey also gave me a lot of the confidence and strength to pursue music that I needed at first. People from Jerseytell it to you like it is. It isn’t a bad thing, just the truth. When I was first starting out, I needed people to be critical of me in order to improve. Sure, it can hurt at times, but from it I only got better. It took being harshly criticized a few times in order to gain a backbone and some confidence. Heck, I still get harshly criticized some times, but I don’t take it to heart. I take the criticism to mind, improve what I can, and move on. This has been crucial in my musical journey. I can’t let a “no” or someone that doesn’t like my sound stand in my way, I have to keep moving on with their criticism in mind.
Criticism aside, Jersey fans are passionate about their country music, especially from a hometown girl like me. My fans in New Jersey have been so extremely supportive of me even through my move to Nashville. I think because they know that I am true to my roots and proud to be a Jersey girl despite the stereotypes. Let’s be honest, I might be living in a Nashville world, but this Jersey girl still does not pump gas!*

With Love,

Madeline

Welcome to My Blog!

cropped-img_1238.jpgHey guys –

Well you spoke and I am answering! I have heard from lots of y’all asking that I start posting more content about myself, my personal life, and my journey. I thought what better way than to start a blog? Now let me preface this blog by saying that I am in no way a writer. Spellcheck is a close friend, however it doesn’t catch my every mistake. I am not creating this blog to show off my writing skills though. I am writing this blog so I can become better connected with all of you! A ton of y’all have already responded to my posts telling me exactly what you would like me to blog about, but if you have any more ideas, don’t hesitate to forward them my way.  I hope y’all follow me on my blogging journey! Posts coming soon….

​With Love,
Madeline