The Darling Nomadess: August 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Save vs. Splurge: The Leather Jacket

While I'm in NYC for the weekend, I have the lovely Dylan from Sartorial Spice guest posting today! The leather jacket is a classic fall essential - would you save or splurge on this item? 
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With autumn growing closer and the leaves beginning to slowly change their colors, it's time to swap our T-Shirts for some light sweaters and leather jackets.  Leather jackets are a great piece to have in your closet as it can easily go from fall to winter to spring.  It can be used year-round and truly is a basic.  With so many leather jackets out there, it can be hard to find the right one.  Here is a save and splurge option if you are searching for an edgy jacket.

There are a variety of styles such as motorcycle, cropped, moto, draped, etc.  Our Splurge option is a MICHAEL Michael Kors Leather Buckle-Collar Motorcycle Jacket priced at $420 regular price. Our Save option is an American Rag Faux Leather Jacket priced at $79.


The Michael Kors jacket is real leather of mid weight which allows it to be easily used throughout the seasons.  My favorite thing about this jacket are all the zippers and the super edgy buckle around the neck.  This is a great option if you are looking for a jacket that is a great statement piece on it's own and made of great leather that will last you years to come.


The American Rag jacket is faux leather that does not offer all the zippers but does offer an edgy buckle around the neck as well and epaulettes on each shoulder.  This jacket is a little shoulder and is of junior sizing but I know many people who can still fit into junior clothing.  It is a cheap option if you want the look of leather but you do not want to spend as much to get it.  It is also a great choice for those who do not appreciate wearing real leather.


You may be flustered in trying to find a jacket in your price zone but all it takes is some time, research, and patience.  There are always choices and while you might not find it right away, things tend to be found when you are least looking for it!


Hope all of you are having a great end of your summer and don't be too shy to splurge! Feel free to stop by my blog, Twitter, or Facebook



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What would you splurge on, Darlings?

With Love,
Ashliegh

Thursday, August 29, 2013

How to Wear: Chambray Shirt


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The chambray shirt is the crown jewel of my wardrobe. It's the piece thats always there when I need it most. You know what I'm talking about - the chambray shirt is there for when you look into your closet filled to the brim and say (in your best Valley Girl voice, please) "I have, like, nothing to wear!"


The chambray shirt is the super hero that's here to save the day. It's secret power is it's versatile ability to go with any outfit. Seriously. There are so many ways to wear this wondershirt - tuck it in or leave it out! It can also serve as a cardigan if you leave it unbuttoned or a quick and stylish swimsuit cover up! It's looks fabulous with your colored skinny jeans for a weekend look or make it work for your workplace by pair it with a pencil skirt! Don't know what to wear with your tribal or sequin skirt? You know it - pair it with the chambray shirt for an effortlessly cool look. The options are limitless!

Here are three ways that I've worn it and can't wait to experiment with other options! 

Shop Chambray Shirts:





How do you wear your chambray shirt, Darling?

With Love,
Ashliegh

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sorority Life: Greek Cover Photos

For many sorority women, including myself, polish week is here and we are working hard on preparing our chapters for sorority recruitment. As a former recruitment chair, I know that each member's image, and even online activity, can effect the whole sorority! While you're running on little to no sleep, you don't have time to worry about designing Facebook cover photos for your chapter. 

Enter Nahal from Greek Cover Photos. Greek Cover Photos is your new one-stop-shop for 20 NPC sorority Facebook cover photos! Let me tell you - Nahal and the other designers do a fabulous job of offering creative and totally adorable cover photos for your sorority! The best part - they're free to use!

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Monday, August 26, 2013

9 Fun Facts About Me



1. I studied abroad in Costa Rica! It was one of the single most incredible experiences of my life! I was able to travel the beautiful country (it's the size of West Virginia!) while learning Spanish and enjoying the hospitality and culture that Costa Rica is known for! I was able to study abroad with my boyfriend, Christian, when we first started dating so Costa Rica holds a special place in our hearts.

Take me home to Costa Rica!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

DIY Earring Box [Guest Post]

Today, Hannah from Words as Palindromes will be giving us a DIY lesson! Check her cool dorm room project!

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Hey everyone!  My name is Hannah and I blog over at Words as Palindromes.  I am a MN college student studying Speech Language Pathology.  I love coffee, TOMS shoes, maxi skirts, and Target.
My blog is a conglomeration of everything in life. Sometimes I tell stories, other days I tell about my weekend, things on my mind, or things happening in the life of a college student. Somedays I even post recipes I have made from the cookbook of Pinterest. Speaking of cookbooks...Do they even exist anymore with how awesome and easy Pinterest has made it?!

But today, you are in luck! I am going to share with you one of the many DIY projects that I have done this past summer - DIY Earring box!  If you have way too many earrings and never know where to put them or how to store them...this is for you.  And the best part...IT IS SO EASY.  I don't know about you, but I love DIY projects, and if they are easy...that makes them so much better!

Here is what you need:
- some type of scissors or X-ACTO knife (I found the scissors worked better).
- small three drawer plastic container (Target or Wal-Mart)
- foam padding (mine is technically chair padding, but it works)!
- pencil
- pins (if wanted)

DIRECTIONS:
STEP 1. Take a drawer from the plastic container and trace the it on the foam padding with a pencil.  Once you have it traced, cut it out with either the scissors or some type of craft knife.  By no means does it have to be perfectly cut, some jagged ends are okay. Trace as many squares as you have drawers.


STEP 2: Once you have the foam square cut, try to fit it inside the plastic drawer.  It should fit seeing that you traced it, but you may have to trim an edge here or there.


STEP 3: Once all the foam is in place in each drawer, you can place your earrings in the foam.  In my middle drawer I put my studs.  In order to make them stay, push the backs way to the end of the top of the studs and then push it into the foam.  

    

The hoops and dangly earrings were a tiny bit more difficult.  The dangling ones that have an attachable end, I simply pushed the end into the foam.  And then for the hoops, I found some pins in my mom's sewing box and pushed them in and put the hoops around the pin. 

    

Finally, in the top I simply put any earrings that were super special to me and I haven't worn them very often yet and a bag with my extra earring backs.  

    

STEP 4: Carefully put your drawers back into the plastic container and stare in amazement at what has happened to your messy, disorganized jewelry box. 

    

And wa-lah! You have a wonderful earring case that fits all of your earrings! It is super functional and quite small.  If you wanted to have it match your room, before you put the foam in, feel free to modge podge some scrapbook paper to the side.  It would make the earring case look so classy and decorative. 
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I have had a lot of fun crafting this summer as you can see below!  I decorated some wine bottles and made these fun canvases, as well as tumbler glasses.  Thank goodness for Pinterest (follow me here!), where would we be without all those great ideas today!  Come check out on my blog, I would love to have you!  Seriously, it would make my day! :)


With Love,
Ashliegh

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My Attempt at Tribal Print

Doing the fashion blogger thing of avoiding eye contact with the camera, haha! 






Chambray Shirt: Marshall's
Scarf: Boscov's
Jeans: American Eagle
Booties: ShoeDazzle

As you can tell, this OOTD is very different from my usual preppy look. Today, I finally manned up, went outside my comfort zone and tried the tribal print trend! Not gonna lie, this morning I was pretty terrified to leave my apartment in this outfit! My roommates were no where to be found for feedback but I forced myself to be more daring and walked out the door. I did get a lot of compliments on the outfit, so I guess it worked!  Overall, I think I liked this outfit! 

The scarf gave the outfit a more relaxed feel, which you can probably tell is very different from my usual "look". I turned the scarf into a vest by fastening the two panels around my neck around to my back, as you can see above in picture three! I feel like there's a better way to do this somehow...any tips?

How would you wear tribal print, Darlings? 

With Love,
Ashliegh



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bows on Bows

Letters: not sure...
Skirt: Boscov's
Shoes: T.J.Maxx
Necklace: My Pacific Pearls
Belt: Old
Bracelet: Benevolent Jewels! Now on sale for $10.50! Use code AJCODE20 for 20% off your order! 

With fraternity and sorority recruitment in about a month, my university's Panhellenic and IFC Councils have scheduled Greek Letter Days for recruitment P.R. Today was one of them! #GoGreek! I got these letters at an Alpha Phi conference a few years ago. It was the only mint green shirt on a table full of tee shirts so I immediately drawn to it. Once I got closer, I was hoping it would be my size because I noticed the pink seersucker letters! $30 later and I had my first Alpha Phi lettered tee. 

While most sorority women on my campus wear their letters with skinny jeans or shorts, I decided to dress them up with a flirty floral skirt and my adorable new bow bracelet from Benevolent Jewels (read more about them here)! On Saturday, I received a package in the mail from them and thought, "what could this be?" As I ripped open the package, I was surprised with a sweet thank you note, pearl necklace (more on that later!) and this green bow bracelet! I couldn't believe it! It was so sweet of the company to send that and totally validated why they're my favorite place to get new jewels!

What's your favorite way to wear your sorority letters?

With love,
Ashliegh



Monday, August 19, 2013

How Volunteering Benefits YOU, too!

Growing up, my family never had very much; however, the value of volunteering was instilled in me very early on. I remember every Christmas, my parents would allow my siblings and I to pick a star off of this large Christmas tree in my church. The stars were filled with information about other kids who were less fortunate and who's family's were unable to supply gifts under the tree that year. We would then go shopping and pick out clothes, toys, and basic necessities. Personally, giving gifts to those kids was better than opening my own on Christmas Day. 

For the past three years, I have been dedicated to volunteering with Habitat For Humanity. Throughout the school year I, and other students at my university, help build houses in our campus' community. Volunteering has been so rewarding in so many ways and I love to spend my spring breaks traveling with Habitat For Humanity. 


I think it's important to note that not only are you giving back to your community and lending a helping hand to those who need it, but you are also benefiting through the experience of volunteering that can even help your resume! It's said that about 73% of employers would rather recruit a candidate with volunteer experience over someone who doesn't (read more here)! 




The benefits you could reap through volunteering include:



Develop a new skill // After my years of service with Habitat for Humanity, I know I could assist in building my own house or do basic home repairs - definitely a skill worth having rather than pay someone else! 

Build confidence through accomplishing something worthwhile // With Habitat, here is nothing more fulfilling than starting a week with a slab of concrete and by the end of the week there is a house standing in that same spot. 
Boost your career options and resume // As I said, most employers would rather hire someone with volunteer experience! 
Expand you interpersonal skills // Motivating others, understanding people better, and dealing with difficult situations are just a few skills you might add to your repertoire.
and so many more!


One person truly can make a difference in the world. When others see you volunteer, you inspires others to volunteer, also!

So get out there, find a cause you're passionate about and volunteer!

Do you volunteer? With which organization or cause? 

With Love,
Ashliegh

Friday, August 16, 2013

What to Wear for Sorority Recruitment

Today I'm uniting with my university's Panhellenic and IFC councils to do Movers and Shakers, a program to help the incoming freshmen move into their dorms. While I'm lifting heavy boxes and carrying them up 5 flights of stairs, I have Natalie from ShopAtHome.com guest posting about what to wear for the first day of sorority recruitment! Catch ya later!

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Cue the nostalgia. With back to school season gearing back up, I can’t help but think of my own experience – and getting ready to take the big step of putting myself out there to join a sorority.
I became a member of Gamma Phi Beta International Sorority – Tau chapter, as a sophomore in college at Colorado State University. I remember spending hours before my first day of recruitment as a potential new member trying to figure out what to wear, because, as we all know, first impressions are a huge part of landing a spot in sisterhood heaven.  
As I now look back fondly on my first few days of recruitment, maybe what I wore wasn’t as important as I thought. In hindsight, the most important thing I can emphasize is to be yourself – fashion included.
As you roam through different chapters and meet countless women, remember you are choosing a chapter just as much as the chapter chooses you. There is no need to splurge and buy a super-expensive designer clad outfit just to fit in on the first day. These are the women who will become your best friends and family, not only for the next four years, but for the rest of your life. You want to show them who you really are. So, if that means rocking some colored skinny jeans and your favorite flats, paired with some glam arm candy, you go, girl.
My best advice is to shop your own closet. Wear the outfit that makes you feel the most fabulous version of you, and let your personality do the talking. Naturally, you probably won’t be able to resist buying at least one new piece to complete the outfit (I don’t blame you), but you can do it on the cheap! Spice up an old outfit with a new accessory, or pair of killer shoes. Use money-saving websites like ShopAtHome.com, where you can get Cash Back for shopping your favorite stores. Perfectly-styled plus money back in your purse? Uh, yes, please!   
And, for a little alumnae insight, if I had to do it all over again, here is what I would wear as an incoming freshman to sorority recruitment:

Outfit breakdown: I paired skinny jeans with a statement-color blouse. I love these pointed flats – I’ve been into gold studs lately, and think they are an ode to my wild side. The gold accessories (pearl earrings and bracelet) add just the right amount of class.
Disclaimer: Make sure you check your university’s sorority recruitment guidelines. Some schools require incoming women to adhere to a specific dress code. Be familiar with the norm of your school. When I joined, CSU was very relaxed, and potential new members could wear whatever they pleased.
Remember, feeling confident in yourself will shine through more than any designer label. Isn’t that the key to being head of the class?
Natalie Marusin writes for ShopAtHome.com. Photo created using Polyvore.

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Are you going through sorority recruitment this year?

With Love,
Ashliegh

Thursday, August 15, 2013

College Life: Organize Your Schedule with a Planner


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Confession: I'm obsessed with planners and pretty notebooks. There's nothing better than getting a new planner or notebook and writing in it for the first time. Currently, I'm using a Lilly Pulitzer planner that I bough back in January (Budget Tip: Lilly planners are half-off after the new year!). This year, I want to change it up and perhaps try a different planner so here is my list of the options I'm weighing for my new planner!

Jonathan Adler Planner // I found this brand on Lifeguard Press and I love the many fun designs! These have a similar set up to the Lilly planner with a months and weekly calendar inside. There are some cute critters in the pages, as well! See the inside of the planner here

Gallery Leather Planner // You can find this teal and gold beauty at Barnes & Noble. At $13.45, this is an affordable option while still staying stylish. Though it doesn't have the bright and girlish patterns like the other planners, it does have a more professional look to it. You could dress it up with a monogram sticker! It is a weekly planner and I'm not positive if it has a monthly calendar in it as well. See the inside here

Erin Condren Planner // The planner that rules them all. Erin Condren planners are the queen of the castle when it comes to planners. My best friend, Rachael, had one last year and I envied her! Though very pricey, these planners would be the best option for very busy students (you know, the ones with 2 leadership positions on campus, 2 jobs, 21 credit hours...oh wait, that's me!). See the inside or the Erin Condren planner here.

Kate Spade Planner //  These were just released a few weeks ago and you can find yours at Lifeguard Press! I love how girly the Kate Spade planners are with the gold polka dots, black and white stripes, and other feminine and classic prints. I have a feeling this will be my next planner after the new year. Filled with inspirational quotes, and has the monthly and weekly calendars. See the inside of the planner here

Lilly Pulitzer Planner // I don't go anywhere without my Lilly Pulitzer planner! It's fun with features like the stickers and Lilly designs from the cover to cover. It's a great planner for students with enough room to write down your assignments. See inside of this planner here

Which is your favorite planner, Darlings?

With Love,
Ashliegh

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Getting Nauti with My Capital Letters



Shirt: J.Crew
Skirt: J.Crew
Flats: Old!
Necklaces: c/o My Capital Letters
Bracelet: Amazon

Yesterday was a beautiful day on campus! It feels so great to be back and not have to worry about class for a few more days! Christian and I decided to head to the mall and we ran into my favorite professor in Macy's! Awkward, a little but I can't wait to take one of her classes this fall! After shopping, we went saw We're The Millers at the theater. It was hilarious! Have you seen this movie yet? 

Today's outfit is one of my favorites (even though I wouldn't typically suggest wearing the same brand all over, hahah...). Aimee, the owner of My Capital Letters, sent me these two acrylic monogram necklaces and I just think they are too cute! I chose white for my first monogram necklace because I would be able to wear it with different outfits! Aimee surprised me with the adorable patterned monogram! I'm pretty sure you guys know by now I love monograms!  

My Capital Letters recently started a Campus Rep program where students can earn commission by spreading the word about the business! Apply for the campus rep program here. The company also started a partnership with Francesca Joy to bring it's customers printed monograms on top of its wide range of color options. My Capital Letters makes acrylic necklaces, keychains, and home decor.They also have options for sororities! 

Since they just released the patterned jewelry, you can get 15% off of any one pattern item with coupon code "patternparty"! 


My Capital Letters has partnered with The Darling Prepster to giveaway one pattern necklace (can be Greek or your monogram and your choice of design!)! Enter to win below!



Which is your favorite pattern, Darlings? 

With Love,
Ashliegh


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Floral Print Love with Nava NY

Top: Old
Skirt: Boscov's
Sandals: T.J.Maxx
Bracelet: Amazon
Ring: c/o Nava NY

This weekend was insane! Moving from the Washington D.C. area back to Ohio then into my apartment was quite the process! After 12 hours of moving, I can finally say, I am moved into my apartment! I've been having a lot of fun (and staying busy) with unpacking and decorating my new space! Even with all the stuff I had, I am finding there are still things I need to get like a soap dish, a chair for my desk (I'm thinking I'll get this one), a floor lamp, and lots of plants to add life (I'm obsessed with succulents!). 

My roommates already moved into my apartment the previous week or two. Once I arrived, I found that they collected a lot of mail for me! I love getting mail, don't you?! One of those packages was from Nava NY! 

Nava NY is a company that creates custom jewelry for today's sorority sisters and is dedicated to giving 5% of each sale to your sorority's national charity. Sam, a representative of Nava NY, sent me the beautiful silver Alpha Phi Pave Twist Letter Ring. I haven't taken this ring off since I tore open the package! It's gorgeous in person! The ring also comes in gold and rose gold (it's a knockout in rose gold!). 

here
That wasn't the only surprise in the package! Sam had also sent me Alpha Phi Triple Charm Necklace accompanied by the following note that melted my heart! You know there's a thank you note being sent their way! 


Currently, Nava NY has collections for the following sororities: Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma, Delta Phi Epsilon, Delta Zeta, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, and Sigma Kappa! Nava NY's quality sorority jewelry would make the perfect gift for your Big Sis, Little Sis, especially for Big/Little Reveal and Initiation! Talk about being the best big sis ever when you surprise your little with a beautiful ring or necklace from Nava NY!

What's your favorite piece from Nava NY?

With Love,
Ashliegh

Follow Nava NY on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest! Be on the lookout for a giveaway hosted by Nava NY and The Darling Prepster coming soon! 


Friday, August 9, 2013

Book Review: Sorority Sisters


This book sat on my to-read list for quite some time. It found its way there because, like me, the author Claudia Welch is a sister of Alpha Phi. It wasn't until Brianna at Royally Pink reviewed Sorority Sisters on her blog that I knew I needed to read this book and I couldn't have read it at a better time. As I enter my senior year, this book was exactly what I needed to read.

Sorority Sisters follows the lives of Ellen, Laurie, Diane, and Karen from the time they meet as pledges of Beta Pi as freshman in college in 1975 and through the rest of their lives. 

On the inside of the cover, the author writes a brief description of the four main characters' individual reasons for joining a sorority. Laurie's stuck out to me the most:

"Laurie was looking for a place to call home, even if it was only for the four years of college. She knew whatever bonds she made wouldn't last. Life had taught her that."

Like Laurie, I wasn't sure what I would find when I joined Greek life my freshman year and I hoped I would find a place to call home. Now as a senior, I know the relationships that I have made with the women in my chapter will continue long after graduation and Alpha Phi is my home. Sorority Sisters solidified this. 

The four women share a bond that is stronger than friendship and their bonds grow throughout the story; it's true sisterhood. As Claudia Welch wrote, "with sisters, it's not about what happens. It's about no matter what happens." 

I loved that Claudia Welch chose not to put the entire focus on the sorority and life in college. We follow the characters through their college years for only half of the story. We then transition with them into the "real world". We witness them stick together as sisters through bad relationships, weddings, careers, divorces, childbearing, and even death. 

During a particular raw and emotional scene, Laurie, again, stands out to me. She says the following quote that stops me in my tracks and I'm not going to lie - I cried (if you know me, you know this is a big deal). I cried because it's everything I've ever felt about my own beloved Alpha Phi but couldn't put into words on my own. I think Brianna hit the nail on the head when she said, "you don't know what sisterhood is until you are so far gone you don't even know where it began." Laurie says,

"I didn't know what love felt like before I became a Beta Pi, I didn't know what it looked like. These girls taught me, showed me, year after year, heartache upon heartache, laugh upon laugh, they taught me that love is tough. It endures tragedy and joy and monotony. Love makes you laugh." 

I think sorority sisters everywhere can relate to Laurie's heartfelt quote. 

Welch did a wonderful job with making the characters relatable. The way they speak, the banter and arguments between them - they feel real. I would highly recommend this book to my fellow Greek sisters, especially those entering senior year, and women who are looking to join a sorority. Sorority Sisters will put into words all the feelings you've had about sisterhood and what it really means.

My little and I at our annual Red Dress Gala
Sisterhood really isn't just for the four years of college, it's for life.

With Love,
Ashliegh

Thursday, August 8, 2013

College Life: How to Stay Healthy

As I'm finishing up my packing (I move into my apartment tomorrow and Sunday),  I figured Miss Jessie from JPerry Fitness could give us some tips on how to stay healthy in college! Jessie is my personal coach and I know I can come to her when I need to be motivated or to get back on track! I can't wait to be reunited with her in just a week and take her killer Piyo and Turbokick classes!

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Hello Darling Prepster readers! My name is Jessie and I blog over on my site www.jperryfitness.com.  If you follow me, you know that I am a college girl in love with fitness and I have a burning desire to help people. Thus, why I am a Beachbody Coach and a Beachbody Fitness Instructor (Beachbody is the company behind programs/products like P90X, INSANITY, Turbo Fire, Shakeology etc). I am also the Lead Fitness instructor at my University, so I teach several group exercise classes per week.

Prior to getting so involved with fitness I was 30 pounds heavier and fell into the traps that many college girls do- over eating, thinking I was exercising it off, and sticking to the same routine (doing the elliptical and abs everyday doesn’t cut it ladies!). So, today I want to give you a few tips that can greatly improve your health and fitness during this upcoming school year!




Find a workout buddy! Research shows that working out with someone else keeps you more accountable, motivated, and more likely to stick to it.



Schedule your workouts for the same time every day. This will help develop your habit of not skipping workouts!






Attend group exercise classes! They are fun and challenging, as well as a great way to meet other people!





Make smart food choices. No, you don’t have to eat a salad or veggies every meal but be aware of what you are putting into your body. Aim to have a balanced plate of fuel!


Follow the 80/20 rule! I find this works for me- eat clean 80% of the time and then those special occasions are your 20% for indulgences.






Shaking up your routine= no plateau. I see girls ALL THE TIME do the same exact workout every day (I used to be guilty of that too!). Going to the gym, getting on a machine, and doing random ab exercises. Its fine, but if you want to see results, you need to confuse your muscles and challenge them. I lost 30lbs (and have maintained that loss for 2.5 years) through Beachbody programs like INSANITY, Turbo Fire, ChaLean Extreme, and right now T25. Hence why I became a Beachbody Coach! If you are interested in more info contact me as there are always special sales!





Find exercise you ENJOY. It doesn’t have to suck!!



FIT IT IN- Even doing 10 minutes of exercise three different times during the day adds up.



Hopefully this helped to get you motivated for a fantastic year. Remember, you have one life, one body, so take care of it. Health is WEALTH. For more fitness/nutrition tips, personal free coaching, or if you are interested in participating in one of my monthly challenge groups contact me!

You can become part of my Beachbody team for free by going to www.teambeachbody.com/jperryfitness and making a free account in the upper right hand corner, or email me at jperryfitness@beachbodycoach.com, I would be happy to help you with your fitness and nutrition goals!

How do you stay healthy, Darlings?

With Love,
Ashliegh