Motivation Mondays: Amanda from A. Co Est. 1984

She's been featured on my blog before in my self-esteem and confidence series (which I seriously need to get back on track with) and I'm thrilled to showcase Amanda from the blog A. Co Est. 1984 again today in my Motivation Mondays series.  I couldn't help but notice how awesome she's been looking lately so I wanted to know more about her workout routine and favorite products.

If you haven't checked out her blog already, please do---it's full of wonderful fashion inspiration.  Amanda is a little bit of a risk-taker and I love that about her. Let's read more...




Executive Assistant

I visited your blog this week and I was so envious of what incredible shape you're in! what do you do to stay in shape now? Thank you, that is too kind!  I work out at least twice a week, but aim for three or four, and I watch what I eat.  I definitely indulge though, as I'm a big dessert/treat (and chocolate) lover.

I don't believe in 'cheat days' - I just can't do that.  I often need a treat everyday, even just a little something (a handful of mini eggs, a slice of pie, a peanut butter cup, etc.).  I couldn't possibly wait a whole week before eating something 'bad'.  However, I do tend to eat fairly 'clean'; lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean protein.  I will say though that when I've gone a little overboard with the treats, I'll pull back for a good three days and cut them out completely and get back to my regular eating.  I feel best when I know I'm eating healthy.
A bikini bod to be proud of!

How do you stay motivated? Was there ever a time in your life where you didn't work out? If so, how did you regain the motivation to start up again?
Staying motivated for me isn't something that comes easy.  I'm often dragging my butt to the gym, but I always feel so good when I'm done my workout.  Remembering that feeling helps for sure.

Classes motivate me (group camaraderie, yeah!), as well as working out with a partner.

For a long time I didn't have a gym membership, I wasn't a 'gym person', and despite having my membership for four years now, and the fact that I go regularly, I still don't consider myself a 'gym person'.  However, I've just made it a part of my life and it makes me feel good knowing that I'm taking my health into my own hands and (hopefully) prolonging my life and health.  There are sometimes, however, where I skip the gym... and then skip it again... and before I know it, it's been a week and I haven't been.  Let me tell you this though, the first time back is the hardest.  Doesn't matter if it's been a week or a year, getting back into the workout routine is tough, however, it gets easier after that first time.

I also think it's really important to find something you love (or can tolerate, at the very least).  I don't really like spinning, but love the effects and how it pushes me.  So, I found a friend to tag along and hold me accountable.  It gets my butt there and we have a 'good' (aka this-workout-is-killing-me) time together.

You're a fashionista---what do you like to wear to the gym?
Haha, thanks.  For me, I'm not trying to make a fashion statement at the gym, but I do want to look good because that makes me feel better.  My favorite thing is black flared yoga pants, a colorful sports bra and a colorful cotton tank.  Sometimes I'll rock a headband when I know I'll be getting a mad sweat-on (aka spinning class).

What are some foods/snacks/ meals that you would recommend for women who are trying to eat healthier? What is your daily eating like?
Eat 'clean'.  When shopping at the grocery store, I always stick to the outer perimeter: produce, bakery, meat & dairy.  Of course I'll grab some things on the 'inside', but the good stuff for eating healthy is around the perimeter.

Incorporate as many veggies into your meals as you can.  For instance, when I don't feel like cooking for myself, but want something healthy, I'll make a quick meal, for instance like tuna melts or veggie scrambled eggs.

I eat all day long, constantly snacking on healthy things like, plain yogurt with berries, almonds, apple with cheese, bananas, grapes, hard boiled eggs, carrots with hummus etc.

My daily eating is something like this:

Monday - Friday:
Breakfast: 12 grain bagel with peanut butter & a peppermint tea
Snack: plain yogurt with berries or an orange
Lunch: spinach salad with avocado, walnuts, tomatoes, cucumber & pear (or something along that line)
Snack: sliced apple with marble cheese or a banana (sometimes a kashi granola bar if I'm desperate)
Dinner: chicken with grilled veggies and brown rice/sweet potato or whole wheat pasta with as many veggies I can cram into it with chicken/beef or homemade pizzas with lots of veggies on a whole wheat pita
Snack or dessert: GoLean cereal, chocolate, fruit

Breakfast:  eggs, toast (...bacon, pancakes, whatever strikes my fancy)

Generally the same type of snacking and meals but less regimented as I'm not sitting at my desk all day like during the week.
Do you have any activities that you like to do outside of the gym that keep you fit?
I started running again in the winter and have started running outside since the warmer weather has come.  I like biking, playing volleyball and I love to swim.  

What are your favorite stores to shop at?
H&M is my absolute favorite.  We don't have this in my city and when I get to shop at one of their stores, I need at least an hour (preferably two) and often take home lots.

Other stores I'm a big fan are include Forever 21, Winners, Dynamite, Zara, Gap, Sirens & Club Monaco.

 Tell us about 5 makeup products you can't live without:
What are your best beauty tips and tricks? Anything unique or interesting you do that we should all know about?
  • I use blue shampoo and conditioner once a week to keep my blonde beige instead of brassy
  • I wear SPF daily on my face and neck (goal for this summer: apply to the tops of my hands as well)
  • It took me months to master liquid liner and let me tell you, a Q-tip and super hot water is your best friend
  • I only started wearing foundation last year, never touched the stuff before and I have to say, I'm a pretty big fan (so long as it's not cakey)
  • My nails are always painted but I almost always do them myself to save money (I prefer OPI nail polish and yes, it makes a difference)
  • I suck at doing my hair (or so I think)
  • I apply my concealer and foundation after doing my eye make up

Who are your style/fashion icons?
Becki Newton, Ashley Tisdale, the Kardashian sisters, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Hudson, Victoria Beckham & Rihanna

Who has the best hair in Hollywood?
Kim Kardashian ... but that's not all real, so does that count?

Thanks everyone for reading and thanks Amanda for your health, fitness, fashion and beauty insights!  If you have any questions for Amanda, head over to her blog, or leave a comment here!




  1. Oh. my. gosh. She is so cute. I want her clothes and her shape! What a lucky, lucky girl! Thank you for sharing her tips and thoughts. What good motivation to get in shape!

  2. Her advice is good- it's something that most people should be able to do. Eat healthy, work out (even if you're dragging yourself to do it because I don't care what anyone says not everyoen canjust find something they love to do that is fitness related. She so pretty and sweet I love her blog!

    Love your blog, too! I need some of your home decorating awesomeness to rub off on me- I love your style!

  3. Amanda is my BBFF (Blogger Best Friend Forever) and isn't she fab?! I love that you featured her! She is inspirational and absolutely stunning!

  4. What a GREAT post! I am a huge fan of Amanda's. She inspires me to work out. If only I could look that good!!!


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