A Week in Review: Valentine's Day Recap + ZooTampa

my week in review on affordable by amanda

Today I am sharing my "Week In Review". I want to dive a little deeper into what goes on behind the scenes of my daily life! In this post, you will read all about my Valentine's Day celebration and check out what I wore on my recent trip to ZooTampa. Enjoy, friends!


Monday was SUPER annoying because I was sick with a cold. I spent my birthday over the weekend at Disney World (woo!) and came back on Monday to feeling achy and sneezy.

Blah! I hate being sick because there is nothing I despise more than wasting time. Sleeping and hanging out in bed sounds luxurious, but with anxiety flowing in and out of my brain 24/7, it can be a difficult task for me.

I am a productive person and I am a major multi-tasker, so when I get sick, I have to allow my body to slow down to recover faster. Monday was spent watching TV inside my home while I drank tea and ate a lot of chicken soup.

I became addicted to this show on HGTV called Flip or Flop Atlanta. I think it's impressive to see a couple buy crappy houses for a bargain and turn them into marvelous new homes! I believe I watched a solid 4 hours of the show before I got up to change into a new outfit to photograph for Valentine's Day.

The couple on this show is cute and entertaining to watch! The wife is really creative with interior design elements and she will usually devise a genius plan to turn the once ugly home into a high-quality space. Atlanta is also a city on my list of places to visit, so I was interested in seeing more of the area on TV.


The next day I felt a little better. I had to shoot some content for Valentine's Day and I tidied up my messy bedroom so I could take pictures on my bed. Once I made my bed, I also positioned my tripod and camera so I could snap pictures from my phone, too.

I just recently changed up the decor in my room for the holiday. I purchased a brand new white comforter from Target that is crisp and also easy to clean. It's from the Hearth & Hand Collection with Magnolia. The white embroidered details are elegant and perfect for the upcoming springtime. A few other pieces to complete my room are my crushed velvet pillows and speckled peel & stick wallpaper.

Guess what?

I accidentally brushed up against my white comforter with the remainder of an orange face mask (yikes!) and I took a little bit of shampoo to get it out. I was worried about owning a white comforter because I am not the cleanest person in the world, but it turns out that they are even easier to clean than I originally thought.

I changed into a cute Valentine's Day look featuring a pretty dress from Red Dress Boutique and clipped-in my hair extensions from Barefoot Blonde, too. For the look, I actually played around with putting my hair in a half-up, half-down look using soft scrunchies from Urban Outfitters. 

I applied a thick coat of pink lipstick over my lips with a Maybelline Stay Matte product and took plenty of cute and girly pictures to post to my Instagram throughout the rest of the week in honor of the holiday of love.


I saw my favorite band perform in St. Pete on Wednesday night with my sister, her two roommates, and our friend Brittany.

Walk The Moon played a great set list packed with my favorite songs ever! You might be familiar with the band for their hit song Shut Up and Dance.

However, they have three albums full of great songs that you NEED to listen to! The whole band is amazing to hear live. I've seen them perform once in Tallahassee and now for a second time here in my hometown. The talent found in this one band blows my mind each time I hear them perform.

The venue was smaller than other places in town, but I think it worked out for the best. Songs from new albums and old were played for a few hours straight.

Dancing and singing along, my friends and I were enjoying ourselves on that Wednesday night SO much! Walk The Moon has to come back to St. Pete soon!


Valentine's Day was an extra surprise for me this year because I was able to spend it with my boyfriend. I actually have never had a Valentine (besides my friend Maddie, love her!) and I was looking forward to Thursday all week.

Thursday (during the day) was spent working, but as soon as it was around 3:30 I stopped working and was ready to head over to Tampa where my boyfriend lives. He planned our entire evening so I was excited to see him. The anticipation of figuring out our plans for the evening was making me feel both happy and nervous at the same time!

We exchanged gifts in honor of Valentine's Day at his house first and then each spent time getting dressed up for the occasion. I chose a pretty satin pink dress because the weather was nice and warm. My hair and makeup were already done in the morning so I slid into some pink kitten heels and we were off on our next adventure: food.

When we pulled into the parking lot for our restaurant, I didn't know which restaurant was the one for us. I drove around anxiously finding a spot because the night was already packed with couples around us in Tampa searching for a spot to park, too.

There were quite a few food options because the location of the restaurant we ended up eating at is in a complex with other various dinner places. Brian had mentioned a certain steakhouse that he loved to me a few weeks back, and to my surprise, we ended up eating delicious steak at the restaurant he enjoys: Fleming's Prime Steakhouse.

Wow was I impressed by Fleming's! Not only is the restaurant inside gorgeous and high-end, but the steak lives up to its expectations. I order a filet mignon and Brian got a ribeye. We ended our night with the chocolate lava cake!

When I returned to my house at the end of the night, I was so happy to see a delivery from ProFlowers. Inside the box, I found a red vase filled with gorgeous red roses! I called up Brian and told him about the flowers and he said he was tracking the delivery during our dinner and knew I would see the roses when I got back home. The roses were the perfect surprise to an already lovely evening with my boyfriend.


On Friday night I met up with my friend Maddie.

We both love Thai food, so we ate dinner at one of her favorite Thai restaurants in Tampa. It was nice to catch up on life events and spend time together. We are both busy, I work and she is in school, so having a night to unwind with our favorite dishes is nothing less than a miracle!


Over the weekend, I wanted to take Brian to Disney World to experience Hollywood Studios and Epcot. I have an annual pass and I was going to get him a 3-day park hopper so we could spend time in Orlando for the next few days. I really wanted to show him the brand new Star Wars and Toy Story areas inside Hollywood Studios. Also, who wouldn't want to take their boyfriend to Disney to wear obnoxious matching t-shirts and eat tasty Mickey Mouse ice cream bars with?!

However, I didn't realize that it would be President's Weekend (gasp!) and the hotels would be completely booked. Such a bummer! Every single hotel was either booked up or really expensive. So we decided not to go to Orlando over the weekend and figure out another idea to hang out and enjoy time together.

Our Valentine's Day celebration was already amazing, so I was happy to just sit at home and watch movies together, to be honest.

I also am NOT a planner, which is one of my downfalls. I like to go with the flow, but you can't always do that when it comes to making plans with other people. Planning is more Brian's speed, so I definitely think I will leave most of the planning up to him from now on! Even between my sister and I, Kayla is the planner while I am a source of entertainment and I handle the food aspect of a trip, haha! Those are my two specialties.

Anyway, I texted my sister and told her we chose not to go to Orlando for the weekend and she gave me the great idea to go to ZooTampa. Brian and I ate lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings before we headed out to the zoo. He also had never been to the zoo in Tampa before, so I was eager to show him around one of my favorite Tampa spots as a kid.

ZooTampa at Lowry Park was not too busy and we purchased our tickets to come back all year if we wanted to revisit the park another time in 2019. From the orangutans to the lorikeets, the animals were a lot of fun to watch and take cute pictures of.

Sunday I spent sleeping...because my friend Maddie convinced me to go out with her on Saturday night! Let's just say it's a night for the books. We had a LOT of fun and a LOT of good stories to tell each other the next morning, haha.

How to Build Self-Confidence and Practice Self-Love

I strongly believe that confidence can be taught. It takes time and plenty of effort to discover your own path to living with self-confidence, but I know that you can learn it by enforcing a few of these tips I am about to describe. 

Confidence CAN be BUILT!

What to teach yourself how to feel more confident? Keep reading in this post as I talk about my own experiences with confidence and how you can forge your own journey right now. Let 2019 be the year that you become your most confident self, ever!

Start A Gratitude Journal

One of the first steps I took in my journey to feeling more self-confident over the past year was to start journaling. I was a writer when I was younger and I kept dozens of old notebooks where I would jot down all of my ideas, thoughts, and opinions at the tender age of 8. 

Nowadays, people do not have time to keep up with writing a journal. In fact, I feel like most people never pick up a pen or pencil during the day if all they do is complete work tasks on a computer. Ignore the computer screen each night for an hour while you reflect on the day.

Starting a gratitude journal will help you determine what things make you feel happy each day. Write down 3 things that made you feel successful in your journal. The smallest of successes can impact your life, so don't be afraid if one of them is that you were about to talk to a stranger on the street! 

Every person has their own personal struggles and if you were able to talk to a stranger on the street when you never used to look up from your phone, then this should count as one of your successes for the day. 

Instead of focusing a lot of your attention on your failures, due to the negativity bias our brains are wired to experience, you can take an hour of your time to relive the small successes of your day. 

Push Through Your Fear

I am going to share a personal story of a time that I pushed through my fears of public speaking. Yikes!

My e-mails are how I stay in touch with brands, local businesses, etc. One day I looked in my e-mail and I saw an invitation to speak at a panel at the mall.

Initially, I wasn't going to reply.

I wasn't going to accept it at all!

In fact, I left the e-mail alone for days and didn't touch it until I confessed to my sister that I was invited to speak on a panel about influencers at an event.

She helped me push through my fears of public speaking and told me not to miss out on this great experience. Of course, up until the day of the event, I felt nauseous and afraid. What if I got up on stage and blanked? What if I started talking about the wrong topic? All of these "what if" scenarios started floating in my head.

On the day of the Tampa Bay Fashion Week event, I was able to chat with a few of the other panelist speakers which definitely helped me see the power of sharing my life journey with the blogging world with others! The other speakers felt just as nervous as I did, which actually calmed me down a bit knowing that I wasn't alone. We got up on the stage and I ended up talking for the entire length of the event on stage! I am so blessed for that opportunity because it gave me the chance I needed to believe in myself.

Believing in yourself is just one of the steps to feeling confident. I was chosen as a speaker for that event based on my hard work and dedication to my blog. The Tampa community chose ME as one of the main speakers because they trusted my opinions, judgments, and knew that what I offered to the panel was beneficial for the event, too.

I am grateful that I chose to push through my fear of public speaking. Without that event, who knows if I ever would have been given another opportunity to speak on a panel during my lifetime! The fear I had of public speaking will be something that I continue to work on, but the panel event truly opened my eyes to a path of self-confidence because what I said mattered.

Take Care of Yourself

A few more key tips to find success with confidence? Don't neglect your body!

Feeling confident also involves plenty of eating right, exercising, practicing mindfulness, and addressing any ongoing health problems you may face.

Before I felt as confident as do today, I felt so alone and desperate for happiness. I knew that I was living a good life, I had loving parents and friends, but something felt "off" in my head. 

Once I began talking to my therapist I was able to control my negative thoughts and turn them into positive actions. 

Finding awareness of my mental health issues was one of the best decisions I ever did for my body. I learned how to take my anxiety out of the equation when I faced difficult situations, too. 

My self-confidence grew once I figured out how to make better choices to maintain my mental health. Consistent therapy sessions are also why I feel more confident than ever before because now I understand why I get anxious and how I can identify my stressors to deal with them in a positive way. 

Exercising also helps you take charge of your body. You can control exactly what type of exercise you wish to do! From yoga to pilates to karate or boxing, there is a form of exercise for everyone. Cultivate a series of great exercise routines and start eating healthy to get yourself feeling your best.

Improve Your Support System

Your friends and family are the people you spend the most time with besides yourself on a regular basis. It's important to reflect on the people you choose to have in your life on your road to self-confidence.

Are the people you talk, text, message on a daily basis benefiting your life in some way? Do you find that your connections with a certain person help or hinder your growth?

Sometimes we need to remove toxic energy from our lives in order to grow. Even people who we've known for YEARS can be holding us back from finding self-confident. 

You should consider spending your time with people who want to see you perform at your best. The people who acknowledge that you aren't "perfect", but choose to love you anyway. Your support system will be another key factor in building your self-confidence. 

Fill your inner circle with people who want you to succeed. Limit your contact with anyone who doubts you, even if this person is a close relative. You must determine who you let into your life as you continue to set goals to be self-confident this year! 


How DO YOU Pratice Self-Love and Build YOUR Confidence?