Category: Home & Style

Current December Obsessions

Current December Obsessions

A while back (more like 2015 lol – you’ll be able to tell based on the “fads”), I had a series of posts called “In With the New Obsessions, Out with the Old” …these “obsessions” ranged from health & fashion trends, to favorite products, wellness tips, travel destinations, etc. I decided to bring this series back because let’s be honest…my obsessions are constantly changing and with how quickly trends come and go, I like to share what I think is actually worth the hype and the investment. So, here’s what I have for you for December’s Obsessions! PS – none of the below is sponsored in any way. Any products mentioned are truly those I love and enjoy!

Book of choice: Body Love: Live in Balance, Weigh What you Want, and Free Yourself from Food Drama Forever by Kelly Leveque

  1. I’ve been following Kelly for quite some time now. From her Instagram, to podcast interviews, to MBG articles, and more! It wasn’t until my friend gifted me (thanks Jackie!!) her new book, that I REALLY started to get what all the hype was about Kelly. Her book essentially is the guide to FOOD FREEDOM and at the end of the day, isn’t that what we’re all seeking? Regardless of whether you’ve had a bad relationship with food or not, I think we all tend to at some point or another, get caught up in a food obsession. It’s unfortunately a result of a restrictive diet culture that we grew up with (especially those who were born in the 80’s and 90’s).
  2. Luckily, REAL health (aka not those “diet frozen dinners” or “meal shakes”) is becoming trendy. I think that Kelly plays a big role in this. Her book is so incredibly informative. She empowers you with REAL science to back up the facts. I find it so helpful when I can understand what is going on in my body, to help me make smarter and healthier decisions. She runs through living a positive, stress free lifestyle while making healthy choices. She offers healthy recipes, talks about her Fab4 Smoothies, fitness, and so on.

Fab4 Lifestyle and FIBER

  1. Alright so if I’ve learned ANYTHING between Kelly Leveque’s “Fab4” lifestyle and Tanya’s F-Factor lifestyle…it’s basically the importance of incorporating FIBER into our diet at EVERY meal. Because FIBER is COOL and makes ya regular…ya feel me?!!??! (hahahaha) Unfortunately, because so much of our food has become processed, we’ve moved away from naturally fiber-rich foods. Fiber essentially helps things move through our body (aka bowel movements if I’m being FRANK lol), helps to detoxify toxins, helps to break down carbohydrates, and can even help prevent forms of cancer.
  2. The “Fab4” lifestyle is essentially eating the following at every meal: healthy FATS, FIBER rich foods, GREENS/VEGGIES, PROTEIN, plus any extra superfoods or adaptogens if you choose! If you have a little bit of both at every meal, you’ll naturally start to feel full & satiated longer, your hunger hormones will be turned off, you’ll keep your blood sugar levels low, and you’ll naturally find that you either maintain weight or shed those few extra pounds based on where you and your body feel best.
    1. Recommended sources of fiber:
    2. GG’s Scandanavian crackers – you’ve likely seen these posted on the Skinny Confidential or part of the F-Factor movement. They’re one of the HIGHEST forms of fiber rich grab-n-go snacks out there, that are super low in cals. Add them to lunch & breakfast to help fill you up!
    3. If you’re GF, Jillz Crackers and Mary’s Gone Crackers are also great options
    4. flax Seeds
    5. Chia Seeds
    6. Raspberries, Avocados, Brussel Sprouts, Legumes, Pomegranate, etc. are also high sources of fiber that are found in fruits and veggies.

Vital Proteins – i.e. Love their COLLAGEN products

  1. I know this isn’t exactly a “new” trend, but it’s a trend that has stuck and for good reason! There are so many amazing benefits to adding collagen into your diet:
    1. Muscle & joint recovery
    2. Stronger, more vibrant hair, skin, and nails
    3. Better nights sleep
    4. PLUS they now have a new matcha collagen!

Fawen Drinkable Soups

  1. So this is one product I’ve really been LOVING lately. Why? Well, I recently went to Whole Foods and was strolling through the pre-packaged soup section (because winter = endless nights of soup) and was honestly shocked to find that I could count on one hand the number of soups that were sugar free, preservative free, weird additive free, gum free, and so on. Even brands I thought to be “healthy” had added cane sugar or used vegetable oil in their soups.
  2. Fawen is honestly one of the only to-go soups I’ve found that use REAL ingredients like coconut oil, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, Himalayan salt, season veggies, etc. to help flavor their soups. NO weird added anything! Oh and ps they taste great and can be enjoyed right from the container (though I love heating it up over the stovetop anyway)!

Cacao & REFINED SUGAR-FREE Vegan/Paleo Chocolate

  1. I tend to have a major sweet tooth after dinner and also tend to crave chocolate. This doesn’t need to be a “cheat” if you find the RIGHT chocolate out there. Cacao is a SUPERFOOD for a reason and should be enjoyed (right)! What are my favorite Brands?
    1. Hu Chocolate – especially their “dark salted chocolate”   (with ingredients like cacao, coconut oil, Himalayan salt, and coconut sugar to flavor). No cane sugar, dairy products, etc.!
    2. Eating Evolved – similar to Hu chocolate, they use coconut oil, coconut butter, and coconut sugar to sweetend.
    3. Lastly, if those two products aren’t in budget, then no worries! Make your own chocolate bark easily using coconut oil, cacao, cinnamon, Himalayan salt, and coconut sugar/honey/or maple syrup following THIS recipe.

Spotify Playlists

  1. Music is and has always been one constant form of pure HAPPINESS in my life. Justin and I love going to shows, festivals, or even just hanging at home and listening to music. It just puts you in the right place
  2. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with making playlists on spotfiy that are 100% ME and vary based on my mood. I have a playlist for everything – mornings, yoga flows, Friday nights, summer day vibes, and so on.
  3. So if you’re not following me, get on it AND if you haven’t gone into your own Spotify hole…do it! But beware, you may get sucked in for hours creating playlists!

Friend, Fitness, and Foodie Dates

  1. One thing I love about this Instagram/blogging community is that it has connected me with so many new people! And what better way to connect than over a fitness class, followed by a healthy treat?! I’ve talked about this before, but face-to-face interaction is SO valuable and GOOD for the soul. It’s easy to be comfortable in your own apartment and routine (trust me, I’m the last person to want to make plans during the week) BUT when I finally get my butt out the door and DO it, it feels SO good. I always leave those conversations on a high. It’s nice connecting, sharing similar struggles (and successes), chatting about health, wellness, friends, boys, music, ALL OF IT.

A fashion trend I can’t get over? JUMP SUITS.

  1. I’m sure this is one trend you’ve seen a lot lately, but hey, I don’t see myself getting over it any time soon. Jumpsuits transform perfectly from day to evening, summer to winter. They work all year round. They can be dressed up or dressed down. They’re comfy AF. A nice fitted one makes your booty look GREAT. I mean what more can I say?? Go get yourself one or two jumpsuits that you love and that can be versatile. It’s my idea of the new “little black dress” that everyone needs to have as a staple in their closet! Here’s one from Forever21 that I recently bought and LOVE.

Favorite Bar? This one hasn’t really changed and for good reason – RX BARS

  1. These bars still have got to be my favorite out there. High in protein (egg whites), healthy fats (nuts), naturally sweetened with dates, no weird added things at all.
  2. Though I don’t recommend eating one every day, I do find these are GREAT to have on hand if you need a “bridge snack” between lunch and dinner, or while traveling, on-the-go, etc.!
  3. My favorite flavors right now? Their seasonal Gingerbread flavor, Peanut Butter, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Maple Sea Salt, and Coconut Chocolate Chip!

Deepening your Yoga Practice

So I’m doing my BEST to MANIFEST a future yoga retreat because I see so much value in them. Though these can be costly, I think they’re 100% worth it! It’s the BEST kind of way to hit refresh, take a hot second from the craziness that is life, and connect with your mind, body, and SOUL. It doesn’t necessarily need to be some fancy retreat in Costa Rica. Even a one-day refresh can be just as valuable! Look around locally. I’m sure you can find at least one or two within driving distance!

This time last year, I also took the leap of faith and traveled to Mallorca for my 200hr yoga teacher training and FELL IN LOVE with everyone about it. So spirutually opening. Pushed me out of my comfort zone BIG TIME. Even if you have no intention on teaching, I recommend it to deepen your practice.

Lastly, I’m currently in my Corepower teacher sculpt training at this moment. I LOVE high-energy music and workouts, so this is the perfect way to blend my love for yoga with high-intensity fitness.

That’s all for now! Hope you enjoyed. Oh and by the way, NONE of this is sponsored. Any products mentioned are truly those I love and enjoy!

Spring Cleaning 101 – Going Organic with Beauty & Cleaning Products

Spring Cleaning 101 – Going Organic with Beauty & Cleaning Products

For today’s post – I’d like to talk about the benefits of swapping out your CVS brand makeup with organic and natural ingredients. A few weeks back, I was listening to a podcast where the woman had recovered from a variety of different illnesses and diseases by following a holistic nutritionist and her guidance on eating clean and shaking up her daily routine. This woman had struggled for years with various illnesses and it wasn’t until she met with this nutritionist where she realized that what she was putting in AND on her body could be affecting her health. So, slowly but surely, she began eating clean, whole foods that helped to nourish her body inside and out. One by one, she started replacing her cleaning products and makeup with organic, 100% natural options. And as one would assume, after just a few months, her illnesses dwindled down and she finally began to feel energized again. It was like a weight was lifted off of her just by simply adjusting the way she was treating her body. No prescription drugs needed – just 100% natural remedies.

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The more I thought about this woman’s experience, the more I realized this was such an easy switch that could help me in the long run. If you think back to 100’s of years ago, our population was SO much more in touch with nature. We weren’t surrounding ourselves with technology. We weren’t consuming all of these chemicals that are hidden in cleaning products like detergent, or in makeup like foundation powder. We were living in a world that hadn’t yet been tainted by all of these material goods.

Check out this article I found from the global healing center on the 6 reasons to go organic!

Some key highlights I found from skimming through this article are the following:

  1. Conventional beauty products contain petroleum-based ingredients such as aluminum. Aluminum is found through mining which has had a very negative affect on the environment, especially in places like the Amazon rainforest. Did you know that the deodorant you’re using likely contains aluminum? Did you also know that there have been clear links to breast cancer & alzheimer’s disease??

Pro Tip: Go 100% organic with your deodorant! There are so many options these days – Toms is a perfect example!

  1. Conventional makeup can leave your skin feeling damaged due to it’s intense chemicals used in these products. Whether it’s a CVS brand or MAC – if it’s not 100% organic, there’s a VERY good chance it contains chemicals that can be poisonous to the endocrine system. “Parabens and phthalates are two common examples of substances found in these makeup products” – both of which have been linked to cancer and type II diabetes.

  2. Did you know that not only applying these cosmetic products on your body can be harmful but also breathing in the aromas like perfume or lotions can be extremely toxic. The chemicals found in these have been linked to cancer, nervous system disorders, allergies, and birth defects.

Pro Tip: Choose products that are 100% natural like essential oils (i.e. lavender and roseship oil are great examples).

  1. As I touched on above, products that can be applied to your body like face washes, face lotions, body lotions, and body scrubs all too, can have harmful, long-term effects.

Pro Tip: As this article points out, “if you can’t eat it, don’t wear it.” So what are some good examples of body treatments that are both natural and energizing for your skin? Opt for body lotions such as cocoa butter which contains fatty acids that can help to keep your skin youthful and soft or a lotion derived from hemp oil. Other good products contain ingredients such as white tea, grapes, apricots, and pomegranate seeds.

  1. With summer quickly approaching, we all know the importance of protecting your skin (something I quite honestly need to get better with)! UV protection can be found in natural organic and mineral-derived ingredients such as Titanium oxide or Zinc oxide.

Pro Tip: I just recently picked up the brand “Yes To” Carrots Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15. There are SO many options, so make sure to choose one that works well for you!

After reading through these 6 facts, it’s quite frankly an obvious choice to swap out your conventional makeup items, your cleansing, and cleaning products and go organic! If it means possibly lowering my risk of disease and cancer, decreasing the amount of harmful, toxic chemicals getting into my body, and leaving me feeling and looking more youthful and energized – I’M IN!

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My advice? Don’t feel like you need to go crazy right off the bat. Stores like Target and Wegmans carry PLENTY of natural products for a pretty good deal! Keep an eye out for sales, etc. – you’ll find them, I promise!

Here’s what I’ve started to swap out: Shampoo, Conditioner, Deodorant, Lip Liner, Lip Stick, Lip Gloss, Foundation Powder, Blush, Body Lotion, Face Wipes, Nail Polish Remover, Soap Bars. So yes, it is a work in progress and I have a lot to do! But hey, it’s a start and I’m already feeling better about the positive lifestyle changes I’m making!

YAY – Successfully Moved into Our New Apartment!

YAY – Successfully Moved into Our New Apartment!

Hi Everyone – I have some exciting news to share with you all! As I mentioned in my last post on the DIY projects, my boyfriend and I finally moved into our new apartment! It’s officially been just over a month since we’ve moved in. This explains why I’ve been very MIA over the past few weeks. As many people can likely relate with big moves, there are a lot of moving parts and it can be quite time consuming! You think you have everything, yet once you move in, it seems like that Target or Home Goods list just keeps getting longer…am I right?!

Anyway, we’re super pumped about this move – we finally have our own place together, we have a big kitchen to cook in (major find seeing as every apt kitchen we looked at in the city was smaller than a closet), we are conveniently located near Whole Foods, we’re right near some great running areas, cafes, public transportation, etc.! I’ve been doing a lot of my runs around the BC reservoir which is so nice in this boootiful summer weather! I also love how active this area is – literally EVERYONE is out running, walking, biking and more – so it definitely keeps me motivated.

As I just mentioned, there is a lot to still be done in this apartment. Furniture to be painted, bed headboard, kitchen walls to be painted, new couch to be delivered, painting in bedroom to be done, rugs for the living room and bedroom, and more decorating to happen. However, I wanted to share pictures with everyone so that overtime, we hopefully can see some good progress to be made! Side note – don’t mind my boyfriend stuffing his face with popcorn – he refused to move for the photos. ALSO, I would have liked to take these pictures in better lighting…but I’m desperate to upload a post as it’s been a while! Look out for a future post with NEW pics, apartment updates, and better lighting 🙂

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Our theme is beachy/boho/California vibe (because when the cold New England weather creeps up on us for half of the year, it’s at least nice to pretend we live in a hot, beachy location). Our colors are mostly shades of beachy blues, oranges, greens and some white…but as you can see we have a few pieces of eye-popping colorful, mismatched furniture as well.

Keep an eye out for more updates…I’m looking forward to sharing our progress with you all! And feel free to comment with any suggestions – I always like to hear about new ideas for apartment shopping destinations, DIY projects, and more!

Beach Inspired DIY Projects

Beach Inspired DIY Projects

I’d love to take credit for the inspiration that you’ll see in the below picture, however, shamelessly, I got all of these wonderful ideas through pinterest. THANK GOD FOR PINTEREST AM I RIGHT?? What you’ll need:
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– 1 Wooden board with either a mount or a rope to hang
– Mason Jars
– Old Fashion Tall Soda Jars
– A variety of paint brushes – Small, Medium, AND Large
– Acrylic Paint (this is the type of paint that works best on any surface; wood, glass, etc. Michaels has a HUGE selection of colors, so make sure to keep your eyes pealed) >> We used the “FolkArt” brand; multi-surface (turquoise, aqua, mandarin orange, White, Gold, & Silver)
– Plain Wooden Letters (Again, Craft stores like Michaels or AC Moore carry A TON of these wooden letters in different styles, so make sure to look around for the right one!) >>> Also, we chose to use our initials; but you can also create words to hang or display somewhere around the house. For example; we’re thinking of doing “GIN” in all gold to put above the bar cart OR you can spell SURF or BEACH… you get the idea!

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*For the mason jars and soda cars, I was inspired by this image I found on pinterest; then I just went for it and did my own variations of the bohemian design. These mason jars and soda cans can be SO versatile – Candle holders, Vases, pencil holder, tooth brush holder, kitchen glasses, and more!

*For the wooden board, we took a thick brush and painted it white first, then let it dry. Next, we stenciled “BEACH” in a pencil, then painted over it in aqua and outlined it in the orange all with thinner brushes.

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*For the letters, we each did our own design using variations of the paint colors. Then we kept the & a solid Gold to balance out the patterns.

The best part is that now that we finished this project for just $25 each, we have all of this paint left over to use for more decorations once we actually make the move to our apartment …will likely end up getting more mason jars because I just love that look!

Make sure to follow me on Pinterest & my “DIY“; “Workin Gal in the Real World“; and “Comfy Heaven” for all my apartment finds!


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