Resolution Exercise 2015!

I am happiest when I am active, or outdoors (preferably both). Last year I had a spell of great running motivation and ran at least 2 miles a day for a month or so. After slacking at the end of the year, and feeling the effects of sitting at a desk for 12 hour shifts, I decided I wanted to at least strive towards being more consistent with my workouts in 2015. I don’t want to hold myself to a strict schedule that I know I’ll tire of and then quit, so I thought I would share my low intensity consistency plan incase anyone else needs motivation or simply a plan.

Days that I work I have been doing some kind of stretching or yoga upon getting out of bed. Just helps we wake up and get motivation to get ready. While I’m at work I have been more mindful of how long I’ve been sitting and then forcing myself to get up and move every hour or so and walk around my office or do some squats behind my desk. Then when I get home I try to stay active and do 20 minutes of hooping. I’m trying to work up to 30 minutes straight, but man, its actually a bit of a burn.

On my off days I have been rotating between leg/glutes, arms/shoulders, and abs/core. I have found all of the simple moves online and made a “routine” out of them that I repeat about 2-3 times (or until my muscles are quivering), and none of them require anything more than 5 pound hand weights.

Simple, easy, and hopefully maintainable.

Here’s to the new year and a more healthy you!

I’m a Planner Planner.

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I love organizing. Everything in its special place, labeled, filed away, planned out for months, etc… I have also found that it is akin to therapy for combating my anxiety so come December I check out whats new in planners and see which one I’m gunna abuse for the coming new year.

I had an Erin Condren Planner for 2014 (weird talking about it in past tense already) and it was well loved. I enjoyed all of the stickers and bright colors and thoughtful quotes sprinkled throughout, but I knew I wanted to change it up, simply because for 2015.

I looked at Plum Paper Designs and I loved the fact that you could change the layout of the pages! Super cute cover designs too. But still not quite what I was looking for.

Then I looked into making my own planner by printing off premade planner pages from a blog or something and putting them into a binder. The more I looked the more I knew the flexibility that comes with DIY planner making was right up my alley.

I stumbled upon an amazing blog called “The Handmade Home“. Super cute chick with a super cute family and a well put together and info filled blog. She put out a free printable planner last year (which is how I found the blog originally), and wowed me with her update for 2015. I adore the color scheme and the hexagon pattern. Her quotes are even more insightful (to me anyway) than the Erin Condren ones, and her PDFs are clear as day and print perfectly.

This layout became my chosen one per say and I tinkered around with a few others, but always came back to her amazing style. Once I knew I would be printing her planner, I next had to select the perfect paper to print it on, and a binder to put it in (yes they matter just as much!).

I did some googling about paper, and it seemed that a slightly heavier weight and brighter, well brightness than standard ole printer paper lends itself to the perfect thickness as to not let pens bleed through, but still light and thin enough to not make my planner weigh 50lbs and force me to use a larger than 1 inch binder. The brightness factor only ensured that the colors I loved so much from her design really came through and showed up exactly how I envisioned them. Again, this matters in my world.

I selected  the HP All-In-One Printing  Paper. It’s got 97 brightness and a 22b weight, so its slightly thicker than regular paper, and it works like a dream. No bleed through and colors look perfect.

Onto binder choosing! Now, I will have to admit that a little bit of “fate” came into play here as I went into target with no real idea in mind other than I wanted it to go with the color scheme and be 1 inch. Out of the corner of my eye I spied a duel colored purple/hot pink planner that boasted an additional fold out clear sleeve leaf inside. I was, of course, immediately    intrigued. It’s called the Mead 1″ + folder extension binder. This added feature, and the colored binder spine, made this an easy choice for me.

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It took a while to print a whole year off, but I expected that. After putting it all together and writing in all my crap I can say that I am completely happy with my choices and look forward to using this for the rest of 2015.

This post is long enough, so without going into too much detail I will link the rest of my favorite misc. planner essentials below so you can check those out if you’re interested.

Favorite PensPhoto StickersWashi Tape – Exercise and Reading Planner Pages

Again thanks for reading and happy planning!!!

2014 Skincare/Misc. Favorites!

Second part to my 2014 Favorites round up (click here for part 1 Beauty favs) is all about skin, and random crap. I transitioned a ton of my facial skincare over to cruelty free and more natural this past year and my face has been thanking me for it. On to the list!

Face Mask-Queen Heleen Mint Julep Mask (CF): Repurchased many times, got my mom hooked too. Great for drawing out crud and the minty tingle is relaxing. Plus it is super cheap!

Moisturizer-CereVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM (CF): I use this morning and night. I have oily skin and it works wonders. A weird in between gel and lotion texture that sinks in quickly and doesn’t smell.

Serum- The Body Shop Vitamin E Serum in Oil (CF): Again, I have oily skin, but this works great for me. I only use about 3 drops at night after cleansing.

Eye Cream-Elizabeth Dhen for One Love Organics Vitamin E Eye Balm (CF): Love love love. Thick balm melts into skin and doesn’t feel greasy.

Spot Treatment-Acne Free Terminator 10 10% Benzoyl Peroxide: Fun name right? Don’t know if it does anything amazing, but I feel better after I put it on zits.

Facial Exfoliator- Garnier Pore Unclogging Scrub: Works great, but would love to try out a Michael Todd one or the One Love Organics one next.

Wipes- Say Yes to Grapefruit Exfoliating Wipes (CF): Smell great and really cleanse the skin without stinging my eyes. Will continue to repurchase.

Clenser-CereVe Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin (CF): Foams up nice and leave my skin feeling clean without making it feel tight. Staple in my routine.

Body Wash- The Body Shop Almond Shower Gel (CF): Smells great, gets me clean and doesn’t leave residue.

Lotion- Vaseline Intensive Care Coco Radiant: Very rich but still rubs in semi-quickly, sent is nice and lingers, not oily.

Self Tanner- Eco Tan Winter Skin Gradual Tanner (CF): I won this in a giveaway by the amazing WifeLife earlier in the year and man, I am so thankful. This stuff is great. Light, natural, gradual tan that fades evenly and doesn’t transfer to sheets. Please and thank you. Will be checking out more from this line soon!

Body Exfoliator- Caress Evenly Gorgeous: Have used this for years, smells like sugar and works great.

Shampoo- Head and Shoulders Clinical Strength Anti-Dandruff : I really enjoyed this stuff. The smell is awful, no getting around that, but it left my scalp clean and itch free. I don’t have dandruff, but struggle with bouts of psoriasis on my scalp so I like to use an anti-dandruff shampoo to help keep it at bay. I want to try the Organix (or OGX as they now want to be called) Tea Tree Oil Shampoo, but would love other more natural, cruelty free suggestions as well!

Conditioner- OGX (formerly Organix, can you tell this change bugs me?) Kukui Oil (CF) : This snuck in there right at the end. I only purchased this about a week ago, but I am already in love. I have naturally curly/spiral hair and this gives my ends the moisture they need without weighing my hair down, or sacrificing shine and frizz control. Best I’ve used in a long time.

Oil- Organic Hydrating Macadamia Dry Styling Oil (CF): I only use this on my ends to avoid an oil slick on day two hair, but man, it smell ahhhhmazing and works like a dream. Unfortunately they don’t make this particular hair oil any more, so again on the hunt for a new one 😦

Leave-In Spray- It’s a 10 (original formula) (CF): I have loved this for many years and it continues to be my favorite leave-in, however I have found now that I leave my hair curly more often it tends to weigh it down. Considering trying their “light” formulation when I repurchase to see if that helps.

Heat Protectant- TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Leave- In Spray: Did the job, smells great. Yep.

Hair Brush- The Wet Brush: Fucking Life changing. I have the most tangle-y, shedding, corse, wild hair ever. Brushing my hair out before a shower use to give me anxiety, and pain, don’t forget the pain. This thing glides like butta though everything. GO BUY ONE NOW. (this is not a sponsored post)

Nail Polish-Revlon Parfumerie in China Flower: Love this color and this formula. Dries quickly, doesn’t chip…at all, and looks great on my skin tone. Tell me if you know of another nail polish in this color that is cruelty free!!!!

Top Coat-Sally Hansen Insta Dri: Love this top coat. Shiny and dries super fast. I’m pretty much out of it and need a new cruelty free option!!!

Whew, that was a lot. But what can I say, I like a lot of things.

Again, leave me your 2014 favorites below, and any suggestions for what I should try next!

2014 Beauty Favorites!

Insert standard “Where did the year go?” ramble here.

But , really… that was fast. But luckily I had ample time to fall in love with some stuff, and form unhealthy obsessions with others. So many things in fact that I am splitting them up into beauty and skincare/miscellaneous (Click here for part 2 Skincare Favs!)

I have discovered a ton of amazing cruelty free products this year, but I am still in the process of using up/cleaning out my stash of all non-cruelty free stuff, so some of my favorites aren’t cruelty free, but I will note which ones are with CF for clarification. Also, for all of the categories that I don’t have a cruelty free favorite for, I would LOVE suggestions of a cruelty free option to try next!

Foundation (kind of)- Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream SPF 20 for Combo/Oily Skin in Light/Medium: Didn’t change color after application, didn’t make me any oiler. I liked it.

Concealer-Physician’s Formula Conceal RX Physician’s Strength Concealer (CF): I have had this for over 2 years… I know, I need to throw it out. It works well but can highlight dry patches on breakouts. Not good for undereye in my opinion since the formula is dryer.

Undereye- Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Brightener Shade: Helps to neutralize my INTENSE under eye darkness, but doesn’t completely cover it. Again, not completely wowed by it but it’s the best one I have tried thus far.

Eye Primer- Elf Eyelid Primer in Sheer (CF): This keeps my shadow from creasing for wayyyy longer than I thought it would. Do like.

Mascara- Covergirl Clump Crusher: Natural non clumpy dark lashes.

Liquid Liner- Jordana Fabuliner in 01 Black: I quite like the dryish application and the felt tip on this. Easy to get precision out of, but you must work fast. Going over dry lined portions will remove product causing patches.

Pencil Liner- Rimmel ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl in 001 Black: Nice to use in upper and lower water line. Does transfer and slip with wear though.

Brow Pencil- Maybelline Define-a-Brow in Light Brown: Works very well. Very small nib and matches my brows fantastically.

Brow Gel- Maybelline Clear Mascara: Another “I’ve used this for years” product. Works well, but can have too much on the wand when you pull it out of the tube. Looking forward to trying out some tinted ones next.

Lip Color- Burts Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Rose (CF): I’m not a lipstick, or lip gloss kind of girl, so tinted balms are my thing. Great color, slightly moisturizing and decent wear time. Only draw back is it smells like the wax in Twizzlers…

Lip Balm-Burt’s Bees Nourishing Balm w/ Mango Butter (CF): This has saved my lips. Nice smell and lingers long enough to do some work.

Bronzer- Rimmel Natural Bronzer in Sun Light: I have repurchased at least twice. Great non muddy or orange color and blends well.

Powder-Rommel Stay Matte in Silky Beige: Another great product. Doesn’t cake and blends well. Need CF alternative ASAP!

Blush-Elf Contouring Blush and Bronzer Duo: (CF) I believe the blush is supposed to be a dupe for Nars Orgasm. Beautiful, glittery in the pan but not on the face. I’m not really a blush person, but this works for me.

Eye Brush-Aveda Flax Sticks Eye Contour #6 Brush (CF): I got this in my student kit when I went to Aveda forever ago and it has help up fantastically through washing and abuse. Great for blending. I looked online and it seems it can only be bought in a set (called special effects) with two others (which I also have and use). Good brushes!

Face Brush-Real Techniques Powder Brush (CF): Giant fluffy self standing brush. Has held up well with no shedding and is super soft. I want to get more from this brand!

Let me know what your favorites where this year in the comments, and Happy New Year!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Tag

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After making this Christmas tree out of a tomato cage I am fully in the spirt of the season, so this tag only seemed appropriate.

Thank’s to the beautiful Zaynah for tagging me (go check her out here y’all!)

What’s your favourite Christmas food? My mom’s side of the family makes flavored rock candy and fudge so I’m a huge fan of that, but I also adore the white chocolate fudge cover oreos that they bring out this time every year.

What is your favourite Christmas movie? My family has a tradition of watching “A Christmas Story” every year after opening presents. Scrooged with Bill Murray is fantastic as well.

What advent calendar do you have? I don’t have one 😦 but I have heard The Body Shop one is awesome.

What’s your favourite snow related activity? Spectating. I like to sit by the fire and watch everyone else freeze their butts off sledding while I sip coffee. I use to sled, but I abhor being cold (not to mention cold and wet)

What’s your favourite Christmas candle scent?. Marshmallows Fireside by Bath and Body Work for sure! Go sniff it if you haven’t!

What is your favourite Christmas tree ornament? Any kind of ornate star topper.

If you could go anywhere for Christmas where would it be? Some where warm. Hawaii? Fiji?

Would you put an inflatable Santa outside your house? Hell yes. I love cheesy shit like that.

Do you like ice-skating? More than anything. Don’t ask me why but this is the only “cold weather” sport I enjoy. I guess I end up getting so hot while I’m skating that I don’t notice I’m on ice.

Do you own a cool Christmas jumper? I don’t think I ever have. But I do own a christmas themed long john pajama set.

Favourite Christmas song? Deck the Halls

What is your favourite Christmas animal? There are such things as Christmas animals? I’ll go  with reindeer since that’s all I can think of that fits the bill.

What do you look forward to most about Christmas? My family being together and happy. Good moods all around. And I get to pig out almost as much as Thanksgiving during Christmas dinner.

What is your favourite day? Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, or Boxing Day? Christmas Day.

What is your favourite winter/Christmas accessory to wear? Ummm Santa Hat. I’m draw to them. Or reindeer antlers.

Now I need to excuse myself to go finish my Christmas shopping before it actually becomes Christmas 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Anxiety. You’re Not Alone!

You are not alone.

“That’s such an irrational thing to worry about.”  “Everything is fine, stop freaking out.” or “You have to know that is not going to happen.”

If you struggle with anxiety and have tried to vent to friends or relatives I’m sure you’ve heard these responses before.

I get that the stuff I worry about makes no sense, or isn’t anything I can control, or is something I will never know for sure. My rational brain completely understands that. But, unfortunately my the part of my brain that gives my awesome anxiety doesn’t give a shit what my rational brain thinks or knows. It says “But what if it’s not an irrational fear?” But what if everything isn’t fine?” “But what if it does happen?!”

I have struggled with anxiety on and off since I was young, and I want you to know you aren’t alone! Millions of other people feel the same way, and think the same thoughts. Even if others don’t understand why you think the way you do, or even poke fun at you for it, I get it. I and tons of others know what you go through at night when you can’t sleep. What you think when you have to meet new people, or go somewhere by yourself.

Keep your head high and know that you are not alone. And look at these cool things I found on the internet.

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What I am truly thankful for today.

Boots. I am visiting my family in the mountains of Virginia and they have gotten quite a good accumulation of snow these past two days. Which brings me to another thing… I am thankful I don’t live in Northern Maine. They receive an average of 110 inches of snow during the winter season. I like snow, but not that damn much.

Tubs. All tubs. Big, regular, small. I loooooove to take baths. The apartment I live in right now only has a shower, so I take full advantage of the Jacuzzi tubs at the New River Trail Cabins I stay in when I visit my relatives in VA. If you are going to be in the area, or just like staying in cabins, check them out. They are located right off the the New River Trail (as the name suggests), and all of the cabins have gas grills and fireplaces, jacuzzi tubs, and tv’s with cable and even WIFI! All of them also have different themes and decor, so check out the website to choose which one you want. If you call to book one tell my mom I said Hi! (she’s the one that answers the phone and takes care of you during your stay)

I am also thankful for my family. I didn’t always feel that way if I’m honest. They are complete opposites of me and are basically anti everything I am and believe in. But I’ve realized that this doesn’t have to change how you view them, even if you don’t agree with their opinions or stances on things. You can ALWAYS find common ground, even if its just the fact that you love each other and share a lineage. They have been supportive of (almost) everything I do, and even if they don’t agree with something, they respect my desire to do it/ my thoughts about it.

Life is short. Cliche but true. Everything could change in an instant. You could die tomorrow, or later today for that matter. Hug your family. Call your friends. Tell the people in your life how much they mean to you. It does matter, and it does count. And I promise, it will make their day.

Happy day of Thanksgiving. I hope you get to eat a lot, be merry, and realize how good you have it.