Archives for August 2016

08/17/16

Beauty Hacks and Tricks

Hello lovelies! As I’m sure you all know by now, I have kind of a crazy busy life. And after running around most days morning til night, the last thing I want to do the next day is get up extra early to spend time on my hair and makeup. So over the years, I’ve discovered quite a few super useful and time-saving beauty hacks for all you lazy girls out there like me. There are some things that are super easy but not many of us would ever think of them.

Get ready to extend that beauty sleep!

 

 

Apple Cider Vinegar

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I shared some great beauty tips here using Apple Cider Vinegar. But here are just a few beauty tricks using ACV:

-Rinse hair to remove shampoo buildup

-Use as a toner to help prevent acne

-Get rid of warts & skin tags

-Helps lighten dark spots on face

Lemons

lemons

Lemon is one of the fruits that can be used for a wide variety of health purposes, including beauty goals. Lemon can actually play the role of a beauty product, more precisely a deodorant that perfectly serves against sweating. Using the fruit for this purpose is very easy: all you have to do is take one slice of lemon and gently rub it on your armpits. In terms of dieting, lemon represents an important and powerful ingredient because it can stimulate digestion; this is the reason why it is especially recommended for people who suffer from digestive problems. Here are a few beauty tricks using lemons:

-Skin toner & helps lighten age spots

-Helps highlight hair in the sun

-Lessens stretch marks

– Rub on elbows to get rid of discoloration

Dry Shampoo

dry shampoo

Dry shampoo is your best friend. It is perfect for those early mornings or even those cold winter mornings when you just aren’t feeling like getting your hair wet. Dry shampoo can come in a powder or a spray. In both cases, the product latches on and sucks up the oils in the hair. It’s really a more sophisticated version of the baby powder trick we all tried in college. Be sure to apply it in quick bursts of spray along your part, and then comb it through the rest of your hair. If you’re pressed for time, use heat from a blow dryer to speed up the process. Heat helps the oils absorb and the force of the air from the blow dryer helps to distribute the product from roots through ends. If your hair tends to get oily pretty quickly, apply dry shampoo at night before you go to sleep and you will wake up with fresh locks. This gives it time to soak up the oils. Here is a list of dry shampoo’s that are highly recommended.

Cold Water Rinse

girl at the shower

Speaking of shampoo, rinsing your hair with cold water will leave it smooth and shiny. This is especially important in the summer to help with the dryness and heat of the sun. Cold water helps to close the cuticle and lock in the moisturizer. Here is how I do it, before I wash my face/body I will apply conditioner and let it sit while I continue my shower routine. When I am ready to rinse, I will turn the temperature to cold and rinse it out. It is a little striking at first but you get used to it. It is also a great way to wake up in the morning! 🙂

Coconut Oil

coconut oil

Coconut oil is everywhere right now. You don’t know whether to eat it, drink it, or bathe in it. If you haven’t already hopped on board the coconut oil train, you’re missing out on one of the most amazing natural substances on the planet. I first started using coconut oil as a moisturizer, and then I found out that it works great as a mouthwash, and then I realized I wanted to learn all the incredible uses for coconut oil. Not only is it my favorite cooking oil, but coconut oil can be used for natural beauty treatments and so much more. Here a few tricks using coconut oil:

-Shaving your legs

-Used as a body deodorant

-Strengthen nail cuticles

-Helps soothe eczema

-Great lipgloss

Eye-Lash Curler

curler

This is one of my everyday beauty tricks: Hold a blow dryer up next to your lash curler for about 3-5 seconds. The heat works the same way as it does with your curling iron, giving you those flirty lashes that will last all day. Another trick for eyeliner: Apply eyeliner to the edge of your lash curler to curl your lashes and line them at the same time. While you’re squeezing and holding on the curler, the liner will press right onto the base of your lashes for a perfect line!

Scotch Tape

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To help prevent access eyeshadow that falls from application, put a small piece of scotch tape on the outer part of the eye. This is also helpful for that fabulous winged eyeliner that can be challenging at times. It will help create a balanced look on both sides. When you are done, slowly remove the tape as it will pull the skin.

 

Taming Fly-Aways

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To keep those annoying little hairs at bay, apply a dryer sheet to your hair brush and brush through your hair a couple times. Wrap a rubber band around the bottom so it stays intact. Doing this will also help with frizz and it smells great too!

PAM Spray and Nail Polish

pam

This is probably my favorite beauty hack I found on Pinterest. I have no idea who even thought of this but it was easy and it’s kinda genius! Literally a huge time saver!

So… all you do is:
1. One coat of nail polish
2. Spray your nails with PAM, let it sit for about a minute to a minute and a half
3. Wash your hands and TA DA! Your nails are dry and actually have a nice gloss to them. Use another coat, then repeat! Easy peasy. =)
What are some beauty hacks and tricks you love?
Brittany 🙂
Brittany
08/15/16

Scallops and Floral Shorts

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Happy Monday Friends!!!! 🙂

This MIGHT be one of my favorite outfits… ever! This scalloped hem tank comes in three different colors & is only $39… it’s also made out of polyester and literally NEVER wrinkles. That’s a win in my book! The blue color would be cute with white pants… and the coral is just gorgeous! It is sold out from the #NSALE but should be restocked before summer ends. These blue floral shorts from Romwe have been on repeat this summer too. I also found these amazing wedges at DSW on sale for under $25. They are my very favorite pair of wedges and insanely comfortable. I paired my Kendra Scott Necklace and Tory Burch bag for a more neutral look.

 

Shop Similar Looks:

tankh&M shorts  shoes

We had a long weekend in Oklahoma visiting my grandparents so I am on my third cup of coffee already!! I don’t know what’s up with me lately but I’m having such trouble sleeping! My husband has been going to sleep earlier than normal but I just lay there and scroll social media. I know that probably doesn’t help but I am just not sleepy until midnight. When I do finally get to sleep, I have crazy dreams and then I wake up exhausted in the morning. (No, there is not a little human lol)

Do y’all have any tricks for falling asleep at night?!

Brittany 🙂

Brittany
08/12/16

Healthy “Fro-Yo” Bites

Everyone loves a good cheesecake!  I mean what’s not to love… rich creamy cheesecake nestled on a cookie crumb base with your favorite fruit toppings. However, the calories in these delicious cheesecake bites are not good for my backside. The rich and creamy-ness of these heavenly bites can be duplicated in an easy, no bake recipe. I am sharing this recipe with you today!

No hours of baking and half the calories! WIN!

 

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Ingredients:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

I large container Greek Yogurt

1 tbsp strawberry jam

2 tbsp honey

Chopped/diced strawberries or raspberries

Olive oil (not pictured)

Step 1

Place muffin liners in a muffin tin pan.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs with 3 tablespoons of olive oil to make a thicker consistency. This will help with falling crumbs.

Spoon this crumble into the bottom of each cup.

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Step 2

Mix together the yogurt, strawberry jam and honey in a bowl.

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Step 3

Spoon this mixture on top of your crust and your dessert is almost done!

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Step 4

 Sprinkle some diced strawberries on top for added color and flavor.

You can use either fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, cherries) or chocolate sauce and caramel are good options.  My personal favorites are strawberries.

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Step 5

Then cover with plastic wrap and freeze. It’s that easy!

After 3-6 hours, your cheesecake cups are ready to serve! Peel the parchment from each cup, then enjoy!

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When is the last time you made such a simple and splendid no-bake dessert?

What are some healthy/no bake recipes you love?

Brittany 🙂

Brittany
08/10/16

July Favorites

How is summer winding down already and how is it already AUGUST!?!?! On one hand I’m in disbelief that it’s already August and on the other I’m super excited that fall’s approaching. We still have to get through the hottest month of the year here in Texas but then it’s almost the most wonderful time of the year!!

I have rounded up my favorites from July so take a peek through all of these things and hopefully you’ll find some you love, too!

Beauty

Coty Airspun Translucent Loose Setting Powder

There is a reason this powder has been around for so many years. This stuff is amazing. It’s great for setting your makeup or used to bake your skin. Smells nice too. It can be a bit messy cause it’s loose powder. I use it with my beauty blender and it works awesome. You can use it with a brush too. I found it at Walmart for under 7 bucks. I would buy this over and over again.

L’OReal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation

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I am so in love with this matte foundation!! I’ve gone through several tubes of this and it’s just great. It is matte and actually stays matte for a long time. It has has a beautiful smooth finish, and it’s full coverage. If you have oily skin, or you want your makeup to last in the summer heat definitely give this a try.

Sun Bum After Lotion

It’s just as important to care for your skin after sun exposure as it is during. Thanks to Sun Bum products, I have had zero sunburns this summer. After a couple hours at the pool, this aloe-based lotion was a welcome relief for my sun-kissed skin. I like to put it in the refrigerator to chill while we are at the pool. It contains aloe and other ingredients that can prevent a sunburn from reaching full force. It will also moisturize to prevent peeling, which is the worst part of a sunburn if you ask me!

Morphe 350 Palette

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The morphe 35 palette is one that I have been trying to get my hands on for months! When this bad boy arrived in the mail I was so excited! It’s hard to find inexpensive, high quality makeup products, you either have to sacrifice one for the other. Morphe products are awesome because they give you the best of both worlds. At the low price of $19.99 you get 35 of the most gorgeous warm shaded eye shadows.

Urban Decay Illuminator

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To give my face a little shimmer, I use this Urban Decay Illuminater all over my face with a fluffy brush. A little sparkle of this on your cheeks and neck looks so pretty in the sunlight. Its like fairy dust and the shades a beautiful warm iridescent.

Lifestyle

The Bachelorette

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jordan

My guilty pleasure! This may be one of my favorite seasons ever. JoJo is one of the most perfect- looking people I have ever seen. I was rooting for Luke the whole season. He was let go in a dramatic rose ceremony and I along with half of America was shocked. I mean he is the total package in my opinion but it seems like she always went for the “bad-boy” or “pretty-boy” type. Every episode she seemed to always side with Jordan. You could feel the connection the whole season. When it came down to her top two choices, Jordan or Robbie, I think all of America knew it was Jordan. Robbie was pretty heartbroken when he was not chosen as the one. I always have high hopes for the couple’s to stay together after the show but with Jordan’s career, this one might not last.

I am sad this season is over but if Luke is the next Bachelor, my life will be made!

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In other news, I am very excited for Bachelor in Paradise. After watching the first two episodes, the drama is just too good not to watch! Thankfully, Chad was sent home on the first episode for just being a total ass. Peace out Chad!

Bahama Bucks

snocone

I love this place! On a hot Texas day, eating a flavored snow cone is the perfect combination! My favorite is “Birthday Cake” which consists of cake flavored shaved ice with Blue Bell ice cream at the bottom. Heavin in a cup! You can even have chocolate snow. They also cater for parties or you can buy snow balls to throw at people, or I guess eat… 🙂 Cheers!

Neutrogena Face Block

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Summer = pool time and this Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen has saved my skin this summer. I have the most oily, nasty skin and it has taken me 30 years to find a face sunscreen that doesn’t clog my pores or break me out. Ding ding ding, we finally have a winner.

Mead® Flamingo Planner

 planner

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I found this adorable Mead® flamingo planner at Target last month! I mainly use this it for blogging purposes but I also keep track of social media posts. I know there are apps for that but being a visual person, I like to write stuff down. This planner features gold foil embellishments with bold, trendy colors to create an eye-popping cover design. Each month contains a full calendar with separate pages for daily planning, perfect for jotting down ideas.

 

Fitness

FITOCRACY APP

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This free fitness app is fantastic! One of my friends recommended it to me last month, and I’ve loved it. You can use pre-programmed workouts, or design your own. I love the design your own function because I can make up my own workout from scratch, yes, but I can also input workouts I’ve found on Pinterest.

After a time or two using it, it’s very easy to use, and you can change your privacy settings so that you don’t have to share your details with anyone else if you don’t want to. That said, if you’re someone who likes a community, you can link up with friends or join groups to stay motivated. My favorite kind of workout is an anonymous one, either by myself, or in a class where I don’t know anyone and can just focus on what I’m doing. This serves that purpose in the air-conditioned comfort of my living room… For free!

Sip by Swell

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Cold water + recyclable bottle = I’m totally sold. I picked up one of these cute babies on my latest Target trip and I love it! It carries enough water for me for my workouts & it keeps my water nice and cool while I’m busy sweating my buns off. Genius! 🙂

Victoria Secret Sports Bra’s

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I’m pretty picky about sports bras due to my chest size not being small (lol). After having my child, those weak shelf bras just don’t cut it. Victoria’s Secret Sports line is awesome because they’re all modeled after actual bras so it’s easy to find the right size and fit. They’re well made and come in fun colors and designs. I’ve tried 1 or 2 that were a little too va-va-voom for actually working out (which is hard to gauge since the photos displaying the products are ALL va-va-voom), so I recommend just paying attention to the design and whether it’s recommended for low, medium, or high impact. Unfortunately the VS Sport line is only available online, but you can always order a few, try them on, and then return (free shipping for returns from home, or from any store).

What were some of your July favorites?

Brittany 🙂

Brittany
08/08/16

Get It Girl: How I Became A Morning Exerciser

First things first: I am not a morning person and probably never will be. I am also a total night owl so I do not have an early bed time. When that dreaded alarm goes off, my body is all like ‘No. Just No.’ And by the time my mind remembers that I totally wouldn’t hate running a marathon or rocking a crazy pack of abs, I have already hit snooze four too many times. In fact, I love nothing more than snuggling into my comforter and reveling in the pure, simple joy of sleep. Before we bought our house and moved to the other side of the world, I would normally do an afternoon run after work. I felt like I had more energy and obviously have had all day to wake up. My husband also leaves the house super early for work so morning workouts were out of the picture. But since the move, it has been challenging to go on a run or hit the gym after work. I found myself skipping my workouts because lack of time, commute or just things getting in the way.

But life’s responsibilities have made me take steps to change my ways. I decided to give morning sessions another shot. In order for me to get a run in and my husband to leave by 6:00 am, I get up when my alarm goes off at 5:00 am. Yes, 5:00 am!

When I first started getting up early it was NOT easy. However, I began reminding myself I actually love the early hours of the day. There is something special about the crisp air, the softness of morning light, and the quiet hush before the day really gets rolling. Once I hit the pavement and the juices start flowing, I don’t even realize it is super early. My WOD is done and now I have plenty of time to get ready for the day (or at least while my son sleeps).

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On my path toward “Morning Personhood”, I began adopting some simple practices that make getting up and out of bed a little less miserable. And the good news is they’re all straightforward enough for even the grumpiest morning monster—like myself—to follow.

Pack Your Gym Bag The Night Before

Pack everything so you don’t forget the next morning when you’re head is still groggy. If you are taking an early morning spin class or hitting the weights at the gym, being prepared is key. I will usually do a early workout Friday’s before work so having all my toiletries and work attire packed and ready to go is important to get out of the house on time.

Here is what I pack to the gym:

Headphones

Towel

Shower Products

Makeup (necessities)

Hair Dryer/Straighter/Brush

Work Clothes

Shoes

Undergarmets

Keep the Alarm Away From Your Bed

Pick up your alarm clock/phone and put it somewhere else in the room so that you physically have to get out of bed to turn it off. When it goes off, get up, turn it off and just keep walking right out of the room. Don’t even look back at your bed! I used to have an alarm clock that would purposely vibrate off my nightstand, then shake and roll all over the floor so I had to chase it to shut it off! For me, the hardest part is that initial physical act of getting my body out of bed. It’s all downhill from there!

Give Yourself a Pep Talk

If I am really having one of those lazy mornings, I give myself a five minute pep talk. “Ok, Brittany… It’s just 20 minutes, You can do this,” or, “You can sleep when you’re dead” usually works too. It depends on my mood! Essentially, you have to convince yourself that you’re pumped for your workout—even if you’re 100 percent lying.

Eat Right

Since working out on an empty stomach isn’t great for your metabolism or your energy levels, pre-make a little morning snack and keep it in the fridge so you can quickly grab and go. Half a slice of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, apple slices with cheese or ingredients for a small smoothie are the perfect pre-workout snack. If eating before a workout is not an option, make sure you fill up on a nutritious dinner the night before.

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Don’t Just Play the Mental Battle, Fight the Mental Battle

Your mind plays games with you saying you can skip this one time or go running after work today. Even if its the middle of summer or dead of winter, weather will always play a factor in your workout. And when it happens, you have to be ready to fight back! When I start thinking anything other than, “get your clothes on and get out the door”, I remind myself of how much better my day always is when I run first. How good it makes me feel afterwards and how much I always regret it if I don’t is a battle I hate fighting. I mean really if I went back to bed I would only get another 45 minutes and that’s totally not better than a run in the end. Plus once you’re up, remind yourself that you have already taken the hardest step – don’t go backwards by going back to bed. Give yourself a pat on the back and get out the door!

Make it a Habit

Life is about habits, both big and small. As I brush my teeth, I ask myself: What will I gain from staying awake instead of going back to bed? The answer is always ‘a lot,’ because a couple extra hours of uninterrupted time is enormous, whether it’s spent at a desk or in the gym. Since I usually take my black lab with me on my morning runs, his first instinct when my alarm goes off is to run and grab his leash and lick my face until I get up. The only thing going through his head is ‘Time to Run’. He is definitely another alarm clock for me in the mornings.

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You Will Have More Energy

By exercising in the morning, you will find that your energy levels are much higher throughout the day. It is very difficult to motivate yourself to exercise in the evening, especially if you have had a busy, stressful day at work. Your instinct will be to collapse on the sofa and sadly that horizontal position is usually accompanied by food or drink that isn’t ideal for your health. By working out in the morning, you will have more energy throughout the day and you won’t be as affected by stressful events in your working day.

Treat Yourself

Think of what you’d like your morning to be about and then craft your a.m. ritual around that idea. Indulge in something that makes you happy. Whether this means taking a nice hot shower, eating a big breakfast or drinking coffee on the patio, Do It! You’ll get through your workout a little faster knowing there’s a hot cup of coffee and sprinkle donuts waiting for you. If you start actually experiencing your mornings as a time where you get to enjoy some of the things you love most, you might just look forward to waking up.

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When it comes down to getting in those early morning work outs, it’s just about preparing ahead of time and being bigger than the voices telling you not to do it. Do I still fight the urge to hit snooze when my alarm goes off at 5am? Sure, but I also can’t imagine going back to exercising at night. Switching things to the morning means I rarely miss a session, and I fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly than I used to. Plus, there’s nothing like running as the sun comes up over our neighborhood. The streets are quiet, the air is still fresh, and when I’ve put in my miles before 8 a.m., the day feels full of possibility. Hello Happy Hour! 🙂

Do you have any other tips that get you going in the morning for a workout?

Brittany 🙂

Brittany