Lifestyle, Beauty, Relationship, and Money Resolutions for ***2-0-1-5***

This year I rang in the New Year in a low key way. I spent NYE and NYD up in New Hampshire in the White Mountains with my husband, Nick. Last year, NYE was a bit of a disaster for me. Pretty sure my hangover lasted 5 days. Ick. This year, I vowed to ring in the New Year in a more controlled & loving fashion ūüôā We spent a couple days eating, napping, and yes, drinking to our hearts content. While I was up in those calm White Mountains, I started my resolution list for 2015. I realize having too many resolutions might just set me up for failure – but hey, I’m going to throw out a few to see what really sticks. Below are my resolutions. 4 categories – lifestyle, beauty, relationship, and money.

What are your resolutions? Do you believe in stating a couple resolutions at the start of the new year?

I’m finding it quite inspiring.

Lifestyle:

  • Get back into the gym and get fit¬†– I seriously love the gym. When I’m there. It’s getting there that’s the issue‚Ķgetting out of bed in the morning, to be exact. I love boxing class and pushing myself and seeing myself improve day by day. I love working out to rap music and getting excited during class when I hear a favorite song. But, this last year or so, I fell off the gym wagon. Hard. I paid for a $150-a-month gym membership and maybe went 3x in the course of the last 5 months. Shameful, I know. But here I am, making a pledge to myself to GET BACK TO IT. I’m ready to feel & be fit again. This is one of my top 2 goals of the year. #fitwithit2015 #bethgetoutofbed2015
A few of my favorite workout things: 1> Lululemon Wunder Under crops 2> IAMMAI sweatshirt, inspiration quotes are readable in the mirror 3> Twistband headbands, the best 4> BKR water bottle. Just enough water comes out with each chug

A few of my favorite workout things:
1> Lululemon Wunder Under crops
2> IAMMAI sweatshirt
3> Twistband headbands, the best
4> BKR water bottle

And now some random Fit-spiration. That’s right, Joseph Gordon-Levitt – I mean, this guy, GOT FIT for Don Jon. I have to applaud him for his metamorphosis. #randomfitspiration

from scrawny to brawny.

from scrawny to brawny.


Beauty:

  • Wash my face every night – I state this one knowing it’s a taller order for me (because I’m lazy and sometimes pass out in the fetal position on the couch during the week — that should probably change too). BUT, I want to do it. I’ve seen the positive results of religiously¬†washing my face each night and I’ve seen the results of the counter¬†(sudden break out, uneven skin tone etc.) I am somewhat obsessed with my skin and the sight of a mere line or wrinkle‚Ķand now is the time to better care for it. So, here goes it. Every night‚Ķwash and moisturize. #operationwashyourfaceeverynight2015
2 favorite winter skincare products: 1> REN Gentle Cleansing Milk  2> Caudalie Moisture Rescue Cream

2 favorite winter skincare products:
1> REN Gentle Cleansing Milk
2> Caudalie Moisture Rescue Cream


Relationship:

  • Send thank you notes – I fancied myself good at this at one point but then I realized I got a bit lazy. This year I want to be better about acknowledging nice gestures/experiences/opportunities with good ole, real paper, thank yous. #showthanks2015
Love these Kate Spade thank you notes. Good quality paper <3

Love these Kate Spade thank you notes. Good quality paper ‚̧

  • Be more patient with my hubby –¬†I’m sure I could be more patient with many people and things‚Ķbut one person who deserves more patience from me is my hubby. He’s a hard working guy‚Ķwho is the ying to my yang in many ways.¬†He’s thoughtful and funny and smart. I tend to jump at him for the little things‚Ķand this year, I want to be more mindful of that. I want to think twice before I¬†snap at¬†him to “stop chewing your beer!” or “stop being so slow!” ¬†(when he’s walking “Nick-style” into a restaurant) or assuming he’s not listening when he’s really just taking a moment to think ūüėČ ¬†Because, he’s my BFF. Plain and simple. #bepatientspreadthelove2015
This guy. That face. <3

This guy. That face. ‚̧


Money:

  • Pay off my credit cards – this is it, it’s the year. The year I say “see ya” to my credit card debt. I’ve been good about managing it and using cash more often than credit. BUT, I’ve been carrying some CC debt from the days when I had little funds to spare (shout out to all those assistant media planners out there, it gets better). I want to pay it off once and for all.¬†#debtfree2015 (except for school loans, car payment, and mortgage hehe)
I agree with her. Retail-therapy is A THING. But, bye bye cc

I agree with her. Retail-therapy is A THING. But, bye bye cc. Who’s cuter than Isla Fisher?? Confessions of a Shopaholic – good flick

Moving into Day 3 of the Isagenix 9 day cleanse/fat burning system

I’m heading into day 3 of the 9 day Isagenix system…

The first 2 days were cleanse days – essentially lots of liquids and a few¬†small Isagenix “snacks”¬†per day¬†(I referenced the flavored wafers in my first post). I will say those periodic wafers helped satisfy hunger a bit. Last night I had to have 6 unsalted/raw almonds to curb my hunger while I watched my husband eat a yummy meal. I felt semi guilty for a moment – but then I read that it’s ok to have a small snack like that if you really need to. All in all, I think I made it through the first 2 days successfully. I worked-out both days too.

I definitely peed more than usual – but other than that my stomach felt fine. When I’ve done juice cleanses in the past those have tended to upset my stomach. I was certainly hungry most of the last 2 days but it was tolerable…it helps that I’m doing this for the first time with a buddy (Hi Shannon!)

1535641_10203542756359263_872086622_n

There she is!!! my Isagenix + real-life buddy!!! The lil firecracker, Shannon. She did not approve this photo…I’ll prob get in trouble for this

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The whole cleanse thing is interesting – on one hand I like the ‘idea’ of cleansing your body/system and reducing your typical intake…especially to kick off a healthier eating plan. However, it’s not very realistic (for me). I was pretty much a hermit the last 2 days…I refused to go out after work. I had to distract myself a lot as not to cave into temptation. I hate watching/smelling my husband cook. And at one point I think I was tempted by my dogs chewy treats – wtf? Not sure what I’d do if I had kids and they were snacking all around me. I guess, it just makes you exercise super self control. And that’s something that certainly takes practice. But hey, if you can spend 2 days on a rigid plan – doesn’t that make you feel like you can make more moderate adjustments on an everyday bases? I think so.

According to the scale I’ve lost a couple lbs – I realize that’s water weight. I’m trying not to focus too much on the scale because I’m more interested in judging progress based on how my pants fit and the ‘after photos.’ I’ve remained relatively the same weight for the last 2 years…but since I’ve lost muscle my clothes have gotten tighter and I don’t wear certain things that I used to wear. I truly believe the scale isn’t the best measure of fitness/health.

In a nutshell – what I learned so far:

  • This is a great program to kick off before a big event or even after a vacation/holiday when you’re READY to make a change and commit
  • It’s great to have a partner in crime (at least the 1st time around) to keep you motivated and accountable
  • There is a lot of satisfactions at the end of the day when you’ve stayed on track throughout ¬†the day – it’s a great feeling – and that feeling will keep you motivated¬†
  • Although I haven’t eaten much – the snacks/liquids have helped me manage the last 2 days – I feel pretty energized, surprisingly¬†
  • Buy some different herbal (non caffeinated or sweetened) teas – I love cinnamon tea at the end of the day. The warm liquid makes you feel fuller – I liked having a few options to choose from. I was switching up between iced and hot – it helped me feel like I was ‘tasting’ something
  • Avoid doing your cleanse days on holidays/occasions where you have something big planned…it’d be difficult to go to a restaurant or cook-out on this cleanse (at least for me). I think I’d be pretty miserable. I like the idea of starting earlier in the week (Mon or Tue) when little else other than work is on the calendar
  • If you find yourself constantly thinking about food – grab a good magazine (not a food one though!) or watch funny YouTube videos! Or, I busted out some beauty samples and gave myself a good at-home face scrub/treatment…it felt nice the next morning to wake up to glowing skin
  • I found that because I couldn’t really eat when I got home – I spent more time playing with my dogs and chatting with my husband…vs. mindlessly munching tortilla chips on the couch. I thought that was a big win!
  • My mouth tasted horrible yesterday but I avoided gum – I kept drinking water and tea but it was still a weird feeling – so yea, that was not the greatest side effect
  • Get yourself a good, travel friendly water bottle. go ahead, buy one of those fancy glass ones! you’ll need one and the novelty of a new, funky water bottle will make you more apt to drink from it!

I can’t wait until approx. 12noon when I can eat my first real meal in 2 days – grilled chicken, brown rice, and broccoli!!! ‚̧ ‚̧

 

 

Work out gear to kick off the new year!

As some of us look to revamp our work-out routine or at least get back at it after some indulging and lazy days, I thought I’d share a few work-out favorites.

(Links through-out the post, just click the underlined/hyperlinked product names)

  • Victorias Secret Supermodel Cami Sport Bra – currently on clearance for $19.99 @ Victoriassecret.com
    Victorias Secret Supermodel Cami Sports Bra

    Victorias Secret Supermodel Cami Sports Bra

    • Designed for lower impact sports (i.e. yoga or barre) I love this bra because it’s comfortable and for me, it has the right amount of support. The straps are adjustable so I tend to tighten when I’m ready to work out or need more support. The bra has removable padding so you don’t have to worry when it gets cold out, if you know what I mean. I have a couple of these bras and sometimes wear it to run errands or just hanging out because it has a flattering fit without underwire which can be uncomfortable
  • Lululemon Run Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve – $68 @ Lululemon

    Lululemon Run Swiftly Long Sleeve

    Lululemon Run Swiftly Long Sleeve

  • When the weather gets chilly, motivating yourself to ‘get out there’ and work out can be harder. I love this Lulu long sleeve top because it provides a warmer layer that I wear over my tank top. It is breathable and sometimes I wear it throughout my work out without overheating. I like that there is no zipper or hood to get in my way
  • Reebok Women’s No Show Socks 6-pck ¬†– $18 Marshalls/TJ Maxx – also found online
    Reebok No Show socks

    Reebok No Show socks

    • The Reebok No Show socks are comfortable with a bit of padding and just the right height so I don’t have to worry about ankle grabbing. I got a black pack the last time so that I can tell them apart from my 100s of white socks!
  • Lululemon Wunder Under Crops – $78 @ Lululemon
    Lululemon Wunder Under Crops

    Lululemon Wunder Under Crops

    • These are my go-to year-round. I tend to get too hot in the Lulu floor length pants. These crops hit my leg at the right point – mid/lowcalf. Sometimes crops that fall at the knee can be distracting or uncomfortable during your work out because they’ll bunch behind the knee. These crops fit great, no wedgies, never sheer. They wash well and will last you a long time – which is good because they’re a bit pricey
  • IAMMAI Women’s Racer Tank¬†– $45 @ Iammaiapparel.com
    IAMMAI Womens Racer Tank "Work Harder Right Here. Right Now."

    IAMMAI Womens Racer Tank “Work Harder Right Here. Right Now.”

    • This tank is definitely a splurge – but I love the inspirational/motivational messages on IAMMAI gear. When you look at it dead-on, it looks backwards – but in front of the mirror (i.e. while you’re working out and working hard) you can see the message the right way. The cotton is super soft and the cut is very flattering – and although working out shouldn’t be a fashion show – I’m definitely more motivated when I feel comfortable and confident in my work out gear
  • The Twistband Headband – $4 @ thetwistband.com
    The Twistband Headband in color Bubblegum

    The Twistband Headband in color Bubblegum

    • An absolute must when I work out is a good headband that doesn’t slip off. It keeps the loose hairs away from my face that can tickle and be distracting. The traditional Twistband headband is one of my favorites. It’s simple and stretchy – doesn’t loose stretch, isn’t too tight and stays in place. It comes in a bunch of different colors and patterns – super cute!

Do you have any work-out gear must-haves?

pv.body (monthly subscription service for fitness gear) – got my first delivery! my review here…

This morning the doorbell rang – Nick and I looked at each other puzzled – we’re past that stage when the doorbell rings regularly because wedding gifts are arriving galour. Nick went down to check it out and came up with a shiny pink package for me (picture below!). I got excited…I didn’t recall ordering anything online recently…then I realized it must be my ‘pv.body’¬†1st delivery! Before I get into the contents of the package – let me explain what pv.body¬†is:

This is another monthly subscription club – similar to Birchbox. Through the pv.body website you take a quiz so that they can better understand your fitness/work-out gear style. Once you’ve completed, you’re given a profile which helps them ‘hand pick’ items for you each month. Each month you are charged $49.95 and sent an outfit – from what I understand, the outfit is 1 top and 1 bottom. You can ‘cancel anytime’ or ‘skip a month’ at any time. The whole premise is – getting high quality work out gear for less. I saw pv.body promoted online and they were boasting gear from Lululemon, Nike and a few stylish and higher quality fitness apparel companies. You don’t know what brand you’re getting each month but they promote on their site that they partner with a variety of brands. So, I decided to try…

I got my first package today – pictures below with some description – then my feedback on package #1:

Image

pretty pink package – my gear arrived in

Image

the contents of the package – the top and bottom each wrapped in tissue paper (pink and white) – and a note from pv.body regarding Sizing

Image

the top by ’15 love apparel’ very soft – nylon/spandex blend

Image

the bottoms – a pair of leggings/stretch pants ‘Performance Sportswear by American Apparel’

My thoughts:

  • The presentation – the contents were nicely folded and wrapped in tissue paper – but I was surprised with the note – because it was on plain white computer paper and had been sloppily cut. The bar might be high because I’m comparing this to my experience with Birchbox and one of the things they do so well is presentation. They always include descriptive cards for the products they send, the paper is high quality, and everything is well-designed.¬†Personally, I think the sloppily cut computer paper that was the only note inside the package, cheapened the whole pv.body experience
  • The top – by 15 Love¬†Apparel –¬†is very soft…I’ve never heard of this company. I looked them up – seems like this brand is sold in boutiques. I noticed that in Massachusetts, they’re sold at Equinox (high-end gym), Exhale Spa (high-end spa), and a couple other high-end (aka expensive) spa/fitness club boutiques. I looked up the avg. cost of a top on this site and it looks like they range between $40-$55. There is very limited selection on 15 love apparel site in terms of tops. The top I got isn’t an exciting piece but I do know when I filled out my quiz I answered that I prefer black/white work-out clothing. I answered that way because I was nervous to get super bright or floral gear…but I guess seeing that I got a grey top with black accents, this is not something I’d buy for myself because I have many things like this and I’m pretty sure I could find a spandex/nylon t-shirt (which I typically wouldn’t wear working out because I prefer tank tops for better mobility) at Marshalls or TJMaxx for under $20, easily
  • The bottoms – like most people, I’m familiar with American Apparel and think of them as a place to get solid color t’s, tanks, and dresses – with typically mid/higher price points but solid quality. I didn’t realize they have a performance line. The pants I got from pv.body feel stretchy like work-out pants but I put them on and they’re super thin. Now, they did send me a size small and if I had known they’d be sending me anything by American Apparel I would have willingly gone up a size because I find AA can run small. BUT, I’m not even sure a size medium would help with these pants I got – because when I bend over – they’re see-through!!! See pic below! (I just had to share this). These are not work out pants in my eyes. They are leggings and not good ones because I would have to wear a long top over them in fear that my booty would show whenever I bend over. I will admit I have a round butt – but when I wear my Lululemon or other work out pants, and even if I put myself in a size too small, my butt/thong would not show through the fabric. So, my thoughts – I HATE these bottoms
Image

OMG – that’s my thong. For the record, I don’t wear underwear when I work out – but even if I had nothing on, this would still be bad because you’d see my bear bottom! Bad, bad, bad

Now – with all that said, let me share what that computer paper note said – “Hi there! We work with many brands so sizing may run differently for each. We consider your selected size when sending your order, so you may receive a size larger or smaller in your top or bottom. If you have any questions please contact us at customerservice@puravit.com and we’ll take care of everything for you! xoxo The pv.body Team”

Welp, they’re getting an email from me. I want something else for the bottoms, at least. I’ll let you know how seamless the customer service experience is. But I will admit, I don’t really want to bother dealing with this on a monthly basis…because sizing is hard with clothing, they’re right! Tops are way easier – but bottoms, not so much. In some stores, I’m a small, in others, I could be a medium or even bigger depending on the fabric. I hated the experience of putting on these pants and realizing they’re sheer and too tight, it was depressing! Maybe I’m dramatic but now I feel stuck with them until I email customer service at this company which seems like more trouble than it’s worth.

I’m also trying to find my quiz (which I can’t seem to easily find on the pv site now!) so I can make sure I put the correct sizing for bottoms…now that I’ve seen that they’re sending brands like American Apparel, I need to make sure I put ‘medium’ or ‘size 6’ because I’d rather risk them being slightly big than skin tight or sheer.

I have decided to give it ONE more month to give it a fair shake. But my general feeling is – I pay around $80 a month for my gym…paying $49.95 for ‘mystery’ sports gear each month seems very frivolous. And now that I’ve seen package #1, I’m not sure it’s worth my money. The need to court me better – send higher quality descriptions/notes with the gear, tell me more about the company if you’re sending me gear from a less well-known brand…and please don’t send me anything else from American Apparel ever. Questions, comments?!

UPDATE – I’m re-taking the gear quiz now to re-do my profile – they’ve definitely re-vamped the quiz since I first took it (I wish they emailed me about this?!!) and added additional questions. I like this…because I can be more specific. That’s a good sign!

Had to share this protein shake recipe!

2012 is the year of wedding planning and prep for me…I nearly lost my mind on a couple of occasions and have obsessed over everything from centerpieces, to my hair length, to my diet…it has been pretty exhausting but I can say I’ve learned a lot in the 8 or so months – especially about my diet and what makes me feel good vs. sick or too full or crampy. I’ve always been active but in the last year have picked up my work out routine and interest in healthier eating. Please don’t get me wrong, I frequently eat sweet treats and find myself out to dinner with my fiance for no good reason! – but, I have found a few key things that help me stay on track when I’m trying to be good. One thing in particular is my typical weekday breakfast – of the most delicious and filling protein shake.

Typically, I work out at 5:30am and this is a good post work out shake – however, I often have it even if I haven’t worked out because it keeps me full and it’s so easy to have on the run.

I searched hard to find a protein powder that avoids 3 things: dairy, soy, and gluten. Why you ask? Dairy– because I was having stomach troubles for months and got the lactose intolerance test…although my results were ‘inconclusive’ – it was highly recommended I avoid dairy…plus, I still get creeped out eating too much dairy with all the hormones they pump into dairy products. And I know dairy upsets my stomach and it also makes me feel bloated. Again, don’t get me wrong this doesn’t mean I avoid it completely – you will find me eating ice cream here and there, and indulging when I feel it’s worth it. Soy because it has been well documented that soy is not a great ingredient for women – and soy is in everything, it’s scary. I won’t go into this topic too much – hey, I’m not a nutritionist nor a doctor – but from what I’ve read on soy, it is worth avoiding. And lastly, why gluten? Well, although I don’t have a gluten intolerance I do think that there is too much gluten in our diets – so again, avoiding it in my morning breakfast felt right for me. So after much trial and error – and tasting of flavors – I landed on this brand:

Vega Sport

It is called Performance Protein

It is plant-based – soy, gluten, and dairy FREE!

It comes in 3 flavors but I love the Chocolate

120 cals / 1g fat / 6g carbs / <1g sugar / 26g protein per serving – those are some pretty good #s! low fat, carbs, and sugar! and a pretty solid serving of protein

Here is the link if you want more info: http://vegasport.com/en/recover/performance-proteinImage

Where to buy: Whole Foods or Drugstore.com

The 28.9 oz. container will run you about $55 – but it’s huge – and it’ll last a couple of months if not longer…I have this almost everyday for breakfast, so if you do the math it is probably more economical and HEALTHIER than buying my own breakfast!

Now the recipe – I use the Magic Bullet – which I love because it’s compact and easy to clean, you can also use the actual blender cup to drink from if you’re in a rush/don’t have any travel cups – in one of the larger Magic Bullet cups I put:

  • 1 scoop VegaSport protein powder
  • 1 cup of almond or coconut milk (unsweetened kind/no sugar in either!)
  • 1/2 cup of water (to add volume!)
  • 1 cup of frozen berries (I go with blueberries and strawberries – from Trader Joes or Whole Foods) – I like frozen because they’re cheaper, and make your shake cold, like a real shake!
  • Sometimes 1/2 a banana depending on how many berries I put in
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Teaspoon or so of flaxseed (doesn’t taste like anything – but adds some omega-3s)
  • And one of my all time favorites – PB2 – powdered peanut butter – I won’t even get started on this, because it’s great for a lot of reasons – this isn’t a required ingredient – but it sure makes my shake tastier and richer:¬†http://www.bellplantation.com/products/4-pack-pb2-powdered-peanut-butter.html

Blend for 30 seconds or so – pour into a travel cup and GO! so yummy!

Overall, this is a low sugar shake, which is surprising! The sugar really only comes from the fruit! PB2 only has 1g of sugar in 2 tablespoons. This is a delicious shake – you don’t feel like you’re drinking something flavorless…it is super tasty and chocolatey.

Love this! Do you use a protein shake – if so, which kind?