How to Get Over the Gym Slump

Hey guys :)!

I wanted to show you some ways on how to keep your workouts exciting if you ever feel like you’re stuck or lacking motivation. This happens to me from time to time (and is currently going on right now). I get bored with my workouts, get bored with the gym & sometimes even go as far as saying I get bored with lifting. GASP.

If any of you ever feel this way, know that you’re not alone! We get tired of doing anything over and over again, so the same thing applies to exercise. Simply changing up my workouts helps get me back on track.

Below is a video of a workout that my boyfriend and I did recently to help me switch things up a bit.

 

Exercises:

  1. The first exercise you see me doing is a pushup with a 25 pound plate on my back. This was my first time attempting this, so realizing that I was actually able to push myself back up with the added weight gave me instant excitement & gratification. Those two emotions alone already made my workout satisfying. There are a bunch of different ways to do a pushup. Experiment by adding weight, changing hand positions or even putting your hands on a medicine ball to push up on.
  2. The second exercise my boyfriend is doing is using the ropes in a jumping jack motion. Let me tell you, these ropes are a GREAT addition to your workouts. Not only is he getting some cardio in, but he’s working his arms and shoulders at the same time.
  3. The third exercise I’m performing is a pushup into a bent over row then lastly into a deadlift. Arms, shoulders, core, back, chest, glutes and quads are all being worked here. Who doesn’t love an exercise that gets so many parts working at once?!
  4. The fourth exercise shows how to use the ropes to really work your obliques. Again, still working arms and shoulders but to keep himself balanced when switching from side to side, he needs to activate his core.

 

Let me know if you guys have tried some of these exercises or if you’re going to do them for the first time! Xo

 

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Sunshine Blogger Award

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The Sunshine Blogger Award:

Nominated?  Here’s the rules:  Check out my Q & A.  Have a look at my nominees; new bloggers, those I dig and those I think you should check out.  I have provided list of questions for you.  Create your own blog post and answer your set of questions while nominating some bloggers of your choice! (don’t forget to let them know!)

I was nominated by Kelli of Kelifornia79.com, & boy am I happy I was! She introduced me to her blog and wow! Need a review on anything beauty? Her blog is a must see 🙂

Kelli’s questions, my responses:

  • How Long Have you been blogging?
    • Hmm, about 2 months or so. Baby blogger. I’m still learning the ropes of this whole new world we have here 🙂
  • Who inspires you?
    • Ah, so many people. For starters, I’m fortunate enough to work in the industry I love-makeup. Therefore, my coworkers inspire me, my boss inspires me, my clients inspire me. I think everyone in my life inspires me in their own different, unique way. Was that cheesy?
  • What is your longest running, tried and true beauty item?
    • Mac “Soft and Gentle.” As much as I love other highlighters I’ve tried, this one seems to have just the perfect amount of pink & gold tones for my skin color.
  • Where is ‘your happy place’?
    • The gym, there’s something about completely exhausting myself that makes me calm & happy. Or anywhere with a good book and hot coffee.
  • Currently binge watching Netflix?  Whats your Favorite TV show?
    • I actually don’t want TV -___-
  • What [who] was your first band/show/concert?
    • An American Idol concert lol I think Clay Aiken performed?
  • Most used makeup/beauty brand?
    • I use so many different brands every day. From Kevin Aucoin to Inglot all the way to Loreal.
  • Who are your pets? (if any)
    • My puppies :)! Kodi (a husky) and Roxy (a shepard/corgy mix).
  • Favorite online shopping destination?
    • I don’t online shop either lol. When I want something, I want it now. Is that weird? haha.
  • Where is or where would you like your next vacation destination to be?
    • Next destination is Chicago for the first time,  so  I’m pretty hyped!

 

My Nominees:

 

My Questions:

  • How Long Have you been blogging?
  • Who inspires you?
  • What is your longest running, tried and true beauty item?
  • Where is ‘your happy place’?
  • How did you choose the name for your blog?
  • What made you want to stop blogging?
  • Most used makeup/beauty brand?
  • Favorite hobby?
  • Favorite place to shop?
  • 3 places on your bucket list to visit?

 

 

Eating Fat Won’t Make You Fat

Nutrition is forever a learning process, not only for me, but I think for everyone. There are so many different “facts” out there that most of us have no idea what to believe anymore. With all the fad diets and so called experts telling us what’s good to eat and what’s not, it’s never a shock when I see people just completely give up on maintaining a healthy diet.

Now I’m not a dietician nor a nutritionist, but I do my fair share of research and experimenting to at least have an idea of what our bodies need.

Recently as I was snacking on my mixed nuts at work as usual, a coworker came up to me asking if nuts are healthy being that they’re so fattening. I cringed. I was really surprised at that question. I figured someone who eats moderately healthy and avoids gluten would already have the answer. It made me wonder… How many other people are following diets or eliminating foods and really have no clear understanding as to why they are doing so?

For now, lets stay on the topic of fat. As Dr. Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, says, “People equate the idea of eating fat with being fat.” Why? Society, the media, pharmaceuticals, the list goes on. Do those of you who eat fat-free everything ever consider that MAYBE there’s something more to the story?

Lets start by differentiating the types of fat.

  • Monounsaturated/Polyunsaturated- usually plant and fish based (omega-3s).
    • Ex: olives, avocados, nuts, salmon, flax seed oil.
  • Saturated- usually animal based.
    • Ex: beef, chicken, pork, egg yolks, butter, margarine, coconut oil.
  • Trans- made from vegetable oils but can be found naturally in small amounts in meat or dairy product.
    • Ex: cake, cookies, crackers.

Obviously we can all agree that trans fats are the fats you may want to avoid. Although I could eat a whole sleeve of Oreos, I try not to…

We can also agree that experts tell us to eat plenty of unsaturated fats. BUT saturated fats? The fats that we’re told to avoid and will give us high cholesterol? They’re good for you! What the world isn’t telling you is that saturated fats help your lungs, heart, bones, liver and immune system function. Oh, and guess what. Our brains LOVE cholesterol! I’m not telling you to go eat a whole container of margarine, but adding some grass-fed butter to your whole egg omelette is more like it.

Calcium absorption into bones? Saturated fat.
Nourishment for heart muscles? Saturated fat.
Clearing out toxins in the liver? Saturated fat.
The ability of white blood cells in the immune system to attack germs? BUTTER!!!!

You get the idea. Fats allow us to absorb key vitamins such as A,D,E and K. Fats are a brain superfuel; It relies on them to thrive and prevent dysfunction.

Now tell me, do you really want to keep neglecting what your body is starving for?

Becca Lowlight/Highlight Palette Review

Hi beauties!

Recently I tested out Becca Cosmetic’s Lowlight/Highlight Perfecting Palette Pressed and let me tell you… It’s AAAHMAZING.

The lowlight is a perfect cool toned shade to sculpt the face, especially on fair skinned girls like myself. The powder is super pigmented but very easy to blend, because remember, a zebra stripe across the face isn’t cute 😀

The highlight shade is BEAUTIFUL! I’m already obsessed with Becca’s highlighters so I had no doubt in my mind that this one wouldn’t be just as beautiful as the rest.

This palette is $42, which may seem a little pricey but considering the pigmentation of the 2 shades inside, it’s totally worth it in my opinion.

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Simple Smokey Eye Tutorial

Hi beauties!

Ever get tired of the neutral, brown toned smokey eye? The supposed Kim Kardashian smokey eye? …Which existed way before she was even a thing, by the way.

Then on the other hand, are you someone who thinks a smokey eye HAS to be black. FYI, it doesn’t.

A smokey eye just describes the overall effect that the shadow is supposed to have. Smoke. But it could be any color your heart desires. So why not purple! Below, my process of creating a purple smokey eye is broken down so you can see just how simple it could be 🙂

Step 1:

  • Start by blending a transition color (a color not too far off, but just slightly darker from your natural skin tone) into the crease.

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Step 2:

  • Add a slightly darker color right over the transition color. Didn’t the transition color make blending the darker color way easier?!

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Step 3:

  • Add your main color to the lid and blend it into the crease.

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Step 4:

  • Add a highlight color onto the brow bone. This could be either a matte color (flat with no shimmer) or one with shine. Just as long as it is lighter than your skin tone to create the illusion that your brow bone is lifted and coming forward.

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Step 5:

  • Add the same lid color to the lower lash line and connect it to outer corner.

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KEY NOTES:

  • I wanted the eye shadow to be the star of the show here, so I didn’t add any top liner.
  • To create the appearance of thicker lashes, I smudged black shadow into the top and lower lash line.
  • I then smudged the same black shadow into my upper and lower waterline.
  • No fake lashes here, just a touch of mascara.
  • When you think you’ve blended enough, blend one more time.

Personal (and professional) opinion:

Sometimes less is more. Now I’m not bashing Instagram artists (except those that show how to contour your feet…get a life), but many make it seem as though you always need to pair a smokey eye with a huge winged liner & double layered strip lashes. I’m here to let you know It’s okay to take it a notch down and let just one part outshine everything else. You’ll thank me when you see how much time you save 😀

 

 

Spring 2016 Makeup Trends

Hi beauties!

Spring is in the air!… Except for the days it’s still cold out. BUT that doesn’t mean we can’t jump into spring makeup! The trends this season?

  • Red lips paired with a bare face.
  • Electric eyes
  • Glowey, bronzed skin

So, who freaked out when they saw red lips? Or “electric” eyes? Yeah, those can be scary words. There are definitely ways to tone those looks down if you still want to be trendy, but feel comfortable.

This was my take on a bold red lip & electric eyes.

  • Instead of a full on, red lip, try this coral-ey, peachy, errr… pinky lipstick. The beautiful Matte Sangria by Face Stockholm.
  • Rather than bright blue electric eyes, try a bright peach eye with a hint of yellow and gold. These colors are flattering on everyone! Shadows are by the wonderful Inglot.

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Remember! Try not to feel pressured with makeup. Have fun with it, experiment & find what’s perfect for you 🙂

How to Get Your Body Back on Track

How many of you have the travel bug? Once you realize that your home isn’t the only place in the world, staying put is no longer an option. Being born and raised in New York, it’s very easy to believe that the bubble of buildings is the only place on Earth. But there’s no better excitement than getting on a plane to a brand new place. The sites, the adventure, the people.

But , most importantly…the food. Am I right, or am I right?

I love food. All of it. I’ll try anything once. So eating healthy for me is a conscious decision every meal, every single day. When I recently went to San Diego you can best believe that I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I’m talking breakfast, then Doritos in the car on the way to whatever adventure, then usually some sort of Spanish food for lunch, icecream after…the list goes on. The result? 5 pounds that felt and looked like 20.

Maybe 5 pounds isn’t so bad. Maybe I was being overdramatic. But for those of you that are super strict with their fitness and diet routine, especially females, how many can relate that just a few pounds shows pretty easily?

I then remembered why I eat the way I do every day. Structured & nutritious.

How did I lose that weight in a week you ask?

  • Water! About 3 liters every day (a gallon is about 3.7 liters).
  • Cardio! Sled pushes, burpees, rope slams, Jiu Jitsu, stairs, tire flips. Errrrthing.
  • Weights! Pick things up and put them down!
  • Food! No I didn’t starve myself. I just simply ate what I normally do. Chicken, eggs, a crap ton of veggies, fruits (minimal amounts), protein powder, nuts, oils, cheese.

So basically just getting back into my normal routine.

It’s amazing how the body changes and adjusts. It goes through so much every day to keep you alive and healthy, so treat it right. It’s okay to veer off sometimes to enjoy life, but always find your way back.

All About that Glow

Hi beauties!

Now, more than ever (thank you instagram), EVERYONE is obsessed with glowing and everyone wants to “highlight to the gods.” Who the heck came up with that saying btw? What does that even mean! -___- Anyway…

I do love my skin to shine just as much as the next girl. Some days I go for a subtle, natural, fresh glow. Then there are the days I want my highlight to be seen from miles away, disco ball status.

Here are my current favs to get that dewy skin. What’s great is that you can taylor them all to fit your style 🙂

1. “Soft and Gentle.” Classic. Forever a favorite. If MAC ever discontinues it I’ll die.

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2. Giella “M Glam.” It’s a mineral loose powder that I use both on my face and my eyes. A little goes a long way…buutttt I still use a lot.

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3. Becca Cosmetics “Moonstone.” There’s the pressed powder and the liquid, which are both amazing. I tend to use both at the same time (you totally don’t have to go that far though).

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TIP! For an overall dewy finish, mix a tiny bit of your liquid highlighter in with your favorite foundation.

Voila!

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California Fit

Humans are creatures of habit. We find what we like, get comfortable and do the same things day to day. I eat the same meals every day (this isn’t for everyone, I know) & go to the gym to work on the body part designated for that day. But what happens when you get out of your element and go on VACATION?! Woooo! How can you possibly stay fit and keep that smoking bod that you work so hard for every single day?

There are two very important things to keep in mind.

First things first.

Get out of the mindset that physical activity HAS to be in the gym. The world is full of so many beautiful places & if you’re a fitness freak, unfortunately experiencing all the world has to offer may mean that you can’t drive to a gym 10 minutes away.

Second, but just as important.

Enjoy the time you’re spending being active. Take in the present moment that you’ve been given & suck all you can out of it.

So Last week I went to San Diego, California for the first time. Man, that’s a beautiful place. It really makes me dislike commuting to Manhattan everyday and running into crazies on the dirty subway. But anywho…

Here are some of the ways my boyfriend & I stayed active while devouring all the food San Diego had to offer us 😀

  • Our resort had a gym (if you’re lucky enough to have this, take advantage!) I will say that we had to get creative with our exercises since it was a small gym with limited equipment. But the swole sesh was a success so that’s all that matters right? RIGHT!
  • Peddle Boating. How awesome was it that I was able to eat my giant gluten & carb filled sandwich while exercising?!
  • Running on the beach. Doesn’t the beach just make you want to run? Even if you hate running like I do. Or, maybe it just makes you want to lay there like a beached whale… But, I bet California beaches will make you want to get moving! The sand will burn out your legs faster than you can think. This is also prime time to take in the moment.  Look around you. Feel the sun on your back and the waves hit your feet.   Give thanks for being able to move today.027
  • Kayaking! This was the first time I kayaked in the ocean and let me tell you, my arms were tired after rowing for 2 minutes. I guess all my bicep curls don’t really prepare me for much? We also may or may have not fallen out of the boat trying to get past a wave. Lifting yourself back in the boat? Yeah that’s a workout within itself.
  • Uhhh… who knew walking over 2 miles down the beaches would make my legs hurt? Apparently it does. Leg pump anyone?

Bottom line, get active people! There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy your vacation but still move that wonderful body of yours.

 

The Dreaded C Word…Cardio.

     Okay ladies, let’s be real here. How many of you head to gym and go straight to the same spot every time? The treadmill, the elliptical or the stairmaster. You set the timer for 45 minutes and count every.. single.. one of them. You do this 5 days a week and wonder why you don’t see any changes with your body. Trust me,  I’ve been there.

     Before I ever picked up a weight, I’d go upstairs to the elliptical section in my little corner and go for 60 minutes.YIKES. I thought I was doing this great workout, 6 days a week. Sometimes I’d throw in some abs or jump on the treadmill. But I was never sore the next day. My muscles never felt fatigued. Worst of all, my body never changed.

     My body didn’t start changing until I grabbed weights, but I’ll save that for a later date. For this post let’s just stick to cardio. Guys, there are SO many toys to use in the gym to get your heart pumpin! If your gym has it, try using the sled (shown below)! You don’t even have to add any weight. As a beginner you can just push the sled itself. I can guarantee that pushing the sled for 30 seconds will get you more

tired and fatigued than 5 minutes walking on the stairmaster will.

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      Maybe the sled sounds like a torture device to you. Then how about jumping onto a box? Or jumping lunges? Or jumping squats? Anything that requires you to jump, really. Do health issues prevent you from jumping? ….Battle ropes! Peep my handsome man beasting out on the ropes 😀

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     There are so many different ways to get your heart rate up and your lungs working other than staying stagnant on a cardio machine. Can those machines be great? Sure! There’s definitely days when I run sprints on the treadmill, or warm up my body on the stairmaster. But take it from someone who has dreaded the gym and wasted hours on a cardio machine getting zero results. Switching it up will make your workouts more fun, more rewarding and best of all, get you better results  :)!