Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Gifts!


Hope you guys all had a wonderful Christmas! Now it's time to enjoy the gifts, and get back to routines, especially eating right because I am almost positive I gained 5 pounds just from cookies.  This year I received so many gifts that I will be using for the long run, I love them so much, a big thanks to everyone! 


My Husband turned 21 not to long ago and has become quite the beer connoisseur. So for his Christmas gift this year I bought him a small collection of gifts to represent that. All of these gifts were purchased at World Market (you can really find a lot here) except for the mini candle. 

Of course he totally one-upped me with a surprise diamond ring and opal/diamond bracelet. It made me cry, and I don't cry over just anything. These gifts are really special to me because we didn't have the budget originally for rings when we got married, we kept it simple and decided we had the rest of our lives to save for the expensive things. Ring Check mark symbol
Beer Bible, Napkins, Boot mug, Tabasco Chocolate: from World Market
Black Tie Candle: from Bath and Body Works
Opal Bracelet from: Jared 



Thanks to everyone who we received gifts from this year! 
-XOXO 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Eve


It's Christmas Eve, the day for last minute shopping and gift wrapping, and it is the first time I have finished everything before Christmas day. *claps for self*  I also made my own gift wrap this year with a little help and inspiration from the World Market. I have always wanted to create my own gift wrap. To my surprise, It was fairly easy and super fun! Plus, all of my family loved it! I will probably make a tutorial soon, if anyone wants one please let me know in the comments, but for now, eat until you can't move, love lots, and enjoy the Holidays Everyone!  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!






It's snowing like crazy outside and these plaid pajamas by Ralph Lauren are making me want to stay inside forever, and cozy up with a cup of coffee and a book.   I really began to appreciate Utah winters after living in South Carolina for a couple of years where it pretty much never snows. These snow storms are the kind of thing that makes me feel like a kid again.


Top 10 Reasons why I Love Christmas 

1. Spending time with family

2. Traditions

3. The Snow

4. The Gift of Giving

5. Remembering what Christ gave to me

6. Baking Cookies- my favorites are candy cane and sugar cookies

7. Jammies- specifically super soft, warm ones. This year TjMaxx has really cute pj sets. *Tip- buy one size bigger with your pjs for maximum comfort.

8. Lights, Lights, and more Lights

9. More cold = More blankets!

10. Seasonal coffee creamers- my favorite this year is the gingerbread creamer

Friday, December 11, 2015

Holiday Favorites!


Christmas is just around the corner, and I have finally bought my gifts and set up my apartment for the holidays! To be honest, I'm usually kind of the "scrooge" of my family. I dislike Christmas music until at least December, and I think most Christmas movies are extremely cheesy.  But this year something changed, maybe it's the fact that I have my own place, or that I'm married this time around. Either way I'm getting in the Christmas spirit and I'm here to tell you about my favorite Items for the season!

The Marshmallow Fireside Candle- First let me start off by saying, I am REALLY picky when it comes to smells. Every time I go candle shopping I am drawn to the more musky, manly scents or the food-like smells such as: Vanilla, Pumpkin, Caramel. My Husband hates the food smells though, so this makes candle shopping a bit difficult. This candle from Bath and Body Works is my all time favorite for the holidays. It's the perfect combination of sweet and musky, and fills the entire house with the smell of campfire, and makes me want to cozy up with a good book. Plus, my husband loves it too! shop here ---> Marshmallow fireside

Fresh Flowers- This year I was debating the purchase of a Christmas tree. I love the scent of fresh Christmas Trees, but here in Utah they can be difficult to take care of due to our dry winters, making them a fire hazard. Also, they are constantly shedding pine needles, and with the help of Zindy, my cat, the pine needles would be EVERYWHERE!!!!  To make this worse I don't have a vacuum yet. So instead of a tree, my husband surprised me with fresh holiday flowers and a miniature pine tree, filling our house with that Christmas tree smell, without the hassle!
 World Market Red Velvet Coffee- When it comes to flavored coffees, teas, and creamers I am obsessed! World Market has these adorable coffee stocking stuffers so you can try a taste of each kind!  If you don't have a World Market near you, you can purchase them here---> world market 
coffee sampler


Candy Cane Bliss soap- Another Bath and Body works fave, this foaming soap will leave your hands smelling just like a candy cane! Plus, it looks adorable! shop here ---> candy cane bliss

Stratford Home pillow- so this yellow pillow with white deer on it makes the perfect accent to my Christmas decor style. Its so simple I can use it year round, and It adds the right amount of color to my grayish,brown couch. Unfortunately, I don't know where you can buy this pillow because I found It at a thrift store, but you can shop similar pillows at society6.com where you can support talented artists who create each design by hand!


Let me know some of your favorites for the Holidays in the comments below!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

15 Products I Use On a Daily Basis

Ever since the time I hit puberty at age eleven I was cursed with oily, acne prone skin and lifeless, limp hair due to the oil production. I got used to using so many different products to try to combat the acne: benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, you know... all the good stuff they advertise in almost every "acne" scrub out there. But only recently after 6 months of roaccutane to reverse the production of oils did I find myself with clear skin and normal hair. It was a taste of heaven. But that lasted shortly and the acne found its way back, luckily a bit less harsh this time around.

The best thing I have done for my skin since, is quit using so many different products and simplify! 
Here are the products I have started using:

  1. Cetaphil Facial Cleanser- This cleanser gets the job done without drying out my sensitive skin and breaking me out more. I typically use this after wiping down my face with coconut oil as a makeup remover... which brings me to number 2. *Tip: he Kroger brand works the same and saves you money!
  2. Coconut Oil- the moisturizer, makeup remover, teeth whitener, and who knows what else. This product just recently made gossip amongst beauty everywhere, and it should have been known a LONG time ago. 
  3. Raw Honey- This is probably the only thing that gets completely rid of the bacteria from my acne externally. It surprised me the first time I slathered this goop all over my face, thinking it would be a sticky mess, but it was fairly clean and easy to rinse off. I use a local Utah honey to wash my face with at least 2-3 times per week after the Cetaphil.
  4. Pond's Moisturizer- My grandmother, who is 93 years old, has used this stuff since she was 16. She swore by Pond's products, and when my skin was super dry from actuate it was the only thing that worked to sooth the dry cracked skin. This has been my go-to moisturizer. *tip: because this product comes in a jar, use only clean fingers or a cotton ball to apply or you will put bacteria into your product.
  5. Vaseline- Another classic. I use this for chapped lips, an eyelash conditioner, a cuticle cream, etc.  *again, because this comes in a jar, use an applicator for best results.
  6. Charcoal Face mask- I don't know if this really works that well, but I like the fact that it is charcoal. I used to used a dead sea mud mask, but the charcoal did the same thing and is a lot cheaper, you can even buy it at your local dollar store!
  7. Dove sensitive skin body wash- I don't always have time to put lotion on all over my body after I shower, so I needed something that would cleanse, without drying my skin. Dove has always done the trick for me and it's light and fresh smell doesn't mask my perfume.
  8. Earth to skin Heel-Tastic- This product works miracles for dry cracked heels, it's easy to apply, and it smells amazing! Thanks mom for introducing me!
  9. Baby Powder-  Every time I see a dry shampoo ad, I laugh because I have used baby powder as a dry shampoo since age 11. It works the same way, and is cheaper. Most people have baby powder in their bathroom anyway so it is just a lot more convenient.
  10. The Wet Brush- I was introduced to this product recently by a youtube vlogger, and I am so glad I bought it. This brush can be used right out of the shower with wet hair or dry, and removes tangles so easily while giving you an awesome head massage. *PLUS, the little bristle ends don't fall off like most brushes I have used. 
  11. Suave Professionals Rosemary Mint Shampoo & Conditioner- This stuff works great and won't  break the bank. It also smells amazing! If you want a cheaper version of the famous Pureology Shampoo this is definitely it. You can buy this at your local grocery and or drugstore.
  12. Apple Cider Vinegar- another magical product you can find right out of your kitchen is apple cider vinegar. This can be used internally and externally for health benefits such as: an astringent/ ph balance for skin, a rinse for healthy, shiny hair, a medicine for the common cold, and an anti fungal topical! Its a legitimate cure-all.
  13. Mario Badescu drying lotion- Out of all the quicker-zit-removers out there this one works the best for me. Its comes in a small package, but lasts a hell of a long time so it's worth the price you pay. Its made with an alcohol, camphor, and calamine and works amazingly to zap a whitehead. I wouldn't use it on an under-the-skin pimple however, because those ones need to come to a head first before the lotion works. This is the only Mario Badescu product I have used so far. So if you have used any others that work for you let me know in the comments section below
  14. De L'orangerie perfume- This perfume goes on with a fresh grassy/ orange blossom smell and reacts with my skin in a sweet sexy way. * tip: perfume reacts differently for everyone so this may not be the scent for you.
  15. Vick's Vapor Rub- I have a health issue that stunts my breathing ability, so this has been a life saver since I was a little girl. Vick's can be used for many different things such as: under your nose for a stuffed nose or sinus infection, on your chest for a cough, and behind and along the outside of your ears for an earache.
****Let me know in the comments how these products have worked for you if you have used them before, and if there are any more I should be using that you just cannot live without!!!****

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Healthy Habit #1

My husband works an office job from about 8am to 6pm, in other words, as the sun comes up he is in an office building and he gets off of work right around the time the sun goes down.  This leaves him without any sunlight 5 to 6 days out of the week.  Today I was able to take a scenic walk with him for some exercise and sunshine. After doing so, we both felt like we had more energy and a better mood for the rest of the day, so from now on I'm going to try and make this a #HealthyHabit for both of us to benefit from!

 So often we are told to avoid sun exposure; lather on sunscreen, and put on shades. We forget that originally we not only were made with skin that adapts to sun exposure, but we also needed it as a natural source of Vitamin D.  Now we can take vitamins, but it is difficult to self dose, and very easy to get outside for at least 10-15 minutes of sun per day.  You can also up your intake of these 8 foods:

  • Salmon
  • Orange Juice(fortified)
  • Cereal (fortified)
  • Milk (fortified) 
  • Eggs 
  • Shrimp
  • Sardines
  • Yogurt (fortified) I like greek best!
For more information on the importance of Vitamin D, check out this article by Alisa Bowman

So take a walk with a friend or loved one in a scenic area this weekend and enjoy some sun, who knows, you might make a few friends along the way!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

K.FLAY and 3 other artists to listen to in 2016


In the past few years the music scene has really picked up, and not the usual radio-pop you hear played countless times, but rather the independent artists who take the time to actually FEEL their music. 

I first discovered K.Flay during a Vans Warped Tour and was amazed by the unique approach she had to her vocals, and production. Racing back home to hear more, Flaherty quickly became one of my all time favorite musicians of 2014/15, and it just got BETTER! I saw her live two more times after that, once at a small garage venue located in Salt Lake City called Kilby Court, and the second time at the live105 BFD 2015 concert in the Bay area.  Her energy was equally impressive at both Kilby, and Live105, and I regretted missing her concert tonight at The Complex, hence the need to write about her.

To learn more about K.flay check out this article by metroactive.com and her website at www.http://kflay.com

A few other artists you should listen to in 2016:

  • Meg Myers- Chill-worthy pop/rock/who-knows-what-else style. This chic can send out major uncensored emotional vibes
  • Kishi Bashi- Again this artist falls under a very genre-less music style. It's a mix of classical, synth pop that will blow your mind.
  • Brandi Carlile- A Bluesy/Country artist who knows how to belt and has very unique vocals
MORE ARTISTS SOON!!

Workouts in the Morning

Working out is always in the morning is the best feeling. You start your day with an "I-can-do-this" attitude and gain the energy and confidence needed to have a great day, but for some people, myself included, working out in the morning can be tough. especially when it leaves you feeling nauseous, and out of breath.

Today I pushed myself to get out of bed to workout even just a little bit, and during my HIIT workout I got a little piece of advice to help with the constant struggle of working out in the morning.

Karena and Katrina from Toneitup.com do amazing workouts that I have been following for over two years now. They have a weekly schedule that includes different workouts daily, and they always add fun tid-bits to your week such as: recipes, advice, holiday workouts, etc. These ladies are definitely my favorite in the workout realm.

Here is some of the advice Karena and Katrina gave me that helped with my morning workouts:

  1. Eat a small breakfast before working out. just an apple or a banana can help fuel your body after 8 hours of fasting while you sleep. If you don't eat anything it can leave you without energy to complete your workout. If you eat too much, you will feel nauseous due to your body's inability to digest your food during the workout. Instead, wait until after your workout to have a large protein filled recovery breakfast.
  2. Drink water- it's easy to reach for the coffee straight out of bed. DON'T. drink a tall glass of water first, then the coffee. I like to drink a cup of coffee and eat before my workout. 
  3. Breath- inhale and exhale all throughout your workout. For me this has been the most difficult. when I workout I tend to concentrate on the muscles working so much I forget to breath resulting in a major headache and fatigue. BREATH LADIES!
  4. Make a routine- life is just easier with routines, especially workout ones.
Go check out Toneitup.com for more advice and fun workouts! Happy Wednesday!



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Clean That Coffee Maker!


Nothing is worse than taking a sip of much needed coffee in the morning only to find that it tastes awful and stale. This can be one of two things, you either have bought a bad bunch of coffee, or you simply need to clean that filthy coffee maker.

In order to do this you need:


  • White vinegar
  • water
  • coffee filter (or built in filter)
fill the coffee maker up with equal parts vinegar and water, then brew once more with plain water to rinse the vinegar from the coffee maker. You may have to do this more than once, but it will clean all of the yucky hard water buildup inside the coffee maker.



Illustration by Amileekaearts