27 January 2015

Cozy knits + faux leather

 Sweater - Loft // Leggings - Nordstrom // Mid-calf boots - Kohls (similar) // Infinity plaid scarf - hand sewn by yours truly // midi rings - BP. via Nordstrom // single bar ring - BP. via Nordstrom

I love that cozy knit sweaters are in right now.  They are so comfortable, warm and stylish.  I love that this one from Loft is a little longer, too.  It goes perfect with a pair of faux leather leggings, or really any pair of leggings.  With the cold temps and extreme temperatures, I prefer to be warm and comfortable, and this is the perfect outfit for curling up next to a fire.  As much as I cannot wait for spring, I have to say, I will truly miss these cozy cable knit sweaters of winter.

22 January 2015

Homemade Body Butter

This time of year dry skin is at it's worst!  It seems like no matter how much I moisturize, my skin is always super dry and itchy.  Well, I couple years back I found a solution to these winter dry-skin blues when I came across a recipe for homemade body butter.  I have been using this stuff for about 2 years now and I just made my third batch for myself and friends.

Because I know many of you are experiencing the same issue as me with these bitter cold temperatures, I thought I would post the recipe I have been using.  This body butter comes out so velvety smooth, and because it contains all natural ingredients, it is great for people with sensitive skin.  As another added bonus, it also contains shea butter, which is great for preggo friends because it helps prevent stretch marks.


1 1/4 cup shea butter
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup olive or almond oil
2-3 drops of essential oil (optional)

How to make this amazing stuff:
Melt down the shea butter (I used African shea butter which is a little more moisturizing and is more yellow in color) and coconut oil in a double broiler or fondue pot on low heat.  Both melt down pretty quickly, so it shouldn't take too long.  Let cool for about 30 minutes or so and add in your almond or olive oil along with your essential oil (if using).

Let it set in the refrigerator for about 2-2 1/2 hours.  When you poke the mixture, it should be a little soft still, but hardened at the same time.

 Put your mixture in a mixer and whip it using your whisk attachment to give it the nice, whipped texture.  I usually put the finished product into mason jars.

This stuff lasts forever because a little goes a long way.  It does tend to go on oily, but it sets in your skin pretty quickly.  I use mine almost every time I get out of the shower.  It is especially heavenly when your skin is still warm from the shower or bath! 

14 January 2015

Top Fashion Trends to Add to Your Spring Wardrobe

Okay, okay, I know it is so hard to even think about buying spring clothes when over half the country is experiencing ice storms and below freezing temps.  However, spring just hit stores, and I am loving all the trends that I have been seeing.  All I have to say is that groundhog better not see his shadow on February 2nd.  I cannot wait to start sporting the warm weather trends.

1. Modcloth plaid dress // 2. Ponte plaid print leggings via Nordstrom // 3. Lulus red plaid skirt

Don't worry ladies, plaid is not going anywhere for spring!  However, think plaid in more subtle, pastel tones and finer print.  The "picnic basket plaid" trend is everywhere for spring, and definitely a must-have.

Another trend I have been seeing a lot of in spring collections is metallic fabrics.  What's great about metallics is that you can wear them all year wrong and they are the perfect layering piece.

Another Fall trend that is sticking around for spring is fringe.  It is everywhere, and I am not complaining!  This texture goes well as an accessory, and I have even seen it implemented into clothing as well.

Still unsure of how I feel about this one, but colored suede has been everywhere!  The great thing about suede is that it is so versatile and can be used in clothing, shoes or accessories.

Saved the best for last!  Ballerina ruffles are so feminine and such a great texture for spring.   I think this may just be my favorite spring trend!

05 January 2015

Tips for sticking to a workout routine + GreenForce Labs' Pre-workout Review

Okay, it is time to get serious and get back to the gym, or if you are like many this time of year, start up a gym routine. The holidays are over - so no more excuses!  I know it is tough to develop a routine, but once you do it becomes second nature.  Exercise should be more of a lifestyle rather than a quick way to drop a few pounds.  I have been working out regularly for 9 years, but I also know how difficult it is to start back up after falling off the wagon for a few weeks.  Here are some of my tips for sticking to a routine and staying motivated to make it part of your lifestyle.

1. Pick a gym schedule and follow it! 

I noticed if I don't plan ahead the days I am going to go to the gym I tend to put it off.  At the beginning of the week, plan out what days you are going to go, that way you don't put it off towards the end of the week or make excuses for skipping sessions.

2. Switch it up 

I love trying new classes and new workout routines.  I get so bored doing the same thing all the time, so I love to switch up my workouts.  One day I will run outside, the next I will do yoga or spin class. Plus switching up your workouts will help avoid hitting a plateau with your workouts, therefore burning more calories and remaining efficient.

3. Grab a buddy 

I love working out with friends.  They help me to push myself and will hold me accountable if I try to skip.  Trust me - you will be far less likely to skip if you know you are meeting your bestie there. 

4. Reward yourself 

If I make it throughout the whole week without skipping a gym session, I'll buy myself a little reward such as a new bracelet I have been eying up.  You will begin to look forward to these rewards.

5. Take a pre-workout supplement

Let's face it, you aren't always going to "feel" like working out.  For those days that you really could use an extra boost, take a pre-workout like GreenForce Labs' NO2 Pre-workout (which I review below).  I have been taking GreenForce Labs' NO2 Pre-workout for a couple weeks now as an added boost to some of my workouts. 

6. Buy cute workout clothes

I am always excited to do something when I have some cute new clothes to wear.  There are some really adorable choices out there now, plus just another excuse to go shopping!

7. Make a playlist

Working out to some of your favorite tunes can help you to feel more energized and push you through some of those long cardio sessions. 

8. Download a fitness app

I love using apps like Sworkit and Runkeeper to track my progress.  Both apps allow you to workout without using a gym or expensive equipment.  Sworkit builds you randomized circuit training workouts that you can do anywhere.  Runkeeper is great because you can build out a running plan and it will remind you when you need to complete your next run to stay on track.

GreenForce Labs' NO2 Pre-Workout Review

I was given the opportunity to try out a new pre-workout supplement from GreenForce Labs.  I was excited about this opportunity because staying fit is one of my passions, and I always love trying new products to help me reach my goals and stay on track.  I have taken several other pre-workout supplements in the past, and this was the perfect time to try something new.

When I received this little bottle in the mail, I was so excited to start my next workout.  I took 4 of the pills before a Saturday afternoon workout that consisted of some cardio and strength training.  I loved that this product did not contain creatine (which a lot of pre-workouts do).  Creatine promotes water retention and helps bring in more energy to your muscles.  It is often used by body builders to help build muscle mass, but this is not my goal.  I prefer to tone my muscles rather than make them larger.

I also liked that it had a little bit of caffeine (about as much as a cup of coffee), which was just enough to boost my energy, but not make me jittery.  It also contains L-arginine which increases vascular flow which helps boost Oxygen flow, thus giving you that "awake" and "energetic" feeling.  I definitely felt this throughout my workout, and the pre-workout also helped me to keep up my stamina. The only con I would say is that I really didn't feel the effects until I started working out.  Maybe this is because I already have a pretty high tolerance to caffeine, so I did not feel much of the caffeine effects.

Overall I  really liked this product, and I will continue to use it for the days I need an extra boost.  I wouldn't recommend it for every workout because you can begin to build a tolerance to the product, but I would recommend it as an additive to your long-term workout routine.

*Although this was a sponsored post powered by BrandBacker, all opinions of this product are my own.  I only endorse products that I personally use and that suite my lifestyle.