Barbies Got A Brand New Bod

It only took 56 years but Barbie has finally made a body image change.  Not only is this a huge step in the toy world but it also resonates with young girls and their confidence.  For years Barbie has had an unrealistic and disproportionate body when compared to real life women.  Her body measurements are extreme and if Barbie wasn’t just a doll she would have to walk on all fours, definitely not what we want young girls wishing they looked like. The body shaming that our world portrays is so unfortunate.  It is inspiring that there are so many campaigns and celebrities out now to show girls that they need to love themselves how they are.  Every body is unique and beautiful in its own way.

I was always small framed and thin due to my genetics so I never had to worry about gaining weight. Even though many people told me how lucky and blessed I was, I never thought that was the case.  Our world shows that tall and thin is what every girl should look like but it isn’t all sunshine and daisies.  I always had a hard time finding cute clothes to fit me like all the other girls I went to school with. (thank goodness I went private schools and wore a uniform so I didn’t have to worry about this much) I didn’t experience bullying until I was in high school when people thought that I was anorexic which I definitely wasn’t.  I played sports and ate pizza but I would still get made fun of for being skinny.  I didn’t start to appreciate my genetics until I was in college and became more comfortable in my own skin.  I decided that I shouldn’t care if my chest didn’t fill out my bikini tops as much as the other women. I was happy with my body and if felt great!! Now that I’m out of college and have turned 25 my metabolism has started to slow and I have had to be more conscious about what I eat and add daily exercise into my routine.  At first, I hated this new transition but now have welcomed it because it has helped me adopt a healthier lifestyle.

So thank you to everyone out there fighting for what God has given them and showing the world that it is okay to be more than a size 2.  Thank you to the companies that have accepted every woman for their size and expanded their fashion lines to adapt to our world today.  The time is now to stop body-shaming and we can thank Barbie for being a part of the movement.

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New Year, New Favorites!

I love trying new products and since I still receive my Birchbox every month I get to do just that! This year I want to focus more on products that require low maintenance so you spend less time getting ready for the world and more time out there enjoying it! Another focus is moisturizing, I know that during the winter my skin gets SO DRY that it’s almost unbearable! So check out some of my new favorites!

Ouidad Climate Control Ultimate Frizz Fighting Trio – $44

I have naturally curly hair and in the winter I feel like I need all the help I can get to keep it moistuouidad-climate-control-ultimate-frizz-fighting-trio-350x350rized so it doesn’t turn into a big frizzy mess! This system has saved my life (and my beauty sleep)! Obviously, I use the shampoo and conditioner in the shower but a trick I learned a couple years ago when using conditioner. Only massage in from the top of you neck down.  Don’t go all the way to the root with it or else it will cause more grease as the day goes on. I also use a microfiber towel, flip my head over and scrunch my curls upwards towards the roots to dry and then I apply the heat and humidity gel. This system has made it possible for me to hop out of the shower and be on my way without having to deal with using defusers on my hair dryer which causes my hair to frizz more! But I also have one more secret weapon to complete this process…

macadamia_nourishingmoisture_oil_treatment_4.2oz_900x900Macadamia Professional Nourishing Moisture Oil Treatment – $40

Obviously, this product says it all in the name, moisture.  I run this through my hair after the heat and humidity gel to lock in the moisture and keep my curls from frizzing out! I usually use my hairdryer on a low heat setting to dry my bangs a little and then take my flatiron through them on a low heat setting again.  To add a little volume I will pull my bangs back with a small clip on top of my head while I drive to work.  By the time I arrive my hair is halfway dry so I unclip my bangs and am ready to go! Don’t be too scared of the price, a little bit goes a long way so it lasts a long time.  I have been using the travel size of this for 2 months now!

Living Proof “Perfect Hair Day” Dry Shampoo – $22livingproof_phddryshampoo_900x900

I swear by dry shampoo mainly because some mornings I just do not want to get out my cozy bed to shower before work and this is by far the best one I have tried.  It not only helps soak up the oil, sweat, and odor in your hair but it actually CLEANS IT as the day goes on.  It also smells absolutely amazing!! I cherish this product and search for when it is on sale since I think $22 is a little steep for a dry shampoo especially with how much I use it!

Karuna Hydrating Sheet Mask – $8

If you follow fashion blogs or read any magazine ever then you have probably heard about the new fad that is sheet masks.  I had heard about them for a few months now but it wasn’t until I was perusing around Ulta (one of my favorite hobbies) that I stumbled upon these sheets of gold! One of the workers there recommended I try the hydrating one but they have many different versions of this mask for all skin types! (age defying, clarifying, exfoliating, brightening, etc) I immedhydrating_single__10567.1420561348.1280.1280iately went home, washed my face and put this mask on, it was interesting to say the least. Be sure to line it up best with your eyes since I put one side a little low and the mask was a little close to my eye causing it to be a tiny bit irritated. I left it on for 10 minutes and when I took it off I could tell that my skin was silky soft and hydrated!!

*Tip – These masks aren’t cheap so when you remove the mask from the foil packaging, take a plastic bag and pour the rest of the solution into it.  When you are done with your mask treatment peel it off, fold it back up, and put it into the plastic bag.  Keep in the fridge for up to one week and it is good for one more use! (be sure that you applied it to freshly washed, clean skin)

I hope you try out some of my favorite products and enjoy them as much as I do! Let me know if you have any of your own favorite products that I should try.

HelloFresh!

I’m back! And I have a very exciting new subscription box that I recently started getting, HelloFresh! I love to cook but I hate finding the recipes and then going to the store to buy all the ingredients, especially when you don’t need an entire bottle of rice vinegar! So I have a solution, HelloFresh is a weekly food box that shows up at your door/apartment/work once a week.  They create the recipes, pack the ingredients based on measurements needed, and ship free! (I apologize for all the explanation points but I love this sub!) They have a few different subscription options, right now I have the the classic meal box that comes with 3 recipes complete with recipe cards for $70/week which comes out to $20/meal.  Each recipe is portioned out for 2 people, but if you are household of 1, like me, they make great leftovers! The price may seem steep but I advise you to take a look at how much you spend eating out at restaurants or how many times a month you go to the grocery store, this subscription helps take the hassle out of eating healthy portioned meals by planning the recipe and going to the store for you.

Something else I love about HelloFresh is right in the name, the ingredients are FRESH! I know that I am getting a nutritious dinner when every ingredient looks like it was just picked out of my own garden (if I had a garden, one day maybe). I also love that you have the option to pause a week, you can look at the recipes for the upcoming weeks and if something doesn’t fit your fancy then you simply pause and won’t get charged. If you decide you want to try that weeks recipes within the timeframe (midnight on the Wednesday before the next week) you can unpause the week! The other meal options are family or veggie and you can change from 3 to 4 to 5 meals for 2 people or 3 meals for 4 people. Obviously, the pricing changes based on the number of people and meals. Also, they have an app where you can get the recipes for every meal they have so

Now on to the fun part where I get to tell you what I thought about the 4 meals I have tried!

chicken Chicken Milanese with Crispy Potatoes, Mixed Greens, and Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing

I chose to make this dish first since I figured I couldn’t mess up chicken! Well I was wrong…I still haven’t mastered cooking chicken on the stovetop without burning it (thank goodness there were 2 chicken breasts!) My favorite part of this meal were the potatoes that were cooked in the oven with just a little olive oil, salt and pepper. They went perfect with the non-burnt chicken breast. The mixed greens were like eating grass but the lemon dressing definitely made them more appetizing.

 

shrimpGarlic-Butter Shrimp with Tomato, Brown Rice, and Caramelized Veggie Skewers 

This was my favorite meal so far that I have already made it again! I have never cooked shrimp before and I was a little nervous to try it but the recipe cards make cooking these meals so easy! The tomato/garlic/vegetable sauce was perfect with the shrimp and helped make the brown rice not so dry. I have also never skewered anything (lol) so making these veggie skewers was another first for me (remember to soak the skewers before cooking or they will catch on fire!!!). I have never tried shallots before nor have I ever heard of them but they were surprising delicious with the red and green bell peppers!

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Tuscan Sausage Linguine with Zucchini, Chilies, and Parmesan

I LOVE PASTA so of course I had to try this dish. I brought it back to my parents house so they could try this sub out and I don’t think they were disappointed (and I proved that spending this money was well worth it!) One thing I have noticed is that they really like tomato sauces since they have been in 3 of the 4 meals I have made but I’m not complaining, it is very delicious and healthy since it is homemade! The sausage was a great addition to this dish and I only added a pinch or 2 of the chili flakes since I don’t like spicy food.

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Pescado Veracruz with Olive Ragout, Burst Tomatoes, and Basmati Rice

Another first for me, cooking Cod.  But since it was in the oven it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I decided to leave the olives out since I am not the biggest fan of them alone so I figured I wouldn’t want them in my dinner. The tomato/onion/vegetable sauce was absolutely amazing with the fish and rice! I did add a little butter to the rice to give it some more flavor since there wasn’t a ton of sauce. (I just really like carbs)

If you want to give HelloFresh a try then use my code and get $40 off your first box!! And you can cancel anytime with no penalties!

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Enjoy and have fun trying new dishes!!

Are Coolers the New Cool Thing?

Yeti Coolers, ever heard of them? I hadn’t until a few years ago when the fratty and sratiness began splurging on them, everyones just wanting to be southern.  Don’t get me wrong, I love oversize Comfort Colors shirts and Chacos as much as the next sorority girl but I don’t get this new obsession with buying a $350 cooler! Apparently, they keep ice for 2 weeks AND they’re Grizzly Bear proof. I don’t know of any sorority girl who would need a cooler that kept ice for that long nor one that would ever be in the same vicinity of a Grizzly Bear, unless you go to college in Alaska which has two sororities (I can’t even imagine how often Greek Rank changes up there)

I follow the The Cooler Connection page on Facebook and have seen lots of girls posting pictures of their new seafoam green or baby blue Yetis that their boyfriends bought them.  Really? Your boyfriend bought you a cooler that’s as much as a designer purse which you will probably use 17 times.  I have to admit the monogram stickers that they put on them are quite adorable but I still don’t get this new fad because honestly, I’d rather have the purse; which I can also carry beer in although not recommended.

I’m one of those guilty ladies who spent hours/days/weeks painting coolers for fraternity men and thoroughly enjoyed it.  There’s just something about sanding the crap out of a plastic box and spraying white primer on it to get some college stress out.  Classes are optional and studying is hopefully not something you need to do in those weeks while you paint your masterpiece. It’s quite humorous to read on the Facebook page when girls post about painting a Yeti for their boyfriend.  Just to summarize “Don’t paint a Yeti, you will void the warranty, and die”. Apparently, lots of ladies don’t care and should bypass the drama and sand the damn thing. (I have seen many painted Yetis and they look pretty bomb so you go Glenn Cocos!)

I never thought that a colored Yeti cooler would complete the sorority girl uniform. Guess I won’t be accepted into this cooler club, not like I would be invited since I’m 25 and not in college anymore but I will still continue to rock my leggings and oversized fraternity shirts while I still can. Which should be for a while since I still get carded for R-rated movies, 25 going on 18.

No Tan Lines by Kate Angell

Shaye Cates runs Barefoot William with her family in beautiful Florida. A small town full of fun shopNoTanLines-210s that attract tourists from all over. But they aren’t the only tourist spot on this beach.  Saunders Shores which is now run by Trace Saunders, Shayes least favorite person on the planet. The Saunders and the Cates have had an ongoing family feud that started back 3 generations. She has gone through years of avoiding his tall, muscular stature and coconut tanning oiled skin, until now.  Putting together a volleyball tournament to bring in extra revenue sounds like a great way to end the summer until she has to ask for permission from Trace to rent some of his beach.

Will these two be able to run a successful volleyball tournament without drama or will the undying spark they’ve been fighting for years get the best of them?

I recently got Kindle Unlimited which allows you to “rent” up to 10 books at a time for $9.99 a month.  There’s thousands of titles and am I glad that I didn’t purchase this book.  It is the beginning of a series that I thought would be a great summer series to read by the pool but it wasn’t that at all! I found the sexual romance they tried to bring to it very poorly written.  It was an easy read so it’s a good book for a quick trip but I won’t be reading anymore of the series. There were a few twists in the book that I wasn’t expecting which is always a good thing in a romance novel. That may get me to pick up the others so I can find out what happened next. We will see and so will you if you see the second book on my blog later on!

Blogged While Watching Infomercials

Growing up is tough, I know I wrote a post about this a few months ago but it’s still true! I’ve recently run in to a work-slump and have been needing motivation to continue my upbeat personality and effectiveness at my job.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and company and the people I work with but it can be hard knowing that 5 days a week you wake up destined for an eight-hour day filled with emails, calendar invites, expense reports, travel booking, and coffee breaks.  It’s exhausting and sometimes I wonder if I should be doing something else. Is this the job for me or is there something else out there that I could use my skills at?  These questions have really been stressing me out recently to the point where it has made me sick.  But then I think about putting it all into perspective and how blessed I am to have such a great job with amazing managers and coworkers.  Sometimes you just need to look at your life from the outside to help you realize what you have.  I guess it also doesn’t hurt that I have a great support system of a boyfriend who does his best to calm me down when I have these panic attacks :).

I recently moved out of my parents house and into my own apartment away from the ‘burbs and closer to the city.  I absolutely love where I live!! I am closer to a lot more of my friends who have gotten their own places and we get together at least once during the week to do fun adult things! There’s always cool events happening in the city like beer and wine samples at the zoo or concerts and picnics at the Botanical Gardens. Our weekends still involve going to the bars downtown but our daytime weekend activities also consist of running errands since I am too tired to deal with traffic after work.  BUT with moving out came so many more responsibilities like BILLS! The past 10 months having a big girl job and living with my parents meant I saved a good portion of my check every week and then went on shopping sprees with the rest.  I now have to budget while putting money in my savings and having money to pay all my bills! I know it probably sounds like I am whining (which I am) but I am also really glad that I made this life-changing decision because it has forced me to grow up and learn how to manage my money better.  My advice to any young professionals who have a stable career and have been thinking about moving out on your own I say DO IT! It’s scary at first but it ends up being such an amazing life lesson that everyone needs to experience!

Summer Steals

It’s summertime and that means sunshine, pool time, day-drinking, and working everyday! Yep, being in the real world sucks in the summer. No summer vacation!!! I never thought I would be so sad to graduate from school until I realized a couple weeks ago that I haven’t had a break in forever! How depressing but I think that’s enough of my negativity, time to get to the good stuff, my new summer favorites!! My Birchbox has broadened my beauty supplies and has opened my eyes to new brands and products.

Living Proof No Frizz Shampoo & Conditioner

I have naturally curly/wavy hair and sometimes it can be really annoying when I get out of the shower and do my DevaCurl regimen but still end up with frizzy curls! Some mornings I wake up and don’t have time to shower and straighten myliving proof hair so I decided to try this duo and its AWESOME.  I can just shower and head out the door knowing that my curls are in place due to the anti-humidity shield that these products have. Not only are they miracles in my life but they smell amazing!! I can’t imagine having a shampooing system that doesn’t smell good! These are a little pricey but when it comes down to it they aren’t near as expensive as many of the other salon-worthy products.

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray

What’s great hair without a shine spray? This amazing find that came in my Birchbox last month is my new obsession.  I don’t even care how expensive it is or that reviewers have calledoribe-apres-beach-spray it an overpriced hair perfume, It’s AMAZING.  I use my DevaCurl gel after scrunching the water out of my hair with my DevaCurl microfiber towel. Then I wait for my hair to dry by itself for a little while and spritz this all over.  It smells sooo good and keeps my curls bouncy and shiny! There are other types of this spray from this brand including a dry texturizing spray and anti-humidity spray.  I will have to try the travel sizes of these to see if I find another one that I love!

Ambre Blends Organic Oils

I have a weakness for amazing scents and perfumes! I found these gems from meeting a co-worker, after I shook her hand this amazing oil must’ve transferred to me because I kept smelling it the rest of the day and fell in love.  Of course, because I’m all about new products, I asked her what her perfume was and she sent me the link for Ambre Blends! This is an independent, women owned business out of Indianapolis, IN. They focus their energy on aambrell organic, simplistic, biodegradable packaging to complement these oils. The oils come in 4 different scents and are packaged in many different ways so you can use them for everything, even deodorant! Once activated by the body’s warmth, our essences produce a unique, long lasting, individual fragrance that exquisitely compliments one’s own natural chemistry. Ambre Blends essences will smell slightly different on everyone due to the unique body chemistry we all possess.

Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer

Life getsvaseline-spray-go-moisturizer crazy and sometimes you just don’t have the time to pump or squeeze your lotion on your skin, which is VERY important in the summertime, well here’s a great new find that I have been using the past few months! Not only is it super simple and quick to use but it is FABULOUS for traveling, as long as you check your bags.  The nozzle has a turn-to-close feature so it won’t get all over your suitcase! Personally, I love the aloe scent and I feel like it helps soothe after a sunburn.

I highly recommend giving these amazing products and oils a try because, this may be a little dramatic, but they have changed my life!!