January Favorites | I’m Back!

Hollllllyyyyyyyyyyy molly, it’s been a while since I’ve made a post on here! Things got super busy after Thanksgiving with school, finals week and the prep for Christmas! I wanted to take some time off to focus on school, family, and not worry about documenting every event for a little bit. Anywho, I hope everyone had an amazing Holiday and got to spend some good quality time with those who mean the most! Now that I’m in the swing of Spring semester and my work load isn’t crazy, I plan on updating my blog as often as I was before because I honestly missed it! So, as my returning post – my favorite kind of post, my monthly favorites! Disclaimer: Christmas was at the end of December and my birthday is at the very beginning of January, so a lot of these favorites were gifts!

My go to everyday makeup: Tatcha Luminous Dewey Skin Mist, Morphe M439 brush, Dior Capture Totale Serum foundation, dr. brant pores no more primer 

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These 4 are my staples right now for my oddly dry (not complaining) winter skin. I’m normally very oily so I probably won’t touch the foundation or mist in the summer, but for now I love how they make my skin look.

I’ve always had issues with my pores and I’ve tried everything from Benefits POREfessional, the MUFE pore primer and the smash box primer and none of them really made that big of a difference. I heard about this primer through a YouTuber I follow and she said it was the best she’s ever tried. I would 100% agree. It mattifies, but is formulated to adapt to dry skin – which is perfect for a year round primer, it blurs my pores almost completely and creates a barrier so the makeup won’t clog your pores. It’s also formulated to treat pores, but I haven’t noticed a huge difference in the size – but for anyone who struggles with pores – you need this in your life.

So the Tatcha spray made it’s debut when people found out that Kim Kardashian uses it to get that beautiful glow her skin has & let me tell you – you DEFINITELY glow with this stuff. I spray this on my face over my pores no more primer so I don’t look so flat once my makeup goes on & my face almost looks wet for about 5 minutes, but once it sets you just look very healthy a glowy. This product is pricey for a skin mist, but worth it in my eyes!

The Dior CT foundation is probably the best natural looking foundation I’ve ever tried. This is a sample size that came in a Capture Totale skincare kit I got and I’ve noticed I don’t break out if I wear it for multiple days in a row. I’ve applied this with my beauty blender, but I find the Morphe M439 brush gives it the best look if I spray my brush with a little of MAC Fix+ before I blend it all in. It has anti aging ingredients, SPF 15, optical correctors, and HD liquid crystal pigments that reflect light and make your skin look very healthy, plump and, you guessed it, GLOWY. If you’re dry skinned & have issues with pores – I would recommend this combination!

Sony Alpha a5100 Mirrorless Camera

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I got this camera for my birthday based on reviews and recommendations I received and I really do love it. I’m by no means skilled in photography and if I can get a picture that’s focused and not blurry – I’m satisfied. But what I love most about this camera is that it has a screen that flips up so you can take selfies and see what you’re doing with amazing quality, the pictures and video are amazing, and it’s quite light! If you’re in the market for a new camera for a vacation, or just want a new camera to document certain things – I really love this one!

Vanity Girl Broadway Lighted Table Top Vanity Mirror

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I was SO surprised when I got this for Christmas because I had looked at them before, but they’re a biiiiiiiiit pricey for a mirror. I’m absolutely in love with it because I not only have my small mirror that I can see close up what I’m doing, but now I can sit back and see it from further away with MUCH better lighting! I also love that it has 2 outlets on the bottom right hand corner so I can now do my hair sitting down, in my room instead of curling my hair standing for 45 minutes in the bathroom. It was the perfect touch to my vanity and I absolutely love it! If you’re thinking about investing in one – I say go for it (:

Fitmark Athletic Tote

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So a few months ago I posted about my Nike gym bag I had gotten and was in love with. Yeah.. that was until I discovered Fitmark Bags. This thing hold everything I need and the kitchen sink. It has 8 different pockets on the inside, a water bottle holder, a bag to put your sweaty clothes in, an adjustable strap, the back part snaps away for another extra half to the bag, and a pocket in the front with a clasp to put your keys on. I will never go back to any other bag because for me at least, this has so much more than any bag I’ve seen. The quality of the bag is really good and I’ve had it since around the end of October, I go to the gym 6 or 7 days a week and it’s still holding up and looks brand new. If you find yourself never having enough room for your stuff – look at Fitmark’s website! They also have meal management gym bags, duffle bags, backpacks, and custom bags!

Lululemon Scuba III hoodie

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I saw this jacket at Lululemon and fell in love with the color, and it has rose gold hardware….. uhhh hello, perfect. I’ve tried to find it online or in stores and I can’t seem to find it anymore in this color/hardware. I love Lululemon and I think everything I’ve ever bought there has been amazing. Some people can’t see spending that type of money, but I workout a lot, so I can justify spending 100$ on leggings because I want to get a bunch of uses out of them and not have them rip after a few wears (*cough* Victoria’s Secret*…). Now, with that said, I bought the Scuba II hoodie and I absolutely hated it. It was SO thick I felt like a marshmallow and I couldn’t move comfortably in it. I returned it and never bought another hoodie again. Well, I had heard they were re-designing them and so I figured I’d give it a shot & I’m glad I did because they did an amazing job. It’s so incredibly soft, I can move freely, it keeps me warm, and it doesn’t bunch up under my armpits like the Scuba II. I loved this hoodie so much I got 3 other colors :O Needless to say, I think everyone should at least try one on in stores and feel the difference – I promise you’ll fall in love!

Yogi Blueberry Slim Life Green Tea

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This tea is lyyyyyyyyfe. Simple as that. I don’t even know if it really works for weight loss, but I am a HUGE blueberry fan. I love anything and everything with blueberries in it, I also have a serious obsession with green tea – so when I saw this at my grocery store I KNEW I had to get it. It’s so delicious and I’m not going to be able to describe the taste online, but it has a subtle sweetness to it from the blueberry, but also the bite from the green tea. It’s perfect and gives me a good energy boost in the morning!

Christian Louboutin Velvet Matte Lip Colour – Zoulou

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This was a Christmas present that I was not at all expecting. These bad boys are pricey as hell for a lipstick, but after trying it – I can see why. First of all, the packaging… could it be more beautiful? I didn’t expect anything less when I heard he was coming out with lipsticks, but I also expected the formula to be shit. This is probably the best matte lipstick I’ve ever used. It’s so incredibly hydrating and creamy and does not dry my lips out at all. It lasts for a good amount of time as well which I was surprised about because normally matte lipsticks don’t last on me at all – but I only had to reapply after I had got done eating which was about 3 hours after I put it on. Do I think you need to go run out and buy one right now? No, $90 is insane for a lipstick – but if you can swallow the price tag, I 100% say go for it because the quality is amazing and that packaging is to die for!

5 Drawer Acrylic Organizer

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This organizer saved my life. Again, another gift I was not expecting but I’m so glad my mom found it because it saved a TON of room on my vanity. Kim Kardashian (again.. I promise I don’t love her) made this organizer popular in an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians & everyone flipped out. I believe hers was around $400 ?! My mom found this on Joyus and it was a fraction of the price. I had at least 5 or 6 different organizers that I was able to condense down into just this one which cleared up enough room for my mirror and I was able to keep my vanity looking somewhat organized. If you’re a makeup junkie hoarder – this is a great item to add to your collection!

Burberry Finsbridge Belted Quilted Jacket

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Last but certainly not least, my birthday gift. This was easily one of, if not, my favorite gift. Investing in a good quality jacket I think is something everyone needs to do, especially if you live in the frigid Arctic North that is Ohio like I do! I tried on a grey pea coat type jacket, but the woman helping us at Nordstrom showed me this and I fell in love. It’s long, but hits me right above the knee which I feel the is perfect length. It has a detachable hood, a belt, zipper and buttons, and it is sooo warm. I’m absolutely obsessed with it and is definitely a staple in my wardrobe!

 

Welp, that’s it for my January favorites & I’m very happy to finally be back to blogging! Let me know what some of your favorites were for the month of January, what you did for the holidays, or just say hey (: I hope you enjoyed & as always, thanks for reading!

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Fitness Update!

This month has been rough, I’m not gonna lie. I’ve been running A LOT & it’s been very hot or very rainy where I live which has made this training even harder. I find myself watching the weather more than normal and planning time frames to get a run in. It’s been hard, my knees hurt, my hips hurt, my ankles are getting weak – but the other day before I started my longest run I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself a little bit. I had lost the drive and excitement I had when I first signed up for this half marathon and my attitude about running was becoming more negative every day. I realized at that moment how absolutely blessed I am to even be able to run 8 miles. My dad always says “You don’t have to, you get to” & I’m starting to realize what that really means as I get older. I used to dread going to soccer practices when I was younger, but I’m looking back now wishing I could play one more High School season or one more Club season. I didn’t have to go, I was fortunate and lucky enough to be able to go. I had worked my butt off to be on Varsity as a Freshman & a very good Club team. I was fortunate enough my parents gave me the best training & extra help to be in the situation I was in. I now know I need to keep that mindset towards everything I do, not only fitness but school, work, everything.

I know there’s a lot of people out there who would love to be able to run 8 miles in one period of time but for one reason or another, be it physical or mental, they can’t do that. I knew when I signed up for this half I was going to be tested, not only physically but mentally as well. Your mental attitude is half the battle.

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

Breaking past the wall of “I can’t go anymore” is a huge step in the right direction if you want to be successful in anything. You are capable of so much more than your mind tells you you are & you really have to learn to tell that voice to shut up because that voice isn’t telling you that you can go that extra mile, it’s telling you your legs are burning and it would be much easier if you quit. Breaking past that point is the moment where you can find what you are truly about to do.

I had a 6 mile run as a long run a few weeks back and I made the mistake of waiting until about 12:30 in the afternoon, dumbass, and try to run my longest distance yet in about 92 degree weather with the humidity at almost 100% in full sun…. not my smartest idea yet. Needless to say, I only finished about 2.5 of those 6 miles. I felt really shitty that day, I felt like I let myself fail because I could’ve woken up earlier or waited until later that day to run. The next week rolls around and my long run increased by 2 miles to a huge 8 mile run… Up until that point I had only ran 5 miles & thinking, holy shit, that’s 3 extra miles, was running in my mind. So that night I was determined not to let myself fail again. I set my alarm for 7 am, got up, ate my breakfast, waited an hour & I hit the road. The 8 miles actually seemed relatively easy & despite the fact that I fell and busted both my knees and rolled my ankle at mile 5 (I know..), I got right back up and kept running. It would’ve been easy to quit & I’m sure there’s people who would’ve understood if I would have stopped and went home (especially the people who kept staring at the blood running down my leg 0_0), but I wasn’t going to quit & I wasn’t in any unbearable pain – so I continued and finished every single one of those 8 miles, bloody, swollen and all.

The next day I had a 5k to run & I had an ankle that was the side of a small orange, one knee with an incredibly swollen bursa sac & another knee that had a strawberry on it that kept oozing blood and pus (sorry for the visual). Again, I was determined to finish & finish well. It was just another test for me to overcome in my eyes & I did by placing 2nd in my age group and setting a new PR for my 5k time.

Basically this month was a huge wake up call for me. I’ve tested limits I’ve never been to before, but now I know what I’m capable of & I have learned to trust my body when my mind is screaming STOP. Moral of this post is, don’t give up. Never think just because you haven’t been over a hurdle before that you can’t jump it now. Don’t be afraid to try and fail. Learn from that failure & do better the next time. Never listen to that person in your mind telling you that you’re tired & it’d be easier if you stopped because that voice will always keep you mediocre & life isn’t about being mediocre – you’ve gotta push your limits and test your mind to be great.

As always, thanks for reading & good luck to everyone on a fitness journey (:

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I’ve got some news..

So this happened over the weekend, but I wanted to wait to make the announcement at the start of the week cause sometimes Monday’s need a little excitement.

I’m officially an affiliate of Shields of Strength !!!

I’ve been so excited to tell this news & if you’re not familiar with this company I’ll give you a little bit of insight!

The first Shield of Strength was made in 1997 as a simple reminder. The idea came from a few scriptures Kenny’s wife Tammie had written on his equipment while he was chasing a dream of winning a National Championship. Tammie made that decision after seeing he was scared to death waiting for his turn to compete at the US Nationals. Kenny appreciated her encouragement but had no idea the power that was in God’s word. It’s a much longer story (told in his book “Shields of Strength”) but after those scriptures got off his equipment and into his heart and he then learned to act on God’s word he was changed forever. So much so that he wanted a daily reminder of God’s word in his life but would have looked kind of funny carrying around his athletic equipment so he engraved them on a dog tag and wore them under his shirt. In time he found someone that needed that reminder as much as he did so he gave it away and made another one. That was the beginning of Shields of Strength. He never set out or even dreamed they would one day reach our military and millions of others in need of the power found in God’s word. Kenny says “making Shields of Strength has been the most humbling experience of my life.”

Somewhere around 1998 they were placed in the first store and did well enough to spread to others. By September 11, 2001 they had spread to enough stores that a few soldiers had found them. Colonel David Dodd took the first 500 into combat with his soldiers and word spread through the military but nothing could have prepared Kenny for the response after Capt. Russell Rippetoe was killed in action wearing a Shield of Strength in 2003. President Bush honored Capt. Rippetoe in his Memorial Day speech and read the scripture from Russell’s shield to the Nation. After that the Associated Press called, then Fox News, CBN, and so on. Since then, Shields of Strength have made more than three million shields all with the prayer they would serve as an effective reminder of God’s word. They have donated hundreds of thousands to our military and other ministries.

Now all these years later, Shields of Strength have become one of the most worn emblems by the US Military. So many US troops were wearing them in combat that Commanders of the British Royal Army called requesting as many as 8000 at a time for soldiers in their command. Churches use them as outreach tools, hospitals for encouragement, athletes for courage, and thousands of others for their personal trials this life always finds a way to bring. Kenny says “my favorite thing to do is to take one off my neck and give it to a stranger.” For years Shields of Strength were all dog tags but after repeated requests we have now rolled out a ladies line. All of the Shields of Strength ladies jewelry will have a scripture on the back. We call it Jewelry With Power and pray you connect with the power more than the jewelry. One thing we know for sure is that if that scripture gets off that jewelry and into someone’s heart they will be changed forever. That is our mission.

I think the story behind this company is absolutely amazing and the reasons they make their products is a great reminder to always keep God in your workouts. With His power and love, you’ll achieve anything you set your mind to. I truly cannot begin to explain how incredibly blessed I am to be able to work with this company and help spread their amazing message. Many huge athletes wear their products such as Ronnie Coleman, RG3, and in the 2014 NFL Super Bowl, players from both teams were wearing Shields of Strength products. These are just to name a few among the countless number of athletes, big and small, who wear these reminders everyday.

They have SO many different products from necklaces to athletic tape to lifting belts & earrings – there’s something for everyone. They have both products for men and women with about 5 different chain lengths, 4 different finishes and just about every sport or fitness activity you could think of. I recently ordered the Tiffany Blue stainless steel weight plate & I am in love with it. The quality of this necklace is beyond what I imagined and I would put money down that it could withstand any workout I put it through.

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Wearing this through my workouts will definitely give me an extra push because I know the pain I’m enduring with my workouts is minimal compared to what He went through for our sins. To have love for so many people like that is indescribable.

If you’re considering getting one of these or any of their products I 100% back up their products and message. Visit http://www.shieldsofstrength.com/#_a_Kettlebellbeauty & when you create an account you’ll get a 10% off coupon for your first order !

Again, I am so blessed to work with this company and I can’t even believe it. Thanks for everyone’s support & as always, thanks for reading (:

What’s in my Gym Bag ?!

Just a quick post on some of the things I always have in my gym bag ! Enjoy (:

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I always keep extra shoes with me because if I want to go run I can! I usually wear my Reebok Nanos to the gym for lifting & Crossfit – so keeping comfortable running shoes with me is a must!

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Lifting straps – I don’t really use these a whole lot because they can essentially make you stronger than you actually are, but they’re good to have for assistance with dumbbell rows!

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My fitbook has quickly become my favorite tool for in & out of the gym! I can write my PR’s down, what exercises I did & also all my meals w/ calories and times! I find it really keeps me on track with my diet, which is huge because that’s the hardest part for me. This is one of my most important tools & I also just love notebooks & stationary things – so this is perfect! It also has a section for water and macros which I like a lot – plus research has shown that writing down what you eat can help you cut anywhere from 500-1000 calories in a day!

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I don’t always chew gum because sometime it makes me suck too much air in & then I get bloated – but this gum is really good & helps curb my sweet tooth – so I always keep it with me !

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Protein bars! I usually always have food with me anywhere I go. If I’m hungry after a workout and my protein shake wasn’t enough, I’ll eat one of these. I really like these because they’re not only really good, but they’re pretty good for you as well!

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I use these on days where going to the gym feels like a job. These are a good alternative to pre-workout because they’re sugar-free and there’s nothing really bad in them like some pre workouts. They don’t taste the best, I’m not gonna lie, but when you don’t have all kinds of additives, what do you expect? LOL – just chug it & plug your nose !

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Wrist wraps saved my life with some of the olympic lifts. I have a bad wrist & these really help stabilize and take the pressure off of them. These are 100% a must for me!

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Aminos! I think these aminos by scivation are the best I’ve tried. They taste great and I really do feel like they help with my next day soreness. I also think they help me power through my workouts when I’m feeling sluggish. I sip these throughout the day & my workout!

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Protein is always a huge part in working out because it helps build muscle faster than if you didn’t take any at all. This Cellucor protein isn’t my favorite, but it’s what I’m working with for right now. The flavor is Peanut Butter Marshmallow and I’m not gonna lie, it takes everything I have to get it down :X Nonetheless, protein in general is very very important for recovery & growth no matter what the brand!

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My favorite headphones. I hate wires, so these are perfect & they sound fantastic! Plus, what’s a workout without music?

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My Garmin Forerunner 15! I only use this for my runs, but it’s my favorite running watch to date! I’ve tried a few and I just love all the features of this one, plus it’s not too big and bulky!

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Random, but I always have chapstick because my lips get dry when I run or sweat too much – so this is a must!

& of course I ALWAYS have tons of water with me because it’s so incredibly important to stay hydrated while you workout. I also always have face wipes with me to get the sweat & dirt off but I used my last wipe yesterday and threw the container away 😦 I always use the Say Yes to Cucumber wipes that you can get for pretty cheap at Target!

Let me know what you keep in your bag!

Thanks for reading (: