My Top Skincare Picks

This is something that I have been getting a lot of requests for, so here you have it! My go-to skincare products! (Click each brand name to be taken to their website where you can see a full list of products!)

  1. Murad. I use the Murad T-Zone Pore Refining Serum religiously. I use it every night after washing my face. Sometimes I'll put some on in the morning before my Murad Essential-C Day Moisture (SPF 30) sunblock (which I also use religiously) and my makeup. I use the Murad Clarifying Mask once a week. I also received this sample of the Murad Essential-C Radiance Peel which I have been loving! I have been using that once a week as well. 
  2. Yes To Cucumbers. I use the Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel whenever my under-eye circles are extra noticeable. This serum feels so cool and refreshing and really helps to brighten up the skin around my eyes!
  3. St. Ives. I use the St. Ives Apricot Scrub every day. Exfoliating daily is not for every skin type. In fact, some people say that you just shouldn't do it so often. Period. But, what can I say. It works for me. It leaves my skin glowy and removes dead skin cells and makeup that might build up and cause break outs!
  4. Frank. I've raved about Frank before and I'll do it again. This coffee scrub is amazing. It can be used on your entire body, including your face (which I'll do instead of the St. Ives Apricot Scrub every so often). It leaves your body feeling silky smooth AND it supposedly helps to eliminate cellulite and other imperfections. Love.
  5. Kora Organics. I first tried Kora Organics products earlier this year when I received some of their products, and I am HOOKED. I put a few drops of the Luxurious Rosehip Oil on my face every night after the Murad T-Zone Pore Refining Serum and before the Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream. I use a few drops of the Luxurious Rosehip Body Oil in my baths, and the Balancing Rose Mist is a staple for me throughout the day when my skin and makeup need a refreshing spritz. 
  6. Burt's Bees. I slather on the Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream With Clary Sage every night right before bed. I layer it on thick all over my face and neck. I wake up with dewy, soft, hydrated skin. 
  7. Coconut Oil. I use coconut oil as a makeup remover. Sometimes, I will slather it all over my clean face and leave it on for a few minutes before wiping it off with a clean towel. This helps to hydrate my skin and give it a nice glow. 

Yoga With Dad

My yoga practice is a young one. I have been practicing at home, in the comfort of my living room for several years, off and on. In fact, I had begun to think of myself as quite good - quite the yogi. When my dad first invited me to go to an in-studio yoga class with him, my first response was, “Yes, of course!” How fun and how practical. That is what yogis do. We go to yoga classes. We are taught by real live instructors and practice with other students in calm, relaxing, and beautiful setting. 

But as my dad started suggesting days for us to go to a class, I became gripped by a deep sense of fear and apprehension. I began to second guess my in-home practice. What if my form was entirely off? What if I was unable to keep up with the class? What if the teacher thought that I looked ridiculous? Worst of all, what if my dad thought that I looked ridiculous?

My dad has been practicing yoga for years, along with meditation. At sixty-one years old, he is an inspiration. He practices daily, and he has always encouraged me to pursue yoga and to try out meditating. A highly successful man in every area of his life, he is a walking endorsement for yoga and meditation and what it can do for your mind, body, and sense of wellness. He is the reason I began practicing yoga in the first place, timidly googling  “yoga for beginners” videos and awkwardly trying to master the poses on a towel in front of my computer. 

After years of never practicing in front of anyone, the thought of going to a class with my dad and finally practicing together was both exciting and terrifying. When I eventually got up the courage to commit to a class with my dad, I was met with many surprises. First of all, yoga in a studio is completely different than yoga in my living room. It is more fun, more lively, and there is an energy and unity amongst the sweaty bodies in the room that is so lovely that I can not even begin to describe it. Second of all, I have learned many methods for improving poses that I thought I had mastered long ago. I’ve also learned that I have a LOT of room for improvement. But that is the beauty of yoga - constantly growing, learning, and becoming better and stronger with each practice. The main thing that I learned about going to yoga with my dad is that he is an incredible, strong person. I was so blown away by his practice, his form, and his strength, and I learned so much from watching him out of the corner of my eye as I struggled through the motions in that first class we went to. 

Now, my dad and I go to yoga together regularly. I have grown so much in my practice through attending in-studio classes, and from watching my dad. He is an inspiration, and a fun person to do yoga with. I am so blessed to be able to do such a wonderful thing with him as my role model. I’ve never been so proud to be a daddy’s girl.

Here's How To Feel Comfortable In A Bikini

Bikini season is right. Around. The corner. It is so close you can taste it. Summer days full of sunshine, warm breezes, salty hair, sandy toes, and bikinis...all of this is quickly approaching.

I would venture to guess that every girl feels at least a small pang of panic when thinking about donning a bikini for the first time after a long winter. The quest for the perfect "bikini body" and the best slimming and toning secrets begins. So much stress and anxiety goes into trying to ease our fear of wearing a bikini and baring so much for the world to see. 

Well, I am not here to talk about a new workout, diet, or treatment that will get you that "perfect" bikini body. Rather, I am here to tell you that the very BEST way to feel comfortable in a bikini is to learn to LOVE yourself and your body, and to embrace your inner confidence! You - yes, YOU, are perfect just the way you are. If you want to wear a bikini, then you should, and you should wear it with confidence. Because, you see, there is no "bikini body". There are just bodies. Many, beautiful, unique, different bodies. 

Luckily, society is starting to catch on to the fact that every woman is built differently, and every body is beautiful. So, I'm here to say that if you want to spend a fun day in the sunshine, swimming and playing and lying on the beach, all while rocking a bikini - or ANY type of bathing suit for that matter - then DO it! And do it with confidence! You deserve to let loose and feel comfortable.

Here are a few quick tips on how to feel your very most comfortable in a bikini:

1. Do not compare yourself to others. Each of us is different. We each have different body types, different skin tones, different shapes, different curves... Different everything. And that's beautiful. You just focus on being the BEST you, and on being confident about who you are and what your body looks like. You are gorgeous and worthy of fun, carefree beach days! It's SO easy to make comparisons. But trust me. Comparison is the surest and fastest way to dissatisfaction and discontent. Avoid it.

2. Remember that you are your own worst critic. You notice flaws on your own body more than anyone else does. Don't be so hard on yourself! There are SO many amazing things about you that you can focus on instead! When you focus on what you love about yourself and about your body, your inner confidence will shine through. Which brings me to number 3...

3. Head high, shoulders back! Rock that bathing suit with confidence! Confidence is the most beautiful thing. Smile, be kind, and be confident in the fact that you are strong, beautiful, and totally worthy of wearing that suit and of having a fun day in the sun! 

4. Ignore the meanies. If for some reason someone makes a mean comment on Instagram about your bikini picture that you posted, or someone gives you a rude look at the beach, make a conscious decision to shake it off and let it go. Realize that people put other people down because they feel badly about themselves. Don't let other peoples' opinions have a negative impact on you. If you feel good in that little bikini, then rock it unapologetically with confidence! And have FUN!

5. Build others up. One thing I have learned is that the more I build other women up and compliment them and treat them with kindness, the better and more confident I feel about myself! AND, the nicer they are to me! You get what you put out, and if you dish out genuine kindness, love, and encouragement, you will receive the same back. Nothing feels nicer than a heart-felt compliment.

Wearing a swim suit is about feeling comfortable and about being able to enjoy a sunny day, splashing in a lake, river, pool, or the ocean! It's not about a competition, or about striving for "perfection", or about working towards some ideal body type. So embrace yourself and your body! Don't be afraid of swimsuit season! Put on that bikini and dive right in and have the time of your life! 


Review: COOLA Organic Suncare

Stop your search. I have found THE sunscreen brand for us outdoor lovers! Whether you are frolicking in the waves or summiting a peak, COOLA Organic Suncare products will keep your skin protected. 

COOLA products go on smooth and they leave your skin feeling soft, with no greasy residue. AND COOLA believes in the importance of caring as much about what you put ON your body as you do about what you put IN your body. That's why their products use natural and organic ingredients that you can feel good about putting on your skin. 

There is such a wide range of products available from COOLA ranging from lip products, to sprays that set your makeup while offering sun protection, to classic but beautifully scented lotion sunscreens, to light face sunscreens that work well under makeup... They even have a sunscreen spray for your dog

My Recommendation: Get yourself some COOLA! What are you waiting for? 

Here are some of my favorite COOLA products:

       

 

 

 

Tips For Clear, Healthy Skin

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Here are just a few tips I've picked up for maintaining clear, healthy, glowing skin!

1. Eat clean. A diet full of whole, unprocessed foods will do wonders for your skin by eliminating chemicals and other nasty things. Nourishing your body with fruits, veggies, and clean, whole foods will leave your skin glowing in no time!

2. Sweat it out. Exercise will not only make you healthier overall, but it will leave your skin looking better too! Try kick-starting your day with a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) work out, followed by a veggie, fruit, and protein packed smoothie, and people will be clamoring to know your secret for that beautiful glow!

3. Treat Yo Self. If you can, treat your skin to a relaxing and rejuvenating facial. Not only is it important to pamper yourself from time to time, but facials are so good for the health of your skin. They help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and blemishes. 

4. Drink up! This is something of a no brainer in this day and age, but, in case you need a friendly reminder, DRINK MORE WATER. Try to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water every day, as a general rule of thumb. For example, if you weigh 150lbs, try to drink 75oz of water each day. Staying hydrated is the BEST way to keep your skin clear and beautiful, and to get that coveted dewey glow!

5. What goes on goes in. Your skin is an organ...did you know that? It's a big organ. And it absorbs whatever you put on it. That means that every lotion that you apply, every bit of makeup, every facial cleanser or mask... everything gets absorbed into your body through your skin. Including all of the chemicals in them. These chemicals can lead to allergic reactions, breakouts, dryness, etc... So, a good thing to try is to use natural skin products whenever possible, and be sure to remove all makeup before you go to bed at night to give your skin time to breathe and regenerate itself. I will post some of my favorite skin care products soon, so keep checking back!

What are some of YOUR favorite tips to get beautiful skin? Share in the comments below!

Tips To Eat Healthier

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Eating healthy is so important for a number of reasons, most of which you have probably heard many times before. Healthy, clean, natural, unprocessed foods keep your body working in tip-top shape, helping you to stay at your physical and mental best. I don't have to tell you how important this is for an active person. Fueling your body and your mind with healthy foods will help you to push farther, and stay strong through your workout, hike, or just your daily life in general.

But eating healthy can be a challenging undertaking. Processed foods are so readily available, and it can be so much easier to pop a microwaveable meal in then to prepare a healthy, clean meal from scratch. Cooking takes time. Plus it can be hard to know what to make!

I have learned a few little tips that make it a bit easier to stay on track and keep away from the tempting ease and tastiness of processed foods. Hopefully they will be of some help to you as well!

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  • PLAN AHEAD. This is, in my opinion, the most important tip. Plan ahead before you go grocery shopping so that you know exactly what ingredients and food items you need. Make a list, and stick to it! Going into a grocery store without a plan is a dangerous thing. Plan out the meals you want to make, and get ingredients that you need for those meals. Make a list of healthy snacks to keep on hand in case you get a craving or burst of hunger throughout your day. Plan out your meals for the week. Plan, plan, plan. And stick to it!
  • PREPARE. I have found it to be very helpful to prepare food and snacks ahead of time to have handy throughout the week. For example, I always keep a big Tupperware full of washed red lettuce leaves and sliced red onions. That way, if I'm hungry, I can grab a handful of this mixture out of the Tupperware, add a bit of home-made salad dressing, and voila! A healthy, easy, fast snack! You can also prepare meat, such as ground beef or turkey and have it ready in your fridge to mix up with some grilled veggies. Easy, fast, and tasty. Just like processed food...BUT HEALTHY!
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    • KEEP SNACKS HANDY. If you are like me at all, then you need to always have access to food. I graze throughout the day and am pretty much constantly hungry. It is important for me to carry snacks with me wherever I go, or else I get fatigued, cranky, and sick feeling. I have found that carrying a few healthy snack bars - such as Larabars, Kind bars, and Caveman bars - is the easiest way to ensure that healthy food is always at the ready. This ties into the PLAN AHEAD tip - think ahead about what your day holds for you, and then plan your snack-packing accordingly. If you'll be out for a long time, pack a lunch, like this healthy Turkey Pita Sandwich.
    • DRINK WATER. You may or may not already know it, but often times when you feel like you are hungry, you are actually thirsty. Confusing, I know. But it's just another great motivation to always have a bottle of water with you and drink drink drink. Hydration is so important to make sure that your body functions the way that it should. Being hydrated ensures that your skin will be glowy and you will have more energy for all of your adventures!

    Ways to Show Your Special Someone That You Love Them

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    It's so important to let your significant other know how special they are to you. A romantic relationship is a precious thing, and love from another human being shouldn't be taken for granted. This July my husband and I will have been together for eight years, married for seven. While we don't necessarily have the experience of a couple who has been together for, say,  fifty years, I think we have this marriage thing down. And we excel at showing each other how much the other person is loved and appreciated. Sometimes, just letting your significant other know that they are on your mind can go a long long way. Here are a few ideas of ways to show your special someone that you love and appreciate them!

     

    • Verbalize your appreciation. Sometimes life gets so busy and we get caught up in things, and we don't realize just how much our significant other does for us. Especially if you are married or live together, it can be easy to take the things that your love does each day for granted. Remember to look your loved one in the eyes and genuinely tell them how much you appreciate what he or she does for you, your home, your family. Be specific - mention a few things in particular that you love and appreciate about him or her.  Having someone appreciate you and the little things that you do is a great feeling.
    • Do something that he/she has wanted to do. If you're special someone has mentioned something that he or she wants to try, or an activity that he or she loves to do, plan a time to try it with them! Make a day or a weekend of it, and try that new thing that they've been wanting to try, or participate in that hobby that they are passionate about. Sharing the experience together will make for great memories, and trying something that means a lot to your love will mean so much to them.
    • Quality time. Make time for your significant other. Take time out from your busy life to spend talking with and listening to him or her. Set aside that book you're engulfed in, put down your phone or laptop, get up early to be together for a few minutes before work... take time to just be with your loved one and give him or her all of your attention.
    • Take his/her side. Have your significant other's back. Supporting your loved one's wishes and helping to back him or her up on an issue that is important to him/her will make your loved one feel respected. Knowing that you have his/her back will mean the world to your special someone and it will make them appreciate you. You and your significant other are a team, first and foremost. Always choose him/her and always have each other's backs. 

    Wild Eats: Turkey Pita Sandwich

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    Want to try something new to shake up your regular sandwich rotation? Try this HEALTHY and delicious Turkey Pita Sandwich!

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    Ingredients:

    1/2 of a piece of Pita bread

    1-2 pieces of Sliced Turkey breast

    1/2 of an avocado

    Hummus

    Red leaf lettuce

    Red onions

    Here's what you do:

    Carefully peel open the half piece of pita bread so that it becomes a pocket.

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    Then, gently spread hummus onto one of the interior sides of the pocket. Lay the pieces of turkey on top of the hummus, inside of the Pita pocket, followed by a few leaves of red leaf lettuce and some slices of red onions. Tip: I always keep a big Tupperware full of pre-made salad mix [red leaf lettuce and sliced red onions] in my fridge. That way it's always read when I'm feeling hungry. It's healthy, quick, and handy!

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    Gently place pieces of the avocado on top of the other ingredients, inside the pocket.

    That's it! Easy, right? Enjoy!

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    Wild Eats: Healthy Shamrock Smoothie

    In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, here is a tasty, HEALTHY,  dose of green goodness for you to whip up!

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    Ingredients:

    1 banana

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    2/3cup Strawberry Greek Yogurt

    2/3cup Vanilla Almond Milk

    1 bowl full of spinach

    A few drops of mint extract

    A couple leaves of fresh mint

    A handful of ice cubes

    Here's what you do:

    Mix all ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy. Garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy!

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    Once you've made this, leave me a comment below and let me know how it turned out!

     

     

     

     

    That Certain Something About the Outdoors

    10299021_418506954987644_6912518615711009384_n There's just something about being outside, I mean really outside, away from crowds and man-made things,  that is hard to pin point. It's best described as something that eases the mind, awakens the soul, and refreshes the body. In other words, it does a lot of good in a lot of ways. Maybe it's the fresh, crisp air, or the untrampled, somewhat unexplored ground beneath one's feet. Maybe it's the views that are unlike anything ever made by man. Maybe it's the sounds, or lack thereof, or the wildlife that is just as curious about you as you are of it. Maybe it's the smells - the pine needles, the wild flowers, the sweet grasses, the dry dirt... Maybe it's the sense of solitude, or self-sufficiency or a necessity for survival - some primitive instinct that begins to emerge when one is far from civilization.

    Whatever it is, it's something that I like and something that I genuinely believe is a good something. It's not always realistic to get outside - really outside - all that often. With our fast paced, packed schedules and obligations it can be a challenge to get out into nature even one weekend a month.

    So I've set out to try to pinpoint some ways in which we can try to capture that something and infuse it into our daily lives. A feeble attempt to bring a little of that certain something about the outdoors home to tie us over and stimulate the senses until our next grand adventure when life allows us a chunk of time in which to get lost in nature.

    Here goes:

    1. Sight: The outdoors are full of beautiful, pure, natural sights and breathtaking views.

    Try this! Decorate your home with landscape pictures, natural colors, and accents that bring aspects of the outside in. Check out Trekking Photography's work.

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    2. Sound: The sound of the wind rustling through the grass and rustling through the trees. The sound of birds chirping and a stream gurgling...the sound of silence.

    Try this! Leave your windows open and let the fresh air and the breeze in. Find a nice Pandora station that plays nature sounds.

    3. Smell: In the outdoors your nose is met with natural scents of wild foliage and places untouched by man. They are pure and simple and interesting.

    Try this! Bring the scent of the great outdoors inside with Juniper Ridge Wilderness Perfume. Cabin Spray: $40

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    4. Mind and Soul: Outside, you can unplug and slow things down. There's no rush and there's too much to do, see, smell, and hear to even think about updating your Twitter. It's just you, your thoughts, and your senses.

    Try this! Unplug for a bit. Stow away your electronics for a night or a weekend. Take time to just think and to be aware of your surroundings and engage your senses. Take some of the time that you would normally spend on your phone or computer and instead try meditating. Or do something to care for yourself, such as a nice relaxing bath or a yoga class or reading a book you've been meaning to get to. Capture some of that slow-paced, quiet, reflection that being outside gives you.

    When I'm outside I feel relaxed, happy, curious, and in awe. I think those are good things to feel. So my goal is to try to mimic what I feel when I'm outside in my daily life, even when I'm stuck inside.

    11070515_10205339766405452_3832441715362798048_nLet me know what you do to bring that something about the outdoors into YOUR daily life in the comments!

    Working Out to Get Out: Fitness Tips for the Outdoor Enthusiast

    1010204_10202919102850376_2540645513967938799_n Spring is right around the corner, can you feel it? Depending on where you are in the country right now, you can probably feel it a bit more than others. Well here in sunny Northern California it feels like Spring is really starting to blossom. With the coming of Spring, I find the motivation to kick my workouts into high gear in anticipation of little dresses, short shorts, and, more importantly, backpacking in the mountains.

    The countdown to warm weather and outdoor activities is on. The mountain roads and trails are opening up in just a few short weeks. Now is the time to commit to getting in your best shape so that you can fully enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer. Because if you hit the trail after a winter of hanging out on your couch without training first, you will be in for a less than stellar surprise.

    10359155_10205203339274859_8055588343266801736_nHere are some tips to help you get in shape for your quickly approaching outdoor adventures:

    1.  Give your stairs some lovin'.  If you have stairs in your house, use them to your own benefit. Walking or running up and down stairs is great training for hiking. It's also just a great workout in general. Do enough stairs a11000056_10205164531464688_1503326286543275879_nt a fast enough pace and you can get a good cardio session in. Plus, stairs are great for your booty.

    2. Walk or jog. Now that the weather is going to be warming up it is a great opportunity to get outside in your neighborhood and go for a quick walk or jog. Just getting your body moving is important, and the fresh air wont hurt either. If the weather's not so nice where you are, get your steps in on a treadmill. If you don't have a treadmill, head to your local gym. No excuses! Walk instead of drive, park farther away from the door when going to the grocery store...find little ways to get yourself moving.

    3. Work Out in Your Living Room. Find a fun workout that you can do in your living room before or after work. There are so many online that you can choose from. An online workout, or a fitness DVD, make it easy to fit in a workout without having to commit the time it takes to get to and from where you are going. Just turn on the workout and get to it. (My favorites: www.toneitup.com, barre3 workout DVDs or MyBarre3 online, and Ballet Beautiful. I do 10391415_10205235803006432_9078270789625860469_none or more of these types of workouts every day in preparation for hiking and backpacking.)

    4. Rock Your Backpack. A really great (albeit, nerdy) way to train for backpacking is to wear your backpack around the house or out for your walk or jog. You can start out with it empty and gradually add weight to it to build up your strength. It's amazing how heavy your backpack can feel when you haven't worn it for a few months. Best to startil_570xN.674740473_5sw6 wearing it ahead of time to get reacquainted.

    5. Squat It Out. Squats are something that you can do anywhere. They will build up your leg strength which is so important for hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, fly fishing, trail running...just about any outdoor activity you can think of. The benefits of squats are unlimited. So do them. Check out this link to make sure that your form is correct. Then, get yourself this amazing tank top.

     

     

    How To Relax This Evening

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    1604786_10203431155011360_4965213623060468996_n As a society, we tend to run on high speed, fueled by packed schedules and deadlines. Stress is a norm in many of our lives. But it is well known that stress is really really bad for you. Stress can have many serious consequences such as stomach aches, headaches, acne, and even life threatening heart issues. It's important to give your body a break from all of the stress and give it time to decompress and relax. So, tonight, I encourage you to take some time for yourself. Here are few ways to relax this evening:

    1. Go for a walk. Exercise is a great stress reducer. Going for a nice walk will expose you to fresh air and a little dose of the great outdoors. It will calm your nerves and ease your mind and give you time to think and enjoy the sights.

    2. Do something easy and tasty for dinner. Tonight is about relaxing and being happy. Order a pizza, get Chinese takeout, or make something quick and fun that you love. Don't get caught up with carbs or diets - tonight is your night to enjoy yourself, so have at it!

    3. Watch the sunset. Sit out on your porch and watch the sunset. Just let your mind be quiet as you take in the sounds, smells, and sights. Allow yourself to just be. Be still. Be quiet. And most of all, be peaceful. Try to think about everything you are thankful for. Try to appreciate the moment and be present.

    4. Soak your worries away. Take a hot bath with Epsom salts and essential oils. Light a candle, turn off the lights, and just relax. Breathe in the hot vapors and let go of the stress and bustle of daily life. Take this time to just be quiet and to listen to your breath and to enjoy the moment. Soak for about twenty minutes to let the Epsom salts and oils do their thing.

    5. Give yourself a facial. Find a face mask in the store. St. Ives has a nice oatmeal one, and Freeman has an avocado oatmeal one as well. Or you can make one yourself. There are lots of recipes for home-made facials. I have used one made up of bananas, olive oil, and coconut oil. It sounds weird, but feels nice. Play around with different recipes and find one that works for your skin. The process of making a face mask can be fun and relaxing in and of itself!

    6. Read a good book. Let yourself get swept away. Reading is an excellent way to relax and to get your mind off of the million and four things that you have to do. Plus, reading before bed is a much healthier option than scrolling through your Instagram and Twitter feeds. The artificial light from your screen stimulates your brain making it harder for you to fall asleep, whereas reading a book is calming and great for making you sleepy at bed time.

    7. Sleep. Sleep is one of the best things you can do for stress. Making sure your mind and body have the right amount of time to heal themselves and rejuvenate is extremely important. Try to go to sleep early tonight. Being well rested helps you to cope with stress better, it makes you look better [bye bye under-eye bags!], and it will help you to feel bright and ready to take on the next day.

    What do you do to relax? Please share in the comments below!

     

    Review: Cura Coffee

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    10351908_312749935563347_5164899041931925577_nI love coffee. I love drinking coffee, smelling coffee - even rubbing coffee all over my body [see my review of Frank Coffee Scrub]. But what I love even more than coffee is coffee with a cause.

    When I first heard about Cura Coffee Company, I was not only eager to try a cup of their direct trade coffee, but I was also beyond excited about what the company is doing to make a difference.

    What It's All About:  A dentist from San Diego named Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick had a dream. He saw a need for dental care in remote areas in Nicaragua. Dr. Fitzpatrick developed the idea for Cura Coffee Company as a means of raising the funds necessary to provide such care and services. Every purchase of Cura Coffee goes towards helping those in need of dental care. Read more about Cura Coffee's mission here.

    So, How's the Coffee? Well, I am pleased to announce that Cura Coffee is not only doing good - it actually tastes good. Really good! If you're like me, coffee is something you buy frequently anyways. But when you buy a bag of Cura Coffee, you are helping out a great cause, ie - making a difference.

    That is something you can feel good about.

    My Recommendation: Get some Cura Coffee! You wont regret it. It is fair-trade, super tasty coffee, AND purchasing a bag helps provide dental care to those in need. Win-win. Purchase a bag [or four] at www.curacoffee.com. Bags of coffee are just $15, and Keurig compatible cups are just $16 for a pack of 18.

    And you get a toothbrush with your order. How cool is that?photo

    Summer Time Beauty Hacks

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    Summer time is all about effortless, carefree, easy, light beauty. It's about sun-drenched days, and heat that permeates all through the night. It's about going barefoot, living in a bikini [or whatever type of swimsuit floats your boat], and being easy-breezy.

    But summer time can do a number on different parts of your body. Here are some ways to keep yourself looking fresh, low-maintenance, and beautiful all summer long.

    1. Skin: In the summer time, the heat and the constant cycle of being wet, then dry, wet, then dry can do a real number on your skin. Not only can your skin become dried out, but constantly being wet from swimming can wipe off important good bacterias that live on your skin.

    Try this: Since none of us are going to even consider giving up long dunks in the lake or mermaid time in the sea, instead, try shortening your showers a bit. Try to keep the water temperature as cool as you can handle it. Also, find a moisturizer that works for you! My favorites are St. Ives and Ponds. I also have an amazing home made balm that mixes coconut oil, beeswax, vanilla, and a few other natural things to create a creamy, moisturizing dream.

    2. Face: Tend to break out more in the summer? That can happen. No worries, there are some things you can try.

    Try this: Try eliminating your moisturizer a night or two a week. Or, if you're like me and you can't even imagine not moisturizing every night, then try just limiting your moisturizer to areas of your face that feel particularly dry. Also, try to only wash your face in the evenings. Instead of giving it a good scrub in the mornings, just lightly rinse it with warm water to freshen up before starting your morning beauty routine. Also, make sure you are drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water every day to stay hydrated! There is no better way to make your skin glow!

    3. Makeup: Summer time makeup should be easy, natural, effortless, glowy... basically you want to look like you just rolled off of the beach - but still put together. Leave the heavy eyeliner and cakey foundation for the office. As soon as you get home from the office, wipe your face clean with a cleansing wipe, [I like Yes to Cucumbers wipes, available in drug stores], and get your summer face on.

    Try this: Start with a clean slate. Then apply a moisturizer with SPF [at least SPF 20, if you ask me]. Next, rub on a thin, moisturizing BB cream. The BB cream offers additional sunscreen benefits, as well as giving you additional moisture, AND acting as a bit of a concealer. It smooths out your complexion and hides any blemishes. Next, add a bid of cream blush to your cheeks and the bridge of your nose. Brush on a bit of bronzer if that's your thing. Swipe on some waterproof mascara, a bit of lip balm, and you're good to go. This should only take about two minutes to do, and you'll look natural, dewy, glowing, and like you're having one heck of a summer. Which you are.

    4. Feet: Living barefoot and in sandals all summer can make your feet a bit... less than pretty. Your heels can get cracked and dry, which isn't cute. Keep your tootsies nice a smooth with these tips...

    Try this: Whenever possible, try to wear socks and sneakers. Hey, wearing them with cut-off shorts is cute and summery. Or you can rock the "just got back from the gym" look and wear running shoes and yoga clothes. Comfy, cool, AND your feet are safely sheathed in soft socky-barriers. Moisturize your feet at night and try soaking them in Epsom salts or another kind of foot soak that works well for you. Use a foot scraper to remove dead, dry skin every once in awhile. Or get a pedicure.

    5. Hair: Hair is exposed to so much sunshine [UV rays], salt, heat, and water during the summer. This can be harsh on your strands.

    Try this: Wear a hat whenever possible when you are in the sun. This will protect your hair from harmful UV rays. Also, if you have highlights, guarding your hair from the sun will help to make the highlights last longer. Try washing your hair less - every other day will do. Just use a dry shampoo if your hair starts looking a little greasy. Use a deep conditioning treatment every now and then on your hair to help it stay hydrated and soft. A nice Moroccan oil is my favorite. It keeps the ends of my hair glossy. Also, try to avoid using a hair dryer [because who needs one in the summer time, right?], straightener, or curling iron [rock the touseled, natural mermaid waves], or any other tools that may expose your hair to additional heat.

    6. Body: Most importantly, protect your WHOLE body from harmful UV rays and cover up with sunblock any time you will be outside. No one wants wrinkles. Or skin cancer.

    SUP: Why You Should Do It

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    420649_10200715255115560_302190599_n SUP: Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

     

    By now, you have probably heard about SUP, or seen people cruising by on their stand up paddle boards as you watch, intrigued, from the shore. I remember thinking how boring it looked the first time I saw people doing it. But finally my curiosity got the better of me and I gave it a try. Now, several years later, I am hooked on SUP and here's why.

    1. The benefits of SUP are endless. First of all, it's the most incredible workout. Balancing on the paddle board requires a lot of core strength and after a SUP session, you will feel it in your abs, arms, back, butt, legs... you get the idea.

    2. SUP is a great way to get out on the water when you normally wouldn't have a way to do so. You can do it on a lake, a river, or even in the ocean. No watery expanse is off limits!

    3. You can do yoga on a SUP. I have tried only a handful of times, and have ended up splashing, ungracefully, into the water on each occasion. It's challenging, and worth trying, and if you master it, nothing looks cooler than some killer SUP-top poses.

    4. Quench your competitive thirst. SUP races are becoming all the rage. Visit www.supracer.com to find a race near you.

    So I recommend giving stand-up paddle boarding a try if for some reason you haven't yet. You've got nothing to lose, except, perhaps, your pride when you fall in the first time you try it - and if you don't fall in on the first try, kudos to you. You rock!

    If you're already tuned in to the awesome sport of SUP, let me know what YOU love about it in the comments below.

    Looking for a great board? I'd recommend one from Perfect Wave Surf Shop. That's where my beloved Slice Series Ruby Red is from and it is perfection.

    Grab Your Fears By The Horns

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    Face your fears and be rewarded. I must confess: I am a worrier. As much as I love the wild, I fear it. As much as I long to push my limits, I worry that I will push too far. When I am out getting my adventure on, I am constantly considering every possible way that I might die or be brutally maimed. It's a constant battle for me. I am far from fearless.

    But, that is one thing that I appreciate most about the wild - that it makes you embrace your fears, and sometimes even conquer them. Being afraid is a part of adventure. It's a part of discovering yourself and what you are capable of, and learning to push through fear is a valuable lesson that can be applied in every aspect of life.

    When I'm in the backcountry, miles from civilization, I am afraid of many things. I'm afraid of bears, falling off a cliff, and getting struck by lightning. But I've learned that you just have to push through, grab your fears by the horns, and hang on tight. You'll be in for one hell of a ride if you do! And when you look your fears right in their glowing red eyes, you might just see that you are bigger than them and that they aren't so scary after all.

    Wild Eats: Frittata

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    This is a super easy, healthy, and TASTY frittata recipe. It takes about twenty-five minutes, including prep time, and you can keep it in your fridge and grab a slice to munch on the go throughout the week.

     

    Ingredients:

    4 eggs

    4 egg whites

    1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt

    1 cup spinach

    1/4 cup chopped green onions

    1/4 cup chopped yellow onions

    2 slices of cooked bacon, cut up into small little pieces

    Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

     

    Before...

     

    Here's what you do:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray - I like to use coconut spray oil.

    Combine the eggs, egg whites, and yogurt in a bowl. Mix well until they are a creamy, fluffy consistency. Then add in the other ingredients and stir well. Pour into casserole dish and bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes.

    Remove, and enjoy!

     

    After!

     

     

    Review: Frank Coffee Scrub

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    Let's be frank about Frank: it's even better than you'd think.

    If you are on Instagram, chances are you have heard about Frank Coffee Scrub - pretty much the hottest skin-care product out there right now. Guys and gals alike are absolutely raving about Frank. Instagram is plastered with pictures of customers, covered in coffee scrub, lovingly clutching their pouches of Frank and professing their undying love for the product. Not to mention, Frank's marketing is brilliant, [ just visit frankbody.com to see what I mean.] It got to the point that I couldn't temper my curiosity any longer. I ordered a pouch of the Coconut & Grapeseed coffee scrub and anxiously awaited Frank's arrival.

    First of all, the packaging is beautiful and cool. Frank comes in a resealable paper pouch. Frank comes in three scents, original, cacao, and coconut & grapeseed, which is the one that I got. I'm a coconut fan, what can I say? The coconut & grapeseed coffee scrub smells a lot like coconut and a lot like coffee. Put simply, it smells pretty darn amazing. True to the warning on Frank's label, the whole process is super messy. But, it's easy to clean up, and totally worth it.

    Here's how it works: Hop in to your empty bath tub or shower, get yourself damp, then scrub your little heart out and  let the scrub sit for about 5-10 minutes before rinsing. Trust me, your skin will have never felt so smooth. It's kind of amazing. Plus, Frank claims to help reduce cellulite, psoriasis, and stretch marks, so there's that too.

    My recommendation: Get your Frank on. As soon as possible. 100% worth it.

    Best part? The original costs only $14.95, the cacao costs $16.95, and the coconut & grapeseed costs $17.95, so you wont break the bank and you can keep coming back for more. Get yours at frankbody.com

     

    Love What You've Got: A Reminder About Social Media

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    Do what you love. With the rise of social media, we are constantly being bombarded with images and stories of people doing cool stuff, and of new things to lust after. When you spend time scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, you will see the parts of peoples' lives that they choose to share with the world. What does this mean? It means that those happy pictures and epic adventures that you see on social media are not the whole story. Rarely do people share their not-so-fine moments, their hardships, or their failures. You will probably not see too many pictures of things that are not brand new and exciting and impressive. People tend to share the most interesting, ground-breaking, and envy-inspiring parts of their lives, and it is important to keep this in mind when you feel yourself starting to feel inadequate or jealous.

    We, as a part of today's society, tend to want more. We want more money, more vacations, more adventures, more peace, more clothes, more house, more cars, more hours in each day, more friends, more love, more admiration... We are constantly stressing over changing and improving ourselves - over our perceived inadequacy in comparison to the parts of peoples' lives to which we are privy through social media. We yearn to be thinner, more fit, taller, better-looking... to go on more adventures and climb bigger mountains and hike further and surf bigger waves. After awhile, it becomes difficult to just stop all of the "wanting" and think, for a moment, about all of the amazing aspects of your life; about the impressive things that you have accomplished and about all of the beautiful things for which you have to be thankful.

    Social Media can be a wonderful thing in so many ways. It is great for businesses to promote their services. It can be a source of inspiration with which to look at people doing things that make them happy and that encourage you to do what makes you happy. It can be a catalyst that makes you want to try something new. It can be a platform for news, and a means of keeping in touch with people. It can be a way to learn about new gear, new products, and new trends. It can show you ways to pursue and live a healthier lifestyle. Social Media has such positive potential.

    Just keep in mind what parts of peoples' lives you are seeing and realize that it is not the whole picture. Take inspiration from what you can and allow yourself to be motivated and to strive to better yourself. But also, remember who you are and remember all of the amazing things that you have done and that you will do. Keep in mind the wonderful things that you have and be thankful for them. That is a sure-fire way to a satisfied life. Don't stress about the cool new things that your friend just bought and wrote about on facebook that you can't afford, or the incredible, awe-inspiring climb another friend did in Glacier National Park. Appreciate the motivation that such posts can give you and work on achieving your own sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. Be proud of the life you live, and love what you've got.