My Secrets to Flawless Skin

This is embarrassing but here is a split shot of me one year ago on the left and me one week ago on the right.

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The difference in my skin is frightening!

I’ll admit, a year ago I was the last person you wanted to talk to about skin care! My body was still recovering from my fitness competitions which meant I still hadn’t gotten my period back. My lack of estrogen and imbalance of hormones meant that I rarely, if ever, broke out and I completely took advantage of my skin. I slept with my makeup on nearly every night and washed my face once, maybe twice a week. The reason my skin looks dry, dull and even wrinkly on the left is because I never exfoliated and there was a constant build up of old skin under the makeup. I know. I have oily skin and for whatever reason I had a fear of moisturizer thinking it would only make me oilier therefore all I did was dry out my skin with harsh zit cream some nights. Occasionally I would rub a packet of sample eye cream around my crows feet. As for makeup, I basically just rubbed the darkest bronzer I could get my hands on ALL OVER the entire surface of my face and call it a day.

Then I started working in the city. Five days a week in the most polluted air takes a toll on your skin very quickly. I’m talking within the very first few weeks. Plus, I sweat from teaching multiple classes. Yea, you cannot live this life and sleep with makeup on every day AND have clear skin. I realized I needed to overhaul my routine. I started with using face wipes after class and washing my face at night and gradually, through trial and error came to my current routine.

I now wash my face with Cetaphil Gentle Face Wash as soon as I wake up. Then, I moisturize with Kiehl’s Abyssyne Cream with SPF 30 (during the day, at night I use the same cream without SPF). I also rub Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate around my orbital area and my upper forehead (I’ve always used eye cream on those harsh forehead lines, I’ve always felt that they need the extra moisture too). Then I go to work…yes, completely makeup free. I no longer wear any makeup during the week on days that I teach, it clogs my skin and isn’t worth it when I teach multiple classes a day. I now bring a face care kit to work every day so I can cleanse between classes. It contains a travel size Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash (I also use this to wash my face before bed) which I use to wash my face after class and a packet of Neutrogena Oil Free Grapefruit wipes which I use after taking the subway on my commute home. I also keep travel size vials of all my daily moisturizers, lip balms and eye creams in there, which I always use after washing my face. Once I get home I wash my face one last time after I take a shower and slather on my night time moisturizer which includes the Abyssyne cream without SPF, Kiehl’s Creamy Avocado Eye Treatment, Kiehl’s Midnight Serum and Aquaphor on my lips. I also exfoliate twice a week and do 2 masks a week, one for moisture and one for break outs.

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In all honesty, my skin FREAKED out at this initial change! I think it was so used to having its own oils that when I started cleansing it regularly it became insanely sensitive! I’ve never, ever had sensitive skin, but all of a sudden it would break out from anything and get red and irritated from ANYTHING. Now, whenever I try a new product I know immediately if my skin likes it or not. If it doesn’t, my skin will turn red, burn or break out in hives. However, when it likes a product it drinks it in and looks unreal. So, I stick with what it knows and make sure to keep it clean and happy. Oh, and I also take my makeup off EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, without fail. I don’t know why it took me 26 years. I’m sorry, skin.

So, when my skin first freaked out my oils went nuts and I broke out EVERYWHERE. That’s when I started wearing foundation. I only do my makeup on the weekends and I needed to cover up my new break outs. I packed on the foundation and concealer to hide my skin but noticed that foundation actually looked really nice in photos. I went on a foundation buying binge and bought a slew of different ones from drugstore to high end. As my skin cleared up and settled into my new routine I continued to use foundation, realizing that on clear skin it simply looked infallible. I was taking selfies like crazy amazed at how glowy my skin looked. I knew the change was significant when my husband commented on my skin and told me I looked different and was “reflecting light”. I interpreted that as him seeing my new glowing skin.

Now I want to share all these awesome glowing tips with you! Before we get into makeup though, know that your skin will look its ULTIMATE best if you take care of it first!! Cleanse it daily, moisturize like CRAZY!!!, even if you’re oily (find what works for your skin–dry oils are GREAT for us with oily skin-oil helps oil, who knew?) and DRINK LOTS OF WATER!! If my water consumption isn’t up to par I notice it in my skin immediately.

Ok, here’s the makeup! First, start with removing your makeup. I always remove mine with Jojoba Oil. It takes off everything and leaves my skin looking hydrated and dewy.

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Next, I moisturize. I’ll go read some blogs and wait about 20-30 minutes to let the moisturizer completely soak in before I start with my makeup routine.

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Next, prime, prime, prime!! Primer is SO important for smooth even skin!! If I’m going for a dewy look I use the L’Oreal LUMI primer which is very shimmery. On my oily days I stay away from this stuff and use MAC’s Strobe Cream. The Strobe Cream still gives you a glowy look but is much more matte than the LUMI.

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Moving along is foundation and concealer. I ALWAYS apply both with a damp beauty blender. This prevents you from using too much product and looking cakey. The dampness of the blender dilutes the product and allows for effortless, even application. If the foundation is too sheer for you using this method, just  go over it with a second layer or use a foundation stippling brush. I use a concealer several shades lighter than my complexion to create a highlight. I highlight my under eye area, bridge of my nose, my cupid’s bow, chin and center of my forehead.

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Then, I exaggerate my highlight further with some illuminators. I use the rosy NYX highlight on my cheekbones so it blends evenly with a warm blush. I use the Stila highlight and MAC Shroom powder interchangeably on my forehead, nose and chin. I almost always use Shroom as a brow highlight.

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Finally, I finish my whole look off with MAC’s Fix+. This is the step you do NOT want to skip, this is what makes your skin look PERFECT! I’m telling you, this stuff is the secret. Once I’m finished with everything, even powders and bronzers I spritz this ALL OVER my face and neck. I may overdo it, but I spray on a ton and it makes you look seriously dewy!! Ugh, it’s literally my best friend.

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And there you have it!! Hope you enjoyed these tips and feel free to share any makeup or skincare products you’re loving!

PS – To make your skin look extra flawless in a selfie, use good lighting!! I always stand in front of my window for selfies to make sure I take advantage of the natural light–that’s what your skin looks best in! :)

xoxo

Halloween Nail Art with Julep

Those that know me, or at least follow me on Instagram know that I’m mildly nail obsessed.

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To put it nicely.

Ever since I was in middle school the weekly to biweekly mani-pedi has been a consistent guilty pleasure of mine. When it comes to holidays, vacations and special events my corresponding manicure is the first place my mind runs to. My manicure even played a significant role in my wedding – it was my “something blue” (all fingers, except for my left ring finger were painted a pale slightly warm white while that ring finger was a striking pale blue).

I blame this obsession on my years in Catholic school. Wearing the same uniform every day meant I had to showcase my personality and add a little flair in ways other than my clothes. This came in the form of dyed hair, ridiculous experimentation with makeup (I’m looking at you, white eyeliner in ninth grade and caterpillar false lashes in tenth!) and, yes, weekly extravagant manicures. In Catholic school I didn’t spend much money on clothes. Even on the days I didn’t wear a uniform I kind of did…I pretty much wore nothing but yoga pants and a t-shirt to be casual or a tight tank top if I was being fancy. Money was spent on nails.

Needless to say, Nail Art is a trend I now fully embrace. I can’t even imagine how crazy I would have gone if nail art was as it is today back when I was in high school.

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Seeing that it’s the middle of October, Halloween is right around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about Halloween manicures! I am quite the nail polish hoarder and one brand I especially love is Julep. I adore the sleek shape of their bottles and they fit so perfectly in my nail polish drawer!

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Another thing I love about Julep is that they fully embrace the nail art trend! They have an abundance of colors and glitters and everything you need to make the best nail art! I’ve teamed up with them to offer some nail art inspiration for Halloween!

For the month of October they have a special limited edition Black Magic collection which was the inspiration behind my own nail design. Before I get into my design, I’d like to put a disclaimer out there that although I am an artistic chick, nail art does not come easily to me! If you’re like me and have a bit of trouble painting tiny designs on your hands, try doing nail art pedicures! I find painting my toes to be much easier. For this post I was inspired by Julep’s beautiful October colors and some crazy cool Halloween nail art I’ve seen throughout social media.

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For my hands, I decided to use their Pumpkin Patch Gift Set as inspiration. I loved how the green and orange could allude to the holiday without being to kitchsy. I wanted to try a new-to-me nail art technique that seems to be incredibly easy, even for someone as inexperienced as me. I did the water marble technique on my ring finger and was blown away by how effortless it truly was!

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Watching YouTube tutorials on “Water Marble Nail Art” is the best advice I can give you! I filled a small bowl with water and dropped my green and orange polishes in so they formed a few circles. Next, I pulled a toothpick through the circles to create my marbled design. I covered my cuticle with Scotch tape and dipped my nail in the water, when I pulled it out I was amazed to see the beautiful design had transferred right onto my nail!

I noticed a lot of their October colors were metallic and I love the way metallics elevate the Halloween trend, making it a little more adult and sexy-spooky. I chose a purple metallic as my base color, I always like the combination of dark purple and neon green around Halloween. For my design, since I’m not super skilled I kept it simple with a spider web, candy corns and the letters “B – O – O” across three toes.

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Yes, I know it’s not the greatest nail art out there but both my mom and my husband knew that they were supposed to be spider webs and candy corn!! That was a win in my book. Throughout this post I’ve added photos of what my nail art dreams look like. I’ll keep practicing my own nail art but if you’ve got the skills I clearly lack, you MUST check out Julep’s amazing line of products! Their colors are incredibly vibrant and long lasting! This line is definitely a go to for anyone who loves a pretty manicure and pedicure.

xoxo

OOTD for Fall Sports Games

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the lovely people at Fanatics.com about game day style. This warmed my heart because I loved knowing that I am not alone in being someone who actually puts a lot of thought into what she wears to a game!

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My husband and I went to the Yankee game about a month ago and because we went on a weeknight I had to meet him at the stadium straight from work. The night before I was rummaging through my closet, trying on an assortment of tops and jackets while consistently checking the weather. After I packed two different selections of outfits my husband looked at me like I was a crazy person. His response?

“Babe, it’s just a game.”

Oh. Wait, does that mean I can’t look cute?

Absolutely not! Of course, at a game you definitely don’t want to be over dressed, but there’s no reason why you can’t spruce up a comfy pair of leggings and support your team in a fun, casual, yet still slightly sexy outfit. Now, here’s why I totally dig Fanatics.com…..they were all about the HATS.

You probably won’t catch me at a game in a jersey or t-shirt but a hat is a go to for me. I love that a hat still shows your team spirit while letting you also showcase your style with the rest of your outfit. Fanatics.com asked me to chose one of their hats and plan an outfit around it  that I would wear to a game. Well, let’s get to it!

I chose the Derek Jeter New York Yankees New Era Rings 39THIRTY Flex Hat.

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I chose this one because, well, Yankees…duh. Also, I loved the special edition Jeter hat with his number on the back since this was his final season. He was an incredible player and the first team member I would want to show love for! I went with the Flex hat over the fitted because it is a little more laid back and I find the rounded visor to be more flattering on my face. I like to wear mine slightly off to the side.

When I go to baseballs games I’m all about being comfortable so leggings are almost always my go-to, and I plan the rest of my outfit around them. Here is a typical game day look that looks pretty sweet with our Flex Hat:

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My legging of choice are the Lululemon Wunder Under Roll Downs. They’re incredibly comfy and the roll down waist never digs into my sides. I also love the length because I tend to go to evening games and it can get a little chilly at night. These are long enough to keep me warm and if it’s too hot, I can always roll them up from the ankle.

Tank tops are my best friend but I like ones with a little something extra to elevate the simple ribbed, fitted tank. I have several of these flowy butterfly back tanks and they’re the perfect top to wear to a game! One of my favorite things about going out to the game is the food so considering the fact that I’m most likely going to eat my face off, flowy tops are ideal! I’m in love with the ones that split open in the back so I can show a little skin without being too in your face sexy.

I think I’ve worn my beloved distressed denim jacket to every game I’ve gone to. It’s live-in comfortable and cropped so when paired with an open back tank it perfectly showcases your pop of skin!

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I know comfortable shoes for many people is sneakers, but for me it’s flip flops. A game day look is not complete without a pair of Havianas. With this look I would throw on my navy blue pair to match the hat!

Of course, no look is complete without accessories! As you can see in the above photo, which is from a Yankee game last spring, I like to layer on a few long necklaces. Along with that I love a good bangle stack and giant hoop earrings. I cannot wear a baseball hat without big, gold hoops. That combination makes me feel like I’m channeling my inner J.Lo and I love it.

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When my hair is dark I adore wearing it straight under a hat and letting the hoops stand out.

Next time you go to a game I hope this OOTD helps with your planning and gives you a little inspiration! Sporty CAN be cute, stylish AND feminine! Hats are a GREAT way to show your team pride and accessorize your look. Be sure to check out Fanatics.com for your game day looks. They have merchandise for literally every team from every single sport, not just baseball. Also, as the weather gets cooler be sure to check out their awesome selection of Beanies!

xoxo

Pumpkin Spice Icebox Cake with Chai Tea Cream

I know, Icebox Cake is so last season.

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Isn’t Fall for baking? Like, you know, actually turning the oven on and cooking something now that it’s not sweltering hot out and the heat of the oven is no longer suffocating?

Sure..but that’s later in the Fall. It’s still early. We all already know I like to hold on to Summer for….as long as I possibly can.

SO

Icebox Cake. Of course, I Fall’ed it up and went and made it pumpkin. I even added in Chai tea, because the new coffee shop on my block (that I’m IN LOVE with) makes Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea and that flavor combination is even cozier than a fall cable knit sweater and a pile of leaves.

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Oh, and plus…

It’s still kind of hot some days. Not mid August in the city humid, but hot enough to feel like passing on turning on the oven.

Besides, Icebox Cakes are pretty much the easiest thing to make in the world while still being pretty damn impressive. I mean, chai tea infused fresh whipped cream and creamy pumpkin filled layers? Im.Press.Ive.

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The addition of the Chai here elevates this particular pumpkin treat far above the basicness that is a pumpkin treat. If Pumpkin Spice is a basic bitch, than Chai Tea is Regina George.

I happened to purchase a package of Pumpkin Spice Oreos because I am basic. I knew I had to transform them into something, otherwise risk eating the entire package of them in one weekend. Maybe this wasn’t the smartest thing to transform them into because it’s so light tasting that I could have easily housed the entire thing in one sitting.

It’s the chai infused whipped cream.

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I was inspired by two recipes, Melissa’s Chai Tea Icebox Cake and Shelly’s Oreo Icebox Cake. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the end result of this experiment tasted just as good as I imagined.

I’m telling you, it’s the Chai whipped cream. Even if you don’t make this cake…

MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM.

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This “cake” is light and airy but the layers of rich spicy flavor scream comfort food. To enhance the Oreos a bit I mixed a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and a splash of vanilla extract into a bowl of vanilla almond milk (it was all I had on hand) and dunked the Oreos in (letting them soften a bit) before using them to make the layers. The spiced Oreos and Chai infused cream were separated by a cooling layer of French vanilla mousse.

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This cake comes together in minutes, waiting for it to set is another story, so make this cake the day or night before you plan on serving it!

Pumpkin Spice Icebox Cake with Chai Tea Cream

NOTE: Infuse your whipping cream a day or two before assembling cake because you have to heat it to infuse it, then you want it to chill in the fridge OVERNIGHT at least! The cream must be cold in order to whip.

Ingredients

For Chai Tea Cream:

  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 2 bags Chai Tea [any brand]
  • 1 TBSP powdered sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon

For Cake & Mousse Layers:

  • 1 Packet Jello Instant Pudding, French Vanilla Flavor
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used skim)
  • 1 16 oz Container of Cool Whip
  • 1 package Pumpkin Spice Oreos
  • 1 cup milk, separate from previous (I used vanilla almond milk, use any milk you have on hand)
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Splash Vanilla Extract
  • Pumpkin Spice flavored candy corn (optional)

Directions

One or two days before assembling your cake, infuse your whipping cream. Pour cream into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Let heat until right before it boils, turn heat down to low and simmer. Place two Chai tea bags and cinnamon stick in cream and let simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and remove saucepan from the burner and let the tea and cinnamon continue to infuse for an additional 20 minutes while the cream cools down. Remove cinnamon stick and squeeze tea bags in cream before removing to deposit as much flavor as possible. Pour cream into mason jar, shake and let chill in the fridge overnight.

To Assemble Cake:

First, make your mousse. Whisk packet of Jello pudding into 1 1/2 cups cold milk until thickened. Pour room temperature Cool Whip into a large bowl and carefully fold the Jello pudding into the Cool Whip. Set aside.

Next, take infused whipping cream out of the fridge and give it a good, strong shake to incorporate all the tea flavor that may have sank to the bottom. Pour cream into the bowl of an electric mixer and add your TBSP powered sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.

Lay out a medium sized casserole dish or brownie pan.

Pour second cup of milk into a small bowl and whisk in pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract. Drop Oreos in 2-3 at a time. Let sit for a few seconds and remove from milk and place them on the bottom of your dish. You can break some cookies in half to make sure all the space is covered. Next, pour in half the pudding and spread evenly over the Oreo layer. After that, pour half your Chai infused whipped cream over the pudding and using an off hand spatula, create an even layer. Dip the rest of the Oreos in the milk (reserving one for the top) and arrange another layer over the whipped cream. Repeat the same steps with the pudding layer and ending with the whipped cream layer.

Decorate your cake however you choose! I put one Oreo in the middle with a circle of Pumpkin Spice flavored Candy Corns and a sprinkle of cinnamon!

Honestly, those candy corns went SO well with this cake and provided a nice bite of texture in contrast with all the creaminess!

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It’s just too easy not to try.

xoxo

Weekend Reflections; Keeping Active Outdoors

This weekend felt like the epitome of the ideal east coast fall weekend. There was a chill in the air but the sun shone brightly and welcomed us out. This Saturday I FINALLY broke out of my marathon training block!! I mentioned last week that I couldn’t break 11 miles and it was really frustrating me. I altered my pre and mid-run fuel slightly and the changes worked! I ran just under 14 miles, which is the longest I’ve ever run in my life. Aside from a bit of windburn (it was a cold and rainy morning) I felt pretty dang good. One of the weekend’s highlights was when my lovely friend Amanda came up from the city to spend Sunday morning hiking with me. It’s nearly impossible to drag my husband out to a forest or mountain for hours of outdoor walking and climbing but Amanda was more than game and we had the best time. We ended up hiking every single trail on the map, only to come home and refuel with a crisp glass of white wine, naturally. I hope most of you are enjoying the long weekend and have off for Columbus Day! There are no such thing as holidays in the fitness industry, so I will be heading into the city this evening to teach my Monday night ride…after a long run on Saturday and an even longer hike on Sunday, I’m crossing my fingers that my legs will be up to spinning tonight!

How I start and end EVERY work day: the largest cup of coffee – half french vanilla, half pumpkin spice with a splash of skim to wake me up, and the largest cup of passion iced tea to relax me on the commute home. 

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Ok, maybe this pumpkin thing is getting a little out of control.

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Although I’ve seen this product around for a while, I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to try it. Nuun is similar to gatorade in that it provides essential electrolytes lost during strenuous activity, however it’s made from all natural ingredients and has a pleasant fizziness. It’s also only 7 calories and doesn’t contain any harsh chemical sweeteners that hurt my stomach. It’s fantastic to drop into my water on the days I teach multiple classes; it helps with my fatigue and keeps me hydrated!

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This week’s running fuel combination that seems to be a winner. Prerun KIND bar + bulletproof coffee and a couple of GU Chomps mid run, chewed around mile 11, at the onset of my fatigue. (& a Friday night doodle)

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Warning: If you like peanut butter, this box = precisely TWO servings. Ok, one and a half….

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Saturday night wrist lovin’ 

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Trader Joe’s MUST have changed the formula for this lotion. Last year I wasn’t the biggest fan, it smelled more like sweet apples rather than spicy pumpkin. This year it definitely smells more warm and spicy and certainly more like pumpkin than apple. I like this year’s version much better, and Dan likes it too.

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The chillness in the air means its time to break out my FAVORITE fall accessory – this oversized cape/scarf hybrid thing! (technical fashion term there..) It is SO warm and cozy and the absolute best layering piece. I wear it over anything from a tank top to a sweater and also wear it under a heavier coat or leather jacket. Saturday night was a little chilly and wet from the morning’s rain so I paired it with black leggings, a grey tank top and my grey Hunter boots. So simple and comfy, but cute enough to wear to dinner! I purchased this at TJ Maxx last year, but I have seen similar ones there this season. I’ve also found similar items on Swell.com.

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Tried two new-to-me pumpkin beers this weekend and I have to say, not the biggest fan of either. Smuttynose & Blue Moon’s pumpkin beers are still reigning supreme for this chick.

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Date night: His & Hers .. margarita for her & mojito for him.

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An overflowing bowl of guac makes my heart sing.

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Mexican cravings satisfied at Vega.

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OOTD for a morning hike: long leggings to tuck into sneaker, a comfy pullover layered over a fitted tank.

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Taking in all the warmth of the foliage.

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Feeling accomplished after completing several trails AND figuring out self timer photos in the middle of the woods.

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A few good inclines, but nothing too threatening.

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So much fun spending the day with this girl who is just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.

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This weekend was the perfect combination of fun, relaxation and adventure. I’m hoping to have MANY more hikes in the near future. On Sunday we went to Arthur W. Butler Memorial Sanctuary in Mt. Kisco. I would definitely recommend this hike to anyone who is fairly new to hiking or hesitant about heavy climbing. While there were certainly a good amount of inclines, it wasn’t too intense and there are a variety of trails to choose from, some challenging, some very easy. We happened to stay there for about four hours and do every single trail…if you’re an active one, I highly recommend doing just that. :)

If you are in the tristate area, feel free to email me or comment your favorite hiking trails!

Have a great week and enjoy the rest of this long weekend!

xoxo

Bulletproof Coffee

AKA, let’s add oil to our coffee.

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Or butter (preferably organic and from grass-fed cows), OR a combination of both!

At least that’s what all the cool kids are doing these days.

A while ago I saw some posts about this mysterious “bulletproof” coffee on Instagram. It seemed to be tagged mostly by the cross fit and Paleo community, so while I was slightly intrigued I never tried it simply because I’m not in that particular community, nor do I know much about the Paleo lifestyle.

Regardless, a few days passed and I continue to see these posts and became more and more interested. People were blending butter and coconut oil into their hot coffee and RAVING about it! Upon some further research (you know, getting hardcore and moving from Instagram stalking to the more sophisticated Google searching) I discovered that the addition of these solid fats to coffee helped the caffeine digest slower therefore resulting in greater and longer lasting energy without the common jitters or crashes. I have to admit, the idea of a steady stream of energy and focus got me curious. The idea of dropping a cube of butter and a spoonful of oil into my coffee, however, was still enough to deter me from actually trying it, despite the alluring promises and benefits.

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Fast forward six months or so and here I am flipping through the latest issue of Food Network’s magazine when I see a huge full paged spread on “buttered coffee”. The magazine reiterated the notion of this promise of magical energy. Then, my girl crush (and daily blog stalk) Rebekah posted this recipe.

Ok, add in ALLTHECOCONUT and I’m sold.

This morning, I took the plunge. Here’s my tropical little cast of characters:

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Vanilla almond milk, coconut water, Coconut Creme flavored coffee (from my second home, aka, The Fresh Market), my favorite mug and yes, organic unrefined coconut oil.

I brewed my coffee and dropped in a teaspoon of oil. I let it melt and added a hefty splash each of the coconut water and almond milk and gave a gentle stir. Not going to lie, I saw the oil separation at the top and it was slightly disconcerting. However, once I took a sip I totally changed my mind. It was comforting and refreshing all at once. Not only did it taste great but it powered me through my long run this morning and I can happily confirm that the steady stream of energy is a legitimate promise!

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I’m hooked.

Weekend Reflections; Hello, October!

The weather completely threw a wrench into our plans this weekend, however we made the most of it. Regardless of how stormy our Saturday was this weekend marks, well, probably the best weekend since our wedding!! I WISH I could ramble on about it endlessly here, but unfortunately I have to keep it a secret for a little longer. It won’t be too long though and as soon as I can share you know I will word vomit ALL OVER this little site. Until then, let’s recap the first weekend of this October.

The beginning of October is always spent celebrating my mother in law’s birthday which lands on the 4th. We celebrated with her on Sunday with a family lunch at their home. Saturday Dan and I had plans to see the Haunted Pumpkin Garden at the Botanical Gardens with friends, however, my friend and I were both pretty sick and it was POURING rain. Two sick chicks walking around outdoors did not sound ideal. Saturday was one of those dark, rainy days that warranted nothing but cuddling and watching movies, which was precisely what we did. With the addition of putting up some more seasonal decorations, ordering what seemed like a full trough of pasta (oh gosh, it was soooo good though), roasting a pumpkin and turning it into the most sinfully decadent pumpkin pie. Despite the fact that I was a bit under the weather I still completed my training run (yes outside, it surprisingly made me feel better-don’t try that at home, though). My mileage is creeping up and I am definitely feeling it. I’ve always considered myself an endurance athlete but spinning has helped me build so much strength in my legs and while my power has increased my endurance seems to be lacking. I can sprint faster and stronger than ever in my life but now running any more than 10 miles (which I used to be able to do effortlessly) is a bit more of a struggle than I’m used to. My runs are now well over 2 hours long so next weekend I’m going to bring some gummies with me for energy and see if they help to get over this speed bump in my training.

Kitchen towels are one of my many weaknesses.

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My favorite October decorations! Love them.

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Coffee table gourds.

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New finds from The Fresh Market. I heard about these Perfect Bars from the Girls Gone WOD Podcast (which a friend of mine got me into and basically, if you’re a chick you NEED to listen to it!! Can’t get enough of these ladies) and they are SO DELISH. They are dense and super rich tasting. Kind of like if you put a blondie in the refrigerator…mmmm. They are kept in the refrigerated section. That pumpkin butter was a necessary impulse buy. I had it for breakfast this morning on a toasted slice of cinnamon raisin Ezekial toast, topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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If you’re a candy corn fan like me, DON’T BUY THESE. The entire bag will be gone halfway through one RHONJ episode…not that I would know anything about that. 

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More decorations! This fun little Jack-O-Lantern dish was a Target dollar bin find! The candy corn Hershey bars…well, candy corn. 

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I’m addicted.

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To balance out all the candy corn and candy corn products I ingest..there’s this. Honestly though, move over almond milk.

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When the grocery store has a make your own six pack option, you taste test every pumpkin beer available.

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I’m torn between the Blue Moon and Smuttynose.

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Snacking on brown sugar-maple-spiced roasted pumpkin seeds.

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Am I overwhelming you with pumpkin shit yet?

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How about now? [yes, that's a pumpkin wine charm. And yes that's a GLITTER stand mixer Christmas ornament. AKA greatest ornament ever.]

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Sunday sunlit selfie.

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Birthday cake!

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This picture doesn’t even do it justice but we picked up a bag of honey crisps this weekend and they’re the most giant honey crisps EVER. Words can’t explain how happy this makes me. #honeycrispsforLIFE

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Our festive front entryway.

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I hope you’ve all had a great start to your October!! Don’t forget to eat ALL the pumpkin, candy corn and apple EVERYTHING! xoxox