Sunday, August 20, 2017

How to Stay Sane When You're Sick Part 2

Hello friends!

Have you ever had so much ambition that you pack your to-do list full of important tasks, you get your mind set on accomplishing all these things, and you are filled with excitement and a slight sense of pride.. thinking to yourself, "Yes. I am going to get so much done, and be ahead of the game. Completely prepared." Almost feeling successful and accomplished. Like a real adult. ..?

And then.. you wake up feeling like you got hit by a train. 

Oh the irony. 

This was my week. But the worst part? Thinking I was better, thinking I was easing back in to everyday life... and then feeling sick again. 

WTF? Are you serious? 

And doesn't this always seem to happen at the worst time? When you truly can't afford to be sick? 


I think we all can agree that being sick is the worst. And then having to "take it easy" days afterward is extremely frustrating. 

It's August. 

In Ohio.

Come on. 

Back in April I shared some tips in How to Stay Sane When You're Sick  ... for when you're truly sick multiple days in a row. 

I'm at the stage now where I am not sick, but I still have to take it easy, because if I don't, I will get sick again. So, I thought I would share some tips that have been helping me in this stage of the game. They are simple and easy ways to deal with the frustration, and hopefully help get you back to 100% in no time.

1. Stay Hydrated.

Obviously. Drink water. Add some ice. Spruce it up with lemon, lime, watermelon, strawberries, whatever you like. Just be sure that you are drinking enough. I go through spurts where I love water and then where I just want anything but. I've been drinking a lot of ice water this week, so hopefully that flushes out all the toxins. #HydratedAF! haha! Just be careful.. As always be sure to consult your doctor about questions and concerns. 

2. Yoga and/or Stretching

If you are able to move about and sitting on the couch is driving you crazy.. move a little. Roll out a yoga mat, put a blanket or towel on the floor, or just use your carpet and go through a yoga flow. If you want some guidance, I recommend Yoga with Adriene or Bad Yogi. Both are great and have a variety of YouTube videos to choose from. If Yoga isn't your thing, just do a little organic stretching. Your body and your mind will thank you. 

3. Take Breaks

This is the biggest one for me and I had to learn it the hard way. But, I can still get things done if I designate an amount of time for a task, and then rest for a bit, alternating this sequence all day. It's been working, and as hard as it is for me to truly relax, it is actually nice to schedule the time to sit and wind down. It's a win-win. I'm getting tasks accomplished, while still listening to my body and avoiding getting sick again. (Hopefully)

4. Netflix and Chill 

So what do you do during that rest time? Binge a few episodes of your favorite TV Series or watch a new movie (We just watched Pete's Dragon). I love Netflix because of the variety. It's come a long way in the past few years. Or, you could catch up on your DVR list. 

5. Catch-Up

If TV doesn't sound good, grab the magazines that have been sitting on your table since you got them in the mail, curl up on the couch or in a chair, and relax. Or lose yourself in your favorite book. You can't go wrong with reading. 

6. Hot Tea or Coffee

Why not enjoy a hot beverage while you read or watch TV? I love Yogi Tea - Echinacea is great for when you're sick. Kava if you're stressed. (And seriously, this whole ordeal is stressful so a cup of Kava sounds amazing!) Or have some coffee. You can't go wrong with coffee. ;) 

7. Spa Time

Last, but certainly not least, have a spa hour or two. Enjoy a luxurious shower, a bubble bath, Epsom salt soak... whatever you fancy. Cut some cucumbers for your eyes, use a conditioning mask for your hair, try a face mask, paint your nails.. Go crazy. Chances are taking a little time to pamper yourself will help you feel better. :) 

So that has been my week. What do you do to stay sane when you're sick or when you're trying to get better? Leave a comment and let me know your tips! :) 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Oasis Voxbox Review

Hello friends!

It's no secret that summer is my favorite season. Sunshine, warm temps, trips to the Lake.. carefree days enjoying life. What could be better? 

I was thrilled to receive the Oasis Voxbox from Influenster. Packed with goodies perfect for summertime, I couldn't wait to test them all out! 

In case you've never heard of it, Influenster is a  website where you can discover new products, write honest reviews, create personalized lists of your favorite products or create wishlists, earn badges, participate in campaigns, and test out products for free! Anyone can join!

Click here to sign up and get started:

I've been using these products for the past month, and I have to say, this was an awesome voxbox! 

Oasis Voxbox from Influenster

*Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own*

Vera Wang Embrace Fragrances

Vera Wang Embrace Fragrances - MSRP: $29.99

These fragrances were delightful. Light, refreshing, romantic, and sophisticated, they were perfect for summertime. The Green Tea ad Pear Blossom was my favorite of the two samples. A few spritzes on the wrist, the back of the neck, and behind each knee was enough to last all day. I loved them for a day out with my family and I think they would be perfect for date night, too. 

Overall: 5 stars out of 5.

Rolled up jeans, a versatile tank blouse, classic heels, and Vera Wang Embrace for a day out.

A pretty dress, pearls, and Vera Wang Embrace for a perfect date night

Eva NYC Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer

Eva Hair NYC 10 in 1 Primer - MSRP: $11.99 for 6oz.

My long, red hair is my signature and I'm pretty picky about the products I use. I want products that are inexpensive, quality, and that actually do what they claim to do. You ladies (and gents) with long hair know how easy it is for your hair to get tangled up and how painful it is to comb, pic, or brush it out. I absolutely loathe washing my hair because it gets so tangled, no matter how much conditioner I use. In addition to that, the humidity of summer and the sun can make my hair frizzy and dry. Not a cute look. 

I have had success with this brand before and I was happy to test this product out. First of all, it smells amazing... and the scent lasts in your hair throughout the day. Second, a few spritzes all over after washing my hair, allowed me to comb it out with no hassles. Seriously, no tangles, no fuss, no drama. It helped me achieve beautiful hair. I don't typically use a blow dryer, I let my hair air dry.. it still took a long time for my hair to dry, but it did help prevent frizziness, and my hair was shiny and soft. I love this and definitely recommend it to everyone who has long hair!! 

Overall: 5 stars out of 5.

Hello gorgeous hair!

Welch's Fruit Rolls

Welch's Fruit Rolls - MSRP: $2.99

I love snacking and it's a bit of a miracle that these three fruit rolls sat on the counter for a few days before we devoured them. All three of these were delicious and fruity. They each had that real fruit flavor and they have 100% of the recommended value of Vitamin C. Win-Win. Strawberry was our favorite flavor, hands down. They are the perfect size to stash in your purse or desk... healthy snacking on the go, made easy! We'll be buying these on our next trip to the grocery store. 

Overall: 5 stars out of 5. 

These fit perfectly in my clutch for snacking on the go!

Aloha Protein Bar in Mocha

Aloha Protein Bar in Mocha MSRP: $2.50

Love at first sight. Or should I say love at first bite? haha! When I opened the box and saw that I received the Mocha flavor, it was apparent that Influenster knew my soul. I am a coffee and chocolate lover, so what could be better than mocha? When you open the wrapper, it looks just like a candy bar and smells like chocolate!! I shared this with my son and we both loved it! It was tasty and filling! ...and my son is a picky eater, so for him to say he liked it, means something. These protein bars are perfect for a quick lunch on the go, an in-between meals snack, or before or after an intense workout! I will definitely be looking for these at the store! 

Overall: 5 stars out of 5.


Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation

Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation MSRP: $9.99-$10.99

And then there was make-up. I cannot say enough good things about this foundation. First of all, it goes on light, but gives you full coverage. So, you look flawless, feel beautiful and confident, while also still feeling like yourself. This foundation gave my skin a radiant glow, lasted all day, even through my workout. I have sensitive skin, but this wasn't harsh and it didn't make me breakout. It also has a slight citrusy scent that is refreshing. This foundation is perfect for summer! I've been wearing it everyday and I've found myself putting it on, even when I'm just lounging around the house. I love it! 

Overall: 5 stars out of 5.

Casual make-up look thanks to Covergirl

Flawless make-up and coffee with Groot

Evolution Fresh

Evolution Fresh Green Devotion MSRP: $2.99-$4.99

I redeemed my coupon at Kroger and chose the Green Devotion juice to try. (It was the only one they had.) Evolution Fresh makes it easy to be healthy on the go. This tasted very earthy. As I was looking through other Influensters' photos and reviews, I realized that Evolution Fresh has many options to choose from, including fruity flavors. This one wasn't for me, but I am interested in trying some of the other flavors.

Overall: 3 stars out of 5.

That is everything that was in the Oasis Voxbox. I loved testing out all of these products! Have you tried any of these? Did you receive this Voxbox? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Summer Tone Up 2017 | Week 4 Check in | #TIU

Good morning friends! 

It's Monday already! Yesterday marks one month until my birthday... one more month of the 20's decade. 


Today is also the start of week 5 of the Summer Tone Up Fitness challenge. That means it's time for a check - in... and measurements.

I will admit, I was nervous taking these measurements. There's something frightening about having to face the reality of the tape measure. Last night I felt thin and confident... but after a few hours of sleep and 2 cups of coffee, I wasn't feeling like I was going to enjoy what the tape measure had to say. 

Before I reveal the results, let's discuss how the week went. 

I started this week by honoring my body. I rolled out the mat, put on my Spotify playlist, and just moved. It was absolutely perfect and exactly what I needed.

Because I found myself getting tired of doing the same workouts every week for this challenge, I found myself gravitating toward Tracy Campoli videos. I love her workouts and it was nice to switch it up. Sometimes that's exactly what you need to refresh your mind and body.

In addition to that, I've been doing a separate booty challenge that my friend, Kaddie is hosting. That is killer, but is definitely helping accelerate my results.  
I attended both Live workouts this week and they were so good! I love working out with Karena and Katrina in real time. It's so fun! 

I worked out every single day, and I'm getting stronger and more flexible... which is apparent in my yoga challenges. 

I have to say, if you are struggling with accountability and motivation, sign up for Instagram and join a yoga challenge. Even on the days when you don't want to do anything, you'll find that you push yourself to get it done because you have to post your picture to participate in the challenge. And, it helps you ease out of your comfort zone. Just look at that featured image of me in a handstand. I have this irrational fear of being upside down... I don't know why, I don't know where it comes from.. but it's ridiculous. Anyway, in doing these yoga challenges, I've been, in a way, forced out of my comfort zone. I say "in a way" because I am choosing to participate in the yoga challenges. Had I not faced this fear and kept only doing the "safe" poses, I never would have experienced the joy of this posture. Now, I am far from being able to flip myself up and I am not quite at balancing on my own.. I need the assistance of the tree or a wall.. but I'm getting stronger and more confident. If you follow me on Insta, you saw that I was able to get myself into the EPK posture.. what? Amazing! While Yoga isn't about "doing" the pose, it still feels pretty awesome when find that you are able to do more than before, as with anything in life. :) 

Anyway, below shows you how I felt on Friday night... 

And now for the results...

I was surprised and it is definitely a testament to "trust the process."

I lost .75 inches around my stomach; .50 inches around my waist; .75 inches off my hips; .50 inches off each arm; I gained .50 inches on one leg, but lost .50 inches on the other - which is fine because now they are the same. Basically about 3 inches overall. Not too shabby. Since I tossed my scale a few years ago, and I'm not planning on going to the doctor anytime soon, I don't know if I've lost actual pounds, but I'm not too concerned about that. 

So I'm pretty happy with this and motivated to kick it up a few notches the next few weeks. I'm planning on making time for my Tracy Anderson workouts again and keeping up with the rest of the challenge. :) 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

13 Inspiring Quotes on the Power of Lifelong Learning

Hello friends! Happy Sunday!

Can you believe we are about halfway through August already? It's truly amazing how quickly time seems to pass as you get older. 

Many kids are heading back to school this week and I thought it would be the perfect time to share more of my favorite inspirational quotes this week on the topic of education. 

Learning is truly a lifelong journey and although it sounds cliche, the older I get the more I realize how little I actually know. 

Isn't it funny how we can hear our parents' and grandparents' voices in the back of our minds every now and then during different times in our lives? 

I will say that it is infinitely harder for me to focus and learn something new now that I'm older. When I was younger, learning came so easy. Now I have to actually work for it. 

But one thing remains the same, my love for the library. It is still one of my favorite places to be; I could spend all day just browsing the shelves and picking out interesting titles, perusing a few books here and there. That's my idea of an amazing day!

Anyway, without further ado...

Let's jump right in. 

"Being educated is the difference between wishing you could do some good and being able to do some good."
-Russell M Nelson

"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."
-Malcom X

"Education is not preparation for life; Education is life itself."
-John Dewey

"The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life."

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-Malcolm Forbes

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
-Nelson Mandela 

"Education isn't something you can finish."
-Isaac Asimov

"Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it."
-Albert Einstein

For more inspiration check out:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Road Trip Adventure and New Additions to the Family

Hello friends!

Happy Saturday! I hope you are all enjoying a relaxing day. 

This past week we took a little road trip. Sometimes you just need to climb in the car, roll the windows down, and cruise.

Enjoying my #FreeSample of Red Bull Summer Edition Grapefruit from Smiley360.

It was a beautiful day, sun shining, blue skies, 80 degrees. 

We visited with family all day and came home with four beautiful plants. 

Meet Francine.

A spunky spider plant. She has four new starts growing, so once she has acclimated to her new home, I'll be able to clip them and have new plants!

Meet Agnes.

A peace lily. Just a gorgeous plant that has made her home on our dining room table.

Meet Ebenezer.

I was humbled to receive Ebenezer. He is a Christmas Cactus that is right at home in our den, in front of our 1970's world map. 

And Tyrion... a 4 ft. Candelabra Cactus. You don't get to meet him just yet. We need to re-pot him first. 

And those are the newest members of our family. 

The gorgeous sunset.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Summer Tone Up 2017 | Week 3 Check in | #TIU

Hello friends! Happy Monday!

Week 3 of the Summer Tone Up has ended... it was a little rough for me. If you read my inspirational post yesterday, you know that I had a few setbacks this past week.

First, I somehow hurt my ankle. I don't know how, but I got up from the table, started walking, and instantly felt a sharp twinge. Nice. I wrapped it up that evening and did a workout, albeit modified and slow.

Then as if that wasn't enough, I woke up to a slight tickle, ache feeling in my throat. You know the one... the inkling that if you don't start intensely taking precautions, you're going to end up out of commission for the next week and a half to two weeks.



So, I took it easy. I figured a little bit of working out was better than going full tilt, getting sick, and being benched for up to two weeks.

It worked. I'm not sick. My ankle is fine, but I should probably take the 5 minutes to wrap it before working out each day.

But, I was supposed to take measurements yesterday.

That would have been a bad idea. I have bulked, which is normal for me in this stage of fitness challenges. I always, without fail, bulk up and then so long as I trust in the process and keep going, I slim out.

In addition to that, I have been ravenous, and I may have been indulging in more carbs than normal.

So... for the sake of my well being, I opted out of measurements yesterday. I will take them next week. :)

I have found myself getting a little tired of this challenge. Yesterday's workout was once again beach ballin' + a run. I wasn't feeling it. I opted for music and a nice yoga sesh instead.

Today I'm feeling much the same way. So, I will do some HIIT, just not the TIU video. I get tired of doing the same videos, the same moves, over and over again. I need to switch it up and have variety.

In no way am I a fitness expert or fitness model.

I'm an Ohio gal, a mom, a wife, who has a deep passion for fitness and health.

And that is why I love these check-ins and despite thinking that I didn't have much to say and wouldn't write this post today, I decided to do it anyway. To show you that if you feel tired, discouraged, uninspired, unmotivated.. you're not alone. We all feel that way from time to time.

And it's okay to whine and complain for a little bit... then you stop. Take a deep breath. Suck it up. Put on your workout clothes, and get it done. Just like anything else in this life. Sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do. But we do it anyway. And guess what? You're spending time doing it, you may as well change your attitude about it. Be grateful and smile because you are alive and you can move. Or be grateful and smile because you sucked it up, got it done, and now you can move on with your day.

Week 4, I'm coming for ya. :)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Read This When You're Feeling Discouraged.

Good morning Friends! Happy Sunday!

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your summer! We've had a little break from the rain and have enjoyed a few days of sunshine and comfortable temperatures. 

Our days are spent trying to enjoy our last weeks of summer before school starts. But this past week, I had a little setback. First, I somehow hurt my ankle. Not sure how or why. I couldn't blame the weather and I hadn't done much in the way of cardio that day. But, these things happen. I've noticed as I've gotten older that all it takes is moving wrong to upset something in my body. And by wrong, I mean just simply moving. haha. This issue was easily fixed by wrapping the ankle. And then I ended up wrapping both ankles because they were both sore... fun times. I always joke that if some part of my body didn't hurt, then I would think something was seriously wrong. hahaha! 

Then, I woke up earlier this week with a sore-ish throat. It wasn't allergies.. It was that nice inkling, "Hey! You're about to get really sick unless you ease back.." Because I don't want to get sick, I immediately started taking precautions. I drank the free samples of Ester-C I got from BzzAgent, I popped some ibuprofen, gargled salt water, sprayed the red sore throat spray all over, and enjoyed some fisherman's friend drops. I also eased back on my workouts a little and tried to rest more.

Seemed to help. The throat thing went away.  

Today is also supposed to be measurement day. Hahahahhaha.... sigh. 

I can feel the bulkiness in my body. This happens every challenge around week 3 and 4. Combined with having to take it easy this week, and a ravenous appetite.. yeah. No.

Ten years ago, this would have left me pretty discouraged. I would have been upset and l would have let it ruin my day.

But time, perspective, and a sense of humor give clarity.

It's not the end of the world.

I'm pretty fortunate, it could always be worse. 

And, my favorite, in the grand scheme of the universe, this is a blip and completely insignificant. 

At some point, we all face setbacks. And it's easy to become discouraged.
You're not alone. We all feel this way at one point or another.

So today, I wanted to share some of my favorite nuggets of wisdom to help inspire you to rise above whatever you're facing in your life, and move forward with a new perspective and a little humor.