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Thursday, August 1, 2013

21 Habits of Happy People

Someone I'm friends with on Facebook recently posted a link to this article and it was too good not to share. I tend to ignore my FB feed, but for some reason this stood out as something I just had to read. It really spoke to me and I kept nodding and saying YES! out loud when I was reading some of these items. Your happiness is up to you and you alone -- and yes, you can change it! I was going to pick a few of my favorites to share but the entire list just is that good. These 21 things are listed here with my thoughts on each one. Click the link above to read the original article.

1. Appreciate Life
This is so easy to forget. We're so lucky to be alive and well. So many people don't get that opportunity to wake up and seize the day. As my dad often says, "at least I'm not pushing daises!" Don't take your life (or anyone) for granted!

2. Choose Friends Wisely
Do you have positive, supportive, amazing friends in your life? Well, awesome! If not? It's time to take a good look around and re-evaluate who you're putting time and energy into. Friends should make you feel good about yourself and should be there for you when you need them. Don't ever forget that.

3. Be Considerate
Love one another. I say this phrase a lot these days. Everyone is different. They think different, act different, look different and do things differently. Love them anyways and accept this. Try to give off positive vibes to everyone you encounter, you never know what they might be going through.

4. Learn Continuously
Always keep pushing to learn and do more. Never become comfortable with where you are at. If I never tried new things or pushed myself, I wouldn't be where I am today. Is it scary? Absolutely! But the risk is far worth the reward.

5. Creative Problem Solving
Experiencing some kind of lull or set back in your life? Instead of complaining and not do anything about it, see it as an awesome challenge to overcome. It's not going to fix itself, only you have the power to change things in your life. No one can change that but you.

6. Do What They Love
Most people absolutely hate what they do. Why? They feel pressure or just really need the paycheck. Hate it that bad that you can't change your attitude about it? It's not worth it. Life is far too short to be that miserable all the time. Trust me, the people around you will thank me for this tip of advice.

7. Enjoy Life
See the beauty in the little things. Life is an amazing gift that often gets cut way too short. Enjoy your days while you can becuase you never know what tomorrow brings. Stop and smell the roses once in a while :)

8. Laugh
Laughing cures everything. Honestly. If I'm having a bad day all I need to do is listen to Jay's fabulous impressions to cheer me up. You might be stubborn and try not to laugh, but honestly it feels so good to just give in and laugh. The full belly kind that make you ache when you're done. Try to take life less seriously and I promise you, you'll be a lot happier.

9. Forgive
Holding a grudge will only hurt yourself. That person you're mad at? They probably don't know or don't care very much. Let. It. Go. So not worth your time. Focus your energy on other things like the great people in your life and your goals and passions. You'll get a lot farther and you'll eventually forget about that jerk.

10. Gratitude
Count your blessings. You're very lucky. Yes, you. You have things that people only dream about. Be thankful for these things, even the little things in you life. They could be gone in an instant. Make sure to take the time to tell the loved ones in your life how much they mean to you -- that never gets old.

11. Invest in Relationships
What you put into your relationships is what you will get out of them. Time is a precious thing that we all wished we had more of. Some of my biggest regrets have been not making the time for someone or something. Be there for your friends and family, you'd be lost without them.

12. Keep Their Word
Always be honest. Honesty is not always the easiest thing, but in the long run will keep you out of a lot of trouble. You may not realize it, but everyone can spot a phony a mile away. Be honest with yourself and others. You'll sleep much better at night.

13. Meditate
Take some time out of the day to be alone with your thoughts. Some people like to read, do yoga, stretch, go on a walk, take a bath or long shower, etc. I find that calming myself down and focusing on grounding myself is one of the best things I can do for myself and the people that I encounter every day. If I let the stress build up and couldn't find some sort of outlet I'd feel really bad for my husband, friends and family. Who wants to be around that?

14. Mind Their Own Business
Ah, yes. I've noticed the importance of this one more and more as I get older. When I was in high school it was easy to get swept up in the drama. Now? I just want to live my life the way I want it and don't care if people don't like it. Concentrate on YOU and YOUR life. Don’t worry about what other people are doing or saying. Don’t get caught up in the gossip. Don’t judge. Everyone has a right to live their own life the way they want to – including you.

15. Optimism
Life gets hard. No doubt. Instead of folding up into a ball and burring your head in the sand, try to find the positive in every situation. It's hard, but I promise it's there. Usually it's a life lesson (a hard one) but I bet you'll never make that mistake again. Every situation can be turned into a learning experience. Like that time I let a "friend" borrow my car and they drove it into an industrial sized mailbox. The positive in that situation? Thank god no one got hurt (well just my wallet).

16. Love Unconditionally
Accept everyone. Your friends and family may not always do things that you agree with, but love them anyways. We're all different and we all deserved to be loved and supported. It's just that simple.

17. Persistence
Life gets hard sometimes (okay maybe a lot ... and usually a lot of hard things happen around the same time) but the only thing that keeps you down is you. If you quit or never try? You lose. Don't give up on the things that matter most to you. You can't ever succeed if you don't try.

18. Be Proactive
You can't change everything -- and you have to accept that. Don't waste your time or energy on things outside of your control. Worrying about stuff will only make you crazy and take years off of your life. Embrace it, it's okay to let go.

19. Self Care
You can't take care of others if you're not taking care of yourself. You need to make your health a priority in your life in order to be the best person you can. I always feel 100% better when I'm eating right, working out, getting enough sleep and water. It's crazy how quickly my mood can change when one of those things is off.

20. Self Confidence
No one can like you if you don't even like yourself. Practice a little self love and I promise your attitude about other things will change too. I used to care a lot about what other people thought until I realized that changing myself for others only led to me being more miserable instead of happy. Do things for yourself and yourself alone.

21. Take Responsibility
You are responsible for your moods, attitude, thoughts, feelings, actions and words. Mess up? Apologize and move on. Take responsibility for your life and your actions.

Be happy :)


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ipsy July Beach Beauty Bag Review

Beach Beauty was the theme for my July Ipsy bag and once again I really liked my samples! There was only one product this month that I didn't totally love. I'm so glad I made the switch from Birchbox and I won't be looking back. Here's what I got for July:
POP Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Coral Crush
From Ipsy: POP's Pouty Pop Crayon nourishes, treats, and adds that perfectly-plumped pop to lips. These extra-nourishing balms gently bounce onto lips creating a plumped & pillowy pout leaving them with luscious, long-lasting colour with a super-smooth texture. Available in six shades.

My review: I love this lip crayon! I absolutely love the color and I am so happy that the applicator has a twist dial that allows for much more product once it starts to get low. My Revlon lip crayon does not have that twist applicator and when my product got smashed in my bag, it was all gone. Needless to say, I was VERY happy with this product!

BH Cosmetics California Collection Eyeshadow Sample

From Ipsy: This BH Cosmetics makeup palette includes a shade from each of the California Collection palettes: Hollywood, San Francisco, and Malibu.

My review: I really liked these eyeshadow samples. I'm a sucker for anything purple so I was so happy to see that one of the shades was a beautiful plum color. I used all three to really play up my eyes and they looked great together.

Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray Conditioning & Texturizing Spray

From Ipsy: Creates beachy undone texture that looks and feels like you’ve spent a day at the beach. Contains argan oil which helps nourish, protect and heal hair damage.

My review: This was just okay for me. I really do love beach wavy hair (it brings me back to my childhood) but this product didn't give me more waves than I usually have. I liked that it didn't have a strong scent or make my hair feel sticky or weighed down, but it didn't do that much for me. Maybe if my hair was pin straight I would have noticed the difference it would make but for me it just didn't change the texture of my hair. I do love the Sexy Hair line so maybe this was just a fluke. Next time!

COOLA Mineral Face SPF 20 Unscented Moisturizer

From Ipsy: Keep the sun and environment at bay with this SPF 20 broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen; a clear, Titanium Dioxide based formula (for those who are Zinc sensitive) made with 98% natural ingredients.

My review: I actually received a COOLA face moisturizer in my May Birchbox but I really liked the sample so I was happy to get another moisturizer from the line. I really liked the mineral face SPF and again love the fact that 98% of this product is made from natural ingredients. I put it on before going out for 9 holes of golf and it kept the sun away from my face the entire time. Great product!

Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Lacquer In Mai Tai
From Ipsy: Beach-ready doesn't stop at your coverup! It goes all the way down to your toes! Nailtini is making sure your toes are nothing less than intoxicating this summer with our seasonal fave shade, Mai Tai. This rich creamy tangerine sunrise is the perfect complement to sandals and sun-kissed skin.

My review: With how active I am it's really hard to find nail polish that will actually stay on my hands and not chip. Even Essie and OPI nail polishes chip after a day on me! This stuff lasted DAYS longer and I really loved how it went on. It dried a little more orange coral than pink coral, but the color was bright and fun. I went to CrossFit twice with it on and it held up! I was very impressed!
Want to try out Ipsy for yourself? Sign up for your own glam bag here! Only $10 a month and SO worth it!
*disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I pay for Ipsy out of my own pocket and really enjoy my subscription every month. If you click the link above and sign up for  your own bag I get a few Ipsy points for the referral :)


Monday, July 22, 2013

Beauty Review: Medicine Mama's Sweet Bee Magic All in One Healing Skin Cream


I've tried everything for my dry skin and I am happy to announce that I've finally found my secret weapon: Medicine Mama's Sweet Bee Magic All in One Healing Skin Cream. This stuff is amazing. I had heard celebrities raving about Egyptian Magic cream but didnt' want to pay that much money for it. When reading reviews, many people commented that Medicine Mama's was virtually the same product but for way cheaper. I couldn't wait to check it out for myself!  
It's an all-natural, all-over, miracle healing skin cream that promotes radiant, supple skin. My skin has been glowing since using this stuff. I put it on my face every night before bed and wake up with the smoothest, softest, clearest skin I've ever had. I also use it on very dry spots on my body such as my feet and have noticed a huge difference virtually overnight.
I love that all of the ingredients are natural and there are no harsh chemicals to irritate my sensitive skin. I will be using this stuff from now on as my favorite beauty tool!

Do you have any beauty secret weapons? Share them in the comments!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Baked sweet potato fries are my newest obsession and favorite treat. They are gluten-free friendly, paleo friendly, and well, just darn delicious. And because they are sweet potatoes AND baked instead of fried, there's no guilt involved. Just a plate full of yumminess.
Warning, they are extremely addicting so if you do decide to make these don't say I didn't give you a heads up.
What you'll need:
2 small or 1 large sweet potato washed
1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil
Sea salt and cinnamon to taste
What to do:
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Wash your sweet potatoes and cut them into long thin strips. The thinner they are, the crispier they get. Put them in a large bowl and add the coconut oil and gently toss the sweet potatoes until they are evenly coated. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place your fries evenly on the tray. Sprinkle sea salt and cinnamon evenly over your fries. Bake for 20 minutes turning once about halfway through. Let cool (this was pure torture for me). Enjoy!
These were gone in a matter of minutes. I have a feeling this is going to be a regular in my weekly rotation. Yum!
Have you made sweet potato fries before? Let us know if you try this out!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Intro to CrossFit Post 2 + Another Beginner Workout

If you read my last post about CrossFit you know that it's a lot of functional movements at a very high intensity. In other words, you workout as hard as you can as quickly as you can. It's tough, and we haven't even been to our first full class yet!
Our second class included learning more moves that we would be using during our regular sessions. We learned how to properly do a dead lift (turns out it's NOT a back exercise like I originally thought - whoops!), cleans, wall balls and burpees. All of these moves were very hard and took me a while to get a hang of. After we went through the movements with the coach several times to work on form, he let us loose to do a modified WOD that incorporated these movements.

10 Reps for Time
5 Dead lifts
5 Cleans
5 Wall balls
5 Burpees
It took every ounce of effort and energy for me to finish. At about rep 7 I was struggling and knew I had to stay mentally strong to finish. It took me 21:11 to get through it (a lot slower than I hoped) but I finished. I'm proud that I was able to do that and now have a goal time to beat for next time we do a similar workout.
I know there are a lot more CrossFit moves that we didn't cover during our introductory classes but I am looking forward to learning more as we go. Our first real class is tonight and I can't wait! I'll report back soon -- that is if I can still type.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Need Help Getting to Sleep at Night? Try Magnesium!

When Jay and I visited my mom in Arizona last year she had us try some magnesium supplements before we went to bed to help us calm down and sleep better. I didn't know how much it would actually help but to my surprise it did wonders! I felt instantly calmer and ready to settle down for the night. I finally purchased some of my own and have been using it pretty frequently lately. It helps me to unwind from the day and relax before bed time.
Magnesium not only helps to relax you but also does wonders for your stress levels! It also helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong.
I mix 2 heaping teaspoons with about 6 oz hot water and stir until it's dissolved. I try to drink this at least a half hour before bedtime to allow my body to unwind and relax.
Many people are deficient in magnesium and don't even know it! Always check with a doctor before adding any supplements to your routine. If you're looking for a way to wind down before bed and to help reduce your stress levels, you should give it a try!

Do you have trouble calming down before bedtime? Are there any things you do that work well for you?


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review: Coach Poppy Perfume

One of the joys of visiting Target is that I can walk in to buy some groceries and walk out with an amazing new perfume.

Last week I browsed the perfume aisle at Target and decided to try out the Coach Poppy fragrance. Once I smelled it, I knew I had to purchase it. I hadn’t treated myself to a new perfume in a very long and decided to splurge. The bottle I purchased was $40 for one ounce. (Quick note: this same size may cost $45 depending on where you purchase.)

I prefer fragrances that are fruity, not too overpowering and not overly floral. Darker musky fragrances don’t work well on me and don’t fit my personality. Coach’s Poppy fragrance contains jasmine, gardenia, rose petals, freesia, water lily, cedarwood, sandalwood, vanilla, marshmallow, mandarin and cucumber. That sounds like a whole lot of floral, but it isn’t. It’s the right amount of floral and extremely light and sweet. Coach Poppy is fruity, delicate, feminine and sophisticated.

If you’re looking for a new perfume, I strongly encourage you check this one out! What’s your favorite fragrance?