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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Adrianne's Current Skincare Routine

After a lot of experimenting with different products over the years, I’ve finally settled on a skincare routine that works for me. Although it’s kind of a mish-mash of products from a few different brands, I’m happy with the combination. Of course I get the usual skincare concerns, but overall I feel much more comfortable and confident with my skin than I did just a few years ago.


  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
  • Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15– Sensitive
  • Lip balm or gloss with SPF (varies)
  • Jergens Original Scent Cherry-Almond Moisturizer
Every morning I use Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser. I’m not sure what I did before I found this face wash. It’s extremely gentle and does a good job of removing any oil from the face without drying the skin. I follow up by patting my skin dry and applying Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer to my face, neck and ears. Depending on how I’ve done my makeup, I use either a lip balm or gloss. One additional product I use is Jergens lotion—I douse myself in it after I shower. This is a must for me because of my dry skin.


  • Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
  • Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Makeup Remover
  • Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion
  • Olay Night of Olay Firming Cream
  • Clinique All About Eyes Rich
  • Eos Lip Balm Smooth Sphere
  • Jergens Original Scent Cherry-Almond Moisturizer
My night routine is a little more time-consuming. First, I use a makeup wipe to gently take away some of my makeup. Then I use my Cetaphil cleanser and pat my skin dry. I soak a cotton ball in Neutrogena Oil-Free Makeup Remover to take away remnants of eye makeup and mascara. After that, I soak a cotton ball with Clinique’s Mild Clarifying Lotion. This stuff is great for removing those last traces of makeup and toning the skin. Then, I apply Night of Olay Firming Cream all over my face and target the skin around my eyes with Clinique’s All About Eyes Rich (click here for my review). I finish off my facial routine by applying Eos Lip Balm (click here for my review). One of the last things I do before I go to bed every night is massage some Jergens lotion into my feet and put on a pair of cotton socks. This does wonders for smoothing out dry patches.

Body and Miscellaneous

  • Clinique Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel
  • St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub
There are a few skincare products that I don’t use every day, but they are important to my routine. I exfoliate once or twice per week (always at night) with St. Ives Invigorating Apricot Scrub. My mom introduced me to this product years ago and it’s always been a go-to of mine—cheap and effective. I’ve also been using Clinique’s Spot Healing Gel (see my review here) to target blemishes.

Even though I’m happy with my routine, I’m always searching for new products to try, particularly those that can help heal or fade dark spots and the occasional blemish.

Tell us about your skincare routine! What are your must-have products?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nutrition: Natural Healthier Homemade PB Cups Recipe

If I could pick one thing that I could eat forever and never get sick of it would be peanut butter. Seriously I'm obsessed. I put it in my oatmeal every morning and even eat spoonfuls of it as a snack. I buy the natural kind at Trader Joe's so I don't feel THAT bad about my obsession -- it's a good source of healthy fats and protein.

I recently experimented making my own homemade healthier version of a PB cup and I nailed it. I can't eat added sugars so I omitted it from the ones that I made but it can easily be incorporated into this recipe to make it a little sweeter. If you love peanut butter you're going to love this treat. It's full of good fats and oils and is 100% natural. Can't beat that.

What you'll need (makes 1 large personal PB cup):

1-2 tablespoons peanut butter (or any nut butter of your choice) Since I love peanut butter so much I like my radio to be more PB and less coconut oil/coco powder but if you like them equally the same you can change the measurement ratios.
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2-1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder 
1 teaspoon sweetener of choice (I omitted this step) 
1 cupcake liner 

What to do:
1. Take your cupcake liner and put your peanut butter layer on the bottom. 

2. Melt the coconut oil in the microwave for 15-30 seconds until it liquifies 
3. Stir in the cocoa powder (and sweetener if you choose) and it will form a liquid chocolate sauce 
4. Poor on top of your PB base 

5. Freeze for a minimum of 2 hours 

6. Enjoy! 

Note: These will melt if kept outside of the freezer so if you make more than one or don't eat the entire thing remember to store the extras back in the freezer.

These couldn't be easier to make and only require a few simple ingredients. I have been eating these for the past few nights and it's safe to say I've found a new guilty pleasure. 

What do you think of this recipe? Do you have other natural healthy desserts you'd like to share?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Guest Post: Get In Shape With Your RightFit

Think back to Thanksgiving. The season for drinking, eating, and lounging had just begun. You spent a week eating heavy yet delicious food, and tipping back a few beverages. Immediately following Thanksgiving, t'was the season to gain a solid 5-10 pounds. This was the tipping point. You knew that you had to do something to better your life. It was New Years Resolution time. You made a promise that starting on January 1st, 2013, you were going to jump on the path to health and fitness. Fried foods were out of the question. You bought a gym membership and planned on going six days a week. You planned on significantly limiting the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed. 2013 was going to be the year for you to get in the best shape of your life!

Fast forward to today. February is in the rear view, and you'd rather not remember the amount of times you visited the drive-thru. You're still hanging onto your gym membership, but you're paying close to $40 a visit at the rate that you go. It was easy to think that you wouldn't drink, but you can't help but pour yourself an extra glass of wine at the end of a long Winter's day. This is all completely normal, but how do you get out of this rut and back on the fast track to fitness? The solution: Hire a personal trainer. Whether you are looking to lose weight, build muscle, or just improve your overall level of fitness, a personal trainer will help you set and achieve your goals. 

There are countless benefits of working out with a personal trainer, with the most important being injury prevention. Proper guidance from a trainer can help your muscles develop in a challenging yet safe way. Trainers address your awareness of activating muscles used in each exercise, and they know the right combination of exercises and stress proper form. Another benefit of personal training is motivation. Having someone provide your reinforcement for your efforts is important regardless of where, when, or why you exercise.

Some people are wary to hire a personal trainer because they think they can’t afford it. This is an unfortunate fallacy because the cost of a session varies from trainer to trainer. What most people don’t realize, is that they can split a session with a friend. This not only makes personal training much more affordable, but the component of training with someone else will elevate the intensity of the workout and increase your motivation.

To find the right personal trainer for you, visit

Monday, February 25, 2013

Amanda's February Birchbox

I can't believe it's the last week in February already! Has this month flown by for anyone else? I really enjoyed the products in my Birchbox this month. I know some months are better than others but I really got some good products that I plan on purchasing once they run out. Let's take a look at all the goodies I received:

1. Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator

2. TIGI Catwalk Session Series Transforming Dry Shampoo

3. Jouer Matte Moisture Tint

4. Ghirardelli Milk & Caramel SQUARES

5. Juicy Couture Couture La La

1. Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
According to the Birchbox Breakdown: To fully appreciate this dermatologist-quality scrub, a mini skincare lesson is in order. Let’s start with enzymes: these potent ingredients actually dissolve the bonds that hold dead skin cells together. Microderm crystals, on the other hand, are ultra fine minerals that buff away tired skin. Vasanti’s multi-action exfoliator includes both enzymes and micro crystals, plus healing natural ingredients. The result? Renewed, decongested skin without any redness. A single tube will last you four to six months.
My review: I really liked this product. It was a great exfoliator that was SO gentle on my skin. Usually my sensitive skin gets red and even more flaky after using other products but not this one. It was perfect and left my skin so smooth.

2. TIGI Catwalk Session Series Transforming Dry Shampoo
According to the Birchbox Breakdown: If you’re a devoted Birchbox reader, you’re probably well aware that we have a serious infatuation with dry shampoo. Our latest obsession is this game-changer from hip brand TIGI. A couple of quick spritzes instantly zaps excess oil, perks up flat locks, and lets us go an extra day (okay, four) without shampooing.
My review: I LOVED this dry shampoo. I have a few other TIGI products that I love so I wasn't surprised that this product also was great. It smelled fantastic (even Jay said he loved the way it smelled!), made my hair less oily/greasy looking and gave some body and volume to my hair. The sample size is huge -- I was very happy that there is still so much more for me to use. I think this beats out my normal Tresemme dry shampoo!
3. Jouer Matte Moisture Tint
According to the Birchbox Breakdown: Ever since we discovered Jouer’s best selling Luminizing Moisture Tint, the skin perfector has been our secret to getting a healthy, glowy complexion. We never thought anything could come between us and our beloved LMT—until we met this brand new mattifying version. The oil-free formula controls shine all day long and gives skin a soft, velvety finish. It blends in easily and keeps your face protected with SPF 15. We don’t see anything wrong with having two favorites.
My review: Another home run! I thought this product blended great and although it's matte it was not drying at all (and I have really dry skin this time of year). I felt like the coverage was better than most tinted moisturizers I've tried. I was impressed and am sad the sample is so small!
4. Ghirardelli Milk & Caramel SQUARES
According to the Birchbox Breakdown: As Mary Kate and Ashley, Simon and Garfunkel, and Mickey and Minnie would probably attest, it takes two to make a thing go right. Enter our latest Birchbox Find: Ghirardelli’s melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate squares filled with velvety caramel. The individually-wrapped squares are perfect for snacking, and each is just under 75 calories. If you can be convinced to share, they make thoughtful treats for fellow chocolate-lovers.
My review: Another product I couldn't try, sadly. I will have to give this one to Jay to try out for me! I get why they throw these treat products in our boxes from time to time but for someone like me who can't eat them, it's one less product that month. I could see them as being a bonus or extra for the month, but not instead of a product.
5. Juicy Couture Couture La La
According to the Birchbox Breakdown: Created with the fearless free spirit in mind, this brand new scent from Juicy Couture is a punk rock update on the original Juicy Couture. One part fruity, one part tart, and one part floral, it’s neither too sweet nor too girly. Plus, the glam bottle is worthy of a front-and-center spot on your vanity.
My review: Another great perfume sample from Juicy Couture. I loved the scent and thought it was light and fruity.

So what did you think of what I got this month? Do you want to sign up for your own Birchbox? Click here!

Friday, February 22, 2013

GlamGlow Youth-Mud Tingling & Exfoliating Mud Mask: Part Two

On Wednesday, I wrote about the GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment. If you missed that, click here to check it out. Today I’ll be reviewing the Youth-Mud Tingling & Exfoliating Mud Mask.

This exfoliating mask is intended to gently exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin and leave it looking brighter, smoother and more youthful all while leaving the skin’s natural oils intact. Not only that, the mask is designed to help resurface skin, improve texture and tighten up large pores.

Like with the previous mask I reviewed, I used two samples of this product. I removed my makeup and washed my face, then spread on a layer of the mask all over my face (except near my eyes). The directions indicate to leave it on for 10 minutes to allow it to dry.

Once I applied the mask, it really made me understand why they call it a tingling mask. I immediately felt the tingling effects and would warn anyone with sensitive skin to test the product on an area other than their face first. I found it to be quite intense, especially not knowing what to expect the first time. I left the mask on for the full 10 minutes as directed. The tingling sensation fades after about a minute once the product starts to dry. 

The mask—as the name indicates—is a mud mask with tiny little exfoliating particles. The exfoliation part actually doesn’t happen until you remove the mask. After the 10 minutes are up, you need to pat your face with water and gently rub in a circular motion to mechanically exfoliate. 

This is a great exfoliating mask! After each time I used the product, my skin felt very smooth and fresh. The most important part—my skin didn’t feel dry after using the mask. GlamGlow says you can use the mask a couple times per week—and I believe it. Though the tingling upon first applying the product is intense, the actual exfoliation is gentle enough and my skin felt healthy  

I talked about this in my last review and think it’s worth mentioning again. This mask is also $69 for a 1.2 ounce jar. 

What’s your favorite exfoliating treatment?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Health & Fitness: Foam Rolling

I recently purchased a foam roller to use at home and I have no idea how I ever survived without it. I had used it here or there when I still had my gym membership but didn't use it consistently. I now use it every single night before I head to bed. Haven't heard of a foam roller before? Listen up, your life is about to change.

There are SO many benefits of foam rolling. Taking the time to unwind after sitting at a desk all day or relieving your  muscles after a hard workout is so important. Foam rolling helps relieve tension buildup in your back and shoulders (my favorite thing to work out on my foam roller), prevents your muscles from getting too tight after an intense workout and can help with flexibility. Runners out there: foam rolling really helps with IT band tightness and you can prevent so many running and exercise related injuries if you take the time to foam roll.
It may seem really silly at first (and it will probably hurt) but it is so worth the effort. I can't tell you how much stress and tension relief I've gotten with mine -- it's like a massage that you can get whenever you want and you can control how long you stay on what body part and how much pressure you apply. Nothing is greater than that!

Check out some of my favorite ways to use a foam roller on This will help you get the basics down and you can go from there.
Have you tried foam rolling before? What is your favorite way to prevent injuries?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

GlamGlow Face Masks: Part One

I recently got my hands on a few samples from GlamGlow, a relatively new brand based in Hollywood. For this first post I’ll review the SuperMud Clearing Treatment. (Stay tuned for my review of the Youth-Mud Tingling & Exfoliating Mud Mask.)

The SuperMud Clearing Treatment is designed to do a variety of things: heal and prevent blemishes, target problem areas and fight other common skin problems like whiteheads, blackheads, discoloration, razor bumps, in-grown hairs and more. The product also claims to come with PoreMatrix, which is intended to help encourage dirt and oil to be extracted from pores.

I tried two samples of this product. Each time I removed my makeup and thoroughly washed my face. I then applied a layer all over my face (avoiding my eye area). The directions say that you can wait 10, 15 or 20 minutes before washing off the mask. After 10 minutes, the mask completely dried on my face and was so tight that I chose not to leave it on any longer. Just a warning—your face is going to feel like you can’t move it. When the mask is totally dry, you’ll notice that it really accentuates your pores (just what every girl wants). Because the mask dried and really adhered to my skin, I patted my face with water before massaging the mask and washing it off. I had to rinse my face several times before the mask entirely came off.

I was really happy with the results! After both uses, my skin felt incredibly soft and I did notice that my breakouts started to heal the day after I used the mask for the first time. I found the product really easy-to-use and although I’m unable to currently test the long-term effects of the product, I can certainly attest to the effectiveness of the immediate results. I didn’t test the product on razor bumps or in-grown hairs, so I can’t say whether the products claim that it helps those is true. Also, one of the cool things about this mask is that you really don’t have to use it as a mask at all. The product can be used as a spot treatment to target certain areas of breakouts or problem skin. 

Now for the only downside I see with this product: the price tag. It’s $69 for a 1.2 ounce jar. Each sample packet I used was 0.07 ounces and that was the perfect amount to cover my entire face. If you do the math, that’s about 17 uses (probably many more if you’re only using it as a spot treatment). If you’re not prone to breakouts, blackheads/whiteheads or patches of oily skin, you may not want to spend the money on such a targeted treatment. If you do regularly experience these types of skin problems, a mask like this is probably worth investing in!

Let us know—do you regularly use face masks? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Aromatherapy: Natural Remedies to Fix Life's Ailments

My future sister-in-law Jill saved my life when we were on vacation and I had a terrible migraine. It also happened to be my birthday that day and I was in no mood to have a headache damper our fun! She pulled out some organic peppermint oil and told me to rub some into my temples, chest and wrists and to breath deep. I figured it was worth a shot and bam! less than 10 minutes later I was back in action. I couldn't believe how well the stuff worked and loved that I didn't have to take any medication to cure it.

For Christmas last year, she gifted me with some peppermint oil of my own as well as lavender for stress and Earth Goddess for balance. She purchased the Ananda Apothecary essential oils brand and I've loved the results. I'm a huge believer in natural remedies and try to avoid medication if I can - these oils are great for that!

As I mentioned above, peppermint oil is amazing for headaches. I haven't had to test this theory yet but apparently it also works wonders for motion sickness and general nausea for some people. How cool is that?
According to the Anada Apothecary website, lavender is traditionally used as an anti-inflammatory, is balancing, relieves pain, is calming and relaxing. I can say from personal experience that the lavender does help me relax and de-stress. I've been putting it on my wrists before work each morning and it's really helped me stay calm when my schedule gets crazy.

The Earth Goddess oil is said to also help when life gets a little chaotic. "A grounding blend to balance 'ether' and 'air' energy when things feel like they are moving a little fast." Perfect for my busy work schedule and hectic wedding planning!

If you're looking for ways to naturally cure your ailments I highly suggest looking into essential oils. There are so many others out there that I can't wait to try.

Have you tried aromatherapy before? Do you have other natural ways to cure life's problems?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Recipe: Quick and Easy Chicken Quesadillas

What you need:

  • 1 cup of cooked shredded chicken
  • ¾ cup of grated cheese (cheddar or a Mexican blend is best)
  • ¼ cup fresh tomato salsa or chopped tomatoes
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • Cooking spray

How to do it:

  1. In a bowl, combine the chicken, cheese and salsa/tomatoes. 
  2. Place two of the tortillas down on a flat surface.
  3. Scoop the chicken/cheese/salsa mixture onto the two tortillas, dividing evenly. Spread the mixture, but leave some room near the edges.
  4. Place the two remaining tortillas on top.
  5. Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray and place one of the quesadillas down. Cook over medium heat for two to three minutes. Flip and cook for an additional two minutes.
  6. Remove from the pan and slice into wedges.

A few tips to keep this recipe healthy:

  • If you absolutely must garnish with sour cream, use the fat free kind.
  • Use this meal as a way to get your veggies—add onions or peppers as part of the filling.
  • Top the quesadillas with sliced avocados or guacamole.
  • If you need a side to go with your meal, try black beans.


Friday, February 15, 2013

The Best Yellow Cake Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

Can you believe it? Valentine's Day is officially over already! I hope you all had a great day that was filled with tons of love -- no matter what you ended up doing. I'm going to share the BEST yellow cake cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting recipe with you today. I know it's a day late if you were looking for something sweet to bake for the holiday, but these are great ANY day of the year. Warning: cleanup can be tricky since you're going to the extra mile and not using a boxed cake mix or jar of frosting but the extra effort is definitely worth it. You can see from the photos that I need to work on my frosting skills, but as long as they taste delicious I think we can let that slide ;)

What you need for the chocolate buttercream frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons heavy cream

What to do:
1. Cream butter for a few minutes with a hand mixer.
2. Stir 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa mixture into the mixing bowl.
3. Turn mixer onto the lowest speed until the sugar and cocoa are mixed with the butter.
4. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla, salt and cream and beat for 3 minutes.
5. If frosting is a little runny, add a little more sugar and mix again/If your frosting is a little too thick, add additional cream 1 tablespoon at a time. (I had to add two additional tablespoons of cream before my mixture was perfect)

What you need for the yellow cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 + 1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1 cup milk (I used skim)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
24 cupcake liners

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place your cupcake liners in your cupcake baking pans.
2. In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
3. Add butter, milk and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed for 3-4 minutes, occasionally scraping sides of bowl. Add eggs, beat for 3 more minutes.
4. Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling each 3/4 of the way full. Bake approximately 25 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
5. Let completely cool before icing -- VERY IMPORTANT unless you want runny butter cream :)

Let us know if you make these cupcakes! Any other sweet treat recipes you'd like to share?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

5 Romantic Hairstyles

It's Valentine's Day! How are you celebrating? Whether you're staying in or going out, Valentine's Day is an opportunity to get all dolled up for the one you love. Continuing on the theme from Tuesday's post, here are five romantic (and easy-to-do!) hairstyles that will help you look fab for your date:

Sideswept and loose
Lauren Conrads romantic hairstyle

Big, bouncy curls
4 Easy Romantic Hairstyles That Have Valentine's Day Written All Over 'Em: Girls in the Beauty Department

Half-up and messy
Romantic Hairstyle 

Subtle waves
Emma Stone's 'do juxtaposes soft, romantic waves with edgy bobby pin art.

Tousled bun
wispy knot 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Coconut Oil Hydrating Hair Mask

It's no surprise that the winter is so harsh on our hair. My skin and hair have been so dry this season! I love using coconut oil for so many things: baking, cooking and even as an amazing beauty product. I decided to give myself a coconut oil hair mask treatment the other night and my hair has been so soft, silky, hydrated and frizz free ever since. I'm in love. It's so inexpensive and easy -- you've got to try this out! 

What you'll need:
Depending on how long your hair is you'll need 2-3 heaping spoonfuls of coconut oil
Hair brush
Hair clip

What to do:
1. Heat up your coconut oil in the microwave for 30-45 seconds until it turns into liquid
2. Using your hands or a brush coat your entire head with the coconut oil. I like to massage my scalp to get rid of dry flakes and to really moisturize my hair from root to tip. 
3. Use a hair clip or tie to keep your hair up off of your face and neck
4. The longer you can keep it in the better. The oil should be left in a minimum of 2 hours and ideally should be left in overnight. 
5. Shampoo your hair a few times to make sure all of the oil is out.
6. Style your hair as normal and enjoy your soft, shiny, beautiful hair! 

You'll have to let us know if you try this treatment! We know you're going to love it!