Lifestyle

My Skincare Routine

Happy Tuesday! Today, I wanted to talk about my skincare routine as so many of you have asked what I use! Generally speaking, I do not have a super time consuming routine and tend to only focus on a few products. I also drink plenty of water during the day, which I believe helps a lot, and I ALWAYS wash my face in the morning and at night.

My Skin Type

Let’s talk skin- I would say I have dry skin as certain areas can become quite dry (around my nose and mouth). As a teenager, I never had really had severe acne, but I will say that I did have mild acne with pimples mainly on my forehead and chin.

I am very conscious about taking care of my skin and try to do small things to limit aging! I drink water constantly and try to get in at least 64 ounces per day. Fun fact- I hate sugary drinks like juice and soda and avoid them at all costs. I also never let my face in the sun- if I am laying out, I will cover my face with a towel or have a hat on. I think that limiting sun exposure, drinking fluids, and keeping your face moisturized (plus some good genetics- thanks mom and dad) can definitely help to fight the signs of aging!

Skincare Routine

About ago, I noticed my favorite bloggers were all using the same product, Tula. Being a beauty junkie and hearing so many people talk highly about this skincare brand, I jumped and bought some of their products! I did a little research and learned that TULA uses probiotics in all of their products. Basically, probiotics are the “good bacteria” we want in our bodies to help keep everything working like it should. By incorporating probiotics into their skincare, TULA’s products have been clinically proven to balance your skin, lock in moisture, and leave your complexion more hydrated and less inflamed. I was so excited to start using these products!

Guys, I am not kidding you when I say that the first time I used their face cleanser, my skin was immediately so soft and glowing! I even made my mom use the face cleanser too haha! I started using a few other of their products including the Aqua Infusion Power Liquid, Pro-Glycolic 10% pH Resurfacing Gel, and the Hydrating Day and Night Cream and under eye stick. The power liquid is a super hydrating gel that always leaves my skin more dewy! The resurfacing gel helps to tone and exfoliate my skin, while removing excess oil (thank you!) and debris. Lastly, the day and night cream is a super thick product that is extremely hydrating (a little dab with do ya!). And finally the under eye Glow and Get it stick contains caffeine which instantly wakes up your tired eyes.

Morning Routine

First, I wash my face with the cleanser using my Clarisonic, then I apply the resurfacing gel with a cotton ball, then I apply the power liquid and last I eye the under eye glow and get it stick. I let my face completely dry and then start applying my makeup.

Nighttime Routine

At night, I do the same steps above, but at the end I apply the hydrating cream. Sometimes, I will just put the cream on a few of my more dry spots (around my nose and mouth), but other times I will just put it all over my face! 

Below, I linked each of the items that I use!

Masks

About once a week, I try to do some type of face mask- typically on Sunday nights. My favorite face mask is this one– I love how my skin feels afterwards and I really do think it helps to unclog my pores. I feel like with so many masks I really don’t notice a difference afterwards, but I always notice that my skin looks better once I have used this mask. Although I will try out other masks, I always come back to this one. One of my other favorites include this one here.

For those of you that would like to try out TULA, I would recommend starting off with one of their “starter packs.” These packs come with smaller, travel-size products so you are able to try the products for less! TULA has three different starter packs including the discovery kit (the one I started with), the clear complexion kit (for those struggling with acne), and the anti-aging discovery kit (for those who want more anti-aging products). 

Over the last few months, I have definitely noticed that my skin is more supple, dewy, and radiant. I feel more confident not wearing makeup and am so happy with how my skin has transformed. I would highly recommend trying out these products if you are looking to switch up your skincare routine! *As a side note, this is not a sponsored post- I genuinely love these products and wanted to share them with you all!

If you try out TULA, let me know how it goes! I would love to hear your thoughts on it and how much you love it! 

As always, thank you for reading and sharing!

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Lifestyle

Getting my creative mojo back

Hi loves,

I’ve felt like I’ve lost my creativity over the last month or so.

Im referring to the passion I once felt around my blog and the way I express myself.

I am talking about creativity in the form of writing, photography and ideas.

I lost a sense of inspiration and curiosity around my world which might be sparked or expressed by wearing interesting pieces of clothing or jewellery, exploring local markets or galleries, noticing beautiful moments or being creative about daily routines and being open to possibilities and opportunities.

Overall I just haven’t felt like me on a creative sense and I knew I needed to change that. I haven’t had the urge to write or read in weeks and this makes me want to cringe because I use to find so much joy in these everyday rituals.

Last Sunday I decided enough was enough and I would use the next seven days to figure out 1. Why? 2. How to fix it. 3. Fix it!

Here’s what I asked myself:

Why do we lose our creativity?

Of course there are many reasons. I think part of why my creativity has been lost because there is no space for it. Other things have been prioritised or workload doesn’t seem to allow it. However creativity can add a sense of richness that can make life feel far more fulfilling.

If you want to stay connected to your creativity, you need to see the value it brings to your life, prioritise it and give it some time and energy.

Five ways to get your creativity back

1. Move your body

You might feel that you’re being more productive sitting and working. However if you find you’re getting stuck, research conducted by Stamford suggests that walking stimulates creativity both during the activity and for a short time afterwards:

“A person walking indoors – on a treadmill in a room facing a blank wall – or walking outdoors in the fresh air produced twice as many creative responses compared to a person sitting down, one of the experiments found.”

So don’t feel guilty about stepping away from your desk and taking time for a walk while you think about your projects – it’s a proven way to boost your creativity.

2. Get off social media

It can be a fine line. Social media can be a source of creativity, with Instagram a current fave for many. I love it too!

However we all know how easily social media can go beyond inspiration and become a source of procrastination, comparisonitis, distraction, frustration or envy. And the fun and creativity of sharing photos, or anything else online, can also cross into pressure, or occasionally, into a carefully curated online image which conflicts with reality.

Social media can be a slippery slope and I’m sure many of us can relate to Sian Richardson’s words in her article, How to Stop the Death Spiral of Consumption:

“You check Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter the second you wake up. You launch into you emails before you’re even out of bed.

And before you know it… You’re all up amongst the death spiral that is mindless consumption and information overload. You don’t even realize you’re doing it until at least a week or two into it, when you find yourself constantly mind-f-d and really un-productive.”

Be honest with yourself: if you check your social media accounts or share photos and feel creative and inspired – great!

If you know you’re spending a lot of time on social media, and feeling creatively blocked yourself, or other unhelpful feelings and thoughts are being triggered, maybe it’s time to take a break. You might remove a few of your favourite social media apps from your phone for a while, or create some guidelines for yourself about how you want to engage.

It’s hard to feel creative if you’re filling every moment of downtime with images and stories from other people’s lives.

3. Plan or write on paper

If you usually work and create at a computer, it can be easy to sit with numerous tabs open in your browser (guilty!) and flick between different sites while you’re also creating or working. Needless to say, it can be distracting to create in such an environment.

Quite aside from the ability to be distracted, there are actually clear benefits to getting offline and handwriting some of the time.

Writing or taking notes by hand is so simple, but this Wall Street Journal article suggests that “writing by hand engages the brain in learning… (and) research highlights the hand’s unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas.”

4. Take breaks

Sometimes people struggle to stay productive and focused as they work – and then they admit they don’t take breaks and expect to sit at their desks and stay productive indefinitely.

If you have developed bad habits around this, you might find it useful to develop a list of short, life-enhancing activities that you could incorporate into breaks during your day to boost your wellbeing, focus and overall happiness.

It can be a mental shift to realise that taking these breaks can make you far MORE effective and productive.

Examples of short breaks:

• Do a short guided meditation – try one of Sara Brooke’s

• Turn up some of your favourite upbeat music and dance for 5 or 10 minutes

• Do a ten minute workout – you can find plenty on YouTube, like this 10 min arm workout from Tracy Anderson

• Make a green smoothie

• Take a walk around the block

• Do fifty squats, or push ups, or burpees (50 is a lot of burpees. Maybe 20!)

• Stretch, or do some restorative yoga

It’s pretty easy to see how incorporating any or all of these “breaks” into your workday is going to have positive flow on effects. Start your own list!

5. Re-fuel

Get conscious about how you’re fuelling yourself, in all ways:

• What kind of nutrition are you feeding yourself?

• What are you reading in terms of books or magazines?

• Have you been to any concerts, live music, art shows, Festivals or great movies lately?

• Could you spend some more time in nature or at the beach?

• Are you spending enough quality time with those you love?

• Is it time to initiate some new relationships?

• Might you explore a new hobby or short course, or devote some time to an interest that brings you joy?

• Might altering your work environment help?

• Explore different cafes to write or work out of.

For the last seven days I worked on all 5 of these tips and guess what? I got my juju back. I have 45 different blog topics to write about over the next few months. I have ideas on how to grow Megan Motivates and meet new people. I have pages and pages of things that are new and exciting.

Stay tuned… good things are coming.

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Lifestyle

One Year Ago

One year ago today I broke my hip after not being able to walk for the previous two months.I traveled to Disney.

Tennessee

and Myrtle Beach many times.

I faced many challenges everyday over the last year like tieing and buckling my shoes, putting my left leg in pants, getting up off the couch and getting out of bed.

I’ve learned so much over the last year and accomplished things I never thought I would do like skiing twice,

running again, lifting weights,

and walking miles and miles. And although these things are all physical they all require so much mental strength to push through the pain and weakness. So never let your weakness stop you from achieving your greatness.

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Lifestyle

Life Updates

Hi Friends! Boy did I have a rough couple of weeks with being sick, getting a sinus infection and then ending up in the hospital. It was a wild roller coaster but I’m finally feeling better!

I have been doing the Tone It Up studio workouts and going for a run 3x a week. I’m also starting Lauren Gliesberg ConfidenceKini challenge next week.

On a totally different not I’m debating whether I want to join a gym or not. The confidencekini challenge would be a lot easier at a gym but I have two dilemmas. The closer gym which is 10 minutes away is located on the beach which means lots of crowds and no parking.

The second gym is 20 minutes away and has plenty of parking but that’s just it, it’s 20 minutes away. What should I do? Decision, decisions.

I’m heading into the city for the night because I have a early doctors appointment tommorow. Have a great night!

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Lifestyle

MIA

Hi Friends! Happy Monday! I’m sorry I’ve been MIA! Ive spent the last two weeks so sick and actually ended up in the hospital last night and received a double blood transfusion yesterday. Unfortunately, the cancer is getting the best of me and its so frustrating. I haven’t needed a blood transfusion since November and I have been feeling so well up until last week. Hopefully this is short lived and I start to feel well soon!

As you can probably imagine I haven’t worked out in over a week. I am hoping to start my 21 day program tomorrow.

Anyway, I just wanted to hop on and let you all know I was alive. Make sure you follow me on Instagram to keep up with my daily updates.

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Lifestyle

Transform 20 Review

Transform :20 Program Details

The Workouts

Well, if you were actually reading above you know the workouts are 20 minutes. 20 minutes. Not 21, not 24, 20. When Shaun T says “let’s go,” you better be ready to MOVE. HA!

There are 3 Phases to the program:

  1. Commit
  2. Climb
  3. Conquer

Each phase gets harder. The moves more intricate. And the motivation, more impactful.

Each workout has a different name:

  • Burn
  • Faster
  • Stronger
  • Powerful
  • Cut
  • Balance

Burn though Cut (aka the Monday through Friday workouts) are intense.
You’ll be doing lots of fast feet movements up and down the step (think Speed 1.0/2.0 from T25 with a step), to lots of pushups, lots of burpees, and lots of abs.

To be honest, Week 1 was super rough for me! Not only because the step makes it even harder, I just wasn’t used to the non-stop, go go go, cardio anymore. That first workout will test your will to continue my friends — just keep going. You will get stronger.

Balance incorporates stretching, lighter cardio, and strength work.
It’s the perfect ending to the week. As of writing this blog, I am on Week 5, and my mindset has undergone a complete shift. I look forward to my workouts and I am loving it!

Each workout has 3 “Transformers.”
A Transformer is a move timed for a minute where you have to push yourself to complete as many reps as possible. You track these in the Transformation Trackers. They really do measure your improvements week-to-week.

My suggestion for the Transformers — if you are like me and have a hard time counting and moving fast (not puking), to record yourself doing the transformers so you can go back and count your reps following your workout.

And as of Week 6, I’ve lost 6 pounds!

Have I had some cocktails — YES. On those days where I indulge in a glass of wine, I follow (strictly) 2B Mindset. Lots of water, lots of veggies!

The Transformation Trackers

When you can track it, you can improve it, right?! Well, Shaun T uses that concept and provides us with a daily tracker that not only tracks your Transformers, but your food, and your mood. Because let’s face it, that is bound to change over the course of 6 weeks. HA!

I highly encourage you – TRACK TRACK TRACK!

Really sticking to the tracking process allows you to see your improvements over time and to gauge your level of commitment. It was really a stretch for me to do it, but I am glad I did. I have seen my numbers improve, and well, my mindset strengthen.

My Transform :20 Experience (Weeks 1–5)

At this point, you should know I will never lie to you about my reviews of our programs, so, here’s the honest truth.

That picture above? Yep, that’s how I was feeling the entire workout!

I absolutely, positively, with 100% conviction — HATED Day 1.

Hand to heart, 10 minutes into the workout I pondered shipping my step back to Beachbody and saying “thanks, but no thanks!” But at the end of Week 1, I understood what this program was about.

It’s about a transformation from the inside out.

And while at that moment, I didn’t yet realize how the program would impact me personally, I knew that my quitting would prevent others from experiencing massive and transformative personal breakthroughs. It was about more than the tough and fast moves, it was about the words, the positive affirmations, the positivity, the growth. I could see where Shaun T was going with this. He was going to push us to our breakthrough point. Ahhhh, got it!

Part of my apprehension on Day 1 was also due to the fact that I thought I was in much better shape. Remember the “fittest year of my life” thing. Yeaaaaa, not so much. This would require a different kind of fit. So, feeling slow and winded was a humbling experience and one that I would need to get used to as I pushed and got stronger every day. Day by day, I would get faster and stronger. Faster and stronger. That would be my goal.

But Day 2 was better and by Day 3 I was getting the hang of it.

And it was in Day 2 that I realized I had missed the whole “Transformer” thing in Day 1. Likely, because I was busy planning my exit from this group. HA!

By the end of Week 1, I had already lost 5 pounds and I was feeling fantastic. Who knew you could get results to fast with only 20 minutes a day! Drops the mic. This is going to rock people’s world!

Alright let’s all calm down — on Week 2 we headed to Las Vegas and I had Amazon ship me a step to our hotel. I know, I am extra AF. The first test of will-power was upon me. Was it easy? HELLLLLL NO! I had to workout while people were hanging at the bar. Not fun at all. But I made a commitment and so I pushed through.

Week 3 (the Climb phase) was my personal breakthrough week. It’s when I finally felt myself coming alive in this program. I was now looking forward to each workout, to the message, to the Transformers. Instead of having negative thoughts for 20 minutes, I found myself being my biggest cheerleader. Pushing myself to new heights. Week 4 I absolutely found myself in the ZONE.

And here I am, in Week 5 (the Conquer phase) being pushed even harder and staring down the barrel of finishing this amazing experience.

I am going to end here and circle back when I can show you my results and my overall complete experience and results. Hopefully, by reading this, you have felt inspired to embrace a new and different journey like I have.

Trust and believe — it will be worth every minute.

Ready To Try It With Me?

I’ll be hosting monthly Challenge Groups for anyone wanting to try this program with me! I’ll help you get set up with the right Challenge Pack, help with nutrition planning, and encourage and motivate you every step of the way!

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Lifestyle

Week In Review

Hey!

Happy Friday! This week was my week so get back on track and I’m really proud of myself. I officially finished Transformation 20 on Wednesday and started my new 21 day fitness program yesterday. The old Megan would have said, “I’ll start on Monday” but not the new Megan, the new Megan starts on a Thursday. Woohoo!🎉🎊

I’m still working on my eating. I’ve been on point with my meals, however; I fall off my program when it comes to snacking, (especially in the afternoons). Drinking my superfood shake at 3pm definitely helps me fight cravings but I’m still not doing as well as I should.

I know In time I will succeed. For now I’m proud of myself for completing my workout plan. This is the first time in my life I’ve ever successfully completed a workout plan I started!!

Here’s my goals for the next 21 Days:

  • Follow the program everyday
  • Drink my Superfood Shake in the afternoon
  • Stay on track with my points

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Lifestyle

Sick

One weekend of partying in Vermont and I am officially sick, just proves I can’t hang hang like I use to. Just Kidding but I really am sick. I woke up with morning feeling really achy and had a slight fever. Vermont was so fun catching up with old friends and making new ones.

On Friday when we arrived we all hung out and had some beers and wine and cooked dinner together. Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to head to the slopes. Mike and I mostly skied the green trails but did adventure to some blues. After skiing we did my favorite thing, drinking at the ski lodge aka Apres. It was so fun to hang out with the band and warm ourselves up after a cold day of skiing.

Saturday evening we all went out to one of the local bars called The Pickle Barrel. We had a blast dancing to the live music and just being with friends. Sadly on Sunday it was time for Mike and I to head home. Mike was so sweet and drove the whole way because I was not feeling too hot.

six

I woke up this morning with a fever and feeling rather achy so I am taking it easy and giving myself a rest day. I have a lot of volunteering this week so I a hoping I am better for the kids. Here’s my plan:

*Monday- rest

*Tuesday: – T:20: Stronger

*Wednesday – T20: Powerful

*Thursday – T20: Cut & Balanced

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Lifestyle

Monday!

Happy Monday friends! I’m currently sitting in the airport waiting for my flight back to New Jersey.

It was a short but fun few days away with family in South Carolina. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel 100% so I only worked out once. I’m feeling a lot better and ready for a busy week ahead. I volunteer on Wednesday and then on Friday Mike and I are heading to Vermont with a group of friends to go skiing at Killington. There’s like 30 of us so it should be a great time!

Here’s my workout scheduled:

Monday Rest Day

Tuesday Transformation 20 conquer week 6 burn & week 6 faster

Wednesday Transformation 20 conquer week 6 stronger

Thursday Transformation 20 conquer week 6 powerful

Friday Transformation 20 conquer week 6 cut & balanced

Then I finish Transformation 20 on Friday.?I’ll do a full review of the program later next week and share my before and after results.

I have a new 21 accountability group starting the following Monday if anyone wants to join!

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