Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: Creating Your Own Personal Health & Wellness

So I’m sitting here drinking some water after a hectic day of running around.?We’re overwhelmed, but sitting here and writing this post has been something I’ve wanted to do for a while so it’s putting me in a wonderful mood.

Lately when I’ve gone onto social media — Instagram in particular — I’ve found myself consumed with this obsession with being healthy, living healthy and eating all things healthy. What do I mean? Well, from the bowls of avocados, and pasture raised eggs to the beautiful and inspirational yoga poses; I find myself wanting to emulate this picture perfect vision of health, not just for all of you but for myself as well. It’s easy to feel like you aren’t doing a good enough job when it comes to your health. Am I right?

And in 2019, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There’s endless information, ways to access it, people who tell you what to eat or how to eat, when to eat and how to live your best life.

First of all, let’s take a step back and recognize that health is different for everyone and anyone. Being healthy to some means eating paleo, for gym junkies it all begins and ends in the gym, and for others emotional and mental health brings all the clarity one needs. Rarely will you find someone who has all three down to a perfect science.

It’s difficult not to feel worthy enough when you see your favorite blogger exercising and you haven’t drank your morning cup of joe. Or when you see someone post the most beautiful buddha bowl you’ve ever seen full of six different veggies, and then realize you’ve only had brown food all day. And while often all of these pictures and posts can be inspiring to eat better or to get to the gym, I want you to know that you have permission to live your own life, to be inspired but not overwhelmed — because I fear that the overwhelming feeling with not ‘being healthy enough’ leads to eating disorders and mdysfunctional relationship with your beautiful soul and body.

Sometimes I feel like I hold myself to a high standard when it comes to eating and exercising, but the truth is I’m just living my life (like you!), seeking an everyday balance that makes me feel good on both the inside and out. Trying my best to fit in veggies (admittedly I love them, but don’t eat quite enough), enjoying peanut butter by the spoonful, eating pizza and burgers every so often (cause they’re so good). What I’ve learned through blogging, finding my own unique perspective in the blogging world is that I’m not like anyone else, nor do I strive to be.

And when it comes to your own personal health and wellness, I want you to know that social media is not the idealist or the expectation. What does this mean? It means that social media cannot define what your health looks like or feels like to you personally. Take all the healthy tips and inspiration when you want them, but understand that you create your own personal wellness. Everyone needs something different.

How to find what kind of healthy is right for you:

FEEL INSPIRED. What makes you feel inspired? I’m taking let your soul on fire kind of inspired. Ask yourself this. Write a list of things you LOVE and that makes you feel like a genuinely better human being. Talk a walk. Listen to music and jam out. FEEL GOOD.

CREATE YOUR OWN DEFINITION OF A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE. Take my little wellness exercise below. Find something that feels good for you on your own terms. Commit to exercising, eating healthy and taking care of your mind, but do it on your own terms. Find an exercise that you don’t dread doing, meals that taste delicious and are nourishing for your lifestyle, and always strive to keep your mind active and engaged.

KNOW YOUR FEELINGS. The better you understand how you feel and which emotions you are experiencing, the more we can treat ourselves better. More people have trouble with this than you think.

IDENTIFY YOUR PASSIONS. Do you want to start a blog? Do you want to be a nutritionist? Do you want to help other people in medicine? Do you like talking to people and giving advice? Then what’s stopping you? There’s always going to be an excuse for you to stop living your best life. If you can’t identify what you want, ask people what three qualities they think of when they hear your name. How can you build off those qualities? Take a new class? Try out a new hobby?

ALWAYS BE YOURSELF. THIS IS EVERYTHING. Be yourself! No one is like you in the entire world so just be who you are and strive to be better than you were yesterday (that’s how you grow!).

Now, here’s a little wellness exercise for you:

1.) Sit quietly and connect with yourself.Write down all the things in  your weekly routine that genuinely make you feel like a better person and/or in general, happy. It can be anything: taking a bath, reading a book, going to a workout class, meeting up with friends, etc.

2.) Look at what you’ve written and identify the two or three things that you enjoyed doing the most. Write down how you felt before and after doing those three things. Were you relaxed? Energized? Relieved? Try to be specific.

What you’ve written is usually a good at indicator of the wellness you need in your life. So for example, if you wrote down that you enjoyed going out with your girlfriends for dinner and meeting up with your mom for a walk, you can identify that being social and spending time with others is what your soul is craving (and in general what makes you happy!).

It’s a simple task, but one that I find really effective in identifying what I’m needing for my own personal wellness (outside of social media influences). It varies each week, so try and do this 1x per week to see what you need.

Last week taking a coconut oil and salt bath and doing yoga was something that felt completely nourishing to me (as if I missed it so much). To me, this meant that I really needed some time to myself, for myself, by myself.

The week before that, I really really loved roasting veggies and meal prepping. It felt like such an accomplishment. Meaning that I knew I needed a little bit of nourishing food in my life (and that I needed to make a point to meal prep more often!).

Hopefully you find this exercise interesting and something different. If you have any other ways you identify what kind of wellness you’re needing in your life, let me know!

I hope you loved this little dose of inspiration — as always, I’d love to hear from you. Tell me everything you’re feeling below and any questions you’re dying to ask. I’m here

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Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: 46 Trader Joe’s Finds

Happy Wellness Wednesday, everyone! I hope you’ve had a fabulous week so far. If you know me at all, you know I LOVE Trader Joe’s. Not only do I find it less expensive than most grocery stores here in New Jersey, but I love their fun, new products and bopping around in those cute little red carts. Of course, it’s essential to avoid the Trader Joe traffic so I find that early morning shopping is best.

Give me an empty cart at TJ’s and I can go wild… SO we rounded up 46 of our favorite finds at Trader Joe’s for you to check out. Ready?

Produce

LITERALLY ALL OF THE PRODUCE. Trader Joe’ has incredible deals on seasonal produce and plenty of organic options, like their spinach, kale and apples.

Here are my favs this time around…

1) Butternut Squash Zig-Zags. Love this fun shape and definitely going to make fries out of them!

2) Bag of Avocados. if you go through your avos pretty quickly – this inexpensive bag has a bunch of them ready for you.

3) Green Beans. A staple in my fridge and so delicious in the summer. Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks for an amazing recipe I made with these babies!Cereals + Breakfast

4) Organic Toasted Coconut Granola. I recently tried out this new granola flavor and it is AMAZING. I love it over yogurt and with some fresh berries, or even as a little topper to my morning smoothie. Seriously best granola out there. 

5) Vanilla Almond Clusters. Super crunchy with a yummy vanilla flavor – another great cereal to add to your yogurt!

6) Joe’s Dark Coffee. Because coffee = life in my household, this dark roast blend is the best bang for our buck. The smooth flavor makes it easy to drink without tons of added sweeteners, creamers, etc

7) Peanut Butter Panda Puffs. PB flavor in cereal is my absolute FAVORITE and these crunchy little puffs are perfect for snacking. Plus, they’re gluten-free and have no artificial preservatives…win!

8) Greek Nonfat Yogurt – Coconut Cream. My fav yogurt flavor at TJ’s! This creamy goodness has an amazing coconut flavor and goes well with all the cereal + granola + berries your heart desires.

9) Rolled Oats. I love using oats in my baking recipes, so if you’ve been looking for the perfect gluten-free option this bag is it! Also great for overnight oats and getting your daily fiber in.

10) Coconut Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate. I just tried this out (about a 1/2 cup mixed with 1 cup almond coconut milk) and it was amazing! Rich flavors without the acidity – a great afternoon pick-me-up

Great for baking

11) Organic Flaxseed Meal. This stuff is awesome for baking vegan

12) Organic Coconut Cream. This stuff is amazing for making your own paleo, dairy-free whipped cream! Who can’t resist a little whip on top of their favorite dessert?

13) Organic Reduced Fat Coconut Milk. I love using coconut milk in my recipes – from desserts to flavorful curry dishes .

14) Organic Coconut Sugar. I love using coconut sugar because it adds these wonderful caramel-y notes to my sweet treats.

15) 100% Pure Maple Syrup. One of my favorite natural sweeteners to use while baking (if you’re gonna pour it up on those pancakes, you may as well use the real deal!).

16) Almond Flour. Baking grain-free is easy with a go-to almond flour.

17) Coconut Flour. Another awesome flour if you’re baking grain-free.

18) Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk. You guys know by now that this stuff goes in everything! My absolute favorite non-dairy milk I use in my coffee, for baking, to lighten up sauces – the options are endless. TJ’s carries these non-refrigerated packages so you can store ’em in the pantry until you’re ready to use them!

19) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. You will pretty much always find these in my pantry. Perfect for baking (or adding a few to my on-the-go trail mix!)

Say Cheese!

20) Triple Cream Brie w/ Wild Mushrooms. Okay this stuff is oh-so decadent. Creamy, super flavorful, and great for spreading on crackers that have a mild flavor (this cheese packs a little punch!).

21) Shaved Cheese Blend. A sprinkle-worthy little tub of firmer cheeses! This one’s great for pastas and even a little dash over your fav salads.

22) Crumbled Feta with Mediterranean Herbs. A new take on your traditional feta crumbles! The herbs in here add a unique flavor that tastes amazing in scrambles, mixed into a quinoa salad, or anywhere that needs a little flavor boost

23) Jalapeño and Honey Chevre. Goat cheese with a kick? Sign me UP. This sweet & spicy combo mixed with creamy goat cheese is a little adventure to bring to your next gathering.

24) Farmhouse English Cheddar w/ Italian Truffles. Gotta get a little fancy and throw some TRUFFLES in your traditional cheddar. The flavor punch here is YUM x1000. This would be AMAZING in mac and cheese.

25) Pesto Gouda Cheese. Another TJ’s classic – the hint of pesto in this tasty cheese is so unique and great for slicing over your favorite crackers. Perhaps a green grilled cheese is in order?

When I dip, you dip

26) Three Layer Hummus. Because 1 layer just isn’t enough – this is my go-to TJ’s hummus. The combo has traditional, cilantro jalapeño (aka my two favorite flavors) and spicy, and I dip pretty much everything in it.

27) Reduced-Guilt Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip. Like your favorite spinach & artichoke dip, this creamy combo is perfect for chip and veggie dipping but is lightened up with Greek yogurt. Win-win!

26) Three Layer Hummus. Because 1 layer just isn’t enough – this is my go-to TJ’s hummus. The combo has traditional, cilantro jalapeño (aka my two favorite flavors) and spicy, and I dip pretty much everything in it.

27) Reduced-Guilt Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip. Like your favorite spinach & artichoke dip, this creamy combo is perfect for chip and veggie dipping but is lightened up with Greek yogurt. Win-win!

28) Hummus with Freshly Ground Horseradish. For all my horseradish fans out there – this fun hummus is for you! Unique dip that packs a punch? Sign me up. Also that “horse-radish” animal is hilarious.

Go-to Grains

29) Corn & Wheat Tortillas. I love using corn tortillas in my enchilada + taco recipes because they give them an amazing texture and taste. Heck yes to 14g of whole grains!

30) Spinach Flour Tortillas. You guys know Abra, aka #abrassalad, is the salad queen – when she’s not mixing one up in her Tupperware she’s wrapping up those salad ingredients in these babies!

31) Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. Don’t feel like DIY-ing the dough for your pizza party? Grab one of these ready-to-bake doughs that are super easy to roll out, top, and bake!

32) Garlic & Herb Pizza Dough. Another ready-to-bake pizza dough option with tasty garlic and herbs already inside!

33) Organic Black Bean Rotini. This gluten-free pasta is made with…you guessed it…black beans! I’m excited to try these and add some colorful veggies for a pop.

34) Organic Brown Rice & Quinoa Fusilli Pasta. Another fabulous, gluten-free pasta option packed with extra heartiness from the quinoaand brown rice.

Frozen favorites

35) Gnocchi alla Sorrentina. An Italian classic! This frozen gnocchi option is perfect for a quick, delicious dinner, especially if you’re feeding a few at the table.

36) Sweet Potato Frites.  Head the frozen section and grab these babies to pop in the oven!

37) Sweet Corn Tamales with Mild Green Chiles and Cheese. Just discovered these cute little tamales and I can’t wait to try them. Love green chiles, and these would be the perfect don’t-feel-like-cooking meal!

Seasonings + Condiments

38) Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. This seasoning is exactly what it sounds like…it’s EVERYTHING! Whoever invented it is pure genius and I want to make it rain all over the world (but mostly on my avocado toast).

39) Nutritional Yeast. This stuff is the perfect vegan sprinkle-cheese replacement for pastas (and life, really). Add it to anything that needs a little cheesy goodness!

40) Creamy Salted Peanut Butter. What is life without peanut butter? This kind has no added sugars and tastes fabulous. Spread over toast, fruit, ALL of the things. I also love how salty it is. #addictedtoPB

41) Organic Tahini. I love love baking with tahini and making creamy, homemade salad dressings with it. It’s mild in flavor so it’s perfect for adding your favorite spices to dress it up!

42) Organic Ketchup. The label says “favorite condiment” and it absolutely is. Top your burgers, hotdogs, fries (sweet potato and non) with this organic ketchup and feel a little better about it being the good stuff! I’LL PUT KETCHUP ON ANYTHING. #merica

43) Organic Coconut Aminos. This seasoning sauce is the perfect gluten-free substitute for soy sauce! It’s packed with flavor (a little goes a long way) and great for marinades, dressings, and cooking with Asian flavors.

44) Roasted Tomatillo & Mango Salsa. Winning combo right here – the sweetness & spiciness paired with your favorite salty tortilla chip or a warm taco would be ah-mazing.

45) Spicy Pickled Vegetables. Who else loves pickled veggies? This is an awesome grab-and-go option if you don’t feel like doing the pickling yourself! Tons of flavor and great for your gut.

46) Fire Roasted Diced Green Chiles. Love. Me. Some. Green. CHILES. In sauces, salsas, and anything that needs a little kick to it!

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Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: Favorite Natural Skincare Products

Hi Beauties! For todays Wellness Wednesday post I am sharing some of my favorite Natural Skincare products.

  1. MyChelle Remarkable Retinal Night Cream: Love this retinal night cream and honestly I notice a visible difference when I use it. To be honest I’m a HUGE fan of MyChelle products because they’re developed by a dermatologist. All MyChelle products are Vegetarian, Cruelty-free, and Free of Phthalates, Parabens, Sulfates, Ureas, Artificial Fragrances and Colors, Petroleum, GMOs, and Gluten.
  2. Beautycounter Purifying Charcoal Mask: I love to use when I’m breaking out. I put it on my zits and sleep with it on or leave it on for an hour while I bop around the house. Tony thinks I’m crazy but whatever.
  3.  Rosehip Seed Oil: If you aren’t using Rosehip oil, you should be. It’s wonderful for hydrating, but it’s a dry skin so normally it doesn’t cause problems for acne-prone skin. I’ve used this particular brand for YEARS. It’s cold-pressed and organic so I really trust it. I use this after I put on a serum and before I put on a moisturizer. Sometimes I mix it in with my moisturizer too if my skin feels extra dry.
  4. Trilogy Make Up Be Gone Cleansing Balm: I LOVE this for taking off my makeup. It’s thicker than coconut oil (which I use sometimes) and doesn’t make your skin feel greasy. It’s also incredibly nourishing thanks to shea butter. And it will last you FOREVER because you only need about 1 teaspoon. Highly recommend!

5. evanhealy Wild Carrot Nourishing Eye Balm: Great for your lips, undereyes or entire face when you need a little extra moisture.

6.. Andalou Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask: One of my favorite masks of all time. I use this 1x per week and end up with glowy skin. Avalon Organics was the first certified organic personal care line and the company founders successfully lobbied California to legislate organic standards for personal care products.

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Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: Himalayan Salt Lamp Benefits

There are few things in life as soothing and relaxing as the warm glow of a campfire, and a Himalayan salt lamp offers a similar ambiance at home.

Salt lamps have exploded in popularity over the last few years, along with some explosive claims about their benefits. In this article, I’ll break down the well-studied benefits, the anecdotal ones, and why everyone seems to love these lamps!

TIP: If you’re just looking for a high quality salt lamp for your home (and don’t care about the science), I have this one in my bedroom and love it.  

WHAT IS A SALT LAMP

Salt lamps or HPS (Himalayan Pink Salt) lamps are large pieces of pure Himalayan Salt with a small bulb inside. They can be solid pieces of salt (like this one) or decorative baskets filled with large crystals of salt (like these). They offer a nice warm glow when lit and may be beneficial for indoor air quality.

Himalayan salt lamps are made from pure, food grade, Himalayan salt crystals. True Himalayan Salt comes from the western side of the Himalayan Mountains in the Punjab region of Pakistan. Once mined, this salt is hand carved into lamps or powdered to use as salt in recipes.

WHY HIMALAYAN SALT PINK?

Regular table salt is primarily just sodium chloride. Himalayan salt is still about 98% sodium chloride, but also contains trace minerals like magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Trace minerals give salt lamps their hue, which can range from light pink to a dark orange/pink.

These beautiful lamps gained massive popularity recently and there are many benefits attributed to them.

But are these benefits actually backed by science?

Let’s find out…

HOW DOES A HIMALAYAN SALT LAMP WORK?

Himalayan Salt Lamp Benefits for Clean Air and Reduced Allergies

Good question! We know the body needs salt for things like hydration, electrolyte balance, proper blood pressure regulation and for the nervous system. But all of these benefits come from consuming the salt internally..

Most of us aren’t eating our salt lamps so the benefits come from another property of salt. Salt is naturally hygroscopic, which means it attracts water molecules to itself. The theory goes that salt lamps attract water molecules in the air.

Since water in the air can also hold allergens, pollutants and even bacteria, these substances get attracted to the lamp too. The heated salt lamp supposedly dries out the water vapor, leaving the particles attached to the salt. For this reason, many sources recommend wiping down the salt lamp with a cloth a few times a week to clean it.

Other sources claim that Himalayan salt lamp benefits are due to the creation of negative ions.

THE BENEFITS OF SALT LAMPS

Great Nigh Light and Low-light Lamp

 Research has shown that different colors of light affect the body in different ways. Unfortunately, many modern light sources like cell phones, tablets, computers, and TVs emit a lot of blue light and many of us spend a good majority of time staring at these screens, especially in the evening.

Salt lamps, on the other hand, offer a warm orange glow, similar to the orange hues found in a campfire or by candlelight. For this reason, they are a great light source for the evening and can even be used as a night light without negatively affecting sleep.I

May Improve Air Quality

As mentioned, salt lamps are not a spectacular source of negative ions. However, due to their hygroscopic properties, they may improve the air in other ways. Besides offering a soothing glow, they can attract pollutants in the air and even help neutralize the effects of electronics.

Light Color Therapy Benefits

These soothing lamps may also help boost mood and energy levels, especially for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD. The soft orange hues are one of the soothing colors often used to calm mood and increase focus. The small amounts of negative ions may also be helpful in boosting mood as well.  But, if you’re looking for the benefits of the negative ions, spend some time outside instead!

Soothing For Allergies

Many people notice a difference from having salt lamps in their homes or offices. I haven’t found any studies that have looked into why, but the anecdotal evidence is strong from allergy sufferers.

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Health, Wellness & Beauty, Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: Isles of Paradise Self Tanning Drops

Genetics are a funny thing, aren’t they? I got my dark, thick,  hair and giant deep set eyes from my 100% Italian father’s side.I’ve got the same build as many of the women in my father’s family, as well as some of the characteristics of my 100% Italian maternal grandmother. One half  of my DNA is Italian, and I think that’s pretty obvious when you look at me or notice my absolute inability to talk without my hands flying around.

But then there’s my skin color. That’s where my 50% Irish side comes in. I have light skin with freckles. I’m not the lightest of the foundation shades, but no one is calling my skintone “medium.” I can (and have) tanned to a solid Medium before, but my time fighting cancer over the last four years made me put an end to my beach days without sunscreen and a huge umbrella and hat. (I also know that sun damage is the number one way to speed visible signs of aging on the skin, so vanity plays a part in my decision.)

The problem is that I love the look of a tan on me. I feel like with my very dark brown hair, almost-black eyebrows and brown eyes, I should have darker skin. I think I was meant to have a darker skintone, but there was a glitch. With my hair, brow and eye coloring and the fact that people who look like me often have medium skintones, it only seems right that my skintone is bumped up a few levels.

Me as a Baby

And oh, how I have tried to get there. I’ve used self tanning lotions, sprays, gels, mousses, gradual tanners and towelettes. I’ve done spray tans, both the airbrush and machine kinds. I’ve been orange, I’ve been streaky, I’ve been patchy and I’ve smelled like I bathed in DHA. I’ve gotten good results from airbrush spray tans, but I hate the way they look when they start wearing off. Until recently, I’ve relied on St Tropez Tanning Mousse (one for the body, one for the face). Anyway, I recently realized that St. Tropez was starting to turn me an orange color. I am not sure if they changed the ingredients but I am not the same color I use to be when I use it.

I checked online at Sephora.com, and saw Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops were the top rating tanning lotion. You add these drops into your regular face and/or body moisturizers and they tan you up. They come in Light, Medium and Dark shades. I went with Medium, because that’s the skintone I was meant to have, remember? I immediately did a small patch test.

While I was patching, I read through Sephora reviews of these self tanning drops in Medium. Still, I waited 24 hours after patching to make sure I didn’t have a reaction. and I liked the color. I didn’t, so on Night 1, I added one drop of the product to my Tula Day and Night Moisturizer and applied it to my face, neck and ears. I noticed a slight smell, but it wasn’t horrible and didn’t linger. It did feel sticky on my skin, but not too bad. I didn’t notice any color of my pillowcase the next morning either.

When I woke up the next morning, I was tan. Not orange and not streaky, and a good shade for my skin. I didn’t put face makeup on that day, because I wanted to have plenty of opportunities to inspect it and see if the color developed more (and I think it did, a little).

On Night 2, I was ready to conquer my body. For my body, I first dispensed enough of my moisturizer to cover one arm. Then I add six drops of the product to my moisturizer, mix it together and apply. I match the amount for my other arm. Then do the same amount of moisturizer and five drops of the product to apply to my stomach and back. For my legs, I dispense the amount of moisturizer I would normally use for one leg and foot and add six drops of product. Then I repeat on the other leg.

The Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops instructions say to add between 1 – 12 drops to your moisturizer. That’s a huge range! My suggestion is to start with one drop, see how it develops, then add two the next time, three after, and so on until you find your perfect mix. I am currently using four drops to every pump and a half of face moisturizer (which is the normal amount of moisturizer I apply to my face, neck and ears.

As far as packaging goes, A+. I like the design, the top stays on securely and the dropper works. No complaints there.


Me and Mom in Mexico when I was very tan!

A few suggestions I have for you after you patch test:

Exfoliate First. If exfoliation is not contraindicated with any skincare you are using, a good exfoliation before you apply the self tanner will help it look more even as it develops, as it won’t catch on any dry patches or dead skin.

Start Small. Again, start with the minimum amount of drops and add more each day until you achieve the color you want. It’s important to start with the minimum, as the few bad reviews I read seemed to be because the reviewers jumped right in with five or six drops and it sounds like they also didn’t use enough moisturizer.

Keep It Up. To maintain the color, I would alternate days of your moisturizer alone with the same amount of drops and moisturizer you used to get the tan. The moisturizer alone with help keep the skin hydrated so the tan doesn’t get patchy as you shed dead skin cells, and the every-other-day application of the self tanner and moisturizer will keep your shade of tan as is so it won’t fade.

Mix It Up. You need to realllyyyyy mix the self tanner drops into your moisturizer. If you don’t do that, you will get an uneven tan. After the moisturizer and drops are in the palm of your hand, stir them together with your other hand or rub your hands together for about 15 seconds to ensure they’ve melded into one product.

Don’t Be Stingy. Once you have your self tanner moisturizer cocktail ready, make sure you apply a generous amount everywhere. The best way to get streaky is to use only the little that’s left on your hands to apply to an area. When you can feel it dragging as you apply, you are making the streaks happen. I know better, and I still did that one night while using these drops. I dispensed a little less moisturizer then I meant to, so although I evenly covered my face, I didn’t get enough on my neck (and my neck is notoriously bad with self tanner to begin with). I woke up to some patchy areas on my neck where I hadn’t applied enough moisturizer. Did the same thing on one arm too. I think with any type of self tanning lotion, it’s best to use a little more than you think you need to ensure that it gets everywhere.

Take Your Time. Spend some time rubbing the cocktail in. I haven’t noticed any transfer on my sheets, even though I usually tan right before bed, and I think that’s because I spend a lot of time rubbing in the product so it really absorbs into my skin. I massage it in until I can’t feel anything on my skin, which usually takes several minutes. But I think it is a key factor in getting an even self tan.

The Easiest Part. Wash your hands after applying. This stuff will stain your palms if you don’t.

As far as color, the Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops give me the same type of color I have when I used to get real tans. Not orange, not olive, not red. Just 33 Year Old Megan tan. I don’t know if the drops react with your body chemistry and give you the type of tan you normally get, or if the color they give happens to be the same color I tan, but they work perfectly on me. If you are concerned about the color, you could try a bigger swatch of color on your stomach or somewhere that isn’t visible when you have on your everyday clothes to see how the color develops on you. My point is, I can only give you my experience with this color, and that may be impacted by my undertone and the way my skin looks when it really tans. But judged off the many reviews I’ve read and pictures I’ve seen, the Medium shade in particular seems to work on a lot of people.

The Medium drops have a green tint, which they claim is color correcting, as green cancels out redness. I don’t typically have any redness in my skin and I’m not convinced you can get color correction from a self tanner, but I can’t say for sure since I didn’t have any redness to start with. So jury is out on the color correction.

I really don’t have anything bad to say about this product! As long as I apply it correctly, it gives me exactly the type of tan I want. I am loving the Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops!

Have a beautiful day !

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Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: My Favorite Beauty Products

For today’s Wellness Wednesday post I am talking about some of my favorite beauty products.

  • Ice Roller: This beauty costs $12. I use it in the morning and it helps with puffiness  under my eyes plus it feels good. The other day I had a headache and I put it on and I swear it made my headache go away. 

  • Tula Purifying Cleanser: I won this in a giveaway about a month ago and I’m obsessed. My skin has never been so soft or clear. I just ordered the ph balance and day and night cream and have been loving those so far too!

  • Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzymatic Dermal Resurfacer: I’ve been using this since the summer and it’s total game changer. After I use it my skin feel so soft and sooth and I haven’t had any of my usual winter dry skin this year. Also my makeup goes on so smoothly for a few days after I use it.

Have a beautiful Day!

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Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: The importance of Water

I know this may seem like a no-brainer but if you are like me you don’t drink enough water. In fact, somedays I barely drink 8 ounces. One of my new years goals is to drink more water. I’m not the biggest fan of just plain ol’ water so I usually add fresh lemon or orange to my drink. In case you need a reminder, here are the benefits of drinking that H2o!

According to Elemental.com water can help you in the following 14 ways.

  1. Increases Brain Power and Provides Energy
  2. Promotes Healthy Weight Management and Weight Loss
  3. Flushes Out Toxins
  4. Improves Your Complexion
  5. Maintains Regularity
  6. Boost Immune System
  7. Prevents Headaches
  8. Prevents Cramps and Sprains
  9. Help Regulate Your Body Temperature
  10. Improves Backaches
  11. Improves Your Heart Health
  12. Prevents Bad Breath
  13. Takes the Edge Off Hangovers
  14. Puts you in a better mood

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Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: Collagen

Well I guess I can admit it I hopped on the collagen wagon. On black Friday Tone It Up was offering 25% off there collagen so I bought 3 packs and I’ve been hooked ever since. As many of you already know I have cancer and as a result of the treatment I went through, my skin and hair have defiantly taken a toll. My hair is thin, my nails are week and my skin is dry. Ever since I have been using collagen I have noticed my nails are thicker, my hair is growing faster and my skin glows more. According to healtlline.com collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It is available in your muscles, skin, blood, bones, cartilage and ligaments.

It doesn’t hurt to add a little extra for the following benefit:

  1. promotes skin elasticity
  2. holds together your bones and muscles
  3. protects your organs
  4. provides structure to joints and tendons

Have you hopped on the collagen bandwagon yet?

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Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: Humidifiers

You know the old saying a moms always right? Well, my mom has been telling me for years to get a humidifier for years and I never listened. Well I finally bought one this year and she was absolutely right. I bought this one from Walmart and love it. I only have to fill is every 3 nights and you set the desired humidity level and once it reaches that level it stabilizes. It also has an automatic cleaner so you don’t need to worry about mold.

According to Live Strong the benefits of using a humidifier are:

  • Remedying Dry Skin in the Winter
  • Humidifiers treat dry skin and chapped lips during winter months. The indoor humidity levels of furnace-heated air can drop to 10 percent or less, notes Mount Sinai School of Medicine dermatology professor Hillard H. Pearlstein, M.D. on MotherNature.com. Humidifiers add much-needed moisture to the air and to skin. Use several small units near beds in the house and keep doors closed in rooms where a humidifier is in use.

    Soothing Dry Skin Conditions

    Just as humidifiers treat dry winter skin, it soothes skin dryness and itchiness. Low humidity levels exacerbate symptoms of eczema, notes the American Academy of Dermatology on its EczemaNet website. Psoriasis, thyroid disorders, topical medications for acne, and cosmetic products can also cause dry skin that can be eased with a humidifier.

    Treating Cold, Flu & Allergy Symptoms

    Humidifiers soothe dryness, irritation or itchiness in the nose, nasal passages, sinuses, mouth, throat and eyes. They help prevent nose bleeds in those prone to them when their nose is dried out, notes MayoClinic.com. Hence, humidifiers benefit people with a cold, flu or allergies.

    They even serve as a preventative measure, limiting or eliminating viruses and bacteria that thrive in dry air, explains the Aerias Indoor Air Quality Resource Center. However, over use of humidifiers can lead to growth of pathogens and allergens.

    Easing Asthma

    Children and adults with asthma often find humidifiers help their breathing, especially when the condition is compounded by a respiratory infection, says MayoClinic.com. Those with asthma should check with their doctor before using a humidifier, though. Humidifiers must be kept clean to keep the air free of asthma irritants. Humidity levels kept too high can also make things worse, prompting the growth of mold or mildew.

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    Fitness, Health, Wellness & Beauty, Lifestyle, Wellness Wednesday

    Wellness Wednesday: Tone It Up Frequently Asked Questions

    Hey everyone,

    A lot of you have been asking me about Tone It Up with the new year coming up. So I put together a TIU FAQ.

    • Is Tone It Up worth the money?
  • In my opinion absolutely. Tone It Up is expensive however you are buying a lifetime membership. When you pay the $150 you get all the past challenge pa me and all the future challenge packs plus the nutrition plan. I have been a member since 2013 and it’s the best $150 I’ve ever spent because it’s changed my life.
    • Is Tone It Up vegan?
  • When you buy the plan you can buy the regular, vegetarian, or gluten free version.
    • Does Tone It Up work?
  • It works for me. Of course everyone is different, however; this is the first lifestyle I have followed and had success with. I say lifestyle because I don’t consider Tone It Up a doer. Prior to this I tried plenty of diets but never stuck to or had success with anything.
    • What is Tone It Up?
  • Tone It Up was founded by Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn according to the Tone It Up website it is “a community of women, inspiring and supporting one another to live the life of your dreams; fit, healthy, and happy!”.
    • When is the Tone It Up bikini series?
  • The bikini series is a challenge that begins each January and is completely free. It’s a great way to learn more about Tone It Up without paying for the program.
    • Where is the Tone It Up headquarters?
  • They are headquarter in Manhattan Beach, California.
    • What is Tone It Up studio?
  • Studio Tone It Up is a monthly subscription app where you can do live or on demand workouts with the Tone It Up Trainers. There are varies categories such as kettlebells, abs, arms, legs, etc.. You can try it for free for 5 days!
    • Is Tone It Up free?
  • No, Tone It Up cost $150 for a lifetime membership.
    • What is Tone It Up protein?
  • Tone It Up Protein is a plant based protein that Tone It Up makes and is sold on Toneitup.com, Target or at Whole Foods. It’s so good, I love it, especially the chocolate!
    • How did Tone It Up start?
  • It’s actually a really cute story. I’ll direct you to a Forbes article that talks about how they started Tone It Up. Click here for the article.
  • Hopefully I answered all of your questions. Feel free to reach out to me if you have anymore!
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