My go to protein bar!

Seems everyone has their go to favorite protein bar/shake to get them through the morning or a good mid day snack or lunch. What I have discovered is that a lot of protein/power bars are filled with carbs,sugar and tons of calories.

Then I found my love of Atkins bars and shakes, they are filled with protein and have very few carbs and calories. They don’t taste chalky or “dietiy”   Like most protein bars. They are a little pricey. I try to purchase them at Target or Walmart since they seem to be almost a $1 cheaper there verse the grocery store. They do have good sales pretty often, so just stock up.  I keep these bad boys with me all the time, so I avoid a “hangery” state lol.

Share with me your favorite way to eat healthy when in a rush and really hungry!

x- A

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Vacation Surprise!

Summer vacation… there is nothing better! Alex and I had barely been seeing each other due to how busy life was.So,we were so excited to have a week in Florida. We boarded the plane with our usual travel snack pack,essentially a picnic. 🙂 We also happen to have a bunch of free Southwest drink coupons! Best thing ever! We ordered cocktails and cheered to 7 days of white sand beaches and poolside living! We landed and was greeted by Alex’s mom. We were going to visit his grandparent and his mom had already arrived.

This is not your average grandparent visit. We arrived at the estate and had homemade soup waiting for us. It was perfect. It was late but Alex and I were on West Coast time, so we decided to go for a midnight swim. Beers in hand and warm summer night and a perfectly heated pool, vacation had officially started! The next day, we decided to head to the beach club. This is where we met a cabana boy who set up an umbrella,chairs and a table for us and then took our drink order. Every beach needs this! Now I need to join a beach club. 😉

 

 

The ocean was 80°  and perfectly clear. I love the southwest Florida for its pool like ocean. San Diego, you have to battle the waves…. which is also fun.  Our evenings were filled with watching and tracking the  weather. Alex and his mom love to track thunderstorms while in Florida lol.

A few more of Alex’s Family members came to visit and we had fabulous dinners all together. But after being together with Alex for 7 years, I am continuously asked why we aren’t married. I always say, “I am not the one that gets down on one knee.” I told Alex the next day (our last day) that we needed to come up with a script to tell people on why we aren’t married yet. He laughed at me and said,” we can do that later tonight.” He had seemed weird the past 24hrs, extra lovely but different also. That night we had reservations with the family at the Ritz Carlton on the beach. We all got ready and Alex was looking so handsome.

I was hearing some skinny black pants with a sheer white tank with a fringe bottom and a big white and gold floral statement necklace and some gold strappie sandals. . (I would make links but I scored all the pieces at little cheap stores like, Ross and some local little shops.)

The Ritz was beautiful and we ate a the tapas restaurant inside the Ritz. There was even a Spanish guitarist and a box drummer, it was beyond amazing. I ordered myself a raspberry mojito and scanned the menu. Alex and I always share food, so I had to get his thoughts.   He wanted the duck foie gras and I did not! Good thing about small plates is you can order a lot and sample them all. I stuck with  Crab cakes and Chicken and biscuits 🙂  Alex was loving his  foie gras and ended up dropping some on his shirt. He was so bothered by it and I didn’t understand why. I giggled at him,since normally I am the one always dropping stuff on myself.

After dinner I was ready for dessert! I was listing off all the delicious dishes and hoping I could try them all! Then all of a sudden the waitress walked up and says there is a special for the night. I thought it was a complimentary “I’m sorry” since they messed up grandpa’s order. Well I was wrong!

As the plate was placed in front of me, I read the magical words ” Will You Marry Me?” I looked at Alex and said ” this is happening?!?!” He responded with a huge smile ” it’s happening, babe!” He got down on one knee and asked me to be his Wife!!! I said YES!!! I then broke out in tears and sipped champagne with Alex and  of course called my mom to tell her we are getting marrrieeed.. It is still so wild to me. I kept telling Alex how we are officially \ adults because we are old enough to get married. We giggled like little kids hearing the word penis. lol. We are so excited for this next chapter and  I feel so lucky to have found my person at 20 and to continue riding this journey together!

Now for post on wedding planning … 🙂

xo.. A

Bachelorette Weekend

 

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You reach that time in your life where all your friends begin getting engaged,married and having babies… and not necessarily in that order.  Well I am on the cusp of that. This past weekend I got to celebrate at my bachelorette party.  I grew up in a little town in Northern California and was lucky to have a group of girlfriends that are just a few years older than me that are now in the peak of EMB (engagement,marriage and babies)  The girls flew down  to Palm Springs from the Bay Area and I had a nice little 2 hour drive. I have lived in San Diego for almost 7 years and still had never made it to Palm Springs, I always feared the heat! I made sure to have my bikini’s ready because my intention were cocktails while lounging in the pool.

I drove in early Saturday to meet up with my girl B while the others were still flying in. B is from Palm Springs and she gave me a grand tour. First stop of the Riveria Hotel….OMG, it is fabulous!! The walls were mirrored and there were ginormous chandeliers and old Hollywood style furniture. I felt like Marylin Monroe..hehe  B took me around to 5 of the major hotels/ pool parties and everyone was themed… I love a good theme. I could go back to stay at different hotels each time just because each experience would be very different.

We ended our time with a beer poolside. I departed my lovely B, to go meet up with my Nor Cal ladies.

I was SOOO excited to see my girls, it had been too long. We are the friends that don’t keep in touch very well but once back together,it is like nothing has changed. We were all decked out in our Palm Springs tanks ready to kick the weekend off right!

First things first, bikinis on!  I am currently obsessed with my itsy bitsy Victoria Secret bottoms.
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We all made our way to the pool as Lisa made up some amazing  MoscowMules…. mmmm… so refreshing and so delicious… and little dangerous.  I made sure to bring out my little surprise for the bride before we got too deep into the weekend. I made an awesome Bachelorette weekend survival kit, it was a hit and every single item was used! (detailed post on it later)

It was about 100 degrees but wasn’t as bad as  I had thought, as long as you were in the water. The house was amazing, it had a modern yet retro vibe with bright teal and orange accents. The pool had a little shallow area for lounging with an umbrella in the middle… it was perfect!!

We had reservations at 8pm and it was seven and we all were still wet and in our bikinis by the pool. The crazy time-keeper that I am made sure to make a small announcement that it was CRUNCH time. lol.  Some of the best times are the times getting ready as girls together.  The shouting of what do I wear, who has gloss, help me curl my hair….  all the great madness that getting ready involves.
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The bride had an awesome tiger H&M skirt and a new bride tank to pair with it. I convinced her it was necessary to tie up her shirt. With some mid drift showing and her tiger skirt flowing, we were ready for dinner.
The restaurant LuLu’s looked like it came straight out of Miami. All white with big chandeliers. From the looks of it we were in for a treat. Well we were wrong. The tuna crevice was great but other than that nothing was impressive. From non-existant plating to the obviously frozen lobster, it all was a major disappointment. It would have been a great place for a drink and an app, just because of the decor and location.
After a fun but not delicious dinner we decided to not hit the bars and to instead get back in our bikinis and enjoy cocktails by the pool while listening to our 2003/2004 mix CD’S….it was pretty epic.

Vacation Rental—>

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It was my kind of bachelorette party, just enough of everything! We all left tanner and a little hungover , and we all want to do it again!!

 

Dry vs. Dehydrated and The hydration magic of Hydroluric Acid!

 

healthy face

Who knew there was a major difference  of  Dry vs Dehydrated skin?!!?   I have always thought my skin was oily and that’s why my foundation never lasted. Years and years going to different makeup artist and just being told to use a primer… well I have and it still doesn’t work.   Lately, I have noticed my foundation has become patchy after an hour or so. Which is not a cute look. I started looking into patchy foundation and the causes. I stumbled upon lumiashe’s  Youtube Channel and she went over what she learned from her research and mostly from Caroline Hirons’ blog

Caroline made a fantastic cheat sheet on Dry vs Dehydrated skin and how you can have oily skin that is dehydrating. New news to me!

Here is what Caroline explained about the differences in skin types and conditions !

“Dry and dehydrated skins have similar characteristics, but different underlying reasons.

Dry Skin – normally a skin type but can be a temporary skin condition

  • caused by lack of oil in the skin
  • small pores
  • ‘tight’ feeling
  • may be flaky
  • milia, blackheads and spots may still be present
  • skin looks dull
  • skin is not plump
  • doesn’t absorb products easily
  • easily irritated – more likely to suffer reactions to products
  • aggravated by poor skincare

Dehydrated Skin – is a skin condition affecting any skin type – including DRY

  • caused by lack of water in the skin
  • pores can be large or small
  • skin feels tight and dry although it can confusingly sometimes look oily and have breakouts
  • absorbs moisturizers really quickly
  • blackheads and spots are still visible
  • makeup disappears (and goes patchy) throughout the day as the skin is absorbing any water in your foundation
  • skin looks ‘ashen’
  • aggravated by lifestyle circumstances – may suffer from a lot of headaches

Skin is made up of 70% water – around  20-30% of that is in the epidermis (top layer of the skin). In normal circumstances, your hydrolipidic film acts as a regulator and barrier – retaining moisture and protecting against germs. If – for whatever reason that is compromised, the moisture in the epidermis evaporates too quickly and the normal, healthy state of the skin is compromised.

The following can cause dehydration –

  1. Environment – wind, cold air, dry air, too much sun, air conditioning, central heating
  2. Diet – the wrong foods, alcohol, caffeine, not eating enough water-heavy foods, not drinking enough
  3. Lifestyle – stress , poor skincare routine, using the wrong products, medication – including birth control, smoking
  4. Genetics – monthly cycle, pregnancy

It is quite common to be both dry and dehydrated but if by looking at the above you have ascertained that you are one or the other – these do’s and don’t might help.

Do and Do Not:

  • Do upgrade your moisturizer to something suitable for dry skin if you recognize the signs – go for products using the words ‘nourishing’
  • Do change your moisturizer to something labelled ‘hydra’ or ‘hydrating’.
  • Do steer clear of foaming anything  – keep the bubbles for your dishes
  • Do use balms, oils and serums for dry skin.
  • Do use milks, specified oils and treatments for dehydrated
  • Do stay away from mineral oils, silicone (in skincare – not makeup), lanolins and synthetic fragrance which will make a dehydrated skin worse and make a dry skin scream for help.”

So, what is the magic to getting hydration back to your face? Hydroluric Acid!!  It holds up to 100 times it’s own weight in water.

Doctor Oz covered the who, what and why of  Hydroluric Acid!

He explains, that it is a powerful humectant which is a  moisture-binder. This  keeps skin plump and hydrated and looking young!

Biology geekout:  Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring polysaccharide in the human body. It’s present in large amounts in the spaces between skin cells, where it provides moisture, plumpness, firmness and suppleness to the skin.

As a baby you are born with extra H.A but over time you no longer have the fresh dewy baby skin and need a little help.  While you’re never going to get back that perfectly dewy baby-skin, it is possible to help restore the skin’s hyaluronic acid content and get a  fresher, more supple look.

There are serum or moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid. While it won’t give you the dramatic, instantaneous  results , you will see benefits in the form of softer, smoother, more hydrated skin.

Applied topically, it will increases hydration, improves elasticity and also reverses free radical damage, so it may have some benefit in protecting from UV damage.

Bonus: Hyaluronic acid is one ingredient that works across the board. Every skin type, even oily, can benefit. Look for hyaluronic acid serums and apply one alone if you have oily skin or under moisturizer if you have dry skin.

It is all about prevention of wrinkles and making sure  your skin is kept  fresh and hydrated.

Hope you babes learned something helpful!

xo- A.

 

 

 

 

My fashion basics!

These are my favorite every day mix and match basics. I literally have several v-necks and go to cardigans. and 2 chambrays. 🙂 With accessories you can dress up or down any of these  outfits. These would be key outfit pieces for any travel adventure, comfortable,cute and classy!  I am a huge statement necklace kind of girl and love throwing on a huge necklace with a simple black v-neck and cute skinny jeans.  The more you can mix the more new outfits you can put together. I have discovered all new outfits in my closet just by mixing two pieces I didn’t originally think about. Get bold, get different and be your self!

What is the Cupping Craze?

PHOTO: Celebrity CuppingPHOTO: Celebrity Cupping

Getty Images|Xposure
For the past year or so, I have been seeing celebrities with big red rings on their back, from Gwyneth Paltrow on the red carpet to Lena Dunham posting her cupped back on instagram. Celebrities are flocking to this Ancient Chinese tradition and showing off their marks…so what is causing these marks?
Cupping!!! 

 So what is cupping? Well since I am not a doctor,  I went to my friend WebMD, to get you well-rounded understanding.

Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which cups are placed on the skin to create suction. The cups can be made of a variety of materials, such as : Glass, Bamboo, Earthenware.

Cupping therapy believe the suction of the cups can mobilizes blood flow to promote the healing of a broad range of medical ailments.

  Cupping therapy dates back to ancient Egyptian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern cultures. One of the oldest medical textbooks in the world, the Ebers Papyrus, describes how the ancient Egyptians were using cupping therapy in 1,550 B.C.
Acne
Facial paralysis
Cervical spondylosis
Blood Circulation
and more!

Types of Cupping Therapy

There are various types of cupping therapy, like dry cupping which is suction only or Wet cupping which is a combination of suction and controlled medicinal bleeding.

During both types of cupping, a flammable substance such as alcohol, herbs, or paper is placed in a cup and set on fire. As the fire goes out, the cup is placed upside down on the patient’s skin.

As the air inside the cup cools, it creates a vacuum. This causes the skin to rise and redden as blood vessels expand. The cup is generally left in place for five to 10 minutes.

A more modern version of cupping uses a rubber pump to create the vacuum inside the cup. Sometimes practitioners use medical-grade silicone cups. These are pliable enough to be moved from place to place on the skin and produce a massage like effect.

During wet cupping, a mild suction is created using a cup that is left in place for about three minutes. The practitioner then removes the cup and uses a small scalpel to make superficial skin incisions. Then he or she performs a second suction to draw out a small quantity of blood.

After the procedure, the site may be covered with an antibiotic ointment and bandage to prevent infection. The skin’s appearance generally returns to normal within 10 days.

Cupping therapy supporters believe that wet cupping removes harmful substances and toxins from the body to promote healing.

Is this something you are rushing to go get?

Some Nay-sayers: 

According to WebMD ” In general, Western medical societies are skeptical of the health claims made by cupping therapy supporters. “Available scientific evidence does not support cupping as a cure for cancer or any other disease,” states the American Cancer Society. “Reports of successful treatment with cupping are mainly anecdotal rather than from research studies.”

But a 2012 study published in the journal PLoS ONE suggests that cupping therapy may have more than a placebo effect. Australian and Chinese researchers reviewed 135 studies on cupping therapy published between 1992 and 2010. They concluded that cupping therapy may be effective when combined with other treatments like acupuncture or medications in treating various diseases and conditions.”

Check out more from WebMD

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s DIY teeth whitening tip : Oil Pulling

I keep seeing “oil pulling” pop up and my curiosity got me. I looked into it and found out that one of America’s favorite actresses practices this healthy trick. Check out her Interview with E! via Glamour Mag below.

Find out Gwyneth Paltrow's DIY teeth whitening tip
PA Photos | By Leanne Bayley

Gwyneth Paltrow has a great set of pearly whites – and now she’s fessed up to how she gets them to stay so sparkly. In an interview with E! the creator of Goop has revealed it’s all down to oil pulling.

‘What is oil pulling?’ we hear you cry.

Well, over to Gwyn…

When asked if she has any favourite DIY skin treatments, Gwyneth replied bigging up coconut oil: “I use coconut oil a lot. I do on my face, on my skin and in my cooking. And I just started oil pulling, which is when you swish coconut oil around [in your mouth] for 20 minutes, and it’s supposed to be great for oral health and making your teeth white. It’s supposed to clear up your skin, as well.”

BLIMEY! Before we all rush off to Waitrose, let’s hear more about it, Gwyneth said: “It’s really interesting; it’s an ancient, ancient technique. I read about it on the Internet.”

So forget Listerine, it’s all about coconut oil! But sorry Gwyn, we have to admit, it sounds a little gross.

Since oil pulling is relatively new to the Western world, its health benefits have been vague, but a few published studies have confirmed that swishing oil does have value – especially for oral health.

In 2009, one study found that people who practiced oil pulling for 10 days showed a reduction in dental plaque comparable to plaque reductions seen in people who used chlorhexidine mouthwash during the same time period.  And in 2008, another study found that oil pulling effectively reduced mouth bacteria in the plaque and saliva samples of study participants.

So there you have it. Will you be trying oil pulling? Or have you tried it? Tweet us@GlamourMagUK.

Also in the interview, Gwyneth was raving about natural skincare line, Restorsea, and she told the presenter: “I get a lot of things sent but this one stood out. I loved the smell; it wasn’t floral, which I find off putting. I started using it and noticed a difference quickly in my skin tone. When looking into the company more, I learned it was started by a woman…I loved that it was a woman! I am all about that, ways to empower women. We call it the ‘Fempire’ here in the Goop office. I won’t ever endorse anything I don’t fully believe in.”

SOURCE: E! 

Original Glamour Article

Recipe: 

.5 to 2 Tablespoons of Coconut oil and swish for 20 minutes then spit it all in the trash. The oil should be a thinner milky  liquid. Other oil options are sesame or olive oil. 

DIY Sunburn Home Remedy Recipes !

Since it is officially spring and people are off on their spring break adventures and summer will be here soon, I thought I would share my favorite sunburn  DIY home remedies !

My sunburn healing essential is Black Tea! My mom has been using this trick since she was a teen. Tannic acid in the tea is a key component in beating a sunburn. Black tea is also full of antioxidants and herbs that can prevent your burn from blistering.  To soothe your burn follow the recipe:

  •  Place 3-5 black tea bags in a pitcher of warm water and let them steep  After the tea has cooled, simply dip a soft washcloth or cotton ball into the tea and start softly rubbing it over your burns. and then the healing begin! Be bronzed babe without the burn and  don’t forget to moisturize,moisturize,moisturize!

A messier DIY Home Remedy for your burns: Eggs whites

  • Egg white have collagen helps heal the skin and is a wonderful natural burn remedy.If you have some spare farm-fresh egg, you can separate the yolk from the white. whip the whites to a foam and then  rub the egg white over the affected skin, and allow it to dry completely. Do not rinse. If possible, allow the egg white to remain on the skin overnight. Enjoy the immediate relief and cooling sensation and reapply after bathing or as necessary if pain returns.Enjoy the sun but always use sunscreen to help prevent sun damage and wrinkles. 🙂
  • xo A

Best friends to the rescue.

me make

“Heatherrrr….MAKE ME PRETTY! 🙂 ” This is often what is said on an evening going out together. I am over getting ready myself and having a best friend that is a hair and makeup artist, is very helpful! Heather knows how to make my cheeks look perfect ( I have always had cheeks…so I am obsessed with appearing to having cheek bones) She also highlights my eyebrows and creases my eyelids to give me the Heather touch.

Heathers Touch.

1. Make up- She highlights the bottom of my eyebrow with a light concealer and blends. IT’S AMAZING!

2. Always crease your lid even with a very light color but always crease your lid!!

3. Hair- I am nuts when it comes to my hair. Day to day, I am the easiest no fuss hair but when it comes to getting it cut or dyed, it’s a whole other story. She knows how to deal with me, or just knows to always have a stiff cocktail when discussing my hair.* Must have Wispy ends, Paul Mitchell PM shine. I order mine on Amazon. I rarely use hair product… which annoys most hairstylist.

3. Nails- . Always use TWO top coats.  I always make sure of it when I am at the nail salon. It makes it last so much longer!

My other best friend Nina is an esthetician and makeup artist. She has been doing my eyebrows since she was 16. When her brother moved out to college, her mom turned his room into a full on beauty room. IT WAS AMAZING! She had all the professional products and we loved using them.  She is very strict, she will just start glaring at my brows and then blurt out ” you have man brows” or “Didn’t I teach you better” “COME HERE” That is when I know, I have gone to long. Then she makes me get all perfected. I sometimes  stop and say ” they look great, we are done” She glares and tells me to stay still and follows with ” don’t you want perfect brows, now stop being a baby”. All in the most loving of ways lol. She has no tolerance for bad brows.She waxes,threads and dyes my brows, when we are together. We are in a long distance relationship from Sf-SD.

What I have learned from Nina- When filling in your brows,start at your arch and follow down to the end. Do not over pluck or wax, fuller brows is better then no brows. Try to always make sure your hair and brows some what match. Black brows with bleached out hair is not the best look. Do not wax,if you use any Rentin-A products. Or stop using them for four days and then wax.

Nothing better than great girlfriends…especially ones with beautifying talent!

Now I need a massage therapist friend!!