A No-Diet Weekend!

So I’ve been doing a great job (in my opinion) of eating healthy and increasing my exercise the past few weeks. However, one cannot live on fruits, veggies and low carbs alone. I decided that this weekend I would indulge a bit and satisfy some of the major cravings I’d been having.

Friday night I usually come home from work, throw on some sweats, order a stuffed crust pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut (my weakness), watch a movie and paint my nails. It is honestly the highlight of my week- it’s my time to vegg, relax and unwind. My boyfriend is usually at the studio (he sings in an incredible group- check them out), and my roommate is far more ambitious at maintaining her social life than I am (LOL) so it’s nice me-time ๐Ÿ™‚

In my conscious effort to spend less money and eat healthier I decided against ordering a pizza (because I knew I would eventually eat the whole thing) so I made a small personal pizza I had in the back of the freezer- which hit the spot. I helped myself to some other junk foods that I still had in the house, but all in moderation! I was proud of myself for not eating TOO much garbage.

I had been craving nacho cheese for the longest time!

Even though I didn’t completely pig out I still felt SO guilty, so first thing Saturday morning I spent some time exercising (think lots of crunches, squats, and jumping jacks) it was enough to get me feeling good again and ready to continue my weekend of indulging…

My boyfriend and I had to take a trip to the Manchester mall on Saturday afternoon; whenever we’re in that area we can’t help but stop at Texas Roadhouse. We went for lunch and got a baby blossom to share, he ordered potato skins as a meal (I tried to stop him lol) and I got a country fried chicken steak (? I never know what the heck it’s called…but it’s chicken) I got a side salad and a sweet potato as my sides.

The fact that eating all of this food is generally normal for me, was a wake up call. After eating so well, I couldn’t bring myself to completely fill up on garbage. I ended up eating some of the onion, my side salad and sweet potato. I barely touched my chicken- so I packed it up to bring home.

Baby Blossom's are amazing...

That trip was enough to kill my fried food cravings for a while. The late lunch served as an early dinner, so I spend the rest of the evening detoxing with tons of water. Later that night the sweet tooth kicked in, a half a snickers bar and a small cup of ice cream was the perfect treat.

Sunday I spent the day at my parents house, my sister and I made a buffalo chicken dip (we tried to substitute all of the creams and cheeses for low-fat, low-sodium options) of course we didn’t end up following the recipe properly…but it turned out yummy!

And of course my Mom made an amazing dinner…I’m so glad I was able to end the weekend on a healthy note ๐Ÿ™‚

Mashed sweet potatoes, gorgonzola salad, roasted chicken with veggies (and the most amazing caramelized onions I’ve ever had!) She had a couple other sides that I wasn’t able to get pictures of, but it was all so delicious and started to get me back on track.

I won’t be eating as much junk this coming weekend, because I do feel like it threw me off track a bit. But I will treat myself here and there. For now, it’s back to a week of healthy eating!

I’m Going Nude!

Right now I am so obsessed, and inspired by all things nude and natural. Everything from neutral clothing and accessories, to natural hair and makeup! Sometimes less is more ๐Ÿ™‚

(How freaking beautiful is Minka Kelly?!)

What are you currently loving?

Quick Eyebrow Trick!

Is there a quick beauty trick that you MUST do before you leave the house? An extra spritz of hairspray, some smoothing serum, a quick floss of your teeth? I have one that is a complete necessity …brushing and shaping my eyebrows!

It is so quick and easy, requires the purchase of nothing and will completely polish your look.

1) Grab a clean mascara brush- you can find these on display at nearly every beauty store. There are usually bunches of them available for customers to use for testing mascaras. Whenever I pop into Sephora I always grab a couple to bring home (I hope that doesn’t count as stealing..it’s like a sample!)

2) Place the tip of the brush close to the nozzle of your hairspray and spritz a small amount onto the tip.

3) Brush your eyebrows from the center of your face out. Be sure the path of the brush is drawn to enhance your natural arch.

Before
After (my apologies- my eyebrows were in a need a tweeze when this was taken)

(Be sure to run the brush under hot water when you’re done, otherwise the hairspray will build up and harden)

And voila! I am so nutty about doing my brows in the morning that I carry an extra brush and pocket sized hairspray in my purse just in case I forget!

Do you have a daily beauty-must? ย Share it in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚

My take on gel manicures (Hint: I’m in favor!)

I have a legitimate obsession with fingernails, nail polish, nail products and creating the perfect manicure. It’s slightly sick. I never get my nails done at a salon because I know I can do them better.

When the Shellac craze hit, I didn’t think much of it. I was still a student, I had plenty of time to keep up with my regular manicures. Once I started working full time I found I was unable to paint my nails the usual 2-3X a week, so I booked a shellac appointment to see what the hype was about. Of course I researched the proper application technique before I went- no oil on your nails, the polish should never touch your cuticles, make sure they cap the edges, etc. So I went in all amped that I would be leaving with super shiny nails that would last for 2 weeks!

Fast forward through my appointment…it was horrible. The woman who did my nails didn’t follow any of the rules, and I honestly wanted to grab the polish out of her hand to do it myself. It was torture forking over $35 dollars for something I hated (including the color!) but I’m not one to complain.ย So I bit my tongue and vowed that’d be my LAST trip to the salon.

Fast forward to today- I purchased an entire gel system over the summer, UV light included…

…and now do my own gel manicures at home (my Mom, sister and roommate benefit as well ;)). ย I don’t know how else to explain it, but gels are so amazing! I will never go back to regular polish.ย If you learn nothing else from me…remember this GEL MANICURES WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! (That’s kind of dramatic, but I promise it’s true!)

I will do a post on “How-To Do Your Own At Home Gel Mani ” in the near future, but today I just wanted to convince you with pictures. I basically photograph my nails daily, just to document the longevity of each manicure. Below are a few gel manicures I’ve done- see for yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

Gelish Mini "Stand Out"
Gelish Mini "Bella's Vampire"
Gelish Mini "Sweet Chocolate"

I use a combination of OPI Axxium and Gelish products. You can see each manicure generally lasts two weeks- once in a while there is minor peeling in the second week, but the polish never chips, it withstands long showers, dish washing, and normal activity that a regular manicure would never sustain. The polish always remains shiny, and it makes my nails super strong- allowing them to continue growing (normally my nails are really weak). As you can see my cuticles grow out, and that’s when I’m usually ready to remove the polish and pick a new color.

I would highly suggest that if you haven’t tried a gel manicure yet, that you do so. Be sure to find a good salon and book an appointment- you will not be disappointed.

A few things I love about winter…

It is officially too cold to leave the house without a coat (snow or no snow)…in my book that means winter has arrived. I must admit while I dread the cold weather…it’s a nice change of pace in the wardrobe department. There are certain clothes, bags, colors, and shoes that are more acceptable in the winter time. Here are my seasonal favorites:

1) Scarves: I wear a variety of scarves year round, however this time of year the heavier knits serve as more of a necessity than an accessory.

Some of my go-to scarves
My good friend Kelly got me this maroon Calvin Klein scarf, it is so warm and has an elastic band thread down the middle which gives it a nice bounce. ๐Ÿ™‚ I've been loving it this week.

2) A winter hand bag. I recently got a Louis Vuitton and I am so in love with it! It is perfect for the season and I am trying to get as much use out of it as possible before the bright colors of Spring come back around.

My pride and joy ๐Ÿ™‚
I found this great Kate Spade winter bag in Marshalls this week and fell in love with it as well! (May have to go back....)

3) Moisturizers. I moisturize year round, but it is especially important during the winter. My skin get’s really dry, so I prefer to use a body butter. I have an apricot mango butter for every day, a lavender butter for nighttime and a regular floral-y scent when I’m in a hurry or need a quick pump.

All three lotions smell so good!

It is important to keep your face moisturized and hydrated as well. My regular Olay lotion doesn’t cut it as my skin gets super dry in the winter, luckily Ponds Dry Skin Cream works wonder.

You can find Ponds at any drugstore

Don’t forget a yummy smelling hand lotion to keep hands from drying or cracking.

This stuff smells amazing!

4) Faux Fur. Capitalize on the cold- you can’t wear fur in the summer! I got this amazing faux chinchilla vest which serves as a perfect substitute for a coat!

Surprisingly, this vest keeps me just as warm as my peacoat.

5) Dark Nailpolish Colors. I have tried nearly every polish color, but I must admit that the darker shades are my favorite. If you’re not accustomed to using crazy colors but want to try something new, choose a forrest green or deep blue; they are still very clean and professional looking but will definitely mix things up.

Browns and maroons and greens- oh my ๐Ÿ™‚

6) A cozy sweater! Take advantage of the opportunity to bundle up and wear something cozy. This sweater could easily substitute as a robe.

I swear this is so comfortable- I wish I could wear it everyday.
I had to take a shot of the back because I love the way that it folds over my shoulders.

7) Knee High Boots. I love wearing boots, they go with skinny jeans, leggings, skirts, and certain dresses. I have a simple pair of 3-4″ black suede knee highs that I wear at least twice a week-they are so versatile!

I've only had these boots for about a year and they've seen so much action I've already worn down the heels. Time for a trip to the shoemaker.

I look forward to pulling these clothes, products and accessories out every year. What kinds of things do you like to wear/use/do during the winter months?

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