Eating Healthy Isn’t That Hard…

So I am on week two of healthy eating, and surprisingly it has been going SO well! The healthier food choices tied in with a little exercise already has me seeing results- and resisting temptation. My energy level has been so high, my body is feeling amazing, and getting into my pants is not as difficult as it was a couple of weeks ago.

I’ve found that eating a small breakfast in the morning, packing a ton of healthy snacks to eat throughout the day, and having a portion controlled dinner has been the best route for me.

In the morning I have been having either an english muffin, a hard boiled egg or a small bowl of Special K with strawberries.

English muffin with margarine and grape jelly.
Hard boiled eggs. I boiled a half a dozen at the beginning of the week, and kept them in the fridge.

Come lunch time I am not starving- which has been a change for me. I used to count down to noon; now I find lunchtime approaching before I’m ready for it. I’ve been bringing a variety of options all week:

Peanut butter, jelly and banana on multi-grain bread. I feel like a kindergartener, because I never end up eating the crust!
I love cottage cheese-these small containers are perfect!
Cinnamon granola and raisins, clementine, apple, craisins and baby carrots
Strawberries, yogurt, banana and a few ritz crackers- (I crave carbs and salt terribly)

For drinks it’s been water. I keep a cold pitcher of lemon water in the fridge at home. 🙂

A few lemon slices make all the difference

Dinner has been salads, veggies, pork, sweet potatoes (I should have taken pictures)…I took a stab at my first stir fry last week and to my surprise- it had a stellar review! 🙂

Yum!

Now, I haven’t been eating PERFECTLY every day, but I refuse to deprive myself. While visiting my family last weekend my Mom made an amazing dinner- I did my best to control how much I ate, but how do you say no to this!?

Home made mac and cheese, string beans with almonds, breaded chicken breast topped with bruschetta and gorgonzola and rice pilaf. She also made some amazing salmon, but I'm not much of a fish fan.

I am finding myself excited about my new eating habits. I can’t explain what a diet change will do to your body! My mind, energy, and esteem have been on a whole new level.

What are some of your favorite healthy meals and snacks? I’m looking for some new recipes and ideas 🙂

Getting Organized for the New Year!

I spent this weekend organizing and cleaning my room- it was due for a head to toe. The biggest feat was my closet. I only have one semi-walk-in for all of my clothes, shoes, and handbags. I’ve needed more space for quite some time, so I took a trip to IKEA on Saturday and ended up buying a simple black dresser that worked wonders for my room! I assembled that bad boy all by myself! (With only a LITTLE help from my boyfriend ;))

It took a couple of hours to get the entire body and drawers built, but it was worth it!

I joke that this is dorm furniture, but it works perfectly in my room :). (I couldn't get an orb-free picture- freaky!)

I also wanted to find a solution for my shoes. They always end up in a big mess no matter how I organize them. I was thinking hanging shelves might be a good solution- IKEA had these for only $4.99 a piece. I bought five and hung them in my closet. *Life Saver!*

Best purchase ever.

The bottom slots of these organizers are perfect for storing scarves, hats and tanks.

I really went through my wardrobe and tried to clean house. Many clothes were moved into the dresser, and many were packed up to sell, give away, and donate. I can’t believe this was all that was left, but that just makes room for some new pieces, less is more 🙂

I try to color code my clothes. This isn't necessarily my best effort-I was more focused on getting rid of things I no longer wear, I didn't spend much time getting them in rainbow order.

I used to have my television on this little book shelf in place of my dresser- it was so make-shift, and not very strong. It now has a perfect home next to my door.

I love those little candles, I try not to burn them. My Mom found them for me- they have an "AB" medallion on the front 🙂

This is one of those picture/ribbon boards which I converted into a necklace holder.

I hang some headbands on here as well.

I got this jewelry organizer as a gift which works perfectly for my earrings, rings, bracelets and watches. I leave it hung on the back of my door.

Goal is to keep this organized year round!

I have two great night stands that I bought when I moved in. They are super sturdy and have some storage . I cleaned out the bottom cabinets and used them to hold misc. documents, products, chargers/cords, and throw blankets. I try to keep as little clutter on top as possible.

I love fake flowers. Is that tacky?... They never die!
(The candy dispenser is a little something I got my boyfriend-he is a legitimate sugar addict,)

My room is fairly small, but it is my little oasis. I am still looking for a few pieces to complete it- I’m trying to find the perfect French/vintage/sparkly mirror for over my bed, a standing lamp for next to my television and some tall pre-lit floral arrangements. Decorating is addicting!

For now, I just need to keep it clean 🙂

Time to get cozy and retreat for the night! What are some ways you organize your room?

Cuticle Oil Products: 101

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a fanatic about my fingernails! I could honestly dedicate an entire blog site to manicures, products and tips, but that’d be unhealthy and I do enjoy other things in life as well. 😉

This morning on Twitter I got into a discussion about cuticle oil with a couple of my followers who had never used it before! I think that is such a crime; all women should know the many benefits they’d get from carrying this product and using it regularly.

If you don’t currently use cuticle oil read on…

1) Cuticle oil helps keep fingernails healthy and strong. 

2) Oil will restore and prevent dry, peeling or cracked cuticles. 

3) When cuticles are not nourished, it is difficult to push them back and many salons will clip them. When they’re clipped you are providing an entry point for bacteria and fungi (ew!)

4) Improves nail strength, appearance, flexibility and growth. In a brief amount of time, you’ll notice your nails will be growing quicker, and much stronger.

I am a devout cuticle oiler! I apply dozens of times per day (which is excessive- it is suggested 3x/day is more than enough). I carry three different brands in my purse, check them out below:

1)    Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Crème:

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Creme
Opened

This product reminds me of a lip balm. (Warning- it does not substitute as one! I tried once in desperate measure-ick!)

The Lemon Butter smells amazing, and overall it works well, I just don’t like having to get my fingers all sticky to apply it to my nails.

2) Sally Hanesn Vitamin E & Cuticle Oil

Sally Hansen Vitamin E & Cuticle Oil
A regular polish brush is used for application

I really love this product! It works amazing and keeps your nails and cuticles nourished for quite a while. The only downside is that it is difficult to use when walking, in a car, or any place that you cannot set the bottle down. It’s also slightly embarrassing to use in public because it looks like you are painting your nails, but Lord knows I don’t care ;)…

My (embarrassed) friend snapped a shot of me while we were pre-gaming before going out in Boston. This is my kind of pre-game! 😉

3) Sephora Stimulating Lavender Cuticle Oil

This cuticle pen has a twist on the bottom which pumps out the oil.
The bush makes application SO easy- anytime, anyplace.

This product is my absolute favorite! It is a little pricey, but if you are trying to transform your nails, I would highly recommend picking one up! It is so convenient; it is discrete and it works phenomenally. I leave one on my desk at work (in my pen jar) and I swear I use it all day long.

Can you spot the cuticle pen?

In all honesty, any of these products will get the job done-I just have my favorites.

After I oil my cuticles I apply the Vaseline Healthy Hand & Nail Lotion which can be found at any drugstore, Walmart, CVS, etc.

I love that the bottle is pink 🙂

No matter what product you choose to use, use something. Especially during these winter months. I promise you, you will notice a difference in your nails. 🙂

If you know of a must-have cuticle product tell me about it in the comments below!

3 Mascara Reviews: I have a new fave!

Every woman wants long, luscious lashes, and there are hundreds of products on the market that promise to elongate them. However, many of those products don’t exactly work. I’m lucky to have fairly long lashes to begin with, but I still love to go to town with my mascara, and make them look even longer.

Over the holidays I got three new mascaras, and was surprised to find a new favorite!

Check out my reviews below…

1) NYC Sky Rise Lengthening Mascara ($1.99)

NYC Sky Rise Lengthening Mascara
NYC Brush
Left Eye (pre-mascara)
Lashes Post NYC

2) Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum & Primer ($28)  Diorshow Mascara (090 Rich Black) $24.50

DiorShow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum & Primer and DiorShow (090 black)
DiorShow brushes
Step 1: DiorShow Maximizer
Post DiorShow

3) Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Curl & Lengthen Mascara ($18.00)

Bare Minerals Flawless Definition Curl & Lengthen Mascara
Bare Minerals brush
Lashes post Bare Minerals

(I was just swatching these mascaras, so excuse my not-so-perfect, crooked-looking lashes. I usually spend more time on them)

Conclusion:

I thought I was going to LOVE DiorShow, but I don’t like how it made my lashes so clumpy. The NYC mascara is perfect to just throw in your bag for everyday use. But my absolute favorite was the Bare Minerals! I don’t usually use Bare Escentual products, so I’m glad I got the chance to try this mascara out. The brush hits every lash- and when you have enough time to apply it correctly, they look amazing! I highly recommend; this product is definitely a keeper!

What kind of mascara do you use?

Bargain Hunting at it’s Best!

While I love to shop, I never spend a lot of money on clothes. 95% of the time you will find me in a TJ’s, Marshalls, Target, or Consignment. The other 5% I am in sale or clearance racks. I rarely pay full price for anything, because 1) I know I’ll be over it in a few months, and 2) I wouldn’t get to shop as often if I was paying full price for everything I purchased!

When I was younger I used to sign up for any and every club that would give me a plastic rewards card. (I needed something to put in my wallet!) CVS, Bobs Stores, and my personal favorite… the Bath and Body Works Art Stuff Club card…

Anywho- after all these years, I still get Bob’s Dollars in the mail twice a year. I got $10 in the mail the other day, and while I don’t normally shop there, I figured I should go look around before the coupon expired (free money, right?).

I wasn’t in the mood to spend anything, because I really didn’t need anything, nor did I particularly care for the clothes they were carrying. So I scoured the clearance racks to make the most of my $10 and I ended up finding some cute things.

I found this navajo-esque skirt for only $3.00!

The skirt is super light, with an elastic waist so it can be worn high or low on the hips.

I wore it to work today with a black turtle neck and suede knee high boots. I love that it can also be downplayed and worn casually. It can definitely work in the summer months with a tank.

On the clearance rack, I came across this silky top tucked way in the back…

It was only $3.00 as well! It looks really cute with a cardigan and slacks, or leggings. The cotton racer back makes it super casual, so in the warmer months it is totally acceptable with a pair of white shorts or even over a bathing suit. I love year round pieces!

To be honest, those were the only cute, and super cheap clothing items I could find. However, I did come across these cute convertibles finger-mittens:

Each pair was only $3! (That must have been my lucky number for the night.)

I wore the blue pair today…

For anyone wondering, my polish is a UV Gelish Mini- "Night Reflection" (..and that's day 5! I love gel manis! But that's a whole other post!)
Perfect for my ice cold steering wheel in the AM!

So in total, I only ended up spending $2.00 for some really cute finds!

Do you like to bargain shop? What are your go-to stores?

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