fruits

Before You Feast…Refresh | Easy 7 Day Challenge

Thanksgiving is almost here + I cannot wait!! I haven’t seen my extended family in months [which is so unusual]! My Aunt is an incredible cook + always makes the most delicious Thanksgiving meal. 🙂 I’m already dreaming about turkey, side dishes, and the millions of desserts I intend to inhale. Before diving head first into my plate, I want to take a little time to do something good for my body.

Family pic on Thanksgiving! Circa 2012.
Family pic on Thanksgiving! Circa 2012.

For those who like to indulge during the holiday season, I’m inviting you to try this little prep activity with me.

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A 2014 Resolution

I truly enjoy making resolutions! I love the sense of commitment and enthusiasm that they provide at the start of the new year. I’ll admit, I have been a bit ambitious in the past, vowing to complete A, B, C, D, E, F, G, etc. etc. but this year, I’ve decided to keep my resolutions – or goals, if you will – simple. It’s all about taking on one small change at a time, no?

This year I’ve decided to take one thing head on – skincare.

I think it’s time to start addressing this “getting old” thing. While technically, I am a bit late in the anti-aging game, I’m considering myself early. This year is all about good products, facials, and avoiding the sun!

I do take good care of my skin, but I’m ready to take it to the next level. Someone recently recommended that I try No. 7 skincare products. After their rave review, I did my own Google search & was quickly sold. I picked up the Protect & Perfect Intense Skincare System at Target for $50.

Target - $50
This system includes a serum, a day cream and a night cream.
It is a tad pricey, but considering the supposed quality of the products, it was a steal. Each cream is of substantial size as well!
A peek inside. It is a tad pricey, but considering the supposed quality of the products, it was a steal. Not to mention, each cream is of a pretty substantial size!

I also (per recommendation), placed an order for Country Life Maxi Hair Time Release (hair, skin and nail) vitamins.

Screen shot 2014-01-03 at 9.34.28 AM

I tried Sephora’s Phytophanère hair, skin and nail vitamins, but wasn’t thoroughly impressed. I went through a full bottle – a 3 month treatment – before deciding not to continue. The Country Life tablets have wonderful reviews, so I’m excited to try them!

In addition to my two new products, an increased intake of water, fruits & veggies is obviously going to be a must.

I’ll post my thoughts on the No. 7 skin treatment and the Country Life vitamins once I get a good feel for them.

I hope everyone has made a resolution or two for the New Year!

There’s no time like the present 🙂

Update on my New Years Resolutions (1 month down)

Happy February everyone! I apologize for not blogging all week, I’ve been super busy, and a little under the weather- but I’m back 🙂

I decided that at the beginning of each month, I would go through my New Years Resolutions and note how well, or how poorly I’ve been maintaining them. I think it’s a good way to keep myself in check when it comes to sticking to my goals. So here we go:

1: Stop Cursing. Unfortunately, this one has been really difficult for me. I have been making the effort, but sometimes it just slips. However, each time I slip I do catch myself and note how horribly I am at sticking to this resolution. LOL…  It’s a work in progress.

2: Exercise regularly. This has been pretty good! I’ve definitely been making a conscious effort to get some sort of physical activity into each day. Some days are better than others, and yes I have skipped a few here and there, but overall I’m proud of myself for the increased physical activity.

Snapshot while exercising at home- love my little 3lb weights! LOL
Went ice skating with all of my cousins- here'e a shot of my sister and I. What a great lower body workout!

3: Eat healthier. This may be my best resolution! I’ve been eating super healthy M-F. I’ve been allowing myself to cheat on the weekends,  but as the weekends go by I find that I am not as eager to eat junk because I really have noticed a difference in the way my body feels.

I've been making much healthier lunches and eating SO much fruit! Yumm 🙂

4: Stop spending so much money and start saving more. I definitely have! I try not to spend any money during the week on “things” (random trips to CVS, Marshalls, Target, etc.) I do allow myself to spend if going out for an occasion or on groceries. I keep adding to my want list  and chip away at it on the weekends or wait until I absolutely need something. I’ve also made the effort to force myself to put money aside from each paycheck-I started looking at it as another bill.

5: Make an effort to spend more time with friends: So far so good! This month, I met my best girls from home for dinner, as well as my Kappas- (the class I was initiated with in my sorority). We’re all so busy and live across the state, but by planning ahead, we’ve all been able to follow through with plans. 🙂

Erin, Kelly & I
My Kappas <3 Brie, Kristen, and Steph 🙂

6: Spend more time reading. I wish I could say I was doing this! Honestly, I don’t think I picked up a book for more than an hour this month. I’ve read a ton of magazines….but I don’t really think those count. This month I’ll need to work on upping my literature.

7: No more soda. Hell, my name is Amanda and I am soda-free. Not a sip. 🙂

Water-all day everyday 🙂

8: Eat out less and cook more. Done and done! I pack a healthy lunch for work everyday, and try to cook dinner M-F. It helps me to save money during the week and eat healthier- so by doing this I am contributing to two of my other resolutions as well!

And of course, one of my resolutions was to start and maintain a blog. I think I’ve been doing a decent job. I’ve tried to make an effort to post every night, but some days are just far too busy. I think this will be by 26th or 27th post? So that’s not too bad out of 31 days!

How are you guys doing with your New Years Resolutions? Have you been sticking to them?

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 🙂

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 🙂

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!

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