january favorites

mereadesso_allinonemoisturizer_900x900Mèreadesso All-In-One Moisturizer — somehow this sample got completely lost since my SEPTEMBER 2013 Birchbox?! (Yes, crazy, told you I have too many samples). Well I fished it out while I was looking for a moisturizer sampler and HOLY COW. This is the most perfect thing I’ve ever put on my face. It’s a moisturizer, toner, eye cream, and makeup primer all in one. It makes my foundation flawless, and moisturizes my combination skin perfectly. I actually received the travel size which has lots of uses. I’m currently trying super hard to save the other half for summer to see if it works on my skin then too. In the meantime I’m trying to save up my Birchbox points, because $120 is too much. Hopefully in the meantime I’ll find something I like more, but… This is amazing. For real. Found at Birchbox.

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BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Speak Your Mind — I received this in my lip sampler Sephora favorites set for Christmas, and I love it! I wear it as an any day lip and it goes with practically everything. Plus it lasts forever! Found here.

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Camille Beckman Glycerine Hand Therapy in Midnight Monarch — I got a sample of this last winter in my Birchbox, and I pulled it back out again this winter. My hands get super chapped and dry, to the point of even skin breaking and bleeding. (I wash my hands a lot since I work in a hospital.) But this hand cream is some of the best I’ve ever tried, it does my skin wonders! I would be lost without it in winter. Available from Birchbox here.

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The Love Your Body Series — by Tone It Up! This has been an amazing way to motivate myself and keep active. So far I’ve lost 4+ lbs.. Pretty amazing! If you’ve never tried Tone It Up, try it out here.

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Perfect Fit Protein by Tone It Up in Cinnamon Roll — I like the vanilla protein a lot, but the cinnamon roll flavor is amazing! Tone It Up also has an amazing cinnamon roll mug cake recipe on their website too. Available online here.

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favorite fitness apps

runkeeper-iconRunKeeper — this is one of the more detailed running apps I’ve encountered. It provides a lot of detail on your runs that are GPS tracked, including splits and change in elevation. I also use it to keep track of the Tone It Up running challenges (i.e., 100 miles to run between Jan 1st and Feb 14th) and it shows progress in that challenge. If you run on a treadmill often, it’s also easy to log those miles as well.

icon175x175C25K Free — this app is the only way I am now able to run! I started this Jan of 2014 having never run a mile before. I’ve run 2 5ks with this app! And, what I really like about it, is if you fall off the running wagon, it’s really easy to find a spot within the program that is within your limits, and then it will help you work your way back up from there.

465e2f6d959c59476417beebff102866_icon_127x127GymPact — I was super skeptical of this app at first, but after using it for several weeks.. It works! Basically, you agree to work out a certain number of days a week (or eat a certain number of vegetables in a week). By checking in to your gym, or wearing your phone on an arm band, getting 10,000+ steps on a fitbit, or running with RunKeeper or another partner app for 30+ mins, you have “worked out” that day. You agree to pay a certain penalty for missing a day. And then everyone who meets their goal splits the penalty money collected. On average, I’ve earned about $1.00 to $1.50 a week. Which is very insignificant, I know — but the point is to avoid the penalty (and it’s worked, it’s motivated me very well!).

Gorgeous_Apps_FitbitFitbit — Obviously you need a Fitbit to fully enjoy this app (sorry!) but it is one of my favorites by far. As everyone knows I’m sure, it tracks your steps, but also stairs, calories burned in a day, and now (with my new Charge HR) my heart rate. If you’re dieting you can also set a weight loss goal, and fitbit will custom calculate how many calories you can eat based on how many you’ve burned with your day’s activity. It’s super handy! Especially because you can log your meals in their app as well.

icon175x175Tone It Up — you’ll only love this app if you love Tone It Up. You can access their blog updates, EVERY workout, and recipes here. BUT the thing I love most is if you follow their workout schedules, you can go to the “Sweat” tab at the bottom, and it lists all the workouts you’re supposed to do for the day. INCLUDING the videos which you can watch in the app AND printables which give detailed instructions, so you can just take your phone with you to the gym! It’s definitely been a game changer for me & helped me stick to Tone It Up.

 

Click any of the links or icons above to view these apps in the iTunes App Store.

Have you tried any of these apps? What are your favorites?

january birchbox unboxing

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My December Birchbox was pretty epic, by my standards, and this months did not quite score as high. But it’s hard to blow me out of the water every single month.. There’s always an ebb and flow with my satisfaction. Here’s what I got..

  • Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45+ — can I just say something? I’m a liiiiittle over BB creams. I know they’re the equivalent of sent-from-heaven makeup, but I have received what feels like 589235 samples of BB creams since they hit the shelves. My skin must be a weird color or something, because the samples never quite match me — I need foundation with a wide spectrum of options to find the perfect match. BUT any who — I haven’t tried this yet, since I’m so over BB creams. I’ll give it a go and if I change my mind will totally write a review!
  • Essential Elements Wake Up Rosemary Body Lotion — I also feel like I have tons of lotions (but who doesn’t?). This lotion does smell AMAZING! It’s very light, so would be good on not super dry skin.  I got the shower gel a few months ago, and feel like if you love that scent, this will be the perfect add on to your routine.
  • Innarah Defense Masque Oxygenating Masque — I freaking love getting face masks in my birchbox. I tried this one already. After I washed it off, I felt as if my skin was pretty dried out.. (maybe I left it on too long??) But after slathering on some extra moisturizer my skin was lookin’ gooooood! Unfortunately, the price tag reads on this $125.. So I’ll stick to my Lush face masks, thank ya!
  • Manna Kadar Lip Locked in All of Me — I am really digging colorful lips right now, and this is a color I am definitely excited to try! I’ll have to do a post later of all my current lip favs — perhaps this will make the cut!
  • Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk — Natural Tint — I was super excited to get this for multiple reasons! Firstly, my friends constantly rave about it. Secondly, I heard about the tinted version when it came out not too long ago and was VERY interested in trying — my current dry shampoo makes me look like a granny! And thirdly, it was featured in the Tone It Up Birchbox that is available to only new subscribers (boooo) so I was unable to get my paws on it. That’s okay, hopefully I can accumulate the samples they featured. I’ll let y’all know if this changes my hair-life .. I haven’t tried it yet, but I can’t wait to! At $19.50 for full-size, I’d purchase in a heartbeat if I love it.

Sign up for Birchbox here!

challenge: commit to a 5k!

As I mentioned in a a previous post, the Tone It Up Love Your Body challenge is an amazing way to kick it up a notch heading in to the new year. One part of the challenge is also night time goals that are more for your mental well-being. Sticking to them brings amazing things your way, even when they sound silly! This one isn’t that silly of a goal though: it’s committing to a 5k (or race distance of your preference).

And not just saying oh yeah, I’ll run a 5k by this date — LITERALLY hand over MONEY to enter a race locally! For me it makes a huge difference in my training. I am MUCH more motivated to go out and run when I have a race looming up ahead.

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So, I did it! This isn’t my first 5k, as I’ve written about before, but I love committing to one every time. I’m really excited to kick things in to high gear, and this race will help keep me motivated! After all, gotta hit those 100 miles by Vday!

Any of y’all sign up for a race too?

love your BODY!

Have you heard of Tone It Up? If not, and you’re looking for a fitness routine for the new year, I’m about to blow your mind! Tone it up does a yearly 6 week challenge from Jan 1st until Valentine’s Day which is centered around pushing yourself, mentally and physically, to treat your body right! I am SO excited to get started this year!

Visit their website if you want to participate. I’m going to be blogging a little bit more about it specifically during the next six weeks.. You should too! I’ll use the wordpress Tag “Love Your Body”. Even MORESO, though, I will be doing daily check-ins on INSTAGRAM! (These enter you to win prizes, ya know ;)). Click HERE to follow my Fitness Instagram!

In addition to this, I’m going to be participating in the Sea Shells & Sit Ups Tums & Guns challenge! Her blog has quickly become one of my favorites because she is so Tone It Up oriented, I love it. Check her website out to get amazingly helpful calendars and planners. SO organized, SO perfect for my OCD. 😉

Will you be participating??

new years resolutions

It’s that time of the year again! New Years Resolutions! I was fairly successful at achieving my goals this past year, so with that momentum, I’m gonna try and kick 2015 off on the right foot!

  • Complete the Tone It Up Love Your Body series — YES, a 6 week commitment of working out EVERY day! But I love love love the TIU series. They’re FREE! And give away tons of prizes. If you’ve never done one, I highly recommend jumping on board for this one! Starts on January 1st. 🙂 I will post again about this tomorrow — I’m setting up a Tone It Up/Fitness Instagram so we can all be in this together! More details on that to come.
  • Go to a Yoga class once a week — I really need to work on my flexibility.. Especially while running and lifting so much.
  • Follow the Blogilates 12 week transformation meal plan during the Love Your Body series. This meal plan came with the Fitness Journal last new years, and I still have it saved on my computer. It WORKED y’all. And I wasn’t starving all the time! I don’t know if you can steal purchase this one, but I think she has similar ones. While Blogilates does do workout schedules, I much prefer Tone It Up’s… I’m not really sure why?
  • Join a DietBet — and WIN! I did this last new years, it was 4 weeks to lose 5% of your weight. I put $30 in the pot; got my money back, and $15 on top of it! It was a perfect way to keep me motivated and make some money. Now that I know I can do it, I’m definitely willing to put more money in to the pot, in order to get more out! 😉
  • Be more positive — I’m kind of a negative nancy, so this is something I think I should really work on. Being healthy and active REALLY helps my attitude though, so hopefully this will come with all the things above!

What are some of your New Years’ Resolutions??