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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review: charge HR

IMG_2282For months I’ve been trying to decide whether or not I should buy a Polar HR monitor. Around the time I was going to cave and get one, Fitbit announced they were going to (eventually) release a Fitbit HR monitor. I waited and waited for months! And finally this January they released the Charge HR monitor.. Which I bought on the spot. (Oops, I’m obsessive.) And I have to say.. I love it!

My friend who does have a polar watch and I have compared calories burnt in yoga class. Her polar claims she has burned 200 ish calories while mine hovers around 150. It is possible our bodies are that different, but I’m also willing to accept the Fitbit is slightly less accurate since it is a peripheral monitor. That’s okay with me though — I love the step tracking, stair flights counting, and daily calories burnt features of fitbit. One new thing about the Fitbit Charge HR is that it uses your HR to track your sleep. That has been amazingly accurate for me so far — it even catches me when I accidentally take naps on the couch. (Oops!)

I did have one incident where the Charge HR just up and died on me — without even a low battery warning! The battery is supposed to last 5-8 days, depending on how many activities you track — and about 3 days in to a charge I tracked 2+ hours of activity, and it died sometime that night. Since then, though, the battery hasn’t gone down nearly as rapidly — I’m thinking it was just a fluke of the new battery.

All in all, I’m super pleased with the new Fitbit Charge HR — if you’ve been considering getting one, I would definitely recommend it!

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?

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??

yin yoga

Most of the time I only feel the urge to go to Vinyasa yoga classes — working up an amazing sweat and feeling just the right amount of sore the next day. However, recently, I’ve been appreciating the benefits of Yin yoga, which my local studio offers. Before this studio I had never heard of yin yoga.

Yin yoga focuses on holding poses much longer, and they are more geared towards tendons and fascial stretching. While it doesn’t get you all sweaty like a vinyasa class will, it is still AMAZING and your body feels energized in a slightly different way. To me, it is a little bit easier, but just as beneficial — especially if I find myself going on a lot of runs, like I had been while training for my most recent 5k.

Have you ever tried yin yoga? If not, I definitely recommend giving it a go!

downtown christmas run

fun run

a week ago unfortunately (i assume) i pulled an ab muscle running : (

i’ve been getting pretty bad belly cramps that start under my R ribcage and go down the front of my abs

however i signed up for this 5k christmas run months ago and still wanted to participate — albeit much slower than originally anticipated. we were able to finish in 33 minutes though — and it was a blast! santa was there to cheer you on around every lap; there were lots of christmas lights at the finish and along the race, too! definitely a must do every year.

are there any fun christmas events in your area? : )