My Favorite Things in 2018

Does that title rhyme slightly? Just me? Great.

I wanted to do this wrap up of the stuff I really loved this year that I didn’t talk about and/or barely talked about. Sort of like a giant Sunday Summary, A.K.A that thing I don’t do anymore (but can still be viewed if you’re into that).

Best Hair Product of 2018:

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The Tragic Before

Technically, this isn’t a product. HOWEVER, I discovered this dry shampoo blow drier trick and it is a game changer. Had bun hair all day and then someone wanted to hangout (and i did not want to have bun hair) so I tried this trick. Here’s the post I did and how it ended up going for me, but spoiler alert, it works.

Best Book in 2018:

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If you need to know anything about me, it’s that I love to read. I’ve been slacking slightly with how much, but I’ve been picking up major speed with it lately. I’ve read roughly 20-ish books this year, which is kind of a lot. Trying to narrow it down to the best was hard, but some of the books I read just sort of ran together. Really thinking about doing a monthly post about the books I read the month before (mostly just to push myself to read more). OKAY on to my actual pick: You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I know what you’re thinking “Self-help book? That’s for sad weirdos.” Here’s the thing: You’re right! BUT, I’d argue that everyone is kind of a sad weirdo sometimes! I read this when I really needed something to give me things to do after I quit my job and when I needed a distraction from going down the “what if I have to move home because I can’t find a job” hole. I would honestly read it again, that’s how much I liked it. If you’re stuck in place in your life where you have no idea what you’re doing, read this. If you wanna make a crazy change, read this. It’s 2019, the year of making goals and gettin’ bread—as the memes say, so read it!

Best Makeup Product of 2018:

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Okay I almost put something else for this that was expensive and to be fair, very good. I feel that I should instead pay homage to a brand who had my back when I was too broke to go to Sephora and get new stuff. That’s right I’m talking about ELF. You wouldn’t think with $1 brow pencils and $3 concealer would be worth putting on your face. I’m here to tell you, your assumptions are wrong. My brows are perfectly filled and my pores CONCEALED! Was actually not a fan of the bronzer cause it was too glittery for my tastes but that doesn’t mean it’s not quality! Okay done with my spiel.

Best Skincare Product of 2018:

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Spoiler alert it’s like 2 dollars. Spoiler alert again, it’s lemon juice. I started using it and it felt like a miracle. Then I stopped for a few weeks recently, because I’m skeptical person and sometimes I don’t feel like buying lemons ya know. Started using them again and wow I forgot how good they are. My skin just has so much less redness and blackheads! It’s so great and so cheap.

Best Movie of 2018:

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I know you all want me to say A Star is Born, but I’m sorry I can’t. The music is amazing, yes. Bradley Cooper is hot, yes. I absolutely knew what was gonna happen at the end and so I didn’t like it as much. Maybe if there was a world with no spoilers and people wouldn’t have talked about how amazing it was and subsequently ruining it. I also really don’t watch movies in theaters that much. I’ve seen maybe 3 movies this entire year, so I fell like I can’t say what the best movie this year is. I can say what the best movie saw this year. It’s not new, it’s just new to me. Okay, it’s Steel Magnolias. This is a weird pick for me, since every time anyone would bring this up I’d immediately think “How can that be good? It sounds so corny.” It was on Netflix a few months back and it was a rainy Saturday, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s set in a small town in Louisiana—hence the name. The thing about movies centered around the South is they’re always over exaggerated. Every other word is “crawfish” or “gumbo” or “pea-can pie!” I get it, its a movie, but that why I never really like them. This one doesn’t do that. Overall, its pretty reflective of life in smaller southern town and I loved it. I cried, I laughed and now I know why it wont so many awards. It’s not on Netflix anymore, but find it somewhere because it’s so good.

Best Show of 2018:

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Okay this is so hard because I’ve seen so many good shows this year, but there’s only one that filled me with the most joy every time I turned it on: The Great British Baking Show. Am I late to this game? I really don’t know but this show is so good. I really loved watching to the point of watching two seasons in a about a week. I did it in a weird way where I watched seasons 5 & 6 first and in my humble opinion, those are the best seasons. After that, they change the hosts and Prue isn’t one of the judges and I need her color coordination in my life. I love the accents, the stuff they come up with and  Paul Hollywood is a cutie, I’m just gonna throw it out there. Really into shows that make me laugh and aren’t super dramatic lately and this one definitely fill that for me. I even watched it twice, so if you haven’t yet, here’s your notification.

Best Clothing Purchase of 2018:

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This was the year I bought so many clothes, it’s obnoxious. Trying to “re-vamp” my wardrobe and also buying things for a 9-5 job was tough. I think the best purchase and the thing I got the most use out of were my Lululemon leggings. As you know, I’m more of a quantity over quality gal. Trends come and go a lot for me to be buying something that I may not wear in a few years that costs an arm and a leg. Also let’s keep it real, I’m still washing my clothes in a laundry mat for god’s sake. I’m in no place to be buying anything over 50 bucks. I completely believe in a good splurge for things that may be expensive, but you’ve been lusting after for a while. Hence, my purchase of these leggings. I really wanted to see if they are so different from the $20 Forever 21 leggings and I’m here to say yes they are. They fit like a glove, the length is always perfect (aka no bunching at the bottom) and they stay in place when I’m running. I still only have one pair so far, but 2019 I’ll be getting some more and really coming into my basic white girl form.

Best Workout of 2018:

 

So, I’m splitting this up by home workout and workout class, okay great:

Best home workout is always Tabata with Raneir Pollard hands down. He’s so fun and at the same time, the workout is always intense. It’s always my Monday go to for a good strong beginning to my week. Also, they just uploaded a new one!

Best workout class I’ve been to in the city is Yoga sculpt at Corepower yoga. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, If I were a richer woman, I’d be doing yoga twice a week at minimum. This particular class is not only yoga, but a little bit of cardio to satisfy my needs. They have them all over, so check them out if they’re near you!

 

Cheers to 2019! Can’t wait to make many more posts and let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see more of on the blog 🙂

Adventures in Crazy Workouts: CorePower Yoga

One of the newer workouts in the great city of New York is CorePower yoga. As the self-proclaimed Queen of Cardio, this yoga craze thing is not something I take part in. I don’t consider “stretching” to be a workout and therefore never do it. At all. Which is kinda bad I think? I never really give my muscles a chance to recover or whatever yoga does for them. I’m forcing myself to do different workouts in order to:

  1. Not get super bored working out and doing the same stuff every time
  2. Maybe change my body, have more overall tone and use different muscles??
  3. I feel like its good for me, according to random people

I challenged myself to do a week of CorePower yoga (on top of the other stuff I do). I started on Saturday, which just also happened to be the day I moved apartments. I decided to do the Hot Fusion class and I actually really enjoyed myself! None of the moves were super challenging or anything I couldn’t do as a mere beginner and newbie. It was definitely hot, but not too bad. I sweat like crazy, but I felt like I got a pretty decent workout in. 

I tried to go again on Sunday, but after moving my entire life the day before, I coolant muster the strength. I decided to go again on Thursday and chose the Core Power 2 class. I definitely should have read the description for this class because I was not prepared for what I signed up for. I ASSUMED it would just be a casual, normal, yoga class. Since there was no indication from the title of said class that it was “hot,” I assumed it would be air conditioned normally. I was wrong in my assumption. Not only that, it quiet possibly was the hottest I’ve ever been in my life inside of a building or honestly anywhere in my life. I’m so very glad I decided to wash my face before I went because I would have most definitely sweat it off anyway. I didn’t take off my waterproof mascara and that shit went right into my eyeballs as did gallons of sweat. I washed my hair that morning and even the ENDS of my hair were wet. I can’t talk enough about how hot and sweaty this class was I literally almost walked out simply so I could BREATHE AIR. My yoga mat definitely doubled as a slip-n-slide by the end. The actual yoga part was very good, a little more challenging, but still do-able. I was going to go again on Saturday, but after actually reading the description of the classes I was like “I’m not washing my hair after this I refuse” so I only used two classes out of my free week. 

Also funny side note: At the end of the class, the instructor played this like soothing music so we could like idk, relax in our pool of sweat, and I was like “huh this song sounds familiar.” I thought maybe I had it on some weird sleep playlist or something and then I remembered its the super annoying emotional song they play every time something intense happens between Fitzgerald and Olivia on Scandal. It got to the point where when I was binging Scandal I wanted to skip their parts because they play it EVERY TIME. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then I suggest you get some damn culture in your life and watch Scandal. 

Overall, I liked the classes. I could not do yoga like, by itself, but every now and then, I can handle. I definitely won’t be doing any more hot yoga classes at least for a while. 

The Sunday Summary

Talking about some realness on this Sunday summary. All about putting lemon juice on my face, what to do when your running day doesn’t workout because the weather is horrible(or maybe you just don’t wanna run because who really likes that shit?) and what book I am loving right now(and how to get a free book)!!

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Beauty

Okay I touched on this a little bit in my last post, but I wanted to go a little bit more in-depth about it. I’ve always had “problematic” skin and I will try anything once if it will help in some small way (and doesn’t cost my left arm). I just started putting lemon juice on my face randomly one night and I got say, I love it. My skin is naturally super oily, uneven and I have dark marks from my time with cystic acne. I’m so serious when I say, I’ve never had my skin look so even and bright when I wake up in the morning. And this is just using a lemon. A LEMON. I highly recommend if you have skin like mine. I just squeeze a little on my face where I have the most issues and sleep with it on (kinda sticky, but worth it). 

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Style

The newest trend among the fashion conscience people is, the mom jean. Basically loose-r fitting jeans that are super high-waisted and usually light-washed. I love anything high-waisted to cover the *ahem* problem areas and suck that crap right in. However, I can’t help but wonder if I would actually think these were cute if half the world wasn’t wearing them? Probs not. All the fancy people are wearing the 501 Levi’s (you know which ones) and ya girl was on the hunt for cheaper ones (NOLA trip coming up and also wanted Steve Madden strappy heels). After going to Levi’s in Brooklyn for a wear test, I set off to find similar fitting ones for cheaper. I found these babies and after trying on several decided they were my closest match. Keep in mind they are crazy tight when you first put them on, but they stretch out after a couple wears and aren’t meant to bounce back(no spandex or stretchy material). I thought about going a size up, but ultimately stuck to my true size and I’m glad I did. if you wanna be trendy, but not spend a cool 100 bucks, these are for you.

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Food baby

I was nervous to try this because usually with certain dairy-free ice creams they like have a drier texture and just aren’t as delicious as regular ice cream. I swear, this brand puts out the best dairy free stuff cause this tastes creamy and ah-mazing. I literally come home and eat it immediately after work(don’t @ me). This is the best flavor, 10/10 you won’t regret it.

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Fitness

In this endless winter NYC calls “normal” and “not a big deal” and “a livable place,” some days I don’t wanna go outside. I’ve committed to two days of running, but some days, when its 30 degrees or snowing in March, I don’t. I love the feeling I get after I run, (not the actual running cause who actually likes that), so I needed to find a cardio routine I could do in my apartment that gave me a similar feeling. In comes PopSugar Fitness to save the day. This is one of those cardio videos where you are constantly moving the entire time, which are my favorite. I feel pretty much as winded as I do when I run when I finish this video. The best part? Only 10 minutes. Quick and a great workout!

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So I read a book…….

I don’t know if I’ve talked about this yet, but I signed up for Book of the Month in January and I am in love with it. For those who don’t know what it is (which I didn’t either) basically they have a list of amazing books and you pick one for them to send you! It arrives in maybe two days, tops, and I haven’t gotten a book I didn’t absolutely love, yet. The book I chose for this month was Other People’s HousesI’m normally a murder mystery gal, but I decided to branch out for once and see if I liked this book since it wasn’t something I would normally get. I gotta say, I loved it. I binge-read(is this a word????) it in a literal week any time I had a few minutes. It’s mostly just about the lives of these people in this one neighborhood in L.A. Sounds boring, but the characters are so funny and relatable I couldn’t put it down. Here’s my link to get a free book! 

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So I listen to this podcast

Podcasts are slowly becoming my favorite things to listen to at work and they’re fabulous for long flights (NYC—>NOLA). “Keep it!” is a new podcast from my faves at crooked media which stars Ira Madison III, Kara Brown and Louis Virtel. They talk mostly about celeb news and the occasional politics. The most current episode talks about Cynthia Nixon’s run for governor of New York (Mirandas everywhere rejoice!) and the Donald Trump Jr./ Aubrey O’Day scandal. To be honest, Louis could probably do a dramatic reading of my to-do list and make it funny. 10/10 look forward to these every week.

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I did a thing in NYC and you should too™

Okay on Saturday I finally did something I’ve been wanting to do for like two weeks. I had an entirely vegan meal at a Mexican restaurant. Yes you read that right. Thrillist did a piece on the owner talking about his amazing new creation. I went, mostly because I really wanted the nachos and didn’t wanna feel bad about eating crap (trying to save my calories for my trip to NOLA next week). I highly recommend the nachos , as they were the best part. I also had the quesadillas, which are my favorite at any Mexican restaurant because of my love of cheese. They were pretty good, considering I absolutely hate vegan cheese of any kind. Also had margs of course, which you can’t go wrong with. Definitely something to try and I’ll probably come back just for the nachos. 

Adventures in Crazy Workouts

I have not posted anything in a HOT second on here (sorry for being MIA). My shnookum pumpkin was in town so I had no times to blog or do anything cause I was busy af.

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IFFFFF you’re following me on my instagram (which you should be doing), you’d have seen all the cool stuff we were doing! So I wasn’t really MIA, just having way too much fun. I’ll make a post in a few days of all the things we did (and if I liked the experience), so look for that! I also did a crazy, spontaneous thing you might want hear about :))))))))

Just wanted to do a quick recap of this crazy workout we did the other day, as can probably tell from my title. As you guys already know I am the queen of cardio, but Lauren wanted to do something more yoga centric (crushing my should basically). We went with Y7 studio in the Flatiron district for a hot-yoga vinyasa-flow style workout.

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First off let’s talk about these stairs. They look so cool and motivational. There are three set of them and they are STEEP. My ass was wearing some high heeled booties and let just say I tripped a lil bit on the way up and almost slid down them on the way out okay. Great lets move on.

 

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As soon as you walk into the workout room its like candle lit and really warm. Even coming in from the frigid rain, I was like Hmm can they turn the heat down a scootch? We started out by doing some directed breathing, which felt cult-y as most people released their breath like someone who just dropped a full caramel latte on the ground. Then the director? teacher? person said Okay now were gonna start the first flow and turned up the beats.

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Immediately, this lil girl is going a mile a minute Downdoglegupbendforwardwarriorposehumblewarriorleftarmbackrightarmliftupcomeupbendofrwardleguplegdown 

Shoutout to the super bendy very well-versed girl next to me whom I followed the entire time cause if not I would be stuck in down-dog the whole time. After the first “flow” I said good-bye to my shirt cause the sweat was getting in my eye balls and was very glad for the darkness.

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The basis of the workout is 3 “flows:” the first is slow, the second is fast and the last is one you just do whatever you feel like. That sequence repeats 3 times. It lasted the entire hour and I felt like my body was super stretched out and limber. I did legs that morning so it felt amazing to do some stretches while also getting sweaty, which is the point of working out to me.

Overall, I prefer cardio to this because it just feels shorter in a way. I did like it but I’m always more interested in burning my body, less about toning it(maybe I’m backwards who knows I’m not an expert)

My Workout Routine

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about my fitness journey/routine. As you all are aware, I am one of those weirdos who workout a lot. This sounds crazy, but I try to do six days a week. I know it’s obnoxious!!!!!!!!!! But I’m not lifting weights doing beach body challenge or whatever the heck that new craze is called.

My body has kind of always been a struggle for me and probably will be for a ll of my life. I started working out one day when I was a sophomore in high school because I decided i wasn’t happy with the way I looked and wanted to change it. By the time I was a senior until I was probably a Sophomore in college, I was limiting my self to only a few specific foods during the week and binging on everything in sight on the weekends. For me, eating the right foods and not eating a crap ton on the weekends has always been a struggle and probably always will be. Working out is usually the easy part be cause it less than an hour a day and barely even think about it anymore. One thing that I can’t stress enough is that the eating part is probably the hardest, but the most important. I can’t say I’ve ever been fat a day in my life but I have definitely struggle with self-image for a very long time (hence the binge eating I struggle with). The level of confidence I have now is only after years of pushing and working on finding a way to be happy with how I look.

Anyway, now that I’ve bared my soul, here’s what a regular workout week looks like for me:

MONDAY:

  • This is the start of the week, so I always like to make this the hardest day to sort of get it out of the way.
  • I do either an Insanity video or this 45 minute Tabata
  • I try to keep this simple and get it over with quick, because being real this is me dreading it, which is why I only choose between the two of them.
  • This workout is full-body and I probably burn about 300 calories give or take

TUESDAY:

  • I try to squeeze in a quick run every other day. I LOATHE  running while I’m doing it because I feel like it always lasts forever and I’m really just not the best at it.
  • I do a mile of running straight and then a little 5 minute walk afterward (mostly to get back to my apartment). It takes about 15 minutes.
  • Next, I go home and pick an ab workout of some kind. Sometimes it’s Insanity Cardio abs, sometimes its this video that I love.
  • I try to keep this one a little more chill not too crazy wild after my Monday craziness.
  • The ab workout is usually at least 15 minutes, this means I do 30 in total.
  • I try to burn about 200 calories in total as well.

WEDNESDAY:

  • This is my arm day. I try to do both toning and weight lifting with a little cardio thrown in. I do a bit of PITT for 15 minutes focused on arms. PITT, for those who don’t know, is like HITT, but with pilates thrown in. It’s sort of how I warm up and bast out some calories quickly. I like this video and this video for that.
  • Next I try to pick something more for just toning and is kinda low-key. Usually this focuses more on push-ups and arm circles and its not very cardio-centric. This is also about 15 minutes. My favorite videos for this are this and this and they hurt like heck.
  • Finally, I have a set of 10 pound weights and I focus on utilizing those for another 15 minutes. I do 12 for each exercise and try to squeeze in three sets.
  • Overall, this is another 45 minute workout day so I’m hoping to burn over 200 calories and closer to 300.

THURSDAY:

  • This is another running day so I basically do the same thing as Tuesday

FRIDAY:

  • This is dreaded leg day. I keep the same basic routine as Wednesday, but focused on legs.
  • For my 15 minutes of cardio I like this video and this video.
  • I then do a toning workout and I like this video and this video.
  • Also the other day I did this video for a crazy challenge and its amazingly hard.
  • Then I use my weights for 15 minutes doing squats and lunges etc.

SATURDAY:

  • This day is kind of a free for all. Some days I run if i’m feeling it, or I just do a quick 15 minute video or 20 minute video. Basically I just hope for the best and try to do something and move my body when my brain just wants to do absolutely nothing.

SUNDAY:

  • This is mostly a do nothing day and by that I mean walking and yoga. I hate yoga because its slow and sometimes it hurts like a bitch. BUT its been proven to be good for you so I gotta do it. I can only stand 15 minutes of it so this video is my fave (cause it kinda feels good I’ll admit).