First impression: Korres Greek Yoghurt Primer

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I stumbled upon this when I was Christmas shopping online at
Sephora.com and was eager to try it as I am in an all natural cosmetic phase at the moment.
I read the reviews and the smell was a huge complaint. – I am a big online shopper so going to the store just for a whiff was not going to happen and just my luck a sample was avail. – So I added it and eagerly awaiting its arrival to my doorstep.

I woke up this groggy morning and wanted some excitement so I decided to use it.

Admittedly, I adore the finish of this product and it goes on suuuuper smoothly and a little goes a long way. but the. smell. really is truly off putting. I can’t put my finger on it exactly but it smells familiar, maybe sour milk? But a little perfumey too it’s odd… And, unfortunately, over an hour after application I could still smell it – not ideal bc who wants to walk around smelling rotten milk? – I made my mom smell my face and she insisted it smelt fine but I could smell it … The scent did eventually fade though

Bottom Line:
Nice formula, very easily applied with very little needed and left a dewier finish.
Prevented laugh lines (curses for being smiley) twice as well as any primer I’ve tried.
Smell is noxious at first but I do think it’s something I could get used to
Ultimately, I need to give it more time.

Will you keep posted dolls!

Have you tried it? Share your thoughts below :)

Simon and Garfunkle Spice Mix

Introducing… the Simon and Garfunkle mix.  My mom came up with this years ago and it’s been our family’s little secret but the secrets out.  And it’s delicious.

Mix together:

1 part Sage

2 parts Parsley

2 parts Rosemary

1 part Thyme

And store in airtight container.  You can use it in everything.  Seriously.  It has such a cozy, homey flavor and it’s wonderful on anything from homemade breads to roasted vegetables to chicken.

Tidy In a Hurry

tumblr_inline_n7h6a9AWux1sgmxn6I’d love to be one of those “clean-freaks” but the reality is, my floordrobe always gets the best of me.  While it’s not the most unsightly attribute to my domain, it does give the look of clutter and mess whether or not the clothes are clean.  I’m working on getting myself on a tidy-ing routine of taking a handful of minutes everyday to put everything back in it’s place but until then here’s a list of places you should tend to prior to a drop in.

This could be for a “Just in the neighborhood and wanted to stop in” or your first sleepover with your new beau (or bae) so the necessity may vary but overall this is a good guide for a quick clean.

  1. The dishes.  That’s the #1 when you are about to have company, even if that’s all the time you have time for and let this be a lesson to you to do your dishes next time.  Unless you can keep your guests out of a galley kitchen with a door, you’re set, but for the rest of us you’re pretty likely to see the kitchen, and the mess.  Now I’ve heard people hiding the dishes in the stove or bathtub, which is very troubling for me.  And maybe I am a little too Murphy Law focused but what if said guest FINDS THESE DISHES?? wouldn’t it be 10x more disgusting to spot a bathtub of gross dishes than a sink full of them?  Sorry, there’s no life hack for the dishes.  Except, maybe, the dishwasher.
  2. Clean your floors – sweep or vacuum.  Dusty and partical-ly (? however you would describe floors that need a vacuuming) are another give away that your daily upkeep may be at the wayside.  Now, you don’t have to have the perfect stripes in the carpet, this about being in a hurry, hell, you can even use a dustbuster.
  3. Wipe down countertops – bathroom and kitchen.  Keep some lysol wipes under the sink for a quick wipe
  4. Mirrors – another simple but life changing difference, plus your lighting will thank me.
  5. Stack any magazines or books lying around – channel Elle Decor coffee table
  6. Dust like a mad woman – I am a cult swiffer follower, and I still don’t know if it’s the name or the products but any device they produce, I have.  The wand does wonders. Get your TV, pictures, tabletops, bookcases, ect
  7. Clean the toilet – with that being said, change after you’re done cleaning
  8. Replace hand towels and hide laundry
  9. Make your bed – again, varying the level of intimacy with said visitor.  While you’re in there, make sure and hide your diary.  Maybe just lock up the entire top drawer of your nightstand. ;)
  10. Light a candle, fluff some pillows and bust out a bottle of wine or assemble a quick platter to show that you were, indeed, prepared for company

#nailedit

Hot Yoga Tips

sweaty-backAs part of my HOORAY CHANGE actions I joined a hot yoga studio. I’ve done it once before, admittedly a long time ago and I hated it – it was so hot, I was left so dehydrated, and honestly, all the other chicks intimidated the shit out of me in their head-to-toe lululemon get ups (the studio was in a ritzy Chicago neighborhood) with their headstands, it was too much for me to really consider joining. Plus I was smoking, and while it’s not cardio, the heat really loosens up your insides and I’ll spare you the details but – ew.

So, this time around I am living in suburbia full of soccer moms and trendy stay at home dads, and my best friend :)  She suggested we give it a try as an attempt to look SUPER for our Halloween costumes. While our Halloween ended up being a bit of a flop (we cancelled our original downtown plans) we did stick to the yoga and I really dig it.

So, first things first, what is hot yoga? It’s yoga in a 105 degree, 40% humidity room – it can be Bikram where there’s a set program or just yoga you do in a really hot temp (which is what we do). Why I like it so much is I live in Chicago where our temps are constantly “record breaking” – it’s already snowed twice this year – so, for me, being in extreme heat daily and sweating your ass off is amazing. And it burns like 500 calories per class (which I know that’s not yogi at all to speak about but come on! If you want to get toned in a jiffy with yoga, I strongly suggest hot yoga) – not to mention it detoxes your entire body by sweating out all impurities so it’s really just a win all around.

But back to my intention (see what I did there) here are my tips for being a hot-hot yogi:

1. NEVER DRINK ALCOHOL BEFORE CLASS OR GO HUNGOVER – which you would think would be a given, but I have attempted to do this and it never. ends. well. There’s nothing that distracts you more than trying to hold it down. And you smell like booze. Spare everyone and stay home to sober up.

2. Don’t eat directly beforehand but do eat beforehand. Similar to any other type of sport, an empty stomach sucks but too full and you’re an inflexible blob that can’t move out of your child’s pose. Minimum a piece of fruit.

3. Bring a towel or hand grips – your heads will get slippery and it will be terrifying.

4. Bring water – and drink it throughout the day. I usually drink about 1.5 gallons of water a day, which, I understand not everyone has the luxury of being able to accommodate a lot of water consumption but drink as much as you can as often as possible.

5. Try to recruit a friend! More motivation to get your ass to class :) but don’t not go if they don’t go.  You’re still doing this for you!

6. Leave everything at the door when you step into the studio. Yoga is my favorite part of the day because I get to peel off all the experiences and just focus on me. My breath, my body and just let it all go. Even for an hour, it’s so important to have that time to just quiet your mind.  And no judging in class! That’s just not a very zen thing to do.

7. Wear wicking fabrics and you may not feel the most comfortable in shorts due to all the poses that require bending over. I wear capris most of the time – and, if you’re like me you don’t have a ton of wicking clothes because you too started working out like yesterday (Ok, so I’ve been at this for a month now) and constant washing wears away at the fibers but I actually just thoroughly rinse mine while I’m showering after class and just pay extra attention to the implied areas… I get 2 wears out of them, re-wearing it once is still kind-of iffy for me, and then I wash them.

  • Tip-tip: TJ Maxx and Marshall’s are excellent for yoga clothes. You can get nice brands for even cheaper than Target’s C9! And there are a bunch of sites out there that provide outfits too, if you can wait for them ;)

8. Blow your nose, remove your makeup, ect, before class because once you hit that heat… Boy, it’s all coming off and out. I just get the generic make-up wipes from Target and take it all off when I’m on the train home. It’s like $4.99 for 25 which lasts about a month.

  • Unrelated Life Tip: I also keep some by my bed for when I’m feeling lazy (drunk) and don’t wash my face before bed.

9. Bring a towel to wipe your sweat off on – trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Bottom line: (and this applies to any type of workout) You always regret not going but you never regret going.

Keep calm and sweat on!

10 THINGS WE (Women) SHOULD BE DOING WEEKLY

tumblr_liok36kPGK1qcm4vqo1_500_large1. Read something beyond buzzfeed, elite daily or huff post.  News network posts on your newsfeed don’t count either.  A hard copy preferably, with a cup of coffee, outside a cafe, with a wide rimmed hat on, and a tan, it’s just more nostalgic

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2. Exfoliate every inch of your body.  I have the easiest recipe here.

3. Wash your makeup brushes.  They recommend daily but I do it weekly and don’t see any repercussions (though my foundation brush is pretty gross after 1 use #whitegirlproblems).  Michelle Phan has a great homemade recipe of 1 part olive oil 1 part dish soap.  Been using it for years.  2 thumbs way up.

Bridget Jones's Diary4. Write in a diary or journal.  Whatever you want, it doesn’t matter.  Lists, goals, personal updates, a novel, just write.

spend-day-self-reflection--large-msg-1328814519415. Reflect.  Keep your life and your past actions in check, praise yourself when needed and constructively criticize your faults.  This isn’t the time to be a bully or suicidal just always look forward and back.

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6. Work out.  Personally, I have a freestyle dance party, in front of a mirror, of course.  It’s really the only way I can be entertained while breaking a sweat.

Mb76bda157754c9697186976ccdf1b2887. Take a risk. Have balls. Wherever the opportunity arises, career wise, romantically, ect, cease it.

SFS_SteakTipsWithCrispyPotatoes-188. Cook yourself a home cooked meal.  I am fortunate to get them daily but when I had my own place it wasn’t that way… But I always managed to make an elaborate meal for myself weekly (usually on Sunday great end/start to any week) and it saved me.

book_29. Orgasm. There, I said it. Cosmo here I come!

erinwasson-oncouch10. Relax an entire day.  Whatever does it for you, shopping, #9, no ones judging, doing nothing, just give yourself a break.

Stupidly Easy DIY Exfoliant

3 ingredients kids, that’s all.  Non-toxic too so you can put it everywhere.  I even use it on my face and lips and it leaves my skin so incredibly soft.

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What You’ll Need…

3 parts Unrefined sugar

3 parts Oil of higher grade  (you’re putting this on your body so think Olive, Coconut, Grapeseed…)

1 part Ground Coffee

Pour desired amount of sugar into mason jar, sprinkle in coffee grounds (I’d say about 1/2 tblsp) and cover in oil.  Incorporate ingredients and use immediately.  Unfortunately, since the oil congeals it’s really a 1 time use product the texture becomes really weird so you’ll get a feel of the right amount.

And really, you can add anything you want.  Different spices, lavender, scented oils, honey, salt…

Hey, it’s OK to Quit

A… Job, Relationship, Hobby, Whatever.

If it’s not working, and you don’t feel like it’s ever going to work, make you happy, passionate, enriched then it’s time to quit.  That does not make you weak, stubborn, cruel, heartless, rude, unreasonable, it makes you a sensible human being that sees a bigger picture.

You have to live life for you (and maybe people disagree with this, but I am single with no dependents so I guess I can afford to be a bit more selfish) but if you are not going to be happy, and I mean truly happy most of the time then it’s ok to nip it in the bud and call it quits.

In fact, it’s encouraged.

Backstory on this post: I got a job, data entry and scripted calls (which the last thing I am is scripted, great benefits) and had an unpleasant experience with a member I was assigned to.  In my fragile state I knew that this gig was going to cause more emotional strife than it was worth so I quit after 3 days.  People were less than understanding but once the dust settled, and I found a new job that I love, my mother admitted to actually being jealous of my ability to quit and move on.

Bottom line: People are going to ridicule you, try to change your mind, bully and belittle you, play devils advocate and then there’s the fact that we are also all human so we have feelings, we grow attached, but you have to live your life and “do you,” if you will.

Everything happens for a reason anyway so don’t stress, it’ll all work out.  Just keep thinking of what you want and you’ll get it.

Summer Bucket List 2k14

Because this is so much more manageable than deciding one that is supposed to be a lifetime long.

Last summer, I was working 14 hour days, every day, even celebrated my, long awaited, 21st birthday with my boss, and we spent the entire time talking about work, of course.  So, this summer, not seeing my friends, not spending every weekend at lake houses, and not getting tan az hell is not an option.

I was inspired by one I found on Buzzfeed and did a few additions/modifications of my own. Living near Chicago, I have the luxury of life being outside my door so I decided to forget far away travel plans and extensive research and am leaving it up to me and my backyard to make this my best summer ever.  Because, as we all know, Chicago only gets 100 days of it.

imagesSip an umbrella drink
tumblr_lwio8d34kh1r06q46o1_500Take a daytrip to eat something amazing – probably GF themed
3Go sans make-up on vacations (have several weekend trips planned)
Stella-McCartney-Resort-Garden-Party-22_11535193591.jpg_carousel_partiesHost a party!
6Grill fruit. And lots of it.
giphyGo to the beach
Ji-Young Jung, Sun-hwa Park & Sojung Yoon by Kim Je Won (Spring Picnic - Singles Korea May 2011)33Go on a picnic
outdoor-decorating-MH0709-m-1-mdnPlant a garden
mimosasAttend a mimosa brunch
rooftopGo to a rooftop lounge
2013-0628_avocados-189Eat as many avocados as I can get my hands on
bonfire-518x345Hang out around a fire and drink whiskey
tumblr_mjxn64IEmm1rvvjnbo1_500Go camping
originalHave a water war
Coachella 2014: Day 1 AtmosphereGo to an outdoor concert/festival
farmers-market-produceCook a meal using only the farmer’s market
stock-footage-people-look-at-garage-saleGo garage saling
tour de france girl bicycle paris HRGo on a 10+ mile bike ride
navy_pier_swing_and_ferris_wheel_by_wallGo on the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier
5402-5402_Classic-Wrigley-Field-Rooftop-Experience-MAINAttend a cubs rooftop game
Volume_ChugHost or attend a beer olympics
tumblr_mtfo056ggY1r5xzeyo1_400Getting matching tattoos with my mom and sister! – we decided on Foxes after Ylvis’ hit WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY??
11Go to a roller rink
Fashion-12-Alter-Ego-2Perfect an accent/alter ego
tumblr_m6191tyRXQ1ry22pqo1_500Plan a trip for this fall
5257_wallpaper-sony-gorgeous-camera-beautiful-model-Wallpapers_2560x1920Document every minute of it. I have nothing but selfies, it’s sad.

Contemplating Going Gluten-Free?

My best advice if you’re considering this diet, for whatever reason, is to try everything! If you think it will taste good, 99% of the time it does.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with your food and make it gluten free with substitutions but do have a backup in case it is truly not edible.

When my mom first started it she had no idea how to eat without wheat. She ate rice cakes or rice with everything and looked like a skeleton. Cut to 3 years later, the gluten free market is expanding exponentially and we eat genuinely delicious food (being gluten-free or not I would still totally eat these recipes).  Our lame dinner basics are now out of this world. And there are now so many blogs, sites and companies dedicated to this food movement that it’s getting hard to ignore.

Here are a few of the best things we’ve found:

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Leo’s RAVIOLI. Which is a seriously exciting find and they are seriously good.

image3Udi’s for everything they make – bread, pizza, pizza crust, MUFFINS.  They have MASTERED the consistency and flavor

Glutino-Pretzel-Sticks-Gluten-Free

Glutino pretzels

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Nut-thins Crackers

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Mediterranean Baked Lentil Crackers

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Bob’s red mill GF mixes

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Pillsbury GF Pie Crust

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Rice chex – naturally gluten free :)

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This is a splurge – Cup 4 Cup Flour available at Williams and Sonoma – it’s chef recommended (for when you absolutely must have real flour)

So try it! You feel lighter, skin will improve and it makes your meals so healthy since it mostly has to be homemade.  My mom preaches from all these changes with herself from energy levels to healing powers  so there’s got to be something to this.

Tanning 101

Cancun!!! 013

Summer is on my mind and, it seems, everyone and their mom has posted something tanning related so here’s my go at it.

Here’s a great article published by Fashionista on real women trying various self tanners, and below is a great video detailing a few of her favs:

Now, I used to be a lifeguard, so I know a thing or 2 about how to be a bronze goddess and there are a few key tips to achieving (and maintaining) your tan:

1. Chlorine strips tan from your skin.  It’s bleaching and drying and there’s nothing that will fade a brand new tan faster than a day in the pool.  Go to a beach instead.

2. Exfoliate/shave prior to applying self tanner or going to tan.

3. HAVE A BASE TAN BEFORE TRYING TO SERIOUSLY TAN (being outside 4+ hours) OR ELSE YOU WILL SERIOUSLY REGRET IT.  Somehow, I always have an event every spring that I have to be tan for so I go the salon route to build my tan but self tanner will do the same trick.  The goal is to not go outside with pasty white skin, that will burn, and that will hurt.

4. Apply higher spf around your bikini line (naked so you cover every inch).  As a naive teen, I always got lobster red in this area.

07214000666_220x220_a5. My fav self tanner? Nivea Sunkissed Radiant Skin, around $7-8.  It doesn’t have that gross self-tanner smell and develops into a really nice color, gradually so as not to streak but you’ll notice a difference after 1 use.  I apply my regular lotion over my knees and elbows after the application to prevent orange-y-ness.

6. Whilst tanning, spritz your skin with water often.  It keeps you cool, obviously, and will attract more light, tanning you faster, while adding moisture to your skin.  Double win.11082252_130311123000

7. Use the lowest possible SPF for your skin.  Now, if this were an anti-wrinkle, longevity post, I would be preaching SPF60 all day long but this is about getting a tan.  After about a week of SPF15 I switch it out for my good ole’ Banana
Boat SPF4 tanning oil.

8. Apply lotion daily to maintain your tan.  Moisturized skin is the key to keeping it around.

And if you burn?  Keep calm. Take a cold shower. Apply the aloe. Put on loose clothing. And carry on.  It’ll turn into a tan anyway.

*Please note: sunscreen protects against harmful rays that cause cancer and premature aging and is a necessity on a daily basis to protect yourself.  And self tanners are still your best choice.