Thursday, October 31, 2013

October Favorites 2013

October is done and there are so many products I've been loving. This month was wonderful and I got to spend a lot of time with my family (2 weekends in a row!). Even though it was crazy and full of all of the October fun I picked out my top 10 favorite things to share with you! I'm excited to see what November will bring, like eating turkey and pumpkin pie and playing in the leaves! 
Paleo Pumpkin Bread
I made this paleo pumpkin bread twice in October. Such a tasty treat and it made me feel so festive. I was skeptical about a paleo version of one of my favorite recipes because sometimes they can go terribly wrong. To my surprise, this was delicious and I posted about it here.

Bath and Body Works Pumpkin Cupcake Candle
I am a sucker for pumpkin candles and an even bigger sucker for the 2 for $22 candle sales at BBW. I picked up this candle to finish out the fall season because it smells like I'm baking actual cupcakes every time I light it. I know Leaves is a cult favorite (and a favorite of mine that I'm hoarding until November), but Pumpkin Cupcake is a close second.

Beast Mode Water Bottle from Blogilates
I got this water bottle back in September when I ordered my Pilates Power Ring from I love that it comes with a shaker ball so I can break up my chia seed drinks with ease. I love the "Beast Mode" and I love the color. This bottle has come everywhere with me this month from the gym to class and all the way home to Wisconsin. It's a must have item for me. Also, it's a plus that I'm drinking more water because of it.

SuperFeet Inserts
I can't believe it took me so long to buy proper inserts for my shoes. If you've read any of my previous posts, you'll know I have plantar fasciitis and without proper support in my shoes I'm not making it any easier on my feet. I'd previously ordered SuperFeet inserts for my hockey skates, but they have a special heel cup made for sports where you may be leaning forward. I needed to buy regular inserts that can fit into all of my shoes. I won't go anywhere without these now. I highly recommend them to anyone who has foot problems.

Korres Pomegranate Lip Balm
I'm pretty sure this has made it into multiple favorites posts from me, but there's a reason. It's so easy to apply, it smells pretty good, and the color is effortless and lasts quite a while for a balm. This is an every day product that sits on my desk because I always want it on hand. 

Revlon Kissable Balm Stain in Honey
As we move into colder months, I've been trying to wear more lip products because I feel like summer is just my time to be free of complicated makeup application. Yes, to me, lip products are complicated. That being said, I love this color. It's a "my lips but better" shade and it has a pretty good staying power. The balm stains are not drying and last pretty well even through eating and drinking.

Pantene Hair BB Cream
I'd have to say this is my number one favorite out of anything I've chosen for this month. It's a miracle worker. It also smells amazing, like classic Pantene product smell. I try hard to not have to blow dry my hair every time I wash it, but sometimes a girl on the run needs to dry her hair quickly so it doesn't freeze when she walks outside. Unfortunately, when I do dry my hair, the front finer hairs get all frizzy. This product has solved that problem and my hair is shiny and soft all day long. Amazing. I love it.

Coconut Oil
Gotta love coconut oil. It's a triple threat! Makeup remover? Check. Moisturizer? Check. Serum? Check. Coconut oil is great for your skin and even has SPF properties. I wouldn't use it as a sunblock, but any bit can help. I use this morning and night as a moisturizer. And occasionally, I'll use it as a cleansing balm to remove eye and face makeup.
Twilight Woods Body Lotion from Bath and Body Works
I've used up two travel size Twilight Woods lotions this month. It takes me back to when I was reading the book Shiver by Maggie Steivater. I love the woodsy warm scent for fall.

Super Random Favorite:
What can I say? Who doesn't love Sriracha? I've been splashing it on everything recently. It's amazing and I don't think any pantry is complete without it.

I haven't always been a Katy Perry fan, but her new album, Prism, just hit it out of the park for me. I absolutely love Roar. It's so empowering and fun. But my favorite is "This Moment." You can listen to it right here!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

8 Things Every Happy Woman Should Have

After reading this article about the things happy women should have, it got me thinking about my own happiness (and reminded me of The Happiness Project book I read awhile back). I think being happy is different for everyone, but I wanted to share my answers. Maybe someday I'll look back and everything will have changed for me, but I'm hoping a lot will stay the same. 

 What are your 8 Things?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Paleo Pumpkin Bread

It's not completely fall yet, but I've finally accepted that it's on the way. The fall candles are flickering, there's that little nip in the air around 5 p.m. and inevitably the leaves are changing color once again. Every year around this time I go on a baking kick. Last year it was pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting (delicious, by the way). This year I wanted pumpkin bread. And I wanted it paleo style!

So, of course, I scoured Pinterest for the best paleo pumpkin recipes with quite a bit of luck. I guess I'm not alone in my love of fall treats within the paleo community. The recipe is simple and it makes beautiful, moist, and delicious bread. 

A blender is what a college student uses because she doesn't own a food processor.
Same thing right?

Ok, so it turned out as more of a bar, but again, I'm working with the tools on hand.
Didn't have a fancy loaf pan!

The ingredients are simple and easy. I was quite skeptical at first, but when I tasted the batter I knew I was in for a treat. The ingredients are as follows:

Almond flour
Sea salt
Baking soda
Stevia **I used regular sugar**

Additions to original ingredients
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

The original recipe with measurements and instructions I followed can be found at Elana's Pantry. Thanks for the recipe Elana! I will be keeping this one handy for the rest of fall!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

5 Steps to Healthier and Glow-ier Skin

Sources:1, 2, 3, 4

I can't be the only one searching for the one skin care product that will change my life. And I mean singing-to-the-heavens-kissing-the-ground holy grail magical product. One product to top them all. Sadly, the world doesn't work that way and we're stuck roaming the skin care aisles (which I actually like doing so I'm not sure why this sounds like I'm complaining...) never knowing if the next product will be the best thing in our entire lives. 

Although I've tried every skin care product in those aisles, I've found that the most simple, natural products work the best for my skin. It's gentle, it's safe for any skin type, and it's actually cheaper than any fancy cream I've ever tried. My five steps for healthier skin are simple and effective. Follow these steps for healthy, glowing, and radiant skin.
A glowy skin selfie taken on a random Saturday
1. Cleanse Morning and Night
This step is super simple. Taking a few minutes to cleanse your face of impurities and clean off the makeup and grime from the day is a step that cannot be skipped. Many people are too tired before bed and just wait until their morning shower to clean off the makeup, but the two minutes before bed can save your skin (and your eyelashes if you're a mascara lover!).

2. Drink Lots of Water
Another easy step! Always have water on hand. If you have it with you, and make it a habit, drinking water is one of the easiest ways to make your skin glow. There are also loads of cute water bottles in every store that make toting water around look like a fashion statement. There's no excuse for not drinking water. It's easy, it's free, and it's for your health! Not only will your skin thank you, but your entire body will be healthier because of it.

3. Moisturize with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil can be found in most supermarkets for about $10 per 15oz container. Pretty good for how long a container will last you! A little bit of oil goes a long way. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, it's an excellent moisturizer because the fatty acids can penetrate the skin, and it smells like cookies. Doesn't get much better than that! (Here's a bonus makeup tip: Using your finger, swipe a tiny bit on your cheek bones after you apply your makeup as a highlighter!)

4. Apple Cider Vinegar and ACV Tablets
Believe me, I know apple cider vinegar isn't the most appealing sounding skin care remedy, but it's really worth it. Used as a toner, apple cider vinegar can clear acne scarring, sun damage, and hyperpigmentation. It's also helpful in maintaining a healthy alkaline pH level, "research shows that higher acid levels (lower pH level) leads to a lack of energy and high incidences of infection" ( Apple cider vinegar's benefits play out in more areas than just your face! If you're a wimp and don't want to stink up your face with vinegar, like me, then you can opt for the still effective apple cider vinegar tablets instead.

5. Don't touch!
Another very easy, and very important step in healthy skin, is not touching it! The oils, dirt, and germs from your hands can be very easily transported to your face and into your pores causing breakouts and redness. If you keep your hands away from your face, and resist the urge to pick at breakouts, your skin will thank you!

What are your tips for glowing healthy skin? Please share! I'd love to hear what has helped with your routines.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dry Shampoo Battle

Happy October! It's going to be a lovely month full of pumpkin chai lattes, sweaters, and fall festivities. I thought I'd start off the month with a Dry Shampoo Battle seeing as school is in full swing and many of us have early classes to run off to or workouts between classes that make hair scream for some dry shampoo love. Now, I haven't always been a dry shampoo lover, I'm a recent convert. But, let me just tell you, it is the most wonderful thing to happen to my hair. I am not washing my hair as much so I can tell it's a lot healthier than it was even a few months ago.

Most dry shampoos do the job and there's really no way you can go wrong. This product works its magic whether it's $3.00 or $30.00. That being said, I know some of the pricier dry shampoos can be two-in-one products with a bit more magic fairy dust mixed in. For me, the drugstore versions work just fine. I've really been loving Pssst Instant Dry Shampoo recently and have featured it in favorites posts in the past (see here) and have also loved Batiste Dry Shampoo, as well. Others worth mentioning, for not so good reasons, are the Umberto Dry Shampoo and Dove Invigorating Dry Shampoo.

Today's battle is between Batiste and Pssst. I will test based on how well the product works, the white cast from the spray, and the scent.

Batiste Floral and Flirty Blush

Does it do the job?
Overall, yes. The product banishes grease and you're left looking fresh. Perhaps not "just out of the shower" fresh, but fresh nonetheless. 

White cast?
It's no secret that Batiste Dry Shampoos have a white cast. That is why they've formulated a version for dark hair. It is quite noticeable even in my blonde hair, but is easily fixed with a quick fingers through the hair motion to mix it up.

Quite strong. I would not spray this if there are others in the vicinity. It does have a nice floral scent, but it is not my favorite of the Batiste fragrances.

Pssst Instant Dry Shampoo

Does it do the job?
Yes. I believe, of the dry shampoos I've tried, this works best for my hair texture and length. It leaves my hair looking "clean," even when I know it's third day hair. Shhh!

White cast?
This product does have a white cast, but does not have as severe ghostly matte shade as Batiste. It is also quite easily remedied with a quick shake of your hands through your hair.

This has a classic dry shampoo scent, but it dissipates very quickly. It is strong, but does not stay in your hair. Your hair will smell like your shampoo or your perfume if you have used it.

My winner in this battle is the Pssst Instant Dry Shampoo because the scent and the white cast issues were not as severe in this product. Both worked quite well and would serve their purpose.

What is your favorite dry shampoo?

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