Realness

Goal Setting in 2018

By on December 11, 2017

I saw a goal setting seminar for next year pop up on my Instagram ads today and I decided that for 2018, ironically, I’m going to cut out buying into that crap because I’m a sucker for an Instagram ad/productivity hack.

Am I maybe jumping the gun as far as goal setting for the new year? At first I thought so. But then I asked myself, “Do you want to be the kind of person joining the gym on Jan 1st and stop going within the month?” Nope.

I’m a true believer that having goals for the new year is great but we all know that 99% of people drop them all by the end of the first month.

When is the last time you actually completed those things or kept them up?

But if you’re proactive and start changing your mindset now and really reflect on what you did well this year and what kind of fell off, your goals are so much more attainable next year.

Take some time (aka sit down and get off your phone) and truly think about what you wanted to do this year. As far as your health, fitness, in your job, with your routine, your finances, your social life.

Did you do what you wanted to do this? What did you achieve? What went well? Don’t feel bad about what you didn’t achieve. Just commit to setting better goals so you can make it happen this coming year.

Think about what kept you from achieving those goals. How can you prevent that from getting in the way this year? What exactly do you need to do to get where you want to be?

Don’t throw out the same damn goal ideas you’ve had every year – work out more, eat better, lose weight, save money, etc. If you throw crap out like that and don’t really quantify it or elaborate, how are you ever going to attain them because you don’t even really mean it?First of all, don’t set too many goals. If you have over 10 goals for the new year, you’re going to forget about the majority in a week.

Be realistic. If you’re not in the habit of working out, don’t make your goal going to the gym 7 days a week for 2 hours a day. Set a goal of going 2-3 times a week and work your way up from there.

And then find a way to track these goals. It’s hard to stick with goals that you can’t consistently track. I’m much more accountable if I have a way to see it on a daily basis. You could get a white board calendar, you can use an app – even just Google calendar.

It’s easy to write a giant list. But take the list and categorize them. Then choose the best one in each category and stick with it. What I’m going to focus on in the coming year is working out, food/meal prep, social media (less of it), and time management/scheduling.

So as far as working out (as a category), I want to be in the gym 5-6 times a week with 2-3 days of cardio, even if that means working out both Saturday and Sunday. I have a ton more goals when it comes to working out but that’s the one I’m emphasizing for 2018.

I also want to follow a scheduled calendar – right now I write a schedule almost every week and forget about them an hour later. This includes actually time blocking and not getting distracted.

Other categories could be things like food. Say you want to start meal prepping – start with a goal of meal prepping at least your lunch and then you can start doing all of your meals.

My point is that you can’t do it all when it comes to goals – you have to pick and choose.

Goals are also much more attainable if you quantify them without being overzealous.

For instance, if you want to lose 10 lbs, don’t set your goal to just be “lose 10 lbs” – set it in increments per week or month.

Another goal I’m adding to my list is to stop getting caught up in social media for minutes or hours – basically to stay in my own lane and stop comparing myself to others.

Here are some other goal ideas:

Read more books – let’s say one a month
Do a Whole30 – I promise it will change the way you relate food to how you feel on a daily basis
Track your spending for a month – you’ll be surprised how much $ you spend on crap
Try meditating – 1 minute a day
Try something new – a hobby, a sport, writing, painting
Learn to find comfort in being alone – even live alone if you can (one of the best decisions I’ve ever made – you’ll learn so much about yourself)
Stop following people that don’t add anything to your life or bring enjoyment to you
If you’re in a relationship, do something for your partner once a month that is totally selfless

So while tomorrow marks 2 weeks until Christmas, take some time and think about what you want to do next year to make it to the best year yet.

✖️✖️✖️

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Wellness

The Top 18 Wellness Trends of 2018

By on December 5, 2017

Well and Good just released the top 18 wellness trends they foresee for 2018. They’re so on point with these every year so I could not be more excited! Here’s what they predicted:

No. 1. “If you like turmeric, you’re going to love moringa.” It’s supposedly an even more powerful inflammation fighter and actually has a likable, slightly sweet taste.

No. 2. “Skin care that protects you from the tech world and pollution. UV rays, pollution, blue light from laptops, and harsh ingredients do a number on our skin—which is why the next wave of skin-care products is working to support it in the modern world.”

No. 3. “Self-Care is essential, not an indulgence. Busy women (so, all of us) are realizing that me-time isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.” Amen to this. Say ‘no’ more often.

No. 4. “Women are using technology to disrupt birth control access. Female founded start-ups are side stepping politicians with birth control delivery services and at-home STI testing to get women care they need.” This should be available to everyone seriously so YGG on this one.

No. 5. “Bringing the fitness studio home. Marquee-name fitness gurus and mega brands that capture the magic of an IRL sweat sesh want to get into your living room.” I’ve been seriously considering investing in a Peloton though…

No. 6. “Pet food that’s as healthy as yours. You and you’re four legged friend will have more similar eating habits than ever before.” Stop buying your dog food that’s mostly fake crap.

No. 7. “Brain-Boosting supplements are the new medicine cabinet MVP. Nootropics are about to give a little dose of “Limitless” to the nation.” Focusing on l-theanine and the stimulant and “happiness-hormone booster” phenylethylamine, nootropics such as Nootrobox and Trubrain are next on my list to try now that I’ve mastered BulletProof Coffee.

No. 8. “Home decor goes woo woo. If 2017 was the year of staying in, 2018 is when you’re home style will get a whole lot healthier (and palo santo-scented).” Home Depot now carries an array of Himalayan salt lamps. And Lulu Lemon tested a collaboration with Pottery Barn this year…

No. 9. “Longevity is the new ‘anti-aging.’ Don’t know your telomeres from your mitochondria? You will soon enough.” Explained in depth in the article but basically in 2018, we’re going to see a growing obsession with the most microscopic elements of the process of aging

No. 10. “Activewear shows its softer side. The hottest looks next year will be the ones that make you look great and feel cool…calm, and collected.” I’m going to a post on cozy activewear because who doesn’t lounge in their activewear already?!

No. 11. “Biohacking is the next wave of women’s wellness. Women are taking the Silicon Valley boys’ club craze and adapting it for their own biology.” Think Bulletproof coffee, Moon Juice’s adaptogens, ketogenic and Paleo diets, the science behind menstrual cycles and the skin’s microbiome

No. 12. “Welcome to the era of lunar everything…awareness of Mercury in retrograde and zodiac seasons are about to be as mainstream as horoscopes.” This is so exciting because I’ve been trying to explain about mercury in retrograde actually affects us and no one gets it…yet.

No. 13. “High-tech sleep science arrives in the bedroom. This is the year technology is welcomes into the bedroom to actually improve the quality of your zzz’s.” Download the Sleep Cycle app.

No. 14. “Nut-milk yogurt, now colonizing a dairy case near you. Change is coming to yogurt culture.” If you haven’t cut out dairy yet…

No. 15. “Clean makeup finally nails bold color and full coverage. Every seriously pigmented shade you could ask for, minus the questionable ingredients.” This is everything – who doesn’t want a full coverage foundation that doesn’t make you question what the hell could possibly make it so thick? This used to be a rarity but now Target even carries Honest Beauty’s makeup.

No. 16. “Kombucha goes big —and craftier. Here’s a fizzy paradox for you: 2018 may be the year the gut-health-friendly beverage becomes more mass and more niche than ever.” Let’s also hope cheaper because I love kombucha and the benefits and probiotics but $$$

No. 17. “Women’s coworking clubs: chic covens for connection. Smart, driven women are plotting world domination over matcha…in feminist-first (and Instagram-worth) spots.” This is so exciting and I hope something like this comes to Charlotte. (We already have Industrious and Hygge and I’m sure a few more I don’t know about).

No. 18. “Analog destinations to unplug are the new *it* spots. Where disconnecting is the entire point…not the sign of a bad WIFI connection.” I recently went to the mountains with the intention of being out of cell service and disconnecting but ended up going 3 gig’s over my data.

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Wellness

Meditation

By on November 26, 2017

Yes, we’ve all heard its good for us but who can really sit still and shut their mind off? It’s actually not as hard as you think it is.

As I’m reading Tim Ferris’s book Tools of Titans it seems to be a recurring theme – they all take time to prepare for their days in different ways but most of them spend some time either meditating or journaling or simply sitting in silence each day.

Tony Robbins calls his morning routine “priming” because he’s getting himself prepped to have a good day. More on Tony Robbins later.

How can you really expect to have a good day if you roll of out bed, you’re running late, everything seems to go wrong trying to get to work on time? Isn’t that setting yourself up to have a bad day?

Start with 5 minutes. I have tried sitting still and meditating for 5 min mannnny times and barely lasted 2 min without looking at my timer.

But as I was reading Tools of Titan, one of his interviewees suggested this guided meditation, which is 25 minutes long (at first I thought yikes).

So I told myself I would start with 5 min of it. The first time I did it, I completed the whole 25 minutes with ease. Tara Brach has the most soothing voice ever but not to the point of wanting to fall asleep (I worry about this every time).

While this works for me, there are a few different ways to try meditation:
An app like Headspace, Calm, Mindfulness or Smiling Mind
A guided meditation like the one I mentioned above or other Tara Brach meditations you can find here or Sam Harris meditations, which you can find on Youtube or SoundCloud
Transcendental Meditation – basically it costs over $1000 to take a course, but a lot of wealthy/famous people swear by it – it’s essentially a mantra based meditation mantras but I’ve found the mantras you’re given in the class here but I’m still unsure what any of it means so I guess that’s the point of the course.
Or you can create your own mantra based meditation – you can use any word you want and repeat it to yourself, you can also practice phrases – a lot of people write down things they want to manifest or cultivate in their lives and recite this over and over again to themselves

As far as what I’ve gotten out it – my main goal has been to lower my anxiety levels. I’ve a very anxious person. Everyone these days says they get anxiety but there are people out there that actually have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which is basically being constantly worried about day to day situations.

Here are some of the other benefits which are explained more in depth here:
Reduces stress
Improves concentration – clears your head
Encourages a health lifestyle
Increases self-awareness
Increases happiness
Increases acceptance
Slows aging (who wouldn’t want this?!)
Benefits cardiovascular and immune health

Call me crazy but I can tell on days that I have meditated that I’m generally calmer. I’m not as quick to panic about things. Whether, you have anxiety or not, sitting in silence is such a great way to start your day before all of the day to day chaos starts. Try it.

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Wellness

BulletProof Coffee

By on November 22, 2017

Alright, so here’s my full break down on Bulletproof Coffee.

After 2+ weeks of drinking it, I completely understand the hype. I have felt clearer, I don’t need more than one cup of a coffee a day and the cravings for bad food have been almost entirely suppressed.

The first day I drank it, it was like liquid adderall. Literally. I was CAFFEINATED. But gradually through the week I got used to it and haven’t felt the urge to get that second or third cup of coffee through the day. But why put this oil in your coffee? And with ghee?

I’m going to give you the gist of what Dave Asprey says Bulletproof is/does first (this info can be found here):

Suppressed hunger. Brain Octane Oil balances ghrelin, your hunger hormone, and CCK, your “fullness” hormone, keeping you full until lunch. You can read more about the science behind BP Coffee and hunger suppression here.
Steady lasting energy. The saturated fat in grass-fed butter slows the absorption of caffeine, which gives you even energy for several hours instead of a caffeine spike and crash. No jitters, either.
Mental clarity. Brain Octane rapidly converts to ketones, a type of molecule that your brain uses more efficiently than carbs or sugar. Pair ketones with the slowly releasing caffeine and you can literally feel your brain turning on.
Ditch the carb-heavy breakfast. Start your day with fat for fuel. You’ll be sharp and alert straight through until lunch. 

Once they get into the Brain Octane Oil explanation here it’s a lot of science-y jargon that your average person wouldn’t understand so here’s my summary:

Brain Octane Oil is made up of MCT’s, which are medium chain triglycerides. They are are a special class of fat. MCT’s turn into ketones and Brain Octane Oil is four times as effective as coconut oil at raising ketones.

Okay who cares about those? I’m sure some of you have heard of the ketosis diet, which is popular because being in a state of ketosis means your body is burning fat instead of carbs for the majority your energy.

Brain Octane Oil also helps:
Suppress hunger
Lose weight – boots your metabolism
Think faster – Brain Octane turns into ketones, which in turn provides your brain with almost immediate access to energy – no more brain fog
Work out harder – provides excellent pre workout fuel

Now that’s all from the BulletProof website, which is a whole diet itself and I honestly haven’t don’t enough research to have any opinion on it.

The way I work it in to my routine is not necessarily how you’re supposed to. While they say it’s great pre-workout fuel and it can replace breakfast, I’m too hungry to cut out breakfast when I’m working out religiously. Now I’m not saying I do it the right way, but I followed KGMTL, who has an amazing youtube channel that is so informative, and I drink it after my workout.

I get up, drink my warm lemon water and about a half a cup of regular coffee while I stretch. Then I go to the gym and have my bulletproof coffee when I come home. I know you’re supposed to have protein after the gym, or whatever that rule is, but this is what works for me. I have my coffee, I shower, get ready for work and then I have breakfast. I personally believe its best to not let yourself get to the point of starving or you’ll end up eating more so the coffee holds me over.

I don’t have any crash – yes at some point throughout the day I’m not as alert but thats at about 4-5 pm when I don’t really need to be. With regular coffee, I always felt some sort of crash through out the day.

Which brings me to the fact that my head is so much clearer. Brain fog is a real thing. Most people don’t realize they’re only functioning at like 20% most of the time. Plus, when I say I have ADHD, if you know me, I can’t say a sentence without getting distracted. On top of that, I deal with numbers all day long at work (Wolf of Wall Street “above the shoulders” crap if you will) and I have noticed that I’m able to glance at something and retain it longer and I don’t get as distracted throughout the day.

I know a lot of people are asking “why add the ghee, isn’t that butter?”  Ghee is clarified butter – basically the good form of butter. Fats don’t make you fat and grass fed ghee is not bad for you like butter. The fats are what will suppress those cravings you get midday for a snack. Good fats give you a boost in energy and cognitive function.

So if you want to try it for yourself, you can buy both products to make Bullet Proof Coffee here.

Personally, I think 4th & Heart has the best ghee for coffee, especially in their Vanilla Bean flavor. Also, I bought the smaller size of the Brain Octane Oil to try it out first, which you can find in the above link.

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Style

J.Crew Factory 48 Hour Sale

By on November 10, 2017

Hurry – it’s over tonight! I dug through it all so you don’t have to. A lot of are things I would buy for work but I also threw in some joggers because who doesn’t need those?

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Wellness

Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil

By on November 9, 2017

So this is going to be a really short post because I want to try Bulletproof coffee for a full week or two before I actually review it but because so many people texted me asking where I got it/how it worked I wanted to go ahead and share!

I got the Brain Octane Oil off Amazon of course. The way I’m drinking it with my coffee is here:

8-12 oz of coffee
1 tsp of Brain Octane Oil
1 tsp of Vanilla Bean Grass-Fed Ghee
Then I blend it all together – PS my Magic Bullet was only $40 here

The review I watched said that this coffee was liquid adderall. The first day it was absolutely comparable to it as far as focus and energy but with less side effects (I’m prescribed but don’t take it often). I typically drink 3 cups of coffee a day – 2 in the morning before work and 1 in the early afternoon. I drink one cup of this yesterday morning and didn’t feel the need to drink another cup all day. I’m going to go over all the benefits and why I’m adding ghee in my next post!

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Fitness

I Finally Tried ClassPass

By on October 31, 2017

So I’ve been thinking about doing ClassPass forever but the other day I saw an ad on Instagram that they had 4 classes for $4 so I couldn’t pass it up.

Last Saturday morning my sister and I went to the 9:30 am Power Flow class at Yoga One Dilworth. There is nothing that makes me sweat more than hot yoga and truly looses my muscles up. It seriously helps me relax too and God knows that’s hard for me to do.

This class was freaking amazing. The instructor and her assistant were so sweet. They give you a cold lavender towel at the end of the class and let me tell you, it smelled so freaking good. It was literally the icing on the cake for the class.

Then last Sunday morning I went to the 10:15 am Brunch class at Cycle Bar Midtown. The girls at the front greeted us right away and were super helpful getting us logged in and we even got a nice water bottle. The cycling room was dark, had the usual stadium seating and lighting. The girls were super helpful showing us how to adjust the bikes and get situated for the class. One of the main things I noticed is how cushioned the seat is and I know a lot of you feel me on this…

The class was difficult but I felt so good afterwards. And because it was “brunch,” you get a mimosa afterwards, I mean what could be better?

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Style

Rebecca Minkoff Sample Sale

By on October 27, 2017

Because its up to 75% off and you know you want another RM bag…

Here are my some of my favorites:

MAB Backpack // Panama Clutch in Putty // Avery Crossbody// Chevron Love Quilted Crossbody in Beet //
Swing Shoulder in Black // Chevron Quilted Jumbo Love Crossbody //
Moto Hobo in Grey // Midnight Large Satchel in Putty // Small Isobel Satchel in Soft Blush // Blair Tote in Mushroom // MAC Crossbody in Black // Unlined Hobo with Dome Studs in Graphite // Blecker Too Velvet Sneaker in Berry Smoothie // Side Zip Medium MAB Tote in Graphite 

Mini Avery in Poppy Red // Geo Quilted Love in Orchid // Mini Sofia Crossbody //
Avery in Opal // Unlined Convertible Hobo Whipstitch // Biker Crossbody in Neon Yellow //
Leo Clutch in Blk Emb // Love Crossbody with Whipstitch // Moto Hobo in Vintage Pink //
Geo Quilted Love Crossbody in Watermelon // Small Love Crossbody in Black // Jennifer Sandal in Acai 

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Beauty

How I Finally Got Control Of My Acne

By on October 25, 2017

Acne – the thing you’re not supposed to have at age 24. The thing no one likes to talk about but a lot of people have and you don’t even realize.

But I’ve had it since I was in high school and I’ve tried it all – spending thousands on dermatologists, creams, serums, face washes, and I’ve done a round of Accutane. And still have acne.

It has taken me a pathetically long time to realize that every single thing that touches your face makes a difference – externally and internally. I used to think it was all genes and just frankly having bad skin. Plus, it doesn’t help that I constantly touch my face. I love a good magnifying mirror (yuck).

I’ve used just about everything at the drug store – Neutrogena, Proactiv, Biore, Yes to Tomatoes, Burts Bees, Dermalogica, the list goes on. I’ve also used all the creams that dermatologists gave me – Adapalene, Retin-A (retinol), etc.

But it had really started getting bad in the past year and I decided to just take a step back and think about the basics and what even causes me to break out.

It has taken a good amount of time experimenting with things like my diet, which I will do a separate post on, and plenty of products.

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Beauty

The Best Dry Shampoo Out There

By on October 18, 2017

I have tried every brand of dry shampoo out there – all the drugstore brands, all the high-end brands and nothing beats Batiste.

It’s no wonder it was voted #1 best in the UK.

But I recently just tried a different flavor (yes I call them flavors instead of scents, types, etc.) called Fresh and I love it even more.

You know that smell when you leave the salon after having your hair done and it doesn’t even matter what product they used, it just smells amazing?

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