Health & Fitness




After last week I felt just blah! After several days of eating, drinking, and just overall putting my health and fitness to the side, I had to readjust my mindset to get back into my normally healthy routine. I’ve said before that I am not one for drastic diets/measures and that I am all about balance, and this time of year is no different.

This time every year I get a flashback of myself in my early 20’s at the height of my eating disorder when I would barely eat any of the holiday meals and missed out on hours of time with my family because I was working out for hours on end instead. I will always advocate that you enjoy yourself! Especially during the holidays, which includes spending time with your family and friends. This post is merely a few tips and tricks that I use to not let it all get out of hand. Eat and enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner! Go out with friends for your office party, but you don’t have to use it as an excuse or reason for letting everything go for weeks-on-end, just because you will get going again on Jan 1.




While this isn’t a part of the list, my first and biggest piece of advice would be to wake up and GET BACK TO IT! So the morning after a big holiday party, wake up and get going, literally. Get moving! Get back in the gym, make your healthy breakfast smoothie that you usually make. Whatever that usual healthy behavior is, GET BACK TO IT! I think the biggest reason this time of year gets a bad rap is because people use the holidays as an excuse to “undo” from Thanksgiving until the New Year. Yes, enjoy yourself! You just don’t have to let it get away from you for four weeks.

  1. STAY HYDRATED – We have all heard the research that our hunger and poor eating decisions at times doesn’t have to do with actual hunger. And I think because it’s not hot out, we are often times drinking hot tea, hot coffee, or a holiday cocktail instead of hydrating ourselves. Focus on pure hydration, especially on the days that you know there could be temptations: a party, treats, etc.

  2. FOCUS ON SUGAR – We all know how bad sugar is for you. It is one of the worst toxins that we put into our diet on a consistent basis. And no time is worse than the holidays. Friends bring you homemade cookies as a hostess gift, coworkers bring leftover cake that their family made, you take your kids to a gingerbread house/cookie making party. SUGAR IS EVERYWHERE! And that will set our tastebuds off on a poor trajectory. If you minimize or eliminate one thing from your diet this next month, make it desserts/sweets. Your mind and your appetite will have an easier time staying on your usual routine.

  3. INCREASE YOUR PROTEIN + FIBER INTAKE – the most filling things that you can eat should be the first things that you eat. If you’re at a dinner party or out to dinner with your friends/family, get a huge fibrous salad to start. Have a holiday party later? Eat some great lean protein for a late lunch to keep you full as long as possible. Again, this time of year the recipes aren’t what we’re used to: butter, sour cream, heavy, cream, oh my! So when you can, give yourself the opportunity to fill up with the good stuff first!

  4. ALWAYS EAT BEFORE A PARTY – If you aren’t sure if there will be dinner, or headed somewhere you know will just have appetizers/finger foods, always always always eat before going! Do not, I repeat, DO NOT go into this tempting situation on an empty stomach. That is a recipe for disaster. And when you do eat that pre-party meal, make sure that you are following rule #1 and #3.

  5. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR DRINK – What do I mean by that? We all know that alcohol has sugars, and cocktails especially! People love a seasonal cocktail, so with one drink you could be heading down a slippery slope to breaking rule #2. I’m not saying don’t drink at all! Trust me, I had plenty to drink this past week, but pay attention to how much and what. Is your normal go-to libation heavy in sugars and mixers? Maybe switch it up for a less sugary option! Let’s not forget those late-night meals that we all tend to have when we’re buzzed. Not the healthiest options, usually.

While this isn’t an equation for losing weight, or having a perfectly healthy and lean holiday, they are small things that you can do to minimize that blah feeling and set yourself up to go into the New Year feeling the best you can!


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**Right now fitness studios are starting to blast out cyber week and holiday sales not only to take advantage of the sale-frenzy going on, but to get people into their studios before and after Jan 1 for their new years resolutions. So if you have a studio/class that you love? Sign up a few extra times this next month using those sales to keep yourself moving and active during this time of year. Have a new studio you want to try? Do it now before the craziness of the resolution season is upon us!


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There are still holiday parties to come, hostess gifts to be had, and New Years festivities to begin!


Health & Fitness





This time of year is super overwhelming, right? And no, not just the social obligations, not the festive RSVP’s, or the number of gifts you have to get, but the expense!! As if your flight home wasn’t expensive enough!

This is a guide with some GREAT gift ideas for just under $50. But make sure to check out some of your favorite retailers. They often have price-restriction gift guides as well.




Yes, I made that term up.

BUT pretty sure a while back the term “fashionista” was bizarre, too! I mean, Webster is adding words every day, so why not?

To me, a Kitchenista isn’t just a cook or a baker, but it’s someone who loves their kitchen! Loves spending time in it, designing it, decorating it, and yes, probably cooking in it! So I’ve compiled all things that I think this group would love! Things that make your kitchen look like something out of a Fixer Upper episode, but things you can also use!

You know, for all that cooking and baking you do 😛




You know the feeling when you walk into Target on November 1st and all you see is that Winter Wonderland full of christmas ornaments, wrapping paper, glitter, garlands, oh my!

My, personally I’m not completely ready for it, nor am I a huge fan of holiday decorations that leave your floor looking like you set off a glitter bomb. And seeing as I’m a procrastinator, I prefer decorations that I can leave up after the holidays and it be semi socially acceptable. They are more “winter decorations” than holiday-specific.

So whether you have a new home, or maybe you’re hosting your first family holiday? Or maybe you just want to give your home a bit of a facelift this holiday season? Check out dozens of my top decor picks for just how to do that! Greenery, votives, blankets, galore!





“All that glitters is not gold”… but with one swipe of the hand it can be 🙂 






I have to say, I was super nervous about this kimono. I actually almost returned it the second I got it :-O But then I put it on with this entire outfit and I absolutely loved it! I think those who are intimidated by something a little more edgy and flashy, it’s super important to find the right items to pair it with. So for this kimono I wanted something a little downplayed and casual vibes. But still complimented the flashy piece at the same time. I ended up super happy with this look as a whole! 

What do you think 😉 






If you guys have read any of my other pots, you know that I am all about versatility! In fact, I feel like I should start a word count around my whole blog to see how many times I have used ‘versatile’. It might be alarming! I digress… these joggers were not only the perfect find to compliment the sparkly top, but they’re also a piece that I have worn a ton this holiday season! There is something about satin that not only screams holiday, but also adds a fancy edge to any piece of clothing. And I know, the fabric is a little scary, but these joggers have a nice heavy satin so you’re not showing every little detail! Trust me… I wouldn’t be wearing them if you could see all that. 

I also love how the satin continues to bring out the edginess of this outfit to compliment the kimono but not totally overwhelm it. You can’t even see the satin shine in certain lights so again, it’s an “occasional edge” haha. 






I think around NYE people get overwhelmed with the idea of a fancy dress, or something that looks like the Times Square ball. Now, when I was in my early 20’s, sure! But now that I’m a little older, a little more mature, and not partying it up at clubs to ring in the new year? That look isn’t exactly my objective. I wanted something that was a mix between young, fancy, sparkly, and fun! But not that I was trying to, as Ashton Kutcher in the movie New Year’s Eve put it, “going all Kanye”. 

What do you think? Did I hit the mark? 






For people who have the same goals as above, the great thing about a look like this one is that it can be worn for a night out, but also to a great house party! Which is usually how people my age tend to ring in the New Year 🙂 if they aren’t in their pajamas, that is. 

And I know we have talked about trends before, and while I think sequins is more of a holiday tendency, I think it’s still something fun you can throw into your repertoire for a little while longer. And I don’t think it is limited to just sequins, per se, but anything sparkly! There are some pieces that take me back to the 80’s. Which I don’t totally hate. But we all need to be a little cautious when rocking this trend. Otherwise we might look JUST like the Times Square ball :-/ not the goal, right? 

Pick a piece that you can pair with other subtle items. Going for those sparkly slouchy boots? Pair them with some casual black jeans. What about a sparkly purse, or clutch? Same deal! Subtle tones and colors in your outfit. Want to be a little more daring? Grab some awesome sequin leggings or joggers (deja vu much?) and really nail your NYE look! I love pairing these with a casual tee and jean jacket, or maybe a simple velvet cami? Something that also lends toward the holiday season, but doesn’t overdo it 🙂  

Here are some of my favorite sparkly pieces that you can incorporate into your look this NYE

But let’s not forget these beauties! Shop my outfit below 





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If you’ve had your holiday shopping done for weeks… well, good for you! 

For the rest of us, we’re still thinking. And sometimes it’s harder for certain people. For me, I have the hardest time shopping for my sister. She and I are very similar in that we don’t want anything that we aren’t going to use. We don’t like excess. And I think that’s probably true for everyone in a way! You want to give someone a gift that they are actually going to use! 

So what do you get your fit friend that’s always at the gym? Ii’ve made a gift guide for you to brainstorm some ideas! 





First off, beauty products. I know, sounds weird when we’re talking about the gym, right? WRONG! 

I find that the beauty products are some of the most important pieces in my gym bag. During the summer, in particular, if I don’t clean my face after a long work out, I tend to break out, and my work to get rid of any of my blackheads? Oye, forget about it. 


Facial Towlettes – these are the quickest and easiest way to wash your face after a work out. And check the different kinds because sometimes they are just make-up removing. So you want to make sure they are actually cleansing wipes. I love the Burt’s Bee’s wipes! They are gently on your skin but leave you feeling clean and fresh after a nasty work out. 


Post-workout products – If you’re like me, you tend to stay warm after a work out for quite a while. I remember when I would shower immediately after a work out and heading to work and sitting at my desk wondering when I was going to cool down! My favorite favorite post work out moisturizer is the CliniqueFit Matte Moisturizer. It really does help calm down that oily post-workout skin! If you’re going to wear any makeup post work out, be careful that it doesn’t clog your pores. During a work out your pores are as open as they’re going to be! so if you put something on your face immediately after that work out, that foundation is going to settle right in there… not good! CliniqueFit also has some great workout products that don’t clog your pores and are meant for fit peeps like us! Check them out below 

Hair Ties – not only do you always need extra’s in your gym bag because… well, they tend to evaporate in this air! But you need really good ones too! I hate it when I have that kink in my hair from my hair tie and have to style my hair around that dreaded mess. The hair ties below from Invisibobble are the BEST! They don’t leave a kink and they hold your hair nice and tight! I have really thick hair and it does the trick! 

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Next is the most important for your health and wellness. The right nutrients! 

So many people spend hours in the gym a week but then eat the wrong nutrients before and after, therefore not even getting as much as they can out of their work out. In truth, you want the right protein before AND after a work out. I love Eboost for all of their products. But mostly because their protein powder is clean and effective but also tastes REALLY GOOD! 

Their energy powder also doesn’t give you jitters and won’t keep you up at night either. If travel a lot? They have 15 individual packs, easy to throw in your bag! Or if you want to try out a few different products, check out their gift box where you can try a bunch of their products without totally being committed. 

Do you ever feel like no matter how much water you drink you still aren’t hydrated? If you work out hard enough, there are certain nutrients that water just doesn’t put back! But I’m not really for Gatorade and their electrolyte products, but I do love Nooma! It’s organic, tastes great and only has the nutrients that you need to put back into your body after a good sweat. 

Although this isn’t exactly a “nutrient” that you are putting into your body, many times the external treatment of your muscles is just as important. There are times where I am so sore that I don’t think I can go on anymore! But Dr. Teal’s has saved me! And it’s a great excuse to soak in a bath with some peace and quiet 🙂 The pre and post work out bag is amazing for your muscles to restore your body to peak performance! 

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Last, but certainly not least, the equipment! 

You’ve seen those rollers in the gym. The huge foam ones that people look ridiculous using? Well when you have the right equipment and know how to use it, these rollers are clutch for getting your muscles untangled. I threw my back out a few months ago and it turned out that I had a massive knot in my back that was getting everything out of wack. I used the massage ball on that knot and instantly felt relief along my entire back and lumbar. 

If you’re nervous you’re not going to use it right, ask a trainer or someone that you know is certified. PLEASE, make sure they are certified. They can show you just a few easy tricks to using this awesome equipment. 

My favorite brand is Trigger Point. I use their massage ball all the time and find that the shape and sturdiness of their equipment is exactly what I need for it to be effective. 

The last image on the “shop the post” below is an AWESOME gift set for a true gym-goer that anyone who stays active would LOVE to get as a gift. 

And you all know how I feel about bands, and how much I love them as fitness equipment. Check out this article on using mini bands and keep an eye out for a great workout using the professional grade bands. They are the perfect gift for someone who travels a lot but still wants a great work out! 


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So whether you are looking for a stocking stuffer, or putting together a gift basket for friend, these are excellent ideas that I know anyone who enjoys a good work out would thoroughly enjoy and absolutely use over and over and over and over…. 🙂 

Happy Holidays! 



The season of giving and saving and shopping is here!!

And if you’re like me and absolutely shudder at the idea of going into a store on Black Friday, you’re in luck! This cyber shopping trend has taken over so much so that brands extend Cyber Monday to all weekend long! 

Today, shop some awesome sales from some of my favorite brands! Check them out below and see what you can save before Monday 😉 



UP TO 50% OFF 









buy one sweater, get a sweater 50% off 

buy one pair of pants, get another next pair 50% off





sales on sales on sales on sales! 









no seriously… everything 





folks… this is not a drill! 





The Gaines family made it… so obviously it’s awesome 

When I heard that Chip and Joanna were making a line with Target, it was cause for celebration. And man, do they know how to time their launches! These holiday months are ones that include more hosting and family dinners than we care to count. And when I hosted my first Thanksgiving dinner with my parents and my in-laws, I quickly realized that it’s about more than just the cooking. They say that presentation is everything, and now I totally get it.

Let’s throw it back to my first Thanksgiving three years ago.






… I think I did a pretty good job!

Oddly enough I’m not entertaining anyone this year for Thanksgiving. Sorry, not ‘oddly’, thankfully! But I still wanted to try the Hearth + Hand products and you can never waste time tablescaping. 

When it comes to interior design I’m really into contrasts. Dark walls with light artwork and furniture. I’ve always had just plain white plates, everything is white! I opened up my cabinets holding all our plates and bowls and was utterly bored. There was nothing fun in there! Whatsoever. So I took to update my cabinets… and my dining room table. 



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Dark colors help make everything feel a little more modern and cozy. Plus with the dark colors you won’t need to fill the table too much more with other decor otherwise you’ll overload it. I love the mix of the black bowls, with the light bowls as well as the dark green glasses and the light table runner. And Hearth and Hand does an awesome job offering everything that you would need to outfit your Thanksgiving table and beyond! 

I love this footed serving board! I think it’s also going to be great for countertop decor once the holidays are over. 



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The pillows were perfect for the corner of our nook. I added in my favorite McGee & Co pillow (shop below) to balance out the colors. 


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So whether you are hosting Thanksgiving, or just want to up your tablescaping game and holiday decor, head to Target NOW because Hearth and Hand has everything you could possible need (and want). 


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