Weekly Favorites

bTone Fitness in Boston’s North End

MyStryde in Boston’s North End

Nip and Fab Glycolic Fix Serum

theeverygirl.com

A few weeks ago I heard about the Nip and Fab Glycol Fix Serum, and knew I wanted to try. For a while I had been feeling like something was missing from my skincare routine, but couldn’t put my finger on what. So when I Nip and Fab’s serum, I realized that something like this was what I had been missing!  After a full week of use, I can definitely say it was a good $15 investment. My skin feels brighter, pores look smaller, and I believe that the only breakouts I did get were related to the serum pulling all the toxins from my skin. A couple days after that, I tried my first bTone class. I really had no clue what I was signing up for, but when I saw the megaformer I was excited. It’s a combination of plyometric and pilates movements, with plenty of stretching and lengthening moves thrown in. If your ever in the Boston area, I highly recommend. Another fitness class I tried this week was “Endurance” at MyStryde. MyStryde is a new running studio, consisting of only treadmills. Prompted by the instructor and awesome music, this class will definitely kick your ass if you’re not a ~seasoned runner~ like me. Lastly, I can confidently say I have read every single article on TheEveryGirl.com. TEG was started by two Chicago graphic designers and discusses topics ranging from Career+Finace to Décor+Styling to News+Current Events. It’s catered to 20-30yr olds and honestly puts out amazing content. 100% worth going over to after you’re finished reading here!

If you try any of these, let me know in the comments below!

xoxo,

J

No Coffee, No Talkie ??

To be totally honest, I would love to be one of those girls who waltzes into Starbucks and pulls out her gold card just before saying, “Venti … Black … No Room”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the proud owner of a Gold Card, but coffee just doesn’t do it for me. I feel like as a college student, I’m supposed to be living and breathing coffee day in and day out, running around my campus with a little tumblr and gasping for more when I hit bottom. I know you know what I’m talking about. 

But, that is not me. I hate the idea of waking up and relying wholeheartedly  on something to get me through my day. The way I see it, with this comes a dependency, and I absolute hate (I know your laughing mom) being dependent on anything, whether it be things or people. 

I’ve certainly done my research, I know a cup of coffee every morning isn’t going to kill me. It’s when you start drinking 2 or 3 (around 500mg of caffeine) it’s when it starts to negativity effect you. When you start drinking this much it can lead to a rise in blood pressure, heart attacks at a younger age, insomnia, headaches, dehydration, and increased anxiety. 

In no way shape or form and I encouraging you to kick your coffee habit just because I don’t have one. But just be mindful, maybe opt for a fresh juice instead of an afternoon cup of joe?  

xoxo,

J

June IPSY Glam Bag!

 

If you haven’t heard of Ipsy, head straight on over to http://www.ipsy.com (after you finish reading this article, of course!

Ipsy is a month to month makeup subscription. You pay just $10.00 a month (and can cancel anytime, but I promise you won’t want to) and you get sent sample sizes of 4-6 products a month! When you sign up you take a little quiz about your preferences, like hair and eye color, skin tone, etc.

My June Glam Bag (that’s what they’re called) consisted of:

  1. Doucce Boombastic Lash Volumizer Mascara
  2. Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray
  3. Seraphine Botanicals Happy Hibiscus Blush
  4. Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Fireball or Lounge
  5. Liptini Cream Lip Color in Pinktini.

I’m so excited to try all of these products! I’m not super into makeup, but I love that I get to sample high end products before spending what usually ends up being a ton of money!

Use my referral link below to skip the wait list and get your Glam Bag ASAP!

https://www.ipsy.com/new?cid=opensubs&refer=vyckq

xoxo,

J

“Five Minute Journal” App Review

For any of you who have the Starbucks app, you may be able to download this app! I was getting rid of the little red bubbles that appear when you have a notification, and in my Starbucks “messages”, I had a free download of this app!

It’s called Five Minute Journal, and it’s purpose is it take time in the morning and night to assess your thoughts for the day. It’s available to download for free though Starbucks (if you have the app) and it’s available on the App Store.

In the morning you write:

– Three things you are grateful for

– Three things you will do to make the day great

– One daily affirmation (aka: I am strong, beautiful, smart, etc)
There is also a cute daily quote! The first one I got was:
“Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame, but greatness, because greatness is determined by service” – MLK

At night, you write:
– Three amazing things that happened today
– How you could have made the day better

 

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is grab my phone, check my notifications, all social media and my e-mails. This app is just another thing I can add to the list of things I check, and it’s really a great way to gather my thoughts for the day, and kind of put life into perspective. If not for this, I probably wouldn’t think about what I’m grateful for unless I was instructed too. In doing this every morning, I hope to connect a little more with myself on a spiritual level and center myself as a whole.

xoxo,
J

Tastes like Chicken

Since the spring of my freshman year in high school (6 years ago), I have been a vegetarian. I watched the movie Food, Inc. and immediatly stopped eating meat and poultry. I never cut out seafood, living on the East Coast my whole life, it was just something I could never give up.

I made the switch because I didn’t agree with how food in America was being produced. The mass production,inhumane and unethical ways meat and poultry was slaughtered made me sick. Full disclosure, it wasn’t really about the animals for me, but more about the lack of respect and unsanitary conditions that animals were put in that made me not want to eat meat or poultry.

Growing up in an Italian family and my mom being super healthy, we never ate a whole lot of red meat (but we did eat a lot of pasta). Looking back on it, cutting that and poultry out was easy. I just … stopped.

Fast forward to January of 2016. I live in an apartment at school, and for some reason found it harder and harder to get my protein in everyday. If I bought fish every week, it would stink up my apartment and I really didn’t want to be that roommate. I also didn’t like relying on more than one serving of protein powder a day. When I wasn’t in school (I took the whole year of 2014 off), it was wicked easy to prep my lunch for the week on Sundays, take time and ensure I was getting enough protein, carbs, fats, blah blah blah. But being in school and on a very (so sad) low college budget, it became a little trickier. That’s when I decided to switch back to only eating organic and natural, or kosher chicken. Instead of just buying standard brand name chicken, which is full of pesticides and hormones and God only knows, I knew that it would be easier for me to spend a little more on the organic brand. If I bought Kosher, I knew it was ethically raised. Initially though I was going to get super sick after not having chicken for 6 years, but surprisingly I didn’t!

I usually still tell people I am a vegetarian (complete lie) because I will only eat the chicken I buy and I don’t want to offend anyone. Overall I’m glad I made this switch back, it was nice little 6 year ride but at this point in my life, I’m all for chicken.

xoxo,

J

Beware of Red

Red Dye 40, that is.

Last summer one of my best friends, who happens to be a bartender, offered to make me a Shirley Temple. I hadn’t had one in years, because I rarely drink any soda – y drinks. I said why not, drank it, then went home to bed a couple hours later. Except, I couldn’t go to sleep.

My eyes started burning and tearing, I couldn’t open or close them without wanting to rip them out. I was clearly having a reaction to something. I live on a street where there happen to be hospitals on either end and while contemplating taking myself to the ER because neither of my roommates were home, I finally fell asleep. The next morning, I thought it was bizarre but didn’t put much thought into it.

That day at work one of my coworkers, oddly enough, was drinking yet another Shirley Temple. He made me one I went on with my day, though I was still a little shocked with myself that I had two Shirley’s in the past day  – odd for me.

Once again, I went home that night and wanted to RIP my eyes out. Burning, tearing, it was horrible. The next morning I made a list of all the things I ate in the past two days, the only thing out of the ordinary were the Shirley Temple’s. I couldn’t figure out which of the ingredients I was having a reaction to, so I decided to do an experiment. I ate half a Twizzler, because Twizzlers and Shirley Temple’s both have Red Dye #40. Red Dye is in the grenadine maraschino cherries, and just like I thought I had the same reaction to the Twizzler. Turns out, I’m allergic to Red Dye.

Someone told me that every 7 years a woman’s body changes. I hadn’t previously had reactions to anything with Red Dye, but I am going to be 21 this summer and on my third “7 year cycle”.

To conclude, this is just a personal example of the negative effects of artificial dye in food. I like to eat as organic and natural as possible, so these dye’s really don’t fit into my diet. All it’s doing is adding chemicals to your body and I’m not really about that. Below is a great article linking artificial dye’s and their negative side effects, written by Lisa from All Natural Ideas. Be sure to check it out.

http://allnaturalideas.com/artificial-food-dyes-side-effects/ 

xoxo,

J

Fourth School’s a Charm

Normal people graduate high school, have one last hoo-rah with their best friends during the summertime, go off to college and begin the ~best~ four (or five or six if you’re lucky) years of their lives.

Me? I did not do that. Not even close.

Being from a Boston suburb and having my Nonnie live right in the city, I spent so much time in high school with her. I am so lucky that I have this opportunity, because it made me realize how in love with my city I am. Looking back on it, I really don’t know why I thought I would love the midwestern Big 10 school I chose to attend. The whole summer prior I wished time would slow down, because I wasn’t ready to leave.

Eventually, August came and I was off. I rushed (another post about this to follow), met some of my best friends still to this day, and started classes. However, the whole semester I realized that it wasn’t what I wanted. I hated being in the middle of nowhere, I felt trapped. I hated how I was hours from an airport and I didn’t have the comfort of going home to my family. I was always the girl who wanted to go far and experience something new, and I felt like I failed.

I left after one semester, and it was the best decision I ever could have made. Luckily I got a great job at a university in the city, was taking classes at community college so I wouldn’t fall behind, was #onpoint with my workouts, and loving life. The only part that sucked, was all my friends were loving their second semester of freshman year, and I was playing catch up. During this time, I honestly can say I figured out who I was and became the person I am today. I wouldn’t say I changed, but I definitely *found myself*.

That summer I enrolled in a local university for the fall, because I thought I wanted a smaller school close to home. After some thought (and after registering for classes and sending in my security deposit, sorry Mom and Dad), I realized I definitely did not want to go to that school. I wanted to be far again, but close enough where I could come home whenever I wanted. I wanted my sorority, I wanted to be a small fish in a big (HUGE) pond.

After admitting this to my parents, they (shoutout to you people) were skeptical, but just wanted me to be happy. I ended up taking the whole year of 2014 off of school. I kept up with classes, worked, but needed to figure out my life. I researched which schools were big enough, had my sorority, would be easy for me to come home, and weren’t in the middle of nowhere. I found my current university, applied, was accepted for January 2015, and the rest is history.

I went from Midwest, to community college, to a school a thought I wanted, to the school I am in love with. For whatever high schoolers read this, just know you’ll end up where you’re supposed to. It took me a year and a half, but I found my happy place and it was the best decision I could have ever made.

xoxo,

J

 

My Food Scale

I’ve been tracking my macros (very un-religously) for the past few years. Whenever I remember, or if I have an event I want to be #onpoint for, I’ll track for a period of time, then get less strict. Honestly, it varies by day. This past semester I got a new roommate (shoutout to you FP ily), and luckily our personalities were super similar. I have seen people on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter all use Food Scales, but I never thought it was something I really needed and was always just estimating when I tracked my food. My roommate brought one when she moved in and I started using it, and pretty much immediately I was hooked.

I really like that I can measure down to the exact gram the amount of food I’m eating. For example, I eat spinach everyday. I always estimate it was a few cups just to ensure that I was getting enough Vitamin A for the day. However when I used the food scale to measure, I realized I was eating way less than I had been tracking for.

For me, it’s little things like this that I like to know. I went on eBay and bought the “Ollieroo 5KG/1G Digital Kitchen Weight Scale LCD Electronic Diet Food Device USA for a little under $10.

Disclaimer : I am very lenient when I track my foods. I recognize some people can get obsessive with tracking which can lead to unhealthy behaviors, so take this with a little grain of salt and recognize that while tracking is super helpful to some people, getting obsessed isn’t always a good thing.

xoxo,

J

Beats Mixr Review

A couple months ago, I finally gave in to the Beats hype and bought a pair of Mixr’s. Originally around $250.00, I bought these brand new on Groupon for $90.00, SUCH a steal.

They came in this really cool box, and you can fold them up and put them in a case that also came with it. I guess these are actually for DJ’s, because they came with two cords. One super long pink one which I am assuming is the DJ one, and another regular length one (that was red, which kind of bothered me because it didn’t match but I wasn’t too upset).

I don’t know if I just have a small head, but these go right to the bottom of my ears. I wouldn’t say they’re big, but if they were like a centimeter smaller they’d be perfect. But besides that, the sound quality is awesome and now I literally cannot workout without them. I won’t workout if I don’t have them with me, they’re that awesome.

I’m planning on buying the Beats Solo’s for my brother’s high school graduation present, so I will definitely do a review and compare the two!

xoxo,

J

ClassPass

I want to switch up the vibe a little bit so my posts aren’t all “health and fitness” focused. Don’t worry, it still will mainly H&F related, but I wanted to branch out and not feel so restricted to blogging about only H&F.

So first …. ClassPass. For those of you who don’t know, CP is essentially a workout pass. It is available in pretty much all Metro areas (Boston, NYC, LA, Washington, D.C., Portland, Seattle, etc) and gives you access to almost all the top fitness (i.e. Barre, Spin, Pilates, Kickboxing, Yoga, etc.) studios in your area. Depending on which membership you choose, you can workout at all these places for a flat rate through ClassPass.

While at school, I canceled my ClassPass because there are no studios in the area that work with CP. Moving home, I reactivated it and couldn’t be any happier. The changed up their membership a little bit, but it is even more worth it now!

Each month you have the option of: 

Base: 5 Classes for $65 ($13 a class)

Core: 10 Classes for $120 ($12 a class)

UNLIMITED Classes for $180 (Amount per class depends on how many classes you take)

 

I believe this is a STEAL because a lot of the drop in rates for fitness studios in Boston can be upwards of $30! You can go to the same studio 3 times per month, however with SO many options I like it always mix it up unless I love a class or instructor. Next month I will probably try Unlimited, but for now I am happy with my 10 classes.

Use the link below to get $20 off your first month of a Base membership!

http://class.ps/dTpj8

To find out more information about ClassPass, go to http://www.classpass.com

If there is anything you guys want from me, or want to see me put on the blog I am totally open to suggestions!!

xoxo,

J

Photo credit: http://techcrunch.com/2014/09/17/classpass-lands-12-million-series-a-led-by-fritz-lanman-hank-vigil/