Spring Break Projects and Recap!

I’ll be real with you…. I’ve been working one this ONE post for a week.

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I’ve been struggling to find “inspiration” to write a blog post. I’ve been on Spring Break for two weeks now, with only a few more blissful days to look forward to, and I haven’t written nearly as often as I would like.

Last quarter wasn’t that fun. My attention was averted to studies, and when I wasn’t studying I was working out, and when I wasn’t working out I was working, and when I wasn’t doing any of those things I was either sleeping or stressin’ myself SICK. On a positive note, I earned scores I’m proud of! I have high hopes for Spring Quarter, and I look forward to writing more often!

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This past week I’ve been asking myself, “What should I write about? More workouts? Recipes? Progress photos or challenges?”

Let’s be honest. Recipes are NOT my forte, and I haven’t really been working out as hard as I would like to be showing off ‘results’ or ‘progress’. The past few months have been all about ‘maintaining’ and fitting in my pants. After all, I wouldn’t even have the time to visit the store in search of another pair!

So I thought to myself, “Why not challenge yourself?”

Winter Quarter my fitness focus was to workout at least 4 times a week and stay within a certain caloric range, not really paying attention to macros. I’ve been suffering knee problems and tight IT bands so running has been out of the question. As much as I love my home workouts with my kettle bell, I’ve been going a little insane cooped up in the house.

SO….. Spring Quarter my goals is to workout 5 times a week, get myself back on a macro plan during the week with more freedom on weekends, and to rehabilitate myself back into running. To get a head start on these goals I bought a scale on Amazon.com to keep my macros on point, I completed 5 workouts last week, and my husband took me for a low key trail run last Friday to assess where my body’s at. Good news! No pain! He taught me a few warm up exercises and how to pace my stride, I just have to take it SLOOOOW and restrain myself from powering through any pain.scale

Buying a scale has been extremely helpful! Even if I’m not 100% on point down to the milligram, it’s a GREAT awareness tool! I’ve seen a HUGE difference! Instead of grabbing the entire bag of Skinny Pop and dragging it to the couch with me, I measure out the appropriate serving amount by ounces and voila! I still get my treats and I look and feel better at the same time. Thanks to one of the fitness gals I met at Emerald Cup last year and follow on Facebook & IG, I scored a great deal on a scale! Amazon was running a coupon so I only paid about $16 for it!

I have also been working on becoming an Ambassador for Lenny & Larry’s! I am absolutely OBSESSED with their cookies! They are sinfully delicious, packed with protein, made with wholesome ingredients, and great for an active and busy lifestyle. I am in Phase 2 of the application process. I just uploaded my Lenny & Larry’s instavid to Instagram…. everyone should go check it out, follow me, and LIKE it! You should also consider trying their new Snickerdoodle cookie….. to die for.

On top of my fitness goals I set a volunteer and “experience of a life time” goal to travel to Bali this August with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for less families. The idea was sort of a spur of the moment decision, but I couldn’t be more happy with my decision! I want to do something with my life that isn’t for me, but also isn’t for people who are will be ungrateful or unappreciative. I have always wanted to do volunteer work and travel, I always imagined I might join the Peace Corps, but after much research I really like what I’ve read about Habitat for Humanity. Not to mention, my ultimate career dream is to engineer sustainable homes in the future, so working with my hands will give me great experience.

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I created a GoFundMe account and have the goal to raise approximately $6,500! The Program Costs of $2,100 are due June 24th which is really soon, so even if I don’t reach my fundraising goal by the deadline, I plan on going next year for sure, either way the money WILL go to Habitat for Humanity. The remaining costs are a buffer estimate of airfare which I will have to cover myself, vaccinations, visa fees, living expenses and bills while I am away etc. I’m pretty nervous, excited, and thrilled! I would love and appreciate any help.

I guess I have a full plate this quarter! When I sit still for too long, I take on more projects 😉 Stay tuned for workouts, updates, and more, have a great weekend!

~Jess

Tabata Pro Timer

Happy Sunday morning!

I wanted to share a recent app discovery with all my fit friends, family, and followers to start your week off right with some fresh fitness tools.

Has everyone heard of Tabata?

Tabata is a 4 minute fat-burning high intensity interval training circuit, a great way to incorporate cardio into your daily workout routine. I’ve been looking for a great Tabata timer, and I finally found one! This weekend I downloaded the Tabata Pro Timer and I’m in love with it!

It took me a second to figure out how to use it, but after fiddling with it for a few minutes, I figured it out!

You can choose your preparation time, work time to perform reps, and rest time in between cycles.

The typical Tabata workouts I perform follow the structure below:

Round #1 (Repeat 4 times)
-Switch Jump Lunges
-Jump Squats

Round #2 (Repeat 4 times)
-Burpees
-Curtsey Lunge to Jump Squat

Round #3 (Repeat 4 times)
-KB Swings
-KB Reverse Lunge Pass Under

You would input the following information in the Tabata Pro timer:

Tabata #1 (8 Cycles)
-20 seconds work
-5 seconds rest

Tabata #2 (8 Cycles)
-20 seconds work
-5 seconds rest

Tabata #3 (8 Cycles)
-20 seconds work
-5 seconds rest

I typically don’t choose a preparation time, so I automatically change it to 00:00.

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Stars: 5/5

Cost: $2.99

Pros: Easy to use, excellent tool to keep your Tabata workouts accurate! Great flashing features and alarm features! Easy, fun, effective way to get your cardio in.

Cons: No cons here, just a great app that every fitness guru who wants a great workout should have.

~Jess

November PrettyFit Pack

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It’s here! My November PrettyFit pack arrived in the mail last Wednesday, much to my excitement. This month’s pack arrived a week and a half late due to miscommunication with the vendor, but PrettyFit made up for it by throwing in a bonus gift. I was completely thrilled with everything in this month’s pack:

1) NLA for Her Protein Powder Chocolate Éclair 2lb – I haven’t tried this protein powder YET, but I’m really excited to have my first chocolate flavor protein powder. I really hope this doesn’t disappoint! I foresee plenty of protein muffins, mug cakes, and protein oat pancakes in the future with this 2lb puppy.

2) Kay’s Naturals Protein Cereal Apple Cinnamon – This cereal is jam packed with 20 grams of protein per serving, however it’s lacking in the flavor department. I was expecting Apple Jacks to be honest, silly me. However, this cereal keeps you full for a loooong time, which is saying a lot for a cereal.

3) FlapJacked Protein Pancake Mix Apple Cinnamon – I completely and utterly FAILED at making these this morning. I lack patience, so I set the stove burner on high, burning the pancakes and smoking out my house. I still ate them though and they weren’t bad! I learned my lesson, low heat, patience, and they will cook all the way through and NOT burn.

4) Quest Protein Bar Apple Pie (not pictured, OOoops, I ate it!) – I’m a huge Questie at heart, but my pocket book prevents me from buying too many Quest Bars. When I get an order of Quest Bars in, I literally have to ration and write out a schedule for when I can eat them. They’re so damn good! Something about this month’s Apple Pie Quest Bar had me weak at the knees. It was so soft without microwaving! The Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Quest Bars I have in my pantry are hard as a rock.

5) Chike Protein Espresso Drink (2 packets) – This drink mix is absolutely delicious and kept me caffeinated for a long time. The taste is great, I don’t taste any protein, or whey after taste. Just add crushed ice in a magic bullet, almond milk, and voila! You have yourself a tasty mocha Frappuccino.

6) Lenny & Larry’s Protein Cookies Pumpkin Spice (2 cookies) – These… are… to … DIEFOR! Soooooo good I was not expecting that. I thought these cookies would be chalky and dry and taste like protein, but they were moist and tasted just like Pumpkin Spice. I will definitely be stocking up on a case of this flavor before the holiday season has ended.

7) BONUS GIFT: Chike Powdered Peanut Butter – PrettyFit blessed us with a bonus gift for sending November packs just a tad bit late. I appreciate this kind of service, going the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. Very impressed with this move and I will be a happy customer for many more months to come!

If you haven’t yet, you need to sign up soon! Get $10 off your first pack! Monthly packs typically cost $45, so that’s saving a ton of money. Not to mention, each pack is curated to hold an approximate value of $100. If you do a YouTube review, you could earn another $10 off a future pack and possible win a free one. I did a YouTube review in one take when I received my November pack, so that’s $10 off the next one.

Check out December’s PrettyFit pack below. Sign up before it’s too late! Best part is, you can skip a month if you decide you don’t like what’s in that pack. I will be skipping December so I can buy more Christmas presents for people. They are very flexible.

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~Jess

Product Review: Sample Society by Allure August Box

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Stars: 4/5

Cost: $15 a month

Products:

1. Oribe Surfcomber Mouse 2.5oz – I was the most excited for this product when I saw I would be receiving this in my August Sample box! I’m a HUGE fan or Oribe products. I love the quality, the smell, and how long the products last. When I did a little more research on the product, I was kind of skeptical since I originally thought it was a texturizing spray, turns out it’s a mousse. I don’t usually use mousse in my hair when I’m rockin’ the short hair doo. However, I was extremely impressed with how far one dollop goes, and how much volume, texture, and hold it had. Oribe, you’ve done it again! I would definitely buy the full size of this product in the future. A 5.3oz full size of this product costs $37.

2. Too Faced Melted Liquefied Lipstick Peony – I’ve recently become interested in this girly thing called lipstick and lip gloss. I have tried a couple lipsticks from Smashbox and Marc Jacobs, and the lip gloss I use is NYX. This Liquefied Lipstick is amazing! Although I’m not a huge fan of the bright pink I received, I think it’s genius to have a lipstick that goes on like a lip gloss, but has the matte finish and durability of lipstick. A full size of this product costs $21.

3. Ciate Cha Cha Cha Mini Paint Pot – I haven’t actually tried this nail polish yet, but I think the vibrant color is great for Summer. This would have been a great sample to receive in June or July, but it tends to get a little colder in preparation for Fall in August. Even though I haven’t tried this polish yet, I probably wouldn’t buy it since I rarely do my nails. On the rare occasions I do my nails, I will be faithfully choosing Sally Hansen’s new Miracle Gel polish. Great colors, shine, and lasting durability 🙂 A full size of this product costs $8.

4. Jane Iredale Longest Lash Mascara – You want the honest truth? I really hate ANY mascara samples. I am true to only one mascara, and although it might not be the priciest thing on the shelf, it gives amazing volume and length. I am an avid user of Covergirl. However, this sample great for a compact emergency backup for my purse, gym bag, or travel. A full size of this product costs $33.

5. Kate Somerville Dilo Oil – When I saw I would be receiving an itty bitty sample of this dry oil I was pretty bummed out. I have naturally oily skin anyhow so I didn’t think I would use it, plus it seemed like such a small sample I would hardly have enough uses to see a difference. I decided to try it anyways, and man oh, man! Just one use I saw a huge difference in my skin’s overall tone and softness! A little goes a loooong way too. You use only 2-4 small fingertip dots on your cheek bones, forehead, and chin. I really am in love with it, this product definitely ties for ‘favorite’ with the Oribe Surfcomber Mousse! A 1oz full size product costs $65.

Pros: This was my first box from my Sample Society monthly subscription and I was thoroughly impressed! They could have ditched the nail polish and mascara, but my absolute love for the Oribe Surfcomber Mousse and Kate Somerville Dilo Oil make up for it. I would definitely buy the full size of the Oribe but the Kate Somerville Dilo Oil is a tad bit too steep in price for me. Who knows! Maybe the sample will continue to do wonders for me and I’ll cave in and buy it!

Cons: The mascara was my least favorite product, but I’m VERY picky with my mascara, so don’t base any opinions off my bias!

Enjoy!

~Jess

Earned my eBay Badge!

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Exciting news for me last night when I opened my email…. I earned my FIRST badge with Influenster! I participated in an eBay challenge where you write 2 guides on topics that have not been written about. There were certain requirements you had to fulfill before submitting your guide:

  • Your guide had to include at least 1 photo
  • Your guide had to include at least 3 links
  • Your guide must have at least 350 words and 4 different sections

You can check ’em out here! I actually ended up writing 3 initially so I could earn a $25 eBay gift card, and they sweetened the deal by having you write 2 more for an eBay VIP badge AND another $25 gift card!

This site is completely FREE! They send complimentary VoxBoxes as well for product review purposes. I just received my Sally Hansen VoxBox in the mail yesterday! I can’t wait to try out the new Gel Manicure polish this weekend for my friend’s wedding. I’ve never tried Gel Manicure polish, so this will be a first for me.

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I have high hopes for this product! I’ve only ever gotten shellac once, and I loved it while I had it, but once removed my nails were so weak! I really hope this Gel Manicure is the solution to my nail polish woes! I will be writing a review as soon as I try it out, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, join Influenster! If you have a high flux in social media followers, this is an amazing site to share your knowledge of products ranging from travel, décor, beauty, food, fitness; as well as connect with fellow Influensters and learn about new products. Check it out!

~Jess

Product Review: IPSY – June Glam Bag

 

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Stars: 4/5

Cost: $10 monthly

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Wearing Ofra Eye Brow Liner and NYX Butter Gloss

Products:

1. Sacred Tiare Styling Cream by Carols Daughter – This product is meant for dry, frizzy, out of control hair. It’s meant to tame the frizz and moisturize your hair. I recently cut my hair so I won’t be able to try this. I have very fine hair anyways, so I don’t think this product would be a great product for me. I did a lil’ research on their line though and a 3oz bottle of this is pretty affordable $12 on average.

2. Butter Gloss by NYX Eclair Shade – I recently wrote review about the NYX Butter Gloss and I LOVE it! The Eclair shade IPSY sent me  is pretty light on me. I really like their Tiramisu shade. I would definitely recommend their glosses, only $5.99 at your local drugstore.

3. Black Kohl Eyeliner Pencil by Starlooks – I’m really excited to have mostly full size items in my IPSY bag! I’m usually a huge fan of liquid eyeliner, but I’ve heard great things about Starlooks and I’m excited to try this. It glides really nicely, with eyelid primer it should last all day. This product retails for $12. Starlooks also has their own subscription box too, check it out!

4. Eye Brow Pencil by Ofra – I’m usually a huge fan of powders, and that’s honestly because it’s a lot easier to fix powder mistakes with a Q tip than it is to fix eye brow pencil mistakes! I tried this on, and I’m sure with practice I’ll get better, but I actually really like it! Definitely gives a bolder look, I’m usually very modest when it comes to my eyebrows. This pencil retails at $13.

5. Fragrance by Realtree – This is the fragrance description off the website: “Realtree for Her opens up with the sweet taste of pomegranate, a hint of persimmon and an exotic scent of orchids. It blends with lotus blossom and champaca flower and it’s followed by the rich scent of amber, the transient scent of violets and the depth of mahogany wood.” I was really excited for this fragrance! This was probably the item I was the most excited about and I’m a little disappointed in the scent, size, and how the tube squirts. The tube wouldn’t squirt so I had to take the lid off and tap the top on my wrist. At first I liked the scent, but after a while I found it to be too sweet and it smelled like cotton candy. Kind of a teeny bopper scent, meant for Junior Highers. I’ve only been wearing it for 45 minutes and the scent is completely gone. A 3.4oz bottle is $19.99. A good quality bottle of perfume costs roughly $60, so you know this isn’t top notch quality.

Pros: Only $10 for 3 full size items and 2 sample items?! Hell yeah! Just the 3 full size items would have cost roughly $30. I’m happy with what I received, and the concept of a monthly sample subscription bag is so cool! I love it!

Cons: I really enjoyed my June Glam Bag! Sadly, this is the only Glam Bag I’ll be receiving. I had a horrible experience with loosing this bag in the mail and tracking it down through Customer Service. I literally just got it in the mail today! I cancelled my IPSY membership when they wouldn’t respond to me for weeks and July was fast approaching. O well, does anyone else have any great make up bag subscriptions?

Enjoy!

~Jess

Product Review: Femme Skin Firming Cream

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Stars: 5/5

Cost: $69.95

Pros: This cream smells absolutely amazing! I just received my first order in the mail from overseas in Australia, and I’m extremely excited to try it out and see what the extended results are. I used this for the first time last night. The tube cautions that you may experience a slight burning sensation, but that only means it’s WORKING! I applied a small amount (a little goes a looooong way) to the backs of my thighs and booty which is where I hold the most uneven skin tone. I didn’t feel an immediate tingling sensation until I woke up this morning. It’s summer time and my room gets very hot and this cream is activated by heat. This cream was workin’ all night long! I can’t wait to apply more before my workout today! Check out the Femme website: getfemmenutrition.com and follow them on Instagram! #gethotwithpeach #femmenation #fitfastfeminine

Cons: The only con I have at this point is the price. It seems a little spendy for a 4.25oz tube. You can buy a 16oz pump of Beauty Bum on Amazon for about the same price. If the results are great, then it’s totally worth it to tighten that tush!

Enjoy!

~Jess