Taking a Break from the Textbooks….

I know, I know. I’m a terrible blogger. It’s only the 3rd week of the New Year and I’ve already fudged up my New Year Goals for my blog! I haven’t posted a recipe or a workout in over a week, I’ve been naughty ūüė¶

I’ve been doing well in all other areas of my New Year Goals! Hitting my workouts, writing in my journal, becoming better at logging my meals in myfitnesspal… ALL my meals ūüėČ

To be honest, this quarter has been insane. I can’t seem to keep up with the amount of notes, flashcards, studying, labs, and key terms for Biology. Derek introduced me to the Study Blue app though, which has proven to be a wonderful and helpful tool! I can easily take flash card notes on my key terms while I read, saves time, AND the app has a quiz feature using True or False, Multiple Choice, or Fill in the Blank. I’ve already done much better on my quizzes, and I feel like I can absorb more information since my note taking time has been cut in half.

English 201 has been quite a bit to wrap my mind around as well. I think I’m thinking too hard about my Quarter Research Project, developing a thesis on Thailand Environmental issues has been exceedingly difficult. I kind of want to just write the entire 8 -10 page paper NOW and just keep editing it every day until it’s due, refining it, instead of investing so much time into chunks of it. Hey, that’s actually not a bad idea, I might consider that!

Math ….. well I hate Math period, but I feel like this quarter it might be my “relief” course. Math is reliable.

Classes have been crazy and school has hit our pocketbook, but thankfully I qualify for unsubsidized loans for school. Each quarter we’ve been paying for my books and remaining tuition out of pocket, estimating $800, not including Derek’s school costs. I qualify for a gracious amount and will be receiving a check for last quarter as well. Hallelujah!

Aside from the school commotion, I’ve been doing well! I’ve been eating better, working out consistently, improving my time management skills, and waking up early on the weekends to increase my productivity. I’ve actually made some progress with my body over the last 3 weeks through eating better and kettlebell training. I feel lean, mean, and clean ūüôā I also stocked up on the new S’mores and Cookies n’ Cream¬†Quest bars, as well as¬†White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut¬†Protein Cookies by Lenny & Larry’s for loooong school days. Delicious!

progress lenny

Yesterday I had my Annual Review at the EBC. 2 years with Microsoft, I can do anything now ūüėČ I received plenty of great feedback from my manager, enough praise to make me blush, and¬†good raise. Kudos me! My manager says it’s time to take the next step in my career. Honestly, I’m very happy with my current¬†role,¬†the schedule, and pay, it gives me so much freedom and flexibility with school. We will¬†see what’s in the cards. I am open to opportunity.

The next few months will be jam packed! Derek is starting his half sleeve tattoo next, we¬†are going to Kurios Cirque¬†Sol Leil at the end of the month, our 3 year anniversary is Valentine’s Day weekend, Derek will be competing in a 50K with a 5,000 foot elevation gain in March, and we should know where Derek is going to Law School in April! Wheww!

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I hope everyone else has been sticking with their New Year Goals, have a great weekend!

~Jess

Week 1 School Recap & Femme Peach Contest Winner!

Welp, first week of school was intense to say the least. So much reading, extensive¬†Power Point lectures, key terms, notes, quizzes, papers….. holy crap.

Despite the blizzard of college, I was able to hit my fitness goals last week. I completed my Daily Burn kettlebell workouts, ran outdoors, did my HIIT and plyos, and even ate salad… I know right?! I can’t say “no” to Steak Caesar salad, that shit is my weakness.

This week I’ll be lucky if I can hit 5 workouts, Human Biology has been suffocating me with heavy reading, labs, note taking, and a first exam this Thursday. Damn, crossing my fingers I can pull off another 4.0 this quarter. Next quarter I’ll throw in a fun class. English 201, Biology 108, and Math…. this quarter. You got this Jess, you got this.

In other news, yesterday¬†I announced the winner of the Femme Peach Contest! Sherisa Rorberg is the lucky lady to receive one tube of Femme Peach Skin Tightening Cream, retailing at $79.95. She’s about to feel the burn!

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I’m very excited to be receiving my January Femme package next week. We should also be getting apparel very soon, so stay tuned! Big things to come!

I hope everyone has a stellar week, check back for workouts and recipes.

~Jess

KB Booty Builder

My goal this year is to be more consistent with the amount of food related and workout posts I share. This will be A LOT easier now that I have my precious 25lb kettlebell I’ve been wishing for. I created another glute focused KB workout because training glutes is my FAVORITE! I’ve noticed a huge difference in overall muscle tone while training at home with my KB.

This week Aunt Flo is visiting, so I’m not as tight and toned as I would like to be, but hey, that’s life. I feel great and that’s all that matters. I will keep training hard this week regardless, and next week my results will really show.

I hope you enjoy this simple but tough workout. Comment below if you would like to any specific workouts in the future: HIIT, bodyweight, Tabata, etc.

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Enjoy!

~Jess

Daily Burn Challenge

I’ve decided to take on a personal challenge for myself. My fitness goals have been up in the air lately, I’ve kept them pretty vague until I had the recent idea to try out Daily Burn on Hulu. I have been completely against the idea of Daily Burn, for the bold statement on their ad, “Why spend ‘X’ amount of dollars on a trainer when you could spend less with Daily Burn than you would for a few hours with a trainer?!”

1) My husband is trainer, and a damn good one at that! Not everyone can benefit from the same type of training.

2) A 1:1 trainer provides you with so much more! Accountability, expertise customized to your physical needs, body, injuries etc., and of course someone who will physically push you and won’t let you hit ‘pause’.

3) A trainer will see your progress and keep you challenged based on your level. ‘Easy’, ‘Intermediate’, and ‘Advanced’ are NOT the only levels of fitness, there are so many more because everybody is completely different.

However, I believe the concept of Daily Burn is great for those who have the fundamental structure of training, have busy schedules and prefer working out at home vs. the gym, and are really just looking for variety and new material instead of having to create a workout themselves every day. I know that’s why I’m looking forward to this month challenge!

So I signed up for a 30 day free trail to see how I like it.

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I just recently received a new 25lb kettle bell for Christmas but only know a few exercises. Daily Burn has a kettle bell program that looked interesting, so I’m enrolled in a 3 month program with workouts ranging from 15-50 minutes with active recovery days, meal plans, and even recipes. I feel like I have a decent handle on my diet, I’m not looking to lose major weight so I won’t be using the nutrition suggestions as often. However, the nutrition section can be extremely helpful to those who need a little extra help in that area.

Not only do I have access to the DBK program, I have access to the entire library of programs. These programs range from Hip-Hop Dance, Pilates, Yoga, HIIT, Bootcamps, etc. I also really enjoy the filter feature to find specific workouts. You can use the filter to find a workout based on how long you would like to workout, fitness level – Easy, Intermediate, Advanced, by a specific trainer you might enjoy, and by equipment available. I’m mostly excited about the equipment and time length filters! As much as I LOVE Zuzka Light, her website isn’t as organized as Daily Burn. My equipment is limited due to the size of my house. I only really have my body, yoga mat, 25lb KB, and resistance bands.

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My goal is to complete 30 days of the DBK challenge and see if I would like to pay $12.95 a month for all the workouts! The only way I would do that is if I cancel my gym membership. I have a very heavy decision to make in 30 days. Ever since my work schedule changed to 6:30am to 3:00pm I’ve been less inclined to visit the gym for the following reasons:

1) The gym gets crowded at 3:30pm 

2) Even if I have a workout planned (which takes time and energy) the likelihood of the equipment I need being available is slim

3) People want to talk, fuck head phones basically

4) Guys shamelessly look at your ass, doesn’t matter how hard you mean mug

5) Weights are never racked, what else is new?

6) Locker rooms are disgusting

7) It’s so freakin’ time consuming commuting¬†to and fro the gym

I have also decided to reward myself at the end of those 30 days!

I’ve had my eye on a pair of Freddy Jeans that I can’t bring myself to frivolously buy. So I’ll use those sexy ass jeans as a reward for sticking with the training plan!

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Wish me luck! I will still be doing my Zuzka Light workouts on top of Daily Burn for an extra challenge. I will keep you posted with my feedback!

~Jess

NYE Workout!

Just because everyone’s getting ready for shit faced catastrophe’s tonight doesn’t mean you can’t fit in a quick, challenging at home workout before you go!

You asked for Kettle Bell Workouts, you got ’em ūüėČ

NYE

O yeah, and just because you’ll be hung over January 1st after your shenanigans doesn’t mean you can’t detox with a quick sweat session either ūüėČ Try this workout tomorrow too and see how well you do in comparison. Don’t hurt yourself!

~Jess

New Year Goals

I don’t really like committing to a New Year Resolution, mostly because they have the reputation for one strong month¬†and *POOF*…. they are long forgotten. I will personally call these my “New Year Goals” and you can call them whatever you like ūüôā I’m keeping them realistic and maintainable.

1) Switch Gyms to Iron Works – This was sort of my unspoken goal last year, but this year I’m gonna make it happen. I’m 110% over L.A Fitness. I’ve been complaining about them for a few years now, since day one of beginning this blog. The New Year means a new gym, a fresh change of scenery has been long overdue.

new gym

2) Purchase a T Grip Bar – I know I just got a kettle bell for Christmas, and the starter kit for the T Grip Bar is pretty pricey, but I think it’s an excellent goal to save up for one, even if I don’t buy it until the end of the year. I am hoping to one day completely migrate my workouts to home workouts, eliminating the gym altogether.

tgrip3) Journal at least once a month – I have completely neglected my journal. I think one of the reasons is because I have an online blog and it’s so easy to freely write what’s on my mind. Another reason could be that after 2 years, I’m still writing in the same old disgusting corporate Microsoft journal. I need something pretty, something that WON’T remind me of work. I miss freely writing the good, bad, and ugly to clear my mind. I would like to continue what I started at 9 years old, it’s something I used to cherish and promised myself I would never give up.

journal

4) Begin training for a marathon – Even if I don’t do a marathon in 2015, I would love to begin training for one. The idea has become more¬†interesting to¬†me the more I think about it. I really love running, who knows, maybe I’ll take it to the next level! If not, I would sure love to compete in a tri relay. Whatever may lie in the cards, I will be prepared.

running5) Never use a microwave again – As you may know, my wonderful hubby bought me a beautiful toaster oven for Christmas and we’ve been baking the shit out of lasagna and chicken, toasting up bagels, English muffins, and quesadillas, with plenty of muffins, cupcakes, and oatmeal bars in our future. The struggle will come when we are in a hurry and simply want to heat up some leftovers. But we are committed!

microwave

6) Keep my grades above a B- –¬†I was extremely lucky to earn a 4.0 for Fall 2014 Quarter! I’m hoping to keep up my grades above a B-. I don’t want to risk shooting too high, but I believe I have what it takes to keep my grades at a B+ or higher. I’m loving school so far and can’t wait to take more classes and discover where my passion lies.

school7) Fit in 4-5 workouts a week – Fall Quarter I wasn’t as successful as I had hoped. Hopefully switching to Iron Works will increase my visits to the gym. We’ve been blessed with a pretty dry Fall and Winter, so if we can keep that up, I can easily run to and from the gym since it’s only a mile away from my house. Cardio commute! Two birds one stone!

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8) Be more consistent with tracking my meals – I’ve been slacking at this lately. I don’t wanna be a food Nazi, but I¬†have been¬†sneakily leaving out certain foods¬†from myfitnesspal such as¬†the chocolate I¬†eat at work, or the few bites of left over dessert from Catering I just HAD to try. NO MORE! Most, if not ALL foods will be logged every day!

betterpizza9) Read one book per month during my personal time – This might be shooting kind of high, so I will say no longer than 2 months to read¬†one book. I was naughty and didn’t read the Osho book over Winter break like I had planned to. I want to limit my television shows, so I will begin reading. I used to be such a book worm, what stopped?!

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10) Post at least one recipe and one workout on my blog per week РI have been really inconsistent with how often I post workouts and recipes. I go through dry spells, but I one recipe and one workout per week should be manageable. I have a new toaster oven and kettle bell after all! Time to get busy.

recipeBRING IT ON 2015!

~Jess

 

 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year…

I hope everyone had an amazing holiday week, I know I sure did! Having 6 glorious days off from work spent with family was much needed.

We had Kaienna spend the week with us and join us over at Gramma Amy and Papa Owl’s for Christmas with Derek’s entire family. His oldest sister Jamie drove up from San Diego earlier in the month with two year old lil Ellie and their French Bulldog Koa. Her husband Donnie flew up 2 weeks later to join the family. Derek’s other older sister Jenna flew in Tuesday night from traveling on tour with Nick Jonas as the VIP manager. She had a hectic month filled with air travel every day and constant moving. Everyone needed a break!

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The week was filled with plenty of fun including ice skating, games, cookie decorating, Thanksgiving style dinner, lil cousins playing, three dogs playing and fighting, food, more food, and food comas. It was refreshing to spend time with family, the Frank’s know how to have a great Christmas.

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Everyone was spoiled with gifts on Christmas day, especially the little ones! I wish I had a picture of the tree after Jamie organized the presents underneath. It was pretty amazing, we all just sat in the dark and stared at the lit up tree with glistening packages. The little one’s reactions were priceless the next morning. They were half asleep and staring at each other’s presents not even noticing their own for a minute. The Frank tradition is to leave out the presents from “Santa” unwrapped and unpackaged in front of the tree away from the wrapped gifts. Kai asked Santa for My Little Pony books and Ellie asked for Disney Princess Pets.

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After the Christmas morning coffee run and opening stockings we started unwrapping presents. It about an hour and a half, we had a pretty good system down. If we unwrapped one person at a time we would probably still be unwrapping. Instead, we each got a present and everyone unwrapped at the same time. The little ones had mountains of new toys and games. Derek bought me a toaster oven like I wanted, and I managed to save $400 from my eBay store to start his half sleeve tattoo like he wanted. Derek outdid himself and also bought me a GIANT box of Lindt chocolates! My presents weren’t just food focused, I also got a new pair of Nikes and a 25b kettle bell from Derek’s parents. Time to work off those Christmas calories! I wasn’t 100% terrible though, I worked out Christmas Eve AND ran on Christmas after presents and breakfast.

christmas4Friday we went to Seattle to take a Ferry Boat ride to Bremerton so we could play games and snack on the Ferry. We played Yahtzee, Dominos, and continued eating holiday treats. It was a long day, but a great end to the 3 day stay-cation with the Franks. Wonderful Christmas for the books! Huge thanks to Mom and Dad for always making Christmas fun, relaxing, and memorable ūüôā

Now it’s back to the daily grind. Christmas vacation is over, and the New Year begins next week! Time to begin creating my New Years Resolutions and mentally preparing for school that will begin in a week! It’s a bittersweet ending, but I wouldn’t ask for it any other way.

~Jess

T Minus 4 Days Until Christmas….

It’s no secret the Holiday Season sort of snuck up real fast on everyone this year. Perhaps I’m just speaking for myself, family, and co-workers.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve last written, but between battling back pain, preparing for Christmas day, and spending plenty of time with the hubby, I’ve been spread pretty thin!

I’m so excited for my upcoming stay-cation. Tomorrow is the only day I’m working for the remainder of the week. All my Christmas shopping is complete and I’ve been staying on top of my gym game all week.

This week I fit in 5 workouts, FINALLY! My back has been pretty stiff, but nowhere near the amount of pain I was experiencing for the past month. I’m definitely on the road of recovery, and I’ve been listening to my body. I’m extremely grateful for healing.

This week I received my December package from my sponsors at Femme! I requested the following:

1) BCAA Complex – Blood Orange Flavor
2) Peach Skin Tightening Cream – Still my favorite Femme product!
3) Carnitine Blend – Coconut Lychee Flavor

peach2Today I tried out the Carnitine Blend and I’ve gotta say, the Coconut Lychee flavor is amazing! I can’t wait to play around with creating smoothies and adding this Carnitine Blend for amazing flavor.

I have plans to make frozen yogurt with the BCAA Complex, Blood Orange would make an amazing healthy froyo flavor.

To kick off the New Year, I plan on having a Femme Peach Contest Giveaway on Instagram! I will be giving away a tube of the Femme Peach Skin Tightening Cream which retails for $79.95 and is currently on sale at Femme Nutrition for $59.95! If you have an Instagram account, follow me: jessicarose_fitness.

femmeThe rules will be simple!

1) Follow @jessicarose_fitness and @femmeofficial
2) Like and repost this photo using the hashtag #femmepeachcontest
3) Each repost is a contest entry, one repost per day

The contest will begin Monday, December 29th at 8:00am Pacific Time! It will last 2 weeks ending Sunday, January 11th at 12:00am Pacific Time. 

Let me make one thing clear. I am NOT one to be fooled by gimmicky products, I truly and honestly believe that Femme Peach Cream works. Do NOT use this product as a short cut, this is only the cherry on top of a very hard earned Sundae. Proper nutrition, training, hydration, and rest are key! Femme Peach Cream is the bonus for all your hard work if you are struggling with uneven skin in some areas.

I hope some of you participate! I would love to share my positive experience from my sponsors with my followers.

Have an amazing Christmas everybody, don’t forget your workouts, earn those sugar cookies!

~Jess

Winter Break Plans

2 more finals for the quarter then I’m a free woman! I am completely finished with any and all assignments, completely DONE with English, and my last physical day at school will be next Monday for my Math final. 4 weeks to do whatever the hell I want! Here’s a short list of the goals I have in mind.

1) Make some gains in the gym – I have good weeks and bad weeks. This week has been a bad week due to tweaking my back a few weeks ago. I’m going to remain optimistic and be glad I’m taking a minor break during finals week. I can make ample use of my time and get some serious studying done. 4 weeks of lifting to come!

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2) Take naps – Naps are great. I freakin’ love them. I can’t wait to take naps, especially with Derek. He’s probably the best person I know at napping, he’s got it down to a science. I keep sleeping and refuse to wake up. I also make the mistake of napping in bed, big no-no. Derek does half hour to 45 minute naps on the couch, he’s like a space heater too so I don’t usually need a blanket ūüôā It’s about to be on.

napping

3) Walk my dog every day – I’ve been a bad pet owner ūüė¶ I get sensitive about the ‘walking the dog’ topic. I wish I could walk her every day, but sometimes my schedule gets so hectic! I miss my dog, I wish I could bring her to work. One day, one day…

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Look at the adorable face!

4) Watch endless amounts of TV – I’m actually surprised how I’ve been able to keep up with all my shows, full time work, and a full course load. I watch a shit ton of TV too! New Girl, Once Upon a Time, American Horror Story, Nashville, Vampire Diaries, Reign etc. I guess we know where my time that could be spent in the gym is going. This Winter we might veg out on all the new Netflix movies! They just released their list of new movies they will be adding: Netflix December 2014 Releaseswatchtv

5) Bake food and eat it – Honestly, this probably won’t happen. I have high hopes for myself when it comes to baking for the holidays, but¬†I never follow through. BUT¬†I WANT TO START! I’m hopefully getting a toaster oven for Christmas and will be able to experiment¬†last week of December. Hopefully my baking skills will be on point for the New Year.

COOKIES6) Track some outdoor miles – My shoes are FINALLY broken into, Polar fixed my FT4 watch, and I have a running hat and gloves! No excuses! Last Thursday Derek and I did a killer sprint session on the track by our house as well as hill sprints. It was killer! I kept up the whole 6.5 miles and didn’t quit. I still got it baby!

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7) Christmas shopping! – We need to buy Derek’s family presents! We have his mom’s, sister Jen’s, and we have each other’s presents. We need to get work done! Most of our shopping might be done online, Bellevue Square Mall will be packed until January 1st!

christmas shopping

8) Update my eBay store – I’ve been saving my eBay funds to restock on more eBay items. I took advantage of the Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals and made¬†several large orders online from second hand consignments such as Twice and ThredUp. Twice had a $75 off a $200 order or more deal, so I placed two of those. All Free People! I bought stuff in my size that I like in case they don’t sell, so I can wear them.

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9) Finish reading Osho: The Book of Wisdom – I started this at the beginning of the year but never needed up finishing it. I let one of my friends borrow it, but I will be taking it back to finish over the break. Amazing book so far! I feel really guilty for not completing it. I will keep you updated on my reads.

Book Wisdom

10) Spend quality time with the family – Yes please! I will be taking Tuesday, December 23rd through Sunday,¬†December 28th off returning to work December 29th. Kaienna will be visiting for that entire week! Her mom asked her what she wanted to do for Christmas and she chose coming to Dad’s for a week instead of just a few days. We were really happy to hear that, and happy that her mom is letting her come over for so long. She’s gonna be one spoiled lil’ girl!

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Here’s to the next 4 weeks off! I hope everyone else has great plans as well!

~Jess

My Top 10 Fall and Winter Must Haves!

1) Almond Roca – Above any holiday dessert dish, Almond Roca is my strongest vice throughout the Holiday season. This delicious toffee almond candy has me weak at the knees every year. I told my husband he’s not allowed to let me buy the Costco sized tin when we go grocery shopping. This is the perfect Holiday candy, great for stocking stuffers, work parties, family get-togethers, or a movie night in front of the fire…. in moderation.

Almond-Roca

2) Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa – Who doesn’t love Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa?! I typically don’t drink this throughout the year, but this hot cocoa hits the spot during the cold weather Holiday season. I especially love taking a thermos of hot cocoa with the family while we go look at Christmas lights throughout the neighborhood. My favorite way to have it is in a jumbo mug with plenty of mini marshmallows, whip cream, and sprinkles!

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3) Lululemon Running Gloves – Cold season is upon us, so it’s time to bundle up! Not only are these gloves super cute and fashionable, they are meant as running gloves. I sadly lost my Lululemon gloves a few years ago,¬†I didn’t start running until last year¬†so I never had a chance to use them for their purpose.¬†They also have finger sensors so you can still use your phone for running apps or music. I will definitely be purchasing another pair for outdoor running this year.

lulu

4) Bose Head Phones – BEST … HEADPHONES … EVER. Once you begin using Bose Head Phones, you’ll never be able to go back to those crappy ipod/iphone head phones. Sorry Apple, I love you but Bose has you beat! Partnership perhaps? I love my head phones for outdoor running, the design of the earpiece keeps the bud firmly in place.

bose

5) 25lb Kettle Bell – It’s been my dream for months now to own a 25lb KettleBell (GoFit)! I have been working out at home more often since I’ve been in school. Some times I don’t feel like fighting people at the gym for equipment after work during rush hour. Plus it can be so time consuming to take the bus from work to the gym. I believe it’s time for me to get that 25lb KettleBell so I can add some weight resistance to my home workouts.

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6) Naked 2 Palette – I know the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette is old news since the Naked 3 Palette released, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the BEST Naked palette! I bought mine off eBay for a pretty good deal. The taupe hues are complimentary for any skin type and a great look for fall. The palette includes golds, silvers, nudes, and additional warm colors perfect for the season.

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7) Tarte Braziliance Self Tanner – It’s no secret that everyone turns a little pasty in the Winter when they lose their Summer sun kissed glow. However there is a solution that doesn’t require UV tanning or awful odor and color. Tarte Braziliance Self Tanner¬†is a great self tanner that leaves your skin with a warm glow, NO orange, and very faint smell. Every product claims, “No odor!” and but that’s a lie. This self tanner has the least odor I’ve experienced.

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8) Halogen Leopard Print Scarf – It’s scarf season! I’ve been opened to a whole new world of scarves. Isn’t it sad that I just learned what an Infinity Scarf is last year?! One of my favorite prints is leopard print. I traded a¬†Fabletics sports bra for a leopard¬†print scarf¬†on mysubscriptionaddiction.com a month ago and I’m in LOVE! I couldn’t find the exact same scarf, but I found one by Halogen from Nordstrom that is pretty adorable too.

Halogen

9) Free People Floral Mesh Fit & Flare Dress – The brand Free People is boho chic which really compliments Fall using natural earth tones. I typically go for the beige, brown, and gold sweaters and tops, but I fell in love with this dress and was lucky enough to score it at Platos Closet for $20 instead of $128! Some people don’t like Free People because it’s over priced, but if you take the time to bargain shop I promise you’ll find great deals. Pair this cute dress with leggings, tights, knee high socks, boots, and scarves!

free people

10) Pandora Radio Christmas Station – What’s a Holiday Season without Christmas music?! I just upgraded to Pandora One for ad free listening, so I won’t be interrupted with Black Friday or Christmas deals allllll Holiday season. That is definitely worth the $4.99 a month. Frank Sinatra all day and night, sign me up!

christmas

What’s your Top 10 Must Have’s this Fall and Winter?

~Jess