Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Combat your Winter Blues + Casual Winter Outfit

Hello Houston - temps are getting a littleeee chilly this week and we are In the THICK of winter yall. Time to bundle up and I have to say that no matter what part of the country you live in (ok maybe not Cali) the winter blues can tend to creep on in. The days are short, we are getting antsy for Spring, and HOW many more days of sweater weather do we have?! As tempting as it is to throw on a hoodie and call it a day - we cannot compromise style! (I know hoodies are trending #Athleisure) but lets keep it fresh and transition to Spring with a powder palette and pastels. Below are a few ways to combat your winter blues and get back to fresh feels.
  1. KNOW IT WON’T LAST FOREVER - Use this time to plan out your upcoming weeks or even months. I’m starting to get back into planning mode and at this point Feb is super booked. Lots of upcoming Travel (Vegas/NYC, All the Bdays, Weddings, Celebrations) there is a lot to look forward to. Take this sleepy winter time to chill, relax, and bust out your planner. Things will start to pick up and you’ll be happy you took the proactive route to schedule out fun things to get excited about.
  2. Be Active - Try something new! Workout? Cooking? Beauty? Get moving and try something new you haven’t before. Or get back in touch with something you love and maybe it’s been awhile. I’m SO excited for horseback riding at Cypress Trails. I used to be one of those horse girls growing up lol and Chayson got me lessons for Christmas, excited to get back in the saddle.
  3. Indulge in Comfort food - the healthy kind! Yall know I’m on my Jan Whole30 groove. Comfort food definitely has a place in the winter months. It doesn't always have to be bad for you though. Try this Butternut Squash Soup recipe or a hearty stew. Some of my favorite dishes have been born during the winter time blues.
  4. Cozy Up with A Book - Getting back into this but I LOVE tea, reading, and my robe. Get comfy and pick up a new read. I’m into all the self development and how to count! 
  5. Brighten Your Wardrobe - of course last but not least! Refresh your wardrobe and rethink how you pair what’s already in your closet. You CAN be cozy and chic! I like to go through everything and see what new outfits I can style or how I can wear something old and make it new again. Pinterest gives me so many ideas and I love transitioning into Spring with pastels and pales. Below are some of my favorite topper jackets of the moment. Some are on sale too! Now is the time for outerwear and shopping...hello markdown season.

I hope this was helpful and gave you a few ideas on how to keep it fresh and moving along this winter. I know ours in Houston isn’t nearly what you northern peeps have to go through...but I’ve been there. And i’ll be back there again in Feb. Definitely packing the gloves this time! Hello NYC.
Happy Wed Friends!


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Whole30 Help#2 - 5 Easy To Dos

New Year new feels (the Golden kind)- and for those of you on your next week of Whole30 YAY! We did it! Or if anyone started something new with a happy 2019 start -great job! Lol Why all the January change now? It’s quiet, a new year, and it gives time to actually think and reset. Plus everyone else is riding that train and it's easy to hop on and avoid #Fomo.
So I know I have a few other Whole30 Posts (linked below) but with this first week under the belt I wanted to share 5 easy ways we can make week #2 or the remaining 20 something days a breeze.
Lets GO!
1.Get excited and in the mindset
Focus on positives and the NSVs (non-scale victories) what are you going to accomplish this month? What is your vision and end goal? I weirdly get all amped up knowing how great I am going to feel. Cutting out sugar, alcohol, gluten, dairy, really does have magical effects. Below are some of my goals/things I am looking forward to most. 
  • Tame the sugar dragon - Kind of on a cookie high after all the holiday/work treats
  • Make new recipes - Crockpot anyone? I have found so many great recipes through Pinterest/W30 books
  • De-inflame is that a word? Post holiday puffy -BE GONE
  • Mental clarity - Things are really picking up in life, at work, all around, I always find I'm able to focus my best when I am on all my W30 meals
  • GET THE GLOW - in the past my skin has never looked better
  • Continue to Meditate and work towards relaxing - Life is short. Taking a chill with Headspace
  • ENERGY Gains - Ready for natural energy and positive vibe feels
2. Who are your accountability partners? 
It’s week #2 and honestly the first is the toughest. You made it! Don’t crack now...reach out to your person and do something fun! Go for coffee, have a W30 brunch planned, Chayson and I like to workout or go for a walk, see a movie, or go shopping for something cute #deserved. LOVING this outfit below!

3. Keep it simple and back to basics 
If you just aren’t feeling it, don’t over complicate it when it comes to recipes.
Meal bases (below): + Protein (any meat/seafood) + fat (usually nuts or Avocado)
  • Bone Broth
  • Greens
  • Roasted veggies - Sweet Potato, Brussels, Kale
  • Cauliflower "rice"
4. Have on the go snacks available
Make sure you have W30 compliant snacks to grab and go - you might still get a little hungry 1st / 2nd if you are it’s totally ok. Love these below.

5. THERE ARE FUN NEW  Foodie Product things that MAKE LIFE BETTER
Snag some of these to prep or during your W30 life.
  • Crio Bru "Cocoa" - Love sipping this in the evening. A great sweet tooth curb and sort of a cross between coffee, tea, and cocoa. It’s really actually good for you too #antioxidants
  • NutPods - THANK GOODNESS for you! The best creamer for your coffee or Crio Brio^^ I use this every single day. Shoutout to French Vanilla!
  • Vital Proteins - Love adding this for a collagen boost my coffee/soups. Hair, skin, nail health is always good in my book. I have noticed that a scoop a day has helped my skin clear and hair growth this past year
  • Elements Meals - NEW recent discovery. Making W30 travellers lives SO much easier. I travel to NYC once a month and have had to really figure out meals. These freeze dried meals sound weird but are DELISH. You add 1c hot water, shake, and sit for 10min. DONE. THANK YOU for making these. I can eat W30 anywhere now in a snap!Part of my survival this week in NYC.
  • Tessemaes - Saucing up life! Great dressings and sauces to flavor up your meals. Ranch is the fav.
  • Whole30 Slow Cooker Book - Anything you dump in a crockpot and close the lid that gives me food...makes me happy. Try Pg. it’s amazeeee.
Typical W30 Brunch out :) I'll do poached eggs and a fruit side too! But always boiled or poached eggs + Avo!
I hope this post was helpful to you or motivated you not to give up! You can do this - you’ll feel amazing, trust me. I wouldn’t be doing this for the 5th time if not. Lol or maybe because the food is so yummy! Happy W30ing friends.
Prev Posts Below
W30 Help Guide
W30 Refresh
W30 #4 Update


Sunday, January 6, 2019

5 Step Skincare Routine

#NOFILTER. We all want that in our lives amirite? That is the goal. Skincare talk has been  a major buzz throughout my millennial crowd these days. Poreless, glossy, glowy, no makeup makeup ready skin - What’s not to love? I have got to say that thanks to my mom I’ve been applying some sort of something to my face since high school. Throughout the years I have added to the routine and skincare for me has majorly evolved from the dove soap bar + evening moisturizer. Instead of knowing I can cover blemishes I have been more interested in overall preventing and  healing my skin. The last year I have amped up the regimen because #ForeverYoung eeek and #OperationWeddingReady. I feel like when I work to really take care of my skin, getting ready in the am is so much quicker and I just feel good.

A few people have asked what I do for my skincare routine and I wanted to include the 5 steps I follow morning and night. It seems like a lot but honestly it has become habit and layering each product/oil on is pretty relaxing and nice. 
  1. Cleanse - The last year I have used the Peter Thomas Roth anti-aging cleanser and I love the instant clean feeling it gives. I’ve seen a tighter  brighter appearance and more I AM AWAKE look and feel.
  2. Exfoliate - To exfoliate daily I use my Foreo facial tool when washing my face. This creates the best canvas and I feel like it REALLY gets deep into any little bits of makeup left behind. I also like to use a Dr. Dennis Gross peel pad or weekly Drunk Elephant TLC Sukari Babyfacial to resurface.
  3. Toner + Essence - For my toner I use either Fresh Rose Hydration Toner or Thayers Rose water mist...I guess I like Rose. It  is such a nice clean feel to tighten up pores. I’ll even keep it in a sprayer in my bag or desk to refresh if I feel ehhh. Lol my team laughs when I spritz it out at work. We mean business when the Rose water comes out! Right after I apply an Essence (this is new I added this year). Lancome Hydra Zen feels cooling and preps your skin to absorb serums. Thank you K-Beauty for that little add.
  4. Serums - In the AM I use Drunk Elephant Vitamin C-Firma Day serum - It also has amazing brightening evening results. In the evening I will use a Peter Thomas Roth Retinol + Grapeseed oil combo. These are both great for Anti-aging, renewing, and acne prevention.
  5. Moisturize - My skin tends to be on the dry side. I have been using a lot of products with Hyaluronic acid and a water gel feel to hydrate my skin in the morning and evenings.  Peter Thomas Roth and Tatcha Water Cream are a few recent favorites of mine. For my Eyes Biossance has a nice tightening cream too that I use.

WAIT THERE’S MORE!  Lips + Lashes - These are totally extras - but I like to use Laneige Lip mask before bed (you will never have chapped lips again it’s amazing). Also the Grande Lash serum has really improved my lash growth..Someone asked if I had little falsies a few weeks ago -just a pop of mascara and you really start to notice a difference. If you want to De-puff try NuFace or a Jade Roller. You'll feel much more awake, contoured, and lifted :)

**Tip  - you do not have to wait for everything to dry. Just layer up lightest to heaviest product.
Oh one last thing - I will say though from what I’ve noticed good skin REALLY always comes from within.
  • Foodie choices - I see the biggest difference when I eat clean (bye sugar bugs, watch the alcohol, LOTs of veggies/protein)
  • Hydrate - Drink ALL the water
  • Take my vitamins +Vital Protein Collagen - I cannot tell you guys HOW much I feel like this has helped my hair, skin, nails health. My hair and nails have grown much faster and I like adding a little protein pack to my coffee in the morning with a scoop.
I hope this was helpful! Let me know if you try anything from this post. I LOVE talking about all this skincare wellness topics...happy to be introducing it to the blog.


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2018 WOAH Relax - 2019 Resolutions & Recap

YAY Happy New Year! WOW we made it, can I get an amen?! Seriously where in the world is time going? HOW are we already in the final year of the decade?! That seems so crazy to me. It’s been almost 10 years since I graduated high school. Oh what I only could have told myself then...hmm I’ll save that for another post ;) I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break and New Years celebration
All in all I cannot say just HOW thankful I am for my family and Chayson+future fams. This year I would have to say has been a year of unity, celebration of life, and love. There have been challenges, frustrations, why do things like this happen, and am I being normal? thoughts..but we all have each other to lean on and that is something I am always forever and grateful for. 

Well being that this is the final year of the DECADE we need to make it count!
As every article out there around this time says...Time to LEVEL UP and be Better. The last three years I have written down words or something that encompasses what I want to work on.
2017 - YES + Routines
2018 - Control What I can
2019 - Focus + Be Specific
This year I want to Focus on...
  • #OperationWeddingReady2020 - rounding that up in an upcoming post! 
  • Engage and share more on my blog-content and actually plan
  • Continue that self care life - Amazon and spas took all my 2018 $$$
  • Details Details Details and plan in all areas of life - be more calculated 
  • Read more Books!  Continue with blogs+Podcasts
  • Complete Whole30 #5 and #6
  • Find more productivity hacks - Time management help anyone?
  • Add greens to breakfast, lunch, and dinner - even if it means a juice shot or in a smoothie
  • Ask questions always
  • BE Positive and make it a point to do something nice for someone else
  • Visit another country
  • Try to plan and stick to small monthly goals (Friend dates, new classes, new books, attend an event, try a new date spot)
  • Say YES a little more - back to the 2017 life

To help me with this I decided to get a little crafty over the break and I made a vision book! I've been wanting to do this for awhile and finally got around to it. Basically it is a live tangible Pinterest board. Anything you want to work towards, hope to have, or would like to improve - cut and paste to the board or book. The live visual is a nice reminder each day of YES this is what we are improving. Looking at this as a fun work in progress kind of project - I'll probably add along to it as I go. 

I was going through my bullet note planner/IG stories and I love how it was so easy to pull together the highlights this year. Anyone else have any organization/planner tips?
Lets do a quick 2018 recap:
  • Started immediately off with BAM - New Job. 
  • Introduced to my new team #VGTEAM you the best
  • Completed Whole30 #3 
  • Branched out and went to a few Houston Blogger events this year
  • Spent my 27th Birthday in New York With Chayson and friends 
  • Immediately after flew to Vegas - Ended up at a Chainsmokers concert (front row woaaa)
  • Made a few trips to the Midwest - Hello Kansas
  • April was a magical Month of Disney World with my sister+ Chayson
  • Watched close friends and family say their I Dos #weddingseason
  • In May I LOVED our College group River Trip - we whined and wined down the Guadalupe 
  • Took some time to rest - Started to Meditate, listen to podcasts on the reg and really try to DESTRESS the life I needed it Drs. orders
  • My beautiful cousin welcomed her twins to the world! We are SO happy you are all here 
  • June = Governors Ball Music Festival - OMG MET HALSEY
  • My Bestie Brit came to stay with me in Houston
  • Hit a personal achievement 
  • Spent 4th of July in Wyoming with Chayson’s family - we had the best time at Grandmas!
  • #BestDayEver I said i do to my Forever <3
  • Started working on more Beauty Lifestyle posts for G&G
  • Things got a little rocky - started saying I love you more and always thankful all the hugs
  • Realized the importance to celebrate life and the moments we all have together
  • My sister moved to Houston - heyyy neighbor
  • Continued to craft and perfect the cheese plate designs
  • After too much cheese Whole30 Round #4 came - time to preFall cleanse
  • My sister made these cool chunky knit blankets - Seriously GO GET ONE
  • Chayson and I vacationed  in California, explored Venice, SantaMonica, and Malibu - Venice Guide coming soon to G&G
  • We secured our wedding date, church, and venue in October
  • Met Tulie the TINY CUTEST Yorkie - She brings so much joy to our lives
  • Continued the NYC adventures - SO thankful I am able to visit and work there as often as I do.
  • Surprised Chayson’s sister in Oklahoma for her Birthday!
  • Celebrated the holidays in Houston with our family
  • STOKED about the horse riding lessons Chayson got me for Christmas - yes I was a weird horse girl when I was younger and I am SO EXCITED FOR THIS
  • Chayson and I hosted our 3rd NYE party with friends here in Houston
  • AS ALWAYS consumed plenty a many of Starbucks #basics, 259 Workouts (yes that is what AppleWatch logged), spent a ridiculous amount of $ on skincare and facemasks, massages, mani/pedis, and basiclly #selfcared the crap out of this year. Thank you Amazon.
What are some of your 2019 goals? Thanks for the Memssss EXCITED for this year lets do it! No matter what it is always good to set small goals, new year or not. If it feels intimidating or OMG to set something big to accomplish try to set smaller goals to chip away at. It is better to try then not at all. Thanks for the Mems 2018. Thank you Next.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Our Engagement Photos - Pt1 Central Park

Hi Friends, HAPPY ALMOST NEW YEAR! Ah and finally I have our engagement photos to share with you. Well I've had them for awhile but I wanted to put them together here on a blog post. Griffin did such an amazing job and I cannot believe how special these turned out. Thank you again for such a fun memory. I'm working on a few upcoming posts so you'll start to see them all trickle out hence the Part1 lol  but this is one of my favorite groups. Lol we had a few different looks, but LOVED how these romantic Central Park shots were captured. Gossip Girl inspired - Me? No way ;) xoxo

So although our wedding will be in Texas, I still wanted to add in my city vibes to the planning process. Chayson and I share SO many memories here in New York. It's funny to think that he probably knows the city just as well as I do - We had a lot of back and forth between TX and NY the last couple of years.

In November we planned an extended weekend after a market trip and thank goodness we chose that 11/11 weekend. A week from the day we shot the huge blizzard storm came (bye Fall)! Central Park in the Fall is an absolute dream and I wanted to capture the city at its best. We did our photos early in the morning 7:30 ish on a Friday and Saturday. It helped to break up the days and looks, I wanted to do a couple of casual and dressy styles. We made the trip so I wanted to really take advantage of the time and scenery we had to work with. I know we will have the photos forever and we can use them at the wedding and for save the dates (coming soon). Y'all I will say, it was FREEZING outside - but thankfully no cold sniffles and we had a really fun time together. It was funny at first trying to take pictures and pose around, Griffin was great making it fun and I had a few poses saved on my Pinterest board to help out with all the engagement shot ideas. Also I have to say Chayson did such a great job putting all of his outfits together. BOY HAS STYLE <3

If you are taking pics somewhere away from home, it was nice starting early in the am and then we had the rest of the day to explore. During our weekend stay we did a little Resale retail shopping, caught up with friends, and tried a few new restaurants on our list.
Tiny's and the Bar Upstairs - So cute for a date night and the steak tartar was amazing!
I love that each spot we shot all have fun times tied between us. Chayson and I have done just about every touristy to do in New York. Plenty a many of morning runs, picnics, laying out, and summer market exploring have happened between Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Dumbo. Special spots in one of my favorite cities with my favorite person <3 
Also I had the most amazing find at Gordmans - I found gorgeous BHLDN dresses at such a great price. You better believe I snagged as many as I could ;) LOVE this pretty grey style - the beading is gorgeous. Similar styles below.


Thursday, December 27, 2018

My Winter Morning Routine

Hi friends – Hope you all had a WONDERFUL Merry Christmas! Happy to report that I was a good little elf this year ;) Success with gift giving and I'm pretty sure everyone loved what SantaVic delivered. Those of you who follow my Instagram stories know how much I love to get my mornings up and at-em. There's nothing like waking up and already feeling accomplished (shoutout to the early birds out there). Why wait for Jan 1st to get it going, lets start now! Excited for a quiet post holiday month of Whole30, planning the this years to dos (wedding prep y'all), and catching up on some R&R. Each season I'll tweak things here and there but recently this has been my winter morning routine. Below are a few things I like to do every day to get life going! I also made an Amazon list of some of my favorite Go To items are HERE that you can access.
  1.   Make the BED - Ok this has been a recent development lol but I found this consistent simple easy first step in the morning makes me SO happy when I come home later. It’s the little things but YAY something has already been accomplished within 10mins of waking up. Plus you come home to a pretty bed to hop into.
  2. DEPUFF – This sounds silly but yall seriously I wake up so puffy. I have poor circulation and I feel like mehh when I wake up. I instantly splash cold water and wash my face with my FreshFacial cleanser. After I’ll rub an ice cube on my cheeks or run my JadeRoller over my face to get the wake up feels going. Oh and brush the teethsss of course 😉
  3. Lemon Water – In the morning I wake up PARCHED. I am so weird when it comes to water and really try to get in my ounces for the day. I’ll keep a bag of lemons in a bowl and add a slice or two to my morning cup of H20. If I don’t finish it I add it to my Swell bottle to take to my morning workout. I aim to finish my 17oz bottle by the time I am done with the workout/getting ready for work. I'll also sometimes add a ginger/apple cider vinegar shot - eh it's kinda rough but I feel like its killin off something on the way down.
  4. Workout – Yall know how I feel about this. I need to do something in the am each morning to get moving. Anything from a 30 min walk, Mile run, Class, or Pilates vid. I have my prev workout RoutinePost here. Lately I’ve been doing Kayla Itsines BBG 1.0, Barre/Pilates, and strength Cardio throughout the week. 
  5. Podcasts/Meditate -When I get ready for work I like to listen to Podcasts or mediate. Headspace has been a nice addition to life. I love all the little packs you can focus on – It’s an easy way to get some thoughts to yourself in.
  6. Coffee – YES. I’m sure you are surprised that this isn’t like #2 or #3 on my list. But I need coffees to get the day going, but I like to wait until I get to work for Cup#1. I add cinnamon, Almond milk, or Nutpods to my cuppaJOE. Oh and Vital Proteins Collagen too. I've been adding that over the past year for hair, nail, skin health.
  7. Vitamins – With operation #GETWEDDINGREADY I’ve been trying to be consistent with my vitamin game. Feeling good starts from the inside out and after researching what would be best for me I am focusing on gut health, skin health, and the essentials for women. I either add these after breakfast or dinner so something is in my stomach before popping.
  8. SMILE - Literally smile and say OUT LOUD - today is going to be a good day lol or I'll text/call Chayson and let him know that the good day vibes are now out in the world ;P 

CRAZY Post BBG Bun lol

Hope this helped anyone needing a little Jan inspiration! What are some of your new goals/ routines you are adding? Happy to continue with Kayla Itsines BBG workouts, Whole30 Round5, and operation #WeddingReady.

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