Thursday, March 31, 2016

METTLE ENERGY

It's not often that I write a review that I am excited about. Then again, this one could be the caffeine talking.

I live off caffeine. If it weren't for the stuff, I would be in a ball in the corner crying right now. Instead, I am chipper as can be typing away with my brain moving 4 times faster than my fingers can.

I have Mettle Energy to thank for sponsoring my life lately. Most caffeinated beverages are either disgusting or awful for you. Mettle Energy is neither. This powder is mixed with water (or in my case La Croix....I'm fancy) and then enjoyed when in need of a jolt. With 200 mg of caffeine, Mettle allows you to get things done without feeling the crash later.

My favorite of the flavors is Strawberry Lemonade, but there are many other options such as Lemon Lime, Strawberry Kiwi, Sour Blue Raspberry, and Green Apple just to name a few.

I can honestly say that I will be a life long supporter of Mettle Energy. I haven't had any other form of caffeine since I started sampling it two weeks ago. It is full of vitamins, including B6 and B12, which is something most energy drinks are lacking. Better yet, it only comes out to about 25 cents a serving, which beats the $2.99 I was spending almost daily on a Monster at the 7/11 by my work or the $11.99 I was spending almost weekly on K-Cups.

Mettle offers trial size products for those who are interested, but I know ordering such a small amount of product would be your only regret. Currently, Mettle Energy products are offered online. Be sure to get a stock in before finals!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

MARCH FAVES

This month has been a good one. I can’t believe we are already gearing up for April. This month I moved, I participated in a Diet Bet, and I moved farther towards getting done with my first semester of my Master’s.

Here are some of my favorite things I have enjoyed this month:

This shampoo has reduced build up, kept my hair moisturized and shining. The oil helps with styling and keeping my hair hydrated in the heat of spring.



Snack – Milton’s
I sampled Milton’s at the Gluten Free Expo I attended in February and was able to try out more following the event. My favorite is their Chocolate Chip Cookies and Nacho Cheddar Chips.



Tech Product – You’re A Peach floral phone case from The Casery
I have never had a case on this phone (not sure how I have survived that!) and I love this one. The bright colors make it easier to find my phone in the black abyss that is my purse.

Song – Set A Fire by Jesus Culture



Scripture – Psalm 123


Movie – War Room….This movie had me wanting to tackle every good and bad thing in my life with prayer. It was an eye opening movie that I think everyone needs to see. I have now began to read Fervent by Priscilla Shirer (star of the movie) to learn how to be more intentional and purposeful in my prayer.

Thing I Did – tackle school. I have created a perfect plan for getting things done for the rest of the semester that has helped me feel less overwhelmed and more in control.

YouTuber – Tribe Tyler....This guy is awesome. So creative and I enjoy watching an average guy my own age owning the YouTube world. I was exposed to him through Shay Carl and Trixin, but honestly I am a way bigger fan of Tyler's now than I ever have been the Shaytards. I appreciate how true he stays to himself in a world full of sell outs. Keep owning it Tyler. (Check below his proposal to Haylee)



TV Show – Dancing With The Stars….it’s back and I honestly feel this is the best season of the show yet. I am rooting for Von & Witney, but I love everyone on this season and think each couple has a fair shot.


FTC Disclosure: L'Oreal, The Casery, and Milton's provided products listed for review purpose. All opinions are true and my own. I was not financially compensated for these reviews.

Monday, March 28, 2016

BEACH MAKEUP

With spring break here, many are hitting the beach. While it would be great to go au natural, if you are anything like me, you prefer a little something on your face for days out. Here are four great products that can give you coverage, provide sun protection, and won't melt off in the heat or water.



This BB Cream protects the skin with SPF 30, brightens and evens the skin tone, hydrates, and more, with sheer coverage and 0 oils or heavy ingredients.

Although on the pricier side of powders, this foundation provides SPF 15 with full coverage. The vitamins and minerals in the powder protect the skin against harsh environment pollutants and allows for buildable coverage.

This waterproof mascara is a tried and true favorite of mine. I have been using it on and off since 7th grade. No one wants raccoon eyes when they get out of the water and this is a mascara that prevents that for a great price.


Because I am so fair, I always need a little pink on my cheeks or lips. This liquid lipstick, found at Sephora, is waterproof, smudeproof, and long lasting. Proven by being tested underwater for 5 hours, this lipstick is available in 15 different hues.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

HAPPY EASTER!


Thank you Heavenly Father for sending your one and only son to die for our sins, something we are fully undeserving of. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."
Romans 3:23-24

Saturday, March 26, 2016

SPRING BUCKET LIST

Spring has sprung! With the weather warming up (from a mild 70 to a warm 80! Ha!) it makes me want to get outside more. I have been doing a lot of walks, but want to add more to this list of outdoor activities for the spring.

Ten things I want to do this spring:

1.) Have a BBQ.
2.) Go for a bike ride.
3.) Watch a baseball game.
4.) Have a picnic.
5.) Visit a farm.
6.) Go for a hike.
7.) Head to the Farmer’s Market.
8.) Go to the Flower Mart.
9.) Pick fresh berries.
10.)  Make fresh lemonade.


What are your plans for spring?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

UNPLUG

I enjoy going on walks. They’re my time alone in the afternoon or evening to get some fresh air, escape from reality, and get some exercise and FitBit steps. Often times on my walk I listen to music on my phone or books through Audible. However, when I do this, I find myself responding to texts and emails, scrolling through my Twitter feed, and making to do lists of everything that needs to get done later on.

Recently, I have encouraging myself to leave the phone at home. While originally I used the excuse for myself that this is unsafe, I reminded myself that my parents went on walks just fine when they were my age without cell phones. If something were to happen, someone could call for help or I could find someone who did have a phone.

By leaving my phone at home and just walking, I have no choice but to relax. I enjoy nature and my thoughts with no distractions. I soak up the sunshine with no thought of what time it is and how I need to hurry home. I do not focus on how far my walk is or how long my walk is because I don’t know. By unplugging I allow myself to get in tune with my mind, body, and soul and to just enjoy the God-given beauty of the world.

Since doing this I have found myself becoming more disconnected from electronics in my daily life. I don’t worry about running to check who it is when I hear a text ding, I have no problem leaving my phone in my bag all day at work, and I am certainly getting much more homework and blogging done without having technology on my mind.


This week I encourage you to set your phone aside. Even if you start small with 10-15 minutes phone free, it is a step forward in progressing to a life unplugged.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

GLAMBOT REVIEW

Glambot is a resell website for high end makeup products. They are the best place to purchase limited time or discontinued makeup products from the best brands. The products sold on Glambot are checked for authenticity, eliminating the scam factor presented on Craigs List and eBay. Because these items are resell, they are offered at a cheaper price than retail.

For under $50, I received Benefit They're Real Mascara, Nars Deep Throat blush, Mac Private Party Lipstick. These high end products are difficult to come by and I am glad I was able to swoop them up for a low price.



As a fellow makeup hoarder, I am excited to check out the selling option on Glambot. I have trash bags full (I am not kidding...I just moved and packed it all up) of makeup products. Selling these unused items is a great way to declutter and make some extra cash. Money from sales can either be sent to you as cash or can be transferred into GlamBucks to be used towards makeup purchases, which allows the shopper more money for their sales.

The only downfall I find with Glambot is that you must sell at least 20 items at a time. While this would not be difficult for a true hoarder like me, I imagine it being hard to gather up 20 items to sell for any everyday person.

Head over to Glambot  for $5 off your first purchase!

FTC Disclosure: All items discussed in this blog post have been sent to me courtesy of Glambot. I have not been financially compensated for this review. All opinions above are true and my own.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

SPRING BREAK TIPS

Spring break is here for many people. For me, it is a couple more weeks away, but the weather is warming up and fun plans are quickly getting penciled in on my planner. Here are some tips for a fun and safe spring break whether you are traveling or staying local.


  • Stay hydrated! Whether you are spending time outdoors or enjoying a couple adult beverages, dehydration can happen quickly. Remember to drink at least 64 fluid ounces, and add to that if you weigh over 150 pounds.
  • Wear sunblock! Be sure to lather up with SPF. Reapply after a couple hours or spending time in the water. Try to avoid spray sunscreen as it can lead to inhalation issues and does not provide proper coverage.
  • Watch your cash use! Do not carry too much cash on you at any given time. If on vacation, utilize the safe in your hotel room. If you are visiting an ATM, do not go after dark for obvious safety reasons.
  • Do not drive! If you consume any amount of alcohol, please do not get behind the wheel. Convenience is not worth the price of a DUI or even worse the cost of your life or the lives of others. Walk to your destination or call for an UBER. For a free ride with Uber, use the coupon code h016x and safe yourself from the risks of a stupid decision.
What are your plans for spring break?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

ESSAY PRO IS A NO

I was horrified recently to learn about a website called Essay Pro. This service (which is really hindering others) writes essays for the students. While Essay Pro claims that many students do not have the time or skills to write an essay, I am appalled. Instead of encouraging students to upload their essay prompt and rubric to a website, enter their credit card info and wait, let's teach them the tools for success. Let's expose them to websites encouraging time management. Let's expose them to websites that allow students to upload their essays and receive feedback on what is great and what they could improve upon.

I hope the cost of Essay Pro is enough to keep the users away. I did a free quote (out of curiosity and for the knowledge of this blog post only) to see how much my upcoming case study due would be and the estimated total was $324. When I put in for the free quote I had to include my phone number. (I was stupid enough to put my real one, not thinking much of it.) Nearly daily since doing this a week ago I have gotten multiple calls asking for more information on my paper.

As if the concept was not crazy enough! From someone who is both currently a student and a teacher, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not utilize websites like this!

Friday, March 18, 2016

SPRING TRENDS

Sunday marks the first day of spring. I am excited to put away the boots and bust out of the wedges. Some trends for spring 2016 I am excited for are:


  • open off the shoulder necklines
  • ruffles
  • wrap skirts
  • statement shoes
  • nonworkout leggings (Finally people are realizing that leggings ARE pants!)
The color for spring is bubblegum pink. I am indecisive about this one. It's a beautiful color, but because of my fair skin I do not think it looks great on me.

What trends are you most excited for this spring?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

HUSTLE CRATE REVIEW

My life lately is all about embracing the grind. Working full time, working on my Masters, co-leading a Bible study, blogging, trying to stay fit, spend time with my family and friends, and beyond is extremely exhausting, but well worth it. I have learned in this crazy time in my life that I have to surround myself with motivating people who are also working hard to chase their goals.

Hustle Crate is a monthly subscription box that inspires those chasing success. Each month Hustle Crate will send a book, advice from entrepreneurs, and a few other lifestyle items to help subscribers embrace the hustle.



For a monthly price of $29.99, subscribers will receive their own Hustle Crate and join the success club. The crate I received (seen above) had an estimated value of $46.80. That's a great deal for the price paid and it is vital on the road to success. It included The 7 Day Startup by Dan Norris, The 24 Hour Business Plan Template by Steven Fies, Cafe Santo Domingo Coffee, a note pad, and a pen.

I loved this because the books are motivating as I intend to eventually open my own behavioral therapy company (far down the road!) The coffee was perfect because I live off the caffeinated goodness. The pen and paper are always appreciated as my mind races 24/7.

To get your hands on your own Hustle Crate, visit their website and be ready to embrace the grind!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

CHRIST CENTERED EASTER IDEAS

Recently I have come to notice that Easter has been so commercialized for Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, and candy. While this is fun, it is not what Easter is about.

Gari Meacham and Ally Evans are a mother-daughter duo who have a YouTube show, Shine With Gari & Ally! They share craft ideas, recipes, and advice, all centered around their relationships with Christ and their ministries that they are a part of. They recently posted a video on their channel sharing 3 ideas for Easter that are Christ centered. As a mother of 2 little ones, Ally (and their grandma Gari) share fun ways to keep the holiday about the Resurrection.

Enjoy!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

SPRING CLEANING

On Sunday I will be moving out of my current home. The past two weeks I have been going through all my belongings trying to decide what to throw, what to keep, what to donate, and what to store. I have realized what a hoarder I am and how much junk I own. (To my defense I may need that tiny piece of paper hiding in the back of my closet one day!)

Here are a few tips I have utilized the past week that may help you in your spring cleaning:

  1. If you're unsure of whether to keep or get rid of something, think about the last time you utilized the item. Think about the next time you will utilize it. Can't do one or the other? Get rid of it!
  2. Instead of going room by room, go item by item. This way you can see how much of an item you have. For example, I keep shoes in my bedroom closet and in the downstairs hall closet. When decluttering this gives the illusion of owning fewer shoe than I actually do, which leads me to hold on to them, when I shouldn't be.
  3. Make a list. Often times when spring cleaning it is easy to go hard fast. If you're like me you'll take everything out of the closet and then be over it, leaving yourself with an even bigger mess. Before beginning make a list of everything you want to organize and then prioritize items and write out a plan of attack.
  4. Pump up the jams! The better the playlist, the better job you'll do. Studies prove that music increases productivity levels. Handcraft a playlist of music you love that will get you moving!

Monday, March 14, 2016

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR BENEFITS

Apple Cider Vinegar is nasty. Whenever I drink it, I practically yack. However, the health benefits far outweigh the couple minutes of acid lining my throat and stomach.

When ingesting Apple Cider Vinegar (I usually fill a shot glass first thing in the morning) it can:

  • regulate blood sugar
  • suppress appetite
  • detoxify the liver
  • break up mucus
  • aid in digestion
  • clear your skin
However, the uses for Apple Cider Vinegar are not limited to ingestion. Apple Cider Vinegar can also:
  • prevent breakouts (Put Apple Cider Vinegar on a cotton pad and use as you would a toner.)
  • whiten teeth and eliminate bad breath (Swish with Apple Cider Vinegar after brushing.)
  • clean your home (Apple Cider Vinegar kills bacteria. The odor goes away upon drying. Fill a spray bottle with equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar, equal parts water.)
Do you have any experiences using Apple Cider Vinegar? If so, what for?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

ST PATRICK'S DAY OUTFIT IDEAS

St. Patrick's Day is Thursday! While the holiday doesn't mean to me what it meant in college (green beer, matching outfits with roommates, and e-mailing the professor that you're sick the next morning) it can still mean getting dressed up and grabbing a drink with friends.

Here are three cute outfits that can work for whatever event the day brings you.


Drinks with Friends
Total: $118.98

Work

Saturday, March 12, 2016

LOOK FOR LESS: REESE WITHERSPOON

Reese Witherspoon has always been one of my favorite actresses. I have never seen something of hers I did not love and her style has always been one of my favorites. Many times I have walked into the hair salon with a photo of her as a reference for what I want. In honor of her turning 40 this month, I have decided to center this Look For Less around her!

 

Total: $102.66

Thursday, March 10, 2016

LOVED + BLESSED REVIEW

This month's Loved + Blessed box had the theme of comfort. Sometimes you just need a reminder that life will be okay and that someone out there cares. I'm so thankful to be surrounded by incredible family and friends who support and encourage me daily. They hold me up when times are hard and keep me accountable when I have excuses to skip past Bible study homework or not workout. And I'd like to think I do the same for them. This box does exactly what these people in my life do for me too....encourages and uplifts me.



February's box included:
Mini poster
Reminder sticker
Two scripture cards (I love these and hide them throughout my house to remind me to remain in His word)
A theme card
A chiming necklace (intended to remind you of the spirit with each chime)
An encouragement kit to share with a friend, which includes an extra theme card, scripture card, and note to write on.

Loved + Blessed is a Christian subscription box service with a goal to help women share their testimony. For only $10/month, each box includes a mini poster, reminder sticker, scripture card, and small gift. 

I enjoy receiving the Loved and Blessed Box because it provides me with encouraging reminders to remain strong in my faith. It is different than any other box I have received. It is full of meaning, heart, and joy. Place your order quickly to receive your own box of encouragement next month!

FTC Disclosure: I received these products complimentary from Loved + Blessed for testing purposes only. All opinions above are true and my own

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

NATIONAL GET OVER IT DAY

Stop dwelling on your past. All of us have troubled backgrounds, but those messes make the messages. I would not be who I am or where I am in my walk with Christ, relationships with others, and career, if it were not for the muck. And I wouldn’t be any of these things without accepting God’s grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness.

Today I encourage you to get over it! Whatever it is! Put the past in the past and move forward walking with Christ.

Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”


Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Monday, March 7, 2016

SKINNY TACO SALAD

Often for lunch I make a plain old salad. Kale, chicken, cucumber, dressing. Nothing fun. But after awhile it gets boring eating the same thing each day. I have been trying to mix it up every once in awhile, even if it means leftovers. I stumbled upon this Skinny Taco Salad on Pinterest and think it is perfect to make for work.



How to:
Get a mason jar.
Layer 1: ¼ cup crushed tortilla chips
Layer 2: ¼ cup shredded cheese
Layer 3: 1 ½ cup chopped Romaine lettuce
Layer 4: ¼ lb. cooked ground turkey
Layer 5: ½ cup chopped cherry tomatoes

Layer 6: Mashed Avocado & Lime Juice

Thursday, March 3, 2016

GLUTEN FREE ALLERGEN FREE EXPO

I had the pleasure of attending the Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo sponsored by Send Me Gluten Free at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on February 20th and 21st.

The expo hall was full of gluten free and allergen free vendors as well as courses offered to learn more about various aspects of living gluten free.

Among the many vendors, there were four specific companies that stood out to me most.
  1. Daura Damm Beer - I love myself an ice cold adult beverage and giving that up with gluten has been difficult for me. This beer is available at Whole Foods and tasted no different than a regular beer, with alcohol content varying from 5% to 7% alcohol.
  2. Milton's Crafter Bakers - I had tried these before from Sprouts, but did not know that their company went beyond crackers! Milton's also offers delicious gluten-free chips and cookies. My favorite thing I sampled were their Snickerdoodle cookies! I was disappointed that they were not available for purchase at the expo and will be keeping an eye out for them as I grocery shop. (Sprouts is a bit far for me, but next time I am in the area I will have to pop in and see if they have these cookies!)
  3. Rickaroons - Besides founder, Rick, and his son, Grant, being two of my favorite people I met at the expo, their "dessert fuel" is great. This cross between an energy bar and a macaroon are a great pre and/or post workout snack. My favorite was the chocolate blonde. Another item that is not local to me in L.A., but is to San Diego, and I will have to keep my eyes peeled for.
  4. Spinato's Pizzeria - This is the best gluten free pizza I have ever come across. My mouth is salivating thinking about it. (No joke.) The sad part is that they are not yet sold in stores (Get it together every grocery store across America!) I would actually consider a road trip to Phoenix for their pizza. It's the bomb. Besides mouth-watering pizza, Spinato's also makes gluten free sauces and dressings.



The Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo also gave me the opportunity to connect with other bloggers. While I did not have the chance to connect with all of them, a few I met that I enjoyed getting to know and hope to connect with again include JenniferEsther, and Martha. Be sure to check them out!


Thank you to Send Me Gluten Free for the opportunity to attend and cover the weekend. They provide a great monthly subscription service that sends gluten free foods and coupons straight to your door step. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY

Today is Read Across America Day. This day, which also happens to be Dr. Seuss' birthday, promotes a love for reading in children across our nation. As an educator, I heavily promote this day, but as adults, I believe we put reading on the back burner.

We scroll through emails, news feeds, and text messages, but when was the last time you sat down and enjoyed a good book? We instill the importance of literacy in our youth without being examples of readers ourselves.

Some benefits of reading as adults include: mental stimulation, increased knowledge, improved focus, stress reduction, and free entertainment. Lately I have been enjoying audio books on my morning commute, which although not technically reading, still allows me to get creatively lost in someone else's words and often leaves me inspired.

3 Books I'm Loving Lately:

2 Books I Want To Check Out:

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

FEBRUARY FAVES & MARCH PLANS

My goal for February was self awareness. I wanted to focus on my emotions and relax when I felt overwhelmed. I wanted to get organized, express gratitude, and stick to my guns with how I feel. I'd say I got a good start to that in February, especially since my favorite thing I did this month was kick up my feet on a Friday night and binge watch Fuller House. This month there was a lot going on and it was a rough month, but I have learned to "center my chi." 

Some other things I loved in February?

The song Vacation by Thomas Rhett, the Maybelline Master Contour Kit, and "Move On: When Mercy Meets Your Mess" by Vicki Courtney. (An fun loving song for a teacher anxiously anticipating spring break, a simple makeup kit for us contouring newbs, and a book that has totally shaken my core to get to the bottom of why I can't get past the muck in the past and move forward to the beauty of the future. A book that pushed me so hard to the edge of discovery that for the first time in my life I opened up and shared my testimony with my women's Bible study.)

 



So what's on the agenda for March? Getting my priorities in check. I had a realization yesterday that I am barely staying afloat with all the craziness of life when I missed a deadline for a paper. I thought it was due March 7th and figured I'd get a jump start on it, only to log in to my online class to see it was due 4 hours prior....WOOPS! That's the first time in my life a paper has ever been late and I could not shake the disappointment looming into today. I took the time to stop and think about what is important versus what is urgent. I get the two mixed up often. Responding to emails and texts seems urgent, but is it really important? Working on a paper that is due next week is important, but is it really urgent? I want to focus on what is important and not what is urgent. I want to stop treating time like it is the enemy and instead have time on my side. Instead of having a looming to-do list I want to pick 3-5 tasks per day to truly dive into and accomplish to the best of my ability. At the end of this life, will it matter that I had one overdue paper? Nope! But what will matter is that I used that degree to change the lives of children who need my love and support.