Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 FAVORITES

Each month I reflect on what I really loved that month, but instead of sharing what I loved in December, I threw those favorites into a pot with my favorites from every other month this year and made my picks for all the best things of 2016.

Favorite Scent: Bath & Body Works Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte



Favorite Song: Peter Pan by Kelsea Ballerini



Favorite Clothing Item: Forever 21 booties

Favorite Beauty Product: Lush Oatifix Mask

Favorite Event: Tied between Blake Shelton concert and Tim McGraw concert

Favorite Book: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty



Favorite Scripture: Proverbs 16:3

"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans." 

Favorite Snack: Miltons Cookies

Favorite Movie: War Room



Favorite Show: This Is Us



Favorite Drink: Gingerberry Kombucha

FTC Disclosure: Kick Back With Cate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links. Each of your purchases via Amazon affiliation links support Kick Back With Cate at no cost to you.

Friday, December 30, 2016

WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING

This year I have been participating in Pop Sugar's 2016 Reading Challenge. While I definitely will not complete the list by Saturday, I have enjoyed stepping outside of my usual reads to fulfill things on this list. Currently I have three books checked out from the library and here is what they are covering on the 2016 challenge list.

A Book You Can Finish in A Day -
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney
I loved this series in middle school and saw it on the shelf at the library recently and decided to read it again. Although it is written for young adults, I am still enjoying it as an adult. This mystery is about a teenager who discovers that she was kidnapped as a child and unravels her own mystery.

A Book You Haven't Read Since High School -
LA Candy by Lauren Conrad
I read this series in high school and also rediscovered this at the library recently. It's an easy read and "loosely" based on Lauren Conrad's popular MTV series, The Hills. I loved reading it growing up and am glad to have been able to shamelessly reread it to cross off a book I haven't read since high school.

A Book From the Library -
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
I have wanted to read this, but was pushed to grab it after Lorelei did "Wild" (the book, NOT the movie) on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Wild is a memoir about Strayed's 1,100 mile journey across the Pacific Crest Trail in 1995 when trying to rediscover herself after a dramatic series of events.

What are you reading lately?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

STUDY JUICE REVIEW

As someone who works full time, goes to school, and writes a blog, I am constantly seeking out products to boost my energy so I can get through my busy days. Recently I came across Study Juice and enjoyed that it helped me fight off distraction without making me jittery. It has helped me to remain focused on the task at hand and retain information.

Brain Forza Study Juice is a nootropic that improves focus, memory, and energy. It is full of antioxidants, as well as vitamin B6 and B12, caffeine, catuaba bark, ashwagandha, theacrine, and theanine. It is vegetarian friendly, non GMO, and gluten free.



The study juice is currently on sale through Amazon, HERE.

FTC Disclosure: Product was sent to me courtesy of Brain Forza in exchange for a review. No monetary compensation was given. All opinions are true and my own. Kick Back With Cate is an Amazon Affiliate. Purchases from links included in this blog post provide Kick Back With Cate with commission.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 CHECK IN

Instead of starting last year with a bunch of resolutions I'd forget about mid-February, I decided to choose a motto to focus on. In 2016, I focused on Abiding in God. I wanted to enjoy the moments, bloom where I was planted, and trust in Christ's plan. In all honesty, this year was very difficult for me. I was thrown a lot of trying tasks, that for the most part were out of my control. From physical aspects, such as a broken arm and a car accident, emotional aspects, such as moving and experiencing a difficult year for my family, and just the all around business of life, I never doubted God.

This year I became a prayer warrior. I shared my testimony at a women's Bible study, I prayed over the lives of others, and I fell to my knees crying out to God more this year than I have in 24 years of life. And although I haven't always liked His answers, I continued to remain in Him. I'm grateful for God for never failing me no matter how much I fail Him.

Monday, December 26, 2016

2016 [YEAR IN REVIEW]

January focused on closing chapters and opening new ones. The best part was a spontaneous weekend trip to see my cousins in Colorado.

February was a trying month for me as I broke my arm and had to say goodbye to someone special. The best part was flying to Houston for my cousins wedding and being able to spend a lot of time with family that are all over the nation.

March brought a lot of change, but a lot of hope. It was the beginning of something special this year. The best part was spending a lot of quality time with my friends.

April was a busy month. The best part was the many trips up to San Luis Obispo.

May allowed me to reconnect with old friends and join in on new groups at a church. The best part was seeing my best friend get married.

June had a lot of special moments at work and with family. The best part was finding out that my brother and his wife were expecting their first child.

July gave me a lot of firsts, including camping and seeing a rodeo. The best part is a tie between seeing Blake Shelton in concert and seeing Tim McGraw in concert. Both third row. Unreal!!!

August was the month I moved and started a new job. The best part was living closer to my boo!

September I turned 24! This was a really difficult for month for me. I got in a car accident and was dealing with all the changes of moving to a new job and new location. The best part was football season!

October left me feeling a little lost. The best part was one of my best friends coming to visit me in my new town.

November was filled with so much family fun. The best part was going to Disneyland and participating in the James Storehouse American Girl Doll Dream Day.

December wrapped up a difficult year with hope on the horizon. It set me up for a lot of exciting things in 2017. The best part was getting to spend my Dad's 60th birthday with all of my family. And I mean ALL of it.

Friday, December 23, 2016

FINDING MOTIVATION TO WORKOUT

Don’t Let Your Tush Become One with the Sofa: Motivating Yourself to Workout
Conventional wisdom has yet to figure out how to inspire people to put their workout before all else. You may have heard that workout motivation requires you to “want it” or that you have to do something for 21 days to make it a habit. While desire and consistency play a role in many areas of our lives, there’s always going to be days when you’d rather stay in bed than exercise. So, how do you motivate yourself on these days? We've compiled eight motivation workout tips to help you.


Photo courtesy of Fabletics



1. Set Simple Goals


Set goals that are simple and achievable. If your goals are too ambitious, then you may become frustrated, so be sure to create ones that are doable for you. Once you accomplish your first set of goals, create new, longer-range ones. For instance, if it’s been awhile since you’ve worked out, establish a short-term goal of walking for just 10 minutes four days a week. Your secondary goal could be to walk for 30 minutes a day while your long-term one may be to finish a 5K walk.


2. Make Your Workout Fun


It’s easy to become bored if you’re doing the same type of workout day after day. Avoid burnout with variety. Try different sports and physical activities to discover the ones that are fun for you. Consider joining a softball, basketball or volleyball league. Visit a yoga studio, or take a ballroom dancing class. By trying different things, you may discover that you have a secret athletic talent. When you have fun with your fitness program, you’ll be more motivated to stick with it.


3. Wear Your Workout Clothes


When low workout motivation days arise, put your workout clothes on even if you don’t feel like exercising. If you change out of your Fabletics without making them sweaty, then you may feel a sense of discontentment for the remainder of the day, making you less inclined to skip your workout next time.


4. Write Down How You Feel After Every Workout


Begin an exercise journal documenting how you feel following every single workout. When your exercise motivation is at rock bottom, read a few pages of your journal. It will inspire you to tackle your exercise routine even when you don’t feel like it since you know that you’ll experience the same amazing feeling that comes from completing a tough workout.


5. Reward Yourself


While some people claim that exercise is its own reward because it helps them achieve better health or a way to control their weight, most of us need a little more motivation to keep up with a consistent workout routine. Consider giving yourself a tangible reward such as a smoothie or an hour to watch your favorite television show. When you do this, you're creating a habit loop. It involves establishing a cue that triggers a desirable behavior followed by the reward.


6. Make Exercise a Part of Your Day


Instead of looking for a way to add a workout into your day, include it in your daily schedule. When exercise becomes a priority instead of an afterthought, your day won’t feel complete without it. Slipping it in throughout the day is another option. For instance, at work, avoid the elevator and walk up the stairs. During your work breaks, relax by taking a walk. If your kids participate in sports, pace up and the down the sidelines while cheering them on. When watching television at night, stay active by pedaling a stationary bike or perform a few strength-training exercises.


7. Focus on Why You Started


Whether it’s because you want to be healthier or feel more confident in your skin, focus on why you started exercising. Maybe, you’re out of breath when you reach the top of the stairs or want to wear shorts but feel uncomfortable with the look of your legs. When it comes to keeping a consistent workout schedule, it’s not necessarily about holding onto the motivation, it’s about focusing on why you started a program in the first place.


8. Visualize the Benefits of Exercise


If you’re feeling too tired to workout, determine what changes you can make in your life to overcome it. Develop a plan and stick to it. You may have more motivation in the morning, or it may be better for you to go to the gym right from work instead of going home first. Use positive thinking to visualize the benefits of exercise. For instance, if your workout routine takes place in a yoga studio, then imagine how it feels to walk in and see your fellow practitioners. Or, visualize how delighted you’ll be when new muscles start to develop as your body begins to look more tone.


Motivating Yourself to Workout

Use these eight tips to motivate yourself to workout. You can try them all to see which ones work best for you. Keep using the ones that help and consider tweaking the others to suit your needs.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

JENNIFER LAWRENCE LOOK FOR LESS

As the weather cools down to a brisk 65 degrees in Los Angeles, Jennifer Lawrence is dressing casual, but cute, to stay warm. Recreate this look for a little over $100.

 
Total: $110.95


FTC Disclosure: Kick Back With Cate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking from Kick Back With Cate to Amazon.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

LAVILIN REVIEW

When I first heard about Lavilin Underarm Deodorant, I thought it was a crock. However, this chemical free deodorant really does last several days. The first time I applied it, I expected to need to reapply the next day. However, it lasted five days without needing reapplication, even with daily workouts and showers. The cream comes with a small spatula like tool for application.



I am often very concerned about what is going into my body, both with food and cosmetics. Deodorant use is one of my biggest concerns because of how close the underarms are to breast tissue. I fear that chemicals in deodorant can lead to breast cancer. Knowing that Lavilin is free of aluminum and other harmful chemicals puts me at ease.

FTC Disclosure: This product was sent to me courtesy of Lavilin in exchange for a review. No monetary compensation was provided in exchange for my opinion. All opinions listed are honest and my own. However, Kick Back With Cate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking from Kick Back With Cate to Amazon.

Monday, December 12, 2016

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE & AMAZON GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY

For the Fashionista:
Regal Grace Scarf
This scarf is warm, stylish, and versatile. It comes in several colors and prints and some are adorned with crystals.



For the Chef:
This monthly flavor kit delivers fresh spices and flavors from all over the world straight to your door step, with suggested recipes included. Enter code FLAVOR6 at checkout for $5 off a 6 or 12 month subscription!


For the fitness freak: 
Foam rollers are great for releasing pain from the spine, back, and feet. It helps to improve flexibility and mobility. 


For the beauty guru:
These kits are limited edition for the holidays and come in new hues of perfectly formulated shades.



For the white elephant: 
Go literal with this white elephant. 



For the person who has everything:
Everyone enjoys gift cards so that they can purchase their own gifts. 




Click HERE for information and details on how to enter.

FTC Disclosure: Kick Back With Cate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking from Kick Back With Cate to Amazon.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

PLAN WITH ME

This is this week's spread! It is the 'Noel' kit from Glam Planner on Etsy. It is easily my new favorite spread I have ever done. I decided to use it for this week instead of the week of Christmas because I will have a full agenda this week and have ZERO plans for next week besides Netflix and chill. 


Saturday, December 10, 2016

WINTER BUCKET LIST

A new season is here! Let's check in on what I wanted to do in fall and hope to do in winter.

Fall Bucket List

  1. Attend a football game.
  2. Go to the pumpkin patch.
  3. Make apple sangria.
  4. Participate in the Tone It Up 31 Day Challenge.
  5. Go to Disneyland.
  6. Make more Crock Pot meals.
  7. Watch Hocus Pocus.
  8. Go to a haunted house.
  9. Work on my Spanish.
Winter Bucket List
  1. Have a movie marathon.
  2. Visit the snow.
  3. Travel.
  4. Read lots and lots.
  5. Look at Christmas lights. 
  6. Have a game night.
  7. Volunteer.
  8. Complete Couch to 5k. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

LEVEN ROSE REVIEW

My skin is extremely sensitive and acne prone. I am always hesitant to trying new products in fear of irritation or a breakout. I try to stay as natural as possible with my products, which is why I decided to give Leven Rose WitchHazel Toner a shot. It is a blend of all natural ingredients that actually calms irritated skin, the opposite of what I am used to. It includes witch hazel, calendula, chamomile, and cucumber.


This toner has made such a difference in the way my skin looks and feels. It has reduced my redness, helped to even my skin tone, and just give it an extra glow. It is soothing and lightweight. I love that it is in a glass mister bottle because I can spray it on my face following washing my skin. One thing I have noticed is that it does make my skin a bit more dry, so I am sure to apply moisturizer to my skin more frequently.
This toner is currently ranked #1 New Release on Amazon for Facial Toners & Astringents! Because of it's wide spread positive reviews, it is moving quickly. It makes a great gift for the beauty guru in your life for the holidays or even for yourself to start taking better care of your skin in the winter weather. 

FTC Disclosure: This product was sent to me courtesy of Leven Rose in exchange for a review. No financial compensation has been provided. All opinions are honest and my own. However, Kick Back With Cate is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking from Kick Back With Cate to Amazon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

4 BEST TWITTER ACCOUNTS

Twitter is one of my favorite ways to pass the time. It's a source of news as well as pop culture updates and just pure comedy. I love following it during big events, such as the election, Super Bowl, and the Gilmore Girls Revival. These are my 4 favorite accounts I follow:

Gilmore Girls Daily
@TalkFastGilmore
This fan run Gilmore Girls page posts quotes, photos, and polls regarding the show. The polls they did leading up to the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life were my favorite to participate in.

Becca Tilley
@BeccaTilley5
This Bachelor contestant is my spirit animal. She's hilarious on Snap Chat but even better on Twitter. She's shameless about her constant stream of thought that she shares on her feed. My personal favorite: "Yall...I'm going to say something that is going to sound weird, but I genuinely feel like I look prettier when I drink Dr. Pepper." Same Becca. Same.

Russell Wilson
@DangeRussWilson
Although he's a Seahawk (Go Broncos!) I admire this man. He is on a mission to live and love like Jesus. His Twitter feed is full of positivity and Bible verses. He shared the book "Unreasonable Hope" by Chad Veach on his feed awhile back and I am so grateful he did because it is rocking my world and transforming my faith in Christ in ways I didn't know possible.

Busted Coverage
@bustedcoverage
Warning: Avoid this Twitter account if you are easily offended. This feed focuses on sports, but my favorite is his following of college football. As many of you know my significant other is a college football coach, so I am always staying up to date on what is going on in the NCAA football world. Busted Coverage presents it in a hilarious way. I also love tracking him on Saturday mornings when he shares the best signs from College Game Day.

What is your favorite Twitter account you follow?

Monday, December 5, 2016

WHAT I'M READING

With the 2016 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge coming to an end, I know the chances of me completing it are not likely. However, with the final two weeks of the month off work, I still have hope in crossing a few more categories off my list.

Currently I crossed two off and am about to cross of one more:

"Book by a Comedian" - Talking As Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
"Book by a Celebrity" - Hustle and Heart by Kailyn Lowry

& in progress I have "A book and it's prequel" - I completed Tricks by Ellen Hopkins and am halfway done with the sequel, Traffick.

What are you currently reading?

Friday, December 2, 2016

THE BEST CHRISTMAS TRADITION

One of my favorite holiday traditions is the sending and receiving of Christmas cards . As a child I remember them arriving in the mail and seeing the photos of distant relatives or my parents’ college friends. It was a way for me to feel in touch with others that I do not necessarily know, but have heard about. My parents have always created a family Christmas card to send out as well, which are photos I fondly look back at of my brothers and I growing through the years and now growing our own families.

However, with social media taking over our personal connections, I feel like the sending and receiving of Christmas cards is a lost art. If people want to know how I am doing or what my family looks like, they can just pull up my Instagram and take a scroll. However, it lacks personal touch.

This year I decided to bring back this favorite tradition. With the help of Tiny Prints I was able to easily upload a picture, chose a layout, and click order. The simple steps made my favorite tradition easy. I can’t wait to write heartfelt, personal notes to friends and family near and far, with a photo of my little family and an update of what a year 2016 has been.

And for all my virtual friends, I am sending you a warm hug and well wishes entering the holidays and a brand new year!


2016 was an eventful year! I moved to the Central Coast to join Coach in a new job working with at risk youth, while his football team made the FCS playoffs. We have been blessed with new family members (and an extra one to come in the next couple weeks!) We are grateful for all the opportunities we have had this year to travel, spend time with family, and to dive deeper into our careers. We are both continuing to work on our Masters degrees and are praying for another move this spring to an FBS football program. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2017!