theSkimm

IMG_0039

How does a busy girl stay informed these days?! I know it sounds ridiculous but I don’t have time to watch the news everyday. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be informed but who has time for all that?!?

I’m pretty sure I originally found a link for theSkimm on Gwyneth Paltrow’s “modern lifestyle publication” goop. And yes, I know there is always some controversy over something Gwyneth Paltrow says or does and people either love or hate her – I happen to love her! No, that doesn’t mean I follow her sometimes ludicrous advice on health & beauty or buy into her newest gimmick but I am a goop subscriber.

And I subscribe to theSkimm, it’s a daily emailed summary of the top news stories in the world. It can sometimes be just a blurb but every story has links to read a more in-depth article if you so chose. The emails are sent Mon – Fri morning… perfect for a 5 minute peruse during that first cup of coffee… at least, that’s how I like to start my day.

Summer Stylin’

IMG_0038

Yah for the release of the Summer Box of Style but boo for this summer heat! It was 110* degrees today… and the forecast isn’t looking very promising for a reprieve anytime soon.

When people think of California they think of perfect San Diego summers, 78* degrees and beautiful. Did I mention I live in Chico, California? Which is nowhere near the beach unfortunately. And I am so not a fan of being hot, I prefer rain and fog over this weather any day!

It is pretty hard to stay cool and still enjoy outdoor activities. Hiking is impossible in this weather, the dog plays dead every 100 ft in 85* degree weather. I love to go kayaking but haven’t made it out yet this year. The closest lake to Chico is in Oroville… The area that made national headline news earlier this year because the dam was believed to fail during our rainy season. The dam didn’t collapse, thankfully, but my favorite kayaking spot isn’t accessible during the ongoing repairs.

I did participate in the 22nd annual Micro Brew fest a few weekends ago, I finagled a brewery booth inside ( with AC!) and poured ( and drank) beer for a good cause. The Chico Soroptimist group holds the fundraising event every year to raise funds for community events for the betterment of the lives of women and child. I’ve been volunteering for the group for over a year now

The photo above is of the contents of my Summer Box of Style and I have to say I’m pretty stoked with this season’s box! I especially like the Helena Quinn kimono, it’s the perfect layering piece for summer. Dress it up as a wrapper over a cute dress for evening or dress it down with a jean skirt & tank top or throw it on over a bathing suit at the pool… the options may be endless!

The sunglasses are gorgeous but I’ve been cursed with a tiny head, tiny like an infants in fact. True story, I was about to buy a hat at a boutique until the sales lady asked me if it was a gift for my baby… and it fit me perfectly lol. Anyway, I gifted the sunglasses to a lucky friend.

The straw Panama hat and sunscreen will come in handy. I’m still getting the hang of the blush stick, have I mentioned I’m makeup retarded?? Growing up a tomboy most likely stunted my makeup aptitude. The blush stick in theory seems simple to use but I looked feverish from my first attempt- I think it is a “less is more” application.

The gold compass necklace is dainty and perfect. I have a thin, longish neck so I’m happy the chain is shorter than the average necklace. It’s going to be my go to this summer and it is supposed to symbolize a wanderlust for travel and good luck – how kismet because I just booked a flight to Charleston, South Carolina! 🤗

Protect yourself!

IMG_0034

Besides upping my gym time I’ve enrolled in a Personal Defense Training course recently. It’s 6 classes, each 2 1/2 hours long. The course is karate based so we’re learning defensive moves, striking and kicking.

The main point being stressed in our classes is to be aware of your surroundings! These days everyone has their head down, eyes glued to their smart phone. Make eye contact with the people around you, take in details. The more aware you are the less likely you’ll be a target. Trust your intuition.

Next, keep a comfortable distance. Don’t let someone sketchy looking get close to you. We were told the first day of class to imagine there are 3 zones – the green zone is a safe distance away, the yellow zone is moderately dangerous and the red zone is essentially DANGER. Keep yourself in the green zone, always.

Know when to use your “fight or flight” instincts, knowing how to defend yourself is easier than actually doing it. If you do find yourself in a situation where you have to protect yourself remember the most vulnerable targets are the eyes, ears and throat ( and groin if your attacker is male).

The eyes are the first target. Gouge, poke or scratch. If your attacker can’t see you he can’t get you.

Ears when boxed will cause disorientation and even loss of equilibrium. Using both hands, each in a cup like shape, slap your hands hard over your attackers ears. This one took practice so if you’re unsure I’d skip it.

The throat is an easy target, either a karate chop or punch directly to the hollow of the throat will seriously harm an assailant.

I’ve attended 5 out of my 6 classes and although I’m sore, bruised and scraped I look forward to the last class. I highly recommend every woman take a self-defense course, it’s an empowering experience…. and hopefully a skill she’ll never have to use!

 

 

 

 

My Orangetheory!

IMG_0032

I’m not trying to sound braggadocio-us but I’m killing it at my new gym… actually I was sick for over a week, sick like I haven’t been in maybe EVER, then dragged myself back to the gym and kinda sorta killed it.

The worst part about my job is being in sick people’s mouths all day, I am introduced to soo many germs on a daily basis. I swear, my first year of dental assisting I caught every cold, flu or virus there was. Since then I maybe get sick once a decade. The key to staying healthy is simple – WASH YOUR HANDS!!

I really am loving the Orangetheory gym. The concept is pretty cool. You wear a heart monitor and aim to stay in the ‘orange zone’ or at your target heart rate to stimulate your metabolism and continuously burn calories for hours after your workout. It’s an interval style workout using treadmills for cardio, water row machines for core strengthening, and resistance bands and free weights for toning.

I’ve had gym memberships in the past but I don’t think I ever pushed myself enough on my own. Wearing the heart rate monitor and seeing my heart rate zone while I’m working out really motivates me to push myself harder. And the summary email pictured above is very encouraging, the “splat” points are the amount of minutes I stayed in my target heart rate. Killing it!

I have noticed in the past that I can build muscle pretty quickly if I’m not careful so the trainers recommended I do heavier weights which sounded crazy to me. We’ll see how it goes, I’ve only made it to 4 classes so far due to my hiatus.

I’ve read it can take up to 6 weeks to see results with 80% good diet and 20% exercise. I eat as healthy as possible already; I don’t eat processed foods, never fast food, not a soda drinker. I drink my coffee black, the only calories I drink are good beers and red wine in moderation. I try to limit my bread, I eat whole wheat whenever possible. I watch my sodium. I love salad. I’m not a condiment girl: I hate mayonnaise, ranch dressing, etc. I enjoy dark chocolate but quality or quantity. Luckily I’ve never been much of a dessert person, I’ll take savory over sweets any day.

My biggest problem is portion control, I like to eat. I’m working on eating smaller portions, especially dinner. I’m drinking more water and I’m going to stop stressing about the number on the scale because those pesky 10 lbs. I hate so much are going to be muscle by summer.

Box of style and stuff

IMG_0029

Yah for packages in the mail. I sure do like coming home to presents from myself!

Today I’m talking about Box of Style. It’s basically a box of beauty, fashion and lifestyle goodies curated by the amazing stylist Rachel Zoe. My box is the Spring edition.

In my box: a purse I’m not sure I’ll keep, it’s a Tribe Alive carryall from India. I’m so picky about my purses… I may always be on the hunt for my “perfect purse” unfortunately. This one is cute but just not right for me.

An awesome pair of hoop and bar earrings by Adornmonde, I chose gold as I have a favorite pair of silver hoops already. These are extra cool as you can wear them in different ways as they are convertible. I think hoop earrings are a wardrobe staple.

A pale pink Butter London nail polish, “piece of cake”, a very lady like shade for Spring. And I LOVE it. It wears like a gel. I’m kinda weird though, I only paint my toes colors. I use yellow stopper clear polish on my fingernails so they look healthy and natural.

A BKR water bottle that I’m super stoked for as I just joined a gym ( I’ll share more on that in a moment). The bottle is glass so my water doesn’t taste weird, the lid has a handle for easy transport and the silicone bottle cover keeps the water cold. Bonus: It’s a pale pink color to match my toes!

A new try for me, Tatcha Polished Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder… it’s a dry powder face wash. Who knew?! I’ve never heard of such a thing but it is amazing! My face has never felt so soft!

A red peacock screen-printed silk Symbology scarf for a splash of color… it’s pretty. My dog happens to like wearing scarfs so of course I had to tie it on him. Don’t ask me how I know he likes wearing them, I just do!

And a special edition Stella Artois glass chalice created by Water.org and Stella Artois for proceeds to “help provide 5 years of clean water for 1 person in the developing world”. You can purchase your own at BuyALadyaDrink.com.

I go hiking or on long walks with the boyfriend and dog but haven’t stepped foot in a gym in years! Now that it’s officially Spring ( and that much closer to Summer) I decided to buck up and hit the gym again.

I joined OrangeTheory and am so glad I did. If you’re familiar with the gym you know it’s a fast paced circuit workout. Cardio, water rowing, and resistance weights for lunges, squats, etc. A heart rate monitor is worn during the workout to stay in the ‘orange fat burning’ zone.

I’ve only gone to 2 classes so far but considering how sore my muscles are today I’d say I’m on track for my favorite summer activity: kayaking in my bikini.

Simplifying life

IMG_0030

Wow! I haven’t posted in over a month… it was a pretty busy time for me. I moved and seriously downsized in the process; going from a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 car garage house to a 5th wheel trailer. True story.

How do you know if you’re having a midlife crisis? Ha ha. Not really, it was a purposeful move.

I’ve lost the majority of my closet space and almost everything I own is in storage right now but it honestly feels pretty good to be living so simply.

With my much smaller kitchen I’m loving my meal subscriptions even more, I’m mainly sticking  with HelloFresh but will continue to try new ones. The benefits of not needing many dishes on hand or having to stock full size ingredients works especially well in my limited space.

I’m also attempting to put together a small capsule wardrobe. I have started by getting my basics together and will slowly branch out from there. I’ve never had to worry about closet space before, I’m realizing I had way too much in the past, so the capsule wardrobe will most likely be the most difficult part of this new lifestyle.

Luckily I’ve always been an organized person, add to that my Pinterest addiction and things should go smoothly… fingers crossed for the capsule wardrobe!

Hello dinner!

IMG_0027.PNG 

Hello Fresh is pretty awesome, I have to admit. As the name implies the ingredients are fresh and the meals feel healthy. I was especially surprised by the good quality of meat.

Each meal is separated in its own little box for a tidy fridge, which I very much appreciate, and the included condiments are so freaking adorable!

You choose your delivery day, select how many meals needed ( to feed 2 or 4), what type of meats you love ( or if you prefer vegetarian) or have a dietary need such as gluten free, etc.

The first box is discounted and you can pause or cancel anytime.

The ingredients are all pre-measured and the recipe cards are very easy to follow. You can also access the recipes online on their website if needed.

Out of the 3 meals I made, all were very quick and easy to make by the way, the Yogurt-marinated chicken was our absolute favorite. I will be attempting to recreate this recipe over and over again…

I signed up for Home Chef next week so I paused Hello Fresh for the time being but will definitely be getting another delivery in the near future.