Kung Pao Broccoli Black Rice Noodles with Blue Apron

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Deciding what to prepare for dinner is probably harder than actually making dinner. I enjoy cooking but most of the time, I end up making the same dishes and they often lack creativity. I tried buying cookbooks to spruce up my menu selections but I never got around to making any of the dishes. Part of the problem is that I rarely have the necessary ingredients in my home.

Enter my solution:  Blue Apron!

Blue Apron is a service that delivers a box filled with groceries and detailed recipes right to your door! No more having to go to the grocery store or going back and forth on what to make for dinner. Blue Apron does all the hard work for you. All you need to do is follow the easy step-by-step instructions and enjoy! 

One of my favorite items that comes with box, is the nutrition facts for each of your meals. Perfect to keep track of what you're consuming, especially if you're on a restricted diet. 

Every Blue Apron recipe is between 500-800 calories.

All the ingredients come perfectly portioned and packaged in the Blue Apron box.

One of my meals was Kung Pao Broccoli with Back Rice Noodles. As a pasta lover, I was excited to try out and make this recipe. I've never had or even heard of black rice noodles before opening my box.

That's one of the many reason why I love Blue Apron. I get to make dishes I normally wouldn't make or even know how to attempt to create. Expanding my knowledge of different ingredients is also helpful in becoming a better cook. I enjoy introducing my palate to new flavors and cuisines!

I ordered the two person plan which comes with 3 meals that each serve two people. All meal can be customized to fit your dietary preference. They also have a family plan that serves 4 people.

Since my meal was for two, I decided to invite my grandma to not only join me for dinner but to also help me prepare the Kung Pao Broccoli.

Blue Apron

Click here to learn more about Blue Apron and sign up to receive $30 off your first week of meals!

Have you tried Blue Apron before? Leave me a comment below and let me know what your favorite recipe was!


Posted on April 17, 2017 and filed under Food & Entertaining.

Boho Chic

Boho Chic- Festival Look

I've never been into the Boho Chic festival vibe look. Not because I didn't like the style, I just didn't think I could pull it off.  I initially bought this red long maxi dress and wore it with a black leather jacket with black bootie type heels and a black chocker. I loved how the outfit came together but wanted to find another way to wear the dress that didn't involve the jacket and that had more of the bohemian feel.

Instead of black accessories, I changed it up with gold and brown tones. I typically never wear hats but thought adding it brought together the new outfit nicely. I like evolving my style and trying out new trends or looks. That's the beauty of fashion, it's always fun to experiment!

SHOP THE LOOK:

Posted on April 9, 2017 and filed under Style.

Off The Shoulder Top: The new Spring Trend

Ruffle Top

If you've been following my blog for a while now, you know I practically live in jeans every single day. They're so comfortable and versatile. You can dress it up or down depending on your style and mood.

I decided to create a look that would be perfect for a casual happy hour with the girls. Living in Florida, it can get pretty hot, so wearing anything light or off the shoulder is the perfect way to stay cool.

Lately I've been seeing a bunch of tops and dresses incorporating the off the shoulder ruffle accent. I love it because it adds a bit of personality to your otherwise plain top. Put on some cute heels, colored purse and matching lipstick and you're good to go!

SHOP THE LOOK:


Posted on April 5, 2017 and filed under Style.

Protecting Paradise in St. Petersburg

The boat is going just the right speed; cooling the skin from the burning Florida sun. As the vessel meets a wave, the drink I was holding flies out of my hand and into the water. The day passes with laughter and remarkable views of paradise. It is a life many only ever dream of.

As a resident of St. Petersburg, I do not take for granted the minutes it takes for me to pick up reading material and head to the beach. Or that the close proximity allows me to do it even if for only a half hour. I do not neglect the opportunities to regale over wine with my neighbors as we watch the dolphins backdropped by perfect sunsets over the Intercostal.

It is these moments in paradise that bring unmatched serenity to an alternate life of deadlines and harsh realities. But, for those moments worthy of a St. Pete postcard, I am living the dream.

So what happens to the dream life so many work their entire lives to experience if their little piece of paradise is irrevocably lost? Gone forever. That is what we face if we don’t take measures to protect our waters now.

While we may understand when it’s ok to eat the catch of the day, many of us don’t understand the pivotal role we play in protecting our waters. In truth, a floating beer can is more than an eye soar. Pollution is detrimental to wildlife.

“Plastic strapping and six-pack holders can strangle or entangle wildlife. Many birds are indiscriminate eaters, and ingesting small pieces of plastic or debris can kill them. Scientists estimate that more than one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year as a result of this."

Still, mindless littering isn’t the only culprit. Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to get fertilizer between June and September? City ordinances restrict the sale of certain fertilizers during those months to prevent things like Red Tide; an algal bloom caused by the large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous in fertilizer run off which deprives our waters of life-supporting oxygen and light.

Would you want to bring home your catch that day? The Ocean Conservancy explains that “as rainwater flows off roofs, the ground, sidewalks, and streets to storm drains, it picks up pollutants such as street litter, pet waste, automotive oil, antifreeze, and lawn and garden chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides.” This run-off transforms our waterways and beaches from pristine playgrounds to unsafe wastelands.

It isn’t all doom and gloom though, this is the Sunshine State after all. The good news is that small actions make a big difference. Clean up after your pets. Pick up litter you may come across. Use less toxic alternatives to household cleaners or when washing your car or boat and encourage friends to do the same.

Want to go the extra mile? Do it literally!

Organize a beach clean up with neighbors. Better still, contact your homeowner’s association and request more eco-conscious alternatives and awareness campaigns. Campaigns can be anything from an informational piece in the monthly newsletter to the placement of ‘Drains to the Bay’ stickers atop storm drains (like I had my neighborhood display).

Regardless of what you do, do something.

Words by Leandra A. Gallego


Posted on April 4, 2017 and filed under Social Good.

5 Reasons to Join Jenny Craig

Thank you Jenny Craig for sponsoring this post. -- Get serious about losing weight with Jenny Craig!

 

Earlier this year, I was given the opportunity to partner with Jenny Craig on a 2 month consultation and food plan membership. This was my first time trying out the program and couldn't be happier with the results and overall experience.

Losing weight is not easy. Having the proper tools and support is beneficial in helping you achieve your weight loss goals.

Here are 5 reasons why Jenny Craig works and why I love it so much!

Jenny Craig

Portion Control:

This was my number one issue regarding food. Simply put, I LOVE food. Junk food, healthy food, desserts, you know name, I pretty much eat anything and everything. The problem is my portion control. I eat more than I should, which is something most people do- without realizing it. With Jenny Craig, you don't have to worry about overeating or even measuring your food. The proportioned meals have enough food to fill you up without feeling hungry or wanting more.

Convenience:

One of the reasons why people fail to maintain a healthy diet is because they don't have the time to cook a nutritious meal. The result is falling off track and opting for not so healthy options- such as take out or fast food. With Jenny Craig, not only will you make better food choices but you'll also save time cooking and going to the grocery store. Every week, after your consultation, you'll receive a week's worth of food that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks. Super convenient for us busy people.

Jenny Craig

Balanced Diet:

Being on a diet shouldn't consist of only salads and green smoothies. Everything in moderation is the key to success for your weight loss journey. Jenny Craig has over 100 premium menu items that incorporates the right amount of carbs, protein and vegetables. You even have dessert items to satisfy your sweet tooth. Being serious about losing weight doesn’t mean you have to give up enjoying the foods you love. I found myself eating more variety of vegetables and foods that I normally wouldn't prepare  myself. I never once felt as though I was on a "diet", which is why I believe the program works.

French Toast- Jenny Craig

Easy to Follow:

Every week you are given a personalized menu based on your calorie intake, mine was 1,200 per day, that lists out the meals you are allowed to eat for that day. Having my day planned out helped me stay motivated and got me excited for the next meal. I don't know about you, but I hate having to decide on what to eat. With the personalized menu, it's super easy to stay on track. You just follow the meal plan and that's it.

Jenny Craig

Results:

It's hard to believe a program that is convenient, taste delicious and easy to follow can yield results. But it can!! In the 6 weeks I've been on the program, I've lost 9.2lbs and 7.5 inches!*  I have another two more weeks to go and I'm excited to hopefully break the -10lbs mark. My experience has been successful because I stayed faithful to the program. If I had an event or had to travel, I made sure to discuss it with my consultant and with her expertise, we came up with tips to help me in those situations. It's great to have that type of support system guiding and cheering you on along the way.

* Results not typical. Members following the Jenny Craig program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week. I received promotional consideration.

If you're thinking of starting a new lifestyle change, Jenny Craig can help! With their program, members develop a healthy relationship with food, build an active lifestyle and create a more balanced approach to living.  

I'm so happy I was able to experience this great program and I'm that much more closer to reaching my goal weight!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Posted on March 3, 2017 and filed under Mind & Body.

The Makeup Show Returns to Orlando!

The Makeup Show Orlando

On March 18-19, The Makeup Show will return to Orlando, celebrating its 5th year in the City Beautiful!

The Makeup Show brings two-days full of inspiration, education and opportunity for fashion and beauty professionals at all levels of their career to come together with some of the best brands and biggest names in the business! 

This is the perfect event to not only learn from the industry's top professionals, but it’s also a great opportunity for the top brands to meet you! Networking and making connections is the best way to gain exposure and help you get ahead in the highly competitive beauty industry.

The Makeup Show Orlando

The Makeup Show Town Hall is being introduced this year in order to bring together attendees, artists, and experts for the purpose of engaging in conversations about the latest developments and hot topics in the industry.

Take a look at all the keynote speakers and lineup here.

The Makeup Show

In addition to having the opportunity to sit in on inspirational talks and open forums, attendees of The Makeup Show Orlando will also have receive discounts of up to 60% off major beauty brands! 

The Makeup Show brings over 50 different brands to it's exhibition, including some of favorites such as NYX, Makeup Forever and Smashbox. Since my makeup knowledge is limited, I'm equally as excited to connect and discover new brands as well!  Here is the complete list of exhibitors that will be present during the event. 

The Makeup Show
The Makeup Show
The Makeup Show

This is the must-attend event for all makeup professionals in the Southeast!

I'll be there on Saturday, so if you see me, come up and say hi!

Don't forget to get your tickets! You can purchase here.

MARCH 18-19, 2017
Saturday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Hyatt Regency Orlando, 9801 International Dr.

 

In collaboration with The Makeup Show.


Posted on February 28, 2017 and filed under Style & Beauty.

Morning Routine For A More Productive Day

How you start your morning can affect your productivity throughout the day. Having a morning routine can help you become more successful, make wiser choices and reinforce positive behavior. Here are a few tips that will help you tackle the day and hopefully reduce your stress.

 

Wake up and Stretch:

I recently started to incorporate stretching into my morning routine. Attempting to exercise so early in the morning can be quite the challenge. I'm not a morning person, so the thought of having to perform any type of physical activity doesn't seem appealing to me. With stretching, all you need is a few minutes to feel the benefits such as improved posture, increased blood flow and a boost in energy.

Give Gratitude:

I start and end my day with my gratitude journal. I write down three things I'm thankful for first thing in the morning, as well as three intentions I have for the day. I noticed that focusing more on my blessings rather than the things I can't control, helps me improve my outlook for the day. Research has shown that by simply keeping a gratitude journal—regularly writing brief reflections on moments for which we’re thankful—can significantly increase well-being and life satisfaction.

Skip the Shower:

If you're anything like me, you probably value sleeping in an extra 15-30 mins in the morning. I prefer to shower at night instead. I love the feeling of going to bed fresh and clean and knowing that all the sweat from the day and from my evening work out will not be all over my sheets. Gaining that extra time in the morning makes a big difference and allows me to take my time getting ready, versus being in a rush to get out the door. All I have to worry about is hair, makeup and making sure I put on deodorant.  The only brand I use and recommend is Dove. I've been loving Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant in Coconut. It offers 48 hours of odor protection and contains added skincare benefits with its NutriumMoisture formula and Dove ¼ moisturizers! It smells delicious and keeps me feeling fresh all day long.

Eat a Healthy Breakfast:

It’s no secret breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We all know it, but how many of us actually take the time to sit down and have a healthy breakfast before starting our day? The ideal breakfast should contain a good balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Carbohydrates (which break down into sugars) are essential and can significantly affect productivity throughout the day. If a sit down breakfast is not possible because of time, then a healthy and delicious alternative is a green smoothie. It's packed with nutrients that will help you stay full and keep you going until lunch time.

Write Down Your Goals:

I'm a big fan of writing down your goals in the form of a to-do list. Planning ahead is an important time-management tool to keep you on track and helps you prioritize and set the trajectory of the day. My to-do list is nothing fancy, just a piece of paper with a motivational quote to pump me up for the day. I keep it simple with no more than five items on it. If your list is too long, you spend more time stressing out about how you haven’t tackled item #15, then actually focusing on accomplishing your goals. You use too much energy and mental stamina keeping track of, and feeling bad about, all the things you haven’t done. This negative thought pattern tends to hold you back and make you much less productive.

Meditate:

With only 10 mins you can transform your whole day thanks to meditation. Meditation helps center your thoughts and gives you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional state and overall health. Since I'm fairly new at meditating, I prefer using guided meditations. Luckily, there are many great apps available for your phone that guides you through the whole process. Within one week of meditating, you'll feel and notice the difference in your productivity level and focus.

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Posted on February 23, 2017 and filed under Life.

Coach Dinky Purse

Coach Dinky Purse

If you ask me, adding a pop of color can enhance any outfit- even if you're dressed casual. Pairing a colored purse and matching lips makes the perfect accessory to what you're wearing without really trying.

I used to own only black and tan purses but soon realized how necessary expanding my color scheme was to my fashion style. Anything in the red color family is the best place to start- then you can work your way to more funkier colors.

The new Coach Spring 2017 Dinky bag is a great purse to add to your collection.  The versitile purse/clutch is the perfect size and it comes in a huge array of colors! I chose the gorgeous Glovertanned (burgundy) purse from the 1941 collection to spice up my outfit- and of course with matching lips to make the purse stand out even more.

Take a look at the whole Dinky 1941 collection here.

Coach Dinky Glovetanned
Coach Dinky Glovetanned

Coach Purse: (c/o) Glovetanned Dinky︱ Top: Grey Choker︱ Gianni Bini Shoes: Similar ︱ Sunglasses: Similar ︱ Lipstick: Smashbox Whitchy

SHOP THE LOOK:

 

In collaboration with Coach.


Posted on February 16, 2017 and filed under Style.

Polka Dot Midi Skirt

Polka Dot Midi Skirt

When it comes to fashion, I like to keep it simple and classy.

Recently, I've been into the mid skirt trend. I love the length of wearing pants but in a cute skirt form. You can normally find me in jeans but sometimes it's nice to dress up and play around with different styles.

I paired this polka dot midi skirt with a white off the shoulder top and added a gold chocker and hoops to bring the look together. I tucked in the top to showoff the skirt a bit more since it was too long to wear untucked. A nice white bodysuit would look nice as well.

SHOP THE LOOK:

Forever 21: Polka Dot Midi Skirt︱ Shopbop: Layer: Off The Shoulder White Top  ︱ Simply Vera Wang: Sold Out (Similar) ︱ Shopbop: Gold Choker  ︱ Sally Hansen: Peachy Breeze


Posted on February 15, 2017 and filed under Style.

10 Tips For The Perfect First Date

Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant

"This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Dove and DiMe Media. All opinions expressed are my own."

 

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, date nights are in full effect. For some, it's their first date with the person. As we all know, first dates can be exciting but also nerve wrecking at the same time. So many thoughts go racing through your head before the date even starts. 

"What should I wear?"

"How should I act?"

"Act cool and don't let them see you sweat!"

Dating shouldn't be stressful. Dates are meant to be fun and enjoyable and if you're lucky, an opportunity to meet someone who you're compatible with and want to spend more time getting to know.

Here are 10 tips for the perfect first date:

1. Relax: First dates are always scary because you don't know what to expect. Just as much as you want to impress your date- they're on the same mission to impress you as well and are probably just as nervous as you are. Take a deep breath and visualize the date being a total success.

2. Dress Appropriate: You only get one chance to make a good first impression. Pick an outfit that not only makes you look great but also makes you feel great. Put in extra effort on your appearnce but at the same time, make sure you are comfortable and not revealing too much. If you're having a hard time deciding what to wear, here's some advice: You can never go wrong with something black paired with cute accessories.

Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant

3. Be Confident: The number one quality that most people find attractive is confidence. The way you present/express yourself can either make you seem interesting and appealing or cocky and boring. Most of the time the latter won't yield another date. People want to be around good energy and someone that can hold a conversation. A pretty face and a nice meal can only go so far. There is only one of you in this world, so make sure you showcase your best qualities

4. Be Yourself: Always be authentic! From the way you look to the way you carry yourself, it's important to never pretend to be someone you're not. Many women feel the need to dress a certain way or layer on a pound of makeup in hopes the man will find them attractive. If you're into makeup then it's totally fine to doll yourself up just a bit more for the date, but if that's not you, then there is no need for all that production. Keep it simple and classy.

Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant

5. Be Present: We live in a world filled with distractions and where everything revolves around posting and capturing the perfect Instagram moment. On a date, especially a first one, your phone shouldn't be anywhere near you- unless it's an emergency, of course. It's extremely rude to not have your full undivided attention directed to your date. Paying attention to what they have to say, is the whole point of being on a date. If your mind or eyes are focused on something (or someone else) then you're not giving the person- or yourself-  the chance to see if it could possibly lead to something in the future.

6. Good Hygiene: Besides being present and making sure to say your please and thank yous, having good hygiene is crucial before, during and after your date. People who have poor hygiene- disheveled hair and clothes, body odor and bad breath are perceived negatively. Remember the whole first impression thing- well this is where it applies. Proper grooming, such as showering and shaving before your date can help you stay fresh and confident all night long.

If you're prone to sweating because of the nerves, using Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant is a great solution. It offers 48 hours of odor and wetness protection plus it's NutriumMoisture formula and 1/4 moisturizers leave your underarms feeling soft and smooth.  

I've been a user and promoter of Dove for many years now. It's the brand I use and trust for my beauty routine. Including for the many first dates I've had throughout the years. 

Here is a 5 star review that can also attest to Dove's benefits:

 “Not only did the scent last, the wetness protection did, too. This deodorant also has great moisturizing ability. I honestly think my underarm skin looks healthier after using it!”

Gaylasp

Also, don't forget to wash your hands before eating food, after going to the bathroom, and after coughing or sneezing. Having good hygiene and manners goes a long way!

Dove Advanced Care Antiperspirant

7. Don't Overshare: As much as it feels like you've known the person for years and are extremely comfortable with them, be careful on sharing too much too soon. As mentioned before, first dates should be light and fun. Serious topics should be left for later down the road. For now, laughing and having a good time is the only thing you should be worried about on your first date. Nothing more, nothing less.

8. Don't Drink Too Much: No one like a sloppy drunk... ever! Your standards, your morals (and quite possibly your clothes) are lost when you've had too much to drink. And as tempting as that may sound to some, getting drunk on a first date is not the smartest idea.  A good number for the night should be two. There is no need to drink more. Besides needing to be alert in order to hold an intelligent conversation, you also need to be cautious of your surroundings. Never be too impaired that you lose sight of your good judgment for the night. 

9. Show Respect: Always maintain respect for yourself and others. Set boundaries and make your intentions clear on the first date. If you're enjoying yourself great- show gratitude and express interest. If you're having an awful time, please have the common courtesy of treating your date with dignity and respect. The person probably spent a lot of time and money taking you out, the least you can do is stay the entire time. If a second date is suggested, politely decline. Never make anyone feel inferior or bad about themselves. Rejection is never easy but as long as you're honest and respectful, the person will understand and respect you even more.

10. Date, date, date! If the date went well, go on another one. If the date went horrible, go on another one (not with the same person-obviously). Just date! Whether you're looking to build a connection with someone or trying to find your life partner, you'll never find them if you're stuck at home.

Be confident, respectful and enjoy the dating experience. At the end, you'll either find someone amazing or have fun horror stories to share with your girlfriends over a big glass of wine. Either way, you're still winning!


Posted on February 9, 2017 and filed under Style & Beauty.

Healthy Muffin Parfait with Garden Lites

This post is sponsored by Garden Lites, but the content and opinions expressed are my own.

With the new diets and trends coming and going, there is one message that has forever remained constant- “eat your vegetables."

Luckily for me, I've always been a vegetable person. Even as a young kid, I enjoyed anything green served on my plate.

My love for vegetables has only grown in my adult years. Unfortunately, I don't always have the time to cook up a nutrtious veggie meal. This is why I love finding new and creative ways to get my nutrients in-especially when I'm traveling or on the go.

I recently discovered Garden Lites muffins at my supermarket. They're the perfect snack to help get in my vegetable intake for the day, without having to cook anything.

These little muffins are gluten-free, dairy free & nut free and contains 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of whole grain in each serving, making them the ideal snack.

They're a great way to sneak in zucchini and carrots in your diet without really trying. If you have a sweet tooth and don't like the taste of vegetables, then these products were made for you!

I was pleasantly surprised on how delicious and moist the Garden Lites muffins were. You would never know they are low in calorie and fat. Plus, I like how the portion is just the right amount, enough to statisfy your craving.

At Garden Lites, they are pioneering nutritious foods that make eating your veggies much easier and much more enjoyable. They are on a mission to create delicious foods that are truly healthy since every one of their products is veggie-rich with vegetables as its first and primary ingredient. 

Looking for a fun and different way to eat your muffin, here is a quick 5 min recipe that will transform your muffins into a delicious and healthy parfait style snack.

Muffin parfait

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Muffin
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • Strawberries (or any fresh fruit)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Cut muffin into three pieces
  • Put down first muffin piece to serve as your base and pour a spoonful of yogurt
  • Put sliced strawberries (or any fruit) on top of the yogurt
  • Layer another piece of muffin and pour yogurt and sliced fruit on top
  • Place last muffin piece and decorate with a piece of strawberry
muffin parfait
muffin parfait
muffin parfait
muffin parfait
muffin parfait
muffin parfait

I found the Garden Lites Chocolate and Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins at my local Publix. You can also find them in the freezer section of your nearest Stop & Shop, Giant, Shop-Rite, HEB, Kroger or Costco.

Save a $1 off your purchase here.

Garden Lites

Learn more about Garden Lites by visiting their website at www.gardenlites. com/about


Posted on January 30, 2017 and filed under Health, Food & Entertaining.

Back to School shopping made simple with Amazon Prime Student

Going back to school can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful. From deadlines to exams to group projects and presentations, there is so much a student has to deal with. Purchasing school supplies and textbooks shouldn't be one of them.

Thanks to the new benefits of Amazon Prime Student, back to school shopping for the semester has become much more easier and convinient with it's new benefits and savings.

Besides free 2-day shipping, an Amazon Prime Student membership includes exclusive college deals, great prices on textbooks, and unlimited streaming on tens of thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime Video.

My favorite two features of Amazon Prime Students are the unlimited listening to original audio series with Audible and unlimited reading on any device with Prime Reading. Makes catching up on books super easy and enjoyable.

Amazon Prime

Want to avoid the lines and high prices at the bookstore this semester? In addition to Amazon Prime Student benefits, Amazon can help students save time and money by skipping the bookstore line and visiting the Textbooks Store.

Amazon offers savings of up to 80% off price list for rentals between 30 to 360 days and up to 60% off purchases. With Amazon’s flexible rental program, students can decide how long to keep the material. And, when it comes time to send items back, Amazon will pay for return shipping.

Whether you need to purchase decorations for your dorm room or need new school supplies and textbooks, Amazon has you covered— and you can have it in hand within 2 days with free shipping.

Signing up for Amazon Prime Student is quick and easy, and gives you access to so many benefits and features. And thanks to Sprint, your first six months are free! You can cancel anytime, but trust me, you wont want to!

After your 6 month trial, you will receive 50% off the regular Amazon Prime Membership cost, making your student price only $49 annually. Refer a friend and get $10 Amazon store credit. When they sign up for a sponsored trial of Amazon Prime Student they will also get $10 toward their next Amazon purchase.

Amazon Prime

To sign up for Amazon Prime Student, click on the button that says “Start Your 6-Month Trial” and then “Create your Amazon account.” Follow the instructions and you will be ready to start shopping in no time. .

Keep up with the latest deals and promotions by following Amazon Prime Student on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat (add amazonstudent).

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Posted on January 17, 2017 and filed under Life.

New Year, New Me! Getting healthy with Jenny Craig

Thank you Jenny Craig for sponsoring this post. -- Get serious about losing weight with Jenny Craig!

The new year is the perfect time to set new goals and challenge yourself to do better in every aspect of your life. For most people, including myself, health is on the top of the list. Especially after over indulging during the holidays.

I consider myself a fairly healthy person. I don't smoke or drink coffee, only consume alcohol socially and get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Unfortunately, my eating habits can't be praised the same.

The main issue with my food intake is portion control. I used to be good at listening to my body and only eating when hungry, but now I find myself overeating and not making the best food choices. The lack of organization and mindful eating has resulted in me gaining over 20lbs in the past 2 years!

At the beginning of the year, I made a promise to myself to get back on track and adopt a much more healthier lifestyle.

I've partnered with Jenny Craig to help me reach my goal succesfully. For the next two months, I will be meeting with a consultant and following their personally designed meal plan.

Jenny Craig is a clinically proven and recommended weight-loss program designed to provide structure and support to help members lose weight and learn how to keep it off. The program takes a holistic approach to weight loss and weight management, focusing on food, body and mind. 

Every member is paired with a dedicated consultant who provides them with one-on-one support to identify their challenges and goals, and helps them to create unique weekly meal and activity plans.

This week I met with my consultant, Catherine, for the first time. She was super sweet and so helpful with explaining in great detail the entire program and the realistic expectations of losing 1-2 pounds per week, which is a healthy range of weight loss.

I left motivated and excited to start the Jenny Craig program!

Jenny Craig Consultant

Consultants provide education on portion control, healthy eating habits and teach members strategies such as how to combine delicious Jenny Craig Meals and Snacks with Fresh & Free Additions that are rich in water and fiber to keep them feeling full longer with fewer calories.

My membership includes all the food I'll be consuming for the next couple of months. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks per day. I was pleasantly surprised at their selection of food offered. There are more than 100 premium menu items created by 40 professional chefs. There is something for everyone- even if you have a dietary restriction or have a picky palate, Jenny Craig has you covered.

Take a look at their menu here.

Jenny Craig

A few years ago I tried Weight Watchers and although I did lose weight on their program, I didn't particularly like having to constantly weigh or measure my food. With Jenny Craig, all the food is premade and packaged for you. All you have to do is warm it up and enjoy.

It doesn't get any easier than that.

I love their shakes, especially the Chocolate Dream! It provides portable protein, fiber and essential vitamins and minerals- perfect for a post work out snack.

Jenny Craig

For members who don’t live near a center, Jenny Craig Anywhere offers one-on-one support through consultations over the phone or via video chat.

I will recap my experience in the next few weeks and let you know how much weight I lost- as well as my overall thoughts on the program.

What are your fitness goals this year?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Posted on January 10, 2017 and filed under Health.

ghd Copper Gold Styler

When it comes to styling my hair, I normally wear it straight. It's quick and easy and I've been wearing it that way for years. Thankfully since I have thick hair, I can pull off the straight look without my hair looking too flat.

Lately though, I've been in the experimenting mood and have been wearing my hair with lose curls and waves. I love how adding dimension to my hair brings out my balayage even more.

For the past month, I've been using the new ghd copper flatiron, which won Allure Magazine's Best in Beauty 2016 award, to style my hair.

ghd copper flatiron

Before I begin to describe how amazing this styler is, can we just take a moment to admire the beautiful copper gold color!

This is my first time owning a flatiron that is not your typical black boring color.. and I love it!

Besides being obsessed with the color, I found that I could not only straighten my hair but also achieve the lose curls with the same product.

ghd copper flatiron

Thanks to ghd's patented tri-zone® technology, you can maintain a safer-for-hair heat from root to tip, reducing hair breakage by over 50%* and increasing shine by 20%*.

From sleek straight hair to waves and curls, you can create a look that's stylish, effortless and professional with ghd stylers.

ghd copper flatiron

How to Curl Hair Using Flatiron:

Feed a 1-inch section of hair closest to the nape of your neck between the two clamps of the flat iron.

From there, in one fluid motion (or else you'll create divots in your hair), twist your wrist away from your face, so the hair flows over (not under) the iron. Make sure the hair continues to wrap around the flat iron's barrel as you push the iron toward your ends, which will create the curl.

Tip: the smaller the sections, the curlier your hair will be.

ghd copper flatiron
ghd copper flatiron - loose curls

To view more looks as well as in depth ghd hair tutorials, click here.

ghd copper flatiron

Two bonuses included in the gift set are the heat-resistant bag and protective plate guard. I travel quite a bit during the year, so having these two additions makes stowing away my styler that much more convenient when I'm on the go.

ghd flatiron

Speaking of traveling, for a limited time only, when you purchase the ghd copper gold styler, you'll receive a free ghd flight® travel hairdrying gift set!

ghd

I've tried a few flatirons over the years and I can honestly say, ghd has been the best product I've used so far.

The design is lightweight and easy to hold and the heat is equally distributed throughout the plates, which reduces styling time and damage.

Such a great product and one that I'll be using regularly. 

Have you used ghd before? Let me know your thoughts!

ghd copper flatiron

This post is sponsored by ghd but the content and opinions expressed are my own.


Posted on December 22, 2016 and filed under Style & Beauty.

The Perfect Gift with Jewelers Mutual

When it comes to jewelry, I'm a simple type of girl. Less is more in my opinion.

Although my jewelry collection is not that extensive, the few pieces I do own, have both sentimental and monetary value.

Up until recently, the thought of insuring my jewelry never crossed my mind until my sister got married last April.

For some couples, their wedding rings are one of the biggest purchases they'll make together. My brother in law quickly had my sister's engagement ring insured after he proposed to her. It was the smartest thing he could've done.

Accidents can happen no matter how careful we are with our jewelry, that's why jewelry insurance is something that is greatly beneficial to obtain.

If you're looking to purchase insurance, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company is a great option. They have been exclusively insuring jewelry for more than 100 years and offers repair or replacement coverage that includes worldwide travel protection for all types of jewelry and watches. Coverage includes loss, theft, damage and mysterious disappearance (unexplained loss).

For someone who loves to travel, such as myself and my new brother in law and sister, the benefit of having travel insurance for both your jewelry and watches, gives you peace of mind when you're out exploring.

Their wedding cake was travel themed.

Their wedding cake was travel themed.

Need an idea on what to gift your loved one for any occasion? Get them the right jewelry coverage for those special presents. With Jewelers Mutual, you get an extra level of protection that often goes beyond what may be covered by typical homeowners or renter’s insurance.

I'm looking to expand my jewelry collection and invest in classic pieces that I can wear for years to come - and that won't go out of style.

Here are a few of my picks:

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Posted on December 14, 2016 .