Favorite Finds: Rita Ora’s Adidas Originals Collection

Hi everyone,

So I want to start a series on my blog “favorite finds”, featuring new signature pieces to my wardrobe. My first is rightfully the Banned From Normal sweatshirt from Rita Ora’s Adidas collection. I did not sign up for the Avenue A Adidas boxes, however, I managed to score the sweatshirt on Ebay. It’s my new love.

The Avenue A includes 4 limited edition Adidas boxes a year delivered to your door, $150 per box. In hindsight this is a really good deal given you are receiving three products, but I personally haven’t committed to the program.

Back to the sweatshirt. I LOVE the detail and message behind it. The front features the Banned From Normal in bold and bright colors of red, white, and black. The stars are such a cool touch.

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I’m not going to be sweating in this sweatshirt because I want it to stay in good condition, but I definitely love to pair it with black leggings and my Adidas Superstars. I’m also normally not into color blocking in my wardrobe, but this is a total exception!

I find the Adidas Originals pieces to be beautifully done, and it takes athletic/lifestyle outfits to a more creative level. I haven’t hesitated to wear this in the city or when I’m out with friends, just because it’s a sweatshirt.

Let’s discuss the back. It’s a tiger face in the Adidas silhouette. I feel like this sweatshirt now matches my spirit animal, which would be some sort of wild cat. My hair is a total mane. This was the final touch for me because I’m not someone who wears animal print, so this is the perfect compromise.

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Although bold blocking and material mixes like this collection made it more difficult to pair the pieces on their own, I find that a simple pair of leggings is perfect so you’re not overdoing it. As much of an icon as Rita Ora, I think it’s awesome to add bold pieces and patterns to mix it up from your neutrals.

The sweatshirt is oversized, and I purchased a small. If I wanted to it can go over my bum and be longer, or I can bunch it up and wear it more loosely. I’ll wear my hair natural or do the double braids, and in the summer I’m fully planning on including my hippie oversized glasses from ZeroUV. If you haven’t heard of that brand, check them out on Instagram because the price point is always right.

I also love the jersey white and yellow stripes along the sleeves, giving the sweatshirt even more of an athletic look but just slightly.

The perfect combination of sass, color, and comfort.

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I paired the sweatshirt with my Puma Evo Gold trainers as opposed to the Superstars for these shots, and they work so well! There’s a bit of gold in the sweatshirt and my trainers are black and gold respectively. Yes I did choose a red track for the backdrop of these shots.

I’m not as into the fit of regular Adidas gymwear due to my dedication to the brand Athleta, however, the Adidas Originals pieces continue to be my occasional splurges.

This collection is no longer being sold I believe, but Ebay is still an option. I guarantee you’ll find an Originals piece that will fit your taste and add some color, especially in these winter months. Hope you enjoyed my review! Be bright, be bold. xx

Feel free to check out previews to posts on my Instagram @kmzwicker

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-Kelly

How to Easily Bring Mental Release Into Your Daily Routine

Hi everyone,

I’m a believer that positive mental health is crucial to an overall healthy lifestyle. I also think it is often prioritized last. Giving yourself mental release is so important to reset your mind and stay focused for longer durations. It is also crucial for reducing stress.

Seems a little odd, but my first relaxing part of the day is when I get out of bed and head to my bathroom to do my makeup. I play music on Spotify and I take extra time, letting my full perfectionist come out. Slowing some activities down can be beneficial to not being so rushed. Of course, you have to give yourself enough time to get ready! I do not wear a lot of makeup, most of my routine is skincare based. Just to clarify.

Throughout the day I take a few minutes at a time with my photography. I edit pictures and play around with my Instagram feed, or I will be doing flatlays and other shots. I find working with my camera to be super therapeutic. I also use my photography and style to demonstrate my artistic side, which brings me to my next relaxing activity.

Sketching. You can spend 20 minutes or 2 hours sketching and your mind dives into the artwork. You don’t think about your schedule or your obligations, you just use your creativity and vision. I used to sketch more before I got my DSLR, but I find both to be beneficial for mind release.

The gym. I love going to the gym above all else, and this may seem obvious already. It’s not just to get a better body, it’s also extremely healthy for your mind. Exercise can boost your mood, improve your sleep and memory, and increase your self-esteem. There have been scientific connections between exercise and the prevention of cognitive decline. Cardiovascular exercise has been known to spike brain performance. I tune everything out at the gym, with my headphones in and my workout on my phone.

Cooking. I’m not the best cook, but I’m learning to experiment more in the kitchen. When I do cook I often play music to make it more fun, while I wait for water to boil or food to cook. Cooking is known to be an art form to some, with the creativity behind it. Quality nutrition of cooking your own meals at home is also linked to positive mental health, for you know all the ingredients going into your meal and control all of the nutrients you’re receiving.

Winding down. At the end of the day it is always good to have a winding down period. I personally like to get ready for bed and make a cup of decaffeinated tea. I go on my computer or read a book, and these days I’ve had the heater on while I slip into knee-high wool socks (Seattle problems). I tend to sleep a lot better when I incorporate this time, as opposed to just hopping into bed and turning the lights off. My body and mind seem to recognize the transition better this way.

I hope these ideas were helpful to add some mental release into your day! Stay mindful and motivated. xx

-Kelly

Plant-Based Protein Ideas

Hi everyone,

It’s a common mistake to think you can’t get protein from meat alternatives. If you choose not to eat meat, there are a lot of options that just require a little more creativity! To put it in perspective, I am a pescatarian. I’m happily only eating seafood, the rest is either tofu or plant-based. In the future I may consider being a complete vegetarian when the mercury content in fish becomes an even greater issue. Not to mention the price of fish is definitely something to consider.

Featured above is a plant-based protein powder smoothie from Vega One. I love this line of powders because you totally get what you’re paying for, and the labels are all very transparent. I do not like Whey protein, which cancels out many if not all of the major protein powders circulating social media. Whey is milk based and has been connected to skin imperfections, not to mention my slight intolerance to large amounts of dairy.

I’m going to be honest about Vega- it’s not going to taste like a milkshake. Hence the no milk part of plant-based. I use the Vega protein and greens, the energizer pre-workout, and the recovery powder. They don’t taste bad, they just don’t taste like dessert like so many other powders are now turning starting to. Personally, I don’t think something that is solely supposed to replenish you needs to taste like an ice cream sundae.

I feel as though I need the extra kick of protein powders and energizers for me to meet my daily protein quota as well as benefit my fitness goals. I would highly recommend this brand not only to vegetarians or those who have gone gluten free, but also those who want a low sugar option that doesn’t make your stomach upset or be the culprit of unwanted calories. I do have a shaker for all of these, do yourself favor and grab a shaker instead of doing the glass and spoon method.

As for a very simple recipe: (bear with me I’m not the best cook, but I love smoothies)

1 scoop vega one protein and greens

1 1/2 cups of non-dairy beverage (I like coconut milk or even a juice like apple or guava)

1 cup of frozen fruit (highly recommend a tropical mix!)

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Now getting onto other ways of getting that protein in.

salad

  1. Lentils- 1 cup of cooked lentils is about 18 grams of protein! You can use lentils in a soup, use them as a base in bowl, or even as a filling
  2. The power of SEEDS: 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds means 10 grams of protein (sprinkle that magic on a salad) and 2 tablespoons of chia seeds is 4 grams of protein.
  3. Quinoa- this a great thing to add to recipes given it is a starchy protein, so it is has the carbs as well as about 8 grams of protein per half cup, and added fiber.              *tip:  fiber adds elasticity to your skin so stock up!*
  4. Nuts- to get about 8 grams of protein, you just need about a 1/4 cup. Simple enough. I’m not one to puts nuts in salads, so I’ll make my own trail mix to carry around. They make a great snack for long hikes.
  5. Tofu- And no it does not taste like cardboard. Tofu essentially tastes like whatever seasoning you add to it. One average serving is about 20 grams of protein. The possibilities for recipes are pretty endless. Tofu crumbles in tacos, tofu squares in stir-fry, veggie tofu sausage with your breakfast… there ya go.
  6. Protein peanut  butter- this has been my personal favorite addition because peanut butter is awesome. GNC sells a line of high protein spreads, including the Nuts ‘N More peanut butter flavor. I like to put it on apples or organic rice cakes for a snack.

The best part about focusing on plant-based proteins when I’m not eating seafood is how I feel. My stomach doesn’t hurt, nothing needs to be fried to taste better, and I feel full but not bloated. I try to load up my plate with greens and foods packed with nutrients and I have certain motivations to do so. They all have really powerful benefits.

Vitamins and minerals from plants help your immune system, anti-aging in your skin as well as inflammation and clarity, and even energy and long-term health. A way I like to look at it is how you look and feel is reflected from what you EAT. So eat well and prosper.

I hope you found these ideas beneficial for your nutrition planning, and I’m excited to add more nutrition into my blogs and daily posts.

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To see my love of photography, check out my instagram @kmzwicker for correlated posts!

Thanks for reading xx

~Kelly

Two Skin Care Ingredients That Will Change Your Skin

Hi everyone,

I haven’t done a post on skin care in a bit so I wanted to share my two recently added ingredients that have changed my skin for the better.

The ingredients include collagen and glycolic acid. If used appropriately, I guarantee you will see a noticeable difference! Let me touch on the benefits and properties of each, and describe how I have integrated them into my daily skin care.

C o l l a g e n 

Collagen is essentially an anti-aging protein. It is even found in our muscles, tendons, and bones. It is essential for the healthy appearance of your skin, especially by boosting skin elasticity.

Fine lines/ wrinkles: As you age, you lose collagen steadily over time. This is completely natural, however, with the addition of sun exposure, environmental toxins, and diet, collagen loss can be additionally decreased.

Improvement of general skin tone: Making your skin tone a priority not only makes for a more youthful appearance, it also improves your self-esteem and overall mental health in regards to your skin. Most skin collagen is located in the dermis, however, the amino acids in this particular protein aid the outer epidermis in hydration and a smoother appearance.

Moisturizer: Collagen is a very effective moisturizer, when take internally and as a topical moisturizer. In other words, collagen plumps up your skin, thus helping diminish lines and imperfections as results of dryness and dehydration.

Joint health: In addition to the skin benefits, collagen aids in joint health, which compliments an active and healthy lifestyle.

In order to really get the full benefits of collagen, I recommend using a skin care product with it as a primary ingredient, such as the PCA Skin Collagen Hydrator I’m currently loving. I have also had great results by taking it in powder form, and the brand I use is below. GNC has the collagen for a really reasonable price, and the brand is considered the best for what you’re getting.

Collagen products I currently use:

➳ PCA Skin Collagen Hydrator

link: https://www.pcaskin.com/collagen-hydrator.html

➳ GNC’s NeoCell Super Collagen

link: http://www.gnc.com/NeoCell-Super-Collagen-Type-1-3/product.jsp?productId=3704754

G l y c o l i c  A c i d

Glycolic acid is a great multi-tasker of an ingredient. It is in the AHA compound group (Alpha Hydroxy Acids). It originates from sugar cane. Given how small of a molecule it is, it can penetrate deeper into  the dermis when compared to other compounds.

Exfoliator: Glycolic acid removes dead skin cells with its exfoliation properties, without physically aggravating the skin. This helps dullness of skin due to outer layer dryness or flakes, and your skin will be more radiant when that layer is sloughed away. I am also completely sold on chemical versus physical exfoliation, to better cater to sensitivity.

Diminishes pores: Pores often get clogged on the surface layer of the skin due to oil, dirt, and makeup.

Hyperpigmentation: glycolic acid diminishes dark marks and redness by its rejuvenation of the outer skin layer.

I currently use glycolic acid as an occasional “peel” for when my skin is starting to look a little dull. Glycolic acid cleansers are also popular, however, when purchasing a cleanser with glycolic acid be sure to keep your skin type in mind. Higher concentrations of the acid can in turn worsen redness or cause irritation, if your skin is not adjusted. The great thing about adding it in a cleanser is it will not be sitting on your skin for a long time, but you will still get the benefits.

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Of course it is very beneficial to eat a healthy diet and exercise to get a healthier complexion, however, sometimes you need an extra boost from the right ingredients. Climate, skin type, and age play major roles in how your skin appears on the surface, and these boosts can preserve the health of your skin even as you age.

*A common myth: You don’t need to use anti-aging ingredients and products until you are older.

I reject this statement because you are never too young to take care of your largest organ. You may be surprised at the improvements anti-aging essentials can do for you!

In addition to the above information about collagen and glycolic acid, these are some of my mainstay skin care rules for a healthy complexion:

➳ Do not fall asleep with your makeup on. This may seem obvious, but coming from someone with naturally dry skin, sleeping in your makeup is very drying and your pores are being clogged as you sleep for hours. If you’re having a lazy moment, even using makeup wipes would be a better alternative. That gets to my next rule.

➳ Use proper cleansing methods. I prefer to double cleanse, first with a micellar water to get my makeup off and then I use an actual cleanser for a deeper clean. I do not use makeup wipes because these must be made with preservative chemicals to kill bacteria. You might want to switch to micellar water or a cleansing oil without strange unpronounceable ingredients! *I use the Garnier micellar water with the pink cap*

➳ Don’t over- exfoliate. I get nervous when someone tells me they scrub their face daily with a physical exfoliator. Some even use them twice a day. The weird thing about exfoliating is that too much of it will actually cause the problems you’re trying to scrub away (dry flakes and dead skin). I like to use chemical exfoliators with active ingredients like glycolic acid, so I don’t have to physically scrub my face with beads.

➳ Always check ingredients when you are buying anything that will go on your face. Get to know your skin type and any sensitivity you might have to specific ingredients. It’s always wise to be aware of the contents you’re putting money towards.

I hope you enjoyed this skin care check-in! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. Thanks for reading! xx

-Kelly

 

 

Fitness Trackers & My Fitbit Charge 2 Review

Hi everyone,

I hope everyone had a great NYE and holiday break, which brings me to my review of the Fitbit Charge 2. I jumped right into that because I’m excited to share its features! Probably a bit too excited.

When looking at fitness trackers, you may be asking yourself:

➳Do I need a tracker? Or is it just another thing I have to charge?

➳What brand of tracker is the best for different workouts?

➳Which Fitbit would be right for me and my routine?

➳Are these trackers aesthetically acceptable for daily wear? (shout out to others that think this way)

Let me tackle each of these based off of my final choice of the Charge 2.

In regards to needing a tracker, this of course depends on your fitness goals and how organized you wish to be with your fitness routine. If you think you would benefit from looking at numerical goals for workouts, I think you should consider one. Checking your heart rate, steps, sleep quality, and meal tracking, these all directly relate to a healthy and active lifestyle. Actually seeing the numbers can motivate you to make necessary changes.

There are many brands of fitness trackers currently on the market, and I went straight to customer reviews for this one. The main thing to look for in my opinion is accuracy of the actual data on the tracker. Some trackers are better suited for runners, for instance. Some are water resistant while some can’t take more than the average sweat session. It really depends on how much you want to spend, how many features you want the device to have, and what types of activities you most frequently do.

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Some comparisons:

The Garmin VivoSmart HR+ was named the Fitness Tracker of the year for 2016. This particular tracker is water resistance whereas the Charge 2 is not. It has the features as high up as GPS, but it retails quite a bit higher over $200 and is described as pretty chunky looking on the wrist (again, for the aesthetic folks).

Even comparing those two, the Fitbit Charge 2 retails for less around $150 but does not have GPS and is not water resistant. I like to pair my phone with the tracker and I don’t mind going in the shower without it, so these details don’t matter to me personally.

There is another more basic tracker called Moov Now, a small and round tracker that can go around your leg or clip on. It has much less features, but is said to be a great choice for getting in shape and particularly for longer intensity workouts such as running, cycling, and swimming. It retails for much less at around $60.

The Tom Tom Touch is another tracker that is mainly targeted for weight loss. You get very accurate data of your body fat composition as well as muscle percentage. It retails fairly high at about $130, however, you also get the features of daily steps, sleep quality, and heart rate.

As for the Apple watch, it retails too high for what it is in my opinion. In addition, it is basically a second phone due to its phone call alerts and texts, as well as ability to play music. This drains the battery life of the iPhone paired to it. and i’ve read that the watch’s battery life averages at about 18 hours. My Charge lasts up to 5 days!

Lastly, I have seen a lot of Polar A360’s on Instagram. This fitness tracker is definitely cool looking, to give it aesthetic credit. It is said to have a great full-color display for even outdoor light, is waterproof, and it can be directly connected to a USB port to charge. Essentially though, it not having GPS makes it at the same level of features as the Charge 2 except for it being waterproof, and the Polar A360 retails about $50 higher.

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Now getting more specific with which Fitbit device could be right for you:

I was going between the Alta, the Charge 2, and the Blaze. I would suggest going on the Fitbit website and looking at the features of each device, as well as a comparison chart.

Essentially, I didn’t want GPS tracking from the Surge, and I thought the Blaze, although really interesting looking with the display face, was too bulky for daily wear. The Charge had heart rate monitoring which the Alta did not, So it was really a process of elimination there based off of features.

As for aesthetic, I actually really like the look of my Charge 2 for daily wear. I got the black band with the plum purple for a replacement. I think it’s a great size, however, most men I have seen including my trainer like the look and size of the Blaze! When doing additional research, many women stated that the Alta, being slimmer than the Charge 2, was a bit more discrete and they preferred that. It’s all up to you! All of that aside though, don’t feel self conscious about wearing a fitness tracker. You’re on your way to being a healthier version of yourself.

I’ve been loving my Fitbit for multiple reasons. I consider myself a healthy person who goes to the gym on average 6 days a week, but we can always do better. We can always be better. I have already learned:

➳how much sleep I really need to have enough energy

➳how much protein and other essential dietary needs I can improve on

➳how active I am during the day in terms of steps and calories burned

and on top of that I have an app of fitness data to track my progress.

I find myself more motivated and organized to get the most out of my workouts.

The standout con I have noticed about the Charge 2 is the screen responsiveness, due to the fact that you have to tap the screen a certain way to get the displays to switch. I haven’t had an issue with this personally. Another piece of advice is to be sure to place the tracker correctly when exercising and when you’re sleeping, in terms of higher or lower on the wrist and tightness. The instruction manual that comes with the device touches on this.

I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so having a fitness tracker excites me as opposed to makes me dread having to keep track of another device. I can understand the fact that our society is in love with technology, but remember, this is a fitness and health device aimed to benefit you not distract you 🙂 .

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I hope this review of the Charge 2 and the fitness tracker comparison was helpful for those looking into investing!

Get out and sweat! xx

♥  Kelly

 

 

 

 

♥ New Year’s Resolutions/ Motivations!♥

Hi everyone,

I hope everyone’s December weeks have been filled with great memories to end 2016! I wanted to open up discussion to the idea of making New Year’s resolutions. I have to admit I do not do these every year. However, being graduated from college and finally having time to dive into my passions, I want to hold myself accountable to continue to push boundaries and have more amazing experiences.

I have categorized my resolutions into the following: fitness, health, career development, creativity, and adventures. These may seem like too many categories to successfully target, but they’re all really important for goal setting. I hope you find them relatable in your own goal setting for 2017.

➳ FITNESS (and a little about my fitness story)

Fitness has meant different things to me over the years. Being a college athlete meant planned workouts with specific programs that catered to better performance in one sport. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I was a bit disoriented once I left the security blanket of college athletics, because I didn’t know what to train for anymore. I didn’t have matches to prepare for. When you don’t have something to work for, you lose motivation sometimes. But do you want to know what my motivation became? The simple answer is just self contentment.

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Above is a transformation picture I posted on my Instagram recently showing a major time jump between 2012 (left) to today (right). In 2012 I was going to modeling agencies, and spending too much time on the elliptical and not enough time hitting the weights. I wasn’t completely confident in my body. I was never empowered by it. Fast forward to today when I’m graduated and spending 4 days a week at least smashing out weight training (with a trainer once a week!). I’ve never seen more progress, and I’m beginning to love my body for real, for my own standards of beauty. Self-love is powerful, guys.

That being said, here are my fitness goals:

♥ Build my bum. I honestly really want to gain this curve, and I’m making progress! Whenever I do legs I make an effort to work my bum.

♥ Strengthen my lower back. It’s a common complaint to avoid “muffin tops,” and my lower back has never been really targeted in previous workout routines. Hi deadlifts!

♥ Be able to do 3 legitimate pull-ups. I say 3 because I’ve never done one in my life. I use the assisted pull-up machine for now, so I’m preparing for that magic.

♥ See a steady progression of my body fat percentage. When I started my personal training, there was nothing wrong with my body. I would wear crop tops or short shorts or even wear bikinis all summer long, I just didn’t have the muscle. A tip: keep lifting HEAVIER. Ladies, do not stay at the plateau of 5 or 10 lb dumbbells. Keep going up in weight and you’ll notice that you are actually shredding and losing fat, not “bulking.”

➳ HEALTH

Always aim to prioritize a healthy lifestyle. This includes mental and physical health. If you’ve noticed potential improvements you could make throughout this year, whether large or small, really focus on those! I’m a Public Health major and a gym goer, but I still have quite a long list in my head of changes I could make in this department.

My health goals:

♥ Drink the daily recommended water intake. I am so terrible at getting my daily water. I love Kombucha and fruity things, and I often grab other options besides just water. This is a major goal of mine to boost my hydration levels. I am stoked on a christmas gift  of a filtered bottle to infuse with fruits for my water. Now I just have to use it. 🙂

♥ Get better, more regulated sleep. I got a solid 5-6 hours a night through my college career, and that’s not great. My Fitbit has been reminding me that my average need of sleep is 7 1/2 hours. Basically I was reminded that I was sleep deprived for four years.

♥ Gratitude. This world is full of so many individuals, and many do not have the opportunities we can take for granted. I want to be grateful of what I have in life and frequently remind myself of this, in order to not get negative over things that will change for the better in time.

♥ Meditation. I want to incorporate meditation into my daily routine. Whether it is 5 minutes or 20, I think this is a great way to dip out of reality and center yourself.

♥ Get more fresh air. Because fresh air, in the middle of nowhere, on top of a mountain, in the middle of a rainstorm, means a fresh mind.

♥ Focus hard on my nutrition. I need to up my protein intake given I’m a pescatarian, and I need to eat multiple small meals a day to keep me well nourished. I plan to dedicate myself to food tracking via My Fitness Pal and my Fitbit.

➳ CAREER DEVELOPMENT

We all are working towards something. College brings on that idea, and how we are released into the world of possibility, elevator talks, interviews…

I always use the process of elimination for my potential career. Internships have been helpful for me in this way to give me an idea of what I don’t want. I have recently learned I cannot work in an office full-time. I will probably be let go due to spinning in circles in my chair with zero creativity. I don’t know about you, but office settings with fluorescent lighting kill my creative vibes.

My career goals:

♥ Keep record of things I learn from each job. Likes and dislikes!

♥ Build my blog and pursue health and wellness. I love photography and writing, and sharing my health and fitness journey on Instagram and on this platform. I look forward to where this path takes me.

♥ Decide on graduate school

♥ Establish a personal brand for myself.

♥ Collaborate with a fitness brand with my blogging and online content

Essentially, I want to be a creative and make this my life and job. I see myself blogging from Iceland, or Spain, maybe even from Australia to visit my friends over there!

➳ CREATIVITY

♥ Get back into sketching. I have accumulated sketch pads and pencils that haven’t been used in under a year. I miss driving someplace to people watch and channel those sights into sketches.

♥ Start a YouTube channel. I’ve considered this for a while, but I am more used to still shots as opposed to video. We shall see!

♥ Continue with my poetry. I have been writing poetry since Freshman year of college and it’s a great mental release.

♥ Get crafty. I see things in the store like planetarium, and I tell myself I could just make one instead. And I never do. So getting more crafty is going on the list.

➳ ADVENTURES

My age group has been referred to as millennia. It is also a time in society where creatives are said to be flourishing. Companies and organizations are now seeking creative individuals to compliment their values, their missions. I want to stay creative, and stay adventurous.

♥ Go on two adventures per month at minimum. This could be a small road trip or a complete day of wandering, but this will be my bare minimum. I want to feel in the moment more, not looking towards future events. I don’t have to switch classrooms when the clock ticks anymore, so I have zero excuse not to fill my time more with adventurous activities.

♥ Set aside money for plane tickets. I want to see more places, of course. Next stop, Iceland!

*pause in the goal setting*

I want to be honest and say my three financial investments in life are currently skin care, fitness, and travel aspirations.

♥ Explore my camera more and as I add lenses and become less of an amateur, I want to collaborate more with other bloggers near me

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That was a long list, my apologies if it was a bit too much. I am a over-thinker after all.

Also, here’s tonight’s sunset.

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I’d love to hear about your New Year’s Resolutions. Leave a comment with your ideas and I hope you all have a sparkly last day of the year! xx

Follow my fitness journey and health posts on my Instagram @kmzwicker

-Kelly

 

 

 

 

Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all having a great weekend so far preparing for Christmas!

Over the years I have gone more minimalistic with my gifts for family and friends. I feel as though one thoughtful gift is more special than five. I find it less stressful this way as well! I have put together some ideas of last minute gift ideas and why they are my favorite choices.

I love aesthetic, so a given for me for small gifts are things such as candles and lotions. Getting someone holiday scented candles with beautiful wrapping could be much more successful than one might think. Lotions and hand creams are also a way to pamper yourself, and the holidays give you a break to be more luxurious. As for stores to find these, my top two would be TJ Maxx and Marshall’s. I find the most unique scents and decorative products there. And for an affordable price. Another great place would be Bath and Body Works, and they always have holiday gift sets making your decisions a bit easier!

Skincare is always a great Christmas gift option. Quality skincare can be pricey at times, and people often hesitate to splurge on themselves in this category. Whether it is winter dryness, fine lines and anti-aging, or just soothing masks, these make awesome gifts or even sample size stocking stuffers. I go to Sephora, given they have majority of my skincare as well as makeup. If you want to do more of a mix of sample size products, the maze-like check out line there always has small sizes often decorated for the holidays. Essentially, everything is done for you.

So let’s discuss tea. There are a lot of tea drinkers walking around. I personally take coffee in the morning and tea at night. Some just prefer tea for their caffeine fix as well as winding down after a long day. Tea tins and various tea flavor packs could make someone’s day, as simple as it is. There are major health benefits of drinking tea regularly, the obvious one being more hydration. I took a visit to Teavana to pick up their holiday gift set, complete with an pressure infuser, rock candy, two tea flavors, and decorated tea tins. The entire set was $50. For a tea drinker, you just might become their new favorite person if you give them a set like this one.

Books? No I’m not talking about a kindle download, or an ebook ready to scan while you’re waiting to board your plane. I’m talking about the real books, the ones that smell brand new and you can actually physically flip the pages as you read. I may be a little biased, but I prefer books over kindles and reading on a screen. Getting someone a book doesn’t mean you couldn’t come up with anything else, but more so you are giving them an excuse to take some down time and dive into a different reality. If you pay attention to someone’s interests and get them a book that compliments that, that’s major points right there.

For the fitness lovers like myself, fitness related gifts are always welcome. Whether it is a stainless steel S’well water bottle or a new Fitbit tracker, these are very thoughtful ideas for someone that is dedicated to an active lifestyle and be fashionable while doing so.

These are my last minute gift ideas for Christmas 2016. I hope you enjoyed! Merry Christmas and stay warm xx

-Kelly

Weekend Outdoor Workout

Hi everyone,

In light of my long seasonal work hours this weekend, I’m posting my favorite outdoor workouts that keep me in shape when I don’t visit my gym. They’re simple, and they don’t require any extra equipment.

Cardio 

Running stairs: Your heart rate increases and the constant climbing and descending pushes your muscles to work harder. You get the cardiovascular activity as well as the muscle-building. Because of the step incline, the activity is engaging more of your leg muscles and is easier on your joints. Not to mention running stairs is great for toning your glutes.

Trail running: I personally want to encourage trail running over pavement due to the extra cushion on the joints. I’ve had experience with shin splints, and the thought of running on pavement makes me cringe. Trails are also more therapeutic, given you are surrounded by forest coverage and nature as opposed to traffic and cement.

Uphill sprinting: This is a great shorter, high intensity cardio workout

HIIT

If you have a park bench or something similar:

  1. Single leg step-ups
  2. Tricep dips
  3. Decline push-ups

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If you want to really make your arms burn:

Commandos: these are done just with your bodyweight, and they are great for toning

Push-ups: these are a standard arm workout with no equipment and done with bodyweight

For your abs:

Mountain climbers: These are so effective for the abdominals. I usually really start to feel them at 30-40 reps!

Straight leg raises: Be sure to support your back by placing your hands slightly underneath

Ab bikes: I prefer to do these slow to really target my abdominals correctly. I often see people rushing through these and I never find them as effective that way!

*For the ab exercises above, make sure to keep your core engaged the entire time to get the best possible tone*

Legs:

Squats: These are so common because they’re great for building your leg definition as well as your glute muscles. I like to get really low with my squats to better train all of my leg muscles, including my hamstrings.

Lunges: I do either reverse lunges or walking lunges, depending on space. If you have a lot of it, aim for doing 20 walking lunges each leg in one set.

*With squats and lunges, be sure not to let your knees come over your toes in sake of your form*

Ready to get outside and sweat? Thanks for reading! xx

-Kelly

Low Coverage, Natural Makeup Routine

What’s on my mind:

The natural beauty of low coverage makeup. I have officially made the switch and I’m so happy with it. Below i’ll share my current makeup routine with a lower coverage as well as the benefits of going this route! Enjoy.

First off, I used to wear a foundation pretty regularly. My skin would fluctuate in clarity due to many reasons. Going back on the timeline, in high school I always wore a high coverage foundation, not necessarily out of need, but I just felt more comfortable with the extra layer. It was the Loreal Infallible foundation. Safe to say I haven’t purchased this foundation in over four years, and here’s why:

The possible drawbacks of long-wear, high coverage makeup

1. Foundation is one of the main culprits of skin problems due to makeup. It is meant to cover more, which is a temporary relief to anything you want to hide. If your skin does not need the high coverage, opt for something lighter than a foundation. Many of them cause irritation and breakouts, mainly because they don’t allow your skin to breathe. It’s understandable to wear foundation in a skin purging phase, but once your skin clears up it will thank you for the switch.

2.  Your pores will have a higher chance of getting clogged. Pore-clogging makeup is the worst, and even non-comedogenic makeup still has the ability to do so. It really depends on your skin and how often you wear high coverage. Ingredients are also an issue here- specific ones can cause congestion if your skin doesn’t react well.

3. When using high coverage makeup, you will most likely need makeup tools for cleaner and more precise application. Although you will get a better finish, these tools can cause bacteria buildup, especially if not cleaned regularly.

4. Thick makeup in the form of liquids and creams often contain more pore-clogging oils. They can even worsen acne. If you insist on using a foundation, look for terms such as “hypoallergenic”, “non-comedogenic” and “non-acnegenic” to better ensure you aren’t going to worsen any skin condition. I use the drug store brand Almay, which follows these terms and is known to be sensitive skin safe. I use the cc cream, so I can’t be much help to the foundation lines!

5. Heavy makeup, such as foundations, often make your face even more dry, and the result can be dull and flakey skin. As this happens, makeup will then sink into fine lines and worsen the appearance.

The above reasons are why I no longer wear foundations. In addition, I want to be able to still see my skin. If I’m wearing something that covers up my natural flush or my freckles, it’s a little too much. I’m on a progression with my skin to get to the point where I can forgo makeup whenever and feel just as confident. I will definitely post about this once I get there! For now i’ll use the cc cream. 🙂

My current makeup routine includes a hydrating primer, cc cream, and a concealer. This gives me light coverage and an even finish, without overdoing it. I also draw attention to certain facial features more in order to keep the face makeup minimal. I fill in my eyebrows, add a little blush, and dab on a lip color. A major plus is when I take off my makeup, there isn’t a dramatic difference like there was when I wore a foundation.

The last point i’ll make about makeup is that your skin is important long-term. It is more important to let it breathe. I totally relate to having periods when higher coverage is a way to get through a bad skin spell, but high coverage makeup doesn’t have to be a permanent solution. And one thing is for certain: natural beauty and healthy skin are not achieved with your favorite foundation. Get good sleep, hydrate, and keep your stress levels down. That will get you a lot further than what comes out of the pump.

Products:

Makeup Forever hydrating primer

Almay Smart Shade cc cream (light)

Covergirl Ready, Set Gorgeous concealer (light)

Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm in Hibiscus

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions on the above contents or how to switch up your makeup routine, leave a comment below. xx

-Kelly

 

Affordable Gym Gear and Where to Buy it

What’s on my mind: Ways of getting quality and fashionable gym gear, without the high cost. Interested? Read on, because these stores contain beautiful bargains. It’s all about the bargains.

First off, I want to love the gym gear I work out in and feel comfortable, because I’m doing a lot of movements that require both flexibility from me and the fabric. Getting super low for squats or doing shoulder presses, quality gym gear is key.

The top places I have found steals:

  1. TJ Maxx/ Marshall’s: These stores have the best deals. I find brands such as Nike, Under Armour, and Athleta in the fitness sections. Recently I got a pair of Nike cropped tights for $29, regularly around $85. You save a ton of money scouting these stores. Another thing to look for are zip ups and sweatshirts. I have also gotten my protein shaker, jump ropes, yoga mats, as well as free weights from one of these.
  2. Costco: I know Costco is a beautiful place due to free food samples, but the clothing section is actually pretty sweet. There are regular brands such as Calvin Klein or Adidas, and then less known brands that have recently collaborated with Costco. Ladies: the tights featured in the above photo are from Costco, a brand called Tufts Athletics. I bought two pairs, each for $16.99. They are super comfortable and flattering on, and the patterned one is fun to wear to weight sessions.
  3. Nordstrom Rack: This one is lower on the list because this store is such a hit or miss for me to find something, and usually the gym gear is shoes not clothing. Then again, I am very picky about running shoes in terms of arch support. However, if you want to snag a pair of Nikes for maybe $60 or less, go here.
  4. Target: So Target carries a lot of gear made by Champion, and I have on occasion gotten tights from there that lasted a long time. I find the brand to fade faster than higher end ones like Nike and Adidas, but the cost is super reasonable.
  5. Amazon: Shout out to those addicted to Amazon prime for fast deliveries and bargains. You find some really good gear and workout accessories on here. I purchased a spiked foam roller for my shin splints in college, made by a company is Utah. One of the best things ever, although rolling out shins is not a pleasant thing.

Another sidenote: I did work for Athleta for a year, and I absolutely love their clothes. The quality is amazing and the clothes are completely functional. However, it didn’t make the list because I wouldn’t consider the store “affordable” for many people. Athleta is a great store to splurge on. The reason why I own 5 pairs of yoga pants (as well as tights) from there and some tops is because I had a 50% discount as an employee. If you’re looking for a retail job and live in the gym, consider working there because you’ll be covered for a while.

These are the places I think of for the best deals on workout gear. Why buy full price when you don’t have to?

Where is your favorite place to get gym gear? I’d love any other recommendations for steals. Comment below! xx

-Kelly