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Thursday, January 22, 2015

January Beauty Box 5 Review: Hello (Bonjour, Guten Tag, Hola)

How are we this far into January? The rush of the Christmas season has passed and we’re left with the newness of a new year. Exactly what Beauty Box 5 is reminding subscribers of this month – Hello 2015! Hello gorgeous eyes. Hello home mani’d nails. Hello to showers that include nourishing smell-good washes with hair that’s strong and healthy despite the outdoor elements. I love being surprised each month by the contents of my Beauty Box 5, so onto the big January reveal!

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Winter’s Wonderland

So if you know me at all, you know I’m not a fan of winter. It’s cold. And that really sums up why I hate it – I hate being cold! And while I’m confessing, you should also know, I’m not a fan of shoveling snow or scraping ice, but at least I can justify those activities…I’m burning calories after all. Over the past year however, I’ve been really conscious about realizing how truly blessed I am, and honestly, even when I complain about the cold, I LOVE the change of seasons. And it’s really just the bitter cold I hate…nothing makes you appreciate 30° like 20 below. So this past week, during our major heat wave when it finally warmed up to 25, I decided to capture some of the really great things about winter…things that I don’t get to see during any other season.

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1. Hellllooo sweaters. And boots. And gloves. And mixing and layering all kinds of fun textures together and it being completely ok and accepted.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Skincare Line to Put on your Radar: InstaNatural

One tell-tale sign of aging are the fine lines that develop around the delicate eye area. Ugh. Not only do they make us look older, they make us look tired. Old and tired…that’s a pretty terrible combo! If you’re looking for a means to combat those two calamities, a great option is Youth Express Serum from InstaNatural. The blend of good-for-your-skin, bad-for-your-wrinkles ingredients includes an advanced Peptide Complex, plant stem cells, Matrixyl 3000, Astaxanthin, Kojic Acid, Caffeine, Passionflower, Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, and Vitamins C and E. The serum also helps to eradicate dark circles and puffiness.

I’ve been using Youth Express Serum for about a month and can definitely tell a difference in regard to puffiness and dark circles, especially after near sleepless nights around the holidays. It’s harder see improvement with the fine lines. I’ve been spending too much time outside in the below zero temps without extra moisturizer (I know, I know) and my skin is feeling the repercussions. But, I’m having a “come to Jesus moment,” with regards to my skincare as I’m writing this…so…back on track tomorrow!

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Small Kitchen Storage Idea

Gosh, I’ve been AWOL recently it seems, BUT I am finally starting to feel a little bit put together for 2015. For the past several years (yes years!), I’ve been wanting to make some kitchen improvements. Nothing major with regards to the layout (yet) but mainly cosmetics…paint colors and things. My kitchen was designed really poorly and while I eventually want to do some major overhauling, for now, one of the things I’ve hated is that it’s super tiny with very little counter space. So basically everything I keep on my counter makes it feel cluttered. I finally started the painting this past week, and it dawned on me a “floating shelf” would be perfect for the awkward space between my refrigerator and cupboards. Usually the cabinets would be flush against the refrigerator and mine aren’t. What were they thinking?!? Anyways, I knew shelving would give me the opportunity to get one of the too many necessary somethings off of my countertop and up out of the way. I went to Kohl’s and didn’t really see anything that would work. I thought they would maybe have some baskets that could serve the same purpose and while they did have baskets, they weren’t quite my style. I kept wandering and found these below serving/colander bowl sets on sale for $6.97 and knew they were deep enough to keep my fruit and things from rolling out and color-wise worked perfectly. Yay! I see online they’re just over $25, so not sure how I lucked out…maybe check your local Kohl’s before buying online.

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Those of you with small spaces, what are hacks you use to make it work?


Monday, January 5, 2015

2014’s Top 10 Workout Songs

Maroon 5
Fort Wayne, IN – December 27, 2014 – With few exceptions, workout songs can be distinguished by two main attributes: popularity and speed. If a song has cracked the Top 40 chart and has a tempo above 125 beats per minute (BPM), there's a good chance you'll hear it in the gym.

In this look back at 2014, you'll find lots of songs that meet the criteria above--along with a few outliers. Starting with the big winners, Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" was the most popular workout song of the year. (Not coincidentally, it's also the fastest song in the bunch below.) Calvin Harris is notable for being the only artist to make the top 10 twice. Plus, Maroon 5 and Nico & Vinz both had songs so catchy that folks didn't mind their slower tempos.

Rounding out the list, there are remixes of rock tracks from OneRepublic and American Authors, a song from Meghan Trainor that proved even more popular in the gym than her breakthrough hit "All About that Bass," and a soaring, club track that pits Cash Cash & Bebe Rexha against dance titans The Chainsmokers.

On the whole, the list makes for an easy way to reflect on the year that's passed, get acquainted with any songs you might have missed, and prep the perfect mix to kick off your first workout of 2015.

Here's the full list, according to votes placed on Run Hundred--the web's most heavily-trafficked workout music blog.

Cash Cash & Bebe Rexha - Take Me Home (Chainsmokers Remix Radio Edit) - 129 BPM
OneRepublic - Love Runs Out (Grabbitz Remix) - 124 BPM

Ariana Grande & Zedd - Break Free - 130 BPM

Maroon 5 - Maps - 120 BPM

Calvin Harris - Summer - 128 BPM

American Authors - Best Day of My Life (Gazzo Remix) - 125 BPM

Calvin Harris & John Newman - Blame - 128 BPM

Nico & Vinz - Am I Wrong - 121 BPM

Meghan Trainor - Lips Are Movin - 138 BPM

Taylor Swift - Shake It Off - 160 BPM


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ring in the New Year with these Fantastic Drink Selections

Time to throw the confetti and toast to the year ahead! If you’ve decided to stay in and throw a party, instead of attempt to compete with the crowds, here are some of the best beverages available to make your shindig complete!

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Amarula Cream: Originating and produced in Africa using the marula fruit, this is a great after dinner option with coffee or an array of other cocktails.

Baron Cooper Wines: Shown is the 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel, but Baron Cooper has a variety of wines perfect to pair with meals throughout the year! The brand was created to raise awareness for the plight of all shelter animals in need of loving families.

Berentzen Bushel & Barrel: A fresh crisp apple taste pairs with Straight Kentucky Bourbon in this unique selection. The whole Berentzen line offers tasty options regardless of what your thirsty for!

Diplomatico Rums: Shown is the 8 year old Reserva with oak and mahogany notes plus hints of cinnamon, over-ripe oranges, orange liqueur and bitter dark chocolate. The Diplomatico brand is rich in history offering six rum options to mix or shoot in 2015.

Ruffino Prosecco: Make your 2015 celebrations pop with a bottle of Prosecco, a sparkling white wine made in Italy. Fruity and fragrant, Prosecco can be enjoyed alone or in a cocktail and pairs well with everything from pizza to shellfish.

Smirnoff Sours: Make any party just a little bit more fun with this line of sours from beloved brand Smirnoff. The sours are available in three mouth-puckering flavors, Fruit Punch, Green Apple and Watermelon.

Check out each of the websites for recipes and more information. Cheers to you in 2015!


Press Sample

Saturday, December 27, 2014

These Boots are Everything for a Cold Winter’s Day!

It’s hard to believe Christmas has come and gone…why does this season always go so quick? My very favorite thing about Christmas isn’t the presents, but the time I get to spend at “home” with my family. For those of you who don’t know, I grew up on a farm in rural Indiana. This winter, one of my brothers is doing a barn remodel on the family barn and although we didn’t have snow, I was grateful for my Sperry Top-Sider Winter Cove Boots to don on this cold and windy day while I was out exploring. A new basketball court and pens for the animals will soon be going in, but for now it’s still a work in progress.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December Beauty Box 5 Review: Merry and Bright

With the hustle and bustle of the season and such a short timeframe between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I welcomed a few minutes of downtime to pick through the December Beauty Box 5. Like always, the team at Beauty Box 5 put together a box perfect for the season with an arrangement of products I hadn’t previously tried. Really, that’s one of the best things about this subscription box…I love being introduced to new things on the beauty scene!

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