Tuesday, January 28, 2020

January Reading List

Reading more books is one of my top New Year’s Goals for 2020, so at the start of the month I ordered about six books from Amazon as motivation. I always like having a stack of unread books sitting around for time simple reason to always have a book on hand and just because you never know what you are going to be in the mood for next. Last year there was so much going on that the year honestly felt like a sprint; I just never seemed to have that much free time and when I did I choose to zone out and watch Netflix…not the greatest choice, I know. So far for the year of 2020 I have read two books, which is a giant improvement from last year already! 
The Future of Us, by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler was the first book I read of 2020. One of my guilty pleasures is reading young adult books. The story lines are just so easy to get lost in, they’re usually a quick read, and the writing in the young adult novels of today is a lot more complex than it was ten or fifteen years ago.

 After seeing the Netflix series, 13 Reason Why, I became curious about Asher as a writer, and he is such a great story teller, plus, I’m happy to say that the other books I’ve read of his do not have as dark of a story line as 13 Reasons Why. 

I loved reading The Future of Us, because it takes place 90’s, my childhood, and brought back so many memories of what lifestyle used to be like. I have become so attached to my phone and computer over the years, and it is so weird for me to think that at one point in time I lived in a time period where a computer in a house was not common place and if you had a cell phone in the early – mid 90s people were seriously impressed. 

It’s 1996 and Emma just received her first computer as a gift from her dad, her long time best friend, Josh, gives her an American online CD-ROM so she can sign up for email. Once the download is complete another sign in box appears, leading Emma and Josh to discover Facebook. At first they thought that someone was playing a joke on them, but eventually came to the realization that they are getting a glimpse into their future. 

The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah, is the second book I ready for 2020. Like 10 or 15 years ago, which now seems like a lifetime ago, I read my first Kristin Hannah book, Firefly Lane, maybe I was too young at the time to fully appreciate the storyline or her style of writing, but I remember thinking at the time it was a good book, but I wasn’t tempted to read another one of hers. A couple years ago I kept hearing such wonderful things about Hannah’s book, The Nightingale, and I thought that I give it a read, and I am so glad I gave her books a second chance, The Nightingale was an amazing read, amazing story line, writing, and just everything about it was so well done. The Great Alone is right us there with The Nightingale; her ability to tell a story and the details she works in is something to be praised. 

For Leni Albright, there was always a level of uncertainty to her life – she had been the new kid at school more time than she would like to remember and she was never in one place long enough to truly feel like it was ‘home’. Her dad Ernt, a former POW, came home from the war a changed man who is unstable and has a violent temper. When he loses another job and the opportunity to move to Alaska presents itself Ernt makes the impulsive decision to move his family to America’s last frontier. 

At first, Alaska seems like the answers for all they have been hoping for. The community is spread out, but made of strong men and women willing to help the Albrights prepare for their first winter. Leni grows to identify Alaska as home and finds herself as well as love there. Unfortunately, Lani and her mother soon come to realize that when the nights grow longer and darker in Alaska it only makes her father worse. The worries of bears, wolves, and other Alaskan wildlife fads once it becomes evident that her father only gets worse as the nights become increasing longer, an it is up to Lani and her mother to save themselves. 

The Great Alone is a story of how resilent the human body can be, how strong a person can be when they need to be, and how fragile things can seem. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

Guest Post :: How To Eat Healthier in 2020

There is no better time to start a fresh and add a few new healthy habits to your daily routine. One thing that is so easy to do is fall off the train on eating healthy. It is so easy to fall into a habit of eating out at restaurants {whom more than not have way too much salt in their food}, skipping breakfast, or indulging in pretty much everyone’s guilty pleasure…going through you favorite fast food drive through. Today Peter Minkoff is guest posting on the blog and sharing a few tips on how to eat healthy!
As 2020 is finally here, the majority of people are all about the New Year’s resolutions they made a few weeks ago. Of course, resolutions related to healthy eating are the most common ones all over the world, so keep on reading if you want to eat healthier in 2020, too. Here are five useful tips on how to accomplish that, so check them out and enjoy!

Try not to skip your breakfast

The majority of experts claim that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and guess what? We couldn’t agree more, so try not to skip your breakfast under any circumstances. Apart from boosting your energy levels, well-balanced breakfast will also keep you full until lunchtime and stop you from reaching for unhealthy snacks. Just ensure that your breakfast is rich in protein (eggs, chicken or salmon), healthy fats (avocado, nuts), and whole grains, and you’ll do a fantastic job. You can even prepare breakfast in advance and save some time in the morning, which is also a good option if you’re always in a rush.

Use smaller plates instead of regular ones for your dinner

In case you didn’t know, portion control is one of the best techniques to embrace if you want to lose some weight, so give it a fair shot and you won’t make a mistake. The first step you should take is replacing your regular dinner plates with smaller ones, since that’s a good way to trick yourself into thinking that you’re eating more food than you actually are. That’s because smaller plates will always look fuller than larger ones, no matter the size of the portion. However, if that’s too much for you in the beginning, you can use smaller plates for less healthy food options, whereas bigger ones can be used for low-calorie, healthy foods. 

Prioritize protein intake

If you want to stay healthy and keep your weight in order, eating foods rich in protein is one of the most important decisions you should make in 2020. Did you know that protein is an essential building block for your hair, nails, skin, and bones? That’s right, and it also keeps the muscles healthy and plumped up, which is why you should make it a priority in your diet. As for the foods rich in protein, there are eggs, fish, beans, lentils, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, lean meats such as turkey and chicken, and similar ones. Just make these a part of your diet and you’ll do a great job.

Introduce new supplements if necessary

Supplementation is also an important part of many people’s diets these days, and this is particularly true for ladies and gentlemen who work out regularly. The majority of them are taking both pre-workout and post-workout supplements that are usually based on high protein content, but you must know that there are numerous types of groundbreaking supplements that offer amazing advantages as well. For example, there is a supplement called citrulline that can improve your endurance and strength, help you recover fast after a workout, and allow you to feel sharp and focused without having to take caffeine. If that sounds great, just give this supplement a try and you won’t regret it.

Avoid distractions while eating your meals

Last but certainly not least, avoiding distractions while you eat is another amazing way to embrace healthy eating habits this year. Yes, we know that eating your dinner in front of the TV is exactly what you need after a long day at work, but you know what? Not paying attention to your meal is likely to make you eat more at that meal. Distracted eating can result in weight gain simply because you’re paying more attention to what you’re watching than on what you’re eating. So, avoid distractions while eating as much as possible and you’ll see instant improvement, without a shadow of a doubt.
As you can tell, there are so many tips that can help you eat healthier in 2020, and these five unquestionably are the best ones out there. So, if that’s your ultimate goal this year, all you need to do is to stick to our guidelines and embrace one healthy eating habit at a time. Once that’s done, success is guaranteed!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Winter Accessories

It seriously took forever for the cold weather to actually arrive this year, I mean, it was 70 on Christmas Eve… needless to say there was no White Christmas for 2019… I for one love when winter proper finally decides to show up; I will admit that the cold weather can get a little trying, but I absolutely love fall and winter clothing and the accessories that come with them. 
Since it hasn’t been that cold yet I haven’t really gotten into winter gear all that much yet, but with the weather being a bitterly wet cold today I just couldn’t help but browse the internet for gloves, scarves, hats, socks, hair accessories, and everything in between. I have rounded up a few of my favorite winter time accessories I can across today, and I am strongly considering ordering every last item…

January Favorites

I really cannot believe that we are already at the end of January; it is so hard for me to believe that Christmas was only a month ago… We didn’t get a white Christmas where I live, but I still have my fingers crossed for a meaningful winter snowfall; so here’s to hoping! 

This month I have come across so many great fashion finds, books, new-to-me beauty products.
Tory Burch Lee Radziwill Bag {can be found here}// Okay…full on confession, I have been completely lusting over this handbag; I have even visited it a few times in the store…I’m strongly considering indulging and treating myself to this bag. I love how she reached back a few decades and looked to other designers for inspiration to come up with such a beautiful and classic design. 
Grace & Stella Anti-Wrinkle + Energizing Gold Collagen Eye Masks// Three things I love about these eye masks 1) the actually work 2) they are completely affordable and 3) the packaging. Highly recommend these
White + Warren {can be found here}// I am a big fan of Jennifer Garner; she just seems like she would be such a nice person in real life. Every time I see her in a cardigan I have such a strong urge to buy another one; only she could make jeans, a cardigan, glasses, and a ponytail look chic
J. Crew Chateau Parka in Italian Stadium-Cloth Wool// I had to finally break down and replace my cornflower blue toggle coat that I got from J. Crew years ago, and was so sad to let it go. I am completely in love with this coat and love the fur trim and just how easy it is to wear with everyday clothing, but I secretly have my fingers crossed that J. Crew will bring back their classic toggle coat design next year
Charlotte’s Magic Cream// raise your hand if Charlotte Tilbury is one of your new favorite beauty lines! During the winter time I am always on the hunt for the best face cream that’s not greasy, feels light on the skin, and moisturizes, and this cream fits all three of those. I use it in the morning and at night and seriously cannot recommend this product enough
Nest Spiced Orange and Clove Classic Candle {can be found here}// It’s a Nest candle, need I say more? Beautiful packaging {which I’m a sucker for}, smells great, and last a long time!
The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah// I read the Nightingale last year and it was a complelty fabulous read and this The Great Alone is right up there with her last. I am about 70 pages away from finishing the book, but it has been such a great read so far.
Stuart Weitzaman Lowland Over the Knee Boots {can be found here}// When winter rolls around I go by the thinking: ‘the higher the boot, the warmer you’ll be’. I love how easy these boots are to wear and just how comfortable they are, plus, they look great with everything!
Terez Heather Stars Performance Leggings {can be found here}// When I can get away with it I will most definitely wear leggings over jeans any day of the week. I love the designs of these leggings – they would be so great to wear to a workout class or just around the house with a cozy sweater!
Free People Easy Street Tunic Sweater {can be found here}// Free People always have the best over-sized sweaters. I have been wearing this one 24/7 recently; it is just so warm and perfect for everyday wear – so easy to dress up or down!

Friday, January 24, 2020

New Year's Goals 2020

It has almost been exactly one month since I last posted on the blog, which if you are a regular reader of my blog is pretty unheard of… 2019 was a year that went by incredibly fast, but when I reflect back on the year, the road traveled in 2019 seems absolutely endless – I honestly don’t see how it all fit in a year. It was a year filled with happiness and blessings and everything in between. After Christmas was over I decided I was going to take a little break, concentrate on some other things, and mostly try and catch up on some sleep. 

Since this is my first official post of 2020 it only makes sense that I share my 2020 goals with you; after all, I have had a little extra time to come up with a few… The New Year, for me, is always a little bitter sweet; the sun sets on one year taking with it all the emotions and work that has gone into it and the next morning brings the first hopeful rays of a New Year, filled with new beginnings and undiscovered territories. So without further delay here are my goals for 2020!
Read More// There was so much going on last year that I only read like 3 books, which is crazy for me! I usually read some where in the range of 40-60 books a year. By the it I slide under my covers more than not I was just so exhausted that I would just zone out and watch Netflix… terrible, I know. I’m glad to say that I have already started to work on this goal – just started my third book of 2020…already ahead of 2019!

Eat Less Sugar// When some people head stress they treat themselves to a glass of wine, but no, not me, I treat myself to a healthy combination of Coca-Cola, M & M’s, and ice cream. At the end of a stressful day I find it hard to imagine a more soothing sound than hearing the fizzing and crackling of ice as a glass bottle of coke is poured into a chilled glass… #confessionsofacokeaholic

Go To Bed Earlier// When ever there is a lot going on I have the absolute worst time falling asleep and watching Netflix right before bedtime definitely did not help my cause. There were nights last year when I wouldn’t go to sleep till 1 or 2 in the morning because I was so keyed up. This year I have been working on being asleep somewhere in the range of 10:30pm or 11:30pm; you know, that time of night where it isn’t technically the next day yet

Workout More// I completely fell off my workout schedule. I can feel so guilty, so easily, and when I need to offer my time to something else workouts always seem to be the easiest to cut… It’s completely counterproductive because when I workout I am just mentally such a better person to be around

Drink More Water// This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the eat less sugar goal. I am usually a pretty avid water drinker, but with the extra coke I was drinking in 2019 I didn’t drink as much water as I should have and can totally tell the difference

Start a small company or write a book// These have always been two major life goals for me, so by putting it in writing I hope it will motivate me to find the time to do one or the other this year.

Be More Thankful// I always feel like it is so easy to fall into the trap of concentrating on things you don’t have, places you haven’t been yet, and goals that have yet to be accomplished. I 100% believe in the concept of ‘what you think about, comes about’. One’s mindset is such a powerful thing and concentrating on the positives is definitely more rewarding in pretty much every way possible. 

I would love to hear what your goals are for 2020! Please feel free to email me or let me know in the comments!