Healthy eating.. the struggle is REAL! I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I’m completely cutting out my chips and salsa or bread – even though I’m definitely on the weight loss track. So I’m sharing some of the best healthy eating swaps I’ve found with you! Hopefully this makes the struggle a little easier!
Swap Rice for Cauliflower Rice – This is one of my faves. I LOVEEE to make a good stir fry with veggies and some cauliflower fried “rice.” I normally get a pre-made stir fry “rice” from TJ’s, but you could easily get some snap peas, egg, peas, carrots, and some shredded cauliflower and make the blend yourself.
Swap Pasta for Zoodles – Zoodles are a game changer! Seriously, add some lite alfredo (not the healthiest.. but we’re trying, right?!) or some olive oil and parm and I swear you can’t tell the difference.
Swap Strawberries for Pastries – I know this sounds cray, but some strawberries with brown sugar on it makes the BEST dessert. You won’t miss your cakes or cookies – promise!
Swap Frying for Air Frying – For real.. an air fryer is worth it! Stick in veggies, potatoes, “fried” chicken, and more with a quick spray of pam or a tiny bit of oil and you’ll have food that feels indulgent with less guilt!
Swap Breading for Fiber – This one is a little different, but y’all need to check out GG crackers. They basically just have a TON of fiber, but with no taste. So I like to crumble them up as “breadcrumbs,” coat chicken with them with some seasonings, then air fry them for some high-fiber chicken tenders!
Swap the Store for Delivery – If you’re at a loss on where to start making healthy meals, try out a meal delivery service! You can check out Hello Fresh or Blue Apron where items are pre-portioned with specific instructions (with photos). You have control over how much salt and seasoning to add, but it’ll give you the freshest ingredients with just enough so you don’t have to struggle with portion control…. NOT SPONSORED! (Below is the red pepper pasta from Blue Apron pictured)
It’s been a while since I address the chakras in the blog, so
today I will tell you about the fifth chakra. This is also known as the throat
vishuddha chakra and it is associated expression and communication. I am a big
communicator, verbal, non-verbal, to people, to animals, plants, myself… well
you get the point. This energy center is located in the center of the neck at
the level of the throat and it is the chakra that allows the energy of all the
other chakras in the body to flow; because of this it can cause issues that
would normally be attributed to other chakras. Some other issues it can cause
include sore throat, neck tension, jaw problems, thyroid disorder, and severe
headaches. The unbalance of this chakra is also linked to not been able to
express oneself properly, poor communication skills, timid voice, lies, and
secretiveness. On the other hand, if the throat chakra is balanced, we speak
the truth, make ourselves heard, we have communication with purpose, and we can
fully express what we feel or think. We are also more likely to find our motivation
to act on our desires when this chakra is well balanced. The throat chakra is
usually represented by the color blue and the element of sound.
How to balance the throat chakra?
Because this chakra is related to self-expression
and communication, singing and talking are very god for balancing the chakra
Clean eating and drinking water is the best you
can do, not only for the chakra, but for your entire body
Meditation is key, you can also do yoga
Aromatherapy! Jasmine and sandalwood are a
couple of great scents that help the throat chakra
Some stones you can use are: turquoise,
aquamarine, and lapis lazuli
Check out this great meditation music by Meditative Mind, I have listened to it before when I’m ready to go to bed and it is super relaxing while it helps you balance your chakra. Let me know what you think!
Happy First Day of Spring!! I can’t believe it’s finally here!
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for warm, sunny weather and spring showers – and where’s the best place to enjoy Spring? Central Park!
I normally go to NYC a couple times a year and it’s one of my favorite cities in the US. Once the weather gets nice, I have a couple of go-to spots: the high line, some rooftop bars, DUMBO.. and of course, Central Park.
At first glance, Central Park can seem a little sketch if we’re being honest.. but it’s a HUGE park with so many amazing areas to visit. The most visited region is near 5th Ave, and that is a great area where the ice skating rink normally is (but of course not this time of year). My personal favorite area is around 74th. You’ll find Strawberry Fields, and it’s super quaint and a lot quieter up there.
So if you’re in NYC and looking for a place to feel the fresh Spring air – hit up the park! Take a stroll and enjoy the scenery and super entertaining people watching!
I am not going to lie, I don’t always dress up to go to work. After five years of working at a pretty laid-back company, one becomes more and more comfortable dressing down instead of dressing up to play the part. I do have my moments though, meetings, lunches, after work events, etc. I do believe that an outfit can completely change your mood, the way you handle yourself with others and can even make you feel empowered. For a business environment, you don’t have to play it safe with plain/dull colors, have some fun, wear bold shades, don’t be afraid to wear skirts, cool tights (not pantyhose :/), play with patterns, accessories, and blazers. It is comfortable to stick to darker colors, but a bit of a brightness makes a huge difference, giving a boring outfit the WOW factor. Start by wearing brighter/bolder colors here and there, maybe in accessories or scarves until you feel more comfortable and rock it sister! Feel awesome and love what you see in the mirror… BTW who doesn’t love a pair of bright-colored shoes? I know I do.
If your hair is needing some extra TLC.. we’ve got you covered! Chantal gave me her tips for this amazing hair mask – and now I’m passing it on to you. I normally try to take good care of my hair. I wash it every 3-4 days, use heat MAYBE once a week, and give myself a little trim every few weeks, but sometimes I need something extra. And this mask is vitamin packed and will transform your hair!
My favorite ingredient in this is the vitamin E oil. I got mine at Trader Joe’s for about $5, and I use it for a ton of stuff. I use it as a makeup remover, a moisturizer, and for this hair mask! For hair, Vitamin E can moisturize, repair hair follicles, and promote healthy hair growth. The olive oil helps to moisturize even more, the eggs promote shine, and lemon juice will make your hair vibrant!
Below are some basic guidelines regarding the ingredients, but feel free to decrease or increase the amounts depending on how much hair you have.
1 TBSP Vitamin E Oil
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 TBSP Olive Oil
Whisk it all together, apply to your hair for about 20 minutes, then rinse very, very well! Be sure you give your hair a wash afterwards as well to get any excess gunk out.
And voila! Beautiful hair!.. Have a great weekend!
Miracles do happen! I have been cooking a bit more lately, trying to improve my kitchen skills and oh my… I have to say that I’ve had many fails. A few months ago I tried making this same dish and it went completely south ☹ but today I totally redeemed myself!! Some of you will make fun of me, but I honestly didn’t know there was such thing as a “spaghetti squash”! I thought the dish was called “spaghetti squash” because the squash was made into little spaghetti like strings with a fork, but I was completely mistaken! I bought something called butternut squash and the end result was a mashed potato looking paste. The consistency was kind of gross and nobody ate it… it ended up being a take-out kind of day.
My bestie’s husband was kind enough to make fun of my mistake and point out that I used the wrong type of squash … thank you Gus, I got the right one this time!
Ingredients (serves 4-5 people):
2 spaghetti squash
2 cups of diced mushrooms
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 clove of garlic
1 cup diced onion
1 small piece of onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cube of vegan chicken flavor bouillon (if desired)
Plant based ground meat (optional)
Olive oil cooking spray
Cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds and sprinkle
them with salt and pepper. Spray all halves with the cooking spray and bake
them at 350° for 30 minutes or until soft. Once this is done, grab a fork and
scrape the strands.
For the sauce: blend the tomatoes, the clove of garlic, the small piece of onion, a cube of bouillon, and a bit of salt.
Sautee the diced onions with olive oil and the ground meat, then
add the carrots, mushrooms and celery. Add the sauce and cook for a good five
minutes with medium heat while constantly stirring; add salt and pepper to
taste. Cover it up and let simmer until the tomato sauce has a bit of a deeper
red color and has thickened a bit.
Serve the spaghetti squash and top it off with the sauce mix. Enjoy!
I am no chef, but I truly loved this dish and hope you do as well. I avoided using canned tomato paste or sauce, but I did end up using the plant-based meat to trick my daughter into eating it since she eats meat lol and the bouillon for a bit of extra flavor. I don’t believe those are necessary, so if you want something 100% natural skip those and voila!
Do you have any other recipes with spaghetti squash for me to try?
Would love to see them!
I don’t know about you.. but the struggle is REAL for me with facial bloating! And I have one secret that will cure all your problems!
Luckily, there’s a natural solution to bloating and there are two steps. First of all, you need to start by massaging your face! Professionals call it lymphatic drainage – and you basically rub your face upwards (ain’t nobody got time for wrinkles) and then rub down your throat. Rubbing down is key! Otherwise, the liquid you’re draining will just stay in other places in your face.
Secondly, pull out those ice cubes and rub away! Hold the ice cubes underneath your eyes, on your cheeks, and don’t forget your jaw line.. then, goodbye inflammation!
I’m sure that by now you’ve seen a ton of pictures on Instagram of everyone going to Iceland.. and it’s for a good reason! If you visit this beautiful country you’ll find gorgeous scenery, adventurous activities like snorkeling and hiking, a bustling nightlife, and some amazing hot springs!
The best known Icelandic spring is at the Blue Lagoon – but there are a ton of other hot springs that are less touristy, cheaper, and more relaxing! When I was in Iceland the Blue Lagoon ended up being closed, so I asked some locals for recommendations.
At Laugarvatn, there were about 5 springs at different temperatures, a cool plunge in the lake, 2 saunas, and a couple steam rooms. It’s all heated by sulfur and is incredibly relaxing and detoxifying!
Here are some of my top recs for other Icelandic springs to go to on your next vacation. 10/10 recommend!
Ps – check out our insta for a video of my lake plunge!
I am absolutely crazy about rompers and love wearing them as much
as I can during summer. What do I do during the cold weather you ask? Well, if it is not freezing cold and I just
feel like rocking a romper, I just pair it with some nice tights, boots, a nice
jacket and a scarf. You can make the look as casual or as fancy as you like, it
is all in the details. For this outfit, I decided to dress it up by wearing a
nice leather jacket and a fancy scarf with gold as the accent color… I know, I
know, I look fabulous! 😉
Solid color rompers are an easy go-to because you can easily play
with color combinations in accessories, coverups, belts, etc. Try to be bold and
wear a bright colored jacket, a nice cardigan or blazer, a belt around your waist,
or some nice jewelry. It is all about letting your personality shine!
Advantages of wearing a romper
If you get the right style for your body
shape, it helps create the illusion of a leaner, taller body.
Wear some high heels and make your legs look a
One romper is all you need to create several
Super comfortable, you can do pretty much any
activity wearing a romper… except going to the bathroom that is lol
Choose the right romper for your body type
(heavier around mid-section): Select a romper that cinches in the waist to
create the illusion of a smaller waist.
(balanced curves): This is the easiest body type because pretty
much every romper style looks great. Show off your figure and opt for a fitted
style, v-neck or a romper with a cinched
Boy shape (almost no curves all over): It is
all about creating the illusion of curves by wearing rompers with bows,
ruffles, or flared bottoms.
Pear-shaped (curvy on the bottom and smaller
on the top): Same concept of ruffles, bows, etc, except that only focus that on
the top half of the romper. You want to balance your body shape by adding
volume on the top and showing off your natural shape on the bottom.
heavy (curvy on the top and smaller bottom): a v-neck or off the shoulder
rompers with are best options to take
away all the focus from the top half of the body and create a more even silhouette.
Gross but yeah, pores are crazy important. You need to make sure
to clean your pores of impurities constantly in order to have healthy looking
skin, minimize black heads and pimples. If you let your pores get all clogged
up, your skin is going to look less than appealing, oily and dirty. The
charcoal peel off mask is one of my favorite face masks because on top of being
crazy satisfying to take it off, it is great at pulling dirt, blackheads,
bacteria, dead cells, and all sorts of impurities from the skin. Now, do BEWARE
because although the mask is great at removing impurities, it takes all of the
oils from the skin when you peel it off and that is not recommended, it can
also irritate your skin, so you have to be gentle when applying and taking it
off. On top of that, once you have peeled off the mask, you need to make sure
to wash your face to remove all mask residues, use a toner to seal off your pores
and moisturize. I also wouldn’t recommend using this type of mask too
frequently as it can make your face look dry and irritated if you overuse it. Twice
a month or just as needed should be good.
OMG! I had to share this with you because this dish turned out to be super good. Now, If you know me, you know that I am a total disgrace when it comes to cooking. My daughter hates my cooking, my mother is ashamed because I didn’t inherit her Mexican culinary skills, and because I almost need to make you sign a waiver before you have a taste of my food.
There are very few dishes that I can actually make and they tend to be very basic, but lately I have been trying to practice more, determined to get to a decent cooking level. Well, one of my dear (cooking challenged) friends shared a simple recipe with me and I added a little twist to make it my own. This thing was so good that both my daughter and mother decided to try it, and not only that, they even had seconds and asked for me to pack them some for lunch! Now that I feel like a chef goddess, I want to share my simple recipe with you.
Plantains (they can be green for a more savory
taste or brown for a sweeter dish) – I used 6 for a 9.5’’ pie plate
Salt to taste
1 cup of yellow corn
2 cups of mozzarella cheese (or as much as you
Olive oil cooking spray
If you are using green plantains, boil them until soft; brown plantains are already very soft, so no boiling is needed. Spray the baking dish with cooking oil. Mash the plantains to create a soft paste and create a “crust” layer covering the baking dish. Once you have a thick layer of plantain paste, top it with lots of cheese and corn. Cover the filling ingredients with a layer of plantain, sprinkle a bit of salt, and spray some cooking oil on top.
Bake the pie at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the plantain pie is spongy but solid and somewhat brown. Serve immediately and enjoy!
The fourth chakra, also known as the heart or anahata chakra is associated love, compassion beauty, and joy. This energy center is located in the center of the chest and it is believed that it’s directly associated with the proper functioning of the heart and lungs. An unbalanced heart chakra is said to cause blood pressure issues, bad circulation or certain heart and lung problems. The emotional repercussions of an unbalanced heart chakra are jealousy, codependency, isolation, and difficulty developing and maintaining positive relationships with others. On the other hand, if the heart chakra is balanced, we feel connected with others, have empathy, accept and forgive. We also appreciate the beauty around us, are open to developing meaningful relationships as well as love ourselves and others. This chakra is usually represented by the color green and the element of air.
How to balance the heart chakra?
Because this chakra is related to the beauty
around us, doing anything creative and artistic is a good way to balance it and
bring joy to our lives.
Self-care is a fantastic way to nurture this
chakra as you are loving and appreciating yourself. Love starts within you.
Meditate, meditate, meditate.
Daily affirmations are everything!
Want some extra help? Here are some crystals:
rose quartz, rhodochrosite, green jade and green tourmaline.
Essential oils that rule for the heart chakra:
lavender, rose, sandalwood, and jasmine.
Compassion and love are a beautiful thing, practice them
every day, start with yourself and then they will naturally flow outward.
When traveling, it can be suuuper easy to start being a little too lazy and get stuck inside! I love picking locations with ways for me to enjoy the great outdoors and get some active sightseeing in.. then to hit up all the restaurants later. And if you’re looking for somewhere to get active and appreciate some AMAZING scenery, here ya go!
Add Colorado to your list! It’s one of my top places in the US to visit when I want an active vacay with a ton of options. There’s hiking, walking, stair stepping (hellooo seven falls!) and more. Here are some top spots in the Denver area with fun places to get moving and see the sights.
Seven Falls – Hike up the 224 steps here and enjoy the view from the top
Garden of the Gods – Walk around all of the amazing rock formations or enjoy the hiking trails
Red Rock – When there aren’t concerts, walk up and down the steps
Mount Evans – If you’re feeling extra adventurous, bike up one of the tallest mountains. Or drive to the top and walk the extra hike
Downtown – Take a leisurely stroll around downtown denver
Estes Park – Rent some RV’s around the Rocky’s or some paddle boats for a different kind of workout
What are your favorite destinations? Let us know in the comments!
Ponchos and I don’t have the best relationship. Almost every time I try one on, no matter how beautiful I think it looks on a hanger, I just feel super bulky, shapeless, and not attractive at all. It is super important to understand your body shape to realize what looks good and what doesn’t, but most of all, you have to love yourself in whatever you are wearing so you can reflect that self-love and confidence. This poncho is one of the few that I have been able to feel confident in by pairing it with a fitted top to contrast the looseness of the oversized poncho and adding a wide belt. One super important rule to remember… since the poncho is big and loose, you need to pair it with slim fitted bottoms. DO NOT make the mistake to pair it with a wide skirt or bulky pants, that will make you look larger and curveless…Don’t look like a piñata, nobody wants that! For this look, I played it safe with neutral colors (I know, I do this a lot), but you can be as bold as you want, add a nice fedora hat, colorful belt, or oversized accessories. I finished this look with my high heel ankle booties for a casual and comfortable style.
Do you have a favorite poncho look? Please do share!
I hope you’re ready – because I’m about to share what to expect at your BRAND NEW WORKOUT OBSESSION.. Spin! If you haven’t tried it before, it’s basically your normal workout x10 (unless you’re already a beast!), and it’s super fun and inspirational. There are spin classes at most gyms, but it’s always fun to try out classes at some boutique spin-specific studios. But it can be super intimidating, so here’s what you can expect!
First of all, don’t be afraid to ask for help from the workers. When you first go in, they’ll give you some spin shoes to rent and show you to your assigned bike. They’ll help clip you in.. which can be kind of intimidating honestly! At first, I felt STUCK! But it’s for your safety so you don’t spin your way onto the ground! But be sure to get there at least 10-15 minutes early to get situated.
Then, chances are they’re going to close the doors and turn off the lights. Again, try not to feel intimidated! It’s truly a fully immersive experience and the studio will basically turn into a club. Cue loud club music, glow-sticks, and strobe lights. You’ll forget you’re even working out!
At some point, a lot of spin classes will also incorporate some sort of strength training.. either push ups on the bike, or using your towel as resistance. And afterwards, you’ll do a cool down – then you’re done! And I swear, you will feel like a MILLION bucks when you finish your first class. It’s addicting!
So if you’re looking for a new workout, try out a local spin studio. A lot of them offer the first class free or drop in for about $10. And try out groupon or a service like ClassPass to save some extra moola!
Anyone who doesn’t like smoothies is just not to be trusted… they are insane! The creativity of flavor combinations, the colors, the smells, the taste, what’s not to love?! Well… if you are one of those people that buy them out on the street, maybe the price. It can get pretty costly to enjoy store bought smoothie on a regular basis, and don’t get me wrong… I will drink the crap out of a Smoothie King or Jamba Juice delicious blend, but between my smoothie obsession and my coffee obsession, I am at a loss 😦 A great alternative if you are trying to eat healthy, get your veggies and fruits in is to do your own juices and smoothies at home. You can even save yourself some work and do meal prep over the weekend by putting together all of your combinations in separate containers to have them all ready to blend. I will share with you a couple of my fave combinations hoping you will give them a try. Feel free to send me your favorite recipe so I can try that too!
The top pic has a basic strawberry, oats, honey, cinnamon, and almond milk smoothie… absolutely delicious and filling. Feel free to replace the almond milk for soy, nonfat milk or any other milk variation.
This next smoothie is made with an incredible delicious orange fruit called Mamey. I can never find the fresh fruit in a local market but some places carry the frozen pulp and it is AMAZING!!!! just blend some of the fruit pulp with oats, cinnamon, honey, milk and… Voila! It is heaven in your mouth!!
If you are more of a juice person or prefer water based smoothies, just grab your favorite vegetables and fruits and go crazy! Here are a couple of my basic blends:
Both of the above blends include spinach and carrots but one has pineapple and oranges that will be blended with water while the other has strawberries and will be blended with orange juice… SO DELICIOUS!!!!!!! Sometimes I add some ginger, beets, mixed berries, or guavas, but the options are endless! I just got hungry writing about this.
It is so hard have a balanced and healthy diet, especially when you are always on the go, so smoothies really do become your best friend when you get into the habit of pre-packing your blends. I actually keep a personal blender at work to be able to make my smoothies there as well… hey, whatever works right?
Looking for a face scrub that’s moisturizing, brightening, AND that you can eat?!.. Look no further. We’ve got you covered!
You’ll want to follow the recipe below for an all natural, at home scrub that will leave your face looking AH-MAZING. It’s super nourishing. And yes, you can actually eat it. Try out using it on your lips and lick off any residue! A snack and facial all in one, ha!
1 TBSP Honey
1 TBSP Sugar
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Scrub on your face for a minute or so, rinse off, and voila!
Hello my lovelies!!! It is that time of the year… yep, Valentine’s Day Eve better known as Galentine’s Day. A day to celebrate our gals and all the other people we love, the people that are there when we need them and when we don’t need them, the good and bad times, the people we see as family regardless of blood connection.
Having an amazing circle of friends, a great support system, and making time for fun and relaxation with them is essential for your mental, physical and emotional well-being. They give you the best medicine ever… laughter, great shoulders to cry on, and they even serve as counselors during your whining rants.
Hope you had an amazing day celebrating your people’s awesomeness and make sure to make them feel special every day of the year. Don’t forget to have a drink or two in the process, cheers to friendships and all the health benefits they bring to your life… cheers!
Hey y’all – I have been CRAZY about a good faux leather jacket for winter/spring! I love adding an edgy jacket to pretty much any outfit… jeans and a tee? jumpsuit? a work-appropriate dress?.. CHECK! I also think adding some juxtaposing elements to an outfit is so important to make the whole look complete. And a leather jacket is the perfect way to do that.
In this case, I paired it with this dress I got from Amazon. It was super affordable, and is insanely comfortable. It’s perfect for a date night out or to wear into the office. Add a pair of nude pumps and you’ve got yourself a LEWK! And since it’s been crazy cold outside lately, I added a scarf to winter-fy the outfit. But if you’re wearing a similar look as the weather starts warming up, do without it!
It is time to talk a bit about our third chakra, also known as Solar Plexus or Manipura Chakra. This chakra is located between the stomach and the chest, and it is said to be the one in control of will, self-esteem, identity, self, compassion, and personal power. People that have a balanced solar plexus chakra are often perceived as purposeful, successful, confident and assertive individuals that learn from mistakes They also have good discipline, are independent, self-motivated, have good leadership skills, and demonstrate good judgement (aka me… JK!). This chakra is usually represented by the color yellow as it is associated with the element of fire (I think of it as the fire that drives you to attain all you want in life). The physical functions that are attributed to this chakra are digestion and metabolism; therefore, when the chakra is not balanced certain physical discomfort is said to happen, including stomach cramps, poor digestion, weight issues, poor digestion, nausea, among others.
the emotional symptoms of an imbalanced solar plexus chakra?
If it is underactive – it may
cause feelings of helplessness, lack of self-worth, lack of purpose, low
self-esteem, and lack of confidence.
If it is
overactive – it may lead to a constant need of validation, a need to
control everything and everyone we meet, anxiety, and even manic episodes.
It is important to
maintain this chakra balanced in order to have a successful and fulfilling life.
We all know how important self-worth and self-confidence is; however; many
people either lack these or have an extremely inflated ego.
How to balance the solar plexus?
Aromatherapy: Some of the best essential oils to
use for this chakra are: rosemary, chamomile, bergamot, grapefruit, lavender, and
cedarwood. Essential oils can help stimulate the chakra when inhaled. They can
be used in massage oils, lotions or in diffusers.
Healing stones: Citrine, amber, tiger’s eye,
yellow tourmaline, and yellow jasper are great to help balance the solar
plexus. Why? Well, part of it is the color of the gem. Colors can have an
effect in our emotions and behaviors. Another benefit of the stones is that
each stone has a different vibration that causes a reaction in our body. Keep
in mind that different people have different reactions to the various types of stones;
it is not the same result for everyone and therefore more than one is suggested.
Yoga: certain yoga poses help you balance the
third chakra with great results. Find a quiet and relaxing place and try some
of these: child’s pose, warrior I & III, mountain pose, bow, plank, and
Diet: certain foods that can help with your
chakra healing are: chamomile tea, yellow peppers, and corn.
Love yourself and remember that wellness and beauty start
from the inside. You attract what you let out into the world. If you radiate
positive energy, you will get positive in return. Positive actions + positive
thoughts + positive words + beautiful soul = beautiful human being.
Is ANYTHING better than pasta?!.. not much. And I would literally do anything most days for a creamy alfredo and some Olive Garden breadsticks. That being said, I try to make my at-home pasta as healthy as possible!
I buy my pasta from Trader Joes, and I love to get their pre-made tortellini. In this post, I’m sharing the mini cheese tortellini, which rings up to right around 200 calories for 1/2 cup – not too shabby. They also have lobster, spinach and cheese, and mushroom and truffle (my personal fave). But if you add a huge jar of pre-made sauce, it makes these options not so “healthy” anymore. And I put healthy in quotations because it’s still pasta.. but you still gotta live even if you want to eat better!
My favorite way to healthily eat these pastas is to toss the whole thing (which has about 3 servings) in 2 tbsp garlic olive oil, a little bit of parmesan, fresh garlic, and crushed red pepper. Olive oil does add quite a few calories, but you’ll get HEALTHY fats and it’ll keep you full so you avoid those late night snacks.
If you want to make your pasta even healthier… try some zoodles! A lot of stores sell them pre-made, or just buy a super cheap 2 or 3 dollar spiralizer off Amazon. You’re welcome!
What are your favorite ways to make your italian night healthier? Let us know in the comments.
Hello my loves! If there is one thing I love more than not waking up early, it is COFFEE! Not only do I enjoy drinking a delicious cup of that miracle potion to get me going in the morning after I managed to growl my way out of my bed, but it is also a fabulous exfoliant! Coffee is rich in antioxidants and helps treat/prevent acne as well as an anti-aging treatment. It is also helpful to reduce the appearance of cellulite as it improves blood circulation. For this exfoliant, mix the coffee with some olive oil while maintaining a grainy consistency.
Apply the paste on your face and/or body gently in circular motions to unclog your pores and remove dead skin. The smell of the coffee is also super delicious and therapeutic, giving your brain a boost and even reducing stress. The olive oil in this exfoliant paste is also incredibly important as it is another powerful antioxidant and moisturizer (among many other benefits). The olive oil will help your skin feel incredibly soft. If you are just doing your face and not your entire body, please remember to also exfoliate your neck. Any kind of facial treatment MUST include the entire neck area as that’s a delicate area that tends to age quite a bit. Instead of olive oil you can use coconut oil, honey, or avocado oil; they are all great options! After you rub all of the areas to be treated, leave on for at least 15 minutes and then rinse. Warning, because it is a scrub and it is not the gentlest of treatments, it should not be used on a daily basis, but a couple of times a week should be good for beautiful, glowing skin.
Do you have a favorite coffee inspired beauty treatment?
Y’all, we’re officially in February! So if you’re still sticking to your New Years Resolutions which most likely includes exercising more.. (yes, I’m a mind reader), bravo! One of my resolutions has been to workout 4 times a week, but I’ll be totally honest that I haven’t totally stuck to it. IN MY DEFENSE, I had a toe injury and then got a bad cold.. so, those are valid excuses, right?
But if you’re looking for a way to keep the motivation going, I would 10/10 recommend trying out some group fitness classes. I’ve tried a few options – I’ve done classpass, bought one off classes at boutique studios, and most recently signed up for Equinox.
I CANNOT say enough good things about Equinox gyms. I’ve been to both of the Dallas locations and the classes are uh-may-zing. The locations are prestine, the amentities are to die for, and the group classes are incredibly motivating while being a great workout.
If you’re intimidated by group fitness classes, here are my top tips to get over the hump and get into the routine!
Don’t be shy! One of the most awkward things for me is going into a new workout class where everyone knows each other and the instructor is familiar with the attendees. EVERYONE was new to the class at some point.
Ask questions! If you’re unsure what equipment you need, how to click in your cycle shoes, etc.. ask! Again, everyone was new at some point and they’ll be happy to answer questions. And you have to be prepared in order to get the best possible workout out of the class.
Do research on new classes! I’ve gotten to try out some press classes for Equinox, and always share my thoughts after I go to make sure possible attendees have a source of information. If you do a quick google search on the class you’re trying, I guarantee you’ll find tips and tricks from other people who have tried it out! And let us know if you want for us to share class specific posts!
So hopefully this helps you feel more comfortable walking into your next group fitness class! Let us know in the comments if you want info about specific classes. I’ve tried different cycle classes, barre, hot yoga, jazzercise.. a ton of variety! Don’t be shy 🙂
During our latest road trip, we decided to stop at an iconic landmark in Amarillo, TX… Cadillac Ranch on Route 66! In case you are not familiar, Cadillac Ranch is a public work of pop-art from the 70’s and it consists of 10 Cadillacs (models between 1948 and 1963) buried nose down in a large empty lot. I have to say that it is pretty cool to see the cars all lined up facing the same direction and tilted on a specific angle. The cars have all been painted on, but the place definitely has a unique hippy-ish vibe.
The weather for the
road trip was far from nice, the wind was so cold that my ears almost fell off
and my tears came out as icicles. On top of that, you have to walk through an
open field to get to this main attraction, so thank goodness I used my common
sense and wore flat booties for this! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone
on road trips and the people I go with solely choose fashion and completely
forget of comfort, even being fully aware of the large number of hours they’ll be
stuck in the car! Well, choose both!
During the cold season, I love wearing cozy oversized
sweaters! Now, don’t get me wrong, don’t just buy a giant sweater, shape still
matters if you want to not feel like a complete slob. Wear a slightly bigger
sweater, pair it with some form fitting jeans or jeggings, and your favorite
seasonal booties. This look is casual and comfy while still looking cute and
accentuating certain curves. For this particular outfit, I do have to say that
I underestimated the windchill for the walk from the car to Cadillac Ranch. I
was perfectly fine with my sweater until mid-walk, when a bone chilling breeze
hit me, and I thought I had instantly caught pneumonia; but the outfit was perfect
for the rest of the trip.
My color obsession this season has definitely been a kind of mustardy yellow as well as other yellowish and golden tones. This sweater worked great for the pictures we took here since the cars are so colorful; it helped to tone it down a bit and has that chill vibe I was going for.
I repeat myself a lot when I say this, but it is so true. Fashion is all about feeling great in your own skin and loving what you are wearing. It doesn’t matter if you are dressed in the latest trends… If you don’t feel right, it shows. You have to feel beautiful and comfortable with whatever you are wearing to project that confidence to others. Confidence is beauty, remember that. People can give you their opinions, but the only thing that truly matters is how you feel and how you see yourself. It can be hard but work in falling in love with yourself; love that gorgeous woman in the mirror staring back at you.
Share your secret, how do you boost your self confidence on
a daily basis? What is your favorite road trip look?
In my opinion, it’s NEVER too early to start using some anti-aging products and be proactive! This is coming from someone who used one (or 20) too many tanning beds in her teenage years… take care of your skin as early as possible!
So if you’re looking for a one stop shop product for anti-aging and more, try out rosehip oil. It has the following benefits:
Treats wrinkles (and prevents them)
Brightens dark spots
Evens out skin tone
Firms and tightens
In this case, I used the oil as a moisturizer after a face mask – but you can use it morning or evening, and whether you do a face mask or just use some makeup wipes after a long night. Wake up with glowing skin!
One of my favorite pieces of clothing is the boyfriend cardigan. Not only can it keep you warm during a cooler day, but you can pair it with some nice jeans, booties, and a graphic tee for a comfortable and casual look that still looks nice for a day out. Two of my favorite colors to wear together during winter are, midnight blue and burgundy red (as shown in pics); I also love folding my jeans up a bit to show the full bootie. Finding the ideal cardigan can be tricky because it really is all about knowing your body shape and choosing something that looks favorable. A lot of people tend to buy an over-sized cardigan to wear as a top layer, but you really need to stick to cardigans that are a bit more form fitting so you don’t add dimension to your body, making yourself look bigger (unless that’s your purpose). A cardigan can be flattering when paired with the right layers. For the boyfriend cardigan, form fitting shirts work better than thick sweaters or shapeless tops; same goes for the bottoms, something that accentuates your silhouette is the way to go. If you are a curvy girl, leaving the cardigan unbuttoned works best, you can also trade the graphic tee for a plain one and have fun with some cool accessories. Flaunt those curves the right way! Want a shorter style cardigan instead? Pair that bad boy with a cute flowy skirt or mini dress and some tights. Fashion is all about fun and feeling confident in your own skin. Play with the different styles, learn what looks great for your body shape, and go conquer the world! 😉
So this might sound crazy – but dry brushing is one of the best ways to get glowing skin and help feel better inside and out!
In case you haven’t heard of it, you basically take a super tough brush and rub it all over your body before taking a bath or shower. You’ll take the brush and brush towards the heart, and then counter clockwise on your stomach. Some of the benefits include:
Exfoliates the skin
Helps with inflammation
Promotes healthy digestion
Increases blood flow
I’ve heard of some people doing this with a dishwasher brush if you want to get real serious, but you can get a dry brush for less than $10 on Amazon!
After you rinse off, your skin will feel SO SOFT and glowy – pinky promise.
Have you ever dry brushed before? Let us know in the comments!
Today I want to give continuity to the last wellness post in which I talked about the Root Chakra and move on to its neighbor, the second energetic point in the body called the Sacral Chakra. This is also called Svadhisthana and it derives from the Sanskrit words, “Swa” that means one’s own and “Adhisthana” that means seat. This is said to be the seat of emotions as it linked to your emotional responses as well as creativity, sensuality, pleasure, and reproductive functions. People that have a balanced sacral chakra are often perceived as friendly, compassionate, emotionally stable, energetic, creative, and passionate (all great traits to have!).
if the sacral chakra is not balanced you ask?
If it is underactive, it can be
linked to feelings of isolation, insecurities, low libido, fatigue, hypersensitivity,
introversion, and lack of trust.
If it is
overactive, it can be linked to emotional detachment of others, sex
addiction, substance abuse, bipolarity, and eating disorders.
Obviously, since this
chakra is all about our emotions, it is a good idea to keep it balanced so we don’t
have a complete emotional meltdown or engage in risky behaviors!
Feeling on the verge of an emotional crisis?
There are several things you can do to balance your sacral
chakra and it is a good idea to practice these on a regular basis in order to
Because this chakra is located in the lower abdomen, moving and stretching your hips is a great idea. You can try some yoga poses where you engage the hips or even try some belly dancing or merengue. Shakira’s got nothing on me! 😉
Maintaining a healthy diet and incorporating exercise in your daily routine. Tip: incorporate ginger in your diet (i.e. in tea or shakes), this is a miracle root with many properties
Get a hobby that allows you to express yourself creatively
Speak to a counselor or spiritual guide. It is okay to seek help!
The sacral chakra is identified by the color orange; its opposite color is blue. If your chakra needs a little boost, surround yourself with the color orange; however, if the opposite is true, use the color blue
Meditation is a great practice to balance all your chakras. For the sacral chakra, utilize visualization, concentrating on your lower abdomen, breathing deeply, and imagining an orange light nourishing that energy point
Aromatherapy is also of great help. Some essential oils that work specifically for this chakra are: jasmine, orange, rose, sandalwood, and clary sage
Chakra stones that can be used for the healing of the sacral chakra are amber and orange carnelian
Remember, mental health and your inner well being are even more important than any outside beauty. Everything starts from within, take care of yourself starting from the inside and everything else will follow.
Stay true – Chantal
What is your favorite way to relax and take care of your
Hey, I get it… working every day, going
home to take care of family, cooking, cleaning, and the same routine over and
over and over… yuck. WE ALL NEED A BREAK ONCE IN A WHILE!
Everyone has a different concept on what they consider relaxing and a break from the day to day. Some people love going hiking, some biking, mani-pedis, locking themselves in a room with a tub of not ice cream, ignoring the neediness of their family from an entire day and just watch Netflix in PJs… well, you get it. Even though I love all of those activities (or lack of), I have a HUGE OBSESSION with this fantastic place near my area called Spa Castle. Sadly, they only have a location in Carrollton, TX, one in College Point, NY and one coming soon in Alexandria, VA. If you live in any of those areas, rush over there to check it out if you haven’t done so; if you don’t, maybe there’s something similar? Look it up… really worth it!
Now, this is unlike your regular day
spa; this is a combination of a European spa and an Asian bathhouse and the
experience is beyond relaxing for an entire day of disconnecting from the world
and avoiding responsibilities!
Temperature controlled jetted pools
your butt here, all their pools are temperature controlled and you choose which
pool has the best temperature for you. On top of that, you get to try out all
kinds of different jets to massage every part of your body, relieve tension, increase
circulation, and improve digestion. I am telling you, you will have to get
dragged out of there because you’ll be so relaxed! You can even order a drink
or two at the bar and zip while you don’t think about the people on the outside
one hot tub is never enough, they offer four! They also have a cold bath pool that
it is supposed to rejuvenate the body, strengthen the immune system and help
with blood circulation. They also have a dry sauna and a steam room to relax and
cleanse the pores.
If you share the love
I have for saunas, this is the place for you. This place has seven saunas, all made
with different materials and for different purposes. Each sauna has a sign that
tells you the benefits of that particular sauna, what it is made out of as well
as a sign that gives you the temperature. Here is a list of their different
saunas and their benefits according to Spa Castle’s website:
Gold Sauna – This
beautiful sauna is lined with plates of real gold and it is supposed to help with
sore limbs as well as to balance the mind, body and soul.
Loess Soil Sauna – This
is their hottest sauna and the smell of the loess soil and herbs help with
Jade Sauna – Jade
emits infrared rays that help heal the body.
Color Therapy Sauna – Each
color section of the sauna helps improve different physical and mental aspects
of the body; emotions, moods, metabolism and energy.
Himalayan Salt Sauna – This sauna creates a
bacteria-free environment, it helps to regulate blood pressure, relieve
allergies, and reduces signs of aging!
Far Infrared Sauna -The
infrared light of the sauna is absorbed by the skin to stimulate blood circulation,
increase oxygen to the brain, clear up nasal congestion and clear pores.
Ice Land – This is a
cold space that is meant to stimulate the body’s anti-oxidant capabilities, strengthen
the immune system, firm the skin, reduce cellulite among other incredible benefits.
(I counted three less butt cheek dimples after leaving the room! lol JK).
Spa Services and More
Pamper yourself like there’s no tomorrow with one
of their spa services, like body scrubs, massages, facials, and body wraps. Once
done, you can go have a bite at one of their restaurants, their café, bar, or
my favorite… The Juice Farm! Their milk tea or coconut slushy with boba are to
Know Before You Go!
As I mentioned, this is part bathhouse,
so there are certain areas where people are completely NAKED, yes… NAKED! Every
time I visit this place, I see at least one group of women in the locker room
or bath area looking shook and confused as to why everyone is walking around
naked with no hesitation. Let me explain, this place has certain “naked areas”
and certain “clothed areas”.
The naked areas are: the locker
rooms, showers, hot tubs, steam room, and the only dry sauna in the bath area.
All these areas are either all men or all women.
The clothed areas are: the jetted
pools, bar, restaurants, meditation areas, spa, lobbies, and all saunas outside
of the locker/bat area. For these areas, you are provided with a uniform that
you are to wear, and you must wear a bathing suit for the pools. Also, no shoes
allowed, it is all a barefooted facility.
Some people may be completely against seeing other people’s nakedness (and that is fine), so make sure you actually do some research on the places you are planning to visit to decide if it is a place for you or not. Now, you don’t have to get into the bath area, you can just go and enjoy their fantastic spa services, saunas, the multiple pools with various temperatures and jets, as well as their delicious food. Honestly, once you are there, you don’t even care anymore, so just give it a chance. People are in a completely different mindset, just relaxing and minding their own business, people are not looking at you and thy are not judging you. Go with it and own it!
If there’s one material I’m obsessed with for winter.. it’s suede! Or, faux suede, to be specific. I love a good faux suede skirt to pair with a silk top, a plain white tee, or in this case a casual blouse.
I paired my outfit with my absolute favorite Stuart Weitzman OTK boots. They’re insanely comfortable and go with pretty much any winter outfit!
Y’all – if you’re not using avocado for literally EVERY use in your life.. you’re missing out! I won’t take total credit for these “recipes” (Chantal is the resident beauty expert here), but I got to be the guinea pig and L-O-V-E-D all of this.
In case you didn’t know, you can use avocado in your meals (duh), for your face, and for your hair. Avocado is rich in healthy fatty acids, and can be extremely moisturizing externally. It also has potassium, letithin, and more minerals that nourish your body inside and out.
I believe that everything comes from within and therefore we need to look inward to achieve emotional and physical well-being as well as beauty. We need to understand that we need to be able to connect with our inner self, our spirit, and the energy of the universe to connect with others in a harmonious way and to live a fulfilled life. We need to radiate positive energy in order to attract positive things to our life. I love meditation, it has helped me beyond measure when it comes to depression, anxiety, to have a positive outlook in life, and to feel at peace. I am in no way an expert in the subject, but I am a big believer that understanding the Chakras and meditating can help improve your life in many ways.
The Chakras are energetic points within our body that allow for energy to flow. There are 7 chakras with different purposes but all equally important to have a healthy and well-balanced body, mind and spirit. Today I will focus on the Root Chakra, explain what it does, how to identify when it needs attention, and provide an exercise to help you balance this, your first Chakra.
What is the
The official name for this Chakra is actually Muladhara and
it comes from the Sanskrit words Mula, meaning
“root”and Adhara, meaning “support”. This Chakra is located at the base of the spine
(tailbone area) and it goes up to below your belly button. When this Chakra is
well-balanced, you feel a sense of stability, accomplishment, and peace. You
feel grounded, connected with your human experience and your survival needs are
How to identify a Root Chakra imbalance?
You may experience anxiety, fear or jitteriness and trouble
concentrating. It is said that it can also be linked to digestive problems,
lower back and/or lower extremities issues, bladder issues, among others.
How to balance
the Root Chakra through meditation?
Meditate in a quiet place where you can avoid distractions. Adopt a comfortable standing or seated position for this practice.
Intention is key. Be still and place attention on your breath. Inhale through your nose and exhale though your nose (not mouth), in a slow and controlled manner.
As you meditate, practice visualization. Focus on your connection to your spirit and your connection with the universe. Imagine this red energy flowing up from your legs to your spine (the location of the Chakra) and see this energy being absorbed by the it and getting nourished this energy.
You can further enhance your experience by utilizing aromatherapy during your meditation. There are essential oils that are made with scents specifically meant to help balance the Root Chakra. These are: myrrh, oakmoss, vetiver, angelica root, cedarwood, linden blossom, spikenard, benzoin, patchouli, and frankincense.
Chanting or playing meditation music can help during the meditative state.
Gemstones that help balance the Root Chakra include garnet, bloodstone, obsidian, black tourmaline, red carnelian and red jasper.
Try this out for at least 21 days and see how you feel. Share your experience with us!
Sometimes the struggle can feel REAL when trying to get good quality skin care items that are just as good for the environment.. and not spend hundreds of dollars! Here are a few ways to pamper yourself without breaking the bank.
Go through your pantry! One of my favorite ways to remove facebook is by using olive oil, grapeseed oil, or coconut oil. It might seem counterintuitive slathering oil all over your face, but it takes off makeup SUPER easily and when your skin is dry, you actually produce more oil!
Search your local store for hidden gems! I shop at Trader Joe’s normally, and I absolutely loveee their rose oil as a moisturizer, their facial oil cleanser, their face wipes/masks, and their acai facial scrub. These all have minimal ingredients and are all under $6 each! (and they smell amazing)
DIY! We’ll have a couple of DIY face mask recipes coming up, but there are a ton of concoctions you can make at home and then you KNOW what’s in it! One example is that lemon juice can brighten up the skin, or check out this post about red wine.
Love having some fun mixing and matching colors, textures, and patterns. For this look, I decided to pair up one of my fave maxi skirts (notice the zebra heads) with a lovely turtle neck sweater, and black high heels. This look is perfect for date night, a day of shopping at the mall, or brunch with your girlfriends; a Cosmo, please! 😉
By wearing a fitted sweater and tucking it in, you create a more sophisticated look, and the maxi skirt gives the illusion of a slimmer and longer body. This is something that I particularly look for with anything I wear since I have a curvier shape; a bulkier sweater is just not as favorable for my body type when combined with a maxi skirt. I think this is a look that works on most body types and it is easy to pull off and make it your own. Get creative and choose your favorite colors/patterns! You can also go with a more casual sweater/skirt, pair it with some converse sneakers, and layer it with a jean jacket for a completely different look.
As far as accessories go, I tend to keep accessories minimal when I wear turtlenecks, but feel free to add your unique touch. Share your favorite maxi skirt and sweater looks with us!
Our poor hair goes through a lot, sun exposure, heat damage from our various hair styling techniques or chemical damage from hair dyes and bleaching. Even not using the right type of hair products can damage our hair greatly. It is super important to give our hair and scalp some love. This is one of my favorite hair treatments, because it makes my hair feel full, shiny and gorgeous. On top of that, it smells super nice and helps with hair growth by addressing scalp health and hair breakage! For this treatment you’ll need:
Rich in vitamins A, E and antioxidants
Helps bring and seal in moisture to hair and fight dandruff
Protects the keratin and strengthens hair
Gives your hair a beautiful shine and softness
Helps repair damage caused by sunlight and pollution
Rich in Omega-6 and Omega-9
Seals in moisture and adds sine t hair
Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory for a healthy scalp
Makes curly and frizzy hair more manageable
Rich in protein, Omega-9, fatty acids, and vitamin E
Helps to strengthen hair and adds shine
Makes hair smooth and easier to style
Helps diminish split ends
Addresses scalp conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis and scalp psoriasis
Bonus points: makes this oil treatment smell delicious!
Note: Do not use almond oil if you suffer from nut allergies.
Mix all three oils in a glass jar or any jar you can heat up on the stove top. Make sure you have a good amount of each oil depending on the length of your hair. You may also want to make some extra to store for additional treatments. Place the jar in the center of a small pot. Fill about a quarter of the pot with water and heat it up on the stove top on medium heat. As the water starts boiling, it will slowly heat up the oils. When the mix of oils is warm enough, remove it from heat and spread it all over your hair without directly applying to the scalp. You can apply the treatment on clean dampened hair to seal in that moisture, but it is also great on dry hair. Once you saturate your hair with the mix of oils, put your hair up in a bun and cover it with a plastic cap. Leave the treatment on your hair for 45 minutes to an hour and then rinse and wash your hair. Remember that oil can be a bit hard to wash off so make sure you get it all off. Style as usual and feel the difference… freaking amazing, I know!
Do you have a favorite hair oil treatment? Share it with us!