Who Better to Treat Yourself Than You?

fabfitfun

What’s up guys?

As you know if you follow my blog posts, I am a huge advocate of treating yourself to things that make you happy, and allocating “me” time each week for renewing and replenishing. With all of the stress and craziness you are certainly enduring as you ‘adult’, you absolutely NEED to take care of yourself to maintain a certain level of Zen.

There are many routine ways that I “maintain my Zen”, so to speak, but this month I went out on a limb a little and decided to order my very own FabFitFun box! FabFitFun boxes are themed for the seasons, and arrive with a ton of fun girly goodies that retail for $200+ dollars [I got mine for only $45…needless to say, what a steal!]. I purchased this box because I knew I would enjoy using the products to pamper myself on a night in, indulge in some relaxation, and even improve my health!  

After rummaging through my Spring box, I can’t tell you how happy I am with the array of products I received! I am already counting down the days until my Summer box arrives!

What’s Inside:

  • Access to online workouts: Membership to FabFitFun TV, with new workout videos released every season.
  • Hair, Skin and Nail Vitamin Gummies (Strawberry Flavored, packed with Biotin)
  • Realher “I Am Awesome” Lip Kit: With a matte lipstick paint, lip pumping gloss, and liner! Super cute: since the type on the bottles are motivational for women. (Offered in two different colors—mine came in “deep nude”). This product alone retails for $48 online!

lipkit

  • Briogeo Leave-in conditioning spray (full size bottle)

leave in

  • Gypsie Roundie: decorative or useful patterned fabric throw.
  • Milly Zip Pouch: “Beach Please” waterproof zip up bag (offered in multiple phrases/colors)
  • Brandt Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator: LOVE skin care products..so I’m excited for this one. Retails for $79!
  • Karuna Hydrating Face Masks—Pack of 4! Great brand—so, great value!

face mask

  • Luv AJ 14K rose gold earrings
  • Deborah Lippman Nail Polish Set in springtime hues.

The excitement of opening up this surprise box of goodies, using the products over time to embody my girly desires, and now having the opportunity to write about it in my blog is what creates happiness for me! Do what makes you happy.

Interested in ordering the FabFitFun box for yourself? Contact me for a special discount code.

xx allie

 

Time is of the Essence

Occasionally, people recommend new topics for me to write about in my blog. I very much welcome your feedback and recommendations…so keep it coming!

Ally gave me a recommendation the other day, but I decided it would be better if she (the one passionate on the topic) composed the post on her own.

For this reason, the following blog is a guest-written piece by Ally Bertik:

color-ally

One thing I’ll always fail to understand is people and their respect for others’ time. It’s something that consistently bothers not only me, but many others as well.

When it comes to daily life routines, people have to pull it together and be responsible. They get to work on time, go to meetings, and take care of themselves. However, as soon as it comes to making plans for their social life with other people, they simply do not have any consideration for others’ time. This goes for not just extra curricular activities with friends, but also family events, dates, etc.

While being spontaneous and going with the flow doesn’t bother some people, it’s definitely one of my pet peeves. For instance, if you make plans with friends to go out on a Friday night, then assign a time for it, or at least a time range to get a general idea! There’s no reason to lolly-gag all day Friday when you have another person(s) waiting on you to tell them when and where. Sure, you might be busy during the day going about your daily to-dos, but at least give the other person a heads-up as to when and where you’ll be meeting. Give them a ballpark range for crying out loud. Don’t make them wait until 20 minutes before YOU are able to meet.

Maybe you and your friend live about 35 miles apart. In Los Angeles, that’s not uncommon, but when it comes to planning on seeing one another, you have to have respect for each others’ time. Let’s say, at 8pm, they ask you to come over (mind you, it’s on a weeknight). Now you’d have to drive 30-40 minutes to see them when you know you have other priorities,  and have to be up early for work the next day. It’s just not practical. If you had accounted for going over there earlier in the day, then you may have gotten your priorities done sooner, and cleared up your evening plans. To some it’s not a big deal, but your friend should have a little more respect for your time if he/she knows you live that far apart.

Now for those of you (and I’m saying maybe 30% of the population) who do respect mine or someone else’s time and make plans accordingly, cheers to you! You’ve made not only mine, but Santa’s “good” list too.

Part of adulting means planning ahead, thinking of how your actions affect others, and finding balance between taking care of priorities and scheduling your social life. People need to remember that the world doesn’t revolve around them!

If a plan is important to you, then act like it. Don’t let your opportunities fly by, simply because you couldn’t take the time to think through your plans and follow through with them! Ain’t nobody got time for that.

 

Affordable Spring Date Ideas

berry picking

If you’ve ever been in a relationship, then you probably know how costly it can be. Being in love is definitely not cheap. But that’s okay!—because you can’t put a price on love. However, just because you’d like to spend romantic, quality time together doesn’t mean you need to break the bank in doing so.

Spring has sprung, and it’s a great time of year to take advantage of fun, affordable activities. “How?” you ask? Well, let us count the ways…

  1. Berry Picking: The absolute perfect springtime activity. Wear a tank top, soak up the sun, and go pluck some strawberries and blueberries off of their vines! There is something strangely satisfying about filling up your basket with fresh, hand-picked berries. If you live in my town, then check out Underwood Family Farms. The only charge is for the berries that you take home at the end of the day! If you live elsewhere, then do your research to find farms in your area that offer this activity to the community. What to do with the berries? Do a little baking w/ bae! Fresh strawberry pies are a great way to celebrate your hard work, and indulge in a sweet spring dessert (if you don’t mess up baking a pie from scratch—like I did…oops!).
  2. Picnic Somewhere Beautiful: Okay, here’s a good one. Who doesn’t love a fun picnic? Find a pretty place (a park, a hiking spot, the beach, etc.) and bring along a blanket. Pack the picnic essentials: sparkling flavored water or flavored iced tea, sandwiches, fruit, cheese, crackers, trail mix, and of course a dessert! Trust me, your date will be blown away by your thoughtful planning and preparation. Super romantic date.
  3. Hiking: Leave your phones behind and get out in nature! Take in the sunshine, lather with sunscreen, and get your fitness on w/ your boyfriend or girlfriend. This is a great way to spend quality time together, with no distractions. Plus, it’s totally free!
  4. Discount Movie Days/Nights: No matter where you live, if you have a movie theater near you, chances are they offer value days. Even when I lived in Ireland, we had a movie theater that promoted weekly “cheap” days. If you love the movie experience, but are tired of paying $12-$14 per ticket…I don’t blame you. Plan to go on the days that are $6! Literally for half-price, you get the exact same experience. Now you don’t even have to feel bad for buying snacks! I mean really…why would you go any other day???
  5. Community Movies in the Park: Lots of communities plan movie nights, where you can bring a blanket and your loved one, and enjoy a nice movie in the park. These are either super cheap, or free! Enjoy an evening outdoors, and a glass of wine as you watch a flick. It’s something different to do, and totally seasonal. Enjoy it while you can!
  6. Carnivals: It’s that time of year. From Spring to Summer, you’re likely to find some carnivals. Go buy some tickets, play some games, ride the ferris wheel, and purchase a dang funnel cake! These nights are exciting, romantic, and reasonably affordable! Stroll around and people-watch, or go pet some piggies and sheep. It’s sure to be a great night.
  7. S’mores and Wine by the Fire: If you’re able to find a fire pit (or be creative), then you are lucky enough to indulge in some hand-made s’mores. Roast some marshmellows over the fire, tell stories or listen to music, gaze up at the stars, and watch the ooey gooey mess commence! Uncork a bottle of wine..and voila! An intimate, and quiet night together. One thing’s for sure…sparks will be flying.
  8. Volunteer: It’s a totally free, and memorable experience. Find ways in your community to help. Doing good things with someone you care about is extremely fulfilling!

 Enjoying time with one another is simple. Get a little creative and remember what is important: that you and your partner enjoy each other’s company, no matter what you’re doing! Sometimes, it’s the thoughtful and inventive activities that mean the most.

xx allie

 

 

Bad Days…We All Have Them.

bad day

You woke up late. You missed an appointment. You sprained your ankle. Your windshield cracked. Any one of these unfortunate mishaps can cause your day to veer off track. Once your day has gone awry, we all know how difficult it can be to turn it back around.

I don’t care if you’re Beyoncé or Chris Harrison, if you’re a human being then you are susceptible to having a bad day. No one is exempt from this mere fact of life. Even animals have bad days (such as the day your dog has to go to the vet or groomers). Although we all have this in common, not all of us handle our bad days in the same way.

The way we choose to appraise our misfortune largely dictates our resilience to it.

So the next time you’re having a bad day…try to remember these helpful little tips:

Re-Fill Your Bucket

When you’re having a bad day, it is all too easy to take it out on others. The bad mood takes over, and we taint the interactions we have with friends, family members, and our partner for the remainder of the day. Although we feel guilty, we often feel justified. We know that we can just chalk up our bad attitude to “having a rough day”, which we feel people should understand.

Tom Rath and Donald Clifton have proposed a life-changing metaphor for the way you live life and interact with others. They suggest that each of us have a bucket within us that needs to be filled with positive experiences, praise, and recognition. When we compliment someone or give them a positive affirmation, we are helping to fill their bucket. Filling another’s bucket does not deplete our own. In fact, it fills ours a little as well. However, when we are negative towards others, we use a dipper to draw from their bucket, diminish their positivity, and consequently remove from our own buckets.

According to this philosophy, when we project our bad attitude onto another, we are subtracting from their bucket and our own. Nobody wins. If you can see your interactions as having a direct effect on the buckets of others and yourself, you may think twice about projecting your bad day onto an innocent, otherwise content individual.

No matter how bad of a day you are having, positivity and meaningful, pleasant interactions with others can only help you to turn your day around.

Thoughts Become Reality

Everything you’ve ever owned, achieved, created, or felt is the result of an initial thought. What we think, we become. Who we are is largely determined by our thoughts, values, beliefs, and ideas. Our thoughts guide our reality. When you think positive thoughts, you attract positivity into your life. When you think negative thoughts, you attract negativity into your life.

Ruminating or obsessing over anything negative can in fact bring about the exact thing you are trying to avoid. We know this as the self-fulfilling prophecy. We have the power to make our biggest fears come true…simply by having thoughts of them coming true. By having these thoughts, we subconsciously and unknowingly behave in ways that encourage and nourish the fear, thus bringing it about.

No matter how bad your day is turning out to be, it’s important to maintain a positive mindset. Your mind is a powerful vessel, and when you glean positivity from even the most difficult scenarios, you set yourself up for a more positive future.

It’s Just a Bad Day, Not a Bad Life

When you’re having a bad day, it’s easy to overextend your misfortune to appear greater than it truly is. It can often feel like a downward spiral. Just because you’re having a bad day, doesn’t mean that you’re having a bad life. Remind yourself, “This is just a bad day, that’s all. Everybody has bad days. Most likely tomorrow will be better, and then things will be back on track. I’m going to try to let this go, be grateful for the things that are going right, and move forward”. Allow yourself to experience any anger or frustration you might have, but don’t let it linger! Feel it, and let it pass.

Last Words

Many things happen that are out of our control, but it’s important to remember that the way you appraise and react to your experiences makes all the difference. You may not have control over the things that happen to you, but you do have control over your attitude. Make the most of even the worst days, and count your blessings.

xx allie

Make it Rain

march

Now that we’re settled into the New Year, and summer is on the horizon…the theme of this quarter is “Eye on the prize”. A future-oriented mindset will spur success and wealth in the coming years…and that is what we’re working towards.

Over the course of the winter months, I allowed myself to be overly generous when it came to eating a frenzy of sweets. There was little that I held back from eating, and I enjoyed every damn bite. Basically…no regrets. Although, as with most things, it’s time to achieve some balance. Since the next couple of months are free of major holidays and lead into the summer, I figured this would be a good time to focus on my health, diet, and fitness.

Although I love partaking in Zumba classes a few times a week (shout-out to the absolute best instructors Ellie & Ida), I am also beginning to focus on weight training. Last week was my first week—and MAN was I sore. Thankful for workout buddy Al–for pushing me to the limit and exploring new exercises with me! Coupled with protein shakes and focused meal planning, I am hoping to gain some muscle, slim, and tone.  Although progress is slow, my thinking is long-term. I know that with a little bit of discipline and persistence, change and improvement are sure to come. If nothing else…then at least I’m healthy!

As a byproduct of my health consciousness, I am quickly learning that grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking can actually be pretty fun! I’ve created Faro chicken salads, chicken fajitas, and a shrimp stir fry in the last few days. Next on the list are panko breaded & baked cauliflower, parmesan zucchini, spaghetti squash Bolognese, and baked sweet potato fries. It’s a fun and healthy way to tap into my creative side and reap the benefits.

My personal initiative has been on adding a considerable amount of protein and veggies to my diet. Speaking of protein: I’ve also been very much enjoying my morning chocolate protein shake (Ben’s recipe: with frozen banana slices, a spoon of peanut butter, and almond milk)! 25 grams of protein is a great way to start off my day—and it also satisfies my morning chocolate craving!  Believe it or not, planning and cooking my own meals seems to be a money saver as well. Way less money goes to restaurants and independently owned stores. A great lil added bonus.

This leads me to my next topic. GREEN! Although March is the month of St. Patty’s Day…that’s not the only reason that green is of importance to me this month particularly. Lately I’ve been focused on saving my earnings, and even investing ($$$)! Although it’s fun to pamper yourself and spend in the moment, it’s even more fun to save for the future and build a foundation that you can be proud of. Long-term goals cannot be reached without planning and patience, but in the end you will be so glad that you held off on that pricey bathing suit you wanted, or the acrylic nails you just HAD to have. Saving gives you confidence in your future and your ability to invest in something that matters later down the road. Goals: make it rain.

Even if your goals are long-term, it’s important to be disciplined and patient in your approaches right now. If your eye is on the prize and you put the work in, it will be exciting when you’re finally able to reward yourself in the future.

Getting my ducks in a row has never felt so good. Cheers to protein & green for the month of March! What’s your eye on?

xx allie