1.31.2013

appreciate

Appreciate the...
I think a lot of the times we get so wrapped up in life and finding everything that's wrong with it, that we forget what's right with it. We're filled with so many complaints: my job doesn't pay enough, my class is too hard, my boyfriend forgot to record my show, my mom calls too much, my stomach is flabby. When you look at everything you think is so devastating, it's actually pretty funny. It's really nothing. I think it's time to stop complaining, and start appreciating.

Appreciate your health. You're alive, you're kicking! If you want to improve the vessel you're living in (your body) then you can. Eat clean foods. Exercise. Quit smoking. Lay off boozing. Get sleep. Treat yourself right. Your body is your home.

Appreciate your home. Sounds silly, right? But think of those without homes. They have nowhere to go to sleep, to unwind, to eat, to bathe. Be happy you can do all of these things in a place that's familiar and all yours.

Appreciate your family and friends. Sure, they can drive you crazy sometimes, but they love you and you love them. They're supportive and only have the best wishes for you. If anyone is dragging you down, then let them go, and appreciate that you're strong enough to do so.

Appreciate your independence. Be happy that you are an individual who can make you own choices, whether it's what you order for dinner or what you pursue for your career or who you marry. You have a great deal of freedom and that is sometimes hard to come by.

Also, appreciate the little things...

The hugs. The crappy TV shows you love. The treat meals. The workouts. The sunsets. The sunrises. The favorite pair of sweats you own. The puppy kisses. The hand-holding. The books. The texts. The laughs. The nights in. The board games. The home-cooked meals. The un-chipped nail polish. The good hair day. The beanie to hide a bad hair day. The cup of tea. The vase of flowers.


1.30.2013

what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Protein shakes
I've been saving money and making my own post-workout shakes. They are so yummy!

2. Victoria's Secret
I sure do love when I receive Angel Rewards in the mail. It means free workout leggings and a new water bottle.
 
3. Treat meals
Everyone should be allowed a treat meal every once in awhile. They are even more enjoyable as a date with Boyfriend.

happy birthday, pops

Happy Birthday to my pops!
 I love you!

1.29.2013

boost your metabolism

We all want to boost our metabolism. It helps us maintain our weight and lose weight. However, they tend to lose their fast pace as we age. I miss the days of eating Taco Bell and still maintaining a flat tummy. Le sigh. So, now that we are older, how do we rev up our metabolism engine?

Eat protein. Protein keeps you energized, but it also takes a lot of calories to digest it. Bring on the peanut butter! I eat about five meals a day with a good amount of protein in each. I always feel full and fueled for the day.

Drink green tea. This herbal goodness is not only tasty, but contains a magical ingredient (EGCG) to speed up your metabolism. I love drinking this hot or cold. It's refreshing on a hot day, and warms me up on a chilly day.

Strength train. Don't be scared of weights or the gym machines. They are your secret weapon for a toned body and a speedy metabolism. Get in there with the boys and push yourself!

Morning workout. Roll out of bed and get to the gym. Morning workouts rev up your metabolism for the entire day. I know, I know. It's hard to roll out of bed, but it's worth it and you'll soon enjoy it once your body adjusts.

Eat breakfast. Don't skip the "most important meal of the day." It really does get your metabolism working and gives you energy for the day. Don't starve yourself!

Drink water. If you are dehydrated, your metabolism slows down. Plus, you're thirsty! It will also keep you feeling full. If you aren't sure if you're hungry or bored, then drink a glass of water. A lot of the time it will fill you up.


1.28.2013

asos wish list

I love ASOS, and apparently black, grey, and white judging from my wish list. These are some pieces I think are perfect for transitioning into warmer weather. I'm happy things are heating up here in Phoenix. I'm ready for Spring already.


1.26.2013

spanish scramble

[via Clean Eating Mag]

I've been on a serious egg kick lately! I eat them hard boiled for snacks, or scramble up some egg whites for any time of day. They shouldn't be limited to breakfast! I saw this delicious recipe for a Spanish scramble on Clean Eating Mag. Check this baby out...

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Pinch crushed saffron, optional
  • 1 tsp high-heat cooking oil (such as sunflower, safflower or grape seed oil)
  • 2 slices whole-grain bread, cubed
  • 1 zucchini, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced
  • 1 plum tomato, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites, yolk, oregano, paprika and, if desired, saffron. Set aside. In a large skillet or seasoned cast iron skillet, heat oil on high. Add bread, zucchini, bell pepper and tomato and sauté, stirring constantly, until vegetables soften and begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Drizzle egg mixture over top and stir constantly until eggs are cooked, about 3 minutes.


1.24.2013

thoughts on relationships pt. 5

Give and take. There should be a proper balance in relationships. There are times to be selfish and selfless. Being too much of either one will be painful to yourself, and the other person. It's okay to ask for the remote when it's smack dab in the middle of both of you. It's okay to go out of your way to pick up chocolate milk when you don't even drink it, just because they are out. It's okay to admit you are wrong, or to stick to being right.

Giving too much of yourself will leave you empty, but somehow still fighting to give more. Taking too much will drain the other person, and leave you as a tyrant. There shouldn't be one giver and one taker in a relationship. Each of you should share the roles in proper times and situations. Getting to know each other will allow you to know which times and situations are best to give and take.

Bring out the best in each other. If a person makes you want to be a better person, then it's a true match. Partners should encourage each other to find the good in life, and in themselves. Push each other to follow dreams and complete goals. Deter each other from negative thinking and motives. Share a good life together that shines light onto your relationship and the world that surrounds you.

Often, couples find themselves sucking the happiness from each other. Dreams are forgotten, goals are left dusty, and negativity consumes them. Their focus becomes fixed on the bad, and it's a tough rut to climb out of. Instead, focus on the good in the world and in each other. Be kind towards one another, positive, and supportive.

Spend time apart. Not every waking moment needs to be spent with your partner. It's okay to enjoy hobbies or activities as an individual. After all, you are individuals and not super-glued together as one being. Enjoy time alone. Go to the gym. Paint a picture. Read a book. It gives you something to talk about with your partner when you reunite.

I see so many couples who do everything together. I swear, they might as well use the toilet at the same time. I think when people do this they end up losing themselves. They forget the reasons they fell in love with each other. The reasons that made them different and unique. It's awesome if you enjoy the same things, but it's okay if you don't either. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Even if it is just for an hour or two.

1.23.2013

what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Picnics
Boyfriend and I decided to enjoy the beautiful weather and have a picnic in our backyard with the pups. We enjoyed some local beer, steak, corn, and kale salad.
2. Sweet snacks
Whenever I get a sweet tooth, I mix together a handful of Marcona almonds and dark chocolate chips. It is so dang tasty and satisfying.

3. Ice skating
Boyfriend and I went to the rink to skate the night away. It was a blast, but also terrifying because I haven't been in so long. I had a death grip on his hand, but didn't fall once. 
 

1.22.2013

brandy melville wish list

I adore Brandy Melville. Her fashionable items are simple, cute, and well-priced. I love browsing her website for outfit inspiration when I just want dress comfy for the day. I haven't done a wish list for her shop yet, so here goes...



1.21.2013

heart rate monitor

I recently purchased a Polar heart rate monitor, and I am absolutely in love with it. I don't know why I never had one before. This handy little watch tracks your time, heart rate, and calories burnt. This connects to a chest strap that is extremely comfortable.

So, why do you need a heart rate monitor?
  • They are extremely more accurate than the machines at the gym. These machines just estimate the calories you are burning, which means they could be off by tens to hundreds of calories on their readings. While they take into consideration your age, gender, and weight, they still aren't as personal as the chest strap on your very own body. You are most likely burning less than the readings say. Ain't that a bummer?
  • They track your heart rate and calories burnt while strength training too. Weights, squats, and ab work clearly don't have a reader like cardio machines. This shows you exactly how hard you are working during all aspects of your workout.
  • They help you see how you are progressing. Your gym sessions are stored away in fitness files, so you can look back and see your improvements.
  • They monitor your "zone." This is the ideal range your heart rate should stay in for maximum results, and to prevent from under-training and over-training.
  • They show you which exercises work, and which ones you need to tweak. It's a way for you to personalize your workouts to your own benefit and liking.

I bought my Polar FT4 from Sports Authority, but they are also available at Sports Chalet, Best Buy, Target, REI or online. I suggest you run out and snatch one up. It's time to maximize your workout!


1.20.2013

sunday spark

[image source]
"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out."
-J. Collier


1.19.2013

cauliflower fritters

I'm not a fan of raw cauliflower. I'm far from a picky eater, but I just can't get into those white little trees if they aren't cooked. I always want to find ways to incorporate them into my diet. I found a delicious recipe on The Gracious Pantry. She cooked 'em up as cauliflower fritters. YUM.

Check out the recipe for this clean creation. At 35 calories a fritter (this makes eight), you can't go wrong!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked cauliflower
  • 3 whole eggs OR 6 egg whites (your preference)
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Olive oil for cooking (unless you’re using a non-stick pan)

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mash all ingredients together with a potato masher. It can be lumpy, but the lumps should be fairly even throughout.
  2. Put a small amount of oil in a skillet (unless you are using non-stick) and cook like you would a pancake.
Note: If they start to break apart when you slide the spatula under them, they haven’t cooked long enough. Let them cook a bit longer and then try flipping them again.

ENJOY!

1.17.2013

hair care

 I've put my hair through hell. From brown, to red, to blonde, to brown again. It's been quite a hair journey, that was also filled with impulsive cuts, nasty extensions, and blunt bangs. I apologize, little strands. I quit hair dye (for now), and I won't clip fake hair in you ever again. I plan to let you grow, grow, grow.

This is what I use for my hair...

Biotin. This stuff has done wonders for my hair. It's grown faster and stronger.
Argan oil. My mom got me hooked on this, along with buying me the little tub. It keeps my hair soft, while protecting it from UV damage and styling heat. I like to leave it on overnight for an ultra hair treatment.
Sulfate-free wash. This shampoo and conditioner smells amazing! It's sulfate-free, so it doesn't dull or strip your hair. It's clean and healthy for your hair.

On top of these products, I usually let my hair air-dry and use a straightener for touch ups on my natural waves. I get a light trim every two months. Once a week, I will leave in conditioner overnight. I've put my hair through enough. I realize it's time to take care of it.

1.16.2013

what i'm lovin' wednesday

1. Jennifer Zeuner
I'm so in love with the necklace Boyfriend got me for Christmas. It never leaves my neck.

2. Mexican food
I've been having mad cravings for Mexican food lately. It's in my blood, so it's no surprise. It's been fun finding healthy versions of the meals I love, like these chicken tostadas.

3. Chewbacca
I used to love Star Wars as a kid, and Boyfriend's obsession has brought that love back. I found the perfect furry case for my iPhone 5.

1.15.2013

karma cleanse

[image source]

Be grateful. Look around and appreciate what surrounds you. It could be people: your best friend, you significant other, your mom, your dog. It could be monetary items: your Keurig, your Jeffrey Campbell boots, your Chi that keeps your hair under control. It could be moments: snuggled up on the couch with a good movie, looking up at the stars, a fit of laughter. Soak it all up. Appreciate it all. Be grateful that it has entered your life.

Act with love. Is there any other way to act? Open your heart. Open it to everything. Follow it. Let go of anger, spite, and negativity because they undermine your actions and affect your character. Act as you would hope others would act, which is with love and good feelings.

Check your motives. Think before you act. If there is any maliciousness behind your action, then don't commit it. Find positive influences for your actions, rather than aiming to belittle others. Underhanded moves in life do not go unseen. You'll be conscious of your choices, even if it's long before others are made aware of them. So live with a free conscious and with good intentions.

Watch your attitude. It's easy to get trapped in a mood or in negative mindset. One little thing goes wrong and it somehow affects your whole day, week, month, even year. Try not to let outside influences affect who you are and how you feel inside. Let the good outweigh the bad, and let your attitude reflect that. Be positive, happy, and optimistic.

Forgive. Shit happens. Pardon my French, but it does. You can either stay trapped in a grudge, or you can move forward. It doesn't mean you forget. It doesn't mean you are weak. It means you learned. It means you are that much stronger and bigger of a person. It means you took control of your life and chose to be happy and free of hurt cast upon you. Leave the past behind, even if it means people or circumstances are included. Make sure your anger is left behind too.


1.14.2013

fitspo acronyms

Sometimes when I'm researching fitness on the web or through my books, I feel so lost when they throw in acronyms. I scratch my head and end up making up what they could stand for in my head. They end up completely wrong. Typical.

I made an acronym guide that is handy when embarking on a healthy and fit lifestyle. Check it out...

HRM (heart rate monitor): The monitor measures how fast your heart is beating.
BPM (beats per minute): Heart rate is measured in BPM, which helps you understand how hard you're working.
BMR (basal metabolic rate): How many calories your body uses each day to live and breathe.
RMR (resting metabolic rate): How many calories your body uses at rest.
RPE (rate of perceived exertion): How hard you push yourself.
HIIT: (high intensity interval training): Short, but intense workouts that alternate high intensity and low intensity. This is one I enjoy a lot. I like the mix-up of fast sprinting to speed walking. It really gets my heart rate up!

I hope this helps! There is so much to learn, and sometimes we just need a little help. Keep educating yourself and enjoying the knowledge you soak up from different resources.

1.13.2013

"like" me

Find me on Facebook and feel free to press the "like" button.
Click below to get going.


Thanks,

sunday spark

[image source]
"I'm going to make everything around me beautiful - that will be my life."
-Elsie de Wolfe

1.12.2013

free people wish list

It's been awhile since I stepped into Free People, and even longer since I was luckily an employee with an amazing discount. I love all of their pieces, and can't help but drool over everything they have whether it's online or in store. It's all so well-made and unique.

So, here is my wish list. These are some serious must-haves that are a mix of Spring and Winter. Why not mix the two?


1.11.2013

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