Beauty

Acne and breakouts- my story

It is completely normal for everyone to breakout. No one wants to wake up with a bump on their face and have to go out feeling like everyone is staring at. While people do not realize the bump probably, it is nice to have a clear complexion and to be able to go makeup free- especially during the summer on vacation.

I know first hand how terrible acne can be. I used to have it bad in middle, high school and my first year of college. Unsure of the cause I had confidence issues. I did not want to go places sometimes, did not want to go makeup free on the beach and did not want to talk to people in class because I know they were staring at the huge bumps on my face.

I didn’t have the regular one or two white/black heads. I had the bad acne. The cystic/nodule acne where my face would have five of those and it would look swollen and puffy and hurt to move my face. My parents never had acne growing up and no one in my family did. I wondered why I was breaking out so bad when I would keep my face clean after the gym and wash it twice a day. I also have always ate really healthy and I drink a gallon of water a day so I could not figure out what was going on.

Senior year of high school I decided to go to the dermatologist. My dermatologist looked at my face and decided that I have acne from my hormones. I was prescribed the birth control pill YAZ, an antibiotic called Doxycycline and a cream to put on my face at night called Epiduo. They say it takes three months to notice a change for everything. While I wanted my acne to be a quick fix I knew it was not going to be and I had to stick with it. I think I was allergic to the Doxycycline as I would feel so sick to my stomach while taking it with or without food and I couldn’t stomach it. I was taken off of that after I called my dermatologist and she put me on Keflex instead.

I was in month 2 at this point and my skin started getting worse than it was before. My dermatologist said the antibiotic was bringing the acne from under the skin out before it went away. I was in tears at this point. I was calling myself ugly and did not want to go anywhere. I would coat my face in makeup which makes it look worse, by the way. I would shower at night and wash my face and I remember feeling bumps all over my skin while showering because my face was broken out so bad. At one point during the summer I was at the beach and I had 5 nodules on my face near my eyes and nose so my face was swollen and it was making my eye look swollen as well.

The birth control was affecting my mood at first as my body was getting used to it and I was upset and angry all the time. Which is nothing like me at all. I knew something was wrong and I would eventually get used to it. I stuck it out for three months and went back for a check up where I was taken off of Keflex after I finished the whole dose of it and my face was clearing up. I went to college and my face still broke out pretty bad into nodules freshman year. I remember I didn’t want to run into anyone walking to the bathroom because I knew they would talk to me and my face was red and had bumps all over it without makeup on. I was always so self-conscious. Over that fall break I went back to the dermatologist and she changed my cream to a retinol with Retin-A that would peel off the top layer of skin and was supposed to help with scars (I thankfully do not have any really because I wouldn’t pick my face). She told me to use a Neutrogena face wash (the orange one) with Salicylic Acid in it.

I don’t know if that is a horrible combination or what but my skin is EXTREMELY sensitive and I reacted so bad to it and the Salicylic Acid was literally BURNING my face. It was blood-red and hurting all the time and dry and peeling, which makes acne worse. I threw away the face wash and went to cetaphil which is safe for sensitive skin and dermatologist recommended.

The Retin-A cream was making my face worse I thought as I started getting tiny bumps all over my forehead. When I went home for Spring Break I went back to the dermatologist and was prescribed back my Epiduo cream. Epiduo has benzyol peroxide which gets deep into the skin and fights bumps before they form and dry them out.

Over the next year my face started clearing up like magic. I was taking the birth control pill (YAZ), using the Epiduo cream at night and sleeping with it on like moisturizer, and washing my face twice a day with cetaphil and using a cetaphil moisturizer in the morning after I wash.

I am now going to be a senior in college and my face has come a long ways. I am so happy with my skin now and I look back and still wonder why it got that bad. I, at one time, was about to go on Accutane (the strongest acne medication for the worst acne). I never wear makeup now unless I’m going out or doing something with friends or in school. I go days and weeks without it, never wear it on the beach or at the gym or running to the store. My skin is happy, healthy and glowing and though I had a battle for most of my childhood with it I am so glad I stayed strong through it all. It is all about trial-and-error. You have to find what works for your skin and what your body will accept.

I switch my pillowcase once a week so I don’t break out from dirt or oil from hair/the air. It is so nice to wake up late and go to class some days without heavy makeup and I can throw on powder or just blush and a little bit of mascara and feel good about myself.

My skin care routine now:

I visit the dermatologist once a year just for a check up to make sure things are doing good. I have been resuming YAZ birth control and my body is used to it and everything is going well. I use Epiduo Forte cream at night. I usually do every night but I don’t have to. If I feel like I may get a bump from wearing makeup too long or sweating bad at the gym I will put a dab of the cream on the spot and the bump will go away. If I feel like my face is dry I will skip a night of the cream and use moisturizer instead. I am completely acne free and my skin is glowing.

I go to the gym almost every day so I always come home and wash my face after sweating.

I wake up in the morning and wash my face with cetaphil gentle face wash then moisturize with cetaphil moisturizer.

When I have on makeup I always take if off with makeup remover before showering at night then I double wash my face in the shower with cetaphil gentle face wash and when I get out I will put on moisturizer or the Epiduo Forte cream.

Once I week (usually Friday or Saturday) I use a microdermabrasion scrub that you can get from Ulta or Amazon and I will scrub my face then wash it off to remove dead skin cells that build up. ($12.49 at Ulta)

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Radiant Youth Refining Microdermabrasion Polish

 

 

I also use a clay mud mask every now and then.

I am very religious about my skin care routine and always make that a priority. I use wrinkle cream ($24.99 at Ulta), I wear sunscreen and I take care of my skin, body and health. It amazes me how people have clear skin and will be like, “I don’t do anything I have perfect skin I don’t ever wash it.” Though you may have clear skin, that is not good health and it is creating bacteria on your face. Always be clean and take care of your body! It will thank you for it and you will prevent yourself from bad breakouts in the future. 🙂

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ROC Eye Cream

 

I wish I had pictures from the past but I deleted them because I was so embarrassed by my skin. Remember that if you have acne, still love yourself and it is okay to get professional help. You will thank yourself.

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What's New?

Boyfriend Birthday Ideas

Hey 💕 so this past Monday was my boyfriend’s (Logan) 21st birthday. I was able to spend a few days with him so we did something different every day. If you are short on ideas and want to get creative here’s a cute idea that I did for his gifts.

I forgot to take a picture of them before he opened!! I used the 5 senses; touch, taste, smell, sound and sight. Here is what I got him for each gift:

Sound-a waterproof shower speaker
Sight- Nike running tennis shoes
Touch– Nike logo t-shirt
Taste- 2 huge cinnamon buns from a bakery
Smell– men’s body wash

This was after he opened but I wrapped all the gifts in black paper and typed out the senses then added glitter around it. Logan loved it!

Also on Monday we went to Red Lobster with his parents, I haven’t been there in years and it was delicious. Of course we got Logan to order a mixed drink (since he is 21).

 

On Tuesday, I wanted to take Logan out for dinner alone as another birthday treat. I wanted to take him somewhere he has never been before which was The Melting Pot. If you have never been there it is a must for a special occasion such as a birthday or anniversary. It is a little pricy but worth it! We ordered a 4-course meal so we got cheese fondue (comes with vegetables, apples and tons of bread), salads, an entrée (we got pork, chicken and steak) and I ordered double chocolate fondue dessert, just for him. Haha.

I forgot to take a picture of the chocolate before we ate it all, I ordered a s’mores chocolate fondue and a turtle chocolate. Some things that we had to dip in was pound cake, a lot of fruit, brownies, rice krispys, marsh mellows, graham crackers, cheesecake and more.

Today is Wednesday, we decided to go out shopping and we got Starbucks. Logan has enjoyed his 21st birthday.

If you are looking for ideas to do something with your special someone or friend or family the senses gifts are cute, simple and meaningful.

Recipes

Strawberry Vanilla Protein Shake

Hey y’all!

With school being out I know I am focusing more on the gym and my health. I have been loving this new Organic Plant Based protein powder that I have been using in my shakes and after the gym workouts.

There is a yummy protein shake I made for breakfast that kept me filled up until lunch. It has strawberries and banana in it so it is sweet and similar to a strawberry shortcake. Use this shake for a quick dose of vitamins and protein and to help recover your sore, tired muscles after a good hard workout.

It is short, simple and delicious.

Ingredients:

1 cup strawberries

1/2 banana

1 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 scoop vanilla organic protein powder

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (regular or vanilla)

A few ice cubes if you want it thicker

 

Directions: 

Just add everything to a blender and blend for about 15-30 seconds. Then you are done 🙂

 

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https://www.vitaminshoppe.com/p/orgain-orgain-organic-protein-sweet-vanilla-bean-2-5-lb-powder/o4-1011

 

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What's New?

Part 2: Europe and 9 days (Italy)

Hello all! Hope you had a great Memorial Day and ate some delicious food and relaxed with family and friends.

I know I shared some pictures from my Europe trip when I went to Switzerland. I also want to share some from Italy. I loved both places the same, though they were different I thought it was nice to see the different cultures and languages. I have hundreds of pictures and stories that I would love to share but going to keep it limited to some of my favorites 🙂

I could go on and on about the food in Italy. Let me first talk about my love for Gelato. The best Gelato I had was in Venice, Italy. Venice is very packed as you can see from the picture below. It is a tourist spot and it is a maze. No joke, it took me an hour to find the bus stop. I kept making turns and ending up in dead ends. Kind of scary but the buildings are all so pretty. I was told if you make mental notes of where you are by looking at cathedrals you can find your way around. There is this gelato shop deep in the middle of Venice, I’m not sure of the name but I know it is 5 dollars and worth it. The gelato I got was a chocolate cone with sprinkles and a dark chocolate flavor on the bottom with a salted caramel flavor on the top. I only had two licks and was trying to get a chocolate chunk and dropped my cone 😦 I bought another one because it was so good but I wasted 5 dollars.

IMG_0051 Venice, Italy

 

KFTE4585.jpg Gelato

I took a Gondola ride in Venice which can cost about 80 euros for a ride. I rode with 5 other people and we split the 80 so it wasn’t as bad as riding alone. It was about a 30 minute stroll around Venice. We went under the bridges and got to see pretty buildings, restaurants and talk with the Gondola workers about the history. Though it is expensive it is definitely a must if you go to Venice. We got tons of pretty pictures of Venice while on the water. As you can see fashion wasn’t my concern that day because I had blisters from other shoes on my feet so I just wore my tennis shoes to walk in. IMG_0059.JPG

While in Italy I went to the cheese factory in Parma, Italy to see how Parmesan cheese is made. It was cool to see and way different from what I expected. I actually did not like the cheese. I am probably used to processed american cheese.

While there all I ate was bread, pasta, pizza and gelato. I am an exercise junkie and always eat healthy 98% of the time. This killed me eating so bad, every restaurant I went to I could not find vegetables. It got to the point where I was like this could be a once in a lifetime trip might as well enjoy it. I had tons of nutella stuffed things also such as muffins, croissants and my favorite from the whole trip was this nutella stuffed donut. I was in love when I saw this, haha.

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The best nutella donut 

The day before I left I went wine tasting in Domaso, Italy. I took a ferry through Lake Como (where I learned George Clooney actually has a mansion on the lake supposedly). Domaso is a very rich part of Italy. It was very pretty and the houses were gorgeous. We went to a wine cellar where they served us food and turns out George Clooney picked out this wine for his wedding there and Flava Flave shot a music video there. At the end of the Wine tasting they brought out a drink called Grappa. So Grappa is made fresh from the seed of the grapes. The alcohol content is 60% alcohol which is very high if you did not know. Higher than Vodka, etc. I am 21 and legally allowed to drink in America. However, I did not drink much wine and did not drink the Grappa. I did not want to get drunk or feel anything, it is a wine tasting after all the point is to taste not drink hard. I had a 4 am wake up call the next morning as well. I took a picture to show the Grappa.

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Grappa
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Wine tasting in Domaso, Italy

I had a cooking class while there as well and made some amazing pasta, gnocchi covered in pesto sauce and tiramisu. Hands down the best pasta I have ever had before. The class was 3 hours long then I got to eat what I prepared. My feet were KILLING me. I give them props, a lot of work goes into making pasta but that hard work pays off. Since I have been home I have made lasagna from the recipes I got there and its amazing. Homemade is way better than canned.

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After the cooking class with food I made

I also made a stop in Milan where I of course went shopping. I only had 2 hours but I visited the Duomo di Milano Cathedral and strolled around some shops. There was a red carpet premiere for a tv show or movie called 1993 I think it is big in Italy? There were tons of people taking videos and news reporters and people being interviewed on the red carpet. I didn’t know them but I stopped and watched for a little bit. While at the Duomo cathedral there are people who try to get money and target tourist. This guy got mad because I wouldn’t give him money for corn and he threw it at me. They were very rude and I was angry about that. So always watch your surroundings and people targeting tourist, trust me I know I stand out.IMG_9824.JPG

I also got to hold pigeons and feed them from my hand there. Milan is a must place to visit if you are going to Italy. IMG_9858.PNG

A lot of shops close early in Europe so I only got to browse in a few but I did buy 2 pair of shorts from Zara. I have never been in a Zara and have always wanted to go so this was really cool for me. It was huge! Some other stores on the strip in Milan was Prada, Louis Vuitton and other name brand stores. They were closed when I got to them.

While leaving Italy we flew over mountains that were insanely beautiful. They were covered in snow. Though I had a lot of fun in Europe I was ready to get home and get back to my clean eating, exercise and sleep that I lost because of the time difference. This trip was such an amazing experience that I am glad I got to be a part of. I would love to go back to Europe and travel through it on my own or with friends some day. I know I will be back soon. I tried to share a lot of my best memories without making a super long post. Hopefully this will make you want to go too.

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Domaso, Italy

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What's New?

Europe and 9 days (Switzerland)

Hello all!

I have been away and enjoying my time on a trip. My wifi did not work well in Europe so it was hard to get on and post things. I went to Europe for 9 days and want to share some pictures and adventures. This post will be about Switzerland and I will do another one about Italy soon.

On May 7th I left America and got on a plane to go to Switzerland. I stopped in London where I have always wanted to go but was on a timed schedule and couldn’t make it out of the airport to see anything. I was bummed about that but the airport was really cool and I know I’ll go to London one day as I have always wanted to visit.

I jumped on a second plane in London and flew into Geneva, Switzerland. The total time it took to get to Switzerland from American was about 13 hours. I have never been on a plane before and was a little nervous and felt a little sick due to turbulence. I could not sleep at all on the plane and when I arrived in Switzerland it was 6 hours ahead of America so I lost a full night of sleep, that is always fun, ha.

I first went to Geneva lake and automatically thought Europe was beautiful. I had free time to walk around for about two hours so I visited a tiny cottage cafe near the lake and a chocolate shop, however I didn’t buy any chocolate….yet.

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Chocolate in Geneva

 

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Lake Geneva

Next I walked around Geneva and admired all the buildings. I noticed some are the Gothic type architecture, which I love. Then I went to dinner because I haven’t had anything to eat since the plane when I was in American time and was starving. I was staying in a hotel in Lausanne which is about an hour from Geneva. I decided to walk to Pinte Beeson, a restaurant that is known for cheese fondue. I had chicken, vegetables, potatoes and fruit.  image4.JPG

I came on this trip thinking I could eat healthy but really all I could find was bread, pastries, croissants and meat and cheese so I was like well might as well enjoy these next 8 days 😉

I have a lot of pictures of the roads and shops around Switzerland but this post would be so long if I posted them all so I’m just going to highlight my days.

The breakfast in the hotels was insanely good. I have never drunk so much coffee in my life, I think it is a European thing? I ate so many nutella stuffed croissants. In American we are used to eggs, bacon, sausage, etc for breakfast but in Europe I came across meats, cheese and bread. It was cool to see the difference. The peanut butter was so good, I think better than American peanut butter. I have the name of it but could not find it in any shop that I went into. I also ate something called muesli. Oh. my. It is amazing. It is kind of like dry oatmeal and you would add water or milk to it. The oats soak it up and you can eat it cold and you don’t have to cook it! I would add seeds and a teaspoon of peanut butter. I ate very good to say the least.

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Muesli

I went to the red cross in Geneva where I got to hear a presentation and visit the Aids museum that is in it. The building is very pretty and the museum was so cool to go through and see everything. There is a cafeteria in the building where I had this amazing spinach quiche.

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The Red Cross

I also went to see the Swiss Alps. I am used to being in 70-80 degree weather and went to Switzerland where it was 55ish, which was a big difference to me, haha. The Alps were beautiful. This was my favorite day of the trip, I went to shops and stayed around the mountains for about 2 hours. I loved it and would go back!

 

 

 

 

 

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Swiss Alps

I would love to go back to Switzerland, I feel like I was rushed because I did not have much time but the chocolate was fantastic. I want to go back just to get that. The streets are very clean and all the hotels I stayed in were really about recycling and being clean.  I also tried my first gelato here and after trying gelato I never want to go back to regular ice cream. I’ll share pictures of gelato in Italy on another post. I wish I could share everything I did day by day and all the shops and restaurants I went into. Switzerland is truly a beautiful place to go.

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Recipes

Healthy and fast breakfast: peanut butter and banana overnight oats

Overnight-Oats.jpgComing from a college student, I know I make sure to wake up early to get ready and have a healthy filling breakfast before starting my day. Skipping breakfast can lead to lower test grades and not focusing in class and it is terrible for your health.

I know time can be hard to manage in college and to be honest sometimes you don’t want to make that walk to the dining hall because you’re tired or it is cold outside or you accidentally overslept.

If you know me well you know that peanut butter is one of the best things in my life. I love it and can eat it every day and not get tired of it. I want to share a healthy recipe that you may have heard of and can make right in your kitchen/dorm room for those busy mornings! It is fast and simple and prepared the night before so all you have to do in the morning is grab it and go! Very easy to eat in class, walking to class, sitting in the car or office. Exam week is currently happening so I will be making this in my dorm room so I can eat fast before class and not have my stomach growling during testing.

Overnight oats are placed in the refrigerator and left over night so the dry oats can soak up the milk and turn into a creamy consistency. They can be made many different ways and can be consumed hot or cold, whichever you prefer.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Quaker oats (or any dried oats)
  • 1/2 cup of milk (any milk you like, I prefer skim-milk or almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup bananas sliced (or half a banana)
  • 2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
  • optional for taste:
  • 1 teaspoon of chia seeds (I love these!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

The night before, add oats to a mason jar, pour in milk then add bananas and peanut butter in layers. Mix well together. Can add chia seeds, cinnamon and vanilla for a sweeter taste and can top with a honey drizzle. Place in the refrigerator over night for about 6 plus hours and eat in the morning hot or cold.

What's New?

Unicorn everything?

I think I am late on this trend. All of a sudden everything around me was unicorn this…unicorn that. But I love the magical feeling the word “unicorn” brings.

I started seeing unicorn food such as hot drinks, unicorn fudge bars, trail mix and of course the new Unicorn Starbucks drink that just hit the menu this week for a limited time only.

I was walking to class and saw some students carrying a pink frappuccino looking drink and thought, wow what is that? Then leaving class an hour later I then saw somebody else with this pink looking drink. I was confused at first and took it to twitter where I saw a Unicorn creation from Starbucks. Though I am scared to try it because of all the sugar in it, I have heard mixed reviews about it. Have you tried it and do you like it?

I thought I would share some Unicorn recipes just in case you wanted to feel a little more magical 😉 I have to say, I am loving the look of all the desserts! They are so pretty and colorful.

Unicorn Hot Chocolate:Image result for unicorn hot chocolate

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. white chocolate chips
  • 2 c. half-and-half
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pink food coloring (to your liking)
  • whipped cream (to taste)
  • sprinkles (for garnish)

Directions:

  • Place the white chocolate chips, half-and-half, milk, and vanilla in a medium-sized sauce pan.
  • Heat over medium heat, whisking continuously until hot (do NOT boil).
  • Whisk in food coloring until you get your desired color.
  • Add to individual mugs and top with whipped cream and sprinkles.

 

Unicorn Bark:

from thespruce.com

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb white candy coating
  • 1 oz each various candy coating colors (suggested: use 4-6 colors)
  • Assorted sprinkles and candy pearls

Directions:

  • 1. Cover a baking sheet with waxed paper or aluminum foil. Melt the white and colored candy coating separately in the microwave, each in individual bowls. Heat and stir until ever color is smooth and fluid.
  • 2. Pour the white coating out onto the baking sheet, and smooth it into an even layer about 1/4-inch thick.
  • 3. Working quickly, drizzle the other colors of candy coating over the white coating in a random pattern.
  • Drag a toothpick or knife through the bark to create pretty swirls.
  • 4. While the coating is still wet, add rainbow sprinkles and candy pearls on top. Refrigerate the tray to set the bark, for at least 25 minutes.
  • 5. Once set, break the break or cut the bark into pieces. Store in an airtight container at cool room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Unicorn Popcorn:

from Bethcakes.com

Ingredients:

unicorn popcorn! - bethcakes.com

  • 1 (8-oz) box Orville Redenbacher Naturals popcorn, need 2 bags
  • 1½ cups Wilton ColorBurst Candy Melts
  • ½ cup purple Wilton Candy Melts
  • ½ cup blue Wilton Candy Melts
  • 1 cup white Wilton Candy Melts, divided (optional)
  • small colorful sprinkles
  • pink heart and gold star sprinkes

Directions:

  • Pop one bag of popcorn according to package directions. Transfer to a large bowl and remove any unpopped kernels.
  • Pop the second bag of popcorn. Divide in half and put each half in a separate bowl. (So you’ll have one large bowl and two smaller bowls!) Remove unpopped kernels.
  • Melt ColorBurst candy melts according to package directions. Pour over the popcorn in the large bowl and use a rubber spatula to stir until coated. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread out into an even layer and immediately sprinkle with sprinkles. Let the candy coating set and then break clumps back into pieces.
  • Combine ½ cup blue candy melts and ½ cup white candy melts. Heat for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat. Pour over one of the smaller bowls of popcorn and stir until coated. Spread out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. (I used one baking sheet for the white popcorn and fit both the purple and blue on a second baking sheet.) Sprinkle with sprinkles and let candy coating set. Break popcorn back into pieces.
  • Repeat with purple and white candy melts.
  • Combine all popcorn in a bowl or bag and enjoy!

Unicorn Rainbow Cheesecake Dip:

from chocolatecoveredkatie.com

No one can resist the charms of this magical rainbow dip - the recipe is kid-friendly and super easy to make!

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz cream cheese, such as TJs vegan
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, such as coconutmilk yogurt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unrefined sugar, or xylitol for sugar-free
  • 1 additional tbsp sugar, or pinch uncut stevia
  • food coloring OR a pinch turmeric, acai powder, spirulina, and blue spirulina

Directions:

  • Bring cream cheese to room temperature. Blend all ingredients except the colors until smooth. Although a blender, food processor, or hand blender will yield smoothest results, you can technically stir by hand if you must. Divide among four little dishes and stir a different coloring into each dish. (Be very light-handed if using turmeric and spirulina, as these flavors are strong and a little goes a long way.) Drop spoonfuls of each color into a serving bowl, alternating colors. Then swirl colors together with a spoon. Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated up to three days.

Unicorn Ice Cream:

from bigbearswife.com

 Yield: 1 loaf pan of ice cream

Unicorn Ice Cream (5)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream (1 pint)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweet condensed milk
  • Neon Pink Food Coloring
  • Neon Purple Food Coloring
  • Neon Blue Food Coloring
  • Neon Green Food Coloring
  • Rainbow SprinklesDirections:
  • In large bowl (or a stand mixer) whip heavy cream and vanilla together a few minutes until stiff peaks form.
  • Add in the sweetened condensed milk and whisk until combined.
  • Separate mixture into 4 bowls.
  • Tint one bowl of ice cream base mixture with a few drops of the neon pink icing. Mix well. Add more pink and mix if desired.
  • Do the same thing with the remaining colors and remaining bowls of ice cream base mixture.
  • You should have one bowl of pink ice cream base, one bowl of purple, one bowl of blue and one bowl of neon green.
  • Spoon mixtures into a loaf pan, alternating spoonfuls of color.
  • Once all of the mixture is in the loaf pan, take a knife and run it through the load pan in a figure 8 a few times to swirl the ice cream colors.
  • Sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles.
  • Freeze for several hours or over night until frozen.
  • **NOTE/TIP** – a glass loaf pan will work but a metal one will freeze the ice cream better.
Health

I did a 100 Burpees for 2 weeks challenge

I love challenging myself and when I hear about something new, fitness related, I have to try it.

I do not like burpees at all. I am one to always skip the burpees and do something else instead. However, I want to be stronger and decided that I can do 100 burpees a day for two weeks and time myself to see how long I can do them and to see how I would feel.

If you did not know burpees can be great for cardio. I would do cardio such as running or the elliptical then go into a racquet ball court (or anywhere where you won’t be distracted) and I set my timer. I decided to do burpees in sets of 10 and would rest in between 10. One day I did 10 burpees, ran a lap, did 10 burpees, ran a lap and did this off and on until I got to 100. You will feel so good and like you’re dying at the same time but when you’re done you’ll have the burpees completed and cardio! It took me about 45 minutes.

The first day I did 100 burpees in 15 minutes. I was so sore the second day but did them in 13 minutes. I wanted to get under 10 and knew I had to speed up. I would think of them in sets of 20. 20-40-60-80-100. That would make things speed up. I would get so pumped up about completing them and I told people about them to keep myself going.

By day 4 I was doing them in 9 minutes and as time went on I kept going down in time. I’ll admit, I had some days I didn’t want to do them but I knew I had to. I would do them even on rest days. I didn’t go to the gym one day because I had a rest day but that night I did my burpees before I showered. You will pour sweat, it’s high intensity but you feel so amazing afterwards.

One day I was working on projects and had meetings so I didn’t get to do them until 11 o’clock at night- what a workout that was. I also did them one day after I did cardio and had leg day in the weight room. It was funny because I was in pain from the weights and was so tired and I was basically crawling up by the time I got to 100 burpees.

I learned that this isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I would do them alone, with my sister who is also doing this and my boyfriend even jumped in and did them with me. Try them with anyone, turn on music and get pumped up. They are actually really fun! Challenging yourself is always fun and you will feel so accomplished.

Although 2 weeks are over I’m still doing these. Even though it’s not every day I’m doing it several times a week. I feel like because of these my legs have been more toned, my arms and back are toned and it works your core. It’s a total body workout. I can now say that I don’t hate burpees and I don’t mind doing them. If you try this you may change your mind about them.

Health

Cutting out sugar, dairy and gluten. Here’s what happened.

Starting Out:

I am never one to want fast food, I never order french fries and I don’t crave fried food. I just never want it. However, my sugar intake has always been much harder to control.  I would eat something sweet almost every day and even though it wasn’t binge eating it was more of a reaching for a cookie randomly during the day and not thinking much about it.

I noticed whenever I eat more sweets I would be slower at the gym the following day and I would feel sluggish if I did eat a lot of sweets at one time. I was bloated and my face would break out and I did not feel good at all.

About a month ago I decided that I wanted to up my energy levels, have less stress and feel much about myself. That’s when I decided to try cutting out all added sugar (processed foods, sweets, artificial sweeteners, etc), dairy and gluten. Everyone knows that starting a new habit is always hard the first week and gets easier as time goes on. Around the third day I felt like I was going insane and if someone covered their hand in chocolate I could probably lick it off. I questioned why I am doing this to myself but remembered why I started in the first place, I wanted to better myself. I found myself constantly thinking about sweets and I would look at pictures on Pinterest of desserts even if I couldn’t have them. I used to eat cheese and yogurt a lot and bread and none of that bothered me it was just the sweets.

I decided that if I only do this for a month I am going to go wild with sweets once this is over, so I modified it. I cannot eat sugar, dairy or gluten 6 days a week but on Friday OR Saturday I am allowed to eat normal, just not go crazy. I decided to continue this forever as part of my lifestyle as it is not hard to do and I feel really good and not guilty about the one day a week that I can indulge and treat myself with friends and family.

How I feel now:

I feel amazing now. My energy levels are much higher than before, I am sleeping better, I am not craving sweets anymore like I used to and sometimes when that one day a week comes around I don’t feel like a cookie or ice cream and won’t eat it. I haven’t had regular milk and will reach for soy or almond.

I don’t even want added sugar anymore! The best thing ever is that my sugar craving went away and I do not want it, when I have a coffee I think sugar does not taste good in it now. I will get plain black coffee with soy milk and I won’t order drinks with sugar in them. My stomach is not bloated like it was and I feel much better about myself. My skin is clearer than ever, really it will clear your skin, and I feel so much healthier overall. I will continue doing this for life. It is not hard once you are used to it.

You can do it to:

Remember the saying that it takes 21 days to break a habit? Go hard and remember why you started. If you want clearer skin, less bloat and to have more energy why not change your lifestyle and focus on your health. Think about cutting out all the bad food and added sugar that your body doesn’t want anyways and it will thank you.

It will be challenging at first, you could keep a calendar or post it note or motivational quotes written down on your desk or phone. Tell your friends or family or partner what you are doing and why. Encourage them to do it with you! Do some research and educate yourself. Believe me when I say that it will feel amazing and you WILL shed a few pounds of the unnecessary bloat that you have been holding on to. Set your cheat day for the weekend. Go strong during the week and look forward to Friday/Saturday where you can have what you have been wanting. Remember you can splurge and have some dark chocolate or sugar-free ice cream.  It only gets easier and in no time you won’t be reaching for that cookie in the pantry anymore.

Remember I was only doing this for a month but it changed my whole mindset about sweets and it can change yours too.

Health

10 Delicious Starbucks Drinks Under 150 Calories

Let’s be honest: when you visit Starbucks you are not thinking too much about the calories and sugar in that Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino that you are about to order. A (tall) 12 oz DCC Frappuccino has 310 calories and 38g of sugar. As a devoted drinker of Starbucks I have had several healthier options to start off my morning or for my afternoon pick me up drink. Being health conscious I stray away from Frappuccino’s and drinks filled with sugar. Here are 10 drinks that you should try at your next Starbucks stop.

1. Caffe Americano

A Caffe Americano is a shot of espresso and hot water. A tall Americano contains 11 calories and will give you enough energy to get through that long busy day.

2. Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte

A personal favorite drink. This can be ordered in hot or iced and contains full-bodied espresso, nonfat milk and sugar-free flavored syrup for only 60 calories for a tall.

3. Chai Tea Latte

For all the tea drinkers this warm drink can be something to satisfy those taste buds for only 103 calories with skimmed milk.

4. Skinny Caramel Macchiato

My all time favorite Starbucks drink. Can be ordered hot or cold. A Skinny Carmel Macchiato has nonfat milk, sugar-free vanilla, espresso and drizzled with caramel for some extra sweetness. A tall is only 100 calories- yum.

5. Cappuccino

If you want a stronger coffee taste without all the sweetness and syrups this yummy drink is only 91 calories when served with skimmed milk. Enough coffee for that energy pick me up.

6. Flat White

Two shots of espresso mixed with creamy whole milk. It is only 119 calories.

7. Iced Cold Brew

Starbucks’ custom blend of beans handcrafted daily and slow-steeped in cool water for 20 hours. 0 calories for any size served black.

8. Caffe Misto

Half coffee and half heated milk. A Tall Caffe Misto with soy milk is only 63 calories.

9. Mocha Frappuccino

For those intense sweet cravings there’s a new However You Want It Frappuccino range. The Mocha Frappuccino will satisfy your taste buds. With no whipped cream and skimmed milk it’s a 96 calorie treat.

10. Crème Brulee Macchiato

The Crème Brulee Macchiato adds Crème Brulee flavoured syrup to a traditional Macchiato. A skimmed Tall drink contains 127 calories.