Essential oils aren’t just for “hippies”…

Essential oils… they have become all the rage over the past year. But are they worth the time and money to start using them? Personally, I have a few essential oils that have become an integral part of my daily routine. I use them for beauty purposes, as a freshener and cleaner, and for aromatherapy. My basics are lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus, and I suggest anyone who is trying essential oils for the first time, to start with these three. You can buy them all online, I buy mine from ADK Aromatherapy (and stole this photo from them).

Tea Tree- The first essential oil I ever used! When I was in college my cousin recommended it for an infected nose piercing I had. It cleared it right up, and I fell in love with the stuff. I use it to dab on pimples, add it to homemade room sprays and cleaners. It is really an all purpose oil, and you can find it either online, or at your local grocery store in the natural foods section.

Lavender- I use lavender mostly for aromatherapy. I add it to my bath, put a few drops in a homemade room spray or cleaner, and will rub a little on my wrists after a long day. It really does relax you, so use cautiously.

Eucalyptus- As someone with year-round allergies and chronic sinus infections…eucalyptus is a must. I will add a few drops to a bath, or on the floor of my shower to help clear out my sinuses. I will also rub some on my chest before bed to help keep my nose clear. It is a must-have in my medicine cabinet.

What are some of your go-to essential oils? 

Your’s truly- M

Trader Joe’s Favorites: Part 2!

Hello loves!

Today we talk Trader Joe’s once again because I have more favorites to share. I attempt to try something new every time I shop there (of the healthy variety) so I can switch up my meals. Clean eating can get somewhat boring, so it’s important to find the tasty and healthy items within a diet.

1. Trader Joe’s Fiber Bread – I love this bread because for me, with bread the heartier the better! This packs 6 grams of fiber per slice, and 5 grams of protein. For a 90 calorie slice of bread you really can’t go wrong here. There are little additives and I enjoy getting my whole grains with a slice of bread. Before my workout most mornings I will have 1 slice of fiber bread with peanut butter and a banana. (my apologies about the photo being sideways – I can’t seem to get it to rotate)

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2. Trader Joe’s Fiber Cereal – I love this cereal with almond milk, chia seeds, and fruit (berries, banana, etc.) It packs 9 grams of fiber per serving and 6 grams of protein. I am a big cereal person but I feel I finally found a great healthy option that packs a lot of nutrients and whole grains that takes care of my cereal cravings.

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3. Trader Joe’s Fruit bars with flax and chia seeds – Last time I raved about Trader Joe’s Fruit bars and I found another option that is very similar and tasty. This is packed with seeds and the fruit is a mix of fruit purees and juice concentrates, including apple, pear, elderberry, lemon, and strawberry. These again are at the .99 cent price point and is a great deal for a snack that is packed with nutrients.

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Cheers to healthy eating!

-A

Sunday night & a pizza recipe

There has always been something special and exciting about Sunday nights. For me, it usually involves tidying up the house, doing laundry, and lounging around. It has always given me time to reflect on the past week, and make a mental to-do list for the new week ahead. Lately, my boyfriend and I have started a small tradition to make a nice hearty meal on Sunday nights, then to sit down and enjoy it while watching my personal favorite show…60 Minutes. Yes I realize this sounds like the life of an 80 year old couple, but it is just such a nice relaxing time that we can share together.

So this week, I wanted to whip up some homemade pizza. Since we are still trying to eat healthier, and we are on a budget, I went with Cookie & Kate’s Easy Whole Wheat Pizza Dough recipe. It turned out pretty good, and it was SO easy! The recipe makes enough for 2 small pizzas. My only suggestion would be to hand press the dough out into it’s shape. On my first pizza used my “rolling pin” aka a wine bottle to flatten the dough and it stretched too thin. Since this isn’t a very fluffy dough, it turned out more like a flat-bread. We did one pizza with pesto and mozzarella and the other with brie and this maple cream. We love baked brie with the maple glaze on a cracker, so I knew that we would love it as a dessert type pizza.They were both amazing.

Do you have a go-to Sunday meal? Or a pizza dough recipe you love?

Your’s Truly- M

Dance Playlist taking you into the weekend!

Hello!

This week I have put in work at the gym, and my favorite music to blast while working out is electronic music. I really love the intensity and the beats make me want to move and dance (yes I get distracted and dance at the gym sometimes). Below I have included my all time favorite dance mix. Its a 2 hour continuous mix that includes a lot of Kaskade songs, as well as some remixed Calvin Harris and Coldplay. I also love this for road trips, no need to make a playlist or worry about track numbers or fiddling with your phone while driving. Just start the mix and you are off!!

Enjoy some hopefully spring weather!

Cheers!

-A

Mexico vacation recap

So the week after last, I spent the week in Cozumel, Mexico with my family on vacation. It was amazing to say the least. My dad is the type of guy to thoroughly research every restaurant and beach on the island, so it was nice going to some more local, less touristy spots that he found. We stayed in a rental house in a gated community with a beach area and pool. It was beautiful, clean, I felt very safe, and my family all had plenty of space.

For most days, we would go out for 2 morning dives, then return to our house by noon. We dived with a company called Challenge Diving, and they were amazing. Such nice guys, especially on my first dive when I was anxious because I haven’t been in 2 years. They served us fresh tropical fruit in between surface intervals, and they were just fun to hangout with all week! To try and explain what scuba diving down there is like would be impossible. It is quiet, peaceful, and beautiful. We saw hundreds of colorful tropical fish, coral reefs, sea turtles, eels, sharks, lobsters, crabs, and so many other things that I can’t even name. I plan on writing a post more on scuba diving in the future, so stay tuned!

Anyway, most days were spent on the beach, I ate a LOT of veggie tacos and fajitas and drank a LOT of Sol’s, mojitos and margaritas. But I must admit, that the best part of the trip was just my family being together for a whole week. As cheesy as it sounds, now that my older sister and I are on our own away from home, and my younger sister is off at college, we rarely spend more than a holiday weekend together any more.It was just overall, a really nice, relaxing, and adventurous week!

If you want to know more about Cozumel, please let me know I would love to talk more about where we went and what we love about the island!

Your’s Truly- M

We were nominated for a Libster Award!

We were so happy to hear that we were nominated for the Libster Award by the amazing Tiny Bows! You can find the official rules here. Basically, she asked us some questions, we nominate 10 more bloggers and ask them some questions! So here are our answers for her questions, we answered some together, and some separately.

  1. What made you decide to start a blog?

We are both young professionals, who just relocated to a new city, and we wanted to connect with other young women who might be going through the same things as us!

 

  1. Who, or what is your biggest blogging influence?

Our biggest blogging influencer would have to be instagram. When we see a great outfit, or a photo of a dish that looks delicious, we want to know how to make it, and where to find it! I think that our passion for wanting to know more encouraged us to elaborate on the things that we share on social media.

 

  1. How do you decide what to write about?

We are inspired to write about topics that add positivity to our lives. Whether it be a new product that we love, a fun time with friends, music or healthy recipes, we blog about what makes us happy.

 

  1. When did you start blogging/ how long have you been blogging?

We started blogging earlier this year, so it is still new territory for us. We are learning everyday, and we are so excited to keep meeting more bloggers!

 

  1. Where is the best place you have ever been, vacation, restaurant, museum, etc?

M: My favorite place.. London! I studied abroad there a year ago, and loved living in the city.

A: The best place she has ever been to was probably Hawaii! I was very young but I went with my extended family and we were able to spend a lot of time together exploring volcanoes, beaches and I attended a traditional luau!

 

  1. What is the best dish you have ever eaten?

A: My favorite dish… hmm! I love to eat! But I really enjoy sushi when I have the chance to eat it.

M: My favorite dish… it would have to be pad thai, it is the perfect mix of carby, sweet and spicy!

 

  1. What is your biggest fear?

A: My biggest fear would have to be not being able to spend enough time with my family and friends. Life has the ability to get in the way of what really matters, and I hope I never lose time with the people most important to me.

M: My biggest fear would have to be living life with “blinders” on. I try to take the time to cherish the small happy moments each day, but when life is busy, and you get into a routine, that is hard!

 

  1. What is your hidden talent?

A: My hidden talent would have to be a

M: My hidden talent is scuba diving! I just came back from a trip to Mexico where I was able to go a few times.

 

  1. What is your biggest accomplishment?

A: My biggest accomplishment would be graduating college, and a week later moving away from my hometown and creating a new independent life in a new city. I love the spontaneity of that decision and I feel I have continued that mentality since moving.

M: My biggest accomplishment is definitely graduating college with a job in place! Much like A, I was lucky enough to have an opportunity where I could comfortably move away from home, and finally be “an adult”…kinda 🙂

 

  1. What is your favorite time waster? (be specific: mine is either cross stitching at the moment… or borderlands… borderlands is going to win at time wasting tonight)

M: 100% instagram. I could scroll through instagram all day, everyday. I follow a lot of healthy living/weight loss blogs and they are a great inspiration!

A: My favorite time waster would be social media, and in general the internet! I love the power of the internet. I love to read blogs, reddit, instagram, twitter.

Okay, so now we nominate:

  1. https://thesimplebeginner.wordpress.com/– lifestyle and everyday things
  2. http://tobeherown.com/– Yoga and healthy living
  3. http://livinghealthierlife.com/ – Healthy living, motivation and recipes
  4. http://lonestarlauren.com/– Fashion& everyday things
  5. http://lucycowlin.com/– Beauty, fashion and lifestyle
  6. http://ashleyforrerwellness.com/ – Healthy eats and fitness/wellness
  7. http://runningandsunshine.com/– Running, healthy living and everyday things
  8. http://semisweettooth.com/ – Lifestyle, fitness, and a little sweetness
  9. http://atouchoflovely.com/– Food & lifestyle
  10. https://eunicakes.wordpress.com/- Fitness and recipes

 

Our Questions for you:

  1. What encouraged you to start a blog?
  2. What is your favorite part about blogging?
  3. What is the meaning behind your blog name?
  4. What is one thing you miss from your childhood?
  5. Do you prefer coffee or tea?
  6. What is something that is an important part of your morning routine?
  7. What is your favorite clothing item?
  8. What is your favorite season?
  9. If you could take a weekend trip somewhere, where would it be?
  10. Must have beauty product?

Now it is your turn to nominate another 10 bloggers, go!

Your’s truly- M&A

Trader Joe’s Favorites

Good Morning!

Today we talk Trader Joe’s, my most favorite grocery store! First and foremost the employees at Trader Joe’s are extremely enjoyable to be around. Always smiling, and are attentive and happy to start up a conversation and offer suggestions. I truly just enjoying being at their retail locations! Grocery shopping can be a chore (at least it is for me) and Trader Joe’s makes it easier for me to care about the food I am eating.

So now that I have taken it upon myself to take more responsibility for what I am eating, I will share some of my favorite Trader Joe’s healthy options. I will make this a weekly post with some of my go-to items!

1. Trader Joe’s NonFat Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt. I love this item because its 0% milk fat and you are getting the most out of your greek. I like that these yogurts are blended – not fruit on the bottom (other flavors include mango, strawberry, black raspberry, pomegranate, honey). 5.3 oz yogurts are .99 cents and a great edition to any lunch.

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2. Trader Joe’s Very Green Smoothie. This item packs a lot if Vitamin A and C, and is made with banana, mango, kiwi, and pineapple purees, juices and dried greens blend (which adds bonus nutritional value). This drink does have a lot of sugar, so drink in moderation. I like to take a sip as I am out the door to start my day.

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3. Trader Joe’s Kale and Greek Yogurt Dip. I love this dip with veggies! It’s a reduced guilt find that packs the nutrition of kale and spinach, and is great for lunches with raw vegetables. Only 30 calories for a tablespoon!

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4. Trader Joe’s Fruit Bars. These bars only have TWO ingredients: Apples and Coconut. These bars kind of taste in between fruit leather and dried/dehydrated fruit. This is a quick snack I keep in my desk and gym bag to rid any sugar cravings. These hold a more hefty price tag at .99 cents each, but when choosing snacks these are a great option if you don’t have a piece of fruit with you and is not a processed granola bar.

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Cheers to health!

-A