Monthly Mental Health Monday: Gratitude

Monthly Mental Health Monday: Gratitude

Welcome back to the second Mental Health Monday, with this month’s post focusing on gratitude, something I’m sure all of us could focus a little more on.

Gratitude can be a tricky thing. If someone asked you if you were grateful for the people and blessings in your life, of course you’d say yes. It’s easy to be grateful when it’s obvious: you are grateful for your friends, family, pets, etc. But is that really as far as gratitude goes?

For me, I started to switch my perspective on gratitude. I knew the things I was grateful for, and I knew that I had many things in my life to be thankful for, but was I really appreciating them? It’s good to be aware of your gratitude towards the big things, the things that stand out in your life, but what about not just being aware, but applying that gratitude to every part of your life. Appreciating the little things just a little bit more….not letting the small things get you down, and reminding yourself more often than not that things are never as bad as they seem.

One way I’ve started to adjust my perspective on gratitude is through the five minute journal. I started this back in the beginning of the year and it’s really challenged me to be more reflective on a daily basis. It’s a very simple journal, with you writing down a few things in the morning and a few a night (it’s super quick I promise) and it allows you a few extra minutes to yourself to really think about what would make the day great, and what made the day great.

Some days it’s harder than others to come up with a list of good things that happened that day, but the journal really challenges me to reflect on every part of my day, and see the good in even the worst of times. The past couple of months have been unusually stressful and anxiety ridden for me, so having this time to reflect has really been beneficial.

I challenge you to take an extra minute at the beginning and end of your day to really think about what could make the day great, and even the smallest of things that happened that made it a good day. Your brain is a muscle, and once you train it long enough, it’ll adjust to a more positive outlook on things instead of the stationary negative one a lot of us have.

Always easier said than done, but you have to start somewhere.

What are your favorite tips for gratitude?

As always, keep it klassy. xo.

Product Review: Natural Deodorant

Product Review: Natural Deodorant

So, some of you may have seen articles detailing how bad regular deodorant can be for you. The harsh chemicals, aluminum and who knows what else in the formula of the regular run of the mill deodorants can apparently be extremely harmful. I honestly don’t doubt that applying these types of ingredients to a sensitive area like under arms could be harmful, but do they really work?

I’ve tried a few different kinds of natural deodorants, and I’ve compiled my final opinions below!

☆ Price

Women’s deodorant is already significantly more expensive than men’s deodorant (annoying, I know), but natural deodorant takes it up another notch. You could easily shell out $13 for a stick of regular sized natural deodorant, which to me is can be a little painful. You pay for what you get, so it makes sense that you would pay more for better ingredients, but it still is a downside having to pay that much when you just want a natural alternative.

☆ Variety

There’s a surprising amount of variety when it comes to different brands you can choose from. I’ve tried three different kinds: Schmidt’s, Native and Kopari. There’s also a good variety of scents too, so no matter what your preference is there’s definitely an option for everyone.

☆ Deodorizing/Anti perspirant qualities

So here is where I run into the problem with natural deodorants- they definitely do not work as well as regular deodorants when it comes to sweat control and smell control. I know there’s an adjustment/detox period your body has to go through to get used to the natural ingredients, but that period can extend pretty long. It took me over a month for my body to “adjust” and even then, about a half through the day I would smell like I hadn’t put deodorant on in days (and this is me just going to work…basically sitting at a desk all day long, imagine if I wore it when I worked out). I also started to (warning TMI) develop a rash as part of my “detox” period, which was just as fun as it sounds.

So…is worth it?

In my opinion….I think it’s definitely a trial and error process. Everyone’s body is going to adjust different and everyone has different needs/wants out of a their products. I personally could not find one that worked well for me, and it can get expensive trying different ones when they’re well over $10 each. I have started to find that some men’s deodorant doesn’t have aluminum in it, and work supremely better than women’s deodorant. I know it may seem weird, but I’m all about finding what works best for you, your budget, and your preferences.

I hope any of this can help you guys if you’re curious about natural deodorant!

xo.

How to Get Soft, Shiny Hair

How to Get Soft, Shiny Hair

Welcome back! I feel like I’ve been trying for years to find products that give me just-left-the-salon type hair. You know, soft, flowy, beautiful, effortless…..WELL I have finally found a collection of products that I think get you one step closer to achieving perfect hair.

Ghost Verb Oil

I’ve tried a lot of different hair oils, and this is by far the best. The lightweight formula leaves your hair soft and can smooth any frizz or fly aways you have without being overly greasy. This is my favorite finishing touch after I style my hair.

Olaplex Bond Smoother

Only one word can describe this product-amazing. You can use this on damp or dry hair, and it makes your hair feel like you’ve had a keratin treatment. What’s even better is that you only need a small amount so the bottle will last you forever.

Moroccan Oil Hydrating Styling Cream

A very similar product to Olaplex, but still necessary. I love using both, especially when I’m heat styling my hair. My hair is super prone to dryness, so it could use all the help it can get when I’m putting hot tools on it. It also smells amazing so always a nice added bonus.

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave in Product

I’ve been using this product since I was about 14, and it’s hands down the best leave in conditioner I’ve ever used. It has 10 benefits (hence the name) and it’s such an easy one-and-done type product, especially if you’re in a rush. I’m currently using the Walmart alternative, which is basically the exact same thing at a fraction of the price, so that’s a win too.

And that’s it! I hope these products can serve as good recommendations for any of you who are looking for softy, shinier hair! What are your favorite go-to hair care products?

Under 200 Calorie 2 Ingredient Bagels

Under 200 Calorie 2 Ingredient Bagels

As a strong lover of carbs, I relish the opportunity to be able to find an alternative that makes my favorite high carb food items better for me while not comprising taste. Some of you may have seen this 2 ingredient bagel recipe floating around instagram, pinterest, ect. A few months ago I thought I would give it a try and I have made this almost every single week since then. They’re easy, fast, and they taste amazing. OH and they’re under 200 calories, have less than 30 grams of carbs, and only 3.5g of fat. (This is also a popular weight watchers recipe, with each bagel coming in at only 3 smart points)

Ingredients (Makes 4 bagels)

-1 cup of self rising flour

-1 cup of nonfat plain greek yogurt

-Seasoning of choice (I personally go with everything bagel seasoning)

Here’s the step by step guide to the (extremely) easy recipe:

☆ Preheat oven to 425°

☆ Combine all your ingredients in a bowl

I recommend mixing the flour and the greek yogurt first with a spoon or spatula and then switching to your hands to make sure everything is well incorporated.

*Tip: if you don’t have self rising flour, you can use regular flour and add in some baking powder and you’re good to go)

☆ Separate your dough into four pieces, and then shape into bagels

☆ Arrange on baking sheet

☆ Brush an egg wash over your bagels and add seasoning of choice.

☆ Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on how thick you make your bagels and how brown you want them.

And that’s it! This simple and easy recipe is one of my favorite Sunday meal prep items.

I hope you all enjoyed my first food post, and always, keep it klassy, xo.

Product Review: Apple Watch……is it worth it?

Product Review: Apple Watch……is it worth it?

So it seems like almost everyone these days has some sort of activity watch or tracker. With Apple Watch being one of the most popular some of you may be wondering….is it worth the steep price tag? With other watches like Fitbit and Garmin coming out with comparable models for a lower price, it’s worth wondering if the Apple Watch really has something that sets it apart.

I first got my Apple Watch back in 2017, and I loved it instantly. I love how it connects to your phone and computer (if you have apple products) and how easily it tracks activity. With that being said, the other two watches do basically those same two things. So I’ve compiled a list of, in my opinion, the best pros and the best cons of the Apple Watch, after now being a proud owner for the past two years.

Pros

☆ It can sync with almost anything

I love how my watch becomes an extension of my phone and my computer, it really makes it easy to multi task when I can check notifications quickly and efficiently on my watch. It also can sync with several health apps, making it even easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle and routine.

☆ It has a plethora of options for activities to track

I love scrolling through the list of different work outs that are available on the Workout app in the Apple Watch, and the daily goals it sets for you within the workouts. It really encourages me to be more active. Which leads me to my next point….

☆ It encourages me to live a healthier lifestyle

I know this may sound cheesy, but it really does help me. With three goals a day- a stand goal, a move goal, and an exercise goal- and constant reminders throughout the day, it really helps get me moving when I would normally stay sitting at my desk. It’s the small things, but I love it continuously coaches you and reminds you how far along you are with your goals to truly maximize physical productivity.

☆ It’s extremely customizable

You can pretty much customize your watch to any way you want. The large variety of different faces you can choose to have displayed is endless, and you can put several faces on your watch to switch through, so you can pick more than one. I love creating my favorite pictures into watch faces so every time I go to look at the time, I can see a picture I love. It also allows you to add in different time zone clocks, sunrise/sunset times, the weather, text messages, your activity, etc. The options are truly never ending.

You can also customize the watch band, color, and size when purchasing, which I think is a nice added bonus.

Cons

☆ The battery

I’ve noticed that if I have a particularly active day, my battery really takes a hit. I usually charge mine every other day, partially due to me putting it in a “battery reserve” mode at night so it doesn’t lose charge as it sits on my nightstand. I’ve definitely had to charge it for several days in a row before, which can get to be a bit annoying, but with a watch that does so much, it doesn’t surprise me that the battery may not last the longest.

☆ The price

For another electronic item that could be comparable to others out there, you may wonder why Apple thinks they can charge a minimum of almost $450 for the newest model of the Apple Watch. When it comes down to it, it’s truly a preference as to how much you want to spend on your activity tracking watch. Also as a note, if you have an older version of an Apple Watch, or just an older Apple product that you want to get rid of, you can trade it in at Apple for credit. I’ve done this several times, most recently trading in my Series 2 Apple Watch for the latest Series 4, saving me about $200 on the newest model.

In conclusion…….

I think the Apple Watch is a great investment. Having had mine for almost two years, I honestly couldn’t imagine not having one. But with that being said, I cannot said definitively that it is better or worse than another activity tracking watch. I have several other Apple products and love them, so for me it makes sense to continue with the brand to allow cohesion across all devices. However, it all comes back to preference and what you really want out of a watch. For me, I love the ease of notifications and the exercise tracking, which allows me to feel more productive throughout the day. I do suggest before investing in any kind of watch, you do your research on the qualities you want the most, and go from there.

As always, thanks for reading, and stay klassy, xo.

Friday Motivation

Friday Motivation

It’s hard not to compare yourself to others around you, measure your progress against theirs, and wonder what you’re doing wrong. When it comes down to it, all that matters is your opinion of yourself, how your decisions stand up against your goals and aspirations, and if you’re proud of the person you are putting out into the world. I hope this inspires any of you who may be feeling small compared to someone else to remember the amazing potential and drive you have within you.

I think this quote also stands to say that if we see someone else succeeding, we shouldn’t let it affect our opinion of ourselves, or maybe even think badly about them or try to discredit their success. We would never want to someone to judge or challenge an accomplishment in our own lives, so let’s all try respect other’s achievements, without tearing them or ourselves down in the process.

Stay klassy, xo.

Monthly Mental Health Monday

Monthly Mental Health Monday

Welcome to my first ever monthly mental health Monday! Once a month on a Monday I will post something related to mental well being and overall health. This topic is something very important to me and I can’t wait to share with you all the ideas I have. For this month’s mental health Monday, I want to talk about ways to destress. This is obviously easier said than done, and definitely differs person to person. The ones I’m sharing with you today are what I have found to be some of the most beneficial ways I use to destress or help ease my anxiety. They are by no means a catch all cure, or intended to be anything other than a simple recommendation if you find yourself in a rut when it comes to how to relax. (please enjoy the peaceful picture of a summer sunset on Lake George above)

☆Self-care

When you’re laying in bed at night, or alternatively, when you’re at work/school and you’re thinking about all the things you wish you could be doing, what is it that you desire the most? It is a massage? A face mask? A manicure? A nap? All of the above? Well, no matter what is, this is the time to do it. When you’re feeling overwhelmed and just need a break, do the one thing you always wish you had time to do. Now I know it’s not always easy to go get a manicure if it’s 2am and you’re writing a paper, or can’t sleep because you’re thinking about your never ending to-do list, but if can find the time to schedule some much needed self care, not only will you finally be giving yourself the relaxation you deserve, but now you have something to look forward to as well. Side note, I recently have downloaded the Simple Habit app for meditation, and let me tell you they have so many topics that I never even thought would be available to meditate to. From having a long day at work, to PMS, to food related issues, relationships, there’s something for every mood and every person. Plus, most of them are less than 5 minutes, so even if you think you’re super busy, try to spare 5 minutes and give it a try.

☆Call your favorite person 

Do people actually call each other anymore? Some people hate talking on the phone, while I personally love it. Whether you purposefully avoid making phone calls and much prefer texting, or could spend 5 hours on the phone, picking up your phone and talking to your favorite person is almost guaranteed to put you in a better mood. Call your mom, dad, best friend, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, etc. I can bet that after you hear there voice, maybe talk through what’s stressing you out, or just give your mind a distraction, you will feel 100% better when you feel supported and close to someone you care about.

☆Put on your favorite comfy clothes 

This may seem obvious….but I still want to mention it. For me, the first thing I do when I get home from work is take off my makeup and put on my sweatpants. Doing that instantly makes me feel like I’ve transitioned from work mode into at-home-relaxing mode, and it always lifts my mood. Even if you’re in a super bad mood and stressed beyond belief…..at least you’re comfortable right? That’s probably really lackluster advice, but hey, it’s a step in the right direction to creating a calm, comfortable environment.

☆Re adjust your perspective

If you find yourself overwhelmed, bogged down by a mountain of assignments, a parade of unopened emails, and 3+ piles of laundry on your floor, and you feel there’s no end in sight and you might as well give up now (well first, don’t) it’s time to readjust your perspective. Sit down with yourself and be realistic. What needs to get done right now in this moment: do you need to answer that email or text right now? Will you run out of shirts if you don’t do your laundry tonight? Once you can prioritize your to-do list and really hone in on what needs to get done, and what can get done at a later date, I swear you’ll feel better. I like to make to-do lists specific to the days of the week, and figure out what is a priority that needs to get done each day, and what can fall off the list if I run out of time. Additionally, you should definitely schedule time to relax or unwind. Even if it’s only 15 minutes or it’s getting ready for bed a little earlier so you have an extra 20 minutes to watch youtube videos before you go to sleep, you need to set aside time for yourself. Running yourself down will get you nowhere, except very tired and probably with all your to-do list items half done, or not done well. Invest your time wisely, readjust your perspective and remind yourself at the end of the day, another day you don’t do your laundry will not kill you. (But remember….still eventually do your laundry..)

☆Get off social media 

I love social media, but I can never say I would describe it as relaxing. Aimlessly scrolling through instagram or twitter usually leaves me judging other people (we all do it…..just saying), feeling bad about myself, or feeling compelled to go out and buy or do something I saw someone else doing. Social media will be there tomorrow, and when it comes to de-stressing, try to find something that takes your mind off the rest of the world, and focus on yourself.