Good morning! I hope you are doing well!
My Friday has been off to a relaxing start and only looking to get better. I have some vacation days to use up before the end of the year so I chose to tack an extra day onto my weekend and take the day off. Yessss!
As much as I love the thought of sleeping in, my body has a mind of its own and I was up at 7:15 on the dot. I eased into the day with a cup of peppermint mocha coffee – too soon? and then hit the gym for a lower body workout. I have a massage scheduled for this afternoon and also hope to find a gift for my Dad, who’s birthday is quickly approaching. Day off done right!
I want to welcome you to my first blog post in my mini-series of Monthly Favorites! I love reading these posts on several of my other favorite blogs and decided to join in on the fun. For those that are unfamiliar, these posts are a way to reflect on the past month and share some new finds – anything from recipes to workouts to beauty products to things that just made you laugh! The list goes on and on and anything goes. 🙂 I’m so excited to get started.
Without further adieu, here are five things that I have been loving throughout the month of October:
My sister, Tia, first told me about podcasts a few weeks ago on our girl’s trip to New York City. She shared some great ones that she’ll listen to whenever she’s exercising, commuting to work, doing chores around the house, etc. I think that is one of my favorite things about podcasts – they are great for those with busy lives that are eager to learn something new, but may not have the time to sit down and give your undivided attention to a subject.
I use the pre-downloaded Podcast app on my iPhone to access, subscribe and listen to podcasts – all for free! If you haven’t had a chance to explore the world of podcasts yet, I definitely recommend giving it a go. 🙂
Here are a few podcasts that I have been enjoying:
- Blissful Bites: A food entrepreneur podcast hosted by Nicole Culver. Each week features a successful business story, tip, or inspiring message to help listeners work towards the goal of building a sustainable business.
- Classy Career Girl: A career focused podcast hosted by Anna Runyan. She touches on topics all about loving your life and your work.
- TedTalks: Topics to inspire, intrigue and stir the imagination from some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers, speaking from the stage at TED conferences and events.
It’s like Christmas morning anytime I spot a new piece of equipment in the gym! Our gym recently added a sissy squat machine and I’ve been incorporating it into my leg day routines.
Upon first glace of this machine, it’s kind of a “huh?” moment.
It’s a small machine with not a whole heck of a lot going on. There is an adjustable roller pad in the front that rests against your ankles and a stabilizer pad on the rear to support the back of your calves.
The purpose of this machine is to target your quads and it does this by eliminating most of the involvement of your glutes and hamstrings. If your gym doesn’t have this, a great alternative to try is the smith machine!
You will want to lower the bar to a level that is mid to upper calf then wrap a barbell pad around it for some cushioning. Stand in front of the bar with the back of your lower legs rested against the make-shift padding. Squat until your legs are at a 90 degree angle, pause, then slowly return to the starting position.
I like to hold a 15-20 lb dumbbell against my upper chest as I squat for some added weight. Give it a shot and let me know what you think! Carrie Underwood-esque legs… comin’ for ya 🙂
Memory Foam Mattress Topper
There is so much to be said about a good night’s sleep.
After a week in California and sleeping in different hotel rooms each night, I came to the conclusion that I was getting some of the best sleep I’ve had in awhile.
Okay, okay… it could have been due to the fact that Allie and I had been cramming in each day with at least 11 hours of sightseeing, hiking and exploring and were completely exhausted by the time we returned to our hotel – BUT – I woke up each morning feeling amazing and refreshed!
I pinned the reasoning down to the plush mattress toppers that many hotels use on their beds and decided it would be worth the cost to be able to sleep this well every night.
Once back in Rochester, I began shopping around for different options and after reading several reviews, I decided to go with the Fieldcrest Ultimate Comfort 4″ Memory Foam Mattress Topper.
It truly feels like I am sleeping on a cloud! I haven’t been tossing and turning as much as I used to and I wake up without my hips or shoulders aching from sleeping on my side.
There is a faint chemical smell that I noticed when I first unpackaged the topper but it does go away in about a day.
Kevin and I joked that you know you’re getting old when a mattress topper brings you this much joy. 🙂
Redken Hair Cleansing Cream
This shampoo is a lifesaver!
My whole life I have been a before bed shower-er. I prefer to shower and wash my hair immediately after exercising – which is typically in the evenings after work. Then, I’m able to let my hair air dry before bed, wake up and style as needed. Easy-peasy!
For a mysterious reason, the last few weeks I had been waking up with my hair a heavy, greasy mess. I tried using less conditioner, cutting out conditioner completely, and changing my pillow cases to silk instead of cotton, yet nothing was helping.
I was in Ulta wandering aimlessly through the hair products, searching for a solution, when an employee asked if she could help me find something. I vented about my dilemma and she brought me to the Redken Hair Cleansing Cream. She said this product is meant to remove product buildup in your hair and return it to it’s natural, clean state.
I gave it a shot that night and… SUCCESS! The next morning my hair was squeaky clean and soft without a trace of that greasy feeling. I’ve been using it once a week and washing my hair with my normal shampoo the rest of the time. So far, so good!
It Cosmetics: Bye Bye Under Eye
If you had to choose one makeup product to use the rest of your life, what would it be?
This may be a bold statement, but mine would be this:
It Cosmetics – Bye Bye Under Eye
This is a great brand of concealer that I’ve used in the past and just repurchased at Sephora this week. The new Illumination formula adds a bit more of a radiant/highlighted/dewy look versus the original, so if you have a preference for a more matte-look, I’d try out the original.
Instead of just dotting underneath my eyes, I have been applying my concealer in an upside down triangle pattern (making the base under my eye and the point moving towards my nose). I then use my dampened beauty blender (I find this to be more effective than dry) to blend the product down and in an outward motion.
Voila! Instant bright-eyed look. 🙂
And this will wrap up today’s post! I hope you all have an amazing weekend!
What are some things that you have been loving this month?
What are you most excited for in November?