Category Archives: Products

What’s In Your Bag?

Your makeup bag, that is.  As a general rule, I consider myself to be relatively low-maintenance.  That consideration comes from how I would prefer to be viewed rather than from any hard fact (though I have been told that I am low-maintenance, at least getting ready wise 😉 ) I do, however, wear eye makeup every single day (well, sometimes I don’t on the weekends and might not if I am running very late).  On days that I do forego eye makeup, my co-worker and good friend always comments that I “look tired.”  Nope, I just didn’t put on any eye makeup, ha. 

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My makeup bag, which was part of my maid of honor gift from my bestie Christina. 🙂

I’m definitely a creature of habit.  When I find something I like, I stick with it.  I tend to order the same things at restaurants and wear the same jewelry every day.  The same can be said for my makeup “look.”  I wear the same makeup every day, unless it is a very special occasion (like, say, getting married) or I need a little extra coverage because my skin is misbehaving.

My morning getting ready routine takes me around ten minutes if I showered the night before; 25 if not and 35 if I want to get fancy and actually blow dry my hair.  After putting moisturizer on my face, I break out the following arsenal:

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  1. Maybelline eyelash curler- Using an eyelash curler is a really easy tool to “wake up” your eyes. 
  2. MAC makeup brush- I use this to put on undereye concealer
  3. bareMinerals “Well-Rested” undereye concealer-this concealer is a fairly new purchase.  I like it a lot and definitely recommend it- it works a lot better than any liquid concealer I’ve tried!
  4. Estee Lauder kohl eyeliner in black-I think I received this in the Estee Lauder free gift with purchase bag.  It is a simple, straightforward liner that blends easily.
  5. Urban Decay eyeshadow in Midnight CowgirlI like this eyeshadow a lot.  The only downside is that it is very shimmery and can the shimmer migrates to areas other than your eyelid.
  6. DiorShow mascara in Blackthis mascara is AMAZING.  I read about it on Veronika’s blog and decided to give it a shot.  I’ve never looked back!  My eyelashes are fairly short and this mascara makes them look awesome!
  7. Nars highlighting/bronzing blush duo in Laguna and Org*smI’ve been wearing this combo since 2004.  I think it is universally flattering!
  8. Clinique blush brush

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The urban decay eye shadow is a really pretty goldish color.  Up until a few months ago, I had been wearing a shimmery lilac-grey color on my lids for YEARS (it is supposed to bring out green eyes).  I had to switch the colors up when the lilac color was discontinued.  Sad face. Anyway.  My routine starts with a quick curl of each eyelash (super fast but essential) and then sweeping the bareMinerals powder concealer underneath my eyes with a makeup brush.  I really like using the powder as opposed to a cream because I am no longer tugging at my eyes with my fingers 🙂  Then comes black liner (smudged and applied with a light hand) on both my top and bottom lids, followed by a bit of eyeshadow and a coat of mascara (again, diorshow is AMAZING) on the top lashes only.  I finish up with a little bit of blush.  When it’s warmer I may apply bronzer, but I don’t wear it in the cooler months- pale is the new tan, dontcha know?

If my skin is revolting against me or I have a big event, I break out the big guns:

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bareMinerals foundation, applied with a Sephora makeup brush and Bare Escentuals hydrating mineral veil, applied with MAC makeup brush.

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I didn’t jump on the loose powder/mineral makeup train until I had my makeup done for my wedding.  It felt so lightweight and looked awesome!  I probably wear it around once a month.  I’ve heard people complain that the loose foundation is messy, but I don’t think it is.  I just ensure that there isn’t any excess on the brush before I swipe it along my face. 

So, what’s in your makeup bag?  Are you loyal to certain products?  Or are you more a “no makeup, thanks” kind of girl?  How long does your morning routine take?

Have a great Monday, friends!

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Thumbs Up Thursday- Coconut Style

Hi friends! Happy Thursday! How is everyone doing? I am feeling unnecessarily stressed for whatever reason. I have a feeling hot yoga will remedy that this evening. I skipped attending this past Tuesday and instead left my conference and came home and SLEPT. It was glorious. Presenting always seems to take a lot out of me, and I hadn’t been drinking as much water as usual due to being at the hotel. So, today is hot yoga day 🙂

In other news, I’ve been acting as a running coach of sorts! On Monday we got a little break in the conference so my co-worker and I went for a run around congress park. It was really fun! My co-worker says that she will only run “if she is being chased” so I was surprised when she suggested we run together. She did incredibly well! We ran for a mile, walked for a tenth, ran another mile, walked for a tenth and then ran another half mile. She did WAY better than I did when I was first starting out. Maybe she will stick with it! 🙂

My bestie Christina and I met for a run yesterday at the local park in the cold rain. It’s super hot today; upstate NY is schizo. In any event, Christina trained for and ran her first 5k back in December but then kind of fell off the wagon. I drafted a running schedule for her to follow to get back into 5k shape for the Freihofer’s Run for Women on June 5. She did great! We ran two miles together (which her training plan called for) and caught up on things. Me and Christina after the two miles in the rain.

We ran into some geese and their babies. Geese are probably my least favorite bird (I love birds but Bailey tries to eat their poop, it’s nast) but the babies are soooo stinkin‘ cute.

Actually, I wouldn’t call these guys babies. More like teenagers! The mother goose was hissing at us as I tried to take a picture. I have never seen one hiss! Too funny. After Christina left I ran another mile. I’m kind of all over the place with running lately and I’m excited to start following a training plan this Sunday (for my upcoming 15k and half marathon… woot!)

So today’s thumbs up Thursday relates to a product I have been using for well over a few months now:

Coconut Oil. Coconut oil can serve many functions… coconut butter, smoothies, sauces…


Nutritional Stats:

However, my use of coconut oil is not for nutrition. Nope, not I. Well, not that I’m opposed to it. I just haven’t gotten around to cooking with it yet. What do I use it for, you ask? MOISTURIZER! I first saw these lovely ladies using coconut oil as a body moisturizer and I have to say, it piqued my interest. I purchased this container for ten dollars at the local health food store and it does not disappoint!


As you can see, the texture is hard but not too hard, meaning that I can break it up with my fingers to use as a moisturizer. When I first opened the jar I was surprised to find the solid consistency- I was expecting oil! It does tend to soften up if I don’t use it for a few days (I don’t bring it along while traveling, as it’s fairly large).
So how does this fare as a moisturizer? It’s awesome! A little bit goes a long way and it makes my skin uber soft. Surprisingly, there really isn’t an overwhelming scent to it. And I have to say, I love the ingredient list: organic cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil. That’s it! It doesn’t get more natural than that.
I give the coconut oil as a moisturizer two thumbs up! I have read on some blogs that people do not use moisturizers, which I find hard to fathom. My skin is dry but not super dry, and I would feel crackly if I didn’t put something on my skin! I have seen lots of other uses for coconut oil on other blogs- as a conditioner, face moisturizer (I’m not that brave) and cuticle softener. Like I said earlier, I’ve had the oil for well over four or five months and the jar isn’t even half gone. Pretty good ten dollar investment if you ask me. What are your thoughts on coconut oil? Would you ever use it as a moisturizer?
Enjoy your Thursday and I’ll see y’all tomorrow with a photo Friday post!

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I Love My Spibelt!

Hi bloggies! I feel like I’ve been gone forever and it’s only been a few days. I missed reading and commenting on your blogs! I finished up my last seminar for the week today. Tomorrow is Friday and then it’s a three day weekend! 🙂 I am very excited to relax and just be.

I had a nice time in Long Island (aside from a sketchy incident at the hotel that I won’t get into). There was pretty much no traffic getting there, so I arrived at 4:30- just enough daylight left to get in my 3.5 mile run! It was actually ten degrees warmer in Long Island, so I only wore my running tights, cold gear top, lululemon jacket and hat and gloves. In hindsight, I probably should have worn my fleece pants too, as it was pretty windy.

I was also excited to give my spibelt a go! I’ve been looking for some sort of storage mechanism to take on my runs that would hold my phone and keys without being bulky and annoying. I had read about spibelts throughout blogland so when I saw them at the local running store in Virginia Beach I knew I had to pick it up. Gear junkie for sure.

I purchased a pink and black plaid pattern- isn’t it cute? So it looks very thin and small. I placed my cell phone, debit card and room key inside, and they all fit very comfortably.


With all of the items inside:


I placed in on the side of my hip and made sure the belt was very tight.

I have to admit that I was skeptical of spibelt’s claims. I figured that there was no way I wouldn’t be able to tell this pack was sitting on my hip. Well, now I am a believer! I seriously forget that I was even wearing it during my run. It did not shift at ALL. I love this thing! If you are in the market for something of this nature, I definitely recommend giving spibelt a try.

The run itself was beautiful, aside from my IT band acting up around 2.5 miles. I stopped and stretched and was fine, but it still gives me pause for concern. I hope I can continue my training for the 14k! I banged out 3 miles today without an issue, so I guess the telling factor will be my 5 miler on Saturday.

I planned my run strategically so that I would finish in front of the local starbucks. There, I got a “calm” tea and a fruit and cheese plate, which rocked my socks.


Yum! It was my pre-dinner dinner, as I later met Nicole at Novita, an awesome Italian restaurant near her. I didn’t take any pictures but trust me when I say amazing lobster pasta was consumed.

When I got home today I decided to see how many energy gels I could fit in the spibelt. I have quite a few of them in my stocking from Bri at Christmas. I’m not running enough miles to warrant using them yet, but I’ll get there.

So, I started with 4 gus and a pack of gu chomps:

and they all fit!

The only downside is that there is a slight tear in it already (boo). I don’t know if you can see it- it’s to the left of the stitching in the middle.
On another note, Suzy from Running on My Time tagged me to list ten things that make me happy right now. They are:
  1. My lavender chamomile aromatherapy candle
  2. My I love running water bottle
  3. Red wine (currently drinking pinot noir)
  4. The fact that my pup only had an ear infection and not something more serious
  5. My presentation yesterday was my best one yet
  6. I get to see Bri next Friday!
  7. My upcoming three day weekend
  8. Reading blogs!
  9. My three mile run today, despite the fact that it was bring your family to the track and walk in the running lane day
  10. The Naked Green Machine drink

Thanks for the tag, Suzy!

I’m off to go catch up on my blogreading and foam roll into oblivion. Happy almost weekend everyone, I missed you!

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Favorites of 2009, Part II

Good afternoon! We are currently in Pennsylvania at Bri’s mom’s house celebrating Christmas part V. We had an excellent “Christmas” breakfast that involved mimosas and (disgusting) spiked egg nog. The only meat options were sausage and bacon. I recently gave up pork so I stuck with all of the non-meat foods: quiche, bagels and lox. Yum!

My training schedule calls for crosstraining, so Brian is going to put me through a crossfit workout. Should be fun! Yesterday we went for a 3.5 mile run (PDR!) and about two miles into the run it started sleeting. We finished the run soaking wet- it was awesome!

Continuing the recap of my favorite products that assisted me in my healthy living journey (If you miss part I, you can find it here):

Balega running socks
I purchased a pair of these socks at my local Fleet Feet store and I have to say, I’m in love! At first I was skeptical that a pair of socks could make a difference in my running, but they do. These socks are thin, lightweight and super comfortable. I am also a huge fan of how breathable they are. If you are in the market for new running socks, I highly recommend!

My Garmin Forerunner:

I love my garmin forerunner! I was torn between the newer model (405) and the 305, but after reading numerous reviews I went with the 305. It is awesome! I love that I can go out for a run and know the distance I’ve gone without having to map it out beforehand. It also helps me pace myself; before I purchased it I wasn’t sure what pace I was running at. I’m also a big fan of the garmin training log. When you hook the forerunner up to your computer, it automatically logs the date of your run, the number of miles ran, the average pace, number of calories burned, etc. It is so helpful in my training. I can’t rave enough about it!
Nike Tempo Shorts

Nike tempo track shorts are fantastic! I think I own around six pairs. They are lined on the inside, should one choose to run commando (which I don’t, but the option is there!). The shorts are the perfect length for running- not too short yet not so long as to interfere with running. These shorts are great on the milder winter days to wear over your running tights- they definitely help keep the tush warm!

Oatmeal

Oatmeal. Oh oatmeal, how I love thee. I can’t believe I only stuck to instant oatmeal packets before. I was missing out! There is nothing better on a cold morning than oats with walnuts, a bit of maple syrup and peanut butter. Super healthy and it keeps me full for hours to boot. Speaking of peanut butter:

Mighty Maple Peanut Butter! This seriously may be the best peanut butter on the planet. It tastes amazing in oatmeal, with apples, pears or just by itself! I limit myself to one tablespoon a day, and usually eat it with an apple. Amazing!

Foam Roller:

I started running this past May. I broke into easily with the Couch to 5k training plan. By September I was running approximately 3 miles four times a week. Around this time I started having some serious knee pain on the top of my right knee about 2 miles into each run. So much so that I had to stop running once the pain started because it was that intense. After a bit of googling, I diagnosed myself with iliotibial band sydrome, where basically your IT band becomes increasingly tight and rubs on your knee, causing a sharp pain. I went to an orthopaedic doctor, who confirmed my suspicions. He recommended a number of stretches and the foam roller. WOW. The pain from the foam roller is intense, but in a good way. If you have ever experienced IT Band issues, the foam roller definitely helps work out some of the kinks! I am happily back to my pre-injury running distance, and I am certain that the foam roller has a lot to do with it.

Greek yogurt:


Greek yogurt is amazing! I was a huge fan of yogurt from the get, but after looking at the ingredient list of some of my favorites, I saw that a lot of them were full of HFCS and unhealthy, unnatural ingredients. I had been reading about greek yogurt in blogland, so I decided to give it a try. Delicious, creamy and tons of protein. On the days I don’t have oatmeal for breakfast, I have greek yogurt with granola and fruit. Chobani, Fage, Stonyfield– I love them all! I also use the plain greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute. It’s fantastic!
Google Calendar. My fiance actually introduced me to google calendar six months ago. I use it to monitor my work events, social events, and to track the workouts I have completed. Not only does it keep me organized, it also serves as a great motivator. I love to look back and see all of the workouts I have done, and I get a great sense of satisfaction in writing (typing) down the workouts I have completed.
So there are my favorites of 2009. What do you think? Anything that you would add to the list?

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Merry Christmas, a Three Mile Run and Delectable French Toast

Merry Christmas! I love the holidays. The weather is actually pretty mild around here (about 33 degrees). Yesterday Bri came (yay!) and we had an awesome three mile run. It was about 32 degrees- I wore my under armour cold gear top, Reebok running tights, under armour gloves and my ear cover and I was good to go. The cold air is seriously so refreshing! 32 degrees is the perfect winter running temperature- I’m convinced of it! Today is a rest day and I am super excited about it. My legs are sore and it means I get to drink mimosas with Christmas breakfast 🙂

So today is a very special day. In addition to Christmas, my little guy turns four today. Happy birthday Bailey! Bailey’s birthday and Christmas goodies


He approves!

It’s become somewhat of a tradition for me to make my “special” french toast on holidays. The recipe is from our Williams Sonoma Bride Groom cookbook that we got at our engagement party (thanks mom!)

The recipe calls for:

-a day old loaf of French bread

-4 large eggs

-1 egg yolk

-2 cups milk

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1 tsp orange zest

-2 T fresh orange juice

-4 1/2 tsp sugar

-3/4 tsp kosher salt

-butter for the pan

The goods:

Slice the loaf into approximately 20 pieces. Beat together the eggs, yolk, milk, vanilla, orange juice and zest, sugar and salt, blending well. Pour the mixture into a large dish.

Prick the tops of the bread with a fork. This allows the bread to better absorb the egg mixture. Then place the bread into the egg mixture.

Submerged bread

The recipe says to let the bread sit for 15 minutes. I, however, am impatient, and the bread usually sits for five or ten minutes when I cook.

Next, melt some butter on either a cast iron skillet or a griddle. I used a griddle this morning and found it much more convenient than the skillet method, namely because it is more efficient!

French toast cooking

Flip the bread occasionally, until each side looks like it’s done (generally about 5 or 10 minutes). Then feast!


Finished product.

This french toast may not be the healthiest, but it is super easy to make and is perfect to break out for special occasions. The addition of the orange zest and vanilla really takes it a step above normal french toast.


I made out like a bandit today! I am so spoiled. Bri got me a ton of running stuff, including a gorgeous lululemon zip up, pink zensah running sleeves and a running log 🙂 My parents also got me my awesome Sigg I love running waterbottle!

Modeling my new goods. And I may or may not be hosting a giveaway involving one of the aforementioned items in a future post 😉 I’m very excited about it!

Christmas eve was a blast yesterday. Bri and I started the day off at Christina and Rob’s, then made our way over to my grandmother’s house.


My brother modeling one of Matthew’s presents.


My brother, grandmother and I

Christina and I with our pups.


Family pic!


Brian and Rob- they love each other.


Sadie wasn’t sure if Bailey was a dog or a toy.

Happy holidays!

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My Favorites of 2009, Part I

Good evening! Tomorrow is my last day of work until January 4th- after Christmas Bri and I are heading down to Virginia Beach and we get to spend the week together! So excited. We haven’t spent more than four days together consecutively since he left for boot camp last September (’08).

Yoga was excellent tonight. I know it isn’t hot yoga (it’s a vinyasa flow class) but damn, the studio gets super hot. I dig! For whatever reason I was having a harder time doing the balancing poses on my right side. Kelle said that it was probably one of the best classes she has ever attended! I’m so happy to have found this place.
So I was thinking about the past year. On New Year’s day 2009 I resolved to finally run a 5k. I had made this resolution for oh, the past five or six years. I had never been a runner, so the 5k seemed like the epitome of healthiness to me. However, I never took any steps to implement my goal; it was just something I thought and then subsequently forgot about. I am so happy to say that this year was different.
Bri and I got engaged in February 2009, and I think a lot of people attribute my newfound working out/eating well habits to “wanting to look good for the wedding”. Well, I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to look good on my wedding day, but that is not the driving factor behind my new lifestyle. Bri was and is a huge source of inspiration (but again, that’s a story that deserves its own post) but, quite frankly, I was tired of being skinny fat. I was tired of not being able to do one “girly” pushup with proper form. I was tired of not being able to run around the track at the Y without feeling winded. I was tired of people’s looks of shock when they found out I had high cholesterol, because how could I be thin but have such an unhealthy condition? I was tired of inaction; I wanted to change for me. I wanted to live a long, happy, healthy life with my future husband. Sitting around eating cheez-its was not going to help me achieve that goal.
These were the thoughts that were swimming around my head when I made the decision to start training for my first 5k. Taking those first steps in May were painful but inspiring. The training acted as a gateway to fun, new, active activities and healthier eating.

So, what helped me along the way? I have come across so great, new (to me!) things that have assisted me in my, for lack of a better term, journey.
1). Jillian Michaels
Oh Jillian (or Jilly as Kristin likes to call her), you have kicked my assets many a time. Because of you, I was able to do my first real pushup! When I first did the shred, I thought I was going to pass out. Then I moved on to No More Trouble Zones- now that is no joke! I have to admit, I am slightly put off by your recent “selling out”… supplements? Come on now. It’s okay though; you’ll always have a place in my fitness heart.
2. My iTouch
I absolutely LOVE my iTouch. I especially learned this after I took it running in the rain and found that technology and the rain do not mix. I felt lost without my couch to 5k podcasts! So much so that I had to purchase another one. Expensive lesson to learn.
3. My coldgear running hood:

This is a recent addition to my running aresenal, but a definite necessity. The hood enables me to continue running outside in the winter without freezing to death, which is awesome. In all actuality, I really enjoy the fresh air while running and I would be less inclined to go running in the sub-freezing temps without the hood.

4. Cold gear shirts Once mid to late fall hits, it gets a bit nippy in upstate New York. The coldgear shirts are fantastic at keeping me warm without making me feel constricted.

5. Dark Chocolate

I don’t really have a sweet tooth but I love me some dark chocolate. A square of dark chocolate and a glass of red wine while relaxing before bed is the perfect indulgence for me. Because it’s all about moderation, right? 😉

What inspired you to live a healthy lifestyle? What products have assisted you along the way?

Stay tuned for Part II of my 2009 favorites!

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