Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Mother's Day Gift Guide

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gift guide for mom
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Mother's Day is less than two weeks away.  If there is ever a time to spoil that special woman in your life, it's now!  Between being a mom, teacher, cook, house cleaner, and business woman, make sure your mom/wife/significant other is extra pampered.  And don't forget, if you're a mom, it's always a great time to treat yourself. You deserve it!

Note:  Shipping times are taking longer, so I highly suggest ordering your Mother's Day gift this week.

Golden Radiance Peel-Off Mask: (Once you click on the link for the mask, scroll down to BODY CARE, then select SPA and you'll find the mask there! You can also purchase a spa collection with the mask under COLLECTIONS).  This mask is my #1 suggestion for Mother's Day!  I recently started using it, and love the results! Not only does it leave your skin feeling super smooth, but it instantly feels more firm.  Gold is known to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, increase collagen and blood circulation, tighten and firm the skin, and even skin tone.  Now who wouldn't want that?  At $50, this product feels like it should be more expensive, and is a great way to add a little luxury into your mother's life!

Beaded Bracelets: How cute are these bracelets! You can customize them with your kid's names or special dates and sayings, making them sentimental. They're the perfect accessory for the summer, as they're cheerful and look great layered with other bracelets.

Chain Necklace: Chain link necklaces are a must-have this summer, and I love how they can instantly dress up a blouse, or even a bathing suit!  Plus they look great layered with other necklaces.

Shea Butter Body Cream: (Once you click on the link for the body butter, scroll down to BODY CARE, then select SENEDERM BODYCARE. Once you click that, that Body Butter will be the first item listed). This is one of my top five products that I can't live without! Not only does it leave your skin feeling silky and hydrated (perfect for all the hand washing we've been doing), but it also works as an amazing makeup remover.  This is the perfect gift for pampering, and would be great paired with some bath salts, or bath bombs!

Satin Pajama Set: I don't know about you, but I've been wearing a lot of pajamas lately, and I want them to be cute!  This set is not only cute, but it looks super cozy (I have a similar pair from the brand, and love them!)  Plus, this set comes with an eye mask, making it the perfect gift.  It's is also available in black. 

Slippers: Since we're all spending a lot of time in our homes, slippers make a great gift.  They're cozy, warm and cute! And since this pair is open at the toes, it's perfect for the warmer days ahead.

Mug: In my opinion, one can never have too many mugs.  And boy, does Mama need her coffee these days!

Studded Sandals: These sandals are the must-have shoe of the summer, and I can see why!  I love the studs and they look great with everything from shorts to dresses.  I'm personally in love with the clear straps, but they also comes in other colors such as tan, white and yellow.

Steam Mop: Not only has having my kids home all day made my house messier, but I've been the one to do all of the cleaning, and I'm sure all moms can relate!  So anything to make cleaning easier makes a great gift in my book!  I've been seeing a lot of people using steam mops, and this one has great reviews.

Gua Sha:  I have heard so many great things about Gua Sha and the benefits it has one the skin, so I finally ordered one for myself.  This is the perfect little gift for pampering your mother!

Nu Face: (also here) I have heard so many great things about the Nu Face, as it helps reduce fine lines and plump the skin.  It has been on my wish list for a couple of months now, and I'm sure any woman would love this as a gift!

Another great idea is a wine club!  If you're local to the Boston area, one of my favorite liquor stores, Dions, offer Dions Circle, which is a monthly wine delivery service. Wines are picked out upon your preferences, and delivered to your door each month.  If you're not local, Winc is a wine subscription service that I have worked with in the past, and highly recommend.  Each month you get four bottles delivered to your home, selected upon your preferences.  I love the both the quality of the wine and the price.

XO Rachael


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Sephora Spring Savings Event

Sephora Best Products
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Sephora is having their Spring Savings Event, and it couldn't have come at a better time!  I don't know about you, but being stuck at home has left me changing up my beauty routine, and trying new products. Not only have I invested more in my skincare, but I've been stocking up on DIY items such as nail polish, self tanner, and hair masks.  I'm sharing my top picks from the sale, which are all products that I use on a regular basis, with a few that are on my wish list.  

Sale Details:
You do need to be a Beauty Insider to get access to the sale, but no worries, it's totally free.  Plus you earn points every time you shop, which leads to freebies!  The discount amount, and dates you can shop depend on your Beauty Insider status:

Rouge: 20% off from 4/17- 5/1
VIB: 15% off from 4/21-4/29
Insider: 10% off from 4/23- 4/27

(1) Nu Face: So I do not own this, yet, but it's been on my wish list for a while.  I've heard a lot of great things about the Nu Face, and how it helps with facial contour and wrinkles.

(2) Rose Quartz Gua Sha: This facial massage tool gently stimulates circulation, which helps decrease puffiness and helps with elasticity.

(3) SK-11 Treatment Masks: To be honest, I haven't used these in about two years, but they were always one of my favorite facial masks.  My skin always felt super hydrated after using them, and I think it's time to start using them again!

(4) Expensive Alma Oil High Shine Top Coat: This hair gloss is amazing! I use this once a week in place of my conditioner, and it leaves my hair so smooth and silky.  Every time I use it, I feel like I just stepped out of a salon.

(5) Glam Glow Charcoal Mask:  This is another facial mask that I've been using for years.  I don't use it very often, as I have dry skin and it can leave it feeling more dry. However, when I'm having breakouts, it's one of my favorite to use and help clear up my face.

(6) Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner: I use this brush cleanser daily.  It not only does a great job at removing color and bacteria from my makeup brushes, but it is quick drying, so I'm able to use my brush seconds after I cleaned it!

(7) IGK Mixed Feelings Leave-In Blonde Drops: Every time I get my hair done, I tend to go more blonde.  Because I go months between my appointments, this product is great to have when my color starts getting dull.  With one use, it takes out the brassiness, freshening up my color.

(8) Self Tanning Drops:  I haven't used these drops yet, but will definitely be ordering them during the sale!  I've heard great things about them, and heard they're easy to use.  Simply mix a few drops in with your daytime or evening moisturizer, apply to your face, and you're left with the perfect glow.

(9) No More Baggage:  This product is a must-have when you're lacking on sleep.  It can instantly help to de-puff tired eyes, leaving you looking fresh and rested.  Definitely a must have for new moms!

(10) Verb Hydrating Shampoo:  I've been using this shampoo for over a year now and love it!  Not only does it cleanse well, but it adds the moisture that my dry hair needs.  It's also sulfate, vegan and paraben free.

(11) Verb Hydrating Conditioner: The perfect compliment to the shampoo! Having curly hair, it's always tangled after washing, but this conditioner makes it very easy to comb out.  You can also get the set here.

(12) Living Proof Dry Volume Blast: Having a flat hair day?  Just spray a little of this on your roots, and your volume will be back.  This is my favorite product to use on the days I don't wash my hair to give it extra volume.

(13) Living Proof Blowout: This has been my go-to heat protectant for a couple of years now.

(14) Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo:  If you haven't tried this dry shampoo, you're missing out!  Seriously, it's one of the best dry shampoos on the market!

XO Rachael

Linking up with these blogs here.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Tips For Working Out At Home

Tips for working out at home
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It's safe to say that all of our worlds turned upside down just a short few weeks ago.  With the scare of Covid-19 and the stay-at-home order, most of us are finding ourselves in a whole new routine.  Working from home, becoming temporary teachers, and at-home workouts are the new normal.  The good news, is there are so many great ways to stay in shape while confined in our houses!  I got rid of my gym membership and started working out from home almost six years ago, after having my twins.  Not having the time to hit up the gym, or childcare, I started doing at-home workouts, and haven't looked back.  In fact, I became more consistent with my weekly workouts since doing at-home programs!  Getting to the gym used to be half the battle, and now I just need to throw on a pair of leggings, and hit the play button on my workout! The best part is you can get in a full body workout in a half an hour or less! Below I'm sharing my tips for working out from home, and the top three apps that I use.

at home workouts

Home Workout Tips

1. Get dressed in your workout clothes first thing in the morning: If I got ready for the day, and put on normal clothes, then the chances of me working out later in the day are slim to non.  The first thing I do when I get out of bed is wash my face, brush my teeth, and throw on workout clothes.  Whether I get my workout in right away, or have to wait until noon, I'm more likely to get it done since I'm already dressed for a sweat session.

2.  Schedule your workouts:  Every Sunday I plan out my week ahead, and always put my workouts on my calendar.  Having them scheduled into your day, and part of you to-do list will help you stick to them.  I don't know about you, but there is nothing more satisfying then checking everything off my to-do list at the end of the day, and that includes my workout.  This is also super helpful if you're not able to work out in the mornings.

3. Work out during quiet or nap time:  It's not the easiest working out when you have young kids at home.  When the twins were babies I would work out when they took their morning nap.  When they cut down to one nap per day, I would squeeze my workout in then, even it was later in the day.  Now, I give the twins quiet time when I workout, where they'e able to watch a show or play on their kindles. If I know we have a busy day ahead, I'll set my alarm and get my workout in before the twins wake up. Although this is the ideal time to work out, I am not a morning person so I only do it when needed.  And I'm always glad when I do!!!!

4. Have the basics on hand: It doesn't take much to work out at home, but a small amount of workout equipment is ideal.  I suggest dumbbells (5, 8 and 10 pounds are key), resistant bands and loops (I use these all the time), and a yoga mat.  I have found that I don't need much more that that!

6. Go for a walk: Really, walking is the best exercise, and something the whole family can do!  It's the perfect way to get fresh air and burn off some energy.  Just make sure you don't come within 6 feet of any other walkers!

The best workout apps

Workout Apps That I Love

There are many workout apps and programs to choose from these days, which make working out from home both easy and convenient.  Although I've tried a handful, the three below are what I personally use and highly suggest.

1. Beachbody On Demand: I've been using Beachbody for over five years, and love it! (No, I am not a coach, just a happy customer.)  The price is $99 per year, which in my opinion, is a steal for what you get!  Beachbody has replaced the gym for me (which is much pricier), and there are endless workouts you can choose from.  Whether you prefer yoga, cardio, weight lifting or a dance workout, Beachbody has it.  Plus they are constantly releasing new programs, so you never have to worry about getting bored with your workouts.  In fact, there is a new barre program, which I can't wait to try!  The programs that I personally use the most are 21 Day Fix, 21 Day Fix Extreme, 80 Day Obsession, and Morning Meltdown 100.

Beachbody currently has  a 14 day free trial promotion.  My sister is a coach, and I used her referral link because she is great at what she does!

2. Sweat:  Although I don't currently use this app, it's one that I have used in the past and highly recommend. In fact, I was doing Kayla Itsines' BBG workouts long before her app was launched! I had gotten her workout and nutrition program as ebooks, and still use them today!  I did try the app when it first came out, but found the workouts to be the exact same as the BBG guides that I already had, so didn't find it necessary to keep paying for the Sweat app.  I do have to say, I love the style of the workouts, and they'll leave your arms looking super toned!  Although I don't use the BBG guides on a daily basis,  I do still mix them in every so often with my current workout.

The Sweat app is $19.99 per month and now offers a lot more than when I first tried it out.  

3. Melissa Wood Health:  I recently added Melissa Wood Health workouts to my routine back in December, and they've become a new favorite.  I discovered Melissa on Instagram (@melissawoodhealth), and fell in love with her calm, yet bright personality. Her workouts are pilates and yoga based flows that use small movements to tone the body.  This is the opposite of what I usually do for a workout, so it was a nice addition to my routine.  The best part, is most of her workouts are under 30 minutes, with some full body workouts under 20. You can even find an 8 minute arm workout.  Now who doesn't have time for that?  You can also find guided meditations on her app, along with pre and postnatal workouts.

You can get a free 7 day trial of the The Melissa Wood app, then it's $9.99 per month.  Although there are already many workouts to choose from, she adds a new workout every Monday.

working out from home

My Current Routine

So what does my current workout routine look like?  I'll break it down for you!  I work out six days a week and am currently doing Beachbody's 80 Day Obsession. The program works different area of the body each day (arms, legs, abs) so I get all of my toning in when doing the program. Although the program calls for working out 60 minutes a day, six days a week, it is my third time doing the program, so I am not following it strictly.  Plus, it's hard to squeeze in a full hour for a workout these days, so I've been mixing it up.  Here is what typical week looks like:

Monday: 80 Day Obsession
Tuesday: 80 Day Obsession
Wednesday: Cardio (usually from Beachbody) or a Melissa Wood Health Full Body
Thursday: 80 Day Obsession
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: 80 Day Obsession
Sunday: Melissa Wood Health Flow

Tips for working out at home
Tank c/o | Jog Bra c/o | Leggings c/o Sneakers (on sale!)
I'd love you to share in the comments what you're doing for workouts at home.  Is there an APP that you love?
Stay safe and healthy!
XO Rachael

Linking up with these blogs here.