23 Apr

Big Weekend

Yesterday, I did something I never thought I’d be able to do…

I completed a half marathon!

It was QUITE an eventful day (to say the least).  I can’t wait to fill you in but it’ll have to wait ’til Wednesday.  The lovely Juliette will be taking over the blog tomorrow with a fun post about quick and easy ways to de-stress (yes, please!)

Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

12 Apr

Beauty Review: The Truth About Sonic Cleansing

As I mentioned on Tuesday, we have two lovely new bloggers joining the {blending beautiful} family and today we’re joined by Chelsea.  Chelsea is a Texas girl whose wandering spirit brought her to San Francisco where she works in the beauty industry and as a freelance writer.  In her spare time, you’ll find her pinning away on Pinterest, exploring new places and cuisines in San Francisco, or dreaming about her next trip abroad.

Check out her beauty review of the Clarisonic:

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Clarisonic— a handy beauty tool from the creators of the Sonicare toothbrush. It deep cleans pore by digging out dirt and grime, reduces pore size and fine lines, and helps control oil and dry patches. Sounds like a miracle tool, right?

It is – but only if you know how to properly use it.

I get a lot of questions about this device and I thought I’d clear them up (no pun intended!) right here, right now.


True or False: The Clarisonic will make me break out.

Both. The bad news is that you may. The good news is that you may not.

The Clarisonic website does not disclose this, but I can tell you from personal experience and talking to my store’s Clarisonic rep that purging is, in fact, a potential side effect. This means you may see an increase in breakouts while your skin rids itself from everything that is stuck down in your pores.

How to deal: I consulted a dermatologist and the Clarisonic rep about this. Both said to stop using the Clarisonic on acne-prone areas if you continue to breakout there. Clarisonic’s website warns not to use it over open wounds (i.e. popped pimples) and take it from me: just give your skin a breather if it goes a bit crazy! Once your skin calms down, you can start again – but do so sparingly. Which brings me to my next point.

The Clarisonic gives the best results when I use it every time I cleanse.

Not so fast, there. Trust me, if you use a Clarisonic you will see how good it feels on your skin. I got so obsessed with it that I thought the more I did it, the better my skin would be. Big mistake.

Since you are using a tool that’s foreign to your delicate skin, do your skin a favor and ease into it. Use it every other day or even just a couple times a week. Gauge how your skin reacts and if you’re okay, slowly increase your use of it.

I can use my Clarisonic an extra minute to feel super clean.

Wrong! Each time you use your Clarisonic it lasts for a minute. Don’t press the power button again for a second go-round. The first minute is enough to do the job; otherwise the Clarisonic people would have made it last longer!

The Clarisonic exfoliates my skin so I won’t ever need to use an exfoliator.

Not true, sister! It deep cleanses. Exfoliate one to three times a week, but make sure to use it with your hands and not your Clarisonic.

I really do think the Clarisonic is a great tool, but I disagree with those who say it is for everybody. All of us have different skin and different lifestyle factors that affect our reaction to certain products. You just have to find what works best for you.

Check out the official website here.

Have you had any success stories with your Clarisonic? Complaints? Suggestions? Share them in the comments!

12 Mar

Guest Post: Settle Down To Slim Down

Happy Monday, sweet readers!  How are you adjusting to the time change?

Today, I’m super excited to welcome Laina to the blog for a really helpful post about getting ready for bathing suit season— the healthy way!  Take it away, Laina…


Bathing suit season is looming (in fact, over here in sunny Santa Cruz I’ve already made it to the beach a couple of times!) and with it comes the collective pressure to lose weight and tighten up.  While crash diets and intense exercise regimes may work in the short term to lose a few pounds, we all know that the weight rarely stays off, and the whole process is usually so emotionally and physically grueling and stressful, no matter what our size, we’re not even happy!

Most people want to know what they should eat (and how much) in order to lose weight and get the body they want. But what few people realize is that HOW you eat is almost more important than WHAT you eat.  Without making a single change to someone’s diet, I can almost always help them achieve some weight loss (assuming that there is legitimate weight to lose) just by making this one simple change.

Slow down, take a breath, and relax.

The impact of stress (including stress around eating itself) on digestion and metabolism is huge!  Thanks to our club-wielding Neanderthal ancestors, our bodies have been geniusly programed to respond to stress in very specific ways.  Namely, blood and oxygen is directed away from the stomach to the head and limbs to support quick thinking and acting.  During a time of stress digestion may be greatly diminished or even completely shut down as the body assumes that all metabolic energy is needed for survival.  When a tiger is chasing you, the body is smart enough to know that digesting lunch is low on the priority list.  Unfortunately, the body can’t discriminate between running-for-your-life stress and running-late-for-work stress.

Along with reducing digestive efficiency, nutrient absorption and metabolic power, stress also stimulates the production of the hormones insulin and cortisol which have been linked to an inability to lose weight and body fat, an inability to build muscle, and a tendency to gain weight around the midsection.  In essence, a body under stress can sabotage even the healthiest of meals.

The temptation to stress around food and diet is powerful.  We stress ourselves out daily about what we should eat, what we shouldn’t eat, what we wish we could eat and what we wish we hadn’t.  Whether it’s the healthiest garden salad or the most decadent chocolate cake, your body will actually digest and metabolize more efficiently (that means more nutrients absorbed and more calories burned) if you can manage to slow down and relax.  Added bonus: the food will taste better too!

Laina is a Holistic Health Coach based in Santa Cruz, Ca and specializing in Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind-Body Nutrition.  She works with clients in both the physical and emotional realms of eating to help break unhealthy patterns and nurture a new kind of relationship with food and body that supports vibrant, embodied living.  Check her out atwww.HungryForChangeNow.com.

Thanks, Laina!

Have you found that stress affects your weight?  What do you do to keep your stress levels low?  Share your tips in the comments!

6 Feb

10k Success!

One of my favorite quotes from The Office: “Michael, a 5k means 5 kilometers not 5 THOUSAND miles!”  (Does anyone else watch that show as obsessively as I do??)

{pre-race photo}

Anyway, yesterday I ran my first-ever race— a 10k (6.2 miles) along the beautiful cliffs in Santa Cruz.  It was so clear and sunny I almost forgot that it was February!  I started training a few months ago, and my overall goal is to run a half marathon (13.1 miles) toward the end of April!

Yesterday’s race was super rewarding, and I was so happy to share the experience alongside my sweet Momma :)  She’s been a runner forever and has done countless races, but I was especially proud of her for running this one during such an emotional time.  Here are a few photos…

{excited to get my race number}

{action shot #1}

{action shot #2}

{we did it!}

We ended the morning by going out to breakfast and then moseyed home to watch the Super Bowl.  Not a bad Sunday.

How was your weekend?  What were you up to?  Anyone else having amazing weather??

27 Dec

Do You Have A Tried & True Hangover Cure?

Last night for Travis’ birthday, we met a big group of friends for a night out in our hometown.  It’s a fun tradition that Travis and I look forward to every year, and as usual we had a great time.

A few of us got into a debate about the best ways to prevent a hangover, and I’m curious to know what you do to ward off that yucky feeling the morning after…

I recently heard that a glass of water and burnt toast right before bed is the key.  (Apparently the carbon in the burnt parts of the toast help to soak up impurities in your system?)

Another friend swears by the combination of a liter of water, four ibuprofen, and a multi-vitamin.

With New Years Eve coming up, I’d love to hear what your routine is after a night of over-indulgence…

What do you do to prevent a hangover?  Have you tried either of the methods above?  How did they work?  Share your thoughts in the comments!