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Powder Room Essentials

July 14, 2015

Now that we’re beginning to entertain more often, I realize the importance of of keeping your (guest) bathroom fully stocked with the most practical items people will ask for.  It’s really accommodating to your guests and will definitely make a subtle impression.

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I always like to make little floral arrangements for the powder rooms. It brings some life and beauty to an otherwise drab space.  They also smell amazing and can be VERY affordable.  I either pick mine from the garden, or I stick to the Trader Joe’s selection.  They have the best prices on flowers and they keep their selection simple, but consistent.

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Some people prefer bar soap, so I’ll always have that as an option, but pump soap is more crowd/germ friendly.

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Same goes for hand towels.  I’ll alway have a clothe option…

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…but more recently I’ve started using the Kleenex Disposable Hand Towels.  This has to be the most sanitary option when you have bigger crowds over. Important to keep the germs to a minimum =)

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It’s always a good idea to keep your bathroom stocked with toilet paper—additional rolls should be in clear sight of the toilet.  You’re guests will REALLY appreciate this!

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Another thing they will appreciate…POO-POURRI! Or really any type of bathroom fragrance.  This stuff is really great because it prevents unpleasant smells before they ever occur.  Just a few sprays in the toilet and your bathroom will always smell good!

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This is a little habit I’ve taken up over the years and I love it! Every time I go to a hotel I snag the complimentary toiletries and put them in a basket for our guests to use at their disposable. Everything from feminine products, to face wash, to mini soap; hotels typically provide all of the basics so it only makes sense to do the same for your company using those same products.

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I also keep a candle burning when I have guests over.  Another way to keep the bathroom smelling fresh and a nice night-light to help people see before and after turning off the lights to the powder room.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

xo Rachel

Beauty

At Home Workout Challenge

July 7, 2015

I’ve previously talked about working out at a gym, but I also have a quick and easy at home work out that is super effective. This workout is perfect if you want great legs and an apple tush!

Start with 10 minutes of cardio! I do biking, running, hiking. It can be any cardio you want! You can even do jumping jacks! Get your heart rate up for 10 minutes!

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I then immediately move into squats!

I do 3 sets of 12, and I add one rep every day!

3 sets of 13, 3 sets of 14 and so on.

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Next, I do jump squats! Same amount of reps as the first set of squats, and adding an additional rep everyday!

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This is a no excuse quick workout that can be done anywhere!!

Try it out for a week, and tell me what you think!!!

xo, Rachel

Beauty

Staying Active

June 20, 2015

I was always a really active child. As I got older, I noticed it’s harder and harder to stay active. Whenever I am consistently active, I feel soooo much more energy & vibrancy. There are so many benefits to staying active. It gets your heart going, firms up your muscles, and makes you stronger and more energetic. Plus, it’s always given me a great big boost of happy!! As you become stronger, It gives you confidence to achieve other tasks and goals in your life. While I was pregnant, I wasn’t able to work out as much as I had hoped. I think I was a little worried about pushing myself, plus not feeling all that great those first few months. The year after having Oliver, I was just trying to get a grasp on being a new mommy, and handling my work flow. It was a challenge to find the time. After trying to commit to tapes and at home workouts, I finally broke down and joined a local gym. They offer fabulous classes, which is something I can always get to after Oliver goes to sleep at night. For me, when I invest my money into something, I always give it 110%. Plus, going to the gym is that extra hour away for me that honestly makes my life so much happier, because I feel so much better and refreshed after I’m done. Even my husband has said ‘ wow, you are getting so much stronger!’ YAY!

Byron and I decided to try out Equinox. It happened to be the most convenient gym for us to get to, plus we’ve heard amazing things about it from some of our colleagues. They also have an amazing kids club for Oliver if I need it. At first I thought It was way overpriced, but I quickly realized I’m getting my moneys worth with the excellent classes and instructors. I was looking at Yoga Works, Soul Cycle etc, and I could easily spend much more with these pay per class studios, especially if I’m really consistent. For instance, the Hip Hop class at Equinox is taught 3 times a week by Beyonce and Ushers choreographer/instructor! So I think the instructors are highly qualified, and paid accordingly. The class brings me right back to when I took dance at Millennium dance studios as a kid, and it’s SOOO AMAZING and fun!! It’s rare to find a gym that offers a dance class other than Zumba, although I do love me some Zumba!

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They also have a GREAT ballet class that I really enjoy! The instructor is also amazing and well trained. It’s a head to toe challenge! Here’s me heading out the door to Ballet. I couldn’t feel my butt after this class. haha

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They offer Pilates matt classes, and private Pilates sessions with the reformer. I’ve been a Pilates fan for years. In high school, I did Windsor Pilates tapes everyday after school.

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Yoga has become very mainstream in the states, and the classes are more about focusing on breathing and stretching your body! My goal is to conquer the crow and a solid hand stand. Yoga aids in giving your body core strength and flexibility. Very important as we age!

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When I have a gym membership, I try to go at least 4 times a week so I don’t feel like I’m wasting my money. I also see the quickest results that way. I love how they have an app that tracks all the classes I’ve taken, and helps me view the class schedule on the go.

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 You certainly don’t need a fancy gym or classes to get in shape, or to start being active. I love going on hikes and walks. There are also so many great video options! The Tone-It-Up girls on YouTube have a ton of great free content to watch and exercise with. You can sign up for at-home workout classes with a trainer online at places like CosmoBody.com. Try out the Windsor Pilates tapes or Ballet At-Home workout tapes. When we have been tight on cash in the past and couldn’t do a monthly gym membership, I’ve tried to stick with tapes and mark it on my calendar so I could be as consistent as possible. I think the key is to get moving, and make the time for it. You will feel SOOOO much better when you do!

Good Luck

Hope you enjoyed this post,

Rachel

Beauty

The Benefits of Facial Steaming

June 19, 2015

I’ve been a huge fan of Facial Steaming ever since I was a young girl. Not only is it extremely relaxing and practically free, but it’s SUPER beneficial to the health and appearance of your skin!

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DEEP CLEANSING AND MOISTURIZING

Steaming acts as a deep cleanser. By applying moist heat to the skin the body begins to perspire, or sweat. Little do many people, “sweating it out” is actually a good thing! Perspiration flushes out clogged pores, toxins, dirt, and MORE, giving you a deep cleanse where soap simply cannot.

By deeply cleansing your skin and flushing out your pores, you are clearing the passage way for natural nutrients produced by your body, like “sebum” a natural moisturizer. This makes steaming a great way to naturally cleanse AND a moisturize your face.

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CIRCULATING

Another great benefit of steaming is an increased circulation. By heating your skin with steam, your body will react by increasing the amount of blood flow in your face. A process to cool your face. As you may know, blood carries oxygen and nutrients; HENCE, better circulation=healthier skin.

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ANTI-AGING

Lastly, steam is a great contributor to young and healthy skin! The moisture from steam aids in releasing dead skin cells. The older we get, the harder it is for our bodies to shed the outmost layers of skin; hence, skin begins to dry and age faster as we get older. Steam acts as a lubricant to release the bond between NEW skin, which is plump and supple, and dead skin, which is dry and rigid.

Steaming will literally leave you “fresh-faced” and ready to take on the day!

What You Need:
2-3 Cups teaming hot water
1 bowl
A Few Drops Of Essential Oil
1 Towel.

What To Do:
1. Add a few cups of steaming hot water to a bowl.
2. Carefully set your bowl in a comfortable and stable place in front of a chair.
3. Add a few drops of essential oil to the hot water.
4. Sit with the bowl in front of your face and put a towel over your entire head and the bowl.
5. Hover your face just over the hot water. note: If it feels like its too hot, or like it’s burning, you are too close. Hover where it feels warm, but comfortable!

You can allow you skin to gently steam for up to 15 min. 

Hope you enjoyed this post and learned something new!

xo Rachel

Beauty

DIY: Refreshing “Spa” Water

June 18, 2015

One of my favorite things at the spa, is also the easiest to make at home…a refreshing pitcher of detoxifying “Spa” Drinking Water. Some may call it essence, infused, or spa water, but either way, it’s AMAZING!

Even for a smaller batch, all it takes are 3 simple steps!

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Start by slicing up a lemon or two.

Lemons are a great detoxifying agent and contain a ton of vitamins.

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Follow that up with a few cucumber slices (a soothing antioxidant)…

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…take some fresh mint (very refreshing taste, freshens breath from within, natural stimulant, reduces allergies, promotes weight loss, etc.)…

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…and add all of your ingredients to a pitcher.

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Add water and ice, and you are ready to sit back, relax, and detoxify your body with one refreshing beverage.

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The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor, so feel free to refrigerate for an hour or two if you want more of a concentrated water.

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You can also make this water to go with these great infuser water bottles. I take my infused spa water to the gym also. =)

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Hope you enjoyed this quick post.

xo Rachel