10 Healthy Tips for Eating Out
10.09.2018



As much as I love to cook my healthy meals at home, sometimes life is crazy and we’re forced to grab takeout, or sometimes we just want a night off to grab a bite together! And that’s ok! Honestly, I sometimes struggle when I don’t have control over every ingredient I’m eating because I look and feel my best when I’m eating “my food” at home. But balance and moderation are key, and it’s it’s absolutely okay to eat out sometimes! However, if you eat out multiple times a week, then you probably won’t want to splurge every single time (although there is absolutely a time and a place for that too). 

Beyond special occasions, I try to make the healthiest choices I can when eating out and am excited to share 10 of my tips with you!

Evaluate what kind of night it is
Is it your birthday dinner, anniversary or other special occasion? Girl, get the pasta you’ve been craving and drink a glass of wine with it! Is it a random weeknight when you don’t feel like cooking? That may not be the best time to carb-load. If you eat out multiple nights per week, then splurging every time is really going to add up over time, so figure out what balance works for you and pick and choose when you want to splurge.

Look at the menu ahead of time
I often like to go in with a game plan or make sure a restaurant is a good fit for me ahead of time. For example, if there are zero gluten free options, then I won’t pick that restaurant. I also find that when I look at a menu ahead of time and come up with a few healthier options, then it’s easier to stick to one of those when it comes time to order.  

Stick to water
In general, I stick to drinks that don’t have calories because I’d much rather eat my calories. I love water, so I have no issues with drinking it at dinner or any other meal - and it’s free! I’d rather spend my money on food or activities most of the time anyways! If I’m on a nice date night with Trey I’ll get a glass of wine or a tequila cocktail sometimes, but I never drink soda or other “fancy” drinks on the menu that are typically full of sugar.

Modify, modify, modify
Again, everything in moderation, but I personally choose to make modifications to most of my meals to make them gluten free and/or lower in carbs. I always order a burger or sandwich without a bun/bread, eat fajitas or tacos without the tortilla, keep the croutons off of a salad, and sub in a salad or vegetable for the fries. I find that all of these little swaps really add up and keep me on track with feeling and looking my best.

Choose between drinks or dessert
Unless it’s your birthday or anniversary, I recommend picking between drinks or dessert instead of doing both. This will help prevent a huge blood sugar spike (which make us gain weight)! If I’m with Trey we usually opt for drinks, and if I’m with a friend (i.e. Jo), then we will usually splurge on gelato.


Build a breakfast/brunch around eggs
Regardless of where I'm eating breakfast or brunch, I always get an egg dish. I skip on dishes like french toast or pancakes, especially now that I'm gluten free, but also because those are like eating a massive dessert for breakfast (totally fine here and there btw). If I'm at a nicer brunch spot I'll get an egg dish, then add some avocado or greens on the side (and maybe some bacon or smoked salmon). This ensures that I'm getting some fiber and greens alongside my protein and healthy fat. If I'm at a casual, diner-type spot, I'll usually opt for an omelette and I look for one with lots of veggies in addition to my protein. I now skip the toast on the side, unless I'm on vacation and there's a really good gluten free option available. If I can't get greens or avocado on the side, I try to eat half (or less) of my hash browns or breakfast potatoes. 

Look for vegetable side dish options
I’m sure it’s not as common everywhere, but people in the midwest sure love their fries and carbs! I'm constantly subbing in different side dishes! I love to do side salads and steamed or roasted vegetables for my sides. These mimic a more normal meal for me, help me to eat more vegetables and fiber, keep the calories down, and help me to feel good.

Go for grilled/smoked rather than fried
Fried anything is no longer an option for me since I’m gluten intolerant and fried foods have always given me an instant stomach ache anyways, but skipping fried meats and foods is a good way to go at least 80-90% of the time. Not only are fried foods packed with carbs, calories and unhealthy fats, but the grease will really weigh you down, and in my case, cause a major stomach ache. I personally feel so much better when I stick to grilled or smoked options for my protein! 

Salads aren’t always the healthiest option
Restaurant salads are often calorie traps and in fact, I don’t order a dinner salad that often. Often times restaurant dressings are packed with sugar and calories, and sometimes the toppings aren’t doing you any favors either (fried chicken, croutons, tons of fruit, cheese, etc.). Definitely weigh your options, but I often find I can put together a healthier meal (i.e. grilled chicken or bunless burger + a side salad or side of veggies) from other parts of the menu. 

Slow. Down.
I’ve recently started eating a bit slower, and also chewing my food more. Many of us tend to shovel our food down (especially if it’s super tasty), and I’m definitely guilty of that. Eating slower gives you time to not only savor what you’re eating and enjoy someone's company, but also allows your body to keep up and properly signal when you’re full. Many of us also don’t chew our food thoroughly, but spending a little more time chewing works wonders for the digestion!

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I hope you enjoyed these tips and found a couple of takeaways you can apply in your own life! Leave me a comment below about what you're planning to try or if you have some tips of your own!

My Makeup Routine + Favorite Products
10.03.2018


This post is so long overdue, but I'm finally breaking down my makeup routine and favorite products for you! Most of these products I've used for quite some time (and many for years now), so believe me when I say I love these products and believe in them (also, none of these are gifted - they're all things I've purchased). In some categories I couldn't pick just one product, so I've shared everything I use.

Also, this is everything I use for a full face of makeup. There are many days where I leave out a few steps to get out the door quicker or to achieve a more "natural" look.

Okay...let's dive in!

Primer
I haven't always used a primer, but ever since discovering the magic that are Supergoop! SPF primers I'm hooked. I'm currently using this one, but have also used and loved this one. They both have an SPF of 40, and create a smooth surface to apply your makeup on. They're not cheap, but last for months and months (and don't break me out!).

Foundation(s)
I couldn't pick just one foundation to share with you, because there are a few I love and use for different looks! I've used the Revlon Colorstay foundation for well over a year now, and it's a great full-coverage foundation that isn't heavy or thick! It still feels lightweight but is very buildable, and it's matte without being crazy matte (ya know what I mean?). I recently purchased the Lawless "Woke Up Like This" Flawless Finish Foundation, and it's a great product too! It's full coverage (covers blemishes and hyper-pigmentation really well), but dewy, which is something I've never found before. It's also completely non-toxic! Unfortunately on its own it's a little too dewy for me for most days (oily skin is a bummer sometimes), BUT for the past several weeks I've been mixing it with my Revlon Colorstay foundation and creating my own perfect foundation! I also have to mention Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation. I haven't bought it in awhile since I found such a great drugstore foundation, but it's still my all-time favorite foundation!

Application tip: I pump my foundation onto the back of my hand then apply in little dots all over my face. Then I use this brush to stipple it into my skin. This is the best application I've found for a natural, yet full coverage look!

Concealer
I've had very dark circles since I was a little kid, and they've always been a struggle to cover. Once I tried Tarte Shape Tape a couple of years ago there was no going back! It's the best I've found to cover dark circles, plain and simple. And a tube lasts me a long, long time! I used to apply it with a blending sponge, but now I just lightly blend it in with my ring fingers.

Setting Powder
I next use setting powder to set my "wet" makeup products before moving onto powder products. I've tried a few over the years without having a diehard favorite, but I've recently been using the Lawless "Seal the Deal" Loose Setting Powder and I love it! It's another non-toxic product and is free of talc, a harmful ingredient found in most setting powders. It has a really soft, natural finish! I use the color "brightening translucent."

Brows
Next I jump to eye makeup, and first up is my brows! This is probably my favorite part of my makeup routine because I've really embraced my thick brows, and feel like a defined brow can make your whole face! My all-time favorite brow pencil is the Anastasia of Beverly Hills Brow Whiz! It adds a lot of thickness, while still looking natural and staying put all day. As an alternative I will sometimes use the L'Oreal Brow Stylist Definer, which is a great dupe. It doesn't stay put quite as well, but I still love it! I'll use it when I'm out of my Brow Whiz or if I'm not doing a full face of makeup. 

Eyeshadow
I don't wear eyeshadow every day, but I do love to play around with different colors! My all-time favorite palette is this one by Tarte! The colors somehow all blend with one another in a ton of combinations and are super flattering. I also love this Tarte palette, which is slightly cooler toned. If I'm in a hurry or don't feel like doing a full-blown eyeshadow look, I'll often swipe on a bit of my Becca highlighter or one of these cream eyeshadows with my ring finger to achieve a subtle glow on my eyelids. 

Eyeliner
I don't wear eyeliner every day, but when I do I almost always wear liquid liner! I recently bought this liner by W3ll People (a clean makeup brand) and really like it, so I'm planning to stick with it for now! I've always just used drugstore eyeliners and have never had any issues or a reason to go high end in this category. 

Mascara
I've found a drugstore primer + mascara combo that I haven't strayed from in over a year now! I use this primer on the front, then back, then front of my lashes, and then use this mascara! I apply on the front, then pull through the back, then do two more coats on the front. This mascara keeps my lashes nicely separated, while also adding length and volume! On the occasion that I want even more volume, I'll add a couple of coats of this mascara on top. 

Application tip: applying my primer and mascara through the back of my lashes makes a huge difference! I learned this tip through Courtney of Bring Your Own Beauty.

Contour Bronzer
I'm on my second Benefit Hoola Bronzer, and I love how easy it is to contour with! It's matte and cool-toned, which recreates the look of a shadow or natural contour. The packaging could definitely be improved, but the product is so good that I deal with it (hah). I use this brush to lightly contour my cheekbones, and then use the thin brush it comes with to contour the sides of my nose.

Glow/Warmth Bronzer
This may be high maintenance, but I use a second bronzer to a) blend out my contour and b) add warmth and a bit of tan to my face! You may have seen on my Instagram Stories that I recently bought a new compact of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Global Glow to replace my old one that was 3.5 years old. Yes, you read that right - it lasts forever! I use this brush to dust it along my hairline, as well as to lightly blend out my contour.

Blush
I got a Tarte Amazonian Clay blush for free for my birthday in 2017 and haven't looked back. I now have two colors ("paaartay" and "exposed") that I rotate depending on the time of year, and I absolutely love them both! This is by far my favorite blush I've ever used. 

Highlighter
My friends Jo and Brianna talked me into splurging on the Becca Pressed Highlighter about a year and a half ago and I'm so glad I did! Not only does it give you a beautiful, subtle glow, but a little goes a long way! I still have a ton of product left, so I feel like this was a good investment. I use the color "opal."

Setting Spray
I am a late adopter to setting sprays (as in the last few months), but am now a believer! I recently picked up the Mac Fix+ setting spray that several friends raved about to me, and it really does make a difference in my makeup! It helps my makeup to last longer and to have a nicer finish.

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I hope you found this post helpful and found a few new products to try! I'd like to experiment with some mini tutorials on my IG Stories and IGTV channel - so let me know if you'd be interested in seeing something like that and if you have any specific requests!
  


How-to: Effortless, Messy Waves
9.27.2018

how to get effortless, messy waves

I love the look of messy, lived-in waves, and feel like it's kind of become my signature look! After years of experimenting and figuring out how to style my hair, I'm finally sharing one way I style my hair to get the effortless, messy waves I love!

tutorial: messy waves with a flat iron
How-to: Effortless, Messy Waves

I first apply a heat protectant spray all over, then comb or brush through my hair so that it's nice and smooth. Then I simply take a small section (between 1/2 in. to 1 in.), clamp my Panasonic Nanoe Flat Iron near the root and twist about 180 degrees! I pull gently down the strand of hair (holding the twist) until I reach the bottom inch or two, and then I release the iron. It takes a little bit of practice, but it becomes super easy and quick to do - I promise! 

I always curl my front few pieces away from my face, but for the rest of my hair I alternate which direction I curl, which is key to the natural wavy look!

Then I simply finish up with some texturing taffy or pomade, a dry texture spray, and a quick mist of hair spray! I have super fine hair, so texturing products are key for me to get that messy, lived-in look. I don't like for my hair to look too perfect! 

Panasonic Naneo flat iron
tutorial: messy waves with a flat iron

What I love about the Nanoe flat iron is that I get the messy look I love, but my hair is still smooth and shiny. It's not frizzy or damaged at all! The nanoe technology infuses moisture into the hair while you style it, rather than drying it out. Nanoe ions retain approximately 1,000 times more moisture than a regular negative ion and are so tiny that they can actually penetrate your hair and add moisture! So cool, right??

This iron is also great for waves because it's rounded and because the ceramic plates are super, super smooth. I'd always been hesitant to curl my hair with a flat iron because I don't want my hair to get caught or stretched out, but this one glides through my hair effortlessly.

Do you ever curl your hair with a flat iron? I love mixing this in with my other hair styles and feel it's the best for getting natural looking messy waves!

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Panasonic. The opinions and text are all mine.

My Favorite Fall Sweater + The Sale I'm Shopping This Week
9.26.2018

cropped sweater + wide brim wool hat

One of my favorite sales of the year kicked off this morning (and goes through Saturday, 9/29) and I'm so excited to shop it! During the Shopbop VIB Sale you can get 20% off purchases under $500 and 25% off purchases over $500 with code STOCKUP18. It's a great time to stock up on fall pieces and denim, or to splurge on something you've been eyeing. My favorite sweater of the fall (pictured above) is included too!

Below I've shared all of my favorite pieces I've ordered from Shopbop (all are staples for me!) as well as my huge wish list! Now I just need to narrow down what I'm ordering!  

MY FAVORITE SHOPBOP PURCHASES




ON MY WISH LIST


How to Break Out of a Bad Mood
9.21.2018

How to wear a linen dress in the fall
Oversized cardigan over a dress

Sometimes I find myself in a straight up bad mood and I HATE feeling that way. Generally I think (and hope) I'm a pretty agreeable, cheerful person, but sometimes stress wears on me or PMS kicks my butt. Obviously no one wants to be around me when I'm grouchy, and I highly dislike myself for it too, so I try to break out of a bad mood as quickly as possible! Here are some tips I swear by:   

Set Aside a Day or at Least an Evening for Yourself

With my busy schedule and ongoing guilt about downtime this is hard for me to do, but sometimes it’s just essential. Beyond sleep, our bodies and minds need time to simply rest. To just "be." A little self care and relaxation go a long way! If I’m having an anxiety-ridden day or week, I’ll try to set aside an evening where I don’t open my laptop and simply eat dinner, read or watch TV, put on a face mask, and just rest.

Schedule a Workout 
When I’m grumpy, anxious or tired the last thing I want to do is workout. I usually want to curl up on my couch under a blanket and binge-watch TV. And while that’s definitely okay and even healthy to do sometimes (see above), most of the time I know I would be better off doing a workout first. Almost always once I’m working out the endorphins and sense of accomplishment kick in, and I feel SO much better about myself.

Don’t Hold it in

I’m definitely guilty of bottling up my stress and emotions because I don’t want to burden anyone...but then that can end up in an anxiety attack or tears later on. Not the best way to go about things! Sometimes we do need a little bit of outside encouragement or to just talk things out. This is when I talk to Trey or call my friend Jo or my mom.

Brixton leather hat
How to take a dress from summer to fall

Soak up Some Vitamin D and Fresh Air
Sometimes a sunny day can completely turn my week around, and I thrive off of Vitamin D (while also protecting my skin). Sometimes a quick walk or just sitting outside is super calming and positive. Often when I get super stressed at work I take a walk down the block and back while doing some deep breathing, and it helps me so much! Take a few minutes to let the sun warm your skin and take some deep breaths of fresh air, all while getting off of your phone for a bit!

Listen to Music or Podcast
Sometimes my “relax” playlist or a funny podcast episode are just the distractions I need to break out of a bad mood. Or heck, sometimes I need to blast some rap music through the house and dance like an idiot! Whatever it takes!

Eat Some Mood-Boosting Foods
Food can absolutely affect our moods and how we feel! Some amazing mood-boosting foods include nuts, fish, berries, leafy greens and colorful vegetables, and my favorite...dark chocolate!

Sweater layered over a linen dress
Dress (c/o Lulu's)  |  Sweater: Anthropologie in-store  |  Ankle Boots  |  Hat


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