5 Simple Ways to Have a Healthier Day

Striped jumpsuit // Cannon Beach, Oregon
Lack of Color Zulu Rancher
Health is all about balance, and doesn’t mean you have to eat strictly salads and do an hour of cardio every day. I certainly don't do either of those! Health and wellness mean soooo much more. It’s a balancing act and sometimes you just have to start small, and make a series of positive choices. Here are 5 simple things I do and that you can do to have a healthier day today and every day!

low-back jumpsuit
Hydrate, first thing! As we sleep our bodies are working hard to digest food, regenerate cells, detox the body, and much more. So, when we wake up we’re actually dehydrated. I like to start my mornings by immediately hydrating! This gives me more energy and makes me feel so much better in the mornings! I used to feel terrible every morning - dizzy, exhausted, etc. After I go to the bathroom and take the dogs outside, I make a cup of hot lemon water or herbal tea, and also fill up my tumbler with ice water (often with a lemon slice and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt for electrolytes).

Cannon Beach, Oregon
Go for a quick walk. To be honest, I don’t get in a ton of steps day to day. I work a desk job, and also work on my computer every night at home, so other than photoshoots and workouts I’m not moving tons by any means. So, I like to incorporate some quick walks when I can to stimulate my circulation, refresh my brain, and burn a few calories. Most days I don’t have time for a 30-60 minute walk, but I do try to walk the dogs nearly every day (usually just a 10 minute walk to the field at the end of our street and back)! I do this mostly for them, but I sneakily benefit as well. Also, if I’m feeling stressed, anxious, or bored/cooped up at work, I’ll take a quick walk around the block! It’s such a nice way to break up a day full of sitting and staring at a computer. Sometimes I’ll throw in headphones and listen to music or a podcast, or other days I just want some silence away from the office for a few minutes. 

Add leafy greens to a meal. My skin and health have improved so much since incorporating more leafy greens into my diet (even though they’re not my favorite to eat in all honesty). Because I don’t love eating spinach on its own, I like to sneak it into my meals. For example, I put a cup of spinach in my morning smoothies, and like to put some in scrambled eggs as well. At lunch and dinner I’ll often make myself a little side salad, and instead of tacos I make taco salad bowls. It’s all about sneaking in your greens when you can!

Cannon Beach, Oregon
Park in the furthest parking spot. My dad has done this my whole life, and while I found it bizarre growing up, I now appreciate his eccentric practice! It forces you to move more! However, I do skip this when I’m alone at night :)

Put your phone away a little bit before you go to bed. I used to lay in bed staring at my phone every night, and not only did I get less sleep, but I was probably doing harm to my eyes and my brain as well with all of that blue light. Now, I set my alarm, plug in my phone, and turn it to silent before I even crawl in bed. Then I set it down and don’t look at it anymore, which helps me get to sleep a lot quicker (and have better sleep quality)! 

Cannon Beach, Oregon // striped jumpsuit
Lack of Color wide brim hat

Jumpsuit (c/0)  |  Hat

Photos by Jo Johnson

My Fall Nighttime Routine

My Fall Nighttime Routine and favorite moisturizing cream

I love a routine and any ritual that makes my day more pleasant and calm. My morning and nighttime routines change up a bit throughout the year and depending on my schedule, but lately I have a calming fall nighttime routine I thought I would share with you today! Keep in mind this usually takes place after a busy night of dinner, clean-up, [sometimes] workout, shower, and a few hours of work on my laptop (either blog work or photo editing), so I need these little rituals to help me slow down at the end of the night.

Drinking a cup of hot tea
I try to do this year-round, but I especially crave my evening cup of hot tea in the fall and winter. I usually drink peppermint tea later in the evening and/or before bed because it’s really relaxing and promotes healthy digestion. This one is my favorite!

calming nighttime rituals // @OlayUS Regenerist Whip Fragrance-Free

Doing my skincare routine
I love doing my nighttime skincare routine and find it so relaxing! At night I always apply a good moisturizer + oil at the end of my skincare routine so my skin gets re-hydrated overnight. This fall I’ve been using Olay Regenerist Whip Fragrance-Free and my skin is loving it! I wake up dewy, but not oily or greasy due to the lightweight texture, and it makes my skin so soft and smooth. You girls know how sensitive my skin is, so I was so excited when Olay released a fragrance-free version of the Regenerist Whip. It’s definitely lived up to the hype and my skin is glowing now more than ever! And I love that I can pick it up at Walgreens whenever I need to restock it. 

calming nighttime routine essentials

Diffusing essential oils
I keep an essential oil diffuser in our bedroom and love to diffuse oils before we got to bed and while we sleep. Not only do they give off a lovely aroma and create a calming atmosphere in our bedroom, but essential oils have many health & wellness benefits too. Most of the year my go-to is lavender oil because it calms you and promotes good sleep (and lavender is one of my favorite scents)! Lately I’ve also been diffusing lots of Thieves oil because it is great for the immune system and has a really nice fall/winter scent to it. 

Drifting off to a show
I know a lot of wellness experts say not to have a TV in the bedroom, but Trey and I love to watch a show in bed as we fall asleep. I think this is one of those things that’s different for everyone! We personally find it super relaxing and usually throw on an episode of Friends, The Office, or That 70’s Show.

what herbal tea to drink before bed as part of your nighttime routine

What are some things you do to wind down before bed?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Olay. All opinions and text are my own.

Fall Sweater Edit

The best affordable fall sweaters

It's sweater weather y'all! Like it or not, chilly days are here (at least in Missouri) and it's time to cozy up in some cute sweaters! Now, I'm pretty picky about sweaters... they have to be flattering and they can't be itchy. I can't personally vouch for most of these sweaters, but I do own a few of them (which I'll point out below), and have ordered several of these too! Looking at my closet, I would say most of my sweaters are from H&M. You definitely have to weed through the good and the bad, but year after year they have awesome ones at a steal of a price! I actually ordered a few while writing this post last night!

Also, I can't link from these some sites in the widgets below, but definitely check out some of my favorite online shops, Shop Lux, Maude Boutique, Lulu's and Zara for cute and affordable knits as well!

Ahhh...my favorite! I could probably own 20 cream and tan sweaters and still want more versions. I just ordered this one, I've worn this one tons already, and I have last year's version of this sweater

I've always been a neutrals-only kind of gal, but this year color has been growing on me! I have several of these in my cart!

You girls know I love my black clothing! I have this sweater and this sweater and can vouch for their amazingness! I ordered this cozy gray turtleneck last night too. 

I don't usually go for a bold sweater, but I can't get this one out of my head! Probably need to go ahead and order it! I'm also in love with all things leopard at the moment and love it in sweater form here & here.  

The Surprising Factor that Kills or Boosts our Confidence

The Surprising Factor that Kills or Boosts our Confidence
messy waves, cool-toned blonde hair with roots

I feel like there's not much worse for the confidence than a bad hair day, am I right?? My hair is super fine, so my bad hair days tend to be when my hair is flat and lifeless. This makes me feel so gross! I end up fussing with my hair all day and wondering if I should just chop it off! Turns out you guys absolutely hate bad hair days too. This is what some of you girls had to say about how a bad hair day makes you feel:

"Fidgety, like I can't stop playing with my hair"
"Low self esteem"
"Less confident, worried about how I'm being presented, messy. Even if everything else is good."
"Vulnerable, self-conscious, less outgoing"
"Frustrated and frumpy"
"Like I want to go home and bury myself in bed"
"A little discouraged. Like I already know the day will suck."
"It plays with my confidence"

WOW. Can you believe the impact a bad hair day has on our confidence?? 

According to a survey by Yale University, only 1 in 10 women experience a great hair day regularly. 

That means our hair is affecting our confidence all the timeI hate that so many of us feel this way so often. 

how to get more volume with fine hair
Pantene Sheer Volume Shampoo and Conditioner - give you volume, but also shine

When Pantene reached out about joining their 14 Day Challenge, I was anxious and excited to see if I would have more great hair days! I used their Hair Advisor guide to pick the best shampoo and conditioner for my hair needs, and went with the Sheer Volume Shampoo and Conditioner to give my fine hair a boost. I used it for every wash over the course of two weeks, and definitely saw some positive changes. My hair held volume and curl way longer than it had been before! My styling lasted all day, rather than fading by the afternoon. This was a game changer for me because I'm used to my hair falling flat and feeling gross within a few hours! Somehow, even with more volume, my hair was smoother and softer than usual too. 

Overall, I definitely had more good and great hair days overall, which was an amazing feeling! I felt more confident, more attractive, and I didn't go through my day just wanting to throw my hair in a messy bun. And guess what, I'm not the only one who feels SO much better when I have a good hair day! Here's how they make YOU feel:

"Empowered! Ready to take on the day."
"The best and like I can conquer the world!"
"Put together"
"The day is going to be good!"
"Happy and positive"

"Like I won the hair lottery, swishy and comfortable, more confident"
"Like a kweeeeeeeenn"
"Like I want to see everyone I know and catch up!"
"It is a mood booster"
"Like I can do anything. But really it just makes me like my hair more and not want to chop it off."

rooted cool blonde hair

Isn't it amazing to see the difference?? Our hair really plays a huge role in our confidence, our happiness, and how social we want to be! 

I want all of us to feel this way more often! I encourage you to check out Pantene's 14 Day Challenge to find the right shampoo and conditioner for you so you can have more great hair days too!

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

10 Healthy Tips for Eating Out

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!


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!