Supplements To Improve Your Body That ACTUALLY Work

When I was in high school and college, I took my daily multivitamin but never gave supplements another thought. I have always made a conscious effort to eat my greens and colorful veggies, thinking I would get my nutrients through my meals.

I was seeing one of my Lyme Disease specialists yesterday and she dropped a mind blowing fact: you would need to eat 75 oranges to get the nutrients of an original orange that was grown many, many years ago. Our soil is so depleted that we no longer get the nutrients our bodies need: giving us low energy and brittle hair, skin and nails.

When I started taking my ten million supplements to help my body fight my disease, I noticed a major unexpected benefit: my hair started growing rapidly, my nails were longer and stronger than ever and my skin was no longer constantly broken out. I have friends and my Insta-friends send me messages asking me what supplements I take because they want to follow along, and while my intensive routine cannot be followed by everyone, there are some general vitamins and supplements that might help you kick that 3pm fatigue or help your hair to be a little bit more shiny!

*Obviously- I am not a doctor! I have a team of FOUR doctors AND a nutritionist telling me what to take, eat, do…etc! This is not meant to cure, treat, etc anything! But if you want to live a little bit healthier or understand what vitamins are great for your body, this is for you! If you are wondering why I am not linking to direct supplement brands here, it is because I take special supplements that are stronger than the normal “healthy” person should. Here is an interesting article on what vitamin/supplement brands actually do the job they claim to on the bottle, and which to avoid.


Turmeric: Turmeric is a “trendy” health supplement right now- and with all of the benefits it reaps, it should be here to stay. Turmeric is comprised of curcumin- a chemical that is mostly known for being anti-inflammatory. Studies have shown that turmeric is very effective in fighting pain and inflammation- better than Motrin or Tylenol. In addition to being anti-inflammatory (this is the reason I take turmeric- it has massively helped the inflammation in my joints) Turmeric is known to fend off heart attacks, delay diabetes, and protect the brain. If you are curious, here are two (1, 2) good references.


Vitamin D: Essentially, vitamin D keeps our bones healthy and regulates our immune system! While vitamin C tends to steal all the spotlight, vitamin D should not be neglected due to it’s help in absorbing calcium and phosphorous (this keeps our bones stronger.) Vitamin D also helps fight risk of disease and is a serious mood booster. Believe it or not, a vitamin D deficiency can cause serious headaches. Learn more here.


Vitamin B-12: Personally I take vitamin B-12 in two forms for energy: a tablet every morning and a B-12 shot once a week. After I get a B-12 shot I am noticeably perkier for 4-5 days after. B-12 is an amazing source of energy due to it’s ability to break down  carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and use them more efficiently in your body throughout the day. While this is not the main benefit of taking B-12, it is also linked to aiding in speeding up your metabolism, healthier hair, skin and nails. Read more, here.


Magnesium: Magnesium is not a supplement we typically run to the grocery store to buy. I was introduced to magnesium after my doctors found that my heart was not pumping blood properly, and I began taking magnesium to strengthen my heart and help my blood flow easier. So needless to say, magnesium is great for your heart, but also has many added benefits! Magnesium aids in keeping your energeti, as well as in enzyme production AKA helping your body digest your food with ease. If you are an avid gym goer, magnesium helps build muscle safely. Read more, here.


 

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments!

 

<3 Al

Beauty and Travel Guide: Palm Springs

It’s been awhile since my last post! Some might think of Palm Springs as the center of Coachella festivities, while others like myself grew up knowing Palm Springs as a place of hot weather, lots of golfing, and retirement. The last few years, I have taken a vacation with my family and developed a new perspective on Palm Springs and love that it is becoming such a youthful and vibrant city!

That being said, I am excited to share my travel guide for Palm Springs, both what to do and what beauty products to travel with. Being a California native, writing this post makes me even more excited and I hope it gives you some ideas if you travel to the desert.

See below for a few of my travel musts when it comes to beauty products and places I am going to stop by over the holiday weekend!

Do you have any travel plans for Memorial Day Weekend? Please think positive thoughts as I hope to come back a bronzed warrior and not a red lobster.

Beauty Product Travel Necessities

Tula Multi-Spectrum Overnight Skin Rescue Treatment : I am going to be LIVING in the sun all day for the next week, so this is essential to make sure my skin is getting the moisture it needs at night. This cream is SO moisturizing and I wake up with bright, rejuvenated skin in the morning!

KORRES Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil: My one and only oil love that serves as my serum before I use my moisturizer and foundation!

KORRES Wild Rose 24-Hour Moisturising and Brightening Cream: This moisturizer pairs so well with the Wild Rose Brightening Oil and it really lasts all day. My face never gets dry and has never irritated my skin since using it!

St. Tropez Classic Bronzing Mousse 1.6 oz: I mean let’s face it, I am rather fair skinned, so I love using St. Tropez as a base before being out in the sun! It doesn’t streak, looks natural, and stays on for a few days before I have to reapply.

Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint – Ivory: I have always used the same liquid foundation so I am so glad I tried a sample of this from Sephora and ended up purchasing it! It is an all Vegan product with no oils or random ingredients. It gives me a bright ivory glow and has SPF too!

Travel Guide: Palm Springs

Like I mentioned, we know Palm Springs for being the Disneyland of Coachella weekend. But what else is worth checking out? See below for a few hot spots *no pun intended.*

Ice Cream & Shoppe

@icecreamandshop

DesertX: Mirage by Doug Aitken

@bk_kimm

The Shops at Thirteen Forty Five

@townepalmsprings

The Saguaro Palm Springs

@thecraftedlife

Your hopeful soon to be bronzed warrior,

Lex

Other Products that I love:

Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.

I saw floral fashion attire left and right this past weekend, and not going to lie but I am all about it. Bill and I took a day trip up to Holland, Michigan to check out the Tulip Time Festival and had a great time. It’s about 3 hours away from Chicago, and let me just say I have never seen a city so on fire for something as simple as a tulip. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but this town lives for the two weekends the tulips are in full bloom. From its parades, tulip art, to tulips in every storefront window, these two weekends are like our fourth of July. Such excitement!

I knew right away I was going to wear a floral arrangement (so basic, I admit…) BUT when I saw this romper with a skirt overlay at Francesca’s I was so excited to wear it out with a cute bralette underneath and my red Target sandals. I am embracing the warm weather and vibrant colors because we have waited too long for these moments!

If you ever want to take a day trip to Holland, MI, I would recommend grabbing a bite at Butch’s, apple cider donuts from Crane’s, walking around Window on the Waterfront, and stopping by the 205 Coffee bar for a latte and cute photos. I really had a great time ooh-ing and aah-ing over the array of tulip colors, and we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend to be outside! Shots from my trip are below. Dare I ask what your favorite flower is? I bet you can guess mine.

RomperFrancesca’s // ShoesTarget // Bralette: Styles for Less // Sunglasses: Quay

XO.

Lex

 

5 Places in Chicago Both You and I Need to Try

The never ending cloudy skies and rain in Chicago is having me dream of summer dresses, high waisted everything, wedges and jumpsuits to wear out and about the city. I recently made a mini list of restaurants and bars I want to try and I thought I would share, along with a cute jumpsuit by Ellie Kai that I can wear out to these new hot spots. This classy jumpsuit is not only perfect for just about any night out, but it is so comfortable too. Be sure to check out all of Ellie Kai’s cute outfits on their website. I love that everything is made to order and they have so many patterns to choose from!

Anyways, tell me what places I am missing! They don’t have to be brand new- I just have a thing for supporting new businesses in the city.

Jumpsuit: Ellie Kai

Ella Elli: Southport, Chicago

The chic booths and savvy light fixtures speak to me. On top of this photo worthy restaurant, the menu contains everything delicious. Whether it is a date night or grabbing a drink with a friend, I cannot wait to stop by this charming restaurant.

La Josie: West Loop, Chicago

I love seeing the transformation of restaurant row in West Loop. This industrial community is bringing every kind of cuisine and La Josie is sure to be a hit. Not to mention this Mexican restaurant has a roof deck. Summer just got that much better.

Violet Hour: Wicker Park, Chicago

I know. I haven’t been to Violet Hour. I’m just as shocked as you are. The artisanal cocktail menu and hidden appeal with no signs outside is the perfect addition to the Wicker Park community. I love that you can escape the grunge and artsy part of town and toast to a cocktail at Violet Hour. I will be stopping in soon!

Steak Bar: Old Town, Chicago

Another place that has been on my list, especially for brunch. No wonder it’s almost famous with it’s extensive brunch menu and bottomless mimosa deal. $35 buffet and $15 mimosas? Yes and yes.

Up and Up Chicago: Wicker Park, Chicago

Located atop the Robey Chicago in Wicker Park brings stunning city views as the perfect beginning or end to any night. The Robey Chicago is a trendy hotel in Wicker that actually used to be an office building. Did I mention Up and Up has a terrace? You’re welcome.

The sunshine is close. I can feel it.

XO.

Lex

 

Photography by: Lincoln Park Minute

Tried and Tested: Beauty Product Mini Reviews

 

 

It is no secret that I love skincare products. I hoard them like an old lady that loves antiques. They overtake my bathroom, bedroom and office as I slowly test them one by one. I normally share mini product reviews on my Instagram, but wanted a more cohesive way to share my weekly beauty finds with you. Below are four mini reviews of products that I have tried, tested and fallen madly in love with.

If you have been following Al + Lex for a while, you have followed my skin saga while it changes. I have learned that every new product that works helps immensely and you can never have too many products in your arsenal. You can see some past skincare posts with Scratch Goods and Tula.

 

I stumbled upon Lark Skin Co. one late night stalking Instagram. I had recently been diagnosed with Lyme Disease and was learning the importance of what went into the things I put on my body. Lark Skin Co. only uses ingredients you can easily understand (hello coconut oil, aloe and witch hazel.) As I mentioned above, I try a lot of products. The Lark Skin Co. Aloe + Lime Purifying toner has totally transformed my skin. When I started my Lyme treatment, I broke out in tiny little bumps all over my face. This toner is the first thing that has not just soothed those bumps, but cleared them up. I am now a religious Lark Skin Co. user.

 

I really want to be a lipstick person. SO badly. I have never found a lipstick that stays on the way I want it to and seems to fit my face. Maybe it is because I have no makeup skills, or because I am oddly picky about what I put on my lips (as you will read below!) I wasn’t expecting to love the Matte Shaker by Lancôme but was blown away by the ease of application and comfort of wear throughout the day. I was sent the color “Magenta” which seems overpowering, but goes on light and is buildable if you want an intense pucker.

 

I am a self professed lip balm freak. I am so, so picky about what I put on my lips: the smell, taste, texture…I could go on for hours. You know how some lip balms have that weird taste that dries our your mouth? It is non-existent in the Kiehl’s Kiss For The Cure Butterstick Lip Treatment Duo. The clear butterstick goes on super smooth thanks to the coconut oil and protects lips with SPF 25. The pink butterstick lends the perfect tinge of pink to your lips that is universally flattering.  Plus: 100% of proceeds go to Bright Pink for breast cancer educational programs.

 

Over the past few years, the skin under my eyes has gotten puffy and I get a red tinge to my cheeks. I have tried every trick in the book to sooth my skin. While many of them work well, I love the feeling of this Farmacy Hydrating Coconut Gel Mask. The mask goes on easily and does not leave a slimy residue like other sheet masks can. The mask leaves my face feeling ultra-hydrated, plumper, and cooler. Cucumber extract delivers high levels of Vitamin C, which are major players in retaining the moisture in our skin. The coconut gel provides intensive hydration and restores the skin’s balance and just flat out smells A M A Z I N G.

If you have any skincare recommendations, I would love to hear them!

<3 Al

 

Dreaming of La La Land

“Why did you move from California to Chicago?” is a question I have received 100+ times. My answer has remained consistently the same: The energy in Chicago is different than anywhere else and you never take a beautiful day for granted. Now that I don’t live in California, I never take a pretty day for granted there either.

I was so excited to be in Santa Monica/ Venice Beach for work and I was able to stay the weekend to visit my family. I was able to squeeze in a few things here and there whether it was get a workout in, grab a yummy coffee, walk around the Venice Canals, check out Abbott Kinney Blvd.. it was all so fun. There is so much to do and see in Los Angeles. The next thing I have on my list when I return is to get in more hiking, drive up the coast from San Diego to San Francisco, and see wine country in NorCal. My bucket list just keeps getting longer and longer! What’s on your bucket list and upcoming travel schedule?

Below are a few pictures + outfits linked from my very own La La Land- and I can’t wait to go back <3

XO.

Lex

 

Shorts: Express (Similar HERE) // Shirt: Styles for Less // Backpack: TUMI // Sandals: Nordstrom

Bathing Suit: Victoria’s Secret (Similar HERE!)

Until we meet again, La La Land <3

Super Simple Frośe recipe

 

I am afraid to say it- but, I think the weather in Chicago might F I N A L L Y be turning itself around for the better. Last weekend I woke up to 60 degree weather on Saturday and decided to have a Hamptons themed cocktail party…because why not?

My favorite thing about having a group of friends over is planning out what to serve food and cocktail wise. I think a great craft cocktail can liven up any situation, and there is one for every occasion. While I was trying to find a truly “Hamptons” style cocktail, I flipped through Ina Garten’s cookbooks that feature cocktails like The South Side and a classic Negroni. I love both of these cocktails, but I wanted something that would not just scream Summer but put a smile on someones face!

Last year, Frośe was all over my Instagram feed. I couldn’t log in and not see at least one photo of it. I had wanted to try to make it, but was intimidated because I hadn’t seen a recipe come out for it yet! I settled on making frośe because who doesn’t love a fun frozen drink??

Frośe is shockingly simple to make and does not take a lot of prep work. I followed the below recipe from Bon Appétit and made a few tweaks. Personally, I added more strawberries so the flavor came through. You can also thrown in some mint leaves for a twist on the classic.

Ingredients

Makes 4 to 6 Servings

  • 1 750 ml bottle hearty, bold rosé (such as a Pinot Noir or Merlot rosé)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 8 ounces strawberries, hulled, quartered
  • 2½ ounces fresh lemon juice

Bon Appétit recommends freezing the bottle of rose in an ice cube tray and giving it a whirl in the blender. Personally, I just threw all of the ingredients in the blender with about a cup of ice and preferred the outcome.

<3 Al