Posted on June 9, 2017
You may have seen coworkers or friends put this magical powder in their coffee or smoothie and wondered, what does it actually do? I am all for making sure my body gets the right nutrients it needs, so when I learned more about Vital Proteins and then tried it for myself, I was really impressed by the results. Vital Proteins is grass-fed collagen peptides and for those of you who might not know what collagen is, it’s a protein found in our bodies most abundantly in our bones, skin, muscles and tendons. Cool, Lex. So what? SO our bodies might not have as much collagen in our body as we would like and that’s where Vital Proteins comes in to save the day. It helps with hair growth, skin, nails, bones and joints. Where did I see the most significant results? Hair growth and healthy hair for sure. My hair grows relatively quick to begin with, but my hair SPRUNG after a month of using a scoop of VP in my coffee or smoothie everyday… not to mention it has a super smooth texture and shine to it. One morning I had to do an awkward double take in the mirror because my eye lashes looked abnormally long and I didn’t even put mascara on yet! So all in all, it works and it tastes good too. I like the vanilla and coconut water flavor but they do have unflavored options too! I usually use the vanilla and coconut water flavor in my coffee during the week and beauty greens coconut vanilla flavor in my smoothies on the weekend.
Vital Proteins is such an easy add in to my daily routine that now I’m at the point where something is off if I don’t have it in my coffee or smoothie! There are so many recipes that you can mix it in yummy goodies too.. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. As for now, I am taking this amazing find as a major key to help jump start my day and overall health and wellness.
This post included complimentary product.
Posted on May 15, 2017
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.
Category: Fashion, lifestyle Tagged: chicago fashion blogger, city guide, fashion, fashion blogger, floral, Florals, flower girl, francesca's, holland, Inspiration, lifestyle, lifestyle blogger, michigan, quay, Romper, Spring, Spring fashion, spring florals, Style, sunglasses, sunny, sunshine, Target, Travel guide, tulips
Posted on April 26, 2017
“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
Bathing Suit: Victoria’s Secret (Similar HERE!)
Until we meet again, La La Land <3
Posted on March 22, 2017
I never thought I would see the day when I would write about my fitness regime; let alone that I was excited to share it! At the end of the day, I love sharing topics with my readers that are a huge part of my day-to-day life and fitness is no doubt one of them.
So you might be interested in taking a workout class and don’t know where to start. I have been there too. It’s hard with so many choices these days—especially living in a city where people have a craving for fitness left and right. A workout I have always been curious about is the HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout at Barry’s Bootcamp. I never doubted I wouldn’t like it – but so far, I love it. Wherever you are in your fitness journey, you MUST give Barry’s Bootcamp a try. I understand it might be a little nerve racking imagining a “bootcamp” setup, but I mean it when I say you become so empowered from this workout. It is an experience where you are so pumped up by the music and the trainers, you give 200%. The first time I took a class, the music was blasting and the energy in the room gave me goose bumps. If there is one thing for certain, it is that you CAN do it and you will LOVE yourself after.
Again, what is Barry’s Bootcamp all about you ask?The HIIT workout is designed to burn up to 1,000 calories and is divided up between strength and cardio (25- 30 minutes each). I have been fortunate enough to take a few classes and I am obsessed so far with Barry’s and the results I am seeing. I sat down with my fierce boss lady friend Kate Lemere who is a Chicago Founding Trainer and Marketing Coordinator of Barry’s Chicago to help tell you more because who better to hear from than the fitness expert herself!? If a Barry’s studio isn’t near you, I hope at the least this encourages you to take chances and push yourself to get to where you want to be in your fitness journey. I love supporting brands that I truly believe in, and I love sharing it with others in hopes that they like it too. If you are in Chicago, come take a class with me!! I would love to sweat with you ;).
Barry’s is the pioneer of boutique fitness and since its inception in 1998, it has grown into a global community. The energy in the room and the caliber of trainers is what sets us apart. I mean we didn’t even make our own tagline. Our clients coined our tagline as “the best workout in the world.”
It’s a HIIT workout or high intensity interval training. You are pairing cardio with strength training. This is the most effective combination that helps stimulate muscle fibers and creates an after burn effect. Also, HIIT workouts are approachable for all fitness levels: different exercises can be modified and progressed to cater to all ability levels both on the floor and on the treads. You know your own body the best and what it is capable of.
The energy of the room and focus. ENERGY is contagious and it’s continually repurposed. As instructors, it’s our job to propel energy forward, but it’s even better when our clients feed off of it and feed into it for each other. Something else that is important is FOCUS. There is a lot going on in the room. To give 100% you need to listen and pace yourself appropriately to get the best of your workout. You have to listen to what you are doing and where you are going next so you’re able to pace yourself appropriately and set yourself up for maximum success.
Barry’s schedule is planned on a macro level across the week to avoid overtraining and overuse. One day you’re working your arms and abs, the next it’s butt and legs, and the day after chest, back and so on. Traditional splits allow for gains without injury.
Every BODY is different. After your first class, you feel different—emotionally and spiritually. After a couple of weeks you will see results kick in. You have to keep pushing a little more speed and a little more weight each time to see the results. Also, when it comes to your diet, it’s just as important to consider when you eat as it is to consider what you eat. Our Fuel Bar, for example, has a full menu of shakes with protein and carbs to help you recover and help your muscles rebuild and repair.
It takes TIME to change your body especially when you are just starting your fitness journey. At Barry’s, you will see results but what is most important is to have fun.
I always enjoy learning about experts on a more personal level too: How they got to where they are today, words they live by, and more. See below for a few more questions I asked Kate and how fitness is a part of her everyday lifestyle.
Don’t get frustrated with yourself—ask questions and enjoy the process. I have my own blog, The Four Percent that helps explain why I prescribe workouts I execute because knowing why you are doing something as opposed to going through the motions helps you to continuously evaluate what you need to get to where you want to be.
Meeting the moment. When you are listening to a pump up song or signing up for class—you are looking for that push to better yourself. When the time comes, we back down because we are afraid we don’t think we can do it. That’s a shame. This weight (or) run is what you came here for. Don’t back down, meet it, take it head on and when you leave you’ll feel like you did what you came to do. It helps build confidence to help you achieve other things even outside the room.
I define fitness as a prioritizing moment. Fitness doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to be crazy or creative. You don’t even need to be crazy active. Just take care of your body. If you don’t take care of your body- your body won’t be conditioned to take care of you. You need quality of life and you have to take care of yourself to do it.
I was a competitive swimmer for nearly 15 years, and being active was ingrained into my lifestyle from a very early age. For those who struggle with motivation I would encourage a little tough love. All day every day we do things that we don’t necessarily want to do (think go to work, take out the trash, clean our house, etc) but we do it because we have to. Working out and taking care of your body is no different.
You need a well-rounded training routine. I recommend mix of HIIT, strength training and mobility/recovery. Barry’s, cycling, pilates, I love it all.
I have a raging sweet tooth. I love HALO top ice cream or nut butter based snacks. I must have dessert every night whether it’s fruit, or a protein pancake with almond butter to close out the night. I do it every night and I do it for myself.
I think there will continue to be a greater emphasis on community and connection. People as humans crave the touch points- a connection to the trainer, instructor, and just connecting socially with the trainers.
Posted on February 8, 2017
Brunch in Chicago is more than just your average pancake house. In Chicago, it’s an activity or a full blown experience. 3 Arts Club Cafe at Restoration Hardware is hands down one of the most classy, delicious, and all around beautiful brunch experiences in the city. You might know Restoration Hardware as an upscale furniture store but here, it is more.
Deeply embedded within the historical streets of Gold Coast, lies a once upon a time all women’s boarding house, with room after room, and a grand atrium in the middle. Now you can walk around this magical space with a glass of rose looking at different interior design decorations while you wait to be seated for brunch. (I recommend getting their early or the wait will be long!) They have a great menu with everything from a delicious scramble (pictured below) or an elevated grilled cheese and burger. So far, I have tried a number of items on the menu and have yet to be disappointed. The service is great and a special thank you to the RH staff for always ensuring a lovely time at 3 Arts Club Cafe.
If you are visiting Chicago, dining here is a must. It has quickly become one of the top things to do in Chicago and even when I live here, this charming experience never gets old. Looking for a cute date spot to get out of the house? Gentleman, you score major brownie points going here.
The Outfit Essentials
Questions on a few of my other favorite Chicago go-tos? Comment below and I’d love to share.
Posted on February 6, 2017
There is no shame in wearing red or pink for Valentine’s Day. I loved pairing this corset style strapless dress from Anthropologie with a black leather jacket and a pointed heel to give it a little edge. After you get ready for your date, what else does a girl need other than flowers? Bill has been sweet enough to surprise me with flowers for Valentine’s Day from my favorite flower company, Flowers for Dreams. Not only are they my favorite because of their artisan appeal, but Flowers For Dreams donates 25% of their proceeds to a local Chicago charity each month. I encourage you to send a lovely bouquet from their Valentine’s Day collection to someone special – mom, grammy, best friends, or your significant other. Flowers For Dreams cares about the greater good, and their customer service is a ten. A special thank you to Flowers For Dreams for making me feel so special!
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Let’s be twins and wear a bright color, despite it being a cold winter! A few of my favorite Valentine’s Day outfits are linked below.
XO and Happy Valentine’s Day.
Posted on January 25, 2017
I was never one where going to the gym was a part of my daily routine. In high school I got my cardio in from musical theatre but when college came around, I think I used the gym about 10 times in the four years I attended DePaul.
I don’t know what hit me but I decided to make a lifestyle change and that was to workout and get in shape. Looking back, I never thought I would be a runner.. but in the summer I live for running along the lakefront, blasting my favorite tunes, and getting a solid 4 mile run in.
Now I go to the gym 4-5 times a week, but it took me awhile to get to this point and I wanted to start off my first fitness post by giving some tips if you are looking to make exercise a daily part of your routine too.
If you are new to exercising and rather have structure, I would definitely recommend the Sweat with Kayla app (tried it and I loved it!) or the SworkIt app. Both have great visuals to show you how to do different workouts and they focus on cardio, strength, stretching, and more.
A few of my favorite workouts:
A few of my favorite stretches:
You know what they say? When the going gets tough, the TOUGH get going. I strongly believe everyone should take care of their body- your body deserves it! If you have any questions, please ask away. I love talking about fitness!