Here we are at the end of August already. Which means it’s time for another favorites post. I’ve combined July and August favorites. Let’s get started!
Mr. Coffee Coffee Maker in Red!
A girl needs her coffee! My old coffee pot was a little worn… the heat plate had started to crack and my husband told me it was time for a new one. He got me this in early July and I love it! #1, it’s red! It just brings a nice pop of color to the kitchen. Second, it allows me to set the strength of my coffee.. which I’ll tell you.. is always on strong. 😉 I like my coffee black and strong. No ruining it with milk, creamer, or sugar.. yuck! It has a nice set up feature, like most coffee pots nowadays. I am not awake enough in the morning to put water and coffee in the pot and then wait. I set it up the night before. It turns on and makes my coffee for me about 15 minutes before I get up. Is there anything better than a full pot of HOT coffee waiting for you when you wake up in the morning? I think not. Also, it turns off automatically after 2 hours.. beeping to alert me that it’s doing so. All I have to do is turn it back on. The only downside to this coffee maker, that I’ve found, is that if the pot is not just so, it makes a huge mess all over the counter. Looking at reviews, other people have also had this issue. I’ve found a fix: simply turn the pot so that the handle is to the right. I haven’t had any problems with leaking since.
Tone Blissful Awakening Caffeine and Vanilla Blossom Body Wash
I found this on sale at Wal-Mart and had to try it out! The yellow bottle and the word, ‘caffeine’ caught my attention. I love this and actually am almost out. It smells amazing.. like a vanilla, tropical vacation… and leaves your skin feeling fresh and soft. It’s a wonderful shower experience. I can’t attest to the energizing feeling… I like to take a shower before bed because my hair takes forever to dry.. but I loved it all the same! I was disappointed to see that the store was out when I went last week, so hopefully they’ll get more in because I need another bottle!
I love cereal. Not as much as Matt on Big Brother 19, but I could (and do) eat cereal for every meal of the day! I typically eat Raisin Bran (Yes, I’m old) but once in awhile, I like to switch it up. Fruity Pebbles are a gem from my childhood. This box was gone in a few days because we all love it at my house! Yabba Dabba Doo! hahaha! Fun Fact: I don’t like milk, so I eat my cereal dry. Way more delicious!
Chapstick Aloha Coconut
I am a chapstick girl at heart. I always have some tube or container of chapstick with me. Normally, I am not a fan of the Chapstick brand.. but Wal-Mart had 4 packs on sale for like $2… um, that’s a good deal! So, I picked out the package with 3 original tubes and this one. First, let me say, this is my new favorite! It smells like the beach – Coconut tropical vacation.. Calgon take me away! haha! It keeps my lips moisturized and hydrated.. what more could I ask for? I am hoping that they sell these individually because I would love to get more.
Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Conditioner
Most of you know I have really long hair. It’s thick, it’s heavy, and it demands a little bit of work to keep it looking nice. I need to use a deep conditioner or my strands get incredibly dry and stringy looking. I love this Suave conditioner because in one use, it hydrates my hair and leaves it soft and silky. Plus, it’s not expensive. I’m a huge believer in quality products at inexpensive prices. Sorry, I don’t want to spend $20+ on a tiny container of product that will only last me a week. No. Suave is amazing and doesn’t strip my color.
Plackers Flossers Sample Pack
*I received this sample pack free in an Influenster MegaVoxbox I won from a Twitter Party. All opinions are my own.*
This sample pack came with three flossers that were kid-sized. So, these went to my son. He loved them! They had a fruity flavor and were small enough for him to use on his own. He really enjoyed being able to floss his own teeth, so we will be getting more of these for him.
Sinful Shine Nail Polish – Rendezvous
*I received this nail polish free in an Influenster MegaVoxbox I won from a Twitter Party. All opinions are my own.*
This is not a color I would have chosen for myself, but I have to say, it’s become my favorite summer polish. It’s a gorgeous seafoam color and just perfect for summer! I only received step 1 in the voxbox, so the polish only lasts for about 4 or 5 days before it starts chipping… and that is without a top coat.. which is pretty great. I like to use two coats for a more pronounced color. It takes a little bit to dry and will smudge and crinkle up if you get impatient. But aside from that, I love it! I can see myself buying this after I use it all up.
Aussie Headstrong Volume Hairspray
*I received this bottle of hairspray in an Influenster MegaVoxbox I won from a Twitter Party. All opinions are my own.*
I’m a huge Aussie hair products fan. This hairspray has not disappointed. #1, it smells like grapes. Second, the volume it gives my hair is quite impressive. If I wanted to recreate the gorgeous big hair that Axl Rose flaunts in the Welcome to the Jungle music video, I could… I love this stuff so much!
Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer
*I received this bottle in an Influenster MegaVoxbox I won from a Twitter Party. All opinions are my own.*
This is such a great product! I’ve been using it since I received it and I love it! It actually is a time-saver. I just put it on after my shower, pat dry, get dressed.. boom done! It hydrates my skin and leaves it feeling soft and moisturized. Plus it smells like coconut. I love it! I saw an ad in one of my magazines for Jergens tinted wet skin moisturizer.. so it will basically give me a tan and golden glow.. I’m going to try that one next!
Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation #742
*I received this complimentary from Influenster in the Oasis Voxbox for testing purposes. All opinions are my own.*
Oh how I love this foundation! I’ve been wearing it every day that I put on make-up. It glides on your skin, blends easily, and gives you a flawless look. I have found that it gives great coverage from one application, but you can layer more to give you a little more coverage if needed. I wear it under my bare minerals. It makes me feel like a more elegant, beautiful version of myself. I don’t feel like a different person wearing this. It also has a pleasant citrus scent. I will be buying more of this. I really love it!
And that’s it! What were some of your favorite things the past two months? Leave a comment and let me know!
A post shared by Alyssa (@crimsnmacchiato) on Aug 19, 2017 at 7:18am PDT
The good thing about being sick was that I felt very thin… until I plumped up when I was able to eat again. haha!
So as you can imagine, I was dreading measurements. But I took them anyway.. and I was pleasantly surprised. I gained .5 inches around my waist, but lost .5 inches around each leg. I stayed the same everywhere else. Not too bad. 🙂
This past week, I’ve incorporated my Tracy Anderson workouts, and switched up the Tone It Up workouts with Tracy Campoli when necessary. I did the live Barre workout, which was intense and awesome. I also attended the live workout yesterday. So, I’m feeling pretty good.
30 will be here in about two weeks. I’m more than ready. We have some fun things planned, which is exciting. Normally, my birthday is pretty low key. It’s still going to be, but with a few trips mixed in.
Overall, I’d say a successful-ish week. I didn’t gain too much, slowed down despite not wanting to, and my jeans are fitting a little better.
In the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, the word “relax” can often seem foreign. I was joking with my husband last night and told him, “I don’t know what the word relax even means.”
Which, in part, is true. I tend to go go go.. until my body forces me to slow down… kinda like two weeks ago when I got sick. I’ve learned my lesson.. for a short bit at least 😉 haha. No, I’ve been taking it easy and taking time to truly relax.
So today, I thought I would share my 4 favorite ways to unwind. Let’s get started.
This is a game changer! The National Sleep Foundation recommends a 20-30 minute nap to help improve alertness and enhance performance in your daily tasks. A nap can also be like a mini-vacation; it’s an easy and quick way to promote relaxation and rejuvenation. Every time I take a nap, I wake up a little groggy, but after 5 minutes of being up, I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of my to-do list. Sometimes when I’m cranky, a nap is the only thing that improves my mood. To get optimal health benefits out of napping, sleep.org recommends sticking to a napping schedule, preferably after lunch, between the hours of 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm.
2. Beach Day!
You know me. I’m all about the sun, sand, and water. While we didn’t get to swim in the Lake this summer, we did get up the shoreline quite a few times this year. I’ve always lived near water and the Lake has always been a place of calm for me. When I was growing up, we’d visit the Marblehead Lighthouse a few times a year, and I loved sitting on the large rocks, just staring out into the horizon. As an adult, Lake Erie is still a source of calm and meditation for me. Any body of water is good for this.. you don’t need a Great Lake. Maybe you have the ocean near you. (Lucky, one day that will be me. 😉 ) But a river, a reservoir, a creek… any place where you can walk or sit and just enjoy the stillness. It helps put life in perspective and gives a sense of peace. …And if you don’t have a body of water close or it’s not feasible to get there, watch my YouTube videos of the Lake, or put on a playlist of beach waves.
You knew it was coming. Is it ever a true self-help/inspirational article without me mentioning yoga? haha! Let me say, yoga really is amazing and has so many health benefits – improves cardiovascular health; increases flexibility; improves respiration, energy, and vitality; helps maintain a balanced metabolism; helps protect from injury; improves mental clarity; allows Alyssa to talk in third person and express her love of semi-colons.. haha! Seriously, though, yoga is magic and it’s for everyone and anyone! You do not need to do a crazy handstand outside on a tree, like I did above. Simple stretching on a mat or carpeted surface, set to your favorite music playlist can have wonderful benefits. If you are brand new and don’t know where to start, hop on YouTube and check out Yoga with Adriene or Bad Yogi. Check out my previous post: 13 Life Lessons from the Yoga Mat for more yoga love and follow me on Instagram for Yogaspiration.
4. Get outside
“Thanks, Alyssa for reminding us that winter is coming.”
“You’re welcome, friends!”
Sometimes you need to set aside your to-do list, and go outside. If you have kids or grandkids, this is even better. Play kickball, jump in some leaves, build a snowman.. whatever season, there is something fun you can do. But no worries if you don’t have little humans around, grab a friend and go for a walk, stand outside and chit chat with your neighbor, take your coffee outside and watch the birds.. whatever you fancy. Within the first few minutes, you’ll feel the stress melt away and start to relax. You’re never too old to get outside and play!
Those are my 4 favorite activities for relaxing and de-stressing. What are some of your go-tos? Share them in the comments!
Have you ever had so much ambition that you pack your to-do list full of important tasks, you get your mind set on accomplishing all these things, and you are filled with excitement and a slight sense of pride.. thinking to yourself, “Yes. I am going to get so much done, and be ahead of the game. Completely prepared.” Almost feeling successful and accomplished. Like a real adult. ..?
And then.. you wake up feeling like you got hit by a train.
Oh the irony.
This was my week. But the worst part? Thinking I was better, thinking I was easing back in to everyday life… and then feeling sick again.
WTF? Are you serious?
And doesn’t this always seem to happen at the worst time? When you truly can’t afford to be sick?
I think we all can agree that being sick is the worst. And then having to “take it easy” days afterward is extremely frustrating.
I’m at the stage now where I am not sick, but I still have to take it easy, because if I don’t, I will get sick again. So, I thought I would share some tips that have been helping me in this stage of the game. They are simple and easy ways to deal with the frustration, and hopefully help get you back to 100% in no time.
1. Stay Hydrated.
Obviously. Drink water. Add some ice. Spruce it up with lemon, lime, watermelon, strawberries, whatever you like. Just be sure that you are drinking enough. I go through spurts where I love water and then where I just want anything but. I’ve been drinking a lot of ice water this week, so hopefully that flushes out all the toxins. #HydratedAF! haha! Just be careful.. As always be sure to consult your doctor about questions and concerns.
2. Yoga and/or Stretching
If you are able to move about and sitting on the couch is driving you crazy.. move a little. Roll out a yoga mat, put a blanket or towel on the floor, or just use your carpet and go through a yoga flow. If you want some guidance, I recommend Yoga with Adriene or Bad Yogi. Both are great and have a variety of YouTube videos to choose from. If Yoga isn’t your thing, just do a little organic stretching. Your body and your mind will thank you.
3. Take Breaks
This is the biggest one for me and I had to learn it the hard way. But, I can still get things done if I designate an amount of time for a task, and then rest for a bit, alternating this sequence all day. It’s been working, and as hard as it is for me to truly relax, it is actually nice to schedule the time to sit and wind down. It’s a win-win. I’m getting tasks accomplished, while still listening to my body and avoiding getting sick again. (Hopefully)
4. Netflix and Chill
So what do you do during that rest time? Binge a few episodes of your favorite TV Series or watch a new movie (We just watched Pete’s Dragon). I love Netflix because of the variety. It’s come a long way in the past few years. Or, you could catch up on your DVR list.
If TV doesn’t sound good, grab the magazines that have been sitting on your table since you got them in the mail, curl up on the couch or in a chair, and relax. Or lose yourself in your favorite book. You can’t go wrong with reading.
6. Hot Tea or Coffee
Why not enjoy a hot beverage while you read or watch TV? I love Yogi Tea – Echinacea is great for when you’re sick. Kava if you’re stressed. (And seriously, this whole ordeal is stressful so a cup of Kava sounds amazing!) Or have some coffee. You can’t go wrong with coffee. 😉
7. Spa Time
Last, but certainly not least, have a spa hour or two. Enjoy a luxurious shower, a bubble bath, Epsom salt soak… whatever you fancy. Cut some cucumbers for your eyes, use a conditioning mask for your hair, try a face mask, paint your nails.. Go crazy. Chances are taking a little time to pamper yourself will help you feel better. 🙂
So that has been my week. What do you do to stay sane when you’re sick or when you’re trying to get better? Leave a comment and let me know your tips! 🙂
It’s no secret that summer is my favorite season. Sunshine, warm temps, trips to the Lake.. carefree days enjoying life. What could be better?
I was thrilled to receive the Oasis Voxbox from Influenster. Packed with goodies perfect for summertime, I couldn’t wait to test them all out!
In case you’ve never heard of it, Influenster is a website where you can discover new products, write honest reviews, create personalized lists of your favorite products or create wishlists, earn badges, participate in campaigns, and test out products for free! Anyone can join!
I’ve been using these products for the past month, and I have to say, this was an awesome voxbox!
*Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions are my own*
Vera Wang Embrace Fragrances
These fragrances were delightful. Light, refreshing, romantic, and sophisticated, they were perfect for summertime. The Green Tea ad Pear Blossom was my favorite of the two samples. A few spritzes on the wrist, the back of the neck, and behind each knee was enough to last all day. I loved them for a day out with my family and I think they would be perfect for date night, too.
Overall: 5 stars out of 5.
Eva NYC Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer
My long, red hair is my signature and I’m pretty picky about the products I use. I want products that are inexpensive, quality, and that actually do what they claim to do. You ladies (and gents) with long hair know how easy it is for your hair to get tangled up and how painful it is to comb, pic, or brush it out. I absolutely loathe washing my hair because it gets so tangled, no matter how much conditioner I use. In addition to that, the humidity of summer and the sun can make my hair frizzy and dry. Not a cute look.
I have had success with this brand before and I was happy to test this product out. First of all, it smells amazing… and the scent lasts in your hair throughout the day. Second, a few spritzes all over after washing my hair, allowed me to comb it out with no hassles. Seriously, no tangles, no fuss, no drama. It helped me achieve beautiful hair. I don’t typically use a blow dryer, I let my hair air dry.. it still took a long time for my hair to dry, but it did help prevent frizziness, and my hair was shiny and soft. I love this and definitely recommend it to everyone who has long hair!!
Overall: 5 stars out of 5.
Welch’s Fruit Rolls
I love snacking and it’s a bit of a miracle that these three fruit rolls sat on the counter for a few days before we devoured them. All three of these were delicious and fruity. They each had that real fruit flavor and they have 100% of the recommended value of Vitamin C. Win-Win. Strawberry was our favorite flavor, hands down. They are the perfect size to stash in your purse or desk… healthy snacking on the go, made easy! We’ll be buying these on our next trip to the grocery store.
Overall: 5 stars out of 5.
Aloha Protein Bar in Mocha
Love at first sight. Or should I say love at first bite? haha! When I opened the box and saw that I received the Mocha flavor, it was apparent that Influenster knew my soul. I am a coffee and chocolate lover, so what could be better than mocha? When you open the wrapper, it looks just like a candy bar and smells like chocolate!! I shared this with my son and we both loved it! It was tasty and filling! …and my son is a picky eater, so for him to say he liked it, means something. These protein bars are perfect for a quick lunch on the go, an in-between meals snack, or before or after an intense workout! I will definitely be looking for these at the store!
Overall: 5 stars out of 5.
Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation
And then there was make-up. I cannot say enough good things about this foundation. First of all, it goes on light, but gives you full coverage. So, you look flawless, feel beautiful and confident, while also still feeling like yourself. This foundation gave my skin a radiant glow, lasted all day, even through my workout. I have sensitive skin, but this wasn’t harsh and it didn’t make me breakout. It also has a slight citrusy scent that is refreshing. This foundation is perfect for summer! I’ve been wearing it everyday and I’ve found myself putting it on, even when I’m just lounging around the house. I love it!
Overall: 5 stars out of 5.
I redeemed my coupon at Kroger and chose the Green Devotion juice to try. (It was the only one they had.) Evolution Fresh makes it easy to be healthy on the go. This tasted very earthy. As I was looking through other Influensters’ photos and reviews, I realized that Evolution Fresh has many options to choose from, including fruity flavors. This one wasn’t for me, but I am interested in trying some of the other flavors.
Overall: 3 stars out of 5.
That is everything that was in the Oasis Voxbox. I loved testing out all of these products! Have you tried any of these? Did you receive this Voxbox? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.
It’s Monday already! Yesterday marks one month until my birthday… one more month of the 20’s decade.
Today is also the start of week 5 of the Summer Tone Up Fitness challenge. That means it’s time for a check – in… and measurements.
I will admit, I was nervous taking these measurements. There’s something frightening about having to face the reality of the tape measure. Last night I felt thin and confident… but after a few hours of sleep and 2 cups of coffee, I wasn’t feeling like I was going to enjoy what the tape measure had to say.
Before I reveal the results, let’s discuss how the week went.
A post shared by Alyssa (@crimsnmacchiato) on Aug 6, 2017 at 10:31am PDT
I started this week by honoring my body. I rolled out the mat, put on my Spotify playlist, and just moved. It was absolutely perfect and exactly what I needed.
Because I found myself getting tired of doing the same workouts every week for this challenge, I found myself gravitating toward Tracy Campoli videos. I love her workouts and it was nice to switch it up. Sometimes that’s exactly what you need to refresh your mind and body.
In addition to that, I’ve been doing a separate booty challenge that my friend, Kaddie is hosting. That is killer, but is definitely helping accelerate my results.
I attended both Live workouts this week and they were so good! I love working out with Karena and Katrina in real time. It’s so fun!
I worked out every single day, and I’m getting stronger and more flexible… which is apparent in my yoga challenges.
I have to say, if you are struggling with accountability and motivation, sign up for Instagram and join a yoga challenge. Even on the days when you don’t want to do anything, you’ll find that you push yourself to get it done because you have to post your picture to participate in the challenge. And, it helps you ease out of your comfort zone. Just look at that featured image of me in a handstand. I have this irrational fear of being upside down… I don’t know why, I don’t know where it comes from.. but it’s ridiculous. Anyway, in doing these yoga challenges, I’ve been, in a way, forced out of my comfort zone. I say “in a way” because I am choosing to participate in the yoga challenges. Had I not faced this fear and kept only doing the “safe” poses, I never would have experienced the joy of this posture. Now, I am far from being able to flip myself up and I am not quite at balancing on my own.. I need the assistance of the tree or a wall.. but I’m getting stronger and more confident. If you follow me on Insta, you saw that I was able to get myself into the EPK posture.. what? Amazing! While Yoga isn’t about “doing” the pose, it still feels pretty awesome when find that you are able to do more than before, as with anything in life. 🙂
Anyway, below shows you how I felt on Friday night…
A post shared by Alyssa (@crimsnmacchiato) on Aug 11, 2017 at 5:05pm PDT
And now for the results…
I was surprised and it is definitely a testament to “trust the process.”
I lost .75 inches around my stomach; .50 inches around my waist; .75 inches off my hips; .50 inches off each arm; I gained .50 inches on one leg, but lost .50 inches on the other – which is fine because now they are the same. Basically about 3 inches overall. Not too shabby. Since I tossed my scale a few years ago, and I’m not planning on going to the doctor anytime soon, I don’t know if I’ve lost actual pounds, but I’m not too concerned about that.
So I’m pretty happy with this and motivated to kick it up a few notches the next few weeks. I’m planning on making time for my Tracy Anderson workouts again and keeping up with the rest of the challenge. 🙂
Can you believe we are about halfway through August already? It’s truly amazing how quickly time seems to pass as you get older.
Many kids are heading back to school this week and I thought it would be the perfect time to share more of my favorite inspirational quotes this week on the topic of education.
Learning is truly a lifelong journey and although it sounds cliche, the older I get the more I realize how little I actually know.
Isn’t it funny how we can hear our parents’ and grandparents’ voices in the back of our minds every now and then during different times in our lives?
I will say that it is infinitely harder for me to focus and learn something new now that I’m older. When I was younger, learning came so easy. Now I have to actually work for it.
But one thing remains the same, my love for the library. It is still one of my favorite places to be; I could spend all day just browsing the shelves and picking out interesting titles, perusing a few books here and there. That’s my idea of an amazing day!
Anyway, without further ado…
Let’s jump right in.
“Being educated is the difference between wishing you could do some good and being able to do some good.”
-Russell M Nelson
“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
“Education is not preparation for life; Education is life itself.”
“The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life.”
“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.”
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
“Education isn’t something you can finish.”
“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”