Thursday, December 31, 2015

January Journal Prompts + Printable



Hello!

January's journal prompts are here just in time for you to get started with them in 2016.

Journaling is a great habit to develop because it allows you to slow down and think. Taking the time to write each day can also help you to reduce your stress levels. Of course, I personally journal because I find it enjoyable, not because I'm looking for any other benefits in it. But, it's nice to know that there are other good reasons for journaling as well.

Writing in your journal does not have to be an obligation that takes all of the fun out of the process. If you want to start journaling, take a look at some of our journal writing resources.

As always, a printable version of the prompts is available at the end of the post.

January Journal Prompts

1. What are you most looking forward to?
2. Three goals for this month
3. Describe your day in ten words
4. Something that you're looking forward to
5. A time you don't want to forget
6. A trip you want to take this year
7. Your top three priorities
8. A list of the places you have visited
9. Do your actions match your words?
10. One thing you learned about yourself last year
11. A change you have overcome
12. A need you can meet
13. A place you have been recently
14. Someone who made you proud
15. A good idea
16. What are your personal gifts?
17. A quote that inspires you
18. A mistake that help you to grow
19. When you feel most rested
20. Words you want to share with others
21. Music that makes you feel adventurous
22. Three words that describe your style
23. The last fiction book you read
24. A project you've been putting off
25. The thing that frightens you
26. A person you would like to meet
27. A change to make
28. Thoughts about today's events
29. One thing you will always do
30. Something new to try
31. Your favorite part of the past month

 Get your printable PDF version of January's journal prompts here.






Have a good start to the new year!

Make sure that you get updates about future prompts by following along with Life of Lovely on bloglovin, pinterest, or twitter.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Fit Tips: Learn Proper Form


In occupational therapy school, we learn the importance of good body mechanics when doing manual parts of our jobs like lifting patients. Good body mechanics is important when working out too! Not using body mechanics properly can lead to an injury that causes lifelong aches and pains. It's important to learn how to do workout moves properly (especially if you're strength training) to not only prevent painful injuries but also to get the most out of your workouts. Here are a few ways to make sure you're doing your moves correctly.

1. Take advantage of your gym's personal trainer
Most gyms have a personal trainer that can help you check to make sure you're doing moves correctly. It may seem expensive to shell out money for a personal trainer, but you only have one body. It's worth paying for a few training sessions to prevent injuries. If you do some inquiring, you may even find out that you get a few free sessions included in your gym membership.

2. Do some online research
You can find great how-to videos on youtube for proper form. Holly Perkins, the author of Lift to Get Lean, has a really helpful website and youtube channel for proper strength training form. Her book goes even more in-depth, but I like having the visual of a video. You can also explore websites like Women's Health Magazine, Fitness, or Shape to learn things like how to use good form while running, how to avoid injuries doing any workout, and how to get the most out of your spin class.

3. Ask a friend
We all have friends that are avid runners, weightlifters, or spinners. Chances are since they love working out, they will jump at the chance to talk endlessly about it or teach you how to do what they do. Just ask them your questions about running form or how to squat without killing your joints. Even better, get them to come to the gym with you and show you.

Hopefully, these tips will get you on your way to injury free workouts! What are your tips for learning good form?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Fit Tips:Set Goals


One of the things that I'm learning through making strength training a part of my lifestyle is the importance of setting goals. It's very motivating to know where I want to be in a month, three months, or six months. Plus, setting and reaching my fitness goals is a discipline I can use in every other area of my life. Here are some tips for setting and reaching realistic fitness goals.

1. Set your goals for fitness and not weight loss
There's nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight when you're working hard at the gym! It can be really discouraging though when you've put in work for a month and your weight hasn't budged. Just because you haven't lost weight though doesn't mean that your body isn't changing and isn't better off for working out. So instead of focusing on your weight, focus on what your body can do and what you can do better this month than what you did last month. For example, right now I'm doing thirty minutes of cardio on my own a few times a week, but I think I could push myself more. So my goal for this month is to up my cardio so that next month I can start going to morning spin classes without being wiped out for the whole rest of the day.

2. Make a plan
Once you know what you want to accomplish, set realistic mini goals that will help you get there. Plan things like when you'll workout, how many times you need to workout a week, or what tweaks to make to your workout to meet your goal. Whatever your mini goals are, write them down and check them off as you accomplish them. This will help you visually see your progress toward your goals.

3. Be kind to yourself
Life happens. There's more to life than working out, so if something comes up and you miss a workout then don't beat yourself. Just be sure that the next day you get back at it. Remember, you're not working out because who you are when you don't workout isn't enough. You're working out because you love yourself and your body and want to feel good everyday and live a long, healthy life.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Fit Tips: Keep Your Shoes Fresh



Workout shoes go through a lot, and can get a little smelly even if you wear socks. Here are some ways to keep your gym shoes smelling fresh.

1. Alternate your shoes.Don't wear the same shoes everyday so they have a chance to dry out.

 2. Spray Odor-Eaters on your feet before a workout to prevent the bacteria that makes your shoes stinky.

3. Sprinkle a little bit of Odor-Eaters powder or any powder with baking soda in your shoes after workouts to soak up any  post workout sweat and odor.

Hopefully these tricks will help keep you from having to throw out your favorite workout shoes too soon! What are your tricks for keeping your workout shoes fresh?

Friday, December 4, 2015

Fit Tips: Winter Polish Picks for Yoga


I'm not very good at it, but yoga is one of my favorite ways to treat myself. It feels so good to get every tense muscle stretched out, focus in on my breathing, and release any tension and anxiety I have from a hectic day.

But, it seems like during yoga between forward folds and downward dogs I do a lot of looking at my toes. If my toe nails look distressed, I spend the whole time thinking about how I need to paint my toes as soon as I get home. It ruins the whole calming, focused yoga experience. To combat that, I pick some polishes that will make me happy when I look at them, and I try to keep my toenails painted. Here are my favorite winter picks for yoga toes.


1. Aubrey by Julep
Right now I am obsessed with this shimmery, dusty, eggplant color. Julep describes it as a "rosewood shimmer." It's a very versatile, wearable purple color. It reminds me of sugar plum fairies but is still grown up and fabulous.





2. I Red a Good Book by Wet n' Wild
How cute is the name? This one is Elizabeth's personal favorite. It's a beautiful classic red color that's perfect for the holiday season. The picture looks like a deep red, but it's actually a bright cherry, cheery red.






3. Worth a Pretty Penne by OPI
I am so excited about the OPI Venice collection! The colors remind me of elegant Angelina Jolie's nails in the movie the Tourist. I want to buy the whole collection and pretend I'm as glamorous as Angelina. My favorite is the shimmery, gold Worth a Pretty Penne color. You have to check out the beautygeeks blog and look at their gorgeous swatches of the whole collection.




4. Greyfitti by Sally Hansen
This cool gray polish reminds me of my favorite cozy sweater. Nothing is better in the winter time than wearing your favorite sweater, so I think I'd get the same calm feeling looking at this color during yoga. This is a perfect, chill winter polish color.




5. Cheers by Butter London
Nothing says happiness like a soft, cheery yellow.

Monday, November 30, 2015

December Journal Prompts + Printable



Hello everyone!

The December journal prompts are ready for you to begin writing tomorrow. It's been a busy past several months with moving and starting a new job, but I did manage to get this one up on time.

I cannot believe that it's December already.

If you're thinking about beginning a journal as one of your New Year's resolutions (If you already thinking that far ahead, good. I'm definitely not there yet.), then I'd encourage you to check out our other journal writing resources.

As always, a printable version of the prompts is available at the end of the post.

December Journal Prompts

1. Your favorite part of your day
2. What needs to happen this month?
3. How are you working towards your goals?
4. Three good things
5. Something you know a lot about
6. An important person in your life
7. Your favorite recipe
8. An event that turned out differently than planned
9. The best way to spend a cold evening
10. One thing that you could not give up
11. A goal you reached
12. Something to celebrate
13. How you procrastinate
14. What did you think you'd be when you grew up?
15. The best type of surprise
16. Your favorite household chore
17. The best gift you could receive
18. Music that helps you to relax
19. One thing you'd like to see
20. Favorite winter traditions
21. Advice you'd give to someone else your age
22. Something all people should know
23. What you'd really like to do tomorrow
24. Your top priority
25. A thing your life has in excess
26. How has your life changed since last year?
27. A book you want to read
28. The person you're always happy to see
29.One thing to do
30. The time of day you prefer
31. A word to describe the past year

 Get your printable PDF version of December's journal prompts here.





Have a happy season leading up to Christmas!

Make sure that you get next month's prompts by following along with Life of Lovely on bloglovin, pinterest, or twitter.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fit Tips: Drink More Water



We all know we need to drink more water. One way to make sure you're getting your eight cups of water each day is buy yourself two 32 ounce water bottles and fill them up with lots of ice water each morning. Once you finish one off, start with the next. By having the two bottles already filled, you can visually see how close you're getting to reaching your goal. I've also noticed that I drink more water when I use a cup with a straw, so I recommend either stocking up on straws or buying a water bottle with a built in straw. If you don't like straight water try adding fruit or Crystal Light packets for some flavor. What are your tricks for drinking more water?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Review of Women's Health Lift to Get Lean Book


Women's Health Lift to Get Lean: A Beginner's Guide to Fitness and Strength Training in 3 Simple Steps by Holly Perkins is the perfect book if you've been wanting to try strength training but don't know where to start. Holly, a certified strength and conditioning specialist starts the book by explaining all the benefits of incorporating strength training into your workout. If you're skeptical about building muscle, this part of the book will have you convinced that strength training is answer to getting the toned, feminine body that you want.

 I was already convinced strength training was the way to go (just look at Miss Mississippi who swears by strength training). What I needed was parts two, three, and four where Holly explains everything you need to know to get started. Part two has wonderful explanations of her simple three step system for building muscle and how to properly do each exercise. She even gives advice about how to navigate the weight training section of the gym without letting guys make you feel intimidated! To take the confusion out of knowing which exercises to do, part four goes over four plans that will take you from beginner, intermediate, and major transformation stages of strength training. Part four explains everything else you need to know to get started like tips for your first workout and food suggestions to fuel your workouts.

I bought the book a month ago, and I wanted to try it out for myself before I suggested it to other people. I've been working out consistently for a month now, and I'd definitely recommend it!

I'm usually skeptical of people promising major body transformations, but the book lined up with what I've learned from my undergraduate studies in Nutrition and Dietetics and my current graduate studies in Occupational Therapy learning about the anatomy and kinesiology of the body.

I love how Holly Perkins geared the strength training to work for the females instead of taking a male approach. I also loved how she covers everything in a way that's simple, so even though it was awkward the first few workouts to workout with the guys, I felt confident that I was performing the exercises correctly. The only con is that you do need a gym membership to do the workouts. I've found though since I'm paying for a membership that I've stuck with the workouts, and I've really started to enjoy pushing myself and using the weight equipment. This is a great book for all women who are looking for a way to get fit that's sustainable and that will change the way their bodies look!


Monday, November 2, 2015

November Journal Prompts + Printable


 Thanks for being patient during the extra wait for November's journal prompts. Hopefully I'll eventually get this whole teaching thing figured out, and I'll be able to not only blog consistently BUT ALSO teach 87 6th-graders every day.

Maybe.

But for now, I'll just be content to share November's journal prompts with you and attempt to get enough sleep to work tomorrow.

Here are November's journal prompts.

1. Your goals for this month
2. What don't you share?
3. A reason to celebrate
4. Describe where you are not
5. A dream that seems impossible
6. Something you hope for
7. What good are you doing?
8. The people who make your life better
9. A tradition that makes you feel at home
10. Your top five favorite movies
11. Someone you'd like to meet
12. Is your life what you imagined?
13. The best kind of laughter is...
14. A silly thing you'd really like
15. Where you want to be
16. Something that truly doesn't matter
17. What you do when you are lost
18. A book from your childhood
19. What are you thankful for?
20. An evening ritual
21. A small change you'd like to make
22. A big change you'd like to make
23. Something you're still not sure about
24. The best dessert to share with friends
25. One thing you can't stop talking about
26. How do you spend a rainy day?
27. Your favorite things about yourself
28. Three things you do well
29. A story that captures your imagination
30. Memories beside a fireplace



Get your printable PDF version of November's journal prompts here.




Enjoy your November! I should have a DIY and a book review to share with you soon! Although if things get busy, it may be time for December's journal prompts already before I get them posted. 

Make sure that you get next month's prompts by following along with Life of Lovely on bloglovin, pinterest, or twitter.

If you enjoy these journal prompts, help us out by sharing them on your favorite social media site (even if it isn't one of the ones mentioned above).

Thanks!


Monday, August 31, 2015

September Journal Prompts + Printable

 After taking August off from blogging, it's nice to be back with you in September. August was a crazily busy month for me. Things are still busy, but I am finally beginning to settle into a routine.

Thanks for waiting an extra month for these.

Here are September's journal prompts.

1.The best parts of fall
2. Where you want to be
3. What does content look like?
4. Something you want to try
5. This week's successes
6. Your first memory of one friend
7. Advice to ignore
8. What encourages you?
9. How do you encourage others?
10. Something to share
11. A celebration
12. A time you made a good choice
13. A favorite meal
14. An important truth
15. The thing that gives you hope
16. The last library you visited
17. A minor roadblock in your life
18. One thing to do today
19. What are you waiting for?
20. What really matters
21. A way to relax
22. One thing not to worry about
23. Three good thoughts
24. The best part of a rainy day
25. A simple pleasure
26. What have you learned today?
27. The best restaurant in your town
28. One thing you wish you could do
29. Your best quality
30. One thing you say you think, but really don't

Get your printable PDF version of September's journal prompts here.




Usually I like to journal at night before I go to bed, but with school started now, I need a way to unwind right after I get home. Lately, I've been either reading or on the internet. Both of which are difficult to stop doing once I get started, so I'm thinking about switching my journaling time to the afternoon.

Do you have a certain time of day that you prefer to journal?

Make sure that you get next month's prompts by following along with Life of Lovely on bloglovin, pinterest, or twitter.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Journal Prompts + Printable

 
July has just begun, but summer is already in full swing for us. We hope that your summer is allowing you a little more free time and some lazy afternoons to enjoy the sun.

Here's July's journal prompts.

1. What is most important to you?
2. Your best trait
3. A movie that makes you happy
4. Something that excites you
5. Something that worries you
6. Actions that you admire
7. A time of transition
8. How did you feel today?
9. What do you spend your time thinking about?
10. What year has been your best so far?
11. Who do you trust?
12. A song from your childhood
13. What you wore today
14. How are you creative?
15. The best part of summer
16. A letter to someone else
17. I always...
18. A list of things you like
19. A question that needs to be asked
20. What do you need?
21. Your summer playlist
22. What inspires you?
23. What do you want less of?
24. What is holding you back?
25. A tiny step towards your dreams
26. Three things you want to change in your life
27. How have you grown in the past month?
28. What are you offering the world?
29. How do you spend time resting?
30. The best idea you've had this week
31. The book you're currently reading

Get your printable PDF version of the July journal prompts here.


Make sure that you get next month's prompts by following along with Life of Lovely on bloglovin, pinterest, or twitter.

Are you still journaling over the summer? Or have you stopped to take a break? Let us know in the comments.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Simple Summer Makeup

Simple Summer Makeup


During the summer, it's nice to go easy on the make up and simply play up your natural beauty. Here are my picks to get you glowing in four easy steps.

1. A Light Sunscreen
If you want to look young forever, you either have to have amazing genes or wear sunscreen on your face and neck every day. My favorite pick is Neutrogena's Clear Face Sunscreen. It goes on matte, so it won't make your face oily or cause breakouts. For youthful lips, don't forget to apply a lip balm with sunscreen in it too like Kiss My Face's Sport Lip Balm. It has all natural ingredients, so you can feel good about putting it on your lips.

2. Powder Foundation
I would love to be one of those girls that has beautiful skin without foundation, especially during sticky summertime weather. My skin needs a little extra help though. Powder foundations are a great option during the summer to hide imperfections without putting on a lot of product. Just a few swipes with a brush and you're done. Plus, they're great for shine control during the summer months. My favorite is Bare Minerals Matte Foundation. With Bare Minerals, you can really control the amount of coverage you want, especially if you have the brushes from their starter kit. The big one is great for light coverage all over. Then, you can go back and hide dark circles, blemishes, and veins using the dense, small brush.

Sometimes you just don't have twenty five dollars to shell out on foundation. When, I'm low on funds, I turn to L'Oreal's True Match Powder. It's not a mineral foundation, but it gives the same buildable coverage as Bare Minerals. Plus, since their shades are grouped into Cool, Neutral, and Warm, you can find your exact shade easily.

3. Sweat-Proof Mascara
Eye shadow usually just sweats off during the summer, but you can still bring out your natural beauty with a little mascara. If you're like me, you want a mascara that will stay on while you want it on but will come off when it's time to take off your makeup. L'Oreal Paris' Million Lashes gives me thick, dark lashes that can stay put in the Mississippi summer humidity. When I'm ready to take off my makeup, I just wash my face with gentle soap and water. Then, when I'm drying my face, I gently run the washcloth over my eyes, and the mascara comes off. Million Lashes is a great pick for those of us who are anti-waterproof mascara.

4. Pop of Lip Color
To finish off your summer face, add a pop of color to your lips. You can either go natural and choose a color that intensifies your natural lip color or you can be more daring and choose a color that makes your lips the focus of your face. My favorite lip color for summer is Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Rose. It takes gives my lips a healthy, rosy glow. If you're more adventurious try a matte fuchsia or sangria color, like Burt's Bees Lip Crayons in Hawaiian Smolder or Napa Vineyard.

Monday, June 8, 2015

How to Style Curly Hair Fast Updated

How To Style Curly Hair Fast


Curly hair is so beautiful and fun when you have the time to fix it, but when you don't, it can be a mess! Since the first "How to Style Curly Hair Fast" post I've learned a few more tricks and have found some even better products. I know it seems like a lot of steps, but it's really not. I just wanted to break the steps down, so that if you're new at embracing your curls and wearing your hair curly you'll have some direction. Hopefully, this post will help you embrace your curls instead of just throwing your hair into a bun or ponytail!

Part 1: In the Shower

For this step you'll need a wide tooth comb, cleansing conditioner, a clip, and conditioner.

1. Use your comb to part your hair how you want it.

2. Get in the shower and wet your hair.

3. Tilt your hair to one side and gently work cleansing conditioner into your scalp taking care to not mess up your part.

My favorite cleansing conditioner is Pantene's Color Preserve Cleansing Conditioner. Even though the name sounds like it'd be for color treated hair only, it's also for coarse curly hair because it's so gentle. I also really like Head and Shoulder's Coconut Co-wash for when I need dandruff control. It's not tingly like Pantene's, but it smells wonderful! Really, any cleansing conditioner should do. If you have curly hair and haven't tried cleansing conditioner, you should! It'll clean your hair like shampoo but without stripping your hair and making it frizz. 

4. If you're short on time, simply work the cleansing conditioner down to the tips of your hair.

If you have a little more time, grab your favorite conditioner and work it to cover the rest of your hair. I like Pantene's Curly Hair Conditioner and Dove's Curly Hair Conditioner.

5. Make a bun and secure it with your clip. Now, go about your regular shower routine while you let the conditioner work.

6. Let your hair out of the clip and rinse out your hair without messing up your part.

7. Brush out your hair with either a wide tooth comb or your fingers. You can do this either with your head under the shower or out of the spray of the water. I can't really tell a difference in results.

 If you find that your hair is really tangled, then try brushing it out before you rinse out the conditioner. Now, you're ready for part 2.

Part 2: Out of the Shower

For this step you'll need a Turbie Twist or large t-shirt, a setting product, a curling spray, and a diffuser.

8. Once you're out of the shower, put your hair in a Turbie Twist or a large towel. If you have thick hair, you may need to put it in another towel to get more water out of it. So usually I put it in my Turbie Twist, then I get dressed.

9. Smooth in curl or hold cream.

I love Argan Magic's Curling Cream (which I can't find on Amazon). I get it at T.J. Maxx for about ten dollars. It does a good job of keeping my hair from frizzing without being crunchy. Dove's Curling Creme Serum looks like a similar product.

For more hold, I love Got 2B Kinkier Curling Mousse. This mousse should work on just about anyone's curly hair, and the price is great. It has hold without being greasy or too crunchy. Just don't use too much or it will get crunchy. Depending on your hair, you can either just smooth a pump or dollop of your product over and under each side of your hair or you can scrunch it in. Scrunching too much makes my hair too frizzy, so I try to avoid that.

10. Spritz in some moisturizing spray to help with frizz.

Organix's Weigthless Hydrating Oil Mist and Shea Moisture's Coconut Hibiscus Spray both smell amazing if you like tropical coconut scents! I also have used Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Spray and loved the scent and light hold. I've also tried Garnier Fructis' Curl Shaping Spray and Got 2B Kinkier Curling Spray. Both are great unscented, non-greasy options.

10. If you plan to use a blow dryer later, then be sure to spritz in some heat protectant spray too like Silk Element's Heat Protectant Spray. At first, it feels like it's going to be oily, but once you use heat it ends up not feeling oily anymore. It makes my hair feel super soft. 

11. Once you have your product in, you can put your hair in another dry Turbie Twist or t-shirt to get even more water out of it. While you're waiting, fix your makeup or eat breakfast.

12. Then, you can either let your hair air dry, which I usually do, or you can help it along by blow drying it. For curly hair, you definitely want a diffuser to keep it from frizzing.

 According to all the curly hair websites, the Deva Diffuser is the "gold standard," but it's really expensive! So I use my trusty Relvon blowdryer with a diffuser attachment. Once your hair is semi-dry you may want to flip it over and shake it out, and then fix it however you like.

If you're new to wearing your hair curly or are just having trouble getting your curly hair under control, Curly Girl: The Handbook is a must. I used to straighten my hair all the time because I thought I had frizzy, poofy hair. After I read the book, I realized that I actually had really pretty, wavy-curly hair, it just needed a little nudging. If you know a middle-schooler with wild, curly, frizzy hair, make her life easier and buy her this book. She will love her curls! I wish someone had done this for me.

What are your favorite curly hair products and tips? I'd love to hear them! 


Monday, June 1, 2015

June Journal Prompts + Printable

Thanks to everyone who's been following along over the past month. With my return from France and adjustment to things at home again, it's been a busy, but enjoyable month for me.

Even though I haven't had as much time to post here as I would like, I am making it a priority to get these journal prompts to you for each month, and I plan to make a point of doing that through out the summer.

Here's June's journal prompts.

1. A step you have taken towards your goals
2. Something good from last week
3. A time when you were frightened
4. A really good idea
5. The books in your to-read list
6. Something to remember
7. The best thing about your day
8. Your best qualities
9. Your top priorities
10. A new thing to try
11. Where were you a year ago?
12. Where were you five years ago?
13. What is home?
14. Your dream job
15. Favorite things in your town
16. Reasons to feel happy
17. Words you need to share
18. Something to give up
19. An area to grow in
20. An exceptional skill you possess
21. What motivates you?
22. What do you need?
23. A way you relax
24. The personal you are currently grateful for
25. The song you know all the lyrics to
26. A movie you can quote by heart
27. What fills you?
28. Who is your role model?
29. Are you a role model to anyone else?
30. What makes you proud?

A printable version is available at the bottom of the post.

Download your printable PDF of the prompts here.

Make sure that you get next month's prompts by following along with Life of Lovely on bloglovin, pinterest, or twitter.

 We hope that your summer is off to a great start! Let us know how you're using these journal prompts in the comments.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Sensitive Skin Essentials for Clearer Skin



For a long time, I've been in a constant cycle of breaking out, then using something harsh to control the breakout, then it getting slightly better, then getting a rash or itchy, red skin, then giving up, and then starting all over again. After my last particularly bad cycle, I finally got fed up with being itchy! So I decided if I can't stop my skin from breaking out, then I'm at least going to do something about my constant skin irritation. I went to amazon and did some perusing and decided to find some products that are sensitive skin friendly and don't have any questionable chemicals to hopefully calm my skin. While the products I found aren't fun or flashy, they've done the job. My skin overall is a lot less red and itchy. I'm still breaking out some, but my skin looks a lot better which makes me wonder if a lot of my breakouts were coming my attempts to stop them. I thought I'd share with you what I've found so that hopefully if you're dealing with the same issues you can find something that works without having to read a ton of Amazon reviews!



1. Basis Sensitive Skin Bar
For a long time I've used Dove's Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin. I really want to love it because it doesn't irritate my skin and I love Dove products. However, it doesn't do enough to soothe my skin, so I decided to give Basis a go.

I was pleasantly surprised by this bar soap. It's very gentle. I can use it on my face and body which is very convenient and economical. I also immediately started noticing that my skin wasn't red like it usually is after I wash it. It sounds silly, but my skin really does look calmer when I use this soap. While it does not have any added fragrance, it does have a light chamomile scent from the chamomile extract in the soap which I think is lovely. The light scent makes me feel a little better about not getting to use a fun, scented soap. This soap is a safe choice for people with sensitive skin. If you try it and find that it doesn't work for you, I'd try Dove's Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin. Several people in the Amazon reviews said either one or the other worked for them.




2. A Konjac Sponge
The Basis Sensitive Skin Bar is working beautifully for my skin, but I need a little exfoliation on my face to keep my pores from clogging up. I decided to try a Konjac sponge because they're very in at the moment. I see why! When dry, it looks like a sponge and feels basically like sturdy styrofoam. Then, when you put water on it, the sponge gets bigger and softens. You can use it without soap, but I like to use it with the Basis Soap. I'm obsessed because the sponge is so soft and cloud-like. It gives me a little extra gentle exfoliation without irritating my skin. I'm liking Ecotools Konjac Sponge because it's perfect size for my face, it doesn't have anything extra like clay or charcoal added in, and it's affordable.




3. Neutrogena Clear Face Sunblock
Wearing sunscreen daily is so important for preventing skin cancer and aging, but it's so hard to find a good one that's not too sticky or pore-clogging. Neutrogena's Clear Face Sunblock is amazing! I bought it for the first time about four months ago, and I kicked myself for not trying it earlier. For some reason I had it in my head that it would be heavy and sticky. Now that I've tried it, I see that it's actually very light. Once it absorbs, my face feels lightly moisturized but more also matte. So if you're looking for moisturization, this lotion is not for you. It's perfect for my oily, sensitive skin though. If you're worried it won't be sensitive skin friendly enough, then try Elizabeth's favorite and go for Neutrogena's Sensitive Skin Sunblock.




4. Cetaphil Eczema Calming Body Moisturizer
I don't think I actually have eczema, but I figured if this lotion works for people with eczema, then it should definitely work for me. At the time, my skin was crazy itchy, and I was desperate. I saw the Good Housekeeping seal, so I knew it had to have promise. Since I've started using it, it has not let me down. It's unscented and free of irritants. The lotion is not anything fancy but, it keeps my skin moisturized, itch-free, and calm. It's a great everyday lotion for people with sensitive skin.




5. Dove Go-Sleeveless Anti-Perspirant Deodorant in Soothing Chamomile
The skin under my arms gets so irritated and itchy from shaving, which I just cannot deal with. I decided to try Dove's Go-Sleeveless Deodorant in Soothing Chamomile, and I'm really pleased. Now, after I shave, I put a little of the Cetaphil Moisturizer and then this deodorant on and my problems are solved. My underarms look a lot less distressed, and I'm not going crazy from being itchy. I really like the light chamomile scent. It's not especially sweet or fruity but more of a very mellow, natural scent. If you truly have sensitive skin though, then I would say skip the Dove Deodorant since it is scented and try Almay's Sensitive Anti-Perspirant Deodorant. My dad has super sensitive skin, and this is all he'll use. It's free of fragrance and definitely should not irritate your skin.

If you're like me and your skin is in constant turmoil, it may be because you're treating the symptoms but not the root of the problem. I think for me, I was using stuff that was too harsh for my skin trying to treat breakouts, and really the harsh products were making my skin a lot worse. So it's worth a try to walk away from the hardcore stuff for awhile and try using a base of simple products for sensitive skin and see what happens. Then, if you need to, maybe try using just one product a day for breakouts. I alternate using a benzyl peroxide lotion and a salicylic acid/retinol lotion at nighttime. It's just enough to keep my skin under control without it turning my face perpetually red. Hopefully, this is helpful! I'd love to hear your favorite sensitive skin products and tips!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

March Julep Box


I'm a little late on this review, but better late than never. For my March Julep box I decided it was time for a new look for Spring. So I ordered Julep's Soft Focus Finish polish in Ali, Plush Pout Lip Crayon in Aurora Pink, and Orbital Eye Shadow in Earthshine.

Julep Soft Focus Polish in Ali

 Ali is a super pretty semi-matte seafoamy mint polish. (I'm wearing a topcoat over Ali which sort of negates the matte finish.) Every time I wear this polish I get compliments! It's perfect for the spring and summer months. It is a bit trickier to apply than some of Julep's other polishes. It takes at least two coats to get an even color and takes a bit of patience. I'd say for the color it's well worth it though.

Julep Plush Pout in Aurora Pink
 Julep is spot on with the coverage and moisturization of their lip crayons. I love the formulation of their Plush Pout sticks. However, their shade depictions need a little work. From the website and name I was expecting a rosy pink color. I was really surprised to put it on and end up with a bright poppy coral color. The color is beautiful but just not what I was expecting! Luckily, Julep customers are very good about posting their reviews of products on the product pages. So next I'll be looking there before I buy another lip crayon.

Aurora Pink 
Unlike Aurora Pink, Julep's swatch for their Orbital Earthshine eye shadow is spot on. It's a highly pigmented deep, shimmery treebark brown shadow. It has a lot of staying power and is easy to apply. A little goes a long way! It's a very versatile every day shadow. I like to use it on it's own, as a compliment to lighter shadows, or as a powder eyeliner. 

Julep Orbital Earthshine Eye Shadow

I can't wait to try more of their Orbital Eye Shadows. I would love to have their Pan The Story Begins Orbital Eye Shadow Collection. It's a whimsical collection rich, shimmery hues like Supernova- a charcoal with electric orchid pearlescence and Moonbeam- a silver with lilac pearlescence.

Earthshine

Last but not least is the lovely bonus polish, Brandis, that Julep added to my box. (Always check your email ladies so you don't miss Julep's fun bonus offers!) Unfortunately, I don't have a swatch of this colorful turquoise creme polish because I sent it to camp with Elizabeth. Brandis went on super smoothly and was very rich. The formulation made it a breeze to apply. I was a little intimidated by the color at first because it's so bold, but it was a unique accent to my boring grey ensembles!

As always, if you think you want to try Julep, I'd love to refer you! Simply, click here to check out Julep's offer this month. It's free the first month, and if you don't like it then call Julep to opt-out.










Wednesday, April 29, 2015

May Journal Prompts + Printable

 
Like always thanks to everyone who has used and shared the previous months' journal prompts. You can share this month's prompts with your friends through pinterest here.

To those of you who started journaling in January as one of your resolutions and who are still going strong with journaling, good for you!

Unfortunately, I slipped some last month with my journaling. But, since I spent most of the month traveling, I can't complain.

On to May.

A printable version of these prompts is available at the bottom of the post.

31 Journal Prompts for May

1. A recent compliment
2. Are you organized or messy?
3. Your biggest victory
4. A moment that challenged you
5. What worries you?
6. The last book you read
7. A few of your favorite things
8. How do you show love?
9. Three things you are proud of
10. Describe your best friend
11. What is a hero?
12. Who is your role model?
13. An outfit that makes you happy
14. The last piece of real mail you received
15. What are you looking forward to?
16. One quality you want to improve
17. The songs in your life soundtrack
18. What are you working towards?
19. One good thing you can do tomorrow
20. Something you've learned from a mistake
21. A recent good moment
22. The people who make you the happiest
23. Something that needs to change
24. How are you taking care of yourself?
25. How are you taking care of others?
26. Top three favorite experiences
27. Life goals in five sentences
28. A person you'd like to meet
29. The best kind of cake is...
30. The habits you want to have
31. The best thing that's happened this month

Download your printable PDF of the prompts here.



Make sure that you get next month's prompts by following along with Life of Lovely on bloglovin, pinterest, or twitter.

We'd love to hear from you if you decide to use these prompts. Let us know how it goes in the comments.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Favorite Workouts for Spring

Over the last month, I've really started to notice that sitting all day in class and at home studying is starting to show in how my back and legs feel. It's become clear that I'm going to have to step it up and do more walking, stretching, and exercising this month! Here are five of my favorite workouts that I've found lately. 

The Ultimate 30-Minute Cardio Pilates Workout!

This workout is a doozy! It makes your arms, legs, and abs burn and gets your heart rate up. My goal for the month is to make it through whole the workout. Right now, I do well until the last ten minutes and then I turn to jello! This is perfect for when you want to work everything, but don't want to spend forever or do a bunch of different workouts to get it done.

The last couple weeks I've had issues with one of my legs going numb from sciatic entrapment. This video is short but seems to be helping loosen my tight muscles and relieve the pressure on that nerve.

4 Back-Strengthening Moves | The Yoga Solution With Tara Stiles

Last week in my classes we learned about transfers and about the kinesiology of our back muscles. I never realized before how important it is to protect our backs from injury! Little back strengthening workouts like this one, along with using good body mechanics, can help keep you and your back happy and healthy.

Yoga for Women - Yoga For Cramps and PMS

Love my Yoba with Adriene! We all need this sometimes.

Little Black Dress Boot Camp - Total Body Sculpting Workout

I haven't tried this workout yet, but I tried a fitness blender workout this week and love it! The videos are very straight-forward and tell you at the beginning how many exercises you'll be doing, how long you'll be doing them, and how many rounds. You will need your own music though since there's none in the video. I've been in a dresses and skirts mood, so I thought this workout would be perfect!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge: March Update



Still progressing well with my goal of reading 100 books in 2015. I read a total of 10 books in March which puts me on track.

I am very much enjoying my reading challenge because it reminds me to read when I have free time. It is too easy to get distracted by the internet and not even think about picking up a book. I do absolutely love to read. So, for me, the goal gives me that little bit of encouragement that I need to choose a book over other distractions.

Here's what I read in March.

The Together Teacher - Maia Heyck-Merlin
Since my time in France is ending, I've started to prepare for teaching in the US again. I had seen reviews of this book before, and I have to say that I was not disappointed. It is an excellent resource for teachers who need to get organized. Yes, there are plenty of books on organization and time management, but a teacher's day is so different from other professionals. This book has strategies that work for teachers. I will be using the techniques in this book. If you are a teacher, or you know a teacher, this book is very much recommended.

My Week with Marilyn - Colin Clark
This book has been on my to-read list since I saw the movie. How could anyone not enjoy a book with a personal account of time spend with the movie star Marilyn Monroe? While not quite as charming as the movie, the book is an interesting read.

Shades of Milk and Honey - Mary Robinette Kowal
I've accidentally started a new series. This book is a fantasy novel (points since I enjoy fantasy.) As I was reading it, I kept feeling that it resembled a Jane Austen novel. So, I was pleased in the acknowledgements to read that the author was inspired by Jane Austen (more points because of Jane Austen.) Also, since I caught the Pride and Prejudice theme, I thought I knew which character the main character would end up with, but it turns out I picked the wrong one as being Darcy. So it's a fantasy novel with Jane Austen elements that is cleverly written. Basically, everything that I want in a light read.

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
This book was on my reading list because I've heard it described as a new "classic." The story of adventure and personal discovery is interesting. The writing style is enjoyable. But. It didn't have a profound influence on me. It is good, but for me not as amazing as I had been led to believe. Which is fine.

The Perks of Being  a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
A friend recommended that I read this book. Quite frankly, I still don't know how I feel about the book. It deals with a difficult subject. Emotionally, it was difficult for me to read. I know that lots of people love this book, but for me, it was too much at once.

Beauty and the Werewolf - Mercedes Lackey
I'm still reading the Five Hundred Kingdom series. This is the 6th book in the series, and as the title implies, it is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast (with a little bit of Little Red Riding Hood and plenty of other fairy tales mixed in.)

Prince - Kiera Cass
Prince is a novella in the Selection series. The story is told from Prince Maxon's point of view as he deals with the idea of meeting and choosing a girl to marry during the selection. Since I like Maxon's character, I liked having his point of view on the proceedings. While it isn't necessary to understanding the plot of the series, it is a good read while waiting for the rest of the series to be released.

Gathering Blue - Lois Lowry
This is the second book in The Giver Quartet. I liked reading The Giver in high school, and it is interesting to read the rest of the series now. I still haven't figured out yet how this book is related to the first one, but I think that the two collide somewhere later in the series. It is an intelligent dystopian novel. There is less drama than in some of the current popular dystopian novels aimed at young adults. I'd definitely advise adding this book to your to-read list.

Harry Potter et le Prince de Sang-Mêlé - J.K. Rowling
If you've been following these updates, you'll know that I've been trying to finish all of the Harry Potter books in French before I leave France. I know that I've said it before, but these books are so good. I remember very little from the first time that I read them (it's been a while), but I am so impressed by the quality of the plot and the writing.

Educating Esmé: Diary of a Teacher's First Year - Esmé Raji Codell
I finished off the month with some more non-fiction. In this work, the author recounts some of her experience during her first year of teaching in a difficult school. For me, it was good to read and relate to some of her struggles during her first year. Her story was inspirational to me as well. I certainly did not handle my first year teaching in the same way that she did. She has an unconventional approach, and while my approach to teaching differs some, I will definitely be trying to keep the same spirit that Esmé has while teaching.

Those are the books that I read in March. I have quite the mix of styles of fiction and nonfiction, but I think that it's more fun to read as many different types of writing as I can. In the upcoming months, I'll be reading more books about teaching and books aimed at teens since I will hopefully be teaching high school or middle school English in August (not that I will complain if I manage to find a high school French job.) My goal in April is to read as many books as possible because I know that things will get extremely busy once I start my summer job in May and my teaching job in August.

All of these books are available on Amazon. It's an affiliate link, so a portion of the price of anything that you buy after clicking on the link will go to support this blog and allow me to buy more books to read!


What did you read in March? Do you have any suggestions for my reading list?

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