things that made me happy #9

Hello beauties!

I hope all of you having a great weekend so far. “Weekly Recap | Things That Made Me Happy” is another series where I will be sharing all the things that made me happy. My goal is to spread some happiness and gratitude of little or big things that are happening in my life, and encourage others to share their happy/grateful things of the week.

Sometimes all it takes is gentle reminders of things that make us grateful or appreciative. I mean, we live in a world full of senseless violence, poverty, famine, and tragedy – reflecting on the positive, I find, makes me open my eyes a bit more to appreciate the little things…Don’t you agree?

Feel free to share things that made you happy this week. Here are mine ♡

A Day To Myself
Saturday, my husband and our youngest daughter Annabella took my mother-in-law on the LaBarge Cruise. It’s the most wonderful and relaxing cruise with a spectacular view along the beautiful shoreline of Sarasota Bay. And, you get to see local bottlenose dolphins and manatees. I skipped going with them this time around and took advantage of spending a day to myself. I spend most of my day at home, watching TV, blogging, reading other blogs, engaging with bloggers, taking photos for upcoming blog posts, ate (lots) and even took a nap. It felt amazing!

Creating A Social Media Posting Schedule
I finally was able to create a daily/weekly/monthly social media posting schedule. My life definitely got easier. I found that sticking to a schedule is very important for my blog. It helps me to get things done, get ahead and keeps everything running smooth. I was also amazed to see the big difference in my blog traffic. I use Buffer to schedule all my blog posts, share links to other social media and miscellaneous things in between. I love it!

Catching Up With All My Blog Comment
Finally, I was able to catch up on all my blog comments. I’m so happy to know that so many people enjoy reading my blog. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m very grateful to have such amazing fans. Thank you all for your support, without out I wouldn’t be where I am today. You are the best!

Donating Blood

Lately, the world has been a very disturbing and scary place to live in. Do many horrible things has been happening and I’m petrified for what’s to come. For these reasons and more, I have decided to safe lives and donate the blood for those in need. I admit I was very nervous, since it was my first time. The thought of a needle stuck in my vein for 30 min terrified me. But, it wasn’t bad at all, in fact it was a great experience. The whole time I kept thinking that I’m saving a life of someone who is dying. And it felt great! If you ever considered donating blood I encourage you to do so. You’ll feel amazing afterwards.

What things made you happy this week? Share in the comments section below!

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top 10 blog posts

Hello beauties!

Happy Friday! I hope all of you had a great week. “Weekly Reads | Favorite Blog Posts” is a series where I will be sharing my top 10 favorite blog posts I’ve read through out the week. I love to read different variety of posts, so expect a little bit of everything. So, with that said, grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine, maybe something to snack on, relax and let’s unwind together.

Happy reading!

1. Would you like more traffic to your blog? Are you looking for creative ways to use Pinterest to benefit your blog? You can use Pinterest to find content for your blog, grow your audience and increase your website traffic. That’s awesome! Today, I would like to share a very helpful post written by Paula, called “How To Use Pinterest To Grow Your Blog”. I found these tips extremely helpful and I hope you will too.

2. The very last thing you do before bed tends to have a significant impact on your mood and energy level the next day, as it often determines how well and how much you sleep. You might be considering ways to work more efficiently into the night, but the reality is that many of us could benefit from more shut-eye. Here are “4 Things To Do Before Bed That Will Improve Your Day”, a post written by Megan.

3. Summer heat amplifies any fragrance, so even if you stick to the same perfume year-round, you’ll need to wear a little less to keep from being overpowered by it. That said, I think this season is the perfect time to experiment with a new scent. Lydia wrote a perfect post this summer, called “Choosing The Perfect Summer Fragrance”. I’m sure that after reading this, you won’t have a problem finding that perfect summer scent.

4. I came across this post recently written by Jemma, called “Confidence & Clothing”. It’s such an amazing and inspirational post and I couldn’t wait to share it with all of you. When I read this post I thought to myself “Way to go Jemma!”. I’m sure when she wrote this post it wasn’t easy for her, and I respect her even more now for sharing her story. She is on a great path and I’m sure she will achieve her body transformation goals in the future. Good Luck girly!

5. There is an inextricable link between confidence and minimalism. You don’t have to be a minimalist to be confident, although you do have to be confident to be a minimalist. But it’s not something that has to happen all at once. Today, I’m sharing Jennifer’s story, called “Confidence + Minimalist (Find The Courage To Chase Your Dreams)”. She says that she found a giant does of confidence in a surprising place – minimalist.

6. Success is ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. Many people who want to be successful think that success happens accidentally and they lose connection with the fact that it takes individual consistency and persistence to reach goals. Every successful person is passionate about their particular craft, field, or talent. They don’t do it simply because of the money. Rather they do it because of the love they have for it, and the joy it provides them. I’m sharing today a very motivational post, written by Leta, called “Why It’s Important To Learn From Successful People”. I hope you’ll get inspired!

7. Are you stuck generating traffic to your blog? You try to do everything you can to get people read your blog. Joining groups is an amazing way to generate traffic to your blog, either it’s with Pinterest or Facebook. Today, I’m sharing a great post, called “The Ultimate Promo List Of Facebook And Pinterest Groups”. It was written by Elna, she is a woman behind a blog “Twins Mommy”. You can download a free promo list of over 60+ Facebook and Pinterest Groups.

8. Few weeks ago I made a commitment to step up my Instagram game. I’ve been applying different strategies I’ve learned from other bloggers and I can already see the difference. One of the most important strategies on Instagram is to use proper hashtags to get your photos noticed, liked and hopefully gain more followers. To help you to do that, I’m sharing a very useful post, called “Instagram Hashtags That Will Double Your Likes”, a post written by Amy. She is a woman behind an amazing blog “Amy Howard Social”.

9. If you love bang bang shrimp as much as I do, then you’ll LOVE this recipe, called “Bang Bang Shrimp With Napa Cabbage Slaw”. It’s definitely to die for, super delicious and something quite fantastic. I can literally eat this dish every single day.

10. Do you need some ideas for summer blog post? Here are “67 Summer Blog Post Ideas”, a post written by Mariah. I’m sure it’s plenty to choose from for any type of blogger.

Which posts you enjoyed reading the most? Please share some of your thoughts with me in the comments section below!

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beauty favorites July 2016 review

Hello beauties!

Every month, I will be sharing with you my favorite beauty products. I personally love reading blog posts that other bloggers share about their favorite beauty products. So, I got inspired and decided to do a monthly “Current Beauty Favorites” post of my own. Reviews are always so helpful and I like to learn about the product first before buying it. So, let me not waste any more time and share with you the beauty products I loved the most this month.

current beauty favorites July 2016 review

beauty favorites July 2016 review

1. Dior Addict Lip Glow | $33
Let me start by saying that this is my favorite lip balm!!! The packaging is soooooo cute! The fascinating thing about this lip product is that it works with the chemistry of your lips to create a personalized shade. It does what it says, so the color matches you what ever color you are. It also hydrates my lips with a light weight balm. It has mango butter inside as well as SPF 10 to help protect against the sun. It gives me a natural pink color, but it still looks like I have some color on my lips. It is a bit pricey but with it being Dior this is expected. It is worth the money as there isn’t anything else on the market like this.
You can purchase it at Sephora here

2. Origins Out Of Trouble 10 Minute Face Mask To Rescue Problem Skin | $26
I had high hopes for this mask only because I am a big fan of all of Origins products! So I went into it with high expectations and I was not surprised to find out how much I love this mask! I received a sample size of this face mask and let me tell you, I will be buying a full size very soon. I like the feeling of it on my skin. It felt tingling and refreshed and very easy to remove as well. I use it twice a week and I keep it on my skin for about 10-15min. The mask works quickly to reduce my acne and any other problem areas on my skin. I also recommend for those with sensitive skin too.
You can purchase it at Sephora here

3. Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub Tropical Mango | $7.69
I purchased this scrub at Ulta and I was uber impressed. This product can easily compete with any high-end exfoliators. I picked Tropical Mango because it smells awesome and super delicious. I use it once-twice a week. It exfoliates my entire body without irritating my skin, and my skin feels soft and smooth after I use it. The jar comes in a good-sized container that lasts a long time. All Tree Hut Products are made with Certified Organic Shea Butter and natural extracts. Their products are Paraben Free and DMDM Free, which I love.
You can purchase it at Ulta here

4. Muchi Muchi By Essie | $9
I’ve been looking for the perfect pastel pink and so glad I’ve stumbled across Essie Muchi Muchi. When I put on the first coat I have to say, it looked like strawberry milkshake – such a delicious looking colour! It’s a soft and creamy pink that’s pale yet still vibrant. As with many pale shades it takes a few coats to get the colour – 3 would be the optimum, with 4 the most ideal to hide the nail line if you’re particularly bothered about it. It goes on smoothly and dries very quickly so you can have all the coats done in a matter of minutes and be ready to get on with your day. (Just be warned – as always putting on many layers makes it more sticky and likely to smudge so don’t do anything too nail-intensive right away).
You can purchase it at Essie here

5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo | $23
Every single beauty guru I subscribe to happens to own an Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo, and it can’t be coincidence. I’ve heard several women call it the most reliable brow product available, and now I know why. I’ve been wanting to try Anastasia beauty products for awhile now, so of course the first thing I went for was their brow products. I fell in love with Anastasia’s Brow Powder Duo right away. My brows had never looked so good and the product was a dream to work with. Each compact contains two shades of brow powder, split down the middle. Having a lighter and darker shade in one product makes it easy to customise the look you are trying to achieve. The powder is matte so it blends perfectly with brow hairs. It lasts a really long time without fading or fallout. What can I say, Anastasia Brow Duo is an amazing product.
You can purchase it at Sephora here

6. Estee Lauder Enlighten Dark Spot Correcting Night Serum | $64
Most of you probably know that most of the skincare products I use are from Estee Lauder. I’m 34 years old and I’m extremely happy with the way my skin. I’ve been using Estee Lauder Dark Spot Correcting Night Serum for over 6 months. It’s lightweight, easily absorbed, and has a gentle scent that fades. The serum is easy to forget once it’s applied–it really does seem to disappear into my skin. Even though Estee Lauder’s website recommends using both day and night, I personally use this serum only at night. My skin is without a doubt more even toned. Areas of discoloration after using this product for over 6 months has faded a good 80%. The results are noticeable and I’m willing to spend $64 because I know that this serum is a holy grain product.
You can purchase it at Estee Lauder here

7. Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel | $22

So, above I reviewed Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo and now it’s time to talk about a Clear Brow Gel. This clear gel comes in a glossy silver tube that looks like a mascara tube. I start by using Brow Powder Duo first followed by a Clear Brow Gel. Both are meant to be together. Even though I use clear gel, Anastasia brow gels are available in various shades. Who knew spending just a few minutes on filling the brows and setting them will bring so much difference to my whole look.
You can purchase it at Sephora here

I would like to add that I actually purchased an Anastasia Brow Kit for $65 – 5 items ($120 value) – that included: Stencils, Brow Powder Duo, Duo Powder Brush #7, Precision Tweezers, and Clear Brow Gel. Anastasia Tweezers are the best tweezers you’ll ever find. They effortless tweeze the finest and smallest hairs straight from the root so no breaking of the hair or skin. I won’t ever buy a different pair again, these are my best friend.

Have you ever used any of the products I mentioned above? What do you think about it? Share in the comments section below!

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top 10 ways to get more from your fitness tracker

Hello beauties!

Summer is here, the days are getting longer, and that means it’s easier to get out and get active. A fitness tracker is a great way to help you keep your progress going. For those who don’t know, I have been wearing my Fibit tracker for over 2 years now and it’s the only thing that motivates me to get up and move. By the way, I lost 35lbs and I’m not stopping there. I love the idea of strapping on a fitness tracker and getting more active. The idea of having a device that would track how much I move around, and use a smartphone app to show how fit I am, seemed like a fantastic idea. Whether you have a Fitbit or another kind of fitness tracker, there are a lot of things you can do with yours that you might not know about. By knowing everything yours can do, you will get the most out of it and use it to it’s best capacity. After all, you paid a good chunk of change for your fitness tracker, so you want it to do everything for you that it can.

Let’s take a look at 10 ways to get more from your fitness tracker.

1. Set Your Own Goals
Most fitness trackers come with a preset goal of 10000 steps per day, this could be too few or too many steps for you to realistically take. Start with 10000 steps per day and see how many you get on a typical day. 7000? If so, 10000 could be a great new goal, but if you’re only logging around 4,000 steps a day, try for 7000 before you slowly increase your daily average. If 10,000 is an easy goal for you, try for 12000 or even 14000 steps. If you’re constantly failing to reach the daily goal, your job or physical health could be a determiner in the right goal for you. On the other hand, maybe you blow past the daily goal every single day. Either way, adjust the steps goal to match your needs.

2. Change The Mode Based On Your Activity
Some of the newer, fancier activity trackers do a better job of determining if you’re running versus walking. On the other hand, some of them aren’t very good at doing that. You can set the mode to different things, like swimming, jogging, spin class or biking so that you get the right props for your workouts. Make sure to return it to walking mode when you’re done.

3. Sync with Other Apps
Get all your wellness data in one place by connecting your fitness tracker app with other health apps, like MyFitnessPal for food tracking, Strava to get more accurate measurements on your bike rides and runs by using your phone’s GPS, or Nest, which links to your Nest Thermostat to automatically change the temperature of your house to the temperature you prefer the moment you go to bed or wake up. Choose one or more and download it to your cell and then sync it with your device so that you can keep more careful track of your activity and fitness and get tips and help when you need it.

4. Don’t Expect Perfection 
While most activity trackers, especially the newer ones, are pretty close to accurate, you can expect a bit of variation and some stuff may be a bit off now and then. Luckily, this isn’t too big of a deal because you can use the activity tracker as a pretty close estimation of your activity so that you can create a healthy lifestyle that your tracker can help you stick with.

5.  Make Your Tracker Part Of Your Social Life 
Many activity trackers allow you to hook up with friends so that you can engage in some healthy competition or encourage each other to stay on track. Find some like-minded people and sync your trackers so that you can get even more out your goals and fitness routine.

6. Change The Stride Length 
Like goals, your activity tracker comes pre-loaded with a certain stride length. However, your stride is probably smaller than your husband and might be longer than your best friend. Stride length is partially determined by height so make sure you set your activity tracker to your height so that it can accurately keep track of steps taken and other things pertaining to your activity.

7. Wear It On Your Non-Dominant Wrist 
That means if you’re left-handed, wear your activity tracker on your right wrist and vice versa. Research shows that this gives you a more accurate picture of your movement since you move your non-dominant hand less than your dominant one. Some trackers allow you to choose which wrist you’re wearing it on and that can help make it more efficient as well.

8. Turn Off All-Day Sync
If you want, you can track your progress on your phone throughout the day by enabling the All-Day Sync feature. This forces your Fitbit to sync data with your phone consistently throughout the day. While some may find it useful, it’s not a necessary feature. You can track your progress on the most of the wearables directly, and if you want to see more detailed information, you can manually sync the device at any time. Turning off All-Day Sync will significantly improve the tracker’s battery life.

9. It’s Still On You To Follow Through 
An activity tracker can be fun to play around with for a few months. But it’s easy to get bored, take it off your wrist and never pick it up again. Ultimately, your motivation must come from within. These devices get you thinking about fitness, but in the end, it’s your decision.

10. Recruit Your Friends
Many of these fitness trackers have an added social component that allows users to track how they stack up against their friends. Working out gets easier with a buddy, and it can be fun to compete with people who are aiming for the same level of activity you are. I’ve found that having someone a few hundred steps ahead of you on the leaderboard can be a great motivator to get off the couch and stroll around the neighborhood.

Do you own a fitness tracker? What kind? Do you like it? Do you find it useful? What other tips do you have to get more from a fitness tracker? Share in  the comments section below.

 

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things that made me happy #8

Hello beauties!

I hope all of you having a great weekend so far. “Weekly Recap | Things That Made Me Happy” is another series where I will be sharing all the things that made me happy. My goal is to spread some happiness and gratitude of little or big things that are happening in my life, and encourage others to share their happy/grateful things of the week.

Sometimes all it takes is gentle reminders of things that make us grateful or appreciative. I mean, we live in a world full of senseless violence, poverty, famine, and tragedy – reflecting on the positive, I find, makes me open my eyes a bit more to appreciate the little things…Don’t you agree?

Feel free to share things that made you happy this week. Here are mine ♡

Trying A New Starbucks Drink “Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato”
I’ve heard so many people bragging about this drink that I just needed to try it for myself. Even though I’m not a huge fan of coconut milk, I found this drink very tasty. It’s a perfect drink for summertime and it’s perfectly blended. You can read my review about Iced Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato here.

Spending A Day at Anna Marie Island
We spend Saturday at Anna Marie Island with my husband and my youngest daughter, Annabella. It’s about 30min drive from where we live. It was a perfect day at the beach, the view was mesmerizing.

Having Picnic At The Beach
We decided to grab lunch before heading to Anna Marie Island and take it to the beach with us. There is nothing better then a picnic at the beach!

Updating All My Old Blog Posts
OMG…it was a long way coming. It took me 6 months to update my old posts, but I’m so glad I did it. For those who maybe thought of doing it, do it! It will bring a lot more traffic to your blog.

New Laptop
My husband bought me a new laptop and I’m so happy to receive such a gift! I’ve been using either my husband’s computer or my daughter’s laptop when they weren’t. It was very hard to catch up on all my blogging stuff. I used my phone 90% of a time. But, I’m glad I can give my phone a break now.

Receiving July 2016 Edition of Birchbox
This is my 3rd Birchbox. I’m very happy with the subscription and beauty products I have been receiving. I definitely get excited every month about receiving a box, especially not knowing what’s in it. I’ve been writing a review every month about all the products and will advise you to check it out. Birchbox Beauty Box | May 2016 Edition & Birchbox Beauty Box | June 2016 Edition. All opinions are my own.

What things made you happy this week? Share in the comments section below!

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