Thursday, February 26, 2015

Murad Daily Clarifying Cleanser

A few weeks ago, I opened up here about my on-going battle with adult acne and how Murad's Acne Clearing Solution seemed to be one of the only products to help. But I had also wanted to take it a step further, and ad their cleanser to my routine. After a recent Sephora trip, I picked up the travel set which includes not only the cleanser, but also spot treatment and a convenient travel case which will of course come in handy on my upcoming trips.


My routine now consists of using the cleanser with my Clarisonic Mia, afterwards I apply the Acne Clearing Solution, and last but certainly not least I apply to Acne Spot Fast Fix to problem areas. I believe that the combination between the active ingredients of Salicylic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide are what help clear up my skin (similar to ProActiv's active ingredient combination). The ingredients may sound scary, but these products are formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates which is great news!


My skin would still need to be airbrushed for perfection if I was ever professionally photographed, but I am enjoying clearer skin than I've seen in years and I'm definitely happy with the results.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Express Stripes Found at Target

Ever since Express released their spring collection, I had my eyes and heart set on the High Waist Elastic Strip Full Skirt. When I hit up their 40% off sale last week there were only a few left in the store which didn't really fit (they seem to run very large), and I was swimming in the size I tried on as it was super poofy. So, I decided to give up on the beautiful skirt until I stumbled upon a replica at Target for less than half the price. This skirt pairs perfectly with some bold colors, and I plan on having a lot of fun playing around with different colorful tops to continue keeping it looking fresh.


Skirt and shoes - Target | Top - Express | Bag - Tory Burch | Sunnies - Marc Jacobs







What are some of your favorite dupes you've been able to find for less at Target?

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Don't forget to enter our Too Faced Palette Giveaway

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Buffalo Chicken White Bean Chili

When Emelia linked up her recipe for Buffalo Chicken White Bean Chili, I knew I had to try it out as buffalo flavored anything is always a good idea in my house. I switched things up a little bit, and threw it all in the crock pot before heading to work one morning, and came home to the house smelling of buffalo flavored goodness.


Ingredients

Diced grilled chicken
1 can of reduced sodium chicken broth
1 can of reduced sodium white beans
1 packet of ranch seasoning
About 6 oz. of Franks Red Hot (Buffalo Wings Style)
1 can of Rotel, drained
1 small carton of fat free half and half
1 cup of cooked brown rice

Directions

Cook rice according to directions on box
After rice is cooked, combine all ingredients into the crock pot, and cook on low
Garnish with reduced fat cheese and sour cream




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Link-up Rules:

1. Follow Emily and myself on GFC and Bloglovin
2. Link up your favorite recipes or food related posts
3. Grab our Recipe Swap button and link back to both of our blogs
4. Be sure to visit other blogs and find new recipes! 



Monday, February 23, 2015

Beautiful Weekend + Too Faced Giveaway

What an absolutely gorgeous weekend we just had here in Florida! It's crazy how we just had the coldest weather all year late last week, and then the weekend warmed up and was simply beautiful.


Friday night was spent in with some yummy food, a movie night, and snuggles with Roxy. I also came across a great furniture sale at Target, and decided to pick up this tufted chair to go in the master bedroom so we can finally have our sitting area to read. It was 20% off, then I had an offer code for an additional 10% off, and on top of all that I saved another 5% with free shipping for using my Red Card. Can't wait for it arrive and complete the vision I had for that room.



Speaking of great deals at Target, I came across these throw pillows on clearance marked down to $7.48 from $24.99 each. I also had a cartwheel for an additional 15% off, Target wins again!

*Plus they're Roxy-approved*


Then we had a visit from little Miss Lola to spend the night. I was so excited to "babysit" while Emily was in Trinidad for a wedding, and K also had a wedding to go to that evening. Absolutely loved having 2 bulldogs in the house for the evening. 


That evening, friends came over to continue our HP marathon, and they brought their little man. Too many pictures were taken of Lola and the baby as it was cuteness overload in the house. Later, K joined us after the wedding for some beers by the firepit. Such a great night to be outside.


Sunday was also spent outside soaking up some much missed sunshine by the pool. Even Roxy was enjoying the warmth, as she loves to sunbathe.


Joining Biana for Weekending
and
Lisa and Bella for Weekend Recap

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Too Faced Eye Shadow Collection Giveaway

Elizabeth & Luke - Something Saturdays
Alison - Simply A

For this month's giveaway, we're doing something a little bit difference: the winner will get to choose which eye shadow collection from Too Faced they receive! The choices are: Natural Eye, Cat Eyes, Boudoir Eyes, Country Nashville, and Rock n Roll. Details: - The giveaway goes from 2/23/15 12:01 AM - 3/1/14 11:59 PM. - You must be in the USA to win. - You must be over 18 to win.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Favs

Even though it was a short week for me, it sure feels good to be Friday, especially with so much to love this week. And a certain special blogger is celebrating her big day today, Happy Wedding Day Amanda!!

1. Since we were off on Monday, we decided to go out for breakfast, and take a walk on the beautiful trail near where we ate. We picked up coffees at Panera after putting our names in at a cafe, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and then had a delicious breakfast on the restaurant's outdoor patio. Now that's my kind of Monday morning!




2. Found a cute new doggy bakery and spa for Roxy (still cracks me up that doggies have day spas!), and fell in love with their treat buffet. Too cute!


3. Painted my nails this week for the cause with OPI's "I Think in Pink" with a layer of "You Glitter be Good to Me" on my accent nails.



4. Ok... a lot of you know about my sequinned legging fiasco. If not, I'll fill you in...it all started when I posted about these fabulously beautiful sequinned leggings last week. A bunch of people told me to go for it, and place the order. I finally did over the weekend, only to get an email several hours later that my order was cancelled because the item was out of stock grrrrrr. I then went back to the website where it was still showing my size in stock... double grrrr! So, I decided to call customer service. They apologized for the inconvenience and told me that the next size up was available, and they offered me 25% off for the hassle. So my sparkly pretty pants are on their way, and I'm hoping they won't be too big. And if any of you had any trouble placing an order, call customer service and let them know. Hopefully they'll have a size similar to yours and they'll hook you up with a discount as well.


5. Loving my recent pins on Pinterest this week:









Linking up today with Rebecca for That Friday Blog Hop, Christina for 5 on Friday, Tif for High Five for Friday, and Amanda for Friday Favorites. Hop on over and join us! Happy Friday!


Also, if you haven't taken my short survey yet, you can find it here. Looking forward to reading all your answers!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tell Me More Tell Me More

I am so thankful for this little space of mine on the internet, and all the amazing people I've met through it. I'm constantly striving to improve my content, and make it an even better place. This is where you all come in. With the help of Survey Monkey, I created a short survey (should take less than a minute to complete), and I'd love to hear some of your feedback.



You can find the survey here.

Happy Friday Eve! And thank you so much for taking the time to help me give you more of what you want and less of what you don't.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Barre3 vs. Bar Method Review

I can definitely say that I have hopped on the train that is Barre workouts, and they have been amazing in helping my endurance while also building more strength and sculpting my entire body. I had been wondering for a long time if there was much of a difference between Barre3 and Bar Method, and I can honestly say they are very different yet very similar. It may not sound like it makes sense, but after attending both studios for a while it does.

Barre3


I originally tried out Barre3 last summer when the owner of the local studio left some free passes at the front desk at work. I was excited to try it out, and a couple minutes into the class I wondered what the heck I had gotten myself into. The class was seriously no joke, but at the end I felt amazing and couldn't wait to take another class.






If you don't have a studio near you, you can always workout at home with a free YouTube workout. Below is my favorite:
*Barre3 Body Burner*


Bar Method

I had been taking Barre3 classes for several months when I decided to take advantage of a new client offer at Bar Method for 45 days of unlimited classes. It was such an incredible deal, plus I had been wanting to check out another Barre studio to see what the difference was, if any.



*Socks I purchases for Bar Method*

*Locker area at Bar Method*

*How I must have looked during my first Bar Method class*



I had a little bit of a tough transition into Bar Method after taking Barre3 for so long. I wasn't used to having to be so focused on my form while also constantly staying tucked (tucking your butt under as to not arch your back). After a few classes, I got the hang of it and noticed the constant correction from the instructor became much fewer and farther between and the compliments started from across the room - "Nice form Kate!" or "Beautiful straight leg/back Kate!" It was so nice to get the hang of it, and I felt like a school kid who received a star on their chart.


*Looks like "Pretzel Day"*

My breakdown comparison of the two classes:

Bar Method                                                    Barre3
Focuses more on form                                     Focuses more on stability
Focuses more on flexibility                             Focuses more on balance & holding key moves
Big focus on arm strength                               More of a focus on cardio
Floor is carpet, you wear socks                       Floor is cork/wood and you're barefoot
A lot more stretching                                       Incorporates more yoga moves
Instructor instructs/corrects you                      Instructor works out w/ you while also correcting
I only need 2 lb. weights for arms                   I use 3 lb. weights for arms
More structured/stricter instruction                 More laid back/fun/music is more upbeat
Workout is pretty similar each class               Studio always has a fresh citrusy scent
                                                                         Free childcare is provided

A typical Bar Method class:

Class always starts with knee lifts to get heart rate going
Then you go into a plank that you hold for what I assume is a minute or more
Pick up weights and go into arm work
Push ups
Put your weights back in the bins, and move to the bar
Calf raises
Stretching which incorporates ballet moves with your leg up on the bar
Thigh work - this is when you'll notice the "shake" - longest 10-15 minutes of your life
Seat work
Leg raises seated underneath the bar, this incorporates a lot of stretching and flexibility
Another round of pushups
Move out on to your mat for ab work
The finale of every class is "back dancing" which looks/feels silly, but is incredible for toning your butt.
Final stretches utilizing a strap, and closing breaths in a seated position.
Instructor has us give ourselves a round of applause for working so hard through another class.

A typical Barre3 class:

Class always starts out in the standing position with opening breaths before moving into aerobic cardio moves to get your heart rate up.
Moving from the aerobic cardio moves into crescent lunges to open up into some strength and stability before moving to the bar.
1 minute plank either at the bar or on the floor.
Time for leg work - longest 10-15 minutes of your life.
Some stretching at the bar to stretch out the muscles you just "cooked" while embracing the shaking and quaking of leg work before moving back out to the floor for combo work.
Combo work incorporates weight training with your arms while also moving to the music to fit in some cardio and leg strengthening moves. This also utilizes stabilizing muscles and helps you to improve your balance as well as arm strength.
Seat work - because we all want a toned and lifted bum don't we?
Ab work
Final stretches sometimes utilizing a strap.
Closing breaths in the standing position we began class in. On the final breath, hands come to heart center and we are ready to take on the rest of our day.

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Both classes are incredible workouts and will provide you with similar results, and I have noticed that I get a lot more cardio and sweat more in Barre3 while I gained more strength and grace from the Bar Method.

Have you taken both classes, if so which do you prefer or do you love them both like I do?

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