My Favorite At-Home YouTube Workout Videos

I’m not always in the mood for the gym, let’s be honest. It smells, there’s more selfies than lifting these days, and driving sucks after a long day. But lucky for all of us, there is a PLETHORA of fantastic, high-quality video workouts on YouTube that are free to access and great to do at your house! Here are my favorite at-home YouTube workout videos for you to try this week so you can keep your lazy butt at home. :)

Legs

<3: You know I’m crazy about Tabatas. They’re fast, high intensity, and get your heart rate up quickly. This Tabata will sculpt nice legs in no time.

Booty

<3: This video is awesome. Even the chick hosting is out of breath, and her booty is a masterpiece, so you know they’re good moves! 15 minutes, and you’ll have trouble walking tomorrow, I promise you that.

Arms

<3: This host cracks me up. Why is she yelling at me?? Oh well, yelling in an Australian accent makes it sound nicer for some reason.

Abs

<3: If you’re gonna work core, please please please do Pilates! It’s an incredible system to build rock hard abs. This is my favorite Pilates video out there, no one does it better than Windsor.

Whole Body

<3: Tracy Anderson is celebrity fitness instructor and was made famous by Gwyneth Paltrow’s claims of amazing results. She’s an awesome go-to for any fitness related at-home videos, but this one’s my favorite quick instructional YouTube to get in a sweat at home.

What are your favorite YouTube instructional workout videos??

DIY Silky Smooth Leg Scrub

IMG_1792DIY Smooth Leg Scrub

I am all about DIY body scrubs! Why pay 10 bucks for store-bought exfoliators that have junk chemicals in them, when you can make your own version at home with ingredients you probably already have?? My legs are ready for spring, but needed some extra care this past week, so I tried out this exfoliating scrub recipe I got from Whole Foods.

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Combine three ingredients: 1/4 cup organic coconut oil (melted), 1 cup organic cane sugar (less if you want it more liquid, more if you like a harder scrub), and a few drops of your favorite essential oil – I can’t get enough lavender lately! Shake it up in a mason jar and you’re good to go.

Sugar Scrub

This scrub is awesome to keep in the shower and use on your legs and it smells FANTASTIC. Just rub some on, scrub it in a circular motion, then rinse clean. It leaves your legs so silky smooth and soft, scrubs away dead skin cells, and minimizes cellulite. Try it out, let me know what you think!

Delicious & Healthy Turkey Burgers [with a secret ingredient!]

Secret Ingredient Turkey Burgers

If I had a dollar every time I Googled “healthy turkey recipes”, well… you know. One of my favorite things to make with ground turkey is turkey burgers. They’re fast, easy, delicious, and healthy, and especially with the weather getting nicer, I try to use the outdoor grill as much as possible!

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Oh, but you clicked on this post because YOU want the secret ingredient, dontcha??? Ok, fine, I’ll tell you what it is… MUSHROOMS! Yes, that’s right! I always add finely chopped mushrooms to any turkey dish; meatloaf, burgers, lasagna, you name it, it’s in there (check out my turkey meatloaf with mushrooms here!). Why, you ask? They add no taste, but the texture and moistness (I know, that word is awful) they provide in turkey dishes is unbeatable. Mushrooms offer antioxidants and protein without strong flavor, so dice ’em up in your food processor and throw them on in! Your burgers will be moist (last time I’ll say it), fluffy, nutritious and delicious!

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Secret Ingredient Turkey Burgers

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Whatcha Need:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 can chopped spinach, drained & squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 carton sliced mushrooms, chopped finely
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper

Whatcha Do:

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with hands. Form into 4-6 patties. Grill or broil for 15 minutes, or until done. Serve with fried egg, avocado, greens, and goat cheese!

 

Who Wore this Springy BB Dakota Dress Better?

I’m a big Mad Men fan, so when I saw precious Elisabeth Moss charming the Live! with Kelly and Michael set in this flirty BB Dakota brand dress, I knew I had to have it too! If you’ve never shopped online at Revolve Clothing, I highly recommend you start now. They offer FREE shipping and returns on all orders, and their styles are to die for. If you really take some time and peruse the site, you’ll find great deals like I did with this 1/2 off $40 dress! Plus, if you enter your email address, you get 10% off your first order. BB Dakota is a great line for inexpensive pretty dresses, so visit them on the website first.

They may be out of stock right now, but enter your email address like I did and you’ll get a notification when they get more!

Floral Dress

The best part about this dress is a little itty bitty cut out on the back that makes it super unique! You can only see it when I turn certain angles, which is such a fun and flirty addition to this good girl look.

Floral Print Close Up

So who wore this $36 floral sensation better?? Your favorite Pepperminter or Ms. Moss? :)

Floral Print Dress

SISTER TIP: Definitely go for a size down while wearing this bran (or even two!) They run big.

Tip to Get Clear Skin for Spring

I’m on a constant journey for clear, glowing, healthy skin. Aren’t we all?? I try out products, dismiss them, try out others, and keep some, I’m determined to find out what works best for my body and my skin. What I’ve found throughout this decade-long journey is that my skin responds best when I use natural ingredients, and organic methods. I’ve tried the medication and chemical route, but they just don’t react well with my sensitive skin. So the latest strategies I’ve adopted are 1) using trustworthy products 2) drinking tea (what????) 3) using Aztec clay for spot treatment!

Yogi Tea

1) Trustworthy Products

I learned from getting organic/natural facials that when you truly investigate when you’re putting on your face, you will probably be disgusted. I decided to Google the ingredients in my OTC face wash I’ve been using for years, and I was disturbed by the amount of harmful chemicals!

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Good thing for me, my fabulous friend Ashley started selling Rodan & Fields products and she is super passionate this brand, and sent me a few samples to test out for myself. I tried out the microdermabrasion paste, night renewing serum, and lip renewing serum.

My favorite of the three was the lip renewing serum, holy moly it actually visibly made my lips smooth and tight, I really couldn’t believe how yummy it made my lips feel and ready for spring. The microdermabrasion also felt amazing on my face, I’m sure extended use would really help exfoliate and give that spring glow!

Check out Ashley’s website here! Or for more information about Rodan & Fields check her out. :)

Consultant ID:  1254528
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/amonaco.myrandf?ref=hl
Contact Information:  ashleymonaco@ymail.com
Business Website address: (This would be for anyone looking to join the business as a consultant) http://amonaco.myrandf.biz
Product Website address: (This is where you order) http://amonaco.myrandf.com

2) Can tea really clear your skin??

According to Yogi Tea for Clear Skin, absolutely. I snagged a few boxes from Target for $2.99 on clearance, and after reading tons of positive reviews online, I thought I’d give it a shot. Plus it tastes really cinnamon-y and yummy! To be HONEST, I purged pretty heavily the first week I drank the tea, and I was drinking 2-3 bags a day. I mean, something must be going on if I got like 10 zits, right? I’m on my third week now and I definitely see a serious glow of my skin, and my face has completely cleared up. Could it be the tea? Who knows, but ask me if I’m gonna keep drinking it! (The answer is yes.)

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3) Aztec Clay for Spot Treatment

I already blogged about the amazing effects of Aztec Clay, and with such an inexpensive price tag at Whole Foods, this stuff is definitely worth all of the buzz. I’ve been using it for spot treatment of any stray blemishes, and they literally disappear over night. It tends to dry out skin pretty quickly, so just use a dab while you sleep, and in the morning, voila!

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What are your tips for clear skin this spring??

Vacation Prep Tips

It’s spring break, baby! And that means VACATION TIME! As an educator, I’m fortunate enough to have a week off each year, AND even better than that, spring break falls on my birthday this year (26th)! I’m super excited to get outta here, and here some of my favorite vacation prep tips!

Vacation Prep Tips

Pamper Yourself

Vacations are a time to celebrate and relax, but it doesn’t hurt to start a few days early! One week before, get a facial or microdermabrasion treatment for gorgeous skin, two days before, get a spray tan so you’re nice an bronzed [but not smelly anymore from the tanner], and one day before, get yourself a fresh mani-pedi!

SISTER TIP: Always check Groupon and Living Social for beauty and health deals before you pay out of pocket. I found a mani-pedi for $20!

Grab Beauty Samples

Each time I go on vacation, I stop at various stores to get free samples of products for me to pack for my vacay so I don’t have to worry about that pesky 3-ounce rule at the airport! I snag an adorable teeny sample bottle of perfume from Sephora (I can get about 5+ uses out of one), body lotion from The Body Shop, and stock up on travel-sized toothpaste for free at the dentist’s office. Saving money makes me happy. :)

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Cut Down on Snacks

That’s right, I said it. Cut out sugar at least 1-2 weeks before your trip, and substitute snacks with healthy greens or low-sugar smoothies. Don’t change things too much, or your body may react negatively, but any healthy additions will help you feel travel-ready!

Pack Versatile Outfits & Shoes

Whenever I’m preparing to pack for time away, I shop for a top, bottom, jacket, and pair of shoes that I know I will get consistent use out of in various situations. My favorite purchase for this trip was a convertible black wrap maxi dress that I am able to dress-up or wear casually during the day. (Look forward to a future post about this amazing find!) Wedge sandals are often a favorite of mine for the same reason, and long shirts that can pass as a casual day dress, or be paired with pants or shorts are great finds, too.

Make Some Personalized Playlists

I just upgraded to get Spotify Premium, and I’m so excited! (I got it for a mere $4.99/month with a Masters student discount!) Now I have unlimited access to songs, even offline, without commercials or skips. I put some effort into making great vacation playlists, and it’ll pay off while I’m listening to my favorite tunes on the beach. :)

Prepare for Negative Effects of Air Travel

Besides jet lag, air travel has a lot of negative effects, especially on sensitive folks, like myself! Read this article “What Happens to Your Body When You Fly“, and make a set plan on how to counteract some of the dehydration, air flow, and fatigue. Your body will thank you in the end!

Call Ahead for Perks

Something I always do before I leave for vacation is call the hotel or resort we’re staying at directly and inquire about any last minute possible perks. Hey, it never hurts to ask! Here’s usually my script:

“Hello there, I’ll be visiting your beautiful resort tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m hoping you can help me explore some options to make my vacation even more special! Do you have the capability to look for complimentary upgrades, early check-in, or spa credits you may be able to add to my account before I come?”

Of course sometimes it comes down to just a bit of luck, but I’ve had a lot of success by simply calling ahead!

What are some of your vacation prep tips? Where are you headed this spring break??

The Perfect Dinner for Leftover Night: Pita Pizzas

I always struggle with leftover meats and veggies. Sure, sometimes I toss them into a bomb casserole, but when I’m feeling a little less creative, I like to make homemade grilled pizzas! And trust me, after reading this, you will too. They’re healthy, tasty, personalizable, and less than $10 to make for a family of four!

Pizza Ingredients

The best part about this dinner idea is that you can individualize your pizza ANY WAY you want! That means an easy meal for picky eaters, and perfect for families who have a variety of likes. Plus, if you use whole wheat pitas, this dinner is healthy as can be! MAN I love pizza.

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. (350 if you don’t like your pizza as crispy)

2. Sauté a sliced onion, garlic and spinach with red pepper flakes, basil, and oregano seasoning.

3. Arrange pita breads on two baking sheets and brush with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Top pitas with desired toppings. Sprinkle with freshly grated mozzarella cheese.

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4. Bake for 10-15 minutes (after several trials, the perfect time for me was 13 minutes!), or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh basil. Enjoy hot!

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Ideas for healthy pizza combinations:

Greek: Feta cheese, drained can of tomatoes, halved olives, a teaspoon of dried oregano.

Hawaiian: Spread tomato sauce then layer mozzarella, diced pineapple, sliced ham, and red pepper flakes.

Pear, Prosciutto, and Blue Cheese: Layer thinly sliced pears and bake. Sprinkle with crumble blue cheese and chopped prosciutto.

Barbecue Chicken: Combine shredded chicken with barbecue sauce and top the pizza with a cup of mozzarella cheese. Top with red onion.

Margarita: Plum tomatoes, handful of fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup tomato sauce

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Grilled chicken, artichoke hearts, spinach, basil, and garlic! MMM.

Check out my friend’s Garlic Butter Sauce & White Pizza on her blog! :) 

My Top 5 Favorite TV Series

Top TV Series

I love playing “top 5″ and “favorites” games with people. What’s your favorite food? Favorite song? Favorite restaurant? Favorite girl’s name? Favorite dinosaur? Anything’ll do. But my FAVORITE question to ask to TRULY get to know someone is: what’s your … Continue reading