WHAT I ATE & GIVEAWAY WINNER

HAPPY OFFICIAL SUMMER! I have a fresh spray tan, I'm living in shorts (this pair and this pair, more specifically) and I'm happy as a clam. I have loved receiving your comments on my last blog post and reading what you'd like to see more of. I'm definitely going to take a lot of the suggestions and put them into motion now that my schedule is a bit more streamlined and I'll have more time to write. I'm officially done with taking classes and I spend 100% of my time at the gym now either training my clients (or training myself). I've built up a solid business and it feels so good. 

A common thread is that several of you would like to see more "What I Ate" posts, and I'm happy to oblige. Holding myself accountable to track my meals is always a good thing. Let me take you through my day yesterday in food!

Typically the first thing I do when I wake up is chug a few glasses of cold water. Lots of people will tell you to have hot water with lemon. Sure, maybe if I lived in Miami with a Meyer lemon tree in my front yard and awoke to the sunrise each day. But since I crawl out of our hole of a bedroom around 5am most mornings and I love cold water... that's what I have.

However, yesterday I was moving a little slowly and didn't have anytime to have anything before my first client at 7am. At 8am I booked it to CVS, grabbed a giant bottle of water and a GFB that I ate half of on the way to my cycling class.

After class, I grabbed a vanilla protein smoothie at Juice Press and drank it on my walk home. I took a quick shower, changed, and headed downtown to meet a girlfriend for coffee. (I just got these sneakers and I'm loving them for strength workouts.)

I love the iced almond milk lattes at Gregory's, but they're always a little bit tough on my stomach. One of my clients likened the drinks there to lighter fluid. I can't say I totally disagree.

I met my dad for lunch at Bryant Park Grill and had an amazing kale salad with grilled shrimp, shaved pear, pecans, and celeriac. Did a little shopping afterward and bought new sandals, a romper and a maxi dress for our upcoming travels. 

It's rare that I have two smoothies in one day, but I needed some quick fuel before my afternoon and evening clients, so back to JP I went. I drank half the smoothie before work and half right after.

Got this little alert on my walk home from work around 8pm. Perfect! I love hitting all three goals before the sun sets. 

I came home to chicken in the oven... when Ben gets home before me he preps dinner so we can eat it together. We see less of each other now that I work early mornings and later in the evenings so I treasure our weeknight dinners more than ever. I had made a big chopped salad of spinach, mozzarella, salami, garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds and dried cranberries that we ate with these honey jalapeno chicken breasts we'd picked up at Whole Foods over the weekend. Afterward we watched a few episodes of Curb (who else is excited it's coming back?!?!?!) and called it a night. All in all, a great day!

Congratulations to AMBER, the winner of my Tarte giveaway! You've been emailed. Thank you to everyone who entered. Stay tuned for the next one.

Happy Thursday!

MY 5 SUMMER BEAUTY MUST-HAVES & TARTE COSMETICS GIVEAWAY

Wednesday has officially become my GET YOUR SH!T TOGETHER, GIRL day. It's early afternoon and thus far I've trained three clients, went grocery shopping, prepped lunch for the rest of the week, dinner for tonight, did the dishes, went to a barre class, and now I'm home eating lunch before my next 4 clients. I am on the cusp of being promoted to Tier 3 Trainer at work (yaaaaay!) so the past month has been spent working like crazy to get all of my ducks in a row. I am so happy, so excited, and a little tired.

In the spirit of GSD, I figured now was a good a time as any to post the giveaway I've been planning for a bit! Make sure you check it out at the bottom - the prize has a retail value of $190!

It's truly summer in NYC so I thought I'd chat about my 5 summer beauty must-haves. I try to be reeeeally low key with makeup and hair in the summer. I'll have to do a whole separate post about hair. But for makeup and my overall look, I depend heavily on a few things: a) spray tanning; b) light, cooling products and c) eyelash extensions (so that I can forego mascara and eye makeup all together!).

Here are my have-to-haves...

Lip Balm with SPF.  My inexpensive fave is Babo Botanicals (love the Coconut Apple scent). And since we all know I live for lux lip balms, I also love this Marc Jacobs. So lush!

Face Mist. I've been using this cooling Evian mist for ages and it's perfect for travel. I'm planning to try this tarte version that also works as a primer!

Temporary Self Tanner. My favorite is St. Tropez One Night Only for that faux glow between spray tan appointments. I can't stress how great this stuff is. It gives you an even glow and washes off with soap and water!

Face makeup with SPF. I mentioned this in my last post but during the summer I need my foundation color to match my spray tan. My two favorites are Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Serum Foundation (I love this because it's super brightening; just make sure to use with a product that has SPF in it like this Argan Daily Moisturizer) and Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 Protect +  Perfect (I love this because it's one step but note that it doesn't provide as much coverage as the Matchmaker). I use this tarte brush - hands down the best beauty tool I have ever owned.

Highlighter. I like to contour a little bit in the summer; I don't wear much eye makeup but I do like a bit of highlighter on my brow bone and on the tops of my cheeks. Lately I've been using the highlighter in my new tarte palette; the color is "Champagne" and it's so pretty and easy. I also like rms beauty Living Luminizer.

So! The giveaway. A few weeks ago, Ben and I bought a table at the American Cancer Society's annual Taste of Hope fundraising event. My dad bid on some of the silent auction prizes and one of them was a haul of tarte cosmetics. I've been wearing tarte for years and was thrilled to find out several days later that he won. Long-time readers know that I never like to keep gift bags entirely for myself, so one of you is in luck! All I ask is that the winner make a donation to the ACS. I obviously cannot force you to do so, but I ask you in good faith to please pay it forward and give something. 

Giveaway includes*:

tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Blush in "Natural Beauty"

tarte Airbuki Bamboo Foundation Brush

tarte Opening Act Lash Primer

tarte Best In Faux Lash Extending Fibers

tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in "Adorbs"

tarte Lippie Lingerie Matte Lip Tint in "Racy"

tarte The Lip Sculptor Lipstick and Lip Gloss in "Harlequin"

tarte The Sculptor Contouring Face Slenderizer

Enter below. Good luck and have a great week!

*This giveaway IS NOT sponsored by tarte! They (sadly) have no idea who I am. This is just me sharing some treats with one of you.

WEEKEND PHOTOS + MY VACATION BEAUTY ROUTINE

Happy Tuesday and almost-May! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Just popping by to share a few snaps from our quick beach getaway which was comprised of lots of eating, working out, shopping and sleeping. (My four favorite things to do!) Also sharing my vacation beauty routine below!

drinks at Scarpetta Beach // my dress

dinner at Scarpetta Beach

see the workout I did here // sports bra (on sale for $25!) crops and sneaks (on sale)

lunch at Cittanuova

happy hour at The Wine Stand

fun doormat in Southampton // sandals

dinner at Harvest on Fort Pond //vmy romper, blazer, necklace, clutch, wedges

I love talking beauty so I thought it'd be fun to share the beauty products I brought to the beach. The more and more comfortable I become in my own skin, the less makeup I wear. But God knows I've got to use a little somethin' somethin'! Here's what made the vacation cut...

COVER FX Anti-Aging Primer // Helps smooth my fine lines.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 Protect + Perfect // I found this just before I left for my trip and it's AMAZING. I used to use Josie Maran Matchmaker Foundation (perfect for spray tans because it color matches so you don't have to worry about finding a foundation to match your spray tan every damn time you get one) but I was looking for something with a high SPF content. I am LOVING this. 

COVER FX Corrector // It's safe to say I'm always a liiiittle behind on sleep, so I use the "Peach" color for helping to conceal my undereye circles.

Juice Beauty Buki Brush and Glowing Cheek Color // A little goes a LONG way in terms of color. I really like this brand. I use their Perfecting Foundation in the winter.

Tarte Lipsaver // I never "bought into" lip primer before I got this (literally or figuratively). But I decided to try it because I wear a little more lip color now that my eye makeup is pretty much non-existent due to my lash extensions. This conditions and preps really nicely.

Lipstick Queen in "Float" // I've tried so many neutral lip colors and I keep coming back to this one.

The Estee Edit More Than Brows // I love that this is so easy to use and also doubles as an eyeshadow. But 99% of the time I use it just on my brows with my Tweezerman brush.

NUDESTIX // I use "Twighlight" as both shadow and liner for nights out and have "Flesh" for lips and cheeks. (Sidenote: if I wore more eye makeup on a regular basis, I would SOOO carry this Clean-Up Pencil around with me as my mascara always runs!!!)

HAMPTONS PACKING LIST

If you follow me on Snapchat, you already know this, but... I'M WEARING SHORTS! It's FINALLY starting to feel like spring and maybe even summer here in NYC! Just in time for Memorial Day Weekend. I'm currently sitting next to an opening window, enjoying the breeze and the last few sips of my iced latte while bopping to "Forever Your Girl" by Paula Abdul in our desk chair. All hail the sunshine!

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Tory Burch Miller sandals // J.Crew tassel necklace (under $35 & obsessed) // Nudestix eye color (I love "Twighlight")

Alola clutch // Old Navy peplum top (on sale!) // Theory cotton blazer (on sale!) // Love Quotes linen scarf

J.Crew Factory denim shorts (on sale!) // Stuart Weitzman raffia wedges (on sale!) // BLANKNYC draped jacket

···

I'm so excited to head to the beach this weekend - it's the first real "vacation" I've taken since I started at Equinox over six months ago. Knowing that I wanted to travel a bit this summer, I worked my ass off in March and April, literally not taking a single day off until visiting Nana a few weeks ago. My hard work paid off; my business is great and I feel like I've earned a few days away. If my collage above is any indication, it's not exactly going to be warm, but that's to be expected... it's always still pretty chilly out East for Memorial Day Weekend. I'm looking forward to white jeans, iced tea at The Golden Pear, cozying up in lightweight layers and listening to the waves. This is literally the best sleep I get all year. Thank you for checking in here; I hope to check in with you more once I'm back from the beach, my schedule is a bit more set (yesterday was my last day of class! EQX Tier 3 here I come!) and my head is a bit more clear. Thanks for your patience, your support, and for popping over to my lil' corner of the 'net. Have a safe, sunny, FABULOUS weekend! 

SNAPSHOTS FROM SARASOTA

Happy May! We spent the weekend in Sarasota with my Nana, Aunt and Uncle and it was so nice to get away for a few days... in fact, it was the first time I had two days off in a row (or really, two days off at all) since the last time I went to Sarasota back in February. I need to get better about that! The weather was gorgeous and we enjoyed every moment, though I think the highlight of the trip was probably Mothers Day brunch at the Ritz. Fun fact: that hotel was one of the three venues I toured for our wedding. The property is absolutely gorgeous. I wish I'd taken more photos: the set-up for the brunch itself was spectacular, between all of the beautiful food, a raw bar on ice and the stunning floral centerpieces. Sometimes it's tough to find the balance between focusing on living in the moment and focusing on capturing the moment. I chose the former in this case. Oh well! 

Home is where the palm trees are... always and forever

on me: top (similar & on sale here) // jeans // wedges (on sale!) // clutch // necklace on perri: crop // skirt // sandals (on sale!)

Endless desserts at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota for Mothers Day Brunch

on me: dress is "want & need" purchased from Nordstrom Rack // wedges (on sale!) // earrings on perri: dress // similar necklace // sandals

The "Benny" bowl at Daily Eats: scrambled egg whites, ham, chopped up English muffin and hollandaise on the side

 

 

 

MONDAY MOTIVATION: HOW TO TRACK NUTRITION WITHOUT GETTING BURNT OUT

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope that wherever you live, you're experiencing some nice spring weather. We had an incredible weekend here in NYC. I walked five miles yesterday including the Central Park Reservoir. Fantastic.

Passover began Friday at sundown, and we had Seder with our families both Friday and Saturday nights. It's funny, whenever Passover rolls around, I kind of think to myself, "I can't believe I can't eat bread for the next eight days because some fool forgot to bring flour that day Moses parted the sea." I mean, that's a really dumbed down version of history and obviously I'm kidding (sort of). But sometimes you just gotta laugh. 

I'm actually going without grain for two weeks instead of just eight days because I've decided to do an elimination diet with one of my clients. I'm SO excited for both of us to see the changes in our bodies, sleep and overall moods at the end of this. And even though I've done this before, it doesn't mean it's easy for me! On a regular basis, I don't eat much grain, but there's a big difference between having a little bit and ruling it out completely. 

I was talking to one of my other clients a few weeks ago and she told me about her experience with the 21 Day Fix Diet. (I've never done it, but here's a great explanation if you're curious.) She said that while she understood whey there was excessive tracking required, it kind of sucked the joy out of everyday life. It's a great point, actually: as important as it is to have accountability during a weight loss journey, sometimes we get so wrapped up in keeping tabs on our healthy habits that we lose focus of the big picture. And sometimes, ironically, it feels easier to eat healthier when you're not stressing out about it.

These days, a lot of people are tracking their food intake via applications like MyFitnessPal. When I start working with a new client, I ask them to keep a detailed food log for a set amount of time and share it with me afterward so that I get to know them through their food choices. What we eat is incredibly personal and I know how hard it can be to share this information with others, but it's next to impossible for me to coach someone without it! I have been ridiculed many times over for MY food choices so I really commend the people I work with for opening themselves up to my help. I know how important it is not to JUDGE. I do not judge ANYONE'S food choices because I know how hard it's been for me when people verbally judge mine. I simply observe and I offer my knowledge. Personally, I've been tracking my own food intake on and off for the past few years, and I know it can be challenging to find the balance between responsibility and spontaneity. Here's how I track my nutrition without getting burnt out.

Count macros, not calories. I tell my clients this all. of. the. time. Focus on the amount of macronutrients you're getting - proteins, fats, and carbohydrates - rather than simply counting the amount of calories you're consuming. If you're trying to lose weight and counting calories, I cannot stress enough how much changing this habit will help you. I use MyFitnessPal to figure out how many macros I need. MFP (MyFitnessPal) is also great for looking up the macro info on tons of different foots. 

Learn about the macros of the foods you eat most often. I'm a creature of habit: right now I have a smoothie for breakfast every day, an omelet or a salad for lunch and lean protein with veggies for dinner. On any given day, I know where most of my fats are coming from. This is important for me because in the past I've gone overboard eating healthy fats. Maybe you eat too little or too much protein, or perhaps you're cutting back on carbs. Whatever it is, do some research and get a sense of what your macros look like on an average day. 

Set aside a time (or times) to track. My client told me that when she was doing the 21DFD, she was required to check in with a support group several times a day, and that it was a bit draining. I know from experience that it's very easy to become obsessive about tracking. In fact, that's why I've been taking a break from MFP recently. I got a little overwhelmed by how much time I was spending on my phone (my schedule is a little all over the place these days - literally and figuratively - so I depend on my phone A LOT since I'm not near a computer all day) and decided to back off for a bit. I've been writing things down and journaling instead. When I AM tracking via MFP sometimes I'll plug in all of my meals for a day the evening before, so a) I know what I'm going to eat the next day; b) I don't have to worry about tracking after the fact and c) I have a general idea of whether or not I have any wiggle room. If you can't track the night before, make sure you have a dedicated time or times during the day to take a few minutes to either write everything down or plug everything into the app you use. 

Have several different ways to track, and take at least one day off. Plugging food into the MFP can be a bit time consuming, not to mention tedious. BUT. If you're focused on weight loss, it's IMPERATIVE to take the time to do this! For your mental health, however, I recommend taking a day or two off from detailed tracking each week. This is NOT a pass to go hog wild and hit up a donut buffet. Look at your day(s) off from tracking as an opportunity to enjoy the healthy food you love without having too think too much about it.

Give yourself a break! If this shit were easy, we'd all have like 15% body fat and the world would be a really boring place. Take pride in your journey and celebrate all victories, big and small. And always, if you need help, I'm here. :)

FRIDAY FAVORITES: APRIL 15, 2016

*The event I posted about on Monday has been postponed until further notice. Stay tuned!*

FAVORITE ACCESSORY: I ordered this document case to stash my iPad, Apple Pencil, lip gloss, and a few other things in. It'll be perfect for work.

FAVORITE BAG: Well if the above item is practical, this embroidered clutch is definitely on the opposite side of the spectrum. But I absolutely adore it.

FAVORITE BEAUTY: I love this More Than Brows pencil from The Estee Edit. I got "Rich Brown" and it's great for my brows and for the rare occasion when I wear eyeshadow, I like a little bit of this in the outer crease. Definitely want to try a few more products from this line. 

FAVORITE DRESS: This off-the-shoulder number is calling my name... but I may have to pick up this WAY more budget-friendly version instead.

FAVORITE GEAR: These barre socks with cute sayings on them are so much fun. 

FAVORITE INFOGRAPHIC: I love this comparison chart of all types of milk in nutrients.

FAVORITE JEWEL: Wow, this statement bracelet is fantastic. 

FAVORITE LOOKALIKE: I've been wanting a Mara Hoffman bikini for ages, but this high neck top and bottom is a great dupe for any of her colorful prints, for a fraction of the price. (Make sure you check out the back of the top! So cute.)

FAVORITE SALE: Get $50 off your $200+ purchase at Neiman Marcus with code INC50. 

FAVORITE SAVE: I picked this open sweater up a few days ago and I'm fairy certain I'm going to spend the next few months in it (or at least until the weather warms up for good). It's surprisingly flattering and incredibly cozy.

FAVORITE SHOE: For those days when I want more than a sandal but less than a sneaker, these espadrilles are key.

FAVORITE SPLURGE: This is definitely more than I usually spend on a tee, but the cut and fabric of this cold shoulder top is spot-on.

Linking up with Heather. Have a great weekend and thank you for reading!