What I'm Loving: July 2013

I was brainstorming how I'd effectively start sharing with you guys on here, instead of just through Instagram, which I LOVE, (I'm an Instagram junkie and I don't see that changing anytime soon!), but I wanted to really connect, with more consistency, with more purpose. As I was brainstorming, a GINORMOUS light bulb went off for me. As you probably know, I'm a lover of a list including, but not limited to: all things pretty, a warm, inviting home, being a organization obsessor,  living a healthy life enriched with good food, good wine, and good friends. Clearly, the list of things I love goes on and on. That's when I realized, "HEL-LO Kali!"  My friends and I share the products, tips, foods, wines, shows, bargain finds, etc on-the-reg!  Alas, we have "What I'm Loving" posts. Every month I will share with you guys the things that are making my world a better place that month. Because if I'm loving them and they're in my top list (which means it's probably more like I obsess over them), I'm assuming you might just love them as well.

Sooo, here we go, with the top things I cannot live without this month...

JOSS AND MAIN is a site I came across recently that has ahhh-mazing deals on items for the home that have high-end designer looks--rugs, furniture, accent pieces, pretty much anything for the home! Since I'm constantly looking for pieces to add to my house to warm it up and switch it up, finding this site was like hitting gold.

Joss and Main presents classic, quality looks at extremely reasonable prices, up to 70% off in some cases! What I really love about the site, is the way they curate the collections into "Inspired Galleries" for sale. Joss & Main doesn't just put pieces up in a gallery labeled "Furniture" or "Decor," instead, they have curators who piece together looks perfectly into a gallery. The pieces are only on sale for a short amount of time, but they're honestly so beautiful and perfectly presented, that you'll know 100% what you want when you see it on their site. If you're looking for a little home revamp, or even just an accent piece to brighten up a dull corner, I highly recommend you check them out!

After many years of struggling with my weight, I've come to adopt a healthy mentality, instead of a skinny one. And what did I learn? If you focus on being healthy and educating yourself in that department, weight no longer really becomes an issue. When you fuel your body with the things it needs, it performs as a well-oiled machine. Which brings me to my new motto...

"A green smoothie a day will keep the doctor away!"

Ok, maybe Hippocrates said it a little more eloquently when he said, "Let food be thy medicine," but either way...I'm singing these praises, loudly. Preston and I have recently adopted the habit of daily green smoothies and let me tell you, the way it has transformed our daily lives has been mind-blowing. Just a few of these benefits we felt for ourselves were extreme increased energy, diminished cravings for sweets, breads, and pastas, clearer and brighter skin, and clarity of mind...just to name a few front-runners. Other fabulous health benefits of a daily green smoothie include: natural weight loss, increased consumption of fruits and veggies, easy digestibility, clearer skin from the intake of water, fiber, vitamins and minerals, fewer mood swings (hello!), and a stronger immune system.

On top of that, the possibilities are endless for what you can add to green smoothies to cater to your own health needs and taste buds. If you're interested in doing a little tango with some green smoothie in your life, here's a good recipe to start out with:

BEGINNER'S GREEN SMOOTHIE

3-4 Handfuls Spinach

1 Banana

3-4 Strawberries (or small handful of berries of your choice)

1/2 Citrus Fruit (I suggest grapefruit or large naval orange)

TBSP Chia Seeds (optional...they have no taste, will just aid in smoother consistency, and added chia health benefits of course)

5-8 cubes of ice + water filled to cover the ice (this ranges...I add more if it seems too thick)

In case you were wondering, despite the name, green smoothies DO NOT taste overly green. In fact, with the above recipe, you will likely only taste the fruit. Eventually, your taste buds will adapt to the smoothies and you will be able to dwindle down the fruit, but for your first few, add fruit as needed. Tons of fruit is still infinitely better than no fruit. Just to give you an idea of where you will be able to get once you get accustomed, I'm down to 1/2 banana, 1/4 grapefruit, 3-4 handfuls of spinach in mine.

I could talk about this topic forever, so if you are interested in learning more about it, leave me a little comment below and maybe I'll do a separate blog post just on this someday.

I've recently adopted the practice of using virgin coconut oil, not only for cooking, but as a moisturizer. And let me tell you ladies, just go ahead and quit buying those expensive ones with all of their empty promises and toxic chemicals. Virgin coconut oil is rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that soften skin, prevents wrinkles, sags, and age spots, and oh yeah, has NO HARMFUL SIDE EFFECTS.

I have been absolutely amazed at what it has done for my complexion. For a few weeks now, I've been applying it at night in lieu of my night time moisturizer after removing my makeup, and I absolutely love what it has done. My face is softer and brighter, and the awful under-eye circles I've never been able to get rid of are much less visible. I love it so much, I've actually replaced all of my moisturizers with it. I've always been a lover of lathering my body up with lotion at night, so instead, I use virgin coconut oil. The smell is subtle, yet soothing, it dries in a few minutes just like lotion, and leaves my skin feeling clean and refreshed.

Oh hey...I cook with it also. Double win! But that's for another day. If you want to read more about some beauty uses for coconut oil, this is a fabulous little read.

I'm not even going to lie to you. People have been telling me to try yoga for years, and every time I was a total gym snob and thought, "That sounds really nice, I'm glad you have a metabolism that allows you to NOT bust booty during your free hour at the gym. I'm so NOT going waste an hour of gym time doing some glorified stretching when I could instead be burning oodles of calories with cardio and weights." Holy moly, I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG. In the back of my mind I think I knew it would happen, too. I knew that there was a reason these people raved about yoga so much. Let me name a few benefits I've gained, so you can brush me off like I did to so many other people for years. (:

Yoga has showed me that I can get a fabulous mind and body workout without killing myself with a high intensity workout every day. You see, I'm as Type-A as they come. Doing nothing, or heck, even doing something that feels like it could be nothing or something that may just look like nothing gives me anxiety and stress out of the roof. This is why yoga was not enticing to me. I heard what people were saying, but I think I had a fear of wasting time. My valuable time. My only holy hour or so I have  some days to workout, doing stretches. I am here to proclaim at the rooftops to all of you TYPE-Aers out there...WE NEED YOGA. It has improved my work focus and my workout abilities, making me much more efficient at both. Yoga, I will forever sing your praises!

Last, but certainly not least of this month's raves, is Emily Ley's Simplified Planner. Now, I will say, I don't think this planner is suitable for everyone. If you don't use a planner to keep all aspects of your life organized, this might not be for you. However, despite iPhones, iCals, iMacs, I still prefer to have all of my appointments, passwords, client info sheets, everything in tangible form right in front of me. I've found a tangible planner to work best for running my business, my home, and all things in between. If you are a person like me in this regard, this planner is PERFECT for you. Emily is the branding and organizing queen, so her planner is constructed in a way that allows you to easily manage various faucets of life, likewise. It's in binder form, which allows you to personalize it to work best for you.

Emily also has FREE PRINTABLES that appeal to the super-organizer which help with things like username/password keeping, client info sheets, fitness tracking, teacher lesson plans, kitchen measurements, and MUCH MORE. I urge you to hop on over to her shop and check out these and the other fabulous things she has to offer. Her Simplified Planners are SO FAB that they sold out within weeks of release, unfortunately. Luckily, she has been known to release these little beauties twice a year. Who knows, maybe I'll even do a little giveaway for one when her next batch comes out. (;

Whew, what a blog post this was. I hope reading this makes a fabulous start to your weekend. Happy Friday my little lovelies!