Fitness Fridays

So glad its Friday! My day has barely begun and I am already craving a dirty martini and sushi. I know you guys know the feeling. I thought I would jump start your weekends by just updating you all on some of my go to moves and fitness inspirations of the moment.

I completed another week of my spin classes. Some weeks are easier than others. But teaching every night, three nights in a row is a blessing and a curse. Because I teach on Mondays I tend to dread that class the most. I always take awhile to get into the groove of things however, after my Monday night class I feel the best. I don’t feel as foggy, I feel strong and much calmer. Here is the playlist I used all week.

Song of the moment: The Knocks – Kiss the Sky. I do not know why this speaks to me so much but it does. I think I like the fast beat and then how it slows down and then the chorus just makes me want  to be on a dance floor on a tropical island. An honorable mention goes out to Kelhani – Did I. This song is literally my girl anthem. Great beat. Good lyrics. It’s all about goin’ out and gettin’ it.

Favorite move/exercise of the moment: I have ALWAYS loved planks. I have worked so hard over the years to develop this strength. I love it because of the variations and because it hits so many muscle groups. I currently am loving plans that require your ‘under’ leg if you will to pass through. Here is a picture of one of the moves I  have been doing. It is so hard to do but I love how deep the soreness goes. My love handles and low back are a popular spot for me to put on weight and I just love the effect of these. I also enjoy lifting one leg (the top leg if I am in a side plank or just one leg at a time if I have both hands on the floor). If you go on to Pinterest there is an overwhelming amount of information on there and great for inspiration.

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My favorite yoga pose of the moment: Hands down this would be Bow pose. It is so beautiful. I work on this one to open up my chest and promote good posture. Having a large chest I really gravitate towards posture perfecting poses that help open up the chest cavity and create space. I also recently read an article in an old Yoga Journal about how having a flexible spine is so important. When I taught my first barre class last weekend we did Bow pose. We did three rounds of and held the pose for about 10 seconds each. For a lot of the people this was a new sensation…they knew they were working hard and strengthening but it was also a great stretch. The dichotomy of the work vs. stretch opens people’s eyes to yoga. I had a student say “That class was so different. It was nice to not do the same moves all the time”. That was because we did a great strength and stretch routine without weights (we did weights earlier on and finished with yoga strength). So at the end of class you knew you worked hard and felt like you exerted yourself but also felt open and lengthened. That is a very important thing for me in my daily practice and I was glad it manifested in the class.

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Favorite healthy snack: OMG I have been going cookoo over sweet potatoes lately. I didn’t go grocery shopping this week I know, I know  but had about three sweet potatoes and as long as I have an option for a decent carb for dinner I am good.  So I have been heating one of these bad boys up every night in the microwave for about 5 minutes and then I go to town with the seasonings. I sprinkle on some cayenne pepper, garlic pepper, onion powder, then pour distilled vinegar on top  (this is a true Rhode Island thing) with some ketchup. HEAVEN.

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That is it everyone! Thank you all for reading!

Hill XO

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Fresh Purchases

Happy Wednesday to everyone. We are half way there.

You know that wishlist that I put together? Well I did a little bit of damage. I bought a few things – a couple were on the wishlist and one was not. After I put my wants and desires into the universe via my blog post, things happened and I handed over my debit card and just…yea…

First up! Sunday Riley’s Blue Moon Cleansing Balm. I gushed over this last week and had purchased it after using you sample just for two days. The instructions mention that you can even use it as a hydrating mask, which I did do and it was a great decision. This stuff has got awesome skincare goodies like cocoa butter, chamomile and vanilla to help you get ready for bed. What i like about this is that it is thick but is easy to move around on the skin and just rinses so easily. Nothing is left behind.

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I’m just a little excited!!! 

Next! Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation

I saw this on the Sephora website and was into right away. Then I went to the Becca section of Sephora’s website and looked at a tutorial and further explanation of the product. What drew me in was that is so glowy and you can go up a shade without it looking bad. I have been mixing Medium with my lighter colored foundations for some warmth. This lasts all day and is just so pretty. I can’t wait to use this even in the summer for nights out. I have enjoyed using this stuff with a lot of highlighter and bronzer. I just love the sun bum look.

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It looks a little dark but is so perfect! Sheers right out

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It was a good skincare day for me when I used this foundation. In love. 

YSL Touche Eclat Neutralizers in Green

Neutralizers have come on the scene lately as a step to help cancel out imperfections on our faces. For me – my issue is redness in the winter time. My cheeks, chin and nose seem to get quite flushed. I bought this on a whim and so far am enjoying it. What I like is that it doesn’t cancel everything out…it just helps dial it down. I think for someone who doesn’t like foundation or even BB cream you could use this with some moisturizer and keep it light and natural. I probably would not have been as interested in this product if I wasn’t an avid Touche Eclat fan. I love my little wonder pen. I go between 2.5 and 3 which are so peachy and great for the under eye. I would love to get one of these for my gym bag! They blend like a dream and are just so good for on the go.

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Very green and very intimidating but was just so light and made everything look much more even.

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My skin nice and evened out after I used the green pen. This is before foundation and after primer. 

So there you go! Hopefully some of you have either tried these products or are looking into trying them. I normally don’t purchase things that are overly trendy because I like for things to die down and let the cream rise to the top but I must say these are all three awesome purchases.

Thanks for reading!

Hill XO

Monday Blues

GOOD MORNING EVERYBODY!

I apologize I have been SOMEWHAT MIA. I had a tough week last week. I ended my week with a lovely virus in the form of muscle myalgia/flu thing. I had some gnarly muscle aches in my low back, love handles, hamstrings and trcieps and thought “oh I just overdid it with spin” BUT OH NO…it was a full blown virus. I had a slight stomach ache and took probably 10 baths/showers over a 48 hour period. HELL ON EARTH. I am proud to report though that by Saturday night I felt good. Eating was back to normal. I renewed my CPR/AED certification, went to a Paint Bar and taught my first barre class on Sunday.

I thought when I was sick that I would never feel normal again – that’s how awful it was. Today as I type this I truly realized that when you are sick, you have to always perfect your system to be well. I tried to eat as healthy as could when I was feeling  crappy and I think it helped. Instead of grabbing Soup Secrets with literally 1,000,000 grams of sodium, I opted for blueberries and hot lemon water.

Here are a few snippets from my weekend!

Thanks everyone for reading!

Hill XO

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I’m more of a Picasso than a Van Gogh. This is my rough draft of my painting from Paint Bar – Wine and a blank canvas…who would have thought! I had a blast with my friends. 

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True story: Stop N Shop in South Boston has the best flowers ever. These roses are stunning in real life. I just chucked flowers that I bought on 12/19/15… AMAZING

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I have been really working on my headstands. When you are upside down – you can really just figure shit out. 

Current Wishlist

Good morning,

I have a wishlist. I need to share it. There are a lot of things out there right now that are calling my name and I think I need to share them with all of you not because this is a safe place to communicate wants and desires but because I need some feedback.

Some of these things I have tried and will be purchasing, but others I need help on…

HERE GOES

NOW, I recently received samples of the Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm and I am obsessed. I used it once and I just know it is my favorite cleansing balm of all time. That is high up on the priorities of my wishlist. It smells like  Lipsmacker and is so hydrating.

The other thing I have tried is the Laura Mercier Candeglow Soft Luminous Foundation…I had a really hard time finding my color match. In Sephora I picked up Ecru which seemed to work for my paler winter skin however online it said that it was for light skins with cool undertones? HUH? I am a little bit cool but I have quite olivey skin. Has anyone tried this? I loved the formulation but am wondering if I could go a shade or two darker…I am a little afraid of my local Sephora lady so I have confided in you all.

Jaclyn Hill recently discussed this new Becca foundation. I feel like it is literally the foundation form of the Backlight primer. This looks like it will give a really dewy finish and help glow everything up. I am highly interested in this and would probably purchase this over the LM if it is better. I want both but know that life does not work that way, or does it?

Moving on with this Makeup For Ever Ultra HD concealer. NOW, since I turned 25 I swear I all of a sudden see these fine lines under my eyes and my skin is just crap right now. I look ruddy, feel ruddy and flat. I currently have an outbreak of milia on the tops of my cheekbones that look GOD AWFUL when I have highlighter on. I know these are first world problems here but WHAT-EVER. Every time I use my under eye concealer my circles look more pronounced. I know this can be because my concealer is too light…so I am sort of looking into this MUFE one. They have this concealer in correcting shades and concealing shades and I am most interested in the correcting ones. This is $27 vs. the Bobbi Brown Correctors which are $40. Does anyone have both and have an opinion? I use a super hydrating eye cream and think I just need a better concealer…any thoughts or insight would be helpful.

Lastly – LuLuLemon sports tops. I will preface this that my cannons are a humble size of 32F. Yes. You best believe when I work out I go all in with back and shoulder exercises to keep my posture looking like Lisa Kudrow from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (come on the magnet scene is so hilarious but oh so mean). So, my question is – do you girls find that these tops are supportive? I do have other LuLu tops that have a built in bra but I always wear another sorts bra under them. Do you think that if I wore another sports bra under this it would just become a bulge-y, back fat issue? HELP! I’m desperate for something hip and airy. I am leaning more towards the one on the left because I think there could be more natural support…however, I think my additional sports bra on the right could look less out of place. Just to preface this for you all – I am 5ft tall, I weight 13o lbs and I wear a size 4 in the tops and the pants.

FEEDBACK. PLEASE. GO.

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Replenishing the Stash!

Hello everyone!

I know that I usually feature my “Monday Blues” on Mondays and yesterday I did not post. I was in the MOST foul mood in a long time. I had driven back up to Boston from RI yesterday AM. If I go home I usually drive back on Sunday but I figured with MLK being yesterday that I would not hit as much traffic and I could have some more time with my family. I WAS EXHAUSTED and stressed out. I actually wrote a Mondays Blues post and then deleted it because it was just SO negative. I was just all around miserable! So – my apologies and I am glad to be back!

I have made a few purchases this past weekend in order to replenish my stash. Let’s get talking…

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Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum

I first bought this on a trip to NYC about two years ago. It was such an experience. I bought it at Caudalie in SoHo and it was just such a beautiful venue and our associate was so much fun. Since then I have bought this a few times. Since I just ran out of my large sample of Sunday Riley’s Good Genes I thought I would buy this again for a couple of reasons…. 1) It is less expensive than Good Genes and 2) It is a little more hydrating. Don’t get me wrong I am slightly obsessed with Good Genes however my skin is SO dehydrated from the cold so I thought Caudalie was a better choice for right now. This serums is just beautiful. Light weight, smells amazing and reveals better skin. The dropper is great and there is quite a lot in there.

Lierac Huile Sensorielle

I just talked about this product in my Winter Skin Saviors post. I had to pick up another one since it is my go to body oil. I repurchased this with some decent CVS coupons…It was originally $40 and I think I scored it for somewhere around $25.

Dr. Hauschka Clarifying Day Oil

I remember buying this around this time last year. What I love about this oil is that it is for day time. I am not someone who really needs balancing, but it is nice to have a product that is mindful keeping things even keel kind of a stretch. This is great for to keep  things hydrated before makeup application. It sinks in rather quickly and is not overly greasy or thick. It smells so wonderful. I sometimes mix this in with my Becca Backlight primer and foundation for quick glowy skin.

Current Winter Skin Saviors

Happy Friday to all of you! I hope you all are staying warm and have some cozy plans like watching Making a Murderer he deff did it and cuddling up with your animals or your loved ones.  The passed couple of weeks the weather has really become quite bone chilling in the Northeast – especially in Boston. One minute you are walking down the street and just feel cold, but then the next minute you duck through a few large buildings where you don’t feel the sun and then its friggen freezing! I have been trying to take good care of  my skin (like I always do), but despite some decent efforts to amp up the hydration, I have been striking out… The passed couple of days I have had to go into overdrive with keeping my skin plump and resistant to the cold. I have had to start curtailing my hyper pigmentation serums and cleansers in order to add in more hydrating layers. I have rounded up a handful of items that I have been calling on to help me out! If anyone has ANY further suggestions – I WELCOME THEM WITH OPEN ARMS.

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Lierac – Huile Sensorielle

I know I frequently talk about how happy I am that La Roche Posay, Vichy and Lierac have made their ways to CVS shelves. I picked this up when it first came into my local CVS and always have one in my stash. Its $40…and you don’t get a whole lot, however, I swear by this. It’s very comforting and smells quite herbal without a big flower bouquet. There is something very comforting about this oil. I love waking up in the morning in a big comfy sweater and smelling this left over on my skin. I use it all year round. I even put it in my face and hair if I am really in for a pamper. I am almost out! I think this weekend I am going to pick up another one.

Dr. Hauschka – Eye Balm

I discovered this last winter which was the winter from hell. I started to get these little eczema patches underneath my eyes and they were so raw. I had to really try to relax when they would start to itch. The thing about the under eye area is that it is so delicate and I also have quite dark circles already so when these patches arise, it really stresses me out. ANYWAYS, I bought this balm because of how thick it is. If I use this I try to use no eye shadow and only waterproof mascara. It helps provide some hydration and soothes but also protects. It’s a yellow balm that sort of sits on top of the skin but does blend well with an equally thick concealer. The only thing is you just need to wash your brushes more frequently when blending this. Your brushes can become quite oily.

Caudalie – Moisturizing Toner

Holy Grail. So nice. So gentle. Does exactly what it says. When my skin needs that extra hit of something soft and soothing I always grab this. I remember I had a bacterial infection on my face about three years ago and this stuff was just so great. It’s not stripping whatsoever.

La Roche Posay – Toleraine Ultra

What is so fabulous about this is that it is for face and eyes. Last winter I used this in conjunction with my Dr. Hauschka. I just love this. I think I am pre-disposed to rosacea. Ever since I was a little kid my face was always BRIGHT red after being outside or working out. I blush very easily and get hives on my chest even if I feel that I am talking to somebody for too long or if I have a glass of wine on an empty stomach. It’s very weird because I get so dark in the summertime and am SO Italian so this is a very odd thing that I have tried to tackle my whole life. This cream calms everything down and  is a great base for makeup. It’s a little bit thick but sinks in quite quickly and is fragrance free. This is great for everyone – I think even oily skin.

Weleda – Skin Food

This is a pretty new purchase for me. For $8.99 how the hell was I going to walk away from this? It is very like my eye balm. Very thick, smells very woody and herbal. I put this right on the high points of my cheeks and the perimeter of my face because for some reason that is where you can see the majority of my pores? WTF? I even rub this on my elbows and cuticles before bed. It’s great for your purse and bedside table.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector – Moonstone

I have had this since I graduated college – 3 years ago. When I finish this it will be a very very sad day, but she is still going strong. This for me just helps add some life to my face. In the winter I will mix this in with my foundation and my day oil for a friggen glow. This helps bring me from drab to fab. YOU NEED LITERALLY A QUARTER OF A PUMP. NO MORE.

Vaseline

Of course. I put this on my feet and put on my thickest socks. I know there is the whole paraben/mineral oil/synthetic debate out there and how this shit is just all bad and blah blah blah. I get it. However, there is no product that will ever touch Vaseline. When all else fails, I go in with this. My feet are always a mess from Spin and all the walking I do living in the city…Vaseline always makes a difference. I love putting this stuff on mixed with some cream or oil after I exfoliate. Plus its scentless and just so cheap.

Coupla TWO TREE New Things

I know you loved my Boston accent right there. Glad I got your attention.

In one of my very first posts I made on this blog I featured a post about my quest for the perfect eye make-up remover. I also included a history as to why this step in my skincare process is so important to me. I hate having raw eyes from rubbing too hard or using a product that just blows. I like make up removal to be something I look forward to everyday by using effective and quality products. I recently purchased two removers. One is already a holy grail remover for me and the other I am just trying out because it finally came to the states.  I am including one other product that is a toner, just for the sake of showing you all what is new!!!!!

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First things first. This Vichy micellar water is great for everything. I bought this in the summer and had to have it again. It is perfect for waterproof mascara days and cuts through oily lipstick like no ones business. With it being colder outside, I have been taking this all over the face and then using my cleansing balm to stay hydrated. I will say – you do not get a lot of product, but you do not need a lot. I LOVE the packaging of this. I really trust Vichy products.

SECONDLY – WELCOME GARNIER MICELLAR WATER!!!! Every time I would see a UK blogger talk about this I get so mad! I am so so so happy to have this here. I have been alternating between this and the Vichy. I think that this one is a little bit more oily or thicker…something about it is not as refined as Vichy, but I kind of like it. This has been compared to Bioderma and it being even better than Bioderma…AGREED. Plus Bioderma is a bitch to get over here. You can only order it off Amazon and the price is always jacked up. Anyways, can I just say that I love Garnier? Their BB creams were one of the first drugstore BB’s to hit the market, their face gel-creams are amazing and their cleansing oil is such a hidden gem.

Lastly – I picked up this Clarifying toner by Dr. Hauschka. I  had a Dr. Hauschka facial once and I remember this was used. I was in the market for a new toner but did not know what to get. Since I trust the brand and I thought it was a plentiful offering… I went with it. I decided on a clarifying option vs. something else, because a couple of times a week I like to go in with something sort of ‘harsh’ and clear out those pores. I can’t say I love this, but I don’t hate it…has anyone tried this and have a strong view on it?

Monday Blues

My thoughts exactly above.

Today is just so painful. I have been noticing that Mondays are worse for me when my weekend was less than eventful. Yesterday’s weather was just so ANNOYING. It was 60 degrees and it poured all day long. I opened the windows to my apartment and it was so humid and uncomfortable. I was also really looking forward to the Golden Globes last night but was SOOOOO bored….The whole event is like one big inside joke that no one understands if you aren’t famous. I watched the first half hour and then just decided to call it a night. I will say I did enjoy seeing a lot of women winners. GIRL POWA. Side note: what the hell was J. Lo wearing?

Anyways – I just hope this week comes and goes. I miss my family and my boyfriend. Wah.

Here are few pics. Sorry for the lame Monday post but ya know what? THAT’S LIFE. It ain’t always awesome but I am thankful that I am in good health, have a nice roof over my head and have a great family.

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When I studied abroad in Barcelona these were my weakness. Barcelona in the South End has just the best vibe and the best food. 

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The only productive thing I did yesterday was head out to the gym. It was sticky walk home.

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On Friday night, my mom and stepdad came up to Boston and I met them out at the Salty Pig right next to Back Bay. My roomie met us there after work. If you love cured meats and awesome pizza- this is your joint.

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My current favorite eyeshadow combo. African Violet by Laura Mercier and Satin Taupe by MAC. Satin Taupe looks nothing like how it does in the pan… its quite purpely/taupey… nothing like below! That’s why it is so amazing. 

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I recently found this awesome instagram account called “alwaysssleep” and its just pictures of beds from wherever. This new bed set was a Chrismtas present from my mom and its just so cozy. 

Fitness Fridays

Hello everyone!

I apologize for being slightly MIA this week. I really hit the ground running…I taught spin A LOT and have just been dead! My cold (really just my cough) has been driving me insane. Mucinex is a godsend but kind of is not great for my tummy. 😦  Hopefully you all can forgive me.

So now that January 2016 is in full swing I know that our group exercise classes are probably overflowing and your usual treadmill has been occupied all week by some newbie who just texts the whole time and is walking at a semi-glacial place. I do have a few tips and tricks to work around this small issue!

TIP #1: Try going at a different time. SHAKE THINGS UP.

I know this sounds crazy…us gym people are creatures of habit! Why should we have to go at a different time in order to work around the Resolutioners? Sometimes its good to try a different time. Who knows – you might actually like it. Perhaps a small change could be made. If you normally hit the gym at 5:45PM…maybe head there an hour later. You can maybe catch up on some work or go home and clean those damn dishes AND then burn those calories. This week I opted for an AM session vs. a PM workout. It was great because after work I just went home to relax. Of course it was a total BIATCH to get up but after breaking a sweat I didn’t want to stop.

TIP #2: So what if that new person took your spot or your bike. GROW UP.

Seriously. We are not children. I remember at the first gym I ever taught at the women that were in their 40’s – 50’s were BRUTAL about their bikes. Hey – you snooze, you lose. Bikes (at the gyms I have taught at anyways) are first come, first served. If your name (or towel, water bottle) ain’t on it…IT AIN’T YOURS. I think we need to remember that we are not children and it is good to move around the room – get a new perspective. The ride is about you…I get it…every bike is different so your settings may vary, but who knows maybe you will sit next to a super motivational person or maybe the music is a bit louder so you feel like you’re one with the beat.

TIP #3: Harder spurts to get in and get out

Ok. You get to the gym and all of a sudden you sense there are WAY more people there than when you walked in and started your work out. People are starting to have loud conversations, the mirrors are fogging up – you feel distracted but you still have 20 minutes left on the elliptical…ahhh what do you do? Start some intervals. Crank up the resistance or the speed. Bring that heart rate up and push, push, push and then give yourself double the time for rest. You can do whatever time intervals work for you. I am personally a huge fan of 30 seconds on and 60 seconds off. You’ll burn more calories, possibly have a cardiovascular breakthrough, get that metabolism revved and you’ll be out the door.

It is important during these times to find the positive and obviously to make things work for you!

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND

Thanks for reading

Hill XO

Monday Blues

WHAT UP. 2016 is off to a great friggen start but I still HATE MONDAYS!!! :):):):)

Hopefully all of you had a great long weekend. I pretty much drank and ate my way through Friday to yesterday. I had a ton of fun going to A LOT of bars and just being social. Usually I feel very guilty but I was like you know – I am sharing some strong cocktails with people I love and cherish…THERE AIN’T NOTHING BETTER. However, I have decided to stop drinking for five weeks after today. That’s right. I decided to just go for it. I am not a heavy drinker and barely make it through two glasses of wine at dinner during the weekend, but I just want to see how my body reacts. I do not drink during the week nor do I crave it, so I feel that this could be either a great idea or one that just seems lame. This holiday season I do feel that I indulged a lot. My birthday week, I went out Wednesday through Sunday…so I think the timing of this little detox is perfect.

I do have a few resolutions. None of this “New Year, New Me” but more like tangible improvements that require some work but not TOO much. If you care…continue.

DON’T LET STRESS STRESS ME OUT

Life is stressful. I sometimes feel like multiple days attack me at once. I stress out if my room is not clean or even if there are dirty dishes in the sink. I need to work through these small things and know that they will all be dealt with and are not necessarily conducive to the big picture. Another aspect of stress that I would like to gain better control over is not worrying about other people’s behavior. If people are not happy around me and I feel they are not enjoying themselves, I get stressed out. THAT NEEDS TO STOP. PERIOD. This is at the top of the list for me to deal with.

GETTING MY CLOSET ORGANIZED

My closet at my apartment is so lame and I split space between the one in my room and the storage closet on the first floor. I need to revamp it so that I do not need to head downstairs for a sweater. I am thinking of a plan and hope to execute it soon.

BEING BETTER WITH MONEY

This is a very large umbrella for me. First things first is I need to make a budget and prioritize wants vs. needs. Living in Boston is not easy but I do feel that I can further control certain aspects of my spending and hopefully start actually saving money.

MAKING BETTER FOOD CHOICES

I consider myself to be healthy. I eat my veggies and my fruit and do have some willpower with making the right decisions but I would like to further focus on that. I think I have done pretty well and did fall off a bit during the holidays but I am ready for my salads and strengthening my “good choices muscle”.

Here are also some pics of the weekend. CHEERS TO 2016… drinks Smartwater and wishes it was a martini.

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I’m wearing a skirt my mom bought me for Christmas. So warm and cozy.

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My NYE run. I loved closing 2015 out with this one!

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I had a nice and relaxing NYE. Chinese food and champagne by the fire. Of course I did some yoga too

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My stepdad and I on New Year’s Day about to crush some oysters and martinis

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The new favorite tea right here. I have had this AWFUL cough and this calms things down right away.