girl crush: alexis schulze

August 20, 2015

thursday happy to you m’loves!

it’s girl-crush time.

you know all of those nektar juices you’re addicted to?

well today we have the {beautiful} face behind the nektar craze.

alexis schulze, co-creator with her husband steve, of nektar juice, a company just named one of the top 5000 fastest growing in america, graciously took the time to stop by GNI, to let us crush on her.

sweet as pie, and as pretty as its peach filling, alexis is never without a smile or a friendly “hello.

even before i had met her {i of course knew who she was–she’s LIKE totally famous}–she was always so nice to me and welcoming.

let’s get to know this lovely lady:

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alexis, tell us a bit about yourself and how you manage this full life of yours {married to steve, {2} boys, + your juice empire.} 

i think of myself as that girl in the circus balancing on a ball. she might look like she has it all together, but inside she’s freaking out! i juggle a business {i was always a teacher,} a typical busy, family life, and try to maintain my obsession with working out. my passion besides all of this is probably food. i love food…..


 name 5 bottom-of -the-jar products?

 for my face- arcona has a great line that i have been using on my sensitive, 41-year-old skin for probably 9 years now. my staples are magic white ice, a moisturizer, the solution- a nighttime repairing serum, and the vitamin A complex-a retinol formula for firming and clarity. my newest find is a natural deodorant that {so far} seems to be top notch- nourish organics {berry and fig smell yummy} and their argan butter- which is a mix of argan oil and shea butter, so it’s like butter cream on my dry sensitive skin! and not quite as hippie dippie is my oribe foundation mist. that stuff can fix my post-workout pony tail line that has ruined me for decades…always an obvious tell that i didn’t wash my hair…… UNTIL NOW!! {insert evil laugh here.}


who is your style icon and why?

i have to say jessica alba- she’s sexy and classy, and she’s just gorgeous!

molly sims is another one.

i think i am drawn to how real they are; they seem like peeps i would hang out with.


what is your summer fashion, must-have item?

i am queen of the ROMPER! less thinking about what goes with what; throw it on with a great shoe and some fun jewelry! voila! even i can look put together that way!

 {1} {2} {3}


what is your favorite smell?

cookies baking in the oven and my boys fresh from the shower!


how do you define luxury?

an incredible bottle of wine, sitting outside somewhere beautiful.


what’s the last book you read and loved?

the nightingale was one that stuck with me.


what are your vices?

wine, cheese, more wine! not so original in that one!


finish the sentence….i can never leave the house without:

clothes? haha! ok, seriously….. probably a pedicure.

what advice would you give your 25-year-old self?

stop being so critical and don’t compare yourself to anyone else, just own what you have.


what does your ideal 2 weeks off look like?

a perfect mix of exploration and relaxation. traveling somewhere i have not been, and adding a little adventure, some sightseeing and a lot of food and wine!


give me your 5 deserted island items….people and things? 

is it bad to NOT bring my kids? i mean, kinda selfish, but i would want them..although i know they would whine the whole time killing my relaxing vibe. so maybe not! being politically correct i should say my husband, but he’s not very handy, and i think charlie hunnam seems to me like he could build us a house and whatever else i needed. a coco jack- that way i could drink a lot of coconut water and stay hydrated. a phone to call my kids and husband {just to check in because i wouldn’t actually want to leave charlie all alone,} a kindle to read {assuming i had a lot of books already downloaded,} and a good pair of shoes for hiking.

what is your idea of perfect happiness?

i think i just described it above….:)

ok really. finding balance, real and honest friendships, and the ability to spend quality time with those i love. oh and if cellulite didn’t exist!


 family members excluded what is your most prized possession?

family excluded…..well, i am not really into things…i think as unglamorous as it sounds my night guard..keeps me from having migraines…and that is pretty prized.

 in what historical era would you most like to have lived?

i am fascinated by the WWII era, but i’m not sure i’d want to live then.


 what are your favorite things about living in southern california?

the weather! growing up in arizona it’s really nice to not melt when you walk outside.


 what are your least favorite things about southern california?

being far from family and how perfect everyone looks is…kinda hard on us perfectionist, aging women!

thank you alexis for letting us crush on you today, and giving us a glimpse into your life—you are sweet as nektar! 

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happy shiny FACES….

August 17, 2015


i should just end this post, right here, with: “you’re welcome.”

{mic drop}

{shuffle, ball-change…..exit stage left}

but the 50% irish catholic in me is compelled to confess all that i know.

so here it goes:

i give you vasanti facial cleanser–truly a game changer in my ongoing endeavor for complexion renovation; an evolving enterprise of mine since the age of eleven when i was made to believe beautiful skin could be a breeze with sea breeze.—i’m still re-moisturizing from those days.

this is not just for girls, so men listen up–because even the boys could use a little pore-refining.

the vasanti facial cleanser washes, illuminates, and exfoliates the skin like no other product i’ve used {save for an S.O.S. pad. but that resulted in stitches.}

one tube should last at least 6 months; which is a bargain at $34.00.

and not only will your face be fancy, your conscience will be clear knowing vasanti products are all vegan, cruelty-free + paraben-free.

let me know what you think.

monday-happy-shiny to you LOVEBUGS!!!

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ring in the SPRING!

March 20, 2015


she’s here!

my favorite season, the best time of year: spring!

even the word “spring” brings a smile to my face; i dare you to say it without the corners of your mouth delighting upward into an arc of happy.

and although i’m aware there is still major snow and frost in much of the country, nary slush or sleet should prevent you from enjoying our vernal equinox.

spring is a state of mind, not a weather forecast: it’s a fresh start, a rebirth, an opportunity to grow; an optimism and new vigor awakening after a long winter’s hibernation.

so how do you “ring in the spring?”

for me it always starts with our house.

my spring cleaning is more of a purge: clothes, food, old electronics, and any other cabinet clogging items i haven’t thought of in a year are donated or thrown out; never underestimate the power of a closet gut to make you feel like a superhero.

not ready for a major household overhaul?

start smaller.

this week i cut off stems from our backyard jasmine bush–last year’s $4.99 trader joes purchase whose vines now serpentine up the whole backside of our house, fragrancing the porch with a sweet, sunny aroma.

 i brought the lone stems inside, dropped them in various pink goblets throughout the downstairs, and, clouds or no clouds outside, our house feels and smells like spring.

here are a few other ways i’m “ringing in the spring.”


it’s no secret i’m a sucker for a seasonal scent; even in my cleaning products. the pure grass scent from good home company is a staple for me this time of year. we use the dryer sheets, the laundry detergent, and the vacuum balls to give the house a fresh, clean, green aroma.

we are also using this soap in our nursery.


lasting no more than a month or two, this time of year brings a craving for teatime to rival my typical, 2pm binge on black coffee.

mighty leaf organic spring jasmine and teavana’s wild orange blossom herbal tea are two of my post-lunch favorites.

and i’m thinking these initial mugs from anthropologie are the perfect vessels for that afternoon recess.


even my skin gets its own version of spring cleaning. now is the time i bust out mario badescu’s kiwi face scrub to start unearthing the permafrost of dry and dehydrated skin brought on by winter.

i also use tata harper’s resurfacing mask and juice beauty green apple brightening pads for major exfoliation.

burt’s bees cucumber facial wipes are well-stocked in my refrigerator; every morning while my coffee brews i treat myself to a quick cucumber scented facial-the puffy and fatigue instantly evicted from my eyes and jowls.


my big splurge this time of year is always a jo malone orange blossom candle.



worth it?

hell YES!

 this clementine/water lily scent is instant prozac for my disposition. some girls have that favorite red lipstick, that short black skirt, or that stiletto pump to revamp their mood….mine comes in the form of a candle.

less expensive but just as pirouette-inducing is the moss + mint candle from nest; think minty garden fresh infused with apple blossom.

the cutting garden from seda france is another one i love; with one stroke of a match a fragrant green bouquet permeates the house; one king’s lane is having a sale on a ton of seda france candles.

and i’m a total fool {both for the scent and the price} of mrs. meyer’s basil scented clean soy candle; i’m always asked about these candles when i put them out for entertaining.


for outside the front door i’m looking at all of the pretty, new, spring 2015 nail collections to bring the primavera party to my toes and fingers.

 zoya’s spring delight practically reinvents the rainbow for your feet.

and essie‘s latest spring medley has me unpacking all my peep-toe platforms {totally appropriate for a woman 35 weeks pregnant.}


i don’t require major renovation or second mortgages to ring the spring into my life; a flower here, some dryer sheets there, maybe a new coat of polish, and i’m set.

how will you be ringing in the spring m’loves?

wishing you a weekend of hop in your step and posy in your play.

see you on the other side of sunday.



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game changer: odacité serum

March 19, 2015

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thursday taut and toned jawlines to you m’loves.

for your age-defying arsenal, today i give you a game-changing bazooka:

odacité nighttime anti-oxidants repair serum

with 100% organic ingredients, including natural vitamin e, msm {a collagen producer,} and hyaluronic acid {which plumps and hydrates the face,} this powerful, but non-irritating product has done wonders for my tired, puffy, pre-natal face.

i first tried this wonder-worker last summer. i liked the results: firmer skin tone and a brighter complexion. it’s not the least expensive product out there so when i had used up my bottle i was hesitant to re-purchase.

immediately i noticed a slack in the glow and clarity i was getting used to; i decided it best to forgo the daily peet’s coffee in favor of a peaches-n-cream face.

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as you’d expect from an organic skincare line, odacité eschews all the toxic nasties sometimes found in potent products.

the entire line is paraben, petrochemical, phthalates, formaldehyde and fragrance free.

i know some of you are still unsure about the competence of all-natural products:

can these non-medical grade, farm to bottle potions give me the same results as the stuff cooked up in the chemist labs?

the answer is a resounding YES!!

botanicals, amino acid peptides, and vitamins derived from natural ingredients are often more robust in effect; such is the case with odacité products.

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and just as important to me as efficacy is that my medicine cabinet stays cruelty-free as well. odacité does not test on animals nor do they use any animal products in their ingredients.

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i also love odacité’s emphasis on freshness.

each of their products comes with a “freshiency date” label.

i’m always suspect of how long the effectiveness lasts on these natural products and appreciate the extra information. when you make a purchase of any of their products you are guaranteed to receive it within two days {shipping is free for everything over $75.}

another bonus with this line is their generous sample giveaway. every time i purchase with odacité i receive a handful of really nice samples.

i’ve also received 15% off every order from odacité because they’re always offering email discounts to loyal customers; they also give first-time customers get a 15% discount.

wishing you a bright and cheery complected thursday m’loves.

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the fountain of youth in a blue bottle…

July 22, 2014

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oh happy day my beloved readers!

today’s post could be your winning lotto ticket in the battle against fine lines, discoloration, and slack skin.

we have laurie herman to thank.

laurie herman and her all-natural, AFFORDABLE, effective, skincare fell into my lap last month when ms. herman got in touch after reading about my love of fitness and healthy living.

thinking our obsession for all things ‘mother earth‘ could collaborate, and hearing about my affinity for skincare, sometimes at the behest of my pocketbook, laurie wanted my opinion on her products.

no strings attached, no promises to find the nearest mountain-top whereupon i sing her praises; i agreed to use laurie’s serum, toner, body moisturizer and facial wash.


the first product i tried was the pacific facial wash.

unlike any face cleanser i’ve ever used before, this product comes out in a dry, grainy, powder.

it’s best to wet your face first, and THEN pour out a little bit of product into your hands, mix into a velvet scrub, and then apply to face.

each time i use this wash i am instantly surprised at the difference in texture and softness in my skin.

it’s a bizarre grand finale of squeaky clean and satin-pillow soft.

most skincare lines use heavy fragrances to make their products more pleasing; these perfumes, many of them phthalates are actually very toxic, and have been linked to hormone disruption. using only essential oils, laurie’s products are completely fragrance-free; therefore sometimes the scents truly are NATURAL. the face wash has a strong kelp scent.

i actually like the fact that i can smell the ingredients {even if it is a bit oceany} of this product.


next was the neroli water hyrdating toner.

typically i’m not a big believer in toners. i think they’re kind of a waste of time; like first marriages or foreplay, just let me wear my vera wang dress and buy me my breakfast in the morning.

but as i get older {less hydrated} i’m noticing the importance of toners and their hydrating properties.

this neroli water hydrating toner, designed to tighten and firm, gives a nice boost, post wash.


last but not least is the face serum firm it.

this is a game-changer.

using the neroli firm it serum all the way up to my eyeballs and down to my chest, i noticed an immediate difference–i’m talking “let’s make an infomercial” results here.

it’s like my skin gets a juice-cleanse and barre class every night.

toned, lifted, full of vigor, and more vivacious; my face drinks this serum up like a sad, wilted, dehydrated, desert animal.

i could give you my opinion, but i think the opinion of my friends and husband are more convincing.

hunkiest, a man who typically wouldn’t notice if my hair was on fire, let alone when i cut it 6 inches shorter, has been a factory farm of compliments; churning them out like well-packaged, precise hamburger patties of kindness on how pretty my skin looks; he even missed a crucial left turn opportunity on 17th street one saturday afternoon he was so confused by focused on my new complexion; we’re still in the center divider, by the way, waiting to make that left turn.–i’m typing from the car.

and a couple of weeks ago, in the harsh morning, non-instagram filetered light, my friend alexei, who at 8 months pregnant doesn’t have time to stroke my already texas-sized ego, told me:

you’re skin looks amazing, what are you doing different?

i was all:


you, like?

but then her husband marc, excited to also notice my new, dewy skin, tried to play with the big girls in the compliment game, by adding:

yeah..i was like…is THAT????………that’s not katie is it?????”


um, thank you? i guess.

a compliment, even served wrapped up in a tortilla of insult, is still worth gobbling down.

thank you laurie herman for turning this troll katie into something safe for public consumption.


now it’s your turn to fool your friends.

even if you think your skin is flawless and you’ve been dunked in a vat of perfect, i still implore you to try laurie’s products.

she has a 100% satisfaction guarantee good for 365 days {that’s one year for you english majors} and she’ll even pay your shipping.

 laurie has graciously offered a limited time 20% discount and free shipping on all of her products to my readers; thank you so much laurie.

when checking out use the coupon code: xokatie

this will be valid until august 8th.

laurie and i both like to keep you informed on the latest and greatest in health so make sure you stay connected with us for more offers and deals.

find laurie on facebook, twitter, instagram + pinterest.

and you know i love it when you like/follow me/tweet/pin with me …i always follow back…

here’s to happy, shiny, all-natural skin m’loves.

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pore vous!

July 3, 2014


as the eastern seaboard battles hurricane arthur’s inclement weather, i’m having my own state of emergency.

on. my. face.

 the summer heat is taking a toll on my already stock-plummeting skin.

last week my pores swelled to swimming pool-size status.

no joke.

i hosted games of marco polo and day-long chicken fights across the bridge of my nose and chin; all of course post-gay pride parade.

this week it was time to bring in my summer arsenal for pore clearing, sunscreen excavating, and overall deep cleansing.

here are some of my favorite weapons in summer skin treatments:

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i can’t remember if i’ve written about canus all natural moisturizing mask before.

i should have.

although this mask confuses me, i’m wrapped around its fresh goat-milk finger.

it’s like that super-cold, loner guy in high school, who seems to hate you for wearing penny loafers, smirk during your passè composè oral, and will no doubt shatter your heart with the first chance he gets.

but once you got to know him, he’ll quote t.s. eliot with tears in his eyes, and pick all the poppy seeds off an everything bagel for you.

that’s like this mask.

at first feel this mask feels too strong; like it’s going to leave your face looking like lunchmeat from all of the dirt and grime mining, but give it a minute or two and your face feels like a lucky, frosted birthday cake.

wash the mask off and your skin feels like it’s your 18th birthday….well maybe NOT 18, but it’s definitely softer, smoother, and uber moisturized.

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ok, definitely more of a tingly, pop-rock party on my face, type of mask, this mini-peel from alba botanica does the job and then some.

a clear, is-that-gel-in-your-hair mask, this pore purifyer unearths “embedded toxins” with a 6% alpha hydroxy fruit acid.

i like this because it’s gentle to use {for me} all the way under my eyes; which helps exfoliate my not-so-fine lines.

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and here’s another gem from alba botanica: this deep-sea facial mask goes subterranean diving into your pores.

consistently rated high by bloggers, magazines, and home reviewers, the marine complex + kaolin clay combo-bite provides a noticeable brightening of the skin and face.

i like to use this one in the summer because it also is very cooling….great after a sweaty spin session or hot yoga flow.

i’m not much of a toner girl, but in the summer i recommend avalon organics balancing toner. it’s anti-oxidant rich, anti-aging, and just gives you that extra layer of clean without stripping your skin’s natural moisture.

all of these products are cruelty-free, free of parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate and sodium methyl sulfate.

none of these products cost more than $11….

here’s to deep pore diving.


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let’s get NAKED & TOASTED!

June 25, 2013


i can’t contain my secret anymore. these 3 urban decay products, courtesy of my beloved and dearest friend, john p., are causing me to bounce up and down like a cracked out cricket, very similar to the way john and i spaz out on our spin bikes anytime a ke$ha song comes on….COME ON! COME ON! COME ON!” 

the new naked 2 palette has 12 of the dopest taupes you’ll ever need for your eyes. truly the last eyeshadow case you’ll ever buy. these shades let you play up any look in makeup artist playbook: you can go uber-natural, glamour-girl pretty, or super hooker sexy. 

and no mom, this is NOT my hooker look. 

this is the first eyeshadow palette where i actually use every single shade in the compact. 



another new weapon in my arsenal to fight father time and his personal wrinkle war on my face is urban decay’s naked skin beauty balm. oil-free, with Pepha®-Protect to shield skin from dna damage, this tube of wonder also contains vitasource™ and dGlyage® which both protect and benefit the skin’s texture, elasticity, and provide anti-aging properties.

um? sign me up for auto-ship please.

AND….AND….AND…the best part: this stuff has these “optical blurring pigments” that makes you look like you’ve been photo-shopped, but in a not wearing tons of makeup way. you put this on your face, and it’s like an amazing james cameron movie; suddenly your pores and freckles and lines have been pixelated over. 


when it comes to bronzer i am the BIGGEST snob. i’ll admit it. i judge you by how you treat your waiter and what kind of bronzer you wear. 

it’s not that a bronzer needs to be a certain brand or price-i don’t think it matters, what counts is the color-and, in my opinion, most bronzers suck.

99% of the bronzers should be pulled off the shelves or at least re-marketed as face paint, tribal markings, and or tattoos. 

i was shocked, SHOCKED i tell you, to discover urban decay’s baked bronzer in toasted, that is their matte finish version, to be a lovely, natural golden glow. just a little is all you need, and it’s the perfect copper tone {literally} circa 1984 before we all knew better and were sunning our faces with ban de soleil and tin foil.

so there you have it…..my three summer pick me ups…

tuesday happy to you.

love you john! 

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5 things i learned this weekend….

June 3, 2013

here are 5 things i learned this weekend, but first:


monday morning holy crap game of thrones??!?!!  to you m’loves.

and that is the last i will say.

but oh. sweet. baby jesus i can’t help myself. 


other than reaffirming that G.O.T. is one of the most satisfying shows evah! i was also encouraged that my distaste for reading fantasy fiction has served me well; actually it’s not so much a distaste, but i just don’t think i’m smart enough for said genre. think of all the people you know who read fantasy. they’re usually much smarter than you and i, yes? typically they’re the bearded types who work at the genuis bar, find the huffington post trite, and get multiple graduate degrees on the side. just. for. fun. 

 teaching pilates precludes me from reading anything with hobbits, or cauldrons, and witches, and my “just for fun” involves a peanut butter jar, 2 hours and a spoon…and if i’m lucky…the huffington post {style section-duh?}


and how sad i would have been last night, had i already known what was going to happen had i read the book. see? once again, i re-learned my imbecilic and ignorant predispositions oblige my depthless nature. 

{if you did see last night’s episode this is a pretty funny watch….otherwise do NOT watch it…spoiler….hysterical clips of others reacting to the episode.}


the second lesson i learned: pedialyte cures a hangover…not that i had a hangover, but last week i took the moratorium off my not so strict no-booze policy. one cucumber martini down, and i was in a heated debate with my menu over what to do with the syria problem. i don’t remember which stance i took, but by the end of the argument my waiter did say i could keep my menu.

advantage katie.


#3: according to harper’s bazaar i, a woman in her 30′s, should be “diving deep” into the color coral.

i’m confused. last issue i was supposed to keep “frosty blue cool” in my thirties-as if i being in this decade, no longer able to sport the “dashes of yellow” those fetus’ in their 20′s frolic around in, was some type of penance.

but coral? where am i? boca raton? no thank you.  


can’t i please buy some sort of disneyland fast pass to my 70′s? i’ve been reading this magazine since i was 13 and these rock-stars in their 70′s with their wicked smart wardrobes have always wiped the floor with these stupid, young twits in their 60′s, 50′s, 40′s, 30′s & 20′s.

the takeaway: dressing your age can sometimes make you look sillier than dressing too young for your age. 


last week my car and my face went in for their 5,000 mile maintenance check-up. the prius just needed her tires rotated; my face required numbing cream, a signed waiver, and 2 days of hiding, which i chose to ignore-much to the general public’s distress.

after my magician {aka francine oca} was finished with me, my mug really did look like a toyota mechanic had taken a tire iron repeatedly to all sides of my skull. but really it was just a little zap from an ipl machine and her new pixel laser to render me monster-mash contestant worthy for the weekend.


not surprisingly hh isn’t a fan of my forrays into scabs, peels and blisters; especially at the dinner table when he’s trying to mow down copper river salmon. i tried to win him over whence, during one of the many hours i stood in front of the mirror this weekend, looking for signs of my former youth to reappear, only to find evidence of my un-sunscreened senior trip to puerta vallarta freckle its way onto my cheeks, i grabbed my hunkiest so that he, too, could enjoy in my farewell to discoloration and uneven texture of yore on my forehead, cheeks and chin. 

bless him. he played along. 

he looked.

he looked hard at my face.

with intent.


oh yeah? i see. those lines under your eyes? those will go away too? 

NOT the commentary i was looking for!

who the fuck said anything about my eyes?

so lesson #4: my husband thinks i need a eye lift!


lesson #5 : and this is my favorite one; no matter what i look like, when it’s time for sleeping, my girl loves me and needs me close; preferably with my mouth shut.


ok darlings, i showed you mine….now you show my yours. what did you learn this weekend?

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currently diggin”

March 20, 2013

here are a few of the latest novelties greasing my squeaky wheels.


ok. typically i’m good at always having my toolkit loaded; although not a costco member i do backstock most of my household and beauty items so that i’m never in a crispy crunch running around the house searching for paper towels {which we are only allowed to use in an emergency-but that’s a whole ‘nother post.}

so it was very unlike me to run out of face soap two weeks ago, where i found myself using shampoo, which we know NEVER gets any love around here, instead.

not up to schlepping it to the mall, i scurried over to my grocery store {mother’s market} and discovered the best wash for my dirty mug…..and my face.

john masters organics rose foaming wash is such a great find. just the scent alone is worth buying. but it’s the solid, sudsy lather that i find so damn satisfying when i wash the day off of my face. i know! i know! i know the non-lathering soaps get me just as clean, but psychologically i want to see bubbles damn it.

bubbles aplenty, all organic, AND the bottle is recyclable. yay me.


another new obsession is definitely a product i now slot in the holy grail category. soapwalla’s deodorant cream is hands and feet down the best deodorant on the market.

i hope most of you are like me and wary of mainstream deodorants and anti-perspirants. the ingredients in most of these products read like a who’s who at a disease causing toxin and chemical convention. the aluminum and parabens that make up most deodorants have been linked to breast cancer, alzheimer’s disease, and kidney cancer.

i’ll pass.

soapwalla is so natural  {also vegan & cruelty free} it’s safe enough to eat. but please don’t, that would be kind of gross. made with vegetable powders, clays, peppermint and tea-tree oils, this easy to apply “frosting” is colorless, keeps you dry, and makes your underarms smell like they went to the dentist even after your sweatiest bikram session. for both men and women, you need to stop what you are doing and immediately order this stuff now.


and i cannot get enough of this song! damn, mister timberlake you git me. my classes are certainly going to be getting a lot of this tune. 

save for the song, all of these products and many other recommendations are on my luvocracy site. if you haven’t signed up for luvocracy yet, check it out. it’s the shopper’s guide to pinterest. i was even interviewed by them last month. i’m officially a “fitness pundit,”—–how cool is that? 

so there it is: my mid-march madness picks. 

what are you currently diggin’ m’loves?

~all photos by me

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breathe out

November 20, 2012

sunday morning prior to the rooster’s cock-a-doodle, the hunkiest and i were riding shotgun down the 101 highway for our annual thanksgiving trek up north.

my favorite vacation ever, a tradition that goes back to my years in the single digits, our thanksgiving trip to pebble beach is like no other experience for me.

one part nostalgia: my safest, happiest, hands up in the air, twirling without a care in the world, usually with my dad filming, childhood memories all seem to swerve back to “pebble”.

two parts visual magnificence: asia, europe, the tropical paradises of the world, none of them hold a candle, in my opinion to the beauty of this grand coast line. my keg of god replenished on these visits; even on the years when i’m indifferent on the whole existence of that grander good.

even the seven hour drive is a treat. the roads were hudson river school inspired. a mixture of stormy grey thunder clouds, doused with wicked cerulean skies, and an indecisive, coy sun that, at times, made the hills come alive with hues of lime and green apple.

the holiday season officially commenced with my first grande bold of the year in a big, red cup!

with coffee in hand, we jingle bell’d our way down the highway.

our tenor and soprano sang back up on the fa-la-lahs, and did a brutal “away in the manger.”

during the concert intermission we supplemented the silence with more coffee and books on c.d. 

ken follet’s fall of the giants is a highly entertaining, historical fiction novel spanning early 20th century europe and north america as the world’s super powers come to battle in the first world war. 

while not the most cerebral of novels, camus it’s not, it’s the perfect book to listen to on a drive. i’m digging the elements from high school history that i forgot, and the fun, soap opera-like bits of intrigue and romance hook you in, both men and women. 

due to the caffeine stops, canine breaks, and overall dawdling attitude of our drive there was no record time made. but we did make it to property before our daily sunset walk.

let the exhalation begin. 

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