Natural Deodorant Rave

It is not easy to be healthy.  In fact, I find it very difficult to be healthy.  Every article I read tells me not to eat dairy, or meat, or soy, or too much fruit or coffee.  If I believed everything I read I would probably be eating nothing but kale and water, and I just can’t live like that.

There was one “healthy” aspect I really wanted to incorporate into my life though and that was a natural deodorant.

I’ve read a lot about traditional deodorants and antiperspirants, and none of it sounds good.  The aluminum in a lot of deodorants can enter the bloodstream and there have been a lot of studies that show a link between aluminum and breast cancer.  With so many other risks that we are exposed to every day, I thought this was an easy one to change.

However, it was not as easy as I thought.  I have tried quite a few natural deodorants with not so pleasant results.  I’m a bit of a sweaty gal and I had to first adjust to the use of using a deodorant and not an antiperspirant.

It is very natural for a body to sweat.  Yes, it can be embarrassing, but it is natural and essential for the body to sweat.  To clog the sweat glands with antiperspirant is preventing your body from cooling itself completely.

The next transition I had to make was to rid the pores in my armpits from years and years of antiperspirant build-up.  I did this by using a mask to complete an armpit detox.  I found the recipe and information for the armpit detox from  Organic Olivia.

Armpit Detox from Organic Olivia

I did this mask 3 nights in a row prior to trying out this new deodorant and I think it contributed to the success of it.  I also do it weekly to further assist in detoxing as I have been wearing chemical antiperspirant for over 20 years so there is plenty of detoxing to be done!

Finally, I tried this new natural deodorant and I am so happy to say:  it is AWESOME!

Kopari’s Coconut Deodorant has really met all of my needs in a natural deodorant.

Image from Koparibeauty.com
  • It is reasonably priced($14 is a lot for a deodorant, but is actually not bad in terms of natural deodorant.)
  • Can be bought in a store- Nordstrom’s or Sephora
  • It’s aluminum free
  • It’s not sticky
  • It is in stick form
  • It smells good
  • It keeps me not stinky!!

Now I’m going to be honest, after an hour-long kickboxing class I’m slightly smelly, but after burning 400 calories, I would be surprised if I wasn’t!  Other than that, I am more than pleased with this natural deodorant and will definitely be repurchasing!

 

Do you have any natural deodorant recommendations??

 

Disclaimer: Post includes affiliate links 🙂 

Get Fit At Home!

I am not a gym person.  I have tried many, many times to be a gym person and it just doesn’t work.  I am truly one of those people who can be on a treadmill or eliptical and think that I’ve been on them for 20 minutes and it’s only been 6.   There have been several times I have attempted to create a circuit using some of the weight machines and/or free weights and that was also a disaster.

An aspect of the gym that I always did love and excel at was the classes.  I am someone who thrives in gym classes for several reasons: 1.  Someone was telling me what to do! I didn’t have to figure it out.  2.  Time flew! 3.  Due to it being a timed class I worked out for the entire duration of the class whether it was 45 or 60 minutes.  I would very rarely work out that long using traditional gym equipment out of pure boredom.

While I love me some classes at a gym, I don’t like paying for a gym.  I don’t even really like going to a gym because there’s just so many damn people there and the act of going to a gym is just too much effort for me (laziness I know).

It was this minor disdain for the gym that led me to discover dvds and Youtube workouts.  I am a huge fan of BeachBody programs and still use T25 and 21 Day Fix Workouts 2-3 days every week.  However, sometimes I want something new and different (and free) and that is where Youtube comes in!

If you have only used Youtube to watch funny animal videos or movie trailers, you have been missing out!  I am avid Youtube watcher and think that it is an amazing resource for information on really any topic.  However, for the area of workouts it truly is amazing!

I use Youtube workouts mainly on the weekend when I am not working out after school with one of my friends.  You can find a workout video for literally anything!  If you give your workout your all as if you were in a gym class, you can really burn some massive calories and see some great results!

Of course with any exercise, check with your doctor to ensure it’s something your body can can handle and then check out some of my favorite fitness Youtubers below!

 

Blogilates

Blogilates is definitely one of the first fitness Youtube channels I began following and I have doing her workouts for over 5 years now!  Cassie has an amazing array of videos covering cardio, healthy recipes, toning and TONS of amazing pilates videos which will work up a sweat!  Each month she also sends out a free workout calendar which includes effective ways to pair up the tons of videos she has for different areas of the body.  She is definitely one of my favorite and definitely one of the most inspiring and uplifting.

 

Superhero Fitness TV

If you want to absolutely smile and have a good time while working out, Keiara is your girl.  I love her workouts and have had quite a few of my friends join me while doing her workouts.  A lot of her videos are dance focused and they really help time to fly.  She somehow manages to sneak serious toning into every single dance video she makes and her personality is SO amazing that I just keep tuning in to see what she’s coming up with next.

 

Popsugar Fitness

 

Popsugar Fitness is a great channel for a variety of different workouts.  Popsugar hosts a lot of different fitness Youtubers or fitness instructors, so there is always a different face and a different workout.  This is great if you want to try something different in fitness each time you work out.

 

Love Sweat Fitness

 

Love Sweat Fitness is a great channel for toning videos and healthy recipes.  I like to make a mini playlist of some of her videos to do a circuit of them when I want to workout a specific body area.  Katie also creates weekly workout routines including her videos and exercises you can do at home or the gym.

 

Do you have a favorite way to workout at home or outside of the gym? I’m always looking for new ways!!

 

Grief ((personal post))

My word of 2018 is consistency.  But then life REALLY got in the way.  On December 31st, New Years Eve, my grandmother, my best friend, went into the hospital because she was short of breath.  For a couple of days things seemed to be going very poorly.  My father and I went up to see her on January 6th and things seemed to be turning around.  Her vitals were all coming back positive and she was getting ready to go to a rehabilitation center.

I brought her a picture of me in my wedding dress because I wanted to show her she had so much to live for.  She had prayed for so long that I would find someone who would love me the way she did and I did find that someone.  There was no one who deserved to be at my wedding more than my Grandma.

A couple of days after entering rehab, things started to go poorly.  I got to see her the day before she passed and tell her everything I wanted to tell her, but I know her mind was already with my Grandpa in heaven.

On January 15, 2018, my 33rd birthday, my Grandma left to be with my Grandpa in heaven.

My grandmother, Florence, was like the sun in the sky.  Her voice was so happy and positive and her spirit could lift anyone up.  After getting off of the phone with her or seeing her, I felt as if I could do anything.  She loved to love and didn’t realize how much love she had to give.

On the other hand, she had a side of her that she never even realized how hilarious she was.  We called her Joan Rivers.  Her sarcasm and wit lasted until the end.  When the paramedics came to get her from the rehab center the EMT asked her what the problem was, her response? “I’m pregnant”.

I still don’t know how to grieve for a woman who literally built me into the person that I am today.  I don’t know if I have grieved for her yet.  This week I have walked around feeling like a zombie.  I’m thankful to have a cold this week, because I can blame it on that, but I know it’s more than that.

Grief is different for everyone and everyone handles it differently.  Every experience of grief is also very different.  When my Grandfather passed I cried for what feels like weeks.  This week I am dying to  cry, dying to get a release.

But as an adult, maybe I have to create my release.  I have to talk about her, talk about my feelings, say everything I wanted to say and know that it’s ok not to be ok for a bit.

So if you’re grieving or have grieved, I’m sorry (even though I hate when people say that to me) and don’t feel pressured to explain your grief to anyone.

This is one of the shittest parts of growing up.

2 Easy Ways To Sell Clothes For Cash

When I was getting ready to move at the end of October, I really wanted to get rid of a lot of things and downsize quite a bit so I looked into  a few ways to sell some of my clothes and bags that I no longer used.

It is so easy to make some extra cash selling clothes, shoes and bags that you no longer wear, forgot to return or got as gifts and don’t use.  There are tons of ways to sell these items online, but I’m going to share the 2 ways that I have personally used and have experience with.

 

  1.  ThredUp

ThredUp is an online consignment store for women and children.  It is one of the first online consignment stores that I heard of.  I have used it quite a few times and I find it one of the easiest to use.

How It Works:

After you register with Thredup, you can request a Clean Out Bag to be sent to you.  A Clean Out Bag is a large bag with pre-paid postage that is used for you to send whatever it is you want to send to them.  They accept gently worn clothes, shoes and bags from a large variety of brands.  They even have an estimate calculator to help you determine if it’s worth it to send your item to them and how much you’ll earn from it.

Cost:

The Clean Out Bag is free if you don’t mind waiting a while, and I mean A WHILE, to have your bag processed and for you to get your earnings.  If you want things to move a bit quicker, you can pay $16 for an expedited bag and your bag will be processed within a week of Thredup receiving it.

Process:

Once you send your bag in, if you do not opt for the expedited bag, you have to wait a while.  I sent in my last bag in mid-October and it was processed on December 18th.  After it’s processed, you can use your funds at Thredup immediately, but if you want to cash out you have to wait another few weeks.

How Much Can You Expect To Earn?:

Well, that all depends.  There have been times where I have sent in a huge bag of stuff, but a lot of it was Old Navy and Gap Outlet stuff and I ended up making $15 from a whole damn bag of stuff.  It was $15 that I wouldn’t have made otherwise and any clothes that weren’t accepted were donated so I didn’t feel bad, but damn $15???? However, my last bag was a MONEY MAKER!  I really emptied out my closet and I know if I took the time to list some of these items individually on the next app I would’ve made more, but I just wanted these things OUT!  I sent in a lot of purses I wasn’t using and a lot of work clothes and made over $250!

Who It’s Good For:

I definitely recommend ThredUp for ladies or moms who want to get rid of clothes or accessories quickly and in bulk.  It’s also good for items that aren’t mid to high end- which is most of my wardrobe!

Where To Go:

Visit www.thredup.com

 

2. Poshmark

    While Poshmark has been around for a while, I’m new to the Poshmark game, but I have had some decent success with it!  Poshmark is an app where women can sell pretty much anything associated with fashion and beauty.  It’s up to the seller to list and ship individual items.

Cost:

The app is free and it is also free to list an item.  When you sell an item, a pre-paid shipping label is sent to you, but it is up to you to actually ship the item.  In terms of fees, they are pretty straight forward.  For all sales under $15, Poshmark takes $2.95.  For all sales over $15, Poshmark takes 20%.

Process:

This process is a bit more involved than Thredup.  Poshmark requires that you list each item individually, sort of like eBay.  So for each item listed, you have to take good pictures of the item and accurately describe it and price it.  I like to look for similar items in the app and price it $1-$5 less than most of the items.   Once an item sells (there’s no guarantee your item will sell, this app has A LOT of sellers), you have 7 days to ship it out.  Once the buyer receives the item and acknowledges receipt on the app, your payment is released to you.  From there you either have the option to spend it in the app or transfer it to your bank account.

How Much Can You Expect To Earn?:

That all depends on what you list!  How much you earn is really up to what you have in your closet and what you’re going to sell.  I have sold a couple Lily Pulitzer pieces and made a decent profit from them and then sold a workout hoodie and only made a couple of bucks.  It’s really up to you.

Who It’s Good For:

Poshmark is great to sell new items with tags still on them as I find they sell quicker.  It’s also great if you have mid to high end items or trendy items.  I’m also using this as a precursor to Thredup.  If I list items on Poshmark and they don’t sell, then I can always send them in to Thredup.

Where To Go:

Download the Poshmark app and use code “Melziebabee15”

 

 

 

 

 

8 for 2018- 4 to drop, 4 to pick up

        I hope you enjoyed my last post on my top 17 obsessions of 2017.  Now that 2017 is officially going to be in our rear view mirror, it’s time to put all of our focus in 2018.  I’m usually one of those people who rolls their eyes ((HARD)) at people who use the term “New Year, New Me”, but now I think every day, every moment is a chance to turn oneself into their newest and best version.  You don’t have to wait until January 1st and if you do make January 1st your redo day and you “mess up” on January 3rd, than you have another moment to try to make it right.
          2018 is a very important year for me and a year that I am really focused on making a great one.  I want to get my crap eating under control, get my migraines at bay, get rid of my rosacea, tame my anxiety, improve my relationship with money and get in amazing shape for my wedding.
   In order to help me with all of these lofty goals for the next year, there are 4 “habits” I plan on dropping, and 4 “habits” I plan on picking up.  Think of these as my New Year’s Resolutions.

4 to drop

* My reliance on packaged snacks*

I was raised on junk food and continue to be a huge junk food eater.  It’s not good!  I have never met a Twinkie, a Reeses or a Keebler Elf product I didn’t like.  Even to this day when I get hungry at school I’m knocking on the snack closet  looking for Twinkies.  Even when I choose what I deem a healthy snack, it’s packaged.  Now granted, a Larabar is WAY healthier than a Twinkie,  but there’s no reason I can’t pack a baggie of berries with some cream to dip it in or some veggies and hummus.  I always lean towards convenience and ease, even though I have the time to do more and treat myself better.  This year I will not be relying on packaged snacks and instead only use it as a treat.

* Starting something and not seeing it through*

I can’t tell you how many exercise programs I’ve began or how many times I’ve started a posting schedule for my Younique business page and I do good for about a week and then totally slack off.  Since consistency is my word of 2018, there’s no more of this!  If I don’t think I can fully see something through, I’m not going to dive into it.  And if I do begin something,  I will do everything in my power to complete it to the best of my ability. 

* My Diet Coke habit once and for all!*

This is a hard one, a super tough one!  I love Diet Coke.  It is a total vice of mine.  I’ve definitely cut back in recent years.  I only have it at home if someone purchases it for me (which is rarely) and I usually only have it at work for lunch.  Being at one can a day for 4-5 days out of the week is a HUGE decrease.  Since I have been on Christmas vacation I have only had it once while I was out to lunch with a friend.  People have told me to have seltzer water as a replacement, but I don’t like seltzer, it just has to be a willpower thing to finally kick this bad habit.  

* Getting anxious over what I think people mean*

I never really thought of myself as an anxious person until the last 10 years or so.  Unfortunately, my anxiety has only gotten worse.  Usually it is only limited to typical high stress situations, air travel or large crowds, but sometimes I give myself anxiety by overanalyzing and overthinking situations about what people say to me.  No more of that.  If someone is going to say something, they will say it to me and I can deal with it then.  If not, I will not work myself into thinking something terrible.  

4 to pick up

*Green smoothies with healthy add ins*

I think green smoothies are a great way for me to get in a serving or two of fruits and vegetables.  Considering I am not a huge fruit and veggie eater, but am a big snacker I think this will help kill 2 birds, with 1 stone.  Also, thanks to my girl The Skinny Confidential, I now have a list of healthy add-ins to try in my smoothies including collagen, pearl powder, matcha, etc.

* Fresh and clean snacking*

Image from dreamstime.com


As mentioned above, my reliance on packaged snacks is going to be SO 2017.  2018 will be all about clean, unprocessed snacks.  It might mean a Larabar or 2 every now and then, but I am going to try to keep my snacking very Whole 30-like.  

* Time blocking post work hours*

There have been so many evenings where Nick and I are like , “where did the time go?”,  on a work night.  I find myself being so mentally exhausted after work that I give myself permission to just crash on the couch and surf Youtube for hours.  I want to use my time when I get home a lot more efficiently.  This will include making a lot more dinners ahead of time, blocking out time for blogging, school work and things I enjoy. 

* Reading more for pleasure*

Some of the books on my reading list


I love reading.  There is nothing better than diving into a good book.  However, I find myself wasting so much time after work that I don’t give myself the proper reading time I should and truly want to.  Just today I cancelled a few magazines that I just let pile up and no longer enjoy reading so I could dedicate more time to checking books off of my very long reading list.
So these are pretty much my 2018 resolutions.  
Do you have any resolutions this year??

Quick Tip Tuesday: The Easiest Way To Save Money Christmas Shopping

    If you don’t feel like giving your credit card a workout and letting Earny price check for you (check here to see what I’m talking about) try purchasing a discount gift card for the store or stores you plan on doing a lot of shopping at.
       I regularly use the site Cardpool.com to purchase gift cards at a discount to stores that I regularly shop at anyway.  The savings isn’t usually more than $5-$12 stores, but overtime that can really add up! They come in the form of a digital gift card so they aren’t the best to gift, but for BUYING gifts they are perfect!!!

5 Things To Do Before 2018

   Late last week, I watched a video from one of my favorite Youtubers, Miss Trenchcoat.  She is a productivity and organizational expert and she really helped me get into the organizational planner realm.
    The video I watched last week was, 10 Productive Things To Do Before 2018.  You can watch it here!   It really got me thinking to some things I would like to do prior to the New Year.

Here are my top 5 tasks I plan on tackling or implementing before 2018!

1.  Organize my clothes and sell what I’m not wearing on Poshmark

I have so much clothes and I really only wear about 30% of my wardrobe.  I got rid of a lot of my clothes prior to my move, I still want to get rid of a lot of the trendier pieces I bought on a whim or because they were on sale.  I have had great luck selling a few things on Poshmark and will continue to use it to sell my unwanted goods.

2.  Begin and get into the habit of gratitude of journaling

I have done so much reading about manifestation lately and a lot of begins with being grateful for what one has at the moment.  Gratitude journaling is writing down things you are grateful for and reflecting on them.  I think it’s a great practice to start to lead a more positive life by showing we are thankful for what we already have.

3.  Incorporate daily smoothies into my diet

There are days where I know that I don’t even come close to meeting my fruit and vegetable intake goals.  A smoothie is a great way to do so!  I’m thinking of trying strawberries, mango, spinach and water to keep it lower calorie.

4.  Meal plan

Over the summer I bought a fitness planner and I never used it!  Over Thanksgiving break I purchased a wellness plan from one of my favorite Instagram fitness girls and it definitely inspired me to break out my fitness planner.  For the next week I planned out 3 days worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners and mid-week will plan out the rest of the week.  It’s super motivating to see it written down and planned out.

5.  Start my must read book list and finish 2 books a month

Lately I have been reading a lot of network marketing books and found myself craving just a good story.  Prior to reading those network marketing books I hadn’t finished a book in months.  Reading is something I genuinely enjoy and I need to carve out time for it.  I want to make a must read list and alternate between non-fiction and fiction books.

Those are a few of the important habits that I am going to begin implementing now so I won’t have to worry about them being fad resolutions come 2018.

What are some tasks that you would like to accomplish or make habit before the Ne Year?

Playing House Series: Pre-Move in Talks

    You’ve decided to move in together! You picked the perfect spot! So you should just start packing right? Wrong!!
    There’s a lot of conversations to have before you move in together.  It’s important to work these things out prior to the move as it will definitely help to prevent a lot of stress and possibly even a lot of fights later on.

   Here are some of the pre-move in convos I recommend having:

  • Paying the bills- How is it going to work?  Is it going to be an even split?  Are you going to pay the rent, while he covers the rest of the utilities?  These are important decisions to make prior to the first bills rolling in.  Also, be honest about what you can afford!
  • What you’re bringing, what he’s bringing- Imagine moving in together and you both brought a couch or you move in and see he packed that leather chair that you just hate.  Prior to moving in it’s important to discuss what you’re bringing and also what you plan on getting rid of.  Prior to moving in with my fiancee I had to get rid of SO much stuff that I couldn’t believe I accumulated over the years.  It may be difficult, but also probably necessary.
  • The new items you plan on buying- There might be a few new large items that you guys need to purchase.  This is your chance to start crafting your living style as a couple.  Do some shopping around and don’t break the budget
  • Chores- This may sound like a ridiculous conversation for 2 adults to have, but a necessary one I think.  One person cannot and should not clean an entire house or apartment all of the time.  I’m not saying make a chore chart like from back in the day, but have a discussion.
  • Routines- I’m sure you’ve had a lot of sleepovers, but sleepovers and living together are 2 totally different ideas.  If you’re someone who falls asleep early or needs to make their own morning coffee or have 10 minutes to themselves after getting home let your significant other know ahead of time.
  • “House rules”- Boys night in on a Thursday when you have work the next day? Having your sister over for Real Housewives every night?  Your usual routine of having friends over all of the time or having your parents come over whenever they want is going to have to change.  You have someone else to think about now.
What other conversations did you have before moving in with someone?  Or did you skip the convos altogether? 

Quick Tip Tuesday: Makeup Storage

I have quite a makeup collection.  Not nearly as excessive as a lot of girls I see on Instagram and Youtube, but I do have quite a lot.  It’s a love and a hobby of mine and actually what inspired me to write my first blog.
   If you have an extensive makeup collection or if you have just a few products, it’s important to store them properly.
    Please, please, please do not store your makeup in the bathroom, especially the bathroom counter. The best temperature to store your makeup and/or skin care is actually at room temperature.  Steamy showers and fluctuating temperatures in the bathroom make it a less than ideal place to store your favorite foundation or eyeshadow.  The fluctuating temperatures and moisture in the air can shorten the life span of your makeup or even harbor bacteria growth.
   The best place to store your makeup and skin care is in a cool, dry spot away from direct sunlight.    

Money Matters: Earny

    If you are anything like me, your credit card got quite a workout this weekend.  I put quite a huge dent in my holiday shopping this weekend all from the comfort of my own living room!
    Normally, I would use my debit card for 95% of my purchases because I hate having any kind of credit card debt and I am still in the process of paying off my wedding dress on my credit card.  However, for most of my purchases I ended up using my credit card for one specific reason: Earny.
    A large majority of retailers and major credit card companies have a policy where if a price drops on an item purchased within 90 days you are entitled to the difference.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time to stalk prices every day and quite honestly, I would forget after a few days anyway.  That’s where Earny comes in!

     Earny connects to both your inbox and credit cards and collects your electronic receipts.  “He” monitors the prices of the items you purchased and if he sees a cheaper price he files a claim for the difference on your behalf!
    You will be notified if Earny is able to receive a refund for you and it will be debited right back to the card used to make the purchase, although some companies choose to mail out checks.  Earny takes 25% of any refund issued to you, which considering I don’t usually track items to get any refunds, is not a bad deal.
   Currently Earny works with the following retailers:
Amazon, Best Buy, Bloomingdales, Carters, Costco, Gap Group Stores, J.Crew, Jet, Kohls, Macy’s, New Egg, Nordstroms, Overstock, Sears, Staples, Target, Walmart and Zappos.

That’s a lot of stores!!

If getting some cash back in your pocket seems appealing, definitely give Earny a try by clicking here!