The Travel Journal

Life

“Traveling — it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” (-Ibn Batutta)

Travel is one of my favorite things to do, so it might come as a surprise that I don’t really do it that often. We are more than halfway through 2019 (whatttt?!?!) and so far, I have only traveled (I consider any trip out of town where I stay at least overnight to be “travel”) to Tucson, Denver, Sedona and Salt Lake City. That’s actually more than I travel by this time most years, but I honestly don’t do it as much as it seems everyone on Instagram does.

Confession: I have yet to travel outside the U.S. Nope, not even to Mexico, even though I live just a few hours north. I know it’s a travesty, and it’s something I’m working on remedying, because contrary to what it may seem based on my minimal travel history, I actually LOVE it. I even love air travel, which many people despise and/or fear. I would love to hop on a plane to an international destination right now, but money and time are what hold me back. I never have more than maybe 2 weeks of PTO a year, and all my jobs have paid less than $40K a year, so I don’t have much in the way of free time or fun money to spend on international travel. I did just apply for a passport though, so I should be getting that in a month or so, and then I can officially travel abroad!

Instead, I’m focusing my travel energy on destinations a lil closer to home. My trip coming up later this week (again, stay tuned) is actually serving as the inspiration for this blog post.

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Throwback to last year’s birthday trip to the beautiful Sedona!

Because I travel less than a dozen times per year, I really want to make each trip count, especially because my trips are all so short (less than a week). And what better way to do that than by keeping a travel journal?

When I first read about the idea, I was hooked. I want to use my blog as a travel journal of sorts, but if I don’t keep notes, I’ll probably forget a lot of what happened by the time I get around to writing about it. And that’s where having a physical journal comes in.

The article I linked above is chock full of good travel journal ideas that I plan to use to create my own diary of my experiences.

First on the list — creating a list. I like to draft up a packing list before I travel so I don’t forget anything, but I also like to research my destination ahead of time to come up with must-do activities. My upcoming trip is looking a little more low-key and spontaneous than usual, which is great, but I did do (extensive 😉) research regarding food & drink choices while on vacation. Being vegan means I need to do more planning than most to ensure I have plenty of food options, and I also just enjoy scoping out the local vegan restaurant scene wherever I go.

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Have journal, will travel. 

Next — jotting down details as I go. I don’t plan on bringing my journal along everywhere I go, but I want to set aside some time each day to write down the highlights. It may help me to take notes to save on my phone while I’m out and about that I can elaborate on later in the journal. This should help keep my experiences top of mind.

When the trip is over, I want to look back over the notes I took and really reflect on my travels. I think this will help me ‘relive’ my vacation and maybe cure those “post-travel blues” that often happen after getting home.

So with just a few more days to go until my trip, I’m more excited than ever because I’ll actually be documenting it day by day, which will help me really soak it all in and appreciate it more. And of course, if you wanna follow along, watch my Instagram stories and then check back here for some travel diary entries!

Do you keep a travel journal? What’s one of your dream vacation destinations?

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My Thoughts on Getting “Vacation Ready”

Life

**Trigger Warning: Calorie numbers mentioned**

I love going on vacation — but then again, who doesn’t? Whether it’s air travel or a road trip, taking some much-needed days off from work to visit a new destination is always enjoyable.

Well, maybe not entirely enjoyable. I always look forward to vacations, but at the same time, I’m freaking out inside about stepping out of my comfort zone of daily routines, at least as it relates to food and exercise.

I’ve gotten better at this as I’ve progressed through eating disorder recovery, but my recovery certainly hasn’t been linear. It ebbs and flows, with ups and downs and relapses.

In fact, two years ago at this time I was in the midst of a relapse. Something triggered in my brain and I decided to revert back to old habits. I actually went out and bought a scale so I could track my “progress”. I started restricting my intake again, which led to obsessive thinking. It was around this time that I happened to be going on vacation for my birthday, to San Diego.

Now, I’m not sure if it was the vacation itself that triggered the relapse, but no matter the case, they intersected perfectly. I was so excited to visit San Diego for the first time, but I was having an internal meltdown about what I’d be eating and how I’d be exercising.

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I loved exploring the Oceanside Pier!

I remember on my birthday that I only got about 8,000 steps (per my Fitbit) because we spent most of the day at the beach and then went to the airport to pick up my sister and went to dinner in Little Italy. My low step count (compared to my usual at the time 15,000 steps per day) freaked me out, as did my birthday dessert. My parents drove out of the way to stop at Whole Foods so I could get a vegan cupcake, which they didn’t have, so I ended up with a vegan cake slice. Unfortunately, the bakery area displayed calories, so I knew exactly how many were in my cake (I think it was about 800).

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My 25th birthday dinner at Civico 1845 in Little Italy. Delicious but with a side of disordered thoughts. 

I remember only ordering appetizers at the restaurant (a really cool Italian place with some amazing vegan dishes) so I could “save room” for the dessert. I didn’t think I deserved all that food since I didn’t really exercise that day. Again, this was my birthday, a day I should have been enjoying with my family instead of worried about calorie and step counts.

The rest of the vacation, I was also concerned about food and exercise, so I didn’t get to enjoy it as much as I should have (though I still had a great time, and did enjoy some delicious vegan food).

I’m going back to San Diego this year for my birthday (in less than 2 weeks!) and I could very easily let the ED voice take control again. But I’m fighting hard to keep that from happening.

So many bloggers/Instagrammers talk about getting “vacation ready”. And they don’t mean planning their packing list. They mean getting their body in perfect shape, whatever that means. So basically, they restrict themselves in one way or another, and workout harder than normal, in the weeks leading up to a trip. Maybe some of them do it without disordered intentions, but I call bullshit on that in many cases.

I know for me, getting “vacation ready” leads to a slippery slope of disordered thoughts and actions that quickly spin out of control. If I restrict myself in the weeks before my vacation, I won’t be able to just turn it off and enjoy myself on vacation. Because that voice, those actions have already taken hold of my brain. Two years ago, I bet I thought I could just go back to ED habits and then feel fine eating normally on vacation, but that didn’t happen. It took me months to get back on track.

Of course, there’s part of me that wants to look a certain way for vacation, especially since I’ll be spending a lot of time at the beach. I don’t want to look back at photos and cringe because I don’t like what I see. But going back to disordered habits isn’t the way to fix that. I have to change my mindset, to think positively and not be so harsh on myself. I want to enjoy the hell out of my vacation, not waste it counting calories and picking apart my body.

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I want to have fun at the beach and not be preoccupied with how my body looks. I also wish my sister could come this time 😦

So yes, I still plan to eat fairly healthy, and to fit in exercise (because a workout always sets a good tone for my day, and helps reduce my anxiety) — maybe even some runs along the beach! But I don’t plan to restrict myself over the next week and a half so I can be “vacation ready”. Instead, I’ll be working on my mindset to make sure it’s ready for my trip.

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Ready for more beach sunsets and fewer ED thoughts!

What are your thoughts on getting “vacation ready”? 

Weekend Through Captions: 4th of July

Life

Hey hey! Can you believe it’s the second week of July already? This month is already flying by!

Did you have a fun 4th of July weekend (if you celebrated)? Mine was four action packed days of fun, sun and family and I’m sad that it’s over. So I’m gonna relive it through a recap post of mostly pictures so you can see what I was up to!

Wednesday

I guess the long weekend technically started on Wednesday for me. I had to work, but my boss let me work from home since no one was going to be in the office. So it was nice not having to rush to get ready in the morning after my run.

Speaking of which, I only ran once on Wednesday (I’ve been splitting my runs into two for the past few weeks because of the heat) to give my legs a bit of a break. My right ankle/foot has been hurting on my runs for the past two weeks for some reason, but I’m really hoping it’s not a serious injury that will require a lot of downtime. So I took my runs a bit easier this week, only running 22 miles in 4 days (as opposed to my usual 30+ miles over 5 days). Fingers crossed it helps!

I got done with work at 3 and then headed out to Sprouts with my mom to pick up a few groceries. After that, it was just a chill evening at home until we left to go get my sister from the airport. She visited for the long weekend and it was a lot of fun seeing her again!

Thursday

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Ran 4 miles for the 4th of July.

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Pool time is a necessity when it’s over 100 degrees.

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Tried my hand at making an adult rocket pop drink with healthy rocket pops & homemade cherry vodka!

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My mom made me a special vegan BBQ dinner while the rest of the fam had regular ribs. Seitan BBQ cutlets, spicy pickles, potato salad & citrus slaw (all the sides were vegan)!

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Silly Snapchat selfies with my sister are a must every holiday we’re together.

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While we walked down the street to watch the fireworks just a couple blocks away, my dog stayed curled up in her bed at home scared 😭

Friday

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How gorgeous is this? Went for a 5 mile solo walk at the Riparian Preserve a few miles from my house to spend some time in nature.

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More pool time (plus much needed hydration).

*Unpictured: My family and I went to see “Late Night” at the movie theatre. We all loved it and Mindy Kaling is always super funny.

 

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Beyond Meat tacos at Sandbar. These were very underwhelming IMO.

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The margs were good though! I ordered the prickly pear before I saw they had a seasonal watermelon 🍉 flavor, so I sipped a bit of the PP before giving most of it to my dad and ordering the melon one instead.

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Drinks round ✌️ at Hundred North in downtown Gilbert. I think my drink was something spicy and mango-y.

*Also unpictured: We set off the rest of our fireworks at home. Mostly just sparklers.

Saturday

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Stopped by the farmers market, which is MUCH smaller in the summer due to the heat.

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Sangria in the AM, sangria in the PM, sangria all day long!

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I’m happy when places have vegan brunch options, like Liberty Market in DT Gilbert. I ordered their Vegan American Standard, skipped the bread and avo but enjoyed the rest of the plate. I also mistook the grape jelly on the side for dressing, and poured it on the salad, but it was actually pretty good 🤷

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I did an at-home workout while my parents and sister went to a brewpub. I don’t drink beer, so I was happy to come home and get my sweat on!

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A wine bar just a couple miles away makes their own rose popsicles & my sister had never tried them so of course we had to get them!

 

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Verdura is probably my favorite vegan restaurant in the Valley. My parents & I had been there but my sister hadn’t (she’s not vegan but is dairy-free) so we had to take her there to experience the deliciousness. This was the General Pow Cauliflower and it definitely packed a POW-erful punch of flavor!

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After dinner, we did the weirdest/coolest thing ever. We went to Lavatory, an immersive art exhibit in central PHX. It’s basically a giant ball pit for adults and they do a ball drop every night where basically you get buried in balls (that are cleaned every day, for you germaphobes). It was so fun and also bizarre.

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Afterwards, we grabbed drinks at Arizona Wilderness in DT PHX. My fam all got beers, I got their prickly pear gin cocktail.

Sunday

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I love my weekend morning walks.

*Unpictured: Dropped my sister off at the airport. Hoping to see her again soon, maybe Labor Day Weekend!

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It was a hot day (what else is new in Arizona?) & my mom and I first stopped at Nekter Juice Bar to get their Skoop ice cream after I raved about it. They were sold out of all their summer flavors except chocolate hazelnut which I wasn’t thrilled about, so instead we went to 212 Ice Cream Studio, where I ordered this delicious vegan mocha maca ice cream topped with pecans. Perfect for a hot day! 🍦

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Stopped at Trader Joe’s for a small grocery haul. Even though I was disappointed by my attempted Nekter trip, I was pleasantly surprised by my TJs visit because they FINALLY had the sparkling watermelon juice I’ve been wanting for months! Plus they had figs (!) and my new favorite kombucha flavor.

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I tried out the watermelon juice in a simple cocktail (I combined it with locally made jalapeno vodka & lime juice) alongside a snack plate with some of my favs.

*Unpictured: I had dinner and a night snack later, and I don’t remember what I had. Then I went to bed around 10 to get ready for another work week.

What did you do last weekend? What’s your favorite kombucha flavor (if you like booch)? 

 

Favorite Finds of the Month: June

Beauty, Food

And we’ve made it to my favorite month of the year — July. There are many reasons I love it, but mostly because it’s my birthday month! This year it’s even more exciting because it’s my golden birthday (I turn 27) and I have a super fun trip planned…stay tuned!

I’ve also been really enjoying having Fridays off this summer. Ah, the perks of working for a school district! That means since July 4th is on a Thursday this year, this work week is an extra short one. My sister is flying out from Denver for the long weekend and I can’t wait to spend time with her!

Since it’s a new month, it’s time to recap my favorite product discoveries from June!

1) Nekter Summer of Skoop

You already know my love for juice bars . I love supporting locally owned places in particular, but sometimes you gotta go with the chains if they offer something spectacular. Case in point, Nekter Juice Bar and their vegan ice cream called Skoop.

I’ve always been so jealous of bloggers and Instagrammers posting their pics of Pressed Juicery freeze, since there are no locations in Arizona. But when I realized Nekter had something similar, I decided to give it a try. I had my first taste of Skoop last September and fell in love. That was when they were selling the charcoal vanilla flavor, which is divine.

I hadn’t gotten Skoop since the fall because they only had chocolate and coconut vanilla flavors, which I wasn’t too excited about, but then they announced on Instagram that they were rolling out 4 new summer flavors on June 27…and they were all vegan (sometimes their Skoop is made with honey, but it’s always dairy free). So you know ya girl had to get her hands on some!

Somehow I waited until June 29th to finally try it (lolz). When I got to Nekter, I knew for sure I wanted to try the monster cookie dough flavor because 1) cookie dough, duh and 2) it was a pretty blue color. But instead of just one flavor, I wanted to try two! I had a tough time deciding between peanut butter swirl, orange twist and chocolate haze but ultimately, I had to go with the PB swirl. And it did not disappoint!

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The Skoop even matches Skye! 

I love Skoop because it’s some of the creamiest vegan ice cream I’ve ever had. It’s just so soft and scoopable. It’s also not overly sweet, and I actually really love the vanilla base they use.

The monster cookie dough was my favorite of the two but I really liked both. Now I wanna go back and try the other two flavors.

*If you go to Nekter Juice Bar before July 7th (after 4 pm), you can take advantage of their BOGO Skoop offer! You just need to download their app and join their rewards program to get the coupon.*

2) Science in Sport GO Hydro + Caffeine Tabs in cola flavor

If you’re a runner or cyclist, you’ve probably heard of if not used Nuun tablets. They’re used to replenish electrolytes lost during exercise and they taste amazing (at least to me).

I think I first started using Nuun in 2016, when I moved to Tucson and realized I needed something to keep me going during runs in the summer heat. One of the flavors I fell in love with was the Kona Kola. It tasted just like a Coke without the carbonation. It was exactly what I needed during those hot runs, and I know that many ultrarunners swear by drinking a flat Coke at race aid stations.

Sadly, Nuun discontinued the flavor, which is a decision I will never understand because it seemed to be popular. Anyways, ever since then I’ve been looking for a solid replacement. I still use Nuun and love many of their other flavors, but it just isn’t the same.

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The cola cravings are REAL. 

Then I found Science in Sport. While they have a much more limited flavor selection, they actually have a cola flavor! And their GO Hydro + Caffeine tabs are vegan! I like that they have no sugar and that they’re designed to replace key electrolytes to prevent dehydration and fatigue.

So far, I’ve taken the tablets before and after a run, and it definitely helps me stay hydrated. I want to try dropping one in my Camelbak to see how I feel drinking it while I’m running.

You can buy these on Amazon for $11 a tube (20 tablets per tube).

3) Bath & Body Works PocketBac Hand Sanitizer in Sun Tan

Who doesn’t wanna have clean hands? I wouldn’t exactly call myself a germaphobe, but better to be safe than sorry, amiright? I pretty much never get sick (don’t wanna jinx it but…) which I credit partially to religiously using hand sanitizer in public places. I have wet wipes stashed in my car, but I use those typically after I’ve eaten something. Hand sanitizer produces no waste and I honestly love the way it makes my hands smell…at least if I get one of the scents from Bath & Body Works!

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I LOVE that B&BW supports Pride #loveislove

Fun fact: their sun tan scent is one of my FAV SMELLS EVER! It reminds me of sunscreen and all things summer. I had a soap in this scent a couple summers ago and haven’t been able to find it since, but when I hit up their semi-annual sale last month, I saw they offered the scent in a hand sanitizer. So of course I had to buy it.

Their PocketBacs are the perfect size to store in a purse or makeup bag (or, erm, even your pocket) and a little goes a long way so they’re a total bargain at less than $2 per bottle.

4) LIVE Soda Kombucha in Cherry Cola

I’m a big big booch fan, if you didn’t know already. There isn’t a kombucha I’ve tried that I didn’t like. But LIVE Soda is one of my favorite brands. I first discovered them in the refrigerated drinks section at Whole Foods when I was living in Tulsa, when I was starting to dip my toes into all things booch. I was immediately hooked because they came in soda flavors but were actually healthy and packed with probiotics.

Up until recently, my favorite flavors were the root beer and cola, though “Doctor” was also a contender and some of them I had never tried. But I always wished they would make a cream soda and cherry cola flavors. Well, wish granted! I spotted on their Instagram in May that they were offering not one, but BOTH flavors I dreamed of! Unfortunately, they said they would only be sold in Texas (where the company is headquartered) but I held out hope I could find them near me…

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Booch, please!

And spoiler alert: I did. At Sprouts, if you were curious. So obviously, I had to try them both. While I liked the cream soda, it struck me as too similar to the root beer. But the cherry cola was so bomb! It has a great cherry flavor that’s offset by the bubbly cola. Like I mentioned above, I crave that cola flavor after hot runs, so this makes the perfect post-run refreshment.

LIVE Soda Kombucha is a bit cheaper than other kombuchas (I think I got each bottle for $2.49 or possibly less) which also makes them a winner.

So even if you don’t live in Texas, you may be able to find these new flavors. Next, I hope they come out with grape!

Any fun new finds you made in June? What are your plans for July? 

#IntrovertStruggles

Life

“What a lovely surprise to discover how unlonely being alone can be.” (-Ellen Burstyn)

Raise your hand if you’re an introvert. Now give me a (virtual) high five if you’re an INFJ like me. Or wait, actually don’t because introverts probably wouldn’t high five a random stranger.

It can be hard being an introvert in an extroverted world. It seems like everything is catered to those bubbly, talkative people and not so much for those of us who are more introspective and quiet. I know all introverts are different, and many of us can put on a facade of being extroverted, but at the heart of it, we all need our alone time to recharge.

Honestly, the last month has been quite draining for me as an introvert. I’ve had a lot more human interaction than I’m used to. That’s not to say that I’m a loner by any means — I live with my parents and I work with a small team of people every day, not to mention the people I interact with at stores. But I’ve had a hell of a lot of phone calls and in-person meetings in the past few weeks because I’ve been on the job hunt and I’ve had several interviews.

Of course, I’m grateful that employers are showing interest in me, at least from the outset. But having multiple interviews each week that I have to prepare for can be mentally exhausting for anyone, but especially an introvert. Couple that with my anxiety and I can be a bundle of nerves. I don’t think it comes across that way in interviews, but I am constantly judging myself and feeling “unworthy”. It doesn’t help that I’ve been rejected mostly, or ghosted, which is even worse. I’d rather know for sure than be left second guessing myself, ya know?

Story. Of. My. Life. 

This past week in particular has been stress inducing. I started out the week with 4 interviews scheduled, two by phone and the other two in-person, and then tacked on another in-person “interview” (more like an initial meeting with a recruiter, but still) by the middle of the week. One phone call never happened (I hate when this happens, because I psych myself up for something that never materializes), the other happened a day earlier than expected because the recruiter messed up (fine, but it caught me off guard and left me feeling flustered). I’m actually surprised I answered at all, because I am NOT one to answer phone calls from numbers I don’t know when I’m not expecting a call. The in-person interviews seemed to go ok…but I’ve felt like that before and then got rejected so ya never know.

I am DEF a call screener, sorry not sorry. 

I feel like I’ve just been running on adrenaline all week, and not necessarily the good kind. Plus my right foot/ankle has been bothering me on runs, which adds to my anxiety. I worry about what will happen if I can’t run because of an injury. Running is my therapy right now, and it helps me feel a lil more sane when things are out of my control (like right now). Plus the interviews have given me take home assignments, which I actually enjoy because I can show my skills without having to talk about them, but they’ve added to the stress because I just kinda want to shut my brain off for a few days and not have to think about things.

Thankfully, I haven’t been stressed out by work or home interactions. The people I work with are fun, and I’m only there for 5 hours a day, so it never gets hard to deal with. And I enjoy spending time with my family, so that’s good. Plus I have an hour long buffer on both ends (aka my commute) which helps me decompress and just zone out (safely) to music.

I think I just need a bit of a break from interviewing, though. I’ve been applying for jobs on and off for almost 2 years, which gets to be annoying. I just want to find a job where I can stay for at least a year or two and be happy. I like my current job, but it’s only part time and I’m not challenged enough. I loved my last job, but ya know #layoffs. If I could just find something solid that pays decently and wouldn’t require to me to job hunt again for awhile, I would really appreciate it. Cuz this introvert is struggling hardcore with all the interviews. It honestly never gets any easier because I never know what to expect and how to prepare for each one. I’ve had ones that seem really easy, and then I get rejected anyway. Or I have ones that I feel ok about, but I get ghosted and have to assume they went with someone else even though they didn’t have the decency to tell me even though I sent them a handwritten thank you note. Not that I’m bitter or anything….

I always dream up the worst case scenarios…

So the struggle is real being an introvert interviewing, but I can’t really change who I am so I just suck it up, put on my extroverted face (or as extroverted as I can be without being totally fake) and then just try to decompress as best I can. Thankfully, I have a four day weekend coming up next week, and I’m hoping to not have any interview scheduled that week so I can just enjoy the July 4th weekend with my fam (and my sister’s coming out to visit, yay!) and at the end of the month, I have a trip planned (stay tuned) which will give me much-needed relaxation time to unplug and unwind.

I really need some time to just chill…

If you’re an introvert, what’s your biggest human interaction struggle? How do you handle stress? 

Hot Tips for Hot Weather Running

Life

Summer. Is. Here! Okay, okay not officially until June 21 but according to pop culture, Memorial Day was the unofficial start of summer and by meteorological standards, summer started on June 1. So it basically is summer, or at least feels like it!

This spring was weird AF for most of the country. In Arizona, we should have gotten a lot more 90 and 100 degree days than we did, especially in May. I’m blaming El Niño for our cooler than normal temps, that seem like everyone but me was excited about. Um, I live in AZ because I like the heat, so bring it on!

Fortunately, as soon as June hit, a switch flipped and we are now in the triple digits every day. I love this time of year, when it’s finally hot but still dry before monsoon starts and brings the humidity and rain and dust storms.

The sudden weather change can be tough to deal with as someone who exercises outside, though. I got through the spring without needing to bring water with me on runs and now, it’s necessary to avoid heat stroke.

I like to look at summer the way runners in cooler climates (aka most of the rest of the country) look at winter — a season to build endurance for the rest of the year. Running in triple digit heat isn’t easy, and isn’t always enjoyable, but I do it to get stronger for the late fall and winter and early spring.

I honestly am really used to running in the heat. I only started running 5 years ago, when I first moved to Tulsa in April 2014. It was starting to warm up and pretty soon, I found myself running in oppressive humidity and yes, even some triple digit temps. That first summer of running, I was doing it mostly in the midday (not recommended) because of my crazy work schedule, but I got it done.

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Running in Tulsa’s humidity = lots of sweat!

When I moved to Tucson in January 2016, I psyched myself up for another summer of hot weather running. Unlike in Tulsa, where I ran without water (not smart), I knew I needed to bring agua with me to survive scorching summer runs. So I invested in a Camelbak before the weather started to really heat up, and I was so glad I did.

Phoenix actually tends to run about 5 degrees warmer than Tucson, so I’ve gotten even more acclimated to hot weather running. Again, it’s not always easy but it’s totally worth it to build endurance (and avoid the dreadmill, no matter how much cooler it is inside, I HATE treadmill running). However, there are ways to do hot weather running smartly, and I’m here to share my tips after 5 (going on 6) summers of running.

1) Hydrate, hydrate, HYDRATE!

I can’t stress enough how important this is! Like I said, I used to be stupid and run without water on hot and humid days. No more, at least not if I’m running between 8 am and 6 pm.

I bring my Camelbak with me on any runs during the middle of the day that are near or over 100 degrees, and I also make sure to hydrate well before and after I run. Sometimes, I also toss in a Nuun tablet if it’s a particularly hot day or I plan on running more than 3 miles to make sure I can replenish my electrolytes.

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Camelbaks are essential for summer runs in AZ.

If you don’t like the feel of a Camelbak or hydration vest (I have had to get used to it again since I broke it out for runs the past two weeks), there are handheld water bottles you can try instead, or plan your route around drinking fountains. You could even try stashing water bottles around your usual running path to ensure you’ll have enough to drink throughout the run.

2) Don’t forget the fuel.

Since I’ve never run further than 8 miles, I’ve never used gels or any other fuel while running. I don’t think it’s necessary for most runs under 10 miles or so. I’m talking about fueling yourself well pre and post run.

Again, I have been stupid in the past about not eating before a run. If I run in the AM, it’s always fasted because I don’t get hungry until the afternoons. However, a few weeks ago on my Instagram I mentioned I had been doing intermittent fasting and not eating anything all day until I got home from my runs, so typically not until 6:30 or 7 pm. It was working for awhile, but I started to get hungry and now that it’s hot, I tend to feel pretty weak if I don’t eat a little something before a run.

I’ve been splitting my runs this week due to schedule issues, so I run in the morning around 7:30 and then head out for round two around 5:30 or 6 pm. I don’t eat before the morning run, but on my drive home from work, I eat a little something like a protein bar so I have a couple hours to digest it before I run again. This has been working really well to keep me from feeling nauseous and faint while running.

3) Dress as minimally as possible.

This is sooooo crucial! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen runners wearing full-length, dark colored leggings when it’s in the 90s or 100s. It makes me hot just seeing that! Summer is definitely the time to break out the shorts and tank tops.

That being said, I still haven’t worked up the confidence to run in just a sports bra and shorts. I like having a little extra coverage from a tank top, but I’m sure wearing a sports bra as a top would keep me even cooler! I do prefer to wear tanks that are geared towards running or working out, because the material is sweat-wicking, which is really important to have on hot days.

Also, try to avoid wearing dark colors. I know it’s not always possible, and I have quite a few dark-colored tops in my closet, but lighter colors do a better job at reflecting sunlight.

Don’t forget to accessorize! Sunglasses and/or a hat with a brim will keep the blazing sun out of your eyes and may help prevent a headache from developing after your run (I know this can happen to me on sunny runs, especially if I don’t drink enough water).

4) Slow it down.

This one hurts to say, coming from an already slow runner. But really, your body will thank you for it.

Many running experts say you should focus on effort, not pace when it comes to hot summer runs. If you try to run at your normal pace, you may find yourself getting tired earlier or even experiencing heat exhaustion from overexerting yourself. Hot and humid weather adds a level of challenge to running, which may force you to slow down or not run as far. This is totally okay and expected!

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Slowing down is worth seeing these summer sunset views!

Always always ALWAYS listen to your body. If it’s telling you to slow down because it’s getting too hot, do that. If you can keep up your normal pace but can’t go quite as far, that’s fine. Running by effort instead of pace will still help you build endurance and you’ll be a stronger runner when fall rolls around.

I never really track my pace that closely, because I don’t have a Garmin or similar watch. I typically just use my Fitbit to loosely watch my pace, so I’m not sure if I’m really running more slowly in the summer, but I do know not to push myself too much when it’s really really hot.

5) Just have fun!

You run because you enjoy it, right? I know that’s why I do it! Summer runs are actually enjoyable to me for the most part because I love hot weather and I like to challenge myself in different ways with running, since I’m not focused on hitting a certain pace or training for a race. Running in triple digit heat is that challenge for me, and I’m ready for it!

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Running before a monsoon storm CAN be fun!

Even if you have to run slower, not as far, not as frequently, whatever because of the heat, try to enjoy each of your runs and look at them as a fun challenge!

 

Any hot tips for hot weather running? What’s your favorite season to run?

Favorite Finds of the Month: May

Beauty, Food, Life

Long time, no blog! I can’t believe May is already over and I only ended up publishing two posts last month, whoops! I’ve been trying to post at least once a week, but last month ended up being crazy busy and obvs that didn’t happen.

I was out of town Memorial Day weekend, as well as this past weekend, and during the week I’ve been trying to get my life together amidst job interviews (why do I suddenly have so many now, when they could have been spread out over the past month?) and my current job and running, etc. In the past week, I found myself spiraling into my stress over everything I have to do over the next few weeks, plus the big expenses I have coming up and it’s just been no bueno. So yeah, that’s why the blog hasn’t been so active lately, but I’m gonna try again to get up a post per week in June, we’ll see!

Anyyyyyyways, let’s get to my favorite products from May — there were some good ones!

1) SmartSweets Peach Rings

If you don’t follow me on Insta (maybe even if you do), you may not know that I’m a SmartSweets Champion. If you haven’t heard about SmartSweets, what are you even doing with your life? They’re a candy brand that does candy differently, as their gummies only have 3 grams of sugar in the entire package! Their mission to #KickSugar spoke to me, as I was a candy fiend growing up and haven’t had gummy candy in years because I’m vegan and I wanted a candy I could feel good eating.

Side note: not all of SmartSweets’ products are vegan. The two gummy bear varieties (as well as their seasonal flavors) are made with gelatin, sadly. Fortunately for me, their new peach rings are plant-based!

I’m already obsessed with their sour blast buddies (like Sour Patch Kids) and I also like their sweet fish (like Swedish Fish) but these peach rings blew me away! They’re so tangy and soft and perfectly peachy.

Disclosure: as a SmartSweets Champion, I get sent free products to try out, so I did get two packages of the peach rings, but I actually bought my first bags (at Whole Foods) before I even got my freebies, and I would buy them over and over again!

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My latest Whole Foods haul feat. new-to-me items, including the peach rings & ranch dip!

2) Kite Hill Ranch Dip

I was never one of those kids obsessed with ranch dressing growing up (I always preferred Italian vinaigrette for some reason) but it’s nice having vegan versions to turn to when I want to fulfill a ranch craving.

Most vegan ranches(?) are of the dressing variety, so having a dip is a game-changer. TBH the Kite Hill ranch dip could totally work as a dressing too, as it’s not super thick. But it’s got that perfect tangy ranch flavor we all know. I personally love it with the grain free jalapeno crackers from Simple Mills!

Kite Hill also offers a French onion dip(!) and both are available in the Whole Foods refrigerated section right now (for $3.99 I think).

3) Schmidt’s Sensitive Skin Deodorant in Coconut Pineapple

I’ve said that I’m not sure how I feel about natural deodorants because most of the ones I’ve tried either don’t work that well or leave my skin raw. I had tried Schmidt’s deodorant before because so many people raved about it, but it fell into the latter category and I thought I’d never try it again…until I saw they offered sensitive skin products!

First of all, I love the smell — it’s so tropical without being overly fruity. Also, it leaves my armpits feeling so smooth, which I’ve never experienced with a natural deodorant before.

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So tropical!

It’s not an antiperspirant, so it won’t stop sweating completely (those aluminum-filled antiperspirants aren’t good for your body anyways!) but it eliminates the odor and feels good on my skin so it’s a winner.

I got mine at Target for $7.99 I think, but they also sell it at Sprouts/Whole Foods/etc.

4) Stasher Aqua Reusable Silicone Bag

If you’re still using plastic, what are you doing? JK, but soooooo many products are moving away from plastic, which is great for the environment!

Enter, the Stasher bag! It’s not just any resuable bag though — you can actually cook with it! You can bake, steam, boil, even microwave food in it and then store it in the fridge or freezer. You can use it in place of Tupperware to transport salads and other food to work, in the car and even the airport (it’s TSA friendly).

I haven’t tried cooking with it, but it works so well for storing food and you can throw it in the dishwasher between uses. I also like how well it seals cuz some plastic bags suck at closing.

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Check out the Stasher bag (& all my other Thrive Market goodies from my latest order)!

I got mine from Thrive Market (I pay for a yearly membership) where it’s only $9.99 but it goes for a bit more than that at Target and on Stasher’s website. Still a good deal for a bag you don’t have to toss out!

5) Theo Root Beer Barrel Chocolate Bar

I was on a quest one afternoon after work to restock my SmartSweets stash, and since Whole Foods is out of the way, I used the store locator on their website to see where else they were sold near me (I know they’re also at GNC, but the GNC near me only has the sweet fish, and I wanted the sour blast buddies too). World Market popped up on the screen, and since there’s one right off the freeway exit I use to get home, I decided to stop in and check it out.

I’ve been to World Market a few times, and I love their snack section. They have stuff from all over the world (duh, it’s in their name) and interesting things I’ve never come across anywhere else. Long story short, they didn’t have the SmartSweets (whomp whomp) but I did spot two Theo chocolate bar flavors on an endcap that I’d never seen before: grapefruit ginger and root beer barrel.

I was pleasantly surprised to see both flavors were vegan (I’ve had Theo chocolate before, and they have a decent selection of vegan bars, but not all of them are, even the dark chocolate) so I grabbed one of each and headed to the register.

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Root beer chocolate? Yes please!

I have yet to try the grapefruit ginger, but the root beer barrel one called my name first. It literally tastes just like the root beer barrel candies from childhood, but with an adult twist (the dark chocolate). If you don’t think root beer and chocolate go together, well you’d be wrong. They are a perfect match (at least for people with tastes for the unusual, like me).

Each bar costs $2.99 and I think it was supposed to be one or two servings but I made it four, which is pretty good for a small-sized bar.

Did you try anything new in May? 

Don’t Fear the No

Life

“It’s only by saying ‘no’ that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” (-Steve Jobs)

My name is Ashley and I’m addicted to being a people pleaser. I also hate being rejected, so is it any surprise that I strongly dislike the word ‘no’?

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TRUTH. (source)

When you have a dream and then get told no, it won’t work for whatever reason, it can really sting. Even after a lifetime of rejection, it still sucks. Because I hate being told no, I also avoid saying it to other people. This can lead to me being walked all over, like a human doormat. Definitely not fun, but I’m the only one to blame when it happens.

Even though hearing the word ‘no’ can feel defeating, I’ve come to realize it can actually be empowering.

I’m currently looking for my next career opportunity, which has been a lil stressful to say the least, mostly because I feel like I’ve spent the better part of the last 18 months applying to and interviewing for jobs. I only had a brief respite about a year ago, when I had just started as a copywriter after 4 months of unemployment, and I was really looking forward to spending the next year growing into that role (and we all know what happened just a few months later) instead of looking for a new one.

Working part-time has been a blessing in some ways, allowing me more time to pursue other interests (like running, and this blog) but ya girl wants to support herself again and feel like I’m doing something productive, so I’m searching for a full-time role that will hopefully last longer than my last job.

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Mine barely pays this much in a year *eyeroll* (source)

Since I’m fortunate enough to still be bringing in a paycheck (no matter how small), I’ve been able to be more relaxed about the job search but I’m impatient and want to be done looking and just be working my next job already. I’ve also been lucky enough to be contacted by a few recruiters, which has taken some of the stress off me. But here’s where that ‘no’ comes in.

You see, I’ve never said ‘no’ to a job offer that’s come my way. Granted, I’ve only had a handful of offers extended to me, but still. After being on the other side of the ‘no’ (being rejected for many jobs), I was hesitant to say ‘no’ to a prospective employer. Maybe I’d be somewhere totally different in my career now if I had, but what’s done is done.

Just recently, I had a phone interview that was facilitated by one of the recruiters I’ve been working with. For more context, the job was with the company I was laid off from 6 months ago (they got rid of the digital marketing side of the business to focus on what they currently do, hence the downsizing), in a role that was not at all what I have experience in, but the recruiter seemed to think it would be a good opportunity, and I’m usually game to do a phone interview just to test the waters, so I thought nothing of it. I had a good conversation with the hiring managers but assumed they would go with someone else (because of my lack of experience in said role).

Well, apparently they were impressed by me for some reason because the recruiter called me back almost immediately and said they wanted to move forward. Which I took to assume the next stage of interviewing, so I was like ok sure. Come to find out they actually want to HIRE ME because the recruiter passed along a background check and drug test to complete. At this point I’m like, yeah I don’t think I want this job. I mean, it would be interesting to get the different experience, but from my understanding, this wasn’t necessarily a permanent role (it was temp-to-hire, which I guess is ok but I’m looking for something that’s definitely more solid) and even though the pay (I hadn’t officially gotten an offer, I was just going on what the recruiter told me) was a lot more than I’ve been paid before, I would be working in DT Phoenix again and I’m not a fan of that long commute (my current commute is already hella long). I wouldn’t want to get an apartment closer to work in case the job didn’t work out and I was left searching again, plus the last layoff left a bad taste in my mouth about the company.

TBH this would have been the only reason to take this job. (source)

Doesn’t sound like a promising job, right? But here’s the kicker: I spent a couple days ruminating over what I would do…because I didn’t want to piss off the recruiter this far into the hiring process. I didn’t want to reject a job because I thought it would make people feel bad.

Ummmm…WTF?! Thankfully, I wised up, took a deep breath and crafted a nicely worded email to the recruiter thanking her for her time but saying I’m not interested anymore. And it was so fucking hard for me to do that, but it made me realize that there’s power in saying no. I’m taking control of my life and my career by saying no. Hopefully, it won’t sour my relationship with the recruiter (because I have been getting valuable job leads from her…this one just wasn’t right for me) but if it does…so fucking what? I’m capable of finding a job on my own (I’ve done it with all my jobs so far) and if I don’t find a new job soon, at least I have my current one until the timing’s right and I find a position that’s the right fit for me, instead of jumping at the first offer that lands in my lap.

And I’ll be honest here, after a phone call with the recruiter after she got my email, I kinda feel like maybe I burned my bridges with her and the company. She seemed pissed that I was reneging, but to be fair, they hadn’t even given me an actual offer yet (not even a verbal one) and they just assumed I had given notice at my current job and could start there on May 27th. Um, no. I’m not going to give notice at my job when I don’t have an offer in hand with the full details of my job. You didn’t even ask me when I would be available to start, if I have any vacation plans lined up they need to know about (which I do), etc. Like, sorry that you have to find someone else to fill the spot now, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been ghosted by an employer when I spent hours preparing for interviews, doing sample assignments for them and communicating back and forth for weeks only for them to go silent and never tell me they hired someone else. I think what I just did pales in comparison to that, but if it screwed over my chances with them in the future, whatever. Like I said, I’ve had better luck finding jobs without a recruiter’s help and I just made the right decision for me and them by not taking a job I wouldn’t have liked, just so I wouldn’t make them mad in the moment.

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How I’ve felt with almost every job I’ve interviewed for. (source)

So now I’m back to the search, but it’s ok because I have a couple things in the works there and I’m honestly trying my best not to freak TF out over it (which could be a whole other post really) and just see where things end up.

It was scary to say no, but I think it’ll be worth it.

Do you have trouble saying no? How do you deal with hiring process BS? 

Favorite Finds of the Month: April

Beauty, Food

This is the third in a series of posts highlighting my favorite product finds each month. 

Can you believe we’re already more than a third of the way through 2019? Christmas feels like it was forever ago at this point but I still can’t believe how fast this year is flying! I’m not complaining, though, as I have some great things to look forward to this summer (including my golden birthday). Summer is my fav season by far so I can’t wait!

But before we look ahead to the next few months, let’s rewind to April and check out some of the best products I discovered last month!

1) Coco Bakes Gluten Free Sourdough

Bread has been one of my biggest fear foods since my eating disorder but it’s also been one of the foods I enjoy the most. Go figure! I pretty much eat almost entirely gluten free when I’m at home, not because I’m celiac or have been diagnosed with an intolerance, but I just feel better when I avoid wheat (however, I’m down to enjoy gluten when I go out to eat, since I typically only eat out once a week, and sometimes I still seek out GF options if that appeals to me at the time) so it’s hard to find GF bread that’s also vegan and tastes good. I have found a couple brands (Little Northern Bakehouse and O’Dough’s bagels) that are available at Sprouts that are pretty decent, but I was craving real bread, ya know, not just sandwich slices or bagel thins.

Lots of bloggers/Instagrammers I follow raved about Coco Bakes, a small-batch bakery in LA that specializes in GF vegan sourdough. I had had a similar sourdough before (from Bread SRSLY, based in the Bay Area) and wanted to give another, slightly cheaper version a try so I bit the bullet and ordered a loaf.

Since it was coming from LA, it arrived in my mailbox just a few days after it was baked, which means it was nice and fresh when it was delivered. And I gotta say, this bread lives up to the hype! It is perfect for toast (it crisps up nicely in the toaster even after I sliced it and put it in the freezer) and it has a great, chewy texture and that slight sour flavor that I missed from legit bread.

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Honey wants in on the sourdough toast action!

Each loaf costs $20 (plus $7.99 for shipping), which seems expensive for bread, but for bread this good (that’s made in small batches, no less) it’s worth it. I’ve already ordered it twice and I plan to make it at least a monthly purchase.

Also, you should definitely follow Cocobakes on Instagram for serious toast inspo plus the founder of Coco Bakes (Coco Kislinger) is really hilarious and down to earth in her IG Stories!

2) Trader Joe’s Sweet Basil Foaming Hand Soap

I am typically a ride-or-die Bath & Body Works girl when it comes to hand soaps (though I make an exception around the holidays when I stock up on the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day peppermint soap). I haven’t shopped at B&BW for a few months as I’m saving my last Christmas gift card for their summer scents, so when I ran out of hand soap in my bathroom, I decided on a whim to try one of TJ’s soaps.

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Even the bottle is supah cute!

I’ve loved nearly everything I’ve ever bought from TJ’s, including this soap. It smells just like a fresh bunch of basil, and it foams up just as well as the soaps from Bath & Body Works (I prefer foaming hand soaps). Also, it’s cheaper at just $2.99 per bottle, and much more convenient to buy, since I’m at TJ’s almost every week.

3) Kaleidoscope Juice #LoveUp Sport

Hydrate but make it compassionate. That’s basically the gist of Kaleidoscope Juice’s #LoveUp Sport drink. I’ve already professed my love for Kaleidoscope here but within the last month they introduced a totally new kind of sports beverage. Move over, Gatorade, cuz #LoveUp Sport is way better for you (and for the community…more on that in a sec).

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Even dogs love it (JK, Honey doesn’t get to drink this)!

Whereas Gatorade and most sports drinks are made with sugar, sugar and more sugar (and fake colors/flavors), #LoveUp Sport is made with blue majik spirulina powder (giving it its pretty ocean-blue color), monkfruit (a natural zero calorie sweetener), lime juice, Himalayan pink salt and trace minerals to help you replenish your electrolytes after a tough workout.

The flavor of #LoveUp Sport is subtle, but that’s why I love it. But I also love that it supports the #LoveUp Foundation, which supports kids in the foster care system. Now that’s a sports drink I can get behind!

4) Herbaland Calcium & Vegan D3 Gummy Vitamins

Canada is really leading the way when it comes to vegan gummies (since most gummies are made with gelatin and aren’t even vegetarian). First it was SmartSweets which makes some awesome sugar free gummy candies (2 varieties are vegan), now it’s Herbaland coming in clutch with the vitamins.

Most of us probably don’t get all the nutrients we need from our diet, especially vegans. While many people are hung up on the protein thing, there are key vitamins that vegans can struggle to get from food, namely calcium/vitamin D3 and B12. I strive to eat a balanced diet full of fruits and veggies, but I make sure to supplement so I can stay healthy, and that’s where Herbaland gummy vitamins come in.

I am not a fan of the huge pills you have to swallow or even powdery chewable vitamins (yes, I’m basically a 5-year-old) so gummies it is, but it can be hard to find vegan gummy vitamins that aren’t super expensive. Luckily, I came across Herbaland when searching for vitamins on Amazon, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that none of their vitamin bottles cost more than $20, which is about half the cost of most vegan gummies! I ordered the calcium & D3 variety (because I already take B vitamins in the hair gummies I have).

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Taking vitamins is easy when they’re this yummy!

I love that these are gluten free and sugar free, because many vegan vitamins have glucose syrup, which I’m not a fan of. Plus, they taste pretty good and you can’t beat the price ($16) for a month’s supply.

I plan to try more of their vitamins, including the vegan collagen booster and cold brew energy gummies.

5) Trader Joe’s Jalapeño Sauce

Y’all know I like things spicy. So I’m always down to try a new hot sauce, especially if it’s from TJ’s.

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This sauce pairs perfectly with tofu potato tacos (recipe on my Insta!).

This green sauce is different from most hot sauces in that it’s creamy, but it is in fact totally vegan! It reminds me a lot of dairy-free crema I’ve had at many Mexican places, so it works really well drizzled on top of tacos, but I’ve also used it to dress up a vegan poke bowl. It’s just good on anything.

What new products did you try last month? 

My Picks for the Sephora Beauty Insider Sale 2019

Beauty

My Sephora beauty insider sale picks

It’s my favorite time of the year — Sephora Beauty Insider Sale time! Honestly, I was a little worried that Sephora wasn’t doing one this year because typically, it happens in early April and here it is almost May and I haven’t gotten any emails about it. Thankfully, we’re just a few days away from one of the best sales of the year for beauty lovers.

I actually used to be a VIB Rouge member, but after being unemployed for several months last year, I wasn’t able to spend the $1,000 I needed to by the end of 2018 to maintain my Rouge status for this year, so I was dropped down to just VIB. If I can work my way back up to Rouge, that would be great, but truth be told I’m not really in a rush to make that happen. I still get decent perks as a VIB (including more birthday gift choices and earning more points per dollar spent) and I only have to spend $350 in a year which is much more doable.

I actually haven’t shopped at Sephora in a few months, as I’m trying to be more mindful with spending when it comes to beauty products (clothes on the other hand…) and I’ve only been buying the essentials, like BB cream and concealer and fake lashes (yes those are essential cuz I wear them daily and they only last so long) and I’ve been able to make do buying those at Ulta for the most part. But I’ve had several things in my virtual Sephora cart for awhile, and now is the time to take advantage!

For those not in the know, the Sephora Beauty Insider Sale happens twice a year (typically April and November). Rouge members get first dibs (the sale started on April 26th for them) and the best discount (20%), while VIBs get 15% off and Beauty Insider members get 10% off and have to wait until May 2nd to shop the sale. I like to use the sale as an opportunity to splurge on some things I normally wouldn’t buy and rack up more points. So here are my picks for this season’s sale!

1) Glow Recipe Pineapple-C Brightening Serum ($49)

Glow Recipe’s newest product just came out within the past month or so, and I’ve been dying to get my hands on it. I already am obsessed with their watermelon glow sleeping mask and I need more fruity products in my life. This sounds like it will be really good at improving redness and dryness, which I definitely need. And if it’s anything like their watermelon pink juice moisturizer, a little goes a long way so it’s worth spending $$$.

2) Isle of Paradise Self-Tanning Water ($28)

I’m used to tanning lotions and even airbrush-style sprays, but tanning water? Judging by how often this product sells out on Sephora’s website (it’s sold out right now, and I’ve probably signed up for restock emails 5+ times since it debuted) it must work really well.

I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, and I love the colorful bottle this comes in. I also like the fact that it comes in 3 shades and it has the Clean at Sephora seal, so I can trust that it doesn’t have any weird ingredients. Oh, and like everything on my list, it’s vegan and cruelty-free #win

Since it’s sold out at the moment, I may have to make a stop at the Sephora near me because apparently it’s available there!

3) Four Sigmatic Mushroom Lemonade Mix with Charcoal & Chaga ($30)

I am all about the charcoal — my toothpaste, deodorant and facial bar all have charcoal as a main ingredient. So I’m definitely not scared off by a charcoal lemonade. I’ve tried one by a local juice company and it tastes so good, plus the color is cool.

So many wellness bloggers have raved about the Four Sigmatic mushroom coffee, but I’m not a hot coffee drinker so I’ve never tried it. But this sounds really refreshing for Arizona’s summers and it’s supposed to be good for digestion and skin health, so why not?

4) Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask Set ($39)

I’ve had my eye on Glow Recipe’s sleeping mask sets since they came out a few months ago, but haven’t purchased them yet. It comes with an adorable sleep mask, so how could I not?

I was actually debating about getting the avocado version, but I’ve yet to try that mask and some reviewers said it made them break out, so I’m thinking I’m going to go with the watermelon since it’s a tried and true favorite.

This is normally $45 but right now (even without the sale discount) it’s only $39!

5) IGK 1995 2-in-1 Shampoo & Texturizer ($25)

As y’all know, I only wash my hair once or twice per week, which has saved me a fortune in shampoo & conditioner costs. But I am about one wash away from running out of my shampoo so I need to restock.

IGK is my go-to brand now because they’re vegan and cruelty-free (le duh) and more affordable than a lot of other high-quality brands. A lot of people have raved about the 1995 2-in-1 Shampoo & Texturizer and says it really works to give their hair more volume and oomph, so I think it’s going to be my next shampoo.

6) Summer Fridays Mini Jet Lag Mask ($26)

This actually isn’t in my cart, so I may or may not actually buy it, but I’ve wanted to try the Summer Fridays Jet Lag mask forever (I already have and love the Overtime and R+R masks). When I saw they came out with it in a mini, I knew I couldn’t lose.

I love minis because they let you try something without committing to a bigger product that you may not use up if you don’t love it. The Jet Lag mask is supposed to be amazingly hydrating, so I’d love to give it a spin and see how it compares to their other masks.

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I just noticed that most of my picks are skincare items, with no actual makeup to be seen! That’s because I honestly don’t really need any makeup rn — I just bought some things from Ulta during their sale, and I have so many eyeshadow/highlighter palettes it’s not even funny. But I can always use more skincare products!

Do you love the Beauty Insider Sale? What are your picks for this season’s sale?