Products Mentioned:

Sunday Riley Products

Malin & Goetz Detox Mask

By Terry Light Expert Click Brush Foundation

John Russo Vamp Lipstick

Joeur Tinted Lip Enhancer in Shiraz

NYX Butter Gloss

Loreal High Lift Creation Spray 

By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon

Vital Proteins Collagen

 

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Ok. So it’s officially Christmas cookie time. Every year my mom and I have always made a variety of Christmas cookies, and jam thumbprints have always been a favorite of mine! Last year, I discovered this amazing Thumbprint cookie recipe that is gluten and dairy free. I’m not necessarily “paleo” but I’ve found I love paleo dessert recipes because they’re made with whole, unprocessed ingredients.  I based this recipe on a previous cookie I’ve made and decided to add jam to make them the classic thumbprints. I knew they’d turn out good…but I didn’t know how  delicious they’d be. Honestly I like these cookies just as much if not better as cookies made with refined sugar. I totally think it’s okay to have “normal” cookies too, but these are an awesome healthy alternative, especially if you’re gluten free or dairy free. They have healthy fats and are lower in carbs than traditional cookies. Even my parents- who are hard to please with “healthy cookies”- loved them.

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First of all, I want to say welcome back to my blog! I really appreciate you stopping by. I have not written on this platform in quite some time due to life being busy and then some technical difficulties. But we got those fixed, so yay!
I really love writing, and I love how I can connect with you all on a deeper level than just in a short Instagram caption.

The holidays – a time of both excitement and anxiety. Let me explain.

With the holidays approaching, I’ve been thinking a lot about how my relationship with food used to cause so much anxiety and feelings of guilt when I was younger. Sure, sometimes it still does if I’m being honest. But my mentality has evolved over the past few years, that I now actually do look forward to those home cooked meals and special traditions with family.

I know the holidays do cause a lot of stress for many of you, I’ve even gotten several dm’s on IG asking how I approach holiday eating. I’m still figuring that out, but I’ve found the number one thing to do is…. not stress. That’s it. Stress will kill you faster than any dish with a ton of calories or fat or sugar (or whatever else your mind decides to demonize that day).

Say no to diet culture.

With diet culture sending us the message that we need to “prep” for the Thanksgiving meal by fasting before hand or running a “Turkey Trot” the morning of, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking we need to earn food. Let’s get this straight, you never need to “earn” food. I know a lot of have fitness goals, and we eat a certain way to support that, but that doesn’t mean eating different foods or more food is inherently bad. I’m not saying totally neglect eating healthy and working out just because it’s the holiday season, but don’t feel like you need to earn your Thanksgiving meal by doing cardio at 6am or not eating all morning in order to save up room for family lunch.  I’ve been there, trust me it’s not a good idea. Going into a big meal starving is just going to set you up to eat way past the point of fullness, leading to more discomfort. Simply eat a couple of normal meals before your family gathering, then eat you desire. If you truly listen to your body, you’re not going to “over eat.” If you know certain foods are very rich or may cause a stomach ache, just be aware of that. But also remember, it’s one day out of the year – enjoy yourself. Enjoyment is key to health. I would strongly argue that your relationship with food is more important to your well being than the food itself. Remember it’s okay to have fitness goals (I do!!!) but they should never get in the way of time with family.

Family…

Thanksgiving can be quite a hard holiday for anyone that has dealt with disordered eating in the past. You may feel like all your family is judging what you eat, looking to you, “the healthy eater”, for their own diet advice. They keep a close eye on what you are or are not eating. You feel like if you go back for seconds, someone will make a comment like “oh your eating more? I haven’t seen that before.” Or, if you choose not to eat something, you get the comment “go figures, you don’t eat things with butter or sugar.” (or some other off putting comment). These comments are hard. Most of the time family members do not mean any harm, the love you! But, that doesn’t mean they fully understand your situation, past, or struggle. They might not know that thinking about eating that pie is already making you nervous, and that any comment about it is only making it that much harder.

Learn to appreciate the people around you.

Instead of focusing just on the food you’ll be eating, turn your focus to the memories you’ll be making with loved ones. I know for me, when I was really struggling in my eating disorder, those years have bad memories around food. Last year, I remember making all kinds of memories and fully enjoying the moment. Your mindset is everything. I know it’s easier said then done, but keep working through it. This time with family is so precious, it’s a shame to let it be ruined with worrying about food and your body.

Incorporate your healthy habits with holiday habits.

You don’t have to be all in or all out. Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you’ve “ruined” your healthy lifestyle. You don’t have to “get back on track” the next day if you don’t think of it as a cheat meal. Just simply return to eating foods that make you feel good. Don’t try to eat less to compensate. That’s unhealthy and just leads to a bad cycle. As far as exercise, if going to the gym that morning fits into your schedule with stress, then go! If it makes you happy 🙂 If you’re not able to, even just talking a walk with family after the meal can be a great way to get your digestion moving and make you feel a little active! Taking a short walk after meals is something my coach Paul suggests, and it really helps me physically and mentally.

I hope this helped, and if it did please let me know! I know we all have our own struggles and I believe we can help each other feel a little less alone. Let’s embrace this holiday season with open arms and work on finding that “balance” we all long for. I love you all!
xoxo,

Steph

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Hey y’all! Today we’re talking about skincare. One of my favorite things. I love trying out new skincare and also researching key ingredients and what they’re doing for my skin. A brand that I’ve fallen in love with lately is Sunday Riley. I was introduced to the brand last year when a girl at Sephora recommended U.F.O. I took home a sample, and came back a day later to buy my fist of many bottles. Recently, I’ve been trying more of the brand and have found some new favs. I love that the brand was started buy a woman who is so passionate about what she does. I fell in love with Sunday after watching this interview with PixiWoo. Each product has been specially formulated with only the highest quality natural ingredients. The entire line is formulated without parabens,
sulfates, phthalates – which I have really been trying to avoid in skincare. As I’ve been on such a journey with my skin, and curing my hormonal acne, the last thing I want to put on skin is a harsh chemical. I have really found that my skin is responding well to adding in these new Sunday Riley products. It’s been a couple of weeks using these 3 products together , and while yes I still have some acne scarring- I can already see them getting lighter. And none of these products have broken me out. Praise the Lord! lol.

Now… let’s talk about why each of these products are so awesome.

Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser

I have definitely tried my fair share of cleansers and it’s safe to say I’ve found a new favorite. Ceramic Slip is a balancing deep pore cleanser that contains French and Moroccan clays to help pull impurities from the skin. It leaves my skin feeling clean, but never tight or over-stripped of its natural oils. I have noticed a significant difference in my pores- this cleanser definitely  visibly tightens the appearance of pores. It has a lightweight (almost watery) texture, and does not foam due to it’s natural ingredients (love!) I apply it to dry skin, massage in, and rinse off with warm water. I find it gentle enough to use morning and night.

skin types it’s good for: normal, oily, combination, sensitive

solutions for: pores, oiliness, blemishes

Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

I wasn’t expecting to love Tidal as much as I do. I freakin’ love this stuff. I’m usually not a fan of any kind of “gel” or “water” based moisturizers. They usually just don’t cut it for me when it comes to lasting hydration. Tidal is different. It’s described as “An advanced brightening and refining treatment, infused into a next-generation water cream.”  It delivers intense hydration with two forms of hyaluronic acid and tamarind extract so your skin looks youthfully hydrated and plumped. Papaya enzymes smooth and exfoliate while alpha-arbutin visibly brightens the appearance of hyper-pigmentation and dark spots. This is something I’ve been looking for!! I swear my hyper-pigmentation has gotten so much better. I don’t need as much foundation because this instantly calms my redness while making me look radiant. Tidal is said to increase hydration by up to 68 percent in as little as 15 minutes for up to 24 hours of continuous moisture. Even if you have oily skin, you need a moisturizer! It’s so so so important. Tidal is great if you don’t want to feel greasy. It’s just enough. Perfect.

skin types it’s good for: normal, combination, dry, oily, sensitive (really anyone!)

solutions for: dark spots, dryness, fine lines

U.F.O 

No, not that kind of UFO. It stands for Ultra Clarifying Face Oil. And oh boy does it do that! This was my first love from Sunday Riley, and I think it will always hold a special place in my heart. This stuff has gotten my skin through some BAD times. U.F.O is a quick-absorbing, medicated oil that deep cleans pores to clear acne. It contains 1.5 % salicylic acid and tea tree oil to clear up breakouts without leaving the skin greasy. Licorice will naturally brighten the discoloration of old acne scars to even out skin tone. Because salicylic acid can be potentially drying, it also has milk thistle to help hydrate and chamomile and neroli to  soothe the skin. I apply 1 drop in the morning, and 2-3 drops at night. It can also be mixed into your foundation to add acne fighting benefits and a nice glow. Along with Tidal, U.F.O. also has helped with my scarring because of hexylresorcinol and licorice – which naturally brighten the appearance of old acne discolorations.

skin types it’s good for: normal, oily, combination, dry, sensitive

solutions for: acne and blemishes, blackheads, pores, dry acne prone-skin, unbalanced skin

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I hope you all enjoyed learning a little bit more about Sunday Riley. If you try out any of these products, please let me know how they worked for you. I hope they help your skin as much as they did mine. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me through a comment or email me at beautyandbananas@aol.com.

Until next time, stay happy and healthy!

xoxo,

Steph

 

 

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Hey y’all! I hope you’re having a great week! As I’m preparing for my next competition, I’m also preparing for…. the beach! Whoo hoo! I am so excited to relax and get away for a few days. My parents and I will be headed to the beach just two days after the competition. I’m starting to gather up the clothes, beauty products, snacks, and other things I think I’ll need at the beach. I thought I’d share my personal favorites I’ll be packing, and some things you should remember to pack! I’m going to break it down into beauty, clothes, and healthy snacks. Let’s get started!

BEAUTY & SKINCARE| WHAT TO PUT ON YOUR FACE

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  • waterproof Mascara
    • any kind will do, but waterproof is a must for obvious reasons!
  •  tinted lip balm

 

CLOTHES | WHAT TO WEAR

  • white tee shirts
    • they go with everything from skirts to jean shorts. I love to get mine at Target.
  • jean shorts
  • white shorts
  • comfy shorts
  • wrap skirt
  • sun dress
  • t-shirt dress
  • off the shoulder top
  • floral top
  • tank tops
  • sweater
  • pj’s
  • undies
  • sandals
  • wedges
  • flip-flops for the beach
  • workout/running shoes if you plan on being active
  • workout clothes for hiking or outdoor activities
  • bikinis (i like to limit it to 2 or 3. It’s good to have options but you  don’t need to over pack)
  • one piece
  • baseball cap
  • sunhat
  • fun jewelry

HEALTH | WHAT TO SNACK ON

some of my favorite protein/energy bars:

other yummy snacks:

  • trail mix
  • rice cakes and travel packets of almond or peanut butter
  • travel packs or protein powder (great to mix in oatmeal at the hotel) I like these from PEScience.

OTHER THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • water bottle
    • I love Corkcicle because they keep your water ice cold for up to 24 hours!
  • sunglasses
  • beach bag
  • cross body bag
  • wristlet
  • reading for the beach – I’m taking a book and a few magazines!
  • your vitamins/supplements
  • cash for beach shops
  • extra sunscreen for your body
  • after burn sunscreen- I know you all wear sunscreen… but just in case!
  • camera – I’ll be bringing my cannon to get some quality shots and my polaroid for some fun snaps.

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I hope you all found this checklist helpful! Let me know what you’re beach (or pool) essentials are!
Stay happy and healthy.

xoxo,

Steph