Favorite Things

A Shout Out to Brave Souls

It's an act of bravery to be vulnerable. Especially on something like YouTube or Twitter, where the comments sections are often rolling dumpster fires. So, on any platform available for public consumption, being honest about some element of your experience is courageous. But people do it anyway. 

Stories that have resonated with me lately have been stories from outwardly successful people--people I admire--about fear. Their fear. Their anxiety. Their self-doubt. The knots in their stomachs before they did that impressive thing I read about, watched them do or heard them say. 

Speaking of being vulnerable, here's my confession: I've always secretly believed there was a fundamental difference between myself and women who achieved impressive things. I thought they did amazing things because they weren't scared or plagued by insecurities like I was. But in reality, many of them do those things in spite of that fear not because of it's absence.

I wish I'd known that earlier. I wish that I hadn't, in Elizabeth Gilbert's words, let fear hold onto the steering wheel and pick the music on the road trip of life.  

I wish I'd told fear to get in the back seat and let me drive the darn car. I wish I'd felt the fear and done it anyway so much sooner than now. But we're all a work in progress, doing the best we can with what we know.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a few of the things that have inspired me lately. Maybe you'll find something in them too.

There was this video, which I shared on the blog last month. Any video where someone talks openly about body image gets my attention, but I then found this one where she spoke about how intimidating doing that original video was for her. 

Someone else whose videos I always click on are Mayim Bialik's. She made this one today about living with social anxiety. Another about regrets. And this one about shame, which was so powerful. 

This book. The concepts aren't new, but there's something about the way they're presented, the exercises they have you do, and the order of them that has been a really good fit for me. 

And finally, but firstly in a way, was the first episode of the Lady Bam Podcast. The interview guest was Stacey K. Black. She's now a television director, but she's had this really interesting career, moving through several roles in television production. I heard this podcast several months ago and was so inspired by the way she spoke about navigating a male-dominated and competitive industry, and pushing through the fear she feels with each new thing she does. 

Have you come across something lately that inspired you or made you feel less alone? I hope that if you're struggling with something, big or small, that you've got people who love and support you. And I hope you have found examples of others who've walked a similar road to inspire and uplift you on your journey. 

Take care, friends!

April Awesomeness

Every month we try to collect the things that are making our lives easier, better, funnier, healthier, etc., and share them with you in this space. Here's what we've come across this month. Hope you enjoy!

This Inhale-Exhale Tank from Not by Sight Co. Because sometimes we just need to wear a reminder to breathe. 

These colorful leggings from Zella. They come in several colors and a wide range of sizes. Love the green ones!

SNL Leggings Sketch. I do actually workout in leggings, but I also sometimes eat tortilla chips in them. It's about balance, people.

Chocolate Fudge Avocado Cake. Nikki made this cake recently and raved about it. She found it in the Costco magazine, I believe...

Jergen's Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer. Okay, so I am really pale. Like translucent. And sometimes I want a little color on my legs, especially on days when I'm wearing cropped workout leggings. Which is pretty much every day, if I'm honest. This stuff isn't like tan-in-a-can though. It's subtler and more forgiving than that. After a few days of using it, I ended up with a really nice, natural looking, light bronzing to my skin. And it smells good too.

Aveeno's Positively Radiant 60-Second In-Shower Facial. I LOVE this stuff! My skin looks brighter on days when I use it, I swear. 

My favorite hairspray of all time. It holds well, but doesn't make your hair stiff and helmet-like. And it smells amazing. I never pay full price for it though. It goes on sale fairly often, so I stock-up then. 

I always forget about how good Neutrogena's lip products are. There's this color stick, which I have in Sweet Watermelon. It's a nice color and feels moisturizing. Kind of like a lip balm consistency with the color payoff of a lipstick. And then there's their Revitalizing Lip Balms. I have mine in Petal Glow. I've been using both of these a lot lately and wondering why I don't use them more.

The book, Start With Why, by Simon Sinek. A great read for any entrepreneurs out there. 

Okay, that's what we're loving this month! Feel free to share any of your current recommendations in the comments below. Happy Monday, all!

Motivational Workout Tanks

Sometimes we just need to wear a little motivation to get ourselves to our workouts. Literally. 

I've said it before on this blog, but sometimes something as simple as a new workout shirt or a new handful of songs on my iPod can make the difference between my not doing a workout at all and leaping out of bed in the morning to get to it. Silly or not, it works for me and I don't question it.

I fell down a workout-tank-shaped Pinterest hole recently and wanted to share. I wish I could show you pictures of them, but copyright laws prevent me. The links will take you directly to an image of each shirt though, so you can check them out that way. If you're looking for a little inspiration for your workouts, maybe one of these will do the trick...

Needs More Kettlebell Awesome Saturday Night Live Sketch meets workout inspiration. Love this tank from Sweaty Girl Glam. 

This Killing It tank from Luciana. For the days when you need a reminder of how much you are rocking this whole workout thing. 

Get It Girl tank. Simple. Straightforward. Go get your workouts, ladies!

I was a child of the nineties, so this Too Legit tank from Wall Sparks has some extra appeal for me :-)

This Actually, I Can tank, because sometimes you need a reminder that, in fact, you can. 

The Oh My Quad from Works a Heart tank is also kind of a throwback. 

Fix Your Ponytail and Try Again from Best Tees is my workout mantra on a shirt. 

If I were a kickboxing gal, this Fight Like a Girl tank would be mine. It still might be, actually...

This Happy tank, because sometimes you need a reminder to choose the happy.

This Muscle-Up Buttercup tank might be my favorite. Maybe it's the mint green color. Maybe it's that I've seen a million "Suck It Up Buttercup" ones, and this seems like a kinder message. I don't know, but in any event, I love it. 

Stuff You Might Have Missed

 Good morning, friends! Here are some things I found on the internet this month that I thought were worth sharing.       

This article from The Cut. I had never heard the term "cringe-attack" before I read this, but I instantly knew what it meant. Let's have a little self-indifference, shall we?

This 3-ingredient, healthy, Peanut Butter Dip, from Listed & Loved. I have dipped fruit in it, but you could also just cut out the middleman and eat it with a spoon. That's easier. 

Am I the only person in the world who had never heard of The Mandela Effect until a couple of weeks ago? Apparently this is a thing.  

Get outside, everyone. Green exercise is here.

Target will sell you a candle that smells like cotton candy. So...yeah, that's happening at my house. 

The human body is an amazing thing. This we know. Here's what happens to it while you exercise. This I didn't know.

Moroccan Oil is saving my hair this winter. The tiniest bit raked through the ends of my hair after I dry it and straighten it, makes it so soft. 

How to Heal the Roof of Your Mouth After You've Burned It. Been there. Done that.

Want to find a workout you love, but don't know how? Try using this checklist to help you figure it out.

November Favorites

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It's been a while since I put together a favorite things list. As always, no one paid me to write about any of this stuff. Just things I've come across that I love and wanted to share. Feel free to share your faves in the Comments section below. Happy Autumn everyone! Simple baked apples. You could use pears too, if you wanted. These are really easy, and delicious. They've been my go-to dessert for the last month. I preheat the oven to 350-degrees; cut the apples in half and remove the seeds/core. Then I mix up: 1 teaspoon brown sugar, a couple of pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg, and some chopped pecans. I press the mixture evenly between the two apple halves. I place them cut side up in a baking dish, pouring some apple juice or water in the bottom of the dish. Then I bake them for 35-40 minutes. A fork should easily pierce the apple when it's done.

This sweet-smelling homemade Whipped Gingerbread Sugar Scrub. Treat yourself with the recipe from Sugar and Soul.

I love leggings, but most are way too thin for me to be comfortable wearing them out of the house unless I have a dress over the top of them. These Ponte Leggings from Lands End are much, much thicker than regular leggings. Warmer too. I also love their Starfish Leggings for under dresses and long tunic sweaters.

This homemade Orange-Vanilla Lip Balm. This is simple and has nothing scary in it. And it smells like a creamsicle!

Love this Chili Lime Seasoning from Trader Joe's. I use it on roasted veggies, and it's particularly tasty on roasted sweet potatoes.

Fun workout tanks make those early morning workouts more bearable.

Three Strength Exercises You Should Steal from Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Working out with a friend is just more fun. But if you don't have a friend to work out with, you can at least enjoy this video from imomsohard. Not sure it's full of great fitness advice, but it made me laugh.

Albert Einstein's Secret to Happiness is beautiful.

I've always said that Fall is the best season. Here's photographic proof.

I love a good at-home manicure. It's one of the things I do to feel good and relax, believe it or not. My current favorite is this month is Essie's Lady Like. Kind of grey, kind of pink, kind of purple. A must for me with all of my nail polish is that it's DBP, toluene and formaldehyde-free. This stuff is.

The 5 Best Places for Inexpensive (but Cute!) Workout Wear

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Because we wear workout clothes all day every day we've become experts on where to find reasonably-priced, cute, comfortable, non-transparent workout clothes. Because we love ya we're sharing our favorite places to shop for threads to wear to the gym/studio/yoga class/living room (shout out to all my fellow at-home exercisers out there!). Read on... Life is too short to wear clothes that are too tight or too loose or just plain uncomfortable. Sometimes we tell ourselves, "when I lose 15 pounds, then I'll shop for some new stuff." But, you deserve to feel good in your clothes at every size. And working out is so much less uncomfortable when you wear pants that are the right size for your body as it is now.

Here's where we love to shop.

ThredUp. I am, admittedly, obsessed with Thred-Up. I have the app on my phone and have spent way too much time on it lately. BUT. In my defense, you can find really good prices on almost every brand of active-wear. And other wear. But for the purposes of this post, we'll focus on their selection of workout gear. I've found Lucy, Old Navy, Eddie Bauer, Nike, New Balance and Zella stuff I love there. They've got a wide range of sizes too. It's hit and miss since the selection depends on what people have sold to them. And you have to act fast if you see something you like. I've taken to just adding anything that I think might be a winner to my cart and then I go in and review it later, taking out things that don't look so great on second glance. But if you see something that's a "maybe" and you don't grab it, it's really hard to find it again.

Old Navy. Ah, Old Navy. It's not just for flip-flops and denim short-alls anymore, people. Nikki gets a ton of her stuff there. If she's wearing a cute, colorful tank or fun workout capris, chances are they came from Old Navy. She loves the compression leggings they sell. So, if you're into those, check out Old Navy. I'm not really a compression pant kind of girl, but there are usually loads of tees and tanks that appeal to me.

Kohl's. Yet another Nikki recommendation. Again, most of the big active-wear brands at a reasonable price. I get my Asics workout shoes there for around $40. Also love their workout jacket/hoodie collection.

Amazon. Love these flare-style workout capris I got through Amazon. They're yoga pant material and not compression fit. So, super-comfortable and flattering. The selection at Amazon is quite large, so browsing is difficult. But if you have time and kind of know what you want, you can get some good deals.

Poshmark. Another online secondhand store, like ThredUp. However, unlike ThredUp you are buying from individuals who have items for sale, not from a centralized PoshMark store. But, Poshmark is where I found a replacement for my very favorite Eddie Bauer active tank.

Where do you like to find inexpensive workout wear? Any places I need to add to my list of favorites? Let me know below.

 

18,057 Results

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18,057 results. That's the number you get if you go to Amazon and search for "exercise DVD." There's something advertised as a Zumba "system" right there at the top. Another little something called PiYo, which I assume is some hybrid of Pilates and Yoga. The trainer from The Biggest Loser is selling something with the word "shred" in the title. There's a man with what looks like 12-pack abs on the cover of a series called, "Body Beast." What else...Several options with someone named Shaun T., selling me "Insanity" workouts. And mixed in there on the first two pages are: senior fitness workouts, sit and be fit DVDs, the Brazil Butt Lift workout, and something called "Core de Force," which scares me just a little. It's overwhelming. Weeding through that many varied workouts and trying to find one that is grounded in solid exercise science and achievable, yet challenging enough to be effective.

I don't know how many workout DVDs I bought between the ages of, let's say, 15 and 35 but it's a lot. Some of them are collecting dust in a storage unit as I type this. But others are in my little DVD wallet, and I love them and still use them today.

So, if you love working out at home; or if personal training just isn't in the budget; or if you're looking for something you can do on those days when you aren't working with a trainer; this post is for you.

Here are my top workout DVD picks. None of the workouts included below are more than 35 minutes each, with the exception of one of the cardio workouts. I'll call that one out in my description below, so you know which one it is.

Kathy Ireland's Total Fitness. I've written about my love of this DVD before, but it's a GREAT one for people new to working out. There are three workouts included--a cardio workout, and two strength training ones. No equipment is needed except for a chair and a mat or a towel. The choreography is pretty simple and there are some solid modification options in each of the three workouts. Fair warning: spandex unitards and bicycle shorts are the wardrobe of choice for the actors in this DVD. I didn't really notice it, probably because I've been using it since the 1990s and developed an immunity :-) But I lent it to someone who found the outfits quite distracting. So, if you have an issue with 90's workout wear, you might want to skip this one. But if you like this one, Kathy has a couple of other good strength training and stretching DVDs.

Anything by Leslie Sansone. Love these for simple cardio workouts. When I first started exercising these were my entry point. Not intimidating, scale-able, doable. Often each DVD has a couple of choices for you, ranging from 15-minute walks to 45-minute ones. Some include hand-weights, others include stretchy bands and others require no equipment at all. My favorite is probably Walk and Kick because it includes some kickboxing movements, which are really fun.

Jessica Smith's Boost Metabolism and Muscle. Jessica will make another appearance on this list, but this one is the first of hers that I ever tried (based on a recommendation from a nutritionist) and I LOVED it. This DVD has three workouts--a total body strength training session, an upper body-focused session and a lower body-focused session. Each are 35 minutes. Her mom is her co-star and demonstrates beginner modifications. So, it works well for beginners. But even if you consider yourself advanced, you can end these workouts with legs of jello and shaky arms, if you use the right weights and follow the advanced modifications. Oh, and there's a countdown clock in the corner so that, as Jessica says, "you know this won't last forever!"

Coach Nicole from SparkPeople has two DVDs I really love and you can get them in a bundle here. Again, you get three separate workouts to cycle through here. And my copies of these DVDs had a proposed schedule included, which helps you figure out which ones to do on which days. I love the barre-inspired one, especially. But the best part is that there are three actors in these DVDs and each one does a different modification of most exercises. There's a beginner version, intermediate and an advanced option that help you participate at whatever level you can that day. Some days I go for the advanced, but other days I need something less intense and opt for the intermediate or beginner. My advice would be to slow down the pace on some of the exercises. They're going kind of fast sometimes in order to get your heart rate up, but that can decrease the effectiveness of some of the movements. Check out my post here about making the most out of DVD workouts for more info on that.

Jessica Smith's Walk Strong: 6 Week Transformation System. Jessica is awesome and here she is again on this list. This package has 10 workouts; 30 minutes each; on 4 DVDs. It comes with a calendar, telling you which ones to do on which days. She includes active recovery days in the plan, which are really important. Two of the workouts are stretching-focused--one is a dynamic stretching session and the other is a "pre-hab" routine, designed to take your joints through their healthy ranges of motion while stretching out muscles. She also reminds us that exercise isn't about making your body look a certain way. It's about getting stronger, more flexible, more balanced. Healthier. Again, lots of modifications. She's a great teacher and strikes the right mix of upbeat, but realistic. She acknowledges that some of these exercises are really difficult. Sometimes trainers and coaches don't seem to notice that. Jessica has tons of DVDs on Amazon and I'm sure they're all great. She also has a YouTube channel with hundreds of free workouts if you want to test her out before spending your hard-earned dollars.

Yoga for Beginners and Beyond. I am definitely not a natural yoga person. It's really tough for me, which is probably why I should do more of it. This one is a good beginner DVD, with sessions designed for: inflexible people, stress relief, and one for morning and nighttime.

There you have it. My top DVD recommendations. What are some of your favorites? Any you think I should check out? I'm looking for a good barre workout to recommend, but haven't found one yet.

 

Favorite Things: May

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Happy Monday, friends! Our monthly collection of things we love or things we found interesting in the preceding weeks is here. We don't get paid to promote any of the products or people listed here, but if that ever changes we'll let you know. These shoes, made from plastic bottles recovered from the ocean.

This effort by the royal family to shatter the stigma surrounding mental health.

Slack.com. This app is a lifesaver for Nikki and I. We have channels for all of our major projects and we can post documents and discuss, keeping everything related to that topic together in one place. And it's searchable. If you work with a team on anything, check it out.

Shut Down Body Shamers with this One Line.

Chocolate and peanut butter for breakfast? Yes, please. I'm trying these Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancakes as soon as I hit publish on this post.

What Mindfulness Looks Like in the Age of Social Media.

My favorite dinner this month was super simple. I roasted some vegetables in the oven (I used grape tomatoes, asparagus, sweet onion, and green beans); tossed them with some orzo I cooked in vegetable stock; dressed the whole thing with the juice of one lemon, 1T olive oil, salt and pepper; and topped it with fresh basil and toasted pine nuts. Delicious and done in about 30 minutes.

Farmer's Market Season is here (!!!) and I love tote baskets like this one .

7 Ways Dermatologists Protect their Skin. 

Okay, that's it from us for today. We'll be back with new posts for you next week!

 

Favorite Things: April

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New month, new list of favorite things from the Lean Body Lifestyles team! As always, none of the people or products below compensated us for singing their praises. Strictly things we've found that we love. A hot bath could have similar benefits to exercise. Not a reason to scrap working out, but good to know.

The Motiv Ring Activity, Heart Rate + Sleep Tracker. It's a FitBit in ring form!

These gingerbread muffins. I swapped out the coconut oil for canola, replaced the yogurt with pureed pumpkin and used nutmeg instead of cloves. I skipped the sugar on the top.

I held off on including this one until I'd been using it for a while and could attest to its effectiveness. I've tried every brand of "natural," aluminum and paraben-free deodorant but have never found one that actually worked for longer than a couple of days. Native deodorant is amazing. It smells great and I rarely have to re-apply. It's way better than the drugstore brands I've used. And their customer service is great.

Roasted brussels sprout chips. Roasting vegetables totally changes the flavor and makes them delicious. These are no exception. I break apart the sprouts into individual leaves; wash and dry them; toss them in a little olive oil, salt and pepper; then bake them at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes.

This list of 11 health-related documentaries on Netflix. I've seen numbers 1-6, and those were definitely worth watching. Can't speak to the others...

For any of you looking for some at-home strength training dvd ideas, this one, by Jessica Smith, was recommended to my mom by a nutritionist and is my current favorite. Good information, scale-able exercises and quite effective for building strength. At one point, Jessica's co-star (and mother) makes a comment about a particular exercise making her waist look smaller, and Jessica is quick to jump in and say that it's really about feeling strong in your body and getting and staying healthy. That focus on health and strength over getting skinny is often lacking in workout dvds, unfortunately.

I found the Minimalist Baker blog through Pinterest (I think...) Anyway, everything I've made has been easy and really tasty. The recipe's all have 10 ingredients or less and can be ready in under 30 minutes. This is definitely not the case with all food blogs! Oh yeah, and the recipes are plant-based and gluten free. But even if you aren't vegetarian/vegan/gluten-intolerant, you'll get great ideas for healthy recipes you can add to your repertoire.

Avocado toast. I probably have some form of it for lunch several times per week. My current favorite is super simple. Sourdough toast, mashed avocado on top, sprinkled with some sea salt and red pepper flakes. Yesterday I piled on some bruschetta we had leftover from a party. So good.

You know how I love Ulta, right? Well, my one complaint lately is that they stopped stocking Philosophy's lip shine product. It's the only thing that keeps my lips from drying out and cracking at night. It's a little too sticky for daytime use (at least it is for me), but I need it at night. So, I'm getting it from Amazon lately, but you can also get it straight from Philosophy's website. My favorite flavors are: Fresh Cream, Coconut Frosting and Vanilla Birthday Cake. Would you ever guess that I have a sweet tooth? Didn't think so :-)

Okay, that wraps up April's favorite things! See you here again in a couple of days.

Favorite Things

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It's time for our monthly list of things we love! We aren't paid for sharing these, but if that ever changes, I'll let you know :-) Okay, here we go... This list of reasons to exercise that have nothing to do with losing weight.

My best friend got me hooked on these face masks from Ulta.

The 10 Happiest Instagram Accounts to Follow.

I love this Pineapple-Coconut-Cashew Rice recipe. I use crushed pineapple instead of pineapple chunks, but other than that I've followed the recipe to the letter and it is amazing.

This teenage ballerina shattering the stereotypes about what a "dancer's body" looks like.

7 Unknown Spots to Score Affordable Gym Clothes. I'd add Kohl's to this list. I've gotten a ton of stuff there.

This concealer from IT Cosmetics. Anyone else deal with dark under-eye circles? I've tried every concealer, from cheap to very much not cheap, and this is by far the best. It's really thick and sticky, so you only need an amount about the size of the head of a pin.

Are you cleaning your yoga mat regularly? If not, you probably want to start. I've been using this homemade version for years, taken from one of my favorite blogs.

This mouthwash. You use it twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed. No bad breath all day and no morning breath (well, very minimal). One of those rare things you hear advertised that actually works the way it says it will. Love this stuff.

Adding lemon juice to roasted veggies. Nikki told me about this and it totally transforms how they taste. My favorite vegetables to roast lately are brussels sprouts. I buy the shaved version from Trader Joes, toss them in some olive oil, salt and pepper and then cook them at 425 for about 10 minutes. When they come out of the oven, I hit them with a squeeze of lemon juice. So good. You can do it with any veggies. I swear it works on almost anything.

Hope you'll check them out!

 

February-in-Review

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Well, we are at the end of the shortest month of the year. I'm heading out of town for a Lean Body Lifestyles management retreat--our first of many more, I hope. We're going to be planning for the next year of the life of the studio, and probably the blog too. In case you missed any posts this month, here's what we talked about. See you in March!

I confessed that I don't own a scale and told you why. We somehow connected a romantic comedy from the late 1990s to health and fitness. We told the concept of spot-training to take a hike. Nikki and I chatted about  her new body image class. I told you why rest days are so important. We shared more of our favorite things. And I told you how I motivate myself to exercise.

 

Favorite Things

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Every month I like to compile a list of my favorite things, mostly health and fitness-related, but not always. None of the people or companies listed below paid me to try their product or to say nice things about them. If that ever changes, I will let you know. Okay, here we go. Last month I featured Nikki's favorite workout pants. This month I'm featuring mine. I love these workout capris from DYLN. They are yoga pant material, with a cute flared leg opening. I know lots of people love compression pants, but I never feel comfortable in them. They just don't look good on me and I am forever tugging at them. These, on the other hand, are perfect for me--fitted but not too tight.

This story about not letting your clothing size determine your self worth. Amen to that. Made me think about how many different sizes are represented in my wardrobe.

This recipe for brussels sprout chips from Delish! I know, I know. Brussels sprouts as a favorite thing? Really? Yes, really. These are crispy and savory and really, really good. Even without the cheese.

And if you need a sweet reward for eating your veggies, there's this Banana Cherry Garcia Soft Serve from The Simple Veganista.

Any fellow bookworms looking for a vacation destination? Check out this hotel in Portugal. It boasts a library of 50,000 books!

Speaking of books, my cousin bought me Voracious, by Cara Nicoletti, for Christmas. She shares the stories and recipes inspired by her most beloved books. It will make you nostalgic for the books you remember as a kid, and also maybe a little hungry.

I love lunch/dinner bowls and I love this article about how to put them together. Simple. Healthy. All your basic food groups covered. All in one bowl.

Anyone else struggle with removing makeup at the end of the day--especially eye makeup? It seemed like no matter what I used, my mascara and eyeliner refused to go away completely. My best friend recommended micellar water to me a couple of months ago and now it's the only thing I use. I don't use a separate cleanser or rinse my face--just this stuff and some moisturizer after. It's awesome.

Coconut oil is my go-to facial moisturizer, body lotion, frizzy hair remedy and chapped lip soother. It's like $5.99 for a huge jar at Trader Joe's. It works just as well or better than anything I've bought at Ulta and, because you don't need to use much, it lasts for a really long time.

Happy Thursday, friends! I'll be back next week with new posts.

 

Our Favorite Things

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Today seemed like a good day to share some of our current favorite things. None of the companies mentioned below know us, asked us to promote their product, or has paid us for doing so. These are just things we like and wanted to share with you. Nikki loves these Old Navy Compression Cropped Pants. They come in loads of colors and fun patterns and you can generally scoop them up for around $20 a pair.

This Spark People Total Body Sculpting Workout DVD is my favorite workout DVD of the moment. I modify it a bit to make it work for me. You can read my post with tips for making the most out of your workout DVDs here. They do a good job of providing modifications and created a nice mix of upper and lower body exercises. Oh, and they incorporate balance challenges into each of the three workouts on the DVD.

I splurged on some Zoya Natural Nail Polish this month. I love colorful nails, but am not thrilled about inhaling scary, toxic chemicals. This is a reasonably priced, natural brand, free of toxic ingredients such as toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP (dibutyl phthalate).

This video from actress Danielle Brooks.

This cozy blanket by Sonoma. I got this as a Christmas gift this year and I am now dragging around my house with me, like Linus from the Peanuts cartoons. I'm always freezing and this thing keeps me warm while I do important things like binge-watching The Crown on Netflix. Anyone else watching that? It's so good!

Loving this pink(!) stainless steel cold cup from Starbucks. It's pretty and it keeps water cold for a really long time. They have it in a couple of other fun colors, including iridescent!