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Showing posts with label wellness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wellness. Show all posts

Sep 4, 2020

Creating Boundaries Between Blogging & Marriage

I'm so happy to welcome Laura Jean to the blog today! Laura is one of my very best blogging friends, and this isn't the first time she's lent her guest posting skills to Heavens to Betsy (see her DIY scarf shirt here!) I'm not entirely sure how long Laura and I have known each other through the blogging world (definitely more than two and a half years), but it's been a lot of fun to see us both grow and have exciting things happen in our lives since we've been friends! Laura is also on The Peony Project Core Team and she plays a huge role in caring for the spiritual needs of our girls, so she is such a blessing to me! Laura's here sharing some tips for creating boundaries between blogging and marriage, so grab a pen, take some notes, and enjoy!

Hello friends! I am Laura Jean and it is such a pleasure to be with you today while Betsy is off getting married and celebrating life. I am the author of According to Laura Jean, a lifestyle blog and community centered around embracing daily life. When I am not eating Chipotle or blogging, you will find me riding my road bike or spending time with my sweet husband. Speaking of husbands and blogging, let’s talk about that.

For many of us in the blogging world, our blogs are a significant part of our lives. Our brains have a constant running list of new content and ideas. Our husbands take photos for us in cute outfits while out on dates. Some of the most texted people on our phones are blog friends. Lifestyle blogging is truly that, a lifestyle. While the lifestyles we live directly influence our blogs, our blogs also have a strong impact on our lifestyles. The blogging part of my life naturally bleeds into many areas of my life, including my marriage. Just like these other parts of life, it is important to create healthy boundaries between blogging and marriage to preserve both.

Prioritize Opportunities //
When I jumped aboard the blogging train several years ago, I would have never imagined the possibilities that were to come of this endeavor. There are new and exciting opportunities around every corner as well as ways to constantly grow bigger and better. For a perfectionist like myself, this can be the best challenge ever and the worst nightmare.

To preserve your marriage and sanity, learn when to say no. Prioritize what opportunities are the most important and draw a line where too much is too much. Saying no to something or putting it on the back burner for this point in time does not mean it is forever a lost opportunity. If too much is on your plate, you will constantly feel the pressure to work more and sacrifice time in other important areas of your life.

Choose to be Unplugged //
Being a blogger instantly marries you to social media. Most bloggers maintain a strong social media presence and work to share the brand of their blog through different platforms. I want to keep up with everyone on Instagram, schedule tweets ahead of time for blog posts, and make connections with others in Facebook groups. The struggle is real.

Choosing to be unplugged from these outlets is one of my biggest struggles, but largest blessings. Make an intentional effort to unplug from blog life and be fully, physically present. Instead of scrolling through Pinterest, take time to cuddle with your husband while watching a movie together. Instead of taking photos for the sole purpose of blogging, bring your camera on a walk with your husband to capture special moments just for fun.

Involve Your Husband //
If blogging is primarily your cup of tea, try to include your husband in your dreams, ideas and plans. It is really easy for me to make blogging my life instead of our life. I am a strong believer, however, that endeavors are better and stronger with collaboration. Bounce ideas off of him and see what thoughts he has. It may not be his favorite hobby, but I imagine if it is important to you, it is important to him. And if he is really up for it, have him join in the Guys Behind the Blog monthly link-up with Betsy and I!

How do you create boundaries between blogging and marriage? What do you make a priority? Where do you draw healthy lines between your online and personal life?

General Tips //
Blogging 101:   Getting Started
Blogging 102:  Taking It to the Next Level
10 Go-To Post Ideas
5 Ways to Get More Comments on Your Blog Posts
5 Things Every Awesome Blog Post Has
Organize Your Blog + DIY Blog Binder
Creating Boundaries Between Blogging & Marriage (from Laura of According to Laura Jean)

Sponsors, Income, & Legal //

How to Make Money Blogging
Managing Blog Sponsorships with Passionfruit
3 Laws You Might Be Breaking as a Blogger
Writing Sponsored Content:  Why You Shouldn't Work for Free

Photography & Design // 

Blogging + Photography
Customizing Your Blog:  Changing the Case of Your Date & Post Headers
Adding Text to Your Blog Images

Social Media //

Community //

Jul 29, 2020

My Summer Skincare Routine

My skincare routine changes with the seasons. Throughout the fall and winter, my skin often needs a little bit more moisture-care, but come summer, I'm all about going light and free, which mostly means minimizing the amount of makeup I wear. I love the sun-kissed glow that summer brings, but if my skin isn't in great shape, I feel super self-conscious not wearing anything.

I've always struggled with having really large pores and in middle and high school, I had bad acne. In fact, it still rears its ugly head now and again, and I always think that I must be too old for this! I went through so many different prescription skin-care treatments during high school and know how hard it is to struggle to feel confident in your skin. Now that my acne is (mostly) gone, I realize that taking care of my skin is even more important to keep it in good shape. I'm not afraid to invest in good products and find the right routine for me.

Like I said, my skincare routine changes with the seasons. Not all makeup is created equal, and my skin has different needs depending on the weather. It gets pretty humid in PA during the summer, so often, my winter makeup routine ends up feeling a little sticky when I follow it in the summer months. When it comes to summer skin care, my typical routine includes keeping it light with some BB cream, blush, and mascara.

The most important thing, in my opinion, is to not get stuck in a makeup rut! It's ok to break up with your makeup routine if it's just not working for you! Maybe you're like me and you just need to adjust and tweak with the seasons, or maybe your makeup routine is due for a complete overhaul.

Remember that makeup is meant to enhance your natural beauty, not to cover up issues you're having with your skin! If you're having more serious issues like rosacea or acne, then I really encourage you to find products that work to treat the root of the problem and not just cover them up. Think of it this way: your skin is the one thing that you wear every day. So why not invest in taking care of it? That means investing time into making sure your skincare routine is right for you!  Whether you have acne or rosacea, or another skin issue, it's incredibly important to treat your skin well and take care of it!

Rosacea, in particular, is one condition that is important to treat and not just cover. Rosacea can often affect your confidence.  Galderma is on a quest to help people break up with their makeup, and if you have rosacea, then I encourage you to check out their products that are specifically designed to treat rosacea! One of those treatments is their Soolantra® (ivermectin) Cream, 1%, which is FDA-approved for once-daily topical treatment of inflammatory lesions, or the bumps and pimples, associated with rosacea.

Learn more about rosacea and other treatments offered by Galderma on the Break Up With Your Makeup page. While you’re there, be sure to vote for your favorite no-makeup selfie and story, and you could win one of three $500 gift cards.

Important Safety Information - Soolantra® Cream
Indication: SOOLANTRA® (ivermectin) Cream, 1%, is indicated for the treatment of inflammatory lesions of rosacea. Adverse Events: In clinical trials with SOOLANTRA Cream, the most common adverse reactions (incidence ≤1%) included skin burning sensation and skin irritation. Warnings / Precautions: Not for oral, ophthalmic or intravaginal use.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Jul 1, 2020

Making Health a Priority

Throughout the past two years, both of my parents (who I've always thought were invincible, of course!) have both face cancer diagnoses and it's really put things into perspective for me. It's caused me to get much more serious about my health, and I've gotten much better about scheduling yearly physicals, taking vitamins and supplements, and even just eating better and exercising and taking care of myself. In a busy world that demands that you "go, go, go", making self-care and health a priority can take intentionality, but I'm learning that it's so worth it.

I think at a young age, it's really easy to put aside your health and take on that "superwoman" mentality.  Life is busy and transitions like college and moving can make finding a new doctor a hassle.  When I graduated from college and my pediatrician kicked me out, I just didn't even bother with finding a new primary doctor.  It wasn't until my dad's diagnosis in 2013 that I started getting more serious about my health and realizing how important it is to take care of yourself and be in tune with your body!  

It definitely feels more grown-up to really take my health seriously, but I've realized that no matter what kind of shape you're, you can still end up with health issues.  I've also realized that it's so much easier to fight those issues when you're making healthy choices regularly and your body is strong going into a fight for your health.

One of the things that I've begun doing to keep my body in it's best shape is adding vitamins and supplements into my diet.  I think adding supplements to your diet can make a big difference in keeping your body regulated, and one of the best things to start taking are probiotics.  Your digestive system is so central to the functioning of your body...I don't know about you, but when my stomach isn't cooperating with me, I can feel it and it makes me miserable!  Probiotics, like the ones made by Align and available at Target and Target.com, fortify your digestive system 24/7*.

I've been taking Align probiotics for a few weeks now and I can tell a difference in how my body is digesting food and how good I feel.  I've always had a pretty strong digestive system, but adding probiotics into my routine has only strengthened my system.  And right now, when you pick up Align at Target, you can save 15% with Cartwheel!  

I am really glad that I've made my health a priority in my twenties, and I've been really surprised and impressed with the benefits of adding probiotics into my routine.  


*With continued daily use

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Jun 5, 2020

The Importance of Self Care

I've been meaning to write this post for a while. In fact, I put it into my drafts folder well over a month ago (maybe even three months ago, I don't seem to keep track of time all that well these days), and it's just sat there, staring at me every time I open my blog dashboard, begging to be written. My heart has so much to say on the topic of self care, (mostly that I'm no good at it), but I feel a bit like a fraud even trying to conquer such a fleeting concept and hot topic amongst young creatives and women today.

And I guess it's ironic that it's taken me so long to find the time to sit and process and really write this out. Because in a way, this post about the importance of caring for oneself is a form of self care for me, yet it's taken me months to do it.

I'm not 100% sure why the idea of caring for myself is so hard for me; or why it's so hard for so many of us, for that matter.  I think there's a feeling of selfishness associated with taking care of ourselves, or with taking time to do something to get that sought-after "me time".  We carry the banner of being modern superwomen, and we hold it together and make it look so easy, but then when our eyes close at night, we're exhausted in every sense of the word.

We fill our days with work and school and managing our online lives and blogs and shops, and then pile that onto taking care of our marriages and families, and by the end of it all, there's nothing left.  Nothing left in the way of time and nothing left in the way of energy.  There are so many days that I fall into bed at midnight, exhausted from living my energizer-bunny lifestyle since 7:30 that morning, and set my alarm to get up and do it all again the next day.

And yet we get up each day ready to do it all again, drained before the day even begins.

But you know what?  I'm tired.  I'm tired of having so much running through my mind that even my sleep is often plagued with dreams about forgetting things on my to-do list.  I'm tired of watching women stand strong while their souls are weary.

Self care looks differently for each of us.  For some, it's hitting the pavement and going for a run and for others, it's stealing away for a manicure.  Whatever it is for you, it's important, so stop telling yourself that you don't deserve it.  1 Corinthians 3:16 says "Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?"  If we truly believe that, then why aren't we taking care of ourselves, friends?

Christ didn't sacrifice everything for us to fill our lives with schedules that leave us broken and tired and weary. While He never promised this life would be easy, or safe, I also don't think He intended for us to treat it like a marathon that we have to run at a sprint pace until we collapse from exhaustion.

There's no shame or guilt in saying "It's too much" and taking some time for you. When all that you're living for (and I hope, sister, that it's Christ first and foremost, but beyond that, I'm talking here about your job, kids, creative outlets, marriage, relationship, school, etc.) begins to drain you and pull you under, then it's time to step back.

Let's be women who boldly declare peace and wellness in our own lives.
Let's be women who realize the value of taking care of ourselves so that we can better take care of the people and things that we love.
Let's be women who shrug off the guilt and aren't afraid to say that taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually is important.
And finally, let's be women who leave behind weary in exchange for worth.

May 13, 2020

5 Tips for a Great Race Day

I'm going to start this post off by saying that if you're a seasoned runner, you're probably going to find this pretty fundamental.  I hope that by going back to the basics, this post will serve as a good reminder of what makes for a great race day, and I'd love for you to contribute your own tips in the comments!  But if you're new to the running game and planning on running your first race this summer...read on!

I've run a few races in my running journey, mostly 5k's, and my goal is to run a half marathon (which I think I've been talking about for forever, but haven't actually found one I'm excited to run yet!).  Through those experiences, I've realized that there are a few things that take some simple planning, but make race day go so much smoother!  

1 // Be Comfortable
We all know that race day is not the time to break out those new sneakers that you just purchased, but the same goes for your outfit!  Whether you're running a 5k or a marathon, choose tried-and-true running gear that you know will hold up for the amount of miles you're running.  If you're constantly tugging at those new shorts you just bought when you're walking around, then you probably should leave them at home on race day.  Be sure to wear an outfit that doesn't rub, pinch, or annoy you!  You want to be comfortable so that you can focus on your running and not on adjusting your clothing every half-mile!  Plan ahead and be sure to pick up race-day gear far in advance so that you have plenty of time to break it in.  One of my favorite places to grab athletic gear is from Zappos...you can't beat their selection, shipping, or return policy! 

2 // Stay Hydrated
This is important all year round, but it's crucial for summer races!  Staying hydrated goes beyond just the day of your race, though.  Throughout your training, be sure to get enough water on a daily basis...that will only help you in the long-run. On race day, don't try to be a hero and skip the water station...the few seconds you may lose by slowing down for a cup of water will be completely worth it.  And be sure to have ways to replenish your electrolytes as well.  Some larger races will have things like energy or hydration gels available at water stations, but if your race doesn't, consider stashing one or two on you somewhere (perhaps in a key pocket), or have a spectating friend or family member hold onto them for you and give them to you along the course if you need them!  Hydrating post-race is crucial as well, so be sure to drink up after you cross the finish line!

3 // Sleep Well & Eat Well 
The week leading up to your race, make sure that you're giving your body enough rest.  You trained hard, so now be sure that you give your body the best possible start on race day!  Because races typically start early in the morning (often between 8-10am), make sure you hit the pillow early the night before.  There's nothing worse than waking up and stumbling to the starting line in a fog.  Not only will it affect your time, but you'll also spend the race wishing you were back in bed!  And don't skip breakfast on race day.  A good mix of protein, fat, and low-glycemic carbs (think nuts, a sweet potato, an orange) will help you perform well.  Eat until you feel good, but don't overdo it.

4 // Bring Extra Clothes
Even on the warmest of days, all of the sweating you'll be doing during your race can send your body into a chilly tailspin after you're done.  I always like to pack an extra shirt and a long-sleeve shirt just in case, and often times, I also pack a fresh pair of shorts and underwear.  Most summer days, I don't need the long sleeve, but it's better to be safe than sorry!  Either way, it's great to have some fresh clothes to change into, especially if you have a longer drive home or to a shower.  Also plan to bring along some other footwear.  A lighter pair of sneakers or athletic sandals can be great options for tired feet after the race!

5 // Have Fun!
Most importantly, have fun!  Unless you're trying to qualify for a marathon or something, remember that your time is just a number...of course you want to strive to do your best, but try to enjoy the race and the day and don't focus too heavily on whether or not you PR.  If you can convince a friend to run with you, all the better!  Make your race a celebration of the time and effort you put into training, and just enjoy the run.  I always get super nervous before I run a race and then I have to remind myself that it's no different than just heading out for a run on my own.  Take the pressure off of yourself and don't lose sight of why you love running or the cause that you're running for!

If you're in the San Francisco area this weekend and are looking for a fun race, then check out the Zappos Bay to Breakers, a 12k that's been going on since 1912!  This year, they're working on setting the most world records set during a race (think weird things, like "Most People to Take a Selfie with a Port-o-Potty"), so it's sure to be a fun race to run or just watch!  And with Zappos great online offerings of athletic gear (and so much more!), fast & free shipping, plus their 365 day return policy and great customer service, I bet that any race they sponsor is pretty great! 


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

May 11, 2020

DIY Glove Box Me-Time Kit for the Girl on the Go

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SkinnyCowMoments #CollectiveBias

I don't know about you, but sometimes, I have a really hard time scheduling "me time".  I know it's important, but I'm always busy and running from here to there, that I rarely take the time to make it happen.  In fact, so much of the time I spend alone takes place in my car.

Because of that, my car has become a sort of haven for me.  I love my room and my office, but my car is the one place that is totally mine, where I don't have to talk to anyone, I can blast whatever music I want to, and I can just be alone.  For an extrovert, being alone is usually something I shy away from, but when I'm in the car, I kind of love it.

I've also realized that having some essential items on hand in the car can be vital to creating that coveted "me-time" while I'm on the go!  I've popped a little kit into my glove compartment for those moments when I'm out and about and have some time to spare to take care of myself.  Those lunch breaks where rolling down the windows and parking by a shady tree are made even better when I get to throw a much-needed coat of polish on my nails!  Or, for the moments when I'm halfway to work and realize I don't have any jewelry on, enter the me-time kit and the earrings I have stashed inside!

This little life-saver is so easy to throw together, and has helped me look good (or feel good) on quite a few occasions.  Here's how you can put together your own:

This kit is totally customizable for you, but here are a few things that I put in mine:
+ Tissues
+ Nail File
+ Earrings (I always realize I don't have earrings on when I'm already on my way somewhere!)
+ Makeup
+ Headphones
+ Hair Ties & Bobby Pins
+ Lotion
+ Perfume
+ Nail Polish
Skinny Cow® Blissful Truffle Candy Bars, in either the Milk or Dark Chocolate flavors

Putting this one together is super easy...find yourself a cute little glove-compartment sized makeup bag and stuff it with all of your me-time goodies!  These can be anything you want.  What I listed above are some things I like to have on hand, but toss in anything that will help you feel good or look good while you're out and about!  Another tip is to toss in a few things that you're always forgetting....like I said, for me, that's often earrings, so having a pair in my car kit is super helpful!  Pop it into your glove compartment for the moments when you need a little pampering on-the-go.  When moments like that arise, break it out and enjoy some me-time!  One of my other favorite things to have in the car is a nice iced coffee or iced mocha.  The Skinny Cow® Mocha Latte Creamy Iced Coffee (available in three flavors) is perfect for when you're on-the-go, but be sure not to store it in your glove box...this one needs to stay refrigerated!

And now that summer is here, sometimes my in-the-car "me time" just has to include a frozen treat!  If you're trying to be a little conscious of your waistline like me, then definitely check out Skinny Cow® Vanilla Almond Crunch Bar.  Delicious vanilla low-fat ice cream surrounded by a chocolatey shell with almonds?  Yes please!

Be sure to check out Skinny Cow® indulgences available at Wal-Mart!  Be sure to pick up the Skinny Cow® Blissful Truffle Bar in the candy aisle, Skinny Cow® Frozen Treats in the freezer section, and Skinny Cow® Creamy Iced Coffee in the refrigerator section!  And for up-to-date info on Skinny Cow® products, check them out on social media:

A video posted by Betsy Gettis (@betsygettis) on

May 6, 2020

Wellness // Making Good Choices on the Go

I completed my first Whole30 back in February and learned a lot about my body and my relationship with food.  Since then, I have to admit that I've fallen off the bandwagon a little bit and added a lot of food back in that I had cut out during that month, and I was feeling pretty terrible about it.  I hadn't gained weight back (in fact, I've even lost a few more pounds), but I was just feeling bleh, so I decided a few days ago to start sticking to a Whole30/Paleo diet (or, at the very least, cutting out grains and dairy).  I can honestly say that I feel so much better already, but it isn't easy!

One of the biggest challenges for me when it comes to eating healthy is finding things I can grab on the go.  Besides blogging (which could easily be a full-time job), I also have a almost-full-time job, am planning a wedding, and like to work-out at my gym, which is just minutes from work.  I'm constantly grabbing food on-the-go, partially because I'm terrible at planning ahead and also because I'm pretty indecisive.

I often leave the house between 8 & 9am and don't return home until close to 8pm.  For example, yesterday, I left home at 8:30am, went on a field trip with my preschool class that I teach, swung back by home to pick up my gym clothes that I forgot, ran a few errands, picked up a salad for lunch, went into the office, spent two hours volunteering with a church event, spent another hour in the office, grabbed dinner, went to the gym, and finally made it back home at 8:45pm, where I got out the computer and did some work.  I like being busy, but it has it's challenges, especially when you're striving to eat well!

So, to combat that challenge, I've found a few great options to keep in my back pocket as my go-to's for those days (like yesterday), when I don't have a ton of time to prepare something at home.  One of those options that I recently discovered are Wendy's Core Salads.

The salads come in three different recipes:  BBQ Chicken (which is loaded with fire-roasted sweet corn, freshly diced tomatoes, Applewood Smoked bacon, and grilled chicken atop a bed of spring mix and drizzled with BBQ sauce and BBQ Ranch Dressing), Apple Pecan Chicken (topped with grilled chicken, red and green apples, roasted pecans, cranberries, and blue cheese crumbles and drizzled with pomegranate vinaigrette), and Asian Cashew Chicken (a twist on your typical Asian salad with ingredients like fire-roasted edamame, fresh red peppers and cucumbers, spicy roasted cashews, grilled chicken, and topped with Asian chili vinaigrette).

My personal favorite, the Apple Pecan Chicken Salad, is a great choice for someone who's trying to load her plate with tons of greens, lean protein, good fats from nuts, and just a little bit of fruit!  And I love how quickly I can pick it up...it's "fast food" at it's finest.  Plus, Wendy's is committed to making their salads fresh, so all of the veggies are chopped fresh daily and the chicken is grilled up when you order your salad.  (Trust me....check out Wendy's Romaine Lettuce Journey video to see how Wendy's preps their salads!)

I love knowing that I have options that won't derail my way of eating that I can grab on the go.  And even better for me, the Wendy's nearest my work is just minutes away from a park on the banks of a river.  So, when I have a few moments to spare, I'm able to enjoy my salad and nature at the same time.  And with the awesome weather that showed up in PA this week, it was the perfect time to have a little picnic on my own....if only for a moment!

Here are a few tips for eating healthy on-the-go:

+ Keep a go-to snack in your bag.  Whether it's a piece of fruit or a bar, keep something with you that you know you can snack on for the moments when you don't have a good option.

+ Reinvent the menu!  Don't forget that you can ditch the bun or alter things that are on the menu.  Not eating dairy?  Ask them to hold the cheese!  Staying away from bread?  Then get your sandwich wrapped in lettuce.  Use it as an opportunity to be creative with your meal.

+ Know your ingredients & your nutrition info.  So many restaurants today make their ingredients and nutrition info readily available.  Pay attention to that and use that info to help you make the best choices!

+ When in doubt, lean protein and veggies!  This is almost always a good choice!  Fill your plate with veggies and then add about a palm-sized amount of lean protein like grilled chicken.  Add some good fats (like the ones found in nuts and seeds) and you have a great, well-rounded, meal!

+ Take your time.  This is advice I seriously need to take myself because too often, I eat in my car!  Even though you're busy, remember to take your time and enjoy your food.  Not only does slowing down a bit while you eat help you to take a breath and savor your meal, but it will also help you tune into what your body is saying to you (specifically "I'm full!").


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Mar 10, 2020

My Workout Gear // Fabletics

when it comes to working out, i'm pretty certain there's nothing better than getting some new gear.  cute workout clothes keep me motivated and wanting to hit the gym so that i can wear them, and i just feel a little bit better about myself when i look in those big gym mirrors and i look cute, despite the sweat.

typically, i pick up a few pieces here and there when i find stuff on sale.  i hate spending a ton of money on clothes that i'm just going to get gross in!  but i've been seeing ads for kate hudson's fabletics site for at least a year, and finally decided to give it a go.  i haven't purchased any new work out clothing since last june, and since i'm working on getting in shape for my wedding, i thought i'd treat myself to a new outfit!  i had checked out the fabletics site quite a few times and was always skeptical.  the outfits were cute, but i just wasn't sure if they would be worth it.

here's a little bit about fabletics if you're unfamiliar with it:
+ you can sign onto the site and buy pieces at any time, just like a regular retail site as a "regular member."
+ however, the real gem of fabletics is the vip membership.  the vip membership allows you to get a workout outfit each month at a good discount.
+ each month, on the first of the month, you can log onto the website and check out the outfits that were selected for you (though you're able to browse all of the outfits on the site).  you can choose your outfit and order it, or choose to skip that month with no penalty or cost.  typically, outfits are around $50 and contain 2-3 pieces.
+ the bonus is that your first outfit is an extra 50% off. (i paid $30 for mine)

when you join fabletics, you fill out a quick profile which asks you about how and where you typically work out, and then asks about your sizes and what you like to show off (arms, legs, tummy, or nothing).  i told them that my workouts depend on the day...i like to get some good cardio in a few times a week either by running or cycling, but then i also try to attend yoga at least once a week, and i  typically strength train after my cardio.  i usually hit the gym, but in the spring and fall, i love running outside.

since i do a lot of running and cycling, i like having compression capris.  i wear them both indoors and outdoors all year round, so i get a ton of use out of them.  while fabletics offers outfits with shorts, pants, capris, and crops, i knew i wanted something on the longer side.  i ended up choosing the voyageurs outfit:  compression capris with a loose-fitting, open backed tee (perfect for yoga) and a wide headband.  i assumed that once i selected the outfit, that was it, but i was even more excited when i realized i could customize it further by choosing a different color/print for the leggings, a different color for the headband, and customize my size for both the top and bottoms.

but of course, just liking the selection isn't enough...you have to like the actual product!  so i put the whole outfit to the test....a 17 mile bike ride plus a pretty serious arm, leg, and ab workout.  and i give it two-thumbs up!  friends, to say that i'm in love with these leggings is an understatement.  they are fantastic.  they're soft, they fit perfectly, and they're great for working out as well as lounging.  i wish i could have them in ever color.  the top that i got is super cute, and i think it will be great for yoga or even with a tank top underneath and with a pair of shorts during the summer.  this is the first wide headband that i've owned and i was so impressed with how well it stayed in my hair.

overall, i'm super impressed with my fabletics experience and i can't wait until next month to see what outfits are chosen for me!  i'm not sure that it's something i'll get to enjoy every month simply because of budget and that whole i'm-planning-a-wedding thing, but it's definitely something i'll be doing again soon!  if you're in need of some cute, comfortable, and quality workout clothes, i can't recommend fabletics highly enough!

have you tried it out?  what was your experience like?

this post is in no way sponsored by fabletics.  they don't even know who i am, and all of the opinions expressed are completely my own.  however, this post does contains referral links.  if you're interested in trying out fabletics, i'd be honored if you told them i sent you by using this link.

Feb 17, 2020

On the Other Side of Whole30 // FAQ

i've officially come to the other side of my whole30!  it feels really good to have accomplished thirty days of clean eating.  i did take before/after photos, but since i didn't have the foresight to take web-appropriate photos (i took them in running leggings and a sports bra), i won't be posting them. but, read on as i answer some of the questions that i had when i first started my whole30, and feel free to let me know if you have any questions about my experience!

1 // what is whole30?  what made you decide to do it?
whole30 is a thirty-day cleanse.  you commit to a modified diet for 30 days, no excuses, no cheating.  essentially, you eliminate 4 types of inflammatory food from your diet:  grains, dairy, sugar, and legumes (including soy).  there are a few exceptions to those rules (you're allowed to have green beans and snow peas), but the goal is to completely axe all four of those from your diet.  you also agree to not weigh or measure yourself for the duration of the cleanse, except for once on day 1 and once on day 30.  i decided to do whole30 because i needed to reset my system.  you can read more about that decision here!

2 // was it hard to give all of that up for 30 days?
yes.  and no.  there were a lot of moments when i just wanted to give in and have the darn creamer in my coffee, but i went in with the mindset that i was going to commit to it, so i was able to talk myself out of the temptations that i had.

3 // did you lose weight?  how did you feel?
i lost 8 pounds and over twelve inches total on my body (eight of which were on my waist and stomach).  other than a short period in the middle of week two, i really didn't feel bloated at all throughout my thirty days.  i did have some headaches as i cut sugar out of my diet and i also went through a short period of feeling pretty tired.  once i got into my third week, however, all of the negative side effects i was feeling as my body adjusted were gone and i was feeling good.

4 // what other benefits did you notice about whole30?
the whole30 community is all about celebrating "non-scale victories", which is part of why you're not allowed to weigh or measure yourself during the thirty days.  other than not feeling bloated, i noticed that my skin was clearer and i just felt healthier and stronger.

5 // did you exercise?
yes!  i got into a bad routine of not working out regularly in the last few months of 2014, so making exercise a priority was something i planned on doing in the new year anyway.  i really wanted to get back to running and cycling, so i did a lot of that!

6 // how did you stay motivated?
you can't help but be motivated by how good you feel knowing that you're putting whole, healthy foods into your body!  but i won't lie, there will be times when you just want to quit.  here are a few ways i found motivation to keep going on those rough days
+ i downloaded the whole eating app, which proved to be a great way to keep track of where i was in the cleanse (it has a countdown), as well as offered daily motivation, a shopping list, recipes, and a quick reference of what i could and couldn't eat.
+ check out the #whole30 and #whole30results hashtag on social media...they're great ways to find others who are in this thing too and to find inspiration!
+ the biggest source of inspiration was the "tough love" section of the whole30 website.  when i first started exploring whole30, that jumped right out to me, and i repeated the phrase "i can do anything for 30 days" to myself over and over throughout the cleanse!
+ read the whole30 timeline, so that you know what to expect throughout your 30 days!

7 // healthy foods are expensive, did it break the bank?
not really.  yes, fresh, healthy foods can be expensive. but you shouldn't be doing a lot of snacking and you also aren't buying all of the not-so-healthy stuff that you're used to having in your pantry, so it evens out for the most part.

8 // did you still crave foods that weren't whole30 approved?
yep.  in fact, i broke my whole30 by splitting breakfast with aj for valentines day, part of which was the best french toast ever.  while i definitely find it easier to say no to foods that aren't allowed on the whole30, it doesn't mean the cravings totally went away!  in fact, my dad mentioned captain crunch to me in week one, and despite the fact that i can't remember the last time i had that cereal, i still craved it for most of the thirty days!  either way, it does get a little bit easier, and you feel really good knowing that you can say no to foods that aren't good for you!

9 // how will your eating change now that you finished whole30?
i felt really good on the whole30, and i want to continue eating this way.  it is definitely a manageable way of eating, and i have a goal that i'd like to be at for our wedding, so i plan to maintain this lifestyle.  aj adopted a paleo diet (which is largely the same as whole30) when i started my whole30, and so we both plan to continue eating a paleo diet.  i do plan to have non-compliant foods from time to time (paleo allows you to have two non-paleo meals each week), but for the most part, i will be sticking to the way i was eating during the whole30.

10 // would you do it again?
yes!  in fact, i think that i'd like to do another whole30 again soon.  as i said, i plan to continue eating this way, so i hope that it becomes a complete lifestyle and that doing another strict whole30 in the future will be easier.

have you done the whole30?  do you have any questions about it?

Feb 9, 2020

Fitness + the Word

i go through seasons where i work out regularly, and then others where i am kind of terrible about working out.  last spring i got into a great groove and was running regularly, and i did a pretty good job of sticking to a routine as summer hit.  and then, as fall approached, my workouts got more sporadic.  but when i started the whole30 a few weeks ago, i knew i needed to get back into a solid workout schedule.

while working out regularly makes me feel good physically, i also have realized how important it is for my mental and spiritual life.  this past summer, i shared about how i love working out to my upbeat worship playlist (and even shared that playlist with you!), and when i got away from regular sweat sessions, i also got away from spending that time with jesus, and caring for the body that god gave me!  i don't know about you, but if i'm being honest, i don't always love this body.  i wish i did, but so often i look in the mirror and wish it looked differently.  however, as i'm working out and focusing on treating my body well, i'm realizing just how amazing our bodies are!

we are meant to use our bodies to worship the lord, no matter what we're doing.  and i think so often that we don't consider exercise to be a form of worship.  but the reality is that taking care of our bodies honors god, and we can find unique ways to tie our spiritual lives into our workouts!  with lent approaching, it's a great time to be intentional about marrying fitness and jesus, and one of the ways that i'm personally excited to do that is by working my way through vaulter fit's spiritual fitness lent devotional!

i'm so excited to jump into this 40 day journey and i can't wait to focus on strengthening both my body and my spiritual life.  kristin and samantha, the girls behind vaulter fit, have such a heart for combining ministry and fitness, and it's such a rare thing to find!  their ministry is founded on 1 timothy 4:8, which says that "...physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things...", and these girls have written a devotional packed with practices to nourish your heart and your body.

each dated entry unpacks a portion of scripture, and then also has a workout to go with it. and the devotional also comes with a workout guide, with photos showing you how to do every move!  the scripture readings are taken from the catholic lectionary, but i think that any christian would get a ton out of these forty days.  if you're looking for a way to combine your spiritual life with your fitness routine, this is a great place to start.

do you have a devotional for the lenten season?  do you combine your spiritual life and your fitness routine in some way?

i was given the spiritual fitness devotional by vaulter fit as a preview, but all opinions in this post are totally my own!  thanks to vaulter fit for partnering with heavens to betsy!

Jan 20, 2020

Whole30 // Getting Started

if you follow me on instagram or twitter, or have stopped by this space in the past few days, then you probably know that i started the whole30 cleanse this weekend.  let me take a quick second to apologize for the food and workout pics that might be dominating those feeds over the next thirty days.  sorry, but there's motivation and accountability in putting your goals out there, and i'm determined to do this thing.  (but i'll still like your pictures of yummy-looking donuts and desserts and bread) 

i started a really bad habit of not working out towards the last few months of 2014, which was a total bummer after i had achieved some major running milestones back in the spring.  and like any habit, the further i got from making the good choice, the easier it was to make the bad one.  the same went for food.  i was busy, and so i'd grab not-so-healthy food on the go when i was out running around.  i convinced myself that "it's not going to hurt just once", but let's be real:  we all know that's a lie.

i'm also not blessed with skinny genes.  most of the members on both sides of my family have struggled here and there with weight issues, and i've watched a lot of the adults in my life go on diet after diet.  so when 2015 hit, and i felt kind of terrible about my body all the time.  i was feeling lazy, bloated, and just plain bleh, and i knew i needed to buckle down and change a few things, because genetics weren't going to be my friend.  plus, i have that new sparkly thing on my finger and call it cliche, but who doesn't want to look amazing in their wedding dress?

the easy choice would probably be to go vegan.  my parents largely stick to a vegan diet, with the exception of fish, and i've done it before.  but here's the thing:  i like meat.  i don't eat meat terribly often, but i like to have a burger from time to time and not feel guilty about it.  so i started looking for other options, and that's where whole30 comes in.  i have seen so many blogger friends go through whole30 and have heard time and again that it is life-changing.

here are the details:
+ 30 days, no excuses, no cheating.
+ yes foods:  meat, seafood, lots of veggies, some fruit, and lots of good fats from nuts and seeds
+ what not to eat:  dairy, added sugar (including sugar substitutes), grains (including corn!), and legumes (including soy)
+ kick the scale to the side for 30 days...whole30 is about really listening to your body and how you feel and not to what the scale is telling you.

it's a commitment, that's for sure.  i was at the grocery store yesterday and read ingredient label after ingredient label, and the word "corn" shows up on practically everything.  but honestly, i feel better already,  i already feel less bloated, and just knowing that i'm putting good, whole foods into my body makes me motivated to keep going.  i'm sure there will be tough moments (there already have been!), but i was so inspired by something i read on the whole30 website as i was researching, and it's becoming my mantra for this month:  you can do anything for thirty days.

so here's to the whole30!  3 days down, 27 to go.

have you done whole30?  got any tips or tricks for me, or just some encouragement?
have you decided to eat healthier this year?

Sep 15, 2020

Going Green with ALOHA

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Aloha, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #MyAloha #AlohaMoment  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

if you've been reading my blog for the past few months (or actually, a little over a year), you have probably heard me mention my dad's ongoing battle with cancer (which we're confident he will win!).   when my dad was first diagnosed, my parents made a quick and decisive switch to a plant-based diet. one that includes lots of juicing, raw foods, and just plain 'ol healthy eating in order to help his body fight the disease and tolerate treatments.

while i'm not as good as they are, i do try to be aware of what i'm putting in my body.  our family has incorporated juicing into our diets because when you drink your nutrients, it helps your body to absorb them even faster and takes the work out of digesting your food, meaning that your cells are getting the nutrition that they need at really quick speeds!  when he doesn't have enough time to juice, my dad will often use a powdered form of greens that he mixes into a smoothie or just water.

i decided to try it out too and ordered the aloha daily good greens blend box.  the box came with three different flavors:  original greens, berry, and chocolate, and each pack contains a whole foods blend that is vegan (woohoo!), sugar-free, 100% natural, and promises to energize, cleanse, and hydrate.  you get 2 servings of fruit and veggies in each pack, plus tons of vitamins and minerals (including vitamin d...which, for a girl who doesn't love milk, is a definitely plus!).

what i love the most about this concept is that it really doesn't take a whole lot of prep.  trust me, i love juicing, and it's so good for you, but sometimes, you want all of the benefits without putting the time into it (or, if you're like me, sometimes you just don't prepare as well as you should!).  i tried the original good greens pack just mixed into water, and also in a smoothie.  both options were super quick, and left me feeling like i had done something great for my body!

here's what i threw into my smoothie:
1 pack of aloha's the daily good berry blend
1/4 c almond milk
a handful of blueberries
4-5 chunks of frozen mango
3-4 frozen strawberries
a handful of spinach
a few ice cubes

i threw all of these ingredients in the vitamix and blended! you might have to add some more almond milk (or a little water) to thin out your smoothie as it blends.

pair this smoothie with a piece of fruit and some almonds for a great mid-afternoon or post workout snack or a great light lunch!  so quick and easy!

and here's the best part...you can get a free trial of the aloha daily good greens blend box to try at home!  all you need to do is pay shipping, and they'll send you a box of 6 packets (two of each flavor!).  you'll also have the benefit of being auto-enrolled in aloha's monthly subscription, so you can get the daily good in your mailbox every month!  there are a ton of different ways to incorporate aloha into your daily routine, and you'll feel awesome for doing it!

what are some things you do to stay healthy?  have you ever tried a dried green juice powder like aloha?
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