clean skin

By January 31, 2016 Beauty

IMG_9536 (my skin and bones cleansermoisturizer, and salveheritage store rose water, agent nateur (holi)stick deodorant, earth tu face cleanse, siberian soap co vanilla lip balm)

Throughout the past year, I’ve slowly been switching out my bath and beauty products to natural ones. I used to be a total product junkie – I loved all and any serum, cleanser, moisturizer, or potion that promised better, clearer, smoother skin. But over the past few years I’ve become more interested in reading about what goes into the products that we slather all over our skin, and how much of it gets absorbed into our bodies. This article in particular has stuck with me ever since I read it. (and I re-read it often just as a reminder.) Pictured above are my current fave all natural products that are currently keeping my skin happier and glow-ier than ever.

My Skin and Bones – I love the jojoba beads in the cleanser for an exfoliating cleanse, and afterwards the oil moisturizer goes on like silk. I use the salve for my cuticles and lips. I admit the beautiful luxurious packaging (those thick black glass bottles!) was what drew me in, but the way the products make my face feel make it a brand to keep around (and left out on my vanity) for the long term.

Heritage Store Rosewater – I use this throughout the day, and will just spray all over my face as needed to freshen up. It smells nice and gives a little mid-day glow as needed.

Agent Nateur (Holi)stick – I’ve tried a handful of all natural deodorants, but when I spotted this at JM Dry Goods in Austin, I got a kick out of how on the back of the box of the product it stated that it’s made with ‘non-toxic ingredients you can actually eat, although you shouldn’t eat deodorant!‘ I love the way this feels going on – it’s made with quite a bit of coconut oil + other good for you ingredients.

Earth Tu Face – I use this cleanser when I don’t want the exfoliating beads found in the Skin and Bones cleanser. I sometimes will put it on at the beginning of a shower and leave it on to let all the good oils soak in my skin a bit.

Siberian Soap Co – This locally made chap stick is a new favorite. Do you ever feel like chapsticks do the exact opposite of what they’re supposed to, and end up drying out lips more than before? This is what I want every lip product to be – moisturizing, nice smelling, and is all natural. And…it’s $3.00.

I’m always trying new all natural face / body / hair so I’ll keep sharing my (typically heavily coconut-oil laced) finds here as I go. If you have any favorites, let me know!

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goodbye, 2015

By January 10, 2016 Life, Travel

2015, you were so big in every way, and after we’re one week into the new year I’m already wondering how I could possibly top it. Between starting a new job, running the NYC Marathon, dipping my toes into 2 oceans, climbing big tall cliffs + catching great big fish and so, so, so much more, I’m quite sure that I traveled more + saw more + did more + experienced more + said yes more in the past year than I have in maybe the last 10. Here’s to an incredible 2015 being the motivation to top it all in 2016.

Image-1(new orleans french quarter / standard hotel in miami / clear lake / a favorite shop in chicago / manready mercantile in houston / *home sweet home* / skiing in steamboat / scenic drive through wyoming / venice beach sunset)

IMG_4064 (goliath grouper catch in florida / brooklyn / pre-RAGBRAI / long run in vegas / fundraising party for leukemia lymphoma society / miansai airstream trailer / climbing in the black hills / a giant donation to LLS from XO-LP / showing off my big catch)

IMG_4067 (taylor swift concert with my sis + niece / the most tiny plane ride to chicago / sunning in scottsdale with mom / camping + climbing in arkansas / photobooth fun at the ace hotel in nyc / 6 of 26.2 miles into the nyc marathon / the prettiest palm tree lined street in arizona / sipping cocktails in austin / sunset viewing in cali)

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the new york marathon

By November 15, 2015 Life, Travel

waving

I’ve taken a big huge breather over here on the blog, but real-life busyness, work travel (which currently has me on a weeklong tour de Texas,) play travel, personal life, and the New York Marathon took over this past month, so I’m going to do a little catch up today and tiptoe back into blog world again. I admit that it’s been nice having some time away from here – but I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. Warning: verrrry long post ahead.

Backing up just a bit…

Exactly 2 weeks ago today I ran the New York Marathon. I’m still having trouble believing it it has come and gone, and it all really happened. Sunday November 1st 2015 will forever be one of my most favorite days to look back on. I ran the New York Marathon. I ran the New York Marathon! {For a little bit of background, I talked here about how + why + what motivated me to sign up for this wild experience.}

I was lucky enough to have 2 other friends decide to jump on board and also run with Team in Training, and raise funds for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. It made the whole experience even more memorable to have a couple pals by my side through it all. (And quite literally – my girlfriend and I ran the entire 26.2 miles together, and finished at the same second holding hands!)

Marathon day started with a dark, chilly 6 am bus ride from Manhattan to Staten Island, where we had a few hours to kill by walking around, trying to stay warm, and munching on bagels and coffee. With a start time of 10:40 am, it made for a few nerve-wracking hours – but looking back it really wasn’t that bad, and in fact it was kind of a cool part of the whole experience. There I was on Staten Island, surrounded by 50,000 people, multiple helicopters flying above us, and a jumbotron showing live ESPN coverage of the race! Almost half of the entire crowd was from somewhere other than the USA, so with every morning announcement being made in about 6 different languages, it made for a global, Olympics-sort of feel to it all!

As my start time approached, my group was funneled into the start area as New York, New York by Frank Sinatra blasted from the speakers. It was a surreal, completely giddy moment that was over too fast, and suddenly the shotgun start went off and we slowly shuffled our way onto the Verrazano Bridge and into our first mile of the marathon.

The first couple miles felt like a skip around the block, I felt weightless, full of energy, and was smiling ear to ear taking it all in. From the very start the spectators were everywhere. It was a never ending sea of spectators that lined almost every stretch of every mile, holding up signs, screaming peoples names, always willing to give you a smile, encouraging word, high five, water, gatorade, bananas, and more.

crowd

Knowing that over 1 million spectators come out to cheer on the marathon runners, I went into the race thinking there was no way I’d spot my mom, boyfriend, or other sweet friends that came out along the course to cheer me along – it literally would be a one in a million chance that I’d see anyone I knew! So when I came up on mile 6 and spotted my boyfriends smiling face, I lost it! I zipped over for a quick kiss + pic…a happy blur of a moment that happened so fast. My spectator luck continued with spotting him, my mom, and several other friends multiple times along the course! Seeing those familiar friendly faces carried me along more than I could ever describe, especially in the last few miles when things got a super intense.

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Side note: people joke that to be a spectator at the NY Marathon it’s as if you’re running a marathon of your own – but it really isn’t far from the truth. It’s completely amazing to think that one million people spend a good part of an entire day running around NYC – via taxis, subway, Uber, ferries, bikes – all to get to a spot where they hopefully see the person they’re cheering for – and if they’re lucky enough to spot them, it’s only for a few seconds! So to my personal cheer crew that came out to support me…you are the very best!

mom

The last couple miles of the marathon wound us through Central Park and in those moments, I truly felt like it was never going to end. The last 2 miles felt as long as the first 12! Turning the last corner, emotions ran pretty high as I took those last few steps and hit the finish line. It was an unreal feeling, and one that has stuck with me since it all happened.

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After finishing – the first thing I wanted to do was sit!!!! (and cry, and lay down, and drink water, and eat, and celebrate, and be carried away!), but mostly I just wanted to get out of there! It took a crazy 45 minute shuffle to wind my way out of Central Park. That whole area of the city is so congested and crazy post-race that taxis are practically nonexistent. We decided that the subway was our best bet. Just as we were about to go down under to grab a ride, I spotted a Mr. Softee ice cream trunk (always a personal NYC favorite!) so I hobbled over to get a sprinkled cone before I slowly took the steps one at a time down to the subway, where a policeman was yelling out that all marathon runners were riding for free! It was just one of so many special only-in-New-York moments from the most incredible day that I’ll always love looking back on.

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I cannot complete my recap of the NY Marathon without thanking all the people that helped me get there. So many friends, family, acquaintances, readers, and even strangers donated to my LLS fundraising page, which was the motivating reason behind running this race. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to help raise funds for a cause that has become so important to me, while at the same time tackling such a huge personally fulfilling experience.

finished

Finally – to anyone who has ever thought for even a split second about running a marathon. Do it. Just do! While during a particularly intense hill around mile 16 I told my friend that if I ever talked about doing a marathon again, remind me of that very ugly painful moment. But as soon as it’s over you realize how temporary the pain is – it’s all over so fast! And the painful parts eventually fade, and the good ones remain. It’s a really amazing feeling to be done, look back, and know you’ve done something you dreamed of doing but never actually dreamed you’d do! I’ll carry that with me, always.

NYCmarathon4

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change in seasons

By October 9, 2015 Style

Blue2 {pink stitch dress, banana republic sandals, clare vivier clutch, miansai reeve cuff, gifted dattado bracelet, karen walker sunglasses}

It officially feels like fall is here to stay, but we’ve been able to squeeze a few days of sunshine here and there. While summer weather is my all-time favorite, I am enjoying these cooler temps during my practice runs as I prepare for the upcoming NYC Marathon. (less than 4 weeks away!)

This dress was a go-to all summer long and while it’s now retired until next year, I picked it up in black and maroon (yea…I really really liked this dress!) both of which I can easily transition into fall with my trusty jean jacket + a scarf or by layering a sweater on top. The change in seasons has me in serious closet purge mode – which I plan to work on this weekend to help get me looking forward to the continually dropping temps ahead!

Blue

JSM_8850

JSM_8858

Photography by Justin Meyer

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