Smoothie Addiction + TheFabFour

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Today I woke up and got myself ready to go walk on the treadmill, as I do most mornings, when I realized I didn’t have frozen berries for my post-walk smoothie (a completely valid excuse to mess up my routine… *eye-roll at myself*). So instead I went to the grocery store to restock on said smoothie ingredients – only I forgot the frozen berries and came home with cleaning supplies. S/O to all my other ADD shoppers out there.

As tragic as this story is (and no, I never got my smoothie) most mornings go much more smoothly, with smoothie in hand. I’ve never been a believer in liquid diets, juicing, protein shakes etc. because I was convinced there is no substance in a beverage. But while visiting my mom in Michigan a few months ago, I started drinking them daily made from her NutriBullet blender. And from then on, I was hooked.

I got my own NutriBullet as soon as my plane touched down in Dallas and began starting my mornings with a blueberry or peanut butter smoothie, depending on the mood of the day. And I would often find myself satisfied for most of the morning, but by lunch I’d be starving again. This is a common complaint from people when a diet consists of solely a smoothie for breakfast, myself included, that is until I discovered @bewellbykelly and her fab4 rule for smoothies.

Kelly LeVeque is a nutritionist in LA with a client load more impressive than the guest list at the Grammys. The key to Kelly’s diet is the incorporation of the fab4 which are as follows:

  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Fat (healthy)
  • Greens

By satisfying all these requirements, one will be able to avoid hunger much longer, making it easier to accomplish intermittent fasting, avoid snacking and make better choices for future meals as your stomach is not influencing your food choices.

My usual smoothie recipe was something like Vega protein powder, a handful of spinach, frozen blueberries and juice or water. After reading up on the benefits of incorporating fats and fiber in the mix, I started adding a scoop of chia seed (fiber) and a scoop of coconut oil (healthy fat) to see if it works. Well, the verdict is in, and it’s a home freaking run. The first day I noticed I was not hungry all morning and even made it til 1 p.m. for lunch. By the time I did get my mid-day meal, I was able to make a sensible choice and didn’t overeat because my breakfast was still fueling my body.

I’ve even gone as far as skipping the coconut oil some mornings just to test the theory, and it really does make a difference to include a healthy fat. I’ve recently been testing out intermittent fasting since it’s been such a popular trend in health and dieting and this trick has made it so much easier to stick to the strict timing of meals. When you’re full and satisfied, you’re much more likely to make healthier choices.

I’ll be posting my thoughts on this type of dieting soon!

Till next time,

 

-xoLK-

DM/comment for outfit details @laurenk.k

The Skincare Products That Are Honestly Worth The Cost

I want to start this out with a confession – at 24, I caved and got Botox. Just a quick and easy 15 units to fix up my elevens, and let me tell you, I get why people are addicted to it. My skin looks like a porcelain china doll, yet still dewey and glowey.

(if you’re in the DFW area, hit up @drdemetri on IG for all your pretty work.)

But let’s be honest. Botox isn’t the only thing that has been a game-changer for my skin lately. A few new products have been added to my skincare routine in the past couple months that I swear are basically like over-the-counter plastic surgery.

 

  1. Let’s start with the OROGOLD cosmetics exfoliate. Out of the products I’m mentioning in the post, this I’ve had the longest – yet there are still so many uses in that little bottle, I can’t believe it. At $88 for 1.76 oz. of products, it ain’t cheap. But I SWEAR by this stuff. The idea is that gold is much finer of an exfoliate than your typical beads, sugar or salt scrubs, so it’s able to really lift the dirt from your pores without causing damage, leaving you with baby soft, smooth skin. And the proof is in the pudding (is that a real thing?) When you rub a dime size pump of the product on your face, you will literally SEE the black and brown and nasties from your skin form little balls that you rinse away with a splash of water. Because it’s such a deep exfoliate (and expensive af) I only use it once a week. Even so, the residue on my skin is getting much less black and gross over time – which I would assume mean the product is doing its job extremely effectively.
  2. Next up, we have Dr. Dennis Gross Glow Pads. This is a spin-off of his Alpha-Beta chemical peel pads (which are supposed to be bomb dot com) but with facial tanning properties added to it. I don’t think it’s as strong of a peel as the OG product, but I personally don’t feel the need to peel that often as acne isn’t a big concern of mine, rather hydration, moisturizer and, hello – glow. They sell this in gradual and intense glow. I have the intense glow and it’s V effective. It’s so easy too! About once a week, or before an event or shoot, I thoroughly rub my face with a towel in circular motions, making sure I go over every nook and cranny (i am killing it with the old people’s sayings rn) as well as down my neck. I always do this at night and the next morning my face is seriously a full shade tanner. But not an unnatural looking tan at all. And your girl is pale, so that’s easy to do. It lasts a while, and even longer if you do it two days in a row. Will definitely be looking into more of Dr. Gross’s products in the future.
  3. Jart will be the third doctor mentioned on here. These titles should be enough credibility of their greatness without me ranting and raving about them – but I’m going to do it anyways. I’ve used a couple of products from this brand, including the facemasks (saving for another post – stay tuned) and have yielded amazing results from everything. But my current obsession is the Dr. Jart premium BB cream. If you’re still using foundation and don’t even know about BB or CC cream, GET OUT FROM UNDER YOUR ROCK. This alternative to stuffy, smothering foundation is life-changing. Not only does it have 45 SPF (literally never going back) it’s hydrating, reduces pore size, protects against other environmental damages, all while evening out skin tone and hiding blemishes. I won’t lie – it’s not a full coverage situation, so if you struggle with acne you might not love it. But the great thing about this product is it does work on your face all day long instead of a foundation that’s not breathable and is suffocating your pores, causing even more breakouts. It might be worth rocking some pimples to clear up your skin in the end.
  4. Lastly, can’t forget about Merle Norman. My mom, future sister-in-law and I went to the studio in my hometown over Christmas and got all the works Merle has to offer, steam facial and all. It’s pretty obvi I’m into skin hydration more than anything, so when we applied the Energizing Concentrate serum, a bottle of it naturally made its way home with me. When it comes to hydrating serums, she takes the cake. The formula is lightweight, goes on silky smooth and leaves your skin glistening. And a little goes a long way – I’ve barely made a dent in my 1 oz. bottle in over two months.

 

OK so I know none of these would probably be categorized as “affordable,” but if you spend a little extra money taking care of your skin, you won’t have to spend as much money on make-up! (far reach?) And they will last you quite a while, so it’s worth the investment. I would say I’ll do a post on less-expensive products, but I threw them all away. (lol, jk, maybe one day.)

-xoLK-

 

How One Daily Gummy Has Freed Me From The Nail Salon For Good

The other day, my friend Rik was telling me how she is finding better ways to do her nails at home because, well, nail salons suck.

And for the most part, they really do. Don’t get me wrong, I will never not indulge in a lengthy pedicure – with salt scrub, hot wax, orange slices and rose petals, hold the stone massage sub extra foot love, casual – but when it comes to my hands, a manicure nothing but inconvenient. We’ve got our phones and drinks and things to touch, OK?

So lately I’ve just been getting my toes done – and I mean all out, no holding back done – and getting my nails cleaned up and buffed instead of a complete manicure.

No tips, no gel polish, no dip powder, nada.

I do this every now and then to let my nails “breathe,” and it helps somewhat, but normally I revert back to adhesive and plastic on my fingertips at some point because my nails were never strong enough without them. Until now, that is.

At first, I honestly couldn’t have told you what was making my nails grow like freaking tumbleweed. But after a little research and a look at my dietary and supplemental changes, I figured it out. Olly Nutrition Purely Probiotics.

I got them, along with the fiber gummies, before my trip to trim my tummy for the beach (high fiber, low protein diet – may not be glamorous but shit works ((pun intended)). But I didn’t realize the other benefits probiotics had aside from digestive health.

If you don’t know about probiotics, let me break it down for you as well as I, a non-doctoral human, can: Probiotics are good bacteria and yeast that keep your gut happy and functioning efficiently. While the label “bacteria” may be more commonly associated with sickness and disease, our bodies need to be balanced with both to function. And when you take antibiotics, which kill all bacteria, you lose a lot of this good, helpful bacteria in the process (totally resonates with my anti-prescription mentality).

They are found naturally in fermented food or drink such as yogurt and kombucha, which makes sense why I have never had a diet high in probiotics – I hate yogurt and kombucha is expensive.

Seriously makes these gummies the best discovery of the year already.

After a little googling, I found that probiotics also help with wrinkle prevention by eliminating damaging toxins that lead to signs of aging and increasing the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and maintain hydration. They may even act as protection against sun damage, although there isn’t as much research to back this theory (the science people say it looks promising though).

So basically what I’ve concluded is that probiotics are the tits and you should be eating them – but don’t over-do it. I take the supplements about 5 days a week and that seems to work well for me. If your diet has probiotics in it already, maybe take them less or add more foods naturally source with them.

Doesn’t matter how you do it, but trust me, you want to do it.

The only thing this post is sponsored by is my happy bank account now that I’m saving money at the salon each month. *cha-ching*

–xoLK–

 

Rewards System And Self Discipline

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So many of us find our days going a little like this: You wake up with the intentions of eating healthy, tackling your todo list and getting to the gym with all the motivation necessary to achieve these goals successfully, yet come dinner time all you’ve done is browsed Pinterest looking at things you can’t afford, watched videos of Instagram models doing the workouts you should have done, and eaten a lunch consisting of cookies from the breakroom, served up with a big side of regret.

Shit days happen to the best of us, and failure is inevitable. But what separates the ordinary from extraordinary is the self-discipline to continue towards these goals even after failure.

I have in no way reached any of my personal or professional goals, not even close, but there are a few little things that have made a huge difference in my journey towards them. And they’re easy enough for a child to comprehend.

Self Reward – When I was a little girl my mom forced me into the minivan and down the street to piano lessons twice a week. There were weeks I hated it and weeks I tolerated it, but for the most part it wasn’t my favorite time pass – and my mother was unwillingly aware due to my cries of objection. But once I got to playing and saw improvement, my mood would change and the formerly dreaded task was seemingly enjoyable. So to trick me into practicing at home, my mom would put a dish of M&M’s on top of the piano and every time I got through a song I would get a piece of candy. It worked so well that after a while she’d have to drag me off the bench to stop playing.

Now that I’m older and don’t have my parents to force me to do the right things, it’s a little tricky to stay focused on the not-so-glamorous tasks of life. But I took a page out of my mom’s parenting handbook and started tricking myself into accomplishing tasks with a similar reward system, minus the M&M’s. When it comes to diet, I force myself to eat all the vegetables and protein on my plate before I’ll allow myself carbs or sweets, which helps me get the good nutrients in need and prevents me from filling up on bread. My to do list is another hackable system where I’ll tell myself if I get the following X tasks done, I get to go get a mani/pedi, stop by Sephora for a new lip gloss, or as something as simple as browsing my socials for 15 minutes. The reward doesn’t have to be monetary or extravagant either. For some reason, knowing there’s a little treat at the end of all the boring stuff makes it easier to power through each task.

Some photos from my trip to Sydney – Comment below if you’d like to know my favorite places to visit and must-see’s from my trip!

 

-xoLK-

 

My Favorite Things To Do In The Shower

 

Ok, ok, get your mind out of the gutter. Or should I say drain?

The shower is a happy place for me. It’s a time to unwind, relax, get pampered, all without other humans to interrupt (most of the time..)

Seriously though, nothing beats a scalding hot shower. And it’s the perfect place to catch up on beauty regimens all at once. Here are a few things that you need to incorporate into your shower at least once a week for softer skin and healthier hair.

But before we get into it, here’s a sideshow of some photos from my trip to Kaua’i (:

 

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Exfoliating gloves – I’m an exfoliate freak. Sometimes I wish I could molt like a crab and shed all the dead skin, hair and dirt on my body once a month – but that’d be gross. So instead I use these gloves once or twice a week to get my skin baby’s butt smooth. It’s just too easy, throw the gloves on with a healthy glob of moisturizing lotion (my fav is philosophy, but it’s pretty pricey, so sometimes i opt for dove instead) and start rubbing as hard as you can. Until you feel like you’re rubbing your skin off your bones. Personally, I enjoy the feeling, but it may not be the most comfortable for some people. If you can bear through it though, when you take the gloves off and touch yourself, you’ll know it was worth it.

Salt scrub – Surprise, surprise. Another exfoliating tip. I stumbled upon this product during the Amazon Prime Day sale last year and have been reordering it monthly since. I even ordered a bunch for family Christmas presents – and they all LOVE it. The ingredients are all natural with stuff like sea salt, almond oil, coconut oil and some other stuff. The instructions advise to leave it on your skin until it dries, then to scrub it off, but honestly it works just as well if you just give yourself a good rub down and rinse right after. If I’m feeling a little extra, I’ll put it on my shoulders, neck and arms while sitting in the bath for 10 or so minutes, but not necessary at all. It says it’s safe for the face, but I avoid it and stop at my chin. My face requires a little extra TLC.

Coconut oil for dry ends – While coconut oil has a bit of a reputation for being overused and excessively glorified, it really is the best for dry, split ends. My hair is extra dry from heat exposure, bleaching it and honestly just genetics, so I’m always looking for the best way to give my ends life. Instead of using expensive products that more often than not don’t live up to promised expectations, I’ve found the cure-all coconut oil solution is the best and most affordable. Sometimes I’ll put a thick coat (only on the ends) right before bed and sleep in it, then wash it out the next morning in the shower. But if that’s not an option, I run it through my hair right before I get in the shower and throw a hair cap on. Then instead of washing my hair right away, I get to shaving, exfoliating and anything else that needs to be done, saving my hair for last. The steam from the shower and insulation of the hair cap helps the oil work faster and leaves my ends nice and smooth.

 

Efficiency is the name of the game, and if I can help my skin, hair, teeth and whatever else all in one shower session, I’m a happy camper. I usually do this full routine once a week with normal, shorter showers in between.

-xoLK-

Five Things Under $5 That Changed My Skincare Game For LIFE

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Skincare can get ridiculously expensive.

The creams and oils, treatments, masks, chemicals, needles, injections.

It’s all overwhelming AF.

So lately I’ve been trying home remedies to improve my skin that won’t break the bank. And I’ve come across some freaking gems along the way.

The Facial Massage:

I’m obsessed with rubbing my face. It’s honestly life changing. And if you think I sound crazy, try it yourself tomorrow morning because its 100% FREE – and it works. Simply clean your face and hands thoroughly to avoid spreading bacteria, apply a daily lotion or oil to your fingers and start rubbing in upwards motions on your cheeks and in between your eyes for 5-10 minutes. It’s the first thing I do when I wake up, right after turning on one of my fav podcasts. I’m telling you, your skin will immediately feel tighter and look brighter. You’ll be thanking me later.
(here’s my fav oil – not under $5, I know. but close enough)

Inspo by: Lauryn Evarts @ The Skinny Confidential – HIGHLY recommended blog to follow.

Shave, Shave, SHAVE Your Face:

Yes, you read that right. Shaving has proved to be the most effective exfoliate I’ve used so far. Not only does it remove the hair on your face, but the dead skin as well. I can legit see old skin coming off my face when I do this – gross, I know, but effective AF. Afterwards, my skin absorbs moisturizers and oils quickly and efficiently. And my make-up goes on flawlessly with no baby hairs! I promise your hair won’t grow back thick and black like people swear up and down it will. And the more you do it, the less you have to.
(even better, these Tinkle brand razors are under $5 for a pack of 6 on Amazon rn)

Drink A Shitload Of Water:

Literally every supermodel interview I read or watch, they always say the secret to healthy skin is to drink your bodyweight in water. It sounds so simple and obvious, yet so many people aren’t getting an adequate amount of water on a daily basis. The 8×8 rule says to drink 8 glasses of 8 oz. per day – so 64 oz. To keep track, I normally get a bottle of SmartWater in the morning, which is about 34 oz., and refill it when I’m finished, so two bottles satisfies my quota for the day. Aside from the water bottle purchase, this is another basically free tip.

If you want to be GREEN, buy a reusable water bottle and refill it throughout the day. (I try my best to do this, but honestly, I always forget my bottle at home or work…)

Homemade Lip Scrub With Shit From Your Kitchen:

The skin on your lips is extra sensitive and deserves extra care. There are a lot of products out there to exfoliate and moisturize your lips, but I’ve found that an at-home concoction is a quick fix when my lips are beat up and need a little love. This recipe is super easy and most people already have the ingredients in their kitchens, so there’s little to no extra cost. Mix it thoroughly and be aggressive! It might hurt a little, but it’s important to get all the dead skin off. Being rough with them will get the blood-flow going too, so when you’re done you’ll have a nice, natural pout.
Lip Scrub:      

1 tablespoon    organic cane sugar

½ teaspoon      unrefined coconut oil

¼ teaspoon      sweet almond oil

½ teaspoon      vanilla extract (preferably made with glycerin)

teaspoon      raw honey

At-Home Steam Facial:

If you’ve never had a steam facial at the spa, you’re depriving yourself. But luckily, this service is easy to recreate at home without the expensive tools and machines. Typically, a salon will put a moisturizing mask on your face, then sit you in front of a steamer for about 10 minutes. The at-home version isn’t as glamorous, yet still extremely effective. Clean your face of any make-up and dirt, add a thick layer of moisturizer, turn your sink on as HOT as it can go, and grab a towel. When the water gets hot enough to start steaming, lean over the sink and throw the towel over your head so all the steam will be trapped by your face. The benefits of steaming are extremely detoxifying, opening your pores so all the oil, dirt and bacteria under in your skin will lift up and out. It’s also insanely good for your sinuses and respiratory system – highly recommended if you’re sick. For best results, exfoliate right after to clean the nasties out of your pores even more.

While these aren’t my best of the best tips, they’re the ones that’ll give you a serious bang for basically no bux. Comment below your skincare routine and keep an eye out for my favorite products for glowing skin!


-xoLK-

Outfit deets:

– Missguided pants – American Apparel crop (in white) – Lulu’s heels – Rebecca Minkoff choker –

Photos by: Madison Katlin Photography