Thursday, October 24, 2013

My 6 Week Holiday Clense | Fit & Healthy

Happy Thursday everyone! Just one more day left in the week and then it's the wonderful weekend! I seriously love the combo of Friday/Saturday/Sunday. I mean who doesn't love an open schedule that includes sleeping in?! I hardly get to these days with my schedule filling up so last week I took full advantage of my Sunday morning since I had brunch plans at 1pm. I set an alarm to wake me at 10am if I wasn't already awake which I figured I would be since during the week I wake up on my own at 7am. I woke Sunday to my phone ringing and my friend Matt asking If we were still meeting and what sounded good. I looked at my clock and it said 12:40pm. WHAT?! I haven't slept that late since I was in high school, basically when I went to bed at 7am and was a hooligan. Fast forward into the future and you will see that Hooli still likes to come out every now and then but like to be in bed no later than 2am. At that point I turn into a cranky lump and will sleep wherever and however I want. Standing or sitting I will make it happen. I need my sleep...
I find myself always wanting more sleep in the winter. I'm guessing it has to do with shorter days and it getting darker faster. I mean, at 7pm it's completely dark. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, I've noticed with the dark sky my huger disappears. I think it might have to do with the fact that I've made the wise decision to not eat after 8pm but the darkness makes it seem later. I know it's typical for people to lose weight in the summer and gain in the winter but it's completely opposite for me. Cold dark weather makes me want to stay away from all of the crappy holiday food and stick to the healthier options. I've made a bit of a deal with my uncle this year; to lose 30lbs by Christmas. We made this deal in August and at this point I've fluctuated a little bit but hardly budged. So I decided to put together my own 6 week cleanse and meal plan to get my but in gear before the Holidays. I plan on starting Monday and it will end on December 8th. Which is perfect because I leave for my trip a week after so I plan on doing a fruit and veggie cleanse the remaining 7 days before I leave. I'm combining the meal plan with 35 minute high intensity weight training and cardio workouts 5 days per week to  help shed even more fat. I'm putting the final touches on my meal plan and will share it with all of you at the end of my 6 weeks along with a before and after pic, my measurements and my body fat percentage. My roommate Heather and cousin Kelsey are also doing it with me so I have people to help keep me accountable. To help keep track of my daily intake we have all downloaded the MY FITNESS PAL app to our phones to enter our meals and linked our accounts so we can view what everyone is eating. I'm really looking forward to the transformation and I'm excited about continuing it after I get back from my Holiday trip. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to pig out on my trip, I'm going to continue to eat healthy and when we eat out I will make sure my portions are small and nutritious.
It's going to be a long 6 weeks but I know that I can do it. Having the trip as a reward is such motivation. I know that my uncle has an awesome reward for us for getting healthy together which I don't want to share yet. It will be a fun surprise! Until then I will be shopping for cute clothes to wear and new fun boots to add to my closet. As if I need more... It's not too late for you to join in! Create a goal and go for it! I believe in in you!!
                                                         xo, Erica

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Beauty | Skin

Leave it to me to bring up this sometimes embarrassing topic. We all have our secrets about our skin and try to hide them instead of fixing the problem. My entire life I've been told that I have beautiful skin. Even when I was a kid, adults would stop little me in Safeway and tell me that my skin was so pretty. At most I was 9 years old. I always thanked them and went on. I had always assumed that they were talking about my tan. (I'm the extra tan one on the far left with the big cheesy grin and white socks). I have Cherokee from my dads side of the family. During the winter you would think that I was never in the sun but come summer time I turn into a beautifully bronzed Brazilian. My flat backside is the dead giveaway that I've never even been south of the equator. Before you begin to tell me how bad it is, I know. I wear sunscreen and hats and sit in the shade and all of the protective measures to ensure I don't turn into leather. My skin just absorbs and I don't hate it. As I've gotten older I've never really had an issue with acne. I praise my good genes! One thing I did struggle with over the years is my sensitive and sometimes dry skin. Growing up in Colorado I couldn't keep enough lotion on me. Literally 5 minutes after putting lotion on my skin would be dry and itchy again. After countless trips to the dermatologist I finally found a skin cream that worked for me. Cetaphil is my saving grace! I can use it everywhere on my body and it doesn't feel sticky or greasy and most important feeds my skin's thirst for moisture. (SIDE NOTE: Cetaphil also has a really great facial moisturizer with SPF).
As I got older and moved to Oklahoma I started to notice how things would irritate my skin and how in the winter I would get these red dry patches of skin that itched like crazy! So after another round of trips to my dermatologist we discovered that I have psoriasis. I know it sounds icky and when inflamed can look like poison ivy which I used to be super self conscious about. Different things can set it off. I can't use any types of scented body washes or lotions like Bath & Body Works. Plus most of that has added dyes and glitter that really irritates it. I can use DOVE bar and liquid soap and it actually moisturizes my skin like a pre lotion before I get out of the shower and then put on my regular cetaphil. My face is also pretty sensitive when it comes to cleansers. Since I've never had acne I was never concerned with my skin. I would sleep in makeup, wake up and add more then head to school. So once I learned that you really need to take care of your skin, especially on your face I decided to do some research and find something that would be easy. I spent about 2 hours at Sephora talking with consultants about my skin and listening to what they recommend. They sent me home with about 10 different brands and kinds of cleansers and moisturizers. Over the next 20 days I cleaned and moisturized every other day to see how it affected my skin the day of and the day after. Every morning I woke up with tight, dry/greasy, red skin. None of them worked. I was a little discouraged and decided to just head up to target to get makeup remover wipes and that would be my way of cleaning my face. A couple years later that's still my go to, except now I've changed it to sensitive pampers baby wipes. Yes, baby wipes. I use it to take off my makeup and remove daily dirt before I go to bed. It's simple and gets the job done. I know that this might not work for everyone but it works for me and I love it.


Over the weekend I decided to try out some makeup ideas for Halloween and afterwards felt like my face was still covered in grease paint. I found the original deer makeup picture on Pinterest then followed the link to the blog where the other pictures and video tutorial can be found. I watched it about 3 times and headed up to target to get some things I didn't have. I didn't use MAC products, I just found comparable things that I figured would work and they were perfect. I only spent a total of $30. Here is a link to Shannon's blog: Cheap Frills and Thrills. So Saturday I invited my cousin over for a spa day. Well, a spa moment really. She has been telling me about these new cleansers and mask that she bought from ORIGINS so I thought I would give it a try. I only used the mask but I really liked it. I opened my pores with a quick face massage done with a warm wet towel. Then I massaged a thin layer of the charcoal and clay mask onto my skin and let it sit for about 15 minutes. As it dried I felt like I had just gotten Botox. My face was tight but it was a good feeling. When I took that mask off with a hot wet towel my face felt so amazing and really clean. After about a hour my face got a little red and puffy which I have come to expect when I use product like this. My skin still feels really great so I'm considering buying some myself and using it once or twice a month.

                                                                  xo, Erica

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Just Fab

Hi lovelies! I hope that you all are having a good October! It's one of my favorite months since it's usually the time of year that it goes from summer/fall to fall/winter. Well the beginning stages of winter at least. I left my house bundled up since it was in the upper 30's this morning when I left my house. The tree's should start changing colors and jackets should be coming out of the back of the closets pretty soon. Which really excited me! If you are a new reader you should know that I'm pretty obsessed with anything winter, snow, Christmas and mountains. It's the best time of year! Yes, it's cold but how can you not love the cold. I feel so alive when I walk outside and see my breath turning to a frosty smoke as it leaves my lips.
Since I last updated you all I have done a bunch of really fun things. First off I signed up to become a member of JUST FAB. I was looking for a new fall/winter bag and fell in love with one I found on their website. I always see their commercials so I though I would actually look to see what they had and I was genuinely surprised. I searched over the limited amount of items they have and really wanted to purchase the bag. Since I am a life long offender of purchasing then regretting I decided I would wait a couple days and see if I still really wanted it. So I of course returned to the site a few days later to purchase the bag. I didn't realize that you had to become a member of the site before you can purchase anything (which I didn't really like, especially since I HATE junk mail). I decided to join anyways and then I was given a notification that if I purchased something from the website in the next 24 hours it would be 50% off!!! I freaked out a little, yes I wanted the bag and now I want it even more since it will only be $20, however because of the 24 hour time frame it freaked me out a little and I ended up logging out and getting back to some work I had to do. I was really excited about the product until I felt like the clueless girl walking onto a car lot where everyone would stalk me and push me into buying something I didn't need. Throughout the rest of the day I thought of the purse and how cute it would look while on vacation for Christmas. The next day while running errands I realized that I only had about 10 minutes to buy the bag before it went back to full price. I decided that I really did want the bag and didn't want to miss out on getting it half off so right there in the middle of target on my phone I purchase the bag. The I called my grammy and told her about an adorable leather jacket I had found and wanted for Christmas. I mean, what are grandparents for?! When I got home today the purse had been delivered! It was just like Christmas morning. I tore the box open and pulled out my purse. It's gorgeous! I love it so much and was pleased with the material and quality of the bag. In the box was a complementary gift from MARY KAY, which I've never really been a fan of. When I pulled it out I realized that it was a matte plum shade that would be perfect for fall and with my new bag and jacket. So I put it on and was very surprised to find that it looked really good with my skin tone. So basically I'm very happy with my purchase.
One thing I wasn't expecting is to still keep my membership with Just Fab and be able to purchase things each month you have to agree to a $39 monthly fee. You can skip months as long as you notify them before the 5th of every month and there isn't a limit on how many months you can skip witch is nice. It's a good idea especially because when I get charged for a month I'm going to get my use out of it. Which means a lot of Christmas shopping... for myself.
                                                                                  xo, Erica

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Carnies & Conrads

I can't believe the fair is already over! As a kid it went on for so long now I go once and all of a sudden everything is gone and it's back to being an empty parking lot. I was given tickets to the rodeo so I dusted off my boots and drove myself down to the fair. I was meeting up with my cousin, who is practically a sister, Kelsey (part of Team P&P) who was already there. Winding through the makeshift isles between rides, food and games we finally joined each other and started towards the opposite end where the rodeo was about to start. Once safely inside we made our way to our seats and waited for the show to begin. Now growing up in Colorado and living the last 13 years of my life in Oklahoma I'm very used to cowboys but sit them up on a horse and it changes everything! I have no idea why but a good looking strong guy on a horse can melt my heart any day of the week. So you can say I had a good time. We watched the bull and bronco riding, calf roping and the thing where they jump off there horse run to the cow and turn it's head until it lays down and rolls onto its back. I'm not really sure what that part's called. We decided to skip out on women's barrel riding so we could go outside into the fair to get some food. Ya'll let me tell you. FRIED PICKELS IS WHERE IT'S AT. Add a little side of southwest ranch and you're gonna have a little twang in you.
On our way back into the rodeo we decided to get some chocolate covered cheesecake on a stick dipped in nuts... I'm obsessed with cheesecake and just couldn't pass it up. The creamy cake with the chocolate and nuts was delicious! Well that was a quick $30 spent. We went back inside to watch some kids chase calf's around - so cute! Then that's when the music happened! The lowered a stage from the ceiling and we got to run down onto the dirt and watch The Josh Abbott Band play some music for about 30 minutes. It was certainly a great night to relax, have some fun and check out some good lookin' cowboys!

Now on a completely unrelated note. I used to be a huge fan of The Hills. Well at least the first couple of seasons before it became super fake. I never really watched Laguna Beach so I had no idea who LC was or why she mattered. Now that it's been about 10 years since it all started I find myself weekly checking out her website and pinterest boards for the best recipes, books to read and overall tips on design. Plus she just got engaged over the weekend to her handsome beau. So you know what that means - wedding posts!! Who doesn't love a good wedding post?! I would expect nothing but the best.
                                                                                         xo, Erica

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fit On A Budget | My Fitness & Health Tips

As I type this I'm watching the new season of The Biggest Loser. I've never really watched it but I always hear people rave about it and how inspiring it is. So I wanted to share some things with you that I've discovered since I made the decision to get healthy.
DIET vs. EXERCISE: According to different studies, people who believe in slimming down by eating cleaner & by eating smaller portions are thinner that those who eat whatever they want & relying on the gym to shed the pounds. If you want to be trimmed & tone you need a good mixture of both.
HOT or NOT: These days yogis are cranking up the room temps to 105 degrees. Just because you sweat more doesn't mean you're burning more calories, finds an American Council on Exercise study. People who did basic yoga averaged 56% of their max heart rate; sweaters averaged 57%. Plus those in the hotter rooms perceived the same moves to be harder than when doing them in a 70-degree room. No need to force yourself through poses in an ovenlike setting. Regular yoga is just fine.
LUMP DAY: Which is a cute little play on "hump day" since it's turns out to be the laziest day of the week for us. Try pacing back and forth when talking on the phone. Pacing for 5 minutes per every work hour can add up to 2 miles everyday!
QUALITY over QUANTITY: Instead of being obsessed with notching a daily workout, make each workout count - and then be satisfied when you're done.
SMART YOGA: According to a new study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, College women who did 20 minutes of yoga were able to focus way better. All exercise is good for your brain, but the researchers think the meditation and focused breathing practiced during yoga also pay off during mental tasks like learning and retaining info.
Stay Fit With These Tips:
- I'm really into AM smoothies. Spinach, banana, blueberries and some protein powder.
- For workouts, hip hop and boxing classes can be a fun alternative when you get bored with your everyday routine.
- I like to remind myself that I've never regretted a workout.
- No matter how hard it gets, keep going. It's 70% mental.
Getting Fit On a Budget:
It is easy to get caught up in the latest health trends that come and go by the minute. Not only is it hard to stay up with these trends, it can be difficult to shell out the funds for them as well. Gym memberships, yoga studios, juice cleanses, eating organic—none of it is free (let alone cheap!). It’s fun to try out new diet and exercise fads as they come along, but eventually it will start to add up.
START TRAINING: Sign up for a 5k race, a half marathon, or, if you’re really serious, a marathon. It will give you a reason to get outside and run—which is free! Even better—choose a race that donates it’s proceeds to charity and you will be running for a great cause. If you can’t afford the entry fee, reach out to friends and family for donations to help sponsor you.
WATCH WORKOUT DVDS: This trick may not be new, but it sure it a great bang for your buck. The best thing about a set of workout DVDs is once you buy them, you have basically invested in a 24-hour gym in your very own home. You might need to pick up a few free weights and a yoga mat, but it’s well worth it. Try watching DVDs from Jillian Michaels or Tracy Anderson. And don’t forget about our favorite Tone It Up girls. You can check out their Youtube workout videos for free (but I recommend buying the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan to go along with it!).
USE YOUR PHONE: Never underestimate the power of a smart phone—they can do almost anything! While you may use yours primarily for texting and instagramming emailing, you can actually download some apps that will help you to stay healthy too. Moves is an app that tracks your steps each day and lets you know how active you are. Try to get to 10,000 if you can! Other great fitness apps are MyFitnessPal, which serves as a mobile food and exercise journal, and Yoga STRETCH, which allows you to take full yoga classes on the go. Each of these apps is less than $5, which is way more cost-efficient than an expensive pedometer, a personal nutritionist, or a pricey yoga membership.
MAKE A CHALLENGE: Starting up challenges within your office, group of friends, or family is a great way to keep you motivated to stay fit throughout the day. Go ahead and encourage your group to try a 30-day crunch challenge: on the first day, do 20 crunches at some point during your day, and increase the number of crunches by 5 every day until you are at 150 crunches on day 30. You will have toned abs before you know it. Or, kick start a walking contest within your company (using Moves!) and compete with departments to see who can walk the most over an entire month. Adding a little friendly competition into your fitness routine is a fun way to stay motivated and be active.
WRITE IT DOWN: Another trick that I’ve found helps me stay fit is putting my goals and achievements down on paper. When I have a big vacation or a special event coming up, I make a workout calendar and hang it up somewhere I see it every day. I mark a check for the days that I workout, which makes me want to get as many checks as possible. Some people also find it helpful to keep a food journal. Writing down everything you eat during the day can help to gain insight about the types of food you are eating and how much of it.
And don’t forget that taking advantage of the great outdoors is a great way to get moving without spending a dime. Go hiking, swimming, running or biking—or even taking a long walk with your dog will help you to log in some exercise.
                                                      xo, Erica
Sources: Self magazine &

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Change The World | Shakira

I was browsing through SELF MAGAZINE online, as you probably already know it's my favorite! I like to stay up to date with everything via print and online to make sure I'm not missing out on anything. I came across their Women Doing Good tab and was intrigued. The first one I saw was "The Educator: Shakira". I never was really fan of her music (wait it gets better) but I loved watching her on The Voice last season. Her personality was so loving and uplifting to her team and loved having fun with the other judges. Once this season's teasers started I was a little sad to see that she wasn't returning. Nothing will pull me from TEAM BLAKE! Anyways I wanted to share this with you to encourage you to bring awareness to what you are passionate about.
When most adults think of Shakira, her beauty, hip shaking and voice instantly come to mind. But kids around the world know the singer for other reasons: her warmth, generosity and dedication to improving their lives. "Growing up in the developing world, I've seen so much injustice," says the Grammy winner, who was born in Colombia, where almost a third of the people live in poverty. "The one thing I can do is my part to help raise awareness." Through her Pies Descalzos Foundation (launched when she was just 18; it was named after her third album), Shakira is working to make education a right for all children, not just the lucky ones. Kids with no education "are a very vulnerable population," explains the pop star, the youngest of eight children (her half siblings). "They're running the risk of being recruited by the paramilitary, the guerrillas or the gangs." (In comparison, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, who is from a middle-class family, attended Catholic school and recorded her first album at 13.) To date, her foundation has built six schools in Colombia [above, she greets children at the future site of one], giving 6,000 children the opportunity to make it. A seventh school, which will serve 1,800 kids in Cartagena, is under construction, and she's expanded her work into Haiti. "When you start seeing the kids graduate and go to college," she says, "it's so fulfilling."
What inspired me: "When I was 8, my father [a jeweler], went bankrupt. As a result, we lost our air conditioner. It's crazy-hot in Barranquilla, my hometown—usually 95 degrees. When I complained, my parents took me to a local park where orphans were sniffing glue to quell their hunger. It made a lasting impression on me, and I promised myself that, once I achieved success, I would do something for those kids who apparently had no chance in life."
Why this issue: "We have a school in Barranquilla, in an area where there are around 9,000 children, and only 2,000 have access to it. The rest are doomed to fail. I always wonder how their destinies could change if they had a safe place to go where they could just be children."
What keeps me going: "I feel like I'm racing against the clock. There is so much to do, and time is merciless. So I focus on the solution rather than the problem. Investing in education is the most efficient tool to fight violence. Investing in our kids really is our only hope. They're our world's greatest resource. Not oil, not gas. It's the children of the world."
My legacy: "I think about what I want to teach my son. He was born with everything. I want him to see how others live, to be in touch with reality, to appreciate the value of what he has, and to be good, generous and compassionate."

Her Causes

In addition to the Pies Descalzos Foundation and its U.S. counterpart, The Barefoot Foundation, she created ALAS to advocate for early-childhood development. She serves on President Obama's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

How You Can Help

Visit to donate.
                                                                                        xo, Erica

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I Shoulda Been A Cowgirl

Howdy Ya'll! The fair is in town bringing us all things fried. This year there is even fried crickets on pizza! Yes, I said crickets. We've had no shortage of crickets here so my guess is they just drove around town scoopin them up and dumping them into the hot oil. SICK. I won't even walk past it. I LOVE the fair! I grew up getting dropped of with friends for the day with my mega ride pass and $100. I usually ended up coming home with some ugly shirt that had my name airbrushed on it and a sugar high from all of the cotton candy/funnel cake I had consumed while slurping down a mountain dew or dr perpper. It was the good ol' days. Now I find myself wincing at the crazy ass rides that somehow all come apart and fold up into a square before they move on the next city. I still have that urge to have my name airbrushed on a shirt with some weird animal on it. Please just no unicorns. I will however be making an appearance this year to walk around all of the buildings looking at artwork, and vendors. You can find some really cool stuff at the fair and they will usually make you deal if you buy a couple things from the same booth. You can't forget about the petting zoo either. Give those cute baby animals some love then disinfect that hand before you make your way over to the Rodeo. That's right folks!! I'm going to the Rodeo, all I have to do is figure out what pair of boots I'm going to wear. Look out cowboys!
Speaking of cowboys I found myself browsing some amazing ranches this morning. After about an hour of searching through some of the ones in my home state of Colorado I found one that I absolutely fell in love with. It's located in Mosca, Colorado which is about 3 hours from Colorado Springs. It's breathtaking pictures won me over along with the bison, horses, rafting, fishing, hiking and front row seat to the famous sand dunes. Not to mention their chef who has previously worked with the Carnegie and Kennedy family's. Yes, those Carnegies and Kennedys. The ranch has some of the most amazing scenery that will make you think you are in the Canadian Rockies. I immediately started texting friends and family about booking a trip. The bunk houses can sleep quite a few and they are also available for corporate retreats. I'm looking to visit in May or June of 2014, so maybe it can be a birthday celebration!
I hope everyone is having a good week!
                                                                             xo, Erica