Hi everybody! How are all of you?! I hope you have all had a great weekend so far! I know they always say that this is like the last fun weekend of summer but whoever said that has never been to Oklahoma. Summer weather can go into the last part of October - sometimes even November. I am so excited about this next week!! I've been prepping for the last couple of weeks for a new business adventure and the time is here!! Next Saturday I will be able to tell you all about it the amazing opportunity that came my way. It was just on of those things that felt right and for some reason I waited almost a YEAR to jump in with both feet. I might be just a little stubborn... I feel so blessed to be offered such a great opportunity and the few friends and family that I have told about it have been so supportive. I just wanted to remind you all to not settle! You should live your life doing the things you love and with people that support you! It may sound scary but wouldn't you much rather be happy doing things you love then to be unhappy day after day?! I might even be looking for some contacts in your area so just let me know if you would like to learn more about this great opportunity. Feel free to reach out to me by commenting below, on my contact page or on social media! XO, Erica
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Happy Saturday! I hope you are all reading from the pool or the beach, because lets be honest that really is the only way to spend Labor Day Weekend. It seems like it has become the big last hurrah of summer. So when I came across a new post on Coast To Coast Central I figured it would be a great way to tie this weekend and tips on how to throw a great party together. Cheers, Erica
Friday, August 29, 2014
Happy Saturday ya'll! I'm in Dallas for the weekend and we went to the Cowboys & Broncos game last night at AT&T Stadium. It was AMAZE!! I've been to the stadium a couple times but never for a game and let me tell you - the energy is incredible!! I definitely recommend going to at least one game to experience it all. I am proud to say that my team (BRONCOS) totally kicked some Cowboy ass!! Anyhoo, I wanted really quick to post the September mood board with you. I hope you're all having a great weekend!! XO, Erica
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
With the holidays coming up I've been looking for a good detox. So I went right to SELF MAG and saw their new detox and signed right up! I love these things!! I know they are quick fixes that suck when you try to bring it long term but for any special party or event it's my holy grail. So I did all of the dirty work and posted everything you need below. Bookmark it so when you need it - it's here!! XO, Erica
Consider this your reset button. Follow our clean-eating plan and slower-paced workout to reenergize your routine.
MOVE YOUR BODY
Take your workouts down a notch—just for seven days. This plan puts your body in active-recovery mode with a strategic program created by celebrity trainer Larysa DiDio: nontaxing cardio plus yoga poses paired with athletic stretches. "You'll flush out toxins and rejuvenate your body, so when you turn up the intensity again, you're primed to sculpt, burn and recover faster," she explains. Sweat (a little). Do 30 to 60 minutes of light cardio three days this week before your toning moves. Tone up. Every day, complete each of the four moves, shifting smoothly from part A to B and back again. Then repeat.
Delicious to eat and filled with protein, our recipes are balanced and satisfying. You'll want to make them long after detox week. Start with a smoothie. Each 350-calorie breakfast shake has antioxidant-rich fruit, vegetables and extras, such as cacao and green tea. Eat clean. Lunch (450 calories) and dinner (500 calories) pack fiber-rich whole grains, healthy fats and protein into each meal. Since the plan cuts out added sugar and alcohol, you'll avoid bloat, and your skin will look clearer. Enjoy indulgences. Have two 150-calorie snacks a day, whenever you need a bite. These keep your metabolism revved and ensure you never feel deprived.
QUIET YOUR MIND
Stress can knot your muscles, increase fat and sugar cravings, and spike the hormone cortisol, all of which can lead to belly fat. To change your body, you have to change your mind, too. Meditate daily. An Eating Behaviors review of studies found that women who meditate eat more mindfully, which may help with weight loss. Take 10 minutes per day to sit with eyes closed; focus on breathing. Each exhale (through your nose) should last twice as long as the inhale, DiDio says.Sleep enough. Catching seven to eight hours of sleep per night will help keep your waistline trim. Women who slept an average of six hours or less gained more than 2 inches over six years, an Obesity study reports.
BreakfastBlueberry Protein Smoothie
Green Tea Smoothie
LunchPad Thai Salad
Portobello and Pepper Melt
Mason Jar Kale Salad
Sesame-Kale Noodle Salad
Brown Rice Bowl
Greek Egg Salad
DinnerChipotle Coleslaw Veggie Burger
Goat Cheese and Herb Frittata
ProduceApple, green (1)
Arugula (3 cups)
Basil (1 bunch)
Broccoli florets (1 small head)
Cabbage, purple (1 head)
Carrots (1 large bag)
Cauliflower (1 head)
Celery (1 heart)
Cilantro (1 bunch)
Cucumber (1 medium)
Edamame (1 3/4 cups cooked, shelled)
Eggplant (1 medium)
Garlic (2 bulbs)
Ginger, fresh (1 piece)
Kale (1 large bunch)
Medjool date (1)
Mushroom, portobello (1 large)
Mushrooms, cremini (1 cup)
Mushrooms, white (16 oz)
Onion, red (1 large)
Onion, yellow (1)
Parsley (1 bunch)
Peppers, red bell (2)
Peppers, yellow bell (2)
Pomegranate seeds (2 tbsp arils or 1 fruit)
Potatoes, red (3-4 small)
Scallions (1 bunch)
Tomato (1 large)
Tomatoes, cherry (1/3 cup)
Meat/DairyAlmond milk, unsweetened
Cheese, cheddar, shredded (1/4 cup)
Cheese, feta, crumbled (1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp)
Cheese, goat, crumbled (1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp)
Cheese, Havarti (1-oz slice)
Cheese, mozzarella, shredded (3 tbsp)
Cheese, Parmesan, grated (1/3 cup)
Tofu, extra firm (1 block)
Tofu, silken (1/3 cup)
Yogurt, Greek, 2-percent-fat (2 1/4 cups)
BakeryBread, 6-inch pita, whole wheat (1)
Bread, whole wheat (2 slices)
Bread, whole-wheat hamburger bun (1)
Tortillas, corn (3)
Refrigerator/FreezerBeets, cooked (1/4 cup)
Blueberries, frozen (1 cup)
Pineapple chunks, frozen (1 cup)
Pizza dough, whole wheat (16 oz)
Strawberries, frozen (1 1/4 cups)
Veggie burger, Amy's Bistro (1)
Canned black beans (1 can)
Canned chickpeas (1 cup)
Canned diced tomatoes (1/4 cup)
Canned tomato sauce, no salt added (1/2 cup)
Canned vegetarian refried pinto beans (1 can)
Chopped pistachios (2 tbsp)
Coconut flakes, unsweetened
Flour, whole wheat
Miso paste, white
Olives, black, sliced
Panko breadcrumbs, whole wheat
Penne, whole grain
Roasted red peppers
Sesame oil, toasted
Soy sauce, reduced-sodium
Tamari, low sodium
Vegetable oil cooking spray
Vinegar, red wine
Sunday, August 24, 2014
As an avid Netflix lover I just knew I had to share some insight on the shows I have fallen in love with over the years. I am always telling my friends and family how amazing Netflix is and I actually just got my grandparents on the bandwagon. I don't have cable and I love being able to watch shows without commercials and waiting for next weeks episode's. So here is my top 10 fav shows on Netflix!!
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
So yes I know I have been working on this book for quite some time now. It’s been a couple crazy months and there is a lot of info to cover. I have learned so much about my body and I can’t wait to share it all with you! I would really like to go chapter by chapter but that would be a nightmare so I figured I could do it in 3 parts like the book; Nutrition, Fitness & Mind. So since I have already done the dirty work here are the things that I got out of chapters 1-13. If you want more details and info about it you can buy the book HERE. XO, Erica
- The human cell is a complex, living structure made up of fat and protein (which are, not coincidentally, two key components of your nutrition).
- Today, tomorrow, and twenty years from now, your nutrition is worth your attention and your time, because nutrition is health, and health is everything.
- Do you understand the difference between whole foods, the ones that give you life, and processed foods, the ones that have about as much nutrition as the plastic wrappers they come in?
- Just because you can put something in your mouth, chew it, swallow it, and then poop it out doesn’t mean it’s food. It just means you can chew it, swallow it, and poop it out.
- We are living in bodies that are overfed and undernourished.
That last point was a big eye-opener for me! It made me think of those PETA videos that have been blasting all over social media. We are overfed and undernourished. What is the point in eating something if it isn’t going to give your nourishment?!
- Hunger is 100% healthy, some diet plans and magazines and occasionally even our own imaginations seem set on convincing is that hunger is something there to trip us up or trick us. Hunger is your body urging you to take care of yourself, to give it energy so that you can live your life.
- 20% of your body’s energy supply is used by your big, gorgeous, energy-hungry brain.
- Hunger is not your enemy. It is a signal from the deepest part of you, cueing you toward survival.
- You never have to be hungry anymore!
Now I’m about to get really scientific on you!
- When we eat plants and animals (who eat plants), we get sun energy in the form of macronutrients. There are three kinds of macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat. These macronutrients provide energy, and they also contain varying amounts of micronutrients. There are two kinds of micronutrients: vitamins and minerals. Micronutrients give us all of the things you’d expect in a multivitamin-but when you get them from food, they’re much more effective than a pill. Together the three macronutrients plus vitamins and minerals plus water add up to the six nutrients essential to our survival.
- Carbohydrates, the basic energy in plant food, are a combination of carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight.
- Every scrumptious bite of food that touches your lips is made up of either carbohydrates, protein, or fat – or ideally, a combination of all three.
- Calories aren’t a measure of how “fattening” a food is, they’re a measure of how much energy is packed into that food.
SAY NO TO LOW
- Over the past few decades of diet and weight-loss crazes, each of the macronutrients has been subjected to smear campaigns. Do you remember all of those fat-free snacks on the market? When they took out the fat, they replaced it with sugar, which just made people fat. Then carbs took it on the chin, and everyone went on a low-carb diet (which, ironically, tended to be a high-fat diet). Most recently there has been a trend toward cutting out all animal protein, which again, is healthy in moderate amounts.
- Let’s face it: If diet trends were effective, we’d all be eating fat-free, low-carb cookies in our bikinis instead of throwing money away on one diet program after another.
This is some good stuff right?! I hope you’re taking notes because it’s about to get really good.
- Complex carbs support your energetic, healthy life, while simple carbs are a source of empty calories. Additionally, simple carbs are sneaky, because when you eat something that’s been refined and doesn’t have an fiber, you can eat and eat and eat and never feel full, which means you gain weight without even knowing that you’re overeating…which double sucks.
- Whole grains give you a longer-lasting energy source than refined carbohydrates.
- Do you love sweet foods? If you’re like most people, the answer is yes. And it turns out, there’s a biological reason for that: sweet foods aren’t poisonous. Old-school humans loved sweet foods because our ancestors knew that if a food was sweet, it was safe to eat. Sweetness was a sign that the plant was edible (most plants that are poisonous to humans taste bitter).
The Relationship Between Insulin & Sugar
- Insulin is a hormone that helps deliver glucose to your cells. As sugar enters your bloodstream from the food you eat, your pancreas secretes insulin, which regulates your blood sugar by transporting the glucose out of your blood and into your cells. When you eat a lot of sugar, your pancreas is forced to go into overdrive, producing high levels of insulin to compensate. If you regularly eat a lot of sugar, this elevated level of insulin over time can lead to a condition known as insulin resistance. When you become insulin resistant, your cells are less responsive to the presence of insulin; as a result they need more insulin to absorb glucose from your blood. So your pancreas pumps out even more insulin, again and again. Insulin resistance has been linked to the development of heart disease and is a precursor of type 2 diabetes.
The Dangers of Inflammation
- There are two kinds of inflammation – one that is helpful to your body, and one that is damaging and dangerous. Acute inflammation, the lifesaving response your immune system triggers to protect you. Your immune system is like your body’s security force. When it senses the presence of an intruder, it sends an army of white blood cells to a specific area to protect you from harm. That protective inflammatory response ensures that your little paper cut doesn’t become an infected wound. The other kind of inflammation is chronic inflammation, and some doctors believe that it creates an environment in which diseases – from obesity, diabetes, and heart-disease to illnesses like depression and cancer-can thrive. Chronis inflammation is linked to eating processed foods, added sugars and not getting enough exercise.
- Ways you can protect yourself against chronic inflammation: Get off the couch, increase your consumption of fruits and veggies, increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, get enough sleep, avoid access body weight – especially around the abdomen, revise your workouts during stressful times, and maintain a positive outlook.
Protein is Strength
- The word protein means “of prime importance” – and protein is certainly important to our health. Proteins are made up of amino acids. Amino acids and proteins are so vital of our health that they are regularly referred to as “the building blocks of life.”
- As we’ve discussed, when you eat carbs and fats, your body can store away some of the excess for later use (whether you like it or not). But protein is different. Amino acids cannot be stored in the body. So the best way to eat protein isn’t to sit down to a giant caveman-style slab of meat at the end of the day, but to eat small portions of protein steadily, throughout the day. That way, the amino acids are always available for your body to use.
- Fat keeps your skin from being rough and scaly, it helps your body absorb vitamins, provides you with fuel throughout the day, and boosts your brainpower.
- Think of fats like a bunch of people at a party. Some people are wonderful and well worth your time and some are jerks, and it’s your job to judge each of them on merit. While some fats-the saturated and trans fats – are like the alluring ultimately destructive guy you really shouldn’t date, others are like the nice guy next door that your best friend keeps wishing (rightly) that you would fall for.
The Bone Builders
- Our bones are in a constant makeover montage, with the old cells continuously being lost and new cells being created. So supplying the nutrients our bodies need to build healthy bones is integral if you want to maintain your bones as an adult.
The whole secret to feeding yourself well: Take time to create food that you love to eat while also making sure that it provides you with the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, essential fats, and protein that you need to be healthy.
Water is Life
- Every night before I go to sleep, I fill up a big glass bottle with water and put it on my bathroom counter. First thing in the morning, right after I brush my teeth, I drink it. A steady and consistent intake of water throughout the day helps me to keep my mind clear and my body in motion.
- We need all of the nutrients to stay alive, but water may be the most important nutrient of all.
- Feeling thirsty doesn’t just mean that you need water. It means that you’ve needed water for a while. Thirst is your body’s way of saying it’s been toooo long.
- One of the sure signs of early dehydration is a heavy, foggy headache, the kind that makes it hard to think straight. Instead of reaching for the ibuprofen, try drinking a glass or two of water first, then see if that clears your head and thoughts.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Happy Monday everyone!! For most of my life I have always considered myself ahead of the trend train. Anything that is related to beauty, fashion and design I just have that feeling and I buy it and try it before it becomes five times more expensive. I've gotten a laugh or twenty before when I've been explaining "why I'm doing or wearing this" but when it's ahead of the boom people don't take me seriously. For example I was all about ombre nails and hair, pineapple prints, brond hair color, Birkenstock's and fishtails way before it was covering your Pinterest pages. Just a few weeks ago I had another moment where I had a feeling about what's going to be hot next and I figured I would create a post all about it to document my genius mind. I'm not claiming a certain day this will happen but I'm going to say these will be big in the next year. XO, Erica
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Okay so if you didn't know the last couple of months have been a HUGE change for me. I got a promotion at work, I moved into my very first place all by myself and I adopted a 2 year old Golden Retriever named Brinkley. On top of that I know that the next 12 months are going to be amazing. I can just sense some of my best years coming on and I can't wait. So in the mix of all of that I think I have finally made a decision about what I want to do as a career. It's funny because it's something that people have been telling me since I was like 10 years old that I should do. It's still in the works so I promised I wouldn't say anything to anyone yet until we figure out more. But while I was over checking to see if Megan had posted anything recently I was pumped to read her newest post and I thought it might be helpful for some of you since it goes along the lines of career's. Have a great weekend!! XO, Erica
Advice for the young, ballsy, and indecisive.
I’ve received a lot of questions from readers lately about careers and jobs, mostly from those in high school, college, or recent graduates. The questions take many forms and specific topics, but the underlying panic is:
"What the hell should I do for a career?!"
Some people seem to know innately what they were born to do, and forge ahead accordingly. Meanwhile, others struggle with the big life decision of settling on a career path. I’ve been on both sides of this coin. I’m only in my late twenties and still figuring things out myself, so I don’t suggest that I have all the answers - but I have learned a few things along the way.
Here are my words of advice, along with a few tools and resources that might help if you’re feeling stuck, indecisive, or anxious about the pressure to Choose Your Perfect Career.
First of all, though, let’s agree on one thing:
The concept of a “perfect career” as we commonly think of it is bullshit. It contains the romantic, narrow, and dangerously incorrect notion that there’s only type of job, profession, or career that you will ever be happy in.
Throw away the fairy tale.
There are no such thing as soul mates, and there is no such thing as your one true perfect career. You can be happy doing a variety of things for love and money.(click to tweet)
I held onto this belief for way too long. From a very young age I believed with full conviction that the life of a gallery-represented painter was the only career that would make me happy, and my ability to achieve this was the only measure by which I could consider myself successful (I know, heavy right?). I drowned my creativity under waves of pressure and perfectionism, trying to live up to my own lofty expectations in an intensely competitive and completely nonsensical market. Thankfully, I was able to dig myself out of this, with my love of painting fragile but intact, and my sense of self sharpened.
Chances are you’ve been trained to think very singularly about “what you want to do for the rest of your life.” You’ve been (or will be) asked to choose a major in college, maybe even put through lessons and too many extracurricular activities and given aptitude tests. And yes, to get through a college education you will need to choose a major and place your bets on a particular course of action. But the truth is, you are a dynamic, multifaceted being with so many potential directions. You will do many things in life, go down many roads you can’t even foresee right now. And what specific topic you choose to study in college really, honestly, will not matter in the long run, in most cases.
What does matter is what you choose to do with your unique matrix of interests, useful skills, and knowledge. I believe firmly in the concept of designing your own career path. Not everyone has the same path towards the same job (I’m a former painting major now working in social strategy at an advertising agency, for example), and the landscape changes every day. When I was in school, and for even a few years after, the job I have now didn’t even exist.
An entrepreneurial attitude to your career and life is no longer optional. There is no longer a blueprint to follow. You’ve got to make your own way.
"Great! Except… I have no idea where to start."
If you weren’t blessed with a strong passion or career direction early on in life, please know that you are in fact, quite normal. You probably even hold the advantage - you’re open to many things early on (remember how my initial passion turned out to be quite narrow?). At this stage, it’s a good idea to do some research - about yourself. You are always changing and growing, so no matter where you are in your career, it’s always helpful to check in and get to know you a little better. In my experience, there’s no better way to do this than to put pen to paper.
1. If you want to know yourself, start writing.
Guided writing exercises and workbooks were most helpful to me when I broke free of the idea that there was One True Thing I was supposed to do in life. At that point, 3 years out of college, the girl who always knew what she wanted to do with her life found herself squarely on her ass, unemployed in a new city, wondering anxiously what was next.
Books can help you, and even give you a somewhat false sense of productivity, but nothing helped more than digging up my own words and arranging them on paper in a way that made sense. It’s totally a metaphor for what’s going on inside you - a jumble of confusion, the right parts are there somewhere but out of order. In a very real way, writing helps put the puzzle pieces together.
I spent a lot of time reading and poring through books, digital downloads, and countless articles online, but nothing helped guide me through this messy, transformative process like The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte.
Because of the writing exercises and guidebooks I found in The Desire Map, I came out on the other side a little clearer, and with a firmer understanding that how I want tofeel every day should be at the core of these important life decisions. Once you know this, you have your very own proverbial North Star to guide you in countless ways.
(Full disclosure: if you click the link above and decide you want to try The Desire Map too, I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale - but please know I would never endorse something I didn’t use and love myself. In fact, I purchased The Desire Map years ago and still refer to the scribbled notes I took in it frequently.)
And if you already have a passion, and are sure you know what you want to do, great!
As you get older and more experienced, be open to letting that unfold and evolve. I clung desperately to this narrow idea of what I was supposed to do with my life mostly out of fear. Everyone my whole life expected me to become a successful artist, and I’d seen so many people give up along the way — the last thing I wanted was to be seen as giving up too. But after a while, I realized I’ll always be an artist so long as I keep painting, external recognition be damned - and anyone who thinks otherwise can jump in a lake. Plenty of successful artists hold down day jobs, and many even keep them when they don’t need the money because they like them and find them fulfilling. It doesn’t have to be so black and white.
Which leads me to my second piece of advice…
2. If you want to understand how others have done it, stalk people on LinkedIn.
When I was “squarely on my ass” and unemployed with no direction, the reason I figured out what kind of careers might be a good fit for me is I incessantly stalked people on LinkedIn.
Get on LinkedIn if you’re not, and search for people who started from similar places.It’s not hard to reverse-engineer their career paths. How did they move from one job to another? The more digital-savvy of them will have very complete profiles that easily allow you to examine how they got from A to B, or what traits or job responsibilities helped them pivot from one industry or role to another if something wasn’t working for them.
LinkedIn recently even launched a tool called Field of Study Explorer to make your stalking/reverse-engineering even easier. Check it out in their new blog post (well worth a read all on its own), "Does Studying Fine Art = Unemployment? Introducing LinkedIn’s Field of Study Explorer."
A writer for Mashable also tested this idea, working with LinkedIn’s data science team to find his “future self” among other LinkedIn users with a similar background: "How LinkedIn Found My ‘Future’ Self."
In my case, there were several people who unknowingly helped me understand what my possibilities were, but one in particular later became my friend. One day while searching for profiles and jobs on LinkedIn, I saw that a fun-looking woman around my age named Elysa had attended my university for a graphic design degree and worked her way from designer to well-known leader in the field of digital strategy (and asuccessful blogger to boot!). She was kind enough to meet me for coffee on her way to a speaking engagement at SXSW. I learned so much from that one conversation — as a jobless 25 year old, I understood at that point that the only thing separating me from progress was myself.
The only thing was, I still needed to figure out how to make money from what I’d discovered with The Desire Map.
Remember that unique matrix of useful skills, interests, and knowledge I mentioned earlier?
3. Well, here it is:
It’s critical to remember that if you want to make money at something, it has to be useful to others. This very basic principle applies whether you’re someone’s assistant (no shame here, I’ve done it!) in which you are selling your organizationalservices in exchange for benefits and a salary, or you’re a gallery painter selling theproduct of artwork that brings real joy to its new owners.
To understand these transactions as anything else (I’m just an employee! I’m not selling anything or, I’m not selling a product - how dare you, I’m an artist!) is to not fully understand business or the real world, or as Ramit Sethi calls it, the game being played around you. And the sooner you get on board with this concept, the better equipped you’ll be to find a career that both makes you happy and makes you money.
My very sincere advice would be to think long and hard about what you enjoy doing (even just hobbies - doesn’t have to be “job-like”) and what you’re naturally skilled at (things like “being a good listener” and “talking to people about their problems” totally count here, by the way) and compare that to what you think might actually be useful to random people you don’t know. Put more simply,
What are you good at or enjoy doing that solves other people’s problems?
Start there. With some soul searching, writing, and very realistic analysis, you’ll find yourself starting down a path to a long, lucrative career path that is uniquely yours, fun, exciting and never static.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Happy Saturday ya'll! I'm feeling really country today so I figured what better way then to give you a little taste of some Southern hospitality. I've been wanting to post more recipes for a while now but I just haven't come across any that I love that much to share. So while I was checking out some of Ree's recipes over at The Pioneer Woman I discovered an amazing new way to do baked potatoes!! If you didn't know I'm a HUGE potato lover and when fall comes around I have some almost everyday. Yes, it's bad I know. I posted the recipe print out below as well so if you are looking for something fresh to make this Fall - here ya go! I hope you are all having a great weekend!! XO, Erica