52 hike challenge // hike one // big schloss

It was my birthday this weekend, and I decided to celebrate it outdoors - hiking. I decided on one of my favorite hikes - Big Schloss. It's located in the George Washington National Forest. It's a little over four miles, and the views are amazing. This hike is a moderate hike in difficulty, and a great leg workout! This hike is kid, and dog friendly too. 

For my 35th birthday, I decided to commit to the 52 Hike Challenge! I have my list already planned, in no specific order, but I am ready to cross off 52 hikes this year! Want to join the challenge? Click here for all the info!! 

Let's hike!!

xo, Steph 


holistic health // dry brushing

While searching for natural ways to help with cellulite, I found a few articles on dry brushing. At first the thought of brushing my skin sounded painful. After reading about all the benefits of dry brushing, I decided to find the perfect brush, and give it a try.

I was unsure of how the brush would feel on my skin, so I bought two brushes. I found one at Target, and the other at Vitacost. You want to look for a brush that has natural bristles, and with a handle.

  • helps with battling cellulite
  • removes dry skin
  • removes toxin from your body 
  • helps with clogged pores 
  • energizes your lymphatic system

I started doing this first thing in the morning before getting in the shower. I start at my feet, and work my way up my body in small circular motions. I do this for about five minutes, take a warm shower, and then moisturize my skin with coconut oil after my shower. I try to do this in the evening after the gym, but before a shower. 

I use the less abrasive brush (the brush on the left; found at Target) for my upper chest, neck, and face. Dry brushing your face helps with aging, removing dead skin cells, and renewing your skin. When dry brushing your skin, don't pull your skin down, always go up, and use circular motions. This will help prevent wrinkles!!! I only do this for about a minute, and then apply coconut oil to my face, neck, and upper chest after taking a shower. 

I have only recently started dry brushing, I can't wait to update you after doing this for a month. 

xo, Steph


meal prep // staying on track

I love meal prep Sunday's. Seriously. I feel really organized, and it starts off the week on track. My meals are simple, and easy. I also, want my meals to be filling and easy, but not boring.

This week I made baked chicken with over roasted green beans, and sweet potatoes for lunch. I pack everything into my Pyrex dish, and just grab it in the morning to take to work. I have been stuck on eating prosciutto egg cups. They are really filling, and I just add a veggie as a side. Super easy, and doesn't require a lot of work.

I am so happy to have fresh strawberries, and blueberries to eat again! If you are looking for glass dishes to store your meals in, check out Target for Pyrex dishes. I love my dishes, they have held up really well, and they are great for portion control. Also, Ikea has really nice glass dishes too that are similar to the Pyrex ones.

Here's to staying on track!

xo, Steph 

holistic health // coconut oil benefits

Do you know that there are so many things that you can do with coconut oil, besides cooking? I have two jars of coconut oil, one for my kitchen, and one I keep in the bathroom. My favorite brand is Trader Joe's. It's organic, cold-pressed, and unrefined.

There are so many things you can do with coconut oil. Oil pulling, makeup remover, hair mask, lotion, face wash, moisturizer, healing chapped lips - I feel like the list can go on, and on!

Every morning I oil pull while I take a shower. Oil pulling is great to help whiten your teeth, suck out toxins from your body, and keep your mouth clean. I just grab a glob, and swish it around in my mouth for about 15 minutes, spit in the the trash, rinse with warm salty water, and then brush my teeth. 

I used to think using coconut oil as a moisturizer would make my skin oily. Not so much. I don't buy moisturizers anymore, and just use coconut oil after washing my face. It really makes my skin glow, and I don't breakout from it either. After I rub it on my face, neck, and chest, I rub it into my cuticles for extra protection. I have really dry cuticles, and it really keeps them from cracking. Also, this makes the best eye makeup remover. I just take a tiny bit, rub it on my face, and then take a cotton ball to remove all the excess makeup. 

If you have really dry hair, or want to help your hair grow - do a coconut oil mask. I love doing coconut oil masks for my hair. I take a glob, rub it into my hair, and let it sit overnight while wrapped in a towel. I wash my hair the next day, and let it air dry. Coconut oil also helps remove buildup from your scalp, which will help your hair grow faster. Win, win. 

This is probably the best $5.99 I spent. 

xo, Steph 


target haul // whole30 approved

Target has really stepped up their grocery game. They even carry my favorite brand of eggs - Vital Farms. I was really impressed with all the ORGANIC options too. I am always reading labels while grocery shopping. I look for organic, and NON-GMO foods. I try to keep my meals simple, easy, and don't require a lot of prep. I like meals that I can grab, and go. This also helps with our grocery budget, and not wasting food.

Even though my kids do not eat Paleo, I make sure they food I make them is healthy, and not loaded full of crap. High fructose corn syrup, dyes, words I cannot pronounce are things we try to avoid. Target has a great brand called Simply Balanced that is really awesome. My kids LOVE their pasta noodles, and sauces!

Thank you, Target!! You are really stepping up your grocery game!!

xo, Steph 


Accountability // BBG 1.0

For the past six months or so, I have lost complete interest in a lot of the things that I used to enjoy. I think I was trying to do a lot of things towards the end of the year, and just let myself go. I have gained weight - just being honest. Completed a Whole90 hoping to get back into my routine, and then gained back six pounds after completing it. I honestly have had enough of this feeling, and decided to start AGAIN with the Bikini Body Guide workouts.

I used post fitness related posts, do yoga, run, and live at the gym. Now, I struggle with just getting a workout in. I bought the BBG workouts, back around the holiday's hoping it would motivate me during the winter. Not so much. I have made it to week three, once, and completed week 1 15 times. One thing that I have stopped doing, is making time for myself, and that is changing.

So, I am going to go back to posting more fitness posts to keep me accountable. The workouts are really worth trying. You don't need to have a gym membership, and you can do the workouts in your living room. Sounds easy, right?

Here's to getting back on track in 2016!

xo, Steph 


Meal Prep Sunday // Prosciutto Egg Cups

Prosciutto egg cups have been my go-to meal in the mornings. They take less than 20 minutes to make, and are so yummy! The best part is minimal dishes, and easy clean up!

  • muffin tin
  • prosciutto
  • eggs
  • salt + pepper   
  1. preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. line the muffin cups with prosciutto
  3. crack in egg in each lined prosciutto cup
  4. season with salt + pepper
  5. bake for 15 minutes, or until your egg is cooked to your desire
  6. enjoy!

Quick and easy!!

xo, Steph 

Whole30 at Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's is amazing. I am glad I was introduced to this grocery store. They have the best selection of healthy, inexpensive, and organic food. I always thought TJ's was expensive. Not so much. They offer such an awesome selection of food.

While shopping there recently, I FINALLY found the cauliflower rice. I really thought it was an urban legend. I have search multiple stores, and could never find it, or they would be sold out for MONTHS. I know you can make your own, but I might be a lazy cauliflower rice maker. Seriously.

Here are a few of my go-to Trader Joe's Whole30 Approved items:

  • Bananas - I eat A LOT of bananas 
  • Tuscan Kale
  • Plantain Chips 
  • Lemons & Limes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Chicken Chile Lime Burgers
  • Turkey Burgers 
  • Tomatoes 
  • Olives
  • Zucchini 
  • Oranges

This whole cart was only $49!! I am a big grocery store shopper, and I love to shop around. Trader Joe's has some really amazing deals!! 

xo, Steph 

Whole30 Meals // On-the-Go

I feel like I am always eating on-the-go. I know it's probably not the healthiest choice, but I am always prepared. My commute each morning to work is around two hours, and it takes me about the same amount of time to get home at night. To make my meals easier, I try to eat high protein meals, and add veggies to all meals. Brussels sprouts for breakfast - yes. Asparagus for dinner - yes. Grilled chicken, and all the veggies - most def. Do I get bored with eating eggs all time? No. Eggs keep me full longer. I feel if I eat oatmeal for breakfast, I want to eat again, and again.

Here are a few of my go-to meals. I really eat a lot of this on repeat! It's filling, and simple and easy to make.

I love making prosciutto egg cups. They take less than 20 minutes to make, and they are so filling! Add a side of oven roasted sweet potatoes, and a fruit - and you're set for breakfast!

I eat a lot of chicken! I bake it in the oven, seasoned with sea salt + pepper, and enjoy! I love it with salads, or just throwing it all into a bowl with a bunch of veggies!

Soft boiled eggs are my JAM. I could eat them with everything! They are so easy to make. I boil water, add the eggs, let them boil for seven minutes, and then run the eggs under cold water for a minute, peel, and enjoy! They are so good with brussels sprouts!! 

Chicken apple sausages are perfect for any meal of the day. They are so good with some sauerkraut, and mustard. You don't always have to have traditional breakfast food in the morning! These are perfect wrapped in lettuce, and out the door you go! 

I love AVOCADO. Seriously. Wrapped in prosciutto, with some soft boiled eggs - perfection. SO EASY. This meal took less than ten minutes to make, and it was SO FILLING. All good fats here.

Remember doing a Whole30 shouldn't be stressful, and meal planning is always key!

xo, Steph  


Capsule Wardrobe // The Basics

Things I have stopping buying - trendy clothing. Things that I have started buying - minimalist pieces. I am slowly creating a capsule wardrobe, and I am not wasting money on trendy items. I feel like I was wasting my money on items that are trendy to wear for a season, the trend fades, and that article of clothing is pushed to the back of my closet, and forgotten about. Then it will take up space in my closet for the next two years. That isn't happening anymore. I am buying clothing that I can wear year round.

I wear A LOT of black, grey, and some neutrals. I like it. I feel like all those colors look great together, they are simple, and I can add my own style with my shoes, and accessories. Creating a capsule wardrobe also helps with things other than clothing. You will have more time, money, and focusing on important things - like life. Prior to reading about creating a capsule wardrobe, I would spend a lot of time trying to find things to wear. Now, my routine is simple, and stress free.

Every girl needs comfortable black booties. These can be worn year round, dressed up, and dressed down. Leggings, skirts, jeans, and a great pair of denim shorts would look great with them. Simple, and easy style that can go a long way. I found the perfect pair of black booties at DSW. I shop for all my shoes at DSW. They have awesome deals, customer service, and you get rewards for purchases. Crown Vintage is one of my favorite brands of shoes. They are quality shoes, and will last forever. I found these for less than $50 here.

I can't wait to keep you updated on my pieces for my capsule wardrobe! I will be blogging about keeping it simple, and within a budget. Creating a capsule wardrobe shouldn't be stressful, or break the bank!!

xo, Steph 

How to Clean your Makeup Brushes

Saturday's are for relaxing, coffee, and getting organized. Since I don't wear a lot of makeup on the weekends, I like to clean my makeup brushes. It only takes a few minutes to do, and will keep your face from breaking out. Think of all the crap that is stuck in your makeup brushes. It will also keep your brushes lasting longer. I don't have very expensive makeup brushes, but I do like to keep my things clean.

I am big on cruelty free makeup, and Eyes Lips Face ELF cosmetics is really all I use. I really LOVE their makeup brushes. They aren't pricey, they are sleek looking, and they have really good reviews. You can find ELF cosmetics at Target, or you can shop their website online.

I try to clean my makeup brushes once a month. I don't have some crazy routine, and it takes only a few minutes.

First I take each individual brush and run lukewarm water over the bristles, then I use a mild soap to clean them. I love using Dr. Bronner's pure castile soap in Baby Mild. This brand is awesome - vegan, and cruelty free. I add a little soap to the bristles, and start cleaning the bristles while running the brush under the water. Sometimes it takes a second attempt getting the brush 100% clean. Once the brush is clean, I make sure all the water is removed from brush, and then I lay them down on a clean towel to air dry.

Simple, and easy! 

xo, Steph