My Favorite Things: September

My Favorite Things: SeptemberLike many of you, I spent yesterday morning watching the news with a heavy, broken heart. Deep sadness for the victims and their loved ones, frustration that these horrific acts of violence continuously occur—there’s a swelling of emotion surrounding events like this that make hitting the publish button on a “my favorite things” blog post seem trivial and even inappropriate.

And in a way, I’m glad I feel uncomfortable posting regularly scheduled content. I hope the day never comes that I/we are so desensitized to this type of brutality that we simply go about business as usual without any thought. There’s no “right” way to respond to something that is so wrong, but I think responding in some way (privately or publicly) is important.

Sharing kind words, prayers or a favorite quote on social media are certainly sweet and unifying gestures. If you’re like me and want to put action behind those words from afar, donating what you can to the Las Vegas Victims Fund is a small way in which to help. Of course there are larger national issues at play which contribute to the frequency and occurrence of these events, and working to make the changes necessary to prevent these tragedies in the future is the most significant way in which we as a country can take action.

I certainly don’t mean to imply an hierarchy of tragedy by taking the time to talk about Las Vegas today while responding in private to other recent natural disasters and acts of violence. Moving forward, I’ll share links to the charitable organizations to which I donate if you guys would find that helpful in getting involved. 100% of the proceeds from Unidos Por Puerto Rico go to hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, while we’re on the topic.

Sending lots of love to all those affected by these tragedies.

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My Favorite Things: September

Favorite Products + Services

Hubway

I believe it was Maya Angelou who once said, “The best gifts for others are those which you actually buy for your own selfish benefit.”

So for Joe’s birthday this past summer, I bought him an annual Hubway membership so that he could ride to and from his office (our old apartment was just a little too far for him to comfortably walk). Welp, we ended up moving literally right around the corner from his office, so I took the Hubway pass back from him and now use it myself to get to Btone in the morning. Best gift ever or what?!?!

Ok so maybe I owe him another birthday gift, but jokes aside, Hubway is making my life so much easier. I don’t feel safe riding bikes in the city during busy times, so I only use it at 5:30AM when I need to get to the studio to teach, but it’s still a GAME CHANGER.

Thrive

I’m late in hopping on the Thrive train, but love the service now. Basically you pay a yearly membership fee ($59.95) and can then shop healthy foods and natural products at 25-50% off retail prices. It’s great for pantry bulk items and snacks, but I actually use it most for household and skincare/beauty products.

I was so excited to see they offer Aura Cacia essential oils, and that alone makes the Thrive membership fee worth it for me right now. With my aromatherapy certification, I was given small vials of all the essential oils I’d need, but as I progress through the course and want to experiment with more blends, I find myself purchasing a lot of oils.

As a bonus to Thrive, when you join, you are also sponsoring a free membership for a low-income family. Love that! You can get an additional 25% off your first order and free shipping if you sign up using my affiliate link.

Ionic Clay Mask from Botanics

I was gifted a few Botanics products and am a big fan of this Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask. I have naturally oily skin and like to do a clay mask once or even twice a week.

Favorite Eats

Lantana Sriracha Carrot Hummus

This might sound a little odd but OMG is it good! Lantana has a bunch of fun hummus blends (I also really like their Edamame Hummus), but Sriracha Carrot is topping my list of favorites right now.

Fudgy Chai Blender Muffins

These fudgy chai blender muffins are vegan and gluten-free. Make them with or without a vanilla glaze.

Obsessed with the fudgy chai blender muffin recipe I shared here a couple weeks ago! If you haven’t made them yet, get on it. 🙂

Favorite Things I…

Watched

  • The SinnerThis is an 8-part mini series on USA with Jessica Beil that everyone seems to be talking about, and if you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend it as your next binge. I couldn’t stop watching, but was a bit disappointed with the ending—anyone else?! I don’t want to give any spoilers so I won’t go into detail on my opinions but the ending left me feeling like, “Wait, what. That’s what happened?! Meh.”
  • The Vietnam War | This 10-part series by Ken Burns on PBS is so good! Joe and I love any sort of historical documentary, but his dad actually fought in Vietnam so this era is always of particular interest.
  • Foo Fighters: Back and ForthI don’t even particularly love Foo Fighters music, but found this Netflix documentary on the band super interesting. I’m always blown away by how talented some musicians are. For Dave Grohl (<–I originally published this accidentally writing “Anthony Kiedis,” who is incredibly talented as well but is definitely not in the Foo Fighters lol) to play drums in Nirvana and then switch to singing and guitar in Foo Fighters—maybe it’s just because I’m personally tone deaf but that diversity of musical talent always just blows my mind. Speaking of talented musicians, the Lady Gaga documentary on Netflix was good, too, but not what I expected. Takeaways from Five Foot Two: Lady Gaga is extremely talented; she’s extremely driven to work as hard as she does despite the pain she’s in; and she smokes a sh*t ton of weed. 😉

Listened to

  • Casefile True Crime Podcast – Jonestown Episodes | I’m new to this podcast and have only listened to their most recent three-part series on Jonestown so far, but loved it. I knew the general story of the Jonestown mass suicide/murder, but this went deep into the background, showing the evolution (devolution is more like it) of Jim Jones from childhood till the end. Fascinating and horrifying.
  • The Morning Breath PodcastThe Morning Breath is Claudia Oshry (the girl behind the @girlwithnojob Instagram meme account) and her sister Jackie talking about the “fast five” entertainment news stories of the day. It’s a guilty pleasure for sure (lots of reality TV talk) but I find it hilarious. Some episodes I literally laugh out loud while walking down the street.
  • Tom Petty | I couldn’t love Tom Petty’s music more and was so sad to hear of his passing. Spotify has a tribute playlist of all his music that you can listen to here. It’s hard to pick favorites because he has so many legendary songs, but Mary Jane’s Last Dance will always top my list. Reminds me of summers on the Vineyard growing up, driving around with the windows down. RIP TP.

Favorite Moments

Tone It Up Tour & Meeting Jillian Michaels

I had so much fun at the Tone It Up Tour event in Boston early this month. So fun getting to meet Katrina & Karena and Jillian Michaels, and after three 30-minute workouts (CorePower Yoga, Jillian, TIU) celebrated with some rosé and hair braiding. Yes, that makes it sound like a Basic Bitch Convention but whatever, I love that shit. 😉 #basicandproud

Sublime with Rome & The Offspring Concert


Joe and I went to see Sublime with Rome and The Offspring at The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion and talk about a throwback for this 90’s kid! Brought me right back to my childhood. So much fun!

Favorite Follow

  • @rogermathewsnj | Big shoutout to Ashley for turning me on to the hilarity that is JWoww’s husband on Instagram. If you’re easily offended, he may not be for you, but otherwise, drop what you’re doing and follow him. It’s a lot of poking fun at himself, married life, raising kids.

If you guys have other recommendations for hilarious and borderline inappropriate people to follow on Instagram, please share. I’m at my max capacity of inspirational quotes, I need more funny in my feed!

My monthly favorites posts are never sponsored, however they typically contain a few affiliate links. I get sent a lot of free products, and the first section of this post might highlight a couple of my favorites. I’m never required to or being paid to feature these freebies and only share the ones I truly love and think my readers will enjoy as well.

My Favorite Things: July

Summer is flying by! With July in the review mirror, it’s time for my monthly roundup of favorite things.

Favorite Products/Services

Crowdsourced Eyebrow Products

I asked those who watch my Instagram stories for recommendations on brow products and was overwhelmed by all the responses—you guys are the best! I don’t wear a lot of makeup and generally feel confident without it, but I do love full eyebrows and some mascara when I’m not in workout clothes. Three brands were overwhelmingly recommended, so I thought I’d share them here for anyone else looking for eyebrow products:

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills | Most of you said to get the Brow Wiz Pencil or the Dipbrow Pomade. I’m going to try the pomade and will let you know on Instagram how it goes!
  2. Benefit Cosmetics | I had my makeup done at Benefit for an event this past winter and loved how my brows looked, so I’m not surprised this brand was recommended a ton. Top products were ka-Brow! Cream-Gel Eyebrow Color with Brush,  Goof Proof Brow Pencil and Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel.
  3. Glossier’s Boy Brow | A lot of you seem to swear by this product so it must be good!

Oofos Slides

These aren’t exactly the sleekest, most fashionable sandals but oh em gee are they comfortable. Joe makes fun of me when I wear them (“Are you wearing Crocs?!”) but they’re not being retired any time soon. Oofos sandals are intended to be worn post-workout and I’m pretty sure were given at a discount to Boston Marathon runners at the expo this year. They’re padded for impact absorption, have a lot of arch support and are seriously just the most comfortable things. I wear mine all the time.

Favorite Eats

Chocolate Chunk Cookie Blondies from Cake in a Crate x Ambitious Kitchen

I had heard about Cake in a Crate (think Blue Apron but with dessert) through social media, but it wasn’t until I saw Monique had a recipe included that I decided to give it a try. Any time I need a cookie recipe, her blog is my go-to! I made these Chocolate Chunk Cookies in blondie form and they did not disappoint.

Zucchini Fritters from Clover Food Lab

I ordered these at Clover thinking they’d be like zucchini french fries or tots. I was (pleasantly) surprised to find that instead of an afternoon snack, I’d accidentally ordered dessert. If fried dough and zucchini bread had a baby, these fritters would be the result. If you’re in Boston, I highly recommend trying them next time your sweet tooth needs to be satisfied!

Avocado Alfredo Sauce from Simply Quinoa

I tried Simply Quinoa’s vegan avocado alfredo sauce the other week and loved it. Don’t let my junky iPhone picture throw you off—it’s delish.

Favorite Things I …

Read

  • Ask Andrew W.K.: My Dad Is a Right-Wing Asshole via Village Voice | Despite the fact that every other sentence ends in a preposition (that drives the writer in me crazy!!), I loved this piece. A beautiful reminder to not reduce people to a set of religious or political views:

“Don’t feel the need to always pick a side. And if you do pick a side, pick the side of love. It remains our only real hope for survival and has more power to save us than any other belief we could ever cling to.”

“Most public health experts recommend a diet that emphasizes plant foods and limits animal foods. But unless you bring in concerns about animals, the environment, and social justice, you can’t make the case for a vegan diet as the only sensible way to eat.”

“I would guess that this film might also turn off a sizable segment of the population who recognize the hype, the over-the-top conspiracy mongering, and the shoddy science. For many, it’s likely to reinforce any negative view they may already have of vegans.”

Watched

Favorite Moments

4th of July Week on the Cape & Vineyard

I feel like a fraud posting this picture on a roundup of favorites because Joe and I were actually in a stupid fight over nothing this day (LOL). When this pic was taken, I wanted to push him off the boat, he wanted to push me off the boat, and our friends probably wanted to push the two of us in. I’m always on time or early, like to plan ahead, and do things efficiently. Joe is 20 minutes to 3 hours late for everything and flies through life by the seat of his pants. Needless to say, traveling can spark some colorful arguments that we always laugh about the next day. 😉

The start to this vacation was no different! But the rest of it was absolutely wonderful. A couple days boating around the Cape and then a week at home on the Vineyard. Gotta love summertime in New England!

Btone Southie Photoshoot

Photo by Nick Cosky

I’ve missed every new studio photoshoot since I’ve been teaching for one reason or another and finally made it to the Btone shoot for Southie this month. Speaking of Btone, starting today my new weekly schedule is:

  • Wednesdays Back Bay 6, 6:55 & 7:50 AM
  • Wednesdays North End 4:30 & 5:25 PM
  • Thursdays Back Bay 6 & 6:55 AM

Weekend on the Jersey Shore

We spent this past weekend on the Jersey Shore with Joe’s family and put in a solid 8-hour shift at the boardwalk and waterpark with the kids (nephews and niece). I had heard rumors that MTV’s Jersey Shore cast was filming a reunion and I had my eyes peeled, but no Snooki sightings. 😉

My monthly favorites posts are never sponsored, however they typically contain a few affiliate links. I get sent a lot of free products, and the first section of this post might highlight a couple of my favorites. I’m never required to or being paid to feature these freebies and only share the ones I truly love and think my readers will enjoy as well.

My Favorite Things: June

Hi friends! With the long weekend approaching, I’ve got a (very) shortened edition of Favorites for you this month. Tomorrow I’m heading down to the Cape and after a day or two there it’ll be on to the Vineyard. Gotta love the 4th of July in Massachusetts! I’m taking this coming week off from teaching and for the most part blogging, but I do have a workout scheduled for you guys on Monday so be sure to check back here for that! 🙂

June Favorites

Think Dirty

I’ve had this app for a while, but for some reason am just now really using it. You can scan or search for any beauty/skincare product and it will break down the ingredients and any health concerns associated with them. I’m in the market for a new sunscreen so I’ve been vetting out my options using the app. Naturopathica has an awesome SPF 17 that I’ve been using for my face for a while now, but it’s expensive AF so I need something else for my body. I’m going to try out Beautycounter’s SPF 30 and will keep you guys posted on how I like it.

Invisibilia

If you like This American Life, you’ll love NPR’s Invisibilia podcast. It’s about “the invisible forces that control human behavior”—so it shares stories about ideas, beliefs, emotions and other intangibles. Really well done, engaging stories, and makes you think. It’s a wonderful listen!

Father’s Day Weekend on the Vineyard

tank & leggings c/o Fierce + Regal

I spent a long weekend at home on the Vineyard for Father’s Day and it was so wonderful. I did a class at One Hot Yoga, enjoyed drinks on the water in OB for Harbor Fest, ate some delicious vegan food at Not Your Sugar Mamas, took lots of naps, and even got some blogging work done. The weather didn’t give us a beach day, but it didn’t matter—I always love being on the island.

That’s all for me! Enjoy your long weekend!