What Was Inside My Summer BabbleBoxx

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Aside from a brief obsession with Bath & Body Works that was pretty much a rite of passage for 90’s kids (I can still identify the scent of Juniper Breeze and Cucumber Melon a mile away), I was never really interested in beauty and skincare products until I hit my late 20’s. I guess noticing your forehead start to crease every time you lift your eyebrows to apply mascara will cause your interests to shift. 😉

When I got this fun opportunity to receive a wellness and beauty BabbleBoxx, I was excited because all the brands involved where new to me and I always love discovering new products. I got to try everything from body scrubs to leggings, so let’s look inside my delivery! Some brands are offering reader discounts so be sure to keep an eye out below.

Tree Hut Shave Prep Body Scrub

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This Shave Prep Body Scrub from Tree Hut exfoliates, removing dead skin and lifting hair. As the name suggests, it’s great as a pre- hair removal scrub, but I also think it’d be perfect to prep your skin for a spray tan. It’s thick and gritty enough to efficiently exfoliate, but I didn’t find it to be too rough. There are oils in it (oat kernel oil and avocado oil among others) that help soothe the skin. Added brownie points for being paraben-free and made in the USA!

2(X)ist Tank Top & Leggings

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The Square-Cut Tank from 2(X)ist is slim fitting and made from cotton. It’s a good everyday tank and I know I’ll get a lot of use from it when the weather gets cold again and I’m constantly laying with sweaters. It’s $26.

2(X)ist has leggings in prints, ombres and solids. The style I went with has a mesh panel in the back of the calves which is a fun touch and there’s a hidden zipper pocket in back for storing keys or a card. The fabric is super comfortable. If you think of workout legging fabric on a spectrum of straight up spandex to soft everyday-wear cotton, these are towards the cotton side. Solids are $48 and prints are $52.

Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 Supreme

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LiftActiv Serum 10 Supreme is a lightweight anti-wrinkle and hydrating face serum containing Rhamnose (a sugar) and Fragmented Hyaluronic Acid. According to Vichy, this serum improves the signs of aging by reducing wrinkles and fine lines, evening out complexion, hydrating skin and giving it a plumped, lifted appearance. I’ve been using it regularly for only a bit more than a week so I can’t say the fine lines above my eyebrows have miraculously disappeared, but I have noticed a major difference in the hydration department! Air conditioning typically dries out my skin, but I’ve been feeling moisturized all day and night since using this serum (I put it on before bed and then in the morning after teaching). The serum is lightweight and absorbs quickly. It’s paraben-free.

READER DISCOUNT: You can get 20% off and free shipping on all LiftActiv products with the code BABBLEBOX (enter at checkout). The code is valid through 11:59pm PST, 06/30/2016. Offer cannot be combined with other discounts or gift sets.

Village Naturals Aches + Pains Muscle Relief Products

These Village Naturals products would be the BOMB.COM if you had a cold. Not to say the products aren’t good for other times, but the eucalyptus-spearmint-menthol ingredient combo just screams “cold remedy” to me with its natural ability to clear the sinuses and soothe achey muscles.

Village Naturals Aches + Pains Muscle Relief Foaming Bath Soak with Epsom Salt

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Epsom salt baths help ease stressed muscles. This one also contains oils and extracts to make a softly foaming bath that’s so relaxing!

Aches + Pains Muscle Relief Concentrated Mineral Bath Soak

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This is similar to the above bath soak. The combination of sea salt and epsom salt help to draw out impurities and ease tired muscles, and the concentrated formula means you get relief by using less than you’d need in a traditional epsom salt bath.

Aches + Pains Muscle Relief Foaming Bath Oil & Body Wash

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As far as scent goes, this one is a little less intense with the whole menthol-spearmint-yup-I’m-awake-now smell. You can use it as a bath oil or can put it on a loofa as a body wash (that’s how I’ve been using it).

READER DISCOUNT: $1 off any one Village Naturals Therapy product with this link.

IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara

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I rarely wear a full face of make up because my job involves either sweating or working alone in my apartment, mostly likely sans pants. That being said, I love mascara. It’s crazy the difference just that little oomf to my lashes makes (to me, anyway!). IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara combines strengthening biotin and collagen in its formula to create a thicker, longer lash appearance. I’ll let the before and after pictures speak for themselves!

In the picture below, the left side of my face has no mascara on it and the right lashes have a coat of the Superhero Mascara. And yes, I totally took these using the “pretty filter” in SnapChat so that my skin would look like that of a newborn. 🙂

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The brush makes for an even application of the mascara and I love that it’s easy to remove (with just my regular face wash it all came off).

Have you tried any of the products/brands in this post? Thoughts?

Have you discovered any new skincare/beauty products lately that you’re absolutely loving?
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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media. All opinions–as always!–are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible! 🙂

Golden Beet Salad with Avocado and Feta

Golden Beet Salad with Avocado & Feta

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PEOPLE®, Real Simple®, InStyle®, CookingLight® and Sunset®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Food pics and dog pics?? You guys are really striking internet gold with today’s blog post. 😉 I recently started walking my friend’s dog a few days a week, and it’s become an hour of “me time” I look forward to each afternoon. Headphones on, away from the computer, getting my daily dose of Vitamin D–I love it! And just look at this little cutie … cooking-light-1

I switch up where we go each day, and with the warm weather in full swing, these dog walks are the perfect excuse to get out of the apartment and soak in this beautiful city that I all too often take for granted. If we’re going to be crossing streets and weaving around crowds, I’ll pick out a podcast to listen to, but if I take the little fluff ball to the Public Garden, he spends so much time sniffing around trees that I can actually do some reading while we “walk” (aka stop to sniff and pee on every single bush in Boston).

For today’s post, I stopped by Shaw’s (<– you can get $1 off PEOPLE, InStyle, Real Simple, Cooking Light or Sunset magazine with that link) and picked up a Cooking Light for my trip to the park. Flipping through magazines is so relaxing to me, and food magazines in particular are perfect for blog recipe inspiration. Golden Beet Salad with Avocado & Feta

One of the pages I dogeared on my walk was a beet salad. Inspired by the recipe, I threw together this variation of arugula, golden beets, feta and avocado when I got home. So delicious! For the full recipe, check out the June issues of Cooking Light.Golden Beet Salad with Avocado & Feta

Golden Beet Salad with Avocado & Feta

I made this light and refreshing salad for dinner the other night along with some pan-cooked cod and quinoa and it was perfection.

You can visit your local participating  Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Pavilions, Tom Thumb, Randall’s, Shaw’s or Acme Market and get $1 off PEOPLE, InStyle, Real Simple, Cooking Light or Sunset magazine using the Just for U or MyMixx links.

What are your favorite magazines with which to unwind?

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PEOPLE®, Real Simple®, InStyle®, CookingLight® and Sunset®. The opinions and text are all mine.

12-Minute Bodyweight Tabata Workout Series: Full Body

12-minute bodyweight tabata workout

I hope you guys have enjoyed this bodyweight tabata series! I really wanted to get all five workouts posted by the end of the week and here we are pushing 11PM on Sunday … what can I say, I’ve always worked best under pressure. 😉

12-Minute Bodyweight Tabata Workout Series: Full Body


This workout is made up of three tabata supersets. For each tabata superset, set an interval timer for 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. During the work intervals, you’ll alternate between the two exercises. In other words: 20 seconds Exercise 1 / 10 seconds rest / 20 seconds Exercise 2 / 10 seconds rest and so on. Rest as needed between tabata supersets, but try to limit it to 60 seconds if possible.

Full-Body & Cardio Tabata Workout - 12 minute long and made up of three tabata supersets of bodyweight exercises

Tabata Superset 1

Breakdancer Kickthroughs | These are a little tricky to explain in words, so definitely watch the video (fast forward to about the 30-second mark). Start on all-hours, hands and balls of the feet on the floor. From here, you’re going to lift your left hand as you kick your right leg through, twisting your body upright so that you’re now facing up with your right hand and left foot on the ground as a base, your right leg extended out at a hover. Reverse the movement and flip it over to the other side. Continue side to side. I know, that made no sense. Just watch the damn video. 😉

Forearm Plank Hops | Start in a forearm plank (elbows stacked underneath shoulders, core pulled in tight—don’t let your low back sag or your butt stick up in the air). From here, hop your feet in unison to the right, back to center, to the left, and back to center. While you hop, try to hold your body in a straight line, not letting your bum pike up into the air.

Tabata Superset 2

Jump Lunge-Jump Lunge-Jump Squat | Jump lunge, jump lunge, jump squat, jump lunge, jump lunge, jump squat–that’s the pattern for this combo. Start in a lunge position, both knees bent to opposing 90-degree angles. From here, do two jump lunges, switching the front foot each time. Next time you jump, land in a squat position. Do a jump squat. Jump back into your lunge position and start from the top.

Speed Skaters | These are like side-to-side leaping curtsy lunges. Leap to the right, landing on your right foot and bending down to touch the ground by your foot with your left hand as you swoop your left foot behind the right (think of a curtsy). Come up, leaping left and reversing the move. Keep it going quickly, back and forth, trying to never let that back foot come to rest on the ground—keep the weight in the foot you land on.

Tabata Superset 3

Jump Tuck Burpees | This is a traditional burpee with a jump tuck instead of a basic overhead jump. From a standing position, squat down, bringing your hands to the floor. Hop your feet back into a plank position. Quickly hop them back up towards your hands. Do a jump tuck. For the jump tuck: Jump up into the air, using your core to pull your knees up towards your chest. Lower them quickly in time to land. You’ll want to bend your knees, sinking into a squat to prep for the jump, and you’ll land this same way, sinking into a squat to absorb the landing. As you jump up bring your hands in front of your rib cage and try to hit them with your knees.

Marching Plank Push Ups (alternate) | Start in a plank position, wrists stacked under shoulders. Lower onto your right forearm (keep your left hand planted right where it is, bending into that left elbow so that you can lower). As soon as your right forearm hits the ground, push into the left hand to press back up to straight arms in your starting plank position. Try to keep your hips level as you do this marching plank. To achieve that, you’ve got to bend into the stationary arm (don’t keep your left arm straight as you lower onto the right forearm). Isolate one side each round (so in total you’ll do it twice to the right, twice to the left).

This workout clearly kicked my butt:

12-minute bodyweight tabata workout

WEARING | Fabletics tank // leggings c/o Eddie Bauer // bra c/o Lululemon // Nike sneakers

Cheers to a productive, healthy week ahead!

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MORE WORKOUTS FROM THIS SERIES: