Current Summer Beauty Faves

Summertime is when I usually strip back my makeup and skin care routine to keep things minimal. I generally want to wear as little on my face as possible because I know I will inevitably just end up sweating it all off anyway. And having acne-prone skin makes me even more cautious about what I put on my face when it’s hot outside so as not to worsen my breakouts.

Luckily I found a few wonderful products that I’ve been loving this summer that have made getting ready a breeze! They’ve been my handy go-tos for the past 8 weeks so I can assuredly tell you that they work. They keep my makeup routine blissfully simple and most importantly, I don’t have to worry about breakouts when I use them.

  1. Urban Decay Naked Skin Hybrid Complexion Perfector. This little beauty has been a lifesaver for me! It’s much lighter than regular foundation, but still provides a decent amount of coverage, making it perfect for the summer. I love that it blends into my skin easily and I can hardly tell I even have it on!
  2. Rodial Glamolash Mascara XXL. I have very light lashes, so I’m obsessed with trying out new mascaras! Especially if I’m keeping the rest of my makeup simple, I’m all about having big, dark lashes. This one by Rodial has a pretty thick formula so it gives TONS of volume, so after one application I’m ready to go!
  3. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer. If you didn’t already guess, the reason I love this concealer is because- as the name states- it’s ~weightless~. It provides seriously good coverage yet has an ultra lightweight feel that you just can’t beat in the summer! Paired with the Complexion Perfector, my face looks ready in minutes without hardly any effort.
  4. Belif The True Cream- Aqua Bomb. At the end of a hot summer’s day, my skin usually feels a bit dry and parched from all that sun. But I’m very picky about moisturizers because my skin is naturally s0 oily. So when I found this amazing product, I immediately fell in love and haven’t used anything else since! It’s an oil-free, gel cream with a SUPER light formula (seriously, it’s unreal!) that instantly makes your skin feel hydrated. I put it on at night and wake up with my skin feeling more refreshed than ever and without any extra blemishes. I could honestly rave about this product for ages, but instead I’ll leave it at this: If you have oily skin and you’re looking for a great nightly moisturizer, you NEED this product in your life. Trust me.

These products have been my favorites this summer because they’re simple, light, and safe for blemish-prone skin. They’ve faithfully gotten me through these crazy 115 degree Arizona days, so I trust they can help you too!

What are your beauty favorites for the summer?

<3 Ash

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10 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Workout

Happy official first day of summer! For those of us in Arizona, it’s felt like summer since February, but I guess now we can officially claim to be in the new season! For me I feel that summertime is like a mini mid-year reset. It’s a time of year where I usually end up setting new goals and promising to practice all the hobbies I always say I want to try. I think it’s because there’s an illusion of endless extra free time in the summer that makes it seem possible to accomplish any of the goals you’ve been previously putting off.

And with summer being all about short shorts, crop tops, and bikinis, there’s always one goal that everyone seems to have in mind: Get. In. Shape. (ugh.)

Now what this goal actually looks like differs from person to person, but for me, it means getting my body toned, healthy, strong, (aka, not running out of breath every time I take the stairs). And while I’ve had this goal in mind probably every year since high school, it wasn’t until this spring that I actually found the motivation I needed to get it done! Believe me, it was not easy and despite even wanting to do get in shape, I was still reluctant to actually get it done. But after a whole lot of trial and error I finally got into a groove that I feel happy with!

I know I’m not the only one who probably had trouble getting going and sticking with it, so I wanted to share some of the tips and tricks that kept me going when it got hard! So here are my top 10 tips to motivate you to workout!

  1. Start small. The idea of beginning an exercise routine from scratch is already daunting, so don’t try to go from 0 to 100 right away. If you try to jump into an exhausting, intense regime at the start I found that you’ll be burnt out quick and unlikely to want to go back. Instead, try going to the gym just to walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes once a day. The workout will be super manageable and it will get you in the habit of going- which is the important part!. Once you’re in the habit of exercising, then try to up the difficulty to challenge yourself more.
  2. Set a goal. One of the quickest ways to lose motivation to go to the gym is when you can’t see any progress. So try to set yourself a specific goal so you can track how you’re doing. Instead of making your goal “lose weight” say “fit into my size 8 jeans”. Or instead of “get in shape” try “run a 7 minute mile”. This will help you guide your workout, monitor your progress, and track how close you are to reaching your goal. If you can see all the progress you’re making you’ll be motivated to keep going at it!
  3. If, then. To help yourself get into a routine of working out, try making an “if, then” statement about when you plan to exercise. For example, “If it is  9 am, then I will workout.” It seems random, but our brain actually remembers things better when they’re set in this format, so you’ll be more likely to remember to exercise if you practice this method.
  4. Find a workout buddy. It’s always nice to have someone by your side when tackling a difficult goal! But the key to making this tip work, is choosing a workout partner who already has a strong exercise routine. This way, they’ll be sure to keep you accountable for showing up.
  5. Buy cute gear. This seems silly, but one of the things that motivates me to workout is when I have cute clothes to wear. I love when I get to put on my brand new Nikes and my favorite pair of yoga pants! And when I look good, I feel good too, making me more likely to have an upbeat attitude about working out.
  6. Find the right activity. This is probably the most important tip I could offer. When people think of working out, they usually picture going to a gym. But whenever I have the opportunity, I prefer to do anything BUT go to the gym! There are so many ways you can workout that are not boring, so experiment around until you find something you like! My favorite ways to workout currently consist of running with my dogs, aerial yoga, and ballet fitness. When you find a workout routine you actually love doing, it will feel less like a chore and instead become a part of your day that you look forward to!
  7. Watch Netflix. Yep, you heard me. If all else fails, then just load up Netflix on your phone and watch tv while you workout! Even now I always have Netflix on my phone while I run on the treadmill. Watching Netflix helps distract me from the workout itself, making it easier to push myself more while I’m there. Plus let’s be honest, I was going to be watching Netflix anyway so now when I open my computer I think “Well, I may as well exercise while I watch” helping to motivate me to workout and reinforce the habit of going to the gym.
  8. Reward the baby steps. Working out is hard! So reward all your little milestones to keep yourself motivated to keep going! Buy yourself a few little non-food treats then give them to a friend to hang on to. Then once you reach a small goal, like making it to the gym every day this week, have your friend give you your well-earned reward! This will not only motivate you to keep going, but it’ll also help keep you accountable by sharing your goals with another person.
  9. Find a role model. One of the biggest sources of inspiration, and thus motivation, for me to workout comes from seeing someone I admire being strong and fit and healthy. I always love following model Karlie Kloss because she’s down to earth with a killer workout body. And more recently, after watching Wonder Woman I’ve become obesessed with Gal Gadot as a role model! She’s smart, confident, beautiful, and in spectacularly great shape! Seeing how strong and powerful her body is both in Wonder Woman and in real life makes me want to try harder to reach my own fitness goals!
  10. Stay positive. Last but not least, the best way to stay motivated to work out is to just stay positive! Getting your body healthy and staying in shape is not easy, so just remember to stay positive throughout the journey! A few ideas that worked for me include following motivational accounts on twitter, following fitness and health accounts on Instagram, and leaving positive notes for myself in my planner. Surrounding yourself with positivity everywhere you look will help you stay motivated that you CAN do this!

I know that staying motivated to work out can be a challenge, but I used all these tips to keep myself motivated, so hopefully at least one or two of them can help you too! And if you have any more tips to keep the motivation, be sure to share them in the comments! Happy exercising everyone!

<3 Ash

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Museum of Ice Cream

WOWWOWWOW.(!) By now I’m sure you’ve seen all the Buzzfeed articles featuring the Instagram-worthy magnificence that is the Museum of Ice Cream.  And my oh my can I say that it’s just as amazing in person as you’d hope!

If by some chance you haven’t heard of this ultra hipster destination, let me give you a little background. The MOIC first opened in New York as a small pop-up exhibit. And as the name suggests, the entire exhibit is all about (you guessed it!) ice cream! After wild success in New York, it moved cross-country to the capital of all hipster destinations, good old Los Angeles, where it will stay for the remainder of summer. Each room in this magically pop-up is designed with a specific theme related to ice cream. For example, there’s a banana room with scratch and sniff wall paper, a life-size popsicle sculpture room, a gummy bear room, and even an entire room dedicated to mint. And in most rooms, you’ll be treated with some sort of ice cream related snack such as actual gummy bears, mint mochi ice cream, or a pancake ice cream sandwich.

Perhaps what the exhibit is most famous for, however, is the giant sprinkles pool filled with thousands of plastic sprinkles that you can actually play in! It’s exactly as dreamy as it sounds and is sure to bring out the kid inside every adult. And to help make sure you can get some insta-worthy pics, they only let in a few people at a time to ensure you have the appropriate photo-taking environment ;).

The exhibit is forward moving, meaning once you leave a room you can’t come back, so guests usually spend quite a while taking pictures before moving on. Or in the case of my roommate and I, we spent at least 20 minutes in each room snapping photos while dozens of people passed us. Fun fact: by the time we got to the end, one of the co-founders recognized us and even exclaimed “You’re still here?!” LOL.

The admission price is a bit on the pricey side considering it’s a small exhibit, but if I had to do it all again, I’d go back in a heartbeat. You essentially earn your money back with all the treats you eat along the way, so I feel it’s worth it.

The Museum of Ice Cream is bright, trendy, colorful, unique, fantastical, and an all-around magical adventure that is sure to brighten your day and unleash your inner child! The whimsical exhibits are a sweet escape from reality and the endless photo opportunities are bound to give you a very enviable Instagram too ;).

<3 Ash

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Dreams

~Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.~

These past few weeks I’ve found myself in a very inspired mood. I’ve wanted to fall away from my mundane routine of life, and instead spend my time writing, or drawing, or painting, or traveling. I’ve being itching to try new things and explore and create and just generally do all the things I dream of doing but never seem to have time for. So I started setting aside time throughout the week to actually start doing some of these things! I wake up early to take pictures, I choose to practice calligraphy instead of watching Netflix, and I make sketches instead of napping. And it feels. so. good. Perhaps it was all the time I spent on Pinterest, or my visit to Artisanal LA’s spring market that inspired me. But whatever it was that got me in this mood doesn’t really matter anymore because the feeling stuck and gained momentum and now I’m just rolling with it! It feels so refreshing to spend my time making and creating rather than always just lounging and waiting. It makes me feel accomplished and productive at the end of the day, because even if I haven’t made a physical piece of art to show off, I know I’ve made progress, and that’s a huge step for me.

In complete honesty, I’ve always been one who avoided activities that could potentially lead to failure. Since I was young I have always held myself to unachievable high standards and it has made me terrified to step out of my comfort zone. If I wasn’t positive I could do something with at least some guaranteed level of accuracy, there was no way I was going to attempt it and embarrass myself.  If I was going to pick up a paintbrush, I better be creating a masterpiece or else there’s no reason in trying. And so I did exactly that- nothing. I shied away from painting and drawing and being creative because creativity meant stepping out of my comfort zone, which was simply too frightening.

But this month it finally dawned on me that I could practice without having to create a final product. I could try for the sake of trying, without having to be perfect. And I know it seems like such a simple and obvious statement, but this realization was such a relief for me. It freed me from my own constraints and allowed me to do all the things that I claimed I didn’t have time for, but really was just afraid to try. I finally gave myself permission to make mistakes which is something I haven’t done in a long time.

And so I’m doing as much as I can while this euphoria lasts to make the most of my newfound inspiration. I know that at some point the high will wear off and those creeping doubts will slowly try to resurface. But I’m hoping that after spending so much time just enjoying the progress, I won’t slip into that limiting, perfectionist mindset that I had before.

For the first time in a while, all the little things I used to dream of doing have finally started becoming a reality. And it’s neat to know that’s because I made them a reality. So I’m going to continue to write and paint and sketch and explore, even when it seems scary or hard, because nothing is better than this feeling I have knowing that I’m at least trying. And that’s something I can be proud of.

<3 Ash

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New Year New Goals

Happy 2017!

It’s officially a new year which means new chances, new beginnings, and new goals to set!

As a compulsive list-maker, I have about a hundred new goals and aims that I’d like to achieve in 2017 that could probably be considered ‘resolutions’. However, this year I wanted to do something a bit different, and possibly more practical. Instead of trying to stick to one, or a handful of resolutions, I wanted to choose just a single word that I feel best summarizes all of my most important goals, that I can constantly remind myself of throughout the year. And so the first first word that I will choose for this new tradition is: Intention.

This year I want to let my life be guided by the word intention. I don’t want life to just happen to me, I want to be in control of my attitude, my future, and my happiness, and the best way to do that is to be intentional. I am going to strive to be intentional, especially with my time this year, so that I know I’m putting effort into the areas that I want to grow and improve upon. I feel too often we go through life without that motivated intention, and we let things slip through the cracks.

I recently read an article that challenged you to change the statement “I don’t have time for…” to “It’s not a priority”, because that’s what you’re ultimately implying by that phrase. And it really resonated with me how often I say I don’t have time for things that I would considered a priority. It opened my eyes to the fact that I wasn’t being intentional with my choices and my time.

So this year I ultimately just want to be more intentional with my life. I want to schedule my time around things that are truly important to me. I want to be intentional about the relationships I have and pursue them with more effort and boldness this year.  I want to be intentional about chasing after my dreams and giving them the time and attention they deserve in order to become a reality. I want to live a life that accurately reflects who I am as a person by giving intentional thought and effort to every action I make this year.

I’ve written the word intention at the top of each month in my calendar, on my mirror, and I’ll soon have a piece of wall art to hang above my desk as well. I hope that by constantly seeing the word, I’ll remember to be intentional with my choices and how I spend my time so that at the end of the year, I can feel proud and accomplished for having followed through.

New Years resolutions are always hard to keep, so I would love to hear what yours are and how you plan to achieve them in the comments! I wish everyone a great second week of 2017!

<3 Ash

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