5 Of My Favorite Products To Get You Through The End Of Summer

I have never really written a post about products and cosmetics, but I figured why not?  I’m a big Sephora fan, and I’m also always on the lookout to try new things, whether it be hair products, skin products, or makeup.  The summer heat and sun get to be rough on your body (that’s not to say that winter weather isn’t), so here are 5 new beauty products that I’ve been trying this summer that I totally 100% recommend.

*I am not being promoted for any of these suggestions

  1. Buddy Scrub Coffee Body Scrub

We all love drinking our morning coffee, but did you know that coffee, and to a larger extent caffeine, has skin health benefits when used externally.  In fact, coffee is proven to help reduce cellulite and promote smoother shinier skin.  This Buddy Scrub is the perfect product to use in order to get that “summer bod”.  Just lather and scrub your body a couple times a week and you’ll have yourself smooth and healthy skin.  The scrub is totally natural, vegan, and cruelty-free with no harmful products or ingredients you can’t pronounce.  It smells amazing too!

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Buy it here through Anthropology for $18

2.  The Pocket Palette, one-use make-up kits

The Pocket Palette is a start-up company that created these mini makeup kits for on-the-go travel and disposal.  Each palette contains a single portion of BB cream or foundation, a single portion of lipstick that doubles as rouge, and a single-use mascara brush.  The palette is tiny and can easily fit inside any pocket, purse or container making them super easy to carry with you.  I have used my pocket palette for overnight trips when I don’t feel like lugging a large makeup kit around and for after events such as golf where I need to quickly cleanup and make myself look presentable before dinner.  After use, you simply throw the kit away, and the makeup is great quality and very versatile.

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Buy them here in sets of 3 or 10 ranging from $12 to $35

3.  Tarte Mermaid Glitter Gel

Glitter is having a major moment right now thanks to the growing popularity of music festivals and festival fashion.  This gel-like body glitter is just the thing to get you festival-ready for all those instagram pictures.  It isn’t an eye shadow like other glitter products.  Instead, the liquid gel dries on to the skin, keeping it in place anywhere on the body.  Not only does the glitter work great against skin, but the jar is super fun and aesthetic.

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You can find it here from Sephora for $18

4.  Too Faced Hangoverx Replenishing Face Primer

This primer doubles wonderfully as a face moisturizer since it restores and helps contain moisture in the skin.  As the name suggests, it’s ideal for hangovers, but also any activity where your skin looses moisture such as working out and sun exposure. For those long summer days outside, this works as the perfect remedy making skin supple, smooth and lively.  As a bonus, Hangoverx has no shine or oily effects which is much appreciated when it comes to a good everyday primer and “lotion”.

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Buy it here at Sephora for $34

5.  OUAI Sun of a Beach Ombré Spray

Ever tried the old trick of squeezing lemon in your hair to make it lighter?  And it kind of works? Temporarily.  Well, OUAI has come up with a product based off of the classic lemon hack, but works stronger and stays longer.  Sun of a Beach Spray lightly bleaches the hair in a healthy way that doesn’t dry the hair out.  It smells nice and has little texture.  And, it actually really works!  The spray gives you a summer sun-kissed look which we all want while still looking very natural and healthy.

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Buy it here from Sephora for $24

*Pro Tip:  As I mentioned, I swear by Sephora.com since I love their loyalty program. Living in a rural area means that I need to order most of my products online, and Sephora is amazing for that.  I pay $10 a year to get free shipping which saves a lot of money in the long run, plus I get free samples which are great for travel, loyalty points for free awards, a birthday gift, and special deals that include a lot more free samples/minis.  It’s a fabulous program especially for college students.

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Newest (and Sweetest) Minneapolis Summer Hotspots (as seen all over Instagram)

New food places nowadays have Instagram to thank (or not to thank) for making their businesses go viral, literally.  While visual presentation has always played a big role in the appeal and popularity of food, social media has moved its importance to sky heights, making it crucial for “popular” food joints to make, for lack of a better word, beautiful food.  Food trends are also more prevalent than ever thanks to the rise of social media, especially Instagram stories since everyone wants to prove and brag to the world that they eat well and some-what healthy.  As for trendy Instagram-worthy places in the Minneapolis area, two new places stand out as being the definition of this; cool, hip, and delicious.

MNice Cream (NE Minneapolis):  The name might be cheesy, but MNice Cream is the new “It” ice cream spot for the summer.  Serving up crazy over the top soft serve creations, the original food truck and shop inside a northeast warehouse has been gathering quite the line.  The concept is classic and simple.  You order either vanilla, chocolate, or vegan/dairy-free soft serve, then choose a creation (a mixture of toppings) from the menu or create your own masterpiece.  The toppings are over the top (think eatable glitter, churros, and homemade donuts, along with the traditional and every variety of candy), and you have the option to get a colorful cone and/or a flower which is purely for the Instagram aesthetic.  The homemade soft serve itself is really delicious as it is perfectly creamy and flavorful, but the toppings truly make the place an experience, one that is perfect for a hot sunny Minneapolis day.

Above are some examples of amazing creations at MNice Cream brought to you from their Instagram.

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My MNice cone was the dirty worms creation (oreo, gummy worms, chocolate sauce, and sparkles) with an added churro donut and flower on a waffle cone.

Nautical Bowls (Minnetonka):  On the other side of the health spectrum (or at least we hope) is Nautical Bowls, a concept cafe that solely sells acai and such bowls which, if you live under an Instagram-less rock, are breakfast-like parfaits with a base of acai sorbet.  While this might sound sweet, the bowls are more like a tangy super thick smoothie topped with fruit, nuts, and seeds.  At Nautical Bowls (the name is derived from being near Lake Minnetonka), you have the option to create your own (see a trend?) or order from a couple of pre-designed creations.  Acai isn’t the only base available.  In fact, it’s probably the least exciting.  There are 5 options which you can choose multiple of per bowl: the classic acai (deep purple), pitaya (beautifully pink dragonfruit), matcha (green tea), coconut with activated charcoal (a deep grey color), and chia seed pudding.  Once you choose your base which is arguably the most exciting part, you choose 4+ toppings.  They have a huge variety of “superfoods” such as bee pollen, goji berries, hemp hearts, in addition to fresh fruit and butters such as peanut butter and almond butter.  The result is a colorful bowl chock full of nutrients and yumminess.  The experience is literally amazing, as the taste of the bowls is super unique and satisfying.

Above are two bowls that a friend and I ordered at Nautical Bowls.  I had a base of pitaya, coconut and chia seeds with banana, strawberry, bee pollen and coconut on top.  I was in heaven.  My friend had a similar thing, but with acai instead of chia seeds.  The colors were so vibrant.

The cute interior of Nautical Bowl is supposed to reflect a nautical theme which feels really fresh and cheerful.  It might seem kind of random, but if you were boating on the lake, the shop would be a perfect place to stop by after!

Don’t wait, and adventure to these spots for the amazing food and photos waiting to happen!  It will be totally #instaworthy!

Spoon University- The National College Foodie Network

I would like to apologize in advance for my lack of content lately.  It’s college finals season, and I have a lot on my plate.  Believe me, I would much rather be writing fun articles for this blog right now.  Anyways, one thing that has kept me busy of late has been this club called Spoon University.  For those of you who don’t know, Spoon U is a nationwide blogging network of college students who write and publicize all things food ranging from fun recipes, restaurant reviews, random food hacks, and healthy lifestyles.  Everything is related to the college experience, and it’s a great way to get support about writing something that I’m passionate about.  So far, I’ve written 3 articles, but I’m hoping to write a lot more soon and will try to incorporate them into this blog.  I’ve learned a lot through the process about how internet publishing works, so it’s been great for this.  I would love if everyone were to check these articles out!

  1. The 10 Best Chobani Flavors Ranked by Taste– Greek yogurt is my go-to breakfast every morning since it is full of energy and taste delicious.  Read about what flavors I love the most!Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 11.13.33 PM.png
  2. Everything You Need to Know About Post Workout Snacks– I’m a workout junkie, and because of my competitive athlete background, I know a lot about workout nutrition.  Here is what I have to say about what to eat after a workout.  Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 11.13.08 PM.png
  3. Where to Find the Best Fried Chicken in Every State You can never go wrong with fried chicken!  Check out 50 great places to find bomb chicken everywhere across the country!Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 11.12.37 PM.png

Honestly, whether you’re in college or not, Spoon is a great site for any foodie to check out!  You’ll learn a lot and there is so much more content and info than the typical food blog.  They have a Facebook and Instagram page too which are totally cool and worth it!  And stay tuned for more of my articles which I hope to share here soon!

April Picks- 10 Tips on Surviving (or almost surviving) Finals

This time of year is always crazy, whether it be high school, college or life.  If you are like me, you have a boatload of work piling up, finals looming, have finally some nice weather to distract you, and the stress of moving out of a room and getting everything back home.  That’s April, and it’s crazy.  However, throughout school, I’ve learned a few things here and there about managing stress, time efficiency, and optimizing performance which has helped a lot, especially now that I am in college.  In school or not, these are some tips to help anyone get through this time of year.

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Some sunny tranquil motivation to get you through finals, and to help you remember that college can be beautiful

  1. Managing what and how you eat
  • It might be cliché, but you really “are what you eat”.  I find that if I control what I’m eating and make sure I get a lot of nutrients, my mind is more alert and productive.  Also, eating well makes your body feel better all around, putting you in a better mood and thus, making you more willing to study.  I’m not saying you have to go on some sort of strict diet, it just a matter of being mindful and controlling yourself.  Stress-eating is not the answer to solving stress, but eating a little something sweet is good to reward yourself while in the thick of finals.

2.  Exercise

  • Another way to ensure that your mind is in tiptop shape for exams is to exercise.  Many people find that they don’t have the time to hit the gym while studying, but I find that doing only 30 minutes of cardio is just as beneficial for me as studying.  Not only does it trigger endorphins in the brain, but working out also provides for a great little break in the day.  I personally can barely get through a day without working out since it motivates me and keeps me going.  If you are really stressed about time, you can also watch review videos or read notes while running on the treadmill.  There are many ways to study and exercise at the same time!

3.   Take mini breaks from whatever you are doing

  • To ensure that I don’t get restless while working on something or studying, I always make a point to get up every hour or so and walk around.  I might just go to the bathroom or maybe I’ll talk to some friends, but either way, I find that I always need a little bit of a break to keep me focused and concentrated on my task.  Even now, as I write this post, I’m taking breaks every so often to keep my mind fresh!  Going off of the exercise thing above, your mind needs you to move, so walking around is a great choice and a great way to procrastinate!

4.    Find an environment that motivates you whether that be with or without other people

  • Everyone studies differently, and everyone has different ways of studying the best.  I find that I like being around people, but people who are not talking since it motivates me to study alongside everyone else.  Some people need to be alone and some people need to talk, but it’s important to find what works best for you.  I also love going to different environments such as coffee shops since it keeps my work interesting.  One place I can’t get anything done: my dorm room as I associate it and my bed with sleeping and watching tv which means that I am not as productive.  Figure out what works for you, and it will make a huge difference.

5.    Listen to energizing music while studying, preferably classical or instrumental

  • You’ve probably heard of the Mozart effect, the theory where listening to classical music makes you smarter.  While that might not be totally true, there is a lot of scientific evidence that listening to classical music helps with focus and relaxes the mind, therefore, making it perfect and beneficial for studying.  I personally cannot do any work without music, and I find that for studying and reading, I need something a little more upbeat.  I like “Epic Classical” on Spotify for this, or I’ll listen to full dramatic symphonies.  Although classical music might seem dull, it keeps studying interesting.  Over time, you learn to rely on it and appreciate it.

6.    Reward yourself for motivation (you deserve that 1 Netflix episode!)

  • This goes for what I said before about treating yourself to a little dessert during finals.  You are working super hard, and you are doing fabulous- so you deserve something to take your mind off of finals, at least for a little bit.  I find that putting an hour aside the night before a final to watch a tv episode and eat a small dessert is a great way to relax and make myself feel at ease for what is ahead.  With that being said, however, don’t get distracted and don’t reward yourself too much!

7.    Review any notes or study material right before going to bed the night before an exam or test

  • After I “reward” myself, I quickly skim through my notes right before going to bed which makes sure that the material is fresh in my mind.  A lot of people swear by this strategy, and although it could be the placebo effect, I really think it does work.  Plus, it’s easy and rather mindless to do!

8.    Drink a lot of water!!!  And try to limit excessive caffeine!

  • You’ve probably heard this one before, but drinking as much water as possible keeps the brain hydrated which, in turn, makes it able to function better.  Caffeine, on the other hand, dehydrates you, making your brain less optimal.  While caffeine can be definitely a necessity (I’m guilty, especially while studying for finals), it is best to not consume a lot.  If you cannot help yourself, drink even more water to substitute the liquid lost from the caffeine.  I rely on water to get rid of any junk food cravings while studying and to keep me concentrated (water works, it seems,  in a similar and healthier way as caffeine).  I tend to “stress drink” water instead of “stress eat” which is super effective and helpful.

9.    Put away your phone and take “phone breaks” every once and awhile

  • I might sound like a parent here, but we waste so much time on our phones; time that could be put into studying.  I’m guilty, but I’m trying much harder to limit my access since I get distracted easily by my phone.  Put it on do not disturb, turn it off, whatever, but it really does make a difference.  And, every once and awhile, reward yourself by letting yourself spend time on your phone.

10.    Most importantly, try to sleep!

  • What might be the biggest study cliché of all, but hands down the most important- sleep.  We all need it, even if we think we don’t, and we’re much better off getting a full 8-hours the night before an exam than staying up to study even more.  I’m a stickler for sleep, and I definitely feel the effects of being tired versus the effects of being well-rested.  I believe that to do well on finals, you have to get sleep to stay focused!  I know everyone’s different, but we all need it.  I often will take melatonin before a test, so I sleep well and am not kept awake by stress.

Hope that helps!  And good luck to everyone taking exams right now or later this spring!