Uncategorized, wellness

DIY Epsom Salt Scrub

I hope the New Year is still treating everyone well and you are sticking by those resolutions! If one of your resolutions was to make self care a priority I have the perfect solution for you!

I made the Epsom salt scrub as a present for my mom for Christmas and then it smelled so good I made extra for myself! This is so easy and you only need three things!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Epsom Salt
  • 2 cups of coconut oil
  • Essential oil of your choice

Step 1:

Take a giant Ziploc bag and put the the Epsom Salt and coconut oil inside, if you aren’t a huge fan of the consistency you can always add more Epsom salt or coconut oil. I personally end up using more like 1.5 cups of Epsom salt but that definitely feels rougher.

Step 2:

Add the essential oil! I used the BluZen original scent and I love it! Next time I take it I’m definitely going to try the lavender. The amount of oil you use is totally up to you. I personally lost count because I wanted it to smell really nice and just kept shaking.

And just like the Christmas Crack, you can put it in a cute mason jar and add a little bow! Maybe not a Christmas bow now, but you can definitely find something cute at Michaels!

Happy crafting!

xox,

Marissa

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Friday Faves, Uncategorized, wellness

My Friday Faves: Vol. X

You can open the link above which will let you click on any of the photos so you can check them out!

Let me know how you’re staying fit this year!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized, wellness

My January Challenges

On my way to go get a new read!

This January I’m participating in two fun challenges! The first is the Winter Warrior Challenge. This means that every day in the month of January I’m walking/jogging/running/hopping at least 3 miles! I’ve done this for the past three years but I’ve only done 1 mile a day. This year I have my eyes on the prize with three, although there are some people out there doing five!

The other challenge I set for myself is on Goodreads, I’ll be reading 30 books this year! I set the goal of 13 books last year and I ended up reading 15! Between incorporating reading into my everyday routine and not being in school this summer I can’t wait to achieve this goal!

So how’s it going? Four days into the New Year and I’m still in the newlywed phase. Starting the walking challenge was a little difficult and I was lacking all motivation but now that I’ve started I want to see it through. As for my reading challenge: I’ve already finished one. I’ve even found a way to tie these two things together: by walking the 2 miles to the library to pick up new books.

I know there’s a lot of stigma about creating resolutions but I personally feel like if you’re really making a resolution to better yourself and it’s something you’re passionate about, keep going! Don’t let the jokes about how full the gym is this week deter you, you deserve that elliptical as much as anyone else.

What goals and challenges have you set up for yourself this year? Let me know in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Lifestyle, Uncategorized, wellness

How I Use Essential Oils

An essential oil diffuser had been in my Amazon shopping cart since April and then when I went to Wanderlust in early August I attended an essential oils class and I was waiting to hit purchase unit I was back at school. A few weeks after Wanderlust my mom actually bought a diffuser for my birthday and now I don’t know what I would do without it!

I have a PureSpa Essence diffuser that has automatic presents for 30, 60, 120, and 180 minutes. I have the BluZen variety pack of oils which I use for my diffuser. This includes Refresh, Cedar Sunrise, Lavender, BlueZen Original, Northern Lights, Tranquil. I also have a roller filled with one of doTERRA’s essential oil yoga collection. As part of the essential oils class at Wanderlust we got to learn all about the oils as well as take some home with us. I chose ___ from the yoga collection which is made up of Anchor, Align, and Arise.

Uses:

  • To smell nice! My college, and most other colleges  don’t allow you to have candles in dorm rooms so this is a nice alternative. I personally think it’s even better because I can easily change out what kind of vibe I want. I also tend to match the smell to what I need to get done, I started the year off using Lavender which is calming but as classes are getting harder I’ve changed to Refresh because it “infuses the mind and body with energy and good vibes”.
  • As a timer. As I mentioned earlier my diffuser has settings so I can pick how long it is on for. This helps me stay on task while studying because I’ll tell myself I’ll set it for an hour and then once it shuts off I know it’s time to put my notes away. Or when I read before bed I’ll set it for half an hour so I won’t keep saying one more chapter.
  • For our Human Donor Lab. At first the smell of formaldehyde didn’t bother me, but as we got later into the semester and more than two donors were being pulled out at a time the smell became overwhelming. Our lab has it’s own set of essential oils in the front of the room for this exact reason, so I will put some on the inside of my wrist and then I’ll put my wrist right under my nose so some oils rub off there as well.
  • To set the mood. Between the smell and the different color options I feel like diffusers are a really good way to relax. It creates a nice vibe that is just overall inviting.

I’ve also heard people put some drops of essential oil into their water. Right now I’m pretty skeptical about the science behind that one, but I’ll keep you guys updated if anything changes! Something to be cautious about: not all essential oils can be ingested! If you want to put it in your water make sure you are reading the label!

Time to go start my diffuser!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Ab’asanas

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It’s been awhile since I shared a Wellness Wednesday post and I wanted to update you guys on one of my favorite workout routines: Ab’asanas.

Ab’asanas was created by Morgan, formerly known as The Southern Yogi, one of my absolute favorite Instagram yogis. It’s a series of exercises that incorporate yoga into your core workout. Some of you may be thinking, well yoga isn’t that hard but I promise you will sweat. 

I have only done her first book (the expanded version) but since I am on the quest for a handstand I will be trying her second book soon! Her first book is a great introduction to yoga, if you’ve never tried yoga this is where you should start. Although I had been doing yoga for a year or so before I dove into Ab’asanas I still wanted to start with the first book because I was intimidated that some of the poses in book two, which is more geared toward prepping for inversions, would be too advanced for me. After getting the first book I was very happy with my decision because there were some moves that I struggled with. I felt so discouraged at first but as I kept working at it they came easier to me.

The thing I love the most about Ab’asanas however is that it’s adaptable. Being in class until 5 some days only gives me an hour at the gym (oh summer hours…) so I need to use my time wisely. I use the examples in the back as a template and typically do 5 exercises as a set and then depending on the time I have I will do anywhere from 3-5 sets.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress with book 2, once I get there!

If you’re looking for cute outfits to wear to the yoga studio check out my Pinterest board!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Meditation

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m going to be talking about the benefits of meditation and sharing some links to meditations that I have used in the past.

I think meditation is so beneficial but sometimes it’s hard to sit down and forget everything on your to do list. To me, it’s similar to yoga in that I always feel better after I do it but it’s sitting down to actually do it that’s the hard part. Sometimes I think why would I put off finishing all of these things that are stressing me out when I could simply just do those things now.

Here’s misconception #1 meditation can be as long as you need it to be! I will be linking 15, 30, and 60 minute options but there are so many more out there! You don’t need to sit clear an hour of your day to do meditation. You can also meditate anywhere! Meditation is a form of mental exercise you can take with you everywhere.

The following information is from this Mayo Clinic article:

  • Meditation helps you focus on the present.
  • Meditation helps increase patience.
  • Meditation increases self awareness.
  • Meditation can help medical conditions like anxiety, asthma, depression, high blood pressure, sleeping problems, and tension headaches.

Here are the types of meditation out there:

  • Guided meditation: This is the type of meditation I am most familiar with. Of the different types of guided meditation I am most familiar with the ones that talk you through bringing awareness to different body parts or the ones that have you visualize a relaxing scene.
  • Mantra meditation: This is when you repeat a word or phrase in your head or outlaid for a period of time.
  • Mindfulness meditation: This is a type of meditation that focuses on being in the moment.
  • Qi gong: this is a type of traditional Chinese meditation that that combines meditation, physical movement, and bringing awareness to our thoughts and breath.
  • Tai Chi; I took this type of meditation as a physical education class for school and it was so much fun! Tai Chi is another way to connect mindfulness and breath with movement.  I learned Tai Chi Chuan which incorporates a sword into the mix. This is also a great way to improve balance.

Here are some resources for you guys to try your hand at mediation:

Guided Meditation  & To End Your Day: from the creator of the Pilates Challenge. She also has a meditation challenge that I will be trying soon! Both of these are around 15 minutes.

Silva Meditation: about 30 minutes long, just a heads up… I have never made it to the end of this one!

Tai Chi: here is a beginning Tai Chi lesson. The whole video is around 10 minutes but once you learn it it should only take 5, unless you chose to repeat it.

Choosing Mantras: this is a short clip that teaches you a little more about picking mantras.

Stay relaxed!

xox,

Marissa

 

 

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Musical Movement

Today’s Wellness Wednesday is the most light hearted workout ever featured on here. It’s intended to make you smile while you’re suffering. Without any further ado I present to you, the Whipped Into Shape Workout!IMG_3327

This workout is inspired by the musical Legally Blonde. If you haven’t seen it you can watch the full Broadway show here but if you don’t have time for that at least check out this clip of the song you’ll be working out to in a few minutes here!

My college did this musical last year and as a dancer we had a full on workout to this song that we had to do and make it look effortless!It was so much fun but so exhausting at the same time.

So here’s my challenge for you:

  • Jump rope to the full song!
  • Whenever there is a speaking break hold a plank or do some pushups.
  • If you find that super easy start adding in little jump roping tricks like jumping on one foot, crossing your arms, or doing a double jump. You can also substitute burpees for the plank/push ups!

I hope you guys find this as entertaining as I did! Let me know how you made out!

Keep jumping!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Smoothies

Today’s Wellness Wednesday is all about smoothies! I’m not the best at eating healthy, it’s something I’m working on but it can be such a struggle sometimes. I can exercise everyday without a problem but when it comes to eating healthy…

I wanted to take this Wednesday to show you the types of smoothies I love and hopefully you’ll love them too!

You’ll notice I don’t write “put in 10 blueberries”, this is because I really don’t count anything. I don’t even measure how much Silk Milk goes in. If you’re making a strawberry banana smoothie and you like strawberries more than bananas, go ahead and load your smoothie with more strawberries. The only thing I do measure is the avocado because I will only put half in.

To make my smoothies I use the the Magic Bullet. It’s small so it’s perfect for my dorm room. It’s also super easy to clean- just put water and dish soap in, run it again, and then rinse it out!

Smoothie 1

  • Banana
  • Strawberries
  • Silk Milk- Vanilla
  • Chia Seeds

Smoothie 2

  • Banana
  • Peanut Butter
  • Silk Milk- Vanilla
  • Chia Seeds

Smoothie 3

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Silk Milk- Vanilla
  • Chia Seeds

Smoothie 4

  • Banana
  • Peach
  • Strawberries
  • Silk Milk- Vanilla

Smoothie 5

  • Banana
  • 1/2 Avocado*
  • Blueberries
  • Peanut Butter
  • Silk Milk- Vanilla
  • I’m not the biggest avocado fan so I usually put extra peanut butter in when I use an avocado.

Smoothie 6

This is a smoothie bowl I bought at Nourish Wellness Cafe in Northampton so I figured I would share the ingredients with you!

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas
  • Coconut and chia seeds as toppings
  • I’m not sure if they used a liquid base or not

And the final product is below:

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Here are some popular toppings:

  • Shredded coconut: the only time I’ve had this is at Nourish and it was so good!
  • Chia seeds: I usually incorporate chia seeds into my smoothie so I don’t typically put them on top.
  • Granola
  • Almonds
  • Chopped up pieces of fruit: if it didn’t all fit into the blender, add it to the top!

So what if you don’t have a blender? Try Naked Juices. I just tried the Blue Machine the other day and it was amazing! It has apples, blackberries, blue berries, and a banana.

If you want any inspiration go look at @smoothiebowls on Instagram. I haven’t made one that beautiful yet but one day! If you try to make any of these let me know how it goes! And if you have any smoothie suggestions leave them in the comments!

xox,

Marissa

Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: Hiking

Today’s Wellness Wednesday is all about getting outside! One of my friends and I have made the goal of going out every Sunday morning and walking around. This is something we used to do with both of our families and we thought it would fun to do around here.

Here is my list of places to go in Western MA and Central MA:

  1. Mount Tom, Holyoke MA

    It was my goal last year that I would go to Mt. Tom before the end of the school year. Three days before finals started we finally made it out there and it was so worth it! Since Mt. Tom is not too far from where I go to school it’s kinda one of those “Do you even go here if you haven’t been to the America rock?” things. If you’re looking to go and you want to make it to the America rock park your car at Mt. Joe to Go in Holyoke and tae the trail right across the street! Just a warning, part of the trail to get there is steep. There are other trails that are more moderate. I’m counting down the days until the snow is gone so I can go back!

  2. Robinson State Park, Agawam/Feeding Hills MA

    This isn’t a mountain but the views are so beautiful! I went there two weeks ago and it was such a nice spot. My favorite thing was looking out over the Westfield River. We were there for 2 hours and mainly stayed on the green trail but you could easily spend hours walking around all the different trails.
  3. Up next is Wachusett Mountain, Princeton/Westminster MA. There was a point in time where my family would go to Wachusett Mountain every weekend to walk. The Pine Hill Trail is the easiest to go up but there are so many other paths too, you can also go up just the ski trails or take the road. My favorite time I went walking there was in 2008 after we had a really bad ice storm. We walked up the road and there were tried with branches iced to the ground. It was such an unreal sight, it looked like we were in a movie. Fun fact I went to Junior Ranger Camp there and years later I had my junior prom there!

Here is a list of other places to go in Western MA. These were all posted in my school’s Wellness Complex and are on my list of places to go:

  • Bare Mountain, Amherst MA (moderate)
  • Mount Sugarloaf, South Deerfield MA (difficult)
  • Mount Holyoke, Hadley MA (difficult)
Uncategorized, wellness

Wellness Wednesday: 30 Days of Mindful Movement

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I know my head is cut off but this was the first time I ever jumped back from crow! And how cute is my dog Maggie!

If you haven’t guessed already, today’s Wellness Wednesday is another yoga flow!

Alo Yoga has created a series of videos called 30 Days of Mindful Movement and it is such a great way to expand your yoga practice! I love all of the twists and variations on traditional yoga that I have learned from this series. It really gets you thinking about yoga in a different way. For so long I had seen teaching yoga as a fun job that I was lucky to have. And to an extent I had seen it as making shakes when yoga is so much more than getting into a shape. It is about the journey, I’m not the most flexible in my shoulders and hips so when I finally get a pose it’s even more rewarding because I know how much time I dedicated to gaining flexibility in those areas.

Yesterday was actually the last day of new videos as they uploaded them as a way to get a  fresh start on the New Year. Each week had a theme that had you being mindful as you were loading the videos.

Week one: resolutions

Week two: energize

Week three: mindfulness

Week four: strength

Alo filmed so many great teachers but my favorites were definitely Andrew Seely and Josh Kramer. I love seeing the incredible control they have over their bodies. Andrew just has a great energy that makes his classes so fun. Josh made me step out of my comfort zone. Two of my favorite things I learned from him were Malasana squats (found in day 4) which is great for opening the hips and strengthening the legs and jump back from crow. I had just gotten crow in the first place and never thought I would be able to jump back. 24 hours after my first attempt in Josh’s class (also day 4) I was able to do it, not as gracefully as Josh can but still it’s all about the process!

If you’re looking for a way to get involved in, or deepen, your yoga practice this is the series for you! Get started by practicing mindfulness for just 30 minutes every day for the next 30 days. Alo has coordinated classes from vinyasa to yin yoga, and from beginner to more experienced, this is such a good investment of your time! If you take the time to be mindful you will grow stronger in mind and body.

Thank you Alo!

xox,

Marissa