Monday, June 30, 2014

REVIEW: SKINNY ME TEATOX!


Detoxing can be the first step in a weight loss program, or can be a helpful step in maintaining. For me, I decided to try the widely popular australian detox tea as a way to cleanse my body for summer. Not for my summer bod, because we should strive for "summer" bods year round, but just to rid all my toxins so I can enjoy my summer with more energy.

I'll go through this review by discussing the process, details, and results.

1. Process!

The first step in doing the cleanse is, well ordering the tea. You order it on http://www.skinnymetea.com.au/. The 14-day cleanse is $35 USD plus the shipping. You can do shipping with or without tracking. I would recommend with, because it's coming from Australia and it takes a while. I started to get nervous after two weeks, I had to end up e-mailing the company. Alas, I got it on my doorstep from the land down under!
There are two teas. One detox tea with roobios, goji berries, and herbs that make your metabolism faster. You drink this tea every morning with breakfast. The metabolism boost decreases appetite, increases energy, and gives you a clearer head and altogether happier outlook. It's not a bad kind of appetite suppresser, it will just teach you what portions are right for you! This is a loose-leaf tea that works with a tea infuser and tastes great with agave nectar or honey.
As for the second tea, you take it every other night. It's the colon cleanse tea. This tea comes in a tea bag for easier infusing. It has an odd scent, but that's just the herbs. The purpose of this tea is to cleanse all of the junk out of your colon so that you can absorb nutrients better into your body! It's not going to have to riding the porcelain throne all morning... it just works when you have to go! You will notice a difference.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WELCOME MY NEW RESCUE DOG/ DOG TRAINING TRICKS

If you follow me on twitter or instagram, you're well-aware of the newest, furriest addition to my life: Jackie! On Saturday, June 7th, my family and I rescued her from the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA. She was a farm dog down in Alabama, then she had puppies (we can still see the effects on her body). So, her previous owners kept her pups and surrendered her. Then, she was shipped up to Salem on May 28th, which happens to be her birthday! Two weeks later my family came and gave her a forever home.


We knew it would be a perfect fit. She was "Spot" at the shelter but I didn't want her to be so basic, pfft. We have a 2-year old, 46 pound dalmatian-lab (maybe pit bull) mix in our house to love forever. She's actually next to me on my bed right now. We sleep together, I love the company. 

So, I thought I would share some tips and tricks on dog training and such with my experience with Jackie so far.


  • Walking

Jackie is a puller. She's also a sniffer. Everything that doesn't smell like the normal ground, she has to sniff. If I didn't tell her to stop, she would sniff everything for a half hour!

First of all, we just use a basic leash. It looks like this:

picture from petco.com
We picked this up at Wal-Mart. We also got a large sized harness, but that's only for when we go on runs. The reason for the harness is that I don't pull her neck too much, especially since she's just a puller.

The main reasons we take dogs for walks are for them to do their business, right? The most important part of training a dog to respond to new commands is to make sure that everyone in the house is on the same page. My advice would be to establish two different types of walks: leisurely and "business walks". If you want to go on a romantic stroll with your pooch, pick up the leash and say, "wanna go for a walk?" That way, the dog associates the word "walk" with taking their time.

The second type of walk is business. Don't say anything, just put your dog on the leash. When you reach a grassy area, a good phrase that works is "find your spot." I think that breeders and shelters use this, because Jackie knew right away to find her spot and mark her territory. It's also a great idea to bring some treats along! The science of the whole deal is that the dog has thirty seconds to make an association. Give your playful pup a treat right after they finish. Then, they'll be distracted while you pick up their pile. For some reason, Jackie always runs away from her business like she's ashamed of it. Girl, it's natural!

If your dog is a puller, when the dog starts running away, say "heal". This is the command for the dog to slow down. If the dog doesn't, and you feel tension on the rope, say "no". After a while, your dog will learn to heal. If your friend stops when you say heal, make sure to reward them with a tasty treat!

  • Food Time!

Food is my favorite time(s) of the day, and it's definitely Jackie's too! When I feed her depends on when I wake up. If I don't have somewhere to be, I feed her at 10 am because I wake up around 9:30. It's summer time, sorry not sorry! Then, I wait a half hour for her to digest and take her out on a business walk. If I really don't have anywhere to be, that walk may turn into a leisurely stroll. I give her treats throughout the day until we feed her dinner at 6. I try to feed her the same time we eat, so that she doesn't beg so much.


I keep her water bowl out so that in case she gets thirsty, it's always there. If it's not, she opts for the toilet bowl, (bad girl)! I usually try to incorporate snacks with a trick. I try to get her to sit, paw, lay down, or roll over. Or, if we're in the yard fetching, she gets a treat after. If we're not playing, she's a lazy girl and sleeps all day!





  • Medical
If you rescued a new dog, make sure you take them to the vet within the first few weeks. There, they will register their microchip so they're never lost, they will measure her vitals, and check their medical history. They will make sure they've gotten all the vaccines they need and depending on how woodsy your neighborhood is, they will give them flea/tick treatment and heart worm treatment that is to be taken once a month.


  • Going Out Without Them
We waited exactly a week to go out without Jackie. First, we studied her habits. She's quite the biter. She will bite anything she can get her fangs on. So, we hid the valuables and put a dog gate up, keeping her in the living room. She can go on her dog bed or couch which has a dog cover on it. She has toys that she can chew on.
The burning question is yes, we do spy on her. We installed a doggy webcam in our room and can check the app any time we are curious. We're not creepy, just cautious! We went out to dinner one night, and tested the system out. First, she barked at the window for a while, but then as always fell asleep.  She ash to get used to being alone in the house.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

BEAUTY: Glowing Graduation Goddess

Graduation is one of the day(s) of your life when you are photographed the most. All types of family members come out of the woodworks to congratulate you. It can be the scariest and most exciting day(s) of your life simultaneously somehow. So, what better reason to be looking your best?

For graduation, the makeup must be glowy and sweat-proof because of the warm weather, flawless because of pictures, and not too over the top because, well, it's not Prom!

Here's my Glowing Grecian Goddess makeup tutorial on my friend and recent high school graduate, Alex!

Alex's links: twitter instagram

She always does a flawless natural look so I thought I'd play but her gorgeous cheekbones and natural beauty marks by playing with bronzer, and brown neutral tones. It looks like she has a touch of makeup, but a whole splash of glamour!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

LIFESTYLE: TWO FUN WAYS TO CHEAT CLEAN

I love eating clean... but I like cheating clean even better! I'm obsessed with making "nice" cream. It love it because it's so easy to make... it's virtually one ingredient minus add-ons. My parents are always like "Nikki... you're freezing those bananas again." I can't help myself!

I've been trying to get into recipes lately, so when I was re-stocking the cupboard  the other day I was inspired by some ingredients. Here's what came out of it: a chocolate coconut ice cream, and a chocolate popcorn. Your sweet tooth will thank me!





INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 or 2 frozen sliced bananas
  • a splash of almond milk
  • 2 tbsp. dark chocolate all natural peanut butter or carob chips
  • a handful of coconut shavings
STEPS:
  1. Freeze the bananas for 3+ hours or overnight
  2. Place the bananas, peanut butter or carob chips, and coconut shavings in a blender
  3. Blend on the "milkshake" settings, or any setting but puree or smoothie. It would get too liquid-y.
  4. If needed, splash in some almond mix and mix every few seconds to really get everything all smooth.
  5. Enjoy!
I love nice cream not only because it mimicks delicious ice cream, but because it's not from a bag or box, it's the perfect serving size. You can't see going back for more unless you want to put a lot  of effort into it.




INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups Boom Chicka Pop
  • 2 tbsp dark chocolate all natural peanut butter
  • 2 tsp. agave nectar
STEPS:
  1. Melt the peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds to one minute.
  2. Put the Boom Chicka Pop into a bag or bowl.
  3. Add in the melted peanut butter and agave nectar.
  4. Freeze until you're ready to dig in.
I am SO obsessed with Boom Chicka Pop. They have many varieties, but I would suggest the sea salt kind here so it can play with the sweetness of the other ingredients. Sometimes sweet and salty is better than sweet and sweet. Boom Chicka Pop is a pre-popped popcorn sold in large bags at most grocers. It's all natural and healthful. It's only 35 calories... PER CUP! Someone has to pull me away from a bag in one sitting. Agave nectar has been my go-to sweetener lately. I've been using it in tea and on yogurt I think it will go well here.

Hope you all enjoy these recipes this summer. Keep them in mind when your sweet tooth calls!

I also love this from shop.com/asimplelife.  
If you're in the kitchen feeling crafty, why not try some juices? 
I have my eye on this juicer on sale here. You can get cash back if you sign up and use ohaixnikay@gmail.com as a reference! 


Monday, June 9, 2014

LIFESTYLE: 9 MISTAKES YOU'RE NOT EVEN REALIZING YOUR MAKING

Life is hectic. If my life had a soundtrack, it would be ding-ding-ding if each ding represented moving on to another activity. It's great to be productive and out and about, but if we don't realize these next nine mistake we're making, our mind and body may not be too happy with us.


1. Not reading more
Reading is time away from the phone calls and commercials and stress. It takes you away from your life and into someone else's. It's like taking a vacation without booking a flight and hotel. Even if the content has some stress or drama, you're worrying about someone else's drama, not your own. On the flip side, if it's someone's love and happiness, it goes right back to us. You may say you have no time, but just take five minutes before you go to bed. I prefer ending the night with Mad Men, but we all have our preferences. 

2. Not saying please and thank you more often
How do you feel when you're not compensated or let alone thanked for you work? You probably feel unacknowledged and unimportant. In a rush, if someone grabs something for us or does a simple favor, we can forget the most important part of the transaction: a please or thank you. It's like shopping, the favor is what we're buying, and the please or thank you is our tender. It will make both parties feel better. 

3. Not taking a breath
Just like that Ana Nalik song, I think we all need to just breathe. If I'm watching TV, or even typing a blog post, sometimes I just take a few large breaths. There, I just did it. With all of the things pulling us in different directions, sometimes we can find it hard to breathe. Not only do we need to physically breathe, but we need to mentally breathe. We just need to..not. Maybe for a few minutes every day, or every few days. Just not be occupied. This is the biggest challenge to me. I've been trying to watch more MTV as a form of "not"-ing. It's just time not thinking about school, money, work, family, or anything else.

4. Not saying no more often. 
This is also my vice. As a young and ambitious millenial, I think I need every opportunity to advance me to get me to where I want to be. But I want it now. Then, I find myself putting half of myself into all of the things I'm affiliated with, when if I had only a true few I could dedicate myself more. Quality over quantity.

5. Not saying yes more often
...aaaand on the flip side of that, theres this. I'm trying not to contradict myself here. Just because a situation may seem fishy, just do some research. See how every opportunity can help you and how you can fit it into your life. As they say, don't judge a book by it's cover. You never know what may come of it. For me, the best decisions I've made are the ones that I barely thought through.

6. Not being more selfish
At the end of the day, we only have ourselves. Yes, we have our boyfriends, girlfriends, cats, dogs, moms, dads, teachers, cousins, etc. However as humans we are innately a tad bit self-centered. We love to help and spread our love, however if you're being spread too thin, it's not good for you. Wouldn't you rather have yourself all in one piece, than a million pieces splattered everywhere? 

7. Not appreciating the little things
This can apply to everything... whether it's relationships, family, food, or life in general. The town you live in may not be your favorite, but think of your favorite pond to have picnics at. Think of the little freckle above his chin that is oh so cute. The things that make us the happiest don't have to have a shiny price tag.

8. Not being outside more often
I'm an outdoorsy kinda gal. If you're not, that's fine. But just being in nature, especially on a nice day, can be to therapeutic. Taking yourself or a dog for a walk, even if you have no specific place to go, can really help. No wonder the walkers on the street always smile at you.
9. Not letting ourselves indulge
Yes, I love being healthy and this is a healthy lifestyle blog, but if we don't feed our soul... we may lose ours. To a point of moderation, of course, if we see our favorite type of pizza or cronut or pie, go for it. Stop punishing yourself!


I'm not saying I'm not guilty of these either, I definitely am. We're all on this journey together. Life doesn't have to come with a guidebook. If we all made life a lot less complicated, we'd all be enlightened.


Lastly, I thought I'd start sharing some favorite products at the end of my posts. I love this stuff, and I thought it would go along with the health theme of this post. 


If you're looking for a natural way to get rid of stress, try bliss stress remover. It gives you what it's namesake is!
Get it here, and put ohaixnikay@gmail.com as a reference when you make a free account to receive cash back! 



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

STYLE: SO NAUGHT THE DRAMA- KEY WEST STYLE

I've missed my lovelies! Although now that I'm back in Massachusetts I find myself missing the palm trees lining the streets. However, I'm not missing the weather too much, I'll take pleasant 70's/80's here over a humid 90's down there. In case you didn't hear, last week I was in Key West on a family vacation.
I like to travel to places that I don't know much about, so that every attraction and sight surprises me. Every experience unravels the mystery, and eventually it all starts to fit together. For example, after we landed in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, I thought we'd drive over the famous 7 Mile Bridge, and BOOM be in Key West. However, I didn't know that it was a 5-hour (with traffic), 155 mile drive all down the Florida Keys and over 42 bridges until we'd reach our condo rental in Old Town, Key West. I knew the Florida Keys existed, but not the extent of it. Adventure #1, check!
Key West is such a cute, beachy, eclectic town. They love their sun, thrift shops, motor scooters... and alcohol. The whole place has a New Orleans feel.

We took a Sunset /Glass Bottom Boat Cruise


We took an Old Town Trolley Tour:


We Visited the Southernmost Tip of the Continental US

Now the most important part... The outfits!

Naturally, I was feeling nautical and preppy when I was shopping and dressing. 






As you can tell, blue is my color of choice. I chose this gold bangle with a blue end and a white end with a gold starfish. I also love this statement blue, beaded seashell necklace.


I'm a sucker for daisies! I bought this flowy sheer daisy tank top dow there as well.





Annnd the two most important purchases now! I needed/ wanted comfortable white pants for work at White House Black Market, and I found them at a French shop on Duval St called "La Naturelle" They're based out in France. The sales lady told me my butt looked good in them, so naturally I was sold!
I also acquired my first Lilly Pulitzer piece. I love the print of this t-shirt. It reminds me of lobsters. So summery! #SummerInLilly.


For an extensive look at my outfit details and a scenic look of Key West, watch the video on my YouTube channel!