Thank You for My Every Day

Thank You for My Every Day // http://wp.me/p3cljj-jg

Yosemite // July 2015

Thank you for my Every Day.

Thank you for my first breath this morning.

Thank you for giving me my two legs to do the things that I love.

As easy as it is to get caught up in the busyness of life and its demands, I always start out my day with this daily prayer. It’s my breath of fresh air. My morning coffee. My Me Time.

It not only calms my heart, opens my mind and sets my day for what lies ahead, but a constant reminder of the fragility of life. It’s being thankful for the simple daily pleasures as waking up to another beautiful day, loving and being loved and physically able to live life.

The Lord has truly blessed me with an eventful 2015 year filled with new adventures, new loves, new friendships, new happiness, new chances and new challenges. It is He who gives me the strength, the power, the courage to push myself beyond my limits.

Thank You, Lord, for my Every Day.

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015

summer + smiles + sunblock

I love everything about the summer. Living in California the weather is always perfect. Summer is the season to enjoy the outdoors with a picturesque hike or hit the cool waters at the beach and pool. However being out in the sun has its responsibilities. I’m an avid believer and user in using a broad spectrum (UVA + UVB) sun protection of at least SPF 30 for my face and SPF 45 for my body.

So naturally as a lover of Sephora + SPF I always buy Sephora’s annual Sun Safety Kit. It’s a curated collection of everything SPF to protect from head to toe. This is a perfect introduction to try various products carried at Sephora, like tinted sunscreen, primer, self-tanner, BB cream and serums. It’s also a wonderful way to try different types of sunblock products–physical (zinc oxide, titanium dioxide) and chemical-based (oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate) sunscreens. The sizes are perfect–airplane-friendly and compact enough to place in my purse.

I picked up the Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015 at Sephora and it is packed with favorite oldies and new products I look forward to trying. This year it’s $32 (retail value $155) for 16 products.

SSK-2 Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015 http://wp.me/p3cljj-iZ

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015 http://wp.me/p3cljj-iZ Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015 http://wp.me/p3cljj-iZ

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015 http://wp.me/p3cljj-iZ

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015 http://wp.me/p3cljj-iZ

Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2015 http://wp.me/p3cljj-iZ

SSK-5

Full Product List

AmorePacific Natural Protector SPF 30/PA+++ – http://www.sephora.com/natural-protector-spf-30-pa-P232939?keyword=AMOREPACIFIC%20Natural%20Protector%20SPF%2030%2FPA%2B%2B%2B%20P232939&skuId=1161793&_requestid=70378

Clarins Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 – http://www.sephora.com/sunscreen-multi-protection-broad-spectrum-spf-50-P393065?skuId=1682202

CLINIQUE Moisture Surge CC Cream Hydrating Colour Corrector Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – http://www.sephora.com/moisture-surge-cc-cream-hydrating-colour-corrector-broad-spectrum-spf-30-P378639?keyword=CLINIQUE%20Moisture%20Surge%20CC%20Cream%20Hydrating%20Colour%20Corrector%20Broad%20Spectrum%20SPF%2030%20P378639&skuId=1509512&_requestid=72342

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Dark Spot Sun Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 – http://www.sephora.com/dark-spot-sun-defense-broad-spectrum-spf-50-P394353?skuId=1680818

Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 – http://www.sephora.com/premium-beauty-balm-spf-45-P285403?skuId=1327915

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 – http://www.sephora.com/sugar-lip-treatment-spf-15-P57002?keyword=FRESH%20Sugar%20Lip%20Treatment%20SPF%2015%20P57002&skuId=1448372&_requestid=72443

Murad Invisiblur™ Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – http://www.sephora.com/invisiblur-perfecting-shield-broad-spectrum-spf-30-P394397?keyword=MURAD%20Invisiblur%E2%84%A2%20Perfecting%20Shield%20Broad%20Spectrum%20SPF%2030%20P394397&skuId=1670181&_requestid=72548

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 – http://www.sephora.com/argan-daily-moisturizer-spf-47-P385679?keyword=JOSIE%20MARAN%20Argan%20Daily%20Moisturizer%20SPF%2047%20%20P385679&skuId=1585256&_requestid=70814

Korres Suncare Yoghurt Nourishing Fluid Veil Face Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 – http://www.sephora.com/suncare-yoghurt-nourishing-fluid-veil-face-sunscreen-broad-spectrum-spf-30-P395116?keyword=KORRES%20Suncare%20Yoghurt%20Nourishing%20Fluid%20Veil%20Face%20Sunscreen%20Broad%20Spectrum%20SPF%2030%20P395116&skuId=1702810&_requestid=69791

Ole Henriksen Total Truth™ Vitamin C Eye Crème SPF 15 – http://www.sephora.com/total-truth-vitamin-c-eye-creme-spf-15-P291520?skuId=1342666

Origins VitaZing™ SPF 15 Energy-Boosting Moisturizer with Mangosteen – http://www.sephora.com/vitazing-spf-15-energy-boosting-moisturizer-with-mangosteen-P297521?keyword=ORIGINS%20VitaZing%E2%84%A2%20SPF%2015%20Energy-Boosting%20Moisturizer%20with%20Mangosteen%20P297521&skuId=1375732&_requestid=70626

Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense® Lotion with SPF 30 – http://www.sephora.com/max-sheer-all-day-moisture-defense-lotion-spf-30-P6563?skuId=373894

Shiseido Wetforce Ultimate Sun Protection Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ For Face – http://www.sephora.com/ultimate-sun-protection-cream-broad-spectrum-spf-50-for-face-P393536?skuId=1684737

St.Tropez One Night Only Wash Off Face & Body Lotion – couldn’t find the Sephora link

Supergoop! SPF 30+ City Sunscreen Serum With Uniprotect PT-3 – http://www.sephora.com/spf-30-city-sunscreen-serum-with-uniprotect-pt-3-P282915?keyword=SUPERGOOP!%20SPF%2030%2B%20City%20Sunscreen%20Serum%20With%20Uniprotect%20PT-3%20P282915&skuId=1328707&_requestid=70180

Vita Liberata Neroli & Argan Milk Broad Spectrum SPF 50 – http://www.sephora.com/neroli-argan-milk-broad-spectrum-spf-50-P395613?skuId=1688985

Tips

Don’t waste your money on buying anything beyond SPF 45 because it doesn’t provide any better protection beyond 45.

Regardless of seasons or a cloudy day, it’s always important to protect your skin by wearing SPF everyday, especially on the face. I always wear at least SPF 30 on my face, neck and chest area.

Reviews to come as I try them all.

Day 10 // Meditate for 1 Minute | Birchbox Challenge

Day 10 // Meditate for One Minute #BirchboxChallenge via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1124

Sunrise up in the Alishan, Taiwan mountains

I’ve recently started setting my alarm clock at 11pm every night and been waking up more energized and ready to start my day (thanks to Day 16 #BirchboxChallenge)! I’ve been having quaint mornings of “me” time and among other things, I meditate for one minute. It helps reduce stress, clear my mind and calm my heart. I sit up straight, rest my palms in my lap, close my eyes, and pay attention to my inhales and exhales for 60 seconds.
The below tips to reap the full benefits of a one-minute meditation practice is taken from Birchbox and Tara Stiles, Strala Yoga founder and author of Make Your Own Rules DietI’m definitely guilty of getting lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life–rushing out of the house to get to an appointment, not taking enough walking breaks at work and Instagramming during dinner. Even taking just one minute to meditate gives me a jumpstart to a more productive and brighter day.

Get Comfortable

Set a time for one minute using your smartphone. Choose a place in your home where you won’t be disturbed, and arrange yourself in a comfortable seated position. If you are in a chair, place your feet on the ground evenly. If you are on the floor, try crossing your legs or sitting on your heels. Sit up straight and rest your palms in your lap. Close your eyes and begin to pay attention to your breath.

Focus on Your Breath

Watch your inhales and exhales as they come and go. Allow yourself to become interested in the depth and pace of your breathing. Begin to lengthen your inhales and exhales. If it feels comfortable, pause at the top of your inhale and at the bottom of your exhale.

Guide Your Thoughs

Relax your whole body, including your face, neck, shoulders, back, legs and feet. If you notice your thoughts starting to drift, guide your attention back to your breath.

Finish Strong

When the timer goes off, don’t just pop out of your practice. Continue to breathe for 10 more long, deep breaths. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes.

About the Birchbox Challenge

Birchbox teamed up with a panel of all-star experts to bring a 31-day challenge to make 2015 your healthiest, happiest, most gorgeous year ever. I’m joining Birchbox on this month-long challenge and will share my success with #BirchboxChallenge. Let’s do this together!

Day 9 // Get Sculpted in 6 Minutes | Birchbox Challenge

I’m a lover of High Intensity Training (HIT) classes. The pattern usually is 30-seconds of intense cardio/strength moves that get quickly gets the heart rate up, followed by 20-seconds of rest. The Day 9 Challenge is something a little different.

Day 9 Birchbox Challenge “Get Sculpted in 6 Minutes” is created by celebrity trainer Ashley Borden. She swears by crazy effective workouts that can be done in a short amount of time, with minimal equipment. She uses the AMRAP technique ( “as many reps as possible”), which works muscles nonstop to condition your entire body, increase your metabolic rate, and burn a ton of calories. Her Sexy Six workout is just six moves and six minutes long but will leave you breathless and sweaty. Once you learn the workout, repeat it multiple times a week, focusing on your form and adding time as you get stronger.

Set a timer for 6 minutes. Do the 6 moves below, in order. Repeat the order as fast as you can, while maintaining your form, until time’s up. Keep track of how many times you got through the entire workout at the end, and beat that at your next workout!

See the moves here on Day 9 Birchbox Challenge.

About the Birchbox Challenge

Birchbox teamed up with a panel of all-star experts to bring a 31-day challenge to make 2015 your healthiest, happiest, most gorgeous year ever. I’m joining Birchbox on this month-long challenge and will share my success with #BirchboxChallenge. Let’s do this together!

{ bargain } Free Museum Admission Nationwide

Free museum admission first wknd of every month via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1163

Photos by Wayne // The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Free museum admission first wknd of every month via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1163

Beautiful outdoor space // The MET, New York

Museum lovers listen up!
As part of Bank of America’s Museums on Us program, the first full weekend of every month (this weekend!) Bank of America or Merrill Lynch cardholders get FREE general admission at 150 participating museums, science centers, botanical gardens and more nationwide! It includes places like LAMCA, The San Diego Museum of Art, de Young Museum in Los Angeles; The MET and MOMA (!) in New York and so many more! All you need is a photo ID and your Bank of America card or Merrill Lynch card.

If you’re curious, there are also other museums on the list nationwide – http://museums.bankofamerica.com/. You can sign up for email and text alerts and they’ll send reminders before the qualifying weekend.

Let the adventures begin!

Free museum admission first wknd of every month via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1163Free museum admission first wknd of every month via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1163Free museum admission first wknd of every month via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1163Free museum admission first wknd of every month via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1163

Day 8 // Outsmart Your Appetite for Sugar | Birchbox Challenge

My favorite healthy snacks #BirchboxChallenge Day 7 // via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1112

I have an insane sweet tooth. I crave chocolate (most) times of the day. Recently Compartes (those retro, gorgeous packaged, eccentric flavor chocolate bars) have been infiltrating into my thoughts. (Okay, sugar has already distracted me from the message of this post).

When chocolates and cupcakes beckon me, I tend to distract myself by eating a healthy alternative, take a 15 minute walk around the block or check my Instagram feed. Most of the time the urge will subside.

My favorite snack alternatives:

Apple & Natural Peanut Butter – I love the salty + sweet flavor combination. It reminds me of the healthier alternative to candied apples. The fiber of the apple and protein of the peanut butter make the perfect pairing of a nutritious and filling snack.

My favorite healthy snacks #BirchboxChallenge Day 7 // via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1112

Crackers & Cheese – My favorite crackers of the moment are Raincoast Crisps Rosemary Raisin (cheaper dupe is Trader Joes Raisin Rosemary Crisps) and any spreadable cheese.

My favorite healthy snacks #BirchboxChallenge Day 7 // via It's Jou Life blog - https://itsjoulife.wordpress.com/?p=1112

Trail Mix – I either buy it from Costco or make my own. Mixed nuts, especially walnuts are high in omega-3 and almonds help lower bad cholesterol. I like to add dried cranberries and a sprinkle of chocolate chips.

About the Birchbox Challenge

Birchbox teamed up with a panel of all-star experts to bring a 31-day challenge to make 2015 your healthiest, happiest, most gorgeous year ever. I’m joining Birchbox on this month-long challenge and will share my success with #BirchboxChallenge. Let’s do this together!

Day 7 // Easy DIY Honey Egg White Yogurt Cucumber Face Mask

Day 7 is my own home recipe // Honey Egg-White Yogurt Cucumber Face Mask. It’s a change from the scheduled Wine-Infused Face Mask, but I didn’t have red wine and wanted to work in a moisturizing and soothing face mask instead. Growing up my mom taught me how to take care and pamper my skin with DIY natural ingredients found in the kitchen pantry. My favorite is the Honey Egg White Yogurt Cucumber Face Mask.

This DIY mask recipe has major benefits that will aid parched skin and fight against the environmental harm that inevitably affects the skin.

  • Honey can aid in the relief of irritated skin because of its mild antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
  • Egg whites contains many proteins, high in collagen, maintain the elasticity of skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. (Remember to mix the egg white well enough to obtain a foamy egg white look).
  • Yogurt can help moisturize and contains lactic acid that will smooth and gently exfoliate your skin while reducing fine lines and wrinkles by tightening the pores.
  • Cucumbers aid and sooth sunburn, hydrate the eye area and cleanse the skin.

Ingredients

1 egg white

1 tsp honey

1 tsp fresh plain organic yogurt

8  thinly-sliced cucumbers *optional

Directions

  1. Beat the egg white with a fork until it turns a little frothy. Tip: Coolest way to separate the yolk from the egg whites.
  2. In a bowl thoroughly combine the egg white, honey and yogurt.
  3. Apply the mask on your cleansed face and leave it for 15 minutes until you feel it dry.
  4. Gently rinse it off with warm water.

Click here if you prefer to try the Birchbox Challenge Wine-Infused Face Mask instead.

About the Birchbox Challenge

Birchbox teamed up with a panel of all-star experts to bring a 31-day challenge to make 2015 your healthiest, happiest, most gorgeous year ever. I’m joining Birchbox on this month-long challenge and will share my success with #BirchboxChallenge. Make sure to also enter for their daily prize giveaways. Let’s do this together!