Monday Musings: I’m A Leader, Unless…

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I have no idea who said this as I saw it on a t-shirt and about died from laughter. I am a total wimp when it comes to the dark, true story. Since the fall is coming and that means Halloween I thought this was the most appropriate quote. Sometimes we’ve got to have some fun and not take everything so seriously. I can’t wait for the fall, it’s my favorite time of year and I am so ready for cooler weather, changing leaves, pumpkin everything, sweaters and of course scary movies. They scream fall to me (no pun intended) probably because of Halloween. Anywho, I’ll stop rambling about my love affair with fall. Have a wonderful week beauties!

Lynne’s August Beauty Picks

Holy moly I have discovered some serious game changer products this month. One of my favorite parts about writing this blog is getting to try out so many different products. August is always my busiest month with work travel and sorority recruitment which translates to sleepless nights and a less than stellar diet thus the products I put on my skin in August have to be extraordinary. No doubt these gorgeous products have given my skin the therapy and love it so desperately needs. And let me tell you being around 20 year old women for over a week makes this 34 year old hyper aware of aging….

Here are my standouts for the month:

White & Elm Antioxidant Serum + Renewing Eye Serum & Ginger Chi Jade Roller

Willow Bark + Jade Roller

I originally came across White & Elm skin care products on one of my favorite beauty websites Ecodiva Beauty and was immediately excited about giving these products a try! This brand is all about the empowerment of women and embracing our natural beauty and with a message like that I’m sold. I knew I had to give my skin an extra dose of nourishment this month and the best way to do that was with serums. The Rosehip & Argan Antioxidant Serum is loaded with ingredients that fight damage caused by UV rays, pollution and every day wear and tear. Ingredients like Rosehip Fruit Oil, Argan Kernel Oil and Avocado Oil provide intense hydration and protection no matter if you’re wearing it under your makeup during the day or repairing your skin at night. In addition, Evening Primrose Oil smooths and hydrates while helping to repair dark spots, rosacea and acne. This serum is now a key player in my arsenal of products and will be sticking around all the way through the winter this year. My skin just can’t get enough of it. It’s silky and smooth and it smells divine which is kind of a prerequisite for me.

The Pomegranate Renewing Eye Serum was the perfect partner to go with the Antioxidant Serum. I am arguably obsessed with finding the perfect eye cream/serum/fountain of youth and I’ve totally fallen in love with this stuff. Much like the Antioxidant Serum it has a silky smooth finish and a gorgeous light scent. I particularly love the fact that it’s applied with a rollerball because I’m all for simplification. This serum is so jam packed with skin nutrients it’s easier just to let the product description speak for itself –

Pomegranate oil is deeply nourishing, naturally high in flavonoids and punicic acid, making it a powerful skin regenerator. Apricot kernel oil is a light moisturizing oil that easily absorbs into the skin leaving a smooth, silky finish. It’s rich in gamma linoleic acid (GLA) that helps the skin maintain its moisture balance, and contains vitamin A and E, which soothes the skin and slows the signs of aging. With its high vitamin E content, Argan oil deeply hydrates and softens skin, restoring elasticity and helping give the skin a youthful glow. Rosehip seed oil, high in vitamin C and lycopene, boasts skin-rejuvenating properties that maintain skin elasticity and protect against environmental damages. Avocado oil has outstanding regenerative properties as it penetrates the skin more deeply than other oils, providing superior nutrients within the skin. Filled with vitamins A, B1, B2, D, and E, pantothenic acid, amino acids and other fatty acids, avocado oil increases collagen production upping skin strength and elasticity. Sea buckthorn oil is a conditioning oil known for its ability to heal and nourish. Full of phytosterol, vitamin E, beta-carotene, antioxidant vitamins C and E, and carotenoid, it reduces skin roughness and the appearance of the length of facial lines and the depth of wrinkles.

And then of course there’s the Ginger Chi Jade Roller which on top of it being a fantastic beautifying tool it’s also kind of fun to use. This centuries old method of rolling along meridian points helps to soften fine lines and wrinkles, ease tension, reduce puffiness and dark circles around the eyes, enhance skin elasticity and improve circulation. I’ve been using this nearly every day following the application of my serums. It feels amazing and because Jade naturally stays cool it helps to close pores and boost lymphatic drainage.

Andalou Facial Mask + Trilogy Night Cream + Honest Beauty Tinted Moisturizer

Night cream + mask + tinted moisturizer

The Andalou Naturals Facial Masks are the greatest thing to happen to health markets in the history of ever! I adore that I can grab one of these bad boys whilst grocery shopping. And, since they come in one use packets I can purchase entirely based on my skin’s needs that day. They’re genius! This particular mask uses Fruit Stem Cell Science and Resveratrol Q10 (that’s the stuff in red wine) to enhance skin complexion with a combination of antioxidants and collagen stimulation. Plus it’s loaded with Goji Glycopeptide for firming and Argan Oil for  hydrating. Stop what you’re doing and give these beauties a try you will not regret it!

The Trilogy Replenishing Night Cream is the newest addition to my beauty regiment and, to be honest, I kind of bought it on a whim. I was completely out of the night cream I had been using and just needed a change. Thank goodness for Whole Foods and their ever expanding beauty/skin care department because that’s where I happened upon this goodness. The texture is really supple and it has this silky quality to it without being greasy. My skin responded to it instantly. The combination of hyaluronic acid and marula oil easily absorbs into skin leaving a beautifully hydrated complexion. My skin feels nourished and soft every morning when I wake up. Simply put it’s a damn good product.

I’ve been using this Honest Beauty Tinted Moisturizer for the entire summer and I just love it. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you’ll know my refusal to use foundation in the summertime and tinted moisturizer is the first thing in my beauty cabinet to be switched out come the heat. It glides beautifully over my serums and works really well with my primer. Side note – the product does have a bit of a dry finish so it is important to have a smooth base to build on. I have been combining the tinted moisturizer with my primer and then applying it to my face which makes for easy application and solid staying power. Between the coverage, SPF 20 and hydration this stuff almost works as a BB Cream. In fact, its ingredients include Chamomile, Chalendula, Orange Flower Water, Grapeseed Oil, Olive Oil and Aloe Vera. Basically, it’s food for your skin that perfects your complexion. You really can’t go wrong with that situation.

So there they are – my August beauty picks…have a great rest of your month beauties!

Berry Tart Smoothie

Berry Tart Smoothie - Aerial

Lately, I can’t get enough of tart flavors and thus created the tartest of smoothies to satisfy my cravings. Something I’ve been attempting to do is pay closer to attention to my body and what it’s asking me to give it. It’s not always the easiest to tune in and pay attention especially when sugar or alcohol or processed food (no one is perfect) is calling to me, but I’m doing my best. Red fruits galore have been catching me eye in the market so this smoothie combined with the tart flavor is really hitting the spot. Most associate cranberries as a way to ward off a UTI but actually they also slow tumor growth, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and promote gum health. I’ve never used them in a smoothie until recently and I’m kind of in love now. And just for good measure I’ve added in some superfoods for an extra kick. This smoothie is ideal for post workout nourishment and requires zero prep, simply throw it all in a blender and voila! Here’s a nutrient breakdown of some of the goodies in the smoothie –

Coconut Water is truly nature’s Gatorade minus all the nasties like food coloring and sugar that so often accompany sports drinks. The Potassium and Electrolytes in Coconut Water are staggeringly high which makes it the perfect recovery drink for everything from workouts to hangovers (yeah I said it, it works, try it).

Chia Seeds make their way into nearly every smoothie recipe I make and for good reason. For starters, they help to control hunger and for a girl that could spend a full day doing nothing but eating these are really helpful to fill me up and slow me down. Chia seeds are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, antioxidants, fiber, calcium, vitamins and minerals. Side note – did you know that Chia means strength in Mayan and Aztec cultures? It’s amazing what you can learn on the Internet.

Psyllium Husk is basically a complex form of fiber that is used primarily as a laxative. Similar to Chia Seeds in that it soaks up water, psyllium husk helps ease digestive ailments and keeps you moving. It’s also been shown in limited studies to increase heart health by managing cholesterol levels, aiding in weight loss and balancing insulin in those that suffer from Diabetes (consult a doctor). It’s also flavorless so it can be added to nearly anything.

Manuka Honey is my favorite of all honeys because it has the strongest flavor and the most health benefits. Honey in general is an amazing superfood, but Manuka Honey is extra special because it’s far more potent. This golden nectar can be eaten or used to treat wounds, yep that’s right. It has outstanding antibacterial and antibiotic properties. Manuka is measured by it’s UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) so look for Manuka that has a 10 UMF or higher. The flavor is similar to bee pollen (another of my loves) so if you’re not allergic and like a hearty honey flavor than give this stuff a try.

Berry Tart Smoothie - Frontal

Berry Tart Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup Coconut Water
  • 1/2 cup frozen Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen Raspberries
  • Juice from 1 Lime
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Psyllium Husk
  • 1 Tablespoon Manuka Honey (if vegan use sweetener of choice)
  • 1 Serving Plant Based Protein Powder

Add all ingredients to high powered blender and blend. Top with Bee Pollen for added energy boost (optional).

I prefer a thicker smoothie so add more Coconut Water if a thinner consistency is preferred.

Monday Musings: Case of the Mondays…

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As true as this is, it doesn’t make me want a nap any less. After a week and a half of traveling and sorority recruitment I am more than due for some self-care and dietary changes – namely sleep, face masks, less caffeine and no sugar. Shopping at Whole Foods this morning was the greatest way to start my week. Thinking out loud – I may have to make that a Monday morning ritual…

Wellness Wednesday: Are We Shoulding Ourselves To Failure?


There are certain words in the English language that seem totally innocent and yet upon second look can be sneakily harmful. How often do we tell ourselves what we should and shouldn’t do rather than listening to what we want to do? I think it’s a safe assumption to say that there is not a man or woman alive who doesn’t catch themselves in a negative self talk pattern every now and again. Am I right or am I right? So how does should get us into a negative self talk spiral you ask? Should is a word with force behind it and it’s usually the word we use when we’re pressuring ourselves to do something we don’t really want to do. For example, “I should do this or that, but I don’t feel like it right now.” Did I mention should is usually followed by the word but, another word I actively steer clear of. Both should, but and try are all words that stem from a place of lack. When we live in a world that is full of abundance why do we sometimes pigeon hole ourselves into a place of lack? Not wanting to expend your energy on something you’re not passionate about is okay. And yet we often coerce ourselves into doing something we feel we should do even though we know it’s not the right choice for us and then we wonder why failure immediately follows. So how do we reroute ourselves on another path?

1. Start Listening –

When was the last time you sat quietly with yourself and genuinely asked you what you want? Quiet time is a dying luxury with phones and social media buzzing and the millions of responsibilities we take on as individuals. We’re so busy worrying about appeasing others we forget to take a beat and find out what we need to do to soothe ourselves. Often the best thing we can do for ourselves is is sit in silence on our own for 5-10 minutes. If you have more time by all means take advantage of that. However much time you need to get that conversation with yourself going take it.

2. Evaluate Your To Do’s –

The to do list for me is like a bad boyfriend. Some days I really want and need you around and other days, yeah I’m just not that into you. Does anyone else have this hot and cold relationship with their to do list? For me, there is no faster way to start shoulding all over myself than when I have a long ass to do list to complete. Writing things down is important, I get it, it’s easy to gloss over something and yet how much of it do you want to actually complete? Evaluate your to do’s and learn if they’re actually worth doing.

3. Discover Your Desires & Passions –

Amazing miracles happen when we sit down quietly with ourselves and pay attention to our wants, hopes and desires. Ideas and passions have a beautiful way of showing up when our head is clear enough to receive them. Free writing is a wonderful tool to explore our subconscious mind and find out what little gems we have stored away inside bursting to come to fruition. Whether you’re sitting in silence or free writing your way to discovery, learning what you truly want in life is always accessible.

4. Write Down Your Goals –

Goals that are written down have intention. There are a gazillion books on the subject of goal writing and that’s because hand writing them out works. Start with your big idea and then break down what the top five items are that can ensure you hit that big goal. Want to go even further? Write out five more items underneath each of the earlier five items and break them down to their lowest common denominator. Once you know what you want to do making those gorgeous dreams come to life will be a joy and there won’t be a should in sight.

5. Retrain Your Brain –

Eradicating words of lack from your vocabulary will be the single greatest choice you will make for yourself this year. After all it’s a whole lot easier to be successful in your endeavors when you speak in abundant language. When I started paying attention to my words I couldn’t believe how often I said but and should. Once you’re aware there’s no going back and it’s a lovely lovely thing.


Tempeh Broccoli Stir Fry (gluten-free + vegan)

When the weather drops below freezing my tastes and food cravings tend to shift to more seasonal food like root and cruciferous veggies. The colder months require warmth from wherever our bodies can find them and I choose to incorporate heat from heartier foods like broccoli, sweet potatoes and ginger. Lately I’ve been heavily craving Chinese food but not all the chemicals and heavy sauces that are so often served in restaurants so I sought out to make my own. I prefer simple recipes that don’t require a lot of fuss that I can throw together after a long day and not make a monsterous mess in my kitchen in the process. And this recipe is exactly what I needed to satisfy my craving.


The vegetables I used were simply some broccoli florets, broccoli rabe (which I decided on whilst at the market) and a yellow onion. I had originally wanted a sweet onion (which wasn’t available at the market) as I thought it may add some depth so if you’re so inclined you may try that instead of the yellow onion.

Ingredients in Pot

I don’t own a wok but I do own a dutch oven which gets used probably as often as my Vitamix. It’s the most useful cooking tool!


Mix all the veggies together with the tempeh and sauce, add in some brown jasmine rice and tah dah. Delicious and healthy chinese food.

Broccoli Stir Fry Bowl

I actually had this for lunch today and it was so good considering the 21 degree sub-zero temperature outside. Sometimes our bodies require more than just a salad.

Recipe –

3 tablespoons arrowroot powder, divided
1/2 c water
2 tablespoons water, divided
2 cloves garlic, diced, divided
16 ounces tempeh, crumbled
2 tablespoons sesame oil divided
3 cups broccoli florets
1 cup broccoli rabe
1 small yellow onion, sliced into wedges
1/3 cup tamari
1 tablespoon date sugar or coconut sugar (your preference)
1 tablespoon coconut nectar
1 inch ginger root, diced
dash red pepper flakes (or more depending on taste)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
brown jasmine rice

In a medium sized bowl, combine 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder + 2 tablespoons water + 1 clove garlic until mixed thoroughly.

Add tempeh to bowl and coat.

Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a wok or large saucepan over medium high heat, stir-fry tempeh until it reaches a golden color. Stir often as tempeh does stick. Once golden remove from heat and set aside.

Heat 2nd tablespoon sesame oil and stir fry broccoli florets + broccoli rabe + onion for 5 minutes.

Add tempeh back into pot.

In a small bowl, combine tamari + date sugar + coconut nectar + ginger root + 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder + 1 clove garlic + red pepper flakes + water and mix thoroughly; add to pot.

Cook for additional 2 minutes until combined.

Serve over jasmine rice.

Serves 4