Posted in Wellness

Inspiring Blogger Joanne Encarnacion (Gofitjo) Talking All Things Creativity & Wellness

Joanne Motivational Interview

How inspiring is Joanne (Gofitjo on Instagram)?!

Not only is she inspiring but super cute, has a kick ass bod and her story makes you want to get your shit together asap. She’s basically a badass empowering gal that wants nothing but the best for herself and her 35.3K community of followers…Ok lets all go friend her on Insta and become besties.

Are you guys starting to see a trend with our interviewees lately?Bad ass positive gals all around!

You guys I was so pumped when Joanne accepted doing the interview for the blog, I had been following her health and fitness journey on Instagram and loved every second of her inspiring realness that I knew I had to have her for the interview segment! She’s so empowering and positive why would you not want to radiate those vibes to everyone?!

You will adore her thoughts on social media, building a positive community, and how to live a healthy life!

Anyway, I loved this interview and i’m now totally inspired to get my ass out of bed earlier and fit in that workout.

Hi Joanne! Introduce yourself to Blissfully Lively readers! |

JE: Hello lovelies. My name is Joanne Encarnacion. I’m a full time career mama hustler working at VSCO and blogger of GOFITJO.

How did you get started in blogging? |

JE: Like most bloggers, blogging started off as my creative outlet. I started my blog as a place to share and document my fitness journey.

I know you have created a social media community around fitness, positivity, self love, etc. How did this start? |

JE: Community starts when you invite people to particpate in something larger than one person. I guess in some ways this invitation was an open invitation for those who were struggling through the same challenges as I was as it relates to fitness and womanhood. The greatest lesson I’ve learned in life is that one person can go at it alone, but it takes an entire community and team to build something amazing. And before you can ask people to join you in any movement you need to be vulnerable enough to say I need you as much as you need me.

Did you always know you wanted to blog about health/ wellness? |

JE: Definitely not. I’ve always had a passion for writing. Back in high school I dreamed of  writing my own book one day. Not sure what it would be about, but I’ve always had this really strong understanding that true healing comes from when we share our stories of hopes and fears with others.

Spending a lot of time on social media can take a toll on some because the comparisons start to set in. How do you try to stray away from that? |

JE: Relationships can foster both healthy growth or negative growth. You have to ask yourself quickly will comparison start to sit in if you spend time scrolling through your IG feeds or will a healthy dose of inspiration stem from it. Just like a fitness journey, the results is a direct effect of the effort and energy you put into it. I don’t mean energy like the inertia or the amount of time spent. The energy I’m referring to is the energy within. I try my hardest to not define someone’s success against my own definitions and I’d like to hope that others do the same.

What does a healthy day look like for you from start to finish? |

JE: My days are crazy! And I say that with the utmost love. I wake up at 5:00AM. I’m out of the house by 5:30AM and start my 40 mile commute to the city I work at so I can get my workout in before my work day. Work begins around 9:30/10AM and I leave the office by about 4/4:30PM to head back home and jump into dinner with the family. My daughters are in bed by 8:00PM which leaves my husband and I an hour or so to hang out before it’s my bedtime to repeat the day all over again.

What would you recommend to someone who wants to get their life on track or “get their life together” as you would say but doesn’t know where do start?|

JE: Dig deep and ask yourself what your purpose and intention are. I know that this may seem like a lofty way to start, but when you drive your life or goals behind a purpose then the smaller goals are a little clearer.

For example you tell yourself that the ultimate goal would be to get healthier and to no longer be overweight. First step is the find out what is technically overweight for your height and body, then you can start to break down the goals from there. Let’s say you’re 50lbs overweight. You know that exercising 4-5 days a week an hour or more a day can help you get to your goals within 6 months. But you haven’t worked out since high school. Start small with 3 days a week for 30 minutes for the first 2 weeks. Once you’ve committed and fully accomplished that, slowly increase the amount you can commit to. And then soon enough you’ll be reaching your goals.

Who is one person you look up to in your field of blogging or self-help or creativity. |

JE: I don’t have one person I look up to in my field of blogging or creativity. In fact there are several women I look up to. Jeanne Grey of @thegreylayers, Michelle Carigma of @_modernfit, Remi Ishizuka of @rrayyme, Brene Brown, and so many others! These women inspire me inspire me in so many different ways. They have hearts of gold, the are genuine, and down to earth. Each of them has found a way to help me in different stages and areas in my life and I can’t thank them enough for molding me into the blogger or creative that I am. I also can’t forget my husband. He pushes and challenges me to be a better person.

What is one thing you hope others take away from your blog, social media, etc.? |

JE: I hope that people can walk away from my blog or social media with a sense of belonging and comfort knowing that you don’t have to be perfect in anything. Perfection is so overrated and I’m learning that the more we can be vulnerable with one another to encourage that then the more we can push one another further to a place of understanding and love for ourselves and others. Most people see a strong person and think that they will never get to be like that person because they have it all figured out. In their minds they’ve built this idea that the person they admire is “perfect”. When you find the courage and bravery to show others that you can pick yourself back up after a setback, that’s when true connection can begin. That’s when we can all begin to push ourselves just a little further than the day before.  

Anything else you would love to tell readers? |

JE: All this in mind it’s really easy to lose the focus in fitness too. But here’s the most important thing to remember in these moments: it’s just fitness. And just like anything in life, we can’t take it too damn seriously.

Photo by: @encarnacionphotography

Want to follow along? Like Joanne’s Fb page for updates. Oh and do your self a favor and watch her kick ass inspiring Muscle Milk video…you will cry and then be overcome with motivation all in one.

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

 


The whole body workout you need to add into your routine

trx whole body workout

It’s no surprise I love TRX!

I mean I teach it, add it into my own workouts at home & boast about it on the regular to so many people. I talk about it a lot on Instagram even sharing some at home workouts using the straps so I thought I would break down why I love this whole body workout so much.

  1. It works the whole entire body
  2. You can modify every move to meet your skill level
  3. A lot of the exercises are back to basics moves but heightened

TRX whole body mountain climbers

TRX is a strength workout that manipulates your own bodyweight leveraged by straps to create moves that are right for you. Because you are suspended in mid air and a bit less stable then say all fours on the ground in a push up position a lot of these moves require balancing and stabilizing yourself (which means you’re working your whole body (tightening to stay stable) without even really knowing)

TRX whole body burpee

{Please ignore my painful face, these are seriously HARD}

Take a TRX burpee for example you start out with one foot in one strap facing away from the anchor (wall). Now you’re balancing on one foot with the other in the strap. You now bring your hands down to the floor on either side of your leg  in push up position take that balanced leg bring it out straight into a plank, and stand right back on up (include a one legged jump for difficulty). Woah doesn’t seem too hard but when you think about it you’re balancing on one leg the whole entire time putting all your bodyweight on that leg and tightening all your muscles to keep everything stable so you don’t fall over.

If you compare this to a regular burpee yes those are hard but you have two legs to stabilize yourself! & this is why I love the workout, adding a little extra difficulty to simple moves.

whole body bicep curl

I also love how you can manipulate any move in the straps to be at your level. Say you are doing a TRX Bicep Curl facing towards the anchor (the piece that the straps are connected to in the wall). Your arms are fully extended and you’re curling them up to your ears and slowly lowering back down. Now the trick to make it just right for you is feet position.

If you move your feet towards the anchor (wall) you’re putting more of your weight into the straps making it harder, and if you move your feet away from the anchor (taking a small step back) you’re putting less of your weight into the straps making it easier. Little movements are always key.

TRX whole body straps workout

I sometimes have clients that come to my class and think the straps look intimidating but once they understand they can manipulate their feet to create whatever difficulty they would like it makes a world of difference.

The back to basics simple strength moves that become more intense is where it’s at! Don’t even get me started on all the amazing TRX Ab Moves, We’ll save that one for next Wednesday!

I hope this helped explain a bit, and if you’re really intrigued I would love to see you in my class Monday nights 5:30pm Mission Portsmouth.

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

Looking to be challenged a bit? Check out my at-home workout!


How To Thrive In Your Hustle ( & Love Every Minute Of It)

Book Letdown

Oh my goodness! I have been waiting to post all about this motivational interview for quite some time. Today I bring you Author, Lifestyle Coach, & Podcaster Katie Corcoran. Katie and I met {funny enough} through social media and we instantly connected on our hustling ways. Katie had just put out her {amazing} book all about hustling & I was in the depths of working 2 jobs and going to school full time.

Basically Katie’s book was an uber positive note that struck a cord with me in the best way. While I was struggling working tons, blogging on the side and going to school full time Katie’s book was teaching me how to thrive in those everyday struggles that most women deal with on the reg.

Ok enough about me! without further Ado I give you badass lady hustler Katie Corcoran…

BL: Hi Katie! Introduce yourself to Blissfully Lively readers.

KC: Well hello there Blissfully Lively readers. I am thrilled to say hello to you today. My name is Katie Corcoran and I am a Lifestyle Coach, Podcaster, “Lady Hustler,” Author and work in Influencer Marketing.

BL: How did you get started in Lifestyle Coaching?

KC: I started my coaching journey as a health coach actually and was certified from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in 2013. Shortly after that I was coaching clients one-on-one through wellness and nutrition, but realized I really neglected to listen to some of my own coaching “guidelines” and found myself over-worked, stressed, partying in NYC {just a bit too frequently}, and was often stuck in a mental state of self-sabotage.  It became quite challenging for me to listen and help others work through the struggles of “finding their way” when I, in fact, felt like a peer. So I paused the coaching and set out to further examine how other inspiring women find and maintain a healthy life balance in the “hustle” of our busy-ness. And I did that by writing my first book She Makes It Work: A DIY Guide to Thrive in Your Hustle.

BL: Your book She Makes It Work: A DIY Guide to Thrive in Your Hustle is amazing, I seriously couldn’t put it down. What made you want to write it? Is there a story behind it?

KC: Thank you, and yes absolutely! After questioning hundreds of friends and people about how they find “balance,” I selected 21 to share some of their tips and tricks in my book and I call them the Lady Hustlers. Being that I couldn’t seem to find a comfortable answer for myself, it became important for me to seek advice and perspective from numerous, trusted sources around me.

BL: You seem to live a super positive lifestyle how do you thrive in your hustle?

KC: First and foremost, I whole-heartedly believe positivity is a choice. I have days and moments where I feel out of sorts and, on the inside, just am the farthest from positive. But I have to remind myself that the thoughts and feelings will pass and I often check in with my basic human needs. Have I put nutritious food in my body? Have I had enough water? Have I fit in some sweat time? Have I slept? If any of those are out of sorts, I really begin to have what I call “adult tantrums,” and just sit feeling sorry for myself. So generally it only takes a day or so to get back in alignment and get myself on track when I address those needs first. Then on to the bigger thoughts!

BL: What does a lady hustlers day look like?

KC: Great question! A Lady Hustler’s day is filled with an acronym I created called the T-H-R-I-V-E concept. She’s thoughtful toward others and herself, she incorporates a bit of hustle to feel productive and accomplished, she commits to residually grow every day through ingesting positive content, she also knows her story is important and she has the power to inspire others, she knows and honors her value and, lastly, she feels empowered to make decisions for herself. But for this Lady Hustler there’s no day I can’t go without a good workout or some movement time, that always seems to snap me back into action {real quick}.

Katie Interview

BL: Do you have any tips for people looking to live a healthier life?

KC: This may sound simple, but put in the work. Don’t think about doing the work. Just do it. I so often hear people believe old truths about themselves–like truly believing they are active–but really just enjoy wearing some cute yoga pants and recalling a time in their lives where they were more active. One step a day equals 30 steps a month and 365 steps a year. It’s remarkable!

BL: What’s the number one take away from your book?

KC: My hope is that readers feel reminded that they are exactly where they need to be today. I had a lovely reader tell me her big “ah ha” from She Makes It Work was that she wanted to read it to find “answers,” but instead discovered all the answers are in her power to choose. And, honestly, that’s what I learned too. We all have our own definition of balance. We are all just making “it” work for us, and have to just be comfortable with trusting the process.

BL: I know you recently started a podcast called Badass & Bare, what do you guys chat about?

KC: Yes! my co-host Andrea Hood and I started Badass & Bare at the beginning of 2016 and concluded Season 1 with 24 episodes and tens of thousands of listens — which was slightly unexpected, but totally awesome! We started the show to help inspire women in flux to feel badass in her own power and to tune into our weekly ear candy. Honestly, for Season 1, we just kind of rolled with it and did what felt right at the moment. But, Season 2 will be more structured and will cover elements of relationships you have with yourself. Think a personal relationship with money, humor, community, and more! We are thrilled and launching in September.

BL: Who is one person you look up to in your field of self help?

KC: Elizabeth Gilbert is big for me right now. Her book Big Magic really helped me better understand how to embrace my creative and I often think about passages and stories in her book when I’m in a place of struggle or growth. I also adore her Oprah Soul Sessions Speech called “Flight of the Hummingbird – The Curiosity Driven Life.” It is out of this world and worth every minute of the 30-minute watch!

BL: What do you hope people take away from your book, podcast, or coaching?

KC: To trust your gut and just own your inner lady hustlin’ badass.

I mean woah! Don’t you feel like from just talking to Katie you want to give yourself a swift kick in the ass to improve you life? I know I do! If you loved the interview and want to connect more with Katie follow her Instagram and check out her website.

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

 

Looking for a way to kick your ass into Lady Hustlin’ gear? Check out my full body workout.

 

 


Give Your Workout Style An Upgrade

If you’re working hard you deserve it right? Well that’s what I think at least, and it’s pretty easy to agree when this style (leggings, Bra and tshirt) was only $45.

Thank you Tjmaxx, Forever21 & Target

workout clothes

I would have never thought to check out Forever21 for workout clothes but they continue to surprise me. I have 2 pair of leggings from there and just bought this cute crop top and am so in love with them. The leggings are super sweat wicking and have the perfect amount of grip on the inside so they stay up. No one likes leggings that are made with the super slippery fabric and are falling down ALL THE TIME. Not cute.

& this shirt was $10 I mean can you beat that? For a super cute crop top that’s so incredibly soft! If you’re only going to sweat in it (& then possible run errands after 🙈) why do you need to spend a fortune?

workout outfit

{Gotta look stylish while out for that run ;)}

These leggings are from Target and disclaimer definitely weren’t made for short girls (are leggings ever made for short girls, or am I just the only one always wearing them up to my boobs when they should be at your waist?). As you can see I have the waist rolled down but hey the pattern was so cute, and the mesh detailing I just couldn’t pass up. $20 is also a steal.

Workout outfit

This sports bra was seriously a life changer. I have always had the spots bras that have the super skinny straps, and removable liner that you had to readjust every time it came out of the dryer. Thank goodness for this Calvin Klein sports bra (I couldn’t find this exact one but linked a similar one) on super sale at TJMaxx. It has super thick straps, the fabric is thick and tough so it holds everything in, & no annoying removable liners to deal with. That’s a win win in my book.

wootd outfit

affordable wootd

{Can’t go wrong with white and black workout attire}

{Shop this look by clicking the images}

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

Looking for more cute outfit inspiration? Check out my go to summer outfit.


The One Ab Move That Works It All

ab roller workout

When I say works it all… I MEAN ALL! This one move will leave you absolutely shaking, and that’s why I love it. The Ab roller used to be something I would always over look turning to sit ups or toe touches to work my core but recently i’ve been all about it.

I love it because you’re stabilizing yourself and using every single muscle instead of just targeting your core by doing a sit up. The ab roller reminds me of why I love TRX so much because it isn’t a targeted workout. It won’t just work one area of the body, it works the whole body, and we all know I love full body workouts.

More bang for your buck if I do say so myself!

I have started adding 3 sets of 10 into the end of my workouts and they totally leave me feeling accomplished. Give them a try but remember keep you body in plank position, no sagging hips or arched back. Keep it all tight, and if you can’t roll all the way out on your first try and keep good form only go as far as you can. Form is most important, practice that first and more reps will come!

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

Looking for a healthy post workout snack? Check out my Mixed Berry Green Smoothie recipe to fuel you.


The Truth About Workout Quick Fixes

strength training workout

Let’s chat about workout quick fixes. You know them, the 30 minute workout, the incredible shake, the contraption that can do it all and “make you lose 15 pounds in one month” sort of thing. I wanted to chat about this on the blog because the last few months I have been seeing them (not going to name any company names but they’re a big one and they’re taking over the fitness game) pop up more than ever, and I just can’t hold in how I feel any longer.

I’m super lucky that I have this space to be able to make a change (at least I hope) and I wanted to broach this topic because honestly I think it’s unfair to the women of the world that really do want to make a positive fitness/ health change in their life, but might not have the background knowledge to know what will actually work.

All too often I am scrolling through Facebook or Instagram and come across these people selling fitness workouts, or fitness drinks showing a photo of themselves looking (in shape, ripped, whatever you want to call it) making the consumer believe that they will look like this if they do this workout, or drink this drink and let me just tell you that’s false.

These people forget to give you a little background information which goes a little something like this. They use this drink/ workout to supplement something they are already doing and that something is definitely lifting heavy ass weight and working pretty damn hard for it. This can be in the form of anything from strength training, weight lifting, Cross fit, etc. But they sure as hell aren’t doing 10 sets of flutter kicks in their living room to get a rock hard stellar bod.

Ugh sigh! I totally wish that was the case but it isn’t and if you want that killer bod you need to put in the TIME.

This being said I want my blog, Instagram, etc. to be a space of motivation and positivity for people. I want people to come to my page because they know that what they see is what they get…what i’m promoting or talking about is real and will only lead you to hopefully becoming the best version of yourself.

so…

I am on a mission to post my real unfiltered workouts, the things I do daily (or weekly) to keep myself healthy and in the shape that makes me feel the best. In doing this I hope that it will motivate others to drop the random contraptions, short workouts, and shakes and pick up some weight and get after it!

Follow along over on Instagram and Snapchat (username: lbartlett12) for daily updates.

Here is my first unfiltered Blissfully Lively Daily Workout. Let me know what you think!

  • 10 med ball slams
  • 30 second L-Sit holds
  • 5 trap bar dead lifts (this changes each week, weight and sets)
  • sprints
  • pull ups (as many as I can do)
  • Repeat 3x

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

 

In need of some more motivation and good vibes? Check out my Interview with Holistic Health & Wellness Coach Holly of Conscious Dining & Conscious Wellness.


How to Live Healthy & Be Your Best Self

Healthy Breakfast

{Follow Holly on Instagram}

Ok so let me just tell you guys this interview was KILLER!

I am so excited I reached out to Holly, and now have her amazing health/wellness insight to bring to you guys. Her knowledge of healthy living/ eating is beyond amazing and will make you want to drop the sweets ASAP. Her overall positive outlook on life & pursuit of doing something that she loves & cares about is so inspiring. Also side note I’m so happy people are reaching out to me on how much they love these interviews because my whole goal behind it is to be inspiring and helpful to others in need of advice, motivation, etc! Ok ok, enough of me gushing about her… Lets chat.

BL: Hey Holly! Please introduce yourself to Blissfully Lively readers.

Holly: Aloha friends. I live in beautiful Arizona with my handsome husband and our two sweet rescue pups. I’m a holistic health coach and the founder of a healthy food company called Conscious Dining.

BL: I know you started your own nutrition and wellness company called Conscious Dining. Tell us a little about it.

Holly: Conscious Dining began in January 2016 and was created to help others stay committed to eating healthy through out the week – everything 100% gluten free, organic and non-gmo, catering to vegan, vegetarian and paleo lifestyles. We specialize in a 5-Day meal preparation and nutritional consultations. As we continue to grow it’s important that our clients feel the love and integrity in our foods.

BL: Why did you decide to start Conscious Dining?

Holly: I wanted to be able to share my passion for eating and living a balanced, healthy lifestyle with others that truly need it. Two years ago I was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease that creates a severe inflammatory response and it has been the driving force for me to help others, be my own boss and stay committed on my own wellness journey. Most ‘health scares’ makes people reflect on their life in a new way and it was the catalyst for me to let go and create my legacy to helping others. I have nothing to lose; only supporting others journeys to gain. Simply, I want to do what I love. So I created my dream job.

BL: What is your favorite recipe you currently craft up?

Holly: My husband calls me a professional chopper at home. I love whipping up salads more than anything and I believe the smaller you chop your vegetables the more exciting they are to eat in a salad. I’m an intuitive cook, recipes actually give me slight anxiety. I love vibrant foods and I try to eat a variation of colors through out the week. Currently local figs are in season – and raw, organic figs could just be my most favorite treat on their own.

Lunch salad recipe

{See more of Holly’s delicious recipes on her Conscious Dining Instagram}

BL: Can you give us some healthy eating tips?

Holly:  I swear by a few things…

*Without fail every morning, I make myself a 32 ounce mason of room temp water from our Berkey – a charcoal water filter – and add organic lemon juice and braggs apple cider vinegar. This flushes my kidneys, jump starts proper digestion (wink wink) and helps rid your body of built up toxins.

*I eat organic vegetables everyday – raw, juiced, fermented or baked. Food is medicine and consistent vegetable intake is key. I specify organic because there are only more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants without pesticides or being genetically modified. I think of them like taking a daily multi vitamin.

*Limit your sugars – even natural sugars! This is so important to be away of your daily intake as it is the leading cause of many complications with the body. I know that sugar makes me more emotional – this actually shows up for most people. Blood sugar imbalances can usually show up as irritability, anger, depression, anxiety and it’s interesting to see the affect the day after. If I feel off one day, I can usually trace the previous 24-48 hours and find the sweet culprit! Sugar also creates inflammation and yeast overgrowth in our digestive track. No thank you!

BL: Do you have a mantra you repeat daily? I know you’re into good vibes, and positivity.

Holly: I don’t have a specific mantra but I do try my best to have a consistent meditation practice, which is important for me as I continue to grow older. I always spend part of my meditations focuses on the things in my life I’m grateful for. When I forget or focus only on the things I want, it’s easy to feel not enough. I try my best to get out of that space through breath work and the consistent reminder of the beauty in my world.

BL: What’s your favorite meal? Healthy, and not so healthy for the days when you’re craving something a little sweet.

Holly: I never really crave sweet, but I am a sucker for a gluten-free pastry with a cup of coffee and almond milk. I do crave salty and I think I could live off Mexican food – especially chips, salsa and guacamole. We have an awesome spot that makes vegan butternut squash tacos with homemade corn tortillas that are like mini fluffy pancakes near us and that our favorite date night spot.

Holly Conscious Dining

{Want to work with Holly? Check out her website!}

BL: I know you provide custom meal packages, but tell me a little more about the health consultations you provide.

Holly: Our consultations are my passion and make me feel so fulfilled! I created my own programing for clients that need additional motivation, direction and education to live a healthy lifestyle on their own. I felt like there was a nitch for people recently diagnosed with something and a doctor tells them “no dairy, gluten or sugar”. For many that’s a really overwhelming moment. That’s where I come in, hold their hand and support the transition. I have always loved being a motivator and cheering others on and I wanted to create a program that created lasting change.

BL: What does your healthy day looking like? Do you workout, meditate, eat clean, what is your routine?

Holly: I wake up loving my two furs babies – snuggles are always needed and I’m very present to that moment. I hate rushing so I’m usually an early riser to give myself enough time to have my morning routine and sit in the sunshine. I’ve recently started strength training; I know that for optimal health especially for women lifting weights (or body weight) is critical for bone and immune health. So I try to get that done 3-4 times a week in the morning. After a full day of work – making sure I take breaks to regroup and get breath back in my body – I make a healthy meal for my husband and I. We love this and it might be the most consistent thing we do. Recently we purchased a hot tub so an evening soak has been something I’m digging right before Netflix.

BL: If someone is looking to get on a healthier life track with eating/ working out what is the number one thing you recommend they do.

Holly: Education is power. I would recommend reading books/articles, watching documentaries, talk with others on why it’s important to live a healthier lifestyle. Knowledge is power and for me the more I know, the more I can also hold myself accountable – simply because I know better.

I hope you all enjoyed learning a little more about Holly and Conscious Dining. Isn’t she the sweetest? If any of you are looking for some Holistic Health coaching, or just want to learn more about it follow Conscious Dining on Facebook (& social media provided above).

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

In need of some more Inspo? Check out Anna Leigh’s Skin Secrets to Live By!


Skin Secrets to Live by

A while ago I was recommended by my friend to start getting facials because she had seen amazing results getting them done regularly. I have always taken great care of my skin (I’m a freak about washing my face twice a day, toner, lotions, etc.) so I didn’t think I needed one until I met Anna Leigh. Basically Anna is a bad ass esthetician that knows her shit. So much so that she left the salon she was working for and opened up her own. Also side note at the same time she became a health and wellness coach on the side!

Can we all please just chant GOALS in unison.

This gal is a hustler, so I figured I had to share Anna’s tips/ tricks with you all. Whether you’re struggling with random break outs, wondering how to have more work/life balance, or need an eyebrow reshape stat. these tips will resonate.

(My number one skin health/ health tip in general…one word, ROUTINE! If you want to see any positive changes you need to stick with it for more than a week, month, a few months to see the results).

Anyway lets get to Anna’s tips/ tricks.

I hope you all have a fabulous Monday!

skin secrets

BL: UM Hi Skincare goddess, introduce yourself!

Anna-Leigh: Haha Hi! I’m Anna Leigh skincare and nutrition lover! As well as owner of Banana Peels my skincare studio in Dover, NH.

BL: Tell us about how you got into opening up your own skincare studio?

AL: I honestly never thought I wanted to work for myself, but after I started health/wellness coaching which prompted me to complete some professional development I realized that is exactly what I wanted to do! It took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears making the decision but it was the best decision I have ever made.

BL: What’s your best kept skincare secret? Anything us gals should know?

AL: Mhmm, I don’t know if it’s a secret but I swear by healthy eating habits. If you eat a piece of chocolate no you are not going to get a pimple the next day, but if you don’t drink a lot of water and eat poorly it will show through your skin. You also need a good at home skincare routine. Of course facials are extremely important, but at home care for your skin is by far the most important because that is something you’re doing daily. Consistency is key.

BL: What is your skincare regimen, or what do you recommend? 

AL: I use Skin Script! (I also make a couple of my own serums and eye creams! I love making my own face products, it’s a fun hobby). But i’m in love with Skin Scripts Glycolic Cleanser. It’s great for mild breakouts and anti aging. I also use their Ageless Serum. I only use serums (instead of moisturizers) especially in the summer because they’re great for combination skin.

BL: Let’s talk products. I know you have turned me on to the Skin Script Toner, tell us about it.

AL: haha every one loves that toner! I sell out of it more than any other product. They are fragrance free, paraban free and they do not test on animals. They are everything I believe a professional skincare line should be. They have something for everyone. Variety is so important because every one has such different skin. What works for one person might not work for the next.

facial product

BL: I’ve heard lately that eating right can change you complexion, do you agree? give us the low down.

AL: Oh absolutely! I used to be a vegetarian, then I went back to meat and now I’m planted based. Between changing my eating and products my skin has changed immensely! I have a lot of clients too that have cut out dairy or soy in their diets and they have stopped breaking out. I keep a food journal and I highly suggest it to my clients too. Sometimes you think you remember everything you’ve eaten or that you’re drinking enough water, but once you write it down on paper you’re like “oh shit I eat like crap and don’t drink any water!” I used to think I drank a lot of water until I started keeping track. It’s an eye opener!

BL: I know you love health/ wellness coaching on the side, what is your favorite healthy recipe?

AL: Oh man that’s a tough one. I know it might sound boring or plain jane, but brown rice, spinach and black beans are my go to. Easy, filling & a nutritious inexpensive meal if you’re on a budget. I’m all about simple healthy meals. I load it up with cumin and a bunch of other spices.

BL: How do you balance being a  business owner and still having time to live a healthy lifestyle? I bet it’s tricky!

AL: It definitely is but i’m so in love with both skincare and nutrition I honestly don’t feel like it’s work. Every Sunday I do meal prep though and that helps me stay on track for eating well through out the week. Also a big one is the fact that I love both my jobs. I love helping woman who want to improve their skin/ health. Loving what you do everyday is so important.

BL: Your #1 Beauty Tip?

AL: Wash your face before you go to bed…ALWAYS!

 

+ Interested in booking an appointment with Anna? Check out her Facebook Page for more info.

+Follow Anna on Instagram.

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren

 


At-Home Rings Ab Workout

At-Home Abs Workout With Rings

Can we all just agree on how annoying it is to make the drive to the gym!? Even if you live 5 minutes from it (like me) it still creates an excuse as to why you can’t/ don’t want to work out.

I felt this ALL THE TIME!

Especially when I started my full time job. I didn’t want to wake up extra early and drive to the gym to workout only to just drive home to shower and get ready, or have worked all day and then have to make a pitstop at the gym on my way home when it’s crowded with everyone else!

Solution: We created a home gym.

Since creating our home gym I began thinking about adding a few at home workouts to the blog. I thought I would start off with 2 workouts a month and add more if people were enjoying them. These workouts will be created with little use of weights but still be very effective. I will also include some TRX moves for anyone with gymnastics rings/ TRX straps because they work the whole body and are my absolutely favorite moves (hello I teach it so i’m a bit biased but hey). I would suggest these rings, for $44 but if you’re ok with splurging a bit I would suggest the TRX straps. Also there are a few TRX knock offs that do the trick Here & Here. Some of the TRX moves done on rings just don’t work because they don’t hold your feet in placement well enough, but they get the job done!

Anyway now on to the killer but quick rings Ab workout you can incorporate into any exercise plan!

At-Home Rings Ab Workout

  1. 10 L-Sits with hip thrust X3
  2. 10 Weighted Sit ups with twist (or punch) X3
  3. 10 Plank tuck & frogs X3

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren


4 Simple Secrets to Taking Fab. Photos

Meeting new people that have talents, stories, knowledge, etc. has always been my favorite thing. I love to hear about them. How they got to where they are, who pushed them along the way, how they were motivated, what they’re passionate about.

People have so much to say if you just listen.

I recently was visiting with Chris’s Nana and got a bit sentimental. I have always loved to just sit with her and listen to her tell stories. It’s so interesting to talk to her about a time in which she grew up that I will never experience. Her sweet stories of meeting her husband, being young and in love, raising children are all so fond to her. It made me think about how everyone has a story, everyone has something that has empowered them in life or made them happy. Everyone has something they’re good at, and have worked hard at so naturally I immediately think how I can bring this to the blog.

I want Blissfully Lively to be a space of motivation, positivity, & inspiration for women, and this idea of sharing stories shines a light on specific people that will help you stay motivated, positive, and your best self.

This new interview/ motivational section of the blog will be posted twice a month (every other Monday) and be about any professional who I think could bring some insight to the girls that read this blog. I’m talking hair dressers, life coaches, estheticians, photographers, personal trainers, chefs, you name it.

I am so excited to get this new blog topic started with one of my favorite people. My gorgeous friend/ photographer Raya. I wanted her to be the first interview on the blog because she is one of the most hardworking/ passionate people I know. You can find her nonstop smiling/ laughing and she just radiates good vibes. She is the person you want around 24/7.

Here’s Raya to give you a little insight on her craft, Photography!

raya on assignment

Hey loves! My name is Raya and I love through the lens. I have the brilliant responsibility of capturing and sharing some of the sweetest moments we experience as humans. I am also a storyteller, a world traveler, and a woman of compassion. The last nine years have involved capturing and sharing authentic moments throughout various communities and countries. I moved to Portsmouth after graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 2013 with a BA in English/Journalism. While making Portsmouth my home, I have spent my time documenting the Seacoast. I am here to observe and preserve moments with you. Photojournalism is a passion of mine and my hope is that by sharing my work, we will feel more connected within ourselves and in our communities. To help spread this ideology, I began the photojournalism project, People of Portsmouth, in which the community’s inhabitants are featured with their portrait in unique and often personal words. This project continues to grow in popularity and within two years, over 260 people have been interviewed.  So that being said, I am here to share some tricks of my trade on how to score fab photos when we may not have photography as one of our innate abilities.

Breaking it down for you in 4 super simple secrets…

  • Get low. I find myself stomach down during a lot of shoots to score a neat perspective. As humans we see a lot of eye level stuff, get low to create instant interest!
  • Get high. Piggybacks on the philosophy I mentioned above, creates an interesting and unconventional perspective.
  • Get close and frame it. Not applicable always but can be used most of the time. Use the entire frame you have, and fill it up.
  • Copy the blueprints that work. Stalk the people you love, write down what it is about their work that makes you glow, and try to emulate that. Then unfollow them and focus on honing in on your craft!

I am your seacoast photographer and I remain open to collaborations, so drop me a line if you’re interested!

Raya Al-Hashmi

(Check out my People of Portsmouth Interview here)

Live Blissfully!

xo,

Lauren


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