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Friday, January 31, 2014

January Favorites

The month of January has been filled with new discoveries, rekindling of old loves and obsessions I'm embarrassed to admit. Here it is. My January Favorites.

Physicians Formula - Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer
I have combination skin that tends to be more dry during the winter months. This tinted moisturizer has been amazing on my skin while it's going through it's dry patchy phase. 

Cotton scented candles
Definitely my favorite scent of all time, not just winter. Most people go for the warm scents this time of year but I just can't do it (I'm allergic to cinnamon and that seems to be the main ingredient in every spice related candle).

Elizabeth Arden's Green Tea fragrances
I never really understood what it truly felt like to "find your scent", but I found it and it is amazing and it's all thanks to Elizabeth Arden.

John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band
If you know me at all, you'd know I have a thing for the Beatles. A major thing. And recently, I purchased John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band and I can't stop listening. Love it.

5 Seconds of Summer
A total departure from Working Class Hero, nonetheless, I can't stop listening to 5 Seconds of Summer. I watch their music videos multiple times a week since their EP isn't available in the United States (is it available and I'm just not seeing it????? I need to know). I am able to listen to their songs on Pandora, which is amazing. But let me tell you. It's a handful of lookers in this band.

Ugh, a third music favorite, I know, I know. I can't help it. Music's what keeps my mind functioning normally. I discovered MS MR this month and I absolutely adore them. Their songs get stuck in my head for days at a time, and I really don't mind. 

The Parent Trap
My all time favorite movie since the age of 5 entered it's way back into my life this Christmas the moment I opened the little gem of a DVD Christmas morning. I've watched it at least four times since I've gotten it. Not obsessed. Ps if you're as in love with this movie as me and do not own the dvd, there is a deleted scene. I know, w t f. I've gone my whole life without (spoiler) seeing Hallie dressed as Annie meet the queen. 

The Fault in Our Stars
This was a major favorite of mine this month. I think it's safe to say this book is definitely one of my favorites of all time. I wrote a whole review about it HERE. You can read why I love it so.

Peanut Butter & Co - Dark Chocolate Dreams
After becoming vegan I realized I didn't think it through properly. I couldn't go a day without chocolate b.v. (before vegan) and honestly, I forgot chocolate wasn't vegan. The first day I craved chocolate a.v. (after vegan) I went crazy because I realized I COULDN'T EAT IT. Long story short, I recently discovered this and I love it because it's vegan. The end.

xo, Sarah Holt

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars or The Fault in My Tears? | Book Review

Books aren't typically "my thing". I usually never read, unless it's a fast and easy read. I like knocking out the whole book in one sitting. I bought The Fault in Our Stars back in August while I was on a spree of being uncharacteristically ambitious. I also really wanted to see what the fuss was all about. If you haven't heard of TFIOS (The Fault in Our Stars), you've definitely been living under a rock. E V E R Y O N E and their mothers have been raving about this book since it came out 2 years ago. I wanted in on the fun.

I knew this book had cancer as a major topic, which is why I was reluctant to read it. If you know me, you know I have hypochondriac tendencies (I do realize that by admitting I have hypochondriac tendencies, I do not have hypochondria. Just go with it). I knew if I read this book, I'd soon think I had the diseases mentioned in it. Realizing how silly my thoughts were, I bought the book anyway.
Although it took me 5 months to finally build up the courage and make room in my freezer (haha Friends reference anyone?), I gave it a read and I'm glad I did.
It was a very quick read and I honestly never had my heart flutter while reading any other book like it did while reading TFIOS (probably should have sought medical attention, but it was the nice type of flutter. Or bad type of palpitation. Not entirely sure). I also never cried as much while reading any other book. I applaud you for that, John Green (author of TFIOS).
I am in love with the love Augustus Waters had for Hazel. I love how the only real interpretation of Hazel's appearance John Green gave was through Augustus. I love John Green for writing this book (I apologize to you and your wife, John. I do realize how creepy I sound).

This book definitely is worth the praise Tumblr fans have given it. I give it 5/5 stars and a recommendation to anyone and everyone who can read to read it.

xo, Sarah Holt

P.s. for those of you who have read the book, my favorite page is page 153, CAN WE ALL AGREE THAT PAGE 153 IS BEAUTIFUL?


Have any other book/movie/beauty product/food/anything really that you'd like me to review? Leave a suggestion in the comments!

Monday, January 27, 2014

DIY Nail Polish Storage Jars

I've never committed to a single storage option when it came to my nail polish. They've gone from baskets to containers to old makeup bags until they've finally found their rightful home in the cutest form of storage I've ever seen nail polish stored in. The best part about this DIY... it's so versatile! You don't have to just limit these beauties to the storage of nail polish. Keep candy in them. Or hair bows. I'm not the jar police. I like keeping my nail polish in these jars because they look really cute displayed on my shelf.

Here's how to make the jars pretty:

What You'll Need:
An empty glass jar w/ lid (may that be a spaghetti sauce, salsa or pickle jar... it does not matter!)
Spray paint (color of your choice)

What You'll Need To Do:
Peal the wrapper off your empty glass jar then give it a good rinse, including the lid.
*Having trouble getting the pesky wrapper residue off? Cover the sticky area with coconut oil and let sit for a minute. The sticky residue should be able to wipe off with a rag and warm water!*
Clean? Great!
Take the lid, spray paint and some old news paper to a well ventilated area (preferably out doors).
Spray paint the lid.
Let the lid dry.
Dry? Amazing!
Fill jar with nail polish (or anything you'd like).
Close the jar.
Bask in the beauty that is a recycled sauce jar.
Instagram it and show it off to your friends.

It's that easy.

My nail polish storage jars have their rightful home on my shelf and they look absolutely adorable.

It's super easy and it's recycled, who doesn't like helping the environment?

xo, Sarah Holt

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Skeptic's Guide to Thrift Shopping

You may be a bit skeptical just at the thought of purchasing someone's old belongings. I admit, I was a little weary at first, too. Now, much wiser than my younger self, I am a very strong believer in the famous phrase "one man's trash is another man's treasure".
Before I start talking about my adventures in thrift shopping, I'd like to clear up a few misconceptions about this wondrous sport.
1. Thrifting does not, in any way, make you cheap. The word thrift by definition means to spend money wisely and not wastefully. Society may portray thrifting as an undesirable form of shopping, but if you ask me, thriftiness is a trait I think we all need to learn.
2. Thrifting is not dirty. Sure, you may not be certain what the owner of the clothing/objects have done before you bought it, but let me now introduce you to the beautiful inventions known as washer machines and dishwashers. Beautiful creations.
Okay, now that those common misconceptions are out of the way, let's proceed with the fun stuff.
Most of the items I have in my possession are little knick-knack type objects that I wouldn't have been able to find anywhere else if someone hadn't given it up to a thrift store (God bless their hearts because I love my little knick-knacks (ps I am not religious at all. I still bless their hearts)). Not only are the items extremely unique, they were super cheap. You can definitely find a couple treasures in the midst of a few heaps of junk if you look hard enough.
There is the slight chance, though, that you can accidentally purchase a haunted object and end up being eternally doomed and haunted by a frighteningly terrifying looking old lady ghost who, for some reason, holds a grudge on the living. But that's, like, a 1 in 1 million chance so let's not worry about that, okay? Great.
Since I probably instilled a newly discovered fear in your minds, I want to move forward and look at the majestic side of thrifting. Below are a few items I've purchased from thrift stores. These things are so beautifully beautiful, they're worth the risk of being haunted.

If those pictures didn't win you over, well I'm not sure what will.

xo, Sarah Holt

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mulberries... A Super Fruit? | Review

Mulberries are a very underrated fruit. It's a shame, really, because these little beauties are an amazing super fruit. It's true. Along with their almost honey-glazed roasted raisin taste (not really honey, though. They are vegan), the white sun-dried mulberry is high in vitamin c, iron, fiber and antioxidants. And that's not even half of it's super fruit wonders.

As a vegan, I have a hard time finding alternative sources of iron, aside from the boring vegan dietary supplement and spinach. After discovering the majestic mulberry, I have a very yummy, very healthy iron-rich alternative to the foul dietary supplement (yay!). 
Antioxidants help protect your heart and your body from various diseases. Mulberries are high in antioxidants, such as most fruit, which helps keep your body healthy.
With 3 grams of protein in a 1 oz. serving, mulberries are very high in protein. Again, as a vegan, it's very hard to find alternative sources of protein aside from nuts and beans. 
Vitamin C
The mulberry is full of surprises, and vitamin c is one of them. Sure, we expect oranges and strawberries to have loads of vitamin c, but I don't think any of us ever expected the fruit in the nursery rhyme to be rich in the same vitamin.
Fiber helps you "go", we all know that. But did you know fiber lowers your risk of heart disease and diabetes, all while managing your weight? And, you guessed it, mulberries have lots of fiber as well. We're all starting to realize why mulberries are a super fruit, right?

And one more fun fact for the road, mulberries contain a whole lot less sugar than most dried fruits. 

Now, let us all bask in the beauty of the mulberry, shall we? 

Contains Dietary Fiber, Iron and Vitamin C

NON GMO, Raw, Vegan, Kosher, USDA Organic

Suggested Uses: Smoothies & Shakes, Oatmeal & Granola, Cookies & Desserts

The mulberry makes it very easy and convenient for vegetarians and vegans to be healthy. And for that, I thank you majestic mulberry. 5/5 stars.

xo, Sarah Holt

Monday, January 20, 2014

Healthy Day to Day Routine

Daily routines can become extremely tedious, especially when it comes to exercise and eating healthy. I put together a little list that is extremely flexible. My diet consists of vegan substitutes (because I'm vegan) so you can change any meal to fit your diet (e.g. my breakfast idea can be substituted with a normal meal like eggs which is a good source of protein). If you are vegan, I, too, understand the struggle of finding tasty meals that are also really good for you which is why I included a few meal ideas for a plant-based diet. Without further ado, here is my Healthy Day to Day Routine.

1. Sleep
In order to have an energy-filled day, you need to get at least 8 hours of sleep. It is also really important to start your day off early. I would recommend going to bed around 9 and waking up around 6 or 7 (only if you don't have work or school or anything where you'd have to be up earlier or go to sleep later. Just make sure you get lots of sleep). It may be hard to get a sleeping schedule down straight from the get-go. Along with everything else in this routine, your body needs to get familiarized with this new lifestyle.
2. Breakfast
I skip the coffee/ tea routine in the morning which I'm sure most people may think of as blasphemous. I chose, about a year ago, to cut out all caffeine from my diet. I sometimes have tea in the morning if I'm feeling lousy but it's always a cup of decaf. It's really important to make sure you get your recommended amount of vitamins to start off your day. I then follow up with a healthy breakfast, whether it's cereal and almond milk or, my favorite, spinach and fake cheese on multi-grain toast. I'm then set to take on the world.
3. Exercise
I prefer to do all my exercising in the morning right after breakfast. It's completely up to you when you can fit in at least 30 minutes of physical activity to your day. I try to walk about a mile almost everyday. If I'm feeling ambitious, I work in a four mile walk, at max, maybe once a week. It's very, very, very important to drink lots of water while working out.
I absolutely love eating. I think whether or not I have a good day is determined on how well I ate and how many meals I consumed that day. So when it comes to lunch time, the part of the day in which it's acceptable to eat breakfast foods and dinner foods at the same time, I take that opportunity and run with it. I eat left overs or fresh meals that are really easy to cook up. I just make sure that whatever I eat, at anytime of the day, it's healthy (my definition of healthy is anything fresh and raw).
5. Dinner
Dinner is the time of the day I consume a big portion of my protein and vegetables. Some foods high in protein for a vegan diet can include beans, tofu or nuts. Cooked spaghetti is up there in the high protein scale. A normal dinner for me is usually some type of bean/vegetable soup or spaghetti. Just remember you are definitely not in any way limited to just these few high-protein meals. When I say "normal dinner" I mean "easy dinner".
6. Snack
Health Drinks
Nuts (good source of protein)
Fruits (read up on your fruits, according to the vitamin you need, you can specify what fruits you should eat during your day)
Raw Veggies (ditto, what the fruit said)
Green Tea (filled with yummy antioxidants)
Peanut butter on whole wheat toast
Oreos (vegan but not healthy, no Sarah. No.)
7. Sleep
It's then time to rinse and repeat. Trust me, by the end of the day your body will be thanking you and willing to go to sleep and follow your new healthy day to day routine.

xo, Sarah Holt

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Skeptic's Guide to Yoga

There are many people out there who think the whole yoga and meditation thing is a giant load of baloney, specifically for A-list celebrities on the brink of mental insanity. But I am here to prove you all wrong! (said in my best infomercial sales person voice)
I find that the meditation aspect of yoga allows me to ease my mind of whatever I'm thinking, at least for a moment. Sure, exercising can become a bit repetitive, but the benefits, I find, from yoga are well worth the soreness the next day. You may not realize this at first or even right now reading this, if you aren't exercising at least once a week (I'm talking about walking. Come on, anyone can do that) your stress or anxiety may be caused by your lack of activity. Okay, I know I'm not a doctor and I didn't even Google that to back up my statement, but I know from personal experience. I allowed myself to be happier just by becoming an active person. 
One meditation technique I use multiple times a day is deep breathing. Whenever I feel worked up, I simply fill my lungs up completely by breathing in through my nose, then breathing out slowly (x3). That's all it takes. My body relaxes and I'm able to carry on with my day. It's not a long-term solution for anxiety or stress, but an immediate solution can be just as satisfying.

I put together a trusty list on all the benefits I found from yoga. I call it the Amazingly Amazing List of All Things Amazing That Will Happen To You If You Do Yoga:
1.You'll become stretchy and flexible after a while.
2.You'll realize how out of shape you are (may sound daunting but it's actually a good thing. I didn't know I needed yoga until I started yoga).
3.I read somewhere yoga can lower your risk of heart disease.That's cool.
4.Change your way of thinking. Changed my way of thinking, at least.
5.Build a strong core (strong core=strong person in general. Inside and out).
6.Tone your body.
7.You can make new yoga friends (I haven't made any yoga friends, but I imagine you can).
8.You'll learn how to let your body relax.
9.You get to be bare foot in public for an hour.
10.You can pick out cute yoga clothes.

Obviously, the logic and research behind my list is solid. So why not give yoga a try? And I mean a real try. Yoga is completely different when you're in a class with real human people as opposed to the Wii fit yoga sessions.
I don't know how things like yoga classes work where you're from, but where I live, you can attend a class for $5 at most local chain gyms, without a membership. Totally worth it.

xo, Sarah Holt