Category Archives: House/Fashion/Beauty

Find Yourself and Be That

find yourself

This is something I’ve really been working on this year.

Filtering out the noise of who you should be vs who you are, is not an easy task. It can take time to figure it all out, but when you do, you’ll be 100% you and you shouldn’t change that for anyone.

You’ll attract your tribe, find happiness within yourself and if you suffer from anxiety…well…that’ll ease up too, because you won’t be worried about others accepting you. You’ll accept yourself and all your weirdness and no one else opinion will matter anymore.

  • Try new things.
  • Go on adventures.
  • Meet new people.
  • Read new books.
  • Learn something new.

Do what inspires you and figure out what makes you happy! It’s time you live the life you were meant to live, without the fear of disappointing others.

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Don’t Be A Size Queen

Disclaimer: This is actually an old post I did on Instagram while I was in my blog rut. As a matter of fact, I’ve been pulling a lot of inspiration from the microblogging I was doing over there…sssshhhhh don’t tell anyone. Just enjoy…

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I bought these boyfriend jeans during the summer and wasn’t able to wear them until recently.

The tag said they were my size, but sadly, they were too tight when I got home.

(Lesson here…always try shit on…our sizing system is total bullshit and varies from store to store and from style to style. I would think boyfriend jeans would run larger than skinny jeans…I was mistaken.)

In the past, after losing weight and busting my ass in the gym, having to put on a “larger” size would have depressed me. Much like the scale, I allowed a number, this time on a tag, THAT NO ONE COULD EVEN SEE, depress me.

What the actual fuck?!?!

Looking back on stuff like that makes me want to smack myself. Really hard.

I allowed stupid things to rob me of happiness during my journey.

The scale, a tag inside of a pair of jeans…let’s not forgot comparing yourself to others on social media. <insert gigantic eye roll here>

SO. DAMN. DUMB.

My point with all of this is simple….

  • Keep your eyes on your own journey.
  • Celebrate every victory you have. (Especially non-scale ones.)
  • Don’t allow the scale to dictate your life.
  • Don’t squeeze yourself into a pair of jeans or not wear a pair simply because the tag inside has a certain number on it.

Wear what makes you feel confident and don’t worry about wether it says S/M/L or if the number is 2/10/16 etc.

The size you wear doesn’t matter…your confidence does!

 

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I Started A T-Shirt Shop!

As you all know, I haven’t blogged much over the last year, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t eating heathy(ish), working out or working on new things.

Earlier this year I launched a t-shirt shop!

Nicole Hynes Designs

It features fitness and lifestyle t-shirts, with a snarky/sarcastic edge to them. I wanted something that allowed people to show their sense of humor without having to say a word.

Funny. Fit. Fierce. You.

That’s what I was going for. Something to balance out the world of perfectly filtered, social media highlight reels. A way to embrace progress over perfection….to find the humor in your imperfections, celebrate the little things (like putting on non-gym clothing).

A way for you to be fierce as you pursue your goals and share your sense of humor as you set new PR’s….but most of all, to JUST BE YOU!

Fueled by 90's Hip Hop &amp; Coffee - Nicole Hynes Designs

I Workout Because Punching People Is Frown Upon - Nicole Hynes Design

If Only Sarcasm Burned Calories - Nicole Hynes Designs

There are many other fun designs over in the shop! Please stop by, check them out and let me know what you think!

Like what you see? Use code GETFITWITHNIKKI for 10% OFF your order! SHOP NOW

I also have an Instagram page for the shop @NicoleHynesDesigns – so be sure to follow to see the newest designs, promos and giveaways!

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Low Carb Products I Like

It’s almost disturbing to me that I, the carb lover that I am, is writing a post about low carb items I like. However, low carb is the reality of the keto lifestyle, so you have to embrace it if you want to be successful, and you might as well like what you’re eating too, right!?

So this post will go over products I’ve stumbled upon, tried and enjoyed. Here we go…

Rao's Tomato Sauce

Rao’s, Mid’s and Victoria are all great sauce options when following low carb. They range fro 3-4 net carbs per servings and have a clean ingredient list. Just be sure to check the label…not all flavors are low carb!

Crazy Richard's PB

Crazy Richard’s is one of my favorite brands of PB (along with Teddy’s) – it is inexpensive but only contains peanuts and salt as the ingredients!

Just

This stuff is amazing on burgers, tacos and of course salad. It’s 2 net carbs per 2TBSPs and full of creamy, delicious flavor.

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G. Hughes Sugar Free BBQ Sauces are 2 net carbs per 2 TBSP and a summer must have!

One Bars

So these are my favorite things ever right now. (My absolutely favorite is the Cinnamon Roll which is not featured in this photo because I hadn’t found it at the time). These range in net depending on the flavor (remember, for net carbs you subtract the fiber and any sugar alcohols from the carbs on the label) – They are perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth or while traveling!

Enlightened Ice Cream

Low Carb ice-creams are a must for me. I’m sorry, I just can’t live without ice-cream. I know they’re high in sugar alcohol & some people don’t like that, but as an occasional treat, why not?! My favorite flavors are Cold Brew by Enlightened and I LOVE Pancakes & Waffles by Halo Top.

BANG

Energy drinks have never been my thing. They typically taste gross and make me feel sick to my stomach, but these….uh…game changer! I’m a caffeine junkie (not proud of this) and there are days when coffee just doesn’t cut it, so I’ll have one of these. They have zero calories, carbs or sugar. The contain creatine, caffeine and CoQ10. The only other flavor I’ve tried besides these are the Pina Colada and they’ve all been good.

I feel like this post is getting a little long so I’ll stop here. There are so many great items on the market like: Nekstella (it’s like Nutella), ChocZero, Lily’s SF Chocolate, KetoFeed protein and more.

Follow me on Instagram to see what new items I’m trying and if you have a favorite Low Carb item you can’t live without, please comment below or reach out to me on IG!

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Fitness Finds: The Mills at Jersey Gardens

I am the first to admit that I loathe shopping for clothes. I love jeans and t-shirts, but shopping for them makes me stabby. Dresses and shoes…um….no thank you. Make-up?! Bwahahahahaaa….no way!

So when the opportunity to team up with The Mills at Jersey Gardens presented itself I was hesitant, because as I said, I don’t like clothes shopping and I’m a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl. I know nothing about style trends, make-up and the hot color of the season. Why would I do this?!

Well…I do love shopping for new running shoes and workout clothes. This made me think and my hesitation went away as soon as I saw how many athletic stores they had. I then realized that the New Year was almost here and people would be gearing up to get healthy. That’s when excitement set in! I could actually shop and share fitness apparel finds for those who are planning to get started with a health & fitness routine in 2016!

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I thought about getting fancy for this shopping trip and then I realized it just wasn’t me, so I tossed on my jeans, a sweatshirt and a pair of Chucks and headed out to shop with my husband Mike, who happened to be off that day.

You can take a personal trainer out of workout clothes, but don’t mess with her jeans and Chucks!

In all honesty, I had a ton of fun shopping and I ended up shopping for more than just fitness attire. Don’t worry, I don’t see myself becoming a fashionista anytime soon, but I do see myself returning to The Mills at Jersey Gardens again for some holiday shopping!

Want to see some of my recommendations for fitness attire to get your New Year’s Resolutions started off right? Be sure to follow along on Instagram as I take over @MillsAtJersey!

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Holiday Survival: Essential Oils Edition

Essential Oils 2

I think it’s pretty safe to say that we have all heard of essential oils or know someone who uses them or is a distributor of them. Being the skeptic that I normally am, I didn’t buy into this hype at first, but I finally caved after ending up in the hospital with terrible headaches last year.

A friend of mine sent me some Young Living essential oils samples, I gave them a try and they worked!

(Note: If you receive samples, be very careful when opening the tiny packets. I was not and spilled Lavender oil EVERYWHERE. It resulted in the entire family having the best night of sleep they’ve every had, so I guess it wasn’t the worst experience ever.)

As we head into the holiday season and the winter, I thought this would be a good topic to cover, so I spoke with some friends who swear by their love of oils and put together a short list of how essential oils can help you to relax, destress and just flat out survive the holidays!

Plus they apparently make good stocking stuffers too!

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Lavender: Can be diffused for a calming and comforting scent. You can add a few drops to Epsom salts for a relaxing nighttime bath. They can also be added to lotions or use with a carrier oil to apply to skin to soothe and help promote relaxation before sleep. You can add a few drops to distilled water in a spray bottle and spray on pillows and sheets as a linen spray to promote sleep.

Frankincense: Can be diffused or inhaled directly to increase spirituality and inner strength, lift mood and help balance emotions. I have also heard that when inhaled, it has been shown to reduce heart rate and high blood pressure. It has anti-anxiety and depression reducing abilities, but unlike prescription medications it does not have negative side effects and does not cause unwanted drowsiness. (This is not proven…just personal accounts from people I have spoken to.)

Peppermint: Peppermint has many uses that can come in handy for the holidays. It can be added to herbal tea to help soothe upset stomach. Some people also use with a carrier oil to rub topically on the stomach for stomach issues or use it topically to help with muscle stiffness and pain caused by shopping marathons again.

While I am not tied to Young Living Essential oils, I know that they can be used in recipes requiring peppermint extract. Substitute 1/8 tsp of Young Living peppermint oil per teaspoon of extract. After that a drop at a time can be added until desired taste. (Note: Check the labels before using other brands of oil for ingestion. Many oils are compromised with synthetic materials and I would not recommend ingesting that.)

Thieves oil:  A proprietary blend developed by Young Living but it has been duplicated and I have seen it elsewhere. Thieves essential oil blend was inspired by the legend of four 15th-century French thieves who formulated a special aromatic combination composed of clove, rosemary, and other botanicals they used while robbing the victims of the plague. Amazingly they did not fall ill. Therefore Thieves oil supports healthy immune function.

There are so many oils that I couldn’t possibly cover them all, so I found a neat little chart for you instead!

Essential Oils

How to use oils: Apply directly on the desired area according to dilution instructions. Always use a carrier oil, which is a non-essential oil used to dilute the essential oils. This also makes your oils last longer. Some examples of a carrier oil are: coconut oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil and olive oil.

-Research has shown that Essential oils quickly penetrate the skin. because of this ability, essential oils can affect the cells of the human body within minutes. Suggested areas for application: feet, behind the ears, wrists on the front of neck, and base of the skull.

Aromatic use: Diffuse oils with an ultrasonic diffuser. Putting a drop in your cupped hand and inhale slowly for 1 minute. Smell it directly from the bottle. Put a couple drops on cotton balls near air vents at home or in the car. Essential Oils containing sesquiterpines have the ability to pass the blood brain barrier making them an effective alternative in enhancing mental clarity and memory, while also promoting calmness and peace of mind.

 So, as you can see, essential oils can allow you to take control of your own health and wellness while keeping your environment free of toxic chemicals. They can help to reduce some stress and take the edge off of the holidays season without turning to nighttime cocktails while wrapping presents or driving from store to store.
For more information, contact your local Young Living or other independent essential oils rep and see how they can help you!
Already using oils in your daily life? Share your favorite oil and how you use it in the comments below!
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**Disclamer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products ideas and techniques mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This is not a sponsored post. I did not receive any compensation to write this. They are just my thoughts and opinions.

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Crazy Cups: How I Conquer My Sweet Tooth

Crazy Cups PostDisclaimer: As a Crazy Cups Ambassador, I was sent a package of coffee to review. and no compensation was exchanged. All opinions stated are my own.

I have sweet tooth bigger than my head. Cookies, cinnamon rolls, ice-cream…you name it! I have a hard time saying no to them. I also have a hard time saying no to coffee, so this is where Crazy Cups becomes my saving grace!

Now, if you follow me on Instagram or if we are friends on Facebook, you know that I LOVE me some coffee! I am always picking up new flavors of K-cups to try and my morning posts typically have something to do with coffee, especially dessert flavored coffees. Knowing this about me, it will come as no surprise that when Crazy Cups reached out to me and asked me to become an ambassador for them, I said YES!

In case you have not heard of Crazy Cups before, here is a little info about them:

  • They have recyclable K-cups.
  • They are known for their flavored K-cups. (you’ll see why as you read on)
  • Their products are organic and fair trade.
  • Their cups have 13g coffee grounds, which is 30% more than the competition.
  • Get notifications about new flavors and become part of their Flavor Nation with their app: (Click Here)

I am not a stranger to the Crazy Cups line of coffee  and I have tried many of their flavors, including their Hot Cocoa line. (FYI: the Maple French Toast is hands down my favorite!)  They have a list of flavors that will make your mouth drool:

Crazy Cups

  • Chocolate Coconut Dream
  • Frosted Oatmeal Cookie
  • Italian Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Pumpkin Vanilla Creme
  • Cinnamon Churro
  • Caramel Truffle Sundae
  • Bananas Foster Flambe
  • Salted Caramel

…and more! Don’t those sound good?!

Coffee flavors like these have been the key to keeping my sweet tooth in check while doing my workouts and sticking to clean eating. They feel like a cheat to me and help me to curb my cravings without shoving a calorie-filled treat into my face and regretting it later. I also get the energy I need to feel human through caffeine instead of processed sugar. (Remember, always say no to processed sugar and enjoy your caffeine in moderation, while drinking lots of water because it can dehydrate you!)

Plus their dedication to flavored coffee brings a tear to my eye…

ode to flavor

Speaking of Death By Chocolate…it’s my new obsession!

This flavor can cure just about any chocolate craving with the smell alone. My entire kitchen smelled like a chocolate cake as this little pod brewed, it was absolutely heavenly!

Now, I drink my coffee iced and black (which is why this is a basically a calorie free treat for me) and the flavor of this was perfectly balanced. It was chocolaty but not so sweet that you forgot you were drinking a cup of coffee.

Want to try some Death by Chocolate for yourself? Enter my GIVEAWAY below for a chance to win a box of your very own! (CLOSED)

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{Summer Beauty} Coconut Lime Scrub

Can you believe it is July already?!

Sorry I’ve been MIA again lately. With the end of the school year, two kids graduation from their schools and getting into the summer routine, I’ve been a little lost. On the bright side, my brain has been going non-stop about new posts to s

We’re been having some strange weather here in New Jersey. Warm one minute, fall the next, however my skin is a constant reminder of winter. It’s dry and itchy and just not summer ready. I decide to quit relying on just lotion and I whipped up some exfoliating scrub after hitting Pinterest for some winter skin solutions.

This stuff smells ah-mazing and left me skin feeling smooth, hydrated and ready to slip into a pair of short or sundress.

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Coconut Lime Scrub
1/4 cup Unrefined Coconut Oil
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
Lime Zest
Lime Essential Oil (if desired)

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Store in a mason jar and use while you shower!

You can use the base recipe of coconut oil & sugar and change the scent if you’d like. Essential oils are very popular these days, so get creative and have fun! Lavender would be a great option to help you relax if you like to shower before bed.

Do you have a summer beauty tip that you can’t live without? Please share below so I can give it a try!

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Beachbody On-Demand: It’s Here!

Beachbody On-Demand Me
How many times have you heard someone talking about a new workout program or seen an infomercial for one? Heck, if you’ve been following my blog for awhile, I’ve mentioned enough programs to make your head spin.

When deciding to commit to at-home fitness, there is definitely pressure. How do you know which program to choose? Will you like it? What happens if you hate it?

One of the reasons why I recommend Beachbody products and I ended up becoming a coach is because I BELIEVE in their products. I’m a walking testimony that they work. I lost over 100 pounds using their products and there is no doubt in my mind, you WILL get results if you commit to whatever program you choose.

(Note the last 8 words of that sentence. As a matter of fact, go back and reread it. They’re very important.)

The other thing I love about them? They offer a money back guarantee on all of their products …even Shakeology! You can use the entire bag and decide you don’t like and they will refund your money as long as it’s within 30 days.

Who does that?!

Since I have completed so many programs I understand why people have a hard time deciding which one to choose. There are A LOT of them. In all honesty it also doesn’t help that there are so many coaches out there and they’re all hyping up the newest program to hit the market. I get it, it’s new, there’s excitement about it, but that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Ya know? From P90X to PiYo, there truly is something for everyone and of every fitness level… but which one is right for YOU?

Well, if you decide to purchase a program, I recommend you find a coach that knows the programs and can guide in choosing the one that’s right for you. They should ask you questions about your goals, fitness level and then give you some options to check out. If they only talk about how much they love the program, how awesome everyone says it is, that’s it’s the newest thing and they don’t ask you questions, chances are your best interest in not what they’re focused on and you might want to find someone else to help you.

Now, if you get bored easily, still aren’t convince that a specific program is for you or if you just enjoy variety, I’d like to introduce you to the brand new Beachbody On-Demand!

On Demand 2

 It’s a new feature that Beachbody is offering within The Team Beachbody Club membership and it’s truly the most valuable tool I could share with you at the moment.

I had the opportunity to be apart of the test group for this new feature and I absolutely LOVED it!

With this Premium Team Beachbody Club membership, you’ll automatically have access to unlimited streaming of hundreds of workouts from Beachbody’s collection of fitness programs as well as the Nutrition Guides,  personalized meal plans, support videos from REAL celebrity trainers, a 10% discount on ALL Team Beachbody products (including Shakeology) and most important, a FREE coach, like myself!

So what programs do you have access to with this Team Beachbody Club Membership? Allow me to tell you…

On Demand

Beachbody On-Demand: Programs Available At Launch

  • P90X & P90X Deluxe
  • P90X2 & P90X2 Deluxe
  • P90X3 & P90X3 Deluxe
  • P90X ONE on ONE Volume 1
  • 10 Minute Trainer
  • INSANITY & INSANITY Deluxe
  • INSANITY: THE ASYLUM Volume 1
  • TurboFire
  • Brazil Butt Lift & Brazil Butt Lift Deluxe
  • ChaLEAN Extreme
  • Hip Hop Abs

Beachbody On-Demand: Your Purchased Programs

Later this March, there will be another big perk added to Beachbody On-Demand. If you’re a paid Team Beachbody Club member and you purchase select DVD programs that are not in the Member Library, you’ll be able to exclusively stream those programs as well. Just look for “Purchased Programs” in Beachbody On-Demand.

That means if you travel a lot, you no longer have to worry about packing your DVD’s with you! You’ll have them at your finger tips from any device that supports internet access. You’ll be able to access these workouts from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, PS3, XBox 360, PS4, XBox One, Smart TV, Chromecast or Apple TV! How awesome is that?!

(Update 3/12/15: After receiving a message from someone having issues getting it to work on their PS3, I found that despite having Flash, the site works but the video does not load on the PS3 & XBox 360 game systems. It did work on my PS4 and I spoke with someone who uses it on their Xbox One and helped a customer use it on their Smart TV. I am looking into this more to see why this is happening and I will update again when I have more info.)

The first set of programs that will be available for streaming later in March as part of the Purchased Program section are FOCUS T25 (which is on sale this month), 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix EXTREME. This library of available Purchased Programs to be streamed will be growing over the next few months, too.

Beachbody On-Demand: Try Before You Buy

Another huge benefit of becoming a Premium Team Beachbody Club member? Exclusive access to try workouts from many of the newest programs along with some other noteworthy programs. Just look for “New and Noteworthy” in Beachbody On Demand.

This section will allow you to preview select single workouts of some of Beachbody’s newest and best-selling programs. In other words, now for the first time, you will be able to get a sneak preview of the program and try before you buy with one full length workout from the program.

Here are the programs you will have exclusive access to starting in March 2015:

  • 21 Day Fix – Total Body Cardio Fix
  • 21 Day Fix EXTREME – PiYo Fix Extreme
  • PiYo – Sweat
  • FOCUS T25 – Alpha Cardio
  • INSANITY MAX:30 – Sweat Intervals
  • P90 – Sculpt A
  • Body Beast – Build: Chest/Tris

As you can see, Beachbody On Demand can help many people in different ways. From those who need variety or can’t decide which program or trainer they will like best, to those who travel often, there are benefits for everyone.

How Much Does Beachbody On-Demand Cost?

The Beachbody On-Demand digital program will only cost you the price of a Team Beachbody Club membership, which is a risk-free cost of $2.99 a week, billed $38.87 quarterly (that’s less than $40 for 3 months). And you can cancel any time in the first 30 days for a full refund.

As I mentioned above, with Team Beachbody Club Membership you also gain access to nutrition information and guidance, personalized meal plans, support videos from REAL celebrity trainers, a 10% discount on ALL Team Beachbody products (including Shakeology) and most important, a FREE coach, like myself!

March Promo:

If you purchase a bag of Shakeology, you can get 3 months of Beachbody On-Demand for only $10! If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, simply contact me so we can discuss you goals and figure out which program you should try first!

If you are unsure about Club Membership and do not already have a FREE Team Beachbody account, contact me and you can make one and I’ll be assigned as your coach!

So what do you think of this new feature? Is it something you think you could benefit from?

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Workout Fashion: Fabletics

*This is NOT a sponsored post. I did not receive anything at all to write this. I simply saw a commercial and became intrigued.*

Last night Mike and I were watching TV and a commercial came on that caught my attention. It was for fitness clothing called Fabletics which was developed by Kate Hudson.

My phone was about to die and I was too tired to get up and get my laptop, so this morning I hopped on-line to check it out (because I’m a sucker for fitness clothing and a good deal).  When I got to the site, I saw that it is a part of JustFab, which is a shoe/accessory monthly membership program, which I was a part of in the past.

I began browsing around the site and I really liked the outfits they had:

 
These are cute right?!

According to the site, your first outfit is only $25 when you become a VIP member and then you are charged $49.95 a month. However, you can choose to skip a month and not get charged as long as you do it by the 5th of each month, which is how JustFab worked too. As long as you set phone reminders to skip a month there is really no risk in joining, which I really like. (Thank you smartphone for keeping me organized in life!) They also offer free shipping on all orders over $49.95.

Here is a video from the site explaining how it works:

 

 

This appears to run in the same fashion as JustFab, so I began to do some searching on-line for honest, non-sponsored reviews. What I found was that the legging quality is very good and comparable to some of the high-end brands. The shirts had some mixed reviews, but they were mainly good with a lot of mention of soft fabric. The one complaint I found over and over again was that the sizes run small and that exchanging can be difficult, only because they sell out of sizes in certain styles quickly. (I remember having an issue with sizes disappearing quickly when I was a JustFab member too).

I gotta say I am very curious to see the quality of their items, but I haven’t signed up just yet. I’m always very budget conscious when I shop for workout gear, so I’m kinda drawn to the $25 for the first outfit deal.

Are you a member or have you tried Fabletics before? If so, I would love to know your thoughts on it before I take the plunge and join.

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