15 Minute Workout + My Fitness Routine

Heyo, it’s Monday. And you know what that means–a new week, a fresh start, another new beginning before the next Monday and we start all over again.

I love working out. I hate it, too. There’s nothing better (and nothing worse) than sweat trickling down your neck and back, music blaring in your ears, breathing heavily…it’s exhausting. But it feels amazing when you finish! So, in today’s post, I’m going to be showing (technically, telling) you a quick workout that you can do & my fitness routine!

IMG_9636.jpg Here’s my schedule:

  • Monday: HIIT Run & Cardio
  • Tuesday: Skip (I’m gone all day Tuesday)
  • Wednesday: Run
  • Thursday: Run
  • Friday: Run or Walk (It depends on the day.)
  • Saturday: Yoga & Stretch
  • Sunday: Yoga

I’ve talked about Yoga With Adriene a lot (I swear, I should be Adriene’s spokesperson), but have you ever checked out Blogilates? Blogilates is a Youtube channel filled with fun, quick work-out videos. The amazing woman behind the channel, Cassey Ho, has such a fun personality. I try to do a few of her videos each week along with running and yoga.

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Why do I workout? Because I love moving, I love the feeling of achievement and pride that I get when I take care of myself and run. Running makes me happy, working out lifts my spirits, it just feels good. By the way, if you workout, I would love to know why you do it. Let me know in the comments!

I have a workout that I usually do on my treadmill, but it can be done while running outdoors as well. I made a ‘lil graphic to show you!

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I wish I could do a full hour run without stopping–I’m getting there! Slowly, very slowly, but surely. Since I don’t have a lot of time (usually about fifteen to twenty minutes), I do a few sets of quick sprinting and jogging to get my heart rate up. If I have more time, I’ll do a longer walk at the end to cool down my body–and, of course, I always make time for stretching.

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I hope you enjoyed this. I have tons of motivational quotes on my Pinterest board if you feel like taking a peek. I would love to hear how you workout, feel free to share that if you’d like to. Thank you for reading!

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Three Ingredient Pancakes

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I feel like I should start this by saying that I am by no means a good chef. I can make pasta, rice, soup, maybe some cookies & pastries, but that’s about it. Because of this, I’m all for easy things to make. I was scrolling through Pinterest one day when I found a recipe for three ingredient pancakes. I love making 3 ingredient cookies, and I’ve heard there’s such thing as 3 ingredient cake, but 3 ingredient pancakes?! Amazing.

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Whoever invented this recipe is so clever! I made these up right away, it was super easy, and along with the plus of limited ingredients, these are totally guilt-free. The only sugar in this is natural, coming from the bananas. And, I can have these, because they don’t have dairy! Total score.

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Okay, these are seriously delicious. They taste like soft banana bread and are light & airy. Enough talking, though, I’m guessing you want the recipe by now!

Note: I didn’t invent this recipe. All credit goes to MyRecipes.

Ingredients:

-1 medium ripe banana

-2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour

-1 large egg

Preparation & Cooking:

1. Mash banana with a fork until smooth. Add flour and egg; stir well with a whisk.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Spoon batter onto skillet, using one-third of batter for each pancake. Cook 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn pancakes over; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.

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All you clean eaters and pancake lovers out there need to try these, they’re delicious! If you do, let me know your thoughts. 🙂 Thank you for reading! Have a fantastic day.

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31 Days Of Yoga // My Thoughts + Results

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I’ve been doing yoga for almost two years now, and I love it more every day of practice. My first yoga video was from the Youtube channel Yoga with Adriene, and I’ve been doing it ever since. Recently Adriene did a yoga “revolution”, a.k.a. 31 days of yoga for the month of January. It ended on Tuesday, and in today’s post I’m going to be sharing my thoughts!

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How I Feel Mentally

Amazing! After doing yoga every day, I found that my head was clearer, my thoughts were less scattered, and I was calmer and not stressed. Many people mistake yoga for being a physical practice, but don’t realize that it’s more of a mental practice. Yoga has taught me to love myself, to be confident, and to keep my head up high through the bad & good.

How I Feel Physically

My arm muscles are definitely looking bigger. 😉 I can also do more push-ups and have more core strength than before! My muscles were sore the first few days, but eventually my body adjusted and felt amazing after each practice. Along with being stronger, I’m way more flexible!

Why I Do Yoga

I do yoga to be the best Abigail that I can possibly be. Yoga helps me to think positively, it connects my mind to my body, and allows me to let go of negative thoughts and move on. I’m still not perfect at downward dog, I fall when doing tree pose, but none of that matters. What matters is that I show up and do my best.

Day 16 was my favorite practice by far, and I keep going back to it to stretch and get in a nice workout! Here’s the video if you’d like to give it a try.

Even though the revolution is over, you can do it! Be sure to check out Adriene’s channel, she has so many yoga videos. If you did the revolution, I would love to hear what you think about it/your results! Thank you for reading. 🙂

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Mud Mask Review

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Hello, welcome to today’s post! I know I just posted yesterday, but I wanted to share this with all of you! Let’s get right into it, shall we? I received this mud mask for my birthday–check out the post here–, and it clearly lasts a long time, because I still have plenty left! I checked online to make sure that it was 100% mud from the dead sea, and not something fake. It’s said that mud from the dead sea has great benefits for your skin, which is why I wanted to try it so much.

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-Positive-

  • The mask is smooth and hardens without “tightening” my skin.
  • It doesn’t burn my sensitive skin like many masks do.
  • It smells amazing!
  • I feel like it really does a good job of cleaning out my pores!

-Negative-

  • Although I feel like it really cleans my pores, that’s honestly all I can say about it. It claims that it helps with acne. I’ve been using it for months at this point, once a week, yet I feel like it hasn’t actually helped my pimples!
  • It doesn’t come off very easily, it takes a lot of scrubbing.

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Nonetheless, this mask is affordable and does a great job of cleaning your skin! Here’s the link if you would like to check it out. If you do, let me know your thoughts on it! Also, if you have any good masks that you would recommend, let me know!

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Aloe Vera for Healthy Hair

Hair gets so dry in the winter time, am I right? 😉 In Winter, I find myself needing to do a hair mask once a week to keep my hair nice & hydrated. I normally combine lavender, rosemary, and coconut oil, and put it on my hair, but I always like trying out new things. I was scrolling through Pinterest and saw a post saying that aloe vera is a great way to hydrate your hair.

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I have an aloe vera plant, but it’s still growing, and I didn’t want to cut it yet. Luckily, I have a bottle of 100% aloe vera gel. The directions on Pinterest said to apply aloe vera gel to your hair for an hour and then rinse it out with shampoo and conditioner.

My hair wasn’t greasy when the aloe was in my hair–in fact, I couldn’t even tell that there was a mask in my hair, which makes me think it would be great as a styling gel. Once I rinsed out my hair, I noticed a difference.

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Actually, it was the best hair day that I’ve had in a while! My hair was silky and so soft. I purchased this bottle of aloe vera gel for eight dollars when I had a sunburn in summer, but I never knew it would be so good for my hair! I’m going to keep putting the aloe vera in my hair, once a week before showering, and we’ll see what happens! 🙂

I would definitely recommend trying it out! Your hair will thank you.

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Thank you for reading! Let me know if you’ve tried aloe vera in your hair before! I hope you have a fantastic day. ❤

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Calia Products Review

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Hello!  Recently I had the opportunity to try out a few products from a company called Calia. I was introduced to their company through Sarah Nagel’s videos, and I fell in love right away! Calia has hair and skin care products, as well as essential oils! They have a wide range of products from cleansers to toners, to shampoo and lotion.

I got sent a box full of goodies, and today I’m going to tell you about each of the products that I received, and let you know what I think about them!

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First, let’s talk about the shampoo and conditioner. Calia has a few different shampoos and conditioners on their website, and I chose to try out the Hydrating shampoo.

My hair has been a rocky road. I use to curl and straighten it a lot, which made it dry in some parts and oily in other parts. Some of my hair was healthy, but a lot of my hair was brittle and dried out. I started using coconut oil on my hair, which helped it grow and made it a lot healthier. I also got a wooden brush, and I saw an improvement from that as well. I honestly tried all kinds of things, but the one thing that I couldn’t figure out was shampoo and conditioner. I considered the No Poo method, but like I said, my hair tends to be oily in the summer and dry in the winter, so I wasn’t sure if that would work.

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I read tons of reviews and found lots of shampoos and conditioners that I wanted to try. I settled on Mane ‘N Tail, and that was the last straw. My hair was so brittle and dry after using it, and it got worse the more I used it. Eventually I realized it was because of the sulfates in the shampoo. Sulfates literally strip your hair of its natural oils. I did even more research and I found Calia! I fell in love right away and wanted to try some. I emailed Calia and here I am!

My favorite part about the shampoo & conditioner is the ingredient list. It’s nice to actually know every single thing on the list! Calia also keeps bad things out of their products–here’s the list:

  • No Animal Testing
  • No Sulfates
  • No Dea (diethanolamine)
  • No Sodium Chloride (Salt)
  • No Propylene glycol

Also, their products are 100% Canadian and environmentally friendly, and most of the ingredients are organic! They use a lot of essential oils in their products, which I’m all down for. So, onto what I thought of it…

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It smells HEAVENLY. While I was washing my hair with it, all that I could think about was the smell. It smells like roses and clean air, and who doesn’t want their hair to smell like that? My hair felt really clean while I was washing it, and once it dried, I was shocked at how silky and smooth it felt. After a few more uses, Calia has removed the buildup from other products on my hair. My hair is so silky and it’s not dry anymore! This product really lives up to its name, my hair is so hydrated now.  It is literally a miracle shampoo (and conditioner)!

Onto the other hair-related product that I received: Intensive Conditioner!

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This stuff is my life. I love it! The s & c really helped with my brittle hair, but this intensive conditioner gave my hair more moisture and made the brittle hair go away for good. 🙂 In between days that I wash my hair, I use this to keep it healthy. This is like a hair mask–you put it in your wet hair for about two  minutes, and then rinse it out.

The intensive conditioner does not have much of a strong scent like the shampoo and conditioner, but I was fine with that! It was smooth and my hair loved it! 🙂 I was shocked at how my hair felt once I rinsed it out, and my hair dried.  My hair was like silk, and it was so clean and soft! I’m going to order more of it as soon as I run out.

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Lastly for the cleanser! I’ve only gotten to use this a few times, but I really like it. It has a cool feel and lathers nicely! A lot of cleansers that I’ve used have stung, because I have very sensitive blemish-prone skin. In the evenings I use cleansers that have lots of chemicals in them, and while those have helped clear up my face, they have made my face really fragile and sensitive.

I wanted to try out this cleanser to give my skin a break for a bit! And I wasn’t disappointed! I used this after I ran once, and my face felt really clean afterwards, so I’m convinced that it got the sweat and oil out of my pores! My face was soft afterwards, so I’m going to keep using it and we’ll see what happens. 🙂

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My verdict? I’m obsessed with Calia and I will never, ever, ever switch to different hair and skin care products!

Pros:

  • Their products are inexpensive
  • Calia has high standards for their products, so you can expect quality products.
  • They have high quality, organic ingredients!
  • Their products do NOT have sulfates, which is a huge plus!
  • They have many different products, like toner, cleanser, hairspray, shampoo and conditioner, essential oils, lotion, and more!
  • You will actually see results from using their products!

Cons:

  • It ships from Canada, so you do have to pay for shipping. It is worth it, though!

So, what are you waiting for? Head to Calia’s website and take a look at their products! If you have tried their products let me know how they worked for you! Thank you, Calia!

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Note: Calia sponsored  this post. 100% of my opinions  in this post are my own!

Healthy Foods: What to Make

Hello! Long time, no see! It is Day 27 of the pledge. I got a request for tips on making healthy foods. I spent a while trying to figure out how to lay out this post. So, for this post, I am going to be sharing my top two foods/recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks. This is going to be a long post! If you missed the first pledge post, check it out here.Let’s start with some good old breakfast.

Breakfast

Breakfast has always been really easy for me. I’m not a breakfast person, so I typically have something small. 🙂IMG_9243

One of my favorite things for breakfast is a plate of some healthy fruits & sometimes veggies, like celery. It really helps give me energy and fills my stomach.

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For my second option, I love ack-mack crackers with peanut butter on them.  Ack-mack crackers are just bland sesame crackers, but they have essential grains in them, and they’re really good for you. I also like these because they’re really basic, so you can basically put anything on them. (For a lunch option, you could melt some mozzarella on them and put a couple pieces of basil on….yum!) You can buy these at Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Hannaford…pretty much anywhere.

Lunch

Lunch is really fun, because you can have the same kinds of foods as dinner.

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One of the most basic, delicous things that I like for lunch is a quesidilla. I seriously have these for lunch almost every day. These are super easy, and you can add chicken, beans, sour cream, etc. Make sure you use a whole wheat tortilla, it’s healthier!

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Roasted veggies are becoming a favorite for me. I love sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, beets, carrots….I just peel and cut them and throw them in the oven for about 45 mins. To make your life easy, just cut a ton of veggies of your choice and cook them for the week. You can warm them up whenever you want them for lunch/dinner. Easy! 🙂

Dinner

Rice Bowls

I love Mexican food, and one of the easiest dinners is a rice bowl. Just cook up some rice (use brown rice, it’s better for you) and add some salsa, cheese, beans, lettuce, etc. Rice is a really good foundation because it’s used in all kinds of food–from Indian food to Chinese food. I have rice bowls probably twice a week.

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Another classic for dinner is just some wheat pasta and sauce. Make sure you use a healthy wheat pasta that has essential grains. If I’m feeling lazy, I’ll just have leftover pasta for lunch, too! If you want an easy pasta, just cook the pasta of your choice and add some butter, salt and pepper, and basil.

Dessert

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If you have a sweet tooth, no worries! Me too! For dessert, you can actually have dark chocolate, if it’s over 80% cacaco. Dark chocolate is really good for you, and it’s delicious. Make sure you pick a fair trade and organic opition.

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I also love date fudge! I found this recipe on one of my favorite youtube channels, Holistic Habits. Check it out here.

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And because you can’t go wrong with more desserts, I’ll mention my favorite three ingredient peanut butter cookies. These seriously take ten mintues to make and cook, and they are so so so good. 🙂 Check it out here. 

Snacks

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I love a refreshing cucumber after a long day. I always peel it, and put a pinch of salt on the slices for a better flavor.

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You have no idea how obsessed I am with dates. They are SO sweet and soft. If you put them out in the sun for a while, they get a slightly crystallized taste. Make sure you buy pitted dates to make your life easier!

And there you have it! I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while, but it’s better late than never. Also, I went on a huge fabric haul a few days ago, so stay tuned for that! Thank you for reading!

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Spring Cleaning

It’s Day Nine of the Pledge! If you missed the orginal post, check it out here. We have some other posts up on the blog about the pledge, like how to write a gratitude journal, so check those out!

Finally, the snow has melted and spring has arrived! You know what that means….fresh buds, sunshine, and spring cleaning. There is nothing better than a clean house, it feels so good to be done. I always get dragged into cleaning, but there are ways to make it fun! Today the Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center and I are going to be sharing some ways to have a safer, and more fun cleaning session.

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1. Open the windows

After months cooped up inside during winter, open up those windows! Let the clean air freshen up your house. Say goodbye to stale, dry air! We have a sunroom on our back porch with windows lining one wall and a glass “window”  on the cieling so more sun can get in and we can watch the birds in the trees.

2. Let in the sunshine

Often times, what with furniture and curtains, tables and decor; windows can get covered up. Try moving around your furniture for a fresh look and more sunshine! The rays will warm up your house and give you some good ol’ vitamin D.

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This is the glass “window” that I was talking about.

3. Have a catchy playlist

Need some motivation? Lately I’ve been loving Spotify and Pandora. They have some of my favorite songs and making playlists couldn’t be easier. Sometimes I don’t want too much of a distraction, so I’ll turn on classical music to provide a stress-free backdrop.

4. Burn a candle

Not only do candles make your home smell good, they make your home more cozy and in some cases, can release stress. Since it’s spring, opt for a nice floral scent.

5. Use safe cleaners

Check the ingredients of your sprays and cleaners! Many contain toxins that you don’t want to be putting on your surfaces. If you’re unsure about your cleaners, just make your own! All you need is a spray bottle, some vinegar and water, and voila!

6. Be careful

If you are renovating your home, be safe! Many old homes built before the 1970s contain asbestos, a known cause of  Mesothelioma cancer.

Be sure to check out these spots:

  • Insulation within the ceiling and walls
  • Lining around house piping
  • Vinyl plastic floor tiles
  • Home siding and roofing

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And there you have it! Stay safe and have a wonderful day!

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How To Keep A Gratitude Journal

Hello! It’s day three of the pledge! Be sure to check out the first post if you missed it. If you’re taking the pledge with me, how is it going so far? I got a request for a post on making healthy food. This is going to be a long, helpful post, so stay tuned! I’m going to be sharing some of the easiest and inexpensive meals and some resources. It should be coming out within a few weeks.

As for today’s post, this is a post I have been wanting to do too. This pledge is not just about what you feed the brain–it’s about what you feed your mind. I have found that keeping a gratitude journal really helps erase some of negative thoughts in my head.

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A gratitude journal is a place where you keep track of the things that make you happy and positive. It helps you to reflect on the good things that are happening in your life at that time.

Some people simply don’t have time to keep a journal, and I totally understand that! I’m always on a crunch for time too. Hopefully today’s tips will help you stick to writing in your journal every day.

Start by picking a time that works for you.

Some people enjoy mornings, others enjoy the evening. I personally like the morning, because it helps me start my day with some positivity.

Find out how you want to organize your journal.

There are two ways that you can organize your journal.

Way One: Write the things that you are thankful for in a list. It looks something like this:

  • I’m thankful for my blog
  • I’m thankful for my followers
  • I’m thankful for my family
  • I’m thankful for Charlie

And so on. If you don’t have a lot of time to write in your journal, I would recommend this for you. If you only have time to write a couple of things a day, that’s fine!  

Way Two: Write the things that you are thankful for in short paragraphs. This is more descriptive and tends to be like a diary, but make sure your paragraphs aren’t too long. It looks like something this:

  • I’m thankful for the rain. For the last week, it’s been very hot and the garden just needs some fresh rain. This morning, I had time to read and eat breakfast while watching the rain fall down.

Also, don’t be worried if your journal becomes a little random. The first couple pages of your journal will probably have important things, like “family” “heat” “a nice home” “food”, etc. But if the other pages stray to “Dogs” and “My arm”, Don’t worry! If you can’t think of what to write, just don’t write anything. Try to focus on things that you are thankful for that are happening in your life at the time. 

If you cannot think of anything else to write, start some new sections in your journal, like “Things That Make Me Happy”…whatever you want to add that helps you channel positivity will help. 

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Please excuse my horrible handwriting. 🙂The last step is applying this to your life. If you are having a bad day, read through the journal. Look at everything you’ve written. Remember the memories that you captured in a single word. Think of the kind words people have said to you, the smiles you’ve received. Your spirits will rise instantly.

And look at photos! Keep photos near you to help stay positive during the day.

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I have a cork board where I have a couple of my favorite photos hanging there. This is a photo of me in Boston, where I was born. 

I hope that this post has given you some inspiration! If you have any questions, drop me a comment or contact me via email.  If you still aren’t sure what to do for your gratitude journal, or if you have any questions whatsoever on the pledge, I’m here to help.

Have a beautiful, happy, and positive day. I’ll see you in the next post!

 

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And So It Begins!

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The Pledge officially begins today! If you missed my first post, please check it out here for more details. Since it’s a Sunday, today’s post is pretty small. I just wanted to give you my quick agenda for today:

Tonight, I’m hoping to do a yoga workout. It’s a rainy day here in New York, so I’ll probably do a gentle workout, maybe this one?  Or maybe I’ll make my own little workout up. 🙂

I’m going to also make some three ingredient peanut butter cookies. These are soooooooo good and since they don’t have a lot of ingredients (an egg, sugar, and peanut butter), they’re a pretty healthy choice! I make these all the time. If you want to make these, be sure to use organic & all natural peanut butter.

I’m also hoping to do a coconut oil hair mask. (I’ll have a post coming soon on this!) I do these all the time, and they work wonders for growing your hair! I cut two inches off my hair recently and I’ve noticed that it’s already grown back.

Hopefully, fingers crossed, I’ll have a post ready for you tomorrow. I’ve been thinking up some fun post ideas for this month, and here are some ones that I’ve came up with:

  • A quick yoga routine for the morning
  • Tips for growing long and healthy hair fast
  • A coconut hair mask
  • Keeping a gratitude journal

And of course I have some more sewing creations to share with you! Do any of those post ideas interest you? What kinds of things would you like to see?

Thank you very much for reading! Have a wonderful day.

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P.S. My $100 gift card arrived recently. I’m looking forward to doing a fabric haul! Stay tuned!