First Impressions: Summer Fridays R+R and Overtime Masks

Thinking of picking up the Summer Fridays R+R or Overtime mask? Let this first impressions be your sign to get them. Now.

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For Christmas, my brother so kindly gifted me with the Summer Fridays Merry & Brighter set. Anyone who follows me knows that I am the biggest fan of Summer Fridays Jet Lag mask. 

I’ve been using Jet Lag for over a year and with every application, I fall in love even more. However, I never got the chance to try the other two masks from the brand, R+R and Overtime, until now.

I finally gave the two masks a try and I want to share with you my first impressions of them!

Let’s start with the Overtime Mask:

Overtime is intended to exfoliate your skin and act as a mask to liven up dull skin. Some key ingredients include: oat kernel protein, vitamins A, K, C and E, apricot seed powder and pumpkin.

Taken straight from the notes on my phone, here were my first thoughts as I applied it to my skin:

  • This stuff smells AMAZING (like pumpkin pie).
  • Gorgeous texture
  • The exfoliating ingredients are not too harsh on the skin; they’re gentle. 
  • As the mask sits on the skin, there is a slight tingly/warming feeling. (nothing too intense or irritating.)
  • This tube packaging will always be my favorite.
  • Cute & perfect travel size!

All in all, my skin loves this product. I had a visible glow once I washed the mask off after exfoliating and letting it sit for 10 minutes. My skin appeared brighter than it looked before applying and felt so smooth. 

My only caution goes to those who have sensitive skin: beware of the tingly feeling you may feel when it sits on the skin as a mask.

Next is the R+R Mask:

This is a 2-in-1 mask that works to buff away dead skin while restoring it with antioxidant-rich oils. Some key ingredients include: Bulgarian rose, argan oil, rose flower powder and more.

Again, taken straight from the notes on my phone, here were my first thoughts as I applied R+R to my skin:

  • It smells so much like the Fresh Beauty Rose Face Mask (one of my favorite masks on the planet,) which instantly gave me high hopes!
  • It doesn’t have the typical jelly “texture” that I expected. It feels more like a gel with light exfoliants in it.
  • The oils in this mask left my skin looking super radiant.
  • The smell is very relaxing; not too strong, reminds me of being in a spa.
  • Not a messy texture at all
  • Deeply hydrates & moisturizes the skin.
  • Great use for the winter time to reduce dryness.

The final verdict? They’re both awesome products that did not disappoint. Combined with the third mask in the trio, Jet Lag, these three masks make a magical team. 

My skin enjoyed these two products and I could not stop staring at my newfound glow in the mirror.

Have you tried Summer Fridays? I’d love to hear your thoughts as well!

What's On My Apple Watch? (My Favorite Apps That You NEED)

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If you see me at the gym, walking from class to class, or running errands, you’ll most likely see my Apple Watch series 3 on my left wrist. One of the most common questions I hear or get asked is, “What are some good apps to have on your Apple watch?” 

Funnily enough, when the watch first came out, I wasn’t crazy about it. I had no interest in purchasing one and couldn’t see myself wearing one either. But once I started seeing my favorite bloggers, influencers and friends sporting theirs, that quickly changed.

For my 20th birthday, I decided to give in and ask for one as a gift.

Now that it has been over a year, I can tell you that the watch is worth it! I never go a day without wearing mine. 

I thought it would be a great idea to share with you what apps I have on my Apple Watch as a college student, blogger and writer.

Motivation – Daily Quotes

A positive quote is one of my favorite ways to start off the day. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that every now and then, I love to post a snapshot of a positive quote from my Apple Watch. Motivation – Daily Quotes is the app they all come from. 

Everyday you get a different quote which I find is something fun to look forward to in the morning! As a writer, these quotes serve as awesome inspiration as well.

Spotify

For all music-lovers including myself, Spotify is a must. This app is on my phone and laptop so naturally, it makes sense to have on my Apple watch as well. 

Spotify says it best themselves that by having this app on your watch, you become a “DJ from your wrist.” You can control the music that you’re listening to from your wrist as well as get more information about the song you’re listening to. 

This comes in handy way more than you think.

Nike Training Club

For all of you fitness fans, you need the Nike Training Club app if you don’t have it already. 

I started off by having this app on my phone years ago. It has over 300 workouts, taught by professionals themselves, that you can do in the comfort of your own home. Their workouts also vary by level of performance, for example, beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Although you’ll need to use your smartphone to start your workout of choice, the Apple watch displays how much time in the workout you have left, how many reps you have and your heart rate/calories burned. 

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Headspace

We all need to remind ourselves to breathe and relax especially if we tend to constantly be on the go. 

The Apple watch comes with a breathe app already that will guide you through breathing exercises ranging from 1-5 minutes, however, Headspace is a great addition if you want even more.

Headspace is a guided meditation app that works wonders when it comes to relaxing your body and mind. What I love the most about the app is that you can use it anywhere and anytime. Between the SOS and touch options offered through the watch, you will always be one step closer to living a more mindful lifestyle. 

4 Letter Word

I have another daily word app on my watch that speaks to my more spiritual side. The Four Letter Word app gives you a new four letter word each day. Underneath it, you’ll find a biblical passage that the word is included in. I love this because it serves as an amazing food for thought! 

Drink Water Reminder N Tracker

This app is truly changing lives and by lives, I mean mine. I am the worst when it comes to remembering to drink water. So much so, that I took the initiative to download an app that will REMIND me to do it. As crazy as it sounds, this app has helped me a lot. 

You can set the quantity of water that you want to drink in the app on your phone and the app will provide you with reminders throughout the day to reach your water-drinking goals! 

So now that I’ve shared some of my favorite Apple Watch apps, I need to hear yours. Whether you have an Apple Watch or not, what app can you not live without? Let me know below!

The Accessory of the Summer: A JORD Watch + GIVEAWAY!

*In collaboration with Jord Watches. All opinions are 100% honest and are my own.

(Keep reading for GIVEAWAY details! Everyone wins something…) 

There’s only ONE watch that I love and have had for a while. It’s the watch that I always grab and put on when I’m going out on a nice outing with family and friends, however, in my heart I knew it was time for a new one. Jord Watches (pronounced like ‘Yode,’) a wood watch company based in St. Louis, was kind enough to reach out to me and send me one to review. What PERFECT timing.

The watch that I received was the Cassia Walnut & Vintage Rose watch. Right off the bat I was intrigued by its beautiful color as rose-toned jewelry are one of my favorite tones of jewelry to wear. The rose gold face paired with the dark walnut wood make for a gorgeous and photogenic combination.

Amongst many, there are a few details about the watch and its features that stand out to me the most:

The watch is incredibly lightweight. For a watch that is made out of wood, I expected it to be a lot heavier on the wrist, but that is far from the truth. Its lightweight property makes it a lot more comfortable to wear and doesn’t even feel like you are wearing anything on your wrist at all!

It has a clear and easy-to-read face. Nothing is more frustrating than a complicated watch face. While those kinds of watches may be stylish, Jord Watches combine stylish and readable with their pieces. The numbers and dials are crisp, clear and easy-to-read which is credited to this particular style’s concave dial.

It has a double clasp. This is my first time coming across a watch that has two clasps instead of just one. I enjoy this feature because it makes the watch feel extra secure and sits on my wrist comfortably. 

They offer watch sizing prior to shipping. To make things super quick, simple and easy, Jord watches offer watch sizing prior to shipping. This can be helpful to those who do not have a jeweler near them and on top of that, your watch will be ready-to-wear!

They are sustainable. Jord Watches uses 100% natural wood and stay away from toxic chemicals that are used to either treat or protect the wood.

The list can go on and on, but how amazing does all of that sound so far? I’ve had no issues with this watch since receiving it and have been receiving compliments left and right. This is definitely a piece I’m going to be wearing quite a lot.

 Now onto the fun part…GIVEAWAY time!

In partnership with Jord Watches, one of you can win a $100 discount off on any watch. Here’s the catch, no matter the winner, ALL of you who enter will still receive a 10% gift code.

Go to www.jordwatches.com/g/writtenbycamille to enter today! This is a giveaway open in the U.S. AND internationally. What are you waiting for?!

Enter now:


Wooden Wrist Watch
https://www.woodwatches.com/g/writtenbycamille

My Weekend Morning Routine For Relaxation & Energy

During the week, my morning routine is a mess…I don’t even consider it a routine since I’m usually rushing to get ready for school.

While I definitely need to work on my morning routine during the week, I must say that I do have a pretty solid one for the weekend.

I wanted to share a glimpse into what my weekend morning routine looks like. I love to devote time to self-care and relaxation as my weeks almost always end up being so busy and exhausting.

Contrary to the popular saying, “A Sunday well spent brings a week of content,” I think that a weekend well-spent can do just the same!

Wake Up- 10:00 A.M.

Depending on how tired I am from the week, my wake-up time varies. I’ve found that on most weekends, my body typically wakes up around 10-10:30a.m so that’s when I like to start my day.

I usually lay in my bed, grab my phone from my night stand and go through my e-mails, my personal and blog Instagram accounts, read my daily bible verse and check out a few new YouTube videos that have been posted from the channels I’m subscribed to.

I know, grabbing your phone first thing in the morning is not the best habit to have, but I’m just keeping it real (and am working on it!)

Morning Skin Care

When I finally feel ready to get out of bed, I head to my bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face. Below is what my current morning skincare lineup looks like!

Breakfast – Avocado Toast & Eggs

I’m 100% a breakfast girl and cannot start my day without it. I love it so much that sometimes I’ll crave breakfast for dinner and have that instead of a normal dinner meal!

I’ve been eating a lot of avo toast lately and I’m not mad about it. I use Ezekiel bread for my toast, a half of an avocado from Trader Joe’s and put everything but the bagel seasoning on top. If I’m up for it, I’ll add an egg on top! I either eat this with a side of hot tea or a glass of cold water.


Catch Up, Plan, Read…

One of the reasons why I love the weekend so much is that it gives me time to breathe. I don’t feel obligated to rush or get assignments/work tasks done for the following day and actually have a bit of time to plan out the rest of the month and start some things I want to get ahead of.

Even though I recommend giving yourself at least a day or a few hours off from working on anything during the weekend, I can’t help but feel a little motivated knowing that I have more free time to do so!

After doing a little bit of catching up on some school assignments and work, I love to wind down by either reading, writing in my journal or planning content for my blog (this may be considered working, but to me it’s so much fun to do!).

This all takes place in my breakfast nook where all the amazing natural sunlight comes in. Being in this environment makes me feel so inspired and happy.

Workout Routine

After a bit of R&R, I like to do a quick and easy workout.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that my latest obsession has been jump roping. I usually like to run, but sometimes it’s fun to switch things around!

I love to jump rope for about 10 minutes followed by 3-5 sets of a full body workout (@danalandgren and @kayla_itsines workouts on IG are my favorites!!)

Working out for as little as 30 minutes is an instant mood-booster and I highly recommend incorporating this into your morning routine if you’re not already!

Get Ready For The Day

After I’ve completed a work out, I officially get ready for whatever the day has planned. I am such a huge homebody, but even if I’m not going out, I still like to dress in comfortable clothes as it makes me feel good in general.

What’s something you can’t go without doing in the morning?

7 Ways to De-stress, Relax, and Unwind

Processed with VSCO with p5 presetStress and anxiety are two things that I’ve unfortunately had a tough battle with for many years. There have been many bumps along the road, but I can say with confidence that my anxiety has gotten so much better compared to how it was just about four or five years ago.

Along this journey, one of my main priorities has been to find something that I can resort to whenever I find myself getting overwhelmed, stressed or anxious. For me it has always been important to find natural ways to relieve stress and lessen my anxiety, so I thought I would share a few of the things that have helped me so much that I hope can be useful to you.

Positive Affirmations

If you follow my blog’s Instagram, you’ll know that I am a stickler for positive affirmations. Every now and then I love to write down affirmations that have just popped up into my head into my journal and I love to save a bunch to my phone that stick out to me on Pinterest or Instagram. I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to them!

Not going to lie, I used to think affirmations and positive quotes were incredibly tacky, but that’s because I never gave them a try for myself. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. They are so helpful and can really set the tone for a wonderful day. You’d be amazed at how many just speak to your situation directly!

Put Down The Phone

The last thing you want to do when feeling stressed or anxious is go on your phone just to flood your mind with more emails, notifications and tasks that you’ll eventually have to handle at one point or another throughout the day or week.

Don’t go on your phone first thing when you wake up! Give yourself at least 20-30 minutes to set a positive intention for the day. The same goes for whenever you are feeling overwhelmed. Rather than go on your phone, focus on something else like your breathing, reading an affirmation or doing whatever it is that you enjoy doing.

Talk to Someone You Trust

For me, this person is my best friend. I can always count on her to answer my snapchat messages or phone calls whenever I need someone to rant or vent to. You’ve probably heard this tip many times before, but I can assure you, it works!

Bottling up how you’re feeling inside is never a good feeling nor is it good for your mental health. I always feel so much, if not, entirely better after talking things out with my friend. If you don’t feel like you have someone like this in your life; DM me! I’m always here to listen and talk.

Bask in The Sun

I know for me when I am feeling anxious, stressed or a little bit down, I just feel like sleeping in my dark room all day. But just a little sunlight has the power to completely switch your mood I’ve noticed.

I love to go in my sunroom to lay in there because I can always count on that room to be filled with a ton of natural light. The warmth of the sun makes me feel so good and instantly relaxes me.

Throw Yourself a Self-Care Night

This is one of my favorite ways to de-stress. I like to choose either Friday or Sunday night to dedicate time solely to self-care. Friday nights are a perfect way to unwind especially after a long week of school or work, and Sunday nights are a great way to prepare your mind, body and soul for another week.

My self-care nights typically involve taking a long shower or bath, throwing on a mask and putting on my favorite music while I wait for it to dry. It allows me to forget about all my responsibilities for the day and just enjoy time to myself.

Practice Mindful Eating

A lot of times when we are stressed or anxious we find that our minds feel like it’s all over the place. This can make it really difficult to focus our attention on the little things, (like eating!). Mindful eating is a tip I learned from my nutritionist not too long ago.

Get rid of all distractions and focus on every single bite that you take from your meal. This is a practice that involves solely listening to your body whether that be when you’re hungry or when you’re full. It combines the practice of mindfulness with an activity we do every single day. I love to do this to clear my mind as well.

Reflect on the GOOD

Something I’ve been trying to do more and more lately when I’m having a rough day is to think of at least three good things that happened during the day no matter how bad I felt it went. This is something you can even write down or just prepare a mental list in your head.

This is such a great habit to get into because it shifts your focus from reflecting just on the negativity. It allows you to develop a more positive outlook on life and reminds the importance of taking each day one at a time.

What are your favorite ways to de-stress, relax and unwind? You might be able to help someone else.

My Top Ten Favorite Healthy Snacks as a Busy College Student (Vegetarian & Dairy-Free!)

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Being a busy college student, I’ve experienced a lot of days where I’ve had to rely on snacks to get me through the day. Between super long lines for food and a schedule packed with club/organization meetings and back-to-back classes, sometimes it can be really hard to find time to wait for something. To all of you students who go to a big school for college or have a crazy busy schedule, you can probably relate!

Anyway, over the past three years as a college student and a busy gal in general, I’ve been able to discover so many snacks that have been able to sustain me up until my next meal that are both satisfying and healthy! I’m also vegetarian and dairy-free so for those of you who are on the same boat or are just looking for some more snack ideas, I’d love to provide some suggestions!

Here are some of my all-time favorite healthy snacks that never fail to satisfy me:

Nuts

Almonds, pistachios, cashews, you name it! Nuts are incredibly satisfying and always give me the boost of energy that I need to move forward during a busy day. They are packed with healthy fats and protein and are so convenient and easy to bring around with you. Just make sure to be cautious of how much you are consuming in one serving!

Hummus & Carrots

Of course carrots aren’t the only option to dip in hummus. The list is endless! You can use pretzels, celery, pita chips/bread, etc. Hummus is so easy to locate in grocery stores and not to mention there are different flavors of hummus as well. Carrots and hummus are great when you want something healthy as well as to satisfy your craving for something crunchy!

Popcorn

Ever since I was little, popcorn has always been a huge favorite of mine, especially the ones that can go right in the microwave. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered that sometimes, less (ingredients) is more! I love Skinny Pop as well as Trader Joe’s Air-popped popcorn the most at the moment! They are both light, low in calories and have a great flavor.

Apples/Bananas with Peanut Butter

This combo has been my go-to snack for the past week or two. This is the perfect snack if you are craving something sweet. Slice up some apples or bananas and use about a tablespoon of peanut butter to dip your fruit in. It is quick and easy to prepare and tastes so amazing. You can even play around with a new fruit & PB combo.

Protein Bars

I was never a huge fan of protein bars growing up, but I’ve learned to realize that it’s all about finding the right one. My favorite brand at the moment is Larabar because they are dairy-free and are SO simple in terms of ingredients. I love the chocolate chip cookie dough and banana chocolate chip bars the most! I definitely have to try some new flavors.

Crunchy Chickpeas

For an excellent source of protein, crunchy chickpeas are a must! Now, crunchy chickpeas are something that can easily be prepared and made by yourself, but if you don’t have time to make them, my favorite brand to buy is World Cuisine Saffron Road Crunchy Chickpeas (Sea Salt). I just discovered these last month at Whole Foods and swear I can finish the entire bag in one sitting if I could!!

Edamame (Shelled or Roasted)

Believe it or not, edamame is so satisfying and so fun to snack on! You can roast them for a more crunchy and savory snack or you can eat them shelled with a bit of sea salt. These things are packed with fiber and are so versatile. When I’m not eating it for a snack, I love to sprinkle them into my salads and buddha bowls.

Popcorn Cakes

If you are a popcorn-lover like me, another thing you need to try are popcorn cakes! Similar to rice cakes, popcorn cakes are simply just made with popcorn instead of rice. Skinny Pop sells both regular-sized and mini popcorn cakes making them an excellent alternative for chips. They taste amazing with guacamole or hummus on top!

Pretzels Dipped in Chocolate Tahini

For the perfect combination of sweet & salty, you need to try this. On a grocery trip to Whole Foods a few weeks ago, I came across a brand that was giving out samples of their chocolate tahini spread! The brand is called Soom Foods and their chocolate tahini spread tastes just like nutella, except so much better. They are dairy-free, nut-free, vegan and kosher! As with many spreads, you can play around with how you’d like to consume this!

Nut Butter Stuffed Dates

I hate to admit this, but I just tried dates for the first time last month. I can’t believe it took me so long to try them because they are so sweet and taste like a chewy, caramel candy. A quick recipe that I’ve come across many times online involves slicing open dates and filling them with a nut butter of your choice. It is so yummy!

What are some of your favorite snacks? Whether you are a college student or not, or you’re just constantly on-the-go, I’d love to hear!

 

Group Fitness Classes That I Love & Why You Should Too!

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetHappy New Year! I hope everyone’s 2019 has been off to a wonderful start. If 2018 was a rocky year or you didn’t achieve all that you had  planned, 2019 will be your year and you will achieve any and everything that you set your mind to!

I know a lot of us have 2019 goals/resolutions and many of them include getting back on track in terms of health and fitness especially after the holidays. I know mine do! It’s always hard to jump back into working out especially after a bit of time, but for me I’ve found this to be a lot easier with group fitness classes.

Today, I’m going to share some of my favorite group fitness classes that you should give a try this year if you haven’t already.

Let this be a year of trying new things! Finding a workout class that works for you is an amazing starting point to ease your way back into a successful fitness journey.

Zumba

If you like to dance, love music, or simply like having lots of fun, you must try Zumba! If you’re not the biggest fan of working out, I highly suggest doing Zumba because rather than working out, it feels like one huge dance party!

Dancing burns an insane amount of calories and I never fail to feel energized and amazing after one of these classes. Not the greatest dancer? You don’t have to be! As long as you are moving and having fun that is ALL that matters. Along with that, I don’t think I’ve ever had an instructor yet who didn’t radiate positive, fun energy!

Barre

Barre is something that I tried for the first time last year and I must say that this class is the epitome of the saying, “looks can be deceiving.” Don’t let the tiny movements that look and seem easy, fool you. You will leave your first barre class feeling the burn but in the best ways possible. This is an excellent class to try if you are looking to lengthen, strengthen and tone your body quickly especially before spring break, the summer or throughout the year in general.

Kickboxing

In the summer of 2017, I tried my first CKO kickboxing class and quickly became hooked. Not long after, I ended up getting a membership at my local CKO kickboxing gym and went twice a week for the remainder of that summer!

Kickboxing was something that I had always wanted to try, but I was so hesitant to start it because I didn’t think I was strong enough or fit enough for it. It took me the longest time to convince myself to give it a try, but after starting I realized, that’s the whole point! With every kickboxing class you feel yourself getting stronger and stronger. Every punch and kick gets becomes more powerful and your body starts to adjust to the intensity of the exercises. Aside from that, kickboxing is an excellent way to let out any pent up frustration, anger or stress.

Yoga

It was during my junior year of high school that I first got into yoga. I joined a yoga club with my best friend and it was amazing for so many different reasons. Not only was it helping me cope with the stressful load of junior year, I noticed a difference in my strength by the time the quarter was over. My arms and abdomen got more toned and strong, I became more mindful and coped better with stressful situations, I connected so well with the other students in the class and I learned a lot about myself and the core principles of yoga.

Cycling

After years of wanting to go to a cycling class, I finally dragged a friend along to do it with me a few months ago at my school. Cycling is INTENSE, but after one class it is so easy to understand why people continue to come back. While my legs may have been sore for what felt like weeks, I developed an urge to want to come back and push myself even harder. Not to mention, I’ve learned that instructors can get really creative with their playlists used in the class. There’s nothing better than a workout class with great music because it makes the class feel a little less painful!

What are your favorite workout classes? I personally love going to group fitness classes because I love having an instructor who can tell me exactly what to do as well as make sure that I am constantly in proper form. I love discovering new classes and am curious as to what the next hottest one is going to be this year!