10 Products I’m loving for September

Sorry I’m a few days late with this!

But here we are with a list of things I’m loving as we go back to school and get into Fall weather!

As usual, I’m not getting paid for this, so you can be sure I actually love all of these things!

 

  1. All hail the almighty PSL. I am not as obsessed with Pumpkin as some people I know, but I do love pumpkin flavored coffee. Also, if you’re drinking it iced, try it with almond milk for a slightly different flavor! I don’t like the almond milk hot but cold it is excellent!
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    Pumpkin Spice Latte, Starbucks, $3-5
  2. The Backstagers

    I’m not a huge comic book person, but this is an adorable story about high school theatre- how could I not love it?? You can get digital versions from Amazon, or order it online from mycomicbookshop.com, but I recommend going down to a local shop and asking for it. If you’ve never been, it’s a great way to have an adventure AND support local business. 410464-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_

    The Backstagers, BOOM Publishing on Amazon, $2-6 an episode

  3. Neutrogena oil free pink grapefruit body wash. This stuff takes care of any body breakouts I get in a snap. Perfect for midwest weather that changes it’s mind all the time!
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    Neutrogena body wash, Amazon, $5.96

  4. Asics no show invasion socks If you know me, you know I’m not a huge fan of socks. However, these are my absolute favorite workout socks. I stumbled across them several years ago and they’re the best. Soft and cushy, my feet don’t feel too sweaty or hot and they come in both fun colors and black and white.

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    Asics No  Show Invasion Socks, Asics.com, $18 for six

  5. Oatmeal. Oatmeal is my go to breakfast right now. I’ll write up some of my favorite recipes sometime soon, but I love that you can make it hundreds of ways, it’s easy, pretty healthy and warm and comforting as we head into colder mornings.
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    Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, Amazon, $2.98

  6. Overdrive. Overdrive is an app that hooks up with your local libraries to provide you access to thousands of audiobooks, e-books and other stuff. It’s super easy to use and best of all, totally free!

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    Overdrive, App, Free

  7. Mint. I’ve been using Mint for several years, but I really feel like I’m starting to get the hang of it. Mint helps me manage my money, and with all of my freelance work, that’s more important than ever.
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    Mint, App, Free

    8. Moo.com. If you have to get stuff printed, I can’t recommend Moo.com enough. I recently got some stickers made for the etsy store, and everything about the experience was just so great. They’re made for small businesses, so I didn’t have to order 10,000, and the upload and design tools were very easy to use and accessible.

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    moo.com, printing company, prices vary

    9. ELF Instant Lift Brow Pencil. This crayon style pencil has a spoolie brush on the other end, making it perfect to fill in and come those brows into submission. Anyone who has taken my makeup classes knows I hate eyebrows, so making it these easy to deal with them is a plus! It isn’t as precise as some of the more expensive tools, but for this price, it’s still a steal. I get it in taupe.

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    ELF Instant Brow Pencil, Ulta Beauty, $2

    10. Vigo Black Beans and Rice. This was a staple in my house growing up, and I’ve gone back to them recently as I’ve been slow this summer. This is a cheap and filling dinner, without giving up on nutrition. And also, it’s bursting with flavor.

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    Vigo Black beans and Rice, Amazon, $15.50 for four

 

And that’s what I’ve got for this month! As always, I’d love to hear your suggestions for things to make life easier and more fun!

Set some Goals

Hi Supers!

Tomorrow is the first Monday of September! Can you believe it? I hope you enjoy it, whatever you are doing on Labor Day. As for me, I’ll be at my first official shift in my new job as the Costume Shop Manager at King’s Island, a local amusement park. Wish me luck!

But tonight, although it’s getting late and I’m still at school working, I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about setting goals.

If you don’t set regular goals, you probably should. I hope that’s not the first time you’ve heard that!

There are a ton of different ways to do it, but in the end it doesn’t matter a whole lot- as long as it works for YOU! But here are a couple of guidelines if you’re a little (or a lot) overwhelmed.

I like to start with categories. For example, I routinely set career, physical, mental, and emotional goals. Maybe you add school or relationship goals. Or financial goals. Whatever you need!

Then I like to put a BIG goal in all of the categories. Right now my BIG goals are:

Career/financial: Be able to comfortably full time freelance, pay off all debt before I turn 32 (includes student loans)

Physical: Be able to do an unsupported handstand and run 30 minutes non stop before the end of the year

Mental: Be fluent in another language with in three years(this one was hard!)

Emotional/ relational: maintain equilibrium during the current storm

 

These are all things I’m SUPER excited about. I WANT them- hopefully badly enough to really dedicate some time working towards them! Notice that most of them have a time limit or deadline attached. This is key! Otherwise it isn’t a goal, it’s a wish.

Once I have my BIG goals, I start subdividing. I do monthly and weekly goals, and then I set to do list items for the day to day.

So, for example, my monthly goals for September are:

Career/financial: launch my etsy store, write 15 blog posts

Physical: hit my step goal 5 out of 7 days per week, do at least ten minutes of yoga every day

Mental: read three books

Emotional/ relational: plan my weeks and stick to it

 

My weekly goals look like this:

 

Physical: Hit my step goal 5 out of 7 days, do at least ten minutes of yoga every day

Career and financial: close and ship the giveaway

Mental: read the 10 chapters of my book for the book club

Emotional/Relational: plan my week and stick to it

 

 

And there you have it! That’s how I set goals. When I do it consistently, I notice I’m WAY more productive, happier and much more focused!

 

Superhero action of the day: What are your goals? Are you achieving them?

10 things to do (that aren’t staring at your phone)

Hi supers!

Some business first: if you haven’t entered the giveaway, you should go do that. Right now. I’ll wait!

 

Why are you still reading this? Go now!

 

Ok, cool, you’re back!

 

So, as we all know, I was vastly underemployed this summer, and I didn’t handle it very well. I seem to be doing much better now!

Anyway, this Summer, I found myself spending hours sitting around on my couch, playing around on my phone. Facebook, Two Dots (my game of choice), Instagram… you name it, I was wasting time on it this summer.

So today, I am making a list of things to do instead of staring at your phone screen! Let’s get right to it:

  1. Activity Books. Whether it’s coloring books for adults, word searches, crosswords or sudoku puzzles, there are tons of ways to keep your mind and hands busy! Personally, I’m a fan of those super cheap crossword magazines, and of course, an erasable pen!
  2. embroidery, painting or another artistic hobby.  A lot of people like to knit or crochet. I like to do some hand embroidery- it’s portable, I can watch tv or do other things while I’m doing it, and at the end of it, I have something to display or give away!
  3. Deep clean or sort something. Maybe it’s the junk drawer in your kitchen. Maybe it’s your bedroom closet. Wherever it is in your home, I bet there are places that you know could use some organizing. Dig in and get them cleaned out! You’ll feel better once it’s done!
  4. Dust. I don’t know about you, but dusting is the chore that usually gets skipped at my house. But if you find you are bored, dusting is a great way to get you moving and get some (in my case) much needed housework done! Bonus points if you turn on some music and have a dance party!
  5. Write a letter. Handwrite a letter or a card to a friend. My bff and I have an ongoing (although not constant) stream of written communication, and getting something in the mail from her ALWAYS makes my day. Better yet, write that letter to your grandparents.
  6. Do a jigsaw puzzle or learn a form of solitaire. I don’t have a lot of room for puzzles (although I really enjoy them), but I spent the majority of my down time one weekend this summer playing solitaire and was amazed at how well it kept me busy!
  7. Learn more about something you are passionate about. The library and the internet are such amazing wealths of information! Make good use of them and learn about something you love or maybe just something you’re curious about! Become an expert- just for fun!
  8. Decorate your dream house. Sometimes I get on amazon and etsy and just make lists of all the pretty things I would buy if I had the money!
  9. Read a book. Again, you can learn anything you want to this way. MY personal favorites are sci-fi/fantasy and mysteries, but I try to read one book that’s good for me while I’m getting those stories in!
  10. Get up and get out of your house and go exploring. Find a new park, eat at a new restaurant, drive down a new road. Change your surroundings just enough to make you look around and appreciate them.

 

And there you have it! Ten things to do when you’re bored. Get off your couch and be amazing.

 

Superhero action of the day: Tell me your boredom busters! Comment here or over on the Superhero Living Facebook Page.

 

10 products I’m loving for August

Hi, my superheroes!

 

I’m sorry to have gone radio silent on you. To be honest, I felt like a fraud posting about being a superhero… because I just don’t feel like on recently.

But it’s August first, so let’s talk about some products for the end of our summer!

You know the drill- I’m not getting any money from anyone for this! Enjoy!

 

  1. Rhinegeist bubbles. Y’all Rose beer. In a can. Ned I say more?c6vuwrpu4aagqp6
  2. This ELF BB cream: elf-83262-2Super lightweight, natural coverage, and a little bit of SPF. It’s excellent. It’s also about $4. Pretty hard to beat that.
  3. On that note, I’m also loving this Burt’s Bees balm in Plum:     fedd2588-1048-4941-841e-8d79c6ce2ef5_1-4d72991f84233c5e137c7d5ae7423e24                                                                                                                It’s actually a pretty good match for my cover girl almost lipstick that I was loving last month…. but it’s WAY cheaper at about $6.
  4. Sharpie Pens. Seriously, I got hooked on these in college and will hardly use anything else. Perfect for back to school! 1888a890-ba8b-41cf-a7dc-5a44a39a5bf3_1-1b37215d77396202df34169792893553 Bold lines, writes like a marker, doesn’t bleed through, works if you have to label clothes (like me!) How can you go wrong?
  5. my Foam roller! I’m working my way back into weight lifting (post soon!) and I’ve had some pretty sore days! If you don’t have one, I got mine for about $3 at a store called Five Below, but also check secondhand sports stores if you’re trying to find one for cheap! exfmrl_image1
  6. Panera’s Chai Tea Latte. If you know me, you know I don’t do much caffeine anymore. I just can’t! But when I need something, I grab a chai tea latte. Whether hot or cold, it’s creamy and comforting like coffee, but without the mega caffeine burst that makes me a little unstable.  Panera’s are good- but one of my goals is to make my own this month- look for a post soon!original
  7. Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo. Y’all. If you are not dry shampooing, you should be. I was an every day shampoo girl. Well, apparently that’s super bad for your hair. So I got some of this and I’m not going back. Honestly, sometimes I’m on day 4 before I wash with this stuff. It’s amazing. My hair is also pretty fine, so this works great if I need to add some texture to my hair. 41im2mamvel-_sx466_
  8. Secret Outlast deodorant. This stuff is legit. I’m not kidding I can work out hard for an hour and not stink afterwards. The completely clean scent is what I get and it has a very light but pleasant perfume, it doesn’t get white stuff on my clothes, and it doesn’t feel weird in my armpits.         71kxe2b8wrxl-_sy355_
  9. Santa Cruz Organics Lemonade: I love juice. It’s the only calorie filled drink I keep in the house anymore (ok, barring alcohol!) But so much of it has a ton of sugar and other weird stuff in it. So when I can, I stock up on these juices and lemonades. They’re great on their own, but I especially love to put a little in with my seltzer water to make a delicious Summer mocktail. I love the lemonade, strawberry lemonade and mango lemonades. lemonade
  10. Quantico: If you love suspense filled TV, this one is for you. First, Alex Parrish trained to become FBI. Then someone framed her. This excellent ABC show will definitely keep you pressing “Still Watching” on Netflix!2b5866299c49737fe704050b444697d6

 

So there you have it! 10 products I’m loving for August! And I promise I’ll try to post more this month- this is harder than I thought it would be!

 

Superhero Action of the Day: it’s a new month! What are you going to do with it?

50 ways to treat yo self

I’m on a swing of working out again. Does anyone else do this? I can be a little bit obsessive and extremist, so maybe it’s just me, but although I try to workout consistently all the time, I go through periods where I’m super committed to it, and periods where I am just completely uninterested.

Right now, we’re on the upswing, which is great. I firmly believe I’m my best self when I’m working out regularly, so it’s nice when I feel motivated to do so.

In that spirit, I present to you, my superheroes, A List of Non Food Rewards.

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It’s hard, I know! When we do something difficult, we feel like we should be rewarded for that! Sometimes, it’s worth it to treat yo self. But there are better ways, most of the time, than to put food in our bodies that is counter productive to our superhero status (Ninja Turtles notwithstanding!)

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Ready? Here we go.

  1. New nail polish
  2. Mani Pedi
  3. New book
  4. Episode of a TV show or a movie
  5. Reward Jar (put a set amount of money, like $1 in a jar every time you workout)
  6. New workout clothes
  7. New purse
  8. New workout music
  9. Earn your Netflix/Hulu, etc. Set an amount of workouts for a month and cancel your subscription for the next month if you don’t make your goal
  10. A trip to the library
  11. an all out, guilt free Pinterest binge
  12. time with your favorite video game
  13. Take a Nap
  14. Try a new fitness class
  15. invest in a fitness accessory like a smart watch or wireless headphones
  16. Get a massage
  17. Take a morning off to do something you enjoy but don’t have time for (this might be hiking for me)
  18. Buy yourself flowers or a new houseplant
  19. Get the most recent issue of your favorite magazine
  20. Take a class in something you’re interested in (for me this would be some patterning and sewing stuff, but maybe it’s cooking, photography or math. You do you)
  21. Take a day trip and enjoy it!
  22. Watch a favorite sport- in person
  23. Register for a race or competition
  24. A healthy food kitchen gadget
  25. New Tupperware or lunch box
  26. The beginnings of a new hobby- sketchbook, camera, tennis racket, etc.
  27. New coloring book and markers or pencils
  28. new Journal or planner
  29. new mug or travel mug
  30. new water bottle
  31. new outfit
  32. Hair cut or color
  33. new Jewelry piece- you decide how fancy and expensive!
  34. Get your friends together for a night out
  35. Take a weekend away
  36. new candle or diffuser
  37. Plan your dream vacation
  38. …and take it
  39. Get a tattoo or a piercing
  40. a new piece of art for your home
  41. piece of exercise equipment
  42. a tool or tool set (drill, dremel, etc)
  43. new app
  44. your favorite spa treatment
  45. Use a sticker chart! This sounds silly, but I’ve done it, it WORKS
  46. Buy a lottery ticket
  47. Buy expensive socks. They’re ridiculous but worth it.
  48. Have pictures taken
  49. Try out personal training
  50. Get your car professionally detailed

 

Whew! There we are, 50 ideas to treat yo self… without eating your weight in donuts.

 

Superhero Action of The Day: What are your favorite ways to reward yourself?

10 reasons to exercise (that have nothing to do with your weight)

It’s Wednesday! It’s Hump Day! You can do this! Halfway there!

Today at the gym, I hopped on a treadmill and ran/walked a 5k. It’s been a LONG time since I did that- I used to be a regular runner, albeit never a particularly great one. But I ran several times a week and got up to doing three or four miles without a break. And then, as is the way of things sometimes, I got hurt. I developed some pretty gnarly plantars fasciitis, severe pain in my right heel and was forced to stop running.

I’ve talked already about my personal struggles with dieting and exercise. Because of those struggles, I’ve decided that it just isn’t healthy for me to focus my fitness efforts into weight loss and calorie counting. So when I turned again to running as a form of exercise, I found it really easy to train- more miles, faster miles, etc. In the last year, when I haven’t been running as much, I’ve had to work on finding other good exercise goals- and that hasn’t always been easy. So tonight, I thought I would share a few reasons to exercise- that have nothing to do with body shape or size.

Ready? Here we go!

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  1. Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. I know that can seem counter intuitive, but when you find something you can enjoy doing, you will find happiness in it.
  2. It builds confidence. It’s a lot easier to make hard phone calls, have hard conversations, and in general be a superhero when you feel good about yourself. And one of the things that makes me feel good about myself is seeing slow but steady gym progress.
  3. Exercise builds strong muscles. Stronger muscles have a ton of health benefits- everything from better heart health (Heart disease is the number one killer of women!) to greater ease of movement.
  4. It releases stress. When I started boxing, I thought the best part was going to be a killer upperbody workout. While that is certainly true, the honest to goodness best part is that whaling away on a heavy bag eliminates just about every piece of stress you’ve ever felt. And if you’re angry with someone, my recommendation is to picture his or her face on said heavy bag. Is it the most peaceful mindset in the world? Probably not. But I’m telling you, it’s incredibly effective.
  5. You’ll sleep better. If you’ve ever lain awake at night tossing and turning, you know how torturous it is. The best way I know to fix that is to work out hard- expend enough energy to make your body tired enough for sleep.
  6. You’ll have more energy. Again, it may seem counter intuitive, but regular exercise makes one more energetic- and who doesn’t want that?
  7. You’re less likely to get sick- from everything from the common cold to cancer. No, I’m not exaggerating.
  8. There are a whole host of brain benefits too- everything from memory improvement to boosting creativity and productivity.
  9. Helps you make better food decisions. I don’t know why it works, necessarily, but it seems to be true across the board- once you start working out, more conscientious eating often follows.
  10. Exercise is a (vital) part of self care. The best superheroes take care of themselves AND others. Your workout every day helps you do just that.

OMP: Super food Tacos

Hi Superheroes! I took the weekend off to unplug a little bit- thank you for that luxury!

But it’s Monday… and YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS: Tomorrow is Taco Tuesday. So, in honor of everyone’s favorite midweek party, here’s a recipe for 5 minute tacos that are even pretty good for you.

No, it is not too good to be true. Fair, you have to either prep the ingredients or have them on hand.

But full disclosure, I bought all of these ingredients at the grocery store. And all I had to do tonight was assemble my tacos and chow down.

The crux of this recipe is my favorite deli find: Superfood salad. I get it by the pound at my local Kroger store, but just in case you can’t find it, I have a couple of links to recipes so you can make your own.

If you just don’t want to make your own, any kind of slaw will taste great on this. Trust me, though, it’s worth it.

Superfood salad options: one two (this second one is Pin, but the recipe is in the caption!

If you’re stuck between those two recipes, my personal preference would be the dressings from the first and the ingredients from the second. I think.

Ok, now that you’ve got your superfoods, we can make some tacos.

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Superfood Tacos:

flour tortillas

carnitas (I got some in the meat department at the store, but I’ve made my own in the crockpot, too)

queso cheese

guacamole

your favorite salsa (I’m really into fruit salsas, but savory would be good too!)

and of course, Superfood Salad!

Instructions:

Arrange flour tortillas on a plate or platter. Add a couple of Tablespoons of carnitas, a couple Tablespoons of Superfood Salad, a spoonful of guacamole, a spoonful of salsa, and a sprinkle of cheese to each tortilla. Fold or roll. Eat and live long and healthy.

Superhero Action of the Day: I want to hear about your weekend! What superhero adventures did you get into? Share them to my page on Facebook or #Superheroliving on Instagram!

 

5 ways to fight muscle soreness

Oh, my superheroes. Yesterday was leg and booty day at the gym.

I tried a new workout.

And today, I might be dead. Seriously, my glutes and my quads huuuuuuuuuurt.

We’ve all been there, right? Whether it’s workout recovery, aftermath from a hard day of moving or something else, we’ve all had sore muscles. So today we’re looking at some ways to combat muscle soreness! Ready/? Here we go!

  1. Foam Rolling. If you haven’t tried a foam roller, you definitely should. It hurts like crazy, I won’t lie to you. It’s part of my workout tonight, and I can’t really say I’m looking forward to it. But it helps a LOT. It works by breaking up lactic acid pockets in your muscles. I think. Science was never my strong suit. Anyway, foam rolling. Check it out.
  2. Take a bath. Warm baths are better, although you might see ice baths in the movies. Add some epsom salts for extra soothing power!
  3. MOVE. Take a walk. Integrate some low impact cardio. Do some stretching. I know it will hurt. But you’ll feel better after! I promise!
  4. Make sure you’re hydrated! Drink plenty of water, your muscles will thank you for it!
  5. Drink some caffeine. I know it seems counter intuitive, but caffeine helps your muscles recover!

 

So there you have it, friends! Some ways to fight soreness for my superheroes!

 

Superhero Action of the Day: What are your favorite ways to get rid of soreness. Let me know!

www.superheroliving.blog Baby Steps

Baby Steps

If you’ve been reading along, you know I haven’t had the easiest Summer. It’s been hard to figure out this full time freelancing thing!

So today, I went to work at one of the schools where I have some Summer work and worked for several hours. I went to the gym and lifted. I came home and took a shower.

And then I gave myself a reward.

And Penelope and I went and got ice cream.

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Because here’s the thing. Sometimes, you have to take baby steps. Sometimes, you have to acknowledge where you are and appreciate that spot. Sometimes, even if you’re not where you want to be, you have to appreciate that you made steps.

Sometimes,  that’s what it takes to get you moving tomorrow.

So! If you’re struggling this Summer too, first of all, know that that’s absolutely ok. Struggling is fine. Struggling is good. Struggling only becomes a problem when you don’t do anything about it. You have to keep moving forward. It’s very important!

But if you’re struggling, you just take one step today. Just one. You even get to decide what the step is! Maybe it’s taking a shower. Maybe it’s making a tough phone call. Maybe it’s going to work, or the grocery, or just leaving the house. Maybe it’s going for a walk.

Whatever you choose, do that today. Do it again tomorrow. And you continue to make those steps until you can add another step.

 

You got this. We got this. I promise.

4 ingredient pineapple smoothie- www.superheroliving.blog

OMP: 4 ingredient pineapple smoothie

Happy Sunday, superheroes! I hope you’ve had amazing, refreshing, restful, adventurous, SUPER weekends.

And now it’s Sunday! If you’re back to the grind tomorrow, YOU CAN DO IT! If you’re less scheduled right now, like me, let’s try to do some productive, healthy stuff this week! Ok? OK! Go team!

This afternoon, Penelope and I went for a long walk. It’s a route we do fairly regularly, but usually first thing in the morning, not at 5 pm. Anyway, when we got about 2/3 of the way home, I started dreaming of something cool and refreshing to drink when I got home. Milkshake…nah. Ice cream run? I really don’t need to do that… Water? Let’s be real, only as a last resort. (I’m not a good water drinker, unfortunately!)

But! I had frozen pineapple, and I just new I could do something with that.  And sure enough, it worked out exactly right for a cold refreshing drink. I started with a cup of water in my blender, and added about 2 cups of frozen pineapple. I started blending that together and then added about 1/2 cup of milk. I’m out of almond milk currently, but I think if I were going to recreate it, I would use 1 1/2 cups of almond milk instead of water and dairy milk. Once I got it all blended together, I added about 2 tsp. of honey, and about a TB of lemon juice. I blended that in a little bit, poured it in a glass and drank up.

It’s sweet, a little tangy, bursting with pineapple flavor, and best of all, really pretty healthy and low calorie! Enjoy!

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4 ingredient pineapple smoothie:

1 1/2 cups of almond milk (or milk of your choice!)

2 cups frozen pineapple chunks

2 tsp. honey

1 TB lemon juice (to taste)

 

Blend together all ingredients until smooth. Pour into tall glass and enjoy! Makes about 24 ounces.

 

Superhero Action of the Day: What’s your favorite summer beverage? Let me know so I can try it out!