This is definitely one of my favorite giveaways ( EVER!! ) because it’s a real mixture of goodies.
( like, I might enter myself— I kid, I kid ).
So let’s get down to business.
The lovely winners ( there’s two!!) will each receive a big, pink pretty basket with some major swag.
I hand picked everything in the basket especially for you guys & definitely included some of my beauty/office/kitchen must-haves( I’m OBSESSED with Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker…probably not the best ingredients, but you can’t win ‘em all ).
Back in the day I was a serious foam-rolling-teenager.
I discovered this random blue foam roller at the local LA Fitness ( all of us high school girls would go after 5th period to flirt with older guys— we’d roll our cheerleader-esque, black tiny shorts up way too high & ‘pretend’ to sweat on the Elliptical while drinking lemon flavored Propel ). The foam roller would sadly sit in the corner, un-touched. One day I asked a trainer about it.
Long story short Mr. Foam Roller & I became fast friends.
Fast forward to about a month ago: I had forgotten about my old high school crush/foam roller…that is until Kayla Itsines mentioned it on Instagram.
Let’s just say we picked up right where we left off: I now use my foam roller all day, every day.
Well, not really all day but you get my drift.
Basically I’m obsessed ( like, OBSESSED ) with how powerful this therapeutic tool can be when it comes to overall physical health.
When you foam roll, you use your own body weight to roll against specific muscle groups ( it kind of feels like a deep tissue massage…YUMMM, right?! ).
This article says that “when we experience physical health challenges like pain & stiffness around weight-bearing joints ( hips, knees, and spinal joints ), for many of us, the instinct is to get some sort of treatment – if not a conventional pain killer or some invasive surgical procedure, then at least some alternative therapy like acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, ultrasound, laser, or electrical stimulation.
A less obvious and often times more effective approach is to work at improving blood circulation around the problematic area through deep pressure work and dedicating oneself to stretching the muscles and ligaments around the affected joints.”
Hmmmm…so basically: before popping a pill or trying a quick fix, address the issue & give it some TLC with soft tissue work & stretching. This is work you’ll have to do multiple times a day on.your.own.
A lot of people want pain to go away but they don’t want to put the work in…
Foam rolling requires a bit of daily dedication but comes with some amazing, life-changing results.
Before you roll on the sensitive area, roll on an indirect spot first & then roll on the direct spot of pain. Then you want to foam roll on the sensitive area for 20 to 30 seconds ( or until the muscle starts to relax ).
Sometimes it can be uncomfortable so experts say to use your breath.
Not only do foam rollers help with pain, apparently they also really, seriously works for reducing cellulite appearances. Fitness expert Kayla Itsines says: “cellulite does not only affect people who are overweight. In fact, these annoying fatty deposits also affect people who are underweight, or even people at a healthy weight. So what exactly is cellulite? It’s when fat cells congregate under the skin, thus creating the dimple-like appearance above the skin. One of the main causes is poor circulation. This can be caused by a high stress lifestyle, as well as poor nutrition and of course not enough time put into stretching and recovery after workouts. Foam rollings helps to improve cell recovery and circulation plus feels great. Around 10-15 minutes per day will really help. I recommend The Grid by Trigger Point Performance.”
♡Improved blood circulation throughout your skin, fascia, muscles, and even tendons, and ligaments where you can access them with a foam roller.
♡Through improved blood circulation, more efficient exchange of nutrients and waste products at a cellular level, leading to better overall cellular function and inter-cellular communication.
♡Lengthening of short ( tight ) muscles, tendons, & ligaments.
♡Some muscles ( such as hip flexors) & ligaments are prone to shortening, and are difficult to effectively stretch and apply therapeutic pressure to using standard massage and trigger point therapy techniques. But with a foam roller, you can apply deep pressure massage to such areas and lengthen shortened tissues, thereby preventing physical imbalances that can predispose you to injury.
♡ Promotion of optimal spinal range of motion. You can accomplish this by slowly rolling your spine against a foam roller and pausing whenever you feel restrictions to allow your joints and surrounding tissues to stretch.
Sheesh— is there anything foam rolling doesn’t do?!
Before you hop right in to FR, read this article on foam rolling mistakes to avoid ( AKA: don’t roll too fast, don’t roll too long, & NEVER use it on your lower back ). Listen: if you’re going to take time out of your schedule each day, make sure you’re doing it right! Don’t waste any time! Life’s busy enough already.
I spend a total of five minutes, twice a day foam rolling. Easy.
And remember…for foam rolling to show its sexy magic, you gotta show up & put in the work for best results. You get what you give!!
Have you tried foam rolling before? Thoughts? Do tell.
Ok so, after reading through this interview there’s two things I’ll be doing differently tomorrow: stretching first thing & doubling my water intake.
And trust me (!!!), after you meet this rockin’ bae, you’ll want to do the same.
Lydia Millen is a blogger at L.E.M. & fitness expert who really gets it when it comes to the whole healthy living thing.
Also, you guys know how I’m a major fan of gorgeous, thick brows? Whelp, so is Lydia. She actually shares an eyebrow diagram below..& I’m kind of obsessed. Because bad brows should seriously be illegal.
Anyway, enjoy Ms. Lydia Millen!
| Tell us about yourself |
Lydia Millen: I’m Lydia, a 26 year old health, fashion, & lifestyle blogger over at Lydia Elise Millen. I started blogging about two & a half years ago whilst at University in Northampton, UK. I started off posting about my love and lusts of fashion, providing a much needed distraction from the final year of my degree. Throughout University I developed the mentality that I had to starve myself in order to be skinny & it wasn’t until I met my partner, that I was shown the light that actually good nutrition, exercise, & a healthy mentality was the key. And from that moment on I embarked on what would be the beginning of my love affair with life. | Quick skinny tip? |
LM: It’s an oldie but a goodie— water, water, water! I aim to drink two liters of the wet stuff before I finish my working day and then everything after that is just a bonus. Water has been known to help maintain a healthy fluid balance so you know what that means ladies, none of that nasty water retention! But there are also lots of other benefits too such as healthy looking skin & re-energized muscles to aid with those killer workouts. Water has also been said to burn up to five hundred calories a day…however I’m still unsure as to whether that’s down to drinking it or the amount of times you have to get up to head down to the ladies room!!
| Weekly workout schedule? |
LM: I’m a relatively new member to the 6 AM workout club & currently loving it. I head to the gym at 6 AM for an hour Monday to Friday doing a combination of HIIT, fast paced resistance, & power circuits. I find long distance cardio such a drag; you don’t realize how long a minute is until you’re on a treadmill, so when I was introduced to this way of working out I was excited but skeptical. I thought it was going to be a breeze. Needless to say I was wrong and sometimes when I finish I don’t even know who I am anymore!
| Favorite go-to healthy food? |
LM: It’s not particularly extravagant but I have a huge bowl of fruit salad in my fridge at all times because I’ve got one hell of a large sweet tooth. This has been the only line of defense that’s actually worked, even if I just grab a couple of slices of melon or a handful of blueberries it seems to stop me inhaling the contents of ‘the naughty cupboard.’ Sometimes if I’m a woman on the edge I’ll add some 0% fat yogurt to it as well and pretend its full fat cream.
| Cocktail of choice? |
LM: I don’t drink often but when I do cocktails are my jam— the sweeter, fruitier and creamier ( AKA the worst ones for you ) the better so it’s usually a strawberry daiquiri or a piña colada. Over the past few weeks I’ve been trialling some of my own waist friendly alternatives which I hope to bring to the blog soon.
| Rather-die-than-live-without beauty product? |
LM: Currently I’m lost without my Kerastase Elixir Ultime hair care products, I’ve got enough hair for half of England and it’s one of the first things people notice about me ( and touch!!! ) so I like it to always be in the best condition possible which can be tough living in England with all the heat & gym air conditioning. This product is definitely a budget buster but there are some things that deserve a little something special & my hair is definitely one of them.
| Secret model tip? |
LM: One thing I swear by for growing longer hair and keeping it in good condition is not going to the hairdresser & not washing it too often. Since I stopped getting the recommended six weekly trim & started washing my hair a hell of a lot less my hair has sprouted like no tomorrow. If you take good hair of your tresses it won’t actually need a trim.
Also, good brows! I’ve attached a little diagram:
| Natural beauty remedy? |
LM: I love rubbing a little coconut oil into the ends of my hair and on any dry areas of skin. It smells delicious & leaves my skin feeling amazing with a subtle healthy glow. I pick it up from my local health food store so while I’m rubbing it on my dry bits I can also add a spoonful to my morning coffee to sweeten it up a bit!
| When I wake up I… |
LM: Stretch! This is a new practice for me, I used to check my e-mails and drag my sleepy butt to the bathroom, but I’ve set my self a mission of being able to do the splits by Christmas. I’ve never been very flexible but I didn’t know quite how bad I was until a friend talked me in to starting yoga.
As amazing as my body felt after, my pride was a little dented when sixty year old men were putting me to shame.
| WTF’s in your purse? |
LM: WTF’s a purse? Oh, you mean the over priced portable dustbin I drag around with me? Oh that! Well I try my hardest to keep it organized, giving that I clear it out once a week, but it’s always full of receipts, a couple of hundred pots of cherry carmex lip balm, my iPad/iPhone (a girl’s gotta be connected ), my Vivienne Westwood purse, & some Chanel bronzer to give my face a bit of a refresh when needed ( …always needed ).
| Style statements you’re loving lately… |
I love workout fashion as much as I do normal fashion so websites like Active in Style have become the destination for all my workout wardrobe needs. They’ve brought some of the best Australian fitness fashion brands to the UK and for that I’m forever grateful. These leggings from VieActive are a staple in my current collection.
We’re gearing up for autumn/winter over here in the UK so I’m currently on an spending spree for outerwear, this snuggly little number arrived yesterday from Missguided & I can’t wait to wear it everywhere.
With the launch of Net-a-Sporter recently I’ve decided I deserve some luxurious new equipment from their current range, A yoga mat for $100 dollars is essential right?
And why not throw in a pair of new Nikes from their recent collaboration with Brazil-based artists Flavio Samelo & Jayelle Hudson while you’re at it?
I’ve also just got this book by Lorna Jane, again from Active In Style which has so many helpful hints, tonic recipes, & meals.
| Healthy, quick recipe? |
LM: I drink a lot of protein as I struggle to get variations of it in my daily diet so I love knocking up a quick smoothie my favorite is:
1 scoop of PhD Woman Vanilla cream ‘Support & Recovery’ protein powder
I feel like it’s kind of a hidden secret though…I mean, not many people realize the huge-ass role the mineral ( it’s a mineral, not a vitamin ), magnesium plays in our health. It’s crucial to basically every function & tissue in the body.
My magnesium comes from many different things: darky, leafy greens ( think: Swiss chard & kale ), flaxseeds, almonds, salmon, avocado, bananas, dark chocolate…& a nightly supplement ( 310-320 mg. // 2 supplements a night, tops ).
This source states: “a 2013 study in the Journal of Nutrition found that higher magnesium intake was associated with lower levels of fasting glucose and insulin ( markers related to fat and weight gain ), and one study from England found that a magnesium supplement may have some beneficial effects on reducing fluid retention during the menstrual cycle, meaning you’ll feel less bloated.”
FYI: Shape Magazine rates magnesium as its top ’4 bikini body boosters to jumpstart weight loss’ for 2014.
Oh, & if you’re like me you watch “#RichKids of Beverly Hills” AKA #RKOBH ( I knowwww, a total guilty pleasure— so sue me ) then you’ve become acquainted with the fab Miss Morgan Stewart. She swears by magnesium. Morgan openly shares how she takes it at night because it makes her reallllllll regular in the morning. Like, it really cleans her out ( nudge, nudge, winky, winky ).
Hey, I didn’t share that fact on the world wide web, she did.
Ok, so why take the mineral at night?
Whelp, supposedly, “the major perk of this nutrient is its ability to relax muscles, keep you calm, and promote peaceful sleep, which in itself is a huge part of making any diet plan work. According to the National Institutes of Health, magnesium is needed for more than 300 chemical reactions in the body, including keeping the heart rhythm steady, regulating blood sugar levels, and helping lower blood pressure. Some research also suggests that a higher magnesium intake can reduce the risk of colon cancer, and many studies have shown that magnesium may help treat such conditions as osteoporosis, PMS, migraines, depression, and more ( source ).”
And fast forward to the morning-after magnesium…& well, uh…let’s just say you definitely feel healthy &…reallll light.
It’s really very simple when you think about it: eat more leafy greens, up your avo/almond intake, and add two magnesium supplements…bam— you’re golden.
Anyway, I have nothing but amazing things to say about my favorite mineral…anyone else have an experience with magnesium? Share please!
By the way, I’m obviously not like, Doctor Evarts over here…just, as always, sharing what’s worked well for moi.
So I was on Facebook Sunday night, browsing around like a total creeper ( don’t pretend you don’t do it ) & I came across this super interesting list/article: 18 Struggles Of Having An Outgoing Personality But Actually Being Shy Introverted by: Brianna Wiest.
I know everyone on the whole planet reads those random FB articles & is like “OMG, OMG, OMG that’s SO me!!!”
But really, that is SO, so, so me.
Anyone with me?
I wouldn’t say the whole article depicts my entire personality but there’s definitely no shortage of similarities, AKA number 16:
“You’re at your happiest in places like coffee shops and cafés: surrounded by people, but still closed off and keeping to yourself.”
I mean…!!! Hello?!
There’s def some I don’t relate to on the list, but it’s safe to say my Gemini-ish personality wants to sit home reading like a big-ass homebody and also wants to go out with my friends for cocktails & gab my life away.
Walking oxymoron, right?
Mind you, I was reading this at 2 am when I couldn’t sleep so maybe I need to re-read the article. Guilty as charged: it was more of a skimmie-poo read. So ya, just a peak inside my 2 am life.
So, what are you? Extrovert? Introvert? Both? Neither? Do tell.
Hope you all had a kick-ass, fantastically relaxing Labor Day. x Lauryn