Gift Guide: Making A List!

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With Christmas songs blasting, coffee in hand, and plenty of holiday cheer, my mom and I hit the mall to do some serious Christmas shopping last weekend. Finding gifts for our friends and family was so much fun and definitely got me in the holiday spirit! Now that I'm in full Christmas mode, there's no stopping me! Once I got a majority of my family members' gifts checked off the list, I got to thinking about my own Christmas list! 

This seems to be the year of fringe and feminine pastels. These items are all so fun and would make great gifts! If your looking for outdoorsy items, this beanie, this vest, and these socks would be perfect. For the the girly girl in your life, a sparkly necklace is the way to go. If you're looking to support small businesses, this print, this mug, and this keychain are from some of my favorite shops. For more pricey presents, this tote and this polaroid are great options. If you're looking for budget friendly gifts, this scarf and these earrings are on major sale!  I hope that these items serve as Christmas shopping inspiration or that they even end up on your own Christmas list! I know my stocking will be hung with care in hopes that these goodies will end up in there! 
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December Sunsets

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How lucky am I to live near this gorgeous place? El Matador Beach is simply stunning and sunsets somehow make it even more beautiful. I sure could get used to winters in LA! Even though my hometown never gets too cold, I have definitely been pleasantly surprised by these sunny, 70 degree winter days. If it wasn't for this gorgeous dress I could have hopped in the waves! I am in love with this dress from Shop The Mint. I've really been loving this deep purple color, especially for this time of year. This dress is perfect for twirling barefoot in the sand or dressing up for a holiday party. 

And let's just talk about these photos by Kevin Moore. He is such an incredible photographer. We got to talk about Jesus, shoot this gorgeous sunset, and jam to Adele's new album, so it was a successful day in my book! To see more photos from our shoot, check out Kevin's site and give him a follow
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Staying Healthy in College

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Remember last year's healthy living series? Well this year's comes from a great friend and inspiration! Maria Marlowe is a holistic health coach based in NYC and has inspired me to get back to healthy habits! Sticking to my nutrition and fitness goals has definitely been a challenge since moving to college. My days are often so busy and stressful that when I get to the dining hall, I think "I deserve this junk food". Although we all need a break once in a while, I realized that I've been falling into a bad health routine. Maria made me realize that I my body deserves to treated like gold. I am so excited that Maria is here to share her wisdom on forming healthy habits in college! 


Staying Healthy in College 
Guest Post by Maria Marlowe

Keep a Routine
With anything, consistency is key! It’s very common for us to use the excuse, “I don’t have time”, but if you don’t have time for something, that just simply means it is not a priority. We all have 24 hours in a day, it’s your priorities that determine what you do with them. If something is important to you make time for it. And while you may have to drag yourself to exercise the first 3-4 weeks, once you get in the habit of it, it will become second nature. Schedule things into your calendar (even your bedtime if you have a tendency to be a night owl!), and stick to them as you would a class (you wouldn’t not show up just because you didn’t feel like it).

Keep Healthy Snacks in Dorm 
We have all been hangry at one point or another and then eaten anything in sight. It’s important to have healthy snacks on hand in the dorm room to ensure you don’t experience either of those scenarios. Some of the best choices include coconut smiles (dried coconut chips), date rolls (dates rolled in coconut), raw or sprouted nuts and seeds, and seaweed snacks. You can find lots of healthy snacks at a fraction of the price at Thrive Market.

Find a Buddy 
Having a partner in crime (or health) can make all the difference whether you reach your goals or throw in the towel too soon. Having someone to hold you accountable makes it much more likely you stick it out to the end. Plus, it’s more fun to embark on a new endeavor with someone than doing it on your own. In fact, after coaching people one on one for years, that’s why I launched a group program. I found that when I got a group of people together, they started feeding off each other’s energy and really stepping up, more so than they would have on their own. 

Shop Healthy on a Budget 
There are some great resources for shopping healthy on a budget. Shop the bulk section of your grocery store, purchase packaged goods online, shop the local farmers market, or even sign up for a CSA box of fresh fruit or veggiesFarmers market produce doesn’t even compare to what you find at the grocery in terms of taste or nutrition, and you can often find it cheaper if you do your research. Also, when thinking about food, instead of asking why healthy stuff is so expensive, ask why is junk food so cheap. We have more than enough scientific evidence to prove the impact food has on nearly every aspect of our lives: our weight, our skin, our mood, immunity, productivity, and even cancer risk. There is a great saying, “you can either pay the farmer now, or the doctor later”. So, think of healthy eating as an investment!



You can find delicious, healthy recipes and nutrition tips on Maria's blog and follow her on Instagram for gorgeous food photos, restaurant recommendations, and healthy inspiration

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