Spicy Tofu Bowl

Protein bowls are one of my favorite dinners to throw together if I’m in a hurry or just want a quick, simple, and healthy meal. I love them because you can mix it up by switching a few ingredients, but they’re super simple because you always have a good base to start with so you can never go wrong. There are about three categories I typically like to stick with when creating a bowl: rice or quinoa as a base, steamed or roasted veggies, and a protein such as tofu, beans, tempeh, or jackfruit.

This particular bowl was inspired by Flame Broiler’s Tofu Veggie Bowl with a spicy twist. I chose to use rice as my base, roasted broccoli & carrots, and spicy marinated tofu.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked brown or white rice (I used brown)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 heads of fresh organic broccoli, cut into florets
  • 3 organic carrots, cut into slices
  • 1 14 oz. tray extra-firm organic tofu
  • 2 tbs. avocado oil (this is my favorite cooking oil)
  • 2 tbs. Tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos (I used Tamari)
  • 1 tbs. ginger paste or fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  • Prep:
    • Completely drain the tofu, wrap in a towel, and place between two baking trays for about an hour with something to weigh it down a bit. I used two cans of beans. Once dry, cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. You can have this done and prepared prior to making this recipe.
    • In a medium bowl, mix the Tamari, ginger, cayenne, and crushed red pepper flakes. Place the tofu in the bowl, making sure to coat each piece. Let the tofu marinade for at least an hour, but what I prefer to do is prepare the tofu and let it marinade overnight. The longer you marinade the tofu, the more flavor it will soak up.
  • In a large pot, pour in 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 20-25 minutes. My trick to making perfect rice is to turn the heat off after 20-25 minutes, leave the lid on to allow the rice to steam for an additional 10 minutes. Take the lid off and fluff up the rice with a spoon. Perfect rice every time!
  • As the rice is cooking, place broccoli florets and sliced carrots on a baking tray and coat well with 2 tbs. of avocado oil. Cook in the oven at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, checking frequently.
  • In the the final 10 minutes, as the broccoli, carrots, and rice are almost done cooking, add the tofu and marinade to a skillet and brown the tofu for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Once everything is ready, place rice, broccoli, carrots, and spicy tofu in a bowl. Enjoy!

This is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made and is packed with so much flavor and nutrition. Sorry Flame Broiler.. you just lost another customer 😉 ..this bowl will give them a run for their money and the best part – you know exactly how this is being prepared and what’s going into it. This is one of the main reasons I cook a majority of the food I consume at home. Sometimes, something can seem “healthy” because they market it with healthy foods, but there may be so many hidden ingredients that end of making it just as bad as fast food.

I hope I have inspired you to try another simple, healthy, plant-based meal! I can’t wait to see your pictures on social of you recreating my recipes and don’t forget to leave a comment below if you tried this recipe and enjoyed it!

Until next time, stay healthy and happy 🙂

Xx,

Jolene

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Easy, Vegan Pasta with Homemade Marinara Sauce

When I checked the forecast for the week, all I saw was rain, rain, and more rain. Something we don’t experience often in California. I’m definitely a sun baby and typically will choose a sunny day over anything, but I’ve been enjoying being able to cuddle up and get cozy each evening, especially when it means I get to enjoy a warm, comforting meal. I immediately thought.. pasta! I headed to my local Sprouts to pick up all the goodies and as soon as I got home to start dinner, I realized I forgot one important ingredient that can really make or break a pasta dish.. THE SAUCE! Of course, I didn’t want to go back to the store in the rain, so I checked my pantry to see what I had handy that I could use to create a homemade marinara sauce. I have to say.. this might be the yummiest pasta sauce I’ve tried in a while and I just had to share it with you!

If you love pasta.. I mean, who doesn’t?.. and are craving a meal that will take you back to simpler times when you used to enjoy one of mom’s home cooked meals, this recipe is perfect! It tastes even better on a rainy, winter evening. It also makes a ton of food, which I love because I know I won’t have to think about what I’m going to have for lunch at work the next few days. Not only is this recipe delicious, it’s so simple, and only took about 30 minutes to make! It’s boyfriend approved and you won’t even realize you’re eating a complete vegan meal! Win-win!

This meal is packed with flavor, protein, and nutritional value! If I’m going to eat pasta, it can’t just be empty carbs. I need some nutritional value for me to see the benefit of putting it into my body. I love the Banza protein packed chickpea pasta because it’s naturally gluten-free, has a low glycemic level, is packed with iron, and tastes amazing! This meal won’t be lacking in protein with the 14 grams of protein and 30% of your daily iron the Banza pasta provides on top of the Gardein beefless ground I also added in, which is packed with 18 grams of protein and 15% of your daily iron! I also included mushrooms and zucchini, which both have health benefits. Mushrooms are great for the immune system, low in calories, good sources of fiber and protein, and contain B vitamins and potassium. Zucchini helps with digestion, is low in calories, high in vitamin C, and has high water content keeping you feeling full longer. Nutritional yeast also makes an appearance in this recipe for good reason, as it is packed with B-vitamins giving you a natural energy boost!

Without further ado, let’s get into the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Banza Penne pasta
  • 1 cup Gardein beefless ground
  • 2 tbs. avocado oil
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes in tomato juice, no salt added
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 zucchini, cut in fourths
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs. basil
  • 1 tbs. oregano
  • 1 tbs. thyme
  • 1 tbs. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbs. nutritional yeast
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Pour 1 tbs. of avocado oil into a large pot and heat over medium heat. Sautee onion and garlic until golden brown for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Pour in 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1 can of tomato paste, basil, oregano, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast, and bay leaf. Stir all ingredients together. Bring the sauce to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the sauce is cooking, bring 8 cups of water to a boil on the stovetop in a large pot and set oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cut mushrooms and zucchini. Add to a baking sheet and pour 1 tbs. of avocado oil, making sure to coat all pieces well. Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes, checking occasionally.
  • Once water has reached a rapid boil, pour in Banza pasta and stir immediately with a wooden spoon. I keep my spoon in the pot to ensure the water doesn’t boil over. Cook for 10 minutes and stir occasionally. Once pasta is done cooking, strain and rinse in cool water.
  • Cook Gardein beefless ground in a pan for about 4 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaf from the sauce. Pour pasta, mushrooms, zucchini, and beefless ground into the marinara sauce and mix well.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately and top with nutritional yeast.
  • Enjoy!

This might be one of my new favorite meals and I think it might become one of yours too! Don’t forget to leave a comment below if you created this and loved it!

Xx,

Jolene

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Immune Boosting Vegetable Soup

Scratchy throat, sinus congestion, body aches, and fatigue? Unfortunately, it’s that time of year again and as I’m sitting here writing this, I’m feeling pretty under the weather with all of these symptoms. Being sick might be one of the worst things, but this immune boosting vegetable soup will do just the trick to lead your body towards healthier days.

If you haven’t noticed, I love making soup. Today, it was needed more than ever and if you’re feeling this way too or just feeling a cold coming on, you NEED to make this healing soup!

What I love most about making soup is that you can throw in almost anything, which makes it great when you have some veggies that are about to go bad and need to be eaten up.

This is a great recipe for Veganuary, because it’s SO simple to make and it’s packed with nutrients + protein! 1 cup of wild rice provides 24 grams of protein and 1 can of cannellini beans provides 8 grams of protein. That’s a total of 30 grams of protein! Who said vegans can’t get their protein without eating meat? 😉 Garlic, ginger, and turmeric have been known to help boost the immune system. This is the perfect soup to make you feel warm & cozy inside, making you feel so much better when you’re feeling rundown this season.

The hardest part of this recipe will be prepping and cutting the veggies. Once you’re done with this, you just toss everything in a pot and walk away. While it’s cooking, you can do some self-care such as enjoying a warm cup of tea 🙂 My new fav tea this winter has been a warm cup of Yogi Lemon Ginger.. so YUM!


Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs. cooking oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 32 oz. organic low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs. fresh ginger
  • Approx. 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • Approx. 1 cup broccoli florets
  • Approx. 1 cup celery, sliced
  • Approx. 1 cup zucchini, sliced into quarters
  • 1 15 oz. can of organic cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1/2 tbs. oregano
  • 1/2 tbs. rosemary
  • 1 tbs. turmeric
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Pour olive oil into a large pot and heat over medium heat. Sautee onion, garlic, and ginger until onions become translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
  • Pour in vegetable broth and water, bring to a boil. Add in rice, carrots, celery, cannellini beans, oregano, rosemary, turmeric, and bay leaves. Turn down heat and simmer for 35-40 minutes.
  • About halfway through, add in broccoli and zucchini.
  • Turn heat off and remove bay leaves.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately and ENJOY!

Don’t forget to leave a comment below letting me know if you tried this recipe and how you liked it! Stay healthy!

Xx,

Jolene

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Veganuary!

If you’re here reading this I’m freaking STOKED to have you! If you’re new here, welcome! I took a little break because LIFE happens, but I am hoping to be able to blog more in 2019.

I’m really excited this is my first blog of the year and that you’re joining this awesome challenge! If you aren’t vegan and this is your first time trying Veganuary, I’m here to hopefully help make the transition a little bit easier by putting a grocery list and some recipe ideas up to help you get started!

What is Veganuary?

Basically, you are taking a pledge to try vegan for the whole 30 days of January.

Why vegan?

I went vegan about a year ago and I can honestly say it’s been the best decision I could have made for myself! I was having serious stomach issues and I decided to get a food allergy test. Low and behold, it came back that I was gluten and dairy intolerant. Around the same time, I also stopped craving meat and wasn’t very fond of how it tasted anymore. So, going vegan seemed like a no-brainer when jumping into my new nutrition journey. To keep this post short, sweet, and to the point, I’ll save the full “why I went vegan” for another post so you can get a better look into my decision 😉

Bring it back!

Let’s get back to the real reason for this post.. going vegan for the month of January! YAY! I’m so proud of you for taking the leap! You’re going to love every minute of it and I truly, 100% believe this.

“I don’t know how to cook vegan food”,  “This is going to be too expensive”,  “I can’t give up meat, what the heck am I going to eat?!”

I asked myself these same questions when I started too. You are totally normal for thinking these things. For me, when it comes to cooking, the least amount of ingredients the better. Am I right?! I like to keep my recipes simple, healthy, flavorful, and packed with nutrients. I don’t need to get too fancy or complicated. I really don’t want to spend a TON of time or money when I can quickly create a delicious, healthy meal using only the necessary nutrients to fuel my body. Believe me these recipes are going to be so easy, you’ll wish you made these sooner!

Have you always liked to cook?

The answer was “no”. I actually was a terrible cook and just really didn’t know what I was doing. Going vegan has actually fueled a new passion for cooking that I never had before! I am loving this journey because I am constantly learning and creating new meals every week. Of course, I have my staple meals, but I always love to change it up so I never get bored. This is a surefire way to give up and burn out on anything you do in life! Keep it fun and you won’t get bored 🙂

“I don’t know where to start”, “What ingredients should I use?”, “How am I going to get enough protein?”

Again, these questions were all things I was afraid of when I was making the transition. I soon realized it was a lot easier and cheaper (yes, I said cheaper!) than I thought. I get A LOT of my meal inspos from Pinterest (I’ve linked my recipe board here), Instagram, Blogs, YouTube, or from recipes I’ve tried at restaurants and recreated at home. Pinterest was my best friend when I had to relearn to “cook” again. I quickly started realizing, vegan meals were much easier to cook and were CHEAPER too! Who can argue with easy and cheap?! My grocery receipts have literally been cut in half! When I first went vegan, I felt a bit lost when it came to grocery shopping and had to do a ton of research, along with trial and error. Lucky for you, I have created a “Vegan Grocery List” below! If you have a handful of these essential ingredients stocked in your kitchen each week, you’re going to have no problem with this challenge 🙂

Vegan Grocery List

This list contains all vegan friendly options for you to choose from. Try to buy organic when available. Also, don’t feel the need to buy every item listed below. This is simply a guide of vegan essentials for you to choose from to live a healthy lifestyle. Remember this is your journey, do what feels right for you and only choose from foods that you personally enjoy.

Fruits

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Pears
  • Grapes
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Watermelon
  • Honeydew
  • Cantaloupe
  • Tomato
  • Frozen berries such as strawberries, blueberries, mixed berries, pineapple, mango, and bananas are amazing to have handy for smoothies.
  • Dried raisins, cranberries, mango, apricot, and dates are great for recipes or just to snack on.

Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Cucumber
  • Bell peppers
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Zucchini
  • Squash (yellow, butternut, spaghetti, acorn)
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Avocado
  • Frozen corn

Grains/Starches

  • Bread/Bagels (If GF, buy Udi’s is a great alternative)
  • Tortillas (If GF, buy corn)Pasta (Pow and Banza are my fav GF pastas!)
  • Crackers (If GF, Blue Diamond and Simple Mills are my fav)
  • Oats (rolled, quick, steel-cut)
  • Quinoa
  • Rice (white, brown, wild)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Potatoes (russet, red, white, purple)

Meat Alternatives

  • Gardein
  • Beyond Meat
  • Jackfruit
  • Tempeh (If GF, make sure to read the ingredients. Light Life and Sprouts have organic + GF options)
  • Tofu (extra-firm or soft)
  • Soyrizo
  • Black bean/veggie/chickpea burgers (If GF, make sure to read ingredients)

Beans

  • Black
  • Pinto
  • Kidney
  • Chickpeas/Garbanzo
  • Lentils

Non-dairy

  • Almond milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Oat milk
  • Rice milk
  • Soy milk
  • Flax milk
  • Cashew or coconut yogurt
  • Vegan cheese/cream cheese

Nuts/Seeds

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Nut butter (almond or peanut)
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Hemp seeds

Oils

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil

Sweeteners

  • Maple syrup
  • Jam/jelly
  • Dried fruits (dates are my fav)
  • Vegan chocolate chips
  • Cacao

Herbs/Spices/Seasoning

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Cumin
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic powder
  • Parsley
  • Paprika
  • Turmeric
  • Chili powder
  • Taco seasoning
  • Cayenne
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Cinnamon
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Condiments

  • Salsa
  • Hummus
  • Tahini
  • Vegan pesto
  • Marinara pasta sauce
  • Soy sauce/tamari (GF)
  • Sriracha
  • Mustard
  • Vegan mayo
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Lemon/lime juice
  • Vinegar (white, balsamic, apple cider)

Cooking/Baking

  • Almond flour/meal
  • Ground flax seed
  • Low sodium vegetable broth

I’m going to end this post here. Again, you’re freaking awesome for taking a risk to try something new and joining in Veganuary! Don’t forget to leave a comment below letting me know you’ve joined and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on my next blog posts including some of my favorite recipes to give you all the essentials you’ll need to succeed in this challenge! Feel free to reach out with any questions you may have 🙂

Xx,

Jolene

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Veggie Lentil Soup

Hey friends and welcome back to my blog!

This post is all about the warm and fuzzies inside because winter and cold/flu season is in full effect! Soup is always the answer! It is my favorite quick, easy, and healthy go-to meal.

I have recently added lentils into my weekly meals and I’m OBSESSED. They’re so versatile and can literally be used in so many different types of recipes. HUGE PLUS, they are packed with protein! This makes them an amazing alternative when cutting out meat without losing out on protein!

I posted this on my Instagram Story and again had a lot of interest in this recipe, so here it is!


Veggie Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced (I used 5 because I LOVE garlic)
  • 3-5 whole carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 celery sticks, chopped
  • 4 oz. mushrooms, chopped
  • 2-3 kale leaves, remove stem and tear or chop
  • 2 cups lentils (I used 1 cup dry red lentils + 1 cup dry green lentils)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 tbsp himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • May also add pepper to taste (I didn’t use pepper, but this is definitely an option)

Instructions:

  • Chop all vegetables.
  • Place all vegetables and minced garlic in a large soup pot. Dry sauté until vegetables are tender and onions begin to become translucent. Stirring frequently.
  • Add vegetable stock + water, lentils, and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked.
  • Serve hot.

Seriously, this recipe is SO simple and perfect for these cold winter nights! Now that California finally started to bring in the winter weather 😉

I would love to hear from you guys after trying the recipe, so don’t forget to leave me a comment below!

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Xoxo,

Jolene

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Cashew Ginger + Chocolate Mocha Energy Balls

Hi friends!

I’m so excited to share my first recipe on the blog! This is something I have currently been OBSESSED with!

absolutely L O V E having these in my fridge as a quick energizing snack to keep me moving throughout the day. They are not only healthy, but SO yummy and easy to make! They’re also perfect for those busy work days when you still want to eat healthy, but don’t have a ton of time to make a full meal.

The thing I love most about energy balls is they can be made with so many different ingredients, giving you a range of options to play with. They’re also vegan and gluten free! I recently made some tasty Gingerbread Energy Balls for Christmas and everyone loved them!

I posted a photo of these Cashew Ginger & Chocolate Mocha Energy Balls on my Instagram Story and had an overwhelming number of you wanting the recipes. Today is your lucky day, HERE THEY ARE!


Cashew Ginger Energy Balls 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of unsalted cashews (peanuts are another option)
  • 1 cup of pitted dates
  • 2 teaspoons of ground ginger

Instructions:

  1. Place the oats and cashews in a food processor and pulse until they form a flour like consistency.
  2. Add the pitted dates and ginger into the food processor and combine all ingredients.
  3. Blend until a sticky dough is formed.
  4. Roll into balls and refrigerate for an hour to set. I like to place them in a glass or plastic container and separate layers using parchment paper.
  5. This recipe makes about 15 energy balls (varies depending on size).
  6. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Chocolate Mocha Energy Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoons of ground coffee
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips (may also use semisweet or dark chocolate)

Instructions:

  1. Place the pitted dates in a food processor and pulse until a sticky paste is formed.
  2. Place rolled oats, ground coffee, chia seeds, and chocolate chips into a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Remove the date paste from the food processor and combine with remaining ingredients in the medium mixing bowl.
  4. Mix all ingredients by hand until everything is thoroughly blended.
  5. Refrigerate the mixture for 10-15 minutes to make it easier to handle.
  6. Roll into balls and enjoy immediately, or place in refrigerator.
  7. This recipe makes about 16-18 energy balls (varies depending on size).
  8. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Thank you for visiting my blog and don’t forget to leave me a comment below letting me know what you thought of these recipes or if you tried making them! I would love to hear from you!

XOXO,

Jolene

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My New Years Resolutions

WOW, I honestly can’t believe how quickly 2017 has come to an end and we have already started another trip around the sun!

2017 was one of the most amazing years from ringing in the new year in Australia to finishing the credential program to moving into a new place! I can’t wait to see where 2018 takes me!

I wanted to share a quick post on some of my new years resolutions with all of you!

My New Years Resolutions:

  1. Be Present – I ALWAYS think about what will happen in the future, but I have recently been trying to be more present and really take in the moment and truly enjoy everything around me.
  2. Practice Yoga & Meditate Daily – This is something I have started last year and I want to continue to grow in my practice. I want to make it a daily thing, whether if I step onto my mat for 60 minutes or just 5 minutes. Taking that step makes all the difference and really helped me get through 2017 in a more positive, less stressful way.
  3. Radiate Kindness – The world we currently live in has so much negativity, but if each of us can radiate kindness and do something nice for at least one person each day we can truly make a difference! We may think to ourselves, “I’m only one person, what can I really do?”, but the more people begin to shine that positive light, it will continue to grow and we can bring so much positivity to the world around us!
  4. Go Vegan – This year I recently found out I have a gluten and dairy sensitivity after many issues I was experiencing daily with the food I was eating. Now that I have completely cut these things out of my diet I can feel a HUGE difference in how my body feels and looks. I want to continue my journey of going vegan, although I have not completely cut out eggs, fish, and turkey (which I eat very rarely now). My goal is to try and go completely vegan by the end of 2018.
  5. Blog Regularly – It was SO exciting for me to finally start my blog in 2017 and I want to continue my journey with blogging! It brings me so much joy to come on here and write about things I love so much and get to share with all of you. Although, at times, it’s scary to think of the unknown, but I’m excited to see where this blog may take me in the future! It makes it all worth it to know I get to share my life and experiences with all of you.
  6. Yoga Teacher Training – I started practicing yoga in 2014 and really took my practice to the next level in 2017. I started practicing at least 5 times a week and have been loving how it has transformed my life in such a positive way. I have been wanting to do my yoga teacher training for about 2 years now, this is the year I have finally made it a goal rather than just a dream.
  7. Start Playing with More Creative Recipes – Living a healthy lifestyle is something that is such an important component in my life. It has been so amazing to try new vegan recipes this year and my goal is to start playing and getting more creative with healthy, yummy recipes to share on THIS blog with all of you!

I would love to hear what everyone else’s new years resolutions are too! Don’t forget to leave me a comment below and share one of your resolutions!

Cheers to 2018!

XOXO,

Jolene

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Why I’ve Been MIA!

I know I’ve been MIA for a while now, BUT I’m back! It feels so good to be blogging again! Here’s just a short little post to get you all caught up on where I’ve been and what’s been going on in my life for the past few months.

This past semester I completed my student teaching in both a Kindergarten and a 5th grade classroom.

Out of all of the semesters, this by far was the most intensive. I was in a classroom 5-days a week (full time and not even getting paid haha), but this experience has been something I will always hold dear to my heart.

Now that the semester is over, I have been able to think back on all the memories, learning experiences, and relationships I have formed.

I plan to begin blogging at least once a week; sharing all things from fashion, to travel, to workouts, to living a healthy lifestyle. I can’t wait to begin sharing my experiences here with all of you!

Happy New Year, here’s to 2018!

XOXO,

Jolene

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6 Ways to De-stress

As some of you may know.. I'm currently working towards my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, while also substitute teaching. This takes up a lot of my time and sometimes I feel like I'm just going through the motions of my day. I get lost in all of the things I'm doing and forget to take a moment to just relax.

I know a lot of us are doing the same thing whether it's school or our careers and feel like we just don't have enough time for ourselves to save our sanity sometimes. But, this is SO IMPORTANT! We need to make sure, for our well-being, that we take the time to stop and relax.

Here are a few things that I do to relax and regain my inner peace!

"We can never obtain PEACE in the outer world until we make PEACE within ourselves."

~Buddha

1. Yoga
I started practicing yoga in 2014 and immediately fell in love with it! I absolutely love hot yoga and try to get to my studio once a week! I recently started practicing at home daily and have grown so much! I just love how you can completely free your mind and forget about everything around you and just focus on your practice. I have never felt stronger than I do when I practice yoga. Yin-yoga is also an amazing practice for flexibility and relaxation. YouTube has some great videos, whether you're a beginner or advanced in your practice!

2. Meditate
Fun fact! I took a Buddhism class in college and we practiced meditation in class, which was an amazing experience! I also took a stress and relaxation class, where we practiced guided meditation. I actually loved it and started incorporating this into my schedule. I typically use a guided meditation to relax when I need to clear my mind and become present. I ALWAYS worry and think about things that are going to happen, which many of us do! But, it is so important to be present because we will never get these moments back again. Light a few candles and some incense and get in a comfy spot and try this! I like to focus on my breathing while meditating to keep my mind from wandering, but it will still happen at times (this is okay! Just bring yourself back to your breathing). 20 minutes of guided meditation a day is actually recommended to improve your sleep and state of mind!

Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-helps-fight-insomnia-improves-sleep-201502187726

3. Exercise
Whether it's in a gym, in your house, or outside, working out gets those endorphins going and will help you feel happy and energetic once you're done! Remember, the hardest part about working out is the first step of actually getting up and getting yourself to the starting point!

4. Get outside
Go for a walk, go to the beach, or go to the park WITHOUT your phone! This is so freeing and at first you feel like your missing something, but this is so good for you! I miss the days when we didn't have cell-phones and social media because we used to get outside much more than our generation does now. This can really clear your mind, lift your spirits, and help you feel relaxed when you can just become one with nature and your surroundings.. because they are so beautiful! My favorite place to be is anywhere by the sea! Whenever I'm feeling stressed or down, feeling my toes in the sand, the sun on my skin, smelling the salty mist of the ocean breeze, and hearing the crashing of the waves always brings me peace.

5. Drink Tea
I do this a lot before bed when I need to relax or feel like I just won't be able to sleep. My favorite tea is Celestial Honey Vanilla Chamomile tea, it tastes SO GOOD and gets me to that sleepy and relaxed state of mind. During the day, I love the Yogi Blueberry Slim Life Green Tea!

6. Music
Whatever your genre is, listening to music always helps me get out of my own head and get lost in the music. This can be incorporated into any of the things I mentioned above and is great because it can literally be done ANYWHERE! Many of us feel stressed or think too much while we're driving (especially in Southern California haha). In my stress and relaxation class, I learned a lot of us used music while driving to be mindful and present. This can free your mind before you walk into work or before you get home to even begin de-stressing!

I hope some of you were inspired to try some of these techniques to help you relax & de-stress or if you use other ways to de-stress that I didn't mention, I would love to hear from you! Don't forget to leave me a comment below!

Keep being beautiful inside and out 💛

XOXO,

Jolene

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My Skincare Routine!

Welcome back!

If you've read my previous blog posts, you know I have crazy DRY skin! I've tried so many skincare products and brands, but I never felt like I noticed a difference. My skin just started looking dull and I began experiencing dry and flakey under my eyes and on my eyelids when I would apply my makeup. I also noticed I was getting redness on my nose at times throughout the day.

I started getting so discouraged that I would never find the right products for my skin.. until I found Mario Badescu!

I loved that I was able to do a Skin Analysis survey and they provided me with a handful of products personalized for my specific skin type. The thing that made me love this brand right from the start is that you're able to get all of the products they recommend in samples sent to you for just $2.95!!! Are you kidding me?! Who could say no to almost 10 product samples (which actually lasted me 1-2 weeks)!

I noticed a difference by the second day of using these products! My skin had never felt and looked so good! It was radiant, fresh, moisturized, and I felt so beautiful in my own skin! I immediately knew I needed to order the full size of each of the products they recommended.

The best part of receiving their samples – they send you a personalized skin care routine! It made me feel that they really cared and made me fall in love with not only the products, but this company.

I follow this routine every morning & night. I also use the Enzyme Revitalizing Mask and the Almond & Honey Face Scrub 2-3 nights a week after cleansing.

I actually can't believe how great these products are for how reasonably priced that are too! They also always provide FREE SHIPPING (yay!) on all U.S. orders over $35 and 3 COMPLIMENTARY SAMPLES of your choice with every order! I love this! Not many companies provide samples with every order, let alone the samples of all their products you actually want to try!

Below I have provided the products that were recommended for me and also some extras that I've picked up using their amazing deals.. which I've noticed they have regularly! (Big thumbs up for that!)

Left to right: Enzyme Revitalizing Mask, Orange Cleansing Soap, Chamomile Night Cream, Seaweed Cleansing Lotion, Hyaluronic Eye Cream, Almond & Honey Face Scrub

They happen to have another deal going on right now to receive a FREE full-size (whaaaat?! Yes please!) Summer Shine Body Lotion AND beach bag + free shipping with your order over $40! 

Promo Code: SHINE

I love these products right now to get that pretty summertime glow!

I also purchased the Complex Moisturizer with Vitamin E + SPF 20 (not pictured), which I have also been loving for the summer to keep my skin looking radiant, moisturized, and prevent wrinkles while I soak up the sun at the beach, which is basically every weekend the sun is shining 😉

Another reason why I LOVE this brand, they don't test on animals! This unfortunately occurs with many of our favorite brands, but if we move towards using brands that don't do this we can save those cute furry babies we all love!

I have provided a link here to check out Mario Badescu's website so you can check out all of their amazing products! If you have dry skin, then the products I pictured in this post are all great! But, I definitely recommend doing the Skin Analysis to see what products are made for your specific skin type!

Thank you for stopping by my page and checking out my blog post!

Keep being beautiful inside & out 💛

XOXO,

Jolene

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