Friday Favorites: 9/8/17

As a freelancer, I have a habit of letting the work week trickle into my weekends. I appreciate having flexibility during the week to run errands and go to the gym whenever. But without any clear boundaries, you can end up working in some capacity seven days a week.

So this labor day weekend I forced myself to take some work-free time to do actual activities (not just veg on the couch or end up reorganizing my dresser drawers…which I totally need to do.) It was great! And it inspired my first Friday favorite:

Driving Golf Balls

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I’m not a great golfer. In fact, I’ve only played an actual game once in my life. But I love driving golf balls. There is a nostalgic element to it. I grew up in a town with NOTHING to do as a teenager. The only options were basically fast food, coffee, or the mall, and you had to drive to the next town to get to anything. But there were a few driving ranges in close proximity. So, for $10 or $15, you could get a bucket of balls and hang out at the driving range.

In NYC, the best place to hit golf balls is Chelsea Piers. The multi-level platform is heated year round  (we didn’t need that feature this weekend) and overlooks the Hudson River. I definitely paid more than I did as a teenager in rural Massachusetts, but I only go a couple times a year. There’s also no freshly cut grass smell, but plenty of yachts and sea gulls!

Pixel Computer Glasses

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These things are eyeball savers. I’m on the computer A LOT. After a few hours, my eyeballs feel like they’re going to melt right out of my head. These glasses filter out blue light and make the screen so much easier to look at. I actually feel a different the second I put them on.

Peace Rollerball

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I have to admit that when I first smelled this “Peace” blend I wasn’t a fan. But now I get it. Is it possible for your olfactory bulb to change over time like your taste buds? The blend uses vetiver, lavender, frankincense, ylang ylang, marjoram, and spearmint, and it’s such a calming, stabilizing scent. I’ve been keeping it at the computer and swiping it on before I head out to deal with the stress of the world. Give peace a chance!

What are you into this week?

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Friday Favorites: 9/1/17

The Friday before Labor Day is either barely a Friday or the ULTIMATE Friday. There’s this liberating sense of “nothing’s getting done today, so let’s just accept it.” Unfortunately, I have a full to-do list, but I’m going to do my best to stay focused so my tasks don’t spill over into the weekend. I may not be able to blow off the work day for early happy hour today, but I’m determined to have a real holiday weekend.

In the meantime, here are a few things that made my favorites list this week.

“Listen Up” by Nicole Atkins

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I’ve followed Nicole Atkins for years. When she lived in the North East (and I was younger) I went to her shows all the time. It’s been a while since I’ve seen her live (she moved to Nashville and I don’t see live music nearly as much as I should), but I just scored tickets to her upcoming show at the Mercury Lounge and I am so pumped! I can’t wait to hear her play the tracks from her new album, especially Listen Up, which is this week’s anthem.

Kettlebell Windmills

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img src: mensjournal.com

Can one’s core ever be strong enough? We’ll probably never know. And, honestly, planks, v-ups, and sit-ups get boring. Enter the kettlebell windmill! A few weeks ago I wrote about this movement for Men’s Journal. It’s one that I sometimes forget about, but it is so challenging and effective. You can use a kettlebell or a dumbbell, and the weight doesn’t have to be very heavy for you to feel it.

Deep Blue

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This week, while still in bed, I yawned and stretched my arm overhead and pulled a shoulder muscle. Yup. Didn’t do it during a barbell complex or a metcon at CrossFit. I did it yawning. So stupid, and it is still nagging me three days later. I’ve been stretching, rolling, and regularly applying this Deep Blue Rub from doTerra. It helps loosen things up and temporarily relieves the pain. Luckily, it smells waaaay better than Ben-Gay or Icy Hot, because it’s basically become my signature scent.

Sugar-Free Jello

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I mentioned last week that I’m counting macros and making an extra effort to eat clean. I wish I could be one of those people who cuts sugar and is like “I don’t even crave it any more!” The truth is that I’m not. And I do. I’ve allowed some indulgences here and there, but Sugar-Free Jello has become almost a daily treat. There’s barely anything in it (that’s why they give it to hospital patients) but its just sweet enough to feel like dessert. Add a small spoonful of Cool Whip and it’s (almost?) like eating a bowl of ice cream. Okay, not quite, but I’ll take what I can get. This strawberry-banana is one of my favorite flavors!

Younger on TVLand

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Are you watching this show? It’s become my favorite smart, yet lighthearted piece of appointment television. The writing is great – funny, touching, edgy, sassy, and the fashion and set design is fantastic. And speaking of eye candy, there’s Josh:

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Note the welling of the tears.

And CHARLES:

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We are all Sutton Foster.

The season finale is approaching, and I just don’t know what I’m going to do with myself on Wednesday nights.

What are you loving this week?

 

Friday Favorites – Inaugural Edition

It’s about time I did my own “Friday Favorites” post. I always enjoy reading other bloggers’ round-ups, and I like to pretend I’m Oprah sipping from a porcelain teacup and curating the “The O List.”

First up, the Jersey Shore.

Not this one:

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This one:

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I had the chance to spend a night at a friend’s place in Seaside Heights, and it was just what I needed. The sun was out, the sky was clear, and the waves were so big that Dan lost his sun protective doo rag and I got those sunglasses knocked right off my face.

doTERRA Root to Tip Serum

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img src: doterra.com

I normally skip a day between shampoos (sometimes more if I’m in super hermit mode and not planning to see other humans), but the beach and some super sweaty workouts necessitated extra washings. To help with dryness and frizz, I’ve been using this Root to Tip Serum from doTERRA. It moisturizes my hair, smells amazing (it contains a bunch of essential oils, but lavender and peppermint come through strongest), and it gives your scalp a little tingle.

Merrell’s Bare Access Flex Trail Running Shoes 

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I recently reviewed these hybrid trail running shoes for Men’s Journal, and I’m still loving them. I have stability shoes for longer distances, but they sometimes feel clunky. These are light and skippy and super fun to run in, especially when I feel like noodling around the trails in the park. And (on the rare occasion I put on something other than workout clothes) they’re cute enough to wear with a pair of jeans.

C.W. Pencil Enterprise

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img src: cwenterprise.com

I visited C.W. Pencil Enterprise’s flagship store a few months ago, and it was probably a mistake. Run by legit pencil enthusiasts, they carry every single type of pencil you could ever want. It is nerd heaven, and I spent WAY too much money on pencils. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I love the Blackwing 602. It is super smooth, and the little rectangular eraser is just so satisfying. (I told you – NERD HEAVEN.)

Casein Pudding

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Who out there gets this reference?

I’m counting macros right now and focusing on lean protein. So all my fav late night treats – ice cream, peanut butter cups, sugary trail mix – are off the table. I’ve been mixing Dymatize Elite Casein powder with enough water to create a pudding-like consistency and popping it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. (I don’t like it room temp). It’s close enough to vanilla pudding to feel like dessert, and it’s high in protein with no fat or carbs.

What are you into these days?

Happy Friday!

All Hail the Kettlebell

Is it weird to love – like REALLY love – a piece of fitness equipment? Especially one that has caused you so much pain?

Probably, but I’m owning it. I love kettlebells. They’re an incredibly versatile tool, and they’re so darn effective. So when I had the opportunity to pitch the “Belly Shrink” section of Shape, I went straight to the bells. Yes, they’re known for revving your heart rate and strengthening your posterior chain, but they’re also great for the core.

And just when I think there’s no improving the good, old-fashioned kettlebell, they go ahead and make ’em gold and sparkly!

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To read the full article, check out the April 2017 issue of Shape!

Because No One Wants the Flu

Last year right around this time I had my first legit, knock-down, “will I ever feel normal again?” case of the flu, and I really don’t want a repeat performance in 2017.

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Me with the flu, February 2016

I am a highly superstitious person, so even writing that down feels like saying “Macbeth” in a theater, but I’ll take my chances for the sake of this post.

For the first time ever, I got the flu shot. (I know it’s only for a few strains, but I’ll take whatever I can get.) And, in addition to  taking my multi-vitamin, sleeping 7+ hours (or at least really trying to), exercising, eating salads, and burying healing crystals in my neighbor’s back yard (just kidding… maybe), I’m greasing up my feet with this little combo:

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Remember last time when we talked about secondary metabolites? Well these oils are from plants that may help with your immunity. On Guard is a blend of wild orange, clove, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus and rosemary oils. Lemon is, of course, from lemons. Together they smell a bit like a frosted lemon pound cake.

DIY Immunity Oil 

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You’ll need:

Fill your container about 5% of the way with an equal combination of On Guard and Lemon.

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Cap off with carrier oil and label accordingly. Apply to the soles of your feet in the morning and before bed. Consider it just one more weapon in your flu-fighting arsenal!

Interested in essential oils? Visit my Doterra site: Mydoterra.com/jenessaconnor