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?

 

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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!

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 

 

DIY: Essential Oil Blend for Headaches

I gotta admit that since becoming a Doterra rep I’ve been having fun geeking out on something totally new. I’m currently reading The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils by Kurt Shnaubelt, Ph.D., to help myself better understand how and why certain essential oils affect the human body.

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Blends: Balance, Breathe, Serenity, Motivate. Single oils: Grapefruit. Personal care: Deep Blue Rub for sore muscles, and EO Spa Hand & Body lotion to use with oils.

There’s a lot to learn, but one simple concept is that plants have two main categories of substances: primary metabolites and secondary metabolites. Primary metabolites are all the proteins, carbohydrates, fats and genetic materials that make up the mass of the plant and perform its basic functions, while the secondary metabolites are the substances that have developed and evolved over time to help with its protection and survival. For example, secondary metabolites may help a plant repel herbivores or fight off parasites. From an essential oils perspective, secondary metabolites are the substances that are of most interest, as we can use them in a similar fashion to help with common, everyday ailments and annoyances.

Like headaches.

Is anything worse? Okay, many things are far, far worse, but headaches suck because they are just bad enough to ruin your day and sabotage your productivity, but not so bad that you feel justified in calling in sick or cancelling your plans. We’re expected to just tough it out or pop a couple ibuprofen and get over it. I’m not opposed to OTC headache meds at all (I take them for the occasional head-splitter), but they can mess with your stomach, and some people prefer to avoid swallowing pills if they can.

Perhaps there’s a more natural way to deal with headaches?

DIY Headache Oil 

You’ll need:

For an oil or salve, you want to aim for about a 5% dilution, which looks something like this in a 5 ml bottle. (You don’t need all that much.)

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This is a pretty equal combination of lavender and peppermint – both are used in aromatherapy to help with headaches. I went a little heavier on the peppermint because I like its cooling effect on the skin.

The best way to transfer the oil is to hold the bottle right up against the container.

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Fill the rest of the roller with fractionated coconut oil and snap on the roller top. (Note: weightlifting, chalk and kettlebell swings do not a hand model make.)

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Label it however your like (or don’t). I had these stickers left over from samples. (Make a few extra rollers and give them as gifts to all your stressed out friends!)

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Rub it on your temples, forehead, wrists and neck. Take deep belly breaths.

Not into DIY?

If the thought of making your own headache oil actually gives you a headache, I recommend checking out this Past Tense rollerball, which also includes wintergreen, frankincense, cilantro, marjoram, roman chamomile, basil, and rosemary.

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You know that feeling of being trapped in a hot, stuffy room for an hour and then finally stepping outside into bright, chilly sunshine? Like, your sweaty neck gets all frosty and your head and nasal passages clear? And you know you should probably put on a coat, but the cold just feels so darn refreshing? Past Tense is that feeling in a little rollerball.

For more information on essential oils, or to place an order, visit www.mydoterra.com/jenessaconnor