These are a few of my favorite things


It’s almost New Year’s Eve, and for many people that means making resolutions. Studies have shown that by June, the majority of people have given up on their resolutions. Bummer. People love making lists, though. I know I do.

So, instead of a list of things you think you should be changing about yourself, might I interest you in a list of some of the thing that have made my life better and/or easier?  Bonus: no trips to the gym necessary. Double bonus: You might find some things on sale now that the holiday shopping season is over!

1.) Ninja® Professional Blender & Nutri Ninja® Cups. If you’ve been reading my blog or my Facebook page (pssst have you “liked” my page yet?) you know how much I love my green smoothies. This blender makes my life so much easier, and it’s simple enough for my 12 year old to use by herself. It’s not nearly as expensive as some of those fancy blenders/extractors and that’s just fine. I’ve been using it nearly daily since July and it never disappoints.

2.) Clairsonic Mia. I got this several years ago as a birthday gift. I use it twice a day, without fail. I get a lot of compliments on my skin. Maybe it’s the green smoothies. Anyway, I know this handy little face washing device cleans my skin far better than my weak little fingertips can. Love it, wouldn’t think of leaving it behind when I travel.

3.) Mr. Coffee mug warmer. $10, people. It’s a game changer for me. No longer is my morning coffee a game of “wait. too hot. wait. too hot. wait. too hot. SORRY TOO COLD”. Never before has a $10 item brought me so much joy. Ever since I got it for Christmas, I’ve been able to drink my entire mug of coffee from my bed without having to get up to microwave it, which if we’re being honest makes it taste horrible.

4.)  Aaptiv personal training app. You guys, I have a problem with motivating myself to go to the gym. Which is kind of a problem when you’re a wellness writer and nutrition student. I decided to try Aaptiv after reading about it several months ago and I was instantly hooked. They’ve worked out some of the earlier kinks and have added meditation to the mix. You can plug into a personal trainer-led workout on the elliptical, treadmill or bike, as well as be guided through yoga, meditation, and outdoor running routines. I’ve been going to the gym way more, have pushed myself out of my comfort zone every time, and am motivated to keep going back. It’s all audio based, and I love that the trainers interject helpful tips like keeping my shoulders relaxed when I’m running. Not only that, but all the workouts are set to great music you’ll really enjoy listening to. It’s $9.99/month, or if you sign up and pay for a whole year, it is $4.16/month. Totally worth it in my opinion. Read this Midweek Mashup for more on my Aaptiv obsession.

5.) Clean Freak dry shampoo. I have oily hair. And I’m always fiddling with it which makes it even oiler. I’m not one of those “I only wash my hair once a week” kind of gals. If I did that, I would look like Danny Zuko in Grease. So I keep this dry shampoo in my bathroom cabinet and use if for when I don’t have time am too lazy to take a shower but don’t want to scare the people around me. It’s got a really nice clean scent and doesn’t make your hair look like a powdered wig. Plus, it’s a mere $4.79 from Target.

So, there you go. Some of the things I love to use. Keep a look out for more lists in future weeks and months. I love trying new products and services, and I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm.

***I was not compensated for writing about these products. I just truly enjoy them!

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Midweek Mashup

Fall = Pasta (Caprese Style)




Sniff sniff

medical mask emoji

Yesterday I started feeling slightly congested.  I have terrible allergies this spring (thanks climate change!) and figured it was just something blowing around in the wind.  By last night I was feeling achy and exhausted and that’s when I knew I had a dreaded springtime cold.

When I start to feel sick, I go into lockdown mode.  I cancel anything that’s not totally necessary and hunker down.  Rest is the most impactful thing you can do when you start to feel under the weather, and I’ve learned time and again that trying to push through only prolongs the misery. Netflix binges of Grace and Frankie and  Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are possibly indicated.

In addition to Netflix binges rest I also add a few remedies.  I drink a green smoothie in the mornings to slam as many fruits and veggies into my system as I can (if you’re interested in green smoothies, click here to learn about the challenge I did in the fall).  All those vitamins are fantastic immune boosters for when you aren’t feeling 100%.

green smoothie

In addition, I take astragalus three times a day in tincture form.  I love this product from Herb Pharm.  Click here for an information page on astragalus published by the National Institutes of Health.  It’s important to know about the herbs and other remedies you use before you start taking them.  I buy it at Whole Foods but you can also order it on Amazon. I also take Gaia Black Elderberry Syrup twice a day which I also get at Whole Foods.  Multiple studies published by the NIH have shown elderberry syrup to be antiviral and immune boosting.  Read here for one of them. I also use a neti pot to flush yucky stuff out of my sinuses.  Here’s a picture of a few different types of neti pots in case you haven’t seen them before and are wondering what in the fresh heck a neti pot is.

neti pot

I learned recently that it also helps when you have fluid in your ear.  Learning to use and get accustomed to a neti pot isn’t hard, in my opinion.  It’s not for everybody but I highly recommend it!  I buy packets of saline solution at my local drugstore.

I also eat copious amounts of raw garlic (sorry family) and drizzle raw honey on stuff because both are antiviral and the honey also soothes a sore throat and a cough.

And sleep.  Obviously.  If you can’t fit downtime into your day (many people can’t), then try going to bed extra early for a few nights.

Please comment below and tell me what you do to fight off “the crud”.  I’m always looking for new things to add to my repertoire!

***And as always, please know that I am not a doctor and I’m not authorized to prescribe any medical treatment to anyone.  Please check with your health care provider before adding any over the counter treatments.



This week I’m launching a Green Smoothie Challenge on my Cultivate Wellness Facebook page.  At the end of October I challenged myself to drink a green smoothie each day (either for breakfast or as my afternoon snack) as a way to ensure that I’m getting lots of servings of fruits and veggies and other good things in my diet each day.  It’s been 12 days and I am feeling so great! My thought was: Why wait until after the holidays to focus on my health and well-being? Sure, it’s the season for cookies, chocolate and cocktails, but there’s one small thing we can do each day to keep our healthy eating momentum: DRINK GREEN SMOOTHIES! Drinking a green smoothie each day helps our bodies get all the vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients it needs to stay on the right track during the holidays. Even if we do nothing else differently with our diets, this is one healthy measure we can take each and every day that will reinforce good habits all year long. Skin becomes clearer, our digestive systems will be happy, and our cells will love the nourishment. I’ll post encouragement, recipes and photos along the way.