Why I Hired a Personal Trainer & How She Changed my Life

I never made a conscious decision to say “screw it” to my healthy eating habits and fitness routine. It just sort of happened. It was a combination of being unhappy with my previous job, dealing with a rough commute, and if I’m being 100% honest, laziness. It was much easier to come home after a long, crappy day at work and plop down on the couch with trash tv and a snack than it was to change into workout clothes & get myself to a gym.

In college, I was a workout fiend. I treated gym sessions like classes; I had a specific time each day that I’d hit the gym to work out. After college I kept active and ran my first half marathon a few years after I graduated. It wasn’t like I didn’t know how to commit to healthy habits, but for a good chunk of 2014 I just let myself go.

When 2015 rolled around, I started to get myself back in gear. I had just started a new job where I was much happier, I had gotten engaged a few months prior, and I was ready to take charge of my life again. Yes, losing weight and getting healthy was a big part of it, but it was so much more than that. It was lifestyle change. It was about being aware of what I was eating and how that affected my body. It was about viewing workout sessions as “me” time rather than an annoying task on my to-do list. It was about getting my mind in a positive, productive place rather than having that “eh, screw it” attitude.

I started this journey on my own, but knew after a couple months that I would be much better off having a professional guide my journey. Sure I could hit the gym for an elliptical session or take a kickboxing class once a week, but I knew that wasn’t enough to get me in the kind of shape I was looking to be in. I wanted to be toned, defined, and strong.

I heard about Vanessa from Bachata & Barbells from a friend who had hired her for personal training after having a baby and wanting to get her body back in shape (spoiler alert: she did, and she looks amazing). It took me a few weeks, but I finally got up the courage to text Vanessa and tell her I wanted to do this. I hired her for 5 sessions and we started training about a week later, and truly it has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not only do I feel amazing physically, but having a personal trainer is also sort of like having a life coach. Vanessa has guided me through every work out, pushed me to my limits, and encouraged me to change my lifestyle, rather than just commit to a few workouts every week.

Vanessa is celebrating Bachata & Barbells 1 year birthday this month & she so kindly asked me to share about my experience on her blog. If you want to hear more about my fitness journey & how working with Vanessa changed my life (and see the proof in pictures!), head on over to her blog to read the full story!

Kiko Cosmetics is Comin’ To America

Well, from the looks of it, it’s actually already here – but for now it’s kind of tucked away, hiding in random malls & not available for purchase online. I hope this brand is here to stay and becomes more widely available because this stuff is the shiz.


I came across Kiko in Newport Mall in Jersey City, NJ as I was navigating my way to Sephora. The store was bright and inviting and everything was displayed so neatly. I wish I had thought to take a picture while I was in the store, but I was too busy swatching every product and asking for multiple makeup wipes to clean myself up before I left {typical}.

So, what did I buy? Everything pictured above: 2 long lasting eyeshadow sticks, 2 pencil lip glosses, and a cream shadow in the most gorgeous shade of dusty purpley grey. Normally I would link all these products, but as I mentioned before, Kiko doesn’t have an online shop yet! {Sad face}

The lowdown:
– The eyeshadow sticks are comparable to Laura Mercier & Bobbi Brown shadow sticks … so, they rock. They do. not. budge. At all.
-The lip gloss sticks are my new obsession. I got two pinky nude shades {duh} that I’ve been layering and they are so nourishing, opaque in color, and long-lasting. They are pretty small, though, so I’m already planning a trip to buy backups {for $6 a pop you can’t really beat it}.
-Today is my first day trying out the cream shadow pot {similar to MAC paint pot but way creamier} and the texture is amazingly smooth, color payoff is phenomenal, but I can’t speak to the staying power just yet. Follow me on Instagram for an update at the end of today!

Have you tried out Kiko Cosmetics? What are your favorite products?

Musings on Social Media & Life With/Without It


Hanging on the stoop – no Internet required.

I realized something recently: in 60 years or so, there won’t be many people left on this planet who can say they lived life in a time where social media didn’t exist. I am thankful that I am a part of the last generation to experience childhood without iPhones, Facebook, and Instagram. Back when I was a kid, Tamogatchis were about as advanced as it got.

Before I dive further into this, I just want to say that I am by NO means “hating” on social media or technology. How could I? I’m writing this from my laptop, connected to my wireless internet, as I simultaneously check emails & Tweets from my iPhone. Social media is what I do every day – for fun and most importantly, for work. Yes, that’s right – I work in social media for a living. I make money doing something which didn’t even exist a few years ago. Wild, right?

Sometimes it blows my mind to think about how different a child’s life must be like in this day and age. I see my young cousins expertly flipping through games and apps on their parents’ iPads & iPhones. I see parents giving their children smart phones to use as entertainment during church. I hear that nowadays, high school drama extends far beyond the cafeteria and into Facebook statuses, Tweets, and Instagram pictures.

I am incredibly thankful that I lived in a time when I had to call a land line if I wanted to talk to my friend on the phone, or ring my neighbor’s doorbell to see if they were home to come outside and play. Yep, that’s right – we played outside constantly. My family didn’t even have cable TV until I was in middle school, which at the time I resented my parents for, but in retrospect am so glad we didn’t. It forced my sisters and I to use our brains, be creative, and spend a ton of time outside exercising and socializing.

On the other hand, I’m so grateful for the invention of social media and all of the wonderful people and opportunities it has brought into my life. While I say I can’t imagine my childhood with social media, I also can’t imagine my adult life without it. I have made so many friendships and connections through the power of the Internet and social media (dating back to the days of AOL message boards!), created my own website, started my own YouTube channel – the list goes on & on.  I mean seriously – how did people get through college without Google? Actually let me rephrase that. How did people get through life without Google?! I have so much respect for the generations before me who had to go to the library & physically thumb through pages of encyclopedias and pour over textbooks in order to pass a test or complete a paper. Everything has become so easy these days, and for the most part that’s a good thing.

I know every generation looks back at the previous one and thinks how outdated it now seems, but in my non-scientific calculations, technological advances are moving at triple the speed than they used to. In my lifetime I’ve gone from cassette tapes to CDs to mp3s and now I don’t even need to download a tangible file to listen to music, I just stream it from the Internet. I can beam a YouTube video from my phone to my TV without any wires. Heck, I can actually use the word “beam” in a real sentence.

What am I trying to conclude, exactly? I have a few takeaways:

  • Social media is great for keeping in touch with friends, but it provides us with a superficial sense of closeness. “Liking” someone’s Facebook statuses or commenting on their pictures does not replace long phone calls or in-person visits.
  • If I ever have a kid(s) one day, I’m making damn sure they play outside and interact with their friends far more often than they’ll sit in front of a computer screen or play on an iPad.
  • This can be good or bad: social networks have a way of constantly throwing the past in your face. On one hand it’s nice to look back on fond memories – on the other hand, pictures of exes appearing on your Timehop can sometimes throw you for a loop.
  • My parents had no idea what I was doing on the Internet when I was 14, but parents these days probably know just as much if not more than their kids. This is definitely a positive, because they’ll be able to more closely monitor their children’s online activity to better keep them safe.

I’d love to know your thoughts on any of the above. Comment below & let’s talk about it!

Brides & Baubles & Bubbly, Oh My!

An Event for the Engaged at Aaraa Hoboken_edited-1


Hi lovely people! My friend Tiffany reached out to me recently to be a bride-to-be influencer at an event at Aaraa on Thursday, May 14th. Considering my love for shiny things & champagne, participating in this was a no-brainer! Hope you can all make it! xo



First signs of spring in the apartment!

Tonight I was in my kitchen prepping a smoothie for tomorrow’s breakfast & I thought “I should do a blog post on my favorite kitchen gadgets!”

Now if that isn’t a sign of growing up, I don’t know what is.

You may notice there is a new page added to the top of my site, called “Lifestyle”. I added it because there’s been so many circumstances lately where I’ve wanted to blog about things totally and completely unrelated to beauty or makeup, but didn’t think this was an appropriate space. I thought about creating a new blog entirely but ultimately decided that was unnecessary. From now on, anything non-beauty related will just live under the “Lifestyle” category.

Topics I’ve been wanting to write about lately include:

  • Serial podcast (yup, I’m way late to the game)
  • Wedding planning
  • Fitness (motivation, where to buy sports bras under 1 million bucks, etc)
  • Cooking (I’m really trying, guys)
  • What’s important to you about where you live

And so many other things I can’t remember off the top of my head right now. I know this stuff may not be as exciting as product reviews or haul videos, but these things are my reality right now. Hopefully you’ll stick around to read some of these Lifestyle posts & we can get to know each other on a bit of a different level!


PS. Found this picture of me from 6 years ago on my external hard drive the other day. Kinda makes me want to explore bangs again (after the wedding, of course). Thoughts? IMG00187[1]