BlissAndBubbly

April Reading List

Happy April, everybody! I’m pretty sure the saying “April showers bring May flowers” originated in Texas because the storms we’ve been having this year ( and every single Spring… ) are sliiiiightly dramatic LOL. You haven’t seen rain until you’ve seen Texas rain, let me tell ya.

Anywho! I was really struggling with a theme for April’s reading list, so I just decided this month will be a bunch of randoms that have been sitting in my Amazon cart for forever. That way this will motivate me to read them, and hopefully inspire a few of you to read them as well. 🙂

april_reading_list

  1. The War Of Art By: Steven Pressfield: I’ve been wanting to read this for forever! I think this would be a great book for anyone, weather you have a more creative job/passion, or not. It will teach you how to avoid the roadblocks that inevitably come with working on any creative project. Sounds very inspirational.
  2. Big Little Lies By: Liane Moriarty: Ok so I just finished watching the HBO tv adaptation of this book and I honestly haven’t loved a show THAT much in a really, really long time. Like it was SO GOOD. If you haven’t watched it, you are not living your life. I’m dead serious, watch it, all 7 episodes, TONIGHT. You won’t regret it! Since the show was the greatest thing ever, I decided I want to read the book. I usually read the book, then see the movie/watch the show, but why not switch it up every once in awhile, ya know?
  3. Just The Essentials By: Adina Grigore: I recently read another one of her books, Skin Cleanse, and got 1209738 blog post ideas all about DIY natural skincare. This book is all about essential oils and how to use them in your daily life. I got into essential oils about a year ago and am hooked, but still have so much to learn! I can’t wait to read this one.
  4. When You Find Out The World Is Against You By: Kelly Oxford: Kelly Oxford is one of my favorite people ever. She was named “one of the funniest people on twitter” by Rolling Stone, she’s a blogger, she’s a mom of 3, she is an author of multiple books, and she’s just RELATABLE. This is her newest book and I cannot wait to dive in to it. I think I might save it for a juicy read on my vacation coming up at the end of this month. It just seems like a good beach read to me. 🙂
  5. We Are Never Meeting In Real Life By: Samantha Irby: Samantha is the author of the blog Bitches Gotta Eat and she is amazingly real & just plain hilarious. I love bloggers who don’t sugar coat anything, and talk about REAL LIFE. If you want to feel like you’re not alone in any situation ever, this is the book to read.
  6. Hello Glow By: Stephanie Gerber: This is a book of 150 natural, organic DIY beauty/spa day treatments. Need I say more? #girlsnight :).

I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to April. Again, how fast is this year going?! What are some books you’ve been dying to read?

Thanks for reading 🙂

XO, Madison

Favorite Neutrals For Spring

Happy FriYAY everybody! My great grandma & my grandparents got into town last night and I am one happy happy happy girl. My grandma is one of my very best friends in the whole wide world and spending time with her is so important to me. I’m actually tearing up a little while writing this and not even ashamed to tell ya’ll that. Family is so important! And it is SO important to make the most of your time with the people who mean the most to you.

There are a few people in my life ( aka my bf, Chris ) who will tell you that I either wear all black all the time, or all neutrals. I’ve been trying to branch out lately and wear brighter colors, I just feel my most confident when I am in black, I have no idea why?! Spring, however, is the SEASON to wear neutrals & pastels so no one can say anything about an all white outfit with a pop of cream. At least not in my opinion ;).

This year I’ve been focusing a lot on getting rid of everything that doesn’t fit just right, or make me feel beautiful, and buying quality clothes that will last me more than one season.

Below I am sharing my favorite neutrals for this Spring, enjoy!

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.  9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Instead of writing about a description about each of those pieces I am just going to go ahead and give each of you permission to mix and match every single one of them with each other, whenever you feel like it! 😉 That’s the wonderful thing about neutrals – they all go with each other, NO MATTER WHAT. Pretty pretty perfect, if ya ask me.

I’m off to my lunch break to have coffee with my mom & grandma. My favorite kind of girl time! I hope you all have a gorgeous Friday & an even more gorgeous weekend!

Thank you so much for spending some time on Bliss And Bubbly.

XO, Madison.

Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breasts For Two

Happy Tuesday ya’ll! I thought I’d start the week off on a super positive note with some healthy recipe inspo. I know, sometimes getting in the groove after the weekend is less than ideal, but this recipe is so easy, so fresh, and so quick you won’t have any excuses to eat a fabulous, healthy meal tonight. It’s set up for two, so grab your boyfriend, your husband, your mom or your cat, and make it a spontaneous date night and whip this up together :).

BLISS AND BUBBLY HAS GOT YOUR TUESDAY NIGHT COVERED.

You’ll need:

  • About 2 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small pieces.
  • 1/4 cup of thinly sliced fresh, organic basil.
  • 10ish organic cherry tomatoes, halved.
  • 2 tbs of balsamic vinegar ( plus a little extra for topping before serving ).
  • 1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1 – 2 medium organic zucchini’s, sliced.
  • fresh cracked pepper & pink himalayan sea salt to taste.
  • 2, 6 ounce chicken breasts ( not frozen ).

caprese_chicken_breats

caprese_chicken_breats

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Make a caprese salad: In a bowl gently mix together mozzarella pieces, sliced basil, halved tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. Then, set aside.
  3. Slice the zucchini.
  4. Tear 2 long pieces of foil.
  5. Gather sliced zucchini pieces in the middle of each piece of foil.
  6. Drizzle zucchini with olive oil, and season with salt & pepper.
  7. Place chicken breasts on a cutting board then cover them cover with plastic wrap. Using a mallet, count the chicken until the breasts are thin and flat.
  8. Divide the caprese salad between the two chicken breasts, placing it near one of the edges of each of them.
  9. Roll the chicken up over the salad, securing it with toothpicks.
  10. Placed the rolled chicken onto the zucchini on the foil.
  11. Fold up the foil over the chicken, rolling the edges closed, sealing them into packets.
  12. Bake for 25 minutes, let cool for 5, and serve with a little extra drizzled balsamic on top.

caprese_chicken_breats

caprese_chicken_breats

Total time: 45 minutes. Serves: 2.

I made this last night and it was so good, plus it got the boyfriend seal of approval, which is always a good sign ;).

These can also be made on the grill, just double the foil because it’s so much closer to a flame. Or even over a campfire! How fun does that sound?

I hope your Tuesday is just as fabulous as you all are! What are you most excited to get accomplished this week?

XO, Madison.

caprese_chicken_breats

Weekly Chat – Rising Above

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Hello & happy Monday! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. Chris and I took a long weekend and spent Thursday night at our favorite hotel in Austin, Lone Star Court, then on Friday we headed to Medina to meet my parents and my little brother for a stay at this amazing house on 200 acres that they had won in an auction a few months back. IT WAS STUNNING. If you live in the DFW area and want to go somewhere close that will make you feel like you’re not even Texas anymore, anywhere in Central Texas is the place to go. If anything, you can just go for the drive, especially this time of year, because the highways are lined fully with mezermizingly ( my computer is telling me that’s not a word… so I’m officially making it one LOL ) beautiful wildflowers. I literally cannot even put into words how gorgeous it is out there. Ahhh I wish I could go back every weekend!

So any who, I usually do Weekly Chats on Fridays, but I’m going through a “thing” right now and honestly wanted to vent a little bit ( we all need a good venting sesh every once in a while, right?! ), so I decided to have our Weekly Chat today instead.

This week’s theme: RISING ABOVE.

You can interpret that in any way you like, or apply it to any area of your life that works at the moment. For me personally, right now I am having to apply it to my job, more specifically, to my boss. I won’t go into the details, but I know someone out there can relate to a situation where someone older than you, in a “higher” position than you, doesn’t treat you the way that you should be treated.

It is the most frustrating, upsetting, stressful situation to be put into. Adults in a position of power over other adults ( over anyone, of any age, actually ) are supposed to treat you with respect, RIGHT? I guess the key word there is “supposed” to, because, unfortunately not everyone abides by that standard.

Remember in elementary school when we all learned The Golden Rule: Treat others how you would like to be treated. That really stuck with me! I think about it more than a few times every single day! When some one disrespects you, or treats you a way that you know is not right, it takes maturity and self awareness to be the bigger person and not treat them that same way back. Would that be easier? Definitely. Would it feel good for a few minutes just to yell back at them, or reply with a rude comment? Of course. But not in the long run.

It is important to RISE ABOVE the situation, and the person. I pinkie promise you will feel a million times better if you just take the high road.

This morning I got an email and that made me feel almost every single negative emotion. I felt sad, I felt annoyed, I felt frustrated, I felt infuriated, I felt disrespected. There was about 1093943 things I wanted to reply with, all of which were just as disrespectful as the email I was replying to.

But I didn’t reply like that. I took a few really deep breaths, called Chris ( said all the things I wish I could have said ) and then I replied very respectfully. I replied just as I reply to any and every other email I ever reply to. With grace, respect and maturity.

The thing is, karma is REAL, ya’ll. And I know it’s hard in the moment, but if you just rise above, be the bigger person, you will be rewarded in some way. Even if it’s just feeling so much better about yourself every single time you think back to that particular situation.

I believe that if you promote goodness out into the world, you will be rewarded with good coming right back at you.

And as for the person doing the disrespecting and the bad treatment, they have to live with that, you shouldn’t have to as well.

I also believe with everything inside of me that everything happens for a reason. If you really sit down and think about certain situations, or experiences you had, or things that have happened to you, you will be like, “oh my god, if I hadn’t done that, this wouldn’t have happened.” I mean seriously, sit down and just think about one day, even one single situation and all the things leading up to it, and everything that happened because of it. IT’S CRAZY. And if you really, really think about it, you’ll realize that something amazing usually comes out of every single not so amazing situation.

Does that make sense?

What do ya’ll do in situations like this?

XO, Madison.

14 Weekend Getaway Musthaves

I love a good weekend getaway. Especially to a destination that’s within driving distance of your home. It’s really the perfect vacation. You’re not spending tons of money on flights, so you can kind of splurge a little on a nicer hotel room & fantastic food. We live in the DFW area of Texas ( Dallas Fort Worth ) which is 3ish hours from Austin, which also just so happens to only be about an hour from one of my favorite places on earth – Fredericksburg.

Fredericksburg is Texas Wine Country and it’s beyond perfect. My boyfriend and I have gone there every year ( sometimes twice ) since we have been together. It’s where we went on our first “vacation” together so it’s quite sentimental to me. It’s also SO ROMANTIC there. Perfect for couples wanting to escape reality for a day or two, relax, enjoy some amazing wine, and spend quality time together. I plan on doing a whole Fredericksburg To – Do post next week when we get back, so be on the look out! 🙂

Today I wanted to share the clothing items that I always pack for a Spring weekend getaway. I am a serious overpacker ( I just like to have options, ok! ), but it’s alright because I accept that about myself LOL. So I had to really, really think about the things that are kind of my weekend getaway staples, and not share my whole entire wardrobe with ya’ll… because I wouldn’t put it past myself to try and just shove my whole closet into my weekender and be on my way!

Texas has officially hit 90 degrees, so this weekend’s outfits will be geared toward staying cool, while still looking fab for some great Instagrams ( #notashamed ).

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

  1. RIPPED JEANS – These are the perfect item to bring because 1, you can wear them in the car and be comfy but still cute if you end up going to straight to dinner or something when you get there, and 2, because they go with literally everything!
  2. WHITE V NECK – I mean does this really need a description? You can wear this in the car, you can wear it under the denim jacket, you can wear it for a day walking around town, or just to be comfortable hanging out in the hotel room.
  3. OFF THE SHOULDER DRESS – So I don’t know if I’m the only girl that’s completely obsessed with off the shoulder everything or not but… this is the perfect way to look dressy OR casual, depending on what you are planning on doing. Also, if the weather ends up being 90 degrees, you’ll look chic & feel comfortable.
  4. WHITE MAXI DRESS – Every woman needs a good, simple, maxi dress. These can be dressed up or down with some added jewelry and heels, or sandals and even can be used as a swimsuit cover up. Not to mention how comfortable they are if you end up having too many margs & a whole basket of chips and queso ( like I fully plan on doing LOL ).
  5. OFF THE SHOULDER SHIRT – More off the shoulder, don’t kill me 😉 They’re just PERFECT for spring & summer, in my opinion! You can wear this with jeans, or jean shorts, add a chocker and some mules and you have a totally cute, perfect spring outfit.
  6. DISTRESSED DENIM JACKET – Perfect if the weather is a little cooler and you need to throw on a light jacket. Also, denim is so in this season! Super fun.
  7. NUDE MULES – A spring wardrobe staple. Not to mention extremely comfortable to walk in and can completely dress up any outfit, but they also have the ability of being super casual.
  8. SUNNIES – Because, duh.
  9. LACE UP SWEATER – A way to be comfortable, but still cute, ya know? Can be worn with distressed jeans, white jeans, or your jean shorts! Very versatile.
  10. JEAN SHORTS – If you end up having a pool day, or it’s just too warm for jeans, jean shorts come to the rescue! Front tuck your white v neck, throw on the mules or some espadrilles and you’re good to go!
  11. WHITE DENIM – Another spring wardrobe staple. White denim looks so fresh and bright with all the colors of spring and can be totally dressy, or totally casual. Perfect if you don’t know what kinds of places you’ll be having dinners at and want to be prepared for either option.
  12. NEUTRAL CROSSBODY – No one wants to lugging around a huge, heavy tote walking around exploring a new city. Crossbody bags are the perfect size to hold your lipstick, your phone, and your wallet. What else do you really need, right?
  13. WHITE ESPADRILLES – The sneaker of spring and summer! Comfy, cute, beachy, just pure perfection. They can be worn with dresses, jeans, shorts, the options are endless! Perfect for a day of exploring in true comfort and style.
  14. STUDDED SANDALS – If you want to be a little dressier than espadrilles, but are still looking for comfort, flat sandals are the way to go. I personally just love the studs!

Did I miss anything? What are some of ya’lls weekend getaway must haves?

Thanks for reading!!

XO, Madison

How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep

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Hey ya’ll, happy Wednesday! I hope you’ve all had productive weeks so far! I personally find it incredibly difficult to be productive in any aspect of life if I haven’t gotten enough sleep. I am one of those people who just literally cannot function if I haven’t gotten at least 9 hours of sleep.

I know some of ya’ll might think that’s funny or ridiculous or whatever, but IT’S TRUE and it’s just who I am.

It’s been drilled into our brains for forever that we’re supposed to get between 7 & 8 hours of sleep a night to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I take that a verrrrry general guideline, because, SURPRISE, everyone is different. I am a big fan of listening to your body, because it will tell you exactly what it needs, and my body just needs a little more sleep than the average person, and that’s ok!

I’ve known this about myself from a super duper young age. My mom tells this story about me to everyone because it seriously just describes exactly who I am, it’s so funny. She says that when I was little, no matter what was going on, who was over, if I was hanging out with friends, literally there could be Ariel herself from The Little Mermaid in the living room, and as soon as 8 o clock rolled around ( or as soon as I felt tired ) I would say good night to everyone, and take myself to bed.

And I literally haven’t changed A BIT. I pride myself on being able to go to sleep early, because I feel like a lot of people have trouble with that. Weather it’s because there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done ( I have issues with this too, just like everyone else ) or you just can’t turn your brain off, or stress from the day, but whatever the reason, sleep is too important for our bodies to just keep putting it off!

It’s so funny because my boyfriend is the EXACT OPPOSITE of me in this regard. He literally hates sleep. I think it’s so funny. He’s like “why would I sleep when I could be getting stuff done instead” and I’m over here like counting down the hours until bedtime because I know when my body needs that time to heal.

I get suuuuuuper irritable, my patience with anything & everything goes straight out the window, I get headaches, I don’t have as much of an appetite, the list can go on. My body just NEEDS an adequate amount of sleep to function properly. As do most peoples! It’s when our bodies do most of our healing and when our brains get a much needed rest. It’s a very necessary part of it.

I wanted to share with ya’ll some of my favorite tips that I force upon my sweet boyfriend, and myself sometimes, that really do promote getting a really great night of sleep.

  • Set Up A Routine. I think this is important because weather you are aware of it, or not, your body responds to routines. Habits, if you will. Around 8 every single night I brush my teeth, wash my face, and turn on our essential oil diffuser ( always with Lavender Oil ) and I can feel body beginning to wind down because this is what I do every single night before I go to bed, so it knows it’s about to get some sleep. It sounds kind of silly typing that out, but seriously, try a routine of your own around the same time every night for a week or two, and let me know if you notice a difference!
  • Diffuse Lavender Oil. I just mentioned this as a part of my nightly routine above, but it deserves it’s own bullet point because it’s so amazing. Lavender is known for it’s healing, sedative, and antiseptic properties. It’s calming aroma can be used as a natural way to treat headaches, anxiety, depression, emotional stress and nervous tension. Diffusing it before bed and while you sleep is ideal for calming your nerves, mind and body for a great nights sleep. Just be sure it’s 100% PURE Lavender Oil, not just a fragrance, or you won’t get any of the benefits.
  • Sleepy Time Tea. Probably the greatest invention ever. We like the one from Trader Joes ( it’s called Well Rested Tea ), and I always add a little raw local honey. I make this for us around 7:15 or 7:30 after I’ve cleaned up from dinner, while were watching a netflix show, just relaxing from the day. There is a noticeable difference for me with the amount of times I wake up in the middle of night when I don’t drink this before bed. It’s a tip I will recommend for forever!
  • Work Out Regularly. Doing some sort of physical activity everyday is not only fantastic for you body, but also for calming your mind.
  • CALM Powder.. I’ve talked about my obsession with this stuff on my blog before, and I’ll probably talk about it again because it’s incredible. It’s basically just Magnesium powder. I like to call it “natures Xanax” because it seriously has that effect, without the horrific side effects of taking actual medication, such as Xanax. It’s an all natural stress & anxiety reliever. I add a tbs to some water and drink it before going to sleep. I originally started drinking it about a year ago because I was suffering from AWFUL headaches every single day and I thought that my Magnesium levels might be low. Not only did this really really help with my headaches, it helped with my stress levels as well. That’s just a no brainer. The lower your stress levels, the better you’ll sleep.
  • Keep Your Room Clean & Organized. This might be a personal preference, but I’m going to share it anyways. I literally can’t relax when the house/our bedroom is a disaster. I need everything to be clean and organized, no clutter. My boyfriend however, is the opposite ( another one! I guess opposites really do attract LOL ). It’s like his eyeballs just don’t see a mess when there is one. It’s kind of an amazing talent he has! So if you haven’t been sleeping well and your room is a little less than organized, try cleaning it up and having it look clutter free before bed tonight and see if it makes a difference! It might relax your mind just enough to get a really good night’s sleep.
  • Don’t Look At Your Phone. Ok sooooo, I’m not sure how doable this one really is, but just try! The blue light electronics emit really hinder sleep, weather you’re aware of it, or not. However, my boyfriend needs something to distract his brain long enough from thinking in order for him to fall asleep, so we usually watch Netlfix in bed. When I get sleepy, I just roll over and fall asleep and he’ll put headphones in and watch until he falls asleep. So I guess this tip is kind of a more to each their own type of tip.

And those are my tips for getting a good night of sleep! Did I miss anything? What do ya’ll do to sleep well? Please share!

Thank you for reading!

XO, Madison

March Reading List

Well hello there, I am so glad you found your way to Bliss And Bubbly! I usually post my monthly reading lists on the 1st of each month but life got in the way this month, what can I say. On another note…. can you believe it’s MARCH??? What is going on?! 2017 is literally just flying by.

March in Texas is usually when the weather has a really, really, realllllly hard time making up it’s mind. It goes from sunny, perfect, & 75 to the next day being cloudy, rainy & in the 50’s. I am a sunshine at all times kind of girl, so March is usually when I need a little boost of something happy to get me though until the sweet summertime.

The theme for Bliss And Bubbly’s March Reading List is: HAPPINESS.

march_reading_list

  1. Everything, Everything By Nicola Yoon –  This book is being made into a movie that comes out this summer ( I think? ) and is the sweet story of a girl who has a rare disease and is allergic to everything. She’s never been outside, never touched nature, never breathed fresh air. A new family moves in next door & she falls in love from a far with their son. It’s a heartbreakingly romantic novel about doing what makes you happy, no matter the consequences.
  2. Szen Zone By Gary Szenderski –  I was sent this book last month, and you can read my full review here, but I am adding it to this list because it’s a beyond incredible read. I kept wanting to describe it as “life changing” because I didn’t know how else to articulate how impactful it was to me. If you have any interest in making really, really positive changes in your life, you need to order this book ASAP.
  3. The Happiness Project By Gretchen Rubin –  This a book of stories from personal experiences of the author all about tiny changes you can make today, and everyday, to live a happier life and just have more fun. Sounds like the perfect rainy day read to me!
  4. A House For Happy Mothers By Amuyla Malladi –  This is the story of two women on opposite sides of the planet who have the lives each of the other one dreams of and how through the creation of children their lives become intertwined. This one sounds like a book that will make you appreciate what you have and really just be thankful. Plus I just love stories ( real or fiction ) about motherhood!
  5. Whatever Makes You Happy By Lisa Grumwald –  This a novel of a woman’s journey to find happiness amongst being a mom, wife, sister, and friend. It will be a very lighthearted read about literally doing whatever makes you happy, even if it isn’t the “right” thing to do at the time.
  6. Happy People Read And Drink Coffee By Agnés Martin – Lugand –  I listed this one last but it’s actually first on my to – read list because it sounds SO GOOD I can’t wait for it to come in the mail! It’s the story of a woman living her perfect life in Paris, until she loses her husband and child in a sudden accident. She moves to a small town to heal on her own, and ends up falling in love all over again with the last person she ever thought she would even be able to fall in love with. It’s the story of redefining what it means to be happy after a tragedy. Ahhh it just sounds so good.

That’s all, until next month! Order these and get to reading! 🙂 I’d love to hear what ya’ll think of them after you read them. Like sitting down and having a cup of coffee with each other discussing the book, but over the internet. Totally normal! 😉

Thanks for reading!

XO, Madison

Ever Heard Of Maca?

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Hello hello, welcome to Bliss And Bubbly and happy Wednesday! I feel like this week has been like four years long. Does that make any sense? LOL there’s definitely more than one person in my life who tell you that I have a small flare for the exaggerations… but really, this has just been a long ass week.

I do my absolute best to keep it light, happy, and positive, especially on here. But I also want to be real & authentic, and the truth is that life isn’t always a perfectly put together vase of light pink Peonies, YA KNOW.

I’ve talked a lot on here about how I’ve always really struggled with dealing with stress and anxiety in a healthy way, and it’s definitely something I will need to work on every single day, probably for forever. And that’s ok!! Because shit is GOING to happen. That’s life, my friends. The trick is ( I’ve slowly learned ) to accept that fact, and do what you can to help prevent those feelings of stress and anxiety before they completely overwhelm you.

Stress is a nasty, nasty thing. It’s been deemed “the silent killer” for a reason ya’ll. There is study after study and research upon research begging us as humans to really focus on CHILLING OUT. Stress has a way of manifesting itself into very physical forms and causing real damage to our bodies.

You know the common symptoms: headaches/migranes, sweating, shaking, stomach aches, throwing up, tightness in your chest, difficulty breathing, difficulty sleeping, the list can go on and on. If you don’t really, really make a conscious effort to help your body rid itself of those feelings & hormones caused by stress, it can take a huuuuge toll on your overall health, even your longevity of life.

About two years ago I started having super weird back problems that basically just made me feel like I was an 80 year old woman that needed a walker to get around on a daily basis. Another fun fact about me is that I literally hate taking medication. You know when you go to the doctor and they say “ok so take this twice a day and you may feel a little nauseas but other than that you should be good. Only 1 in 5 billion people suffer from these side effects.” I AM ALWAYS THAT 1. And that is not an exaggeration at all. I’m always like “ok well is that side effect death, because if so, give me something else” like kind of a joke but not really LOL. So, when these issues starting coming to the surface ( turns out I have a herniated disc on the very last vertebrae in my spine ) I vowed that I would not take medication for it. So my boyfriend told me about all these different vitamins and supplements that I had never heard of that can help with EVERYTHING. I was amazed.

I mean we all know were supposed to take our vitamins, right? But do we know which vitamins we really need to be taking? The best way to know for sure 100% is to probably get a blood test and find out what you are deficient in. But if you don’t want to do that, take some time and really listen to your body, then do tons of your own research.

I could do a whole other post on the vitamins I take and why….

 But, what I really wanted to tell ya’ll about today is MACA.

Ohhhhh, Maca, Maca, Maca.

This brings me back to everything I was saying about taking preventative measures when dealing with stress. Maca is a root in the Raddish family grown in the mountains of Peru. It’s nicknamed the “Peruvian Ginseng”.

There are a few major benefits that I’ll share with ya’ll but the one two I take it for are hormone/ mood balancing, and helping my body with the effects of stress and anxiety.

Maca has these cute little things called Aptogen’s in it. An Aptogen is a non toxic substance that enhances the bodies natural ability to resist environmental stressors, therefore improving our bodies ability to deal with all other kinds of stress, as well. They function in the body by normalizing and balancing the bodies systems, particularly the Endocrine and Immune Systems.

Basically, they can calm down the systems that are stressed or over worked, while at the same time, strengthening the systems that need a little boost. They bring the overactive and under active immune and hormonal systems back into a healthy range. Balancing you out. Ideal, right?

Maca is packed with amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals that result in a mood boosting, energy leveling, brain balancing supplement. The Calcium, Phosphorus, and Vitamins B1 & B2 promote muscle growth, and calm the nerves, while controlling anxiety and alleviating mood swings. YES PLEASE.

There are also Alkaloids present in Maca making assimilation of all these nutrients into the cells very easy on your body.

All around win, and those are just two of the benefits.

Maca is also known for:

  • Being an aphrodisiac. Meeooowwww. It can boost the libido and increase stamina.
  • Womens health benefits: alleviate menstrual cramps, body pain, hot flashes, and as we just discussed, mood swings and anxiety.
  • Skin: can help clear acne and blemishes and has been reported to lessen skin sensitivity.

So, wow, that was a lot of information. Try taking it for a few weeks and let me know how you feel!! I take the capsules every morning with some juice ( I am a huge baby and have this weird mental block where I can’t take pills with water LOL ) but it’s also available in powder form where you can add it to smoothies, salad dressings, whatever you feel like.

Whole Foods sells it, I linked a few from Amazon above, buy it wherever or however you like, just be sure it’s non GMO!

Should I do a post on the other vitamins that I take & why?

Thanks sooo much for reading! It means so much to me 🙂

And PS: I’m not a doctor, and I’m sharing what works for me. You should always consult your doctor before trying/taking anything new.

XO, Madison.

Book Review – Szen Zone

Happy Monday! Did everybody have a good weekend? I caught up on a lot of sleep and cleaned the whole apartment, so not super exciting but very productive!

A few weeks ago I was contacted about writing a book review on a book called Szen Zone. I was immediately intrigued because my blog has a very “zen” feel to it in the sense that I try my hardest to promote self love and natural living. Plus I have a slight obsession with self help books that are about making changes to better yourself and better your life.

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When the book came in the mail I couldn’t wait to dive right in! If I hadn’t been so busy I definitely could have read this in one sitting, no problem what so ever. Gary Szenderski ( see what he did there with the “Szen”! So clever ) has a way of writing that makes you feel like you are just sitting down with a cup of really fantastic coffee chatting with him about life. And I LOVE that.

Szen Zone is one of those books that you’ll want to keep with you at all times in your purse or in your car because it’s not a book that you necessarily have to read cover to cover. You can open it up to any page, any short story, you want and be provided with major inspiration or advice. Especially when regarding CHANGE of any kind.

The thing I love most about this book is that each piece of writing seems to just come to you at the perfect time. Like whatever I was going through while reading each section I kept thinking to myself, “oh my god, how did he know?” It was the exact piece of advice, inspiration, or encouragement I needed to get through the doubt or struggle I was experiencing at the time.

Gary’s writing makes you feel like you CAN come out of any situation with a positive change made in your life. And it’s an absolutely wonderful feeling.

Change is inevitable. We alllll need to accept that, sometime or another, as hard as that may be. But why not make them all positive changes?

You can pick up this book and read any page, any story, and be touched on so many levels. I would describe reading this book as having your mom and your best friend there for you for a conversation or advice at the turn of a page, any time of day.

I recommend this book so whole heartedly to each and every one of you. And I know I recommend a lot of books to ya’ll, but if you take any advice from me, it’s to read this book.

I promise you will not be disappointed in any way, shape, or form.

Would ya’ll like it if I did a giveaway with a copy of this book?

XO, Madison.

Weekly Chat – Favorite Facial Oil

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Good morning & HAPPY FRIDAY! What are ya’lls weekend plans? So far they’re saying that it’s going to be warm but cloudy… so hopefully that will change to warm and sunny so we can spend some time outside 🙂 I had my first tattoo removal session this morning and that laser is NO JOKE. Holy guacamole. If anyone has ever had a tattoo removed and some weird tips or tricks to help it heal quicker/dull the pain afterwards, please share with me!

I had kind of a tough week and I just kept saying to myself, “everything is fine, everything is fine” so when I saw that graphic of “JUST PEACHY” I was like YES even better! Because no matter what’s going on, everything is still just peachy. We are so lucky to be living this life, ya know??

Anyways, moving on. For the weekly chat this week I wanted to share something with ya’ll that I’ve been obsessed with for a few weeks now because it completely changed my skin and the way my makeup sets and everything. It’s Organic Rose Hip Seed Oil. I feel like oils are just the fountain of youth and everyone needs to just get on board already.

The one I’ve been using is very inexpensive and I get it off of Amazon so it’s delivered to my door, just how I like it. On a completely unrelated note… I don’t think I could live without Amazon Prime LOL. Anyone else?

Ok so Rose Hip Seed Oil is one of the greatest things that you can do for you skin, starting at any age. The ancient Egyptians and Means used it for it’s incredible healing and anti aging properties. Today, we can use it for:

  • Correcting dark spots.
  • Reducing fine lines & wrinkles.
  • Treating eczema and acne scarring.
  • Treatment of infections and boosting the immune system.
  • Reducing inflammation and redness.

Already completely IDEAL, right?

The anti aging benefits come from it’s high levels of antioxidants and it’s ability to penetrate the deeper layers of skin, while it’s high levels of Vitamin C & A, reveal new layers of fresh skin, promoting skin regeneration, while plumping and stimulating the skins natural collagen production.

The antioxidants also protect against free radicals and sun damage, while the Vitamin A combined with the fatty acids present in the oil can improve skins tone, texture and pigmentation.

I apply a few drops at night after I cleanse and tone with Witch Hazel, then again in the morning after I apply sunscreen.

It’s improved my overall skin tone and texture SO MUCH. I’ve always had some issues with patchy redness and dryness especially in the winter, but since I started using Rose Hip Seed Oil, those issues are completely gone! I’ve also noticed a major difference in the little tiny fine lines that were starting to form around my eyes and my skin is just over all plumper and healthier.

It’s also great to apply in the morning as a makeup primer! My BB/CC cream or foundation goes on so much smoother and applying it over top of the oil gives me such a perfect, healthy glow.

I’m just obsessed with this stuff, I figured some of ya’ll might like to try it out as well 🙂

Let me know what you think!! & have a fabulous weekend. Drink some champagne with the people you love ( or your cat, which ever! ) and cheers with me on snapchat ( maddshardy )!

Thank you for reading!

XO, Madison.

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