Pandemic Fitness Favorites!

During the pandemic, we have all had to make the transition to at-home workouts! If you’re an avid gym-goer like me, this adjustment has been far from easy…but nonetheless we make it work. I have successfully transformed my dining room into my personal fitness studio. It has become my new “happy place” in the house!

Naturally, my workouts have changed quite a bit considering I don’t have full weight rack and a treadmill at home. I must admit that I was anxious at first knowing that I would be without some equipment that I always utilize at the gym; however, I have truly been having a great time trying new workouts and challenging myself in different ways. With the implementation of new workouts, the need for better (and more) at-home fitness equipment has come.

Below, I am rounding up some of the fitness equipment investments that I have made throughout the pandemic! These products have changed the quality of workouts that I am having in a drastic way. I am so excited to share these incredible finds with you!

Manduka ProLite Yoga Mat 

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During this time, I have been taking lots of yoga, barre and pilates classes online…all of which require a yoga mat! I had a yoga mat previously, but it was cheap, thin and not great for my back and knees…not to mention that I was also slipping and sliding during workouts. I knew that I couldn’t go on like this, so I decided to invest in a Manduka yoga mat; a brand that is loved and trusted by yogi’s all over the world.

Now that I have been practicing on this mat for 3 months, I cannot imagine ever using another mat. The ProLite has incredible cushion for maximum comfort and performance grip to prevent slipping and sliding! The mat is also crafted with closed cell construction so that sweat and bacteria doesn’t get trapped in your mat ensuring that it stays smelling fresh. Lastly, Manduka mats are made in an emissions-free facility so it is safe and ethical. No wonder why the ProLite has a lifetime guarantee! This is an investment that you will not regret…you’ll always need a yoga mat!

Manduka x YogiToes Yoga Towel 

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Now that I have a Yoga Towel, I cannot imagine practicing without one! A yoga towel is a thin towel that you place over your yoga mat to further prevent slipping and sliding. Many people that practice hot yoga use this because it is a very sweaty workout. My barre and pilates class have me dripping, so I needed some extra slip and slide prevention… this yoga towel did the trick!

The YogiToes towel has slip-prevention technology, is lightweight, absorbent and drys very quickly! There are silicon dots on the back of the towel that grip to the yoga mat, ensuring that the towel stays in place during your workout. This towel is also eco-friendly, as it is made with at least 4 recycled plastic bottles! I feel really good about investing my money in a product that is very eco-conscious and is reputable. There are tons of fun colors and patterns to choose from to spice up your yoga mat and keep you in place during your workout!

Saucony Freedom ISO 2 Running Shoe

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If you know me, running is kinda my thing! I took up running a few years ago when my family rented a beach house and there was no gym…I had to get my workout in somehow! From then on, I never looked back. From years of experience, I have learned that a runner’s best friend is a good pair of sneakers. Luckily, I have a professional running store close to my house, and was able to get fitted (before the pandemic) based on my running style (neutral) and foot in order to find my perfect shoe!

And perfect is definitely what I found. I truly cannot think of one thing that I don’t like about the Freedom Iso 2’s. The knitted material of the shoe makes it super lightweight and airy! It is designed equally for road running (which is solely what I have been doing), and the gym, when it is safe to return. The sole of the shoe has an “EVERUN” technology that provides a great bounce. Not only does this shoe carry me effortlessly through each stride, it also provides exceptional comfort while doing so.

Gaiam Mini Loop Resistance Bands 

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Before the pandemic, I never worked with loop bands…and boy, was I missing out! These resistance bands elevate the intensity of your workout tenfold. Not to mention that they leave you sore for days! Barre workouts have become a new passion for me, and slipping these bands over my thighs during my workouts have been a huge game changer for me.

If you love an added challenge to your workout like I do, getting some resistance bands does the trick. I have seen my strength transform because of my consistent work with these resistance bands. There’s a plethora of workouts that you can easily find on YouTube that are designed around the use of loop bands alone. You won’t regret adding this equipment to your fitness collection, and you won’t regret seeing your body transform!

I hope that you all enjoyed this roundup of my pandemic fitness favorites! Stay safe and healthy.

xo, Lexie

 

Go-To Vegan Snacks

Finding healthy snacks can be surprisingly difficult! Looking for options that are vegan, with few ingredients and have nutritional value definitely requires some work. Luckily for y’all, I’ve been doing some digging (and taste testing!) and found amazing, plant-powered options. All of these snacks will keep you fueled and focused throughout the day. Below, I am rounding up some of my go-to snacks, both salty and sweet, that are great for anytime of the day!

Koia Protein Shakes 

You guys (not to be dramatic or anything) but these shakes have changed my life! At only 190 calories a pop, with 18 grams of protein and just 4-6 grams of sugar these are the perfect, healthy pick-me up. Using a combination of pea, brown rice and hemp protein these shakes will keep you full for a generous amount of time. The formula contains 9 essential amino acids, delivering a complete protein intake for sustainable fuel. My favorite flavor is the cacoa bean…it seriously tastes like a chocolate milkshake! These shakes are perfect for a post-workout mini meal or snack anytime of the day.

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Hippeas 

ALL of my college friends know that I am crazy about these flavored chickpea puffs! I first discovered these when I was in line at Starbucks and was craving something salty. I saw the word “vegan” on them, picked up a bag to try and was hooked ever since. I am INCREDIBLY thankful that I did because these are my holy-grail salty snack. These puffs are made out of organic chickpea and rice flour, pea hull fiber and seasonings! There are 4 grams of protein per serving, plus they are baked, not fried! My favorite flavor is the vegan white cheddar!

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Hummus + Veggies

A classic. What is a vegan without this holy grail snack? Thanks to all new flavors of hummus these days, this snack is far from boring…the flavors and combinations are endless. I am a sucker for the classic hummus with baby carrots, sliced bell peppers or celery stalks. I am super eager to try Trader Joe’s new buffalo flavored hummus with celery. The protein in the hummus thanks to the chickpeas will also keep you feeling satisfied in-between meals.

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Avocado + Organic Rice Crackers + Trader Joe’s “Everything But The Bagel” Seasoning 

Avocado is a staple in my diet and I have them stocked at all times in my kitchen. They are packed with healthy fats and keep me super full. One of my favorite go-to snacks is taking half of an avocado, spreading it on a serving size of organic rice crackers and sprinkling Everything but the Bagel seasoning on top! It is delicious and very satisfying. If you would like to for-go the crackers, you can also eat the avocado plain with the seasoning, or substitute the seasoning for a drizzle of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon on top!

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Lara Bars in the Cashew Cookie Flavor 

Finding a clean, sweet snack can be nearly impossible. I am so glad that I came across these bars thanks to a recommendation by Kenzie Burke (Food Combining advocate). There are only 2 ingredients in this bar including dates and cashews. This is sure to satisfy any sugary craving you may be having and keeps me full thanks to the nuts in the bar.

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I hope that y’all found this post helpful. Please let me know if you guys try out any of these snacks by commenting below or tagging me in your Instagram stories @lexiejmurray!

xo, lexie

 

4 Products to Perfect Skin | My Nighttime Skincare Routine

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Skincare has always been an integral part of my daily routine. When I was little, I used to sit on my mom’s bathroom counter and watch her go through her extensive nightly ritual of washing, toning, and moisturizing her face. From a young age, I have learned the importance of consistency and maintenance with my skincare.

That being said, finding skincare products that work for me has definitely been a trial and error process. I have spent years testing out an abundance of different products to either, happily find out that they did wonders for my skin, or sadly have broken me out. Thankfully, after such a long period of time trying out different skincare products, I have finally found my tried and true products that I cannot go a day without. Lets get into it!

Step 1: Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel 

I was first introduced to Mario Badescu products a few years ago when the rose water spray took over the beauty industry! After loving the spray, I decided to test out more of his products and I’m so glad that I did. I have pretty sensitive skin and the Enzyme Cleansing Gel has become such a staple in my nighttime routine. The cleanser is so gentle on my skin and has a very clean, fresh scent. I first splash my face with warm water. Next, I apply about a dime sized amount of product onto my hand. I use the tips of my fingers to work the product into my skin. After about 30 seconds, I splash my face a few more times with warm water to get the excess cleanser off of my face. I always pat to dry my face with a fluffy white towel. My mom always told me that rubbing your face with a towel causes wrinkles and we don’t need those y’all!

Step 2: Simple Water Boost Micellar Cleansing Water 

I have used countless micellar waters over the years and none quite measure up to this one! Either they feel sticky or leave a weird residue behind after application. Luckily,  I have found Simple products that keep my skin feeling hydrated and super refreshed! Simple micellar water uses clean ingredients that simultaneously cleanse your face and remove any dirt or impurities that linger on your skin…even after a thorough wash. I apply the micellar water to a cotton pad and in a circular motion make my way around my face, ensuring that I reach all areas of my skin. I am always shocked with how much dirt it removes and always think…if I didn’t cleanse my face with this water, all of that extra dirt would just be sitting there! This product will ensure that you skin is squeaky clean before you apply any moisturizers!

Step 3: Mario Badescu Chamomile Night Cream 

My twin sister Cammie started using this product her freshman year of college and told me to try it out because she was seeing amazing results. Ever since the first application of this heaven-sent cream, I haven’t looked back. This ultra rich, chamomile infused cream will leave your skin soft, supple and super hydrated. You only need to use a small amount to see big results in the appearance of your skin. After some time using this product, your skin seriously looks airbrushed!

Step 4: Bio Oil Skincare Oil 

I have always wanted to use skincare serums and oils, but have been too scared that they would break me out. This past summer, I decided to bite the bullet and just test it out to see if I would see results. I am so glad that I decided to go for it because I truly believe that this product is making the biggest difference in the appearance of my skin. Bio Oil is known for helping to improve the appearance of scars. If you have left-over acne scars on your face that just will not go away or are looking to improve dull looking skin, this is the product for you! I put a pea sized amount of the oil onto my fingers and gently tap the product into my skin. Instantaneously, you will look like a glowing goddess. Overtime, I have seen all of my acne scars disappear and have such a natural glow to my skin. This may be my favorite product in the whole post!

Here you guys have it…the 4 products to perfect skin! In addition to using these products I always make sure to drink plenty of water, exercise and eat clean foods to improve the appearance of my skin. When you are healthy from within, I promise, it will show on the outside. If any of you guys test out these products, please let me know in the comments below!

xo, lexie

August Favorites | Beauty + Fashion

With August coming to a close and September right around the corner I thought that it would be the perfect time to share what I’ve been loving this month! Below I am rounding up my ultimate beauty and fashion favorites. I’ve also been doing some fashion trend forecasting lately and am going to be including must-have pieces that will spice up your wardrobe for the upcoming season! Without further ado, let’s get into it!

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Beauty Favorites

Obliphica Seaberry Hair Serum: Have you guys ever tried out a new product that you ended up loving/using everyday and wonder what the heck you did before without it? For me, that is this hair serum! It’s my new holy grail product. I was introduced to this stuff thanks to the sample size in my Birchbox! It just so happened that I was in desperate need of something to tame my hair from the humidity. Naturally, I was super eager to test this product out and couldn’t have been more happy with the results. After showering or styling my hair, I use about a pea sized droplet of the serum, rub the product between my fingertips and comb out my hair with my hands. It leaves my hair looking super healthy and shiny, without looking greasy…this is key when dealing with serums. This product contains Sea Buckthorn Berry which is super rich in antioxidants and completely restores dry, damaged hair and additionally, combats frizz. I have noticed a huge difference in the overall heath of my hair of my hair and have people asking me all the time what product I use in my hair to make it so soft and shiny! Because you only use a small amount of the product, it will last you months which compensates for the price. You will not regret purchasing this!

Garnier Micellar Water: For years, I dreaded when nighttime would roll around because that meant having to take off my makeup. For most people, that is their favorite time of the day, but for me, all I could think about were my eyes stinging and my face burning. The cause? Makeup wipes. Trust me, I tried to give them a fair shot by testing out a multitude of different brands and I just couldn’t seem to find something that got the job done without causing me discomfort. In dire need to find something to take my makeup off comfortably, I began to research alternate makeup removing products and that’s when I discovered micellar water. This stuff is seriously life changing. I soak my cotton round with the micellar water and in circular motions make my way around my entire face, taking off all of my foundation first. I then use a new cotton round to remove my eye makeup. There is absolutely no stinging, it removes 100% off my makeup, and is much better for the environment than using the wipes. And, if you can even imagine, the micellar water gets better than it already sounds. This product not only acts as a makeup remover, but a facial cleanser all in one, so you are tackling two parts of your nighttime routine in one step! How great is that!?

Maybelline Colossal Mascara: When it comes to mascara, I’ve pretty much tried every recommended brand in the book…drugstore, high-end, indie brands…you name it! Mascara is definitely a product that I go through pretty quickly. As a student, saving money is essential and considering the amount I go through, I was able to easily rule out the high-end products. To be honest, the high-end mascara brands I tried were very comparable to drug store brands and to me, it wasn’t worth the price tag. I stuck to looking in my local drugstore, that way spending between $5-10 was no harm, no foul. After trying a few different brands I decided to venture into the Maybelline section and the bright yellow tube of the Colossal Mascara stood out right away. I grabbed the mascara and I’ve been using it every single day for years now. This mascara isn’t clumpy in the slightest, applies evenly, lengthens, and adds a bunch of volume giving me a full glam look which is what I love. I often get asked what lashes I’m wearing and when I tell people that they’re my lashes you wouldn’t believe their faces! At only around $6 a tube, this stuff is unmatched. Great quality, great price, great lashes.

Gourmand Hair + Body Mist: Anyone else think that the best compliment ever is when someone tells you how good you smell!? I know that for me, it makes my confidence sky rocket! Ever since I have been using this hair and body mist, this compliment has been on repeat…and I couldn’t be happier about it! Special thanks to my sister Cammie for making me try out this spray! This mist comes in three scents, Fluer Monoï, Sel Ocean, and Pistachio Brûlée…all very different but all equally as amazing. Spritz this mist all over your body and in your hair for a scent that lasts all day! Reasonably priced at only $24 for 3.4 oz, this spray will be your new go-to scent!

TonyMoly I’m Real Sheet Mask: Recently, I’ve been trying to step up my skincare game. I wanted to start out doing a sheet mask at least once a week to ease into this new routine and I’m so glad I did! These TonyMoly masks have improved my skin more than I could imagine! Sunday night is dedicated to “me time” so while I’m unwinding on the couch watching Bravo, I put this sheet mask for about 15-20 min and relax. It is such a good way to refresh your skin for the upcoming week. It leaves your skin looking dewy, hydrated, and most importantly healthy. When removing the mask when the time is up, pat the excess serum left on your face into your skin so none of the good product goes to waste!

Fashion Favorites

Motorcycle Jacket: The fact that motorcycle jackets are one of Fall 2017’s biggest trends makes me the happiest! I got my first moto jacket back in the 8th grade and it has lasted me up until last year! In honor of them coming back into style, I decided that I needed a refresh on the jacket so I picked up a new one at Old Navy for a super reasonable price. I honestly can’t wait to sport it this upcoming season. The ways to style this jacket are endless. Throw it over a pair of skinny jeans and graphic tee for an effortlessly chic, cool look, or make it appear fancier by throwing it over a dress to give your look a bit of an edge. Personally, I can’t wait to wear it with a lace up tee, jean skirt and thigh high boots. It is the perfect transition piece from warmer weather into cooler weather with just enough weight to keep you warm, but not as heavy as an actual coat. I can’t wait to throw this jacket on for college football games!

Pops of Plaid: It’s time to channel your inner Alicia Silverstone…plaid is here to stay! Think total Clueless vibes, with plaid minis, blazers, and jackets! I’ve always loved the school girl prep look so I couldn’t be more excited to rock this trend this fall. I’m pumped to incorporate two trends into one look with a plaid mini skirt, black tee, and leather jacket thrown over my shoulders. Not only does this look make a trendy statement, but it screams fall! Make sure to check out your local thrift store for unique plaid finds at a price point that you simply cannot pass up.

Cherry Red: Get ready because Fall 2017 is going to be RED HOT! For the past few years, we have seen various shades of red, the most popular being burgundy. It’s time to let go of this subtle shade, and trade it in for something sexy and bold! Incorporate this color into your beauty routine by painting on a pair of rich red lips, step up your shoe game by making a serious statement with a pair of cherry heels or OTK boots, or go for a romantic look with a feminine, red, off the shoulder top! You certainly will stand out in the crowd in the best, most fashionable way! Red lipstick has always been a favorite of mine, so I can’t wait to wear this more than ever. I love Mac’s Russian Red lipstick the best! I’m also pining after a red coat…how gorgeous would that be!?

Dark Florals: I’ve always loved floral because I’m such a sucker for anything and everything girly! If it has flowers on it, I most definitely want it! Floral print is usually something we see during the warmer seasons, so the fact that this print is getting a fall makeover has me so thrilled! This trend is super wearable, so if you’re someone that likes to play it safe with fashion, but still wants to be a bit trendy, this is definitely the look for you. I can’t wait to style this trend by wearing a cold shoulder, dark floral print top with a pair of dark wash denim, leather booties, and bouncy waves!

The Bold Type: Ever since Jane by Design (shoutout to everyone who knows and misses this amazing show!) got canceled, I have been wishing and not so patiently waiting for a new fashion based fiction TV show to air! Until recently, I had no idea any fashion based fiction TV shows existed until I got a text message from my awesome friend Shelby that informed me that there was a new series that I absolutely had to see! The Bold Type follows the journey of three best friends in their 20’s living in NYC who work together at Scarlet Fashion Magazine (based off of Cosmo). The show highlights important issues happening in today’s society, romance, friendship, how to chase your dreams and tips on how to be a total #bosslady. You can catch this show on Freeform, airing Tuesday’s at 9pm. Just saying, Kat, the social media director at Scarlet has my TOTAL dream job!

I had so much fun writing this post! Let me know in the comments below if you would like to see more favorites posts in the future and/or if you tried/bought anything mentioned in the post! I would love to hear your thoughts!

xo, lexie