Thistle Review

Thistle Review

Okay, I’m going to be straight up with you. When it comes to dieting, I suck at meal prep. I love to cook, but for some reason I have an aversion to cooking healthy meals all week long. So since I’m going to Hawaii for a wedding in a few days I decided to try two weeks of Thistle. Thistle is a meal delivery service based out of San Francisco. They provide healthy plant-based meals delivered straight to your door. For my first week I decided to get the lunch and dinner option + a latte and snack each day. The reason I didn’t get the breakfast is I normally don’t eat breakfast and I usually try to intermittent fast until lunch. (But question ya’ll: I recently heard intermittent fasting isn’t good for girls to do every day because of our hormones, anyone have any more info on this? Let me know in the comments below!)

Vegan meals are priced at $11.99 each if you get 5 delivery days. If you want meat in your meals it’s a couple dollars extra. Snacks and lattes were $6 each. Now onto the meal reviews.

The lattes each morning was really just a cold brew with their homemade almond milk. Okay, I’m going to be honest here; I didn’t love this. It didn’t taste as fresh to me. But I’m also not the biggest fan of cold brew. When they said it was a latte I was expecting an actual iced latte with espresso. So after my first week of lattes, I decided to take this off my meal plan for the next week.

The lunches were all salads, which I think is great. I love bringing a salad to work because it’s easy and you don’t have to heat it up. The salad options they have were all very unique and not the typical salads you would make at home. This made me feel a lot better about paying the $11.99 for the salad. It was basically like getting a salad from someplace like Sweetgreen. Overall, they were very tasty. My favorite salad that I got was Waldorf Salad with Tarragon Navy Beans – it was delish!

The dinners were all so unique. They were not just like your typical healthy salad meals. All of them required some heating up in a pan before eating. Some of the types of meals I got were Charred Scallion Sesame Veg and Bean Thread Noodle Bowl with Garlic Marinated Tofu and also the Sweet Potato and Lentil Bowl with Sweet Pepper Relish and Lemon-Herb Avocado Sauce. They were all pretty tasty and so unique in flavors.

The snacks varied each day as well. One day I got an almond hemp bar, another day I got hummus and veggies. The snacks were all tasty, but they were also similar to snacks I could put together myself. That is why for week 2 I decided to omit the snacks.

Overall, I really enjoyed the two weeks I used Thistle. Sadly, I only lost 1 pound using the meal service. But I did feel great eating healthy meals all week. I think this meal service is great for busy people who don’t have time to cook during the week or for those of you who just don’t like to cook. The meals itself were very unique and tasty and I would definitely get it again especially for lunch!

If you guys want to try Thistle and get 2 meals for free, use code: ESTHER180.

Weekend Reading #43

1. These foods help fight belly fat.

2. I need to go to these restaurants at the Almalfi coast!

3. Fun things to do this summer by yourself.

4. The best ways to manage stress.

5. Julia has THE CUTEST back patio for entertaining!

6. I love seeing house tours, including this one!

7. What’s the best way to remove body hair?

8. 5 basics that every girl should invest in.

9. Art hanging mistakes and how to avoid them.

10. Wedding guest outfits that make the bride cringe.

 

 

What I Got from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

nordstrom anniversary sale

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is going on from now until August 5th. I ended up caving and getting the Nordstrom credit card to shop the sale early (shopaholic problems!). I only received the two items in the picture above so far but I wanted to share with you the other items that I got in case you all were curious! Act fast if you want any of these because the items are selling out fast! There were a lot of items I wanted to get from the sale but they sadly sold out before I was able to get my hands on them.

Here are the items I got, along with a few extra I was eying! If you guys got anything from the anniversary sale, I would love to see! Let me know in the comments below or tag me on Insta! @esthercollins

 

How to Style a Bridal Hair Piece for Everyday

bridal hair piece

A couple weeks ago my friend Shirley reached out to me to tell me about a new company her mom and her just started. Shirley and I interned together at Burberry in NYC seven years ago, can you believe it?! I feel old. LOL. Anyways, when Shirley told me about her new ventures, I was so excited because I think it’s something you guys will love! Shirley’s new line is called Shirley and Audrey and they sell accessories for the modern bride. Now you might be thinking “Esther, I’m not getting married…”. Well girl, neither am I. But these items are so beautiful that you can wear them on your wedding day, or even just out to an event!

I got the hair wreath in Mary, and I wore it to a charity event I went to. I wore it like a headband and tied it in the back. It went so perfectly with what I was wearing and really elevated the outfit. Not to mention, I got tons of compliments on it! I think a hair wreath like this would be so perfect for any event where you need to dress up a little bit, or could even be used as a fancier “flower crown” for something like Coachella!

Whether you are a bride, or just a girl looking for some beautiful items to jazz up your hairdo, go check out Shirley and Audrey. Their quality is AMAZING and all the items are simply beautiful!

For Girls Who Brunch readers, Shirley was kind enough to offer 10% off anything on their website with code GWB10. Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram at @esthercollins because I will be giving away one of these hair wreaths there!

Summer Wish List

It’s officially summer! Summer is my favorite season, and what’s even better is summer clothing! I’ve really been wanting to revamp my wardrobe this summer. Do you ever just get tired of looking at the clothes in your closet? I feel like I want to throw everything out and start over, but let’s be realistic…I don’t have the budget for that LOL. That being said, a girl can dream. So if I could, these would be the items I would purchase to revamp my entire wardrobe.

Tops

Bottoms

Shoes

Accessories

 

What is on your wish list for summer? Let me know in the comments below!

Weekend Reading #42

Shirt: Lulus {similar} // Jeans: American Eagle // Belt: Gucci // Sunglasses: Burro {similar}

1. Recipes to reduce belly fat.

2. Do crystals work for everyone?

3. There is a $2 section on Amazon, say what?

4. How to get stains out of everything.

5. A genetic test could help determine which antidepressant to take.

6. How to prevent wrinkles when traveling.

7. What Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment would look like today.

8. Hacks for better sleep.

9. Instagram hack for more likes.

10. Smoothie ingredients that help you lose weight.

 

 

Thrive Market Haul

Thrive Market

Hi everyone! Today I wanted to share with you guys the items I got from Thrive Market. This is not a sponsored post, I just wanted to share it with you all because I love to see what others are buying! Thrive Market is an online grocery story that sells all things healthy at a slightly lower price. I love it because it’s so easy to shop, and it’s also great for the lazy girls like me because you don’t have to actually go into a store. I get some basics from Thrive, but I also like to try some new healthy snacks as well because they’re usually cheaper than someplace like Whole Foods. Okay, let’s get started with what I got.

Thrive Market Cacao Powder: Thrive has their own brand of foods, which is great because the quality is amazing but it’s at a lower price point. I’ve been wanting to get cacao powder to put into my smoothies and baked goods. This is a HUGE bag and will last me a long time.

Thrive Market Almond Flour: I’ve never used almond flour, but a lot of the baked recipes I’ve been seeing in Candice Kumai’s new book, or from the Tone It Up girls call for almond flour. I decided to buy it on Thrive because it’s cheaper.

Hu Cashew Butter and Pure Vanilla Bean Dark Chocolate: Simply Quinoa on YouTube put this in one of her Thrive Market hauls and said it was delicious, so I had to give this a try. She was not kidding. This stuff is BOMB.com. If you like dark chocolate, you’ll love these.

Quinoa Flakes: This was another item I saw from Simply Quinoa. She uses quinoa flakes in some of her recipes. I have never tried quinoa flakes but they look good, so I decided to get these to try out.

Coconut Aminos: This is basically a healthier soy sauce. I’m asian so I obviously love my soy sauce, but it’s not the greatest thing for you. I like to use coconut aminos in conjunction to soy sauce. Say a recipe calls for 2 tbsp of soy sauce, I will sub one of them out for coconut aminos. It still tastes great, but is slightly better for you.

Thrive Market Spirulina Powder: Spirulina power is an amazing superfood. It’s great for detoxing the body, and also has a lot of great minerals and vitamins. I’m going to be adding these to my smoothies for some added benefit!

Aduki Beans: There is a brownie recipe in Candice Kumai’s book that calls for aduki beans, so I had to get some to try out.

Cotton Rounds: I ran out, so why not just add these to my order.

Coconut Wraps: These were a free gift from Thrive with my purchase. I’m excited to try these out in replace of wraps.

There you guys have it! If you’ve ever ordered from Thrive Market, I would love to know what ya’ll get in the comments below!

What Anxiety Looks Like

What Anxiety Looks LikeI’m sitting down on my couch right now with a green juice (so LA I know) trying to figure out where to even start with this post. I’ve been wanting to write this post for months, but I wasn’t sure if I should write about something I hadn’t conquered yet. But as I thought more and more about it, I really want to write this post for you. For that person that’s going through the same things I am. For that person that is unsure what the heck is going on with their minds and body. I want to write this for you.

So let’s start at the beginning. Growing up I was always a social person. I was the girl that was always making plans with people, going to parties (if you knew me in college then it was throwing the parties). I’ve always been a planner, but I wouldn’t consider myself type A. I’m messy and disorganized but I always wanted to know what was going to happen. I would have never considered myself an anxious person. That was until last year.

Last August I had four friends from both college and home visit me for a weekend. Everything was going great, we were having fun running around LA, going to the beach, eating out etc. Everything was great until after dinner I got home and I tried to take a power nap before going out that night. As I laid down, I started to feel like I couldn’t breath. Panic set in and I started to have a full blown panic attack. I grabbed one of my roommates (the one I usually counted on during crisis mode) and started freaking out. What was going on? I felt like I was dying. Was I dying? Am I having a heart attack? I honestly didn’t know what was going on. Finally after few minutes of a super intense panic attack I started to feel a little better. My friends tried to distract me and after a couple of hours, I was able to get back to normal.

As the days went on after that, I started to think more and more about my panic attacks. Becoming fearful of it happening again. And sure enough, it did. My panic attacks started happening more frequently but soon they just started to feel like an overwhelming feeling of anxiety. My chest felt tight, I had trouble breathing. It started to get to the point where anytime I would be out to eat, I would start to feel a panic attack coming on, so I couldn’t eat. And if ya’ll know me, you know I love to eat. I couldn’t sleep at night, I started waking up every few hours feeling like something was wrong. I had never felt that kind of pain before. I was unable to sleep for about two weeks, I couldn’t eat – I ended up losing 10+ pounds in a couple of weeks, I wasn’t able to focus at work. Everything made me feel panicked. I would spend hours a day crying to myself, or my dad or boyfriend. There were nights where I would wake my boyfriend up in the middle of the night just hysterically crying because something was wrong, and I didn’t know why. My symptoms started to get so bad that my dad literally flew out to LA from NY to take care of me. (ps: thank you dad, you seriously are the best dad ever.) I honestly thought I was going to have to be hospitalized because I didn’t think I could go through the pain any longer. Not eating, not sleeping, constantly feeling like you’re going to die seriously takes a huge toll on you. I didn’t know what it was but something in my body just felt wrong.

I was seeing a therapist, a psychiatrist, my primary care doctor, a gastro, pretty much everyone I could get my hands on I saw. Something had to be wrong with me. What I was feeling was not normal. Every doctor came back with the same diagnosis…you have anxiety.

But what was causing my anxiety? It started when I had friends visiting, friends whom I love and were so excited to see. I was in the beginning stages of a new relationship with a great guy, I had a great job, I had friends I was hanging out with constantly. Everything seemed perfect. Everything except my anxiety. To be honest I’ve spent the past 10 months in therapy trying to figure out what caused this. And sure, there were definitely triggers, but there was also a chemical imbalance in my brain. Because of that I went on medication. I was prescribed a low dose of an SSRI and to be honest I was scared shitless to start taking it. I didn’t want to be “that crazy girl” or be seen as weak or incompetent. But to be honest what really helped was talking to my friends, my boyfriend and even my boss. I was surprised to find out that I wasn’t the only person that’s ever gone through this. Many people that I knew personally, that I never would have imagined them having gone through what I went through told me “yeah, I’ve been on meds before and it helped.” I can do a whole other post of what my experience on meds were like, just let me know in the comments below if that is something you guys would be interested in.

I started taking my meds, I went home to stay with my parents for about a week and I just continued trying to take it a day at a time. Slowly…really slowly things started to get better. Eventually I was able to start eating again, and sleeping again and things just started to feel a little bit more normal.

I still suffer from anxiety and it’s been a tough 9 months for me. I’ve had a lot of changes going on, I went through a breakup, I moved out of my apartment, I lost some friends. There are good days and there are bad days. I still have some of those terrible days where I feel so anxious it feels like I’m having a heart attack. But there are things I do to try to calm myself down. Nothing has been as bad as that first month dealing with anxiety has been. I’m still on the medication, I’m still in therapy and it’s a slow journey but I’m hopeful that one day I’ll look back at it and just realized how it’s helped me to grow.

I want to continue sharing my journey with you guys and have this be a resource for anyone that is going through anxiety or depression. Unfortunately it’s a wide spread issue that not many people like talking about. But I want to be there for you. This has been my personal journey dealing with anxiety. Not everyone’s experience with anxiety will look the same as mine. No matter what you are going through, whatever pain you are feeling; that pain is real. And I want to let you know that I understand that pain, however different it may look. I know this is a super deep topic and my blog has been very light and fun and I still want to show you guys those elements as well, but I also want to open it up with the truth. And the truth is, I have anxiety.

Weekend Reading #41

1. How to combat your anxiety.

2. These drinks are causing you bloating.

3. Foods to avoid before bed.

4. How much you should tip hotel housekeeping.

5. Ways to be happier.

6. Skincare tips from the pros.

7. Gotta try this chickpea cauliflower curry.

8. Skin cancer prevention tips.

9. Mistakes and lessons from your twenties.

10. Queer Eye season 2 is coming and I am PUMPED!

 

Also, Nordstrom is having their half-yearly sale! Here are some of my favorites from the sale if you guys want to shop my picks below!

 

Summer Reading List

summer reading list

Okay, this is kind of sad to admit but after I graduated college I stopped reading books. I used to be such a book nerd growing up (my bed frame was a bookcase!). But ever since I could remember I haven’t been able to finish a book. I’d get major ADD and read about half of a book then just forget about it. That was until recently. I’ve finished two books in the past couple of months, which I know isn’t a lot but for me it is! Now I’m on a reading kick so I wanted to share with you guys what I’ve read and what I’m about to read!

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari: This book came out a while ago but after watching Aziz’s comedy specials I had to give this a try. This book is pretty educational considering Aziz is a comedian. He goes to different places around the world and studies how people date, both in the past and present. If you’re currently trying to navigate this terrible dating world we live in, like me, then definitely give this book a read! It’s got some pretty interesting insight.

Bachelor Nation by Amy Kaufman: If you know me by now you know I’m obsessed with the Bachelor. Obsessed is in understatement. As soon as I heard this book was coming out I had to pre-order it. This goes behind the scenes of the Bachelor from even before it’s inception. It’s an easy read and highly entertaining!

Kintsugi Wellness by Candice Kumai: I heard about Candice through The Skinny Confidential podcast. Listening to her speak about this book immediately made me go out on Amazon and purchase it. I just started reading it the other day so I can’t say much about it yet but I can’t wait to continue reading it. It’s part a self-help, acceptance book and part a cook book. There’s a matcha chocolate chip cookie recipe in there I CAN’T WAIT to try!

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle: This book is something my dad purchased for me while I was struggling hard with my anxiety (thanks Dad!). I have a really hard time on focusing on the present so hopefully this book will help!

What are you guys currently reading? Let me know in the comments below!