My Vitamin Routine

vitamin

It’s that time of year again where everyone seems to be getting sick. There is nothing worse than being sick when it’s the holidays and you have plans with family and friends. My friends know me as the girl who always gets sick, but ever since I’ve started taking the vitamin and supplements above I’ve been feeling great. Here are my favorites:

Olly Undeniable Beauty – This gummy vitamin not only tastes great but it’s a great beauty supplement to take. It has Biotin, Vitamin C and E and Borage Oil. All of these wonders help to make your hair and nails grow, and keeps your skin looking great. My hair has really been growing nicely ever since I started taking this.

Olly Hello Sunshine Vitamin D – A few months ago, my doctor told me I was deficient in Vitamin D. Shocking I know because I live in sunny California, but I’m not much of an outdoor person. He said my lack of Vitamin D could be a reason why I was always getting sick. After he told me this I went out and bought this Vitamin D gummy. I haven’t had a full blown sickness ever since. I’m seriously obsessed with this stuff!

VitaFusion MutiVites – This is a great multivitamin. It’s a complete multivitamin so it has all of the essential vitamins you need daily. I take two of these religiously. Not only that but the gummy’s taste really great. If you can’t tell, I’m a child and love my gummy vitamins.

Natural Factors Acidophilus & Bifidus – This is the newest addition to my vitamin routine. It’s a probiotic. I’m notorious for having stomach issues. After a bad fluke with some sort of food poisoning, I went out and bought these Probiotics. Probiotics are great for your gut. These specifically help to keep you regular, and help balance out your pH.

Source Naturals Wellness Formula – This stuff is a miracle worker. For real. It has about 100 different natural ingredients that help to boost the immune system. I don’t take these every day but whenever I start to feel a little run down, I take a couple of these throughout the day and the next day I feel amazing again. The only downsize is these pills are large and taste disgusting. But 100% worth it.

Vitality Works Oregano Oil – Oregano oil is another one of those miracle natural remedies. Oregano oil is antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory. Basically it’s a wonder drug. I had a friend turn me onto oregano oil a couple years ago and I have been obsessed ever since. Whenever I have a cold, I make sure to take this to help beat it fast.

What vitamins or supplements do you guys use? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Marble Phone Case with CaseApp

phoneTop: Zara // Jeans: Frame // Purse: Gucci // Rings: LVL Collective, BaubleBar {similar} // Phone Case: c/o CaseApp // Sunglasses: Boutique {similar} // Necklace: BaubleBar

Okay, I admit it. I have a slight marble obsession. If I could make my whole house marble, I would. That’s why it was no brainer to me that I should make a marble phone case. This way I can carry around a little bit of marble with me every where I go.

When I was first introduced to CaseApp, I immediately fell in love. CaseApp allows you to create custom iPhone cases and laptop skins. Their site is also incredibly easy to use. You can either chose from a pre-made design (like the marble I chose), or customize it with your own photos. You can add texts and clip art, and basically whatever else your heart desires. When I was creating my phone case on CaseApp, I decided to go with their classic marble design. It’s clean, simple and works in any setting. I’m seriously OBSESSED.

marble-phone-case

If you’re looking for a gift for this holiday season, check out CaseApp! Whether it’s a gift for your best friend, parents or even your significant other, CaseApp will help you find the perfect customized gift. I’m still debating getting another phone case from CaseApp with a picture of my dog Baguette…it would be so cute! If you want 20% off a fabulous custom case use code GIRLSBRUNCHXMAS20 at checkout! 20% off is such a steal! These cases are seriously so cute and so affordable!

marbleIf you end up getting a new phone case or laptop skin, tag me on Instagram @esthercollins. I would love to see them! Also, don’t forget to use my discount code GIRLSBRUNCHXMAS20 for 20% off your order! 

Thank you to CaseApp for partnering with me on this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Gilmore Girls Tag

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It’s that time!!! Thanksgiving is this week, which means that Gilmore Girls premieres on Friday! I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. My roommate and I have been binge watching the series in preparation of this weeks Gilmore Girls revival. Thank you Netflix for making this all possible! When I saw the Gilmore Girls tag on Reigning Beauty I knew I had to fill it out myself. Here are my answers to the Gilmore Girls tag. I tag all of you to answer these questions as well!

What was your first introduction to Gilmore Girls?
My best friend Cat was absolutely OBSESSED with the show. I watched it here and there with her but then in college I decided to binge watch, and I’ve been obsessed ever since.

Who is your favorite character and why?
I love Lorelai. I know, I know, what a basic answer. But she really is the best character. I love her witty come backs and her fast paced speeches. Even when she does something you disagree with you still can’t help but love her.

Are you on Team Jess, Dean or Logan?
Team Logan all the way! First off, look at Matt Czuchry. He’s hands down the hottest boyfriend. I also liked that he went to Yale with Rory, so he’s clearly smart. Logan also was a mixture of bad boy and sweetheart.

How many of the books have you read from Rory’s reading list?
Umm…probably only one or two that were school required. Oops.

Would you rather; only be allowed to drink coffee, or never be able to eat Pop Tarts again?
I don’t think I could survive on just coffee so I would have to unfortunately never eat a Pop Tart again.

Who is your least favorite character?
Taylor. Granted he’s supposed to be annoying, but I feel how Luke feels anytime Taylor talks.

Are you on Team Luke or Team Christopher?
Okay this is a tough one because I really love them both. However, if I had to pick I would be Team Christopher. Christopher will always be Rory’s father and it would have just made the family complete. Also there’s so much history with Lorelai, and her parents love him. Plus, have you seen him? He’s definitely a DILF.

If you went to Stars Hollow, where would you most like to visit?
Luke’s Diner for some coffee and a burger.

What would you steal from the Gilmore Girls set?
Probably one of those giant mugs from Luke’s Diner.

Finally, what do you hope happens in the revival?
I hope all the characters are happy and established in their lives. I also just really want to see Logan.

5 Easy Ways to Drink More Water

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We’ve all heard it before, our bodies are made up of mostly water. Water is crucial for your health, both internally and externally. I used to struggle HARD with drinking enough water. As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized how important drinking enough water is to my body. Not only does it help clear your skin, it also helps to flush out all the gunk in your body. I’ve noticed on days I don’t drink enough water, I feel lethargic and my skin feels dry. Let’s be real, no one wants that. Here are a few tips that can help you drink more water daily.

1. Infuse your water with fruits

This is one of the easiest ways to make your water more fun. My friends at Live Infinitely have this awesome 32 ounce fruit infuser water bottle that’s perfect for infusing water on the go. I love this water bottle because it’s super cute with the fun colors, and it’s large enough to fit a lot of fruits and veggies. Some of my favorite combos are strawberry + raspberry (pictured above), strawberry + basil, cucumber + lime, and orange + lemon. For a chance to win one of your own fruit infused water bottles, check out my Instagram for a giveaway!

2. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning

Drink a big glass of water as soon as you wake up. Make it become a habit so you don’t even think about it. Eventually your body will start to crave water as soon as you wake up. Also, drinking a glass of water is a great way to get things moving, if you know what I mean.

3. Sip before every meal

Whenever you go to a restaurant, you’ll always find have a nice glass of water at the table. Drink as much of the water as you can before your meal. Not only will this help you not to overeat, it will also just become a good habit.

4. Choose sparkling water

If you’re anything like me, I love soda. I know, I know, soda is terrible for you but sometimes you just want that fizz. A great alternative is sparking water. I love the La Croix brand, they have some amazing flavors! It’s a great way to get your daily water intake, but also replaces that soda craving.

5. Eat water-based foods

Many fruits and veggies are filled with water. Some of my favorites are watermelon, cucumber and grapefruit. Add some into your daily meals, and you’ve got some added water!

Be sure to check out my Instagram to see how you can win your own Live Infinitely water bottles!

Weekend Reading #23

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#23 my favorite number! So this should be a good one! I’m still recovering from Halloween weekend. I went about non-stop for 6 days, but it was all in good fun. I got to see Ingrid Michaelson in concert again last week which was INCREDIBLE! I absolutely love her. If you’ve heard of her or even if you haven’t, go listen to her new album. It’s fire. With all that being said and done, I’m excited to do nothing this weekend. Maybe I’ll do a little cleaning and cooking at the house this weekend, but I can’t wait to just chill. What are you guys doing this weekend?

1. Habits of a financially smart woman.

2. ClassPass is ending their unlimited classes.

3. Should you cut out nightshades too?

4. Best dessert options in LA, need to try them all!

5. I made these brussel sprouts and they are the BOMB.com.

6. Spiralized butternut squash? Yes, please.

7. This is why you weigh less in the mornings.

8. How does your November horoscope look?

9. Shopping is now coming to Instagram.

10. Netflix is working on going “offline”.

 

Brunch Diaries: Annie Spano from Style Collective

annie-spano

Hi loves! I’ve decided to start a new series on the blog called “Brunch Diaries”. The Brunch Diaries will consist of a Q&A with influential and inspiring individuals. We’re going to be talking to them about everything, from career, social life and you guessed it… brunch. As I was thinking about who I wanted to interview for this new series, Annie Spano immediately popped into mind. Annie is not only a childhood friend (she used to babysit me, and is my best friend Catherine’s big sis) but she’s also a major #girlboss. In the past year alone, she has started two companies; The Lovely Girl and Style Collective. If you don’t believe me, just keep reading.

CAREER LIFE:

What made you start The Lovely Girl and Style Collective?
Style Collective was formed as a reaction to an experience that should never happen to other women. In late 2015, I left my corporate job after being bullied and harassed by another woman in the workplace. The experience had left me feeling defeated and emotionally drained. I really wished that there was a better way for women to work together and help each other achieve success.

During this time, I had started The Lovely Girl as a creative outlet and became friendly with other female influencers. I started a chat group with my new friends to share ideas and support each other with the intent of promoting community over competition. The result was amazing – not only did everyone eagerly share their blogging tips and tricks to help each other grow, but also we formed friendships that added a meaningful dimension to what we already loved doing. Our small group quickly grew into a large influencer network that was officially incorporated as Style Collective LLC in early 2016. It’s been a wild ride for sure!

What has been the hardest thing about starting your own company?
The hardest thing about starting my own company has been wearing ALL of the hats and doing everything. There is literally not enough time in the day to do it all, so you have to prioritize and be smart with the money that’s coming in. I’m lucky enough that I’ve been able to save up so that I can now delegate and reinvest for some big projects that I’m working on for this fall. Balancing a personal life with a startup is my other struggle. When Cat came to visit, I was on the phone with AmEx for an hour trying to get setup as a merchant because AmEx transactions were getting declined. My payment processor never told me that I needed to setup a whole separate account for that. It’s these little things that drag you down and you have to fix immediately, that’s stressful and hard to manage at times. You have to work whenever you can fit it in.

What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
In business school my strategy professor talked about this quote in class. It’s so good and really give you good perspective! “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

Who inspires you?
I love Ivanka Trump because she built a fashion and lifestyle brand that is founded on empowering the multifaceted working woman. She wants success for other women just as much as she wants it for herself. Her articles are relevant, inspiring and just really refreshing. She understands driven, goal-oriented millennial women and strives to empower them through her brand. I just love that.

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SOCIAL LIFE:

Where is your favorite place to brunch?
There is this AMAZING hipster place in Portsmouth, NH called The Friendly Toast. It’s crazy inside and they have the best brunch food. Huge portions and really chill. I love going there when people come visit.

Dress up, or dress down?
Dress up.

Favorite place to go for a night out?
Netflix and chill. JK. I just found out what that means last week LOL. I love going to Blue Moon Evolution for dinner and drinks. I’m over 30 now so that’s what I call a night out LOL.

Favorite cocktail?
Vodka soda with a splash of cranberry and lime.

annie

FASHION AND BEAUTY LIFE: 

Favorite item in your makeup bag?
I literally just bought this new Tarte gel foundation and it is life changing. It has taken me 31 years to find my holy grail foundation.

If you could only bring 3 items to a deserted island, what would they be?
Coffee, phone and my hubby for company.

How would you describe your style?
Classic/Preppy.

Best beauty hack?
I learned about baking my makeup this past June! This is my favorite tutorial.

brunch-diaries-annie

REAL LIFE:

Favorite cause/charity?
Foundation for Women’s Cancer. I ran a fundraiser last month so that I could donate in memory of my Mom.

What’s the one thing you cannot live without?
Coffee. 

Where is one place you would love to travel to?
Europe! Italy and Paris are high on my list.

What’s next?
Everything! The sky is the limit and I want to do it all.

Be sure to check out Annie’s blog The Lovely Girl, and her company Style Collective. Also be sure to follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

 

Weekend Reading #22

weekendIt’s the weekend, yay! This week was crazy busy for me so it seemed to fly by! Last weekend was jam packed with my friend Amy visiting. We ran around all of LA, including seeing the Venice Canals in the picture above. How pretty, right?! Serious GOALS for one day. This weekend I’m going to try to keep it a little more low key and catch up on some much needed sleep. My roommate and I are taking a spin class tomorrow at Cycle House, bright and early! I’ve been seriously slacking on working out lately so I’m hoping this will kick my butt into shape. What are your plans for this weekend?

1. Do your friends actually like you?

2. Is salad making you fat?

3. The ultimate anti-inflammatory meal.

4. 9 tips for more energy.

5. Never post this pic while traveling.

6. 11 times you should skip the gym.

7. Totally crushing on this bag right now.

8. Hair products you need.

9. How to remove every type of stain.

10. Obsessed with Sophia Bush, and her new home.

 

Hiking Headband

albion

Headband: Albion c/o // Sunglasses: Ray-Ban // Top: Adidas // Pants: Alo Yoga // Shoes: Nike

This past weekend, my friend Amy visited me from New York. She loves to be active, especially when traveling somewhere new. She asked if we could hike Parker Mesa Overlook in the Pacific Palisades. A little nervous about the hike (it was a 6 mile hike!), I obliged. I’m happy I did because the view at the end was incredible! This was honestly one of the most stunning views in LA. It overlooks the water, and you can see all of Los Angeles as well. It was well worth the struggle I had during the hike.

Normally when I hike, I like to just throw on whatever is comfortable and weather appropriate. Since I wore an all black outfit, I decided to spice it up with this super cute headband from Albion! It adds such a chic element to my otherwise very plain outfit. Lucky for you guys, my friends at Albion has given GWB readers 15% off any purchase using the code: ESTHERCOLLINS. So go check out out Albion. I’m absolutely obsessed with their stuff! I especially love this swimsuit, and these workout shorts (that also match the headband!).

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headband

 

A Day At The Getty

gettyShirt: H&M   // Jeans: Frame Denim {similar} // Bag: Gucci {similar} // Sunglasses: Foster Grant {similar} // Necklace: LVL Collective {similar}  and BaubleBar // Ring: LVL Collective // Earrings: Anita Ko // Shoes: Anthropologie {similar}

Last week my mom came to town which was super exciting because it had been a couple years since she was in LA. Most of the week we just hung out around the house while my mom cooked all of my favorite home cooked meals (#winning)! On the last day of her trip, my roommates and I took her to The Getty museum. We went to the Brentwood location, not the Malibu one. This was my first time at The Getty. I had heard great things from a lot of people, but I was still shocked to see how beautiful the grounds were. The Getty has one of the most spectacular views of all of LA.

getty-view

While at The Getty, we checked out one of the buildings with paintings and photography. We saw Monet and Van Gough paintings, which were really awesome to see up close. After checking out the artwork, we walked over to the garden. The garden was so beautiful, serious GOALS. The scenery was incredible. I enjoyed walking around and just looking at the architecture of the buildings just as much as the artwork inside of them.

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If you like museums and are in the LA area, I highly recommend checking out The Getty. I would definitely go back again and check out some of their other exhibits!

getty-garden

roommates-at-getty

My Review: Whole 30 Diet – Why I Tried It and Why I Quit Early

egg bake

I hate dieting. It’s something I’ve never really done, or stuck to for more than a week or so. One of my friends told me about Whole 30 and how she lost a ton of weight doing it. I thought, hey maybe this is something I could do. I enlisted my two roommates to join me on this crazy diet and August 1, we decided to go for it.

What is Whole 30?

Whole 30 is technically not a diet, but “a way of life” as the creators call it. It’s basically an elimination diet for 30 days. Here are the rules:

-No sugar
-No dairy
-No grains
-No legumes
-No alcohol

Now, that’s a pretty extensive list of what NOT to eat. Not to mention all of those categories are daily staples in my diet. So now that I listed what you can NOT eat, here is what you can eat: whole foods; vegetables, fruits, and protein (meats and seafood). That’s about it. Also, another rule of Whole 30 was you shouldn’t snack. They wanted you to eat 3 meals a day, breakfast lunch and dinner. That’s it. Did I follow this? No. And I’ll tell you why below.

And so it begins…

The first day I thought, wow this is a piece of cake. I can totally do this. I was excited to try this new diet out and more excited to see the end results. But then day two rolled around and I was already starting to regret it. I had BAD cravings. I realized I was seriously addicted to sugar. Not to mention all I wanted was an ooey-gooey cheese quesadilla. The first week was rough, and even the second week was pretty bad. Every day was OK until I hit around dinner time. I’m a huge snacker, with a big sweet tooth. After dinner, I’m always craving some sort of dessert. I substituted my usual desserts with a lot of fruit. Now, I know snacking isn’t a part of Whole 30, but I had to, I was driving myself nuts with the sugar cravings.

The good, the bad and the ugly.

Around the beginning of week two I started to feel a little lighter. Maybe I’m losing weight, I thought. This could all be worth it! Then a couple days later, I felt so bloated and gross. My body was certainly going through a big adjustment period with all the whole foods I was eating. A lot of people mention having extra energy while on Whole 30, I unfortunately didn’t experience this. If anything, I felt more tired. One of my roommates agreed with me on the lack of energy, while the other was the complete opposite. I also had weird food dreams, almost daily. My one roommate said she also had weird food dreams about cheating and eating something she shouldn’t have. It’s crazy to see how much restricting yourself on the foods you normally eat can affect your psyche.

At the half way mark of Day 16, we all decided to weigh ourselves. You’re technically not supposed to weigh yourself until the end of the 30 days, but we were dying to know if this was working. When I stepped on the scale, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had lost 7 pounds. Woohoo! But here’s where is went down hill. A week later on Day 22, I decided to weigh myself again. I thought, this is great I lost 7 pounds in the first two weeks I surely lost a few more pounds. Nope. I lost .2 pounds. In one week. Granted, I did cheat one night at the movies with a pack of Sour Patch Kids, but I highly doubt that was that detrimental. I had plateaued. My friend who had previously done this diet also told me that she plateaued after the first couple of weeks.

How cheating lead to quitting.

Day 25 was the day I ended my diet. I know, I know, I was so close to the end. But at this point, I knew my body had already plateaued and I probably wouldn’t lose much more weight. And by this point I was hating my life, and this diet. I had never been so restrictive on myself before, and honestly I hated it. On Day 25, it all started with a coworker bringing in donuts. We had meetings all day and donuts are one of my favorite snacks. I was stressed and depressed from not eating sugar and I caved. I had a donut. And honestly, it was worth it. Then that night, we had a work dinner at Baltaire (if you live in LA and haven’t been to Baltaire’s yet, you are seriously missing out). My boss ordered us the lobster mac and cheese for the table, knowing it’s one of my favorites. Seriously, it’s the best mac and cheese in all of LA. Once again, I just couldn’t resist. I already cheated earlier in the day, why not just keep it going. The next day, the same thing happened. We had leftover donuts and leftover mac and cheese. At this point I decided, I was done with this diet.

After eating pretty crappy for a couple of days, I decided to step back on the scale. For sure I had gained atleast half of my weight back, I thought. But to my surprise, I had only gained half a pound back.

mango chia seed popsicle

Overall thoughts.

Did I enjoy the Whole 30 diet? Yes, and no. Yes, to the fact that I had lost 7 pounds. I was able to squeeze into my favorite pair of jeans that I hadn’t been able to wear in a year. But, other than that no. I really hated being so restrictive on myself. I also hated that it really took a toll on my social life. I couldn’t go out to eat with my friends, like I normally would. And our weekends, were pretty much just sitting at home watching Netflix wishing we could eat some Ben and Jerry’s.

What I did enjoy about Whole 30 however, was learning to cook more. With the Whole 30 diet, you really have to prepare all of your meals. While this is tiring and can get old fast, I did find some really yummy recipes that I will definitely make again. My favorite go-tos for this diet was a Breakfast Chili (thanks Amy for sharing!) and Frozen Mango and Chia Popsicles (image above).

Moving forward, I definitely want to continue to eat healthier than I used to, but certainly not as restrictive as this diet. Have you guys tried the Whole 30 Diet? Let me know what you guys think in the comments below!