Hi there and Happy Friday!
I’m about to head out to work an early shift at the studio, but I wanted to check in with a fresh round of Friday Favorites before I do. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to chat faves with y’all, so this post is all about catching up with a peek into some beauty faves at the bottom.
I hope you enjoy reading about the latest adventures and updates, and please let me know what you’ll be up to this weekend in the comments, too!
Blog Travel, Running and Holiday Beauty Favorites
- NOW Immersion Trip
Late last month, I traveled to Chicago for a quick trip with Now Foods. I was part of an Immersion that was filled with food, fitness, and friends along the way!
It was a short and jam-packed 36 hours, and there was an “Iron Chef” competition to get to shortly after I arrived. We had the pleasure of hearing from the CEO, Jim Emme, learning some cooking tips from “Masterchef” Suzy Singh, and participating in a friendly competition to create an entrée and cocktail/mocktail from scratch out of the ingredients presented to us. We had thirty minutes to do so, and it was a challenge for sure! But we had so much fun.
The next day started early Tabata-style workout with Kasey. We got into a serious sweat, and it was a killer set of circuits that had us all thankful for the stretch at the end. Smoothie bowls were waiting for us after, and then we had some time to regroup and get ready for the main events, with a full tour of the NOW plant on deck.
Specific outfits were required that included an outer layer of a coat, hairnet, glasses, gloves, and shoe covers. They take safety seriously, and I learned so much about the brand, the food, the products, and how it’s all distributed.
You can see videos following the whole trip under the “Events” Highlight on Instagram, and I planned on sharing more information here. My biggest takeaway is how important it is to know what is in the food and products you’re consuming and where it comes from.
Other things I now know about NOW:
- They sell so much more than supplements and protein powders! The name hints to it, but there’s also a complete line of natural foods, essential oils, beauty & health products, and even a pet health line.
- They focus on high quality, safe, and effective products and to make them accessible to anyone with their price point. They take the word natural and really focus on that, with a transparent ingredient list as well as the production atmosphere.
- Their gluten-free line looks so good. And tasty. For real.
- You can find some of their products in Whole Foods, order them online, or even get them on Amazon!
- The Red Dragon Fruit Chips are ridiculously delicious and equally addicting.
- Their Nutty Infusions Nut Butters are magical. I’ve been using them like I would use peanut butter on toast and as a dip, but I never thought of adding them to recipes. Holy yum!
- Quality testing is a key success to their brand. They perform over 1,600 tests per month to make sure ingredients are safe and secure from qualified suppliers. They go to each one and perform on-site audits to make sure there aren’t any harmful contaminants. They also do an extensive allergy testing process and additional tests once they arrive. If any specifications aren’t met, the materials are sent back to the vendor.
- They really listen to their customers for feedback and suggestions to improve their products.
- NOW spends more on quality control versus marketing. Companies typically send testing out to third parties, but they want to control the quality and include a tedious testing process both in and out of the plant.
After our plant tour, we went upstairs to a beautifully catered lunch. We participated in a lunch and learn presentation to understand more about their beauty products, oils, and things that they are working on in the near future. We got to sample their products and also make two DIY recipes for a pumpkin sugar scrub and yoga mat spray, both of which are super easy and amazing.
We closed out our time together with a Slow Flow Yoga session led by Jaime, and it was the perfect outro. We got a little too into our photos by spelling out “N-O-W” with our bodies. I loved this group.
After spending a few days learning all about what goes behind trusting what you’re buying to consume, it really makes me stand true to my transition into switching to safer, cleaner products.
I also loved hearing that they’re a family-owned company and never implement employee lay-offs, even if the job is no longer needed. We met several bubbly workers that have been there for decades!
Thank you so much for the insight and fun times had by all, NOW and Fit Approach!
- latest workouts
I’ve been sharing a lot of new, original strength workouts that I’ve been doing on my Instagram and Facebook stories. In case you’ve missed them, you can find them under the “Fitness” Highlight and screenshot to save them.
When I’m not taking an Orangetheory Fitness workout, I’ve been taking advantage of the gym daycare at our local YMCA and enjoying some solo gym time. I’m not planning my workouts ahead of time, but that might change soon. For the time being, I do what feels needed (intuitive working out?) and generally have a total body focus with a start or finish on a cardio machine like the treadmill, bike, stairs, or elliptical.
Here are some of the latest workouts that I’ve shared!
Make sure to follow along for more gym time inspiration. Also, I used to share a lot of cardio focused workouts back in the day. Do you have an interest in seeing these again?
- Brooks Spring Preview & Waterfront Run
Speaking of cardio workouts, I sure got a good one a few weeks ago and never highlighted it here on the blog. After a long hiatus due to pregnancy and postpartum recovery, I was excited to get an invite to preview a sneak peek at the new Spring 2020 retail and test run the new Ghost 12 Women’s Road Running Shoes with Brooks!
I am very much loving these shoes, as they feel extra supportive and cushioned without a bulkiness. I felt great running our 4.1 mile loop around Manhattan, and have been wearing them at the gym nonstop. I don’t typically like to wear running shoes for floor exercises, but I’m finding these to be a good mix of supportive, yet slim enough to get me through weight circuits and strength exercises without feeling too weighed down.
Also, I can’t move on to the next point without mentioning the views around our waterfront loop. We set out towards the Hudson River Park right as the sun was setting and it was gorgeous!
Thank you for reminding me why I run outside, Brooks. It was a wonderful night that had me in my #runhappy place for sure!
- Beautycounter Holiday
I know it’s only October, but the holidays will be here before we know it! This week, I learned just how quickly the end of the year is approaching with the Beautycounter Holiday Launch. There are some really great must-have products this season, and here’s a little preview!
Just like anything, you can go big and purchase a lot of your gifts (for loved ones and yourself), or pick and choose your favorite few items. Eleven of the sets are under $50, and you can check out the full 16 set collection here!
My Favorite Products/Gift Breakdown:
Jellies: Do these speak to your inner 90’s kid or what? I am in love with this safer version of the juicy we used to know and love, and I think they will be a top seller for adults and gifts for teens, too. (5 pack – $39)
Pout Perfecter Lip Care Set: A stick lip protector with a formula that helps reduce fine lines … yup. It exfoliates your lips with organic sugar. The gloss in this set also moisturizes and nourishes your lips. (3 full-size products – $49)
The Rosewood Lip Trio is worth mentioning because that gloss has been a huge hit in the past! They created a Sheer and Color Intense to go along with it, and the shade works well on all skin tones.
Also, the Mini Lip Gloss Vault is great to split up and spread out amongst your friends’ gifts (and maybe keep a few for you)!
Eyeshadow Palettes: I can’t wait to get my hands on all of these! The limited-edition Starlight Eyeshadow Palette is perfect for that holiday smoky eye. The Necessary Neutrals Eyeshadow Palette is a fantastic collection of wearable warm and cool shades with matte, satin and shimmer finishes. And the Velvet Eyeshadow Palette is a neutral gone wild with that added touch of jeweled pigment to easily take a look from day to night.
Counter+ Skin Care Favorites: Includes the brand new Lotus Glow Cleansing Stick and three other high-performance treatments. (The new stick is a hybrid of the best selling Cleansing Balm and Countertime Cleansing Oil. It moisturizes and brightens the skin and is perfect for travel! Set also includes the best selling Overnight Resurfacing Peel, Charcoal Mask and Brightening Oil. (This is a huge steal for $89 – the peel alone is $63!)
Bright Eyes Treatment Set: This a high-performing, nutrient-rich eye-brightening duo! The full-size Countertime Ultra Renewal Eye Cream (includes retinatural, a safe alternative to retinol) is designed to revitalize the eye area for a youthful, brighter appearance. The Eye Revive Cooling Masks refreshes tired skin and provides instant hydration to help reduce the appearance of puffiness. ($89)
Hand Cream Trio: Hand cream is like chapstick in the colder months, you need a tube everywhere! These rich creams provide non-greasy hydration to protect your hands all winter long. ($34)
Lemongrass Body Set: This is a luxurious self-care essential for anyone (including yourself) that needs a little pampering. Refresh your skin while you awaken your senses with this lemongrass scented set of sugar scrub and body butter. It smells amazing! ($49)
Body Butter Trio: This set is worth mentioning as it includes three butters with the same scents as the hand creams. Pair a hand cream and butter for a fun gift set! ($49)
Counterman Carry-On: Here’s a travel size of the men’s line that I hope Santa is already picking out for Scott! These four essential men’s products are conveniently sized to take on-the-go, help protect skin and hair from everyday stress, and includes a Purifying Shampoo, Energizing Charcoal Body Wash, Daily Exfoliating Cleanser, and Oil-Free Face Lotion. ($45)
If you’re local and would like to meet me at the store to shop (trust me, I will buy things too), let me know! You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the brand or products, shop online, and sign up for my Beautycounter newsletter to stay in the loop with all the sales!
- favorite LIL posts
Tips and advice to new moms who are getting back to working out, specifically at high-intensity workouts like Orangetheory Fitness!
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to see the show, and have my thoughts with behind-the-scenes photos from a stage tour to share with you!
Thanks so much for checking in today, and I hope you have a great weekend!