Category Archives: Lifestyle

Puerto Vallarta Lovin’

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Mexi was UNREAL.

I’ve always been such a huge fan of Mexico. The people there are just so unbelievably nice and so happy! The whole trip was such a great reminder to realize what you have and to be thankful for it. The locals there seem so much happier than most of the people you come across here. In America, it seems that everyone is always in a hurry and they only look out for themselves. The locals take time to enjoy their lives with their loved ones every chance they can get.

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{Our view from the room}

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{Just off the lobby bar and main entrance of the hotel}

We stayed at Secrets Vallarta Bay and it was GORGEOUS! The food was great, the entertainment team was amazing and the property was just to die for. We had such a great time at the restaurants and lounging by the pool. We highlyyyy rec this place to anyone and everyone headed to PV! I mean, what’s better than a super gorgeous all-inclusive in paradise?!

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{Killer design at Rancho Capomo}

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{Riding through the river}

We headed out for a couple of excursions while we were there. The first was about an hour or two outside of PV where we went horseback riding and hiked up to a waterfall. I had a slow ass baby horse named Calete but he was able to keep up and finish the 3 hour trek. JorBabe had a stallion that was ready to take first at the Kentucky Derby (LUCKY). After our horseback riding, we went back to the ranch where we made fresh salsa and homemade tortillas. They treated us to a delish lunch of authentic carne asada tacos and some BOMB margs.

BTW…the margs in Mexico are so good. They don’t use any of that nasty ass sweet and sour. In fact, most people look at you with a blank stare if you ask them if they put sweet and sour in their margaritas. They use real lime juice, tequila and a bit of triple sec. They don’t even know what sweet and sour mix is. THANK GOSH because we hate that stuff. Not only is it so bad for you, but it tastes like crap and gives us a killer tummy ache. Yuck.

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{Waterfall swimmin’}

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{Enjoying margs and homemade salsa makin’}

Our second excursion was the Marietas Islands! We headed out on a huge boat and anchored down next to one of the islands. Our first little adventure there was to take a smaller boat down the island and swim through a cave to get to the hidden beach, Playa Del Amor. Super sketchy at high tide but OH SO WORTH IT. It was like a whole new world with the prettiest turquoise water. The pictures do not do it justice. Getting out was a lot sketchier than going in because the tide had come up some more but we made it! After we got back to the big boat, we did a ton of snorkeling and kayaking. We saw some pretty cool things under the big blue sea. AND on the way back, we saw a couple of humpback whales! So presh!

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{Marietas Islands♥}

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{Ecstatic to have survived swimming through the sketch cave – Playa Del Amor}

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{Kayaking around the islands}

The rest of the trip was spent by the pool with some drinks, playing beach vBall (JorBabe), eating and more drinking. We even made it to the gym for some sweat sessions!

It was hands down the best vacation I have been on thus far and I think the amazing people are what really made it. Not only was it beautiful but we made some great friends with the locals and hopefully will be back to see them again soon!

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{Last night in PV}

Check out where we stayed and the excursions we went on! We HIGHLY recommend ALL!

Secrets Vallarta Bay | Rancho Capomo Horseback Riding | Marietas Islands

Xx

A Little Wednesday Wisdom: Run The Day

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Sad to report that there will be no pictures from Cancun.

Unfortunately, life threw us a huge curveball just hours before our flight was supposed to take off and we had to cancel our trip (yes, AGAIN).

Talk about bad timing, eh? I told JorBabe that maybe we just aren’t supposed to make it to Cancun LOL. We had to postpone it last November as well because some work stuff came up and we weren’t able to get away.

There are always positives in every situation though!

The positive? We were able to get all credited back to us to use on a future trip (YAY)! But more importantly, we were able to spend lots of quality time with family as we said goodbye to one of the best things that has ever happened to us.

It’s been a long week and a half but I am finally feeling back to normal and ready to get my motivation back.

I came across this quote and realized how I’ve been letting the days run me through all of this. My mind has been somewhere else and I’ve just kind of been going through the motions.

I’ve been so unmotivated and absolutely exhausted.

But today, I’m turning it around. I’m going back to the things that I love and am passionate about.

I know that so many of us go through these phases and become complacent and unmotivated.

Complacent and unmotivated = unhappy.

Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure you take control of your life and keep doing things you love. It’s amazing how good it feels and how much it really helps strengthen your mind.

Surround yourself with really good people who love you and have your best interest at heart. Keep the ones that motivate you and help to keep that fire burning.

Wake up everyday and tell yourself all that you’re going to accomplish for the day.

Live your best life. We don’t get very long here so make it all worth it and love every single minute of it

Light It Up Blue: Autism Awareness Month

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Rachel, A.K.A. Miss Rachel, is one of my dear friends. I like to call her my spirit sister because we connect on a much different level than everyday friends do. We are both interested in the good of people and helping others. We will go out of our way for most anyone and have a special place in our heart for those in need. Rachel is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior and Applied Behavior Analysis and will graduate this June! When she is not in class, she is busy serving as a Clinical Supervisor/Behavior Therapist and helping tons of kiddos. Over the years, I’ve become more and more aware of children and special needs because of her – especially Autism. There is so much speculation and controversy over what causes Autism and it is becoming more and more prevalent these days. It’s an issue that is affecting tons of families and we hope that we can somehow find a way to prevent this in the future.

April is Autism Awareness Month and today is World Autism Day. Wear your blue and support good causes!

And now I will turn it over to Rachel…

Autism pioneer Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas once said,

“If they can’t learn the way we teach, we teach the way they learn.”

Today is April 2, now to you it is just one more day until Friday but today is World Autism Day. Today stands for bringing awareness to most prevalent and fastest-growing development disorder in the United States. 1 out of 68 children are affected.

Autism is represented by a puzzle piece. The puzzle piece signifies many parts of autism because no diagnosis is the same. Autism is complex, we don’t know the cause and there is no cure. There is no cure for this disorder, NO CURE. Autism has different characteristics the complexity of the disorder affects communication and social skills. The puzzle piece is suppose to reflect the complexity of these issues as well as the diversity of those who are affected, from patients and families, to teachers and researchers. The puzzle piece to me represents a voice. It carries awareness, advocacy, compassion, drive and understanding. It represents hope to which one day all the pieces will fit together to give us the big picture.

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You may or may not have an opinion about what causes autism. I am not going to spark a debate on the beliefs, controversies or conspiracies surrounding Autism Spectrum Disorders simply because today is about the AWARENESS. This month is about letting our communities know about this disorder. I am here to ADVOCATE.

Autism Speaks is a very well known organization that sponsors autism research and provides outreach to the public. The “Light It Up Blue” campaign is generated by the Autism Speaks organization. It was created to raise awareness and educate the world. This campaign has been very successful and “ Light It Up Blue” is worldwide recognized from the Empire State Building in New York to China’s Oriental Pearl Tower!

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So, why the color blue to represent ASD?

Well, the color blue represents the boys diagnosed with autism. It is five times more prevalent in boys, 1 in 54. Girls are affected 1 in 252. Families are affected.

How can you “Light It Up Blue”?

It is so easy! Wear Blue! I have my friends, family and clients participate by buying blue light bulbs to shine the light on autism. I get my light bulbs at Home Depot. At my house we light up blue for the entire month!

I stand by Dr. Lovaas quote because it is the truth. In fact I would take a step further to even say that it’s these children teach me. I lend them my voice and they teach me lessons. I may not have a child with autism or a family member with the diagnoses but I will continue to teach, advocate and make a difference.

So, shine a light on autism and wear your blue!

Love,
Miss Rachel

Worry Free Beauty Faves

Sooo I totally jumped on that whole healthy eating train but totally failed to realize (until the last few months) that everyday health and beauty products are also full of junk!

I was so worried about eating right and not putting certain things into my body when it came to eating that I just didn’t pay attention to anything else.

Of course, I’m not 100% perfect because I still love my Hot Cheetos but I have become a lot more conscious than I used to be.

As of late, I’ve been doing what I can to find healthier options for me without becoming too obsessive and extreme.

Let’s be honest, I am in no way ready to commit to all organic everything-

1. Because it gets super expensive

AND

2. I am not even close to being ready to part with my favorite mascara, Maybelline Falsies.

Here are a few of my favorite “worry free” beauty products that I have switched over to and just loveeeeee.

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I started breaking out on my back and it’s been freaking me out (insert crying emoji here).

I stopped alcohol and sugar (still off the sugar for my health) but it was still happening soooo I started to think it was the shampoo and conditioner I was using.

I found this brand at Target and it made me pretty happy. It’s only $10 a bottle and has a super short list of ingredients. I started comparing the shampoo I was using to others I wanted and realized how long those ingredients lists are. SCARYYY. Next time you’re in the shower, check it out.

This is a brand I was recommended but have yet to try. They are a little pricier but probably one of the better, less expensive “safe” brands out there! R+Co

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When the breakouts started, I immediately switched out my body wash for this amazingggg soap! It’s organic, it’s fair trade and it smells SO good.

I hate showers. A lot. Like, so many other things I can get done with those 20 minutes and while I’m showering, all I’m thinking about are those things. The lavender really helps calm me down and enjoy my free time in the shower.

Seriously, love this stuff and you can also find it at Target or your local health food store!

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I’ve done my essential oil posts before (here and here) but I’ve collected many more since then. doTerra is my absolute fave because they are so pure that you can ingest most of them. There are soooo many benefits to essential oils and they really help cure you in a natural way.

I LOVEEE to put the citrus oils in my water.

For stress, I am all about the lavender, serenity and balance. We have a diffuser in our bedroom and diffuse these oils nightly. It really relaxes you and helps you sleep more soundly.

Melaleuca is great for itchy scalp or zit zapper.

Deep Blue is my savior when it comes to working out and sore muscles.

I seriously could go on and on and on but there are just sooo many!

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doTerra also makes an amazing toothpaste! I’m all about the anise-y, cinnamon-y taste and who doesn’t want an all natural teeth whitener?! Places like Sprouts, Whole Foods and Mother’s have some great natural toothpastes as well so be sure to test them all out until you find the one you like!

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These salt sticks are my favorite way to deodorize because they work great, last forever and are actually safe! So many deodorants these days have harsh chemicals in them to prevent you from perspiring but that is so bad. SO bad. All those nasty toxins stay inside of you, build up and can cause breast cancer. Nooo thank you! Let’s save the tatas together!

I’m also huge on using coconut oil as a moisturizer. I bought two HUGE jars at Costco and use one for cooking and one for the bod.

SO amazing and so silky smooth!

Long post but had to share! What are some of your favorite “worry free” beauty products? I’m always looking for more!

XX

Finding Inspiration

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{My fave place with my fave human♥}

Do you ever get so mentally drained that you just don’t want to think about ANYTHING anymore?

That’s about where I’m at right now.

Starting up a couple of projects for work on top of a few other projects I have going on is exhausting. ESP when it’s shark week (a.k.a. that time of the month). TMI? Sorrryyyy bout it.

Anyways, I know we all hit those walls sometimes and need to figure out how to get that inspiration back and how to keep on keepin’ on.

Sooo, how do you do it?

I like to do my favorite things- the things that make me the happiest girl in the world.

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{El Morro Canyon – one of the most magical places♥}

I LOVE to be outside in the sun with nature.

My ultimate favorite is to head to the beach and just lay there alllll day with some good tunes and great company. Sometimes, I like to go alone and bring a good book and just spend some quality time with myself. It’s seriously one of the best ways to recharge because you can just sit there and not say a word all day.

I also love anything fitness so hikes are another way I can get my inspo back. Working out is so great for the mind and the body so working out outside is killerrrr when it comes to helping you get your inspo back.

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{Carl Lykken Trail in Palm Springs♥}

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{Crystal Cove♥}

There is just something about being outside with nature that is so soothing. You can’t hear any cars, all you can hear are birds chirping and the waves crashing or the trees rustling.

I. LOVE. IT.

Sometimes it’s easier said than done but you gotta take any chance you get to put yourself first. Go do what makes your happiest self because that’s the only way to keep the people around you happy too.

xx

Relationships: Keeping it fresh

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So I know I talk about JorBabe a lil here and there but have never really done anything relationship-y on the blog. I’m no expert but I know that Jor and I are prettyyy good at keeping things fresh and exciting. I think the number one thing for us is to always always always have date days/nights. Never stop dating your mate. Always dedicate at least one night a week to get dressed up and celebrate life and each other!

We love to be out around people and we love to try new things so we are constantly researching new things via Yelp and Google. We will do anything whether it’s a hike, breakfast, drinks, desserts, plays, golf, day road trips, theme parks, etc. etc. etc.

We are also HUGE on babecations but more on those later.

Another fave of ours is to put together a little food/drink tour. Sometimes we will pick a place that we’ve heard has amazing cocktails and we’ll start with a drink there. Next, we’ll head to a new place we heard about for the main dish and then another lil hip place for dessert!

A few weekends ago we decided to do a Tour De Tustin and grabbed our beach cruisers and headed out for a lil day drinking.

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We started at Tustin Brewing Company because they have the BEST red ale you’ll ever have. If you’re in the area, you MUST go there and you MUST get the Red Hill Red. It’s seriously the best. Their steak nachos and buffalo wings are also TO DIE FOR. They are slightly healthier than the normal nachos and wings so you don’t feel as guilty eating them. JorBabe and I spend all of March Madness here. They have a ton of TVs and it’s within walking distance so we can enjoy ourselves a little more than normal.

After our the Red Hill Reds, we decided to bike down the street to Old Town Tustin. OTT is seriously SO cute. The entire El Camino Real street is lined with beautiful trees, quaint shops and fun bars/restaurants!

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We talked one of our friends into coming out with us and we all headed to Quinn’s for some mimosas. Quinn’s is a super cute lil Irish bar that used to be one of the hippest places in T-town. The owner decided to get rid of the live music so it’s no longer a destination stop but more of a little refresher stop.

After a mimosa…or two… and some reminiscing, we walked on down the street to another fave new place called The Black Marlin.

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This place is a ton of fun! They are always putting on new events and always have live music.  It’s become very popular and is near to impossible to get a seat unless you show up early. The food is pretty decent but the Coronado Mermaid Red is where it’s at.

JorBabe and I both had the red (and tons of water) and then we all decided it’d prob be a good idea to get a meal in us. We went for a cup of their chili and were all in heaven. If you’re ever looking for a great chili, go hereeee!

<<<Side note: The Black Marlin has the best breakfast burritos we’ve found near us but they only serve them until 11am. These suckers are huge so make sure you split one if you’re not a big eater!>>>

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The Swinging Door was our last and final stop. It’s a total dive bar but can be a blast if you’re with the right crowd.  The pros of this place are the jukebox and the pool table. The cons? The jukebox. We had to take it over and fill up a few hours worth of music to avoid having to listen to the awful music some random guy kept playing.

Our little Tour De Tustin was such a blast! There’s something about discovering new things with your mate that just keeps everything exciting. I mean, we also have our faves that we go back to but the newness is where it’s at for us. We are both so adventurous and there is so much out there to see so it works out:)

xx

S+F Series: Kickin’ stress to the curb with lavender oil

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I am a total stress ball. I’m not really sure why I get stressed or how it even happens. Most of the time I don’t even know I’m stressed/anxious until I get the physical symptoms. + those stink.

Stress IS stupid. + can be unhealthy (some stress is good so make sure you know the difference!).

Stress is also inevitable. Which is why you want to make sure you do things that make you happy + keep you calm. Be proactive + figure those out nowwww. It’s im-por-tan-te.

Stress can cause or increase many different problems including: pain, heart disease, digestive issues, sleep issues, weight issues, depression, autoimmune diseases, + skin conditions.

Ain’t nobody got time for that^^^^

My #1 de-stressor is exercise but sometimes not even that helps so I’ve come up with a few other things that really do help.

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A huge one for me is lavender oil. I love to put this on right before bed. I just dab a bit into the palm of my hand + onto my wrists + rub in. Then I put my hands up to my face + inhale slowly a few times.  Use caution here as it can burn the heck outta your nose!

Seriously though, it’s like an automatic relaxant. BAM. You can feel every part of your tense body loosen. It’s one of the bestttt feelings in the world.

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Lavender oil has so many other benefits aside from calming you down + helping you sleep. Lavender oil can also be used for bee stings, cuts/burns, eczema, nausea, nosebleeds, chapped skin/lips (why I put in on my hands as well), hay fever, dandruff + cold sores.

I also bought a spritzer to spritz some onto my sheets/pillows. Welcome to total relaxation.

BRB, the lavender oil is calling.

xx

Lavender oil here | Lavender spritz here

Lil Loves: NYE 2015 – Are you ready?!

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Hokay, I am SOOO ready for some (okay…A LOT) of bubbly + celebrating with my beautiful friends + family! I’m also overly excited for 2015 with all that is going on with this bloggy + my lil bizznass with my BFF, Bowed Arrows <<<lauching Jan. 5th – WOO>>>

Yesterday, we did a couple of interviews with some amazing ladies + will feature them as our Bowed Arrow Babes when the blog launches!

Life has been so busy lately! Two blogs, holiday season, concerts, parties, etc. etc. etc. I am just so ready for a night of relaxing fun!

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NYE2015_8{gold doilies + my fave dessert display}

This year JorBabe + I decided we are way over the whole club scene for NYE. So many people, drink lines that are way too long, + bathroom lines that are even longer. + then you’re there with only a few of your fave people + a ton of strangers. These nights are always so anti-climatic.

This year is going to be a blasty. We are throwing our own lil shindig + could not be more excited! Everyone is going to dress up, nibble on some delish food, play too many games of CAH + beer pong, take too many photo booth pics + get their groove thang on. Talk about starting the New Year right!

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These are a few snaps I took of the set-up (of course no where near complete but I needed some pics for you all!!). We’re going with black, gold + some silver- glitz everywhere!

We also thought it’d be fun to put up a NY’s resolution banner + have everyone write their NY’s resolutions on it!

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Speaking of resolutions…has anyone made their list yet?! We are starting our year off with a sugar-free, sober January. We did it last year + it felt so amazing to detox from all of the alch/sweets we consumed during the holidays.

I’m also setting some personal goals to read more, take more time for myself + focus on getting back to the shape I was in pre-surgery. Of course I’ll throw in some more detailed ones when Jor + I write our lists out.

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NYE2015_6{my sexy navy lace number♥}

We’ll also be cleaning out our memory jar + reminiscing on all of the fun we had in 2014. This is one of my favorite things to do!

Couples tip: Make a memory jar together + throw in memorabilia from all of the fun things you do. At the end of the year, go through it with your significant other + giggle about all of the fun you had.  Such a great way to get close + connect!

Hope everyone has a safe + fab NYE full of all of the bubbly in the world! xx

Lil Loves: Christmas Edition

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 [a stocked wine fridge w/ my fav bubbles]

Anyone else feel like they’ve never been busier in their life?! WTH is going on this year? I feel like the holiday season has come + gone so fast that most people didn’t even realize it was the holiday season! Fewer houses with lights + so many less festive things going on with everyone I know.

My mind is no joke going about a million miles a minute right now. Thankfully my Christmas shopping is complete, presents are wrapped + cookies are baked!

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 [my 1st christmas ornament still attached to my stocking]

I hate to say this because I absolutely LOVEEEE the holidays but I cannot wait for them to be over! I am SO ready for 2015 + what it has in store! Anyone else with me?

Geeee, I sound like a total Bah Humbug right now. I promise I’m not. I am still soaking up + enjoying every last second of this wonderful season. Once Christmas Eve hits (oh AWK…that’s today-told you my mind is gone!), I will be able to relax with some nice bubbly + enjoy Christmas with all the friends + fam.

+ then Friday will hit + I’ll be back to GO GO GO until NYE party time!

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 [a white + silver Christmas tree]

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[new red lip stick]

So excited for today though! We all go to church together + then head over to an awesome neighborhood near my parents for a lil light show. This neighborhood goes ALL OUT. It’s so much fun to walk around + enjoy the lights + each other’s company. I think my favorite thing about it is watching all of the little kiddos. Not only are they dressed adorably, they are all SO flippin’ excited to be there.

Children are my favorite. So un-jaded + in awe with the world. Little reminders for us all to slow down + fall in love with the world around us.

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[Christmas baking w/JorBabe BC he does stuff like this♥]

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[poinsettias everywhere]

Anyone have any fun traditions they do with their family? Ours is the whole Church + Christmas light thang on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning we all wake slowly + enjoy a cup (or three) of coffee while we open presents and hang out by the fire. After presents we do our little workouts (TBD) + come home to enjoy special treats! Last year we did cinnamon rolls but this year I am thinking of doing a veggie breakfast bake. I found a super awesome recipe that I’m excited to try!!

Merry Christmas Eve, lovers! xx

S+F Series: The Real Deal On Bee Pollen

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Bees are adorable. Raw honey is tasty. Bee pollen is…eh. JK. Bee pollen is great! It just doesn’t taste as good as something like honeyy.

I never used to get allergies but I guess your body changes as you age + sometimes you develop this ish.

I’m not one to run to the local pharmacy + stock up on Claritin or any other allergy relief medicine. I hardly take meds. Not even when I’m in pain. I just had hernia surgery + I refused to take the Norco they prescribed me. Instead I lay in pain. Call me weird but unless I think I’m about to die, I’ll look for a natural alternative + test it out.

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I’ve always been told to eat local honey for allergy relief but when I heard about bee pollen, I went for both because what’s the harm in doubling up? You should be able to find these at your local health food market or your local farmer’s market!

I like to throw bee pollen into my scrambled eggs + smoothies in the morning. It helps hide the taste. Sometimes I will mix it with a little coconut oil + throw it onto a piece of ezekial toast. Mixing it into some fresh-sqeezed OJ is pretty NOM too.

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I know some knarly people who will just eat it by the spoonful. A spoonful with some fruit is actually the best way to take it if you can. Thanks, but no thanks over hereee.

Whenever I take bee pollen, I’ve noticed my energy levels increase. This prompted me to do a little more research + see what other benefits bee pollen has to offer.

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You’ll be shocked at the health benefits that come with eating bee pollen (full details here):

  • helps with infertility problems
  • high in protein + amino acids
  • prostate help for men
  • strengthens the cardiovascular system
  • helps treat addiction
  • immune system booster
  • treats everything from asthma to allergies to sinus issues
  • aids in digestion
  • anti-inflammatory effect on the immune system
  • skin soother for eczema or psoriasis
  • natural energy enhancer

Looks like I’m gonna keep on keepin’ on with the whole bee pollen thang.

It’s amazing how something so natural can aid in fixing so many different problems. If you take Claritin, you are simply fixing your allergy issues + that is it. But if you’re taking bee pollen, not only are you alleviating your allergies, you are also giving yourself more energy, supporting your heart, boosting your immune system, etc., etc., etc.

BEE POLLEN >>> laboratory made allergy medicines. You take your pick.

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+ you’ll be happy to know that bee keepers can remove the pollen from the beehive without disturbing or killing any bees♥

Any other secrets for natural allergy relief? Or ways to eat the bee pollen?

xx