vlog: a GML day in the life.

Hi loves!

It’s been a while since I did a day in the life post/vlog, so here’s one I made yesterday. My daily routine can really vary day to day, but this is a glimpse into what my Wednesdays usually look like :)

(if you’re a YouTube user, feel free to go ahead and subscribe to my channel!)

Mentioned in this video:

Sleeves Up Productions
Liberty Church Community Groups
Fika
The Jade Hotel

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Does your daily routine typically look the same or does it vary? 

it is well | 2.23.15.

it is well || girlmeetslife.com

it is well {with my soul}

I feel like I’ve mentioned a gazillion times that my word of the year is simplify. But it’s holding me accountable, soooo I’m going to keep talking about it.

Naturally, I loved this article – Accomplish More by Committing to Less.

“It’s simple math. Each additional project divides your time into smaller and smaller pieces so that you have less of it to devote to anything. Whereas if you reduce your number of responsibilities, you have more time to devote to each one.”

This taps into exactly why I’m trying to simplify my life/responsibilities – to do fewer things with excellence rather than a ton of things just okay.

I must admit, though, that I haven’t done a stellar job with that so far this year. It’s just so easy for me to fall back to what has been my normal routine. But recently I’ve gotten the motivation back, and I’m pretty excited to make some (difficult?) decisions about my career/life. Wish me luck…

it is well {with my body}

Before sugar was demonized as the worst possible thing we could eat, salt was one of the biggest enemies of people striving to be healthy. But over the past few years, Himalayan Pink Salt has come out of the woodwork as being not just a less-harmful version of the favorite condiment, but one that actually includes health benefits.

Pink Himalayan Salt

It’s believed that Himalayan Pink Salt is the purest and most natural salt on earth because it’s from an environment that has been protected by snow and ice (and previously lava). Because of that, it is packed with tons of vitamins and minerals.

According to this article, because of those minerals the benefits of Himalayan Pink Salt include:

Create an electrolyte balance
Increases hydration
Regulate water content both inside and outside of cells Balance pH (alkaline/acidity) and help to reduce acid reflux
Prevent muscle cramping
Aid in proper metabolism functioning
Strengthen bones
Lower blood pressure
Help the intestines absorb nutrients
Prevent goiters
Improve circulation
Dissolve and eliminate sediment to remove toxins 

Good news for you salt lovers, huh? So instead of saying goodbye to salt, just go ahead and choose the right salt. Plus, how much for fun is it that it’s pink? ;)

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Have you tried Himalayan Pink Salt?
What are your thoughts on accomplishing more by doing less? Is that something you’d say you’re good at?

 

workout recap | 2.22.15.

Weekly Workout Recap | GirlMeetsLife.com

Tuesday 2/17 – 45 minute SoulCycle class

Wednesday 2/18 – 45 minute SoulCycle class

Thursday -2/19 – off

Friday 2/20 - off

Saturday 2/21 – 45 minute SoulCycle class. This one was tough because I got a really bad cold on Thursday/Friday, but I made it through. I think sweating it out actually made me feel better!

Sunday 2/22 - off

If you were wondering if I’m going absolutely broke because of SoulCycle, the answer is yes :P But I barely went out this week, so that made up for it.

I usually like to work out on Mondays because it sets me on the right foot for the rest of the week, but I’m probably going to take another day off tomorrow so I can fully recover from this cold. I think that the ridiculously cold weather + having walk outside has prolonged it :/ So rest it is!

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Where do you draw the line when it comes to exercising while sick?

snapshots | 2.19.15.

half bun

chunky boots

Soul Cycle NYC

shiba inu

It’s been a bit of a slow week in GML world, and that’s very much on purpose.

Well…let me rephrase that. My social life has been slow, but work has been b-a-n-a-n-a-s (in a good way!).

Most weeks I’m out just about every night, but this week the opposite has been true. It’s been a nice change to fully plan on staying in and just relaxing. The fact that we’ve been in a polar vortex for what seems like this entire month doesn’t make that decision difficult, to say the least.

Anyway, here are some snapshots via Instagram + more of the story behind them.

1) Monday was a great day. I very rarely take full advantage of 3-day weekends, but this time I treated Monday like the holiday it was. Rachel and I went to spin early in the morning, then I caught up on some work before shutting my laptop and enjoying the rest of the day. I had brunch with Rachel and Martina at Egg Shop, which I’d been wanting to visit for a while. It was SO good. I got an egg & cheese sandwich (gruyere, caramelized onion aoli) on a gluten free English muffin, and we went splitsies on bacon. Because bacon. Definitely recommended if you’re in NYC.

2) Every time I kinda sorta miss having a “real” job, I remember how much I hated wearing dress pants and pencil skirts. Thanks social media, for keeping me forever dressing like a teenager.

3) Sneak peek from a recent shoot with Samy. I always have so much fun at our photo shoots. I’ll be honest, though – playing model always feels a little strange. It makes me feel so silly! I definitely think there’s value in having more professional photos, but sometimes I miss the good old days when blogging was more…au naturale.

4) Another shot because these are my favorite boots in all the land. They’re from Boohoo.com.

5) Sooo am I annoying anyone with my repetitive SoulCycle posts? Oh well. Get used to ‘em ;)

6) NUGGET THOUGH. In case you were wondering, she is in fact the cutest pup in the entire world. And believe it or not, in real life she’s even smaller than she looks.

7) Oh ya know, just your perfectly curated flat lay of my breakfast before I smashed it in my face. Also, can I be Margot Robbie?

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What’s been a highlight of your week so far? Has it been a busy one or on the slow side?

inspire: let’s be love drunk.

As I walked to a class early this past Sunday morning – nearly frozen and eyes half open – I passed by this phrase spray painted on the side of an NYC building.

Love Drunk

It stood out to me. Maybe it’s because it was the only graffiti on the entire wall. Maybe because it made me think of Queen Bey’s Drunk In Love. But whatever it was, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I went from thinking – what does it mean to be love drunk? To – what does it feel like to be love drunk? To – I want to be love drunk. All the time.

As a society – myself included – we’re constantly seeking some sort of high. It could be from a substance, a relationship, a great workout, a meal…a constant desire to feel. I don’t know about you, but my “normal” day – typically filled with work and other routine things – can become such a blur. Sometimes I get to the end of the day and realize that I didn’t really feel much at all…I just went through the motions. And I refuse to let life to pass me by like that.

I can’t help but think about the culture here in New York. Everyone can’t wait to be done with work so they can go to happy hour and pound back a few drinks to let loose, enjoy time with their friends, or maybe try to forget the stresses of the day. It’s a quick drunk, an easy drunk. But it’s also temporary. I wonder what it would it look like to have a high that never ended – one that gave joy and fulfillment…sans the hangover.

Maybe I’m an idealist and maybe I’m too much of a heart person in saying this, but I want every day to feel like I’m under the influence of love. Not just romantic love – love for people. Love for the simple things. Love for (and from) God, the world around me, and life in general.

Because of all of the substances and highs out there in the world, I can say with absolute certainty that love is the strongest drunk. The limitless drunk. The best drunk.

workout recap | 2.16.15.

Weekly Workout Recap | GirlMeetsLife.com

Monday 2/9 – 30 minute treadmill HIIT. Two minutes walking, 30 second sprint, and repeat. I wasn’t planning on exercising this day, but I happened to wake up 30 minutes before my alarm so figured I’d squeeze a little something in.

Tuesday 2/10 – off

Wednesday 2/11 – 45 minute Peloton spin class. A pretty decent class, for sure. In Peloton you can see on the screen in front of you your resistance and cadence, so there’s that extra accountability to keep up. I especially loved the studio – it was really clean and modern, and they had a full cafe in the lounge area.

Thursday 2/12 – off

Friday 2/13 – 30 minutes elliptical + 15 minutes strength training. Kept it super easy breezy with this workout. I didn’t want to break too much of a sweat because I had just gotten my hair done the day before. HA. Priorities, people.

Saturday 2/14 – 45 minute SoulCycle class. The perfect way to spend my (Valentine’s Day) Saturday morning. I still don’t understand how it’s humanly possible to sweat as much as I do at SoulCycle. Sexy, I know.

Sunday 2/15 – 45 minute Revolve spin class. I was super tired this morning and actually forgot I had booked this class, but I went anyway…mostly because ClassPass charges you $20 if you cancel within 24 hours, ha.

Monday 2/16 – 45 minute SoulCycle class. This was the earliest SoulCycle class I’ve ever done, and it felt SO good to start my Monday off on the right (sweaty AF) foot.

Clearly this past week was quite heavy on the spinning. What can I say – I love it! And I think that a big misconception about spin is that it’s just cardio, but there’s a ton of strength – lower and upper body – involved (especially in my beloved SoulCycle).

I was telling Rachel the other day how – even after exercising regularly for the past 10+ years of my life – I’m just now actually starting to love fitness. For so long I was trying to get myself to love what everyone else loved, but now I’m finally getting into my groove and discovering what fitness looks like/means to me.

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Did you ever have an “aha” moment when you actually started to love fitness? What was it?

4 ways to bend the rules with my favorite beauty hacks + HP Pavilion x360.

I have to admit something. For way too long, I had seen the word “hack” all over the internet, but had zero clue what it actually meant.

Eventually I sort of just figured it out, and when I did I realized that I personally have a handful of life hacks that I think are pretty darn useful. And, I don’t know about you, but as a girl that’s definitely the case when it comes to my beauty routine.

Here are my top 4 beauty hacks that have made a huge difference in my own life, and I think you’ll find them pretty life changing helpful too.

top 4 beauty hacks | GirlMeetsLife.com

1) Ice water facial/ice packs. I mentioned this (new) trick of mine recently, and I can’t rave about it enough. If you don’t feel like dunking your face in ice water (it can be sort of annoying), I’ve found that just placing ice packs directly on your face for a few minutes can have the same effect. I find it helpful to tighten the face overall, and especially to diminish under-eye puffiness.

2) Dermablend. I first started using Dermablend years ago when I had to cover up my wrist tattoo for an acting gig. When I saw that it was thick enough to cover up an entire tattoo, I realized it would probably work wonders on covering up blemishes on my face. So now, whenever I have one of those “OMG how am I going to cover this up” blemishes or under-eye circles, Dermablend is my go-to. It can seriously cover up everything and anything. I actually have their Leg & Body cover, but they have a concealer as well.

Dermablend

3) Use eyeshadow as eyeliner. A makeup technique that I’ve been using for years and often get compliments about is my smokey-yet-natural eye look. My secret? I often skip the eyeliner and instead “line” my eyes with a smokey layer of dark brown eye shadow. This is especially good for the daytime when you don’t want a sharp lined look but still want to make your eyes pop. I suggest getting a brush like this one, and then using the eyeshadow of your choice! Like I said, I love a dark/chocolate brown shade.

4) Tease on-the-go. When it comes to hair, I fall in the bigger is always better category. Even when I’m wearing my hair straight, I need at least some sort of volume at the root. After after a great blowout and using volume products, sometimes my hair can start falling flat when I’m out and about. So I found a super simple (and cheap) way to fix this – I carry a thin comb around with me all the time. I got this little comb at the drug store for just about $1, and I use to tease the roots of my hair. In under 20 seconds it adds instant volume!

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In that same spirit of bending the rules, this post has been inspired by bending the rules of technology with the HP Pavilion x360. When I was first sent the HP Pavilion x360, I didn’t know what to expect. To my surprise, it was nothing like I anticipated…in a good way. I couldn’t believe all of the ways it could twist, turn, and invert. I got nervous that I was going to break it, haha. It’s unlike any device I’d ever seen!

HP Pavilion x360

The HP Pavilion x360 is designed with a detachable keyboard, which lends to four awesome “modes” to play in – Laptop, Tablet, Tent and Stand.

As someone who works in blogging and social media, the versatility of the HP Pavilion x360 definitely comes in handy.

In addition to the everyday use of a laptop, the stand mode makes it really easy to watch my favorite TV shows or have video chats with friends, family, and even clients. The tent mode created a great angle to film videos for girl meets life, as well as present slide shows. And then there’s the tablet mode, which is extremely convenient (instead of having to choose between using/carrying around a laptop or tablet).

(HP is on also tour right now with the “all about that bass” girl herself, Megan Trainor. Check it out here.)

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of HP. All opinions herein are my own. Please note that I was compensated for this post. You can refer to my product review policy here. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.

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What’s one of your beauty hacks?

snapshots | 2.12.15.

1) The other day I had a serious craving for cereal. And not just any cereal…Panda Puffs. AKA cereal made for a 5-year-old. No shame.

2) The bad news is it’s still ridiculously too cold to wear a sleeveless top. The good news is I thought I lost this shirt (this seems to be a pattern), but it recently turned up. Hallelujah!

3) After what felt like an eternity of gloomy, slushy weather – blue skies during an afternoon in Soho (my favorite neighborhood in NYC) was a beautiful sight.

4) One of my favorite places to get lunch in the city is Terri. They have this roasted vegetable wrap is just so SO good. I didn’t have breakfast on this particular morning (tisk tisk) so I got the wrap + a Green Power smoothie for “brunch.”

5) I think this might make me less of a girl, but I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of roses. BUT – this perfect single rose just looked so pretty over the crisp white snow, no?

6) Obviously this is meant to be silly, but I wonder how many relationships these days it’s actually true for! I love it – instaflirting is where it’s at ;)

7) Stolen directly from my Instagram post – If wearing lots of color isn’t really your thing, here are my favorite ways to add a pop of pink and red! Red Carpet Manicure‘s Red Carpet Reddy and My Favorite Designer, Nars Schiap, and Sephora cream lip stain Always Red.

8) If you follow me on SnapChat (@alagracie), you probably know this is my most typical snap – life imitating Emoji. So original, much amusement.

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What’s your favorite cereal? What are your plans for this weekend (Valentine’s Day!)?

it is well | 2.9.15.

it is well || girlmeetslife.com

it is well {with my soul}

The other day I read this article by one of my favorite writers, , and I found myself saying YES! so many times while reading it (as I normally do with her pieces).

You’re Never Fully Ready

The older I get, the more I’m realizing that one of the biggest misconceptions about growing up is the idea that we’ll be fully ready for those “big” life changes.

Moving out on your own.
The career change.
The marriage.
The first house.
The children.

I obviously can’t speak for all of those experiences, but I can say that getting older hasn’t magically made me a fearless, more intelligent, ready-for-anything person. In fact, I’ve probably even gotten more scared of change. Ha!

My mom once told me how she still feels like her twenty-something year old self, and that always stuck with me. Could it be that I’ll always FEEL like the Gracie that I am right now? What about the more mature, grab life by the horns adult I envisioned becoming one day?

Of course we learn from life’s experiences and mature from them to an extent, and I’m sure there are times where we’re more ready than others. But I’ve personally been realizing more and more (and hearing from older people) that most of the time, you don’t always feel ready. Life happens, and sometimes you just have to keep up, roll with it, and act on it.

Sounds scary, right? I guess it could. But I think even more so that it seems really, really exciting. Let’s get paddling.

 

it is well {with my body}

Last week I shared on Instagram how I’m such a huge fan of the Viva Vanilla Vega Protein Smoothie, and since then the obsession has only grown. Never in a million years did I think I’d prefer the flavor of a plant-based protein powder over a whey one.

Vega Protein Smoothie - Viva Vanilla

 

My go-to smoothie lately has been a combo of banana, spinach, frozen berries, a full scoop of this Vega, and almond milk. It’s crazy filling because of the extra punch of protein combined with the fiber. The perfect light breakfast or a great afternoon snack.

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Are you a fan of protein powder? What’s your favorite?
What’s something in your life that you’re struggling with being “ready” for?

snapshots | 2.9.15.

1) Whyyy did I ever stop making Banana Soft Serve? Every time I make it I think “how is this just bananas?” I’ve also learned that using 2-3 bananas makes it way better – not just because there’s more (an obvious plus), but I’ve found it just blends a lot better.

2) On Friday we had a Red Carpet Manicure event at Paintbox nail studio. I had heard of Paintbox a ton but it was my first time there, and it is uh-mazing. Unlike any nail salon I’ve ever been to. If you’re ever in NYC and want to pamper yourself, this is the place to go.

(p.s. or if you want to give yourself a bomb-A gel manicure, you should enter my #GMLLOVE giveaway)

3) That’s my “please don’t make me go outside” selfie. This past week has been brutally cold in NYC. Oh how I miss having a car sometimes…

4) I’ve been loving adding fun sports bras/bandeaus to my normal workout attire. This one is from Forever21, but I’ve also seen them at LF Stores, Urban Outfitters, and Free People.

5) Post SoulCycle sweaty selfie with Sydney. She also just started a new blog with her best friend – check it out: WE Perceive.

6) As much as the winter can be a bummer, a surprise hour-long snow shower is still so fun.

7) These little breakfast arepas from Yerba Buena are my new JAM. Soooo good.

8) I recently shared on Instagram how much I love this little Bible Promise Book. You can find verses by topic (for me – whatever I may be struggling with on a given day). I’ve actually started carrying it around with me wherever I go – just reading a verse or two throughout the day has made such a big difference.

9) The big ol’ fluffy leopard coat is back in action. I reserve it only for the coldest of days…mostly because I look like a freak otherwise.

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What’s been a highlight of your past week(end)? Any particularly great meal, movie, etc.?