Top 12 Binge Worthy Shows to Watch

I don't tend to watch a lot of TV, other than a standing appointment with Dateline every weekend. With all the extra time at home, I've been watching a little more TV. I switched from netflix DVDs to the streaming so I could watch Tiger King with everyone else. lol I do miss the DVDs because it gets recent movies very quickly and I see that the streaming is missing a lot of movie titles. Also Sex and the City is only available on the DVDs, otherwise you have to get HBO to stream. Here's a list of 12 shows I liked this year, and also a listing of comedy specials you should check out.

The Best Low Calorie Ice Cream

I have a huge sweet tooth so I'm always trying to find healthier versions of desserts. The reason I always eat low cal ice cream is partly for the calories, but also I'm trying to reduce my refined sugar intake. I read this fabulous book last year Cancer-Free with Food that repeats what I've read in many other places, that sugar causes cancer to grow and spread more quickly. And weight gain  to your waistline can lead to cancer.

Cucumber Martini

I love the fresh flavor of cucumber water that you get in hotel lobbies.  When I heard that restaurants are now allowed to deliver alcoholic cocktails I thought what would love to drink? The cucumber cosmo at Fig and Olive but the restaurant is closed right now.  I absolutely love cucumber cocktails and I figured this is something I could make myself. At the bar this cocktail would be $16 plus tip. I spent $70 on the two full size bottles of St. Germain and Effen Vodka. If you do the math, 4 cocktails would equal $70 at the bar. I made 3 drinks and used less than a fourth of the bottles.

Is Your Skincare Routine Spring Ready?

I think we've all seen that meme that says "I now have time for that 24 step skin care routine". lol 
Your skincare routine should be amazing right now! You should come out this with incredible skin and experience an intense glow up! Now is also a great time to switch to natural deodorant  so you can go through the detox period at home.

Spring is a time to swap out your heavy winter moisturizers for lighter formulas, step up your SPF game and exfoliate dull skin. While you're home you have time go through your product stash and throw out old products. Sephora is having their spring sale where the whole store will be 15% for VIB members on April 21-29. Sephora just released their summer kits: Summer Sun on the FlyPower of the Petal, Hair Minis, and Travel Minis. These kits are a great way to sample Sephora's most popular and newest products.

I know that skincare is very personal so what works for me may not work for you. My skin type is normal, I drink a ton of water  and don't wear foundation, powder, or bb/cc creams so my freckles show. I like to every so often do updates on my current skincare routine on my blog.  In doing so I didn't realize I had so many Murad products  as I bought them all at separate times. I always do a lot of research on a product to read reviews before buying them. Because a product can claim anything, but not really deliver or have a good formula. Good skin means you don't need as much makeup for your daily life. I've grouped the products by purpose, not order of steps. The idea is you should have one product from each section. 

What I've Been Reading Lately

I had a lot more time to read during the past month. I got a new sectional couch which became my comfy new reading space. If you ever said you didn't have time to read, well now you do! It's a great excuse to turn off the news and escape into a book.

I love sharing my love of books with you and I think these books will help you pass the time that you are stuck at home.  This list has a little bit of everything. Once I start a good book I really look forward to reading a chapter every day. I tend to read right before bedtime so my eyes are not looking at the blue light on my phone. I'm not a huge TV watcher, I mean I watch a few shows but I don't have cable. I only have netflix and hulu so that frees up my time. On planes and waiting in airports I always read, but don't find much time on vacation as my vacations are very active city exploring vacations.  I read my kindle in bed in the dark, but also love a good hardcover book as I can feel how much progress I'm making through the book. I prefer to bring a hardcover book on vacation.

My Favorite At Home Workouts

Now that gyms are closed, I've gotten back into working out at home.  Since I'm teleworking I have more time to workout. I find that working out puts me in a better mood as exercise helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Movement is key to keeping you energized. I've been planning my workouts for the week and writing them in my planner. My workout routine has been to get up early and get a strength training workout in before I start work. I find that working out in the morning is the best time to exercise. I have no distractions and just get it out of the way. Lack of time was why you didn't exercise right? Well now you're home. Then do a live streaming zumba workout at lunchtime. I'm not getting the number of steps in that I used to in a day so I think adding a fun dance workout helps with that. You have an incredible opportunity to better yourself because now you have the time. You can come out of this the best you've ever been! This is your time to start a routine of healthy habits.

A Travel Guide to Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca is such a beautiful city with so much to offer.  If you’re looking for a non-beach vacation in a vibrant city full of  rainbow-colored colonial architecture, rich history, and craft markets then Oaxaca is your place. Pronounced "wa-ha-ka", it is the culinary and culture capital of Mexico  and most known for its Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration. One of the safest cities in Mexico, Oaxaca  has a friendly, small-town vibe with a population of just 260K. The city is very walkable and easy to explore on foot. Oaxaca ranks #5 on  Travel and Leisure magazine’s list of top cities of the world! #4 is Mexico City and #2 is San Miguel de Allende, so I definitely want to return to Mexico soon. While I saw lots of hotels, I didn’t pass many tourists on the streets. English isn’t widely spoken, even in restaurants so a little Spanish goes a long way. This makes Oaxaca a very authentic destination to visit.

7 Travel Resolutions for 2020

Every year I make the usual resolution about losing weight that never happens so instead this year  I made a fun list of travel goals that I have for myself. I feel that writing them down makes a big difference because it makes it more concrete and it's something I can look to hold myself accountable to make sure I achieve this list.  I want to consume less and instead focus on spending money on experiences and travel, not things/clothes. I’ve been fortunate to have traveled to some really amazing places already  (and never cared about a passport stamp or will add the number to my IG bio as some badge of honor) so my goal is to continue that journey of quality travel experiences.

Winter Reads

The Family Upstairs  by Lisa Jewell
The author is a British mystery/thriller writer. I loved her last book Then She Was Gone and read this book in just two days because I couldn’t put it down! The book is about Libby, who was adopted, discovers that she will inherit a mansion on her 25th birthday. Shocked and wanting  to know more about her birth parents, she travels to the abandoned house only to discover it was the scene of 3 murders, Libby was the only survivor. A few other people have travelled to this house at the same time knowing it’s Libby’s birthday to meet her. The book tells the story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.

Exploring Holland

I spent one week in the Netherlands driving around the country last August . The Netherlands is a small country, it’s half the size of the state of Virginia and 2x bigger than the state of New Jersey to give you a comparison. So travel distances around the country are short. Amsterdam, the capital, is the largest city but there’s so much more to see to get to know the character of the country. Since I have Dutch roots, I wanted to explore the countryside and small towns to experience traditional Dutch culture and see the windmills and other hidden gems.

Rotterdam is a one hour drive from Amsterdam or you could take the train. Rotterdam is the second largest city in the south. It’s also the largest cargo port in Europe so you see shipping docks and cranes along the river. The center of the city was completely bombed during World War II so all the buildings are relatively new and built with modern architecture.  My personal fave was the Cube Houses and the Market Hall. There’s also a lot of street murals that are worth seeing. I only spent eight hours there but made the most of it.