My Favorite Smoothie For Healthy Weight Loss

This smoothie is scrumptious, sustainable, and wonderfully waist-slimming.  I have it for breakfast most days, and sometimes I will have it in place of a meal (if I didn’t have it for breakfast that day). 

Of course, everyone is perfect the way they are, but I do understand the want to lose an extra few pounds. I have been on quite a journey in the past few months. Over the past two or so years I was not in the best place, and I am a stress-eater. So, long story short, over the course of two years I gained almost 50 pounds. Now, I was still fairly healthy, but overall I really just wanted to feel better in my skin and feel healthier as well! So, to really incorporate this into my life I started to eat better, and exercise more. This smoothie really helped me to eat healthy! Over the past 2-3 months I have lost over 20 pounds!!!! 

Without further ado, this is how I make my all-time favorite smoothie for weight loss!

smoothie flowers


Step 1: Fruit

The first step to creating your own ultimate breakfast smoothie is to add some fruit. I chose mostly strawberries with a few mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) in to add some other flavors. I prefer to use frozen fruit, because that way I do not have to add any ice. As you can see, I filled the cup to just below the fill line with berries.

Step 2: Protein

protein powder

The next step to the smoothie-making is to add protein powder. This is optional, but it definitely adds nutritional value. I use a vanilla powder so that I get both the protein and the sweetness from the vanilla added into my smoothie. In the past, I have also used banana powder and I really enjoyed it!!

Step 3: Seeds

Seeds? Yes, seeds. Chia seeds and flax seeds are great sources of fiber, which helps you to feel full. Flax seeds have Omega-3 Fatty Acids in them, which can help raise good cholesterol, helping to prevent heart attacks. Chia seeds have tons of antioxidants, and they are a great source of fiber, iron, and calcium! 

I use two tablespoons of flax seeds (left) and one tablespoon of chia seeds (right) in my smoothies.

Step 4: Greens

supergreens

Now, i’m sure just about everyone knows that putting greens in your smoothie is a great way to integrate them into your diet. However, not everyone has greens on hand all the time due to their quick expiration date. When I do not have spinach (my favorite green to put into a smoothie) on hand, I use this powder called supergreens. It is a mixture of about 60 different healthy fruits and vegetables. Plus, is has a berry flavor, which goes perfectly with the taste I am going for with this smoothie!

Step 5: Liquid

top view cover

The final ingredient to our healthy smoothie is a liquid! I chose to use Silk Unsweetened Light Vanilla Almond Milk, as I do not drink regular milk. If you would prefer, you can use regular milk or water as well!

Step 6: Blend

Of course, to finish your smoothie you have to blend it! Just blend until it seems that all of the ingredients are evenly combined. Then, just pour your smoothie into a clean glass, wash your blender, and all that’s left to do is enjoy!


Thank you so much for reading and I hope you find this smoothie to be as delicious as I do! Do you have any favorite smoothies of your own? I would love to know! Let me kow in the comments below:)

xxoo

A. Marie

My Secrets to Looking Bangin’ on a Budget

When I was still fairly young, my parents paid for me to take a certification course for babysitters. Afterwards, they helped me to find some families who were in need of babysitters. Once I had some money set aside from babysitting, I started to be in charge of buying my own clothing.

I have a dress-code at the school I go to, as I always have in the past. So at the beginning of each school year my parents and I would go shopping for a few pairs of pants and a few shirts which they paid for. They always replaced these basics if something happened to them and they also paid for one good pair of running shoes for me and for any undergarments I needed.

However, any excess clothing that I wanted (or, more likely, thought I needed at the time) I was in charge of purchasing for myself with the money that I had earned. At this point, I will be living on my own soon and I have found that the lessons learned through earning money and purchasing any extras I wanted have helped me greatly. I am about to share with you some of the things that I have learned through my years of budget shopping.

RetailMeNot

retailmenot

This is an app that I have been using for YEARS. I have it on my iphone, and you can also look it up online. Through this app you can get coupons, promo codes, be notified of online sales, and that is just the beginning!!

Thrift Stores

thrift store

I absolutely love going thrift store shopping. Thrift stores are a great place to find lightly used clothing of any type, for a fraction of the cost. My absolute FAVORITE pair of jeans from Express are from Goodwill! They were already broken in just enough to be completely comfortable. I also love to go to thrift stores and purchase clothing to perform my own DIY projects on!

Google Search 

google search

Another simple ways to find coupons and discounts is to simply search for them online! Just search for the place you are shopping, and type “discount” or “promo code” at the end.

Do You Really Need It?

do you need it

One of my biggest tips is not to buy something simply because it is on sale. I am guilty of this as well, but I see a lot of people going online or walking into a store and seeing a sale. When they see this sale they immediately go to that section and rationalize that they “need” something, only to find that they never wear it when they get home! It simply hangs in their closets and gathers dust, all because it was on sale! When you are in the process of purchasing something, make sure you really need it or love it.

Take Care of Your Clothes!

price per wear

Think of the clothing you already have as money on a hanger. If something needs to be dry cleaned, DO NOT machine wash it! As for sweaters, wash them on a delicate cycle and then hang them to dry so that they do not shrink. Take care of the clothes in your possession, and they will last longer. Price per wear is everything.


I hope this little guide helped those of you who want or have to shop on a budget! I am thinking about doing a series of posts on thrift store DIY projects. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

xxoo

A. Marie

 

Valentine’s Day Lookbook

Everyone knows how hard it can be to choose an outfit in the morning, and that is just on a daily basis. It is much harder to decide what to wear on a night out or a date. To help you guys out with something to wear for Valentine’s Day, I have put together three simple looks that anyone can wear.

Casual 

vday2

For this look I am wearing my Express Jeans, a black crew-neck with pearl embellishments from TJ Maxx, and a pair of black booties that I got from Kohl’s. I paired it with a black bag from Target.

A Bit More Dressed-Up

vday3

In this second look, I am wearing my PINK Ultimate leggings in black, a lavender blouse from Hollister, and a cream cardigan from Hollister as well. I paired this look with some silver knee-high boots and silver jewelry.

Formal

vday

For my last look, and a more dressed up one, I am wearing a plain pair of black nylons, a rose-patterned romper from Charlotte-Russe, and the same black pair of boots from Kohl’s that was in the first look.


Thank you so much for reading and have a lovely Valentine’s Day!!!

xxoo

A. Marie

 

5 Delightfully Simple DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts

Valentine’s Day can be extremely stressful. This stress can be caused by not knowing what to gift your special someone, not knowing what to give a friend for “galentine’s day”, or even just from the person meant for your not being in your life quite yet. 

I have compiled a modest list of five Do-It-Yourself valentine’s gifts for anyone you are looking to give a gift to. These gifts are sweet, simple, and all but one use minimal supplies. Supplies that you probably already have in your house!

Read on for instructions on these five gifts.

1. An Adorable Card

card

This card is cute and affordable. I simply took a piece of paper and folded it in half. Next, I printed out a world map and cut it into the shape of a heart. Then I cut a strip off of another piece of paper and stamped the words, “You mean the world to me”, on it. On the inside you can write whatever message you want to the person you are giving the card to!

2. A Year of Date Nights

year of dates

This idea is a bit more complicated than the last. I took three sheets of pink paper (you can choose whichever paper you’d like), and cut them into quarters. This gave me twelve smaller pieces of paper, one for each month of the year. On these papers I wrote twelve ideas for date nights that I came up with. This can be the end of this project, or you can do as I’ve done and decorate them with washi tape, drawings, and stickers. Choose one date night for each month of the year to remind you to make time for that special someone!

3. 52 Reasons Why I Love You

52 reasons

For this gift, all you need is a deck of cards, paper, glue, and markers. First, I cut the paper into a size that would fit on the cards, then I glued it on. After that, all you have to do is write one reason why you love that special someone on each card! As you can see, I also jazzed mine up with some washi tape again. 

4. Bath Bombs

bath-bombs.jpg

For my fourth DIY gift, I chose homemade bath bombs. I have included my favorite recipe below.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup epsom salt
  • 1/4 cup citric acid
  • 3-4 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1-2 tsp. water
  • 1 tsp. essential oil
  • Food coloring (Just a few drops. This is optional.)

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Warm the coconut oil in microwave and stir in the food coloring. Gradually add wet ingredients to the mixture of dry ingredients, mixing with hands as you combine them. (I suggest wearing gloves.)

After thoroughly mixed, firmly press the mixture into molds. Put the bath bombs, still in the molds, into the freezer for 20 minutes. Remove from molds and place back into the freezer overnight.

You can package them the next morning. This recipe makes about two beautiful bath bombs.

5. Love Letter

Love letter

Throw it back and write your love a good, old-fashioned love letter! This one is pretty self explanatory. Just grab yourself a piece of paper (any type will work), click your pen and get writing. I have rolled mine and tied it with a piece of ribbon in lieu of an envelope.

Have an amazing time making these five DIY gifts for your valentine this year. Or just skip the whole Valentine’s Day thing and make the bath bombs for yourself! A Valentine’s Day/Date Night inspired lookbook will be coming later in the week, so keep an eye out!

xxoo

A. Marie

Quotes To Live By

Words have the power to save us all. They give us hope, someone to relate to, and can be incredibly uplifting. I thought I would share some of my personal favorite quotes with you, so that you might be inspired.

For When You Need a Little Hope

“Maybe we’re getting it all wrong, and it’s the stars who are wishing on us.” -Erin Van Vuren

“Flowers grow back, even after they are stepped on. So will I.” -Anonymous

“For what it’s worth: It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

hope

For When You’re In Love

“My nomad heart found home in you.” -s. r. w.

“Those eyes of yours could swallow stars, galaxies and universes. What hope did I ever have?” -Anonymous

“Come on, sweetheart. Let’s adore one another before there is no more left of you and me.” -Rumi

“The way to love someone is to lightly run your finger over that person’s soul until you find a crack, and then gently pour your love into that crack.” -Keith Miller

love

For When You Need to be Inspired

“Sunshine all the time makes a desert” -Arab Proverb

“Coffee in one hand. Confidence in the other.” -Anonymous

“Little by little.” -Anonymous

inspiration

For the Music Lovers

“I will sing until the miracle comes.” -Anonymous

“Music is a safe kind of high.” -Jimi Hendrix

“Be groovy or leave, man.” -Bob Marley

music

For the Adventurers

“Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air.” -Emerson

“Moon dust in your lungs, stars in your eyes, you are a child of the cosmos, a ruler of the skies.” -Anonymous

“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?” -Oscar Wilde

wanderlust

For Those to Whom Books are the Same as Breath

“A half-read book is a half-finished love affair.” -David Mitchell

“She reads books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” -Anne Dillard

“Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.” -C. S. Lewis

book

I hope these quotes will help you through the times in your life when you need them most. They have helped me through some pretty tough times, and through times when inspiration was lacking. Thank you so much for reading!

xxoo

A. Marie

Glowing Winter Skincare Routine

As we all know, winter can take a bit of a toll on our skin. At this time of year, you may be noticing that your skin is looking dull and lifeless. Of course, you need to keep a good intake of water to achieve healthy looking skin. I prefer mine with lemons in it for their detoxifying effect and flavor. Without further ado, here is my tried and true way of getting a happier, healthier looking complexion.

{{{To be fair, I am not perfect at always keeping my skincare routine on track. I am admittedly prone to skipping a step (or three) and I sometimes forget to take my makeup off before bed. I also grew up with terrible acne. Despite all of this, I can trust this routine to make my skin look 100x better.}}}

Step One: Cleanser

cleanser

The first step to my skincare routine is to cleanse with warm water and my Mario Bedescu Acne Facial Cleanser. This cleanser is very affordable at just $15 for a 6oz. bottle. I have tried a variety of different cleansers and this one is amazing for clearing blemishes and breakouts. It contains salicylic acid, which can help the skin shed dead skin cells, decrease inflammation, and help with unclogging your pores. Those with sensitive skin may find that this dries out or irritates the skin. If this happens, stop use immediately.

Step Two: Exfoliator 

exfoliators

The second step in my skincare routine is to exfoliate. I only do this about twice a week to prevent irritation. My favorite is the Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator. Unfortunately, this one is more expensive. You can purchase it for $79 for a 2oz. bottle. If that is too pricey (which I completely understand), another great one to use is the Lush Ocean Salt. This has a combination of larger and smaller pieces of sea salt to get a deep clean. Ocean salt costs $21.95 for a 4.2oz. pot, which you can purchase from the lush website.

My biggest tip when using an exfoliator is not to scrub. Since there are particles already in the exfoliator, you just need to gently rub your skin with the product. Using too much pressure can cause irritation and even damage to the skin. Another good idea is to only use an exfoliator once or twice a week.

Step Three: Toner

toner

My all-time favorite toner is the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater. You can purchase this for $7. This toner makes your skin feel very hydrated. It is refreshing, smells wonderful, and can also be used throughout the day when your skin needs a little pick-me-up.

Step Four: Serum

Serum

During the winter, a good serum is an absolute must. I typically use a very hydrating and nourishing one at night, and a loumanizing one with vitamins during the day.

My favorite serum for at night is the Skin Laundry Restoring Night Serum. It prevents wrinkles, and leaves you waking up with a glowing complexion.

For the daytime, my favorite serum is the Caudalie VinoPerfect Radiance Serum. It gives the skin that “glow from within” look. This serum is definitely radiance-boosting, and although it is pretty expensive, it definitely does a great job. As an alternative, any serum that contains vitamin C is extremely beneficial.

Step Five: Eye Cream

eye cream

I personally use the Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate, which I purchase from Ulta Beauty for $32. I have an extremely problematic under eye area. My under eyes get very puffy in the mornings, and my dark circles get to the point where they look like I have a black eye. This cream applied day and night keeps the inflammation to a minimum and my dark circles (with the help of a little concealer) pretty much disappear.

Step Six: Moisturizer 

moisturizer

Again, the moisturizer I use depends on the time of day. At night I prefer to use a heavier, more hydrating one. My favorite is the Glo Minerals Oil Free Moisturizer. I also sometimes use this during the day if my skin is feeling a bit on the dry side. During the day I prefer to use the Ole Henriksen Counter Balance Oil Control Hydrator. This is the perfect moisturizer for oily skin, as it is slightly mattifying and definitely helps control oil production. It is a great base for makeup as well.

Bonus

masks

Masks are a great step to add into your skincare routine. You can use them as often as once a day, a few times a week, or just whenever you feel that your skin needs it. Masks cover a range of skin-care needs. For an easy clean-up, you can go for the very trendy sheet mask. Another option is the traditional face mask which can be applied with the hands or a brush, and can be washed off. Another option for a face mask can be a leave on mask such as The Body Shop’s Anti-Imperfection Night Mask, which is left to soak into the skin overnight.

lip treatment

Personally, a great lip treatment is an absolute essential. This is the GlamGlow PoutMud Wet Lip Balm Treatment. I use it every night before bed and I wake up to a perfectly soft pout every morning. During the day I use whatever lip product I am wearing that day. If I choose not to wear a lip product, I make sure to always have some sort of lip balm on hand to make sure that my lips do not get dry.

vitamins

Another product that I use to ensure great hair, skin, and nails, are these Nature’s Bounty vitamins. They are made with Biotin, which is wonderful for you. As an added bonus, they are strawberry flavored and they are gummies, so no big pills to swallow!

Thank you so much for reading and I hope this helps you achieve glowing skin during the winter!

xxoo

A. Marie

 

A-Marie, The Beginning

Hey there!

Ashley here, I started A-Marie as a place to show the world my views on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. On this blog you will find clothing and clothing site reviews, first impressions of makeup, hair tutorials, my favorite quotes, and even some of my go-to workouts. This is a place to be open, honest, and for us all to share what we enjoy.

me reading.jpg

Just to tell you a bit about myself, I am going to be pursuing my cosmetology degree. I love doing hair, especially coming up with new ideas for updos. I enjoy reading, writing, and I am an AVID coffee and tea drinker. I am a lover of all things empowering and inspiring, I love travel, and my favorite quote is, “Veni, vidi, amavi.” It means, “We came, we saw, we loved.

Please enjoy my musings and thoughts and have an amazing rest of your day!

xxoo

A. Marie