March 20, 2018

Essential Oils - My Latest Wellness Obsession

If you guys are long-time readers of my blog, then you know that I absolutely love fragrance! A while ago (like a long while ago) I had a friend turn me on to essential oils as a way to provide fragrance in my home. I loved the pleasant and soothing scent it provided in my space and I just really enjoyed it as much, if not more, than burning a candle. After a couple of years, my love for oils has become a full-blown obsession! I have a diffuser at home and at work, I am just in love with using different blends to change up my atmosphere and provide gorgeous scents within my space.

I've kept this under the radar for a while, but because of my love for oils, I technically am a Young Living Oil distributor. Don't worry, this blog isn't turning into an oil blog, but oils are a part of my health and lifestyle, so it only makes sense to include them in posts on here or other social media. I thought I would go ahead and answer a few common questions I get asked (mostly at work when co-workers notice I am diffusing oils in my office):

What are essential oils?
Essential oils are pure extracted oils from plants or herbs. That is why so many of the scents are more on the natural side. The potency of these oils provide highly concentrated benefits from the plants, so you are getting the highest amount of benefits as you possibly can (i.e. relaxation, energy, stress relief, etc.) There should be caution when choosing which oil brand you use. Many brands out there use additives or mix different oils together without being fully transparent, so you could be paying for product that isn't as highly concentrated as it should be. This is why I did a ton of research and really trust Young Living's process and standards. You can read about that here.

What do you use oils for?

Oils can typically be used in three different ways: topically, aromatically (diffused) or internally. Scent-wise I love the way they make my space smell because they are light, fresh, and do not make me feel sick or nauseous like many candle or wax scents do. I work at a hospital, and they use essential oils for aroma therapy with the children seen here, and so far the patients and families have really been loving the benefits the oils provide. Aromatically is my favorite way to use oils, but I have been using some topically lately for things such as headache or muscle soreness. I haven't taken a huge plunge in ingesting oils, but I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy using the lemon oil in my water on occasion, or take a drop of peppermint to freshen my breath once in a while.

What are your favorite oils?At the moment I am loving the following:
Lavender: I love diffusing this at night to help us relax and sleep. It really does help us fall and stay asleep, as well as it just smells so amazing. I've always been a huge lavender fan, and this one smells so pure and incredible.
Peppermint: I am prone to headaches and nausea, and peppermint really helps me with combating that. I love using peppermint in all different ways! I diffuse it, place it on my temples and neck when I have for headache relief and take the vitality option internally if I need a quick breath freshening. Peppermint oil is really my best friend!
Thieves is known as a bacteria fighter, so it helps keep you healthy and from getting sick! I have seen many studies where Thieves has done better job at fighting bacteria than popular name-brand home cleaners, so it's kind of amazing! Also, it smells really cozy and spicy, I love diffusing it for immunity and the amazing scent.
We love roasting veggies in our house, and diffusing purification after dinner completely cuts through and eliminates and stinky-veggies scents that linger. It's such a fresh and awakening scent, it's one of my favorite to diffuse at any moment!

That is just the tip of the iceberg as far as the oils I am loving at the moment, but I am becoming more obsessed by the minute! If you have any questions at all, feel free to email me.  I'm happy to help out or answer any questions you may have, as well as give you some tips on how you can save money when purchasing oils.

If you are thinking you want to start using essential oils, I think the starter kit is the best option. It's how I got started, and you get so much bang for your buck. The starter kit comes with Young Living's top 11 essential oils (all 4 I have listed above included!), plus a diffuser and many samples. The kit is $160 but when you break that down by 11 oils PLUS the diffuser, you are getting a ton for your money. Plus you get a wholesale membership for an entire year, which lets you grab oils for even cheaper! When you click “next,” it will have you confirm that I’m your mentor (Sponsor & Enroller ID 13799943), and then you pick your kit. The standard kit should already be selected for you, but you can make changes if you would like. You can check out the starter kit here! You also can just buy oils as needed if you prefer to do that, but if you think you may become obsessed, the starter kit is really the way to go.

Again, I'm not here to push oils on you guys, but they are a part of my "wellness life" and I want to be able to share them with you. Let me know if you are interested or if you already use oils! I'd love to hear your favorite uses and exchange ideas :).

March 6, 2018

Kale Chips - A More Delicious Way to Get your Greens

If you're like me, you probably need a creative way to eat your veggies. I usually have to sneak them into a fruity smoothie, or I end up eating the same picks over and over (shout-out to Brussel sprouts and asparagus). I've got to credit Trader Joes for making it easier to eat the foods I don't love by turning them all into chips! Shout-out to Beet Chips, Seaweed Thins and of course, Kale Chips.

After spending way too much money every few weeks buying the TJ's Kale Chips, I figured, that I could probably make these myself pretty easily... turns out I could, so, cool! I love making these and taking them to work for a snack OR sometimes I make them and make a salad out of them by adding in some Chicken and nuts. I know, WILD. But seriously, even if you hate kale or greens, these little chips are so crispy, light and amazing if you want a salty little snack. You're probably going to roll your eyes at HOW easy the recipe is, but trust me, you're gonna love these very (VERY) easy kale chips!

V Easy Kale Chips Recipe

Bundle or Bag of Kale
Olive Oil

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. If you're Kale is on the stalk, trim it off to get more of the leafy sections & cut into pieces.
3. Spread your chopped up kale onto a pan with foil or parchment paper underneath.
4. Sprinkle the kale lightly with olive oil (LIGHTLY is the word here! You don't want soggy "chips.")
5. Sprinkle the kale with salt
6. Place the kale into the oven for 15 minutes or until the kale is crispy - THIS IS V IMPORTANT! If you don't let the kale bake until it is crispy, you will just have soggy baked kale and not real kale chips! The kale should shrivel up a bit and bit brown on the edges or crispy to the touch.
7. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

March 2, 2018

Health & Wellness - What's Happening with my Blog?

If you follow me on Instagram (@molliebellezza) you may have noticed a slight shift in my posts and maybe even a poll or two on there asking how everyone would feel about a change.

Let's back up and talk about why I started my blog initially. I started my blog because I love(d) beauty products. I still do, but at this point in my life, my likes and dislikes in the beauty and fashion world are pretty much the same and not at all groundbreaking.

I have dry skin, I love hydrating beauty products.
I love classic style. Invest in classic staples, mix in trendy pieces that are inexpensive.

I felt like such a broken record, and it's not anything new that you guys didn't know. That being said, I won't completely cut out beauty and fashion from the blog, after all, those things are a part of  wellness as a whole... I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's reroute.

As I've gotten older, I've gotten much more into fitness and nutrition. I've always been an athlete, loved working out, and love food. Over the past few years I've gotten really into eating better, but also eating what sounds good - a nice balance, if you will. I have enjoyed so much more making my food posts the last few months, and the numbers show that you guys have enjoyed it to. I've decided to move more into that direction:
Lots of food, a fair amount of fitness, and a little bit of beauty, fashion, and lifestyle bits. I'm definitely NOT saying I'm the most fit or healthy person in the world - I believe life is all about balance and enjoying one's self, but I would like to explore more into the realm of healthy eating, cool new places to work out, etc.

I hope this change doesn't disappoint you guys, but I am really excited for what is happening and what is to come. Please let me know if you have any requests for anything! Look forward to more Cooking for Max's, Wedding Fitness Updates (wedding updates in general), Healthy Recipes and Fun Workouts - as well as the occasional beauty and fashion post!

Thank you guys for sticking with me, and seriously let me know if you have any suggestions!


February 14, 2018

Heart-Shaped Super Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

Love is all about compromise right? I love a thin and crunchy chocolate chip cookie, and Max loves a soft and fluffy cookie. I thought I'd finally give in for Valentine's Day and make him some super soft cookies to come home to as a surprise. This recipe is SO easy and really, honestly delicious, which says a lot from a crispy-cookie lover! You can make them for your honey, your girlfriends, or even for yourself. Either way they are delicious!

Heart Shaping, optional.

Soft & Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 Cup of White Sugar
1/2 of Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
1 3/4 Cup of Flour (I use whole wheat)
1 Cup of Chocolate Chips or Chunks

1. Combine butter and sugars with a standing or hand mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes
2. Add in the egg and vanilla until even incorporated
3. Add in the baking soda and powder until evenly incorporated
4. Mix in the flour a little at a time until evenly distributed and undetectable in mixture
5. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand
6. Let the dough chill in the fridge for 2 hours (VERY IMPORTANT)
7. After the dough is finished chilling, preheat the oven to 350F
8. Roll the dough into balls (or shape into hearts!) and place on a lined baking sheet. This mixture should make about 12 cookies.
9. Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!!

Happy Valentines Day!

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