The Wonderland of Whole Foods

I want to start this post with somewhat of a disclaimer.  I've had to start a separate blog for school (this one isn't fact based enough) and it's focused on living a healthy lifestyle.  Occasionally I double post something from there on here with minor changes.  This is one of those times.

I just wanted to say this before someone found my school blog (which you can check out here!) and thought I was stealing someone else's posts.  I promise I put in a lot of effort writing them myself!

Now that that's over, let's get started!

For me, Whole Foods is a place that forces me to eat healthy.  I don't always shop there but I would prefer to.

Eating healthy is struggle for a lot of us, even if we're willingly trying to do it. This is largely due to two major issues that everyone has when they’re trying to get heathy.

  1. They buy "healthy" foods but don't check the ingredients.
  2. They think said "healthy" foods are expensive.

I’m definitely guilty of the first problem.  I typically do all my grocery shopping at Publix because it’s convenient, but since not all of their products are organic or free of GMOs, it’s probably not that great for me.  This is why you should read labels people!

The second problem is more of an unavoidable one.  Healthy foods are (slightly) expensive.  It’s a fact.  However, I’ve figured out a method to help me get over that: make unhealthy food unavailable.

This is where Whole Foods comes in.

Everything looks so good in their kitchen section!
The chicken tortilla soup smelt amazing!

While I was there I had a sample of this stuff.  I wasn't paying attention so I didn't realize I was about to eat fish before it was too late (I'm not a big fan).  It was actually pretty good though!

Vegan cookies! They all looked sooo good. I wouldn't exactly call myself a vegetarian because sometimes life is rough on a college campus (and well I just sampled some fish dip) but I'd really like to eventually try going vegan.

I got super excited because this Whole Foods has a juice and coffee bar.  (The one I normally go to doesn't). I'll have to take my boyfriend to this one next time he visits, he'll be even more impressed. My coffee was a little too sweet, but I'm really excited to try the juice!

My cart looks a little sad, but I didn't really need that much.  I also grabbed some bananas right before I left.  I just want to say how much I'm looking forward to trying Justin's Almond Butter and the Greek Style Cultured Almond Milk. (P.S. Yes, that is a chocolate bar in the bottom corner, but at least it's dark chocolate).

Whole Foods is dedicated to providing people with healthy options that meet their strict quality standards.  Their goal is to help customers understand and easily have access to a healthy lifestyle.

You can read about Whole Food’s history and standards on their website.

Going back to my trick of making unhealthy foods unavailable, Whole Foods does the job by letting me pick out the most affordable products on their shelves but still making sure they’re good for me.  I might be paying a few dollars more than if I had bought the cheapest version of that product on a typical grocery store shelf, but I don’t think about that since the option isn’t there.

You wouldn't think someone could develop an obsession with a grocery store.  However, my love for whole foods has proven that to be wrong.

How do you manage to stay healthy? Do you love Whole Foods as much as I do?

Note: Yes, I felt totally awkward failing at not-so-subtly taking pictures while grocery shopping! This was my first time doing something like that.  I could only image if I was using a legitimate camera instead of my phone! Do you guys just embrace the "what is she doing" looks from everyone?

xo Marina


I've been slowly converting myself to living a more healthy lifestyle.  For someone who was used to being active at least four days a week, three hours a day, transitioning into the college life of no free time and dining halls has been rough on me.

Getting active and eating right is something that is way overdue (for me personally) and severely underrated.  It's not about being perfect all the time, and it's not always about being skinny.  It's about being healthy--and being healthy is good for everyone.

So let's talk about spin.


Why? Because I'm insane and just took my second (despite the first one being months ago) class today.

Spinning has become one of the popular "group fitness" activities, and it should be.  I can attest that it is an extremely effective method of working out.  (My face is still red and class ended two hours ago).  Not only are there a lot of benefits to spinning, but it's also a relatively simple workout.

I'm not saying that it's for everyone, because it gets pretty intense, but it's great for a lot of us.  I personally like it because it is easy on my knees, unlike running (which I'm convinced I'll never be able to do because of them).

It's considered a full body workout and because it uses high-intensity interval training you are able to burn so many calories.  (So. Many. Calories.)

Teen Vogue and Huffington Post both have good articles about what to expect and why you should do spin.  I personally don't know if I agree with their suggestion about bringing padding for your seat, but everything else is good to know.

Really, though, what I like about spin class is the atmosphere.  The room is dark, the trainer is motivating you to an unnatural level, the music is awesome, and I promise that as soon as the class is over you'll feel so much more energized (despite being exhausted only seconds ago).  Granted, I still wanted to go lay on the floor after and my legs felt like jello walking up the stairs, but I feel so accomplished and fit.

It's actually more of a love/hate thing // source

I'll absolutely being going back, (this post was partly to convince myself that it's worth it), and I hope I've gotten some of you interested in it as well.

xo Marina

Lazy Sunday

Ending spring break right with tanning and Glamour by the pool.  

A week off is something that we all desperately needed in order to finish up the spring semester.  Even though I spent most of my week sick in bed, I'm still feeling that little extra bit of motivation that some much needed sleep gives you.

My only hope is that this motivation will still exist Monday morning. (Also crossing my fingers that the roommate's coffee maker has magically fixed itself).

For a little bit of happiness and a completely unrelated tangent, here is an adorable video of a baby monkey that I found on Buttons and Birdcages new post about her refashioned kimono!

xo Marina

Lush Mini Haul

In preparation for spring break I made a pitstop at lush on my way home.  I would finally have access to a bathtub so I wanted to try out a bath bomb. Needless to say, I left with a few extra items.  I just couldn't resist—believe me I tried.

Bath Bomb: Sex Bomb // Relaxing and softening with jasmine scents, and a best seller.

Bath Bomb: Butterball // Vanilla scented with a buttery feel, perfect for rehydrating.

Fresh Face Mask: Catastrophe Cosmetic // Deep-cleansing and nutrient-rich 
blueberry mask, perfect for sensitive skin.

Body lotion: Charity Pot // Cocoa butter cream, all proceeds go toward 
grassroots charities all around the world. Not going to lie, it smells disgusting but works miracles. 

Le Macaron

Vanilla // Salted Caramel // Hazelnut Dark Chocolate // Belgian Chocolate

The boyfriend and I stopped at Le Macaron while shopping today.  He didn't want any, but of course he made sure to try each one of them anyway.  

Today was filled with a getting a haircut, shopping for business clothes, watching Netflix, and eating ice cream at the beach. A perfect way to spend my first almost-not-sick day of spring break.

Clinique 3-Step Skin Care

Before I start this post, I want to apologies for being M.I.A. the best few days--I'm on spring break and I'm sick. Perfect combo, I know.

Anyway, with inspiration from my February wish list and total frustration with my face, I set out to Nordstrom on Friday ready to hopefully solve all my problems.  I knew I wanted to try Clinique because it's what my mom uses and her skin is way more sensitive than mine.

I had already done my research and figured out that I needed the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel in order to stop my skin from being dry.  The gel is specifically for oily skin, so I figured I had finally found a moisturizer that wouldn't make me feel greasy and break out everywhere.

When I was talking to the woman at the counter, she confirmed that the gel was for me (rather than the lotion) but that dryness wasn't really my problem.  My skin was flaking because I wasn't exfoliating. Plus, oily and dry skin at the same time doesn't really happen--this was an "aha" moment for me.

So after a lengthy discussion about my skin and how it reacts to different products and environments she recommended that I follow the dry combination skin care guide (since the next step up may have been too drying) but use the gel instead of the recommended lotion.

I've been using these products twice daily, and here is what I think about them:

Step 1: Liquid Facial Soap Mild
My skin feels soft and clean after using this.  It still feels weird not having any texture in my face wash, since my old one had beads in it, but the smooth soap turns into a nice foam and washes off easily.

Step 2: Clarifying Lotion 2
I apply some of this to a cotton pad and then apply it all over my face (even my eyebrows and neck!) after I've patted it dry.  Before purchasing this, I did test it on my neck to make sure I didn't have any reactions to it.

Step 3:  Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
A little goes a long way! I only purchased the small tube of this because I know I usually don't like moisturizers, but this one is perfect! It absorbs quickly, I don't feel like I have anything on my face, and I haven't broken out from it.

Overall, I really like all of these products.  Once I've used them up, I may switch to the oily combination skin care guide because my T -Zone still feels a little oily, but this could just be because I'm sick and haven't been using it that long.

This really is a fast and effective skin care routine, and if that doesn't motivate you to start taking better care of your skin here are my mom's words of advice: "Stop using cheap products on your skin!"

xo Marina

Fit Friday: Yoga Edition

Being healthy is something everyone should strive for, but there are less benefits if you aren't enjoying yourself.  This is why I do yoga.

Staying active doesn't have to mean running and lifting weights.  The first one definitely isn't for me.  There are so many different ways to get up, move around, and work your body.

Finding the right method for you depends on a few factors: your goals, interests, and capabilities.  This is because each activity effects your body differently.

Today--in this slightly random post that I had to do as a homework assignment--I'm going to tell you about yoga.

Yoga is form of activity that focuses on breath, movement and poses.  The goals of this is to calm the mind, and both lengthen and strengthen the muscles.

I find it to be a good workout and relaxing at the same time. Also, I danced up until college, so in a way yoga hits close to home.

There are three popular types of yoga: hatha, ashtanga, and bikram.

Hatha yoga focuses on breathing and practicing poses in an order that maintains balance.  If you stretch a muscle one way, the next move will involve you contracting it another way.  This is my personal favorite if I'm looking for a more relaxed, but still challenging, class.

Ashtanga yoga is better known as "power yoga." You are constantly moving through the postures which is known as a "flow." People think yoga is all about relaxing and meditating, but power yoga gets pretty intense.

Bikram yoga is commonly known as "hot yoga." The flow of the class and the postures themselves are a mixture between the two I just mentioned.  The catch is that the room is heated to between 90 to 100 degrees.  Be prepared to sweat more than you can imagine.

My personal favorite is Ashtanga yoga. I feel like I'm working really hard during the class, but after I feel like all of my stress is gone. It's a happy medium for me.

If you practice yoga, which type is your favorite? If not, what do you like to do for exercise?

xo Marina

March Wish List

It's a new month, and that means it's time for a new wish list! 

For the month of February, I really only ended up getting one thing off of my list (oops!) but I promise this month I'm going to do better.  

I tried to stick to things that I'm pretty sure I'll actually be purchasing, while still keeping in mind what other people would be interested in.  Be sure to let me know which items you like!

I've been looking for a new laptop case and I found this adorable one on Etsy the other day.  I love the elephants! They'll custom make it to fit 11.6" to 15.6" laptops and it comes in three different colors. They also do custom orders.  I'm not sure what that consists of, but I think it's what I may end up doing--stay tuned!

I think I've mentioned these earrings three times now. The plan is to actually buy them this month.  I only really like plain studs, but I'm trying to branch out by adding colors (but of course I'm still going for black--boring).

I saw this necklace while I was at the factory store last weekend.  I'm kicking myself for not buying it.  I've never been one to wear statement necklaces, but I'm trying to start and this seems like a safe option.

I'm warning you right now, this is probably the one thing I'm not going to buy. (Sad, I know).  I went onto Sephora's website and this was the first thing I saw and I immediately wanted it.  I cannot curl my hair to save my life.  This isn't exactly a problem since I have curly hair, but I still want to have the option of doing it.  I've heard good things about this rotating curling iron, and I'm thinking it would make curling my hair so much easier--but I'm not prepared to spend that much money on something I probably won't be able to use.

This is just one of the many bath bombs I plan on purchasing by Saturday.  I've been dying to try these but I don't have a bathtub in my dorm (and I wouldn't even use it if I did).  But I'm going home for spring break--where I have a bathtub and I know it's clean.

What items are on your wish list? Do you think you'll be adding any of these to it?

xo Marina

Bye-Bye Broken Sunglasses

I've already posted this on Instagram, but the other day I finally sucked it up and bought a new pair of sunglasses.  My old ones were broken and my "Spring Break Essentials" post had me set on a new pair.  The fact that I was also having shopping withdrawals didn't help the situation either...

Three trips to three different Sunglass Huts later, and I finally found the right pair.

Of course I was getting another pair of aviators--although a pair of Ralph Lauren ones tempted me. In the end, I decided on these matte finish gold frames (the link isn't to the matte ones, I can't find them online!).  They're not polarized because it gives me a headache (this is the reason why I had to go to three stores) and they were the last ones in stock.

I bought them, did my little happy dance, and wore them until the sun went down.

They fit so much better than my old pair, too.  I had a "so this is what they are supposed to be like" moment after seeing they didn't constantly fall off my face like the ones I had to bend back into shape after sitting on.

If possible, I'm even more excited for spring break now.

What do you guys think of matte gold frames?

xo Marina

Oscars Fashion 2014

The Oscars always brings out the best dresses out of all the awards shows.  Seeing what everyone is wearing is my favorite part of the night.  Sometimes, we're lucky and get other things to be excited about, too. For example, this year we had Ellen.  No one can beat Ellen--she even broke twitter.

Now onto the dresses!

Naomi Watts in Calvin Klein Collection
I love the simplicity of this dress and she's also wearing my all-time favorite shoes.  It's a win-win.

Giuliana Rancic in Paolo Sebastian
This dress is gorgeous, you cannot tell me that it isn't.  I want to go back in time to prom and wear this dress.  The color and the detail--so perfect, and the sheer back! I have no words.

Maria Menounos in Johanna Johnson
While I am obsessed with her dress, it's the hair that completes the look.  This style is so cute and every time I see it I wish I could do it to my own hair.  I first saw it on Holland Roden, and it fits her perfectly.

Jessica Biel in Chanel Couture
Another simple dress in the same color family, but she looks flawless in it.

Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen
A stand-out dress because of it's dark color.  I also love the design of it.  Her matching manicure and single bracelet keep it simple and elegant.

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Couture
This dress looks great on her and I like how she was one of the few with such a bright color.  Some people were saying that they didn't like the color similarity to her 2011 dress, but if the color looks that good--stick with it.

Lupita Nyong'o in Prada
This is the first dress I actually saw.  I love the cut and color, especially on her.  I think it was the perfect choice for the night and it's one of my favorites.

Going back to Ellen--how great is the selfie that broke twitter? I will proudly say I participated in the massive retweeting. Did you?

xo Marina

Spring Break Essentials--Accessories

I would say that these are more miscellaneous items, instead of accessories.  However, they're still super important for spring break! There is a lot crammed into this list, but I wanted to make sure I covered everything. Here is the last segment of "Spring Break Essentials:"

I personally prefer blankets over towels because they're so much bigger.  Anytime I use a towel it always bunches up on the sides and sand gets everywhere.

This picture doesn't show it well, but this is more of a floppy hat.  There is another picture of it on a model that shows how it sits when you wear it.  It's a cute and girly alternative to sun protection.

Don't let your lips get sunburn! It hurts and they'll be red and puffy.  Carmex does a good job at protecting them--but if you forget and your lips do burn, you can also use this to make them feel better.

I love Tervis Tumblers. I use them all the time for coffee, tea, or water. This pattern reminds me of Lilly Pulitzer so I had to include it.

If you don't like the feeling of having thick sunscreen on your face or if you're too sensitive to it, buying a face cream is a good alternative.

I swear by this stuff.  I rarely ever burn with it and it smells amazing.  

With my favorite sunscreen, however, I hardly tan either.  This is where I turn to tanning lotion--emphasis on the lotion.  I like this one because it has some SPF and it isn't an oil.  Through much trial and error, I've found out that I'm allergic to some tanning oils and I burn with them (not that case with tanning lotion).

This is my other hat option.  I really like baseball caps and this is definitely something I plan on purchasing before spring break.  It's a sportier look than the straw hat.

xo Marina

Spring Break Essentials--Beach Bag

Beach bags are another necessity for spring break.  Wallet, keys, phone, sunscreen, water--you need it all.  For today's post, I've chosen my top four beach bags.  I've also picked ones that would be cute for everyday use in case you aren't planning on going to the beach.

This is a decent sized backpack and it comes in 10 different colors.  I would say it's about the size of a typical backpack, so you'd be able to fit everything in it except for a towel.  This is also a good option for someone who wants a bag that closes instead of an open tote bag.

This is a super cheap option and it also comes in a lot of colors.  It's nylon and machine washable, so getting sand out of it would be painless. This same style is available in two additional sizes, but I chose the middle size (which is supposed to hold up to 50lbs).

This is my go-to tote.  I used it all last semester to carry my books, and now I just use it as my every-day bag.  I've also taken it to the beach countless times.  It has three pockets on the inside so you can keep your phone separate. You could also fit a small water bottle in a pocket. This way, if there is any sand on the bottom it won't scratch your phone or stick to your water bottle.

These totes are pretty large so I think you'd be able to fit a towel in it.  I've seen people with them around campus, but I don't own one myself.  I like the Sandbar Blue Florida print for spring break (it's the pattern on the Lilly Jeep), but if I wanted to use it as an every-day bag I would pick the pattern pictured--Shorely Blue NYC.

xo Marina