Favorite Places To Shop For Bathing Suits
I might be the only girl in florida that doesn’t own a plethora of bathing suits. Legit, I think I have 3. It’s actually hilarious because I am ALWAYS either swimming, tanning, going to the beach, or doing something else that involves wearing a swimsuit during the warmer months & I guess I just rotate between those 3, lol. Because of my sad swimsuit situation, I’m determined to step up my game this spring/summer. Like it’s that bad. I’m truly a disgrace to florida culture.
The only justification I have for my lack of bathing suits is that I find them to be SUCH an investment. Tops and bottoms are always sold separately, with good reason because I’m not the same size top/bottom, but it makes buying suits so expensive. Also, it needs to fit and fit well. I’m not one of those chicks that only buys a bikini to look good in. When I’m at the beach I like to go in the ocean and get tossed around by the waves, I like to play football with the guys in my fam; I need to make sure my swimmie isn’t gonna fall off!! So for me, theres a lot that goes into bathing suit shopping. Mainly, it comes down to quality and price. Luckily, I have like years of online shopping experience and have kept track of all of my fav sites. So, if you’re like me and desperately need to step up your swimsuit game, here are a few of my favorite sites to get ya started!
Zaful is awesome because you can literally buy a bikini or one piece for as low as $11. Yes, $11. Now you must be thinking, “okay, what’s the catch?” Well, the catch is that the quality won’t be the best. I’ve ordered a lot of clothes from Zaful in the past and to be honest, 90% of my purchases i’ve been happy with; so don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the qualities always crap. You just have to prepare yourself for the possibility of it being crap quality is all. But I mean c’mon girls, an $11 bikini that’s cute AF is well worth the risk.
Oh, good ole Targét. Target is one of those places that I consider the holy grail because 1) it has everything & 2) it’s affordable. If you’ve never bought clothes or swimsuits at target, first of all, what are you doing??? Second of all, you don’t know that it can truly be a hit or miss. I went to target the other day actually and walked out with 2 jumpsuits and a maxi dress when my only intention was to buy a plate, lol. But sometimes you can go into target and look through the women’s section not finding anything at all. Let me tell you though, spring is definitely their best season; so go now! Like I said, swimwear is super affordable and they’re usually all very wearable.
Asos is one of those online stores that I forget about for like months and then randomly go on and wonder why I’ve forgotten about this magical place. It’s another store that truly has everything (which is my favorite kind of store). I recently just bought 2 one pieces (they came in a 2-pack!) from asos for legit only $28. What’s even better about this store is that they offer student discounts. So, as long as you have a student email address, they’ll provide you with a 10% discount code that doesn’t expire until AFTER you graduate. How sick is that?!?!?
Swell is an online beach/surf shop that my friend and I found when we were literally in middle school. It’s filled with all of your beach necessities from beach towels, wetsuits, & bikinis, to surfboards, cameras, outdoor gear & more. They also sell clothing, footwear, and accessories too; so yes, you can spend hours on here. As far as pricing goes, I would probably compare it to Urban Outfitters affordability. It’s mostly brands like Volcom, Rvca, & Quicksilver; so it’s a perfect place for bathing suit shopping.
Like I said, bathing suit shopping can definitely be an investment. But to be honest, everyone needs that one bathing suit that is top notch quality and always looks bomb when you wear it. If you’re looking to purchase a suit you know you’re going to wear for a while and you want to last, check out Everything But Water. It’s very pricey, not gonna lie, but you do get what you pay for.
Never forget about the department stores! Not only do they have everything, but they pretty much hold every style, size, & trend you could ever want. Bloomies is my favorite department store just because I find they hold the chicest brands; however, I know it can get expensive. This is where the beauty of sales racks comes in!! You can find some pretty awesome things if you dig. Also, when you’re at a place like Bloomingdales, don’t forget to look for swim suit coverups!! They always have the cutest one.
Sometimes the best suits are found in the most unexpected places. Now I know at the beaches where I’m from, Daytona, there’s not many “chic” swim shops. It’s all super touristy. However, if you’re ever exploring, keep your eyes open for local surf shops. Some of my all time favorite suits have been purchased at a local beach/surf shop. My favorite one is Mad Dog Surf Shop in Ponce Inlet/Daytona area!
I hope this helped you guys on your bathing suit quest! HAPPY SPRING EVERYONE. So excited for beach, lake, & pool days omg!! See, this is why we all need to get new swimmies.
Almond Butter Power Balls
Happy March, my lovelies! Every morning for the past couple of weeks the sun has been shining, birds have been chirping, and the grass has made the air smell so dewy and moist. I know Spring Equinox isn’t until the end of March, but friends, spring is pretty much here!! At least in Savannah, and I’m so happy about it. It’s just such a bright, hopeful, & beautiful season! Makes me so excited for beach days, pool workouts, fruit water, morning runs, SMOOTHIES. Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. I am not here to talk to you all about Spring, even though I probably could all day, lol (I just love it). Recently I bought some almond butter from the whole foods store near me and since I don’t eat bread, I’ve been struggling to figure out how to eat it. Sure, I can put it in my smoothies, dip celery into it; but I wanted to figure out a way where I would be able to fully taste the almond butter and not just get subtle notes of it. I also wanted to create a snack that would give me a good dosage of both protein and healthy fats. I remembered these protein power balls I used to make back when I used to eat oats and it totally inspired me to create these little grain-free power balls. Like all of the little snacks and treats that I come up with, they’re so easy to play around with and make your own! Definitely cater to your tastebuds when making these and have fun with it! Also, don’t be afraid to getcha hands dirty. There’s basically no getting around that; but hey, at least you get to lick the goods off your hands when you’re done. Is that still a thing when you’re an “adult”?
Coconut Hemp Balls
-1 tbsp almond butter
Salted Cacao Chip Balls
-1 tbsp almond butter
Rub your hands in some coconut oil before you start and then scoop out a tbsp of almond butter. Roll it into a ball-like shape and then into either your cacao powder or shredded coconut until it’s almost completely covered. Top with the toppings I listed above and stick in the freezer overnight! If you’re using all-natural, fresh ground almond butter, once you take them out of the freezer they may melt faster, but as long as you don’t mind a softer texture you’re a-okay!
Let me know if you give these a try & have a happy happy day.
favorite low carb snack ideas
Snack attacks are a real thing. And they are NO thing to underestimate. Seriously! If you’ve ever experienced that sudden, unwavering need for something to munch on while you’re working or find yourself so hangry in between meals you can’t even think, you definitely understand where I’m coming from. The problems I’ve found with snacking though is 1) portion control and 2) snacking on the right things that will keep me full. Usually, the last problem was because I would almost always use carbs like fruit as my snack attack go-to & fruit isn’t something that is going to tide you over until your next meal. While I’m still on my health & wellness journey, I do think I’ve finally figured out this whole snacking thing. What I’ve realized is that the absolute key to snacking is to stick to smaller portions with higher amounts of healthy fats. I’m sure if you read my blog or keep up with my Instagram, you’ve heard me talk about the importance and role healthy fats play in your diet, but if you haven’t, let me just reiterate a bit! When healthy fats enter your body, they get digested at a much slower rate, which in turn increases fullness and decreases your appetite. So, it makes sense to incorporate good healthy fats into your next snack to ensure you feel satisfied & don’t end up raiding the entire fridge before you’ve even had dinner. Anyone else been there? Lol. If you’re looking for some low-carb, higher fat snack ideas, just keep reading below!
If you eat meat, jerky is such a great option! Since meat is high in protein as well as fat, satiety won’t be something to worry about after eating it. Make sure if you’re snacking on store-bought jerky to be careful about which type you’re buying. Always buy grass-fed or uncured meat. Always check the ingredients section, as some companies like to sneak unnecessary sugar in their product which is no bueno. My personal favorite brand is Epic. Go check out their site because they have so many other products rather than just jerky AND they’re mostly all gluten free.
I think nowadays with all the social media, the incredibly talented food bloggers, & the mouth-watering photos of yummy food slathered all over our Instagram feeds, we forget about simplicity when it comes to meals and snacks. Now trust me, I get a lot of my meal inspiration from Instagram/food bloggers, but I’m not eating these intricate, beautifully presented meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. I may eat a really lovely breakfast, but then have an avocado & veggies for lunch. If you get too caught up in the complexity of your meals, you’re going to start losing the nutrients that come with simple whole foods. One of my favorite snacks is the simplest & quickest thing to whip up (which is part of the reason it’s my favorite): a veggie plate! Since I live in a dorm, I buy pre-cooked veggie medley’s from the whole foods store near me. My snack plate will usually consist of bell peppers, celery, flax-seed crackers (try flackers crackers, so yummy & crunchy), and jerky! But the wonderful thing about a snack plate is that you can totally cater it to you and the veggie’s you love! Now a snack plate isn’t anything without something to dip the veggie’s in though. You can make some homemade guacamole or even use a cheese dip! If you eat a dairy free diet, try kite-hill‘s almond milk “cream cheese”. It is TOO DIE FOR.
Chocolate Coconut Milk Smoothie
So for some reason, this has been my favorite go-to recently. I’ve been doing this smoothie/drink aside a small lunch, as a snack, or as a lunch by itself, so it really just depends on however much of it you make! Basically there’s two main ingredients you need to achieve this snack: coconut milk + cacao powder. Once you have those, you can really add in whatever else you want! My favorite way to make this snack is to combine full fat coconut milk, cacao powder, cinnamon, chia seeds, collagen peptide protein, & some salt. You can even add in some almond butter to give it a creamier texture! What’s fun about this idea is that you can make it either a cold smoothie or a hot beverage that’s sort of like a hot chocolate. I love enjoying this as a hot beverage, so after I add my ingredients into the blender, I pour in however much hot water I want & blend it all up!
Going back to what I said about simplicity, I love to keep things real simple with a good ole’ avocado. Avocado’s are my favorite because they just give you that creamy consistency, almost like a spread or a sauce, when you’re lacking it in a meal. Although I do enjoy avocados in meals, they tend to be more of a go-to snack for me because they’re quick and easy to prepare. All I do is sprinkle on top some himalayan pink salt, black pepper, & if I want more crunch, I’ll throw on some hemp hearts! You can also eat it with some shredded veggies on top. I’ve realized whenever people “snack” on avocados or even put them in their meals they only eat half because avocados are pretty high in calories. But I honestly eat one whole avocado a day, lol. And I don’t eat half for one meal and save the rest for a later meal, I eat it all at one time! Maybe this is because I don’t ever really eat “big” lunches and I always “snack” around lunch time. I don’t know. I don’t think it really matters whether you choose to eat half or the whole thing as long as you’re listening to your body. If you want the whole avocado, eat the whole avocado, lol.
Chia Seed Pudding
Lastly, but certainly not least, chia seed pudding! This is a great option if you’re craving something like oatmeal or yogurt & granola and are dairy-free or low carb. I actually created a blog post on my chia seed pudding recipe, so if you want that click here! But honestly, whenever I’m craving a dessert-like snack or something that reminds me of oatmeal, this is always my go-to and it always satisfies those cravings. There’s also a ton of different things you can add to it to make it your own, so don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with what you have around the kitchen! My favorite toppings to add onto chia seed pudding are things like cacao nibs, shredded coconut, nut butter, & cinnamon!
If you give any of these a try, definitely send a message my way & tell me how you liked it! Happy weekend everyone. GO OUTSIDE. The weather has been too wonderful lately not to…
last minute v-day gift ideas!
Valentines day is TOMORROW??? I seriously don’t know how it’s already february 13th, I feel like this month has been flying by & I’m not sure if I’m okay with that. I also think it’s just cruel to have valentines day on a week day when school, projects, LIFE prohibits some of us from celebrating & being with our sig other. This will be the first v-day in 2 years that I spend alone. Sigh. Thank goodness for FaceTime, though! Anyways, I wanted to make a Valentine’s day post a lot earlier, but like I said, the 14th snuck up on me, so here I am posting one the day before. BUT IT’S OKAY. Because if you’re like me and didn’t realize valentines day is happening, like tomorrow, this post is for you because I’m sharing a few adorable ideas for last minute v-day gifts. All of these ideas are super affordable, accessible, & for the most part, simple! The key to a good gift is making the receiver feel like you really know them & understand who they are/what they like. For example, I’d much rather receive a box of healthy, nutritious dark chocolate & a snuggly stuffed animal over a materialistic item that doesn’t bring me joy or resonate with me. So, when buying a v-day gift, think about the person, keep it personal, thoughtful, & playful (bc valentines day is all about cheesy romantic shizniz).
THE CUTEST, SIMPLEST, EASIEST, LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEAS:
favorite candy package: run up to walmart, grab your mans fav candies, put it in a cutely decorated gift box, & BAM. He’ll be one satisfied boy. And you can share all the candy, too. It’s a win-win.
love letter: it really can be as simple as that. This goes for both a guy and a girl. You’ll be surprised at how much a handwritten letter about how much you love someone can mean to that person. Everyone likes knowing they’re loved.
favorite underwear: for some reason it’s always about the girl’s undies?? But don’t worry guys, I didn’t forget about your undie-needs. What guy wouldn’t love a bunch of new, comfy underwear?? Plus, guys look cute in undies, hehe.
sexy photos//scrapbook of photos: treat your dude to some print out photos of yo sexy self!! I mean this is Valentines Day… plus, taking them will make you feel good about yourself. Body posi yo.
food: do I even have to explain why. Cook your love some dinner, take him out to his favorite restaurant, anything involving food will make him a happy camper.
cute fuzzy socks/slippers: If your girl is always putting her feet on you to keep them warm (lucas knows this all too well), then this is your solution to ending that right now!! Besides, no girl will turn down fuzzy socks or slippers. And if your girl does, theres something wrong with her…… no, seriously, there’s something wrong with a girl that doesn’t appreciate fun socks/slippers. My picks: 1, 2, 3 (so cute omg)!
undies/bralette set: omit the lingerie and buy us a matching bralette & underwear set. Lingerie is only fun to wear on occasion, but a bralette & undie set we will practically live in. We’ll actually love you forever. My picks: 1, 2, 3, 4!
flowers: because they’re pretty & smell nice & we like things that are pretty & smell nice. Pair with her favorite chocolate and your golden.
favorite coffee/tea: if you show your girl you know her favorite kind of coffee/tea, that’s a huge score for you. Trust me, it’ll mean so much to her. Plus, coffee makes your girl happy in the morning and not grumpy and I promise you want that.
bubble bath set: a scented bath paired with strawberries & tea (or wine if it’s one of those kinda nights) is the perfect formula for unwinding. It’s also pretty neat cus your girl could enjoy a bubble bath alone or you can join in ;). My picks: 1, 2, 3!
good book: go on the bestsellers list and pick out a book you know she hasn’t read. If she loves to read, this is such a thoughtful & more of a hey-I-know-you-like-this-stuff kind of gift which is always the best. Example
cute stationary//pencils: I’m not sure if other girls would get as excited about receiving pencils with the cutest cheesiest sayings and quotes on them, but I’d eat that shit up. Or little notepads with adorable designs and pretty colors. See, we are not THAT hard to please. My picks: 1, 2, 3, 4!
I hope all of you have a lovely valentines day filled with chocolate, flowers, movies, laughter, comfy clothes, & surrounded by the person (or people) you love! And remember, if you’re single this valentines day, treat yourself. Make this day about loving & celebrating you. You deserve it.
Matcha Rocket Fuel Latte
Goodmornin’ folks! It is one lovely morning here in good ole’, sunny florida so I think I’m going to take a trip up to the beach! Beach in January = one out of many reasons florida rocks. But anyways, this post isn’t so I can just rave about florida, lol! If you’ve read any of my latest health posts, you know I’ve been experimenting with my diet & figuring out what my body does and doesn’t respond well to. One of the things I’m deciding to limit myself with is coffee. I know, I know. You’re probably thinking, Well Mands, not only will you suffer, but so will your instagram feed since its like 99.9% of coffee photos. Yes, you’re right. But not to worry!! Because I’m putting coffee on the back burner for now, I’m going to be starting my mornings off with more herbal teas! I feel like between coffee & tea, tea definitely has more health benefits, so it only makes sense to give my body something that’ll help it, not harm the digestive tract.
Because I like to get most of my energy from healthy fats, I decided to create a twist on Healthful Pursuit’s infamous Rocket Fuel Latte (fat-packed morning beverage). So, without further ado, introducing the Matcha Rocket Fuel Latte. This vibrant, warm, & tasty drink is going to give you all of the energy you need for the day because you’re getting the energizing effects from the matcha powder & also being fueled by the added healthy fats! If you’re not afraid of a power green drink, check out the recipe below. Only 3 main ingredients and super easy to whip up. I’m telling you, this’ll be your new morning fix!
Matcha Rocket Fuel Latte
Matcha green tea powder
Coconut oil (or mct oil)
Almond milk or Coconut Milk
Optional add ins:
Kerrygold Irish Grass-fed Butter or Ghee (dairy-eaters)
Cacao butter (non-dairy eaters)
All you have to do is grab your blender, add a tablespoon of coconut oil, a half cup or so of your preferred milk, teaspoon of preferred butter or ghee if you chose to include those (these will just give it a richer, creamier taste!), & matcha green tea powder! Once all the ingredients are in the blender, pour in a mug full of hot water & blend it all up! Enjoy as is, or top with some chia seeds or hemp hearts!