8 Tips To Creating Your In Home Gym: By Guest Blogger, Cait Elizabeth

Hey guys!  Excited to share with you a fun post by a guest blogger.  Cait Elizabeth, of Cait's Cozy Corner, is a mom, fashion, and fitness enthusiast from Atlanta, GA.  Hope you enjoy her fun tips to get healthy at home!

8 Tips To Creating Your In Home Gym

Have you ever walked into someone’s home and thought “Wow, this gym is something I could definitely use in my own home!” Of course, you actually can make your home gym more functional and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. Do we all really think that we can squeeze that treadmill in the corner of the room next to the huge pile of laundry? Sure, you may need a certain amount of space to dedicate to working out but creating your state-of-the-art gym can be super expensive! Anyone with a basement or a spare room with extra weights and a yoga mat can make their room look awesome! Today I’ll be sharing 8 ways to add function to your home gym!

  1. Media - I’m one to always need something to watch or listen to when I’m working out. The days I forgot my headphones is a sad one but thank goodness for having the option to watch a show I’ve been meaning to keep up on, or the news. With your own home gym, you’re able to watch what YOU want - or even jam out to your favorite tunes ( yes I’ll blast Backstreet Boys )! Make sure to mount your TV in a place that accessible from every corner of the room ( like a small corner ) so you don’t have to strain your neck one way to watch.

  2. Paint Colors - When I first walk into a room, one of the things I notice right away are the paint colors. Do you want the room to feel inviting and fresh or bold and out there? For me, my in home gym needs to be a mixture so I enjoy colors that are pleasing and not over the top like a bright yellow. Think of light greys, whites or blues and then add some accent colors to speak to your personality!

  3. Rubber Flooring- I need this type of flooring for my gym. I hate slipping and sliding over the floor at times ( if I tend to do more yoga ) and rubber flooring is just a game changer as far as helping my shoes and body stay in place. I also love that it has a lot of give to it so I’m not scuffing my floors when doing a few circuit trainings.

  4. Fan- Despite that your home may have central air, getting super sweaty will always happen so putting a fan or two in small corners like where your treadmill or weight area is key. Keeping cool is essential when getting your work out in.

  5. Add Luxury- Of course I want my in home gym to be functional but also girly too. I love adding some fresh flowers and great pieces to make it a bit more luxurious too. For any of my design needs I always look to Premier Surfaces Chattanooga based in TN. The company specializes in gorgeous countertops made of granite, marble, soapstone and more! They are the only company to win Atlanta’s Consumer’s Choice Award every year since 2008; a prestigious award that is voted by thousands of local residents so you know you’re in good hands when thinking of wanting to customize some counter spaces for that extra storage you need in your gym! Make it pleasing for you and your guests!
  6. Personalize It - Of course, you want your gym to reflect you and your style when it comes to the decor. Inspirational framed messages are always an inexpensive option and you’re probably going to want some sort of music to cover up the sound of your heavy breathing!

  7. Cooler - No one wants to be extremely parched and run upstairs to grab water. Why not have a cute water cooler in your gym and fill it with cold refreshing water bottles to enjoy and for your guests to use if they want to come over!

  8. Keep It Clean -  Remember, this is YOUR space. If it gets a little cluttered from time to time, invest in some cute baskets or boxes that you can easily throw your gym equipment into. The key here is that you want to enjoy your time in your workout area. Don’t add another hurdle to your workouts by forcing yourself to clean up pre-workout.

What would you include in your very own home gym?

3 Healthy Summer Mocktails for Mamas-To-Be

Everyone loves to sip on a special beverage once in a while, especially in the heat of summer.  If you're like me and avoiding alcohol due to pregnancy, or just for your own health, it gets a little boring drinking water when everyone else has a fancy cocktail.  That's why I came up with a few drinks that are easy to make, low in sugar, and so tasty you won't feel left out of the party for one second!

Watermelon Jalapeno Margarita

Ingredients:

2 cups cubed watermelon, frozen

1 fresh jalapeno, seeded

Juice from 1 lime

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  

Add lime juice and/or water for desired flavor/consistency.  

Serve immediately 

 

Peach Basil Iced Tea

Ingredients:

4 tea decaf teabags

Pure liquid stevia

3 Peaches

1 bundle of basil

Directions:

Brew tea according to package.

Slightly sweeten tea to your preference with a few drops of stevia

Cut peaches into slices and add to the pitcher

Roughly chop basil and add to the mixture

Refrigerate for a least a few hours(or overnight) so that the tea soaks up all the flavor of the peaches and basil. 

Cranberry Limeade 

Ingredients: 

2 parts sparkling water

1 part pure, unsweetened cranberry juice

1/2 part limeade(I like simple truth brand)

Lime wedges

Directions:

Pour sparkling water, cranberry juice, and limeade over ice.

Top with extra lime juice and a lime wedge.

Enjoy!

Caitlin

Dermaplaning

I've offered a lot of different skin treatments over the years; microdermabrasion, peels, ultrasound  facials, LED light therapy, and dermaplaning.  Of all of these things dermaplaning has had a very unique response.  People are terrified of it once they read about the process, but once they do it they are addicted!  I have more people that get that done every month than any other skin treatment I offer.  So I thought it would be the perfect thing to write about and share pictures of the process to show that it's totally not a scary thing.  

Dermaplaning is the removal of dead skin and baby hairs on the face by using a single use, stainless steal blade.  "What!?  You mean you're going to scrape a layer of my face off with a scalpel!?" is the general response.  But no, it's not nearly as intense as most people imagine.  It's not unpleasant, and not "a layer of your face", but over time and repeated treatments it will help diminish scaring, large pores, fine lines, hyper pigmentation, and give you overall smoother softer skin.  

I offer dermaplaning as an add on to any of my facials or as a stand alone "dermaplaning facial" which is kind of like dermaplaning with a mini facial.  The reason I don't offer it alone is that I want everyone to leave with the best possible results and that means taking time to at least do a quick mask after the treatment and finish with some good products so that no one leaves irritated or dry.  Also, whatever results you might get from the masks and treatments in a regular facial are greatly multiplied after dermaplaning because the products can sink in much deeper and do their job without being stopped by all that dead skin on the surface.

Want an even better treatment?  Once you're used to dermaplaning I recommend adding an enzyme peel after.  This is going to give an even better exfoliation and this is where you will start to see the real results.  For some people with very dry skin and a lot of buildup, dermaplaning can be like beginning to unravel a sweater; you could just keep going all day with no good stopping point.  An enzyme peel will help dissolve and perfectly smooth any remaining dry skin flakes that weren't quite ready to come off, leaving you with perfectly smooth skin.  I try to do this myself once a month!

After dermaplaning, optional enzyme peel and/or other specialized treatments, and masking, we will finish up with products like serums, eye treatments, and moisturizer customized to your skin's needs. It's actually a very relaxing treatment, and not the scary experience that a lot of people imagine.  Immediately after this treatment your skin will feel softer than you thought possible!  And after continued treatments we can really start to tackle some deeper issues, or simply maintain that youthful glow.  As far as aftercare, just make sure to stay out of the sun for a few days and protect your skin with an spf.  Most people don't have any redness or irritation at all.  So if you're ready to give it a try, you know where to find me!

 

Caitlin

Goodbye First Trimester!

I have to apologize for not being as consistent with this new project as I had hoped, but as most of you know I got some big news shortly after starting this endeavor so I've been a little distracted.

In late March my husband Ryan and I found out that we are going to be parents!  Wether or not a pregnancy is planned or a surprise, I think it's hard not to be in disbelief.  Is this real?  Am I making this up?  Can this little plastic test(or 10 of them!) really tell me something this life changing?  But as soon as we saw this little person on the screen in our first ultrasound it was real!

So what now?  So many things to plan and prepare for.  So many questions on what I can and can't do.  At the time I didn't even have a Dr. but I knew I wanted to do an all natural birth and possibly in an nontraditional setting.  So we decided to do all my prenatal care and birth at a wonderful birthing center with the help of the best midwives and nurses.  The wait between finding out we were expecting and our first appointment seemed like forever!  I called them probably way too much to ask all my questions but was frustrated to find, no one really had the answers I wanted.  As most of you know I do things as naturally as possible.  I don't take drugs unless absolutely necessary, I eat healthy foods and take lots of natural supplements.  So as I started to feel sick early on(especially when I got a bad cold on top of the pregnancy sickness!), I reached for my tried and true remedies.  I'd never noticed the big warning label on everything in my "medicine" cabinet "WARNING: Ask a Doctor before taking if pregnant or breastfeeding."  So many calls to a nurse were made but there are no answers here.  No one has thoroughly tested oils and herbs on pregnant women.  Even when I grabbed my go to kombucha, which always gives me energy and relieves nausea, I find out it's off limits because....we just don't know!  On top of that, the list of approved drugs for pregnancy are things I already try not to take.

So needless to say I spent a few miserable weeks reading lots of books that said lots of scary things and made me want to lock myself in a padded room to keep my baby safe from all the horrors of the world!  After a lot of soul searching, researching, and asking other mamas who I respect, I have been able to relax a little bit.  I think a huge part of pregnancy and health in general is listing to your body.  I knew what I needed when I needed it!  At this point is doesn't matter as much because I'm out of the first trimester and feeling much better haha.  SO GLAD this period of sickness and confusion is over!  But I'm hoping I can continue through this pregnancy staying relaxed and listening to my body.

The first trimester is definitely hard.  I wasn't nearly as sick as some of my friends but it's a tough time with lots of emotions and uncertainty.  I am so happy to finally be settling in, feeling energized, excited, and focused on the connection I'm building with my little one.  

baby9a.jpg
Spring Beauty Tips

It's that time of year!  Time to do a little spring cleaning to our beauty routines.  My approach to spring and summer beauty is based in simplicity.  Start with healthy skin and top it off with minimal makeup and fun colors.  Vogue agrees with me.  Among Vogue's top beauty trends for spring of 2017 were the "no makeup look", an emphasis on cheeks, and bold lips.  Here are my tips on how to achieve these easy looks.

SKIN  

The base to any good beauty routine is healthy skin.  I recommending starting with the basics; Cleaning, toning, and moisturizing.  For skincare junkies like me, or those looking to address certain issues, you can add products like exfoliants, masks, serums, or eye creams.  I'm a strong believer in organic skincare, not only because it's healthy for our bodies, but because it works!  When we use organic ingredients our skin actually knows what to do with it.  Our bodies, and in turn our skin, know how to regulate and protect themselves.  In an ideal world we wouldn't need skincare at all, but we don't live in an ideal world.  Every day we are exposed to toxins and environmental pollutants not to mention the food we put in our bodies(which is directly related to inflammation in our skin).  So my focus is getting my body and my skin back to it's natural state of regulating and healing itself, and organic skincare helps me do just that.  Also when you clean up your diet and avoid unnecessary toxins in your daily life it will definitely start to show in your skin.  In addition to a good at home routine, regular facials can be an amazing way to see even more results in your skin.  

"NO MAKEUP" MAKEUP

Sometimes even with the best skincare routine we still need a little help to look this effortless.  Here I used all Limelight products.  Gina beige foundation, glowing blush on cheeks and temples, creme brûlée enduring lip color, and a touch of mascara.

GLOWING CHEEKS

For this look I used a dab of Limelight's waterproof concealer mixed with a couple drops of "Must Dew" facial oil for a sheer foundation alternative.  I topped that with "glowing" blush in a "C" shape across my checks and temples, then just a bit of their "perfect blush" right on the apples of my cheeks.  This glowing blush combo as been a major hit and seems to work for everyone.

BOLD LIPS

A bold lip is a super easy way to look instantly put together without doing much at all.  Here I used Limelight's enduring lip color in "Candy Apple".  One of my go to colors when I'm feeling fun.  These enduring lip colors offer a fully pigmented look that dries matte and lasts hours while still feeling creamy and hydrating unlike similar brands that tend to get dry and flakey.  It really is the perfect lip product. 

 

What does your skincare and makeup routine look like?  And is it changing with the seasons or do you feel stuck in a rut?  I can help!  connect with me for personalized skin and makeup help anytime.

 

Caitlin

Skin, MakeupCaitlin Hart
Aloe

We've probably all got a bottle of aloe vera gel stashed somewhere for the occasional sunburn.  I know I was a regular user as a fair skinned kid who couldn't stay out of the sun in the summer.  But do you really know all the vast benefits this plant has?  And are you using it correctly? 

Ways to use it

Aloe vera does two main things, reduces inflammation and deeply hydrates at a cellular level. This means it's amazing for topical use on skin irritations but also internally for inflammation in the body and to aid in increased hydration. 

Topical Uses

  • Burns
  • Rashes
  • Breakouts
  • Allergic reactions
  • Bruises
  • Rosacea 
  • Eczema
  • Hydration
  • Anti Aging
  • Stretch marks
  • Dark spots

Internal Use

The source of all disease in the body is inflammation.  That's why it is imperative to our health to live a lifestyle that reduces inflammation instead of causing more.  You can eat an anti-inflammatory diet by eating alkaline foods and refraining from inflammatory foods like caffeine, alcohol, processed foods and sugar.  As a dietary supplement you can buy a good quality liquid aloe very juice or water(I recommend "George's").  I take a 2oz. shot each morning and evening.  Using aloe internally can also help with skin disorders since we heal from the inside out.  Benefits of taking aloe internally are so vast because healing inflammation helps with any problem you can dream up, but here are a few key things aloe may help with...

  • Digestive disorders
  • Dehydration
  • Joint health
  • Ulcers
  • Cancer prevention/treatment
  • Diabetes/blood sugar control
  • Acid reflux
  • fibromyalgia
  • IBS
  • Crohns disease
  • Rosacea
  • Acne
  • Anti aging

The list goes on and on and on!

Where to get the good stuff

Aloe vera is very east to grow year round indoors as a potted plant.  For external use this is the best source!  Simply remove a leaf when needed, slice it in half lengthwise and rub the inner leaf on the area of concern.  Most drug store aloe gels contain very little actual aloe. Instead they have other medicated ingredients to mask symptoms, like lidocaine or menthol.  If you must buy prepackaged aloe, make sure it's from your local health foods store and is 100% pure aloe.  But buying a plant is definitely the best way to go.  Plus, they look super cute in your home!

For internal use I recommend grabbing a gallon of "George's 100% Aloe liquid" from your local health food store, or online.  It's pure, fractionally distilled aloe without all the pulp so it literally tastes like water.  This stuff is liquid gold!

Those are my favorite ways to use this incredible little plant.  What's your favorite way to use Aloe?

Caitlin  

HealthCaitlin Hart
Launch Day

Launch day, and week, was an overwhelming success!  A small group of women gathered in my home last night to help me celebrate the start of this exciting new business.  I opened a few bottles of wine(and plenty of cheese) and we got to work trying out makeup.  I'm so beyond excited to say that after just one week in business I got my first promotion last night!  Even more exciting is that I added two new members to my team this week.  These two girls are powerhouses and are already working their butts off.  I'm absolutely thrilled to get to work with them.  Over all this has been such a positive experience and I've only just started.  So I'm about to buckle down and get to work planning two more launches for my team members in addition to hosting more makeup demos of my own.  I am still looking to add more team members in the Nashville area and all over the US so if this sounds like something right up your ally, reach out and join the party!  Getting to work with amazing women all over the country to empower and teach other amazing women is an absolute dream.

Caitlin 

Here we go...

First of all, thank so you much for joining me in this new exciting project!  I'm taking this year to work on really digging into myself and what I want to do.  I just love being an esthetician and all that has come with that.  Lashes, skincare, relaxation, makeup, health and wellness.  My real passion really comes down to being a teacher.  Nothing makes me happier than sharing the knowledge I've learned to help women tackle skin and health issues, or simply making them feel beautiful with a new set of lashes or some new makeup.  I'm constantly learning wether it's in school, a weekend class, or from those around me.  So what better way to get all of this information to you than a blog?  Today the launch of this new project coincides with the launch of my new business with Limelight makeup.  I'm so excited to get started doing makeup lessons with so many of you around town and show you what I've been working on.  This will be a place for me to share all that I know from beauty, to healthy recipes, to my favorite local spots to eat and shop.  I'm so excited about this year and this new project.  Love you all for your incredible support so far!

Caitlin