I LOVE TO SLEEP. Ask anyone who knows me, ask my mom, even as a baby I chose sleep over food any day. After family gatherings like thanksgiving I would run upstairs and take a quick nap. Even nowadays naps are a regular thing in my household and I can sleep through just about everything. Office naps? You bet your bottom I’m in the back office on lunch snoozing through all those telephone rings. So let me help you fight your insomnia and get a good nights rest!

These tips are what I do before bedtime, so it’s not necessarily what I do when I want to nap…

  • Detach from your phone, TV, tablet, electronic devices, etc. That way your eyes aren’t being strained from the light from your electronic devices and you can keep your mind off what drama the Kardashians are in today. Here are some suggestions of what you can do instead: I have a cat at home that I sometimes play with before bed. Or I read a local newspaper for this weekends events. You can tidy up your home, or talk to your significant other and actually have a conversation without having distractions. Just anything but the technology!
  • Drink some chamomile or sleepy time tea. That way you are naturally getting yourself to rest. I have no clue what’s in sleep aid pills or NyQuil and I’m sure you don’t either. At least with natural organic tea you know exactly what you are consuming. I put honey in my tea to make it taste a little better. Tea is also a better route to go because sleeping pills can make you feel groggy the next morning.
  • Set a bedtime. If you’re like me and need a full 8 hours of sleep, plan it accordingly and actually be in bed at your set time. That means brush your teeth and get ready for bed in a timely manner.
  • Keep your mind clear. I am guilty of laying wide awake in bed anxious about the next day or something that recently happened, and when I find myself doing this I try my hardest to clear my mind. Here are some tips for clearing your mind: focus on your breathing, in through your nose out through your mouth. I play the “keep your eyes shut game” and refuse to open my eyes. I picture what it looks like on the back of my eyelids. You could even try counting sheep if that works for you.
  • Try using ear plugs and eye masks. Sometimes when I want to nap mid day I use ear plugs to tune everything out. When you use ear plugs it’s also easier to focus on your breathing. Eye masks are also useful for daytime naps and can help prevent you from opening your eyes! (Just make sure you have your alarms set loud, or even set a few)
  • Purchase a Fitbit or some type of training watch. I have a Fitbit charge2 and it has a feature that allows you to track how you slept the previous night. That way you can see what does and doesn’t work for your night time routine and how many hours you actually slept. It even tells you when you were in a deep sleep and how long you were awake tossing and turning.

I am no sleep expert and I do know your pillow and mattress also play a big role in your nights rest. Do some research if you’re having trouble, I just thought I’d share my own tips and tricks! Do you have any suggestions? Let me know! Join the conversation and be sure to follow me on all my social media platforms.

 

Xoxo jess.

I am so excited to tell you guys about my first experience at Barre3 in Santa Barbara, California! I have been a Yelp Elite member for a few months and I finally got to attend my first Yelp event! It started with a quick sign up, about an hour or so workout, followed by goodies from Honey B Santa Barbara and Swell Foods. Thanks to the gals at Barre3 and Santa Barbara’s Yelp Brand Ambassador Dani, they were able to throw such an awesome event!

So what exactly is barre? I wasn’t sure what to expect either. Well for starters, barre’s are used in ballet, so yes there is usage of bars in this workout. I would throw out any presumptions you may have, because barre is nothing like the yoga or zumba class you attended last week. According to barreonline.com barre is “about the physical as well as the aesthetic benefits of lengthening muscles, while strengthening them”. With that being said, you can’t really describe what exactly it is until you try it. I highly recommend taking a barre class to find out for yourself! Being someone who has played sports, this was a nice change to really challenge you and test your strengths without the dangers of lifting weights and playing contact sports. You also will work muscles you have never worked out before! I challenge everyone who does crossfit and HIIT to take a barre class at least once!

Still confused what Barre is? Here are some photos from our Yelp event to give you a better idea!

 

Have you ever done a barre workout? How did you like it? Join me on twitter or comment below with your fitness stories!

Do you ever just not want to go outside? But you probably should, and you probably should take your butt off the couch and hit the gym. No worries! Here is my at home workout routine for the lazy girl who wants to stay inside with her cat. Or dog. My workout consists of light cardio with an emphasis on your glutes and legs! This should only take you about 30 minutes max!

Things you’ll need:

  • Yoga mat
  • 5lb weights
  • A sturdy chair
  • Your phone as a stopwatch

Let’s get started!

  1. Warm up. We don’t want to stretch cold muscles! So for a warm up we are going to jog in place for 2 minutes.
  2. Stretch. Get that yoga mat out! Each stretch you want to hold for at least 10 seconds to feel it.
  3. Light cardio time!
    One minute of butt kicks So you’re basically running in place with your hands going to jog in place and as you’re doing so your hands are on your rear and the back of your heels should touch your hands.
    One minute of high knees Your hands should be out forward at about your hips and you are bringing your knees to your hands.
    One minute of jumping jacks Or as many as possible.
  4. Squats.
    One minute of regular squats you can use the weights too if you’re feeling challenging!
    One minute squats with your toes pointing outward about shoulder length apart, but further than you normally stand doing regular squats
    One minute of squats with your feet together Your feet should be basically touching pointing north and you will squat down like this.
  5. Lunges.
    One minute regular lunges You can do them in place if you have a small living room like me.
    One minute back kick lunges You’re going to step with your left leg and as you’re stepping you’re going to kick your right leg up and out behind you. You should feel this is your lower glutes.
  6. Chair time!
    One minute of step ups You are going to step on to the chair using your right leg and while in this motion you are going to bring your left leg up to your chest. (kind of like the high knees we just did) Switch legs and repeat until you’ve done 20 on one leg.
    One minute of box jumps I only recommend doing these if you have a sturdy chair that is wooden and isn’t going to move around, for safety purposes.
  7. Stretch & Cool down. 

Growing up I was an active girl. I played indoor soccer, club soccer, as well as soccer for my high school. I did all of this while balancing my high school personal life..? Thinking about it now it was a piece of cake. Now a days I can’t even get to the gym because I’m exhausted from working 10 hour shifts at the office as well as working on my boutique & blog. So I wanted to come up with my own one hour workout for the working woman. This workout is mainly cardio focused and my routine to maintain my weight.

 

  • 10 minute warmup- treadmill. I usually walk for 5 to 10 minutes with a resistance of 3 and anywhere from pace 2 to 4. This should be a casual walk/jog.
  • 5 minute stretch. Make sure to stretch all your muscles when they’re warm to keep from injury.
  • 25 minute jog- treadmill. Keep resistance at 3 and level up your pace. For example if you did your warm up at pace 3 you should now be at a pace level of 4 or 5 depending on what you’re comfortable with.
  • 5 minute recover- treadmill. Change your pace back down to what you started with to give you a chance to catch your breath. We’re not done yet!
  • 15 minute abs. My ab workout consists of 6 different sets with reps of 20 each for a total of 120 reps. Each trying to target different areas of your core.
    1. Regular set- hands behind head, bring elbows to knees.
    2. Toe touches- feet straight up in a 90 degree angle, reach for toes making sure your shoulder blades come up off the ground.
    3. Leg throws- laying on back bring legs up to 90 degrees and bring them back down without touching the ground.
    4. Bicycle- bring elbow to opposite knee and switch sides until you have counted to 40, or 20 on one leg.
    5. Full extensions- try pretending you have a ball in your hand, you are going to start laying on your back arms stretched above you. You are going to lift and touch your toes and fully extend out.
    6. Side touches- Laying on your back you are going to prop your legs up heels close to your rear, take your right hand and reach for your right heel tightening your side but keeping your shoulder blades a little elevated from the ground. Repeat on left side.

 

This is one of my basic workout routines I do before work when I’m in a time crunch and trying to squeeze a workout in. I suggest going at your own pace levels according to your own comfort levels! Always stay hydrated and make sure you’re eating healthy meals!

(**I am no personal trainer or nutritionist**)