Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides

I shared with you all back in the beginning of July that I got the collagen peptide powder that I had been seeing all over the internet. Today, I am dedicating a full post to this magical powder (not sponsored) because it is just that: magic

You guys, IT WORKS. It truly, truly works. And I have to say, I'm totally not one for powders or supplements or a protein buff of any kind. So this is all pretty new to me, but I'm just glad to have seen results. And it seems like everyone else is seeing results, too. On both the VP website and on Amazon, there are thousands of reviews giving it 5 stars.

I have been drinking 2 scoops of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (also available on Amazon) powder in 16 oz. of water (with a packet of True Lemon) religiously every single day. Here's what I've noticed:

My Joint Pain is Gone
I have bad knees in general due to a life of dance/gymnastics/cheerleading. They always bother me but have never hindered my daily life. However, my right shoulder started to kill me earlier this summer. It was so bad, I would wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to sleep...tears were shed. It got to the point where it was so painful I couldn't focus on anything else. I didn't want to rush to a surgeon, so I quit tennis for a little bit to see if that would help (I didn't notice a difference). This is actually how I found out about collagen peptides- I was googling around to see what less drastic things could potentially help with my joint pain and collagen peptides kept coming up in my search. 

Lo and behold, I started to drink it. At first only every few days when I could remember, but then I got myself in a groove around mid July. I have been drinking it every single day since. I started noticing a real improvement mid-August; meaning it took about a month. 

My Nails Grow Insanely Fast
This was one of the first things I noticed after I started drinking collagen peptides... it was very apparent. My nails were growing insanely fast. If you have brittle or slow-growing nails, this might help you immensely. 

It helps me to drink more water
Because of the added 16 oz. of water first thing in the morning, it's helped me to stay hydrated.

Less Breakouts 
Now, I honestly don't know if this is from the collagen peptides. I think it is probably more so my amazing skin care regimen, but it might be playing a part. The Vital Proteins website claims that it can help skin's elasticity and moisture levels.

My hair grows so fast
I've never had hair growth issues- my hair already grows really fast. BUT, I just went to get my hair done the other day and my hairdresser commented on how fast my hair grew since the last time (about a month). If you have slow growing or thin hair, this is totally for you. 

It has boosted my protein intake
I think the bit of added protein has helped me to feel less hungry in between meals. Two scoops contains 18g of protein (a chicken breast has around 43g protein), so it's not a ton, but a nice added boost. 

So here's what I do... The night before, as I'm presetting my coffee machine, I fill up the water bottle that came with the bundle I purchased and then place in my refrigerator. In the morning, just as I am preparing my coffee, I take out the water bottle and add two scoops of the Vital Proteins collagen peptide powder and one packet of True Lemon. I shake vigorously. It is lumpy at first... it takes about 15-20 minutes for the powder to fully dissolve into the water (this is something I couldn't figure out at first, but you have to let it sit to fully dissolve).

After I'm done drinking my morning coffee, I switch to the collagen peptide water.

While I LOVE this collagen peptide powder, it's not without its cons. Here are some of the cons about this powder:

It's expensive
Like, really expensive. Especially if you had never bought protein powder- this is an added 'grocery' expense. Luckily, the large tub lasts about a month... maybe even a little longer than that. I've heard that the Great Lakes brand is cheaper but comparable, so maybe I'll try that next. 

It's not flavorless
It says 'unflavored' and some people say it's tasteless, but I truly think it tastes AWFUL. I put it in my black coffee, and I couldn't even choke it down. To me the taste is indescribable, but it's just gross. I am thinking this just has to do with people's varying taste buds, but for me, I could never drink it in just plain water or coffee. The True Lemon packets hide the flavor entirely. I've also tried it in smoothies and it's flavorless in that, too!

It's a regimen
I think the only way for this to work is to truly use it every single day without fail. I'm curious as to what will happen to my shoulder pain if I stop using it. I have created a habit out of drinking it, so it's not bad, but at first, it was hard to get it incorporated into my daily routine. Having the small stick packs on hand make it easy to incorporate when traveling or having busy days, too.

It's a lot of powder
This isn't really a con, but when you are adding two scoops to whatever you choose to put it in, you'll realize that it's a lot of powder. I thought I was using too much at first, but then realized two scoops is just right. Just keep that in mind!

My biggest tip: Make sure you are getting the Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides with the BLUE lid. This is their only powder that dissolves in both hot and cold liquid and doesn't change the texture of liquid at all. Some of the others only dissolve in hot liquid and will gel up in cold liquid. 

All in all, this powder has become a part of my daily routine and I'm so glad and relieved it has helped my shoulder pain. Definitely check it out if you are looking for something like this!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Lululemon Look For Less

Running Tee ($50, in a bunch of colors)// Leggings

I'm a huge Lululemon fan. But, there was a point in time where I was anti-LL. I didn't understand spending a lot of money for something you sweat in. Callie was a big Lulu fan from the beginning and she finally got me hooked. Fast forward a few years, and I wear athleisure almost daily. Whether I'm actually working out or not, I always reach for my favorite leggings of all time because they're comfortable and work for morning coffee runs or night-time walks with Mac. They are expensive, but I've come to live in them- plus the warranty and customer service helps to rationalize it, too. 

But, there are cheaper, just as good options, everyone! I came across this long-sleeved running tee and ordered it on a whim because I was curious. Could it be just like the $78 Swiftly Tech tee?! Why yes, friends, it is! And the best part? It's $28 less than the lulu top!

You can see me rocking the lululemon swiftly tech tee in this blog post, here, so you are able to compare the look/fit. Here are the slight differences I have noticed:

- The look for less has a bit of a higher neckline- which I actually prefer. 
- The look for less material is a bit stretchier (feels like it will hold its shape better)
- The look for less is a bit thicker- almost feels like nicer quality because of that. 
- The 'design' on the look for less (which you can barely see) isn't as cute as lulu's version. 

Other than that, the top is excellent and a great less pricey option. It runs true to size- I am wearing a size small for reference. 

In other news, I've been meaning to talk more about the white sneakers I am wearing in the photos above. They are pricey- which made me hold off for a long time, but holy cow are they the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. Not only do I love the look (which is what sold me in the first place), but the comfort is unreal. It actually feels better than bare feet- the cushion is so soft and cushy and provides great, flexible support. I love them so much, I'm already eyeing the gray pair because I wear them SO much. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Saturday Shopping

Happy Saturday, everyone! It's been just beautiful here in Pittsburgh. Last night, we got takeout and just hung out and I got some work done. Then today, I got some more work done and am packing to head to New Hampshire bright and early tomorrow morning! Then, I'm headed to drinks/dinner with my parents to celebrate their anniversary!

I wanted to share some photos from last week's Sewickley 'barn sale'. It was my first year going- my friend Aly and I woke up early Friday morning and headed there as soon as it opened. It's a beautiful barn (the property looks like you're on Nantucket and totally not in Pittsburgh), and the barn is filled to the brim with beautiful pieces of furniture. Vintage, antique, etc. There are some amazing and gorgeous finds. I ended up with a beautiful deep brown wicker trunk with brass details. I am putting it at the foot of my bed- it works so perfectly with the coloring of everything in my bedroom. In a future home, I plan to use it at as coffee table in a den. I also got a small hammered silver side table and my friend Aly got the most beautiful beaded crystal clutch for her wedding! They do it yearly, so definitely check it out next year!

I didn't come across too much this week- I was more focused on my upcoming trip to New Hampshire and getting Summer Wind prepared for next week while I am traveling! But scroll through to see a few of the pieces!

Friday, September 15, 2017

My Parents

I get asked a ton of questions about my family since I feature them so much! A lot of you ask about my parents, so I thought I'd do a post on them! I've done posts on them both separately (which you can read about here and here), so here's one about the two of them!

Today marks my parents 33rd anniversary. First, I'll tell you how they met, and then, how they got engaged!

My had dad had just graduated from college and come home for the summer. My dad went out with his group of high school friends to a bar one night (they call it a 'disco'). My mom was out with her girlfriends. They met that night and started dating. 

I think this is the coolest part, though. When my mom told her parents (my grandparents) that she was going on a date and he was going to pick her up, they asked all the usual questions that parents ask. When they asked what his name was, my grandma said in reply, 'well how old is he?!'... Long story short, my grandma thought my mom was going out with a 40+ year old guy because my dad and grandpa have the same name (my dad is a Jr.)! My grandma went to high school with my grandpa! How crazy is that?! 

My mom's dad (my Pappy who died when I was younger) is a tough (but great) cookie. He is very strict and I can totally see how my dad would have been intimidated by him. One thing everyone knew about Pappy is that he had a MAJOR sweet tooth. My dad's side of the family has the best hot fudge recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation. Anyway, one night, my dad went over to my mom's parents and made the hot fudge for Pappy. My dad says that was the trick to win him over!

Here is their adorable engagement story, as told by my mom:
"Dad had to go to DC for his work Christmas party, so we were going to stay with your aunt {my dad's older sister} for the weekend and go to the party. 
He asked Pappy for my hand in marriage. Before we left for DC, he went over to my house to show Grandma and Pappy the ring. We went to your aunt's and Saturday December 17, 1983,  the day of the party, we went out shopping and to lunch. Your aunt had bought a beautiful new coat at Garfinckel's. 
When we were leaving for the party, she insisted I wear her beautiful new coat (looking back that is the only odd thing I can remember that was a sign). On our way to the party, Dad said, "let’s stop at the Capital Christmas tree". I said great idea. We got out to go up to the tree and it was a little muddy and I was in heels. I said, "let’s just stay here my heels are going to sink into the mud."  Dad picked me up and carried me to the base of the tree. It was so sweet. There he reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring and asked me to spend the rest of our lives together. I said YES."
They got married 33 years ago at my mom's Catholic church and had their reception at our country club! The bridesmaids wore blush pink and my mom's veil was a 'hat'- which she says was very in style at that time... let's just hope that trend doesn't come back around! I have a monogrammed matchbook from their wedding- it's funny because these have come back into popularity!

Their wedding invitation was classic and simple- exactly how I imagine mine would be. I love that they still have their's framed with a wedding photo hanging on the wall in one of the hallways. 

My parents honeymooned in Bermuda and still talk about that trip to this day! Some of their favorite memories of their life together thus far are centered around our family's mountain house. My grandparents sold it when I was younger, but even I have the fondest memories from spending weekends at the gorgeous A-frame house and learning to ski! 

One of the things that I love so much is that my dad is still very close with several of his high school best friends and my mom is best friends with their wives. We vacation with each other, I've become best friends with their children, and it's really like a big family we've all created together.

In the past 33 years, my parents have given my sister and I such a wonderful life and we are so lucky to have them as our parents. They've shown us that family is everything and being close to those you love is what true happiness is all about. So today, I am wishing my parents a very happy 33rd anniversary and here's to many more. I love you, Mom and Dad!

*You can also check out this post about my dad, here, and this post about my mom, here. 

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