Holiday Gift Guide: For the Fitness Lover & Gaiam Giveaway

I love good workout gear, so that’s why I’m sharing some great fitness finds to give as gifts or buy for yourself with your holiday cash. And you can enter to win some goodies from Gaiam at the end of the post!

Fitness Gifts
  • Heading to a yoga or barre class but don’t have time to spend time getting ready for afternoon errands afterwards? Try the bareMinerals Fit and Fabulous makeup kit (now $19). It comes with the essentials – Purifying Facial Cleanser, READY Touch Veil, Locked & Coated Waterproof Lash Topcoat, Jack of All Trades Lip Balm and pretty hair ties. {ulta.com}
  • If you’re like me then you live in yoga pants in the evenings and over the weekends. The Cozy Orange Juno Fitted Yoga Pants ($64) are so comfortable and the gray and black color blocking on the legs even has a slimming effect. They’re perfect for everyday wear and of course yoga and other fitness activities. {cozyorange.com}
  • I love a good water bottle, so I was excited to finally get one from bkr. The website says it perfectly – this “luxe, bubbly glass bottle will change the way you drink your water forever.” I have one in Pout ($30), which is a pale pink that just makes me happy. {mybkr.com}
  • Ritual Wellness Juices taste so good that you won’t even realize you’re being healthy. They give you lots of fruits and veggies, with each bottle of the raw organic juices containing lots of nutrition and healthy vitamins. All you have to do is choose a minimum of six juices at a time from four different categories – Greens, Lemonades, Blends and Mylks. They’re all meant to complement your regular, healthy diet. You can even pair them with alcohol to make cocktails. My favorites were the Lemonades, but they’re all good! {ritualwellness.com}
  • Make goals and track them with Lumo Lift ($99.99), an activity tracker that monitors the number of steps you take and calories burned. Better yet, it also helps you with your posture, vibrating when you slouch. And everything links to an app on your iPhone, so it’s all easy to use. {lumobodytech.com}

Fitness Gifts - http://bit.ly/dailykaty

Giveaway! Enter to win the Gaiam Citron Storm Cargo Mat Bag below, now through January 21, 2015. Open to U.S. residents.

And if you missed my other gift guides and giveaways, view them all using the links below:

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**Disclosure: While I was provided samples for review, all opinions are my own. Also, this post was originally written and published by me on Examiner.com.

Shop Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month {plus a giveaway!}

Every fall you start to see lots of pink products popping up in stores and online. That’s because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and lots of companies donate a portion – or sometimes all – of the sales of certain products to nonprofit organizations that raise funds for the cause. According to the CDC, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, so chances are, you at least know someone affected by it. That’s why I’m sharing some products that I happen to love, which also support this cause in some way.

Shop Pink for BCA

Alex and Ani

The Alex and Ani Arms of Strength Charm Bangle represents hope, resilience and support. I love that the charm is a starfish and the meaning is perfect, as it’s described as “a regenerative creature, consistently growing and transforming whenever necessary. Courageously it moves forward through both calm and troubled waters.” The pink stone is the color of nurturing love and it honors the brave and the optimistic. Through the end of October, 20% of sales from this bangle, with a minimum donation of $10,000, will support the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation. {alexandani.com, $28}

Teleflora

Teleflora’s Pink Grace Bouquet is a beautiful way to help raise funds to support The Breast Cancer Foundation, with a 15% donation for each bouquet sold. These mixed bouquets include pink roses, pink spray roses, hot pink carnations and pink alsroemeria flowers with assorted greenery. {teleflora.com, $46.71 and up}

Smashbox

The Be Legendary line of lip glosses from Smashbox are some of my faves, and the limited-edition Promise color was created exclusively for the Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. I love this gloss because it’s not sticky but it still has bold color that lasts. For each lip gloss purchased, $5 is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. {smashbox.com, $20}

Bumble and bumble

The Bumble and bumble Prêt-à-Powder is honestly amazing if you’re like me and have an obsession with dry shampoo. This is actually a three-in-one hair powder that has dry shampoo, along with style extending and volume benefits – this is basically all you need to refresh your hair! The limited-edition pink cap bottles. Better yet, Bumble and bumble will donate $5 from the purchase of this product to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. {bumbleandbumble.com, $26}

Loxa Beauty {GIVEAWAY!}

Online beauty retailer Loxa Beauty has an entire section of their site dedicated to “Think Pink” hair and beauty products. Two of my faves are the Morgan Taylor Fight Like a Lady Trio nail polish set and the Paul Mitchell Think Out Loud Collection. The nail polish set comes with three colors – a light blue, pink and purple/pink glitter. The glitter – Fight Like a Lady – is perfect for one nail paired with either the pink (Lip Service) or purple (P.S. I Love You). The Think Out Loud Collection includes Super Skinny Serum (gives your hair great shine), Fast Form (soothes and cuts down on drying time – that’s key!) and a free Scuplting Brush. Loxa Beauty is donating 5% of sales of these products to Susan G. Komen and has guaranteed a minimum donation of $1 million by March 31 of next year. {loxabeauty.com, $25.50 nail set, $37.50 hair set}

Giveaway! Loxa Beauty is offering one lucky reader the chance to win one of each of these products now through October 31, 2014 (open to U.S. residents). Scroll down to the bottom of this post and enter!

Gaiam

I’m probably the last girl in the world to just be trying out yoga for the first time ever, but this Forever Pink Yoga Mat from Gaiam is my go-to so far. I love pink everything, so this bright pink mat is perfect for me. It’s lightweight and great for both home and studio use, so I’ll be pulling it out on those days where I want to get a quick workout in from a DVD or On Demand channel. Gaiam yoga mats also come with a lifetime guarantee, so you don’t have to worry about buying a new one later on. And $1 from each one of these mats goes right to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. {gaiam.com, $22}

Avon

Avon has an entire Pink Ribbon Collection with a variety of products that give back to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. The Breast Cancer Crusade Skin So Soft Body Oil is definitely my favorite – put it on right after the shower and it makes your skin super smooth and silky. One dollar is being donated for each Skin So Soft Body Oil sold. I also had the opportunity to try out a few items from Avon’s ANEW line, the Vitale Day and Night Creams. They just launched this month and help fight aging, while targeting essential multi-functional protein, SP1 for delivery of skin nutrients. Five dollars for each day and night cream sold goes to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade as well. {avon.com, $10 body oil, $$28 each day and night cream}

KBShimmer

Did I mention that I love pink everything? That definitely includes this hot pink nail polish from KBShimmer, Life Rose On. And 75 cents from every bottle sold goes to Susan G. Komen. In addition to nail products, KBShimmer has lots of different bath and body products, from soaps and bath bombs to sugar scrubs and lip balms, all of which were created by the owner, Christy Rose. And it all started with a simple appreciation of a great hand soap and the realization that she could make great products herself. {kbshimmer.com, $7.50}

philosophy

I’ve been a fan of philosophy products forever (their bath products smell so good!) and right now I’m loving the amazing grace spray fragrance and the purity made simply facial cleanser. Recently, the company has started donating one percent of all of their product sales on philosophy.com to mental health organizations. While this isn’t a direct donation to a breast cancer-related nonprofit, some studies say there is a link between mental illness and breast cancer. {philosophy.com}

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**While I was provided samples for review, all opinions are my own.

Beach Bag Essentials {Review}

This summer has been SO busy with weddings, travel, birthdays, you name it. But my absolute favorite thing to do is head to the beach, which is exactly what my husband, puppy and I did this past weekend to celebrate my husband’s 30th birthday. We took the 90-minute ferry from Boston to Provincetown, Cape Cod and had a nice weekend with great weather, food and lots of relaxation.

Today, I’m sharing my beach bag “essentials” that I brought along with me this weekend – check them out below and pick some up for yourself for your end-of-summer beach days and Labor Day Weekend celebrations! If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that you can enjoy the beach beyond actual summer months, I envy you. :)

Beach Essentials

1. Cinda B Beach Bag II

The perfect beach bag is hard to come by. You need one that is big enough to fit all essentials – towels, books, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc. – but you also need it to have compartments so everything doesn’t get lost in the bag. And then it’s just as important to have a bag that’s made of the right material to withstand sand and water at the beach. That’s where cinda b comes in. Cinda b’s Beach Bag II is but stylish and practical.

The Beach Bag II has so much room, along with six large exterior pockets (perfect for cell phones, snacks and books) and a zippered pocket inside (great for things like keys and money). I picked the beach-inspired Neptune pattern, but there are lots of other great ones to choose from here. The best thing about the fabric on cinda b bags is that they’re all water and stain resistant, “outdoors friendly,” durable and machine washable.

You can purchase cinda b’s Beach Bag II on cindab.com for $129. To learn more about cinda b, follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

2. Coola Suncare

Wearing sunscreen has never been my favorite thing, but I know it’s so important so I suck it up and use it anyway. I recently tried out a few products from Coola Suncare and I can honestly say that I was totally OK with wearing them! The Sport SPF 30 Citrus Mimosa Sunscreen Spray and Face SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer will definitely be regulars in my beach bag from here on out. They smell so good and my skin feels like it can breathe while still getting the sun protection I need. The continuous spray goes on nice and clear, is made with 97% organic ingredients like cucumber, algae and strawberry extracts and is water resistant. The face moisturizer is super sheer, hypoallergenic and the cucumber scent actually feels refreshing. Both help fight aging with the antioxidants they’re infused with.

You can purchase the spray here ($32) and the face lotion here ($32). And to learn more about Coola Suncare, visit CoolaSuncare.com and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

3. Hayden Reis Wristlet

When I have a big bag, I find myself putting smaller wristlets or bags inside of it to help keep me organized. That’s why I love this Teal & Blue Stripe Wristlet from Hayden Reis. It’s water resistant and is the perfect place to store miscellaneous items you don’t want to get wet or sandy at the beach.

In addition to the Wristlets, Hayden Reis offers lots of fun, bright products that are perfect for both the beach and everyday use. To buy one of the Wristlets ($32 each), click here, and to shop other products and stay up on the latest from Hayden Reis, visit haydenreis.com and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

4. Mi Ola Bikini

Earlier this year, I was searching for a simple bikini with a perfect fit – and I found that in a swimwear brand I hadn’t previously heard of, Mi Ola. The brand’s founder, Helena, traded her NYC, high-fashion lifestyle for a laid back, Costa Rica surf life. According to Helena, as a surfer, she had a hard time finding “well-made, chic, sexy bikinis that stayed on,” which led to her launching Mi Ola. In addition to providing great fit and functionality, these bikinis are even made with fabric that is UPF 50+ to protect you from the sun – and it doesn’t fade or stretch out after lots of use.

I tried out the Ring Back Top and Ring Bottom, both in Fuchsia, and it’s already become one of my favorite bikinis for so many reasons. The shape of the top gives lots of support without any crazy padding and is very flattering. The bottoms have a special gripper elastic on the inside that ensure that it stays put, whether you’re surfing or jumping into the water. And while sometimes rings on bikini bottoms can be a bit uncomfortable, these ones are positions on the sides and are even molded to fit your curves. These are brazilian bottoms with ruching is of course very flattering as well.

To buy the bikini shown in this post, find the top here ($95) and bottom here ($85) on mi-ola.com. You can also follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

5. Turkish Towel

I’ve been on the hunt for a Turkish towel all summer and finally got one. These towels are more like lightweight blankets and I think they’re perfect for the beach. They don’t take up much room in your beach bag and are so soft (they get even softer the more you wash them). I found this Turkish towel on Amazon here ($21.45), but you can also get them from stores like Serena and Lily, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Gilt.

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What are your beach bag essentials? Let us know in the comments below!

**While I was provided product samples for review in this post, all opinions are 100% my own.

Summer Nail Care Tips from Cutex

During the hot summer months, I love to brighten up my style with neon and cool pastel nails. And while trying out the latest nail colors is the fun part, it’s also important to keep your nails protected – especially during the summer months – with quality products. That’s why I wanted to share with you some awesome products that I had the opportunity to try out from Cutex, the leader in nail care products since 1911.

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  • Baseworx: This base coat is exactly what you need to protect your nails before putting any nail color on them. It’s the only base coat made with bioceramics, which pairs with natural oils to smooth, strengthen and condition your nail bed. Bioceramics also fill in nail ridges and help nail polish stay put. ($8, Drugstore.com)
  • Nail Polish Remover: Cutex has lots of great options that make it easy to remove nail polish and also condition your nails in the process. Here are a few of my favorites:
    • Nail Polish Remover Pads: These are amazing and I will absolutely be buying these in the future. The pads are bigger and thicker than ordinary pads and are great for using at home or while traveling because they come in individual packages. And all it takes is one pad to remove polish from every finger – even dark or hard-to-remove colors! They come in three varieties – Regular, Advanced Revival and Non-Acetone. ($4 for pack of 10, Drugstore.com)
    • Liquid Nail Polish Remover: The Advanced Revival Formula combines the power of acetone with the strengthening and nourishing of natural drying oils to leave your nails feeling strong, while also quickly removing nail polish. And the Spa Formula is perfect for removing hard-to-remove colors (glitter!) and even Shellac. (Prices vary based on size and type, CutexShop.com)
    • Gel Polish Remover Kit: I love getting Shellac polish once in a while, but I always end up picking it off (which is obviously not good for my nails) because I don’t feel like going back to the salon to get it removed (and also don’t want to pay for it). This solves that problem – it removes Shellac or gel polish in a way that doesn’t use pure acetone, which is much better for your nails. ($10, CutexShop.com)
  • Corrector Pen: This is an awesome tool for correcting nail mistakes in one stroke. I love getting a professional mani/pedi, but in between I usually do my own nails, so this is exactly what I needed. It has a special tip designed for hard to get to areas. And all you have to do is apply the tip that has nail polish on it, rub it over the nail polish and it disappears right away. ($17, Amazon.com)

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In addition to having great products, Cutex sent along these tips for keeping nails looking and feeling great this summer:

  • Sunscreen isn’t just for the skin. Nails are made of protein and need as much protection as our skin does. When lathering on the sunscreen, remember those hands and feet – especially the cuticles. Cuticles serve a purpose; they seal in moisture and protect new nail growth as it emerges from the base of the nail. Sun, wind and sand can dry cuticles and nail folds (the areas of skin that frame your nails), which is bad for nail growth.
  • Cover your head and nails. Dermatologists recommend donning a baseball cap or cute floppy hat to shade the head and face from the sun’s harsh rays. Cutex recommends coating nails with a polish, base coat or ridge-filler to protect nails against the elements. The Cutex clear basecoat, Baseworx, contains biotin, the only supplement scientifically proven to improve nail health. Baseworx not only lengthens the life of manicures, it is also the perfect protection for those heading sea-side, where high salt and moisture can soften and split nails.
  • Keep infection at bay. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 50 percent of all nail disorders are caused by fungal infections. People tend to go swimming, exercise, and visit spas more often in summer. While those places are great for relaxing or keeping fit, any damp place – like a locker room – can breed fungus, so be sure to wear some type of footwear at all times when in public. Feet can also become hot and sweaty in the summer. Open-toed shoes or light sandals can help keep feet dry and healthy.
  • Oil-up to protect and moisturize. Dermatologists suggest coating hands and nails in natural oils to moisturize. When you’re looking to change polishes, reach for Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover, which comes in both liquid and pads. Named 2014’s Best Nail Polish Remover by NewBeauty Magazine, Advanced Revival combines the power of acetone with the nourishing and natural botanical oils of apricot seed, flax seed and perilla, for stronger, healthier nails. Plus, Advanced Revival removes polish twice as fast as other brands. That means more time to spend enjoying summer!
  • Ditch the harsh salon acetone for DIY removal. Do you take your nails to the extreme with gel or glitter polish? Extreme nails don’t have to mean extremely harsh nail polish remover. Try at-home removal with the new Cutex Gel Polish Removal Kits or SPA Formula Nail Polish Remover. These products work as well as 100 percent acetone, yet moisturize and condition nails even after the first use.
  • Go Naked! Even with the best products, nails still need a rest. If your nails are brittle, break easily or just look unhealthy, dermatologists recommend ditching the polish for three months. Still need a little shine? Use CutexBaseworx, which uses bio-ceramic technology to bind to the protein in nails, strengthening them in the process.

Each of the products mentioned above are the perfect addition to your nail care routine, summer and beyond. To learn more about Cutex products, visit CutexNails.com and follow the brand on FacebookTwitterInstagram andPinterest.

**The above Cutex tips were originally published by me on my Examiner.com page. Also, while I received samples to try out for this review, all opinions are 100% my own.

Don’t Let These “Health” Foods Fool You {Infographic}

I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and that usually includes eating healthy and exercising daily… at least during the weekdays. That’s not to say that I don’t indulge in the occasional chocolate bar at work when I’m craving it or pizza for dinner when I just don’t want to or have time to cook dinner. But when I’m trying to eat healthy, it’s helpful to know what foods are actually healthy. The below infographic is super helpful when it comes to picking out good-for-you food and drink options. Many of the items on the list – caesar salad, frozen yogurt and bottled green tea – are foods I love but just aren’t as healthy as you’d think!

Infographic - "Health" Foods - @DailyKatyBlog DailyKaty.com

Which of your favorite foods are not as healthy as you once thought? Let us know in the comments below!

National Walking Day & 1st Month with FitBit

According to the American Heart Association, April 2 was National Walking Day, and it just so happened that it was one of the first somewhat nice days of spring here in Boston. A few of my colleagues and I got outside and went for a 30-minute walk – something that most of us rarely get the chance to do. On days when I’m busy at work, it usually seems like taking a break would take away from getting through my to do list, but in reality, I think taking a break to go for even a 15-minute walk makes me more productive. I’ve always underestimated the amount of hours I spend in front of the computer screen during the workday… until I got my FitBit Flex.

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I’ve only been using the FitBit Flex for a month or so now, and I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about them before I finally caved and bought one to try out for myself. So far, I actually do like it. The main benefit I see from it is that you have a set goal for the day – I use the standard 10,000 steps – and I can tell very easily when I’m being less active on some days than others. It doesn’t force me to work out, but it makes me want to get up a bit more throughout the day, even if it’s just walking around the office to talk to coworkers instead of emailing them. I find that on days where I go to my boxing class, go for a 15 minute or so walk during the day, walk around the office a bit and commute to and from work, I easily surpass 10,000 steps. But on days where I’m incredibly busy and sit at my desk all day, I come just under that mark, which is just annoying.

Other benefits of the FitBit Flex are that you can track your food using the app on your iPhone, and then set calorie goals based on how much weight you want to lose over time. The FitBit tracks how many calories you burn throughout the day, so it’s basically a ratio of calories in, calories out. FitBit Flex also monitors your sleep patterns, which is cool, but I just so happen to be world’s best sleeper, so I rarely wake up throughout the night at all. More to come on FitBit as I continue using it!

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In honor of National Walking Day, FitBit posted a few tips for getting away from your desk during the work day and taking more steps each day.

1. Take a break. Your emails will still be there when you get back. Taking two fifteen-minute breaks throughout your day and using them to take a walk. Not only will you easily get in your recommended 30 minutes of activity, but you’ll pass your friends on the leaderboard who are still at their desks!

2. Turn your meeting into a walking meeting. Unless you’re giving a presentation or need to take notes, there’s no reason to always take your meetings sitting down. With the weather getting nicer, suggest you spend your next one-on-one meeting by enjoying the fresh air and going for a short walk. You’ll both get exercise, and you’ll still be getting work done.

3. Buddy Up. One easy way to make sure you’re actually getting out, rather than getting bogged down with work, is to find a buddy and plan your walking breaks together. Plus, Fitbit users with one or more Fitbit friends tend to be 27% more active anyway, so your work buddy could help boost your overall fitness, even apart!

4. Do things face-to-face. Why send an email when a conversation will work just as well, if not better? In our email-centric offices, it’s easy to forget that sometimes walking over and having a conversation with someone can be much more efficient.

5. Take the longer route. Even on days when you’re too busy to take a real break, we all need some breaks throughout the day. Next time you use the restroom or head to the kitchen, go the long way there, or to one further away than your desk. All those small amounts of extra steps can add up over the course of a day.

6. Use the stairs. If it’s possible to take stairs instead of an elevator, take the stairs every time. Walking up stairs is 10x as efficient as walking on a flat surface when it comes to burning calories, and it’s sometimes even faster than an elevator!

What do you do to get some extra steps in – or exercise in general – during the work day?

Protect Your Skin with SPF from Supergoop! {Review}

You’ve heard it all before… protecting your skin from the sun is a must and tanning is a no-no if you want to steer clear of premature wrinkles and, even worse, cancer. It’s admittedly taken me a while to understand this and start substituting my sun worshiping for self tanner, but I’m finally there.

That brings me to a great company that I recently discovered, Supergoop! Eight years ago, Supergoop! CEO and Founder Holly Thaggard was shocked to learn that one of her close friends was diagnosed with melanoma at such a young age. After learning that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. and that more than 90% of the signs of aging are caused by the sun, Holly started her mission to raise awareness with the launch of Supergoop!

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Supergoop! antioxidant-infused sunscreens help protect skin from UVA rays and also have high enough SPF to prevent damage caused by UVB sunburn rays. The products also improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, elasticity and hyperpigmentation by neutralizing free radicals and stimulating collagen production. Learn more about protecting your skin from the sun on Supergoop!’s SPF 101 page.

While all of that is certainly important, let’s face it, the last thing I want to do is wear thick, smelly sunscreen when we’re not at the beach. As Holly puts it, traditional sunscreen is the farthest thing from “feels good,” which I agree with 100 percent. Supergoop! products are all lightweight and easy to apply, made with high-quality ingredients and don’t smell like typical sunscreen products.

I had the opportunity to try out four Supergoop! products – learn more about them below! And keep up with the latest from Supergoop! at Supergoop.com and by following the company on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Supergoop! products are available at Nordstrom and Ulta stores nationwide and online at Nordstrom.com and Supergoop.com.

Supergoop! SPF Products

1. Supergoop! SPF 35 Daily Correct CC Cream {NEW!}

Out of the four products I tried out, the Supergoop! SPF 35 Daily Correct CC Cream ($32) was definitely my favorite. During the work week, I like to keep my morning hair and makeup routine as quick and simple as possible, and this wouldn’t be possible without CC cream. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked Supergoop! CC cream even better than the brand I was already using. The CC cream, which comes in either light-medium or medium-dark shades, does a great job of covering imperfections, while also offering anti-aging benefits to protect, correct and smooth uneven skin. I found that this product took away the need for primer and foundation and was much lighter and easier to blend that both BB and CC creams I’ve used in the past. And of course, the SPF 35 offers the right amount of protection from the sun.

2. Supergoop! SPF 20 Gradual Self-Tanning Mousse

I’ve tried tons of self tanners in the past, and I’ve found that one of the best ways to maintain a natural glow throughout the year, even in cold winter months when everyone is pale, is to use a gradual tanning lotion. Supergoop!’s SPF 20 Gradual Self-Tanning Mousse ($38) is a great option. While this mousse is thicker than other products I’ve used in the past, it provides great moisture, high UV protection and a gradual tan that deepens as you continue using the product. The color doesn’t rub off on a towel or clothes and the mousse has a nice scent of green tea and cucumber.

3. Supergoop! SPF 35+ Save Face Oil-Free A.M. Moisturizer

Oil-free face lotion has always been part of my daily routine, as I tend to have dry skin, especially in the winter. Just like the other Supergoop! products I tried out, I was very pleased with the fact that the Supergoop! SPF 35+ Save Face Oil-Free A.M. Moisturizer ($28) provided sun protection without feeling or smelling like sunscreen. Not only does this product provide lots of moisture, it also is water resistant for up to 40 minutes, making it great for days spent outdoors or at the beach. The moisturizer also has blueberry antioxidants that help prevent and repair damaged cells, while also improving skin texture and elasticity.

4. Supergoop! SPF 30+ UVA | UVB MintFusion Lip Balm

Last but not least, the Supergoop! SPF 30+ UVA | UVB MintFusion Lip Balm ($8.50) is a great lip balm to keep your lips hydrated and protected from the sun. This product calms, soothes and protects chapped lips, which is essential especially in summer months when it’s easy to get sunburnt lips. I tried out the MintFusion variety, but it also comes in a super berry AcaiFusion, which has a sheer pink tint. Both can be applied under or over your favorite lip color to give your lips some much-needed SPF. I’m a frequent victim of chapped lips, so I appreciate a good, hydrating product like this!

How do you protect yourself from the sun? Leave comments below!

**While I was not compensated for this post, I received samples for review from Supergoop! All opinions are my own.

 

Recipe: Easiest Non-Fat Greek Yogurt Dill Dip

With Super Bowl Sunday coming up, I wanted to share a couple of new dip recipes. The first one is by far the easiest – and probably the healthiest too. I’m a big fan of Ranch… I eat it on almost everything, but I also know that it’s not the healthiest thing to dip my veggie in. That’s where this recipe that I tried last weekend comes in: Non-Fat Greek Yogurt Dill Dip, which I came across on Pinterest in a post from FitSugar.com. It’s a great alternative to the veggie dip that comes in a standard veggie tray – and the best part is how easy it is to make. All you have to do is stir together four ingredients (plus salt and pepper) and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving. This recipe makes six two-tablespoon servings, so if you’re hosting a bigger party, feel free to double or triple the recipe. Check in out below!

Veggie Dip

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces of nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  • Serve with chopped veggies or crackers. Makes six two-tablespoon servings.

What’s your favorite veggie dip? Share it below!

Recipe: Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

I love trying out new recipes – especially when it involves discovering healthier versions of my favorite meals and snacks. To kick off the recipe section of DailyKaty, I wanted to share my favorite, go-to dip recipe, Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip. This recipe is actually from Weight Watchers, but puts a healthy spin on a classic dip without sacrificing the taste, making it a not-so-naughty indulgence for football Sundays, girls nights, any gathering with loved ones, or even by yourself!

Spinach Artichoke Dip - Recipe on DailyKaty.com

The recipe substitutes some of the high-fat creaminess usually found in spinach artichoke dips with lower-fat cream cheese and sour cream, and adds a layer of crunch with sautéed onions and chopped water chestnuts (I know, it sounds random, but it works really well!). Below is a shot from my latest Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip – I actually doubled the recipe to bring to a big family party and put it in two dishes. One of the best things about this recipe is you can make it ahead of time and hold on baking it in the oven until you’re almost ready to serve it.

Recipe below!

Weight Watchers’ Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

Prep time: 12 min
Cook time: 27 min
Serves: 18

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp light butter
  • 1 cup uncooked onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves (medium) garlic cloves, minced (I usually cheat and use minced garlic)
  • 10 oz chopped frozen spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
  • 8 oz canned water chestnuts, sliced, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 14 oz canned artichoke hearts without oil, quartered, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 spray cooking spray

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender.
  • Add spinach, water chestnuts, and artichokes; sauté 2 minutes.
  • Add cream cheese, sour cream, 1⁄2 cup of Cheddar cheese, hot sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Spoon into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
  • Top with remaining 1⁄2 cup of Cheddar cheese.
  • Bake at 350°F for 18 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  • Serve with baked tortilla chips, crackers, vegetables or bread. Yields about 1/4 cup of dip per serving.

Do you have a favorite dip recipe? If so, share it in the comments for other readers!

Fall Gym Bag Essentials

I do my best to stay as active as possible, and oftentimes that means bringing a gym bag on-the-go with me, stocking with everything I need for during and after my workout. Check out my Fall gym bag essentials below!

fall gym bag

Here’s a bit more background on the items currently in my gym bag:

lulu

Lululemon Happy Hatha Hour Bag

The bag I currently use that’s shown in my image above is no longer available, but lululemon is constantly coming out with cute bags that are perfect for transporting both everyday and workout gear on the go, without having to sacrifice style. The white and black bag shown above is the Happy Hatha Hour Bag ($118, lululemon.com), which, much like most lululemon bags I’ve purchased, have tons of compartments for all of your essentials. This structured bag is roomy and features mesh pockets on the inside and a zipper pocket on the outside to help keep everything organized (and keep gym clothes separate post-workout). I tend to put things like my phone, which I like to keep very accessible at all times, in the quick-access exterior pocket. The bag is also great for yogis, as it has a removable, stowable mat strap that makes for easy yoga mat transportation. I actually also use my lululemon bag as a carry on bag when I travel, as it has a great interiot padded pocket that’s specifically designed to fit a laptop. You can’t go wrong with a lululemon bag!

 

sweatyband

Sweaty Bands

Sweaty Bands ($12-$18, sweatybands.com) have recently become my new best friend at the gym. The purpose of a headband is to keep your hair back, and I’ve had way too many experiences with headbands falling off my head mid-workout. Sweaty Bands come in more than a thousand colors, patterns and print combinations, and the back of them (the part that sits against your hair) is a fabric that grips and holds your hair during any workout, without slipping, tugging or pulling your hair. They’re also stylish, so they can help pull you together for after-workout errands or drinks! You can even have custom Sweaty Bands designed if you are participating in a team event or want them for a certain occasion.

 bobble

bobble Water Bottle

When you’re on the go, it can be a hassle to carry your own bottle of water with you, weighing down your bag. That’s where bobble ($10-$13, waterbobble.com) comes in handy. This innovative water bottle – which now comes in several different sizes, colors and varieties – has its own filter that removes chlorine and organic contaminants from municipal tap water, making it taste better, crisp and clean. Better yet, each bobble filter equates to 300 single-serve bottles – so after a year, you’ll have removed thousands of plastic bottles from the environment. I love knowing that I’m always drinking clean water, even if it’s from the faucet or my gym’s water fountain.

simplefacewipes

Simple Skincare Cleansing Facial Wipes

I’m incredibly lazy when it comes to my nightly get-ready-for-bed routine, which is actually why I originally purchased the Simple Skincare Cleansing Facial Wipes ($5, Target.com). Now, I use them daily when I’m on-the-go, especially after the gym. They’re cool and refreshing and do a great job quickly cleaning my face and getting the makeup off as well. They contain perfect blend of our purest possible skin loving ingredients with an added vitamin, Pro-Vitamin B5, which is known to help restore, soften and smooth.

nike

Nike Women’s DUAL FUSION TR Sneakers

I love a fun, bright sneaker, and the Nike Women’s Dual Fusion TR Sneakers  ($65, FamousFootwear.com) are exactly that! These training shows are equipped with a phylon midsole wiht dual density for lightweight, dynamic cushioning, which I found to be perfect for my daily cross-training and boxing routine. They also have a fabric lining and cushioning footbed. Overall, a great, affordable sneaker choice.

sergenormant

Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Shampoo

I received a sample of the Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Shampoo ($25, Birchbox.com) in my Birchbox a few months back and have since been using it quite a bit. I’ve used lots of different dry shampoos in the past and find that they all have different benefits and drawbacks, but this one is definitely a good option. It’s ideal for all hair colors and textures, and the lightweight formula combines strengthening Moroccan cedar extract with amplifying cornstarch for a fresh, volumized finish with no heavy powder residue. I would say that this gives much more volume than dry shampoos I’ve used in the past.

bareesc

bareMinerals READY to Go Complexion Perfection Palette

As someone who previously swore by the bareMinerals loose powder products for years, I was excited to learn about the new READY makeup products from bareMinerals. The bareMinerals READY to Go Complexion Perfection Palette ($49, BareEscentuals.com) has everything you need for a flawless, radiant complexion with a no-makeup look and feel, and it’s all thanks to the company’s innovative solid mineral technology. The products included even provide anti-aging benefits, giving you softer, smoother, younger-looking skin. Here are the products that are included:

  • bareMinerals READY Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20
  • bareMinerals READY Touch Up Veil Broad Spectrum SPF 15
  • bareMinerals READY Bronzer
  • bareMinerals READY Luminizer
  • Correcting Concealer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

I recently started using this daily and love that it can be layered for lighter or heavier coverage, without looking like you have tons of makeup on. It also comes in 8 different shades so you can get the perfect match to your skin tone. It’s perfect to carry in your gym bag because it comes in a nice travel case, so you don’t have to carry around bulky full-size products. The best part? When you buy these products as a set, the price is only $49 for $93 worth of products.

boxing

Everlast 12-oz. Boxing Gloves – Pink

As I mentioned before, my husband and I recently took up boxing, which is an awesome workout. I’m currently using these Everlast 12-oz Boxing Gloves in pink ($25, Target.com). They’re comfortable, adjustable and ideal for fitness training, martial arts, and of course, boxing.

What are your go-to gym bag essentials? Share them below!