Interview With Celebrity Trainer Nicole Stuart

Nicole Stuart Interview

I had an opportunity to interview Nicole Stuart, actress and celebrity trainer a couple weeks ago. She was in Minneapolis for the Fabletics store opening at the Mall of America that I blogged about here. It was so much fun to talk to her, learn a few new things about fitness, and of course hear about Kate Hudson’s fitness approach. Nicole has been training celebrities since 1997, and prefers pilates to all other techniques.

And while I realize that I am far from being a good interviewer/journalist, here are a few highlights from our conversation.

A lot of my friends wanted to know specifically about Kate Hudson’s fitness routine. 

Nicole: I mostly do pilates with her, but it’s a mish mosh of everything, including TRX (which stands for Total body Resistance eXercise). We also used to run a lot, but I don’t run outside anymore. Kate also does hot yoga. She is open to trying anything, which makes training her a lot of fun and really easy, because you can give her a task and then she does it really well.

I also wanted to ask a few questions about my personal training routine, which mostly consists of running and yoga.

Nicole: Are you happy? Then I wouldn’t change a thing!

There are new workouts popping up almost every day, which is definitely overwhelming. How do you find the right one?

Nicole: I think if you are doing something for a while, and then start thinking “Ugh, I don’t want to go”, start dragging your heels, then you should find something different. But if you are excited to go, and are feeling good after, you like your teacher or you enjoy running with your friends, or whatever it is… I think we know what works and what doesn’t work for our own bodies. And I think we should listen to that inner intuition more.

With all the workouts popping up, there are probably twice as many new diets. Do you have any advice on what to eat before and after the workouts, or on meals in general?

Nicole: I always say – clean eating is very good, simple, nothing processed. If you really want to be strict – no meat, no dairy. Greens, greens, greens, vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. And you can get creative with that. I am getting back more into it after having a baby, so I’ve been a little relaxed on everything. However, I just did this amazing soup cleanse by Elissa Goodman, and I love it. I am doing it again! It’s a 5 day cleanse.

Of course I had to ask about living in LA. 

Nicole: I love living in LA, Minnesota is beautiful, but we don’t have the weather element. I love the snow, but I wouldn’t want to live in it (Me neither, Nicole, me neither!). The cool thing about Fabletics though is that they not only have clothes for every type of exercise, but also the weather (freezing, or hot and sunny, you name it).

I was also curious to know if Nicole helped out with any of the product development or design aspect of the creative process. 

Nicole: Unfortunately I don’t. It’s a Kate thing. But she asks me if I like certain things 🙂

Do you have any favorite Fabletics pieces? 

Nicole: I love the Solar legging and capri, I think they are very basic, plus a new print is launched every month, so that’s the fun thing that changes constantly. As soon as I find an outfit that I’ll wear and wear and wear, a new month comes and a whole new set of clothes comes out. The bright colors motivate me to work out, I want to go run and jump, and be happy. The print also makes your butt look good!

Fabletics is opening 11 more stores this year, so I told them to make sure to invite me to the next store opening 😉

PS. Make sure to check out my green tea smoothie recipe and my Fabletics favorites below!

Aixallia Skincare Review

“This post was sponsored by Aixallia as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.”

Aixallia skin care Aixallia skin care Aixallia skin care Aixallia skin care Aixallia skin care

Taking care of my skin in the summer has never been easy. Between my regular trips to the beach, sailing and hanging out on the town, I can never seem to achieve a lifestyle balance, and end up using a wide plethora of products aiming to tame one skin condition or other (seriously everything from wrinkles to acne to sun damage, throw in some stress rash and you have, well, my skin).

But maybe there is hope for a lost cause like me! I was recently introduced to a French brand Aixallia, which was founded in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur of Southern France. Aixallia combines a unique proprietary ultra-pure water with Mediterranean botanicals to produce fresh and rich products that help cleanse and hydrate, it is formulated with locally harvested, organic French Mediterranean botanicals, and is ECOCERT French organic certified.

I got to try out the initial line of Aixallia products, which includes:

  • Rose and Argan Revitalizing Eye Cream $45 for 0.5 oz (shea butter, organ oil, rose water, apricot kernel oil) 
  • Green Tea Protective Day Cream $48 for 1.7 oz (olive oil, vitamin E, rose water, green tea) 
  • Lavender Soothing Night Cream $52 for 1.7 oz (lavender water, sea heather) 
  • Olive and Rose Hydrating Hand Cream $20 for 1.7 oz (olive oil, shea butter, beeswax, floral rose) 
  • Rose and Almond Hydrating Body Lotion $28 for 6.8 oz (amino acids, Vitamins A, D, E, K, almond oil, Provencal honey, floral rose water)
  • Five Plants Emulsifying Make-Up Remover $28 for 5.1 oz ( floral cornflower water, plant extracts, mallow extract, red vine and blueberry organic floral waters) 
  • Coconut and Calendula Exfoliating Shower Gel $16 for 6.8 oz (fine coconut powder, calendula extracts)

The greatest thing about Aixallia products was how easily I could incorporate them into my daily routine. From moisturizing to cleansing, to removing makeup I got all the bases covered, with an exception of a face wash. I love the slightly scented products, I strongly believe in the power of fragrance, and how it can affect one’s daily mood. So far it’s only been positive with Aixallia.

Aixallia day, night and eye creams are conveniently equipped with pumps, making it so much easier to dispense and eliminate the unnecessary contact between the product and air. When we had a dog, I always used to find its hair in my skincare creams, and even before that twist off lids were one of my biggest pet peeves.

The hand cream has quickly occupied a permanent spot in my makeup bag and gets transferred from purse to purse. I try not to leave my house without it at all. Bonus perk – it can also be used as a foot cream! I am all about multi-purpose products this season!

And finally, the exfoliating shower gel is perfect for the summer, especially after long days at the beach. The extra coconut powder particles really help get all the impurities out and smooth the skin to prepare it for all the intended and unintended tanning.

Aixallia is proud to support charitywater.org, a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations, by donating 1% of net product sales revenue.

If you would like to try out some of the Aixallia products make sure to use code Blog20 to get 20% off of your online order! Just a little bonus something for you for following me and my blog!

What kind of skincare do you use in the summer?

Black Jumpsuit


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Last night my friend McCall and I went to a Clothing Collective fundraiser at Aria that in collaboration with Wipe Every Tear is committed to ending the sex trade in the Philippines. You could shop donated clothes, listen to live music, grab bites to eat, and be social.

McCall wore an amazing jumpsuit that reminded me of a similar black one I got from The Mint Julep Boutique, and wore to Chan’s party a couple weeks ago. So I am sharing both on the blog today!

We ended our night getting beer with Sam at Inbound Brew Co!

I hope you have a Happy Friday! Here is to friends, black jumpsuits, beer and $12 worth of cheese that I ate last night 😉

#ThriftStyleThursday is back + Linkup

#thriftstylethursday #thriftstylethursday #thriftstylethursday

#thriftstylethursday #thriftstylethursday #thriftstylethursday #thriftstylethursday #thriftstylethursday

Happy Thursday, I am so excited to bring #ThriftStyleThursday back this week! As you may remember we put it on pause back a year or so ago because a lot of us didn’t have time, and I was busy with school. Ironically enough, the outfit I am sharing is from last day of class this past semester. I had so much fun hanging out with Megan, McCall and Molly before the class started, and Chan was there to document it all, as always.

I hope you are as psyched about #ThriftStyleThursday coming back, and if you’ve posted any vintage inspired or thrifted outfit recently, come link up with us, today and every Thursday.

Peace!

Outfit details: Vintage denim Alacloth // Striped Loft button-down ThredUp // Minnetonka Moccasins Savers // Valentino Sunglasses Nordstrom Rack 

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Beauty Favorites // May

Beauty Favorites May

It’s finally time to round up some of my May beauty favorites, and yes, I am fully aware it’s June 😉

1. NYX Liquid Suede cream lipstick in Sandstorm ($6.99) provides soft light brown matte finish on your lips and lasts through a few cups of coffee.

2. NYX Lip Lingerie in Baby Doll ($6.99) a light and brighter creamier nude that once again provides a matte finish for your lips.

3. It Cosmetics Sunshine in a Compact Vitality Anti-Aging Matte Bronzer in Warmth ($34) a soft lighter bronzer that makes contouring a breeze and comes with anti-aging ingredients including hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, and vitamins A, C & E.

4. Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose pre-shampoo treatment for fine hair ($24) is an oil that you use before shampoo and conditioner and leave on for 3-5 minutes. It changed my hair washing routine and my hair for the best. In addition to volume, shine and light rose fragrance is a bonus perk.

5. Sigma 3DHD Kabuki brush ($24) designed for all areas of the face to apply liquid, cream and powder products, this brush has been perfect for blush this spring, and I can’t wait to use it with bronzer this summer!

6. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant ($55) is a rice-based enzyme powder that activates upon contact with water, releasing Papain, Salicylic Acid and Rice Enzymes to smooth the skin and accelerate cell renewal. Perfect for every day use, I prefer to use it in the shower.

7. It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ ($38) a full coverage product that improves skin texture, brightness and increases skin hydration. I stopped using a day cream when I started using it. I am stepping up from the light to medium shade for the summer as well.

8. It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Transforming Moisturizing Super Cream ($48) works for all skin types, even the most sensitive (worked for me when I had my semi-annual finals stress rash breakout). This product deeply hydrates, restores radiance and reduces the look of pores, uneven texture and discoloration with collagen, hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramides, antioxidants and colloidal oatmeal. It also smells amazing!

9. NYX Wonder Pencil ($4.49) A concealer, eye brightener and reverse lip liner all in one, it’s a must-have for everyone! I use medium shade for the summer.

10. It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eye Brow Pencil ($24) when it comes to eyebrows, I’ve done it all – gel, dye, eyeshadow, numerous pencils, but this has been my favorite out of all! This universal (yes, one color does fit all + covers gray!) and long-lasting eyebrow pencil has an oval shaped tip which makes it perfect for both thin and thick brows. The spooly end brush gives a natural polished look.

11. NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Prague ($5.99) one of the few bright colors that I have been wearing after I switched to the nude side. Being a lipstick junkie is hard, but this raspberry color makes it easy and fun. And, of course, once again I am a fan of the matte finish.

12. NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in Sunbeam ($7.49) perfect for face and body and for when I get tired of all the matte finishes.

13. It Cosmetics You Sculpted! ($40) foolproof contouring, hands down! So far I’ve been using soft contour, matte and radiance highlight the most, and it doesn’t take more than 2 minutes every day. Make up is really not that hard when you think about it.

14. Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Foaming Mask ($56) brightens, detoxifies and refreshes skin, because that’s exactly what I needed after stressful days and sleepless nights during the finals. It’s like an instant miniature face lift! On the side note, I still can’t believe I pulled 23 credits off.

15. It Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush # 7 ($48) a foundation and concealer brush that I’ve been using with powder and only powder. I still think nothing is better for applying foundation than your own fingertips. The concealer brush is perfect for applying powder in the eye area, I specifically use it to blend out any eye shadow imperfections that I’ve created (because you know, I am almost 30 years old, I have yet to learn how to do a good crease blend 😉 )

16. Eco. Refresh Cleansing Lotion ($12) an odd one out of this whole review, random product I came across, which actually got the job done. Made in Australia specifically to care for sensitive, dehydrated or combination skin. This lotion contains Papaya, Vitamin E and Oat Extract to easily remove makeup while calming and nourishing the skin and repairing damaged tissue. For someone who constantly suffers from stress rash breakouts, this product was perfect.

17. Heavenly Luxe Angled Radiance Brush #10 ($38) a brush that I use with the You Sculpted! palette, works so well, because I, for once, followed directions 😉

18. Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender ($20 for a full size, $10 for travel) That meme that’s going around telling everyone that by the end of the week my hair is 92% dry shampoo is true, and I can’t tell you how many times this product has saved me time this past month. Texture is an added bonus.

Well here you have it, my May favorites! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these, and what your thoughts are. Also, was this too long of a list? Not long enough? Do share! And finally here is a fun little Periscope video by yours truly! Enjoy!

MN Bloggers Photoshoot by AM Photography

mn bloggers photoshoot mn bloggers photoshoot mn bloggers photoshoot mn bloggers photoshoot mn bloggers photoshoot mn bloggers photoshoot mn bloggers photoshoot

Last Tuesday my friend Morgan messaged me and asked if I was free later that day. After I said I was she proceeded to invite me to a photoshoot with other bloggers somewhere out in Eden Prairie. That invitation turned into one of the best nights of last week! Not only did I get to participate in a fun shoot and see some drone action, I got to meet two incredible ladies behind AM Photography (you can read more about the shoot on their blog), as well as a lot of local bloggers whom I’ve never met before.

Morgan – Construction 2 Style

Amy – Construction 2 Style

Katie – Jkath Design Build + Reinvent

Jen – Paisley + Sparrow

Ashley – Illest Optimist

Jeanna – Fiercely Fetching

Brenna – Snap Agency

Katie S. – Food by Katie

Zhenya – Being Zhenya (yours truly)

Brigette – #dogmom

PS. I will now be accepting all the blonde comments and jokes! And make sure to check out this live video from the shoot because everyone did a stellar job introducing themselves and it’s fun to see someone you’ve been seeing online in real life!

Camel Skirt

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being zhenya

This camel skirt from H&M has quickly become my favorite this spring. Its cut and the flare help add the otherwise missing curves to my body. I didn’t plan on having my picture taken that day, it was a shoot for Megan, but you don’t have to twist my arm when it comes to photos 😉 And of course the photographer was Chan!

Outfit details: Wide Cotton Skirt H&M || Striped crop top Free People || Flats TOMS

Below are more full and button down skirt look options! Enjoy!

Blogger Husband

couples photoshoot ideas

Last Saturday Sam and I had a photoshoot in downtown Minneapolis with our friend Chan (he took our graduation photos). He asked us if it would be okay for him to photograph us as a couple. I have no idea how Sam agreed to that, but when Chan sent us some ideas Sam said he was going to put his own spin on it. Needless to say, I’ve never laughed so hard in my life during the shoot and after it when the photos were ready. So here is to Sam, thanks for being a part of my life for 10 years, and being married to me and handling my crazy, and making sure none of this blogging bullshit gets to my head for almost 5! And to Chan, who captured the relationship dynamics perfectly!

couples photoshoot ideas couples photoshoot ideas blogger husband couples photoshoot ideas blogger husband couples photoshoot ideas couples photoshoot ideas couples photoshoot ideas couples photoshoot ideas blogger husband blogger husband blogger husband couples photoshoot ideas couples photoshoot ideas couples photoshoot ideas couples photoshoot ideas blogger husband blogger husband couples photoshoot ideas

Green Tea Smoothie Recipe

green tea smoothie recipe

green tea smoothie recipe

green tea smoothie recipe

This is my favorite smoothie, I drink that at least once a day. I hope you like the recipe as much as I do!

1 cup frozen spinach

1 cup frozen fruit

16 oz green tea – 4 oz strong green tea mixed with 12 oz water (you can change the tea to water ratio to taste)

1 tbsp protein powder (I use Lean 1 or Orgain)

1 tsp vegetable powder blend (I use Green Vitae Essence)

Blend and enjoy!

TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods #SweetMeetsSpicy

Disclosure: “This post was sponsored by Starbucks as part of an Influencer Activation. I received compensation and complimentary products to facilitate my review.”

TAZO Chai Latte K-Cup Pods #sweetmeetsspicy

TAZO Chai Latte K-Cup Pods #sweetmeetsspicy TAZO Chai Latte K-Cup Pods #sweetmeetsspicy TAZO Chai Latte K-Cup Pods #sweetmeetsspicy

Being done with one of the most difficult semesters of my college life feels incredible. I am definitely enjoying this time I get to spend at home, reflecting and preparing myself for the next stage of my life. The ability to spend a lot of time at home is also something I am going to cherish, since Sam and I are getting ready to sell our house. We’ve learned a lot being home owners, living here, and now leaving here.

Another perk of being on a short spring/summer vacation is reading. I went to the library and checked out some books that I could read for fun, that weren’t textbooks, that weren’t mandatory, these are the books I can truly enjoy.

And finally, I’ve been able to enjoy cooking, baking, and making all sorts of treats for myself and my loved ones. My latest obsession is the new TAZO® Chai Latte. There’s something about that rich and creamy taste with every sip providing a spicy and sweet escape. And the best part about the new TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods is that you can explore a world of flavor from the comfort of your home. Growing up in Russia, tea has always been a big part of my life, especially black Indian tea, which probably partially explains my obsession with this product.

TAZO® Chai Latte combines the flavors of sweet cinnamon, fragrant cardamom, and spicy ginger. There is a perfect amount of sweetness and spice, with spice coming in at the end for a much needed kick. Needless to say this drink contains a perfect amount of caffeine, which makes this drink my new morning favorite.

NEW TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods are made from milk, tea leaves and spices. Brewing the drink is a two step process, you start by adding a powdered mix, which is basically a sweetened dairy blend, to the cup before you brew. Then brew the K-Cup® pod as usual, stir and enjoy!

TAZO Chai Latte K-Cup Pods #sweetmeetsspicy TAZO Chai Latte K-Cup Pods #sweetmeetsspicy

TAZO Chai Latte K-Cup Pods #sweetmeetsspicy

And finally, I wanted to make sure to share that TAZO® has partnered with New York Times Bestselling author and host Padma Lakshmi to celebrate the release of the new K-Cup® pods. Tea and chai have always been a part of Padma Lakshmi’s life and family heritage and she is excited to celebrate the flavors of chai with TAZO®. In addition, she has also developed recipes that pair perfectly with a cup of chai and you can find them by visiting TAZO.com/chai/pairings. To learn more about this collaboration visit TAZO.com/chai!

Follow TAZO® on social media:
TAZO® Facebook
TAZO® Twitter
TAZO® Pinterest
TAZO® Instagram

Find where to buy TAZO® Chai Latte K-Cup® pods here.

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