Thursday, October 24

my new product for ALL THE THINGS!

Well hello there. It's been a while.  A LOT has changed since my last round of posts; living in a different state, new job, new place, and a new outlook on the products I use as well. I discovered MindBodyGreen this year and have read nearly every article on the site it seems. So, its only natural that my choice in beauty products has gone more...well natural. My favorite and new go-to for everything in the bathroom (and kitchen) is COCONUT OIL.

Here's a typical day in the life of me and my gigantic bottle of coconut oil:
  • I rise & shine and get my coconut oil pulling on (use a teaspoon like Listerine) Cleanse your mouth of bacteria and take care of your gums. Make sure to spit it out in the trashcan and rinse out twice with water.
  • While oil pulling, I like to gently massage my eyes with a tid bit of coconut oil. Makes them look ALIVE and gets blood flowing in order to decrease puffiness.
  • I then occasionally make my warm lemon water with a  splash of coconut oil. This helps activate your thyroid gland and energizes you naturally.
  • Scrambled eggs with avocado is perhaps my favorite breakfast. It's much healthier AND tastier when cooked in coconut oil instead of butter or olive oil.
  • Coconut oil makes the perfect makeup remover!
  • When I need to relax my sore muscles I soak in Epsom salt and a handful of coconut oil. When you get out of the tub- your skin feels and smells incredible....and your pets will think you are delicious.
  • Shaving is much smoother using coconut oil than shampoo (I'm cheap).
  • The perfect pre-bed time moisturizer is...you guessed it! COCONUT OIL. As it may stain some clothing before it soaks in your skin, let it dry before crawling under the covers.
  • While I'm dousing my body in the stuff, I go ahead and coat my slightly damp hair in coconut oil for an overnight conditioner. Rinse with shampoo twice, skip the conditioner, and HELLO HEALTHY HAIR! 
I really can't say enough about it. I tell pretty much every human I come in contact with about it.
A note on what kind to purchase: you need ORGANIC! I have used and loved Nature's Way, Nutivia, and Nutrigold.

Here' s a great article my BFF wrote about it too! SHARE THE LOVE!

Wednesday, December 5

this stuff is BLOG worthy: BB Cream

Sooooo its been a while- but this product is worth coming out of the woodwork to blog about. BB (meaning beauty or blemish balm) cream is a moisturizer, SPF, evener, illuminator, and SO MUCH MORE.



Thanks to a couple of friends advice (and a little online research of reviews) I purchased Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream ( in light/medium). I was skeptical at first because a reviewer said she got numerous small white heads after a week of use- and this actually did happen to me. But I exfoliated and washed my face night and day (like a good girl) and after a couple of days they went away completely and haven’t come back at all. After 2 months of use- I know I will never go back to using an SPF moisturizer and foundation.

I apply on bare skin, then set it in with a tiny bit of loose powder (my favorites are Bare Minerals, Makeup Forever or Clinique). My skin feels hydrated all day (which is huge for me because I have very dry skin) and looks smooth, clear, and radiant. I usually break out with a monstrous zit or two around that oh so lovely time of the month- buuuut I haven’t gotten one blemish since 2 weeks into using this stuff (hope I didn’t just jinx it!). It feels like I’m not wearing makeup- but it looks like I’m using the very expensive foundation I purchased for my wedding. Yea.

I was bragging on the BB cream to my best friend, sister, mom and grandmother when I went home for Thanksgiving. The ALL went out and bought it. They are ALL are obsessed. My sister had been fighting a random bout of blemishes for a couple of months. She tried many highly advertised acne systems and nothing worked until this stuff was introduced to her face. Her skin has completely cleared up after 2 weeks. My best friend posted this amazing link on my wall- check it out to find the perfect BB cream for your skin type.

Allure's best BB creams

Hope all my old readers are healthy & happy and have a wonderful holiday season! I miss blogging, but life (read WORK) just gets in the way sometimes...

Wednesday, June 6

Leslee has a baby boy brewing....







So Kristina & I had a tea party shower to celebrate.






We drank Sweet Tea Vodka, Mimosas, and Peach Mango Green Tea. Since it was already over 90 degrees in Texas, hot tea wasn’t really an ideal option.



Kyle & Kristina made phenomenal funfetti baby blue cake balls.



We also served mini 7 layer dips and veggie hummus cups (thank YOU Pinterest).






As per usual, games were played and gifts were opened. It was a really awesome afternoon.






Leslee is currently working on her Doctorate in Counseling Psychology and is due in August. We are all amazed at how she is able to do it all; she is going to be an incredible momma.



(oh and she asked me to make her a headband to give birth in. I'm not kidding. Birthing bands may become a thing lol)















random but I'm kinda obsessed with these blueberry and lemon ice cubes for our teas.

Wednesday, May 30

It’s been a while...




Hey blog. I’ve highly neglected you in order to not ignore my mental health. My work life got crazy right around the time I was preparing to get my new line of headbands out; which meant instead of blogging on my lunch breaks, you could find me napping in my car or by the pond in order to get through 12 hours of double screen computers in my face. The headbands from [KatBeckDesigns] got done- but you were left in the dust. I am sorry. Not really sure when things will change again, but until then my lovely readers- I encourage you to look through old posts or simply email me anything you want written about at katbeckdesigns@gmail.com.

Peace&love,
Kat

Friday, March 9

[katbeckdesigns] upcoming spring collections.

I’ve been working hard creating new headbands and clips for the ETSY site. I’ve integrated new flower feather clips, peacock feathers designs(like whoa), more designs on hard headbands, and last but most certainly not least- a bridal collection.

They should be on the website by May. If you see anything you have to have NOW- just email me at katbeckdesigns@gmail.com and we can get you a hair accessory before then.

Thanks for all the support you all have given me the past year. I am really pumped about this new line. Y’all are my inspiration.









Wednesday, March 7

Starbucks Savvy.




Have you heard of the Starbucks app for iPhone?. Since I downloaded this app- I no longer feel straight up stupid when placing my order.

It used to be “A caramel latte, no whip cream, ummm non-fat milk, and a size medium, oh- and sugar free caramel- wait do you have that?” followed by a quick retort of how to properly say it by the barista..

Thanks to the ability to create drinks on the app- I’ve got that order down to a precise “Grande, extra hot, skinny caramel latte, please.” Baristas think I’m hip now- haha.

Did I mention you can pay with your phone? Yup. Upload any gift cards or transfer money from a debit and they just scan your phone and viola, you’ve paid. It feels futuristic, which also adds to the pseudo hipness of my Starbucks experience.

Monday, March 5

Style spotlight: Kristina Rodriguez

Take your basic black blazer and make it look this cool in a graphic tee and Toms. (it's not visible here but she's also wearing her signature little black bow clip). Try it with shorts this spring.

Love this look. Happy Monday y'all



Tuesday, February 28

birthday girls blogs.

Hey loves. It’s my best friend’s birthday and she has 2 blogs that are just too funny.

Check out her personal blog here…

…and my middle school letters here

Miss Cline in her prime...



She’s 2 cool 2 B 4 gotten…so you should probably hit her up & wish her a happy 26th birthday.

Wednesday, February 22

guest post: Fulfillment on a Full Plate

guest post by the lovely, Laura Maphis

“When we are hungry for something to make us feel good about ourselves and we refuse to take care of our inner needs, we do stupid things”  
Debbie Ford

I have a feeling that most of us can relate to this statement. At the risk of sounding miserable and melodramatic (I’m not!), I can tell you that I have spent the majority of my adult life thus far eating efficiently rather than nutritiously; exercising my mind to the point of emaciation (2 words- graduate school) while ignoring my body’s need for exercise; keeping late hours; and denying myself much flexibility for breathing, creating, and being. I relied on caffeine and nicotine to get me through. Eight years and a Masters degree in clinical HEALTH psychology later (oh, the irony), it dawned on me that our vices- not the type necessarily but their mere presence and the frequency in which we employ them- might be telling us something. Maybe certain things in our realities are amiss, or our realities are not aligned with how we envisioned our reality being, and as a result, we feel badly.
            People handle negative emotions in a variety of ways. We may quickly react in an effort to make the bad feelings go away (think how little time elapses between an itch and a scratch) or we may over-indulge those negative feelings and let them take hold of us (e.g., listen to sad music, not dress ourselves for the day because we don’t want to face it).  For either of these scenarios, the recourse may be turning to our vices- whether that means having 1, 2, 10 drinks too many, eating a gallon of ice cream, smoking, emotional wallowing- the list continues and varies from person to person. So you have found yourself turning to your vices more often lately. Is this solution to change your reality? Maybe. Perhaps, though, for the sake of parsimony and those life circumstances that are more “fixed” than others, it’s more practical to change the way we find fulfillment in our current realities. Take a pre-emptive stance- don’t wait for when you are feeling badly to practice self-care.
Self-care involves TLC of mind, body, and soul. Since my 26th birthday, I have worked to increase my self-care and sense of personal fulfillment within the bounds of my current reality- a reality filled with late nights, mental exhaustion, performance anxiety, and high personal and professional standards. One of the biggest changes that I made involved my relationship with food. Changing how I viewed, consumed, and even felt about food helped me to better take care of myself and thus better my reality. As a result, I physically feel healthier. Cooking, cleaning (really, cleaning!), and, in particular, grocery shopping, have become akin to praying. While in the kitchen, I am listening for the rolling boil of water on the stove, sniffing for the first hint of olfactory pleasure, admiring the colors and compositions on my plate, and both challenging and pleasuring my palate. I am able remain in the present moment. Moreover, my new-found confidence has allowed for crazy culinary undertakings (grilled rare ahi tuna with a cilantro wasabi aioli created by yours truly!). My creativity, too, as I am pleased to report, sprung forth from its underground well. Like Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project” said, “I wanted to change my life without changing my life, by finding more happiness in my own kitchen.”  What Gretchen means is that we don’t necessarily need a huge life-overhaul to move our current realities closer to our ideal realities.

Through research and personal experiences:
1.      You don’t have to give yourself a life makeover. In fact, too many changes in too short a time can set folks up to fail, and people end up abandoning all of the changes they initially set out to make. Start small.
2.      How do I start small? You start by listing changes you want to make for yourself (what do I want to stop? Or, what do I want to start?), then you have an honest conversation with yourself. Try this method once you have generated areas for change/growth: on a scale of 0-100 (100 being 100%), how likely are you to actually initiate and follow-through with a particular behavior? Ask yourself the following questions to help you hone what you want to work on. What has kept you from quitting X or starting X prior to now? What do you foresee getting in the way of your success (e.g., lack of time, the people you surround yourself with, financial cost)? What would you be willing to do in order to make your change more successful (e.g., get up an hour earlier, pay for a baby-sitter once a week)?  You must choose manageable goals. This is crucial. Lofty goals with improper self-assessment (i.e., Am I ready to do this?) can hurt your belief in your ability to achieve goals.
3.      If the thought of self-care is daunting, change the way you think about it. So you have a lot on your “plate,” and adding something to it is daunting. And your metaphorical life “plate” is full of cafeteria-grade food. Though your plate may feel a little more crammed, self-care is the decadent dessert that will overshadow the cafeteria-grade food and will transform your overall plate to something much more palatable.
4.      Accountability! It is super helpful to monitor your changes (e.g., writing down what you did in your planner, checking-in with a supportive other). Telling you about the changes I am making helps me remain accountable for them!
5.      With the aforementioned said, don’t take your own rules for change too, too seriously. You don’t want to overly frustrate yourself for trying. In our realities, sometimes we have to sacrifice self-care in order to take care of ourselves. That is, sometimes I have to skip the gym in order to get to bed at a decent time when homework still awaits me.

My advice has been for bigger changes, such as those you would learn to integrate into your routine. Don’t underestimate the little things you can do to bless yourself and your circumstances daily, though. Paying particular attention to the colors of a sultry sunset, taking a few moments to breathe, letting a fond memory linger a little longer, reciting your favorite poem in your mind as you wait for the grocery store check-out—self-care can be as simple as taking small opportunities to reconnect to your inner life. According to Debbie Ford’s logic, we will all be a little smarter for it!
 


Monday, February 20

Vitamins for vitality

My work desk drawer looks like a mini pharmacy; I keep a supply of all my vitamins at work and also in my bathroom at home so that I’ll remember to take daily.


Lysine: Benefits the skin by helping to maintain its health and elasticity. Also benefits skeletal system, and can help in preventing and curing cold sores.

Super B complex: Supports energy metabolism and the immune system; lots of B vitamins and folic acid to reduce stress, irritability, and improve energy, mood, and give you healthy hair.

Iron: (doc said I was deficient so I started taking) You made need it too if you’re feeling fatigued for no good reason, bruise very easily, or are feeling weak. (Chat with your doc first of course)

Vitamin D: Some benefits include longer life, less disease, fewer infections, less depression, stronger bones, less pain and less inflammation.

Green tea extract: (click here to read all about it)

Wednesday, February 15

delicious Pinterest projects:




White Chocolate dipped Oreos
So I may have organized a dessert spread at work on Valentine’s just so I could make these. Saw these in the form of Oreo Pops on Pinterest. Yeaaaa, the whole using a stick part didn’t exactly work out for me- so I just dipped them. First batch was a FAIL. I overheated the chocolate. Second time around I just microwaved in 30 second increments (stirring in between). Dip, sprinkle, let dry, and enjoy! My co-workers loved them and they didn’t require any baking.



Avocado Grilled Cheese
Simply spread half an avocado in middle of 2 thin layers of cheese, grill, and enjoy. Grilled cheese are kind of my favorite sandwich and I’m kind of an expert on making them. If you heat up the cheese on the bread in the microwave for about 30 seconds before grilling, the consistency get’s to that perfect melty-ness. Also, put a dab of butter on the top of bread so when you flip it- both sides get grilled nicely. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever have another plain grilled cheese again. The avocado just makes it so creamy which makes it seem cheesier.




Friday, February 10

Green tea please.




To say green tea is good for you would be an understatement. According to www.green-tea-expert.com:
What happens is that our body utilizes the defensive antioxidant molecules which are present in our system as a response to the negative effects of free radicals. This is done to detoxify the harmful effects.This is the main reason why health professionals are encouraging you to increase the levels of antioxidants in your body. There are various food available that contains high levels of antioxidants such as fruit and vegetables. The antioxidant levels of green tea is hundred times more effective than vitamin C and twenty-five times better than vitamin E in protecting our immune systems.
Pretty cool huh?
Check out these benefits I found via www.green-tea-expert.com:

• helps against formation of cancer
• controls diabetes
• helps prevent heart disease
• makes your complexion acne-free, healthier
• aids in weight loss regimen
• slows the aging process
• calms your digestion
• reduce cholesterol as well as LDL-cholesterol
• prevents cavities as well as strengthens tooth enamel
• reduce plaque formation and bacterial infections in your mouth
• excellent and safe during pregnancy because it provides you with a mild stimulating effect.



Since I want ALL of these benefits, I am taking a green tea extract pill as well as drinking one cup of green tea daily. During the day, I enjoy of cup of Tazo Zen which is described on the box as “a harmonious blend of green tea with lemongrass & spearmint.” There are around 30mg of caffeine in this drink (8 oz of coffee has around 80mg of caffeine). In the evening, I’ll have a cup of decaffeinated Bigelow green tea. Just a drip of honey and it’s good to go.

Wednesday, February 8

Tea cup collection.

The wonderful thing about starting a collection is that you get hooked up on the holidays; I’ve only purchased 2 of the 10 tea cup and saucers I own. I love tea cups because they are

pretty and practical.
I also probably love them so much because my grandmother has the same passion. I seriously didn’t know this until I told her I wanted to start a collection and she let me see hers- annnnd pick out a few to start my own collection































Monday, February 6

Lana Del Rey.






What I find so intriguing about Lana Del Rey [aka Lizzie Grant] is her evocative lyrics and the nostalgia of her just 25 year old voice. Some people absolutely loath the way she sings; I think it’s the best/most unique thing I’ve heard since Regina Spektor. Doesn’t hurt that she’s stunning either (lips real or fake, she’s breathtakingly gorgeous). I discovered her on VEVO (love it). Then I started YouTube-ing all her music since her album wasn’t released; my husband was already OVER my overplaying and her music and her album BORN TO DIE just came out this week. The juxtaposition of dark/dramatic and romantic/hopeful lyrics is so captivating to me. I’m excited to see how she grows as a performer (SNL was not nearly as bad as reviewers made it out to be). People just love to bring people down in the music industry it seems. Why can't we just ENJOY the way a song makes us feel instead of analyzing every line and melody?
Download and tell me what you think.
Pronto.

Wednesday, February 1

guest post from Victoria: the right way to loose it & keep it off.

From my darling sister, Victoria Hayden (soon to be registered dietitian):

Statistics show that ~45% Americans set New Year Resolution goals, and ~20% of those goals are usually related to weight loss. But only 8% of people report being successful in achieving those goals…I get asked a lot, so how do I actually achieve weight loss?
I will be registered dietitian in approximately a month (so excited to almost be there!), and  have chosen to concentrate my internship process in adult weight management. Because to me, helping people feel good about themselves through achieving healthy weight loss and preventing co-morbidities like diabetes and heart disease, is probably the most rewarding job on the planet.
The truth is- weight loss is extremely difficult. Yes, you need to burn more calories than you eat to have weight loss, but it is a lot more complex than subtracting 500 calories a day from your diet.
So back to the question, how do I actually attain weight loss? 

  1. RECORD what you eat. Yes this seems silly. But when you right down everything, and I mean serving sizes and all, you can keep yourself accountable.
  2. EAT. Yes. You have to eat to lose weight. 3 meals a day is a minimum, but research shows that 5-6 small, frequent meals a day is the way to go. I know this seems tedious, but think about it. If you are constantly eating small meals, you are using those calories to fuel your body and not storing the extra calories from larger meals. It is a huge misconception that you need to starve yourself to lose weight. If you do that, your body goes into a conservation mode, and conserves all lose calories you are trying to burn off!
Note: When eating a meal, eat a combination of all 3 macronutrients- carbohydrates, protein and fat. Think of the macronutrients as a campfire, the carbohydrates are the gasoline that will initially start the fire, but without the wood, aka- protein and fat, the fire will not last long. You need all 3 of the macronutrients for your body to work properly, to avoid hunger and to be satisfied with the way food tastes.

  1. Be MINDFUL. We generally eat because it is the time of the day to eat, or because we are bored/stressed/sad/happy/etc. Listen to your bodies hunger cues. Do not use food as a coping or reward mechanism. This is a huge struggle for many people, myself included. This is so much harder than it seems, and  it’s okay! But simply being aware of why you are eating will help so much through identifying ways to help the weight loss process.
  2. Set REALISTIC goals. Weight loss takes time, 1-2 pounds a week maximum for healthy weight loss. Most people hate this. But when you lose more than this, you are losing fluid and wasting muscle. We want to lose fat, not muscle! Take your time, and set a goal that is truly attainable.
  3. EXERCISE. Exercising helps not only with weight loss, but also prevent certain diseases, helps deal with stress, cope with depression, and makes you feel great about yourself.
  4. Have a SUPPORT system. Someone you can talk to say that will be proud of you for working out 4 times this week, or someone you can call when you just ate an entire box of Oreos to tell you that it is okay and not to give up on your goals. We all have bad days, and have support is the key to getting through those days.

*side note from me:
Victoria is my support system (which I didn't even realize until I read this). I call her when I’m lacking endorphines from not working out in 3 days and I think I’m going crazy. I call her when I feel guilty about what I ate that day. She makes me rationalize it all and feel better and be PRESENT.  It really helps to have someone there for you…so if you don’t have someone, I am here. Email me- don’t feel weird about it- I’m here to listen. It really helps..

Wednesday, January 25

Darling d├ęcor

Check out these sweet Christmas gifts from my family and friends...thanks y'all!


Bird Canvas from www.razzberryfizz.com fits on this wall perfectly.


This lovely mirror is another www.razzberryfizz.com item I’ve been obsessing over for like 2 years.


And yet another www.razzberryfizz.com gift! One of my favorite John Lennon quotes in a place I can see it every day.


Coolest hour glass ever.


A very special gift my grandfather-in-law’s, Louis Beck, art gallery [located in Little Rock]. He painted this in 1969.

Monday, January 23

Pinterest Project : [Chicken Caeser tortellini]

I’ve made an entire category on my Pinterest labeled I’m gonna learn to cook through Pinterest. Well if all the recipes I try out go as well as this Caeser Chicken Tortellini one did- then I will be pulling all my dinner choices from there.



I mixed it up a little bit- used leftover chicken I baked the night before instead (seasoned with garlic and lemon) and I didn’t use a garlic clove or shallot (I didn’t even know what that was until I googled it). Just an onion, some chopped arugula, and spinach leaves. So pretty much, I just used the basic ingredients from the pinterest recipe: light caeser dressing, tortellini, and chicken.



It was seriously good, and almost better as leftovers the next day.