1 year of blogging!

My Mission

March 2018 officially marks  the 1 year anniversary of Everything Under the Sun Blog! YAY!

Here is our little family ❤

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Shot in September by @therealmaryana. Go follow this girl she is amazing with photography!

I’m suuuper excited because the very fact that I even started writing and intentionally blogging alongside the pages of my journals has been fun, meaningful, growth-enabling, encouraging and an all around an AAAMAZING learning experience.

I can not wait for the next year what it has to offer and what new places E.U.T.S will go!

When I begun the blog I had just given birth to my second daughter, Chloe (two sweet girls under the age of 2) and fresh off a huge move from Seattle to OC.

I was looking for an outlet for a while after becoming a FULL time mama. Something to call my own and have an excuse to stay up late, baking my No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies or my 4 ingredient banana muffins . I love the idea that I can go hide a way a few hours, sit in a hip coffee shop & write.

Originally I was going to create only an Instagram account documenting my goals with weight loss and post about mom stuff and anything noteworthy. Well, I am happy and thankful to my husband Dmitry who encouraged me to dust off my laptop and start documenting my goals with weight loss and post about mom stuff and anything noteworthy in A BLOG! LOL.

 MOST VIEWED POPULAR POSTS!

 

I’m proud & excited to have reached out to several continents and tens of countries! THANK YOU for reading! I’m still blown away by how connected we can be!

As people grow and change so has my approach to the blog. No I did not stick to the one post a week I planned on. Yes I had weeks without any and this may be the first of the year… and its MARCH!

But its come more natural to have been focused on the social media side of my blog on Instagram (which I invite you to like and follow @everythingunderthesunblog ) with daily stories, videos, fitness tips, recipes and EVERYTHING in the details that matter to me which can matter to you!

What I have come to understand is that we are all very much alike in what are needs are BUT what really makes us all different and sets us apart is the DETAILS. The routines, products, foods, hobbies & EVERYTHING combined creates us all so unique and gives us a voice for who we are and what we are about.

That is why I believe that I am not just another blogger mom. (which was & is my insecurity with having a blog and being a mom, I AM PROUD OF IT!) Rather my mission and hope is not only to relate to my readers but offer a new perspective, helpful tips & recommendations. To maybe trigger an appreciation for a new craft idea, a helpful product,  a recipe or even make that BIG choice to starting a healthier lifestyle.

LEARNING & GROWING AS I GO…

Fitness Update

It was March 2017 that I again after 3 years downloaded the “loose-it” app. Two kids later I had a goal of loosing 45 pounds to get to my “goal weight”, which seemed so hard and unattainable.

This BEFORE & AFTER picture shows where I was. One year ago and today.

 

I was 3 months postpartum in the before and now 15 months postpartum. Lots of pride & grace towards myself in both photos…back to back.

I lost just under 50 pounds on my own and 70 total since giving birth to my second baby!

I had gone down from a size 12 to a size 6!

I truly believe that making that change in your life is possible too in whatever stage of life you are in.

Eating healthy and exercise are what will help you sustain that healthy fit-life. Gain back that confidence and take care of YOURSELF because everyone deserves to look and more importantly FEEL GOOD!

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I am healthier. I am happier. I am confident in who I was before and now.

A year ago my bad cholesterol outweighed the good… by a lot. Glucose was high now normal. Before my bad outweighed the good and now that has switched places. My B.M.I. (which always seems unreasonably calculated) is also in the right place. This along with a side by side health check up with a physician that I’ve improved my overall well being and health. PRAISE JESUS!

How I did it

I believe that if I can achieve my GOAL you can achieve your GOAL!

Every time someone has asked me how I did it I’d say the same thing. DIET &light exercise. But DIET.

The “loose-it” app was such a helpful tool to assist me in my wieght loss and fitness goals for the SECOND TIME that I have used it to achieve my goal weight. I highly recommend it! Check them out!

Such a satisfying snapshot! (not an ad) (for loose it or sprint lol)

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I REALLY DO FEEL LIKE A DIFFERENT PERSON!

For more details on how I began my new journey, I called it a ‘reboot’.  You can find out by going to, It’s time for a reboot: 5 tips for losing weight post. It will give you a more in depth perspective on how I started my goals.

But in short WHY my diet stuck is because I made it sustainable and I even ate what ever I wanted. It came down to self control and portion control.

It really mattered more what foods I started saying YES to rather than NO to. This positive approach helped me keep going and make less stops to Del Taco & to the fridge after the kids were in bed.

LEARN your eating habits!

I went for sugar when I felt tired. That is especially true in the afternoon and night when I had low energy. I’d reach for the muffins, cookies, sugary drinks and chips.

Being that I was sleep deprived it was hard but I had to get creative and start eating right to nourish my-body right for both me and my baby.

Lots of raw nuts, fruits & whole grain toasts with nut butters, avocado or a non-dairy smoothie would replace the easy fast snacks and sugars I’d normally intake.

Choices

Every meal was a choice whether I wanted to go forwards or backwards. I believe in FOOD FREEDOM like what you hear from many ‘whole30ers’ , ‘Paleo’, ‘Keto’ & other on-trend diets. I’d say if I were to describe my normal sustainable diet today it would probably closest to Paleo/whole30ish.

So of course I allow myself to have fries, mac n’cheese or a burger to reward myself but again it would be a treat and not my go-to type of food.

*TIPS*

>I don’t go for seconds unless it is veggies or Salad> DRINK LOTS OF WATER> MEAL PLAN>I’D MAKE soup regularly with BONE BROTH for a meal daily> walk & light exercise daily>love my body where I’m at > always have goals.

Approach

MY Approach in the beginning was important. I went COLD TURKEY from sweets, breads, pasta, starches, dairy, sugar, caffeine & processed foods for the first two weeks.

This meant veggies, fruits, whole grains, proteins & again lots and lots of salad. I also had to eat enough to nurse and stay healthy for the both of us.

Your can look different with a cleanse to start or stick to a Whole30 or Paleo diet. Its really up to you!

The first 10 pounds I lost were the sweetest validation and gave me the motivation and encouragement to keep going.

As the weight came off it became second nature and easy to live in a new routine new purpose and healthier living. 

The Present

I am sustaining a diet + light exercise with the same approach I’ve had before and eating GOOD FOOD that’s GOOD FOR YOU!

I have new fitness goals. I’m currently doing a 30 DAY FITNESS CHALLENGE to help tone up in general but also for our April Vegas getaway and continue to grow stronger with this simple 5 minute routine. 

30/30/30 reps of squats, sit-ups & push-ups.

Here is my silly time lapse of the 30 day challenge. lol. 

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Hot Yoga is something I’d like to get back into again. Another reason to get out for an hour of me time 😉

START with what ever you can do. Even 5/5/5 reps each and work your way up especially if you are postpartum and have been cleared from your doctor to start exercise be patient and know that EVERYTHING counts. I found that walking 30 minutes a day was the best way to jump start my metabolism and energy to ease into a more active life!

The best way to incorporate new healthy habits into things you already do! Get that routine going!

I am also regularly present on social media sharing and crafting new healthy alternative recipes, from my kitchen through Instagram stories or just ANYTHING I’m obsessed over in the moment. LOTS MORE TO COME! Including my protein lemon bars! I’m going to dig these up from my Instagram archives. 

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Protein Lemon Bars (gluten free & vegan)

Goals for E.U.T.S

 3 PART SPRING CLEANING series in the works! 

 HOME, BODY, & BEAUTY. 

This includes DIY projects, tips & tutorials! HOPE YOU will join & SPRING CLEAN with me! 

What I would like to do in the future and if anyone is interested to collaborate or partner up for some extra fun and inspiration, DM me IM SO DOWN!

I would LOVE to hear what you would like to know more about, hear & see from this blog. i.e. Tutorials, more reflective posts, healthy- baking workshops, fashion diaries…etc. I have ideas tossed in my mind and a voice but would appreciate the help in narrowing down what exactly people want. 

Please DM on Instagram for your thoughts and feedback! 

Thank you for reading my post and hope you enjoyed the update. Remember to subscribe to never miss a post by going to the home page!

LIKE, FOLLOW, SUBSCRIBE & SHARE MY PAGE .

FIND ME ON INSTA @everythingunderthesun & add my personal INSTA @nicole_pinkvas

Best,

Nicole 

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10 steps to AMAZING skin

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10 steps to amazing skin!

I was taught from a young age by my mom to take care of my skin. I had to start early as early as elementary school when I was told I have eczema. It was so severe I had to use prescription lotions and creams daily to just not have the appearance of rashes & white spots on my skin. This made me very insecure as I clearly remember in the heat of Cali weather wearing long sleeve shirts and pants to school. I was soo not cool. Like ever from 1-12 grade. So not cool. lol.

We are all unique with different varying skin types with varying degrees of dryness, oils, acne, blemishes, scares & redness we want to cover up or just wash with soap and water. If that works for you and you are glowing, good for you!

But here are my recommendations to starting YOUR own skin care routine that fit anyone’s skin care needs! This goes for women & men alike!

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Here are some ideas to add to your routine or give it that extra attention you may not have considered before… I’ve been doing it for 10 years now!

  1. TAKE OFF YOUR MAKEUP BEFORE BED, everyday!  I personally CANNOT fall asleep for the life of me until I get it off!! I love make up especially when its fresh and looks so on-fleek, but by the end of the day when the sweat, dust, dirt, and remainder of whats on is so settled into the crevasses of my face I just want to peel that layer off my face! Plus it gets all over your silk pillow (which I also recommend for sleeping. Its cooling effect & natural material do good to your skin)
  2. WASH YOUR FACE WITH A GENTLE CLEANSER & TONER. The holy trinity of routines. Many products will toss them all into a bottle and sell it to you. I recommend individual use. A make up remover, I love my Neutrogeana wipes or any makeup removing wipes. I even tested the dollar store wipes to Neutrogeana & they work equally great! They take off EVERYTHING including the eyeliner & mascara so well & fast!For my cleanser I use Benefit  & for Toner I love the Rose water by Mario Badescu. Find them all at Ulta Beauty!

     

  3. DIET: A consistent diet of lots of good foods like vegetables, protein, low sugar intake, no processed foods & treats have not only allowed me to lose 37 pounds in 7 months solely with diet and light exercise, of the 60 pounds I have lost since having my baby 9 months ago but the result that SURPRISED me the most was how much my skin improved! I have little to no redness, rare acne & IT GLOWS! No seriously though I am blown away at how good I feel! I will not stop this new commitment to healthy eating & living. 
  4. ONCE A WEEK DO A SKIN Microdermabrasion OR FACE SCRUB daily. I got my PMD microderm as a gift from my amazing sister who recommended & gifted to me (#sistergoals) and I LOVE IT! (V-log + review coming soon!) I have only used it a few times, once a week as they recommend, and it has tightened, toned, & removes dead skin & made my face glow! Before that I would use a face scrub twice a week for my skin to be fresh & taken care of!                              pmdpackage-285x300
  5. MOISTURIZE MORNINGS & NIGHTS : Face neck & hands with a light moisturizer or in CC-cream, LOVE ‘IT COSMETICS’ for great coverage, glow & with SPF 50. I apply  in the mornings & before bed after removing make up also moisturize & liberally apply nighttime products to: FACE, NECK, CHEST, HANDS, FEET (they say that age is given away by your hands and neck the secret to elasticity is to keep it moisturized) I pair my cleanser & cream with the same brand, Benefit cosmetics, I love the light scent & use before bed. 2287679
  6. For underarm & bikini area I started using this great product called “Tend skin” I bought it on Target online and it really helps with redness, razor bumps & eliminates irritation. I recommend using that an use Coconut oil occasionally to provide extra nourishment & for more smooth skin in those sensitive areas.416nCDr+hCL._SY355_
  7. Try to use products with as little chemicals and perfumes as possible. Your skin literally absorbs what you put on it. Imagine all those chemicals. You don’t eat your lotion but your skin technically does so you kind of eat what you put on it ? RIGHT?
  8. Use sunblock all year round! I mentiond lotion with spf, I have this CC foundation cream by “IT cosmetics” that I ABSOLUTLY LOVE! It is a moisturizing, SPF, foundation, illuminating product that I use daily & all year long. I go down a shade in the fall/winter and up a shade in the spring/summer. Got mine at Ulta.
  9. Eye cream is a must. Start young ladies! I have some dark circles that have appeared in recent time, all my babies (ALL 2 of them) keep me up late and up early for a few years now.  I use Mark Badescu eye cream same brand as the Rose water toner spray & I love it! (got mine at Nordstrom).~~~  Just got my trail of EUPHORIA SKINCARE EYE  & FACE creams. I thought I’d give it a chance since this $150 value was only the cost of shipping. Its more a ‘gel’ than cream so it feels light & non- greasy. It goes on thick though so I would only recommend it for a night time regimen. ~~~
  10. TAKE YOUR VITAMINS! Its for your health, ph balance, for your skin. I take my mulitviatmin, fish oil & vitamins D, C & E.

It adds up. Yes the cost of all the products us girls invest into our makeup, skincare, beauty all to please one another… you know that that is the truth. I’m here to encourage us to feel & look our best by taking care of ourselves. That you and I deserve to be pampered and treated to a skin care regimen. It amazes me just HOW HAPPY it makes me feel.

 I am the last one on the totem poll after everyone’s taken care of. To make the extra effort & energy in taking care of myself is not only investing into my well being but ultimately my families well-being. I am happier & healthier in fact because of it  and they are as well. Sure I have weeks where I just don’t tend to my skin and myself but then I don’t feel good about myself. You are worth it and need to take care of yourself ladies!

(Do you have a skin care and wellness routines for your baby or tot? Check these previous posts : TOP Natural Products. BABY edition & 10 must haves for new Moms to find what I use for my babes.)

Thank you for reading & following my blog!

I’d love to connect!

Follow everythingunderthesun.blog by entering your email in the home page & follow me on all my social media platforms.

Best,

Nicole

Hi, I’m still here…exciting news & update

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Hi its been a while! I just wanted to update y’all with what I have been working on for Everything Under the Sun blog & vlog coming soon! I am excited to make a vlog for fun & upon request from others. It will include tutorials, cooking & baking snipits & daily topics from my P.O.V.

It was a busy end of summer season with many birthdays and events happening for our family. We just decided to stay off line as much as possible to take in the sweet moments.

BUT.. I have many blogs to post that are coming your way!

I have an update coming up for my fitness & diet journey that I am so excited to share with you, also A Beauty & skin care post, A look at on our family vacation where we conquered Disneyland & ‘how to’ do vacation with small kids, & as always the happiness of my soul cooking & baking recipes…healthy, mostly ;).

I have a lot to write down and refresh for my new ideas. My renewed inspiration is coming your way, so thank you for following Everything Under the Sun!

🙂

Best, Nicole x