Posts in Lifestyle
What Not to Eat
 
healthy eating for beginners sarah gross design
 

The healthy eating topic is an interesting one. A lot of the time if you eat “too” healthily you get judged, but when you eat badly, you feel horrible (for lots of reasons). The past year, I have really been trying to educate myself on what is good vs. what is harmful to my gut health and digestion.

With varying illnesses in my family from diverticulitis to IBS, I’ve always had stomach aches and pains. While the common thing to do these days is just taking a probiotic, which is definitely great for you, but I wanted to do more research instead of relying on a pill to cure all of my stomach issues.

I’ve learned that the best way to make all my stomach pain go away is to eat certain foods while cutting down on others and to drink as much water as I can. There are also specific factors to living a healthier lifestyle that I think some people miss because the information isn’t really available unless you search for it yourself. So, I wanted to share with you the things I look for in my foods:

Do:

Fresh produce:

Basically anything from this part of the grocery store is A-okay with me. I would say try to buy organic, but honestly, you are doing yourself a favor by just staying in this part of the grocery store for a majority of your time. Eating fresh foods means fewer preservatives and random ingredients that you can’t control yourself. I love to snack on veggies and fruit but they can also be used the base of a meal or the side dish.

Clean ingredient list:

You need to be reading the labels of basically everything you eat. Things I try to avoid are natural flavors (literally in everything), dyes of all types (just google it you’ll understand), and that long list of words you legit can’t pronounce. When you start looking at the ingredient list of foods, you start to see all of the random shit they put in the foods you are eating. Add all of that up over time and it honestly freaks me out.

Fish from the counter:

This has honestly changed my life because you can ask for a certain amount and you know that what you are getting is quality fish that hasn’t been sitting in a container for a week. Even the pre-cut salmon they have at the counter I don’t pick up, I’ve tried it and it’s not the same as the fresh stuff.

Don’t:

Processed snacks:

Even at Whole Foods you can run into a lot of processed items. Even when I am there I always try to look for items without a crazy long list and without natural flavors. Some of my favorites are the Simple Mills crackers, Lara bars, and avocado oil chips.

Processed sugar:

We all love some good chocolate after dinner, but even that can be mostly fillers and is something I watch out for. You can find great alternatives that taste just as good at Whole Foods like the Hu kitchen chocolate bars, they are delicious.

Dressings/Dips:

These ones really are the trap, especially salad dressings and hummus. Make sure if you are buying dips and dressings to check for random additions on the labels.

x,

Sarah


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Healthy Summer Recipe: Mango Shrimp
 
Easy healthy dinner recipes quick shrimp mango
 

Today I’ll be sharing one of my favorite recipes to make in the summertime. This fresh and flavorful dinner is so easy to whip up and is definitely a crowd pleaser (or you can keep all of it for yourself, like I do). Either way this recipe is a staple for me at this time of year and if you try it you wont be able to live without it. So let’s get into it!

Serving size: 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 3 zucchini

  • 1 lb shrimp

  • ½ lemon

  • Garlic salt

  • Salt + pepper

  • Olive oil

  • Fresh salsa

  • 2 mangos (or 1 big one)

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F

  • Slice zucchini however you like (I did long strips), place on a baking sheet, coat with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Let cook until edges are crisp (around 20-30 mins).

  • While the zucchini is cooking, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and cook frozen cauliflower rice until tender. Should take around 10 minutes. Then remove from pan.

  • Which the zucchini is still cooking, coat raw shrimp with olive oil, pepper, and garlic salt. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and place shrimp with one side down. Let cook on each side for 5-7 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan.

  • Remove zucchini from oven and let cool for 2 minutes and chop up the mango into cubes.

  • Now you are ready to serve! Place the cauliflower rice as your base, add shrimp, and top with salsa, and mango. Place zucchini on the side.

Tell me if you try the recipe :)

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Easy healthy dinner recipes quick shrimp mango  pinterest.jpg
DIY: Coconut Body Scrub
 
DIY natural organic body scrub
 

I lovlies! Today I wanted to share a DIY that I have been loving lately. About a month ago I tried making this body scrub and have been addicted ever since. It’s pretty much the easiest DIY ever and you most likely have the ingredients already on hand. Plus, for the container, just use a glass jar from tomato sauce (remove the label to make it look cute).

I love having this ready in the bathroom for when I want to feel super clean and fresh. It’s also great to use before you apply fake tan, going on a beach trip, or just want to be super soft. So ready on below for the easiest DIY of your life.

Oh, and it smells AMAZING.

Ingredients:

  • Coconut oil (at room temp - so it’s liquidy)

  • Granulated sugar (mine was brown, but it can be white too!)

  • Essential oils (optional)

  • Glass jar (Used a Rao’s tomato sauce jar)

Steps:

  1. Pour around 1/2 cup of sugar into your jar.

  2. Add around 2-3 table spoons of coconut oil at room temperature. Add enough to where the mixture sticks together, but not so much that it becomes to much of a liquid. You want it to have some movement, but to still keep it’s form. (Think of the consistency of your favorite lip scrub!)

  3. Add 4-5 drops of your choice of essential oil (which is optional)! I chose lavender and am obsessed with how the smell turned out. If no essential oil is added, it will smell like coconut oil which is fab to.

It’s literally THAT easy! Share if you make some yourself below :)

How To: Cut Down on Screen Time
 
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No, this isn’t another blog post about how phones are ruining our lives. That’s a little dramatic, even for me. I’m here to let you in on a few simple tricks that help me worry less about what’s going on in the world of Instagram and focus more on living my life. These tips keep me from getting distracted 24/7 and help put my phone in the background of my life, not the forefront.

I also want to note that this isn’t a new thing for me; It’s not just empty advice that I don’t even follow myself. I’ve been doing this for as long as I’ve had an iPhone (aka a really long time) and it works.

For my lock screen, I made sure of a few things to help discourage me from always tapping/glancing at my phone.

Turn off “Rise to wake”

This feature honestly bugs the crap out of me. I recently changed phones and it automatically turned on. Basically what it means is if I’m holding my phone while walking or doing literally anything, it lights up every time there is sudden movement. This might sound like a great feature in theory but in reality I was constantly accidentally skipping songs or disabling my phone by accident. I’m not about that so I turned it off and you can too. It’s so easy!

Go to Settings > display & brightness > tap button to turn off rise to wake

Keep your phone on Do Not Disturb

WOW. What a life changer. To activate Do Not Disturb just tap the white moon icon on your drop down menu. When turned on, it stops your phone from lighting up every single time you get a notification.

I find that this helps me keep my attention on what is going on around me because I have to make a conscious decision to click my phone to see what the notifications are. Not being constantly bombarded with notifications and messages also helps me feel less stressed (especially in NYC).

BUT, be sure to put those people whose calls you don’t want to miss on your favorites list because if not they will automatically be sent to voicemail.

Settings > do not disturb > turn on “Do Not Disturb” toggle

Turn off Banner iMessage Notifications

This one may seem extreme because pretty much everyone uses this feature but, trust me, you won’t miss it. This turns off the notification you get at the top of your screen every time you get a text message. I find that with them on, I get so easily distracted and always immediately tap the text message to respond. It’s important to remember that it isn’t a crime not to answer someone right away (or at all) if you don’t want to.

Settings > notifications > messages > unclick “Banners”

I feel like these 3 easy steps have not only helped me stay focused during moments like important conversations and meetings, but have given me the time I need to start learning how to fully live my own life instead of being constantly worried about how others are living theirs. Making checking my phone a conscious decision instead of a mindless habit is a major key to have a little more balance between real life & digital life.

How To Stop Yourself From Buying ALL The Things
budgeting and money management

I recently was talking to someone about how i keep myself from wasting money on unnecessary things. Its something that can be so easy to do, especially with this consumerism culture are are living in today.

You can get caught up in needing the new it bag you see on your favorite influencer or the mask that will make all your skin problems go away. I even find it hard to see an Instagram ad and not want it immediately (IG targeting is SO good these days).

So how do you put the credit card down and not give into what you want?

I’ve come up with a verrry simple method. I make a note in my phone of all of the things I want/need to buy. At a glance iI see what I really need to be spending my money on, and what I probably should be spending on. It gives you a perspective that takes you out of the consumerism mindset and shows you what you really need vs. what you want.

I typically wait 1-2 weeks before buying clothing/makeup/beauty though since I feel like the time helps me see if I really want it or if I was just caught up in thinking I needed it. If an item stays on my list for along time, I probably REALLY want it and can buy it and know I’m not wasting my money.

I hope that helps some of you be better about saving some $$ and ont wasting it on what is trendy at the moment.

xo

Sarah

Grapefruit Watercolor Desktop & iPhone Background
 
download image.jpg
 

Hey ladies! Today I wanted to share a more expanded version of my Instagram post. My mom asked me for this as an iPhone / desktop wall paper, so I thought I’d share that with the rest of you. Thanks Mom!

I wanted to bring a little fun and some bright colors to these horrible winter months (can you tell I hate winter?) I love snow for maybe 1 week, then I want it to be summer/spring again.

Below you can find an iPhone wallpaper and a desktop wallpaper. Download away :)


 
 
My morning skincare routine + WTF I’m doing to my face
 
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If you’re unsure of what I’m talking about go look at my latest IGTV!

So, I feel like skincare is a little confusing to people. I mean it’s also confusing to me too. There are so many products out there that it’s pretty impossible to even know what to put on your face. The products I’ve listed below are the ones that have been working pretty well for my skin. I still switch it up a little, but some are main staples (I’ll get to that later).

The real hero of the show are all the weird hand movements I’m making in this video. And it’s called facial massage! The Skinny Confidential can explain it waaaay better in her video here. Basically what you need to know is you are helping your lymphatic system drain it’s self better which reduces the puffiness of your face. The result is a slimmer and tighter face, who doesn’t want that?!

Also take a detailed notice at the way I do this to my eyes. I push the fluid toward my tear duct which drains all the puffiness out of your eyes. Seriously this is the only thing that has gotten rid of my under eye puffiness, which I used to have a lot of.

Try it out for yourself, all you need is an oil or moisturizer.


5 Wellness Habits I Need To Get Back Into
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I’m finally not feeling sick anymore (TG!!), but have still been feeling foggy headed/tired/overall just moody. I wasn’t exactly sure why, but knew in the back of my mind that there were definitely things that before getting sick I had been consistently doing and have clearly made a difference in my overall wellness.

So yesterday, I took time to notice all the things that I was doing differently and started implementing them back into my routine. I wanted to share these with you because they have really made such a difference in my life and in making me happier and more energetic. I love that I have this blog to share tips that I’ve learned and maybe to remind myself to listen to my own advice… I’ll go through them as you would throughout the day, so you can see where to incorporate them!

So anyway, here are my 5 wellness habit I need to start up again..

1: Wake Up Earlier

I think this one only applies if you are a morning person like me, but when I was sick I found myself sleeping in WAY later than usual. Then that habit carried over once I felt better because my body got used to it, and I hated it. Getting up earlier when everything is quiet and noone is trying to reach you makes me so so happy. Plus in NYC it’s almost quiet and I love that.

2: Drinking lemon water/coffee

While I know you’ve probably heard this one a billion times, I actually think it’s important, but maybe not for the reason you think. Taking 5 minutes to make the water, squeeze the lemon, and drink your little mixture creates a morning ritual which I feel helps slow down the whole morning and clear your head. I like to do lemon water AND coffee because I’m not that girl who is can survive without caffeine. I just think it’s important to take a second and chill before you think about schedules, goals, emails, etc.

3: Not looking at my phone the second I wake up

It feels like the norm is to always be on your phone now. I literally look at it the SECOND I wake up and for some reason that seems so wrong to me. I haven’t ever really been successful at not looking at it, but I want to really give it a real try. Maybe drink my morning coffee and open the blinds before checking this little rectangle. Anyone else feel that way? It’s so hard because you don’t even realize it until you’re doing it.

4: Working out 3 times a week

I actually NEVER EVER thought I would say this, but working out is starting to take a priority in my life. I feel like a poser even just saying that. I’ve never been into working out and still don’t exactly enjoy it, but it has helped my anxiety SO much. Even if that means going for a walk or doing BBG really slow, it still helps to get the endorphins going.

I think it never helped before because I wasn’t doing it consistently, but not I can see a HUGE difference in myself and BBG literally takes all the thought out of it. No gym, no planning, just 28 minutes 3 times a week.

5: Reading before bed

Yep, I’m clearly a grandma. Reading before bed is a way to disconnect and just focus on 1 thing. I mean how often do we get time to focus on ONE thing? NEVER. I could go on, but a Lauren Elizabeth explains it better here (go to 10mins in).

There ya have it!! All the habits I need to start doing again. Time go take my own advice and go drink my lemon water..

Why Your Phone Case May Be Your Most Important Accessory
 
Why your phone case may be your most important accessory

 

I know this post title sounds kind of ridiculous, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about lately. 

Not necessarily about your phone case (we will get to that later in this post) but how much your phone affects your life

I mean, your phone is probably the one thing you’re physically attached to 24/7 (which is actually kinda scary to think about). Especially if you are running a small business, instagram page, or have a full time job… You are constantly checking/responding to notifications.

But how much do we really pay attention to how taking care of our phone as much as we care for our homes can actually improve your life.

 

THE INSIDE

Okay Let’s start with the inside - everyone says beauty comes from the inside, right? Same thing for your phone. - Like you know how when you are trying to get ready and throw ALL of your clothes on the floor because you have NOTHING to wear? Then later you realize you should probably clean that up because its genuinely better having a clean room, so you can think better? Do your work without the impending task of cleaning your room when you get home?

Lately that’s how I’ve been feeling about my phone. It’s sooo unorganized and theres just so much happening on there that I don’t even want to open it anymore. 

I.E. 200 emails in my inbox, 8,000 pictures in your camera roll (with no organizational folders, c’mon Apple!!!), apps you don’t use, etc. 

But, what if we organized our phones just like our rooms? So when we lock our phones we have peach of mind because we know where everything is. 

We know that we’ve answered all our emails and we know where to look when we need to attached a document in an email or find a picture to post on instagram.

Why your phone case may be your most important accessory

HOW TO FIX THIS

  1. UNSUBSCRIBE from all those news letters you don’t read, or you think you will one day maybe read. The stores who send you 1,000 emails, but you never look at them, just delete them. I’m not saying delete it all, but delete the one’s that don’t provide you value once during the span of a week. This way you can see which emails you need to respond to without the clutter.

  2. Delete your apps. Basically Marie Condo that sh*t. And if you don’t get that reference, you should read this and delete anything you haven’t used this year or anything that doesn’t bring you joy. Now you’re on your way to saving time and not having to sift through 20 apps to find the one you’re looking for. If you’re psycho like me you can make folders for each category and put your most used apps on your first page.

  3. Do the same to your camera roll. I have probably 1000 screenshots I don’t need,100 accidental screen shots of my lock screen, and 30 pictures on the same thing, but thought “maybe I’ll need it” on my camera roll. When you’re bored and doing nothing start from the top and DELETE. You literally won’t miss it, I promise. Now you can see the clear fun memories and pictures for your business and not 100 of the same pictures (maybe just 5).

  4. I kinda take my camera roll to another level which if you run a small business you probably understand. So, I made an album for blog post/instagram pictures, so I can stop scrolling for forever to fins what I’m looking for. There’s just one album now that I keep all edited & ready to go photos.

  5. Use the gmail/outlook app NOT apple mail. Well one, it literally doesn’t notify you. Two, if theres a really persistent subscription that just won’t let you unsubscribe gmail filters it out for you. And you can make certain e-mails filter into other folders or categories. Organization <3

Why your phone case may be your most important accessory

THE OUTSIDE

So now, you can take a deep sigh of relief because your phone is pretty well organized, easy to navigate, and stress free. 

The fun part is picking out a case! And it doesn’t have to be anything expensive, just something you look at and it makes you happy. For me, I have this palm case I got on amazon for $6.85 and it protects the crap out of my phone. I’ve dropped it 100 times (like glass down on cement floors) and nothing has cracked. (I also recommend a glass screen protector). 

Every time I see my case, it makes me smile a little cause it reminds me of my trip to Miami with MKM. So, pick a case that means something to you like a quote a picture an image DO YOU! 

Tag me on insta or stories if you try my tips or get a cute new case :) would love to talk everyone. 

xo,

Sarah


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Spring Date Night Outfit
 
Spring Date Night Outfit

 

Hey, hi, hello!

Hope y'all are having a great week so far! I'm definitely feeling ready for spring weather, so I can start wearing sandals and tank tops again, how about you? 

But anyway...

I wanted to share today was a date night outfit. Something thats easy to put together and that you probably have in your closet, but still classy and feels fresh!

I took a FP top (from MARSHALS!!, similar here) and paired it with my Madewell High rise jeans with a crop flare. Still love that style. You can either wear slides or sandals here in neutral shade to match the black / blue of the rest of the outfit. What I love to do here is to add a little tuck to the shirt. I think this really elevates a look and gives it a sense of sophistication. Not to mention, it gives you a waist again, which is perfect for a date night. 

This would obviously be for a casual date night in the city where you and the BF can get some margs. Or a girls night if you're a single lady ;) 

Tag me on insta/stories if you have a date night this week would love to see what you choose to wear! There are a million pics of my outfit below!!

Xo,

Sarah 

 

Spring Date Night Outfit
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Spring Date Night Outfit
Spring Date Night Outfit
Spring Date Night Outfit
Spring Date Night Outfit

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How To Make The Airport Less Stressful
What's in my airport bag

Is it me or does the airport just seem like the worst. Don't get me wrong, I love to travel, but the airport has just always been a source of chaos for me. So, for my trip to Mexico I was determined to make the airport/airplane feel like home. In today's post I want to share some things I put in my carry-on purse that made me feel comfortable while in at the airport...at 6AM *yawn*

First, I'm really into mint tea and lemon water, I feel like it calms me and makes me feel at home, so I drank both of these in the airport and on the plane! It also helps with stomach aches which I seem to get a lot while flying.

Next, I love bringing lavender scented anything. This includes sanitation wipes for the airplane seat, hand sanitizer, and face mist. Lavender is a very calming scent and makes any situation a little less stressful, plus how cute are these little towelettes :) AND after you wipe down your seat, you're enveloped in a scent of lavender.

Then I always have my ticket/reservation printed and my liquids all in one place. These two might seem random, but it's just 2 more things I don't have to think about going wrong.

Finally, my Bose noise cancelling headphones....they are potentially the greatest thing you can bring on a plane. Baby screaming? Who cares. Loud jet noises? Can't hear 'em. It's pretty awesome to just put these on and read your book and the next thing you know you're at your next destination.

I made some nice friends on my second flight though, shoutout to them for making 4 hours feel like 1!

Linking everything else below!

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What's in my airport bag

If you want to see what else I pack in my carry on purse you can check out this post. I put all small items in this small polcadot zip bag and the rest can easily fit in my tote bag :) 


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Sarah Gross Design Info

New York  / Graphic designer, lifestyle blogger, lover of DIYs fashion and beauty ~ the modern martha stewart ~ reach out and say hi!!