Feature: Natalie Tenerelli ... Star of "LA Clippers Dance Squad" & Survivor

NT2 My Survivor bestie, Natalie Tenerelli is not only beautiful, smart & an amazing friend ... but she's also INCREDIBLY talented! She has worked SO hard as a dancer her entire life and that dedication has led her to amazing experiences! I'm so excited to share that she will be returning to the big screen TONIGHT, starring in a new reality show, "LA Clippers Dance Squad!" on E! I had a chance to do a little Q&A with Natalie so her fans can get to know her even better!

I'll also share a few photos from our experience on season 22 of Survivor ... Lord knows we have LOTS of them, since we were basically attached at the hip ;)

Tune in TONIGHT, 10/9c pm on E!

1. What can we expect to see on the first season of “LA Clippers Dance Squad?"

Blood, sweat and tears! The show chronicles the lives of seven of us dancers on and off the court.

2. Should we prepare ourselves to see you involved in any girl drama?

There are 20 of us so we are like sisters. We don't all agree on everything, but at the end of the day we have each others back.

3. As we both know, it’s a gamble putting yourself out there on reality tv – what do you hope the audience learns about you?

I would hope that the audience will see that I'm resilient. I never give up even when things get tough.

4. What are some of your beauty “must haves?”

Psst, dry hair shampoo: We sweat so much on game days and it really helps to keep my hair looking fresh all throughout the day. Lorac Tantalizer: I don't have time to get a professional spray tan and I'm not the biggest fan of tanning in a bed so this product keeps me looking bronzed! Beauty Blender: The little spongy piece of heaven is key in setting my foundation. It makes your skin look dewy and blended to perfection!

5. What do you do to stay in such amazing shape? (Besides dancing of course?)

I love taking classes! Yoga, pilates, barre...i love it all. I don't get much done in the gym by myself. I also love hiking!

6. Lastly, you have an incredible sense of style - where are some of your favorite places to shop so your fans can dress like you? 

Free people and urban outfitters are two of my favs!

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Click on the photos below to see Natalie & I on Survivor!

 

20-Minute (at home) Circuit!

HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE!!!!

(Sorry if my cheery attitude makes you want to punch me right in the mouth - but I'm just trying some reverse psychology on myself. Maybe if I pretend that I like Mondays and they're super cool, then I'll be able to cope. Ok? Great. Settled)

This morning I woke up, immediately changed into my workout gear, and magically something happened ... I found myself a teeeeensy bit more motivated to attack the day! I've been trying to kick it up a notch in the workout department with spring basically here (in New England) and summer well on its way! On days that I can't squeeze in a workout at the gym - I try my best to make it up at home with a quick circuit like the one below! Anything that gets my heart rate up and makes me sweat a little is a win for this mama!

Guys...it's 20 minutes. Let's be honest, we sit on our phones checking Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for longer than that (Just me). I hope you can find the time to jump start your Monday! Let me know what y'all think!

*Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 15 and repeat 2-3 times

Set A

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Push-ups
  • Squat Jumps
  • Plank Jacks

Set B

  • Burpees
  • Front Kicks
  • High Knees
  • Lunge Jumps

 

Stack'd Pancakes

I know what you all are thinking..."all she ever blogs about are pancakes..." and you may be right. Hashtag pregnant. 
I promise I will step up my game, and this will be my final pancake post ever (that's a lie). I will be limiting the pancake posts from now on though, and leave you with the amazingness that is STACK'D. I was first introduced to these protein pancakes by our friends in Portland and was sold as soon as I tried them. Let me tell you a few reasons why these should be the healthy pancake alternative for you.
1. They contain whole grains; 100% whole wheat and whole grain oat flour
2. You get COMPLETE proteins with every serving; 25 grams of protein to be exact
3. There are no refined sugars, sugar substitutes, or artificial sweeteners
4. Lastly, THEY TASTE AMAZING!
Chris and I have tried the Cinnamon Roll and Original Buttermilk flavors but they have others you can choose from! They are super quick to make (we had them before work this morning) ... and all you need is water and an egg white, plus the mix of course. I definitely look forward to eating them, especially knowing that they're GOOD fuel for my body! You can purchase the mix online ... so check it out and let me know what you think! 

 

 

Yummy Homemade Marinade

This is kinda random - but I made a really good homemade marinade for chicken tenders last night and thought, ehh...why not share? It's easy, quick, and very tasty. Chris was a big fan!
- 3 T soy sauce
- 2 T honey
- 2 T olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 T chopped cilantro
*Mix all together and place chicken tenders in baking dish. Cover with marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but the longer the better. Heat oven to 350 degrees, and cook for 15 minutes, turning half-way through. Enjoy!

 

Snoogle Pillow: The 2nd Miracle Worker

I'm sure you're all wondering what the heck a "snoogle pillow" is...or maybe you've already discovered it if you're an expectant Momma like myself. I just REALLY felt the need to dedicate an entire blog post to this little slice of heaven. I am heading into my 7th month of pregnancy, so sleeping is becoming a bit of a challenge. It's difficult to get comfortable, especially since I can't sleep flat on my back or stomach, as I normally would. My husband and I went to Baby's R Us this weekend to finish up our registry, and we came upon the "pillow" section. Knowing how much sleep has been a struggle for me, Chris was pretty insistent that we get the Snoogle (I think he's just fed up with hearing me complain in the middle of the night! Ha!) I thought it was silly to spend $60 on a pillow...but this might be one of my favorite/best purchases of 2015. The past few nights, I have slept like a champ only waking up once to reposition myself. Last night, I fell asleep and woke up in the same exact position...amazing. The pillow itself is pretty large and in charge...it really takes up some space in our queen bed (which now feels like a twin), but it's so worth it. You can purchase it on Amazon, Babys R Us, Bed Bath & Beyond...so many websites - so if you have any gift cards or discounts to those stores - check it out! Below are some photos of a rando lady (in killer pj's) thoroughly enjoying her Snoogle....and just think, THAT COULD BE YOU! 
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Travel Essentials!

The past two weeks have been quite the whirlwind in terms of travel - and there are a few things I just cannot live without when I'm on the road! A mixture of beauty and fashion...here are my "must haves" for all of you jet setters out there!
One // Fresh pair of Nike's
There's nothing cute about running  through the airport in heels, so instead rock some black leggings with some fresh Nike's; you'll be comfortable AND have everyone envious of your casual style! (Thanks to my awesome hubby and NU being sponsored by Nike, I get to be the receiver of some pretty sweet shoes!)

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Two // Batiste dry shampoo...travel size
I swear by this dry shampoo and the best part is that it's super affordable (I can get a 3-pack for under $10)! 

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Three // Burt's Bees Facial Towelettes
I keep these in my purse when I'm traveling...especially for long flights! When you can't wash your face, these are the next best thing. They leave your skin feeling fresh and smelling like grapefruit (which I love!) I also use them to remove my eye makeup - works fab!

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Four // Leather Jacket
I always bring a staple leather jacket on trips with me. It pairs with lots of different outfits - good for a night out or a casual airport look with those cute black Nike's! The one below is from Forever 21...I LOVE their jackets because you don't have to sell your soul to own one!

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Five // EOS Lip Balm
I don't know about you, but when I fly the dry air really does a number on my skin and LIPS! The EOS lip balm is my absolute favorite and I never leave home without it!
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Hidden Gem!

I went home briefly for the weekend, and my sister had told me about a little hidden gem in Waterville (Maine) that we needed to check out! Brunch is my favorite thing ever, and there aren't many places at home that we can really go! Barrel's Community Market on Main Street is definitely my new spot! Barrel's is a super cute co-op that specializes in all natural foods that are locally sourced. There is live music on the weekends and large family style tables to sit and chat over coffee, tea or fresh apple cider! They sell homemade jellies, jams, salsa, honey, breads, cookies, and also have a large selection of produce as well. When we got there last Saturday, there were just baked pumpkin glazed donuts at the counter - so yummy! My sister ordered an omelette with spinach, tomatoes, cheddar and bacon - which was super fresh and good. They also had raspberry & blueberry glazed scones, which sadly I had to turn down after my second donut! (Oops!)
Anyhow, I'm basically writing this in support of Barrel's! We NEED to sustain places like this in our area - and I hope the community can get behind them and spread the word about this little treasure, right in our back yard!

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Papaya Smoothie!

Pregnancy has definitely given me a heightened awareness concerning the benefits of eating certain foods, mainly fruits and veggies! Thanks to our Nutri-Bullet, I am able to make awesome smoothies in the morning, loaded with rich antioxidants and vitamins. This morning, papaya was on the menu! Papaya is rich in Vitamin C and E, and is also a good source of fiber and folic acid. It prevents constipation and heartburn, which are both perils of pregnancy. Even if you're not pregnant, these smoothies are a great way to kick start your day! See the ingredients below:
- Papaya juice
- Water
- Half of a banana
- frozen blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries (*Can use all three, or choose two of the three)
*Blend in NutriBullet for less than 60 seconds and enjoy!

Oatmeal Banana Pancakes!

Two days in a row of food posts....blame the pregnant lady :) 

This morning I woke up a little bit earlier (like 10 minutes) so instead of running around frantically preparing my breakfast/lunch...I had time to put something yummy together! I'm a HUGE pancake fan...anytime we're out to breakfast I order them, hands down. With the flour, sugar, etc...they aren't always the healthiest option UNLESS you make them the way I did this morning. I usually mash one whole banana into mine for extra sweetness, and you can add any berries that you have kickin' around as well. They're very hearty and the oats will keep you full longer throughout the morning!

Here's what you'll need:
*Makes 2 pancakes
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 banana (optional; Can use just berries or have plain)
- dash of water
Directions: Cook in prepared pan on medium heat, as you would normal pancakes. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!

 

 

Lush Cosmetics: Fresh Face Masks

As a little follow up to my previous post, "Caring For Your Face"  I am happy to say that I tried a face mask last night for the first time in a LONG time...like, wayyy to long. My friend was visiting from out of town, and she had read about the fresh face masks from Lush in a beauty magazine. While shopping on Newbury Street yesterday, we happened to pass Lush and decided to check them out! Disclaimer: Be prepared to be overwhelmed (understatement) with smells when you walk in the door...it's a little ridic. These vegan face masks are kept in a cooler in the back of the store, and sold in 2oz containers - only meant for use up to 7 days. There are so many different kinds, each made specially for certain skin types.

Personally, I'm dealing with blemishes and have really sensitive (already oily) skin, so I was looking for something calming and somewhat drying. The mask that I chose, "Catastrophe Cosmetic." is packed with blueberries, which are a great source of antioxidants, and soothing calamine blue oil that specifically calms redness. A few of the other ingredients include: wild orange oil, irish moss, talc, chamomile, and lime. So last night, I removed my make up and spread the mask all over. After about 10 minutes I rinsed my face with warm water and applied my toner and moisturizer. My face felt AMAZING. It was so smooth and bright! This morning, I was happy to see that a few of my blemishes were dried up! I will definitely be using this mask every night this week - and will probably go back for more! 

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Caring For Your Face!

This post is going to be informative for you (I hope), but also pretty therapeutic for me. I'm super self-indulgent like that. I have been STRUGGLING with my skin lately. I know, I know - most of you will be thinking "you're pregnant, it's the hormones!" and I wish I could blame it on that, trust me...but I've been dealing with full on blemishes since last summer. Every fall, post sunshine and a tan, I notice a drastic change in my skin. The oils are flowing, blemishes start small and before I know it, I've got full on deep cystic spots on my cheeks and chin. It's something I never dealt with until my mid-twenties, and I'm not sure I handled it correctly at first, but I'm trying to make a concerted effort now. If you're struggling now or have ever struggled with proper skin care, or are just frustrated (as I am) with it all, I hope this post helps a little!
Here are my tips to caring for your face...

1. Wear Sunscreen.

I am a sun worshiper! I grew up watching my beautiful Italian mother lather her skin with baby oil, and bake outside in the sun. (Disclaimer: My mother was, and still is, the best ever) Naturally, I took a liking to the sun and getting as bronzed as possible every summer. Thankfully, I've only suffered a few bad sunburns in my day, thanks to my skin tone, but it wasn't until recently that I started wearing sunscreen - mainly on my face and chest. I now use at least 15-30 SPF at all times when out in the sun. As I get ready to enter into my 30's, it's important that I'm proactive in the prevention of wrinkles and dark spots. It's never too late to protect your skin!

2. Sleep On Your Back.

YOU GUYS! I'm definitely a stomach and side sleeper, so I really need to make an effort to flip to my back! Otherwise, I'll develop lovely wrinkles around my nose and eyes. Think of how many hours a night we're sleeping...if your face is smooshed into your pillow for 8 straight hours, it's no wonder you wake up with deep lines on your face! I know it's hard to do, but maybe try to START by sleeping on your back...begin to train your body to do what YOU want it to do.

3. Don't Pick.

(I am so bad at this) My mother always yells at me when she sees my hands around my face. It's SO tempting to squeeze pimples TO DEATH but it's not worth the scars afterwards. I'm dealing with that now. Without a tan, you can definitely see the dark spots from the past few years of picking and popping. Get a great concealer for daytime, and for night time get spot treatment. Our bodies repair overnight, so this is a great time to let your night cream or acne spot treatment do the work!

4. Consult With a Doctor.

Last fall, I made the decision to talk to my doctor about what was happening with my skin. I had tried LOTS of skin care lines and acne treatments...but nothing seemed to be working. I was prescribed Retin-A to use 2-3x/weekly. My doctor told me to give it a solid 3 months, and I should start to see results. It definitely helped my skin A LOT. I was having a lot of luck with it and using it consistently, right up until I found out I was pregnant. I can't use it during pregnancy or while I breastfeed, but after that you better believe I'll pick right up with it! Highly recommend consulting a doctor...don't suffer through it, you have options!

5. Remove Your Makeup At Night.

This is one thing I am surprisingly solid at. I hate going to bed with make up on only to wake up with my eyes sealed shut or bloodshot from mascara. Gross! Has it happened before? Yes, but certainly not often. As I mentioned previously, overnight our bodies do a lot of repairing and regenerating...so it is prior to bedtime that we should be washing our faces, using a toner, applying night cream, eye cream and spot treatment if needed. 

 

 

We're Having A Baby!

It was an extra special Christmas for us this year, as we got to share some REALLY exciting news with family and friends! We are expecting our first child...'Baby M' coming July 2015! It's been a wild year for us...engaged, married, and now baby on the way! We are so thrilled to be parents and can't wait to share this adventure with all of you! I am almost 14 weeks along...starting to have more energy and feel better overall; so far, the second trimester is amazing! 

Please share with me your favorite brands for all things 'baby'! We are first-timers, so we'll take all the help and advice we can get :) I hope you all had a great Christmas, and are going into 2015 feeling fulfilled, happy, and eager for the new year ahead!

xx,

Ashley

Avocado Goodness...

Looking for a good snack packed with nutrients? Look no further :) 
I toasted two pieces of whole wheat bread and spread half and avocado on the toast as you would butter or cream cheese. Drizzle olive oil (just a touch) and sprinkle with sea salt/pepper and BOOM...you've got a killer snack!
Another snack idea that I'm into lately ... plain greek yogurt with raspberries and sliced mango topped with honey! The honey and fruit give it just enough natural sweetness so you don't need to buy the flavored yogurts that are super high in sugar. You can even add granola...a little goes a long way! This snack is great for post-workout, because yogurt has great protein content! 

 

"Snowed-In" Workout!

Are you snowed in and can't possible fathom the idea of walking or even driving to the gym? It's cold, wet, slippery...why not get a good sweat in at home?! Better than skipping out all together - and this workout will definitely get the heart pumping! 

*Complete this rotation 3x (take a short water break at the end of each!)
- Jumping Jacks x 50
- 30 second plank
- Burpees x 15
- 30 second right-sided plank
- Squat jumps x 25
- 30 second left-sided plank
- Tricep Dips x 25
- Mountain climbers x 50
- Bicycle crunches x 50
- Knee ups x 1 min

Best Dressed: American Music Awards!

Last night, my mother, sister and I watched the AMA's and couldn't help but notice the fashion choices of course! Quickly, in terms of performances, I really LOVED Nicki Minaj and Skylar Grey's "Bed of Lies!" I wish Nicki did EVERY song like that - I think it's beautiful and she looked great last night. Obviously, I'll join the entire universe is praising Taylor Swift because I LOVE her new album, especially the song "Blank Space" which she opened the show with last night. The performance was super quirky and fun, and I just love seeing this new side of Taylor! Yes, I still think she's super awkward on stage, but it's kind of endearing - she doesn't take herself too seriously and I like that.

Now for the FASHION! 

1. Selena Gomez - She wore my favorite look of the night with this classic black Armani dress that clung to her body in all the right places. I thought she looked stunning!

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2. Rita Ora - This was a great overall look. From her trendy "top-knot" hairstyle to the bright yellow Zac Posen and fresh makeup - she delivered it flawlessly.

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3. Kate Beckinsale - She's timeless. I have a soft spot for white gowns, and I thought she was a showstopper in this one! Her necklace was perfect for this dress - I'm not usually one for the big, gawdy jewels but this really accented the look beautifully!

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4. Julianne Hough - She presented last night, which is where I first spotted her dress, and it looked SO great on her. The color was amazing, and her blonde hair slicked back and away from her face was perfect!

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5. Jhene Aiko - I totally wasn't expecting this from her, so I think that's why I was really taken by it. I think it's classic and sweet - the accented collar is beautiful and I really liked the color for this time of year. 

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Tabata Workout!

Say goodbye to those longgg cardio workouts and HELLO to Tabata; high intensity work that burns more fat in less time. You'll be pouring sweat by the end, and if you're not, well then you're just not pushing hard enough! Try this one on for size... 20 sec burpees 10 sec rest 20 sec jumping jacks 10 sec rest * Repeat 4x

20 sec squat jumps 10 sec rest 20 sec skaters 10 sec rest * Repeat 4x

20 sec mountain climbers 10 sec rest 20 sec high knees 10 sec rest *Repeat 4x

20 sec kettlebell swings 10 sec rest 20 sec jump rope 10 sec rest *Repeat 4x

Let me know how you feel after doing this workout! I was dying, especially after the squat jumps!

New England "Wish List!"

I've been making my "wish list" for places I hope to visit in New England one day. Of course, they're out-of-this-world amazing (with the price to match) and right in my back yard! I'll be featuring my top 3 so you can dream right along with me! In no particular order:

1. Winvian - Luxury Resort Cottages in Connecticut

This resort sits on 113-acres in the Litchfield Hills of CT and is complete with 5-star dining and a luxurious spa! There are 18 designed cottages; experience a night in a treehouse or log cabin complete with a fireplace, jacuzzi, and steam shower! There is an organic garden on the grounds and the dining menu is farm to table. There is a fabulous wine cellar as well! The feel I get from this place is very "rustic chic" and uber romantic...

2. Twin Farms - Vermont

This all inclusive resort and spa is located in charming Barnard, VT on 300 acres of lush hills. I'm obsessed with this place, and I think this might secretly be the dreamiest spot on my list (but shhh!) Some of the amenities include: customized breakfasts and lunches, cocktails and canapes in the afternoon, fine wines anytime, farm to table dinner, biking, hiking, sledding, snowshoeing, spa services, same day laundry service, and MUCH more. There are 10 separate cottages complete with fireplaces, screened porches, and jacuzzi tubs. The design is impeccable. (Did I mention this place is all inclusive?) Yea...totally a favorite.

3. White Elephant - Nantucket Island, MA 

This historic hotel, considered an island landmark, is located directly on the waterfront and in close proximity to unique boutiques and galleries. There are many different types of accommodations ranging from one bedroom suites and garden cottages to regular king bedrooms. All possess that lovely New England charm and decor. Dine at Brant Point Grill for a 5-star one-0f-a-kind experience! 

 

FABLETICS!

Kate Hudson has started an athletic apparel line that is SO cute and affordable, called Fabletics! She chooses her favorite outfits each month and shares them with us, and we also take a style quiz of our own to pinpoint our favorite looks! Once you take the quiz, outfits are actually put together for you...sports bra, shirt, leggings, etc...and they're pretty spot on! I loved the outfits that were chosen for me...totally meshed with my style! Another cool perk...you can become a VIP member, and get mega discounts each month! Highly suggest checking the site out!  
Here are a few of my favorites!

Healthy Lifestyle...

Chris and I love to eat healthy the majority of the time. Yes...I know I post some "sweet" recipes, but those are few and far between...and it's all about moderation right? We are very "routine driven" people, so for us to eat the same thing everyday isn't a big deal. A typical breakfast for us is a smoothie/juice (consisting of raspberries, blueberries, mango, carrots, kale, oranges, and apples), oatmeal with cinnamon, and a few hard boiled or cooked eggs each. I genuinely look forward to this every morning, and my sweet husband gets up before me and lays it all out. For lunch, we go with deli turkey, provolone cheese, avocado on wheat bread, and I usually have some Pirates Booty puffs with my lunch. I'm all about snacking throughout the day as well. We brings things like apples, granola bars, almonds, and yogurt with us to work so when we get hungry we don't make bad decisions. Generally for dinner we have either turkey burger/turkey tacos, salmon, or chicken paired with some type of vegetable (usually broccoli, asparagus, or zucchini), and a good carb like sweet potato, brown rice, or quinoa. We don't consider this a "diet"...it's just the way we eat and the way we ENJOY eating. I do realize it's not like the way most people enjoy eating...but it works for us and makes us feel good from the inside out! Do I like a fat juicy burger with greasy fries every now and again? Sure do...and I definitely don't deprive myself. One or two meals on the weekend, I like to indulge, but generally, this is how we like to eat. 

Here is a sample breakfast and dinner for you...For breakfast, thats our smoothies, eggs, and oatmeal and of course in the dinner photo you see salmon with asparagus over risotto! 

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