10 Benefits of Drinking Water

by Lavender Elizabeth, January 30, 2018
Honest moment: I don't drink water. You know how some people find it super thirst quenching and love it? I don't. I actually find it quite boring. That being said, I know I need to be drinking water for health reasons. I've set a goal for myself to drink 60 ounces a day. To motivate myself to continue to meet this goal, I decided to look into what the actual benefits of drinking water are. The goal is not only inspire myself to reach my goal, but to allow you to also learn why staying hydrated is important.

Below are my top 10 benefits of drinking water.

1. It helps keep you alert.

Your brain is made up of mostly water, so when you're dehydrated, your attention span, memory, and motor skills are impaired. However, if you drink water you think, focus, and concentrate better.

2. It boosts your metabolism.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking water increases your metabolic rate by 30%.

3. It improves your skin's complexion.

Water helps moisturize your skin, keeping it fresh, soft, glowing, and smooth. It also flushes out impurities, improves circulation and blood flow, which can make you look younger.

4. It helps to energize muscles.

If cells don't maintain their balance of fluids, your muscles begin to feel fatigued. Drinking water helps keep your muscles elastic, which in turn, energizes them.

5. It helps with digestion.

Water helps dissolve waste particles, allowing them to pass smoothly through your digestive tract.

6. It helps improve your mood.

Drinking water makes you feel refreshed, which can actually improve your state of mind.

7. It helps your heart.

Keeping your body hydrated helps your heart pump blood more easily through your vessels to your muscles. According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, those who drink more than five glasses of water per day are 41% less likely to die of a heart attack.

8. It helps regulate your body temperature.

The thermal properties of water and its ability to release heat when sweat evaporates greatly helps to maintain an even body temperature.

9. It helps beat bad breath.

When you drink water, your mouth remains moist, as well as washes away food particles and bacteria. This helps dilute the smelly compounds that oral bacteria create.

10. It increases hair growth.

Water supports vitamin consumption, which assists in efficient and healthy hair growth.

With both my thyroid disorder and gastroparesis, I suffer from many things that water can help combat.
I'm hoping that through drinking water, I'll see in a difference in how I'm feeling. 

Now, time to drink my 60 ounces!


My Aynsley China Collection

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, January 27, 2018
Before I was born, my parents struggled to find a name they both loved. Then one day, while driving, my mom saw a billboard for Aynsley China. She fell in love with the name, but sadly, no one in my parents' families liked it. Despite looking like a little china doll when I was born, I remained nameless for a week. My parents were still in love with the name and thought it fit me perfectly, so after seven days, I became Ainsley. (Don't worry; my extended family loves my name now. And personally, I think it's pretty great, too.)

Light and Bright Bedroom Reveal

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, January 21, 2018
Back in July, I began redesigning my bedroom at my parents' house. While living here, I wanted to make sure I had a space that was my own. I wanted something light, bright, and fresh. My inspiration came from a watercolor print by Union Shore. From it, I drew on the colors blush and light blue, with accents of gold. Last month, I finally finished my bedroom and I am so happy with it.

Recipe: Choco Mint Popcorn Balls

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, January 19, 2018
Happy National Popcorn Day everyone! Today I'm sharing a new recipe with you - ChocoMint Popcorn Balls. Think rice krispie squares meet popcorn and mint chocolate. Sounds tasty, right? The best part is that they're super easy to make. Below is the recipe to enjoy your own popcorn balls tonight.

Weekend Recap: California Girls

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, January 11, 2018
This past weekend, three of my best friends from university visited! I hadn't seen them in eight months, but as soon as we were together, it was as if we'd been together minutes before. There is something so comforting to be surrounded by the ones you love most. I experienced so much happiness this weekend with them, constantly laughing and telling stories.

One bummer, however, was the weather. My poor California-living friends. It was ten degrees without wind chill most of the time they were here. The amount of times I heard "How do you live like this?" and "Why do you live here?" was hilarious. Thankfully, on Sunday, it warmed up to 30 degrees. Still not warm, but better.

Enjoy my recap of our weekend below.

The girls got into Chicago at 6AM, so when we got back to my house, we all went to bed for a couple hours. Once we were awake, it was time for brunch - fresh baked muffins and cinnamon swirl cake. Overall, Friday was a very relaxing day. We stayed in our comfy clothes to watch some Friends and play Yahtzee. We did, however, brave the cold for dinner. We went with my parents and two of their best friends to Board & Barrel in downtown Naperville and then to Le Chocolat for hot chocolate and dessert. We were so unbelievable full!


After we had eaten breakfast, the four of us headed to my work to have a tour of the plant. My friends and I were able to walk through the different lines, seeing how the alcohol was made, bottled, and packaged. (There are definitely some perks to working with your dad, who happens to run the site!) When we returned home, we got ready for our traditional "fancy-dinner night" so that we could take photos before my parents headed out. Once our photos were taken, we changed into comfies and played Phase 10. Rather than getting back into our skirts and dresses, we threw on jeans and sweaters. Safe to say that fancy-night lasted about 20 minutes. ;) For dinner, we went to The Ivy in downtown Wheaton. It's an old church that's been converted into a restaurant and man, was it tasty! We were all raving about our food! Our plan was to head back home after, but my friends texted me that they were at the bars - and ran into two of my other friends. Talk about my worlds colliding! I had work friends, Bible study friends, and college friends all in one place. I was so glad the girls were able to meet some of my Naperville friends.

Sunday morning was our crepes day! Every time my friends come to visit, we always have crepes at some point throughout the weekend - a tradition I love. After breakfast, we finally played in the snow! Although it was still in the 20s, it wasn't too painful to be outside. From there, we decided to play a second round of Phase 10, and let me tell you, it was intense! If you've never played before, make sure you have strong friendships - it can get ruthless! Once we finished the game, it was time for the girls to head to the airport.

This weekend was amazing. And for once, when we said goodbye, we knew it wouldn't be too long until we saw each other next. At the end of February, I'm headed to them!

My December Recap & January To Dos

by Lavender Elizabeth, January 05, 2018
Today marks my first To Do List of the new year! My January is quickly becoming very busy - something I just love. Between visits with friends, the start of The Bachelor, and upcoming birthdays, I think my first month of 2018 is going to be great. Below is my last To Do List recap of 2017 and my first 2018 list.

Start reading The Message: SOLO Women's Devotional with two of my friends.
We are officially three weeks in and loving it.

Create gift guides to help in your holiday shopping.
Had so much fun putting these together! You can find a complete list at the end of this post.

Visit the Morton Arboretum's Christmas light display, Illumination.
Visited with work friends as part of my epic Christmas kick-off weekend.

Have an ugly Christmas sweater party with friends.
We had brunch and played White Elephant in Chicago.

Explore the Christkindlmarket in downtown Chicago.
Most of the exploring revolved around drinking gl├╝hwein and taking photos.

Host a table at an Advent Tea.
I decided on a cozy theme for my decor. Such a fun afternoon!

Have a blast at my first company holiday party.
We ate, drank, danced, took photos in the photobooth, and hit up downtown Naperville afterwards.

Attend my church's Christmas Eve service.
It was a candlelight service featuring an interactive Christmas story.

Spend quality time with my family during Christmas.
We had a wonderful day enjoying our traditions and opening gifts.

Plan something fun to do for New Years Eve.
I decided to stay home this New Years. I've been feeling pretty sick lately, so I rang in 2018 with a Game of Thrones marathon. ;)

Enjoy a girls' weekend when my college best friends visit.
Attend a women's group reunion dinner.

Celebrate a friend's newest addition at her baby shower.

Celebrate my dad on his birthday.

Pray every night before going to sleep.

Begin my calligraphy bootcamp course with Loveleigh Loops.

Enjoy National Popcorn day by making popcorn balls.
Fill out my Janu-Arie Bachelor bracket.
Attend a lady's clothing swap party.
Go out for brunch at least once with friends.

Have a wonderful first month of 2018 everyone!

My Year to Live Intentionally

in , by Lavender Elizabeth, January 03, 2018
Happy New Year!

I love the beginning of a new year. It's a time to start over and look at how you want the next year of your life to transpire. Although a new year often brings resolutions, I'm not a big fan of them. That being said, I still want something to set my year off right. What I've decided to do this year is choose a word to live out throughout 2018.