How to Lose 10 Pounds in 1 Week!(Find out what Foods to Cut!)

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Summertime is when people begin to take notice that they’ve piled on some extra pounds over the winter months (ya know like you’ve eaten your weight in cookies and muffins). Trying to shed those pounds in time to strut a bikini at a beach or pool can prove to be taxing. But I’ve got you, girl, it doesn’t have to be that way!

You can easily shed up to 10 pounds (even more!) in ONE WEEK if you eliminate these two food groups from your diet completely:

SUGARS & STARCHES (CARBS)

If you dramatically cut these from your diet, I will guarantee that you WILL see results as fast as ONE WEEK. Why is that? Well, first of all, cutting back on sugars and starches will influence your hunger levels, dramatically lowering them, hence, contributing to the consumption of fewer calories.

But lowering your hunger levels isn’t the ONLY perk. Removing sugars and starches from your diet will also lower your insulin levels, allowing your kidneys to flush any extra water or sodium from your body, removing any bloating and unnecessary water weight.

Essentially, if you’re eating a low-carb low-sugar diet, you will be less hungry than your low-fat low-protein eaters. You will feel less hungry for longer, and in the long run, will have higher levels of energy. Basically, a win-win!

One of the biggest hurdles dieters worldwide encounter is the feeling of hunger that comes with any fad diet. But by removing sugars and starches from your diet, you will automatically reduce your appetite, allowing you to lose weight without the hunger pangs driving you mad!

Instead, opt for these low-carb veggies as snack options:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Swiss Chard Lettuce
  • Cucumber

What’s great about these low-carb veggies is that you can fill up your plate and feel ultra-full without going over the 20-50 net carbs for a day!

Let me know if these tips help you in your weight-loss journey or if you have any to share of your own in the comments below!

Need more diet tips? Check out how to avoid empty calories!

By: Azzurra Nox

Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood: A Chilling Prophecy

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The TV series, The Handmaid’s Tale has been an incredible success (so much so that they’ve already confirmed a Season Three), but before actually watching the series, I decided I wanted to read the novel. I’ve always been a huge fan of George Orwell’s 1984, a futuristic novel that should be seen as a cautionary tale of how the government can control every aspect of our lives, even history (as the protagonist Winston works in doing exactly that, rewriting history). Like Orwell, Atwood hopes that her novel can also be seen as a cautionary tale of how easy it is for women to lose their rights and actually be reduced to silenced slaves if we do nothing about keeping the rights we already have and obtaining new ones that we’re still fighting for today.

The book opens with Offred telling us about her life as a Handmaid. The new government in the Republic of Gilead has outlawed reading for women, they can no longer have bank accounts or jobs. In this new austre republic, women are divided into groups of Wives (who wear blue, much in resemblance to Mary from the Bible and are usually married to commanders), Handmaids (they are used as wombs for the barren wives and made to wear red), Marthas (dressed in green and symbolize those who do chores much like servants), Aunts (they dress in brown and are those who instruct future handmaids on their “occupation”), Jezebels (they’re allowed access to alcohol, drugs, makeup, and garish clothing cause they’re essentially prostitutes), Econowives (wives of those who are lower-rank and dress in stripes), and Daughters (dressed in white). Then there’s the non-women, these group of women are those that have defied authority or are too old to reproduce, hence are sent to the colonies to clean up toxic waste till they die.

In this novel, Atwood seems to want to shake women and tell them WAKE UP! THIS COULD BE YOUR FUTURE! And eerily enough, with more and more politicians and conservative women fighting to strip away rights from other women, Gilead could pretty much become a reality. Whenever one perpetuates rape culture or slut-shames, we’re allowing a future like that to manifest.

Serena Joy, in the novel, is the Commander’s wife in which Offred if the Handmaid to. In her former life, Serena Joy was a conservative religious TV personality. The irony is, that Serena Joy got exactly what she preached for, but at the same time, her rise to fame wouldn’t have occurred if she hadn’t been living in a democratic republic. But, once things began to spin out of control, it was too late for Serena to regret the change she herself had perpetrated.

One of the most chilling quotes from the novel is spoken by Aunt Lydia who tells her handmaids in training, “ This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will.” And that’s where the horror lies. The new society hopes that future girls won’t question their fate, because they won’t have a recollection of a time before, nor would they have access to books to know that such a time ever existed.

With this novel, Atwood wants women to wake up and see that as the Commander tells Offred, “Better never means better for everyone…It always means worse for some.” People like Paul Ryan are hoping that you tire of fighting so that they can have a better society that betters their lives but would ultimately make yours worse.

In the novel, we never know what became of Offred. But if there’s one thing we can take away from Atwood’s novel is this: “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.” (Don’t let the bastards grind you down). Fight on and fight hard.

By: Azzurra Nox

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Get a Beach Body Stat By Cutting Empty Calories!

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It’s that time of year again when everyone is trying to drop pounds as quickly as they put them on back during the luscious Christmas holidays (ya know we were all guilty of packing away cakes, cookies, and chocolates and downing it all down with gallons of eggnog).

But have no fear! Here’s a quick and easy way to shed some pounds without going too overboard or fasting (never cool).

What causes most of us to gain weight is empty calories. Meaning, these are calories that hold no nutritional value to us, so eating them not only doesn’t apply to making us healthier or giving us energy for the day, but rather are very detrimental to our health. These calories are usually low in proteins and dietary fats, but high in carbs (simple sugars). But we’re all human, so cutting out ALL empty calories is unrealistic and would also be kind of sad (seriously who wants to bid farewell to sweets forever? Not this gal!).

So here’s a nifty chart for you to take advantage:

The USDA MyPlate Limits empty calories to the following:

Women/Ages 19-30: 260 calories

Women/Ages 31-50: 160 calories

Women/Over 50: 120 calories

What constitutes as empty calories?

The following foods contain empty calories:

Cake, cookies, pastries, sodas, cheese, pizza, sports drinks, ice cream, hot dogs, bacon, jam, chips, French fries, syrup, and donuts

empty calorie

Try to fill up on fruits and vegetables instead, where you’ll end up feeling more full for a longer time with less calorie consumption, and limit your empty calorie intake to half a serving or one serving a day, and you’re bound to see some results in your waistline!

Let me know some of your tips and tricks for shedding pounds in the comments below!

By: Azzurra Nox

Review: Korres Pomegranate Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturizer

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I’ve previously tried products from this brand before, and I truly loved it. I like how they use all-natural ingredients, and from the products I tried, they’ve actually made my skin way better in both look and texture. So bonus points for that!

Being someone who’s always had oily skin, trying to use moisturizer has been almost impossible as all the ones I’ve tried tended to be too rich and break me out. And who wants to look like a pepperoni pizza, right? So when I received this moisturizer made specifically for Oily-Combination Skin in my Allure Beauty Box, I was tempted to give it a go.

What It Is: Cream-Gel Moisturizer for Oily-Combination Skin types

What It Does: Delivers ultra-hydration whilst minimizing pores and creating a matte, yet luminous complexion.

Active Ingredients: 5% Pomegranate water, Pomegranate Extract, Alpine Willowherb, Tannins, and Polyphenols

Verdict: Oily-acne prone skin gals, this product is for YOU! This moisturizer is THE BEST I’ve ever tried. Not only does it keep my skin hydrated, but it also mattifies the skin without it looking dull, but rather refreshed. From the very first application the cream felt luxurious and thick, but when applied it actually felt rather lightweight. It also has a very faint, yet clean smell to it. The packaging is simple, yet sleek. I really love how it makes my skin feel less oily, but plump with hydration and ultra-fortifying. I don’t have issues with big pores, but this product also helps with minimizing pores and giving them a smaller appearance. I highly recommend this cream if you’re looking for a moisturizer for oily and acne-prone skin.

Price: $34

Where To Buy It: https://www.korresusa.com

By: Azzurra Nox

Welcome, new readers!

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Since I’ve been gaining more and more followers every day, I’ve decided to make a little impromptu post that kinda explains the blog and the direction of the blog and posting times!

First and foremost, THANK YOU for following The Inkblotters! I’m excited for every single follower and grateful that you’ve decided to follow the blog. When I decided to start a blog last year after many years of not really writing any articles or posts (I used to run a website called Plastic Venus where I interviewed various musicians, models, authors, actors, and other amazing creatives), I knew that I still wanted to include all my passions in one blog, hence why I decided to go with the lifestyle blog as opposed to others, where it chronicles my journey as a writer, but also individual.

Some of the subjects that I post a lot about are: skincare, healthy living/clean eating, beauty reviews, book reviews (usually with author interviews), writing, film reviews, some travel, some recipes, and relationships.

A few of my ongoing mini-series are: Skincare (where I talk about different ways to combat acne), My Bad Romance (this series details my experience with exes, told more as snapshots of my past), Beauty in Breakfast (I share recipes on skin-healthy foods to jump-start your day in a good way!), and Poetry (where I share poetry that I’ve written).

After a year of blogging, I’ve finally managed to figure out a posting schedule that would work for me. From the very beginning, I’ve always posted twice a week, but never on a specific day of the week. Although now I promise to post TWICE a week, with posts up on TUESDAYS and THURSDAYS.

In the meantime, the all-femme horror anthology that I edited last year, MY AMERICAN NIGHTMARE is currently on sale for 99 cents till May 19th! So, if you’re into horror, short stories, or just wanna support women authors, then pick up a copy today, here on Amazon!

Let me know what kind of blog posts you’d like to see more of, and I can see if I can explore new topics. Tell me in the comments below! Also, if anyone is interested in any guest posts or collaborations, please let me know in comments or email me at: azzurranox[@]yahoo.com.

And thank you again for following me! If you wish, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest too!

xo

Azzurra Nox

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Secrets to Gorgeous Hair!

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We all know that one girl, ya know, the one with the incredible locks, who has no bad hair days, ala Blake Lively or Megan Fox. Instead of getting hair envy, you too can achieve luscious, shiny locks with some secret ingredients that you may already have lying around your home! Beautiful hair shouldn’t be unattainable, so read below for some tips and tricks on how to get that perfect mane!

Next time you lather, think about adding these key ingredients in your shampoo:

Take one cup of baby shampoo (I prefer Honest) and mix in the following ingredients depending on your hair type:

If you have dry hair:

2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil or 1 egg

If you have oily hair:

2 tablespoons lemon juice or aloe vera gel

If you have normal hair:

¼ cup beer or flat champagne

Is product build-up causing your hair to be flat and dull? Then consider this trick:

Rinse your hair with ½ cup baking soda dissolved in 2 cups of warm water. What this does is remove all the product build up you have in your hair, such as hair spray, dry shampoo, or serums.

Are you suffering from dandruff? Then this trick is for you:

Rinse your hair with 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of warm water. The vinegar will help zap away any oils and shed those dreaded flakes for good!

Let me know if you try any of these tricks or let me know some of yours in the comments below!

By: Azzurra Nox

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My Bad Romance: My First Time

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One of the most important moments in a girl’s life is the time she loses her virginity. So much time is spent on how we hope events will play out, who it will be, and how do we know that the guy or girl we’ve chosen for that particular moment is the right one? I know as a teen I obsessed over this so much (mostly over how was I gonna know that the person was the right person to lose it with?).

In my daydreams, I always thought it’d be a lot more romantic. Or at least, the setting would be far more romantic. But when it happened, it was kind of last minute, I hadn’t planned for it to happen, it just did.

I had just started talking to the soulmate. He had a music event to go to and asked me if I could be his date. That meant that I was going to go to London. I left that afternoon to get on the plane, and couldn’t wait for those three hours to pass by quickly. I knew that he liked girls dressed in leather, and I had worn a leather dress that I had “borrowed” from my mum.

The whole event was a whirlwind, and when it all ended, he asked me if I wanted to see his flat and listen to music. I was on the fence over whether I wanted cause I had recently read American Psycho and knew what happened to girls who fell for charming blokes ala Patrick Bateman.

When we arrived at his flat, we were greeted by his white cat Stardust. He turned on the radio and was busy looking through various CD’s as we spoke about various things. It was a cold February night, and I was freezing in my short ensemble, not to mention that I could barely breathe.

I looked over at the soulmate, his beautiful face. I thought: I love him so much, and tonight may be the last time I ever see him. That thought broke my heart. I knew he could be my everything, but I couldn’t tell him that because we had barely met and he was leaving for a lengthy tour.

“Please excuse the mess,” he told me, as he tried to cover up his unmade bed. His bedroom was filled with stacks of hardback books, CD’s, and cigarette packets strewn everywhere. Three guitars rested against the wall. I looked over at the clock and noticed that I had two hours before I had to be back at the airport.

A terrible song from Venga Boys started playing. He came close to me and being at loss for words, I was inspired to use those from a Meatloaf song, stating, “We shouldn’t let a night like tonight go to waste.” Those words changed everything. And I couldn’t explain to you then how important that moment was to me, cause really can you halt a storm just to spew technicalities?

When our lips met, it was like an explosion in the sky. Suddenly, it didn’t matter whether the room was a mess or that shitty music was on the radio, it didn’t matter that none of the settings coincided with my idea of how I wanted things to be. Cause what really mattered was that I was there with you.

Our clothes were on the floor and your lips were everywhere and I kept thinking, Is this really happening? Cause I couldn’t believe that any of it was real. That you were real.

When it was over, I held you close to me, too afraid that perhaps you weren’t real. I needed to make sure that you were there, and I didn’t know then what the future was going to hold, all I knew was that if I was given even that one night with you, it was enough to be happy. One night with you was worth a thousand nights with anyone else.

You were my sun, and I was merely a star that reflected off of your light.

Eventually, I said the dreaded words, “I need to get going,” but a part of me never left that room. My ghost still haunts that flat, and maybe even yours does too.

Maybe we couldn’t have a happy ending, but then again, we haven’t really reached the end. And our ghosts remain in that flat, unchanged, and happy.

london love

By: Azzurra Nox

Poetry: Crashing Stars

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I was crashing stars before I met you,

Somehow it didn’t seem so self-destructive.

The rock star raped me of my heart,

Not many know that of me.

There’s a cut on the inside of my lip.

It’s like a wet passionate kiss that didn’t exist

But that still managed to fill my mouth with blood.

Your darkness is like the nocturne sky,

Beautiful and mesmerizing.

Enigmatic in its magic.

I was crashing stars before I met you.

And it felt quite sublime.

But your beauty gave me hope of

Perfect skies that parade paprika comets.

My past seems so distant whenever

Your beauty graces my eyes.

I was crashing stars before I met you.

But now I’m only gathering debris.

You’re a canvas of perfection,

From your azure eyes that sparkle with youth

To your candid complexion that’s pristine.

Not like me. I hide scars.

I was crashing stars before I met you.

It was a deadly pastime.

I was losing sense of time.

I’m heading towards a dying star.

But you fill me up with hope

That there’s still beauty in this world.

I was crashing stars before I met you.

It almost caused my demise.

It’s like a wet passionate kiss that never was

But that I can still taste the blood from

The cut it caused.

I was crashing stars before I met you.

And I thought I felt alright.

Until the stars robbed me of my beauty,

They were envious of my light.

Now your beauty radiates the light

I no longer possess.

And maybe, if I stand just close enough

To you, I’ll be able to regain

The light that you emanate.

I was crashing stars before I met you.

I was a dying star before I met you,

But your gentle beauty has filled me up with hope.

Now I’m on a rocket heading towards the brightest light.

By: Azzurra Nox

Beauty In Breakfast: Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie Recipe

Are you running late and only have five minutes for breakfast? Put down that Pop Tart or doughnut and opt for this nutritional and skin-healthy option instead!

This smoothie not only is it uber simple to prepare, it’s also jam-packed with Vitamin C! And we all know that Vitamin C is essential in skincare, especially since it promotes collagen and prevents wrinkling. Who wouldn’t drink to that? Plus, the honey in the smoothie aids in preventing inflammation (meaning it lowers your chances of getting pimples, BONUS!).

Prep Time: 5 mins.

Total Time: 5 mins.

Calories per serving: 206

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup cold apple juice

1 ripe banana, sliced

1 kiwi, sliced

5 fresh strawberries (or frozen)

1 ½ teaspoon honey

Directions:

Place the apple juice, sliced banana, sliced kiwi, strawberries, and honey in a blender. Blend until smooth. Place in a glass or portable mason jar if you’re on the go!

Strawberry-Kiwi-Smoothie

Photo courtesy of:  https://www.wellplated.com

Let me know what you think about this refreshing smoothie if you try it!

Check out my previous installment in this mini-series: Beauty In Breakfast: Tomato Omelet Recipe

By: Azzurra Nox

Split-Ends? Oh no! How to Avoid & Prevent them from Happening

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It happens to the best of us. No matter how careful we are in handling our locks, or how often we go to the salon for a trim, split-ends are bound to happen, especially if you use hair dye or heat. We’ve all envied those models in shampoo commercials with the perfect shiny tresses (newsflash: most of the time those models are wearing wigs or extensions!). But envy no more!

I’ve tried numerous remedies that promised to eliminate split-ends, and sad to say, 95% of them have been grossly inefficient.

But every time, I fall for it again. With starry eyes and hope in my heart, I think, maybe this will actually work! Well, recently tried a home remedy that does deliver and it doesn’t cost that much! And apart from it being fairly inexpensive, it’s also easy-peasy (I’m all about avoiding complicated methods).

Split-Ends Rescue Remedy

Ingredients: Cup of flat beer

Method: Pour beer into a spray bottle and spray into the hair.

Leave in hair for an hour, then rinse out with a mild shampoo.

Why This Works: The proteins and natural sugars in beer bond to your hair, helping to strengthen and mend damaged follicles.

How to Prevent Split-Ends: Do not wash your hair more than three times a week.

Do not brush wet hair.

Avoid heat and chemicals.

I hope this is helpful! Let me know if you try this method and what you think of it!

By: Azzurra Nox