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Lani McGuire

tired; sleepy; insomnia; lack of sleep; sleep deprivation

Trouble Sleeping? Try these Sleep Hacks Tonight

Are you feeling exhausted, spending hours wide awake trying to fall asleep? Tired of counting sheep? Try these tips for better rest tonight:

Get up and do something for 10 minutes

If you awaken in the night and can’t fall back asleep within 15 minutes, get out of bed and do an activity that requires your hands and your head, like a puzzle. Stay away from the TV and digital screens, whose blue light has been proven to suppress melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. The key here is to avoid associating your bed with being awake. This is a stimulus control theory. Everything in life has a stimulus value, even your bed, meaning your body should recognize that lying in bed means it’s time to go to sleep. To give your bed that value, the only things you should be doing in it are sleeping (and having sex lol). Getting out of bed if you can’t sleep is the hardest one to do, but it’s so important. If you’re spending hours awake in bed, to your brain, your bed becomes a place for thinking, worrying, watching TV, and not for sleeping (or having sex). In other words, not good.

Hide your clock

You toss and turn, trying to fall asleep, watching the minutes tick toward morning on your bedside clock. Does this scenario sound familiar? Do yourself a favor: Hide the clock. Constantly checking the time only increases your stress, making it harder to turn down the dial on your nervous system and fall asleep. If you stare at the clock, it increases your stress and worry about not falling asleep.

Turn off lights and Cool your room

Your internal body temperature is integral to regulating your biological body clock. When you’re falling asleep, your body temperature drops slightly, which some experts believe actually helps the process along, according to the Harvard Medical School. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a bedroom temperature of 60 to 67 degrees F for the most sleep-friendly conditions.

The secret is cool, dark, comfortable bedrooms. Darkness cues the brain to make melatonin, which tells your interior clock that it’s time to sleep. Melatonin cools your internal body temperature, which reaches its lowest point between 2 and 4 a.m.

Take a warm shower before bed

Warming your body up with a hot shower an hour before bed and then stepping into cooler air will cause your body temperature to drop more precipitously. Studies show that this rapid temperature decrease slows your metabolism faster and prepares your body for sleep. Showers can also be very relaxing, if you shower every night around the same time, making it part of a consistent bedtime routine, you’ll see the most sleep value from it. This way, your body has an expectation of what’s coming next. Zzz

Wear socks to bed

Warm feet and hands are the best predictor of rapid sleep onset. Try placing a warm water bottle, or one of those microwavable stuffed animals at your feet, this widens the blood vessels on the surface of the skin, thereby increasing heat loss. Shifting blood flow from your core to your extremities cools down your body, working in concert with melatonin.

Immerse your face in very cold water for 30 seconds

If you’re anxious or distressed at bedtime, the best medicine may be a face full of ice-cold water. When you’re in a full-on state, your nervous system desperately needs to be reset to help you calm down. Cold water on your face triggers an involuntary phenomenon called the Mammalian Dive Reflex, which lowers your heart rate and blood pressure. Then it’s off to bed with a soothed system.


Use the “4-7-8” method

Championed by best-selling author Dr. Andrew Weil—the “4-7-8” breathing technique is purported to help you fall asleep in under a minute. The method is said to relax you by increasing the amount of oxygen in your blood stream, slowing your heart rate, and releasing more carbon dioxide from the lungs. According to, here’s how you do it:

Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise.

Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.

Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.

Hold your breath for a count of seven.

Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Scent your bedroom with lavender

Not only does lavender smell beautiful, but the aroma of this flowering herb may also relax your nerves, lower your blood pressure, and put you in a relaxed state. A 2005 study at Wesleyan University found that subjects who sniffed lavender oil for two minutes at three, 10-minute intervals before bedtime increased their amount of deep sleep and felt more vigorous in the morning.

Picture your favorite place

Rather than counting sheep, visualize an environment that makes you feel calm and happy. The key to success is thinking of a scene that’s engaging enough to distract you from your thoughts and worries for a while. As adults, finding ways to manage stress can get lost, but it is so important. In an Oxford University study published in the journal Behavior Research and Therapy, insomniacs who were instructed to imagine a relaxing scene, such as a beach or a waterfall, fell asleep 20 minutes faster than insomniacs who were told to count sheep or do nothing special at all.

Listen to music

Studies have shown that classical music, or any music that has a slow rhythm of 60 to 80 beats per minute, can help lull you to sleep. In a study, students aged 19 to 28 who listened to relaxing classical music for 45 minutes before bed showed significant improvement in sleep quality. Bonus: They also reported decreased symptoms of depression.


Eat dinner by candlelight

When it comes to sleep, the less blue light you expose yourself to in the hours before bedtime, the better. Light of any kind can suppress your body’s production of melatonin, but blue light waves do so more powerfully, thereby shifting sleep-friendly circadian rhythms. Besides electronic devices like tablets and smartphones, the biggest blue-light offenders in your home are likely fluorescent lightbulbs and LED lights, which many people use because of their energy efficiency and powerful light. Give yourself a romantic break from all the blue and eat dinner by candlelight.

Practice progressive relaxation

Recommended by the National Sleep Foundation as a way to fall asleep fast, progressive muscle relaxation involves slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle in your body to help your body relax. The Mayo Clinic describes the technique as follows:

Start by tensing and relaxing the muscles in your toes and progressively working your way up to your neck and head. You can also start with your head and neck and work down to your toes. Tense your muscles for at least five seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat.

Progressive relaxation is meant to be used in combination with the other techniques listed, and definitely makes a huge difference. 

Give yourself acupressure

Derived from acupuncture, acupressure is an alternative medicine technique based in the Chinese medical theory that a network of energy flows through specific points in your body. Pressing on these points is meant to restore balance and regulate your mind, body, and spirit. A faculty member from leading natural health university Bastyr University suggests these acupressure techniques to alleviate sleeplessness:

Between your eyebrows, there is a small depression on the level of your brows, right above the nose. Apply gentle pressure to that point for a minute.

Between your first and second toes, on top of the foot, there is a depression. Press that area for a few minutes until you feel a dull ache.

Imagine that your foot has three sections, beginning at the tips of your toes and ending at the back of your heel. Find the distance one-third back from the tips of your toes and press on the sole of your foot for a few minutes.

Massage both of your ears for a minute.

Mood altering scents

The Best Candles to Light in the Morning

Are you tired of waking up for work each morning feeling more tired than when you fell asleep? Instead of reaching for your morning coffee, try lighting up one of these scents as soon as you wake up.

Cinnamon – It’s one of the coziest scents out there — but this sweet-smelling spice can also boost your brain power. Lighting a cinnamon scented candle improves  cognitive functions like visual-motor response, working memory and attention span.

Citrus -Scents like lemon, grapefruit and orange are well-known for their ability to boost energy and alertness. In addition, after catching a scent of citrus, your body will automatically begin to produce serotonin, a ‘happy’ hormone. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, so it has the ability to transfer signals from different parts of the brain. When serotonin relays messages to the brain, your mood automatically changes. Goodbye morning grumpyness.

Vanilla – When it comes to our happiness levels, vanilla is where it’s at. Researchers found that vanilla scents elevate feelings of joy and relaxation.

Peppermint– Improves cognitive stamina, motivation and overall performance. Known for invigorating the mind, it’s especially useful to light while studying. Feeling a little under the weather? It is even possible to trick your brain into thinking that it alleviates stuffy nasal passages.

Jasmine – This floral scent also has serious mood perks.  The smell of jasmine create a sense of alertness, and it also helps to alleviate depressive thoughts.


6 Podcasts That Will Enhance Your Life

These podcasts actually make my NYC subway commute bearable and dare I say, somewhat enjoyable even. I can honestly say they have enhanced my life in various ways, and hopefully they improve your life also:

  1. The GaryVee Audio Experience – A crazy successful, self made Jersey dude with an insane amount of hustle. He’s a brutally honest, super intelligent, potty-mouthed, marketing powerhouse full of useful tips and career advice. Gary’s mantra: Own who you are, and capitalize on it. I really admire his mindset, and also might have a slight crush on him.
  2. Eventual Millionaire – Imagine hanging out with a bunch of the smartest, coolest, wealthiest, most successful people all in one place. Our host Jamie Masters picks these people’s brains and shares tips and tricks to achieving financial success. Her range of very diverse guests provide little golden nuggets in every episode. Eventual Millionaire covers topics the other “Get Rich Now” podcasts do not, and is my go to when I need a dose of business inspo.
  3. Tara Brach – After listening to Tara I can’t help but feel as if I just returned from an incredibly relaxing yoga retreat in Bali, all enlightened and ready to give out free hugs to strangers. Tara is woke AF; yogi style, and shares stories of human struggle in a humorous yet hopeful way. I love her retreat discussions most, but also rely on her guided meditations to instantly bring me to a state of zen when in need. Her sense of compassion is so strong, I can literally feel my muscles relax while absorbing her words. Can’t say enough great things about her. Tara, you don’t know me, but thanks for keeping me sane and I love you girl. lol
  4. The Goal Digger Podcast – My holy grail for Marketing, Social Media, Creative Entrepreneurship, Small Business Strategy and Branding all in one. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, I get something useful out of every episode. Jenna is a self-made millennial who is wildly successful at what she does, and is also a great teacher. Even though she is a wedding photographer, her advice is applicable for any business you choose to pursue. What I love most about Jenna is how freely she shares her experiences and the way she fully embraces the “Community instead of competition” motto.
  5. 2 Dope Queens – Jessica and Phoebe are like the 2 besties you always wished you had. Some of their topics are a little out there (Prime example: Episode 38, I Shaved my Pubes for This?!)  I find myself actually LOL’ing at their shenanigans and the comedians they choose to feature are hilarious. Well worth the listen.
  6. Faithed Out – If I had a dollar for each time I’ve heard ‘God has a plan for you’ I would finally be able to afford that Birkin I’ve only had my eye on for like 10 years….lol…but seriously, the true meaning of the phrase never made sense to me until I began subscribing to this channel. Faithed Out is not a podcast exactly, but a YouTube channel, which is even better because our host Lo not only has a pretty voice, but she’s fun to look at as well (teach us all your make-up secrets, please!) To be honest, although I have always been a believer in God, I was still curious as to what God’s presence “felt like.” I was actually skeptical that it even existed, that is, until I finally experienced it for myself. The goal of Faithed Out is to inspire and encourage its listeners to use faith as a tool to battle every day struggles. Lo delivers God’s messages in a very honest, easy to understand, and relateable way that is both inspiring and heart opening. You can check out her first Youtube episode below:

For more Faithed Out on sound cloud, visit:

What are some of your favorite podcasts? Comment below!

Intention setting
Advice, Fitness, Life Lessons

How to Start Your Morning with the BEST VIBES EVER

What my typical morning used to look like:
Hit the snooze button 3 times (minimum). Less than 15-minutes to get up and out the door. Rush to get ready. No time for food. Run to squish on a crowded subway or sit in traffic before finally making it to work, where the real grind begins. By that time, I’m already stressed and all off my game. Sound familiar?
From the moment I opened my eyes, I was rushed, which resulted in feeling exhausted before even arriving at work. That’s when I realized something had to change. Here is how I managed to change all that and start my day the right way:

1. Do Not Hit Snooze!
Those extra 15-minutes of sleep, although they feel good in the moment, actually do nothing for you energy-wise. The time between buzzes is so short you never fall back into deep sleep, and this also messes with your body clock. Instead, condition your body to wake up right when it hears the alarm until it becomes second-nature to wake up at the first buzz.

Chug water when you wake up

2.Chug a Full Glass of Water
(or half a bottle) as soon as you wake up. While you’re asleep, your body becomes really dehydrated. You just went 7-9 hours without any water! Chugging water fires up your metabolism, removes symptoms of fatigue, helps flush out toxins your body cast out while you were asleep making room to absorb the nutrients from your breakfast.

3. Reach for my chews
Orange flavored Vitamin C chew from GNC, and Olly Endless Energy gummy. If you happen to sleep with a partner, friend, child, dog, whomever – they will appreciate it because this is a great way to mask morning breath. My boyfriend actually greets me with a “Hey Vitamin Girl” followed by a kiss every morning(LOL) These flavors cleanse my palette, taste good, and the mixture of antioxidants and caffeine let me know its time to wake up.

My morning vitamins

4. Twenty-Minute Run
For me, this is between 2.5-3 miles, just enough to get my heart rate up and break a little sweat. I like to get my cardio done first thing, while I’m still a little groggy. I also take this time to catch up on my favorite podcasts (6 Podcasts that Will Enhance Your Life) or listen to music. (20-Min Playlists According to your Mood) You can do this outside or on the treadmill (5 Fat Blasting [20-Min] Treadmill Routines). If running isn’t your thing, try a 20-Min HIIT routine instead.

5. Recharge
I light a candle to benefit from the aromatherapy their scent provides. (Here are My Favorite Candles to Light in the Morning) Today I chose my Syracuse Orange Lumi candle. The crisp scents of blood orange, grapefruit and bergamot uplift and eliminate anxiety and stress. Now is when I take a few minutes to write in my gratitude log and set my intention for my day. Doing this daily has made such a huge impact on my overall attitude and mood.

Intention setting
Pull your yoga mat out. Start by sitting in a comfortable position. Inhale, and exhale deeply. Bring awareness to your heart. Actually bring your hands to your heart now.

Ask yourself: “How do I want to feel today?” Do you want to feel: Happy, loved, thoughtful, motivated? Choose the feeling that you most identify with and focus on it.

Observe the movement in your breath as you inhale your good intentions, and exhale all grudges, negative emotions, and anything holding you down. Do this for about a minute or two. I then take 2 more minutes to write in my 5-Minute Journal where I list the 3 things I am grateful for that day.
(If you want more details on how I set my intention every day, read “How 5-Minutes of Daily Intention Setting Can Change your Life“)

6. Flow it out
I follow my intention with a 15-20 Minute yoga flow. I’m very mindful about each movement and keep my intention throughout the flow. (More about The Importance of Mindful Exercise) Here are some short yoga flows you can do at home: (20-Minute Vinyasa flow; 15-Minute Hip Opening Yoga Flow)

Mood altering scents

7. Take an Energizing Shower
Light your favorite incense and play your favorite tunes before lathering up. I love these soaps (Stress Relieving scent & Energy scent) from Bath & Body. I alternate between the two depending on how I feel, and I really find it improves my mood. * Get 25% off your entire order if you use code AIRISCRISP through Labor Day!

Face products for clear skin

8. Skincare Routine, Look Good, Feel Good ✓ 
Find what products work for you and apply them daily. I use a toner, serum, eye cream and spf moisturizer. I also moisturize my entire body with the citrus or eucalyptus scents from Bath & Body. Again, love this stuff. Make sure you choose your outfit the night before and its waiting for you when you get out the shower. Doing this makes you feel put together and you don’t have to waste any time choosing in the morning.

Raspberry smoothie; easy-to-make smoothie; chia seeds; hemp seeds

Raspberry Smoothie

9. Breakfast & More Vitamins
I hard boil 5 eggs every Sunday night and eat one every morning Mon-Fri. I make myself my morning smoothie to drink on the way to work. (Click here for: My Favorite Smoothie Recipes) I also take a multivitamin, a Hair, Skin & Nails vitamin and one for anti-stress. (Read this for A Peek Inside my Vitamin Arsenal)
Don’t forget to mark your calendar on the way out with a “Check” and a “Smiley” (✓ Means you completed your workout, and 🙂 Means you had a nutritious breakfast)

Goal Tracking Calendar

Try this routine out tomorrow morning, and conquer the rest of your day with a feeling of accomplishment.

*This post was not sponsored. All products mentioned were mentioned because I use them daily, and I love the way they make me feel.

fruit smoothie; healthy smoothie; healthy breakfast; healthy snack

3 Healthy Protein-Packed Smoothie Recipes

Smoothies are a great way to provide the body with many of the essential nutrients it needs. Smoothies not only taste amazing, but are quick and easy to make, easy to clean up, and easy to eat on the go. Here are my favorite recipes:

Super Food Smoothie
10 oz. water
2 scoops of Olly Super Foods Smoothie mix
¼ cup Mango
¼ cup Raspberries
¼ cup of bananas and strawberries

Olly smoothie; Healthy breakfast; Healthy smoothie

Olly’s superfoods smoothie blend is one of my fav go-to’s because it tastes yummy, provides a full serving of fruits and veggies from six super foods, along with some protein, fiber and a meal’s worth of vitamins from organic fruits and veggies. (tip: Purchase via and sign up for their newsletter, to receive 20% off your first purchase)

Almond Joy smoothie
A little less than 1 scoop of Vega Sport performance protein
3 teaspoons of almond butter
½ banana
2 Frozen coconut milk cubes (keep these in a tray in your freezer)
10 oz. of hemp milk
1 teaspoon of cacao nibs

Vega Sport performance protein is a plant-based protein made from pea, alfalfa, pumpkin, and sunflower seed. I just love this particular mix because it has this extra thick fibrous richness to it. (Chocolate’s my fav!) I put less than a scoop because too much makes the consistency TOO thick.

Green Coconut/Mango Smoothie
6 oz. coconut milk
1 cup fresh washed spinach leaves, packed (I use packaged, pre-washed baby spinach)
1 cup frozen mango cubes
1/2 banana
1/2 cup of organic unsweetened orange juice
1/4 cup of crushed ice
3 coconut milk ice cubes
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

Just blend, serve, and enjoy!

Raspberry smoothie; easy-to-make smoothie; chia seeds; hemp seeds

– To save time, I use plastic ziplock bags to freeze pre-made smoothie packs. Wash, chop and measure servings of your fruits at once and store so when it’s time to blend you can throw everything in the blender without having to measure out ingredients.
– Buy plastic cups with lids (and straws) to drink these on the go
– Feel free to add crushed ice to these mixtures to get the consistency you like
– Don’t forget to top your smoothies with hemp, flax or chia seeds!

interval training cardio interval running burns more calories

5 Fat Blasting (20-Minute) Treadmill Routines

Interval training on the treadmill is not only less boring, but it is proven to burn more calories than traditional cardio because it uses both the aerobic and the anaerobic energy systems.
This means:
1. You burn calories for up to 8 hours after you stop training (as opposed to a regular one pace jog, where your body stops burning calories as soon as the run is over)
2. Glycogen is your bodies preferred energy source for interval workouts. Fat is the preferred energy source for normal jogging. When you just run a typical jog every day, your body actually creates and stores more fat to support this anticipated activity. When you switch it up by practicing interval training, you’re (almost tricking your body into) storing carbs as glucose and glycogen instead of fat (both are anabolic, which burns fat even while “resting”)
3. You don’t have to run as long to burn the same amount of calories as a normal jog
4. You strengthen your heart and lungs as a result of the added challenge interval training provides

Here are some fat-melting treadmill routines to try this week:

1. Jog at a comfortable pace – 2 min.
2. Sprint as fast as possible – 1 min.
3. Speed walk – 1 min.
4. Sprint (try to sprint a little faster than the last time) – 1 min.
5. Repeat steps 1-4, 3x

1. Light jog on a slight incline (around 5 mph or more) – 2 min
2. Turn sideways and shuffle – 1 min.
3. Switch sides and shuffle – 1 min.
4. Run as fast as you can (facing forward now! Increase the incline) – 1 min.
5. Repeat steps 1-3, 3x, but a little faster each round

1. Warm up (3 mph or more) – 1 min.
2. Light jog (5 mph or more) – 3 min.
3. Run as fast as you can – 1 min.
4. Speed walk on slight incline – 1 min.
5. Jog on same incline – 3 min.
6. Sprint as fast as you can (same incline) – 1 min.
7. Lower the speed but raise the incline, speed walk – 1 min.
8. Keep incline, raise speed to a jog – 2 min.
9. Keep incline, raise speed to a sprint – 2 min.
10. Keep incline, lower speed to a jog – 2 min.
11. Lower incline, raise speed, sprint as fast as you can – 2 min.
12. Cool down, lower speed to a speed walk – 1 min.

1. Run on incline (around 6 mph on 4% incline) – 5 min.
2. Lower to a speed walk but raise the incline (to about 10%) – 5 min.
3. Run (faster than last time, try 7mph or more on 4% incline) – 5 min.
4. Speed walk (12% incline or more) – 5 min.

1. Warm up (3 mph or more) – 2 min.
2. Run (6.5 mph or more) – 1 min.
3. Speed walk – 30 sec.
4. Sprint (8mph) – 30 sec.
5. Speed walk – 30 sec.
6. Sprint (9 mph) – 30 sec.
7. Walk (3 mph or more) – 1 min.
8. Sprint (9 mph) – 30 sec.
9. Speed walk – 30 sec.
10. Sprint as fast as you can on a slight incline (around 4%) – 1 min.
11. Comfortable jog (keep incline) – 1 min.
12. Sprint as fast as you can and raise incline – 30 sec.
13. Speed walk – 30 sec.
14. Repeat #1-13

lani mcguire improve flexibility

6 Ways to Improve Workout Motivation

It takes 21 days to create a habit, and 90 days to turn a good habit into a lifestyle. Staying motivated is the key to reconditioning your mind for success. Here are some smart ways to push yourself toward creating the lifestyle you want.

lani mcguire pilates teacher

  1. Set a goal – Register early for a 5k race, join a team sport. Whatever it is, define it, set a day, and commit to an exercise regime that will keep you on track to accomplish your goal.lani mcguire training for marathon
  2. Set a workout time – Have you ever told yourself you were going to workout at 6 o’clock, then you sat on (more like melted into) the couch and 6 turned to 7, then 8, until deciding “tomorrow morning” would be a better time? Instead, try to work out at the same time each day so it becomes a daily routine. Sleep in your workout clothes if it helps you roll out of the bed to the gym faster in the A.M., or go straight to the gym after work without even stopping at home to eliminate excuses.lani mcguire exercises on the cadillac
  3. Make it cost you – Sign up for a monthly unlimited class.  This will jumpstart your workout routine and if the initial cost isn’t enough motivation to keep you from skipping, the $20-$30 late cancellation fee will be.lani mcguire pilates instructor hand stands
  4. Compete with a buddy – Make a pact with a friend. $50 to whoever logs better stats in Fitbit or the Nike Running app. Keep tally of who sends more Snap Chats (which can also serve as progress pics for personal use) from the gym. Loser at the end of the month buys dinner and winner gets bragging rights.  A little healthy competition never hurt anyone. It’s a great way to hold one another accountable and the monetary aspect adds incentive.lani mcguire pilates instructor
  5. Try a mindful workout approach – Combining mindfulness with working out is like a two for one deal.  Training your mind and body at the same time allows you to harness the energy from your workout and apply it to other aspects in your life.  Imagine your workout as more of a moving meditation. Here is how: Start by dedicating your workout to something or someone.  I encourage you to think of a deeper intention than simply getting abs.  Instead, focus on reasons that have nothing to do with how you look.  Think along the lines of – Nailing that presentation at work, “healing” a sick relative, or finally launching your side business.  The more energy you put toward your workout, the more energy is dedicated to your intention.  Tying this significance to your workout makes it bigger than just going for a run, and will push you to go the extra mile.lani mcguire stretching
  6. Reward yourself – I literally draw a smiley face (with pink highlighter) on my calendar to mark the days I’ve stayed on track.  Each 45-min workout followed by a healthy breakfast is complete with a smiley.  If I have more than 20 smileys at the end of the month, I reward myself with a new pair of shoes (naturally) Choose what motivates YOU. Now tie your hair back and make yourself work for it! YOU GOT THIS!lani mcguire just do it

What is your biggest motivator to hit the gym? Comment below!

withlovefromlani lani mcguire skinny banana pudding
Décor, Food, Style, Uncategorized

Everything You Need to Throw a Galentine’s Day Party

Whether you are in a relationship or not, quality time with your girlfriends is something you should always fit into your calendar. In addition to being good for your spirit, it’s been scientifically proven that hanging out with your girlfriends is good for your health also. What better way to show your love and appreciation for your gal-pals than by throwing a Galentine’s Day party?

Here’s what you will need:
1. Send cute invitations via email/text message to your squad (I used Evite)

lani mcguire withlovefromlani pink mimosas vday drinks
2. Decorate! Get whatever decorations you think are cute. Fresh flowers and candles add a nice touch. Valentine’s day themed paper plates and napkins are a cheap way to add girly details. I even found festive heart toilet paper to really set the mood.

valentine's day toilet paper love sucks

Tell love how you really feel… hehe

withlovefromlani lani mcguire skinny banana pudding

3. Treat yo self. And your girls too!
Skinny Banana Pudding Recipe:
Prep time: 15 minutes | Serves 12
– 2 (1 oz.) packages of instant vanilla pudding (Fat/Sugar free)
– 4 bananas, sliced
– 2 cups of non-fat greek yogurt
– 8 oz. of fat free cool whip
– 30 reduced fat Nilla wafers
1. In large mixing bowl, beat milk and pudding mix together until creamy
2. Beat in greek yogurt
3. Mix in cool whip
4. In a serving bowl, layer wafers, bananas, then pudding mixture. Repeat layering until pudding is gone
5. Chill for 3 hours before serving. (I also put pink sprinkles and chocolate on top to match the holiday)

Because nothing says I love you like chocolate:withlovefromlani healthy chocolate super food coco

These are my new addiction. CLICK HERE to take advantage of their V-Day sale and also receive an additional 5% off if you use my code LANI at check-out!

4. Prepare activities for the day. I bought a few prizes for added incentive. Here were some of our favorites:
Secret Cupid – Tell your guests to bring a Secret Valentine gift, and do a white elephant exchange.
CLICK HERE to shop these cute wine glasses and more Enter LANI at checkout to receive 15% off your entire order 🙂

withlovefromlani lani mcguire cheers cute valentine gifts

Bingo! I found the game for $2.99 at party city

withlovefromlani vday bingo game
Print out the lyrics to popular love songs and have each girl do a dramatic reading of the song. The girl with the most correct guesses wins! CLICK HERE to download a PDF of 10 songs to use

lani mcguire Galentine's Day Party girlfriends besties
-Make a list of lovey-words, and a list of gross words (phrases can be included as well). Cut the words and place them in two cups. Have each girl choose two words from each. Set a 5-minute timer and have everyone write their own love poem using the words they have selected. This game is HILARIOUS. Whoever has the funniest poem wins. CLICK HERE to download a PDF of some words/phrases that can be used
Choose a handful of words that guests are forbidden from speaking, such as: Love, engaged, boyfriend, sex etc. When someone says the word, they get a sticker placed on their body (and may also be forced to drink extra) . The girl with the most stickers at the end of the day wins a prize (and is usually crowned drunkest of the party)

withlovefromlani lani mcguire valentine's love notes girl love
Buy a V-Day card for each girl. Write their name in their card, and toward the end of the party pass the cards around so everyone can write a sweet personalized message to one another. At my party everyone read their fav message they received aloud. The author of the best love notes won a prize 🙂

I hope this post inspires you to gather the true love’s of your life this weekend (your girls, duh) and celebrate ONE ANOTHER <3 Who else thinks Galentine’s Day should be made into an official holiday?!

love fromlani withlove fashion heels fitness cute logo

Lani McGuire withlovefromlani nice booty nice butt sculpt toned ass

10 Weird, Yet Effective Ways to Sculpt a Nice Ass

When life gets super busy I many times find myself struggling to stay active. My secret to a great bum? I squat, and do standing glute kick-backs throughout my day. In odd places.

Yup! Here are some weird places I get my squats in:

  1. While I am brushing my teeth – One of my favorites. You should be brushing your teeth thoroughly anyway, but 2 minutes of toothbrush squatting equates to about 60 squats. This habit will start and end your day strong.
  2.  While I’m refilling a water bottle at my fridge – If you drink about 8 glasses a day that should be over 100 squats a day
  3. In between commercials while watching tv – you’ll be 10x more excited to get back to your show! lol
  4. While washing dishes or loading dishwasher – I’m usually just standing there doing nothing during, might as well multitask
  5. Every time you go to the bathroom – Yes, it’s pretty weird to pair exercise with urinating, but doing 20-40 squats before or after you pee can add up to anywhere between 100-300 squats per day. Try it, your booty will thank you

As for the kick-backs (sometimes I do side-kicks also):

  1. While waiting for the subway train, or bus – Or waiting in any line really. Lunch line, movie line, icecream line. The possibilities are endless!
  2. While making copies at work – I make a lotttt of scans/copies every day
  3. While making coffee – because sometimes it feels like an eternity while waiting for the Keurig to finish
  4. Any time you microwave anything – activate your glutes and pray the calories you’re about to consume all go there 🙂
  5. While walking – this takes some focus, but target your butt muscles by rolling your foot from heel to toe while you walk and squeezing the cheek you’re putting the weight on before switching legs

Like I said, the places may seem a little strange at first, but it’s a weird habit that works for me and thought I would share. Am I the only one who does these?! Does anyone else have places to add to the list? Comment below!

Holiday meal prepping made easy

Meal Prep for Happy (and Healthy!) Holidays

Having a hard time with your diet? Short on time? Want to try meal prep but feel lost? Here are some yummy, fast and easy recipes to jump start your healthy lifestyle for 2017!

Since I began working two jobs (Exec. Asst. by day, Pilates by night) I am constantly strapped for time, especially during the holiday season. Meal prep has become essential. Whether you are trying to hit a certain weight goal, or just lean out, a major key to your success is what you eat. (I abide by the 80% diet, 20% exercise rule) Here are some reasons meal prepping is a weekly routine you should start now. Keep scrolling all the way down for some fast and easy recipes (pictured here)that you can use for your next prep!

Stress reliever: It’s an accomplishing feeling to know that you don’t need to worry about cooking (cleaning after cooking), or figuring out what you are going to eat for the next few days. I feel so good after I meal prep because I know I have freed extra time to focus on all my goals for the week.

Keeps you on track: You get to choose exactly what is included in your meal prep. Nourishing your body is so important and meal prepping makes it easy to immediately replenish your body after a workout or long day at the office. Pre-packing into Tupperware also helps with portion control.

Added incentive: It’s tough to make healthy decisions ALL the time. When my hunger gets the best of me I too have found myself reaching for whatever is in sight. Or tell myself I’m only going to have a few cookies, and end up eating the whole sleeve. >.< Meal prepping forces you to hold yourself accountable. You’ve invested the time in preparing, why actively go out of your way to ruin it with junk? Suddenly the healthy meal becomes the convenient one, and the excuses to give into temptation are eliminated.

Saves you $$$: Let’s say you eat out for breakfast ($6) lunch ($12) and dinner ($15) during the 5 day work-week. That adds up to $165. Instead, for about $50, you can prepare 5 days’ worth of meals, easily saving you over $400 a month.

Here is how you can get started on your own meal prep and prepare the meals pictured below!

Meal Prepping made easy

Mexican quinoa bowl, Turkey Sausage pasta, and Overnight oats <3

Quinoa Mexican Burrito bowl with Chicken
Serving 4  Prep time: 20 min
1 cup of quinoa
½ lb. of chicken breast (cut into strips)
¼ cup chopped onion (small pieces)
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 can of black beans (Cuban style, but regular works too)
Handful of cherry tomatoes (sliced in halves)
½ can of canned, crushed tomatoes (fire roasted for added flavor)
Adobo seasoning (to taste)
Red pepper flakes (to taste)
Spinach (1 handful per serving)
1 lime (cut into four slices)
1 avocado (cut into four slices)
Mexican style shredded cheese

1. Season the chicken strips by covering in adobo and a few shakes of black pepper. Cook chicken in a large, non-stick skillet. 6-8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring frequently so not to burn.
2. While cooking the chicken, add the quinoa and 2 cups of water to a pot. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Once all the water is absorbed, (usually takes about 10-15 min) fluff and remove from pot. (Once water evaporates, quinoa burns quickly so keep an eye on it)
3. While cooking the quinoa, add the onion to another saucepan on medium heat. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the black beans, crushed tomatoes (from the can) and cherry tomatoes. Add adobo seasoning and red pepper flakes to taste. Let the beans simmer for about 10-15 min stirring occasionally.
4. Divide and layer the quinoa first, then the tomato/black beans. Chicken is last. Top with cheese. Divide the lime, avocado and spinach between the four containers.

Turkey Sausage Pasta
Serving 4  Prep time: 23 min
Whole wheat fusilli pasta (8 oz.)
½ lb. of turkey sausage (Uncooked, Italian style I prefer the spicy kind)
2 cans of canned, crushed tomatoes (fire roasted kind for added flavor)
1 red and 1 yellow pepper cut into long thin strips
Handful of cherry tomatoes (sliced in halves)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons of minced garlic
Salt and red pepper flakes (to taste)
1/3 cup of (freshly chopped) basil

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Remove casings and divide turkey sausage into smaller (bite size) pieces.
2. Cook sausage for about 5 minutes in a large non-stick skillet. Once cooked through, move to a plate.
3. Add tomatoes, onions, chopped red and yellow peppers to the same skillet. Stir frequently until veggies are lightly cooked (about 5 minutes)
4. Add tomato sauce, crushed red pepper, salt, garlic and browned sausage to the skillet. Bring to a quick boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low/medium, cover and simmer until sauce is fully heated (about 10 min) While sauce is still simmering, add raw pasta to the now boiling water and cook until desired tenderness. Once pasta is drained, mix it into the sauce, and you are ready to serve.

Overnight Oats
Serving: 1   Prep time: 2 mins
Add 1/2 cup of rolled oats to a mason jar
2/3 cup of milk of choice (I use soy milk)
1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt (I use 2%)
1 teaspoon of chia seeds
A few shakes of salt
2 tablespoons of natural honey
Optional toppings: flax, peanut/almond butter, fruits, hemp seeds, cocoa powder, cinnamon, raisins, the toppings are endless

Mix together before storing in the fridge overnight
Also pictured: Lenny & Larry’s cookies. With 16g of protein & 8g of fiber in every 4 oz cookie, it’s the perfect snack to satisfy a sweet tooth guilt-free. CLICK HERE to shop and receive $10 off $50+ order, code: 10AMB50, $20 off $100+ order, code: 20AMB100, $40 off $200+ order, code: 40AMB200

Voila! You can now maintain an easy, healthy, and stress-free diet for the next four days! Let me know your thoughts/questions below! If you try any of the recipes listed, post a pic and tag me @lanishea17 +hastag #mealprepwithlani – Cannot wait to see what you create! 