What is Barre?

FullSizeRender-14As many of you know, Brooke and I have recently become obsessed with Barre and Pilates class at Xcel Fitness. Most people are familiar with Pilates, but Barre is a somewhat new workout. I have been asked more than once why I’m going to go to a bar to workout and not drink. So, here’s a little explanation about what Barre class is if you’ve been wondering:

- You workout at a ballet barre, not necessarily doing ballet, but it is ballet-inspired

- You never lift heavy weights, the maximum is 3 pounds, but oh my goodness it feels like a million at the end of the workout!

- It’s great for any age group (we recently had our Mom try it out and she was terrified, but she keeps coming back!)

- You don’t have to be a good dancer (we grew up dancing, but there is no choreography or technique that you need to know before you begin taking classes)

- It makes everything high and tight. We originally tried it out after hearing several of our fit friends say they had never done a workout that lifted their booty more than Barre and it’s true, lots of the moves are targeting towards lifting your “seat”, the Barre way of saying bum :)

- It’s a full body workout

- It’s fun. Seriously, we have kept going because the one hour classes fly by.

- Your legs will shake uncontrollably the first time you try it – that’s a good sign it means your muscles are working!

If you want to switch it up with your workout routine, try it and let us know what you think! Promise it’s better than running on the treadmill :)

 

Twin Travels: Montage Staycation

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We were lucky enough to get little taste of winter this weekend at the Montage. They invited us to bring our husbands up to Park City for a one night stay! The non-stop rain in the valleys made for snow capped mountains in Deer Valley. It honestly felt a little like Christmas. We loved getting the chance to relax and unwind. If you haven’t been to the Montage before here are some fun facts:

  • Free s’mores every night from 4:30-5:30 around the fire on the patio. These are no ordinary s’mores of course – they make flavored marshmallows daily like peppermint and cinnamon. I loved the delicious hot cocoa that goes with it.
  • Each guest is greeted by the Montage dogs in the reception area {adorable!}
  • Thanks to their partnership with Mercedes, guests can drive a Mercedes for a scenic drive or to get around town.
  • The outdoor pool and hot tubs are open 24/7.
  • The game room is decked out with a bowling alley, dartboards, shuffleboard, and countless arcade games. We spent a good amount of time in there. Who knew shuffleboard was so fun?

We loved every minute of our stay. When we tried to pin point why we liked it so much we decided it’s because the Montage feels like a big, cozy, beautiful home. Our suite was gorgeous and we are hoping to go back soon! Thanks to everyone at the Deer Valley Montage for such a fun weekend!

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So much snow! We seriously could have gone skiing if the lifts were open.

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Idiot photographers :)

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IMG_3621FullSizeRender Of course we had a snowball fight and hot cocoa to go with the amazing s’mores


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Just reading fancy old leather bound books in the coolest little library

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And yes, comfiest beds ever!

 

Quick Treat: Smores Rice Krispie Treats

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After making these 3 times in the last week I decided this recipe was worth sharing. Britt and I are no experts in the field of baking… BUT we are obsessed with treats and like to share recipes when we think they could be beneficial to someone else. There are a few things that make me instantly love this recipe.

1. It takes under 10 minutes to make.

2. You can take it, share it, eat it… or all of the above.

3. No turning on the oven.

I have seen a number of different recipes for these online but just decided to do my own because I am more of a “fly by the seat of my pants” type of baker. They are ridiculously simple, yet a crowd pleaser. My husband regularly requests them as his favorite treat. I took them to a youth group activity and a dozen, hungry teenagers devoured them in minutes. These are especially yummy fresh out of the oven when the marshmallows are lightly browned and ooey gooey!

Smores Rice Krispies

  • 1 bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips
  • 2 cups of rice krispie cereal
  • 2 cups of Golden Graham’s
  • 4 TBS of butter

Melt butter in pot on medium heat. Slowly add in 3/4 bag of marshmallows. Stir continually until well blended and melted. Take off heat and add rice krispies and Golden Graham’s until desired thickness. Last add 1.5 cups of chocolate chips. Quickly pour into pan. Cover the top with remaining marshmallows and a sprinkle of chocolate chips. Broil in oven for 2 minutes. Voila! You are done!

 

 

5 Keys to Flawless Foundation

Flawless Foundation7When Brooke and I hit the age of 12 a terrible thing started happening… zits! We were cursed with acne and it took years to find out how to get it under control. Our advice for that — go to a great dermatologist and get on something that cures it from the inside out. You can try all the topical creams in the world, but you have to stop the actual cause of acne and I can almost guarantee it’s not because your face is dirty. For us, it was birth control pills and an antibiotic. Worked wonders and cleared up our faces. Anyway… along the way we experimented with just about every concealer and foundation out there. We finally found a favorite that does everything a great foundation is supposed to: covers, blends and makes skin look flawless. People ask us quite a bit what kind of foundation we use, so we figured it was time to do a post about it. Either we are total cake faces and they are trying to give us a hint, or they actually want to know, so if you fall into the “actually want to know” category, here are 5 keys to flawless foundation!

1. Moisturize Your Skin

There is no foundation that will look good if your skin is not moisturized. It will look splotchy and flaky and be hard to apply evenly. We love Phytomer Hydracontinue 12 Hour Moisturizing Flash gel.  If you’re looking for a lower price point, Cetaphil works great and can be purchased at the grocery store.

Flawless Foundation12. Use a Primer

No one has perfectly even skin and this product fills in holes and smooths bumps, plus it feels like silk on your skin. Our hands down favorite primer is Too Faced Primed and Poreless. Let your moisturizer dry before you apply it. Primer gives your foundation something to stick to, which will make it last longer.

Flawless Foundation33. Find a Foundation You Love

We have used everything from Covergirl to $65/bottle foundation. After years of buying and trying, we have found one that does everything you want a foundation to do. Our favorite kind is Makeup Forever HD Makeup. Now don’t stop reading because you know this stuff is kind of pricey at $43 per bottle. It is worth the price! It will not clog your pores or make you break out. It lasts a very long time. I have applied it on dozens of different skin tones and textures and it looks great on everyone. We love finding great deals on other makeup products, but spending a little extra on foundation can go a long way. It is on your skin nearly every day, so you want a high quality product that is not causing more problems than it’s concealing. (climbing off my foundation soap box  :) )

Flawless Foundation54. Use Your Fingers to Apply Foundation

This is so not politically correct in the makeup world, but fingers are truly the best makeup brushes for foundation. If I am doing someone else’s makeup,  I will do the main application with a brush and then blend with my fingers. If I am doing my own makeup, I hate wasting foundation, so I just use my fingers. Actress Diane Kruger said it best, “I never understand makeup artists who only use sponges and brushes. Cosmetics need to be worked into the skin in order to look natural.” By the way, she always does her own makeup and it always looks fabulous.

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5. Set with a Powder

I know everyone loves a dewy glow, but in order to make foundation stay on your face, you must set with a powder. I love using MAC Studio Fix or Setting Powder from Dermablend. This will ensure that your makeup does not slide off your face 5 minutes after application. I do use a brush for the setting powder and apply a light layer on my entire face.

I hope this answers a lot of your questions, but please feel free to ask away if I missed something!

 

Interview with ‘A Beautiful Mess’ sisters

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Britt and I were lucky enough to interview bombshell sisters Emma & Elsie of ‘A Beautiful Mess’ while they were in Utah for the SNAP Conference. What started out as a bakery and vintage clothes shop for the sisters has turned into a hugely successful company and brand. The two could not have been sweeter. And they don’t try to… but they just ooze cool vibes.

Here is our quick interview with them:

Q: Why are you guys in Utah?

Elsie: We are in town speaking at the Snap Conference about being creative

Q: If you go online and see a new trend, you guys are the trendsetters and probably started it. What do you guys think is next?

Elsie: My favorite trend is the color blush. It is what I want to buy for my clothing, paint my walls, just everything.

Emma: I do a lot of cooking and recipe development at our site so I am really excited about different flavors for spring like lavender, lately I have been putting lavender in everything. Drinks, brownies, everything.

Q: You guys are sisters, we are sisters. How do you guys get along?

Elsie: It’s really bad. No (laughing) we love each other. We are normal people so we have little fights and stuff but we have really open communication and also, I mean – we’re best friends.

Emma: We have different strengths and weaknesses, you guys might be the same I don’t know, so we try to kind of focus in on “oh Elsie is really good in this area so I’m going to let her make the decision” and not try to be the leader all the time. I think that helps us kind of come together and make projects happen.

Q: For the people that are not familiar with your website you guys also have 2 great books. What can people expect to find in those?

Elsie: The first one is called “A Beautiful Mess: Photo Idea Book”. That is where we give tips for photography and it is just kind of a kickstarter for creativity.

Emma: And the second one is called “A Beautiful Mess: Happy, Handmade Home”. We have a thing for long titles, right? (laughs) That one is all about home decor and how to make your space feel more like you, adding personality and color all over your home. And we share our houses in the book.

Britt: Which are so beautiful!

After the interview the sisters told us they are tentatively working towards a TV show and may release a new app soon. Over achievers! We loved meeting them and look forward to following all their adventures.

The 3 Caribbean Islands You Should Visit

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Parker and I were lucky enough to go on a Caribbean cruise with the entire Hackett clan. My mother-in-law Linda was nice enough to give us the trip for Christmas, so we have anxiously been waiting since then! The islands we visited were all so beautiful – yet so different from one another. Although I absolutely loved every minute, I had a few favorites along the way that I wanted to share.

Puerto Rico: It was my second time in Puerto Rico and the more time I spend there, the more I love it. The city of Old San Juan has colorful buildings and tiny cobblestone streets with a European feel. We spent a day exploring the old fort and finding the most divine burger place that puts mini fries ON your burger!

Dominica: A tiny, non-commercialized island. We made a surprise stop there and it might have been my favorite place. The island has waterfalls, hot springs, and volcanoes so there is a ton to see! It’s incredible to be walking through the jungle and feel like you are in Jurassic Park.

St. Maarten: I loved the Dutch and French influences on the island. This was definitely the most developed and affluent island. The shopping is great with little cafes that offer gelato and crepes. We spent most of our time at Maho Beach where planes land right behind you. Perfect photo op!

5 Ways to Make Your Color Last

 

aubrey nelson hair doneThere was a time about three years ago when we both had our natural hair color… a nice dark, mousy brown color. You know when you look at old pictures and cringe… I totally do that now! Wishing I had been a little more adventurous with my hair color. A bunch of our friends tried “hair painting” several years ago and loved the results. There is only one person in Utah who does hair painting and her name is Aubrey Nelson and she is a color genius. We have trusted her with our hair ever since because she creates gorgeous color that lasts! As if that’s not enough, she is also the sweetest person with a heart of gold. We’ve been trying to find ways to make color last longer since it can be a pricey habit. So, naturally, we went to Aubrey to find out how to make our color stay longer.

1. Stop washing your hair so often. Aubrey says you should wait at least 24 hours right after you dye your hair to wash it. She also suggests trying to go at least one or two days in between washing. It may take your hair a couple of months to get used to it, so make sure you have some dry shampoo handy to get you through the greasy days!

2. Use color safe shampoo. She says this is the most important note. If you don’t use color safe, every time you wash your hair, you will strip the color. Aubrey also suggests using a clarifying shampoo sparingly during the summer if you have a tendency to get that greenish tint from chlorine.

3. Use professional oil products. Aubrey says using moroccan or argan oil on your hair can be helpful in keeping the color moisturized and vibrant. Our favorite shampoo & conditioner combo is Oil Wonders Micro-oil Shampoo & Conditioner available at Ulta.

4. Put down the heat tools. Aubrey says that straighteners and curling irons are the most damaging products on hair because of their high temperature. If possible, only use these every other day. She also suggests blow drying your hair on medium heat rather than high heat.

5. Get your hair painted rather than foiled. The method allows hair to grow in natural looking so you can go longer in between appointments. We both usually go anywhere from three to five months in between appointments without any weird grow out. You can go to Aubrey’s website to learn more about the hair painting process. She is doing a lot of traveling across the country this summer teaching workshops, so make sure you are also following her on Instagram @ilovehairpainting to see her adventures!

Are there any other tips we’re missing?

How to Stop Fighting With Your Spouse in Bed

We both pretty much scored the jackpot when it comes to husbands. We have some pretty crazy sleep habits and they are the kind hearted people that have to deal with them.

CarilohaCollageHere are a couple of things we have learned since getting married and learning how to share a bed:

1. Make it comfortable. We grew up sleeping in twin beds til college, so anything bigger than that always feels huge. This is not the same for our husbands, who are both pretty tall. One thing they both agree on is the fewer pillows the better and comfy sheets are critical. We were both given bamboo sheets recently. They are a GAME CHANGER! So soft, yet silky and breathable all at the same time. Our girlfriends have been telling us about them for a while, we were a little skeptical because we didn’t understand the magic of bamboo. Now that Spring is here they are seriously perfect for warmer nights. They actually stay cool the entire night so you never wake up sweating, it’s gross but true! Ours are from Cariloha and we are obsessed.

2. Watch out for sleep walkers! Britt and I have been sleep walkers since we were young, crazy I know. Instead of growing out of it, we still sleep walk regularly. It usually involves getting in the shower, doing our hair & makeup, or eating breakfast in the middle of the night. It is extremely odd but a little bit hilarious too. I’m sure you can imagine how thrilled our husbands were to first find us eating breakfast at 2am or changing into our work clothes shortly after midnight :) Over the years we have found that stress and sleep deprivation are the main triggers. Now we try to control both of those things to avoid sleep walking in middle of the night and scaring our husbands to death.

3. Snoring=the sad realization that we are turning into our parents! A little nudge or in desperate times plugging each other’s noses work like a charm.

4. Cold feet. This is the number one reason to get married, so that you have someone to warm you up ha! I sometimes am guilty of putting my cold feet on Parker’s warm legs. Oops. He is a good sport and always warms me up, but I do need to reach for some socks more often!

5. Make the bed. We have a rule that whoever gets out of the bed last makes the bed. Since we are both more of early risers than our husbands – it works out perfectly.

What are the tips and tricks you use for staying happy in bed?

Twin Tested: Picattoo

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image via picattoo.com

We have found a weird, new product that is actually pretty fun. Picattoos allow you to turn any of your Instagram photos into temporary tattoos! All you have to do is choose 12 photos that you want printed and then they do the rest of the work for you. Each tattoo is printed on tattoo transfer paper, you then put a damp cloth on the paper and hold it tight against the skin for one minute. Remove the cloth, and voila! You have your very own personalized tattoo. Picattoo says that tattoos will last up to a week, although with some good scrubbing you can get them off much sooner. They offer free worldwide shipping. We were impressed with the print quality and think they would be fabulous for any party. One set of a dozen photos is $15 but if you use code PIC10 you get a discount!

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Just Ask: Jessica of Alice Lane Home Collection

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image via alicelanehome.com

We are starting a new series here on Twin Tested called “Just Ask” where we chat with women we admire and ask them a few questions. We adore Jessica from Alice Lane and decided to chat with her for our inaugural post! Over the past 10 years she has created a design and brand that is respected worldwide. If you haven’t ever been in the store or seen her work, check it out. Jessica is one of the most humble, down to earth, and helpful people around! Read more about her incredible story here.

We went to her with our top 3 design questions that have come up since we both got married because we all know decorating your house changes when you throw a boy into the mix!

Q: How do you successfully combine feminine and masculine looks?

A: Whenever you get something feminine, temper it with something masculine. For example, if you get something peachy then get something black to juxtapose it. Or if you buy a tufted headboard then go with straight angular nightstands to create balance. Then point it out to your husband so that he can see that you are incorporating straight, architectural pieces.

Q: How do you successfully create a bed that the two of you both will like the look and feel of?

A: Scale is important. Go big, not tiny, when it comes to the pillows. When you have 11, small, decorative pillows it starts to look knick knacky. Instead, lay 2 or 3 big Euro pillows across the bed with one smaller statement pillow in front.

Q: What is the best way for  couples to compromise?

A: Choose a livable look for your home. Something comfortable and usable. Make sure you can live with it day-to-day and your not just going to get things out when guests come over.

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