December 6, 2013
<BRRR!> The winter has certainly already shown it’s chilly self up here in our neck of the woods.
Since moving up north (well, technically the mid-west… but that still doesn’t seem accurate) to Michigan, I have been trying my best to invest in quality winter clothing and accessories. Last year we lucked out with somewhat of a “mild” winter and only a few snowfalls, and I admit to falling into the cheaper winter accessories and coats trap just get me through. This year, however, I sense the cold coming on quickly and have a feeling I might be in trouble if I don’t get prepared the right way this time.
Luckily, Under Armour teamed up with FitFluential just in time to give me an opportunity to review and share a handful of their warmest (and cutest!) pieces from their Women’s UA ColdGear® line.
Above I am wearing the Coffee Run Beanie, which has already found it’s way through the washing machine… twice. (Dang you, rain.) Having these accessories around has pushed me to suck it up and run in the cold, and I am very thankful to have the extra warmth of the ColdGear® lining during them!
As a native Floridian, I am drawn to anything warm and cozy when it’s cold out, but I love that Under Armour focuses on creating pieces made to be worn while being active.
While I have bought a small collection of hats and ear warmers since being up here, I only own one quality hat I can actually run in. You can imagine my excitement to see the start of my own little collection when my Women’s UA care package arrived!
The Infrared Alpinelite Beanie (right) is the type of style I adore, but would have been too afraid to purchase on my own. I’m so glad it was included because it has completely put me on board to knit hats with fun accessories like a poof ball on top. That’s right, I said poof ball.
The infrared lining is a soft, thermo-conductive inner coating that absorbs and retains your own body heat! I also love how it has an oversized fit, making it extra comfortable to wear all day long.
Oh, and that bag I am holding on the right? That’s their Define (Water-Resistent) Reversible Tote I am currently swooning over. Priced at $29.99, it’s really a great deal and a perfect gift for anyone in need of a new gym or fun and colorful tote bag (everyone).
While I am more than happy with everything in this shipment, my favorite accessory has to be the Mystique Knit Headband. It looks like it is currently sold out on the UA website, but you can still find it at Dick’s, Nordstrom, and other retailers that sell the brand.
Once again, having this at home pushed me out of my somewhat boring winter fashion ways and make a statement. I have already worn it several times this week and find it perfect for those days where I don’t feel like doing much to my hair.
If you have never tried an ear warmer style of headband, I highly recommend it. It keeps your ears nice and warm (hence the title of the style) and you hardly feel like you are wearing anything at all, making it an all-over win!
And that concludes my mini photoshoot with winter accessories for you guys. Ha! While I love any excuse to post an absorbent amount of selfies (<- totally joking), the point was to show off some great accessories to keep in mind when holiday shopping for that special someone, or even to add a few items to that wish list for yourself. Hey, I know I would be one happy camper if more (or all) of these were to show up under my tree again!
Don’t forget about stockings, either! Any item above would also make an excellent stocking stuffer and give you tons of bonus points. Stay tuned for more stocking stuffer ideas coming your way next week.
By the way, there’s still plenty of time to link up with this morning’s Friday Favorites if you haven’t done so already! Hope you all have a great weekend.
Stay warm out there!
*Disclaimer: I was provided with these products by Under Armour, free of charge, through my ambassadorship with FitFluential. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!
December 6, 2013
Good Morning! It’s Friday, and if you are new around here then you should know that this is a day of the week I look forward to. But really, who doesn’t get instantly excited when they hear the word Friday?
Regardless, every Friday I go through a handful of things I have been loving that week and created a link up for you to share yours at the end as well! If you aren’t a blogger, I would love to hear some of your favorites from the week in the comments section. Because we all have them!
I really have fun putting these types of posts together, and I am so happy to see a lot of you do as well. With the start of December, I have been all over the holidays. Building off of last year’s gift guides, I have started putting together fun ideas to help you shop for that special someone (or create a wish list of your own) and can’t wait to share everything with you. For now, let’s get this #FFavorites party started!
Friday Favorites #14: Week of 12/6
• Holiday Scented Yankee Candles
C’mon, you knew this one was coming! Who doesn’t love holiday scented candles in December? On our last trip to the grocery store, Scott and I came home with Snowberry for the kitchen, which smells like pure fruity and wintery snowball bliss. (If you can capture that?)…
We also picked up a small Home For Christmas to burn next to our artificial tree to give off that inviting real tree smell everyone loves. Sneaky, huh?
• (Customized) Reebok CrossFit Nano Speed Sneakers
My love affair with this shoe has intensified with a new arrival this week. Through my partnership with Reebok, I was able to design my own pair of sneakers and picked the CrossFit Nano Speeds in my own color scheme.
Oh, and I just so happen to be in the middle of hosting a giveaway for a chance win a gift card to design a pair of your own too. (<- Don’t miss out on the chance to enter if you haven’t done so already!)
• The 40 Most Awkward Dogs of 2013 via Buzzfeed
This one in particular made me laugh so hard I almost spit out my coffee…
Ahh, Buzzfeed. I can always rely on you to make me smile!
• ALMAY eyeliner + mascara
While I am a MAC makeup girl through and through, I will mix it up every now and then between trips to the mall and go with a more accessible brand. My favorite picks from the local pharmacy have been mostly ALMAY.
If you have ever seen my Everyday 5 Minute Makeup Routine (<- video tutorial!), then you know I usually use an eyeliner pencil and liquid liner to achieve the tiny wing I do on the outsides. While I normally prefer the MAC smolder crayon for a base line, but this regular ALMAY pencil seems to get the job done just fine. My wallet doesn’t seem to mind the savings, either.
• Zone Perfect Greek yogurt protein bars
As if I wasn’t obsessed with Greek yogurt enough… my absolute favorite brand of protein bars (Zone Perfect) went there with their new line of Greek Yogurt Protein Bars.
Over the past few weeks I have been grabbing the Vanilla Berry and Chocolate flavors. I can’t wait to try the Raspberry and happily plan to include them into my every day protein bar rotation.
• fresh flowers
I really can’t remember the last time we had fresh flowers in the house. Back in Orlando, I would often come home with a dozen of $7.99 roses almost every time I visited The Fresh Market. It was almost excessive. Since the closest Fresh Market up here is in Toledo, Ohio (correct me if I’m wrong) the two of us refrain from flower purchasing when the price is higher.
Yesterday Scott came home with this bouquet from Whole Foods and it put the biggest smile on my face!
• “messy” scrunched hair
Most of you have no idea how naturally curly my hair is. Rarely do I ever just let it air dry, and when I do it better have product in it and a curling iron handy if I even want to think about wearing it down!
Over the past few weeks I finally wore my hair scrunched for the first time in public up here. To help some of the frizz find it’s way home to a curl I spent about ten minutes with a curling wand, but other than that, this look is au naturel folks.
Not too shabby for this being taken directly after a class and elliptical workout at the gym!
• real eggs for breakfast
You all know by now that I love my egg whites. With an extra carton leftover from Thanksgiving baking, I have been using “real” eggs in my breakfast this week and have really been enjoying the taste.
Yesterday I left out two of the yolks and kept one in for a three egg scramble with a side of Al Fresco Breakfast Chicken Sausage and a slice of whole wheat toast smeared in apple butter. YUM!
• Amazon subscriptions
I just love Amazon.
I am an affiliate and you will occasionally see links of mine pop up on posts (and a huge thank you for any support!), but I also do my own Amazon purchasing… often. If there’s anything I think might be on that website I will search for it and order it – usually at a cheaper price – before having to go to the store and physically get it.
Did you know a lot of sellers offer subscriptions? For products like self tanning lotion and eyelashes which I know I will go through a ton of during the NBA season, I have an automatic shipment sent to me every month.
I received the second month of my auto-refill Sublime bronzer this week just as I was getting to the bottom of the previous bottle. Subscriptions are also a little bit cheaper than the regular listing price too. Love that!
And last but not least…
• date night
I am so looking forward to a long overdue dinner date with the hubby tonight. It’s been a few weeks since we have been out on our own and I am excited to spend some quality time out of the house.
Now it’s your turn!
December 5, 2013
There’s nothing like a good old fashioned family recipe to make you feel all warm and cozy around the holidays.
I was able to try out a few of them this past Thanksgiving, with the help of of Scott’s step-mother, Kay.
When putting our dessert menu together, I completely forgot about the Jell-O salad my family usually includes at all of our family functions. I don’t know how that happened, because it has always been a favorite of mine!
As soon as I heard the sounds of fruit and salad together, I was sold. I must warn you, however, that this recipe is not “healthified” in any way. But really… what good family recipes are?
*My suggestions to make this one lighter are to use sugar-free Jell-O, stevia instead of the sugar, light cream cheese, light sour cream, and to go easy on the pecans.
Maw Maw’s Blueberry Salad
1 (6 oz.) package blackberry or raspberry gelatin
2 cups boiling water
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple
1 (15 oz.) can blueberries, undrained
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water.
2. Drain pineapple, reserve liquid and add enough water to make 1 cup. Pour into gelatin.
3. Add pineapple and undrained blueberries. (<- important not to drain so you have that syrup!)
4. Chill in shallow 2 quart dish until set.
5. Combine cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Spread on top. Sprinkle with nuts on top, if desired.
Since not everyone is a fan of nuts, we decided to only put them on half.
It was without a doubt a stand out treat for all!
Question of the Day
What is one of your favorite family recipes?
December 4, 2013
Happy Hump Day! Today I finally feel back to my normal self and into my groove… for the most part. I am still having the hardest time getting up in the mornings without pressing the snooze button a bagillion times, but (lets be real here) that’s always been a struggle for me.
I have just enough time to pop in for a quick WIAW before needing to work on another project before heading out the the gym. Yup, I said it: gym. After over a week’s hiatus I am finally getting my booty out of my at-home workouts (if any) and easing back into Life Time by taking a lunchtime Fitness Pilates class. Woot!
In true What I Ate Wednesday Fashion, I am linking up with Jenn and covering my entire day of eats yesterday. I woke up on a mission to eat clean, and did pretty darn well until a bible study with friends. You can’t say no to pizza or cookies in that kind of free feeling environment, right?
What I Ate
A warm breakfast was calling to me as soon as we awoke. It’s cold up here and thoughts of things like coffee (an obvious every day intake) and oatmeal make it a little easier to get moving in the mornings.
I made both Scott and I a batch of oatmeal topped in fresh blackberries. I brought out cut up cantaloupe shortly after that we both devoured as well.
That seemed to do the trick and held me over until lunch. Well, one of them. Around 1 p.m. I felt my tummy rumbling and dug through the rest of our Thanksgiving leftovers to see what looked good.
A big bowl of Scott’s Butternut Squash Soup it was!
I took that down to the computer with me and felt content for another few hours, then went right back upstairs for linner. (<- lunch + dinner. I really feel like this should be a well known term by now!)
Going with more leftovers, I pulled out what turkey and pork loin we had left, cut it all up, and put it over a serving of steamed broccoli and cauliflower and shredded cheese.
With just enough of the apple butter sauce left on the pork, the entire bowl was flavorful and satisfying with just a little bit of ground pepper.
About another hour later, I got the itch to go running outside. Okay, fine. The truth is I needed to take Roadie out on a long “you know what” walk and if I am already going to get bundled up, I might as well take him for a run if the weather in bearable. It started drizzling about half way through our three miles, but he didn’t seem to care one bit. He had his tongue out with a smile on his face the entire time… until this photo.
If looks could kill, I might just be in trouble here. Ha!
Immediately following, I hopped in the shower and got ready for the first small group bible study a teammate of mine is hosting! Both Scott and I attended and we have plans to break into groups of guys and girls when more people can attend. It was really great to listen to the word in a new environment and connect with them in a new way, and I really look forward to meeting again next month!
Oh, and there may or may not have been some *UNPICTURED* slices of Jet’s Pizza and cheesy bread sticks for dinner.
I was so excited to eat ooey gooey cheesy pizza that I completely forgot to snap a photo of it. I did, however, manage to capture these bad boys for dessert.
I ended up eating four of them and didn’t feel all that bad about it either. Judge me.
We arrived home around 11 p.m. and to settle everything in I put myself to bed with a hot cup of Ovaltine.
It was a nice little Tuesday if you ask me!
Now I must sign off and get goin’…
Hope you have a great Wednesday!
• If you liked this WIAW post, head on over to Peas & Crayons to check out plenty others, or even link your own!
• Also, you can always find my latest What I Ate Wednesday posts by exploring the “WIAW” tag on the right hand sidebar.