04.28.2017

5 Minute Everyday Make-Up Tutorial + Products

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t spend a significant amount of time on my make-up every morning. I never have… and it’s likely a combination of “I have no clue how to contour my face” and “Make-up is meant to enhance your natural features” that have led to this. I do occasionally pull out the eye liner and glam lip, but it’s typically for fancier occasions, not everyday life (a smokey eye and red lip at the park would melt off my face…). It’s simple, it’s quick, and it does the trick (i.e. covers up those scary dark circles with some amazing concealer). I had a recent request for a video tutorial of how I apply my favorite everyday products, so you’ll find that below. I’ve also included links to the products mentioned in the video, so you can easily access them if you prefer to skip the tutorial all together (oh, and this is my first tutorial, so it’s only slightly awkward…).

I always start with a solid base on my clean face before applying any make-up (you can find my evening routine here). I apply a toner, illuminating serum, and eye cream, let it all soak in for about 5 minutes, and then proceed with applying my make-up. It takes me about 5 minutes from start to finish (probably because I’ve been doing the same routine for a couple of years)…. so, if you’re short on time in the morning, or just looking for some good quality everyday products, I got you covered today.

I hope you all have a great weekend!! We’re heading to Cabo tomorrow morning, so I’m looking forward to some quality family time, a little sun, ocean air, and some margaritas (duh.). See you Monday! xx
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Eye Cream (20% off + free shipping with code Shannon20 until May 1st)
Illuminating Serum (20% off + free shipping with code Shannon20 until May 1st)
Foundation
Concealer
Blush (winter bloom)
Bronzer (golden light)
Setting Powder
Brow Pencil 
Mascara
Illuminating Cream (orgasm)
Eye Crayon (Khaki)
Lip Stick (MAC Viva Glam II)
Lip Stick (NARS Rosecliff)

04.27.2017

Everyday Dressing Elevated || Investing In Comfort: Perforated White Kicks

Over the years, I’ve become much more mindful as to which items I choose to invest in. My criteria have narrowed, and I’ve become more particular. One such area has been in the shoe department. You see, I have quite the heel collection sitting in my closet…. and I can pretty much tell you when, where, and why each pair was purchased, as most were for a special occasion (like my wedding shoes my mom and I drove all over LA searching for…). Yet, over the past year or so (okay, since I became a mom) they’ve started to gather dust. We don’t really work the wedding circuit anymore (where they got the most wear….)… and let’s be honest, a pair of four inch heels aren’t going to come out that often when you work from home. TJ and I tend to opt for day dates over the late evenings that used to be a regular weekend occurrence… and even when we do head out, I typically prefer a lower block heel….. so, if you haven’t guessed it, heels aren’t really where I’m investing….

What I do wear day in and day out are comfortable kicks. I’ve become relatively effective at identifying comfort in sneakers. Do they feel like I’m walking on clouds (or air, whichever you prefer….)? Are they well made… hold up and won’t fall apart after a few days wear? Is there something unique about them that makes it worth the investment? Needless to say, my sneaker collection is rapidly starting to out number my heels. One of the most recent additions to this collection are these white perforated kicks (they also come in a gorgeous blush) from Greats. They meet all my criteria when choosing to invest in a pair of sneakers: amazingly comfortable, incredibly well made, and the perforated look makes them super chic… and adds a little edge. I’m also loving this slip on pair in blush, and considering buying TJ a pair for Father’s Day (his shoe collection rivals mine….)…..

And, since sneakers pretty much go with anything these days, investing in a pair is a no brainer for me. I wear them everywhere, and pretty much with anything…. leggings, jeans, cut-offs, dresses, and my new favorite spring/summer obsession: rompers. Pairing one with sneakers makes them daytime appropriate and super casual…. and I love the alternative rompers (when they’re functional like this one) provide to shorts and a tee….

A few other items I’d easily pair these cute kicks with include this jumpsuit (obsessed with its laid back feel), olive green romper, white eyelet dress, stripe bell sleeve dress, and this tier bell sleeved teecut-offs combination. Either option I choose, at least I know my feet will be loving me.
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(Outfit Details || Romper (wearing XS, comes in 3 colors, under $55) | Sneakers (c/o) | Sunglasses | Bag (cheaper option here, here))

Thank you to Greats for sponsoring this post!

04.26.2017

Wellness Wednesday || On The Go, No Bake Trail Mix Energy Balls

Every time I visit my favorite health spots (i.e. Pressed Juicery, Juice Served Here, Cafe Gratitude), I always leave with little extras…. a bottle of kombucha (that I already have at home…), a juice shot (as in, drink it like a shot….), and energy bites. By the time I end up leaving, I’ve likely spent double the amount I was planning (I’m sure these places are designed for people like me…. intrigued by all the things they didn’t know they needed….). Recently though, I’ve been trying to be better, and have started to dissect those little energy bite morsels I pick up each and every time… and at five dollars a bite (okay, maybe two bites….) I decided it was time I tried my own hand at them…..

So I set out on a mission this past week to do some experimenting. I was looking to make some energy bites that I could prepare ahead of time, store in a tuber ware, and pull out when we’re on the go, but needing a little snack. Something nutritious we would all love. After a little bit of taste testing, research, and trial + error, I came up with these trail mix flavored energy bites. They’re made with all natural ingredients, gluten free, no bake ready, and loaded with good stuff. Toss them in your morning parfait, on top of your oatmeal for an extra treat, solo before or after a workout… they’re tasty, filling, and easy. They come in around the 100 calorie mark (if you’re curious… but I don’t know the other nutritional values) and I usually have one as a morning snack while I sip my kombucha.

No Bake Trail Mix Energy Balls:

1 cup oats (I use the Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (I found mine at Trader Joe’s)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp (you can add an extra 2 tbsp if you want it creamier) almond butter (or any nut butter)
1 tbsp cacao nibs (purchased at Sprouts)
2 tbsp coconut oil (in liquid form)
1 tbsp honey

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir together. Allow the mixture to chill for about an hour. Once chilled, use a small ice cream scooper to form the mixture into small balls. I was sure to pack the scoop before emptying it out onto the plate. Once all the balls are formed (I got about 15 out of my mixture), either enjoy immediately, or place in a tuber ware and store in the refrigerator. Hope you enjoy!

Just an FYI, the longer you leave them out, the crumblier they become… so I don’t recommend leaving them out for too long.
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(Post Details || Leggings | Tank (my FAV basic… own in white too) | Bralette | Harper’s Onesie | Harper’s Shoes | Napkin | Plate)

04.25.2017

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Blush Things….

In preparing for Cabo, I recently took inventory of my wardrobe. My conclusion was that I am certainly covered in the neutral department. As in, most definitely no short comings there…. so, I naturally decided to work in a few more colored options here and there (like this fun floral dress). Not just for the trip, but for everyday dressing too. Yet, not wanting to get too crazy with color, I decided to weave in a few blush pieces where I saw fit. To me, they’re the perfect option when I’m wanting to add a feminine touch to my outfits. So, it was only natural that when I was in Anthropologie a few weeks ago (and wanted to buy everything my eyes saw….), this silky, gold adorned cami came home with me (a much cheaper option than the couple thousand dollar couch I couldn’t stop staring at….). I immediately decided that it deserved a spot in a date night rotation (well, Harper was included on this happy hour outing….) and tossed it on with my high waisted favorites, new studded sandals (a perfect dupe for these), and favorite gold accessories…. and headed out the door for a little bubbly sipping feeling feminine + flirty in my new blush cami…..

A few other blush pieces hanging in my closet right now include this striped tie front button up (easily dresses up with a nice pair of jeans, or down with a pair of cut-offs), this gorgeous off the shoulder top (for fun occasions), this eyelet + bell sleeve top (which I love wearing with cut-offs), these fun bauble earrings, ombre slides, casual ruffle sleeve top (perfect for everyday life), and this lightweight bomber jacket (so comfortable).
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(Outfit Details || Camisole | Jeans | Sandals | Gold Layered Necklace | Crescent Necklace | Initial Necklace | Tote (back in stock) | Tassel | Sunglasses)

04.24.2017

Weekend Recap || Evolving Friendships

(Clear skies all weekend)

My definition of friendship has changed over the years. When I was young, a best friend was the person you spent every waking moment with…. after school play dates, weekend sleep overs, and hours on the phone chatting. In high school, it meant passing countless notes back and forth to each other, spending every summer day at the beach together, and sending each other code pages (yes, I’m talking about a pager, not a text message… that’s how old I am….). In college, it meant rowdy nights and reminiscent mornings, seeing each other through heartache, and pulling all nighters together to cram for a mid-term. Now, as I am much older, my definition has changed greatly…

This past weekend, one of my best girlfriends from college was visiting. She and her little family recently moved to the East Coast, so in person visits, and even phone conversations, aren’t as frequent as we’d like (dang time difference). TJ took little miss for the morning, so I headed out, solo, to meet with my girlfriend. Of course, this is the same friend who I saw daily in college, the one that stood by me at my wedding, and the one who couldn’t have been happier for me when I became pregnant. We picked up where we left off… as if time hadn’t passed. Yet, time went quickly, and when we both realized we needed to get back to our families, there was a bit of sadness for me in not knowing when I’d see her next….

You see, what I came to realize this past weekend is that true, lasting, friendship isn’t about seeing, or even talking, to someone daily, or even weekly. It’s about the inherent connection that exists. The fact that you think about them daily and seamlessly pick up where you left off when you get together again. It’s always amazing to me how relationships change and evolve…. and through that process some friendships drift, and still others remain stronger than ever. I consider myself lucky to have a handful of friends who have weathered the ups and downs with me, celebrated in life’s special moments (weddings + births), and have allowed me to just be who I am.

So, as we go into the week ahead, I enter it with the intention of returning my text messages a little sooner (3 days is probably a little long… sorry friends….) or just reaching out and checking in with a friend…. because good friends aren’t always easy to come by…. so, reminding them how special they are to me is important!

Have a good week friends! xx

(Someone knows a good thing when she sees it…. (onesie, jellies))

(New rips + feminine lace for a little Friday happy hour bubble (top, shorts))

(How brunch with a toddler goes….. (Harper’s Outfit))

(A little booch to go)
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So, I decided to officially sign up for the Tone It Up Bikini Bikini Challenge… and starting with this workout Monday morning. I also made some of my favorite egg muffins for the week, and we grilled a bunch of chicken on Sunday evening for the week ahead. Sometimes just having those items on hand makes healthy choices much easier. You can read more about Tone It Up here.

I’m super excited for Cabo at the end of this week and headed to the mall this past weekend with TJ + little miss to make a few last minute warm weather purchases. I snagged these raw hem chambray shorts… perfect to travel in and just live the lounge life in when I return. I think it would pair perfectly with my favorite shell tank (currently on major sale) in mauve or oatmeal, as well as this cut out tank in a front knot. I also snagged this adorable white romper and lace tank… perfect for the trip, and after as well. This blue and white stripe tunic is going to be my go-to cover up, and these espadrilles, a favorite from last spring, will be on heavy rotation too. This red pom pom top was initially supposed to be reserved for the trip, but I couldn’t wait and decided to wear it Saturday night for some margarita sipping. A few other items heading into my suitcase include this tiered tank (super feminine), red bathing suit, and this floral embroidered top. I also love this blue and white stripe ruffle tank (super cute with cut-offs) and this matching white lace trim crop top + shorts set.

Annnnd, when the trip is over, and it’s back to everyday life, I’m loving this feminine ruffle sleeve v-back tee in blush (but it comes in so many different color options), this eyelet tank (perfectly pairs with above mentioned chambray shorts), and these high waisted white shorts I’ve also been on the hunt for the perfect summer jogger pant and am going to give these a try. I like the blue color, but there are a few other options as well. I also think these oatmeal colored slides are a great everyday basic, and I love the shape of this lightweight utility jacket… such a great piece for spring and summer. My favorite cold shoulder open knit from last year was just restocked in 3 color options… I wore it all throughout the spring and summer… such a great everyday basic.

A few items I bought for little miss include this adorable smocked romper, embroidered flutter sleeve top, and this adorable hot pink romper.

04.21.2017

Champagne Chatting || Q&A Of Frequently Asked Questions

(Top | Jeans | Hat | Slides)

Happy Friday friends! What. A. Week. TGIF! Today’s post is dedicated to answering your questions from the past three weeks. As always, feel free to send me an e-mail or comment below for the next Q&A round. I hope you all have a great weekend!
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1. Are those espadrille platforms comfortable? Like comfortable to walk around San Francisco in?? Have a trip coming up and looking for something comfortable but that doesn’t scream tourist.

These cognac platform espadrilles have been one of my favorite pairs of shoes for the past couple of years (they keep bringing them back year after year). I wear them with and without a thin nylon sock and find them to be very comfortable. Be sure to size up (I’m usually a 6.5 and sized up to a 7).

2. Would you consider doing an update to your everyday makeup routine sometime soon? 

Yes, I am currently working on a video tutorial for next Friday’s blog post (crossing my fingers I get it done). Some recent favorite finds include this volumizing mascara and this eyebrow pencil.

3. I’m always intrigued by women that make career changes and how they adapt.  Would you share the pros and cons?  What do you miss about being a therapist? (there was also a questions about if I was/still am a therapist).

To answer the questions as to if I was/still am a therapist the answer is yes and no. I graduated with my Master’s degree in psychology, completed my 3,000 intern hours, and passed my licensing exam, and practiced as a Marriage + Family Therapist (mainly with the youth population, and their families, at risk for losing placement due to psychiatric hospitalizations, juvenile hall, or the foster care system) for 6 years. About 3 years into this role, I began this blog as a way to blog about balance and the things I love. When I became pregnant with Harper, I began to re-examine my profession…. the impact it had on me personally and how that would ultimately affect my role as a mother. I found myself completely exhausted, mentally + emotionally, after work which worried me as I moved closer to my due date. I had made the decision to go back to work part time after Harper was born. Yet, I was blessed enough that the blog had grown enough and I was able to make a decision to blog full time. So, I am no longer a practicing therapist, but I do still read books in the field, as human behavior still fascinates me…..

I thought very long and hard…. had many discussions with TJ and my family before I made the decision to change careers (you can read about that here). I weighed out the pros and cons… and thought about what I would miss. I felt as if I was fully prepared to make the transition and feel as if I have adapted well. There are a few things I miss though. I miss seeing a bunch of people on a regular basis. Blogging can be very isolating. While I’m an introvert, I do really like people, so I for sure miss that aspect. Another con is that my “work” hours are rather nebulous. I don’t get much done during the day anymore, so I am often working in the very early morning hours (6:30-7:30am), a small chunk in the afternoon (2:30pm-4:30), and then again in the later evening (6:45pm-9:30pm)… and lots on the weekend… not ideal… but the pro is that I get to spend more time with little miss, and I don’t have an official “boss” per say. When I think about it, I don’t miss the work I was doing. It was hard, it was challenging, and I started to get burned out (if I’m being completely honest). I always wanted to help inspire people to be the best versions of themselves… to live well balanced lives… and this is the place where I have chosen to pursue that, and I love it… and feel very lucky. Should there come a time in my life where I feel a calling back into the field then it’s an option I will look into.

4. I am going to a casual baby shower and unfortunately I still have a baby belly. Do you have any dress recommendations? Nothing tight and I do not usually wear tank tops.

I own this one and love it. It’s a really fun, bright color… if it’s too bright, here are a few other color options.  Not sure how you feel about off the shoulder, but this one is really cute (post-baby belly friendly) and comes in a lot of great color options. Also love (and recently purchased) this floral maxi dress… it’s a cold shoulder option too, but tossing on a denim jacket with it makes it super cute. This is a really cute, casual, dress with sleeves and it comes in a few color options too. Very versatile as well. This stripe dress has the cutest sleeves and is super versatile through the spring, summer, and warmer fall days. I also own, and love, this tunic dress (it has long sleeves, but in the warmer months they can be pushed up) as well as this embroidered dress.

5. Any recommendations for a neutral sandal for day and night? Not too high of a heel for this momma! 

So many great options our there this season! As far as a flat slide goes for daytime, I own and love this blush pair (super comfortable… multiple color options), this brown pair (several other color options too), single strap slide sandal, these light rose gold slides, and these velvety knotted slides. As far as the evening goes, I love a block heel…. and think this ankle strappy pair is super cute, personally own and love this studded heel, this tan mule, and this tan block heel sandal with a dainty ankle tie. I also think these woven block heel sandals are gorgeous.

6. What books do you recommend? 

I just finished reading The Singles Game (by the same author as The Devil Wears Prada)… it’s a light read, which was exactly what I was looking for… a little predictable romance…. a good before bedtime option. I also love a good thriller (think Girl On The Train + Gone Girl…) so I ordered All The Missing Girls + Big Little Lies. My mom also read Winter Garden for her book club and loved it… so I’m going to try to read that one too.

7. I love seeing your food posts, I might be wrong, but do you try to eat vegetarian as much as possible? 

I actually really like meat… and my body craves it. I avoided red meat for a very long time… yet, when I was trying to get pregnant with little miss, my acupuncturist had me start eating it a couple times a week. What I do like about a vegetarian/vegan based diet is how much “plant” is included on a daily basis. So, while I eat meat (lots of fish, chicken, and red meat… all organic and hormone free) I try to make the bulk of my meal veggies and fruits.

8. What do you use for style inspiration? You also mentioned you shop on-line a lot. What is your process when choosing things to order? Do you have go to designers? Also, do you have budget friendly ideas to pull off your look for a little less?

For style inspiration, I use magazines and Pinterest to find trends I like and that fit my personal style…. I do most of my shopping on-line because it’s really hard to spend any decent amount of time at the mall with a toddler. When I order items on-line I check the fabric, measurements of the product (and even take out a measuring tape to see where it would hit on my body), as well as reviews, shipping costs (I prefer free shipping + returns… or a return in store option), as well as return policy (some have a 14 day turn around and that’s really hard for me… sometimes an item sits in a box for 3 days before I even try it on). I wrote a whole blog post on how I shop on-line here. My favorite places to shop include Nordstrom, ShopBop, Revolve, Free People, Madewell, LOFTAbercrombie (so many cute options for spring and summer), and Anthropologie. As far as designers go, Free People is always a brand I reach for time and time again… I love the classic pieces from Madewell… and I’ve really been loving the fit of Levi’s jeans. At Nordstrom I really like Halogen, Caslon, ASTR, Chelsea 28, Faithful The Brand, TopShop, and JOA. At the end of the day, brand doesn’t matter… if it fits nicely, and I feel comfortable and confident in it, I buy it.

As far as budget friendly ideas to pull of my looks, please always feel free to send me an e-mail to ask if I can find/know of a similar piece that is less expensive. If I can find one, I will usually always list it next to the original item. Hope that helps!

9. Did you use any types of baby carrier or wrap with little miss? I am looking for something to carry my little guy in but don’t know which way to go. Any tips would help!

Yes! When I discovered a baby carrier I was so so happy! We used a Solly Baby Wrap, as well as a BabyBjorn. I did an entire blog post on them about a year ago.

10. What are some of your favorite nail colors as we get into spring and summer?

I always love neutral nail shades! Since the polish is there for at least a week, I like it to go with everything. Lately, I’ve been getting gel and have been really bad at asking for the name/brand. I’m going in this weekend to get my nails done, so I will put it up in this week’s blog post. My favorite non-gel brand is OPI. I’ve always had great success with their polishes, specifically the bigger brush (less mistakes when I do it myself). My current favorites include Alpine Snow (my favorite white shade), Half Past NudeSteel Waters Run Deep (Infinite Shine Brand… and wearing it on my toes currently), It Never Ends, + You’re Blushing Again. For a fun, brighter pink color, I like Rose Against Time and Down To The Cor-al. I use an OPI top coat, as well as Out The Door quick drying top coat.

11. What sunscreen do you prefer for yourself and Harper? 

For myself I love Sun Bum, and for Cabo I just purchased this Supergoop lip balm since my lips always get so chapped. For Harper I go between Baby Organics + Honest.

12. I am just curious, as I start this blog journey for myself, if you wouldn’t mind sharing who takes your photos?

Tj, my husband, takes my photos 85-90% of the time… the other 10-15% my mom takes! I think it’s important to have someone who you feel 100% comfortable around take your pics. I’ve tried photographers in the past and have never been as satisfied as when I have a family member take them.

13. I would love to know your hair routine, especially how you style it.  Hope you can consider that for a post soon. 

I am working on a video for my daily hair routine and hoping to get it up in May. An old tutorial is available here (not a video)…. but the products I am currently swearing by include this purple shampoo to cut the gold tones, this oil, and this leave in product.

14. How are your lashes doing with the Rodan + Fields Lash Boost?

I am loving the R+F lash boost product. When I first started, I had just removed my fake lashes (which I had for an entire year), so my lashes were seriously non-existent. After the first two months I wasn’t completely satisfied, but figured I was literally starting with nothing, so I would continue another round. Let me tell you, I am so glad I did. This stuff had people asking me if I had my fake lashes back. My lashes aren’t as thick as they were with my falsies, but they are for sure longer. I have also started using it on my brows to fill them in…. and it worked wonders. I only have to lightly fill them in now… and before I was needing to do some major work. For the first couple of months the treatment did make my eyes itch though… just an FYI.

15. Have you thought about baby #2? 

We have thought about when, but are not thinking anytime soon. We really want to enjoy our time with Harper, enjoy this part of our lives…. traveling with only one, getting a babysitter for only one, and really just savor our time with Harper while she develops at such a rapid rate.  I’m thinking that when she’s potty trained we’ll start trying for baby number 2… who knows though!

16. I was wondering if you had a car seat that you travel with? 

We travel with the Nuna Pipa (meets FAA regulations)… yet the base is a real beast to travel with. We are currently looking for a convertible carseat and will likely stick with Nuna.

17. What are some of your favorite workout pieces for Spring? 

I’m always wearing leggings when I work out (unless I’m running outside) so I swear by these high waisted leggings, this color blocked pair, and these running crops. I love this crop (wearing it with all my high waisted leggings and considering it in another color) as well as this sports bra (esp in the pink). I just bought this tie front tank, and I really like this mesh tank too (I have two mesh tanks and love working out in them).

18. What kind of bras do you like? I will be done breastfeeding soon and want to treat myself to all new undergarments!

I remember being where you are and I treated myself to this lace bralette. It’s so feminine and I seriously wear it all the time (I’ve become quite deflated in the chest area…..). I also bought a few of these lace bralettes and love them!  I also wear this calvin klein bralette and this free people criss cross one too. As far as an underwire option goes, I have always loved this bra. It’s well made, and I love the feminine details the lace adds… and this option is another one of my favorites too! As far as strapless goes, I personally love this lace bandeau and this underwire option.

19. I have been training for a half-marathon and the race is finally here! I know you have run several half-marathons, so I have a few questions for you… What is your fitness routine the week before? What is your meal plan the week before? How do you balance weight loss and long distance running? I initially intended to train as a goal for myself physically and mentally… but also hoped to lose weight in the process! Unfortunately I have been finding that my appetite has expanded tremendously and I do not feel as I am loosing weight at all. Any tips?

Yay! So excited for you! It’s such a great feeling when you cross the finish line (we celebrated with mimosas after…..)! I haven’t run one in a few years (hoping to run one again this year though…), but as far as I can remember, I didn’t do any long runs the week before. I kept them to a maximum of 6 miles and continued to cross train (spin + yoga) and stretch (so so so important… I had a big back injury after my first half marathon because I didn’t stretch…. probably because I was running towards a mimosa…. kidding…).  The evening before, I ate a regular meal as well (I know a lot of people “carb-load” but I didn’t…. maybe a little more brown rice than usual….). I felt the important meal was breakfast… which was a bowl of oatmeal and a banana to fuel me for the run. It’s what I had always eaten before my training runs, so I didn’t want to mix anything up. I know people tell you the adrenaline will carry you… and it’s actually true.

As far as losing weight, that’s a hard one. You definitely want to make sure you are eating enough to fuel your body… and you want to listen to what your body is telling you. For me, I was just mindful as to what I was eating. If I was hungry in between meals, I’d have a small snack… sliced carrots and hummus… apple slices with almond butter… or a favorite protein bar. I also don’t think I lost any weight while I was training. I don’t know if that’s much help though!

04.20.2017

Spring Dressing || Staying Warm In Shorts

April and May are always fickle months. Temperatures fluctuate between chilly days and unseasonable warm ones. Just this week rain was forecasted for Monday and by Saturday it’s supposed to be 90 degrees. So, the dilemma  becomes, how to stay warm in your favorite cut-offs…

When I was in elementary school I had the fashionable sense to toss on a pair of tights under my shorts… I mean, what looks better than a pair of black tights under denim shorts (while that’s more of a rhetorical question, the answer is a million things…)? Now? Well, these days, when the weather isn’t quite cool enough for full blown shorts and a tee, I’ve been resorting to slightly embellished tops and cute sweatshirts. They’re the simple solution when I’m wanting to rock my ghost white legs (still on the hunt for a good self tanner… without looking orange….), stay warm, be practical (tights under my shorts these days probably wouldn’t be too functional….), and look cute…..

Annnnd, luckily, the stores are abound with cute options right now. I wore this oatmeal colored tie sleeve sweatshirt over my favorite ruffle tank for a Sunday afternoon and was super comfy….. when I spotted this mauve colored oversized bell sleeve top my mind drifted to various occasions where I could wear it (date night, lunch, brunch, window shopping….)… and this is my favorite cozy off the shoulder sweatshirt (I own it in two colors)… simply front tuck it for a more pulled together look. I’ve also been known to pair my shorts with cute sweaters…. a little dressier than laid back, but it’s one of my go-to combinations this spring season. My favorite sweaters to pull this off with include this oatmeal colored lace up sweater, fringe sweater (love the detailing), and this ruffle sweater (all of these options are currently buy 1 get 1 50% off…)….

Either option you choose, you’re bound to be comfortable, casual, and chic!

Also, I’ll be posting my monthly Q&A for tomorrow’s blog post. If there is a question you have, please comment or send me an e-mail.
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(Outfit Details || Top (comes in multiple color options) | Shorts | Slides (6 color options) | Hat | Sunglasses | Bag (similar))

04.19.2017

Wellness Wednesday || At Home Work-Out: BBG vs. Tone It Up

I’ve shared a lot about my postpartum fitness journey (here, here, here… and probably tons more)… from finding time to workout…. modifying my workout routine… to the postpartum body struggles… I’ve pretty much been an open book…..

About a month or so ago (give or take a few weeks) I found myself needing something different in my workout routine. For a while, I had been creating my own HIIT workouts… but I hit a wall and was tired of the mental effort it took. So, I turned to Tone It Up. I had started to see some of their treadmill workouts over on Pinterest so I decided to visit their site. After following a few of their free videos, I decided to purchase some of their premium workout programs…. and I became hooked.

TJ had realized I was doing something differently with my workout routines, and inquired. I mentioned the program, and he asked how it compared to BBG… as I started to chat with him about it, I decided to share my thoughts with you today. If you’re at the beginning of your fitness journey, in the middle and looking for something different, or an avid fitness buff and looking to supplement with some extra moves, I’m hoping my insights will help you choose the program that’s right for you…. and of course, I’m sharing which one I have a preference for at the end….

1. Workout Winner: Tone It Up || What appealed to me about the BBG workouts were that they were 28 minutes… simple and effective. You would mix in a few 37 minute cardio sessions a few days a week and then a “Challenger” circuit and you were done. Yet, I grew bored with the routines. I felt as if I always knew what to expect…. that there weren’t enough weights incorporated into the program, and that there wasn’t anything very motivating about sitting in front of my computer and moving through each move. So, after one round, I decided to call it quits. I tried to pick it up again, and after 2 weeks remembered why I stopped.

Enter Tone It Up. They lay out your daily work out… and every day it is different. It includes cardio + HIIT + strength training all in one (sometimes you do all 3 in one day) and the videos are of the cutest and most motivating duo doing them alongside you (super encouraging). They incorporate various weights, workout bands, kettle bells, and workout discs (these things, along with workout bands, are major game changers) to create a huge variation in routines… even if you’re doing leg day with the same exercises, incorporating a different piece of equipment makes it feel so different.

While Tone It Up wins in this category, I have to say that I do appreciate that both can be done in the comfort of your own home. Which I think is important (as discussed in my home gym post) since so many people can’t necessarily make it to the gym due to work schedules, child care, and/or financial reasons. These workouts pretty much give a #NoExcuses to working out.

2. Meal Planning Winner: Tone It Up || To be fair, I haven’t tried the meal plans of either program. I had every intention of trying the BBG meal plan, but it seemed a little boring and restrictive (again, slightly repetitive and not enough variation…)… and while I’m not vegan or vegetarian, I am dairy free and there wasn’t a plan to accommodate to just that restriction (although I can always figure it out myself…). The TIU has several different dietary restriction meal plans (and even a “Bridal” meal plan for any of you walking down the aisle soon….) and they appear to be quite exhaustive… which I liked. I do feel like I have a fairly good grasp on portion sizes and appropriate nutrition for clean eating… yet, who knows, maybe I’ll try out the meal plan. I do think it’s great for those wanting a little extra coaching in this area though!

3. Cost Winner: BBG… But It Depends || This one was a little harder to determine… If you’re going to do only one round of BBG (which is 12 weeks) with the meal plan, the cost is around $100. The second round of BBG is increasingly more difficult and challenging… so it’s likely you would want to do more than one round. Tone It Up will be starting a Beach Babe series, which alone is $40, but with a nutrition plan (and other fun goodies) is $199.  TIU also has several different premium videos that you can purchase (they usually come in a pack of 5-8 videos) which range in cost from $25-$40 (I think I’ve purchased all and been incredibly happy with the product). So, while BBG wins, it all depends how much you invest.

4. Developers/Creators Winner: Tie || There is no clear winner here. All of these ladies are amazingly inspirational. Tone It Up was created by two friends… they’re fun to watch and motivational. BBG was created by one fit AF lady and her instagram is equally as inspirational. So, this one probably won’t help you choose…

My overall pick would have to be Tone It Up though. Hands down. While I know both programs have quite a community of committed followers, I find my mind and body responding better to the TIU program with its variations and differing exercises. What I think is most important, is that there is a program for anyone… making it easy to take care of your body by challenging it and moving. I’m always amazed at what I can push my body to do… and how accomplished I feel the rest of the day (and, sometimes I even do these workouts with Harper running around beside me….).

And, in case you’re looking for a little bit of motivation, I’ve always found that a few new pieces of activewear help. I’m currently loving this muscle knot front tank, white and black strappy sports bra, this crop sports bra (which I own and am obsessed with…), these two toned high waisted crop leggings (which I own in the navy/black combo… they have some ah-mazing support), and this lightweight twist front (reversible) pullover that I own in grey….
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(Outfit Details || Tank | Leggings | Sneakers | Harper’s Top | Harper’s Shoes | Bow: c/o A Little Lady Shop)

04.18.2017

Spring Dresses For Any Fun Festivity

Last week, I found myself sitting down and looking at the next couple of months…. my sister is getting married, which means there are lots of fun festivities in the very near future… we just had Easter… we have our Cabo trip and a few fun weekend getaways planned… and then there’s Mother’s Day. All that to say, there is some celebrating and dressing up to do. More so than I’ve had in a while (I promise I’m not boring…). So, I took inventory of my closet and decided that adding a few dresses here and there, to wear to said events, was in line….

When I’m picking out a dress, I tend to opt for flowy and bohemian like patterns and styles (with solid whites and blacks thrown in there…)…. I don’t usually opt for anything tight (although I do own this dress… bought it when I was pregnant, and still love it….) and typically don’t have a preference for length. With that being said, my sister and I sat down on Saturday, on-line perused together, and found some pretty fun dresses that I thought I’d share with you too…. just in case you find yourself looking for something fun to toss on….

I loved this floral dress the minute I saw it on-line. At such an excellent price point, it was too good to pass up. The  print isn’t too bold, and I love the smocked top. It’s lined, which means no slip is necessary. I bought these studded sandals for spring, and wore them with this slip dress this past weekend, but I love them with today’s dress too….This dress is easily appropriate for a shower (likely more baby than bridal) or brunch… and can easily be dressed down with a denim jacket and flat sandals for a casual everyday look. A few other dresses I would consider for this type of occasion include this blush embroidered off the shoulder dress, this gauze maxi floral dress, adorable off the shoulder dress (comes in so many gorgeous colors), this light blue floral and lace insert dress is absolutely gorgeous (and such a great price), and this cute polka dot flutter sleeve dress.

Something I had to think a little more about was my sister’s bachelorette party… it’s been a few years since I’ve been on one (#GettingOld #HopeICanHang) and I had to remind myself of appropriate attire. She decided on this adorable short dress (I told her to get this white romper too #KnockOut)… and I’m debating between this plunging neckline dress and this exposed back floral dress (which I could easily make work again by wearing flat sandals and a denim jacket).

For Cabo, I couldn’t help but consider this gorgeous lace overlay dress (it comes in a mustard and ivory color….) as well as this ombré blush flowy dress (so gorgeous)….. they’re both pretty much perfect for margarita sipping….

So, while dresses don’t make their way into my shopping back often… when I have fun festivities to look forward to, they’re often my favorite go-to’s.
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(Outfit Details || Dress (under $60, runs TTS, wearing XS) | Sandals (I sized up) | Sunglasses | Necklace | Tote (similar))

04.17.2017

Weekend Recap || Life Moves Fast

(Kicked off the weekend with a little happy hour bubbly)

I was scrolling through my photos, looking at Easter last year, and couldn’t believe how tiny little miss was. She had no clue what was going on around her… and to be completely honest, I feel as if both TJ and I were still so sleep deprived all we wanted to do was sleep. What a difference a year makes. This time around, she was engaged with family, obsessed with her Easter eggs, loving her little Easter dress, and couldn’t help but dance along to the music playing at the church service. When I think about being a parent on holidays, today was what I always envisioned.

Which was a reminder to me of how quickly time goes, and how much changes in such a short period of time. It was a gentle reminder to move slower, take in every day and moment, to focus on what is good in life, and to savor the time you have with those you love. So, as I enter the week ahead, I am setting my intention to do just that…. savor all that’s good…. and not take for granted moments with those I love (be it family or friends…). I hope you all have a great week! xx

(sorry this post is so short, it’s a little on the late side from all the Easter celebrations!)

(Post spin class breakfast date with TJ at cafe gratitude…. leggings, wrap)

(Church, brunch, and then Easter egg fun… (dress, sandals, Harper’s sandals))

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Well, yesterday’s brunch was nothing short of indulgent… so I’m thinking of doing this Tone It Up workout  tomorrow morning…. I’m also considering trying their Bikini Body series this season…. has anyone else tried it? To get me motivated, I snagged this black + white stripe crop (on sale!) and am considering this white crop sports bra… love pairing them with my favorite high waisted leggings.

The temperatures are supposed to be in creep up into the 90’s on Saturday so I’ve been doing a little warm weather perusing. I’m loving these casual, throw on and go, chambray shorts paired with this pink and white stripe button-up (love the tie front detailing on it… and it;s such a lightweight top), these blush embroidered drawstring shorts, and this adorable tie shoulder stripe top.  I’m also seriously considering these black overalls… I’ve been wanting a pair for a few years and I’m thinking now is the time…. and I also have this navy + white romper in my shopping cart (on major sale and so cute!). A few other casual pieces I have my eye on include this french terry blush cardigan (perfect to layer with shorts), distressed basic tank (I’m liking the black color), tri colored hoodie, ruffle sleeve tie front top (the best of both trends in one!), and this cute stripe poplin bow top (it comes in white too….which I think is so pretty too). I also think this light blue one shoulder top, choker top, and this off the shoulder stripe top are cute options for a fun occasion.

I’ve been on a little bit of a shoe kick lately… I’m loving flat slides and couldn’t resist this cognac pair (which comes in 6 color options), this ombre blush knotted slide (I also like the stripe option), and these velvety beauties are in my shopping cart (I just can’t decide if I like the dusty blue or blush…). I also recently purchased a few fun accessories to add to my basic pieces and snagged these pink bauble earrings (something a little different for me, but that’s fun sometimes) and gold double layered necklace.

Cabo is a mere 2 weeks away and I’m starting to finalize my pieces I want to take…. I saw this pretty white gauze cover-up and think it’s perfect to just toss on and go. I’m also loving this floral romper and embroidered top. I am also thinking of investing in this mauve scalloped bikini top and adorable blush and white high waisted bottoms.