03.08.2017

Wellness Wednesday || 3 Ways I Up My Fitness Routine In Spring + Favorite Spring Activewear

Spring has always been my favorite time for upping my level of intensity in the fitness realm. There is just something about the warming temperatures, sunnier days (…. and longer soon, with daylight savings time this weekend….), and the thought of bathing suit season being right around the corner….. that makes me want to kick my booty in gear just a little bit more. So, today I’m sharing the three ways I up my intensity level, stay motivated, and work on feeling challenged and confident……

1. Extra Weight: When I really want to increase my strength and build muscle, I try to incorporate heavier weights into my routine…. nothing too crazy, but you’d be amazed what adding 3-5 pounds will do! I’ve recently started wearing ankle weights in some of my HIIT routines, and have increased my dumbbells from 3 to 5 pounds (for lighter weights) and 8 to 10 pounds (for heavier weights). Sometimes I’ll start heavy and then, when my form starts to go, I’ll decrease the amount of weight. It’s a great way to challenge myself and ensure I’m still doing everything right.

2. New Gear: I’m always more motivated when I can add a few new pieces to my closet…. it really helps to motivate me when my alarm goes off at 5:30am…. or when I’d rather head straight to brunch on the weekends instead of logging some miles in my running shoes. I always try to find pieces that help me feel confident, and can easily transition from workout to post-sweat activities (whether that’s brunch, errands, or the park with Harper….). Nordstrom always has the greatest selection of apparel…. with so many different brands in one place, it makes picking out pieces so simple (maybe too easy….). I recently purchased this zip-up hoodie (in oatmeal) and love tossing it on after a morning run or spin class. This crop sports bra is the perfect length to wear with my all time favorite high waisted leggings (they seriously look good on everyone…. my girlfriend and I swear they have countering in them!). I also couldn’t resist this blush hoodie (it comes in 3 other color options too) as the perfect top layer…. I love the motto detailing, and the color is so soft for spring. A few other options that will pair great with about any fitness item you already own in your closet include this wrap front top, open back pullover (#obsessed), this twist front tee, and these mesh crops. I also think a great tote is a necessity, and this tote is my new favorite (this one is great too!). In my tote I always carry a water bottle, favorite cap, and lip balm.

3. HIIT: Whenever I’m feeling like I need to add a little push to my routine, I work in a HIIT routine. I typically make one up, or find one on youtube. Recently, I’ve been working sprints into my treadmill workout (since it’s been too dark, and a little too cold, to run outside that early….). If you’re looking to try something different on the treadmill, I’ve shared it with you below:

Warm-up: 4.0 speed/5 minutes
Jog: 6.0 speed/3 minutes
Sprint: 7.0 speed/1 minute
Jog: 6.0 speed/3 minutes
Run: 6.5 speed/3 minutes
Sprint: 7.0-7.5 speed/1 minute
Jog: 6.0 speed/1 minute
Sprint: 7.5 speed/1 minute
Jog: 6.0 speed/1 minute
Sprint: 8.0 speed/1 minute
Recovery: 4.0 speed/5 minutes
Repeat 2xs, second time skip the warm up

Other ways I like to add in interval training include jumping rope, weighted burpees, and jump switch lunges. They get my heart rate up quickly, and help me break a sweat!…. and with bathing suit season right around the corner it’s just what my booty needs!
___________

(Outfit Details || Leggings (I’m wearing the grey/black color) | Hoodie (comes in 4 color options, wearing a S) | Sneakers (size down), also love these | Sports Bra | Tote | Sunglasses)

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. 

03.07.2017

Spring Things Under $100 || Blush Shoes + Transitional Cardigans

A few things you may, or may not, know about me (or, you may not even care, and in that case, just scroll right on down….):

1. I love a good all white outfit. Yet, each and every time I put one on I think to myself “marshmallow?”…..
2. I have a strong distaste for black shoes. I try to love them, but I never seem to like how they look on me….
3. I hoard comfy cardigans as if my life depended on it.
4. I’m short. So, each and every pair of jeans I own, I always add my own personal distressing to them…..
5. I’m a creature of habit. When I find something that I love, I tend to repeat it….

So…. I guess this outfit is no surprise. It’s pretty much one through five in a nutshell…. and embodies all my favorite spring trends in one place (well, almost one place, you can see my other spring trend post here….)…. items and pieces that I can dress up and down and wear during warmer temps and cooler temps. For today’s post, I’m sharing some of my favorites from Nordstrom, all under $100 (because, you don’t have to break the bank to look amazing….).

1. Blush Shoes: This has to be one of my absolute favorite trends for this spring season. Adding a pair to any outfit instantly creates a feminine touch. I’m still loving mules, so when I was in Nordstrom the other day, I snagged these little beauties. Nordstrom has so many great blush options, at great quality, and an even better price point. We have a few sunny weekend trips planned, so I picked up these blush slide sandals (they come in multiple color options too) and can’t wait to wear them with today’s outfit, or my favorite denim shorts or slip dress. I also own this comfortable pair of blush espadrille platform kicks (which I bought right after the holidays)…. they go with everything and are super comfortable for all day wear. A few other options that I’ve owned for a while and will continue to wear into the spring season include these quilted slip-ons and velvet platform sneakers (last seen here).

2. White Peplum Tank: An absolutely perfect layering piece… functional, feminine, and versatile. My two favorites are this asymmetrical tank I’m wearing in today’s post, and this open back option (that I wear with this bralette, and included an image of at the end of the post). I’ve worn these tops out to brunch as you see here, with leggings and a denim jacket for a day of errands, and with jeans and a suede jacket for happy hour.

3. Cardigans: When it’s cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon…. or simply, just a mild day that needs a layer, my go-to this spring will be my favorite cardigans. I added this grey one to my collection, and love the side lace-up detailing, as well as the pockets in the front. It’s such an easy throw-on-and-go piece. A few other cute ones include this open front blush cardiganadorable ruffle sleeve cardigan, and this open knit cardigan.

4. Pretty Jewels: I love finishing any outfit with a few simple accessories. Right now, I’m loving this crystal chain bracelet and this crystal cuff. This dainty rose gold bracelet and these jacket earrings are also perfect accessories to add to any outfit.


__________

(Outfit Details || Top (so many color options, under $40) | Cardigan | Jeans | Mules (come in black too)| Watch | Bracelet | Bag (similar, less expensive option) | Sunglasses)


OPEN BACK TANK

In sponsorship with Nordstrom. As always, all options expressed are my own. 

03.06.2017

Weekend Recap || Slowing Down

{Warm weather, and an 8 mile run, naturally lent itself to this….}

I went into Sunday with a list of things I needed to get done. Yet, life happened….

It started with an impromptu invitation to brunch with my family…. which we happily accepted (yet, in the back of my mind I was thinking about all the things I should be doing instead…). When we all arrived at brunch, we were welcomed with some of the worst service ever, and we couldn’t stop laughing about the absurdity of it all. We were filled with jokes, making an annoying situation better… along with belly hurting laughter….

After brunch, I realized I had enough time to do everything that I needed to do, so I went to put Harper down…. yet, she had other plans. She couldn’t stop crying (not sure why), and was just having a difficult afternoon. So, I held her, and we napped together in the afternoon….

As I was laying there, little miss on my chest, sound asleep, the list kept running through my head…. and I could feel my anxiety rising. Yet, in that same moment, I realized this was exactly where I was supposed to be. That everything else could wait…. and that what I needed was to slow down, and enjoy this moment with her… as there will come a day where she will be too big those special moments…..

And in that reflection, I realized the whole day was one in which I was forced to slow down and enjoy those around me. It’s funny how life has a way of doing this to those who resist the need to press pause once in a while…..

As I look at my to-do list for Monday, I realize it has doubled, but I wouldn’t trade it in for the memories made yesterday. So, here’s to a week of letting life give you just what you need! Have a good one friends xx

{When you order the same thing unknowingly….}

{So full of energy. All. The. Time}

{The prettiest new mauve mules.… under $30!}

{Sunday afternoon nap with little miss…. and our favorite neutral basics (tank, cardigan, cap)}
_______________

I’m so excited for this coming weekend… as I mentioned a few times before, it’s our Anniversary and we’ll be heading to San Diego for the weekend to celebrate…. dinners out, sleeping in, no schedule…. it will be a nice few days of adult-living…. That being said, I’ve added a few items to the suitcase. The weather is currently hovering around the low 70’s, so I’m planning of bringing this beach cardigan (love the material), thermal tunic (which comes in 5 color options… I bought the blush/almond color),  open knit sweater (I’ve had my eye on it since January…. and I’m obsessed with open knit and the white!), blue striped off the shoulder top, white ruffle sleeve top, and this pink suede jacket (I bought a size 4). I also snagged this adorable mauve colored tank (such a great price) for lounging around the hotel. I also saw this adorable white lace trim cami and thought it would be so fun with these high waisted jeans (which I bought at the shopbop sale). I also bought this gold cuff (on sale!) as a versatile piece to accessorize with.

A few other items that I think are super cute include this gingham tank (I think it would layer perfectly under a cardigan or denim jacket), awesome white body suit (love it tucked into high-waisted straight leg jeans), and this mauve colored longline cardigan (such a great price too!). I’ve had my eye on this adorable pink bomber jacket, and think it’s so fun for spring. Oh, and how adorable is this sweatshirt with the cascading ruffles on the sleeve??

I also came across some of the cutest kicks lately. These perforated platform ones are such a perfect option for spring… and I love this canvas pair in one of my favorite bands (and comes in so many different colors), as well as this mesh pair!

03.04.2017

Instagram Outfit Round-Up || February

I remember when this year started, and March seemed so far away…. and now, here it is. I’ve always had an affinity for March…. it’s our wedding month, and it’s something I always look forward to after the holidays are over. With spring right around the corner, I’m excited for days spent outside, lightweight layers, slide sandals, and wide brimmed hats! Yet, until then, I’ll be living in most of these pieces you see today! Hope you’re all having a great weekend xx

{Top (comes in 4 colors) | Jeans}

{Sweater (under $50!!)}

{Jacket | Cap | Leggings | Tank}

{Top | Jeans | Harper’s onesie | Jeans | Sandals}

{My shoes | Harper’s Shoes}

{Joggers | Tank}

{Leggings | Sweatshirt}

{Tank ($17!) | Cardigan | Jeans (currently 15% off)}

{Top}

{Sweatshirt | Joggers | Sneakers}

{Stripe Top | Sneakers}

{Top (similar, under $100)}

{Sweatshirt | Harper’s top sold out}

{Sweater (sized up two, wearing M)

{Sweater (seriously, one of my favorites… I also layer a tank underneath on warmer days…. and use this as a top layer)}

03.03.2017

Weekend Wear + Navigating Outings With Little Miss

So, before I became a mom, there were things I promised myself I would never do… and then I did some of them. Nothing major, you know…. things like “Oh, I’ll never change my child’s diaper in the car….” Yeah, that happens frequently. Or, that my house wouldn’t be a miniature Toys R Us…. yeah, I pretty much can’t keep track of Harper’s toys (and 90% of the times she chooses to play with items that aren’t even considered toys….). All that being said, I can only imagine all my “I will never’s…..” that are going to come crashing down around me as little miss moves further into toddlerhood. Given that, I’ve decided to dedicate today’s post to how I’ve been navigating being out and about with little miss in this new toddler stage……

1. Comfort: Always. My numero uno requirement for a day is that I can run and move in anything I wear. Which is why, for the most part, everything I share is just that (with a few exceptions for that special occasion). On days when we have nothing planned, I opt for tennis shoes, my favorite leggings, and a sweatshirt/hoodie of sorts (so easy to toss on and off….). A cap pulls it all together (well, actually, it pretty much just covers up hair that hasn’t been washed in 5 days…) and makes me feel cooler than I am….

2. Gear: While what I wear is important, what I bring is equally as paramount. Recently, we’ve been using this umbrella-like stroller. It’s not as small as a true umbrella stroller, which is nice…. and it’s definitely sturdier. Yet, it’s incredibly lightweight, collapses in one easy step, and has a good amount of storage for its size. We’ve taken it to the zoo, on our short weekend trips (perfect size for a hotel room), and to the park. It’s such an easy stroller to manage, and perfect for everyday. I’ve also been alternating between my favorite diaper bag (same brand option here) and this blush colored tote. The tote is incredibly spacious, and can hold a variety of items. I usually place my cell phone in the outside pocket, and my keys, wallet, and sunglasses in the interior pocket. It can fit diapers, wipes, a changing pad, lotions, snacks, sippy cups, a few toys, and a change of clothing (for both of us) easily (I also use it as a gym bag….).

3. Snacks: In all honesty, we don’t snack that much. I tend to use snacks as a great “distraction” option when we are out and about (of course, if she is hungry she can eat whenever!!). Yet, there are a few “treats” that I reserve for when we are out and about (i.e. at a restaurant, in the store, at the mall….). The ever popular puffs, in this little container, keep her occupied for quite sometime. I was asked which snacks I found to be successful in keeping little miss occupied. So far, I’ve found the aforementioned puffs, organic ritz-like-crackers (these things are her weakness…. I reserve them for those desperate situations…. because when they’re gone…. well, you can only imagine….), string cheese, and these little granola bars (I love these as an option!). She’s also a huge fan of Lara Bars, RX Bars, and Perfect Bars (like, she’s obsessed)!

4. Modify Expectations: I think without this ability, any outing will seem like a failure. Let’s be real. A long leisurely lunch just isn’t going to happen with a little one (and if you have them, please tell me your secret….). So, going into it with that expectation gives me a little bit of perspective. That being said, I try to bring novel toys when we go out to a restaurant. Something she doesn’t play with often, or hasn’t seen in a while, so that her attention will be slightly captivated by that toy. Sometimes we get the crayons and color with her (not that she does much coloring, but she does like to watch)…. and other times, one of us runs around with her a little bit outside before it’s time to eat (that way we all eat at the same time, and she releases some energy). Is that situation ideal? Not really, buuuuut, again, modify expectations. We also find that bringing a book to the restaurant, and actually reading it to her, can help……

The other day we were at the mall and this little boy was playing with his iPad in the stroller ahead of me in line. He was perfectly content, and the mom was the complete antithesis of frazzled. The much older lady in front of me turned around and stated, “What’s with parents and electronics these days?” I probably looked like a deer in headlights and didn’t really say much. I learned a while ago not to judge moms. We all have moments, we all have our way of doing things, and we all care about our children. That being said, I am not opposed to an iPad, or electronics, when out at a restaurant, traveling on an airplane (what would you prefer as a passenger??? A toddler running up and down the isles or one peacefully watching a cartoon?…..), or grocery shopping. I haven’t done it yet (I’m waiting for that day though….) and am a firm believer in moderation (hence, the premise of the blog). My child using a form of electronics once in a while is not going to do permanent damage to her social skills. There’s a time and place for everything, and every mom has to decide what that is for them……

Oh, we also try to choose places that are relatively kiddo friendly…. with the exception of our blunder here…..

5. Timing: When we head out, I’m always sure to schedule the outing immediately after a nap. That typically gives us ample time to do what we need to do, without the potential meltdown from fatigue.

As we go into the weekend, you can 100% guarantee we’ll be employing these techniques!! I hope you all have a great weekend! I’ll be sharing an instagram roundup of all my outfits tomorrow morning (a rare Saturday post!).
________

{Outfit Details || Zip Up (comes in so many different colors ) | TankLeggings | Sneakers | Cap | Bag (c/o)(comes in 5 colors, such a great size!) | Stroller (c/o) | Harper’s Hoodie (similar)}

03.02.2017

Spring Essentials || Casual Chic In THE Best Jeans + Sleeveless Sweatshirt

As I was tossing clothing into my overnight bag this past weekend, several sweatshirts made the cut… and as I began thinking about it, my life has cycled in and out of sweatshirts over the years….

In elementary school, it was the heinous matching sweatpants (with the full blown elastic on the bottom) + sweatshirts. The brighter the color the better (I’d beg to differ now….)….. In high school, it was all about the college sweatshirts. It didn’t matter if I was going there… the more the better…. you know, those hoodies with the big ol’ raised college lettering?? Yeah, I probably had one from every school I visited…. Then, in college, it was all about the actual school pride sweatshirt… and then the Greek letter sweatshirt (could never have too many of those…..)…. In graduate school, I was pretty much too studious for sweatshirts (that’s what I thought at least) and relegated myself to Juicy Couture velour track suits. A much better option (riiiiight….).

And now? Well, as we head into Spring, and I begin to curate my wardrobe for the warmer temperatures, I can’t get enough of them… along with several other necessities for casual living….

So, when I was in Nordstrom the other day, I could’t help but grab a few options in preparation for the season change. They had so many amazing items, all at great price points… and perfect for everyday living. If you’re looking for some spring necessities, I have you covered today….

1. Sweatshirt: A much more refined version than the ones listed above. It’s practical, comfortable as heck, and when paired with the right accessories, has you ready for a casual day out. I own several at this point, with two of my favorites being the sleeveless options…. both in white and grey. You can easily layer them underneath a coat, or wear them solo when the temperatures are warm enough. They lend themselves to a laid back feel. I also own this slightly slouchy, off the shoulder option in two colors, as well as this split neck hoodie…..

2. Grey Jeans: When you pair any of the above mentioned sweatshirts with a pair of grey jeans, it’s a winner. I’m loving this shade as an alternative to my favorite black pair and white option. They go with anything, and this pair has the perfect amount of distressing (all I had to do was rip the jeans open a little more). A few other grey jean options that I am loving include this high waisted pair and this option with the side zippers.

3. Denim Jacket: I’ve always been a fan of this wardrobe staple. Yet, this season I went on the hunt for the perfect slightly oversized, slightly distressed jacket and landed on this one. It’s such an amazing price point and I’ve already worn it multiple times (haven’t even had it for a week). It pairs well with the above mentioned pieces, but will also look great over a dress, or with black shorts and a white tee when the temps warm up (and my legs become tan…).

4. Espadrille Sneakers: Nothing screams spring more than a pair of espadrilles… and while the wedge versions aren’t a very practical everyday option, this sneaker sure is. I bought them last season, and was so excited to pull them out again this year. They’re comfortable enough to wear all day, and the espadrille sole is a perfect alternative to regular old kicks….. I also own this cognac color option.

5. Accessories: Of course, hats of any kind are my go to, and this one is no exception (it helps to cover up dirty hair….)… and tossing on a few gold accessories really pulls any outfit together. This circle pendant and fan pendant necklaces are excellent options.
___________

{Outfit Details (ALL clothing pieces under $90!)|| White Sweatshirt (comes in 3 color options, wearing XS) | Grey Sweatshirt (comes in 5 color options, wearing XS) | Jeans (size up 1, I’m wearing 25) | Distressed Denim Jacket | Light Blue Denim Jacket | Sneakers (super comfortable) | Hat | Bag (less expensive option) | Sunglasses | Necklace (similar) | Thumb Ring}

Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. 

03.01.2017

5 Days Of Healthy Eating || Favorite New Food Products

I have to admit that I often times love going to the grocery store (not all the time…. but more often than not….). I love pursuing the isles in search of new products to try, or for some inspiration in the kitchen. It’s so easy to get caught in a rut of eating the same thing, day after day, that I’ve found by simply mixing in a few new products here and there you can really create some variety. So today, I’m sharing with you some new favorite healthy food products I have found, as well as a full 5 days of what I ate last week……oh, and a few favorite pieces of workout wear that are currently on sale (at the very end of the post)……

Recent Favorite Products:

Hilary’s Eat WellWhile the brand is not new to me, what is new are a few of the veggie items I’ve been incorporating lately. Both Harper and I love the veggie burgers, veggie bites, and the veggie breakfast sausages…. they’re hearty, delicious, and void of ingredients that you can’t pronounce. They’re non-GMO, gluten free, and organic which makes them a pretty great option.

Barely Bread: I was recently introduced to this grain free option and fell in love. I’ve tried other paleo style breads and they literally fall apart the moment you pull them out of the bag (and with the heafty price tag, it’s a tad frustrating). Not this line. While not as firm as grain bread, it definitely keeps its shape…. the bagels are pretty delicious too. I’ve incorporated them in my breakfasts and lunches!

Health-Ade Kombucha: My new favorite flavor is the pomegranate. Period.

Perfect Bar: I’ve chatted about these before, but my new flavor of the day is the “Nuts + Fruit” variety. I’m also a huge fan of the 100 calorie size for a little mid morning snack.
______

5 Days Of Healthy Eating

Monday:

Breakfast: 3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats, 1/2 sliced banana, dash of cinnamon
Snack: hard boiled egg + Healthade pomegranate kombucha
Lunch: Organic Cauliflower Soup (in Trader Joe’s pre-prepared section) + 3 Hilary’s Mediterranean Bites
Snack: RX Bar (Blueberry)
Dinner: Mexican Sweet Potato Hash: organic, grass fed ground beef sautéed with 3 bell peppers, 2 cups of spinach, 1 cup cheery tomatoes, 2 cups mushrooms, 2 cups brussels sprouts. 2 medium sweet potatoes diced, seasoned with cooking spray, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and roasted at 450 for 20 minutes (on convection setting). Served with guacamole + salsa. (see below photo)

Tuesday:

Breakfast: Left over veggies + sweet potatoes with two spicy veggie patties, topped with salsa
Snack: 100 calorie perfect bar + Healthade Pink Lady Apple Kombucha
Lunch: Open-faced Tuna Sandwich: 1 slice barely bread, 1 can of tuna, 1 tsp Annie’s organic honey mustard, 1 cup of spinach, sprouts, 1/ avocado smashed. Assemble sandwich in whatever order you prefer…. side of carrots. (see below photo)
Snack: Lara Bar Cashew Cookie
Dinner: Healthy Carnitas: 4 lbs organic, no antibiotics/hormones pork butt (cut off fat) in crock pot. Placed pork in crock pot along with 1 jar of Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde, minced garlic, and 1 tbsp of liquid smoke. Placed on low for 8 hours. Shredded when done, and let it marinate in the juices for about 20 minutes. Served with mexican cauliflower rice (used a package of riced cauliflower from Trader Joe’s) and sautéed bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach, and zucchini. Topped with guacamole.

Wednesday:

Breakfast: Peanut Butter Banana Toast: 1 slice barely bread, 2 tbsp Justin’s Peanut Butter, 1/4 sliced banana, honey drizzled on top
Snack: Hard Boiled Egg + Healthade Original Flavor Kombucha
Lunch: Hilary’s Veggie Burger topped with 1/2 smashed avocado, diced tomatoes, spinach, and sprouts.
Snack: Beauty Smoothie 
Dinner: Shrimp Stir Fry: Sauté the shrimp in garlic, olive oil, and red bell pepper flakes. Then in a separate pan use some sesame oil and garlic to sauté your cauliflower rice. Turn heat to low and allow cauliflower rice to cook with the lid on for about 8 minutes. Add cooked broccoli, baby corn, spinach,  cooked peas, and 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice…. then drizzle some soy sauce over it (I’m generous with this….).  When it’s all warm and flavors to your liking you’re done. You can use the frozen brown rice from Trader Joe’s and then just heat it up in the microwave… as well as their broccoli…. it makes the dish even easier. They also have excellent uncooked shrimp (not fishy at all!). (see below)

Thursday:

Breakfast: Hilary’s Veggie Patties (2), 2 poached eggs, sliced avocado, sliced tomatoes
Snack: Banana + Healthade Pomegranate Kombucha
Lunch: Spinach Salad: 1/2 cup Quinoa, 3 cups spinach mixed with 1 cup romaine, Hilary’s veggie burger bites, 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds, sprouts, diced cucumber, diced tomatoes, lemon agave dressing (1 tbsp).
Snack: Beet Chips
Dinner: Grilled Salmon with roasted sweet potatoes and broiled asparagus. So simple, and a weeknight go-to.

Friday:

Breakfast: Oatmeal (same as Monday)
Snack: Bowl of berries + Healthade Kombucha
Lunch: Ate Out, ordered an avocado veggie sandwich
Snack: RX Peanut Butter Bar
Dinner:  Ordered Mexican Food Take-Out: Mesa Rice Bowl, side of guacamole, hold the beans (they bother my stomach….).
2 glasses of wine

______

I also wanted to share that a few of my favorite workout pieces are on sale with the ShopBop GOBIG17 event (buy more, save more). These high waisted leggings are literally one of my favorites and I feel as if they look good on everyone! This open back tank would go perfectly with the leggings, as well as this sports bra and this open front cardigan (that I own…. it’s so soft!!).

02.28.2017

Resort Wear + My Top Four Resort Spots In California

It’s around this time of year that the cooler temps and weekly rainstorms get old, and I start daydreaming of warm weather destinations…. and when those daydreams turn into reality, it’s an even better situation…

With our anniversary in a mere two weeks, and Harper set to have her staycation with Nana and Grand-daddy, TJ and I will be heading down to San Diego for the weekend (our tradition), to one of our favorite resorts. Of course, we’re dreaming of an extended vacation in warmer weather, with our entire family, but this will definitely satiate the appetite for some sun, relaxation, and cocktail sipping….

And with a resort vacation on the horizon… and hoping future trips as well…. I’ve been on the hunt for some fun resort items to pack in my suitcase. The LOFT has been a go-to for their classic, colorful, and resort perfect attire. Their pieces are at the perfect price point (under $100) and excellent quality. I recently snagged this scalloped one piece, and got a little bold barring my belly in the cutest ruffle two-piece. Both provide the coverage I’m looking for, and help me feel confident while walking from pool, to lounge chair….. I also love this black and white romper, striped open back sweatshirt (the ties are adorable), this wide brimmed hat, and adorable straw tote to take me from pool to cocktail sipping.

Oh, and just n case you’re heading to California anytime soon, I decided to share with you my four favorite resort towns….

San Diego: The options are pretty much limitless here. Excellent restaurants, gorgeous beaches, beautiful hiking spots. I could go on and on….

Santa Barbara: I have a soft spot in my heart for this beautiful coastal town in California. I grew up visiting it every summer with my family and some close family friends, and have loved visiting with our little family too. Similar to San Diego, but much smaller, it has a sleepy town feel, while still having delicious restaurants and some of the most beautiful stretches of beach in California.

Palm Springs: I’d say it’s sunny here 80% of the year. Which is why we get out there 3-4xs a year. They  have several different resort areas, all offering you the ultimate in rest and relaxation. There are luxurious resorts, hip and trendy resorts, and kid friendly resorts too.

Catalina: This tiny little island off the Southern California coast is absolutely gorgeous. The water is pristine, the streets are tiny… reminiscent of European beach towns…. and there are plenty of water and land activities to engage in…. a quick boat ride from one of the local harbors can get you there in under 2 hours.

Happy traveling friends (and happy shopping for your attire too…..)!
_____________

{Outfit Details // Cover-up Pants (skirt version here)| Blue Scalloped Suit | Orange Swim Top/Bottom (on sale!) | Pink Sweater (I sized up to M for slouchy fit) | Sunglasses (such a great price!) | Clutch | Necklace}



Thank you to LOFT for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my honest thoughts and reflections. 

02.27.2017

Weekend Recap // Trust The Process

I recently received an e-mail from a college graduate, asking me what advice I would give to someone just graduating…. as I thought about my response to her, I couldn’t help but reflect on this past weekend….

As I mentioned before, I headed up to LA for Saturday with a girlfriend from middle school (thanks to TJ and her hubs for holding down the fort with our two babes and pups….)…. we enjoyed an invigorating spin class in the morning, followed by a delicious lunch, shopping on Melrose (I use the term “shopping” loosely, as we bought nothing….), treated ourselves to blow-outs, and then a delicious dinner with margaritas….

As we sat at dinner (marveling at the fact that it was 8:15pm and we were just now sitting down to eat… outside of the house….) we couldn’t help but chat about our past…. the hard times, good times, what we’d seen each other through…. what we’d realized about ourselves over the past few years (it’s amazing what you can learn about someone, even after knowing them for years)…. we talked about our fears, what we feel like we have to prove in our lives…. the moms we hope to be…. and how, when we looked back on our lives, all the worries and frustrations, everything worked out the way we would have wanted it to….

Which brings me to the advice I gave….

I could probably go on for days on tips to a 22 year old right out of college! But, I’ll tell you what I would say to my little miss. Follow your passion and find a way to make it into a career…. don’t be afraid to take risks… usually with risk comes reward… and if it doesn’t work, you’ll never wonder “what-if.” Surround yourself with a strong and loving group of girlfriends, who support you and who you can turn to in those rough patches…. and don’t put up with any toxic relationships…. trust me, they don’t last and they’re a waist of your time and energy (you’ll be happier without them!)…. Your twenties are a time to find yourself…. to love yourself and where you are going… trust the process and that in the end, even if it doesn’t seem like it, when you look back in 10 years, you will realize it all happened for a reason!” 

So, here’s to a week of trusting the process and knowing that, in the end, it’s all part of a bigger picture. Have a great week friends! xx
_________

*My apologies for the post that was sent out late Friday morning and was password protected. I accidentally hit publish, which is why you were not able to view the post (and it wasn’t finished yet!)…. it will be live Tuesday morning. Thanks so much for letting me know! 

{The only photo we captured of the two of us from the weekend…. a little grainy… but oh-well!}

{*Stayed at the Avalon Hotel for our evening away…..}

{Started off the morning with a butt kicking SoulCycle class….}

{Then immediately moved to a bellini with lunch at Le Zinc Bar}

{And, well, you know…. a must….}

{Ended the evening with some delicious Mexican food at Gracias Madre…..}
_______

It was a cool evening last night so I made our favorite lentil soup for dinner while we watched some of the Oscar’s….. I also made a batch of these tasty egg muffins for the mornings this week.

In anticipation for the weekend, I snagged a few items that I knew would be perfect in cooler and warmer weathers. I initially stepped into Anthropologie to return an item that was to large, yet came out with this absolutely perfect tank (in black and stripes)…. an amazing price point, and the material is so stretchy (I still sized up to a M though). I also came home with this grey duster cardigan (can’t wait to wear with leggings and jeans), as well as this grey v-neck tunic (such a perfect slouchy fit) and wrap top (in the taupe color option, sized up to a S)…… I also brought this cap and my favorite oversized denim jacket for our day of shopping.

I also stumbled across this mauve colored asymmetrical tank, and the price point can’t be beat! Such a perfect layering piece. A few other items that I think are super cute include this high low v-neck top (so pretty for spring), this zip up hooded sweatshirt (I like it in the white option), and this henley thermal (which comes in so many color choices). Annnnd, while we’re on the topic of comfort, how comfortable do these lounge pants and this hoodie look??? This slate blue suede jacket is gorgeous and I think it would be so pretty with this navy slip dress, or this grey one, and kicks for a casual daytime look.

The weather is supposed to hit 80 here on Friday (yes!!) so I have my eye on a few new slides….. I love this blush bow sandal slide, as well as this strappy blush slide (which comes in a multitude of color options too)…. and with our anniversary around the corner, I have my eye on a lower heeled slide like this soft blush option, and this blush version with a cork block heel (both kitten heel height). I also think these white mules are pretty gorgeous!

For little miss, I recently bought this adorable pink thermal for her and it’s so soft for her baby skin! I also think this pink striped tee is too cute, as well as this floral bubble romper and these black and white striped bubble shorts.

*Photo via instagram 

02.24.2017

At Home, 28 Minute HIIT Workout

A few weeks ago, TJ was out of town for work, and I needed to get creative with my workouts. So, I created this calorie torching HIIT workout. You don’t need any fancy gym equipment, and I completed it in our small living room (with the help of my two little friends… as you will see….) …. I got my heart rate up, worked up a sweat, and felt challenged throughout the entire workout. If you’re looking for a quick, and challenging, workout this weekend try it out!…. get your significant other, or bestie, in on the action, and then head out for a delicious brunch/lunch….. a pretty great way to start the weekend if you ask me….

I’m heading up to LA tomorrow morning with my girlfriend, and we’re planning on doing just that…. a sweat inducing spin class, immediately followed by a delicious meal….

For this workout, you’ll need ankle weights (I used 2.5 pounds), heavier dumbbells (I used 10 pounds), lighter dumbbells (I used 5 pounds), and a yoga mat.

You’ll repeat the entire workout 4 times, and give yourself a 1 minute break after each completion. I’ve included the written workout below in case it’s hard to tell from the video:

1st Circuit:
1 minute jog in place (wearing ankle weights)
10 leg raises to the side, and then to the back (total of 20 on each side wearing weights

2nd Circuit:
1 minute jumping jacks (wearing ankle weights)
10 bridges with leg raised (10 with right leg raised, 10 with left leg raised, wearing ankle weights)

3rd Circuit:
10 weighted burpees (I’ve done them with and without weights… your choice based on level)
15 Cross Body Oblique Crunches (weight in one hand)

4th Circuit:
4 mountain climbers + 1 push-up, repeat x5
10 rows + 10 tricep kickbacks

Rest 1 minute, Repeat 4xs (or 3 for a 21 minute workout)
___________

I’ve also been on the hunt for a few new activewear pieces and have my eye on a some pieces. Always a fan of a good hoodie, this zip up, black pullover (love the open back details), and this blush half zip hoodie have somehow ended up in my shopping cart. I also love this open back long sleeve top (runs small, size up for looser fit, multiple colors) and wrap front top too.  This muscle tank is the cutest and I also like this tunic white top (love the branding on it), and these perforated leggings. I’m also obsessed with his sports bra! Oh, and I’m wearing these leggings, which I LOVE (stone color).

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! See you on Monday!