01.10.2018

Wellness Wednesday || My Experience With The Tone It Up Detox Plan

I’ve never been one for extreme detoxing… I did a modified juice cleanse, as an experiment, and it was quickly my last (which I anticipated it would be…). Instead, I prefer to fall back on whole foods, clean living, and regular workouts. Yet, when Tone It Up shared a free 5 day post-holiday detox plan, I was curious. I absolutely love their workouts, and what they stand for, so I decided to give it a try (you can read about my BBG vs. Tone It Up experience). So, today I thought I’d share my experience with it, how I modified it, and my overall impressions…. just in case you’re looking for some kind of meal plan or detox experience yourself…..

1. Foods: I think when the term “detox” is used is signifies deprivation. Yet, with this plan, I found it to not be depriving at all, and actually found meals that I am going to incorporate into my regular meal planning (like their chocolate pudding for dessert… and the apple with cinnamon for a mid morning snack….). There is a big focus on veggies and proteins, with fruit being the main source of carbohydrates, so that meant no grains (corn, rice….). They do say no to added sugars, fried foods, alcohol, creamy dressings (so I opted for the primal kitchen honey mustard since it was basically just avocado oil, vinegar, and herbs….), dairy (which I already don’t eat), starches after lunch, salty foods (i.e. chips, pretzels, cereals, crackers…), soda, and fake sugars. While I know this list sounds long, it’s really not that bad when you’re focused on eating basic ingredient foods (chicken + veggies…. large green salad with tuna and veggies…. chia seed pudding… egg scrambles….).

They also explain the scientific reasons why you will be eating the foods they have on the meal plan… which was actually very educational for me. It grouped them into antioxidant foods, detoxifying foods, anti-inflammatory foods, and fiber packed foods.

There are several meals plans for all dietary restrictions…. vegetarian, vegan, gluten free…..

2. Preparation: The plan also helps you fully prepare for the five days ahead by providing you with a grocery list and daily meal plan (in conjunction with workouts….). Preparation is key for success, so it made it super easy for me to run through the grocery store, with the list, and grab the essentials. Also, a lot of the breakfasts, like the chia seed pudding, can be made within 10 minutes and placed in a container for up to 5 days…. making a super easy grab and go breakfast option.

3. Customizable: This might be one of my favorite parts of the detox plan. You can easily add up to 250 calories when you’re doing higher intensity workouts, feeling low on energy (who wants to feel that way??) and if you’re not going for the 1-2 pound weight loss. Since I wasn’t looking for weight loss, just the de-bloating, cleansing, and metabolism boosting benefits I added in daily…. A few add ons I used included:

5 egg whites with my breakfast scrambles
1/2 cup quinoa when I went to lunch with my sister and mom
1/2 medium avocado with my salads
1/4 cup almonds with my morning apple snack
1 cup berries with my morning chia seed pudding
1/4 cup sunflower seeds with my salad
2 tbsp almond butter with my apple snack (not in conjunction with the almonds)

What this allowed me to do was listen to my body… how was I feeling? What was my body needing? I find that so many detox plans lack in that area… it’s a strict formula which allows for no flexibility….

I was also able to mix in my own meals that followed all the ingredients and guidelines they set forward, which made it not feel like a detox at all.

4. Taking With Me: A few things I added during the plan was increasing my water intake to about 80oz a day (they recommend 90, but I couldn’t quite get there!) as well as their morning mocktail of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, water, and cayenne pepper (loved starting my morning that way….). I found that the more water I consumed, the less bloated and hungry I felt. I’m for sure continuing both and incorporating them into my daily routine.

As I mentioned above there were several meals that I loved and will continue to make… the red lentil soup, chia seed pudding, beet salad, and the chocolate mousse (I mean, a detox plan that includes dessert…. need any more convincing??).

5. Overall Impressions: highly recommend this detox plan for anyone looking to de-bloat, cleanse, and get a jump start on clean eating. It’s very manageable, and easily fits into a daily lifestyle. Tone It Up also launched an app with studio workouts… and I seriously love those too. When I started Tone It Up last April I began noticing so many changes in my body… I literally “toned up.” I love their focus on strength training, and making working out fun… along with those occasional glasses of wine and indulgences…..

And now, a few recent workout looks…..

(windbreaker, capris, cap)

(lace-up sweater, perforated tank, watch)

(leggings, vest)

(leggings, pullover)

01.09.2018

Real Life Moments + Blush Coats

So, yesterday was one of those days that starts off great… and then gets progressively worse. You know those?? Harper slept until 8:15am (yassss….. right then I thought I was going to be winning through the day….), we headed to the gym… she played, I enjoyed a good workout…. we came home and lounged around while it rained outside (good excuse to go yet another day without washing my hair… currently going on day 5 #DontJudge….), and then she went down for a nap and I got some work done….. it goes downhill from there….. 

Pretty much from 5pm on the evening became progressively more stressful (TJ was gone for a work function so I was riding solo)…. not sure what got into Harper (she’s probably just acting her age. Literally. You know, #TerribleTwos….) but I had a moment where I looked at her and thought to myself “Where did my little miss go????” She was throwing dog food all over the place…. taking all the pots out of the cabinets…. I stepped on a little train we got her for her birthday…. she didn’t feel like eating (playing with her new “Mimi Mouse” items was more interesting…)… you get the drift…. I decided bath time was going to be 15 minutes earlier, and said a prayer of gratitude when she went to bed…. 

Sitting down to relax, I realized that I couldn’t access my blog site dashboard…. My sister told me it had been up and down all day (I missed the down somehow……). After 45 minutes on the phone with my hosting provider it was determined their server was down and I’d have to wait 24 hours…..

Of course, yesterday didn’t involve anything life threatening or life altering (for that I’m grateful)… just one of those days evenings where you have to pause and take several deep breathes, multiple times, throughout the day. I guess God really let me test my intention for the week  

Anyway… let’s talk winter layering. Since it finally rained today (the first of the season…) it had me thinking all sorts of cozy thoughts. I had a request for some “fresh” winter layering ideas and the first thing that came to mind was “blush.” Wrap yourself up in a cozy blush coat and you’ll look like a breath of fresh air this winter season. I bought this faux fur teddy option before Christmas and love the subtle hue… I wore it with an all black look and mauve colored booties for Christmas Eve service… but dressed it down here for a more “everyday” look…. casually tossed on over my favorite henley thermal (a favorite layering option). If you’re looking for a few great winter layering options I’ve listed some more pink hued coats below (ranging from low to high) as well as some perfect under layers that will take you through spring (if you’re looking that far in advance)…. 

Blush Coats: Lightweight moto jacket, bouclé coat (on sale), single button coat (kinda obsessed), gorgeous faux fur mauve coat (I actually ordered this but had to send it back because it was just way too large on me….), shearling coat, and this trench coat.

Lightweight Bottom Layer: Flared sleeve white topbasic drapey tunicbutton detailing long sleeve top, and this ultralight pullover.
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(Outfit Details || Jacket | Thermal | Jeans (identical) | Sneaker (other favorite sneaker brand) | Bag | Long Necklace | Short Necklace | Sunglasses)

01.08.2018

Weekend Recap || Hope + Feelings

We celebrated Harper’s 2nd birthday this past weekend with a small family get together and Minnie Mouse (her new favorite)…. it was a contrast to last year’s larger fiesta but was not void of the same amount of love and excitement…..

On Saturday evening, as TJ and I got to reflecting on the past two years (her birthday was actually yesterday….) we talked at length about how becoming parents changed us a lot, but how much joy she brings to our lives daily…. and then I asked him “If you had one wish for her in life, what would it be?” I already knew my answer, but was curious to know what TJ’s would be. He didn’t hesitate and stated “That she would always have hope….” and as he expounded, his answer started to fall in line with what my one wish for her in life is…

And that wish is that she will always feel. That she will feel happiness, joy, sadness, anger, frustration, love, and heartbreak. That although some will be uncomfortable, she will welcome those feelings and know that on the other side of the “tough” feelings are those “feel good” ones that make life worth living. That she will always know we will be there to support her through them all… and that, in the end, she has hope that whatever trial she is going through there is an eventual light at the end of the tunnel.

We talked about how, of course as parents, you want your child to ultimately be happy…. but happy all the time simply isn’t possible. And, the best way for us to help her learn how to manage and allow herself to feel life, is by setting a good example for her. So, as we embark on this week ahead, it’s my intention to be open to feelings, both good and bad, as they come…. Have a good one friends! xx

(A delicious lunch with my mom, sister, and Harper at Driftwood Kitchen….)

(We went with a very simple, Minnie Mouse themed birthday celebration, for Harper’s birthday… Harper’s skirt, sweatshirt)

(A little Saturday evening rosé tasting…. glasses, bar cart)

(Birthday croissant for the birthday girl with her great grandma…. Harper’s sweatshirt)

(Pink + pearly for the birthday celebrations… sweater (other favorite MinkPink sweaters, especially that faux wrap one!), jeans)

(Kept things casual for a Sunday spent playing with all of little miss’ new toys…. joggers, pullover)
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Finished the Tone It Up 5 day detox and will be sharing my thoughts and results on it this week…. I’m also planning on getting back on the spin bike Tuesday, after taking a few weeks off during the holidays. Seriously can’t wait…..

A few cozy loungewear items I currently have in my cart include these comfy slippers, super soft pearly joggers, and this blush velour pullover. This star joggers/pullover pajama set is adorable too (love all pj savage lounge pieces though….) This fleece also looks super comfortable too.

I’m also eyeing this gorgeous pullover sweater (love the knit detailing), floral tunic top, floral flutter sleeve bodysuit (would be super cute with high waisted boyfriend jeans and booties). This ruffle cuff ribbed top is a great layering basic too, and how cute is this wrap front sweater??

Free People also has some beautiful new basic arrivals… like this lace-up tunic (love it in the blush color), slouchy hooded pullover, and casual tunic dress. Since we’re not experiencing much of a winter here, those pieces would be perfect for light layering.

I’m also in the market for a great everyday jacket…. I’m loving this bell sleeve utility jacket, slouchy utility jacket, fleece lined denim jacket, and this gorgeous black faux fur jacket.

A brand that I love for their everyday comfortable basics is Lou & Grey… and I think this bohemian sweater, flower stitch sweater, and this fringe cardigan are all gorgeous.

01.05.2018

Silky Fancy Pants

Well, you might be a little surprised after Tuesday’s post to see this outfit. Yes, joggers…. yet again. Before you hit that “unsubcribe” button, hear me out…. I’m all about elevating the basics, right? So… can we just pause a moment for silk joggers?? I mean, come on now, talk about being able to dress up or down in a cinch…. obviously, my favorite way to dress them down is with a cozy oversized sweater (yes, white, yet again….) + comfy kicks… yet, to dress them up simply toss on a pair of heels, corresponding silk cami (you can just be real silky that night….), a moto jacket and you’re ready to go. Day to night made simple…..

A few other cute options, if you’re not loving the camo print but do dig the silky idea is the exact same pair in solid olive green or black, this wine colored pair (great price!), and this teal colored option…..

And, can we just get an AMEN for the weekend? The post-holiday week kinda kicked my bootay, so I spent most of it catching up… ready for a glass of vino and sleeping in (I loose that term very loosely). Have a great weekend friends!
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(Outfit Details || Joggers (also here in more sizes) | Pullover | Beanie | Sneakers (also wear these all the time) | Bag (similar) | Sunglasses)

01.04.2018

Favorite Products Of 2017…..

Trying new things is my jam… food, beauty, tech, clothing, experiences (hence the detox I’m currently doing… can’t wait to share next week….) … and I equally enjoy sharing those “things” I end up loving. So today, I rounded up my top favorite 35 items from 2017… and a couple have some great discount codes attached in case you’re curious and want to try too…..

FOOD: 

1. Naturally Clean Eats Bars: One of my favorite discoveries of the year in the food realm… created by a momma of two looking for “clean” bar that she and her family could eat. They’re coming out with a new flavor this year, but I especially love the spiced chocolate chip cookie dough flavor. My whole family loves them. Use code SHANNON20 for 20% off (you won’t be disappointed) 

2. Chosen Foods Avocado Oil: Another fav find from the year…. it adds a smooth and mild flavor to all my cooking… I use it for all my sautéing and roasting of veggies. Great non-stick and flavor agent in one!

3. Primal Kitchen Dressing: The solution to all my dressing woes. Made with avocado oil and all ingredients I can pronounce… I was sold on ingredients and flavor. I’ve tried the Ranch, Greek Goddess, Honey Mustard, + Greek flavors and have loved them all. In fact, all four are currently sitting in my refrigerator on regular rotation.

4. Purely Elizabeth Chocolate Sea Salt Probiotic Granola:One word: obsessed. Literally. And the fact that it has probiotics in it makes it that much better… health benefits in my chocolate granola. Yes please. I eat this solo, straight outta the bag (same with TJ… and Harper loves it too).

5. Vega Protein Powder: I was starting to have stomach issues with some of the animal based protein powders, so I switched to a plant based version and have loved the taste and way it makes me feel. I make this smoothie + this smoothie with the powder.

6. Siete Tortillas: These were a more recent find, but I’m hooked. They originated out of a Mexican American mother who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and wanted to be able to make dishes using tortillas and not butter lettuce leaves. So, she made these grain free tortillas, and they’re so good.

7. Hilary’s Eat Well Veggie Bites: It’s no secret that I am obsessed with these. I put them on salads, eat them solo with lentils…. Harper loves them too. They’re become a great item to add into our regular rotation, and I love how hearty they are.

BEAUTY:

1. TULA Resurfacing Gel: Been a TULA fan for a couple of years now, but they released some new products this year that I fell in love with, including this resurfacing gel. It’s an alcohol free toner that uses probiotics to balance the skin’s surface. I ran out for a little while and was using an alcohol based toner I had and could see the difference. 20% off with code SHANNON on all TULA products 

2. TULA Kefir Face Cleanser: Another new product that I came to use daily this year. It leaves my skin feeling super soft. It has a silk-like texture and it leaves my skin feeling clean and soft.

 3. TULA Skin Reviving Treatment Plans: I’ve always been a huge fan of the TULA exfoliating mask (one of my all time favorites) but these pads are like a quick little facial. They leave my skin soft, glowing, and looking more supple (aka, less wrinkles). I use them 1-2xs a week.

4. RAW Sugar Body Soap: Love the way this smells and feels on my body. We started using it several months ago and have been hooked every since. It’s packed with fruit and vegetable nutrients, enzymes, and certified organic extracts which is a definite plus in my book. Our favorite one is the vanilla bean and sugar.

5. Colleen Rotschild Charcoal Mask: I’ve been using this for about 4 months now and love the detoxifying affect it has on my face. I especially use it around “that time of month” to help prevent any breakouts, and also after a fairly indulgent weekend or span of time. I’ve found it to really help in minimizing breakouts.

6. OSEA Facial Argan Oil: This stuff is so good. I’ve been using it nightly for the past several months, after my serum, and love how supple, soft, and glowing it leaves my skin. It’s a vegan skin care line, and all of their products are amazing.

7. Bobbie Brown Nude Lip Color:  In my quest to find the perfect nude shade I landed on the color über beige and this liner in beige. Love the natural shade it provides and I pretty much use it daily.

8. ENJOY Shampoo: My hair dresser uses this every time I go and I’m always obsessed with how silky my hair feels (and I love the way the shampoo smells too). So I finally picked some up for myself and have loved using it at home in conjunction with……

9. Amika Nourishing Hair Mask: this hair mask. It’s really helped to repair a lot of damage and I use it every time I wash my hair and sometimes leave it in overnight (leaves my hair really soft then…).

FASHION: 

1. Studded Booties:These are, hands down, the best knock-off I’ve ever seen for the Chloé booties (everything from stud placement to buckle placement is nearly identical….)…. and they’re currently on major sale. They’re super comfortable and I love the edge they provide to any outfit.

2. Suede Jacket: Snagged it at the Nordstrom Anniversary sale and have loved wearing it through the cooler months (last seen here). It’s excellent quality, and you can easily layer it over a long sleeve shirt or blouse.

3. T-shirt Dress: I don’t wear a lot of dresses, so when I do I keep them comfortable, casual, and versatile. This one fits the trifecta. I’ll be styling it on the blog next week, but love layering it with a jacket or chunky cardigan. I own it in the mauve and charcoal colors.

4. Embroidered Maxi Dress: I snagged it for my sister’s bridal shower (in a cream and pink color, seen here) + the forest green for family photos in Hawaii…. it’s hands down one of my favorite dresses and easily dresses up or down.

5. Softest Workout Tank:I bought this as a “I’ll see if I like it….” and fell in love. Literally. I wear it to almost every workout (yes, I wash it in between). It breathes and wicks away sweat easily and can easily be worn with non-workout clothing.

6. Adidas Tubular  Cross Trainers: Snagged these at the very beginning of the year and wear them on walks, cross training, and for everyday errands. Love the knit look to them and they’re super comfortable too (just don’t run in them….). You can also find them here + here in a lighter gray color.

7. Beyond Yoga Leggings: These feel like butter. Seriously. I could sleep in them… and I’m sure I have at some point. Oh, and did I mention they’re high waisted too? Need I say more?

8. Chunky Knit Beanie: I wore this the other day and some guy told me I looked like I belonged in New York. I looked at him and told him I was cold. It was 55 degrees (cold for any native Californian). I guess it just looked that cozy…. and warm. Needless to say, it’s one of my favs and I’m obsessed with the knit detailing.

9. Basic Ribbed Henley: I own this top in 3 colors (black, white, and the mauve)…. it’s an excellent throw on and go option. Perfect solo or layered under a cardigan or coat. I pair it with jeans or joggers or simply lounge around the house in it. I sized up 2 sizes for a looser fit.

10. Studded Sandals: I snagged these at the beginning of summer and loved them! They went with everything and were a fraction of the cost of the Isabel Marant sandals. They’re only available in a few sizes here + here (hopefully they come back again this year).

11. Band Tee: I discovered Daydreamer brand of band tees and fell in love… and tore my entire house up looking for my guns n roses tee. Loved tossing them on with my jeans or joggers and layered under a comfy cardigan.

12. Red Pom Blouse: On instagram I referred to this top as my “margarita sipping” top back in May. Margarita or not, it’s a fun pop of color, and I love the pom detailing.

13. Lounge Pants/PulloverI wear one of these pieces at least several times a week. Soft and comfortable they’re perfect for lounging around the house (and a great price point)… the top is even perfect to pair with jeans for a casual daytime look.

14. Casual BodyCon Dress: Own it in heathered gray and the coral color… hugs in all the right places and looks great on all body types. I initially bought it when I was pregnant, but have worn it so many times since little miss arrived.

15. Open Knit Pullover:(on sale) I bought this in April last year and have continued to wear it over the last several months. I’m a huge open knit fan and this one pairs perfectly with shorts or jeans… and dressed down with joggers. I wear a bralette underneath, but a cami works just as well. It runs large, so size down if you’re in between sizes.

16. Aviators: I bought these when my last pair was lost on one of our vacations and was drawn to the bar detailing on the brow.. I also love the copper frames… a nice alternative to the regular black + gold color-way for aviators.

17. Blush Tote Bag: I’m always on the hunt for an excellent tote bag… something to carry my computer, clothes, and Harper’s goods…. and this one fits the bill. I use it daily (and I’ve had it since February). It’s super well made and comes in tons of colors.

18. Low Back One Piece: I know it’s not bathing suit season, but this one was one of my all time favorites from the season. It provided excellent behind coverage, with the plunging back and neckline making up for the prude bottom coverage.

19. Distressed Denim Jacket: I guess having distressing on my jeans just isn’t enough… so, this jacket joined my closet last February (styled here, here)… it’s such an easy throw on and go with a little edge…. excellent quality too.

20. High Waisted Distressed Jeans:  Obsessed with the fit of these jeans… and pretty much wear them several times a week. They’re perfectly distressed on their own, and are super comfortable too.

 

01.03.2018

Everyday Basics || Elevating A Basic White Sweater

I’m having a hard time re-adjusting to that post-holiday life…. and have pretty much been living in joggers lately (they’re #life). Today I’ll be pulling myself out of them and into something cute for a fun lunch with my sister, mom, and Harper…. so, hopefully it’ll get me motivated to wear something that actually buttons around the waist again….

And while jeans haven’t been at the forefront of my wardrobe for the past few days, oversized comfy sweaters + my favorite dainty gold jewelry pieces have been. For several reasons really. The oversized sweater hides the post-holiday food + drink baby… and since “oversized” is the “in” style, I can easily convince myself I’m still stylish. Dainty gold jewelry just allows me to feel like I put some effort into dressing….

So, as I head into the “button waist band” life again, I still fully intend on taking my oversized favorites and dainty jewelry right along with me… because, hey, if they can elevate glorified sweatpants, imagine what they can do to a killer pair of mom jeans??

P.S. This post was initially going to chat about easy ways to dress up a basic white top…. so, in one sentence, the same way I dress up sweatpants is the same way I dress up a basic white top… dainty gold jewelry…. My all time favorites come from Gorjana and a few of those include this cuff bracelet (seriously wear it everyday), small bar necklace (a gift from my sister a few years ago…), lariat necklace (which I bought last summer), adjustable beaded bracelet, criss cross cuff, and pendant necklace. I also wear my Maya Brenner initial necklace + ring everyday (as in, they don’t come off…. ever…).
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(Outfit Details || Sweater (comes in 3 colors) | Jeans | Booties | Bag (on sale!) | Necklace | Ball Bracelet | Criss-Cross Cuff | Dainty Bracelet | Sunglasses (more options from one of my favorite brand, excellent price point and on trend))

 

01.02.2018

Weekend Recap || Looking Ahead + Moving Forward

The past four days feel like they were a whirlwind of celebrations, and it’s hard to believe they’re already over. We made a spur of the moment decision to head down to San Diego, for a pre-birthday celebration, for a couple of nights. We spent time at the zoo, hiking, and relaxing… and then headed home to celebrate with my family… then headed back down to San Diego for a NYE pajama party (we all literally wore pajamas….) with friends and our little kiddos. Now, as I sit here and write this, it’s hard to believe that the holiday season is  officially over…

It’s always an interesting end of the year for me… as my birthday falls one day before NYE… which is often the two times people reflect on the year they’ve had and on the year ahead…. I get to do both all at one time. And as I reflected on my 33rd year of life I realized how much I became increasingly more comfortable with myself… more confident with where I invest my time… and overall realized that a little sweat, tears, a hug, and a libation now and then (along with lots of prayer and faith) are pretty much a great antidote for anything. I’ve always said that age is a state of mind, and sometimes I can’t believe I am 34 (and have a child… and have responsibilities… wasn’t I just 18 yesterday???)….

And, as I look ahead to 2018, I have so many hopes… to be increasingly more present with my family… to sell our little condo and move to our first family home…. maybe even add to our little family… and to work on not sweating the small stuff (I kinda do that a little too much sometimes….). I hope to run my first half marathon since having little miss (I ran 4 prior to her arrival) and to continue building memories with our little clan…. They’re really quite simple, but ultimately provide immense fulfillment. So, with that, I hope you all have a wonderful first week of 2018, thank you for all your support in 2017, and I can’t wait to see where 2018 (and my 34th year) take us! xx

(Super casual in an oversized sweater + favorite studded booties for happy hour fireside)

(All she cared about was this arial tram and the fish… figures…..)

(We became slightly obsessed with Flower Child…. delicious + healthy food… and the cutest decor….)

(We spent plenty of time sipping bubbly fireside….fleece (borrowed from TJ), sneakers)

(My one birthday request was a morning hike at an old favorite: Torrey Pines State Park… such spectacular views…. lace up sweatshirt, perforated top)

(Birthday casual for an evening celebration with the family…. cardigan (other cute + casual cardigans), tee, bag)

(Who knows what was going through my mind when I stayed up until 12:45am on NYE…. slippers, joggers, pullover)
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I loosely started the Tone It Up detox meal plan this week. As I started looking at it, I decided I was going to make some mild modifications based on lifestyle (i.e. instead of a wrap everyday, I might opt for a salad following the same guidelines). I’ll share at it goes at the end!

 We’re getting a new dresser today (thanks to a generous Christmas gift) so I spent some time finally cleaning out the dresser drawers and realized how much I love basics…. and how frequently I wear them. Since some needed some updating, I took to finding a few great options and I’m loving this basic tunic top, swing tank (which would layer perfectly under cardigans or jackets), oversized hooded henley (mine arrives today), and linen blend henley top (I like the gray color). This v-back lightweight sweater is also a great everyday options when paired with jeans. A few pieces that work as everyday options, but aren’t quite basics, include this fuzzy off the shoulder sweater and this blush/nude balloon sleeve sweater.

Something TJ and I are committing to in the New Year is more date nights (we do lots of date days). Getting dressed up and heading out is something I find so fun to do with him… and so, I’m eyeing this gorgeous white top, lace sweater (love the fit), dusty pink wrap top, and my favorite lace camis (love wearing them solo with jeans or layered under a blazer, cardigan, jacket).

I also received some birthday money and a few gift certificates and have my eye on these blush workout crops, beaded lounge pants, and this cozy parka fleece for early mornings at the park with little miss. I also invested in this gorgeous sweater dress (perfect to wear with OTK boots), but also think this white one would be super cute too…..  and I love the button detailing on this top.

12.28.2017

Wellness Series || Favorite Activewear + 6 Ways To Start The NY Off Right

I always have this need to hit the reset button after an indulgent holiday season. With Christmas, my birthday, and New Years all occurring within a week of each other, I don’t hold back and fully enjoy all the indulgences the season has to offer. Yet, with that, come January 2nd (we have a New Year’s day tradition of watching the college bowl games and indulging even more…..) I do a major restart. In thinking about what that will entail for me in the New Year, I decided to dedicate today’s post to sharing the best ways to kick start your healthy lifestyle come January. Whether you’re like me and just getting back on track after a couple weeks, or looking to completely revamp your current lifestyle, I hope these tips will help, as I know I’ve always relied on them over the years…..

1. Clean Up/Throw It Out: I did this when I really cleaned up my diet several years ago, and talked about this idea with client’s who were trying to do the same: stimulus control. Basically, the idea that if it’s around, you’ll use it or eat it… which isn’t helpful if you’re looking to make some changes and those old ways are too tempting. To pull it off you basically toss all those items that will hold you back from the new lifestyle you’re looking to live. Think of those tempting treats, or anything along those lines….. If it’s not in the house, it can’t tempt you.

2. Stock Up: So, you’ve tossed it all out, now fill it back up with clean and nutritious alternatives. If you view food as a source of energy to fuel you throughout your day, it’s easier to decide which ones will do that…. fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, carbs (whole wheat, sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc….), and good spices to kick things up a notch. I put together a grocery list, which I still follow very closely, every week.

3. Put Together A Plan: You can meal plan, or invest in one for you. If you’re looking to go that route, I highly recommend Tone It Up… and maybe start with their free five day cleanse (no juices, all real, clean foods that will fuel your body and leave you glowing….). I’ll be doing it, so I’d love for you to join me too! I always suggest a plan because it helps to guide you if you’re starting from scratch and don’t know where to begin.

4. Say “No:” Part of living a “healthy” lifestyle isn’t just about what you eat and how you workout. It’s about having a healthy perspective + good relationships too. It’s okay to put up boundaries around unhealthy relationships and to say “no” to drama and unnecessary stress. It’s okay to say “no” if you already have enough on your plate… because when you put too much on it, something has to give (which is often something that actually matters). It’s also okay to cut yourself slack, and to be nice to yourself. Treat yourself how you treat others (assuming that’s nicely…). I shared a blog post on having a positive outlook and think it’s always a good reminder. Also, check out my “Watch Those Thoughts” post if you’re looking to challenge negative thinking.

5. Prioritize Working Out: Working out is so much more than “looking good,” for me. Starting my day with a workout helps me set the tone for the next several hours, clears my mind, and is my jolt of caffeine. Figuring out what will work for you is key. If you can’t make it to the gym, again, I recommend Tone It Up workouts. They’re great if you have some basic gym equipment at home. Check out my post on prioritizing workouts for further tips.

6. Get Some Motivation: This is different for everyone, but usually a little motivation, and reinforcing yourself for the healthy lifestyle choices along the way, keeps you on track. At the end of the year, I always invest in some new gear for the coming months ahead…. it can be a new pair of running shoes, a fitness tracker (I’m loving this one right now for tracking steps), a cute pair of workout leggings, a post-workout pullover (got this one for Christmas), or a cute water bottle… usually something small can get you feeling motivated. I shared my favorite workout products below in case you’re looking to invest.

Hope it helps!

(Sweatshirt)

(Capris | Pullover | Beanie)

(Leggings | Hoodie | Cap)

(Crop Tank)

(Watch… tracks steps too c/o)

(Leggings (on sale too!) | Tank)

(Pullover | Tote)

(Half-zip | Leggings)

(Wrap (bought it for my mom in gray and she loves it too))

(Pullover | Beanie)

12.27.2017

Weekend Recap || Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Favorites + Other Sales

(Bubbles to celebrate the Christmas Weekend)

We entered the Christmas weekend full of anticipation and excietment for the festive get togethers planned… from visiting Santa (Harper was not having him) to hosting Christmas Eve, and seeing Harper take in the holiday… the weekend most definitely did not disappoint… TJ and I were inducted into Christmas with a toddler as we spent 3 hours putting together Harper’s trampoline with my parents… watching her huge smile when it was finished… and seeing her sheer delight in playing with it…. Christmas truly is a little more magical with a little one running around (even if she’s given us 4 sleepless nights in a row #SleepRegression….)….

And, as we head into the last full week of 2017, we plan to do some relaxing, more focused family time, and a few fun celebrations with friends to wrap up with year… and prepare for 2018. A time to reflect on goals, set some new ones, and look back on the blessed year that we were given. So, in that light, I’ll keep today’s post short and sweet, and hope that you can spend some much needed time resting, reflecting, and surrounded by those you love! xx

(Took little miss to see the Christmas train a few days before the holiday…. my sweater, scarf, beanie, Harper’s vest, booties, beanie)

(Brunch with the family, post seeing Santa…. ball bracelet, ball cuff, other favorite Gorjana pieces)

(Is this not the most awkward photo ever?? Little miss refused to sit on his lap, so we all decided to hop in….)

(Cozied up in sparkly kicks for Santa… cardigan, tee (on sale!), sneakers, other favorite Tretorns… one of my favorite sneaker brands, so comfortable))

(Christmas Eve with our little lady… my boots, Harper’s Jacket, Harper’s Skirt)

(Went very neutral for Christmas Eve’s Table setting)

(Post Christmas bumming around attire…. joggers (on sale), pullover (on sale), bag (on sale))
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So, I’ve definitely been indulging these past couple of days… and with my birthday and the New Year approaching, it probably won’t stop until after the NY. I’ll be doing the Tone It Up Detox come January 2, and encourage you to check it out too if you’re interested in a healthy way (read: no starving and no juice cleanses) to hit the reset button!

Lots of great sales going on right now, and I wanted to share with you the favorites that I personally own that are included….

Nordstrom’s Half Yearly sale has so many great items. My favorite plush lounge set, and star lounge sweater/shorts are marked down…. This super cozy fleece zip-up + vest are perfect for these cooler temps…. My toss-on-and-go logo hoodie…. workout hoodie that I’ve had since last season…. pearl beaded sweatshirt…. sequin top (featured here) perfect for NY!….floral embroidered hoodie (perfect four lounging)…. fringed pullover…. olive lace-up sweatshirt (which comes in several color options)… and this gray shoulder button sweater….

I also love these earrings and this beaded bracelet… both great options if you have fun NY plans….

I also have this crop utility jacket in my cart, as well as these booties….

SHOPBOP is having a great sale as well…. with code JOY25 you can take an extra 25% off sale items. I love this shoulder tie sweater and so many BB Dakota pieces are on sale (love their price point and on trend clothing items….), and lots of Free People items on sale too.

My favorite faux fur bag from Free People is on major sale (bought it in gray for my sister…)… 40% will be taken off at check-out making it $29.

12.22.2017

Merry Christmas || Family Photos + Traditions

When I think about the holidays one word constantly comes to mind: traditions. When I worked with families on creating a more unified system, I often chatted with them about the importance of traditions. Traditions are like the glue that holds a family together (amongst a few other things….)… those memories you reflect on (typically when you get older) and say “I remember when….” with fondness. I have those memories from my childhood, and many of them we’ve carried over into our own little family system. And, as Harper get older, I look forward to creating some of our very own, in the hopes that she can begin to have that same excitement around the holidays that I grew up having. So, today, in the spirit of the Christmas weekend ahead of us, I thought I would share with you some of our traditions….

We watch “A Christmas Carol” at some point during the holiday weekend. For me, personally, this movie embodies what the spirit of Christmas truly is…. 

A delicious Christmas morning breakfast….. usually these cinnamon rolls, oatmeal bake, an egg dish, and hot coco and baileys (of course, that was introduced in our older years….). When we were younger, my sister, mom, and I would roll out the cinnamon rolls and assemble them on Christmas Eve night…

We open one gift on Christmas Eve. I have countless memories of this growing up….  

We all get Lottery Scratchers in our stockings from my parents (some holidays we were pleasantly surprised….)

A more recent tradition is that we host Christmas Eve…. and have chicken pot pies + champagne….

After opening gifts, and eating our breakfast, we go for a long family walk before we head out to celebrate with family….

As Harper gets older I can’t wait to establish even more for this special weekend.

I hope you all have a wonderful time celebrating with those you love…. and I thank you so much for all the support you have given to me over this past year. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to wake up and do what I love each and every day! Cheers to a wonderful weekend ahead! xx
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(Outfit Details || Jacket | Sweater | Leggings | Boots | Beanie | TJ’s Jacket | TJ’s Beanie | Harper’s Jacket | Harper’s Jeans | Beanie | Boots)