Coffee Date

Hey guys! Can you believe that our last coffee date was in August?  I had planned to make it a monthly thing but completely spaced it.  Since we are obviously due, grab some coffee or tea and let’s catch up!

If we were having coffee I would probably order hot coffee.  I am very seasonal about my coffee, if the weather is warm I am all about the iced.  When it is cold (or you know, under 70), I am all about the hot coffee.  Recently the early mornings have been cool enough for me to enjoy my coffee hot.  If we were both in Tucson, I’d probably see if you wanted to grab a donut to go with our coffees as well.  I have not been to Amy’s Donuts since this past summer, but their Elvis donut is calling my name.

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I would want to hear all about your upcoming holiday plans.  Do you have a long weekend coming up?  If so, are you going anywhere?  What are you doing for Thanksgiving?  I am super excited to be going to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Oregon in a few days,  I have missed them tons!  I am also excited about some fall weather and rain.  While it is cooling off in Tucson, it is still pretty warm and it has been pretty dry the last couple of months.

We are taking a break from hosting Thanksgiving this year, which as it turns out, means we will be having two Thanksgivings!  I really love Thanksgiving.  To me, it is totally a holiday for hanging out with family and enjoying some of the best comfort foods.  Also, the traditional Thanksgiving dinner is an all-time favorite of mine.  I am so excited for stuffing, sweet potatoes and green beans (I like turkey too, but I am all about the Thanksgiving sides).  I am also all about the pecan pie, which I try to limit to just Thanksgiving because it is a serious calorie bomb.  If you know of a lighter pecan pie recipe that is awesome, please let this girl know.

I’d probably tell you about my favorite little girl’s birthday plans.  She will be two this month (slow down time) and when I asked what she wanted to do for her birthday, her response was “cake.”  The hubs and I were having a hard time deciding what to do for her birthday but ultimately decided to have a series of small activities and gatherings so she could be celebrated all week and get to enjoy more one on one time with family, rather than having a big party.  I am super excited to celebrate my baby girl’s big day and am thinking that I need to be careful with how much cake is going to be around.

I’d love to hear how you and yours are doing. How’s work? How are the kids? The fur babies?

We are all good and keeping busy over here.  I have been studying for my Group Instructor certification and it has been fun (I miss school now that it’s not a regular part of my life) but it is a real challenge to find time to study.  It is part of my continuing education for my personal trainer certification and I am so glad that started early so I can take my time a little.

I will leave you with this beautiful sunrise I stumbled out into the other day.  I left my house at just the right time and was treated to such a beautiful display.  I just love this time of year.

Your turn!  Tell me something that is going on in your life.  What’s your favorite holiday?  What are you looking forward to or working on?

Hope you have a great day!

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Stitch Fix Review

Happy Tuesday!  While it is only just starting to cool off here in Arizona, I have some cooler weather travel coming up and have been in the mood for some fall fashion recently.  I have also been cleaning out closets and have come to the realization that my wardrobe is in desperate need of a little fall upgrade.  With pregnancies over the last few years and being on a tighter budget while the hubs was in school, I had done pretty minimal shopping and a lot of my regular rotation pieces were looking a little worn out.  So I decided to treat myself to a box from Stitch Fix last week and could not be happier with it!

It had been a couple of years since I had last ordered one and I had forgotten how much I love getting a box of curated goodies.  I feel like they always send me pieces I would not have considered on my own, that end up being favorite clothing items.

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With this box, I was super specific about what I wanted.  I specified that I needed jeans or leggings that would look good with booties for the fall.  I also mentioned that I wanted a go with everything cardigan and other pieces that mix and match well.  I also specified no dry clean only items (no time for that) and that I wanted to keep the total price point for all items under $200.  If you have a specific budget you are working in, I would really suggest letting them know.

Now, let’s take a look at the Fix:

These two items were my absolute favorites.  This top is beautiful, and a nice silky material.  It will look great under cardigans this fall, and on its own in the spring.  I tend to wear a lot of dark, solid colors in the fall and winter.  I feel like this will be a nice, feminine touch to compliment my go-to dark sweaters and jeans.

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These jeans look like a fitted pair of dark wash skinny jeans but actually have an elastic waist. I’ll be honest, when I first opened this box, that was a bit of a turnoff.  It kind of reminded me of the waist of maternity jeans.  But when I tried them on, I was in love.  These pants look just like jeans but have enough stretch to feel like I am wearing leggings.  I jokingly told the hubs that these would be my Thanksgiving pants as I tried them on.

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I also loved this flannel top.  It is a super light and silky fabric that could easily be dressed up or down.  I see this being a favorite to wear to work this fall.

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My fix also included a pair of high waist black leggings and a black cardigan, both of which are super comfortable, staple items that I am sure will get lots of wear.  They were less exciting items for me, mainly because I usually go pretty cheap for those kinds of items (nothing wrong with Target leggings).  They were worth keeping though because, with the discount Stitch Fix offers for keeping all five items, it was only $12.00 more to keep them, which is a steal!

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All in all, I think my stylist, Jen,  did an amazing job!  I loved the items in this box and the total for all five items came in at just under $190.00 (including tax) with the discount for keeping all five items (if you are new to Stitch Fix, you get 25% off the Fix if you keep all five items).

This post is not sponsored, but I am a Stitch Fix affiliate, which means I can earn a small amount if you choose to place an order or make a purchase using links I provide.  I only share brands and products I am a fan of and always appreciate your support.

Want to try Stitch Fix for yourself? Click here-> Now you can have your own personal stylist!

Have you tried Stitch Fix before?  Are you more of an online or in-store shopper?  I have never been a huge shopper, so I love finding stuff online.  Also, now with the kids, it just tends to be easier.

Hope you have a great day!

 

 

Weekend Recap – Fall Festivals and rolling with the punches

Hey friends!  How are you today?  What did you do this weekend?  It was a weekend of highs and just a couple of lows over here.  We started strong, having a blast Friday night, had a great relaxed day on Saturday, some mishaps on Sunday, but rallied for a nice, quiet evening and end of the weekend.

Friday I picked the babes up from school and we headed to a friend’s house to play for a bit, before all heading to a Fall festival.  It was such a fun event.  They had a jumping castle, petting zoo, delicious chili and ice cream.  We had a great time playing and catching up with friends.  The little miss was not comfortable with the animals, so she mainly stuck to the jumping castle and ice cream eating.  My dude loved the animals though! It was pretty difficult to get him away at the end, and it was all he talked about the whole way home.

 

Saturday morning started with the usual teaching and baby classes, then the rest of the day was spent cleaning, catching up on chores and relaxing with the babies.  It was a day we needed, the last few weeks have been go go go and it was nice to have a little catch-up time.  I also got to spend a little one on one time in the kitchen with my dude while the little miss napped.   We made a batch of his favorite almond butter balls, made with both cranberries and chocolate chips because he felt they needed “more things in them.”  They were gone this weekend.  If you want to give them a try, the recipe is here.  They are a family favorite I find myself making again and again.  Literally, as I was typing up this post, my dude came up, saw the picture and asked if we could make more.

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Sunday morning started at 6:00am, with this little guy trying to break into the bathroom while I was brushing my teeth.  I had done to bed fairly early on Saturday night and was planning to get up early to work. Instead, I slept until almost 6:00 and was pretty much immediately joined by my littles.

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I then went to an early Orangetheory class, which was excellent.  It was a power day, which are my favorite.  I had taken a week off from Orangetheory after Hell Week, which I think was a good call, I felt energized and motivated in class.  After class, the plan was to run some errands as a family and bust through some chores.  I had wanted to get everything done early so we could kick back and have a leisurely dinner/hangout time in the afternoon and evening.  Things kinda went as planned, but were a bit rocky.  The first mishap, the little miss getting sick and puking all over in the car.  The poor little thing rarely gets sick and was so upset.  It was also pretty gross.  Fortunately, after a bath, she was feeling much better, so at least it was short lived.  The second mishap was some phone and computer issues on my end.  My computer is old and starting to get cranky about things.  Also for some reason, my phone no longer wants to send photos.  Anyone know what might cause that with iPhone?

We still managed to get everything done and get to our nice, relaxing evening, so I can’t really complain, it just wasn’t the path for the day that I would have chosen and took a bit longer than anticipated.  One silver lining moment while running errands, finding Rx Bars on sale for .99!  I was pretty excited to stock up on my favorite bars.

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The evening ended with a delicious hubs cooked meal.  This is a recycled photo since I was having some technical difficulties yesterday, but basically, we had the same meal shredded pork tenderloin, garlicky broccoli rabe, but we had asparagus instead of green beans.  The hubs actually makes a really good sandwich out of the pork and broccoli rabe (adding provolone), but I was more in the mood for a plate of food, rather than a sandwich.

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How was your weekend?  Any fun adventures?  How do you handle changes or challenges to your plans?  I like to think I can be pretty flexible, but I definitely get anxious and stressed when things go a little haywire like yesterday.  Fortunately, the hubs is about as mellow as they come and is quick to start fixing/cleaning/whatever needs to be done when things get a little wonky.

Hope you have a great day.

Friday Favorites

This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure here.  Thank you for your support!

Happy Friday! How has your week been? Are you all ready for the weekend?  I am a little in shock that it is November already.  I feel like this year has just blown by.  This week also blew by, Halloween was a blast and then we have had a lot going on at work, so it has been busy.

In usual fashion, let’s talk favorites from the week.  Lots of foodie faves this week.  We enjoyed a couple of Blue Aprons, which were delicious, I especially liked the chicken with hot honey.  The hot honey was just honey with crushed red pepper mixed in, but it added so much flavor to the dish.  I will definitely be making this again in the future.


Halloween was also a day of lots of food, candy, and fun.  The kids had a parade a school, which was just adorable and so fun to get to attend.  They were just so cute and excited to line up in their costumes.  Then in the evening we had pizza, and trick or treated.  How cute is this pumpkin pizza the hubs picked up?  I didn’t dress up, did use Halloween as a reason to rock my sugar skull flats.

On the workout front, it was a pretty mild week, partially because it was a busy week and partially because I needed a little extra rest after Hell well.  I did get in some shorter yoga sessions though, a couple cardio sessions and a swim.  The swim I was most excited about.  I hadn’t swum laps in probably around a year and really enjoyed it. I was on swim teams while growing up and find swimming laps to be the perfect thing to calm my mind,  it’s also a great workout!


I tried out this face mask earlier in the week and love it!  It is warming and left my skin moisturized and feeling awesome.  It’s on the pricey side so I will be keeping an eye out for when it goes on sale.

I am also still loving my goodies from Influenster, that I talked about on Tuesday, my nails are still glowing in the dark almost a week later.

Around the web:

I loved Katie’s Mistakes to avoid for new runners

I love Thanksgiving and can’t wait to try out some of these recipes.

This article about career journaling was interesting and looks like a great way to really get focused on your goals.

Lots of feels while reading Susie’s post on Dealing with Negative Pregnancy Body Image.

This weekend I am looking forward to a fairly quiet weekend before we dive headfirst into the hustle and bustle of the season.  I am hoping to get some good workouts in and get some healthy eats in after what has been a very indulgent week. If you are also looking for something light and healthy to eat after Halloween, may I suggest my Jerk shrimp lettuce wraps with plantains?

What are your plans for the weekend?  Tell me about one of your highlights from the week.

Hope you have an awesome weekend, I will see ya Monday!

DIY Beauty: Tea Tree Toner

This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure here.  Thank you for your support!

Happy Friday Eve!  How are you doing today?  How was your Halloween?  We had a good one over here.  I am glad I was able to write yesterday’s post in advance because it was a whirlwind of activity from the time I got off work until bed.  I picked up the kids and we enjoyed a pizza dinner with my mom before heading out trick or treating (thanks mom for passing out candy to our trick or treaters while we were out).  We just did one street with the babies (that was plenty for them), then brought them home, tucked them in and spent the rest of the night passing out candy.

Wednesday was a pretty normal day, except for the sugar hangover I had from all the Halloween candy, I definitely overindulged a little.

Today I wanted to share something a little different.  As I have gotten older, I have become more and more conscious of what is in the products I use, particularly skin care products.  I have made a few varieties of toners, body scrubs and chapsticks from all natural ingredients, and have really loved the results.  Recently, I have been getting a bit of acne and my skin has been feeling a little dry.  So I whipped up this tea tree toner to spritz or wipe over my face.  It has been so nice and refreshing, and I love that I know exactly what is in it.  It is also super easy to make!

 

Tea Tree Toner

Need:

Fill a spray bottle about 3/4 full of water.  Add vegetable glycerin, tea tree oil and Vitamin E oil (if using).  Shake well before using.  Can be used to lightly mist the face, or spray on a cotton ball and wipe over the face.

Why Tea Tree Oil  (Source: Mayoclinic.org), Tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial that can be useful in treating acne.

Why vegetable glycerin (Source: Healthyfocus.org) It helps to moisturize the skin and draw oxygen in, which can contribute to younger looking skin.

Let me know if you give it a try.   Do you make any of your own skin care products?  What are your go-to skincare brands/products?

Hope you have a great day!

Jerk shrimp lettuce wraps with plantains

This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure here.  Thank you for your support!

Hey Friends, happy hump day.  How was your Halloween?  I am writing this post in advance because I knew I would not get a chance to sit down to write with all the Halloween festivities last night.

When I have had a couple of days of more indulgent eating, I always start to crave something healthy and on the lighter side.  These Jerk shrimp lettuce wraps and plantains make for a perfect healthy meal.  Flavorful, packed full of fruits and veggies, and with a fun little kick from the jerk seasoning.  Bonus, this can easily be a single pan meal.  I usually cook my plantains, then stick them in the microwave or oven to keep warm while I cook my shrimp in the same pan.

Jerk Shrimp Lettuce Wraps with Plantains (Serves 2-3)

Ingredients:

For plantains:

  • 1 plantain
  • 1-2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper

For Shrimp Lettuce Wraps:

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and tails removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Jerk seasoning
  • Shredded red cabbage
  • Butter lettuce
  • Mango salsa*

Directions: Separate lettuce leaves, wash and let dry.  Peel, then slice plantain into about 1/4 inch slices.  Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.  Season plantains with salt and pepper and cook in a single layer.  Cook for 1-2 minutes per side, or until a light golden brown.  Once cooked, place on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Toss shrimp in jerk seasoning.  Saute in one tablespoon olive oil on medium heat until shrimp are pink, about 5-7 minutes.

To assemble, put a small about of red cabbage in a lettuce leaf, add 2-3 shrimp and top with mango salsa.  I have included a simple recipe for mango salsa below, but feel free to use store-bought to save time.

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**Bonus serving idea:  Try sprinkling some crushed peanuts on top.  I did this some leftover wraps and it was delicious!

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Mango salsa: 1 mango, 1/4 chopped cilantro, 1/4 bell pepper, juice of half a lemon, juice of half a lime.  Dice mango and bell pepper, combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Chill and serve.

Let me know if you give them a try.

 

 

 

Happy Halloween + Vox Box review 

Happy Halloween!!!!! I am so excited for candy, fun and cute baby costumes today.   An added Halloween bonus, it is actually feeling a bit fall-ish, we had some clouds last night and a little chill in the air.

How was your Monday?  I woke up with some sore leggies.  I felt great after Orangetheory on Sunday, but apparently, all those squats and burpees had caught up with me by Monday.  I took it pretty easy and did some gentle yoga, which helped a bit.

Last week I received a box of goodies from my friends over at Influenster.   These products were provided free for me to test out.

As I have shared before, I love fun mail and trying out new things, so I was pretty excited to see what they had in store for me.


The first items I barely got to try before the kids gobbled them up.  I have actually had these Welch’s fruit rolls before.  They are tasty and make me feel very nostalgic for my elementary school days and having these kinds of treats at recess.  The babies were huge fans of all three flavors.

I was super excited about this nail polish, particularly right before Halloween, because it glows in the dark.  I really wanted to snag a picture of the glow, but couldn’t really capture it.  It does work though and even three days post manicure still has a noticeable glow in a dark room.  It also goes on pretty clear so it would make a great top coat with a little built-in after dark flair.


I was also pretty excited to see a sampler of Numi tea in the box.  While coffee is always how I like to start my day, I tend to drink more tea later in the day, especially as the weather cools.  I drink Numi’s Gunpowder Green tea pretty regularly and am loving trying out some of their other varieties.

There were also some fun beauty and skin care goodies that I am looking forward to trying out.  I was especially excited about the fake lashes.  I rarely have the opportunity to get super dolled up these days, but love the look of lashes for a big night out or event.  I am hoping that I can find an excuse to get dressed up and rock them soon.

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I am also pretty excited to try out this cleanser, I love that it is free from sulfates, alcohol, and fragrance.  I have fairly sensitive skin, so it is always nice to come across gentle and affordable products.

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So friends, what are you doing for Halloween?  Do you dress up?  What is your favorite Halloween candy?  I have always been partial to Almond Joys, but I think the fun size Reese’s cups are probably my favorite.  They have the perfect chocolate to peanut butter ratio.

Hope you all have a wonderful day and holiday!