Monday, August 31, 2015

Weekend Ruminations: August 28 - 29

Back to Monday with a 3 day weekend just 5 days away!  I am looking forward to a house full of friends for a girl's weekend!

This weekend we ran some errands, tested our trivia knowledge and prepped for our guests!

Saturday had a lazy start which lead to a shopping trip with Brandon to get him prepped for hunting season.  While I try to squeeze every last ounce out of the summer, Brandon feels that October can't get here soon enough.  We walked around Bass Pro Shop for a few hours and worked up an appetite for Buffalo Wild Wings where we learned how bad we both are at the music trivia game.

 I spent Sunday cleaning and working on some projects the busy work weeks have had me putting off.  I attempted made some "ready to bake" lasagnas to have on hand for the holiday weekend and have my fingers crossed that they turn out edible right! 

And as I cleaned up around the backyard I stumbled upon the pile where the lawn and tree clippings have been stashed.  This is also where last years pumpkin remains that ended up and I was surprised to see we had our very own pumpkin patch!  The worst part is if I had tried my hardest to grow them, it would have been a disaster! 

Now I am dreaming of pumpkin spice lattes and jack-o-lanterns!  Happy Monday!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekend Ruminations; August 21-23

This Monday started off with a hot cup of coffee and a mini cinnamon roll, so far so good!  We had a great weekend over here with friends and family, and the tiny deliciousness helped cure the Monday blues!

Saturday we hosted the baby shower my friend's sister and I have been planning.  It wasn’t a normal shower, since the baby is already here... more of a sip n’ show (is that a thing?!).  Whatever you call it we had a great time swooning over Baby Hazel!  And keeping with the party theme, she was even dressed as the cutest little pineapple complete with a headband leaf!

The Cake Push-Pops were definitely a hit!

Sunday was spent catching up on girl talk with my sister and my brother’s girlfriend.  We went to the Mermaid Winery.  If you are in the Norfolk area you must try this cute little spot.  You can try different flights, or stick to your favorites.

Now it’s time to power through these last few weeks of summer in the office dreaming of cool weather, and even cuter clothes!

Friday, August 21, 2015


This is my favorite cup…

But no really, we are a pretty outdoorsy.  Brandon’s degree is in Parks & Recreation and he is an outdoorsmen through and through.  He is in the tree stand all hunting season and on the golf course all summer! 
With our anniversary coming up, I have been on the hunt to find him something he will love.  He is a hard one to shop for, mainly because I have no idea what the perfect golf club looks like or what hunting equipment he’ll need for the season so I was excited to see Oakley’s line of sunglasses with the new Prizm RX lenses are now available to order.

These lenses will be just what he needs to help his golf game on these sunny fall days ahead.  The goal Oakley had when creating these lenses was to enhance athletic performance by creating a lens that will optimize the light and meet each environments unique demands on vision.  And while they will never help my ability to even get the ball successfully off the tee, the unrivaled lens technology is fine-tuned for specific sports use, be it golf, hunting, fishing and more.
The line became available for pre-order on August 17th and will be available in Oakley’s full catalog of frames.  You can find out more about the lens design and get your pre-order at Salt City Optics. Be sure to check out their full selection of prescription sunglasses too!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

What's In My Bag - Beach Bag

The end of summer may be fast approching but I am clinging on to hot days in the for dear life!  In the south we get to enjoy this warm weather so I am leaving my beach bag packed for a day trip to the beach or pool.  Here is what I have packed in my bag this season: 

2. Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration SPF 30: This is now on my “must have for summer list”.  Along with my blue eyes and freckles, I also inherited my dad’s Irish skin.  Spray lotion has been my arch nemesis and has left me with some awkward splotches.  I discovered this amazingness this summer and spent four  days in the Outer Banks without the need for aloe!  I put this stuff on right after the shower on a day I know I will be outside. It goes on like regular body lotion.  I throw it in my bag to reapply while I am in the sun.

3. Rainbow Flip Flops: Growing up in Virginia Beach flip flops are the main staple to your wardrobe.  Falls in Blacksburg didn’t stop me from wearing flip flops with my sweatshirt around campus. And to this day, they are my favorite go-to shoes.  Of all the brands around, I can’t say enough great things about Rainbows!

4. Cup: Because hydration is key!

5. Xhilaration Bathing Suit: Grabbed this great piece up from Target this season.  The top fits great, and be sure to shop the link because the back of this one is a must-see!

6. Stripe Throw Blanket: Found this great piece at Target and not only is it perfect to spread out on the beach or pool deck, but come fall it will be perfect blanket to wrap up in around a bonfire.  Shop smarter, not harder, right?!

Hope you ladies are enjoying these last days of summer while you dream of Pumpkin Spice and scarves!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Weekend Wear - Summer Dress

The best piece in a summer wardrobe is the simple summer dress.  The piece you can wear to all occasions, from lawn parties to dinner dates.  That can be squished in your carry-on for a quick weekend away.  And that leaves you feeling your best when you wear it.

This coral dress fits the bill.  It can so easily be dressed up or down and can change looks with a different belt or statement piece.  It even looks great with flats or wedges (and I am obsessed with these wedges, so this look is often on repeat!)

Dress: the Loft | Wedges: Target

This will be my go to for a weekend birthday party for my brother.  A pool side cook out is what the birthday boy has requested, and I am definitely looking forward to some family time in the sun!

What is your best summer wardrobe piece?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Casual Date Night Look

I love that the chambray shirt trend is still going strong.  The look of a great chambray top with white pants is my idea of a perfect summer look (well let's be honest, anything with a great pair of white pants is perfect)!

We had cooler weather this weekend and this outfit was just what a casual date night called for.

Shop the Look 
We recently joined the Country Club here in our little town.  It has golf for Brandon, the pool for me and a restaurant for weekend dinner dates for us!  

It's a small little spot, tucked in the woods but finding these little new to us places has been the best past of moving out to the country.

What is your idea of a great date?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Scrawny Girl's Review of the 21 Day Fix

 We did it!  Brandon and I finished 21 days following the workout and healthy eating plan 21 Day Fix,  created by Autumn Cablarese. 

I started this plan, and dragged Brandon along with me, after realizing I wasn’t eating as great as I should and I didn’t seem to have the energy I needed to get through the day.  I have a degree in Exercise and Health Promotion and am a certified personal trainer but couldn’t seem to create (and stick) with a plan that was working for me.  

I knew it would be crucial to get Brandon on board with the plan because we make dinner and snacks together, so it was going to be a group effort.  He was in as soon as I brought up the plan, so it was a go!
I contacted my sweet friend Denise who has become a Beachbody Coach to get us set-up.  We did a little research on meal ideas and best practices from other 21 day fixers.  We did a big shopping trip to prep our kitchen for healthy meals and waited for our kit to arrive.

The package includes a book with easy to follow instructions on making the most of the 21 days, containers to measure out your food with, and work out DVDs.

We jumped in on a Thursday and got started! 

I was not in this plan for any weight loss, but needed to eat healthier and get in shape.  Brandon was more interested in eating healthier and learning some ideas to keep him eating healthy at the fire house.  He already works out daily but was interested in some new exercise ideas.

Now, our thoughts…

We loved it!  The workouts were tough but do-able.  I made it a priority to get up a bit earlier and get my 30 minute workouts in before starting my day.  They are some of the best workout dvds I have followed and loved the exercises included.  Each day of the week was different which kept it interesting.  I was mostly interested in starting a new plan for workouts to help me tone and gain strength and these did not disappoint.

The eating plan was easy to follow but did require some preparation.  My background in nutrition was a big help when we were away from the house but the information included with the package is well explained and easy to follow.  Each night we would plan out our meals for the next day which made the day go smoother, and I found the meal prepping to be a huge help on busy days at work where I normally would either eat junk, or not at all!  Having a packed lunch bag prepared for the day with good (and good-for-me) food made meal time stress free.

I made little notecards with our eating plans (the container “system”) to keep track on our meals and snacks for the day.  They made planning easier and I could send with Brandon to the fire house so he had a quick reference.
I went away to the Outer Banks with family while on the plan, but found it was easy to stay on track.  I woke up early to get my workouts in before plans for the day were made, I packed healthy snacks for the beach, and measured out my portions at dinner.  Other than drooling over the double stuffed oreos that were getting passed around during game night, I was able to make it through without cheating on our plan!

We say it was a success!  Brandon lost 16 pounds and is feeling great!  I have definitely toned up and the increased energy and strength leaves us both loving the 21 Day Fix! 

Have any questions on how we made it work for us?  Let me know!  (But we aren’t beachbody “coaches”, so if you are interested in signing up head to the website to get strated)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Weekend Ruminations | August 8 & 9

Another perfect weather weekend for the books.  Well a perfect Saturday and Sunday, Friday came with a much needed rain storm!

Saturday started off on the right foot with an early morning workout and some book reading over coffee.  Then it was off to run errands all over town but ended with the most delicious dinner date at our local Country Club.  It was our first dinner there and we already can’t wait to go back.  And with a walk around the pool and golf course grounds before dinner, this place is really becoming a little slice of heaven so close to home.

Sunday morning after church and brunch, it was back to the club for a round of golf for Brandon and his buddy and pool time for me.  I finished by girly beach-read book and caught up on my favorite magazines.

Back at home Brandon was craving something sweet so he found a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that is “21 day fix approved” (We decided to give the plan another go after great results from our first 21 days).  Pumpkin spice seemed a bit odd to use on a hot summer day but I was all for some chocolate chips!  The cookies tasted a bit like pumpkin pie, and I may appreciate them a bit more in cooler temperatures, but overall a yummy Sunday night treat.  Check out the recipe here!

Now it’s back to Monday and we are ready to take this week by storm!   Happy Monday ladies!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Pretty pink packaging

I am not only a sucker from pretty packages, but for great products to add to my beauty routine.
I recently added some new products to my makeup collection.  Yves Saint Laurent has introduced their Touche Eclat Blur Perfectors line and they are a perfect go-tos for a flawless summer look.

Yesterday morning I tried out the new products and it started off my hump day on the right foot.

Starting with a fresh clean face, I applied the Touche Eclat Blur Primer with the unique applicator.  It is clear with a subtle sparkle (that does not make you look like you walked out of a princess party) and felt so clean going on.
I could already see a difference in the look of my skin with just the primer.  I had a more even complexion and was loving it.

The Touche Eclat Blur Perfector was an interesting consistency.  It started out as a balm but felt more like a powder once it was on my skin.  Yves Saint Laurent discusses the 3 ways to use the Perfector online and I choose to put it on as my last beauty step to set my make-up.  It comes with a sponge for application, but I found a brush worked best for me to apply.  It added a simple matte look that created a clean summer look.

I am overall thrilled with the Touche Eclat products and definitely recommend trying out this great line.  The simple summer face is great for pool side parties or beach side porch dinners.

I was graciously received these products through Influenster for review.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Weekend Ruminations

A quick follow-up on a great weekend that lead into a busy work-week.

A late Friday night at our work concert series was followed by an early morning wake up for Brandon and I so we could head over to my sister and brother-in-laws to watch our nephews.  Our two favorite little guys were so well behaved even with our "no electronics rule" (I know... cruel and unusual punishment).  It was a beautiful day outside so we took full advantage with a bike ride to the park, a run through the sprinklers and ended our adventure in babysitting with a game of uno!

We rewarded ourselves for returning both boys in one piece with an early dinner date to the best all-you-can-eat sushi spot in the area.  We stuffed ourselves and top it off with desert.
{Kagura Japanese Restaurant in Chesapeake, Virginia}

Saturday night we headed to a friends to watch the UFC fight.  We watched a long night of fights to see the 34 second final battle.

Sunday afternoon we headed to the golf course to hit a few balls on the driving range.  I spent a lot of time filling in my divet marks and correcting my form (ha... what form?!).

I don't see myself hitting the course with Brandon anytime soon, but it was a fun way to get out outside for a few hours.

Hope you all are having a great week!