Let’s have coffee…

Let’s have coffee… shall we?  Grab a cup of joe (or tea or water or whatever strikes your fancy), sit down, and we can catch up about our weekend happenings.  Coffee was the theme of the weekend, it seemed, and my little guy even wanted to get in on the action!  He kept grabbing momma’s cup, saying, “Coffee!”

drink coffee march16

I let him pretend without actually tasting the good stuff!  He’s got to wait quite a bit longer for the real thing.

My spring break began on Friday.  I kicked it off with hosting a play date with my co-workers and their babes in the morning.  William and I hung out the rest of the day before going to visit his best bud, Wolfie, for dinner on Friday evening.

wolfie mar16

They were both holding Shabbat candles and we were singing Shabbat Shalom which is why William was so excited every time we said, “Hey!”

Saturday began with a coffee date with William at Starbucks.  I enjoyed a mocha, while William had a blueberry muffin and water.

starbucks

Cutest little Starbucks date ever.

Later on Saturday, I went to check out the True Runner Spring Gear-Up event.  I’d never been in the store before, but was impressed at the great selection of shoes and apparel.  I actually ended up buying a pair of CALIA (Carrie Underwood) capris that are just gorgeous!  And of course I had to take part in the #WhyIRun photobooth fun.

whyirun

Yeah, I run for my sanity, yet haven’t been running lately… So, maybe that’s why I’ve been feeling a little cray?  (Oy, did I just say cray?!)  Actually, I am hoping to get in a couple of runs this week during my spring break!

William and I went to my grandparents’ house on Saturday night.  Whenever I mention Mama and Papa, William immediately starts talking about pool and hitting the balls in the pocket.  First, he takes out the mini pool table, but eventually goes into the pool room to stand on a bench and reach the big pool table.

mama papa pool mar16

He’s seriously such a coordinated toddler!  It won’t be long before Papa puts a golf club in his hands!  Mama had William talking up a storm the whole night.  We were laughing because some of his language is still indecipherable, so after a long sentence / paragraph of him talking, we can catch the last few words.  Like I said before, his speech is exploding and he’s able to say more and more everyday!

linking up with katie and erin for my marvelous weekend snapshots

I received a MASSIVE delivery recently from Influenster.  Influenster is a community where you review products, take surveys, and provide feedback.  They send you surveys to see if you’re eligible for certain campaigns, and if you are, you get sent whatever box it is.  Then, you’re asked to complete a survey about the product.  You can work to earn a “badge” by completing different tasks, as many or as few as you’d like.  Typical tasks include sharing on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest.  Sometimes tasks involve writing a review on a certain website, blogging, or vlogging.  Like I said, they’re all optional, so no pressure.  And the best part? Anyone can sign up! Not just bloggers! I’ve had several of my friends sign up.  (Sign up HERE if you’d like! It is a referral link and I get “points” for people joining.)  So the best box I’ve ever gotten from Influenster? THIS:

keurig influenster

Seriously, how amazing?!  I am so excited to be able to make coffee at home now, and the flavors they sent are awesome, too!  There is a breakfast blend, dark magic, and caramel vanilla creme.  They also sent a “My K-cup,” so I can use regular ground coffee if I run out of K-cups.  Totally stoked and definitely the best box I’ve received from Influenster!

Speaking of coffee, Sunday morning started with some coffee, as well.  (Check out the first picture in this post.)  We met my grandpa Poppy out for breakfast!  Some of my earliest memories with Poppy are of him taking me and my siblings out to breakfast at a local deli, so taking William out to breakfast with him was just as fun as I remembered when I was younger.

poppy march16

Everyone is SO happy!!!  I love cooking breakfast daily, but there is something extra special about going out to breakfast, especially with your baby and his great-grandpa and cousins!

As you may know, Sunday was the first official day of spring.  St. Louis welcomed spring by SNOWING!

snow march16

Boo, snow.  Luckily, it didn’t stick and we should have warmer temperatures later this week.  Let’s hope… I want to get out there and run!

Are you a coffee drinker? Do you go out or make it at home?

Thursday Thoughts

Hi! It’ll be short and sweet today with just a few random things for Thursday Thoughts. I don’t want to jinx myself, but I might, I just might be blogging all five days this week!  (That’s an accomplishment as of late.) Today was iffy, but I decided to bust out this post last night.

William and I went with my best friend Diana to this outdoor Sukkot service last night, hence the reason I wasn’t sure if I’d get to blog for today or not.  There was good music, great weather, and tasty food from food trucks!  I wanted a picture of me and William, but since it was dark we needed the flash, and the little baby couldn’t keep his eyes open for it.  We tried several times and this is the best we got:

sukkot

Eyes open or closed, always a cutie!  Babywearing for the win, once again!

Earlier in the evening, I took William out and put him on the ground to let him kick around for a little while I ate my dinner.  I spread out my Monkey Mat and put a blanket on top since it was cool out, and it was just perfect for William!

monkey mat baby

I actually reviewed Monkey Mat over two years ago through a FitFluential campaign.  I took it on a family vacation to Mexico and it was great to spread out on the beach.  Each corner is weighted, so it stays put.  It is even more perfect for a baby because it folds up so small to throw in the diaper bag.  Babies require a ton of stuff, so anything that’s a space saver is helpful!

Through my partnership with Influenster, I received a great package from Victoria’s Secret.  They sent me a pair of the Knockout Tights and the Incredible Sport Bra:

victoria secret sport

  • Knockout Tights: LOVE LOVE LOVE these! They are from their sport line, but I’ve been wearing them as leggings.  They’re thick enough where I don’t have to wear a long shirt to cover my bum.  I’ve taken walks in them (the extent of my workouts these days), and they definitely stay in place.  Even though they’re supposed to be fitness pants, I’ve really been digging them more as a fashion piece.  Leggings are the most comfortable things ever, so I’ve been wearing these a lot lately.  They’re going to get a lot more use, too, since itz boot weather now!
  • Incredible Sport Bra: I was way off with my size, so I had to take this back to the store and exchange it.  When I was fitted, I was…. shocked….. to hear my size.  I know I’m a nursing momma, but still woah.  And no, I’m not sharing that right now.  Anyway, I’ve never been fitted at VS before, and the lady was SO nice and helpful.  This bra has an adjustable clasp in the back as you can see in the picture.  This is the only feature that I actually don’t love because I think it’s a pain to have to put the bra on over your head and then do the clasp behind your back. When I asked the associate about it, she said it’s because after awhile if the bra stretches out, you can make it tighter for longer wear.  Mine obviously hasn’t stretched out yet since it’s so new, but I guess that makes sense.  I do feel like the bra is incredibly supportive and I picked out the black and gray color though there were many more options.  I felt like this would go with any of my workout tops (and matching your workout gear is definitely important!). 🙂

Last item on the docket today is Water Wipes.  I’ve professed my love for these wipes many times before, but I’ve got to mention them again.  Six months later, and they’re still the only wipes I’ll allow on William’s little bottom.  They’re the purest baby wipe in the world, made up of 99.9% water and 0.1% fruit extract.  Also, they come in regular size packs, but also small packs with ten wipes.  I throw these smaller packs in every bag I own, especially when I don’t want to take a large pack.  I had Audrey help William model with the Water Wipes:

waterwipes

What do you want to share today? Tell me about a new product you’re loving!

five things friday

Hi and happy Friday to each of you!  After having a snow day on Monday, we are ending this week with sixty degree weather.  Thank you, Saint Louis!  I’m certainly not complaining though; I just hope itz here to stay. Anyway, today I’ve got five great topics to share about for Five Things Friday!  Let’s begin.

Workout

pregnant workout

It feels good to workout again!  This picture was actually taken in Mexico; I absolutely LOVE working out while on vacation.  I love checking out new gyms and I love working out with no schedule on my own time.  However, this was my last workout for a couple of weeks because I was sick and needed to let me body heal.  Last Saturday was my first day being truly active again. I went to the gym and participated in a water boot camp class which was awesome!  I swam way more than I had intended on and it was such a good workout. I’m planning on going back tomorrow, as well!  This week I’ve gotten in three treadmill workouts of two or three miles each time.  Itz just walking, but baby itz moving and being active and that feels good!

Blueberry French Toast Bake

blueberry french toast bake

I followed this Blueberry French Toast Bake recipe from Carrots ‘n’ Cake and it turned out delicious!  I made a couple of modifications based on the ingredients I had on hand.  I subbed chia seeds for almonds and dairy milk for almond milk.  It was so easy and I know I’ll be making it again.

Colgate® Optic White™ Toothbrush + Whitening Pen

colgate optic white

I received the Colgate® Optic White™ Toothbrush + Whitening Pen from Influenster and was eager to try as I’m a major fan of pearly whites.  I love whitening my teeth, but a product I used to use was discontinued and I haven’t been able to find one I like since.  My teeth get very sensitive from whitening products, so I have to be careful.  The Colgate whitening pen didn’t make my teeth sensitive at all! Win! Itz so easy, too; you just brush your teeth as you normally would and then click the pen a couple of times. A gel comes out and you spread it along your teeth and it basically dissolves within a couple of minutes.  My teeth felt brighter after just one use.  The toothbrush feels good to use and the pen part slides right in the end for easy storage.

Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars

yasso frozen greek yogurt

Yasso mailed me a coupon to try their frozen Greek yogurt bars.  They have between 80-110 calories and 5-6 grams of protein per bar depending on the flavor.  I picked up a box of their strawberry bars which were fantastic.  They came out with five new indulgent flavors: Mint Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cup, Chocolate Fudge, Dark Chocolate Raspberry, and Sea Salt Caramel. I was totally bummed that my grocery store didn’t carry these, but I will be all over the sea salt caramel and dark chocolate raspberry once they do!  Yasso’s uses only natural ingredients and real Greek yogurt, so the new line is the perfect guilt-free treat or everyday snack.

Blasted Chaos Blog

CATU.jpg

One of my best friend’s Caitlin just started her own blog: Blasted Chaos. Her tagline reads, “Life is more enjoyable among the chaos.”  She’s my most stylish, down-to-earth, hilarious friend, and I definitely think you should check her out!  Caitlin covers topics from food to travels to fashion to beauty to everyday ramblings.  Go show her some love on her new spot in the blogosphere and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Tell me something random for Five Things Friday! What are your weekend plans? My co-workers are throwing us a shower this morning! 

Friday Favorites

Happy happy Friday!  Some Friday Favorites include Zoey in her piggy costume:

zoey pig

Doesn’t she look thrilled?  Itz actually from last year, but itz still cute.  And I had to share it with you because the fourth grade teachers dressed up for Halloween at school as…

halloween school

Pigs in blankets!  Nevermind the fact that the kids just thought we were pigs and we had to explain the blanket part; it was an easy and fun “costume.”  Blurry picture thanks to a dear little darling taking it.  All good.  Oink oink.

I wouldn’t say I’m picky with my coconut oil, itz just that I’ve always bought my jars from Trader Joe’s.  Once, I tasted my friend’s coconut oil who had bought it from Whole Foods and it tasted terribly.  I’m not sure if it had spoiled (can coconut oil get rotten?) or what the deal was, but it was not good.  Hence, I’ve always stuck with what I’ve known and gone the Trader Joe’s route.  However, at the Blend Retreat, we were given a jar of Swanson Certified Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

coconut oil

Even though Blend Retreat was back in May, I just finished up my jar of Trader Joe’s coconut oil.  I must say, Swanson’s jar is just as good!  I’ve been using it in the morning to cook my eggs.  Two thumbs up, Swanson!

I’m not one for fancy makeup.  I love makeup and would totally buy designer brands if cost wasn’t a factor, but let’s be real: it is.  Foundation is one thing that I’m always changing.  I like something that smooths out my face, covers up blemishes, and provides some type of shine control. Normally, I use foundation and powder because I feel like I need powder to attain that matte (not shiny) look.  Rimmel London is a brand I’m familiar with as itz affordable.  I was recently sent their new foundation through Influenster.

Rimmel foundation

Itz liquid mousse foundation and they boast that itz lightweight and controls shine.  I had to pick my shade on the internet which I was a bit nervous about, but somehow I managed to choose correctly and True Ivory is a perfect match for me!  I’m being honest when I say that when this tube runs out, I’ll definitely be spending my own money on another.  I really, really like it.  It does everything I mentioned before: it smooths out my complexion, it hides blemishes, AND it controls shine!  Get this: I have NOT been using powder this past week, and by the end of the day my makeup is still in tact.  LOVE!  Itz actually not yet in stores yet, but will be soon!

Box subscriptions have always struck my fancy.  Whether itz filled with snacks, makeup, nature-friendly products, whatever, I think they’re fun and I think they make for great gifts as they’re unique and they’re the gift that keeps on giving.  I just discovered a brand new box that’s totally different and more awesome than them all.  Itz a box from Quarterly Co which is a company that hand picks experts and personalities to curate boxes in different categories and industries.  The best one is a Fitness Fashion & Trends package created by Bianca Jade of MizzFIT!

mizzfit quarterly

Bianca has an unbeatable formula for promoting better self-confidence, self-esteem and self-love through fashion and fitness, and she wants to share it with you in her Quarterly boxes! You can expect edgy and innovative wellness items in line with MizzFIT’s fitness philosophy: “Style Up 2 Shape Up.” Her packages will inspire and guide you to radiant style and a strong life.

The first box is about to ship and I’ll definitely share what’s inside when it arrives.  Also, I really do think this sounds awesome which is why I paid my own money for it.  This is not something I’m “reviewing” for blog purposes.  Here’s a video from Bianca talking about what’s to come.  There are three themes for her boxes:

  1. Pack your gym bag
  2. Get inspired to sweat
  3. Rejuvenate & restore

YES YES YES!  Seriously I can hardly contain my excitement as Bianca literally has the best style, and if she’s handpicking the goodies (which she is), I’m totally in!

What’s something you’re loving this Friday?

Really Good Dinner Sandwich

Really Good Dinner Sandwich <– riveting title, eh?  Ha!  Today is Wednesday so that means itz WIAW over at the lovely lady Jenn’s Peas & Crayons blog.  Let’s get right to it!

Breakfast:  Raspberry Kefir Protein Smoothie

kefir smoothie

Influenster sent me a coupon to try any Lifeway Kefir product.  I went with the probiotic cultured milk smoothie in the raspberry flavor.  I’ve never had kefir before, but itz good.  Real good.  Imagine the thickest smoothie ever.  Now imagine yogurt that is drinkable.  There is tang and itz creamy and itz awesome.  I really like it if you couldn’t tell.  I combined a cup of it with frozen raspberries, flaxseed, and Designer Whey vanilla protein powder to make an outstanding smoothie.  Itz packed with probiotics in order to support digestive health and immunity.  Lifeway Kefir has a whole line of products.  I’ve only tried this raspberry kefir and itz delish!  Two thumbs up from me.

Lunch: Qdoba Bowl and McAlister’s Salad & Spud

lunch

Yeah… I went out to lunch two days in a row.  That usually happens NEVER, but I was in a workshop for school both days, and the highlight is being allowed to leave for lunch.  We went to Qdoba on Monday and I rolled with a naked burrito with chicken, no rice, double beans (black and pinto), veggies, corn salsa, and a little cheese.  Tuesday’s lunch happened at McAlister’s and itz been awhile since I’ve eaten there!  They have a “pick two” option, so I ordered a chopped salad and a veggie spud.

Snacks:   The Simply Bar and Chobani Flip

simply bar & chobani

I had The Simply Bar leftover from my Blend swag and this was a great snack to take to my workshop.  I do like that itz loaded with protein (10 grams), just 3 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of fiber.  Those are good stats for a snack bar.  Chobani sent me a bunch of their Flips and they are flippin’ delicious!  (See what I did there?  Ha!)  Seriously amazing.  I haven’t had a flavor I don’t like.  This Raspberry Choco Fix reminds me of ice cream from a local spot in St. Louis – Silkies.  It tastes like frozen custard with raspberries and hard chocolate mixed in.  Ridiculous.  Another one of my favorite Flip flavors is Almond Coco Loco.  Mmm.  Itz hard not to moan and groan while you eat them.  They’re that good.

Dinner: Really Good Dinner Sandwich

really good dinner sandwich

Sorry for not being more creative with the name, but “Really Good Dinner Sandwich” is the best way to describe it.  Really.  And sorry I’m not really sorry.  Here’s the deal: toast two pieces of bread.  Spread one wedge of The Laughing Cow Swiss cheese on one piece.  On the other piece, spread spicy guacamole.  Next, load up on spinach, cucumbers, homegrown tomatoes, and a piece or two of turkey bacon.  Cut that beast in half and there ya have a really good dinner sandwich!

What’s your favorite place to go out to lunch?  Mine is First Watch. What would you put in your really good dinner sandwich?  Best flavor of Chobani?

Flashdance, Football, & Bikram

My weekend was filled with Flashdance, football, and a Bikram yoga class.  Well, actually I was avoiding watching football while Jonny stayed put in front of the tv for every.single.game.  Not that I’m complaining or anything; we do our own thing, no big deal, and enjoy the time we do spend together.  I blog.  He watches football.  It works out nicely.  🙂

Our weekend did start out quite lovely on Friday night.  Jonny’s parents had gotten us second-row seats to see Flashdance at Peabody Opera House in St. Louis (thank you!).  Peabody was recently remodeled; I’d never been before as this was my first time, but Jonny and I both noticed how beautiful it was.

flashdance peacbody

As for the musical itself?  AMAZING!!!  I had never even seen the movie Flashdance, so I really had no expectations for the musical.  It absolutely blew my mind.  I adore watching singing and dancing (probably because I can’t do either – at all), and I was in heaven throughout the show.  Plus, all the dancers had incredible bodies.  Their muscles were popping, and each dancer was more ripped than the next.

flashdance

The singing, dancing, and storyline were all phenomenal.  Jonny and I thoroughly enjoyed the show and our time together.  And I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that it made me want to go home and dance or go to the gym and lift weights.  Fit bodies are hot bodies.

Quite the marvelous evening with lots more marvelous after.

Saturday is when the football began.  Itz not that I mind football (Go Rams! Ha!), but I just don’t care to watch it.  That’s all. 🙂  So on Saturday while Jonny was watching football, I prepared dinner in my pajamas and I couldn’t have been happier!

cooking dinner

You know how much I LOVE pajamas, right?  I mean, hello, I got five new pairs for Chanukah!  I live in them.  The pink and orange pj’s are from my sister.  I cooked a spaghetti squash, then made a ground turkey, black bean, onion, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and spices mix to put on top.  All served over a bed of baby kale (to which Jonny informed me that I gave him “too much foliage.”)  It turned out mighty fine, if I do say so myself.

dinner

Healthy dinners don’t have to be hard, people.  I literally cooked it all together and called it a day.  The beans and extra veggies really beefed up the turkey meat, so it made a huge portion.  I used it the next morning in an egg scramble, and will also use it for my lunches this week.  Jonny ate his with a dollop of plain Chobani greek yogurt on top (instead of sour cream, much healthier!)

After dinner Jonny went back to watching football while I did some laundry (four loads to be exact!), and finished cleaning up the kitchen. In between drives or during commercial breaks, I was able to weasel Jonny into taking pictures of me doing these very important tasks.  He was like, “I’m taking pictures of you with the laundry?  Doing dishes?” Yes, dear.

laundry & dishes

Influenster sent me three bottles of Palmolive® Fresh Infusions dish soap to try out, so it made doing the dishes slightly more fun since the soaps really do smell good and I’m a nerd like that. 😉

Other random occurrences that happened throughout the weekend while Jonny was watching football included:

  • 1)  Going to a cooking class with my friend, Angel.  The class itself was not totally stellar since we already knew how to cut and roast veggies.  However, they gave us an apple and a spaghetti squash (which I used for dinner), so it made it a little better.
  • 2)  I cut and cleaned my very first pomegranate.  It was messy, and next time I will try the cold water in a bowl trick.  I love pomegranate seeds.  Tastes like candy!
  • 3)  Conscious Box sent me their all-new vegan box!  Can’t wait to try my goodies.  I’ll share the good stuff with you, and maybe, just maybe, host another giveaway.
  • 4)  Sunday morning Bikram class was followed with downing a bottle of ZICO coconut water.  Coconut water always makes me feel awesome, especially so after super sweaty Bikram classes.

weekend random

This was the first Bikram class I had been to in quite some time.  Itz such a huge time commitment that I have trouble doing it on a regular basis.  The class is ninety minutes, but you have to get there ten minutes in advance.  Plus, drive time to and from, that’s around two hours!  The benefits are immeasurable and I absolutely love how it makes me feel afterwards.  I bought a Groupon for ten classes, so I’m hoping to make Bikram on a regular basis for the next couple of months.

Yesterday’s class was especially challenging since I had not been, but I made it through.  That’s one of the reasons I love Bikram.  Anyone can do it no matter your level of expertise with yoga.  I’m certainly no yogi pro, but because I try the poses, listen to the instructor, try to hold the poses some more, and absorb the energy around me, I am able to succeed during the 90-minutes of 26 poses in a 105 degree room.  I’ll be back next week, Bikram.

Tell me something about Flashdance, football, or Bikram.  Ready?  Go!

VLOG: Cosmo VoxBox

I recently joined Influenster which is “an exclusive online community where tastemakers and trendsetters come to share the latest and greatest news, places, products, and reviews with each other.” (source)  Influenster sent me the Cosmo VoxBox 2012 to review.  I’ve created a short vlog about the goods.

Here are the links to the products:

Cosmo VoxBox

Like I said, the Forever Red was definitely my favorite product from the VoxBox.  I love, love, love the scent – itz not too strong, just perfectly fragrant.

forever red perfume

The winner of the Harry & David Chocolate Covered Strawberries giveaway is #55 Laura Floss.  (Please e-mail me your shipping information within 24 hours.)  Congratulations, and thank you to everyone who entered.  Come back on Monday for another giveaway.  Tis the season for giving…

Do you use any of the products that were in the Cosmo VoxBox?  Which are you most likely to try?

*Disclaimer: I received these products complimentary from Influenster.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.