Category: Favorite Things

Happy Friday friends!!! I’m on vacation this weekend so this Friday Favorites post is all about my five favorite posts.

I’ve been blogging for 6 months now (though it seems much longer) and I really enjoy it. My job is focused on digital and social media so I can apply a lot of that knowledge to my blogging hobby. I also love that I get to talk about my adventures in being a wife, a mom and a semi-healthy person.

Well, enough about me. Here are my 5 favorites posts from my first 6 months as a blogger:

10 tips to get started running

Running has become a pretty big part of my life. Even though I occasionally take a week off here and there, it’s always the one thing that can help me get out of a funk. Read about how and why I started running, and how you can get started too.

Becoming a mom turned me into a liar

As a parent, you often find yourself telling little white lies to your children just to get through the day. Check out a few of my finest (and most ridiculous) fibs I’ve told my children.

10 thank yous for my husband

This post was really personal for me. I’m not always the best at thanking my husband for the things he does and showing my appreciation. I felt that it was important for him to know I am thankful for the big things he does, along with the daily things he does for our family. I think most wives can relate to a lot of these things. SO let this serve as a reminder to thank your husband often.

A letter to tired moms

I wrote this post after an especially tough day with my kids and was more than a little under appreciated. I think sometimes a mom just needs to hear thank you and be reminded that being a mom is the greatest gift.

Stitch Fix: How to make it work for you

If you’re a regular reader, I’ve talked about Stitch Fix a lot. It took me a few months to figure out how to get good stuff that I really liked and I wrote this after hearing from a lot of people that had the same issue. The tips in this fix will help your stylist give you a better selection of things that you’ll actually want to keep (I just kept all 5 things from my last fix).

Have a great weekend everyone!

It’s finally starting to feel like spring here in the Pacific Northwest. Hopefully it’s warm and sunny where you are too! This week went by fast but I’m ready for a (somewhat) relaxing weekend with the fam.

Here are a few of my favorite things from this week:

Stitch Fix #7 was a home run

I received my 7th Stitch Fix a little over a week ago and was blown away by all the cute stuff that I received. Check out my April Stitch Fix Review to see what I got and what I kept, as well as my tips for getting stuff you actually want in your fixes.

Tone It Up Bikini Series starts this week

If you haven’t heard about the girls over at Tone It Up, you seriously gotta check them out. Karina and Katrina are the fitness gurus (and besties) behind Tone It Up, a workout/nutrition program and community. Their philosophy is all about loving yourself and being the best you can be inside and out. Now don’t get me wrong, they’re beyond gorgeous with perfect bodies but I promise they rock.

I started doing their workouts last January and really loved it. I lost about 20 lbs in 6 months and kept most of it off by following them. They post weekly schedules, have lots of youtube workout videos (great for busy moms to do at home) and are great motivators. They have a nutrition plan (that I have not purchased but will probably eventually get around to) that is all about eating ‘lean, clean and green’.

The Bikini Series is an 8 week challenge to help get into shape before bikini season. I love following along with them and other TIU girls on Instagram (which is a great support system). I do their daily workouts/schedule and follow my own lean and clean diet. If you’re looking to get into shape before summer, head over to their website and register for free.

Smoothie time

Smoothies are a big part of my clean diet (and are great food for on the go). They help me get in a couple of servings of fruit and veggies as a meal or snack. They’re also a great way to sneak vegetables into my kids’ diet, since niether of them really willingly eat veggies (except french fries). My two favorite smoothies right now are strawberry almond butter and mango colada. I usually drink one as either my breakfast or as an afternoon, pre-workout snack.

Vacation Prepping

I always look forward to prepping for vacation because A) I’m a planning freak and B) because that means vacation is right around the corner. And as a working mom of two, I really need a vacation!!!

Because I live in the PNW and I’m fair skinned, I always try to tan a bit prior to vacations. Yeah I know that tanning is all kinds of bad for you, but I don’t do it all the time and it’s better than turning lobster red on day one of my vacation and being miserable.

I also look forward to figuring out my clothes situation and paying extra attention to my skin. These two things rarely happen in my daily life because I’m usually splitting up a fight between my daughters while making pb&js. It’s nice to take a little extra time for me before vacation to make sure I look and feel my best while I’m away.

Garth Brooks Concert

I grew up in Idaho, so I’m no stranger to country music. I grew up listening to George Straight, Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks. When my husband and I found out Garth Brooks was coming to Portland, we knew we HAD to go. And I’m SOOO glad we did. Probably one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to (definitely top 3). He played all of his old stuff, despite having a new album out and his lovely wife, Miss Trisha Yearwood, came out and did a few songs as well. If you get a chance, you must go while he’s on tour (plus it gives you a good excuse to buy some cute cowboy boots).

This weekend we’re headed to my nephews’ birthday party and packing for next week. Have a great weekend everybody!

Hello April!!! I’m still sick but trying to get into Spring mode with some cleaning, prepping for vacation and getting ready for an eventful Easter weekend.

Here are a few of my favorite things from this week:

#followfriday

Are you on Instagram? If not you should be! Head on over to Macaroni & Mascara on Instagram and check out these 4 lovely ladies you should be following now!

Stuff yo self

I made these amazing taco stuffed bell peppers last weekend and they were so good. The pepper serves as a healthy (and clean) substitute for a flour or corn tortilla so you can stuff yo self without blowing a day’s worth of calories in one sitting. You can find the recipe in this post from earlier this week.

Starbucks Evolution Fresh smoothie

When I first saw that Starbucks was offering new healthier smoothie options, I was stoked. I mean who doesn’t love smoothies?!? I was not so thrilled when I heard they’d be charging $5.95 for a grande. Boo! I decided to give them a shot, despite the price tag. They come in 3 flavors, strawberry, carrot mango and sweet greens. I was all set to go for stawberry but they were out. So I settled for carrot mango and, to be honest, I was pretty dissapointed. It was really carrot-y and not very sweet (coming from a girl that regularly adds spinach, kale, cucumbers and carrots to smoothies). In fact, had I not paid $6 for it, I probably would have chucked it in the garbage (sorry Starbucks). Maybe the strawberry is better (ie. sweeter)? I say save your money and make a healthy smoothie at home (like this clean strawberry almond butter smoothie), then go to Starbucks for your coffee fix. Starbucks is still a favorite, but their smoothies were not.

March Fitness Challenge Complete

I finished up my March Fitness Challenge. It was tough keeping up with the schedule. There were a couple of days that I missed and had to double up. I made it through and definitely see some difference in my overall strength and body. I took before and after pics but I’ll be keeping those to myself. I’m not ready for the humiliation of putting pics of my mom belly and butt in the internet just yet. If you’re looking for a way to increase strength and muscle tone, I definitely recommend adding this challenge to your regular strength training routine.

#WOLO

WOLO is the couples version of YOLO. We only live once. My husband and I finally got around to putting together an actual list of all the activities, events and trips on our couples bucket list. I hope to be crossing a few of these items off soon and adding new things as we think of them. Want to know what’s on my personal bucket list? Check it out here.

I’m off to prep the final touches for the girls’ Frozen themed Easter baskets then get ready for an Easter egg hunt tomorrow and Easter dinner on Sunday.

Happy Friday! We made it through another week! This week was pretty busy in our family, especially trying to get over our Easter candy ‘hangover’. My phone also got soaked by a leaking sippy cup and died. Thank goodness for phone insurance right?!?

Here are a few of my favorite things from this week:

Stitch Fix #7

OMG you guys! Last weekend I recieved my 7th fix and it was the best yet! I was so excited with all the items that I recieved. Just proof that following my simple tips for making Stitch Fix work for you really works! Here is a sneak peek at the beautiful patterns but stay tuned for my review post on Monday!

Easter candy detox

After a weekend of glutony and overindulgance on candy, good food and wine, I was feeling sluggish and blah. I knew it was time to get back to clean eating, just in time for our upcoming vacation. I made up some zoodles using my Veggetti Sprializer (which I still love), sauteed up some ground turkey with basil and garlic and added some of my favorite clean marinara sauce (with added veggies). It was SOOOO good. Obviously not your standard spaghetti bolognese but still pretty good for healthy food. I’m already feeling better and have a lot more energy just because I’m eating better and drinking ridiculous amounts of water.

Netflix faves

It’s no secret that I’m addicted to Netflix. My husband and I spend many a Friday and Saturday night binge watching shows since we have kids and don’t get out much. Earlier this week, I wrote a post about 5 shows to binge watch on Netflix with your spouse, mainly because I have a lot of friend that have a hard time finding shows to watch together. These shows are newer and little less popular than the binge watch staples, like ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Walking Dead’ and ‘Scandal’. Right now, we’re a few episodes into the series ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ on Netflix. I’ll let you know what I think once we finish.

Potty training – slow going (no pun intended)

We’ve been slowly working on potty training our youngest, who is 2 years and 4 months. With our oldest, Lucy, we tried to push her into it and it just didn’t work. We finally decided to wait until she started talking about it and was excited about wearing ‘big kid’ underwear. We’ve taken that approach with Olivia and she’s gradually getting more into it. We tried putting her into underwear for an entire weekend about a month ago and it wasn’t fun for anyone.

Over the last week, she has gotten better about telling us when she needs to go but still isn’t consistant. We’ll keep on keepin’ on until she gets to a point where she ‘gets’ it and we can switch to underwear. While I’m super excited about the thought of no more diapers, it’s a little sad to see my last baby growing up so fast.

Rocksbox

I signed up with Rocksbox (with a free month from Kerri over at Haven Way – thanks girl) and my first box is in the mail. Rocksbox is like a cross between Stitch Fix and Rent the Runway, but for jewelry. You sign up to be a Shine Insider for $19/month and fill out a brief style survey and start adding items to your wishlist. You will get 3 items of jewelry sent to your within 1-2 weeks. Wear the pieces as often as you like until you’re reday to send it back for 3 new pieces. Keep your box for as long or as little as you want. If you fall in love with one or more of the pieces, you can purchase it for a discounted price (plus you get $10 towards a purchase every month). I’ll do a post once I recieve my first box and let you know what I think.

If you want to give Rocksbox a try and get your first month free, I have 2 more promo codes for the month, just leave you email in the comments section and I’ll send it your way (first come first serve)!

We’re planning a relaxing weekend at home. We’ll probably do some cleaning, some coloring and some Netflix binge watching (with wine of course). Cheers!

There is nothing worse than Friday finally coming around and realizing you’re sick. Hoping it’s just a cold that I caught from on of my sweet little germ infested children, and doesn’t develop into something more serious. And it’s a double bummer considering it’s supposed to be in the seventies today (sorry everyone who’s still covered with snow).

Here are a few of my favorite things from this week:

Easter dresses

I took the girls on a quick trip to the store this week. My oldest saw the rack of frilly candy colored Easter dresses and asked if she could get one. I told her we would be getting her and her sister Easter dresses but not that day, as we were in a hurry. Apparently she saw a ‘must have’ dress because she spent the entire next day telling my mother-in-law how beautiful this dress was and how she just had to have it (Diva much???).  They went and purchased the dress, along with a matching dress for my younger daughter (who hates dresses and will most likely throw a HUGE fit when we try to put it on her). It’s official, my 4 year old is officially a fashionista.

Mom questions answered

I found a list of the most popular mom questions and had to put my answers into a post. The list was pretty extensive, so I decided to start off with just pregnancy and delivery related questions. Now don’t get all squeamish, I didn’t share any gory or awkward details, but I did share some good advice for new mamas. I’ll be answering more questions from the list about embarrassing things my kids have done in a few weeks.

Holy guacamole

I’m obsessed with guacamole. I especially love the guacamole at Chipotle (seriously I could eat it with a spoon). I’m going to a ‘taco themed’ brunch this weekend so I’ll be making this Chipotle ‘copy cat’ guacamole  over on Budget Savvy Diva (and trying not to eat it all in the car before I get there).

Frozen themed Easter baskets

I wrote last week about how I found some really cute Frozen gardening supplies at Target. Since the girls are still Frozen-obsessed and have been begging to plant some flowers at our house, I figured the Frozen themed Easter baskets were in order. I grabbed the tool set, gloves and watering can from Target (x2 of course) along with some Frozen socks, headbands and character cup from the Target dollar spot. I still need to add candy (for me) and they should be good to go.

Stitch Fix

I promised last week that I’d share my opinions on Stitch Fix on my blog. I’ve only been planning and writing this post for about 3 months now – sheesh! Finally got it published – check it out. I give my honest opinion on the whole process (what I love and what I don’t). Most importantly, I share my tips for getting stuff that you actually like in your fixes (and how to get your friends to pay for some of your stuff). Wanting to give Stitch Fix a try? Just take a few minutes to fill out your style profile and you’re good to go. Use my referral link to help me fund my Stitch Fix habit.

Since I’m feeling a bit under the weather, we’ll probably be laying low this weekend and just hanging around the house. Unless the weather is nice, in which case the girls will drag me kicking and screaming to the park.

What are your big plans for the weekend?

Oh hey Friday! I haven’t been this happy to see you since, well, last Friday. We made it through another week and it was fairly uneventful (but don’t tell my husband I said that – with the start of March Madness, this is one of his most favorite times of the year).Here are a few of my favorite things from this week:

My Veggetti Spiralizer

This week I’m all about the zoodles, about the zoodles, about the zoodles, no past. Ok sorry I couldn’t resist. I purchased my Veggetti spiralizer from Target (shocker) last week.

I decided to try out this Pesto Chicken with Zuchinni Noodles recipe I found on Pinterest. I used some of my Arugula Pesto that I already had on hand and roasted the tomatoes while the chicken and zoodles were cooking. It turned out great! Now don’t get me wrong, there was no mistaking these zoodles for real pasta, but as a clean, gluten-free option, they totally worked. To be honest, I didn’t even really taste the zuchinni. I highly recommend giving this recipe a try. Can’t wait to see what other tasty meals I come up with using my spiralizer.

Barre3 at home

I started doing Barre3 after I had my second daughter in order to help get my abs back in shape and tummy into a somewhat flatter state. Because of my schedule and where I live, I’ve never been able to make it to a class so I did a lot of their online videos. I strayed away from Barre3 (mainly because I get bored easily) but have recently been trying to reincorporate some of the workouts back into my schedule. I love this Kitchen Cardio Barre3 video on YouTube. It’s quick (just 10 minutes), requires no equipment and gets your heart rate up a bit, which is always a plus. I do it while making dinner or while the kiddos eat breakfast. It’s also a great way to try Barre3 before committing to their online workout subscription (which is super reasonably priced).

Easter Egg Basket head start

My oldest daughter, Lucy, informed me that we need to plant some flowers to make our house look pretty and start a garden. On a lunch hour trip to Target this week, I found these Frozen kids gardening supplies (sorry for the blurry pic) that I snagged for both girls to put in their garden themed Easter baskets. Getting a head start instead of waiting for the day before. High five for me!

10 thank you’s to my husband

This week I wrote one of my favorite posts about some of the most important thank you’s for my husband. With 2 kids and working full time, it’s easy for me to get wrapped up in life and not show appreciation for my man. While there are about a thousand more thank you’s I probably owe him, this is a good start.

Stitch Fix

Working on a post for next week about Stitch Fix and whether or not it’s really worth it. I’ve had 6 fixes and think I have lots of good feedback and tips based on my experience. Haven’t heard of Stitch Fix? Basically it’s like Birchbox for clothes. You pay $2o, they send you a box of 5 clothes based on styles and preferences you express in their style survey. Keep what you like, send the rest back in their postage paid envelope. Stay tuned for my full review and tips for getting your best fix. Want to get started right now? Use my referral link and I get a bit of cash to fund my habit.

Looking forward to doing some cleaning over the weekend and having friends over for dinner (and wine) on Saturday.

How was your week?

PS: This post contains affiliate and referral links. I only talk about products that I actually use and I always give my honest opinion (otherwise that would be lame). If you decide to use my links to purchase these products (or other products), I get a little cash to help support my family (and my Starbucks addiction).

This week my husband was out of town so I was a temporary single mom. Man oh man! Single moms, I don’t know how you do it but you guys rock! So glad for my man to be home (and not just for shared parenting purposes) today.

Here are a few of my favorite things from this week.

1. OK to Wake Alarm Clock – We got this alarm clock this week and I can’t wait to try it out tonight. The OK to Wake setting allows you to set an alarm (either light or noise) to let your kiddos know when it’s ok to get out of bed. We’re hoping this will keep the girls in their room past 6:30 am on the weekends. It’s so cute that they’re excited about it and think it’s a present for them when it’s really a present for mommy and daddy. Want to give it a try? I picked up this clock at Target but I’ve seen similar items on Amazon.

2. Clean Chai Tea Latte Recipe – I’m a self proclaimed Starbucks junkie but who can afford to go their everyday (if the answer is you, you should start taking me). Their drinks are also not the healthiest. I whipped up this recipe for a clean chai tea latte you can make in the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the cost and calories. I drink it everyday, in my Starbucks cup of course.

3. New Shoes – seriously how was I supposed to not buy these. I love the fun punch of color for spring to spice up my mostly black and denim wardrobe.

4. March Fitness Challenge – whoa baby! When I decided to do this full body fitness challenge for the month of March, I didn’t realize how tough it would be. I made the mistake of trying to knock out 100 push ups on Monday in one sitting. Yeah right! Talk about jello arms. I started splitting these up into 5 sets of 20 throughout my day, which is still a challenge but doable. I’ve woken up sore every day this week so it’s obviously working. No pain, no gain!

5. Netflix – We finished House of Cards Season 3 last weekend and it was amazing! Such a smart glimpse into the world of politics and the White House. Now, what should we watch next? Leave your suggestions in the comments section.

We’re excited for nice weather for the weekend. We’ll be hanging out with the girls and then heading to a concert on Sunday night (who schedules a concert on a Sunday? Clearly I’m old). Have a great weekend people!

PS: This post contains affiliate and referral links. I only talk about products that I actually use and I always give my honest opinion (otherwise that would be lame). If you decide to use my links to purchase these products (or other products), I get a little cash to help support my family (and my Starbucks addiction).

What a week! With sick kiddos, race training and work, this mama is glad it’s Friday!!!Here is a quick recap of some of my favorite things from this week.

1. New workout – My girls were sick this week so I stayed home with them on Wednesday. I decided to try out a new at home workout since I probably wouldn’t be making it to the gym. I gave the High Intensity At-Home Training Program by Maya over at My Life as Maya a try and man did it kick my booty! I did two rounds (and definitely did not make it to 30 reps of the broken planks) along with 30 minutes on our stationary bike. It totally wiped me out and I was sore the next day (which is always a sign of a good workout).

2. March challenges – I’m taking on two challenges for March.

The first is fitness related. It’s a 30 Day Full Body Fitness Challenge. It basically includes specific moves to focus on each day. We’re headed back to Vegas at the end of April so I need all the help I can get to whip my body into shape so I feel comfortable in a bathing suit. Looking to shape up for bikini season? Take this challenge along with me. You can follow along on Instagram and Twitter.

The second challenge is an Instagram photo challenge. This is a great way to get to know me, so follow along on Instagram for a month’s worth of photos.

3. The weather the last couple of weeks has been amazing! It totally feels like spring is right around the corner but here in the Pacific NW, spring is less sunshine and flowers and more rain, rain, rain from March through June. This weekend is supposed to be sunny as well, so I’m going to soak up as much sunshine and Vitamin D as I can in preperation for the dreary months of spring.

4. House of Cards – I’m beyond exstatic for the third season of House of Cards on Netflix! The third season is available starting today online. Though I would have loved to stay at home binge watching all 13 episodes today, I’ll have to wait until tonight to get started. If you haven’t watched the first two seasons of HoC, I highly recommend it. It’s really smart television and Kevin Spacey is wonderful.

5. Target home decor – On a trip to Target this week, I stumbled upon some staged displays with amazing spring home decor and I fell in love. I must say they’re definitly stepping up their game! I’ve been wanting to redecorate our living room for a while, but with two children under 4, I’ve been hesitatnt to spend the money just for them to destroy things. Maybe in a few more years, but in the meantime I can dream (and pin to my hearts content).

Looking forward to a relaxing couple of days. Have a great weekend people!

What are some of your favorite things from this week?

It’s only been a month and a half since New Years but I think a lot of people have ditched their resolutions. Overall, I feel like I’ve been doing pretty good at keeping on track with my plans to keep my resolutions going strong. Or at least I was until we went on vacation at the end of January, which derailed my clean eating and work out routine and I’ve been having a hard time getting back into it.

Well this week I’m getting back on track and finally starting to train for the 8K I’m running in mid-March. I thought what better way to help me get back into the workout mindset then talk about my favorite gym gear and workout must haves.

What will you find in my gym bag?

Gym bag
Well let’s start with my gym bag. I love my Nike gym bag, with seperate storage for shoes and clothes (so your clothes don’t smell like sweaty gym socks before you’ve hit the gym), plus several different pockets and compartments to stash all my stuff. It’s a little decieving as it doesn’t look that big but it actually can hold quite a bit. I also like that it looks more feminine than an ordinary duffel bag. This bag has been discontinued but it’s pretty similar to the Nike C72 Legend 2.0.

Water bottle
A water bottle is a must for workouts, whether you’re strength training, taking a spin class or relaxing with some yoga. I love this Rubbermaid water bottle because it’s easy to open and there is no straw to collect germs, which makes it easy to clean.

Headphones
I personally can’t work out without music (or watching Gossip Girls on Netflix), which means headphones are a must. I love these gold headphones by Happy Plugs my husband gave me (note these are not the 14K gold ones, but those are available on their website if that’s in your budget). There is no reason why you can’t be glam while working out right?!?

Running belt
I’ve already talked about my running belt but I also like to use it when lifting weights at the gym. It neatly holds my phone without restricting my movements, unlike those iPod/iPhone holders that you wear on your bicep that restrict your arm motion.

Face wipes
My skin is really acne prone (you’d think I would have grown out of that by now) so I like to wipe down my face as soon as I’m done working out (before I make the 10 minute drive home). I love these Neutrogena Oil-Free Pink Grapefruit cleansing wipes. They smell great and really get rid of the sweat, grime and makeup on my face, leaving me feel (somewhat) fresh faced.

Sweat bands
I sweat more than the average person (sorry TMI) so sweat bands come in handy when doing cardio. I really like these Nike sweat bands because they’re soft and not scratchy. I also usually keep a towel with me to make sure I’m not grossly dripping sweat all over the treadmill or elliptical.

Not a fan of the gym (or no time for the gym)? Give one of these quick at home workouts a shot. Or try running with these 10 tips to get started. Check out my Working It Out board on Pinterest for more workout inspiration.

Follow Macaroni & Mascara’s board working it out on Pinterest.

What are your must haves for the gym or working out?

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