PHOTOS FROM FLORIDA

Happy September! I hope your week (and month) is off to a great start. I'm stopping in real quick today to share a few photos from the weekend. I apologize in advance for the bizarre sizing. I'm too tired to fight it right now, but I'll try to figure it out for the rest of the week/life.

On the go. Kate Spade duffle (similar) and Billabong roller bag (on sale!).

 

Lilly lovers. I'm wearing the Shianne v-neck dress. As much as I love the classic Lilly zip-up styles, sometimes you just want an easy jersey dress you can slip over your head, This style is comfortable and (I think!) flattering.

 

A delicious Belgian waffle with berries and bananas at The Broken Egg.

 

Cousin love. My dress is CeCe by Cynthia Steffe. I discovered CeCe over the summer - it's slightly lower priced and just as cute as her original line. This J.Crew market tote was one of the best purchases I made all summer. It's great to travel with and it'll be perfect for the cruise, too. My necklace is from J.Crew Factory. I love their jewelry selection - so cute and well-priced. (I think the aviators are actually my boyfriend's - I grabbed them at the last minute before I was out the door and en route to the airport. They look a bit too big to be women's.)

 

A delightful gin cocktail at P.F. Changs. I always appreciate specialty ice - such a nice touch.

Have a terrific Tuesday! I'll see you tomorrow with What I Ate Wednesday.

TGIT

Whew! I don't know about you, but I'm glad it's Thursday. This week has been so weird. I've had a few really tough workouts and just feel perpetually wiped... like I'm out of energy. I am currently sitting on our couch, writhing in soreness pain. Ugh. Anyway, on a more positive note... here are some of my favorites from the week, a day early.

Sarah Hyland's look at the Emmy's. Sheer perfection. Also perfect? Bryan Cranston's acceptance speech. I've never been a huge Breaking Bad fan... I didn't ever really think a show like that would appeal to me. (In short, I'm a square. Goodie two Loubs. And it's a show about drugs. I've never smoked pot. Never even tried it. I also hate guns and blood and anything gory. So... yea.) I've watched the show a bit in reruns - it's one of my boyfriend's very favorites and he covers my eyes at all the right times. But what really sold me on BC was when a friend took me to see All The Way on Broadway earlier this year. Bryan Cranston plays Lyndon B. Johnson and I was absolutely blown away by his talent. Seriously one of the best shows I've ever seen. He is so funny, so dedicated to his craft, and so humble. Great story, too. I'm no history buff, but it was super interesting to learn more about LBJ. I have to admit that before that play, I didn't know much about him other than that there is a highway in Dallas named after him that I used to drive over a lot. Cool president. 

New fall arrivals at Forever 21. I won't be doing too much sprucing up of my cold weather wardrobe this year, sadly... but if I do get anything, it'll likely be a few inexpensive pieces of fast fashion. Lucky for me, F21 is killing it this season. Really cute, chic staples.

Starbucks Teavana Shaken Iced Peach Green Tea. I know, I know. The Pumpkin Spice Latte is back... and yes, I'm excited. But I'm determined to get one of these sweet sips in before they disappear off the menu again! I wish they'd carry this one year round.

Crusing! Throwback Thursday alert! I just flipped through the photos we took on our last cruise, in 2010, and yikes. I was about 15 pounds heaver than I am now and you can just see the unhappiness in my face, even when I'm smiling. Wow. Anywho... My family is taking a cruise in a few months and I'm already thinking about it... Cruises are the best, easiest way for my Nana to travel since they don't require an airplane or a whole lot of movement. I didn't buy any new bathing suits this summer, so I'm thinking I may have to treat myself. I am loving this Roxy bikini on sale. Roxy is one of the few brands that I've been wearing since high school and still love. I am a secretly a total wannabe surfer. The amazing prices at 6pm are tempting... 

NEW BED! It comes TODAY!!! Can you tell I'm excited!!! Our headboard is pictured above (it's from our last bad, a full, and we're getting a queen... hope it works . . . ) and now we just need to settle on some new bedding. We're doing some other apartment updating, but what I'm most excited about is the fact that hopefully my back, neck and shoulders will start feeling better on the regular in the very near future.

Your turn. What are you loving this week?

WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY #2: KALE YEA!

Let's get right to it: what I ate on Tuesday. On a Wednesday. What I Ate Wednesday.

Thanks to the lovely Jenn over at Peas & Crayons for graciously hosting!

So... Tuesday. Monday was really exhausting, so I let myself sleep in on Tuesday, opting for a late morning workout. (Sleeping in = 8am. Late morning workout = 9am.)

If anyone's actually interested, I can do a separate post on what I eat before/after workouts, how timing and type of exercise comes into play, etc. But I usually like to have at least a little something shortly after I wake up. I wasn't starving, so I opted for half a cup of Barbara's Morning Oats Cereal, a big handful of organic blueberries, and a splash of unsweetened almond milk.

I took a Barre Burn class that hurt in the best way possible. (Side note: we didn't actually use the barre. What's your thought on classes with the word "Barre" in the title that don't actually utilize one? I thought I'd be annoyed, but it was such a good workout that I didn't mind.)

The class ended at 10am, and I was meeting a friend at 10:30am. But I almost always like to have something RIGHT after my workout, so I used the spare time to pick up a tall iced coffee with a splash of soy milk at Starbucks.

Shortly after, I met my friend at Organic Avenue. We spent a little time chatting and checking out the menu, and I settled on a Power House smoothie... kale, bananas, almond butter, cashew hemp mylk, protein powder. It was DELISH! Great sips and great conversation... what more could you ask for?

I ran some errands afterward and got home around 1:30, very ready for lunch. I knew exactly what I wanted... and it was inspired by this post on The Fitnessista

I used my new mezzaluna (!) to make a salad of kale - yes, more kale - and carrots, mushrooms, and chopped rotisserie chicken with a homemade peanut dressing. Heck yea new mezzaluna. You can expected to see a lot more chopped salads around here. And anything else I can get my hands on to dice into cute little pieces. This photo doesn't even really do the salad justice. It was super satisfying and I'll definitely be recreating it soon.

Afterward I had a little pineapple and some honey graham sticks for dessert. Yum.

I got a little snacky a few hours later and had a bit of my quick, "homemade" (= home assembled) trail mix: lightly salted almonds, oat cereal, and carob chips.

I didn't eat the whole baggie... I probably ate about half... but fullness settled in shortly thereafter and I was content.

Until... that is... my sweet friend surprised me with a treat!

Homemade raspberry white chocolate chip scones! Again, my photography skills do food no justice. I didn't *think* I was hungry, but I managed to scarf one of these down in a matter of minutes.

Tuesdays are usually leftovers night, so once I was a little bit hungry again, around 9:30, I reheated my skinny veggie lasagna. (It's not low-cal or anything... it's just that I make lasagna kind of flat. No meat and not too many layers. "Skinny." And oh-so-good.)

And maaaybe I had half of another scone afterward. Maybe ;)

All in all, a great WIAW in my eyes. A serving of veggies with every meal, good food shared with good friends, and ending the day on a sweet note.

What are you eating this Wednesday?

JUST ANOTHER MANIC MONDAY...

Good morning. Happy Monday! I just got home from spin class and I'm sipping on my PB&B breakfast smoothie made with tera'swhey Organic Fair Trade Dark Chocolate Whey Protein. The jury's still out on this one. I like it, but it's a bit chocolately for breakfast/7:30 in the morning.

I hope your week is off to a nice start? How was your weekend?

Mine consisted of a trip to the suburbs, a few home-cooked dinners, a bunch of workouts (I tried Zumba!), some studying and some work. I can't believe it's almost Labor Day, but I'm in no rush to get there. The second half of this year has certainly been better than the first.

We're getting our new mattress this week, and I cannot wait. I wake up every morning feeling so stiff, like my back is all locked up. Last month, when we were traveling a ton, I realized I didn't feel that way after sleeping in the super comfy hotel beds. 

I've always struggled with getting enough shut eye, but I now that I've got the whole early-to-bed-early-to-rise thing down pat, I just want to wake up feeling refreshed. Speaking of sleep. My new article on ALOHA is up: 5 Surprising Things That May be Sabotaging Your Sleep.

Tentative workout schedule for the week...

Monday =  Spin

Tuesday = Tabata

Wednesday = Resistance training w/ a trainer

Thursday = Yoga

Friday = Spin

Saturday = Pilates

Sunday = Off! (Last day of August MYB challenge)

How do you get your Monday started off on the right foot? How are you planning to sweat this week? Tell me everything.

photo via ALOHA

FRIDAY FAVORITES #2: 8/22/2014

Happy Friday! Let's get right to it... my favs from the week. Today I am linking up with Housewife Glamour for her #FFavorites. Thanks for hosting, Heather!

THIS DRESS. omgthisdress. Back story: I fell in love with this dress back when I saw it in photos from kate spade's fall preview photos during Fashion Week this past February. I have been checking the site for it religiously ever since, as I was curious to see a) would it really be for sale, online and b) what the price would be. YES, it is completely limiting and ridiculously overpriced. But it was love at first site, and I'm going to stalk it like a hawk to see if it goes on sale.

Little Green Vegan Burgers. I bought the Shroom Burgers on a whim and they're delish. (I took a pic but it wasn't the cutest.) Microwave cooking isn't my preferred method of heating things up, so I try to use it sparingly. But the truth is that I think a lot of us have to depend on it from time to time. I tried cooking these both via grill pan and microwave - and it heated up far better in the latter. I loved it sans bun, with 1/8 cup organic shredded cheddar sprinkled on top and Sir Kensington's ketchup on the side. (My fav!)

Reebok YO-GA Hoodie. Anyone else agree that Reebok has REALLY stepped up their apparel game recently? I LOVE this cute sweatshirt... I could probably wear it sooner than later with all these chilly mornings we've been having! I've admittedly always been a Nike girl but I've been paying more attention to Reebok ever since they opened a store in my neighborhood. I treated myself to this cupcake & kettlebell tank a few months ago... it's kind of my life story in a tee shirt. 

Workouts that burn 300 calories. Self-explanatory. A great comparison chart!

Three Jane Map Necklace (or bracelet, or cufflinks). Was anyone else OBSESSED with this Martha Stewart Weddings cover? No? Just me? I've been trying to figure out where those necklaces are from/what they are... and I think I found 'em. And even if I didn't... who cares. This design is genius and so, so sweet. What an amazing gift to be able to give someone a piece of jewelry that symbolizes an important landmark. A birth place, your alma mater, a proposal or wedding location... the options are endless. Such a beautiful sentiment!  (The above version is the bracelet option.)

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

PERSONALITY OR STRUCTURE?

In the past few days, I've done two spin classes - both with instructors I'd never taken before.

The first class rocked my world. It was challenging, I worked hard, and felt really satisfied at the end. It was a dynamic class that was totally worth the 5:55am wake up call. But honestly, I did not really care for the instructor himself. He was slightly obnoxious and really jittery, like he'd had too much coffee on his way to class or something. He kept lunging forward, like he was going to fall off the stage or something. It made me nervous. I tried not to focus on him, but this was also the class where I was next to The Moaner, so I wasn't quite sure where to look.

The second class was off to a good start when the super friendly instructor introduced herself to me before class. The room was largely empty - I'd say somewhere around 12 bikes out of 50 were filled - but she had a positive demeanor that sort of filled the room. Cool. But then the ride started, she told us to cycle at 60-65 RPM, and that we'd be staying at that pace for most of the ride.

Um. What?

Needless to say, the ride was kind of... boring. I worked hard but felt sort of blah. I was so uninspired that I even left a few minutes early, which I NEVER do. And when I got off the bike, she gave me a thumbs up and said "Great ride," which made me feel horrible. I should've stayed, but when I'm ready to go, I GO.

It got me thinking about fitness instructors. I largely depend on group fitness to keep me motivated, working hard, and in shape. I look for two things in instructors: 1) personality and 2) class structure. But you can't always have your cake and eat it too. 

Even though I wasn't crazy about Instructor #1, I will definitely go back to his class because it was a great workout. And while I'd love to grab a smoothie and gab away with Instructor #2, I don't think I'll be trying her class again anytime soon.

My theory is the opposite at other workouts, however. If I take a barre or yoga class and don't care for the instructor's personality, I'm not going back. Period. Maybe it's because the personality shines through more in those types of classes? In spin class, the music tends to take center stage.

You can't always have it all, but it's nice when you do. I recently started taking a strength class on Sunday and I adore both the instructor and the structure of her class. It's nice to have something like that to look forward to on a regular basis.

When it comes to fitness classes, what's more important to you: personality or structure?

WHAT I ATE WEDNESDAY #1: GREEK YOVERLOAD

I have a confession to make. I'm nosy. Curious George was my favorite cartoon as a kid (other than Snoopy, of course) because I felt like we were simpatico. That monkey just wanted to know everything. And so do I.

I've always loved reading What I Ate Wednesday posts on other blogs, but for some reason I never thought to do any of my own. I'm particularly interested in seeing what fitness and health professionals eat and drink. My favorite posts on the SoulCycle blog are the ones that detail what an instructor ate over a 24-hour period. I am fascinated by the psychology behind our food choices and eating habits, and that's just one of the many reasons I've decided to pursue the path to health coaching.

Anywho! Enough chatter for now. Here's my day in food... and many thanks to Peas & Crayons for being such a gracious host. (Disclaimer: this is what I ate on Tuesday/yesterday.)

My alarm went off at 5:55 on Tuesday morning and I wasn't quite ready for it, but I was outta bed and changing by 6:01 for 6:30am spin class.  Whenever I'm tired before an early morning class (always) I remind myself of two things: 1) I may be tired now but I'll feel SO good afterward and 2) I will regret skipping but I probably won't regret going. Sounds silly, but they work. every. time.

After class, I grabbed a Joyful Almond smoothie, no raw agave, add spinach. I try not to tinker with menu items too much as I'm not a chef and always entrust the creators to make the best use of the ingredients. However, I heard a trainer order it this way once and I decided to try it. And I love it! So now I order it this way, too.

Smoothie in hand, I headed to Whole Foods. Grocery shopping at 7:30 in the morning may have been one of the best ideas I've ever had. I think I may make it a regular thing. I usually love to eat breakfast and get coffee there, but I was craving a smoothie so I just focused on shopping instead. I love that place. And somehow, I got out of there with two bags of stuff totaling under $80. Comparison shopping for the win!

Then it was home for some relaxing and a shower. And later on, a mug full of my new favorite cereal

Then it was time to be productive and run some errands, but I was sleeeeeeeeeeepy. Coffee time! I went to a little neighborhood join two blocks away because I was too lazy to walk the extra few blocks to Starbucks, which I ended up regretting. Sbux iced coffee is 1) way better and 2) a dollar less. Oh well.

I studied and did laundry for a bit and when I looked up a bit it was nearly 1, and I was hungry. I whipped up a veggie burger topped with mozzarella on a wheat slider bun,  apple slices, and a few Beanito chips. Delish!

More laundry, more studying. I pretty much always get snacky around 3 or so. Before this year, I was never a yogurt person... I've never really cared for the Dannons and Yoplaits of the world. But Greek yogurt with fresh toppings? That's a different story. (I swear there's some in there under that heap of blueberries and granola.)

Okay, okay... I get snacky pretty much every two hours. Fine, I'm always hungry. I have an oddly large appetite. A few hours later, I settled for some more apple slices and picked the nuts out of this little guy. I actually just bought these for the first time the other day, and I like them, but they've inspired me to make my own trail mix, with slightly more wholesome ingredients. Also I have absolutely no idea why Emerald decided to dub this "Breakfast". It has M&Ms in it for crying out loud.

I work on Tuesday evenings so when dinner time rolls around, it's usually leftovers or takeout. And since there were no leftovers to be had, I decided to order in a veggie omelet. Spinach, tomato, carmelized onions... I was psyched. And starving, somehow.

It came, I was so excited, I cut it open, and... wait.

Noooooooooooooooooo! They sent the wrong one. With bacon, no less. Waaaaaaaaaaah.

I called the restaurant and they were really nice and offered to send another one, but it was getting a bit too late. I tried to eat around the bacon and had a few tots, but all in all it was kinda pointless. Oh well, you can't win 'em all. And thank you, Seamless, for reminding me why I hate ordering takeout! Leftovers next week, for sure.

I was left kind of unsatisfied after that, but it was nothing a few spoonfuls of Greek Fro Yo couldn't fix ;)

It then occurred to me that I probably overdid it a bit on the Greek (Fro) Yo(gurt) side, given the bowl with blueberries from earlier, but oh well! If I'm going to overindulge in something, I'm glad it's that.

That includes my first #WIAW! Woohoo! If you did it too, please leave the link in the comments! 

Favorite meal/snack/smoothie/treat lately?