5 on Friday – The Sick Edition

Happy Friday!  It really does seem like it was just last friday, and I honestly wish it still was.  I ended up getting sick last weekend while in Austin and am currently still fighting off what ended up being strep throat.  More like the world’s worst case of strep throat, at least that I have ever had!

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I thought I would share my top 5 saving graces while being sick.

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Full House

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“You got it dude!”  One of the perks of being home during the work week is the ability to catch re-runs upon re-runs of classic childhood television.  I think I have watched a total of 25 episodes this week.  I did get angry reach a low point when I realized that the same episodes from the morning also play again in the afternoon.  No worries…I quickly found some episodes of “Boy Meets World” to ease my pain.

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Green Tea

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I am usually more of an iced sweet tea drinking girl, but since my throat has felt like it has a cactus shoved in back of it, I was willing to try anything.  I picked these K-Cups up randomly as a last minute purchase while stocking up on soft cold food items the other day and was pleasantly surprised.  It feels so good on my throat and has a nice citrusy taste.  I can see myself drinking these even when I am not sick.  I think they would taste good iced on a hot summer day!

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Personal Sized Blender

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This was another Christmas gift I received but I didn’t use it until this week.  When my throat hurt so bad I couldn’t eat I busted out this bad boy and made a protein shake which held me over for about 30 minutes BUT it was much easier than busting out (and then cleaning) my huge blender.  This personal sized blender doubles as a cup so you can just pop it off, and start sipping away!  This week has been perfect for experimenting with shakes since I haven’t had much of an appetite and been craving cold treats.  I also used this to make my new favorite frozen treat…

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Gatorade Slushies

This recipe will blow your mind…but beware it is very complicated:  Fill blender with ice and then fill with your favorite flavor of Gatorade.  Blend.  Ta-Daaaa!

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(Zebra Snuggie is optional)

Simple, yet so refreshing.  I feel like these would make an excellent pool drink in the summer with the addition of vodka! 🙂

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Cold Treats

In addition to the Gatorade Slushies mentioned above, I stocked up on a large supply of Jello, pudding, sherbet, and popsicles which are all a dream come true on my poor throat.  Plus, when else can I allow myself to eat this much sugar without feeling guilty?  PS the sherbet is my favorite and reminds me of that yummy punch that is always served at bridal showers!  Also, why is it spelled “Sherbet” and not “Sherbert”?

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(My grocery store haul)

That’s all folks!  Hopefully I am on the upswing and will be back to 100% next week.  I am looking forward to not cringing in pain every time I swallow or eat! 😦  Have a great weekend!

db7528c5-a5c8-4eb0-9519-22997b018248_zps7d56832d-1I am linking up with the fun ladies above again!

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The Glam Series Linkup – Skin Routine

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I am excited to participate in Jordan’s fun new linkup about favorite beauty products!  I am excited to discover some new tricks and products and also share with you some of my own.  The first week of this linkup is all about skin!

So growing up I felt like I always struggled with my skin.  It was never terrible but never flawless.  I have switched up my skin routine many many times, but I feel like I have settled into a pretty good routine now and have been pretty pleased with the results!  Introducing my skin routine BFFs!

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Clarisonic Plus

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Introducing the Clarisonic Plus!  I got this for my birthday a few years ago from my parents and it was one of those gifts that I didn’t ask for, but was a very pleasant surprise.  Mine didn’t come with all the stuff in the above photo, I just tried to find the one with the same pattern as mine because I think it’s pretty! 🙂  My mom had heard about how great these were and knew how I have always been sensitive about my skin and tried a bunch of products so thought I should give this a shot.  I was hooked from my first use!  It felt like I was getting a mini facial every time I washed my face!  I don’t use it every night (even though I should) but I can definitely tell the difference in my skin if I haven’t used my Clarisonic in a few days.  After a few weeks I remember getting compliments from friends asking what new product I had been using.  I have since got many friends on board the Clarisonic bandwagon including my mom and sister.  They both have the Mia variety and it seems to work the same.  The only difference is that mine has different speeds and beeps to let me know when to move to the next area of my face.

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Philosophy Purity Made Simple

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I received a sample of Philosophy Purity Made Simple in my Birchbox about two years ago and have been hooked ever since.  I love this cleanser because it is very gentle and mild and leaves my skin feeling soft.  I like it so much I buy it in the bulk 32 oz size!  I like that it includes the pump.  It lasts me for about a year and is a great investment.  My mom usually hooks me up w/ one every Christmas so I have a constant supply of my favorite cleanser! 🙂

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Nerium AD

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Have you heard of this stuff yet?  My friend Jenn starting selling Nerium back in November and when she told me about it, it was totally new to me.  Since then, I feel like I have been hearing more and more about it.  She told me about all of it’s benefits and encouraged me to check out all the before and after pictures online.  The pictures are crazy and I almost thought they were photoshopped because of the drastic changes I saw.  This product is all natural and was developed by accident when they were trying to create a topical cure for skin cancer…they realized it wasn’t a cure, but ended up being a game changer in skin care!  I also have always known Jenn to have super sensitive skin, so the fact that she was backing this product enough to sell it, made me very interested to try it.  She said it not only helps with anti-aging prevention (never too young to start!) but it also helps with overall tone and pore size (which I feel like I have always struggled with).  Jenn gave me a 7 day sample of both the day and night cream and after about 2 days, I was hooked and already asking how I could place my order.  The night cream smells a little “plant-like” but that is due to the fact that it is all natural and doesn’t contain any perfumes.  The day cream doesn’t have the same smell but I love how it makes my makeup go on smooth and almost acts like a primer.  It is a tad on the high end when it comes to price…but you get a discount if you sign up to have it on auto deliver (or as they call it, a “Preferred Customer”).  I signed up to get both the day and night cream on the monthly delivery and it is $120.  I do think that both the day and night bottles will last you longer than a month, so I am not sure how long I will keep getting it monthly, but it is much cheaper to get it this way than “a la carte” (about a $40 difference!).  But so far, my skin has never looked better!  It feels so smooth and I have noticed a significant difference in the size of my pores and I even noticed a wrinkle on my forehead has faded!  It caught me off guard one day because it wasn’t something I was overly concerned with so it was a nice surprise when I noticed it faded.  I joked with my friend Jenn about how I wish this stuff made fat disappear.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  Just to provide some proof of the disappearing wrinkle:

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Ignore the redness…I just got out of the shower in both pics and my face tends to get red from the hot water.  It is a small change but I think it’s pretty drastic for only using the product for 3o days.  I am excited to see how my skin improves with further use!  If you are interested in trying Nerium, you can use this link which takes you directly to my customer page which gives me a referral bonus! 🙂  Or, I encourage you to find someone you know that sells it and ask them to give you a 7 day trial.  I promise you will love it (and if you don’t they offer a money back guarantee)!

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope I helped you discover some new products and I can’t wait to read the other link-up posts to discover everyone else’s favs!  Happy Thursday!

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Workout Gadgets

Since we are at the start of a new year when all the healthy New Year’s Resolutions are in full swing, I thought I would share some of my favorite workout gadgets.

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Garmin Forerunner 305

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{My watch at last weekend’s 10k race}

I have had this watch for a few years. I asked for it for Christmas when I first got into long distance running. I have a hard time pacing myself so I always ended up starting my races much faster than my “happy pace” without realizing it and then I would find myself hitting a wall pretty fast. I did a lot of research on the Garmin watches and liked this one the best because it was simple (despite it’s ginormous size) and easy to view all of the different metrics. It shows total run time, pace and distance on the main screen and when you scroll to the 2nd screen it shows fastest pace, lap time, and calories burned. It comes with a heart rate chest strap which will give you a more accurate calorie count, but it will still calculate the calories without the strap based on the weight/height you enter into the watch. I rarely wear the chest strap because I am not too concerned with the amount of calories burned when I go on a nice long run. I was a little disappointed that the watch and chest strap only worked for calculating calories when running or walking (it apparently calculates it based on your heart rate + distance/pace traveled). I learned that the hard way the first time I wore it to BodyPump and it showed up as 0 calories burned! Bummer! But overall I have enjoyed having this little ginormous gadget on my wrist while I run. It is an older model so there may be better ones out there, but for not this watch works for me!

PS Warning – this watch will attract comments from random people about it’s size. I tend to get asked if I am an air traffic controller or an employee of NASA whenever I wear it to a race. Come on people, get creative!

Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor

As mentioned above, my running watch won’t calculate calories for non-running related activities which is fine because I used to just enter in my workout activity based on the calories the Lose It app suggested. But after doing that (on and off) for years I started to get a bit more curious as to how many calories I actually was burning during my workouts. Especially because I recently started incorporating more barre workouts into my routine and I had no idea how many calories that burned because for the most part it is low impact (but still leaves you feeling the burn!). I looked into the FitBit and the Nike Fuel Band which are awesome because they can sync to your phone and you can see a ton of great stats…but I knew ultimately I wouldn’t want to wear a gadget 24/7 and just wanted something to show me my calorie burn while actually working out.  I have knew Polar was a great brand for heart rate monitors so started to pay attention to others at the gym and my cousin Stephanie just got a new fancy HRM for Christmas and gave me the heads up that this website had the best prices. I realized I didn’t really need anything super fancy and opted for this model because it was A. Cheap and B. Cute.  Priorities I tell ya!!  So far this watch has worked out nicely and given me extra motivation during my workouts because I am excited to see how many calories I can burn during my workout classes.

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{calories burned at BodyAttack}

What are your favorite workout gadgets?

5 on Friday!

Oh hey Friday!  Glad to see you again!  I’ve seen many bloggers participate in this link up and thought it sounded fun.

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Today is the beginning of a 4 day weekend for me (yay for MLK day!) and after picking up my Boston BFF Elana we will be headed down 35 for a weekend in Austin with Jenn!  The 3 of us were all roommates in college but all live in separate cities now so I am excited for a fun filled friends weekend!

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The blonde days of college!

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I’ve mentioned this before, but I am seriously in love with my Crockpot!  I even had a dream about it the other night. I know. #creepy

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I have successfully managed to ruin an entire dozen of eggs trying to experiment with healthy grab and go breakfast items.  Does anyone have tips on how to achieve the perfect hardboiled egg???

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I found a new kcup fav!  Gevalia Caramel Machhiato.  Stop whatever you are doing an go out and buy some!  They are the best homemade-wannabe-coffeeshop-kcups I have tried!  They come w/ a “froth” packet you pour in before you brew and when the coffee comes out it magically turns into a foamy delight!

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I am proud that I have blogged so much this week!  Still trying to figure everything out, but if you are reading…thank you! 🙂

PS You can also follow me on Bloglovin!  {Follow my blog with Bloglovin}

Have a great long weekend!!!

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Throwback Thursday – Eye Makeup Must Haves

I dubbed this a “Throwback Thursday” post because technically I posed it already when attempting to start a different blog.  So since this hasn’t been posted here I thought I would share! 🙂
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eye makeup
William Shakespeare said “the eyes are the window to your soul”…which means they deserve extra attention while getting ready!  Here are some of my go-to every day products as of lately:
1.  Urban Decay Eye Primer – I never put on my eye makeup without this stuff.  It really does make it your eye makeup last all day, and eliminates the dreaded crease!  The tube itself also lasts a really long time.  I purchased my tube of the “Greed” shade over 2 years ago and I am still squeezing out the last bits.  The “Greed” is a goldish color that looks pretty on its own if you are in a hurry or don’t want to wear a lot of makeup (confession – I have worn this while running a half marathon…I live in Dallas – this is standard practice!)  I actually was almost heartbroken last week when realizing that Ulta and Sephora no longer carry my beloved “Greed”…but I soon realized it was still available online, and 50% off!  Score!
2.  Urban Decay Naked Palette – Step 2 of my eye makeup routine keeps up Urban Decay theme.  This palette is worth every penny.  I have used it almost every day for just over 2 years!  I am more of a brown/gold/shimmery girl when it comes to eye shadow so this kit had a lot of shades I was drawn to.  My favorite shades are Toasted, Smog, Half Baked, Dark Horse, and Sin.  I am currently now out of 4/5 of those shades so it looks like I need to pick up a replacement asap!  I use Creep and Gunmetal if I am attempting a “smoky eye” look.
3.  Black Kohl Eyeliner – I only wear eye liner along the bottom lid line and I actually have no idea what brand of eyeliner I currently use.  I usually find one I like and use it for a year or so or whenever it gets too short!  Usually the ones described as a “kohl eyeliner” go on smoother than the regular cheap pencils.
4.  Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder – “What?  I thought this was an eye makeup post?” you are probably thinking.  Well this is a little trick I read about recently that will rock your world.  After applying my primer, eye shadow, and eye liner I run a small makeup brush into the same pressed powder I use all over my face and then brush it all over my lashes (top and bottom).  This is supposed to help help give the illusion of longer lashes since mascara will “grab on” to the ends better and look longer.  I think it makes a difference and try to do this if I have time and am feeling glamourous!
5.  L’oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara –  I discovered this gem about a year ago after asking a friend if she had lash extensions.  She told me no, and let me in on her drugstore treasure!  I tend to “Mascara Hop” and use different brands every day but this is my favorite.  It never seems to get clumpy and really makes each individual lash stand out.  I think that the powder trick in #4 works really well with this mascara.
Bonus:
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Anastasia Beverly Hills Beauty Express for Brows and Eyes
 – This brow kit really finishes off my eye look.  It comes with eyebrow stencils, wax, 2 shades of powder (I use the blonde kit and usually mix the 2 shades together), and 2 shades of highlighter.  I don’t use the stencils as much as I did when I first got this kit, but they are a big help with making my brows look shaped when my brows are in need to a shape up.  I always feel extra put together when I finish my eye makeup look with the brow powder, but lately seem to only use it for a night out (gotta cut back somewhere when you are rushing out the door every morning!)There you have it!  Hope you found a new product to try out! 🙂

The 3 Amigos

Well after dusting off this ol blog I found this post I typed up almost a year ago in Feb 2013 that I never posted.

Well hello there blog…it’s been awhile, eh?  I was hit with some writing inspiration today so I thought I would run with it.  As the “winter” season wraps up, I started to think about all of my winter favs I will soon bid farewell for awhile.  Today, I realized that I was wearing 3 of these items!

Exhibit A

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Dear Express Red Jeans – oh how I love you!  I have definitely worn you the most out of all my skinny jeans and I am sure you are the envy of all my other skinnies because I think they have caught on I like you the best.  I can’t help it – you are sassy, loud, fun, and are so versatile!  I love finding new ways to wear you.  Don’t you worry, I plan to squeeze as much use out of you before pants are no longer comfortable to wear in the hot Texas heat!

Exhibit B

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Dear Tan Polka Dot Old Navy Sweater – You were on my radar as soon as I saw you pop up all over Pinterest.  I was dying to pair you with my turquoise skinnies but I searched and searched and couldn’t find you in my size anywhere!  Just when I was about to give up, I spotted you on one of those creepy “SuperModelquins” in my size and I politely asked a salesperson to strip you off of her and we have been together ever since.  I have found several different ways to wear you, and hope to continue our relationship throughout the spring!  PS You also almost made me lose my iPhone because I was so excited about finding you, I left my phone in the dressing room and luckily an employee found it and brought it up front as I was checking out.  #crisisavoided

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Homegirl 2nd from the left and I share the same fashion taste…I stripped her of another shirt recently too!  Sorry girlie!

Exhibit C

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Dear Steve Madden Intyce Boots – Even though it seems like every girl in Dallas owns you, I know I am your one and only.  I bought you last year and wore you so much that I had to take you in to get your soles repaired before the start of the winter season (January 2014 edit: I also ended up getting the soles fixed a 2nd time in April 2013 before my trip to Spain…and they probably need a 3rd repair after all the use I got out of them while abroad!), but you have been as good as new ever since!  I also noticed that you are on sale right now…which instantly made me angry (because I love a good deal) but now I am considering purchasing your fraternal twin in black.  Would you be jealous??

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January 2014 update – I do still own and love all 3 of those articles of clothing!  I never did purchase the above mentioned “fraternal twin” of the Intyce boot, but I am proud to announce that my boot family has grown by 2 members with the purchase of the following 2 pairs of Miz Mooz with the encouragement of Schaeffer over at Pinterest Told Me To.

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I almost feel a little silly that I have these in both brown and black but I first got the black pair during the Anniversary sale at Nordstrom this summer and couldn’t wait until fall to bust them out.  But since it basically went from summer to winter here in Dallas, I didn’t realize my love for these boots until November which was perfect timing for me to snag the brown pair on Cyber Monday!  Double score!  I was in the market for a new brown pair because during my 2013 trip to Spain during the “coldest spring Madrid has had since the 1920s” I ended up wearing my Steve Madden pair every day and night so I have grown a little tired of them (and they are pretty worn).

IMG_0864In case you needed proof of me wearing “The Three Amigos”…this was taken in Madrid last April with my Boston Bestie Elana!

I am super excited because today is my first link up with 2 of my fav fellow Texas blog gals Shanna and Sarah!



Taste of Tuesday – Skinny Southwest Crockpot Chicken

Happy Tuesday!  I am super excited to be linking up with Ashley and Jessica today!  I have been reading both of their blogs for awhile so I am glad to finally participate in their weekly linkup!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post Santa brought me a Crockpot and I couldn’t be more obsessed with it!  I resisted the idea of a Crockpot for a few years with the hesitation that it would make way more food than I was willing to deal with.  I usually only like eating leftovers for 1 or maybe 2 meals depending on how amazing the meal turns out.  After a ton of searching for “small portion crockpot recipes” I finally just decided I would tweak recipes to not make enough to serve an army.  Here is what I made the other night that still has me wishing there were leftovers!

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Skinny Southwest Crockpot Chicken Salad Bowls

(original recipe)

Chicken breasts (you can pretty much use any amount of chicken.  I used .66 lbs because like I said above I was just trying to make enough for my boyfriend and I with enough for me to take leftovers for lunch)

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained

1 can of black beans, drained

1 cup of frozen corn

1 can of low sodium chicken broth

Half of a green pepper, diced

Salt and Pepper to taste (I just threw a few shakes in)

Spices:  Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper (1 tsp of each) and then 2 TBSP of low sodium taco seasoning (I used Mrs Dash)

tip – I pretty much always use taco seasoning when a recipe is “mexicany” in any way.  It gives it a good boost of flavor!

For the salad base:

1 bag of romaine lettuce shreds and 1 bag of iceberg lettuce shreds (thought I would be fancy by mixing up the lettuce varieties but it doesn’t really matter what kind you use)

1 package of pre-made pico de gallo – or make your own

Avocados

Salsa and plain greek yogurt for topping (I mixed some taco seasoning and tabasco sauce in my greek yogurt mixture to give it some additional flavor and liked how it turned out)

Directions

Combine all ingredients listed for the chicken into a crockpot (don’t forget your liner!  Ain’t nobody got time to scrub dishes!) and set on low for 8-10 hours.  I was working from home for the day so I put everything in mid morning and let it cook for about 9 hours.  I constantly found myself in the kitchen lifting the lid and taking a whiff of this southwestern goodness!  After 8-10 hours scoop out the chicken pieces and move to a larger bowl where you can use 2 forks to shred the chicken up.  I found that it was pretty much already shredded up at this point but I just made sure all the pieces were broken up.  I then scooped out all the corn, beans, and tomatoes and added them to the chicken mixture leaving only the liquids in the Crockpot.  Add your chicken mixture to your salad base and voila – it’s like you are eating a Chipotle Burrito Bowl in the comfort of your own home!  Enjoy!