I’m doing the Whole 30 right now so I’m going through flavored coffee withdrawals. Rolling out of bed half asleep is so hard until I smell the warm, rich aroma of coffee brewing in the kitchen. Suddenly, it feels like I can put one foot in front of the other and make the journey to read more
You know how I wrote about how good I feel on Clean Eating yesterday? Well, the reality is the summer has gotten the best of me. I am not sticking to it as much as I once was, and sugar has crept back in and is trying to take over my palate. I am falling read more
Clean Eating has transformed my body, the way I work out and how I view food and working out in general. If you’re not sure what Clean Eating is, you can always search it on my blog (on the right hand side) or get started here. If you are trying to eat less processed foods, you’ve read more
Alabama heat is no joke! It has felt like spring for most of the summer, but now that the true to form humidity and soaring temperatures are coming to fruition, it’s the perfect time to showcase my Favorite Summer Makeup. These products have been my saving grace this summer for some color and to cover read more
I’m doing the Whole 30 right now so I’m going through flavored coffee withdrawals. Rolling out of bed half asleep is so hard until I smell the warm, rich aroma of coffee brewing in the kitchen. Suddenly, it feels like I can put one foot in front of the other and make the journey to wake my mind up enough to create that perfect cup of java. Thank goodness I tried this out before Whole 30!
Because I love my coffee creamer and iced coffee so much, I wanted to show you one of my new favorite tricks: Iced Coffee Cubes. The genius behind this little recipe is that when the Iced Coffee Cubes melt, your coffee doesn’t get watered down!
I used the new International Delight Iced Coffee for my experiment. Here’s what you need to try it out:
International Delight Iced Coffee
Ice Cube Tray
Pour coffee into ice trays. Freeze until solid. Place coffee ice cubes into cup. Top with International Delight Iced Coffee.
*Variation: You can also freeze the ID Iced Coffee and put that in your coffee as a way to flavor your cup of joe.
If you want to enter to win a fun new tumbler for your iced coffee, check out the International Delight Facebook page here!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of International Delight. The opinions and text are all mine.
You know how I wrote about how good I feel on Clean Eating yesterday? Well, the reality is the summer has gotten the best of me. I am not sticking to it as much as I once was, and sugar has crept back in and is trying to take over my palate. I am falling into the trap of craving sugar day in and day out.
The sad part? I’m not even indulging in sweets each day. But the added sugar in my coffee creamers, fruits, and the occasional dessert are really adding up. That adding up leads me to crave sugar and carbs more and more. So, I decided with some prompting from the girls at work to jump into Whole 30 to help me get back into the routine of Clean Eating. I think this will be a good way to hit the reset button on saying no to sugar.
The Whole 30 Program eliminates dairy, sugar, legumes, alcohol and grains. You can read all about it here. Here’s what I’ve got planned for this first week of Whole 30 Eating:
Breakfasts: Banana or Apple with Almond Butter or Boiled Eggs
Lunches: Leftovers from Dinner or Salad with fruits and Chicken
Lemon Pepper Tilapia with Kale Chips and Strawberries
Steak with Sweet Potato & Oven Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Clean Eating has transformed my body, the way I work out and how I view food and working out in general. If you’re not sure what Clean Eating is, you can always search it on my blog (on the right hand side) or get started here. If you are trying to eat less processed foods, you’ve probably already heard that a good golden rule is to shop the perimeter of the store. While this is true, there are also some great protein filled resources on the insides of the aisle that are sure to make your body a happy camper as well.
I’ve compiled a list of things I almost always have on hand in my pantry, refrigerator or freezer to help me have a great basis for a week of healthy clean eating ahead! There is technically no “standard” definition for clean eating, so I make it fit my lifestyle and tastes to the best of my ability. Although some people may not agree with this list in it’s entirety, this is how I have found I can make Clean Eating fit into my busy lifestyle. This is not a complete list of all approved foods, but rather meant to show what I typically keep in my pantry to help me always be able to reach for plenty of healthy options.
Clean Eating Pantry Staples List:
Fresh Fruits: Some of my favorites to keep on hand for me or the hubs include bananas, strawberries, watermelon, tomatoes, pineapple, avocados, and apples.
Fresh Vegetables: Favorites include bagged spinach and salad, bell peppers, potatoes,carrots, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and broccoli.
Nuts & Nut Butters: Almonds, peanuts, pecans, cashews, peanut butter, almond butter…you name it, I LOVE it!
Seafood: Frozen or fresh, I love trying to incorporate this 1x/week if possible.
Meats: Deli meat (get the least processed kind possible), ground turkey, boneless skinless chicken breast, beef, etc.
Cheese: My personal favorite is goat cheese, but the hubs loves all kinds so I try to keep a variety of low fat or whole fat cheeses around. (Avoid fat free if possible.)
Whole Wheat Bread: Use whole wheat to get a nutritional band for your buck. It leaves you satiated for longer and usually has more fiber.
Olive Oil: Awesome staple for cooking.
Brown Rice: Easy to use as a side, stir fry or filling snack.
Whole Wheat pasta & Quinoa
Frozen Fruits and Veggies: Frozen at the peak of ripeness and often go on sale or are cheaper than fresh.
Milk: Opt for Low Fat or Full Fat Milk and organic if possible. The lower fat you go, typically the more processed it is.
Yogurt: Opt for Greek when possible and plain if you can do it! Add in fruit or your own natural sweeteners vs the tons of added sugars that manufacturer’s put into it. (Although I do love the coconut and pineapple flavors!)
Eggs: I love to boil eggs for the week to help me have healthy breakfasts or snacks ready to go!
Sweeteners: Use the real deal! Honey, agave nectar, pure maple syrup, etc.
Canned goods: black beans, chick peas, tomatoes, tomato sauce. Try to find the ones with no added salt or other additives.
As all of you know, I’m always looking for a good deal when I can on groceries. The reason why? I can save that money and put it towards cute shoes, or a date night with my husband. I’m a big believer in being a good steward of your resources and I always have my eye out for good stock up prices. When I find a good price on groceries, I usually buy several containers to last me until the next time I find a stock up price. My husband is never surprised to find 5 containers of peanut butter at a time in our pantry!
I’m so thankful to tell you that Winn-Dixie in Birmingham is lowering their prices on TONS of awesome, healthy staple goods like select fruits and veggies, some cheeses, almond milk, ground turkey, olive oil, coffee, tea, baking goods, condiments, whole wheat goods, and MORE! I was surprised to see how many items they had with the black arrow sticker that lets shoppers know they’ve recently lowered the standard price on that item.
Make sure you check out these lowered prices next time you’re in a local Birmingham store, because Winn-Dixie lowers prices on THOUSANDS of items in Birmingham-area stores. By lowering prices throughout the store, Winn-Dixie is making it easier for shoppers to find their favorite products for less. As the cost of groceries increases, Winn-Dixie is lowering prices to help customers save every time they shop. Thanks so very much to Winn-Dixie for sponsoring this post.
What’s YOUR favorite easy healthy food to have on hand for good meals?
Alabama heat is no joke! It has felt like spring for most of the summer, but now that the true to form humidity and soaring temperatures are coming to fruition, it’s the perfect time to showcase my Favorite Summer Makeup. These products have been my saving grace this summer for some color and to cover any unwanted blemishes.
Makeup has always been a fascination for me. I remember watching my mom complete her cat eye before going out on the town with my dad and watching as she put fuchsia lipstick on her pouty lips and thinking how “cool” it was. I couldn’t wait until one day I could transform my look the way she did. I’ve gone from experimenting with matching my eye shadow to my outfit in 7th grade (yes, I was that girl) to learning how to maximize my products to highlight my unique features. I’ve come a long way but am always eager and excited to learn new tips and tricks!
Since I’ve got such a busy schedule, I usually don’t get to touch up my makeup throughout the day. My makeup has to be simple, give me what I want and last a long time to get the Heather seal of approval. All these products have stood the test of time and truly give me something that I feel I can’t do without during the summer months.
Pictured above are my facial products. These products have been in my makeup bag all summer long and have been really fun to experiment with.
Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation: I am very picky about my face products. I like this one because it’s a mineral foundation which my facialist from The Esthetic Loft recommended. I don’t have time or the energy in the summer for thick, cakey makeup so I like how this one can glide on with the enclosed sponge in less than 2 minutes flat. It’s also build-able for coverage as needed. Formulated with kaolin, it absorbs excess oil to control shine and help prevent sebum-related breakouts. Antioxidant-rich vitamin E and green tea leaf extract protect and nourish as silica provides a smooth application, leaving skin with a silky-soft finish.
L’Oreal True Match All-Over Mineral Glow: This is a perfect portable (brush included) highlighter that my friend Erin turned me onto. I use it to highlight right under my eyes, down the bridge of my nose and around my forehead. It gives a little bit more softness to my matte face and gives more dimension without taking too much time or energy.
bareMinerals Warm Radiance Bronzer: Hello, sunshine! Bronzer is my be all and end all for the summer months. If I had to get by on bronzer and mascara for the summer I could. I love the look of sun-kissed skin and warmth radiating from your cheeks! I don’t use this bronzer exclusively, it is what I had leftover from years past, but I am bound and determined to use up some of my old makeup I had forgotten I had. I really love the cheap Rimmel bronzer you can find at any drug store as well!
Estee Lauder Melon Shimmer Lipstick: Color me bold! This shade has been an absolute delight this summer. I got it in a free gift with purchase, but otherwise I don’t know if I would have stepped out on a limb and bought it. This color is daring, summery, peachy and fun! You can see it in this style post I did a few weeks back. I get compliments on this color a lot, so something tells me at the end of summer I’ll be sad to put it away till next spring.
Estee Lauder Sumptuous Bold Volume Lifting Mascara: Again, this product came from my free Esteee Lauder gift. I LOVE a good splurge mascara when I get a Sephora gift card from a friend or a freebie but have a hard time splurging. This tube lasted me most the summer, but now I’m back to my drugstore staple, L’Oreal Voluminous mascara in black. Both of these mascaras get me the full, voluminous and long look that is a must for flirty eyes!
Bobbi Brown Under Eye Corrector: This little miracle product may have to get it’s own post one day. I cannot rave enough about it. I splurge on this little miracle pot and am about to order my third corrector! Thanks to the ever fabulous Sydney for recommending this to me. Simply layer with concealer over the top to wave goodbye to those after effects of late summer nights!
Mary Kay Eye Brow Pencil: This gives subtle definition to your eye’s frames. Taking a few extra moments to add in eye brow pencil takes your look from so-so to instant glam! This trick has become one of my new favorites in the past couple of years. You can order it through Mary Kay or get this similar Rimmel one for a fraction of the cost.
Hello there! My name is Molly-Brown from www.maketodaylovely.com. I am so happy to meet all of you, and thank you to my wonderful friend, Heather, for having me to her blog! I am a twenty something nursing student, and I currently reside in sweet home Alabama. I chose to blog because I wanted to bring a little brightness to my readers’ day by sharing everything that I find lovely. I believe in enjoying every moment, and Make Today Lovely allows me to share those special moments with all of you in hopes of inspiring your own zest for life. I never want the little things to pass without me noticing their true beauty. Through my blog this ordinary beauty is brought to your day through style and good taste. Come by and visit Make Today Lovely to take a break from everything that is strictly business, and enjoy yourself through fabulous clothes, delicious food, and lovely sights. Make Today Lovely is a way for me to express my creative side in hopes of bringing smiles and joy to my readers. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Brussel sprouts have always had a negative connotation. They are that one vegetable that most people always feed to the dog under the table, or scrape into the garbage after dinner. But take my advice and have no fear of this stereotypically described distasteful food. I have recently found an obsession with this green legume. They are crunchy and salty like french fries, and make a great side for lunch, dinner, or even a savory healthy snack. I have a simple recipe, courtesy of Food Network, that will make you fall in love with brussel sprouts just like I did. Its so easy, and I hope it will spur some creativity to try some other new vegetables.
Cranberry Walnut Brussel Sprouts
fresh brussel sprouts
3 tablespoon of olive oil
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Cut the ends of the brussel sprouts and remove the outer leaves. Mix together the brussel sprouts, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook on a sheet pan for 35-40 min at 400 degrees until crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake from time to time while cooking to brown the sprouts evenly. Salt to taste and serve immediately.
To make this side more lovely, add some fresh walnuts and cranberries with about 10 min left to cook for a little more flavor.
Over the past ten years I’ve attended a ton of showers as well as helped host quite a few! I love all the details! My hands have been quite full for three or four years with my twins, so while I’ve not been the brains behind much of the creativity, I’ve loved seeing and taking part in some of it! This DIY Kitchen Wedding Shower was one of my recent favorites.
The gift tree had spoons, oven mitts and other kitchen utensils on it, which was so cute! We all wrote a few words on the spoons for the bride-to-be
We were given a recipe card in our invitation to fill a recipe box. What a great idea! Now, she can keep these recipes from all her friends and family that attended her shower.This shower luncheon had some DIY decorations. My favorite is the mixer & blender with flowers. What a perfect centerpiece for a kitchen shower!The little personal touches make the shower so sweet and sincere: the rolling pin and apron at the bride-to-be’s seat, moss letters and several other things.
The favors were delicious sugar cooks that were mixers & blenders, along with a sugar cookie recipe. Darling.
Thanks so much for checking out my DIY Kitchen Wedding Shower post! I’m going to have Heather guest post on my blog soon! You can follow along with me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and sometimes Twitter
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SmoothSummer#CollectiveBias
Date nights are critical for us. Between my busy schedule at work, Pure Barre, social media clients and blogging and the hub’s full time school and work, it is hard to squeeze in time together. So, when we do, we like to be very intentional about it. I’m so thankful I have a husband who takes the time to make me feel special and cherished. Some of the things Eric does to make me feel special for our date nights include shaving, getting my door, tuning into only me, and planning ahead. I am incredibly blessed and thankful to call him my husband of almost 6 years!
These are the main three things he does to make me feel special for a date night:
1. Plan ahead. He looks at his calendar and asks about mine to see when we could go out. He plans it out a few days in advance and makes sure to check out the menu at the restaurant we’re going to, or checks the weather for a hike and makes sure we both have that time blocked out for each other.
2. Shave. It may seem silly but I love it when Eric shaves for me and takes the time to let me know he cares how he looks for me on our date nights. We have always prioritized working out and looking good for one another, so when he shaves and dresses nicely for a date night, it further proves he cares about impressing me.
3. Unplug. On date nights, we notice that a lot of couples end up staring at their phones over dinner. We are not ok with this and really try to keep our phones away so we are not distracted with text messages, emails, or tweets coming in. It’s so refreshing to just concentrate on the one important person with you at that moment.
These three things that Eric does for our date nights make me feel appreciated, loved, and cared for. He also gets my door for me, makes sure to hold my hand and affirms me in physical touches as well as quality time which are by far my winning love languages.
I’m so thankful to Gillette Flexball for sponsoring this post. Eric tested out the new razor after I picked it up from Walmart and you can see the video below to see what he thought! Ever since I was little, I’ve always liked the look of a smooth face for a man. You can ask my parents who had to listen to me gripe about every man I saw walk by with a beard…
Hello My Life Well Loved readers, I am Buffy York and I write a lifestyle blog called The Style Gathering. I live in Birmingham, Alabama with my husband and 4 children and we are all counting down the days until the college football season starts. Roll Tide Y’all! I met Heather four years ago when I started taking Pure Barre classes and found her energy and positive attitude to be so appealing. Several months ago when I decided to start my own blog Heather was one of the first people I called for her expertise, and last week when she asked me to be a guest blogger on My Life Well Loved, I was honored and jumped at the chance. Thank you Heather. I hope your readers enjoy…..
It is absolutely ridiculous that I stress out about what I am going to wear on any given occasion, but I do. Last month, I was invited to the Belk Fall Fashion Preview with their VP of trend merchandising, Arlene Goldstein, and my normal stress out over what to wear escalated to a full blown freak out. These moments usually set in motion a series of events that go something like this. I call my friend and say “What in the world am I going to wear?” and she says “What were you thinking?” After that several iphone pics of outfit options are texted back and forth, I head over to her house with an armload of clothes, she opens a bottle of wine and starts pulling things out of her closet and we put together an outfit. This happens alot and the bonus is that she has a “skinny mirror” in her bathroom so I leave with a little pep in my step.
Moments like this and the upcoming change of seasons and the fact that I want to fire everything in my closet got me to thinking about how to get the most out of my current wardrobe without dropping a load of cash. There are several ways to go about this but here are a few ways that have worked for me and you may find useful.
Double your wardrobe by having access to a friend’s closet. This clearly works out well for me. In the photographs above I am wearing the outfit my friend and I put together to wear to the Belk Fashion Preview. The BB Dakota leather shorts and Namrata Joshipura jacket I purchased from Laura Kathryn are mine and the Haute Hippie camel silk tank belongs to my friend. She and I have an awesome arrangement but here are a few things to consider, borrowing etiquette if you will, before you borrow or lend. First, these arrangements should be two-way streets. If you are going to borrow expect to lend. I actually love seeing my clothes on my friend. It gives me a renewed interest in articles of clothing that may have lost their luster in my eyes. Have you ever broken up with a boyfriend and then see him out with another girl? You think “Wait, did I miss something here?” Same emotions apply to clothes. Something else to think about is who you want to swap with, I only swap back and forth with one friend. She and I have similar taste and body types and we buy clothes in the same price range. Next thing, always return clothes in better condition than you borrowed them, and if you ruin a piece of clothing be prepared to make it right. This will ensure that you get to borrow again. Lastly, I don’t borrow shoes or fine jewelry. Number one, my friend buys very expensive shoes, like one’s with red soles, and shoes are too easily ruined and number two, jewelry is too easily lost.
HIRE A CLOSET CONSULTANT
I totally understand if you do not want to borrow or lend out your wardrobe and another relatively inexpensive way to get a new outlook on your closet is to hire a consultant. Typically their services can be tailored to meet your needs from just and hour or two of putting together outfits from your current wardrobe to personal shopping. Two years ago I hired my friend Kerri Bunn to come in and help me. At the time I was working full-time and I needed some go to outfits for work and life. I was sick of standing in my closet, that housed many a clothing item, and not being able to figure out what to wear. Kerri came in and assessed what I owned, she put together many different looks complete with shoes and accessories and we took pictures with my phone to reference later. She even completely reinvented a 10-year-old jacket that I was about to give-away and I have probably worn it 30 times since. In addition to Kerri Bunn, Birmingham has several other stylists such as Tracy James of Chic Made Simple and Megan LaRussa Chenoweth of Southern Femme, each with different levels of wardrobe consulting. If you prefer not to spend any money just get a friend whose style you like to come over and revamp your looks for free.
ORGANIZE A CLOTHES SWAP PARTY
I have participated in one of these with a group of my friends and it really is very fun. Get a group of women together and tell them to bring their unwanted somewhat current clothes in good condition and cash to a designated friend’s house. The clothes should be clean, on hangers and priced in $5 increments with their name on the price tag. One person is the “banker” and after shopping each others clothes the banker writes down what each person owes and gives credit to the original owner. After the party is over and all the tallys have been made each person either pays what they owe or they receive cash if they sell more than they buy. These clothes swaps can be done in many different formats so make sure you set your guidelines and everyone understands what is expected before the party.
These are just a few ways that I have found to freshen up my wardrobe without breaking the bank. What are some of the tricks that work for you? What is your wardrobe pick me up? Heather and I would love to hear from you. Post a comment below or email me at email@example.com.
Pure Barre is sweeping the nation and the celebrity circuit by storm! Many of you have found my blog because of Pure Barre and I’m so thankful to have you here. If you don’t know what the Pure Barre Fitness Technique is, this video will explain a little bit more about it as will my 10 Tips for Your First Pure Barre Class. Pure Barre is a mixture between ballet, pilates and yoga in a 55 minute class. It is a very athletic approach to ballet and no dance experience is needed. Each class is set to driving and fun music that will keep your heart rate up and your mind engaged so you are actually having FUN while working out! Imagine that…
This technique is known to slim out your thighs, tone up your arms, and whittle in your waistline as well as lifting your “seat.” The benefits can be seen physically as well as felt emotionally and mentally.
Thanks again to Ivette with All about Bham for teaming up with me to do some healthy inspired videos like our previous Cinnamon Peanut Butter Protein Treat. We’re excited to bring another segment to you soon highlighting Pure Barre Fitness in Fashion!
If you’ve tried Pure Barre, what is your favorite part about the technique?
Go, go, go is the theme of our society. It can be hard to pull that off stylishly and thoughtfully so I’m here to help with some tips for dressing from day to night. 90% of the time I run from work to a workout, date night, or dinner with friends and effortlessly staying chic is not always the easiest thing to do. Let’s dive into a few tips and tricks for pulling it off Princess Kate Middleton style, shall we?
In Birmingham, it goes without saying that it’s usually hot and muggy at this time of year, however in the office it can be freezing thanks to frigid AC units trying to battle the heat. A great way to transition a look from day to night is to wear layers so you’re comfortable during the day and can jazz it up in the evening!
Best Tips for Dressing from Day to Night:
Dress in layers. Wear a cardigan to cover your arms and make your dress more demure for the office. But, at night, let those shoulders show!
Flats to heels. Wear your comfy flats at the office, but pack a 1-2 punch with your strappy summer heels when the clock strikes 5:00.
Jewelry. Go from a simple silver or gold chain with little embellishments to a full on statement necklace to up the ante in the twilight hours. I also broke out my go-to stacks of bracelets and the ever edgy hand chain!
Wear slimming shape wear and comfortable undergarments (I chose Maidenform Smooth Body Full Slip & the strapless bra) that make your transition seamless without lots of time-consuming changing.
The eyes have it. Wear minimal eye makeup during the day such as mascara and liner, but break out the smoky eye look with a few simple swipes of shadow in the evening.
Mane event. Your hairstyle goes a long way in showing what kind of mood and how much effort you put in. I know my husband usually likes my hair pulled back, so I swept it into a low bun for a date night look.
The main takeaway is to make it as easy as possible when you plan your outfit for the day by incorporating simple things like packing different shoes and jewelry in your purse. Everything else you can simply shed or transition with a few swipes of shadow or hair pins. The best part about this whole transition? You don’t have to change undergarments or clothes! Maidenform makes it really easy with their convertible bras, full body slips, and thigh slimmers. What a great trick to have up your sleeves!