by Heather

It Started with Hello!

September 29, 2014 in Lifestyle by Heather

Eric and Heather College

Many thanks to Lindt HELLO for sponsoring today’s story, and giving my readers a chance to win really sweet prizes!

One of my favorite stories to share with people is how Eric and I met, started dating, got engaged and about our wedding. Since that’s a LOT of content for one post, I’ll start by telling you how we met. I noticed Eric right away when we were both freshmen at Samford. Eric is a triplet and his sister went to Samford University with us as well (while his brother went to Taylor).  I remember thinking in my immature 18-year-old mind that he could probably never be interested in me because his sister was so freaking gorgeous herself.

Even though one of my good friends was in his friend circle, we never really met until spring break my freshman year. His new group of guy friends and my group of girlfriends were all hanging out to watch a movie one night and the first thing he ever said to me was so small, but made a lasting impression. I was laying on the floor watching a movie with a house full of 10-15 people and he came up and asked if I wanted a pillow to watch the movie on. Of course, I said yes because he could have asked me practically anything and my reply would be the same. I remember thinking his blue eyes were so dreamy (still do!) and thinking he was so hot and just how thoughtful of a gesture that was! The next day his friends ended up coming to the beach to take the denim and white sorority girl photos for us on the beach that everyone just HAS to have their freshman year. (Do the college kids still do that these days? I feel so removed!)

One thing led to another, and the next thing I knew the guy I was dating at the time couldn’t go to my formal with me. I asked him if it was ok if I asked someone else to go with me and he said yes. Eric jokingly tells the story to this day as, “worst decision of that guy’s life!”. I talked with Eric on the phone to ask him to the ADPI dance with me to which he replied that he’d really like to take me to coffee beforehand to get to know me better. As things played out, he never ended up asking me to coffee beforehand so I assumed he wasn’t really interested and that must have just been something to say on the phone.

But then…we went to the formal. And we had the time of our lives! We joked and danced, ate good food and couldn’t stop talking all night long. In fact, the photographer even came up to us and told us that we made a great looking couple. We did the normal awkward skirting around that comment since we weren’t really a couple but I couldn’t help but beam from ear to ear!

The next day, all of our friends were supposed to go see a scary movie together but one by one they all dropped out except for Eric and I. So, he picked me up in Vail Circle (the girl’s freshman dorm) and proceeded to drive me to the movie on our first unofficial date outside of the dance. I knew he must be into me when he stopped at green lights on the way to the movie theater and almost ran a red light! He paid for my movie ticket and we found out later on that neither one of us even really likes scary movies. Ha!

We always ended each date by going back to our dorm rooms and immediately texting each other about what a great time we’d had, I’d get giddy, laugh and feel like I was on cloud 9 with every text I’d read. But then…the summer came all too quickly and we parted ways for the end of the school year not really knowing what to call our relationship (that was only 1 month old)…To be continued….

Isn’t that wild how one moment the person next to you means nothing really and the next moment, it’s the start of the rest of your life with your spouse or a special friend, etc? It all starts with a HELLO!

Lindt HELLO Chocolate BarsRecently, Lindt came out with a fun, new romantic web series capturing first connections and it is pretty funny. Visit Lindt’s youtube page to view the new web series episodes, a new show comes out every week through October 9th. 

It’s so funny to look back on the beginning of Eric and I’s relationship and how putting yourself out there can really make all the difference in the world. What if I hadn’t asked him to my formal with me? What if he hadn’t broken the ice initially by offering me a pillow? Would either of us had ever made the romantic connection if we hadn’t have been on that spring break trip? It’s fun to think about those kind of things to me and I’m so blessed that we did get to meet and have enjoyed a wonderful 6 years of marriage as of 9/6!

Lindt HELLO is hosting an amazing sweepstakes where you can win SWEET experiences from Lindt chocolate.  To enter the sweepstakes, visit the Lindt HELLO Sweet Connections Sweepstakes Landing Page and enter your email address. Entries can be made daily for additional chances to win the below prizes. There are 5 weeks of prizes, so enter NOW so you don’t miss the deadline.  Click here to enter!

Now, it’s your turn. What’s your favorite Lindt chocolate? Have you met anyone “by accident” who ended up becoming someone very important in your life?

 

by Heather

10 Ways to Save on Groceries at Winn Dixie

September 29, 2014 in Lifestyle by Heather

Ways to Save at Winn DixieI recently shared my Clean Eating Pantry Staples list with you that I shopped for at Winn Dixie. So, now I’m going to show you 7 ways to save even more money at Winn Dixie. I recently went into one of their newer stores here in Birmingham and was really impressed with the new look and feel of the store. It feels less grandma, and more bright and airy which I like!

Here’s my best tips for ways to save on groceries at Winn Dixie:

Ways to Save on Winn Dixie Groceries1. Look for this little black tag on new Lower Price items: Winn-Dixie offers a host of lower prices on everyday items every week, not just based on a single week’s sales flyer!

2. Get the Winn Dixie Rewards Card. This card gives you instant access to hundreds of discounts throughout the store plus savings tied to its fuelperks! fuel rewards program. When you check out at the cash register, all the deals Winn Dixie offers like Dependable Deals, Make-a-Meals, What-a-Deals, BOGO, and Real Deals are taken into account.

Fuel Perks at Winn Dixie

3. Fuel Perks. Speaking of the fuel rewards program, did you know you can save money on your gas just by shopping at Winn Dixie? Score!

4, Make-A-Meal: Each week, Winn Dixie offers a Make-A-Meal Deal where if you buy 1-2 items you get several sides to go with it for free!

5. Winn-Dixie also offers eCoupons, a convenient way to load savings to the Winn-Dixie Reward Card and have them redeemed automatically with a swipe of the card, right at the register.

6. Winn Dixie Prescription Plan: You can get $4 30 day generic subscriptions and $10 90 day generic pharmaceuticals! You can also fill certain antibiotic prescriptions for free!

7. Use Winn Dixie Brand Items. Clear Value offers budget-conscious guests a selection of more than 300 products across 50 – 60 different categories ranging from milk to canned goods, pet foods, paper products and much more!

8. Winn-Dixie participates in the UPromise College Savings Program, where you can earn money from grocery shopping to put toward college.

9. Produce Guarantee: There is a double your money back guarantee on produce!

10. Baby Club. Join the Baby Club to get exclusive offers, deals and coupons!

Also, did you know:
• If your Winn-Dixie store stops carrying something you like, you can ask them to start stocking it again.
• Winn-Dixie’s meat specialists will cut your meat to order for you at the meat counter.

Thanks so much to Winn Dixie for sponsoring this post.

What other savings tips do you have for me at Winn-Dixie?

by Heather

Auburn Game Day Outfit

September 25, 2014 in Fashion by Heather

Auburn Game Day Look | My Life Well Loved

Auburn Game Day Outfit | My Life Well Loved

Auburn Game Day Style | My Life Well Loved

Auburn Game Day Style| My Life Well Loved

Auburn Game Day Style | My Life Well Loved

Auburn Game Day Look | My Life Well Loved

Auburn Game Day Look | My Life Well Loved

Auburn Game Day Look | My Life Well Loved

Auburn Game Day Outfit| My Life Well Loved

Auburn Game Day Look | My Life Well Loved

Fall Outfit

“War Eagle!” and “Roll Tide!” are pretty common phrases you’ll find rolling off the tongues of all the classiest southern ladies in Alabama. It is football season, y’all and it’s time to kick up our game day gear! I’m an avid Auburn fan, and showcasing a dressed up version of game day colors in this look from The Pants Store in Mountain Brook makes my heart want to swell and start the War Eagle Fight Song. If you’re a Bama fan, make sure you check out my friend Buffy at The Style Gathering to get a few pointers on the best way to sport your crimson and white. Because at this time of year, I won’t be caught dead in those colors!

While it’s easy to toss on an Auburn tee, jeans and some cowboy boots, sometimes it’s nice to be a little more understated. I have been known to rock a variety of looks at Jordan-Hare but I feel my best in a cute dress with some layers for interest. Here’s how to make this Auburn Game Day Outfit work for you:

-Find a comfortable dress in your team’s color.

-Layer it with a cute scarf, vest or a poncho in a neutral color. (I had been looking high and low for a fur vest & was SHOCKED to find this BB Dakota one for just a little over $50!)

-Stack on your other team color in the jewelry. (Note: Here’s your excuse for an arm party!)

-Pair it with a cute pair of comfortable shoes that you don’t mind standing in all day.

Sometimes, overkill on the orange and blue can feel a bit juvenile. That’s why I love paring down the oranges and blues with some neutral and trendy pieces like this gray faux fur vest and awesome booties from The Pants Store. Those two neutral pieces really make the outfit feel whole in my opinion. In fact, don’t be surprised if you see me rocking an outfit like this game day or not! Orange can tend to overwhelm me, so I decided to let my orange accents come in with my bracelets and a muted shade of it in my necklace.

Of course, if I’m in the mood, a fun add on is to get a game day sticker on my cheek. It’s really all about how you feel that day. If you feel your best, you’ll have a lot of fun!

Here’s a few other fab pieces I spotted at The Pants Store that you could work into your Auburn game day look:

Auburn Clothes Inspiration

auburn game day colors

Shop the Look: Dress: The Pants Store (Similar) | Faux Fur Vest: Jack by BB Dakota at The Pants Store | Shoes: OTBT at The Pants Store | Necklace: The Pants Store | Purse: Michael Kors | Wrap Bracelet: Victoria Emerson | Bracelet Stack: The Pants Store

**Thanks to Magen Davis Photography for my photos and Sue Ellen Wilson Photos for The Pants Store photos.

What’s your favorite game day look? And who are you rooting for?

 

by Heather

2,000 Follower Instagram Giveaway

September 23, 2014 in Lifestyle by Heather

GIVEAWAY

I’m so excited to celebrate 2,000 followers on Instagram! What an honor that you guys want to share in this healthy living lifestyle blog with me. I am grateful, inspired, and motivated by each of you and I hope that you get just a little bit of that from following My Life Well Loved. One of the many reasons I love this community so much is because it is vibrant, encouraging, and vocal. It’s a joy to spur each other on towards a life well loved.

Some of you may already be following me on Instagram and if so, you’ve seen all the fabulous prizes I’m giving away. I thought I’d share a little bit more about each prize here where there is a little more room to type!

From Top to Bottom & Left to Right:

-Swoozies is giving away their most popular fall tote, The Juco Tote in your choice of colors and the cute little HAPPY serving platter.

-Crio Bru is giving away 2 bags of their brewed all-natural cocoa.

-three07  is giving away their classic Dot Dress.

-Rose Golde is giving away one of their beautiful hand made pieces.  You can see how I’ve style my Rose Golde pieces before here.

-Heart & Home Collection is giving away the ever-popular Zara scarf look-alike.

-E McGarrah Designs is giving away a beautiful hand-made bracelet.

-Molly Suzanne Boutique has beautiful jewelry, scarves, accessories and clothes. They are giving away a $25 gift certificate.

-Ava Anderson is giving away their additive and chemical free 4 piece avaSKIN set. It’s your daily essentials including cleanser, exfoliator, toner, and moisturizer.

Want to win now? I know I wish I could win! To enter, make sure you follow me on Instagram and enter by tagging your friends on the photo you see pictured above on Instagram.

What prize are you lusting over the most?

by Heather

Belief

September 21, 2014 in Faith by Heather

She believed she could, so she did

What do you believe? How does it affect your day to day? Belief is a powerful tool. We can choose to use it to empower ourselves or to tear ourselves down. How do you believe you should live your life? How do you believe others should treat you? How do you believe you can change the world? It’s mind boggling how that powerful little word can have ramifications on your entire life.

I believe that there is a God. I believe that God sent His only Son to die for me. But, sometimes I don’t feel like I act that way. It can be a scary and overwhelming calling to be a Christian. Sometimes, I get tripped up in the day to day and spend more time worrying about my workout or how other’s view me than on the things that matter. But, if I really believe in a God that loves me that much, my whole life should look different than someone who doesn’t believe those things.

My prayer today is that God grows my belief in His Son on a day to day basis helping my life look more and more like I believe in a King who purchased my life and made me new. I was reminded today at Bible Study that I am set apart. I am called to look different than the world. I cling to this verse on many occasions: “….I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” This is said by a man whose son is possessed by an evil spirit. The man says it to Jesus. (Mark 9:24)

Many times that’s how I feel….Lord, I do believe, but PLEASE help my unbelief. I hope this is a bit of Monday Motivation for you to cling to your belief too. Thank you, Father for helping my unbelief and for sanctifying me day by day to grow my belief!

by Heather

$370 Target Gift Card Giveaway

September 18, 2014 in Uncategorized by Heather

Do y’all love Target as much as I do? Seriously, it’s amazing, everything from your Starbucks fix to your groceries to your favorite new handbag or favorite self-tanner are all there! I’ve partnered with some of my favorite lifestyle bloggers to bring you a HUGE gift card giveaway. You can enter to win below and discover some of my blogging besties as well. It’s like a fun little game!

Target Gift Card Giveaway | My Life Well Loved

 

Your lovely hosts for this giveaway:
Michelle & Channing at Moms Without Answers // Meg at Meg O. on the Go // Lindsey at Redhead Baby Mama // Heather at My Life Well Loved //Denise at Gratefully Inspired // Lynzy at Sparkling Footsteps // Jenny at Jenny Collier Blog // Karissa at Karissa & Company //Britt at Southern Mama + Child // Julie at The Girl in the Red Shoes // Megan at In This Wonderful Life // Jennifer at Life in the Green House // Kristin at Bon Bon Rose Girls

This giveaway will run one week. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. All entries are optional, so choose the ones that fit you best. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

by Heather

Healthy Silk Smoothie Recipes

September 17, 2014 in Clean Eating, Healthy Living, Recipes by Heather

Silk Vanilla Almond MilkI am a snack-aholic. It’s really hard for me to go more than and hour or two without a meal, a snack, or a coffee. I like snacking because I know it helps keep my metabolism boosted and as an active gal, I need the energy! I’m always looking for low calorie and real food options for snacking. I know I shared a bit about my smoothie I made this weekend with you in this post, but below you’ll find the full recipe.

When I first tried Silk soy milk about a year ago for the first time, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it tasted good and in fact had a slightly better flavor than milk in my smoothies and shakes. So, I was really excited when I heard that Silk had released a new almond milk that is unsweetened and vanilla flavored. Here’s the healthy facts about this drink:

• 30 calories per serving
• Absolutely no added sugar
• 50% more calcium than dairy milk
• Excellent source of vitamin E
• Absolutely no cholesterol or saturated fat
• Free of dairy, soy, lactose, gluten, casein, egg and MSG
• Verified by the Non-GMO Project’s product verification program
• No artificial colors, flavors or funny business

Silk Almond MilkI challenged my photographer friend Magen to try Silk almond milk and she even ended up buying herself a carton. She also whipped up this yummy recipe for a smoothie if you want to try it!

1 scoop of pro complex chocolate protein powder
2 tablespoons PB2
1 cup of ice
1 cup Silk almond unsweetened milk

Blend until mixed well!

Healthy Cacao Raspberry Greens Smoothie | My Life Well LovedAnd, now here’s the full recipe from my post on Monday.

Aloha Silk Shake
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Packet of Aloha Cacao Powder
  • 1 cup of Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • Ice
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

If you want to try out healthy Silk smoothie recipes for yourself, make sure to sign up here for a coupon to try it out for FREE!

What’s your favorite healthy smoothie combo?

**All photos Magen Davis Photography.
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

by Heather

Birmingham’s healthy choices

September 15, 2014 in Healthy Living by Heather

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BalanceRewards #CollectiveBias

Meet Me at the Barre T

It has been really fun for me since graduating from Samford to immerse myself in the Birmingham fitness community. I’ve loved watching it grow from minimal to expansive. As someone who has always been active by playing volleyball and cheering from 7th grade through high school, fitness is a way of life for me. I thrive on working out and those endorphins that come from the healthy choices of working out!

Athleta Capris When I graduated from Samford and got married, I started out going to the YMCA and fell in love with spin classes. If you haven’t had the pleasure of taking a spin class from Hannah Pate in Birmingham, you are missing out! About a year after I got married, I started teaching at Pure Barre when the first studio in Alabama opened about 5 years ago. Through Pure Barre I’ve learned a lot about the vibrant fitness community in Birmingham. It’s been so fun to watch trendy workout staples like Lululemon and Athleta come to town. Below are some of my favorite spots around town to get my sweat on:

  • Railroad Park: FREE workout classes M-F. Get the schedule.
  • Pure Barre: Obviously I’m biased since I teach there but these 55 minute classes have changed my body and mindset about fitness for the better. Your first class is free, so come visit me to try it out.
  • Baseline Birmingham: Tennis lessons that I personally take once a week and love!
  • YMCA: Get a range of weights and ellipticals or fitness group classes.
  • Sweat & Gears Studio: A specialty spin studio where the infamous Hannah Pate teaches. Ramps indoor cycling to the next level.
  • Shelly’s Kinesis Studio: While there’s no name on the building, one of the best cardio workouts I’ve had in a while was at this cute little workout space by Steel City Pops in Homewood. Shelly personally texts you each week to set up a class time. She’s super motivating, cute, and works you hard!
  • Homewood Fit:  This bootcamp style workout is no joke! Women-centered and a great sweat…well worth checking out.
  • The Trak Shak: If running is your thing, a fun community to check out is the Trak Shak running club. It’s free to go and all paces are welcome. Simply head to their location on 18th Street at 5:30 pm on Wednesdays.
  • Spartan Fitness: Even though this isn’t my cup of tea, the hubs is obsessed. I went and took an introductory class and thought I might pass out. This gym includes muay thai, kickboxing, boxing, women’s self defense classes, kid’s classes, Brazilian Jiujitsu, and strength and conditioning classes.
  • Aero Joe Pilates: Even though I haven’t gotten to try this yet, I’m dying to! They offer yoga, pilates and AERIAL FITNESS. Way cool.

No matter where you workout in Birmingham, there are so many fabulous options and that is what is so great about this city! Whether you run or do Pure Barre, I think we can all agree it’s important to set goals for yourself. Luckily, I’ve found that the Walgreens app lets me set goals and rewards me for making healthy choices through their Balance Rewards Program.

Walgreens Balance Rewards

Walgreens Balance Rewards | My Life Well LovedBalance Rewards allows you to earn points for purchases. You can even scan your Balance Rewards card directly from your phone when making purchases. Join Balance Rewards within the Walgreens app and start earning points today to get rewards that equal future savings for you! Once you’re into this program, you can even start earning MORE points for setting healthy goals, and making healthy choices. How cool is that? So, just by doing your everyday healthy activities like working out, you can now save more money at Walgreens on all kinds of goodies. 

Pure Barre PretzelWhere is your favorite place to workout in Birmingham?

 

by Heather

Aloha: Juicing in a Packet

September 14, 2014 in Clean Eating, Healthy Living by Heather

Healthy Cacao Raspberry Greens Smoothie | My Life Well Loved

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Aloha, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #MyAloha #AlohaMoment http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

As evidenced in my many juicing posts and Instagram posts, I LOVE getting in my healthy green & red juices. Put some fruits and veggies in juice form and I’m all about it. There’s something tantalizing about getting that much goodness in your body so quickly. However, I’ve recently heard from a few good friends that are just as into juicing as I am that they have suddenly started getting multiple cavities. Due to this, I’m a little leery. I still enjoy my juices but try to be vigilant to brush my teeth fairly quickly afterwards due to the natural sweetness in fruits. So, now I want to introduce you to my new friend- Aloha blend box of Daily Good Greens-that solves my problem!

Healthy Cacao Raspberry Greens Smoothie | My Life Well LovedSo, what is Aloha? It is a whole-food powder version of juicing basically! It is non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, organic and has nothing artificial in it! I love that this product can be easily combined in my smoothie, water, in salad dressing or milk to make juicing on the go a reality. I use this product to fuel my Pure Barre workouts, tennis lessons, teaching classes and as a way to incorporate healthy choices into my day easily.

Healthy Cacao Raspberry Greens Smoothie | My Life Well Loved
I tried the Chocolate Cacao one first mixed with some Silk almond milk and ice. I drank it as part of my breakfast with an avocado and coffee. It kind of tasted like chocolate raspberries…what a treat! The Chocolate Cacao has Organic Spirulina, Organic Spinach, Organic Peas, Organic Wheatgrass Juice, Organic Wild Blueberries, Organic Raspberries, Wild-Harvested Young Coconut Water, Organic White Button Mushrooms, Hawaiian Red Alaea Salt, Organic Cacao, Organic Maple Sugar, Organic Coconut Sugar, and Organic Beets in it. Just look at all those nutrients, yes please! This product is meant to help you detoxify, boost your energy, and strengthen your immune system.

Hot Pink Nikes | My Life Well LovedBetween this new heathy drink and my new hot pink tennis shoes, I’m feeling super motivated to kick it up a notch in my tennis games! Make sure to get your FREE sample of Aloha and let me know what you think! It comes with 6 daily green powders in all three flavors to try. The trial is 14 days with the benefits of becoming auto enrolled into the monthly subscription. So, make sure if you don’t want it to auto-renew that you cancel.

Aloha Daily Good Greens: Juicing in a PouchWhat is your favorite on the go healthy product?

**All photos via Magen Davis Photography.

by Heather

September 11

September 11, 2014 in Uncategorized by Heather

September 11th Memorial

Don’t let 9/11 pass without feeling the weight of what today is. I almost went through the day without seeing the horrifying pictures, feeling the weight of what our country suffered and “getting it” all over again. Going from work to my workout and then getting caught up in cooking left me with little time to check in on the news today. However, I’m so glad I did. I spent some time tonight going through 9/11: The Photographs that Moved them Most.

I felt moved. I teared up. And I am sad.

It’s worth remembering the fragility of life. It’s worth thinking about the countless men and women who lost their lives. It’s worth praying for their families. It’s worth praying against evil in this world. It’s worth understanding that we are not promised tomorrow. It’s worth begging our God to save us.

What a country we have! What a God we serve! I feel blessed beyond words to be an American, but more than that I feel honored to have my true citizenship be in Heaven. I hope that on a day like today you know how loved you are, friends. I hope you strive to make this country stronger. I hope you educate yourself on important issues. I hope more than anything that you know our one true Savior, Jesus Christ. Because at the end of the day, none of the “stuff” we value as Americans matters. I hope that on that day you and I are in Heaven enjoying a life sweeter than we’ve ever known.

“I will remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3: 20-23

My prayer today is that God does indeed bless the USA and that he blesses you. If there’s any way I can specifically pray for you, please feel free to email me (mylifewellloved@gmail.com) or leave a comment. I love each and everyone of you and SO appreciate your support.