Sunday, March 24, 2013


Ok, so, I'm female. That means I love travel-sized (read: mini) anything, and I love samples.

Make 'em beauty samples, and I'm sold.

Enter Birchbox. They sell beauty products, but their name was really created around their monthly beauty boxes - you pay $10/month, and you get a different set of samples (mostly BIG samples, sometimes full-size products) - always a surprise - each month.

Brilliant. Inexpensive, always new stuff to try, and just so.. fun!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Fitness Gems

Working out. There are so many benefits: the high after a great session, looking great, better health, being stronger, and, let's all be honest, cute workout clothes and sweet equipment/accessories.

Working in the fitness world, it gives me a great opportunity to discover awesome little gems to help on the fitness journey. From bags to books to the cutest freaking sports bras out there, I'm always on the hunt to find items that are cute, functional, helpful, and/or motivating (because who doesn't feel motivated when you've got something totally awesome to try out/wear??).

These are some of my favorite finds.

Let's start with my all-time favorite gym bag. Originally, I fell in love with this bag, but its price tag was a complete turn-off. I mean, really, I use my gym bag as a work bag and I still couldn't justify it. Thankfully, I found this as a replacement. So cute, the perfect size (as a small person, I have no use for a giant gym bag - but if large size is important to you, this isn't gonna work) for all my workout clothes/food/shower stuff/water bottle and blender bottle/etc, and the right amount of pockets to keep it all organized. Love love love it. Got it in Jungle Green from the REI website.

So in that gym bag, I bring my protein powder. The huge 5 lb canister is definitely not something I want to lug around, though, so I tried a few different ways of packing it. Tupperware, plastic baggies, and just pouring the powder into my empty blender bottle weren't really floating my boat... and then I found this. Created for moms to carry around infant formula, each little section is the perfect size for a scoop of powder. I can just open the little spout, pour in the contents (one or two sections, depending on the day), and be done with it. Brilliant.

When it comes to fitness, nutrition, and exercise, writing things down is a huge deal. Tracking your workouts, your meals, your goals, and just about anything else makes a huge difference - you feel more accountable, you have an easy way to track your progress, and you can use it as a motivation tool. You can use an app, an excel sheet, an empty notebook, or just about anything else... but I love this fitness journal. It's got places to track meals and snacks, macros, cardio and strength training workouts, vitamins and supplements, glasses of water, and more. Love it.

So next is a little timer that I started using for teaching Tabata classes, and now I love it for any interval workouts that I do. You can set the length of time for each interval and the time for the rests in between, and you can set the number of rounds you want to do. So rather than watching a clock or stopwatch, this little guy just beeps/vibrates to let you know when to switch.

Finally, clothes. That's another can of worms entirely, one I'll address later, but for now I'll leave it at this - I'm obsessed with Lululemon. I'm not in love with their prices, but for a couple of these items, it's worth biting the bullet and totally rocking the cutest workout clothes ever. Loooooooove.

Now don't you just feel so motivated? :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Breakfast Recipe

Ok, I tried to avoid the quinoa phase. I really did. Even though I was tempted by it's cute little shape and high protein content, I hate that every few months there is some new "superfood" that pretty much claims that, if you eat it everyday, you will never die becuase it will make you so crazy healthy. Yeah. So, I said "no" to quinoa for quite some time.

But then it presented itself as a breakfast food. Man, I sure do love breakfast. So I yielded.

Boy, I'm glad I did.

This is like oatmeal on delicious delicious steriods. It's got all the best flavors - almonds and raspberries and brown sugar and cranberries... I mean, how was I supposed to resist? (I wasn't.)

So here you go, my new favorite breakfast recipe:

1 cup dried quinoa (pre-rinsed or rinse it yourself)
2 cups water
1/3 cup milk
brown sugar, to taste
dried cranberries
toasted almonds, slivered
fresh raspberries

So basically you boil the quinoa in the water until there's no more water, then stir in the milk and however much brown sugar you need, then dump on cranberries, almonds, and raspberries to your heart's desire (I probably used a half cup of each)... then you eat and die of happiness.

Simple, delicious, healthy, and happy.... and did I mention delicious????