Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hyla DeWitt Warm Up Sale

Glad I checked insta early this am!  Hyla DeWitt, one of my fave jewelers (and gals) is having a surprise sale and is offering 15% off her entire collection.  If you live in Houston and / or have seen me  in the last 6 weeks you know I have not stopped wearing my Hyla jewels.  This and this have been on constant rotation, but personally I am partial to the Cassie necklace - perhaps for obvious reasons.  These (Super K has them in blue!) have quickly become my favorite earrings, and I have been obsessing over these for a while too.  When I hosted a trunk show in December I was really hoping to make these mine, but someone snagged them before I had the chance, so maybe today is the day?  Luckily I did pick this up, and I loveee it!  It's beautiful down here in Houston (sorry), but I can't think of a better pick-me-up for the winter doldrums than some new bling.  

Happy hump day, y'all!  
For the record I am also completely obsessed with this, this, and this just in case someone (cough, John, cough) is reading this and remembers that Valentine's Day is right around the corner!   

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Thrive Market and Greenling

In keeping with making 2015 my healthiest year yet, I am so excited to share two "new" companies that are helping us do just that.  New might not be the exact right word per se, but new-ish to me in any case.  Thrive Market and Greenling have made my life exceptionally easier this year, and I am absolutely obsessed with all of my goodies.

Thrive Market started this past November, and it took next to no time for me to become a member.  The way it works is this: You register for free, have access to the Thrive catalogue, and receive 15% off your first order; after your first purchase you begin your free 30 day trial but can cancel any time; and after 30 days you join the Thrive community by paying $59.95 for a year-long membership.  The kicker for me was that with my membership, Thrive will also sponsor a low-income family, and I love the idea of spreading the good!  Imagine what it would be like if Costco and Whole Foods had a baby...that is Thrive Market.  The products are amazing and the prices even better.  I have been able to stock up on all of our pantry staples as well as swap many of our cleaning supplies for their greener counterparts, and they even carry my fave body lotion! Someone contacted me directly when something I ordered (Sriracha Mayo, yum) was temporarily out of stock, which was so nice, and he was also so super receptive to my suggestions for product expansion.  (More Acure! More Acure!)  Although we've only been members for a little over a month, I continue to be amazed with what Thrive is doing, and as someone who is perpetually trying to stick to a budget the prices are pretty unbeatable.  Give it a try!  What do you have to lose?  (Seriously though, it's like a total win-win.)
image | image 
I have been wanting to join a CSA, like, forever.  So, once I read up on Greenling for about two seconds, I knew it was something I wanted to do.  A full service online grocery store (with free delivery!), I mostly take advantage of two produce boxes: the Local Box and the 4x4 Organic Fruit Box.  The latter includes 4 bananas, 4 apples, 4 oranges, and 4 pears, which between that and the local box essentially takes care of any and all produce the M household is consuming.  The local box varies from week to week depending on what is available, but this week we received broccoli, a butternut squash, black radishes, mint, rainbow carrots, watercress, salad greens...and more!  Seriously, there was more in there!  Pretty awesome.  And I love the idea of supporting local farmers (and doing my part to reduce carbon emissions blah, blah, blah) - it means a lot to me to know where our food is coming from, and buying from Greenling not only provides that peace of mind but also ensures that people working hard to provide that good food can continue to do so.  Good karma all around, y'all.  You can learn more about what they do here, and sign up for your own deliveries here!

*I wasn't asked to write any of this by either one of these companies - I just feel really strongly about supporting good people doing good things, and I think both of these organizations are doing just that. So, join me in supporting them, y'all!

Monday, January 26, 2015

On Cleansing...And Almond Milk

Monday, woof.  After more margaritas in 24 hours than I'd care to admit, my mind wandered to cleansing because...the two go hand in hand, right?  A particularly indulgent weekend this was, and one not really on par with the "let's get our shit together healthy in January" mantra I was hoping to run with.  It seems like a lot of my favorite people are on diets right now, and while it's been a good bit since I prescribed to an actual diet, I have to say I'm kind of tempted.  Not so much on the restrictive front, per se, but more like I need to press reset, or pause, or something to get 2015 back on the right foot.  I love juicing and am a HUGE fan of Pressed and BPC, but juicing is also expensive...and leaves you hungry.  I'd love to do something that would allow my husband to (perhaps unknowingly) participate, and other than my nightly bottle glass of vino wouldn't upend my life in the worst way.  You know?  Anyway, I've read some about the Clean Program (thanks goop) and I'm intrigued, but I've also heard Jessica rave about her cleansing experience, so I know there are tons of options out there...it's just kind of taking the plunge.  21 days is a long time!  What do y'all think - are you in to cleansing or meh?

And speaking of cleansing (kind of?), the gal who started the juice bar at my yoga studio has recently started a blog, and it is awesome!  Becki's recipes are all super healthy and look supremely delicious - I have been taking serious note.  I recently made her almond milk recipe, and I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved it.  I've tried to cut back on dairy in the last few months because I think I'm a little sensi to it, but for someone who loves half & half like I do I knew I was going to have to come up with an amazing alternative.  I had been using coconut milk creamer, which mostly did the trick, but it also has stabilizers and additives that, while they are probably perfectly safe and harmless, I don't really want to be drinking either way.  (Read your labels, y'all!)  So, this almond milk (the recipe for which you can use cashews, hazelnuts, what have you) is free of all of that, and is 100% the best I've ever tasted.

Simple Almond Milk
image via Beckijuice

Ingredients
2 cups almonds or other nut, soaked 8 hours and up to overnight
5 cups filtered water
2 dates, pitted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch sea salt
1 whole vanilla bean

Preparation
Drain soaking water and rinse almonds well.  Place in a blender with the filtered water, starting on low and working your way up to the high setting for 1-2 minutes until smooth and uniform.
Strain the milk using a nut milk bag, cheesecloth or a super fine strainer.  After straining, return the almond milk to the blender and add dates, cinnamon, sea salt and vanilla.  Blend another 1-2 minutes until thoroughly combined.

Store in the fridge for 5-7 days.
Recipe from Beckijuice

Full disclosure, I used a mesh strainer, and it was kind of miserable.  Like, I almost quit whilst straining.  But my nutritionist informed me they sell nut milk bags on Amazon, and it took me a whopping 3 seconds to order a few.  So. Much. Easier. And another great little tidbit to keep in your back pocket: Make two batches, one as written and one with less water for a thicker, creamier consistency - the perfect half & half replacement for a morning cup of jo!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Race Recap & Running Survival Guide

I did it!  I ran my first half marathon on Sunday, and I have to say it was an absolute blast.  If you follow me on Instagram you already know this, and you also know that I raised money for the Epilepsy Foundation Texas.  It was AWESOME to run in my Team Epilepsy shirt, and know that I was, in fact, running for a reason.  The first 8-ish miles were a breeze (if that's even possible) - I was having so much fun and in such awe of what was going on around me I barely felt like I was running.  Perhaps that was also due to the immense amounts of Gatorade I consumed (when in Rome), but whatever works, right?  Miles 9-13(.1) were a leeetle more difficult, but knowing I was going to see John at mile 9 and then again at the finish was enough to get me to there.  Never underestimate the power of seeing the people you love!  I'm not sorry it's over, I won't lie, but only because I'm excited to resume my normal workout schedule and not worry about training all the dang time.  However, I enjoyed the race so much that I think this run might become an annual event.  Pretty awesome!

I was pretty neurotic about how I prepped for the race (surprise, surprise) - there were certain things that I'm pretty sure I could not possibly have survived without.  And that's pretty much everything I had on my person on race day.  I thought I'd share my running must-haves (from a non-runner, so take it for what you will), because I figure if I can swing a half marathon with zero experience but with the right junk, then so can you!  I did most all of my training in my regular Wunder Unders, but it didn't take much to convince me to switch to running tights - whatever the difference is, I noticed.  I also lived in these tanks - they are lightweight and perfect for layering.  A former New Balance lover it took me awhile to switch my kicks, but since my first pair of Mizunos  I haven't looked back.  Supposedly they are like the king of running shoes, and I can't disagree - I have three pairs of the same shoe in my closet at the moment (I may or may not have broken the cardinal rule of racing and bought a new pair the day before...#noregrets).  I am lucky to know the amazingness that is Features socks  Seriously, these are life changing (and expensive, so I covet them to death).  During training I did my first long run in the wrong socks...and never again.  I even made John carry an extra pair in his jacket on the day of the race just in case.  I'm one million percent not kidding, and although I didn't need them I was so grateful to know they were available just in case.  I've had a ton of people ask me what I listened to on race day, and the answer is Rock My Run.  It is my most favorite music app of all time, and I am SO happy I had it for the run.  I'm lucky I was able to stream my playlists, but there is a download option too - I assume to avoid the troubles I could but thankfully did not have.  Phew!  I didn't know much about gels and chews before I started training, but I absolutely loved these ProBar chews.  I liked that they were organic and had a list of ingredients I could understand, but what I really liked about them is that they worked (!).  There were other chews I trained with and really enjoyed (these and these, specifically), but when it came down to it ProBar was the winner in my opinion.  And then finally, my Tune Belt, which was allowed me to listen to music hands free - it is definitely the best arm band I've worn (there has been more than one, I'm ashamed to admit) - flexible and sturdy, yet comfortable enough that I kind of forgot I was wearing it.  All pluses!

I really can't say enough how much I loved running the half marathon - I won't go so far as to say it was easy, because it wasn't, but it was so much FUN and so fulfilling.  I would encourage anyone who's ever entertained the thought to go for it.  I can almost guarantee you won't regret it in the end!









Wednesday, January 21, 2015

#ThisGirlCan

This video popped up on my FB newsfeed, and I had to share it immediately.  I love the message!  When I was really struggling with my weight / was really overweight the idea of exercising - or even being seen in public in workout clothes, really - was absolutely terrifying.  For anyone that experiences this now or ever has - I know the feeling all too well, I'm afraid.  This video puts all of those thoughts to shame - it shows that women of all shapes and sizes should, could, and DO workout, and they're dang proud of it! I wish I could have seen this 7 or 8 years ago (although maybe my husband wishes I didn't wear workout clothes as much as I do...#dailyuniform), but I hope in sharing it someone will be as touched as I was. Take the first step - just get out there and move! Everyone's gotta start somewhere. #thisgirldid

Friday, January 16, 2015

Happy Weekend!

TGIF!  Y'all know what I'm up to this weekend (see below) - depending on what you consider a hobby (I kind of loathe running), I hope you have more fun plans! Lots on my radar this week though...
Hopefully my mantra on Sunday

Happy birthday Kate!

Did y'all watch the Golden Globes last weekend?  I did!  (I thought the dresses were underwhelming this year, if I might add.) Watching this made me giggle.

One more on the Golden Globes (can't help myself) 

The best IT bags of all time

20% off at J. Crew!  And 40% off final sale!  Use code SPECIALSALE.  Wow!

Healthy office snacks (Yum!)

Sugar Addiction is the latest and greatest health craze...what do you think?  (I think I really love the chocolate sea salt caramels at Whole Foods)

Celebrities reading mean tweets, college football edition - I love these no matter who's reading them!

Top outfits at the Critic's Choice Awards

How to incorporate more grains in to your routine

This was one of the best things I read this week...and so, so true.  

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Houston Half Marathon

It's on Sunday!  Did you know I'm running a half marathon?  It's ok, you can close your mouth...I'm pretty surprised myself.  I'm also pretty proud.  I'm definitely proud of all of the training I've done including that trecherous 9 mile run, but more than anything I'm proud of fundraising for the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas.  And I'm so proud to be both a part of and running with this group of people.  Did you know 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy in their lifetime?  Think about that for a second - 1 in 26.  That is crazy!  Epilepsy is no joke.  It also happens to affect my sweet and precious family personally, so I want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to support this cause I care about so much.  Because anything's possible!  And finding a cure would be really great.  Anyway, I have worked my buns off (I wish I could say literally...damn you red wine and chocolate chip cookies), and I am pretty pumped to run this weekend.  Even if I'm the slowest person out there (which I probably will be), it will be pretty awesome to say, "13.1 miles? No big!" (Except really big. Really, really big.) Especially for the girl who dreaded the mile run in middle school like bubonic plague.  Literally, if I could have planned sick days around the mile I would have.  And now I've run 9!  That is something.  If you live in Houston come out and cheer us on!  Marathon Parties are so much fun!  And if you are going to watch, give me a shout!  I'll keep my eyes peeled.  Lastly, if you're in a giving mood, or if you meant to give and didn't, or if I happened to catch you at just the right time - there's still time to donate!  Just click there...or here!

Here too! 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wednesday Wants

Today's Wants are a little all over the board, but then again so am I, so.  I don't really need anything per se - it is just after Christmas after all, but I can't help loving a few things that either Santa might have missed or have recently popped up on my radar.  Open Door Shop, one of my go-tos for home goods, got some new zebra glasses in that I think would be particularly precious in our kitchen.  And I am just biding my time (or, waiting for my current gear to putter out) to pull the trigger on a new Fitbit Charge HR.  I've been a loyal Flex user since they came out a few years ago, but I'm ready to up my game.  Not that I'm a serious athlete (ha!), but I would love to have access to continuous heart rate monitoring and an accurate daily calorie burn in addition to tracking my daily steps and mileage.  For someone as neurotic as I am about getting 10k steps a day this little gadget is seriously a dream come true.  Switching gears a little bit, I love - like, love love - these bug earrings from Furbish.  Real bugs #nogracias, but gold plated bugs dangling from my ears #yesplease!  Last but most definitely not least - my lips have been chapped as all get out lately, which is probably due in part to the absolutely miserable weather we've had in Houston, but I need help.  Help in the form of a nightly exfoliating lip balm (that is all natural to boot!) from my favorite beauty site.  That's about all I've got for this week - what's on your radar?

Shop these wants!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

All Natural Cold & Flu Remedy

In keeping with my sickly trend (woof), I thought I'd share a little concoction I threw together from Simple Green Smoothies last night.  I actually mentioned this recipe in another post, but I think it bears repeating.  Particularly when your husband sounds Clint Eastwood after he ate a bag of nails for lunch (double woof).  Juan doesn't necessarily subscribe to the idea that eating (and drinking) the right foods might make you better faster, so I'm out to prove him wrong - in the best way, of course.  I feel very strongly that you can both heal and repair your body with natural remedies, and I am a HUGE fan of this stuff.  It has lemon, which is high in vitamin C to help keep your immune system strong, ginger to help settle your tummy and fight off toxins, and honey to soothe a sore throat and balance out the strong flavor.  I was tempted to throw some cayenne in, but I think I'll save that for another batch.
Ingredients:

  • 2 lemons, thoroughly washed
  • 1-2 large pieces of ginger, peeled 
  • Raw honey
  • 12 oz mason jar

Preparation 
Thinly slice both lemons and roughly chop ginger.

Alternate layers of both in mason jar.

Pour honey over the lemon and ginger.  Allow it to sink to the bottom and cover all of the lemon and ginger.  Fill jar to the top with honey and seal tightly.

Store the jar in the fridge - over time it will turn into a loose jelly, and when you need something soothing scoop 2-3 tablepoons in to a mug full of hot water.  Steep for 3-4 minutes and enjoy!

Recipe from Simple Green Smoothies