Simple Delights of the Week (#9)

Friday is one of my favorite days of the week.  Not only because it is the start of the weekend, but also because I get to reflect on all the joys for my Simple Delights of the Week post.  Feel free to share yours too!

Here are my Simple Delights of the Week:

Successfully making homemade ice cream with Grandma’s recipe.  I am not always the best chef or baker, but I am so proud of myself for making ice cream that tastes similar to my grandma’s.  She sent me her recipe and I followed it, but normally I follow her recipes and my meals never taste quite as good as hers.  Perhaps it’s her love that makes the recipes that much better.  I really do love that woman!  And now, I can be reminded of her every time I make her ice cream recipe.  Matt loves ice cream so he will have a yummy treat for the weekend!

photo 1 (1)

Starting AND finishing a book on a plane ride.  Before I left for my vacation, I visited my parents for a few must-have items like charge adapters or whatever you call them that plug into the wall.  My dad also gave me a few books.  We both like crime-type of books with suspense and thriller rolled into one.  I started a book called Kill Alex Cross and finished it the same day.  I love it whenever I do that, especially on a plane.  It makes the plane ride go by so much faster!

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Dinner at Lee Harvey’s.  This one has not happened yet, but I know it will be a simple delight of my week.  It happens tonight with my older brother.  I haven’t seen him since Christmas so it will be good to catch up and enjoy the atmosphere at Lee Harvey’s.

Getting back into a routine after vacations.  I love everything about taking a vacation, but I also love the simple, everyday routine of life.  There are so many things to enjoy about each day and moment.  One of my favorite things after a vacation is just that.  Getting back to my routine and finding joy in the things that I sometimes take for granted.  I loved getting to spend time “chilling” with the pets, eating healthy and working out again (I am care-free on vacations and that includes with my nutrition & exercise),  hitting up Target, sleeping in my own bed, etc.  You get it!

photo (5)What was your favorite joy from this past week?

 

Why I Love St Lucia

st lucia

I just got back from a 4 night trip to St Lucia.  I do not have all of my pictures uploaded yet and Matt is in the process of making an extremely cool video of the trip.  Once it is done, I will send a link.  Matt has a Go Pro camera so we even got action vids of ziplining.  How fun is that?!

I have quickly fallen in love with St Lucia and hope to be back someday.  My next trip there will be at least 7 nights… 4 nights was way too short.  It was simply beautiful!

Here are a 4 of the many reasons I love St Lucia:

  • The locals are the friendliest, laid back, and welcoming people I have ever met.  The first local I met was my airport shuttle driver through St Lucia Tropical Adventures.  He was extremely friendly and spoke about each of the sites as we drove by on our way to the hotel, pulled over for a breathtaking photo of one of the cities, and shared with us some things to do around St Lucia.  I would highly recommend this shuttle if you find yourself in St Lucia.  It is much more reasonably priced than a taxi, and having transportation figured out before leaving on vacation saves quite a bit of hassle.  Every other local I met on the trip was friendly too.  I cannot say enough great things about the people here.  We got quite a bit of “fist pumps” on our trip.
  • The beauty of this island is enough to make you connect (or reconnect) with nature and God.  I love beaches and I love mountains.  Put them both together on an island and wow, talk about beauty!  I felt at peace hanging out on the beach here with a mountain in view.  And I love the sounds of waves crashing on the shore line.  I could fall asleep to that every night.  I think God was thinking VERY imaginatively about this masterpiece of an island when creating it.
  • The list of things to do here are endless.  We had a whole list of adventures we wanted to try and sights we wanted to see, but we did not even scratch the surface on all the possibilities.  We did go ziplining and we hung out with the locals at the Friday night Gros Islet party.  We went jet skiing and paddle boating near our hotel.  We wanted to go scuba diving, but did not get the chance this time (and I have to admit I was 100% okay with that… I am somewhat afraid of scuba so I need to get certified before I try anything like it).
  • Palm trees are everywhere.  Matt made fun of me on this one, because I absolutely LOVE palm trees.  I could not stop talking about them when we got off the plane and Matt kept saying, “I don’t think all of these are palm trees…. some are banana trees.”  But, regardless, anything that resembles a palm tree makes me smile.  I love them.  If I didn’t live in Dallas, Texas, where there are no palm trees in sight, I would for sure have one in my backyard (or two or three or…).

Vacations are good for the mind, body, and soul.  If you ever feel the need to take a vacation and have no clue where to go, consider St Lucia.  Or anywhere in the Caribbean for that matter. You will not regret it!

Now tell me, where is your dream vacation?

What to Eat Wednesday: Coconuts

coco

I have to admit that I was 100% inspired to write this post after my visit to St. Lucia.  Coconuts are EVERYWHERE!  And the locals rave about the benefits of coconuts.  I have quickly decided to make a trip this week to my local grocery store for some of these bad boys.

The locals in St. Lucia are extremely friendly and hospitable.  I felt like instant friends with them.  A saying there is, “no pressure, no problems.”  I totally dig that.  I shall use it as a mantra when I am getting a little stressed.  They shared a few benefits of coconuts so today I share these with you:

  • My first friend was the guy in charge of water sports for our resort.  He had a coconut next to him that you could tell he had been nibbling on throughout the day.  He told me that coconuts work wonders on any digestive issue.  He eats coconuts daily and it eases any stomach issues he has.  It also keeps him regular… and no we did not talk about poop directly.  Just casually. You know.. no pressure, no problems.
  • My second friend was my tour guide for ziplining.  He was the best tour guide I have ever seen so if you are ever in St. Lucia, let me know and I will give you his name.  100% satisfied!  Anyway, that’s beside the point.  Our tour guide rode on the bus with us, which took about 70-80 minutes each way.  He kept us entertained with stories and interactive conversations.  He pulled out a bag of coconut pieces and had each of us try a bite.  He then talked about how coconut is good for fat burning and weight loss.  He says many of the locals use it as their go-to health staple.
  • My third friend climbed up the coconut tree and got me a coconut.  It was the coolest thing to watch!  I have a picture for you, because a picture is worth 1,000 words as we all know.coconut3

I have talked about coconuts before I am sure, but I had to talk about them again.  Next time you visit your local grocery store, buy a coconut and try it for yourself.  Nearly one third of the population rely on coconuts in some way as a food source.  If you don’t like the meat of the coconut, you can always use shredded coconut in a recipe or make a yummy drink with the milk inside.  If you make a drink, though, be sure to drink it in the coconut.. it is WAY MORE FUN!

Do you like coconut?  And if so, what is your favorite way to eat it?  (Ex: in a recipe, by itself, as a drink, etc.) Comment below!  I bet some of you even use coconut oil as a body moisturizer.

Eat well,

Sunday Social (#9)

Every Sunday, I do a link up with A Complete Waste of Makeup called Sunday Social.  It’s super fun and gets us all SOCIAL!  Feel free to join in on the fun…

Sunday Social

How old were you when you started wearing makeup?  I was in 8th grade.  I had officially made the switch from tomboy to girlier girl at that moment.  My friends showed me how to wear make-up and I traded in my Mossimo shirts with baggy jeans look for cute tops and skirts.  I even started bringing makeup to school to freshen up after gym class.

What are your top 3 favorite beauty products?  I have had my struggles with problematic skin.  I used to get pimples ALL the time!  Different regimens have worked in the past, but this past April I was struggling with the worst skin of my life.  I just could not catch a break (to me anyway, since everything is way more dramatic to yourself than to anyone else).  I started using a product called Unblemish and boy did it change my life! I am not a consultant for Rodan + Fields, but I sure do love mine!  This product line has me clear, and beautiful skin is number 1 in product priority for me so Unblemish would be my top.  The other two favorites would be mascara and eye liner.  I am not partial to any particular brands with these two either, but I do go with a basic black for both.

What is one makeup product you don’t leave home without?  Does EOS chap stick count?  I take that with me everywhere!  I love my EOS so much that I even bought a car to match.  Okay, not really, but I do own a Volkswagen EOS too.  And I am intrigued (as nerdy as it sounds) that they have the same name.

What is your daily beauty routine?  I follow the Unblemish regimen like I mentioned above, which consists of facewash, toner, dual-action intensive cream, and moisturizer with sunscreen.  I do that and then put on makeup.  The makeup part takes me like 5 mins max… mineral foundation, bronzer as blush, eye liner, eyeshadow if I am feeling it, and most certainly mascara.

What is your favorite hair/makeup product you’ve discovered in the last year?  Dior Skinflash.  It’s a radiance booster pen is what the description says, but I LOVE this stuff for under my eyes.  I have been out for weeks now, but once I get my butt to a mall I will purchase this again.  I tried to buy a cheap version and it was toss-worthy.  The garbage can liked it more than I did.

Simple Delights of the Week (#8)

Here is what I have taken delight in this week…

Simple delights

“Let Bliss Be Your Guide.”  My morning meditation one day was this.  How brilliantly simple!  I have had this phrase on repeat in my brain this week and I hope it continues to light my life.  If you let bliss be your guide, you are headed in the right direction.  I am going to let bliss be my guide in St. Lucia too (don’t worry, I will have pics for you when I return.)  Perhaps the beauty of the island can evoke some bliss in your life too.

Airports.  Some people hate airports and everything about them.  I, on the other hand, love them.  I love airports because 1) it means I am traveling somewhere and boy do I love to travel, 2) it makes for really good people watching, and 3) I am reminded how important it is to find joy and patience in waiting for something (in this case, my flight).  I get to drink a hot tea while reading a good magazine or having a fun conversation with someone.  I get to just be.

Having a blogger mentor.  I think it is good to have role models and mentors throughout your life.  I definitely have dietitians and health professionals that I look up to.  I had an outstanding first job mentor when I worked at Shell.  And now I get to experience the mentoring relationship in the blogger world.  I am very excited about this opportunity to work with Taylor and hope to learn a ton!  Heck, I already have learned a ton just by reading her blog.  Check her out at Pink Heels, Pink Truck.

The library.  Are you a member of your local library?  If not, why?  Call me old school, but I am loving my local library these days.  I can download books for free to check out on my Kindle (for 2 weeks unless you renew), can check out audio books to play in the car when on a long drive, and can rent Downton Abbey.  I have been hearing about this show for months.  I am finally going to watch Season 1.  I am non-committal when it comes to books so I love having the ability to check something out for free, read a little, and then decide if it is worth it for me to purchase or read once and be done.  Just like you did when you were a kid, get your library card!

Your turn.  What brought you delight this week?

What to Eat Wednesday: Uber

whateatwed_uber

Are you on-the-go quite a bit?  Or get into a mid-afternoon slump around 3pm?  I know of a GREAT option for you!  My afternoon snack has quickly become Uber by Larabar.  And let me tell you why…

  1. It is VERY easy to grab & go.  In the afternoon, I am usually working through a project so need a quick snack when hunger strikes.  I also need a snack that powers me through the rest of my work day.  I don’t get to nap whenever I want to… although, that would be a pretty rad benefit.
  2. The flavors they have are out of this world!  I have recently been introduced to Sticky Bun and Dark Chocolate Peanut.  Wow!!  Party in your mouth…. and one without crazy chemicals & scientific concoctions.
  3. These bars are easy to find.  I got mine at Target.  And who doesn’t have a Target in a 10 mile radius?
  4. When I find a tasty AND healthy bar that is a $1 or less per bar, I consider that a good deal.  Many bars out there can be up to $2.50 per bar.  I found the Uber’s for $1 each.  If I could buy them in a bulk, I would be even happier!  Must check Costco next time I am there (which is about 2x per year).
  5. The ingredients make this dietitian proud.  Check out the ingredients in Sticky Bun (and lemme tell you, it REALLY does taste like a sticky bun.  Yum!): Almonds, Walnuts, Brown Rice Syrup, Dates, Pecans, Molasses, Sea Salt, Cinnamon, Vanilla Extract.

I gave you 5 pretty darn good reasons to forget the vending machine and spend that $1 on an Uber!  And it’s even fun to say… you can call it uber good after you are done!

I do recommend that if you are going to have an Uber, you have it as a standalone.  It has plenty of calories and healthy fat on its own to satisfy your hunger.

Eat well,

Workout Spotlight: Pilates

Workout spotlight pilates

I love to mix my workouts up.  I get just plain bored if I do the same things day in, day out.  Since I am running quite a bit to keep up with my half marathon training program, I like to include Pilates these days for my strength training.  Locally for Pilates, I take at a place called BodyBar and I have quickly fallen in love with the Pilates Reformer classes.

I tell you what, with Pilates Reformer classes (and BodyBar has a Pilates Reformer Jump class too that is killer!), I take my muscles to the next level.  I don’t bulk up either.  Pilates seems to lengthen out my muscles.

I know you can’t judge a workout by how sore you are, but I always smile when I have a little soreness… makes me feel like I kicked some  mega ass! Pilates still gets me sore, but is lighter on the joints than most weight-lifting programs.  It’s lighter on the joints than running too, which is precisely why I have added it to my current mix.  It complements running quite well.  Although, so does massage therapy… (cue: “if I had a million dollars” song).

With all the studio type classes getting more and more popular, Pilates can get expensive.  However, even mat Pilates classes at gyms are good to add to your mix if you have a gym membership.  Pilates focuses on core movements and we all know strengthening the core is vital.  Most studios run specials at certain times too.  I got a great deal on my membership over the holidays.

If you are needing a fresh, new workout to add to your mix, check out Pilates sometime.  You won’t regret it!  In fact, you may get hooked like I have.

Sunday Social (#8)

Every Sunday, I do a link up with A Complete Waste of Makeup called Sunday Social.  It’s super fun and gets us all SOCIAL!  Feel free to join in on the fun…

1. Top 3 favorite kinds of food:  I will never turn down a bowl of chili (and if it comes with cornbread, even better!), Mexican food (especially a chicken fajita salad or fajitas), or a breakfast dish.  I could at breakfast for every meal, no lie.

overflow chili

2. First 3 things you do in the morning:  The first thing I do is heat up some water and squeeze a lemon in it.  I am always thirsty when I wake up and lemon water is the perfect start to my day.  Second, I usually turn on my work computer and set up my work station for the day (I work out of a home office 4 days/week). In an ideal world, I would do my morning meditation BEFORE this step but I am not quite there.  In fact, my morning mediation has quickly become my lunch time meditation, but hey that works too.  Third, I do some type of workout most days.  I am not perfect so there are definitely days I skip, but most days I either try to go for a run, do a workout DVD, or stretch/do yoga.

lemon water

3. Last 3 things you do at night:  One of the last things I do is probably watch a good TV show.  Matt and I like to watch TV nightly until we are ready to hit the hay.  The next thing I do before bed is brush my teeth and wash my face (I never skip these two!). And last, I usually read a magazine before officially setting my alarm for the next day.  And I like the room completely dark with no TV on.  That is how I sleep best!

4. 3 TV shows you NEVER miss:  I have plenty, but my tops of the moment include Blacklist, Shameless, and Episodes.  I won’t be missing these shows this season.  So excited to have them back on!

shameless

5. 3 places you want to visit:  St. Lucia (I will be there soon.. yay!), Hawaii, and New Zealand.  Hawaii will be another vacation spot this year, I can just feel it.  New Zealand may have to wait until next year though.

st lucia

6. 3 people you can always count on:  This one is tough because I have more than 3 people I can count on, but I will go ahead and take the easy route and say the first 3 people that ever knew me… my mom, my dad, and my older brother.

Simple Delights of the Week (#7)

Holy cow!  This week has been a busy one, but an enjoyable one at that.  How is your week going?  It’s FRIDAY!  Friday is like an endorphin in and of itself.  It automatically makes people happy.  And for that, I love Fridays!

So here is what I have found delightful this week.  And please feel free to share yours in the comment section or via your fave social media.  I love hearing what other people find delightful too.

Ladies Night: Tonight I am heading to the local rock climbing gym for Ladies night.  I am going with two of my co-workers and am thrilled to have an active night out.  Most Friday nights I am too tired to want to go anywhere or do anything active.  Instead, I watch TV with the boyfriend.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE those nights too.  But it is good to change things up a bit so I am going to get my rock climb on… and this will be my first time in about 5 years so hopefully I remember what to do.

rock climb

Hot Season Premieres: This week was a REALLY good TV show week.  Don’t you agree?  I love almost every Showtime TV show and this week was the start of Shameless and Episodes.  Those happened on Sunday.  Then on Monday, Blacklist came back on.  Oh my goodness do I love that show.  I have a whole new appreciation for James Spader as an actor.  This show comes on regular cable TV so check it out if you can.  Although, I would recommend starting from episode 1 since we are still in the first season.

blacklist

Kindle Fire: I got such a great deal on a Kindle Fire thanks to a $30 off coupon I got via email from Amazon.  I have been thinking about a Kindle Fire for awhile now, but wasn’t sure if I was wanting that or an Ipad.  Glad I went with the Kindle Fire, because it is RAD and only a fraction of the cost.  I know the Ipad probably does more, but I don’t need it for much.  Very thrilled to have this baby!  Oh and my purple case… just in time for my 7 hour plane ride next week.

kindle

Getting re-tweeted by Chris FreytagOkay, I know this one is silly, but I have looked up to Chris for YEARS!  She is a fitness professional who has written for magazines, been on TV, has her own website, and even teaches other aerobics instructors at fitness conventions (I have seen her at SCW Fitness Dallas).  She is such an inspiring and motivating woman.  I think the world of her so it was an honor for her to even see my tweet.  (Side note: tweet is such a funny word and the fact that it has officially made it into my vocabulary is cracking me up right now.  Twitter has a brilliant marketing team!)

Cure for the Crabbies

Crabbies

We all get irritated.  We all have our good and bad days.  I love working with people, but sometimes people get to me too.  That’s life.  So, recently, I created my own “cure for the crabbies”.

I have a list of 10 things.  I pick one or two and usually feel better.  If I don’t feel better, I usually just need an attitude adjustment or a hug.  They are in no particular order, but here is my list:

  1. Buy a tea from Starbucks
  2. Go for a 10 minute walk outside
  3. Take a time out & do a guided meditation
  4. Take a bubble bath
  5. Read a reallllllly good magazine article or two (or three)
  6. Text an uplifting friend
  7. Make a card for someone
  8. Turn on music and just dance
  9. Watch a tv show on Bravo or Lifetime
  10. Do a kick-butt, high-intensity workout (like Insanity)

What would your list consist of?

I think it is important to have your own cure for the crabbies, because let’s face it.. the crabbies will strike at some point.  I have to admit that it has been one of those days for me today so I tried #10 out.  Felt much better afterwards and you better believe that I am about to do #5 on my list as well.  Life is good again!