Officially in Vacation Mode

bend-area-mastheadWell, I am officially in vacay mode! My bags are packed and we’re off for week long trip to Bend, Oregon with the fam. Excited to leave the stresses of work and (let’s be honest) LIFE behind for a relaxing getaway in a place I haven’t been since I was a little girl.

What’s on the agenda for this week? Good question.

While we don’t have any set plans yet, our week will likely consist of lots of lakeside lounging, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, reading and of course lots of good food and drinks. Basically some much needed R&R. Oh, and definitely a day trip to the infamous Crater Lake.

A few pictures to share today as I dream of arriving at this beautiful destination. This is where I’ll be spending the next 6 days….

++ Side note: I don’t plan on blogging (or even turning on my computer) while I’m away. Sometimes it’s nice to just unplug and disconnect. Have a wonderful week and I’ll be sure to update when I return! 

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Have you ever been to Bend, OR or Crater Lake? Any travel tips??

 

Travel Essentials: What to Pack

_9321890Welp, I’ve got this trip coming up that I’m really stoked about… but, I’m seriously DREADING packing for it. And don’t even get me started on the UNPACKING. Ugh!

P.S. How cute is that Longchamp travel tote?

Anyways, thought I’d jot down a list (I love lists!) of my top travel essentials to share with you. And so I can get my head on straight and figure out what I need to bring.

Here we go.

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+ A beachy tote. Plus all it’s belongings. See what’s in my beach bag here.

+ A killer camera. What’s a vacation without the pics to prove it? Oh and sorry guys, your iPhone will not do.

+ iPad, plus charger and headphones.

+ Snacks. You never know when you’ll need a little something to hold you over. I love stashing a few Think Thin bars and some almonds in my travel bag.

+ the perfect bikini. 

+ sunglasses.

+ a big, floppy hat. my faves: here, here and here.

+ dry tanning oil with SPF. yes, this is a real thing.

+ a good book plus magazines.

+ workout gear + your oldest running shoes for hiking.

Now this list doesn’t include all the clothes and shoes you need, (obvi) but it’s all the little extras I tend to forget.

Tell me: Did I forget anything? What are some of your travel essentials? 

When to Replace Your Running Shoes

2013-Nike-Free-Run-2-0-women-running-shoes-gray-orange---0-3407-21275How often do you replace your running shoes? Every few years seems plenty enough, right? Think again.

Replacing your running shoes often is vital to preventing injuries while exercising. But just when should you toss those tennies?

Experts suggest replacing your sneakers every 300-500 miles. But other factors like your weight and a heavier foot strike can mean replacing shoes even more often.

Every 300-500 miles. What exactly does that mean? If you don’t keep a running count of your mileage (who does that??), every 6-12 months is a good rule of thumb if you exercise 3-5 times per week.

Seems like a lot to me. I’m notorious for keeping my shoes AT LEAST a year. But if it means preventing an injury, trust me, it’s worth the extra money.

Six months seem to soon? Start paying attention to how your feet feel in your shoes. If they start to feel too loose or you feel joint or muscle pain or shin splints while running, its time to replace them. Take a look at the heels and soles of the shoes, do they look worn out or squished? Take that as a hint.

How often do you replace your running shoes? 

On Eating Habits with a Spouse

dining-room-luxury-aris-pedestal-rounded-dining-table-with-chairs-in-cream-fabric-pictures-of-dinner-tablesMy husband and I have very different eating habits.

I tend to eat lots of salmon, veggies, quinoa, salads, chicken, eggs and fruit. He gravitates towards steak, crab, burgers, salami, cheese, turkey sandwiches and potatoes.

Now, I’m not saying I don’t like what he loves and he doesn’t like what I love, it’s just that it’s not our fave. Plus, if I ate like my husband, I’d be a cow.

But over the years, we’ve learned how to eat together. 

Growing up, my family always meals ate together, at the kitchen table. Whether it was a home cooked meal or a dinner out, we always sat together and enjoyed each other’s company while all eating the SAME foods. On weekends, Mom would cook us breakfast, lunch and dinner and we’d all sit down and eat at the table. And on special occasions, we’d eat in the dining room on fancy plates.

As you can imagine, the concept of eating different foods than my spouse was initially very foreign to me.

Surprisingly though, it works.

Every Sunday we make a trip to Costco and/or the grocery store together. Neither of us love doing the grocery shopping so we agreed this is one chore we’d do together. I grab what I want, he grabs what he wants.

One rule we’ve adopted is to try to eat dinner together, at the table, when we can. But we don’t force each other to eat the same meals. Over the years, we’ve found several meals we both enjoy: turkey burgers, chicken tacos and enchiladas, and various proteins (like steak, BBQ chicken, crab, shrimp and other fish) with the side dishes of our choice. Like, I’ll have a salad and he has a baked potato. Also, Blue Apron has been really helpful in trying new recipes together.

There are still a few days each week where we’ll eat differently. But hey, I’m happy, he’s happy. We both leave the table feeling satisfied. We eat what we want, when we want to.

Tell me: how do your eating habits change when you live with someone? Do you eat together or separately?

 

Top Picks from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

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It’s that time of year, friends – the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

If you’re a card member, I know, I know — this is old news.

Without a doubt, the Anniversary Sale is Nordstrom’s “best sale of the year.” The best part about this sale is that it’s not the items that have been picked over from the past two seasons. It’s all the new stuff for fall. So even though its hard to think about sweaters, boots and scarves in this warm sunny weather, now is really the best time to plan your fall wardrobe. Hurry though, prices go up August 4th!

Without further ado, my top picks for this fall:

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<< left to right, top to bottom >>

Long Waffle Cardigan // $32, after sale $48

Vince Stripe Top // $73, after sale $110

Tory Burch Riding Boot // $300, after sale $495

Elbow Patch Sweater // $25, after sale $38

J Brand Dark Plum Skinny Jeans // $120, after sale $178

Leather Jacket //  $260, after sale $398

Zella Leggings // $38, after sale $58

UGG Suede Slip On Sneaker // $65, after sale $90

Clarisonic Pedi  // $199, after sale $310

Crochet Hem Sweater // $29, after sale $44

Hanky Panky // $15, after sale $23

Citizens of Humanity Black Skinny Jeans // $120, after sale $178

Steve Madden Moto Boot // $113, after sale $170

Marc Jacobs Hobo // $293, after sale $438

Infinity Scarf // $30, after sale $46

The North Face Jacket // $74, after sale $99

Tell me: Will you be shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? What are you favorite go-to pieces for fall?

What’s in my Summer Bag?

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Tory Burch Beach Tote // (Similar)

If you know me, you know I’m a little bit of an OCD freak. I suppose it can be kind of annoying… especially for my hubby. But hey, it’s better than our house/cars looking like a bomb went off at any given moment. I can’t deal. And my handbag is just the same. Uncluttered, just the necessities.

I tend to rotate my handbags with the seasons, and right now, when I’m not headed out for a night on the town or to the office, you can pretty much guarantee I’m carrying a beach tote.

I received this darling Tory Burch (my fave, remember?) tote for my birthday last summer from my in-laws and it has proven to be the perfect bag for the season.

So, what’s in my summer bag?

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// 1 // Sunglasses //  Well, this is a given. I can’t go anywhere with out these suckers. Gotta protect those baby blues.  I have a few different pairs, but lately I’m loving my classic Ray Ban aviators.

// 2 // Sunscreen // I’m fortunate in that I rarely burn, but unfortunate in that I have to really remember to protect my skin. Still gotta protect against WRINKLES! The hubs on the other hand, burns in 5 seconds so I keep this stuff in my beach bag all summer long. You never know when you’ll need it.

// 3 //  Lip Balm //  EOS is my BFF.  The Evolution of Smooth. I alternate between the honey suckle honey-dew and sweet mint flavors.

// 4 // iPhone // Because, duh. Can’t live without this.

// 5 // Water // I may or may not go into a mini panic attack when I don’t have access to water. So, I bring my trusty water bottle wherever I go. Sorry, I’m not sorry. Gotta stay hydrated, friends.

// 6 // Light Sweater // Summer days turn into summer nights quickly. And when you’re by the ocean, it can get breezy. I learned to always, always pack a sweater so I can stop whining about being cold.

// 7 //  Smartphone Wristlet/Wallet //  I use this stylish and super functional wristlet as my everyday wallet to keep my essentials organized. You know, cards, cash, change…phone. That way, if I’m running errands and don’t want to bring my entire bag, I can just grab this and go. I love that it’s small so it doesn’t add extra weight to my bag.

// 8 // Hair ties //  These hair ties are the best for throwing up a pony when you take a dip in the pool or hop on a beach cruiser. They are made of a super soft and stretchy fabric  that doesn’t pull your hair or leave that notorious dent in your hair when you take it down. A must have!

Tell me: What’s in your summer bag? What are your essentials?

Tory Burch for Fitbit Flex

TB_22145800_701_DI’ve been waiting to read this announcement for a few months now. And today of all days, the email popped into my inbox.

Introducing an EXCLUSIVE collaboration between Tory Burch and Fitbit

Turn your Flex into a fashion piece with an exclusive collection of chic accessories designed by Tory Burch, now available for pre-sale. 

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The accessories range from $38 to $195.

I personally LOVE my Fitbit. I find it so motivating to increase my activity levels throughout the day. I actually have the Fitbit Zip, which I chose due to the fact that I can wear it clipped to my bra. So technically I can’t even use the Tory Burch accessories with the model I have, unless I want to invest in a new device (unlikely), the Flex.

Regardless, I’m very pleased that Tory Burch, a favorite brand of mine, has launched a few cute pieces to transfer the wristband trackers into a super-chic accessory. What a great idea! I’m loving the pendant necklace concept!

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I have worn a fitness wrist band before (remember my Jawbone UP review?), and found that after a few months, I got really tired of wearing a black rubber band on my wrist. It’s definitely not the cutest accessory of all time. Now that Tory Burch has linked up, I’m confident the designs will continue to improve.

Tell me: Do you wear a fitness band? Would you invest in any of the Tory Burch pieces for your Fitbit Flex?

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My Monday Mantra

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This. My mantra for today.

I’ve been re-learning something I’ve really known all along. That is, life is full of ups and downs. It is not always ever perfect, but there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. When life seems too good to be true, it probably is. And then you get thrown a curve ball and reality comes right back. Life doesn’t always go as planned. But that’s what makes it interesting. And beautiful.

Today I’m striving to see the positive in the negative. To be content with what is out of my control. To let go of what no longer serves me. To allow myself rest. To de-stress and decompress. To renew and replenish. And to breathe.

And I encourage you to do the same: whatever brings you down, makes you sad, wears you out — leave it. Whatever makes you smile and brings you peace — keep it.

Focus on the good. Do what you love. Keep moving. Life isn’t about making calculations and avoiding risks, it’s about going all in with what you love.

And remember that worrying will never change the outcome. 

 

Summer Watermelon Salad

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Nothing says summer like a sweet watermelon salad. After being introduced to this salad at a friends summer BBQ a few years back, I can’t get enough. The combo sounds a little strange, but trust. It is to die for. It’s colorful and festive, and makes a great addition at any summer cookout. Enjoy!

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups watermelon in bite-sized chunks, seeds removed
  • 2 small ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons prepared balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

What you’ll do:

In a bowl, combine watermelon, tomatoes and goat cheese. Drizzle with vinaigrette and top with basil.

Mix it up: Try it with feta and mint instead of goat cheese and basil, if you like.

Serves 4

Nutrition Facts: (per serving)
100 calories, 6g fat, 3g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 140mg sodium, 10g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 7g sugar, 3g protein

Summer Bucket List

beachbagHi friends! So sorry I have been MIA for the past few weeks. I haven’t forgotten about my readers and my blog. I have so much to write about, it’s just that… the summer sun officially got the best of me.

This is my absolute FAVORITE time of year and I’ll take any chance to get outside to soak it up. Needless to say, my evenings and weekends have been spent far, far from my laptop.

Forgive me?

On the topic of summer: a few months back, I jotted down my summer bucket list which I thought I’d share today. Hey, at least I’ve been productive in this department!

My Perfect Summer:

beach cruisin

baseball games

pool days

beach days

ice cream dates

sunset picnics

family vacation

road trips

bonfire

BBQ with friends

a nice tan 

the perfect bikini

new sundresses 

girls nights 

acai bowls

Laguna Beach day trips

long walks with my pups

fly a kite

boating 

stand up paddle boarding

kayaking

Tell me: What’s on your summer bucket list? 

 

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