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Friday Favorites {6.23.17}

Today I’m sharing Friday favorites! I’d love to hear your favorites too so be sure to share in the comments.

We just arrived back from a weekend trip to the beach to visit family and attend my sister’s baby shower.


Just two weeks prior we were in the same spot for vacation. Being back to a routine means I’m taking full advantage of getting back in shape, focusing on a healthy diet and scheduling adequate time for relaxing from our busy schedule.

First up on my favorites list is date night!

1. Date Night

We try to schedule a regular date night once a month. It has to be at LEAST once a month. We’d sure love to do it more, but right now that’s our cadence. This weekend is our date time and I’m so excited. It really is important that we get out without our kiddos and have adult conversation; this down time is important for our health and sanity and really does make us better parents. Think of it like getting an oil change for your marriage. Although, you don’t have to have kids to have a date night- we used to have them before kids! Here are some things we are sure to apply for our time together.



  1. Something fun for the kids: I try to be sure to get a new movie or pull out a toy the kids haven’t played with for a while. Sometimes it’s homemade pizza or making a gingerbread house during the holidays. Whatever it is, I try to make our date night away fun for our kids too.
  2. A clean house is a happy house: I love to clean our house before date night, that way when we come home from our evening it’s to a clean home where the kids are asleep and we can continue relaxing at home the rest of the evening.
  3. Date night doesn’t have to be at night. We have gone horseback riding, we rode our bikes to the park once and had lunch, and even went restaurant hopping via Uber trying out different spots our city has to offer for drinks, dinner and dessert. Whatever you do, be sure to make reservations if your spot is expected to be busy so that you aren’t spending your date waiting in line.

2. Health Revamp

Post-vacation is always the best time for me to focus on my health. I’m rejuvenated from my time away and I’ve rid myself of some of my habits already since we’ve been out of routine. For example, I usually don’t eat the same stuff on vacation that I eat at home; it’s a chance to evaluate those routine things with fresh eyes to gain a different perspective and be intentional about what I want diet and exercise to look like. I also seem to be more adventurous after vacation, making it easier to try new fitness routines or food.

    1. New eating plan. I tried Whole 30 before and it was extremely difficult. And then someone told me that they tried it the first time with the mindset that they’d do every part of it possible, but if they slipped up they’d just continue again and keep trying. I quit after I had one bad day because I felt like I had to start over. It’s amazing how a change in perspective can set you on track. I’m trying it again and doing my best to complete it even if I have slip-ups.


    1. New recipes. I researched tons of new recipes and I’m excited to build them into my weekly meal planning. Here are a few below that I’m trying.


    Lettuce Wraps
    Spinach-stuffed artichoke potatoes
    Kale Caesar Salad


    1. New exercise plan. My new plan is to walk like it’s my job. This makes exercise possible with or without kids. I’m taking breaks from my desk and walking at work and we’re taking the kids walking at night. I’m also trying to walk some mornings before work. I’ve also blocked off time on my calendar for my regular exercise plan (running, weights, etc.) so that I’m intentional about how many times I can get a workout in a week. These shoes my sister gave me make me smile and get me to the gym.


    1. New coffee order. They say, if you drink or eat something habitually, changing that item in your diet can make a big impact over time. I removed sugar from my coffee and added cinnamon.

3. Celebrating Happy Things

I am trying to take time to squeeze in things for me that make me a better mom, a better wife and a better employee. Here’s 3 things that made me happy this week.

  • I love my necklace from Destiny Ray Jewelry. I actually got it at Beautiful Soul Boutique in Germantown, TN but she also sells her jewelry through her Instagram page and it makes me happy to celebrate her beautiful art every time I wear my necklace or look at her latest posts of her new creations. Here are some similar.

  • Nail time! I broke away at lunchtime to get a quick fix in the nail department and it was worth the 30 minutes. I usually go with some shade of pink.

  • I get compliments on my coffee travel mug all the time. It makes me happy to celebrate with my coffee and comes in different colors. It’s dishwasher safe and keeps my coffee hot; it also has a built in coaster pad.

That’s all for this Friday. I hope you can find something fun in the post this Friday. Also be sure to comment below on what you’re celebrating.


Running Funk: 5 Ways to Dash Out the Door

Some days when I go running I am like- YES- Let’s Do this!

And other days I couldn’t procrastinate more.

Here are 5 ways that I trick my mind, get going and motivate myself to run on the days that I’m not feeling it.

  1. Do it early in the day.

    Onset hunger and cocktail hour are always fierce competitors to running. I try to get out before noon. Early am is ideal, but if you are not a morning person, consider an early lunch workout.

  2. Schedule it.

    When it’s on the calendar on my phone, and I tell my family to schedule around me, I have a hard time backing out. 

  3. Talk myself into one mile.

    The first mile is usually the worst. If you can talk yourself into starting and completing the first mile, usually getting to mile two, and three and those miles after seem a whole lot easier.

  4. Run a slower pace.

    Sometimes running two days in a row is hard when you’re on day two and tired from day one. Allow yourself a slower pace for the first mile. By the time you get warmed up you’ll probably be able to pull faster miles later in your run. Plus, interval running is all the rage for calorie burning. Stepping it up every other mile can do wonders for weight loss.

  5. Listen to Music. 

    Start listening to music when you’re getting ready for your run. Putting on running shoes to great music pumps me up for a fun three-mile-journey.

Those are my quick and simple ways to get out the door for a run.

Do you have any tips for getting in a good workout when the struggle is real?


How to Skip the Tanning Bed this Spring

When I lived in South Florida I mentioned something about hitting tanning bed and my local friends turned to shame me with their wide-eyed, aghast expressions. “You still go to the tanning bed? Do you know how bad that is for you?” I had been going since middle school (hello, this is the standard for preparing for a southern prom) and it was always a great way to get my harsh-shade-of-white-complexion ready for summer. I had an addiction to an easy transition into beach season. When you live in Miami, beach season runs year-round and it did seem silly to be tanning when I could be laying by the pool year-round. So my tanning bed visits ended and my time outdoors increased as my activity level increased. I was always outside walking, biking and running. Very soon I noticed ugly sun spots appeared, skin discoloration formed, and my 15-block transitioned to 50-block.

Having a slightly darker complexion does have perks such as the seeming illusion of a brightened demeanor, ability to hide imperfections and magician’s trick for slimming a person’s physique. Here are my tips for leaning into spring without jumping in the tanning bed.



Self-tanning lotion is probably the most common way to avoid direct sunlight and upgrade your color, but there are new brands out there that are worth exploring. Jergens is probably the most common and accessible, but there’s still time to purchase two or three brands and try them out this spring to see which one works for you. A lot of companies are also making an easy-to-apply foam.


Tanning wipes are great for brightening up your face, covering an entire area, or even filling in what lotion didn’t cover. It’s a relatively inexpensive and quick way to get the cancer-free glow you’re looking for.


Lower SPF can still get you in the game at a slower pace than a quick burn. I once went to a free dermatologist screening and the doctor actually recommended that I use this SPF on my face year-round. It doesn’t have that sticky sunscreen feel and is great under make-up. I STILL get a tan with 50-block on my face and skin. If you’re looking for a little vitamin D, just sit out in the sun for 15 minutes or less and practice a delayed sunscreen application.

Spray Tan

Spray tanning has come a long way since the Friend’s show tanning debacle episode where Ross just can’t get on point with the seemingly difficult instructions from the employee working the machine. One tanning session can last up to two weeks and most tanning bed facilities also offer spray tanning packages.

One Christmas my sister received a spray tan gun. She has had spray-tan-parties and she has even sprayed a group of prom-goers. We used to visit a stay-at-home mom who had her own gun and charged people stand in her pop-up tent pitched in her home office while she sprayed away.

Embrace Your Lighter Side

I have a few friends with light eyes and dark hair with naturally pale skin. It gives me inspiration for being different in an age of tanning beauties, leaving my skin tone a bit lighter. Plus, lightening your hair doesn’t cause cancer and it still provides a similar glow. Be ever so kind to your skin.


Are you still hitting the tanning bed? What do you do to prepare for summer?