Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Let's Be Friends Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Let's Be Friends Blog Hop! This is my first time participating and I just love the concept. Tiffany and Chelsee are lovely ladies! Please read on and join in the fun!


A blog hop is a set time frame for current or aspiring bloggers to find new blogs and quality content. It is a great way to make new friends and find inspiration! It is also a fabulous way to promote your own blog and posts.

Dear Friends,
What a day to celebrate! This is the 97th week of the Let's Be Friends blog hop! Thanks for joining us on this special day. Chelsee and Tiffany are extremely delighted to see the way this hop has grown and love to see your faces each week!

Join us every Tuesday at 7am (MST). This blog hop focuses on content. LINK UP YOUR FAVORITE POST from last week in this fun content-sharing blog hop! I love the idea of blog hopping, but I love the idea of reading posts and quality content on new blogs I've never been to even more. Instead of simply linking up your blog button, you are now able to link up your favorite post you recently wrote. Have a delicious recipe to share, DIY tutorial, or heartfelt post? Share it with us! All hosts and co-hosts put up some unique and fun content from the past week. Make sure to check them out. P.S.- you may still link up your blog button and blog name, but it is encouraged to link up your favorite post instead. You will get more page views and interest if you do so! Some of the most successful blog hops I have participate in focus on content rather than just exchanging follows. You never know who will become a loyal follower or pin that delicious new recipe you posted!

The BEST part of this blog hop? Each week there will be a WINNER! That's right, each week we will choose one lucky blog to feature from the previous week's hop. This hop receives thousands of page views every week, so your blog will have the chance to be center stage for free. You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win. Only those who link up a specific post are eligible to be featured! *You must follow all the hosts and co-hosts in order to win.

The last exciting change is that the co-host spots will now be available to all sponsors of The Dwelling Tree or Southern Beauty Guide. If you are interested in co-hosting the blog hop, email Tiffany or Chelsee about sponsorship opportunities and how to co-host the weekly hop!
There are a couple of great giveaways going on right now at Southern Beauty Guide and The Dwelling Tree. Go check them out! :)

Let's Be Friend's Blog Hop Guidelines
1. Link up your favorite post from your week.
2. Follow your hosts and co-hosts.
3. Grab the button and post it on your blog so we can share the love.
4. Visit 3 other blogs, comment, and follow them along!
5. Tweet about this blog hop, using #letsbefriends
6. Pin the button on pinterest so we can spread the news!
***Once a week, one blog will be chosen to be the featured blogger from the previous blog hop.
Meet your hosts:
The Dwelling Tree: Blog, Bloglovin'
Southern Beauty Guide: Blog, Bloglovin'
Meet this week's co-hosts:
PicMonkey Collage
PicMonkey Collage2
***This weeks featured post from last week's hop:
Thank you all once again for continually linking up at our blog hop. It is such a fun time and I am so impressed each week with all the amazing posts. Please continue to link up an actual post instead of your blog. We want to keep reading your content and it makes it more fun to pick a winner!
Is there anything we can do differently or better? Please share in the comments!
... onto the winner!
Hot Chocolate (1)
Hello everyone! This is Tiffany!

I just loved this awesome idea for a simple and inexpensive gift. I am always looking for ideas for house warming gifts or hostess gifts, and this is so cute. There are lots of fun variations to do as well.
Winks and Eyerolls is an awesome blog with great posts. I really wanna try the Homemade Peanut Brittle. It looks SO good! Sierra and Faith both share the blog and are sisters. How awesome is that? Go check them out and follow them!

Thank all of you for your amazing posts each week. I love reading all that you share!
Keep posting awesome content! You make it so fun for us to read all your posts! If you can, please link up a specific post. It makes it easier for us to come and visit!
*Remember YOU can be next weeks winner! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Work it Out Wednesday: Week 9

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Hi gang!

I can't wait for this week to be over! Anyone else?
I was too indulgent this weekend and feel like a blob.
Luckily, boxing was awesome yesterday and the workout I'm about to share with you was a sweatathon! I need these tough workouts to counteract the holiday season sweets and get on the right track! Anyone else? I've already purchased the Advocare 10-day Cleanse and other great products for immediately after the holidays, too, to help. This chub stops in December!

Weekly disclaimer:
Remember what I said about my lack of qualifications? Please keep in mind that I am aware that I am chubby and have no fitness/nutrition authority. I'm just trying to spread some wellness love as I fight the battle to live well myself.


Weekly Workouts:

{via}


How I made it harder: I added dumbbells to the lunges and squats and didn't go to my knees for the pushups. Otherwise, no need to make it harder for me!
Overall impression: This got my heart pumping for sure! I loved it!
Sweat factor (on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is when I look like I just got out of the shower): A 10! Total 10!
How I felt when it was over: Exhausted! I was so happy to sit and drink some water!
Would I do it again? Absolutely. It took me about 35 minutes since I took a 2-minute break before I repeated the round and in the second round I took 5-10 seconds in between some of the moves.

Weekly recipe:

{via}

This looks too good to not give it a shot. I'll probably add some chicken. Yum!


Weekly motivation:

{via}

So true! We can do it!!

Weekly workout sass

{via}

Yep, I need this tank!

...and now all I want to do is watch Elf and eat pasta.
Who's with me?

Have a good one!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Work it Out Wednesday: Week 8

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Hi gang!

Ugh. What a week. Well, what a few weeks. I feel like I'm running on fumes. Anyone else just going through the motions? I'm struggling.

Luckily I'm still powering through my workouts and am trying to eat healthy. I've been doing much better than I was in November, but I know I can still improve. Baby steps?

Alrighty, let's kick our glutes in gear, shall we?

Weekly disclaimer:
Remember what I said about my lack of qualifications? Please keep in mind that I am aware that I am chubby and have no fitness/nutrition authority. I'm just trying to spread some wellness love as I fight the battle to live well myself.


Weekly Workouts:
 
{via}


How I made it harder: I didn't change anything. This was pretty tough for me, especially the "serve the platter" exercises as well as my nemesis, push-ups.
Overall impression: So tough, especially since I was really sore from boxing the day before. I think, though, that the planks with tricep kickbacks are my new favorite exercise!!!
Sweat factor (on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is when I look like I just got out of the shower): About a 5, but my shoulders and biceps were screaming at me!
How I felt when it was over: Exhausted! It was only 15 minutes and I was so ready to be done!
Would I do it again? Definitely, but probably not one day after boxing. I think my upper body needed a day's rest.

Weekly recipe:



{via}

Gina continues to amaze me with her skinnytaste.com recipes! How on earth is this One Pot Cheesy Turkey Taco Chili Mac Weight Watcher-friendly? I don't know but I am excited to find out!

Weekly motivation:


{via}

So true!

Weekly workout sass


{via}

...because I typically justify eating more...


As I said above, my new favorite move is tricep kickbacks while in a plank. Have you tried anything new recently with your workouts that you've loved (or hated)?
Please share!

Have a good one!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sampling Sunday: Week 3

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Hi there!

It was a fun sampling week! Here are the products I tried:

1 | 2 | 3

1. The Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara is pretty solid. I haven't heard anything about this mascara so I thought I'd give it a try when I got it with recent Ulta purchases. However, I like it but don't love it. $20 is pretty average, but I still prefer my CoverGirl Lash Blast for less than half the price.

2. I seriously love lip gloss. Give me sample after sample and I am one happy girl. In fact, this Mary Kay lip gloss is one of many I have been lucky to try! It's a great shade to top a lipstick or wear alone.  These lip glosses are typically a go-to for me.

3. This was a full-size purchase for me. You can't beat the quality of Ulta shadow for the price. The color is new for me and I really love how it looks. I pair this with the Pearl shade and dig the results. The shadow lasts all day with my favorite eyeshadow primer!

Weekly disclaimer: 
I have a shameless selfie to share. I don't want to appear all "look at me! look at me!" but I figure that if I'm promoting beauty products I might as well show you the results. I used all three products in the photo below:


Have you tried any of the three products I listed? What do you think?


Have a good one!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Work It Out Wednesday: Week 7

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Hi gang!

How was your Turkey Day?
I don't know about you, but I certainly overindulged on Thanksgiving and have been catching up ever since. Luckily my boxing gym had a special and now I am an official member! I've started a routine of going three times a week in the mornings and LOVE it!

On days when I don't go to the gym I'm still chugging along at home with P90X or Pinterest workouts. Otherwise my workout buddy (my cat Teddy), would get jealous! This week I woke up really late and only had 25 minutes so I gave two of the quick workouts I pinned a shot!

Weekly disclaimer:
Remember what I said about my lack of qualifications? Please keep in mind that I am aware that I am chubby and have no fitness/nutrition authority. I'm just trying to spread some wellness love as I fight the battle to live well myself.


Weekly Workouts:

{via}


{Pin via, workout via}

How I made it harder: I did the top one three times, but aside from that my grogginess prevented me from taking either of the workouts up a notch.
Overall impression: Pretty easy and nice to do on the groggy days when I don't have much time.
Sweat factor (on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is when I look like I just got out of the shower): I'd say about a 3 by the end of the second one.
How I felt when it was over: Honestly I felt lazy for not pushing myself harder, but felt better than not working out at all!
Would I do it again? Maybe when I need a little pick me up, but if I'm looking for a solid sweat fest then I will do something else.

Weekly recipe:
{via}

These Oven "Fried" Pork Chops from skinnytaste.com are currently in the oven and I can't wait to give them a try! (OK writing this after I ate it and WOW! SO good!!!)

I also tried what I posted last time for lunch at work and it's delicious! I'm so happy to have a new, easy, cheap and filling lunch!

Weekly motivation:
{via}

So true!

Weekly workout sass

{via}

All about the pig, working on the fox part.


Have you tried any workouts or recipes to help work off the turkey?
Please share!

Have a good one!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Meet Macy!

Little Bit of Class Little Bit of Sass
 
Hey gang!

I am so excited to introduce you to Macy from To Travel & Beyond. She's my first sponsor and am so proud to host her on my sidebar! I asked her a few questions so we can all get to know her a little better. Take it away, Macy!!

1. How did you choose your blog name?
I went back and forth with this several times until finally choosing To Travel & Beyond. The first part is a given, I love traveling and I try to go somewhere at any chance I get. The second part is a play on my fiancĂ© and I saying we love each other "To Infinity and Beyond”. Our first Halloween as a couple we dressed as Buzz and Woody, and it also happened to be the night we said I Love You for the first time. For me it is a way to tie two things I love into one, and it actually somewhat makes sense to everyone else.

2. Do you have a favorite travel destination? A favorite travel story? 

My favorite travel destination so far would have to be Amsterdam. I admit I majorly judged based on what I had heard about and what they show in movies, but I was blown away but how amazing the city is. It seemed like such a quaint but happening area, and everyone biking everywhere is an added bonus. I recently posted about my mini vacation to Amsterdam here
3. Do you have big travel plans after the wedding - some global honeymoon, I hope! :)

Yes! We will be taking a cruise from Rome to Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, Malta and Venice, then flying to visit my best friend in Paris for a few days. I feel like that is a great way to kick off our marriage and I can’t wait!

4. Your kitten is adorable! What's the story there? How was your adoption experience? I'm a fellow cat adopter and absolutely love our cat, Teddy!

Thank you! Oddly enough, I have never liked cats but as soon as I moved into my own place, I didn’t like the idea of being totally alone so my FiancĂ© suggested an animal. I toyed with the idea of a kitten and then one of his friends posted a picture on Facebook with 6 little kittens that lost their mama. We went that night to look at them, and I instantly fell in love. She was so tiny when I first got her that I was able to bring her to work with me everyday for about 2 months. It was great.  

5. Do you have a favorite quote that you live by?
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away” This is such an inspiring quote and it is so true. Since I first heard this about 10 years ago I have tried to stop and remember the little moments in life. 

6. Even though you're a Ravens fan can we still be friends considering I'm a Steelers fan?!?! 

This is a tough one to answer ;) We can be friends all except for those two days a year we play each other. Good thing we split the wins amongst us this go round. 

7. Have any fun upcoming holiday plans?
One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is watch the lighted boat show. We will be doing that next weekend!

8. What has blogging taught you so far? What do you hope to learn?

Blogging has taught me that you can be friends with anyone, anywhere. I love having so many people to go to for everyday life problems, celebrations and events. I have also learned that I need to document more of my life through pictures! I really hope to learn more about coding and photoshop, but that may have to wait until after the wedding. 


Isn't she awesome?!?! I love her stories and am CRAZY jealous of her upcoming honeymoon! 
So what are you waiting for? Go over to her blog and follow her already! :)

Have a good one and thank you, as always, for reading!

Want to Sponsor My Blog?

Little Bit of Class Little Bit of Sass
 
Hey gang!
I'm doing something I've never done before: open my blog to sponsorships. I figure that since now that I'm offering my opinion on certain topics on a regular basis that I should share with as many people as possible. I do happen to believe in the saying "help a sister out," and I intend to help as many of my fashion/wellness-loving sisters as I can reach with my unsolicited and sassy opinions! :) 
I'm keeping it cheap, at $5 per month and it's through Passionfruit, which I think is the most familiar to bloggers. All of the info is on my new Sponsor page, but please reach out with any questions, concerns or suggestions! I'm all ears!
Have a good one and thank you, as always, for reading!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Work it Out Wednesday: Week 6

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Hi gang!

How's your week going? Keeping warm? It's so cold in Chicago!
I don't know about you, but as the weather starts to get colder it becomes slightly more difficult to make it to the gym. It's pretty easy to create any excuse to stay indoors.

All the more reason for at-home workouts to keep us all in check!

Weekly disclaimer:
Remember what I said about my lack of qualifications? Please keep in mind that I am aware that I am chubby and have no fitness/nutrition authority. I'm just trying to spread some wellness love as I fight the battle to live well myself.


Weekly Workout:

{via}

How I made it harder: I added dumbbells to the squats and didn't go to my knees for the pushups. After five rounds, that's 100 pushups! Woot!
Overall impression: I really like this workout! It took me almost 32 minutes to complete five rounds. I'd like to do five rounds in under 30 minutes. Someday :)
Sweat factor (on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is when I look like I just got out of the shower): 2 after round 1, 5 after round 2, 8 after round 3 and 10 for the last two rounds!
How I felt when it was over: Fantastic! It wasn't a super hard workout but I was really happy when it was over.
Would I do it again? Absolutely! Another good workout for traveling or when I make excuses to not go to the boxing gym!

Weekly recipe:

{via}

I need to be better about packing lunches for work. I'm so lucky to work close to home (and close to awesome lunch spots!), so I just need to get into a habit of eating right while saving some dollars! I definitely want to give these bread-free rollups a try. Avocados are one of my favorite foods so I have a feeling that I will love these!

Weekly motivation:

{via}

Words to live by!
And gosh I want those abs!!

Weekly workout sass
(I have two this week. I feel like they pair nicely.):
{via}

{via}
hehe love it!


Do you have any go-to healthy lunch recipes?
Please share!

Have a good one!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sampling Sunday: Week 2

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Hi there!

It was a fun sampling week! Here are the products I tried:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

1. The Pssssst! Dry Shampoo is incredible! This isn't a sample for me per-say, but I had to share because I know a lot of ladies struggle with finding the right dry shampoo for them. It smells fresh and clean and works really well for me. Granted, I typically only use this about once a week since I wash my hair almost every day since I workout almost every day. Regardless, this is now my go-to for all things dirty hair. I've read a bunch of reviews so I know I'm not the only one who loves it. Oh and it's cheap. Win-win!

2. You guys. I found my red lipstick. I am absolutely ordering the full size. I am in LOVE with this lipstick: it's not sticky, lasts a long time, doesn't look cake-y, is reasonably priced, doesn't make my teeth look discolored and makes my eyes look really blue. After I publish this post I'm ordering it! I'm so happy my Mary Kay lady gave me this sample! When I wore it to work on Friday I definitely noticed an extra sass in my step. I just love how a little bit of lipstick can do that!

3. This is another product that I LOVE and can't wait to buy the full size. I heard about the Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation from a fellow blogger a while back and had was curious enough to get a sample. I was shocked with how weightless it feels all while appearing full coverage and masking my umpteen imperfections. A little goes a long way, which is important since this is a pricey product for me. It's incredible and I highly recommend it!

4. Another sample from my Mary Kay lady: the Mineral Cheek Color in Shy Blush. It's a really pretty shade and lasts all day. At one of the lowest prices I've seen for good blush, I will definitely consider purchasing the full size in the future. However, I simply love my Nars blush in the name I won't write on my blog! ;)

I have some shameless selfies to share. I don't want to appear all "look at me! look at me!" but I figure that if I'm promoting beauty products I might as well show you the results.  I used the products as numbered and labeled in the above collage.


Have you tried any of the four products I listed? What do you think?


Have a good one!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Work It Out Wednesday: Week 5

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Hi gang!

See that cute-as-a-button button on my sidebar?!?! That's Macy, from To Travel and Beyond, my very first Sponsor!!! It's such an honor to host such a lovely lady. Look forward to a feature from her in the coming weeks!

This week has been really great for wellness, except I can't get a handle on my snacking! Do you have any healthy snacks that you actually crave? That's my weakness for sure! I've tried grapes, fruit, veggies, hummus...none of that makes me crave eating it, know what I mean?

Other than that everything is going well. Boxing is amazing, even the 6am class, and I love the positive and welcoming community the little gym has started with other boxing lovers. I also went to an INCREDIBLE event at a chiropractic clinic on Sunday afternoon: an hour of yoga, a mini facial and make-up trial by Arbonne, an eyebrow wax, a 15-minute chair massage, wine and treats...all for only $15! I even made a friend out of it! It was SO fun and worth every little penny that I spent! Finally, we tried both of the previous recipes that I wrote about in this series and both are delicious! I highly recommend the stew and the casserole!

Weekly disclaimer:
Remember what I said about my lack of qualifications? Please keep in mind that I am aware that I am chubby and have no fitness/nutrition authority. I'm just trying to spread some wellness love as I fight the battle to live well myself.

As for new workouts, here's what I tried off of my Pinterest Motivation board:

{via}

How I made it harder: I added dumbbells to all of the squats and I didn't go to my knees for any of the pushups!
Overall impression: This is a pretty cool workout and it was over before I knew it. Definitely a good travel workout.
Sweat factor (on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is when I look like I just got out of the shower): About an 8. I really didn't break a sweat until the 35 round.
How I felt when it was over: Pretty good! It was a fairly easy workout, but I like it. I would do this on days where I really don't feel like working out.
Would I do it again? Yep! On days when I feel lazy.

Weekly recipe:
We recently received The Skinnytaste cookbook!!!!

{via}

I cannot wait to dig into every recipe in this sucker! Here's one we're thinking of trying this week...that's also on the website so I can share it with you: the Skinny Parmesan Chicken recipe, a similar one found on the site here:

{via}

MMMmmmmm so excited!


Weekly motivation:

{via}

Words to live by! Seriously! Never give up! 
You have nothing to lose except fat, after all! :)


Weekly workout sass:

{via}

Woof. I do this too often.

Please share your snacking tips or pins if you have them! I need help! :)


Have a good one!