Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

I know it's not a typical Workout Wednesday, but we're talking gifts today!

If you follow me on Instagram, your feeds have been blown up with great ideas for Mother's Day. I have worked with some wonderful ladies since I started blogging and I love supporting them by telling you about their products. I know that some of you are new to reading my blog, so you've probably missed out on a lot of the great products. Below are some great (budget-friendly) gift ideas!

Mother's Day is just a couple of weeks away and maybe you need to hint at a gift for your husband to give you or maybe you need to pick up a gift for your mom or mother-in-law. OR maybe you want to treat yourself to something to make you feel good!

These are just a few of my favorite things by some of my favorite people!




Praising Him Creations


Any of these would be perfect gifts for your hubs (and kids) to give you for Mother's Day OR for you to treat yourself. Pick out a piece of jewelry, get your make-up done and buy a new outfit! And have a Happy Mother's Day (in a couple of weeks!).

Disclaimer: The products I received were gifted to me, but all viewpoints are my own.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Easy Banana Bread

I love a quick, easy and healthy breakfast bread. I feel like I always have brown bananas and even though I pop most of them in the freezer for smoothies later, I can't do that all the time because I seriously have a freezer full of bananas! 

So, when my in-laws were coming up for E's party, I thought that I'd make a banana bread so we would have something for breakfast!

I love this recipe because it doesn't have a ton of ingredients and it's easy. This is not the only banana bread recipe I use, but I do really like this one. I also like using apple sauce because it makes it healthier (and more moist) and I have a pantry full of applesauce because E won't eat it.

Preheat oven to 350
Mix flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl
Mix brown sugar and applesauce until completely blended
Add 2 eggs, vanilla, and bananas to the sugar and mix well
Add wet ingredients into the dry and fold until all ingredients are wet
Pour into a greased 9X5 bread pan
Bake on 350 for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean

2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup applesauce
4 large ripe to overripe mashed bananas
2 eggs
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350
Mix flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl
Mix brown sugar and applesauce until completely blended
Add 2 eggs, vanilla, and bananas to the sugar and mix well
Add wet ingredients into the dry and fold until all ingredients are wet
Pour into a greased 9x5 bread pan

Bake on 350 for 60-70 minutes (Mine baked for about 45 minutes) or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.



Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday Memories

Happy Monday! I'm sorry this post is a little late but E hasn't stopped since 6:45 a.m and I'm just now sitting. Thankfully this week was much more chill than the past couple of weeks, but May calls for another busy time (but also very fun ones!).
I got my custom fascinator for the Derby party we are excited to wear it! Bet you can't guess what brand dress I'll be wearing ;)
I started drinking coffee and 3 and apparently E thinks he will too...he's quite the coffee stealer!
Thursday was the Junior League's Blind Wine! Always a fun event and a perfect excuse to throw on a sundress!
This boy tried me on Friday...whew what a day!
These ladies are all amazing women entrepreneurs! Jana (Elijana Cosmetics), Limdsey (Alta moda) and Courtney (Bent by Courtney). So blessed to know them and have their support!
I got to hang with Betheny from Bourbon and Boweties which was super fun!
Saturday we chilled with beer and Big Green Egg fav!
Don't forget to enter to win this awesome pearl wrap bracelet from Sara Ward Designs (Friday's post)!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Faves: Sara Ward Designs

Have you ever search for a wrap bracelet and thought, "holy cow, those are expensive?" I know I have had that thought. Well, meet Sara Ward Designs...affordable and beautiful wrap bracelets that can be customized to whatever colors you like. When I was searching on Etsy for wrap bracelets, her designs kept popping up...and I kept thing "gosh, those are beautiful." Sara and I talked about what colors I thought I would wear the bracelet with and decided on a turquoise bracelet with pink, gold, silver and rose gold beads. It came out perfectly and matches so many of my outfits (I feel like I wear it nearly everyday). I love that you can make it three different sizes on your wrist and it's super comfortable (I don't even realize that I have a bracelet on).

These are only a few ways that I've worn it:

So in Sara's own words, this is what she told me about her, her business and her bracelets:

"I'm a marrried stay at home mom to 3 kids ages 10, 8, and 5. I have always been artistic, since I can remember I've had a pencil or crayon in my hand. Painting flowers and landscapes in acrylics, and drawing pencil portraits were my favorites. I dabbled into photography for awhile which I still love. But then I just happened on to making jewelry. It started after my only daughter was born in 2008, I saw the wrap bracelet for the first time in the ever popular Twilight movie. Instantly loved the look of it and hunted it down online. I was astounded at how expensive these things were! I thought for sure I could make my own. So I decided to start up an Etsy shop with a more affordable line of bracelets, while contributing a 'little bit' to the family income. While the wrap bracelets are the major thing I currently sell, I am looking to branch out with other styles of bracelets, necklaces, and earrings soon. I currently sell my bracelets in a shop in Vermont called The Shoe Horn Boutique and also in a couple of shops for The Sanibel Sunglass Company. And last year I was approached by a wonderfully talented group of people called The Artisan Group. It's an invite only group of artists in many different specialties that are allowed to have the opportunity to gift certain celebrity events like The Golden Globes, The Oscars, many celebrity charity events, and also to stylists of hit TV shows like The Vampire Diaries and The Voice in hopes that their piece will be worn on the show. I can't say enough good things about this group, they are all so artistic and talented and I feel honored to be included."

You can check out her amazing pieces at:

AND here's the best part...Sara is offering one lucky blog reader the chance to win her beautiful pearl wrap bracelet!

So enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thoughtfulness Thursday: Daughers be good to your Mothers

With Mother's Day approaching, I thought I'd share an article that I found this post about the 30 Signs Your Mother is the Best Person in Your Life: Naturally, I knew I had to read this because I adore my mother. My mom and I have always been close. I only remember one time (when I was a senior in high school) that my mom and I fought. I've always respected her and been able to talk to her about anything. When I was three years old I started having coffee dates with my mom. We would sit on the porch and talk about everything as we drank our coffee. My mom built that relationship early on and it really has stuck. If I have a daughter one day, I know that she and I will have a wonderful relationship because I have had a wonderful one with my mom. I also know that if I have a daughter, she will have an amazing grandmother (she'll have two amazing grandmothers). The most important moments of my life have been shared with my mom. Yes, I've shared incredible moments with my husbands, but it was also important for my mom to be present. Every crazy high school relationship, college, marriage and E's birth (actually my mom wasn't there when E was born, but she was there with me the entire day before I had E).

So which of these signs did I relate to the most?

1. She’s the first one you call with good news.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. I am always super excited to tell my mom good news because she's one of my biggest fans. I also like calling her with good news because she's super excited for me and always has great advice.

2. She will be honest when something doesn’t look good on you.
I love shopping with my mom because I can tell by the look on her face when she doesn't think something looks good. And she's not afraid to tell me that something isn't flattering. I greatly appreciate it. Yes, sometimes it hurts my feelings, but it would probably hurt my feelings more if she didn't tell me it looked bad and then I wore it.

3. She will tell you when you’re being a brat.
My mom has probably never come out and said "Julia you're being a brat" but she doesn't have to. She can tell me without saying it in words and I do appreciate it. As the youngest and the only daughter, I can definitely be a brat. I feel sorry for my brother because I was the princess growing up...sometimes I still think I am. Sometimes you need to be put in your place.

4. She will listen to your dramatic stories and your stories with no end.
My mom is the best listener. I'm pretty sure I repeat stories over and over and over. Sometimes they are way more dramatic than they are in real life, but she doesn't care...she listens anyway.

5. She’s the one you can brag to about your accomplishments and express shame for your mistakes, without fearing judgment.
My mom doesn't judge me...I love that about her. I've done some dumb stuff in my life and she's always stood by me. She's told me when I've done dumb things, but she's never stopped supporting me. She's also always been there when I've had great accomplishments--amazing grades, a dance performance, my first job, my first child, etc.

6. She will drop everything to be at your beck and call when you’re sick, whether it’s a common cold or the flu.
Whenever I'm sick, I call my mom (mostly because I never know what kind of medicine to take). When I had surgery, my mom was there for me...not only did she help take care of E, but she came over and cleaned my house, did my laundry, fixed me food...and was really just there in case I needed her.

7. She’ll support your interests and encourage you to stay true to your passions.
My mom has always been my fan. When I was younger and danced, she made sure that I did what I loved. It didn't matter how much it cost, she wanted me to pursue my dreams. Any time I've been passionate about anything...she supports me and helps me get through the training for it. I changed my major from magazine writing to public relations halfway through college and she was beyond supportive of that. She knew that public relations was what I was born to do (without even telling me that). When I ran my first half, she was at the finish line and called me later to tell me what a big deal it was and how proud of me she was. I'm am so thankful for not only the financial encouragement and support she (and my dad) have given me over the years, but the unconditional support of helping me live out my dreams.

8. She will go above and beyond, through the toughest of conditions, just to make sure you’re happy.
Growing up we didn't have a ton of money, but my mom went out of her way to make sure I had everything I needed and that I was happy. She sacrificed for herself, so that I could have name brand clothes (mostly from consignment stores) and stuff for dance. I never, ever went without...but she did.
9. She will buy you something spontaneously just because she knows you’ll like it.
This one defines my mom so brother would agree. I swear my mom shows love through gift-giving. She loves LOVES LOVES when she can get us something that we like or want. And she gets it just because.
Mom, I love you...I'm thankful for our friendship. I'm thankful for our coffee chats...and I'm thankful that God blessed me with a beautiful example of a mother.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Restorative Yoga

Well, my mom roped me into Restorative Yoga. She's done it a couple of times and swears that it feels like a deep tissue massage. I was confused by the whole concept. Like, "am I getting a deep tissue massage?" "Is the instructor going to touch me?" "What exactly am I going to be doing?" Y'all know I love some Pilates and believe that my core strength has come primarily from Pilates and that Pilates has helped my running tremendously. So I'm always a little skeptical to try something new.

Image from:

Okay, so basically I'm copying and pasting from about Restorative Yoga mainly because before a couple of weeks ago, I didn't have the slightest clue about what I was getting myself into.

So what is Restorative yoga? "Restorative yoga is a form of yoga that seeks to achieve physical, mental and emotional relaxation with the aid of props. The use of props makes it easier for you to maintain balance while you are stimulating and relaxing your body. While some restorative yoga poses are beneficial to the entire body, others target specific parts of the body, such as the heart or the lungs."

"Restorative yoga provides healing for the body and the mind. It is especially useful when you need to eliminate fatigue and stress that result from your daily activities. It can also help you recover from illness and injury or overcome emotional depression and anxiety that are caused by traumatic events such as divorce, loss of job and death of a beloved."

"It is known that restorative yoga can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which enables automatic control of the body. As such, the regular nervous system will be at rest, and the muscles will become more relaxed. Constant practice of restorative yoga will make your body less vulnerable to stress-related illnesses and help you achieve optimal health."

In restorative yoga, you stay in poses for 10 to 15 minutes with the help of some props (blankets, pillow, sand bags and eye bags. Some of the poses you may do are putting your legs against the wall, child's pose, a reclining bound angle and a relaxation pose.

The point of each pose is that you are to mentally get away and let your body relax. If you are tight in certain areas, you will feel certain poses more, but ultimately you will feel restored and relaxed in the end.

I have a hard time sitting still for a long time, but I really did enjoy the quietness of restorative yoga. I don't think it felt like a deep tissue massage, but I do think it was good for me mentally and physically. I would probably do it before race to really feel prepared.

I think overall it is something that I would recommend to someone that needs to destress or be quiet.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tasty Tuesday: Sopapilla Cheesecake

I stole this recipe from a good friend (and a blog reader) because it's so unbelievably yummy I had to. Thanks Julie! This is the perfect sweet breakfast treat or snack...I also like it with my afternoon coffee (yes, guilty of sweet tooth while E is taking a nap).

It's also easy to make and doesn't take a lot of ingredients...perfect for me!

 Unroll and spread one can of crescent rolls on bottom of ungreased 9x13 inch pan. Smooth out seams. (PS I totally screwed this part up because I was making two pans...only use ONE can on the bottom...maybe if I had read the directions better I wouldn't have messed it up)
 Combine softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Spread mixture over crescent rolls.
 Unroll and spread remaining crescent rolls over mixture, being sure to press together any seams.
 Spread melted butter over the top and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mix.
Bake 20 - 30 minutes.

2 cans pillsbury butter crescent rolls
2 (8oz) packages of cream cheese softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter
cinnamon and sugar mix (1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (use 325 degrees for glass pan). Unroll and spread one can of crescent rolls on bottom of ungreased 9x13 inch pan. Smooth out seams. Combine softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Spread mixture over crescent rolls. Unroll and spread remaining crescent rolls over mixture, being sure to press together any seams. Spread melted butter over the top and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mix. Bake 20 - 30 minutes.

I also did a version with blueberries sprinkled under the top layer of crescent rolls (so on top of the cream cheese mixture). It was really good because the blueberries kind of popped in your mouth!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Memories

Happy Monday! I hope you had a wonderful week and a blessed Easter weekend. We had a great Easter Sunday and are beyond thankful for beautiful weather, fun times and of course our Risen Savior! We've celebrate a lot of things this week...we are so blessed!

One of my best friends is moving across the country, so we said goodbye in Lillybof course!
Thanks y'all for your input on what I should wear on Tuesday to the fundraising dinner...I went with your vote and wore the navy/white stripe Lilly!
E's THIRD birthday was Wednesday! I took the day off and we played all day.
He even got donuts for breakfast!
We ended his birthday with our neighbors and cake!
Friday, E and I dyed eggs...he pretty much hates eggs of any kind but was all about dyeing them.
Saturday we had a rainy egghunt that E decided he wasn't interested in hunting eggs at. Thankfully his girlfriends from next door filled him up with candy.
We celebrated Milly's sixth birthday on Sunday and smiled in our Easter garb.
E got a gun for his birthday from my uncle and he was pretty darn excited! 

Happy Easter from our family!