October 30, 2015

Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus

Helllllllllooooooooooooo, Friday. Thank you so much for showing up, I've missed your pretty face since we chatted last week. I CANNOT believe tomorrow is Halloween. Didn't we just start Anne of Green Gables month? Crazy the holiday season starts on Sunday and call me crazy but I CAN'T WAIT! Bring on the hustle & bustle and ALL THE FOOD!

While I'm not a big Halloween girl anymore, I've done my fair share of complex and fun costumes. You know, back when I actually went out for Halloween weekend and such. Man, I've gotten super lame and old, haha. Today I'm sharing my five favorites in place of my usual Friday post. #becauseonhalloween #costumes

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1] Mario & Luigi: My roommate & created these costumes, the year before they became popular. We bought the fabric, sewed the jumpers, made the buttons, hats and question mark box for our purses and then bought the rest. I loved how they turned out and the fact I could still use the shoes and shirt. All night long we said 'POWER UP' and everyone thought it was awesome! #aheadofthetimes #homemadeforthewin

2] Three Wise-men Shot [Johnny Walker Black]: This was my first foray into intensely homemade costumes and while it was a lot of work the results were completely worth the effort. All night we were complimented on our creativity and I enjoyed being a walking billboard for an alcoholic beverage. I also got a free shot, woohoo. Thankfully the weather was nice that night, otherwise I would have been a drink on the rocks. #homemadecostumeforthewin #mosttediouslabelever

3] Baseball player: The first Halloween Le Husband and I spent together we had only been dating three+ months, so no way were we buying a couples costume. But, our kickball team was going out so we decided to try and throw something together, in the eleventh hour. Somehow we landed on me being a college baseball player [since he was an assistant coach] and he would go as the morning after girl. It was HILARIOUS, but I'm not going to post a picture of Le Husband in a skirt here, because he'd kill me for sure. Not only did we pull of a fun costume, I was the most comfortable I'd ever been on Halloween. #baseballpantsforthewin #comfycostumesrock

4] Mackenzie from Toddlers and Tiaras: This was hands down one of the most fun costumes to wear and one that every girl knew upon sight. I was able to repurpose a birthday dress as my 'beauty' dress and the rest came together quite nicely. Sportyspice did an amazing job as my mother and the tan line streak was a huge hit. Of course, that Halloween it decided to snow so it was a bit chilly in the beginning but we made it work. BTW, posing, doing cupcake arms and making beauty faces all night is a lot of fun! #youaredrivingmenuts #cupcakehands #nonoway #snowinoctoberwth
 

5] Despicable Me [Agnes]: Our first FAMILY costume project was the year before Le Husband proposed, but I knew he was the one when he let me dress him as Gru. Despicable Me is a family favorite and so naturally the three sisters wanted to dress up as the cute lil girls, but we knew no one would recognize us without our Gru. Enter Le Husband. We threw this costume together in a week and I think it turned out pretty nicely don't you?!? #unicornsilovethem #familypicturebeforewewerefamily



What are some of your favorite Halloween costumes? Which costume of mine do you think was the best? Which do you think I could pull off again?

 **linking up  Here  here hereherehere and, here this week**
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I can't sign off today without wishing my beautiful friend, JANNA, a happy, happy birthday! Wishing you a day just as fabulous and wonderful as you. I loved our blate, way back when and hope to see you soon soon soon! Love you sweet mama. Give lil Charlie a kiss for me! xoxo


psdotcom: Stay safe tomorrow night, friends. Dress up, act dumb and enjoy your drinks but make sure you have a buddy and look out for your friends. I want everyone to get home safe, okay?!?! xoxo

October 29, 2015

All About Autumn and Me

I saw this tag going around the Internet last week and figured why not join in the fun, even if I'm a bit late.

Favorite fall drink: I don't like pumpkin, I don't like chai and I really don't like anything cider so this time of year is not my favorite. In the past I did without, but now there are delicious caramel mochas and maple lattes for me to enjoy :)!
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Favorite fall candle: I love a good apple pie/crisp smell and Autumn leaves smell is absolutely delicious.

Best Fragrance for fall: Hmm, I don't have a fall scent per say, but I gravitate towards a heavier and woodsier scent once cold weather arrives. I'm definitely on the hunt for a new scent, so shout em out, friends.

Favorite Thanksgiving Food: Oh my goodness, give me it all! I could eat Thanksgiving food year round -- and look like Santa -- I find everything so delicious. I can never get enough stuffing, smashed potatoes, oyster pie and of course ROLLS!

Favorite type of pie: Chocolate mousse, ain't nobody got time for apple and pumpkin.

Football games or jumping in leaves: Growing up we had to rake leaves so you better believe I jumped in those piles. Now that just sounds dangerous and gross, haha. I LOVE FOOTBALL! I'm a diehard Cowboys fan and married into a Buckeye family so Saturdays are all about college football and Sundays are about the Cowboys [and some Bengals, too]. I enjoy sharing a love of football with my husband, it makes for some pretty packed weekends. #gobucks #demboys


What is the best fall memory you have: Wow, there are so many. I played soccer all my life so fall means soccer games and tournaments and I loved soccer season in college. Fall meant cooler temperatures for conditioning and it also meant we were close to conference play. In 2002 we won our conference so that October was an amazing one. Fall 2013 is a favorite too because that was my first married fall and I loved creating traditions as a new couple.

Favorite fall attire: Fall is my second favorite time of year [behind summer, of course] and now that cooler temperatures have arrived I'm loving everything plaid, striped, dotted and sweatered. Personally I enjoy the temperatures that DON'T require a jacket, but that's just me. Right now my favorite attire is plaid, with booties being a close second.


Favorite fall television show: I love all fall shows because everything is finally back on TV. The Good Wife and NCIS are my two favorite series. I also love Elementary and Castle, you should try both shows, they are fabulous.

Combat boots or Uggs: Neither. I don't understand paying the price for UGGS because they say UGGS. I'd rather have a good pair of Sorels. Something that will withstand the rain and snow, while looking cute.
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Is PSL worth the hype: Nope... basic.

Favorite makeup trend - winged eyeliner or dark lipstick: Fall 2015 has brought a new lipstick love to pinkland and for once I'm actually on trend. I will wear winged eyeliner every now and then, and have been rocking this deep shade of lipstick.


What is autumn weather like where you live: Wellll, that depends on Mother Nature. Sometimes we are blessed with a gradual fall and sometimes she shocks us straight into winter. We had a nasty start to fall, but October has brought some beautiful weather. Cool, crisp mornings that turn into 60 degree days are quite wonderful.

What do you think about Black Friday: I think back when Black Friday originated it was a good concept. Arrive a lil early to receive great deals. Now it's turned into shopping on Thanksgiving people go crazy for meh deals in my opinion. Our family goes out around 9am Friday to the PX/BX and maybe hit up Macy's for some clothing deals. I much prefer Cyber Monday. My wallet hates both, haha.

Fall mornings or evenings: Definitely mornings. Evenings are too cold and I don't have a fireplace or fire pit. I think once we have a home with a backyard I'll enjoy the evenings more. Now they just remind me of cold soccer night soccer games and I'm way too old for that noise.

Favorite fall movie: You can't have fall without Hocus Pocus. #whosexcitedforparttwo
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inspirationfoundhere
Linking up with *kristin*& *annie*& here

October 28, 2015

What I'm Up to {October}

Morning, ladies. Can you believe this is the last weekend of October? Our month was pretty fast and furious, as usual, and I am BAFFLED next month starts the holiday season. I've grown to love this linkup because it helps me recap all our fun and is a great way to get down memories while they still fresh in my mind. #lifemovestoofastnottorecap

What We're Eating: October was a bit of a crazy month food wise. The beginning of the month was a complete debauchery with our Vegas trip and being lazy. However, the moment we arrived home from Vegas I put myself on lock down and have been eating Whole30 the past 15 days. I've already lost four pounds and am feeling 100% better about my body and in general. My Whole30 will actually end a few days early because of our vacation but I'll jump back on until the holidays.

What I'm Reminiscing About: Our start in kickball. We've been playing competitively for the past five years and 2015 will probably mark the end of our traveling careers. Crazy, right? It has been an incredible ride and we experienced some incredible highs, lows, cities and made life long friendships because of kickball. I'm sad to think about the end, but we have a lot we want to do next year and the travel budget will be incredibly different in 2016. Crazy a random team brought me to my husband and to where I am today. #thankyoukickball #champsin2012 #yesitravelforkickball

What I'm Loving: Feeling strong and fit. I lost a bit over the summer so workouts have been a bit tough the last few weeks. Feeling weak sucks, especially when I know HOW strong I was just a few months ago. I love moving up in weight and believe I'm finally on the upswing again.

What I'm Dreading: Getting back into healthy eating after my weekend off. I'm adamant about keeping the bad weight off before the holidays but I know reintroducing drinks and delicious indulgences will tempt me to fall off the wagon. I'm so proud of my Whole30 journey this year and don't want to mess up right before festivities of holiday season.

What I'm Working On: Research on some dreams and BODYPUMP.

What We've Been Up To: October means Vegas in our world and we Vivaed that Las Vegas. The tournament didn't turn out as expected but enjoyed all the fun Vegas had to offer. We took a few days to acclimate to real life and then Le Husband was off on a trip with his brother. I only traveled once this month and I feel a bit weird, haha. It was pretty rainy to start the month off, but the weather has lent itself to some wonderful weekends outside exploring and cozy days in watching football and eating. Fall is definitely here to stay and I don't hate it. #staywarmjustabitlonger

What I'm Excited About: I moved desks at work and it's working out pretty well. Earlier this year I had asked to move and after being told it was okay they gave away the desk I wanted. Who does that? The dude in the cubicle next to me has been wearing on my nerves the past few years. He takes his calls on speaker, is extremely incompetent, talks to himself and makes gross sounds constantly [snorting, throat clearing and more] and my patience was all but gone. Luckily a cube one away from him became available and I was finally able to move. I've been at the same desk for five years so the new one is quite a change but one I am learning to enjoy.

What I'm Watching/Reading:  We are watching all the normal shows and I'm finishing up the Last Anniversary. There are THREE books on my kindle which need to be read in the next three weeks so my reading is going into OVERDRIVE soon.
 
What I'm Listening To: Music has taken a back seat this month which is really strange. I listen to talk shows in the morning on my commute and usually bounce around to music on the way home. However, this month I've really enjoyed listening to my Audio Book 'A Little Princess'. Such a classic and hearing someone read is quite calming during the evening debacle.
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What I'm Wearing: All the fall things. Scarves, booties, plaid, sweaters, boots, leggings, I'm wearing it ALL! 

What I'm Doing this Weekend: Hopefully a whole lot of nothing. Well, besides football food and fun. We've been invited to a Halloween party and are on the fence about going, so we will see.
 
What I'm Looking Forward To About Next Month: Our trip to ORLANDO! It is the last tournament of the kickball season and I'm looking forward to a fun weekend with Le Husband and the sissys. I'm also SUPER STOKED to meet up with some Florida bloggers while I'm down there, cheers to a blate!

What Else Is New: Nothing much. We are gearing up for the holiday season and a possible trip to OSU for a football game. The next two months are going to be a whirlwind and right now I'm grateful for the down time we are enjoying.

What were your favorite memories from October?

linking up *here* *here* *here*

October 27, 2015

Homemade Whole30 Butternut Squash Soup {Recipe Files}

Morning, ladies and Happy Tuesday! Today I have a super delicious recipe to share. I must confess, this recipe is kind of a mishmash of two recipes and then I just kind of winged it in the kitchen. I understand this isn't the best example of a recipe, however, it is quite easy and allows the individual to cater to taste. This was inspired by pre-cut butternut squash being on sale at my local grocery store and after I purchased it I researched recipes until I found two I thought were easy enough. Then, I just kind of fiddled and have to admit, I'm pretty proud of the outcome.

Homemade Whole30 Butternut Squash Soup
Recipe adapted from *here* and *here*


Ingredients
1 Butternut Squash [or container of pre-cut squash]
Salt & Pepper
Cinnamon/nutmeg
1/2 - 1 can of Coconut Milk [or cream/half&half if you aren't eating Whole30]
1 - 2 Onion[s]
Any other dried spices you enjoy with butternut squash

Appliances
Cookie Sheet
Skillet
Immersion Blender or Regular Blender
Potato Masher

1] Cut butternut squash in half or place pre-cut diced squash on a cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil and salt over the meaty part of the squash and if using the diced pieces move them around so they are all coated. Roast in the oven at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until tender. If using the diced pieces check them about 25 minutes in and use a spatula to roughly rotate them on the sheet. Depending on the size of your squash, it may take as long as 50 minutes for the halves.

2] While the squash is roasting cut up onion[s]. I prefer strips [because they are easier] but it doesn't matter since they will be pulverized with an immersion blender or a straight blender. When there is about 15 minutes or so left on the squash, add about 1 - 2 TBS of EVOO to a skillet and start to caramelize your onions. When they are done, remove from heat and set aside either in pan or transfer to a plate.

3] Once squash is tender [check with a fork, if it cuts through easily the squash is done], remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. If you want to use an immersion blender read through steps 4 -6, if you would rather use a blender place squash, onions and coconut milk into a blender and skip to step 7.

4] Place squash in a big  pot on the stove and turn it on very low heat. Add some coconut milk [or cream if not eating Paleo/Whole30] and mash with a potato masher.

5] Add caramelized onions.

6] Continue to mash until you  have a smoothish [!] consistency. [I tried to use an immersion blender and it pretty  much was a fail. I didn't have the correct pot size and it was way too much work].

7] I found the immersion blender was a bit cumbersome so I stopped halfway through and  put everything into a blender. Oh my goodness, so much easier. Once everything was combined I added a bit more salt, pepper, cinnamon and coconut milk to thin it to more of a soup consistency. Honestly, this last step is to taste and feel, in my opinion.

8] Put mixture back into a sauce pant to heat thoroughly then enjoy. I sprinkled extra bacon on top of mine and it was a DELICIOUS addition. You could also swirl an extra bit of cream on top to make it look fancy if you want.

I stored the rest in a container and will enjoy it the rest of the week for lunch at work. I know some of the measurements are kind of wonky with my recipe, but I honestly went my feel and taste. Depending on your blender you may need to use a a soup sieve for the proper consistency. We don't have one and personally I thought the blender was enough, but, I am no chef, so if you want to sieve, sieve.

So, what do you think? Have you made butternut squash soup before? Is this too far off?  Feel free to reach out to me with comments or questions. If you try making this soup please let me know :)!

Psdotcom: So many of you commented on the purple potatoes I had to say something here. I had NO idea purple potatoes existed until three years ago when we started watching CHOPPED! If you are interested in them, check by the baby red potatoes in your grocery store.

linking up here here here here here and here today 

October 26, 2015

So You're Saying the Weekend's Over?!?!

Morning, friends! How are you? Hopefully you're all rested up from the weekend and if not, grab an extra cup of coffee and rock out today! Hard to believe today is the LAST Monday of October, right? I mean, this month just flew by at mach bazillion speed and honestly, I'm a bit surprised. This has been one of the more chill months of the year for us and I feel we've enjoyed the slow down immensely. Speaking of a slow weekend, let's check out what happened in pink land. 

This weekend I. . . 

… enjoyed a lazy Saturday morning sipping cinnamon coffee on the couch. #gamechanger

… whipped up a spooky breakfast feast. Moms, grab some purple potatoes for a freaky halloween treat :)!

… watched College Game day at JMU. I have a ton of JMU alumni friends so it was awesome seeing a local university on the show. I was kind of bummed no one picked Richmond to win, I thought they had a good chance, but I really enjoyed the pageantry.

… rocked my UofR shirt to the gym. Had to rep RICHMOND since no one else picked them!

… worked out like a bad@$$ and felt great. #getswoll

… cleaned, dusted and organized the apartment with the windows open.

… attempted homemade butternut squash soup. It turned out amazing, recipe to come.



… watched Richmond CRUSH JMU, go spiders. 

… took a nap watching college football. #allwedoiswatchcollegefootball #ilovetherest

… cheered on the Buckeyes to another victory. #threecheersforjtbarrett

… finished setting out our fall decor. My MIL gave us the towels and I LOVE EM! Our kitchen is so festive.

… slept in on Sunday, cheers to sleep. 

… sent off an incredible musician at church. 

… wore my new super soft sweater from @pearlandmonroeboutique. #goingbrokebutlovingtheclothes
 Sweater: Pearl & Monroe {sold out} || Jeans: Loft {similar} || Wedge Booties: Toms || Earrings: Kendra Scott ||
Sunglasses: Oakley || Watch: Michael Kors

… gave my girl a long over due bath. Probably her last until the winter weather hits, hope she enjoys it while it lasts.

… did some blog prep work for the next few weeks. #itfeelsgoodtogetahead

… devoured homemade ribs made by Le Husband. He is so talented in the kitchen and I'm a lucky gal indeed.

… napped, food prepped and then played a soccer game.

I'm ready to conquer this week, how about y'all? Did you have a fun weekend?

Linking up with these beautiful ladies whoop whoop 

October 23, 2015

May Your Friday Sparkle

Heyyyyyyyyyyy, party people! Cheers, we made it to Friday! I restarted my morning yoga routine this week and I am totally ready for tomorrow and a chance to sleep in and be lazy all morning. The next two days are pretty wide open and I'm excited to just go with the flow. Alright, let's get on with the favorites.

Favorite fall outfit of the week: The weather has recently been cool enough to wear scarves and booties and earlier this week I was able to wear my first @pearlandmonroeboutique. Plaid has been on my to buy list since summer and I finally bit the bullet and bought this shirt. Not only is it a fabulous pattern it is super soft and comfy, perfect for work or a cozy evening of fall fun. #ilovesupportingfriends #cheerstoplaid #lovemyflatstoo

Favorite beauty products of the week: On a random trip to CVS last week I walked by their beauty department in hopes of scoring a deep dark shade of lipstick. I've wanted to try the trend for awhile but finding a dark shade that wasn't too goth was proving to be harder than expected. Milani finally scored me a win and after quite a few requests on my Monday post, I wanted to share the exact shade. Hope y'all love it as much as I do and here's the nail polish I'm rocking.


Favorite news of the week: On Wednesday the Sesame Street Workshop debuted, Julia, a new character on Sesame street who has autism. I find this new initiative wonderful and hope it helps young children learn about their friends who have autism and hopefully conversations will start so there is less of a stigma.

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Favorite links of the week: Hope you enjoy the articles.

+ 11 Things you will regret in your 30s.

+ One bride turned an extremely horrible circumstance into a thing of kindness. #cheersfornotwallowing

+ 45 life lessons from a 90 year old woman. #wisdomwithage

+ Fabulous blog post on earning extra income from one of my new favorite bloggers, Kait. #swagsonswagsonswags

+ 30 layer cakes that will make your eyes smile and your mouth drool. #letuseatcake

+ Lauren Conrad shares the smart girls guide to superfoods. #eatsuperlooksuper

Favorite Funnies of the week: Have a smile on me, friends!
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Hope you have a great weekend, friends. I'll catch your pretty faces on Monday < 3!

 **linking up  Here  here hereherehere and, here this week**

October 22, 2015

Loving Lately {Fall Trends}

I'm not the trendiest person, shocking, I know. Quite often it takes me a bit to jump on trends because I don't want to spend money on something that will change in a few months. Slowly though, my trend bug has begun to grow and I've started to get more and more excited about seasonal trends as they happen. I jumped on the blanket scarf and fur vest bandwagon last year and LOVE wearing both of them. We are barely a month into fall and I'm currently trying to build my wardrobe with some key pieces [much to the chagrin of my wallet and Le Husband]. #trendalert #fashionfun



Thanks to the fabulous @pearlandmonroeboutique I snapped up my plaid piece for the season. #supportmygirljess

A chunky white sweater has been on my list since summer and I am loving all the cable knit details.

If there is ONE shoe item of the season it's lace up ballet flats. Originally I was on the fence because they remind me too much of gladiator sandals [don't even get me started on GS, so not my thing], but after seeing a quite a few posts in blog land they've grown on me. I can't decided between black/tan, thoughts?

Jess of the Newly is the one I blame this next trend on [hi sweet friend]. She blogged awhile ago about faux leather leggings and for this price I think I can give it a try. I can already see Le Husband's face when I put together an outfit with them [ insert eye rolling emojii here ] but I'm getting a bit old for this trend so it's now or never.

I love all things leopard and have worn my leopard infinity scarf so many times since I was gifted it two years ago. I don't know where my was purchased but found a similar one *here*.

Hats are fun and I've loved my cabana hat the past few years. Recently I've been itching to try the felt hat trend and thought this was a great one to test the waters without breaking the bank.

After Kristen posted about her new Gap sweater I couldn't get it out of my mind so it went in my shopping cart. My wardrobe is thankful, my wallet not so much, haha. Gapdotcom is running sale so the tunic sweater is now on sale, too! #bloggerstakingmymoney

What trends are you lusting after right now? Anything I'm missing?

* Affiliate links used.

October 21, 2015

The Perfect Pushup

No, this post is not about b00bs! I'm not talking push up brahhhhhs [although I probably should being a member of the itty bitty club]. And no, I am not perfect! I'm talking the actual physical act of doing a push up. With perfect form.

LAWD HAVE MERCY LADIES, if I had a penny for EVERY incorrect push up I have seen a girl do since college, I wouldn't have to work another day the rest of my life. And today, I am doing MY part to correct and help y'all so we can create a perfect push up world :)

Let me say for the record:  I am NOT a certified trainer or fitness expert. I DO NOT have a degree in physical education or training. I've NEVER trained someone for money in my life. But, I have been told numerous times by trainers [men & women] military personnel [men & women] coaches [men & women] and most importantly my family [army dad, gymnast mama and two bada$$ sissy athletes] that I have LEGIT push up technique and form. Not meant as some kind of humble brag, but those are the credentials I'm rolling with for my post today. [As always, check with a doctor before starting a new workout regimen]. 

Ladies, push ups are NOT that hard. Are they hard, YES! But, there are modifications to help build stamina to complete multiple push ups, using CORRECT FORM! I do modified push ups all the time in BODYPUMP because doing multiple sets of push ups is NOT easy. Heck, you can even start out doing push ups against the wall if modified pushups are still too much for you. No matter where you are starting out it is important to begin with GOOD FORM and then progress as you get stronger.

Recently, I have seen WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too many girls, instructors, fitness bloggies, athletes, teammates and BODYPUMP participats doing push ups with HORRIBLE form! This has to stop. Not only are you making push ups harder on yourself, you look funny. Sorry, but that's the truth. So, today I'm posting a video explaining the proper technique for push ups. You'll see demonstrations for pushups with and without modifications. #donthateonthemodifiedpushup


Don't have time to watch the video? No sweat [haha] here are some pictures and technique tips:

Modified push up [on knees]
YES!


NONONONONO

*Keep a straight line from your crown to your knees, through your butt/hips.
*Bend your arms so your chest is barely higher than the ground.
*DON'T let your butt/hips go up in the air.
*DON'T only go down an inch.

Regular push ups [on toes]
YES!


NONONONONONONO!


*Keep a straight line from your crown to your feet.
*Tighten your abs, will help maintain good form.
*DON'T let your butt/hips stay high in the air.
*DON'T let your hips/butt sag low to the ground.
*DON'T just barely bend your arms, THAT DOESN'T COUNT.
*When you feel your form failing, switch to modified
INSTEAD of trying to power through incorrectly.

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I hope the video and pictures were helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to shoot me an email or leave them in the comments. YOU CAN DO PUSH UPS CORRECTLY LADIES! I KNOW YOU CAN!

*This post was written a few years ago [hence the rando background], but for some reason disappeared from the blog. So, I'm re-posting now because after two BODYPUMP classes this week with HORRIBLE push ups everywhere I just HAD to say something. If I sound judgmental, I am. There is NO excuse for bad push up form, none!

linking up *here* *here* *here*