Friday Faves & Weekend Excitement

16 Feb

Happy Friday!!! I’m super excited for this weekend as we have lots of exciting plans 🙂 Tonight we are having our belated Valentine’s day dinner at Max Fish. We haven’t been there for dinner in forever. Gimme all the seafood!

Tomorrow we are having our annual “wine day” with our friends Robbie and Jenna. Once a year, around Valentine’s Day, we head out to Litchfield county to our favorite wineries with lots of yummy snacks packed and it is always a great time. Can’t wait!

Today I figured I would share a few of my recent favorite things (ahem, more like obsessions). Beware, they are random and all over the place but that’s just how I’m feeling today 😉

Favorite leggings: Zella Live In High Waist Leggings. These leggings are definitely a splurge item unless you find them on sale like I did, but they are so worth it. I love them for working out and also just lounging around the house. They are so comfy and the best material I have ever worn for leggings.

Zella Leggings

Favorite mascara: Too Faced Better Than Sex. Why are mascara names always so funny?! Anyways, this mascara has been my fave for a while now. It doesn’t clump and it adds so much volume and length. Although, I recently received a sample of this new mascara from Benefit in my Birch Box so I’m excited to try it!

mascara ecard

Favorite “Alexa” feature: Five minute plank workout. Like I said, so random. But I’ve been wanting to strengthen my core and I was playing around with the Alexa app for our Amazon Echo Dot and I found this five minute plank workout. It incorporates a straight arm plank, elbow plank, one legged plank, and side planks. I have been doing it every night, usually after bootcamp, and I am already noticing a difference.

Favorite recent local food: Acai bowls from Liquid Nirvana. I’ve featured these on the blog before (the picture below is an old one) but lately I have developed a routine of Saturday morning bootcamp at Mission followed by an acai bowl from Liquid Nirvana. These bowls taste amazing after a sweaty workout and they fill me up for a while.

Acai Bowl

That’s all I have for today! I hope you all have a fun and safe weekend 🙂


Fashion Friday: Stitch Fix # 7

2 Feb

Happy Friday! I took today off to get some errands done and deep clean the house a bit, something I feel like I haven’t done since before Christmas. Before I get moving on all of that, I wanted to share my most recent Stitch Fix box with you guys. It has been a long while (well over a year!) since I’ve ordered one and I felt like I needed some new pieces in my closet as we transition from winter to spring so I decided to do it! I asked my stylist Carolyn for a mix of clothes that would work well for both winter and early spring with some casual and some a little bit more fancy for going out.

Here is an explanation in case you haven’t heard of Stitch Fix before: Stitch Fix is an online personal styling service. You pay a $20 styling fee up front and then you fill out an extensive styling profile which is sent over to a stylist who picks out five items (clothing, jewelry, scarves, accessories, and now SHOES!) which fit the personalized profile you have filled out. The items are sent to you and you try them on, with three days to decide on what you want. If you decide to keep anything, the $20 styling fee goes toward your purchase. If you purchase all five items, then you receive 25% off your entire order! (Note: This time I also had a $50 Stitch Fix gift card that I purchased with a visa gift card that I received for Christmas).

Stitch fix box 7

Stitch fix box 7 2

Item # 1 and 2: Liverpool Elizabeth Super Skinny Jean ($78 – Size 4) and Honey Punch Rivington Textured Open Cardigan ($64 – Size Small): 

As you will see, I’m wearing the jeans with every top I received in this fix which was awesome because they are super versatile and they are honestly more like jeggings which is what I wear the majority of the time anyways (closer to leggings = happiness). I’m obsessed with cardigans and this one was perfect and so cozy. I can definitely dress it up a bit with the jeans and some booties or pair it with some leggings for a cozy night in.

Stitch Fix box 7 sweater

Verdict: Keepers! The jeggings were a no-brainer and comfort is key so both were a definite yes.

Item # 3: Truly Poppy Gina Scalloped Sleeve Blouse ($58 – Size Small): 

When I saw this top, I literally exclaimed “this stylist just gets me!”. The color navy, scallops, and a party in the back?! (I know Jenna is laughing right now in agreement). This top is perfect for a Friday night out or just to wear every single day because I love it that much 😉



Stitch Fix box 7 scallop 2

Verdict: Keeper! Not much needs to be said other this shirt is just the best.

Item # 4: Nine Britton Skylee Knit Dress ($34 – Size Small) 

In her note to me, my stylist Carolyn said she looked at my Pinterest board for inspiration and picked this dress. I am obsessed with swing style dresses. Although I already own a few, they are long-sleeved and this one is perfect for both winter (with tights and booties) or spring (no tights and a jean jacket). It’s also a great price for a dress too!

Stitch fix box 7 dress

Verdict: Keeper! I love the versatility and options that I have with this dress.

Item # 5: Collective Concepts Kim Gigi Neckline Top ($54 – Size Small)

I was pretty undecided about this top when I first tried it on. While I love the choker neckline, the fit wasn’t the greatest and I typically like my flowy tops to be a bit longer. After I looked at the photos of it on, it definitely grew on me and again I’m loving that neckline. It’s one of those items I would never pick for myself but I’m kind of glad that Carolyn did.


Verdict: Keeper! Since I was already planning on keeping all of the other items, it made sense to keep this top with the 25% discount and it does bring me out of my comfort zone a bit.

Carolyn did an incredible job with this fix and it was definitely the best one yet! This is the first box where I kept all five items. It ended up being such a great deal with the 25% discount, my styling fee reimbursement, and my $50 gift card. I’m so happy with this fix and I can’t wait to do my next one (in a month or two?).
Which one is your favorite?

If you decide to sign up for your first Stitch Fix, use this link!

WIAW: January Eats

31 Jan

Happy Wednesday! Today I’m sharing a photo dump of all of the delicious meals I have been enjoying throughout the month of January while I have been “sugar free”. I’m linking the recipes for some of the meals in the captions. (Note: As I said in my last post, I really wasn’t insanely restrictive and I definitely allowed certain foods with a gram or two of sugar per serving just for sanity’s sake).

Sugar free 1

Our lunches looks mainly like this: chicken tossed with buffalo sauce, brown rice, veggies, and half a sweet potato. We cooked the chicken and rice in our brand new Instant Pot!

Sugar free 2

Mexican food (ie. tacos and nachos) were a big deal for us. These ones were fish tacos. YUM!

Sugar free 3

Another lunch: same chicken, veggie, sweet potato combo with some raw veggies and string cheese on the side. 

Sugar free 4

I had never really liked oatmeal in the past but I’m loving it now. I’ve been having it every day for breakfast, topped with low sugar peanut butter, cinnamon, and whatever fruit is on sale. 

Sugar free 5

Chicken chili on a snowy day. I made sure none of the canned tomatoes had any added sugar (some of them actually do!)

Sugar free 6

I’m pretty sure the high temperature on this day was like -5 degrees so pho was the only thing I wanted in my life. 

sugar free 9

A take on Cait Plus Ate’s bacon brussels egg bowl topped with kale pesto from Pinch of Yum. Random but delicious!

sugar free 10

Another breakfast of oatmeal topped with fruit 

sugar free 11

A Span-Ish Chop Bowl from one of our favorite places ever, El Pollo Guapo. If you’re local and you haven’t been, you need to go now!

sugar free 12

Doesn’t everyone need to snack while cooking dinner? Cukes, ranch, crunchmaster crackers, and cheese. And red wine, because winter. 

sugar free 13

Pinch of Yum’s healthy baked pesto rigatoni made with whole wheat pasta. Her kale pesto is everything you guys. I may make this for lunches next week!

sugar free 14

Breakfast for dinner. YES.

sugar free 15

A fantastic meal from Outback enjoyed compliments of a Christmas gift card. #winning

sugar free 16

Brown rice tuna & avocado roll

sugar free 17

A fantastic sesame cauliflower bowl with brown rice made by our wonderful friend Shannon and a sugar free cucumber cocktail made by Robbie 🙂

Phew, that was a lot! Thanks for reading (or, viewing?) Stay tuned on Friday for a Stitch Fix post 🙂


Sugar Free January: The What, Why, and How

30 Jan

Happy, happy everything all! It’s been quite a while. I took a much needed hiatus in order to reevaluate a myriad of things and search for some inspiration. The holidays were too quick but excellent. 2018 seems like it’s going to be a fantastic year. I’m here to tell you why I’m participating in Pinch of Yum‘s sugar free January and share some of the meals I have been enjoying so far.

What: Sugar free January

  • I’m cutting out all refined sugar, refined carbs, juices, and most packaged foods. As I’ve mentioned before on the blog, I’m not about being super restrictive with anything so I’m allowing certain foods with a gram or less of added sugar since it can’t always be avoided (ie. salad dressings out at restaurants that don’t have just oil & vinegar, etc). I’m still eating whole grains, nut butters, and fruit. I’m also allowing red wine and vodka with seltzer because winter is red wine season for me and it’s my favorite. I’m not being super crazy restrictive either, because that is just not who I am.

sugar free plan


  • I’m honestly not a big sugar or sweets person to begin with but I feel like I went crazy like a kid in a candy store this holiday season. I ate cookies just because they were there, not even because I really wanted them, and that isn’t cool with me. I’m not looking to lose weight or anything like that but I won’t be mad if it happens 😉 Bottom line:  I didn’t like the way my body was reacting to the sugar (aka I felt like crap) so I’m reeling it in.

How is it going?:

  • I haven’t really noticed much of a difference or a craving for that matter. The hardest part has been not eating bread as I do crave sandwiches quite often. Whenever I have an urge to go grab some M&M’s from the vending machine at work, I pop in a piece of sugar free gum and the urge passes. Peppermint tea has helped after dinner and so have the individual packets of sugar free Crystal Light lemonade (the raspberry is the BEST!). I wish I had more to report but it really hasn’t been all that bad.
  • I want to emphasize that I’m not being crazy restrictive at all. For example, a couple of weeks ago we went out for a friend’s birthday and stopped at a pizza place for dinner. I enjoyed my pizza and felt good about it because it was a special night with wonderful people. I’ve also been to a few breweries that were new to us and I’ve enjoyed some beer too. Tortilla chips have also been a big thing for me and I’m more than okay with that.
  • I have noticed some physical changes and with how I’m feeling too. I don’t think I have lost actual weight (but I really don’t weigh myself either) but I’m SO much less bloated and my clothes definitely fit better. My skin has also cleared up quite a bit too. I have more energy overall and I sleep SO much better at night too.

Will I continue after January?:

  • I think I’m going to loosely try to stick with staying sugar free beyond January. I’m definitely going to have sandwiches and pizza from time to time but regarding desserts and candy, I think I can avoid those and be perfectly fine.

I’m going to share a post tomorrow with some of the meals that I have been making and enjoying throughout this month. Also, stay tuned for a Stitch Fix post on Friday! 

Friday Favorites: Trader Joe’s

13 Oct

Happy Friday! Fall is in the air this morning around here (the temperature when I went to the gym this morning was 36 degrees!) although it’s supposed to be warm again tomorrow. I’m really excited for fall this year and we will be attending Glastonbury’s Apple Harvest Festival tonight and possibly for a little while tomorrow which will be so much fun!

Today I’m sharing some new-to-me favorites from Trader Joe’s. I have definitely written about Trader Joe’s in the past but it has been quite a while since we have made the trek there to pick up some goodies. Trader Joe’s is great because their prices are phenomenal and they have such unique items, especially of the seasonal variety.

  • Everything but the Bagel Seasoning Blend 

Trader joes bagel seasoning

I have only used this stuff once so far but it is incredible. It is honestly all of the seasonings I use regularly mixed together. I would recommend putting it on everything, from chicken to fish to a bagel (obvious choice).

  • Frozen organic riced cauliflower 

Organic riced cauliflower

I haven’t tried this yet but I have made riced cauliflower in the past and I’m excited about how much easier this will be. I’m planning on making Skinnytaste’s skillet cauliflower arroz con pollo this coming week and I will be using this for that meal.

  • Fire roasted peppers and onions

Trader joes roasted peppers and onions

Another item that I haven’t tried just yet but I’m looking forward to the convenience factor of these as well. Chopping up veggies for fajitas takes an unnecessary amount of time and this will eliminate that.

  • Cookie Butter ice cream

trader joes cookie butter ice cream

So I probably just should have let Dan write about this one because it is probably one of his favorite foods in the entire world. I have been trying to limit my sugar intake so I have only stolen a few bites from him but this stuff is incredible and you need to go buy it ASAP.

  • Horseradish hummus

trader joes horseradish hummus

I have been on the search for years for a hummus that I actually enjoy. I think it must be the texture of the chickpeas all mashed up that I just can’t get on board with. I am a HUGE horseradish fan and this stuff is pretty darn good. In all honesty, I’m still not the biggest hummus fan even after trying this flavor but it definitely is improved with the addition of the horseradish.

  • New Zealand sharp cheddar cheese

trader joes cheese

Trader Joe’s has the most incredible cheese selection with prices that are really not too bad. I tend to pick up a different type of cheese each time we go just to try something new and this sharp cheddar is amazing. I’m not a huge dessert person so I will usually have a slice or two of a good cheese after dinner instead of sweets and this has hit the spot this week.

  • Cold Brew Coffee Chocolate Bar

trader joes cold brew chocolate bar

After I just finished preaching about my anti-dessert beliefs, I’m ending with sweets 🙂 I am a huge cold brew coffee fan so I had to try this. The coffee flavor isn’t super overpowering but it goes so well with the dark chocolate and the caramel filling. I will definitely be stocking up on these!

I hope you guys have a Trader Joe’s nearby so you can try some of these treats too! Have a fun, Fall-filled weekend!

Fall Bucket List

8 Sep

Happy Friday! While this short week has seemed pretty long for me, I can’t even begin to imagine what others throughout the country are going through in places like Houston, Florida with the hurricanes and out West with the wild fires. You guys are all in my thoughts and prayers constantly.

I know that it isn’t officially fall yet but I’m just too darn excited for the new season to begin so today I wanted to go over a few things on my fall bucket list! Our friend Robbie recently texted us about how excited he was for fall because we always visit our favorite brewery this time of year and it had me brainstorming on all of the things I’m excited to do and enjoy.

  • Visit ALL of the fairs and festivals
Hebron Fair 2017

Yes, nearly all of my pictures are taken with Snapchat. Also, this baked potato was everything. 

Hebron Fair 2017 2

Dave won the “last chance” heat and got a trophy!

Okay so maybe not alllll of them because that would get quite costly, but at least our favorite ones. We went to the Hebron Harvest Fair last night and we are going again tonight to see one of our best friends participate in the demolition derby and figure eight derby. We will also be visiting the Big E several times as it is honestly one of my favorite places to be 🙂

  • Try some new-to-me foods and recipes
Apple seltzer

Picked this up to try, I will let you know how it is!

homemade pasta sauce

We made homemade pasta sauce this past weekend for the first time using this recipe

One of the reasons I am so excited for fall is because of the cozy and delicious foods that I love to cook each year. I have pinned countless new soup and casserole recipes to try over the coming months. My crock-pot will definitely be put to good use!

  • Make some new fall cocktails

This beer is phenomenal and at over 8% alcohol, definitely does the trick 😉

I have seen so many yummy looking recipes for fall drinks, such as this one and this one, and I can’t wait to start sampling them myself. I also love this time of year for enjoying a nice glass of red wine, which always makes me feel nice and cozy.

  • Wear ALL of the fall fashion 

nordstrom shirt

I recently picked up this top from Nordstrom and I’m eyeing this dress from my favorite store, Old Navy. I love all things related to boots and scarves too!

There are many other things I have planned for fall so stay tuned and I will share, as time allows! I’m expecting work to be quite hectic in the coming weeks but I will when I can 🙂

Have a great weekend!

LDW 2017: Goodbye Summer!

6 Sep

Happy hump day! I hope the week is going by as fast for you as it is for me 🙂 Monday was excellent (aren’t all days off?) but yesterday was a bit of a pain as it was a very long day back at work and then I came outside to a dead car battery. It could have been worse so it’s all good. I figured a brief recap of my weekend would be a great way to kick off the week!


Friday Apps

lemon drop martini

I took the day off to turn my 3 day weekend into 4 days. I went to boot camp that morning and then ran errands. Alex came over later in the afternoon and ended up staying for apps and dinner before Dan and I headed out to the Diamond for drink. It was a really nice evening!


El pollo guapo

Hooker Brewery Hartford


Bartaco night

With it being our first free Saturday in quite a while (and for the foreseeable future too) we decided to make it a spontaneous day. We had lunch at El Pollo Guapo with our friend Nick, who just started college. If you haven’t tried El Pollo Guapo and you are local, head there ASAP, it is incredible and the owners are the absolute best. The rest of the day/night was spent with Tyler & Shivani at Back East Brewery, Hooker Brewery, and then out and about in West Hartford. It was a perfectly unplanned Saturday.


Sunday at lake

It was gloomy and rainy for most of the day. We headed up to the lake to see Dan’s parents. After a delicious lunch, we decided to take a trip to Walmart with Dan’s mom and then we also stopped at an awesome package store up near where they live and I picked up some bottles of wine (at a very low price) that I can’t wait to try. We headed home and spent the rest of the night parked on the couch and it was glorious.


Hike with Dan and Charlie

Hike pic
Monday was a wonderful mix of fun and productivity. We started the day with a hike to the reservoir with Charlie. After that, we came home and got sh*t done! There was meal-prepping, closet-cleaning, yard work, and laundry. We also used all of our CSA tomatoes to make some jarred pasta sauce which I’m really excited about! It was such a productive afternoon and it felt amazing to plop down on the couch that evening.

It was a great weekend and I’m looking forward to all of the fall things to begin, starting with the Hebron Fair this weekend. Have a great rest of your week!