Friday, July 31, 2015

Iced Zucchini Bread

Compensation was provided by NestlĂ© Coffee-mate® via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the  opinions or positions of Coffee-mate®.



Zucchini Bread

A few weeks ago, I shared this recipe with y’all and talked about how as a little girl, I remember sitting on the front porch of my papaw’s house while we drank coffee (I was probably seven and should NOT have been drinking coffee, but aren’t grandparents made to spoil their grandchildren?) while my grandma baked in the kitchen and brought us snacks along the way. Sometimes I would pop in and help her and one of my favorite recipes she made was this zucchini bread. I remember dunking it into my coffee and feeling really adult eating vegetables (in the bread of course) and drinking coffee (which had one million sugar cubes). I still do that too —  dip baked anything into my coffee. 

However, my coffee tastes have changed a little, I now only use a little creamer when I’m looking to treat myself and sometimes I even opt for black. However, when I do use creamer, I always reach for Coffee-mate because it’s delicious and comes in so many unique flavors like this Toll House® Chocolate Chip flavor. Today, I wanted to share my grandmother’s zucchini spiced bread. I went ahead and added a cream cheese frosting even though hers was always plain, but I wanted to give it a little something extra. 

Zucchini Bread

1 cup packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
3 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or wheat flour)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cup grated zucchini 

Frosting

1/2 cup butter
4 oz. cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. Coffee-mate Chocolate Chip Creamer
2 tsp. vanilla
Sprinkled chopped nuts for garnish









Aaron loved this! It’s actually best when served warm! We had it as a dessert after dinner, but as a morning breakfast this would be great too!

Tell me, what recipe(s) brings back memories for you?
This summer, NestlĂ© Coffee-mate® is celebrating the sweetest form of nostalgia with their exclusive 
range of fun, exciting flavors that evoke delicious memories and emotions of the past. These sweet 
throwback flavors include Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookie, Caramel Macchiato and Classic Vanilla.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Break Up With Your Makeup




While most little girls were taught the importance of healthy skin at a young age, I must admit I was not one of them. My family has a lot of Cherokee Indian in our blood line, so my parents tan naturally and stay tan throughout the year. My mom’s year round tan makes me so jealous! This is not the case for me, as apparently that skin didn’t get passed down to my sisters and me (all blondes while my parents are dark haired). Exhibit A, I am pasty white right now and it’s fine because as I’ve grown older I am realizing the importance of skin care. I was the girl in high school who tanned in the tanning bed before prom and even into college at times. Once I met Aaron, he would lecture me on the dangers of the sun and my girlfriend even had some cancerous moles removed. Since then I have not stepped into a tanning bed and wont ever again. I even wear sun screen now which is cray cray! And I don’t just protect my skin from the sun nowadays, I try to take care of it all around with creams, gels, you name it! I want to keep my skin fresh, young and beautiful!


So today, in honor of Galderma’s Break Up with Your Makeup sweepstakes I thought I would share my skin care routine with y’all! I’m not 100% perfect, but I’m trying to get better. You can also learn more about rosacea and treatments offered by Galderma on the Break Up with Your Makeup page. While you’re there, be sure to vote for your favorite no-makeup selfie and story, and you could win one of three $500 gift cards.

  1. Wash your face every.single.night. I know this is hard, but getting your makeup before bed is essential. I love makeup wipes for that reason. On nights I’m out late or just too tired to wash my face, I reach for a wipe and usually use two just to make sure I’ve gotten everything off. If I do have the energy, I use a mild soap with a little bit of salicylic acid in it.
  2. SPF, I love a good BB cream with SPF built in. I use my BB every day, so in return, I’m also sun protecting everyday (and sometimes I put another layer on with an actual SPF).
  3. If you have skin trouble, do something about it! I have struggled with my skin all my life and have a dermatologist I see regularly. However, even using a great acne wash and toner can really make all the difference! If you need a little extra help for skin issues like rosacea, be sure to check out the line of prescription products from Galderma, including Soolantra® (ivermectin) Cream, 1% that helps treat inflammatory lesions, or bumps and pimples of rosacea.
  4. Above all, hydrate. Make sure you drink those 64 oz of water, each and every day. It’s amazing what H2O can do for the skin!

Those are my healthy skin tips, I'd love to hear yours! 

Learn more about rosacea and treatment on the Break Up with Your Makeup webpage. While you're there, be sure to vote for your favorite no makeup selfie and story and you could win one of three $500.00 gift cards. 

Important Safety Information - Soolantra® Cream

Indication: SOOLANTRA® (ivermectin) Cream, 1%, is indicated for the treatment of inflammatory lesions of rosacea. Adverse Events: In clinical trials with SOOLANTRA Cream, the most common adverse reactions (incidence ≤1%) included skin burning sensation and skin irritation. Warnings / Precautions: Not for oral, ophthalmic or intravaginal use.


You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit WWW.FDA.GOV/MEDWATCH or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

I was selected, as a member of Clever Girls, to post on behalf of the Break Up with Your Makeup program sponsored by Galderma Laboratories, L.P. The content and opinions expressed here are my own. You should discuss any medication with your doctor.

10 Minute Arms

This post is sponsored by Starbucks

I'm excited to team up with Rachael from Shape Fitness Durham today and share some ten minute arms with y'all! If you read my post from earlier today, Rachael and I have been working together for a few weeks to help me shed these 12lbs I've gained since moving to Durham. I have just found I am not comfortable in my skin carrying this extra weight and it's starting to really affect my moods and my body image. Part of the reason I'm sharing this with y'all is because I think if I hold myself accountable, then I'll actually maintain my diet! I am pretty regular when it comes to working out, but my diet of southern food is just too much! So sad. I'm still trying to find a balance between treating myself and being more mindful of my food intake. Buuutttt.... with that, I always love new exercises and Rachael has really helped me incorporate more reps and variety into my workouts! To kick start this new series, we are going to start with 10 minute arms!

10 Minute Arms & Shoulders

CIRCUIT 1

#1 Bicep Rotation

Standing tall with soft knees and core in tight, hold your dumbbells with your elbows at a 90 degree angle. Keeping your elbows stationary next to your ribs, rotate the dumbbells out and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold here for just a second and then slowly rotate the dumbbells back toward the starting position and repeat for 10-15 reps. Dumbbells should be between 5-10lbs. 

Trainer Tip: If you lower your arms so the bend in your elbows is just slightly bigger than 90 degrees, you will get an even greater burn in those biceps. This is an isolated movement for your biceps so you want to make sure they are working hard for the entire motion.


#2 Runner’s Arms

Start in a runner’s stance with one foot in front of the other, hinging slightly forward at the waist and keeping your core tight. Lock your elbows at a 90 degree angle and begin to move your arms as if you were running, bringing your elbows as high behind you as you can, maintaining 
that 90 degree angle the entire time. Pump your arms in this motion as fast as you can for 30 seconds, then repeat for another 30 seconds with your other leg in front. Dumbbells should be 3-8lbs.

Trainer Tip: Don’t use weights that are so heavy your form is sacrificed. The key here is to move your arms as fast as you can to get the heart rate up so you can burn fat and build muscle at the same time. So choose a weight that is challenging but still allows you to pump those arms as if you are sprinting!



3. Overhead Tricep Extension

Stand tall, core in tight, and dumbbells straight above your head. Keep your biceps right next to your ears as you drop the dumbbells behind your head. Press the dumbbells straight back up and repeat for 10-15 reps. Dumbbells should be 5-8lbs.

Trainer Tip: Engage your core! This is an isolated movement for your triceps, but if your core isn’t 
working, you are likely to arch your back and create poor posture. So tighten those abs during this exercise!


CIRCUIT 2

#1: Push Up to Side Plank

Start out in a high plank position keeping a straight line from your head to feet, and core tight. Hands should just wider than your shoulders in preparation for the push up. Lower your body down and press back up for your push up. At the top of the push up, lift one arm off the floor, twist your feet to the side and open up your chest to face the side of the room. Hold this side plank for 1-3 seconds before putting your arm back on the floor and repeating the push up Repeat until you have completed a total of 10-12 push ups. 

Trainer Tip: If you can’t perform a push up or side plank on your feet, drop to your knees. If you are pushing up on your knees, be sure to keep a straight line from your head to knees.



#2. Shoulder Circles

Hold your dumbbells in front of your hips with palms facing forward. Keeping your core tight and a slight bend in your elbow, circle your arms out and up until the dumbbells tap each other over your head. Slowly reverse the circle until your dumbbells are back in front of your hips and repeat for a total of 10-15 reps. Dumbbells should be 3-5lbs. 

Trainer Tip: Engage your back muscles during this exercise. This works your lats just as much as your deltoids so be sure to employ those back muscles, too, to get the biggest bang for your


#2. Upright Row to Shoulder Press

Stand tall with your core tight and dumbbells in front of your hips, palms facing your body. Keeping the dumbbells close your body, pull your arms up and lift your elbows high above your shoulders, with the dumbbells stopping just below your chin. Flip the dumbbells up so they are right above your elbows and elbows in line with your shoulders. Press the dumbbells straight up so your biceps end up right next to your ears. Reverse every motion to return to the start position and repeat for 10-15 reps. Dumbbells should be 5-10lbs. 

Trainer Tip: Don’t rush this movement. You are working your back and shoulders through this entire exercise and the longer you keep those muscles under tension, the more you will get out of the exercise.




I know scheduling out an hour of weight lifting can be tricky, but it doesn't take much I'm slowly learning. This 10 minute upper body workout can get you the toned and tank top ready arms and shoulders. For best results, perform this workout 2-3 times a week. Two pairs of dumbbells are ideal: one lighter (3-5lbs) and one heavier (8-10lbs), but whatever you have will work just fine!

Make sure to check out Rachael's blog- she also does virtual training! 

Rachel Sevier is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist. She specializes in helping her clients modify their diet and exercise routines to help them lose weight and keep it off for good! Rachel was born and raised in the Durham, NC and still lives and works in the area. She offers group fitness classes locally and one-on-one personal training in her home studio. Don't live in the area? Rachel even offers online personal training so she can help you achieve your goals no matter where you live!

p..s Also, get a pair of my workout pants (which are great and have washed up amazingly) at RBX Active is offering 25% discount with code Active25. 

Refresh!

This post is sponsored by Starbucks Refreshers


As an adult, it's so easy to feel sluggish and tired all of the time. There are errands to be ran, money to be made and chores that seem never ending. While it's easy to just want to nap life away, it's simply not realistic, so I wanted to share some tips with you that I use for staying energized throughout the day. 

1. First and foremost, getting plenty of sleep is SUCH a huge necessity. If you're always running on five hours a night, you'll feel like it, so I always ask myself if that last TV show or blog post is worth losing another hour or two of sleep over. Usually the answer is no and in the morning I'm glad. 

2. Fuel yourself correctly. I am trying to incorporate more protein into my diet to stay fuller longer and reduce carbs (the struggle is REAL people), but I am also watching my liquid intake more too. For example, if I'm feeling sluggish, sometimes drinking a huge glass of water can perk me right up! I have been trying to drink 3-4 water bottles a day, but let's be honest, sometimes it just doesn't hit the spot. I love coffee and I drink it black in the morning, but in the afternoon black coffee just doesn't sound appealing. You know what I mean? It's 2:30pm, you want something sugary and sweet? Typically I crave a frappuccino or an iced latte, but lately I've been grabbing the Blueberry Acai Starbucks Refreshers since they are only 90 calories and a great boost of energy for my afternoon (but I really like the strawberry lemonade as well). The Starbucks Refreshers can be found at your local Starbucks and in some grocery stores. They are the perfect amount of fizz and and sparkle with just the right amount of caffeine to get me through the afternoon and push me through my afternoon workout.

2. Lastly, my biggest tip for keeping your energy up is a steady workout plan. I know this seems like it would be counter productive to energy levels, but I always feel so much more energized after a solid workout (or even a sub par one). It's amazing what some endorphins can do to not only a mood, but an energy level. A few months ago, I started feeling really bad about the weight I had gained since moving to Durham. I am currently about 12lbs heavier than I was when Aaron and I got married and for a shorty like me, that's a lot! While all the southern food and craft beer is amazing, I decided it was time for the weight to go. I have been working with a trainer for a few weeks now while we are still getting into the groove and I am trying to figure out what meal plans, etc fit with my lifestyle, it's so refreshing to know that I have a "coach" per se to help me feel my best. And maybe some of you need help too, so a couple times a month, Rachael and I are going to team up to provide some healthy tips, exercises and recipes to help you maintain that summer beach bod (or find yours) through the months to come! 



Make sure you check out my next post for an easy workout you can do at home! Oh, and make sure you have a Starbucks Refreshers™  on hand for afterwards!

With a revitalizing blend of sparkling fruit juices, b vitamins and ginseng, Starbucks Refreshers™ has all the goodness you need to get the most out of your day.



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Secrets


Top c/o Sadie Slick / Jeans (Under $50.00 here) / Shoes (on MAJOR SALE) / Bag c/o (similar) / Bralette / Earrings (similar) / Lipstick MAC D is for Danger

Today I'm going to share a few little secrets I have discovered lately. First, let me start by saying I love this Sadie Slick dress/top. Sadie Slick a ton of staple pieces which I love because I love it when one piece can be worn numerous ways. This dress was a little short for me with heels on, so I decided to belt it and wear it as a shirt with jeans for the evening. This is a great way to get some extra wear out of those pieces in the closet you struggle with. I can definitely rock this dress with flip flops or even as a cover up for the beach, but I love it just as much belted and worn with heels and jeans. Have you done this before?







Another little secret has to do with this bralette I'm wearing (and yes, I should have worn a black bra, not nude- but I was in a hurry!). Anyway- I am a big chested girl, so while this bralette trend has been coming on full force, I have been shying away from it and wishin' I could rock it. Honestly, sometimes I just hate my boobs. They are a pain in the butt and keep me from wearing so many adorable things that I would love to wear (hello backless items!). I am always so envious of those girls (namely all of my best friends) that can go without bras and wear pasties. NOT THIS GIRL! Anyway, my girlfriend asked me one day why I didn't just wear the bralette but still wear the bra. Whatttt? Why hadn't I thought of that. So poof girls- I wear the bra, and the bralette to add some visual appeal instead of bra straps. Thank you Misti!

What about you? Tell me your outfit tricks and tell me if you love bralettes or not?


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Beach Bag Packin'


I know this post is coming a little late in the summer, but there are still many beach vacations and day trips to be had! This year, we are vacationing over Labor Day, so I've been slowly starting to plan outfits and necessities out in my head. We are going to Hilton Head with my in-laws and we've rented a big house, so it should not only be lots of fun, but nice that my packing wont have to be limited to airport bags (we'll be driving, so I pretty much am taking 20461508 bags). :)

Anyway, today I wanted to share some items that I always have in my beach/pool bag. Some of these are extremely obvious, but I think some are actually items that people forget about, so hopefully this helps and you can also let me know what I might have forgotten!


1. Ear Buds: I always take this with me (not pictured) when we go to the beach, but sometimes everyone can't agree on music which is why I always have my ear buds. Whether I'm listening to a podcast (I've been obsessed with this lately) or Pandora, I like being able to keep to myself and listen to what I want to hear for a bit. 

2. Reading Material: Again, sometimes it's not practical to read while you're out with family, or playing in the sand/water- but I always have tons of magazines and at least 2-3 books with me when I go on vacation. Magazines are great because I can mindlessly flip through them while I chit chat. 

3. A Snack: I am prone to migraines so while I know that lunch is always part of the day, being out in the sun can make me pretty dizzy. I always have a bar or piece of fruit in my bag for some calories. Grabbing something is great to hold you over or just save you from making the trek back to the hotel or house just to grab a snack. 


4. Towel: duh

5. Easy Slip On Shoes: I stay away from leather and opt for something that I can use to walk on the boardwalk or black top with to prevent feet burns, but obviously once I step on the sand, my shoes come off. 


6. Sunsceen: Okay, I know this is a given, but here lately, I am getting serious about sunscreen. I recently discovered Soleil Sunscreen and it's pretty much amazing. Not only does it moisturize the skin while it protects, but it's formulated with organic ingredients and is Fortified with potent antioxidants, vitamins and botanicals. Plus, I am a huge advocate for spray sunscreen and this brand is not sticky or slimy! I love the face sunscreen too! I simply cannot emphasize the importance of a dependable and reliable sunscreen enough- skin cancer is such a scary disease and it's almost entirely preventable, so make sure you lather up!

7. Brush and Hair Ties: It's not like I am fixing my hair constantly on the beach, but pictures are being taken, so I always grab a hair tie and brush for easy ponytails if a beach game or photo opportunity come up!


8. Hat: Again, sun protection is important y'all. Along with sunglasses, a hat is a necessity for beach sitting. I lather myself up with regular and face sunscreen, but still wear a hat when possible. 

9. Phone and plastic baggy for valuable: Plastic ziplocks are amazing for the beach. You can still use your phone through the plastic, but it keeps it from getting all sandy and wet. I typically bring a separate baggy for an ID and a bit of cash as well. Just use the phone with the baggy on it, works like a charm!



A few other things I always have are my sunglasses case (for when I'm swimming) and typically lip balm (again, all about that sun protection!). I should also say that Soleil also has a tinted sunscreen for the face which I am contemplating getting, what an awesome idea!

I'd love to hear, what's in your beach bag? What am I forgetting or what tips do you have for me? I'd love to hear. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Target Denim Review

Compensation was provided by Target via Mode Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target.


I am always open to trying out new denim, so when I was asked to participate in Target’s 14 days of denim, I jumped at the opportunity. I have big thighs and a smaller waist, so finding denim that works for me can be a challenge, but I approached this opportunity with open arms, hoping that I could find a new denim brand to love with a great fit and even better price point. 

Target sent me three different styles in three different washes, etc. to try out for two weeks. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised by the denim. Of the three pairs they sent, I loved the distressed pair, as you can see from the photos. But I wanted to share my thoughts on other pairs with you as well. 




1. Straight Leg (light wash), size 27/4. My first reaction out of the box was that I don’t typically buy straight leg jeans. I feel like they don’t help the shortness or my legs, nor the big thigh problem. Thought 2- wow these are long. I liked the wash however and the denim was very soft. At first when I tried them on, they were long as I expected, but that was easily solved with some scissors. I’ve been wanting to make some cut off denim and since this pair was too long and didn’t break the bank, snip snip. Once I made the cut, I actually liked these jeans for lounging and comfort. They sit right below the belly button and I ended up wearing them out to the grocery story and around town for some other errands. Overall, I feel like I’ll continue to wear this style and might even destroy the jeans further. 


Top (similar) / Top (similar)

2. Stretchy Skinny Jeans (dark wash), size 27/4 – Initial reaction was I don’t do stretchy. They fit me oddly and I think make my thighs look even bigger than they are. Once I put them on, I actually didn’t hate them. They were a good length on me. Although the wash is dark, they are a very bright indigo which I wasn’t crazy about, but didn’t hate either. I actually wore these jeans to casual Friday at my office with a blouse. I am still on the fence about these jeans, but the stretch does make them extremely comfortable and if you like stretchy denim I think these could be great, I am just not a fan of so much stretch. However, looking back at the photos, I do like how they fit and they look more expensive than their price tag. 




3. Distressed boyfriend, size 27/4. I loved these jeans out of the box. I had been wanting a distressed boyfriend pair of denim and these were a light wash and extremely destroyed which I love. They were really long on me, but again, I had them hemmed and then just rolled them up like boyfriend jeans should be. Although all of the other denim fit in a size 27/4, I wish I would have got these in a 28/6. I like this type of denim to fit a little looser and honestly, I broke one of the holes through creating a HUGE hole which my husband laughed about, but I didn’t mind. I still love these jeans and will probably get a 28 for a better fit. These were my favorite jeans in the bunch for a few reasons 1. Price, I love that getting a great pair of distressed boyfriend jeans isn’t $100.00 +. 2. I love the wash and the fit. 

Overall, while I liked some more than others, I was impressed by Target’s new denim line. I was able to step out of my comfort zone with the stretchy jeans and am (almost) a convert. I felt like all three pairs were in alignment with my personal style which is great since I love Target and rarely leave the store without browsing through the clothing department. And starting July 26th, you can head to any Target store and get a $10.00 off coupon when you try on a pair of denim. 

Have you tried the new Target Denim line yet? I’d love to hear you experiences and where you shop for denim?

Find your style @targetstyle


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