Wednesday Workout: Stand Up for Flat Abs!

Get great abs – standing up! Say goodbye to the same old crunch routine and say hello to this 15 minute workout!

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Tuesday Ten…Plus One: Fall Recipes

It’s fall y’all! I went through a bunch of recipes to decide what I wanted to put in this post (hence it being late…sorry about that). I couldn’t settle on just 10, so there’s an extra one to make 11. I’m lucky I got it down to that number! These are some really fun recipes that look absolutely delicious. Hopefully, I’ll get to make at least some of these this season! Let me know if you guys try any of the recipes and let me know how they turn out!

  1. Apple Steal Cut Oatmeal – Get the recipe here
  2. Crock Pot Minestrone Soup – Get the recipe here
  3. Classic Beef Stew – Get the recipe here
  4. Apple Cider Chicken – Get the recipe here
  5. Split Pea Soup with Ham Hock – Get the recipe here
  6. Snickerdoodles or Sinickerdoodle Cupcakes – Get the recipes here and here
  7. Skinny Pumpkin Pie – Get the recipe here
  8. Apple Turnovers – Get the recipe here
  9. Spice Cupcakes or Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Homemade Caramel Sauce – Get the recipes here, here, and here
    * You can also use a boxed spiced cake mix for a quicker cupcake fix.
    * Instead of using the bottle Magic Hat #9 for the sauce, try using Blue Moon Caramel Apple Ale (seasonal) instead!


  10. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread – Get the recipe here
  11. Inside Out Caramel Apples – Get the recipe here

Monday Motivation

Happy Monday! It’s a new day and a new week, so let’s make the best of it! Here’s some motivation to get you through the week.

Saturday Sip: Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate

It’s fall! And that means warm drinks, cozy blankets, and cuddling by the fire. This week, in honor of the autumn season, I’ve found a recipe for white hot chocolate with a pumpkin spin. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 cups whole milk
  • 12 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

In a heavy saucepan, combine 2 cups of milk, white chocolate, and cocoa powder. Cook over medium heat, whisking periodically, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is well combined. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, and ginger. Add the remaining milk, 1 cup at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

If desired, serve topped with whipped cream and a sprinkling of nutmeg. Just be sure not to fill the mugs too full before adding the whipped cream, or you might have some overflow.

Source: goodlifeeats.com

{caramel apple martini}

I’m going to be doing my usual “Saturday Sip” post today, but I saw this and just had to re-post it. This sounds like the perfect way to celebrate the first day of fall. Yum!

Check out Something Charming. I love this blog!

It’s Officially Fall!

Today is the first day of fall! I love fall. I absolutely love the crunch of leaves under your feet, wearing sweaters and boots and scarves, cider and pumpkin pie, the cool autumn breeze in the air…I’m so excited! Happy first day of fall everyone!

This Week’s Favorites

This week has been so hectic for me! I feel like I’ve been running on a treadmill that just won’t stop or slow down. But life is just that – one crazy ride. Hopefully you all had a good week. Here are a few of my favorite things from this past week that I thought I’d share with you.

  1. Favorite Fashion Statement: Nude Pumps
  2. Favorite Laugh: The Official Song of the NHL Lockout
    (Parody of Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together)
    My boyfriend is a big hockey fan, and he knows I love, love, love Taylor Swift. So when he saw this hilarious video while reading the Yahoo news highlights, he knew he had to send it to me. It totally cracked me up.
  3. Favorite Quote:
    “I think love is one of those things that it’s only really bad because it was once good. You can’t miss something that was never amazing. So I think what I’ve learned is that even if it ends badly, it’s worth it if it made you feel something – if it taught you something.”
    – Taylor Swift
  4. Favorite Nail Art Idea: French Bow Nails
  5. Favorite Song: Crazy/You Drive Me Crazy – Glee

It’s Friday, But I’m Still Thankful: Opportunities

I’m not rich. My family is by no means wealthy. But we aren’t poor either. I went to public school, I’ve had to work hard, and so has my family. But we’ve also had a lot of opportunities. Some because of luck, some because of fate, and some because we’ve worked our asses off to get them. I am so grateful for all of the opportunities that life has offered me, even if I didn’t realize them at first, or take advantage of them when I should have. I am very blessed to have the life I have today, and to have a shot at the kind of future that I have a shot at. Sometimes, you just need to take a step back, breathe, and look at what life has given you over the years. Sure, things may not have been easy, but within all of the craziness, there were lessons, amazing memories, and great opportunities.

Better Late Than Never Wednesday Workout: Bootylicious

Nothing goes with a pair of tight jeans and some fall boots like a great butt. Haha! Just because fall and winter are around the corner, doesn’t mean you can’t look your best and turn some heads. Try this workout to tone up your rear end.

Belated Tuesday Ten: Keeping Your Skin Healthy

Skincare is very important. It’s important not only for your looks, but for your health too. Here are ten ways you can help keep your skin healthy and looking good.

  1. Wash your face regularly. You should wash your face at least once a day with a gentle face wash. Depending on your skin type, you may want to do this twice a day, but be careful not to dry out your skin.
  2. Exfoliate. At least once a week, wash your face gently with a face “scrub”. The little beads in these types of face washes help to get rid of dead skin and keep your pours clean. If you don’t want to spend money on a separate kind of face wash, you can easily exfoliate with warm water, your regular face wash, and a warm, wet washcloth. Just scrub your face with the cloth, but be careful not to scrub too hard. Some magazines tell you not to use a washcloth because it may be too harsh for your face, but I’ve spoken to a friend of mine who is a skin care professional and she says that’s not true. If done correctly, exfoliating with a washcloth shouldn’t hurt your skin at all.
  3. Use a moisturizer. You want to keep your skin hydrated and looking fresh, so finding the right kind of moisturizer is essential. Do some research, try a few out, or talk to a skin care professional to find the best moisturizer for your skin. I use Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15 for sensitive skin.
  4. Take off your makeup at the end of the day. Sleeping with your makeup on can be damaging to not only your skin, but your eyes and eyelashes too. Make sure you use a gentle makeup remover to take off all of your makeup before calling it a night. I use Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover or Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes – Night Calming (lavender scented).
  5. Stay hydrated. Make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day. This will keep your skin looking healthy, feeling hydrated, and decrease chances of stretch marks by keeping your skin’s elasticity intact.
  6. Use sun protection. This is not only important for beauty purposes, but also for your health. Sun protection is a very important step in our daily routines that is most of the time, overlooked. Sunscreen is always best (For my face, I like to use an oil free sunscreen that is specifically made for your face), but if you don’t have the time for that, moisturizers and face powders can serve as a mild substitute. Many moisturizers these days have a SPF of 15, but it is possible to get higher. Also, there are some powders out now that have sun protection in them. bareMinerals has an entire line of powders, moisturizers, and foundations that help protect your skin from the sun. Check those out here.
  7. Don’t pick at your pimples. That will only make them worse, spread them, and leave scars. The best thing you can do when you have breakouts is keep your skin clean, and use a medication or acne treatment. Lately, my favorites are Clearasil Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream and Noxzema Triple Clean Anti-Blemish Pads.
  8. Get enough sleep. Sleep allows your body to heal and rejuvenate. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night will increase your chances of having healthy, clear skin.
  9. Take a multivitamin. Vitamins help give your body the nutrients that it needs, but doesn’t get enough of. Taking a multivitamin can help your skin be healthier overall, and give you that extra boost you need to look your very best.
  10. Have a healthy, balanced diet. Making sure you get the nutrients you need can’t just be left up to vitamins. Your eating habits are a big part of your skin’s outcome. If you’re constantly eating junk food with a lot of grease, you’re more likely to have breakouts. Eating a balanced diet will help to keep your breakouts more in control. Also, there are some foods that are absolutely great for your skin – avocados, mangoes,  and almonds are just a few.