May 25, 2016

Influenster Sprout VoxBox Review

I love Influenster. They always send me the most interesting products to try out. A lot of times, the products aren’t necessarily even in stores yet. If you aren’t already, you should go sign up for Influenster right now.

The Sprout Voxbox had a very interesting variety of products included in it. This is one of their “Wellness Boxes,” and I think all the items fit the theme wonderfully. I was very pleased to find a lot of edible treats in there, which I always love. 

** I received these products free for testing from Influenster. All opinions are always 100% my own.

The first thing that jumped out at me are the Eatsmart Snacks Garlic Hummus Three BeanTortilla Chips. I opened them right away, and was blown away by the garlic taste. They were SO good. They felt really light, and because they were so flavorful, they really don’t need any type of dip or salsa. I ate them at lunchtime for a few days, and it added a delicious crunch.

The next item that I naturally opened was the Curate Dark & Tempting Snack Bar. The flavor of this bar was uniquely sweet and savory, with a flavor of balsamic vinegar. I ate this in the afternoon one day, when I was hungry but it wasn’t meal time yet.  It was a nice, healthy way to make the afternoon go by faster.

There was a foil packet sample of Hair Food Apricot Shampoo and Apricot Conditioner. I’ve tried Hair Food products in a previous VoxBox and I really like them. They smell amazing, and always make my hair very silky. I didn’t love that this was a foil packet, because with my long, thick hair I will use that in one use. I don’t think you always get a good idea of a beauty product from one use.

I feel like I am always bringing 100 loads of laundry with me to the laundromat. It is probably because I do our laundry for the week in one night, but I feel like I do it so much, and I’m always running out of detergent. When I saw these ECOS All Natural Laundry Detergent samples, I was very excited. I would compare these to Mrs. Meyers detergent, but I thought the scent was much more subtle. Our clothes felt clean, and smelled great. I specifically enjoyed the single use sample sizes, because I could just throw them into my pocket to take to the laundromat with me.

The last thing I tried was the sample of Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein. This was in the vanilla bean flavor, and was really good. I drank it after a workout during the week, and I felt full and satisfied. I have been looking into plant based protein powders, and will definitely consider buying this in the full size.

May 23, 2016

Honey-Cinnamon Granola with Coconut Oil

Good morning my friends, and happy Monday!

I made this granola over the weekend, and instantly knew I wanted to share this recipe with you. I am a big fan of granola with yogurt in the mornings, but it is SO expensive to buy granola every week at the grocery store. I have seen tons of pins and posts about healthy, homemade alternatives and I decided to give it a try. 

I used Lovely Little Kitchen's recipe as a guide, but I did change a few things as I went. I didn't have any almond extract, and I added cinnamon for a little spice.

Honey-Cinnamon Granola with Coconut Oil
Ingredients (yeilds about 6 cups)
  • 1 cup Almond Slices
  • 3 cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/3 cup Honey
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Sprinkle of Cinnamon
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix oats, almond slices, salt and brown sugar in a bowl.
In the microwave, heat coconut oil and honey for 30-45 seconds, or until melted. Stir to combine. Add vanilla.
Pour honey and oil mixture over the oats, and mix until everything looks evenly coated.
Spread the mixture on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of the granola -- this can be measured to taste.
Bake for 5 minutes.
Stir the granola on the tray, and bake for 5 more minutes.
Take the granola out of the oven and let it cool. Break up any large chunks and store in an airtight container.
Powered by Recipage

And to celebrate the end of May and the beginning of summer, some lovely blogger ladies and I are giving away an awesome prize package to one of you! This is a wonderful prize, sure to brighten any summer! We are giving away: a Beach Bag, a Kylie Jenner Lip Kit, $25 to Target, and $15 to Starbucks. This giveaway ends at midnight on May 30.

Sarah@ Sarah Emily Blogs // Allison@ Life Life Well Blog // Dana@ Pellerini Proclaims // Yesi@ Love Yesi Blog // Kara@ Happy Go Lucky Blog // Jennifer@ Crown Me In Glitter Blog // Kara@ Fit Chick Next Door // Charlene@ Charlene Mauler // Libby@ Health, Love and Fire Blog // Rachel@ Small Town and City Lights // Mistle@ Sweet Tea&Hydrangeas // Alexandra@ Always Al // Alexandri​a@ Top Knot Style

May 18, 2016

Our Wedding Invitations

Happy Wedding Wednesday friends! I am excited to finally share our wedding invitations with you! Now that (almost) everyone has RSVP’d I wanted to share these with you.

The paper goods for our wedding have a special place in my heart, since my dad opened his own print and copy shop last summer. He has been printing everything for us, and I feel like everything is so customized. I have been able to choose colors, design, wording… just everything. The only downside of this is that I had to assemble EVERYTHING myself. Nothing was pre-made which was a little bit time consuming.

I had a really hard time choosing a design. I knew what I wanted, but couldn’t find it anywhere. I finally made myself choose one of the designs I saved from Etsy, and I was thrilled that they could customize it to be exactly what I wanted. The design is from TeeshaDerrick, and it was so great to work with them. The invitation suite came with the invite, rsvp card, info card, and the monogram for the belly band.

My favorite part of these is the envelopes. We actually ordered these before I even decided on an invitation suite. I knew I wanted to have lined envelopes, and wanted to incorporate lavender into them. We ordered them from Cards and Pockets, and they are everything I was looking for. (Cards and Pockets will send you samples! I highly recommend this!)

Since we went with the navy envelopes, they couldn’t be printed on. I hand addressed all of them, which I actually didn’t mind that much. I used a white gel pen and the Lettermate to keep everything looking good.

Some of my favorite ladies and I are joining together to give one of you an Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit, AND $15 to Sephora! Make sure you go visit Lindsay for her new series, Tuesday Treat!

May 13, 2016

What's in my Bag

Guys. I literally cannot keep my purse clean. I tried to carry around just a clutch for a little bit, and it was a no-go. I ended up carrying around extra crap.

I blame this current state I’m in on wedding planning. Since we are only about a month and a half out, I am constantly toting things around and doing errands. For example, the other day I had a bag of invitation supplies, my earrings, AND something for Caroline that had just come in the mail.

I also seem to be carrying around a mini closet. It’s always good to have options.

What’s in my bag at the moment:

-EcoTools hair brush
-Starbucks Via – Instant Caramel Latte (because coffee)
-2 Hearing Aid cases
-Maximum Strength Ibuprofin
-Wedding Earrings
-Hair ties
-White gel pen
-2 necklaces, you know in case I want to change it up
-A braided belt
-A white gel pen
-Pink eraser (so random)
-Lipstick (Maybelline ColorSational Lip Color – Warm Me Up) This is my holy grail lipstick! 

May 11, 2016

The Chrysler Museum of Art

Last weekend Dave and I wanted to do a special date day. We just celebrated 10 years of dating, and we wanted to celebrate accordingly, while still sticking to our budget. There are so many free things to do in our area, and a lot of them we haven’t experienced. We are slowly checking off our Virginia Bucket List before we move in August.

We originally planned to go hiking down in an area of Virginia Beach, but the weather was a little iffy. There was a chance of rain, and it was sun-showering, so we didn’t want to risk doing an outside activity.

We ended up going to visit the Chrysler Museum of Art, which is located in downtown Norfolk. The museum and glass studio have FREE admission every day, which was perfect. I specifically wanted to visit the glass studio, because they do live demonstrations at noon. The Chrysler also has a huge collection of glass, which was really cool. 

The demonstration at the glass studio took about an hour, and the glassblowers created a small monster figurine. It was so interesting to see how fast they had to work, and how sturdy the glass was while it was being blown. At one point I leaned over to Dave and remarked how it was cool that this art form is virtually untouched by technology. Shaping and sculpting is all done the same way it was 100 years ago.

After we left the glass studio, we went over to the art museum. My favorite genre of art is by far impressionism. I was surprised to find quite a large collection of impressionist paintings, including some that I recognized by Mary Cassatt, Monet, and Cezanne.

There was also a huge collection of historical pieces, including a sarcophagus, and tons of non-western artifacts. My favorite in this section was the Chinese pottery.

We didn’t end up getting through the whole museum before our stomachs were growling for lunch. But we can go back any time (I’m thinking of making a lunch time visit sometime soon!) since it is free, and you can just walk in to where you want to go.

If you are in the Hampton Roads area, definitely check out the Chrysler Museum of Art and the glass studio. Very interesting, and a great way to spend a rainy day.