Tips for Working Out on Vacation

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in Health & Fitness | 0 comments

This time of year always has me itching for a vacation. It is confirmed that we are taking a family vacay in May (YAY), but with half marathon training in my schedule I have to make sure I stay on task and keep working out. I know, I know, it’s vacation — shouldn’t it be about relaxing? Well yes, but honestly the vacations where I take the time to workout I actually end up feeling more relaxed and rejuvenated coming back to reality afterwards than the ones where I don’t. Maybe I’m just uptight enough that working out is one of the few things where I can relax…who knows?

I try to stay active even on the most relaxing of vacations which allows me to 1) eat whatever the hell I want and 2) feel good. Really the first one is the most important because eating local food is basically my favorite part of travel! Anyway, here are a few of my pointers for staying active and getting that workout in on vacation.

workingoutonvacation-600

Enjoy the local scenery.

Traveling is a great excuse to change up your normal running route for something a different and perhaps more exotic. Motivate yourself to get out for a run, or even a walk, along the beach, through a nature trail, in the city, or wherever your travels may take you. Some of my favorite runs have actually been on vacation because I’m out discovering totally new scenery which is an excellent distraction!

oceanrun

Hit the hotel gym.

If running isn’t your thing, you can always utilize the hotel gym or pool. Most hotels have at least something (if only a lame-o  20-year-old workout bike) so wake up 20 minutes earlier and at least get a little workout in. You’re on vacation, so don’t stress yourself out too much if it’s not your full routine, but even 20 minutes of cardio or weights will get your heart pumping and metabolism going so you stay stronger the rest of the day. Plus, let’s face it, you are going to indulge in some amazing food later because that’s basically the best part of traveling.

Walk it off.

If a full workout isn’t in your schedule, walk, walk, walk it off! Make sure you’re exploring and moving throughout your day and opt for the long way around the boardwalk to explore so you get some steps in. On our recent trip to Disney World and Universal Studios I tracked about 7-9 miles+ a day just being on the go, so I didn’t feel too guilty about lacking a formal workout.

Try a new routine.

Don’t forget you can always do a little routine in your hotel room. Crunches, push-ups, jumping jacks, high knees, planking, leg raises, walk sits — there’s a lot you can do even without leaving your room!

working out on vacation

Happy travels!

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How to Apply Iron-on Vinyl + Best Tips

Posted by on Apr 5, 2015 in DIY | 0 comments

Hello! With my Etsy shop and lots of personal experience ironing on adhesive vinyl, I wanted to share some of my top tips for success for ironing on designs to fabric.

 

1. Select a fabric item that can be ironed at high heat settings (cotton and cotton blends work great). For women’s shirts in particular, be careful not to select a shirt that is particularly tight across your chest if that’s where you’ll be applying your vinyl, as it will stretch and skew the design. If you are ironing on a shirt, try it on in advance so you can see where you want to place your design. Generally across the chest, just above the armpits is a good placement, but depending on the length of the design and neckline of your shirt, you may want to move it.
2. Remove design from wax paper and masking tape. Leave clear plastic protective backing on. This is heat safe for ironing and the design will peel away easily when finished.
3. Position the design onto the surface of fabric with the design facing up and smooth adhesive side down. Design should no longer appear reversed. Use a ruler to ensure it’s straight (or if you’re daring you can eyeball it). After it is placed, I find a straight edge of the fabric and make sure it looks parallel.
4. Place cloth over design and apply firm pressure with a heated iron for about 45-60 seconds. Flip and iron directly on back without removing plastic transfer sheet (without fabric on back). Leaving the clear film on, I then turn it inside out, flipping from the side without the transfer on it. Iron directly on the back so that only the fabric layer of your article is in between the iron and adhesive. Flip back out and slightly check the edges to make sure it has adhered.
5. Slowly peel away clear plastic sheet, ensuring design is completely transferred. While I am slowly pulling away, I push down on intricate parts of the design as I am pulling off the sticker backing so it doesn’t pull. If it is not full adhered, replace plastic sheet and iron again. Once the sheet is off, I usually do one more pass through with the iron just to make sure it is completely secured.

Pro tip: Wash inside out on cold and low heat to protect the design.

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Two Year Old Easter Basket

Posted by on Apr 4, 2015 in Mom tips, Motherhood | 7 comments

Happy Easter lovelies! I can’t believe how fast this year is already flying and there’s something about holidays that just reminds me of that. I meant to share this earlier in the week, but I was going non-stop! Better late than never.

I love Easter, and now that I have a little one to celebrate with, it makes it even more bright and fun. This is his third Easter, but as he is just barely two, this is the first one that he is really getting into the magic of the Easter bunny, the egg hunting, and all that.

easter egg hunt in water

We did a super fun Easter egg dive yesterday where we came home with a huge bag of candy, which honestly I think might go in the trash… Well after I pick out the chocolate maybe. But either way, the last thing we need is a ton more sweets or toys around here, so I tried to keep it fun, but practical for his Easter basket this year.

Here’s what I put in his basket. Pretty reasonably priced too!

easter basket ideas

1. Keychain kite: these are so cool! I snagged this one off of KidSteals.com and I can’t wait to see what he thinks. I know he will love the doggy and it’s perfect that it’s just his size!

2. Sandra Boynton Bunny Rabbit Show: I love Boynton Books and so does Zach, so obviously this one is perfect for Easter. So cute!

3. A bathtime book: this is too cute to go in the bath and even squirts!

4. Finger paints: thank you Dollar Tree! This is obvious fun for a two year old.

5. Lindt chocolate bunny: okay so here’s where I splurged. I could have gone for the $2 Hershey’s bunny, but frankly, mommy will need to have some of this one so I went for my fave.

6. Custom iron on vinyl “Word to your mother” tee: I just started selling these in my Etsy shop! I’m making lots more designs coming soon, and can even take custom orders.

7. Thomas the Train and Cars socks: this is one of the most practical, and yet I know he will totally love them. And score from the dollar section at Target!

8. M&M egg: my monkey really isn’t into most sweets (I know, weird). He is more of a fine dark chocolate kind of guy…yes he is two. Anyway, but he does love M&Ms and I wanted an egg in there since I honestly think he will like that even more than the chocolate.

Hope you all have a wonderful day with your families!

 

2-year-old easter basket

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My Favorite Iced Coffee Recipe

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Breakfast, Drinks, Recipes | 0 comments

Random fact about Angie: despite my general dislike of winter, I don’t think I could ever live in a place without it because I love the excitement and anticipation of changing seasons almost as much as simply enjoying the seasons themselves. For example, I love spring — the blossoms, sunshine, rainstorms, baby animals, the smell of new growth, and perfect temperatures that are not too hot or too cold. When it really comes down to it though, it’s the dramatic beauty of life coming back into an otherwise dead, ugly world that gets me excited every year. I love a good happy ending!

homemade iced coffee recipe

I know, you clicked on this article to read about iced coffee so you’re like WTF lady? But what goes with this transition to warm weather, fuzzy baby duckies, and sunshiney days better than your favorite cup filled with creamy, dark iced coffee bliss? Few things, my friends. Few things.

This time of year I always found myself pulling through the drive thru to indulge this love of iced coffee to feed my spring fever, but that got pricey over time. Over the last few years I have perfected my cold brew recipe to my liking and now make it a regular habit so I always have some stocked. I will make a big batch at a time and keep it in my fridge to last me 1-2 weeks. It makes filling up my cup so easy peasy in the morning and I can make it up to my liking while saving money from stopping at Starbucks or Beans and Brews.

The list of things you need and instructions may look long, but seriously do not let that stop you. Once you do it one time you will be able to do it again super speedily so don’t be intimidated! I will go into detail, but it’s basically three steps: 1) Mix water and coffee and wait a day. 2) Strain coffee. 3) Pour into a container. Done. This is the easiest, most worthwhile recipe ever.

 

What You’ll Need

1/2 lb ground coffee (I like dark roasts like French or Italian — but whatever you prefer)

16-17 cups water

2 large pots

wooden spoon

plastic wrap or lid to cover pot

a circular strainer that fits into a pot

ladel

cheese cloth

a sealable or screw top pitchers or large mason jars

 

Directions

Pour coffee grounds into a pot and pour room temperature or chilled water over the top. Stir with a spoon and cover for at least 24 hours (did I mention this is the easiest ever?). Prep the second pot and put circular strainer on top and cover with the cheese cloth. This will work as your coffee filter. Depending on your pot (and your strength) either pour or ladel the coffee from one pot to the other. Voila!

homemade iced coffee recipe

oh look at those glorious mountains

 

Now storage. I got these awesome screw top pitchers at Costco that are perfect since they seal in the flavor and can also be turned sideways so they don’t take up the entire top of your fridge. But since my toddler decided to break both of them, I actually just started storing in large mason jars which also works great. Now just pour, add in ice if you want, and cream, sugar, syrup — however you like your coffee. It’s almost too easy!

 

 

 

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Carrot Raisin Muffins for Easter Brunch

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Baking, Breakfast, Entertaining, Holidays, Recipes | 0 comments

We can label springtime and brunch under “my favorite things” and since Easter brunch is coming up this weekend, I thought I would change up one of my favorites. I had a big bag of heirloom carrots that I didn’t want to go to waste, so I decided to use these sweet white and purple carrots in my carrot raisin muffins. They are not too sweet and with the cream cheese mixed right in, are moist with a nod to carrot cake. Perfect to leave for the Easter Bunny…that’s a thing right? Just like Santa? Because I could totally use these as a midnight snack. Ha!

carrot raisin muffins recipe for easter brunch

Ingredients

2 cups grated carrots (the heirlooms are pretty, but this is also delish with regular orange carrots)

2 eggs

4 ounces softened cream cheese

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup coconut

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups flour

1/2 chopped walnuts or pecans

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a grater or food processor, grate carrots in a bowl and set aside. In a mixer, blend eggs, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add in carrots, coconut and cinnamon. Stir in baking soda, then add in flour a little at a time until well mixed and stir in nuts. Fill muffin tins with liners and spoon in about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes.

carrotraisinmuffins

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Skincare Secret – Vitamin E Oil

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Beauty & Skincare, Style | 0 comments

Now that I’m at the end of my twenties (yes, lovelies, I am turning the big 3-0 this year) I have an emphasized need to take care of my skin. I have been pretty good wearing sunscreen, washing my face, and moisturizing until I had my son two years ago and while I do it as much as I can, I’m not quite as diligent. Damn kids. ;) 

 

 

Anyway, I learned this secret from a random lady back when I was a young little thang in college. Rewind to my 20-year-old self working the skincare and makeup counter and this cute older lady pulls me aside to whisper her secret to young looking skin that she had used nightly since her twenties. Before she told me she asked me how old I thought she was and in my head I guessed maybe early 60s…this woman was 84, people! I listened in. She told me every night she would prick a vitamin E capsule and use the oil inside on her face. It tightened and healed her skin and kept it pliable and young. 

I have used this on and off since, but I got sick of opening a capsule all the time so I just bought this little dropper bottle off Amazon for $13

To apply, at night just get a little bit of oil (seriously a little goes a long way) and apply to your “problem areas” or where you can tell your skin is thinning or wrinkling. I primarily use it right under my eyes and a teeny bit on my forehead. I wipe and excess on my neck, just for good measure. Then I will add a small layer of moisturizer on top just so I don’t feel so greasy going to bed. By morning the skin in that area absorbs it and you wake up feeling tighter and like your skin is moisturized and less prone to wrinkles. 

Just remember, skin care is number one! The more you do when you’re young, the easier time you’ll have as you age. It’s a lot easier to care for good skin than it is to repair damaged skin so be good to yourselves! 

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Banana Protein Muffins

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in Baking, Breakfast, Clean eating, Health & Fitness, Healthy Recipes | 0 comments

I just signed up for my fifth half marathon — yay! When I am in training mode for a race or working out a lot, it’s all I can do sometimes to not constantly complain of being hungry. This is a good problem, right? But that being said, it can be a pain to constantly have this burden of needing to feed myself, so I look for high protein foods that are healthy, keep me full longer, and help strengthen the muscles I’m building. These banana protein muffins are an easy solution and I pop them all in a gallon sized bag in my freezer to make easy before or after workout snacks. YES!

banana protein muffin recipe

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups oats

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2-3 tablespoons flaxseeds, chia seeds, or 1/2 cup chopped nuts/raisins/chocolate chips (optional)

Directions 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together banana, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract until well blended. Add protein powder, cinnamon, and baking powder. Slowly add oats about 1/2 cup at a time until you get a good consistency. Stir in flax seeds, chia seeds, nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips. Pour batter into lined baking cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

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