Friday, July 19, 2019

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It's here! The ultimate shopping sale is now underway for everyone and not just cardholders.  If you are going to shop one sale a year then this is the one!  I always try to have a game plan for shopping the sale.  Be sure to evaluate your closet and decide on items that you are missing in your current wardrobe.  I wouldn't go crazy during the sale but instead, invest wisely on a few pieces that you know you will get tons of wear out of!  And if you do go too crazy Nordstrom has a great return policy and even free return shipping as well.  Just a reminder the sale is now open starting at 12:30 PM ET through August 5th (prices go back up on August 5th).  Many items sell out quickly so if you really love something I would buy sooner rather than later just in case it sells out.

The top items I've loved on the sale are athletic wear, beauty items and of course shoes!  Not going to lie I wasn't entirely impressed with the clothing items this year but the shoe selections are always top- notch.  Here are some of my top picks!

If you don't own a pair of faux leather Spanx leggings then this is your chance to scoop them up at $65 (they are normally $98 and hardly ever go on sale).  I literally wear them all winter and they go with practically everything!

These peep-toe booties have been a staple in my closet for years and I was pumped that they brought them back!  The deep cut V in the front elongates the legs and adds interest.  These are great for pairing with skirts/dresses and black jeans!

Crystal got these amazing Adidas running shoes in black- she has been raving about them and how comfy they are!  You can tell Crystal took this pic because it has her beloved Defiance Fuel in it- read her blog post here about the benefits of this water.

This is the best beauty deal that I saw!  This is the holy grail of self-tanners and this jumbo-sized one is a great value and will last you a long time!  Check out my tips on self-tanners here.

Shop more of my picks below!

Athletic Wear





Happy shopping!  And as always if you have any requests or need help shopping the sale-feel free to email or DM me.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Shake It Up!

I love starting my day off with a delicious + filling shake. I feel like it sets the tone for the day to be healthy and gets me off to a great start. I feel like starting the day with a healthy shakes keeps me more motivated throughout the day to stay on track with my eating. I have always said strive to have the healthiest breakfast as possible. You may not be perfect the rest of the day, but starting off on an unhealthy note can wreck you whole day.

I have tried so many shakes over the years and I have a few favorites. Like always I am looking for powders that are low in sugar and carbs with fiber to help keep me fuller, longer. My two favorites are 310 Nutrition and F-Factor.

I have tried 310 Nutrition in the past and have really liked it. Since then, they have come out with new flavors that I am loving. Toasted Coconut is my favorite flavor right now. These shakes only have about 90 calories per serving with 15 grams of plant based protein + no artificial sweeteners. They also have some fiber, usually around 5 grams. Side note, I also am loving their Detox tea. I usually think tea is blah, but this tastes great, and is helping curb my appetite. You can get free shipping by using code 310CRYSTALJ. FYI the bag is huge and lasts forever!

I follow the F-factor lifestyle diet so I love their shakes as well. I go back and forth between the Vanilla and Chocolate flavors. They are both so creamy and filing and jam packed with 20 grams of fiber in 2 scoops.  (Do I talk about eating fiber enough ?!). They only have 3-4 net carbs + 20 grams of protein.  You can also cook with them if you chose to do so unlike myself.

Here are some other things I will throw in my shakes for taste + added healthy benefits. Not all in the same shake because I like to mix it up! For the most part I mix about 5 ounces of water then add a few of unsweetened Coconut, Almond, or Cashew milk and blend in my Vitamix. We have had our Vitamix for a while now and I love love it.

Shake add-ins:

Frozen Rice Cauliflower- Gives you shake a little more consistency
Spinach- Added fiber benefits you can’t taste
Peanut Butter Powder- Added peanut butter taste without the fat
Cacao Nibs- Gives chocolate taste + rich in polyphenols
MCT Oil Powder- I have tried a few, and this is by far my fave brand
Amazing Gass Green Super Food Powder

Low Sugar Yogurt- you can add just a spoonful for a little more taste + helps with consistency

I think its all about playing around with what tastes best to you, and what keeps you feeling full longest.


Low Sugar Yogurt- you can add just a spoonful for a little more taste + helps with consistency

Monday, July 15, 2019

Amazon Prime Day Picks

Okay, July has officially become sale crazy with allll the sale notifications but Amazon Prime is always a winner.  Prime Day has been stretched to 2 days- so you still have tomorrow to shop the deals as well.  If you aren't a Prime member you can sign up to start a free 30 day trial to gain access to the deals.  

Amazon is a great resource for not only household items but tons of fashion and beauty deals.  You can always visit our Shop Amazon tab on the blog, where we have our fave style, fitness, beauty, home, and gift picks saved.  

This is a great time to stock up on closet essentials!   These hangers help your clothes lay better and they save space in your closet.  

This seriously is one of the best sunscreens out there!  I use it on my kids as well as myself- you save almost $10 buying it through the sale

I'm truly obsessed with this stay all day liquid lipstick.  You get 30% off reflected during checkout.  Some long lasting lipsticks tend to be drying on me but this one does not! I love the color Caro which is a beautiful pink shade!

Some healthy treat finds are on the sale as well!  I love Quest Cookies that have low in sugar + high in protein if you have a sweet tooth.  I also have been hooked on S. Pellegrino Sparkling Water to keep my fasting times during IF "clean."  I also love putting Cacao Powder in my smoothies to give a nice cocoa taste + it is packed with anti oxidants.  

Amazon also added our fave Alo Yoga ripped warrior leggings.  These high waisted leggings barely ever go on sale.  They retail for $125 and you can get them today only for $75!  They come in 5 colors.  

You can also get the ever-popular Alo Yoga moto leggings which come in 11 different colors.  

Here are some more amazing Amazon deals!




Happy Prime Shopping!

Amanda + Crystal


Friday, July 5, 2019

Holiday Weekend Sales

Holiday weekends mean plenty of deals to be had! When you need a break from the sun + fun- plan to check out alllll of the amazing sales.  We rounded up some great deals from our face retailers.

Get an extra 50% off their summer tag sale no code needed!
Kendra Scott: 
From today through 7, the site will be featuring markdowns at up to 50% off.

This classic hammered long gold pendant goes with absolutely everything!

Old Navy:
Now through July 7, take up to 60% off everything — styles start from $4.

This high-rise button-fly denim mini would look adorable for a bbq or over a swimsuit!

20% off men's and women's sandals.
Check out some more holiday deals below!


Monday, June 17, 2019

Can I have ____ while fasting??

Can I have ______ while fasting is the most popular question about IF. The short answer is NO, ha. 

I have gone back and forth and here is my opinion on it all. Disclaimer: This is MY opinion, I am sure not an expert by any means on this matter. I also don’t think what anyone on IF is doing is wrong, this is just going to be my strategy on how I do it. I know there are a lot of different beliefs and strategies out there.  I support them all and think you have to do what is best for you!!

Ok...I truly try to be as clean as I can during my “fast.” For me, that means black coffee ( I still hate it), plain water, and non-flavored sparkling or mineral water. Period, end of sentence. Well..some may say that coffee breaks your fast, but I am just going to straight up ignore that.  That is just how I am doing it for now. Why do I want to clean fast?  Here is the thing, it’s nearly impossible to tell what signals our body to produce insulin and take us out of the fasting state. Is it calories (under 50?).... everyone is different so there is no way to know.

My strategy is fasting as clean as possible for a while, so I can figure out how my body responds to foods and drinks.  After I really know what it feels like to be in ketosis, and the fasting stage, I can start to introduce things back in to see if they throw me off or make me more hungry. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body.

It is all about not releasing insulin when in the fasted stage. We want our body to burn fat from our bodies while fasting. LOWER INSULIN = GREATER FAT LOSS.  So, we don't know what triggers our insulin levels for sure.  Studies have shown just tasting something sweet, not even swallowing it, can trigger the brain to start producing insulin.  Click on the link for this specific study. 

I feel like I can keep this up too, because I have a longer window than a lot of IFers have . I am doing the 16/8, so I have 8 hours to drink my yummy coffees and other drinks I enjoy during that time. I find during the week I am doing 10-6 or 9:30-5:30 depending on my schedule.  The weekends are harder, but if I go off for a few hours, it's not hard for me to hop back on. 

I am going to stick to it a little longer mainly because my energy levels have been so good.  Still not down any weight, but I really am not as tired as I use to be which is the biggest win in my opinion.

Thanks for all your tips and info you have shared with me as well.  Have a great Monday!


Friday, June 7, 2019

Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father's Day will be here before you know it!  This is such a special time to celebrate the dads, husbands, or father figures in your life.  We will probably spend time on the lake during the day because that it my hubby's fave place to be!  In past years we've also done a family round of golf and even done a canoe trip as well.  There are some great places to go canoeing around Nashville- we highly reccomend Foggy Botton Canoes in Kingston Springs for rentals! We usually do a dinner with my dad in the evening to celebrate him.  I'm a self-admitted daddy's girl so I love to take the time to be with him on this special day!

I put together some top items that the special men would love + actually use! Dad's tend to be a tad more practical than ourselves so I came up with everyday items that serve a purpose!

My Top Picks for Father's Day:

Like I mentioned above, we spend a lot of time at the lake so a good comfy + stylish pair of swim trunks always make for a great present.  These Patagonia pull-on trunks have a quick-drying outer surface + sun protection.  These come in 6 solid colors and 2 patterns.  I personally love the 'spiced coral' color for a preppy look.  My hubby's last pair of Patagonia trunks literally lasted 15 years- I had to make him throw them out!

These sporty + functional slides are perfect for summer.  These are by an Italian designer and give an on-trend sporty vibe to any dad. They come in 3 colors as well as a camo print.  I love the navy color for an all-American look.

My hubby loves a classic bourbon cocktail like an Old Fashioned.  This set of two large ice molds allow different shapes for different cocktails.  These are great for entertaining!  Check out a great recipe for an Old Fashioned drink here.
This portable fold up grill is perfect for any dad that loves to tailgate or camp out! The slim and easy design makes it unique compared to other grills on the market.  It's also a great price point at only $61.

Shop More Ideas Below!

Always a Daddy's Girl!
Happy Shopping!  As always let me know if you have any questions or need me to search for something more specific.



Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Intermittent Fasting - Initial Thoughts

Pants + Top

I’ll be completely honest, I never thought intermittent fasting (IF) would be for me. I really had no reason to research it, or try it, because the truth is I love to exercise and love to eat healthy. But my curiosity got the best of me, and I really wanted to know more about IF, and I love learning about anything involving health and nutrition. 

Intermittent Fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that rotates through eating and fasting. There are several options for your timeframe for fasting, but most commonly, a 16 hour fast in a 24 hour period is a popular option. This means you are only eating within an 8 hour period and fast in the 16 hours in between that timeframe. Besides weight loss, some studies show that this eating pattern can have positive benefits for your energy and focus.

After listening to a  lot of podcasts, and a lot of reading, I decided the 16 hours fasting, 8 hours eating fasting method is what would work best for me. I mean Hugh Jackman does it, so it’s gotta be good right?! My typical day is a window of eating from 9-5, 10-6, 11-7, just depending on my day.  As you may know, I got to bed in the 8’s, so stopping eating earlier is easier for me. I like a longer window for me, because I have a very active lifestyle and do some type of exercise daily. I’ve tried my IF window for 5 days a week with a looser schedule on the weekends.  
Research shows that women do well with a shorter 14-15 hour fasting frame, so I make mine a little shorter sometimes. There are sooo many different ways to do IF.  Here is a great Link that details 6 different ways you can do IF.

I have been trying IF for about 4 weeks. I had a vacation during that time, which I didn't stay on the plan and have skipped some days here and there.  I have been staying on track for about the past 2 weeks.

Initial Thoughts

The Bad

I haven't reached the points where I am not having hunger pains, and the non-eating window is super easy for me.  I think that will take another week or so to work itself out.  I am definitely ready to eat when it is time.  I wouldn't say I am miserable by any means, I just am ready to eat.

The black coffee.  I mean I live for a good coffee. I have even done a blog post on all the goodness I love to put in there.  It is tough.  Some theories say zero anything or you break your fast.  Some think that if you keep your coffee intake under 50 calories, you stay fasted.  I will tend to stay in the middle and only use a tiny splash of Nutpods to break the black coffee taste.

Overthinking eating time frames can be tough.  I have found myself staring a the clock a few times waiting to eat.  It mainly happens on the weekend if we are not go, go, go, or if I am driving on the road in the car.  I also have to really listen to my body if I'm not hungry, when my window is almost over to stop myself from over eating.  A few times I have probably stuffed my face because I knew I wasn't going to be eating again for a while.  It has made me be more aware of my hunger cues and try to only eat when I am truly hungry.

The Good

My energy levels have been amazing.  It kinda snuck up on me that it was happening.  I always love my weekend naps.  At least one day during the weekend, I try to take a good nap with the family.  It was Sunday evening and I said to my husband, "I haven't even napped or thought about napping."  It was great!  I can for sure say that I have felt better and have more energy which is the best part for me.

One of the main reasons I didn't want to try IF was that my workouts are so intense sometimes, I didn't want to be weak or not have energy to do them.  I will say the first few early morning harder workouts (Yoga Sculpt or Barry's)  were a tiny bit challenging, but that ended quickly.  I now feel totally fine for my early morning workout, and feel just as strong even during my fasting period.  I still take my Advocare Catalyst before my workouts, but that is it.

I am really liking a stopping time especially at night.  It is so easy to snack after dinner, even when my snacks were super healthy.  This gives me an end time and goal to not eat anything til my next eating window.

Less bloating!  I definitely feel like you keep that "morning skinny" stomach longer.

You technically can eat what you like during your eating window.  I still stick to my lower carb, higher fiber diet, because that is what I believe in, know, and love.  If you don't like counting carbs, calories, fat, this could be a perfect option for you because its all about your time window not what you eat.  Obviously if weight loss if your goal the healthier you eat, the quicker you can achieve those goals.

Neither good or bad information, but I have not lost any pounds.  I didn't go into this to necessarily lose weight.  One of the benefits to IF is muscle toning and people lose inches.  I do feel some clothes are a tad looser.  I will be better about taking measurements, so I can report back better on this.

The podcast that I have been listening to is IFpodcast.  I don't do my IF exactly like these ladies, but they have great information, and break it down in a way I can understand.  Check them out!

I have lots to write about and so much information that I have gathered.  These are just my initial thoughts.  I will keep you updated on my progress and share with you what I learn as I go.